Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bees Love Lamb's Ears

Lamb's Ears Are A'buzzin'


It seems just yesterday my Lamb's Ears were only inches high. Then the flower spikes began to grow. Now the small flowers are in full bloom and the bees love them. You can see one foraging bee in the bottom left in the photo below. You may also spot a couple of blurry ones. Bees don't stay still very long. And if one is still, several others are in the air or about to be.

Bees Love Lamb's Ears and Other Herbs
Bee on Lamb's Ears, © B. Radisavljevic

If you've ever tried to photograph bees, you know they like to move to a different flower as soon as you get them in focus. When my herbs are in bloom, each seems like an airport. I decided to make a brief video to capture a few seconds of the bees moving around on this clump of Lamb's Ears . You can see how fast they are and how quickly they move from flower to flower. Unfortunately they also insisted on flying into the shadow and out.




Playing with a Bee Photo


I did manage to get one bee to stay still and visible for long enough to get a decent shot. I played around with a focus effect to blur the background and make the bee easy to see. Bees not only move all the time, but they also hide. Sometimes all you will see is the head or the stinger end.



Another reason I used the focus effect was to blur the rhubarb chard plant that was bolting. I liked its colors, but it was looking the worse for wear and it would have been a distraction. Leaving all the details in the chard would also have made the text on this photo harder to see.

Have You Ever Hunted Bees with a Camera?


ipad mini: Praying Mantis Pair Mating Cover For The iPad MiniPraying Mantis Pair Mating Cover For The iPad Mini


Some insects are fairly easy to photograph, but not the bee. Ladybugs are pretty cooperative. So is the praying mantis. They don't exactly pose, but neither do they keep moving most of the time. Here are some of the photos I got of them and put on Zazzle products.

You will notice that they are all on herbs. The Praying Mantis is on mullein. The ladybug is on borage. And I did capture that one bee on the Spanish lavender for my jigsaw puzzle.



Which insect do you think is easiest to photograph?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Just Me, Happy in the Garden

I Like to Be Outside 

It's theme day for City Daily Photo bloggers again. The theme this month is "Me." So how does one define oneself in a photo? I don't really do selfies except as shadow photos. The photo I like best of myself is this one my husband took of me at my request. I was about to write an article for Squidoo (now gone) to review my garden kneeler, on which I'm sitting.



This photo is about as "me" as it can be. It shows me resting in my garden after doing some weeding. (You can see the review of Why I Love my Garden Kneeler, here.)

Why This Photo Is So "Me"


I love being in a garden. I love working in the garden as the birds sing and keep an eye on me from a fence or from a nearby tree.


I love getting my hands in the soil and helping things grow. And I like doing these things in the solitude of the wine country around me. I love looking across my fence on three sides to see my neighbors' vineyards. I like the fresh air and the quiet broken mostly by birdsong. These are the things that make me feel most alive.

Yet the shirt is also me. It represents the hours of my life I've spent in front of my computer writing. After Squidoo was sold to HubPages, I left some of my best work there, especially the articles inspired by my time in the garden. You can see those articles and those on other topics about the things I love on my HubPages profile. 

 I now do most writing on my own blogs. This one is my fun blog. It's where I relax and share my photos of the places and nature I love so much. I share more of my gardening moments at Barb's Garden Observations.

This Is Also Me


The photo below is one of the shadow selfies. It shows me photographing my world. If I'm not in the garden or at the computer or doing chores, you will probably find me outside taking pictures. In this photo I was documenting a major event in Paso Robles. It was raining!



I'm looking forward to see what the other City Daily Photo bloggers have posted to present themselves to the world. You can see their photos here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Theme Day: Flowering Trees Laugh

Laugh!


Laughter is the theme this month for City Daily Photo Bloggers. As I walk the streets of my neighborhood and look in my own backyard, I see everything in bloom. I cannot help but think of a previous post, Earth Laughs in Flowers, based on a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Some of the photos in that post were taken  near where I took this photo last week. As I saw this tree I could not help but think it was laughing in flowers.


The tree appears to be partying with its neighbors,  the yellow flowers which have decided to climb it and the wisteria growing on the fence behind. I love the way the wisteria looks hanging from the fence. I may just get some for myself to hang among my climbing roses.




How do you think it would look next to my Cecile Brunners on my back fence?



