Sunday, September 7, 2008

Summer Leftovers

The air has changed. Nights are cooler, days are shorter and the wind brings scents of autumn.

Some of the birds have changed their tunes to reflect the shift in seasons. I can hear the voices and laughter of the children who attend the nearby school. The bell rings and all is quiet.

I haven't seen a Monarch butterfly in a few weeks. The park paths are strewn with fallen leaves, berries, acorns and apples. Trees are showing subtle signs of changing colour. Deep greens are yellowing, and brilliant shades of scarlet demand my awareness that autumn has begun.

This summer has passed all too quickly, and like every year, I'm unwilling to relinquish it to the next season - the one that bridges it to winter. With that in mind, I have a few leftover photos from the past couple of months. Some have been warmed over and re-spiced with Photoshop.

Dig in and enjoy.

Looking up through the branches of Frank's magnolia tree. Summer had just begun. (please click to enlarge)

A very pregnant feline enjoying a piece of cheese. This was about a week or two after Frank wrote about her here. (please click to enlarge)

Mourning doves look so pretty in the morning sunlight. (please click to enlarge)

This duck was waddling along the dock as I approached but decided he needed to return to the pond. (please click to enlarge)

It was a very damp summer - a good season for mushrooms. This one was growing from the bark of a tree. (please click to enlarge)

Bunnies were everywhere. (please click to enlarge)

While visiting my sister in Port Dover one day, we took a boat tour around Lake Erie and through a creek, passing this colourful tugboat along the way. (please click to enlarge)

A partly consumed mug of beer sits beside the grill, and catches the sunlight while Frank cooks dinner. (please click to enlarge)

Kerri over at A Little Piece of Me is a wonderful photographer who had a great idea about what to do with her photos that didn't turn out quite right. She created a second blog called Kreations by Kerri where she displays her Photoshop-enhanced images. I thought I'd try my hand at a couple of my own and might just continue displaying some of them from time to time. These leaves growing out over the water's edge captured the sunlight nicely, but were otherwise unremarkable. I applied an airbrush filter to get this effect. Thanks for the idea, Kerri! (please click to enlarge)

An ocean ripple effect added a bit of a shimmer to this image of Benny and a bench bathed in the light of the setting sun. (please click to enlarge)

Thi sunset takes on a gritty appearance by applying "film grain." (please click to enlarge)


Unknown said...

All wonderful photographs which only serve to make me hugely jealous! We seem to have bypassed summer this year in England and missed out on all those hot, sticky summer events! Still all the rain has made everywhere really lush which looks beautiful.
Many thanks for your visit, I really do appreciate it!

Woman in a Window said...

My favorites: that first shot and the cat. In love with the old wood that it's sitting on.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Chill in the air here this morning, so it's so lovely to see these beautiful reminders of summer!

But fall is a glorious season too, so I'm really looking forward to seeing you capture it.

Leah J. Utas said...

*Heavy Sigh* Beautiful. And I love that mushroom.

gary rith said...

Great pics, all of them. Only a week into September and the mornings are so cold, and there is so much orange and yellow around instead of green!

steviewren said...

Hi Hilary, your photos are great as usual!

Suldog said...

As always - lovely!

(I'm running out of superlatives. Every time I come here, I see more beauty than the time before.)

Tink said...

The magnolia tree shot is gorgeous! It should be on a postcard or something.

Missicat said...

beautiful photos - thanks for sharing! I love fall, cannot wait for the leaves to change along the Potomac.
Cute kitty! Any kittens???

Anonymous said...

Always such wonderful photos! Thank you! :)

the Bag Lady said...

Wonderful photographs as always, Hilary.
Did you ever see the kittens?
Love the shot of the duck taking flight!
Can't wait to see what you do with autumn - the only good thing about the "bridge" to my least favourite season will be the amazing photos I know you will take!

Tricia said...

I'm so looking forward to fall. The summer heat saps me, and I love the autumn colors.

