Tag Archives: taking pictures

Photographic evidence

My camera’s batteries died on Christmas Eve, and I completely forgot about replacing them until a couple of days ago when I wanted to take a photo of the breakfast Dan made. I realized, then, that I had a month’s worth of photos I hadn’t looked at – and that I’d gone nearly a month without using my camera.

Today I sat down and looked at the photos I took of our Charlie Brown tree, of the last photos we have of Petra and Loki snuggling, and of our trip to California. It hurt. I think I’d been avoiding my camera so I wouldn’t have to see those photos, taken when I was so sad, mourning Petra before she died and mourning her afterward. I got out of the habit of taking photos regularly, and it’s something I enjoy, so I’m going to get back into it, and also get back in the habit of posting photos here.

That being said, here are some of the photos I took while we were in California for two weeks of December. The first ones are of the drive out, and the later ones I took at the new location of Berkeley Bowl (they have a NEW ONE NOW!). And the last one speaks for itself. I’ll have a whole other post forthcoming with photos from Armstrong Woods, one of my favorite places in the world, but I gotta do some processing on those photos first. Because man, it’s dark in there.

Taken in Green River, Utah, in an ice-fog. Every surface was coated with what was either snowflakes or ice crystals or both.

Note to advertisers: when shilling cheap-ass crappy burritos, “So nice, you’ll taste it twice” is really NOT the sort of image you want to be selling.

Puppy pile! My sister, her husband, and their half-grown pup Astro.


Thursday Faff

* Monday night, I saw How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version, as if another one were ever made) on the teevee, and I marveled at how phenomenally gorgeous it was in HD. Then, last night, I saw the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and it blew my freaking mind, mang. I hadn’t seen it since I was 8 or 9 (always managed to miss it somehow) and my childhood memories of the show stem from watching it on a TV with rabbit ears and not-so-great signal because we lived so far away from the city. To see it in HD glory was just unbelievably cool. I can’t wait to see what Charlie Brown looks like.

* It snowed here today, a real snow, and it continues to snow and be very cold (the high today was predicted to be 20F) It was the tiny, powdery snow that happens when it’s really cold outside, and it muffled everything as I walked to work this morning wearing my new coat which I would mary if bigamy were legal. Snow makes everything prettier, makes everything quiet and still, until you get to the big downtown intersections and then it’s just dirty mush in the street.

* Last Monday before we headed out to California on the aeroplane, Dan and I went for a run. Now, to those of you who don’t know us IRL, this may not sound like a big deal. But Dan and I trained for a marathon together a few years ago and we ran together all the time, but after it was over we pretty much stopped the practice. I somehow got away from running for the most part, while Dan continues to do so nearly every day (he runs anywhere between 3 and 6 miles, 5 days a week). I haven’t run with him in ages, and I hadn’t run at all since before I hurt my leg back in May. I wasn’t sure how the leg would do and I was really concerned about holding him back, but it did just fine. I managed to run a mile and a half without stopping. Cardiovascularly, I’m in good enough shape that I should probably be able to run 5 or 10 with no problems, but I didn’t want to push my leg too hard. And it didn’t bother me once during the run. I think it was the walking around for 6 hours in San Francisco the next day that was the problem, because Wednesday it hurt like a mofo. I decided to wait a little while and try again, so today at the gym I ran for 10 minutes in between a 15 minute walk (5 walk 5 run 5 walk 5 run 5 walk). It felt pretty good. I wanted to run more. Maybe I will this weekend.

* And without futher ado, some of the photos I took in CA. These were all in my mom’s yard; I was playing with the macro setting on my camera for some of them.


My mom has had this plant for longer than I’ve been alive.

I took a bunch of photos of this moss-growing rope swing; I liked this one best.

It’s not nice to throw things at a pig

This past weekend, Dan and I had the idea to go in search of a corn maze for some daytime outdoorsiness during what may have been one of the last nice weekends in a long time. Due to our not having internet at home, we decided we’d just drive up to the northeast a bit and see if there were any signs advertising one, but we made it to Ft. Lupton without any luck so we turned around and settled for going to the pick-your-own berry farm again.


Of course, there were no berries available for picking this time, it being way too late in the season for that. But it’s a working farm and they grow a lot of other stuff, so we knew at the very least we’d end up with some super tasty produce. It turned out we managed to get some pretty good photo opportunities as well. One of the great things was that the chickens and the turkeys and the pig were all out and about, and let me tell you, you haven’t lived until a fat potbellied pig has snuffed her nose into your leg begging for some attention, or until you’ve heard four different roosters of varying colors and sizes in a crowing competition, or until you’ve seen domesticated turkeys up close and in person, because DAMN those things are weird looking.

There was no gobbling, just a sort of weird alien burbling sound.

Where I grew up we had wild turkeys, which traveled in big flocks and were less than half the size of the domestic guys (they would also never have just stood still with people only a few feet away). We also had chickens when I was a kid, but never had more than one or two roosters at a time, and our chickens were all of the brown or speckled white-and-black varieties, so to see a whole bunch of different breeds of chicken was pretty cool. Especially the ones with the feathered feet.

Feathers! On their feet! Nutty!

