Photographing the Sun

In preparation for next month I tried a bit of Sun photography this morning. A filter is essential both to get reasonable photos and to protect the camera; but a lens filter for my Nikon is more than $100!

Instead I found a very inexpensive (<$20) cardboard filter attachment, and tried it out this morning. I think I need some more practice with exposure settings as there’s no detail in the Sun – but the results are much better than with no filter.

Here’s the attachment, and a no zoom photo without and with the filter:

More interesting, some zoomed in images through the filter; the first image shows how the camera struggles to focus with this filter:


I did also try a “welding glass” as a filter but it’s pretty useless, making the Sun green!


Lake Apopka North Shore Drive #4

Recent photos from the pond near the pump house sent Margaret and I up to the drive this morning to see if we could also spot loads of alligators! We didn’t see the 70+ that others reported but I’m sure we saw more than 10 … here’s some pictures:

There were of course many birds too; here’s a selection:

In addition to the wading birds, there was an amazing number of swallowtail kites in the sky at one spot on the drive – everyone was stopped to admire them – us too! Really hard to photograph though:

And finally some “birds on a wire” but we don’t know what they are:


Lake Meadow Naturals

Today we visited a nearby farm (Lake Meadow Naturals) that has a small number of animals on display (not a petting zoo) as well as selling lots of better quality meats, eggs, fruit & veg, etc … We’ve bought the same meat at a more local store but now we’ve realized that the origins are close by too!
Here’s pictures of the animals and also a sample of the produce available:

They also do lunch specials on Saturday; we weren’t too keen on the fried cheese curds today, but next week is pulled pork so I guess we will be going back!

Smaller but seems not

Earlier this week my Clubman showed up a very strange warning when I applied the parking brake while waiting (a long time) at roadworks:


The warning suggested that the parking brake was still released (the indicator light was off too) but in fact it was locked on and I could not release it – stuck in the middle of the road!

Luckily, after the computer tradition off/on sequence, while the parking brake was still initially locked and would not release, it seemed to clear the fault and release after a too long wait …

So today, I dropped my car off at Orlando MINI, and got a “small” two door MINI loaner – and I really didn’t notice any size difference, at least for the driver position!


Hopefully, whatever is wrong with my Clubman is easy to identify and solve.

UPDATE: Orlando MINI were unable to find any problem or fault code with the parking brake, even with the error message captured above – I have to hope this problem doesn’t recur …