Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

October 23, 2011

baby bunnies name peanut butter with orange

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 3:13 pm
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I’m taking a page out of Robin’s book   (ooh, another idiom! ) with my post title today.  Robin has a habit of occasionally naming her blog posts after odd search engine terms used to find her blog.  That search engine term I’ve got up there for the title has got to be about the oddest I’ve ever seen in my search terms!  And I had absolutely no idea what to title my blog post today, so there you go.

I have a few things I wanted to share with you today.  I noticed a little battle of the seasons going on in my backyard, so I took some photos to document it.  The balmy warmth of summer is definitely a thing of the past around here (day time highs are in the 50’s and 60’s, nights in the low 40’s) but some of the plant life in my yard is not quite ready to go to sleep for winter.

I have a barrel planter in which I grow chives, basil and parsley.  It is right at the bottom of the stairs of my deck, so it is convenient for snipping fresh herbs for cooking.  I used a lot of my parsley last week when I made that tabouli salad, so I was surprised to see it looking like this:
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It is as fresh and lush as it has been all summer.  Basil, however, I think curls up and squeaks “goodbye” as soon as we go anywhere near 40° – those would be the brown sticks in the background.

In this absolutely amazing year for hydrangeas, I have two little blooms still looking bright and beautiful, both near the bottom of their respective bushes:
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I also noticed my butterfly bushes are still strongly pushing out fresh, new leaves:

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The bushes themselves look huge – bigger than they looked in the summer, even in the absence of all the beautiful blooms.

We haven’t had a killing frost yet in this area, so would you believe I even picked a few tomatoes from the garden today?  They weren’t perfect, and some weren’t perfectly ripe, but I think they will do nicely later this week when I make my sister’s version of panzanella.  I love panzanella and have made it many times – I can’t believe I never thought of using bacon like she does!

Oh and I finished those baby quilts for the twins that I had been working on:
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I got the idea for them from this site, and then tweaked them to my own liking.  I’ll be bringing them to their new owner at work tomorrow and I’m excited about it.

I finally started working on my photo hunt today (happy, Michaela? 😉 )… hope you are working on yours too!  I am looking forward to seeing them.

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July 21, 2011

Cape Cod Flora and Fauna

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 10:13 am
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Flora and fauna – a fancy way of saying plants and critters!  Maybe that’s what this blog should actually be called, huh?  They are my favorite photo subjects, and my recent trip to Cape Cod provided plenty.

Flora:
lace caps

Lace-cap hydrangeas

lillies

fiery day lillies

beach rose

beach roses or rosa rugosa

beach heather

beach heather

And the fauna:

grabbing a snack

gull who came close enough for a piece of pizza crust

beach visitor

beach-visiting golden retriever

hermit crabs

Hermit crabs found by my daughers (don’t worry they put ’em back!).  Amuses me that at 16 and almost 14 years old, finding and picking them up still fascinates Meghan and Sarah.

piper or plover? not sure!

Not sure what this bird is.  I’m thinking a piper or a plover – can anyone help?  I watched this bird hover over the Bass River and quickly dive in for fish.

osprey

Osprey – I’m very happy with this shot.  This is the best shot of a bird of prey that I’ve ever gotten.  In all my visits to the Cape, with the many nest boxes you see everywhere, I never quite realized just how large this bird is. The chimney gives you a good idea of its size; according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology it is almost 2 feet tall and has a wingspan of about 5 feet.

“Karma’s Plants ‘n’ Critters”…. nah, I guess not. 😉

E.T.A. : Turns out that my hovering, diving bird is but a common tern (ha, ha, I crack myself up!).  I did a little research and Cornell’s “All About Birds” helped me out again.  Great site they have there.

