Thursday, December 31, 2009

A house of cold with seven gables......

When I added the front porch, I succeeded in adding one more gable. It made the total add up to seven.  I don't quite know how to photograph cold, but we are certainly headed for Arctic cold.  The weather man said the 0's will be our high tomorrow.  I have never seen it described that way before.  It is miserable to be out side as the wind chill is - 13 degrees, F. 
My bird feeders are so busy when it is so cold.  A squirrel knocked one of my feeders on the ground yesterday, and the birds and rabbit are having a great time with the pile of seed on the ground.

My design of this porch is a bad design in the winter.  It is a flat shed roof and the ice and water collects on my steps. It is a continual battle to keep a least a part of the steps safe.  I actually sat our garbage bin on the right side to prevent anyone from trying to go up the stairs.  In case you are wondering how I can fix this problem, it is easy.  Old farm houses have a gable built into the roof so that the triangle shaped roof will steer the ice and snow away from the steps.  It looks a little like gilding the lily on some houses, but at this time of the year I know why they put them there.  This spring, the eighth gable will be added to my house.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Outside in the snow......

As you can see the snow is here to stay.  I was out yesterday and filled the bird feeders.  I have a rabbit that likes to pick up the debris that the birds leave and I see him out there at night.

The rabbit trail that I created for our friendly furry beast.  As I am out working on the walkways, I can see the paths made by the rabbit all around our house.  He doesn't sink in too far and his tracks are so different than maybe a cat or dog would make.  I do need the path to the gate, but I thought it would help the rabbit to get to my backyard feeder.

This was a promising sight of the sun for a short time while  I was out shoveling.  The yew collects snow in an interesting way.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blue snow.....

This image really does depict the weather here.  It is very cold and there is no hope for the snow melting sometime soon.  I tried to bring in the gazing ball but it's base was frozen into the ground.  I have kept it out all winter, but I like to bring it in closer to the house so falling branches don't hit it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Seeing red and white and blue.....

Flowers blooming in the winter, inside, with snow everywhere, outside, seem to cheer me. We bought the amaryllis before Christmas, and it started blooming a couple of days before Christmas. The violets are doing well with my lack of care.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sepia Saturday....

I need to bring in my garden angel.  I was out bringing in my seat cushions from the patio set and I got this picture. Maybe next week as we will not be melting for a week or maybe longer.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Angel glow......

I think it is the exhaustion, but I am trying to explore and learn about all the settings on my camera that I bought this summer.  I used the fireworks setting for this and it creates a nice effect and shuts the flash down.  I will keep exploring now that I see I even have a snow setting that I haven't been using.  I maybe got a concussion or something as I am going to go read the manual and figure out the camera that I own.

This is my try with the tree, using the fireworks setting.  I promise to not take anymore Christmas pictures now. This will be the last.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hark The Hearld Angles Sing.........

Glory to the new born King

Merry Christmas to you all.  It is my pleasure to be able to be a part of your lives.  May your holidays be happy. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blurry, Blurry Night.......

The macro setting and bright lights sometimes just doesn't work, but the special effects are great.  The cardinal ornament is a new one for me.  Kmart actually carries about a dozen different ornaments that are made by the Radko company.  I have one other that I bought of a soldier.  Ornaments and items are put on fifty percent off very early this year and I missed most of the sales. 
Keep your camera warm and out of the snow and ice that seems to be flying everywhere.  Merry Christmas to anyone out there that I haven't said it to, and let's look forward to a better new year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Angel convention.......

It is a busy life but I thought I could catch a shot or two of my wife's angel collection.  She just got them up today and she has been as busy as I have been.

Just like in church, some people just choose not to sing while all of the others are singing. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday Silliness.......

An angel sitting on a cupcake.  It is so silly that I like it.


Spot the dog seems to be a happy fellow.

Yesterday's blog was so serious compared to my ridiculousness today. Finished  a lot of tasks today and my list is getting smaller.  I still need to shop for my wife, but all the other presents are now purchased.  We were in a store where they had a shopping cart director.  It worked well.  We were all in a line as long as most of the store, and the lady with the name card, stood at the entrance to the check out stations and politely directed everyone to a free counter.  I only got run into once by the lady's cart behind me , but she was stressed and I just turned a smiled at her. She was busy shopping while in line going back and forth to get things to put in her cart.

Sepia Saturday

My dad was drafted into the U.S. army when he was 20 years old.  He was sent to do basic training, and during the middle of that training, had to be hospitalized.  Once he became better, he was sent back to start basic all over again.  Once basic training was completed he spent a year or more in Washington D.C. guarding the buildings of the capitol area and also reading radar, watching for invading airplanes.
A year before the end of the war, he was shipped to Belgium.  When he arrived, he stayed in the barracks which were actually these apartment like buildings that you see in the background.  He is standing in front of a statue there in the town. I don't know the name of the town as he wasn't allowed to mail home his actual location.  The town was a temporary staging area before he was sent into field, to help serve in the Battle of the Bulge.  It was like a vacation at first when he arrived over seas but it was a guise for what was to happen to him.
He carried a fifty pound radio, with tubes, and was assigned to assist with the scouts who went before the front line of the American soldiers.  I have a photo that was taken that shows  that they were near the Bridge of Remagen in 1944.  As they crossed that bridge, it was the last one standing along the Rhine river, they were under continual fire. 
The irony of the Belgium pictures of that I have from his collection, is what fierce danger that he eventually faced. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A very diverse day..........

