Saturday, June 30, 2012

Up Early

At The Crack Of Noon

I don’t want to waste the extra second we get today. (Explanation by NASA)

Start off with a tasty breakfast.

Then sort through the pictures that have accumulated since Wednesday. There are a few that could be displayed on Flickr, (see the slideshow below). While they upload, I eat a healthy breakfast and do a bit of reading.

A Few Photo Highlights;

I had hoped to go see what new fresh produce was appearing at the Saturday farmers market, but they close each week about the time my eyes are focusing. (The crack of noon)

Yesterday I was up early to go the the food distribution at the convention center. I drive Mark Relly, and whomever else happens to need a ride each month, to pick up commodities and produce. At certain times of the year, this requires me to be up at the crack of dawn.

This might be a good day to explore some new photo opportunities around this picturesque part of the world where I am experiencing the amazing gift of existence.

When I think of the damages caused to nature, people, and the environment, that are included with each gallon of gas that I burn, it makes me more judicious in choosing where, how much, and why, I travel.

On the other hand, I realize that if I go out and photograph some of this great life we have now, the next generations will at least have pictures of what a wonderful place this used to be.

Also on my list is a fishing license, and a senior parks pass. I would like to fish now and then, and I do enjoy visiting the parks and recreation areas around here. So, clearly, I would be well served by obtaining the appropriate permits to do so.

Well, now it is time grab my cameras and head out into the grandeur of the northstate landscape to save little pieces of time through the magic of digital images.

There is no rush. Today we have an extra second.

Today’s Video;

Tokyo from Lukas Backland on">Vimeo.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big Spots Replaced

With Little Spots

Yesterday, I took  advantage of the rain that allowed me to towel away the big dust spots left by the previous week's rain shower. I guess it was a two towel job because this morning, instead of big dust spots there were a whole bunch of little dust spots left by the subsequent rain showers later that evening.

All day we had clear blue skies with a few clouds around the fringes of the horizon.

As usual, there were a few flowers that insisted that I take their picture. The colors and beauty could not be ignored.

I didn’t get around back to photograph the flowers in Dorothy’s garden, but I did get to see her and her dog Murphy, so I took his picture instead.

I sang the song, “All I Do Is Dream Of You”, yesterday at the Treehouse music matinee, and it has been stuck in my head ever since. It’s a fun song that I have played with the LMP Trio, but I had never tried singing it until Monday.

In one of Marian’s emails, she mentioned that there may be a possible live performance coming up for the LMP Trio. That sounds like fun to me.

The moon is reappearing in another round of the earthly skies. I will see just how detailed a picture I can get this time.

According to the weather forecast, we should have clear skies for at least a week or two. The blue skies will be accompanied by the warm temperatures of summer in the northstate.

Today’s Classic Video;

Music To My Ears

Sunshine, Clouds

And Rainbows

Clouds drifted slowly overhead from the west, and lingered over Redding while leaving the eastern mountain range sunny and clear for most of the day.

When old Sol did shine through holes in the cloud cover, I was able to get some pictures of the gardens behind building A.

There were colors and combinations that I don’t normally get to photograph out back with the sun upon them. Today was special and I got these out of the ordinary views.

The opportunities for capturing color and light continued as I got another chance to snap a few pictures outside the dining room just before we began the Monday Treehouse Cabaret and Poetry Hour.

The sunlight was diffuse, giving rich color tones to some of the roses along the parking lot by the patio.

It was our resident poet’s birthday, so after the music and poetry, Margaret shared her cake with those of us who were there. Jackie and Darlene baked the cake. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate whipped cream frosting.

Margaret successfully blows out the candles.

After enjoying a piece of cake and conversation, I packed up the instruments and equipment so I could take them back upstairs. The clouds overhead finally grew too heavy to hold all the water they were accumulating and it began to rain.

Off to the east, MT Lassen was still basking in the sunshine.

