Monday, December 30, 2013

A walk in the Park in early December

 Belated Christmas wishes and all the best in the new year.  This is a combination of two photos.  The hummingbird really was feeding at a snowy feeder.  I just added the background of more snow.  In the last few days our temperatures have been above freezing so the humming birds are feeding without the cold and snow.
 The following photos are from the 4th of December... still Autumn...  when I went for a walk in the Park.  The sun was shining and the colors were incredible.  We had very nice Autumn colors this year.
One view of the Pond in the park.   It had thin ice on it, but no birds.  Very unusual.  This photo is going to be one that I will be using on the calendar I am making.  I have found a template for making the calendars that uses Windows Office.  I am trying to learn to use my printer to add my own photos to the calendar.  Its not perfect, but I am learning more about printing.   I will soon need more ink, though.  :-)  Yesterday, I was able to do, what I thought, was a very good job of photos of Pat's motorcycle that he will be getting licensed as an antique, as the licensing department needs the photos to see that it is an authentic antique.
 This is a close up of a lovely big piece of moss against the golden background light.
 more of the ice on the pond and the reeds at the edge.
Our park is allowed to grow its natural grasses and trees.  The view was wonderful with the grasses moving and shining in the sunlight.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Early December in the Garden

 This is the scene that greeted me on December 1st.  There were about half of the leaves left on the liquid amber tree on Nov. 30th.  Overnight we had a bit of rain and all the rest of the leaves came down, carpeting the hedges, the front entry, the grass paths and everything else in the front garden.  The most of the leaves, we mulched up and put into our old compost bin to create some 'leave mold' for our own composting.  In 2014 Saanich is going to start collecting and charging us for the 'green garbage' pickup.  I won't be keeping my Community Composting guys, with whom I am already doing the stuff Saanich has foisted upon us.  I would rather keep the Community Composting as they are very good and accept all the stuff Saanich will be doing.  They fetch the bin from the back and I do not have to drag it out to the front.  I get a bag of compost on every pick up from them.  So, now I will be making compost again.  But not with anything that attracts rats.  Saanich can have that stuff.
 This is the cyclamen along the old sidewalk beside the garage.  It is finished blooming and has this show of lovely leaves.  There are little plants popping up in different places around the garden.  It seems these plants, which grow bulbs, seem to have to reach a certain maturity and size before they bloom.  They are excellent and I hope to encourage them to grow where ever they appear in the garden.
 We had frost and a bit of snow on the 5th of December.  This is the birdbath on the deck with a leaf from the front tree that blew over the house and landed here.  It was begging to have its picture taken.  We are still in a cold snap with below freezing temperatures day and nite.  We have very little snow, so there is only the ice that is a hazard to walking and driving.
 I played a bit with the leaf, in photoshop to make a selective color photo of it.  I learned how to use the quick selection tool, click on the 'inverse' of the selected part.  Then I went to the layers palette and click on the little icon at the bottom that is half black and half white.  From the drop down menu there I choose the black and white filter and proceeded to play to make the background and all of the inverse selection to a monchrome.  I rather like how this one turned out.  I am not totally a fan of selected colors photos, but this one works for me.
 This is the last bud of the Peace rose before the freezing set in.  I guess this will end the bloom on the roses.  Taken with my little Sony.
 A photo of the December Iceberg rose taken with the Sony.
And a back lit photo of the white rose taken with my little Canon.  Before I managed to learn the quick selection tool I had tried to use the lasso tool to select the rose and do the blur of the background on the inverse selection.  I worked not too bad, but I must try it with the quick selection tool, too.  It is much faster and more precise. 
I have entered a copy of the original of this photo into the Canadian Wildlife Federation contest for the month of December.  The theme is the new and the old.  Come vote for me!  :-}