Saturday, April 02, 2011

Touching up the odd photograph

If you are particularly observant, or interested in such things, you will have seen that I have been taking part in Kim Klassen's Photoshop SkinnyMini eCourse and finding myself becoming addicted to adding all sorts of delightful things to very ordinary photos.  And 'layers' are no longer a great mystery to me....

 I can get myself into such a confusing situation that Photoshop just throws up its hands in horror and quits, right there on the spot.  But on the whole I seem to have absorbed a fair bit of information about textures and filters and levels and other manipulative tricks.

The photo in my heading is a picture we took of some mountain sheep, feeding by the side of the road and looking for a clear spot in the traffic to cross to the creek for water.  Charles spotted them first, - as he usually does with his keen eye and quick wit.  I, of course, caught just a glimpse of them as we sped by, but being the darling that he is Charles found a turn-around spot and we went back to get pictures.  I have fancied them up a bit, and perhaps made them look as if they survived the winter in better shape than they did., but still they were pretty agile and alert.

Two or three years ago a local photographer trekked the hills with his video camera around Olalla  (where this flock hangs out).  He produced a really fascinating and enjoyable film of the sheep in the autumn, at mating time, and some splendid pictures of the competitive rams.  I am beyond trekking the hills, so am content with watching this DVD and thrilled  when the opportunity arises to see even part of the flock up close.

Yesterday morning Charles and the family down the hill were in the right place at the right time and were awed at the sight of a small flock of Trumpeter Swans circling low over the pasture and then heading to the river.  I, alas, heard them conversing but missed seeing them.  I understand they are lingering in this area, between Keremeos and Okanagan Falls, so perhaps there will be another opportunity.

Nobody had a camera handy so this picture is courtesy of Charles Brandt and was taken in the Comox Valley.  They are such a magnificent, graceful and elegant bird and it is encouraging to see their numbers increasing.  I'm sure if my pictures were well organized I could find amongst them pictures of trumpeter swans taken on the Meadow where Dave and Nicky and Vince live.

I picked my first bouquet from the garden this morning to comfort someone who had lost a dear friend, - just a few a white hellebores, a couple of deep purple ones and a bit of flowering forsythia, - a small start but the beginning of the generosity the garden abounds in from daffodils in the spring to chrysanthemums in the fall.

It was a cruel April day today, - a gusting wind, cold with showers, and so the bees were home doing whatever they do in their hives, but yesterday they were out buzzing and gathering honey wherever it was available.

Here is a picture I have been toying with, and I am off to spend the evening hours doing more!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ABC  Wednesday

The letter this week is K

K is for Kindness

What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.
George Eliot

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.  Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
George Sands

Just because an animal is large, it doesn't mean he doesn't want kindness;  however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.
A.A. Milne

Compassion is the basis of all morality.
Arthur Schopenhauer

I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Ettiene De Grellet

If you have a rose to give, give it now.
Tomorrow may be too late.

If you will Kindly click here you will arrive at ABC Wednesday where there are many more interpretations of the letter K, - with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and all who so kindly help her.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A typical Spring Day

Gorgeous when the sun was shining and the sky was blue,  - not quite so gorgeous when the wind came out to play awhile, but still beautiful enough to encourage us to have a lovely, productive morning in the garden  where the Hellebore has finally come to see what spring is all about and has her first pure blossoms.

Lunch was a little late as Charles finished pruning the Philadelphia Orange and I wheeled the prunings and more debris down to the ever growing compost pile.

Before we settled for a small nap we discussed a little picture taking drive, - well,
I suggested it and Charles didn't say no.

So around about three o'clock I put some chicken breasts in a casserole, along
with a bit of honey, some butter and a dash of nutmeg, and
then added carrots, mushrooms and some small potatoes,
and slid it all into a 300 degree oven.

We were all set to go,
and here are some pictures we took as we drove slowly by Ginty's pond.

Things are slow at the pond, - didn't see any turtles, but you might see a couple of ducks
mid-left in the picture if you enlarge it

The water lilies have thrust their lovely green heads above the water.

and here is a rather dark and mysterious corner of the waterway

some pussy willows along the road

and at the other end of the pond some more ducks and shimmering reflections

We came home around by the Creek to see how the water flowed and how the banks were faring.

Only the willows were vibrant with colour, - the grasses are still sombre and show no greenery

I have been practicing some of the things I am learning about editing in the 
Skinny-Mini Photoshop e Course.  Great fun, although I am still very amateurish -
bear with me......

Supper was done and delicious when we arrived home!