Monday, 25 February 2013

Windmill Sunset Time Lapse

The other evening I decided to make a time lapse as I haven't done one for a while.  Learning from previous attempts I made sure my camera was in Manual mode so that the exposure didn't change over time.  I had found that using an automatic exposure caused the settings to jump about and make the movie go dark and light fairly randomly as the light changes with time.  The only drawback to this is that for a sunset the exposure is OK at the beginning but gradually gets darker.  It's just a pity that some of the windmills weren't moving  and there wasn't a bit more cloud around, but here's the movie.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Bourges Cathedral, Statues and Fountains

While we were at the Chateau by the Lake we went into the centre of Bourges to have a walk around.  One of the first things we saw on leaving the car park was this statue in remembrance of the resistance.  I decided to apply some filters to the photo to give it a bit of a 1940's feel about it although I'm not sure if there was much colour photography back then.  Perhaps I should have gone to monochrome sepia instead.  In front of the statue was a sort of water feature which was water vapour rising up through a large grate which gives the image a very eerie feel.

Vive la Resistance
Vive la Resistance

I'm not sure now whether this next photo was from the other side of the same statue or was another one nearby.  It has the same big wings at the side and the wooden planters full of flowers at either side, but it looks very different.

Vive la Resistance
Vive la Resistance
This next image is of the rear of the Cathedral taken from the gardens adjacent. There was a big group of tourists in the garden but I managed to get a shot with them all in a crowd behind me listening to their guide.  It's a pity about the scaffolding on the roof but it's still quite a nice looking building.  If we come this way again I hope to get more photos of the outside without the obstructions.

Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges

Here are a few of the old stained glass windows from behind the altar area.  Again I managed to get a shot without any people in it although there was a lot of people milling about.

Stained Glass
Stained Glass

 It was pretty dark where this set of kneeling statues were placed so there's a bit of noise on the photo, but not too bad.

Three Kneeling Statues
Three Kneeling Statues

Here's a bit of new stained glass in front of some older stained glass.

New Stained Glass
New Stained Glass

Back outside the Cathedral and into the centre of the city there was quite a number of monuments, statues and fountains.  I quite like this one because of it's shape and I took a few photos from different angles but I chose this particular images with the old entrance gate behind.

Fountain
Fountain

This statue looks a bit odd because the base looks a lot older and worn than the statue on the top which looks brand new.  This is Jacques Coeur (or Heart) who was born in Bourges, the son of a rich merchant and in later life was summoned to Paris to become master of the mint.

Jacques Coeur Statue
Jacques Coeur Statue

The last photo is another fountain but this time made of some very black stone, perhaps some kind of marble.  At the other end of this square was a statue made of the same stone and they are both in very stark contrast to all the buildings made of white stone.  The water in the fountains looked very inviting as the weather was getting hot.  The temperature had risen quite a lot while we were in Bourges and was now in the low to mid 30's and still rising.

Black Stone Fountain
Black Stone Fountain

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Squirrel Thief

We have feeders for the wild birds on the tree in our front garden where I also hang some food balls in netting.  Sometimes the balls completely disappear before they've been eaten by the little birds and I've often wondered where they go.  Some times we get bigger birds in the garden like Jays, Magpies, Woodpeckers and Crows and I thought maybe one of those might be the culprit.  Today I found the answer, it's our loveable little squirrels from the woods at the back of the house.

I went to look out of the front windows and I spotted the squirrel heading up the tree so I went to get my camera thinking that it would have gone by the time I got back. But no, it was perched on the little branch where the nut feeder is hung.

Squirrel Thief

I thought it was after the nuts but then I could see it grabbing hold of the fat ball behind the feeder.

Squirrel Thief

A car went past and it shot off down the tree so I thought that was the end of it's mischief.

Squirrel Thief

Within a couple a minutes it was on it's way back.....

Squirrel Thief

.....and heading for the fat ball again.

Squirrel Thief

It's got hold of it again....

Squirrel Thief

.... and giving it a real good tug.

Squirrel Thief

One last pull.....

Squirrel Thief

....and it has the ball free of the purple string which is left hanging down.