I figured the big drops of rain that were wetting the Buick made it the perfect time to towel off the water spots on the car. It was a nice gift and it saved me the 2 bucks I was going to spend at the coin op car wash up on Lake Blvd.

That extra two dollars came in handy when I went to Raley’s to get another box of one of my favorite organic cereals. Soon, I was sitting with the laptop on my lap, editing the photos taken during the day.

My phone rang right before the door bell was rung. It was two of my neighbors letting me know that there was a rainbow now appearing outside to be admired and photographed.

The setting sun had managed to peek under the clouds and raindrops refracted the low angled light into all the colors of a rainbow. There was even a double portion to be seen.

It was a lovely sunset no matter how you looked at it. What a day.

Today’s Light Video;

Passing Through from Olafur Haraldsson on">Vimeo.

On The Horizon

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Clear Skies

Mild Temperatures

We had a beautiful day with temperatures in the high 70s.

I didn’t start taking pictures today until around 7 PM. That’s when I returned from singing and playing music at the Jefferson State Blues Society Sunday Jam. It was fun.

I spent most of the day catching up on the things I needed to do here in my apartment and tidying up the data on this computer.

It was nice to experience such pleasant weather, here in Redding. It reminds me of last year when the rest of the country was melting in record heat at the same time that our weather was relatively mild.

Our overall temperature for Redding last summer was a couple of degrees higher than it has ever been recorded. But, since we didn’t have our usual bunch of 114 and 115° days, it didn’t seem like a record-setting summer to most of us.

I feel my energy returning. It seemed to have taken a brief vacation for a few days. Some of my friends would think that was because of the summer solstice, while others feel that the summer solstice should be a source of new energy.

All I know is that my get up and go seems to have returned as evidenced by the fact that I got out and played at the Sunday blues jam.

I hope you had a good weekend.

Today’s Mild Video;


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Best Gift?

The Present

This rose caught my eye the way the midday sun enhanced its color as I was crossing the parking lot toward Sandi’s car. It was a gift at that moment. For soon the sun was flickering through the trees on a different flower.

This evening, after I returned from singing and playing at the Shasta Blues Society Thursday Jam, I took another look at the flowers. They were lit up again, only this time it was from a much lower angle. The sun was muted by haze and a few clouds.

That same rose was illuminated, producing a new mixture of colors and light just for that moment. What a nice gift for my photographic enjoyment. As you look at it now, it is a present just for you.

As I remember now, the way it looked and smelled then, that is also the present.

Will I be able to make pretty designs when I whip up whipping cream myself?

I am waiting to see what kind of whipping device presents itself to me before I spend too much time in speculation.

I have never tried those whirling swizzle stick frother-whipper things. I wonder if that will be what pops up in some future present, or will I find a hand mixer on sale instead?

I do know that I plan to only whip up enough for one serving at a time. The spinning swizzle stick seems like it would be easier to wash after each use than a blender, or mix-master.

I like keeping my quests to those things that I can realistically accomplish.

I find it less frustrating than spending all my time trying to protect what is left of the planet from the overwhelmingly destructive practices of money-crazed industrialists.

I donated $5 to the democratic convention. We/They even have a car in the race there in that 'NASCAR land' they call the Southeastern United States.

I am hoping that the car is fueled by good old American ethanol from the local moonshine stills.

We had a nice sunset today, here in Redding. I sincerely hope yours was enjoyable too, ( for my readers in some other parts of the world, I hope you are enjoying the sunset you are presently, or about to, watch ).

Today’s G.O.T.* Video;

Release The Butterflies

*Game Of Thrones political attack ad

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice

The Day Is Long

When I first went outside today, I noticed clear, blue sky and crisp views of the distant mountains. It was a probable promise of great photo possibilities on this, the longest day of 2012.

I immediately noticed that with less than a minute of standing still, I could feel the sun’s radiation burning my skin. I also noticed that no one else was standing around in the sun.

I took a few pictures of Lassen and Shasta Bally from the parking lot and went into the mailroom to see what might be awaiting perusal. I brought Erma’s MacBook Pro and iPhone with me when I went back up to my apartment.

