Thursday, December 30, 2010

Art for a Mom

I just had to post this. I took a picture of a house that my wife was born in and sent it to my daughter. She in turn did this and had it stretched over a frame, they have a name for that, and I hung it in the wife's office. Her ability to get the colors to match so closely so that you see the picture but you do see the none existant frame is surreal to me. A frame would ruin it.

I just had to share it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Decembers Halfway Scenic Update

I realize that I didn't get the picture taken yesterday but I was laid up in the hospital for a procedure that had me there at 6 AM. I'm retired and had forgotten that there is such a thing as 6 AM. Seven in the winter is tough. That's why my pictures are taken at 8 or very close to it. I figure, no rush to get up when I'm not going out.

Big difference in the days of choice. Yesterday was sunny and today we had ourselves a small snow storm. It made the morning rush hour quite miserable for those that had to get out in it.

The whole intent of these pictures is setting the camera up on the same spot and shooting for the exact same, or as close as I can get with my knowledge of the day, picture for one year. It is to show how the scene out the east end of my house changes over time. Looking back in the archives will let the viewer see the change in color, weather and light. If I was ambitious enough I would probably get up earlier but then it would just be darker in most cases in the winter months.

Currently, if you look back at the 12/1 image you will see the sun coming up in the left hand side of the frame and as we go into the warmer months it will move to the left.

Today I took two shots. One in color but of course the color of snow is white and being such a heavy snow fall the sky is really dark. The snow turns orange with the sodium vapor street lights. The second picture is monochrome. I did this just to see if it looked any colder than the 17 degrees the weather people were reporting.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, Tamron 18-270mm VC DiII lens.
Shutter 5 sec., Aperture 4.0, ISO 100, Exposure compensation -2, Focal length 35mm, White Balance is Daylight, Manual Focus and Picture Style is Landscape.

Same camera and lens.
Shutter speed 8 sec., Aperture 4.0, ISO 100, Focal length 35mm, shot in manual mode and Picture Style is of course Monochrome.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Poor Weatherman

I'm sure that everyone has one, if not more, weather persons that we all figure like to hear themselves talk. It is their moment of glory when some sort of weather disturbance comes into town.

It isn't like the weather is going to change in the next thirty minutes or even the next hour or so and yet, they stay on the airways. Interrupting the local and national programming to bring you the latest up to date information. Like I said, it isn't going to change very quickly.

This latest storm, and I use that loosely, pretty much came in like they said. Started with rain and turned to snow on just about the exact time frame they said it would. We even got the winds, although, I doubt we got exactly what they meant for us to get with their warnings of gusts from 30 up to 40 mph.

As usual, north of I-70, that all mighty line of concern in this area, it was a little more intense but then they usually get it north of here or anywhere else that has a north of here.

I have tried to do justice to a particular photo that I took this morning. This is after the snow (storm) started at about 6 AM Sunday morning. I have been able to make the trees in the distance look frosty. I took it in monochrome for a gloomy look and tried to highlight the sunny side of the image to show that there is light at the end of the storm.

I'm not belittling the weather people, I'm just saying do your job and report the weather. Don't give me a play by play of each and every street, road crew, snow flake or rain drop. I have windows as most people do and I can see what is going on.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Decembers Monthly Photo Posting

Same shot setup as the two in November. We have had 6" of rain since a couple of days before Thanksgiving. Three on the first occassion and three more two days ago. It dried out overnight and turned really cool to colder. Flurries were the local news headline as if it couldn't snow quite yet. Well, the white stuff here is snow and after I took this picture, around noon, it started coming down pretty good. The local weather will be a trace because the measuring point is at Dayton International Airport but here, about 12 miles south, we have in the neighborhood of 1/2 to 3/4" of the white stuff. I took some photos and I may put them up tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

My favorite day of the year, holiday wise, has come. I use to enjoy the Macy's Day Parade but that has changed over the years. They need to call it something else. What, I don't know, they changed it, let them figure it out.

I marched in the parade four years in a row with a drum and bugle corps called The Miller's Blackhawks. We practiced for weeks before hand, took the train from Dayton, OH to NYC and then were up at 3 AM the morning of the parade. We had to be in uniform to do a one time run through in front of Macy's at 4 AM. Then we would go by bus to Central Park to stand in the cold and wait to get started. But, like televised footballs of old, no matter how hard you practice to look your best for mom and dad to see you, you get cut for someone giving you play by play of stuff you just watched in a football game or you get to see someone perform that is on a stage that was pre-recorded in all probability and definitely NOT in the parade. So, the parade isn't worth watching because like everything else, it's all about them and not the parade participants.

