Winter Delight

We can hardly say "winter returns" when we really haven't had much of a winter. Tuesday morning was very warm, over 60, and moving in from the west, came a huge dust storm with hurricane force winds, which proceeded to take over the city, filling our eyes and lungs with the dust of the west desert. It was 75 by lunchtime and when I left work it had started to rain mud. I couldn't even see out my back window for all the dirt that fell from the sky. By the time I left for SnB the temperature had dropped 40 degrees and a rain/snow mix was falling. 

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By morning it had snowed a couple of inches and it snowed all day. Although it stayed very cold, the snow kept falling and melting and falling some more. All in all it amounted to at least 8", more than we've seen over the last 3 months combined. The best news was the mountains reported upwards of 3 feet! By the weekend our temperatures will be back in the 70s, so who can argue with a day or two of winter?


Warm and Wonderful

Salt Lake City is experiencing day after day of temperatures for above normal, which usually around 38 degrees. This past week we've enjoyed near 60 degree weather, as well as, the clear blue skies that have accompanied it. Being out of doors is a treat! 

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Smith and a friend used the weather to full advantage by putting the finishing touches on the community garden greenhouse. Within minutes of completion it was hot and humid inside, just as a greenhouse should be. They'll be building shelves and starting plants as soon as possible.

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My morning was spent at Unraveled Sheep checking out Nancy Bush's Estonian Knits sale. I scored a beautiful, and very warm, pair of gloves, thanks to Monica.  Where would I be without friends? Cold!

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Aren't they pretty? 

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Sunday the weather was, once again, amazingly warm and, as I was deciding where to take a walk, Susan posted a picture of Red Butte Garden on FB. It only took a few minutes to pull myself together and head on out. 

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The Garden was the perfect place to be on a warm winter's day and I enjoyed wandering through the dried leaves and bare vines. The plants are at rest, but the beauty of  their repose is just as interesting as the greenery and blossoms.


Morning Sky

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Thursday morning sky was dramtic in shades of gray, but when I added it to Instagram, I used a filter to alter the color. The over-washed effect gives the photo a porcelain glow and brings out the shape of each cloud.The sun hasn't quite come up over the mountain, but its golden glow highlights the peaks. 

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Wednesday morning, the clouds were lit by the sun just as it was rising behind the peaks. I love capturing the light as it enters my sky, as it casts the most interesting effects when it begins the day.

Instead of knitting or sewing, I have been playing with my camera apps, only taking a few photos, mostly of the sky, which is the most interesting thing in my daily life. While going in to the office I see the sunrise, but by the time I leave work, the sky is already dark. I am not amused there is still another month before the light starts its return. 

Today we await a storm, which I hear brewing, the wind buffeting my windows and stirring up the chimes. I hope for snow, a lot of it, not a "Buffalo" amount of snow, but snow nonetheless. Come one winter! Get on with it.


My View

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I've often told Mary how much I love the Waterlogued App on her iPhone, as it's an app that isn't created for the Android. If it was you'd see some gorgeous watercolored pictures of the fall colors around us. This weekend, Mary graciously surprised me with Waterlogues of three of my photos.

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I love the way "my mountain" look in watercolor. 

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It may be a good thing I have no access to this app, as that may be all you'd see, as I love the subtly of color, created by mixing water and paint. 

Glorious watercolor

Although, the sky around here does just fine creating its own painterly sky, no app needed. 

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The weather has been exceptionally warm, thanks to the warm winds. We've enjoyed the blue skies and yellow-drenched trees that dot our landscape. The fall season has gone on without winter playing tug-of-war, the garden dying a slow death, as plants dry up, an elegant beauty created in their dying.


September 3rd

I'm trying to capture every bit of sunshine I can.

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Sunrise

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Sunset

We drove out to the Great Salt Lake to watch the sun as it slipped behind the hazy horizon. Our inland sea has a distinct smell, but the cool breeze, and lapping waves gave me the sense of peace.

