Thursday, 13 July 2017

A Handy Bug

Or to be exact, a bug on the hand.
When we went walkabout a couple of days ago a little bug decided to hitch a ride:


A closer crop:
Small Bug

A pretty little thing. Looked more colourful in real life, whatever it is.
Haven't got round to trying to identify it as yet.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Spots, Little and Large

Saturday was a day for spotting spots.
First was a Gatekeeper butterfly which obligingly settled on some pond plants for a while:


Both under and top of the wings have two little white spots in a black circle:



It was just the right weather for looking up as well as down.
Moving from the tiny to the ginormous:


As it came into view recently Sunspot AR2665, the largest seen this year, was observed to be growing rapidly. The dark centre is larger than the Earth.

A closer crop:


Gentle reminder folks: looking or pointing a camera or telescope straight at the Sun is a definite NO NO unless you are using a filter designed for that purpose. The Solar filter I use reduces the strength of the Sunlight something like 10,000 times to make it safe to point the camera at the Sun. I wrote about it here.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Nature Diary Date (UK)

In case you hadn't noticed the many BBC promotions for this new nature programme:

BBC 4  Tuesday 11th July  9.00 - 10.30 p.m..
The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn

Chris Packham explored how wildlife copes in suburban gardens through the four seasons.

Monday, 3 July 2017

A Damsel in the Garden

First male Common Blue Damselfly I've seen around the garden pond this year:




To me they always look as though they have some blue insulation tape wrapped round their tail end.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Tiny Green Beastie

Having trimmed back part of an ivy bush I was cleaning the hedge trimmer when I spotted something tiny and green crawling under the handle. It was difficult to photograph there but eventually it found its way down to the lid of the wheelie bin:



As it was no more than 10mm in length I didn't even notice the hairs until I had the macro lens really close. Those, I thought, should make it easy to identify. Wrong. I gave up after looking at well over a hundred green caterpillar photos and not one was a match.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

My Halo

Spent some time setting things up for my amateur radio activities.
First job was to install a new transceiver. An Icom IC-7410 (new to me that is, s/h actually though to look at it you wouldn't think it had ever been used and saved me £500 on a new one) It is taking some experimentation learning to drive it:

DSCN7399 IC 7410

For most of the bands (frequencies) my aerial is a 14.5m length of wire:

DSCN7403 wire aerial

which is made to match the transmitter with an auto tuner: (the black box on the wall)

DSCN7404 auto tuner

At the side of the blog is a list of my latest contacts.
This is taken from the logbook I am keeping on QRZ . com which is one of the ham radio sites where I can look up details about any of the people I talk to:

QRZ logbook

M1BTR is my amateur radio call sign.

What about that halo? Well, I haven't been particularly good or godly.
It is the name given to aerials which are, usually, rectangular.
This is the one I put on the mast today for working one particular band (6m) as my tuner doesn't work on those frequencies;

DSCN7401 6m halo

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Escargot for Breakfast (video)

Song Thrush using a gravelled part of the garden as its anvil to crack open a snail shell:

Sound track:
Psychedelic Crater, Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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