Sunday, 30 November 2014

Random Stuff.


 An owl underway. Now complete and handed over for the craft stall at the nursery Christmas fair.

The Kelpies. Taken from the car, we've yet to visit them properly.


These are two lino prints by Barbara Robertson. They are shown in the condition they arrived - ie not great, and I can't believe they were just displayed by the previous owner in clip frames. Anyway, I've taken them in to a local gallery to get them framed properly - which will cost more than the prints did themselves, eek! However, I think they're worth it. I love them! They were a lucky on-line find. I have a greeting card print of the top picture which I've had in a frame and on display for about twenty years so I was quite excited to find the original. The second picture features an umbellifer so of course I like it!
 
Huge cocktail from yesterday afternoon, consumed during a small get-together of last years PGDE students.

The Duke of Wellington, still sporting his hat.

Sunrise this morning.

Now we're going back a couple of weeks to a Sunday afternoon walk round a nearby beauty spot. We went further than we'd intended and hadn't realised how large the site was - I did start to get a little concerned we wouldn't get back to the car while daylight lasted, but we did, phew.




Now for some sunset shots from the garden:-

 


And lastly... I remembered sorting out some butterfly photos in August but never getting round to posting them at the time. Here they are now - a little pop of late summer colour to brighten your day:-






Sunday, 9 November 2014

Autumn Leaves, Mostly.











Some Autumn scenes from this afternoon's woodland walk. I have to say that I'm still not convinced about my new camera - I don't think the photos are as sharp as I was able to obtain with my old one. Next time I'll try the cameras side by side and see what I think. The light levels were fairly low as it was about 3pm before we arrived in the woods so that may be an explanation. Anyway, it was good to get out and about. There was still plenty of Autumn colour to enjoy - the woods were full of umber, copper, russet, gold, bronze, cinnamon, ginger, sepia, tawny and ochre tones. And plain old brown too, especially in the muddy bits. And yes, I did look up a thesaurus, very useful it was too...

Friday, 7 November 2014

New Camera.













 








So I bought a new camera. This one. (I notice the price is wildy different each time I check it: from £69 to £99). I'm still not sure I like the camera. I love the 10x zoom compared to the 5x zoom of my old camera. It also take better photos in low light. But there's no macro button! It will take macro photos but only if it's set on "intelligent auto", or that's the only way I've found so far. Which means you can't modify any of the other settings. I'm away to download the manual and find out more...

Other news, I've survived my first parents' evenings "on the other side". Most of the parents I met were lovely. It did still surprise me that I got away with them thinking I was a real teacher, which I am, but just a very new one (though I certainly don't look it!). I also had my first school trip with my class. We went to Stirling castle and it was fabulous. The guides were excellent. No time for photos though with 29 children to keep an beady eye on. My class are quite good on the whole, but I feel my control of their behaviour is a little tenuous: it's something I need to work on. However, there were no major issues, thankfully.

The photos in this post are mainly from a little family cycle we made last weekend. Loving the Autumn colours. To finish I finally captured a blackbird eating the hawthorn berries from the tree in our garden. Just a little out of focus! Never mind...

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Threave Castle

The last of the ruin reports for now. (The holidays already seem a long time ago despite the fact I've only been back at work for a week). This time we visit Threave Castle which is only reachable by boat (or a cold swim). I had imagined a rowing boat with an old man in a tweed bunnet at the oars (why? I don't know...), instead the boat had an outboard motor and was "manned" by a youngish lady with a headscarf. During the crossing she told us about the red kites and otters that can be seen, if you're lucky. We were also told to make sure we don't miss the castle dungeons. When you reach the photo of the dungeon, do not be alarmed! The spooky person you can see is a rather realistic looking dummy. Apparently the castle is securely locked over the winter months and when they unlocked it in the spring this year the dungeon dummy had moved, seemingly of his own accord - what other explanation could there be... Anyway, we enjoyed our visit, though we were a little disappointed by the lack of passages and rooms to explore. Of all the castles in the area that we have already been to I think Caerlaverock is the best. After visiting Threave Castle and being taken ashore again, we took the long walk back through the nature reserve. It's a good place to visit just for that, even if you don't go to the trouble of visiting the castle itself. Back at the visitor centre N met a giant otter. To finish there's a photo of Robert Burns with a blackbird on his head. It was taken whilst on a trawl of the Dumfries charity shops. There are many of them, but as seems usual these days, pickings were slim. I did find a nice pot (like I don't have enough already) and the children got more books (probably have enough of these too). But we like them all...





















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