Knock Knock

“Knock, Knock”
“Who’s there?”
“Banana”
“Banana who?”

“Knock, Knock”
“Who’s there?”
“Banana”
“Banana who?”

“Knock, Knock”
“Who’s there?”
“Orange”
“Orange who?”
“Orange you glad I didn’t say banana”

Bwahhhhh  haa haaa!  

Ok, that was silly, huh?    Well that’s what came to mind as I was trying to think of something orange to photograph for this weeks Shutterboo Challenge.   Personally, I’m not a big fan of the color orange.   I know, I know – Go Big Orange football, or basketball or whatever ball.  But I’m just not into sports so that doesn’t mean much to me either.   The one context in which I truly love the color orange is when it is mixed with other fall colors.  And that is how this little pumpkin face became my photo for this weeks challenge. 

I again put some true effort into the picture taking and used my manual controls.    It took a little bit of tweaking with the settings but I think I did okay.   It’s definitely a work in progress but I figure the more I force myself to shoot in manual the more accustomed I will be come to all of it.  

But anywho, here is what else I’ve been capturing this week.   BTW, these were NOT taken on manual settings, it was full auto mode and even sport mode to try to capture the movement better.

I’m still hoping to capture that ruby-throated one that came to the feeder the other day when I didn’t have the camera with me (figures, huh?).  

Happy snapping!

Kim

Oh yea, I did capture one other really cute face this week…

Spanky Doodle

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Thanks, I needed that

Seriously, I needed that like a good slap in the face when you’re trying to wake someone up from a bad dream.    I’m talking about the challenge for this week for Shutterboo.   The subject was “nighttime”.    I was totally dreading it.  I have such a hard time getting my camera to do what I want it to do at night.   It’s NOTHING like a point-and-shoot.  You can’t just point at anything, press the little button, and presto, picture taken.   No on the contrary, dSLR cameras actually want to focus on something specific in the frame, imagine that?!!!   So needless to say, landscape shots at night, moon over the ocean, etc. have been huge challenges for me.   Most of the time resulting in me getting frustrated and giving up, or retrieving the little PNS I keep in my purse and using it to snap whatever has peaked my interest.    It just seems so incredibly frustrating to have this awesome camera and it won’t take the picture I want – something about it thinking it is smarter than me (which it probably is but no one likes to have that thrown in their face).   

So anyway this challenge actually challenged me in a really good challenging way.   I actually got out my “Nikon D60 for Dummies” book and my camera manual.   Wow, can you believe that?   It’s been a while since I’ve felt like I actually LEARNED something new and fun about my camera.   I’ll let you in on a little “not-so-secret” secret of mine – I almost completely shoot everything in auto.   Okay, I said it, it’s out there.   I struggle so much with all the settings and remembering what they mean.  I know the basics – shutter, aperture, ISO  and what they do – but it’s the numbers that are so confusing to me.   This one means larger when the number is going down, this one means smaller when the number is getting bigger – what’s the deal with that anyway.   Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read my manual.  I’ve read my “Nikon D60 for Dummies” book (well most of it).   And I can even remember some of it, for short periods of time.   The key being, if I don’t use it – I lose it!   And that may even be the case with this new information I learned.   But what I am most excited about, and that I don’t think I will ever fully forget, is using the manual mode.   I mean, I completely used my camera manually, and at night to boot!!!   WOOHOO!!!!  (It was phenomenal, literally, hehehe.) On top of that I actually got a couple of okay pictures.    But the most exciting thing to me is knowing I can use manual settings if I chose.  It is possible to get outside the “auto” box!!!   Very exciting stuff!!!!

SO, keeping in mind that this is my FIRST time really taking pictures manually, here are a few images I captured.   

Of course you have to practice and this was taken inside my house just practicing but I liked it and it’s not fuzzy, so progress. 

The next one I actually went outside at night and took some pictures of this little solar-powered lantern in our backyard trying to figure out the right settings for nighttime exposure.  

Not too bad, I guess.  And it was in focus! 

Next a quick test shot of the sky before the fireworks start.

