backyard visitors, dogs, fences, friends, home, home improvements, live and learn, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, squirrels, unintended consequences

Good fences…

If good fences make good neighbors then how is it that I just love my neighbors on both sides, one on the side without a fence, and the other with whom I shared a length of fence that my uncle remarked was more holes than fence?  He was right, it was pretty hole-y.  But my neighbor’s entire yard was surrounded by fence that was long past it’s prime, and so when some used fencing came her way she started patching the worst areas.  Which gave me an idea, a true light bulb moment.  Since they were putting up fencing anyhow, how about I buy new fencing for the section that we share, and they put it up.  I really am a genius sometimes, ask Ozzie if you don’t believe me.

I wish I had thought to take a picture when it was nice and clean.  Already it has acquired a coating of sand where the grass hasn’t filled in.  Or the chickens flung sand at it, they’ve been visiting lately.  I certainly admired it… at first.  But I’m over the novelty of it and now it just looks… boring.  There used to be more to look at.2-10fencetextureI went looking through my photos to see if the fence showed up in any of them.  I took this picture because I was trying to take photos of the wood texture.  You see it was a bit see-through.  Zoe liked that aspect of it because she could keep an eye on what was going on over there in case she was missing something.2-10fencesquirrelThe squirrels took to the top of the fence whenever Zoe came zooming out the back door.  Chasing them is her favorite thing to do.  Ozzie, not so much.2-10fencesquirrel2I was able to capture this image because that squirrel likes having his picture taken.  I’d see birds sitting there also, but they weren’t as cooperative so I don’t have a photo of them.  Not that I didn’t try.2-10fencedieselThen there is Diesel.  He has a girlfriend a few blocks away, and he discovered that those boards didn’t really offer much resistance, so every so often he’d make a break for it and they’d have to hunt him down.  Now they know where to look for him however.

So, a new fence.  A home improvement.  Charley was a coin collector, old, rare coins, and patients would bring their old coins in for him to see in hopes they would have a rare one worth lots of money.  He’d tell them whatever they did, don’t clean them.  The color that develops on the old coins is called toning, and the coins are more valuable if the toning isn’t disturbed.  It didn’t matter, they always cleaned the coins.  One did it with a pencil eraser.  Maybe he thought Charley wouldn’t notice.  I never understood the value of the toning, I just took Charley’s word for it.  But it has occurred to me that that’s what is missing from the new fence.  Toning!  A little something extra to look at…

birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, live and learn, nature, old dogs new tricks, photography, sunset

Feeling my age…

Wasn’t I just insisting that I didn’t feel my age, my chronological age?  Well, you can forget that because I think I hit the wall.  Maybe it’s just that I thought I was working Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but I was wrong.  I was on the schedule on Monday and had to scramble to get there only 25 minutes late, but it set the course for the day.  I came home and took pictures out back, my only option because I had a class in Clearwater that night, and figured out much too late that I didn’t have the smart card in the camera.  My laptop had been closing applications on me because of a lack of storage space, so I bought a desktop computer and have been in that particular hell of getting everything switched over to a new computer.  It seems like I’ve been swimming upstream this week.  As fun as it is to have a new toy, it has it’s moments.

So I sat in the recliner after work today (Tuesday) and promptly fell asleep.  The dogs got me up just in time to walk them before I had to head out to Hammond’s Creek for the sunset, my only option for photos for the day.  The no-see-ums were out in force, but so was One-Foot Fred.  I was informed that that’s our Great Blue Heron’s name.  I asked what happened to his foot and was told, for the second time, that he lost it due to getting tangled in fishing line.  I don’t know if he hangs out on the bridge all day long, but I’ve seen him now at sunrise and sunset.  Seems he has adapted well to his new reality.  I could take a lesson.2-6iphonefeature2-6onefootfred22-6sunset2-6cheers

connections, grief, growing old, life, life goes on, live and learn, loneliness, marriage, memories, old dogs new tricks, on closer examination, photography, the big picture

It’s just a number…

Nothing fits anymore. Not my clothes, although I’m not really complaining about that. I’ve taken tons of clothes to donate, and now I need to find out where I can donate all this extra skin. But that’s really not what I’m talking about either. ‘I’ don’t fit. All my life I seemed to know where I stood in relationship to the rest of the people around me. But now that I’m really, seriously, old, I can’t see it. Older yes, wiser no. Is it because Charley is gone? When I was going through life with him and I saw him getting older, is that what made me recognize my own age? Because he isn’t here anymore to provide that link, and I seem to be stumbling around a bit.