I noticed the other day that she wasn’t getting all the interactive magic from those two devices, so I spent a little time tidying them up and making them more fun for Erma to use.

After I showed Erma some of the things she could now do with her MacBook Pro and iPhone, I walked across the parking lot and went up the stairwell on the east side of A building so I could snap a pic or two of MT Shasta from the second floor landing.

I could also see the wind turbines on top of Hatchet Ridge, so I focused a few shots on them before I stepped inside, out of the heat.

When I got to my door at the other end of the hallway, I looked outside and through the latticework I could see a bird perched on the fence that encloses the Fido play area.

I wasn’t up to going back out in the heat, just then, but I thought I would try zooming through the glass door, threading a diamond in the lattice, and focusing on the bird.

The Lumix FZ5 let me focus through the diamond with precision and ease.

I did go out again around 6:00pm to return a book to the Library and to Trader Joe’s to get milk and ice cream. When I returned to the Treehouse, I noticed the temperature had fallen to 99 degrees. Chilly.

It was beginning to get a bit hazy. MT Shasta was no longer crisp and distinct through the days accumulation of photo-chemicals, dust and pollen. I could still see features on Lassen fairly well, but it wouldn’t be a sharp sunset on either one.

I took one last picture of MT Lassen and called it a day, (even though it remained a day for another 2 ½ to 3 hours due to the summer solstice).

Today’s Short Video;

Quick Snack

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Caught On Film

er...CCD Image Sensor*

After the Monday Music Fest, here in the Treehouse dining room, I was packing up the equipment and someone exclaimed; “Oh look, there is the fox.”

I had been hearing about the fox and kits that had a den under the tool shed down by the turnaround, but no one had got a picture, yet.

The fox slipped behind some bushes near the patio so I slinked outside with the TZ3 in hand. By the time I reached the spot where the fox had been, it had vanished. Perhaps it ‘jumped over the lazy dog’.

I finally caught a glimpse of movement in the corner of my vision while I was photographing a rose. I quickly lifted the camera and snapped the shutter, but before I could take another, the fox had fled the scene.

*The CCD is a major technology for digital imaging. In a CCD image sensor, pixels are represented by p-doped MOS capacitors. These capacitors are biased above the threshold for inversion when image acquisition begins, allowing the conversion of incoming photons into electron charges at the semiconductor-oxide interface; the CCD is then used to read out these charges. (Source - Wikipedia)

Crazy Politicians Exposed
Excerpt from Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest

Ah, nothing like some good black helicopter fantasies out in Big Sky country.
It was a blood-boiler of a story, a menacing tale of government gone too far: The Environmental Protection Agency was spying on Midwestern farmers with the same aerial "drones" used to kill terrorists overseas.

This month, the idea has been repeated in TV segments, on multiple blogs and by at least four congressmen. The only trouble is, it isn't true.

It was never true. The EPA isn't using drone aircraft—in the Midwest or anywhere else.

And GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg got caught repeating this latest lunatic bullshit:

"The Obama Administration has, once again, stepped way over the line," Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) said in a news release. He was sending a letter to the EPA, responding to "reports" about drone use. "First they wanted to expand their authority to regulate water, and now they want to use air drones to spy on American citizens." (Source - Daily Kos)

Fire Near The Treehouse

A fire department spokesman stated that it was started by 3 kids playing with fire. It burned 20 acres of hillside by Clay street and Buckeye Terrace, (two streets not far from here).

Air support and fire fighting crews on the hillside had it stopped in an hour or so.

All three little fire-starters are under 10 years old and were released into their parents custody.

The parents may be held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire.

There were some very skilled pilots in a variety of firefighting aircraft.

The winds were from the north today. They blew the smoke away from the Treehouse and off toward the river. A few residents came outside to see what all the sirens and airplanes were about.

I joined them to watch the planes and helicopters flying around, above, and through the smoke.

Today’s Soothing Video;

On The Beach Of Dreams