Badbury Rings & Bluebell Woods at Pamphill

This morning I took a trip up to Badbury Rings to have a look for some Early Purple Orchids (Orchis mascula).  I did manage to find a few, with the best examples being on the northern side of the site on the middle ring, but they really aren’t too abundant.

After leaving Badbury Rings, I drove across to Pamphill, and had a wander around the woods next to the church, and met a gentleman who’s father “Harry’s Walk” in these woods had been named after.  Anyway, I was pointed in the direction of the Bluebell woods just off All Fools Lane.

I have to say that I think these are the finest bluebell woods that I have ever seen, they were a complete carpet of blue, and certainly give the well known Micheldever Woods in Hampshire a run for their money.

Here are some photographs from earlier today.


Orchid Season Starts at Corfe Mullen Meadows

I’ve missed the Early Spider Orchids at Dancing  Ledge this year, so my orchid season has started with the Green Winged Orchids (Orchis morio) at Corfe Mullen Meadows today.

There is a good show of fresh looking orchids this year, and I successfully located one of the all white forms this year, which I failed to do last year, so I was pleased.

The best of todays shots are included below.

New Binoculars

I’ve been re-igniting my interest in astronomy lately and have been struggling with an old pair of Helios 8 x 30 binoculars of 1980s vintage.

The vintage of the binoculars does not really matter as the optics will perform well if looked after, but I’ve found that the 30mm diameter objective just doesn’t have enough light gathering capability for stargazing, and although they are fine for daytime use I’ve found it near impossible to get a sharp image of the stars, as the points of light tend to flare quite badly.

So, today I placed an order for a pair on Helios Naturesport Plus 10 x 50 Wide Angle binoculars which got a Sky At Night best in test award.

I’m looking to get a scope as well, but figured that these binoculars would be significantly better than what I hve at the moment, and will be put to plenty of use in daylight hours too.

With a bit of luck they’ll be delivered tomorrow, so we’ll see how good they are when they arrive.

Christmas Getaway Traffic Hype

I’m not quite sure where the BBC was getting its information from but they were predicting dire traffic conditions all day yesterday. Well that certainly wasn’t the case down here on the south coast.

I left work at about 17:45 as usual,  but I think I had the quietest Friday drive home ever. No queue on the west bound M27, nothing at the start of the A31 at Cadnam, clear at Picket Post and nothing at Ashley Heath.
I’m not complaining, but it was most unexpected given the predictions.

Canon EOS-M £199.99 at Argos

Yesterday, I was surfing the web and found that Argos are currently offering the Canon EOS-M kit at the knock down price of £199.99, reduced from £299.99.

Argos – Canon EOS-M Kit

The kit on offer contains the Canon EOS-M, 18-55mm STM Lens and Speedlite 90EX Flashgun.  Given that the Speedlite 90EX is currently being sold at WEX Photographic for £119.99 on its own, I think that the Argos deal is a bit of a steal.

Although the link above is for the black camera, the white, silver and red versions also seem to be on sale for the same price.  Unfortunately the 22mm lens and EF to EF-M adaptor aren’t at similarly reduced prices, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Broken Camera Lens :o(

Managed to drop my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens earlier today, the optic assembly popped out and I’m pretty sure its bitten the dust. Not a Happy Chap.