Thursday, March 12, 2015

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Snow melting. Chickadees & Cardinals singing spring songs. No Red-wing Blackbirds yet.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Birthday Report and a few Photos

        I am not sure why it is so difficult for me to keep blogging and not just think about blogging but it seems to be that way these days. If I had a blog written for everyone thought about, there would be a lot more.

        On with this one:

        I recently had my 72nd birthday and was overwhelmed with birthday wishes from Facebook and from interactions with friends in various places. There were almost 90 well wishers on Facebook and quite a number of personal encounters with the birthday song coming several times. As I said, overwhelming.

        There is a frog exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens that started a week ago last Saturday that will go on until April 12th. I stopped by last Friday, when I was in for my regular herbarium volunteer work and managed get a couple of photos. It was difficult as there were many children rushing about with parents or grandparents in tow trying to see everything as quickly as possible. I would almost get a frog in my camera viewfinder only to find the back of some child's head appear. I shall try again next Friday but for now here is a Black and Green Poison Frog (Dendrobates auratus) that is native to Central and South American rainforests.

        Meanwhile, outside in the gardens, I looked for wild flowers that were surviving the cold and snow. There were several Groundsels that were showing colour but none that looked like they were really blooming. On the other hand, down in the Woodland Garden section I did find the Brevipetala Witch Hazel almost in bloom. It is a cultivated shrub that often blooms mid-winter.

        Below are a few other photos that I have processed in the last week or two:

Flower in the RBG Mediterranean Garden

Venus &  Mercury in the evening sky

Another sunset photo

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Mourning Dove

        Fleur-Ange alerted me to the Mourning Doves outside our breakfast window this morning. We both took several photos. This was the best of mine. Nice bit of sunshine on fresh snow as the background and lighting!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Photo or not to Photo

        I have had a couple of requests, from Facebook people, to put some of my photos on one site where they do not disappear like they do on Facebook. So far I am just thinking about it and one possibility would be to do a new blog with just photos or maybe with photos and information about the photos.

        Meanwhile, here are a  couple of photos that I have had on FB during the last few days.

        Comments would be welcome.

Iced Asparagus

From a wild asparagus that I did not eat in the spring
cut down in the fall.

Willows and a Cottonwood

Light catching trees in our east meadow
not too many minutes after sunrise.

Disk Florets

 Found on a New England Aster
still blooming on January 2, 2015.

Male Downy Woodpecker

On our bird feeder just outside our kitchen window.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 19 Blooms

          So, I found all of these flowers blooming on Friday, December 19 in the Burlington/Hamilton area on Royal Botanical Garden's properties.  There might have been more but the gardening staff have been busy digging up the old flower bed of summer so some of the "weeds" that I have been watching have been dug up and turned under. Sigh. Anyway all but one of the flowers are "wild" as in growing on their own without being planted or cultivated. Five of them were in old flower beds as weeds. The dandelion was growing and blooming in one of the lawns. There were lots of dandelions seedheads about the area also. The two asters and the yarrow were growing besides the Hamilton Waterfront Trail on the Princess Point side of the road. I am never sure exactly where the border of the RBG is in that area but they are close enough for me to count as basically RBG finds in any case.

        I took some enjoyment is setting up the design for the display photo above using Photoshop. I discovered a new action in Photoshop that allows one to make lines to exact angles that made the process a lot easier. It appears that there is always something new to learn in Photoshop.

        I made up the angles first so that there could be 9 equal parts of the large circle, then figured out by experimenting what size the circles needed to be to fit into the parts. After making and placing all the smaller circles I put the larger one into the centre and then just cut and pasted from the flower photos into the template before erasing the template. It kept me off the streets and out of the yard for a couple of hours and was a good way to "rest" as my cold virus does not want me out right now anyway.