Category Archives: Picture of the Month

Family Portrait Time

November 2019

Before traveling down to meet the siblings for Thanksgiving, my niece wants a photo of Lori and I for her baby’s scrapbook, so he would have a record of who is family is.

My sister Linda sent a photo of her and her dog, so we thought we should include our cats in our photo. Easier said than done, especially when two of them don’t like each other all that well, and one of those cat’s does like to be held.

We did manage to herd them all together out by our new pond, and with the camera on my tripod I got a couple of shots off using my remote control before the cats had had enough.

I went inside with the card, loaded up the photos on my Mac, and was horrified that I managed to frame the photos so that Lori and I had our heads cut off. How was that possible, I had checked the framing with Lori in the photos when I set it up. Then I realized that the quick release plate that attaches the camera to the tripod had slipped, which caused the camera to tilt forward.

So with the quick release plate tightened extra tight, we rounded up the cats again, but couldn’t get George (the one on the ground) to cooperate, but fortunately I was able to photoshop him into the photo by grabbing him, putting him in the photo and then taking a quick shot before he took off again. Mr. Bingley (left) and Mr. Darcy (right) were better models and happier to be held, so it all worked out in the end.

The Knowles Family Portrait

Emma – Rock On

October 2019

I noticed Emma during this year’s Ferndale Dance Academy production, because she literally stood head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. At 5′-10″, Emma is 6 to 12 inches taller than most of the other dancers. I hope to work with her a lot over the next few months, as she is the same height as Lori, and she will be a good fit for many of the costumes that Lori has made over the years.

For our second shoot, we went up to Bear River Ridge, where she showed that pointe shoes can be adapted for rock climbing.

Emma, a young ballet dancer, dancing on top of a rock.

Pollinating the Gladiolus

September 2019

Even though we have a hummingbird feeder in our backyard, I still prefer seeing our little hummers working for a living. While I’m more than happy to provide the feeder when times are tough and there isn’t much in bloom, we do plant a lot of plants for their benefit, as well as ours.

This female Anna’s Hummingbird was enjoying sipping the nectar from the gladiolus we planted this year in our new cutting garden border.

Anna's Hummingbird feeding at our red gladiolus.

Hope – 1840s Bodice & Skirt

August 2019

Hope answered a Craigslist ad I had looking for dancers. She was off at ballet school but was going to be back home for a bit during the summer. Since she is so petite, I thought she might be able to fit into our 1840 Ensemble which is not only the oldest piece in Lori’s vintage clothing collection, it is also the tiniest. Not only is it one of the rare ensembles we have, it is extra special because it has both the day and evening bodices.

Even with Hope corseted down, she still wasn’t able to close the back on the bodice. Also, at 5′-0″ tall, she’s probably a few inches taller than the original owner of this garment. The bodice fits a 20″ waist so that gives you some idea of how small of a person this dress was made to fit. We’ll probably never find someone able to wear this dress, but it was nice getting good photos of it in our parlor.

Hopefully (no pun intended), I’ll get a chance to shoot with Hope again in December when she’s on break from school again. I still want to shoot her dancing, as the photos she sent me showed that she’s very accomplished and quite bendy.

Hope wearing 1840s Bodice & Skirt

Lupines Worth Stealing

July 2019

If you’re a fan of Monty Python, then you know who Dennis Moore is. In case you’re not familiar with the skit, Dennis would ride around the English countryside and steal lupines from the rich and give them to a poor family. One of my favorite Monty Python skits, and maybe one reason I love growing lupines.

I started a bunch of lupines in our new greenhouse to eventually fill out the new planter in the back yard. While I was watering them, Lori notice that this one had a nice diamond right in the middle of it. Now that would be a lupine worth stealing!

A lupine with a diamond in the middle.

Flora and Fauna of Ferndale

June 2019

While working on my greenhouse, I came across this caterpillar, and having never seen this type before, I was determined to identify it. I started with searching images on Duck, Duck, Go for “green caterpillar with yellow head” and didn’t find anything similar.

I tried a few other searches and finally found one image of something similar, only technically, it’s not a caterpillar. Caterpillars are the larvae of moths or butterflies, and this guy is the larva for a sawfly. I had never heard of sawflies before.

This photo got me off on a project that has proven to be very addictive, identifying the natural flora and fauna of my garden. I have been having fun using my macro lens to explore the creatures that fly, run, hop, crawl, and even swim in my yard.

While I was documenting the animals, my wife suggested I should also document the plants. I have a Filemaker database for keeping track of what I plant, but I decided to go ahead and start documenting what mother nature plants too. You can find my ongoing lists of flora and fauna on my personal web site.

One resource I found that has been super useful in identifying what I photograph is the Seek app. I have found the best way to use it for fauna is to take a photo using my macro lens and DSLR, and then display the image on my monitor and do a Seek scan of that image.

Sawfly Larva

2019 Kinetic Sculpture Race

May 2019

Well it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted my Picture of the Month feature. I’ve been busy working on my house and garden, and unfortunately not taking much time to relax and go take pictures. I’m going to restart the POTM and hopefully keep something interesting appearing here on a regular basis.

Memorial Day Weekend in Humboldt County starts off with the start of the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Arcata. This year there were lots of entries, probably due to the fact this was the 50th anniversary of the event. It was hard to pick a favorite entry this year, but the Cheshire Cat was not only cute, (if something that big can be cute) it was also a great piece of engineering, as it employed 4 wheel steering.

Cheshire Cat

Ferndale Dance Academy – Cinderella

June 2017

This was the 15th year I’ve photographed the Ferndale Dance Academy spring production. Laura East and her company of young dancers put on another fine show. Photographing the dress rehearsal I watch the show through the lens of my camera, and it’s always nice to return later to watch the show from the audience.

Ferndale Dance Academy ballet dancers performing Cinderella

The Mill Creek Falls Ballet

May 2017

After a long break from picture of the month due to a really wet winter and the unexpected death of my mother, I finally got back to taking pictures in May. I returned to Mill Creek Falls with a new model, Shannon, who had lots of experience dancing when she was younger. It still showed in the wonderful poses she came up with. After visiting Mill Creek, we went to Clam Beach for more photos and it was really hard picking one to feature here. Hopefully, she’ll be in front of my lens again soon.

Ballerina posing in front of Mills Creek Falls