ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Monday, 30 July 2012

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. (30/07/12)

I was awake earlier than usual this morning……….excitement over the Olympics…..NO!

A person who shall remain nameless gave the dogs her BBQ ribs, not her ribs you understand but pigs ribs she had cooked and gnawed at in an unseemly fashion prior to treating the dogs. Their delicate tummies couldn’t cope so I was up two hours into the new day taking dogs walkies………..I was up again four hours into the day walking dogs. I stopped up had a shower and a coffee and there was still a good hour and a half to go before the paper shop opened.

I wish it hadn’t. I get the Daily Telegraph……….it is a touch right wing for me but generally well written and it’s always good to keep an eye on the opposition. I enjoy their sports coverage, enjoy several of their comments pages, enjoy their recipes and am addicted to the cryptic crossword………….I’m Mr Angry today, £1.20p for a forty page Olympic supplement and then the first seven pages of the paper were also devoted to the Olympics….Broadsheet pages at that. One of the pages was devoted to a lady who is not even competing, Paula Radcliffe, I have no medical training but she has always looked fit enough to me.

The pictures today are………..just messing around.

P7302706_07_08_09_10_tonemapped_edited-1Digger. Old Digger.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Indian Balsam…………It keeps raining so I started playing around…………I just can’t help it.

I did find this growing wild…………………………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I don’t know what it is but it is impressive and grows to about four feet or over a metre tall.

I’m going into Darlington tomorrow so will spend an hour in the market. The indoor market is always good for vibrancy and colour…………I’ll do my best.

Have a good week.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

PORK CHOP. (28/07/12)

I was up with the lark this morning and by seven o’clock had come round sufficiently to risk a walk into town.

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Barnard Castle-castle and the river Tees. I have been here many times before and so has this blog. The Postvorta thingamajig should be able to find further pictures of this town for your delectation. It is a grand if breezy day. I stopped on the way through the woods to get a picture of what I thought was a bumble bee on Hogweed. Odd place for a bee, I noticed it only had a single pair of wings so it was a hairy hoverfly. I followed it around for a while, then fell down a bank so gave the stalking business up as a bad job.

I purchased a paper and notice that the opening ceremony went just fine. That’s alright then. it must have come as a relief or maybe surprise to the organizers……..don’t they know it’s not British to do these things properly? Congratulations to you all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I cannot finish the crossword…………….Help!

Barnard castle has one of my favourite butchers, having been almost vegetarian for the last couple of weeks I decided a purchase was in order………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The pork chop, complete with a slice of kidney. The offal is usually removed from the carcass at the abattoir just in case the unwary fall foul of mad pig disease. I’ll risk it, it’s a rare and welcome purchase.

Back to the paper and a cartoon that tickled my fancy………………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    David Cameron and Boris Johnson…………..If you don’t know who they are then you are truly blessed.

P7282685_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-1    We are on our way home now. The footbridge over the Tees to Lartington lane. Summer is here and the flowers are blooming.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought this to be a Giant Bell Flower but suspect it is something else. It has hairy leaves. A grand plant whatever it is.

Enjoy your weekend and keep your fingers crossed for Lewis in the Grand Prix.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

DEER ME. (26/07/12)

Yesterday was bright and sunny for the most part so I took myself off to The Scottish Deer Park just outside Cupar. As this sort of place goes it is very good. The deer are tame or at least unafraid, they have Scottish Wildcats, a lynx or two, some wolves and otters, the latter being the European otters. Not all in the same enclosure you’ll be pleased to hear.

The visit was marred by hoards of little children………There is a play area for them but the darlings were everywhere. An enclosure with a cuddly sabre toothed tiger wouldn’t go amiss.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sat down on a bank with a thistle for company to watch a flying display by a Barn Owl, a Kestrel and a Harris Hawk. This was the highlight of the day for me and I am considering going back as they do courses on ‘awk ‘andling. The young lady handling the birds of prey seemed very knowledgeable and competent. She was also blessed with flame red hair and skin like alabaster a perfect example of the highland lassie. In my dreams I could kill two birds with one stone here. 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The Harris Hawk. It’s from North America and hunts as a flock apparently………I was concentrating on what she was saying or at least doing my best to…….a distracting birdess she is.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         A female Barn Owl and an absolutely beautiful bird.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA             A peregrine Falcon……..all the birds are tame but he does look a little grumpy.

The star of the show was this little kestrel…………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         She has been taught to fly to a lure and by god is she quick. Amazing to see these birds so close a really great few hours and well worth the entry fee.

I almost forgot, it is a deer park so here is a deer………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         This Red Deer stag is very approachable, he approaches you. His antlers are still in velvet I’ve never felt it before it was amazingly soft but covered in flies, they must feed on it. A good thing I went in summer as by autumn he will be unapproachable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Alf gets cold after a hair cut so he has a new jacket…he’s very proud of it and wore it all afternoon. Yes it is home made so possibly not a perfect fit.

