Friday, September 28, 2007

Signs of Autumn9

Bad news: We had a frost in the area that damaged a lot of the trees. The leaves look sickly burnt and are turning brown/black instead of the usual pretty gold/orange/red. Bummer.

So I can find isolated patches of color here and there, but nice scenery pics are pretty much impossible.

Also, I've gone on several photo shoots but have not taken the time to go thru them.
Well, I picked out some that looked pretty good and will post some that are "autumny."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Moon On Water

Three of my photos:
1. starry night sky
2. moon
3. river water

Put all 3 pics on layers in Paint Shop Pro 9.
On moon pic, eliminate black background.

Darken the water with Hue/Sat/Light adjustment layer, since it was a day pic.
Delete bottom part of night sky and selection feather the bottom edge so it blends into the water.
Merge all, crop, resize, etc. (Should have sharpened a little at this point?)
Apply Flood plugin for the moon reflection on water.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Signs of Autumn8

Let us not forget the prairie grasses.

Weeping Willow Tree

This weeping willow tree really stands out, in among all the other trees.
Looks like the long-haired hippie tree of the bunch.
I think somebody whacks it back without thought for appearance and shaping cuz it gets in the way of the sidewalk underneath it.

It's the last tree to turn and drop its leaves.
I suppose cuz its leaf system isn't as vulnerable to the colder temperatures.

So everything else will be naked except this one.
I'll see if I can get a pic of that.

Anyway, I captured its long branches flowing in the breeze one day.
It was a moment.

Full view of tree, pic taken 2 Oct 07:

Note: The trunk splits into two near the bottom.

Weeping White Paper Birch

This is a nifty tree.
I think it's a weeping white paper birch.

Check out that tree bark.

The leaves are just starting to turn.

Tree hugger, here.

David Gray, Bat For Lashes - Music

Here's a few songs I've been into lately.

David Gray (b. 13 Jun 68)
Fav = Babylon
Fav2 = This Year's Love

David Gray at YouTube
Babylon currently at YouTube.

David Gray at Internet Archive
(Some good live stuff here.)

Bat for Lashes (Natasha Khan b. 25 Oct 79)
Fav = Moon and Moon
Fav2 = Sad Eyes

Bats For Lashes at YouTube
Moon and Moon currently at YouTube.

The Station Agent - Movie

Thumbs up:
Station Agent

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to Newfoundland, NJ and lives in an abandoned train station to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

I happened to catch this on the Independent Film Channel.
I didn't see the first part, but I really liked it.
Kinda oddball and funny.

Favorite movie quote:
Olivia Harris: "How about you? What made you pick Newfoundland?"
Finbar McBride: "I wanted to live near Joe!"

Good Writeup/review at Ebert.

Trailer with my favorite quote at YouTube.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunrise - Aho!

Pulled over to the side of the road and took multiple pics of the sun rising.

I set the camera to spot metering and cranked it down dark so I could get a good exposure of the sun.
It was beautiful with those clouds and changing every second/minute.


There's a story behind that...

The Way Things Are
Conversations with Huston Smith on the Spiritual Life
By Phil Cousineau
(Page 263 in my hardcover book.)
"The Winnebago medicine man Reuben Snake was my pre-eminent teacher from the Native Americans. I recall one of the things he taught me. He told me, 'Huston, our tepees pointed east, and when we stepped out of them in the morning we would throw up our arms and shout Aho! when we saw the sun. Huston, you should do that, too.' And I do. At my first glimpse of the sun I raise my arms and shout, 'Aho!' I did it this morning, The first time I see the sun it infuses me with this inspiration, just like the sunlight brings vegetation and the beauty and all life."

Book review containing above quote here.

There's also a Cherokee morning song to sing at sunrise.

Cherokee Morning Song Lyrics

We n' de ya ho, We n' de ya ho,
We n' de ya, We n' de ya Ho ho ho ho,
He ya ho, He ya ho, Ya ya ya

A we n' de Yauh ho (I am of the Great Spirit, it is so!).

The song is at YouTube. I didn't care much for the videos.

Best one currently at YouTube.

Signs of Autumn7

Green Beans Grow On Trees

Yes, it's true...

It's a cigar tree.
Catalpa (probably Northern).
Never seen the blossoms, though. Will look for those next spring.

Google it

Always Take Your Camera With You2

Got several of this jet zooming up, over, down, until it disappeared in the clouds and all that was left was those white lines.
This pic is my fav.

Always Take Your Camera With You 1

Wiki Clouds:
"Aircraft engines emit water vapor into the atmosphere, and this vapor is then frozen into ice crystals. These are known as condensation trails (contrails) or cirrus aviaticus."

Signs of Autumn6

Canada Geese.
They are so abundant that I think some people consider them pests.

Geese are grazers, eating the soft shoots, leaves, and buds of various grasses, as well as cultivated crops and various meadow plants (Northwoods Companion), thus hanging out in that corn field.

Canada Geese.
"Canadian Geese" is incorrect, evidently.

Signs of Autumn5

Sunflowers have their heads bowed, heavy with seed.
The harvest is near.

Little bit of fog out there too.

Don't usually see pics of sunflowers after their blossoms fade, cuz I suppose they aren't that pretty.

But I like these beauties.

Signs of Autumn4

Red Vines Up The Tree

See lots of this stuff right now.
It will get prettier as the tree leaves turn more.
I found one with the tree leaves turning gold and it's fab.

What is the red vine stuff?

I think it might be Virginia Creeper?

Signs of Autumn3

Colorful Leafy Stuff

As I'm taking pics of all this wonderful colorful leafy stuff, I'm thinking...
I wonder if any of this stuff is poisonous...
like poison ivy or poisonous sumac or something...
Well, I don't think I got any on me.
Just take pictures, don't touch the stuff, man.

Signs of Autumn2

I'm not the only one thrilled with these red and green leaves.
(Same plant as Signs of Autumn1.)

That's some really big fat fly there.

The other one is a yellow jacket (wasp family).

Both just a busy wizzy.
Doing what they do in preparation for winter, I suppose.

I see the paper wasp? more often than the yellow jacket.
(Looks like a paper wasp, anyway.)

We usually get at least one wasp in our house during autumn.
And they are MAD when they get trapped in the house.
Gotta be real good at swatting them, cuz once has to do it.
Don't want to get them any madder.
Unlike the regular honey bee, wasps can sting you multiple times.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Signs of Autumn

This was taken on the 9th of September.
The leaves are in their prime. Luscious colors.
Made my current header image out of it.

Some trees started turning color the end of August.
Unusually early for this area.
I think we had some cold mornings, maybe even a frost in some areas?
Maybe that's what did it.
Usually autumn is at its peak some time after the 21st of September.

I just adore the autumn season and hope to get lots of photos.

Night Sky Terrier

Walked out the door this morning and there he was as clear as can be.
My night sky terrier pooch.
Grab camera and tripod for a quickie pic.

10" F3.2 ISO 100
Tungsten White Balance
Manual Focus Infinity
2 second timer delay
IS Off (Image Stabilization)

Probably a Scottish Terrier cuz his legs are so short in proportion to his body.
See Scotty outline.

He's part of the orion constellation, but all I ever notice is the terrier outline.

Orion constellation image from here.
(I rotated 30 degrees left.)

Find orion in the night sky
I don't know how accurate this is, but it's fun and interesting to play along.
Try it.

Google orion images
Google terrier images
Orion at Wiki

River Log

I like this pic.
Turned out better than I thought it would.

I don't know what those orange/red thingies are, but they sure add to the photo.
Here's a closeup of them.

Saturday, September 01, 2007