Garden Visitors

I’ve mentioned before, I’m sure, that I am fortunate to have a little patio garden and I’ve been making an effort this year to attract more birds and butterflies. The Bees have always been plentiful. I’ve been unsuccessful with the Butterflies as usual, but now that I have a new bird table and bath the birds [and squirrels] come several times a day. The bonus is that all the cats I used to see prowling around over the years have either moved away or died off. There is just one grey cat left from the flat upstairs. I am a cat-lover, but they can be a nuisance stalking the birds.

I also have a family of foxes playing on the grassy areas in the evenings and I throw them left-over scraps or old fruit if I have any.

I’m mostly behind the glass windows to watch the birds etc , so the pics aren’t super,duper quality, but I hope I’ve captured the fun that I have trying ….

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Al Fresco
Shall I?
Whey – hey ….
Thirsty Work
The Lookout

That’s all for now, have a great day, Eileen

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Macro Flowers

Much of my time is spent indoors and I love using cut flowers as my photographic subjects, sometimes in Still Life but mostly exploring them in macro.

I don’t think I’ve spoken much here about the cameras and lenses I use. Some years ago I decided to upgrade from the simple auto ‘point and shoot’ cameras I was using because , although they do take marvelous images, I wanted to achieve more. I was, and still am, an avid reader of helpful articles and tips – I wanted to learn all I could to develope my camera skills.

I asked for advice in a Parks camera shop what camera to start with and the Olympus Stylus1 was recommended, so that’s the one I went with. I couldn’t really afford to go for an all-out DSLR and lenses – too heavy for me anyway! So it was a matter of initially learning what I could with this camera before moving on when I felt ready to buy a camera with separate lenses.

As the Olympus Stylus had served me well [and I still use it for convenience when I’m out] I decided, mainly because of it’s light weight, to stay with Olympus. Started with Olympus OM-DE-10 and now learning to use the Olympus OM-DE-10 mk lll. My favourite lens is the 60mm macro – used for these shots.

The big nuisance for me though are the over-complicated menus , which, at my age and the accompanying tired and less efficient brain, are a pest to navigate and remember. I’m awful with the techy side of things and hope I can get by with the artistic side instead. [I learned about composition, colour,texture etc when I used to paint almost every day!] And now, over time, certain camera settings have become a habit with use and practice , so it’s easier to find things !

I often admire the work I see from other photographers and find myself looking at the equipment they use and it’s very tempting to think ‘if only I had the cameras and lenses they have, I could achieve so much more !’ But, as the saying goes ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ and I’ve learned to be content with what I have and thank the Lord for His creative gifts … ha ha – there’s no way I’d have the strength to hold that heavy DSLR and goodness me – those Lenses !!!



Well, that’s all for now dear friends, hope I will have helped someone who may be just starting out on the same journey , Eileen


Same Walk, Different Pics

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This is the first lady angler that I’ve seen at the lake! Fortunately she very kindly said she didn’t mind me taking her photo.  The sun was streaming across the lake behind her – back-lighting and high-lighting herself and the trees either side of her.  Perfect!

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This single leaf also posed perfectly for me ….

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It was a really dazzling sun-shiney day with lots of high- lighty bits of nature to see … this could be titled a patchwork or an abstract I thought.

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There is this huge Weeping Willow tree along the path leading to the lake and it looked magnificent on this bright, sunny day ….although the figure and dogs are the focal point of the pic.

I did some searching on line yesterday to see what I could find out about the Ifield Mill Pond and Bewbush Water Gardens and boy – what an interesting history – much too much to tell here … so, just briefly :

A park was recorded here as early as 1295.   The manor of Bewbush seems to have passed down, linked with St Leonards Forest by inheritance to various Earls and Dukes, etc over the centuries, becoming known as the manor of Holmbush/ the Holmbush Estate from 1787 and being sold on to ‘humbler’ folk titled ‘Lord of Bewbush’ and eventually MPs and the like.

Lots of improvements had been  done by a Thomas Broadwood after 1824 and he planted and landscaped much of the estate. Whether it was him or later owners who planted my Bald Cypresses there I don’t know, but maybe there’s a way of finding out?  My source [A History of the County of Sussex] says he created a large Lake and several smaller ones – so I guess that must be more or less where we can walk now, since Crawley Borough Council bought the whole area , now known as the neighbourhood of Bewbush,  in order to expand the housing requirements for all us ordinary folk. And grateful I am too!!


Bald Cypress [Taxodium distichum]

I’ve often wondered about this tree that I’ve passed every time I’ve walked around the local lake. I obviously haven’t caught it at its most spectacular up until now!  When I got back home I took the time to search on line for its name but of course, it wasn’t showing up in any British tree lists, so I widened my search and it turned out to be a conifer.

What threw me was that I didn’t class it as a conifer because I’d mistakenly thought all conifers were evergreen and this tree clearly wasn’t. Anyway – the clue was in my pics because I saw what sort of  looked like clusters of tiny cones and then some larger spherical green ones hidden among the bright colourful foliage that I hadn’t noticed when I was taking the pics.

It’s a very large tree and I wonder how old it is …. maybe I will see if anyone knows on my local FB group.

Bald Cypress

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Oops – maybe next time I’ll take a pic of the complete tree!!

bye for now,   Eileen


Catching Up(again)

Yet again I find myself having to catch up with my postings here as I’ve been somewhat distracted with other things. Fortunately [for me, not necessarily you] I haven’t neglected my photography because that is the thing that keeps me happy and sane , together with the good Lord’s gracious care of me….

So, this will be a miscellany of images – hope it doesn’t all seem too disjointed!

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It was only after I peered at this flower through my macro lens that I saw this tiny caterpillar popping his head in and out! The flower is a small Jacob’s Ladder.

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4b Jacob's Ladder

I enjoy photographing flowers more and more these days and often wish i could get to grips with using ‘Textures’ to enhance the backgrounds. Meanwhile I’m using the usual depth of field of my lenses to achieve, or try to, a softer background and sometimes the much sought after ‘Bokeh’. I haven’t a mathematical brain and age has brought with it less stamina and patience to make the required effort to achieve what I really want – but, c’est la vie ! It was much simpler when I used to paint – no tech involved!

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This was shot against the light from the window in my living room – it’s south-facing and can get extremely bright. I like the bright dazzle of a high key picture though.

2a Daisy Bright

Another sparkly ….

2f soft Yellow Chrysanth

I loved the soft yellow of this Chrysanthemum ….

Take care everyone,   see you soon,   Eileen


Black & White

In looking back over the pics I’ve posted here, I realised to my surprise, that I’ve never done a post solely of my black and white images. So, as I’ve recently gathered some black & white and infrared pics into their own folder on my computer, it seems a logical follow- on to post some here: all taken at the Ifield Mill Pond & Bewbush Water Gardens.

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Infrared again

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Well – there we are folks …. the last few I used an ‘infrared’ effect on in my Paintshop Pro software, because I love the sunny, soft look it gives !

See you soon,   Eileen

 

 


Tulips and Other Flowers

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I like the drama of a black background, it seems to make the colours more vibrant …. the light is just from a small window.

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variation on the theme ….

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An Orchid Bunch

That’s all for now folks, thank you for your visits and ‘likes’ – they are much appreciated. See you again soon I hope,  Eileen