Project 52 (50)

Happy Saturday! I have a few photos for you. (Warning: I have a slug photo a few photos down, so if that bothers you you’ll want to just skip this post.)

Here are my two new hanging plants that I got for $5-something each.
The fuchsia is not exactly loaded with blossoms, but the hummingbirds still inspect it sometimes (and then have fast food over at the feeder), and it’s nice to have some greenery on my deck. Here’s something interesting I read online the other day (which means it’s true, of course): fuchsias naturally bloom upright, but have been bred to have weak stems so they droop over.  I haven’t done any further research, but maybe some of you know about that? I’m not sure if they meant the blossoms, the leaves, or both.
I think this is a begonia? I’m such a plantologist. 
I have several photos on my computer that I never got around to posting. Here’s some catching up…
Taken weeks ago when I took a spontaneous trip to the wildlife refuge. I love the cute ground cover under the rail trail.
Slug alert…
(And poor photography alert.) On that same trip, I realized it was apparently slug season. There were dozens of these out on the  trail, and I had to keep my eyes on the ground so I wouldn’t step on them. They ranged in size from about 4-6 inches long. Pretty nasty, but also kind of fascinating. I was thinking about what good slugs are. I’m sure they have an important role.
These are just a few photos I took at work the other day.
That’s enough for now.
Hey, I’ve been trying to be better at responding to comments the same day instead of like three weeks after they’re left, but I didn’t go back and check old entries. I’m not sure whether I should, at this point. Reader poll (I think I may have asked this before, though): do you subscribe to the comments or go back and check them regularly?
Enjoy your weekend. Mine’s indoorsy so far, since it’s all rainy. But I like the indoors!

Project 52 (49)

I’m on a roll with posting here. Sorry to be overwhelming, I guess it’s just good to be back into a routine that allows it. Plus, this week I had several photos to choose from, so I’m all ready to post. This is L by the lake when we were doing her portrait shoot.

Project 52 (46-48)

I guess I should catch up on these!

46: This dragonfly hung out on my screen door for awhile.

BONUS: Here’s the other side, if you’re curious.

47: I picked up a couple of new sauces to try. (Then I placed them in my cart and paid for them before bringing them home.)

48: L on a walk through a foresty park on the coast.

I have to say, I won’t really mind when this project is over. For some reason I have an addiction to taking on photo projects, but I tend to get burnt out on them after awhile. It’s not like I don’t already take plenty of photos, right? But we’re practically on the home stretch now. Maybe my next photo project should be to not take on a photo project.

PS: Anyone else hating the Blogger changes? I have to add my own html breaks now, apparently.

PPS: Tomorrow it’s back to work after 6 days off (counting the weekend). I don’t mind too much, but can I please sleep in first?

PPPS: L is home safe.

Project 52 (45)

Mom cutting herbs for me to take home. Thanks, Madre! I can’t believe that was (practically) a week ago.

I’ve been very productive today! I’ve mostly been working on laundry, and it’s so nice to have lots of fresh clothes to wear. I don’t know how I own so many clothes and accumulate so many dirty ones, but I can’t imagine keeping up with a whole family. Mom, how the heck did you do it? And I used to whine and procrastinate about putting away the clothes she so nicely folded. I was an awesome daughter.

Project 52 (44)

I got a bit behind on this again! This is a slightly long-exposure of my parents’ koi pond. I was holding the camera, so it’s not quite in focus, but it wasn’t meant to be technically perfect anyway. Feeding and watching the fish is a fun summertime activity for my parents (and me, when I visit!). The koi are very active in the warmer months and they provide plenty of entertainment. And yes, they all have names! I’ll talk more about this when I post about my trip.

Here’s something pretty fascinating: koi can live over 100 years in the right conditions. Apparently the Japanese refer to them as “living jewels” because they are passed down in families. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia: One famous scarlet koi, named “Hanako” (c. 1751 – July 7, 1977) was owned by several individuals, the last of whom was Dr. Komei Koshihara. Hanako was supposedly 226 years old upon her death, based on examining one of her scales in 1966.

Can you imagine having a fish that was around in the 1700s?? That’s craze. Mom and Dad, which koi are you passing down to me? Maybe they’ll live long enough that in like 2118 they will be the old-fashioned fish surrounded by koi wearing space suits.

Project 52 (42)

The beavers and geese don’t seem to mind each other.

Still no decent beaver photos where they’re out of the water. That’s my summer goal, and I think I just need to be patient. It’s still getting dark a little too early to get crisp photos, and they so rarely get out of the water where I can see them.

The rental camera and lens are pretty heavy compared to my usual camera, and my right hand and arm is starting to feel the strain. But today is the event that the camera was rented for, so I need to suck it up and get some good photos. I’m actually kind of dreading it, as event photography isn’t my thing. I’m just glad to have a camera that can handle the poor lighting situation fairly well.

Have a great Saturday! It’s supposed to be pretty nice all weekend here. I wouldn’t mind if the clouds stuck around this afternoon, though, for the outdoor photography I need to do.

Do you have any fun plans this weekend? Maybe you’re busy doing them and not reading this post, which is fine. 😀

Project 52 (41)

You may remember me saying I wanted purple tulips, in a previous post. Well, my friend Deborah took that as a challenge, and last weekend I had these waiting on my doorstep! Yes, she’s very thoughtful!

