Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Blue Supermoon, Minus 1 Day

Technically speaking, we will experience the Blue Supermoon tonight, but we went out last night because we could. There wouldn't be much difference between last night and tonight, and the time would be a little better, for the moon would appear sometime between 7:30 - 8pm it wasn't as dark out as it will be tonight. Besides that, I hadn't really photographed all summer, so we made the effort while we could.

The preparations began when it was still morning. That is when I scouted about for a good location. I probably shouldn't say good. What I should say is acceptable and close to home. I was using my Sun Seeker app to try to predict where and when the moon would rise. After rejecting two locations, I decided to try the pond where I had photographed a number of sunrises back in 2022.

If the app were correct, I should see it rising in the distance somewhere beyond this tree. → →

I thought the tree would make a good foreground element. When I returned with Sue ~7pm, I took that → ↑ photo and waited and waited. Would the app prove to be correct? As my watch slipped past the projected moonrise time, I had my doubts.

Then, the couple with whom we struck up a bit of a conversation saw it – so faint that I couldn't see it until the man guided my eye.  It was 7:53, almost 15 minutes after rising time, but the clouds on the horizon had obscured the moon until then, which is too bad because the moon appears bigger close to the horizon.

After a few minutes, I took a disappointing record photo, but I was  pleased to see that the app had predicted the location correctly as it was rising beyond the tree.


A minute later, the moon was becoming clearer although only half of it has lifted beyond the low cloud. I had also adjusted the exposure, deciding that it would cause the moon would stand out a little more.


Well okay, but the moon was looking pretty small. I zoomed in  to the full 200mm that the lens allowed. This caused me to lose the foreground tree, but I think the pond and other features are sufficient.


I had the shot ↑ fairly close to how I imagined it, but I turned the camera ↓ horizontally as an after thought. I might as well since I was there. I like the above, vertical photo better, but it doesn't hurt to experiment. 


Sue and the couple noticed a reflection in the pond, so I moved the camera, but you see the problem. The concreter water discharge outlet is in the way, just below the reflection.


I was done. Or was I? I asked Sue to go to the car to get my 100-400mm lens and zoomed in to the full 400mm.


When I got home, I made a composite by superimposing the moon in the final photo (the one just above) onto the first full moon photo from 08:01:50. Except for this composite image, all of the photos were very close to SOOC (Straight Out Of the Camera)

And that, dear folk, is the story of my Blue Supermoon photoshoot, just about my only dedicated session in months. I feel like I had a bit of an adventure while making the best that I could of the location, and I am happy enough with the results under the circumstances.

It was good to get out.


As an afterthought, after I hit publish, I decided to composition the big moon with the original composition with the tree. Why not, eh? I think I still prefer the former photo.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Who wouldn't want to see a selfie of moi in a hospital gown with my clothes in a bag on my lap? → →

So yeah. I had a lovely visit with  Dr Pee for my 4th cystoscope in 10 months. He read previous lab results re. my infection, listened to my symptoms, and prescribed 3 more weeks of ciprofloxacin, saying that it often takes a long dose of antibiotics to eliminate prostatitis. One hopes that he is right and that it works. 

Meanwhile, I had to change my shirt twice last night. Anytime the nightly sweating chooses to cease would be AOK with me.

It was about a half hour drive to see him in the next town to the south. The speed limit on that two-lane highway if 80kph. I was driving ~95.

The cars lined up behind me and zoomed by when we hit the passing lane.

FYI, 80kph is roughly 50mph and 100kph is 60mph.

Do drivers disregard speed limits where you live?

So, that is about it. I was going to drone on and on about more mundane matters of my day, but I will just leave you with this ↓ ↓ photo from last night when I saw lights on the major road out back. 

They were repaving the road but went by quickly. I was slow to find my phone, but I did get the photo just before they went out of sight. This passes for excitement in this lil ole life o mine.

It does surprise me that vehicles can drive on the road almost as soon as the asphalt is laid.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Bees on the Joe

On Saturday monirng (there we are again, misspelling morning) while I was innocently shaving my neck, my back kinked (twinged, spasmed). Uh huh, bearded me does shave my neck.

Who knows why it spasmed, but I knew that I had to take it easy, particularly since I really needed to keep my cystoscopy appointment today. (I am possibly there as you read this.) With all of my post-surgery infections, I really want to see my urologist and get his input on my problem, for at present, I am on my fourth round of antibiotics since mid-June. You could count it as three rounds since one antibiotic was switched out for another mid-round, but the problem is concerning as we can't seem to beat it.