Squirrel Thief

 Then it ran down the tree and and along the road with it's prize.  I didn't manage to get any shots of it running along the road but it looked quite sweet with the fat ball in the green netting hanging from it's mouth.

Squirrel Thief

I'll probably leave off putting any new fat balls up for the birds as I noticed that the other ball that was there earlier in the day had already gone.  I assume the squirrel had taken the other one too and I didn't want it to get into the habit of stealing the bird food all of the time.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Snow Around New Mill

Here are the rest of the photos from the snowy day as in my post about the mill pond.  This is the gate I mentioned which is at the start of the path down to the mill pond and really should have been in that collection.  The problem was that I'd taken it earlier in the day before I went down to the mill pond so it got missed.

Gate to the Path
Gate to the Path

A little way up the road from the gate is a field where there are a couple of horses and a sheep.  This photo is a little hut and a water container in the field which give an idea of how much snow has fallen.

Snow Covered Hut
Snow Covered Hut
Lynne had brought some old carrots for the horses and this white one was trying to get some food.  The other horse is a very small brown one which is actually behind this one but it's almost completely out of sight.  It's maroon coat is just visible below the white horse's neck.  Lynne was trying to get some food to the smaller horse but the big one was keeping it out of the way.

Snowy Horse
Snowy Horse
We passed a few horse's fields on our walk and the next one had this other light coloured horse in it.  When it saw us it came to the fence to see if we had anything to eat but Lynne had given all of the carrot to the first horses.  Anyway we didn't like the look of this horse much because it scary looking eyes.  On it's coat you can see the little white streaks where the snow was still coming down a little.

Scary Eyed Horse
Scary Eyed Horse
This next horse was also looking for food and it looked a bit sad that we didn't have anything for it.

Sad Horse in the Snow
Sad Horse in the Snow
The next photo is the stables where I believe the horses from the previous photos belong.  When my youngest daughter was quite young, this is where she came for her riding lessons.  The lady that ran the stables is semi-retired so I don't think she does lessons any more although there is still a little arena behind the stables.


We walked past some gardens on the way back from the walk and this is a photos of some very bright looking berries covered with snow.

Snow Covered Berries
This is part of the path that goes around the football and rugby pitches next to the horses field.  I think the pitches belong to the secondary school and the kids that go to the school call the field Wembley.

Snowy Path
Snowy Path
Here are some more trees at "Wembley" and this photo shows how the wind has made the snow stick to the tree trunks .

Snow on the Tree Trunks
Snow on the Tree Trunks
This is a tree that I have photographed many times because I just love the shape of it.  It looks quite different with no leaves and covered in snow but still looks good.

Snowy Tree
Snowy Tree
 This is the same tree but now looking from next to the wall and across to the other side of the valley.

Snowy Wall and Tree
Snowy Wall and Tree
 On the way back home we went past the horse's fields again and I took this photo of the blue bath which they use for their drinking water.

Blue Bath in the Field
This is one of the old roads which is just used as a bridle path now.

Snowy Bridle Path
The last photo is from the bridle path, across a horse's field and over to the trees and fields at the other side of the valley.  It was still snowing a bit which makes it looks a bit misty in  the distance.

View Across the Valley
I think that's all of my snowy photos for the moment.  I have a few more taken of the garden but I'm not sure they are worth posting. I don't know whether we'll get any more snow soon or if that's it until next winter.  We have had snow in June before now but that's very rare but there's still February and March where we  could see more.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Welcome to the Home Valley Riverside Way

I found this photo from my Kodak Playsport camera from back in September 2011.  I usually have the camera on me and must have been walking past this plaque and just made a quick snap.  The plaque is located on a wall close the the little bridge over the River Holme on Magdale at Honley.  I'd probably dropped my car off at the garage for a service and was just setting off to walk home.

Plaque on Magdale
Plaque on Magdale
The Riverside Way is quite a nice little walk from Honley to Thongsbridge which isn't always on the riverside, and is part way on the road, but is quite pleasant in places.  After Thongsbridge it sort of continues to New Mill and makes about a 3 mile walk from the garage where I have my car serviced to home.  I quite like the plaque, it has lots of things on it that you might see on the walk including that elusive heron from my previous post and the beautiful kingfishers that flit up and down the river near Magdale.