Crape Myrtle trees also seem to be laughing when in bloom. You can't help but notice their mirth. I found this one on Main Street in Templeton.



When I see the blooming trees laughing, I can't help but laugh along with them as I enjoy their beauty. How about you?

"Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil." — Reginald Heber

See how other City Daily Photo Bloggers treated this theme.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory

Ivory Dominates in This Theme Day Cat Photo


The challenge for this theme is to post a photo where just one color dominates. I could have easily gone with green, but then I discovered this photo I took Friday afternoon which is mostly ivory.



Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat by Ivory Color Garage Door, © B. Radisavljevic


The Siamese cat caught my attention as she wandered around this xeriscaped yard. She finally wandered over to pose in front of the ivory garage door beside this tall shrub. So I decided to use this as the theme photo. The next one is a variation.  I allowed a few more of the colors into this one.

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat by Ivory Color Garage Door Sniffing Shrub, © B. Radisavljevic


Kitty sat for a while near the middle of the yard.

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat on Rock Mulch, © B. Radisavljevic


Kitty Leads us away from the Theme to More Colorful Surroundings


Theme Day: One Color - Ivory
Siamese Cat beside Bed of Jupiter's Beard, © B. Radisavljevic

This clump of Jupiter's Beard adds some needed color to this yard. Like the other plants, it doesn't need much water to look lovely. It's a very popular plant in my neighborhood, and I finally got some it it planted in my yard. I'm waiting for it to bloom.

The most colorful thing in this garden is this colorful sculpted snail -- definitely a bright piece of yard art. It appears to be a planter, but I couldn't get close enough to see if anything was planted there yet. Time will tell.

Theme Day: One Color - Ivory: Siamese Cat and Colored Snail
Siamese Cat beside Colorful Snail Planter, © B. Radisavljevic


Kitty seems to prefer to look back at me than face the snail, even though I was much less colorful. Do you think that the snail fits well within this garden? Contrast it with the rest of the garden art and meet the other cat that lives here, in this post: Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard

See how other City Daily Photo Bloggers treated the One Color theme here.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard

The Cat on The Rocks


As I was walking around my neighborhood this afternoon, I almost missed this very still cat crouching in the rocks in this xeriscaped yard. She appeared to be hunting and waiting patiently for some prey to come out. I'm guessing she may have been waiting for a lizard, since I've seen a lot of cats hunt them, but she also may have heard a rodent.


Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Cat waiting for prey in xeriscaped yard, © B. Radisavljevic


The cat was alert, not asleep. She was very patient. She didn't move during the ten-fifteen minutes I was taking photos of the yard.

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Cat waiting for prey in xeriscaped yard, © B. Radisavljevic


The Xeriscaping and Yard Art


Xeriscaping is landscaping that is designed to use very little water. It depends upon drought-resistant plants, drip irrigation, mulch, and decorative art to make it beautiful. You can see all these things in this yard. The cat I introduced above lives here, and if you look very carefully, you might see her lurking behind the rocks. But you need very sharp eyes.


Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic


Notice the rock mulch, drip irrigation, and drought-resistant plants used in the design. The benches are there so the owners can enjoy the garden. The cats also seem to enjoy roaming here. Below is a closer look at the plants around the tabby cat. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Cat  in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic


The  homeowner next door also made good use of yard art. I thought his cactus sculpture was clever. The tortoises, ant and bunny also caught my attention. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Yard Art in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic


Here's a closer look at the ant and the tortoises. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Close look at Ant and Tortoise Sculptures in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic



The sculptures above matched the coloring of the rocks pretty well and blended nicely with the plants. They didn't try to steal the show. The art below grabs a bit more attention. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard
Colorful Snail Yard Art in Xeriscaped Yard, © B. Radisavljevic


The snail is brightly colored. It appears to be a planter. I will show you a closer look at it tomorrow. That Siamese cat you see on the walkway in the background will star in tomorrow's post.  Stay tuned. 

This last photo shows the edge of the property near the sidewalk. You can see how the branches of a tree which I'm assuming the homeowner removed or trimmed features prominently as a border. 

Cat on the Rocks in a Xeriscaped Yard


Did you get any xeriscaping ideas from these photos?

Get more ideas from my gardening blog, Barb's Garden Observations.  




