Sunday, 27 April 2014

View from my window



This is the view through my kitchen window on this April Showery Sunday. The apple blossom is out and the cow parsley has run riot, having not been touched by a strimmer.
My landlady arranges occasional grass cutting and strimming, but this year we have only had one grass cut, and although that was just last Sunday, it already needs cutting again.

Personally I love it like this. There are so many birds getting insects and drinking fresh rain drops from the leaves, or just sheltering from the sudden downpours.











We went a walk, fully expecting to get caught in a shower. No matter, it was lovely and quiet. The tide in the estuary was in, and so still and peaceful even the male mallards had paused in their manic pursuits of a mate, and were sleeping.




 We saw a lovely red squirrel, but he was so fast I only managed a dull photo, even though he had a lovely, pale ginger coat.




The sun came out and went in again. The sky was blue one minute and black the next. The rain came down pitter-pattering on the fresh spring leaves, and there were no other people about.

Lovely!


Blimey, I've just published this & read it back & realised how many times I've used the word

" Lovely"





But it has been a lovely Sunday, so far!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Tiles and a Coot!

Nice and sunny this morning, such a change from yesterday when it was so dark and wet I thought we were back in the middle of winter again!

First local car boot of the season, and the grass football pitches it's held on had dried out well, so no stuck cars! I only got a few bits and bobs, as I am really trying not to get more stuff. I just don't have the room.
I try and work out what I want to look for before I go. There's usually lots of garage clear-outs so I was looking for a hand-held sander, but no luck.

I got these tiles instead!!!!!!

The dealer asked me what I was going to do with them. I didn't know! Just liked them! They were £1 each, and are now attached by wire to the side of the house. I don't know if I will keep them there.








I also got a large plant with pink daisy flowers, some old wooden-handled carving tools and a rotary washing line in it's cover for £3! That's for when the lawn is too muddy for us to reach our washing line in the winter.

Then we went a walk, estuary again! We saw a coot! I know they're not rare, but it's the first time I've seen one here. Usually get moorhens only!




Raining again now .



Sunday, 20 April 2014

New/Old camera

 I got another camera from e-bay. My broken canon camera was my most expensive purchase from ebay and it lasted over five years, until the lens stopped working last week. I will still find out how expensive it will be to fix, but I'm guessing it will be a lot more than the £37 I paid for it's more up-to-date replacement, which arrived intact with all the original packaging and unused cables, as well as installation discs and a memory card .
I don't need the additional stuff, as it's virtually the same model but neater and uses 2 batteries instead of 4.

The most difficult bit has been using the display screen to focus on a shot. I always used the eye-hole on the old camera to save power, and got used to it.


Here's Whiskers. The funky leopard-skin thing behind him is his own, personal toy. It's called a Kicker, and it's long enough for even a long cat like him to grab with his front paws and kick the **** out of it with his back paws. He also bites it at the same time, and it's filled with cat nip.

I would recommend it to take the steam out of any semi-feral cats who think they need to assert their authority on all other peace-loving occupants of the house at frequent intervals.

(I must get rid of the date, it's far too big. )

We went along the old railway track but didn't see much worth photographing. 

The idiots were out on their motor dinghies tearing along the quiet estuary, disturbing the nesting water fowl just to tie up at the bridge and walk to the local, over-priced gastro-pub. No regard for the locals doing their regular duck feeding, they just come ploughing through, laughing like braying donkeys. Probably just moored their yachts in Yarmouth harbour, at the other end of the estuary. (A half-hour walk for those of us who can use their legs)

I wish they would make this place a designated nature reserve, that would stop them.

Or probably not.


It was quieter at our bench. Old Egret was fishing at his usual place.





We got though our winter coal a while back, and are still having to get the odd bag. We don't need the stove going all day, although it does give off a bit of heat from the day before.
At night it gets cold.

Funny, even with no wind it seems to be roaring away more than in the middle of the winter storms.








 I think I had this on a vivid colour setting! Normal service will be resumed ASAP!

Finally, with the swallows arriving, only one of our resident pair turned up. Being on the south coast, we do get flocks dropping in on their way, but every morning and evening our swallow was alone on the telegraph wires.

It was over a week before his partner arrived, two days ago, and now they stick together like glue, flying and flirting and feeding each other. I'm so pleased. I find the whole process of swallow migration quite sad, and to fly all the way here and then not have a mate seems to my human mind very depressing.

I've never managed to take a good shot of the swallows, so here's one of the happy couple on very maximum (and not very sharp) zoom.



Happy wet & windy Easter Sunday!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Catch-up

I haven't blogged for a while, because my camera broke!

I was taking some shots of the cats in the spring sunshine, and put it down carefully on the floor with the lens still out. Something happened to the lens, and it would not go back in.

I googled the problem, and was initially relieved to discover it is probably nothing more than sand between the lens and the camera. I tried several you-tube recommended things to remove the sand, but none of them worked.

As I cannot use the camera, and it's quite old now, I decided to bite the bullet and go for the complete overhaul, carefully following a videa showing how to take a Canon powershot apart.
Lots and lots of minute screws had to be unscrewed. Bits had to be jiggled and coaxed, and when I finally got to the nitty-gritty bit, I didn't have a clue! The video was just showing how to take a camera to bits!

I put it all back together again with great difficulty. The tiny screws were almost impossible to get to stand up before screwing in. When I had finished, I had one screw missing and the display screen was showing images up-side down. Only a couple of hours wasted!

These are the last shots I took with it. The daffs I thought I had planted too late last year all came up, but they've done their bit now and been replaced by lots of frothy cow parsley.

Kitty

Evidence of winter storms behind the new daffodils

Hager being nosy

Smudge on the prowl



Whiskers            




So today I was out in the sun again. I borrowed my other half's camera, also a Canon but a much smaller and newer version. I bought it for him for Christmas, and he is only just starting to use it.


With far fewer settings than mine, it still gave good results.


My first attempt.......an empty wine glass! Might have been quite arty if it wasn't for the wheelbarrow background!





Lovely Pansies!



Before the trees are in full leaf, I can still see my friend Judith's old coastguard cottage on the cliff.
Gnome!
These fritillaries emerge every year, but first time I've had white flowers.





Smudge
Pink flowers

Whiskers, on guard against dangerous intruders.

Water feature trickling again. Both goldfish survived a third winter.
The sun has pushed out the pink apple blossom! No sign of it a few days ago. Things grow so quickly this time of year!







So that's a catch-up. I haven't decided what to do with my camera yet, if anything! We went our walk down the old railway track and saw my first swallow of the year. Half an hour later I saw my second swallow of the year!

Not seen any of our residents yet, though!