Tomorrow I’m heading south for a week or so, then it’s back up to Scotland in a couple of months for the whole winter…….. if all goes to plan!

Internet here is very slow, slow to non existent. I am getting round your posts but often the job times out if I try and comment.

Thanks for the help on lenses……..I can’t afford a long Cannon lens so  am looking at a Sigma 500mm. Anyone used one?

That’s all for today.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

‘O FLOWER OF SCOTLAND’. (24/07/12)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      This is not the flower of Scotland but it is a Scottish Harebell flower. This is the flower the title refers to……………..

P7242603_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-2The river Devon. This is not a waterfall but a narrow gorge viewed from above. Impressive it is and had I access to the range of lenses I used to have then it could have been made to look more so.

Shortly I’m going to buy a Cannon, I’ve been an Olympus man all my life but they have lost the plot. The E5 is a great piece of kit, waterproof, drop proof, most likely bomb proof and all for under £1500.00p. It’s going to cost me the thick end of four times that to get the equivalent build quality in a Cannon or Nikon. So be it, the decision is made. Can anyone who uses long lenses on a Cannon advise me on which prime, fast, long lens to buy………….please? I can work out macros, and wide angles but would appreciate some advice. I am thinking rear slot in filters…..anyone used them…..am I likely to get muck in the system? If crap can get in I can promise I’m the man to get it there. I do clean my gear…..I use a hosepipe. Not indiscriminately…I put my thumb over the pipe end….So as to get a sprinkle effect. I do have some respect for the gear.

As is usual I have digressed. Back to the flower of Scotland, it has been a good day today, it’s only rained twice, I walked four miles of the river Devon and was covered in flies and have been bitten by three clegs, evil little devils they are. It was all worth it. I found Rumbling Bridge.

P7242608_09_10_11_12_tonemapped_edited-1         Rumbling Bridge or bridges. The uppermost carries the road and was completed in 1867 the lower one is older and there because the builders of the former couldn’t be bothered to shift it. The bottom of the gorge is a good hundred feet or thirty meters below the old bridge. I was in company so couldn’t mess about for too long.I stitched up this shot………………….

rumbrd1Yes it is naff but I will be back this winter with a wide angle lens to shoot it in all it’s glory.

It quite made my day….Made my day? It made my year. Supercalorfragalis……NO!… I’m not that daft…OR maybe I am.

Tomorrow I’m away to take pictures of Elk, Wolves and Wildebeest. I’ll no doubt see ringlet butterflies by the score. Never seen but one a year and this year they are everywhere. Painted Ladies were common as muck a couple of years ago, not seen one since. That’s the way of the world. Have a great week. Have fun!

Almost forgot.

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Have a grand week.

Monday, 23 July 2012

THE CLIMATE OF KINROSS. (23/07/12)

A funny old place is Fife whilst England basks in a heat wave I am being subjected to high winds and torrential rain showers. There have been sunny spells but not for a couple of days so I’m going to treat you to a few panoramas of the countryside round about.

I’ve been down to Loch Leven looking for Osprey, not only is this bird conspicuous by it’s absence so are it’s avian friends. 

carnbo3 The Lomond hills and Loch Leven………But I have to admit mainly grass and sunshine.

carnbo4 A change from grass, a field of potatoes…………they appear to be thriving.

carnbo2 Grass again and a pylon or so.

P7212541_2_3_4_5_tonemapped_edited-2A close up of the pylon.

I really hope that summer appears in time for the Olympics. I also hope that as a nation we can get into the spirit of the occasion and welcome both athletes and visitors alike with sunshine and hospitality. I am not optimistic, it seems to me that the terrorists have already won with security forces outnumbering competitors. What ever happened to the stoicism that once ruled here? Ignore the buggers and lets party, nobody lives forever so let us face the threat of Islamic fundamentalists and defeat it by ignoring it.

Immigration officials are threatening disruption, they obviously have a vastly overrated sense of their importance and efficiency. Had I the inclination or desire I can think of a dozen ways of discreet arrival into the UK. Long gone are the days when we had borders. I suspect so long are they gone that they never existed except in the minds of pompous governments and an incompetent band of border officials. Should they decide to withhold their services then upon their return to work they should be detailed to supervise the arrivals and departures at a rain, sleet and windswept swept pier head in Mallaig or somewhere equally dour. They could be put to patrolling remote beaches and cliff tops like the excise men of old….too good for them! I would quite like that job myself.

I’m a touch depressed……………….it’s this bloody weather. Have a good week.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

CREELS AND CRAIL. (18/07/12)

Yesterday we toddled off to the sea side. The seaside was busy so I will return in winter and hope for good light and a proper explore.

