Morning Walk With Lemony

Morning Walk

The phone rang at seven-thirty this morning.  My old friend and CPA asked if I were sleeping.  He does this all the time.  He lives, yes lives, in his office from January first to after April fifteenth ever single year.  He is older than I am by several years.  Maybe it’s because the man never sleeps.  He has goodies to eat squirreled away all over his office among the cabinets and boxes and stacks of income tax returns, various collectibles, and items of clothing.   He sits behind his desk with his glasses on his nose frightening people.  That’s what he does.   He likes to tease me. This morning, he had a new torture for me.  Do you know that you pay income tax at over twice the rate of Warren Buffett?  It’s a rhetorical question.  Yes, I know that, I said.  His secretary and I are going to write him in for president, I said.   Meanwhile, I am going to take a nice walk around my garden.  Where there is a will, there is a way, I said, and I am confident you will find it.  Goodbye, I said.   Once, he frightened me too.

 

I passed Che’s cage on my way out of the house.  He is hiding in the bottom.  He doesn’t understand income tax.

On my way outside, I checked on Boy’s cactus garden.  Only one leaf is broken.  Maybe it will survive.

Automatically, I look out the right screen toward Boy’s house although I know he has left for school already.

I look out the left side and make a mental note to remove the Christmas tree lights.   I think about the sun on the other side of the house.

I wonder if the Lily of the Nile will get enough sunlight on this side of the screen door.

Ah, Rita.  I take her with me every morning.  She likes to play on her Java Tree and listen to the birds.  I don’t think she speaks their language.

I have no idea why I stuck this photograph in here, but I’m not moving it.  Ignore it since it interrupts the narrative.  (I live here.)

The sprinkler  system is running.  It isn’t supposed to run this late in the morning.  I wonder why my daughter set it that way.  The lily

is too heavy for it’s stem.  I think that I should give her some food but I can’t remember which kind is good for stem strength.  Romero knows.

I need to spruce up the Bromeliads after the winter.  I’ll do that later this afternoon.  I wonder if these photographs are going to be okay.  I took off the flash the way Lemony told me.  I set the camera on aperture priority and adjusted the ISO backwards.  I hope it is enough.

The sprinkler is still on this side of the Pergola.  I am getting wet feet as I walk around toward the back entrance to the other side of the garden.

Then I see them.  The first Carolina Trumpet Vine blossoms.  The old seed pods are still hanging there too.  The vine’s gnarled winter bones are covered now in a soft disguise.   One day, the old vine will become the pergola, I think.  They are inseparable already.  I let it live.

The flowers on the way to the mailbox have begun to bloom.  I can’t remember what the name is.  I never grew them at the old house.

I see a gardener working at a house across the street.  He doesn’t notice at me.  I don’t know the people who live there.

When I turn back toward my own door, I notice that it needs a new coat of sealant.  I just had that done last year, I think.  I’m throwing it in here for Mike!

I’ll go in the garage way.  Take the garbage can in too.  Wasn’t it just last week these flowers were sticks left over from last year?

Oh dear, another broken sprinkler head.  I must remember to call Romero.  Those guys are always cutting off sprinkler heads.  The neighbor will complain about the water.

If I walk back this way through the shade, I will see the Angel guarding the Queen

And Storyman waiting for Charlie to remember him.

The sprinkler is on again.  Soon, the Pintas in the nursery pots will have grown into big, flowery bushes.  The trumpet vine will cascade over the pergola in its deceptive display, and it will be summertime at my house.   You guys come back soon!

Note:  This whole walk had a purpose.  Lemony directed me to take the flash off my camera.  This was a test of aperture priority mode.  I think it went pretty well.  I hope she is pleased with the results.  🙂

80 Comments on “Morning Walk With Lemony

    • Hey, I haven’t forgotten you. I think about you every day. I’ll get back there to check on you! I’m glad you like my garden. It’s getting really lush and pretty now that everything is growing again. I hide there. 😉

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  1. I really enjoyed my walk with you, George. Your house and garden look lovely. Of course, you are going to get a lot of stalkers now that you have shown both your address and your front door.

