Day 243—I Never Saw A Purple Cow.

I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow
I’d rather see than be one.

I have always loved that nonsensical poem. I learned it as a child, and until just a few minutes ago, I thought it was written by Ogden Nash. Not so. It was penned by Gelett Burgess, in 1895. Who knew? Obviously not me. But, what’s with the purple cow, you ask?

Well, today I was busy finalizing trip details, and pampering myself: massage, lunch with a friend, my first ever professional pedicure. So my photo today slipped my mind. When I walked outside to look at my patio to make sure no plants were dying out there, I glanced over at the purple garden table my husband built years ago. I was not thrilled with the prospect of having a purple table in the yard and he built two! He carefully selected the paint color and then painted them to make them look weathered. At that time, I recited this poem to make myself realize that if it was something Ron wanted to do, what difference could it possibly make to me? I’ve come to love those tables. And now, they really are weathered and a bit wobbly.

The late afternoon sun striking the side of one of the tables caught my eye and I remembered that I hadn’t photographed anything yet today. So, out came the camera. I tried adjusting the white balance to get the exact color of the table but now realize the camera’s LCD screen does not render accurate color. So, I made a slight purple hue adjustment in the color panel in Aperture and got the exact color of the table.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 100
f/5.6
1/80

Day 242—Colorful

While cleaning up around my parrot’s cage today, I thought that the colorful toy that she ignores by the way, would make an interesting subject because of its form and color. I haven’t used my 35mm prime lens in a while so I attached it to my camera and set the aperture wide open and put the camera on the tripod. I laid the toy on my black kitchen table. This reminds me of those Chinese finger traps.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 100
f/1.8
1/13
SOOC

Day 241—We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

Kansas is the Sunflower State and the sunflower appears on the Kansas State flag. Those facts made an article I found with a priceless quote all the more interesting to me: “That plant on our state flag is not a marijuana plant, but a sunflower.” This quote is from the attorney for a former mayor of a place called Bel Aire, Kansas, whose home was raided by police and whose sunflower plants were confiscated as contraband, the police believing they were marijuana. I thought the quote seemed a little Wizard of Oz-ish and the huge field of sunflowers I discovered at the intersection of Highway 99 and Elverta Road when I drove home from Redding this afternoon, was perfect to illustrate the quote.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 100
f/9
1/100
Adjustments with Curves and Levels

Day 239—Due Biciclette Bianche

My Italian lessons have fallen by the wayside, but, oddly enough, one of the first words I learned when I was diligent in my Italian lessons was bicicletta, the Italian word for bicycle. Today, as Peggy and I left Lucca, the Italian restaurant that is our favorite for lunch before Music Circus, we encountered these two white bicycles chained to a bicycle rack just outside. I thought they made an interesting subject for my photo today. And, at least now I know the word if I need to hail a bicycle or two in Italy.

I made a few exposure adjustments in Aperture because it was slightly underexposed.

Focal Length 52mm
ISO 250
f/5.6
1/250

Day 237—Ambrosia

I tasted my first Ambrosia melon about 30 years ago. I think it’s a cantaloupe hybrid but it is sweeter and more fragrant and simply more luscious; in short, it truly is ambrosia—the food of the gods. They are hard to find but today, a farmer from Wheatland at the Thursday Farmers’ Market had a basket full of them.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 100
f/16
1/100
SOOC

Day 236—Bench

Since I started my 365 photo project, my friends have become used to me shouting out things like, “pull over, I want to take a picture of that inflatable gorilla,” or “oh, look, the water’s almost over the banks of the creek, I need to take a picture of that,” or “I’ll catch up with you as soon as I take a picture of this dandelion.” They’ve all been very understanding and very cooperative, often even suggesting photo opportunities for me.

This morning, when I raced past some friends talking at the front desk at the gym, dropped my stuff, and ran by them again with my camera declaring, “I’ve got to go out and take my photo of the day,” no one batted an eyelash. But I may be pushing the tolerance some friends have for my enthusiasm for photography. When I came back inside a few minutes later they were curious about what had caught my attention that required me to dash out the door to capture an image before it got away. The expressions of obvious incredulity, and yes, disappointment, on their faces when I showed them the photo of the empty bench outside the gym door, were painfully apparent. They were unimpressed with my efforts. “You mean you rushed outside like a bat out of hell to take a picture of an inanimate object?” I started to explain about the angle of light and shadows but thought better of it.

When I got home and looked at the 6 photos I took of the bench at various focal lengths, I, too, was unimpressed. But after cropping and changing from color to sepia tone, I decided I liked the result.

Focal Length 62mm
ISO 100
f/14
1/125
Cropped/sepia and vignette added

Day 235—No. 11-161

This morning I rescued my first owl. An injured barn owl. I got the call at 8:15 this morning long after I’m normally at the gym but today I kept finding reasons to delay my departure and the owl rescue won out over the gym. It was close by, just a couple of miles away and I threw on some clothes and drove over. He was leaning against the fence, his wing and leg injured. According to the home owner, he’d had to defend himself earlier this morning when her dog decided to investigate.

I took the time to take a photo because he did not seem agitated; he seemed resigned. I didn’t approach too closely when I took the photo. I’m glad I didn’t because he tried to get away from me when I approached a few minutes later to towel him. But as soon as I covered his head with a towel, he relaxed and didn’t struggle as I placed him in the picnic basket which has become my raptor rescue carrier. When I dropped him off at the Bird and Pet Clinic of Roseville, headquarters for the California Foundation for Birds of Prey, the raptor organization for which I volunteer, he was assigned number 11-161, the 161st raptor brought in this year to date.

I wish I’d had my 70-300mm lens on the camera but my 18-200 did the job and I cropped this photo. This isn’t a happy photo but I’m hoping he survives. He was moving in the carrier as I drove and they had started to examine him as I left the clinic.

Focal Length 200mm
ISO 400
f/5.6
1/50
Cropped

Day 234—A Shot in the Dark

A shot in the light? Whatever! My friend Susan gave me these shot glasses for my birthday last year. I plan to serve my limoncello in them when it’s ripe. . . is “ripe” the correct term for limoncello that’s been setting in a dark closet while it reaches its perfection? I won’t try it until I return from Italy and have tasted lots of limoncello in its birthplace, Sorrento. We’ll be there four nights so we should have ample opportunity to do taste tests. I hope mine measures up. Okay, my pretties, nirvana awaits.

Focal Length 35mm
ISO 100
f/16
4/5 seconds
SOOC