The present. The now. What’s happening?

I’m writing. It’s what I do in the morning. If we don’t have an appointment and aren’t on vacation (vacation? what’s a vacation?), I check for comments. Then I do a quick e-mail review and delete all the advertisements, at least half the news feeds, and anything else I know I’m not going to deal with today.

Out the front window

Snowy frog on the deck

Next, I check the daily prompt to see if I’m interested. The “present” was interesting. “Now” is always sort of interesting … if I’m awake. I have coffee. I ate my toasted muffin and have more coffee to consume. I’ve barely gotten started on the coffee yet. We linger on the coffee.

Only a little snow

I decided, since it snowed last night, I needed pictures. The weather has warmed up dramatically since yesterday and the overnight snow is melting quickly. I grabbed the little Leica and took pictures.

HDR and graphic processing

At the end of shooting, my battery was empty. After I changed the battery, I delayed this post for an extra hour while I tried to find the charger for these specific batteries. I have so many chargers. I have all the chargers for the cameras I own — multiples for many — as well as chargers for cameras I used to own. Eventually, I found the right charger and finally, I started processing the photographs. Of all the annoying parts of technology, the fact that no two cameras use the same battery or battery charger is the most annoying for me. I go through this “search the house for that charger” every time we go away from home. Even when it is essentially the same camera from the same manufacturer, there is no guaranteeing that both of them will use the same battery. Why not?

Seriously, why can’t they settle down and use batteries that will fit into a single charger? Or three chargers? One charger per camera? Really?

More HDR on the Christmas cactus

Recently, in addition to designing graphic formulas (Topaz has adopted a few of them and it’s funny to bump into my own process while rambling through the filters), I’ve been playing with HDR. I’ve been avoiding it because it seemed like more work than I wanted to put into most photographs. But newer cameras have made the process  easier, so I used it for all the Christmas Cactus pictures. I’m not sure I see much of a difference, but maybe I need new glasses.

My Christmas cactus is still blooming. Maybe blooming even more. Neglect really works. I haven’t potted it in years. I can’t even remember when. How it manages to bloom with such vigor is remarkable. Cacti, though, are like that. The worse the soil, the happier they seem to be. They don’t need much and if you give them a lot of TLC, they fade.

Born to bloom in heat and dryness, warmth and comfort takes away their spunk, as it were. Is that true for some of us, too?

These are all pictures of my now. Present moments as February begins to head to its finale. The sky is brilliant blue without a cloud. If you went to bed before the snow began and got up late, you’d be surprised there is snow.

Later this week, the temperatures are supposed to soar into shirtsleeve range, so we will get a little pre-spring weather. I don’t know about the rest of you north of the equator types, but I need a hint of spring. I need to see some color in the world.

The gray and muddy brown of winter is getting to me.

Categories: #Flowers, #Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

32 replies

  1. Both of my cameras have different USB cords to upload the pictures to my computer, and I keep both of those, as well as the one charger AND my cell phone charger in the same little cubbyhole on my computer desk. As you might imagine, when I go to pull one out…. they ALL end up coming out with it. It would be nice to have one thing to do it all… or maybe someone can invent a cord that never gets tangled.


  2. These photos are lovely! Simple, yet delicate and beautiful. I don’t suppose you would mind popping over to my blog quickly and perhaps sharing some wisdom on how I can make any improvements? The blog has been running for quite a while now, but I’m still greatly lacking in followers. Is there anything I’m doing wrong or perhaps could do better?


    • I will. After dinner. But I hate to say this, a lot of it is gritty determination and never giving up. And sometimes, doing more than just posting pictures. But I will look. Promise.


      • Thank you, Marilyn. I really appreciate this! I understand that to achieve your dreams it often takes 100% dedication and, of course, never giving up. I’m working on this as I really want to get back into the swing of things and start posting much more often. I look forward to hearing your feeback.


        • It’s also involvement. You have to really enjoy what you’re doing and you need to be doing it because you love it. There’s no money in it. No fame or fortune. If you don’t love it, you’ll quit. Few people stick with it long enough to get that ‘big’ following. I write because I love writing and I started doing this because I was a writer who was retired and I needed an audience. Reading it to my husband just wasn’t doing it for me and the dogs were surprisingly uninterested. I also take pictures — always a hobby, never a profession. Blogging gave me a lot more motivation to get better at it and it cost me a freaking FORTUNE in cameras. Talk about addiction. Sheesh. You’re a good photographer. I can see that at a glance.

          I get most of my interesting effects with Topaz filters. They aren’t cheap and it has taken me a few years to have enough of them to do what I want. They do have what I think is still a free application you can download that will give you at least some of their basics and let you sample what you can do with them. They take a little time to master. If they don’t make sense in the beginning, eventually they will begin to get easier.

