Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Camera Malfunction

I whipped out my camera to take some shots of the whiteboards at the office and was met with an error message. WHAT?! After some 5-6000 pictures an error? I didn't even have my PowerShot in my bag to fall back on.

After a meeting I grabbed the manual and did a little trouble shooting only to discover that his particular error message was not covered in the manual. A quick call to Canon set me up with instructions to ship it back for warranty repairs.

Then while out at lunch, what did I see but a Jeep all decked out like it could have been right off the set of M.A.S.H.  I reached over to grab the camera and then proceeded to pout!

I haven't been without a camera at hand for almost eight years. And here I am at the beginning of a third 365 Year Project. I've got my fingers crossed that the backup doesn't have any problems while T2i is off at the repair shot. I know I'm sure going to miss shooting in raw.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Can I Go Home with You?

by Dorothy Parsons
We are looking for a home.
These adorable guys and gals are looking for a home. They are an English Setter-Pointer mix. FREE! to their new family.&nbsp If you have room for a new hunting partner, playmate, or just a new friend please contact us by email.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

To My Daughter

May you always be warmed by each other's smile,
Always take time to walk and talk a while,
Always know deep down you're each other's best friend,
And enjoy the kind of love that grows and knows no end.
Wishing you an 'always' kind of love!
Happy Anniversary


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Final Day of Vacation

 Today is the final day of my vacation. Tomorrow it's back to the normal routine. I've spent the day getting ready for the upcoming week and trying to point myself back into work mode.

I've really enjoyed spending the week out and about taking photographs and having an adventure or two. I think Bounce even was glad to get out with me on a couple of my expeditions.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vacation Day Six!

This morning I went across the river to the Merkel Fields at West Creek to take some photos of the Color Me RAD 5k. As I rolled off 288 I immediately was met with a huge traffic jam! I don't know the number of runners for this event, but between runners and volunteers there were nearly five parking lots filled. The run was to benefit the Special Olympics Virginia.

There weren't nearly as man spectators at the event as I thought there would be, but everyone surely did look like they were having a fantastic time.

Some of the runners dressed up to make the run, of the more memorable were the ladies dressed in tutus. They were all so nice and white at the beginning of the race but boy were they a colorful mess at the end.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vacation Day Five

Relaxation day!

I spent the morning working on photos, running an errand or two; then off to Godiva's this evening for a haircut and massage.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vacation Day Four

Rodney the Rooster
The adventure for today: vineyards and mountains.

I picked up my traveling companion this morning and off we headed. Pointing the car west on route 6 and we were off and running.

There really was no specific destination in mind as we began our journey. Loosely the idea was to visit at least one winery and reach the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was a very leisurely drive. Stopping along the way at anything that caught our fancy. Columbia provided loads of pictures. We even learned a thing or two about St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. There was an old gas pump just down the road from the church that was rusty - the price per gallon on the pump read 64-cents!!! Boy had it been out of use of a long time, I'm guessing since the early to mid-70's.

Rodney the Rooster's residence is outside of Lumpkin's Restaurant & Motel. There is even a sign posted on his butt that says, "He loves having his picture taken, but please do not climb on his back." Personally I think that would have been a very tough thing to do the sign on his butt is about 5 foot off the ground, and I'd estimate he's nearly 15 foot tall.

delfosse Vineyard & WineryOnward towards to find a vineyard - please bear in mind that we had no particular winery in mind. We relied on those lovely winery signs along the highway. Our first winery sign happened to be for the delfosse Vineyard & Winery.  The signage along the route to the winery was fun and reassuring that we were indeed on the right road. One other neat point, the vineyard has trails for hiking, mountain biking & even ATV rides, that are part of the Nelson County Parks & Recreation Department.

Arriving at the elegant wrought iron gate, with grape clusters and leaves incorporated into the design, it sets the stage for the entire visit. As we crested the hill the serenity and beauty of the arbors and surrounding hills gave us plenty to look at and set the tone for the day. We drove to the top of the furthest parking lot to take some photos of the valley and vineyards. The grapes were hanging on the vines - give them a few more weeks and they will be plumped uneven more.

The tasting room provided a relaxing and beautiful view of the surrounding hills. Our tasting 'guide' was very knowledgeable and informative, since this was my very first visit to a vinery it was great having someone there to explain the differences. We sampled the red wines produced here. I had a couple that I really enjoyed.

Having enjoyed our tasting and purchased a bottle for home, we were off once again. Between vineyards I stopped to shot some photos of a dear at the edge of a field. I was able to get out and walk up closer until the

Mountain Cove VineyardsOur next stop was the Mountain Cove Vineyards, Virginia's oldest winery. Having traveled down off the beaten path we found the winery's mailbox. Love it!  Now only to decide which fork in the road was the "right" road to the winery. We picked the fork that looked like the "road less traveled" which happily turned out to be the right one!!

The owner, Al Weed, chatted with us in the tasting room about the various wines that he produces and when he first came to the area to plant the vineyards. We tasted a number of fruit wines and came away with a bottle of Blackberry wine. It will be great with a piece of cheesecake or added to some Fresca for a sparkling summer drink.

