Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Phase 2

NOTICE: Apparently this is the last day for anyone who subscribes by email. As of tomorrow Google will end this feature. Sad, if true.

June 30: it is a somewhat noteworthy day because the province is moving from phase 1 to phase 2 in its COVID recovery plan. The most noteworthy part is that we are doing well enough to move into the next phase a little earlier than planned.

Moving into phase 2 will not be a huge change for most, but it will allow for somewhat larger gatherings both outside and inside. More stores will be permitted limited opening, and there will be fewer restrictions on stores that have already been open.

It's progress done carefully. It might be more careful than necessary, but the Delta variant is of concern.

As I write this (on Monday) 70.3% of the population has had at least one jab, and 30.2% have had both. That's pretty good because it is referring tot he whole population when those under 12 aren't even eligible. Vaccinations have been occurring at the rate or ~200000/day. There is very little vaccine hesitancy and great efficiency of delivery as this tweet about a big Toronto clinic well reveals.

Numbers and trends have been good with fewer than 400 cases/day for a dozen days with some under 300 and even getting close to 200 on this Monday. Recall that there were almost 5000 new cases on the worst day just over 2 months ago. Where there's a will, eh?

If anyone requires a reminder about the efficacy of the vaccines, this post about LA County should just about be all that one needs to give their head a shake and roll up their sleeves for a jab.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Touch of Nostalgia

On a very hot day, Danica decided to walk to the store close to us. She's had a gift card for awhile and decided that this was the day to use it. She saw that it wasn't about to rain, but she didn't check the temperature closely, so she got very heated because it is not a short walk across town.

Since she almost had to walk right by our place, she dropped in for a drink and a cool off.

Then she asked grandma to braid her hair to help keep her a bit cooler.

How long has it been since Sue braided Danica's hair? She used to do it quite often.

What a nice touch of nostalgia.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Two Graduations

We have a bit of an odd graduation situation here.

JJ is moving on from grade 6 into the high school building, but somewhat oddly to me, he will still be in the elementary grades. It's just that they move grades 7 and 8 into the high school building, even though they're still in elementary school. They are separate from and treated differently from the actual high schoolers.

That's ↑↑ the only grad photo of have of JJ's passage, but I have a few of Danica's. With pandemic restrictions still applying, ceremonies were very very perfunctory, for both kids if you could call them celebrations at all. Certainly no family members were permitted to be there to take photos.

Danica was acknowledged online with the following photos in something like an online yearbook.

Although she is moving onto high school, she will remain in the same building as JJ, just in a different part of the building. It's a bit weird to me, but that's the way that they do it locally.

She did get a grad pic of sorts. It certainly captures the times that we live in. Should she have children one day, they will think this very strange. At least I sure hope they will because they will never have known anything resembling this pandemic.

Danica is holding the Academic Excellence plaque that now bears her name. Great work, Dani!

Note: Jonathan could be unmasked because his photo was taken outdoors, but Danica's was taken indoors.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sun Surveyor and Chips

On Wednesday, Sue and I took a little trip up to Arnprior for those fries that we like so much. The fries are good, but it is an excuse for a little outing as much as anything.

I will say more about the excursion as the post goes on, but right now I will tell you that we always take the chips to a nearby park overlooking the Ottawa River with the province of Quebec on the other side.

One thing that I wanted to discover was when and where the sun would rise, just in case I should one day get up early enough to drive that far for a sunrise. As we sat there munching our chips, I used the Sun Surveyor app. It uses GPS to hone in on one's position. Then, all I have to do is hold the phone up and Sun Surveyor will show me the sun's position at various times.

You can see in the screenshot that it would theoretically rise at 5:17, but in this location with this geography it would first be seen sometime after 6. It would then appear in the gap between the branches around 6:45. It is not that I want to take that particular photo, but it is information to be consumed and filed away.

Now, I will backpedal a bit and tell you about the trip.

On a previous occasion, which I wrote about in Eighteen Dollar Fries, we had had to abort the trip due to a loud, shrieking whistle. I had one loose car part adjusted after that, and we hadn't heard the noise since then. Mind you, we have travelled neither far nor at speed in the interim.

