Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moon Rise Blues

On Friday evening I was in the car with my cousin. We were driving southbound to her place, when I glanced out to my left and saw the most glorious moon suspended in the eastern sky. Within one breath, I gasped at the wonder of its glowing, yellow form and then exhaled with a curse for making the decision to leave my DSLR zoom lens at home.

I did have two cameras with me - my Canon digital with a 12X zoom and my Canon DSLR with its regular lens. I made a point of using both each time we stopped at a red light as long as nothing was obstructing the view. Here's what I got.

At our first traffic light, the moon was partially hidden by a fast food restaurant. Let's call this shot "McMoonalds." (please click to enlarge)

We had a very brief stop at this traffic light and the car accelerated just as I was snapping this photo. That shaky hand seemed to be mocking my own. We can call this one "Don't Moonwalk." (please click to enlarge)

When I switched away from the DSLR to my older camera, I was able to get a little closer to the lovely orb in the darkening sky. The surrounding building, pole and wires were nothing wonderful but the perspective gives you an idea of how large and luminous this gorgeous celestial body was that night. (please click to enlarge)

The next day, I learned that this Wolf Moon seemed bigger than usual for a reason. It appeared 18 percent larger and 30 percent brighter because it was also a perigee moon. Had I known this, I would never have left my DSLR zoom lens at home. Clowncar, how could you not tell me about this? Sigh!

I figured this lovely moon would still look pretty good the following night when it was only 99 percent full, so on Saturday, I grabbed my zoom and walked through the park after nightfall.

The park has a lot of trees. (please click to enlarge)

And it's easier to focus on trees than it is to focus on the moon. (please click to enlarge)

Unless you climb a hill, twist to the side, bend slightly to avoid the distant electrical wires which obstruct the view and stop shivering long enough to get just one shot of the slightly less-than-full moon.

Good enough. (please click to enlarge)

More shots of Mother Nature's handiwork coming up soonish.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wings and Other Things

I'll probably return to my colour-themed posts somewhere down the road - there are still a few shades which I haven't explored but for now, I'm posting a few new photos taken over the last several weeks. All of them were snapped either in my own back yard or around my local park. Please remember to click on each of the photos to enlarge them.

This little guy kept a wary eye on me while I prepared to refill the bird feeder and suet. Taken through glass. (please click to enlarge)

He knew it wouldn't be long before I'd also toss some peanuts out for his snack. (please click to enlarge)

Since the squirrels and back yard birds are taken care of, let's see what we can find around the pond. (please click to enlarge)

A sudden flurry of activity (namely one crazy little Jack Russell Terrier) sent these Mallards flying to the safety of the other side of the pond. (please click to enlarge)

On this day, as has happened other times on my walks, a fluffy little Northern Mockingbird seemed intent upon making sure I noticed him. He sat and watched me while I spoke to him and took some photos. (please click to enlarge)

By the time I moved along, the sun was beginning to descend in the sky, creating that magic hour which I love so much. The Queen Anne's Lace of last summer seemed to enjoy its warmth. (please click to enlarge)

On the other side of the pond, there was a lot of Cardinal activity. A large flock of these red beauties seem to hang out in this one particular area. This male perched on a branch above me. (please click to enlarge)

A lovely female landed on the fence post of a neighbouring back yard. Aren't her colours just incredible? (please click to enlarge)

Approaching the dock, I found this to be an unusual place for a snow angel. It was actually formed on the semi-frozen surface of the pond. This means that someone stepped out on mushy ice to make their wings. It's a good thing the ice wasn't any softer at the time. (please click to enlarge)

Later in the day, the sun was setting by the dam end of the pond. This is just one of the concrete posts and the sun reflecting in the icy surface. (please click to enlarge)

Thanks for joining me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Posts of the Week

The icon/award to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

by Lady Fi
at On A Quirky Quest With Lady Fi
Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

What Bees Do
by Cabo
at Hey Cabo

by Zuzana at
Life Through Reflections...

And in the End...
by Ellen at
Stuff From Ellen's Head

Belated Goose Dinner
by Tabor
at Rooms Without Walls

by Jane
at Gaston Studio

by Michele
at The Rocky Mountain Retreat

by Kevin
at Blunoz

One Step
by Lulda
at Lulda's Lament

by Amy
at She Writes

Sunday Roast Special: King David (MacMahon) Returns To His Throne
by Eddie Bluelights
at Clouds and Silvery Linings

Reader's Choices:

Recommended by Mental P Mama:

Hats On For Haiti
by Life With Kaishon
at Life With Kaishon

Recommended by Daryl:

Ask and Yea Shall Receive - Big Time
by Michelle
at Surly Writer

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them. Thank you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"The Colour of Truth is Gray" Andre Gide

