Archive for Photography

Classic 1935 Ford Sedan

Classic 1935 Ford Sedan

Damsel captured this photo of a classic old Ford V8 this morning on our way back from the “environmental services” facility (a.k.a. dump) on the west side of town. I saw this guy the other day when I was getting ready to leave the chiropractor’s office. I had a camera then, but the classic went by before I could grab and shoot. I’m glad that we saw it again today. It’s a beauty.

We went to the dump to dispose of a mattress that we bought when we first moved into the house. The mattress was our first place to sleep until we took our time to acquire the house furnishings as the first year here went by. Now, the 8-year old mattress has seen better days and needed to be replaced with a new one.

The new mattress is similar to the one we got for the RV last year. Same brand but a queen instead of king size. The new mattress is intended to help me get over the lower back problems I have been having since mid-February. The visits to the chiropractor have helped a lot, but we’re still not a hundred percent on being able to function normally.

I’ve had back problems since I was a young man, but it usually would heal quickly and get back to normal, Not so, as a septuagenarian. It takes time and visits to the chiropractor now, but it will get better soon. And a new memory foam mattress will help too, I’m sure.

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Rosemary Farm

Bee Gathering Nectar

When we originally had the landscapers plant our yard along the back slope above the RV drive, they installed about fifty or sixty one-gallon rosemary shrubs with an irrigation system. The shrubs have been there for over seven years now, and have grown to mostly cover what once was bare slope behind the house.

I took this photo (click to enlarge) of a bee browsing some of the tiny flowers on the shrubs which have been blooming most of the winter. I can’t hear the buzzing anymore (tinnitus), but Damsel says the bees are quite loud as they busily gather nectar. Now, when the hummingbirds come by to do the same thing, I can hear them just fine.

When we need herbal rosemary for a recipe, we have no further to look than out behind the retaining wall on the north side of the RV drive. Damsel will send me out there with a pair of shears to snip off a couple of the freshly grown stems from one of the many bushes. I take the stems inside, wash them and pull the needles from the woody part. Damsel will either mince the needles or use them whole, depending on the recipe.

More on the Rosemary Herb from Wikipedia:

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.

It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea”. The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from an ancient Greek word meaning “flower.” Rosemary has a fibrous root system.

Rosmarinus officinalis is one of 2–4 species in the genus Rosmarinus. The other species most often recognized is the closely related, Rosmarinus eriocalyx, of the Maghreb of Africa and Iberia. The name of ros marinus is the plant’s ancient name in classical Latin. Elizabeth Kent noted in her Flora Domestica (1823), “The botanical name of this plant is compounded of two Latin words, signifying Sea-dew; and indeed Rosemary thrives best by the sea.” The name of the genus was applied by the 18th-century naturalist and founding taxonomist Carl Linnaeus.

My only observations regarding the text above is that (a) we’re a long way from the sea and (b) we don’t get much in the way of dew in the desert. I guess that the Rosemary herb likes it hot (it does get hot here), tolerates mild cold (rarely below freezing) and depends on the irrigation system we have here for moisture. And, clearly, the bees and hummingbirds pollinate them to their mutual benefit.

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New Glass for the Canon T6i and SL1 Cameras

Canon SL1 and EF-S 18-135 mm LensEarlier this month, Tam wrote about trying different glass to replace a zoom lens with not-so-great performance. That post gave us the idea that we too might benefit from lens upgrades for our two Canons - Damsel’s is an EOS Rebel T6i and mine (shown at right) is an EOS Rebel SL1 - both DSLR cameras.

Since the stock lens that came with both cameras was a zoom with a focal length range of 18 mm -55 mm, we decided in getting a better lens with the same starting focal length and stretching the maximum focal length out to 135 mm.

I took the above image of the SL1 with the EF-S 18-135 Lens attached with my little Kodak FZ152 Pocket Camera. Click on the image to enlarge.

Although we haven’t put the new optics through extensive evaluation, we see that the performance is pretty good. I went out this morning to get a few pictures to see how the performance was in general. The following two images of the RV and a hummingbird demonstrate the extreme wide and narrow focal length performance. Click on either image to enlarge.

