Tag Archives: angle shades

Thinking of Summer

I’m looking forward to summer now. Autumn is all well and good, with plenty of interesting leaves and migrant birds and I like Spring, though it’s always a sad time as you know it won’t last.

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Teasel at Rufford Abbey

Winter, to be fair, offers a few frost-rimed photo opportunities but little else. In the English midlands we don’t have much to offer in the way of scenery or snowfall.

Marigold with frost

Calendula at Wilford

So that leaves Summer. Summer is easy – plenty of flowers and plenty of insects, including butterflies. There’s a lack of birds because they mainly hide behind leaves, but you can’t have everything.

I was speaking to Eddiethebugman earlier today. You may remember his guinea pig shots from an earlier post. He takes a lot of photos of insects (as you may guess from the name) and employs a technique called focus stacking, which produces brilliant images of insects.

As I understand it you bracket the focus settings and use a computer to put together a very sharp image using the best bits from all the shots.

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Angle Shades moth

It’s beyond my technical capabilities, but I’m a great admirer of anyone who can do it.

He was telling me that he was once criticised for using the technique, as it isn’t “proper photography”. It’s a bit like the list of words you shouldn’t use in poems – there’s always someone ready to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. I even read a poetry competition judge recently saying that you shouldn’t write poems about butterflies.

Small Copper

Small Copper in the garden

Who wants to live in a world without butterfly poems?

The same goes for photographs. I’m always happy to see good close-ups of insects, no matter how they are produced. If someone wants to spend hours over producing one perfect image I’m prepared to admire both the photograph and the craftsmanship.

My photos, as you can see, are more of a point and shoot affair with a large helping of luck and hit and miss. I’ve added a few to liven up the post.

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Comedy carrot

 

 

Chickens, chintz and a confederacy of dunces

It’s been hot, and the poultry and the polytunnels have both needed a lot of water. So did I by the time I’d spent the best part of twenty minutes in the tunnels.

However, I did get a reasonable picture of an angle shades moth, as featured in the opening picture. We had one about two years ago. It was blown onto a table outside while I was having a drink on a blustery day, clung on for a few minutes to allow me to take a blurred picture, and then flew away at high speed as the wind took it again.

This one was more leisurely.

We’ve had an attack of chintz in the cafe, which is starting to resemble my memories of my grandmother’sĀ front room. Apart from the piles of sugary snacks and the juice drinks, and the notices. Looks like we’re having a turf war again, as all my pizza ingredients and the emergency gluten free bases have all been moved to the ice cream freezer. Apart from the notice banning me from the fridge freezer I’ve had another one ordering me not to move anything round.

I’ve also had to move out of the store cupboard I was using so they could fit an extra table in.

Jonathan Swift wrote: When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

It does seem that there is a confederacy of dunces ranged against me, but I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

They have a group of specially invited people coming round on Saturday to test the new look cafe. Now, I’m not a marketing genius but, as I’ve been telling them for a while, the people we need to talk to are the ones that don’t come, or the ones who come once and don’t come back. The friends who come for a chat every Saturday morning are nice people and loyal customers, but their opinions aren’t going to help us appeal to a wider customer base.

Needless to say, I haven’t been invited. It must be something I said…

We’ve had a good showing of Small Tortoiseshells in the last week or so, which is a relief as they seemed to have almost died out. There is a parasitic wasp that attacks them; it arrived from the continent some years ago and in some areas has almost wiped the Small Tortoiseshell out. We’ve also had several pairs of Painted Ladies, some silver Y moths and an upsurge of mint moths.

So far we haven’t had any hummingbird hawk moths this year but they only started to show in late August last year so there is still hope.