Monday, November 28, 2005

Intermezzo: Weather Report

Water ballet

Yesterday Mary and I walked around five miles; today the rain keeps us inside. Earlier she had removed the window screen to aid my picture-taking through the glass. Again I experimented with the manual controls, choosing faster shutter speeds and underexposing shots that I later tweaked in MS Photo Editor, to bring up their brightness and contrast.

We had a low-key holiday, filled with magical walks after sundown, talking with folks out walking dogs or just walking, making a new friend....

I had brought our portulacas inside when the nights became cold. They now sit on our southeast-facing window sill and bloom when the sun is out. Not today, though. Beyond the window are two ex-pickle (maybe ex-olive) barrels, approximately 50-gallon capacity each, that hold surplus rain. The "water ballet" in the photo up top took place inside the black barrel cover closer to the window.

We have two rain barrels and several containers to hold surplus, which we use for everything from watering plants to flushing the toilet. Our rain barrels have tubes (see below) to handle most overflow conditions but in heavy rain even those get overwhelmed. Here, water from our downspout extender proves too much for our 75-gallon-capacity container.

Water spills out of our rain barrel's overflow tube at lower right. Its current rounds our teal tub -- one of our containers for excess water -- and flows toward the upper left. In drier times the teal tub has served as home to one of our local black widow spiders.

Much of our furniture and linens are around 40 years old or more. Our couch is draped in sheets, including these pink and blue striped ones from the 60s. Also on the couch -- and the only item I moved for this shot -- is the decades-newer purple pot-holder.

Red warmed my lap on this day of heavy rains. My camera was next to me on the couch. In addition to cropping I applied some watercolor effects courtesy of MS Photo Editor.

Yesterday the sky was much brighter.

Daisy is backlit by morning sunlight, posed on top of a box that's on top of a four-drawer file cabinet. To get to her "pedestal," she raced up the inclined back of our weight bench, and was very cooperative (nay, blase) while I experimented with the tripod and manual controls.

On Sunday we set out in the midafternoon, taking a different route than usual: down to and through our community park and out the other end, before heading back toward the highway. I saw fiery leaves climbing a power pole on a stretch of road we hadn't explored before.

I had an audience. Mary told me she heard a couple of people talking about "somebody taking pictures." I looked up, saw two women a couple of houses away. I called greetings to them, told them about the pretty red leaves.

One of them mused, "I guess you can find beauty in just about anything." I heartily agreed.

I thought two of my shots were worth piecing together, even though they don't match up exactly, because I like the way the coils interact.

We came across this white-winged dove further down the road. According to the Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America, this species, Zenaida asiatica, ranges down to Peru and was initially imported to southern Florida. A few winter along the Gulf of Mexico, which might explain this one. None of our field guides shows this kind of scissored tail, although the markings are right; we think a would-be predator may have plucked some of the tail feathers.

The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology has much more info -- including the fact that there are 12 subspecies of white-winged dove.

Sunset Strip

Otherwise known as photograph numbers 4, 9, 14, 16, and 17 out of 20. I was stopping at just about every intersection, jockeying for sight lines.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make me feel so lazy...all the walking you and Mary have been doing...and I haven't.

That's wild about you and Brother Blue!! Janet sent me a link to a website that had a picture of him. He hasn't changed!

9:16 PM  

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