Wednesday, 26 December 2012


I hope everyone had a good peaceful Christmas, we went to L&N who catered brilliantly, turkey yesterday, with all the trimmings, and roast beef today. I lost track of how many puddings were on offer: Christmas pud,
plum&apple crumble, Barbara's yummy creamchocolatecake with cherries in brandy, Calorine's pudding, cheesecake & mincepies, all with cream, icecream, brandy sauce & brandy butter. I think we've all lost sight of what it's about, but it was wonderful to be looked after and do nothing more challenging than a little gentle washing up! Thanks L&N!

Saturday, 22 December 2012


We've had a pleasing number of woodpeckers around recently, I haven't managed to get a photo of a green one yet.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Chilly, Ready-or-Not!

We had some really hard frosts the other day, left the garden a bit dead& slimy, but the cobwebs even better than dew. If the sun had come out briefly they would have looked better, but gone in minutes, these lasted two days.

How do they manage not to get frost-bitten feet?

Christamas is looming, L&N are doing the hard bits this year, so I'm late & disorganised, but got around to a wreath for the door today, & one for L&N. I use what's in the garden, I'm sure that's the traditional way, so hedge-bits, ivy and white-backed Elaeagnus & Cottoneaster leaves.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Not really drugs!

My Photoshop course is now finished, it was quite challenging, time and the hateful computers, but I really enjoyed it and feel as though I've just started to explore the possibilities.

It occurred to me as I was putting these up that they could both suggest I'm a drug-fiend!

High-tech Flower

Everyone must be familiar with the little white edelweiss from the sun-blasted heights of the Alps. We also found this one in the wilds of Ladakh, furry against the intense cold and wind.

In the current RHS magazine there's a fascinating snippet about the fur: microtubules a few dozen microns across, sized precisely to absorb UV radiation. Space scientists are now adapting it to protect electronics &  solar panels on deep-space vehicles. All the best ideas are borrowed!

Monday, 10 December 2012


Small snippets of scenes suggest intriguing possibilities for patterns to be explored in Photoshop, watch this space!

If one could encapsulate London in one image, this one might be a contender.

And this one's just pretty!

Mathematical, Firey

 Have you noticed how often mathematical shapes creep into nature? Crystals are an obvious example, but the Fibonacci series is always worth contemplation, and the cells of honeycomb couldn't be better designed by computers.

Don't dial 999! The building is not aflame, just reflecting a rather fine sunset over the Thames, the wind-turbine look-alikes are the supports of a bridge.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Magic Again!

Putting one image in the spaces cut from another isn't as hard as it looks, and much easier than cutting out photographs with scissors, you can also go back when you make a mistake.

Panoramas take about 1 minute to do automatically, that really is cheating!

Monday, 3 December 2012

First Frost

The first frost of the year is always a bit gloomy, the tender things become a soggy mess, waiting to be scooped slimily into the compost, but there's an upside too.

The second reason why I leave teasels and other seed-bearers, the first of course to feed feathery visitors.

These two photos are the same Calicarpa ( appropriately from Greek beautiful fruit), the pinky one is in early morning sun, the purple still in the shade, a good demonstration of the light-colour our brains adjust when they "know" what it should look like. Just occasionally the camera doesn't lie!

Magic: Photoshop

 Almost as magical as animation, I can see the taking many hours to master and explore all the possibilities. We've been looking at removing and replacing colours, so easy, just a few buttons & sweep with a tool or two...

And then you can remove colour from most of the image, leaving or replacing whatever you like...

Or you can go completely crazy!