Sunday, June 7, 2015

Purple and yellow










Right now, my front yard is a riot of bright yellow and pale purple - Russian sage, Santolina, lavender, Spanish broom, yarrow and chocolate daisies. Dusty June is upon us, and all the drought-tolerant plants are having their moment. Not that we're actually having such a dry June; our wet spring seems to be blending into a fairly wet summer, at least so far. Just this afternoon, we had a fast two-tenths of an inch of rain accompanied by high winds and pea-sized hail. The small Bears and I stood near the windows at the back of the house, watching the rain fall in silvery sheets. They're predicting a good monsoon later this summer and I, for one, am very excited about that.

For now, though, the front yard delights all the senses. The house seems to rise from behind a haze of purplish-blue as the Russian sage gets taller by the day. There are bees everywhere, their sound rising and falling with that of the crickets and cicadas, swarming the sage and the lavender, disappearing into the droopy petals of the Spanish broom. I pick rosemary and thyme for cooking, and clip lavender for a bedside posy. And the biggest news from the front yard: our roadrunner pair is nesting again, this time just above the front gate, in the beams over our courtyard. She sits on the nest and he flies up to her with still-wriggling lizards in his beak. It's the time of the season, y'all.

I got a new camera last week. My eight-year-old Nikon D40 bit the dust. I loved that camera. It was the first DSLR I'd ever used and I learned a lot. My new one, a D7000, is a little intimidating. There are a lot more features. I have much to learn. I took these photos with it, on a day that had the kind of cloudy skies I long for in the summer, in part because they're really good for photography. I'm not fishing for compliments; it was just time to unveil photos from the new camera after a few days of exploration and several panicky moments where I wished it were easy already. But I'm not really in a hurry. I love to play with a camera.

We watched Paddington yesterday. It was so cute! I loved the animation. The kids liked it too. Do you ever wonder if your kids really "get" a movie? I think a lot of the plot went over the GB's head but the LB laughed at all the appropriate points so I think he understood it. Neither has ever been to a movie theater. I know, it probably seems weird. But the Bear and I stopped before we had the LB; it was one of the things we cut out so I could stop working and be a stay-at-home mother. We haven't been to a movie in more than 11 years. I've wondered whether it's harder to enjoy a movie in the theater these days; last time I went, fewer people had cell phones and there was no such thing as social media. I bet there's a lot more distraction in the theater today. And it's too expensive and the food is really bad for you. Hey kids, get off my lawn!

Other things I've been doing: cutting up fabric, hooking my ripple throw, eating avocados, frozen fruit bars and Late July Sea Salt by the Seashore tortilla chips, watching Portlandia on Netflix, getting ready to watch Poldark and Last Tango in Halifax later this summer, planning an early Father's Day dinner for the Bear and his father (we'll be on vacation on the real day), spending my mornings under my trusty pine tree at the pool during swimming lessons, making packing lists for said vacation, trying to break in a new pair of flip-flops, trying to find time for a haircut, trying to keep the house clean now that two grubby short people are in and out all day long.

And you?

40 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, fun with a new camera !!! Love it ! (I'm addicted to cameras... You really don't want to know how many I have...)
    Nice Nikon you've bought ! You'll have fun with that one (and you'll make good photos - proof is already here !)
    I love your garden... It is incredible that in such a dry and hot climate, you still succeed in having so much flowers around !!

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  2. Beautiful photos, I can imagine that all of those flowers smell wonderful.

    Helenxx

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  3. Stunning photos, I wish I was able to smell those beautiful aromas of summer. We haven't been to the theatre in awhile either, we would rather watch a movie at home and save the money for an extra holiday. Hope you have a wonderful trip away, I enjoy the planning and packing as much as the trip.

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  4. Gorgeous flowers, I especially love the lavender, it's such a favourite of mine. I have some santolina as well, but I didn't know the name until now so thank you. A new camera is exciting isn't it, the photos are lovely and it will no doubt be inspiring to play with. We never go the movies either, although the older ones have been once or twice with friends. I hope you enjoy Poldark. Lots of cantering along cliff tops with gorgeous hair flying in the wind. (Him and her!) Wishing you a good week and a lovely holiday. CJ xx

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  5. So beautiful pics ...stunning photos ! Have fun with your new camera !!!

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  6. A camera is like a paint brush nowadays and I'm loving the effects you're getting Jennifer. It's making me think about upgrading my old Sony cyber shot. Although since beginning blogging a month or so ago most of my photography is with the iPhone. I agree with you about cinema going, but we did take the children to live theatre a lot, everything and anything from puppet shows to Shakespeare at the Globe. I think you are going to love Poldark. My husband used to look a little like Ross 30 years ago...! As for Last Tango, the first series was good but I think it went downhill thereafter. I wonder if you've seen The Fall? Horrible subject matter but wonderful acting and great Northern Ireland location shots. Have a good week and a wonderful holiday 😎!