It started with a chance encounter with a man when I was photographing the sunset one night. He said that I ought to be dating, that there are a lot of lonely men out there. I responded, “I’m not”, lonely I meant. I told him that I have nice conversations with people every day, and then I go home, and that I like my privacy. And I meant that 100%. What I didn’t expect was that after few more conversations with him over the next several days that wasn’t altogether true anymore. He left to go back home and took my 100% conviction that I was 100% happy with him, and I haven’t been able to resurrect it. So now my chance encounters with people have a different sort of edge to them. The last time I was a single adult I was 20 years old, and I see now that I wasn’t as much of an adult as I thought I was at the time. In a lot of ways I have reverted back to that person, in my own mind anyhow. Maybe this explains something that Charley said about working at Publix at age 63, after having worked at the A&P right after high school and all through college. He said that he felt like he was 18 again, which might have been a good thing, but the problem was that he acted it too. He kept getting sent to the office, in trouble for a remark made to another employee, never to a customer. Not reported by the person he was talking to, but reported by a busy-body employee who overheard him. I told Charley that he wasn’t hired for the comic effect, but he couldn’t seem to resist making a wise-aleck remark when the opportunity presented itself. But you know what? I think I get it now, I get that he would momentarily actually be that 18 year old again.

So you happen to have a nice conversation with the guy who sits next to you in a photography class. Nice class, nice company, feels good. In the moment you are just yourself, a generic ‘self’, just enjoying the conversation. Later on you figure out that he is 13 years younger than you are, and get taken aback. Why couldn’t I ‘see’ that when I looked at him? That he was closer to my kids’s ages than he is to mine I mean. ‘Act your age’, they say. How exactly do I do that? Will I wake up one day and not be able to resist sticking a tissue up my sleeve? Or maybe I’ll buy support hose and start rolling them into little donuts around my ankles. Probably not the best look with capri pants and flip flops. I don’t recognize myself anymore. I’ve lost my place. Age is just a number, or so I’ve been told. Step on the scale why don’t you, then tell me that ‘just a number’ doesn’t matter. I’m going to have to try not to embarrass myself while I figure this all out…

PS… I wrote this a while ago as an ’emergency’ post in case I’m stuck.  And since I was hanging onto the post it gave me a chance to retake the photo if I saw a lower number on the scale.  This is at least the 4th incarnation of the photo.  So there I was at the pool the other day and an 80-something year old guy told me, “Just making it back and forth across the pool is a good thing for people our age.”  Evidently I’m the only one having trouble realizing how old I am…

birds, fantasy images, flowers, live and learn, nature, photography, special effects, technology

This is a test…

If you are seeing this post it means it rained like crazy and I couldn’t get out for photos, or I fell asleep in the recliner, or maybe I had a hot date.  But I wouldn’t bet money on that last one.  No, it was pouring, but happily I had just recently gotten on the roof of the lanai with a leaf blower and de-leafed the gutters! But I remembered my idea to take one photo and put it through it’s paces in all my various photo apps on the iPad.  I started with the featured photo above, and here’s where it went.

In Distressed Effects I liked every single one I tried.  All I did was open the photo and clicked the various effects buttons and it came up with these.  There are adjustments within the app that I haven’t learned, but it gives you an idea of what’s possible.  If you hover over each photo it will tell you the date, DE for Distressed Effects, and the effect for that photo.  I think it would be worth learning more about that app, practice makes perfect and all that.

 

 

Next I tried the Reflect app, but it was a terrible photo to use for that app.  I do like adding reflections, I’ve played with that before, but not with this photo.  But within the app is an fx button, and using that I dragged in a desert sun and then tried a few other things which I can’t say that I remember.  It’s a really good app, just not so much for this photo.1-6reflectfxNow for the Prisma app.  I’ve never tried this app and not liked the results, but again this wasn’t the right photo for it.  So the idea of taking a single photo and using it in multiple apps probably wasn’t the greatest idea.  See, this is why I like living with dogs, I ran the idea past them and they thought it was a great idea. But then they think all my ideas are terrific.  Don’t tell them otherwise.

 

 

Wait, I forgot about Superimpose.  This was easy to use, and again, there is a lot more you can do.  I need to play with this app some more.  But this is just the bird photo and one of my moon photos, with the opacity adjusted.  There are tutorials within the app, and probably on You Tube also.  What else is there to do when you are hunkered down waiting for better weather?1-6superimpose

Why not try iColorama? Another one I’ve played with before.

 

 

PIP Camera too!

 

 

Yes, I cheated and included a couple of photos that were better suited to the PIP app.  I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  And as long as I’m breaking my own premise for this post I’ll include several more photos done in iColorama.  I had to work to find the kaleidoscope-type effects I’ve played with before.  I found a nice hibiscus photo in my stash, and started with ‘form’ in the top group of adjustments, then tried effects from there.  Another fun app to play with…

 

 

Sometimes a rainy day isn’t such a bad thing…

finding my way, life goes on, live and learn, losing battles, nature, photography, rain, technology, weather

Rainy, gloomy, day…

The universe is conspiring against me.  I swear it is.  The weather here is raining, and cold enough to make you miserable, but not cold enough to try to recreate the videos I’m seeing on Facebook that show a soap bubble slowly developing ice crystals as it freezes in the icy cold somewhere where I’m glad I’m not.  And on the iPhone photo page I saw lovely macro photos of snowflakes.  If I was somewhere with snow I think I would be outside trying to recreate that photo.  Yesterday I decided to take a couple of pictures when I noticed how pretty the flowers out front were, so I went to my favorite macro app, Camera +, in the iPhone.  I clicked on the little + sign, but it didn’t bring up the macro feature that I’ve used before.  Instead it was a menu I’d never seen before, and being on my way back to work I didn’t get to investigate.  Nothing is ever easy.

