Monday, 28 May 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 813-837

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.
~   ~   ~   ~   ~
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Psalm 34:1-3,8

Getting closer to 1000  . . . 
813.  A call from a friend
814.  Rejoicing with those who rejoice
815.  A great recycling program 
816.  Home made turkey/chicken broth . . . no artificial ingredients
817.  A new search engine that is non-profit . . . generates income that is 100% donated to worthy charities
 (image source: benelab homepage)
818.  Random things that make you smile . . . like a rubber ducky in the middle of the road
819.  An eagle soaring over the house
820.  Little neigbour girl learning English
821.  Her cheery greetings
822.  Three bags full from the farm market
823.  Increased energy
824.  Provision from unexpected places . . . not once, not twice but four times.  Somebody loves me.
825.  Hydrangeas that WILL blossom this year
826.  An icky job accomplished
827.  Tuna treats for kitties . . . lip-smacking good
828.  Sweet sale on lily bulbs . . . $1 per package (How could I resist "Sweet Surrender?)
829.  A fun garage sale fundraiser for orphans in Sierra Leone
830.  Wounding words, forgiveness,  a heart that stays open
831.   Surprised with a zoo day
832.  Spontaneous praise at the wonders of God's imagination

833.  Greater measure of healing in my knee that allowed me to enjoy the full extent of the zoo
834.  Restorative sleep
835.  Sweet dreams
836.  Creativity sparked
837.  Symphony of bird song that delights the heart

Joining the multitudes, giving thanks together at . . .

Saturday, 26 May 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 32

Wishing a happy Memorial Day weekend to all my American friends.  There should be some great photo opportunities out there as you celebrate with family and friends.
This week's hunt came together for me much quicker than usual and it kind of surprised me as I thought the prompts were quite challenging at first glance.

1. Beneath Your Feet
As more and more time passes since my surgery (6 months now), I am finding myself more adventurous and spontaneous about stopping to get the shot.  I had seen this beautiful tree (below) when I drove home from church last Sunday and thought to myself "I must go and get some shots of that".  This week, as I was really close to that same location, I just did it . . . parked my car and trekked up close to the tree.  When I was done, I headed back to my car, but I turned for just one more shot. And then I looked down . . . and there it was, beneath my feet . . . perfect!

A little research tells me this flowering shrub is called "Laburnum Anagyriodes" and can grow to 7 metres in height.  It's common name is Golden Chain or Golden Rain, and is sometimes referred to as 'false ebony' as the wood from very old specimens can be used in place of ebony.

2.  Showing Movement
When a water hose was left on in the neighbour's yard it created a flash flood in ours.
  This little fellow took a dip in the temporary pond and splashed around creating ripples in the water.  
So kind of them both (the neighbour and the birdie) to help out with this prompt.

3.  Texture
The way the sun was shining on this clematis blossom it gave the petals a sparkling velvety texture.

4.  Face Your Fears
I had to face my fear of being stung to get this shot.  
This busy bee was in nectar heaven and paid me no mind, thank goodness.

5.  Currently
Currently, Gracie's favourite pastime is bird-watching . . . she takes after her mama.

Linking with Ashley and friends at Ramblings & Photos for . . .

Thursday, 24 May 2012

"Allium Giganteum"

"I think that no matter 
how old or infirm I may become,
 I will always plant a 
large garden in the spring.  
Who can resist
 the hope and joy
 that one gets from 
participating in nature's rebirth."

~ Edward Giobbi

                                                                        Tickled to be voted Top 3 last week for my cosmos . . . thank you!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 31 - I Love a Parade

Hurray for summery weather . . . everything is planted and starting to take off. This week I had multiple shots that would work for most of the clues and I had a difficult time choosing.  I went to the Cloverdale Rodeo Parade this morning and of course that made the decision even more difficult.  #'s 1, 2 and 4 are from the parade . . . and here they are.

