Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Since the last image was of Cassie and Pooh - Sam thought he should be front and center... using Cassie as a pillow. He's doing great after the knee surgery *TPLO* I'm floored to think that it was only 9 days ago!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I have gained a new respect for my laptop. I used to live in fear of it crashing... but my new best friend is the 'reset point'... if something goes wrong I tell it to go back to the last save point and reset... it's like a magical UNDO button... and I'm up and running - feeling bulletproof once more.

I feel EPT!

Friday, November 28, 2008

No matter where they are - Pooh is close by. I just sent him through a wash/dry cycle, as they gum him and he gets kinda stinky... but for the most part - they both find him comforting and are either snuggled up with him or resting their chins on him. He serves as both pal and prop for both Sam and Cassie.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have you ever started to view 'machines' as almost human and worried?
I know most of us have a fine line between humans and pets - but... a 'time machine' that is placed each night so that it can communicate with the Great Time Clock... and check the accuracy of its settings!

What I'm talking about is more commonly known as a WATCH! This demanding little thing has to be placed, nightly, so that it has a direct line of communication to access some sort of information beams outside - it updates itself & checks timekeeping accuracy with some link out there that tells it what time is 'right'.

I come to expect to see it hanging in between the slats of the blinds... craning its 'neck' to reach out to this invisible beam. When it travels with him, I miss its presence, and take some comfort when it comes home to roost. Does saying goodnight to it make me odd?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I think it was mentioned that although droplets on the flowers are cool - web inspired droplets are just so much cooler!
OK, this is not your average web, nor expected average web droplets - this was on a odd web - with a long chute/tunnel that the spider would retreat down. So - these droplets are hanging down underneath the web... click the pic and see what I mean.

do these rate?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

SO - today - after driving by this for about 1 1/2 years, I FINALLY had my other camera - the pocket Canon Power Shot with me. (yes... it's another blasted Canon camera... ((she ducks)).
This photo proves to me that there is always another solution to every problem.

The tree had grown around the wire - so rather than risk cutting the live electrical wire from the tree... they simply cut down the tree - leaving the enclosing segment to 'dangle' from the wire. I just have to laugh everytime I see this... : )

No picture to back it up - but I filled up the car today for $1.73 gal - can you believe it?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

This evening we went to see the new James Bond movie - and as the tickets were being purchased I wandered into the lobby. The theater is relatively new and as I was walking in - I was taken by the pattern on the floor - much like you'd expect to find under some grand rotunda in a government building. This one had a rather stylized bullseye and I was drawn right to the center - when I reached it, I looked up to meet the eyes of another woman who was sitting at a small table on the edge of the lobby. She said something to me - I couldn't hear her clearly - so went over. She said that she'd been watching people for awhile now - and although she'd seen many kids use the graphics on the floor - walking in the 'lanes' of the bullseye etc. I was the first adult.

It was one of those huh... moments. Feeling triumphant in a funny sort of way - as I felt almost as if I hadn't had a choice in my actions. More of being magnetically drawn to the center... but on the other hand, feeling a bit embarassed that I got 'caught' doing it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This single solitary rose caught my eye this morning in the early light. Such perfection - in packaging, design and execution. I changed it from a photograph of a rose into a 'virtual painting' with Photoshop's Dry Brush effect.

Even with the change - I bow to thee, Mother Nature.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hearty, yet delicate - the pansy. I planted these last week and greet them each morning as we head out to walk - it's always surprising though how much of a 'dressing up' a little rainshower can do. I know you're probably tired of droplet photos - but - they do influence my muse... and I think they're perhaps some of my very favorite things!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What a refreshing sight! I went with a friend to take her daughter to college - we drove for almost 11 hours (round trip)... aside from the gorgeous fall colors creeping out - we took note of the amazing difference five hours driving distance can make in gas prices! I was paying close to $4.09 and looky what we found! Since this time, I've noticed that locally gas is going for $2.99 - wish I had a larger gas tank!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I have started to write twice about this event that occurs locally... but it's a lot to explain - and I gave up. But it's quite fun, so I'll attempt to tell you again.