"Everything in life is gray, you know." ~ Jeannette Walls

"It is not time for mirth and laughter, the cold, gray dawn of the morning after."
~ George Ade

“I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.”
~Bill Watterson

“But the gray and the cold are haunted by a beauty akin to pain, by a sense of a something wanted that never will come again.” ~ William Wetmore Story

“What if all tomorrow brings is ashes and glass, and I can't tell you child, 'this too shall pass.' If all the world were windswept, cold and gray. And in the end there's nothing left to say.” ~ Bob Weir

"Most consequential choices involve shades of gray, and some fog is often useful in getting things done." ~ Timothy Geithner

“O Time and change! - with hair as gray as was my sire's that winter day, how strange it seems, with so much gone of life and love, to still live on!”
~ John Greenleaf Whittier

“When all candles be out, all cats be gray” ~ Proverb

“My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.” ~ William G. Golding

“The photographer's palette is a thousand shades of gray.” ~ H. E. Clark

“You don't necessarily have to be in love with this weather to get through it well. It's about attitude. Instead of seeing a gray sky and thinking gray equals bleak and sad and depressing, try something else. Try, when the skies are gray, there's a somber beauty to the landscape. Put a positive spin on it.” ~ Dan Weiner.

Something brighter coming up soon...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mellow Yellow

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I've finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John

This is the only current image in this series. This yellow and aqua ball has been sitting on the snow-covered pond for the past couple of weeks. When I first saw it, only the yellow portion was visible. Most recently the aqua half of it is most apparent. This was taken somewhere in between those two times.

Welcome to my kitchen window where my plants reside through the winter, soaking up yellow morning sunshine. I'm looking forward to late spring when I can transfer them outside again.

A Mother's Day gift of beautiful yellow lilies from my younger son almost two years ago. They enjoy a rainy day.

The yellow roses also glistened under the raindrops.

A different rainy day. This tiny yellow leaf clung to the larger green foliage like this for days afterward.

Brilliant yellow wildflowers grow along one of my usual walking paths.

Fuzzy yellow goslings snuggle up together in the sunshine. They're supposed to be sleeping but the little one on the right kept a wary, weary eye on me.

The soft, silky petal of a solitary yellow rose.

Queen Anne's Lace makes a lovely silhouette in the deepening yellow sunlight of a winter dusk.

This was one of my favourite unexpected photographic moments. It was an October afternoon and we'd been walking alongside the creek. The air temperature must have dropped slightly. As we walked away from the creek to go back home, we could see a fine yellow mist beginning to form above the creek, and breeze over the path...

By the time we reached the path just a few meters away, the air was filled with this golden yellow cloud. Here two people - one on bike and one on foot break through the sunlit haze.

See hue soon!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Way to Help Haiti and Posts of the Week

Before I present the posts of the week, I'd like to point you toward a website which I heard about on the news yesterday.

If you're unable to donate to one of the many organizations set up to help the people of Haiti, or if you have sent in your donation but are still feeling helpless and would like to do more, please check out The Extraordinaries site. You can volunteer a few minutes or a few hours by viewing and tagging photos which appear on image support sites. Be forewarned that some are graphic. You can help in one of these ways:

(quoted from

1) The Image Tagger: —"Sort through news photos coming out of Haiti and categorize (tag) them with keywords like “adult, child, alive, deceased.” Never before has there been a system that can bring together thousands of photos from across the web and have them sorted by live human beings (no computer could ever know that there is a teenager in a photo).

2) The Matcher: — We’ve engineered a system that matches faces of missing people to faces in photos coming from Haiti. The goal is to help desperate families find their loved ones. Volunteers use the matcher to look for a missing person in images that have been tagged with the image tagger.

3) The Search Engine: — As volunteers tag images, they are fed into the Extras’ “search engine”. This system allows families to search through images taken post-earthquake in Haiti, and specify certain characteristics. For example, if a family is looking for their missing mother, they can use the search engine to find images that volunteers have tagged with “adult” and “female.” Their mother might be in one of those photos.

If you think you can offer your assistance for this project, please click over to The Extraordinaries and get started. You may just be instrumental in reuniting someone with their family.

Thanks for listening and now on to the Posts of the Week.

The icon/award to the left here is yours for the taking if your blog post has been named as a Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up, today or in past weeks.

Following the Elusive, the Mystery, the Silence
by Kathleen
at Easy For Me To Say

Other wonderful posts in no particular order are:

Faces of Haiti and More Faces of Haiti
by Sue
at Photowannabe

Molly Hightower a Shining Light
by Grayquill
at It's just So Homer

Another Frothing Allegation
by Leah
at The Goat's Lunch Pail

Have You Ever Seen a White Deer?
by Rochelle
at Adventures in Nature

by Cabo
at Hey Cabo

by TSannie
at The Tombstone Chronicler

I Found This Title in the Clearance Bin
by TattyTiara
at Tatty Tiara

Success Redefined
by Kelly H-Y
at Cross Your T's

Winter Wonderland
by Russell
at Iowa Grasslands

Reader's Choices:

Recommended by

Art of Lying - Part One
by Stephen

at Stephen Parrish

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them. Thank you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tickled Pink

The colour pink, warm and lovely colour that it is, is rather limiting as far as subject matter goes. At least for me. So for this post, there's an abundance of flowers which make up the rosy end of the spectrum (Frank, I know your eyebrows just shot up at "rosy end." Stop it!).

