woensdag 28 december 2011

Return of the Falcon

Perhaps you remember the pictures of a falcon visiting my backyard half a year ago or so. It returned today trying to catch a sparrow. Several sparrows were hiding in a hedge close to the backdoor and my son had to remind me to grab the videocamera.

 video

We let nature go about its business until the falcon decided to go for our zebrafinches.  







zondag 25 december 2011

Brilliant ? Not !

I got a bit fed up with our local neck of the woods and thought today would be a good day to walk in an unknown area. Most people get up late on Christmas Day and visit their family in the afternoon. It wouldn't be likely to meet many people when out walking.
A trip to the area of Hoog Buurlo on the Midden-Veluwe with kids and dog was planned.
I made preparations : I searched Google Earth for a conveniant parking spot, I dug up my SatMap and I charged the battery of my photocamera.
After a 45 minutes drive (Holland is a small country) we arrived at the carpark and started walking. Ten minutes into the walk there was the perfect picture postcard moment : imagine a descending, slightly curving path with old beeches at one side, a sheep-filled meadow on the other side and a thatched farmhouse at the end just visible through the trees. The sky was grey and a bit damp but gave the situation the softness it needed. I took out my camera and switched it on.
Nothing happened. Empty battery ? Can't be, I recharged the battery this morning. Wait a minute, what did I do with the battery ? I put it on the table and......forgot to put it back into the camera. Doh ! Stupid is as stupid does.... .
We still had a good 2 hour walk through the woods and across heather with a lot of photo opportunities but I'll have to return sometime for the pictures. In the meanwhile I've nicked some pictures of t'internet.


woensdag 14 december 2011

No-good geartester

I'm really no good as a geartester, at least gear for wet weather. There's been a discussion going on in Blogland, started by Alan Sloman , about the effectiveness of Paramo's Directional system and Nikwax.
Is it weatherproof or can the system fail in certain circumstances ? As always you love it or hate it.
I've been willing to test my Paramo Alta Jacket (the old version) but the weather hasn't been very cooperative. November has been the driest month ever recorded in The Netherlands but after my 'complaints' December has been more on the wet and windy side. A fortnight ago I had a chance for testing but the rain stopped as soon as I reached our local woods.
This morning, as my alarm woke me, there was heavy rain. After breakfast I got ready to bring my kids to school and dressed for rain. I had at least another hour of rain to look forward to . The Paramo Alta, TNF goretex trousers and green wellies were donned. I was ready.
Alas, the rain stopped again. The ground underfoot was very soggy and the wellies were heavily tested. They were waterproof. The Paramo has to wait for another time.
Anyone wanting to do the TGO Challenge with good weather is advised to wait for me. Walk behind me and you don't have to bring your waterproofs with you.