Sunday, June 29, 2014

As I was leaving the farm crossing I noticed the Morning Glory flowers growing. I swapped lenses and took a couple of shots with the leaf showing. I must remeber to do that now when I take flower pix. Leaves can help to identify species in cases of uncertainty.

Went out to Yatton to get shots of the Stanier Black 5 hauling the Bristol to Par excursion. As they were stopping at Yatton Station to pick up passengers I went down to the farm crossing in Wemberham Lane. Noticed that the old cattle grid had been changed to a rubberised one. Much better and longer lasting I expect.

Thought they were a bit longer than they needed to be. 2 sections instead of 3 would be plenty and they would save 1 set up for each crossing they install. Looks very efficient and better than wooden strips. Dont know about water and ice in the winter though.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Decided to go out to Mud Lane to see if the Melilotus is still growing there on the railtrack parking space.
Found it had been completely grubbed out.
I took both the A350 and the A77 with me. Stopped to take some IR shots on the way back and also some pix of Meadow Sweet taking shots of the leaves too. 

The flower spray is so tightly packed it is hard to get a pic of a single flower. 

Hard to isolate it from the rest. However I persevered and this is the best I can do. Appart from cutting a single bloom from the spray and trying to take that this seed head shows nicely.                                                                                   

but when I tried to get a single flower they all merged into a tangled mass

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sorting through some original folders from when I first had the Sony SLT A77, and came upon some JPG's to file away from pix I had taken with the A55.

When I first saw this plant I thought 'Vetch' but it is Melilotus altissimus
It was growing along the side of the rail track at Mud Lane.
Culpeper names it as King's Claver says of it "Melliltot boiled in wine and applied modifies all hard tumours and inflammations, etc'. and adds; 'The flowers of Melliltot or Camomile is much used to be put together in clysters to expel wind and ease pains'  

Had a comment by Peter on Floral pix that this could be mistaken identity he suggests officinalis .I have checked on Google images but all the shots there are too small to get a macro of the flower.
I went out to Mud Lane rail crossing Thursday Morning but they had grubbed out the patch where these plants had been growing. Why did I not take pix of the leaves ? I didn't start doing that until later. 

As can be seen the flower is very similar to a vetch but on closer examination it has a difference.
I am almost sure it must be a mistake but according to Flickr the pic I uploaded there has had 1,443 views. Friday:- Looked at Flickr this morning and the views have gone up to over 5,000 something crazy is going on. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Had to puzzle on this shot from Dial Hill Road. I had taken the Sigma 170-500mm lens to get some distant 'close-ups'.
I was finally able to find it on the sweep shot I had taken - Winash, to Waverly in Albert Road with the house in the left background being in Princes Road.


 After I was taking pix of Clevedon from Dial Hill Road I went back via Court Lane to see what was about on the moor. Noticed a lot of horse transport at the Hand so I looked down there later. There was nothing doing but there were literally hundreds of cyclists coming down Court Lane and going on toward Kenn Pier and, I think, through Nailsea?
I stopped and took a few shots; talked to one of the stewards and found it was the "Bristol's Biggest Bike-ride" week-end.
I passed him one of my cards and told him that anyone was at liberty to copy pix from Morguefile and use them for any purpose they wished.
When I was uploading to Morguefile I had a thought and posted one to David Bickell at at the North Somerset paper. I mentioned that I had to give up taking rugby pix because of standing problems. Has a very nice Email from him Monday morning to say he would use it if there was enough space. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Went out early and took the A350 as well as the A77. Got some shots from Dial Hill Road but the stitched was not so successful. 

 I just did not realise just how much green Clevedon had through the town.

I took the Sigma 170 to 500mm and got some close shots of distant places too. Took a few with the Sony A77 while I was there. It was quite early on around 7.30 so I was able to park and spread myself a bit,  Went down to the Green beach afterwards, no problems with traffic. I took a few IR pix there  and I was back home by just after 8 o'clock. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cookery Corner?

