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

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

THE FLAMENCO DANCER. (30/06/15)

It is supposed to be scorchio today. It is 20oC but cloudy and very humid, not really very pleasant. There aren’t many snails around but this morning I found a young one. Here is Son of Brian or Brianson if you like.

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I thought this was a White-lipped Snail but now think it is a young Garden Snail. It’s shell is only 6mm across.

It was well passed time for breakfast but I’d run out of milk so it was very healthy porridge this morning. Zero fat porridge. It’s not very nice. I usually make it by measure, two of water, one of milk and one of oats. I then chop an apple into it but have used all my apples, I popped some sultanas in as is my want. I used to just take the stalk off the apple and rough chop the rest but I heard that apple pips have arsenic in and I don’t want to turn as mad as a hatter. I core them first now.

On our second walk I noticed these tiny things.

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I think these are Saw Fly LARVÆ. They are where I saw Saw Flies a few weeks ago and they look similar to images on Google. They just look black to the naked eye but are quite attractive close up. I brought one back to the van as they aren’t very good at balancing on leaves and kept falling off.

Now I went to the Weeping Willow tree and it usually has something interesting on it. Today I noticed what looked like a bit of bird muck but it suddenly moved and bird shit doesn’t usually move. That grabbed my attention.

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See it has a roses behind it’s ears just like a Flamenco Dancer.

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It can dance

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It is amazing. I should have popped a scale on it I’ll do that now.

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It is a stunning little larva I have spent an hour searching for anything similar but as usual I’m probably looking in the wrong place. I would have thought it different enough to have it’s picture everywhere.

That’s all for today.

PS. This post has been edited by Mr Rogue. I think it may be Mr Plague. He asked me to put the arse in lava. So I did. He’s a good editor. I also used the plural of larva but it is Greek so has to be written in big letters. I think its called a ligature or graphine but who cares. We have their marbles and they by default will give the Germans a nasty shock. Sound good do the Greeks.

Monday, 29 June 2015

DISPARITY PART 1. (29/06/15)

I notice that several bloggers are disciplined enough to take a theme or subject and divide it into multiple posts. I decided this was an excellent idea and so determined to follow suit.

It has been a funny sort of weekend with sunshine but also heavy rain. I was playing about in Photoshop when I found a cunning little feature. I use brushes a lot and usually resize, harden or soften them using the square brackets. Okay this is quick and easier than using the brush sub menu. There is a more colourful way of adjusting brushes. Press alt and the right mouse button and the brush turns a lovely shade of red. If you slide up and down it alters the brush size and left and right the hardness…..Well I never!

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Sunday morning the farmer next door came round to borrow the post driver. I was a little dubious as working on a Sunday is frowned upon by the Wee Frees. I decided it would be fine as the machine was doing most of the work and the Tractor God isn’t a Wee Free as far as I know. Tractors are far more intelligent than to follow a God that dictates what one should do on any given day.

The sun came out just after lunch so I decided to go and look for dragonflies. I didn’t find any but took lots of pictures and on my way home called on Polly to beg a jug of cider.

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Flowers.

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Maisie’s House.

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Polly’s House.

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A Track.

When I got back I fortified myself with a glass of cider and decided to see if I could get any results from the Hi-Speed Sync setting on the strobe. I set everything to manual and dialled out the ambient light then tried the flash at half power. No good I upped it to full power and it was just about adequate. I always start at half power with strobes and because I’m a bit thick adjust them one at a time. If you start at full power you can end up taking several test shots instead of just the one or maybe two. I use ETTL for macro and if I have strobes on stands and folk are moving about. Otherwise manual is better.

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A Neap chopper. See, I found a red adjustment thingy in Photoshop and used a red gel on the strobe. I ought to have used another strobe high up camera right but didn’t want to lose the theme.

It’s a cool Monday morning.

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I was woken early by this moth flitting around and trying to crawl up my nose. I caught it and popped it in the fridge whilst I had a shower. I then asked it to sit on a bit of leaf while it had it’s picture taken. Very good it was but then it fluttered off and is still in the van somewhere. I can see me taking it’s picture again tomorrow.

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There wasn’t much about on our walk but these are attractive little flies. Attractive but skittish.

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I spent a good ten minutes waiting for this Spotted Crane Fly to land either beam on or head on but no, it always parked bum on.

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Frog Hopper nymph or it’s bubbles.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed my disciplined approach.