Twice a year our church hosts these nights, once for middle school and another night for HS. It's sort of a military event - where the kids are split up into teams, and the idea is to get from one end of the playing field *at night, uneven terrain* to the command post at the other - without being captured and WITH a set of 'orders' to be stamped upon completion. Sounds easy, eh?

Well, peppered on the darkened field are rangers *dressed up in camoflauge* that are just waiting to capture you and tear your orders in half. Once captured, you can only be 'sprung' by a team mate giving up a stamped set of orders. Imagine all this going on - with search spotlights scanning the sky/ground... and a sound track of air raid sirens... The object is to be the team with the most stamped orders at the end of the evening.

The kids LOVE it and the adults LOVE acting like kids for the night! Winning team gets a commemorative T-shirt.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This photo is dedicated to my pal out in Midland - Jannn. She just loves the lens effect and I think of her every time I take a photo like this...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Long dry spell. Guess what today's theme is?
- glorious, drippy, droppy, wet RAIN -

this next photo is a bit odd, but work with me. It's a droplet hitting the surface in a pot - making the indentation on the surface before the ripples get sent out...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What a task! We are only a few days into teaching the furry beasts how to recognize the flags on the wireless fence. For it to be effective, you have to either lift them over the 'invisible barrier'... or drive them over it when you go for a walk. Sam is around 100# so that's not going to happen... now my morning routine has changed some, we pile into the car and drive off somewhere to go for a long walk.

I can't tell you how many times Cassie has decided to come from the very back to come sit in the front seat. NOT GOOD. I'm not all about having fur and footprints all over the inside of my car. SOOO

I just got done installing a wire barrier system we had purchased for our old Expedition... I thought it was specifically for only that model - but as luck would prove, it fits beautifully in my Volvo. No more wandering clay-footed-furrry-monster-flying Cassie wandering around the inside of the vehicle!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Doesn't this just scream 'Made in China' at you in a high pitched a wail? It just doesn't look like something produced by Mother Naure.
THIS is the glass color that lampwork artists hunger for. It's growing in the woods - on a rather unassuming bush at a gentle curve of the walking path. I've been stalking it for months now - waiting for the berries to turn... and since my earlier attempts to capture a fitting image have proved unsuccessful (you try balancing two dogs and a camera), so today this branch segment came home with me. Currently living in a vase - to be admired on a whim (many whims). As I recall - QTFISH had identified it as an American Beautyberry Bush... Very pretty!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is this not a hoot? Outside our favorite burger joint there is a micro-parking lot. Solely for golf carts... Imagine - even smaller than the Smart cars... able to leap tall buildings in a single bound... and be driven by teenagers. Scary thought.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

See who was outside last night as the dogs went out for the final time. He was about the size of a red globe grape...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Do you know the Bullwinkle plant I was talking about a few posts ago? Well - here's a surprise, it FLOWERED! Anyone out there know what this is? It's on a long thin stem - and is very papery... but also very pretty.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Why does the name Bullwinkle pop up when I spotted this?? If you click an enlarge the image it has the subtle furriness of the moose antlers...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Closer to home, I received an unexpected thrill yesterday as I sliced open one of those watermelons that's about the size of a bowling ball... Is this not glorious? Very pretty at the least.
It tasted great also!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This all got me to thinking about what travel is about. Is it - to stay in a lush resort and spend all the time locked in the confines of only what IT is? Or is it about the flavor of the place you're visiting?

Many years back we traveled to Athens, Greece and as a city - it was a bit overwhelming. We did the normal touristy things - seeing the Parthenon and walking around the streets - but it was too much. Then we caught a ferry out to Paros, a little island out near Naxos... as the ferry approached the dock - there was a group of people standing at the end of the dock holding up pictures of places to stay. Some of which looked like their very own homes. We headed to a place called Hotel Dina in the old city of Parikia on Paros, where we settled in to a second floor room that had two sets of doors out to small balconies - one of which looked out onto the roof of The church of Enangelistria, and the other out onto the rooftop of a restaurant where we would enjoy breakfast the following days. It was quaint, charming and absolutely beautiful.

