Hydrangea and Pears

Hydrangea and Pears

I was especially pleased with how this came out. I might print it and put it on my wall.

Bee and Rosemary

bee & rosemary

Best shot I got of this. I'm going to have to start working on the stop-action stuff. Maybe with my new camera...

Love my macro lens!

Cricket/Bug II

A bug I found while on the camping trip in October. I just love my macro lens! Isn't this cool?


Cricket/Bug I

Cut Roses

roses

Can you tell that my cats nibbled on these? Grrrrr

Still Life with Pears, Grapes and Flowers

Still Life with grapes pears and flowers

I've got several more I'd like to post this week. Maybe I'll get to them! Christmas was good and I'm well on the way to getting a new camera. Hopefully the spring will be quiet enough to do a bit more picture taking/posting than I have in the past several months.

Nosey

Arthur and Still Life

Colin's cat just had to find out what I was doing!

Cribbage Game

Cribbage Game

A still life I toyed with recently. I love this beautiful, hand-made cribbage board I bought in Seattle. Too bad not many people play any more. Been way too busy at work to even mess with pictures. Hopefully things will change with the new year.

Desmond

Desmond

Desmond's Christmas portrait

Ornament

Ornament

from The Daily Shoot: "Today's color is red. Make a photograph dominated by the color and post it today."

Holiday Break - Day 1



Our day started of by getting blood tests (worry not, annual physical) and then stopping by Diane's favorite breakfast place (well, one of several) - Panera Bread. Now, we're off for more shopping.

Location : Access Route 1604, San Antonio, TX 78258,
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Flowers

Flowers
I never did finish posting the pictures from our last day in Seattle. I found these at a flower booth in Pike Place Market.

After a few more of these I'll show you a few I took through the fall.

Still Life with Stuff I

Still Life
Got inspired to do some picture taking this week. Probably has something to do with being off.

Fuji Apple

Fuji Apple

More from Pike Place Market.

Stolen Moment

Stolen Moment

So I'm waiting around while Diane is doing a bit of shopping and I look over past the stairwell I'm in and see this. There is actually a whole series of shots where they are talking, hugging and kissing. Made me feel kinda voyeuristic but it was also exciting to see people being real. Also, I really liked all the lines in this shot.

Diane on vacation (in front of Starbucks)

Diane in Seattle

She always smiles after having coffee!

Sunflowers in the Morning

Sunflowers in the morning

These were just huge and gorgeous.

Pears on Parade

Pears on Parade

Bosc Pears at Pike Place Market.

Asparagus

Asparagus

More from the Pike Place Market. I found all sorts of inspiration while we were there for four hours!

Dinner Tonight

Homemade Pizza

I still have over 500 pictures that I have taken since our cruise but I really wanted to share tonights dinner with you (well just a picture, really). The shot above is my homemade pizza. I mixed and rolled out the dough, prepared the sauce and decided on the mozzarella, basil and prosciutto. It was yummy and actually pretty quick (if you mix the dough early). We finished off with poached pears with Saunders chocolate.

If you'd like to see a couple more shots of this pizza click over to my flickr account.

Fruit & Vegies

Tomatos - Roma

While we waited to go to the airport in Seattle we had no choice but to retirn to Pike Place Market. There are so many photographic possibilities there that I could spend several days ambling around. And the food and flowers just look yummy. The next few posts will be from there.


Plentiful Fruit

And as I've said before, it is a crime that we don't have a farmers market that even comes close to something like this. I mean really, Pearl Market is nice but when you can breeze through in 25 minutes (I've done it a couple of times) then it just doesn't compare.


White/Yellow Corn

Seldom Used Deck Chairs

Seldom Used Deck Chairs

So we ended the cruise back at pier 90 in Seattle. This was taken on Friday morning just before we left the ship. The one cool thing that Holland America does is pre-check your luggage on your flight so all we walked off with was our carry on bags. This allowed us a few hours to tour Pike Place some more before we came home.

Several members of Diane's family have done these cruises and all raved about them. I was equally impressed. I'm sure it's nice to go to the Caribbean, sit in deck chairs in your bathing suit and drink all day. That's just not necessarily my idea of the great vacation. We are already discussing what we plan to do the next time we take this cruise. And, we're also talking about other cruises. I think either New York city to Quebec City or the Baltic states will be next!