It’s not easy being normal when all your fellow chickens are all cool and feather-footed.

It was a glorious afternoon, and we came away with a great haul: purple potatoes, a delicata squash, a purple kohlrabi, candy onions, a pie pumpkin, a huge red bell pepper (the last of the season). We each got some really nice photos, and there were only two drawbacks to the outing. First, while we were there a whole lot of military families converged on the place, and the parents seemed far more interested in paying attention to each other than to what their kids were doing. I didn’t mind so much seeing little boys chasing chickens around the place, but it really bothered me when the super friendly little pig settled down by the feet of a dad seated at a picnic table, and several children gathered around. At first, they behaved OK, taking turns at giving her pets. But one boy started throwing dirt chips on her, and then another one, and then all the kids were kicking and throwing dirty bark in her face. It made me really angry that none of the parents discouraged their kids from this behavior.

The nicest pig around.

Second, the eastern part of Colorado grows only a few main crops: corn, beets, and onions. A neighboring farm was “doing” their onions (I was told by the lady at the berry farm, though I don’t know if this meant they were picking them or cutting the tops off or what, but damn, that was some irritating air to the eyes). Even being inside wasn’t much better; the air was laden with hurty onion-ness and it felt like the worst allergy attack ever.

I think it’s supposed to look like this.

Much better to look at than to eat.

All things considered, though, we had a good outing. And I finally put a kohlrabi to the use it was intended: I made cole slaw with the grated kohlrabi, a large carrot, and about 1/4 of a green cabbage sliced really thinly. It made a great slaw, but next time I’ll wait to make it until we’ll be feeding a larger group. I’ve been eating leftovers in my lunch all week.

A Day of One’s Own

I took yesterday off. Mental health day, calling in well, whatever you want to call it: that’s what I did.

It was awesome. I slept in late; I walked around the neighborhood taking pictures of fall; I knitted and watched movies and napped and cleaned the kitchen and made a delicious dinner. It was the bestest day evar.

Here are some of the photos I took.

Leaves in Colorado do funny things. Sometimes, a tree will gradually change. Other times, one branch will change before the rest of the tree. Sometimes it’ll change from the outside in, or the inside out.

This is a city aspen (not to be confused with an aspen in the mountains) which is why it isn’t bright gold yet, but when it turns completely I’ll take another photo.

These vines grow all over my neighborhood and the colors are so amazingly striking sometimes.

Playing around with the settings on my camera, I managed a closeup that wasn’t blurry eventually. I love the bright yellow pollen pockets on the bee’s legs (you can see if you click on the photo).

This bush will eventually be bright scarlet red, but so far just the tips of the leaves have begun to turn pink.

This tree was unusual just because random leaves had browned amongst the summery bright green.

One of my favorite trees in Denver is a silver maple. They are all over the place, and this time of year can be a range of colors from bright green to yellow to red to dark purple – and sometimes you can get 8 colors on one tree. I didn’t have much luck getting a good photo, but you can see a variety of color on this one.

These vines were just hanging out.

Someone planted six or seven giant sunflowers in the little plot between the street and sidewalk. As you can see, they’re no longer sunny.

Our garden’s last hurrah before this weekend’s predicted freeze. You can see our pepper, our tomatoes, our pizza thyme, basil, thai basil, and about 10 volunteer marigolds (we only planted half the ones you can see here).

And two things I made since last Friday are blog-worthy: Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and Thai Pumpkin Curry with noodles. So here you go.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: Healthier and tastier than you might think

1/2 stick unsalted butter (that’s 1/4 cup)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin (a little over 1/2 the can)
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 bag chocolate chips (one cup?)

Cream together butter and sugar until mixture lightens and is fully blended. Add egg, vanilla, pumpkin, mix until blended. Add dry ingredients; mix. Add chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfulls onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until they look done. These cookies won’t spread so each one will be the size that you make it on the pan. Makes about 50-60 cookies.

Thai Pumpkin Curry with noodles

1/2 can coconut milk
1 cup water
1/2-2/3 tsp green curry paste
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (approx.)(this was leftover from the cookies)

Chopped veggies of choice. I used:
1/2 medium onion
1/2 medium bell pepper
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
20ish green beans, ends trimmed, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 cup zucchini, one inch slices and then quartered lengthwise
3 really large white mushrooms, sliced thickly

16 thawed frozen raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off
juice of 1 lime
handfull of thai basil, chopped

Rice noodles to serve 2

Pour coconut milk and water in medium saucepan and heat. Marinate shrimp in 1/2 lime juice. Add green curry paste and canned pumpkin. Stir and continue to heat, allowing sauce to thicken. Meanwhile, heat water for noodles and heat a wok, adding oil. Quickly sautee onions, carrots, bell peppers and green beans in wok with other 1/2 lime juice and a little rice vinegar. Add zucchini. Add mushrooms. Add thai basil. Add shrimp. Turn down heat and add coconut/pumpkin curry sauce. Let simmer while noodles finish cooking. When noodles are done, drain and rinse. Serve curry over noodles; it will be thicker than soup but not pasty.

Substitue chicken or tofu for the shrimp, but if you sub chicken cook it separately from the veggies and add it when you add the curry.