November Photos of the Day

November 1

It must be fall! (Nikon D70—not a typo!; Nikon 28-300mm lens)

I was startled when I looked at the tree that was featured in my October 18th photo of the day. Almost all its beautiful red leaves had vanished! That’s a sure sign of impending winter . . . in the midwest. As for the Houston area, it was 87 degrees when I snapped this photo. Winter seems very far away.

November 2

It’s election day. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

I’ve voted in a lot of elections since I turned 18. I’ve rarely taken advantage of early voting, because I like the feeling of going to our local polling place (which is at our elementary school) on election day. After I finished pushing the buttons on the machine in the booth, I made sure to pick up an “I Voted” sticker, because I knew I was going to use it in my photo of the day. I put it on the bathroom mirror, focused on it, and snapped. The message is clear!

November 3

A stream of rain falls off the roof. (Nikon D700; Nikon 105mm lens)

A cold front turned today dreary and rainy. We’ve been waiting for a cold snap and some precipitation, but we didn’t need for it to rain most of the day. I was glad I was able to stay inside almost the entire time.

November 4

Oh M&Ms, oh M&Ms! (iPhone 4)

My much-missed former next-door neighbor, JJ the organizational whiz, opined on Facebook that it was too early to see holiday decorations in the stores and communities. So I thought of her when I spied the M&M display next to the checkout lane in Target and just had to snap a photo. Very festive, albeit a little too soon.

November 5

My #2 son snuggles up in his beloved blanket. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Baby, it was cold this morning! In the Houston area we’re used to temperatures in at least the 70s. But when we woke up, it was about 36 degrees, which means it was about 69 degrees indoors. Which  is too chilly for my cold-sensitive younger son. Fortunately, his favorite University of Houston blanket feels toasty and was ready to keep him from facing what he thought was the frosty air . . . until he needed to eat his Toaster Strudel!

November 6

Only the shadow knows (Nikon D700; Nikon 105mm lens)

While I was jogging in the nippy morning air along our community’s bike path, I noticed frost on the grass. I finished up the two-miler, hustled home, grabbed my camera, and returned to the path. Of course, by then the frost had melted as the sun began to rise in the sky. But I became intrigued with my shadow as I looked into the empty bayou below and decided to snap that as my final photo of the day before daylight savings time ends.

November 7

“Lord of the Flies” waits to be read and annotated. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

See that empty chair? When I walked into my older son’s bedroom (which his younger brother has taken over) to see how my #2 son was doing with his “Lord of the Flies” annotating, this is what I saw. Where was my high school sophomore? Tossing a football in the air and, as usual, procrastinating. Eventually, he did settle down and finally finish his homework. Exasperating!

By the way, I always want to call the book “Lord of the Rings.” That might be more interesting for #2!

November 8

My smug-looking #2 son (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

There’s been a distinct lack of photos of my younger son so far this month. That’s because he’s been a butthead about letting me snap his picture. These 15 year olds seem to have minds of their own! Today I was determined to have him be my photo of the day. I spied the perfect moment when he sat on the couch to watch an old “Office” episode and eat a Pillsbury Sweet Moments molten lava brownie. But the minute I focused in on him, he put down the brownie container. Then he gave me this smug “I’m better than you” look.

Hey, I’ll take anything I can get!

November 9

Superman darts across a darkening sky. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

The late-afternoon sky looked so amazing, especially with a high-flying jet in the distance leaving a long, white trail behind. My younger son opined that it really was a superhero soaring above the earth. You never know!

November 10

A pitiful photo of an egret in our bayou. (iPhone 4)

I learned an important lesson today: Don’t use the zoom on the iPhone 4’s camera unless you want to take an awful photo. Let’s hope I don’t make that mistake again!

November 11

Where’s the exclamation mark? (Nikon D700; Nikon 35-70mm lens)

Enough said!

November 12

The butthead strikes again! (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Yep, my younger son still doesn’t want me invading his supposed privacy. I was trying to snap a pic of him getting ready to go to a disc golf tournament with the Mister. He preferred hiding behind some discs as he texted. So obstinate!

November 13

My #2 son contemplates a YouTube video on the iMac. (Nikon D700; 85mm lens)

When your subject is, shall we say, a tad reluctant to be photographed, you must be very sneaky. So I waited for my opportunity (the hypnotic effect of YouTube) and shot from the family room (the iMac is in the dining room . . . which we never use for dining). I like how the iMac’s glow lights my younger son’s face . . . controlled by the use of negative exposure compensation in my dSLR.

November 14

We love the Mystery GuitarMan! (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

My #2 son introduced me to a YouTube phenomenon: The Mystery GuitarMan. We sat at my iMac and marveled at video after video that this creative guy has on YouTube. There’s nothing like bonding with your son over iMouth. Check it out!