Saturday, February 10, 2018

Photo Journal of an Atypical Day of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

An Accident at Kennedy Fitness Paso Adventure


I'd been feeling guilty about not using my gym membership much this month, so I decided to go today. I had two other reasons for going, too. First, I wanted an excuse to finish a book I was reading, and I could do that riding the stationary bike. Second, I knew two of my favorite photographers had their work on display and I wanted photos to share with you.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene


As I drove into the parking lot, I saw the scene above. I found a place to park, and then went in, hoping no one had had a stroke or heart attack. Lots of us senior citizens exercise here.

When I got inside I learned that a woman had fallen from the rock climbing wall. I saw her on a gurney just under the wall and the paramedics were moving her leg. I hope she is not too badly hurt, and will heal without too much pain or permanent damage. I have never dared to take up rock climbing. I'll stick to riding that bike and walking. 

The Photo Exhibit


The photographers with work currently on display on the walls at Kennedy Club are Dean Crawford Jr. and Deb Hofstetter, both of whom I saw in their studio Saturday night at Art after Dark. These photos and paintings are all part of the display.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Picture on lower left is by Deb Hofstetter. The others are by Dean Crawford, Jr. 

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
The picture on the left left is by Deb Hofstetter. I believe the one on the right is by Dean Crawford, Jr. 

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
I'll let you guess who did each of these. If you belong to the Kennedy Club, come in to see if you guessed correctly. 

A Walk at Larry Moore Park

The Dogs


I wanted to get some sunset photos again tonight, so I set off for the park as the time drew near. I was not too thrilled when these two dogs who should have been on leashes almost knocked me down multiple times. Their owners had no reason to give why they were loose, but it didn't seem to bother them to be violating the law as long as no one was there to enforce it.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
These dogs should have been on leashes. 

The Trees


On the way to the park I passed the lemon tree I had seen packed with fruit in December. I wish now I'd been brave enough to knock on the door of its owner and ask if he wanted to sell any of the beautiful lemons. It looks as though the frost got them instead.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Lemons Bitten by Jack Frost


As I walked by this Bradford pear tree, I could see it was budding already. I expect to see it bloom within a week or two in this warm weather.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Bradford Pear Tree Budding

As I passed this pepper tree with its dried fruits, I could not help but notice the contrast with the bright colors the peppers trees had displayed in autumn.  Winter in the park is drab in comparison.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene
Pepper Tree Fruits Dry on Bare Trees in February

The Sky


When I started my walk the sun had just disappeared below the hills, but it was still golden.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

After a few minutes it became more pink.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

Pink turned toward orange a few minutes later.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene

In no time the contrails had combined and turned bright orange.

Photo Journal of an Atypical  Day Full of Art, Nature, Dogs, and an Accident Scene


Although life seems pretty routine most days, this one stands out as unique this week. Maybe I should get out of the house more often.


If you enjoyed this post, why not pin this photo to a Pinterest board?



Has anything unusual happened to you lately?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night

Art after Dark Is a Progressive Party in Paso Robles


Art after Dark happens on the first Saturday night of every month. Most of the partying takes place at Studios on the Park, so that's where I went tonight.

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night


Although all the studios and galleries were open, I spent most of my time in four places:


  • The Paso Robles Art Association Showroom Gallery
  • The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Gallery
  • The Studio currently shared by Dean Crawford Jr., Sharon Sobraske, and Deb Hofstetter. 
  • The Atrium Gallery
I did peek into the other studios and galleries. I enjoyed the music provided by the Julie Beaver Trio. I always enjoy their toe-tapping western music. It fit right into the theme for the Atrium Gallery Exhibit: In Love with the West.

Partying with the Paso Robles Art Association in their Showroom Gallery

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Art, Food, and Conversations Are What Makes the Artist Receptions Special, © B. Radisavljevic


After stopping by to trade gossip and jokes with Robert Simola where the printmakers hang out just to the right as you enter the Atrium, I headed back to the PRAA Gallery for their exhibit, Artist's Choice. The artists chose their favorites from among their works to enter in this juried exhibit. 