July 17, 2011

Chasing the Moon

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sunset at Smuggler’s Beach, South Yarmouth

This past Thursday evening I was driving to Cape Cod to visit my mother.  As I made the familiar trek over the Bourne Bridge, along the Cape Cod Canal and on to Rt. 6 or the Mid-Cape Highway at approximately 8pm, I was struck by an outrageously gorgeous full moon hanging very low in the sky.  The Mid-Cape travels east until you get to the “elbow” of Cape Cod, so I had an amazing view of the rising moon and bemoaned the fact that a busy highway on a famous vacation pennisula would probably be a dangerous place to pull over and take a picture.  The conditions would have been perfect (except for the fact that I left my tripod at home) – low in the sky, full, beautiful color, not too dark out.  No matter, I said to myself.  I’m here for two more nights, I will certainly get another chance.

Friday came and I spent the day getting LOTS of other fun pictures such as:
pink hydrangea

pink hydrangeas,

sand sculpture

amazing sand sculptures, and

interesting negative space

interesting negative space – do you see the “dog biscuits” my daughter spotted?

It was such a lovely afternoon at the beach, we decided to bring some pizza to the beach to eat for dinner and await moonrise.  Certainly I’d get a lovely shot right at the spot where Bass River runs into Nantucket Sound.

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The light of day was fading.  Around 7:45pm I couldn’t see the moon anywhere despite a mostly clear sky and wide-open landscape.  I didn’t think moonrise would change all that much in 24 hours, but to be on the safe side, I called hubby, who wasn’t able to accompany me on this trip.

“Hon, could you do me a favor?” I asked.

“What’s up?”

“Could you go on that website with the moonrise data for me and check the time of tonight’s moonrise?”

“Uh, okay… hang on… the navy’s site says 7:22pm for the Cape Cod area.”

Okay now I was really confused.  It was nearly 8:00, the wind was getting really chilly and my daughters were getting really impatient.  No moon anywhere.  At 8:10, we gave up and went back to Mom’s place.

Frustrated by the lack of moon, I looked up moonrise information myself on this site.   Apparently, the U.S. Naval moonrise information does not take daylight savings time into account!  The moonrise was actually 8:22 pm.  I missed what was probably a gorgeous moon.  According to the Cape tides site, the next night moonrise would be nearly 9pm.  **sigh**  The picture was not mine to have this time around.

July 6, 2011

Morning and Afternoon

Blooms are busting out again here in my little corner of suburbia, and I thought I’d share them with you in a slightly different way.  I took some of these pictures around 5:00 in the afternoon yesterday and some of them this morning around 9:00.  I was curious to see how the light at different times of the day affected the color and look of the blooms.

It is turning out to be a banner year for hydrangea (Yay!!!!!).  I have two different varieties planted in my yard – forgive me for not knowing the names.
hydrangea

Purple hydrangea, 5pm

hydrangea

Purple hydrangea, 9 am.

hydrangea

Blue hydrangea, 5pm

 hydrangea

Blue hydrangea, 9 am

bee balm beginning to bloom

Bee balm, 5pm

bee balm

Bee balm, 9 am

Any thoughts on which you like better?  I think the morning light shows a “truer” view of the color.  I didn’t retouch any of these shots – all SOOC.

While I was playing, I tried the nifty-fifty on a few shots:
hydrangea

Hydrangea again – f4.5 with 50mm lens

fuchsia

Fuchsia – f3.2 with 50 mm

I mentioned in my Fireworks post, that I purchased a shutter release cable.  That seemed like a good excuse to bring the extension tubes out to play, no?

hydrangea macro

just-opening hydrangea with extension tubes
bee balm macro

Bee balm with extension tubes – kind of alienlike isn’t it?  Maybe it is really a triffid, Gerry!

Oh!  And it is assignment time over at Scott’s place again!  Click here to read about this month’s challenge to show scale (no not slimy alien scale! 😉 ) in your photos.

June 27, 2011

A Good Day

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 10:16 pm
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School got out last week.  I felt like I’ve been in a flurry of activity every day since.  Today was the first day I really felt like I was out for summer break.  With the exception of my older daughter going to driving school (at her high school), I didn’t have to go anywhere.  Today, I did summery things!