18 mm zoom 135 mm zoom

As we put the new lenses into use we should get a feel for how the new optics performance will be. Just from today, I can generally see that the Image Stabilizer does an effective job of keeping the camera steady and I can’t readily detect a lot of chromatic aberration at maximum zoom.

We hope everyone had good St. Valentines and Presidents Days.

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Purple Haze Lavender Rose

Purple Haze Lavender Rose

Yesterday was the last day that these beautiful roses were on display in the vase on the sofa table in the great room. We bought these a week ago and they lasted until yesterday in the vase. I managed to get this photo of one of the prettiest of them before they wilted.

I read that these flowers originate in Ecuador. From Magnaflor:

Purple Haze

The Purple Haze rose is a wonderful pale lavender bloom with creamy undertones and rosy edges. Lavender symbolizes love at first sight and will elicit feelings of spirituality.

Ecuadorian roses have an advantage due to the growing conditions; they get natural light the whole year, due to the country’s location by the equator. Artificial illumination is not necessary in Ecuador. Most farms are at an altitude of between 2800 and 3000 meters above sea level. With farms being closer to the sun roses produce the largest blooms and longest stems.

I replaced the roses today with Spider Mums in yellow and Violet. Maybe a photo of those later. Click on the image to enlarge.

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2018 Cops Who Care Car Show

Notice the Beautiful December in Arizona Weather

We drove over to the Community Center this morning to attend the Annual Cops Who Care classic car show. We donated a few unwrapped toys for their Christmas “Toyz for Totz” Gift program. We browsed around the lot where there were scores of Custom and Classic Cars and Trucks. Here are a few photos that one or the other of us took. Click on any image to enlarge.

Custom Ford T-Bucket 1939 Chevy Interior
1947 Cadillac Hearse 1955 Chevy Bel-Air Interior
1954 Chevy Bel Air Coupe Self Portraits 911 Memorial Engine Cover
1958 Chevy Apache Pickup Classic Willys Jeep

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Mule Deer Sighting

Doe
 
Fawn

We don’t often see the local mule deer since they keep mostly out of sight. Today, however, one of the dogs got my attention to look out front. I saw the doe in the top image. She was standing pretty still, so I got a camera and took the top photo from the courtyard.

I then realized that the deer think our lemon tree leaves are a delicacy since we see evidence of them nibbling on it. I looked over at the lemon tree just in time to see a couple of fawns that were there take off. I got a fairly decent photo of one of them about to leap the back wall. The other was too far up the hill behind the creosote and other brush to get much of a photo.

Once both fawns were up on the hill, the mama doe easily leapt over the neighbor’s four foot wire fence and proceeded to join the little ones. They all disappeared from sight after that. Click on either image to (slightly) enlarge.

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Sphinx Moth and Red Bird of Paradise

Sphinx Moth

Last evening at dusk, I was in the courtyard photographing the sunset colors. I turned around toward the Red Bird of Paradise shrubs and saw several hummingbird moths browsing the flowers. I got the close-up above of one of the moths.

Hummingbird moths are actually an entire family of moths called Sphinx Moths. Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths) contains a very large number of related sub-families and species.

From the Butterflies and Moths of North America website:

The Sphingidae belong to the Superfamily Sphingoidea. Members of this family are commonly called “hummingbird,” “sphinx,” or “hawk” moths, and some can be mistaken for hummingbirds. Most are medium to large moths, with heavy bodies; wingspread reaches 5 inches or more in some species. The Sphingidae are strong and fast fliers, with a rapid wingbeat. Most species in the group are active at dusk, and most feed much like hummingbirds, hovering in front of a flower and sipping nectar through the extended proboscis. The proboscis rolls up when not in use. Some species lack scales on large portions of their wings, resulting in transparent or clear wings. In most species, the larval stage is called a “hornworm” because the caterpillar’s posterior end has a harmless hook or hornlike appendage protruding upward. Unfortunately, the caterpillar of some species can be very destructive to agricultural crops and ornamental plantings

Click on the image to enlarge.

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