A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Forget Me Not

Sometimes I take a closer look at a plant through the camera lens, as I did with the forget me not and saw that the buds are pink before they flower in the familiar blue.

I did a similar thing with a perpetual wallflower Erysimum `super bowl mauve` in my garden because I like the colour and realised it was host to some creepy crawlies.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Bird watching in the garden

It`s a great time of the year to be bird watching in the garden the blackbirds, starlings and sparrows in our garden all have young to feed and are frequent visitors, we don`t have bird feeders or a bird table as such because of the constant danger of the sparrowhawk who is always on the lookout for a easy meal at this time of year. We tend to place food, special seeds for small birds and sultanas for the bigger birds on the garden path close to vegetation.

Our regular Mrs blackbird is starting to look a little worse for wear, hardly surprising at this time year, but I noticed her standing on one leg for quite a long time today. As I have mentioned before the theory is that they do this at certain times to conserve energy due to heat loss through the leg and foot.

Mr blackbird I swear was watching me out of the corner of his eye as he saw me with the camera poised. He comes regularly throughout the day for his sultanas and hops onto our garden seat and looks in the window if we are slow to replace his supply.

We are waiting for the dunnocks to finish fledging they have a ground nest in our wild bit of the garden which we are waiting to partially clear. All the birds including gulls, tits, starlings, magpies wood pigeons make full use of the bird bath, really essential at breeding time to keep the feathers in good condition.

The magpies use the bath to wet and soften food that would otherwise be hard to digest, large pieces of bread for example, they would be high up on my list of "Bird Brain of Britain"

Do you know what time it is, when are you putting out my sultanas?
The dunnocks are in there somewhere
Excuse me I was here first...hop it 
Those greenfly are bit of a stretch

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Carrots in six weeks

I am growing  Accord first early potatoes in bags this year for the first time, in addition to some on the allotment plot and they are doing very well. I placed the bags on a patch of ground that was not doing a lot since some perennial geraniums died off and would you believe the geraniums have started growing again between the bags.

At the same time I planted on some very young Paris Market small round carrots in a Growmore multi-compost pot and was amazed to see that some are ready to pick. I have not had the best of luck with carrots on the plot not only do I find germination tricky but they suffer badly from the carrot fly. I am considering doing what Mark does on his veg plot and plant in raised containers with a covering of very fine mesh, I do love home grown carrots they cannot be beaten for flavour.

 The Agapanthus my son gave me  is showing signs of new growth in its smart terracotta pot

And finally to save reducing file sizes for blogs etc in post editing, I set my camera file size on the lowest available 3Mb basic, and posted here straight from the memory card

geranium between the spuds

Paris Market small round carrot nearly ready

Agapanthus in a lovely large terracotta pot so much better than plastic

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Do I really need a new digital SLR macro camera lens

I am back after the best part of a year away with various health problems now resolved. Hoping to pick up with you fellow bloggers on my favourites list. More posts to follow on my allotment plot later.

As to the title, well no, not really except I love mosses, ferns and lichen and they do look good under the microscope so to speak and I had the chance to buy the IS (image stabilised) version which does away with a tripod for most of my work. Most smartphones and even basic digital SLR kit lenses can get close enough for most pictures with some cropping but true macro at life size of 1-1 take some beating.
Let me explain what I mean by life size, it relates to the size of the sensor in your camera, so the sensor in my full frame Canon 5D is 36 x 24mm so if I photograph an image that is 36 x 24 mm it will fill the viewfinder and the final image should not need cropping, my watch face picture gives you an impression although note that very little of the face except the sub dial is in focus at f2.8 macro lenses have very little depth of field at that aperture.
Some zoom lenses mention macro but they are usually at best half life size 1-2 or even 1-4 in some cases.

My watch face at life size note how very little except the sub dial is in focus due to the f2.8 aperture set by the camera
This Herb Robert flower would need cropping to show more of the flower since it is tiny at about 1cm in diameter
Lichen on our apple tree

Monday, 29 December 2014

Panoramic pictures with the Fuji X100

Those of you who follow photography on this blog will know that one of my favourite cameras at the moment is the first version of the Fuji X100. Its ability to get picture quality and exposure correct each and every time with or without flash is amazing, it`s usually the first camera I pick up when going out. What I haven`t tried before is the panorama feature either in 180 or 120 degree mode.
Monday was a very cold but bright and sunny day so I took the camera up to the Beachy Head area and Birling Gap to try this feature out. The camera is turned on it`s side and following the direction of the arrow on the screen the shutter button is depressed and the camera is slowly rotated until the required number of shots are stitched together. The two shots taken at the 120 degree setting are just about as they came out of the camera but I have reduced the 3.5Mb (reasonable by today's standards) finished file size. I tried the 180 degree setting but found the picture format too wide and too narrow for my tastes. Notice the horizon in the bottom picture is straight, very commendable considering its a series of shots stitched together in-camera.

Birling gap coast guard cottages and the seven sisters
Beachy Head area Belle Tout lighthouse (now a b and b ) in the far distance

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Cuckmere river at Alfriston East Sussex

I have been busy with other pressing items of household chores so have been out of the loop for a while, anyway I thought I would share these pictures with you, that is those of you who have not seen it on Twitter or Facebook, I show them (certainly the top one) really to demonstrate what a lovely spell of sunny warm weather we have had in October a real "Indian summer" we stroll along this part quite often and end with a pot of tea and often a scone in a little quaint tea room in Alfriston called "the singing kettle". 
The bottom photo taken by a friend is the same spot at the height of the floods at the end of December 2013  two extreme views of our weather in East Sussex and England

Friday, 12 September 2014

The De La Warr pavilion with the Fuji X100

A mixed day weather wise at the recently restored art deco inspired De La Warr pavilion at Bexhill but an opportunity to take some more pictures with the camera I am growing to like more each day.
I intend to return when I have more time to photograph the wonderful interior changes