Wednesday 29 April 2015

The Sound of Music

Nuns in action.  Nikon D7000
18th April 2015

It is show time again.

This spring it is The Sound of Music.  I can only still hear a minimum of sound however as my cold is still causing grief.

Following the script so that I can get the sound effects in on cue is proving to be quite a challenge!

Katie has been doing a sterling job at running all the lighting, and also prompting me for when a crash of thunder is needed!

I may need to trim my bush

Flowering Currant.  Nikon D7000
17th April 2015

The flowering currant is flowering a bit later than in some years, but the display is looking good.

It has been a while since I have done any pruning in the chicken pen and the flowering currant bush is getting really very large.

It does provide the chickens with some shade, and the sparrows like to hang out in it, but it may need a trim a bit later in the year.

Ding Dong

Bluebells.  Canon S120
16th April 2015

There are a wider variety of flowers appearing now in the hedgerows on the way to the school.

The green and yellow are subsiding to blue at last.

It will not be long before the local woods are carpeted in flowers; fingers crossed we should get a good display this year.

Flowers in the grass

Daisy, Nikon D7000
15th April 2015

The grass is growing well and will need another good hack at the weekend.

The daisies have decided to take advantage of the nice warm weather and are blooming well.

The contrast of the white against the green makes a good subject to capture, and also is a good excuse to break out the macro lens :)

A shock of Red

Tulip in full bloom.  Nikon D7000
14th April 2015

The tulip is open and in full bloom now.   There have been a few bees a visiting, but none when I had the camera ready.

Spring has also paid a visit to the pond; we gave it a serious clear out early in the year and I though the frogs may have taken offence.

There seem to be a small crop of tadpoles though wriggling in the cloudy waters, so obviously a few frogs found the lure too tempting.
Tadpoles.  Nikon D7000

Many Petals

First Dandelion, Canon S120
13th April 2015

The veg patch is looking a bit neglected at the moment.  I plan to do a bit of planting, but the good weather we are having currently looks suspiciously like it will turn colder in a few weeks to kill off any seedlings.

The dandelions are growing well however, but I find them a bit bitter :{

Feeling Dented

Dented PAR Can.  Canon S120
12th April 2015

Today Katie and I have been rigging sound and light at the local hall, ready for the production of The Sound of Music.

Katie has kindly passed on her cold though, so interestingly my hearing is almost nothing (great when trying to balance sound levels!) and my balance is a bit crook.

Going up the ladders has certainly been more fun than usual!

Through the Knot

Looking through a Knot hole.  Nikon D7000
11th April 2015

The fence has been up for about 10 years now; one post has been replaced and a few of the wooden strips, but generally it has stood up well to the wind and weather.

Being wood, there are knots which have distorted over the years and a number have fallen out, leaving small holes in the fence.

I had some fun today seeing if I could persuade the camera to focus on the house in the distance beyond the fence, rather than the fence itself.   The task was not difficult in the end, especially when switched to manual focus!

No support but in now way Down

System of a Down.  Canon S120
10th April 2015

We had a trip to Wembley this evening for a gig with a bit of a difference; I had managed to get tickets to see System of a Down earlier in the year.

There was no support act; they just came on and played.

The music was loud and the entire arena was bouncing; especially when they played 'Pogo'.

System of a Down do not play often and were doing only one date in the UK, so the opportunity could not be passed up!
System of a Down.  Canon S120

System of a Down.   Canon S120

White with shades of brown

Camellia flowers turning.  Nikon D7000
9th April 2015

The flowers on the Camellia have been super profuse this year, but the first flush are starting to fade and turn brown.  

When the flowers first bloom, they are a stunning white and look great, but the partially faded ones lose their appeal rapidly.

This one seems to be fading gracefully; the recent lack of rain has probably helped as they have not been too damaged by showers.  

There are plenty more buds forming too :)

If it falls on the floor...

