Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Archive for May, 2017

The end of springtime – Fallen flower – a garden poem

Fallen Garden flowers Nigel Borrington

In the Garden at eight am
I witness the end of Springtime
flowers of green, blue and purple
falling all over the table top

I place my cup of tea down
a moment frozen, soon moves on
as more of these blooms fall all around me
soon it will be summer time

clearly the flowers know, against all hope !
time moves on
never stopping
never frozen
never pausing for anyone ……


Herb-Robert (Geranium robertianum) in the Sun and the Rain

Irish wide flowers
Herb Robert
Nigel Borrington

Familiar little pink flower from April to November, Herb-Robert is a hairy, unpleasant-smelling plant which grows on banks, bases of walls, shingle and shady places throughout the country. Its pink flowers (8-15mm across) have five un-notched petals and in the centre of the flower are orange anthers. Each petal is marked by small lighter-pink lines running into the centre of the flower. The hairy, stalked leaves are often tinged red and have three to five deeply cut lobes. The fruit is hairy and beak-like. This is a native plant belonging to the family Geraniaceae.

Irish wide flowers
Herb Robert
Nigel Borrington

This plant has been introduced into North and South America from Europe and Asia. In traditional medicine in the Americas it has been used to stop nosebleeds. Its leaves are also made into a herbal tea which is recommended as a gargle and an eyewash.

One wonders who is the ‘Robert’ of this plant. Maybe the name comes from the Latin word ‘ruber’ meaning red which may have referred to the colouring of the leaves and stems.


Monday Poetry : The Harbour, by: Winifred Mary Letts

The Harbour, Poem By Winifred Mary Letts Nigel Borrington

The Harbour, Poem

By : Winifred Mary Letts

I think if I lay dying in some land
Where Ireland is no more than just a name,
My soul would travel back to find that strand
From whence it came.

I’d see the harbour in the evening light,
The old men staring at some distant ship,
The fishing boats they fasten left and right
Beside the slip.

The fishing boat rests along the shore,
The grey thorn bushes growing in the sand,
Our Wexford coast from Arklow to Cahore –
My native land.

The little houses climbing up the hill
Sea daises growing in the sandy grass,
The tethered goats that wait large -eyed and still
To watch you pass.

The women at the well with dripping pails,
Their men colloguing by the harbour wall,
The coils of rope, the nets, the old brown sails,
I’d know them all.

And then the sun- I’d surely see
The disk against a golden sky.
Would let me be at my rest.


Memories, A poem By : Louise Bailey

Memories a Poem
Louise Bailey

My Heart and thoughts, ever since Monday night have almost entirely been far away from my current home here in County Kilkenny, they have been very much back in Manchester the place of my birth and childhood !!

There are so many things and feelings you could express, the main feeling I have had is that it not easy being away from your spiritual home at times like these, I am so proud about the way so many great and good people have responded and offered so much support in the hours since Monday night !!!

It is with good hearts and minds and life’s that in the end true evil will be overcome !!!!

I came across this poem by : Louise Bailey so I am sharing it here 🙂

I feel a warmth around me
like your presence is so near,
And I close my eyes to visualize
your face when you were here,
I endure the times we spent together
and they are locked inside my heart,
For as long as I have those memories
we will never be apart,
Even though we cannot speak
my voice is always there,
Because tonight before I sleep
I have you in my prayer.

Memories, A poem By : Louise Bailey


This is Manchester !!!

People living and working on one of the most culturally diverse streets in Britain are being celebrated in a new photographic exhibition.

Panoramic snapshots of life in Manchester’s multicultural Cheetham Hill Road

On this blog I do my best to keep away from political events and areas of life that can only affect people in a negative way !!!

However flowing last nights terrorist attack in my home town of Manchester I just wanted to make a quick comment and to share what I feel is such a great city, its people and its very heart !!!

This is Manchester, the Manchester I love and grew-up in !!!!

MULTICULTURAL !!!

LOVING!

