Tuesday 25 August 2015

Hairy green balls

Gooseberry.  Nikon D200
19th July 2015

The gooseberry bush is hanging with fruit; so much so the branches are bent to the floor in places.

For added fun this year, not only do the bushes have a built in self-defence of evil thorns, but the nettles have been growing unchecked through the gooseberry bushes.

Even gloves do not seem to work well; when i pulled on one part of the nettles, another swung around and hit me across the face :(

Now where were those Dock leaves?

All in this together

High School Musical Set.  Nikon D7000
18th July 2015

This week I have been helping with the sound and light for one of the local theatre groups.   The youth branch have been performing High School Musical.

Liz was a big High School Musical fan, although I doubt she would admit it now.  I did not realise quite how many of the songs I could remember.

The kids all did really well; and Alex also was a star as he did all the sound, including operating 10 radio microphones!

Who me?

Invading Cat.  Nikon D200
17th July 2015

The loose earth in the veg plot seems to be very tempting for the local cat population; why they have to crap in our garden I do not know, but they seem to have realised that the fence around the veg plot keeps the dogs out.

The cats do not even give me the choice of them crapping in with the vegetables, or on the gravel outside of the front door; they just do both.

At least this black cat just uses our garden as a toilet; there is a tabby cat that visits that likes to eat the local birds as well.

Annual Preparations

Seed heads.  Nikon D200
16th July 2015

The veg plot seems to be very busy preparing for next year already; there are seed heads everywhere.

I did try to pick some of them in order to reduce the weed issues, but it is a battle I have no hope of winning.

Next Spring I will get my revenge on them when their offspring are still small; maybe.

Colours: Green

Wet Grass.  Canon S120
15th July 2015

Summer is with us now and after the recent quantity of water, the countryside is looking very green.

Although green is a colour our eyes are most sensitive to, it is often one of the least popular, possibly as it is so common.

The wet grass this morning was rather pretty, and had many shades of green.

I also found a butterfly (or moth, possibly a Large Emerald moth) in the road that looked a little worse for wear (probably hit a car) that was also an interesting shade of green; or possibly it is just not ripe yet.

Butterfly/ Possible moth.  Canon S120

Monday 24 August 2015

Huge and red in a sea of small balls

Poppy.  Canon S120
14th July 2015

In amongst the sticky bud weeds in the field, there are patches of shocking colour.

These poppies have burst out over the last few days and are huge, dwarfing the tiny sticky bud balls around them.

Muppet prefers collecting the sticky buds; mostly on his ears.

White and wet

Wet bind weed flowers.  Canon S120
13th July 2015

This morning is rather damp.   The flowers in the hedge however seem rather taken with the additional 'heavy dew' that has descended.

The rain is running down the front of my coat and soaking my trousers; yuk!

A little bent

Storm damage.  Nikon D7000
12th July 2015

The storms over the last few days have taken their toll; our TV aerial has nose dived into a chimney pot.  The aerial is not used any more luckily, so we still have all our channels intact.

Given the wind was not that strong, there are other signs that it may have been a mild lightning strike; luckily nothing electrical was knocked out.

It looks like a ladder may be needed soon.

Pink Reprise

Bee and Mallow.  Nikon D200
11th July 2015

In keeping with a pink theme for a few days, I noticed this bumble bee taking advantage of the pollen provided by the Mallow.

The large flowers seemed to suit the size of the bee nicely.

Perfect Pink

Water Lilly.  Nikon D200
10th July 2015

Although the fish did not make it through the winter, the water lilly did.   There are stacks of leaves forming shade on the pond and lots fo blooms bursting into flower.

It looks like there are loads more flower heads forming too so we should have a constant supply of pink beauties over the summer.


Nettle.  Nikon D200
9th July 2015

The woodpile for burning during the winter has grown quite large (it still includes a Christmas tree from 2013/14).  My excuse is that the heap is too big to get past and so I have not picked the nettles that are growing behind it.

This nettle is maturing well, however in leaning forward to capture its picture, I discovered it is well guarded by its friends...   the tungsten tipped javelins punctured my leg and came up in big white painful lumps.  :(

Sunday 23 August 2015

The last of the few

Cherries ripening.  Canon S120
8th July 2015

The pigeons, blackbirds and the odd starling have made sure that there are very few cherries left on the tree to attempt to ripen.