None of my devices were working yesterday, and neither was Netflix.  So I decided to restart my modem, which is when I realized that flipping off the one wall switch in the bedroom had shut off the iron, but also shut down the modem.   Operator error this time, I’m lucky I figured it out so quickly.  My fault, and I suppose it’s also my fault that the Roku remote has been missing for such a long time that I forgot why I hadn’t been watching Netflix for so long.  And when I went looking for a new Roku remote online I discovered the Roku Express app, so now my trusty iPhone is my Roku remote!

I’ve been an Apple girl, (Charley just reminded me that I was a girl when Hollywood was a prairie), for a very long time now, and I’m spoiled.  The computer just works, always.  Well, until lately.  Facebook either won’t load at all, or it quits all of a sudden and I lose whatever I had written.  Today when it quit I noticed the message that the page was reloading because it was using ‘significant memory’.  Is the computer dying?  I hope not because I can’t stand to edit my photos on the phone or iPad, even though I bought the iPad for exactly that reason.  So I use the iPad for Facebook, even though I hate typing on it, but I rely on the computer for WordPress.  I’m worried that I need a new computer, but a new bill? Not so much.

And speaking of Charley, he doesn’t always feel as if he is with me, but lately he’s been hanging around, which is why I took him out for a corned beef sandwich at The Lucky Dill the other day.  Which I ate for him of course, but it was a little dry and he would have complained.  (The piece of cheesecake that came with it was very tasty though!)  I brought the other half of the sandwich home and ate it yesterday.  I took the meat out and reheated it in the microwave with a few drops of water, dried out the rye bread in the toaster oven, then reconstructed the sandwich and added a little cheese, and grilled that thing!  OMG, was it ever good.  But now I’m craving all the carbs and ‘bad’ food that I love but haven’t been eating for months now…

And my final proof that the universe has it in for me came in the mail.  When it came is a mystery, it was just sitting on top of the pile of stuff on my table, looking as if it had just been placed there by someone.  But I’m the only one here and I know that I hadn’t seen it before.  Not a Happy New Year moment.  It was the size of a Christmas card, which is what I thought it was, but when I turned it over I found… a jury summons.  I hadn’t missed the date to report though, so that was good, saves me a big hassle I’m sure.  But in reading the info I see that on my next birthday I will have reached the age to be permanently deleted from the pool of potential jurors.  So it’s official, I have it in writing.  I’m past my sell-by date… sigh.

 

 

 

Bayport, birds, Florida wildlife, learning, live and learn, nature, photography, sunrise

RAW vs. iPhone…

Sunday’s plan involved sunrise at Bayport, then breakfast at Panera, all leading up to church at 9, since I totally forgot to go the day before.  It was unusual to have two trucks parked in the little parking area when I got to Bayport, I’m usually the only one there.  Fishermen, I thought, and swung the car around to park facing the sunrise.  As has happened before the sky was already streaked with red, so I hurried out of the car with my iPhone to get a couple of photos in before I got the camera out.  That’s when I saw him, another photographer, with his tripod and camera set up along side the guard rail.  I was startled to see him, and I told him that I hadn’t seen him when I pulled in.  He said that I drove right past him, and I repeated that I had never seen him.  And that’s what had startled me, the thought of just how close did I come to hitting him?  My father once told me an inch is as good as a mile, so I guess it was okay, but alarming.

I don’t know how long he had been there, this other photographer, but he already had his camera recording a photo every 5 seconds.  I asked if he combined them into a video, and he said that he did that sometimes, and posted them on YouTube.  He seemed  excited to talk and told me how great it was to see the particular rays radiating from the sun, which wasn’t actually up yet.  I tried to see what he meant but I’m not sure I did.  He told me what those rays are called, and I said I’d have to Google them, and I would if I could remember now what he said that they were.  He then raved about his camera, that he said has a 2000mm zoom.  He once caught the rings of Saturn in a photo, he said.  He was on to the subject of Copernicus and the curvature of the earth when I had to leave.  Not the quiet, solitary sunrise I’m used to.

So, more RAW photos.  I made my edit preset and then applied it to 63 photos all at once. I thought some came out a little over done, but that’s probably operator error.  There is a learning curve after all.  Like the curvature of the earth maybe.

1218sunrise31218sunrisecrane1218sunrise41218sunrise21218sunrise1And now for the iPhone.  I have ordered a wide angle lens for the camera, and I hope it compares with the wide angle the iPhone gives me.  If not for the zoom I’d have to say that the iPhone holds it’s own very well.  It’s an excellent camera.  And they say that the very best camera is the one you have with you!

1218iphonesunrise11218iphonesunrise21218iphonesunrise3