November 15

My #2 son naps when he’s supposed to be reading. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Got insomnia? My younger son prescribes a healthy dose of “Lord of the Flies.” Nothing puts him to sleep faster than reading.

November 16

My younger son watches a YouTube video again. (Nikon D200; Nikon 18-70mm lens)

I was testing out one of my old digital SLRs (the Nikon D200) and needed a cute model. I had to shoot fast, because, of course, my #2 son wasn’t willing to pose.

November 17

Even the Beatles recorded a holiday tune. (iPhone 4)

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas on XM radio! Channel 23, usually reserved for love songs, now is dubbed “holly” and plays holiday music 24/7 until the end of the year. Meanwhile, Channel 4 features holiday traditions (songs from the 1940s through 1960s).

But the real miracle of XM radio is Radio Hanukkah. It’s amazing that Channel 28 can find enough music from my boys’ favorite holiday to actually fill eight days!

November 18

Socks with sandals? It’s all the rage! (Canon S90)

When I went grocery shopping today, it still was kind of chilly (the temperature was in the 50s). But I didn’t want to change out of shorts, so I just added a pair of socks to my sandals to keep my feet warm, and I was good to go.

November 19

A bee visits a black-eyed Susan (no relation). (Canon S90)

The flowers outside our Whole Foods look so pretty . . . even the bees agree!

November 20

Reflective turtles (Canon S90)

The lakes in our master-planned community are awash with turtles of all sizes. Some of them like to hang out on and around this large rock in the lake I often jog or walk past. I love how they hold their heads up so high!

November 21

Our great-nephew Dillon after his christening. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Today I attended my first christening, which was for the son of the Mister’s niece Melissa. Dillon slept through the entire ceremony and was sleepy afterwards during the photo ops. He’s such a cutie!

November 22

Some trees are a-turning colors in our community. (Canon S90)

Even though they’re in the minority, a small percentage of the green trees in our master-planned community actually are turning red. It adds a bit of welcome color to our very green landscaping.

November 23

Grumpy ol’ Eeyore keeps #2 company. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Eeyore is my younger son’s favorite Winnie the Pooh character. So it’s no surprise that he likes having the gruff but lovable donkey around. Plus this Eeyore plushie has the cutest eyes!

November 24

My #1 son watches “Survivor” with the rest of us. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Can there be anything better than falling back into familiar, old routines? My older son asked that we wait for him to return home tonight so we could all watch “Survivor” together for the first time since he left for college. Unfortunately, it was a boring recap show that didn’t move along the action at all. Still, it was great to see him on the couch, in the same room with the rest of us. We sure have missed him!

November 25

Why converse when you can read? (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Think my older son is a tad antisocial? This is the book he was reading while we visited with family on Thanksgiving (he loves nonfiction baseball books). He did speak when spoken to, but otherwise he enjoyed his reading material.

November 26

Chase “Runescapes” on our iMac. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Seemed like old times today. Our third son, “Chase,” and his and my #2 son’s friend Josh slept over last night, playing Runescape (aka Runeing your life) until 6 this morning! They awoke in the afternoon only to head once more to the computers (Josh brought his own laptop) to fight the virtual battle once again.

November 27

My #2 son bought a can of Gatorade from a vending machine. (Canon S90)

My younger son has been yearning for Gatorade in a can ever since Emmanuel, a fellow cross-country and track runner, told him that he got some after giving blood (Emmanuel is a senior). Lo and behold, when we were waiting for the Mister’s car to get its oil changed at Mister Car Wash (no relation!), there were cans of the magical drink right there in the vending machine! #2 declared the elixir to be tasty.

Sidebar: I told #2 that I would give him the dollar to buy the Gatorade if he would pose for a photo. Yes, that’s how desperate I’ve become!

November 28

Ben and my #1 son pose before leaving. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

Wow, the Thanksgiving break just flew by! Before we knew it, my older son’s roommate Ben and his mom were in front of our house ready to whisk the boys back to college. This is the last week of the semester: Finals start on December 8 (#1 will endure two exams back to back that day), and the boys will be back home for a long winter break (three and a half weeks) by December 15.

November 29

My #2 son collapses after school. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

My older son being home over the Thanksgiving break and staying up late most nights really took its toll on his younger brother . . . and us! We all suffered with insomnia last night, and my #2 son was exhausted when he came home from high school. He almost immediately took a nap.

November 30

My #1 son’s Chanukah present wrapped and ready. (Nikon D700; Nikon 50mm lens)

When I sent my older son back to college last Sunday with his nondigital Chanukah gifts, one, sadly, was missing. Even though I really did order it early enough. Of course, it arrived the next day in our mailbox. So annoying! I’ve wrapped it in a recyclable way and will mail it tomorrow.

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