Saturday, March 31, 2012

This One's For You, Jake!

It just amazes me how much work a boy can do when he's having fun!! Our oldest grandson, Jake, was allowed to drive Gramp's Kubota. Now don't worry, we're always right there with him, he's wearing a seat belt (did you know tractor's have seat belts?), and he drives very carefully. Gramps has taught him well! He drove around for a while and the next thing we knew he had stopped at the edge of woods, got off and began picking up dead limbs and logs. He loaded them on the mowing deck and took them to our burn pile. When you live in the country, there's always a burn pile!!

I love this shot!! Drew and Josh following the tractor with big brother Jake watching to make sure they're not getting to close! I love Josh's arm around Drew!  They're pretty good buddies!

After clearing out a lot of short logs he and I decided to drag out some fallen trees. I tied on the strap and he pulled them to the pile.

Gramps and I burned the pile one day this week.  I have a little trick for starting fires. I save dryer lint. I will stop and say this KEEP YOUR LINT IN YOUR DRYER CLEANED OUT!!! It is highly flammable! I started this fire with two handfuls of lint and two matches!. You would be shocked to see how fast dryer lint flames up! OK, off my soap box, but please do be careful with your lint!  At the end of the day there was just a pile of smoldering ashes!

Jake, you don't know how much we appreciate all the hard work you did for us!!  Gramps and I would have been very sore after getting on and off the tractor as many times as you did and picking up all those logs! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! If I could hug your neck through this computer I would!!

Love you!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

{in the picture} ~ March 2012

In The Picture

I'm still trying really hard to take my self-portraits each month. It's a little easier, I bought a remote for my camera. I'm not having to set the timer and then run to get in position!!  Being in front of the camera...still not so easy!  I have begun to feel more and more intimidated with the images that are posted! I'm not a free spirit, I'm shy, and self conscious. I want to be free and twirl or pose, but I only look silly!  I will keep trying though.

Our theme this month was black and white. I like that, it covers a lot of blemishes!!

I went to a local park and took a few shots. I was a little brave this time! There were a few other people around. I mostly hid from them. I didn't take my tripod, that would have been too obvious. I just set my camera close by and tried to relax; pretending I didn't care if they thought I was weird!!

I took my Artful Blogging magazine to give me something to hide behind!!
I felt better not looking directly at the camera!

Another shot, same magazine, different place!!
Tried the pencil sketch feature just for fun.

Soaking up a little sun!

This makes a total of twelve self-portraits I've posted...only forty to go!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Delightful Spring

Spring is a delightful time of the year! I like the word "delightful", doesn't it just seem springy? After the starkness of winter it's such a delight to see springs colors and to listen to the brooks running swiftly from the spring rains.  It seems our spring came very early this year. Most of my blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers are already gone. I did post about them here if you'd like to see them.

In the past I've gone through spring looking at the beautiful trees and bushes enjoying their beauty. This year I kept my eyes on the ground and focused on the tiny delights. I've never seen this little wildflower and had to Google it to find out that it is Wood Sorrell. I'm amazed at the beauty of God's world now that I "see" through photographer's eyes! 
(I've posted this photo on my blog already! I hope you don't mind the repeat, but I just love these little flowers!)

I was still able to find some color in my yard. My azaleas are blooming rather nicely. Seems they really like the milder winter. Isn't this a delightful color? It's my favorite!

My wisteria always delights me with its shades of purple, especially when it shimmers in the morning dew.

In my shade garden, the hostas have begun to push their way out of the soil in just the last few days. They are such a delightful shade of green!
Spring blooms and blossoms don't seem to last long enough! Along with the blooms come the spring rains that cause the delicate petals to fall to the ground. We've had so many rainy days that getting outside to capture the spring beauty has been difficult. I found this quote that expresses how I feel.

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush. ~Doug Larson

I'm linking this post to a wonderful blog created by several of my online photography friends called Focusing On LifePlease drop by and visit them. They always have beautiful photography and such thought provoking musings! Just click on their name above and prepare to be inspired!!

