Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Here comes the sun (spots and all)

Hello again world. Long time, no write!I thought it was time I reactivated my blog as there's work to do, thread posts to re-ignite and complete and a world of interest to be writing about again! Where have I been? Well, around the time I last posted, I became a parent  and life became a metaphorical timey-wimey wormhole for my free, available time. Here I am resurfacing on the other side of the wormhole (and what a ride it has been!).

And what has brought me back today? Well, the autumn evening sun tonight attracted me to fix the long lens to my digital SLR and take a few shots as the Sun sank towards the western horizon, as seen from western Stirling in Scotland, UK, thus:

Quite attractive - but wait, what are those dotty, spotty things on the sun?

Yes, looks like sunspots - I've never managed to photograph sunspots before, so I was quite excited!

Sunspots but perhaps you can't quite make them out so...

I went and checked online - there are now some great websites showing the activity on the sun in near-real time. I went to NASA's SOHO site - for their Solar and Heliotrophic Observatory - here - which showed this entry for the sun today:

Sunspot activity for today, 10th September

And with not very much squinting and little need for imagination, you can see two of the larger spots, numbers 2157 and 2158, ringed in the following copy of my photo:


Yippee - now all I need to do is find out how, safely, to take much crisper images of the Sun (and to find out how to make my photos show the colour of the Sun - the actual Sun I was looking at was a deep red - not the yellow colour it looks here). I'm afraid I am a  bit of a lazy point-and-press merchant. I fear I need to read the manual for my SLR.  Anyway, a fine end to a lovely day and one with a bit of added scientific excitement.

And what are sunspots? Read this from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Signs I Like #32: Christmas 2012 Special

My inexplicable near-six month absence from blogging notwithstanding, I emerge blinking into the dim midwinter gloom to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. This sign found yesterday in Marks and Spencer's as we hung about waiting for the turkeys to be discounted!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

A grasshopper's eye view?

Continuing the grassland theme from earlier in the week, I tried a wee photographic experiment with my phone camera, seeking a slightly different perspective on this grassland habitat. I set the auto-timer to 10 seconds, pressed the shutter release and laid the phone, lens-upward, in the middle of a bed of creeping buttercups and speedwells. I think the results are quite interesting and definitely the different perspective I was seeking!  The second of the pictures was one of my blipfotos this week.
Please let me know what you think!

Signs I Like #31: Are all committee meetings the SAME?

Breathe In And Out... on Blipfoto :: Are all committee meetings the same? :: 12 June 2012

I enjoyed spotting this sign at the University of Stirling earlier this week, considering how many committee (and other) meetings I have sat in over the last 25 years!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Signs I Like #30: Once in a lifetime

Well, it probably will be once in a lifetime that the Olympic Flame is carried through the town where I live. And that is happening here in Stirling tomorrow, Wednesday 13th June 2012. And, despite all the corporate nonsense and over-commercialisation of the London 2012 Games, I refuse to have my excitement quenched. This road sign, foretelling tomorrow's rolling traffic restrictions and heavy-handed security blanket, was in Bridge of Allan's main street, where the Olympic Torch convoy will be going before coming within two minutes drive of my house in Stirling.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Find yourself a grassland right now

Yesterday, I was clearly feeling the love from contact with nature - it spilled over last night into my blipfoto daily post, here. Here's the story:

"This is a fantastic time of year to take a closer look at a grassland near you. Lots of plants in flower, the grass 'heads' all developing too, so much detail if you hunker down and take a good look! Today's blip was taken this morning in bright sun in Stirling's King's Park, well away from the bits where the ecology is ruined to suit the golfers. A beautiful mix of vegetation is on display: the white 'umbrellas' or umbals of pignut, the leggy stems and sunny yellow flowers of the field buttercup, the seed heads of wild sorrell and one of the plantains and the cobalt blue shining starlets of the speedwell flowers scattered throughout. And that's without starting on the grasses.

Go out and find some uncut grassland this week and give yourself a visual treat!"

Here's the picture of the scene that was floating my boat!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

What a tongue!

Last night's submission to blipfoto showed Ella Wonder Dog, exhausted after a tough frisbee session and exhibiting her magnificent tongue! Here's the original posting, followed by the picture and a bonus photo showing that wonderful canine tongue: Breathe In And Out... on Blipfoto :: What a tongue! :: 8 June 2012