While I was nursing my ego and wounds in my easy chair, Sue went out back to take some photos of our Joe Pye plant for her group project. This Joe Pye or Eutrochium purpureum plant is not held in high regard because it can grow like a weed where people don't want it. In fact when I googled it to find the Latin name, it was identified as a weed. And those who have read Anne of Green Gables may recall that the mean girl was called Josie Pye.

But our version of Joe is a newer cultivar, and it is magnificent. It is a herbaceous perennial that dies off every fall. As it pokes its tender shoots out in May, it seems impossible that it will grown fence-high, but it does, every year. I love it.

Some stalks and flowers are higher than the fence.

What surprised Sue was that the plant was swarming with bees. She snapped many photos, and they were all good. Here are a few of them.

I maintain that for quick macro photos like these, it is hard to beat phone photography. In fact, I tried with my camera on the nest day, and they weren't as good.


Sue loves to play with collages etc. After I drafted the above, she did ↓ these. The first was done with Adobe Photoshop Express, the second with Picture In Picture. It is a pretty automated process in both cases. Modern software is quite impressive.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Twenty Month Later

You've heard about supply chain difficulties and maybe experienced them? Well, it took me 20 months to obtain the subject of this post. 

The printer was listed on sale in December 2021, so I submitted my order. After about a year of waiting and hearing nothing, I called about 6 months ago to see if they still had it in their records. They did and reported that they were starting to see some movement on such items. Starting … some.

Just over  a week ago, I was surprised when they sent an email asked if I still wanted it.

In a sense, I didn't need it anymore, or not as much as I had back before C19, but I went ahead and confirmed the order.

It arrived soon after, and here it is along with my first high quality print on 19x13 paper.

My public displaying and selling days are over, or at least I think they are, but here I am with an expensive printer. I will be content to print photos that I choose for my own pleasure.

I needed a new printer of some description regardless, so it might as well be one that I can use for quality, large prints. The photo featured above, is a two-year old sunrise photo that I happened to recently come across again. I printed it just because I could, and it gave me a certain amount of satisfaction to do so.

The previous printer started smudging just about the time that C19 began, and believe me, no replacement at all was available for quite some time. Then, even when this printer that I wanted was advertised and appeared to be available, it still took the best part of two years for it to arrive on my doorstep.

Patience and persistence, young grasshopper. Or old codger.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Caturday 52: Sabine's First Lap Visit

Before I get on to the Caturday theme, I must refer to the dark squares in yesterday's post, which is all that some of you were able to see. They look good and moody when I am editing them, but then I forget that once I have shipped them over to Blogger, they are at a lower resolution and smaller in size. Even then, I can see them in Blogger on my computer although I admit that the the second one was quite dim. Most people viewing from good computers seem to have had no problems seeing them. In the end, however, if you couldn't see them, you didn't miss much. lol

Meanwhile, on the Caturday theme . . . Shauna recently shared this photo with us.

Sabina looks big here, but she is really a rather tiny puss.

In that photo, Sabine was cuddling in Sha's lap for the first time since her arrival six months ago, or maybe it is 8 months. While she often lies right beside Sha, this was the first lap visit, and there have been others since then.

Lacey is singularly unimpressed. However it is still rude to stick your tongue out, old puss!

Here's another of Sabine that I happened to have in my blog folder. Such a cutie.

Friday, August 25, 2023


It's not even 10am, but I've been out to the pharmacy and then on a very brief photography exploration. I don't want to talk about the pharmacy, but I will call the photos my ASS adventure. In this case, ASS is just short for Another Short Shoot. However, you could apply the acronym to me and my life in many many ways.

There is some fog out there this monirng*, so I thought to dust the cobwebs off the camera and see what I might see in the park around the corner. Frankly, I didn't see anything worth photographing for the fog was too light to be effective. I was out already, so I drove to a nearby trail entrance. 

My first photo was of a little cluster of goldenrods by the trail entrance.

I took two photos of the this little scene. The one that I have posted ↑ is purposefully underexposed. I did take another, supposedly properly-exposed version, but I like this one better. 

From there I took two photos just a little off the trail after being attracted by the shape of the branches on the ground. I underexposed a little but it was fairly dark in there.

The branch to the left of the tree is much more visible than the one to the right.

From about the same spot, I looked to my left and decided that I liked this hanging branch with all of the little branches hanging from it. The light to the top right is distracting; if it were a serious photo, I would try to edit it away.

It would seem that I was in a dark mood this monring*, but I wasn't really. I just found the mysterious look appealing.

* Some time ago, I posted a blog about almost always typing the word, morning, incorrectly. This propensity has never ceased. I left my undeliberate typos as the were in the post above. You can see that they are different typos. What is it about that word?

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Ten Minutes at the Park

Yesterday morning was coffee time for the three photography amigos. We do this every second or third week. 

