30 September 2015
29 September 2015
10 December 2011 Eclipse
Due to camera stability difficulties I've encountered while attempting to shoot the full moon, and particularly eclipses, in the past, I decided to finally invest in wireless camera triggers and cable releases for both my D300 and my P510, just in time for the 2015 Super Moon Eclipse.
15 April 2014 Eclipse
A tiny little piece of black plastic would allow me to trigger my P510 with my phone!!!
I read the tiny little instruction page that came with the WU-1a and discovered it does NOT work with the P510. It works with the P520, which was released two months after I bought my P510.
For right now, the WU-1a is taking up valuable storage space in my camera bag. It doesn't work with any of my cameras. I haven't decided yet if I should take it back, now that I cut the plastic blister case to find out it doesn't work with my camera, or keep it for the day I buy the P520. It might be nice to one day have an additional backup, just in case both The Lizard and I want to use not-quite-professional but better-than-pocket-or-cell-phone cameras at the same time.
The second Nikon accessory, about 10 times the size of the WU-1a, would allow me to trip the D300 shutter without touching the camera. The mirror inside the DSLR causes a slight vibration during long exposures. Using a cable release and keeping the mirror up reduces camera vibration and results in sharper photos.
I'd used a cable release with my film cameras for decades, but it doesn't work with digital cameras. The MC-26A for the D300 is about 10 times the price of a film camera cable release. After two unsuccessful eclipse attempts with the D300, my favorite camera, without a cable release, I decided the accessory investment was necessary, and the final photo results would make the expense worthwhile.
I read the manual.
We drove up to Lookout Mountain a couple of hours before the scheduled lunar event, thinking we'd be early enough to beat the crowds and get a great spot. We did get a great spot, but we did not avoid the crowds. The whole mountain was Tailgate City! One guy even brought his flatscreen and rigged it up so he could keep up with the Broncos while the moon turned to blood.
I thought I knew what I would be doing with the new cable release, but I didn't have time to practice before hiking up a less-used trail on Lookout Mountain to wait for the moon. Especially after running all over the mountainside to shoot the sunset before setting up two tripods and attaching two cameras. In the dark.
I missed the moonrise, mostly due to clouds, but also because I couldn't get the tripods set up quickly in the dark. Once I got the cameras stabilized, with the D300 and monster lens weighted with my loaded camera bag, which I toted up the trail specifically to steady my tripod, I attempted to plug in the MC-36A. The Lizard and I both missed the pink rising moon because we were fumbling with the plug by the light of our headlamps, to no avail. I decided to wing it and just hope the mirror and shutter vibration wouldn't spoil ALL the photos.
This is where we'd tried to plug in the cable release in the dark.
Once we got back home hours later, we discovered where the cable release goes.
The moon moved behind a cloud, and we missed a lot of the shots I'd planned to take. Many people began heading back down the mountain.
We didn't give up. We waited, hoping totality would still be visible when the moon finally climbed higher in the sky.
While the moon was totally hidden, I played with different camera settings. I found controls on the P510 I'd never used because I'd never really given it a night photography workout. I plan to do more night photography with the smaller camera in the future!
When the clouds finally began to clear, I was growing too tired to keep shooting. We had at least an hour's drive to get home, and I wanted to download the camera and upload photos before hitting the sack, plus I had to be at work the regular time the next morning.
Back at home, while the cameras downloaded and charged, I read sections of both camera manuals again. I'm now quite confident I will be ready to shoot the next total lunar eclipse without any hardships. In January 2019...
28 September 2015
My first clematis came with our house. We moved in during the Memorial Day weekend that year, and then I trained for and participated in my first Trek. I didn't find out until the next year just how many flowers had already been planted on our property.
The first clematis was a gorgeous, narrow-petaled purple flower growing on the fence. Some years it prospers; some years I don't see a single blossom. Typically it blooms while we're away at Ride the Rockies and is done by the time we get home. Thanks to all the rain we've had this year, that first clematis exploded with blossoms while we were gone for Ride the Rockies. My now six-year-old neighbor took care of my garden while we were gone, and she told me about the wall of purple on our fence.
Our second clematis came in a pot I bought at a local hardware store. The full magenta blossoms were stunning! I kept the plant in the pot that year, then put the pot on the porch for a few weeks the following spring after a winter indoors, hoping it would adapt when I planted it along the fence right next to the big brother purple clematis.
Within two weeks of being planted, the second clematis was withered and gone.
