In this blog, I wish to carry on with my adventures using small, pocket sized binoculars like my Leica Ultravid BR 8 x 20, discussed in depth in Part I but also some feedback on my other pocket glass, the Barr & Stroud Series 5, 8 x 25 which I acquired more recently.
A Work Commenced November 5 2021
Bonding with a New Glass
A few months back, I added another pocket binocular to my collection, the Series 5 Barr and Stroud 8 x 25. Deeply impressed by the larger 8 x 42 model from the same series, I was excited to discover that the company had added two small, dual-hinge pocket glasses to the same family. And I’m delighted to report that it has made quite an impression on me. Despite costing just under £100, it has excellent optics, a wide and immersive field of view and is beautifully built. Although it came with a very basic, low-cost strap, I borrowed the lanyard from my Leica Ultravid 8 x 20 in order to field test it. That was a good move. Indeed, I decided to leave that lanyard on the Series 5 and emailed the Leica Customer Care Department, asking if they would send me another lanyard for the little Ultravid. The following day, a new strap arrived in the post! Good job Leica!
For me, binoculars are like pets. To really gel with them, you need to take them for walks and experience some quality time with them. And I’m delighted to share with you one or two magical moments I enjoyed while using the Series 5 8 x 25. On a stroll to Culcreuch Pond in early November, I was doing some routine glassing, scanning the beautiful colours of autumn leaves high in a tree canopy, when I picked up the movements of a large bird, partially hidden by the tree branches. Intrigued, I gingerly moved myself into a slightly better position to get a better look. It had a very unusual colour; a greenish yellow belly, dark beige coloured wings, a red crown and extensive black shading around its eyes. Its beak was long and pointed and I watched in amazement as it chiselled its way through the bark. The sighting only lasted about a minute before it flew off across the pond. As I made my way back to the house, I thought about that wonderful bird and wondered what it could be. From its demeanour, I guessed it was a member of the Woodpecker family but it was only after I consulted my trusty RSPB handbook that I finally came across a picture matching the bird I had sighted; a female Green Woodpecker!
I enjoyed another magical episode with the 8 x 25 during the afternoon of Halloween 2021, when I was glassing in the copse beyond my back garden. A group of Blue Tits were busy feeding at our birdfeeders. My gaze turned back to the birdfeeders as I heard the sound of them taking to flight suddenly. What had frightened them? It was then that I noticed that a small group of unusual birds settled on my Rowan tree. At first I thought they were Song Thrushes, based on their largish size and speckled bellies. But these had prominent, rusty red flanks, with a prominent stripe running over their eyes. I managed to capture a picture of one through the branches by holding my iphone up to the eyepiece of the Series 5 and later cropping and enlarging the image. Consulting my RSPB handbook again, I became confident that they were Redwings. A member of the Thrush family, they are migratory birds that appear in the autumn from their summer feeding grounds in Iceland and northern Russia. They stayed in the tree for a few minutes before moving on. I’ve not seen one since but remain hopeful that I will encounter one again over the winter.
The Wicked & the Brainwashed Descend on Glasgow
I guess you’ve all heard that the 26th Convention of Pagans(COP26) descended on Glasgow last week, and is now in its second week. Clogging up the city, and pissing off local residents big time, these idiots could have had a great big zoom conference and saved on their precious carbon footprints, but no, it’s not really about climate change, so much as ushering in the Beast Empire, which they will welcome with open arms. It’s seemingly attracted the best of the wicked, demented and the woke; Prince Charles, Bill Gates, Claus Schwabe, Barack Obama, David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, Sleepy Go Brandon, and don’t forget the bankers like Mark Carney and all the other priests of the religion of green. Even the newly-woke Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was there to add a pseudo-Christian veneer to the pagan bull fest.
