Wednesday 25 May 2016

Small but Strawberry-like

New Strawberry.  Nikon D7000
22nd May 2016

The strawberry plants we added to the garden the other week were in flower, but now they are showing distinct promise, albeit with their seeds firmly on the outside.

I must make some sort of device to keep the birds away from these when they turn nice and red :)

Dark Dank Corners

Damp corner.  Nikon D7000
21st May 2016

I pride myself in creating many different environments in the garden for different creatures; I have even managed dark dank corners.

That's my excuse for the state of the place anyway :)

Peonies on Trees

Tree Peony.  Nikon D7000
20th May 2016

The tree peony is out in bloom again.

The shock of red is just as intense as usual, but fingers crossed, I may have enough images at different exposures to put them together to keep the red of the petals, but also be able to get some detail in the shadows too.

The flowers do not last long, but they are worth it.

Seed Leaves

Courgette seedling.  Nikon D7000
19th May 2016

We sowed some seeds a few days ago so that we have some plants for the veg plot.

Some of the seedlings are poking their heads out already.

Colours: Purple-Blue

Flowers.  Canon S120
18th May 2016

I found some flowers today that have a colour which straddles definitions.

I would say they are a blue-shade of purple, but others would say they are a purple-shade of blue.

I do not care though, they were just stunning colours.

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley.  Canon S120
17th May 2016

The hedgerows are currently thick with blooms of cow parsley.

Muppet seems to like the smell of the cow parsley; although rather he seems to want to cover up the smell by wazzing on each and every plant.

Riding the waves of the past

Captain Pugwash.  Canon S120
16th May 2016

As a kid, one of my favorite programmes was Captain Pugwash.

It fell out of favour as time moved on; and a wild set of internet rumours started about it too.

I was pleased to see the captain still in service today as a ride outside the shops.

Clocks and Mud

Dandelion Clock.  4x5 paper negative,
150mm f16 1 second through yellow filter.
15th May 2016

I broke out the 4x5 camera today.   The wind was reasonably low so I took my chances with the clocks staying still.

As the sun was bright, I just about got away with the 1 second exposure.

We went for a walk this afternoon and Muppet found a skanky puddle to roll in; even he realised that it was more gungie than normal!

Muppet.  Canon S120

Correct Timings

Magnolia.  Nikon D7000
14th May 2016

The magnolia at the bottom of the garden is in flower once again.  This year is looking very promising for a good show.

The bush did have a go at flowering in the Autumn as it was confused by the warm weather, but luckily the mis-timed flowering does not seem to have caused it problems.

Sheep Shelter

Sheep in the rain.  Canon S120
13th May 2016

Although it was only drizzling this morning, the sheep were taking shelter.

The wagon in the field seemed to be just the ticket.

Gnome with a view

Gnome.  Nikon D7000
12th May 2016

It was a fair few years ago that I modelled this Gnome.  I made it 'restful' with the gnome sitting on a garden roller, eating a sandwich.

He has languished in a bed under the fig tree and was pretty much buried.

I have given him a new home on the step with a view of the grass lawn.

Steaming Moo!

Cows.  Canon S120
11th May 2016

This morning was damp and a bit chilly.   The group of cows I encountered this morning were also damp, but seemed to be drying themselves out quite quickly.

The cloud of steam rising from the herd was quite spectacular!

Getting ready for Autumn puddings

Apple Blossom.  Nikon D7000
10th May 2016

The apple trees are in full bloom at the moment.

There is a heavy crop of flower and there are some insects around to help pollinate them too.

Fingers crossed the flowers will turn into apples for making into crumbles in the Autumn.

The Smell of White

Wild Garlic, Canon S120
9th May 2016

Many associate the smell of green with cut grass; I associate the smell of white with the smell of garlic.   The small flowers are pure in white, and the smell of the wild garlic is crisp.

I must work out how I smell other colours; with the exception of brown of course.

Ribbit and Cheep

Frog.  Nikon D7000
8th May 2016

There are many inhabitants of the garden at the moment; there are frogs and tadpoles in the pond, and lots of birds nesting.

The local cats have also started taking an interest too in the bounty.

Blackbird nest.  Nikon D7000

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Splish Splash

Rain.  Nikon D7000
7th May 2016

Despite the sun yesterday, the British weather was back to normal again.