A busy life can take all the color out of your life. We need to be careful or all of the color will just leave our lives, forcing us to make only black and white choices.  Life looses it quality and depth.

Never fear, I am still hanging in there by my fingernails and I will survive.  Light, which makes the spectrum shine, is at the end of the dark tunnel.

I know that everyone is busy at this time of the year.  I am not the only one with deadlines and more work that there is time.  I hope they too can take a moment and see the color that illuminates our life and receive a revived sense of being.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Whimsy.......

The old and the new designs.  The little pinguin is not a traditional figure in the history of ornaments, but he makes a great looking glass blown decoration.  The pine cone seen in the photo is not very old but what I like about it is that is based on the traditional shape of the antique babbles of old.  I really enjoy the bubble lights but they really don't rank as antique as a lot of ornaments do. One can still get on to ebay and find the original bubble lights with their yellow and green electric cords as well as old bulbs.  I would not want to trust that old wiring.

The horse is also not old but it's old rocking horse look is neat, with all the toys down below it's legs.  I am sure it was painted on an assembly line far away from this continent.  The gold and white ornament is an old one.  It actually is a bad rendition of a mushroom.  If they had put a handle on it, it could of been a pint with foam on it.   I still haven't had time to get my tree into it's final location, but today may be the day.  I blog on my work break and am still framing pictures.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dogs on duty........or maybe off duty......

While decorating the tree last night, the dogs became bored with us.  Barney decided to stay out of it and just rest on his favorite love seat.

Button was just as indifferent to the whole process and as long as he had a pillow to lean on he just didn't care what was going on in the house.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas glow.......

The lights and the colors make this a special season.  It is the magic of the decorations that give us pleasure and a warm response.  It is the family that gets together to enjoy the time together that warms us all and gives us new added memories each year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Carriage shed.....

No this is not Maine or Massachusetts!

This is a photo of our neighbors old barn structure across the street.  At one time,  every early home here in Woodward, had a small barn and fenced in area for a horse and a cow or two for milk.  When you see early pictures of the town they are scattered all over town as the houses were not as crowded then.
I still have two sides of a foundation, on the corner of my lot, that reminds me more of the proportion of a model T garage, but the foundation is not filled in on the ends.  So I assume it was a barn structure.
The shed you see here was used for a different purpose.  The house that is on the property, which was  built at the same time as our house, started out as an undertaker business, a funeral home.  The shed has had newer doors put on it, but that was the shed to hold the carriages for the funeral business.  In our early years as a country, the funeral home was used solely as a place of business and for embalming of bodies, but the body in the casket was taken back to the deceased person's home to lie in state in their own parlor.  Some houses actually had casket doors built when new so the wider casket could be taken into the home, as the standard size doors were too small.  The door was usually put right next to the corner of a side of a house, and not centered on the side of the house.

In my crazier moments of my life, I wanted to tear this building down for the owners,  for the wood, and wanted to build a small barn out of the material on my property across the street.  I have given up on that pipe dream for now.  Their newer three car garage sits right next to this old one.  Sadly the shed leans more each year. 
I admire old weather barns all over the east coast and when it snowed, I realized that I had my own weathered building to enjoy. 

St. Francsis is knee deep in snow.....

A simple garden sculpture with such great expression.  His left hand holds a tray in which you can place bird seed.  This particular version of St. Francis is a heavier weighted man than the typical ones that you see done in illustrations and sculptures.  It still is one of my favorits.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sepia Saturday....

Bar Harbor, Maine

A shot of a sailboat with various flags from different countries. The water is calm here as the harbor is  in a protected area.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Violet Power.......

Our violets are starting to bloom.  I let them get really dried out then watered them and now they are blooming.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow angel........

My garden angel sits her days away, all year long on my bench.  She seems to become a part of another sculptural form combined with the snow.  The wind actually turned her a little so she can gaze into another direction.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow drift sculpture........

We have had over 14 inches of snow and the wind is hitting 25 mph to 47 mph.  It is a constant roaring of the wind out there.  Structures help to create great sculptural forms.  It is going to be 2 degrees F., -17 degrees C.,  tonight as our low.  If you believe in global warming,  I suggest you check the cold air that is blowing down onto us from up at the Arctic Zone.  We will be warming up to 18 degrees F. , - 8 C. tomorrow.
Our low last night was a -4 degrees F. , -20 C.

Here is another view of the drift with the snow in the foreground that is piled on top of the porch railing which is at least a foot high.
Tomorrow the state of Iowa will also be closed.  I will get out and take more pictures as I think the wind will be gone and I can go out and really see the frosty world.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yew bush got dusted...........