I had a little errand to run before the meetup and then I had some time to kill between the two events. With a little time to kill, I dropped by the park for ten minutes and took a couple of phone snaps. With less than two weeks to go before another school year begins, the kids were out with their water craft. I waited for two girls to frame themselves under the arc of the tree on their SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board).

In a slightly different location, I took a photo of a bunch of paddlers beyond a clump of grasses. I deliberately used the grasses to add depth and interest.

Then, I  took a short video to try to capture the flavour of this halcyon summer day. The kids are all paddling from the canoe club from somewhere off to our right of these photos. It is a venerable old canoe club, the oldest continuously operating one in the nation.

As I was making my way back to the car, I happened to look down only to witness a very sad sight — coloured leaves on the ground. This imperfect, fuzzy  photo shows that autumn is impending.

Sue's Summer Shoot

Just about my only photography this summer has been Sue's photography. That is when she requires me to be her living tripod. I hold the phone and she decides the rest: where she shall stand, how she shall  pose, and where I I will stand and click.

Her group requires a photo from the same spot in all seasons. She has done both winter and spring from a spot in the park, and yesterday, it was time for the summer shoot.

She got dolled-up (another dad phrase, I think) and off we drove.

After finding our spot with the bench between two trees, we set to work. She is pretty small in this ↓ first image. In the initial winter photo, due to snow, she had to stand near to where I am taking the photo, so she looked larger.

We experimented with different angles and postures and moved her forward a bit (in the first two photos) to render her larger.

Due to the lighting, the photos weren't terrific. She was in shadow and there was distracting brightness here and there. Believe it or not, I actually brightened her in those ↑ pictures. The shoot would probably work better on a more overcast day.

Finally, I took another photo for another purpose, and this one turned out best in my almost worthless opinion — better but not perfect due to the lighting.

Maybe someday, I use my camera for some purpose or other. I did port it to this shoot, but it stayed in the car. With the lighting, it wouldn't have done any better in this case.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Keeping on Track

I was shocked at 8am this morning when my watch jangled unexpectedly as I was sitting here at the computer reading your posts.

It also happened last night at 2. Then, I stumbled out of bed and downed my pill as well as a cookie, for they recommend taking this antibiotic with food. Thankfully, for the second consecutive night, I was able to drift back to sleep.

What would I do without Siri to remind me to take my pill every 6 hours? 

What I would do is to forget and take it at odd hours rather than at 2, 8, 2 and 8.

Even when deaf me is sleeping, the watch will vibrate and that will awaken me. If I don't respond soon enough, sharp-eared Sue will be sure to jab me awake, bless her heart.

So between Siri and Sue, daydreaming-moi manages to keep more or less on track.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Feeling Punky

I cast about for a way to describe how I was feeling yesterday. I wasn't sick or depressed, but what was I?

My father's word came to be: "I am feeling punky."  He probably said "a bit punky" or "a might punky" or some such.

I don't know when I last heard him say it. He's been gone for 24 years, but in my mind he said it much longer ago than that when I was a boy living at home.

I wondered if I had the correct word, or at least if I had understood the right meaning. To me it must have meant somewhat like tired but maybe a little more than just plain, old tired. Maybe tired plus a little off.

Of course, I had to google it. And yes, my memory was pretty well spot on, both in terms of the word itself and of its meaning.

The urban dictionary defines it as: "run down, tired, worn out, dragging, on the verge of getting sick with the flu or cold." Although I didn't feel on the verge of flu, the rest of the definition seemed to apply. It went on to add: "when you're feeling punky, you aren't feeling up to par - you're run down feeling. Sometimes abbreviated as punk - i.e. feeling punk"

Words and language add some spice to life, and, it was also nice to make that connection with dad.

However, I hasten to clarify that I am not punk as in rock music or a punk as in being a worthless or aggressive sort of person, like a hoodlum. At least I think not.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Naked Chicken

As you might expect, we haven't been immersing ourselves in the joy of cooking, lately. It's pretty much been eating whatever is close to hand, and doncha know that cereal will do.

But we have a bbq, and we had chicken. Grilling for 20 minutes, ain't that hard, eh?

I fired up the barbie and then put the chicken on. I politely asked Siri to set a timer for 4 minutes and went into the house. After 4 minutes I went back out and turned the chicken over for another 4. By then there was a big cloud looming in the west. From what I could tell from my very modest cloud watching skills was that it was raining heavily over yonder.

I set the next turning of the chicken for 3 minutes, but I could see that getting the bird fully cooked before the rain came would be a close call.

And I was right! It was raining come time to go out again. 

Did I write raining? I mean pouring. The Brits would probably say, "It was really chucking it down." Have I ever mentioned how much I adore British English?