Thousands of brainwashed youth with a collective IQ of ~ 50 protested on the streets, crowing about the end of the world, egged on by Extinction Rebellion lunes and their congregation of Gaia worshipers. This new cult is informed by pseudoscience and empowered by cancel culture. Thousands of first-rate climate scientists who disagreed with their cherry-picked, Marxist ‘science’ have been silenced or fired by the ‘spirit of Antichrist.’ Call me simple, but I thought science never stands still? Is self correcting, advancing in fits and starts, where all ideas have a seat at the table, carefully considered, critiqued, weighed in the balance, never forgotten or ‘cancelled?’ Those were the very qualities that inspired me to become a scientist; now it seems those traditional checks and balances – the stuff that really made science so attractive to a young mind – no longer holds or has bearing. It’s become political now, a half-baked truth that is ostensibly aggressive, intolerant of opposing views, masked or muzzled.
They are right about one thing though; the world as we know it is ending; not because of climate change, but because of human wickedness and depravity, the stench of which reeks to high heaven before a holy God. You see, the massive increase in lawlessness, volcanic activity, signs in the heavens, earthquakes, pestilences and the campaign for sexual immorality has precisely nothing to do with climate change. But don’t worry; God will send them the desires of their heart, with irreversible climate change, as they enter the Great Tribulation, spoken of by the prophets, and prophesied by our Creator, Jesus Christ.
A date with destiny!
A Second Sighting of Redwings!
Those Redwings are still around! On the afternoon of November 9, I was on my way down to fetch some fresh eggs for a delicious omelette, carrying my 8 x 25 Series 5 round my neck, when my gaze carried me to the topmost boughs of some trees in the kid’s swing park near my home. There I made out some unusual birds; bigger than the regular squad of Tits and Chaffinch but not as big as Wood Pigeon. Bringing the glass to my eyes and carefully focusing, showed a flash of red on their flanks and Thrush-like speckled bellies. I also noted, at quite a distance, their long, distinctive, dark beaks. The Redwings! There was about half a dozen in all, moving with grace from branch to branch, and from tree to tree, in search of the now, somewhat more scarce, autumn fruits. I ran back to the house to fetch my 10 x 42 for greater reach, and was able to get a little closer to them to make a definitive sighting. This is my second encounter with these autumn visitors; a thrilling sight if ever I’ve had one!
By the middle of November, a substantial mass of leaf litter covers the forest paths and the amount of light that gets through to the woodland floor increases considerably, so much so that glassing with a small pocket binocular becomes very worthwhile again. The shedding of leaves creates entirely new glassing opportunities at all of my local patches, as it opens up new vistas that were simply impenetrable during the growing season. All of a sudden, one can peer deeply into areas that were very heavily shaded or covered by a canopy of green. To the casual onlooker, the changes may only seem subtle at best, but to someone like yours truly, who walks in these places on a regular basis, the transformation is very real and welcoming.
Having glassed through nearly two full years using small pocket binoculars, I am more confident than ever in declaring that one in fact can enjoy them as stand alone instruments that can deliver all one’s optical needs, regardless of how demanding your schedule may be. God is gracious, and even on dull winter days in the far north, the light is good enough to use tiny optical instruments like my 8 x 20 and 8 x 25 perfectly well. The 8 x 20 is a little more versatile in that it has a better close focus (1.8m) than the 8 x 25, despite the latter displaying a larger true field. There is such economy in these tiny but optically perfect instruments. Still, there will be times and events where a larger glass is the better choice, and so I continue to use both 8 x and 10 x 42 binoculars profitably as well, but not nearly as often. These larger glasses really are indispensable during the long nights of winter when aperture is your friend.
It seems that my enthusiasm for small, high-quality binoculars was not lost on some famous scientists, such as the distinguished primatologist, Dr. Jane Goodall(b1934 -), who used a 10 x 25 Leitz Trinovid for much of her early work in the mountains of Tanzania, observing Chimpanzees:
In her later years, Dr Goodall used a little Leica Ultravid to carry out her conservation work:
I was surprised to learn that despite her training in primatology(which is heavily influenced by erroneous evolutionary thinking), Goodall’s faith in the Christian God was nurtured early in life in her native England, and strengthened by her time alone in nature.
“I don’t have any idea of who or what God is,” she told a journalist from the Guardian in 2010, “but I do believe in some great spiritual power. I feel it particularly when I’m out in nature. It’s just something that’s bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is. I feel it. And it’s enough for me.”
Hmm. That doesn’t sound very Christian to me. More pantheism than Christian……but I digress!
To be continued……………………