Victoria Harbor at Sunset

Victoria Harbor

And we close the Victoria portion of our trip with this shot of the harbor at sunset. With the kayak in the middle ground and a beautiful sunset, I just couldn't resist this picture. After we left here we drove over by Diana and Patrick's apartment and then went to a "Tim Horton's" coffee shop (they swear it's better than Starbucks - what do I know?). I went to pay for our coffee with a $20 bill and the counter girl looked at it like it was some piece of trash. About then Diana grabed my arm and said, "You don't want to pay with that! Your change will be Canadian money you can't spend!" Ooops, forgot I was in another country.

At about 11pm we headed back to the Zaandam for our last night on the ship. When I woke up early on Friday morning we were already docked and the HAL workers were unloading suitcases.

BC Parliament Building

British Columbia Parliament Building

As it gets dark in downtown Victoria you start to notice the parliament building starting to sparkle. Seems they have outlined the building in lights and the darker it gets the more impressive it gets (and it gets more difficult to take a good picture).

Diana C.

Diana (M.) C.

And this is Diana. Talk about a trooper. When I emailed her in May saying, "Hey, we haven't seen each other in 20 years but I'll be in Victoria next month!" She was like, "Tell me when and where!" I was so excited I took her several cans of Ro-Tel because it's nearly impossible to find in Canada. We had a great evening even if it was too short.

Patrick

Patrick in Victoria

This is Diana's husband, Patrick. He was a great sport driving us around town and visiting.

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, B.C.

We got in to Victoria on our last night of the cruise. Unfortunately we arrived at 7pm and had to be back on the ship before midnight. Not near enough time to do some real sightseeing. But, since I have a life-long friend who lives in Victoria, she and her husband met us and took us around town for a few hours. We had a great time. This was the view from the first place we stopped. Diana told me she loves coming to the park just to sit quietly and enjoy the scenery. I can see why.

More from Victoria and Seattle tomorrow!

Lamb Chops on the Zaamdam

Lamb Chops on the Zaamdam

Diane is not a big lamb fan so I make sure and order it whenever I can. The only better meal I had was the next night when it was "surf and turf" night and I got lots of lobster! Our table mates were a little weirded out by my taking a picture of dinner - silly foreigners. Don't they know that's all the rage right now?

Bug on Flower

bug

I was trying to get a good shot of the "fly" but I think the flower turned out pretty good too. This is one of the reasons I have and love my "macro" lens.

Fushia

Fushia

This is one of Diane's favorite plants but every time we buy one the summer heat just kills it. We found these all around in Alaska and the plants were huge!

Lupine

Lupin

Surprise! I'm back! Between summer lethargy, getting a new "smart" phone and celebrating Diane's birthday I just got out of the habit of posting pictures. I've been TAKING pictures just not cleaning and posting them. So, here I am on Labor day weekend trying to catch up. I've formally given up on the 365 project. I knew from the outset that it would be difficult for me to complete. I've gone from "taking and posting a picture every day" to "posting at least 7 pictures every week" to "at least posting 365 pictures this year" to (now) "I'm gonna post as much as possible." This doesn't really mean you are going to get fewer pictures. It's just that I'm going to quit numbering and categorizing my shots as if I'm going to finish this project.

Lupine - closer

So, these lupines...or Bluebonnets as we know them in Texas. We saw them everywhere we went in Alaska. At first we were surprised but then it became pretty common place. I later found out that this plant is grown all over the northern hemisphere and some are FAR larger and bluer than the ones we see here at home.

Lupine - closest

I especially liked this shot. Trying to get a "macro" (really, REALLY up close for you non-photo people) shot while hand-holding your camera is darned near impossible. Especially when you are as old as me!

More pictures to come. Today! I promise!

Acorns


I found these on a tree outside my building. Last year I noticed them and kept thinking I should take some pictures but never got around to it. I think this might become a series this year.

156/376 - Me on the Aleutian Ballad

Me on the Aleutian Ballad
“Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.”     ~Melba Colgrove
__________
Some people were wondering if I really went on this trip. Here is proof positive. Can you tell I was having fun?

155/376 - Goin' Fishin'

Goin' Fishin'
“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.”     ~Herbert Hoover
__________
Lucky guy.

