Reflections on the Grey Days of Fall in the South :: Friday Feet

We can’t seem to escape from these cloudy grey days down here, but it could be far worse, we could be somewhere farther north where it’s got to be colder. My Friday Feet today came from an impromptu photowalk around my the block, so to speak. I was taking a very needed break from writing one of three research papers that are due by next Friday.

One of the subjects of photography I have always loved to look for are reflections. Reflections are one of the more rarely photographed views basically because you have to search them out, and then try to make the subject useable. Reflections are everywhere, and they look great when they show up naturally. We have a small pond in the back of our place that has very little water in it right now, and consequently, it’s very black and still.

As I walked around the property I found a great combination, and created the shot below of me with my iPhone. There isn’t any special filters or photoshopping done to the image below, just a little boost to the contrast to bring out the leaves (see exif metadata here). The reflection of myself comes from the water, just like the trees above my head. The color and texture comes from the leaves sitting on the mud bottom of the pond, so the shot is both translucent, and reflective. The shot just below of me holding my iPhone out over the pond is my :2012 (Project 365) image today for Day 11. All shots in this post were taken on my iPhone. Have a great weekend everyone.

Time For Chopping and Splitting Wood :: Friday Feet

That cold-ish time of year has come again, even down here in the south. On Wednesday it was almost 80*F, and now it looks like all that warm air is gone for now. One of the things we love about our house in the winter is our Lopi wood burning stove, but it takes a lot of wood too. Normally we cut and split wood all throughout the year, but the past year or two we haven’t really been able to catch up with the wood work so to speak. With all the trees down from the storm on Wednesday it’s too bad we couldn’t have just driven around Auburn and picked up all the wood, but instead I just cut my own up for today’s Friday Feet via my cell phone.

It was a little surreal driving around Auburn today in the sunshine seeing huge holes in people’s roofs, and massive trees down all over the place. I know there are still a lot of people in Auburn that are dealing with huge trees down on their property, and many with a lot of damage to their homes. Hopefully this will be the end of any more tornados for Alabama this year, this state has seen enough for 2011.

A Mix of Sun and Rain So Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

They say you should stop and smell the roses. It has been so cold, wet, dark, and raining for the last few days that you couldn’t get outside and do anything, let alone smell a rose. It finally cleared up enough this afternoon to jump outside for a quick break, and today that makes this shot the photo of the day. I took the shot of the roses with my iPhone today, and in my ongoing battle to make the iPhone a viable photographic alternative to a big DSLR I am testing out some new apps (blog post review to come some time).

There is so much going on this week and my mind and heart are in basically three different places so this was a nice walk around the house break. My friend and marathon prayer partner lost his sister unexpectedly this week and today he is in Tennessee with his wife at the funeral. He has usually been on the other side, praying for myself and Deborah as she continues with her tests at UAB, but this week it changed.

This morning, going through my normal continuous reading of the bible, I just happen to be reading Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 12:26 that says “if one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together”, and this is truly the case. As we get ready for the next round of tests at UAB on Friday (depending on whether UAB and BCBS can figure out how to talk to each other) I know he will be back on the other side praying for me once again, and that is such a comfort to me.

Closeup Snowflake Photo on a Frosted Window

Snowflake Photography

Snowflake Photography

I started off today with a beautiful creation by our Creator that I am not all that thrilled to see when I get up.  20* Frost.

I took this photo this morning when I went out to get in my truck.  We live in the deep south and I like to think that our winter days are mild, but not lately.  It is currently 30* outside and it is almost 11am, not a pleasant thing for those of us who have a wardrobe that consists of t-shirts and one or two long sleeve shirts that we never like to wear but do so when we can’t bear it any longer.

The first image is actually the sunrise looking through my truck window on the driver’s side, into the truck, then back out the other side.  The sun still hadn’t warmed things up enough to melt away the unique snowflake like frost that had formed all over everything last night.  There was just enough humidity last night at 20* to make for a beautiful close up of the snowflake crystals on the window (although handheld due to my tripod being in use at the time).

The second shot above is a further close up (beyond the macro 1:1 ratio for those photo techies) of the first shot above.  It took less than a minute sitting in the car for all of this beauty to melt away.  My next blog post is going to be where we should be this time of year, but for now, it is cold down here.  I don’t care if it is -10* up north and 20* isn’t cold to some, it is cold down here, time for Spring.

The North Star and Long Exposure Star Trails

If you have been following the progress of our tree and tree swing, it now has just about no leaves on it at all, so last night I decided to take advantage of the very dark night out here and do a long exposure of the tree showing the North Star.  This shot was a single frame, 3 hour exposure with another 3 hour noise reduction process.  I started the exposure when I went to bed and it finished around 4am.  Showing star trails are a little easier with a film exposure but this one turned out pretty good. The tree looks like it is leaning over to the side because it was shot with a 14mm lens pointed almost straight up at the sky.  I am actually standing about 5 feet or so from the tree.

You can just see the North Star behind the right side of the tree.  I couldn’t actually see it when I setup the tripod and I was just shooting for somewhere close to the center of the frame.  Missed it to the left by a little but close enough.

