Monday, April 27, 2009

Dogwood Days

Dogwood Trees across the field from my garden

Dogwood Trees around a Gazebo

More Dogwood Trees across the field from us

Same area, more Dogwood Trees

Close up of Dogwood Blooms

Another Close Up of Dogwood Blooms

A Wild Dogwood In Woods Across the Road
Click on the Photographs to enlarge for a much better view.
What a beautiful day here today, sunny and 89 degrees, an I was up in the garden planting( 3/4 acre garden) and looked over across the hay field next to our garden and spotted the Dogwood Trees in full bloom .

I came in after a hard day of planting and decided to drive across the field with my truck and take a few photographs of the beautiful Dogwood Trees blooming on the other side and on the way over to them I also spotted a Wild Dogwood on the other side of the road that I was driving next to so I stopped to shoot across the road and into the woods to take a photograph of the Wild young tree.

After photographing the "Wild One" I drove on across the Big field to the Dogwoods that I could see from our garden and stopped to take these photographs.

What wondrous beauty those trees shared with me and I am posting some of the photographs I took to share with you ( you know who you are...because you just stopped by to ).

Please enjoy looking at Creators gifts of beauty, the Dogwood Trees, and it would be nice to hear any and all comments from you. Comments left on a post let me know I am doing something right..or maybe wrong, or at least if you enjoy seeing what I post or am I just posting something you have no interest in looking at.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Shower Delights

Passing Spring Shower

House Sparrow with a full Tummy

Yesterday we had a very unexpected Spring Shower. We had gone to town to visit Elisabeth's favorite resale shop and the weather was a warm sunny 86 degrees.

We came out of the resale shop and looked to the East and there was a massive thunderhead of black/blue looking clouds and streaks of rain pouring down from it and lightning flashing.

We came home just ahead of the moving shower and sat on the porch watching the approaching rain, and Elisabeth was taking a few photographs of clouds and the rain coming down. Then as the rain was passing overhead and starting to clear up behind it I saw what I thought was a nice photograph of the passing thunderhead and rain with the sun peeking out between the Blue/Black clouds with the promise of a wonderful sunny remainder of the day.

I sat there after taking the photograph and watched the birds frantically rushing around picking up some stray night crawlers and bugs that had been scurrying around trying to get away from the rain, when I spotted this small House Sparrow happily catching his dinner of worms and jumping up on the log lining the driveway with the worm in his beak, but dropping it and then jumping down to retrieve it and back up on the log only to drop it again...several times this happened until he finally just gobbled it down while down on the ground.

The little House Sparrow eagerly hopped around gathering dinner till his little tummy was full and then jumped back up on the log so proud of himself and decided to pose for me to take his picture. Here is his Portrait, I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Use That Bottom

A Gourd Bottom

You may remember me saying in a past post that I try never to waste anything and as you can see I have made something out of a bottom of a gourd that I had cut out to make a drum.

This gourd bottom was so nice and Big(11 1/2" across) the bottom of a Bushel Gourd that I just could not throw away and had been saving it for quite some time waiting on the moment of inspiration to hit me and let me know what it should be.

The Bottom said "Make a Bowl out of me and put some nice geometric designs on me" so the planning started...first sketching out a design and then drawing the design carefully on the bottom with pencil, all the time taking careful measurements to make sure the pattern matched in all Four Directions, after carefully drawing on all the designs I next started to wood burn in all the lines and after that was done I used some Leather Dye to make the "In between Four Directions" a bit darker with a medium Brown Dye...carefully staying within all the design lines with the Leather Dye.

I set it on a plate stand to be on display.........Click on the photograph to enlarge so you can get a better view of the designs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"The Great Outdoors"

To view the entries for this Challenge click in the banner above

Here is my entry for the challenge; "The Great Outdoors"

Taken 4/18/2009 late evening..sunset

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mockingbird Close Up

Close up of Mockingbird
Today's post is of a very friendly Mockingbird that comes around and allows me to watch him and his antics and listen to him singing, which I must say he is very vocal and seems to amuse himself by looking at me while I am looking at him,(grinning know we ARE smarter than the Birds....or are we?).
I am so taken by his beautiful patterns of color that I just had to get close enough to take a good photograph with the 55-300 lens I had on my camera while I was out shooting the other day, he allowed me to walk up to within about 25 feet and snap happily away with him just sitting there posing for me ( I really do believe he enjoys the attention).
Here are the results of the experiment in Bird Portraits which I used a black background on to make the bird stand out and make all the background noise of signs and other distractions disappear. ( here I give credit to Elisabeth for the black background effect)
For a better close up on the photograph to enlarge.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Apple Blossoms