Wishing you a Delightful Spring!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Break

 All four of our grandsons were here to celebrate spring break.  A very wet spring break!!  This is where we piled our shoes when we came in the front door!  There were more shoes in the pile than we had feet!!  Hmmm...I see two pair of mine!

We celebrated Drew and Josh's fifth birthday. I can't believe they're five!!! They both got T-ball sets from us. We usually give them the same things; less envy that way. When they're older we may do things differently.  They did have to share the bases!   Aunt Aimee and Aaron are checking out the gifts.

On a very rainy day, we decided to take my daughter's boys to spend their Christmas gift cards. On the way there we saw this train coming down the track and parked so the boys could watch it!  There aren't any trains that run through their small town! Drew, the one on the far right, is absolutely obsessed with trains! You can see the joy on his face!!

Our first stop was Toys R Us.  We pretty much had the whole store to ourselves!  Not too many people want to shop in the rain!  If you don't mind, please don't tell the people there that we played in the cars!!  We saw no "keep off" signs anywhere! They had a blast, sitting in every vehicle!! I'm likin' that yellow one!!

Then, the serious shopping began! Up and down every aisle we went! I was surprised, they stuck with they're first choices!! The wait until we got home and could open those boxes was excruciating!!

 All three of them bought Lego sets; all with some type of trailer. This was a great thing to do on this rainy day!  I don't know how many times we had to rebuild them; they would get dropped or stepped on!  Right before they went home, I rebuilt each one just to make sure they had all the pieces. We were missing a jeep bumper which I'm still looking for! It will show up some day, I'm sure!!

The rain finally stopped at the end of the week. We stayed outside as much as possible.

We did a little of everything!
1. Drew and Josh played "spies" out in the woods. They were Agent D and Agent J. Such creative minds!! 
2. Aaron got to drive the Gator all by himself!!  Such a big boy!! All of the boys have had such a hard time watching where they are going. They want to see where they've been.
3. One of my favorite things to do when Jake is here is to have him take me for a four-wheeler ride in the woods behind our house. This trail is an old abandoned railroad bed complete with a trestle!  It's a great and safe place to ride!
4. Jake worked clearing dead trees and limbs from the edge of our property. He was a terrific driver! His Gramps taught him well and he does wear a seat belt. We now have a humongous pile of wood to burn!  Gramps and I have been meaning to clean this area for a long time, but, we kept putting it off!  It looks so much better and we didn't have to do the work. Jake didn't seem to mind working as long as he could drive the Kubota! I only had to tie and untie the strap that pulled the larger trees!  Thank you, Jake!!

It was a wonderful, fun week!!
I was tired and a sore when the week was over,
but it was worth it!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Macro Monday - March 16, 2012

A bud

a caterpillar

and light

When I first saw this small tree bud I was attracted to the light shining on it. I actually thought the caterpillar was part of the leaf until I looked at the image in my camera to see if it was focused!  I wish I could describe the thrill I felt when I realized that I had not seen this small caterpillar, but my macro lens did!  So much of nature's beauty is overlooked simply because it is so tiny.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - March 25, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

It's been fun and busy around here this week!
My four grandsons were here celebrating spring break! 
I did manage to find a little time to snap a few pictures for Scavenger Hunt Sunday with Ashley Sisk.

Our prompts were:
  • whimsy
  • create
  • dust
  • seed or sprout
  • swing or drop

Just a little garden whimsy

using Picasa to create art
(Dogwood blossom)

pollen dust on a philodendron that's outside

Daffodil seed

swing or drop?

Flowers are blooming,
pollen is in the air,
and the grass needs mowed!!
Spring is here!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Play Ball

Aaron and I played out in the beautiful sunshine!! 
A little too warm for Gramma, but perfect for Aaron. 
He decided to play a little T-ball.

Aaron gets his ball and places it on the "T".

"I am Wilson #4" he shouts.
(Let me explain, Wilson plays on the University of Arkansas
Razorback football team as their quarterback.
Aaron loves Wilson!)

