Friday, March 30, 2007

Plum tree in bloom

This tree is covered in blossoms.
I mowed the lawn today, did a bit of weeding, moved a tiny campanula from the old cedar trough to the little rockery where the lewisias are growing. Moved some of the saxifragia out of the trough to the waterfall. Washed off the sidewalk by the garage. I have to move the montebretias in the front -- some to each of the front beds, and some by the tub garden. Maybe there will be some left to put in the sunny part of the woodland garden. Then when I get them all moved I must put the little minature rose in there place. Maybe get another mini rose. The spring flowers are looking really quite good, and smelling good too. I do not miss the plants that were hanging on the garage, although the evergreen clematis had wonderful fragrance. It is so much easier not to have to worry about pruning them back. I might take out the strawberry tree, too. I blocks the view of the back. I must do a serious pruning of the firethorn. It has some very thick branches that I will need to use the saw on. I can get the blade off the pole trimmer, I think. Its very sharp.

I made parsnip cakes for supper again. They turned out pretty good.

I have completed 4 of the 20 pages of our trip to Scotland/Ireland and must get on with it, and get it finished.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

train, again

We spent quite a lot of our time driving on our recent trip. I would look out across the desert and see a train... way off in the distance. Zoom the 12X lens through the window and collect yet another train shot. Would probably be better if not shot from a moving vehicle, but I like the motion blur added to this train.

Today I got my new under water pump for the pond. It says it will do 1015 GPH on a 4 ft. waterfall. Hmmmmmmmm, but that waterfall is 10 inches across. My pond capacity is approximately 1000 gallons so this should be the right size pump, as my waterfall is about 4.5 ft. high. I will probably lose some water from the hooks ups to the mouth of the pond, so I hope this works. I might have to figure out how to attach the valve gizmo that slows down the flow, if it is too much for my pond. Where ever that valve thingy might be, now, is another good question, but I know I have one somewhere. I got the pump from Home Depot for $189. - fairly pricey. But its been quite a few years since I bought a new one. This one has a 2 year warrantee on it.

Painted Desert

Another view of the painted desert from our recent camping trip to the US Southwest.

Yesterday I ordered the telephoto, the wide angle and the macro lens for my S3 IS from Canon, Canada. With taxes and shipping it came to $598.00. Then I ordered a LowPro slingshot 200 AW backpack and a Hakuba filter 8 pocket wallet from Freestyles and that came to $ll6.98 USD. The backpack should be good for my SLR when I get it. For now I will be playing with the S3 IS for a while. I need another SD card for the S3. Lensmate has some good ones.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Where's Waldo?

When we were in the painted desert we were required to stay on the paths. As I was walking along, I noticed this little critter dash across the path and then sit nicely for his portrait. He was just beginning to pick up the colors in his new location. I do not know the name of it, but I think it must be a chameleon of some kind.

Tree Texture

The sun was out today! Too bad I was under the weather.

This is my plum tree in bloom against the backdrop of the English Oak that is still holding on to its leaves. Those leaves are lovely with the sun shining on them. I thought the texture color mix was interesting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Newspaper rock in the Painted Desert, AZ

The Newspaper rock in the Painted Desert in Arizona, is covered in these ancient pictures. The part of the painted desert that we saw was along a 28 mile drive through the Petrified Forest National Park. We had a good sunny but cool day for this drive and stop at each of the stops depicted on the map. I really should have had more space for my photos. This area is wonderful for photography. I really must go back some time. There were not too many other people there this time of year. Perfect time to go.(early March)


This painting of Kokopelli appeared on an inside door of the store at one of the campgrounds where we overnighted on our recent trip to the US Southwest. I love that painting. Wish I could have bought the door and taken it home.

Kokopelli is usually dipicted as a humpbacked flute player. He is a mythical creature or god of fertility/agriculture, and other things, in the folk lore of the Indians of the US Southwest. The word is from the Hopi language.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Inner Harbor, Victoria, B.C.

F/4.0, 1/800 sec., focal length: 44.2mm, colors on 'vivid', cloudy day,using "P" mode, '0' exposure compensation, white balance: cloudy

This is one of the photos I shot from the deck of the Coho ferry as we left on our recent trip to New Mexico in the camper van. The Inner Harbor is a busy place with a marina, ferries tying up, harbor taxis, float 'planes, kayaks, canoes, whale watching excursions, etc.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Old doors

Yesterday we went up to the Nanaimo area to Jim and Melanie's place where the Antique chapter had a well attended meeting. Thanks Melanie and Jim -- lovely garden!! We all then headed to Georges for lunch. Good food and excellent service. The final destination was the Blackstaff's most marvelous place. Its a collectors dream -- that is in the old car hobby, as well as steam engines and machines. Harry and Jimmy are in the old car restoration business and Shirley is a published author and has her own unique collection - mostly Royal memorabilia. There are many storage sheds and old buildings on their acreage.