🙂 🙂 Thanks, Deborah!

Project 52 (40) + Oregon Garden

I know that this is a poor photo, technically speaking, but it seemed like the best representation of “everyday life” that I had this week. Especially for kids this time of year. It all happened so fast that I had no time to adjust my camera’s settings (and then the frog jumped out of the girl’s hand), so there you go.

That was taken at the Oregon Garden yesterday, so I’ll put the rest of my photos in this same post.

This is the only photo I took of flowers. It was an unusual visit. I had a weird day, and due to the weather, many animals were out that I usually wouldn’t see, so I ended up just taking creature photos and not bothering with the rest.

(If you don’t like snake pictures, you’ll want to just skip this post.)

Another bad photo (sorry, but it’s true!), but I wanted to remember this silly koi in the pond. It kept going around the edge and sucking at the rocks. I’ve never seen my parents’ koi do this. You could even hear the sucking noises from across the water. It’s a plecostomus in training, I guess.

At first I couldn’t see any frogs, but there were several tadpoles/pollywogs/whatevers.

After missing a photo op of a heron catching a frog, I was feeling grouchy at myself for not being prepared and sulkily walked back behind the pond where I found not one but two garter snakes hanging out in the sun. That sort of made up for my heron miss.

Then there was this woodpecker.

Later I saw a/the heron again. This time I was determined to get a picture of it catching a fish or frog, but gave up my resolve after standing there for like ever while it basically stood motionless.

I should note that the animals at the garden must be extremely used to humans, because I’ve never been this close to a heron. Instead of being skittish when someone walked nearby, it was like he thrived on the attention. For that reason, these photos seem kind of cheaty and less rewarding, like I was at a zoo.

There were plenty of red-wing blackbirds out.

Finally I started noticing the frogs. It’s one of those situations where once you see one of them, you better know what to look for and you see several that have been out all along.

I’m sure I’ll be going back soon to take photos of the actual garden areas. By the way, did you know there is a resort at the Oregon Garden? (Too bad about their website, though. :P) I learned only a couple of months ago, though I think it’s been around for at least a couple of years. It looks nice (I had to go to the front desk to get some passes). I wouldn’t mind staying there, even though Silverton is only half an hour from me.

Unrelated: last night I dreamed that I saw two pink and purple hummingbirds (I’m sure they exist, but not in Oregon). I kept trying to get photos but then would notice my camera was off, or it was backwards (?), or I couldn’t focus. Typical photography dream. But eventually I did get a couple of photos. I only wish I could show you!

Project 52 (39) + a little about my week

On Easter evening, I went out in hopes of seeing some beavers, but just saw a bunch of salamanders instead. There are lots of them at the edge of the lake. For some reason, I don’t think I’d ever seen a salamander until a year or two ago. I’m sure they are in California, but I don’t remember seeing any growing up. We were more likely to find pollywogs and crawdads.

For funzies, here’s a bit about how the rest of my week went.

I took Monday off work (I really think it should be a holiday anyway), and used part of the time to go back to Deepwood Estate and try out one of the work cameras/lenses. I have become so used to bringing my own [Canon] camera for work purposes that I feel like I’m re-learning Nikon. It’s worth it, though, because we now have some equipment that’s better than mine (even if it is Nikon ;)). It’s fun to use some fancier stuff, and I’m hoping to take it out for practice regularly over the next several months.

I was happy that a male hummingbird was flying around and showing his nice coloring, but I wasn’t super happy with my resulting images. I need some practice with that heavy lens.

Tuesday, I went out to do some practice shots for a work photo session I had the following day. Hollie helped me out with light tests, because she’s very cooperative about stuff like that.  (NOTE: I’m really looking forward to doing another portrait session with her soon–we’ll take advantage of her old prom dresses!)

It was such a nice day, that on our way down the path we saw this little guy sunning himself. Hollie was not thrilled, but I count it a lucky day when I manage to get a snake photo at work. I think that’s only happened about 4 times in the past 6.5 years of working there. Someday I’ll actually get a decent photo.

Friday morning, I had a creepy dream and woke up early, so I headed back out to see if there were any beavers. Typically I watch beavers from my deck, but I’m more determined to get a photo of them up close. My ultimate goal is a good photo while they’re fully out of the water.

I did end up seeing three beavers swimming around, and even getting slightly up on shore, but the photos aren’t so hot. I love my camera (although, yes, I’d like to upgrade), but I’m not exactly set up to photograph distant moving objects in a darkish setting (R, you might be able to relate ;)). I’m going to use the work camera and try again soon. Fingers crossed!

Every spring I get the renewed urge to travel. I took a month-long road trip around the US when I was 19, and so often I wish I could repeat it now that I’m into photography. Back then we just had a few film point-and-shoots. My daydream is to travel around taking tons of pictures, blogging regularly, and also stopping to see friends around the country to do portraits of them. I have several friends all over, due to moving, friends moving, online interaction, and college. It would be so fun. How can I make that happen?

Well, this is probably the most I’ve typed here in awhile. How are you? What are your traveling daydreams? (PS I also want to travel more outside of the US, but that’s another post.)