Rather than throw the honey jar away while there was still some in the bottom, I decided to leave the lid off and place it on it’s side on the Bar-B-Que. In truth I was hoping that it may attract some late night -flying moths. However, after checking it at night for a couple of nights and finding nothing, I gave up the idea, but left the jar.
A day or two later the rain had stooped and the sun was briefly shining. I took a stroll down to the Bar-B-Que and was absolutely amazed at the number of Honey Bees and a couple of Wasps all guzzling as much as they could of the (now solidified) honey. By the time I got there there were two dead Honey Bees and two live wasps amongst the tightly packed in ‘gang’! I watched it quite closely for a while and was surprised to see that both the bees and the wasps all ignored each other.
I was doing some computer housework today and just having a general clean up and sort out. I found one particular photo that I took a while ago. It’s in Rogiet a small village about 5 miles from Chepstow, for those who are not familiar with area, Chepstow is where the Severn Bridge crossing is, the Gateway to Wales. However, there is a small little hideaway in Rogiet and it is owned by the Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT) it is a very old area where many moons ago, so I believe, there was some kind of Gypsy dwelling. Later on it also became a local tipping place where the locals would take there rubbish to dump. I understand some nice little finds have been found there over the years. Especially if you are a collector of ‘say’ small tincture bottles and the like. Today is has been cleared and cleaned up by volunteers with GWT into a small nature reserve, and on a nice day it is a lovely place to go and just sit and watch and listen to nature. I have spent many hours there over the years and I have seen everything from newly born Rabbits to soaring Buzzards, not to mention 1000’s of flies of all types and sizes (great if you are a Bug person), bees, birds and a plethora of wildflowers. For those of you who live in the area, I can recommend a 20 minute stroll at The Rogiet Poor Lands site, and it doesn’t have to be a nice sunny day either. I have also been there on a crisp Autumn morning and watched the songbirds hunting for food.
There is no charge to go in and in most cases, depending upon time of year and day you may well be on your own where you can contemplate……..well anything really.
Can’t believe where the new year is off too! February already, but the good news is that Spring is around the corner, really looking forward to getting out there again and seeing all the new young things coming to life.
I think the pic above symbolises that time of year. The photo is of a mother Peahen and her chicks. I actually took the photo a couple of years ago now whilst my wife and I were on a wildlife outing in the caravan to Gigrin Farm in Mid Wales. The mother spent most days hanging around the caravan and didn’t seem to mind Rosie, our mini dachshund. That is until one day Rosie started to get inquisitive and walked in her direction. Mother hen soon put a stop to that and Rosie came hurtling back to the van and break neck speed, ears akimbo!
Oh well, gonna try and get some z’s now it is 1.30am and I am having trouble with the old insomnia again. It has never really left me and I put it down to my time as a musician during my early years. It’s funny if I stay up until I am ready to sleep, which is usually around 3.00am, I will start to feel guilty! Why? I don’t have to be anywhere special in the morning, so why can’t I stay up late?
And so the internal argument continues! Oh well…..same old, same old, as they say. 🙂
Well it’s seems like an age since I last posted, so I thought my snippet of a Chepstow Castle door (which dates back to the 11th Century) would be an apt header!
I would just like to wish all my new friends on WordPress Blogs (and any other Blogs for that matter) a very happy Christmas and a healthy & prosperous New Year.
The weather in Wales is much like the rest of the UK at the moment there are floods everywhere, and more rain than we have had in a 100 years. But it doesn’t appear to have deterred the shoppers, from the TV news I see that the High Street and the Internet have all had a last minute boost to their sales. And good luck to them – it didn’t come from my house!
I have a number of plans for the New Year, whether they will come to fruition or not is another thing. One never knows what is around the corner, good or bad? But if all goes according to plan, I intend to finally publish my PhotoBook on “My Time with the King of Skiffle“. I have quite a lot of unpublished pics of Lonnie Donegan (Does your Chewing gum Lose its Flavour) during the time I was with him from about 1968 to 1973. I am sure there will not be a lot of interest out there, but I know there is a click of hard fans who would welcome it. Besides, I feel it would be a shame if the pics didn’t see the light of day.
I also have a number of photos, also unpublished of other entertainers which I guess would be another book. Pics of ABBA during their sound check at the Royal Albert Hall in 1978. I was the only photographer allowed in – all down to CBS Clout – nothing to do with photography skills. And lots of photos taken at private gatherings, none of which I will mention here because I am not a ‘PAP’ and I will ask permission to publish, just out of politeness really.
When I say late what I really mean is LAzY! Well kinda. I’m not naturally lazy in fact I’m the opposite, I need to be doing something all the time, otherwise it tends to have a significant impact on my frame of wellbeing. So I am continually doing something, admittedly it is usually in front of a computer and if not then it’s behind the lens (hopefully).
I did mange to actually get out with the camera this past week just for an hour – I have been behind the lens in the studio every day. I decided to visit my local Castle and Country Park (Caldicot) which is really only 2 miles from where I live. It was really enjoyable, I was amazed at how many people were out during the week. It was nice to see them taking advantage of the facility, after all it has been there since about the year 1011. Henry the VIII was rumoured to have stayed at the castle on his way somewhere. I have been fortunate enough to use the inside of the castle for a number of photo shoots. The last with Queenie Mae earlier this year for her Album Cover.
The Autumn colours were truly awesome and I was fortunate enough to capture a couple of colourful shots.
I am now preparing for my ‘dreaded’ birthday next weekend. Age never ever bothered me much not until I reached 65, then in common with many other men no doubt, I began to ‘think’ about age. I was suddenly classed as an OAP, and Old Age Pensioner. But yet I didn’t feel like one thank God! Well that was 6 years ago, so you can imagine how I feel now! And don’t you just hate it when people say “ah…Age is just a number” one will usually find that those persons’ number is under 30!
