Category Archives: Nature

Friday Flower Fiesta (9-16-2016)

Friday Flower Fiesta

I have had a need to create eBooks but I wanted one of those flipping eBooks that I see occasionally.

I have tried several of them but they either are absent-ware (parts of the program are absent unless you pay for it), are too difficult to work with, or are just plain bad.

Finally, I found Flip PDF, which makes flipping eBooks out of PDF files. Since Word and InDesign, the two programs that I use most for page layout, easily create PDF files, I gave it a try.

I’m extremely happy with it.

Check out this short flipping eBook of (mostly) flowers:

Flowers of the World

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Flower pictures that don’t look quite so picturery

How I Did It

I got so involved cataloging pictures from the last year and photoshopping some of them that the weekend suddenly has disappeared. Where did it go?

Ah, well, since it’s gone, following are a few flowers that I photoshopped using Topaz Glow, an awesome program if you want to create some really interesting pictures that don’t look like pictures anymore. All of these flowers were growing in one yard. They saw me out their living room window taking pictures and came out to talk to me.

Zinnia, Zinnia, Sunflower daisy, Passionflower.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Sunflower daisy

Passionflower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Imagine being kissed by that!

Picture of the Moment

When I was driving for Uber earlier this year, I would get up at 3:30 a.m. and start driving at 4:00. That allowed for some significant long drives from where I live in La Mesa to coastal places like the 32nd Street Naval Station, downtown San Diego, and the airport, all popular places to go at that hour of the morning. I would drive for 5 hours and then go home. One day, though, as I was about to head home a little early, I got a ride request. I thought, “Sure, why not? They might be going my way anyway.”

Well, they were from Nebraska and going to the San Diego Zoo. Perfect opportunity for me to stop at the Zoo, too. That day was May 27, 2016. I don’t remember it specifically, but I have a few billion pictures which I took that day, including those in the immediate posts preceding this one.

What I find interesting about a lot of these pictures is that they are the best pictures I have gotten of certain animals over the 23 years that I have been going to the Zoo on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Including this one of a 3-month-old giraffe:

Baby Giraffe

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That giraffe must really love that twig.

Imagine being kissed by that tongue!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Tasmanian Devil

I saw my first devil (other than Trump)

Picture of the Moment

It only took 23 years of going regularly to the San Diego Zoo before I finally saw the Tasmanian Devil. It just doesn’t like people, or maybe it knows when I’m coming by and scurries into its hiding places. Nonetheless, on May 27 this year, it was all out and about, scurrying here and there, mocking the people standing around oohing and aahing, and generally being a devil.

Tasmanian Devil

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It doesn’t look too happy but maybe that’s because it was too early in the morning. Or maybe it knew that I was going to put its picture in my blog….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This is MY territory!

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of my goals of driving for Uber and Amazon is to explore San Diego County, the little nooks and crannies that I would never find on my own. I’m quite pleased that I’m accomplishing that goal.

If I don’t have time to stop and take pictures, I simply note the location on my tablet with the intent of going back later. My list is getting quite long because going back later isn’t happening….

Here’s a picture that I took recently in Cardiff-by-the-Sea;

Bee and aeonium flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The flowers in the picture are from an aeonium, a succulent that has beautiful leaves, too:

AeoniumPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My walkaround lens is a Tamron 28-300 mm zoom lens, so getting a good picture of a flying bee is not the easiest thing to do since the shutter speed is slow at the 300 mm end of the lens.

Best lenses for getting good pictures of little flying guys is something like a 50 mm or 100 mm macro lens.

I, however, don’t have an intense desire to get too close to them so I either take a bunch of 300 mm shots and hope for a good one, or I mosey along to find a cute kitty cat keeping its eye on a stranger invading its territory:

Pretty cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Sunrises

Picture of the Moment

I have sang at several weddings for friends, the last one in 1984 in Boerne, Texas.

The song I sang for Thad & Charlotte was “Sunrise, Sunset” from the movie “Fiddler on the Roof.”

While I liked the song and realized what it was about, without ever having seen the movie (it came out in 1971, while the musical is from 1964), I was the only one of my friends who was always up in time to watch the sunrise and late enough to bed to catch the sunset, so just the title of the song made it a favorite of mine.

Sunrises and sunsets in 2016 here in the San Diego area have been spectacular almost every day so far.

Following are two of my favorite sunrises, the first one being from this morning.

San Diego (La Mesa) sunrise, January 14, 2016

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego (La Mesa) sunrise, January 6, 2016

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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My Christmas video for all y’all

Out & About

I went to Ocean Beach early on Christmas morning to get pictures and videos of 2015’s King Tide.

A “King Tide” coincides with a full moon and is the highest of the high tides for the year, excluding storm tides and tsunamis.

The King Tide for 2015 was about 7¼ feet.

While not nearly as exciting as storm tides, I got a nice video that includes several rainbows created by the ocean spray, smack dab in the middle of the video.

I didn’t see the rainbows until I got home and watched the video.

The area in the video normally is a wide, sandy beach full of people, even on cold winter days, “cold” being defined as temperatures below 60°F.

The area where I was standing normally is a dry bluff about twelve feet above the sandy beach, but just to get this Christmas video for all y’all, I stood in water and got significantly wet from the spray of the waves crashing a few feet from me.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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