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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Third Thursday Challenge

I'm barely squeaking in on this Third Thursday Challenge! Thankfully Brenda gives us extra time to link our projects. Once a month we try something new. It doesn't have to be in photography, but that seems to be where I find myself.  I've been wanting to try some macro images that are backlit with a light box. Today, at the last minute, I drug everything out and here's what I came up with. 

I guess I should call them abstract, macro, backlit images. You can't always tell when they are!

First, I used a lime.
The hardest part was cutting the thing.
Very tough skin on this one!






This next one reminds me a quilt block called Cathedral Window.



Poke Sallet
Have you ever eaten any?
Not me, but I understand there's a certain stage where it's safe to eat.
Finding the poke sallet made me think of that old (1968) song Polk Salad, Annie
Maybe you've never heard of it, but Elvis sang it in 1970.


crushed cinnamon candy
This really smelled good when I was photographing it!


sprinkles


Trying something new not only keeps my creative juices flowing, it helps me learn more about my camera, lens, and settings.

Thanks so much to Brenda for hosting this link up. Click the button below to drop by and see what some of the others have done.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Summertime

Summer...
my least favorite season.

Hot!
Humid!
Yuck!

Enough said!

On the positive side,
we've had more rain than usual
and we did have a few cooler days.

This week's summer scavenger hunt
had me looking for
some good things about summer
to cancel out the bad.

fountain, water play, towel,
swing, fresh, corn, sunset


The water from this FOUNTAIN looks cool.



Speaking of water,
how about some WATER PLAY for keeping cool.


I wish I were sitting on a TOWEL
on the beach,
smelling the salt in the air,
and feeling the wind in my hair.


When I was a child
I didn't mind the heat.
It was wonderful to be outside
flying high in a SWING;
tipping my head back looking at the sky.


 The FRESH food of summer is a plus. 
From my neighbor's garden delicious tomatoes and okra.
Okra that I can't wait to fry!


To that I'll add some
CORN with a little pepper and butter.


And at the end of the day I'll watch
the beautiful SUNSET!


I'm reminding my self to not wish away the summer months
and to find joy and beauty in each day!

Weather
Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

~ Author Unknown

Friday, July 26, 2013

Along The Highway...


Mr. H and I traveled through northwest Arkansas on Wednesday. A round trip of about 400 miles in a little less than nine hours. It wasn't a stop-and-take-pictures trip. It was a shoot-pictures-out-of-the-truck-window trip.   As you can guess, I didn't keep very many of them!! It was challenging, but fun to see what I could get quickly pointing and shooting and it kept me occupied!


We traveled what's called the Pig Trail Scenic Byway (Highway 23) known for it's steep hills and hairpin turns. One source I read said that the Pig Trail's twisty, curvy road owes it's name to the wild hogs who carved paths through thick forest growth, creating trails that settlers later adopted. Another more common reason for the name is because it's the route many University of Arkansas Razorback fans used to get to Fayetteville to "call the hogs." The "Hogs" being the school mascot and you know they have curly little tales. Whatever the reason, it is steep, twisty, and curvy with some gorgeous views.



I love the rolling mountains of Arkansas which seem to just go on forever. In those mountains and in the valleys there are creeks, rivers, cows, horses, chicken houses, and barns. 



The barns are what caught my attention!


I saw lots of barns, but my favorites ones are the old barns; barns with weathered wood and rusted tin roofs. Barns that sit in overgrown fields.


Some in fair shape, and some falling down.


Small ones and large ones.



Some that are still in use.


Is it just me, or do you ever envy where someone else lives? I do! Reading blogs contributes to this problem.  I sometimes think, if I lived there or there I'd be in photography heaven.  I always wanted to live by the ocean or in a foreign country with castles and old rock walls. My favorite dream place to live would be in the mountains where I owned half of a mountain with waterfalls and wildflowers; where I didn't have to see anyone if I didn't want to. I wouldn't mind seeing the neighbor's smoke from their chimney on the next mountain over though. Unrealistic isn't it? Those are just dreams, living in central Arkansas is reality. All it takes is a road trip for me to realize all over again, how grateful I am to be right here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Finds

Another week of summer has come and gone!  And, another summer scavenger hunt is complete. Great prompts once again and lots of fun finding them! I was looking for...
butterflies,  sunglasses,  flowers,  sprinkler,  ice cream,  watermelon,  and  relaxing.

The first prompt was the hardest...butterfly. I searched high and low for one of these elusive beauties! They seem to be so scarce this year. I finally gave up and posted this image. It seemed a fake butterfly would have to do!


Later in the week I traveled to my daughter's home to spend a few days. Needing a break from the car ride, I bought a sandwich and stopped at a little city park for lunch. A park which just happened to have a small flower garden that was attracting...butterflies! I rushed back to the car, grabbed my camera, and took shots of butterflies until I was just too hot to take any more!




Sunglasses, those are something I use regularly. Once I got started, my sunglasses were suddenly everywhere!