There was nothing for it but to grab something semi waterproof, in this case I chose my winter coat which was hanging in the closet. It also has a hoodie. 

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, so out went the intrepid cook.

Of course, the coat wasn’t really waterproofed. While it might repel snow or perhaps the lightest of drizzles, it did not stand a chance in a downpour that would have sent Noah scurrying to the ark.

But needs must, and out I went. I selected the fattest piece and cut it open in the deluge to see it it was done. This is what I do. If the thickest piece is properly cooked, they should all be done. You can see me checking it out, below.

I spotted Sue with the phone. I swear that I was not giving her the flinger.

Here, I was flippin the flipper. I did say flipper; I did not say bird.

Sue met me at the door to grab the utensils and sauce from me.

Off came my clothes right at the door. Have you ever eaten naked chicken? I mean, chicken nakedly?

Something or other that I have done must have really angered the gods this year. I won't rehash all of my troubles for the nth time, but you would really think that the deities would have at least permitted me to grill in peace for a mere 20 minutes. 

I would have thought  that would not too grand of an expectation. But I would have been wrong.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Trots and Swings and Things

The lab results came in yesterday and, quite unsurprisingly, confirmed an infection. The doctor wanted me to start on an antibiotic toute de suite, so off hied AC to the pharmacy. I took my first dosage of Cephalexin at 8pm. The pills are 500mg, and I am to take then 4x daily for 7 days.

While every medication comes with side effect warnings, they were serious this time. After just two doses, it appears that I will have to remain close to the commode this week. I was also given a probiotic supplement, but I don't think that will mitigate against the trots.

I am crossing my fingers and hoping that this dosage will eradicate the infection once and for all because I think it has been the same recurring infection for these past months. The previous antibiotics helped, but I don't think they wiped out the infection entirely. Of course, that is just my layman's speculation. I suppose it is possible that the infections could all be separate events. It just doesn't seem likely to me, though.

I am using Alexa and Siri to keep me on track about when to take my meds. Last night, Sue nudged me at 2am to tell me that my watch was beeping at me. I stumbled to the bathroom to take my pill and had a few arrowroot cookies for my stomach's sake, per my pharmacist's advice. Thankfully, I was able to get back to sleep until 6am. As I have whinged to you many times in the past, me getting getting back to sleep is most definitely not guaranteed.
. . .

Meanwhile, Sue and I did get out for her photo prompt yesterday. She was to do something childlike, so we drove to the park. Sue set the phone on a tripod, and we attempted various poses on the swings.

We chose this photo, for it is so spontaneous and unposed. You see, I had slipped from our standing pose and was surprisingly carried away. We both had unrehearsed laughs, which are the best kind.

We also tried a few poses on the slide. I was able to get up to the top.

But my descent was very unathletic, to say the least.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Horses after Sunflowers after Breakfast

When we had been on our way to the sunflower field (yesterday's post), we passed stables, and one horse looked like it was wearing pink booties. After the sunflower shoot, Sue wanted to stop for a photo on the way back. I don't think she got a good one because the horse was at some distance by then.

After I let Sue out near the bootie horse, I drove a little farther down to find a spot where I could pull off the road. Adjacent to me was a fence just beyond which, a mare and her colt were grazing.

As soon as the mare saw me she began to amble over. You can just see her beginning to come towards me in the photo. By the way, I deliberately shot through bars in the fence with the intention of cropping the excess bottom and top of the original photo in edit. I think it worked well enough.

She only stayed near me for a few seconds and was immediately off in a huff when she saw that I had no comestibles for her.

I captured one more photo through the bars before leaving them alone.

That was the third nice event of the morning after our trip to Perth: first breakfast, then sunflowers, and finally horses. Actually, I go by these stables fairly often but have never stopped to take photos. It was Sue's sighting of the horse with booties that caused us to pull over on this occasion. Because of that, I have something to post today.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Sunflowers After Breakfast

After that nice breakfast (yesterday's post), we treated ourselves to a little drive to the sunflower field. It was so nice to just be out and about for just awhile.

It is just a short drive away, less than 10 minutes, and the field was quite accessible. It was past prime conditions, and there were many dried flowers, but there were many good ones too.

Sue has come a long way in the past few days and was able to get some photos. She more or less directed me on how she wanted these ↓ photos to be taken. Of course, she was scheming for her daily presentation to her photo group. She has been able to keep up with her posting by reviving old photos, but it was nice for her to have fresh fodder.

She posted a composite to her photo group.

I had been wanting to photograph the sunflowers for several weeks, but life interposed itself. In other times, I would return with my real camera in better light, but this little visit was enough for now, all things considered.