Monday, September 21, 2009

21 Straight Days of Sunshine and then the Rain

What an unbelievably wonderful stroke of good weather we've had. As many folks in this part of Southern Ontario are saying after the Summer we've had, we certainly deserve it. And just as things were starting to suffer, the rain has started and looks like it will continue for most of the day and perhaps some of tomorrow.

I've been deep into David Pogue's 'Digital Photography The Missing Manual' and found more bits about my camera I didn't know...such as, the exposure compensation button (no mocking laughter please). That little rectangle that is half black half white on the back of the camera - when you are on a manual mode, you can press this button and either darken or lighten the shot in third of a step units by pressing the button next to this little sign. So now, I can brighten or darken the shot, if I'm convinced the automatic reading isn't quite right. Who knew - well, probably all of you, but now I know too!

Also he spends some time telling you about all those prefixed manual settings, e.g.: "Portrait" - gives you a large aperture - so background is blurry or "Sports" - fast shutter speed. Also, under the category of you probably don't need to know, but you can screw your camera into the top of a lamp - no doubt getting a nice sharp photo of Uncle Bobby when he's wearing the lampshade. David also shows another cool tripod option that you make with a screw and a string - so you step on the bottom of the string - pull your camera up to make the string tight and presto - a cheapo, pocket ready, camera steadier.

This weekend Kevin & I managed to get over the the Royal Botanical Gardens for a lovely hike. I've managed to put these photos into Blogger backwards (apologies, I like to start with a better looking photo) and have not figured out how to move them around - so, here we go:

This is Eco-Lawn - a low maintenance, drought tolerant, shade and sun mix grass. I suppose if I had a cottage, find it's a bit scruffy for me. But a good example for people to see - it's being advertised as a lawn alternative. This is how it looks after a summer of heavy rain and no mowing.

The lovely new water feature - you can see the plants are small.

A very cool lily.

The dahlias were just at their best.

This is part of the scented garden - at one point it was sponsored by a Gas Company....

A Cornus looking handsome in the Fall.
You really can see how well everything has done with all the rain we received.

A primal scream here...yes, some of the leaves have started to change....not yet, I'm just not ready to think of Winter.

Ptilotus - probably Joey - didn't see the tag. What a great parking lot plant.

And, finally here's the walk in the woods. Here's a very handy way of dealing with fallen trees across a pathway.

What a glorious day.

More signs of Fall.

A nice big creature from the rodent family.

This fungus looked like it was grafted to this old stump - almost like those tiny cactus grafts.

And, just a couple illustrations of the exposure compensation feature - this is Agastache 'Apache Sunset' - with 1/3 step up - more light.

And this is the original that the camera produced: Note, I've got less information in the black area to the left of the frame now.

A close-up of a Ligularia - again, have stepped up the exposure to allow more light in - and I see that I'm losing a bit of focus.

Here is the original:

In this particular situation - a species clematis seedhead - I think I prefer this shot, where I added a 1/3 unit of exposure. (Blogger appears to have taken this photo and turned it on its head. Oh well.)

Here is the original:

And to end this post today - I discovered why this little clematis flowers were looking so shattered, my bees are too fat.

You just wonder how much pollen he was able to collect?


Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

As much as I enjoyed the sun, I am glad it is raining. When I was up in Owen Sound on the weekend, the ground was cracking, it was so dry, (and yes, the leaves were turning, shhh!).
Thanks for the pics of RBG, it has been a long time since I visited. That water lily is so gorgeous, you almost don't even care if it flowered.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Barbara~~ You're making good use of this book and your camera. It seems like for me, everything is too bright and I need to lower the exposure. ... Hopefully this rain is just a brief washing and watering and the sun will be back quickly. Your stroll through the RBG looks delightful.

Laura Gardens in Desert said...

Barbara, Your bees remind me of samuri! I appreciate your sharing the manual with us.

Kim and Victoria said...

Great garden tour. Just lovely. I also love the way they dealt with the fallen tree.
Nice to see your various adjusted camera shots.

Gail said...

We want a bit of your sun, please! We've had over 10 inches of rain in a week! Barbara, apparently we are in the middle zone of North America that is neither a warm grass or cool grass area! The eco lawns aren't happy here and we are too far north for Buffalo grass;) I grow clover and weeds instead. Thanks for the reminder~~I ordered the book. gail

Peggy said...

Fabulous photos Barbara!I felt I was walking with you through the gardens. The mention of Uncle Bobby with the lampshade made me laugh out loud!I don't have an SLR because I am still figuring out how to work the digital one I have for the past 2 years,I discovered Macro just by reading blogs.

Barbarapc said...

Deborah - saw plenty more of these fancy-leaved lilies in Raleigh - they are amazing & I agree even without an abundance of blossoms, they look lovely.
Grace - just when I think I've got the camera nailed I learn something else. It really has been helpful to give myself a remedial lesson and see what the camera can do. Glad you like the pix of the RBG - it's one of my favourite spots.
Laura - I love it - and they do don't they.
Kim & Victoria - thanks. I suppose overtime they'll have to saw out a passthrough - but for now, it's fun stepping up and over the tree.
Gail - how ghastly - the horror stories I heard from people in Georgia were beyond my imagination. Hope your garden is ok!
Peggy - thank you. Aren't blogs the best. It really has helped me improve my garden photography.