Two year old rogue Apple Tree

Close up of Apple Blossoms

more blossoms close up

close ups blossoms

more close up blossoms

Final Close up shot
Click on the Photographs to enlarge for better viewing
Today I am posting some photographs of a two year old rogue apple tree that took root on the bank next to my storage shed that I built, it just appeared as if by magic two years ago , I guess it somehow found it's way down the hill from the old apple orchard that was pushed down and burned a few years back.

I saw the wonderful blooms the other day while standing outside and talking to a neighbor so I went in the house and got the trusty old Nikon D50 and the 18-55 lens.

Here are the results of the "Blossom Shoot."

The very first shot is of the little tree by it's self setting on the edge of the hill, followed by several close up photographs of some of the different blossoms.

Please enjoy one of Natures wondrous sights....stay as long as you like looking for Looking is Free

Friday, April 17, 2009

Experiments in Flutes

3/4" Bore PVC Flute

close up of "Bird" carved from Aromatic Red Cedar

1 1/2" Bore PVC Flute

top view of 1 1/2" bore PVC Flute

close up of Eagle Head decoration
Click on Photographs to enlarge for better viewing
Today I am posting some pictures of the experiment with making flutes out of schedule 40 PVC pipe, which I did just to see if it could be done and how the tone or sound would be.

The reason I used PVC pipe was because I will be making some more Aromatic Red Cedar flutes with these bore dimensions of 3/4",1 1/2", and 7/8" and I did not want to try it on the good Cedar that I have because I first needed to experiment with dimensions such as length and placement of the fingering holes and the size of those holes to determine the "Tone" or sound.

I started out by cutting the PVC pipe to and estimated length and then cut a circle of Aromatic Red cedar for each of the two bore sizes and carefully inserted it in each flute up to the point where it blocks the area between the fast air chamber and the slow air was a very tight fit which was needed to contain the air within the fast air chamber and channel it out and up under the "Bird" and across the sounding board to make the sound.

Next I drilled each hole and proceeded to cut out a "Bird" for each flute from Cedar and finish carved each one. I then decided to do a bit of decoration with placing tape where I did not want it to get painted and drew on the designs on the tape and cut away excess tape from the designs and then used a plastic spray primer and after letting it dry I sprayed it with a nice brown special plastic spray paint.

The next step was to adjust the fingering holes in size to get the flute "Tuned" and to my suprise..the flutes sound very good both in tone and key.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Macro Experiments

Creeping Flox-Macro Shot

Creeping Flox Macro Shot-(Wider Shot)

Close up -new growth of a Poppy Plant
I decided to experiment this morning with some Macro Shots after an overnight shower to try and capture some raindrops on the beautiful little Creeping Flox flowers that are in full bloom in front of the cabin.
I put on the Nikon 105 mm AF 2.8 Macro lens and went out to are the results.
Isn't it wonderful how much beauty we can see in the early Spring blooms and colors!!!!
I guess you can tell I am excited about the results of this shoot...LOL.
Click on the photographs to get a larger view.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Bear Medicine"

"Bear Medicine" Gourd Art

Gourd with top off

close up of one Bear

close up of other Bear

Symbolic Bear with Turquoise Heart Line

other panel with Symbolic Bear with Heart Line

Today's post is of a new Gourd Art that I have been working on since having my heart attack in late Feb. I picked out a likely looking gourd for a new project and as usual I asked it "what would you like to be?". I asked this question for several days..getting nothing but silence from the gourd, so I tried to decide for myself what it would be..but nothing again I asked the gourd...and then the answer came to me in clear concise language from the gourd..".I want you to make a Bear Medicine Gourd out of me for you need healing for your heart and may bring hope and healing to others with this piece."