Chewed Peg.  Nikon D7000
8th April 2015

Puppies are very soft and like cuddles, but they also like to chew.   Muppet has finished teething a long while ago, but still enjoys rampant destruction when he gets the chance.

The opportunity usually arises when something falls on the floor.   He gives it a chew to see if it is worth chewing.

The pegs that had dropped off the washing line were not quite to his taste, but he tried a few of them to make sure.

The Dog's Balls

Muppet chewing his balls.  Canon S120
7th April 2015

Muppet and Xena were playing chase in the garden today, but Muppet only seemed to want to heard all the toys into a single heap in the garden.

He did attempt to carry both of these balls in his mouth at the same time, but did not succeed.

Typical boy :)

Bursting Buds

Tulip just starting to open.  Nikon D7000
6th April 2015

The tulips at the bottom of the garden are just showing the first signs of opening.   The weather over the last week has been nice and sunny which seems to be encouraging the flowering.

A touch of red in the garden will make a nice change to the Spring yellow.

No Bunny, Just Stones

Stone at Avebury.  Nikkon D7000
5th April 2015

Today is Easter Sunday and we had the traditional hunt for chocolate eggs in the garden.  The children resent the exercise needed to go and find them though, so we made them have a good walk around the stones at Avebury :)

The dogs were well happy at having a good trot around, although Muppet was a bit dismayed that we would not let him cock his leg against each stone!

Mid Spring Yellow

Yellow Forsythia.  Canon S120
4th April 2015

The "yellow" of Spring is progressing.   The Forsythia is in full bloom and a giving a vibrant yellow display.

Each breezy day is starting to bring more sneezing dust now unfortunately too.

Monday 27 April 2015

Chew Toys

Boots with only minor teeth marks.  Canon S120
3rd April 2015

Muppet has trashed quite a few pairs of Liz's shoes (there are lots of bits in the garden stashed under the apple tree).

He has only had a small chew on these boots however, even though they have been lying around for quite some time.

I am not sure who's shoes they are, but obviously they are not quite to Muppet's taste.

Keeping Awake

Fresh Coffee.  Canon S120
2nd April 2015

Too much to do and too little time seems to be a common thread these days.

Luckily we have a really good coffee machine these days (grinds beans then does it all etc,, except empty itself or top up the water).

Back to it.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Stormy Weather

Bits of tree
1st April 2015

The weather has been stormy for the last few days; last night it blew like buggery.

There were lots of small branches and bits of tree littering the garden this morning.

I think I may go back to the beanie hat today, rather than the one with the brim.

Bright white

First Camellia bloom.  Nikon D7000
31st March 2015

The first of the Camellia flowers opened today. This year the bush is absolutely hanging with buds so it should be a really good show.

You have to catch the white blooms as soon as you can however as they turn yellow really quickly.

I have also managed 3 years taking pictures each day now!

This year has been super busy and therefore quite a challenge, especially getting the pictures all processed and published.

We shall see how much longer.......

Should have called him Tigger

Xena and Muppet.  Nikon D7000
30th March 2015

The dogs were playing chase in the garden today.  Muppet was in a particularly bouncy mood for some reason.

Poor Xena just gave up and joined in the game in the end, teasing him with a ball.

I did not manage any photos where he had all four paws on the ground, but here he did not manage any!


Reflections of eggs.  Nikon D7000
29th March 2015

The chickens are laying quite well these days.  The weather is warming up an the days are getting longer.   I noticed today that the egg collection has grown to the point that their reflection will no longer fit in the mixing bowl.

Maybe the mixing bowl is the answer...

Colours: Black and White

Cotton tidies.  Canon S120
28th March 2015

I rather liked the contrast of the black cotton tidy pins, and the white of the cotton.   Keeping the cotton with the bobbins does make so much sense, so with a 3D printer and a roll of plastic.... I wonder if I could make a really big pin to keep the different coloured reels of plastic tidy?

Food: Pink and Silver, or just pink?