Of course, you can't have a summer scavenger hunt without some pretty flowers.




To keep the lawns and flowers pretty we need to drag out the sprinklers several times a week. This little squirrel braved the sprinkler to get some of the sunflower seeds I put out for the birds.


Summertime just wouldn't be complete without some homemade Milky Way Ice Cream.


As I mentioned before, I went to my daughter's this week. I knew we were going to spend one day on the lake, so I took along a watermelon for us to eat and to use for this last prompt. I was going to make watermelon balls and place them in a bowl for the shot. When my grandson, Josh, started helping me, I knew this shot was so much better than just a bowl of watermelon!


 Our last prompt was relaxing. Photography is more relaxing to me than anything else.


These summer scavenger hunts are not always easy, but they have been fun. They have also gotten me outside on these hot summer days.

I certainly hope you're finding ways to enjoy your summer!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Antics of Mr. Jedediah Squirrel

I, Mr. Jedediah Squirrel, like seeds.
Don't get me wrong, I like nuts in the winter,
but, I love seeds in the summer.
I know exactly where to find the seeds I like...
under the bird feeder.
I have Gramma fooled,
she thinks the birds are happily eating all the black sunflower seeds,
but they're not! 
I AM!!
Aren't I sneaky??


There, I see the feeder.
I see the sunflower seeds that have fallen to the rocks below.
Here I go!!



I have to be still for a moment.
Gramma was outside just a little while ago with that annoying camera!
I don't see her.
Maybe she gave up!



OH, NO!
NO! NO! NO!
She's turned on the sprinkler!
If she thinks that will run me off.
She's wrong!! 


Man, that water is cold!
I'm staying, I'm freezing, but I'm staying!
My tummy is really hungry for those seeds!!
They may get a little soggy, but I'm not leaving!



Better get out the umbrella.
Don't you wish you had a tail that you could use for an umbrella!!
He-he-hee!!


Gramma is pretty tricky with her seeds.
Let me see if she's hid some between the rocks.


Do I have something on my mouth?
How embarrassing is that!!


Wait!
There she is
on the porch and
she has that CAMERA!!
She sees me!!

 I'm outta here!!
Bye-Bye!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Serendipity

I had one of those days yesterday that didn't start out like I planned, but ended so unexpectedly well! I went looking for butterflies, since I've seen very few in my yard and needed a picture of one for a scavenger hunt. I thought about a couple of places where summer flowers were plentiful. One was a Little Rock visitor's center where the gardens are kept by a Master Gardener. First off, I couldn't find it!  I had been there once before with my sister and thought I knew where it was. Not so!  I checked the city map...didn't find it. (I was totally looking in the wrong area!) I stopped at the post office, don't you think they would know where it was?  No, never heard of it!  One kind, YOUNG lady in line behind me suggested I used my GPS on my car or Google it on my phone.  I smiled and said, I didn't have GPS on my car and my phone doesn't even take pictures, let alone get on the internet.  She looked at me like I was from the dark ages!!  Another kind, OLDER lady did gave me directions and I finally found it.  It has always been beautiful, only this time the parking lot was full of workers. They were painting the fence and doing some upkeep. I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures around them, so I went with Plan B, the Old Mill in North Little Rock.


There were flowers, but I didn't see a butterfly anywhere.
Where are they this summer?
I did find dragonflies!
 
 
 
As I left the Old Mill and headed for the Interstate to come home, I pulled into an abandoned landscape nursery to capture this scene. Loved the white fence and the crepe myrtles. It's a shame it's in front of an abandoned building!

Still on my way to the Interstate I saw the road that led to a very beautiful church. I have been wanting to get a picture of their steeple for my steeple collection. Beautiful isn't it!
 
 
A very sweet lady came from inside the church. She had seen me through a window taking pictures and.......she asked if I would like to go inside and take some pictures.  Oh, yes!!  I certainly did!
 
It was filled with beautiful stained glass, like this dome in the foyer.



I was glad I had my point and shoot camera with me, too. I was able to get more of the dome with it. I really, really wanted to lie down on the floor and shoot straight up, but I didn't quite thing that would be appropriate.

Below you can see the rest of the four panels.

           
    Moses and the Ten Commandments                            Jesus and the lady at the well

          
   Daniel in the lion's den                                             The good Samaritan

 
We then stepped into the semi-dark auditorium where soft music played. I was pleased with my 50mm lens and how well it did in low light. Yes, this was lit with purple lights.


The image below was taken in the entryway to their school. It is actually a waterfall, but they don't keep it running unless its a special occasion.

Who knew what beauty was behind those walls.

Serendipity...that's what I call it! My mother thinks it's odd that I talk to strangers when I have a camera in my hands. She knows exactly how shy I am.  I don't know what it is, but I am more at ease and more confident when I'm carrying my camera.  I guess that's just another benefit of photography.  It has certainly gotten me into some very interesting places.
 
I'm still looking for butterflies!!