Today is the day my wife goes all out for and I don't believe it is her favorite day. I will admit, it is a lot of work. I try to help buy am usually in the way. I'm allowed to chop the onions and celery for the dressing. I can mix the dip and I get to carve the turkey which is fixed the night before and then re-heated for simplicity of cooking all the other stuff on Thursday.

On thing the wife does is put out a nicely decorated table. Once you see it, no matter what your mood may have been, it will change. Here are some samples, click on them to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Alfa Romeo Giulia SS

Automobiles are always changing in some way. Be it the body design or just the horse power under the hood, they change and the average Joe has no idea. Some one, a gear head, would because his mission in life is to know all he can about the things that roll down the road. He may not be an expert but he knows. Some specialize in their knowledge while others try to master the world, which some do a pretty good job at it.

I posted the logo of the Alfa Romeo Milano and told a little about what the emblem means. It was a short lived version of the Alfa but it was interesting enough for me to go back and read more. I went to the Concours d`Elegance this year so I had the opportunity to see the car close up. I wish I had found the owner, but he was probably off looking at other cars.

This is a 1964 Guilia SS. The Guilia followed the Guiletta in 1962 with a little larger engine and a five speed on the column. I tell people that I drove a Peugot with a column five speed and they think I'm nuts. In '63 the car was fitted with disc brakes all around and a larger engine. This is a 1964 model with 129 HP and is properly referred to as the Alfa Romeo Guilia 1600 Sprint Speciale Bertone. The Bertone is the the coach builders name.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sports Cars Come and Go

Arnolt-Bristol cars. They were, as I said in my previous post about logos, cars that came and went. They weren't around for many years, 1953 to 1959 with the last new one being sold in 1968. Not sure if it was sold as a 68 or a 59. Here again was a car with basically two different CEO, COO, CFO and so on.

S.H. Arnolt was an industrialist from Chicago that imported foreign sports cars. The Bristol part was from Bristol Cars Ltd. from Bristol, England. They made luxury cars. Arnolt struck a deal to have 200 chassis' delivered but on their way to America they would be dropped off at other places to get bodies and other modifications. They were fitted with 130 HP 6 cyl. Bristol motors but had three two barrel Solex carbs installed.

As you can see, the interiors were not designed for comfort but more for racing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What's In A Logo

The logo of the 1946 to 1972 Alfa Romeo. One might ask about the meaning of a logo and in some cases like this one, there are meanings and stories to be told. This isn't so true in the automobile world today, or so one would think. In the early times of the motor car brands came and went. This one tells the names of the originators and where it was built.

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company) or A.L.F.A. This came about after the original partnership failed and the company that was in France was moved to Italy. The red and white colors represent the farmers and citizens. The red cross is the Cross of Christ. The green serpent with the man in its jaws is symbolizing the protection of the House of Visconti from its enemies. The laurel wreath in some of the badges of the Alfa Romeo line was to represent the winning of the world title.

When Neapolitan businessman Nicola Romeo bought the company he converted its factories to produce munitions and machineries for World War I. After the war, the company went back to producing cars and took on its owner’s last name to become Alfa Romeo.

So, what's in a logo?

Near The Goldfinch Feeder

Yesterday we had much needed rain. We’ve been in a drought situation since June or so. Might have seen moisture in July once and again in September. Three or four days in October but that is about it. We have had what many would describe as an almost perfect fall weather wise. In the upper 60’s to low 70’s. You think you need the sweat shirt and you find yourself hot by noon. You put the mower away and have to get it out again.

Well, now that we are officially half way through November we are finally getting fall weather and I will assure you that there are those that are complaining as to how cold and dreary it is. Dreary, yesterday, maybe. Cold, no, just cooler than it was. Highs are in the upper 40’s to low 50’s. Yes winter is coming on but that is what it is suppose to do and we should hope that it does. That is how our planet is set up to function.

These Finch’s were eating heavily yesterday. They have to keep their body temperatures up and eating is one way they do it. At first I thought Batman had arrived but figured out it was my setup so I kept it.

