Our nearby park has a bee hotel. This structure, filled with drilled logs, hollow sticks and dried mud, provides a home for native bees. There seems to be lots of different varieties of bees living together in the hotel. There are the usual black and yellow striped bees around, but also some big, fuzzy ones, and tiny, shiny, black ones.
They are fun to watch as they go in and out of their little shelters, and on a warm, sunny day they are very active. They’re not aggressive; I got really close to take photos as they buzzed around me. Here’s a short video of them.
While Graham has been keeping you up-to-date here, I’ve been in something of a hibernation. So, I thought it was time I came out of my cosy little corner, and reconnected with the world, if only to share these photos from our walk in the park this afternoon.
The trees in our nearby park are changing; their vibrant greens slowly being replaced by the reds and yellows of autumn.
I’ve been admiring this progression during my morning runs for the past few weeks, even though it is barely light enough to see. Each week, I expect to find the trees suddenly bare, but they are just getting more and more colourful.
Last weekend, a warm, sunny day provided an irresistible opportunity to go for a walk and take some photos.
My zoo video was an experiment on two fronts. It was the first one using the hybrid video mode on my new camera, and it was the first time I added a music track.
My initial videos used the audio that the camera recorded with the film. But, in places like the park, there is a lot of background noise; you pick up snippets of conversation, and the passing trains and traffic. In the interest of continuing my filming experiment, I decided to try adding a music track to the video. Partly to overcome the distracting background noise, and partly to add a new skill to my repertoire.
Choosing the music was difficult. It was easy to decide what didn’t work, but much harder to decide what did. On top of finding something I liked, there were other things to consider: the length of the music compared to the video, and the important question of licensing.
I was really surprised at the difference the music makes. It gives the video a very different feeling. It seems more cohesive and more interesting. The track I eventually settled on reminds me of a fair ground, and so it seemed appropriate for the zoo.
My new camera, (a Canon IXUS 265 HS) has a hybrid video mode, which I really like. This mode records a few seconds of video every time you take a photo. At the end of each day, you have a movie digest of all the photos you’ve taken and their video clips.
As you might imagine, the video clips on their own are not always great. Some sections are out of focus, some move around a lot as you zoom in or try to frame the photo. And sometimes, the final photo isn’t great, but the video clip captures the moment the photo missed. Somehow, this combination of video and photo works, even if neither are great on their own.
Here is a video of the zoo in the Lyon’s Parc de la Tête d’Or using the hybrid mode on the camera. I added the titles and music in iMovie.
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We spent yesterday afternoon in the park, playing with my new camera and enjoying the sunshine. I wanted to share these photos of a dandelion and the sun shining through cherry blossom petals. They have an ethereal quality that I like.
The daffodils seemed to come out early this year. Since late February, our nearby Parc de la Tête d’Or has seen a succession of colourful flowers. Some in carefully managed flower beds, and others emerging through the grass.
I put together a short video to capture the flowers while they are still in bloom. Each only seems to last a couple of weeks. Already the daffodils and magnolias are fading, replaced by tulips and poppies.
Each visit to our nearby Parc de la Tête d’Or brings a new wave of spring flowers to delight in. Our walks are filled with little detours as I wander across the grass to investigate a hint of purple here and a flash of yellow there.
The shaded grass beneath the trees is riddled with delicate violets.
Hyacinths. These are one of the first flowers I remember growing as a child.
These red tulips stood out amongst the predominantly purple and yellow colour palette.