Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


12 Comments

41…

anniversery

There we were…hopping into the ’68 Datsun station wagon that had stood the test of miles, freshly married, dirt poor, (but no debt after law school…you could do that then), enthusiastic about what life held for us. In it together for forty-one years. Tonight we are off to a tapas dinner in San Francisco trying to recreate that lovely trip to Barcelona a few months ago. Onward and upward! (This morning we were awakened by a 4.0 earthquake! Just shows you how earth-shattering August 17 really is!!)

Here is how I made this image…

I walked through my garden to take these pictures…

flower3 flower1 flower4 rose1

Then I started to combine them all using the ImageBlender App…

flower2flowers

Put the last one through Waterlogue App to get this…

Took an iPhone photo of an old wedding photo….

wedding2

Gave it some touch ups (after all these years, the colors on all the wedding photos are really altering) and a frame in Snapseed App…

wedding

It was added on top of the flowers and angled by using ImageBlender…

anniversery

A frame was added to the entire image in Snapseed and then text was laid on top with Over App. Fin


Leave a comment

Day trips from Barcelona…number one…

Girona

Girona, which is about 60 miles from Barcelona, is a short train trip away. It has an annual flower show in May. Our trip coincided with the last couple of days of the festival, and we decided to exercise our train skills and spend the Saturday in this picturesque town when it would be festooned with petals. The entire town has floral displays…shop window displays, entryways, nooks and crannies, empty vestibules…you name it they stick a flower in it…even the river has its displays. We wandered and wandered, up church steps, across cobblestones and bridges, peeking into entrances. It was a lovely day, but windy. Catalan flags (the election was a week away) were furiously flapping. After getting off the train we followed green stenciled foot prints on the sidewalk up to the old part of town, passing community created floral displays (kids art!) and gazing at the town from a picturesque bridge (one of many). The town even has a bridge built by Gustave Eiffel…in the famous color of the Golden Gate.

We started our morning in the train station…note: there are ham stores everywhere in Spain…

IMG_0527IMG_0526 IMG_0525

This is Girona…

IMG_0600

A slide show of bridges, churches, flower displays and the highlights of the lovely town: (don’t forget to click the square in the lower right hand corner to play it full screen)

I know I said I would not post any more food pictures, but in Girona it was the only time we went to something as unusual (for us) as a gastrobar. So really I am compelled to share. (I have to admit that I have been known to watch the Food Network…you know, foam…)

The restaurant is called Bubbles…

IMG_0630IMG_0631

We started with Cava…

IMG_0632

Their “award-winning” tapa that included a poached egg, froie gras foam and thyme bread…

IMG_0633

This is coca bread, served and eaten at practically every meal in Catalona. Coca bread is spread with garlic, fresh tomato drizzled with olive oil, and lightly sprinkled with sea salt. So good!

IMG_0634 IMG_0637 IMG_0636 IMG_0635

Croquettas, steak, flat bread with tuna, and quacamole…yes, we kept walking…trying to assuage our guilt…luckily, we had more of the city to see and it was a long way back to the train station for the trip home to BCN.

IMG_0686


1 Comment

Transforming my frustration…

I have mentioned before how much I love the app Snapseed for processing my iPhone photos. For many, many years it has been my go-to, all-purpose, crop, clean-it-up and tweak app. So imagine my surprise when I opened it last week to find that there was an entirely new version. I am so set in my ways, I was immediately frustrated. That frustration grew and grew as I tried to do the things that I have always done, but couldn’t find the work flow as it had always been. hmmm, I said, why would you do that to me oh, favorite app…

Many YouTube videos later and a walk in the garden yesterday, I have made my peace…I at least know where things are now.

Fernald's Iris

Fernald’s Iris

lewisia - Version 2

Lewisia

Pink Monkeyflower

Pink Monkeyflower

Spicebush

Spicebush

New dwarf Butterflybush

New dwarf Butterflybush

Swallowtail looking for new dwarf Butterflybush!

Swallowtail looking for new dwarf Butterflybush!

California poppy

California poppy

California poppy

California poppy

So I say, people, take out your green grass lawns, install drip irrigation, put in native California plants…you will not regret it as you face the draught…spot through the garden a few non-natives, like a Cecile Brunner in a planter…you will have no end to willing photographic subjects…and you might get to liking Snapseed again as well as saving money on water fees!

