SUMMER FLOWERS

A few wildflowers from a recent sunny morning at the Skylarks Nature reserve, all from ny iPhone 13. I think we’ve got a mixture of bluebells, primulas, daisies and elderflower blossom but I’m nor sure. It was a pleasure to be out in the sunshine; there was a real feeling of things being (nearly) back to normal.

A TREE

I’ve photographed this tree for twenty-six years, in all weathers – sun, rain, wind, snow – and it never seems to change very much. It just stands on top of its windy hill, guarding its silent residents. The picture on the left dates back to 2013 when I processed it for entry to a Photographic Salon. It had a lot of faffing, including the addition of the little figure. On the right, we have today’s offering, pretty much straight from the iPhone.

LAST WEEK I READ …

OF DUCKS IN A ROW

My Instagram stream just didn’t know what it was – a hotch-potch of advertisements for my books and random photographs from my competing days plus the odd still life. So, in keeping with my present phase of putting my ducks in a row, I decided to strip it down and start again, concentrating on the simpler things of life. I dropped a lot of followers, people I didn’t know and who never inter-acted with me, anyway, and cut back on the people I follow for the same reason. So now it’s a calm, quiet corner of my social media presence, featuring bits of nature and elements of my daily life, as well as the odd thing I find in the archives that revives a memory. So, although I didn’t make any New Year resolutions per se, I’m slowly sorting myself out.

OF BOOK DESIGN AND A COSY MYSTERY

With my writer’s hat on, I was surprised and delighted to be chosen as one of the first authors to be featured on Book Design Made Simple‘s new Readers’ Books Page on their website. (Click the link to see the whole article)

Fiona Raven and Glenna Collett are book designers with a combined 60+ years of experience and their advice was invaluable to me when I was designing and formatting Albert’s Garden: A Binky Early Cosy Mystery for self-publication. As a first time user of Adobe’s InDesign, I think I would have thrown the towel in without their help and guidance.

Albert’s Garden: A Binky Early Cosy Mystery is a fun read with quirky characters and available as an eBook, in Paperback and Hardback and also free to download if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited.

OF iPHONEs AND APPS

I have taken to carrying my iPhone with me on our daily walk to the local park at the end of our road, keeping an eye out for anything interesting or unusual to use as a basis for further processing. It isn’t as easy as I thought it would be and quite a few efforts have ended up in the bin. I quite like these two, though. One of our neighbours hung the wreath on her door before Christmas and it’s still there, a cheery little splash of colour on a dull day. The image on the right is a section of a well-rusted bollard at the bottom of a steep flight of steps. They’ve both been faffed with in the Distressedfx app and I’m encouraged enough to try a few more.

A TRIP OUT TO BESTHORPE

The weather forecast promised us a bright, sunny – if cold – day yesterday, so we decided to travel beyond the confines of the city for the first time since last summer. The Besthorpe Nature Reserve has always been a favourite of ours and it’s very lightly populated at any given time, so it was the perfect destination and, at just under 30 miles, a reasonable distance to give the car a much-needed blow. Unfortunately, we were barely five miles from Nottingham when the sun disappeared, never to reappear again while we were at the reserve. Nevertheless, we saw quite a few birds, including a few ground feeders when we called in at Langford Lowfields.
Our list of sightings – robin, blackbird, sparrow, crow, magpie, kestrel, linnet, goldfinch, bullfinch, bluetit, great tit, dunnock,  little egret, tufted duck, mallard, gadwall, mute swan, great crested grebe, cormorant, black-headed gull.
The photographs below are from the archives as even 8000 ISO wasn’t working for me!

ROBIN
BLACKBIRD
SPARROW
CROW
MAGPIE
KESTREL
LINNET
GOLDFINCH
BULLFINCH
BLUETIT
GREAT TIT
DUNNOCK
LITTLE EGRET
TUFTED DUCK
MALLARD
GADWALL
MUTE SWAN
BLACK-HEADED GULL

CORMORANT
GREAT CRESTED GEBE