  This next one is probably the only decent picture I got of the fireworks on the fourth of July.    I wanted to go to an actual fireworks show but the hubby wasn’t feeling good (dadgum kidney stones).   So I was working from the backyard and the neighbors just couldn’t get their act together.   I’d set up ready to capture one neighbor and the other neighbor would fire off.  So I’d switch to capture theirs and they would stop and the other neighbor would start.   Awwww, so excited to try new stuff, and so not working out = yuckiness!   Anyway, it may not be the best picture but it represents so much more to me and it is my submission for Shutterboo’s weekly challenge.

Words of wisdom for the week:  

   1. Never give up on something you REALLY want to learn.

   2. Patience

   3. READ the manual

   4. Try out what you’ve learned, play around and have fun

   5. Join a group challenge that will do just that – challenge you

Until next week,

Kim

Almost a wimp…

Yep, it’s true, I think I might be a wimp.  Okay, maybe not a complete wimp, but I truly feel like I wimped out on this weeks photo challenge.    (Now for the whining……)    But it was hard.  I mean really hard.   The subject of “distortion” was just realllllyyyyyy hard.   I couldn’t really think of anything.   Then I wondered if I should photograph something that was distorted or if I should distort a photo I had taken.   hmmmm, decisions.    And then I was kindof pre-occupied with a sick husband and a busy work schedule.   yada, yada, yada  – whine, whine, whine    It could all just be an excuse for being lazy though.

So here is what I settled for as my upload.   At the last minute I finally captured a distored picture.   Can anybody guess how this picture was taken? 

 

 If it hadn’t been for the last minute picture above this was going to be my submission.  

I used the special effects feature of a photo editing program by Roxio.  It has some other really cute effects but that really kindof felt like cheating on the challenge.

Since this is a PHOTO blog (hence needs pictures), and since I am kindof wimping out this week (on the challenge and my blog too, I guess), here are some really sweet pictures of my not-so-sweet-sometimes puppy, little Ms. Rileigh.    Besides, who can resist a sweet little puppy face.

She is growing by leaps and bounds it seems.  She is one smart cookie too.  She is just bearly 6 months old and her list of tricks includes sit, down, rollover, speak, stand, leave it/take it, and we are currently working on giving hugs.   We bought a hula-hoop (you can see it in the background) to teach her to jump through but so far she’s afraid of it.  We’ll have to work on that one!

And she is without a doubt the friendliest puppy I have ever met.  She LOOOVVVESSSS everyone she meets whether person, dog, or cat (well she tries to love our cat but the cat isn’t quite so sure, LOL).  

Thanks for hanging in there with me during this not-so-creative time.   Honestly I will put more effort into the next subject for next week – which is “night”; maybe, if I’m blessed, I will be able to get some fireworks pictures to share – MAYBE!   I can hardly believe we are up to week 26, half the year is already gone, wow!

Signed,

The Wimp (aka Kim)

Bonus Picture:   This is the totally awesome birthday cake my totally awesome SIL made for me!!!    She is the best anyone could want or ask for in a friend and in a SIL.   Thanks Pam!!

Person, Place or Thing

Person, place or thing?   Well in this case I guess it is kindof all three.   The challenge for this week is “person”.   I took this picture while on vacation (place), it’s of a person and, well….umm, I’m not sure what the thing part would be but it sounded good when I started.

I have so many great “person” photographs from this past week but I chose this one in peticular because it is of some random person that I don’t know.   That is hard for me.  I don’t usually point my camera at people I don’t know and ask them to say cheese.   So I consider that my challenge for the week.   

He was a really nice guy working in this little diner dive we went to on Friday night.   My SIL said they had the best grilled cheese sandwich.  My burger was just okay but not great.   But I definitely think it was a dive and not a diner because of the decor and the other people behind the counter.  

Here’s a picture from across the street standing on the end of the pier looking at the place we ate, it’s in the bottom left of the picture.  

And here is the other end of the pier! 

The pier was different from any I’d seen before (not that I’ve seen a lot of piers).  You could go fishing along the sides and at each end was a bar, most nights with live music.   There was also fireworks on the beach every night.  Not by anybody official, just random beach visitors having some fun and providing a free light show for everyone else.  

