Archive for July, 2010

Raynox DCR Macro lens adaptor

Although my Fuji HS-10 is equipped with a pretty damn fine Macro & Super Macro mode, I’m looking at options to  get even better Macro shots similar to what I can achieve with my DSLR and Sigma 105mm macro lens. As a member of the HS-10 user group on Flickr , I saw some incredibly detailed pictures from members that had fitted a  macro adapter from Raynox.

Excerpt from the Raynox website –

The lens includes a snap-on universal mount suitable for 52mm to 67mm filter size.
The DCR-250 Super Macro lens obtains the maximum macro magnification power when set at the most telephoto position of zoom lens. The lens is made of high index optical glass elements which produce rich and razor sharp image

Box contents – Raynox DCR -250

Pretty impressive I think. obviously I’m not expecting the same kind of results as my 1:1 Macro lens but for a fraction of the cost, it’s certainly worth exploring. I placed my order via Amazon  therefore will  post a mini review when it arrives.

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Veggie Plot update – First Potatoes.

It occurred to me whilst boiling potatoes for this evenings dinner that I’ve not actually checked my own potato growbag for a few weeks. So whilst dinner was cooking, I has a prod around in the soil in one of the grow bags that we planted first. Just under the soil surface i felt my first ever homegrown spud and pulled it out..fantastic!

Fishing around a little deeper I could feel quite a few in there but I didn’t want to lift out too many as we still have quite a few spuds left from the supermarket. I won’t be buying anymore for the time being and looking forward to cooking with our own this weekend.

Taken from the first batch of seed potato I set at the end of March.

Also had a couple of cucumbers and courgette ready for picking in the greenhouse this evening.

Whilst i had my camera out, I thought I’d take a stroll around the garden.

Crocosmia

Gladiolas

Leek flower head.

Coriander left to flower.

Attracting all manner of visitors.

Giant Daisy

No idea what this is but the scent is amazing!

Red-Hot Pokers

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Plane spotting.

I haven’t been able to use my new car all week because I’ve been waiting for the dealer to mail me the new tax disk. Thankfully it arrived yesterday morning and therefore itching to take it out for a  spin, we decided to head down the motorway later in the afternoon. Knowing that we’d be passing East Midlands Airport, I packed my camera gear for bit of plane spotting and photography.

Thanks to a colleague’s recommendation, we found a great little spotting area right at the end of the runway – Thanks again Ben, great place!

At the end of EGNX awaiting the first plane. Despite a miserable week weather wise, this particular afternoon was a welcome change. Here’s the view looking past the ILS localizer and onto the runway.

Boeing 737 takeoff – RyanAir.

Boeing 737 – British Midland Airways heading towards the parking gate.

Cessna 152 – Donnington Aviation.

DHL cargo planes await loading.

Up, up and away!

One of the BMIBaby aircraft departs again.

Piper Warrior II

Trying out the ‘sunset’ mode on my Fiji HS-10 camera.

Lying on our backs looking up ala ‘Wayne’s World’ style!

Time for one last shot before heading home.

We really enjoyed this and next time we’ll head on over to the other end of the runway to catch the aircraft landing. I also noticed to the north of the airport, there’s an aeropark which include quite a few static aircraft displays including the enormous Avro Vulcan. We’ll be paying them a visit in the near future.

Avro Vulcan, from a photography I’d taken at last years Waddington International Airshow  (see blog post – http://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/pictures-from-waddington-international-airshow/

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Veggie plot update – July 16th

Spending time in the gardening and working on the  veggie plot hasn’t been easy this week what with all the heavy and frequent showers we’ve been having. I’m not complaining though, the garden really was in need of a good soaking and although grey clouds were looming, I took advantage of the brief dry spell to give the lawns a quick haircut. With everything looking neat and tidy again and still no rain, i though I’d continue to do a few odd jobs around the garden until it did.

Last April, we cut down our cherry blossom tree that  was becoming way to big and unmanageable. Rather than removing the stump altogether, I’d leveled it at about 5ft and sat a bird table on top. However, I really miss that tree and the additional color to the garden it brings with its dark red and purple leaves and really regret cutting it. However, all is not lost though as it’s started to grow back these past few months and so we now have a purple lollipop:-)

Now that I can keep the size in check, the bird table top had to be moved. I dug out the pole and stand out of the garage (I’m so glad i didn’t throw them away), screwed, hammered and swore at it until it was built and moved it near the pond and hedgerow where the garden birds like to hang out.

Our resident collared doves seem to like it but ‘Dwayne’ just can’t seem to figure out where the goodies are!

With the first large drops of rain starting to fall, I spent a few hours in the dry greenhouse sowing a variety of salad leaves & herbs as part of the rotation to keep us well stocked.

As well as picking small leaves for salads, I’ve allowed some of the Swiss Chard to fully grow which we use in stir fries. Like beetroot leaves I really love the coloring on these leaves.

We’re finally picking peas now, except I’m prone to eating them before they make it to the kitchen:-)

As an experiment, I’d sown  lettuce & swiss chard into very small 3″ pots purely to see what results I’d get. So far so good and taking up hardly any room. It’s amazing how much stuff you can pack into just a small area.

More mixed leaf salad tubs. This is one of two that were sown together and forms our third sowing batch. The first has been eaten and therefore fresh seeds have been sown (and just starting to break the surface) and we’re currently eating the second batch.

No ripe tomatoes yet 😦


So far, we’ve had four of the mini cucumbers but none of the larger type yet. There’s two that’s pretty much ready and hoping that this will be the third.

One of my favorite moments in the greenhouse is after not noticing that something is growing until I happen to lift up a leaf or turn around a pot and see it….or, maybe I just need new glasses 😛

Sadly, the Runner Beans are not cropping as well. We’ve had a few but certainly not on the same scale as last year.  Still, it’s all very much trial and error I guess. Likewise, the Aubergines haven’t developed fruit yet. As this is the first time I’ve grown these, I’m not 100% sure is this is o.k at this stage in the season? Overall, the leaves look healthy and are covered with purple flowers. More research is required I think!

I talking to my folks the other day and they’ve just had there first batch of potatoes grown in potato grow sacks. From memory i planted mine a few weeks after theirs so I’ll be checking my first earlies this weekend.

One of my favorites this year are the long cylindrical Raddish’s we’re growing. The shape means you get to eat more per seed 🙂

Apart from a few hiccups, everything seems to be coming along nicely.

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