Saturday, December 20, 2014



On the 17th I finished up my health-care to-do list for the year, with a mammogram and a bone scan.

I tell myself that I should be grateful for people who are willing to hurt me "for my own good," but I find it's a hard thing to be grateful for.  I'd much rather spend my health-care time and dollars on ... a massage! ... than on dentistry or a mammogram.  (The bone scan is quick and painless.  Neutral, rather than painful, but still, I'd rather have a massage!)  But what they were able to learn as a result of hurting me is that all is well, and gratitude for that is something I can easily get behind.

I went to the new part of the University's extensive health system that is across Plymouth Road from the place where I met my better half, many moons ago. 

Behind the health-system buildings is land with fewer human marks on it than most of the land around here.  I saw signs that said "Wetland Conservation Easement" (whatever that may mean).

I liked the different colors of what remains of the plants.

"WHAT colors?" you may ask.  Well, let's make the color more visible, shall we?

If you look back, at the image above, I think it's possible to see these colors.  They are much more subdued, in the original, but they're there...........

It makes me smile, to see the full-blown color.  While I can enjoy the subtlety of the original, I really rejoice in the saturated version below.

I was, by the way, using the phone, rather than the camera.

I was thinking it would be easier to get at than the camera (as getting at a fanny pack under my winter coat is not all that easy, and then zipping the coat back up is annoying too -- I think it's on the verge of needed a new zipper, alas).

So I put the phone in a pocket inside my coat.  That was a lot easier to get at.  Though, as I think of it now, the camera would handily fit into that same pocket.......

Anyway -- all three of these images were taken with the phone.

There is asphalt driveway all around the health-system buildings.  Along the edge next to the "Wetland Conservation Easement", part of the land next to the driveway is muddy, and some of that was under water.

Leaves, in a muddy puddle.

I think there must be deer on this land.  I kept seeing what looked like deer footprints -- pairs of long-ish oval depressions.  I did not see anything that looked like series of tracks, just one here and two there.  This is one of the clearest of the pairs of marks -- I am pretty sure this is a deer footprint.  It was about 3" long.

I didn't notice all the gravel in the shot above until I saw it on the big screen.  I'm always surprised at how many different sorts of rock one sees in any random assortment.  Look at all the different colors here.....

It wasn't really a very nice day.  Gray, as you could see above.  Cold, and windy.  I walked around the outside edge of the pavement around the health-system buildings, beginning in the back, around to the car, and then all the way around.  Stopping for pictures a couple of times, it took me about half an hour, and I decided that was my walk for the day.


Friday, December 19, 2014

December 16


I got going late on the 16th.  It was dark and wet when I walked.  We were having a warm spell, so the temp was about 40 (F).  It was drizzling.

All in all, not a bad day, for December 16.  Not bad at all.

My daughter has taken some really good pics in low light with her phone.  It was completely dark when I took this one (with the phone).  Dark, aside from all the man-made light....  The phone's flash was on, I discovered after the first shot.  I didn't know how to turn it off, and didn't want to fiddle with it, as it was so damp out.  This image was more green than I thought it should be (the flash?  I don't know).  So I lowered the green.  Otherwise, the above is SOOC (straight out of camera).

(I did not use the camera, too, because I didn't want its lens [which sticks out of the camera when the camera is turned on] to get wet.)

Not a very interesting pic.  I was curious to see what I'd get, and this was it.

As I was thinking about taking this pic, one of the neighbors on the south end of my block appeared out of the gloom.  She said she'd just seen Exodus, and that it was big and funny, and the 7-yr-old boy who played God was wonderful, and that the movie was long, and her back hurt, hence she was out for a walk.

She was outbound, I was inbound.  We went our separate ways, on a dark damp December evening.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 15


After several cloudy days, the sun came out!

I quickly got myself together and outside, to walk in the sunshine.

Sun on the tulip-tree seeds.

Green retaining wall, east end.

I like the abstraction of the closer view.

The sunny south side of the same wall.  You can tell this wall is heavily shaded, in summer, or there wouldn't be this much green on it.

