Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mum and baby hedgehog

Messy Hedgehogs!



Mum and one of the baby hedgehogs. Somehow managed to flip their food bowl. And also poo in the box. Thanks you guys, i do enjoy cleaning up your mess. Not! But, it is always worth it to have mum and her 3 babies coming back each night. 



One of my hedgehog videos is featured on a very cool site today. Go check out nature center magazine and see my video along with other great articles and pictures and videos all relating to nature.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day trip to Tiger Temple. Krabi, Thailand



Day trip to Tiger Temple. Krabi, Thailand

Ok so I didn’t really do as many posts as I would have liked about our holiday to Thailand. So, I have decided to show you photos from our first day trip. It was lovely.

We went for a walk up to a place called Tiger Temple. There are no tigers there, just a lot of pesky monkeys! Oh, and a giant Buddha, some shrines and a great view. I have to point out at this point, that we had to climb up 1237 steps to get to the top of the cliff. I thought that didn’t sound like much. Big mistake. It was horrific and I really don’t know how I made it up there! The steps are very steep too and at the top of each section there is a little helpful reminder of how many steps are left to go. It got pretty soul destroying actually. Also, as you start the ascent, there are monkeys around winding you up and being generally mischievous!

However, it was a lot worse on the way down. The steps were so steep and my legs had turned to jelly (from the way up!) that I had to go down quite quickly to stop my legs from wobbling! It was not fun at all. I managed to get a few photos of the stairs- very steep and scary. In a couple of places I had to go down on my backside it was so steep. N.B I seem to have misplaced the photos of the stairs. Once I find them, I’ll add them in.

The view was great (even though I maintain NOT worth the 1237 steps!) and it was excellent once we reached the top as there was a big water chiller there for anyone who got up there. There was also a random dog up there. Weird.

This is the view down on where we started from the top.

View from Tiger Temple, Krabi, Thailand

These are at the top.

Buddha at Tiger Temple, Krabi, Thailand

Tiger Temple, Krabi, Thailand. At the top!

Tiger Temple, Krabi, Thailand. At the top!

This is us, hot, wet and very knackered!

View from Tiger Temple, Krabi, Thailand

This was the view… worth 1237 steps in 40 degree heat?

View from Tiger Temple, Krabi, Thailand

View from Tiger Temple, Krabi, Thailand

Very cute monkey.

Monkey at Tiger Temple, Krabi Thailand

After the temple visit we went to a hot springs waterfall. This was lovely and the water was about 40 degrees. It was a bit crowded though but good for a little stop off. It was so pretty deep in the jungle.

Hot Springs Waterfall

We were then taken to a place called the Emerald Pool, in the middle of the jungle again. This place was quite random! They had lilos and rubber rings etc… Was quite busy but nice all the same. The pool was also surrounded by the Crystal Streams. You can see why they call them that in the pictures.

Emerald Pool, Krabi Thailand

Emerald pool area, Krabi, Thailand

This is Brian enjoying the stream.

Brian in the water at the Crystal stream, Krabi, Thailand

I got a little bored so decided to look for the Blue Pool. I took a path through the jungle and eventually found it. It was not for swimming, just photos. It was quite pretty.

Jungle Pathway

Jungle Pathway

Blue Pool

It was a great day out and we did really enjoy it, even after the monstrous climb! I will do a couple of posts for each day trip we did in the coming weeks. Don’t forget to check out my Flickr page where I store all my photos. See you soon.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Meet my hedgehogs...



Ok, so now it is time to introduce you to my hedgehogs. They are beautiful little creatures! The first hedgehog turned up on the day that we lost Buzz- that very evening actually. The little critter has done well to keep my mind off losing Buzz to be honest.

I called it Mr Hedgehog. How wrong I was- it turns out she’s a Mrs Hedgehog with babies! The other night 3 babies were in the garden altogether. I have a friend who used to look after rescue hogs and she says that she would have had the babies in about June and then kicked them out after 6-8 weeks to fend for themselves. She obviously showed them where a regular food supply was though. Apparently, the babies will probably stick together for a while, maybe even hibernate together. How cute is that?

Anyway, pictures! These are of the Mum to start with. She is quite big.

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Now here’s a couple of pictures of two of the babies.

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They aren’t scared of me or anyone in the garden to be honest. I had my Mum come round to feed them the last week as I was away in France on holiday. They carry on doing their thing and munching on the cat biscuits even if you talk loudly or make a racket. They even let me take the lid off the box to photograph them whilst they eat.

