Monday, July 30, 2012

Horses and heat

My friend and I went to visit the horses as planned this past weekend. She called beforehand and suggested I wear boots because of all the recent rain. I showered, styled my hair, put my make-up on, and dressed sensibly. I and my camera gear were ready!

As we entered the first set of stalls, my hair and make-up quickly bid adios. Why did I even bother? Within 15 minutes I was soaked to the bone. Rubber boots + camera + tripod + camera accessories = HORROR. As in: I looked a fright! I don't know what's worse: 110° and 20% humidity or 95° and 95% humidity. One's a furnace and one's a sauna. Both make for very unpleasant conditions, bringing me to my knees, begging for fall to hurry and get here. If there was a way to bribe fall into an earlier appearance, I'd gladly pay.

See all the bugs swirling about? Ugh.

We had a really good time. My friend is so funny and fun to be with. I wish my photos had been better, but I was too wiped out by the heat to worry much about it.

BMW update: The cam shaft sensor (whatever the heck that is!) is faulty. My service guy is going to see what he can do to lower the $503 price tag. Cha-ching!

A HUGE belated thanks to Hilary at The Smitten Image for choosing my Censored post as a Post of the Week! I am honored.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Robber Fly and an Encore

Double D spotted this robber fly on the breakfast nook window outside. He actually stayed around long enough for me to get my gear ready! (The fly, not Double D) Sorry for all the buggy shots lately, but I haven't seen any interesting birds at my feeders and it's been too hot to go exploring for birds or anything. 
Posing on the fence.

Very first shot through the living room window because I was too fearful to open the door at first.

The only shot I got of his back side. Not great, but it'll do.


Hope you don't mind an encore of the venusta orchard spider.

I know he looks menacing and huge, but his body is smaller than the tip of a pencil eraser.

Tomorrow I am going to Port Allen with a friend to photograph some horses. I'm SO looking forward to it! Especially since today was nearly a repeat of Tuesday's post--one aggravation after another. I'll spare y'all the gory details. After all, "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." ~Miles Kington

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Amazing Day (MAD)

Just thought I'd share a little about my day:

  • Woke up at 4 a.m. and could not go back to sleep; finally got up at 6:30.
  • Let the dogs out for their morning business. Sparky found something stinky in the yard and proceeded to rub it into his fur. He then came inside and headed straight for the sofa blanket, freshly washed from the night before, funkifying it forever.
  • Chance threw up on the good rug as I took my first sip of coffee. Twice. No warning.
  • The monument company called one HOUR before bringing my mom's headstone to the graveyard. So much for the one day notice. Hopped in the shower and got ready in record time; flew out to the cemetery.
  • Car started throwing error messages again. I pressed on.
  • Attorney called while errors flashed, asking a question about my deceased sister that I had no answer for. The whole time I'm thinking, 'how much is this call costing me?!'
  • Made it to the cemetery, showed the guys the grave, but first had a disagreement with my cousin (who is the church secretary) on placement of the headstone. Turns out I misunderstood, so I fussed at her for nothing. Bad Gail!
  • Retrieved camera gear out of the car because a dragonfly was eating an insect on a rusted fleur de lis cross, posing perfectly.
  • By the time I got the right lens on, tripod out, and camera mounted, the dragonfly was still there but he was done with his lunch.
  • I lost my car/house keys somewhere between the car, the dragonfly and mama's grave. Could not find them to save my life. Searching over an hour, I was drenched with humidity.
  • Double D to the rescue--a 30 minute drive for him. In the meantime, another distant cousin, Billy, had arrived and helped me look for the keys. Billy found them within 15 minutes, right by the fleur de lis cross, the same area I had scoured several times.
  • I now have a headache the size of Texas.
  • Got home to look at the photos I took of a colorful skink and the aforementioned dragonfly only to learn that my camera was set on ISO 800 the whole time.
  • Izzy is on my lap as I type this post, emitting the worst gas ever. If I could bottle this stuff, I think I could blow up Iran with one small container.
Taken with iPhone
I texted my friend and asked her if she could write me a country/western hit out of all this mess so we could make a million bucks. She said not to worry, that the cemetery/vomit/dog poop song just made the top 10 on Country Music Billboard. 