This next weeks challenge is “distortion”.   Now won’t that be an interesting photo subject?   Wish me luck with that one!

Kim

Vacation Time

I’m on vacation.   A phenomenal vacation, literally!  It’s a girls trip to the beach and I’m lovin’ it!  We leave tomorrow – boo, hiss!!!  I can hardly believe the week is almost over.  

We’ve had some of the best food.  Some we fixed ourselves like this shrimp boil – yum! 

But we also found this great local seafood place called Biminis.  I highly recommend them if you are ever in the Myrtle Beach area.   They’re not the usual tourist-y eatery so you will probably have to look them up but they are so worth it.  

Of course, it’s been really stressful laying on the beach, walking on the beach, looking at the beach, listening to the beach…well you get the idea.   I don’t mean to rub it in that I’m at the beach and you’re not, I’m just really enjoying myself and it is overflowing into the blog.  I bet you’d be the same way if you were on a girls trip (or a guys trip). Besides it’s a photo blog and I have lots of beach photos to share!!!

Okay, enough already with the beach.  Here is my photo challenge submission for this week for Shutterboo’s subject of shadow.   Let me know what you think. 

Oh heck, I can’t help myself – here is one more picture.   It’s sunrise at a marina near where we stayed.  It was beautiful.  

Signing off from the shores of SC.

Kimyjo

I’m determined

Life is getting busy and crazy and loads of fun stuff is happening but I’m determined to keep up with Shutterboo’s weekly photo challenge.   This week’s challenge has been “open”.   A couple things have run through my head at various times during the week but nothing has stuck long enough to grab the camera and go for it.    So I guess I will be making a determined effort to capture something quickly when I get home from work and get it posted SOMETIME before I go to bed tonight.  

I’m not exactly sure how that is going to happen though.  We have to take the kiddo (Rileigh) to the vet tonight to check out her little toothies.   As with all puppies she is teething and chews everything.  It seems that those longer teeth on the bottom at each side are not coming out or getting loose and the new ones are coming in behind them.  We’re determined to get this taken care of quickly so that she doesn’t need braces later on!!   (LOL)  My hubby actually pulled one of her teeth because it was all floppy and stuff and seemed to be irritating her.    I also pulled one but I’m kindof embarsed to tell you about.  But it’s pretty darn funny so here goes:

We have this little brown puppy bed (see picture), and apparently it has some kind of quilted pattern stitched into the bottom of it and Rilegh as chewed on it enough that some of the threads are loose.   So the other night she was chewing on the threads.   I, being the good puppy parent that I am, was concerned that she would swallow some of the thread and that could be bad for her little intestines.   So I snapped a few of them off by hand and put them to the side.   The last one was a bit trickier as she had it in her mouth.  I pulled on it though and could see the bed moving on the other side of her mouth so I knew it went through the sides of her mouth and not down her throat.   So I decided to just snap it off and then it would pull right through her mouth.   Good plan, huh?    WRONG!!!!     I pulled, it snapped, thread comes flying through her mouth and out flies one of her little teeth across the room. ……….(dramatic pause).   I felt TERRIBLE, as I slap my hand over my open mouth in astonishment and look down at her sweet face only to see her looking directly at me kindof licking her lips and chewing like “what the heck was that for?”   Bad puppy mom, bad, bad!!!!     Don’t worry, I made up for it by giving her lots of lovin’ and some extra treats.  Treats are always welcome!!

What a sweet little face, huh?

Added after work:

Okay so I’ve got my “open” picture now.

That’s the one I submitted but here are two others I considered.

They were both taken with my point and shoot and I think that is one reason why I’m not happy with them. 

Oh well!   Next week’s subject is “shadow”.    Wonder where you can find really cool shadows on the beach – cause that’s where I’ll be for 7 whole days with the girls!   Surely I won’t be too busy lounging on the beach to capture a good shadow picture so I’ll try to squeeze that into my agenda for the week:   sleep, eat, play in the sand, sleep, watch chic flicks, sleep, take shadow picture, sleep, walk on beach, laugh, play games, and sleep.    Yea, that should work.   