(These two photos are from the Hotel Dina's website - I didn't take them)It's a modest hotel, fresh and neat - we slept with the doors open and in the morning went to the other balcony to watch an elderly woman with a bucket of whitewash... re-marking the spaces in between the flat rock paving stones on the narrow walkways... life is slow - and I think that's part of the charm - it gives you time to savor the beauty.
Puerto Rico is an island with a very pretty coastline and an interior that is rainforest. Off in the distance here you see the large mountain that is revered in hushed tones almost as if it were a living god. El Yunque as I have read it's name translates as "forest of clouds". It seems early every evening - while the coastline is still basking in sunshine, you can turn inland and see large ominous clouds 'hitting' the top of this mountain and letting loose with rain. I wish I had been better able to capture the varying degrees of grey clouds that defined the different hills that were visible - but this is about as good as it got.

A few days out on the eastern side of the island, then a few in Old San Juan were just the ticket. As with all large remote resorts, you have a feeling of being held hostage to only their amenities. Whereas, the freedom of a hotel in Old San Juan allowed us to wander and get a feeling for the city that we wouldn't have experienced had we stayed solely at the resort.

The buildings were painted cheery pastels - much like what we had seen in Prague - the streets were cobbled and narrow... it could easily have been Europe. We found wonderful restaurants and really had our cups topped off when it came to basking in the local fare.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Now, do you 'get it' when people talk of Carribbean colors? It's right here. Along with this idyllic castaway island. Imagine being shipwrecked on something like that? Not my cuppa tea. Beautiful for the moment - Hellish, any longer than you want to be there.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Between the forts I mentioned yesterday, there is a small cemetery with above ground crypts perched just on the edge of the sea and this little chapel in its center. This image offered just a peek of the pinky top, was enough to send my shutter snapping.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Breathtaking? Yes. We toured both El Morro and San Christobal forts located at the leading edge of the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. These forts were poised to protect the port/city from invasions from Pirates and (ahem, yes...) Americans among other long-ago conquerers. I was particularly taken with the turrets and wall structures pictured here against the sea.
This shows one of the Devil's Sentry Boxes - click to read the story about the legend...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Remember that telelvision ad for some cellular company, more towers more places? This resort is on top of a big hill *I think it'd be a stretch to call it a mountain* in Puerto Rico - where in the evenings - large and very threatening clouds roll in - and hit the top of these hills. I saw many amazing views that showed different almost 'grayscale' layering of hills off in the distance. Photos just didn't capture it. But these palms were pretty cool too.

Lots of pretty flowers and lush grasses...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My first job, straight out of college, was working for a retail store that sold imported marble and tile to local architects and designers. I loved the bold graphics of the Mexican tiles as well as the eye-popping colors. In this one particular photo, I see Talavera tile, A version of Saltillo floor tile and what looks to be Cantera paving stone. A warm reminder of how these items all come together once again for that 'total look'.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Years ago I remember seeing absolutely beautiful Beauganvilla in Greece, it was fuchsia - I don't recall ever seeing white... but then today stumbled upon this.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Twice the blessing today, RAIN... and a beautiful display on the caladium leaves. It looks as if it were sprinkled with diamonds! Years ago, I saw a leaf that had fallen, and the rain had formed these tall droplets on the upturned underside surface. My how they amplified the leaf... and I use that inspiration quite often in my work, to call attention to detail. Loved the rain!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Beautiful soft and feathery... colorful to boot. Out of its natural element - planted in a pot by a friend who so wanted this grass to be 'native'... I applaud you.
Val has surfaced, and says: "The grass is called "purple fountain" grass. Just an annual, but grows great in our drought situation! Actually, seems to do better with no water. " I defer to the one with the knowledge! : )

