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Monday, 10 April 2017

Goldfinches Nesting in my Garden

I was sitting in the garden on Saturday, talking with my wife. It was a sunny day and I had just returned from Chatteris. We were on the decking soaking up the sun while all around the flowers were beginning to bloom. Our magnolia tree had all is fine pinkish flowers and many of the petals were beginning to drop to the lawn.

As the various birds were chirping my wife told me that was the sound of Goldfinches. She is always good at the various distinct sounds. Sure enough, she was right. Two of them. One male, one female and in the magnolia tree. 

Then to our delight, the female flew towards the top branches and there amid the little branch stems in the top of the tree was a snug little bird nest that she had built. It was swaying to and fro in the breeze.

Carole informed me that she had not realised they were nesting in the tree despite being aware of their presence for some days. We thought they might be nesting close by and using our garden for foraging purposes. After all, the Goldfinch is generally regarded as a garden bird and we always have the bird table full of seeds and other things to attract the various birds. Also, the duck house with the food trays attracts blackbirds and sparrows etc.

I managed to get my camera and tried to take some photo shots, but was also careful not to scare them off.


On My Way Home from Chatteris in the Fenland

The weather has been very sunny and warm with clear blue skies. I've been working in the village of Chatteris, Fenland. It's a small sleepy little hamlet nestled in the middle of farmlands. In every direction, there is nothing but beautiful fields. In some ways, I feel as though I have stepped back into a retro 1960s England. Many of the hamlets have that old English feel to them. Also, many people seem to have a joyous spring in their step knowing we are to leave the EU. People far and wide talk about it with huge smiles on their faces. I believe the little village got a visit from Ian Duncan Smith during the EU referendum campaign. He was a Brexit politician and I would imagine he received a very warm welcome from most people in Chatteris.

I do my bin emptying rounds about the town centre every morning and everyone says, "Good Morning," as they go about their business. I did the same thing this morning and was on my way back to the Council yard in March, Fenland. The town where I live. As I took the road towards Doddington, I saw a couple of old Romany caravans and could not help stopping to grab a snapshot on the mobile phone camera. We have a lot of Romany and other Travellers that live about the Fenland.


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Treebeard's Little Brother was not in The Lord of the Rings

Today was a beautiful day. Hopefully a taste of what is to come as we work our way through the spring towards summer. I was working in the historic Fenland town of Chatteris and after a few hours, I decided to stop for a cup of tea and a cheese roll.

I picked a spot on the outskirts of town close to a bypass that heads towards Ely. I was enjoying the sunny weather and sipping my tea. Well, I'm sure many of you would sometimes drift and think about things. You might see something and it flicks a little memory and off you go on a little trip.

As I was surveying the field before me, there was this single young tree in the middle of the meadow. It was a very odd shaped tree indeed and I could not help but imagine it was walking towards me. Perhaps to steal my cheese roll. I grinned as I indulged the silly thought. 

Then I was reminded of The Lord of the Rings story. I had read it many years ago and it blew my mind. I've also seen the movie adaptations since reading the wonderful story.

The little lone tree in the meadow made me think of the Ent creatures of the forest. In the story, two of the Hobbit characters meet a giant tree man called Treebeard. This gigantic walking tree man tells the little Hobbits that he is an Ent. A tree that can walk.

This little tree in the meadow looked as though it was walking, but it was rather small for an Ent. Perhaps it was Treebeard's much young brother and had not grown up yet.


Monday, 3 April 2017

Nanotechnology Awards - NANOSMAT Conference Paris 2017

There is a special award called the NANOSMAT Award. It is a special prize for achievements in the scientific study and progress for development in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Professor Ferrari made valuable and outstanding strides in the field study of nanoscience and nanotechnology. This involved groundbreaking work with graphene and carbon nanotubes. 
The NANOSMAT Award committee seem to have been very impressed and excited by the exploration of various scientific knowledgeable boundaries concerning materials science, engineering in this field and physics surrounding it. 
The awards committee was very impressed by his ability to carry out research with novel and stimulating results, exploiting different frontiers stretching from materials science to microengineering and physics on this relatively new realm of scientific endeavour.
There is also the KROTO Award that goes along similar lines of recognition. This committee as also watched over young scientists of outstanding merit who are new encouraging fledgelings, confidently moving into the exciting realm of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Perhaps tomorrow's grand experts in the making?
One doctor is developing nanotech parts to be mixed into computer desktop-scale applications. This means computers can become even more efficient and complex in the task performances with ever more competent programmes.
The two scientists, who will receive these awards, must go to the twelfth NANOSMAT conference in Paris where each prize winner will deliver a lecture to their audience.  

Claire Catches A Carp At the Lake by Her Home.

My son, Lloyd caught a fine carp in a previous blog at the lake close to their home. This wonderful lake is on their doorstep and both Lloyd and his wife Claire love carp fishing. Also, their five children enjoy the lake too. The eldest son Floyd is getting into the habit of carp fishing and is enjoying the lake immensely. 