We were cruising along when I noted to Sue that this is about where we had heard the nose last time. Sure enough, at that precise instant, or so it seemed, the whistle started again. This time we found the record app on the phone in case we needed to describe it to a mechanic. But after a few moments it stopped and didn't start again.

How odd. The wind and angles of that spot must resonate with something in my car, but for the life of me I know not what.

Now for a few obligatory photos, starting with the selfie du jour.

The chips weren't quite up to their usual standard, but they were good enough, and the setting, overlooking the river, was fab. While a medium box will do us, I did get the large this time. However, they were nothing like the gargantuan eighteen dollar larges of the previous excursion.

We walked a bit and then rested on a bench close to the river for a few minutes. I was rockin my orange that day with the Fathers Day hat and shirt plus those shoes. I love the material in the shirt. It feels so goon on my bod, and the long sleeves and hoodie can come in handy when needed, as in a warm, bug-infested morning

On the way home, we stopped for me to pull out Sun Surveyor again. 

I was looking for a spot from which to photograph the Strawberry Moon which was to occur on the following night, but this location was not all that I had hoped. Later, I did find another spot, but unfortunately, atmospheric conditions were not good that night, and I didn't get to shoot the Strawberry moon, at least not this year.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

I Was a Royal Son

Some have read this already because I got all mixed up in the order of things.

I was a Royal Son. That was our gospel quartet's name – The Royal Sons. Of course, in our naivete, we believed we were children of the King, if you know what I mean, so we considered ourselves royalty in a certain sense.

This was back around 1964 - 65 when cameras hadn't yet been invented, so I have no photos. Well it seems like they had almost not been invented compared to the proliferation in our present world and in my blog in particular. Phones were rather tethered in those days too.

We were Barry, Bob, Henry and me, John: lead, baritone, tenor and bass in that order (I think). Our pianist was Becky Lois to begin with but for some reason we switched to Harry. Possibly, Becky Lois realized our awfulness and baled out, but I can't remember.

If memory serves, we sang twice at our young peoples group and twice at another YP group.

Then I quit. I think I was miffed about them changing the key on my solo on the sly for the lead singer's sake. I also was going into a difficult final year of high school. We had a grade 13 in those days, which was thought to be equivalent of first year university in other jurisdictions. I hadn't had a very laudable academic record up until then, and I was determined to show my teachers that I was not a complete numbskull. 

The quartet replaced me with my best friend, Ron, who was a tenor. You have read correctly: the bass singer was replaced by a tenor.

Configuration 2 of the Royal Sons (with Ron) sang once at YP. I didn't make that service for some now forgotten reason, so I never heard them perform because that was their one and only gig. At least I think so. I was told that they were terrible, but they were probably no worse than when I was in the group.

I was brought in for one more try, me returning the favour and replacing Ron this time. We had yet another pianist, Vera, and Dave, replaced Henry.

We had two practices, which the pastor's wife happened to  hear. She asked us to sing again at YP, saying we now sounded more harmonious. We weren't ready yet, so we demurred.

But that was it, the end of my Royal years. Barry attended some gospel meetings near us with Franklin Walden, an evangelist from Georgia. Barry began to lead the singing in that crusade, and Walden invited him to accompany him to Georgia.

I guess it was that summer of 65, when Barry returned with Walden for tent meetings a few hours from Toronto. Bob and I went twice. And I think I went once at some other time with a few other friends.

The Royal Sons were gone, mostly forgotten, and no one mourns the loss.

Just for fun, I have found a version of my solo, When I Stand With God. I haven't heard it since I last performed it (or tried to perform it) back around 1965, but it's as I remembered it. However, I assure you that I sang it without the little falsetto trill that this singer inserts. I think I sang in a lower key than this in practice, and then they switched it to this key when we performed in public. This didn't suit my bass voice too well and was not a terribly Christian thing to do. 

A search has revealed that Franklin Walden died in 2009, but I couldn't find his acolyte, Barry. In fact, I lost complete contact with all of the others except Ron, the tenor who replaced me, the bass and vice versa. I did remain good friends with Ron for the next 20 years, but distance and different priorities eventually had their way, and we haven't seen each other for almost 25 years.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Johnny and June and One Mic

OK. I am getting lost. This post was supposed to precede the Royal Sons post, so I have returned the other post, which you may have already read, back to the queue and republished this. I do get in messes from time to time. 