I ran out of daylight before I got outside to record our snowstorm.  I kept seeing some neat shots as I went out to stock up on milk and bread.  I saw some great drifts on objects while I was scooping an area for out dogs to go do their business.  A short poodle can't find anywhere to go when the snow is nine inches deep.
So I took photos at night and the flash reflected off of the snow flakes.  It is cool how the flash reflected back at the camera.  Created orbs for those of you who believe in ghosts.  Anyway, tomorrow I will wade out and take some daytime photos in the 25 mph wind.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Old photos of the season to come......

This is my picture of my antique replicas tree.  This is last years photo, my pre-macro era. It will be interesting to see what I can do with this  type of thing this year.  My bubble lights are something that I was always fascinated with and I ran into a sale on them after Christmas and they became mine.
I saw my first bubble lights at the age of 3, 1953,  at a country school house where they were having a party for my three brothers where they attended school.  I can still hear the tinkling sounds that they made. 

Another shot from the tree last year.  I am still whining about  the lack of integrity of the production of ornaments.  A glass blown ornament should be glass blown.  They are now being sold as a cast plastic ornament with the metallic paint, pretending to be glass blown.  Obviously if I bought Radko made ornaments that will be still glass, but that is not the game I am playing. I was collecting the dime store type originals.  I found a neat set that was the 12 days of Christmas, and I think they were a hollow metallic material, painted to look like glass blown.  
I will be starting to put up our trees with my wife soon.  We display one large tree and then three smaller ones for our own enjoyment.  When we get old and tired, we will quit putting up so many trees. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Phlox maniputlations......manipulations I mean......

Phlox from my garden in August.  It is a very cheerful sight to see this on a gray, dark day.  A snow blanket of 1 or 2 inches for tonight, and then Tuesday and Wednesday, stay home.

Being stuck inside and taking a day off from work, I needed to explore and review some of my photo manipulation skills.  I just had forgotten where to go to do these simple effects.  I did discover some far out stuff, that I may play with some time in the future and share.

Sepia Sunday for today, but I want to start doing Sepia Saturday, to give myself a creative challenge with my pictures.  I am having a day of rest and my body is speaking to me and saying "Thank You."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The fair revistited..........

We headed to the shed where the chickens, roosters and  doves were to be showing.  We missed it as they were moved out and the rabbits were being moved in for judging.  There was a large variety of rabbits and some of the owners had for sale signs on some of the cages.  I suppose the multiply a lot right?  Our neighbor lady yelled across the yard and said she had six new baby kittens.  They multiply like rabbits too.  I had thought she had all of her animals taken care of but I guess the outside cats missed the trip to the vet.  Barney said no to any new cats. Back to this rabbit, I would like this guy as he looks like he is a serious thinker.

At the horse show we saw this beauty.  I can't spell the name so I will leave that alone.  It is the largest horse at the show.  Percheron is the name of the breed, I looked it up on google.  As I was writing this I was thinking of the similarities or differences of these two wonderful animals, and they both eat about the same diet.  Green plants and grains are the basic diet of both.  I know we think that rabbits eat rabbit food, but it is made out of grains and green plants, just like the horses with oats, corn, or pellet food.   They both are vegetarians and to think of the differences that comes from that nutrition . 

Friday, December 4, 2009

The final curtain........

I have taken so many photos of this sedum and it has the richest dark browns.  I like the black eyed susan's seed heads also.

Remember when it looked like this back in July and August?  It hasn't bloomed out yet in this photo.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas is coming......

A jittery start to the Christmas season for me, but I am looking forward to it.  I have a tree in the basement that I am thinking about throwing away, but who throws away Christmas trees?  I snapped this shot while I was down there taking photos of the fish in the downstairs aquarium. It is a very small tree and I want to salvage the glass decorations off of it for recycle. I liked how it looked as you can see it didn't focus.  But color is a great thing to absorb and appreciate.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lakeshore on Landscape......

When I sold this pastel painting a year ago, I immediately took it outside to photograph it.  It is nice to keep a portfolio of the work you have done.  This is a pastel painting that I did while sitting along the beach of Lake Superior, near Split Rock Lighthouse.  When I started painting it, my approach was a lot like the ways that I was taught to approach drawing, back in my college days.  The things that have changed since then as I have learned so much more about discerning color and texture.
Doesn't all that green in the background look good.  I miss summer already.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The most photographed tree in the world.......

I am sure that there are trees along the coast that keep getting photographed over and over again.  There is an island in Minnesota, almost Canada, that has been photographed by everyone, because of its size with a great arrangement of evergreen trees on it.  You may see it on calendar and in travel brochures yet today, but a tornado hit in the area and took most of the trees. It can't be photographed any more.
This is my over done tree which I can still get good color shots. It is my bad excuse for new material or my emergency valve when I can't find anything else to shoot. 

Have a great Tuesday.