A Rainy Day

Lone Sentinel


Monday, November 15, 2010

Second Installment

This is the second posting of the same scene at the same time of day and everything else being as nearly the same as before. There is only one difference, well two. The first is the focal length which I will discuss in just a few more lines and the other is the time of day. It is the same but it isn't depending on how you interpret "time of day". I took the first shot before our time chance in this area. Had the time not backed up an hour we would be in the dark still but we let the farmers get out earlier and warm the houses up sooner in this neck of the woods by moving the time, or so they say.

This and the last photo have been taken with the Canon Rebel EOS XTi as will all the future pictures. I only have thus only use one lens. Got rid of the others since, for me, this is such a versatile lens. It is the Tamron 18-270-mm VC DiII.

Now the differences as they come up. I am for the simplicity and balance of I am shooting in this series of photos. I will shoot everything in Auto (P) mode. This is Auto but the (P) means the flash won't work unless I allow it to. With that in mind the camera picked these settings; ISO 100, f-stop 7.1, time 1/125 sec. The focal length is my mistake. I thought I was setup at 46mm but in fact it is 55mm. This is just a small change in the light allowed to the sensor but it is a difference. Good thing I'm not an engineer or I would have to start all over. This of course would be impossible because time has passed and this means all the variables that were then are gone now.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Snow or Rain

The weather people were calling for some snow possibly today. Seems like we can always tell what type of weather we are going to have by our clouds. High wispy ones are generally good weather and low broke pillowy dark clouds always say winter or a late fall storm in on the way.

Clouds that look like they almost never end, or very cottony looking ones, those say thunder clouds which means rain. Well, these are the pictures of the clouds yesterday afternoon. I even changed one to get that wintery feeling but they still say RAIN. It rained right after I took this and this morning they said, no proof, that there were snow flakes seen.


Monday, November 1, 2010

First Monthly Installment

As I said, I will be taking a photo of the same shot for the next 12 months. It will be out the same window with all the details being the same that are physically possible, i.e. position of camera, the setup of the camera in mode and focused on the same tower off in the distance. All the while, if the weather changes, so does the image because the camera position won’t change thus if the snow or rain is blowing against it, well you won’t see much. Also, as Dec. and Jan come into play the terrain may get hard to see. The interesting thing to watch it, as long as it can be seen with no clouds, will be the sun rise. In this first picture you can see the brightest spot in the sky is off to the right. It will slowly, way to slow for some of us, creep its way back to the right.
Periodically I may include the “all up to now” post. Maybe quarterly. Also, as I mentioned before, I may do a bi-monthly. I will take the picture but posting it will be whether there is a significant change to be seen. After all, not enough change makes for a dull conversation.
I will give the details here about the image. It will always be taken with my Canon Digital Rebel XTi. The lens will always be my Tamron 18-270mm Di II VCD and will probably have a Focal Length set for 46mm. The shooting mode, even though I really prefer Manual will more than likely stay at Auto or Aperture Priority AE. I can make it look better but I am trying to see what the eye sees.
In this first photo the weather is clear and about 36 degrees. Some frost but it doesn’t show here.
Nov 1 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Harvest Time

It is that time of year again when the days get shorter and cooler. There are more cloudy days than sunny, or so it seems.

The trees change from their lush greens to their brilliant colors of yellow, reds, orange and purple. Other vegetation takes its rightful place in the color spectrum by turning different shades of browns and yellow/gold while showing their brilliant berries that they have been growing through the summer months. These plants have set themselves up to feed the creatures of mother earth through the winter, only harvested as needed. Others are grown by man in order to feed mankind, hence, the harvesting time of the year.

The scenery will change now that the corn in the field to my east has been taken in. A more wide open expanse will be seen. Black Birds, Starlings and Geese will now visit the field to get what man has left behind. The field will take on a more bleak appearance until next spring when the new crop goes in. This year corn so next year will be soybeans.

