Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's Just Little Things That Usually Make Me Smile The Biggest

My pup has become a night owl, wanting to go out and play after midnight.  

After Midnight
We're gonna let it all hang out!
After Midnight
We're gonna chug-a-lug and shout!
We're gonna stimulate some action,
We're gonna get some satisfaction.
We're gonna find out what it is all about.
After Midnight
We're gonna let it all hang out!

(musical interlude completed) 

Last night I took her out and threw her frisbee for her.  It was a beautiful night and called to me for a walk.  Bailey never strays far from me so without a leash I decided to walk with her around the cul de sac.  She was happy as a hairy clam, stopping to sniff and mark and just wallow in the fresh cool (finally!) air.  

I stopped for her as she took a longer than usual sniff and saw Timid Cat was walking right along with us.  She stopped when we stopped and walked when we walked, enjoying the midnight adventure as much as my pup.  

There was just something special about my fur children playing in the moonlight. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Take a Gander at This

It appears I've lost my resource for my daily photo prompts, but I haven't stopped shooting.  I was leaving the house to go vote this morning and I noticed this family at the bottom of our yard on their way to their morning swim.  The photos are taken with the telephoto on my phone camera which means the quality is less than I wanted.  

But....  such a cute family deserves to be shared!

They had bunched up when I first came out to the car but soon relaxed and started out again.  Dad strutting his stuff out front, the chicks falling into line and Mom bringing up the rear looking for stragglers.


Be sure to click on the photos to get the enlarged view. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day! A List About Mom

I've wanted to write about my mother for so long and I still don't have the ability to express what I want to write.  It's so frustrating.  But being Mother's Day I thought I'd share some of the things that I know and remember about my mother.  Don't expect much, this is basically a list about mom. 

  • Born January 27, 1921, Mom was the 2nd and last surviving child born to her parents.

  • My mother was a very bright woman. She graduated high school early and went on to college to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

  • She went into veterinary medicine to help her parents raise foxes. The enterprise didn't work out so she joined the army during WWII, expecting adventure and companionship.

  • She was stationed with a Calvary unit until her Superior's wife complained of having a female in her husband's unit.  She was then sent to do FDA inspection at an egg plant, living in a boarding house, no companionship and no adventure.

  • She met my father and married him in 1948. In seven years they had three children.  In 12 years he died leaving her a widow with an almost-four year old, a six year old and a ten  year old.

  • She moved her family across country from Maryland to Washington to be closer to her parents. She gave up small animal practice for the security and benefits of a government job doing meat inspection.

  • She taught herself and her children to camp.  The first outing was with no tent.  My brothers slept under the picnic table to keep out of the rain and my mother and I slept in the back of our station wagon.

  • She taught me to love hiking in the mountains, how to backpack and fish.

  • She took us charter boat fishing for salmon off the coast of Washington.  We had our salmon canned to bring back home with us.

  • She took us to Disneyland, driving from Lynden, Washington (close to the Canadian border) to southern California.  We didn't stay in hotels until we got to Disneyland, instead we camped along the way, making and breaking camp each day.

  • I didn't give my mother an easy time as a young adult, but she patiently continued to love me.

  • My mother always saw me as someone better than I truly am.

  • When she retired she volunteered for numerous organizations at home.

  • She traveled the US to different Elderhostels, continuing to learn about the many subjects that interested her.

  • She traveled around the world, including Great Britain, the Scandinavian countries, Mediterranean countries, China and parts of Africa.

  • She never remarried.  

It took me far too many years to really appreciate who my mother was.  I was lucky enough to be able to have her come live with us the last few years of her life and I got to appreciate her more in those years than I ever did before.  Sometimes I'm sad because it was too little, too late.  But then I remember it might never have happened at all, and I am thankful for it.  

I love you, Mom, and I miss you so very much!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Spring Grove Cemetery

Just a few more photos from Spring Grove.  It was such a beautiful day!

 I feel I shouldn't be posting this one, but it's my own slightly off sense of humor and I think it screams for a caption.  Agree or not?

Love these tulips.  They bud like a normal tulip but open like a peony.  How awesomely beautiful!

Love all the colors and textures in this photo.  

It was such a peaceful feeling just looking across the pond at the trees.  

Next time, I'll be sharing my turtle fetish photos.  See you then!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spring Grove Cemetary & Arboretum

You may have noticed that I have dropped off the '30 Days of Spring' wagon.  My source for the prompts somehow decided it was more important to go on an exotic vacation than to stay home and take photos.  Goodness knows where her priorities are! 

However, I did go on a photo outing with my friend, Barb, to Spring Grove Cemetery.  


I have no idea how many acres this cemetery covers but it is huge and beautiful.  Think of a wonderful lovely park with ponds and stone bridges and beautiful plants and flowers in bloom... that just happens to have a few dead people buried around under your feet.

Here are just a few of the photos I took that day.  I'm still editing them, but I'll post more later. 

Turtles Catching the Morning Rays

Mausoleum in Springtime


It's kind of funny, I'm not even sure what draws me to like some of my photos, but these are my favorite of my first bunch.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Water Droplets, Day 8

The prompt for day eight is to look for the "sparkle of spring" or water droplets.  I had visions of dew drops and glittery spider webs, but alas, for all the storms we've had recently there wasn't a water droplet on anything I could see.  

It was late in the day. My husband was home from work and tending to his orchids, when he exclaimed over the nectar drops on another plant.  He didn't even know I was looking, but he found my water droplets!

