Friday 23 May 2014

Muddy Beak

Baby Blackbird.  Nikon D7000
22nd April 2014

The baby blackbirds are still hopping around the garden.   At last they are becoming less reliant on mum, but do not always seem to get the feeding bit right. 

This one seemed to have just been pecking at mud this morning.

I kept waiting for mum blackbird to come around, lick a tissue, and wipe the mud off its beak!
Baby blackbird looking for bird seed.  Nikon D7000

Lilly Pad

Lilly Pad.  Nikon D7000
21st April 2014

The pond is bursting into life quite quickly now.  As the water has warmed up, the lilly has started to grow lots of leaves.   This is one of the first to unfurl, ready to tempt frogs to sit on it (well, for the fish to hide underneath anyway).

I am sure it will not be long before the flower buds break the water and start to swell.

Easter Bunnies

Alex finds another egg.  Nikon D7000
20th April 2014

The weather was ok first thing this morning for the traditional Easter egg hunt in the garden.

I went out and hid a whole stack of little eggs, and a few big ones.

Katie and Alex had good fun hunting them out (Liz declined this year).   Luckily they did well as I could not remember where I hid them all!

Alex finds a chocolate rabbit.  Nikon D7000

April Ice

Ice from the freezer.  Nikon D7000
19th April 2014

No it is not a hideous deterioration in the weather; I finally had enough of the lid of the freezer not quite closing properly.

The food is in the garage all wrapped up and the ice is thawing out slowly.

There were lots of bags and tubs of unlabelled 'stuff' in the freezer that has lost its identity...

Very much a case of 'are you feeling lucky Punk?' with a random unlabelled choice for tea tonight!


Magnolia.  Nikon D7000
18th April 2014

The purple Magnolia in the garden has just started to bloom.   It looks like there a stacks of buds this year so we should get a good crop of big purple blooms.

The tree overhangs the pond, so I may have to spend some time fishing the petals out of the water in a few weeks too.

White Goods

Washing Machine, Fuji F10
17th April 2014

When washing whites that are a bit smeggy and washing powder is just not up to the job, there are additives that are meant to make your 'whites whiter than white'.

It appears this one particular brand has a distinct foaming action that is designed to clean the outside of the machine too ....

Just Resting

Fly resting on the Azalea.   Nikon D7000
16th April 2014

Today was sunny and the 'Bluebird' Azalea is in full bloom.

A nice juicy-looking green fly was resting on it; well the chickens thought it looked juicy, not me!

Thursday 22 May 2014

View From St Catherine's Island

View from St Catherine's Island.  Nikon D7000
15th April 2014

Today Jo and I had a nice day out in Tenby; Nanny took the kids out for the day somewhere far away :)

The tide was out and St Catherine's Island was open for visitors.    It has been shut for very many years, but restoration of the fort on the top of the island has now started and the steps and way up has been made safe.

The view from the top is a different way to see Tenby; for once you can see the houses and hotels with all their funky colours from a similar height, rather than looking up at an oblique angle from the beach.

There are still some nice rusty and rotten structures on the island however that make for interesting photographs :)

The boats in the harbour are thinning out as the years progress and the fish stocks dwindle further, but there are still some interesting working boats to capture pictures of still.
Fort door on the island.  Nikon D7000

Boats in the harbour.  Nikon D7000

Snakes, Sand and Next Stop America

Snakes head Fritillary.  Nikon D7000
 14th April 2014

Dad has managed to grow a Fritillary in his garden this year; they bring rather a nice splash of colour to any garden corner.

We had a good morning out on the beach too; the kids like the space at Fresh-Water West and also cannot resist having yet another quick look for Shell Cottage and Dobby's grave.

Alex did what most young boys seem to enjoy and spent time writing in the sand.  It was Liz however that drew the traditional pictures of meat and two veg.

The Winter storms have stripped back the sand by many feet in depth, revealing both patches of the sunken forest, and also the remains of a trans-Atlantic cable!

Jo and Kids on the beach.  Nikon D7000

Alex practising his writing skills.  Nikon D7000

Trans-Atlantic Cable.  Nikon D7000

Yellow Lions

Dandelion, Nikon D7000
13th April 2014

The weeds in the grass are starting to grow quite profusely now.  There is a good crop of Dandelions forming again this year.