154/376 - More Rope

More Rope
“A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free”      ~Nikos Kazantzakis
__________
See what I mean about rope and knots?

153/376 - Rope and Knots

Rope and Knots
“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”     ~Seneca
__________
On board a boat there are ropes and knots everywhere. They tend to be incredibly photogenic objects.

152/376 - Winner!

“The determination to win is the better part of winning.”     ~Daisaku Ikeda
__________
He caught the Octopus! And I think this is his "circle of life" pose.

151/376 - Kid with a Shrimp

Kid with a shrimp
“There can never be any excuse for sacrificing our children’s futures to keep corporate tax loopholes and tax giveaways to millionaires. If we can’t put our children first, who can we put first? If we can’t put our kids first, what does it say about our nation?”     ~Senator John Kerry
__________
They also brought up some shrimp and let people touch and watch them. This kid was very excited. I just wish I had a model release because I bet this picture could be sold! I've seen lots of shrimp in my time (I grew up close to Galveston) but never one so red.

150/376 - Wrestling an Octopus

Wrestling an Octopus
“It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired-you quit when the gorilla is tired.”     ~Robert Strauss
__________
When they pulled up a crab pot shaped like a flying saucer this octopus fell out and into the pot throwing mechanism. One of the hosts (Kiwi?) decided to get it out and ended up wrestling with the darned thing. Apparently they don't give up easily.

149/376 - Anchor Chain

Anchor Chain on Aleutian Ballad
“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”     ~Robert M. Hutchins
__________
I couldn't pass up some "artistic" shots while on my trip. This is the chain that holds the anchor for the Aleutian Ballad.

148/376 - Crab

Up Close with a Crab
“If we are going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.”     ~Judith Hayes
__________
Way too cool crab caught on the Aleutian Ballad during my "Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour".

147/376 - More Eagles

Eagle in Ketchikan
“I've come to the frightening conclusioin that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.”~Dr. Haim Ginott
__________
As the fishermen on the Aleutian Ballad were talking with the audience the captain (Derrick) was maneuvering the boat. As he got relatively close to an island the fishermen started throwing bait off the side of the boat and as they did this a flock of 30 to 40 bald eagles started circling around the side of the boat.

Eagles in Ketchikan

Everyone on the boat rushed over to the railing and started taking pictures. At one point I heard one guy cry in anguish, "I've exhausted my 2 gig card on my camera!"

Eagle in Ketchikan

At some point (we were there close to 15 or 20 minutes) I forced myself to stop taking pictures and look around with my eyes. I was nearly in tears. It was THAT cool! Throughout the week long trip we saw lots of flora but didn't end up seeing much in the way of fauna. This was one of those rare times and it was well worth the money.

146/376 - Fish on board the Aleutian Ballad

Fish Caught on Aleutian Ballad
“I'm so ugly - I worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big I'd get”     ~Rodney Dangerfield
__________
This is a classic example of why you should take notes when put face to face with something you don't know anything about. In this case I have no clue what type of fish this is. I do know, however, it is ugly. The fishermen on the Aleutian Ballad caught this and several other fish while giving their demonstrations during my "Deadliest Catch" tour.

145/376 - Derrick

Derrick
“Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.”     ~Ivern Ball
__________
Ok, so when we decided to take our cruise we were given a list of possible excursions to take at each stop. Diane and I have watched "Deadliest Catch" for years and I found in Ketchikan the opportunity get on one of the boats used in years two and three of that show. Diane, of course, said she would happily wave at me from the dock and then go shopping. The picture above is of Derrick, the captain of the Aleutian Ballad.

I knew going in that we weren't going to see anything remotely resembling the weather and seas that the fishing vessels on Deadliest Catch encounter but the write up for the excursion made it intriguing. They said that over the course of 3 hours the audience would get an opportunity to hear about various fishing methods (crab and otherwise), observe caught critters put into an aquarium, visit with experienced crab fishers and all the while have the opportunity to observe marine wildlife off the side of the boat. I was "all in!"

I have to say that this was #2 on the list of coolest things I did on this cruise. Meeting the fishermen and learning of their lives, watching them actually work a couple of crab pots and taking some of the best pictures of the trip made this memorable. The next several pictures will give you an idea of how much fun I had.