perhaps my legs are not as sexy as real hotdogs
I've had my 35 mm lens on so much recently that I felt it was time for a change. Out with the macro lens while the sun was shining at the weekend. Actually, the sun was a little too bright at times leaving me to resorting to sun effect shots through the leaves and petals.
nasturtium leaf from behind
yellow and blue
dahlia from front
dahlia from behind
a yellow what's it called
fly on cornflower
cornflower up close
my son eating the garden (nasturtiums are a favourite of his)
bamboo with sedum
my favourite dahlia in deep near-electric pink to which the camera doesn't do justice
this years new cute rudbeckia 'Prairie Glow'
I did a search a while back about mouldy chopping boards, specifically black mould which seems to particularly target wooden boards. I came across this post by the frugal girlabout how to how to get rid of black cutting board mildew. This confirmed my suspicion that it was mildew, but that brings up a whole heap of issues for followers of Leviticus. Thankfully I don't follow Leviticus.
But I do have a mould problem. Dr K has a small chopping board which became 'infected' a long while ago back in Southampton, I suspect as a result of having been left standing in stagnant water around the kitchen sink. I took action to try and save the board by chopping off the lower section where all the black was visible plus a buffer zone of about a centimetre for good measure. I lovingly rounded the cut edge to match it with the old edges.
black mould creeping through the board.
However the mould came back. It took a while, but gradually the blackness reappeared at the bottom of the board which I had cut. I tried again to slice off the bottom to eradicate the problem, but yet again the blackness returned. What I realised is that the black mould was already far within the heart of the wood and travelling up the cell structure long before appearing on the surface, so the whole piece was probably infected deeply rending this board unsalvageable. So I have now retired this board from active use in order to isolate it from my other boards to prevent cross infection.
The board after the second reduction.
I have other chopping boards which are very precious to me. In fact one of these has just celebrated it's tenth birthday. When I first got this board I was so impressed with it that I started buying it as a wedding gift (which I thought was quite a nice gift) as it should last a lifetime or perhaps two. They are simply a thick slice of tree, in the round, Chinese style. I was fed up with the plethora of crap block-work chopping boards which are simply glued together and as such almost designed to fail with time.
As a result of the preciousness of these boards, and in an attempt to see them though my lifetime I decided to take pre-emptive action against the mould by implementing an approach that I have no idea the effectiveness of. I remember from a Gardeners' World last year that the application of Garlic juice to trees - almost as an intravenous drip - is being trialled, with some success, as a treatment for various diseases. So with this in mind I augmented my usual oiling procedure (which I do about every time I remember to) by rubbing the oil in with half a garlic clove as an applicator rather than my finger as I was using previously. The next time I tried this I actually rubbed raw garlic into the board before the oil, forcing the natural garlic oil into the grain of the wood. It took about two cloves per side, and seemed reasonable effective at 'wetting' the board with garlic. Then rubbing in the oil with the clove provides a further garlic application. As I say, I have no idea to the effectiveness of this approach, but seeing as I use the boards for garlic frequently in the first place, I felt that the addition of some extra garlic could not hurt and should only help I hope.
one of my lovely Chinese chopping boards - simply a slice of tree
large garlic cloves halved
raw garlic cloves rubbed into the grain of the wood
olive oil then rubbed in with the cloves
Oh I do love garlic. Have a go and try it yourself. I guess as a real test I could attempt to garlic-ify the already mouldy board and see if it stemmed the mould. Hmmm, perhaps I might give that a go...
The chap in the Honda dealer had let me know that a new Jazz was coming and that perhaps I might be interested to wait until then. The current model that I tried was the 2013 version. Today I popped into the dealer to see the new one. It is indeed a good improvement over the old version. The styling on the outside is improved and it felt a lot more finished and swish on the inside. There is now a large touch screen computer interface which looks promising. However I think they have made the classic Samsung mistake of adding additional "touch" buttons to control the air conditioning. I.e. buttons that don't exist, but simply glow out of an otherwise shiny piece of plastic. These are horrible as they give no feedback. Agreed that neither do screen buttons, but they tend to compensate with more pixels and a pressed visualisation. Yuck. Shame, as otherwise it was looking good (other than the fact that I've now brought a car).
New 2016 Honda Jazz brochure featuring Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo podcast
A beautiful still warm evening encouraged me outside to take some more astrophotography shots after I'd had a quick go a couple of weeks back. This time I think I achieved better success with 30 second exposures at higher ISO. I found that again focusing to infinity is hard with my 35mm prime, but the live view enables a zoom in which does just about work when there is a star in the view. I;m particularly pleased with the wide field view showing some detial of the Milky Way and the fennel shot which has a couple of clusters in the view. Next time I need to improve on the colour cast which is a bit pinky here at my chosen manual white-balance (~4500K). These first of the cropped shots below show detail of the camera shake generated by passing lorries due to the night closure of the A14. The second demonstrates the slip over time from my rather cheap and cheerful tripod. Ooh for a Manfrotto.
35mm - f/2 - iso 1600 - 30s
35mm - f/1.8 - iso 100 - 30s
35mm - f/2 - iso 1600 - 30s
35mm - f/2 - iso 200 - 256s
35mm - f/2 - iso 200 - 417s