29 April 2011

Old romantics.

In July of 1981, I watched The Royal Wedding with my Sister Margaret.
We oohed and ahhed over the dresses and carriages.
It was so very romantic!
A friend attended the ceremony and sent this official program to My Sweet Husband (this was before he earned that title as you will see). He kept it. He is an old romantic too!
Margaret was dating a wonderful man and she married him later that year in a MUCH smaller ceremony.
I met my Sweet Heart on the 9th of September 1981.
Have I told you we met at a wedding? One of his friends married one of mine and we were both in the line.

This is my official wedding photo. Maybe not royal, but I would not trade my handsome prince for anything.
We are still in love. I hope Kate and William are as lucky as me.

28 April 2011

Southern early morning entertainment.

Early morning, springtime in the Carolinas.
These bloom across from my driveway. 
Our bees are busy once again.
We have a hive of wild bees that share our home.
They have lived here longer than we have (we did evict the mice who were in residence before us, they are not welcome). The bees are nondestructive and as long as you don't swat at them, they will leave you alone. I used to be afraid of bees and my older sisters and brothers probably think I am nuts, but I really don't mind these guys. Wild bees have been having a rough time so we were a little worried when ours seemed to disappear after they swarmed last fall. As you can see, they are back with lots of activity.  
The season's first Magnolia blossom.
This is our view while from the side porch. 
We had tea out here this morning and listened to the cicadas and the birds.
The cicadas are quite friendly. One perched on my Sweet Husbands finger for awhile then complained loudly when he was removed. I videoed a repeat performance for you. Don't forget to turn on the sound.

 Wild roses.
 Springtime gold.
 Snakeskin in a tree.
Bet you did not know the Easter Bunny vacations in the Carolinas after his busy day.
Here he is.
Hope you had a lovely morning too.

24 April 2011

Misty April morning and rare visitors.

It is a misty moisty April morning here in the Carolinas.
My woods are a magical combination of mist and sunshine.
I threw on some clothes, grabbed the camera and headed outside before I even got my first cup of tea.
Old Barn in the mist.
As you can see, the photos are rushing outside for. 
Old Barn and Elm.
I love living here! 
Southern Spring in the woods, view from my front porch. 
Spiderwebs and dandelion fluff. 
Misty forest at the edge of the yard. 
Ground Spider Web.  
 Freesias in the early morning.
And now, our rare visitors.
This little guy is about three quarters of an inch (about 1.9cm) long.
He is a Red - Eyed Cicada.
According to an article in our local paper, they spend most of their lives underground and only emerge to shed their skins and reproduce every 13 years. They are harmless and they sing. 
We do have cicadas every summer, but they are a different variety (not as pretty) and there are not as many of them. The article quotes the Forest service as saying the cicadas will not harm the trees. 
Yes, I know it is a bug, but isn't it pretty?
It looks as if it is made from silver, gold and coral.  
I am not sure if this one is a stage, or a mutation. It is the only white one that I saw.  
This photo shows another cicada and several empty exoskeletons on a little cedar tree.  
Cicada close-up on cedar branch.
So delicate. 
Cicada exoskeleton close-up.
What do you think? Pretty or "icky"?
I say pretty, Spontaneous just wants to know if she can catch one.
Cheers folks,
Happy Easter!

19 April 2011

More information on digital magic post.

Last August, my Sweet Hubby and I went to Craggy Gardens.
I took these two photos (and if you know me, a whole lot more).
When I got home and looked at them on the computer, they seemed to suggest the butterfly was taking off.
So, I started to play.
Craggy Gardens Butterfly one 
Craggy Gardens Butterfly two 
This is the first step.
I used the computer to desaturate the drawing.
Then I opened it with Corel Painter Essentials and used a wacom tablet and pen to draw the butterfly's details back in. Once I was happy with the butterfly, I started working on the background.
I went back and forth between Corel and Photoshop Elements to get the effects I wanted. I saved variations as I worked. There is quite a bit of hand work in this set.
A Blue Ridge Mountain Road.
Craggy Gardens is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
The Carolinas are calling.

18 April 2011

Digital magic for spring.

I have been playing with my photoshop again.
A little bit of Correl Painter Essentials too.
So, what do you think?

14 April 2011

Why my voice is still squeaky.

Allergies or not, would you stay inside?
(It is so worth it)

The Carolina's are calling.

10 April 2011

Join me for a walk in our Carolina woods.

I am taking a break from school! A much needed break. 
We went for a long walk in the woods the other day to celebrate. 
These little purple wildflowers are all over.
Does anyone know what they are? 
These are Carolina Jessamine.
They are a climbing vine and they are usually quite high up in the tree.
These were lower so I took the opportunity to get a few shots.
They smell good too. 
This patch was a little higher up. My sweet Hubby held the camera high to get this one.
They are so pretty. The individual blossoms are a little more than an inch long.
They are similar to Jasmin, but not the same. Our Jasmin is not out yet.
I invited you to join me for a walk.
Here is the head of our trail.
The woods are lovely today.
The temperature is mild, in the 70's (about 21 Celsius) the sun is shining, and there is a light breeze. 
(I think this trail needs a little clearing, oh well, it is fine for walking)
This is an unusual tree. I have seen them like this before.
I don't know why they grow this way, but this one seems happy enough.  
This area reminds me of New Mexico, yet it is a short walk from our house.
This area was probably part of the original plantation. We own the five acres around the house and the rest is in forest now. Our house was built up on brick pillars. Originally you would have been able to see under the house between the pillars but at some point in the past, an owner filled the spaces between pillars with more bricks. If you look close you can tell which is which. The clay for the original pillars and the chimneys probably came from the property. When we had the chimneys rebuilt we found some bricks that have partial hand prints in them. We had a few of those reset so you can see them in the library.
The clay limits what will grow, and how it grows.
This is an interesting specimen. I wonder what made it grow curly like that.
 Interesting, but let's head back into the woods.
 Oh dear! Now this would make a good story.
How and why?
It is an old Chevy truck and you can see it has been here a long time.
It is a long way from any road.
We think it was a flatbed, maybe a logging truck?
 Creek bed.
Not quite big enough for fishing.
This is one of our neighbors.
It is the nearest structure to our place that is still standing.
We have no idea what it was for or how old it is.
It is slowly falling apart. 
Here we come back out onto the road home.
Wasn't that a lovely walk?
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


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