Off on now a mission for Dad - freestone peaches! Mr. Weed had provided us with directions to Saunder's Brothers Farm Market. Where we were able to get just what were had been sent for! The market had a nice selection of fresh vegetables. They even had lemon cucumbers! Now of course, I had to get some of these just to try. (They didn't have a lemon taste at all but I did love the compact size. They would be great to grow if you didn't want the typical cucumber. I may have to try these one year.) Then there were all the canned vegetables, salsas (of all kinds), jellies & jams. A few of them really caught my eye: T.O.E. Jam (tangerine, orange, elderberry); F.R.O.G. Jam (fig, raspberry, orange, ginger); and then there was the Moonshine Jelly!!

Rock Point Overlook, by Judy P. Smith
The rest of the trip seemed to go by very quickly. Hopping onto the Blue Ridge Parkway we stopped at the Fork Mountain Overlook for a picnic lunch.

It was great getting out of the car for a nice long stretch. I took a few pictures of the black swallowtail butterflies on the flowers nearby. The yellow finches were flitting here and there in the meadow, too far away for a photo but they definitely did standout against the greenery. A very peaceful place for a picnic.

On to Afton via the parkway for the trip home, we stopped at a few more of the overlooks, and waited for the construction workers to waive us through (there was a lot of paving going on up there). The trip down 250 to Richmond was uneventful, although we did pass that one pond the the bear with two cubs and the scorpion mailboxes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vacation Day Three

Had a nice visit today with Mom & Dad. The butterflies were all over the zinnias in the flowerbed. I did get a couple of nice shots. But the best thing was the fresh homegrown tomatoes that Dad had picked from the garden! Yum!

Bounce spent sometime visiting with Tip. Tip was sure excited to see him.

Tomorrow the mountains!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Day at the Lake

I spent a fantastic day with Wayne & Livy and their kids at Lake Gaston today.

I truly enjoyed spending time with the kids. They really got into having their pictures taken while jumping off the dock into the lake.

Lauren even took the job of photographer's assistant - She even found a dragonfly that was just begging to have its picture taken.

Lake Photos

Monday, July 16, 2012

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Day 1 of Vacation

Mom went along with me for the day. Our mission this morning was a quick road trip to Norfolk to photograph the butterflies at the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

We took the scenic route down (Route 10), a much better route than dealing with all the traffic on the interstate!

We took the boat tour of the lake/garden and were able to get several interesting photos. My favorite was the great blue heron that was hanging out at the entrance to the canal. Our guide noted that since the garden is next to the Norfolk Airport - when passengers are stuck in the airport for extended layovers they offer them access to the gardens at no charge. What a great way that would be to spend a long layover, instead of just hanging out inside the airport.

We then headed to the butterfly compound - there they had a large diversity of butterflies inside the butterfly house. They also had a butterfly maze.

Hoping the tram, we finished out with a tour of the remaining areas of the garden.

All in all a nice trip - next time, I think that waiting for a day that is a bit cooler will serve us well.

Photos from Norfolk Botanical Garden

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Site Facelift

Well this wasn't something that I was actually looking to do, but it happened. I was looking into adding a button to the site and clicked one too many place and ended up losing my template. Grr. I even went in search of the site on the internet way back site to no avail. So here I sit with a new look, hope you like it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy 25th Birthday!

Walter, have a Fantastic Birthday and a coming year that is Special as you are!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coursework Complete!

I have FINALLY completed my course work for my Masters Certification in Graphic Design from Sessions College for Professional Design. I was beginning to think there for awhile that I'd never get it done. There had been so many obstacles to getting here I'm just tickled that I've finished.

I'm going to work on posting a link in the near future to a gallery of my course work. In looking through my past assignments I can really see the progress that I've made over the duration of my studies.

I am looking forward to continuing learning new skills and applications as they develop.

They tell me that my certificate will be here within the next couple of weeks. Can't wait!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Huguenot Bridge Day

Huguenot Memorial Bridge Farewell Celebration July 1, 2012

I had a great time yesterday celebrating, the Huguenot Memorial Bridge, with several hundred other Richmonders. VDOT opened the bridge to the public to walk, picnic, paint, cycle, etc. However you wanted to spend the day celebrating the bridge, before its removed to make way for the new construction. Demolition begins the middle of the week.

Huguenot Bridge 1950-2012

It was interesting to see the multitude of ways that people chose to celebrate the bridge. Plein air painters were busily working on landscapes of the James near the center of the span. Children and adult alike took time to write messages in chalk on the pavement or the bridge railings. There were loads of amateur photographers on hand to record the event for posterity. There were a few families having early morning brunch picnics, while I was there. Loads of cyclist taking advantage of the opportunity to make the ride across the river in safety.

My very favorites were the children playing in water puddles and creating chalk masterpieces. One darling little girl was pushing a carriage with her baby dolls. Too precious.