Sunday, March 30, 2008

"We charge photographers around here, lady!"

California Elk in a brand-new photo from Gail Slaughter

Local Earth Hour Report

At our home in Detroit, Michigan, at 7:45 PM last night, there was a mad scramble to get the computers down and the lights off and locate candles, oil lamps and matches.  I was afraid we wouldn't make it, but we did!  YAY!  We could see three other houses from  our front windows that were dark, so we decided to walk around the block and count dark and light houses.  On our immediate block, there were 111 electrically lit houses and only 17 that were dark, and some of those were abandoned (empty, for sale) and I am sure on a Saturday night, some people were just out partying.  There was a row of six houses all dark on the next block over, but we had agreed only to count our block.  BB thinks maybe 5% of the people complied.  He thinks most people didn't even know about it.  I was really disappointed.

PB complained bitterly the whole time and kept wanting to turn the light on and if I used the indiglo on my watch to let him know how long he had to wait, he called me a hypocrite.  He refused to do anything but sit there and complain for a full hour.  BB told PB we were "doing it for Mama."  Not for the earth or the environment, but for me.  In other words, they wouldn't have bothered if I hadn't insisted.  Very sad.  I am sad, hope your report is better.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Zen Rooster" by Mary Stebbins Taitt

Display posting by: Michael Serafin


REMEMBER!  Turn off your lights tonight from 8-9, and all unessential power users.  Computer.  TV.  Help save the earth and raise awareness.

Read what BerryBird has to say here and here.  Visit the official site!  AND TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS!  8-9 PM.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trinidad Beach

Went to Trinidad today for the first time in a couple months. Sunny but cold and windy. The waves were wonderful ... but hard to capture. Leaflady (Gail)

rocks and foam

I'd never noticed these strange pink rocks at Trinidad Beach before.
The foam was caught in some tidepools. Quite thick in places.  Leaflady (Gail)

"Trinidad Beach"

Leaflady Gail Slaughter sent me a picture from California and I decided to turn it into a bit of computer folk art...this was done with Picasa (to give the artsy look) and Paint (to add the five-color frame).

Leaf mosaic mirror

Here is my mosaic mirror, my first attempt at mosaic. I hung it outside to take some pictures of it. Now it's in the dining room.
Mary, note the old leaf pin you gave me is at the bottom in the middle.  Leaf Lady (Gail)

Monday, March 17, 2008


I saw these over a fence when taking a walk yesterday.  Leaflady (Gail)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tulips at the Village Market III, a present for Jacob

Tulips at the Village Market III, a present for Jacob, by Mary
Stebbins Taitt. I painted this picture for Jacob for his birthday
with acrylics on paper (that is, not Photoshop) from a photo I posted
earlier. I may also attempt one in water colors. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Carrizo Plane

Photo by David Pierce

We did a short road trip to the Carrizo Plane National Monument
yesterday to see wildflowers. Not many wildflowers until after dark.
But it was nice anyways.

I did this image with both a circular polarizing filter and haze
filter stacked to adjust for a very hazy day. Can't hardly tell it
was hazy in the picture. The Temblor Range in the background with the
Panorama Hills more near look just enough hazy to give them some
scale. The double ridge rising from the Carrizo Plane in the
foreground of the Panorama Hills is the trace of the San Andreas Fault
like they always show in textbooks and stuff. This is the break where
California is falling off the continent for its lack of morality.
That's Julie with her new Casio camera. My camera is the Nikon
Coolpix 8800 which looks like an SLR and isn't. 43mm equiv, f/3.1,
1/125. Color adjusted for ambient conditions on a calibrated
photographic white card. That's really what it looked like if you
remove the haze.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Project Budburst

I have just joined Project Budbust, A National Phenology Field Campaign for Citizen Scientists after reading about it over at Lake Loop. I've been keeping phenological data for over 40 years, so was thrilled to see this. I have only signed up for the dandelion and the lilac so far, but intend to sign up for more locations and more flowers, hopefully. Phenology is the study of when natural events occur such as flowering and fruiting times, egg laying, births, hibernation etc. Project Budbust concentrates on easily identifiable plants.

You can join! Please do--let us know if you decide to participate!

Monday, March 10, 2008


I made this collage for Illustration Friday's topic, "Garden".

