New Photo Software

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Marie Freeman over at Blue Ridge Blog mentioned she was experimenting with HDR photography. The link on her page led me to the demo download of Photomatix Pro. I have been playing with the demo and I am really impressed. Here are some samples I have been playing with and the originals from the camera…


And this:


As you can see, the changes are dramatic…and I like the look. As I told Marie I think I need to get my letter to Santa, I really need this program.

What does God look like to a child?

My favorite local columnist. Once upon a time I though he had the worlds best job. As time has gone by I realized how tough it would be to come up with these things on a regular basis…

Dec. 1, 2006, 4:58PM
What does God look like to a child?

By LEON HALE
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

CHESTER B., one of the members of our Old Codgers Club, called me the other morning and asked if I had any ideas about what God looks like.

This matter was brought into Chester’s life by one of his great-grandchildren, who is 4 years old.

The child is visiting in his home, and one of Chester’s great-grandfatherly duties has included reading bedtime stories. Some of these stories are about shepherds, and angels, and heaven, and prophets, and other particulars dealt with in the Bible, including God.

“She keeps asking me what God looks like,” Chester said on the phone. “I tell her I don’t know, and she asks why I don’t know. She keeps turning the pages, looking for a picture of God. The book has pictures of sheep, and angels, and old guys with long white beards, and she wants to know why it hasn’t got a picture of God.”

That seemed to me like a fair question. How did he answer it?

Go find out where the conversation went…

Source: What does God look like to a child? | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

The Writer's Almanac for Sunday, December 3, 2006

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Great images in words. Even I, a southern boy who has had few run-ins with frozen precipitation, can see the images as I read these lines. Highly appropriate following last weeks storms. Thanks Garrison, a great pick for a December morning.

Poem: “Snow in the Suburbs,” by Thomas Hardy. Public Domain.
Snow in the Suburbs
Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.
A sparrow enters the tree,
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a lower twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.
The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.

Source: The Writer’s Almanac for Sunday, December 3, 2006

Photo for today…

This is our front porch on Christmas Day 2004 when we had a white Christmas. The only one I’ve ever seen.

The Ladybug Letter

Andy Griffin wrote an essay in 2002 entitled “Somewhere Near Salinas”. It is about George Harrison, gardening, and farming, but, mostly it’s about life. I found this paragraph touched me.

George Harrison didn’t spend much time on stage after The Concert for Bangladesh. He focused instead on his interest in religion and gardening. He even dedicated his autobiography to “gardeners everywhere.” As a former and future gardener I could appreciate that nod of recognition. Gardening is love, art and a meditation. Farming has to be a business. George Harrison could afford to maintain lush ornamental gardens in both England and Hawaii because as a musician he’d been bought and sold like a sowbelly. His music is admirable to me because he managed so often to slide a touch of soul into even the most commercial product he performed on.

Go read the entire essay. It is worth the time. If you like what you read subscribe to their newsletter.

Source: The Ladybug Letter

How's the weather?

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For the first time in a long time we’ve flipped. This morning in SE Texas the temperature stands at 37 degrees as I type. I see from the forecast email I get that the temperatures on the Blue Ridge in Boone and Floyd are almost 30 degrees higher. Folks this doesn’t happen very often. But I sure will enjoy the few days of winter (for us) that we are getting early this year. When this front gets over to the east coast ya’ll throw a log on the fire and warm your hands and think of me…it’ll probably be pushing 80 again down here.

My email from Garrison this morning contains a poem “In the Middle” by Barbara Crooker. These lines caught my attention:

We’ll never get there,
Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging
us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,
sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh
of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up
in love, running out of time.

This week’s Photo Friday Challenge: ‘Stillness’.

Joshua Trees in Red Rock Canyon Country

It doesn’t get any stiller than the desert in winter…Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, NV.

Time to hit the road…ya’ll have a great day.