CARING!!!

SOFT SHARING PEOPLE!!!

My Heart is Broken!! For the people who have lost loved ones last night and for anyone affected in anyway !!!!

Please go and read this article, it reflects upon the best aspects of life in the city I love the most !!! MANCHESTER , UK …..


Monday Poetry : Bicycle Beats By Christian Reid Oct 2014

Christian Reid Oct 2014
Bicycle Beats

Axels and chains and
Feet and brains
It’s the bicycle beats
And the trees and the streets
Join the lines in the sidewalk
As I ride and I talk
To myself,
“Breathe in,” &
“Breathe out,” —
Burning and churning to the
Grooves and the cracks
Red light’s the only chance to relax
Racing the bus and flashing a grin
To the sorry folks trapping themselves therein
Ecstasy building with each revolution
Wiping my sweat away, tasting pollution
Grinding and winding a path on my bike
Where cars and pedestrians hate me alike


York Minster , Inside out …..

Cathedral and Metropolitical
Church of St Peter
Nigel Borrington

The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title “minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.

The minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic Quire and east end and Early English North and South transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 52 feet (16 m) high. The south transept contains a rose window, while the West Window contains a heart-shaped design colloquially known as ‘The Heart of Yorkshire’.

York Minster , Inside out …..


What do Hover flies and Insect see with their compound eyes ?

Nature Photography
Macro image of a Hover fly
Nigel Borrington

Hover Flies, such as the this one above, look at the world in quite a different way than humans do. The structure and function of a flies eye are completely different from ours, and so they see shapes, motion and color differently. Flies are also able to see light in a way humans cannot.

Structure of a Compound Eye

Compound eyes are made up of thousands of individual visual receptors, called ommatidia. Each ommatidium is a functioning eye in itself, and thousands of them together create a broad field of vision for the fly. Each ommatidium is a long, thin structure, with the lens on the outer surface of the eye, tapering to a nerve at the eye’s base. When the ommatidium receives light, it is filtered through the lens, then a crystalline cone structure, pigment cells and visual cells. Every ommatidium has its own nerve fiber connecting to the optic nerve, which relays information to the flies brain.


Flies Can’t Focus

A human’s eye is attached to muscles that allow it to move, expanding the field of vision and making it possible for the eye to gather more information about its surroundings. Instead of moving their eyes, flies receive information from several different points simultaneously. A flies eyes are immobile, but because of their spherical shape and protrusion from the flies head they give the fly an almost 360-degree view of the world. In a human eye, the pupil controls how much light comes into it, which is focused by the lens onto the retina. The retina then relays information to the brain via the optic nerve. Because fly eyes have no pupils they cannot control how much light enters the eye. With no control over how much light passes through the lens, the fly cannot focus the image it sees. Flies are also short-sighted — a visible range of a few yards is considered good for an insect.

The Mosaic Effect

The best analogy to describe a flies vision is to compare it to a mosaic — thousands of tiny images convalesce, and together represent one visual image. Each one of these pictures represents information from the fly’s individual ommatidium. The effect is much like how we see stippling or newspaper print — up close the image is a lot of tiny dots, but take a step back and it’s a complete image. The more ommatidia a compound eye contains, the clearer the image it creates.

Motion Detection

There’s a reason why flies are especially jumpy creatures that take off at the slightest flinch. A flies vision is nowhere near as clear or effective as a human’s, but it’s especially good at picking up form and movement. As an object moves across the fly’s field of view the ommatidia fire and stop firing. This is called a flicker effect. It’s similar to how a scrolling marquis works — with lights turning on and off to give the illusion of motion. Because a fly can easily see motion and form, but not necessarily what the large moving object is, they are quick to flee, even if the moving object is harmless.


Interpreting Light Waves

Flies have limited color vision. Each color has its own wave frequency, but flies have only two kinds of color receptor cells. This means they have trouble distinguishing between colors, for instance discerning between yellow and white. Insects cannot see the color red, which is the lowest color frequency humans can see. However, houseflies have the ability to see polarized light, but humans cannot differentiate between polarized and unpolarized light. Polarized light is light in which the waves travel only in one plane.


