Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Greetings


Thanks once again for sharing your time with me.  I so enjoy sharing my photos with you.  I hope you have happy holidays, no matter what you celebrate.  I'll see you again soon.  Be merry and may your days be bright!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rain to Snow


Today I got home from the doctor's office, just as the rain was turning to snow.  I see this bush every time I park my car, but today it really looked gorgeous, covered in water droplets, while the snow came down all around. 

With less than a week to go before our baby arrives, I doubt I'll get another post in, but this was just too pretty not to share.  I hope you all find time to drink in all the small, beautiful details amid the hectic pace of the holiday season.  Be well, my friends!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside


Hi everyone!  It is starting to get cold here in Pittsburgh, with an occasional snowflake in the air and frost covering the ground in the mornings.  It is beginning to feel like winter.  Every year this is enough to make me groan, but this year I am trying to keep it in perspective.  I know if we still lived in Wyoming, things would be looking a lot more like the above photo.  They have had a few snows and unlike here, I know it has stuck to the ground.  It sure is pretty, but it sure is cold.  So, when I am bundling up to go out here, I try to remember it could be so much colder!  I hope you are staying warm whether it is cold where you live, or COLD where you live. 

I don't know how many more posts I'm going to get in this year.  Our baby girl is scheduled to come to us three weeks early (which is only a few days away).  We have been busy trying to make sure we have everything we need, and that Christmas shopping is done so we can think about one less thing when Wyle gets here.  I'm starting to get nervous, but at the same time, I am as ready as I'll ever be to hold her in my arms.  I'm pretty sure it will be more comfortable than holding her inside my body!  So wish us luck.  As new parents, I think we could use some :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sculpture at the Phipps Conservatory


Here are my last few photos from our visit to the Phipps Conservatory a few weeks ago.  Everything there was so beautiful, but my favorite sight was these sculptures by Hans Godo Frabel.  Their long lines are both whimsical and elegant at the same time, and they seem right at home among the dark water and hanging moss in this display. 



Also on display were several glass pieces by Dale Chihuly.  My sister and brother-in-law took me to see an exhibit of his in Virginia Beach when I was a teenager, and I fell in love with the color and form of his work.  Each piece seems to be a celebration of life, and never has this seemed more evident to me than when I saw them bursting from the gardens at the Phipps.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Plants of the Phipps Conservatory



I promised some more photos from our visit to the Phipps Conservatory here in Pittsburgh, and here they are.  The variety of the plants was incredible.  Sometimes the leaves were as interesting as the flowers.  The folks there really do a wonderful job of bringing you unexpected color, texture, and form in the plantings. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vultures


Happy Halloween, everyone!  I'm so excited that next year I will have my own little pumpkin to dress up and take trick-or-treating!  I thought today I'd share these vultures I stumbled upon while walking a trail at Cypress Gardens in South Carolina a while back.  There was a huge group of them, on the ground and sunning in the trees.  I admit they aren't very spooky in the bright blue sunlight, but boy were they large in person!  Have a great night, everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Phipps Conservatory


Saturday the weather was glorious here in Pittsburgh, so we decided to go out and do something fun.  We had never been to the Phipps Conservatory, but had always wanted to go.  It was the perfect outing for such a pretty day.  There are rooms upon rooms inside the conservatory, with different themes such as desert plants, Amazonian plants, and fall color.  Here are some photos of my favorites.  I'll be back in a few days with some detail shots of the beautiful flowers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Pregnant!


Happy Monday, everyone!  Well, if you have been wondering why I have been posting so infrequently here,  I have a good excuse!  Not only did we move halfway across the country a few short months ago, but I am pregnant to boot!  My sweet friend Bonnie finally took a photo of me, since I have had a time trying to find my tripod in all the boxes!  Today I am 28 weeks along, and believe me, that sweater is making my bump look smaller than it is.  I can't imagine getting any bigger, but I still have 2 1/2 months to go, so I am sure I am in for it.  I am having a girl, and we are naming her Wyle Katherine.  My grandpa is the best example of a human being that I know, so we used part of his name and then also part of my husband's grandmother's name.  I think it has a nice ring to it. 

Needless to say, I am slowing down around here considerably.  I am not out taking a lot of photos, I'm afraid, and neither am I spending much time in front of the computer doing any photo-related tasks.  I confess both activities are a bit uncomfortable, so forgive me for the lack of content around here.  I am looking forward to when Wyle arrives, and we are able to go around together getting great photos, but that will have to wait until next year.  Until then, I'll try and share some photos from the archives when I am up to it.  I also am not reading anyone elses' blogs very often, so forgive me for not keeping up with you all.  Leave me comments so I know how you are all doing!

Until the next time, take care!
-Vickie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn Trees


I haven't been getting out too much lately, but I did look up while putting out the garbage earlier this week and saw how pretty the trees looked against the sky.  The tips of all the leaves seemed to fade into the white, and I liked the effect.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fiery Mums


Hello everyone!  Sorry to be away for a few extra days but we've been working on the house some more.  With the help of my mother-in-law, we have painted my studio, finally, and my husband assembled the wardrobe that houses all my crafty stuff.  We'll unpack about a million more boxes this week, into that wardrobe, and hopefully things will settle down a little around here.

Aren't these mums gorgeous?  A sweet friend brought them by and they just look like they are on fire in the golden afternoon sun. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

NEW IN SHOP: Leaving Wyoming


I have enjoyed doing self portraits the last year or two, just here and there, and this is one of my favorites.  I took this just outside my front door in Wyoming, just a few weeks before we moved.  It is so simple in composition, but it speaks volumes, to me anyway.  I wanted to convey a sense of place, with the snow and the boots, though really this could have been almost anywhere.  I wanted to take a photo to mark our leaving, hence the suitcase.  That seemed to be about all it needed, to me, and even though I took this six months ago, it still fills me with that sense of simultaneous sadness and anticipation that I was feeling.

