First braai of the year. Maybe it's spring.

Maybe It’s Spring – First Braai of the Year

A bit of English sun and it’s time for a braai. Who knows whether it’s winter or spring?
Who cares?

A good selection of meat on the fire with some homemade boerewors in the middle.

And, of course, we’re wearing shorts and T-shirts, with a beer in hand.


Posted on Instagram

summertime - a busy bee in a flower

Summertime – Flowers and Bees

Summertime. In the countryside. On a sunny day. Just sit back and listen to the buzzing of the bees as the flit from flower to flower collections pollen. I was there with my camera (Lumix TZ100).

Plump Pigeon enjoying a spring evening

Plump Pigeon in The Sun and Digital Zoom

A plump pigeon comfortable on his perch in the afternoon spring sunshine.

This guy was totally not fussed about me getting closer with the camera.

Actaully there was a particular reason for the shot. In good light I wanted to test the digital zoom on the LUMIX TZ100 camera. Digital zoom is not something I am normally very keen to use. Essentially it is a cropping of the original image carried out in camera. On most cameras which I have used in the past, it’s better to process the raw image and do the crop in post processing. The in-camera process reduces image quality.

On the TZ100 I have been surprised by the digital zoom results. Judge for yourself. This hasn’t been printed yet, but I will get it done at some point.

Settings: f/6.3 (sweet spot on this lens, it seems) 1/125 s, 35mm zoom equivalent of 500mm – optical zoom goes to 250mm, so it’s 2x digital zoom. The camera will handle up to 1000mm equivalent.

A beautiful blue sky on a spring day above a tree newly clothed with leaves

A Fine Spring Day – At Last!

Blue and Green on a Spring DayIt seemed to take forever. But finally we have A beautiful spring day. Hot and, unusually for the UK, not a cloud in the sky. It was a busy day, with little opportunity to get out with the camera, but this picture of the blue sky contrasted with the new greenery just needed to be taken. Hopefully this will be the first of many days like this!

Photo Notes

Shot with that great little camera, my LUMIX TZ100. Shots are straight out of the camera. In the middle of the afternoon the contrast was high, but still showed off  the green tree against the blue sky.



#season #spring #springtime #sun #sunnyday #sunnydays #ukspring #ukspringtime2018 #ukspringtimesunshine #ukspringtime #uksunshine Posted on Instagram – @hairy1travels.



Check some more spring photos on my photo site at
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Backlit Orchid in the spring morning sunshine

Backlit Orchid in the Spring Sunshine

A beautifully coloured orchid with the spring morning sunshine lighting it from behind.

Orchid Lit from Behind by Spring Sunshine

As spring develops the big trees behind our house gather their summer foliage. The morning sun is normally hidden behind the trees. For a few weeks in March and April the last minutes of the sunrise golden hour light up the lounge. This orchid was well placed with the sun behind, allowing the colours and textures to stand out.

Photo Notes

Shot with the 70-300mm lens on the Canon EOS 60D, taking advantage of the high ISO capability and image stabilisation.

Braai time. Steak, chicken and salad perfectly grilled over the coals (we ate the sausages first).

Braai Time – First Braai of 2016

Braai time. First of 2016.

Braai Time

Braai time. A Sunny spring Sunday in England, with the temperature up around 25C and the family around. It’s time for a braai.

If you weren’t born in southern Africa you would call it a barbecue or bbq. But – they are not the same.

Having a braai, or braaivleis, in southern Africa would be cooking steak, boerewors, sausage and, maybe, chops, be they lamb or pork. Some form of maize meal accompaniment will be cooked in a pot – pap in South Africa or sadza in Zimbabwe. A braai is normally accompanied by copious quantities of beer, and is often held by the pool, or the beach resulting in more than a few high jinks in the water!

Come braai time, the men will get on with the serious and thirsty work of the fire (a gas braai is a shortcut only for emergencies!), while ladies get on with the salad, not without a drop of wine.

But, hey, this is England and boerewors and sadza need a little planning, so sausages, steak and chicken will just have to do the job.

Who cares, there is little to beat a gathering around the fire in the sun with some well cooked meat.

Just don’t put hamburger on my braai!

A few braai resources:

Read more about the braai.

CADAC gas braai equipment is popular – available on Amazon along with some useful charcoal braai kit.

A pretty spring Leeds Sunset, full of colour and vapour trails,

Leeds Spring Sunset

A pretty spring Leeds Sunset, full of colour and vapour trails,

A spring sunset I couldn’t resist, even if only taken with a mobile phone. Work put me in a hotel near Leeds. Taking a walk before dinner, this pretty suburban sunset with it’s vapour trails just had to be captured.

This is another mobile phone photo. If I had taken the time to get the DSLR from the hotel room, the sunset would have been lost. As I am learning, don’t be scared to use the mobile. It will do the job wen necessary.