Friday, December 31, 2010

A glittery end to 2010

The trees glitter like diamonds after an early-morning fog blows out.

Thanks to all of my blogger friends for dropping by to comment. Hope to see you in blog-land next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bright and beautiful!

Brightly colored fabrics are put to all kinds of uses in the Mexican culture.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


On our Cancun bird-watching outing, we were fortunate to see a Painted Bunting. He was quite far away, and the angle wasn't quite right for a "money" shot, but I did get somewhat of a photo of his beautiful feathers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The loss of innocence?

This provocatively-clothed statue might tarnish the innocence of young boys who see it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jurassic bird?

For some reason, this brown pelican feels very primitive to me. Perhaps because I need a photo for the word, Primitive?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Extra-large economy size....

On one morning of our visit to Cancun, we indulged Jon's current hobby of bird photography, and went on a bird-watching tour. One stop was along an estuary area, and while looking for herons, ibis and other wading birds, we spotted this fellow, catching a little early morning sun. He was easily 15 feet long. Too large for me!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


A vendor on the grounds at Chichen Itza, trying to sell this carving of a Jaguar head, clowns around to attract business.

I found it a little disturbing that vendors are allowed to ply their wares on the grounds of this ancient Mayan site. Outside the gates would seem to be more appropriate.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Happy holidays, everyone!!

 Outside Captain's Cove restaurant in Cancun.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


El Castillo, "The Castle" in the Mayan settlement of Chichen Itza, dates back to pre-Colombian times. I'd say that's old.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Feliz Navidad

Ah. Relaxation. We are in Cancun Mexico right now and I'm writing this from the deck of a condo that overlooks both the pool and the deep blue Gulf. Yesterday, we spent the afternoon here.....

on Isla Contoy, one of Mexico's National Parks.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Looking down

As you wind your way through Echo Canyon, you eventually get to a place where (during our visit) it was flooded - kind of a sink hole in the trail. Jon got up to his chest in water before we decided to turn around.Since we couldn't continue through the slot, we backtracked and took another trail that went above the slot we had just been hiking in. We were able to then look down into the slot beyond where we were stopped by water. We were walking on a ledge in what felt like a big open tunnel, with the slot on one side. Once we got through this tunnel in a canyon looking down at a slot, we were able to reenter the slot from the other end.

On the left side of the photo below, you can see the slot where the photos from the last few days were taken.

When we leaned over the edge, this is what we saw, looking down. Topaz really brought out the pinks in the rocks here. In general, the landscape was comprised of shades of deep gold, orange, rust, pink, and gray. You can just make out the narrow bottom of the canyon in the photo below. I think only a very skinny Minnie would fit through there! Where we could again enter at the other end, it was wider.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Deep into Echo Canyon, the light changes the color of the rock, from gray to red to golden. I may have overdone it a little on the Topaz here. What do you think? Do you see the face in this image, also?

Friday, December 17, 2010


Once you enter Echo Canyon in Zion National Park, the trail wraps around these rocks, which are alternately worn smooth from rushing water and striated from years of weather - freezing, thawing. The trail is definitely narrowing...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Looking up

Since several of you asked to see more Echo Canyon photos, here you go. This is the mouth of the canyon. To get there, hike above the Weeping Rock trail. What was so cool about this hike was that you came in through this somewhat wide slot, so you were looking up going in. After a little climb, you ended up looking DOWN into the slot, from a ledge above. The colors were amazing. More to come.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Far from home

I've really been enjoying Mike's (Boomer) photos from his trip to Zion National Park. Since I've been bogged down with finals and the crazy blizzard we had over the weekend, I haven't been able to get out with my camera. To "echo" Mike's idea of posting Zion photos, I decided to share this image from our hike through Echo Canyon. Enhanced with Topaz Adjust - Mild Detail.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happiness is...

...finally switching to a GAS range after years of electric.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just what I need...more remotes...

My cable carrier has gone all digital, so we must install adapters on all TVs in the house.

