The Pheasant and his Harem

Thursday, 17th March 2005
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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pheasantspheasantThis morning the cock pheasant has a group of six hen pheasants with him.

He's in his best plumage at the moment and to increase the effect he fluffs his feathers up and spreads a wing. But he does this only on the side nearest the hen he is trying to impress, strutting majestically, broadside on to her. This gives him a strange look: puffed up like a Schwarzenegger on one side but still like Danny de Vito on the other.

Battle of the Scanners


CanoScan D1250U2F


Tevion USB 2.0

It's great to have a new scanner that works with Windows XP: my old CanoScan D1250U2F, designed for earlier versions of Windows, is OK for scanning drawings but, ever since I upgraded my computer to an XP machine, it has been incapable of scanning transparencies or negatives like it's it's supposed to. And the function buttons have never worked properly.

Rainbow Effect

The new Tevion USB 2.0 works fine but it lets itself down on the quality of the scans: as you can see from this blown-up detail, it's introduced chromatic aberration (a slight rainbow effect around the black line). You can't tell from this extreme close-up of a sketch I did of one of my students at the weekend but the general effect is softer too, as if it's slightly out of focus. Most of Tuesday's sketches were scanned on the new machine (but not the one of Eleanor, which was done on the CanoScan and looks sharper).

Taking the Shortcuts

But worse than that, loading the software that comes with the Tevion messes up the shortcuts on my start menu: Arrgh! - where have Photoshop, Dreamweaver and FreeHand gone?!

I take the scanner back to the store and there's no problem getting a refund. *Sigh!* So it's back to the old CanoScan but luckily it doesn't take long to work out how to get those shortcuts back.

Boots and Sandals

Scarpa Peak GTX WomensWe've looked at a lot of boots recently, or Barbara has; I got myself a new pair for the Dales Way last spring.

Today she finally tracks down the perfect pair at CCC Mitchells, the camping store at the end of our road. We also get a pair of Merrel walking sandals each - these are such a change from the clompy, foot-chafing sandals I've previously worn and they should be great for summer walks.

While Barbara is going through the possibilities, I draw a Scarpa Peak GTX woman's walking boot but she actually went for Meindl boots, as I did last year. Next Page

More boots that Barbara didn't buy, drawn while we in Leeds last week.

Richard Bell,

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