May 31, 2009

In the Garden

Spring is moving right along here.  Things are definitely looking pretty.

Yes, the daisies have made their appearance.  There are lots of them - I think they spread like mad - at least that's how it looks to me.  But that's fine.  The more low maintenance flowers around the better.

I can't remember what these are called - it should be "maneating weed" or something equally dire!

I mean really, just look at this!  Doesn't it look like it will reach out and bite you if you get too close?

But the flowers are just gorgeous when it opens.  I have to check and see if it has bloomed today.  Looks like they're almost ready!

I'm still waiting for our peonies to bloom.  Nearly there... but not quite.

Of course we must not forget the new rose bush.  It's still got green stems so it lives yet!

And look!  It's even got a couple of tiny leaves! Yay!

Now I'll have to think of some mid to late summer blooming plants to get.  The garden seems to be geared to spring and fall with the flower types.  So mid summer is a bit dull. 

Must consider what I can plant and not kill off.

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May 28, 2009

For the first time in years

I will be watching the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.  Hockey in HD is excellent.  And I will be rooting for the Pittsburgh Penguins (since Chicago is out).   I highly recommend it for some great fun relaxation time.

Especially watch for this guy - Evgeni Malkin - incredibly talented and just wow!  Prettiest goal you'll ever see - hat trick goal game 2 against the Hurricanes.

Whew. Yeah - Incredible.

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May 27, 2009

Rain Rain Rain

It rained all day today.  Good for the plants of course.  Especially as I was feeling a bit guilty for not watering the rose yesterday. 

However, when it rains all day, when it's dark and  gloomy, we can all use a bit of sun. 

If it's been cloudy in your neck of the woods, maybe it will cheer you up.

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May 26, 2009

Look Around You

At the online Digital Photography School they had a 10 Meter Challenge.

Your challenge is to grab your nearest camera (could be the one on your phone) and to take up to 10 shots with it within 10 meters of where you are right now.
My nearest camera is always my D80 (I never put it away, it sits out on my counter).  And this is the shot I like best.

The rest are here.  What do you think? 

BTW - there are a couple of rock walls in the group.

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May 25, 2009

Things You Should Know

This is what I've been doing for the last little while. Of course it's only when I have the time - which has been scarce lately.  I think I've finally gone round the bend... what do you think?


Did you know that "social engineers" (AKA - creepy hackers) are now calling people in an effort to get on their computers?  At least in London they are.  I was listening to a podcast by Leo Laporte.  It's a radio call in show.  About 30 minutes into the show, a caller says someone called his brother (in London) and said they were from Microsoft.  They heard his computer was crashing and wanted to "help".   The brother bought it for a short time, letting the guy connect remotely to his home machine.  Then pulled the plug when things started sounding really off the wall to him.  I'm not surprised, but thought I should pass it on just in case you get phone calls... 

Please note - Microsoft will NEVER call you or email you about your computer.  Not unless you call them first - even then it's  not always a given that you will get a response if YOU contact THEM. 


The baby birds have flown the nest.  They were gone this morning by the time I got down to my office.  I don't see any signs of violence, so I'm guessing it was time and they're off on their adult adventures.


The rose has sprouted some tiny leaves.  Maybe I didn't kill it.  I remembered to water it  which is a good thing.


Last of all... if you don't like Starbucks, just go get coffee somewhere else.  No need to blow it up and ruin things for those of us who do like it!  Geeze.

Now have a good rest of the evening before tomorrow strikes and we're all back at it again.

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This Is Memorial Day

The town squares are ready.

The flags are in place.

Even the least of the buildings is set.

This is the day we remember them.

No matter how long it's been.

No matter how faded the headstone.

Whether they were taken from us in war or in peace.

Those who have protected us and kept us free will never be forgotten.

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May 23, 2009

Planting Day

This is the time... the time when we're pretty sure up north that winter has gone.  Now we can plant!

Well, if you want to plant.  I happen to love everyone else's gardens, but really hate being mauled by the mosquitoes and gnats to work in my own.  And they love me with an unbridled passion.  Buzzing my ears and eyes and wanting to bite me.

However, as I posted earlier this week, I bought a rose bush, a Marie Pavie via mail order.  From a local nursery we bought an azalea.  Both of which need planting or they'll die in their containers (I'd never remember to water them daily after a few days).

Today was planting day.  Here is what I assembled...

I was ready to go.  I started digging a hole where the container was sitting.  Things were moving along when my husband showed up with a larger shovel telling me that the small one was going to take too long to finish. 

Okay - no problem.   I let him finish digging. I'm all for someone else doing the heavy work whenever possible. And shortly there after we had the bush in place.

Time for water and mulch.  Extra mulch for the butterfly bush that is on the other side of the rock.  It looks dark now, but it will turn much lighter brown once it dries.

Then it was time to get the azalea planted.  Oddly enough it was very difficult to find a good spot.  All this garden space and we couldn't find a place we liked for it!

Finally we dug up a bit of Oak that was sprouting in the garden - coming from the root of a nearby tree.  That took some doing - digging, clearing, chopping.  Hopefully we got it cleared out enough that it won't be sprouting back any time soon.

And in goes the azalea.

