Sunday, September 27, 2009

September Flowers

The cooler air of September seems to agree with my flowers.... Begonias enjoying refreshing rain showers....

I don't remember the name of this one. It was a richer shade of pink in "real life".

Oops, how do these grandkids pop up among the flower pics?
Hmmm, and how did that dog's butt get in the pic???

Fresh, new dahlia just opening; oblivious to the fact that most flowers are fading away...

Well, this dahlia has no intention of fading...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer slips into Fall...

Summer flowers..... are making way.....

(Ahhhh, Miss Dandelion, your sunny face pops up reminding us that summer warmth still lingers in the air....)

.....for rich, golden-orange autumn colours

Mistress Marigold, will you please tell your photographer to keep her shadow to herself? I think it was her head that got in the way, darkening your bottom petals!

Oops, summer swings back in, not giving up yet.....

I love the deep oranges that flowers dress up in to let us know it's autumn..

Ladybug checking out a hiding place.... a place to snuggle when colder air freezes her tiny feet.

Roadside asters show off their bright purple hues...

And leaves begin to change....

Can you see that tiny airplane in the top left corner? It was a race to try and capture the orange leaves, airplane, and leave out some ugly hydro wires. I think I just made it!
Happy Autumn to everybody!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hiding Places

Pretty pink begonia sits on my front porch, enjoying the sunny day. Hmmmm... what's hiding under one of her petals?
Looks like a couple of creepy-crawlies....

Yikes! How did they all get in here? Must be having a party, or a sleep-over by the looks of things.

Even in this brand-new begonia bud, we can glimpse another creepy-crawly taking a nap. Or checking out the weather before heading off to find food.

Ah.. there he goes! Off to work. Or whatever earwigs do when they're not climbing on petals or napping in the buds.
Not my favourite of insects, but they do make taking flower pics more interesting and fun!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Painting the Deck

Our back deck has been badly in need of paint (or wood stain, actually) all summer.
But this summer in particular, has been cool and rainy - not good for staining an outdoor deck.

However, as we know, weather changes and we've been very lucky to finally, finally have a real summer! The sun has been shining every day for more than a week! I'd almost forgotten what real summer feels like. Shorts, T-shirts, flipflops and taking grandchildren on picnics in the park.

Friday morning, I decided to tackle the neglected and peeling deck (did not think to take before and after pics, but then - who'd want to see a crummy, old deck?).

Following hubby's instructions, I donned his gardening knee pads (don't know where mine went to), got down on hands and knees and began sanding and smoothing the old, flaking bits of paint.

"Don't do too much at once! Don't worry about being meticulous! Take your time!" Hubby cautioned.

Geeeez, as if........

I was not looking forward to this. It had to be done. So I was doing it.

Walked back into the kitchen for something. Hubby was washing the breakfast dishes. Suddenly this struck me as funny - this role reversal. Years ago, it would be me at the kitchen sink, while he was outside preparing to paint the deck.

It took me 3 days. I divided the deck into 3 portions. And each day did about 1 to 2 hours work.
The first day took the longest amount of time; the surface had to be prepared, paint mixed, brushes found, etc. etc.
Day 2 was a little quicker.
By Day 3 I was on a roll. Paint can on the deck, stirred and ready. Knee pads on. Brushes cleaned and standing by. I was sure this was going to be quick. Last day. Let's just do it. I had developed a rhythm and found this chore not all that bad after all.

Finished. Yes! But - there was still some stain left in the bottom of the can. There was no way I was going to save that small amount and anyway the top of the paint can was so rusted (had been sitting in our garage for a year or more) I'd never be able to get it back on.

Well, I could just second-coat part of the deck and be done with it.
I'd start at the back door and work downwards towards the opening in the surrounding hedge. Thought I was pretty smart to make sure I had an exit, since I'd already painted another area and could no longer use that exit.

Made sure the back door was open. O.K. - let's go. I slapped on paint as fast as I could, moving plants and tables as I went, instead of getting them out of the way properly beforehand. I did not know how much surface I could cover with the remnants of paint. Ran into the BBQ. Geeeze, had to move that too.

Finally, I'd had it. Only a few brushstrokes left in the can, but I was done. Totally. Tired. Ready to quit. I exited the deck and ran around to the garage.
The back door was open, but guess what? I had started painting at the back door......
Nooooo - this could not be happening! I had planned so carefully.
How do I get back in the house?
I could ring the front door bell, but I knew Hubby was upstairs getting washed and dressed for the day. I just could not bring myself to make him walk all the way downstairs, open the door for me and have to climb back upstairs to finish. It would wear him down too much.

So I did the only thing left.
Feeling like I was an actor in a comedy television show, I stomped over my freshly painted deck, leaving footprints in the dark brown stain. Ewwwwww - it was slippery!
Turning around, I hunched over, butt stuck up in the air, and "erased" my footprints one by one, (using the very last bits of paint) until I got to the back door.

Once inside, I had to stand on one foot, slip off one shoe at a time and place it carefully upside down on the floor so it wouldn't stain.

It will be a long time before I do that again!

Hornet's nest taken with my new camera, using the zoom lens. No rickety ladder this time!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My New Camera

I splurged and bought myself a new camera!

Fascinated with raindrops on flowers, leaves, and even spider webs (although the spider web pics did not turn out - more practice needed), I wanted to capture the magic that only fresh, early morning rain can bring to soften flowers and green foliage.

Other bloggers have posted such gorgeous macro pics, I wanted a camera with better macro capabilities too.

This is such a delicate and tiny flower. I have no idea what it is, except it must be a weed as it's growing in one of my pansy pots. I want to learn how to bring the flower into detailed focus and not the leaves so much.
Looks like we're in a rainforest...

Mother Nature adding softness to pink rose impatiens. My camera picks up more detail in the leaves rather than the flowers. I wonder if I can change that.

I also would like to learn how to capture sunlight. Something that is probably impossible to do, but still. The early morning sun shining through my hummingbird feeder made it look positively jewel-like. However, the pic did not capture this at all. It just looks yellow.
Poor little wasp. Trapped inside.