Mother Nature’s Fireworks

Walking through a park or around our neighborhood in the evening is one of my favorite ways to unwind. It provides the opportunity to mentally process the events of the day, prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, and get some fresh air. When I started my first full time job several years ago, I noticed that I missed the sunshine and fresh air more than I could have imagined.

One home in particular on my walking route usually catches my eye (even when I’m not planning to take photos) because the flower beds are stunning. I can’t tell if they plant the flowers out of their own passion and talent or if they know a gardener who tends to their flowers. Regardless – I’m loving their most recent addition to the garden.

Maybe I’m just seeing things here but I love the patterns within the flower. It looks like all of the long petals stem from one of five groups and the tips of each petal look like they have even more itsy bitsy yellow petals on the tip. And what is not to love about how this flower bursts forward? It reminds me of a firework exploding in the finale of a 4th of July celebration.Flower

Location: Lubbock, TX
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC (All I did was adjust the exposure and give myself a pat on the back for not digitally altering this gorgeous flower any further)

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Make like a tree…

…and leaf!

Tomorrow is my last day working for the state of Texas. Hugsband and I are moving to Oklahoma City for his new job and I’ll be continuing my own job search until a good fit shows up.

So in the spirit of leafing/leaving, I bring you this juicy green leaf from a garden we visited on our most recent vacation.

Dewy Leaf

The Royal Treatment

I’m savoring every picture from our vacation as I decide which photos to edit and share next. Definitely excited with the symmetry of this one – it’s *almost* perfection for my standards. I thought about trying my hand at erasing the surfer dude on the far left but couldn’t part with the morning memories of a quiet beach and water busy with surfers and paddle boards.

We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian with the rest of the family and it did not disappoint! The hotel lobby was open air and lead straight to the shore. What you see here is the beauty my eyes soaked up every morning.

Somehow I swapped the color of the water with the sky. I don’t really know how I did that but it’s pretty so that’s fine by me!

Patio

Location: The Royal Hawaiian, Oahu
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC

Something Green

We woke up super early for a sunrise photo tour while on vacation in Hawaii. Thankfully, the tour was scheduled for our first morning so it didn’t feel early. Our internal clocks thought it was already 10am-ish.

During the photo tour our guide helped me learn the camera I was using and pointed out a few features. Tweaking the pops of color was super entertaining (especially when our tour eventually arrived at a garden).

These photos are from the sunrise portion of the tour before we ventured on to other sites. I love the pop of green in the first photo. That was all thanks to a setting on the camera. With a few more tweaks in Photoshop, the green (I think it’s called lichen? But don’t trust me on that one) really steals the show.

In the second photo, things feel much warmer and inviting and you can see the gorgeous color of the water way better, but the remainder of the photo feels a little faded and washed out. I wish I could get the color of the water in the second photo combined with the rocks and greenery in the first. Where there’s a will there’s a way. I’m just not up to that challenge just yet.

The downside of living landlocked is there are few opportunities to capture those perfectly timed wave crashes. Possibly my favorite photo subject, I could have sat on these rocks all morning timing photos of crystal teal waves battering the rocks and spreading their mist over the beach.

The upside of living landlocked is the greater appreciation for any vacation time I get to spend on a beach with the waves. Sounds like I’ve found my happy place. Just need to save my pennies up for another wavy vacation.

Green StuffMore green stuff

Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photshop CC

Kensi

I have a memory card full of ocean waves and palm trees but all of that can wait until you meet my cat.

I’ve never been a ‘cat person’ though my husband is enamored with any cat he meets. When he tells me he loves me more than the cat it can be more romantic than fresh sunflowers on a rainy day. (Joking. Hugsband if you read this: know that I will always appreciate fresh flowers). Story behind the ‘Hugsband’ nickname to follow in a later post.

We also have a dog, Bexley, and she is the energy in our home. Her flying leaps off of the patio give me a smile every time.

Typical dog person, talking about the dog in a post supposedly dedicated to the cat.

Anyways, here she is! Plenty more to follow because she’s the only living subject I have that will sit without moving long enough for me to catch a zillion photos.

Kensi.jpg

Location: Kitty cushion
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC (tried to bring out her calico coloring and remove some glare from her eyes)