As yellow is my favourite colour, it seems a shame to pick the heads off.

I may leave one or two to form seed heads, and then photograph them before picking the heads to stop them spreading any further.

Happy Families

Lunch time for Blackbird family.  Nikon D7000
12th April 2014

There are two baby blackbirds from the 'Patio' family bouncing around in the garden now.

They tend to hide under bushes and then dash out when they see mum coming with some more food.

Xena has been coping very well considering that often the chicks will be sat on the floor just looking up at her!   There must be a great temptation to chomp on them, but she has left them alone.

Hopefully the local cats will do the same, but given their recent performance with daddy blackbird, I am not so sure.

Wriggle Wriggle

Tadpoles in the Pond.  Nikon D7000
11th April 2014

There is a distinct wriggling happening in the pond at the moment; the frog spawn has hatched a few days ago and the tadpoles are swimming freely.

There are not a huge quantity, but hopefully a few will mature enough to visit again in future years.

The pond is a bit full of gunge and stuff at the moment, so they have plenty of places to hide.

Time for Tea

Mugs ready for the cast and crew.  Fuji F10
10th April 2014

The acting and technical side of any show is thirsty work.  I managed to get in early on the tea-run this evening.

I could not resist the 'crowd' of mugs ready and waiting for their fill of tea and thirst quenching duty.

Grease Paint and Giggles

Oaklahoma!  Nikon D7000
9th April 2014

The run of Oaklahoma! went really well tonight.   It is always nice to see the first real true run through of a show with all the costumes on and props in place; some of the dialogue and jokes do not make any sense otherwise!

Luckily the gun in the picture was fake; the facial expressions are acting :)

Sunday 11 May 2014

Learn To Fly

Baby Blackbird made it to the tree.  Nikon D7000
8th April 2014

There has been excitement today as the first of the baby Blackbirds 'flew' from the nest on the patio across to the apple tree.

In a similar manner to Buzz Lightyear, it appeared to be more controlled falling than flying!

Poor mummy blackbird is now getting a stream of demands for food from multiple places now; daddy blackbird was lost the other day to one of the local cats :(

Blackthorn Blossom

Blossom.  Fuji F10
7th April 2014

The Blackthorn is flowering well; enticing the few bees that are flying to gather some nectar and make some Slows.  

Jo will be happy if it is a good Slow year as when soaked in Gin, they take on a special life.

In the spotlight

Lamp for a spotlight.  Fuji F10
6th April 2014

It is time for the Spring production at the local theatre; it is Oklahoma! this year.

I like to make sure I am well prepared, so a list is forming of spare lamps and extra batteries;  fingers crossed they will not be needed!


Rickshaw.  Fuji F10
5th April 2014

It is surprising what you find sometimes in sleepy North Wiltshire; I had not been expecting the ultimate in exercise bikes.

It is a bit hilly around here and peddling this device even when its is empty would be a challenge, let alone if you had passengers.  

Passengers may give you a tip however; my tip would be 'get a motor!'


Camellia.  Fuji F10
4th April 2014

The rain and warm weather has meant the Camellia has not only flowered on our Wedding Anniversary, it has flowered in abundance.

The added rain drops are very welcome for once.

Emerging Tulip

Tulip Bursting.  Nikon D7000
3rd April 2014

The Tulips in the garden have sent up good strong looking spikes which are just starting to turn from green and bursting into glorious red.

Spring has been warm so far this year; if the trend continues then we can hope for some good rich colour in the petals.


Cherry tree buds.  Nikon D7000
2nd April 2014

Spring is arriving fast and the Cherry tree is bursting with tight groups of buds.

We have high hopes for a good show of blossom this year.   We had one cherry ripen last year; the birds stripped the rest.  I may net a small selection of them come the summer.

Retrospective: Start of a second year

Casting Shadows.  5x7 mdf camera.
Kenthene VC paper negative
210mm G-Clarion, f/9 1 second.
1st April 2014

Two years ago, I captured the shadows cast in the garden and immortalised them in silver with a paper negative.

The sun was out this year too, so the table and chair provided the shadows this year.  It is subtle, but I could not resist swinging the lens a little; the plane of focus runs front left to rear right of the image, passing through the mug and chair :)

The flowering currant is out again too and as always, provides a great subject to study.

Flowering currant, Nikon D7000