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Digital Photography Tips, Wildlife

Custard Cottage Chronicles – Well now. That’s the end of that!

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

George Eliot

Well that’s the end of that! Mademoiselle Summer has packed her bikini and sunglasses and is preparing for her trip to the Northern Hemisphere while her sister Autumn has begun to ship her palette of orange, purple, almond, sepia, mustard and cranberry over to our side of the planet along with a couple of thunderstorms and wind with a bit of a cool bite to it.

The days are shortening, the morning sky only begins to lighten just before 07h00, which means instead of taking the pooches for their walk at 05h30 when the roads are lovely and quiet and they can run off lead, we now need to keep them on lead for most of the walk due to the early traffic.

It’s also getting more and more difficult to get out of bed in the morning…

moi du toi photography
Sedgefield, Western Cape 2016|Canon EOS60D, 50mm f/2.8, ISO640, 1/80s|Edited in Lightroom

The garden is a looking a bit sad as the annuals die off, the grass has changed from fresh vibrant green to the colour of hay and many of the plants are settling down and getting ready for the long winter snooze. As for the wildlife, almost all of the surviving guinea fowl babies have grown into adolescents are now able to fend off predators while the swallows are getting ready to leave us for warmer climes.  Those cheeky, cheese eating drongos however, know they ‘re on to a good thing with Mr T and are not leaving any time soon, if ever.

He, Mr T, has started to make Faery Doors again, he’s even included an adorable Tooth Faery Door to the range (local peeps can contact me for details and prices) and he made a very special one for me that we installed on a tree in the Contemplation Station part of our garden. It’s the ideal place for faeries to hang out, lovely and cool, green and quiet; the tiny Arum Lily frogs with their ghostly pale bodies and bright orange feet love it there too.

Faery doors, moi du toi photography
Contemplation Station|Canon EOS60D, 50mm f/2.8, ISO640, 1/125s|Edited in Lightroom

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TIP : Both images of the blue faery door were shot with exactly the same settings – Canon EOS60D, 50mm f/2.8, ISO640, 1/125s.  In the above image I focussed on the door itself and stood quite close to it.  In the image below I focussed on the raindrop and stood further back from the door.

Can you see how by keeping the same camera settings but merely changing your point of focus and the distance between the photographer and the subject you can achieve two different looks?

By the end of next month we’ll need to put the warmer duvet on the bed and unpack the winter PJs, Mr T will dig out his soup recipes and get our freezer all stocked up with delicious butternut and thick and hearty vegetable soups.

I must admit that Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons, neither too hot nor too cold. Just perfect.

“I have an affection for those transitional seasons, the way they take the edge off the intense cold of winter, or heat of summer.”

― Whitney Otto – How to Make an American Quilt

moi du toi photography, faery garden
Frog – Contemplation Station|Canon EOS60D, 50mm f/2.8, ISO320, 1/100s|Edited in Lightroom

I love the changing seasons, they are a constant reminder of the rhythm of the universe ;  life, death and rebirth and that we need to be mindful that each moment that passes is gone forever.  It’s so important to make time during our stressful, hectic lives each day to stop, even for just 10 minutes, be aware, be still and breathe.

“Sometimes we just have to stop and feel the pulse of the Earth, the rhythm of the seasons and the internal voice that was once our childhood friend.”

― Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life – Fennel’s Journal – No. 1

Commit to taking some quiet time for yourself each day, whatever that means for you.  Whether it’s sitting on the porch with your dog watching the sunset, meditating in a luxurious bath or simply enjoying that first quiet cup of aromatic coffee while the day is still in it’s infancy.

I’d love it if you’d share with me in a comment below, how and where you spend your quiet time.

Paddy – Custard Cottage|Canon EOS60D, 24mm f/2.8, ISO640, 1/50s|Edited in Lightroom

Wishing all of you peace of mind and glorious headspace,

moi du toi photography






6 thoughts on “Custard Cottage Chronicles – Well now. That’s the end of that!”

  1. Quite time in the Rochestown household is sitting in the garden with that first cup of tea with Oscar lying at my feet or rolling in the grass, the cats sitting close by and the hens pecking at the grass. M xx ps. Love your posts x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Remind me again why I never got a Faery Door for myself while we were still on the island and only one for our goddaughter – paleez will Mr T keep one for me – I will just have to come and fetch it ASAP or maybe a personal delivery here at the River isn’t a bad idea either…
    My quiet time is in my bath in the evenings when I light a candle or two thinking of those who need the love and just quietly breathe and reconnect with myself.
    Miss you both.
    🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person


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