20 Apr 2016

20th April 2016 An ICE panorama from MS.


Wednesday 20th 39-53F, 4-12C, breezy and bright. Lighter winds today gusting to only 25+mph from the north west. A cold and windy walk for half an hour. With tractors working on the fields I couldn't be bothered to walk my usual route out on the exposed tracks. It stayed windy but rose to 53F which made it warm in the sunshine but not quite warm enough in the shade. No reason to go out on the trike so another rest day pottering on projects in the garden with birds tweeting all around us. There is hardly a cloud in the sky but the wind remains cold in the shade. My almost brand new front tyre and inner tube were flat when I pulled the trike out of the shed. I searched for a thorn or a flint but nothing was visible. When I tried to inflate it I found the valve was loose. So that's another example of substandard goods from the same batch by Schwalbe. I used a pair of parrot nosed pliers to re-tighten the valve core.

This might interest some of you: A contact has kindly advised that Microsoft has come up with a free download of their panorama stitching program called ICE. [Image Composite Editor.] It can work on images or videos. This is a half width crop of how it dealt with my YT video of strange mists up on the plateau. I panned with the camera as I filmed the mist so ICE has combined numerous images to produce this stretched, panoramic shot covering about 90 degrees in width. There were actually two different halves to the picture because I had zoomed between taking two separate videos and then combined the two for YT. [Click for a better view.]

Thursday 21st 41-50F, 5-10C, bright sunshine, breezy. POO Factor 7. It is still struggling to reach 50F and it was an eye-watering experience walking back into the west-northwesterly wind. The litter pickers must have been out because the verges are looking tidy for a change.

Just another day in paradise. Strong head-crosswind going. Managing only 13mph. Cross-tailwind coming home at 18mph. Cycling is all about time dilation. When you are chasing another cyclist your relative speeds become like slow motion. When a faster rider goes past they seem to be travelling so quickly you can never hope to catch them. An energetic cyclist pulled out further up the road today and left me well behind with a strange jerky style I hadn't seen in decades. He was turning a high cadence but his bike kept moving from side to side with every pedal stroke. Very odd and strangely old-fashioned. These days it all seems to be about smoothness of style. 19 miles.

Friday 22nd 41F, 5C, bright sunshine, breezy. A bank holiday. It should be a fine day but still rather windy from the NW. With gusts up to 20mph, or more, making it feel rather cool. I had hardly set foot on the road before I noticed a hare pottering about a few hundred yards away. Though it soon saw me and disappeared into a garden. Then there was a gorgeous Greenfinch and Goldfinch in the same hedgerow in their best breeding colours. Walking a loop around a local village would offer a change of scenery and I was treated to a passing American 'muscle' car with a wonderfully deep rumble to match its perfect, black shine. This was quickly followed by a JCB and a yellow loader going the opposite way with young children enjoying their ride in the cab.

Then I spotted a large, very pale, bird of prey on the top of a tree sticking out of the marsh. It took off and circled for several minutes as if hoping for lift before giving up. As I was watching it though my binoculars I spotted a similar bird circling at least a thousand feet higher. Further on a pair of Mallards were dozing on the vicarage lawn where it slopes down to the village pond. They were keeping company with a pair of Coots. Whose large, untidy nest was resting on a sunken branch from an earlier windfall. Each of them eyed me carefully but decided I was no threat as I ambled on in the warm sunshine.

An elderly pair of humans were chatting across the car park wall outside the church. No doubt waiting for the service to start as a large Danish flag in the graveyard struggled to catch the intermittent breeze. It was just after that when I spotted a very large warbler on a large front lawn. Then I stopped to photograph the landscape and the eleven wind turbines stretching to the distant horizon. Before another pause to capture a beautiful, old, but rather dusty, Opel Kapitan. A popular car for restorers according to Google and I can well see why. After walking along the mud-caked village lane for a while, with great clouds of dust rising to every passing car, I took a shortcut back across the fields beside towering beech woods. Taking advantage of the dust dry soil on the spray tracks avoided my repeating my usual route home along the main road.

My ride follows in the next post.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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