Posts Tagged ‘Nikon D300’

I returned to Oklahoma Basket Supply yesterday and came home with a LOT of new supplies. I should insert here that I didn’t actually make sure that I had what I needed for any specific pattern. Ahem.

So today, I made my first Market Basket.

The market basket is quite a different animal than a rib basket. What with all that upsetting and clipping and sore fingers. However, I persevered and I’m quite pleased with the result. Now don’t get me wrong here…..there are definitely mistakes in it. I know there are. And I could easily point them out. But I won’t. That would just take all the fun out of it.

So I used a pattern….sort of.  As mentioned previously,  I didn’t have all the right sizes of reed, so I did what they do in football. I punted. I used what I had. Therein lies some of the reasons for the previously mentioned mistakes. But I digress. Because the thing I like about basket weaving is that it’s so easy to be creative and throw in your own curve balls here and there…just to keep things interesting. Besides, who wants to just copy someone else’s work?  It’s all about being creative. Right? Right. And punting too… it’s about punting.

So here we have it: My first Market Basket.

And here’s how it came about:

  1. Beautiful rolls of Natural and Smoked Reed
  2. After all the pieces are cut to size and soaked, the reeds are laid out.
  3. The weaving begins.
  4. Upsetting the reeds so weaving the sides can begin.
  5. The closeup of the handle is thrown in just because I liked the shallow depth of field on the shot. A piece of smoked reed was glued to the handle before the weaving was started.
  6. Smaller natural reed was used to form a pattern. (This varied a lot from the directions I had.)
  7. After the pattern was complete, more rows of smoked reed were added.
  8. Lashing was added to the top in forming the rim. It’s harder than it looks because it’s holding two strong pieces of thicker reed in place to form the top edge of the basket.

And there you have it. I’ll be happy to answer any questions….if I can.

Once again, I must add that the photos were taken with my Nikon D300 and the fantastic Nikkor 85mm 1.4D lens. It offers up the most amazing bokeh to any photo. I said it.

And if you’re looking for a portrait lens….it can’t be beat. You’ll find it gives you gorgeous, natural colors.


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It was a day for birding.

The temperature was 37° Fahrenheit.
The mister and I took a drive to Sooner Lake in northern Oklahoma. We saw the usual Buffleheads, Goldeneyes, Mallards, Coots, Cormorants, Scaups, and Gulls – plus a few Harriers. Oh yes, and one Canada Goose acting strange…swimming around with his neck level with the water and his head in the water…we had to watch it for a while to figure out what it was. And the ducks are definitely pairing up…lots of head bobbing & squabbles among the Buffleheads.

But the one surprise for the day came when we heard a Loon – even before we saw it. We watched it swim and dive for a while before we eventually saw it come up with a fish. And here was the kicker, that fish (possibly a Hybrid Striped Bass) was at least as big as the Loon’s head. The drizzle and fog did little to help me out with photography. The poor Loon wrestled that fish for at least 15-20 minutes – even stopping mid-way through to do a little wing-flap. Part way through the tussle, a gull checked in to see what was going on. The Loon finally gave up and went away hungry. But perhaps it learned a little something. ;-)

Here are a few Cool Facts about Loons from All About Birds.

  • The Common Loon swims underwater to catch fish, propelling itself with its feet. It swallows most of its prey underwater. The loon has sharp, rearward-pointing projections on the roof of its mouth and tongue that help it keep a firm hold on slippery fish.
  • Migrating Common Loons occasionally land on wet highways or parking lots, mistaking them for rivers and lakes. They become stranded without a considerable amount of open water for a long takeoff. A loon may also get stranded on a pond that is too small.
  • Loons are water birds, only going ashore to mate and incubate eggs. Their legs are placed far back on their bodies, allowing efficient swimming but only awkward movement on land.
  • The Common Loon is flightless for a few weeks after molting all of its wing feathers at the same time in midwinter.

I can’t wait until the Loons come into full breeding colors. They’re such beautiful birds & their call is mesmerizing!

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Chalk it up to another coincidence? Today’s choice for my morning libations was a mug from  Dallas, TX, in the year of or near to 1999. Bob Dylan and Paul Simon (a rather unlikely combo) were in concert. Loved the mug – had to get one. It’s one of those comfy truck stop/greasy spoon mugs that just fits the hand & the drink doesn’t dribble down the side when you sip. bob dylan tea

So as I’m drinking my coffee/and later tea/ and bouncing around the internet….I come across a notation on Losanjealous that Bob Dylan & His Band are playing at The Palladium tonight & tomorrow night. Were I  in L.A. – I’d go see him again. And tickets are a paltry $56.50. Ouch, Bob. But I’m really glad he’s still doing tours. It was a great show in ’99 (even though I heard someone near us joking that they wondered if they’d have to prop him up) and I’m sure the current show is even better.

