Thanks for coming here. This site is for my interests outside the family that I am happy to show to the rest of the world.

It is made up of 5 areas.

  1. Paul’s Blog,
  2. Photography related pages and a blog
  3. pages about Places
  4. and two links to other websites of mine:- Marfell Family Tree
  5. and BaildonWiki.

Use the menus above to navigate or scroll down for the latest.

The latest is a blog post per day during the Corona Virus lockdown. The intention is for each day to have something spotted in the garden that has not been listed in the series before.

Day 62 in our garden

We have had the Clematis covered in flowers; I think it is now the time for the Honeysuckle, they are starting to open now. The header image is of one of the first Honeysuckle flowers to open on the arbour in the back garden.

It was last year at the Photography Show in Birmingham that I bought my Macro lens that I have been using quite a bit in the garden. I have now taken delivery of a ring flash to use with it. The flash fits to the front of the lens and I have tried it out a few times and I am pleased with the results. One of the biggest changes that it allows is a smaller aperture which then gives a much greater depth of field. The Bumble Bee was taken using the flash and I think it is much clearer than a lot of similar posed shots I have taken.

The Honeysuckle was also taken using the ring flash and that has resulted in the leaved further back being a lot darker. It makes the flower contrast more with the background which has some benefits but it also makes it a bit “unreal”. Perhaps I need to play around with the flash power so that it isn’t too dominant.

Here’s Day 61 in our garden.

Day 61 in our garden

This day was another blustery day. It started with a vibrant rainbow at about 6:15 but by the time I was decent enough to stand near a window with my camera it had faded. The one that got away. What a shame.

I ventured into the garden a couple of times to see if we had any Mint Moths. No! But I did notice the the new Hydrangea is really suffering with the wind. It is getting quite badly damaged as the gusts whip the new growth around.

Under the window at the front I did notice this tiny yellow flower though. I think it is one that I am supposed to have weeded out to allow the other plants to grow. Herb Bennet or Wood Avens. (Geum urbanum) It is recognised as a weed but I won’t hold that against it.

With only the 1 thing for the Day I am also using the photo as the header image.

Here’s Day 60 in our garden.

Day 60 in our garden

I have not spent much time in the garden for Day 60, it was far too gusty. Though I did have a look around at the flowers that are growing. The header image is the New Dawn Rose that I have shown a couple of times now. I like it.

The Albertine Rose has also been shown before. It was tricky to get this photo of it from the top of the step ladder with it blowing in the wind.

This shows that the transplanted Geraniums are doing fine.

The Geranium (x cantabrigiense ‘Karmina’) is one of the new ones bought a couple of weeks ago and is new for this series. There are only a couple of its flowers open so far but there are plenty of buds. Getting the photos of the Geraniums was a bit easier though hard on the knees as I had to get down low. In the Karmina shot you can see the blue of the Forget Me Knots behind the plant.

Here’s Day 59 in our garden.

Day 59 in our garden

The Blue Tits are busy in our garden. The header image shows one of them with a load of Green Fly in its beak.

This rather nice looking Rose is called New Dawn. There are plenty of buds on it so it is going to look great in a few days.

These are the two parents of the Blue Tits in the nest box. Is that a Meal Worm in its beak, if so then that’s the new thing for the Day.

I don’t know why one still looks rather smart and the other looks all frazzled. Is it the smart one that has been going to the fat balls in the garden to feed itself, smart in more ways than one? Feeding the chicks via the fat balls is not good for them, they should only be fed caterpillars and insects, and hopefully the parent followed that. Perhaps the smart one is the one that tended to stay in the box brooding and was being fed by the other, hardworking one? Or perhaps the frazzled one is the one that did the brooding and was not being fed adequately while the smart one was out getting lots of caterpillars for itself and the chicks? It would take some careful watching to find out. There seems to be plenty of food around. It doesn’t take them long, they leave the box and then are back with food in a couple of minutes

Here’s Day 58 in our garden.

Day 58 in our garden

What a scorching day for Day 58 in this series. Lovely blue skies and plenty of Sun. We have two new things for Day 58.

Carpet Beetle on Oregano in our garden

When I had confirmed the ID of this tiny creature on the Oregano in the garden I thought I would use its “proper” name to avoid any bad thoughts about it being around, but I am not sure that Anthrenus verbasci is any better than Carpet Beetle. At least it was in the far side of the garden. We probably have them in the house though.

Black Headed Gull from our garden

New species number two for this day was a Black Headed Gull flying over the house.

The Runner Beans have only been in the garden for a few days but they already have bugs on them, like this Shield Bug. The header image is also this Shield Bug.

The remnants of the gape at the edges of the beak of this bird shows that it is a juvenile. It is also a little less grey than the other Dunnocks around.

Dandelion Clock in our garden

I should really be a bit more vigilant and pick these before they start shedding their seeds.

Centipede in our garden

This Centipede was in bright sunshine so was a bit easier to photograph than when I first posted one in this series.

Here’s Day 57 in our garden.

Day 57 in our garden

I got so involved in putting together the re-cap list for Day 56 that I neglected to include the photos that I took during that day. They were not new things so I still needed the re-cap but that was no reason to exclude them so I have been back and added added them. I have therefore also removed them from the end of this post.

The new thing for Day 57 is this Violet. It has been flowering for quite a few days but until today the flowers looked bent or funny shapes. This one is the first time it looked presentable.

I know I have posted photos of Ants before but this is really a new one, an Ant’s Nest with Larvae and thousands of Ants. During the day I pulled a decent sized blue planter out from under the arbour so that we could replant it. When I lifted it out I noticed more ants under it than I would expect. I put it down to get a better hold of it and noticed even more Ants under it. I then, with difficulty, held it away from me and took it over to the corner of the garden to empty it. The compost I tipped out looked like good stuff but the surface of it was moving and had what looked like hundreds of little white grains of rice all over it. As I watched the surface continued to move and so did the “grains”. Slowly they disappeared into the compost. It was only when I looked closer that I could see the Ants and that the grains were their Larvae. Most of the Ants were the same colour as the compost and in the places where there were lots of them the movement of their antenna and legs made the compost look as though it had fur. I felt uncomfortable standing over it and getting close with my camera. Quite soon the Larvae were back inside the compost and the clump had developed several radiating lines of Ants following “tracks”.

The transplanted Pink Geraniums are still doing well.

The Blue Tit on the nest box has a juicy caterpillar in its beak.

Here’s Day 56 in our garden.