Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddlehead ferns are a delicacy that only comes around once a year. In the mid spring they emerge in locations that provide the correct environment for them - they are very hard to find.

fiddlehead ferns in the spring

They grow wild in the northeast US and Canada and finding their habitats is a challenge. As more people build in their growing areas, they are getting to be a rare find.

Once finding them, it is imperative to select just a couple from each set, as they need to grow in order to come back the next year.

The price for these edible ferns is very high which makes a greedy person pick all instead of just a few. This is also leading to their rarity, as less come back each year.

fiddlehead ferns in the spring

Finding these rare treats and sharing in Mother Nature's once a year gift is something that will be remembered by my family as a special time.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ocean Trip

We took a day trip to the ocean earlier this week. The weather was overcast and foggy when we headed out in the early morning. The drive takes over an hour, and it was even foggier when we arrived at the seacoast.

It started to clear up nicely right after lunch which worked out perfectly. The boys were able to pick up some bait for fishing and we settled down in Rye Harbor for a couple of hours.

Rye harbor breaker

It was low tide and the boys walked out on the breaker wall to fish for Shiners. I spent time on land with my camera. Surprisingly, the park and shore was pretty deserted for such a beautiful day, so I was able to shoot in any direction without disturbing anyone or waiting for them to move along.

I am in the process of finishing up the processing of some earlier photos taken this month, so there will be more images posted of this beautiful day as I get to them.

We all enjoyed this trip and came home with pictures, sunburns, and no fish - many nibbles though - they greedily chomped down the bait fish.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Blog Resources

This past week I created a Blog Resources section to the blog site. I am hoping to gain more exposure for my blog and website by interacting in a blog community.

Welcome Sign

There are links to several blog communities, and I hope to add a few more this coming week. A couple of them are photoblog communities and it is interesting to view some of the other members and their images.

I had not given much thought to promoting my blog before doing this, I had only thought about promoting my website. I can see where promoting both with benefit all the way around and will be working with that thought in mind in the future.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wild Violets

These little Violets have spread wildly over my backyard. They are a very tiny, delicate wildflower that is the most beautiful shade of purple.

Purple Violet Wildflower

About six years ago, my daughter and I were finishing a weekend of a Girl Scout camping trip. We had admired these little wildflowers during our time at the campground, and as we were leaving she inquired if we could take a small patch to transplant in our garden at home.

Since there were so many of them all around, we carefully removed a patch and brought it home. She immediately planted it in a raised flower bed in the backyard.

These little violets have spread all through the garden and into the grass beyond. The greens and purples are just beautiful and the lawn mowing had to be delayed until their season had past.

Purple Violet Wildflower

When my daughter gets her own home in a few years from now, I am sure the first plant in her garden will be some of these sweet little beauties that we transplanted here years ago. After all - there are plenty to share!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cabin at the Lake

We spent some time this spring at a small recreation area that is formally a boy scout camp that dates back to the late 1800's. It is now owned by the town and open for all to enjoy.

log cabin porch

It is situated by a small pond that is just right for the kids to fish in or launch a canoe. There are several log cabins on the site and pictured above is the porch to one of them.

The architecture is unique and very rustic and the whole camp is well maintained. The main lodge for the campground burnt down many years ago and left the beautiful center fire place to stand as a sentinel in the field.

stone fireplace

The stone work in this massive structure is beautiful and meticulously placed. It is double sided and a fire can burn in a hearth on each side. A horseshoe for good luck adorns the cement on one side above the hearth. The other side has a diamond shaped stone in the center of the chimney.

horse shoe embossed in fireplace

Hopefully I can get back to this area in the late summer or early fall. It should be just right about then for a solitude stroll around the campground.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Flash Gun

I have spent the last few weeks looking online for the correct flash gun for my Sony A100.

Fish in Bowl

I am not a big fan of flash photography, but there are times when indoor shots need the light so it is a necessity. The camera comes with a very small built in flash that you pop up to use, but it is pretty much useless - the lens always gets in the way for any kind of even lighting.

Sony carries their own models for the A100. They are pretty much rebadged models of the Minolta Digital flashes. The new Sonys are quite pricey. The used Minolta models are also quite pricey - if you can even find them. They seem to be at a premium these days.

There are a couple of non-digital older Minolta flash guns made in the 1990's. From what I have been reading, they can be fiddled with to work somewhat with the new DSLRS. Many of the functions will not work, and you need to calculate everything manually to get the best results.

There are several third party brands available, but Sony/Minolta doesn't take the standard hot shoe that every DSLR and SLR on the market takes. They do make adapters to fit the flash gun to the camera, but I have been reading about the volts that the flashes deliver through the camera, and the last thing I want to do is blow up the camera's electrical system.

I have not decided which gun I will go with yet, the newer or the older one. Considering I will not be using it overly much, I am sure I could get by with the older, non-digital one. Now to try to find one of those - they are also hard to find and overpriced.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Earth Shots

Each morning I like to visit a site that displays a new picture each day of inspiring Earth images. The site is Earth Shots, and it is a daily contest site.

Anyone can submit a photo that depicts the beauty of this planet, and it stays active in the contest pool for a month. Each day a new image is selected, and visitors can leave comments regarding it.

I have enjoyed viewing some of the spectacular photos on this site. Our planet is such a beautiful home!


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