Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Dragons and Bugs at Aldford river Dee june 2014

A quick  trip down to the river Dee at Aldford to see if any Clubtail Dragons can be found ,   i think they are quite ugly for a dragonfly but they are elusive and always nice to see.  my last trip failed to see any so i dont really expect to find any but its always worth a walk :)

Walking onto the river side path just past the Blue bridge i start to look in the first fields edge and amazingly i have spotted a female Common Clubtail , cant believe my luck sometimes :)  unfortunately its starting to spit with rain and the light levels are very low but i will do my best in the breeze to get a sharp image or 2 .

 as its cold i have moved it onto a plant for better picture but with the wind movement i just cant get a sharp image, so will try a finger shot............

 There are a few Banded Demoiselles but as usual i just cant get close to them , this is the best i have managed  today.

Continuing down the river there are hundreds of Scorpion flies , but the light is not good enough to get any decent sharp shots.   this is only one i have managed but it is not very sharp , time to put the mpe-65 lens and flash on now

                            That's better :D                   an  Aliens  head lol

Now i will just shoot a few flies then head off home.  loads of Doli flies   love their green eyes :)

these tiny flies are so difficult to photograph, they seem to react to the cameras pre flash and move before the image is taken , it is quite a common problem but i have managed a few good shots.

                                                                                just a fly 

                          a Clegg Horsefly , amazing eyes they have , so beautiful but deadly  lol

                                                              a focus stacked portrait

                that's a great way to finish the morning just as its started raining fairly heavy now.

Monday, 18 August 2014

World Famous Laburnum Arch at Bodnant Gardens and a few dragons 1st June 2014

Today i am on my way to Bodnant gardens in north wales to see the famous Laburnum Arch , which i have seen many times but never at its peak , for the last week it has been fully open so my timing is great.     the gardens open at 10 am,  so as i need to photograph the full length of the tunnel without anybody getting in the way i will get there early to be first in line to get in :)

I have arrived just before 9.30 and the car park is deserted , Yay!     i make my way down to the garden entrance through the tunnel and i am the only one there , but soon quite a few start arriving.  The Arch is just 2 minutes walk from the entrance so i have already got my tripod set up and camera ready to rush round and get as many images as i can while its clear.  as the gates open i can, as a National trust member, go through fast entrance and i am rushing round to the arch.   i have already decided my composition so quickly i set up and take a series of bracketed frames , i have managed to take just 15 frames before a couple of other photographers set up beside me and then watch in amazement as 3 people just blatantly walk straight in front of us all and walk very slowly down the middle of the tunnel preventing any more shots , after this a steady procession of people arrive and that is it!    here are my best 3 images..............

Time for a quick walk around the garden to see if can see any bugs to shoot , the Bearded Iris are looking fabulous.

                                          i have found a spider lurking in a curled up leaf :)

                                                            a Blue Himalayan Poppy

               The White Wisteria looks superb next to the steps below the rose garden.

                                                                        Bumble bee

                                                  and another spider hanging around :)

               a final shot from the garden before i nip off to rspb conwy for a walk around there.

I have now driven back to Conwy to walk around the local reserve , i have heard quite a few dragonflies have been seen recently so will try and find a few.

I have just spotted an Emperor Dragonfly hunting over this pool but it is not settling , constantly flying as usual for this species  but a male Broad Bodied Chaser is being more co operative and i am going to try get a few shots of this one.

                                              after half an hour i have bagged a few images :)

now its time to walk back to the car park and get back home to go take Mollster for a walk , on the way i must go see the Bee Orchids  but first a Common Blue catches my eye :)

                                                    and my final image of the Bee Orchid

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Church Bay on Anglesey 25/27 th May 2014

I am on my way to Church Bay on Anglesey on a Saturday evening, the rain is hammering down most of the way  , Jan has been there in the caravan all week and i am joining her for the next 3 days.  as i arrive it is torrential rain and i actually have trouble driving over the slight incline in the campsite field which is a few minutes walk from the beach.  as i arrive Chester goes mad in anticipation :)

Sunday morning is bright blue sky , thank goodness for that   lol    a quick run on the beach with the dogs first

Now we are going to walk the coastal path around the headland , almost straight away i find this Bloody nose beetle :)

                                                 Next to be shot , an escaping lizard  :)

I have been chasing a Wall brown butterfly for ages up and down the narrow muddy path, much to Jan's amusement   lol     i eventually manage to get on the ground close enough for a half decent image   haha

We have come to the next bay around the headland , loads of wild flowers are on the hill side , so Mollster goes and poses in them , good girl .......

         and down into the water for a play and Chester and Mollster get very wet .  bless them

                Having walked back to the caravan in the afternoon, i spend time shooting the birds

                                                                    Great Perch.........

                                      I would Love to know whats on Chester's mind  lol

 After dinner we walk down to see if there is a good sunset this evening ,  its not a good one but got this image using my 10 stop nd filter :)

The next morning it is looking another good day , so we have decided to go to South Stack lighthouse , Jan has never been there.        after a nice drive around the coast road we find both the car parks chock a block, some idiot in a huge camper van is blocking the steep road up to the top car park and some one is trying to direct traffic!      we manage to squeeze into the top main area any how  , and now are walking up the road to the top overlooking the Lighthouse.

                                                i have just spotted a green Tiger beetle :)

                                                                   Mollster posing :)

               and Chester but no idea what he is looking at, the ice creme van is that way Mol says :D

After a walk up over the Headland we head back to take a look at the Birds nesting on the cliffs below Ellins tower.   its a superb view from here :)

                                          and then walking along the cliff path .............

                                                                           Big skies :)

              Time to drive back now , later i hope to get better sunset images across Church Bay.
 a few hours later i am walking down to the bay , leaving Jan and the dogs in the van, they will come down a bit later to join me .

all below images i used a 10 stop nd filter to slow the shutter speed down to smooth out the waters surface.

                                                         69 seconds at iso100  f18
    as the tide comes in around me while i am standing on small rocks Ooops  , but the low setting suns is lighting up the cliff face wonderfully :)

                                                             217 seconds iso100 f18

                                                    4 frames combined  40 - 184 seconds
                                          Love how the sun illuminates the foreground rock


                                                             184 seconds at f18 iso 200

                                The end of a great few days :)     back home tomorrow.