Out and about yesterday we made a stop at The Greensmith Garden Center in Hinckley, Ohio. Greeting visitors to their place is a very unusual flower planter — a Volkswagen Beetle, its boot filled with earth and posies! It might be fun to drive such a vehicle around but the same use has been put to the car’s engine compartment (in the rear) — dirt and daisies. Well, not really daisies but the alliteration was too choice!
It has been cold, and wet, and dark. Sometimes, between rains, the heavy dew, and the rain, and the subdued light bring a beauty of their own to the world. This morning, between showers, I stepped outside to see what diamonds there were to be discovered.
She Who Must Be Obeyed doesn’t know what the plant is. She doesn’t remember purchasing it or planting it. For weeks, however, we have been watching what was a beautiful foliage plant sprout from the earth. As it rose the green beauty unfurled leaf after heavily veined leaf. Rain and dew beaded gorgeously on the waxy leaves. Over about the last week something different began to emerge. Our burgeoning stranger sent up a spike from within a roll of leaf, the spike marked by red edges. A flower? In the last few days it became apparent it wasn’t to be a single flower but a cluster of red blooms. Today the buds began to open and tonight the sun lit them wonderfully. We had evening fireworks at our back door.
I've been pouring more resources into my photography lately, encouraged by some of the results I've been getting. I even have a small show coming up in October! After much (agonizing) thought and consideration I was able to purchase a new camera body to try and expand my grasp. The new "baby" is a big, fat Canon EOS 50D. It feels great in my hand and the shutter has such a smooth feel and sound it will be a pleasure to use. There is much to learn about features but I seem to be picking it up quick.
I made a few test shots around the house this afternoon including the one below… a bright red, ripe bell pepper hanging from a plant set out by She Who Must Be Obeyed. The afternoon was dreary and the pepper was shaded somewhat by the balcony railing and the plant's own leafs. Still, this 50mm macro view is darned nice for a handheld test. Tonight I ran the ISO all the way up to 3,200 and shot an image of the clock and plain, cream-colored wall on which it hangs. Image noise was easy to see but much better than my little Digital Rebel XT might manage… if it could reach 3,200. The picture of the clock was good and sharp under high magnification. I'm sure the camera could do quite well under dim lighting conditions especially where darkness will hide some of the "grain." I'm sure this camera and I will have a very good time together.
The only problem so far has been not the camera but my new, upgraded version of Adobe Photoshop. I got it installed but it has a tendency to crash… often! It's CS4 and has many features I was looking forward to using. I guess I'll be on the phone next week with Adobe support to see if I can fix it. Blah!
By the way, one of the peppers from Her plant was incorporated into a lovely, spicy Indonesian noodle dish this evening. Quite scrumptious.
Turning my back on the mess, I photographed Her lovely garden. There were more spectacular flowers in the garden this morning, but this pale yellow bloom caught my eye. I'm taking the day off as my July 4th holiday comp. time which will allow me to tend to Tasha who will be going in for teeth cleaning at the vet's shortly. Vets give cats general anesthesia when cleaning their teeth. With all those needle-sharp teeth contained within a ball of claws, muscle, and fury I can't say as I blame them!
Not much to say about the weekend. She spent a lot of time and effort on her patio garden. New plantings and a fresh coat of mulch –lots of it– made the place look great. A couple more trips to the garden center and we are equipped with new planters and soil for home grown organic herbs.
The weekend was mostly cloudy, rainy, and there was a definite chill in the air most of the time. There were periods of sunshine and even some clearing at night. In general, however, it was a gray weekend.
Sunday capped it off with a midday thunderstorm. Three deep rolls of thunder set the mood as did heavy rain falling on the spring green grass. Then we noticed… a lot of that "rain" was hailstones. The pellets were tiny –smaller than peas– but numerous and the fall continued for a couple of minutes. Sheets of ice slid off of our car and piled up on the fresh, black mulch. It took a while to melt away but it made for an interesting garden accent.
We stopped by the vet's office during our Saturday run-arounds. The cats are fine but we had a bunch of used insulin syringes to leave off for proper disposal. Dr. B. gets enjoyment from gardening around his hospital building and at the front door, among the flowers, stands a small statue. Perched on top of the statue was a chipmunk, holding very still, his cheeks full of food. I just happened to be carrying my camera so I hoped the critter would keep his position on the statue and would still be there as I left. Camera at the ready I opened the door to leave and found the little guy continuing to pretend he was a part of the statue. The chipmunk regarded me silently and motionlessly as I aimed and squeezed off several shots. Here's what I got! I love the way the stone dog and boy appear to be gazing lovingly upon their furry friend. We'll probably make a print of it for Dr. B. & Co.
We visited the La-Z-Boy store in Fairlawn this afternoon and found a sofa we both liked. This one has three cushions with those on either end set up as reclining chairs. Comfortable for both of us to sit on and She Who Must be Obeyed can even stretch out on it for an unscheduled snooze. She said she might even want to order one tomorrow.
It was mild and partly sunny for most of the day, growing increasingly cloudy as the evening came. Now it's 100 percent overcast and the rain chances are building. I won't be going to the observatory tonight, that's for sure, though we've got an open night scheduled for next Saturday and I like to get in some practice ahead of time.