Monthly Archives: October 2012

One-Word Wednesday

Happy

Halloween!

The Many Faces of My Sons

This is NOT working for me.

When we visited my older son in San Antonio this past Sunday, we parted that evening after our time-worn tradition: The brother photo.

Looking for a different angle outside his apartment, I directed them to sit on the railing. Then I snapped away.

If only that little bro would cooperate!

Is it just me or does it seem like they’re tiring of the tradition? Out of 10 shots, I only got one that looked decent.

Bingo!

Guess that’s better than none!

Strike Up the Bokeh Band

Nothing up my sleeve. Presto! It’s a baton!

Need an excellent example of background blurring, aka bokeh? Just check out this series of photos I took last Saturday morning of our high school’s drum major, Courtney.

Here it comes!

I love how my Nikon D700’s total focus on her pulling her baton out of her uniform so brilliantly softened the musicians and dancers she was about to lead. My Nikon 300mm f/4 lens did a great job of providing that contrast.

Time to start the show.

It looks like Courtney is conducting an abstract painting!

Our work here is done.

Of course, I’m sure everything looked perfectly in focus for her as she led our wonderful band and Angels to another fine performance.

Where’s Wooly Waldo?

Look up!

If you’re wondering what happened to that strange, creepy crawler pictured in yesterday’s blog post, here’s an update.

With the emphasis on the “up!”

Snapped in the morning

The puss moth caterpillar has wedged itself into a protected area high above our front porch. Apparently, the asp has formed a cocoon.

Snapped in the afternoon

I’m just glad that we’re all out of harm’s way from this toxic, little critter. Here’s hoping the moth that emerges will be friendlier!

What’s Wooly Waldo?

It looks so fluffy.

Do you know what this is?

When I glanced out my front door’s windows yesterday afternoon, something scooching up the wall caught my eye. You know me . . . first, I grabbed my Nikon dSLR. Then I opened the door and started snapping away.

Bizarre!

My first guess was that this was a fuzzy caterpillar. It was tempting to touch it . . . but ewwwwww! No way was I going near this wooly worm-like creature (glad I wielded a 105mm lens). I had never seen anything like it before.

Are those eyelashes it’s batting at me?

Good thing my fear of creepy, crawly critters made me keep my distance. A Google search identified my visitor as a puss moth caterpillar, also known as an asp. It’s one of the most-toxic caterpillars in North America. Yes, the entire flippin’ continent!

That cute, furry look with the long eyelashes? Just a disguise for a savage, tiny beast that can cause a sting with its brown spine that could have you scurrying for the emergency room.

Holy guacamole!

One-Word Wednesday

Water from the sprinkler beads up on one of our roses.

Droplets!

Where, Oh Where, Is Fall?

Fluffy weeds add bits of pink to the green and brown landscape.

When you grow up in Chicago, fewer things are surer in life than crisp October temperatures, and the leaves changing colors. Like most former northerners in southeast Texas, I dearly miss fall. And having four distinct seasons . . . instead of monstrously hot and I wish it was like this forever (but it never is, and it’s never for long enough).

A few leaves get into the fall spirit.

So while I waited for Mother Nature to finally give the Houston area a break and bring on cooler temperatures (looks like it could happen Friday!), I set out for nearby Imperial Park to see if the predominant green colors were starting to change.

I wish all the leaves looked this pretty.

I discovered that, sadly, not much was different. The park still was mostly green with very few spots of that glorious shade of red signifying that fall is just around the corner.

Want to know something else that was eerily similar?

Our friend Eric makes an easy putt while in the middle of a call to his agent.

That you always can find disc golfers tossing plastic circles into metal baskets . . .

The kid tries to nail his par putt.

. . . no matter what the season!

In the Pink

Amazing colors as captured by my iPhone 5

October is breast cancer awareness month. Everywhere you look, things are pink, even NFL players’ wristbands, shoes, and towels.

Apparently, our brilliant Texas sunrise is onboard with this program. Seeing such beauty during my nine-mile jog yesterday morning made it a little easier to deal with the 70-degree temperature.

But only a little!

Welcome Home, Monique!

Come on down!

Back on August 7, a couple chrysalises on our house erupted. One monarch butterfly already had flown the coop by the time I noticed, but another, who I dubbed Monique, hung around for awhile.

Attractive colors!

Yesterday I looked out my front door and saw some fluttering around our butterfly plant. It was a monarch! I grabbed my Nikon D700, attached the Nikon 70-200mm lens, and stood in the doorway snapping pix.

Hello, gorgeous!

Could it be that Monique had returned for a visit? Perhaps she had gotten homesick during her travels.

Whatever the reason, I hope we get to see her more often. She’s welcome to belly up to the Butterfly Buffet any time!

Cue the Tears

My unexcited son manages a thumbs up as he holds his acceptance envelope.

When my older son received his acceptance to the University of Texas at San Antonio three years ago, there was a tiny, nagging thought in the back of my ever-Tefloning brain:

I’ll be repeating this scene before long.

Showing even less enthusiasm (gotta love the Cookie Monster wristband, though)

Sure enough, it was little bro’s turn yesterday to hold up his big envelope for me to photograph. This one was from Sam Houston State; a couple weeks ago he had opened a regular-sized envelope with his acceptance from the University of Houston. Two applications, two yesses. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Reading his acceptance letter

But, of course, it wasn’t. For awhile, we wondered if the kid was even going to make it out of high school, as he battled his severe school anxiety that started the second semester of his sophomore year. The twin horrors of homebound school and online high school had us reeling until my son righted his ship with medication and returned to his public school second semester junior year.

This first semester of his senior year started out rocky for the first two weeks, but he hasn’t missed any classes since. Of course, even when the waters seem smooth, the Mister and I are forever on our guard for wobbles and waves that could capsize our son’s journey. We are battle-worn but ready.

He’s in!

All of which just added to my tears when I read the kid’s college acceptances. Yes, it does mean that my beloved baby boy will be moving out and on with his life, as the Mister and I face an empty nest for the first time. I know I’ll miss my younger son as much as I do his older brother. They are my life.

But, more importantly, it reminded me of how this kid fought for his normalcy and to keep up with his schoolwork so he wouldn’t fall behind. He never gave up. How even though it’s been difficult at times to sit in his classes, he hangs in there, because he knows his future is bright and worth fighting for. I am so proud of him.

Hey, Sam Houston State! Say hello to your newest bearkat!

Congratulations to my brave big little boy. You are and always will be my hero!