I came upon another slightly funny bit of information this morning on the Rolling Stone site…. In the same year, apparently the duo was fined for playing too long. Who knew… Go check it out.

And if you’re in L.A. – go check out Bob for me. Thanks.

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monarch migration 1During last week’s visit to Southwest Oklahoma, we were fortunate enough to observe a cloud of Monarchs that were stopping to rest in some small Willow trees along one of the canals at Hackberry Flat. This was the fourth such time I’ve been lucky enough to witness such a fantastic sight. Thousands of the gorgeous Monarchs swirling in and through the sky and trees…and finally settling into the trees for the night.

“Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. In North America they make massive southward migrations starting in August until the first frost. A northward migration takes place in the spring. The monarch is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south as the birds do on a regular basis. But no single individual makes the entire round trip.

Female monarchs deposit eggs for the next generation during these migrations. By the end of October, the population east of the Rocky Mountains migrates to the sanctuaries of the Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican states of Michoacán and México. The western population overwinters in various sites in central coastal and southern California, United States, notably in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz.

Monarch butterflies are poisonous or distasteful to birds because of milkweed poison stored by the caterpillar stage; their bright colors are warning colors. monarch migration 3During hibernation monarch butterflies sometimes suffer losses because hungry birds pick through them looking for the butterflies with the least amount of poison, but in the process killing those that they reject.” – Wikipedia

Here you’ll find even more information about the Monarch Butterfly – provided by the National Wildlife Refuge System. And as they say:

“The annual migration cycle of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Every year, millions of monarchs migrate thousands of miles from Canada and the United States to overwinter in the mountain peaks in the states of Mexico and Michoacán in Mexico. This magical journey, deemed an “endangered natural phenomenon,” is dependent on conservation of habitats in all three North American countries – United States, Canada, and Mexico.”

The National Wildlife Refuge system may call it a natural phenomena – but I’m glad they went on to call it a ‘magical journey’  because I call it pure magic! And if you’ve ever seen it, you’ll just never forget it!

monarch migration 2

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Ah yes….finally my favorite season of the year is upon us! The mild days and cool nights of October soothe my soul. It’s time to scatter pumpkins around the flower beds, patio and porch.  And time to load the fire pit with pinon. ~ Gardening tasks are so much more inviting when you can smell the sweet aroma of pinon. The leaves have begun their annual descent and the flowering plants are giving us their last hurrah.

I took a photo tour of the flower gardens and terraces this morning with the Nikon D300 and oft ignored Nikkor 85mm f/1.4.  I have to start using that little jewel more! A photo tour of your gardens is a good way to record what was blooming and when. The exif information will tell you exactly when you took the shots, so it’s an easy way to keep gardening records. (Please always do a backup…because as we all know, it’s not IF your computer will die, but WHEN.) ;-)

Small Garden Area

Small Garden Area

We live on a forested ridge, so the flower beds and terraces get a lot of shade. I’m talking a LOT. One little annual that I’ve come to love is the Impatien. Not only do they show off in the shade all summer, but they re-seed. You can’t get a much more friendly flower than one that wants to come back next year. Right? :-) I’ve had Impatiens come up and bloom in colors that I never planted.  For instance, this year I planted only red and orange Impatiens. But my terraces have those colors – PLUS light and dark pinks – the light pink ones, I planted last year & some others came from my neighbor’s flower beds. In addition to bedding Impatiens, I have a pot of New Guinea Impatiens that have really done well & it is in deep shade.

This Gallery includes some shots of the impatiens and a few other plants that are still showing off on this second day of October, 2009.

So, what’s blooming in your fall garden? I’d love to hear your about your favorite flowers that are still showing off.

More fall gardening updates will follow. Stay tuned!

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Have you ever noticed how many bird sayings there are?

  • Strictly for The Birds
  • Bird Brained
  • Birds of a Feather
  • A Birds Eye View
  • Free as a Bird
  • A Little Birdie Told Me
  • Wise as An Owl (I like that one!)

I’m sure that’s not all of them, but you get the picture. And do you know why there are so many bird sayings?

Me either. But here are some birds got our attention on yesterday’s road trip to Salt Plains State Park.

  • Black Necked Stilt
  • Bald Eagle
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Avocet
  • Least Sandpipers
  • Stilt Sandpiper
  • Roadrunner
  • Northern Harrier Hawk
  • White Faced Ibis

Yesterday was a day that was strictly for the birds!

American Avocet

American Avocet



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The Beach Boys have a ‘county fair’ song? Who knew!

I wish I didn’t.  Seriously.

Beach Boys – County Fair – 45rpm

I believe it would be fair to say the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D in my camera bag has not been getting a fair shake. So I took it to the county fair and it turned out to be the fairest of them all. I love that little lens. I hope it will forgive me for ignoring it for the last nine months.

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