Friday, December 28, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Time/Friend

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Time/Friend.

At this time of year we have a tendency to look back, not just at the past year, but at our whole lives, and reflect on where we've been, and where we hope to go.  Looking back over many years, I would have to say that in oh so very many ways, time has been my friend.  Even a close friend.

But at least in the area of hair, I would have to say that time has NOT been my friend at all.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Table/Holiday

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Table/Holiday.

Here are a couple of tables from church, decorated for the holidays.

 The Advent Candles Wait Patiently On the Communion Table

A Nativity Set On A Table At The Back Of The Sanctuary

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Door/Church

The 2 Things Challenge this week is: Door/Church.

Just a sampling from around our little town of Columbiana, Alabama.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Shadow/Star

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Shadow/Star.
As the day wore on, the star headed bush man developed his usual five o'clock shadow. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Some of our camellias bloom in the summer, some in the dead of winter, and some in late November.  This is the latter.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Delay/Early

Some folks arrived early, only to sit through a seemingly long delay . . .

until . . . 

Join us at 2 Things Challenge and give us your interpretation.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday Night Moon

It was just a moon, like many other moons of my years, but I was just drawn to go outside and shoot it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Lunch

This year we decided to try a Texas themed grilled turkey breast we found in Southern Living magazine.
Brine it overnight and then forty to fifty minutes in a 350 to 400 degree grill should do it.  But I made a big mistake.  I did not notice that it was supposed to be "boned" turkey breast.  Notice the pink after about 15 minutes?  Well an hour and a half later in a 550 degree grill and it still wasn't up to temperature in the middle.  Fortunately we were able to salvage enough near the edges for lunch, which we ate while the rest of it continued to cook for probably another hour.  Gotta read the instructions.  It tasted good, though, and fortunately the Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie from the same magazine was different, very tasty, and very rich.

Friday, November 23, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Metal/Local

Birmingham, Alabama has long been known as the Pittsburgh of the South because of the iron and steel production in the area.  Local abundance of iron ore, limestone, and coal led to the development of many iron and steel production facilities and the subsequent degradation of air quality (very much improved since my arrival in 1971). 
I believe the property where I live was at one time part of a larger farm, and perhaps was a homestead for that farm.  For the last 30 or 40 years at least, it has been where people lived in a trailer, and then later the house we have.  Over the years, various pieces of metal and other junk, like discarded carpet, have gotten buried around the place, either by accident or intentionally.  This is a piece of local metal unearthed in landscaping efforts a few years ago.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Finally . . And Then Gone

Some Fall color finally popped around here last week, seemingly overnight.  And then just as quickly, it all went sort of brown.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I attended a little photography forum Wednesday night and one of the ladies there showed a bunch of photos using various moving camera techniques.  I had done a little in the past, but never really worked on it.  I thought this one, only the second frame I shot, looked a little like an impressionistic painting of my yard, but it sort of hurts my eyes and makes me dizzy too. Click on it for a slightly larger view.
This is straight out of the camera; ISO 100, f13, 1/13th sec, 17mm focal length.  Maybe I should turn off image stabilization, although that is probably way overwhelmed by this kind of motion.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Curve/Flat

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Curve/Flat.
I'm very late with my interpretation, but I have a very good excuse.  I forgot!!
I tried to capture some of the fall color reflected in the curved and flat surface of a blank DVD, but I kept getting the light patterns from the curved Fresnel grating created by the microscopic pattern on its surface.  Some of those proved as interesting as the fall color.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skirl, skirrrrl, skirl, skiiiiirrrrrl (Amaaaazing Graaaaaace)!

Five Points South in Birmingham is an interesting place.  You just never know what you'll see.  When I was leaving Highlands United Methodist Church a couple of Thursdays back, I heard the unmistakable skirl of bagpipes.  I wandered around the building, after retrieving my camera from the truck, and found this guy, all alone, standing on the front lawn of the church playing away.  
It was already 12:00, and I had an hour drive before lunch, so I didn't wait for him to finish.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Alike/Alive

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Alike/Alive.
Every time we drive by this barn my wife comments on how much this dam and foal look alike, and the mare came very much alive when I pulled off the road to make their photo.  She whinnied and snorted as if to tell me that stopping there was unusual and I should just move myself along.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Five For A Quarter

What can you get for a nickel these days?  Maybe 2 ounces of gasoline, even less milk, or a Dum Dum.  These were at the food counter checkout at the Old Baker Farm agritourism place last weekend, where you pay $10.00 to get in and go pick a pumpkin, plus other entertaining activities, and $3.00 for a roasted ear of corn. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Two Things Challenge: Verb/Hoof

The Two Things Challenge this week is Verb/Hoof.  At least in the South, if you aren't driving or riding to your destination, then you have to "hoof" it, especially if you are in a hurry.
I have a feeling this guy's destination is the same as his starting point, but he's hoofing it through Five Points South at lunchtime.

