Saturday, August 1, 2015

Some you Win, Some you Lose

A 50 / 50 day for photo opportunities yesterday, well one was really a sound recording opportunity.

Last night about twilight time was the first time for at least ten years I had seen a bat hunting round the garden. Years ago I used to have several swooping and diving round the trees every Summer evening. This time there was just the one. I had forgotten just how fast they move. A few years ago I bought a bat detector so I got that out and something to record the sounds but by the time I was ready the bat had moved on. In the past the night visitors have been Pipistrelles. A few years ago I watched how a large moth dodged being caught by a bat. As the bat rushed at the moth it stopped flapping its wings and dropped like a stone. Just a couple of feet but enough so the bat careered past well above the moth.

Also last night could have been an opportunity to photograph a 'Blue Moon'. The second full Moon in one month which only happens every two to three years but every time it showed through the clouds it would disappear as soon as I set the camera up.

During the morning I decided to set up for macro video. I wanted to get some close shots of the Pollen Beetles at work. That worked just fine but the video will have to wait for Friday at the Flicks.

While everything was set up I noticed a small fly which I did manage to photograph:



I don't know what it is and haven't got round to having a search as yet.

My thanks to Adrian (Adrian's Images) for identifying it as a Capsid Bug -  Plagiognathus arbustorum.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday at the Flicks - Bathing Starling


No matter what the weather or the temperature the Starlings always take advantage of any water to have a good shower every day:

I don't know what is going on with YouTube. This is the second time recently they haven't automatically picked out a thumbnail for a video. I had to upload my own.

File size can vary wildly with videos. In camera this clip was 340MB. Once loaded in iMovie and the title added it was only 80MB when saved. Processed it with Final Video Converter Pro which squeezed it down to 20MB.

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Filling in Time

During the present spate of dreary, drizzly weather I spent some time experimenting with the various ways of using the fill facility in Serif Affinity Designer:





Photo Scissors was used to remove the original backgrounds and provide a transparent area so each photo could be placed on a coloured layer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Micro Moth

Spotted this small moth (about 10mm long, wingspan about 18mm) hiding in the gap by my shed door. For once I was able to identify it - Dipleurina lacustrata

 2015-07-29-11.47.09 ZS 2 PMax

 2015-07-29-11.40.32 ZS PMax 2

These fly in June and July. The larvae feed on various mosses and lychens growing on tree trunks, rocks and walls.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Raptors at the Village Show

Tucked away in one corner of the village school playing field was an exhibition of birds of prey from a local country park.

Apart from this Barn Owl I didn't manage to catch which raptors the others were:




I seem to remember this one is a Canadian Red Tailed Hawk:


Once again I used Photo Scissors to eliminate the background and added the colour in Serif Affinity Photo.

The onlookers were given a closer look at each of the birds in turn:

Stealing the limelight, though, was this baby:

I will have to make a visit to Rushmore Country Park, near Louth in Lincolnshire, to identify them. A visit has been on my Round Tuit list for years as it is less than four miles from home so I really must get round to visiting in the near future.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Mystery - Guess What



Congratulations and the virtual Midmarsh Gold Star go to Adrian and Wilma who worked out last week's mystery photo was a close view of a hammer:

DSCN4824    DSCN5037

Maybe more people will have better luck identifying this....
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
No prizes. Just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cutting out a Rose

This rose bloom looked beautiful but it needed the clutter removing to show it at its best:


Load in Photo Scissors on the Mac. Mark in green the part wanted. Mark in red what has to be removed. Check and make any adjustments where the program makes a mistake. Crop and save the rose as a PNG with a transparent background:

Photo Scissors

Pop that in Serif Affinity Designer. Flood fill the background with a dark colour. Tidy up any remaining small errors around the edges of the rose. Save the end result:


Total time taken about fifteen minutes.

The new title piccy was produced in Serif Affinity Designer while I was learning how to use layers and how to cut bits from photos and paste them in a new picture.
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