Pumphouse

Another starlight shot, this time at a small, but incredibly interesting building situated on Bull Bay Golf Course. Situated just off the 15th fairway, I was told this hut was once an old pumphouse, but it is now abandoned. This shot is looking south west, too much light pollution to see the Milky Way which would be running diagonally across the middle of the shot, but Orion and his belt are visible in the bottom half of the shot on the right ๐Ÿ™‚
With thanks to all at Bull Bay Golf Course for the permission to shoot at this fantastic location ๐Ÿ™‚

BBGCa

Star-Chasing

It’s been a beautiful Easter weekend, and the good weather is continuing this week. So much so that we took advantage of the clear nights and headed out to do some star photography. On Sunday night I popped over to a favourite spot, Melin Y Borth in Amlwch. This mill was built in 1816, and at the time was the tallest of all Anglesey’s windmills. Itย could grind 70 bushels of corn an hour. ย Tragically, in 1867 William Jones , the son of the miller was working inside the mill when he was struck by lightning and killed. The mill stopped production in the early 1900’s.

millstarLast night, feeling a little more brave in a group of 3, we ventured over to a pair of Neolithic burial chambers near Bodedern. Presaddfed dates back to somewhere between 4000 and 2000BC, and was once a place for communal burials. The stone tombs would have been covered with a mound of earth and stones at the time. One chamber has now collapsed but the other is fairly well preserved. So much so that in the 1700’s a small family used the chamber as a dwelling, until they were evicted!

In this first image you can just make out a hint of the Milky Way running across the sky.

Presaddfed1If you look closely in the image below, almost touching the top of the right-hand side edge of the capstone you can see Comet Panstarrs which is clear in our skies in the north-west after sunset at the moment. The bright star above left of Panstarrs is Andromeda, a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light years from Earth.

Presaddfed2

What’s in YOUR garden?

It’s hard to get motivated about anything when the weather turns as miserable as it has been this week, especially after such a lovely period of sunshine. Finding things to do isn’t easy. But if you don’t want to go anywhere too far, why not spend just a few minutes in your own garden, even just looking through the window to see what’s out there. You might be surprised…

Set up some bird feeders in your garden, somewhere where you’ll have a good view from your window. Keep them stocked up and you’ll soon have an abundance of birds coming to feed daily. Sunflower hearts seem to be most popular in my garden, and if you’re quiet and careful enough you can open a window whilst the birds are feeding and take a few sneaky shots whilst they’re preoccupied.

At this time of year most chicks are starting to fledge, and if the parents are regulars to your bird feeders, they will bring their young to your garden to feed them. Fledgelings have huge appetites and the parents will spend all day visiting feeders and flying back to their young with seeds to keep them satisfied.

Good weather or bad, the birds still need to feed, so even when its pouring down you can still see birds in your garden.

Finches love Niger seeds but you will need a specific feeder for them, one that has very small holes so the seeds don’t fall through and that only narrow finch beaks can reach into.

Robins are a familiar sight all year round, try tempting them closer with mealworms, dried ones can be found in lots of supermarkets and garden centres, or you can send off online for live ones.ย WigglyWigglersย is a great site that has a good selection, but be warned, lots of birds love them, and an adult starling can clear your birdtable of them in one visit!

If you can’t see any birds, try looking a little closer into your grass, trees and bushes, you may find plenty of wildlife hidden away in there too. Overcast weather is great for photographing insects, as the light is even and less harsh. Insects will also move a lot slower without bright sun to warm their blood so you will find them easier to stalk!

Grasshoppers are surprisingly easy to find if you just have a little patience and a good eye. Look for a place with long grass, and you will need a warm day, a warm summer’s evening is ideal. Listen for the classic grasshopper sound of them rubbing their legs together, approach carefully and try to pinpoint roughly where the sound is coming from. If you are quiet enough the grasshopper will stay where it is, even if it stops chirping, and careful parting of the grass should reveal it’s hiding place. If you get too close it will leap away and you can watch where it lands.

Cemaes

I love a rough windy day, so I headed over to Cemaes Bay today at high tide to get some shots, however it was too rough today even for me. It was cold, with a strong wind blowing straight in off the sea. which is the worst for seascape shots as you have to wipe the spray off the lens in between each shot. ย I always say, when I go out with the camera, if I don’t get at least wet feet, then I won’t get a decent shot, but I admitted defeat today when I got seawater up my nose! I’m stubborn when it comes to braving the elements but once I couldn’t feel my feet any more I knew it was time to call it a day ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Holyhead Port

Holyhead port? Not the most picturesque of places, true, but it does have a fab steel bridge which looks great lit up at night, so after a dull, cloudy afternoon at South Stack that’s where we headed this evening. And once in a while you happen to meet some lovely people whilst out shooting, and tonight we met Catherine and Ashley. They stopped to see what we were up to and very kindly agreed to get involved in some ‘ghostly’ night shots! Was so nice to meet you both, here’s a few shots from tonight, hope you had a safe journey ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Catherine, if you e-mail/text me your address, we’ll send you a print of this ^ photo ๐Ÿ™‚
And see – absolutely NO mention of Michael McIntyre!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

Waves & Mist

Last weekend the winds were very strong, and when the tide was almost at its highest point I went down to Bull Bay to watch the waves. Whilst there I spotted this boat, and whilst watching it being buffetted about by the wind and waves, a gentleman joined me and we chatted a little about the fate of the boat and whether it would survive the rough seas. (he imparted some interesting information too, which unfortunately I couldn’t possibly share here!) Well we watched the boat for a good 20 minutes but eventually the wind died down, the tide slowly dropped and the boat was safe ๐Ÿ™‚

In complete contrast, this weekend was beautiful. Warm, dry and still. And after Sunday’s warmth and clear night, there was plenty of low-lying mist this morning sitting in the dips in the land. Here’s a few shots ๐Ÿ™‚