I worked in my garden, which looked so cheerful in the morning summer sunshine:
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Everything seems healthy and happily growing.  I added tomato cages to the sprawling vines today. I also noticed my hydrangea is starting to bloom:

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 I am delighted with all of the buds it has this year.  I have often lamented my lack of luck with hydrangea.  I don’t remember this hydrangea always being pink either; I know that soil pH can affect their color, but I haven’t moved this plant in probably 10 years. It has never been a great bloomer for me, so maybe I just don’t remember!  Lots of buds still to come:
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After the garden I picked up the yard for lawn mowing.  I got to use a little chain saw to chop up a large branch that had fallen into the yard – that was kind of cool!  After mowing the lawn, I vacuumed the pool.  It looked nice and sparkly.  I should’ve taken a picture.

My bird feeder has been extremely active since I refilled it a couple days ago.  I also learned today that my squirrel-proof feeder is no longer squirrel-proof:
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Industrious little thing, huh?  I couldn’t understand just how the squirrels were getting at the seed.  The feeder is set up so that if something heavier than birds lands on the feeder, that wire covering with the perches on it slides down and covers the opening to the seed.  I went out to investigate.  One of the openings had the plastic chewed away so that the opening was not completely covered when it slides down!  That is the opening our little friend here is jamming his or her head into!  The squirrels broke the other feeder I had put up for them in a near-by tree in the hopes of keeping them away from the bird feeder, so I’m not sure what I’ll do next.

At the end of my busy day, I landed in my second-favorite summer place – my deck with a good book (first favorite would be the beach, but that is a few hours drive away).  And my little hummingbird took what seems to be one of his favorite places these days too:

hummingbird silhouette

That is a skinny little branch at the top of a small tree at the side of my property.  I look for him there now when I am outside in the evening.  I thought this made for a pretty cool shot of a hummingbird at rest; not a sight you see all that often.

Let me know about a good summer day for you in the comments if you’d like!  June Photo Hunt re-cap coming soon – I’m waiting on a couple folks taking advantage of the extension.  In the meantime, there are plenty of links to check out in the comment section of that post, so please go check out the submissions when you have the chance and leave them some love in their own comment sections.

October 3, 2010

Unexpected Beauty – Picture Fall, day 3

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:12 pm
Tags: , , ,

hydrangeadry - Picture Fall, Day 3

Today’s photo prompt challenged us to find the beauty in starkness.  The “easy” beauty of spring and summer is now fading away, and we were supposed to look in an unexpected spot to find something that might not necessarily be considered beautiful.  I took some photos today of dead and dying blossoms, pinecones, and dried out herbs.  Then I wandered toward the very back of my property toward a forgotten hydrangea plant.  The tiny petals had become delicate, papery, “ghosts” of their former selves.  Dappled sunshine, fallen leaves and pine needles, and a large aperture provided me with a blur of autumn colors for a background.

June 28, 2010

What’s Blooming – June Edition

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 4:45 pm
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I decided to try something different for this month’s edition of “What’s Blooming.”  I’d seen several people using WordPress’s new slideshow feature, so I thought I’d give it a try.  It turned out to be fairly easy, although I don’t know if I’d use it all the time.  It seemed I had to upload these images directly from my computer’s hard drive; there may be a way to do it using Flickr, but if so, I haven’t quite figured that out.  If you have figured this out, could you kindly let me know how to do it too? Isn’t there some sort of space limitations here on WordPress if you upload media directly to your blog rather than using a hosting site like Flickr?  This newbie blogger welcomes any WordPress tips you’d like to pass along.

I hope you will let me know what you think of seeing this edition of What’s Blooming, slideshow style.  I have captions written on each of the shots, and I believe you can use pause, play, forward and back controls on the slideshow by hovering your mouse over it.

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