The tree is the same one you see in the previous posts, here, here, here, here, and even here.  Some day I will put all the tree shots together in one post.  It is pretty neat to me to see the changes in one single location, sort of like a very long time lapse.  For those of you still wondering, no, I did not sit out there all night with the camera, I just set the exposure time to 3 hours and hoped that a deer or other large animal didn’t tip over my tripod.

Yet Another Cold Day in April on Tax Day

Red Flower with Spider

This weather for down here is just crazy. It was almost below freezing this morning and we had frost on the roof. It is mid-April, time for the upper 70’s to come back.

Another Cold Day in April

Today is tax day, and yes, I did my taxes today. I usually don’t wait this long to do our taxes but we were in Dallas for quite a while with DK’s mom in the hospital and I never got around to finishing them up and sending them to the good old IRS. They are now finished and filed.

A New Day, A New Image

I unpacked and installed the new scanner today. I don’t have much time to start scanning in all the slides and photos but I did do a preliminary scan of a slide I had sitting in my bookshelf. The results are not bad at all and I am pretty happy with the whole installation and setup process for this Epson.

This photo was taken August 4th 1997 in Birmingham. The scan was from an original slide and then minor adjustments in photoshop. Not bad, can’t wait to scan in all the multitudes of others. I am going to try to do an image of the day post a few times a week with images like these from my stock. We will see how many I can keep up with. I did start transferring all the digital images I had moved over to DVD to the new 1tb HDD. This will take a while as I have over 100 full DVD discs full of RAW NEF files and edited jpg’s.

The Changing View

The property directly across from our house is being logged and left to what looks like a stump filled waste land. They will come in and replant, but I have watched them today as they pull up 50-75 foot trees, 10 at a time and lay them on their side for the trucks to come pick them up. The view was pristine. Should be that way again in 30-40 years or so.

Orders and Dinner

We took in all our orders for the past week, probably about 100 book orders in total and went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants here in town. The number of boxes we had to pick up today from our book supplier was unbelievable. We filled the entire trailer with books. We have now received about 10,000 plus books in the last few days. Tomorrow I will have a full trailer of boxes of book to unload. I did not get a chance to do my daily walking today since we drove into town, hopefully it will be a little warmer tomorrow and I can put in a few extra miles.

Dinner was nice. First time we had been back to Loco’s since we had to leave for Dallas. This restaurants is usually populated with college kids since it has probably the cheapest drinks in town, but it is always lively and fun. The college kids always have a great energy about them. I managed to get a few blog posts in and some guitar practice as well. My first official lesson will be next Tuesday although I have had a sudo lesson via DK before we left. Tomorrow we finally get a day or two to work at home. The weather should be getting warmer as the week goes by.

Cold Day on the Beach in February is Empty and Fun

Sunset at the Marina

Some days a cold day on the beach is better than a warm day inside. The beaches, in most parts of the country right now, are completely empty, but put a nice cool breeze and January into the mix and you get this (see beach image below). Not only is there a rare February thunderstorm in the distance but the only visible moving object on the beach is a tiny little bird in the very center of the image. The sunsets at the marina are always so dynamic and each one is different. The thunderstorms here made just enough of a hole in the sky to give us a great sunset today.

This image was actually taken by my cell phone. I am really amazed at the quality of images that can be taken by a cell phone these days. Not that it is worthy of publication but for just sticking a phone up in the air, its not bad.

Gulf Shores in January

This weekend we did spend the day on the beach (see all the photos below) but we came down to be on Laughalot. We did enjoy the peace and quiet that the marina always has around this time of year, and of course on the beaches too.

We have several favorite beaches down here, some are in Florida, some in Alabama, but depending on the time of year, you can usually walk several miles in either direction and enjoy a quiet walk. As is customary for me, I try to get in about 5-7 miles while I am on the beach, here I am on my way, yes, it is cold. I don’t look all that thrilled but I really am glad to be there, even if the weather is a little harsh.

Scott going for a walk

Of course, DK has here own way of keeping warm, stay in the tent, don’t move much and have a ton of layers on. We do have some larger shots of the tent area on the beach but this close up gives a better idea of how cold it really is down here today.

Deborah's Beach Tent

It still made for a very nice sunset at the marina and we had a great weekend on Laughalot.

What You Do in January in a Cold Marina

View of the Sunset from the Marina

Deborah knitting on the boat in the marina

Now that the cold weather is here this is what you do, sit and knit. It is now to cold to sit outside in the cockpit for any extended period of time but we can still come down for the weekend and enjoy being here. Here is Deb sitting under a bunch of blankets knitting on the boat. Surprised she doesn’t have on her mittens and ear muffs but we did get the heater working this summer, thank goodness.

There will be warmer days but we still had a nice weekend down on the boat. Once again we were treated to wonderful sunsets, right off the transom but it was a little to cold to go outside and do much. What I should be doing right now is getting a list of all the things I want to do on the boat when it gets warmer but who can get motivated in this cold.

We did take several trips over to the beach where I could do some much needed walking and DK could knit, in the shelter of our tent. Photos of that will be coming soon, pictured above are two shots I took with my iPhone, not bad for a phone camera.  The first is of Deborah of course, knitting on the boat in the heat, the second was taken from the cockpit, both with my camera phone.