I'm still not sure it's in the best place because of the plants around it.  But we'll see.  It's one of those things where it looks fine now, but what about when it grows over the next few years.

Now I need to go take a shower and get all the mosquito repellent off.  I hate that stuff, but at least with it on I have a fighting chance to only have a few bites instead of hundreds.

Happy planting everyone.

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May 22, 2009

Baby Birds

Under our back deck and right outside my office window (yes the window really is under the deck It's a nice view after you get past the support beams) there is a robin's nest with 3 babies.

I was able to get only one good shot while outside. At which point I was close enough to scare all three into thinking they would be today's dinner.  I haven't seen them so quiet since they were eggs.

See - none of them stirring even a feather.

Therefore, the only action shots I can get are through my office window which (let's face it, it's under a deck) is not exactly clean AND it has a screen.  Not what you'd call clear shooting. 

Look at them though.  They sit like that for hours scrambling about in the nest, vying for position open beaks pointed straight up the whole time!

Makes my neck hurt just watching that performance.  Just today they started making loud enough tweeting noises that I could just hear them at my desk.  Very faint, sounds like they are far away.  Took a while to realize they were making the sounds.

Of course mother bird is constantly feeding them.  All day long.  Back and forth, back and forth.  Endless stamina.  I want to tell her... I know just how you feel!  Like it will never end and you'll never get a chance to have a meal of your own!  (for a while, the father bird was helping, but I haven't seen him for a couple of days now)

And once in a while she decides to remind them who is boss.  That's it, just step all over them and get 'em back in line!

Way to go mom!  

As fast as these birds are growing I expect they'll be gone in another couple of days.  Even 2 days ago I could barely see their bills over the edge of the nest. Now they almost don't fit.

Yes, they're growing up and they know what to do when it's dangerous...

They've learned so fast!  Soon they'll leave the nest.

And mama will pop champagne corks. (I'm buying)

Next year - web cam.  Heh.

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 11:14 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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May 21, 2009

I Need Lists For Everything!

I guess in one respect it's a good thing I sent the camera off to be cleaned.  Since it came back with factory settings, I've had to revisit all the menus and reset things.  It's good to do that once in a while, even if it's irritating.

The trouble is, half the time I can't remember what the setting were. (my lamentable memory)  I need a list.  A list of every basic setting and where I keep it normally.  That way when things get changed I can put them back.

Right now I'm trying very hard to remember the focus settings I had. 

Of course the test photo in the store just snapped off in Auto and barely even considering - turned out pretty well.  That's a picture they have on their countertop.

However, after fiddling with some of the settings, I managed to find some time near the end of the day today to get out and take a few pics. 

Things are not quite right - I had to trash quite a few because of focus.  These were some of the few that made it through the first perusal.

Here you see the new rose bush waiting to be planted.  Poor little thing all leafless. 

And the azalea bush, which is rapidly losing its spring flowers. 

Both will be planted this weekend or I might kill them by forgetting to water.

Just for Rave we have a long view of the front rock wall.  In my usual way of having a 2 second attention span, I totally forgot to take a pic of the very old rock wall out back.  Figures.

The rhody on the side of the house is in full bloom - the rest are still thinking about it.  But while it was in shade when this pic was taken, it's south facing and in direct sun most of the day.

In back of the house we have some cute purple flowers growing between the rocks. Not sure what they are, but they're nearly finished blooming.  Yes, it's an odd angle to get the picture - the deck posts do not lean in real life - we paid a fortune to fix that problem last year.

Surprise - this one actually worked... well mostly. Very slow shutter speed means I was lucky to get one that was only a tad blurry in the center.  At smaller size it's a bit better.

Now this is what I call determination!  This rhody is nearly dead, but it's bound and determined to flower!  Yes that lone purply flower is from the rhody.

This last one I took because I thought it was a hosta. But my yard guy insists it's not.  He said he can't figure out what it is and has never seen them anywhere else he cuts lawns or at any of the local nurseries.  I have a bunch, so I let him take one.  Anyone know what it is? 

I pulled out my Nikon CD manual by Thom Hogan and went through it again.  I've reset a few things - the metering and the focus points.  Put my grid back (so I have a reference for "rule of thirds" (I so love my viewfinder).  And I'll try again tomorrow.

Fun with pictures. 

In the meantime my other project proceeds slowly.

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May 20, 2009

Got My Camera Back!

Yay!  It's all cleaned up and even has new firmware.  Very cool.  I had to go out and pick it up tonight or I would not have had a chance until sometime over the weekend.  So I bit the bullet and drove out to get it after dinner. 

I fired it up in the store to be sure it worked, but I won't be able to see the results of the sensor cleaning until I can put up a pic in Aperture and see it on the big screen. 

Nice firmware update - the screen is somewhat different and brighter.  All my settings were back to "factory" so I've had to spend some time putting things back to where I had them.  (I think I'm still missing one setting but I'll look again tomorrow)

In other exciting news - my new rose bush arrived today (pictures tomorrow).  It will be planted this weekend!  It looks excellent - although it has no leaves right now... they strip those off before shipping then new ones grow after planting.

But it's here!  I'm very happy.  I hope I get flowers this year too - but it wouldn't surprise me if I didn't. 

Now off to gaze at my camera some more.

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