Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Living in the Woods

You can see how much in the woods we live. This shot is of the back of our house.

Doesn't the house look inviting at twilight with the light beckoning? We added the boardwalk so we could go from the driveway into the kitchen and not have any stairs. It's a nice place to stand, lean on the railing and watch the wildlife.

The other side of the house faces the front yard. Check out the sidebar (Our Cottage in the Woods) for a picture from the front. Looking at these pictures, the right end is all glass and faces the lake. That is where the hammock (see my header) hangs on the porch and is the place to be on a lazy summer day with the ceiling fan stirring up a breeze. I must have read a thousand books while lying in that hammock. You can see the hammock through the glass. That is how Mr. B keeps track and knows when I need a snack or a glass of lemonade or another book.

Usually there are several cats sharing the porch. I've had a hummingbird buzz my head, a bird light on the end of the hammock and a squirrel stand on the railing two feet away and study me.

On July 4th, we stood on the porch and watched the fireworks display over the lake. We had to look through the trees but we could even see the reflections in the water.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Butterfly Collage

Please join Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Here is my offering for this Monday. This butterfly posed so nicely for me that I was able to shoot many photos. You'll be seeing more of him/her in other posts. I love the way his shadow shows through the leaf!
Just click on the photo for a closer look.

This yellow begonia is my favorite flower of the summer. It is blooming in a planter on the railing of my deck. It survived being dug up twice by the resident raccoon.

Since I have not been very happy with my other mosaics made with Picasa, I put this one together by layering these photos onto a background in Photoshop Elements.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dogwood in the Spotlight

This is my entry for Macro Flowers Saturday. I took the photo this spring as I was walking around Gordonsville, Virginia.

I love the way this blossom seems to be in the spotlight. You can see the texture of the petals and the shadow of the flower center. Click on the picture to see a real close up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Favorite Stump

Does anyone else have a favorite stump? This is very near the end of my back walk at the edge of the woods. I first noticed it last summer when it was this brilliant shade of orange.

Here it is during the winter. The orange is not quite as bright.

Here is the stump this summer. Notice how the color has changed and there is now some green on it. And a Virginia Creeper has taken hold.
I'm joining Claudia at Dipity Road for Finding Beauty Friday. Beauty can be found in some unusual places, even an old stump.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Special Blogs

There are so many wonderful blogs. I especially enjoy the ones that feature photography. Many of you know about Mary Carroll's Little Red House and her Monday Mosaics. Mary has another blog named In a Soft Light which is full of lovely photographs. She mentioned Shadowhouse Creations which features a lot of textures which are available for download. I decided to try using one of the textures and here is my result. I'm sure there are better ways to use these textures. I will keep experimenting.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Duck Collage

One day recently Mr. B and I had a picnic across the street from our house. The creek is surrounded by community property where it flows into the lake so feels almost like our front yard. We sat at a picnic table in the shade and just enjoyed the day. The boats in the slips were bobbing in the current, fish were jumping and a cardinal was singing. Two ducks swam up the creek, got out and groomed themselves, had a flurry with three other ducks and then they all headed down the creek and into the lake.

Luckily I had my camera with me. I'm joining Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Porches

Today I'm featuring Summer Porches in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Twice a week Mr. B goes to the clinic to see about his leg. So I ride with him and eat a porch chop biscuit (see Favorite Breakfast) and read a book while I wait. Several times I walked a few blocks and admired all the flowers and porches, and one day I was smart enough to take my camera. These photos are the result.

I had fun choosing which photos to show. Some of them I used filters on, just for fun! I hope you enjoy my tour. This is my Friday Finding Beauty offering for Claudia at Dipity Road.

I hope you love summer porches as much as I do. I'm spending lots of time on my porch, always with a book and a cool drink. Thank goodness for the ceiling fan. And yes, there may be a nap or two as I swing gently in the hammock!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Woodland Mosaic

The woods are only a step away from my back door as you can see by the photo in the sidebar, "Our Cottage in the Woods." So I walk into the woods often to take pictures. When I snapped these I stood very still and watched a bird land right above me. Of course I took his photo and he is in the collage on the right. A friend of mine identified him as a yellow billed cuckoo, a bird I had never seen.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology states that he is a very shy bird that is heard more than seen. You can even listen to his call at this web site. It was quite exciting for me to realize I had actually photographed a bird I had never seen before now. And this was sooooo close to my back door!

I am joining Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Join us and view all the lovely mosaics!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Flower in the Sun

I am enjoying taking pictures of flowers. These are in the planter on the rail of my deck. The raccoon completely dug up this planter and I had to start over. Aren't they a lovely color?

I'm joining Claudia for Finding Beauty Friday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Favorite Breakfast

My favorite breakfast is not gourmet fare but it tastes just as good. It's a pork chop biscuit from Hardee's, without the gravy. Doesn't this biscuit look good?

The pork chop is tender and has lots of pepper on it. Yummy!

The sad thing is I am moving to Connecticut where there are no Hardee's!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Always Something to See

Just out my back door on the deck railing, this begonia greeted me cheerfully this morning. It survived two attempts by the wildlife, either raccoons or squirrels, to dig it up and is thriving. The first picture is natural.

On this second picture I used a watercolor filter. It does look a little like a painting. Mr. B always likes the natural ones best, but I have fun adding filters.

There was a squirrel on the railing and I took some shots of him. I must have 500 cute squirrel pictures. I can't resist them!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pure Color!

I had lots of fun this spring taking pictures of flowers. These coral azaleas were among my favorites. What a gorgeous color! I just couldn't get enough of them!

Join Little Red House for this week's Mosaic Monday and enjoy all the beautiful pictures.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Help with Mosquitoes?

To my great disappointment our yard at the new house in Connecticut is overrun with mosquitoes. Since we moved from Maine many years ago where mosquitoes were terrible, we have not lived in places where they were a problem (New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia). Even though we live in the woods in Virginia and by a lake, I can lie in the hammock all day and see only one mosquito.

So after living "mosquito free" it is annoying to have the problem again. We do plan to put up a bat house but I read that can sometimes take a year before they move in. I found a web site advertising "Mosquito Barrier" a garlic based liquid. Has anyone tried this?

My son-in-law has read that planting mints and marigolds near the house is a natural deterrent. Certainly worth a try. There is no standing water in the neighborhood. There is a river down the hill but it is moving water and not swampy.

I love to be on the porch, and work in the garden as well as take photo walks. Pesky mosquitoes will hamper these activities. Also Mr. B has a serious reaction to the bites. Our cats go in an out and sometimes not quickly so the door is held open. I would appreciate any suggestions!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Photo walk

The weather has been really hot and humid in Virginia. Today is more pleasant with drier air and temperatures in the seventies. So I pulled myself out of the hammock and went for a walk with my camera. Each time I start out I wonder if I can find anything new and different to photograph on this walk I have made hundreds of times.

Here is today's shot made in a neighbor's yard. I like the way the sun was highlighting the side of the wheelbarrow, and I like the diagonal line the handles make. A dry brush filter took out some of the detail and made it look more like a painting.