Lunar Eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse – Total Photographer Insanity!

April 17, 2014 - The last time we had a total lunar eclipse, it was a few days before Christmas and I photographed the moon using my old 40D camera and my 400mm lens.  A few days later, Rich surprised me with the Beast!  Ever since then, I’ve been waiting for the next eclipse, so that I could get […]

Sparkles in the Sun

Colorful Water Droplets, Part 2

December 7, 2013 - In my last post I wrote about photographing pansies under a hose.  After I finished playing with the flowers, I was inspired to try a different take on my Colorful Water Droplet experiment.  With my first colorful water droplets, I focused close on a single water droplet as it dripped from my kitchen faucet.  The […]

Cat-o-Lantern

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Goldilocks!

October 31, 2013 - Happy Halloween! The cats and I convinced Rich to carve a cat-o-lantern again this year.  He does such a good job with them!  Goldilocks says the pumpkin is orange, just like her.  Whiskey wanted to call it a jack-o-loopy.  Squirt just sat on the grill and supervised. I experimented with my flash in order to […]

Here Comes Santa Claus

December 12, 2012 - Tonight was our city’s annual Santa Claus visit. Accompanied by police and firemen, Santa rides his sleigh up and down all the streets. His helpers throw candies to the kids on the sidewalks. It was fun to walk out and see tons of people in the streets to wait for Santa. Carla had to work, […]

Sunset Walk

October 29, 2012 - A few nights ago I had my wide-angle lens with me on our evening walk.  Our neighborhood Sandhill Cranes decided to cross the road and walk right in front of me.  They made great silhouettes against the setting sun.

A New Day

October 1, 2012 - I’ve been having fun playing with some post-processing effects and filters. This is my latest experiment, using an image of a half-open Mexican Sunflower. I blurred the background a little bit to make the flower pop, then I played with the colors a little to darken the background. I learned something, too – these effects […]

Precarious Perch

September 26, 2012 - I photographed this dragonfly in my backyard a few days ago when it was really windy. I was amazed at how well he held on! There are tons of dragonflies in the backyard these days. They are relatively easy to photograph (when it’s not windy) because they always seem to fly back to the same […]

Experiment with Textures

September 8, 2012 - I took this image of the late afternoon sun shining through my window. (Note: next time I need to clean the window first!) I found that it wasn’t warm enough or sun-shiney enough for my liking. I also didn’t like seeing every scratch on the window (thank you Whiskey!) So I decided to experiment with […]

Blue Moon

September 1, 2012 - Last night’s Blue Moon was the second full moon in the month of August, and it’s the last Blue Moon we’ll have for a few years. I had hoped to walk down to our neighborhood lake to photograph it as it rose, but the clouds were thick and the picture would have been bad. So […]

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 13, 2012 - I spent yesterday afternoon with my parents in their backyard.  We had a fun time planting and transplanting, trying to make sure there’s enough nectar to satisfy Mum-mum’s visiting hummers.  When I saw the Red-Bellied Woodpeckers eating oranges in Dick’s backyard, though, I couldn’t resist going to get my camera… These silly birds will land […]

Something Different

January 27, 2012 - Rich has been very interested in astronomy lately, and while I was on Christmas break, I went out and tried The Beast on a few planets.  I was amazed to find that I could see the bands on Jupiter, along with several moons!  This is a highly cropped image taken with The Beast and a […]

Red Next to Yellow…

August 18, 2011 - This tiny snake surprised us on our walk the other day. He couldn’t have been more than six inches long. I snapped a quick picture and moved on. I don’t mind snakes, but I don’t really like them, either!

Cloudscapes

August 16, 2011 - The sunsets in the last couple nights have been pretty, with the clouds from the afternoon thunderstorms making pretty cloudscapes in the fading light. I played with HDR and came up with these images:

Lots of Clouds Lately

August 4, 2011 - Not that I’m complaining…clouds help cool things down in the hot summer weather, and they give me interesting photographs! Now if only Emily could manage to dump about 10 inches of rain on us….at night! and then there be a nice cool, clear morning afterward…. :)

Summer Sunset

July 28, 2011 - The sunset a few nights ago was just gorgeous. There was a lot of rain around, so plenty of good clouds to add color and texture to the sky. The first image below is a stitched panorama, and the others are interesting cloud formations.

Sunset Colors

July 15, 2011 - Now that we’re fully into the summer rainy season, it’s harder to do evening walks, and even harder to get good sunset pictures. These were taken by the Lakehurst pond. There is an Osprey nest on a cell phone tower on the other side of the road, and we heard the juvenile Osprey calling as […]

Backyard Rainbow

July 11, 2011 - We didn’t get much rain tonight, but we did get a rainbow!  I noticed it and ran to get the wide-angle lens.  When I went outside, I was happy to find that I could see almost the full rainbow, and it was actually a double rainbow.  I worked quickly, because the light was changing very […]

Bunny Hour

July 7, 2011 - We’ve started seeing rabbits during our evening walks again. They seem to like the golf course behind Lakehurst. Some are fairly tame and let me approach them. This guy was a little dubious about me, but he allowed me to kneel in front of him to take this picture. I tried several camera angles, and […]

Meet Murphy!

June 27, 2011 - I have to introduce you to one of our neighborhood’s newest and cutest residents.  This is Murphy, one of the little dogs we often meet when we’re out for walks in the evening.  He’s adorable, and so full of energy! He was about three months old when I took this picture.  Now he’s over five […]

Moonrise Teleconverter Fun

May 25, 2011 - Last week we had a nice full moon.  Rich and I were returning from a walk as we watched the moon start to climb in the sky.  I thought the Moon would be a good subject for experimentation with various teleconverters.  Here are the various combinations of lenses and TCs that I tried: – 70-200mm […]

Silly Squirrels!