Monday, October 8, 2012

More Rudbeckia

Like I said last week, this stuff is blooming everywhere.  Here it is on a barbed wire fence, with a little Goldenrod thrown in on the left.  And Dusty (Rob), there's a little rusty strand just for you.

Friday, October 5, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Public/Smooth

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Public/Smooth.
The public pier at Ft. Walton Beach, Florida sitting in a very calm and smooth Gulf of Mexico.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Too Wet

Yesterday, Virginia Jones of BADP showed you a cotton boll left behind in the picking.  Today, I show you a cotton field that hasn't been picked yet, and probably won't be for a little while because the rain this week and fog this morning have left the cotton too wet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Black Eyes

These pepper the roadsides, fields, and meadows around here this time of year.  When I was a child, they were Black Eyed Susans.  I guess they still are, but they are also rudbeckia hirta.

Friday, September 28, 2012

2 Things Challenge: People/Up

The 2 Things Challenge this week is People/Up.

Two thirds of these people are simultaneously up.

Here's A Couple Of Drupes For You

Yep . . . that's what the seed bunches on sumac are called.  They are pretty this time of year, and we all learned something new.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Is Upon Us!

The Goldenrod is just beginning to bloom, a sure sign that Fall is here.  The bees are busy as . . . well . . . bees, getting ready for that nip in the air.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dead At 38, But Still Useful

I've always been fascinated by the texture of the top of an old wooden post.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Eyes/Many

The 2 Things Challenge for this week is Eyes/Many.

Spiders tend to have multiple sets of eyes (which I would consider many if it's more than one set), with each set having different functions.  They are not multiple facets on a single eye, like the house fly, but may have devolved from many faceted eyes.  The many eyes can be difficult to see, but they are there in the images below (maybe a click on the image will give you a little larger view).
This little fellow (I have no idea of any of their sex) has at least three sets that I can see.

I believe I can see at least two sets (maybe parts of three) in the above image, especially if I crop in close like the part below.

Most spiders have four sets, regardless of whether I can see them, but the Grand-daddy Long Legs above appears to only have one set of two.

The jumping spider has vision that is ten times as acute as the dragonfly, which has the best vision of the insect world, but I couldn't find one to photograph, plus the ones around here tend to be so hyper-active I don't believe I could get a decent photo without first killing the thing.

And finally, this guy's coloration is so black around the eyes I can't tell how many there are, but I've never seen a spider that looked anything at all like this before so I just had to put it in too.

Friday, September 14, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Local/Hot

The 2 Things Challenge this week is: Local/Hot.
Whether you think global warming is a man-made phenomenon and is dooming civilization unless we change our ways, or you think what's happening is a part of a naturally driven cycle and there isn't much man can do about it, doesn't much matter when the local temperature in the parking lot is 114F.  In Alabama that's HOT.
(WalMart parking lot, Alabaster, Alabama, July 1, 2012, 04:36pm)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Day/Ends

The 2 Things Challenge this week is : Day/Ends.
One brief moment in time is at the end of two different days.  The back end of one is always the front end of the next.  Funny how it always works out that way, and convenient too.  Imagine the confusion if things were otherwise.

Friday, August 31, 2012

2 Things Challenge: Portrait/Round

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Portrait/Round.

Three year old Mason LOVES toy trains, but I'm not sure he knows exactly what to make of the full sized versions at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera, Alabama.  He does look pretty confident in this pose, though.  We all took a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine as part of his birthday celebration last April.

Weekend Reflections: Downtown Birmingham

Some of the downtown Birmingham department store buildings have been restored and re-purposed, but alas, this one has not.  Seems a shame, but I'm sure it's all economics.  See more Weekend Reflections here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dove Update

I recently showed you a dove that had built her nest next to the window at church (here).  Well, now, two weeks later, we have one egg shoved to the edge of the nest and apparently abandoned.
But we also have a young dove sitting in the bushes close to the nest.
Ugly little fellow, but life goes on.