Monday, 13 January 2014

Kites and Kings!

A very good birding couple of days! Red kites (Milvus milvus) in the Chilterns not far from the M40 escarpment where you nearly always see some in passing. It was good to have time to see them properly.

A pair of Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) has taken up residence on the canal on the margins of the town, we've seen them a dozen times in the last month or so. Yesterday was the best, he (?) kept flitting 10 yards or so then stopping again.  We saw him diving and coming up with a small fish, but too fast to get a photo. Sadly the light was poor, so I'll continue to take my camera shopping!

Sunday, 12 January 2014


My great nephew has reached the mature age of 3! Quite a chatty little gentleman now, and obsessed with dinosaurs and trains, difficult to combine the two, he had trains last year. My girls say I'm obsessed with trilobites, so there's one in the puddle. I hope Richard Fortey approves!

I mentioned re-flowering Paphiopedilum and zygopetalum a while ago, this is a Brassia maculata which has come into flower again after resting for a couple of years, most pleasing!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Stained Glass

I've nearly finished A's Christmas present, apart from the final polish. A proper leaded stained glass mirror, the fish I did was copper foiled. That involves sticky-backed copper foil round all the edges, then soldering it together.  

Proper leading has to be far more precise, each piece is enclosed in an "H" shaped ribbon of lead and the junctions soldered. Never take on one with diamond shapes, or trapeziums, they slip like soggy ice! Above are some preliminary ideas and colours. She's always had a bit of a thing about optical illusions, the disappearing-in-to-a-tunnel effect works reasonably well in the final piece.