Category Archives: Photography

Black and White One – Mary and Spot

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I love the Hipstamatic application – I love the setup I use, anyway. I’ve never gotten around to playing with the dozens of other ways the app can be used. I know my favourite grouping of lens & film will always capture the image I see in my head.

I have too many good ones to share all at once – I’ve just realised this as I started uploading. I’ll only do a couple at a time.

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Taken inside a local pub.

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My good boy Spot on a sunny day.

A reminder: these photos are under my copyright and cannot be shared without permission and a link to the original source, this blog. Thanks! (don’t make me have to watermark the shit out of these, okay?)

Take a Deep Breath and Swallow

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A family of swallows made a nest under an overhang at work.

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They grow so fast! Last week all four babies took their first flights.

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Some were better at landing than others. The flying seemed easy for them – just not the landings.

One crashed into a box inside and knocked itself silly. Little birdie was handed to me, so I could make a rescue attempt. He was scared, but not shivering, so I thought there was a chance still. I took him outside and set him on a quiet curbstone to recover.

After about 10 minutes, I could see he had perked up but was still dangerously close to the ground. I went back out to check on him…

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He let me stoke the back of his neck, where birds like being petted best. But he still didn’t fly away, so I took the chance to get pictures with my iPhone.

I got one of the best shots I ever have taken!

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Tigridia Tuesday – Week 5

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Well, I was warned in the comments last week that if I looked away from my tiggies, I’d regret it. Of course I have still been taking daily photos over the last two weeks, I’ve just stopped flooding my followers with flowers of the same feathery form.

This week, something new grew!

We’ve all seen the pink ones:

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We’ve all seen light yellow ones:

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We’ve all seen bright yellow ones:

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We’ve all seen orangey-red ones:

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And we’ve all seen red-orangey ones.

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But: what happens if these two mix? Red-orangey and light yellow:

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It seems that these two got together last year, *cue 1970’s style porno music* and they made a new bloom!

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My first hybrid!

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I love the stripes, don’t you? Like they were painted with a dry fan-brush.

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All of these are coming up on just one stem. I am pretty sure it is one of the new baby ones from seed I stuck in that pot.

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Pretty cool, eh? I wonder if it will grow true next year from seed, and I wonder if I am the only one to have it? I’m not going to Google it just yet and possibly ruin my fun.

I wonder what I should name it…

Coastline, Downpatrick

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Part of what I love about the area around Downpatrick Head is that you can walk down to the shore and investigate all the tidal pools. It’s rock, so no sandy beach to play on, and I’d not swim there, either with the crashing waves.

Unfortunately I was there at a higher tide than last year, so I couldn’t walk out on the rocks half as far as I hoped. I was really worried I’d miss the sea-life I’d seen last time.

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I still got a little bit. Sea grass flowing in the current.

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The cracks in the rock surface were so very straight. I loved the miniature pools left in the hollows.

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Seagulls riding the updraft above us.

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I wonder what the broken bits are. Looks like fan coral, maybe? It was so pink compared to the stone and the blue of the mussels.

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But this – this is what I was seeking! Tiny little sea-anemones. Aren’t they lovely?

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I didn’t find a live starfish, or an empty urchin shell, like I did last year. But I was happy to see the anemones. They were only a tiny bit below the surface, and I have to admit I did tickle one to see what it felt like. Reminded me of the touch of a tarantula’s foot – sticky without leaving any goo behind on your finger. Like each waving arm grabbed on to me, and then decided I wasn’t food and let go.

I also learned a good lesson on photography – when taking pictures of something underwater, shadows are your friends! These would have been immensely clearer if I’d blocked the hazy sunshine with my body. I’m just so used to not doing that, I never even looked at the phone to see the results of my efforts. Next time!

Downpatrick Head, Co Mayo

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One of my favourite places on the planet.

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This is the sea stack, known as Dun Briste. Photo taken by iDJ last summer, a much brighter day. It’s also my background on my iPad.

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Two weeks ago.

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It was warm, and not too windy, so I got closer to the edge than I ever did before. I think all the ladders at work have helped me get over my fear of heights.