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    • Ah, stalkers. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to stalk me. You are funny, Lady D. I never worry about such things. Glad you enjoyed our little walk. I am practicing my photography without a flash.

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  2. HI George! Just checking in! Our house is quiet…husband, kid and dogs all asleep….an hour of relaxation before I turn in. I was driving along today and for some reason that cowboy who was running for mayor, I think, popped into my head. It was such a tantalizing story, I wonder what happened with his election?

    Good night!
    elisa

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    • The election will be on May 2, I believe. I’ll let you know whether he wins! 🙂

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      • Please do! Win or lose, that cowboy will have everyone’s attention. I’m over here in Atlanta, and he has mine!

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        • Lord, he’s bound to win. I don’t have a clue who is running against him. I wonder if anybody does? I’ll vote for him if he’s on my primary ticket. Have no idea his party affiliation. 🙂

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          • Every third Monday is my day to deliver Meals on Wheels. Last month, Janice, who probably isn’t much older than me but wheelchair-bound, had a small can of paint and a paint brush on her kitchen table. I asked her the obvious, and she responded that she was told our mayor was going to be delivering meals one day next week, so she was sprucing up her apartment. I was touched by her old fashioned feeling of tradition….the mayor is coming so I’m going to paint over the scuffs on my walls. (her place was already perfect.) I wish the mutual respect between elected official and constituent still existed. I guess that’s why I’m hoping your town’s cowboy running for mayor turns out to be a knight in shining armor and that he will be “paint the walls worthy!”

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            • Lord, I hope so. He’s old Victoria family. I don’t know if that means gentility or corruption these days … or maybe genteel corruption. I have to ask around about him. If a sheriff’s gonna’ be a thug, I’d prefer one with a linen handkerchief in his pocket. 🙂

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              • me too! sorry, I forgot he was running for sheriff, not mayor. Scrambled brains. I do like that image of the handkerchief in his pocket…

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  3. I loved this journey…what a beautiful place to be surrounded by all that colourful life….thanks for sharing

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    • Thank you Marianne. I am happy you like it. Things are beginning to grow and starting to bloom here. Soon it will be summertime and almost too hot to venture outside until very late afternoon. It’s a good thing I’m nocturnal like Che, my chinchilla! Come on back any time! 🙂

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  4. Hey, George! You have a really good eye. Your compositions are really good. Don’t change to the rule of thirds thing. These have more energy. I love the shot of the door, the step, the plant and the door bell. It’s fabulous! Really good. composition.

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      • No, just come on back any time and enter “really good” all you like! 😉 Thanks. I don’t follow the rules. I snap whatever I like to see.

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        • These really are really good. You do have an excellent sense of composition. I would say that you use the rule of thirds effectively, at least based on my understanding of it and the way I instructed students. Love the statuary shots – they are visually dynamic. The sense of depth in the last shot draws you in I think I could walk right in and have a visit, and that would be “really good”.

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          • Yes, Joseph, that would be really good. I know about the rule, but I don’t consciously use any rule. I wish I could control the light better, but I’m working on it. I am happy that you like them. This photography business isn’t as easy as you people make it look! 😉
            Thank you for your encouragement!

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  5. George, what a wonderful walk this was! Thank you! One of the things I enjoyed most, aside from seeing the great camera work you did without a flash (hooray!), was already having some good familiarity with so many of things and people (including animal companions) that you reference in this post because you have talked about them in earlier posts. It all felt so comfortable and welcoming. You are so generous to share your world with us this way.

    I hope you enjoyed your experiment without the flash. The natural light in these images enhances your marvelous eye for composition. You should be proud of yourself for stretching yourself this way, stepping outside the comfort zone of the flash. The results are really lovely! I think I’ve mentioned before that the more you work in Aperture Priority, the more you’ll start to see your surroundings in a new way. I’ll be eager to take this walk again, after you’ve practiced AP for a while, and then we’ll have the chance to discover how your vision of your environment has changed.

