I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images 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

Thursday 30 June 2016

VERY TINY. (30/06/16)

This morning I tried to get some snaps of the very tiny flies that sit on tiny flowers. I popped a flash bracket on the camera and attached an LED lamp to it so that I could see to focus at 4x on the sensor. At 5x and 4x for that matter  the ring flash is too close to illuminate the subject. Last year I did try thick aluminium foil taped to it as a reflector  but it was a failure. I need a posh version of that Chinese twin strobe that has the strobes on Gorilla copy arms but it was so ticky tacky when I got one last year that I sent it back. Space is the problem as focus distance is only about an inch from the front of the physical lens not the front element which is set back about half an inch. Enough blather here is the snap Whitlow Grass sans fly._V0G0042

The Mule is coming along after a really desperate day involving angle grinders, torches and big bars. Just to remove half a UJ from the front differential. A new stone guard is well on the way and the drive shaft from the rear diff to the front arrived but not delivered by Hugh. Due to the torch the housing needs new seals and bearings but they are on the way as well. Thank Vernier for inventing a scale that measures accurately and bearing companies that can supply to measurement.

Whilst writing this post a mower deck came back and the tops of mower decks are teeming with insects. I got a big Tupperware box full and will go through it tomorrow. I know it’s cheating but being able to plug the camera into the computer for live view does make for an easy life. It does if the Pocket Wizards work and I can use three strobes to illuminate the job.


I may even have a root through this lot tonight. It doesn’t look promising but it is awash with tiny creatures.

This is a great time of the year.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

CRANE AND MULE. (29/06/16)

Another tiring but really good day. The dogs took me for a walk first thing and whilst I stopped to macro creepy crawlies they did what they usually do, they chase anything worth chasing and sniff and snuffle in the hope of finding something entertaining. I whistle evry now and again to let them know where I am. This morning there was nothing to chase but they did find a couple of spaniels called Marley and Cooper; the latter is yet to have his first birthday so is a little enthusiastic for Alf but Moll steals his pine cone runs a bit lies down and dares him to grab it from an inch in front of her paws. Cooper just cries for his mum, Moll pushes the cone with her nose he grabs it she steals it back and on it goes. After chatting to mum I settled down in the undergrowth and found a Crane fly.

Here it is at 2x on the sensor.


Reasonable depth of field but then I went to 3x.



As you can see depth of field suffers dramatically and the flash was within a crane flies whisker of blowing out the highlights. Before I could pop cigarette paper diffusers on it had had enough, spread it’s wings and away it went.

I then happened on an easy shot of a very common but beautiful insect, The Yellow Dung Fly.



Although it isn’t very greenish I think this is a female.

I then needed messages; provisions to real people, dog food for the dogs, diesel and gas for the van and food, tobacco and drink for Adrian. I forgot most of the Adrian stuff as I was getting fed up with the shopping. I did get food but fancied a stir fry tonight and haven’t any rice or soya sauce. I’ll make do with a Spanish omelette. I’ll have to hurry up with this post or turn the cooker off as the potato bit is ready.

This afternoon it was back to the Mule. After two strip and rebuilds the rear locking differential looks good as does the four wheel drive PTO, I still have a full quota of skin on my knuckles and now we are into a front drive shaft replacement. It arrived by DPD at the back of two and the driver was a beautiful Hugh. (DPD give the drivers name on trackng). Blond hair, bumps in all the right places, no Adams apple I fell in lust with Hugh. She was busy delivering and I was busy ogling……..I must be getting a bit more pervy perhaps I should join the Liberal party; like the Catholic Church and Westminster the Liberal party is jammed full of pervy people. In my defence the van driver was an optimistic twenty five years old probably nearer thirty five. No matter I’m frantically looking for more Mule bits for her to deliver.

Here is the current project…….The Mule.




It is a bit rough but we are getting to know and love it. Loads more bits coming even a speedo cable, a new battery came today. It will last forever once we get the tin welded up. New tyres now ordered and they are not cheap at a hundred pounds a corner. This McPherson strut is past it’s best. On it goes to keep it going on. I love machines but did use some bad words to this one.

Have fun.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

PROPOSE. (28/06/16)

There is a great deal of ducking, diving and procrastination in British politics at the moment, It must stop and to promote an end to it I propose Roy Hodgson for Prime Minister. He seems to be the only man with an effective plan for getting us out of Europe. Well done Roy you have my vote.

This morning’s wander produced one ‘Don’t Know’ and also gave us a Scorpion Fly to admire.

This is a nymph of some sort, I Googled UK Nymphs and got some very exciting results, if you would like to see them Google it yourself.



The images have been rotated 90° the little chap was upside down under a nettle leaf and yes I did get stung.

This Scorpion Fly fell into the grass as they are wont to do. I had a lie down and took it’s picture. They can fly but never seem to bother going far so it is quite easy to keep up with them by wriggling along.

