All posts tagged: flower

Hail – Weapons of Mass Destruction

I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And whiten the green plains under, And then again I dissolve it in rain, And laugh as I pass in thunder. – Percy Bysshe Shelley – ‘The Cloud’ – The Weapons The Targets – Front Yard Back Yard The Damage: Pink Peony Yellow Iris I’m getting rather paranoid whenever I see a rain cloud, what with the Cabin Flooding, and this rather horrendous hail storm that hammered my home and garden. Now and then simple country raindrops are tempted by a dark cloud full of icy sirens to stay aloft for a while. – Margy – Post 435

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Manual

There comes a time when all people break down and do the unthinkable: They read the manual. – Author Unknown – In our family – I read the manual before I push any buttons, turn any knobs, plug anything in. The Car Guy doesn’t. (This post, How to Boil Water, is a good example of the way we approach these things.) What about your family? Is Manual Reading a ‘Pink Job – Blue Job‘ thing, or do you think it is non-gender specific? I have a New Camera (Canon PowerShot SX50 HS).  New buttons, new dials, new printed manual. No, not a big manual. A mini-manual – the one that says ‘Getting Started’. This showed me how to insert the battery and memory card and warned me, in 3 pages of tiny type, of all the safety precautions I should follow. ‘Getting Started” assured me that I could take my first few pictures without knowing what all the buttons and dials will do – so I bravely went where I would not normally go, and …

Hibiscus Flower – Photo Effects

Thanks go to Mike at Mike Hardisty Photography for the suggestion of a program that quickly and easily applies interesting effects to photographs. The program is called FotoSketcher. I downloaded it, fed it the Hibiscus photo from my previous post (How to Turn a Photo into a Sketch), and let it work some magic. The magic is produced by something called algorithms. You might remember these tricky little math wizards from when you were in school. In the computer world, an algorithm is a set of instructions that takes your data and switches it around. In the case of a photo, the algorithm will transform your photo in some manner. I tried out three of the many effects available in the program’s menu. For this photo, I used the effect called Cartoon1. In this photo I used the effect called Emergence. In the last photo, I used the effect called Pixelation. The program has many more effects. It is an easy program to use, though you do need a bit of patience as you wait …

Hibiscus Flower – How to Turn a Photo into a Sketch

This is a fairly simple way to turn a photo into a sketch, as long as you know your way around the program that lets you do this kind of stuff with your photos. I use Photoshop Elements or GIMP, but any program that lets you work with layers will do. (The following instructions may not be all that helpful if you don’t already know how to work with layers.) The photo I’m going to use is a hibiscus flower which is blooming on the most raggedy looking house plant I have ever seen. It spends most of its time growing leaves, which it turns around and kills a few short weeks later. Every day I pick up a hand full of dead leaves off the floor. When the plant looks close to death, I cut it back to almost nothing and pretty soon it starts sending out new shoots again. Then, about the time I think I will dispatch it once and for all, it blooms for a few weeks. (My two eldest children …

Red as a Color of Emotion – Myths Busted!

We lay there and looked up at the night sky and she told me about stars called blue squares and red swirls and I told her I’d never heard of them. Of course not, she said, the really important stuff they never tell you. You have to imagine it on your own. – Brian Andreas – Roll out the red carpet! This is your red letter day. We’re going to paint the town red. We’ll catch the red eye to Amsterdam and take a tour of the famous Red Light District. Oh, don’t go red faced, it is a famous old part of town full of beautiful old buildings… Red – it is an emotionally intense color that is said to stimulate the heart, breathing, and appetite. It is my number one favourite color here at The Red House! Last year I even painted my living room a deep autumn red. I expected this colour would help keep The Car Guy from falling asleep on the couch in the evening, but that is not the …

Seeing the Possibilities – Seeds, Rocks and Sunrises

These are the seeds of an Allium flower  (a decorative relative of the onion.)  Is it possible that birds and mice feed on these seeds? Perhaps, but some of the seeds will make their way into the ground where they will germinate and make more allium plants. This is a small Rock Cairn I built on the back deck at the cabin. When it is done it will honour a friend who recently passed away. I’m going to have to glue it together though – the rocks are precariously stacked right now. Can you see the work of the spider that has started to stitch one rock to another? Webs are strong, but I don’t think it is possible to hold this cairn together with spider webs! This was the sunrise I captured a few mornings ago. Such a nice start to a day – makes me feel the day is full of possibilities!

