Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 24/12/2011

T’was the night before Christmas….


… and all through the house… could be heard the words.. should have bought my croissants at the local supermarket! For some bizarre reason I decide to try and make my own croissants ready for christmas day. I have in the past attempted the same, however last time I was able to pour out the dough, so runny was it; though I did put the mixture into a loaf tin and made a kind of Brioche/Croissant loaf (and mighty tasty it was too). This year’s batch has been slightly more successful, though it wouldn’t be difficult, and having baked two as testers, well, let’s just say I don’t think I’ll be keeping Mr Tesco or Mr Sainsbury’s awake over loss of sales.

I did take some photographs today, and I nearly posted them to Flickr, so desperate was I to be able to upload some new images, but I feel I’ve been posting some inferior photos of late, the light levels being rather poor to produce anything up to the quality that I’m capable or. I did sit in the dining room this morning with my lens trained on the bird feeder setup, and was rewarded with visits from a Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Great and Blue Tits. I managed some okay shots of all of these but with the need to use ISOs up around 5000 mark to achieve a shutter speed in double figures, the grain and sharpness.. well, there was too much of the former and not enough of the later. I’ll keep the photos – I can use them for future reference as a reminder of when species appear in the garden.

We did have another visitor and one I’ve photographed for 3 or 4 years now, a grey squirrel. Close observation of these creatures reveals subtle differences which may not at first seem that obvious (that’s why they’re subtle, Ed.); in the case of this squirrel, there are several notches and nicks out of it’s right ear that are quite distinctive that and the way it snubs it’s nose at me when I try and frighten it off. In the spirit of the season, and because I have seen squirrels and more specifically this squirrel in many months, I decided to put out a handful of the shelled nuts we have at this time of year, hazelnuts, brazils, almonds. No sooner had I put them out than this grey visitor had snaffled a couple of them, but instead of eating them – it ran off around the garden, digging holes and planting these nuts so come next near, if and when these seeds germinate, we may well have a rather exotic forest behind out house. I won’t mind though, it may well attract some exotic wildlife.

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