Sunday, July 31, 2016

Took a little ramble.

As it was nice Sunday morning I thought I would have a little safari.
I took the Sony 350 to do some infra-red and went up to Dial Hill Road. Put the sigma 170 to 500mm lens on the camera and got some shots of the Salthouse.

Then moved the lens back a little and got the Marine Lake in as well.

I can't make up my mind which one I prefer. The houses make a good base line but are a bit of a distraction.  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Stopped on the way back.

I had taken shots of the Tollhouse at Stanton Drew previously. One of them Posted on Morguefile taken looking up the road towards the main has had over 2,000 downloads there.
I thought this time as the traffic was not heavy along the main road I would take a shot looking East.

Not much traffic early on a Sunday Morning 

The odd looking little house somewhat reminiscent of a toadstool; it was suggested on Morguefile that it could be used as a pattern picture for a watercolour painting.
I don't know if anyone lives in it. It would be just right for a pensioner. Small but very suitable for one person.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Snap a shot quickly.

When I was over at Keynsham I saw growing alongside but behind a fence in the station two plants of Common Ragwort Senecio jacobaeas  AKA Ragweed, St James Wort, Stagger Wort, Stammer Wort, Segrum and in Scotland Stinking Billy.
It is poisonous to horses and consequently there are often campaigns raised against it to root out any found growing where horses and the like could possibly eat it.
I had not got any other lens but the Tamron 18-270 zoom but managed to get a few pictures of it and the leaf shape for my connection.

       The larger of the two plants

Of this plant Culpeper the ancient herbalist has to say

Government and virtues: —
 Ragwort is under the command of Dame Venus, and cleanses, digests, and discusses. The decoction of the herb is good to wash the mouth or throat that hath ulcers or sores therein: and for swellings, hardness, or imposthumes, for it thoroughly cleanses and heals them; as also the quinsy, and the king's evil. It helps to stays catarrhs, thin rheums, and defluxions from the head into the eyes, nose, or lungs. The juice is found by experience to be singularly good to heal green wounds, and to cleanse and heal all old and filthy ulcers in the privities, and in other parts of the body, as also inward wounds and ulcers; stays the malignity of fretting and running cankers, and hollow fistulas, not suffering them to spread farther. It is also much commended to help aches and pains either in the fleshy part, or in the nerves and sinews, as also the sciatica, or pain of the hips or knuckle-bone, to bathe the places with the decoction of the herb, or to anoint them with an ointment made of the herb bruised and boiled in old hog's suet, with some Mastick and Olibanum in powder added unto it after it is strained forth. In Sussex we call it Ragweed.

                                   The second and smaller plant

The unmistakable leaf

It is normally quite easy to spot because the leaf is not similar to many other yellow headed flowering plants.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Oh What a Surprise.

Found the Royal Scot steam loco was scheduled to go through Bath/Westbury with the Torquay Express this week.
She is listed to be returned to Crewe next week so it will be the last chance of seeing her. As I had got a semi overhead shot at Yatton I decided to go over to Keynsham and get some purely horizontal shots. It would be a good settling down run for the Rebel too. around 40 miles there and back.
 Got over there at around 7.20 a.m. Having taken a steady run, I did not go over 50 and kept my speed down to 30 to 40 for most of the way. Exactly 20 miles from Kenn Road going via Chelvey and Winford. Thought that on the way back I would go through Kenn Moor Gate and Kenn village and compare distance. going through Queen Charlton too to avoid the almost blind junction on the Keynsham/Whitchurch recommended way.
Return journey came up as 3 miles longer.
The loco should have run through the station at around 8.10 but no train showed. Waited and then - what a bloody turn up for the books - a diesel showed up and tooted to let us know as they went through the station hauling the carriages.
I consoled myself with the thought that at least it was a nice little run to settle the Rebel in. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Crafty Crow

After having a horde of Seagulls come down and strip the odd bits of bread I had thrown out I came to a solution.
I now put the stale crusts and bits through my blender rendering it all down to crumbs.

                                          Crows are not stupid.
The Crafty Crow that visits worked out for itself a  sideways beak can gather more crumbs than picking up in single progression.