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All taken lying on my stomach, looking over. I felt pretty safe.

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A man fishing over the edge! That takes talent. Even on a not-so-windy day, it has to be hard to cast out so far into the Atlantic from a huge cliff. We saw him reel up something that looked an awful lot like a shark, too. But hard to say from such a distance.

I was rather worried when I heard that the Council is ‘developing’ the site. It’s wild and natural and I didn’t like the idea of anyone screwing with it. They have started already.

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Walking up: that wasn’t there before. They have raised an earthen rampart around the blowhole.

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It has a viewing platform now. Do you see all the foam in the blowhole? That will be important later.

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View of the overlook and blowhole from further up the hill.

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Yeah, heavily fenced off. Well, the blowhole was fenced off before – just not as prettily. Still, I fail to see the point of fencing off a hole when there are miles of cliff-face all around with a raging Atlantic right there. I’m really hoping they don’t fence all that off, too: like they did with the Cliffs of Moher.

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Me! That’s where I took most of my over-the-edge pics from. In no danger, unless a huge collapse happened.
Which, of course, it might. And then some lawyer-happy-jackoff will sue the County. But… will the leeches be more likely to sue before they put up fences or after? Right now the place is still wild – and you damn well know it. If you fall off, it’s your own damn fault. Once there are fences: well then, the government didn’t protect you enough so you deserve money for being stupid. You can see they are placing fence-posts there, well behind where I’m lying.
Sigh.

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That’s also me. I scared my friend by walking there – but it was entirely stable and clearly the sheep fed there quite often. What’s that on my shoe? Awwww, dammit.

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My view of the same area as above. See? Perfectly safe. Because it wasn’t windy and I’m not a goddamned idiot.

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Ah, the foam! Even on such a calm day, the ocean coming in under the cliff and the way the tide was flowing meant there was a good amount of sea-foam being thrown into the air. I really wish I could have videoed it!

Tigridia Tuesday – Week 3. With a Contest!

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Sorry I’ve not been on here much at all the last week – ’twas my birthday in there, and I had the week off so I was doing stuffs. Didn’t do the Cartoon Challenge, didn’t post any of the other fabulous flowers I have to share with you, or the one fun place I went over the weekend. Soonish, I’m sure.

But I committed to doing a once a week all-tigridia post, so I must do so!

Wednesday:

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Thursday: it was windy! But my size-large hand is in one of these, so you get an idea of how big these blooms are. Sorry they are a bit battered by the wind.

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Friday: I didn’t get out front to take any pictures. I suck.

Saturday: it was wet.

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Sunday:

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Whoops, a bug in the shot. Whoops, my toes in the shot.

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That’s okay – I took it again using Hipstamatic. Looks pretty good in B&W!

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Getting there – Monday there were NONE. I guess they needed a break.

Tuesday, yesterday as I’m all messed up and didn’t know what day it is until just now: there were six, but I knew I’d be tired of posting pics by now (and I am) so I did four in one shot – is that cheating?

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I have a wee quiz this week! One of the days in this week’s line up wasn’t taken with my iPhone 4, it was taken with our fancy-pants camera – a Nikon D3100 – instead. If you get the correct answer, I will post (mail) a packet of mixed tigridia seeds to you from 2013 (if you want them, of course). I know they are viable as I have oodles of seedlings, some now a good foot tall. They may not bloom until next year or the year after, but isn’t that half the fun of gardening from seed? Of course I will help with any germination questions. Good luck!

Contest closes next Tuesday, August 12.

Hope you enjoyed the photos – it’s a good feeling for me to save them here since they only last a few hours.

Tigridia Tuesday – Week 2

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Jazuz, but there are a lot of pics. I don’t think I’ll be taking the time to resize these like I did last week – too many!

Wednesday: the red/orange one reminds me a a Gremlin from the movies for some reason.

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Thursday:

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I’m missing a few pics from Thursday, as my phone is over-full and refusing to send them to the iPad. But the last two were taken late Thursday evening, when I was on the phone to Socks, and noticed that there was bright pink juice dripping down the stem as the flower faded and died. Which is better: with or without the flash?