We present Johnny Cash and June Carter performing Jackson in an old tv show that looks corny now. They perform with one mic, and I love it. I can understand the words and hum the tune, and it is only 2 minutes long or so. (I will resist commentary on much current music.)

I wonder about the date of that show, but the single mic has me remembering how back in the mid-sixties, some friends and I began a gospel quartet. We sang grouped around one mic of very dubious quality.

We were terrible, and I was the worst of the four, but I filled a need because my voice was low enough to sing the bass part.

I was not good, but I could usually hold a note more or less on key. Now, I can't. I try to sing, mostly to the cat, and my voice wavers all over the place. It's both frustrating and embarrassing because I like to sing my little ditties. I do somewhat better at whistling. I am not sure why there is a difference, but there seems to be.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

how do you get by with so little sleep

The question came up after a recent post where I hadn't got much more than 3 hours sleep but still got out for an early morning photo shoot. "How do you get by with so little sleep?"

I don't know, and I have no choice. Oh, I did have a bit of a choice on that particular morning when I set the alarm to catch the sunrise, but for the most part, I have to be content with 5 hours of sleep (which I don't always get). I feel a bit lucky when I get 6 hours, and every so often (which is an odd phrase since it doesn't happen often) I might get 7. 

It is odd because, historically, I have required a fair amount of sleep to function – something like 8 hours with a little bit extra on weekends.

Sue and I would sleep about the same length of time back in those days. But in our more golden years, she has gone one way while I have gone the other. She now needs something close to 10 hours a night while I exist on the hours mentioned above.

She usually heads to bed around 9 o'clock while I stay up until 10:30 or later – often later, like last night when the hockey game didn't end until almost midnight. Still, I was up not much past 5AM whereas on most mornings, I won't see Sue until after 8.

As I have written recently, I do nap on many days, but it is very short, likely 10 minutes or so. Sue sometimes has a little nap too. She will likely have one today because she was up before 7.

I still don't understand it, and I am certainly not always overjoyed with the situation, but it is what it is.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Addled Mind

Do you do this? Naw, I am probably the only one who wool-gathers almost constantly.

I put a banana in the sink. The skin, I mean, after I was done eating the fruit.

I knew it was time to discard it, and the garbage can is under the sink. So I was in the right region of the kitchen, but I lost my way by thinking of something or other as I turned around. The aforementioned Lost Way just involved me turning around in our narrow kitchen, but my mind went elsewhere in that brief instant of time.

Shortly afterward, I also turned when I didn't need to and opened the fridge in my search for cooking oil which is actually kept in a little cupboard over the stove on the other side. Once again, I remembered item + door, but with my mind having shifted to an unelated something or other, I just opened a random door.

I have done a similar thing enough times while grocery shopping. I reach for an item on the shelf, but somehow I get distracted and grab the item next to it. The wrong item, as it turns out.

Absent-mindedness has always been an issue with me, like the time I kept opening and shutting the same car door. It was after school one day when Sue heard me banging the car door again and again in the driveway.

I had got out of the front seat and made to retrieve my briefcase from the backseat. I opened the door and thought something like, "Oh, I guess I am supposed to lock the back door." I pushed the button down (remember those days?) and shut the door. Then, I would remember the briefcase and rinse and repeat.

Now I am not saying that I repeated this a million times, but I think it took me three tries to actually retrieve the briefcase. I was pretty young then too, so this is not a senility issue, or not just and solely a senility issue.

I know that I blogged about the briefcase incident once before, probably in more detail, but I couldn't find that post today.

At least I think I know that I wrote about it. My problem isn't so much memory but just letting my mind wander off absently and aimlessly in multiple directions.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Like the First Morning

It was a late night with an overtime hockey game in which my team lost although the series is tied. The forecast was for rain in the morning, which would mean heavy cloud cover, so there would likely not be a sunrise. After some dithering, I set my alarm anyway.

And then, I had great trouble getting to sleep. I think I was still awake at 1 o'clock, which did not altogether increase my enthusiasm for an early shoot.

Regardless, my silly self rolled over at 3:57, three minutes before the alarm was set to rouse me, and I was able to turn it off before it might wake Sue as well.

I still wasn't sure about getting up. I checked the sky and saw that there were low clouds that would obscure the rising sun. But I also saw some spaces above the low cloud bank, which could result in a photo op.

