Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Exploring with a Camera - Dynamic Diagonals

Two posts in 1 day -- I'm trying to catch up - then back to my (hopefully) usual every other day or so posts. Kat Eye Studio's Exploring with a Camera prompt for April is dynamic diagonals.  Since most of my time has been with sick kids & husband, I haven't been able to take as many pictures as usual, but at a recent scout field trip I spotted this fence.

1830s style fence
Although the diagonals don't lead your eye totally to one side or the other of the image, it does zigzag while leading you towards the distance.  This fence was surrounding an 1830s dogtrot cabin where everything inside and around the cabin was either authentic or reproduced accurately - everything worked in the cabin as well & the couple who presented the homestead site approached the information as if they were actually living there (they essentially do during the day - cooking, cleaning, tending the chickens, making repairs, etc) - hence the living history. 

Linking up with Kat Eye Studio's Exploring with a Camera.  Click here to see more images of dynamic diagonals.

Focus 52 2012 (week 17) - Signs of Spring

Because life gets in the way, I have been unable to participate in the last couple weeks of Two Scoopz's Focus 52 project.  Geting back into the groove has taken effort, but hoping it will become routine again. 

Signs of Spring - Brown-eyed Susans start blooming around April and prefers fields, pastures, and prairies; which is interesting since I have a clump that comes up every year in my yard - that I did not plant.  We have an unusual shaped yard, so seeds (& other things) sometimes blow in & surprise me when they bloom. 

Everyone knows not to mow over my patch of wildflowers - especially now that winecups and others have joined the patch.  I would love to see that patch expand - it would be no problem to see a miniature prairie of wildflowers thriving in one portion of my yard - all without any effort on my part.

Linking up with Two Scoopz's Focus 52.  Click here to see other images of spring.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Rewind (4-23-12)

Hope everyone had great weekend weather like we did (although the mornings were a bit chilly), and was able to get outside to enjoy it.  Our household is still recovering from the onslaught of illness - week-long fun of kidney stones for my husband (they finally went in after the 1 remaining stone), strep for my son & just because she didn't want to be left out - my daughter with a horrendous sinus infection - but we did manage to enjoy the weekend. 

We drove out to the George Ranch for a visit with the scout group - we've been there before, but the kids don't remember it since our last visit was several years ago.  The George Ranch is still a working ranch, but has set aside about 400 acres to create living history depicting 4 generations of the family starting in the 1830s with a dogtrot cabin - very interesting if you like that kind of thing.  I took several pictures inside the dogtrot cabin since they had a fire going in the fireplace, a candle burning, & the open window (no glass) provided the only light for the log cabin - made for some nice shadows/light inside the "living room."  Since it is living history, the couple who work there present themselves as if this was their personal homestead - they make the repairs, upkeep the cabin, grow food & can answer any question you can think of - and they are very nice.  There are free range chickens who were very funny to watch running in/out of the cabin - one named Gabby liked to lay her eggs in the master bedroom.  The ranch also has a demonstration of calf sorting & they show/explain how they "dipped" cattle in past times - they literally swam in insecticide (they use water for the demonstration).  This family is descended from Stephen F. Austin's old 300 (the original settlers of this area of Texas) - if you are studying (or just like) Texas history - seeing the houses & hearing a little of how they lived (including accurate dress/costumes of the times) helps give you a better understanding of the life of some early Texans. 

inside 1830s cabin with working utensils & fresh eggs on the table

We also stopped by Brazos Bend State Park just for a very quick visit & say hello to the alligators since we were within 15 minutes of the park.  I visit this park fairly often during the week & am able to really enjoy the peacful sounds of nature & take a few photos. 

baby alligator
We knew to expect crowds since it was the weekend, but we didn't expect to see crazy people - groups of people - some seriously not respecting the personal space of the alligators.  I realize it is almost surreal to walk among the gators - this is not a zoo - sometimes within 3 feet of them - but there are clear rules & the rules are in place for a reason... very sad to see visitors do as they please without regard to respecting the rules or nature or the gators.  There were also cars literally speeding down the roads inside the park, parked in the grass on the side of the road (parking lot only 50 feet ahead of them) .... just very sad & discouraging.  Not sure if we will camp at this park during the spring/summer/fall months at all if this is the kind of people who will be visiting.  Yes those people bring money into the park, but at what price/cost?  The park doesn't have the manpower to cover all areas of the park at one time (thank you economy/budget cuts), so they do the best they can. 

Of course our weekend wouldn't be complete without a visit to the barn.  My daughter's Friday evening lesson was canceled due to the lightning & severe weather, so the makeup was done over the weekend (with much improved weather).  She also completed her "chores" of washing tales & general grooming of a few of her special horse friends. 

large canter on a large horse
Although we had a good weekend, it certainly wasn't long enough.  We had so much more on our list of things we wanted to do.  Hope everyone was able to do a few things on their list this weekend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Photo-Heart Connection - March

March's Photo Heart Connection is one of my son during a weekend soccer game.  The image makes me feel sad, although I know he was just walking out to his position.  I really like the the spring wildflowers in the background and while some young players might be tempted to hang out & pick those flowers, my son is usually in the thick of the action.  He's filling out and growing quickly, and that combination can make sports even more challenging, but he always gives everything he has.  He is also very aware that he is a bit larger than other players and really tries not to mow them down - he's a good guy and wants everyone to have fun.  Because of other scheduled activities (horses), I do not get to watch his practices, so the games are that much more special to me.

Well I missed the deadline for the link up party - but you can still see other photo-heart connections here (seems to be a trend lately for me -- a day late & a dollar short).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Focus 52 (2012) Week 14 - Pastels

First off - it feels like I've been away for a very long time (nearly 2 weeks now) - out of town family visits, pinched nerve, very busy kid schedule (thank you state testing), and my own musical commitments have taken every bit of my energy and time the last few weeks.  I did not contribute to any of my usual photo challenges & haven't replied to comments on past blog posts (but those are coming).  However, I am back in the routine (I hope) and should be posting/contributing again. 

So, on to this week's photo prompt of pastels. 

Literally taken from my vehicle window (at a stop sign that I cropped out) - a beautiful Texas sunset this week - leaving the barn (where else).  Sometimes our sunsets look as if the sky is on fire with bright reds & oranges, but this one looked a little softer with a few yellows thrown in & the blue sky still peaking through. 

I'll admit I did a little HDR on this just to bring out all the shades of orange & yellows, but didn't adjust anything like saturation - this is pretty much as I saw it. 

Linking up with Two Scoopz.  Check out the website to see other beautiful shades of pastels. 

Check back here often - I have a lot to post/catch up on since my last posting.  Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.