Until next time.
Kim

Ode to the life of a Cicada

Cicadas are everywhere around here and so this is my tribute to them.   Hope you enjoy.

You work your way up from the ground, crawling and climbing anything vertical you can grab.

 

Once you have found your comfy spot you settle in to shed that heavy shell that’s been holding you captive for the last 3 or 7 or 13 years.

Emerging white and fresh and new you slowly stretch your wings and feel the air on your back.

Filled with the desire for food and a mate, you take off flying up into the air toward the nearest tree or bush.  Leaving behind the shell that has protected you for so long.

Aww, nourishment at last!  Now to lure in the perfect female companion you begin singing your little heart out.  But no one is listening – you sing louder and louder! Finally a companion comes your way.

But life is fleeting and all too soon it is over.

The life cycle must continue though, and so the female (though bewildered by the 50 million other singing males) lays her eggs in the tree branches before she herself succumbs to the end.

The eggs hatch, allowing little baby cicada thingies to fall to the ground, to burrow deep into the soil, attempting to protect themselves from life’s tragedies.  The little ones can rest for a while now, and rest, and rest, and rest; until instinct calls them forth to begin the cycle once more…………of creeping people out everywhere they appear!

At least that’s what I think!

Kim

Savannah, GA Part 2

While in Savannah we took a boat tour of the Savannah River to see the sights from the waterway.   It was an incredibly beautiful day and we had a great time!   I highly recommend this tour if you go to Savannah.    I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see the lighthouses up close but it was still a good day.   

One of the first things you see as you leave the dock is this statue of The Waving Girl.   There’s a legend about a young love-struck girl waving at all the in-coming and out-going ships while awaiting her sweetie to come back to her.    She did this day and night for years but he never returned.   So sad.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself there are a couple things I wanted to show you before we got on the boat.   This is the Georgia Queen paddle boat.   She was also dock at the riverfront area and was just beautiful.   Maybe next time we’ll take a dinner cruise on that boat.    There was a World War II Memorial that I thought was very interesting. It was different and unusual and I think that is why I liked it so much, besides what it ultimately represented.  

Of course my favorite part of the boat ride was watching the dolphins play in the surf of this big container ship that was heading back out to sea.  The dolphins were playing and having so much fun and we were fairly close.  

Not to be outdone by missing the lighthouses on the boat tour we decided to drive out to Tybee Island and see one up close and personal.  Too bad for us, it’s closed to tours on Tuesday, the day we were there and we were leaving the next day.   Oh well, gotta save something for next time huh?

One last picture to leave you with and some food for thought.  How big was a megalodon?   I found the following statement on the internet – a megalodon was to the great white shark what Godzilla would be to a gecko (paraphrased).     So if a great white shark can reach up to 20 ft long and that is like the gecko part of the example, then how big would the megalodon have been?    I don’t know either but pretty darn big to have a tooth the size of this one in it’s mouth.

The Savannah River is constantly being dredged to keep it deep enough for those giant ships to pass through and what they dredge up gets dumped along the banks of the river.  The more they dredge up the older the stuff they are dredging up.  Thus it is a fossil-hunters paradise in places.   This tooth was found along one of the banks of the Savannah River.  Pretty cool, huh?   Just look at the size of that thing compared to my husband’s hands and then think about the size of the mouth that would hold a tooth that size.    Whew, too big for me! 

Okay, so on to the next photo challenge from Shutterboo.   I have no idea how to photograph “anger” but looks like that is what’s next up so wish me the best. 