Have a great week.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

I HAVE TO LAUGH. (27/06/15)

I have to laugh or I would cry. At seven o’clock yesterday evening I changed the batteries in two strobes, popped a fresh battery in the camera and headed down to the fungus. There was an excellent little clump growing. I got everything all set up for a time lapse sequence and so far so good.
Now, I was busy with campers last night and whilst changing the batteries in the ring flash I must have put the old ones back in. What a Muppet, after a couple of hours I noticed the flash wasn’t firing.  I should have stopped recording and changed them but had a quick look and I was still getting just about enough light from the soft box. I shoot time lapse in sRAW so can pull/push exposure a couple of stops or use the adjustment brush to do selective bits. I started shooting with an interval of 1min. but after a couple of hours dropped it to 30s. Just after one thirty this morning I checked and all was looking good. There is a folk festival so cars were coming and going but not to worry. Ten minutes later I heard a fox so went to check it wasn’t trying to dine on the hens. It wasn’t but when I looked at the fungus it had fallen over without turning to ink or deliquescing as good spillers say. As you will see in the very short video the bloody slugs had eaten it.
These are Common Inkcaps. I'll have to have another go at them. Murphy says that if something can go wrong it will. Next time I’ll use a 20s interval. This fungus only seems to grow after heavy rain so next time I'll surround them with a ring of salt....that should sort the pesky slugs. I bet Michaela Strachan doesn't have these problems.
Before I go does anyone recognise this beautiful lady?
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, 26 June 2015

SNEAKY. (26/06/15)

I managed to get the grass cut in between yesterday’s showers. Then I mucked out the hen hut. I still had time to find an interesting technique on the internet it’s called wide angle macro. It isn’t macro as I know it but I gave it a whirl. See what you think.

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These were taken with a prime 50mm lens with 12mm of extension at between f9 and f(something smaller). I’ll try it with a 24mm lens. It isn’t macro but it is close up with an interesting depth of field.

I’m not sure about the next one. It is a composite and I only did it because I was bored whilst waiting for the hens to show signs that it was bed time.

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This morning didn’t start well, it is raining but that is normal what upset me was the sneaky Snowy Inkcap had grown and started deliquescing whilst I was asleep. I checked at ten thirty last night and there was no sign of it……….

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Here it is at 0730h this morning. I would really like a time lapse of this, I’ll get everything charged up and ready for this evening.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

I TRY FOR WEEKS. (25/06/15)

It’s damp and misty weather. Yesterday I managed to catch a Wolf Spider, I have been trying to find them for weeks and get a photograph. Yesterday I managed to scoop one up and get it back to the van. I popped it on a rock surrounded by water but it kept leaping in for a swim. I gave up before she drowned herself.

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Here she is dry and then I rescued her from the plate full of water and whilst she was cleaning herself off downloaded this image. I noticed………………

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Something unusual.

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She is carrying a dozen or more baby spiders or as this bugger calls them spiderlets. I felt sorry for the poor wet things so popped her back with the rest of the pack. Wet spiders don’t make for very good pictures. I’ll try and think of another way of containing one without causing too much grief. I try for weeks to get a picture of a Wolf Spider then get lots at once. Such is life.

Those that saw yesterdays post will have seen the following images as thumbnails in the screen grab of Bridge.

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I can’t identify this fly. It’s not very big as it’s sitting on a grass stalk.

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A Yellow Dung Fly peeping at you.

That’s all for today.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

FOUR OUT OF FOUR. (24/06/15)

It’s raining but the land does need the water. I am not finding any spectacular insects, I don’t know where they have all gone to. Yesterday I found a new colony of Wolf Spiders but they are like lightning and there was no chance of a shot or of capturing one to pop on a little island in a plate of water. It may not work anyway as they can run, jump and I wouldn’t be surprised if they can walk on water.

This morning a fox was sitting in the yard by the hen run as bold as brass. I know hunting foxes with dogs is illegal and very naughty and when the pups returned I told them so. They were tired but I took them for a wander through the wood. I couldn’t find very much but was pleased to press the shutter four times and get four shots in focus.

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It must be clean living. These are just thumbnails in Bridge, I’ll see if they are worth an edit later. I am playing with new headers. These are just draft copies and a bit juddery as I haven’t used any Dither.

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You will have to press F5 to refresh your browser to see this work. I hope it’s the same on a MAC. I only found out the other day that MACs don’t have a home key. I use it a lot when editing in multi- window editors as it maximises view. I guess Command 0 works on MACs. I want an animated header but have not decided exactly what I want so there are likely to be a few changes over the next few days. Also I use progressive and not interlaced as I assumed that since the demise of CRT monitors interlaced is redundant. I’ll have to look this up.

I have noticed dozens if not hundreds of these tiny flies around.

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I think they are one of the grass flies but I can’t find a picture of one like it. Keith pointed me towards Dung Flies and this could well be Norellisoma spinimanum. Thanks KEITH.

That’s all for today. I’ve got to move a mini-digger but can’t find the keys and as it has a proximity immobiliser on that could prove a problem. I remember when machines didn’t have keys and if they did a small screwdriver would work just as well as the key. I can start the big fork lift so with a bit of luck that will lift it. I only have to get it off the trailer.

Monday, 22 June 2015

BLACK IS GETTING TO GREY. (22/06/15)

I’m coming round slowly. It was bin day today so first thing I dragged the wheelie bin to the end of the track. I have to perm a bin from three. I picked blue and as it was empty on our return from our second walk I picked the right one. I watched a bit of the Formula 1 and edited highlights of the Formula 2 race. There is precious little difference but more to fight for in Formula 2. There is some wonderful racing in the lower leagues and I wish that the BBC would film more club meetings. Perhaps if Bookmakers were allowed in they would. Horse racing is another sport I would ban. We are supposed to be civilised and popping a screen round an injured animal that was doing it’s best to please prior to breaking a leg or two is not acceptable to me. Nor is racing two year old foals.