It always uses the same side of its beak
It is odd because it always seems to use the same precautions too. It lands in towards the top of the lawn then pecks about a little. Next it flies off to one side and then makes its way back towards the middle. If it can see no movement - and I really mean no move whatever; it will hop sideways towards the place where the pile of crumbs is waiting.
It has reasoned out for itself that if it approaches directly to the pile and has to take off the flat will be in the way. If it is sideways on it can fly straight out and over the wall. When it feeds it has a place where it can see with its right eye for danger. It means that it has to turn but if there are no moves when it comes towards the food then anything moving after it starts to feed gives enough time to turn and fly off.

Crows are definitely not stupid.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An unusual discovery

Looking for a picture of the Zig-zag steps this morning I came upon a couple of shots I took some years back now of Green Alkanet Pentaglottis sempervirons, AKA Bird’s eye, Pheasant eye, Orchanet, Spanish Buglos, and Enchusa. 

     One can easily see the vague semblance of an eye looking at the blossom.

As far as I can recall this was taken with my old Minolta 9,000 film camera although scanned and posted to my JPGs collection from slides.
                               Then I had not got a macro lens.

I had to make do with a dioptre lens screwed onto the front of my standard 50mm lens.It served well at the time but now I must think about getting some more pictures if it showing the leafage and possibly the seeds as well.

Culpeper the herbalist is very enthusiastic about Alkanet. although in the 1650s it is rather 'over the top' by todays standard. One can't imagine spitting chewed Alkanet into a serpents mouth would kill it; and as far as driving out the smallpox is concerned I would want something more certain than that. He also says that it is mainly found in Cornwall and Devonshire. In the years since he was 'herbalising' -to invent a new word - it has spread succesfully and was plentiful when I took these pictures on the Main drive of the Zigzag.

(Government and Virtues)
It is an herb under the dominion of Venus, and indeed one of her darlings, though somewhat hard to come by. It helps old ulcers, hot inflammations, burnings by common fire, and St Anthony’s fire, by antipathy to Mars; for these uses, your best way is to make it into an ointment; also, if you make a vinegar of it, as you make vinegar of roses, it helps the morphew and leprosy; if you apply the herb to the privities, it draws forth the dead child. It helps the yellow jaundice, spleen, and gravel in the kidneys. Dioscorides saith it helps such as are bitten by a venomous beast, whether it be taken inwardly, or applied to the wound; nay, he saith further, if any one that hath newly eaten it, do but spit into the mouth of a serpent, the serpent instantly dies. It stays the flux of the belly, kills worms, helps the fits of the mother. Its decoction made in wine, and drank, strengthens the back, and eases the pains thereof. It helps bruises and falls, and is as gallant a remedy to drive out the small pox and measles as any is; an oint­ment made of it, is excellent for green wounds, pricks or thrusts.

I did find the picture I was looking for too. This is the true Zigzag, not the lane which has taken its place. Just imagine the movers men lugging heavy Victorian furniture up these steps; - "You have a grand piano madam? That will be quite alright the men will take it up to your new house" - which they had to do until in later years part of the back garden of Bellvue House was purchased to allow the lane to be made. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Swans on Black Ditch

I stopped on the way back from the Star Fish to take some Infrared shots of the swans on Black Ditch.
As I walked along to the railings of the bridge a kingfisher that was perched on the stone abutment - unseen by me - took off and went zigzagging down towards Yatton Little River.
Finally shot down the right hand branch towards the road bridge to Yatton.

Got my shots of the swans and then crossed over the road and took a pic looking northwards I think the swans along Black Ditch may be pairs of young birds from last year. Picked up mates but not yet breeding.

The tree growing there blocks a lot of the view along the ditch yet adds to the picture. Bank sides need cutting back very overgrown. I think there is a good cause for returning to the days when Keetchers were employed on terms by the landowners and paid visits a few times each year. Did their work and then had it certified by the Walking Pelter.
There was no sign of Cygnets with either of the swans so I reckon I am right in my guess.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Steam Train

Went out to Yatton to get pix of the Royal Scot. First time I've seen that one, specially on a local line.

