Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Wednesday Stuff... More from Batsford

I love going to Batsford Arboretum.

I love the way it changes through the seasons, from an oasis of lush greenery in spring and summer to a backdrop of vibrant red, bronze and orange when the trees take on their autumn colours. I love its meandering pathways, its tranquility, and its beautiful setting in the Cotswolds. I couldn't think of a nicer place to have a birthday picnic with two excellent friends on a hot Sunday in May.

Here are a few more images from our outing there last weekend.


At Batsford Arboretum
Stone bridge...

Batsford Wed Blog-7
Foo Dog and wild flowers...

Batsford Wed Blog-6
Japanese Bridge...

Acer with sunlight
Sunlight through a Japanese Maple...

At Batsford Arboretum
...and a Maple against a gorgeous blue sky...

At Batsford Arboretum
Cath amidst a sea of wild garlic...
obviously we didn't want to spend much time 
with her after this...

Batsford Wed Blog-8
Cath and Helen being terribly symmetrical
at the Japanese rest house...

Cath beneath the trees...
Taken in open shade with a silver reflector.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cat on Tuesday...

This week the cats have mainly been hot and bothered - the temperature is still ridiculously high.  The only time I can sit outside is at 6am when I am joined by one or more felines yelling at the birds or showing me  various weeds I've missed in my gardening efforts.

You may remember that Posky and Charlie had blood tests a few weeks back to check their kidneys.  Charlie's were fine (we were all surprised that it didn't show up the fact he is demonically possessed), Posky had further tests and was shown to have protein in his urine so is now on Fortekor tablets.  He's lost a lot of weight over the last year - but I did tell the vet this hasn't been helped by the fact HE HATES RENAL FOOD! He's now having normal Senior cat food instead - the poor boy was becoming a shadow of his former self.  His Greyness was concerned that his fur would soon be too big for him and would start dragging on the floor behind him as he walked... Anyway, I took him to be weighed on Saturday and he's maintained - which we were all relieved about.  Of course this gives me the challenge of finding a flavour/brand of food every week that they'll all eat.  Pepper in particular is prone to take one look at my offering to her and run away as if I've seasoned it with arsenic and cyanide.  Nothing like a cat to make you feel like a culinary failure...

Mrs P melts in the sun...

... and here shows off one of my Japanese Maples...

... 'Crop her out, crop her out!'
Cat egotism at large...

... I was trying to take a nice photo
of His Greyness on the bench - 
his inability to keep his mouth shut obviously
made this an epic fail.  Shall we try that again Posky?
And this time how about shutting the hell up?

... See, not hard was it?
Posky:  'Shut up yourself or I'll vomit in your shoe'...

Pepper kindly points out to me
and the rest of the world my lack of
gardening skills...
Pepper: 'Personally I'd put a lavender there, or
maybe some catmint.  And did you know
those logs need replacing?'...

... and then she suddenly realises I have my camera
so springs into photogenic action on the bench.
(Pepper would like to dedicate this shot
to her number one fan Laurie...)

... Only to be shoved off it by Charlie
so he could show off his
(not inconsiderable) belly.
Do those eyes look scary or what?

... and here he is going for a profile shot
only he couldn't twist his head around far enough.

... and because he wanted a shot of himself looking heroic,
here he is guarding the rose I got for my birthday.
(What he was guarding it from is a bit of
a mystery... although he did say something about there
being mutant greenfly about this summer).

For more kitties visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday... Update!

It's been so hot this week... fine if you can lounge around in the shade all day but not good working in an office with no air conditioning and a window that only opens if the wind is in the right direction (oh the joys of working in a 19thC listed building...).  I did manage to scrape together some pics before succumbing to heat-induced ennui.

Beneath Your Feet...
Taken in Stratford on Friday when
I was out for my birthday lunch.
Note snazzy new M&S flip-flops,
and also note mutant bird tracks in the concrete!

Blossom beside the lake and fountain
at Bletchley Park in Northamptonshire...
(Loving that painterly effect)
Also linking to


Melted Currently...
It's hot, damn hot,
(so hot in fact that this poor chap melted) ...

... as a result of this
I am CURRENTLY using a lot of 
sun block and spending an inordinate amount
of time underneath my parasol.
(Someone asked if they could take
its picture yesterday - that's how famous
it's become!)

