Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wet Butterfly

I took this in Navarre Florida at Navarre Park in the Butterfly House. Not sure how the butterfly ended up in the pond, but one of the volunteers came by to rescue her a few minutes later, and she flew away just fine. I like the way the water drops magnified the detail on the wings.

It was windy here yesterday. I took a few butterfly shots, but the plants they were on kept getting blown out of the frame as I was shooting, so I stopped before I got anything sharable.   This was the best one:

And right nextdoor:

This is the location of my all time favorite shot on my SmugMug website:

Another day hopefully another good picture.

Friday, July 15, 2011


When we were in Florida last week staying with our friends The Vollmer Family, we also enjoyed the family pet Howie. He helped us to get through missing our dogs Blaze and Buddy. One night during dinner prep, Howie sat up against the white cabinets in the kitchen and sat very pretty. I know it's hard to get a shot of a dog with dark fur, but the white cabinets looked like they would help him to stand out, so I grabbed the camera. After using OnOne's Focal Point to blur the cabinets, I also used the clone brush to blend them out even more. Maybe I should have gotten rid of the rug too, but at the time I worked this, I didn't. There's a PhotoFrame texture over the picture and of course I added the dog print font for his name too. The family was pleased with the shot I think.

Here's the original:

Yesterday, Joey played with Lego bricks and a labyrinth game on the floor.  Blaze did a good job keeping him company:

She's another dog with dark fur that's hard to get a good shot of.  Makes me wish we had white cabinets:-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Big Dragonfly

This guy is particularly big for a dragonfly. He probably has a wingspan approaching 3". I didn't have time to try figure out what he is. Maybe later. This was taken near my garage side pond. There are quite a few dragonflies flying around over there each day now. I finally had to cut back my spirea shrub because it was hiding the pond and making the water dirty. He's on one of the pruned stalks. As you can see, the plant is pushing out new growth...whew.  I was a little worried that I might have damaged it by cutting it as far back as I needed to.

Joey loved having Blaze beside him while doing Legos yesterday.  He had out the huge bin I got at a yard sale a few years ago. 

I'm very proud of Johnny for building the small Lego kits by himself now.  Today was Luigi and Guido from Cars 2.

Johnny picked a flower for his mom to take a picture:-)  We'd gone outside to look in the ponds and just walk around for a few minutes, but the heat was so oppressive we came right back in.

The kids continue to enjoy soccer at Kick 'n Sticks too.  I love seeing them have 50 minutes to run and work up a good sweat.  I wish they could do that every day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Barn Among the Trees

A barn near my house that I've been meaning to try to take a picture of for a while now. The late day light after soccer practice last night probably wasn't optimal, but using Photomatix to HDR it and applying an Orton filter from The CoffeeShop Blog helped a bit I think. I also applied two frames from OnOne's PhotoFrame software. I should go back in the fall and see if the fall foliage is pretty in this spot.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Captains Johnny and Joey

The crew on the Boeing 737 we flew on yesterday from Atlanta to Raleigh were awesome! They let Johnny and Joey both sit in the cockpit and gave them wings and a plane trading style card. As you can see by those smiles, they were both super excited! I originally just had my cell phone camera available but quickly got out the real camera and am so glad I got to take these shots.

Joey upper left. Johnny lower left. Johnny is the one that said hi to the flight crew on every plane and charmed them with his smile.

I took the airplane shot as our plane pulled up to the gate, so that is the plane the boys later sat 'up front' in. 

We're home and safe and trying to settle back into some sort of a routine. The boys are tracked out of their year round school for 3 more weeks before going back 8/1 to start the next school year.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Splashing in Paradise

A fountain style splash area in a strip style shopping mall in Destin, FL. Although I had quite a few shots of individual and groups of kids with water and smiles on their faces, I really liked the sky, palms, and symmetry of this shot.

This little girl was so cute!

During the drive to/from Destin, we got to see one of those planes that carries the advertising banners drop his banner. A fascinating process of how they detach and then reattach banners to the plane without landing:

We had dinner at Beach Monkey Bar and Grill on Navarre Beach and really enjoyed that last night followed by a walk out on the new pier built after hurricane Ivan destroyed the previous one. We saw our first sea turtle outside of an aquarium:

It was neat how the fish were swimming on his back.

What a great view from the pier too!

A 'lucky' fisherman on the pier caught this big fish (somewhat graphic):

 We head home today after a wonderful time with friends and a fun-filled week!