La Roseraie

The rose garden (la roseraie) in the Parc de la Tête d’Or has an abundance of flowers at the moment. For a lot of the year it sits there quietly, unadorned, in shades of green.

The daffodils came and went at the beginning of spring, and now it is a sea of pink and red roses. On a warm day, with their perfume wafting through the air, it is simply delightful.

Red roses
Red roses
The rose garden
The rose garden
bee on a rose
A bee on a rose
Climbing rose by a tranquil pond
Climbing rose by a tranquil pond
these banners are part of an art display
These banners are part of an art display

Bee Hotel

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.

Bee hotel with central garden
Bee hotel with central garden
Hollow canes in a bee hotel
Hollow canes in a bee hotel
Bee hotel filled with different materials
Bee hotel filled with different materials

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.

A Sunny Sunday

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.

Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom
Tulips in a sea of blue
Tulips in a sea of blue
Three little ducks
Three little ducks
New goslings
New goslings
By the lake
By the lake

Changing Leaves

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.

Enjoying the autumn sunshine
Enjoying the autumn sunshine
This tree seems to glow in the sun
This tree seems to glow in the sun
A carpet of leaves
A carpet of leaves

Adding Music to Videos

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.

Cheetah
Cheetah

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.

A pretty duck
A pretty duck

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.

Hybrid Video from Canon IXUS 265 HS

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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Spring Flowers in Parc de la Tête d’Or

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.

Cherry blossom tree
This cherry blossom tree is a favourite spot for picnickers.
Daffodils by the pond
Daffodils by the pond
A fuzzy poppy bud
A fuzzy poppy bud
Bright poppies
Bright poppies

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.