Sunday, 22 February 2009

February 22nd 2009

A Day Out at the Railway.

Yesterday, it was a nice bright and sunny day, so we went out in the car to view the local snowdrops, and to visit a local Preserved Steam Railway....

We have been there several times before, and the snowdrops are located in a small village, about halfway along the route to the town of Alresford, in Hampshire, U.K., which is one end of the line, for the Watercress Line, Steam Railway.

Having grown up with steam locomotives, passing by my house as a kid, I have an interest in the preserved railways of today. The Watercress Line, was part of the Southern Railway, which was taken over by British Railways, but was always known as "the southern railway".... It ran from London to all points south and west, from Brighton, to Bournemouth.... The current railway is run by volunteers, and is very true to the traditions of the early southern railway, with uniforms, and rolling stock to match...

Yesterday, was a special day for me, as the steam engine running the service that day was one of my favourite designs, and gave the impression of being the "rolls royce" of steam locomotive for express passenger use.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Butterflies at R.H.S. Wisley

12th February 2009

Last night, it was pretty cold!.... and to show how "pretty" cold it was, I took some photos of my car. The frost was so hard I had to use warm water to clear it, but not before I recorded the amazing patterns the frost makes.
After making sure all the glass was clear, we set off for the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley, about 45 miles from Portsmouth, towards London. Just off the junction of the A3 and the M25 London orbital road.
The reason for the trip, was to see the butterflies, they had "imported" into the glasshouse, for the benefit of visitors, from 6 months to ??? years ! !... We arrived about 11:30 and the carpark was full to bursting !...
It was still very cold, but the sun was shining, and the day looked good. After a fairly long walk from the entrance, we arrived at the glasshouse, which was opened in 2007 by H.M.Queen Elizabeth II. Once inside, we soon started to warm up, and moving round, we entered the "tropical zone"... this is a section inside the main glass house, that is kept at a very high humidity and temperature, by forcing steam into the atmosphere....
The humidity, and the temperature change caused condensation on the camera lens, and also my glasses !.. It took a good twenty minutes just waiting for them both to warm up and stop "fogging" before I could take any pictures !

So, todays pictures start off with the frosty car, and finish up with some "inside" shots of the butterflies.... oh, yes, there was a very friendly robin in there too !....

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

3rd February 2009

Doesn`t time fly by, when you are busy !.... Yesterday we had the first snow of winter, here in the U.K. It was the worst snowfall for 18 years, and the transport system just collapsed... London`s airports were closed, and the tube trains couldn`t run, and the London Red Buses were kept in their garages for safety reasons.... It was a very quiet day in London !... people just could not get to work.

Here, Near Portsmouth, we did not get it so bad, we only had about 2 inches (50 mm) but it was enough to make our road treachorous to drive on, as we live.

I have found some settings to make the FZ28 more responsive to quick focus and "instant" shooting.... well , almost,.... I have posted them on the flickr group page "the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ28 Digital Camera group icon

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ28 Digital Camera

under a post titled "Firmware Version(speed of focus) If you scroll down the page, you will see several posts with my car as avatar. The settings are near the bottom...

So, having set my camera on the C1, setting on the dial, Went out to take some snow photos, which you see on here now..... at first it wasn`t too promising, but the further north we went, eventually we hit a Blizzard, that was also moving north, so we did a circle round and came back towards home (south) and withing 15 minutes was driving on clear roads, with blue skies, brilliant sunshine and fluffy white clouds.... ! Such is the weather here in the U.K. !!