Look For Tulips To Flower Before May

Going through some old photographs — yah, what else to do on a rainy day? — found only a couple of tulip photos that I really liked.

Creamy White Yellow and Red Tulip
Creamy White Yellow and Red Tulip

(Sunny Yellow Tulip photo taken 29 April 2015.)

Gotta love the BRIGHT colors that tulips lend to the landscape in the end of April. My favorite month!

Study their centers and you’ll see a lot going on. Pollen strewn about with a variety of colors you may not notice at first.

Red Tulip with Yellow and Purple Center
Red Tulip with Yellow and Purple Center

(Red Tulip photo taken 8 May 2014.)

Seems that I didn’t take much control over the exposure in most of the tulip pictures I located from the last two years. That’s something to remember for this Spring.

Sunlight seems to bounce around the inside of these bowl-shaped flowers. Tulips aren’t really as open as a bowl, more like a glass, shotglass?, shape. Smaller than my hand and cupped fairly tightly until they’re older and many insects have explored the inside seeking pollen.

If you want to photograph some tulips, look for them to bloom before the beginning of May and a little earlier into April, especially if you’re south of Pennsylvania or have a cityscape to contend with.

I did find two photos of tulips that I liked well enough to post to my artist site on FineArtAmerica – here are links you can follow to see the larger images:

Art Prints

Art Prints

Icy Crystals Like Feathers Inside A Bay Window

It’s not too surprising that the garage windows freeze up with ice crystals when it’s super cold outside. It doesn’t get cold enough in the garage to freeze a bowl of water for the outdoor cats, but it’s not heated either.

What is surprising is that the bay window in the Great Room gets frosty. You know it’s cold outside baby when the bay window freezes up moisture on the inside!

Frosty Window On A Frigid Morning
Frosty Window On A Frigid Morning

Without plunking down a sum of coin for a set of thermal curtains to keep out the cold, we came up with a lightweight method of insulating the window side of the great room. It was an inexpensive way to ‘make curtains’ without covering up the bay window completely.

The Great Room has hardwood flooring and lots of wood trim plus a huge beam that runs the length of the room. We loved the wood look and hated to cover it up with curtains or take away the lovely sitting area for the kitties (and us!) to look outside by hanging a large swath of material in front of everything.

Two one-inch thick Styrofoam sheets were glued together to boost the insulating properties and then fabric was cut to fit and glued to the boards, as we call them. The fabric-covered boards are like lightweight curtains that can be left in place to block out the cold (or the sunlight and its heat in the summer) or moved one at a time to allow as much or as little daylight into the room as desired with maintaining an enjoyable temperature in the room.

On the coldest mornings you can see how well the boards insulate the room from the cold. Move aside one of the boards in the early morning, and if its down into the teens outdoors there will likely be ice crystals on the inside of the bay window.

Frosty Window Feathers
Frosty Window Feathers

I thought it was pretty dry indoors, but moisture from the room is obviously high enough to allow ice crystals to form.

Last year in January (8 Jan 2015) the conditions were right for capturing photos of a heavy frost that formed on the window panes.

Frost Is Fleeting
Frost Is Fleeting

The ice crystals looked like compound leaves, fern fronds, and feathers.

It’s very interesting to study the crystals. You can see many shapes among the chaos of seemingly random geometries. Faces, birds, leaves and lots of other things can be imagined in the frosty images.

Photographs had to be taken before the sun peeked over the trees for when that happened the sunbeams hitting the window melted the ice.

It was fun while it lasted. Reminds me of the fleeting nature of life…and so many phrases we use to describe that, “Do it now. Press on! Just do it. Move it! Move on.” You get the idea.

Full-size views of my best images are now available for viewing on my site at FineArtAmerica:

Photography Prints
Sell Art Online
Art Prints
Art Prints

A Bokeh of Hearts for Valentines

Hearts aplenty, Valentines. LOVE is in the air!

Special Hearts for Valentines
Special Hearts for Valentines

I can’t believe how much fun I had with this project, making custom bokeh lights – hearts just in time for Valentines.

How do you make custom bokeh hearts?

You need 3 things to make bokeh hearts appear in your photographs.

1. Point sources of light that stand out from the environment

Curious Helper and a String of Christmas Lights
Curious Helper and a String of Christmas Lights

A string of Christmas lights creates colorful point sources of light. Yes, I have a curious kitty helping me! Continue reading A Bokeh of Hearts for Valentines