Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shadow & Stone

More from Washington: the U.S. Capitol building, and the Washington Monument.

The abundant silhouettes of the leafless trees were one advantage to the winter season. The strong, biting wind was not :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Glimmer & Glow

More from the Natural History Museum:

Close-ups of rutilated quartz (above) and two different, and huge topaz crystals (below):

Here's the whole crystals, for comparison. I would estimate that the yellow one is well over two feet tall!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sparkle & Shine

We spent last weekend exploring Washinton, D.C. and some of the surrounding areas. I wish that this "bling" was mine, but alas, the sparklies reside in the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. I think this necklace is made from regular and champagne diamonds.

And this is the Hope Diamond ...

And this is one tremendous emerald with flocks of diamonds and smaller emeralds ...

I was having a ball taking pictures through the display cases. I have a small fascination with rocks and minerals and gems. Got to use a few of the more unusual white balance settings on the S2, and I love how the top and bottom necklaces seem like they are floating. I have all kinds of slightly out-of-focus pictures of minerals and rough gems, too. Tune in for those soon!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ash in Action

A comment was made on my last post, wondering if anyone had ever taken a photo of me chasing the cat around with my camera. I'm happy to say that a fellow blogger, and my uncle, Salty risked attack by the giant cat and came away with the following rare shot. I have his permission to post the incredible photo on his behalf:

Remember folks, when approaching "wildlife," stay calm and snap those photos quickly, before you get stepped on!

(Also, beware family members who are proficient in Photoshop!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fee Fi Fo Fum ...

If you are ever in my living room, beware of the giant cat!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Keeping up with Salty

I have been intending to post this photo ever since Salty shared his picture and the story behind it here.

I am keeping the picture small because it is badly out of focus. While, of course, I wish it were better quality, it remains a memento of a good afternoon spent with loved ones, and so I am quite happy with it :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Reading Pagoda

Unless someone has been to Reading, Pa., they probably don't associate it with Far Eastern architecture. And yet there it is, a full-size pagoda on a hill overlooking the city. The story of this fantastical creation is interesting. A man who owned quarries on the hillside came to regret how his industry was scarring the view of the hillside from the city. He decided to build something on the property that would delight the eyes. I have no idea how the idea of a pagoda came to his mind, though :)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

2007: Year in Review

A sampling of 2007,in chronological order, from left to right and down the page. Actually, the last two are out of order, I did not find waterlilies blooming in December :) I know the pictures are very small, but I couldn't cut any out! They are easier to see if you click on it and pull up the larger file. A few of these shots I have posted before, but most I have not. A lot of them are slightly out of focus or otherwise not spot-on when viewed at full size, so these mini versions are ideal.

2007 was a good year!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Dynamic Duo: New Years Nuthatches

White-breasted (above) and red-breasted (below) nuthatches at my Mom's dining room window feeding station. This is the first red-breasted nuthatch I've ever seen, although the white-breasted one struck a more creative pose for me :) The reddish dot on its chest must be a reflection from the kitchen lights, as both pictures are taken through a window.

I hope all had a happy and safe New Year's Eve and Day, and I wish everyone luck with remembering to write "08" instead of "07"! It always takes me about a week to retrain myself :)

New Year!

I'm not at my own place right now, so I'll have to wait to put up a picture, but for now ...