Monday, November 30, 2009

Got Tree; Where's the Snow

before we decorated

OK, so it's not even December yet; and we are all ready for Christmas. We got outside lights up and lighted ice cycles all around our gazebo (that looks so cool) and also have lights all the way down the edge of our deck and yesterday we cut out tree down. It's about 10 feet tall, the biggest tree we've ever had. We've never had vaulted ceilings before. And we decorated it last night and have been enjoying all evening. Now all we need is presents under the tree and some snow on the ground. This is going to be my first white Christmas. I think snow is lurking around the corner and before I know the ground will become white for the rest of the season. Oh Boy!

and after

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Survivors

You may or may not know this but today was the last day of ‘Gun’ hunting season for Deer. Anyhow sadly to say the booms have been plenty around here, especially on Thanksgiving day morning. (makes me wonder just how many were killed) While out walking Sparky that morning, I actually saw three hunters in their blinds and walking along a field wearing bright orange, it’s hard to miss them. However, I’ve been keeping an eye out for the three baby deer and Mom, that hung around all summer long. This morning I saw them just a few more hours to survive the guns; I'm pretty sure I saw four; I know for sure I saw three so happy to see. Well on Thanksgiving day morning they were all seeking safety in our 10 acres (I think this 10 acre lot is the safest place for them to be) Even though they are not bucks, hunters are still allowed to shoot doe. I took a picture of this little one and then scouted around and saw two others laying nearby and then another one nibbling on the remaining leaves on the sticks (which used to be our berry bushes) it really amazed me that they were just laying pretty much out in the open during the day, they stayed here All day long, or at least morning till early afternoon. Seems like there are still plenty of deer around even though I've seen plenty dead and bloody hooked to the backs of trucks, SUV's and in trailers, but I’m hoping my four deer survive. I might have to start feeding them once the snow covers up all their remaining food. I’m such a softy. I feel so bad when they get shot, then feel bad again when food is sparse and they cannot find enough to eat. Catch 22; but they sure are fun and so cute to watch.

Bonfire Goddess

It was the perfect evening! Calm winds, clear and starry sky, great people, yummy food, some wonderful wine and beer and a very hot and bright bonfire! This silhouette is of the hostess of the party. This morning, it was snowing; pretty amazing how the night before was so clear. I went for a walk without my gloves this morning, called Janie and she said she found one of them, but we both think the other glove was lost in the fire...Now it's time to go get our Christmas Tree

Friday, November 27, 2009

WeekWord - FEAST

This is a 'bits and pieces' type of photo of our Thanksgiving day Feast which we enjoyed very much yesterday. Even though the green bean salad blew up in the BBQ shattering glass particles all over the Yams, we still had enough food to enjoy. We also had two turkeys, one which was cooked traditionally the other well you'll see below.

For the other weekword posts, please visit Lennie's site here

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sundays Sunset

Well another Sunday Sunset attempt was made, this one turned out better than my first, This was created using the HDR technique. (three images taken under, normal and overexposed sandwiched together so you get the most detail in highlights and shadows) I was hoping for more color in all the clouds around, but didn't happen, maybe next time. I will keep a look out for other sunset opportunities where the colors just fill the entire sky. I've seen it a couple times, so I know it can happen...I will persevere

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Skunked Again....

We went fishing this morning and didn't get a bite. Actually Clayton fished, I walked the dog and took some pictures. Luckily I managed to get a few nice photos despite the gray overcast sky and a few sprinkles.

The image above is a picture of rocks and their reflection in the water, only it's turned on it's side. I like to take reflection pictures and turn them on their sides because you always see faces or creatures or something different. The eyes on this is actually a leaf which I colorized.

I started with the image above, took the shape tool in photoshop to create the fish and I liked it, but then took a break and ate lunch. While eating lunch I kept on thinking of something different, taking a colorful real looking fish and using that instead. So when I got done eating my lunch I created the one below. Since the fish already had a light source on the back side, I decided to also add a light source to the image, to make it look a little more real. In adding the fish I think I did a pretty good job of making this image look as if it's taken underwater and with the light source looking up into the sun.

Love the silhouette above, makes it look like the picture taken below was right after he walked through the tunnel. But it wasn't.

Three Gun Shots Woke me up....