Macro Images – Wolf Spider

Macro Images
Wolf spider
Nature Images
Nigel Borrington Kilkenny

Wolf Spiders are members of the family Lycosidae. They are so named because their method of hunting is to run down their prey like that of a wolf. Wolf Spiders are robust and agile hunters that rely on good eyesight to hunt, typically at night. Wolf Spiders resemble nursery web spiders (family Pisauridae), however, they carry their egg sacs by attaching them to their spinnerets (instead of by means of their jaws and pedipalps).

Wolf spider Characteristics

Wolf Spiders range from about half an inch to 2 inches in length. They are hairy and typically brown to grey in colour with a distinct Union Jack impression on their backs. The spiders undersides are light grey, cream or black, sometimes salmon pink.

Wolf Spiders have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes and the top row has two medium-sized eyes.

Wolf Spiders depend on their good eyesight to hunt. Their sense of touch is also acute. The sides of their jaws may have a small raised orange spot or ‘boss’.

Because they depend on camouflage for protection, Wolf Spiders do not have the flashy appearance of some other kinds of spiders. In general their colouration is appropriate to their favoured habitat.

Wolf Spiders eyes reflect light well and one way of finding them is to hunt at night using a flashlight strapped to ones forehead so that the light from the light is reflected from their eyes directly back toward its source.

Wolf spider Habitat and Webs

Wolf spiders can be found in a wide range of habitats both coastal and inland. These include shrub lands, woodland, wet coastal forest, alpine meadows and suburban gardens.

Wolf spiders are commonly known as household pests as when the weather starts getting colder, they look for warm places to overwinter in homes. Wolf Spiders are commonly found around doors, windows, house plants, basements, garages and in almost all terrestrial habitats. Wolf Spiders do not spin a web, instead, they roam at night to hunt for food. Wolf spiders are often confused with the Brown Recluse spider, however, they lack the violin-shaped marking of the Recluse. The wolf spider is shy and is most likely to run away when disturbed.

Wolf spider Diet

Two Wolf spider species are known to be predators of cane toads. Lycosa lapidosa will take small toads and frogs while Lycosa obscuroides has been noted biting and killing a large toad within one hour.

Wolf spider Reproduction

Mating takes place outside the females burrow at night. Some adult male Wolf spiders of smaller-sized species are known to disperse by air in order to find mates. The male is attracted by scent markings left by the female, often associated with her drag-line silk. Males perform a courtship ritual prior to mating, often involving complex leg and palp signaling to the female.

The female Wolf spider constructs an egg sac of white papery silk, shaped like a ball with an obvious circular seam, which she then carries around attached with strong silk to her spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch, they are carried around on the females back until they are ready to disperse by ballooning or on the ground. Such a high degree of parental care is relatively unusual among spiders. Wolf spiders live for up to 2 years.

Wolf spider Venom

The Wolf Spider is not aggressive, however, it will inject venom freely if continually provoked. Symptoms of its venomous bite include swelling, mild pain and itching. Though usually considered harmless to humans, its bite may be painful.


Macro Wednesday Dolycoris baccarum (Sloe Bug) – Hairy Shieldbug Family: Pentatomidae

Dolycoris baccarum Hairy Shieldbug
Family: Pentatomidae

A large and distinctive purple-brown and greenish shieldbug which is covered with long hairs. The antennae and connexivum are banded black and white. During the winter, the ground colour becomes uniformly dull brown.

This bug overwinters as an adult, emerging in the spring. Larvae, which are also hairy, may be found on numerous plants, particularly those in the Roasaceae. The new generation is complete from August onwards.

Common and widepsread in many habitats throughout Britain, particularly hedgerows and woodland edges, becoming scarcer and mainly coastal in the north.

Adult: All year
Length 11-12 mm