Salmon scales.  Canon S120
27th March 2015

There are many parts of food which are 'optional'; some like to eat the skins of jacket potatoes for instance, while others leave the skin of fish.

One issue that can occur with fish skin is that the scaly fish versions are often a bit of a lottery to prepare and there is a chance one of the chewy plastic bits may remain.

There are some cultures that see the chewy parts as the best bits however!

Caught in a rainbow of zips

Case of many zips.  Canon S120
26th March 2015

A pencil case is a wonderful invention.   You can make them out of many materials, but I wonder if there is any way of aligning the colours of the pencils inside with the colours of the zips.

Aligning them would mean you could get to the colour you want super fast, or it would lead to hours of fun for the times when the owner of the pencils had to have them all in colour order.

I may suggest Katie has a pencil case with ordered pencils, although Alex and Liz may do a bit of pencil swapping just to torment her....

Pink Spring

Pink Primroses.  Canon S120
25th March 2015

Spring is well entrenched now, but it is nice to see an alternative to the current sea of yellow that is prevalent at the moment.

These pink primroses make a nice change; it should not be too long though before the bluebells start.

Plum Petals

blossom.  Canon S120
24th March 2015

There are many plum trees in the local streets.   They are bursting into flower at the moment.   The plum tree in our garden used to blossom early too; until it died off!

A few weeks and the apple blossom may be bursting out too.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Ooh at the Zoo

Rhino's.  Canon S120
23rd March 2015

We went to Colchester Zoo today.   They have a real menagerie there, including these Rhino's. Katie fed the Giraffes and I admired the Elephants.

It was quite cold so we lingered in the tropical houses where possible :)


Spider.  Canon S120
22nd March 2015

What has eight legs and eight eyes?

This little fellow.

Riddle me this ...

Folks leaving Comicon.  Canon S120
21st March 2015

We went up to the NEC in Birmingham today to the sewing and hobby craft fair.

There was also the Comicon event on in the neighbouring hall.

I have seen on the Big Bang Theory the concept of Comicon mentioned where they dress up and go out in public.

I had forgotten it was on until a Klingon walked past us, and then we saw the Riddler here!

There were quite some sights.

Crescent Sun

Eclipse of the sun.  Nikon D7000
20th March 2015

This morning was very cloudy, and a bit worrying as there is a rare event.

As the morning progressed however, the clouds thinned and occasionally broke.

The time came however as the moon did its best to obscure the sun: and eclipse.

The temperature dropped and the birds stopped singing briefly as the shadow passed.

The welding mask came in very handy to allow me to watch it.


Flowers.  Canon S120
19th March 2015

It is not often that flowers get bought, but we have some at the moment.   The white, yellow and green make an interesting combination.

It is a little sad however that I am the only one in the family who has done any flower arranging courses (it is a long story!)

Playing in the fog

Dogs in Fog.  Canon S120
18th March 2015

This morning was very pale and foggy.

On the way back from walking the kids to school, the dogs had great fun running and chasing in the field.

The camera had quite a job focussing and following them!

Shawn the Dog

A trim and shiny Muppet
17th March 2015

Muppet has been shaved today; he cooperated enough apparently for them to do his head too.

His fur is all nice and shiny and he looks a bit smaller.

Hopefully he will absorb less water now too, although I am sure the mud will still stick.

I wonder if they do a ScotchGuard for dogs....

Redundant words

Training words on the fridge.  Nikon D7000
16th March 2015

Our fridge and freezer still have quite a collection of words and fridge magnets that were stuck on for the kids to help them learn to spell and form sentences.

The words still get rearranged occasionally these days, despite them all being sufficiently fluent now.

I think there is probably a market for an 'Adult' version :)

Little Houses

House light shades.  Canon S120
15th March 2015

Today is Mother's day.   The kids have been decidedly crap and despite deciding between themselves as to who will do what, nothing got done.

Hopefully one of them will consider a bunch of flowers may be welcome at the very least.