The blackfly have then done their best to make what remains look as skanky as possible.

This small cluster of fruit is just starting to turn pink; I will keep an eye on them, but am not hopeful...

Swollen ears

Wheat Field.  Canon S120
7th July 2015

As summer progresses, the crops in the local fields are ripening.

I stumbled across a field of Wheat today; each head has lots of ears, swelling in the sun.

I looked but no crop circles have turned up in this field yet.

The sound of rope slapping your mast

Yachts.  Nikon D200
6th July 2015

Alex has been doing water activities with the scouts for the last few weeks.  

While waiting to collect him this evening, I stood by the row of yachts.   As I child living by the sea, I have hazy memories of the sound of yachting; as the wind blows, the steel cables for the sails slap against the mast and create a rhythmic 'ting' 'ting' 'ting' sound.

Well, more like incessant 'ting' 'ting 'ting' 'ting' 'ting 'ting' 'ting' 'ting 'ting' 'ting' 'ting 'ting' 'ting' 'ting 'ting' 'ting' 'ting 'ting' 'ting' 'ting 'ting' ...

I am glad he did not take too long to get changed.

Turning purple

Tayberries.  Nikon D200
5th July 2015

The fruit in the garden are starting to ripen; the Tayberries are often one of the first to produce.   This year looks like no exception and the briar is hanging with stacks of knobbly berries.

There were a few today which were purple enough to eat :)   I just have to find a way of keeping the birds off them now.

For those about to rock...

AC/DC on stage.  Canon S120
4th July 2015

This evening we went to Wembley; I managed to score some tickets to see AC/DC and the flight timings meant that Jo could pick me up from Heathrow on the way to the stadium.

Despite the band being old and close to pension age, the concert was superb.

I had forgotten quite how good a guitar player Angus Young is.  


Hammerfest.   Canon S120
3rd July 2015

Today the wind was really still.  I walked up the mountain overlooking the town this evening and captured the sun (in the North) reflecting off the sea in the harbour.

It will not be long now before the sun starts to set at nights again.

Waiting for a Reindeer

Flowers.  Canon S120
2nd July 2015

The mountain here is covered with heathers and many small flowers.   They only seem to grow a few inches high in the Arctic tundra, but are rather pretty all the same.

These white flowers seemed to be just perfect Reindeer fodder.

Late night viewing

Sun above the mountain at local midnight.
Canon S120
1st July 2015

The sky this evening was clear of cloud; the sun was out and is high enough still to not disappear behind the mountains.  I managed to take a picture at local midnight (about 11.30pm).

At such high latitudes, the sun falls at a really shallow angle and runs a line skimming across the ridge of the mountains for a few hours, before rising up again for another day.

I have seen it a few times now and frankly, it is still just plain weird,

Saturday 22 August 2015

Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishing.  Canon S120
30th June 2015

The rain stopped today and the locals took advantage of the clear weather to do s spot of fishing.   There could be real monsters lurking in those deep cold waters....   I did not see them catch anything though.

Small beginnings

Trainee Cairn.  Canon S120
29th June 2015

I walked further up the mountain today.  Although I did not get as far as the top, I did find a false summit where a small cairn is developing.  It is only a few feet high at the moment, but many seem to have made the decision to call it a day half way up the mountain and record their triumph by adding another stone to the pile.

Whether the heap is large enough to survive the winter snow yet, I am not sure.

Snow Broken

Snow Fence.  Canon S120
28th June 2015

Up on the mountain, the summer sun has revealed the snow fences.  They are looking a little worse for wear; the ice takes its toll.

It does not look like this fence will stop much come the next winter deluge.

71 Degrees North

Stones on the beach.  Canon S120
27th June 2015

Today we had a trip even further North.  We headed out in the evening, aiming to arrive at the tip of Europe in time for midnight, just in case the sun was shining through a break in the cloud.

We stopped off on the way a few times, but the cloud defeated seeing the sun in the end; the clouds did make pretty patterns however.
Cruise ship.  Canon S120

Fjord.  Canon S120

Midnight Sun at Nordkapp.  Canon S120

Late Spring

Most Northerly Wood in World.  Canon S120
26th June 2015

I had the chance to take a stroll in the most Northerly woodland in the world today.  The old joke of 'if you get lost in the forest, just stand up' is not far off.