This shiny box was tough to photograph. I finally put it in my light box and draped the lights with fabric to cut the glare. The reflection of the remote in the box, however, is intentional.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cheesecake ...

...the ultimate comfort food?

Jon baked up three delicious pumpkin cheesecakes (using fresh pumpkin, I might add!) for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Sometimes, I desire nothing more than a fabulous pizza. This is a special kind. A friend of mine suggested to the owner of one of the local Italian restaurants an idea for a pizza. It has no red sauce, just olive oil, garlic, sausage and cheese on a very thin crust. It was an instant hit, and the restaurant soon added the creation to the menu. As my friend's name is Steve, the restaurant calls this the Pizza Stefano. Delicious!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Technology of a different sort

Driving to work, I temporarily got trapped behind this wonder of modern farming technology. Having nothing else to do as we cruised along at about 5 MPH, I pulled out my trusty purse-cam and commemorated the event. Topaz Spicify woke it up.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


It's how I feel sometimes, in the face of nature.

Taken with my little Pentax "purse" camera, then played around with some Topaz filters and PS adjustment layers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This may be the sharpest photo I've ever taken of an animal. This Inca Tern was not at all shy when we visited him in the aviary at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The 2nd photo isn't quite as sharp, but it's the best view of his stylish mustache!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How much wood can a wood duck, duck?

This brightly colored wood duck, ducks under the wood of a tree.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We've all heard the words "red sky at morning"

but have you SEEN the words, come to life?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This little brown sparrow sat patiently while I took his picture.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Many, or multiple

Caught these three grey geese paddling in North Pond in Chicago.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just for fun

We went to a pumpkin carving party over the weekend. Here are the fruits (ha ha) of our labors.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nothing out of the ordinary

The red-breasted nuthatch stopped by our feeder for a bite of lunch.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

No, thank you

Driving down the highway, we passed a truck full of...


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A walnut by any other name...

This Black Walnut hides in its disguise of a green pod.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Note to self...

Forgetting to switch out of manual focus is not good when trying to capture Trumpeter Swans in motion...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Just an ordinary day

A shot of real Wisconsin farm life.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A moment to reflect

An early morning hike through a nearby forest preserve offered up this lush view. Leaves still aren't changing. Used a little Topaz Simplify to tone down all the detail in the leaves.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Light and bright

One of the last seasonal flowers...we're well into fall now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lesson in f/stop settings

I took this shot of country-fresh gourds right after getting out of the car, and didn't really check my camera settings. Home, I'm marveling at the very shallow depth of field...only a few are in sharp focus. Why? This was shot at a shutter speed of 1/800, f/4.5.

Because I can't imagine what would have caused me to select that combination of settings, I'm assuming I spun a dial without paying attention, and I certainly didn't check before I depressed the shutter.

Oh! Today is 10-10-10! How cool is that???? Look what time I posted!  :-D

Friday, October 8, 2010

Only one of these fits the category

Hmmmm.....who knew not all pumpkins are orange?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weathered and worn

One of several tractors still in use at the apple orchard.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

For Bobbie and Auntie B

I generally don't post people pictures, but I'm posting this for follow Photo Walker Bobbie in Connecticut. I live in Illinois. Bobbie frequents her local library, where my Aunt Betsy happens to work. Small world, eh??'s a shout-out to Bobbie AND my Auntie B, who posed with me during a summer trip to Rhode Island a couple of summers back.

Photo credit to my DBF Jon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Swing at the low hanging fruit

On our visit to the orchard, we learned of a new type of apple - the Candy Crisp. Crunchier and just a bit more tart than a Golden Delicious. Very tasty!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Peace and tranquility in the country

These rocking chairs wait for their big (and small) owners on the front porch of an apple orchard farm store.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Steaks, anyone? Anyone?

A hike around the lake at our nearby state park took me past this grill, obviously well used. On closer inspection, I think I'd wait until I got home before surrendering my burger to these irons...