Cycling away from home – 20 July 2015


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, today was the big test day for the bike carrier and it passed with flying colours.  More below. Not a long drive today, but enough to make sure the carrier carried! Drove to Auchinstarry and parked there and cycled along the Forth and Clyde canal to Kirkintilloch then back again via Dumbreck Marshes. On the way there, for the first time ever, I think, I saw the bascule bridge at Twechar working. It was raised to allow a longboat to pass through heading east.  Three or four motorists were standing looking a bit bemused as I was.  However, it was a good morning and a pleasant way to pass some time.  The canal towpath was quite quietOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA this morning, with only a few dog walkers and the occasional cyclist to block my way.  On the way back, I took the detour through Dumbreck Marshes and managed a shot of a soldier beetle.  I know it’s not really sharp, but it’s the expression on it’s face I like.  It’s like “Are you looking at me?”, but it’s hard to second guess a beetle as Christopher Robin will tell you.

Back to the carrier.  It’s a Saris Solo and as you can imagine from the name, it’s for only one bike.  Suits me fine as Scamp doesn’t cycle.  The other novel feature of the Solo is that it’s made from plastic. Surprisingly, it’s really quite strong with lots of reinforcing fins inside the structure.  Another innovation is that there are only four nylon bands that hold the rack on the car – two at the top and two at the bottom.  They seem to hold it securely to the boot but it will need a little more testing to give it a longer test on a longer drive.  So far, I’m impressed and willing to take it on that longer drive.  I’ll keep you posted.

Walking the Canal – 12 July 2015

After a late start today we went for a walk along the railway from Auchinstarry to Twechar and then back along the canal. Weather was mainly dry with a couple of rain showers, nothing serious. The E-PL5 kept P7120156- blog--193.jpg going on to video mode without me realising it. It wasn’t until I got back home and looked at the pics, I found four short video clips. I’ve now switched off the instant video button on the camera to stop me pressing it by accident. What I did find that was interesting and useful was that when you are playing or scrubbing through a video in Lightroom 5, you can right-click anywhere and get a screen grab from that point. That’s how I got the bumble bee hoverfly shot. P7120148-3- blog--193.jpg

Had lunch when we got home and then read a lot more of The End of the World Running Club that Hazy recommended to me. It’s been a bit of a marathon (no pun intended) read and has taken me the best part of a month to slog my way through it, but I’m getting there now. I’m not intending to write a review of it here. I’ll keep that for Goodreads. Suffice to say that it may have been a long read, but it has kept me interested enough to finish it.

Dinner was the gigantic dinosaur bone that I got from JIC’s butcher. I’ve been holding on to it for ages until I felt I was ready to face this behemoth of the carnivore’s larder. I deemed that today was that day and while it defrosted ready for the oven, I went for a walk over to St Mo’s, armed with the Nikon, the Tamron lens and a Sigma 105mm macro. From the outset, it was plain that the Tamron would stay in the bag. This was a macro day where the weapon of choice would be the Sigma. There were insects everywhere. Some familiar, some not so. I’ve collected a set of them here for your perusal. Apart from the one on the left, the Scorpion Fly, I have no idea what they are. They are currently posted on Flickr and hopefully some kind person will ID them for me. That’s about it for the weekend. The dino bone was delicious by the way and I’m hoping to have the leftover bits for my lunch tomorrow.

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