This odd looking plant in the wine bottle is a start that Mark brought home from his mother's house over a year ago.  I'm thrilled with the blooms, as they are exactly why I was so drawn to this plant. I have no idea what it is, but the little upside down cluster of flowers are very waxy feeling.  The first time I ever saw them I was sure they were plastic flowers that someone had stuck into the original plant.  They are so cool! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Pastels, Day 7

The challenge for day seven is to photograph within the pastel pallet.  It doesn't sound that difficult, but very little in my life is pastel. 

After a bit of searching I finally realized the orchids in my sun room were softly colored, which made them the perfect subject.  The not-so-perfect issue was their location in front of a bright window on a high shelf.  If I tried to move them I might be scolded by the "Orchid Whisperer" aka my husband.  

So after attempting the afternoon shoot and getting some great orchid silhouettes, I returned to the corner after dinner for some more shots.  I hope you like my efforts, which include photos from both shoots. 

I actually thought these flowers were a kind of fleshy tan color. It was surprising to find what beautiful colors are actually in them!

In case you are wondering what happened to day six...  we'll revisit that one later.  


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Down on the Ground, Day 5

Today's prompt is to get a worm's eye view.  I had the option of getting down on the ground with my camera or just taking the photo without looking through the view finder.  I opted to use my remote and stay vertical.  

No GI crawling for this one!

I'm not sharing all the photos I took but since most were less than successful I'll share the good and the bad ah - not so good.

Garden Sculpture

Garden Sculpture with Foliage

Porch Sculpture

The View from My Feet
The biggest most noticeable issue with taking the photos unaided by my eyes, was orientation and focus.  I don't know if orientation is the correct word or not, but I really needed to put an eraser or some small 1/4" - 1/2" object under my lens for just a little lift.  All of these photos were cropped leaving at least 3/4 of the photo behind.  Most of the picture was a huge expanse of sidewalk, mulch, or floor.  

And obviously the focus was not good.  There were parts of the photo in focus, but again, it was the sidewalk, mulch or floor.  

All in all, though, I loved doing this exercise.  I'll definitely get down on the ground more often.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Looking Up, Day 4

Canadian Goose in Flight

The sky, the clouds, look up and take a photo.  Editing with filters is okay because clouds are tricky.  

That's the basics of the assignment today.  I felt like I missed a great opportunity since I woke up to a thunderstorm that filled the sky with bolts of lightning every few seconds.  It was amazing!  

However, the sky that remained after the storm provided me a decent subject and I had a particular lot of fun with my editing program.  I'm sharing the before and after photos, today.  The afters are not really what I could consider photo shopped.  I simply played with exposure, mostly shadows and contrast, and color.  I only saturated or de-saturated existing color and/or played with temperature.  In essence, I didn't add anything to these photos that wasn't already there.


Monday, April 28, 2014


Cabin Life in the North Cascades

My daughter Kristen is presently doing a post-grad internship at a business called Curiosity.  When I ask her about it, she says, "Think Madmen."  That makes me laugh, but I seriously doubt the advertising industry is still in operating in that model.  At least I hope not the Don Draper model.  

Krissy was recently featured on their blog and being the proud mama that I am, I have to share with you.  Please enjoy!

Spotlight: Design Intern Kristen Gully

30 Days of Spring: 30 Steps, Day 3

I thought this challenge would be much more difficult than it was.  The prompt was to pick up the camera and take only 30 steps from that spot to find a subject.  Fortunately, I left my camera on a table near the front door.  Whew!

Our little Oriental Maple was leafless just a week ago, so I wanted to capture it's new coat.  More difficult than I anticipated because I did not want houses in the background.  I don't love this photo, but I decided I would keep it.  

My fascination with photographing tulips straight down continues.  I love how this photo turned out.  The contrast and colors almost make it appear to be a painting rather than a photograph.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Capture the Beginning, Day 1

Capture the Beginning

Um, how do I say this?  I'm totally and blatantly ripping off this idea from a friend.  

Sorry, friend. I hope you understand. 

She has found a program to encourage her to open her eyes and look around and photograph what she sees.  Being a less-than-awesome-photographer, but a complete photographer-wannabe, I'm following her blog and her prompts and I'm going to try to open my eyes to the world around me, too.  

Join in or follow along - the more the merrier!

I didn't really want to use my opening photo as my selection for "Capture the Beginning" because there is so much more to the story of the baby birds in the nest.  But it's the best photo I got for the prompt.  

Mama bird has been sitting on this nest for a week or so. It's right along our walkway and I have been trying like crazy to get a good photo of her with my phone.  She glares at me when I walk by her.  I thought it would be an awesome shot! 

So today I take my 'real' camera out to capture her sitting on her nest incubating the beginning of her new family. But she was missing and this is what I got.
Mama's Out to Lunch
I figured she'd be back so I wandered around the house looking for more photo-ops expecting to catch her glare when I returned.  Instead of her glare, I got her babies!  I loved the surprise!  

So what else did I spy in my yard?  Let's take a peek!

Notice the Little Things
 A weed is only a weed when it's a flower blooming where you don't want it. 

Dandelions, the Flower of Childhood
When Alyssa was two or three she was with her Grandmother for the day.  Grandpa was going out to "kill the dandelions."  My sweet little girl just could not believe her ears.  Appalled she took matters into her own hands and ran outside and picked as many pretty dandelions as her pudgy little hands could hold. 
Open to the Sun
 I love that my tulips completely worship the sun.  They are so open they look like they are about done blooming, but tonight this pretty flower will be closed up tight waiting for another day of sunshine.
I am the Sun!
My daffodils on the other hand, just bloom strong and steady, being sunshine when there is none.

Let's play!
Lastly is my faithful companion with her ever present Frisbee. She is such a sweetie, but don't be fooled by those sad eyes... it's just her ploy to get me to play.  She's pretty cunning!