Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 109

Today, John and I went to lunch at Applebee's.

After lunch, I saw these birds on the power lines, near our car. There were a few on the lawn, but John chased them. He's not a very good photography buddy. He says he was trying to get them to fly, so I could take a photo. Unfortunately, that doesn't help me, as capturing birds flying, takes some skill and patience.

These two birds were in a near by tree.

Shortly after I spotted them, one flew off and I was able to photograph that.

On the way back to the house, he drove, so I got to stick my camera out of the window and take random luck photos.

This is part of the hill near our house. A few years ago, this forest area was lush, but then a crew straightened out this section of road, and the trees suffered. They look odd with branches closer to the top, vs. evenly spaced along the trunk. This is normal of trees that are close together, but these no longer are.

This is a tree near the house.

While at the house, I noticed Pippi staring at the windowsill. When I looked where she was staring, I saw this ant. Sigh, I guess it's another Spring and Summer of killing ants.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 108

Today, was very busy. I started off my adventures at The Richmond Institute of Burlesque for a pastie making class. While I was waiting for Deepa De Jour to get there, I took some photos.

The sky was cloudy, but had some variation in color, due to the sun.

These are Dandelion buds.

These are purple flower buds.

There were several birds chatting in this tree. Most flew off when I turned around and looked at them. These three stayed.

My next stop was Illumination Dance Studio for a pressure point self defense class. Before I headed into the building, I took this photo of this beautiful pine tree.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 107

Today Alex and I went to Maymont Park, to meet up with the 365 ladies. Amy Whitehurst of Snow Globe 365 was the only one able to join us for a bit. The weather was windy and cold, so we didn't stay long after Amy left.

If you've never been to Maymont, it's a huge estate that was owned by the Dooleys and is now a privately owned park, but open to the public. They have lots of events, a large variety of animals, gardens and acres of rolling hills to explore. Today, we started at the main entrance by the gardens. We focused on the Italian Gardens and the Japanese Gardens...mostly the Japanese, as it's a larger area and has a bamboo forest to wonder through.

At the main entrance, there are pansies in a variety of colors.

These yellow pansies are along the right side of the entrance path, below some bushes.

These little bugs were all of the park. They clung to my clothing, but they were so small, they didn't bother me.

We had a picnic under this beautiful tree. In the Spring, Summer and early Fall, the leaves provide shade.

There has been a strong wind lately, so there were lots of limbs on the ground.

This is a fallen dead bloom from the tree above.

After our picnic, we put our picnic stuff in the car (which is when we took the photos by the entrance) and ventured into the gardens.

This is a tree with small red flowers. The tree is behind the carriage house.

Near the tree, the ground was covered with violets.

This dandelion was alone in the surrounding violets.

The upper wall of the Italian garden is lined with flowering bushes. I think they are roses. There were several new blooms, but the bases of them looked dead.

The ground on the Italian garden path had these small purple flowers as a ground cover plant.

The lower section of the upper wall had these dead flowers.

There is this beautiful double stair case leading down towards the Japanese garden path. There is a waterfall that flows between the two stair cases, but it was turned off for Winter. There were these brown spots on the water side railing. I assume they are rust.

You can take the regular path to the Japanese gardens, or you can have a bit of an adventure and go through the bamboo forest. I choose the bamboo forest, since it was only Alex and I. I knew we could do this without a problem. Also, we were just crossing over to the other waterfall and this is the faster route.

This is the ceiling of the bamboo forest. Different sections are tall enough to easily walk through and some less traveled routes you have to crouch through.

This is one of the taller path ways.

This waterfall was turned off  too. This is what the base of it looks like without the flow of water. Some areas were dry and some were muddy. This waterfall flows down into a stream and eventually the pond.

The pond is stocked with koi fish. There were 4 geese and 3 ducks swimming in the pond with the large amount of Koi.

There are many koi in this pond in a variety of colors. We saw orange with black spots, yellow, somewhere in between those two, off white and black. Photowise, I was happy to see so many and I also liked the reflection of the trees on the water.

These are two of the geese.

Something (maybe annoying people) upset the geese. They started honking loudly for about 30 minutes. They were swimming quickly in the water, chasing each other and towards the humans.

The ducks quacked a bit too, but not much. This is one of the two male ducks and the one female. I love the rippled effect in the water, that the male duck caused by swimming quickly.

We headed to the other end of the pond, to escape the noisy geese. I wanted to capture the tall trees and their reflections.

I like this section of the pond, because there are many odd roots. This particular grouping is unusual, as there are two faces. I like to think of them as mystical guardians of the pond.

The trees in this section are very tall, with many spiky looking branches. This photo was taken by setting my camera to a 2 second delay, a landscape setting and placing the camera on the ground, facing up.

I think the Grotto is man made, but the plants are natural. It looks like the mouth of a monster. Of course, I had to temporarily feed Alex to it. She emerged unscathed.

We climbed back through the bamboo forest, up towards the Italian Gardens from a different section. I don't recommend this, as your calves will hate you. The view of the park here is amazing. This is a section of it where you can see the James River and the rail road tracks.

This is a fallen pine cluster, under that tree with the red flowers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 106

Today, the wind was blowing the trees strongly and the clouds were moving quickly. During the day, I took a still photo and many photos to make a couple stop motion movies of the wind moving the trees and clouds.

This is while the wind was blowing. A bird was flying around. I was lucky enough to take a photo of it.

To better show how the wind effected the trees and clouds, I made two stop motion movies.

Later in the day, taking advantage of the bright sunlight, I took a photo of my long shadow. You can't see defined legs, because I was wearing a long skirt.

This is the sun blazing through the trees. Notice, the clouds have moved away.

In the evening, we all headed out to a friend's house for dinner.

On the way we stopped at a bakery for fancy breads. John went inside to buy the bread. Alex and I waited at the car. I took a photo of the pretty sunset with the cloud free sky.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 105

Today, there was rain. Before this project, I used to dread rainy days, but now I look forward to them, for the change of lighting and the reflective properties it has.

Also, the flowers are starting to bloom, which is a seasonal treat. I haven't found more than this one bloomed, but I'm sure I will find more soon.

There is lots of English Ivy that grows along the main walkway to the bus stop. The rain made it glossy and reflective.

The Camellia leaves were also glossy with rain. This one is so reflective, you can see a shadowy reflection of me at bottom of the leaf.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 104

Since I've been taking upwards shots of the trees by placing my camera on the ground, I wanted to try the same thing, but with bushes. I will try this again in the day light, but I started at night, because I like the contrast of the green leaves against the black night sky...yeah, we'll just say that, vs. I was lazy and waited until 10pm...

This is the Camellia bush.

This is one of my neighbor's bushes.

This is the Rhododendron.

A different view of the Rhododendron.

Another bush. I don't know what kind.

Earlier in the day, Pippi's squirrel friend climbed over to the Crape Myrtle, chittered at me for Pippi and then left when Pippi (who was sleeping not in view of the squirrel) didn't answer the request. This is the squirrel staring at me intensely. It's a bit creepy, but cute...only because it's furry. I think this is the squirrel named Oscar. It isn't as afraid of humans as the other squirrels are. It lets me come really close to it for photos. It's the star of many photos in this blog.