Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tulips and a Flowering Tree

On Friday, my mom and I went down to Nashville, IN to enjoy the weather, get a bite to eat, spend some time together and check out the shops. Outside where we ate, we found these beautiful tulips that were almost spent for the spring, but not quite - and still beautiful.

I'm trying to "package" all these photos I take more carefully - to change up the scrolling experience - by trying out some "collages". I thought the tulips lent themselves to collage use, so you'll see a few in this post. Let me know what you think. I've interspersed them with "regular" photos so you can sort of compare.


We also saw this beautiful flowering tree near where we parked. I am not sure what the tree is - is it a cherry tree? Does anyone know? Help a girl out. Lend a hand. Thanks.

Gotta love a Midwestern spring.
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I've Been Selected

So, I got an email from Emma J. Williams in my Inbox yesterday. She works for a company called Schmap. This company creates online travel guides for places all over the planet, as well as applications for mobile travel guides and maps and more.

Anyway, Ms. Williams or one of her colleagues found a photo of mine on Flickr and she wanted permission to possibly use it in the 8th edition of their online travel guide to Birmingham, UK. You saw this photo here on Ate Up Amateur earlier this month. Incidentally, you can see the 7th edition of their online travel guide to Birmingham here.

Of course, I was interested to see which of my photos she was interested in including in their guide. Was it the cool canal shots of the water and the boats at dusk? Was it the front of the Mailbox itself? Could it be the BBC office?

Um, no. None of those. It was this one:

OK. Whatever. It was taken by the purse camera. When I was very tired. And, I took it for work - not even when I was seeking out something culturally interesting. So, whatever. Your choice, Schmap. Of course when I told S about it, he said, "Are you sure I didn't take that photo?" Um, yes, S, I am sure. You were asleep standing up when this photo was taken. But, thanks for trying to rain on my minuscule little parade here. Thanks.

I know it's not a big deal. No money exchanged hands. I just had to give them permission to use it, and I get credit on their site, and a link back to my photo stream. It is not a prestigious mention, really, at all. But, it was sort of a cool thing to me. So, I thought I'd share it with my thirteen blog reading friends. There you go. I'll let you know if/when it actually appears on their site. I know you'll wait with baited breath for that one.

For those of you waiting for more wedding photos - I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of photos I took. It's going to take me some time to get through all of them. Hold tight. I'll get there one day. One day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finch Feeder

Dad and Torchy's dogwood

Last Thursday night, I had a flight to Indiana. Due to delays beyond my control and perhaps those of the airline, I did not arrive until the wee hours of the morning on Friday. My dad picked me up from the airport and I spent the night at his house. That morning, we sat outside in his backyard enjoying the weather and the scenery while we drank our coffee. It was a beautiful morning, so I also got out the camera. This is an accounting of what I saw there. It also includes some more of my dad's fancy camera work, Victor, so you can enjoy it again! (Victor commented on yesterday's post that the photo my dad took of me and S was a "Wonderful photo." Thanks, Victor for the comment!)

There were flowering trees for spring. Dad has a dogwood, too - you know how I like dogwoods...

There was a lilac tree in bloom... well as a crab apple tree...

...the maple tree had all it's "spinners" ready for action...

Dad planted this in the backyard when it was a tiny little tree. It had rooted in his front yard on the hill - he pulled it out of the ground and replanted it in the backyard. They weren't sure it would live, but it has thrived!

...and this big old evergreen was loaded down -
and I mean seriously loaded down -
with pine cones...

There was also this pretty spring vine on the old gate.

And, there was some fauna too, of sorts....a wasp here.
There were also several bumble bees.
No photo of them.

The real show, most mornings, is the bird show. Dad and Torchy have several bird feeders in their back yard and the birds come by to eat. This morning, however, the birds were not too plentiful. Dad accounts for this with many hypotheses - they just returned from Florida under a month ago, so the birds are just getting used to them being there again. Also, there is a hawk in the area that sometimes swoops through the yard.

Now, that's an interesting tidbit - they asked Torchy's daughter to ask the bird people where she works - she works at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where they not only have a museum but a large grounds they care for. Anyway, she asked this expert what to do to discourage the hawk from hanging out in their yard, since he sometimes scares the pretty birds away. The expert told them to, "embrace the hawk". That they should relish in the fact they have a hawk in their backyard, and that he would only eat the "old and feeble" birds anyway. Yikes.

Also, dad speculated there were lots of heavy winds, not on the ground, but towards the top of the trees, so maybe the bird weren't flying much. Nonetheless, I did see a few birds.

I saw this Mourning Dove.

And a black bird on one feeder...

...and talking it up on another feeder.

I did see a couple of finches, high in the trees...

...but not on the finch feeder.

So, I sat there, enjoying the weather, the scenery, talking with Dad and drinking my coffee, and sort of hoping to catch some finches on this finch feeder they have. Dad calls it the "udder feeder" - you'll get it when you get to that photo.