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    • Thanks, Lemony. Already, Shimon and Michael have pointed out aspects of the photographs that I could improve and how. I had no idea….

      You were right about that flash business. I am just beginning to realize the possibilities. Thank you so very much for sending me off on this new adventure! 😉

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  6. George,
    It takes my mouse a full minute to scroll to the bottom of your comment page 🙂
    OK, Aperture Priority is the main setting I use on my Nikon D7000. In this way the camera selects the shutter speed when you set the A – this is about depth of field and light here as you are well aware. This clues me that I can also adjust the ISO which makes a big difference even though it will default to an Auto ISO (unless you turn the setting off) I like to think back to my film days and tune the ISO accordingly-
    Take your sprinkler shot (the broken one with the water stream) you were shooting a lower Aperture there to blur the background yet the ISO was too low to catch the detail of the water in flight (not sure if this was choice so not a criticism here) I think had you run about 600-800 ISO you would have detailed the track of the water and the subject would have been sharper.
    The other biggie to me is WB or white balance. I like to live this on Auto but i often adjust 1 -3 clicks towards blue or Amber depending on the quality of the light and the results of a couple of test images.
    I tend to run for outdoors and colorful images (like Rita) my color palette to Vivid in the menu and with +4 saturation and +2 sharpening (some people do not like this rich approach so I suggest you play with it)
    I strongly suggest this guide http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d300/users-guide/index.htm from Rockwell (whom I admire greatly) on settings and adjustments for your D300
    For your indoor shots especially the ones you want close but not Macro I would use the Nikon (Nikkor) 35mm 1.8f lens which is one of the best deals on a lens on the market at around $220 out the door.
    Storyman and the backyard shots are my favorites here as they have the most contrast and depth of story (no pun intended). None of this is intended to be critical beyond the same sort of growth and development education I put myself to each day. You have talent and subjects for days. Keep shooting and especially keep posting for all of us to enjoy.
    I hope there is something in this for you George and thanks for asking my opinion.
    All the best,
    M

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    • Thank you for taking so much time to help me. I know Kenrockwell.com. I used to read his stuff, but I forgot. I will go back. Your analysis will help me. I am going to print it and try to follow your directions. I have a 50mm, but not a 35mm. Thanks again, Michael. Shimon suggested setting the aperture back three stops for the Trumpet Vine. I am going to try that when it stops raining! You guys are so nice to me. I really do appreciate it. I’ll be back for more instruction. If you see a photo on here that tells you what I did wrong, let me know!

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  7. It is always a tonic to be led around another’s favourite places and see the neighbour’s gardener and the wonderful plants and hidden things. I know Warren Buffett would love it too if he were nearby. So my question is, when are you going to cook us something step-by-step the way your momma showed you? I mean something southern (with an emphasis on the first syllable, ‘suhh-thun’). I want a cooking show!

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    • Lance, I gave up cooking so long ago that I can barely remember how to make a chicken pie when my daughter asks me. She gave up on me, I think. My mother was exactly the same. I asked her how my grandmother made those dough “stickies” in a pan with real cow butter and sugar and cinnamon. She had no idea, but she said the dough was left-over biscuit dough. Beyond that, she had forgotten. She said I wouldn’t think they were so good now. She was not much taken with the “good old days”. Neither am I. I eat OUT.

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    • It’s right on the blog. You don’t make a very good thief for a guy who writes about low life! Ha Ha. Thanks.

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      • Rich, I hope that you have taken note of how George’s mind was working as she noticed things on her walk. This is a good example of “writing from the inside”. I think women tend to do it instinctively; men sometimes need to work at it.

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    • Kelli is working on it again. Taking out shrubs and re-planting stuff. Yesterday, Charlie was talking about coming up to visit when school is out. Kelli is taking the kids to the Gray Wolf Lodge, I think.

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      • That sounds wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see them….as always, I wish you would come too!!

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        • By the way, those colorful plants are Lantanas; they look great with all the green things.

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    • I know. Everything looked fine to me until my daughter and Romero started taking out stuff and replanting. Every year, they put out a trailer load of mulch. This year they even moved shrubs! I think it’s a never ending project. Thanks for the visit, Victor.

