Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Photo Movie + DVD Slideshow Pro

Another Mac app which is, at the time of writing, free to download.

Photo Movie + DVD Slideshow Pro

This is at version 3.1.6 though there are some aspects which need sorting out yet to make it user friendly. At the moment the only media it automatically lists are from iPhoto though any photos or videos can be dragged and dropped by the usual method. Also imported video files play the sound track and there is no way to alter or mute this. I emailed the author about these and he emailed back that they would be included in the next update.

Photos can be grouped and shown in many different ways. Single photos can be zoomed or panned if you set up the start and end zooms to the same size and put them different sides of the photo. Commentary, text / titles and music can be added. The result can be for DVD or a file for uploading.

This is just a first test to try out a few facilities. One other thing missing is the ability to fade out the final picture though it is possible to fade the sound.

Not convinced it is worth the normal asking price of £20.99 yet though a lot of work has obviously been done developing the app and it does have some nice facilities. The various transitions can look jerky within the program even with a fast processor but once saved they look very smooth. Saving is not particularly fast.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Clouds Timelapse

After a cold night and frosty start to the morning the Sun soon evaporated the clouds to give a Sunny start to the day:

Timelapse - LapseIt app on iPod5, one shot every two seconds.
Lots of black spots as various birds flew through the view from my kitchen window.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Friday at the Flicks - Chaffinch and Robin


Nothing out of the ordinary going on so here are a couple of the regulars:

The Blackbirds are becoming very bold, though not quite tame yet. A few are usually within a few feet of me when I top up the feeders. After our frosty early morning walk I was taking Penny's harness off and a female Blackbird waited on top of the fence right next to us. As we walked round to the back door the Blackbird kept up with me, walking along the top of the fence. I must get round to trying hand feeding it to see what happens.

I haven't seen anything investigate either of the camera nest boxes as yet.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Nearly There and I'm Actually Ready


Very best wishes to all our readers with thanks to all who have visited over the past year.


Title made with Mac app Art Text 2 using the font Christbaumkugein.
Card made with Mac app HolidaysCard. Font Waxwerks.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

New Nest Box

I spotted a Wildlife World camera nest box in one of Amazon's lightning deals sales and decided to order one.

It is quite versatile.
Set up as a Robin or Wren box:


As a Blue Tit box:


As can be seen the camera has plenty of cable attached.
The camera is in its own housing inside the hinged top:


Also the camera box can be removed to be used separately:


It could be used as a sheltered camera to watch feeders, etc..

The camera comes with two lenses, standard and wide angle.
At the moment I have the standard lens on which I focussed to what should be the height of a nest. Camera is colour if there is enough light and b/w with IR lighting in poor light.
The camera includes a microphone which I haven't connected yet.

The result can be seen top left in this screen grab:

Snapshot 141219_0002

My old camera box is top right.

For now I have fixed the box, set up for Blue Tits, on the back of the Summer house facing large bushes for shelter and well out of direct sunlight except for maybe an hour each day.  Now it is a waiting game to see whether it gets investigated.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Friday at the Flicks - Suet Attraction + No Sharing


It doesn't take long for birds to find a way to reach the suet balls:

Two female Blackbirds into one bird table doesn't go (no sound):

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tuesday Twister - Answer

Last week's Tuesday Twister had everyone guessing but it turned out to be difficult. The nearest was Adrian who though it might have been some sort of hanging basket, and Wilma who thought it was a hanging decoration. It is supposed to be a planter, but one which can stand on a shelf or window ledge. It is a duck with a hollow back lined with plastic so a small plant pot can be stood in it, or filled with compost and bulbs planted. I just use it as an ornament:


DSCN3755     DSCN3759

That's all for this year folks. Many thanks for all who had a go guessing over the past year. Who knows what next year's puzzles will be but once I have thought of something they will be back some time in the new year.

Today I received the results of my heart scan and was, literally, given the thumbs up. Everything is working as it should do. So that was quite a relief.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Two of a Kind

Not very often two Robins are seen in the same garden as they are extremely vigorous about guarding their territory. Most probably these are, or soon will be, a breeding pair.