Last night, Claire decided to give the lake ago for carp and she managed to land this fine specimen. It is a beautiful Common Carp with a dark top running along the spine and fading towards the golden scales lower down the fine fish's scales.

It looks as though Claire's fishing is going very well at the moment and she has managed to get herself in a couple of the national fishing magazines on several occasions over the last year.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Why Do So Many of Us Enjoy Steampunk?

There is so much more to steampunk than dressing up in Victorian style clothing. It is developing in various fields of interest and carving out a signature in music, movies and literature. It can cross a multitude of topics and the boundaries are constantly expanding. Because these boundaries are always being pushed and explored, steampunk is becoming more diverse and varies in a number of fan's imaginations.
One might enjoy the fashion or clothing. Another might enjoy fantasy stories set in Victorian style realms or futuristic alternative Gothic/steampunk worlds. There are also various steampunk style ornaments. I've even seen a lavish looking bathroom complete with toilet and tiling in the wonderful steampunk style.
Steampunk of today appears to be an alliance of Victorian age coupled with science fiction. It seems to have a ruled structure yet an invitation to meddle and redesign while maintaining that old world vision of clothing, steel and rivets. 
Although steampunk has a signature of an old Victorian world, there remains a twisted and alternative futuristic feel as well. Each person looks unique in their attire and each vehicle or contraption seems unique too. Nothing is uniform except the old Victorian world concept somehow reinvented. It seems and feels as though we are looking back in time to the Victorian era while flirting with a wished for, science fiction and futuristic look and feel.


Lloyd is Showing off A Big One.

My eldest son, Lloyd stayed out late at the lake close to his home. He loves the lake and so does his wife Claire. They are always sneaking off over the lake to pursue their joy of fishing. All of their kids are jumping on the band waggon too. They can often be seen with them. 

Last night Lloyd decided to stay for an hour or two longer when dusk came. He was rewarded for his patience with this Common Carp. With the other fish caught during the daylight hours, Lloyd's little venture out to the lake proved to be a very eventful day's fishing.


Friday, 31 March 2017

I Love this Wonderful Artwork

Some pictures are alluring. I can't say why but I like this image. It has just the right colouring and the tree full of blossom looks wonderful. I'm not sure if it is Japanese, Korean or Chinese, but it also has a European Gothic feel to me. 

I know it is not European Gothic in topic matter, but it does appeal to that part of me that enjoys Gothic art.

I like the porcelain look of the lady's skin colour and the hair with all of the various clasps and decoration within. The fan with the skull on the front is what helps to give it a Gothic quality for me.

I enjoy everything about the image. It has a dreamlike quality to it. There is an aura of light around the lady's head giving the whole work of art a dream quality.

I think this particular piece of artwork is fantastic.


I Love the Birds of Prey Over the Fenland.

I was on the computer doing the multimedia thing when my wife came in from the garden and said there was a raptor over the fields to the front of the house. A raven was trying to harass the raptor. I was not sure if it was a Common Buzzard or a Marsh Harrier. It's beak looked like that of a Marsh Harrier.

The duel in the sky was short and the raven eventually flew off. The raptor tried to confront the more manoeuvrable carrion bird and I think that did the trick. Usually, the ravens and crows harass in numbers and the raptor retreats away from the air space. This one turned and twisted and tried to face the raven.

If a raven was struck by the talons it would be ripped from the sky. Ravens and crows are more manoeuvrable and can get into positions above or to the side, but they can only intimidate. They can't strike. The raptor can and that is the one advantage it does have. One blow of the talons and it is game over. This raptor tried and the raven decided that he who turns and runs away lives to fight another day.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Cup of Tea and Watching the Houseboats in Benwick of the Fenland.

Most of my job involves me driving to and from various locations in Chatteris, Fenland, Cambridgeshire. It is a very pleasant job in a wonderful little rural English hamlet. There are two other smaller villages that I must go to, outside of Chatteris. They are a few miles away and across the Fenland and its waterways.

One of them is Manea, where the bird hides are. I often go birdwatching here. The other is Benwick, a small village nestled amid fields and a small river that runs through it. Because it was a rather nice day, I decided to have my tea break by the river bank near the graveyard.

I was looking down at the old dilapidated mooring platform while munching on a sandwich. I then heard a houseboat chugging along the waterway and went to the bridge to get a photo.

A man and a lady were steering the rudder as the houseboat chugged along. I got a friendly wave from the man when he saw me photographing his boat. As he went under the bridge, I was standing on, I got a back shot too. 

Then moments later another houseboat chugged along from the other direction. Again, I got a shot of this boat too.

My wife and I often talk about buying such a boat. One can travel the length and breadth of Britain via the canals and waterways. The Fenlands, where we live and work is crisscrossed with these wonderful waterways.