The idea that your taking photos and creating something new is wonderful, kind of like recycling images rather than discarding them.

Anonymous said...

I love your photographer's eye, Hilary. I learn much from you and the other photographers who post. Thank you.

Indrani said...

Superb shots, Hilary!
Each season has a charm of its own and you capture and present them so well. It is a great treat to be here. :)

RiverPoet said...

This makes me a tad bit sad. I can't stand the end of summer, but I love fall. It's a beautiful paradox. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos...

Peace - D

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Tara. No need to be jealous. We've had gallons of rain here this summer too. July broke rainfall records. But you're right - it made for very green, full foliage. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, WIAW. It's a very cool old mill. I'm glad you like it. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Crabby. I'm glad the photos could add a bit of warmth to your chilly morning. As much as I love summer, I'm still willing to see what the camera can find in the next season. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Leah. What I didn't mention is how large it was - about 25cm (10 inches) across the top of the shroom. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• Gary, I'm beginning to think I might have to include Benny in every post. Maybe I'll sneak him into a shot with Photoshop - kind of a Where's Waldo/Benny thing. ;) It sounds like you're a bit ahead of us as far as autumn colours go. How did you manage to do that when you're south of us? :)

• Thanks very much, Steviewren. :)

• Thanks muchly, Sully. You're too kind. :)

• Thank you, Tink. Every now and then you say something like that and it makes me smile. Then it makes me think about how I never really do print out any of these photos. I should get on that! Thanks for the reminder. :)

• Thanks, Missicat. I don't know about the kittens. The two times we'd seen her, she was still very pregnant. She's a feral cat, and not anywhere close to home. I have to hope that she did just fine and there's a litter of cuties running around looking for handouts. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank YOU, Mark. :)

• Thank, Baggie. Like I said to Missicat, we've not seen any kittens yet, but no doubt they're around since the photo was taken in June and she had to be close to popping. Thanks so much for your kind words. Photography is one of the best parts of each season for me too. :)

• Thank you, Tricia. I'm sure autumn will be a welcomed relief from the heat for many people. You're exactly right about the recycling aspect of the photos. Good point! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Addhumorandfait. It must be a "pay it forward" effect, because I keep learning from a number of photography blogs too. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, Indrani. Much appreciated. :)

• Riverpoet, I know exactly what you mean. Summer is my absolute favourite season but I can't complain too much about autumn and spring. Winter - I'm working on it. ;) Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Hi there! I saw you comment over On the Upside and thought I'd stop by to say hi. What beautiful pictures. I live in the desert, so I love anything green or flowery.

Glad I stopped by!

Mental P Mama said...

Beautiful shots...I can feel the whole season go by....

Cheffie-Mom said...

Wow, those are such beautiful pictures. Thanks so much for sharing! (:

JC said...

Great pictures and beautiful narrative.

Frank Baron said...

I'm with Tricia. The best is yet to be. C'mon autumn!

The shot of Ben and the bench had me rubbing my eyes because that's pretty much how the world looks to me first thing in the morning. Just about every morning.... :)

Pat - Arkansas said...

Hi, Hilary! Another wonderful post and photos! Thanks.

The magnolia blooms photo is spectacular!

SandraRee said...

Next time I post a batch of photos I'm going to send them to you so you can write for me, Hilary! I love the way you think.

Lovely, beautiful pictures as always! Can't wait until Fall rolls around, I'm sure the colour of nature is stunning there! :D

Jo said...

Autumn is my favorite season but like you, I'm having trouble letting go of summer--your photos have me sighing. The magnolias are just perfect the way you caught them against that sky. Mushrooms are so peculiar & naturally I love them :P

I hope you keep tinkering with Photoshop, it's really interesting to see what your talent produces.

Cath said...

I love your photography Hilary. I enjoy all those walks you take me on and I can't wait until you show me autumn.