Number one was at the front of the shed:

Robin IMG_1916

Number two on the shed guttering a short distance away:

Robin IMG_1918

Number one was investigating everything looking for food:

Robin IMG_1919

Robin IMG_1920

Robin IMG_1925

Saturday, 13 December 2014



As we picked our way along frosty and frozen footpaths at dawn this morning I could see the Moon shining in an otherwise clear sky. Once home I grabbed the 70D and tripod and took a few rapid shots before my fingers froze:

Moon IMG_1914

Title produced with Art Text 2.
Photo processed in Photoscape X.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Friday at the Flicks - Some Regulars + A Sneak Thief

Some of the regular visitors to the bird table on a dull Winter's day:

I decided to place a suet log on the bird table so the small ground feeders would have a chance to peck at it. Needless to say that lasted less than ten minutes as a sneak thief made off with it before any birds had a chance to sample it:

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Winter Sunrise


 Tuesday morning dawned cold but very cheerful with a glorious Sunrise.
 Viewed from my front garden:

Winter Sunrise DSCN3761

Winter Sunrise DSCN3763

Winter Sunrise DSCN3769

Winter Sunrise DSCN3770

A great pity that such views are so short lived but that makes seeing them all the more special.

All taken with the Nikon S9050. Apart from cropping only the first photo was modified using the Mac app Snapheal to eliminate a telephone pole and wires.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tuesday Twister - Guess What



Congratulations and the virtual Midmarsh Gold Star go to TexWisGirl, Adrian, Wilma and Ragged Robin who all spotted the twisted dragonfly last Tuesday:

IMG_0819      IMG_0164

The site I was going to use to make this week's twisted picture wasn't working when I tried to access it so here is a tiny planet type twisted photo of an object.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments which will be revealed, along with the answer, next Tuesday.
No prizes. Just for fun and maybe a Midmarsh virtual Gold or Silver Star.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday at the Flicks - A £2 Heart Scan


A couple of days ago I had to visit.....



.... Louth General Hospital as an out patient for an ultrasound scan of my heart to check on a suspected heart murmur. Results will take a week or so to come through as this was done by a private company outsourced by the local health authority.

The video is of my journey home.  (Normal speed, 11.5 mins)

I have often said that I can see the spire of St. James' Church sticking up well above the town which is mainly built in the bottom of a steep valley.  As I leave the hospital entrance you can see how much of Louth lies well below me. The journey then travels down to the bottom of the valley until I reach the traffic lights next to St. James' parish church. The road I am on was once the main London Road and carried all the heavy traffic through those narrow streets. Fortunately there is now a by-pass so things are much easier. Once through the lights the road soon starts climbing again.

Leaving Louth I am in open countryside. I did notice a great number of Wood Pigeons on one of the overhead power lines. Looking at a still from the video it looks as though there were over two hundred congregating there. Turning left on to the B1200 at a roundabout there is one more low but steep hill before reaching the flat coastal part of Lincolnshire and the last stretch home. The video ends at temporary traffic lights at the village cross roads where it is taking twenty days of disruption to replace the old traffic lights which are said to have reached the end of their useful working life. The building upper left covered in solar panels is a new extension to the village primary school.

Where does the £2 come in? That was the cost of a parking ticket to use the hospital car park.
That is what can be seen reflected in the windscreen until I noticed and removed it.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Old is When .........

OLD is when

Your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you're barefoot

Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face..

You don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.

You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police .

'Getting a little action' means you don't need to take a laxative today.

'Getting lucky' means you find your car in the parking lot..

An 'all nighter' means not getting up to use the bathroom.

You're not sure if these are facts or jokes.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


I was reading an article about the Droste effect on the DiyPhotography site and decided to have a search for any programs or apps which could create similar effects.  Basically the Droste effect reproduces and repeats a diminishing sized part or all of a picture. On a quick search I couldn't find a stand alone program. There is at least one plug-in for CS5 but there is also an on line facility which can create a similar effect at PhotoSpiralysis which is free to use. That at least is platform independant and works as though it is loaded on your own computer. The only provision is that your computer is running Silverlight. So I just had to have a play to see what I could do with a few of my own photos:

Basically you start by choosing a photo from your computer. That uses your normal file selector. Once loaded it is then a question of experimenting with the choices on the left hand side. Lots of experimentation needed in the choice of photo and the settings. Depending on your choices part of the photo will be covered by a tinted rectangle or circle. These have three dots (for a circle) or five (for a rectangle)  The pink dot marks the point at which the process will be made and the purple ones adjust the size and / or shape of that area. It can be moved around the photo for different effects. Once finished the result is saved to your computer. This can take a while as the finished photo has to be generated and that can be quite a slow process with a large file.

A few experiments from last night:

Watch out - Tuesday Twisters could get more complicated in future!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tuesday Twister - Guess What



No problems with last week's twisted photo. Congratulations and virtual Midmarsh Gold Stars go to TexWisGirl, Wilma, Roy and Adrian who all recognised a twisted cricket match:

IMG_0166      IMG_0163

I don't think this week's twisted photo should give too many problems either.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed next Tuesday along with the answer.
No prizes. Just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh silver or gold star.
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