 Started to bake my own bread again. My old Morphy-Richards machine had broken down but I managed to get a used Russell/Hobbs on Ebay, at just over half price.
Downloaded a manual from Google and it contained recipes.
I altered their whole-meal recipe slightly.
200g Water, [1 Dessertspoon black treacle,] 1 Tablespoon milk powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 300g flour 50/50 Whole-meal and Strong White, ½ teaspoon yeast.
My addition in [ ] and vegetable oil instead of Olive oil.
The black treacle gives a very slight flavour to the finished loaf. Nothing strong but a delicate addition.

Now instead of 4 slices of brown “factory bread” in 2 sandwiches for breakfast, I have 3 slices of a delicious bread, 2 open slices, spread with my own recipe ‘pate’ made in the blender; the third as a treat spread with Cherry Jam. I had bought a mixer/blender set via Lidl's and I am putting it to plenty of use. £14 and one of the best buys I have made. 

Spread recipes?
One medium onion, skinned and quartered, 3 slices corned beef, 2 hard boiled eggs, broken up and put in the blender, and one dessert-spoonful of  Lidl’s Hamburger relish. added as a moistener. Switch on and mix until it becomes a soft pate.

One medium onion, approx 3 oz strong cheddar, 2 hard boiled eggs, a splash of salad cream

One medium onion, approx 3 oz. strong Cheddar, 3 small slices cooked ham, either Relish or cream to keep moist.

One medium Onion, 100g Morrison’s brawn, 2 slices Corned Beef, Hamburger relish.

The onions are good for health and the taste is not strong when other things are mixed with them 

Experiment . You can make ideal spreads for children's sandwiches for summer holiday trips, or as Tele-viewing snacks. 

Bristly Oxtongue Helminthotheca echioides 

Looked out early this morning  and found a new flower just beginning to open. Set up quickly and took a couple of shots.
It shows the reddish petals at the outside that aren't seen when the flower opens fully.

Also took a pic of yesterday's flower still tucked back from it's night retreat. Shows the Orange/Red colour well on the outside of the flower, as well as the 'nest' of prickles around it

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Went out to Yatton to get pix of the Earl of Mount Edgecumbe. Got there a little later than I had intended. No people about and I thought that perhaps she had run early.
As it was by the time she was due, there were a few more folk turned up. I managed to get a clear place halfway down the platform.
 I like to get a bit of the station in when I can.
I had the camera set to Rapid and squeezed off fifteen shots. Eleven usable I waited and got the best set at Yatton for some while. 

Thanks to Buckeye on ID Please Flickr I have had my mystery plant ID found.
Turned out to be 
Bristly Ox-tongue  Helminthotheca echioides.
This morning the flower was blooming so I got a series of pix. Then took a leaf and did some macro shots.

Tamron with the 10 dioptre lens gives 13mm = just below 2x.
With the 1.7 Tele-extender  &; Kenko tube 11mm just over 2x
With the whole set-up 10 dioptre, extender and Kenko 6mm just below 4x.

Four times makes the bristles stand out but thanks to the ring flash they are reasonably sharp.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rejuvenated ring flash.

With the small florets on the weeds I tried my Minolta Ring Flash again.
When I used it with film it was possible to use Adox 14 and that was Ok. Now with digital I am lucky that my SLT A77 goes down to 50 ISO.
(Why do they have to bugger about changing names. ASA to ISO Centigrade to Celsius?)
However 50 was still too high for the Minolta 80 flash, so a little while ago I made a diffuser to put on the front. Yes it worked but was not too good because it changed the colour bias.
To counteract this I bought a food container yesterday with a misted top. It has a bit of moulding but that helps to spread the light and – the main thing – IT WORKS.
Doesn’t look neat and tidy and the hole is a bit ragged. However as the lens is stopped down well that makes little difference. I can always have a go at tidying it up.