Hedgehogs are becoming exceedingly rare over here in the UK and I feel really lucky that I have one, let alone babies too! I live in a town but we have a really good strip of gardens all the way along my road which is obviously good enough for the hedgehogs. I feed them every night and clean up their food and water box every night too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my hedgehog and her babies- I’ll keep you updated with them. Don’t forget to check out my Flickr page- plenty more on there!

By the way, it was great to find out that I have pictures of an animal that you don’t have in America- purely because I am always looking at all your photos and thinking ‘it’s so unfair we don’t get interesting animals like that over here’ then Ratty told me that you don’t get them over there! I was pleased with that. Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

RIAT 2010 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford



Hi everyone- well if there’s anyone left out there still reading my blog that is! I hope everyone is keeping well. I’m good, just been a bit busy and not doing much photographing of things lately.

Please click on the highlighted links - they'll take you to pages explaining whatever the words are.

I have an unusual post (for me, anyway) for you all today. I recently took my Dad for his 50th birthday to the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford (RIAT 2010). We had a really great day and the aircraft on show were quite simply awesome.

We had an issue as the weather was dull, dark and grey, but not raining. This meant with my zoom lens not having a wide aperture, I struggled to pick up a lot of detail on the aircraft. However, after a teeny amount of fixing, it turns out that some of my photos are pretty darn good. Well, I like to think so anyway.

So, here we go. I’ll start with the new Airbus A400M military carrier.

A400M (2)

A400M

Now we have the B52 Bomber Stratofortress- one you should all be pretty familiar with. This was one of the planes that I think was used in Vietnam. (Please do correct me if I get any of this wrong, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on these things!) It is massive!

B52 Bomber

B52 bomber (2)

Here is an Apache helicopter. This one is part of a Dutch display team- a strange team- of an F16 fighter jet and the Apache. I was amazed at what this helicopter could do!

Dutch Apache

And here we have the F16 (Fighting Falcon). I am particularly happy with these shots. Please bear in mind that the jets were flying by at super fast speeds. I think because this is orange my camera found it easier to pick up detail.

Dutch F16

Dutch F16 (2)

Dutch F16 (3)

Dutch F16 (4)

Now we move on to an awesome machine… from the USA… the F22 Raptor. This was absolutely stunning to watch, the noise sent chills down my spine and all my hairs stood up! It was awesome. I am very happy with these shots as this plane was really fast… speed of sound fast… God knows how I managed to get these shots! Some were taking when the aircraft were flying slowly, like they do for shows, but most weren’t.

F22 (4)

F22 belly open

F22 (6)

This last one is my favourite:

F22 (5)

This is our famous Harrier (GR9). The Americans call it a Jump Jet I believe. I think other nations have been struggling to build a craft that is as effective as this for vertical take off and landing for some time. We now have the Joint Strike Fighter jet, well now it is called the F35- Lightning but I really don’t think the Harrier can ever be beaten. This is something we English should definitely be proud of!

The Harrier came on right at the end of the day unfortunately so the light was even worse.

Harrier (2)

Here we have a few photos of the French acrobatic team the ‘Patrouille de France’. They were particularly good but due to the crappy cloud they had to do their ‘intermediate’ routine which was based mainly around formations and nothing more interesting. However, I found it really enjoyable. And, a little factoid, their leader is a woman! And, she is the first and only female leader of a demonstration team in history. Well done Virginie Guyot!

Patrouille de France (1)

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Patrouille de France (11)

Patrouille de France (8)

Patrouille de France (9)

Oooohhh. Now we have the Tornado GR4. These came on as we were getting ready to go, the light was rubbish at that point so I’m pleased these came out ok. The Tornado is also an awesome piece of kit and I love it!

Tornado

Tornados

Tornados (3)

So now we move on to the star of the whole show. An aircraft that has a special place in most Brits hearts- if they know a little about aircraft that is. Here we have the Avro Vulcan. This aircraft has not flown for some time- until the weekend of RIAT 2010. The Vulcan is an absolutely beautiful aircraft from the early 50’s designed to cope with the threat of the strengthening Soviet Union. She is, you could say, a cold war icon. She was only flown in anger once in her career and that was to bomb the runway at Port Stanley on the Falklands in 1982. She hasn’t flown for some time but has been restored and maintained and is now flying again.

Vulcan (3)

Vulcan (4)

Vulcan (1)

Vulcan (6)

Vulcan 1

Vulcan under belly

So, I hope you enjoyed my RIAT photos this week. I’ll be back soon with some photos from my recent trip to France. I have a great macro of a scary spider eating a cricket… nice. Back to my normal type of pictures!

Don’t forget to check out my Flickr page where I keep all my photos. See you soon!