263: Lovely morning

Today's view of the pond

Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course.  Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool.  All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things.  You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still.

~ Ajahn Chah

If the summer days to come are all like today, I think I could easily fall in love with summer.  We’re not officially into summer yet, but even with today’s mild temperatures, it looks and feels like summer, especially around the pond.

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260: Strawberries and The Blues

It's strawberry season!

You are probably wondering what strawberries and the blues (as in the musical blues) have in common.  Well, I’m not sure they have very much in common at all other than M and I having something to do with both today.  It has been a long and full day, and I’m going to rush this post out so I can keep up with my commitment so please pardon any typos, mistakes, and things of that ilk.  Plus, I’m a little tired, and mistakes are more likely to happen when I’m tired.

I was up at 5:00 this morning, for no particular reason.  It’s a lovely time to be awake.  The sky was just starting to lighten up, the birds were singing and chatting, and there were wisps of fog drifting and dancing across the top of the pond.  About the time the sky started to turn a beautiful shade of pink, I began my morning yoga practice.  I finished as the sun rose just above the tree line.  It was a great start to the day.

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114: Fruitful Friday

(Behold!  The Citrus!)

I was making up a batch of flavored water this morning and decided to use the fruit as models before tossing it into the pitcher.  I am having a great time with food photography.  It’s fun.  It’s food.  I get to eat it when I’m finished.

(Undecided.)

I’m not at all sure about this shot with the apples in the background.  I like it.  But.  Well, I won’t tell you what the “but” is because it is entirely possible my impossible standards for myself are messing up this shot for me.  Rather than color your view, I’m going to keep that “but” to myself and see if you see what it is that is bothering me about this picture.

(Behold!  The Citrus without lots of Ps processing!)

Today’s Outdoor Fun

Snow.  Cold (20’s).  More snow falling.  Skiing.  Me falling.  More snow on the way.

That pretty much sums it up.  I need to get my legs ready for a 90-minute cross-country skiing lesson I’m taking next week.  I will probably be out skiing every day for the next few days.

Since the scenery outside looks the same as it did yesterday, and since I was on skis (not the ideal place for my camera to be), I bring you Colorado mountain photos instead of the usual snow and pond pictures.

(We have to make our way through Denver International Airport first.)

The photos are from our August trip to Colorado to visit with M the Younger and Merdi.

(Somewhere on Trail Ridge Road.  Rocky Mountain National Park.)

After all the whites and grays of winter, it’s nice to rest my eyes on some color.  You might think neutrals such as white and gray would be more restful, but no.  All that white outside makes me squint.  A lot.  Even when the sun isn’t shining.  And when the sun is shining, watch out!  It’s almost blinding.  Sunglasses are a must.

(Wildflowers in the fallen trees.  RMNP.  Colorado.)

That’s it from the Bogs for today.  Have a great weekend!


108: Something around the house

(Bad hair day.  © 2011 MaidinSun Photography)

As mentioned previously, one of my goals this year is to learn to use the manual mode of my camera in preparation for jumping into the DSLR pool sometime in the future.  Having received a little windfall the other day (a surprise because I’d forgotten about it), I have the beginnings of a good savings account for said future purchase.

In addition to learning to use manual mode, I am attempting to stretch by doing something different every now and then.  Towards that end I decided to participate (as much as possible) in MCP Project 52:  One Photo a Week.  I qualified that with “as much as possible” because I don’t want to overload my plate.  There may be weeks when I don’t have time.

This week’s suggested theme was:  Something around the house.  I thought about shooting the snow around the house as my interpretation of the theme but I’ve already photographed and posted plenty of the white stuff.  Instead, I decided to try a still life, having been inspired by Marcie’s recent series.  Her still life photos are amazing!  If you haven’t seen them, go take a look.