I took a picture of some little houses anyway.

Animals in motion

Gus.  Canon S120
14th March 2015

I normally capture images of dogs, but today thought I would try the challenge of taking a picture of a cat.

The dogs have a knack of sitting still, but moving just at the instant the shutter trips.

The cat was even worse; with an instinct that seemed to make it move much slower in low light, but just enough so that any picture would just be a touch blurred.

This image is no different!

Daytrip to Bath

Church doors.  Canon S120
13th March 2015

Alex was giving a recital today in the Mid-Somerset Festival, the session being held in Bath.

We drove down and had a little while to kick hour heels while waiting for his session.

We had a look at the architecture, and at the pigeons.

He did very well: held his nerve: and gave a great recital.

Well done Alex :)

Shig in Pit

Muppet in his element.  Canon S120
12th March 2015

It rained heavily overnight; Muppet was so happy this morning to see disgusting puddles everywhere.

He wasted no time in absorbing as much filth as he was capable.

I am sure it will keep him company when he gets back in and slobs on the sofa.

Ivy in Monochrome

Ivy.  Canon S120
11th March 2015

When I photograph in black and white, it is almost always using a film camera.  Today I took a digital snap, but the dead Ivy was almost all one colour and the detail was picked out in tonal variation alone.

I decided to ditch the colour; the image is much better for it.

I think I may consider a session of black and white in the future.

Big Apple

Apple tree.  10"x8" camera, 300m lens.  f/45, 12 seconds.
Ilford VC paper negative through yellow filter.
10th March 2015

The sun came out today, and most importantly, the wind dropped to nothing.

I decided to break out a view camera.

I must get around to reloading some film holders; I have only the 10" x 8" loaded at the moment.

I looked and it is well over 2 years since I last used the 10x8, so thought today would be a good one as it would not blow around.

The image of the apple tree came out well, and at 100Mpixels, takes a fair bit of hard-drive space!

The 10" x  8" riding a tripod again.  Canon S120 


Logs waiting for a cold evening.  Nikon D7000
9th March 2015

I found that I had chopped up some logs last year but not got around to putting then in bags.   The weather forecast suggested that it may be a good day to recycle some of them into heat.

The weatherman lied.

I lit the fire and burned a few; and sweated my nuts off.

Looking good, but late

Late but pretty Daffs.  Nikon D7000
8th March 2015

I needed them a week ago, but the Daffs have at last decided to put in their appearance.   There are stacks of them this year so it should be a good show overall.

Fingers crossed next year they are on time for March 1st.

Colours: Purple

Hellebores.  Nikon D7000
7th March 2015

The sun was out today and shining on the Hellebores.   They have stood well over the winter and are now covered in stacks of flowers.

They are an interesting shade of purple; the colour is very much on the red side when the sun shines through them, but have a touch of blue otherwise.

The chickens that can fly over the fence do not seem to like the taste either; they have hope at lasting much longer than some of the other flowers in the garden..

New fragrance

Muppet and his first crocus.  Canon S120
6th March 2015

It is sometimes easy to forget that Muppet is still very much a puppy and less than a year old; there are many experiences he is yet to have.

Today the Spring flowers were well in bloom and he decided to explore them, although it may have been that there was a camera lens nearby that did not currently have his nose print on it!

He soon rectified the nose-print issue :(

Thursday 2 April 2015

Here's mud in your cross-eye's

Muppet coming to say hello.  Canon S120
5th March 2015

It rained last night so Muppet was happy; his beautiful puddles were back again!

He did decide I should share in the mud however; cleaning mud from the camera lens is a bit of a sod :(

Blue Spring

Random blue flower.  Canon S120
4th March 2015

Spring is making an appearance slowly; there is more than just green, yellow and brown around now.

Today I saw my first 'blue' of Spring; there was just the one for now, but I am sure there will be more soon.

The garlic will not be long either, smelly white flowers..