"Leaving Wyoming" is now available in my shop, in any size print.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Groundhog


I've been seeing this neighbor lately.  He used to feed in the back yard until we put the fence up.  After that, it was weeks before I saw him again, but now he takes his lunch in the neighbor's yard.  Smart fellow, that groundhog.

Monday, September 26, 2011

NEW IN SHOP: Season of Apples

"Apple Blossoms"

"Ripening Apple"


"Autumn Apples"

"Apple Harvest"

It is officially fall and I can feel it in the air.  The leaves are beginning to yellow and the mornings are crisp and cool.  That means apple season is nearly here!  When I had my own apple trees at our last home, this was one of my favorite times of year.  I had so much fun afternoon after afternoon photographing these trees, which produced the most delicious little apples.  When I was done every day with the camera, I would collect all the ones that had fallen to freeze and can them, and I made about every apple recipe I had on hand.  There is something really special about the urgency of a harvest, in making sure none of nature's bounty goes to waste.  I hope one day we will again have fruit trees of our own so we can experience this all over again. 

To celebrate the season, I am now offering these four prints in my shop that show these pretty little apples from blossom to harvest.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beechwood Farms Flowers


Happy Monday morning, everyone!  I hope the weekend treated you well.  We had a lovely overnight visit from an uncle, though my poor husband had to work both days this weekend.  I suppose that is the price you sometimes pay for freeing yourself from a desk job. 

Last Friday I met up with a friend and her (almost) three-year-old for a nature hike at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, which also serves as the headquarters for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.  There are five miles of hiking trails that are bushwhacked through the six-foot-tall flowering bushes and the neighboring woods.  I was eye-level with these pretty wildflowers when I took this shot.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Missing Apple Trees


I sure do miss the apple trees we had in our backyard in Wyoming this time of year.  I spent day after day photographing them last year, and then weeks making every sort of apple recipe you can think of.  I suspect the dogs miss them too...they loved to snack on the ones I didn't pick up off the ground.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reworked: Wind River Mountains


Here is another attempt at some alternative processing for a less-than-stellar photo.  The original is below:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

River View Alternative Processing


I have been trying to work out a way to digitally process my second-rate photos so as to salvage them.  Sometimes composition can be great, but there is nothing minor you can do to fix flat lighting, even in Photoshop.  This image is a good example (see original in previous post), and I spent yesterday working and reworking this image.  I came up with two versions that I liked, both heavily reworked in Photoshop.  I like them both for very different reasons.  Do you like the look of either of these? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

River View


Here's another shot from our day at the Allegheny National Forest.  I'm not sure what river this is, but it was pretty even in the overcast conditions. 

I can't believe it is Friday already.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Allegheny National Forest


Despite the constant drizzle this weekend, Bri and I decided that we must get out of the house. We had been putting off a trip to check out the Allegheny National Forest for weeks now, waiting for perfect weather or to get things checked off our to-do lists. Yesterday, we took advantage of the holiday to finally just go.



It was beautiful.  The rain just made everything look even more lush.  I was hoping the rain would also chase away any other visitors, but the area was not as secluded as I had hoped.  We did, however, discover lots of cute little towns that dotted the forest that we will have to return to explore more thoroughly.


Still, the fresh air and gentle rain were just the refresher Bri and I needed after so many weeks of doing doing doing.  I can't wait to go back.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Shop Is Open

I just wanted to drop by the blog today and let you know I have reopened my shop!  I'm so excited to be back in business that I am offering free shipping anywhere in the world for a week, on 8x12 prints and smaller sizes.  Just use the coupon code "REOPEN2011" upon checkout!  The final day to use the coupon code will be September 10th.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mushroom


Every time it rains here, pretty little mushrooms pop up all over the yard.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lioness


Here's one more from last week's visit to the zoo.  This lioness is looking up, checking out a bird, I bet.  I loved that intent look on her face.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tiger Cubs


Earlier this week I went to the Pittsburgh Zoo.  I have been hearing about the tiger cubs since we moved here, and was excited to see them for myself.  Even though they are young, they are still larger than a Great Dane, but next to the adult tigers you can clearly tell these two are the youngsters.


One was sweetful in particular, cleaning its sibling.


That quickly turned to playing.  The wrestled with each other but managed not to fall off the rock ledge.


Then, it was naptime.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Tomatoes


I know there has been a lot of green on the blog here lately, so I thought I'd dig around and look for something a little different.  And what says 'summer' better than juicy red tomatoes?  I wish we had been able to grow them ourselves this year, but with the move that just wasn't possible.  But since we live closer to where even the ones in the grocery store are being grown, these taste better than any I had out West, except our own.  We have been celebrating these tasty tomatoes in so many ways... tomato pie, tomato sauce, tomato sandwiches, tomatoes on the grill, tomatoes roasted in the oven, tomatoes and cucumber salad, stuffed tomatoes, and hopefully this week, tomato bruschetta

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Backyard Reflected In Dew


I took these photos one morning when I was up early and the sun was just beginning to light up the dewy grass.  I have so many neat photos that I had a hard time choosing just a few, so I settled on the ones where you can actually see my back yard reflected in the bead of dew.  I cropped in on the second image of each set so you can see it better.  Neat, huh? (You can also click each image to see it just a little bit larger.)