I had been toying with the idea of a display for my bay window on Halloween:
I'm still not sure whether I will use it as it may be too scary for any little ones who see it so I decided to use it as the main character in a video I've been working on which will be uploaded Saturday rather than Friday.
The Skull has several 12V LED lights, one inside it and others around it. They are controlled by an Arduino programmable mini computer so each is switched on and off at random intervals. The lighting is a mixture of a white skull with red and green surrounding lights. In total darkness the effect could look very scary.
They start in joined pairs designed to twizzle round in the breeze as they fall from the branch and have a better chance of finding a clear space in which to grow. Unfortunately it is not all fun for horse owners as I see there are warnings again for horse owners to take care where their animals are grazing as these seeds are poisonous.
It's been a time for getting my money's worth out of the NHS. Apart from my usual month's supply of various medication there has been the annual flu jab, a blood test, a shingles vaccine and finally a pneumonia jab. Better make the most of it before Dithery Dave, his posh rich friends and those with spurious, worthless titles decide the best way to dismantle it.
On tenterhooks yesterday awaiting BT to make the transfer to fibre broadband. I get my broadband through Zen Internet but BT own the street furniture where the connections are made. It could have been done any time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.. Finally at about 3.30 p.m. my internet connection dropped as the old system was disconnected. I had been advised re-connection could take up to an hour but as it happened everything sprang back into life in less than 15 minutes. I had been saving up dozens of iPad app updates to download and a video for Friday to upload so I had some decent amounts to make a real life speed test. Brilliant. The downloads were steady at 38.8Mb/s (about a 5.4x increase in speed) and the upload at 9.8Mb/s (about a 20x increase in speed).
Not one of my favourite subjects but I couldn't resist photographing this beauty:
A Feathered Thorn Moth (Colotois pennaria) male. Size about 45mm (1.75 inches) and a glorious brown colour. Unfortunately this specimen had folded its big feathery antennae out of view as it rested in the morning Sunlight. They are more common the further South you go in the UK.
Hoping for a smooth change over tomorrow. Broadband fibre to the cabinet has finally arrived in the village and tomorrow my connection gets moved to that. Should go from the present maximum download speed of 8Mb/second (I actually achieve 7.2) to a maximum of 38Mb/second. I could have gone for double that speed but I'll see how this one goes first as it only costs me an extra £1 a month with unlimited data use. I think the maximum upload speed is around 9Mb/sec which will be a vast improvement on the present average of 400Kb/sec. It should be able to handle a live video feed easily if either of the camera nest boxes are occupied next Spring.
From time to time we take a different route to see whether Stan's horses are out in his paddock. Not often at this time of year but fortunately they were a few days ago, on the furthest part of the paddock:
I haven't taken any video this week so here is a compilation of still shots I took when we walked one of my favourite public footpaths. A narrow, well shaded, uneven route which is narrow but easily passable except for the final stretch which tends to be overgrown with nettles:
Have a great weekend exploring the wilder areas around you.
soundtrack: Honky Tonk Saloon, royalty free music from Purple Planet
A couple of weeks or so ago I bought four new Lithops (Living Stones). They are all mature plants and one has flowered for me. Of the first batch all those which flowered were yellow so I was really pleased to see at least one of the new ones has a white flower:
The flower first showed, closed, several days ago and with such dull weather conditions I began to wonder whether it would ever open. Then on Friday we had a glorious Sunny afternoon and, like the others, it opened after being in Sunlight for a few hours and soon after the Sun had moved past.
To give an idea of size, they are all in 2 inch (50mm) pots.