April 25, 2011 - I promised to share a picture of our crazy neighborhood squirrels with the two little girls who live across the street.  They’ve been watching my bird feeder waiting to see birds.  I told them that we have a squirrel who comes and hangs upside down to reach for the food.  Wouldn’t it be funny to […]

Full Moon

February 18, 2011 - There was a full moon tonight, and I couldn’t resist trying out The Beast on it. I attached my 1.4x teleconverter, which with my 1.6 camera crop factor yielded me 1120mm of focal length. The moon was full-frame!

Photographing the Lunar Eclipse

December 26, 2010 - Last Monday’s lunar eclipse was special because it occurred on the Winter Solstice.  To Rich and me, it was special because we didn’t have to work the next day, and we could stay up and watch it.  Despite the freezing cold weather, I got the bright idea of taking pictures of the moon at 10 […]

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas!

December 15, 2010 - Santa visited tonight!  Winter Garden always sends Santa around with a fire truck escort.  Santa and his sleigh go up and down each street, and his helpers toss candy to onlookers.  It’s a great tradition! Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas! Inside, we assembled cookie plates for family and friends.  This year Rich outdid himself, with […]

Fall Colors…in Florida!!

December 13, 2010 - The cold temperatures of the past few weeks have caused some of our trees to put on a more impressive color display than usual. Rich drove along the 429 highway this afternoon and I took some pictures out the window. They were surprisingly clear given that we were going 65+mph!

Hummingbird Moth

October 26, 2010 - Mum-mum and I have been talking about these hummingbird moths, so I tried out my new flash cord and took a picture of one tonight. They are hard to photograph because they do not come out until dusk, then they don’t sit still for long while they are nectaring. They seem very fond of my […]

Squirrel Alert!

October 25, 2010 - We’ve never had many squirrels in the neighborhood, probably because the area is an old orange grove, and the oak trees planted by the builder haven’t grown very tall yet. Last spring we saw a family of three squirrels together in our front yard a couple of times. But we haven’t seen any squirrels for […]

First Pansies of the Year!

October 21, 2010 - It’s the most wonderful day of the year! Squirt has been dreaming of this day for the past six months, ever since he took his last bite of pansy back in the early spring. He’s been getting pretty desperate, too. I found this note in my car after work this afternoon: So we stopped at […]

Not an Anhinga

October 19, 2010 - On our walk last night, we passed the pond and thought we saw our regular Anhinga diving for his dinner. We saw his two wings emerge from the pond…then we realized this was not acting like a bird…so I focused with the camera, and snapped the shutter just as a diver looked up, right at […]

Mmmm…Strawberries

October 18, 2010 - The strawberry plants from Mum-mum are fun to watch. The flowers turn into tiny strawberries seemingly overnight. Only about 10 days till pansies for Squirt!!!

Strawberries

October 12, 2010 - This is a cool set of stacked pots and some young strawberry plants. I can’t wait until it’s covered in berries! Thank you, Mum-mum and Dyeyo. :)

Papitos Backyard Birds

October 9, 2010 - Mum-mum and Dyeyo are enjoying the return of the warblers to their backyard. Dyeyo and I took our cameras outside this afternoon to photograph some of the customers at Missy’s Diner. The hummingbird didn’t show herself, but the sparrows sure did! I was a little concerned when I saw the pictures of this House Sparrow, […]

What were we thinking? Part 4

October 2, 2010 - By 5:00 all the sod was out. We have a front yard again! It’s so much more attractive than our big brown mud pie. :) Rich did a great job resodding the area between the sidewalk and driveway. There are lots of cuts because of the shape of the driveway and because of the utility […]

What we were thinking? Part 3

October 2, 2010 - This one is definitely “what were we thinking?”, not just “what was Jess thinking?” It’s so much cheaper to put the sod out yourself…but you sure work hard to do it! The sod company seemed to have lost our order, so after several phone calls, our sod was finally delivered at 10am. (Right when it […]

What was Jess thinking!? Part 2

October 1, 2010 - Well, the sod never showed up, but we did get the new sprinkler valves all in. They even work. I dug up the pipes and the area for the new valve box, then Rich did all the pipe plumbing magic while I moved around the mulch. Then we got it all filled in. Thanks again […]

What was Jess thinking!? Part 1

October 1, 2010 - Rich made me revise the title. Originally it was “What were we thinking!?” but he says it’s all my fault! The smell of fall in the air and the slightly cooler temperatures made me very ambitious to do yard work. This weekend we are installing the valves for our new microjet sprinkler system, and we […]

Bunny

September 23, 2010 - We haven’t seen a bunny around Stoneybrook West for several months. It was fun to see this one tonight and realize that they are still around!

It’s raining, it’s pouring!

August 27, 2010 - When the lawn guy said that we needed to water in today’s fertilizer treatment, I’m not sure he was talking about inches and inches of water!!  It poured tonight. I guess Squirt’s rain dance was pretty effective! Go on and shake your tail, Squirt We need ra-ain! This whole drought thing is such a pa-ain. […]

Snail

August 21, 2010 - We noticed a snail crawling across the window this morning.  It was a fun opportunity to play with my new 7D.  I attached the 70-200mm lens (for nice telephoto bokeh) and then added a 25mm extension tube to let me focus closer.  I was amazed at the 7D’s autofocus.  My old camera never used to […]

Turtles at Stoneybrook West

July 27, 2010 - We haven’t been seeing very many turtles at the Circle B Bar Reserve lately.  But Rich found a kindred turtle spirit living a few blocks away from us.  We had to laugh when we first saw this yard statue of a turtle with his golf gear.  It felt very appropriate for Stoneybrook West!