Cecile Brunner

Cecile Brunner

And with great anticipation of getting to try a new feature of the Snapseed app (it now includes a function called Transform, which allows you to tweak perspective both vertical and horizontal…so all those tall buildings in a big city…no leaning towers except in Pisa! In a few short weeks we will be off to soak in the architecture of one of the most interesting cities…for now, from an old photo, here is what it can do…

crocker

original…notice right hand edge of building

crocker2 copy

now it is straight!

I really like Snapseed again!


4 Comments

A walk with Priime…

IMG_9573

Took a morning walk with a new iPhone app I had just purchased. It is called Priime and it is free, but, of course, if want the full complement of filters and lenses, you would have to purchase them once you are in the app.  I liked what it did, so I did.

Here is a discussion of how the app works, in case you are interested: http://iphonephotographyschool.com/priime-app/

Our walk had a particularly nice sunrise…

IMG_9575 IMG_9580

IMG_9572

and I discovered that my neighborhood school has an answer to the “love-lock bridges” of Paris which are being crumbled by the weight of all the locks.

IMG_9581 IMG_9582 IMG_9583

Looks to me to be ceramic hearts by first graders…oh, the love…

I also used Priime on some new things in my garden…my new Meyer Lemon…

IMG_9591 IMG_9590

and more colors of Douglas Iris that are popping out…

IMG_9592 IMG_9599 IMG_9598 IMG_9597


Leave a comment

Kandersteg light…

It is true, I would not mind living in Kandersteg for a year just to chronicle what the light can do to those peaks. Won’t happen so I am left with my two week sampling…

IMG_7410.JPG

IMG_7411.JPG

IMG_7412.JPG

IMG_7413.JPG

IMG_7415.JPG

IMG_7420.JPG

IMG_7418.JPG
Oh, and the flowers…everywhere…

IMG_7166.JPG

IMG_7167.JPG

IMG_7162.JPG

IMG_7402.JPG

IMG_7378.JPG

IMG_7401.JPG
Down at the corner from where we stayed was this wonderful chalet owned by an elderly couple who would greet us as we walked past. Besides the window boxes do not miss the sled on the side of the house and the biggest basket I had ever seen…

IMG_7393.JPG

IMG_7394.JPG
Plus a replica mini-house in the garden…

IMG_7395.JPG
Here is another one…

IMG_7392.JPG
One rainy evening we walked south of town to Gasthof Ruedihous Restaurant (a Swiss Heritage site of national significance) for traditional food.

IMG_7397.JPG
It has a beautiful demonstration culinary garden in front and judging the composed salads we got the produce had just been picked from here.

IMG_7398.JPG
This is where I got raclette. You can see the wheel of raclette cheese waiting to be melted and my plate with the best handmade pickles I have ever eaten.

IMG_7399.JPG

IMG_7400.JPG
One clear evening we sat outside under blue sun umbrellas and watched this young man walk the top of the fence. As agile as a mountain goat…

IMG_7422.JPG

IMG_7423.JPG
That evening there was enough sun for a reflection…

IMG_7424.JPG
However, the night before our last day the rain created a bit of a problem and our only disappointment. It rained hard all night up high causing snow to melt.

IMG_7428.JPG
We could see from the train some flooding…

IMG_7425.JPG

IMG_7426.JPG
We arrived at our meeting place with our guides to take us up to high elevation to see where the cows are taken for the summer and to watch the cheese making process. Unfortunately, the bus had been cancelled because the road was too treacherous. Under these conditions how do you make lemonade? We hopped back on the train and rode it to Bern. The buildings in Bern have arches along their first level (called rohr which is slang for pipe). Strolling through the covered arches is rohern or to go piping. So, we went piping in Bern and had a great time!


