Food Friday

Here I am again! Just a few food photos from the past few weeks. Mostly average, but you can see some of the things I’ve been fixing.

Pulled pork sandwich. This was pre-marinated pork that is made for the slow cooker. I’m a cheater. But it was great!

Still enjoying the slow cooker–I made pot roast and I feel like I want to make it every week now.

Peanut butter bars, but I added white chocolate. I brought these to a game day with friends.

It’s more peanut butter! I made these cookies and gave them out to a few people. They turned out pretty well–nice and soft and yet held their shape. I’m too lazy to look up the recipe again, but I might post it another day.

Breaking the rules with a big, squarish picture! I suddenly had a mad craving for pasta with fresh mozzarella, so I made this. It was delicious. Typically this type of dish would also include tomatoes, but I’m kind of picky about them and left them out. I’ll admit it seemed to need some tomato flavor, though…maybe if I diced them small enough. I just don’t like big pieces of tomato. This has a basic clam wine sauce, but you can’t really tell.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Thankful Thursday

Am I annoying you with my alliterations yet? 🙂 I don’t know how often I’ll do this, but I’d like to take note of little goods throughout the week and then post them here. I can definitely stand to be more grateful. Here’s my first edition…

1. Coming home after work. Especially when it’s rainy and I can’t wait to put on sweats and be completely comfortable.

2. Quietness. Lately I get a lot of it at work (sometimes too much, but this isn’t a complaint list) and it’s something I really appreciate. I tend to be rattled by too much noise around me.

3. Tweets and text messages from friends. It’s so fun to hear from someone when the message is specifically for me.

4. Unexpected mail from a niece:

The inside says “You’re frog-tastic!!” I love you, L!

5. Good sales on soda (I got some Diet Dr. Pepper from Target for $3/12-pack!).

6. Eating exactly what I craved: linguine with fresh mozzarella. Photo to come.

7. Photography work!
I did a brief portrait session on Monday:

8. Photo text messages from my mom as she and my dad head off to go camping. 🙂

9. Catching a photo of the wood ducks before they get too far away (they are so scared).

10. The lovely D (not sure if she wants her name used here), who sits next to me in choir. She has been good to me from the start of my time at my church, and she even follows this blog and often emails me with nice words about it. Thanks, D. 🙂

What are you thankful for this week?

Wallpaper Wednesday

Now that I’ve built up a small supply of wallpapers for you to use, I will likely only post them one at a time. It’s actually kind of tedious to make them, so you understand. 🙂

I like the colors on this photo, but it does bother me that the front part of the most prominent flower is out of focus. I’m hoping it doesn’t really bother you, but you don’t have to use it.

[TO USE: Click on the resolution that’s closest to yours to open the picture (you can check your screen resolution here, although I’ve heard it’s not always accurate). You can then right-click on top of the image and “Set as desktop background…” or whatever the similar wording is in that menu.]

Portraits – Katrina

The wisteria isn’t at its prime, but it’s blooming, and I’ve been wanting to do some portraits at Bush House since last year. Katrina and I managed to agree on a night when we were both free and it wasn’t supposed to rain. It was sunny during the day, so in my head I had envisioned golden evening light and a chance to practice making the most of it. Instead, it was overcast and slightly chilly, but we took advantage of the beautiful surroundings. Katrina – thank you for being so patient with me as I tried lots of different poses and locations. I really appreciate your enthusiasm. 🙂

Bush House is not quite as nice as Deepwood, but it definitely has its strengths.

Like the porch and, of course, the wisteria. (On the left, Katrina is being silly – she was very happy to be standing on the railing!)

This gazebo is in the nearby rose garden where, as you can see, there are no roses in bloom yet.

I think she kind of looks like Anne Hathaway here.


A few things

The other day I signed up on Twitter! It was kind of on impulse, but it’s been fun learning about it and hearing more from friends who are otherwise kind of quiet online. If you are on Twitter and would like to follow me, I’m @GreengatePhoto. If not, you’re not missing anything.

No, I’m still not on Facebook.

Just a reminder that if you’d like to receive my blog posts through email, you can subscribe by going here.

Now some photos from the past few days:

I happened to have my big lens with me on a drive home from work when I saw a couple of deer. I see deer in this neighborhood often (more often in winter, though). I kind of consider them domestic, but I still enjoy seeing them. Not the sharpest photo, but I was stopped in the middle of the road and in a bit of a hurry.

Also, there was this bird. He was watching the deer too.

Are you bored of rainbow photos yet? I take them more to mark how often I have seen them this year compared to last. There have been so many, and when I stand out on my deck taking pictures, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have that view. I only wish you could see it in real life, because it’s better than my pictures.