Kim

Finally, pictures to post!!!! Part 1

 Blog?  What blog?  Oh yea, I do have a blog, don’t I?   It’s been so long since I updated this thing I almost forgot about it.   Just kiddin’, I could never forget about my wonderful little photo blog.   I just have not had a chance to get any pictures edited and ready to post.   But I’m here now and ready to show you a few (as compared to what I took) pictures.     These are some of my favorite pictures from our recent trip to Savannah, GA.    What a beautiful city.    I loved all the old restored homes.   It looks like some place out of a movie – oh wait, there have been tons of movies filmed in Savannah.   I guess that explains that, huh?   It is also the settting of the book Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil by Frank Berendt.   While I had heard of this book I had never read it.   It was recommended to me that I read it before I went to Savannah.   So, I started reading it before we went, read some while we were there and finally finished it a couple nights ago.   It a true crime story which is not my usual taste in books, and I probably wouldn’t have liked it at all if it were not for being in Savannah.   It was really neat though to read a sentence like “Jim was sitting behind the desk in his study” and be able to actually see the room in your head (we toured the actual house where this crime took place – see picture of Mercer Williams house below).   But I think I will stick to my Christian fiction and Christian romance thank you very much. 

And so on with the pictures!   

The beautiful streets of Savannah, GA.

Can you tell I had to edit a parking meter right out of the middle of that one!  I hope not!

This is the Mercer Williams house from the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  Supposedly it’s haunted, but we didn’t see a single ghost!

This is an alley-way behind the shops on River Street.  I just thought it was so pretty. 

This is one of the shops on River Street.  I thought it was so pretty with the red awning. Of course, it had nothing to do with the fact that it was a candy shop. 

This is just one of the many beautiful squares in Savannah.   The historic district is set up in a grid-like pattern around some twenty-odd squares spaced ever so often in the middle of the grid intersections. So in other words you have drive around them to continue on the same street.   They are filled with statues and benches and beautiful plants.  Too many to post pictures of here.  You’ll just have to go there and see for yourself.  

This is a statue of the famed song writer Johnny Mercer in Ellis Square.   It is a more urban-like park with a splash/wading fountain thing and few, if any, trees. 

Of course if you know much about Savannah and anything about Food Network you probably know that Paula Deen is from Savannah and this is her restaurant.  No, we didn’t eat there. There was too long of a line just to make reservations to eat there.   I’m not that patient. 

Beautiful Forsyth Park Fountain.   What more can I say other than my picture does not do it justice!

We stayed within walking distance of City Market which is a little shopping/eating/live music blocked-off area of a street where the shops spill out into the street.   Very nice place to walk around.  This wagon was part of the decorations sitting around in the street. 

Okay that picture is for all my breast cancer fighting and surviving friends and family out there.  The shirts were too funny and I would love to have bought everyone I know a shirt but that just wasn’t financially possible so enjoy the view from here. 

Okay, just one more for this time and it is my submission for Shutterboo’s weekly challenge of “Tracks”.   I liked it, hope you do too. 

Part two will be up soon*! 

*”soon” is used here to imply the meaning of “when I get a chance”, not to be confused with the meaning “a time in the future that will occur quickly”

Thanks for looking!  Compliments  Comments are always welcome!!!

Kim

How I Spent my Easter Sunday

I spent my Easter Sunday with my family on their farm.  Time at my parent’s house is almost always an adventure (aka chaotic).   Most of the time, they are good, happy memorable adventures.  Easter Sunday was one of those good, happy memorable ones.

 

There are so many great things to photograph on a farm.    Like this old water pump.

  Of course, what’s a farm without chickens and ducks?

 

 

 

Isn’t that rooster pretty?  Life on a farm means sometimes meals and/or family time have to wait, because other things cannot.  And that’s how it was on Easter Sunday.   We were just getting the drinks poured and food on the table when it was announced that one of the cows was having problems birthing a baby.  Okay then, food covered, back on the stove top, back in the oven and back to the frig as appropriate, while a big part of the family went to check out the situation.   I for one did not go.  Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that I do not get along well with blood and yuck, it was really more for the cow’s sake – too many people might make her nervous, you see.   Anywho, long story short… they helped the cow give birth, then called the vet to come check out mom and baby.   Mom abandoned the baby – probably because of too much human contact or maybe she just knew something wasn’t right.  But anyway the calf and mom were brought to the barn and I was able to capture this picture

 

 And this picture….

 

 Which is my submission for Shutterboo’s weekly challenge subject of rural.  

 Awww, life on the farm…I miss that place (well, sometimes I do).

 Kim