The dogs had an exciting day, a hair cut in the morning followed by a run on the beach in the afternoon.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Zoe, Rosa, Molly and Alfie sampling the not so temperate waters of the North Sea it looked freezing but where there is little sense there is little feeling, they enjoy it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Alf has the stick……………………………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Team work…………………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I rounded up the wee beasts and headed for the tiny fishing village of Crail.

P7172484_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1 It’s a very photogenic place and warrants a good seeing to on a sunny quiet winters day.

P7172479_80_81_82_83_tonemapped_edited-1This small fishing vessel is a long way from home. She is registered in Oban which lies on the opposite side of the country.

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P7172494_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1  There are half a dozen similar ports on this bit of the Fife coast. I’ll be back as I'm going to concentrate on Scotland this autumn and winter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   No fungi today but this little fern caught my eye. I hope it’s Maidenhair Spleenwort.

The rain is bucketing down and is forecast to do so for the rest of today so Osprey watching has been put on hold.

That’s all I trust you are enjoying better weather than I am.

Monday, 16 July 2012

HOME AND AWAY (16/07/12)

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Before setting out on the journey north I went Demoiselle hunting and was rewarded with two of them, both males, I sat around for a good half hour but failed to find a female. The above images will enlarge with a click but as they were shot with a prime 25mm lens they are not of the best.

The run into Scotland was uneventful, showers and sunshine, no delays at the border, a lovely drive up the A68. Why are Americans moaning about immigration delays at Heathrow? They can borrow my passport and try and clear into their country. Not only does it take forever but the staff are obstructive, rude and for the most part ignorant. Visiting the USA is one of the worst experiences I have endured and at one time I was having to travel to or through America half a dozen times a year, not any more or ever again……I hope!

Yesterday I took a wander round Loch Leven. A dull, windy day so not a picture taking day.

P7152423_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1  Loch Leven………………..there is purported to be an Osprey but I never saw it. I saw a magpie and a sparrow or two………………………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Some Orchids…………….I can’t tell one from another I’m afraid.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA horse, a chestnut horse.

P7152443_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1  Tinder or Hoof fungus and that was about it. I enjoyed the wander despite the lack of wildlife.

P7152428_29_30_31_32_tonemapped_edited-1 The sluices that control the water level……………………………and another view.

P7152448_49_50_51_52_tonemapped_edited-1 That’s all for today. Later in the week I’m hoping to tour the Fife fishing villages, I’ll also call in at the RSPB reserve and try to ascertain whether there is an osprey. I’ll take it a fish.

Enjoy your week.

Friday, 13 July 2012

THIS IS A BIG ONE. (13/07/12)

The last couple of days have been entertainingly chaotic. I woke yesterday to see that over a hundred of you had taken the time to look in on my last post. The comments were all welcoming and kind so thank you one and all. Some of the hits may have been duplicated, there is bound to be the odd slow reader out there, still it has inspired me to produce yet another jumble of a blog for you to fight to make any sense of. If you succeed then please illuminate the author. My life is and always will be a hotchpotch of highs and lows.

Yesterday morning was rain free so off we set for a wander along the Tees. I left later than usual as it seemed a day for butterflies. I walked and I sat and I sat and I walked, saw a Tortoiseshell but failed to get a picture. I returned home and look what was sunning itself on the van window.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     A Ringlet and the first for me this year.

After lunch I had just settled down for a nap when a friend popped round and suggested a walk, off we went to South Park.

P7122345_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-1The only wildlife I saw.                              

P7122350_1_2_3_4_tonemapped_edited-1  A wonderful bowls pavilion. That was South Park, time to head into town for a haircut. She left the dogs and me in a pub to wait for her…………..fatal……they take their time do ladies hairdressers and the beer took it’s toll on me. It looked a very nisch haircut and it wash worsh the wait……HIC!

Gottle of Geer P7122355_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-1     The ventriloquist.

P7122365_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-122ed3 P7122380_1_2_3_4_tonemapped_edited-1    TWENTY 2……………………….A grand place to spend an hour or so, very relakshing!

This morning it was back to the jungle for a wander down the Tees.

 P7132392_3_4_5_6_tonemapped_edited-1    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe vegetation is impressive. Rain is good. Giant Hogweed yet again.

If it flies like a butterfly, is beautifully coloured and looks like a Dragonfly then it has to be…………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     A male Banded Demoiselle…….so neither a butterfly or a dragonfly but a damselfly. A real beauty and a smashing start to Friday the thirteenth. I was not going to better a find like this so set  off home for breakfast. Fungi are early this year so here is yet another ‘I’M NOT SURE’.

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It’s a Bonnet cap and I’m going to guess the Yellow-white Bonnet Cap.

All  photographs should enlarge with a click. I’m away to Scotland tomorrow so have a great weekend and I’ll be back soon.