pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: October 2010

31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

31 October 2010

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

28 October 2010

Hollywood night

5 April 2010

It rained that morning, typical chilly California spring rain, but cleared to a glorious afternoon. The evening air carried the diamond-sharp clarity we don't see often enough.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

26 October 2010

Misadventures in gardening

Tomato crop
18 July 2004

I had a particularly stellar crop of tomatoes that year. The best plant was the volunteer that sprouted up after a That one.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110.

25 October 2010

Well, it's one of those national parks...

Outside Zion National Park, Utah (I think)
10 August 2003

This was one of those trips, which lasted something like 3 weeks, where we drove around a large chunk of the U.S.: Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota (ok, not in that order)...and probably somewhere I'm forgetting. We also visited numerous national parks, including Arches, Bryce and Zion. I think I took this outside of Zion proper. Mostly, we liked the clouds mimicking the peaks. Heaven knows we saw enough rocks.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110.

23 October 2010

Marble-eyed monster

Black cat
23 October 2010

We put the Halloween decorations out today during a brief break in the clouds. It's rained nearly every day this week.

Sensing a party, Olivier came to visit, and sat sniffing the decorative cats, then rubbed his face against the face of one of them.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

20 October 2010

Trip trap trip trap

Setesdal Mineral Park
20 July 2008

This is one of the odder places I've visited, but I was rather taken by the troll.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

19 October 2010

Time passages

Bergen, Norway
21 July 2008

I'm not going to pretend that I remember what this building and adjacent courtyard was supposed to be. I was completely seduced by this little passageway: it had a secretive air, and stones in the wall that didn't match the cobbles on the ground that almost seemed to flow like a river. And what is with the extraneous fireplace?

I just liked it. This is frequently my excuse. It adequately covers many arenas in my life.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

18 October 2010

Get off my lawn

31 October 2008

He was quite convinced that the marble-eyed, powder-coated steel cutout was the real thing and he hissed.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

17 October 2010

Halloween decorations

Orb weaver
17 October 2010

With a neighborhood full of kids, it's unsurprising that people around here tend to decorate for Halloween. In my case, I don't need to hang light string cobwebs or fake spiders: I've got the real thing. And these guys frequently get enormous.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto lens.

15 October 2010


Old Fire
25 October 2003

I was having an incredibly exasperating day. Everything failed, and the failures escalated and cascaded, and I was getting angrier and angrier as the day progressed. Then I came across this photo as I was doing other things. The actual fire was 60-75 miles from our house, which makes the ash volume even more phenomenal.

It sort of put things back into perspective.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110. And yes, I'm still angry, which is why I haven't written anything over at the other blog. Well, that and the fact that I'm unreasonably busy with cascade failures.

14 October 2010


Columbus, Ohio
29 August 2010

I don't know why the giant "8" amused me. It amused the spouse as well. The daughter, on the other hand, looked at this photo and started singing, "Nationwide is on your side!"

"What are you doing?" I asked, confused.

"Nationwide," she replied. "There. In the photo."

(She spotted it on the blue frame of the clock. Sharp-eyed girl.)

"Uh, where did you hear that jingle?" I asked.

"The Weather Channel, Mommy," she sighed.

Who knew?

And looking back, yes, Albuquerque was windy, Columbus was unbelievably hot, Pittsburgh was rainy, and all four nights were pretty perfect.

All in all, I had a good summer.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

13 October 2010

Endlessly mocking

12 October 2010

Right after I took the photos of the hummingbird yesterday, the mockingbird showed up to chase it away. The mocker likes the fruit in the magnolia tree, and takes umbrage if anyone else sits there. Though I haven't seen it chase off the parrots, which also like the fruit. And are significantly larger.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and telephoto.

12 October 2010

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

12 October 2010

Sibley says that Allen's and rufous hummingbirds can be virtually impossible to distinguish in the field. My guess is that this is an Allen's (green cap and back, though rufous can show that, too), and I have seen what certainly appears to be a rufous (orange cap and back) at the backyard fountain. In truth, of course, it doesn't matter. It's a pretty bird enjoying a nice autumn morning.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and telephoto. Part of the fun here was that the hummer was already agitated and then Milton came running out to yell back at the hummingbird who was also yelling.

11 October 2010

Yes, it IS another crescent moon

11 October 2010

This one came out rather marvelously craggy. You can click to enlarge it.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and telephoto. Yes, I am lazy. Also, have not gotten out much.

07 October 2010

You are my sunshine

4 November 2007

He loves the sun. Even when it's 100F outside, he will lie in a sun spot.

Cats have the market cornered on relaxation technique.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110. I was having a pretty good day until it was time to pick up the kids, and something that happened over at the school caused me to blow a gasket. Just looking at this photo restores equilibrium.

06 October 2010

Resist (it's futile)

Music video set
2 October 2010

The daughter really likes making music videos. She makes sets with whatever she has to hand: GI Joes, a stuffed Yeti, an American Girl horse, Barbies (as evil Amazons), bits of scrap wood, duct tape, cardboard, crayons, old wire salvaged from my craft boxes that dates back to my days as a kindergarten room mother. Then she painstakingly creates stop motion by filming a second at a time, repositioning her characters as she goes.

(She has learned her craft through watching behind-the-scenes footage of films she likes, talking to me and reading books on the subject. She is quite serious about this stuff.)

She's been working on this set on and off since the summer. Sophisticated? No, it may not be, but it's been crafted with love and a great deal of thought as well as some trial and error. The cymbals are paper. The guitars she built of wood. The decoration on the drums is hand drawn. The wig and glasses on the Joe to the right she made completely by hand. She also made two of the t-shirts and a pair of jeans herself.

The girl is the silent but deadly type. She tends not to say anything about what she is doing until she wanders out to the kitchen and says casually, "Mommy? Come look at something."

And she smiles when I fall on her bed laughing.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

05 October 2010

View from Stirling Castle

Stirling, Scotland
5 August 2008

The action in the novel I'm reading right now is taking place at Stirling, and the description of a timbered house beneath the hill on which the castle now sits put me in mind of the area. It seemed so tranquil that August afternoon, the sheep grazing peacefully.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.