The other two photos for this week's Scavenger Hunt will be posted later (after I've taken them!!!).  Am off to the Cotswolds with Helen and Cath so hope to make them participate in 'Capturing Movement' and 'Face Your Fears'.  Watch this space!

Update!  Had a fabulous day, a wander around the beautiful Batsford Arboretum followed by a picnic lounging in the shade of the trees.  And I got to finish the Scavenger Hunt!

Capturing Movement #1
Cath and Helen go slightly loopy...

Capturing Movement #2
Waterfall in the grotto at Batsford...

Face Your Fears
Cath about to meet the terrifying
Zombie of Batsford...

And finally seeing it face to face!

Thanks to Cath and Helen for a wonderfully hilarious day :O)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Pretty Birthday Things...

I have some very pretty looking presents to open tomorrow.  And I'm almost certain that one of the interesting looking objects from Helen contains my favourite chocolate! :O)

Birthday presents...

Monday, 21 May 2012

A bit of backlighting...

Trying indoor lighting conditions for portraits this week.  This is Mrs P backlit by the window - what I could have done was get the reflector in front of her to shine some light back on her but with cats you don't get second chances for pictures!  

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Sweet Shot Tuesdays...

Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley 

Two versions of the same image - one colour, one infra red.


Tree infra red

Yes I know it's Wednesday - this was originally going to be for Wordless Wednesday, but WW has now morphed into Sweet Shot Tuesday :O)

Monday, 14 May 2012


Yesterday Cath and I went to Cambridge for the day.  It's only about an hour and a half from where I live so I've no idea why we haven't done it before.  (The only time I've been there prior to this was for some MA tutorials but I'd never been into the actual city centre).  It is such a great place full of little nooks and side streets, fabulous architecture, plus The Rainbow Cafe which is now one of my favourite places to eat.  The weather was lovely too - sunshine, blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  Not the easiest place to photography on a Sunday in May - there were a lot of people about - but here are a few pics anyway.

Punts on the Cam...

...and again
(No we didn't go in one - too expensive, and besides, we didn't 
like being hassled by annoying undergrads
trying to drum up trade for their particular punt!)

Two versions of Corpus Christi College...

The Rainbow Cafe entrance...
Such wonderful food - sigh...

Wisteria and bicycles...

Cambridge More architecture...

This was me trying and failing (twice!)
to get a decent shot of King's College
(founded by Henry VI in 1441)

... and this strange and wondrous object is the Corpus Christi Clock
 - see more about it here.
(That's King's College again reflected in the glass).

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Weekend in Black and White...

Not taken part in this for ages but decided to give it a go this week as I've been playing around with the image of the yellow flower that I took the other day.

flower infra red

Linking to The Weekend in Black and White

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Still Life...

Put the fish eye away for a while and got the trusty 50mm out for some still life shots (this week's 'homework' for the Divas and Dreams self study course) .  These are photos of some candles I got from a charity shop (I only really wanted the bead things around them).  I took them next to the window, with white card as a base and backdrop and a reflector to bounce the light from the window back onto them. 

Candle montage

Also linking to Project 52
Project 52 - p52 weekly photo challenge with Kent Weakley

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Fun with the fish eye...

A couple of shots 'hot of the press'.  Mrs P helped me test out the fish eye filter this morning (think she misunderstood what it was).  There's a knack to using it - you have to get the main subject at the right angle and the quality of the image does drop off towards the edges, but you can get some fab effects with it.  Am really looking forward to trying it out on trees, tall buildings, people's faces etc etc etc.

Mrs Pod
Mrs P feeling extremely warped...

Mrs Pod and the fish eye filter
And with an infra red effect too...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Wordless Wednesday...

I have a new toy to play with!  It's actually an early birthday present from David and is a fisheye filter with detachable macro.  As soon as I got home from work I was out in the garden with it taking photos of, well, weeds and stuff.

Flower with light leak
This is pretty much SOoC - the light leak was an accident!
Note that sneaky bug trying to get into the picture.

Flower picmonkey
This is not a weed - but I don't know what it is.
(I added a selective zoom to the petals in PicMonkey)

I'll be experimenting with the fisheye next to see what it can do.  Watch this space!


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