Since one of the themes of this blog this month is Women in Nature, I thought I'd write about my friend, Lynda and her garden. Lynda has been fighting breast cancer for about ten years now. When she first started on this journey, doctors told her that the odds of surviving this long weren't good. She is currently undergoing the last and harshest chemo treatment for her cancer. She was told that she would be on this one for the rest of her life. It's left her very tired and weak, with a low blood count and low kidney function. So, when she told me about her plans for this garden, I was surprised, but happy to hear it. It could be so easy for her to dismiss the idea as being too ambitious right now.

I drove to Beaumont this weekend to help her get it started. The place she plans to grow her vegetables is at her in-laws house. In the back there are 8 or 9 raised beds that have been overgrown with about three years worth of weeds and grass. While we were busy pulling weeds and turning the soil, I asked her, "what does this garden mean to you?" She said, "recycling." I asked her what she meant, and she started to tell me about her father-in-law, Spud. These were once his gardens. He built them about 20 years ago when he retired. He was very passionate about them, especially his strawberries. He worked in his garden when he was well into his eighties. Once, not long before he died, his doctor asked him if he ever suffered from shortness of breath on exertion. Spud said, "define exertion." The doctor said, "when you're going about your normal daily activities." This eighty something year old man told his doctor that sometimes after several trips of carrying 80 pound bags of sand to his garden, he would have to stop and rest for a minute. We should all have that problem when we're eighty. Anyway, Lynda said it made her sad to see these gardens that were once the pride of such an energetic man who was so full of life become so overgrown like this since his passing.

Spud passed away about 2 years ago, so being the nosy friend that I am, I wondered why is it now that Lynda wants to start these gardens back up again. I pried further, "so you're doing this as a memorial to Spud, or does it go deeper than that?" She thought about it, and then said, "this is what kept Spud alive after he retired." I said, "so if you have no work, you die?" She said, "yes." But, it was more than that, because she added, "I can't give up now, I have gardens to tend to."

She also has work to be done at the animal shelter, puppies to rescue, foster, and find homes for. She won volunteer of the year for her work with animals. I think that all of this is more than just work for her. She used the word "recycling". In this context, it makes me think of the cycle of life. This garden is an integral part of that cycle. In spite of the gloomy forecast that the doctors give, she continues to fill her life with life, and give back to life.

Here's our before picture...

... and a few of the interesting things we found. Yes, I did actually help with the work in between taking pictures.

Old Barn

From our trip to the Ozarks.

Nashua Creek in March

We snowshoed in to Nashua Creek yesterday where we saw a bluejay that had been eaten, perhaps by the fox whose tracks skirted the edge of the ice.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

More Signs of Spring

This first one is for Photo Friday's "Fuzzy".

I wasn't the only one who was enjoying the beautiful weather. These are more shots from my trip to the arboretum.

Signs of Spring

The Cypress trees are getting new leaves, and the wild flowers are in bloom at Mercer Arboretum.

I just noticed the box with the monthly themes box on the side bar. I really should be more observant. I have an idea for April... April Showers.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sunset at Scott's Place

Silk Creek Editor Scott Carter returning from a snowshoe hike.

What's really out there

In contrast to my wishful thinking, this is what's really out there.
But not for long, right?

Spring is coming!

Although you can't tell looking out the window! Still lots of snow!

Trout lily, marsh marigold

"Charlie"---a picture by Andree in Vermont

Monday, March 03, 2008


These don't look real, do they? I can't take credit for growing them -- they just came up.
And I can't take credit for shooting them -- well, I pushed the button, but I just left it on "auto" and zoomed way in. The camera did all the work.

Leaf Lady (Gail)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Spring Time In Picasa

I've been experimenting in Picasa, thanks to Michael's instructions on this post. Below is the original.


I had been feeling a little down this week, and tired. On Friday, all my clients cancelled, so I decided to go to the arboretum. The warm sun and all the new blooms completely changed my mood. The awakening forest was so full of energy. I wandered for about four or five hours, and left feeling energized. I also left with over 300 pictures, so you'll probably be seeing more of my walk in the woods.

Unfortunately, my little friends here were awakening as well. Actually, I don't think they ever went dormant this year. We didn't have a hard enough freeze, so I'll probably be seeing hoards of these things this summeer. They really love me :[.
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