Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Finalising the Gif Animation

Open up your animation where it has been saved - then open up Gif maker.
Drag the saved picture onto the Gif maker. This has to be done until all of the pictures that have been chosen to make up the end Animated Gif have been dragged into position. Then decide how long each picture needs to stay on the screen - and what colour you would prefer the background to be or perhaps choose to leave it transparent and may be choose to restore the background. Decide how long it is to run - how many times. Then, finally test out what the end Gif will look like using the forward arrow. You can amend any part at this point from the background to the length of time you would like each picture to run until you are happy with the end result.
Finally, once you have decided to save the completed Gif you will need to find an image hosting company on the web that will host your Gif so that it can be viewed as an animation on a website or in an email, etc. My tree is hosted by Image Shack. The following web address is for signing up to the ImageShack site : http://imageshack.us/

Making Simple Animated Gif's

There appear to be few websites that help the novice animater free of charge. So for those who have never dabbled in creating an animation but would like to have a go at seeing their own achievements here is how to do a simple animation in the paint program. Firstly, it is best to come up with a simple idea something that you find reasonably easy to draw. Perhaps sketch out the idea on a scrap of paper. Choose the size which you want the end product to be and also the background colour and save the blank canvas as a 24-bit Bitmap (*.bmp; *dib). Find this in the save as type pull down arrow underneath the File name line.
Blank canvas - saved as 24-bit Bitmap
Once this has been done then open up the saved Bitmap once more and use the magnifying glass to enlarge the canvas. Decide on what features you would like to animate and draw your picture to that point before once more saving as a Bitmap. Sometimes if your drawing is made up of many lines then it could pay to save it as you are going along but place a simple note alongside it such as "nfu" not for use in your final animation.

draw the skeleton outline of the picture you intend to use - then save this picture before adding more information to your picture -

As this is called 'tree lights' the next step is to decide where the tree lights are to be placed.

After placing where the wire of the lights should go - the lights may then be added.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Finally, all of the bitmap pictures that you want to use need to be saved in Gif format and dragged onto a Gif maker. Three pictures have been used in the above simple picture of tree lights flashing.

Animated Gif's

Since having my first computer I have always been intrigued with animated Gifs. I suppose that it could be compared with the thrill of seeing the first cartoon as a child. I have always found it rather magical the way that animated gifs can be copied and pasted onto emails and they carry on working.
I have drawn a simple 'growing garden' Gif to see if I could produce one by using the paint program. I used the pencil tool within the paint program and drew straight onto the PC screen. When I had finished I used an Image Hosting website to get it to work on Blogger. I was pleased with the result and will definitely have a go at drawing more Gif's.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Hedgehogs "the night spooks"

Recently there have been two young hedgehogs shuffling about outside the back door. One is possibly about a year old and is of medium size. The other is very small, approximately half the size of the first one and may be too small to survive the winter months. Hedgehogs need to be of a certain weight to secure their chance of surviving hibernation. Many of the under weight ones can be seen trying to eat during the day time and these need to go to rescue centres if they are to stand a chance of survival.


This weekend, by chance I turned over quite a large stone and underneath it lay an ants nest. This is the first time that I have encountered three different stages of ants eggs visible at the same time. There were those very recently laid, ones that had been laid a few days earlier and finally ones that looked as though they were near to hatching. When an ants nest has been disturbed, ants always collect their eggs and take them to a place of safety. I don't know what I expected to see but was amazed that every available ant began to cart away the eggs that were near to hatching. Not one ant showed the slightest interest in the younger eggs. Eventually, however, all of the ant eggs were carefully removed from their exposed place on the surface of the mud and taken into one or other of the various tunnels that had been carved out of the earth. The one thing that I did notice about this particular ant colony was the fact that it moved much more slowly than previous ant colonies I have witnessed. Usually, ants appear to almost scurry at a fair speed if part of their nest is disturbed. These ants however were totally lethargic almost as though they had been sedated. There was not the usual sense of urgency about them. I found their slowness most unusual and completely out of character for this little insect.
Ant eggs recently laid

Ant eggs a few days old

Ant eggs almost ready for hatching

Believe it or not

I am not sure what the press is like throughout the rest of the world - as I live in England and buy British newspapers. Sometimes, I am disappointed with the British press as there are times when it willingly sells out the feeling of unbias news reports by paying people involved in certain breaking stories. The news then becomes a tale and the feeling is that perhaps it may be untrustworthy as a certain slant clouds over what may be truth. When this happens and we read "someone's story or their version of events" there may be the feeling that this could result in truth becoming smudged.

Bee gone!

I suppose it may be that Autumn is creeping in and although the days are currently pleasant, once evening arrives it brings on dampness. As a poem that everyone knows by John Keats to Autumn says "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!" These very mists appear to have driven away the bees from the little insect house. There are only one or two of the canes that may now be nurturing some bee young behind leaf chambers that appear to have been left deep within the wooden stems. The soft plums have now all been picked and eaten. The remaining fruits that are continuing to ripen on the boughs are the Bramley apples, Williams and Conference pears. These fruits are mostly fully grown and are all slowly ripening.

Black cat

There is a new black, fluffy, wide-eyed cat that comes to the back door. He waits just outside and peeps in through a crack in the door, looking at every movement and sniffing. Our cat has always loved fish. Not just any fish - it has to be tuna. Not just any type of tuna - it has to be chunky or tuna steaks soaked in brine water. Now as too much salt is bad for everything, including the cat, I have to wash the tuna in fresh water. I rinse it several times before mashing approximately one third of a can onto a saucer. She usually eats the entire can in three separate meals. The cat loves her tuna. She will not eat pilchards, sardines, sild, herring or even salmon and she recoils away from any form of fresh fish. She is an independent lady and she definitely knows what she likes. One of her daily treats (of which she eats at least three times a day) is jelly pouches. At the moment her favourite flavours are Felix - chicken and fish and Morrison's - chicken and fish. She also enjoys a variety of kibbles. I wonder what food is given to the black, fluffy cat - because every chance he has he eats my cat's food, especially her fish - followed by any jelly pouch remainders. Today, our cat hissed when she caught sight of this fluffy stranger and its response was a mournful miaow. post extra: day 38 and 39 after St Swithin's - it has been cool with a breeze. Sunday day 39 there was rain during the night and a slight shower in the morning. Monday day 40 after St Swithin's - it has been breezy with sunny periods. "Although it rained on St Swithin's day - it certainly has not rained for the forty days and nights since, but then it has been a very unusual year and the weather has been quite strange over the entire globe!"