Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Icaronycteris indexHow's that for ill-informed? Yesterday I managed to comment on how long it stays light, and then today noticed the outbreak of nakedness on Flickr which signifies the passing of the solstice.

And the sky still wasn't completely dark at midnight last night (ok, so it was dark, but there was still colour to it).

Tonight, at half past ten BST, we have funkily green sky fringed by the red-grey-brown which I'll pretend is a cloud, and not just Heathrow, and various shades of blue. And the only thing showing in the sky is the flickering satellite which has just dropped over the horizon on a bearing of about 310 magnetic.

Oh, and did you know bats make a whi-whi noise as they fly. Except when they make a buzzing noise when they treat me as a roundabout, or when they make a thuck as they catch something big. Guess who has been standing outside wishing he had a couple of universal joints in his neck.

It's nice to know my propensity for not bothering to draw the curtains has some good effect (other than show people in the houses on the other side of the valley things they may not wish to see. Although if they could see it they'd probably have to be using binoculars which might not fit in with the not-wishing bit). Lights in beyond a window equals moths near said window, equals bat Tesco's.

But then standing outside equals warm potential foodsource equals many hovering insects equals anti-clockwise bats.

It's just a shame I've no idea which species they are (and I ought to know having been taught mammalogy by The Bat Woman). And helpfully the University of Bristol's site has a key. First question: Is there a horseshoe shaped nose leaf? Um, it was dark, in flight and an unknown distance away from me. There were at least two. I'd say they were fairly small, the smallest Robin or Bluetit size, the other a bit bigger, but probably still less than a Blackbird. Apparent ventral lightening. They had very rapid flight, with almost vibrating wings. The only gliding occurred when they had to turn sharply to catch prey. Minimum turning circle about 3 feet. They appeared to only catch prey in flight, although this cannot be stated definitively. They skirted along walls when not diving after prey. Habitat is suburban woodland edge. Present conditions are warm, with little wind and good visibility (sea state is slight, locally moderate).

So, was there a horseshoe shaped nose leaf? Yes or no.

You know, I forgot to ask.

But they probably, the thing that I thought they were they're unlikely to be. My back up suggestion is apparently even less likely. As all the sites which claim to help seem to be making it worse, I'll have to get back to this after I've dug out my notes.

Moving on, and I've just had the last photography ever. Well, that I'm likely to have with the same tutor. Unless something happens or doesn't happen, and not including the potential extra session which was suggested but not yet arrange. And it was, pretty much like most other times. I managed to cut some interesting shape test strips because I hadn't realised that the backboard in the guillotine was adjustable and that it had been adjusted (it was dark). I managed to make the same mistakes as normal. I managed to get things wrong because I was hurrying, and it was the last week of term, and what am I going to do with colour photographic paper and no lab? I managed to produce some not very good prints because the subject wasn't great, and the enlarged negative wasn't helping, and the wow just wasn't there. I managed to make another print too dark because setting something up exactly the same as you've done it before doesn't mean it's the same.

And it was just too hot.

It's still slightly annoying, as I've still got questions, but the tutor never has time. I got her at the end, and asked one set of questions, but I still have more I want to know. But then she was busy probing things about me (although I've spent the past two terms trying to figure out her, and tonight I eventually relented and asked outright. She answered but there's still more than she said. Yes, I'm nosey, but I'm only interested because I don't know, or more exactly I know bits).

Speaking of which, it turns out, or might have turned out, that the woman (demon/devil baby) who stopped coming might have been in a car crash, which makes sense as I haven't seen her car recently (I drive past where she lives on the way to photography, and used to use its presence as a gauge of whether I'm late or very late. Some people might suggest that it would make more sense if one of us gave the other a lift, but we're both not really organised enough for that); the woman who I have never been able to properly assess is apparently pregnant (hence the whole old and yet young thing), and one of those people who doesn't mind waiting till the birth to find out the sex (did she never shake the Lego?); the couple who are always making prints of flowery still lifes and their grandchildren had one of the grandchildren in tow - it was the girl and she'd written on her leg in PCWorld because she didn't have any paper; the motorbike smokers still haven't killed themselves by either means, though it's not from want of trying, are still ignoring everyone else; the Dutch girl is still going back to Germany, and has taken up just pointing to me whenever she can't think of the right word (e.g. ...benefit...example...trial...); the guy who wants to become a professional photographer, due to not liking his current job, is still planning to defect; the boring famous-nephew man still is; and the idiots didn't bother to turn up.

What else? I got my slides back from the London weekend. Apparently I could have collected them before last week's photography, but when I dropped them off I got the impression it would be more the 14-day side of 10-14 days, and not within the week. Unless I (or the shop) managed to lose some, which is unlikely as I'm fairly sure the last shot is the last shot, Kodak skimp on the film. Usually 36 films come out with 37 images, and still space to spare (damn my camera and its automatic initial triple-winding). But this one only has 35. No fair. I demand my extra frame.

Anyway, it's late; my shoulder doesn't like the cold air coming in; I've got moths bouncing off the monitor; and I haven't written about any of the things I was going to write about.


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