While I waited I caught a female cardinal on the "regular" feeder.

And this guy - a male cardinal - was chirping away up in the tree.

He was pretty far away.

But I finally gave up on seeing finches on the feeder because I needed to take a shower so we could go have some breakfast and I could meet Mom to spend some time with her before the wedding rehearsal that night. So, I left my camera outside with Dad and went to clean up.

Darned if they didn't come out after I left.

So Dad commandeered my camera..

...and got these photos to prove it.
Thanks Dad.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Indiana Wedding Weekend

The new Mr. and Mrs.

We had a lovely time in Indiana. The weather was fabulous. We got to see lots of family. And I took way too many photos. And I'll bore you with many of them here. But, today, just a few - we flew back last night, and I barely got through all the photos just to turn them the right way, let alone have lots to show you today. I just hand picked a few to share with you for a Monday post and a taste of the weekend. Above, one of the happy couple, just as they were pronounced a happy couple - wasn't Amber a lovely bride? And a few more below:

My sweet dad.

My three brothers - Bob (Amber's dad), Rick, Steve

Some little kid from the other family -
I don't know his name
but, he was right there,
trying so hard to blow bubbles!
I had to take this shot.

Me and S at the reception.
(taken by my dad)

And one more of the new couple.
(Mother of the Bride to the left of the door.)

That's all I can muster today. See you later in the week!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Be Vewy Vewy Quiet...

Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? Are you out there, 13 readers? Hope so. I love it when you decide "follow" me and when you leave comments. And, this week - not many comments - so, I hope you're all OK. That you haven't fallen into a crevasse. That you haven't fallen and can't get up. That you still like me and surf on by here every once in a while. That I haven't bored you into a deep coma. Are you there? Because I love it when you are. Not that I would stop writing - I would still write it up here. But, you make it more fun. Let me know if you're OK, OK? And, tell me what you like and don't like or what you think or where to shove it once in a while, OK? OK.

Today I'm posting a video from our trip that made me laugh. In fact, the video really isn't the important part - it's the AUDIO that makes me laugh. And, everyone needs a good laugh on Friday, no?

I grabbed the camera phone, which has the video function, to record the SOUND on this video - it's the voice over at the Dusseldorf Airport. Now, at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, there is a voice over guy - he sounds like a Texan, and he tells you to not leave your baggage unattended. Then, there are occasional flight crew who get on and talk VERY LOUDLY to tell you the final boarding call for this flight or that flight is now occurring, so you better get to your gate.

The Dusseldorf Airport has this lady...the woman from the spa...the soothing voice of smooth jazz...the lady who greets the loonies at the asylum. I don't know - but this lady - I think she could say ANYTHING and it would be OK. She was so quiet - whispering at us - that I just had to laugh. I thought it would make a great SNL skit - they could have the voice over at an airport or other location, and at first the lady could say the normal things. But, then - in the same syrupy voice - she could get sinister. She'd attack the passengers with her whispery words. It would be funny. I would laugh.

S said he imagined she was saying, "The flight to Vienna is now leaving. If your luggage and your a** aren't on that plane, then it sucks to be you!" Or, "Mr. Harrison, your flight just left without you. Try harder next time." Or something like this. And yes, that is S over there to the left, on the phone, talking to his work while we waited on the flight to Berlin.

Today I am in Indiana spending most of the day with my mom, and then of course going to the wedding tomorrow. S is joining me in Indy late tonight, and S's mom is house-sitting with the animals. Thank you Cheryl. I'll be back here next week with more minutiae to share!

Happy Friday to you! See you next week!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Veda

I got so excited about sharing the post on the Cathedral with you today I forgot to wish my niece Veda a happy 8th birthday in my last post. Just as I couldn't BELIEVE Jessica is 21, there is no possible way Veda could be 8. But she is.

I remember the morning Veda was born - we were not there, of course - we were in Texas and she was born in Indiana. But, we were having a little crisis of our own on April 23, 2001. We were in our old house, and we were adding on a porch to the front of the house. We had tarped the roof where the porch was being joined to the house to prevent the weather from coming in. But, it rained and rained and rained that night in Dallas. And, about 2:30am, we heard water coming down the front wall of our living room. That, my friends, is a sound I never want to hear again! We were up the rest of the night trying to collect this water, coming inside our house, and trying to save the drywall. It was a losing battle. The drywall was a goner.

Veda was born around 4:30am, I think I remember. And Steve, my brother, her dad, called our house around 5:45am to tell us about it. He was SO looking forward to waking us up to tell us this news...he was relishing in waking us up. You could tell it in his voice. But, alas, we were up. We had been up - we were up with the rain, so he didn't wake us that morning at all. We were, of course, still very glad to get his call and learn of her birth, the sweet girl.

So, Happy 8th Birthday Veda! I'll see you tomorrow in Indiana. All my love for a wonderful day.