Starting next month I have decided to take the same shot of this field with the camera set up in the same location as well as the same or near same setup with quality being of first importance. I will do this on the first of the month, and maybe the middle, at 8 AM every time. Driving rain or snow from the east will be the only thing that will stop me. My calendar in the computer is already set to remind me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Yesterday morning I awoke to a cloudy, dreary looking day. It was warmer than usual for this time of year, about 10 degrees, so I figured I would get some outdoor work done sometime during the day.
When I open the blinds I have a view of some small trees that have been planted. One, not so small but in relative growth of the species it is small. The one further out is small and really not much taller than myself.
Bottom line, I liked the color combination that I was looking at so I took these shots. And, as it turned out, the weather stayed very warm but not bad for out door work and the sun came out after lunch to brighten things up.
Brilliant ContrastLeather Look
On a cloudy day the Silver Maple in the background will lighten any yard up with its yellow hue.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Little Color


Just playing around with the ISO, aperture and f-stop led to playing with the color.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Short Road Trip to a Bakery/Orchard in Ohio

I rode shotgun so I could take some pictures on the way up to a place called Steven's Bakery and Orchard.
From our house it was just about a half hour up or back but we took different routes in these directions.

On the way up we went through a little burg called New Carlise. It hasn't changed in years. Did notice, almost too late, that there was a street rod sitting on the curb. Top was up but should have been down as it was a great convertible day.

After going north for a short distance we turned east on SR55. Saw some really nice country, a little rolling but mostly flat. Got a shot of a farmer plowing off in the distance and then a shot of a barn with a decorative painting on the front. At first I just thought it was another barn sitting in an open field but as we got closer I could see there was something on the front of it. Looks like a large quilt. Wish I knew the significance of it.

The next turn was south at Thackery. I haven't looked but I would assume that Thackery is at best a village. Biggest thing there is a grain silo.

We only had to go about a mile or so to get to our destination and due to the fact that the sign was no more than about 20" x 20", we almost went right by it. The only thing that really saved us was the fact that I looked it up on Map Quest and the overhead shot did it justice. I saw the curve, the railroad track and the fence. We made a commanding left turn onto the gravel drive.

The bakery/orchard is someones house with a small building out back that has the apples in it along a wall. There is a refrigerator where I assume they keep cider (they were sold out for the year) and other more perishable items. A young lady came out of the house wearing a hair net where I would have to figure she was baking pies. I have had one of their pies. We bought it at a place called Apple Country just north of Spring Valley, OH. The pie was called Buckeye Pie. My intent was to share it with a neighbor, especially since I was informed that I would be eating it by myself. I did just that. Ate two pieces the first two days and then a piece after dinner every day after until it was GONE;(...

After getting some apples, had samples first, I took some pictures and then we headed out going south again. The next turn was onto Coffin Rd. How creepy is that name at this time of year. It is tree lined and covered, narrow and it winds back and fourth. With the fall leaves it is really a neat little road.

The next turn was onto North Hampton-Donnelsville Rd. This took us into North Hampton. Small but very quaint. There is a building in what would be the center of town called The Hampton. From the light we were stopped (SR41) at I could see a restaurant on the first floor. This, I told myself, needs more investigation. Could be a good lunch trip.

Next town was Donnelsville, a place I had been to many times but never from this direction. I use to go there to buy my R/C (radio control) parts when I would crash a plane or build one.

From here it was onto Enon, OH and home. Mind you, these pictures in most part are from a moving car. We weren't going fast, about 55 or less, but country roads roll and pitch so I'm impressed with my luck. I will post more later, maybe, when I get to resizing them for the blog.

Enjoy and leave a comment if you like.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where are they going?

Do you ever look up in the sky and see the contrails left by jets?

Do you wonder where they are going or why they going?

Curiosity. I know I wonder where, why and sometimes who may be traveling and causing those marks in the sky.

Maybe they are fulfilling a bucket list or taking a well deserved vacation.

Do you ever think, boy, they are the lucky ones to be going somewhere adventurous?

There is no pattern to it. They are scattered from all over.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bright Sun and Golden Leaves

What else needs to be said. In two weeks or so none of this will be around, nothing more than a memory and a picture.

Red Tailed Hawk

I could make this more clear by showing the results but I will just say this bird nailed a duck last night and finished it off this morning. Not real sure when the kill happened exactly as I discovered the corpse nearly, if not, after dark. Most of the ducks that have been hanging around the pond out back have been gone for the last couple of days. Maybe they saw this raptor hanging around overhead.

A young duck showed up during the day but no others. You can tell from the feathers that the dead duck is young but that is about it. It is amazing as to how clean these creatures can pick carcass.

It is a quite magnificent bird of prey I must say.