The photoshop stuff is good too. I am just learning how to use that a bit but I don't always get the effect I want.

Thanks for visiting my new site too. I hope it will just be a little blog of.... well, we'll see!

San said...

Delectable leftovers, Hilary!

The mourning dove image is exquisite as is the duck in flight. As a matter of fact, it was clever of you to place the mushroom image after that one. The mushroom looks as though it too might take off!

You live in a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing your surroundings so lovingly.

P.S. The photoshop effects are artful too.

Louise said...

I'm hesitant to give up summer, too. We haven't yet as far as weather, but school is the official end, and we are nearly an month into it, so I'm trying, TRYING to think of autumn.
Your photos were wonderful. I loved what you did with Photoshop, especially Benny and the Bench. I also loved the pink magnolia. I've never seen a pink one. The shot was spectacular. The color on the tugboat WAS ineed nice. Not bright, but attention-getting.

Your monarchs are passing through here right now. I never see them in the summer, only in September.

photowannabe said...

Terrific collection of leftovers. Each one is special in its own way. Hope you got to finish the bear.
Thanks for commenting on my blog. You made me groan/laugh with your play on words.
I know people were wondering what in the world I was taking a picture of. Glad the guys didn't turn around. I felt like I was peeking up their coats...

photowannabe said...

Oops, I meant to say beer not bear. I should proof read before sending things.

Dianne said...

I love all your photos all the time but 'Benny and the Bench' is art!

Hilary said...

• Welcome, JYL and thank you. I imagine the desert would have some challenging, albeit limited scenes to photograph. I'm glad you like the flower shots. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• In a heartbeat, MPM. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks so much, Cheffie. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, JC. I'm glad you liked them. :)

• Frank, no wonder you think I look good in the morning. That explains much. ;)

• Thanks very much, Pat. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• Aww thanks, Sandra. That's very sweet of you to say. Yes, autumn can be quite striking around here, and truthfully, I'm looking forward to seeing it through the lens. Thanks for your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks, Jo. I thought it was always summerish out your way! I'm not surprised that you love mushrooms - Rene seems like such a "fun guy." ;) Thanks for the kind encouragement. :)

• Thank you, Cath. It's a pleasure to have you along on my walks. I too, am struggling along with Photoshop. I've used the program for so many years now, but never to change the appearance of my own photos, so all of these filters are quite new to me. I suspect it will become more fun as we go along. Looking forward to seeing what your new site will offer. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, San. I'm glad you enjoyed them. It's funny that you should say that about the mushroom because it was in fact gone the next day. Maybe it did take off! Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, Louise. It doesn't quite "feel" like summer here either - at least not during the day, but there are undeniable changes which signal its end. Sigh! I'm glad that you're getting a good show of Monarchs. They were quite lovely this year. Thanks kindly for your sweet comments. :)

• Thanks for clearing that up, Photowannabe. I was wondering what bear I had started! And the beer was Frank's, so that never even crossed my mind. I'm sure he finished it though. ;) I know what you mean about people wondering about your perspective. There are many times I'm reluctant to take a shot that I know would be cool for just that reason. I'll either learn to be bolder or learn to be more discreet if I want those shots. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Aww thanks, Dianne. I almost didn't include that one.. for fear it would make Frank rub his eyes. ;) Thanks for your kind words. :)

Kerri Farley said...

Hilary, you have some wonderful leftovers!!! Thanks for the shout out, too!

Of course I love all of your pictures, but the one with Benny and the Bench.....that one captures my heart! I LOVE Benches....and Benny looks like such a sweetie! I just want to reach through the computer and give him a scratch :)

Anonymous said...

From the scruffy rabbit to the leftover beer -- the photos are all great to see. A nice post.

ALso, I don't know if you are interested or not or if you have ever seen a Pileated Woodpecker, but I posted one on My Birds Blog this morning. It is our largest woodpecker and this is the first one I have seen here in 46 years.

Jo said...