Even though I wasn't certain about what I should do, once the idea was in my head, I wasn't about to get back to sleep anyway. I hauled the old bod out of bed, got dressed, made coffee, and headed out.

I drove down a laneway by which farmers could access their fields. It was marked as a road, so I wasn't trespassing.

So it was that I was able to catch some photos of the first rising of the sun after the solstice which occurred close to the previous midnight. I didn't see the sun exactly, but I did see its effects.

I mentioned previously that I would experiment with inserting myself into the frame more. I think this is an appropriate solstice greeting. Don't you agree?

Off to the side, I spied an interesting cloud formation, so I shifted the camera.

Note: all three original photos have a little more light and detail
on the ground part than what is visible at Blogger resolution.

It would also be nice to photograph the solstice sunset, but as I write this on Monday morning, it is overcast. If I do manage to get a photograph, I will post it below. If you see a blank space, you'll know that it didn't work out.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Fathers Day Part Two at the Park with the Clan

We lucked out with a gorgeous day in which the ferocious winds of the previous day calmed down. It was hot enough, but we were perfect in the shade of the trees by the river.

There were people fishing right in the river. We realized that people could fish without a license on this weekend. We set up five chairs (to the right, above) and waited for Sha and the kids. The park was crowded, relatively speaking, but there was a lot of space between the family clusters, and no one group was overly large. It was pretty perfect, really.

They arrived with coffee and donuts (above). I set up the camera on the tripod with a 10 second delay and had JJ press the shutter and scoot back into the frame (below). When Sue and I had tried this the other day, neither of us made it back into the frame. It was a longer distance then, but it was still nice to have young legs available on this day.

I then set up the camera to take photos with an app from the phone so that no more scooting was required.

The orange theme continued when I opened the neatest gift. It is a long-sleeved hoodie made from lightweight material, which will be perfect to wear on summer mornings while offering me some protection from the biters.

That photo ↑↑ is partly comedy because I have scads of similar photos of me receiving shirts for Fathers Days, birthdays and Christmases. It got to be a bit of a joke, more so when we would look back in later years and see the theme repeated over and over. I haven't been gifted so many shirts lately, but it was fun to pick up the old theme.

I almost forgot to mention the card, below. Mustn't do that.

There was one other item: a drink holder thing to help keep my pop cool.

Caption on the drink holder:
I don't need Google.
My Buppa knows everything

It was a grand hour or so. Come July, Sue and I will have been vaccinated for two weeks. The kids will be out of school for the summer. We should be able to see more of them without worrying, and rules will be looser too.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

More Flowers and a Pano

I have a few more photos from the museum gardens that I first posted earlier on Monday: two peony photos and and one clematis.

I am also about to show you a sunrise pano that I took. There was no particular reason to shoot a pano, but I like to keep myself amused.

It is 7-photos stitched together into one. Straight out of the merge, I could have printed a high resolution photo that would have been 4 feet long (not that I have the equipment to do that). Of course, the scaled-down version that you are seeing would print only at ~3.5 inches.

But I wouldn't print it even if I could because I don't think it is good enough in general, and it is also not sharp enough. The trees on the left are a wee bit blurry, and the ones that stretch across the horizon are a little fuzzy too. You would want a photo to be pretty much perfect if you were going to go to the expense of printing at that size. Think of the amount of ink! I am not sure why I missed nailing the focus, but I did.

The original image was so big that my photo programs had to chug away at it for quite awhile. Since I will never print it, I have since scaled down the image size to about half of the original size. That will leave me with a good version should I ever require it. Which I won't.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Fathers Day Part One (with Orange)

I have already posted that we went out for Fathers Day breakfast on Thursday. We often celebrate days like this and birthdays with breakfast a day or three early. With Thursday's forecast looking better than Friday, Thursday was the day that we chose.

That was supposed to be it for early Fathers Day, with anything else related to the occasion to occur on the weekend with Shauna and the kids.

However, when I checked the mailbox, my new tee shirt had arrived.

You remember the orange shoes, right? Once I had them, we were looking for orange accessories. Sue found a tee from a First Nations site, and it happened to arrive just awhile before we were to depart for my second jab.

Since I had the shirt, Sue decided to give me my Fathers Day present then and there. Perhaps, you can see why.