Judging by your kind and supportive comments in the previous post, about inviting a bit of green into our northern hemisphere winter, I doubt you'll object to seeing mostly floral images as you scroll down through the photos. Please remember to click on each of them to enlarge.

"I fell off my pink cloud with a thud."
~ Elizabeth Taylor'

“Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone's eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too” ~ Gladys Taber

"More pink here, if you please."
~ Franz Liszt

"Pink - it's the colour of passion."
~ Aerosmith lyrics from Pink

The Brain: "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
Pinky: "I think so Brain, but Zero Mostel times anything will still give you Zero Mostel." ~from Pinky and the Brain

“The very pink of perfection.”
~ Oliver Goldsmith

"That last kiss
I'll cherish
Until we meet again"
~ Who Knew? by Pink

"When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb."
~ Pink Floyd lyrics from Comfortably Numb

"We don't have none of this stuff in the boy's room! Wait a minute! We don't got none of this... we don't got doors on the stalls in the boy's room, we don't have, what is this? What's this? We don't have a candy machine in the boy's room! " ~ from Pretty in Pink

And a few fun Inspector Clouseau quotes from The Pink Panther Strikes Again:

"Now then, what do we know? One, that Professor Fassbinder and his daughter have been kidnapped. Two, that someone has kidnapped them. Three, that my hand is on fire."

"A beekeeper who has lost his voice, a cook who thinks he's a gardener, and a witness to a murder. Oh, yes. It is obvious to my trained eye, that there is much more going on here than meets the ear."

"Of course it won't be easy; nothing worthwhile ever is. That is why I have always failed where others have succeeded."

Back in a few days - possibly with another colour.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Always Greener

I've decided to continue this colour theme for a little while. Partly because it's easy while I have other things on the go and partly because I have photos which many of you might never have seen before. A few long-time blog pals will likely recognize at least some of these, if not all and I thank you for you patience while I'm in this "double exposure" mode of sorts.

The posts themselves are original, and the photos are from various times and places. The last colour up was blue. Today I combed through my photo archives and came up feeling a little green. Please remember to click on them to enlarge each image.

This is one of those fly-by shootings, taken from the passenger window on our way home from the cottage one day. I just liked the way these fences hugged the gentle green slopes of this pasture.

These folks had an unusual collection of items amid the greenery of their yard. A dolphin-riding baby, a lamp post, a park bench and a grass-filled potty. Rather eclectic.

My favourite man in green - my son Jeffrey in his fatigues. We were visiting him where he attends university at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.

One of my favrourite green spots within three minutes from home. Each year this narcissistic branch grows a little closer to the water's edge, gazing lovingly at its own reflection.

A bit of rain can add a bit a sparkle to an otherwise dull surface. After the downpour, these water droplets glistened on a blade of green grass.

A couple of drops were still clinging to the hairy edges of these green seed pods.

Light filtered through a spring green fern, revealed a sun-warmed rock behind it.

The animal kingdom enjoys the comfort and safety of their green environment. This little grasshopper-like insect may have been trying to blend in and hide, but I saw him anyway.

This unusual green insect followed us fishing one summer afternoon. We looked out into the water beside the boat and saw it flailing about. Frank fished it out of the water with this oar and it stayed long enough to dry out before flying off. It was actually the second such insect that day.

One afternoon, up at the cottage, this little green snake popped his head out to warm himself in the sun. He was super quick to disappear again when I got a bit too close with the camera.

I love the wispy net-like wings on this beautiful, green dragonfly. It was one of many which hatched during our June 2008 visit to the cottage. It was still drying off before taking its first flight. Notice the water droplet at the end of the tail.

In the previous post, there was a photo of a blue caterpillar, and in the fuzzy out-of-focus background you could see a green dragonfly. This was that insect. I did a full post about him back in June 2008. It was either injured or malformed and was unable to fly or hunt. In this image, you can see it checking out the mosquito which we brought to it for feeding. There are some neat closeups of this and other dragonflies in the aforementioned and linked post. There are also a couple of videos. One of them appears below.

This is the standoff between the blue caterpillar and the green dragonfly to which I referred in my previous post. The dragonfly was not doing well but when confronted by the caterpillar, it defended itself and its territory quite valiantly.

Back soonish with yet another colour.