As we were walking through the trees, the silence was broken by resounding 'cuckoo, cuckoo' which echoed off the surrounding mountains.

Spring is only a few months late here, but here all the same.


Heathrow T2.  Canon S120
25th June 2015

Another day, another airport terminal.  Being here for the first flight out to Norway does mean that it was still dark when the taxi picked me up.

There were not many other mad souls who got up either as the airport was nearly deserted.  It did mean there was no queue for the bag drop.

Monday 10 August 2015

Feed Me!

Young Sparrow being fed.  Nikon D7000
24th June 2015

There are lots of young birds around at the moment.  This little one was determined to get a good feed, however its parents did not seem inclined to help it out often.

This time they did however, but it still asked for more!

Smells Nice

Honeysuckle.  Nikon D200
23rd June 2015

When the sun comes out, there has been some interesting scents starting to pervade the garden.

I noticed a nice fragrance over by the fence and when I looked, there is a honeysuckle growing there.  It was near the ground amongst the nettles and weeds, so I have fished it out and am going to see if I can train it along the fence.

A much more pleasant sight than the nettles.

Blackcurrants and Visitors

Blackcurrants. Nikon D200
22nd June 2015

The blackcurrants are finally ripening and I have started picking today.  So far I have a few pounds of them in the freezer, which is promising and all I need now is some apples to make scrummy blackcurrant and apple crumbles later in the year.

We also had a visitor this eveing; there was a fox in the garden next door!  It seemed to be looking for a way through the fence so it could say hello to the chickens.

It may be back....

Foxy visitor.  Nikon D7000

Passage of time: June Solargraph and flowers

Solargraph: December 2014 to June 2015.  Pinhole camera
and Paper negative.
21st June 2015

Being midsummer today, I changed the paper in the syrup tin that is now consigned to being a pinhole camera outside of our bedroom.

It was pleased to see that we have had a really good six months for sun, with no disastrous big gaps in the sky like we have had in previous Springs.

I also noticed the passage of time has not been too good on some of the flowers in the living room though; like the solargraph, there are some bright and dark stems.

Fading flowers.  Nikon D200

Here sluggy sluggy

Hosta leaf.  Nikon D7000
20th June 2015

The slugs have been working their devious charm on the Hostas at the back of the pond.  They seem to take great delight in making lots of small holes, rather than just working neatly around the edge and gradually making the leaves smaller.

I wonder if slugs can be trained?

Rose Reprise

Wild rose.  Nikon D200
19th June 2015

The red rose of yesterday is very brash, however I prefer the delicate blooms of the wild rose that has sprung up as a sport off the roots of the red rose.  

They both seem to be growing very well and it is interesting to see them intertwined and flowering together.

Roses are red.... its all biology

Roses.  Nikon D200
18th June 2015

Today I captured the roses just bursting into bloom.  I caught them in shadow and managed not to blow out the red channel for once too :)

A little later there were two pigeons, obviously very much in love.  They sat on the fence preening each other; then gave the neighbourhood a biology lesson.

Pigeons in love.  Nikon D7000

Abstract: Blurred Lines

Pigeon taking off.  Nikon D200
17th June 2015

I did not intend to look for abstract pictures today, but as the cloud is thick, the light levels are low and therefore the shutter takes a week to close.

This pigeon saw me walking over and took flight; I have not decided quite what its wings look like, but they make an interesting image.

Skanky Looking, but Tasty

Some of the first Strawberries.  Nikon D200
16th June 2015

I put cages on the strawberries to keep the wild birds and the odd errant chicken away from them.  They have matured and ripened well (and swelled nicely with the recent wet), but are really skanky looking!

They tasted really good though :)

I just need something to get the pips out from my teeth now. ... where has that pencil gone ?....

Drying Slowly

Drying Shoe.  Nikon D200
15th June 2015

After the mudfest at the weekend, a session with the hose has made our boots look far more respectable.  They will take a while to dry, and a small lake keeps forming in the heel as the water drains down hill.

I think taking wellies as a precaution next year is not a bad idea.