I had to go inside and work with an assortment of pens instead :)

Pens :)  Nikon D7000

Point in Time

Sundial.  Nikon D7000
6th May 2016

The sun came out today and I noticed as I wandered around the garden that I had timed my viewing of the sundial spot on as it noted 'noon'.

Although as we are BST, is it 12 noon sun time, or 11am... I need to check my watch.....   Actually as the dial is arranged for GMT, it is 1pm!   I should have put numbers not dots.

Gardening for the Kitchen

Rosemary.  Nikon D7000
5th May 2016

Quite a few of the meals we have been cooking recently require assorted herbs which we have in the garden.

The Bay tree still has lots of leaves to go at, but the Rosemary was looking decidedly threadbare.

To give it a chance to rest, we have picked up another specimen; time to see how it tastes!

Bells in the wood

Bluebells, Canon S120
4th May 2016

There are large patches of bluebells around now.

I found these lonely specimens by the side of the path.

I am sure over the next few years they will seed and spread.

A hint of green in a sea of brown

Grass.  Nikon D7000
3rd May 2016

The grass seed we sowed where the chicken pen was is just starting to sprout.

There is a very feint tint of green to the sea of mud.

I am sure it will not be too many weeks before I have to start mowing!

Pink and Spotty

Orchids.  Canon S120
2nd May 2016

We popped out to a garden centre today; the weather was a bit showerery so we spent a little time investigating the indoor flowers.

They had the most spectacular display of Orchids.

Shame we do not have the climate to put them in the garden.

Water Snakes

Fritillary.  Nikon D7000
1st May 2016

We headed up to Cricklade today to see if the Fritillaries are out.  The main field however is still only just free of flooding and is too wet to walk in without causing damage.

Some of the side fields were drier and were ok to walk in, and there were a few lonely specimens.   Looking over the fence, the field did look as if there were plenty of flowers to set seed for next year's display.

Tits in the garden

Tit.  Nikon D7000
30th April 2016

Many of the garden birds seem to have young, or are very much planning a brood.

The feeder has been emptying rapidly and needing regular top-ups.

This tit was in the queue awaiting its turn.

Fading Blue

Bluebird Azalea.  Nikon D7000
29th April 2016

The Bluebird Azalea is doing its best, but has had a tough time over the last summer and winter.

We have repotted it and pruned out the dead branches, and hopefully it will grow a few more branches this year.

There is not much left of it as most had died, but at least there were a few decent flowers.

Colours: Red

Tulip.  Nikon D7000
28th April 2016

The tulips are going over now, but have been rather pretty.

The red colour seems most intense just as the flowers are fading, despite spending lots of time stood out in the sunlight.

Not long and the Peonies will be out.

Monday 23 May 2016

Birds and Ice

Goldfinch.  Nikon D7000
27th April 2016

Jack frost was out again tonight; hopefully for almost the last time.

The birds were around in the garden today en-mass; the frost was not hard so the ground was not frozen, but the birds seemed to prefer what was on offer on the bird table.

Frost patterns.  Canon S120

Little birds and April Showers

Wren.  Nikon D7000
26th April 2016

This morning I spent time watching the Wren hopping in and out of the wood heap: I think it may have a nest in there.

This afternoon though was shocking, but Muppet seemed to enjoy the hail that pounded the garden.

Muppet in the hail.  Nikon D7000

Heavy Blossom

Blossom, Canon S120
25th April 2016

The blossom is hanging off this tree, almost to the point of bending the branches.

I have a feeling though that the tree is ornamental and the blossom will not translate well into a decent crop of fruit worth eating.

World Pinhole Photography Day: For the birds

Bird Table, 4"x5" Folding pinhole camera onto Ilford MGIV
paper negative.   f/244, 73mm focal length, 8 minutes. 
24th April 2016

I participated once again in World Pinhole Photography Day again this year.

I took a few of the pond, but this image worked out the best.

With the 8 minutes exposure though, none of the birds which visited came out in the picture!

The camera still has its Barbie-pink bellows :)

Folding Camera.  Nikon D7000

Wriggle and Slither

Worm.  Canon S120
23rd April 2016

We have managed to get into the garden this weekend for a spot of digging.