          Also, you need to use WordPress’s publicity stuff. It helps. it’s a learning curve and a lot of luck, too. Writing things that catch peoples’ interests … But interacting with other bloggers is a big part of it because as you are seen “around the net,” more people will come to look and see what you do.

          Most of all, you have to love it or you won’t last. That’s kind of a bottom line for all of us.


  3. It may be getting to you, but the photos are lovely. 🙂


  4. We should form a club where we can bring all of our rechargeable devices and see if any work with anyone else’s cameras/mp3 players/whatnots.

    I bought a ‘universal recharger’ once that had something like twelve slots–I was assured by the guy at the camera store that it would work with the camera I had. He even demonstrated on a model he had in the store. I’m sure you can guess what happened, I got it home and it worked with nothing I owned. Absolutely nothing.

    I feel your pain, is what I’m saying. I also am longing for splashes of color peeking out from snowy vistas. Spring can never come too soon for me.


    • I have two of those which are supposed to charge everything — and neither of them work with any of my cameras. Two of my cameras are basically the same — Garry and I both have an Olympus OMD. Otherwise, I have a big Panasonic, a tiny Leica, and two miniature Pentax cameras which are supposedly the same but use — you guessed it — different batteries. Slightly different. A millimeter here, a millimeter there … And each one requires a different charger. I’ve got some after-market extra batteries that ALSO have their OWN charger and you can’t use the camera’s own charger with the after-market batteries which doesn’t make any sense, but there you go.

      Forget about batteries — I was trying to find a micro cable that would fit the tiny Leica (which is almost identical to a little Panasonic of the same size I used to have — but the batteries are not the same, naturally) and I just spent almost two hours going through every USB cord I own. I finally found one. Lucky I never ever throw a cord away! I have an entire BIG camera case full of USB cords in my office, just in case. It’s ridiculous.

      Spring is still two months away here. Even if it warms up, it won’t stay warm until April at the earliest and we won’t get leaves or serious flowers until May. That’s why I love my little cactus. It has flowers. I NEED those flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are digital soul mates. Or evil replicants of each other. I remember ‘losing’ the cable that came with a camera’s battery recharger. I went to the store to get a replacement, only to find out they don’t sell replacements! That’s where I ended up with the bloody universally useless one–which I still have, btw. I have two almost identical cameras and both suffer from early battery fatigue. Either that, or I am just a hard-button pusher and overwhelm the dumb things. I don’t know.

        And still, I’d rather have a nice camera than not. Salesmen (and they are always men) know our addiction when we walk into a camera store to begin with. They’ve got us by the aperture!


  5. Summer is good here. It’s hot but I’m happy.


  6. Thank goodness that frog is wearing a hat! At least, I think he is, my eyes are bad. Your story about neglect and plants remind me of our yucca and aloe, both thrive if ignored and left alone. I too, have just had it with winter. I go through this every year.


    • I go through this every year and worse, I am a year older every year. Despite all my efforts to stop my personal clock, it just keeps ticking.

      I think he is supposed to be the frog from a children’s book, the name of which has temporarily escaped me. (Wind in the Willows – I remembered.) He has been sitting on that rail for 17 years and has the look of seriously aged frog these days.

      Neglect suits plants better than over attention. Most people kill their plants with too much water. Almost all of them do better with too much dryness rather than too much wet. I was told it was because wet dirt — mud — holds less oxygen than dryer earth. I don’t know if it’s true, but it has worked for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You could frame any of those photos Marilyn. Somehow you make it not quite so bad for February.


    • Thank you! I finally got a small camera with a lens that’s fast enough to get pictures indoors without flash. Also, it was still morning, so the light was in the east and those doors face east.


  8. Your Cactus is a beauty! I am looking forward to a treat of a spring day- but looking at the snow that still remains on the ground here can’t quite believe it 🙂


  9. Maybe it’s me, but the expression on that frog’s face reminds me a little bit of Fred Astaire. We got some snow yesterday…but it was a thin dusting that vanished quickly. I still want one good snowstorm (preferably on a weekend) so I can make a snowman.


    • Maybe it’s the bug eyes, though for all I know, that frog can REALLY dance. Move north. We’ve got snow. Even in this relatively mild year, more than enough. More. Than, Enough.


  10. Living in this snowy world now since November, I am just as eagerly awaiting spring. I enjoyed the read and the photos. Thanks for sharing.


  11. Hi, there! I think NJ actually got more snow than you this time around. We got nailed with at least 6-7 inches in a matter of 5 hours. Pretty wild. Now, most of it has melted. Gee… I’m so sad over that. Yeah, right. LOL! 🙂
    Pretty picture’s. A really gorgeous area you live in!


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