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What is it, you ask? Why it's a simple bird feeder... for the simple birds. What it's not is a squirrel feeder for those complicated squirrels. After spending a few hours hearing about the pack of 10-12 squirrels who were gorging themselves on the birdseed... and watching my friend trying to scare them off... and also her tales of greasing up the post - to no avail. What seems to have finally worked is this large diameter tube - one that the squirrels can't get their little arms wrapped around. Funny, eh? To what lengths we have to go to to outwit those little critters!?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

asking permission...Cassie's tail UP and wagging - permission granted.
This is not Sam, it's Dakota - our charge for the past week... it's been such fun having three of them! They have such mild dispositions it was a real pleasure.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I know this is a little silly, but often when I'm walking the dogs down that very familiar path - I already know a lot of the sights... and overlook them - deep in thought. This is the smiling woodsman - you see the little tiny smile there on the tree in what is probably bubble gum? I always remember to look up when we round the bend - and smile back.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Unlikely little green visitor... brought to my door by one of the little boys in our neighborhood a few years back... he (froggie) sat briefly for me under the lamp on my desk for his official portrait. Colorful little guy, eh?
It was amazing, I had posted this picture on a chat forum, and within a few days the people online had almost pinpointed the fact that 'home' was in Southern Germany at the time!

Friday, June 13, 2008

You know how you sometimes see snowflakes in movies that seem to meander - as if gravity has no pull? This was one such snow. It was taken in bone chilling temps on a ranch in the remoteness of the panhandle of Texas. Not that it does matter - but the horse's name is Romeo. It is a very quiet and lovely memory.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

If one is good, two has to be better - right? Yes, that is the thinking that led to Cassie... the smaller golden. She was located online - and shipped from Rochester. Sam decided that if he didn't look at her - she would 'go away'. Two weeks into this - he looked pleadingly at us "She IS going home, right??".
She played Alpha dog almost immediately - stradling Sam's head/shoulders - so that he had to peek out from below... but he didn't mind. Then she became his shadow - and it's been that way ever since!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why, when this is a nation at war does our neighborhood not allow the flag to fly in the front of the house?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It just wouldn't be complete without introducing Cassie also. She'll be two in September, and justly fitting her feminine nature - she's a petite 55lbs. The best thing we did was obedience training for her, she will stop on a dime to come when called! I only wish Sam were so predictable.

This image has been changed to monochromatic, then dry-brushed in Photoshop - if you click on the photo, you will see that it looks like a painting. Such a pretty and willing subject makes it much easier to get good shots, no?

Monday, June 9, 2008

This lends so much warmth to the room. I love how nothing 'matches'... yet - it's such a harmonious existence. Lots of little clay drawers... perfect for storing those perfect little nothings that we all have (and don't know where to store). ((Pier One a few years back))

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Color, texture & intensity... the trio for photographic happiness. I'm anxiously awaiting the flowering of this plant as well as have a keen eye on the beauty bush that's along the path we walk daily... you'll see just how 'worth it' the wait will be!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Color and nature, amazing once again. I love the way this beauty didn't take his eye off me the entire time I was getting set. He had a ladylove - and her eyes were so feminine... it was like looking at a little granny with full battle make-up on. Amazing tho - they can live upwards of eight decades years!
don't ask me why. Just let me explain. It's part of that love affair I have with my Sony... it was Halloween timeframe and we'd just staked out the heads... I just couldn't resist. Who would've thought that they'd turn out to be so cool??

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It all has to do with perspective. These crocus were screaming to be photographed, and for all their colorful beauty - I was later devastated when I took them from the camera into editing mode... as saw that there was a horrible cigarette butt amid the flowers on the left hand side. But it's all about how you choose to look at things. It's still a wonderful picture - even if I hadn't told you that I'd cropped very carefully, and chose to show only the beauty.