Can you believe it’s February already?! Where did January disappear to? It appears time still flies even when you are wet, cold and fed up of the weather!
For 2014 I thought I would start each month with a recap of the previous and set some goals for the month ahead. So here we go…
The month that was…
As for pretty much all of you reading this I suspect, the WEATHER was probably the dominant factor for me throughout the first month of 2014. Yes, for the most part it was pretty awful but I can honestly say that throughout the month I experienced some of the most amazing #sunrises and #sunsets I have ever seen!
I started the month (and year) as I meant to go on, with an early morning walk on New Year’s Day to watch and hopefully photograph the rising sun. There is something very special about getting up before sunrise, going for a walk and filling your lungs with fresh early morning air. If you can get up and out before dawn – all the better! The world is a magical place at this time of day.
The first sunrise of 2014 started promisingly but quickly fizzled out to grey cloudy skies. I still managed to make the most of the trip though by practicing my timelapse technique. I had recently purchased a Belkin iPhone Camera Grip for £1 (!) from a local discount store so used this to attach my iphone to a tripod and then used the iMotion HD app to record the timelapse. It was muddy, it was cold but I loved it!
Check out the blog post ‘The First Sunrise Of 2014…Well Almost!’ for the full story.
The highlight of my early morning walks in January had to be the sunrise on the 15th. I usually go for a walk along the River Deben at Woodbridge in the mornings as I have one or two favourite places I’ve found along the route for watching the sunrise or just watching the abundance of wildlife that thrives along the river. One of my other favourite places for early morning walks is a stretch of the River Orwell close to the Orwell Bridge. For some reason as I woke that morning I thought I would give my Orwell walk a try and I’m so pleased I did!
I can honestly say that the sunrise on that morning was one of if not the best sunrise I have ever seen. I’m sure I will never forget it! I managed to capture lots of wonderful photos and a great timelapse but none of them really do justice to the sheer heart warming beauty I experienced on that morning. I remember feeling quite emotional watching the scene develop and found it hard to tear myself away.
Check out the blog post ‘Early Morning #DigitalDetox – Spectacular Sunrise Over The River Orwell‘ for the full story.
The 4th of January saw the first and possibly the best meteor shower of 2014 – The Quadrantids. This particular meteor shower has a very short peak ( a matter of hours) and surprisingly we had clear skies over Ipswich at exactly the right time! I spent s few hours outside and saw lots of meteors (40+) with one or two real corkers! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to capture any on the camera though.
I did however take the opportunity to have a practice of #LightPainting. This involves using pretty much exactly the same long exposure technique as you would use for recording star trails but instead of pointing your camera up at the sky you point the camera at yourself and literally paint the air in front of you with a torch. Give it a try, its great fun but I warn you…it’s addictive!
Check out the blog post ‘Light Painting The Quadrantids Meteor Shower‘ for the full story and pics.
January also saw the addition of seven new ‘How To Guides’ to the website. All of the projects use everyday items that you would usually throw away or recycle.
One of my goals for 2014 is to make WildlifeGadgetman.com the number one resource on the web for wildlife related ‘upcycling‘ projects.
One of my goals for 2014 is to make WildlifeGadgetman.com the number one resource on the web for wildlife related ‘upcycling’ projects
If you are not familiar with the term ‘upcycling‘ it means ‘the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value‘.
Here are the four new projects added in January…
My #Blog365 Challenge is still on target!
I have lots of projects and challenges planned for 2014. One of the first, that HAD to start on January 1st, was my #Blog365 Challenge. My task? To write 365 quality blog updates in 365 days.
Well, I’ve got the the end of month one and I’m still on target! It was tough to begin with but its getting easier, amazingly! And do you know what? I’m loving it! The more I write the more I’m enjoying the whole challenge. It’s really helped me creatively and is a great way to force you to be more focused and organised. I still have my wobbles but I’m definitely getting better, discipline wise, now that I’ve got used to the routine. It feels odd now NOT to write!
The Month Ahead…
So, what do I have planned for the month ahead? Well, I have a fairly loose ‘To Do’ list but at least I have one!
I plan to add a number of new ‘How To Guides’ over the coming weeks to continue my ‘upcycling’ theme but expect to see much more wildlife gadgets featuring in future blog updates. I have numerous products I’ll be reviewing and several new exciting projects to announce. Here’s just a taster…
February is traditionally the month you start to see birds starting to seriously prospect for nest sites. My series of #LoveBirds updates will include guides explaining how to choose the perfect spot for your nest box, how to set up your own nest box camera, ideas for helping nesting birds in your garden and lots more.
I’ve put together a series of projects (currently 8), tips and ‘How To Guides’ offering great ideas on how to get the most out of your trail cam.
New Live Cams
I hope to complete the installation of at least six new wildlife cameras by the end of the month.
I’ve been working hard on a one or two very exciting projects over the last few months. Hopefully, if all goes to plan, I’ll be able to make some exciting announcements towards the end of the month. Watch this space!!!
So as you can see, another full month ahead! It’s all very flexible so there may be some things I don’t get around to starting and there are bound to be new things that crop up out of the blue.
That’s what makes working on Wildlife Gadgetman so exciting and rewarding. You can never be totally sure where its going to lead but wherever it is I can guarantee you I will be giving it 100% and loving every minute of it!