Friday: just the one set of five at once!

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Saturday: do you see what I see? Yellow ones about to bloom! An-tic-i-pa-tion…

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Sunday: my first yellow iris! A bit battered as it was very windy.
Also my first mutant bloom, poor thing.

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Monday: almost done, and boy howdy am I tired of uploading these! Poor iPad is below 25%, hope I make it.

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Today (Tuesday, durrrrrr):

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Aaaand finally, I’m done. Holy crapmonkeys, Batman, but that was a lot of work! I don’t blame y’all for just giving a cursory glance at this.

Tigridia Tuesday – Week 1

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Right, so – here we go! My first bloom was last week, on Thursday.

So here is Friday:

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A twofer!

And Saturday:

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I had two on Sunday but didn’t go out front until they were already drooping. Sorry!

Monday: a pink one!

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And today:

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Another twofer, but this one wanted a closeup.

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And on another plant, one with a different shape.

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Sad, isn’t it, to see the shrivelled remains of yesterday’s glory?

Hubby asked me did I think they bloomed at night, or early in the morning. I had trouble sleeping last night so I came downstairs at 4:30 am, and had a peek out the window – nope, they don’t. At 6:30, starting to unfurl but not fully open yet. By 9:30 when I leave for work they are perfect! No scent, by the way, just gorgeousness.

Flowers Flowers Everywhere and not a Bee to Drink

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I’ve definitely noticed there are no honeybees in my garden this year. White-tailed bumblebees by the dozen, but ‘normal’ bees? Not one. I think I will have a chat with my two immediate neighbours and ask if they mind if I try a hive next year. I know my garden/yard is too small, and the dog will go mental until she finally eats one and finds out why she shouldn’t eat flying things… but it’s bad, I tell you. Butterflies are also very rare the last few years.
Last year I got seed out of my little irises (which I planted and it’s growing!). I didn’t even take pictures of my iris this year as they only lasted a few days. The seed heads are nonexistent, too – shrivelled unfertilised dry lumps. I have to wonder why not, and make correlations.

On to happier news. My much loved lavender rose has bloomed twice since last I did a flower update. This one is gone now.

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But this just opened up to say hello today!

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Don’t mind the bird-poop – the wee finches just adore the giant weed-tree I transplanted into that corner. It’s a grey willow and I know it annoys the neighbour on that side as he cut it back himself last year. I have no problem with that – but when the lilac I grew from seed is ready, I want to put it there and I wouldn’t want it pruned without a discussion first. It’s only about a foot tall still, so time enough. I’ll feel bad for the birdies though, as they adore the massive ugly thing.

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Crocosmia lucifer about to bloom…

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Crocosmia lucifer in bloom. A reminder for new folks – hubby dug this up for me out of a patch of waste ground nearby. It looks amazing in massive clumps – ours are several years away from clumps still.

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Can you believe these are potato flowers? Me either! So delicate and lovely. You would wear clothing made out of such fine material, wouldn’t you? The lowly ‘tater; a bloom on it as silken and soft as a gown that the Queen of Carnival at Mardi Gras would be proud to wear.

TIGRIDIA!!!!

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It’s back and beautiful!

This was taken last evening, when I first spotted the potential bloom:

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This morning!

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By the time I got home from work, it was folded in and silent – but there are two more buds ready for the morning, I can tell!

I’m so fascinated with this plant. It seems such a shame that the flower lasts only one day, but it is entirely amazing how fast the buds come into flower. This thing should be studied for potential growth-hormone benefits.

Oh! I collected seeds last year, and they sprouted like mad things. While the babies are only a few inches tall this year, I have hopes for next year! I might dig up my whole front patch of garden and plant these instead, I love them so! Can you imagine a field (okay a tiny field) of these in bloom? Wow!

Here’s the question on my mind, though – I get these beauties for just one day, and of course I take photos. Do you want to see these every damn day? Maybe I could do a weekly post – tigridia Tuesday or some such? Whatchoo think?