Blog 6 - Stuck at home !

Introduction:

This week I was stuck at home... Well, that's not the entire truth. In short, the car decided it wasn't going to be its usual co-operative self this week and instead decided it was feeling nostalgic and opted for a trip back to the garage that it came from for some TLC.

Consequently I was left without any transportation other than my step-dads bike. Which I definitely asked if I could burrow to which he definitely replied yes (which is the story i shall be using and shall sticking to if he finds out). So I am sorry to say that those of you hoping for the reptile photographs I mentioned in last weeks blog will have to wait at least one more week.

The Garden:

So, as a result I found myself wandering my garden several days this week in search of something worth photographing, initially with no luck. Thankfully the weather began to change. Unexpectedly, we in England felt something we had not felt for a long time, which I belive resulted in the majority of the country turning red and rather sore. Spring was here, the sun was out and so were the pale knee's that had been starved of light since last summer ! This left me feeling rather seasonal.

So, on Monday I ventured out with spring in mind, looking for anything that I thought would resemble it. Talk about under your nose, all week I had been walking over what can only be described as a carpet of daisy's. As evening closed in and the light became softer and less direct I got down on the grass and took these photographs.

Daisy's in the Garden 2016 (2 of 3).jpg
Daisy's in the Garden 2016 (3 of 3).jpg

As regular readers may know I had not done much macro before, or much flower photography for that matter. But when comparing it to working with an individual (or several) to get a portrait, or waiting for hours for that one definitive wildlife encounter I found it very relaxing. I can see why so many people enjoy taking photographs of flower's. You have time to really think about your shot, compose it to such an extent that it matches the image you had in your head. This is something that i am certain i want to delve into throughout this spring and summer.

The following day my mum informed me she had purchased a new tray to hang from her bird feeding station in the garden. The plan was to put meal worms in it for the robin. What she didn't count on was something else that was very seasonal. The starlings are here, and they are making sure that the whole street knows !

Back garden starlings shaken feathers (1 of 1).jpg

For me, as soon as they arrive i want to photograph them. Who doesn't !?!?! They are tame, energetic, characterful and when you look closely you realise just how colourful they are ! For this image (above) i used a relatively slow shutter speed (for a fast moving subject anyway) of 1/500. This allowed me to keep the birds head in focus and sharp but capture the movement of it ruffling its feathers in the mid day sun. Clearly i was not the only one enjoying the warm weather.

They really are a joy to photograph. I was able to take these photographs from my conservatory by opening the window closest to the feeding station. They seemed much more comfortable if i was inside, even though this meant i was closer than if i stepped outside. I was there a couple of hours. Admittedly i found the strong sunlight quite a challenge to photograph, although i did manage to come away with two photographs so i suppose i am in no position to complain.

Back garden starlings  (1 of 3).jpg

Today however, i feel we have returned to weather more typical of England. It rained, not heavily, but consistently. Surprisingly though this did not seem to trouble to starlings who turned out in force regardless.

Back garden starlings rain (3 of 3).jpg

They really did just seem happy to be there. Although some were coping better than others. This little guy below seemed to be reaching his breaking point and regularly attempted to shake himself dry. And you have to hand it to him, he gave it his all!!!
 

Back garden starlings rain (2 of 3).jpg

The good news is that as i sat down to write this weeks blog i was handed the keys to the car and told it was ready to go ! This means that i will be off to find those reptiles ! And i will be keeping my fingers crossed that it is a case of three times a charm. Wish me luck ! Based on the last two attempts i will need all the luck i can get !