What wonderful photos. The beer in the beer mug looked like fine brandy in Waterford crystal. You know, you unretouched photos are much more beautiful than the photoshopped ones. You're an amazing photographer. What kind of camera do you have?

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful photographs!
Spring seems so long ago, but the memories come rushing back when I see your picture of pink blossoms. You do a wonderful job of capturing the texture of wood. You really could sell that photograph of the beer mug!

My winter lake shot? It wasn't shallow water, but the lake was frozen pretty solid. There was a guy out ice-fishing far from shore. I did break through with one foot while climbing back onto the dock, right where it was getting mushy from all of our footsteps.

Kat said...

Great pics, as usual. Just gorgeous.

That top one is my favorite. The pink against the sky is just so warming to me. I love it. :)

Clowncar said...

That was nice. Summer in a nutshell.

You should consider giving little photo hints and tutorials from time to time, to help the rest of us out.


Zip n Tizzy said...

We had our first cool morning today and it made me take note of the date and the fact that we may be done with our hot summer.

Usually I welcome fall, but this summer was so much fun, I'm feeling a little reluctant to let it go too.

Shammickite said...

What fun, messing about with the photos so that they reflect something that may have been there in the first place, but was hiding.... all it needed was a bit of photoshopping to bring out the best!!
Yes, summer's on the way out, autumn is only a few days away. I'm sad to let summer go, it never stays quite long enough, but autumn is SO gorgeous!

Russell said...

Here it is Tuesday evening and I am just seeing your new post!! I really need to get out more often!

I enjoyed all your photos - and providing a collection of miscellaneous ones from the past season is a great idea!

The photo of the tugboat is my favorite - not sure why but I really like it. I think because it is so real. The water looks real, the boat looks like a work horse - and I have tons of respect for machines and people who work hard! I just really like that tug and can almost smell the diesel fuel which I know it uses!! Just like my tractor!

Take care and thanks for the photos! It goes without saying that Benny is the star!!!

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

those magnolias and that feline....i will keep those as summer memories forever......

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Beautiful Hilary! I'm partial to the feline shot, Benny (OF COURSE) and that stunning magnolia tree. Isn't nature just GRAND?

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Kerri. I'm glad you enjoyed the leftovers. ;) Every time I photograph a bench that I like (which has happened surprisingly often) I think about you and your fondness for them. I'll give Benny that scratch for you. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Abe. Your kind comments are much appreciated. I'll pop over to see that woodpecker as soon as I'm done answering comments. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Jo. Who'd have thought that beer in a cheap glass mug would look like brandy in crystal! There's truth to the "eye of the beholder." :) Overall, I prefer the regular shots too but I am having a bit of fun playing around with Photoshop too. My camera is a Cannon PowerShot S3. It's 6 megapixels and has a 12X zoom. What I love best about it is the macro/super macro setting. Thanks for asking and especially for your kind words. :)

• Thanks very much for your encouraging words, KC. I almost didn't post that mug of beer photo because it had looked so much better when it was freshly-poured but I'd missed that opportunity - Frank must have been very thirsty. ;) Thanks also for clearing that up about the frozen lake. :)

• Thanks so much, Kathryn. It sure makes me wish spring followed autumn... Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Clowncar. So kind of you to say that but really I'm just muddling through myself. I've had this camera for a year and a bit and am still trying to figure my way though concepts such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO. And darned if I keep forgetting that I must keep the camera upright for videos even if a vertical window looks better! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• I know exactly how you feel, Z&T. I'm always reluctant to relinquish my summer. Hopefully there'll still be a few hot days ahead. Thanks for the visit. :)

• You're right, Shammie - autumn truly is a beautiful season and we're lucky that its changes are so pronounced around here. Thanks for helping to ease me out of summer and into the fall. :)

• Thanks, Russell. Just between you and me, the leftover photos happened because I'd not had anything new to post but I'm glad you liked them. I had a feeling you'd like the tugboat the best. Your description of what you see in it just brought it to life. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much, Moi. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Thank you, MamaGeek. I totally agree. Nature gives us the best of everything. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Michelle H. said...

