Monthly Archives: September 2015

Early Bird Blues

Early Bird

Early Bird

Early Bird Blues

There once was a bird who needed his sleep
Morning came and his slumber was deep
He stayed in his nest
Dreaming his best
Waking late, no worm did he reap

*posted for writing101 with the day 17 assignment to search our old drafts for inspiration. I had wanted to post this picture before but beneath it had only written the old adage that the early bird gets the worm. As a night owl, I am no stranger to singing the early bird blues!

*photo posted to photo101rehab

Sweet Seventeen

Happy Birthday to Stripey Boy! He is seventeen today!

I love this sweet cat. He is cuddly and loving. The older he gets, the more he wants to sit on your lap or on your chest, resting upon your shoulder. He is gentle but loves to play. He loves to chase catnip mice. Once, he caught a real field mouse in his mouth but promptly let it go without harm. Yes, that mouse was an uninvited visitor in my house, but that’s a story for another day!

Stripey gets along with my basset hound Pal and will sit right by him on the couch. Pal wouldn’t hurt a fly and Stripey seems to know this. Still, Stripey doesn’t always appreciate being slobbered on. He is fast and can run away into rooms where Pal can’t reach him when he wants to be alone.

I have known Stripey Boy his whole life. Here is a previous post, Stripey’s Story, about how he became mine. I have always cared for him. Now that he is older, I need to put a cream medicine in his ears twice a day to help with his hyperthyroidism. And, he gets cans of wet cat food (he mostly likes the gravy) along with his dry cat food. I love giving him his favorite Friskies Party Mix treats. He deserves to be a pampered house kitty!

Extra birthday treats and hugs for Stripey today!

Low Key, High Key

Low-Key Pal

Low-Key Pal

Low-key:

I hope I was able to produce a low key image of my dog, Pal. The photo was originally taken outdoors with afternoon sunlight on part of his face. Trying to follow the suggestions of Mitch for the Imagecraft Bootcamp, I changed the photo to black and white and adjusted the lights (-60), the darks (-55) and the shadows(-5) using Lightroom for the low-key (dark and dramatic) effect. I was wary of going too dark because I didn’t want to hide Pal’s pretty face!

High-key:

Last week, we tried high-key (light and ethereal) photo editing and I submitted this photo of my brother. I edited the original image to black and white and made the suggested adjustments, as seen below, for that lesson. In this case, I was wary of going too light and hiding his handsome face.

High-Key Brother

High-Key Brother

Thanks to Mitch and Lucile for hosting these learning lessons. I certainly have a lot to learn and feedback is welcome!

Declaration of Change

Change

Change

Declaration

The change of season
Declares the age of beauty

This truth should not be hidden
Least not from ourselves

*posted in response to the weekly photo challenge:
What does change look like to you?
Change

Up and Down Mill Mountain

I went up to the top of Mill Mountain today to look down into the Roanoke Valley. Roanoke, my hometown in Virginia, is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the view is beautiful from the mountain overlook. The distant mountain ridges have names like Brushy Mountain, Rich Patch Mountain, Read Mountain and McAfee’s Knob.

On a clear day, the view of downtown Roanoke is amazing. Landmarks familiar to local residents, such as the Wells Fargo Tower, Hotel Roanoke, St. Andrews Church, and the Taubman Museum of Art are showcased. Visitors notice the copper top of the tower, the tudor styling of the historic hotel, the two gothic steeples on the yellow stone church, and the modern design of the museum.

Locals and tourists alike are in awe of the giant star at the top of the mountain by the overlook. Visitors don’t expect it to be so big. The Roanoke Star (or Mill Mountain Star) is 88 1/2 feet tall (see more details in the pictured signage) and can be seen from all over town. At night, the neon star shines brightly.

The Mill Mountain Park is wooded with walking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds and even a zoo. I have fond memories of family picnics, getting temporarily lost with my brother and cousins on the Loop Trail, and touring the small zoo.

I love living in Roanoke, where mountains can be seen in all directions. The views are spectacular across the seasons. It is a beautiful area of the world and I am happy to have roots here.