"In the bat mobile!"
Bat mobile??
(Maybe he thinks they carry bats in the bat mobile.)

He swings the bat.

 The ball is hit!

"Fumble!!" he yells, "Wilson fumbles!" 

"It looks like a fumble to me!!"
This is exactly what he said as he was looking at the ground.

He throws his bat
(I guess he's been watching some real baseball)
and excitedly yells

Over and over he did this!
It was the most interesting and the fun game of T-ball I've ever seen!!

Ah, that we could be like a child,
play the game the way we want,
no rules, just plain old fun!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tips for Shooting in Macro


I mentioned recently that I have been trying a few tricks to help me with macro photography. It's my favorite type of photography and yet, I'm struggling with it!!  I'm older and have developed a hand shake! In a flickr group I belong to we've been discussing macro images and several have passed along a few tips I've tried. I'd love to pass those tricks along to you.

Terri says, "I had a terrible time getting my focus sharp. It seems I have a slight sway in my old age and just can't stand still enough! I know, I know, a tripod is the answer but I'm just too lazy most of the time. What has been working for me is to click the shutter as soon as focus is achieved, no waiting, just "beep" and then click. I have been getting a lot more in focus shots doing that." She also suggested that instead of focusing and then composing, to change the focus point on the camera. I didn't know you could change the focus point! I had to look it up in my camera manual!! I 've tried both her suggestions and they really helped me.

Judy suggests either using the timer on the camera - focusing, setting up my shot, then pushing the timer button or using a remote. That way you're not even touching the camera when the photo is taken.

Here's a suggestion by Carol, "tie a long string to the tripod screw at the bottom of your camera.
Step on the string and pull the camera up as you shoot to tighten the string. There you have it - homemade tripod! You'd be surprised how much it steadies your hand!" I was surprised! It did help. It doesn't help the side to side sway, but it did help steady the camera.

I've also found that if I breath out slowly and hold my breath while I shoot, I am steadier.

I've been shooting with a 50mm macro lens. After the discussions in this group, I want a 100mm now!!  I can't get quite as close as I want!!  I usually have to do some cropping. Which is usually OK unless I want to print! I also have a tripod, which is fine if you're photography a stationary object, but when chasing a bee or ladybug, it just won't work!!  I can usually find something to prop my camera on if the object I'm photographing is ground level.

It's still a game of luck with me!!  I usually set my camera on multi-shots and click away!  If I'm lucky, one of these will be in focus!!  I hope some of these simple suggestions will help you! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Macro Monday - March 19, 2012

'She sat down in a weed patch her elbows on her knees and kept her eyes on the small mysterious world of the ground. In the shade and sun of grass blade forests small living things had their metropolis.'
Nancy Price

Every time I tried to capture the face of this little ladybug, she would turn her back and hide under a leaf!  I finally just gave up and took one of her hiding.
Ladybugs, ladybirds, or lady beetles—whatever one calls them—are favored by farmers as voracious pest-eaters.

"Or perhaps you notice a congregation of ladybugs on a rose stalk. Don't invoke the old nursery saying and ask them to fly away home. Their house is not on fire. Your roses are, with aphids, which the ladybugs are feeding on - and you can bless yourself that they have come to your rescue."
- Eleanor Perenyi

Click on the link below to see a wonderful collection of macro images!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - March 18, 2012

It's time for another
Scavenger Hunt Sunday with Ashley Sisk.

Our prompts this week were:
nature's own
photographer's choice


This bronze plaque, cemented into the sidewalk, is about 5" across. In this age when so many people are tying to take God out of everything, I was surprised and pleased when I saw this!

These Mennonite women were selling breads, cookies, and fried pies at a spring festival. This young lady nicely agreed to have her picture taken.

Nature's Own flower pot!
Woodland violets growing in a hole on the side of a tree

Photographer's Choice
Muscari (grape hyacinths)

Wishing you a wonderful week!