But having said that I am grateful for relatively good health and I am able to combine some photographic work with looking after and caring for my darling wife of 38 years, although we have been together since the week we met, on the Englebert Humperdinck Summer Show, so that’s 43 years. Her MS of 17 years continues to progress but she does a fantastic job of dealing with it, much better than I could ever do.
Ok…I promise I will post again before Christmas (it says here) but just in case, I hope you will all have everything you wish for, for yourselves and your loved ones.
Some of you may recall that I recently revisited my local wildlife stomping ground only to find that the local Council workers had moved in and chopped everything down, and dredged up all the silt at the bottom of the water, that contained all the larvae, eggs and what not of the local insect life. I was most disappointed but, I know it will come back in time. Whilst I was there I was met by a really nice guy and his wife, his name is Rob and he is a volunteer who tends the wild patch. He basically, from what I can tell, keeps the place generally tidy by litter picking, and the odd bit of pruning here and there. Whatever he does, he does it very well and I and the local Flora & Fauna thank him. Anyway, we got chatting and before long I realised that this chap had a great in-depth knowledge of wildflowers. He asked me if I had seen the wild Orchid in the meadow, I told him I hadn’t and he started to explain where it was and how I should find it. The he suddenly said…Oh come on I’ll show you, he asked his wife if she minded and we left. We had to walk only about 500 yards or so to the meadow (thats the polite word for the couple of acres of scrubland, that is full of wildflowers). Finally amongst a whole bunch of grass and stuff, there was this beautiful flower. It wasn’t what I had expected because I didn’t know that Orchids grew in this shape. Rob went on to explain that he hadn’t managed to identify it yet, that he thought he knew all the Orchids but he couldn’t name this one. I thanked him for his time and I took a couple of pics. Before he left he said oh by the way, on the other side of the road as you come in there is a another smaller stretch of wild area with a pond that hasn’t been disturbed for ages, you may find your Dragonflies and Damselflies there.
So that was quite a few weeks ago now and I really have been bogged down and haven’t had the opportunity to go there until Sunday past. Imagine my joy to see simply loads of insect life abound, including some beautiful Dragonflies. I am hoping to get down there and spend a little longer next week, I shall keep you posted.
And then just one pic of a Southern Hawker Dragonfly from the other wild area.
I was having a couple of weeks break over the past fortnight and decided to try and digitise some more of my slides & negs. However, I didn’t have that much success!
One of my main problems is this. For as long as I can remember I have been a Nikon user, so much so that when I needed a slide and negative scanner, I automatically chose a Nikon. And very good it has been as well except, when I tried to update the software and drivers etc, I was very politely informed that Nikon do not make scanners anymore and hence, there is no updates to the software! Now I fully understand about product loyalty, but I wonder what the head(s) at Nikon think about Customer Loyalty? Or does that not exist anymore at that level? Perhaps they expect their distributors to handle that tricky end of the deal!
Having said all that, here is a dreadful pic of a wonderful occasion. The original slide is perfect but the scan which I had to do on my all-in-one ain’t so good. The occasion was the first photo session of a brand new idea and invention in percussion, specifically Arbiter Auto-Tune Drums. This pic shows l-to-r, Ivor Arbiter the inventor and Music Industry legend, me (with a droop face as I am suffering from Bells Palsy at the time) and the great Carl Palmer, he of ELP holding a Snare Drum. Carl was a tremendous help during the final stages of testing the equipment, as was many other fine drummers including Jon Hiseman who toured the kit all over Europe with his various bands, Coliseum II. and Tempest with the late and great Irish guitarist Gary Moore. I guess the photo was taken around 1977/8.
I had never seen this horse before, I just stopped at the gate whilst out for a quiet walk with my camera. When I stopped at the gate the three horses that were in the distance turned and saw me and made their way across to me. On their arrival I offered the first one an Extra Strong Mint (candy). He just turned up his nose and didn’t take it, then I offered it to the second who took it and proceeded to drop it on the ground. Then this chap pushed his way in and said “I want one”. I offered him the same he took it and crunched it up (they are very hot) and then asked for a second, which I gave him. When he asked for a third I said, “No, too many sweets are bad for your teeth” ( I looked over my shoulder in case anyone was watching me, as they would have thought I was nuts talking to animals. When I turned back, I smoothed this chap on the head and he gave me this great big smile. And, he then did it again to allow me to take the photo.
Don’t you just love ‘Dumb’ animals? Whoever named animals dumb, was no genius!!
Some of my readers may well be familiar with Power Rangers, but unfortunately this Granddad isn’t! However, it appears that my youngest grandson (I have 2 Josh who’s is 10 and Caiden who is 3) Caiden, is currently besotted and pesters his dear mum to help him get dressed up in ALL the gear as soon as he arrives home from nursery school.
On the day I promised to shoot the girls’ head-shots for the Casting Director, Caiden arrived in full regalia and continued to come into the studio after every shot saying “granddad, granddad, me now, me now!” His mum explained that the girls must come first, and like a good little chap he accepted it. Finally it was his turn. I took about a dozen shots, two of which I have posted here.
Don’t you just love them when they are that age? When they can communicate with you and tell you exactly what they want, and they continually charge around being loud and energetic, and then collapse on the sofa straight into dreamland, looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. They grow up so quick, I remember when the three men I used to call my lads were like that, now they have children of their own, fly around the world making music or manage a design studio at a Major Record Co. making very serious decisions.
Oh Boy!….Feeling pretty old at the moment, and not as bright as I normally am. However, tomorrow is another day, it’s 2.50am local time and I can finally feel the ZZZzzzzzz’s, so I’ll sign off while I can still see the keyboard.