1.  Rainbow
 This little girl's dress had all the colours of the rainbow.

2.  Fluffy
 This very fluffy clown made the biggest bubbles ever . . . so fun!

3. Letters
 Spent some time at the garden centre this week, accompanied by my camera (of course).  Among some lovely finds for the garden I found this clue for the hunt.

4.  Metal
 Back at the rodeo parade, this beauty has some lovely metal embellishments on her bridle.

5.  Trees
This lovely tree in my neighbours yard is a favourite with all the little chirpy birds . . . crows like it too. 
I am off to Ashley's at Rambling & Photos to check out the other submissions.  Come see . . .

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Cosmos - Sonata White

I so enjoyed participating in Flower Art Friday last week and I am up for round two . . . well it's actually Week #4 of this link-up but my second go round.  LeAnne, at Photos By LeAnne is our gracious hostess.

This week I chose this lovely cosmos to submit.  
These were one of my mama's favourites and they always remind me of her.
 The cosmos is native to Mexico and on down to Brazil.  It is also known as the "love flower" and is said to be favoured as a gift on Valentine's Day.

"The magical bloom with its soft petals, with its wobbly magic, is as if a dream turned into reality . . . 
a song remembered, a verse sung."
(Author Unknown)

 "Sonata White"

This is the same flower as in the first image, slightly different angle.  My edits are all done by playing with the contrast, brightness, shadows and highlights, then adjusting temperature, tint and saturation. The last thing I do is adjust the detail.  Pretty low-tech, I know, but I love the results.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 30

Spring has arrived . . . the sun is shining, the birds are singing, barbecues send tantalizing aromas wafting on the breeze.  The spring bulbs are winding down and the roses and clematis are taking off like nobody's business.  It seems like there is so many more things to take pictures of these days . . . so much fun. 
I am excited to see what you all found for the hunt . . . here's what I came up with.

1. Sidewalk
 Caught this big fella (Stellar's Jay) scooping up seeds spilled from the bird feeder.  My sidewalk has been quite busy this week as I moved the feeder back to it's first home.  Lots of sparrows and chickadees and finches zipping in for a quick bite.
2.  Inspiration
 "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do.  Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."  ~ Ella Fitzgerald

I am inspired by the many great photographers that link up with Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday . . . you teach me so much and encourage me to try new things and develop my own flavour.  
Appreciate you all so much.

3.  Time
 Time for a cat-nap.  Zack loves to snooze in the orange "throne" chair.

4.  Close-up
 Clematis . . . "Fair Rosamond"

5.  With Mirror
A shot from my bedroom . . . love my "inside" hydrangeas.

A blessed and happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful moms!
Check out the other entries at Ashley's Ramblings & Photos . . . 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Blooming Most Recklessly

While visiting Kim at Picking Poppies, (her work is so inspiring) I discovered another link-up I want to participate in called Flower Art Friday hosted by Leanne at Photos By Leanne.

I don't have Photoshop so I used the Arcsoft Photo Studio that came with my scanner.  Initially I just played with the brightness and contrast then added text and a frame as well as film grain.  It is pushing me to discover more of what my software can do and perhaps try some other techniques. 
~Inspired by beauty, Andrea Dawn


Saturday, 5 May 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 29

So happy to be sleeping in my own bed tonight after 3 weeks of house sitting . . . there's no place like home.  My kitty will be happy, too.
This weeks clues were Shadow, Keys, Smile, Unedited (SOOC), and Fish.
Here we go . . . 

1.  Shadow
Two shadows for this one . . . different coloured lights on the ceiling produced two different coloured shadows.

 2.  Keys
Big heavy set of iron keys from a friend  . . . keys to the kingdom.
3.  Smile
Capturing feathered friends always puts a smile on my face . . . this one had a very unique call.  I have spent a little time trying to identify it and I believe it to be a "Spotted Towhee".

4.  Unedited (SOOC)
Kerria Japonica, flowering shrub . . . love the highlights on the petals and the sweet bokeh.

5.  Fish
Fish pillows at the home where I was house-sitting.

Linking with Ashley at Ramblings & Photos for . . .