Monday, 30 April 2018

Monday Montage

Last week's WidsMob montage photo was:

Montage 09

Which was correctly identified by Wilma and Adrian as:


a coffee or tea mug.
Ragged Robin and The Weaver of Grass were close with 'jug'.
Yes, trying to estimate the size was difficult.

You will probably have two choices  for this one:

Montage 10

Who will choose the correct one?
If you would like to make a guess please leave it in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the original photo next Monday.

Sunday, 29 April 2018


In spite of the weather having slipped back from Spring to Autumn plants are still growing.

Outside the greenhouse a couple of troughs of Dwarf French Beans 'Slenderette' are starting to poke through.  I grew some of these last year and they gave a lovely heavy crop:

Dwarf French Beans Slenderette DSCN8363

Also outside, but not photographed is a trough of spring onions.

Inside the greenhouse.
My tomato plants in their auto watering pots.
Alicante and Moneymaker:

Tomato Alicante Moneymaker DSCN8366

Two troughs of 'Vibrant' strawberry plants.
Grew these last year. Lovely jubbly:

 Strawberry Vibrant DSCN8365

Some sweet peas of mixed colour:

Mixed Sweet Peas DSCN8364

Finally a couple of hanging baskets.
Bush Fuchsia 'Hermiana' and mixed trailing Lobelia:

Fuchsia Hermiana Trailing Lobelia DSCN8367

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Monday, 23 April 2018

Monday Montage

Last week's WidsMob montage photo caused no problems:

Montage 08

Well done to Ragged Robin, Adrian, Wilma and the Weaver of Grass who all spotted it was:


a Crane Fly (Daddy Longlegs)

I don't think this one should cause too many problems:

Montage 09

If you would like to make a guess please leave it in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the original photo, next Monday.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Tolumnia Hybrid Orchid

It has been over three months since the buds appeared and finally the first one has opened.

24 focus stacked photos processed in two different programs.
Canon 50D with 70-200mm zoom set at 70mm + Raynox R-250 macro lens + ring LED light.
The flowers are quite small at about 3/4 inch (15mm) across.

Zerene Stacker:

2018-04-22-09.19.51 ZS PMax

Using the built in Focus Merge in Affinity Photo:

Affinity Photo Focus Merge

Zerene has more advanced facilities but the Affinity process produced an excellent result.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

I Am An Important Person

Today I received a parcel containing some items I had ordered from Japan.
A UK company might have just slapped on a 'fragile' notice.
This one had a label with the following message:


So there we have it. To this company their customers are important.
Made my day did that, as well as making me smile broadly.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Who Will Win Possession?

It's not all over yet as to which will finally nest in the camera nestbox.
The bumblebee continues adjusting the nesting material.
At one stage yesterday there were two of them in there.

Every now and then Mrs GT brings more material.
Early this morning Mr GT arrived with what looks like a bee fly he had caught, presumably as food for Mrs. She arrives and after a short while leaves:

Who will actually raise a brood?
Will the Great Tits remove the bee or will they be scared off?
Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode of 'The Drama of the Nest Box'

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Houston, We've Had A Problem

Some time around mid-day yesterday the Great Tit nest was invaded.
A bumble bee decided to set up residence:

Soon after that Mrs GT returned with some more nesting material. The bee was hidden but as soon as it was noticed Mrs GT rapidly left the nest. She returned a short while later with more material but saw the bee as soon as she poked her head in and promptly left the nestbox. No roosting last night.

This morning Mrs GT has brought more nesting material. Each time the bee has been out of sight but as soon as she left it started to move the material where it wanted. On her last visit so far Mrs GT once again started to enter the nestbox but left almost immediately.

I did consider trying to remove the bee though it would probably return.
In the end I thought, oh well, it will be a change to see what goes on in a bee's nest.
Very disappointing though as it's the first use of the nestbox for about three years.
Let's hope Mrs GT has the time and energy to start again somewhere else.

What a change in the weather. The temperature topped 20C yesterday and could go higher today.
At least it should dry out the grass so I can get the lawn cut. I did get some new fencing put up to replace the quick bodge job behind the large tree stump. This time with reed screening which blends in better:


It will look better once the wooden parts have weathered a bit.
All being well I should be able to make a start with filling the hanging baskets today.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Monday, 16 April 2018

Monday Montage

 Title 1
This was last week's WidsMob Montage modified photo:

Montage 02

Correctly identified as a tree feller / tree surgeon by The Weaver of Grass, Wilma, Ragged Robin and Adrian.


Well done to all.

I wonder how easy, or otherwise, this week's one will be to identify:

Montage 08

Flickr seems to be throwing a bit of a tantrum at the moment but the pictures should show up, eventually. If you think you can identify what I originally photographed then please leave your guess in the comments. They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Great Tit Roosting

Mrs GT made many visits yesterday and today bringing soft material to line her nest.
Tonight is the first time she has decided to sleep there.
All being well the first egg should be appearing in the not too distant future.

