Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

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I have been playing with layering images together. What prompted me was going to Café Claude last week for lunch. They served their bread and frites wrapped in deli paper printed with a French newspaper. I, of course, brought the paper home for a future collage, but also took this picture…

I wanted to combine it with one of my favorite photos from Paris.

I put the Paris image into Snapseed and turned it into a black and white image and I increased the saturation and contrast.

I took that image and put it into Waterlogue app.

20140413-191641.jpgboth images were put into the Image Blender app and blended and then flattened. The picture of the paper was put on top, rotated slightly, and then edges were erased. Then both images were also blended.

The image was put into PicGrunger app and grunge and creases were added.

Here is another…

The view from Perugia, Italy, last October…put into Stackables…

Then I wanted to put these two images on top…


That gave me this…

Back into Stackables and then PicGrunger…


One last image of a poster on the museum in Perugia advertising a show of photographs…I had processed it when I took it last October on the trip and converted it to black and white. I have a new app called Stackables…quite amazing…lots and lots of layers. Just getting to know it, and liking what it does, so far…stay tuned and watch this space…




Eagles, Red-tails, and Bobcats…

April’s birding field trip was close to home. Kind of happy not to have to get up at the crack of dawn to travel for an hour to get to the location. Saturday we just had to go 5 minutes to the Valle Vista Staging Area of the San Leandro Reservoir. Typical California rolling hills, covered with green because we have had some rain the last couple of weeks. The Reservoir is still very low, however.


We took off from the parking lot…this is a tree swallow…


This area needs a permit from EBMUD for entry but they are easy to get online if you want to take this trail. It goes off into some woods.


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Then it meets up with a bridge over a river…



As I always say, the mark of a good bridge is its rust and lichen…

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For the group I was with, the mark of a good bridge was the Wood Ducks in the water…but I missed them…got the flowers, though…

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We continued walking toward the reservoir…


We came to the water and its Great Blue Herons as well as Cormorants and ducks…


and then the best sighting of the day happened…


and he soared…an immature Bald Eagle…


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Lots of Bluebird boxes around…(a swallow on top of this one)…


A sad note on the way back down the trail…near the horse facility on the edge of the trail there was a very ill bobcat. It just lay there, still twitching his ears and tail. Once he raised his head a little. As we watched, making phone call after phone call to the EBMUD and the Animal Control only to find message machines because it was a Saturday morning, he eventually got up and walked slowly toward the barn. (One of the people involved with the horses eventually drove up and when we told her about it she said that the day before the Animal Control had come out but when they got there the Bobcat had disappeared.)

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The only time I have actually seen a Bobcat in the wild. Its being so ill is the only reason. When TM got to the Lindsay Wildlife Hospital for his Sunday morning shift he found that Animal Control had brought it into the hospital Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, it did not survive the day. As we were making all our phone calls we did get to observe “Red-tails in Love”…this time of year, pairs circling, foot drooping…a lovely sight on top of the sad one…


It was great weather for this hike and a nice morning…

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The same morning I saw the rainbow and the osprey I took pictures that featured lines. I am not quite sure why…just seemed like a nice exercise to  reacquaint myself with the Canon camera I had not used since I found out how easy an iPhone is to carry around in your pocket. The lines were easily available because there were lots of puddles from the rain the night before. The things I see, with my little eye…


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Best walk ever…

This morning. 6:45 a.m. Best walk, ever…First, a rainbow…


Then, an osprey…


(I was walking with TM, the bird-identifier…take it on faith…) These photos are not with my iPhone because I decided to dust off my Canon that I haven’t used in years and years…proved to be a really good luck day!! And it has been raining hard ever since, which is in itself good luck…yeah, rain! oops, thunder and lightning and now the power is out…oh, well…

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Hope your day got off to as good a start!



Our morning walks are still functioning as our beacon for each day. Out the front door at 6:45 (daylight savings time has made it dark when we start), but each day we can see better as we take off. When we return we feel wide awake and enthused for the day. These are random photos that I applied a bit of app-work to because I am still experimenting with DistressedFX App (not all of the birds you see were actually in the original image and sometimes I just go through a phase where I use my iPhone as a playground or sketchbook to alter, erase and bring a little bit of serendipity into my life. Who knows what might happen (evidently I am into blur)…






Then one morning we walked through the playground of the school and it looked like this:


and I thought with some underwear and a teddy bear it would look like my favorite picture I took when I was in Tuscany, Italy for the first time…


I guess walks help with time travel too…I could smell the cappuccino and taste the brioche…


An ode to a Dutchman’s Pipe…

Ahh, the pipevine (Aristolochia californica) is blooming and I have not commemorated it yet. A California native plant, deer won’t eat it and it grows rampantly. That makes it good on a fence where deer could get at it on one side. It also is supposed to have a blue butterfly, but you could not prove that by our plant because we have never seen one here. We do get the uniquely shaped flowers and pods (left from last season). As luck would have it, the bloom coincided with my seeing the Georgia O’Keeffe show at the deYoung Museum. I came home from the show and knew I had to photographically deal with the blooms keeping abstraction in mind and muttering crop, crop, crop…what would Georgia do? These are not scientific renderings…just some play with some new apps with serendipitous results.
The work flow in general:
All were originally taken in the iPhone native camera, then, imported into and saved from the following apps. The saved version was then imported into the next app.
Snapseed (cropping and touch up of saturation, brightness and contrast)
TouchreTouch (I had placed a sheet of paper behind each flower for a plain background and sometimes when I cropped square I had corners I needed to touch up)
Waterlogue or Glaze (for a painted look) I often did this multiple times for various degrees of the paint-look
Blender (I used the saved image from TouchreTouch as the bottom layer with each painterly image on top flattening in between)
When I liked it the saved image went into DistressedFX for some aging. Some also went into PicGrunger for creases or cracks.
Please do not think reality…just form and shape!










This flower is one of my garden’s highlights.


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