Now being a good Artist,(tongue in cheek statment here) I always follow the directions of the piece that I am working on, so I proceeded to lay out the designs for this new project by first drawing on two panels of a Bear head and then two Symbolic Bear panels with a heart line for inlay of the sacred blue stone (Turquoise) which also has healing property's .

I wood burned in the pictures of the Bear heads on both panels, then wood burned in the two Symbolic Bears in the other panels, next I drew out and cut two Turquoise heart lines to inlay in the Symbolic Bears and carefully cut precise angles in the Turquoise to be inlayed and carved out the area in the gourd for the inlay and placed the pieces in and ground down flush with the gourd and sanded and polished them.

I next decided to cut out 4 Symbolic Bears for inlay in the top from "Apache Gold" (a very rare gemstone) which I inlayed into the 4 positions in the top , ground and sanded down flush with the gourd then polished to a high shine.

You may see , I painted the inside of the Gourd a pottery color to represent a handmade piece of pottery.

All designs are wood burned in then colored with leather dye except the Bear Heads, which are all wood burning and only colored in the boarder around them.

Note: the Bear on the top I carved out of Aromatic Red Cedar and mounted for use as a handle to lift the top.

I hope you enjoy viewing this piece, and may it bring healing to you in some way.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Patience pays off

Mr Red Tail Hawk in tree

Taking off from tree.."I have had enough of this guy with the camera"

Success at last !!!! Oh I am so excited, being determined to get a better shot of the Hawk this morning, I walked down the road a bit and crossed over the road into the field that the tree sits at the end of...and ever so softly and quietly walked over towards the tree at an angle, all the time keeping an eye on the Hawk, getting closer and closer until I reached a spot directly in front of him just about 500 ft. away and started shooting with the 55-300 lens on my Nikon.

I happily snapped away for several shots until he started getting restless and decided to leave me standing there with mouth wide open and a big smile on my face at his wondrous beauty.

I got one good shot of his leaving the tree that I am putting in this post also. I did get several shots of his parting but I am saving them for another time.

If you click on the photographs it will enlarge them to the full size for a much better viewing.

Enjoy my friend and his beauty, the Red Tailed Hawk.


Today's post of of my friend the Red Tail Hawk, I keep trying to get closer and get a better shot, but alas this is the best so far..and I will keep trying to get closer..I am very braved the bone chilling cold morning to stroll out and down the road a bit today to get this shot with my 55-300 lens on my Nikon D50 camera.

Click on the photograph to enlarge it and get a better view of my friend.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"First Signs of Spring"

This is my entry for the Blogger's Community Photo Challenge, "First Signs of Spring"
Click on the Banner above to see other entries.

Today's post is for my entry in Blooger's Community Photo Challenge, "First Signs of Spring" contest, I am not real sure of the name of the flowers that are growing in our circle garden, but we call them Miniature Hyacinths. These flowers are always the first ones to peek up out of the soil and produce beautiful blooms here, quickly followed by many other flowers that are planted there.

Please click on the banner above and go see all the other entries for this contest.

You may click on the photograph to enlarge for a better view.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Amazing Clouds

Exploding Mushroom Cloud

"It's a Bird, It's a plane, no It's a Duck"

Funny how clouds can form unusual shapes when least expected, as you can see in toady's post, I was outside talking to a neighbor and just happened to look up and noticed very unusual shapes forming in the clouds from a front that was blowing through.

I went in the house and grabbed the trusty old Nikon and put on the 55-200mm lens and went outside to try to capture some of Natures wonders to share with you. I was like a kid in a candy store, snap here , snap there, and amazing array of cloud formations to choose from, but I am only posting two today and saving the rest in a folder on my desktop for later reference.

Please enjoy, and you may click on the photographs to enlarge if you wish for better viewing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Finds # 5

Click on the above photograph to view entries for "Friday Finds"
My entry for "Friday Finds"

Here is my entry for "Friday Finds", a wonderful old Horse Shoe Dinner Bell, that we have hanging out in front of our log cabin here in the North Carolina mountains. It even has some remnants of last years Passion Flower vines still clinging to it.
The Bell is made of two Horse Shoes welded together and has a knocker hanging down the middle and a string attached to summon the men from the field for dinner back in the "Old Days" before we carried cell phones for our lady's to call us on telling us it is time for dinner.
Ckick on the Bell photograph to view larger.