Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pine Rain

I suspect it's going to be a soggy week here at Casa PBW.

George Emerges

During the winter we don't see much of George, our resident gopher tortoise. This year it's been so cold he hasn't made any appearances at all, and he's a bit of a senior citizen (from what we've calculated, at least in his thirties) that we were a little worried he might have gone on to turtle heaven.

Not so, I found out yesterday, when he and I crossed paths in the yard:

Can you tell how thrilled he was to see me?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hey Cutie

New bird in the 'hood, and he's really cute -- does anyone recognize what he is?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


You know you're stubborn when you decide the best place to sprout and grow is a busy church parking lot that floods every time it rains.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Raindrop Explosion

This is a shot of my driveway, taken during a rainstorm. I darkened the exposure twice to bring out the detail. I also jogged the camera as I snapped the pic, but I like the effect.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pine Moon

According to the calendar the moon will be full on Monday, and when I walked the dogs late this afternoon I saw it hovering over the pines:

It was really lovely, and I wanted to get a picture of it with the pines, but the camera wouldn't focus.

I zoomed in on just the moon, and the background on the display screen went black. Many attempts to focus on the moon thereafter failed, but one shot did come out not so blurry:

The sky was still blue, but zooming in on the moon turned it black. I guess it has something to do with the brightness of the light and the camera's auto mode. Rather odd, but a neat effect just the same.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

If You're Going to Sin . . .

. . . sin BIG.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Endings and Beginnings

I was out walking the dogs when I spotted this little branch that had fallen from our old oak tree:

The grey-green hairy-looking thing is a tillandsia, a type of bromeliad also known as an air plant. Air plants attach themselves to trees and other surfaces and grow without the benefit of soil. They generally don't harm the trees they inhabit, either, but evidently this one had grown too large and heavy for the spindly twig to support it.

I grew up around air plants and I've seen this happen lots of times, but on closer examination I spotted something I'd never noticed before -- a fluffy sprout that looks like seed pod:

Now I wonder, did the plant know it was doomed?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Water Drops

In hopes of being a more sociable photographer I joined a Flickr group called Waterdrops, and have been sharing my pics of -- you guessed it -- drops of water.

I don't know why I love dew and rain and other H2O droplets; without the right light they can be almost impossible to photograph. But I have been making more of an effort, and here's a slideshow of what I've posted to the group so far:

To see some way better water drop photos, check out this guy's stunning work.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hanging Hearts

For Valentine's Day I made the cover project from the Jan/Feb '13 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine:

The quilted watercolor hearts are hung on a string clipped with bird silhouettes, meant for photograph display, that I found at BAM.

Adding some metallic thread while I was machine-quilting the hearts makes each piece sparkle a little when they catch the light:

Very easy, and a lot of fun, although if you decide to make these expect some of the watercolor to shed like dust on your sewing machine as you're quilting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Me and My Shadow

My head isn't actually that pointed; I'm wearing a hood ~ and my legs are most definitely NOT that long. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Good to be a Bird

Rumor has it that it's good be a bird around here.

The lady of the house keeps all the feeders well-stocked with wild bird seed.

She also forgets to clean away old bird nests, which can of course be used again. By the same bird. Argh.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Palest Blush

For Valentine's Day I gave my Mom white roses -- and now that they're opening we've discovered they have very pale and gorgeous pink hearts. I love surprises like that.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Snake Dance

"Black Racers, like most of the larger snakes in our area, engage in tail rattling when alarmed or surprised. Not having rattles on their tail the snakes rely on dead leaves for sound effects. Usually the bluff works. When cornered this species will often charge the aggressor by rearing up and moving rapidly forward." --

This one did both!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wishing You

My very first attempt to use Adobe Photoshop to manipulate a pic I took.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Man vs. Bird

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cardinal Snickering

A very bad zoom shot (also through the screen again) of that blasted cardinal. Flies all around my house, eats up the nice sunflower seeds I put out for him and STILL won't let me take a decent picture of him for my bird album.

I think he's laughing at me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Baby Came Back

One of the mourning dove twins came back to visit me this morning on the porch (and I shot all these pics through the screen so they're a bit noisy):

I know it's one of the twins because it's on the small side, and it revisited the nest briefly before flittering over to strut in front of me:

The cardinal is back, too, but he won't come near the feeders unless I go in the house:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Empty Nest

Now that the twins have flown off I know I should clean away the old nest, but I haven't the heart to yet. I miss the little guys. Which means their mama will probably have another week to come back and start a new clutch while I'm feeling mushy.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

3 Drops

Friday, February 8, 2013

Three Things

Take some time today to look at three things around you that you generally don't. Here's what I saw (and took shots of) when I did:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Want One

Who says scooters can't be sexy?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First Fire of 2013

We roasted marshmallows over it and made s'mores for Mom on a lovely cold night with a full moon. No one turned into a were. :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cat & Sink

Between the wet and the hard place.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Winter Feast

Sorry for the soft focus and weird grid shadows on these; I had to shoot both through the screen and with zoom to keep from startling the little ones. Not sure but I think they might be Savannah sparrows.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ready to Sail

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Old Ledger, New . . . ?

Here's part of my next art project: a wonderful old ledger I found on Etsy from Vintage dealer SaffronColoredPony.

It probably dates back to the forties or fifties. Fortunately for me all the pages are blank so I have plenty of room to work. I also love the overall shabbiness, which is just the right amount for my purposes.

The only bit of writing I found was this, located at the top inner corner of one end page. I'm guessing it's the original owner's name and address.

For now I'm going to keep the exact details of the project a mystery (so as to fit my new theme for 2013.) If you'd like to see what I do with the ledger, stayed tuned to the photoblog for updates.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Front Bokeh

According to, the term bokeh "refers to the technique of blurring an image to add to the aesthetic quality of a photograph. The word bokeh, derived from the Japanese word “boke” (pronounced “bo-keh”), literally translates to ‘fuzziness’. When a photographer wants to make an image appear softer, bokeh will put the object slightly out of focus without completely destroying the integrity of it’s definition. Often, bokeh is confused with the idea of a picture’s “sharpness.” Rather than describing the point of focus, however, bokeh is the blurring of the background or foreground."

I've had limited success with employing bokeh in the background, but this pic was the first time I was able to get it to work in the foreground of the shot.