Category Archives: Snapshots from a Happy Life

Kitty cat on a formal column somewhere in Aukland, New Zealand

These are ancient, low resolution pictures from a trip to New Zealand in 2008, for Grandma’s 85th birthday. The housecats on top of formal columns tickled my fancy. They were taken at a potanical garden on a hill in Aukland, I can’t recall its name right now.

It took a bit of editing to try and reclaim the details.

For Mind over Memory’s Sculpture Saturday

Red lines

Rows of red tulips growing in the Skagit Valley in Washington State.
On a gray day it seems like the red of the tulips glows.

Since I started with red lines I thought I’d end with them as well. I feel like I ran a marathon posting every day for a month. Maybe the habit will stick and I’ll be more regular in the future.

Many thanks to Becky of Winchester for hosting this great challenge. I learned a lot about composition as I looked at people’s squares this month and spent time reshaping my own pictures to look at least okay as squares.

For Becky of Winchester’s Lines & Squares-day 31.

Crack lines

Cracked, dried mud.
Cracked, dried mud.

This is a picture that I took simply because I likes the way the morning’s misty gold light played on this cracked mud. I had some vague idea, never yet realized, that I could use it as an artsy-fartsy texture overlay for something.

The photo was taken in Shouguang, Shandong Province, China on my favorite morning walk along the river. The mud was from a massive flood of the Mihe River a couple of months earlier.

For Becky of Winchester’s Lines & Squares-day 28

Up close and personal with sumac

Close up of the fruit cluster of the stag horn sumac.

I was out on a walk and noticed that several folks along my path had this interesting plant. I loved the velvety texture of what I know know to be a fruit cluster and the bright fall colors in the foliage.

Mama Cormier posted about it as a flower of the day earlier this month where I learned that it was sumac.

At once I wondered if it was the source for the Lebanese spice sumac. Research says it is a cousin: the type in my neighbor’s gardens is called staghorn and is indigenous, and common, on the eastern coast of America (not here on the west coast). The Lebanese spice comes from a European variety that is more purple than red. However, apparently the staghorn variety is also usable as a spice and some prefer it to the European. Here is an article about it.

For Sunshine’s Macro Monday