About Me

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Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, United Kingdom
Bit of a long tooth IT Manager - been and had a few hobbies, as for the title, I make glass beads, its Called Lampwork, I brew my own Beer, its called fun and I take photos, thats the oldest hobby, since I was 16 or so. My first camera was a Zenith E - then a Pentax KR to go digital after a long stint with a Pentax Super A. Now a Nikon D5200 and a D7100 with a Sigma 150 f2.8 macro lens to play with amongst others. Please note all photos used are my own and I retain full copyright to all of them. Thank you for respecting digital ownership

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A good weekend

The weekend gone is a long distant memory, such is the pressure of modern day work. It was a three day weekend to take my lady to a Botanical Art Course in RHS Rosemoor, and I got to have a three day photo break. What’s not to like.

I wont try to break this down into each day from a photographic point, some images may be against the wrong day, but hey so what. 

On the first day I spend the day at Rosemoor, arrived as they opened and left as they closed the weather started wet and improved as the day went on so a number of nice shots of leaves and flowers with raindrops

They use chains as downpipes from the gutters, I like the effect
 Bamboo in the rain

 A North American Pine. I love the 'black' cones

The small stream that leads down to the lake
On the second day, well this is Tarka country on the Tarka trail, so who am I not to take the opportunity to walk a stretch of the river immortalised in the book, one I dearly loved as a young person. In fact the very stretch of the river in the book where Tarka’s journey began and sadly ended at Torrington.

The day started off overcast and quiet but soon warmed up and out came the people with dogs, sadly no otters for me but there were damsels, or in this case Demoiselles, both Banded and Beautiful. In the main it was young males and only one or two mature ones and a lot of females, telling the females apart was not so easy as the males! I walked about 3 miles along the river then the same back to Rosemoor and then had a couple of hrs at Rosemoor again in the afternoon sun

Beetle - Oedemera nobilis on meadow buttercup

 Female Demoiselle - hard to tell which at this stage until the wings deepen in colour. Green wings are a Banded D and brown wings are a Beautiful D, I suspect this will be a Beautiful D

 A mayfly, shortlived and in large number at this time to the great benefit of the trout !

 Male Demoiselles from both the UK specie in one place

  A Geometer moth caterpillar - inchworm pretending to be a stick, but as its on a Ladys Mantle it did not blend in well !

 One of my favourite 'bugs' a Jumping Spider Evarcha falcata. They are soo cute and only 3-5mm but boy do they have big eyes, all the better to see you with! These guys are serious hunters.

A Leafhopper - Cercopis vulnerata, if you see 'cuckoo spit' this is one of the culprits, its a 'nest' for the young

A Hoverfly - possibly Eristsalis nemorum

The third day it was back to Rosemoor and again it started damp but improved as the day went on.
Given the garden is a RHS garden it does, as you would expect, fill your senses in colour, form and scent. The Roses are yet to reach their full glory but the Irises rose to the occasion and filled the borders with elegant stands and stunning shows of blues and violets set off by intense yellows and oranges going into browns and pale rose colours, one in particular caught my eye, Deep Black. It was, in the flower world a lot of deep purple flowers are deemed to be black, but this particular flower is truly black! Even then in close detail that a macro lens allows you to see you can see the underlying purples and blues that make it that black colour as seen by your eye.

 I love the colours here, aint nature fab when she gets her paints out !

 A fab flower, so simple and elegant. There was a field full of them.

 Big and bold, the silver edge just makes the main colours stand up and shout at you

 The details of the patterns are fab, the colours blending in to each other, so hard to capture the subtly of them

 So elegant next to the lake, a slight breeze sets them to a graceful dance that captivates you

 Now thats Black - none of that wishy washy dark purple! You can however see the colours that make up the 'black' its all about layers and refraction

There were bugs and birds. It was a nice weekend with the opportunity to be there when the garden opened and given the weather, only a few people about. 

I also had a play, one technique not used before by me, I am a macro shooter so 'sharp' is everything normally but this time I was looking for blur, deliberate blur. The first makes me think of the Australian outback with a huge heat haze, the second is more a watercolour impressionist type of thing

 Swallows, they 'hawk' along low level catching flies on the wing, they are doing about 25 miles an hr past you at 6 inches above the ground and turn on a sixpence ( old money) or a 5p piece, ( does not sound so flash ) I had my macro lens on and so was panning with a fixed focus 150mm lens - 99% of shots hit the bin, this one was the only survivor and its not good !

 Now - those of us with families will know this feeling - thats what having children does to you. So any children reading this, take heed your parents were once smart, good looking well groomed people, now they look like this and its your fault!

My lady learnt lots of Botanical Art skills and gained insights to how to progress her passion for this going forward, I took lots of images and am slowly processing them. These are just a few from 20+gb of images. 

A fine weekend for us both with quality time doing things we love and spending time together away with a real feel of a relaxing and stress free time to enjoy ourselves. Overall I walked most of the day every day either along the river or around Rosemoor, a garden I now know very well and have a great liking for. We will return as we both barely scraped the surface of this lovely place for plants to sketch and paint and for wildlife to photograph.

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