Where the chicken pen was has now been leveled and raked ready for a dose of grass seed.

The ground is chock full of worms though; the chickens would have loved them!

Friday 20 May 2016

Going Soft

Diet Coke.  Canon S120
22nd April 2016

On a hot day, you cannot beat a fizzy drink with Ice.   Some like a cold beer, but I prefer a soft drink any day.

Today was no exception :)

Hotel Cruet Set

Soaps.  Canon S120
21st April 2016

There are a number of 'restaurants' which advertise that their food tastes just the same which ever branch you eat at (not necessarily good however, but consistent).

Hotels however are all incredibly consistent, even though they are all independent operations.

The colours of the products on offer do vary, but it is rare if the soap is not wrapped in white.

Colours: White

Lillies.  Canon S120
20th April 2016

I stumbled across a big arrangement of Lilies today.   There were many colours, but the white ones were almost 'shining'.

The stamens were all still in the flowers, so a quick brush by could also induce a lot of permanent yellow colour too!

On the Trail

Ants.  Canon S120
19th April 2016

I sat this evening watching the sun descend slowly, but also watching the ants scurry back and fore across the pavement and up the wall.

Although ants are meant to be good at finding the shortest paths between two points, these particular ants were not the sharpest and meandered quite wildly in places.

There are very few birds around here (no trees), so maybe the ants have the luxury of time.

Gentle Labels

Pillows, Canon S120
18th April 2016

The hotel I am in at the moment have provided some very useful labelling around the room.

I discovered that there are a selection of pillows, and to be really helpful, the pillows have labels to indicate their degree of support.

Shame who ever made up the room did not stop to read the labels as the pillows inside the cases, did not match what it said on the outside!

Sunday 15 May 2016

Pulling old-school

Ring Pull.  Canon S120
17th April 2016

I came across a can of drink today which was quite a blast from the past.

Although the can was new and in-date, the ring-pull was very old-school with a proper detachable ring!

The kids had never seen one like this :)

Numbers: Three

Fruit.  Canon S120
16th April 2016

I decided to consider something a little different today.

I chose numbers, but groups of three are a classic composition for photography.

Although I am not fond of apples, the red one was delicious.

Weathered old toes

Plaster toes.  Nikon D7000
15th April 2016

Although I made the original mould from my feet, at least my toes do not look as rough as these plaster casts.

The persistent rain has eroded and weathered the digits so they look like the owner is suffering from some nasty disease.

I must move them again before I run over them with the mower!

Red Tulip

Tulip.  Nikon D7000
14th April 2016

There are many bulbs flowering in the garden now.  

The Daffodils were ridiculously early, but at least the last few weeks being cooler have slowed down the other flowers a little.

Black and White

Blackthorn, Canon S120
13th April 2016

The blackthorn flowers are out in force now.  The bushes are thick with them and there are bees buzzing everywhere when the sun comes out.

If the weather continues as it is, then there may be a heavy crop of sloes later in the year.

On Track

Snail Tracks.  Nikon D7000
12th April 2016

In the dew this morning, it was clear that the snails had been busy overnight.

There were tracks everywhere on the patio.

Given the speed that snails travel at, it must either have been one very fast snail, or a plauge of them.

Lets go! Flying Kites

Red Kite over the house.  Canon S120
11th April 2016

Over the last few years, I have been seeing Red Kites more often in the local region.

Today was a first however in that one few directly over the house!

I must get a new camera pouch though; by the time I managed to get the zip undone, the bird was heading out of sight!

This was the best picture I managed to get; unfortunately I missed capturing its classic forked tail.

Key but no lock

USB Key.  Nikon D7000
10th April 2016

As technology moves forward, the ability to store large amounts of data gets ever easire.

I remember as a kid having a ZX Spectrum with 48K of RAM.   I a not sure if a Gigabyte had even been officially defined back then.

Round pins for a round hole

Lighting plugs.  Nikon D7000
9th April 2016

I have been helping out at the local theatre again today.  

The production is rather demanding this time with regards the lighting plot.

Although many of the lights are quite low power, lots are needed with different colours and the wiring is looking more like spaghetti.

At least I have some multi-way adaptors; luckily they all have the round pins used by the theatre lights too!