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Foxglove in a tractor tyre. I love scrap and rubbish. It is all the better for a flower or two. For once I think I can identify a White Campion as well. I can’t identify this and I have searched high and low.

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I had to bring this spider back for pictures and it fell in the water I put round the rock to contain them. I got it out with a cotton bud but it was still a bit damp.

I really ought to join the British Arackno….Arakno… Society and I would be tempted if I could spell it. Also their identification photographs are for the most part rubbish. Perhaps I will relent and send them a few sharp images with a scale so numpties like me have some idea what they are looking at.

Have fun.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A BIT BLUE. (21/06/15)

I woke this morning at 0255h had a quick espresso, Though quick is relative as I make it in a stainless steel pot thingy in three pieces, water in the first then a complicated pot with the coffee in and lastly the jug that screws onto both and holds the finished infusion. I find this a bit wasteful so the other day I saved the grounds from two brews and put them in a jug in the fridge covered in water. Iced coffee on tap but it tasted a bit acidic. I did the same with fresh ones and it works a treat. I could really appreciate that hint of Chocolate, Spring Blossom with an undertone of Blue Berries and Coffee. Like hell I could. Tasted like weak coffee. About what I expected. Gnats Piss.

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Here is the pot ready to provide enough coffee to have me skipping across the field and down the lane.

_MG_3805 The bale where the fungi were was. Bare. It had a few weeds on and a bit of plastic net but they really didn’t grab my attention. No time lapse of the fungus. I’d also mislaid the dogs. I thought they would potter on in a minute or so. No sign. Little buggers have found something, gone hunting.

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I popped back out to give them their come hither command but realised that I have neighbours so went to look for them. You can’t see them here but they are creeping up the tram lines in the barley. One of the Roe deer has smelt them. Deer and crows are the only thing they feel the need to hunt and when I whistle they come…….No they don’t, they ignore me completely till I shout my special command. I have a similar one for the hens at bed time. I start off saying chuck, chuck, chuck; chuck, chuck, chuck, They have got used to me now and come running when I call; then they can be guided up the ramp into their hut. I’m still doing my chuck, chuck, chucking. I really must set a camera up you would wet yourselves. The last one and it's always the same one wants to be picked up and popped to bed. She always hears my special command. It means if you don’t get here now you are stoat or fox food. She comes running then crouches down to be picked up. Funny things are hens.

Sophie brought me a Daily Telegraph yesterday. I do enjoy their cryptic crossword but was very upset by Dithery Dave suggesting that all Muslims are closet ISIS supporters. The bloke is a right hooray but he isn’t stupid. That is as daft a statement as proclaiming all conservatives and the royal family are fascist or the pope is a closet paedophile. What bad news has he got to impart this week? Can’t be hunting Muslims with dogs and I doubt he’ll seriously persecute Badgers as last time it was an expensive fiasco. I guess it will be that thee me the country have swapped millions of pounds on Thatcher death duties for her private papers. Why because someone got paid to sign it off. The Iron Lady already had money stashed away off-shore in Bermuda. Enough; let her rust in peace. But why is a convicted terrorist like her son Mark allowed back in?……..

What you have to accept is that with a debt running at 250% of GDP just after the war we managed to create the NHS, a benefit system and openly encourage immigration. Okay I agree tax was at 99’95% percent on any money only the richest didn’t need anyway. Now we have a total imbalance as earnings at the top are out of all proportion to those doing the work. I’m sad today as Thatcher started it and Blair encouraged it.

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A Korean Spruce pine cone. it is very blue a bit like me.

Have a good week, I doubt it will be here. I can see the busies attacking corner shops and mosques just as they did the miners.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

SHE IS A CLEVER GIRL. (20/06/15)

I found a new batch of the fungus from yesterday. I only found one new one not quite a batch but welcome nonetheless.

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This is it first thing this morning. I thought it was a Pleated Inkcap but it isn’t as it goes all runny and it is much too dark and heavy looking. It deliquesces in a few hours so if the rain holds off I will try for a time lapse video tomorrow morning, I bet it doesn’t do it tomorrow.

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This is lit with the twin ring strobe from the front and a very dirty softbox from behind. Dirty because I’ve been using it for fungi for three years. I’ll try giving it a wash.

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It’s quite spectacular if a little slow.

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Here it is dripping ink. I think it is Coprinellus angulatus. The stalk should be white, the black bit is where the wind blew some ink.

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I think this is a Rove Beetle , It is very attractive and has red eyes. It was also very lively and kept dodging round the wrong side of the grass. I was looking for what I think is a Long Horn Beetle which looks as if it has two tiny ping pong balls on the end of it’s antennae. I couldn’t find it and the grass was a bit damp to sit in for more than a few minutes.

Here is the star of the show.

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A female Grass Spider; Tibellus oblongus with her egg sack. I had to lift her out of the grass as she kept trying to hide. I popped her on a stone.

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She is a clever girl and eventually posed nicely. She is now back on her web and I’ll keep an eye out for hundreds of little ones.

That’s all for today.