around the yard

Change of Season

Although the flower season is always comparatively late here (“Don’t plant until after Mother’s Day!), blossoms have started to appear on the trees- always a welcome sign of Spring. Our plum tree has just a few- just enough show us that Spring is on its way.


Heavenly

My tiny, never ever getting bigger, heavenly bamboo is dressed in its winter colors! I had to crawl under apple tree branches to get this shot, btw.


Neighborhood Super Moon

Love the super moons! Someday I need to leave my driveway and try another vantage point. Might be about time.


Blossom Beauty

More apple blossoms!


Experimenting

On Christmas Day, while the menfolk were absorbed with football, I went outside a couple times to take photos. The snow was deep-ish and the temperature was cold, so I never stayed out long.  Since I so often take photos of the same scenes around my front yard, I quickly got the urge to experiment with alternative photography methods . The two photos below are both in-camera multiple exposures of a tree and snow. The snow added a texture to the photos- no photoshop involved.  Fun to do- although the lack of control is challenging.

20161225-mma_0924_melinda_anderson

20161225-mma_0922_melinda_anderson-edit


A White Christmas Dream Come True

We were dreaming of white Arizona Christmas as we checked the weather apps each day. As the weekend approached, the forecasts kept showing a snowflake for most of Christmas Eve day- and they were right. It rained in the late morning, quickly turning to sleet and then snow- heavy snow that lasted all afternoon. We ended up with about six or seven inches at our house, and it is still here. Beautiful!

20161224-mma_0907_melinda_anderson-edit-edit

I posted this photo on Facebook- and then noticed the fire hydrant in the foreground, which I have since removed (fire hydrants and garbage cans are what cloning brushes are for!).  After I took this shot, I walked toward the tree- and fell against the curb, cracking my lens hood and banging my arm and knee. Happy to report that the only damage seems to have been to the lens hood (which is a replacement for the one I cracked in Montana. . .)- the camera and photographer are just fine!


In Bloom

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I looked through my recent photos and decided to break with tradition and go with pink instead of green for today. I took these shots of the blossoms on our plum tree before we left for Palm Springs.  I guess this was a smart move, because, now that we are back, the blossoms are all gone.

20160307-MMA_9439_melinda_anderson 20160307-MMA_9448_melinda_anderson


Mini

This tiny apple had escaped my notice until the other day when I was outside looking for something to photograph. The icy wind from Sunday night’s storm had stripped the apple tree of leaves, so that all that remains is this little apple, a storm survivor.

20160201-MMA_8165_melinda_anderson-Edit


Company Came!

20160201-MMA_8228_melinda_anderson-Edit

Yesterday we woke up to a couple inches of snow on the ground- which quickly became 4 or 5 inches at least, as it snowed steadily all day.  It is super cold, as it was during and after our last snowstorm, so snow is still on the ground- unlike in our first two winters here, when it all melted away by noon. We are experiencing a real winter in the Arizona high country!

Around noon, my husband spotted this hawk sitting quietly on one of the birdhouses. It was snowing lightly at the time, and the wind was blowing.  I’m not sure if he was just resting or was waiting for the birds that frequent the bird feeders in this part of the yard. I posted a shot of him on Facebook, and it was suggested he was either a Copper’s hawk or a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. I didn’t enter the debate (I have no confidence in this area), but I did read that even experienced birders have trouble telling them apart.

For the above image, I cloned out all the distracting branches and the rocks on the hill in the background, and then added a texture at low opacity to make the background less stark. Below is a more natural photo- with the branches and background clutter.  Both photos were taken through a bedroom window, and he was definitely aware of my presence!

20160201-MMA_8246_melinda_anderson-Edit


Snowbound

It has been a week and a half since our snowstorms- and I find myself marveling every day at the slowly disappearing expanses of snow that remain in my yard, not to mention around town.  I took my Velvet 56 outside to capture a few bits of weeds and leaves peeking up here and there through the snow.

20160114-MMA_7915_melinda_anderson

20160114-MMA_7916_melinda_anderson

20160114-MMA_7916_melinda_anderson-2

 


Red and Orange

More from the Velvet 56!

20151226-MMA_7330_melinda_anderson-Edit

 


Red and Green

I practiced with the Velvet 56 on our ground cover out back.  I like the glow produced at wide apertures!

20151226-MMA_7319_melinda_anderson


Home Grown Abstract

It was sooo cold when I went out front to shoot these curly tendrils on my spiky plant (someday I’ll find out what its called…) with my macro lens.  Although I’ve photographed them before, my attention was caught by the combination of curves and lines hit by the morning light.  The colors you see in the background were present in my photograph and accentuated by the Color Burst preset in Topaz Texture Effects, turning it into a little bit of art for a Wednesday morning.20151211-MMA_6849_melinda_anderson-Edit


Image

Snowy Weeds

20151105-MMA_4522_melinda_anderson-Edit


Autumn is Ending

Just as the fall leaves were changing color, they were blanketed by this year’s early snows. It seems winter is coming early this year.

20151116-MMA_4950_melinda_anderson