That's right, it's a new cap, and it contains some orange and doesn't conflict with orange like my blue and red tartan caps. It's a very nice cap and even looks okay when I turn it backwards to take pictures.

I am very pleased with both items, and the cap is a quality one.

At some other time, I will post about the tee and the connection with First Nations and the story behind it, for it is of some significance.

For now though, it is just about Fathers Day, the orange shirt, and the cap.

I am not sure yet how and when I will see the kids, and there will likely be another Fathers Day post once I do. Meanwhile, Sue will have her second jab today, and that is worth celebrating too.

Friday, June 18, 2021

One Day: Three Very Fine Things

Thing One

It had been 8 months since we last breakfasted at the restaurant with the patio by our beautiful river. Patio dining re-opened just last weekend, and with Father's Day coming up, we seized the opportunity. We often celebrate events like this with breakfast a day or two prior.

Although it was a beautiful day and not too hot, we found a shady spot.

Sitting opposite Sue, I was looking at the leaves and branches that are behind her in the photo, but I didn't mind at all because it was good to be out, and the weather was quite wonderful. Sue had this view, or at least some of it, from her seat.

And I had a pretty good view of my Waterfront Scramble dish with three scrambled egg plus bacon, sausage and more. You may also notice that my beard is much more kempt than when last you saw it. I tried it longer but it wasn't me.

Thing Two

We had planned to attend the raising of the Pride flag, which had been delayed by other events. Only the night before did we realize that we weren't invited because gatherings must still be kept to no more than 10 people. 

However, serendipity intervened and we could glimpse the raising of the flag from our spot on the patio. Sue is taking some shots, below, and two photos of the raising follow.

Thing Three

It was my day for the second Jab. You can just see the needle; it was withdrawing already. I tried to get a photo of the actual jab, and I did, but her hand was in the way.

As I was sitting there for the mandatory 15 minutes post jab period. I felt a bit emotional to have reached this milestone. The science that went into this with such unprecedented speed is phenomenal, and the leaders of my country and province responded admirably. This is a time for thanksgiving, not for casting political stones as too many are wont to do.

I was jabbed on the third consecutive day of Ontario having fewer than 400 cases. This is quite a turnaround, for less than two months ago, in the peak of phase 3, we were getting more than 4000 new cases per day.  

Thanks to lockdown plus an impressive vaccine rollout, life is looking up. Seventy-five percent of Ontario adults have now had one jab and 20% have had both. I expect this number to increase impressively over the next month or two.

I don't know how the future will go with the variants, particularly the Delta, but at the present moment, there is relief and hope.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

You Know that Funny Doctor on that Funny Program

Argh! Those elusive words, mostly proper nouns! It happens too often in my dotage.

The word in this instance was Milanos, our pizzeria. We order about every 4-6 weeks. And I have such trouble remembering the name. I know that it begins with an M, but although all sorts of M-words pop into my lil noggin, none of them are Milanos. I know well enough that the word pop-ups aren't right but darned if I came come up with the right word. I mean, I usually do remember after awhile, but I gave up the struggle last week and resorted to googling pizzerias in town. As soon as I saw the list, I had it.

At least I still know how to google, eh?

That evening Sue leaned over, showed me this photo on her tablet and asked me if I knew who it was. 

Of course, my dear. It is Endora, Samantha's mother in Bewitched, that 60s tv show. I knew it instantly, from 50 years ago!

How come, when I can't remember Milanos?

Later, we were watching British telly: DCI Banks to be precise.

I was able to explain to Sue that the character, Annie Cabot, was in all of the many volumes in the book series but would eventually be dropped from the tv series. 

That's not bad recall, is it? I could picture her replacement who would play a different character, but when I tried to tell Sue who it was, the best I could come up with was something like, "the wife of that funny doctor on that tv show."

Sue looked at me in perplexity, but then I was able to say that the doctor was autistic or something like that, and Sue came up with Doc Martin.

Yes yes. That's the one, so I was then able to elaborate. "Well, the woman who replaces Annie Cabot on DCI Banks is played by the same actor as Doc Martin's wife." 