Panorpa communis.



It is a beauty and it too is backing Roy for Prime Minister, maybe the fly could be Chancellor.

Have fun.

Monday 27 June 2016

HOPPING. (27/06/16)

It has been a good day with just one heavy shower. I mended the Canon 1Ds III, the shutter wouldn’t fire so I shorted the contacts on the side and it is now as good as new…..So Far.

I took it for a wander looking for insects but couldn’t capture anything out of the ordinary. I decided to investigate Froghopper nymphs, they were the normal green ones but then I found this but can’t find any photographs to identify it.



These are what they usually look like. This is Philaenus spumarius.




These will all enlarge with a click and Ctrl+ will enlarge them even further. Ctrl 0 will get them back to normal as will Home. Whilst trying to identify the first one I read that the eyes aren’t eyes but the undeveloped wing. Rubbish, I can clearly see it is a compound eye.

This afternoon I had a few hours fun rebuilding a Mule, they are like a big Quad bike or a small pickup. Unfortunately it has been used for spreading salt and hasn't been washed off so is quite badly corroded. There is still a fair bit of work to do so plenty more opportunity for me to hone the special words used whilst repairing such machines.

Have fun.

Sunday 26 June 2016

YOU CAN’T CATCH ME. (26/06/16)

It’s been a funny day today. I noticed yesterday that the Mayflies are hatching out or whatever it is they do so this morning when I went to check the new pigs hadn’t been doing their Houdini impersonation I tried for some pictures with conspicuous lack of success. Finding the pigs without food to tempt them is a nightmare of a job as there are so many places for them to hide.


The first two were easy they were by the gate.


Then it got harder, here’s another only nine more to locate. I’ll show you some more when the light is better. This is pig heaven, several acres of mixed scrub and grass, lots of stuff to dig up and snuffle in.

I did get a couple of Mayflies but didn’t find any parked for macro.



I took these with a 400mm lens with a 20mm extension tube. I’ll see if I can think of a method to get clearer shots.

I was listening to Janis Joplin as the sun went down and looked up to see this beauty.








These are the best Deer pictures I’ve ever snapped. Perfect light and a stag in wonderful condition.

Have a great week.

Friday 24 June 2016

FENCING. (24/06/16)

Lots of pictures in glorious HDR

How Green is the Glen._MG_5679_80_81_tonemapped

The pictures today are all three exposure HDR images processed in Photomatix unless otherwise stated. The next three are of the post driver on an old Zetor tractor.

Single shot._MG_5691

NIK Filters_MG_5691_HDR


The New Fence._MG_5682_MG_5685_6_7_tonemapped

Big Strainers._MG_5688_89_90_tonemapped

Lastly the new grain dryer.


It wants a coat of looking at but appears to work. If the weather stops as it is then it should be drying barley in about six weeks.

Lots of toys to play with so I am happy.

LEGS AKIMBO. (24/06/16)

Thank god it’s all over. I wish I could say that the arguments won the day but it was an unedifying spectacle. I really don’t want to be governed by people like this but what choice is there?

Here are a few snaps of the protagonists, What a disaster they are.

Some of the upper classes jeering fishermen.


How I felt for much of the debate.


What is Obarmy doing with these rogues?


At least Frau Mucky had the sense not to wave. She is saying to Obarmy .

”This is how we used to do it.”

It now appears that this body language signifies that one has something stuck up ones bottom or is talking out of it.




Very strange but some people can carry the stance off without looking completely stupid.


Liz Hurley got my vote. I wonder what it is that attracts women to cushions, throws, essential oils and smelly candles?

That’s it till next time.

original (2)

Next year perhaps we could have a referendum on whether to keep the House of Lords, maybe a change from FPTP to MMP, a maximum of a hundred MPs. There are lots of things to clarify, lets give power to the people.


Have a great weekend.

Thursday 23 June 2016

NO CLICK. (23/06/16)

I am getting a bit behind what with all the excitement of the referendum. By the time this appears the result should be known as Google seem to take about twelve hours to publish posts and it’s the back of five now. It posted after an hour, superfast Googly today.

Here are a few insects.


Green Nettle Weevil. There are several of these and I can’t tell them apart so I’ll stick with Phyllobius sp. These are the same weevil but the first one has the exposure dropped using the adjustment brush. Polydrusus sp. are similar but the antennae are fixed to the side of it’s head and they don’t have such distinctive hooks on their legs. Ref. NATURE SPOT


Marbled Orb Weaver. I wish I could identify it’s prey as there are lots of these tiny flies about.


A Green Orb Weaver with what I think is a Rove Beetle for breakfast.



I think this is a Click Beetle but I spent quite a few minutes tipping it on it’s back to make it click but it wouldn’t perhaps it wasn’t in the mood.

That’s all for today.