Tag: nature photography

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Elf Tree Peace

Typically, homeless hang out on the sidewalks along the walls outside Sprouts supermarket, located at the intersection of Georgia and Howard in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. As such I wouldn’t have seen—or been able to take the Featured Image of—the tree-hanging lucky charm, whether he be leprechaun or Santa’s elf (you tell me which). But yesterday, the space was uncharacteristically unoccupied.

What a difference 24 hours makes. This afternoon, when I strolled by: One gent lay sleeping, wrapped in a brown blanket. Someone else huddled under a makeshift habitat, of which bicycle hubs were part of the structure. Another fellow crumpled cans collected from recycle bins; he worked from garbage bags carried in, and hanging from, a shopping cart. I couldn’t see the tree, or what was on it.

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The Loner

Why are you looking at a couple of lonely leaves? Because their grapevine is something of an obsession; I am enthralled by the growing location—on a grassy patch between sidewalk and street somewhere in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights.

Last year, I chronicled the grapes’ progression from green to mixed color to richly ripe. Walking by today, I saw that the branches had been clipped, as they are every autumn, but something remained—making me intriguingly sentimental enough to stop with Leica Q2 and capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 11:45 a.m. PST.

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Admiring God’s Paintbrush

As autumn colors lavish landscapes across the Northeastern United States, but eternal summer simmers in Southern California, I must go back to the past to find something appropriate to share—from our family’s time living a few miles outside the Washington, DC Beltway. On Nov. 2, 2005, I lugged outside Canon EOS 20D, mounted with the EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens obtained a few days earlier.

The Featured Image and companion, both composed as captured, are picks from a series for each. Looking over the set reveals similar shots at different apertures. Interestingly, for the first, I prefer the renders where the house is less blurred. Vitals: f/18, ISO 800, 1/125 sec, 200mm; 12:51 p.m. EST.

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Bumble Bee Delights

Yesterday we returned to 2007 with a backyard portrait of bunny Daisy. A few months earlier, June 24, I shot bug and flowers on a mini-medium that separates Decatur and University avenues where Newport Mill Road intersects both, in Kensington, Md. According to Google Maps street view, from June 2022, the place remains—even fuller and lusher than I recall.

I used Canon EOS 20D and EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens to shoot the Featured Image and companion. How strange is it that I clearly remember this outing when others aren’t recollected. I can’t guess why are the quirks of memory, being such an otherwise meaningless moment.

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Wee Bit of Urban Paradise

Keeping to my goal of posting something each day, I share an outtake and humbly ask your understanding. I haven’t felt well most of today—and that is quite unusual for me, being someone blessed with hearty constitution. I suppose that my problem could be SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. But symptoms say otherwise. No fever or other markers manifest.

Please pardon my being brief on this fine Tuesday evening, therefore. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 on Aug. 5, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 6:11 p.m. PDT.

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September Sunflower

Our Internet service is wonky and unreliable, which is why the unexpected break from the planned series about the New Vision Christian Fellowship building destruction (and replacement). I have several suspicions (e.g. hypotheses) about what may be the cause. When, or sadly if, resolved, a separate post will be warranted.

For this Tuesday, to stay simple while we have some IP/bandwidth functionality, I share something unexpected: September sunflower; I usually only see these puttering about our San Diego neighborhood in late Spring or early Summer.

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Lonely Locust

We take yet another break from the New Vision Christian Fellowship building destruction (and replacement). Dual problems plague us this evening: ants and uncharacteristically unavailable Internet access. To save time and keep posting simple, please regard this locust (not a grasshopper, right?) seen on Sept. 20, 2022.

I used Leica Q2‘s Macro mode, which is activated by turning a ring around the f/1.7 Summilux lens, to capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 6:16 p.m. PDT.

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Can Cactus Be Cute?

The same outing that led my wife and I to cat Nugget brought us past three cacti. The towering one, with what appeared like ears and snout, conjured anthropomorphized alpaca head—and also a cactus family, together; papa (tallest), momma (middle), youngster (smallest).

I asked Annie to stop and wait, while my fingers fumbled with Leica Q2. The Featured Image is the second of four photos, taken from slightly different perspectives. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 10:26 a.m. PDT, Sept. 15, 2022.

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The Obstacle

File the Featured Image in the category of “look up”. Because, until this evening when conducting an online image search, I had no idea that this hanging thing—upon which I repeatedly bonked my head over several months—is a banana flower. If I understand rightly, and someone correct me if mistaken, bananas should have been seen growing above had I turned my eyes upward.

I don’t exactly recall over which sidewalk the bulbous object hung, but it would be somewhere on the East side of Park Blvd in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. My guess: Louisiana or Mississippi street.

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Lunch Break!

Before SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily closed San Diego Zoo and precipitated price increases, my wife and I frequently walked about there. Those days are gone.

But remembering is good. On Aug. 15, 2019, when I captured the Featured Image, the economy was robust, inflation nominal, interest rates low, and Donald Trump the unbeatable candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election. Wow, three years ago feels like decades passed—measured by how much is upended. Global recession advances. Inflation roars. Interest rates rise. And the gaffe-prone Joe Biden is president (and the nation’s, ah, senile grandpa). Oh, yeah, who could forget the Russian-Ukraine war, U.S.-China tensions about Taiwan, or famine affecting millions of people.

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Imperfectly Perfect

Today is the fifth anniversary of mom’s passing. Chatting with my sister Nan, she said something about a Facebook quiz querying whether one would want a different mother if such circumstance could be. She wouldn’t. Nor would I. Mom was imperfectly perfect.

She was selfless in all the ways that matter. She was generous within her means. She wasn’t one to hold grudges or to flush with anger. By measure of core character, she was—and I should say is in the afterlife—genuinely good as most anyone can be in this world born from evil seed. We four children were blessed to have her.