Sue could recall none of this, which sometimes happens when we re-watch an old series. Sue will swear up and down that we haven't seen it, but as we go along, I will remember bits and pieces and sometimes am able to tell her about something that will happen in advance. She then says that I must have watched it without her. Except I don't watch tv without her except for hockey. There was one other series, Longmire, that she couldn't stand, and neither could I after the first good season or two.

Back to Doc Martin and the actor, whose name or at least stage name is Caroline Catz. I have no trouble recalling the basic place, situation and various characters in both DCI Banks and Doc Martin, but the names so often stump me.

By the way, Endora was played by Agnes Moorehead. But you'll have to remember that for me because . . . names . . .  y'know?

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Third Stop

I understand if you have already grown weary of my early morning pics, but I will probably continue for the present time. The landscape isn't grand, but is is available, and the sites are close by. Doing something keeps me in practice to some degree, even if it is repetitive. Practice is of some value because I think that I almost forgot how to do some things over the long winter. 

These photos are from the third pull-off site (my first time), all viewing the same farm.

As I point the camera in different directions I get different colours. I was drawn by the reds in this section of cloud, very close to the rising point.

Sometimes, I change lenses to zoom in on certain areas, but all of these photos were taken with my wide angle lens. My telephoto attempts were not good on this morning.

Until the crops grow, there is a lack of foreground for all of these recent photos although I did get a little from one of the stops. I am hesitant to wade into the tall grasses at the sides of the clearings that I access, for the threat of ticks turns me into a coward. Maybe I will venture into the grasses some day but will tuck my pants into my socks if I do summon the courage.

Lacking foreground. I decided to put myself into one photo. 

I  may experiment more with this sort of selfie. What I have to do is set up a shot, put the camera on a 10-second delay, and scurry back into the frame. I am not that nimble and don't scurry all that well, but I think I will try again, for I think there is potential.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The CAF is Back

A pleasant surprise greeted me at the drugmart in the early morn when I was picking up a few items.

CAF is back.

Yes, ladies and germs, I do call it CAF although it is actually caffeine free. Despite what my blog friends may think, I do tend to be a tad parsimonious with my words.

I drink DIET during the day and CAF at night, or at least I used to. Then, around the time that the pandemic began, CAF disappeared from the shelves. Apparently, the disappearance was unrelated to COVID but had something to do with scarcity of aluminum.

Does it sound like I drink a lot of COKE? Well, I don't really. I open 2 DIETS/day and 1 CAF in the evening. I try not to finish any of them, so hopefully, I am not consuming any more than 2 cans in total. 

I have a chronically weird throat, and very cold COKE feels very good on it at the right time. Perhaps you remember the old commercial about ice cold coke on the back of my throat. Well, it works for me.

I do understand that I am weird.

The reappearance of CAF came just after I had discovered that there is now a sugar-free COKE ZERO. I had purchased one carton and was about to purchase another when I saw that CAF was available.

So, what did I do in its absence for a drink in the evenings over the past year? After some trial and error with root beer, sprite and 7-Up, I settled on ginger ale. It was okay, but I don't prefer diet ginger ale, and I'd rather not consume those calories at night, so it is good to have CAF back.

When I started blogging 17 years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would write a post like this. Although just about any topic can be blogged, that doesn't mean that one should. But I do anyway.


Monday, June 14, 2021

A Brief Garden Tour

On a rather dull day, I went looking for irises and peonies to photograph. In the garden by the museum, I found irises that were beyond their best by date, so I refrained. The peonies were a little better.

No flowers in the next photo, but I liked the green on greens in this patch.

I liked how the bench ↓↓ was framed. I really reduced contrast on this for effect. This is referred to as a matte look or finish. I think I like it, but I am waffling a bit.

I moved onto a rural road not far out of town where the owners have a herbaceous border along the fence by the road. I had heard that lupines were in season, a flower that is a bit unusual for this area. The gardener, or her husband rather, told me that they had taken seeds from Prince Edward Island where lupines grow in profusion. I think this is my favourite photo from my little outing.

But I like the next one too. I don't know what the flower is called. It looks like cosmos in the photo, but the blooms seemed much smaller that the cosmos that I am used to. The horizontal lines in the background are part of a split rail fence.

I also applied a matte finish to this ↑↑ one. As a photo, I may like it better than the lupines. I am torn. I like the lupines because they are a bit exotic hereabouts, but I also like this image for its understated look.