Did the usual shots 3 or 4 coming under the road bridge

Then the same middle distance

Then another burst as she was running out of the frame.
I noticed for the first time that the seats in Yatton station had the GWR (God's Wonderful Railway) motif on them. Nice to think they survived not only nationalised times but also still motor on today.

I just hope they will last and last.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Went for a little Mini Safari

Took a run up through Nortons Wood Lane with the Infra-red camera. Everything was so green through there.

Looking back towards East Clevedon
First time of using the Sony 350 this year. I found that I still had the knack of editing them though.

                                         Peering on towards the cottages along the lane.

        A pathway through the woods. 
I saw that the woodcutters had fenced off a lot of the old paths. Mainly I expect to stop bikers from ruining the surface and creating gullies that will wash out and make a real mess.

Culpeper's Daisy plants 

Out on a little safari today and saw some Ox-Eye daisies Leucanthemum vulgare "Moon Daisies" as we used to call them years ago. AKA Marguerite or Dog Daisy. 

There appeared to be only one root and it made me wonder if they were a garden escape

Of them Culpeper the ancient herbalist had nothing but praise.

Government and virtues.]

The herb is under the sign Cancer, and under the dominion of Venus, and therefore excellently good for wounds in the breast, and very fitting to be kept both in oils, ointments, and plaisters, as also in syrup. The greater wild Daisy is a wound herb of good respect, often used in those drinks or salves that are for wounds, either inward or outward. The juice or distilled water of these, or the small Daisy, doth much temper the heat of choler, and refresh the liver, and the other inward parts. A decoction made of them and drank, helps to cure the wounds made in the hollowness of the breast. The same also cures all ulcers and pustules in the mouth or tongue, or in the secret parts. The leaves bruised and applied to the privities, or to any other parts that areswollen and hot, doth dissolve it, and temper the heat. A decoction made thereof, of Wallwort and Agrimony, and the places fomented and bathed therewith warm, gives great ease to them that are troubled with the palsy, sciatica, or tJie gout. The same also disperses and dissolves the knots or kernels that grow in the flesh of any part of the body, and bruises and hurts that come of falls and blows; they are also used for ruptures, and other inward burnings, with very good success. An ointment made thereof doth wonderfully help all wounds that have inflammations about them, or by reason or moist humours having access unto them, are kept long from healing, and such are those, for the most part, that happen to joints of the arms or legs. The juitfe of them dropped into the running eyes of any, doth much help them.

I must remember to keep my eyes open up there to see if I can gather a few seeds.

Friday, July 01, 2016

And all for the want of a Horseshoe Nail

Not in my case; but a little spring that had become aged.

Indicated with a yellow arrow

The villain of the day.  I had remarked to my passenger neighbour 
"I found I had £13 + change in my purse yesterday" when we parked outside of the Co-op shop in Old Street.
Hubris as the Ancient Greeks would have put it.
When we came out I had the normal contortionist problem getting my feet inside. (Oh how I wish I had been born to a frame of 5'9 feet.) Shoving the gear lever into reverse I started to back out.
Something was odd with the gear stick. It was loose and wobbled all over. I managed to manually shove the rebel back and then I realised that I had not got a screwdriver in the car. Over the road was proper Job. £3.99 for a screwdriver set with various bits.
Took off the rubber cover and found that the stick would just remove completely from the top of the box. 
First Re-action "Oh my God; I had the same thing happen in Bristol when I had the Rialto."
This was different though. To fix it required a new spring. The old one over the years had weakened and on my rather robust tug to lift the stick into reverse had let the fitting go.
Glory Be, I could get home without calling the Britannia Rescue because although sloppy I could access the forward gears.
Back home I went. An Email to Joe Mason up in Cradley Worcs. 
Meantime I was marooned at home. It arrived on Tuesday and I tried but didn't have three hands. Wednesday a neighbour helped me as I held the spring fitting down that controlled the stick he manipulated the new spring into place.
Victory except that I had looked for jubilee clips because at the worst I had an idea to use one on the old spring. £5.99p at Proper Job for a set of about 30. I only wanted one but there you are.
Now  :--- 
Was it Hubris that caused the whole outcome?
Or was it just old age of the original?.