Here is some of the art I saw there. The photos can only give you an idea of what's to be seen. It's worth a trip to Studios on the Park to see the art up close before this exhibit closes February 28. 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Art on Display for Artist's Choice Exhibit in PSAA Showroom Gallery, © B. Radisavljevic

Two of my favorites in this photo are the "Chapel on the Hill" in the upper left corner, and the man painting with his feet on the railroad tracks (left in very bottom row). I somehow got away without getting the titles and artist names on all the art pieces this time. It was crowded, and I was just photographing walls, not individual works. I hope to get back later and vote for my favorite for the People's Choice award. It will be really hard to decide. 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Art in PRAA Showroom February 3, 2018, Photo © B. Radisavljevic
My favorite piece in the collection above is the photo of the gate into the San Miguel Mission Cemetery. You have to see it up close to fully appreciate it. That could also be said of the other works in these photos. 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
More Work from the Artist's Choice Exhibit in the PSAA Gallery, © B. Radisavljevic

I'm quite sure there was no one at the exhibit that was not captivated by the lion on the rock you see above. The photographer was at the reception to explain how he got that photo. It took patience. 

I had just gotten in an interesting conversation with someone about photography when we were called to attention as the juror, Julie Dunn, announced the awards. She approached each work of art and explained why she chose it for an award. In this photo you can also see some of the delicious food that was offered to us. 


Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Julie Dunn Explaining Why She Made Each Award, © B. Radisavljevic


The photos of the photographers with their works came later. I apologize for not getting all the names of those in the photos. I hope to correct that later when I get back to Studios on the Park again. I hope the award winners will forgive me until then. Deprise Brescia, who won the best of show award, seemed to be taking the photos of the other winners beside their winning art pieces. See some of Deprise's work in my October PRAA costume party post. 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
One Award Winner Photographs Another, © B. Radisavljevic

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Award for Art Just Above the Artist's Head, © B. Radisavljevic

After seeing the over seventy art pieces that were on the wall, I'm very glad I wasn't the judge. I would have wanted to give at least twenty of the entries awards. 


I didn't have much time after the awards to look around before it got too crowded to take more photos. So I grabbed some cookies and moved to the next gallery. 

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Gallery: Salute to the Military


Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Work of Elementary School Students from Paso Robles Schools, © B. Radisavljevic


Although I spent some time here, there were no artists and the room was almost empty. This is where students and faculty of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District display their work. My last visit to this gallery was in October of last year, and all the displays were different. This time almost everything was on the walls and the tables were gone. 

The theme here was students saluting the military. The photo above shows how the elementary students addressed this topic. Below I show a portion of what the Paso Robles High School student artists did. 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Pictures by Paso Robles High School Students, Photo, © B. Radisavljevic


My eye was immediately drawn to the colorful picture in the center of the bottom row. It is titled "Brotherhood" and was done by Clay Wilshusen. As I looked at the contributions of the other high school students, I was struck by another picture on the same theme by Andrea Lopez: "Man's Best Soldier." The quote at the bottom of the label reads: "The bond between man and his dog is so strong that not even a bullet could tear through it." 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
"Man's Best Soldier" by Andrea Lopez, Paso Robles High School, Photo © B. Radisavljevic

On to "Color Me Red" in the Studio 4 Gallery



Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Meet Photographers Dean Crawford Jr and Deb Hofstetter in their Studio, © B. Radisavljevic

When I arrived at Studio 4 Gallery, resident photographers Dean Crawford Jr and Deb Hofstetter were ready to meet and greet guests at their weekly "Meet the Photographers" event. There was a lot of interaction in this room. Definitely a party of its own. Below, Dean is standing with his back to the red wall talking to visitors. 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Dean Crawford Conversing with Studio Guests, © B. Radisavljevic

Although I spent some time talking to Deb, she vanished when I was ready to take her photo. I'll catch her one of my next visits.

It Was a Continual Party in the Atrium Gallery


Music from the Julie Beaver Trio fit right in with the theme In Love with the West. The audience, as you will see, was having a grand time moving with the music and sometimes singing along. 



Wine was $8 a glass, poured by RN Estate Winery


Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night


There were many types of art styles displayed in the Atrium Gallery, but it was so crowded it was really difficult to do justice to the wonderful sculptures. There was no way they could be isolated from the crowd. Unfortunately they are not on the website along with the paintings from this exhibit.

If you are able, I encourage you to come to Studios on the Park to properly appreciate the excellence of these pieces. Here are some visitors looking at the art on the wall. Most of the sculptures are on the pedestals in the center. 

Art after Dark Was Quite a Party Saturday Night
Visitors Appreciate the Art in the Atrium Gallery, © B. Radisavljevic

I have many more photos, but I would encourage you to come in and look. I think I'll call it a night and go ahead and publish.

***

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