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  7. Lovely photos, Jennifer. Enjoy your new camera! :o)

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  8. They are beautiful photos Jennifer. I hope you get the rain, the garden will love it!

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  9. Looks like you are getting on great with the new camera Jennifer! What did you think of Paddington? I had a serous case of kitchen envy after watching it, all those cupboards! And that gorgeous cream and blue colour way! You have a treat in store with Poldark. It's quite slow moving,but very well acted and Aiden Turner is just gorgeous x

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  10. Beautiful pictures, and you must be enjoying your new camera, Jennifer. Good for you, giving up movies as part of staying home with your children. I did the same thing - I remember going once to the movies in about 8-10 years while our children were small (and for much the same reason). Must admit have not seen Paddington, but it must turn up on TV one of these days :)

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  11. I can just imagine how much you are enjoying your new camera. Have fun playing with it.

    We don't go to the movies, and my little man has never been either. I think the last movie I saw at a theater was Titanic...wow I just looked up when that was released, 1997. It has been awhile :)

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  12. I have a new found love for the combination of yellow and purple so I imagine your yard is gorgeous, the photos certainly are... enjoy playing with your new camera... I need to learn more about mine! I've been house hunting this weekend, we hopefully now have a place to live for a little while before we find somewhere to buy... we'll be living in Yorkshire, which is where I'm originally from and where Halifax is and therefore where Last Tango is set... I hope you enjoy a little taste of my home! X

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  13. I love purple and yellow together so I'm imagining a stunning lawn. My Hubby and I don't go to movies much either. Maybe one or two in the last 10 years for the same reasons. Congrats on the new camera. Your photos really are beautiful and since here is a learning curves with these things I can only imagine what works of art will be coming our way.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  14. I love your gorgeous flower pictures, Jennifer. Your new camera sounds great and I am sure you will soon learn the new features. I hope your packing goes well.....I am very indecisive about what to pack but that might be partly due to our English weather! Have a happy new week.
    Helen xox

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  15. There's lots of purple about here at the moment too, I think it's taken over from the yellows somewhat, the colour I most associate with early spring. We rarely go to the cinema, I'd much rather watch a film in the comfort of my own home and it's so expensive these days too. You're in for a treat with Poldark, I'll say no more. Have fun with your new camera, I've had my DSLR for a while now and I still don't know what I'm doing with it.

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  16. Wow! I just love your beautiful floral pics....not to mention how stunning the purple & yellow shades work together. Makes Winter that little bit more bearable, seeing those lovely blooms :)

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  17. Purple and yellow are two of my favorite color combinations with flowers. You're going to have a lot of fun with your new camera...I still haven't learned how to use my Canon DSLR that my son passed down to me last year. :-o In fact, I was talking with him about it last night and telling him I needed to take some photography classes and he said that I didn't - that I could easily teach myself by using online tutorials and even youtube videos. So, I need to get going with that. Tim was telling me that the next camera he wants to buy (when he graduates and gets a job and saves up some $!) is the Canon full frame.

    You guys aren't missing anything by not going to a theater. It's best to watch movies at home...you can talk when you want, get up and get a snack and go to the bathroom without missing anything, you're not being disturbed by others around you, etc. I haven't been to a movie theater in a year or two, easily. I don't even watch many movies, but when I do, Netflix keeps me perfectly happy.

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  18. Great photos - I've had my camera 18 months, and I'm still learning. I find it all too easy to switch it on to auto! Have fun. x

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  19. Hey Jennifer,
    I've had my camera for nearly two years, and still haven't gone through it's manual. Me all over I guess. Your photography is always wonderful. You'll have fun with your new camera I think. We have a cinema in St Ives that does summer matinees for the kids; £2.99 for a film, a drink and popcorn. It's a great deal, and I have always taken advantage of it on rainy summer holidays. I am a member of the same cinema, so I get cut price tickets. I always sneak my M&Ms in ;)) I am borrowing my friend's dvd of Paddington soon. I can't wait!
    Have a great week.
    Leanne xx

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  20. I love the depth of field you are getting there. Takes me back to photography classes at college. I have a little cannon IXUS but I know my way around it so it is a firm favourite. Jo x

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  21. I remember all those same plants and colors that were so abundant when we were in Santa Fe last summer. So beautiful! I rarely use our good camera anymore. Never did learn to use it properly. But will be taking it with me this summer as we are going to do a road trip from Colorado into Utah. I haven't watched tv in years and never go to the movies here because of censorship. The only time I see a movie is on the in-flight movie screen when we are traveling. Have a great week. Tammy

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  22. Beautiful colours, beautiful photos. Have fun playing with your new camera. Looks like it'll be a good one :)
    Paddington is a brilliant film. We loved it!
    Have a lovely week and look forward to seeing more photos with your new camera x

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  23. I love the Paddington film SO MUCH, I want to live in that house. I love the styling and set design most of all. How exciting to have a new camera, I bet it's fun and scary in equal measures learning how to use it. Your photos are lovely though, very quiet and hushed, for all that colour.