Still life photography is not my thing, making it the perfect “something different.”  I located my tripod.  Poor thing has been collecting dust and cobwebs.  I grabbed a vase and a pineapple, set them up one at a time, and took a series of shots using various settings.  The pineapple pictured above  was my favorite of the bunch.  I was not terribly happy with any of the shots.  That’s okay.  It was fun and I learned a few things along the way.

(A collage of today’s attempts at a still life photo.)

The Lake Erie Snow Machine

The snow continues to fall, even when the sun makes an appearance.  I like watching the snowflakes glisten in the sun as they make their way to the ground.

(Blue jay.)

The birds are providing color today.  I spent a good portion of the morning watching them at the feeders.  I was hoping to catch the brilliant red male cardinal but he was too fast for me.

(Red-bellied woodpecker.)

While out on my walk today I experienced a couple of heavy snow squalls as well as some clearing and sunshine.  It was a nice, wintry mix.

(Snow on the roof.)

We should get enough snow tonight and tomorrow for cross-country skiing.  M and I are thinking about trying out some trails up near the lake (Erie), maybe at the Holden Arboretum.

(At the back of the pond.)

Time for me to get moving.  Dinner time approaches.  I’m making a cauliflower and potato curry for dinner tonight.  It’s been a while since I made a curry.  I’m looking forward to it.

I’ll leave you with one or two more photos from today’s walk.  See you tomorrow!

(Sunshine peering through the woods.)

(Today’s view of the creek in the woods.)


It’s strawberry season!

I’m excited.  The lack of exclamation points might make it seem as if I’m not all that excited but I am.  The strawberries are ready for picking at Hilgert’s Farm.  Or you can go to the market and buy already picked berries if you’re not up to picking your own.  M and I stopped by the market yesterday to buy a quart to sample.  I’ll be joining a friend on Wednesday to do some picking.  I’d like to freeze a bunch of them this year.

The reason strawberry season excites me so much is because it is the beginning of the fresh, locally grown, produce season.  The peas and sugar snap peas will be coming in next.  Some of the other farmer’s markets have lettuces, green onions, radishes, and fresh herbs that are locally grown.  From now until sometime in November we’ll be eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.

(Lunch!)

We also went to the Hartville Marketplace to see what was available there.  As usual, we loaded up on lots of goodies such as red leaf lettuce, radishes, green onions, and new potatoes.  We came home and made a lunch that was a feast of mostly locally grown vegetables and fruit (with a few not-local nuts thrown in for good measure).

The rains continue, almost unabated.  I’m beginning to feel as though we live in a rain forest during the monsoon season.  Everything is lush and green and beautiful.  And wet.  The pond is filling up nicely.  We decided to raise the water level this year to see if that helps with the weed and algae control.

The rain has also brought something that the birds are attracted to and that something is on our deck.  I don’t know what it is.  There were dozens of birds pecking around on the deck and under the porch, seemingly enjoying whatever it was they were feasting on.  Bugs of some kind, perhaps.  Or seeds from the trees.  I’m not sure.  Whatever it is/was, it gave me the opportunity to practice with the zoom on the new camera.  Most of the photos were pretty bad.  I got lucky with one or two fairly decent shots.

The flamingos are an easy shot since all they do is stand there.  They don’t seem to mind the rain although they might be swimming or floating soon if the pond gets much higher.


Food!

(Cherries in a bowl.)

I’ve decided to give July’s theme for NaBloPoMo a try. Food, after all, is a very good theme, and it will give me the opportunity to hone my photography and Photoshop skills. To be honest, I don’t really have any Photoshop skills at the moment. I’m struggling to learn. The best way for me to learn how it works is to use it.

And now, the long awaited Move 2008 update for Weeks 25 and 26.

  • Mileage for Week 25: 20.65
  • Mileage for Week 26: 22.39
  • Total for 2008: 551.37 miles

I did fine with the strength training (twice a week for both weeks). Not so fine on the yoga. I only managed a couple of yoga workouts.

The goal this week: More yoga!

Yoga really does make a difference in how I feel, especially with the back and hip pain.