Thursday, 6 November 2008

Is there anything out there?

Some things shouldn’t be and others? Well, I’m really not sure... Today, I actually planned to save ‘The Cosmos’. Oh dear... that is going to have to wait until tomorrow now! Ah… the ‘to do list’ in the garden that just grows at this time of year.

Autumn, really is quite a mysterious season don’t you think? The strong vibrant colours just holding on some plants/trees are being diffused on frosty and misty mornings. Almost like a cloak. Yet a drive into the heart of the countryside reveals a picture book world that no artist or photographer could truly capture the moment of.

Capturing moments in wildlife can be both mysterious (you don’t know what you will get) and magical (when it is something quite rare like the pine marten in my last posting) as I have discovered through writing this garden diary. As a gardener I have entered the world of wildlife and what a discovery this has been.


A wildlife camera helps of course, especially when it’s dark. I especially like to see what I can capture in the dark. Don’t ask me why – no I’m not really looking for anything out there! What I am looking for here is a link to this camera that I am experimenting with from Handykam .

The photos above show that we can now see a wider area in the garden. There is quite a difference in the black/white tones too. This new camera has more infra-red lights so it reduces the very strong white localised lights of our original camera. As my garden is small and heavily planted I perhaps should get a little more experimental on how I can make full use of this camera. Mm… the thinking cap must go on here.


But what is in here? Nothing it appears! The photo above was taken with our new camera earlier this week looking into the hedgehog house I made last year. I am guessing that it wasn’t used then or is at the moment either. Oh well… it doesn’t always work out that ‘if you build it they will come’. However I was delighted with the clear image inside.

Recently, I read somewhere that you shouldn’t open a hedgehog house at this time of year to find out if it is being used but instead you should put a branch/twig across the entrance and if it is moved you will know something may have passed in/out. Good idea I thought. I’ll give that a try but I doubt it will be used now.

So is there anything out there? Yep, in my garden I have ‘The Cosmos’ to save. Well three plants to be exact - of the chocolate variety! I plan to lift them, pot them up and store them for the winter in my small unheated greenhouse. I also have some penstemon cuttings to take that although may be on the late side I am going to try anyway. Today, I did a little light pruning of past penstemon flowers and hope to see more come back later this month and perhaps into December.

Looking towards next year the shelf in my shed holds numerous packets of bulbs waiting to be planted. I really became a fan of the tulips and crocus this year. A few are already planted but I may pot the rest up and place them in my greenhouse as I did last year – it was really great fun to plant them all out in the spring. Yes, I think I will do it that way again.

What else is out there? Leaves, weeds and seed heads. I should get the camera out and capture it all before they ‘leave’ us for this year – sorry I couldn’t resist the pun! A tidy-up of the ground will follow and then consideration will be given to what I prune back and what I will leave for winter interest.


One final question - should hedgehogs be out there? I really don’t know if they have left us and gone into hibernation yet. We did have a cold snap last week but it has been much milder since. I’ll be keeping a watchful eye out for any underweight hedgehogs this year. I’ll also continue putting food out for them for the moment and use my night cameras regularly in the evenings to see if we can see them still visiting. The photo above was taken on October 19th with our original camera - you can see the difference in colour and picture.

Whatever is ‘out there’ in your garden do enjoy it this weekend!

Unless otherwise stated the photos above were taken with my new night camera earlier this week.

6 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your new camera is great. If something should come into your garden you will have great pictures.

I have only had skunks, possums and racoons in our garden. The Skunk I could do without but they live in the area and come through occasionally.

It would be fun to have a camera like yours to see what comes to our water feature. I know something does because sometimes it is almost empty in the morning.

Gail said...

A night camera would be interesting! I would love to see which critter is jumping down from the tree each night onto my roof! Possum or raccoon? Also, to be able to see the coyotes which are roaming!

What fun you are having...and I get to learn even more about hedgehogs!

Gail

shirl said...

Hi again Lisa & Gail :-)

Lisa – It certainly is. I’ve had it a few weeks now but need more time to experiment with it yet. I am using tripods at the moment. Wow, to me it sounds like you have a lot going on there in your garden! Yes, I don’t think I’d be too happy with the skunk either. Yes, I agree having a camera set on something during the evening can answer some questions – although many hours can be spent watching too. I have resisted using the motion sensor software but I can see why it is so popular. I prefer real time wildlife watching :-D

Gail – Yes, it really is, however not all nights have action! Perhaps you could set up a video camera inside your house at a window pointed at the tree to see who your jumper is? That might be fun. Your camera probably has a setting for night shots - 0 lux or similar. Oh… Autumn really is a fun time for watching the garden! So glad I can share my hedgehog visits/info with you too ;-D

easygardener said...

I've often wondered how much cold weather it takes to make a hedgehog hibernate. In mild areas could they get away without hibernating - though I've just realised that it's probably lack of food that would be the problem.
Your new camera looks good - a lovely wide view and very clear.

Jane said...

I agree. I'm not really looking for anything in particular with my night camera... just anything that comes along. It's fascinating. Another world! The postman thinks I'm mad... I nearly brought the camera with me to USA... but hubby wouldn't let me! (mean hubby!). Looking forward to seeing results from your camera over the next few months. Jane

shirl said...

Hi again easygardener and Jane :-)

easygardener – Yes, that is a curious one but as you say food sources would be a factor. I agree the wide view with the new camera will make all the difference. I see your garden has some great interest plants at the moment. Love the dark berries.. I would be tempted to move the Agave to a sheltered spot maybe indoors and I would also cover it with fleece. Then again I am I Scotland! It is a beauty :-D

Jane – I agree it is fascinating. What are you like wanting to take your camera on hols! Gosh… I wonder what you might have seen with it though. It certainly puts an added respect to all the professional wildlife camera men/women. One thing I never considered was their ‘general’ safety filming at night until the night after I posted this when I caught my foot on the cable of my original camera whilst setting up the new one nearby and I fell backwards on to wet concrete hitting my head plus. Note to self: wear safety boots not slippers doing this in future! I caught something on the way down and let’s say my arm now boasts considerable, painful 'willdife filming' scars and bruises yet! Oh yes… usually it is fun though. Typical, ten minutes later it rained and I had to bring the new camera in again :-( Have a great holiday – that’s serious dedication to the cause staking up posts before you went, still keeping up with other blogs while you are away and having a special Florida Keys blog too – go girl ;-D