What was six goslings is now two, and I’m not sure if it’s a different set or if four of them have already “gone to live at the farm.” Right after I took this photo, the dad was hissing at me and started walking toward me. I know it’s just to intimidate, but I did wonder what he would actually do to me if I didn’t move along. Are geese dangerous to humans or is it all an act? I later imagined what would happen if I just jumped at him instead of being scared off by the hissing. Would he get startled and move away? Would he pull out a nunchuck?

(SIDENOTE: Firefox said I was spelling “nunchuck” wrong, so I Googled it and came across a video called Sweet Nunchuck Skills on YouTube. In it, the guy is doing all these twirly moves with a nunchuck, and while it’s cool and skillful, I can’t help but think it looks just like baton-twirling. Somehow changing out the baton for a nunchuck makes it manly and cool, I guess.)

Happy Friday!

Wallpaper Wednesday

Another bird and flower combo! It’s all I photograph, apparently. 🙂 I couldn’t help but make a Tanager wallpaper, and then I had a request for the lilacs. Enjoy!

[TO USE: Click on the resolution that’s closest to yours to open the picture (you can check your screen resolution here, although I’ve heard it’s not always accurate). You can then right-click on top of the image and “Set as desktop background…” or whatever the similar wording is in that menu.]

Be sure to check out my wallpapers tag for more!

Tanagers, etc.

I had a terrible dream this morning, and I was up early playing stupid GemCraft Chapter 0 (so addictive–if you like tower defense games, don’t click that link) to clear my mind. It was very gray out, and overall my mood was not the best when I headed to work. But you know turns my mood around?

Getting pictures of beautiful birds!

Plus the fact that this was part of my job–that’s pretty awesome too.

Before this year, I had seen one Western Tanager (and I’m not even certain about that). I don’t know what it is about this year, but there are several at work, and they aren’t even all that difficult to photograph. They certainly aren’t as skittish as some birds.

They vary in vibrancy. Some males have just a little red on their face, like this one.

I think this is a female Tanager, though I checked online and it seems some females are a tad more vibrant.

And then there are males with more red. This picture makes me so happy!

Two in one photo! Okay that’s enough of the Tanagers.

I couldn’t neglect the other birds.

You can kind of tell it’s raining in some of these pictures.

This is an outtake, but I like it when I get these accidental flying shots. Who cares about focus?

These sparrows always end up in my photos, but they’re pretty cute and they sit still for me.

Then I saw this little guy! A White-crowned Sparrow. He’s very cute.

Round bird tummies are definitely on my list of 50 Cutest Things In Nature. (Fennec foxes are also on the list.)

Switching gears, I had another snake sighting the other day. Always exciting!

Have a good rest of your week! 🙂

Portraits – Brandon and Lacey

I met and photographed Brandon with his family last year. They were all such nice and laid-back people that I knew that another portrait session with him would be a good experience. He brought his girlfriend Lacey along and they were both so nice and cooperative as we climbed through muddy, overgrown hills. But the weather was perfect and I’m so glad we got to take advantage of it. Thanks so much, you two! I had a good time and am happy with the results. I hope you are too. 🙂

This seems posed, but it was actually authentic.. Lacey’s heels were giving her trouble on the muddy path, so I took pictures before he put her down.

I often forget to change a few to black and white, so I made a point of it this time.

Lacey was super cooperative when I asked if she’d let me try some laying-down photos.

I’ve been wanting to take advantage of this flowery hillside for a couple of years now. It’s a perfect spot for portraits.

Beautiful! And thanks to Brandon for helping me out with the reflector.

Have a great week!


I had this all scheduled to post yesterday, but Blogger had issues and deleted my draft. :/ Fortunately it didn’t contain a lot of writing, so it’s not too difficult to repost. I guess I should be careful about keeping copies of my unpublished entries in case something like this happens again.

Anyway, these are just some photos from a few days ago. Some were taken at work, others at Bush Park. Which reminds me that I’ve been trying to note the photo locations more often so that visitors see some of the nice places to visit around the Salem area. There are a lot of great gardens–many free–for photo excursions or just a lovely stroll. 🙂 I should probably talk more specifically about that eventually.

I didn’t know what kind of tree this was, but then several friends told me it was a Lilac and then I felt a little dumb…I guess I’ve never really seen one in real life. Or at least not to my knowledge.

I’m excited to show you photos from a portrait session I did last night, and I plan to visit the iris garden this weekend, as well, so stay tuned.

Wallpaper Wednesday

Wallpaper Wednesday….I’m so clever! And I will try to post wallpapers more often, and specifically on Wednesdays, because it’s important to use alliterations. I’ve noticed I have done a bird and a flower photo each time, but that won’t always be the case. 🙂

[TO USE: Click on the resolution that’s closest to yours to open the picture (you can check your screen resolution here, although I’ve heard it’s not always accurate). You can then right-click on top of the image and “Set as desktop background…” or whatever the similar wording is in that menu.]

No iPhone wallpapers today. 🙂 There are some in previous entries, though.