Up at 5.30 am. Not a cloud in the sky. Worth bothering to go out?
6 am, slight hint of pink in the east. In the car.
Sun comes up, fog comes down.
Yellowhammer in my ear while I’m setting up this shot.
Home for breakfast.
Normally, today would be the shortest day. But this year it’s not (it’s complicated). In reality, around these parts the shortest day is determined not by the calendar but by the weather. On Saturday there was no dawn. In fact, it never really bothered to get light at all. But today, the sun dawned bright and clear at 08.14 sharp. Which is reason to celebrate.
Then it rained.
Nikon D5200 Tamron 17-50mm f4 17 mm 1/4000 ISO 100
This photography lark’s quite simple really. You just focus on the eyes.
27 times, then spend two hours focus stacking in Photoshop. Apologies to all the arachnophobes, but dare I suggest this one’s worth looking at LARGE?
Interesting beastie, Pholcus phalangioides. It’s what biologists call a “cosmopolitan” species, meaning not that it reads glossy magazines with articles titled How to satisfy your man (female spiders aren’t really into that – quick snack is more like it), but that it has spread around the world. Originally from warm climates and caves, they’ve found that centrally heated houses in colder regions are quite acceptable substitutes, so they’ve moved in, hence why they’ve become known as Cellar Spiders (or Daddy Longlegs Spider, if you must). Here they stretch out, bask in our waste heat, and tuck into our house spiders and silverfish. No, those aren’t cobwebs in your cupboards and under the sink, that’s an ecosystem.
Cellar Spider, Pholcus phalangioides. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm+68mm f8 1/250 ISO 100. 27 image focus stack.
We sat in the hide for three hours. No-one else came.
Kingy was beating up and down the channel all afternoon, skulking in the bushes. As the tide pushed up the marsh he took up residence on the posts along the channel. He looked to be doing OK but it was too far away to see what he was catching.
The people who built this new hide were clearly concerned about ventilation. Half inch gaps between the floorboards. The East wind was cold. After three hours my ass had frostbite and the lure of a home made pork pie in the pantry was too great. We went home.
Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f6.3 600mm 1/250 ISO 720
but photographing butterflies cheers me up.
So far this year I’ve only had time for one Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) trip, which means I’ve already missed the early part of the season. In fact, I haven’t seen any dragonflies so far, and all the damselflies I’ve recorded have been found while I was doing something else. I’d like to change that later in the season, but it was nice to stumble across a field full of Common Blue damselflies yesterday.
Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f13 1/90 ISO 400
A lovely spring day.
In other news, I fell in the pond.
Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm f32.0 70mm +68mm 1/250 ISO 400
Did you know that the petals of the Hyacinth are stained with the tears of Apollo?
First macro shots with the new flash gun. I’m reasonably pleased with these shots but I think I can make further improvements.