    The cinema is expensive here too and we go maybe once a year for a special treat. I love the popcorn but I'm not above taking my own snacks and drinks into the theatre so I don't get ripped off in the lobby. xx

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  24. wow that really is a treat for the eyes.
    we go to the movies very rarely..maybe one of two movies a year.. but eleven years seems so much.. wow. D has been a few times but we really didn't see the point so we save our movies outings for date nights. we sometimes use our credit card points or aaa membership and buy some movies tickets instead.. we can't use them until the movie is at least two weeks old.. but who cares.

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  25. Your flowers and photos are both beautiful! We have yarrow, lavender and Russian sage blooming as well.
    Have fun with that new camera.

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  26. You must be loving the new camera! :) The pictures you took are gorgeous! I just love the pops of color. I've had my older-ish Nikon styled camera for two years. I'm not a pro at all, but it's so fun to play around with. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your picture!

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  27. I think you've definitely got the hang of the new camera.... Lavender and yellow has been a favourite combination for me since childhood, so the photos were a real treat! The santolina reminds me of tansy which grows wild here.

    My niece took her kids to see Paddington, and she said that when the movie finished her littlest (almost 4) just burst into tears from pent-up emotion - apparently there's a bit of tension in the plot? But they all enjoyed it very much.

    P.S. You haven't stopped working, you know - you just don't get paid any more. :D

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    1. Hi Sue, I found Paddington pretty tense myself, actually. There's one particular scene where he has to escape from a furnace which is really quite scary!

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  28. I admire you for dealing with learning a DSLR.. I got a big fancy camera and simply was not able to learn how to use it.. it sits in it's case in my closet while I happily use my P&S LUMIX. :-) Great shots! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  29. Grubby short people! Ha! Yep that about sums it up over here too!! I happen to be in love with yellow and purples in the garden and yours are just heavenly! Just too stunning!! I wish you good luck with all of your planning friend!! A happy week to you!!! Nicole xo

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  30. I really like those two colours together - enjoyed looking at your photo's, thank you.

    You will love Poldark, a very good series.

    All the best Jan

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  31. Busy days and beautiful pictures Jennifer you seem to have got the hang of it already, I have just a point and shoot digital camera and it's way past it's best I need a new one too. :) xx

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  32. Your flowers are beautiful. I planted yarrow for the first time this year. I love the brightness of it.

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  33. You are very busy! The photos look great with your new camera. We seem to have a lot of purple in our garden at this time of year though we aren't as far ahead as you yet. We've had such cold weather so, for example, the lavender isn't blooming yet. I can't understand why they charge so much to go to the cinema. My husband and I go occasionally just for a night out. The last time we went I couldn't understand why it was a bit cheaper than usual. I just thought they must have a special offer on or something. Then , while we were waiting for the film to start, I had a look at the tickets. The extremely young girl at the ticket counter had put us both through as seniors! What a laugh.

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  34. gorgeous. and vacation planning - how exciting!

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  35. Oh my, it all looks fabulous ... I love blue and yellow combos in the garden and you have a great mix of plants here.

    How are you finding the D7000 now? My Dad has offered to lend me a couple of his cameras, including a D7000. Is it heavy do you find, I am currently using my really light Canon so I'm wondering if the Nikon will feel like a brick.

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    1. Hi Annie, this is a really heavy camera, I think. It's definitely heavier than my other Nikon. I think it's heavier than my husband's D300 too. I like it so far, though. I'm trying to learn and it's a real challenge. I really knew the previous camera so it feels like starting over in some ways, but I'll get there eventually...I hope. :)

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  36. My high school team colors were purple and gold so this post helps me "remember when" :) This past weekend I planted a purple clematis and a packet of purple morning glory seeds along with another plant with purple blooms whose name escapes me at the moment.

    I hope your vacation plans are shaping up beautifully and that you and yours have a lovely holiday! xx

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    1. Hi Gracie, I'm glad I gave you a good memory. My high school colors were maroon and gold. I went to Arlington High School, if you're familiar with the schools on my side of the river. :)

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