Well… I guess five months is long enough for my unplanned, unannounced, more-or-less unintentional blogging break of indeterminate length, so I thought I would jump back in with evidence of early spring making its way into my gardens. It seems like it’s been a long winter – more for others than those of us living in the south – but even us “southerners” have pretty much had our fill. Many of us – me included – are surely tired of hearing our furnaces come on and stay on, while we imagine the folks at several local gas distributers and remarketers clapping their hands and counting their 2010 bonus cash.
Yeah, I know it’s probably not like that … or is it?
Anyway, I sat on the cold ground yesterday afternoon and snapped a few close-up photos … all of the following are early hydrangea buds that have just started making their appearance over the past few days. I’m sure there will be many, many more buds and photos to come … as soon as spring takes hold and stays awhile.
Red, White, and Blue
Happy Fourth of July!
I had hoped to resume writing here more regularly by now, but “fate” intervened in the form of a sudden drop in the water pressure at my house. So instead of writing (and instead of keeping up with my classes), I’ve spent countless dusty hours exploring my crawlspace and learning more about pipes and plumbing than I ever wanted to know. After a few days of finding no geysers under the house, I called in the Professionals. As it turns out, an old pipe under my front yard — one that should have been bypassed years ago when the plumbing system was rebuilt — is leaking, each week leeching as much water into the ground as I typically use in a year.
Repairs are forthcoming in the form of a Big Dig in my front yard, and my bank account will shrink (or my debts will grow) by $5,700 in the process. Not exactly something I was expecting to be doing as summer moves in, but it is what it is and it has to be dealt with. I’ll just have to develop a fondness for my new copper pipes, or maybe think of them as a form of art — which, in a way, they are. I may chronicle the experience in photographs and post them here, so if you’re into things like that … stay tuned!
The title of this article describes how I feel, and you may find the article a lot more interesting than my plumbing problems:
Earlier this week, I was working on some of my typical spring photographs – buds and blooms from throughout my garden – when I took a short break, went outside, and immediately felt like I was being watched. Well, I was being watched, by the nemesis whose reappearance every spring has me overplanting my pond, surrounding it with pots and wire trellises, and taking frequent headcounts of my poor carp that just want to be left to swim and eat in peace. It’s a blue heron, either the same one or certainly a relative of those that have been visiting my neighborhood – so I’ve been told – for at least a decade. “Blue heron” is surely a fine name for a big bird, but I prefer “Pond Monster” – a better reflection of our relationship.
It flew off my roof before I could get my camera out; in these shots, it’s perched on the front peak of my neighbors house.
Click the picture for a wider version; something about those eyes…. you know you’re being evaluated as potential snack when those things turn toward you.
This isn’t a great shot, but it’s the only one I’ve ever gotten of the bird in flight. That wingspan has to be six to eight feet, maybe more. Can you say pterodactyl? Those dangling “fingers” are a nice touch, eh?
I have posted a set of photos of some of my Christmas decorations on my Flickr account.
View the Christmas 2008 set, or
Click here to view the Flickr slideshow of my Christmas photos, or
Look at them here:
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
(Cross-posted to afewgoodlenses.com.)
I’ve put a new collection of photographs out on Flickr, as the 2007 Middle Spring Buds Collection. You can also view them as a slideshow. Bonus snaps include a few ladybugs, a robin, and a HUGE frog that hangs out in my backyard pond.
I also created a set of snapshots of my house and back courtyard. View as a slideshow, here.
The 2007 Early Spring Buds Collection is now available for your viewing pleasure. Taking snaps like these has become one of my annual rituals. Even though they’re not especially beautiful in the traditional sense, they do mark the end of the Dark Ages as move from winter into spring.
Preparing the Collection gave me a chance to play around with some camera settings and lenses while taking close-up and macro shots. Experimenting with the A100 DSLR is a blast; it’s great to return to photography the way I remember it from my fledgling 35mm photographer days. Zooms and closeups, especially, are real treats. And essentially no-cost experimentation is an added bonus.
Additional collections you can look forward to:
The 2007 Middle Spring Buds Collection
The 2007 High Spring Buds Collection
The 2007 Renaissance (Early Summer) Plants and Flowers Collection
The 2007 Modern Period Plants-Gone-Wild Collection
And all this goes in on my back yard!
By late summer and early fall — when everything needs excessive attention and dies anyway — I’m usually over it. So no need to expect a Post-Modern Period Collection; there probably won’t be one….