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  8. A great pleasure to join you in your morning views, and get to know a bit of your personal environment. The photos are very pleasant. In the case of the Carolina Trumpet Vines, you would have been able to get all of the flowers in focus by simply closing the aperture by about three stops. Keep up the good work. As you see, everyone enjoys your photography.

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    • Thank you, Shimon. That’s the kind of information I need. I had no idea it would be that simple. I stood there letting the camera go in and out of focus trying to decide what to do. I’ll try that tomorrow! 🙂

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  9. Thank you very much for the tour…..everything is so vibrant, colorful and interesting.

    p.s. the second post where you’ve used the word “warren.” 😉

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    • That esoteric reference was for Michael. I am practicing my photography. I see that I have a way to go, but it’s better. I figured I wouldn’t wast a trip with the camera. We gotta’ squeeze everything we can out of life to come up with enough stuff to post! I dunno’, I never thought I’d blab my way through 135 posts without running smooth out of anything to say. This may be it, however. Glad you liked it. Thanks. 🙂

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      • I don’t know if you saw my other comment, that I had to look up the word warren because I wasn’t certain of it’s definition. Then I came across your post mentioning Warren Buffet….two Warren’s in one night, and my lame attempt at humor! I hope you keep on blogging, we all hang on to everything you say….you have such a gift. You make everyone feel wonderful. Me, I’m struggling with confidence issues and might take a little break. Sometimes I try to be funny and I think I offend.

        Take care.

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        • Are you kidding? I offend half the time. We are harmless, you know. Don’t you dare quit. I was just thinking today that I may run smooth out of a thing to post. When you start walking around your place taking pictures, you’re pretty much out. Ha Ha. I don’t care one whit what I post. people on here are nice. If they like you, they put up with you. If they don’t, there must be thousands of like-minded souls they can follow. You know, I saw that I had ninety something “followers”. Now, you know ninety folks ain’t following me. At least , I hope not. I started to feel downright stalked. I was just laughing out loud on my way to get my mocha tonight…just thinking about that. Some guy has 20,000 or some astronomical number…so Michael said. What in the world does he say to 20,000 people? Nothing, of course. They don’t follow him. I’m weeding out the people I follow. Hell, I don’t recognize half of them. I must have clicked to follow them. I cannot keep up with many people at one time. I want to know who they are and recognize them when I see them. Otherwise, what’s the point in doing this? I do feel bad when I realize that I sounded rude. I never mean to do it. I never heard you say anything that wasn’t nice or funny. Sometimes, you have to hit me over the head to get my attention. I do know how you feel though. You are so kind to everybody and so attentive. You are what blogging is about, Elisa. Don’t wimp out on me now! 🙂

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        • That’s our story and we’re sticking to it, huh? Ha Ha
          I was always something of a flake. I think in a sort of free associative way. I think they put you in a home at about my age if you keep it up! I got along really well with old people who took chunks of time and mixed them all up into the most interesting conversations. That’s when I learned that time is only for people who have to be somewhere.

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  10. George!!
    I can almost feel like I took this walk with you!
    You live in such a beautiful place, your house is pretty, and ao are the surroundings.
    Every single picture made me feel like I was there.
    The bokeh in many of them is great, and the flowers on the way to the mailbox are soooo beautiful; and the photo of the water is so cool!!
    Have a great week 🙂

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    • Thanks, Pablo. I like it here. You are supposed to tell me what is wrong with the photos! I want to take good pictures. How much do I have to remember in order to get it right? 🙂

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      • Hahaha!
        I can’t tell you anything wrong about this photos, I think this has been one of my favorites posts from ytou, and the photos are all so lovely 🙂

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        • Thank you, Pablo. I didn’t think anybody would be interested in this. I am practicing my photo (lack of) skills here. I think it’s hopeless, but as long as I can see an image in there somewhere, it’s okay. I’m lucky that I can still hold the camera halfway still. I have that tremor, you know. I can’t complain since I refuse to use a tripod. VR has been a blessing for folks like me. Have a great week and post some of your wonderful photographs!

