Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Deer in the Churchyard

For a few days I could hear the sound of a chain saw coming from the area of the churchyard so we went walkabout in that direction. It looks as though some of the old trees shading the Church's East window had been trimmed to let more light through.

 SGW Image 3

As we wandered through the churchyard a new item caught my eye:


Of course madam had to give it the once over:


Yes, it looks like a little wooden deer. What a lovely decoration to have next to the seat where people can rest after tending the graves:



At the other end of the seat there has also appeared a little wooden dog watching the deer:


In the past I have caught a fleeting glimpse of a real deer in the churchyard but had no chance to photograph it. Since then I have been on the lookout for another opportunity and now my wish has come true!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday at the Flicks - Sun and Frogs


During the partial eclipse I attempted to take some video shots. This is the result, speeded up 20 times or it would have been even more boring as the eclipse is a slow process. As the camera was fixed in position I had to keep repositioning it when the Sun started to disappear out of its view:

Some video of various frogs in the garden pond:

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Microscope - New Camera

While the old video cameras were working quite well they don't have great resolution, either 360 or 480 TVL (TV lines). Finding a replacement was quite difficult. Most video cameras seem to have built in IR lighting. Fine for surveillance but useless for my purpose. Eventually I found a German company selling a small basic camera with a resolution of 700 TVL. The 1/3 inch sensor has 976 x 582 pixels, low by modern standards but there is no point in going too high as the definition is also limited by the optics and the video grabber.

This is now fitted to the top of the microscope.


I had to fill in some gaps with hot melt glue. This holds it firmly in place and, importantly, makes an air tight seal to stop dust penetrating to the inside of the objective lenses or the camera sensor. Disappointingly the camera is not totally free from blemishes at low lighting conditions but much better than my old cameras.


The pictures look good on the small monitor I use. Unfortunately there is some degradation in capturing the photos on the MacBook. Next job will be to look around for a better quality video grabber.

A quick trial grabbing some photos of a corkscrew hazel catkin at minimum magnification.
The dish is 55mm across.



A couple of trials taking 20 or more focus stacked shots processed using Zerene Stacker.

2015-03-25-09.22.20 ZS PMax

2015-03-25-09.33.55 ZS PMax

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Moving House

When I first received the new camera nest box I put it up in a temporary location at the back of the Summerhouse. For a long while it was set up for Blue Tits.


Then a few of weeks ago I converted it so it was suitable for Robins and Wrens but I didn't see any signs of interest. It was probably too close to human traffic.

Now I have moved it, still as a Robin / Wren box, to the back of the shed where it is better sheltered.


It is on the same end as the Great Tit box but I haven't seen any activity in that one since the last brood.

I have also  moved a camera back to the right position for monitoring any visiting Hedgehogs as we must be near time for them to be awake after their Winter hibernation.

 Snapshot 150324_0008

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Watching You Watching Me

Lots of frogs in the garden pond watching me photographing them:






Monday, March 23, 2015

Macro on Monday - Guess What



My congratulations and the virtual Midmarsh Gold Star go to TexWisGirl, Wilma, ImaBurdie and Adrian who all worked out the cropped photo was part of one of Penny's cuddly toys. 'Twas Sammy the Squirrel:

DSCN4024    DSCN4023

And so on to this week's mystery photo, again a crop.
Definitely not dead.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed next Monday along with the answer.

No prizes, just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Frog He Would a Wooing Go

I could hear a frog in the garden pond while I was photographing the eclipse last Friday and today sees the first activity:





There are several clumps of spawn. One batch was laid in a partly sunken pot which would dry out when the water level drops so I transferred it to the 'nursery' pond.
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