Ladder Backed Woodpecker

Ladder Backed Woodpecker

One of the joys of gardening is attracting birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other beautiful things to the yard. They like the plants, and really appreciate it if you add some water year around and another source of food, especially in the winter.

This male ladder backed woodpecker stopped in for a last snack before bedtime late in the day back in February.

male ladder backed woodpecker

Male ladder backed woodpecker

male ladder backed woodpecker

Male ladder backed woodpecker


Photography Seminar at ARS Convention

Photography Seminar

A Photography Seminar in two parts – a morning session and an afternoon session – has been organized by Sally Long of the San Diego Rose Society for the upcoming American Rose Society National Convention and Show. This promises to be an exciting day for rosarians interested in photography. Some of you will recall the Photography Seminar Sally Long and I, along with photographer Pat Berrett, presented in Albuquerque in 2012, and the excitement that that seminar generated. That seminar was aimed largely at teaching judges how to use the PSWD Photography Guidelines as they had been developed to that point. (For PSWD Guidelines as developed to 2010, see my article in the 2010 ARS Rose Annual, Lew Shupe, editor.)

The 2014 ARS Photography Seminar will be held on Friday, May 9. This seminar will be aimed toward exhibitors of photography. The morning session begins at 9:00 am and runs until noon, featuring two speakers. Curtis Aumiller, ARS Photography Chairman, will discuss some of the benefits of incorporating rose photography at the local, district, and national levels; some technical aspects of rose photography; and progress towards standardization of guidelines for rose photography in ARS shows. I will be the second speaker of the morning, presenting “Floral Photography 101,” an overview of some of the basics of floral photography, as well as some problem areas I have seen as a judge (arrangement photographs, for example, seem to present exhibitors with a variety of problems. We’ll discuss some of those, and ways to overcome them).

photography seminar

Roses: ‘Candy Cane,’ ‘Golden Showers,’ ‘Moondance,’ ‘Gourmet Popcorn’

The afternoon session, from 1:30 to 4:30, will begin with Bill Farmer discussing white balance, followed by Sally Long discussing macro and close-up photography. After that there will be a variety of break out sessions, from which you may choose those you would find most useful for you. I will have a hour-long session, “From Image in Your Eye to Finished Print,” covering ways to make sure your finished print matches what you photographed and what you saw on your computer screen.

Watch this page for more details as they are posted.

General information for the entire convention can be found here. Registration information can be found at that link, as well. Registration for the overall convention is discounted at least through March 10. The Photography Seminar is $20.00 for the both sessions, or $10.00 for the morning session and $10.00 for the afternoon session.

The Photography Seminar should be both fun and educational, and I hope to see some old friends and make some new ones there.


Daylight Savings Time Returns March 9

Daylight Savings Time returns to this coming Sunday, March 9, 2014. “Officially” the clocks at 2:00 am move to 3:00 am, but I certainly change mine the night before (well, usually).

Remember, it is “Spring forward. Fall back.”

Read a history of Daylight Savings Time here.

Some people prefer Standard Time. I am not one of them. I love having the longer afternoon/evening time, whether for working in the yard, photographing flowers, or photographing birds, insects, or sunsets.

I think I began to fully understand the effects of Daylight Savings Time when I began cooking with a simple solar oven. (Use the Search box for “solar” to find related posts on this blog). I generally use it from May through September. Mine is very low tech, but quite functional when used as a slow cooker for many things. If I start it heating at 9:00 am, it is warm enough to cook by 10:00 am. At 4:00 pm, regardless of outside ambient temperature, the heat in the oven drops rapidly because of the drop in UV rays from the sum. So, I basically have 6 hours to cook, from 10:00 – 4:00. This is Daylight Savings Time because it is summer. If it were Standard Time, it would be 9:00 – 3:00, or the three hours before and after Noon. Just a bit of trivia…

Preheated solar oven

Preheated solar oven

Love it or hate it, remember to “spring forward” this Sunday.