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    • Thanks, Daisy Fae. I’m trying to learn to use my camera…after years of misusing it! Glad you could come along. I miss your blog somehow. How am I overlooking you? Duh….

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    • Oh, I file late on purpose! Never file early. It’s bad luck. Actually, I don’t care since I am going to owe the farm anyway. I say, don’t give them any more of your money than you have to and not a day sooner than you have to!

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        • Well, no wonder you’re PO’d at your accountant! You were supposed to give me a free critique of my little exercise in photography. I don’t know a thing about this “aperture priority” thing. I need to know what to set the thing on and when! I have opinions about your stuff that I howl about all the time. Now, you owe me a ton of criticism here! 😉

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          • You are 100% right here George and tomorrow I will go photo by photo because I see what you are going for and I love your sense of exploration. Do you shoot with a NIKON?
            We have a guest coming over any minute expecting my attention and more importantly my food, so I must to it. Hold this thought as I have some good stuff here for you 🙂

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  11. Didn’t want to respond to any wordpress mails anymore, because nobody ever bothers to reply to my blogger posts … but your pics are so georgeous!!! Living in Alberta, Canada … No green yet … Thank you for sharing 🙂 Love, cat.

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    • Hey, I don’t think I get notified of your posts. I have a Blogspot account, but no blog there. The warning may scare off the more faint of heart folks! 😉 I loved the last posts that I read. You are a terrific writer, you know.
      Thanks for visiting. We are getting some green and some new flowering plants down here. It’s already getting really warm here in the afternoons. Soon it will be unbearably hot again! Then, I will hide in my house worse than I already do. I am nocturnal. I was out of bed for these photos only because my CPA called. He knows I don’t get up early so he calls to wake me! 😉 If you post and I don’t visit, let me know. I love your work.

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    • Thanks, Nia. It is hard to keep the door finish on the door in this climate. I am going to oil it instead of applying the sealant. I know that works from having used oil to finish old wood before. I like the way oil brings out the colors too.

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  12. Wonderful photographs you captured dear George, you are living in an amazing garden. Fascinated me…. It was so enjoyable to read you too, especially your funny friend. Thank you so much, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia (Kisses for Rita, too)

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    • I am no good with the camera, Nia. I forget how to set it. I am trying though. I decided to take a photographic walk around so you guys could see where I live. I like to be able to place people in their “habitats”. Thank you for always making me feel so good about the stuff I post!

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    • Hey, I remembered the kisses. I told Rita that I forgot. I think she smiled. Anyway, she gave me kisses and didn’t even grumble. She must have believed me when I said they were from sweet Nia!

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  13. Writing is so easy for you that I almost can see the pen begging for your hand! Words can flow so easily for you…I love reading your posts because you had the skill to make everyday thing so special! Thanks George!

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    • Ana, I thought I was really quiet this time….for me anyway! I am such a chatter, you know. I talk before I think too, unfortunately. I wanted you guys to know where I am. I like to nail people to a place. I want to know what they eat for breakfast and where they sit to work. I am just nosy, I suppose, but it seems as if I know all of you so well. You are too kind to me, you know. Thank you.

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  14. your gArden and house is beautiful! I was coming to see you during spring break,but I read u were gone on a visiting spree! I will be free inJune, if u have some time. We will talk later.

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  15. HI George! Thanks for taking me on your walk. It was my favorite post yet. Your photos are lovely, as always. I also really enjoy seeing bits and pieces of your life and routines, and hearing your lovely, funny descriptions of your friend. Thank you for a wonderful outing. Warmly, Naomi

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    • I am so glad you liked it, Naomi. I was determined to take some photos without the flash as Lemony has been urging me to do. Friday was a good morning since it wasn’t so bright outside. I thought I might as well make a post out of it since I was walking around hunting stuff to photograph anyway. I like to know where people are…I mean what is around them as they go about their usual lives. Those things interest me about people. I’m really glad you liked this. I had no idea that anybody would be interested.

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