Lens Test

I received a telephone call a day or so ago to tell me that the blood taken in Wednesday’s test had clotted, so we would have to return to New Hall hospital for a repeat. There was only one possible slot for this – today at 11.30 a.m. Jackie duly drove me there to have another extraction. Apart from a miscommunication about the timing (the sample had to be taken immediately before a courier sped off to London with it) this was all very straightforward.
As usual we diverted through the forest on our way home.

The parasitic balls clinging to an avenue of trees in Hale

are clusters of mistletoe enticingly dangling out of reach of would-be Christmas decorators.

The first three of these photographs were taken with my Canon SX700 HS; the last two with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the SIGMA 105mm Macro.
The smaller camera is preferable for wider shots – better if you can see what you are doing. It must be twelve months ago that I managed to crack the screen, with the result that this,

taken with the larger camera, is what I see when focussing on the wall opposite. As Jackie says, it is not just a point and shoot, but rather a point, shoot, and hope. Even the chevron shape of the crack is somewhat flattened.

Ditches, rivulets, and pools are now filling up nicely throughout the forest.

I used the 105mm lens for these shots of a grazing foal reflecting on a ditch alongside Roger Penny Way. First, as I approached the subject, I used the full range of the lens;

then, as I neared the young pony, switched to .45m – infinity.

On the other side of Roger Penny Way, I noticed another, adult, pony reflected in a speeding pool in the distant landscape. This image was produced with the full range of the above camera.

Here is the same scene seen with the SIGMA 105-600 mm at full range.

To our right of this animal were two more visible beyond now naked trees, taken with the same equipment.

The larger lens, set at 105mm, caught the first furry coated creature having crossed the ditch, probably without lifting its muzzle from its meal.

This evening we dined on firm pork chops; creamy mashed potato and swede; crunchy carrots and Brussels sprouts with which I drank Saint-Chinian 2017


  1. Great camera. You’re having alot of fun with it. You can do alot if cool things.
    Hope the 2nd blood test was sucessful.
    As fir me…I have been doing lousy. More miserabke now after my second surgery. First 2 days were okay, but since then it has been horrible 10 + pain and inflamation. Been canceling out if so many Holiday events. Did manage ti go to one last nighr since I had been so involved in the planning of it. Will do a post about it ib a few days. Had to dusguise my pain with heaving padding and high pain meds. Didn’t want to apoear miserable in front of my friends and ruin their fun. So when you see my smiles and fun attitude, i was reallly trying to hide my misery. Followup with Surgeon on Thurs. I have got to get better. Quality of life not good right now!

  2. Like Luanne, I wouldn’t have known those parasitic balls were mistletoe.
    I don’t really understand the photography information, but the photos are wonderful. šŸ™‚ I like all of the grazing pony shots, but I think I like the first one best.

      1. Pre Digital I was a Pentax ME Super person. Never got round to the world of DSLR. But my now battered little Sony Digital is playing up. So scanning the second hand market. Still not sure to just replace like with like or take the step into DSLR.

  3. I have without your permission used the very first photograph (parasitic balls clinging to an avenue of trees in Hale) the wallpaper of my brand new Dell XPS. The Sigma 700 may be a capable lens but, apparently, the prowess is translated to art by the man behind the glass. Carry on mesmerising, my friend!

  4. It looks like the tree decorates itself with mistletoe ornaments. šŸ™‚ Wonderful! I love mistletoe! šŸ™‚
    Beautiful photos, all of them! Keep enjoying your cameras and your photo-taking!
    That young pony seems to be enjoying a delicious meal!
    HUGS!!! šŸ™‚
    PS…How is your Mum doing today?

      1. Thank you Derrich i am working more this period and i have not enough time .. but i will manage to send my wishes for Christmas….( I hope lol)!!!!

  5. I don’t know if mistletoe doesn’t like our northern low temperatures but I’ve never knowingly seen anything like those balls of it hanging in the trees.

  6. Derrick, thanks so much for this post. I often wonder how you manage to get such great shots, and your photos are always so crisp and beautiful. I am in the market for a new camera, as I dropped my old one last year and damaged the lens. Great photos!

  7. So interesting about the different equipment, Derrick – I saw that first photo and thought “Amaziing! What is going on!” – I loved it – and then to hear the the next were taken differently was very interesting. It’s all a big experiment, isn’t it? I never can see what I am doing on those little screens on the camera. It’s not until I see it on the computer that I know what I like – and by then I’ve forgotten what I did. : I

  8. Your photos are simply wonderful here! Too bad about that crack. Now you and your point & shoot are both…
    The mistletoe is fascinating to me in these shots. I’ve seen it only rarely in my life, and never in such abundance! These trees remind me of trees in a Dr. Seuss book.

  9. We have a few clumps in roadside trees in Nottingham and surrounding villages but nothing like the profusion you show. They do seem to have a lot in the West Country, I’ve noticed, so it may be that the small temperature difference allows more luxurious growth.

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