I treated my cousin to lunch because I felt guilty for fussing at her. My lunch of bbq shrimp and grits was delicious! And guess what? Yep, I have heartburn. The one good thing from today? The headstone came out nice. So how was your day?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Venusta Orchard Spider

It finally quit raining enough for some photography. This tiny arachnid hovered over my Mexican heather in the center of the beautiful concentric web he had woven. It took me two days to get a decent photo because the wind presented such a challenge. Wind and macro photography do not play nice. Also, he remained upside down, so I never got the chance to see him from the top. At least I think he's upside down.

Submitting to Macro Monday.

Friday, July 20, 2012


A little rodent devil has been taunting my golden retriever mix for a while now. As soon as Chance spies him through the window, I open the back door very quietly, whispering "Get him Chance". Chance usually gets halfway to the feeders when Mr. Squirrel senses danger and hightails it up the nearest tree where Chance stands below trying to order him down with his barks. I don't think this is a battle Chance will ever win, but I have to let him try. Our pets have so little excitement in their lives, I can at least give him the thrill of the chase.

This photo shoot started off so innocently, with Mr. Squirrel having a leisurely drink. 

However, once I loaded the shots on the computer, I was startled at was quite noticeable.

I tried different ways to hide the offensive organ, including a pair of pantaloons...

The trusty mosaic blur they use on TV...

Even a bright red daisy. This particular shot was a doozy for my family-friendly site, lemme tell ya! Whoa Nellie! Right through the fence slats!

My trusty fleur-de-lis worked, too...

This is the one shot I didn't have to modify, but I'm sure he paid a price for his miscalculated maneuver. Ouch!

BMW update: I won't bore you with the details but it's not the transmission; however the repairs will cost $2200. Ouch. I'd hate to think if it WAS the transmission. I'm thankful I have the money to fix it, but I think after this I will be looking to trade it in for a Honda or Acura, praying I break even. This car is just too high dollar for my comfort zone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Turning A Negative Into A Positive

Last year I discovered minimalist, or negative space photography. Inspired by a photographer on Flickr, Yannick LeFevre, I experimented with a crow grackle that landed menacingly on my fence. I received some positive feedback after posting it on Flickr, then promptly forgot about it--until today when Brian King posted his Out on a Limb shot. Hello, again! Thanks, Brian for the reminder. Sometimes I'm so intent on filling my frame with the subject that I forget how peaceful and soothing negative space can be. This is one way to actually turn a negative into a positive! DPS has some wonderful articles on this style. Have any of you tried it? What are your thoughts? And hey, if you think it's boring, that's okay, too! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Luxury has its pitfalls

Last Friday I visited a local park for some photography therapy. During my time there I received two phone calls back-to-back--a rarity. As I chatted, clouds formed--ominous looking ones. I managed to get some decent shots then packed it in. Halfway home my BMW started acting like the brat that it is, flashing several warnings on the computer screen which instantly negated all the therapy. I limped home as it sputtered and stalled, forced to remain indoors the rest of the weekend.

Last year alone I spent over $1,000 in repairs. Currently, I'm facing a "transmission fault" and two other errors that I'm sure will make last year's repair bills look paltry in comparison.

I have never loved a car like I love this one, but maybe God is trying to tell me that all this luxury comes with too much of a price. It's not only stressful for me emotionally when it breaks down, but my bank account taking a hit like this is something I can ill-afford while between jobs. But when this baby is working, it's so smooth and solid. I know I shouldn't love a car...but...I do!

"Living in the lap of luxury isn't bad, except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up." ~Orson Welles

Friday, July 13, 2012

More macro fun

Still loving the Raynox macro lens; however, it does require a bit of patience. Okay, a LOT of patience. I get as close to the subject as possible and manually focus. When the focal point I've chosen turns red and beeps, I hold my breath and snap. I gave myself a headache holding my breath so much. And my legs ache from crouching in different, awkward positions. It does take a little extra work, but I'm very satisfied with the results.

Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend. And remember kids: Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~Usman B. Asif

Linking up with Your Sunday Best.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Exercise is for the birds

Hey guys! Watch this!!


*pant* *pant* Whew, that was hard!

Oh, big deal. You think you're so tough?

Pole dancing is ten times more difficult!

Are y'all still watching?! 199...200!

I'm too wittle. I'll just watch.

Hey! Look what I can lift. My beak is stronger than all your feet put together!

Forget exercise! Come over to the hummingbird bar and wet your whistle.