For anyone not able to leave a comment - I spent some time searching to find a possible cause.
All I came up with is it is something which others have found happening from time to time.
It has been going on for some years and only affects a few blogs at any one time.
There doesn't seem to be a solution apart from waiting for things to get back to normal in their own good time.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Another Busy Day

As the 10 bare root Vibrant strawberry plants I had ordered arrived this morning I had to set about planting them in a couple of troughs for them to grow on in the greenhouse. Working with wet potting compost outdoors was far from pleasant in the cold, misty, damp atmosphere created by the sea fret which covered the area for most of the day:


Added to the plug plants potted and growing on in the conservatory are these Upright Bush Fuchsia 'Hermiana' plants. These are for the top of my hanging baskets:


Yesterday everywhere was soaking wet after yet another night of persistent rain so the Great Tit took a break from nest building. Today she made up for lost time by making about 18 visits:

It looks as though this sea fret will be with us at least for tomorrow morning but all being well we can both look forward to warmer weather from this coming weekend.

For those unfamiliar with sea frets you can read a description on the Met office site HERE.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Monday Montage

Title 1

Last Monday I presented this WidsMob Montage for you to identify:

Montage 03

As Ragged Robin and Wilma suggested it was of:


a grotesque carving on the side of a church.

A gargoyle is a carving with some form of hole or spout to drain water from the roof whereas a grotesque is just a decorative carving.

As always my thanks to everyone who had a go at identifying it.

Now for a new one for you to identify:
Montage 02

If you wish to make a guess please leave it in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the original photo, next Monday.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Time For A Soft Lining

The Great Tit has been working very hard to get her nest built.
Now she is bringing in moss to line it:

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Black Beauty

No, not a horse.
While talking to my neighbour I happened to spot something black on a metal pole:


The tiniest, blackest, shiniest ladybird I have ever seen.
At 5mm across it must be one of the smallest in the UK:


It was in the most awkward position to get a camera near.
I had to guess when it was in focus as I couldn't see the camera's screen.

At first I though it may have been a Pine Ladybird but discovered the spots were wrong for that.
 In the end I came to the conclusion it was a Kidney-spot Ladybird.

To finish off, a larger black creature.
Penny, catching up on her beauty sleep after another hard day supervising:


I did manage to trim the back lawn so that was one more task off the Round Tuit pile.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Still Busy

The Great Tit nest in the camera nestbox continues to take shape:


Still a long way to go though.

Yesterday we had 95% blue sky all day. Not over warm at 10C but inviting enough to do a bit of pottering in the garden. I had a shuffle round in the greenhouse to make room for the automatic watering system, getting it ready for a couple of tomato plants in the near future.

This is the AutoPot Easy2Grow kit:
 AutoPot Easy2Grow Kit

Outside the greenhouse is the 47 litre water tank. I had to drill a hole in the metal base of the greenhouse to take the connecting pipe to the base of the grow pots. The blue gadget in the middle of the base is the valve mechanism which lets more water through when the level goes down. Last year I used it in one of those tomato grow houses. The watering system worked perfectly but there were many problems with the grow house itself.

When turning over old chunks of wood you never know what you will find hiding there:


Not so sunny today and cooler but as more rain is expected over the next two days I may give the lawn a quick short back and sides. It is growing really fast.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Busy, Busy

The Great Tit has been making up for lost time. She spend a short while yesterday and nearly two hours this morning fetching material to build her nest in the camera nest box. This is the second hour this morning. Though speeded up 4x it is still over 7 minutes long:

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Anyone For a Paddle?

Sheesh. Talk about wet. Easter Monday saw about 14 hours of relentless rain. Not a tropical deluge, just non stop from around midnight. I  will not have been alone in this. Here are a few screen grabs from the Government Environment Agency Flood Warning pages:

For England:
 Screenshot (2018-4-2 2.52.04 pm)

My nearest river is the River Lud which flows through the market town of Louth about four miles away from here though it looked as though some of the dykes surrounding me were in danger of flooding:
Screenshot (2018-4-2 5.42.29 pm)

Water flows down from the Lincolnshire Wolds and through Louth which is in a narrow valley so the water level can rise quite rapidly after heavy or persistent rainfall:
 Screenshot (2018-4-2 2.51.30 pm)

My back garden had started drying out nicely after the last lot of rain and now:
View from the kitchen window:

From the back door:

Finally a short video from three of my cameras:

As the path was well under water I had to wear my wellies when topping up the bird feeders. It looks bad but is still a long way from causing any damage to the building. It has been worse than this just once in the past. The state of the front garden? Fine. The only time that started to flood was when a water main burst at the top of the lane and the lane turned in to a raging torrent.

It looks as though recent inclement weather conditions have damaged my weather station. No rain recorded and the temperature it reports looks to be about 7C too high. It got water logged once before. I had to open it up to empty it out when the drain hole for the rain gauge got blocked. Also the rechargeable batteries may need changing. They don't last for ever.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Monday Montage

Last week I presented this WidsMob Montage picture for you to identify:

Montage 01

which JustJill, Wilma and Ragged Robin correctly identified as ...

DSCN7384Early Strawberries Vibrant

... my favourite, strawberries.
My thanks to all who had a go.

The next montage to identify, on this very, very wet Easter Monday, is:

Montage 03

(My comment on the weather isn't a clue)

If you think you know what I originally photographed please leave your guess in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.

More about the very, very wet bit tomorrow.
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