Saturday, March 09, 2013

A helpful tip for viewing photos on the blog

I just now figured this out (so don't laugh at me!) But if you click on the first picture of the blog entry below it willload a slideshow and you can see them all in full screen mode. they look even better than I thought on the full screen, especially the bee phoots which I thought were really just passable. Enjoy! Jules

A Vacation to Southern California

Last week Andrew and I spent 4 days in Los Angelese. We stayed in Manhattan Beach, and visited Santa Monica, Venice Beach, spend a day in Santa Barbara and yeah, we went to Disney Land. Below are some pictures that I took at Abalone Cove in Palos Verdes. Abalone cove is a nature preserve. You park at the top of the hill, and then take a long winding trail through brush where there are lot of little lizards to a rocky beach. After a further walk, there are dozens of tide pools. I could take pictures here all day, and you can see why! I took this picture on the trail to the bottom of the, well, it's more of a cliff than a hill. Below is a purple sea that is not a scientific name. They are as small as 5 cent pieces and as big as a fist. Andrew says you should never touch them, and sometimes they squirt out water. This is what they look like when they are open in the water. This is what they look like when the water is drained from their pool and they are all closed up and covered with shells and little rocks. Can you see the actual crab when you look at the shell in the left upper corner? There weren't very many starfish. I think it was still a little too cold for them, even though it was shorts weather for us but I managed to get this shot. This little crab is one of many that came out as the rocks got more sunlight. They are very shy and when I made the slightest they would scuttle back into the shadows but they came out pretty quickly. I would focus on one crab and take a ton of pictures and then I would look away and find another one even closer to me and I would swing my lens around and they would back off, well, you get the idea. They were so fun to watch. They certainly like to snack on, well, whatever it is they are scraping off the rock with their claws. Now this next crab picture isn't very good, but I am including it because he was about the size of the palm of my hand. We were actually leaving the tide pools when something caught the very corner of my eye, and it was this super shy red/pink crab, withdrawing to a rocky overhang as we passed. It took several minutes for the crab to unwind enough for me to get this shot. Whenever we go to a beach I get fascinated by the patterns of waves, and rocks, and yeah, even sand. Southern California is a bit like a fairy tale land the last week of February. Many yards had lemon trees loaded with ripe yellow lemons. Spanish lavender was everywhere, blooming and standing 2 to 3 feet tall. And the rosemary was unbelievable. Rosemary everywhere. People use rosemary as hedges out there. And I got a few nice macro flower shots along the way. Look at these birds of paradise flowers very closely... And then think of those flowers as we follow the little bee, looking for pollen. When we went to Santa Barbara we visited the Old Mission Santa Barbara, founded by franciscan monks. And I managed to catch a lizard shot while taking pictures of succulents in the garden. And the succulents, man I just love the textures and patterns and colors of succulents.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Oh new version of blogger, how you frustrate me!

Okay so blogger has changed some things and I am still catching up with it. For this post, I'll have the text first and then the pictures. Not how I like to do it, but until I can figure some things out, we'll have to let it work this way. Introducing Ruby! We have a fifth hen in the Scordato chicken pen! She appeared like a stranger in the night, eating birdseed one morning in my parent's back yard. Dad netted her and she is very calm and sweet and even her little chicken song is different from the goldies. She is a golden laced wyandotte chicken. She is a popular choice and is very cold hardy. She's larger than the other goldies and has a smaller comb which makes her less vulnerable to frostbite. She isn't laying any eggs yet. It only took her three weeks for the 4 goldies to accept her and even though she is bigger in body and beak, they totally bully her and she is always the last one to come out of the coop in the morning. Below are some snaps of Molly sunning herself in the sunshine. I took these pictures specifically for a special project I'll share later next week. The Flea Market Chic book is my latest favorite decorating book. The introduction is nice, and I like almost something on nearly every page! And here's a quiet shot of Maxwell, patiently waiting out winter like the rest of us. I have big news the next blog post is going to be pretty cool. Andrew and I recently returned from a a trip to Southern California and I took a ton of I just have to figure out how to load them in between text. Stay tuned. I hope to have a nice post to help transition us into spring when I should be able to post more. And if you haven't signed up for email, do so and it will get delivered directly in your inbox!