Love-in-the-Mist seed head

Prickly Sow Thistle Sonchus asper "clock"

Works well - no colour bias. 50 ISO close and at a distance 200 ISO works.
It is possible to find Minolta 80 and 1200 flashes on Ebay for around £40 to £70. The modern equivalent is up in the £300's. and that is a start not a middle price. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Smooth Hawksbeard Crepis capillaris 

Growing just outside my window. A tiny flower only around 1.5cm in size. The more I look at what we call weeds the more intriguing I find the intricacy of them. We cut them down to get rid of them but all we have done over the years is to make them more hardy - quicker to grow, faster to develop - and able to survive in spite of our actions. Now we spray them with chemicals that are disastrous to the very insects we depend upon to fertilise our food plants.
Killing off the honey bees we rely on to service and help to grow the fruits we eat.
Did the human race learn nothing from the DDT chaos years ago?

 is to   

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Went down to the railway track again this morning. Took a looking North. I had set the camera to 'Vivid'  but I will change it back. It registers the light parts of the images too much.
I had to go to Elements to darken the highlights to get the leaves to show.
1st turned to grey-scale.
2nd Enhance photo in Paint Shop Pro 8
3rd clarify at strength 5
Still too light had to go the Adobe elements 3. set to half way in darken highlights.
Result? Suitable at last.


Monday, June 09, 2014

What a happen-stance,. When I was taking Infra-red pix with the A350 Sony  a woman asked me if it would interfere with my photography if she continued walking down the track.
I told her no problem because I was going to take pix of the old road bridge looking north rather then south. After I had done that I grabbed the A77 and took several shots with the 18-270 Tamron. She was wearing a bright red park type coat that showed up well so I got a couple of shots when she was in the distance.with the lens at 270. 
Balanced the picture very nicely. I think I need to go down the track with the Smart Idiot and get some tele shots of the bridge too. Must wait for nice sunny day, but they are forecasting heavy rain.

Finally got around to taking some flower shots of the prickly sow thistle. It has been growing intermittently for the last few years  along the side of the fence. This year it grew alongside the front patch where the violets and eternal sweet peas grow. Not much of a thistle really, it doesn't catch you hard, I suppose it is just that it falls in the thistle family species.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Had an idea this morning and went down to the old railway track at Colehouse. Took the Sony 350 that I had altered to Infra-red. It had cost just over £300 but it means that I can take pix at any speed I wish to, and also see the image I am taking for framing etc. Biggest problem with IR filters is the length of time to take, around something like 15 to 30 seconds for the average exposure. It means that foliage on trees or the grass stems and plants are just a blur even if the breeze is gentle. I can now take at anything up to 1/4,000th if I want to, also I can see exactly what I am getting. Thinking back 80 years, how many times have I looked over the top of the bridge to see the train? Also when they had the metal frame rather then the slid brick pillar I wonder how many times we stood there where the driver could not see us to wave the loco past. Went from there to Hill Road and got a shot of the stone pines 
Pity the cars were there but I will have to try again in the week, After the commuters are gone but before the incomers arrive perhaps.
Infra-red certainly makes foliage stand out. Maybe if I stood to the right with the 18-270 lens on the Sony 350 I could lose some of the cars. Worth trying.
What a pity that as far as some folk taking pictures of Clevedon seem to concentrate just on the pier. There is so much else to see if they kept their eyes open.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Went round to Jane's to leave some books and saw this little plant, made me think "Town Hall Clock" but it is not that.

The leaf shape suggests a hotter climate so is it a foreign intrusion?
Put a 'seek' on Flickr to ID Please and also on Flowers of the British Isles to see what turns up. Now I found that in 2 days there has been 944 views. Why on earth is that happening?

Email from Jane suggests Euphorbia species. Looked on Google and then selected images. Euhorbia amygdaloides AKA Wood Spurge    Leaf shape is because it flourishes in dry conditions. Not in my Octopus Wild Flower book but it was in the Readers Digest Wild Flower book. I got that one for 50p at a 'bandstand sale' regret not getting the set that was there.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Went down to the beach early this morning and got some pix of the Gig Boat practice.
Interesting to see that they row backwards to get into position. Always something new to see or find out.

Also took some shots of the dinghies getting ready. There was a query on Morguefile about shadows being too dark on pictures.
I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 3 to lighten shadows.
As it is now obsolescent you can get discs on Ebay for just over £2. If you go a little higher you can also get manuals with them.

 To lighten the intrusive shadows on the rocky background I selected Quick Fix and gave it a 1/4 move in lighten shadows. This has also brought out a little detail in the fence post top as well.