Today we went to the RV show. The sprinter looks good. 2008 should have a new slightly larger body with the Mercedes Benz diesel V6 (I think). I really like the rounded cabinets, the bed that slides down with the push of a button. I believe it had a shower, and of course the microwave, tv, stove, furnace, etc.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Can anyone tell me what kind of a duck this is? Is it a painted duck? a wood duck??

I have annotated pages 1 to 14 of my trip to Scotland/Ireland album. I got reading the Ireland stuff and needed to take a break. The Irish tour guide was just about a thousand per cent better than the dolt we had on the Scottish tour. So, a few more days of work on this album before I load it. I need to name and research 160 photos, yet.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ireland Rocks

This is a beach in Ireland from our trip in 2004. The rocks really were very blue. I added a bit of saturation, but not much.

I have 4 more photos to fix, resize and then I will be ready to make up the album for this trip to add to my web Travel page.

Made peanut butter cookies today. Its a grey, bits of rain day, so I was not out in the garden.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blue Mesa

The Blue Mesa was one of the stops on our trip through the Painted Desert. Its a marvelous place to see. There is a 28 mile long road that has numerous stops with viewpoints and explanations of the formations. The stops also include the petrified forest. We were only in the Park,but there are acres of this that is not subject to the Park rules. But I think it is still a good idea to walk softly in the whole area and not remove bits. There already has been tons of the petrified forest removed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

wood duck

Shooting with my Canon S3 IS, ISO: 200, my colors to vivid, 1/500 sec, F4.0, focal length: 72.0 mm, on February 20, 2007, in a private water bird preserve somewhere in Washington State. We spent the day with the old folks group going to see 'the swans' which gather in great flocks in the fields at this time of year on their migration pattern. Dan was driving the bus, as he does regularly as a volunteer. It was an excellent day, despite our getting up at 4:30.
I have quite a few of these duck photos. I might add them to my PN birds folder.

Yesterday we got a new compost bin and since the sun was shining today, I got out in the garden for a couple of hours. I got the compost moved into the new bin and found I have some pretty good stuff mostly finished, so I left it out beside the new bin covered with the old bin's cover. The woodland area looks not too bad. I need to clean out the honeysuckle as it is just messy. The bluebells are taking over, but I don't care. They are easy maintenance. I need to trim back the firethorn. The pond needs its new pump and edges fixed. I want to empty the old cedar trough out and get rid of it, too. I'll add the plants to the small rock garden area. Otherwise the back and front gardens are not doing too badly. I missed the crocus show, and the tulips aren't out yet. The daffodils, hellebores, polys, and other little bulbs are putting on a fairly nice, quiet show. I lost my evergreen clematis and the grape to the garage painting last summer. Oh well. They were fairly high maintenance, so this is in keeping with my moving to lower maintenance stuff. I need a few more little hedging cedars -- maybe about 6 or 8 if I put about 3 along the front where I took out the big pine and deodora cedar. Its too wet to mow, but the grass really needs it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Stained Glass Church Window

I am getting a few more photos of our 2004 trip to Scotland/Ireland resized and fixed for my web page. This is the window of a Church in Ireland that I think turned out fairly well.

Catch the Red Train

Camera: Canon S3 IS, "P" shooting mode, ISO: 80, Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec., Fstop: F4.0, Exposure compensation: -2/3, my colors set to 'vivid', and size set to 'wide', bright sunny day, shooting through the window of the moving van, a few adjustments in photo editor and noise removal in neat image, day of shot: 02/28/07, somewhere between Needles and Winter Haven, CA, with Hoya NDx8 filter attached.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Green Lake, Carlsbad Caverns

The Carlsbad Caverns are awesome. This is the Green Lake.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Road Runner

We arrived home 2 days ago (12th) from our trip to the Southwest US, primarily in New Mexico. This is the 'enchanting' state, and I was enchanted. So much to see! Rugged, stark, beautiful. I could not live there, though. The air is very dry and my rainforest skin does not like that.

I shot this road runner on 'sports' mode of my Canon S3 IS. I am pretty pleased with the photos I managed to cram on to my 1 GB card. I had to delete some, as I ran out of space before the end of the trip. Then I was shooting in the next to large size. Oh well, maybe next time we will have our laptop to take along; or I will get more storage.

I am finished the laundry and cleaning up the light garden. There is always more to do, though.