All posts tagged: macro

Striped Coralroot Orchid – On Going Unnoticed

I thought I had met most of the residents of my forest (north of Calgary, Alberta) – I’ve been tromping along it’s paths looking at plants and birds and bugs for 26 years! But in early June, I discovered a ‘new to me’ plant – a Striped Coralroot Orchid. I don’t know how long this tiny 13 cm (5 inch) plant has lived here – perhaps for years, or maybe it is a fairly new arrival! Robert Frosts poem, On Going Unnoticed, exactly captured my thoughts as I looked down on the small clump of beautiful pinky-red flowers – they “… look up small from the forest’s feet“. If I hadn’t been walking in that area at the same moment that a small shaft of sunlight briefly illuminated the tiny plants, I would probably never have found them. Plant Profile Common Name: Striped Coralroot Orchid Scientific Name: Corallorhiza striata Native to: Found in shaded forests and wooded areas across southern Canada and the western and central United States Growth: Coralroot is a member of the …

Spruce Needles Snow

Macro Photos – Vaguely Familiar Abstracts

Can you guess what these ‘abstract photos’ are – from the hints in the quotations below the photo? There was a rough stone age and a smooth stone age and a bronze age, and many years afterward a cut-glass age. In the cut-glass age, when young ladies had persuaded young men with long, curly mustaches to marry them, they sat down several months afterward and wrote thank-you notes for all sorts of cut-glass presents… – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Cut-Glass Bowl – …we live on the edge of the abstract all the time. Look at something solid in the known world: an automobile. Separate the fender, the hood, the roof, lie them on the garage floor, walk around them. Let go of the urge to reassemble the car or to pronounce fender, hood, roof. Look at them as curve, line, form. ― Natalie Goldberg, Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing – The pine stays green in winter… wisdom in hardship. – Norman Douglas – Deciding whether or not to trust a person …

Fire in the Hole! Oven Element Burns Up

Did I ever tell you about The Car Guy’s To Do List? It contains things that I put on it (see Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs for an explanation of what kinds of tasks I put on his list) and things that he adds. He often adds items after he has done them, and then he immediately crosses them off.  He likes his list to look like it is close to completion. The original lists were probably carved in stone and represented longer periods of time. They contained things like ‘Get More Clay. Make Better Oven. – David Viscott – This week he added Order a new oven bake element from Amazon.com. We’ve never had an oven element self destruct before. It is pretty dramatic. It started in one spot with a spark like you see when someone is welding. This white hot spot slowly inched along the element, even after The Car Guy turned the oven off. It stopped as soon as he closed the electrical breaker. This seemed infinitely more sensible than the …

Fall Hoarfrost – A Lens Full of Crystals

Our first ‘winter storm’ of the season was night before last. It didn’t drop that much snow, and the temperature didn’t get all that much below freezing. It wasn’t a big deal, unless you were one of the unfortunate ones who had to drive to work the next morning. People seem to forget how to drive on slippery roads, so the first commute of the winter is a nightmare. I wouldn’t normally venture out in a car until well after the morning traffic had got to where they were going. Rush hour, darkness, and icy roads aren’t my thing. But The Car Guy had an appointment at a Doctor’s Office at 8:30 AM, and I’m still the designated driver, so at 7:30 in the morning we ventured onto the freeway for a trip that would normally take about 40 minutes. At 8:45 I breathed a sigh of relief that we had arrived at our destination, safe and sound and only 15 minutes late! After the appointment, I faced another task I don’t enjoy – paying …

Poked – Barbed Wire and Rose Thorn Macros

I hate weddings. Old people would poke me saying ‘You’re next’. They stopped when I started going up to them at funerals and poking them, saying, ‘You’re next’. – Author Unknown Although it isn’t very polite to poke someone with your finger, the only thing that might get hurt is someones feelings. Not so if you get poked with one of these metal menaces. Do you know what it is? Not quite as dangerous, but painful none the less, are the thorns on a rose bush. I don’t think there are a pair of gardening gloves that can protect your hands when you try to prune one of these plants. The rose is just one of many plants with very prickly personalities!

Macro Photo – A Study in Scarlet Wine Dregs

Don’t be alarmed! This isn’t a photo of blood, but I did think it was interesting that the quotation below discusses scarlet, and in this photo the scarlet ran over a colourless object. No more clues – what is this a photo of? There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it. – Holmes, in “A Study in Scarlet”, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The photo is a close up look at dried wine in the bottom of a wine glass!   Quotes about Wine: The Quippery – From the Vintners Cellar

Lily Spots – Macro Monday

Humor is a social lubricant that helps us get over some of the bad spots. – Steve Allen On the whole, spots are not looked upon kindly. Blind spots, the wrong spot, skin spots, eye floaters, water spots, age spots, trouble spots – the list goes on and on. There are lots of pleasant spots, though, and the ones in this photo are a good example. Where would you find these spots? I found them inside a yellow lily!