Our Harley Motorcycle’s First Adventure

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. – William Shedd – There came a day when The Car Guy asked me to be his Biker Chick (perhaps as a way to justify the handsome touring bike he coveted), and I just couldn’t turn down a chance to ride behind this dashing man dressed in black leather… It was time for me to leave my safe harbor. Two Up Riding – I sit on the back of a two wheel machine that can accelerate to infinity and beyond before I’ve even noticed the light turned green. I trust The Car Guy and his knowledge of this machine to keep me safe… well, as safe as one can be on the back of a motorcycle, which isn’t the same thing as the safety of my recliner in the living room, or even the seat of my PT Cruiser, for that matter. This past week-end we pointed the Harley west. After climbing through the Rogers Pass, we descended into Revelstoke BC where …

Afternoon Tea in the Garden

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. – C.S. Lewis – When we lived in the Middle East I made several trips to the Pot Souq, looking for unglazed pottery. On one outing I found these nicely shaped teapots, 14 and 16 inches tall. They sit on a ledge in the garden, and when I look at them I half expect the Mad Hatter and Alice to show up for a spot of tea! Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on. – Billy Connolly –

Antelope Street Photography – Our Group

There are Four Generations of photographers in our family and that translates into a broad spectrum of experience and interest. Our family uses digital cameras almost exclusively, but we still have one member who shoots black and white film, and does her own developing and printing. The busiest season for photographs is summer time and our common meeting ground is The Cabin on Antelope Street – which is why I named our group of shutterbugs the Antelope Street Photography. This was a purely selfish action on my part. All but a few of the photos in this blog are mine, but on the rare occasion when I borrow a photo from one of the family members, I just use the ©Antelope Street Photography label rather than identifying an individual photographer. (Our family sends digital images to one another regularly… isn’t sharing why we all take pictures!?!) I’d like to introduce you to a few of the other photographers. The Car Guy takes a lot of pictures of Cars, but he and his dad are also …

Poppies

Plant Profile Common Name: Poppy Scientific Name: Papaver Hardiness: herbaceous annual, biennial or short-lived perennial Papaver somniferum (Breadseed Poppy): source of poppy seeds; annual with red, white or pinkish flowers. Papaver orientale (Oriental Poppy): perennial with orange, red, white or pinkish flowers. Papaver nudicaule (Iceland Poppy): short-lived perennial with white cream, yellow, salmon, orange, pink or red flowers. Papaver alpinum hybrids (Alpine Poppy): short-lived perennial with white to cream, yellow, soft pink or orange flowers.

Lady’s Slipper Orchids – Surprise In the Ditch

I’ve lost track of how many times I have walked the road that leads from our property to the main road. Hundreds, I suppose. Round trip is about a mile and a half. In nice weather, it is a good place to walk. In poor weather… well, there are more comfortable places to walk, like the treadmill in my basement… The road is bordered by a deep ditch which is a repository for all sorts of things. When I walk the road I scan the ditch, looking for items of interest. A few months back I found the little folder of registration and insurance papers that were stolen from our Jeep. Maybe someday I will also find the garage door opener that disappeared in that theft! On one side of the road is a field of hay. It is fenced with barbed wire. I suppose at one time the fence had a purpose, but today it is just a small hurdle for the deer, and a good place for the native birds to sit. About …

Mushroom Compost is a Gift for Gardeners

I seem to remember getting a shovel one year for my birthday. I might be mistaken, because I really don’t remember every gift I have ever gotten from The Car Guy. But if one year I said I needed a shovel, and The Car Guy was wondering what to get me for a present for my birthday, he would remember the shovel request. And he wouldn’t hesitate to give me a shovel as a gift and be very pleased that he had SHOPPED. A few miles from us is a Mushroom Farm. The owners must have heard a woman gardener say, “I’d like some Mushroom Compost for my garden.” (She likely already had a shovel.) The owner, realizing he had stumbled onto a marketing bonanza, decided to offer free Mushroom Compost to the public on… that was the tricky part. He (and I’m assuming it was a He) had to pick a day that would be meaningful, and would coincide with when he wanted to reduce the size of the pile of compost that had …

Sunflowers – From Seeds to Flowers

I am hard at it, painting with the enthusiasm of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse, which won’t surprise you when you know that what I’m at is the painting of some sunflowers. – Vincent van Gogh – Just about my favourite flowers are sunflowers. Big sunflowers. So bright and bold and brash. This year I planted 6 giant sunflowers in the new planters on the front patio. They grew well, soon dwarfing the grasses I had planted.  But would the sunflowers bloom before they were bitten by the first hard frosts of the fall?   Oddly enough, the first sunflower to bloom was the shortest one and the one that got the least sun. After that, they bloomed in succession, with the one that got the most sun each day blooming last. This isn’t a very good plan on the part of the sunflower world, because the tallest sunflower stood a very good chance of being snuffed out by winter before it got a chance to produce seed… We eventually chopped off their heads and laid …

Sunflower Essences and Dark Chocolate

One of my favourite flowers is the Sunflower and the various members of that family. I particularly like the ones that randomly appear in my yard from seeds that were in the bird feeders. My husband is very diligent about keeping the feeders full. Some of the smaller birds don’t want the sunflower seeds, so they simply pluck those seeds out and drop them on the ground. The blue jays spirit the sunflower seeds away, and hide them in caches in the ground. Blue Jays apparently hide more seeds than they ever eat, so each spring I get a new crop of sunflowers in these odd locations. The sunflower is actually made of many tiny flowers called florets. The outer florets are large yellow petals. After pollination, every little flower or floret produces a seed. The Essence of Sunflower is said to increase self-esteem and encourage optimism. I’ve never made a flower essence, but apparently it involves brandy, so I think it would taste quite nice.  I guess I would have to ration myself as …