It's a good job I always allow extra time for road journeys. Yesterday while driving the country lanes to visit the Wagon and Horses for a meal I had only travelled a mile before meeting:
The combine was nearly as wide as the twisty road so there was no chance to overtake. Not that that worries me. It makes a change to go at 5 to 10 mph and be able to see more of the surroundings. They have an important job to do and I had plenty of time. I have always found farm drivers to be courteous. On wider roads they normally find a suitable place to pull over and let traffic pass.
Overseas visitors may be puzzled by the black and white posts at the side of the road from time to time. They mark the edge of the road at night and in snowy weather give an indication of the depth of snow. Not many left these days. I don't think they get replaced when they are knocked down.
Recently it was the annual Village Summer Show. As in previous years there was a scarecrow competition. This year the theme was 'A Personality'. These were two of the entries from people living locally:
A couple of the classic cars on display:
I was hoping the birds of prey would be there again this year but that wasn't to be.
Taking our usual mid afternoon route it was a nice surprise when I glanced down a recently cleared public footpath and spotted a Muntjac deer. It was well down the path and stopped a while watching us.
What the camera could see even on full zoom:
Fortunately one shot was well enough in focus to be able to crop for a better view:
As is usual in such situations all that could be see most of the time was a back end:
We continued with our walk and I had another look on the return journey. The deer was still there so I decided to try creeping closer for a better shot. Unfortunately a dog in a nearby garden chose that moment to bark and the deer disappeared in a flash.
Saw this moth on the outside of the kitchen window this morning:
Not a brilliant photo through two sheets of glass.
Went outside hoping it would stay still while I got a top yiew:
I must admit, much as I hate moths, this one was very pretty.
It was about 25mm across.
It appears to be a Geometridae moth but which one I don't know.
Looks as though it is going to be an expensive day.
The dishwasher was emitting a nasty smell this morning.
That odour you get when electrical wiring is well above its working temperature.
By the clunking from it I guess a solenoid is past its use by date.
In a way it's been a moth day. As we were getting ready for our early morning walkies I spotted a beautiful ginger coloured moth. Unfortunately I forgot about it when we returned and by the time I went looking it was nowhere to be seen.
I had more luck with our final walkabout. When we reached the cricket field I could see the gang mower was there, along with his two dogs racing about. A sharp about turn and off in the opposite direction. On one garden hedge something caught my eye:
Fortunately the little Nikon can get within a few inches for a close shot:
A Swallow-tailed moth Ourapteryx sambucaria. As the larvae feed on privet, hawthorn and blackthorn it was in the right place as there seems to be a mixture of all three along that hedge.
When I went to the greenhouse to check on the tomato plants I spotted a new thread about four feet long. A quick examination brought to view one of the smallest spiders I have seen spinning its web. A quick dash to grab the macro camera set up and found both batteries flat. Fortunately I had a couple of spares ready charged so I was soon back in the greenhouse trying to grab a hand held macro shot:
It was a problem to find it in the viewfinder, never mind trying to focus on it but I did manage one more reasonable shot as it was more interested in weaving its web than posing for a photo shoot:
Legs spread it can't have been more than 5mm across.
If it hadn't been moving I doubt I would have noticed it.
We often see Blackbirds and House Sparrows taking advantage of puddles down the lane as bathing areas. I try to get the occasional photo but usually by the time I have zoomed in and pressed the shutter the birds have flown, as with this Sparrow:
Today one particular male Blackbird was made of hardier stuff and watched to see how close we were going to get:
We stopped a short distance away and Mr. Blackbird concluded it was safe to carry on:
I don't blame him as the temperature was about 24C with a strong warm breeze. Once we started to approach again he watched us ....
... until we got too close for comfort. He then flew a short distance away. Once we had passed I looked back and he had returned to finish his disturbed ablutions.
I had been hoping to get some close views of the £1000s being spent on refurbishing the village church - a Grade 1 listed building dating back to early C14. Unfortunately all I could get was a partial view of the most impressive scaffolding I have ever seen:
Try to get closer and one is confronted by ten foot steel shuttering barring access. I do hope the replacement for the stolen lead lasts longer than last time some was replaced.
I crossed the street to have a look once again at the spire of Louth's St. James Church which is about four miles away as the crow flies. The air was so clear after recent rain it stood out clearly to the naked eye. Can you spot it in this wide angle shot?
It is there, honest, rising above the valley.
Good job I also took a photo at full zoom:
Not really. Putting the words in the correct order: Crane fly. Most Craneflies rest with their single pair of wings spread but a few of the UK varieties rest with the wings over the body. This one was on the outside of the kitchen window giving the opportunity to observe it from underneath:
The wings give the insect lift and in place of a second pair are a pair of halteres (balancers). One can be seen just below the middle leg on the left of the photo. They work like gyroscopes keeping the fly in balanced flight. This one could be a male Tipula pagana.
At closer range they look to me like some weird alien creature from a Doctor Who story:
Fortunately they are quite harmless as they do not bite or sting. In fact at the adult stage they do not even eat. It can be a nuisance having them indoors, especially at night. Like moths they are attracted to light and will spend hours head butting lamp shades and light fittings.
Unfortunately it was a dull day. I had to wind up the ISO to 2000 to take hand held close shots. Not easy holding the camera anywhere near steady as I had to stretch over the kitchen sink to get the camera close enough. I couldn't use the ring light as the reflection from the double glazing would have wiped out the photos. I just took lots of shots. Binned about 50% then put the best of the rest in Zerene Stacker which did a remarkable job of lining them up and picking out the best bits from each photo.
Yesterday was one of my regular visits to The Wagon and Horses at South Reston to meet up with a friend and enjoy what are probably the best fish and chips anywhere around.
I always drive the back roads as it is half the distance compared with taking the main road. Along one straight stretch there is an unofficial layby where many a white van driver can be found taking a breather as I am usually passing about midday. Yesterday I had the space to myself. As it is next to a field entrance it is a good open spot to see across the farmland:
The view was perfect, lots of Sunlight and cloud formations. The above is six hand held photos auto stitched using iFoto Stitcher for OS X. Clicking on the photo takes you to Flickr where a larger version can be seen.