If I find another plant I love as much as the one I lost, I'll try again adding it to our garden. Until then, crocheted clematis will have to suffice.
Other flower flakes in this series include:
Mother's Day Snowflake Motif
Blue Flax Snowflake
Love in a Mist Snowflake
Spring Star Flower Snowflake
You may do whatever you'd like with flowers and/or snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!
Finished Size: flower, 2 inches across; snowflake, 5.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line
Clematis Snowflake Instructions
With yellow or stamen color, make magic ring.
Round 1: [Sl st in ring, ch 6, sl st in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch] 6 times. Don't pull magic ring too tight yet.
Round 2: [Sl st around back of next stamen over next ring sl st, ch 7, sl st in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch] 6 times. Now you can pull magic ring tight.
Round 3: [1 sc around back of next stamen into next ring sl st, ch 8, sl st in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 5 ch] 6 times; bind off.
Round 4: With hot pink or main flower petal color and working from back of motif around stamens, * 1 sc in any sc (or next sc in repeats), ch 7, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook and in next ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in next ch; repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 petals; 1 sc in starting sc.
Round 5: * 1 sc in bottom of next dc, 1 hdc in bottom of next hdc, 3 dc in bottom of next hdc, 1 hdc in bottom of next sc, 1 sc in bottom of next sc, 1 sc in ch 2 tip, ch 2, 1 sc in same sp, working back down petal 1 sc in next sc, 1 hdc in next sc, 3 dc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc, 1 sc in next dc, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in next sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 6: With light pink or outer petal color, * 1 sc in any sc between petals (or next sc between petals on repeats), 1 sc in each of next 8 st to point of petal, ch 2, 1 sc in each of next 8 st to petal joint; repeat from * around 6 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off, weave in ends. End here if making only flower. If making snowflake, keep going.
NOTE: I skipped this Round for the purple clematis.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.
Round 7: With green if making leaves and working from back of motif, 1 dc catching 2 threads at the base of any white petal, * ch 5, 1 dc catching 2 threads at base of next white petal; repeat from * around 4 times, ch 2, 1 tr in starting dc to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round.
Round 8: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of tr directly below, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, * 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 dc in same sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, 2 hdc in same sp; 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 dc in same sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. (If making leaves, bind off green here and work remainder of Rounds in white.).
Round 9: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, 1 dc in gap between next 2 sc, ch 3, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 2 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 dc in gap between next 2 sc, ch 3, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
Round 10: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 3 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
Round 11: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 2 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 4 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 2 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
Round 12: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 3 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), 5 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, [1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5] 3 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.
Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.
If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.
My vest is still coming right along!
26 September 2015
I've had the book, "Let it Go" by Chris Williams, on my wishlist since the day it was released. I wanted to finish the four books I'd previously bought before I bought more. I'm still not done yet.
Very late Friday night I learned the book has been made into a movie, and the movie is being played in theaters across the country for one night only on Monday night, September 28, before being released in small markets. Brilliant marketing plan! Except people like me who don't watch TV and don't stream things on the internet didn't know about it until the last minute.
I had adequate time to find which theaters in the Denver metro area will be showing it (three of them). I bought my tickets. I will do everything I can to get off work in time on Monday to be able to watch the 7 p.m. showing. I hope by telling you about it now, you have time to plan to attend, too.
"Let go of the anger. Let go of the hate. Let go of the pain."
The whole world needs more of this.
25 September 2015
24 September 2015
It's been a while since I updated how my second batch of clove trees from seeds (airmailed from Hawaii) is doing.
Out of the 12 seeds I received in December of 2013, only two have survived indoors at high altitude. Two of the 12 seeds went to a co-worker, who reports one survived and is still growing. I don't have pictures of that one.
Only two of the 10 seeds I took home sprouted, and one, affectionately termed Baby Sister because she didn't start sprouting leaves until nearly seven months later, inexplicably turned brown and dried up earlier this year.
This is Big Sister, the only other survivor at my house, during the summer of 2014.
She's about twice that size now. She sprouted twin stalks right after her Baby Sister wilted.
Right before we went to Teton National Park, one of the four new leaves unexpectedly turned brown overnight. I hesitantly removed it and set the pot in a dish of water, even though the brown leaf indicated the plant may have needed to dry out a tad.
I hoped with all my might my little clove tree would still be alive and thriving when we returned home five days later. She was the first thing I checked when we got back home close to midnight.
She's nearly eight inches tall these days, and she seems as happy as a tree!