Spotted on today’s afternoon dog-walk.
I really should have taken a video clip, because others were arriving and it was great fun watching them come into land.
My brother Simon’s comment was, “I hope they watch out for quacks in the ice.”
I’ve just started playing with one of those ‘trail cams’ or ‘camera traps’. You attach it to a tree or similar and it captures movement using an infrared camera sensor, and illuminates the scene with a number of IR LEDs on the front. These cameras are not particularly expensive, and I think it’ll be quite fun.
My first attempt in the wood next to our driveway didn’t quite have my subject facing in the direction I’d hoped! I also spotted several rabbits and a muntjac, but mostly I got clues as to where I should put the camera next to capture more of the nocturnal social life. Coming soon, I hope…
We’re on holiday in the Norfolk Broads, spending most of our time messing about in boats, but also enjoying the wonderful wildlife.
The birds are omnipresent, even in the garden of our riverside cottage, where this rather splendid goose has been sitting on her nest since we arrived. She and Tilly have decided to ignore each other.
Here’s what the village of Horning looks like, for anyone thinking of flying over:
(Link here if you can’t see the embedded video. If your computer and your network connection will allow it, I recommend viewing it full screen and setting the YouTube resolution to 4K.)
Our rental cottage comes with a convenient parking space, just outside the back door:
But there is another one too, if you prefer to arrive by car. It’s at the end of the little bridge, just past the heron.
Yesterday, I lost my glasses. This is perfectly normal, and happens on a regular basis. One of my roles in life is to provide the opticians of South Cambridgeshire with a healthy and predictable revenue stream. What was much less typical about yesterday, though, was that I found them again!
Despite some of my recent posts, this was nothing to do with Apple AirTags, because I don’t currently have those attached to my spectacles. (I thought I looked rather dashing with them dangling about the ears, and many of the chaps at the Drones agreed, but I noticed that Jeeves had become particularly frosty recently, and found himself unable to extract me from a dashed sticky situation involving Madeline Bassett… but I digress. No AirTags currently adorn your correspondent’s brow.)
Anyway, yesterday afternoon, I was out walking Tilly, in a gentle rain, and I decided to take a photo of the view across the field in the mist. “This shot would be easier to compose”, I thought, “if I were wearing my glasses”, and I reached into the pocket of my coat… to discover that they weren’t there.
“Bother!”, said I, contemplating the last couple of miles that we had walked, the branches I had ducked under and the ditches I had leaped, any of which might be clues to their likely location. But then I remembered I’d received a phone call just a few hundred meters back, and had been able to read the name of the caller with ease, so I must have been wearing them then. I started to retrace my steps, gazing without much hope at the long wet grass, and thinking how easy this would have been if it weren’t for Jeeves.
After a couple of further passes over the relevant stretch, in the fading light, with a bemused (but useless) scent-hound trotting behind, I was about to give up hope, when I suddenly remembered: Hang on a minute! I had taken one other photo! It was after the call, but before I had noticed the glasses were missing. Surely I must have been wearing them then, and removed them afterwards because of the raindrops gathering on them. I bet I dropped the glasses at the location of the photo!
The problem was that it hadn’t really been a great photo; not many distinguishing features in the view. I was along one side of a big field, on a wide path, and I had paid little attention to my surroundings. Looking back at it now, I realise that I could probably have got those two rows of distant trees in the same relative alignment and located my former position quite accurately, but I was trying to view it on a small and decidedly damp screen… without my glasses. I was having enough fun just trying to tap on the right photo.
However, of course, all my photos are geotagged. I spent a while trying to work out how to see its location in the Photos app: not easy, even when you can read the text and make out the icons. (Hint: you need to swipe up from the bottom.) But eventually I found it. Not entirely helpful for precise location.
By tapping random blurry things, I managed to get into satellite view, and that was much better:
However, you have to remember that, at the time, it looked more like this:
And there are quite a lot of bends in the path with big trees beside them.
The Photos app doesn’t show your current location, only the location of the photo. I switched into Google maps, where I could see the moving blue dot, but the trees and crops looked completely different; the photo had been taken at a different time of year, several years before. Not much help.
But Apple Maps, of course, used the same satellite imagery as Apple Photos, and I was able to switch to and fro between the apps as I walked, until the blurry image with a blue dot seemed perfectly aligned with the blurry image with a yellow square.
I looked down, and there, nestled in a tuft of long grass, were my glasses. I had passed them three times that afternoon since dropping them, as had Tilly, who can track a pheasant at a considerable distance, but takes little notice of her master’s most valuable possessions right under her nose.
“At last!”, said she. “Come on! It’s dinner time.” And we scampered off towards the car.
After Rose and our fluffy-pawed spaniel Tilly came back from their walk across the muddy fields this morning, Tilly composed the following and asked me to share it, because it might help other canine readers to know they are not alone.
Rose’s supposing my toeses need hosing
Shows Rose is supposing erroneously.
‘Cause nobody’s toes can need quite as much hosing
As Rose is supposing my toeses to need!
I’m somewhat confused by one of our recent purchases, which proudly proclaims on its packaging that it hasn’t been tested on animals.
Jolly good, I thought. Always keen to do the right thing if I can.
There’s just one problem.
It’s dog food!
What’s more, it’s made of chicken! So it’s made of animals, and fed to animals… but at least you can rest assured that it’s not tested on them. What sort of a daft marketing department…?
Ah well, never mind.
Well, Arden Grange, I can report that Tilly, on being given it, wagged her tail enthusiastically and wanted more. So that’s good news for your marketing.
But I’m afraid this means that it has now been tested on animals, so you’ll need to remove the label.
© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser