Lea was blowing soap bubbles outside church this morning. Have you ever tried using autofocus on bubbles. It doesn’t work so well. Also, they move out of focus pretty quickly. I didn’t do a whole lot better on manual. Still, this one turned out pretty well.
Does anyone else see a face in this?
Every time it rains and is sunny, Dorothy goes out looking for the rainbow. Usually it’s either not sunny enough or not raining hard enough for a rainbow but this time she came back in saying it was there and it was awesome. It was a pretty nice rainbow, I have to admit.
I was up in Baltimore this evening with Iris, taking a few more pictures for her. While waiting I noticed these pieces of colored chalk and thought they looked nice. I’m glad to see it’s not all white boards yet. I guess I’m old fashioned but I like chalk better. If nothing else, it reminds me of playing in a chalk pit in England as a boy (but then perhaps this should be “coloured chalk”).
This is a beach umbrella reflected in a thin film of water on the sand. I like it as an abstract image.
I happened to find myself in downtown Rockville and came across this building with a lovely mosaic on the wall. Then I realized I knew the business housed there. This is the home of History Associates.
I enjoyed the Bethesda Quilters’ biennial show this evening. This is one of my favorites, called “Let’s Have Some Fun” and made by my mom. On the tag it says, “After taking Sarah Paulik’s class — fun to make free forms. Bright colors.” It is 62″ x 74″.
They’re kind of expensive but they really are the best markers around. Dorothy had them out to work on a project for her history class this evening and I was wandering around the house looking for things to photograph. I got a picture or two of Dorothy but she didn’t like them, so you get the markers, instead.
Bethesda Quilters Quilt
On Thursday evening I joined a pretty large crew of people setting up the Bethesda Quilters semi-annual quilt show. In the process, of course, I got to see most of the quilts as we were hanging and labeling them. Today I went simply to enjoy the quilts and visit with the quilters (including my mom, of course). This one was made by Jane (I don’t use last names on the blog, but if you’re interested I can let you know. It’s one of the larger quilts in this year’s show and I really love the bright colors. In fact, all three of the large quilts hung on the outside walls (because they are too large for the quilt stands) were wonderful. There was a lot of very impressive work and it’s always interesting to see what people come up with.
On the way home from work I stopped at the grocery store to buy a few things. When I came out, the sun was setting and the light on the clouds was quite beautiful. I didn’t have time to get anywhere more open so I took a handful of pictures from the shopping center parking lot. With my 100mm lens I was able to avoid the buildings and parking lot lights and concentrate on the colors. This one turned out pretty well, I think.
For more than two years now I’vebeen meeting regularly with a group of (mostly) young men. For over a year we met most weeks. Starting last summer we switched to every other week and during the holidays it was hard to organize. Three of us finally got together this evening for dinner. Mellow Mushroom sounds a bit sixty’s but the food is honestly pretty good. The decor is very much comic book colors and it makes for a good picture. There were not a lot of patrons there this evening, but a Tuesday in the winter isn’t likely to be busy in general.
Office Building Art
Cathy and I were in a local medical office building today and I, you’ll be surprised to learn, had my camera with me. I didn’t take pictures in the actual doctor’s office but in the lobby of the building was some art. The wall opposite the entrance was covered with these lined, glass panels, lit from behind. So, when it was time to leave, I took a few moments to get my camera out and take a few pictures. I don’t really have a lot to add. It is what it is. I wouldn’t call it high art, but decorative art seems appropriate. If nothing else it did add some color and interest to an otherwise nondescript office lobby.
I went to my mom’s after work and while I was there we had a bit of a storm blow through. There was lightning (as close as about a half mile) and very heavy rain for about half an hour. I stuck around until the rain let up so I wouldn’t get soaked getting back to my car. Then, on the way home, the sun began to come out and I started looking for a rainbow. When I got to Norbeck, I saw it, so I pulled into the Safeway parking lot and took a picture or three. In some that I took with the 100mm lens you can see supernumerary bands inside the lower ark. I decided, though, that I’d post this one, showing two more or less complete arcs. By the way, none of this ROYGBIV nonsense. The proper mnemonic is VIBGYOR.
Sometimes you can see things lining up to make a nice sunset. Of course, even when things look right, it doesn’t happen, but this evening I could tell it was coming and it came. I took a few pictures of the clouds before there were any colors, just in case, but the colors came. The color extended pretty much over the entire sky from west to east. This photo was taken looking almost straight up with a 10mm lens (which on my APS-C-sensor camera is equivalent to a 16mm lens on a full frame sensor). The top of the tree showing at the top of the photo is behind me.
It’s interesting that each year always feels different to the last. It’s past the middle of October and there’s hardly any fall color here yet. Surely this is much later than last year. Well, going out and taking pictures every day for a few years has a few advantages. I can go back and find pictures of fall color from previous years, not just here but in my full collection of photos. As it turns out, the maple in our back yard generally gets to be fully red fairly late in October, with pictures from October 27 both last year and the year before. So, we’ll see what it looks like in nine days and see if the colors really are significantly later this year. In the meantime, this little dogwood seedling growing in our back yard has some pretty good color. It seems to suffer quite a bit from mildew, but it’s doing fine otherwise.
I went out and drove around the neighborhood late this evening to get some pictures. It was raining lightly when I went out but started raining quite hard before I got back. Mostly I took pictures of Christmas lights, sometimes holding the camera steady and other times moving it about a little during a longish exposure. This one was not blurred by movement but is focused on the driver-side window with the lights themselves out of focus, but brought somewhat into focus in the drops of rain on the glass. I also took pictures of the large, old, house in our neighborhood that was built in 1914, predating the major development by more than 50 years. Those look a bit spooky, which I like, although the house isn’t haunted, as far as I know.
How ’bout some color? This is a heavily embroidered pillow that’s in our living room. I don’t know anything about it beyond that and Cathy says it’s not old. Neither was it bought in some exotic land. Still, it’s quite pretty and in mid-winter, we can use whatever color we can find. After yesterday’s picture of witch hazel blooms, I’m a little more ready for spring. I actually prefer the cold over the heat of August, but we’re not going to do much gardening this time of year. I only took a few pictures today after taking quite a few on both Saturday and Sunday.
Having a small work shop in the basement, I naturally have things that I use more frequently and other things that I use less frequently. Wire is something I use less frequently, but still occasionally. It’s worth having a few gauges of wire around, both stranded and solid, as it doesn’t take up a lot of space and when you need it, you really need it. This wire dispenser sits on a shelf behind the radial arm saw, so the wire tends to get a bit of saw dust on it, but that doesn’t do it any harm. It’s a handy way to store and have wire available on those occasions when I need a little. Admittedly, that’s not very often.
I have a few plans that call for wire and I’d really like to get to them but with one thing and another, I never seem to get to them. One of them involves converting a Kodak Carouse slide projector into a slide “scanner” so I can digitize our fairly extensive collection of slides. Something like this is available commercially but $3,395 price tag put me off a little. That’s about what I spend on a car. Anyway, I have a few projectors lying around and figured it’s worth giving it a go. I don’t actually need much in the way of new wire for that project, but a little. The idea is to replace the high-power halogen bulb in the projector with an LED array and then put a diffusing screen between that and the slide. Mounting my camera with a macro lens pointing into the front of the projector, I should be able to get reasonable photos of the slides. The whole thing would be controlled with a few relays and some relatively simple code. Ask me in a year if I’ve actually gotten around to it, though.
I really enjoy being around water. I especially like moving water but a still pond can also be wonderful. Moving water, though, has so much to offer. There is the texture of the surface, which is moving and yet the patterns are nearly still, frozen in shape by the rocks or logs over which it moves. There are also colors, which are sometimes quite subtle, that dance in the slight shifts of the water’s surface. And of course, there are the sounds. I love the sound of running water, which can say “cool and calm” when the stream is small, like this one, but can roar with power and fury when a larger stream or river drops over an edge. This is the small stream that passes my office building and although its bed has been altered to fit the development, the water and its movement is undiminished.
Sunset, Ocean Isle Beach
We had a pretty sunset this evening. there was not a huge amount of color but on the horizon it was very nice and I thought it looked especially good through the dune grass growing between our cottage and the beach. We had a nice day with a very calm ocean for swimming. I’m a fan of body surfing and although it was quite calm, there were occasional waves that were good for riding. Cathy prefers using a boogie board, which is fine, but I like the feel of the water.
When I left work today, I drove through a little rain. By the time I was nearly home and I stopped at the grocery story, the sky was partly cloudy. When I came back out from the store the sky was turning very dark and shortly after I got home and had unloaded the groceries, it started coming down quite hard. It only rained for about fifteen minutes and then the sun was back out again. I went out front and found a spot where I could see the rainbow. It was a bit early in the evening for a really good bow, but there was some down low in the sky. They are often tricky to photograph and this one was not as strong as many I’ve seen but it was pretty and I especially like the fact that this photo shows the rainbow against blue sky, which is pretty unusual.
Cathy’s Patio Garden
It’s summer here in Maryland and with it come the summer colors. Cathy often plants containers with a mixture of annual and perennials plants for the patio but this year I think she’s outdone herself. The patio is surrounded by black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) and that adds quite a nice backdrop to all the containers. To Cathy’s left, above the red tea pot, are cana lilies and a beautiful, bright red Pelargonium (a.k.a. geranium). The yellow and orange in the lower middle are purslane and there’s more of that in the bottom right, hear the elephant’s trunk. The hanging basket in the upper left is Lantana camara. As you can see, there’s a fair amount going on in the large, central bed. The garden against the fence has been dug out and almost completely restarted. It should be nice in a year or two, though.
I had gone out to take a few pictures of the clouds, which were pretty dramatic. Then I went inside and was reading as it started to rain. A little later, Dorothy called me to come back outside because there was a really nice rainbow. It was down against the trees, coming right down to the ground. I got a few pictures of that and then walked out into the rain where I could get a view of the rainbow against the sky. It’s more traditional and I considered posting one of the ground level photos here, but frankly, this one is better, so…
It rained pretty hard last night and continued raining today. We can usually judge how hard it’s raining by the streams across our back and side yard and this rain was relatively hard. There were tornado warnings but the wind was never really all that strong here. There was a lot of lightning, though, and at one point the rumble of thunder continued almost continuously. The storm was moving fairly fast and as it moved out, the sun came out and we got another rainbow, which is always a treat.
Dyeing Easter Eggs
I bought a dozen eggs specifically for Dorothy and Abba to dye for Easter this evening. Dorothy wanted to try using natural dyes. She used onion skins (a mix of yellow and red onions) to make a brown color, beets to make red, red cabbage to make a surprisingly blue color, and turmeric to make yellow. They turned out quite well. Here you can see two of them, the turmeric and the onion skin dyes. She left the eggs in them overnight and when they came out, they looked amazing. When the dried they lost some of their intensity so she rubbed them with a very light coating of vegetable oil, which made them look remarkable again.
As seen in the post from yesterday, Dorothy dyed Easter eggs using natural dyes. This is what they looked like after soaking in the dyes over night, being allowed to dry, and then being rubbed lightly with a little vegetable oil. The colors were really very intense. I especially like the blue, which came from boiled red cabbage leaves. The other colors were from beets (the red), turmeric (yellow), and onion skins (a mixture of red and yellow onions, producing brown).