Macro Monday – Feather Iridescence

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. – Oscar Wilde – The most interesting thing about Macro Photography is that it changes the size of your world. Where a landscape photographer might take a photo of a whole field of flowers, a macro photographer needs only one flower. That one flower can be broken down into parts that become almost unrecognizable to someone who has never seen a flower from that perspective. I’ve just started to use a Macro Lens, and I don’t claim to be anything but an inexperienced novice. It is hard not to be excited, however, about a whole new world that exists within my every day world! On that note, would you recognize that this is a magpie feather?

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 …

A Cold Alberta Morning – What Minus 20°C Looks Like

American: We get an awful lot of cold waves from Canada. Can’t we weatherstrip the border? – Author Unknown – In Canada, 0° C is the freezing point of water (and exposed skin). So what is -20° C like? If you live south of me, you may soon find out, because that is what the temperature is here this morning and when the wind picks up it will probably head your way!! (And that merits two exclamation marks.)  I, plucky Canadian that I am, braved the cold to take some pictures for you. Then I tracked down some quotations that will explain what winter means to me. The bird bath and the solar lights – they are all starting to list as the frost heaves them one way or another. A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. – Carl Reiner – Everything was coated with frost this morning and that was the only reason I went outside to take pictures! Winter is the season in which …

The Winter Disorders – SAD and SDUSTD

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21 is the day that has the least number of daylight hours. Where I live, that is a scant 7 hours and 54 minutes.  Today, the greatest altitude of the sun above the horizon will be 15.6 degrees. If you compare that to June 21, when there are 16 hours and 33 minutes of daylight, and the sun rises to 62.4 degrees above the horizon, you can understand why I am suffering from SDUSTD. Some people get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is a form of depression thought to be caused by not getting enough sunshine. While I believe I suffer somewhat from this, the disorder I am suffering from today is SDUSTD, which is Seasonal Dusty Disorder. While SAD is caused by too little sunshine, SDUSTD is caused by the low altitude of the sun. By way of explanation, here are some photographs: This is a photo of dust on the top of the coffee table. Allowed to gather and multiply for a scant few weeks, this dust would …

Winter White Means Snow and Ice

All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. – Erma Bombeck – A carpet of white snow is slowly blanketing our part of the world. No one minds if children trod upon it, build snowmen with it, or slide down it. Children don’t seem to think winter is nearly as long as their parents do! Across the street from the Red House, the Hay Bales got their first dusting of white a few weeks ago. The bales are looking more and more like frosted shredded wheat! Our recent heavy frost briefly left a coat of white ice crystals on every surface. This tree stump looks like it has sprouted white feathers! Cascade Mountain sports the first snow of the winter. It won’t be long before there is enough snow in the mountains for the ski season to start!

Capturing a Frosty Morning in Alberta

Frosty days and ice-still nights, Fir trees trimmed with tiny lights, – Jo Geis, Christmas Long Ago – As elves go, Jack Frost is one of my favourites. He arrives without warning, but never stays too long. His artistry is magnificent, but fleeting – so I never tire of his work. He doesn’t play favourites – everything within his reach gets equal treatment. But best of all, he works at night, so that when I throw back the curtains in the morning I am greeted with a fairy wonderland. I truly feel sorry for all you people who live somewhere beyond the reach of Jack Frost! You remember my story called A Grassy Path From Here to There?  That Path has matured now, giving  Jack Frost countless stalks to coat with crystal beads. And the Allium Seed Heads that I showed you in Going to Seed? Coated with frost from top to bottom! Jack’s true artistry can’t be appreciated unless I show you that each and every crystal is a masterpiece! Now, don’t you wish …

Button Up for Winter – Closing Down the Cabin

I stayed at the cabin for most of the first half of October.  Besides spending many hours taking fall pictures and listening to the sound of crunching leaves beneath my feet, I got everything ready so that when The Car Guy arrived we could Button Up the Cabin for Winter. The shut down process isn’t complicated, just time consuming. Anything that won’t survive six months of freeze is packed up and taken home.  Anything that we might want at home during the winter is packed up too. Lawn furniture, bikes, golf cart and toys are put under cover. Water lines are drained. Anti-freeze is poured. The blinds are pulled. The door is locked. I cry a bit, and we go home. The cabin won’t be without occupants, however. As we moved things out, the two spotted ladybug was moving in. Our province is host to many species of ladybugs, but the native one, and the bug least frequently seen, is the two spotted one! Spiders will move in too. I’ll find their webs everywhere when …

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!