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the sound of three gun shots. Sadness came rolling across me like a wave, then I sat up in bed and looked out the window. It was so foggy, you could barely see a thing. I thought well maybe they will have a chance, at least for a little while. But, the fog didn't last long as it was lifting I decided to take Sparky for a short walk. It was actually shorter than I had anticipated as just as soon as we turned the corner, we heard two more gun shots. And they were really close by and very loud coming from just across the field from the road we were on. I thought, should we risk it and keep going? but just as quickly as I had that thought, Sparky immediately turned and pretty much ran right back to the house with tail tucked down between his hind legs. We heard several more shots that morning, but most were more at a distance, even still the sadness kept edging up to my heart.

Later that morning we went out shopping for the day, as we drove down the road, there were cars parked along all the fields here and there, some there was only one car, some other fields had three or four. I kept wondering how many are going to survive. Driving away still can't help feeling sad about it. A big SUV drove past us in the opposite lane, there was some sort of a lift in the back, two front legs were sticking out to the middle of the road past the back end of the truck. I did not turn my head to look closer, I just looked the other way....

Shopping took my mind off it all afternoon that was nice, but just as soon as we drove back home, most of the cars were still parked in the was time for Sparky's evening walk. I decided NOT to go in our neck of the woods for fear of getting shot our selves, so I took him to the town of Amherst a few miles away and we walked around the town, down along a river, and then back through a cemetery. Are you allowed to walk dogs in a cemetery? I kept him on the road letting him sniff only the edges of the grass and some of the bushes, I didn't let him pee on anyones headstone and he had already went No. 2 twice before we got there so I thought why not. He didn't act scared so I didn't get spooked as it was started to turn to dusk. Still off in the distance I could hear a gun shot or two or three going off......

It's going to be a long two weeks. I heard the DNR extended the hunting season an extra week. I do understand the need to keep the population under control and sort of (but not really) understand the need to fulfil a certain hunter gatherer instinct; but even still I just don't understand at all how someone could point their gun at these faces and press the trigger.

These cute little guys were born this Year and are much larger now, there were actually three of them, and the family still comes to the water hole and drinks .... till yesterday anyways, and hopefully I'll see them again after this two week hunting season is over......

Friday, November 13, 2009

Beautiful Sunrise This Morning

We woke up early this morning because Clayton needed to be at work by 7AM, so as he was driving into work he noticed how colorful the sunrise was going to be and gave me a ring. Told me where he was (just down the road) and started to describe all the colors he was seeing. I wasn't super eager to drag myself out the door, but I'm so glad I did! As usual I got really excited and perked right up as I drove to these two locations and snapped away. Happy Friday the 13th!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Sunset

This last week our sunsets have been stunning! I've always been out walking the dog (without a camera) just enjoying it as we walked. Well tonight I thought we might have another stunning setting sun. So I took Sparky along and we drove to a nearby park with a nice trail (The Tomorrow River Trail). I took one picture! I was not crazy about the colors of the sunset; it was non interesting and the sky just didn't do anything for me. I took this one picture and that is all, didn't bracket or anything, usually I do and probably should have for this one.

I didn't like my image at all. This image below is the original then the following images are renderings from the same first image. I had fun playing with the picture and making some interesting abstract art out of it. I should spend more time creating abstracts when i don't like my pictures at least I'd have something I could enjoy and who knows maybe some day a masterpiece will be produced! well ya never know....

These last two are the same image; only the top one is the upper right hand corner of the lower one cropped. I like the cropped one better, but thought the entire spiral was interesting too so I kept it in the series.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Having Bird Withdrawals

I haven't really taken any new bird photo's in quite some time and I was thinking what better place to go than George Mead Wildlife Area to go capture some. Well, we didn't see any, well some finches and some black birds, we did see one bird who quickly disappeared in the grass; I think it might have been a duck or a coot.

But the one thing we did see along the way there, was the ONE picture that would have been printed for my wall for sure. It was a Blue Heron on the edge of a perfectly glassy water way standing tall with the most perfect reflection of itself in the water you'd ever see. I wish I would have made Clayton stop, but we passed it too fast and there were cars behind us. Then when we returned he was not there. I fell pretty disappointed to have missed out on that shot, as it is still perfectly visible in my mind and I just wish I could share it with others.

I did manage to take a few other pictures, so here are a few pictures of the George Mead Wildlife Area without birds....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lily Pads on a Grassy Lake Shore

This picture was taken at the Chain of Lakes. While my mom was out on vacation in October, we took a paddle boat tour around 7 or 8 of all the lakes in the area. I've cropped this down and also applied a artistic filter on it using Photoshop. I'm hoping to have a chance to get some new photos taken this weekend. I'm so glad it's Friday!!