Leave a comment

An impression of Lands End…

When we arrived for the bird walk last week, it was frigid weather and I opted to sit in the car for the first twenty minutes while the birders stood on the bluff with the cold wind whirling around them.They were oriented to the area by their guide. The hardy gazed off into the distant foggy sea while I decided to clean up my camera roll in my iPhone. That put me in mind that I had not looked at the Hipstamatic app for a long time and when I scrolled through I found there were four combo packs I had not downloaded.  I purchased them and then tested each one out. One combo reminded me of the feeling of the area (the visitor center that we had been in on a previous visit contains lots of old photos of  when the Sutro Baths were in their heyday).  I decided to do some triple barreled shooting on the walk. My Canon for the view shots, my native camera on the iPhone for the close-ups of flowers, and Hipstamatic app for atmosphere/flights of fancy. The Canon was slung around my neck and the iPhone was in my pocket and I had to keep thinking which of the three I wanted to use…but I think it helped with getting me to be alert…it was awfully early on a Saturday, after all. This post is the impression shots of the area using the combination of  Yoona lens and Shilshole film in Hipstamatic…there is a story, here, of craggy bluffs, wind-trained trees, and crashing waves with the foundation remnants of history. That is my visual story, and I am sticking to it…think I will make a book…

IMG_1216 IMG_1217 IMG_1218 IMG_1285 IMG_1229 IMG_1236 IMG_1254 IMG_1276 IMG_1283 IMG_1289 IMG_1299


1 Comment

June Bird Walk…

IMG_1298

Lands End

From Leah Garchik’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle this week: “The season of summer vacations is upon us. Laurie Ustruck was at the western edge of the city looking at the ruins of Sutro Baths, alongside a mom who seemed to be visiting her daughter. Said the mother, “I thought you were bringing me to a Lands’ End outlet store.”

Definitely not one of your outlets, we found…

IMG_9761

The building on the left is the Cliff House Restaurant (more about that later)…

IMG_9765

We gathered with the group of birdwatchers from TM’s class. Early morning last Saturday. Actually, we were there by 8:00 a.m. which meant we left home at 7:00 and, much to my surprise, where we live was blistering hot, the beautiful coast stayed cool and foggy all morning as we walked. This National Park has stunning views and lots of history behind it. We parked above the Sutro Baths and walked the path that was where the steam train and later the electric street car delivered San Franciscans to the Baths. No outlet has that kind of history behind it!

IMG_9793

IMG_9770 IMG_9763

We were surrounded by yellows on the trek (and a little red, orange and pink) what with all the lupine in bloom…

IMG_9764 IMG_9767 IMG_9771

of course, monkeyflower…

IMG_9768

I finally identified what this is (and it came in many shades)…it is wild radish and is quite tasty!

IMG_1277 IMG_1274 IMG_1224 IMG_9777 IMG_9782 IMG_9772 IMG_9785 IMG_1235 IMG_9787

Caught our first glimpse of the Golden Gate (but was not golden in this light…couldn’t even see the tops)…

IMG_1238 IMG_9789 IMG_9790

IMG_1247 IMG_9796 IMG_9817 IMG_9808 IMG_9815

A plethora of cormorants and gulls…Gulps of cormorants, rookery, sunning, swimming…

IMG_9813 IMG_9829

and thickets where if we spent some time we would probably see many species…

IMG_9839

We circled up behind the Palace of Fine Arts where we had been the week before visiting the “Intimate Impressionism” show. I did not know there was a nice dome on the back…but the redtails were circling…

IMG_9853 IMG_9859 IMG_9861

We went down and around the golf course (watching our heads for errant golf balls)…

IMG_9857 IMG_9867

and in these trees saw juvenile redtails learning stuff that birds learn when they fledge out of their nests…

IMG_9868

Once we came around the golf course we walked down the trail the way we had come…

IMG_9871IMG_9875 IMG_9876

Harbor seals were up on the rock (definitely not “sunning” themselves).

IMG_9870

Oyster catchers (almost bright enough to see their flame scarlet bill with its orange yellow tip).

IMG_9874IMG_9877IMG_9878 IMG_9879

Back to the parking lot and down the hill to the Cliff House for (wait for it…) Popovers and this view…

IMG_1284 IMG_1282

IMG_1288

As we walked back up the hill to our car we saw a redtail motionless on a draft having a good ride before he bore down on an unsuspecting rodent…

IMG_1293 IMG_1297

The graffiti on the sidewalk said it all…

IMG_1295