Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Making a Splash

A few years ago I wanted to jump off the cliff on our lake at the cottage, but I chickened out.  But, this weekend I decided the time was right and I took the leap.

The cliff looks about 10 feet high when you're in the water looking up at them, but when you stand at the top and look down they look about 30 feet high!  In reality they're only about 16 feet high.  There is something to be said for the positive impact of peer pressure though.  I certainly had more personal motivation to make the jump this time, but  all the people sitting up there and the three other boat loads (in addition to our boat full of my family), certainly would have made it harder to back out. 

The first jump was so much fun that I went back up and jumped again.  Now that the fear of the unknown is out of the way, I can just have fun and make a splash!

Christina, my granddaugher-in-law took these photos of me, using my camera.

My grandson Josh also jumped, but he went from the highest part of the cliffs (this probably is about 30 feet high) and he jumped with a lot more style, doing a full turn on the way down!  This was only one of Josh's four jumps.

These photos are being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Metamorphosis of a Monarch

Over the last few weeks, I've been learning about the beautiful Monarch butterfly.  One day, while cycling I noticed some monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants along side the road.  I decided to bring some home, milkweed and all, and set up a terrarium so that I could observe them.  Wanting to learn more about them, I did a Google search and found a lot of interesting information.  
This first image is of the male Monarch that I have photographed here, from caterpillar through the chrysalis stage, the emergence as a butterfly and finally the beautiful adult.  I know it's an male because the black lines are very narrow compared to the orange areas.  In a female the black lines and the orange areas are about the same width.  I added one of Kim Klassen's textures (kk_vintage at softlight 100%), and then I used a trick I learned in Beyond Layers to add the opaque border.

Below is the storyboard showing the Monarch through all of the stages of metamorphosis.  It's interesting to note that the chrysalis is clear.  I'm not sure what gives it the bright green colour early on, but as it progresses, you begin to see the butterfly inside.  At this stage you can already determine it's sex.  I love the bright gold 'beads' that form on the chrysalis.  You'll notice as the butterfly emerges, it 'unfolds' and begins to dry.  It only takes a few minutes for the butterfly to emerge and reach the point where it hangs to dry, and then the drying stage takes a few hours before it is ready to takes it's first short flight.

In my case, that first short flight resulted in my beautiful fascinator.  He seemed pretty content on my head, wandering around a bit but staying on my for about 30 minutes or so while I enjoyed a coffee and read out on the deck.  Finally, when he was ready he flew off onto a nearby hemlock tree where he stayed until the next morning.  Bonnie, how's this for an improbable pairing?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

GOEs Newspaper Challenge

This week, my fibre arts group, the Group of Eight, had our Newspaper Challenge reveal.  I love seeing all of the wonderfully creative and different interpretations we all have when given the same jumping off point.  One member, Judy Makinson, even included some body art!  I love how she puts her whole self into the artistic process!  You can check it out here.

You can read more about my piece (pictured here) and how it evolved, by clicking here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunsets: Focussing on the Fading Light

Inspired by Kim (Texture Tuesday) and Bonnie (Photo Art Friday), this post a collection of sunsets and sunrises taken over the last couple of weeks.  

My husband and I go for a leisurely boat cruise each evening, and many of these shots are taken while either out on the boat, or from the dock once we return from our cruise.

I love the glowing reflection of the sunset on the lake.

 "Red sky at night, sailer's delight."

We certainly like to see the beautiful pinks and mauves that signal another beautiful day to come.

I love the wonderful silhouettes of the trees.

Another glowing reflection of the sun on the water.  This is actually the sunrise.
Sometimes, before the pink sky come these wonderful blues and oranges.

I especially love the evenings when there are some clouds in the sky to add texture and dimension to the shot.
Here I captured my husband's silhouetted profile  in the foreground of the shot.
This shot was taken only a moment later, but I love how there is a double sun - other worldly...
This is one of my favourites.  I love the variety of colours in the sky.
These photos are being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Colour Sampling

Today it's raining, so I decided to catch up on some of my Beyond Layers lessons.  This lesson from a couple of weeks ago had Kim teaching us how to create a colour storyboard using a photo and sampling colours from the image.  I love all of the great tip Kim gives us.  I had done this sort of thing before, but Kim taught me a few more tricks to make the process faster and easier.

This sunset photo was taken about a week ago.  I love the silhouette of the paddlers in their canoe as they make their way toward the island in front of our cottage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Birds and the Bees and Happenings in the Trees

The Birds:
Male Grosbeak and House Finch sharing the feeder

Male Purple Finch (looks red to me...)

Female Grosbeak
Male Gold Finch
Male Ruby-throated Humming Bird

And the Bees:

A Pair of Red Squirrels (applied Kim Klassen's 'Nature's Beauty' texture)
Is this natural enough for you Kim? ;D

These photos are being linked to The Bird D'potPhoto Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World Tuesday, Wild Bird WednesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous FridayFlower Art Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Monday, July 9, 2012


   Bonnie's theme this week for Photo Art Friday is "Fencing" and since I'm always cycling, and have my iPhone with me on these adventures, I took several shots of different fences that I encountered in my travels.  I played with this first one in Photoshop, added a few of Kim Klassen's textures, and enhanced  to the warm glow of the sun on this field.

 I just love this wonderful old wooden silo and the cedar rail fence on this farm in Magnetawan.

In this shot you can barely see the simple wire fence delineating the farmers field.

These remaining shots were taken on a late October day, last fall.  

The beauty of the old stone fence covered in ivy, and set off by the bright colours of the maple tree immediately caught my attention.

Here's another cedar rail fence.  I just love the natural beauty and shape of these fences.
The bird houses on the top of each of the fence posts in this photo caught my eye.  I didn't see any birds, but I'd be interested to visit during nesting season to see how many of them are occupied.

These next two shots show a wonderfully curving cedar rail fence with a touch of frost on it.  Isn't the shadow it's casting wonderful!

You might want to check out some of these other sites to see more wonderful photography.  Perhaps some people included the sport of fencing as their contribution to Bonnie's challenge.
These photos are being linked to Photo Show OffTexture TuesdaySweet Shot TuesdayOur World TuesdayThis or That ThursdaysPhoto Art FridayShoot, Edit, SubmitFabulous Friday,Flower Art Friday and Photo Friday Link Party.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cottage Visitors

Male Red-Breasted Grosbeak
We are up at the cottage, enjoying a life of leisure, while our son holds down the fort at home.  My life of leisure including lots of cycling and photography so I thought I'd pop in and post some of the photos I've been taking of our visitors.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
A pair of Goldfinches
Immature Male Goldfinch
Purple Finsh - brought to you by the folk who
also named red cabbage :o)

Confused Red Squirrel (thinks he's
a bird LOL)

And finally a shot of the moon in the bright blue daytime sky.