Mid-December sun, low in the southwestern sky.


A couple of closeups to illustrate my growing belief that there's no "wrong" way to paint clouds.  Any way you can think of or produce has existed in nature, somewhere, sometime............

Looking at the sun.

Looking at what the sun is shining on.

We seriously need to see the sunshine, in December..................


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

mongooses in a ball pit


Need a chuckle?

Watch the video......................


"Merry Christmas" in various European languages


Because I love maps -- here's a seasonal map with "Merry Christmas" in many languages.


December 13


On the 13th I got dropped at the downtown library.  They were having a "local indie artists" holiday sale.  I bought several postcards from David Zinn, who does excellent sidewalk-chalk work around town. 

I walked home, doing a bit of light retailing along the way.

I was pleased to see this one of David's chalk drawings on a downtown sidewalk!  It needs a touch-up....

There is a lot of holiday painting on the store windows.  I liked the ice-skating bears on Cherry Republic.  I went inside and sampled some interesting cherry goods, and made a small purchase.

I made a few more small purchases , and then headed for the park.  I hadn't walked through West Park for weeks. 

I was struck by these very pale Japanese maple leaves, still on their tree.  Ghost leaves.....  These would have been very red, two months ago.

The pond doesn't look frozen, at first glance, but look at the branches and stuff that people have heaved onto the pond.  There is clearly some substantial ice, under a layer of water, holding up all that stuff.

Looking 90 degrees to the left -- bittersweet, in the trees on the south side of the pond.

I heard a noise; I looked back toward the west -- look, there goes a muskrat under the bridge!  I saw it running across the ice, but by the time I got the camera on it, it was almost in the water.

Closer crop.

I stood still, for a while.  It came back, but stayed right here, under the bridge, as long as I watched.

Closer crop.

There was some bread on top of the ice.  I bet the muskrat was snacking on the bread, when not disturbed by annoying monkeys.

I thought this muskrat looked smaller than the ones I saw over the summer.  I wonder if it's one of the young ones I kept hearing about, or if I just can't remember how big the ones I saw were, and this is one of them.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

rapping flight attendant


This guy is great!

Found via a link sent me by my bro.


December 12


Another day, another walk, another jet trail.....

I decided to try some filters.  Because You Never Know.

Whoa.  Ok.  "Halftone."

Some of these filters take into consideration your basic "page color" settings.  The default is black "ink" on white "paper."  The last color I actually drew with, in Photoshop Elements, was the green line on the spine of that one curly goldenrod leaf.  So that's where this green came from.  The "page color" (my words; I don't know how the people at Adobe think of these settings) was set to black and green, rather than black and white.

Weird effect, no?

"Ink outlines" apparently does not take the current "page color" settings into account.

This next one is from the above image, with part of the left side and part of the top cropped off.

I think this looks a bit like a Japanese print.

Closeup of left, center.

Color removed.

Closeup of lower right.

Closeup of lower center.

"Stamp" filter.  (With the green removed; this image started as black and green.)

Walking on.  Sunset.

Zooming in on the clouds in the image above.

A few minutes later -- completely different clouds.

I saw this bird fly up from the ground and land on this branch.  I zoomed quite a lot to get this image.

Close crop, lightened significantly.  Isn't it interesting how much differentiation there actually may be, in what looks like a black-and-gray image?

Hawk.  This was a fairly small hawk.  About the size of a crow, I estimate.  Maybe a bit bigger, but not much.


Monday, December 15, 2014

December 11


Before sunrise.  The fog at the bottom of the image is frost on the window.

Much later.  Walking.  The 11th was one of those odd days when it's fairly windy at the surface, but must be still aloft, as the jet trails last and last.

Barberry berries.

The setting sun, in Tree Town.

Love this curly grass.

Glowing edges.

Jet trails.

Goldenrod leaves.  More curls.........

Following the spine of one leaf.........

Glowing edges.

"Photocopy."  I like the way the background goes away.

"Glowing edges."  I like the ghostly feel of this one.........

"Glowing edges" -- interesting how all the data in the image turns into colored wavy lines.........