I’m Diversifying. New blog announcement

Hi Everyone and welcome. I just thought I’d announce proudly my new blog. I’ve developed it separately because I want to keep this one for photography, but I’m not JUST a photographer. I want to document our impending move to a new home. It’s the one I’ve dreamed of for a long time. A bay-fronted 1940’s semi with a long garden (120ft) that backs onto fields. It’s a world away from where we live now. My current view from my bedroom window is a car park.

A Fresh Start in a Fresh Place

The new blog is intended to take you on my journey towards a more ecological, sustainable lifestyle that will ultimately be more satisfying. I hope to share what I know and what I will surely learn on this journey. There’s a link to it in the sidebar or you can click here to take a peek at my first post.

There will be photographs of my progress, but the aim is to document the changes and pass on what works and what doesn’t. See you there!

Wild Flower Poster Hits the Press

I’ve been very busy with wild flowers lately. I’ve always been a conservationist, and now have the skills and marketplace to spread the word. So I spent several hours putting together a wild flower poster for Zazzle that I think everyone will love. It would work in the classroom as a teaching aid or as a pretty poster at home. It would even look good on the office wall and maybe encourage others to grow wild flowers in their gardens, thus helping our native wildlife and conserving our plants for the future. I know I havent been blogging as much lately, but without pictures there are no blogs, and without pictures there isn’t even money for internet access, so I’m afraid I’ve had to spend time elsewhere. But my friends on here have not been forgotten. I will try to catch up with you all soon.  Here’s the poster.

Happy gardening!

Catching Up…Making the Photos Work

Well, after catching up with all of you yesterday after my week of yuk, I’m now trying to catch up on some work. I’ve got images coming out my ears (not a pretty sight), so I’ve been putting a few of them to work for me on Zazzle and keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve decided to do my own bit of campaigning on behalf of nature, so here’s one I did earlier, from Saturdays visit to Lilltle Ponton with my trusty Nikon D90.

green poster

This next shot is from a while ago, but I think deserves a poster for those who will enjoy it?

pride poster

But I’ve also been playing with special effects for some products. I’ve not used any of these pictures on here before (I think) so it’s time you saw the results of my playing around.

shell_card

The above shot of a shell was taken in macro then, well I played with special Photoshop effects and I’m really pleased with this one. what do you think?

water_lily

I’ve lots more ideas, so little time…see you soon.

I have a Photographer’s Dilemma

gardenflowers 118

And here it is. One pretty small garden, illness that often keeps me at home and my passion for photographing (and growing) flowers. Colour. I love to grow things that attract wildlife such as bees and butterflies. I support birds with food water and nest boxes all year round and have hedging plants that bear winter berries for them. The garden should be alive. Even the mice are allowed to steal a little food, and get caught live and released near a pond if they seem to be growing in numbers.

nasturtium

Yet we are now bombarded with news about food shortages, and I’ve just planted new perennial flowers where I had veg last year. Do I carry on with my plan to get more butterflies and bees and hoverflies in the garden and squeeze the veg into tubs? Do I backtrack on my plan and move the plants out again? In such a small space I could grow a few spring onions, a couple of runner beans and a tomato plant, but when we realise just how overpopulated the world is and how tough things are getting, maybe we all should be doing what was done in Britain during the war and turning our gardens into vegetable plots.

gardenflowers 748

Perhaps we wouldn’t be in such a state if people wasted less, but I’ve composted everything I can for years. I do mean everything. Cotton T-shirts, waste paper baskets made of wicker, rat bedding, shredded paper and of course all kitchen waste that isn’t meat. We throw away very, very little. Compared to our neighbours, our bin collection and recycling collection is tiny. So what would you do? Food or flowers?

Birthday Wanderings into Beauty

Weir 1

It is my partners birthday today. We decided to take time out from computers and visit a previously unexplored local haven, Watermead Country Park near Leicester. What a gorgeous afternoon! The first thing we saw when entering the park was a weir, and I had to play. So I’ve given you three of the shots taken each with a different effect in mind. They are abstract shots, and all I changed between each was the shutter speed, then a little curve readjustments to get the effects I have done. On the last shot of the three, you can see the swirling water in front of the weir.

Weir 2

Weir 3

We watched herons fly overhead and glide down onto a lake, saw cormorants (I think) roosting in the trees and a beautiful sunset. We had to wrap up warm, but just look at the colour for this time of year! Imagine my delight, too when we found catkins. Looking up at them the contrast with the sky was stunning, so I had to show you. So today is all about winter wonder and my partners birthday.

Catkins

Gorgeous sunset

Watermead Country Park

Sunset at Watermead

We came home and had a lovely meal, candlelit of course. He’s now busy blogging, so I’m taking a moment to get this post out to you. I’m investigating some nifty websites with Photoshop tutorials. When I’ve finished going through them I’ll pass them on to you. Photoshop is and amazing programme that seems to have endless possibilities, and for those of you who, like me, want to do more with their photos than just shoot and post, I’m hoping to find some new ways of using Photoshop to enhance or even transform the humble photo.

Cornwall Floods

Eden Project, Cornwall

My thoughts are with the people in Cornwall today, especially those struggling with the aftermath of the flooding in and around St Austell. Around 3 feet of water flooded into the area after a river burst its banks, in exactly the area I spent such a happy time back in September. The local villages, so pretty, friendly and relaxed, are now in chaos, and will take months to recover. Homes have been ruined, lives totally disrupted.

Huge sculpture at Eden

The Eden project, designed as an educational facility about our planet has been badly hit, too. It’s such a shame to see the place where I sat enjoying live music and photographing such wonderful plants and exhibits covered in mud and debris, and I’m sure it will cost tons to put right.

Metal Man

Take a closer look at metal man. (click on the pic). Eden built this man out of scrap metal to illustrate how much scrap metal each of us will generate in our lives. It towers above you and is made of washing machines, old computers etc. Shocking, isn’t it? This sort of education is well worth doing. I wish Eden all the best in recovering from the floods. If I was close enough to help them I surely would.

A UK Farm Celebrating the Past

A happy pig that enjoyed having his ear scratched

A happy pig that enjoyed having his ear scratched

A happy pig with her new family

A happy pig with her new family

I thought I’d digress from my usual meanderings today. Looking at the shots I took on a small farm visit made me quite nostalgic. I’m sure the modern equipment farms use today are essential to keep us all fed, but doesn’t all the old stuff look great? It made me think about what we’ve lost in our countryside due to the pressures of so many people to feed. We can’t blame the farmers, as they simply had to follow policies government set for them to increase production. But having been back to a conservation site trying to redress the balance (see previous post), I simply feel whistful about what we have lost. The meadows full of butterflies and bees (their plight has been well publicised), the cornfields dotted with poppies, and people’s connection to the earth. In my own area, which is mixed private and council housing the kids watched me sprinkle poppy seeds over the grass verges. ‘What’ya doin?’ they asked me, so I told them. ‘Huh, they won’t grow round here.’ Was the reply. How sad that young people have given up before they’ve started, and have so little connection to the planet that supports them.

When I was a kid, I played in hedgerows, brought new ‘pets’ home in the form of caterpillars and watched them grow and change into butterflies. I visited my aunt’s farm at the weekend and fought the hens for their eggs. Now the latest game seems to be all young people are interested in. So my photos for the day look back to a time when less damage was done to the land and machinery was on a more human scale. Animals were treated well and the smithy was an important part of the scene. What do you think? Am I just a sad, aging hippy or should we all be taking more notice of what’s around us?

An old fashioned Smithy

An old fashioned Smithy

Elderly, retired farm tractor

Elderly, retired farm tractor

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