Hello, Hillary! I do love your photos, for quite some time actually when I was still a lurker. What I believe I missed most over the summer was the honey bees. They are so rare here in PA now.

I love seeing ducks, or any type of waterfowl. I'm glad you posted the picture!

MuseSwings said...

I popped over from Stevie's blog. Glad I stopped by - beautiful pictures and words! I'll stop by again soon

Bear Naked said...

I came over to thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding my post about the "Highway of Heroes."
It was the most difficult post that I have done since I started blogging this past March.
I will keep your family and especially your son in my prayers from now on.

Your photos here in your blog are lovely and I will come back to visit you.
Bear hugs to you and your family.

Bear((( )))

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

A wonderful summer tour.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I can always tell when Fall makes its appearance in Houston. The temperatures are still 100 degrees. We're still wearing shorts. Just like summer time, but with a difference. It's Hurricane season.

Hurricane IKE expected to hit Houston straight-on by Friday night/Saturday morning. I waddled out into the FREAKOUT this morning and found that almost all the gas stations around me are already sold out of gas. I paid for premium because that's all that was left. At least we have canned food and water drums and all that already because I'm not courageous enough to embark on a journey that could be titled Wal-Mart:The Last Stand

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Okay, I was just irritated this morning. I didn't intend to confuse anyone but our national news has been busy reporting the very important "story" that Obama secretly implied that Palin is a pig and McCain is an old fish in his last campaign speech. The Dems are on the defense. The Repubs. are full of mock outrage and demanding an apology. And I'm thinking, what the frig does this have to do with the future of our nation? I want both parties to grow the hell up and get over it already.

Like I said. Just irritation got the best of me.

Gretchen said...

Beautiful photos. I do not want to let go of summer either. Not a winter person. I do like fall because it brings Halloween. :)

Anonymous said...

Love all your nature pictures, that tug boat certainly looks familiar. Looking back at summer in your photos, makes me want to hold onto summer even more. One more day at the beach, one more boat trip, I just can't give it up. Thanks for the re-cap! love, Andi

Hilary said...

• Hi MLH and welcome out of lurkdom! I'm glad you like bees and waterfowl because I happen to have photographed some of each over the past couple of days. I'll be posting some waterfowl before morning. :) Thanks so much for visiting. I'm enjoying your blog very much as well. :)

• Welcome, Musewings and thanks so much for your kind words. Please do return soon. :)

• Welcome, Bear. That was a very lovely and touching post. I knew it would be when I saw the title on David's post of the day. Thank you so much for your very caring words. They're much appreciated. Please come back soon. :)

• Thank you, Jenn. :)

• EWBL, you're absolutely entitled to your rant.. it was the lipstick that confused me. ;)

I can't imagine living with the threat of a hurricane season as you do in Texas. Ike sounds like it's going to be nasty. You, Pappi and the minis stay safe!

• Welcome, Gretchen and thanks so much for your kind words. Winter wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so long. But yes, Halloween is fun. Thanks for stopping by. Please do so again. :)

• Thanks, Andi. The beauty of being on the beach like you are is that you don't have to give it up until it's too cold to swim or take a boat ride. But yeah, I wish summer would last longer than it does. Thanks for stopping by, Sis! :)

Anonymous said...


I love the photos and the words that accompany them here today. The morning dove, the magnolia, the bunny, the glass half empty, or was it half full...Lovely. I am dying to learn how to do some Photoshop too! Nicely done!

Hilary said...

Thanks very much Amy. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. If you have Photoshop, just dig in and start playing. It can be a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your kind comment. :)

Country Girl said...

Hilary, Kerri also participates in Paintbox Pictures where I have several posts, as well. You should join us!! Go here to start: