Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pelican takes flight

I've been missing those darn pelicans so much that I went archive diving.  Not that it would surprise any of you, but one thing lead to another and 6 hours later, I had two new editing programs added to my Mac.

~ sigh ~
 I wonder if they have a Photo Editing Anonymous program
available for sickies like me?

I used both of these new editing programs on the FIRST photo.  I began with Snapseed which can be used on your computers as well as on an iPad and iPhone.  I haven't tried it out yet on my iPad but love using it on my computer.  I watched a YouTube video which gave me some instructions on all that it can do.  Pretty awesome!  

The only thing it couldn't do on that FIRST photo was add my copyright so I used a new program called Pixelmator, similar editing software as Photoshop but, as I'm told, more user friendly.  I haven't even begun to master that yet but hope to someday.  Maybe I'll just have to break down and learn Photoshop.  Ugh!

All the photos aside from the First photo ended up being straight out of the camera except for some cropping.  I had my camera set on the P mode and used my Nikon 70-300mm lens.  They all seemed somewhat cartoonish but I love the look.  Probably couldn't recreate it if I tried!

Hope your week has gotten off to a great start.  I still had some light at 6:15 last night when I went out to start the grill.  Hot damn!  Spring is on the way!

~ sharing with ~

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Sheep

the sheep

the rolling winds of summer
 alert you to my
as I step off the worn path
stumbling my way through
unfamiliar pastures

an intruder 
I am 

i take my place amongst you
under the rumbling black clouds
that move across a landscape
of valleys and mountains

i sit


to the sea's continuous performance

the same melody
since time began

and after awhile
i have forgotten what led me
to this place

love, anger, heartache, regret
it no longer matters
my heart
is now 


i rise

departing not on the path
from which I came
but one


gales approaching
return to your grazing

: : :

This photo was taken somewhere along the Ring of Kerry in Ireland in 2010.

"You cannot travel the path until you become the path itself."

~ linking up with ~

Friday, February 24, 2012

He's my fave

I have no idea what's up with mother nature but the birds today at my feeders have been crazy!  Dozens and dozens of finches, juncos, hairy woodpeckers, sparrows and doves fighting at the feeders and the seed below.  So weird!  And it's a dark, drizzly day as well.

They've totally emptied my sunflower feeder today!

I love them all but my favorite visitor is the Red-bellied Woodpecker.  His colors are delightful with his checkerboard-like feathers and his soft white underbelly.
And he reminds me of Donald Trump with that red doo on top!

Unlike Donald, I find my red-bellied woodpecker quite
charming and striking in his attire.

I'm never sure if it is the same one all the time.  
But he's one handsome fella.

Yesterday, the one featured below 
hung around a bit and at first I didn't notice the difference until I downloaded the photos.  
It was the female!  
I had not seen her before.  Only the male.

She never approached the feeder like the male does.
What's up with that??
Surely she would have wanted to 
but she just clung to the tree
for at least 15 minutes.

The male, on the other hand, is certainly not shy about feeding.
  In fact, he's down right finicky in what he chooses to feed on.

He seems to like the big pieces of fruit.
 Sunflower seeds?  
He just tosses them out!  
At least the squirrels and doves have a feast below!

But nothing seems to please him more than when he comes upon a big almond!
Guess he's on the Almond Diet.

I bet his LDL numbers are outstanding!

And speaking of outstanding, hope you have a weekend filled with

By the way, what is your favorite bird at your feeders?
Curious me wants to know. 

And why oh why do they call this guy 'red-bellied' woodpecker?
Why not 'red-headed'?????

Later my friends,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dove Love

Sometimes pictures can detail courtship better than any words.
(warning ... not intended for little one's eyes!)

I loved the last two captures where he seemed concerned 
and then just simply confused
of her dismissal.

Mmmmmm...... love can be so complicated.

I'll return tomorrow, friends, to our regular uncensored programming.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blinders would be useful

Ambergris Caye, Belize - 2008

The dangerous thing about blogging is that you sure can neglect many things.  
Like paying the bills, picking up the house, going for walks 
(which by the way, The Professor and I did on Sunday ... it was a beautiful day!), 
running needed errands, exercising,
 and even brushing one's hair!

(But I always always always brush my teeth!)

On top of that, 
you begin to learn new editing techniques from fellow bloggers
and then blow through a whole afternoon just editing a few photographs.
And that's pretty much what I've been doing the last few days.  
Playing around with a couple of new editing tools.
Eiffel Tower, Paris -2007
The first one is a new Topaz product called Star Effects.
I spent several hours perusing through old photographs trying to find ones that were appropriate to use the star burst effect.  I guess I don't take too many night photos.
But that may change.

Park City, Utah - 2009

I can see that it can be a cool tool to use in certain photos.
Even when they aren't the best photos but you still kind of like them.
Like most of these that were taken with my little point and shoot through the years.
Not only can you use the effect on lights but also on sunsets and sunrises.

Sunrise over Hermanus, South Africa - 2002

And then, today, after completing these photos and doing a little blog hop, I happen upon Nancy's post over at A Rural Journal.  She did some texture work using Pixlr.  I have been wondering what I might use when Picnik goes away.  iPiccy is not bad and easy to use.  But Pixlr is so much more robust but isn't nearly as intuitive.  Nancy has a nice little tutorial in her side bar describing how to use Pixlr for textures.  And of course, I have spent over an hour just playing around with Pixlr.  My guess is it feels similar to Photoshop which is all foreign to me.

And while I was doing all that, somehow I ended up on another sight that offers a free trial called Perfect Layers for Aperture, Photoshop and Lightroom users.  A plug-in program that combines several photos together to create one.  Mmmm.... I can see how my afternoon is going to go now!

(P.S.  This will be one blog post that I hope The Professor doesn't read!)

I definitely need some blinders!

Unlike me, go out and do something fun today, dear friends!  (But actually, I am having fun!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012


It has been one of those weekends where you can smell spring in the air.  I know.  I am early to be so hopeful ... after all, it is only mid-February.  Or at least a bit past mid.

The Professor is requesting that we go for a walk.  And I will.  As soon as I finish this blog, I tell him. He rolls his eyes.  You'll be hours, he says.  He knows me well.  But then, today ... I may just prove him wrong.
I have spent too much time at my computer through these pretty days.  First, I have been working on setting up my new website, reenawalk.com, where someday I hope to transfer this blog to that url. I'm so over using the ~missingthemomgene~ url.  I just haven't had the courage to make the transfer yet. Nor commit the time to do so either!  

You know how those things go ... never smoothly!
I also had to spend time planning a trip to Turkey in June.  The Professor has a conference in Istanbul.  Isn't Syria next door to Turkey???  Oh my!  From what I can ascertain, it looks pretty safe though.  We will not tour around Turkey but stay in the city.  I'm not usually one for staying in the cities when visiting a foreign country.  I like to get out into the smaller regions and explore.  But in this case, I think best to stay put in Istanbul.

And one final nice thing.  Brian Miller over at waystationone hosted dversepoets on Saturday and so kindly used some of my photo work to inspire the participants' poetic pen. Take a moment to drop in. There are so many talented poets and writers at dversepoets.  And thank you Brian.  The exposure introduced me to some wonderful new artists!

Okay, I hear The Professor coming.  
He is going to say 'you're not ready, are you' and I'm going to say, 
'oh, yes I am ready ... I am DONE!  Aha! 
So there Mr. Smarty Pants!'

(Best to not let partners get too comfortable
with their preconceived perceptions!)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.  
I wanted to share these Blue Jays with you.  
Their feathers are so beautiful and soft.  
I just want to reach out and touch them.

~ ~ ~

~ sharing with ~

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February blues

The last few days have been a bit dark and dreary here in the Northeast.  The world outside my window consists of nothing but shades of browns with the occasional color splash of cardinals or blue birds.  I need some sunshine!

Sooooo .... I began searching through my archives in hopes of eliminating my blah feeling over these February winter days.

I didn't have to search far. 

I had forgotten about my photos of the white pelicans.  Last month when we were in Anna Maria having breakfast at the Rod & Reel Pier, the waitress mentioned (me, with camera sitting on table) the dozens of white pelicans that hung out down by Cortez Kitchen.

So you can guess where I drug The Professor that afternoon!

I was in pelican heaven!

There must have been over 50 white pelicans all gathered near the shore, 
preening and primping.

But it was these few that captured my attention ... drifting away ...
Seeking a bit of peace and comfort
from the maddening flock nearby.

I feel that way about flocks crowds.
They totally drain my energy and I will quickly retreat
to a place of solitude ...

... to dream of sunny days and ocean breezes
and kitty snuggles.

: : :

Ahhhhhh .....  I'm feeling so much better now!
I just might make it through February.

How about you?  What do you do to work
through ~blah~ winter days?