*posted in part for writing 101 with the prompt to write about a topic (Ups and Downs) that readers, like Pawcific Purrsea,voted for in my previous post poll. This may be a different approach to the theme than expected so I hope you enjoy the up and down views!

*photo posting in Lucile’s photo101rehab clinic too.

Truth Serum

In Vino Veritas

In Vino Veritas

Vineyard Vignettes

Michael reaches for his glass of wine. He takes a sip. The wine is firm and robust. There is a richness to it that he likes. He straightens his tie and takes another sip. He is encouraged by the boldness of the wine. Truth be told, he is afraid.

Alice reaches for her glass of wine. She takes a sip. The wine is smooth and seductive. There is a softness to it that she likes. She wraps her sweater tighter and takes another sip. She is embraced by the warmth of the wine. Truth be told, she is lonely.

Carla reaches for her glass of wine. She takes a sip. The wine is crisp and light. There is a dryness to it that she likes. She smooths her hair and takes another sip. She is calmed by the coolness of the wine. Truth be told, she is overjoyed.

*posted for writing101

A Thousand Words

image

When I’m not writing, I am still taking pictures! As someone once said, a picture paints a thousand words. When I am too tired or too stressed or too busy to write, I can still appreciate the beauty in my surroundings and take lots of pictures.

Sometimes, a picture says it all and no words are needed. Sometimes, a picture may inspire me to write a thousand, more or less, words! And, re-energized, I go back to the writing board. Sometimes, the written word inspires me to take more pictures.

I take pictures with my i phone because it is always with me. This summer, I stepped up to my Nikon S9900 camera so I would have a zoom lens to take pictures of my hummingbirds. It is an automatic, point and shoot, camera with the option for manual settings which I need to learn more about. I don’t think I am ready for a DSLR camera yet, but maybe someday. For now, I am happy with the camera I have.

Taking pictures brings me joy. Writing brings me joy. Pairing the two feeds my creative spirit.

*posted for writing101

Weekly Cover Makeover Challenge (twelve)

movie poster makeover

movie poster makeover

Here is my entry for the PhotoRehab Cover Makeover challenge this week. I am a scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies so I haven’t seen this. I understand there may be some dark humor; still, I’m not sure it’s for me. I did like Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and Spike) on TV which was created by the producer of this movie.

I didn’t have a picture of a cabin so I used a sepia filter to make this green house, with a partially open door, look more like a cabin. I adjusted the shadows and the film grain using camera+ to make it look a little grittier. Then, I used the Over app for the text. I wasn’t sure about the text color, but at least you can read it over my picture. I think the final product has an ominous feel-ominous enough to keep me away from it at the theater!

What do you think? Would it draw you in or turn you away as a movie poster?

Caffeine Smile

Caffeine Smile

Caffeine Smile

If we were having coffee, I would share the cream and sugar. I would tell you that the smooth and sweet parts of life dilute the bitter.

If we were having coffee, I would talk about the past. I would dream about the future. I would savor the present.

If we were having coffee, I would pour another cup. I would tell you that everyone deserves a second chance at happiness.

If we were having coffee, I would smile and hope that you smiled back.

*posted for writing101

Hummingbird Gem

Little Gem

Little Gem

I thought the hummingbirds had already headed south. When another blogger, suburbanferndaleark, posted an action picture of two hummingbirds, I made the comment that I hadn’t seen any of the tiny birds at my house for several days. I was missing the satisfaction of glimpsing their long beaks, glistening feathers and furtive glances through the camera lens.

This week, I was elated to discover that hummingbirds were still coming to the feeder in my dogwood tree! I saw this little gem resting on a branch, preening its feathers between drinks of nectar. She would zip in, hover, flutter around the feeder and drink her fill.
She put on quite an airshow! I was happy that I was able to capture this picture!

As long as the birds keep stopping by, fresh nectar will be waiting, and I will be enjoying the show.

*posted for writing101 and photo entered into Lucile’s photo101rehab

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