As the light of day shortens, the suns warmth wanes, and the colors of leaves and light change, the calm of acceptance fills my heart. Watching the change of seasons and the changing light, as it moves away and returns, is one of natures beautiful gifts. 


The Expected and Unexpected

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Summer is waning and I'm doing my best to hang on to what's left.  When my sister came to town we made sure to pack in as much fun as we could. (My hair is not that white, it's just the sun highlighting the whiter strands. I swear.)

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I wanted to show Neena that SLC had a grown up a little by taking her to one of the cocktail bars downtown has to offer. We had a very fine evening at Bar X. The cocktails and the ambiance were perfect and we both decided if we lived near downtown SLC this would become a favorite hangout. It might be a good thing I live miles away. 

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One of the places you might expect we'd go was Silver Fork. I had my usual trout and eggs and she had her usual, Huevos. After a very fine morning of enjoying the deck and the good food, we made a pilgrimage to Silver Lake. Of course.

Have you been hanging on the last days of summer? I'm hoping for a long and colorful fall!


Road Trip

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Saturday I drove 250 miles to spend an afternoon on my sister's deck and to see a play with her that night. The next morning I drove back home. I knew I was set myself up for a butt ache (which turned out to be true), but seeing my sis, as well as seeing the play,won out.

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Our summer has been fantastic for sky watchers, as the clouds have put on a show and a small storm, or the threat of a storm, has passed through every couple of weeks. My trip was filled with sky born fantasia.

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The view from my sisters deck allows one to watch, as the ever changing sky moves from partly cloudy to serious threat of downpour.  

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 I could have stayed on the deck for the duration of my stay and been endlessly entertained.  Between the landscape, the clouds, and the birds I had a carnival of sights. 

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Scrub jays and hummingbirds visit regularly, as they watch for their favorite treats. Peanuts for the joys and nectar for the hummers is in ready supply. The show they put on never stops.

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 My sister lives in the desert (with her hubby), the house surrounded by sand and juniper trees, but yard art, placed by her hand, creates a garden of found treasures at the entry to their home. 

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I wish I'd taken more pictures to share with you their amazing handiwork, but I'll leave that for another trip. It has been too long since my last visit and I plan to rectify by going back soon.


I Did What I Often Do

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My goal was to see a moose and I knew chances were better if I went to Silver Lake before 8:00am. It was quiet at the lake with few people about, and no moose to be found. I slowly walked around the lake, looking into every nook and cranny, and still saw nothing but the tiniest of wildlife creatures.

The views were still as wonderful as usual, and with few people about, it was quieter than  expected.

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The foilage is vibrantly green, as summer hasn't been as hot as past years. The water of Silver Lake was calm and reflective, the sky clear with only a stay cloud floating by.

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It felt good to be out in mountain air, watching the sun as it started its climb into the sky, and being in my favorite spot. Even though I was alone, I wasn't going to forego another favorite place.

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I stopped by Silver Fork Lodge (just beating the Sunday crowd by minutes), and treated myself to my favorite breakfast of trout and eggs. How does that saying go...

Life is good.


Back To School

I remember when Carole got her first iPhone she called it "my precious" and now, after having a smart phone for a couple of weeks, I completely understand the sentiment. Having every part of my life in hand is very helpful, and the camera feature (the reason I wanted the phone) is as wonderful as I thought it would be.

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Everywhere I went this weekend I had my camera, which was not the case with my pre-smart phone habits. The Big Picture Class, which is iPhone based, but has still helped me understand smart photo photography and the apps I can use to enhance my own photos. The first picture above is straight from the camera and the second shows how I was able to enhance the light and mood with Snapseed, which might be my favorite app.

The class is updated every other day with a new assignment and suggestions on composition, ideas to consider, and the apps the instructor used to create their photos (and so much more!). So far our lessons have been focused on light, action, lines, silhouettes, landscapes, with the newest class on vantage points. 

Snapseed

My favorite subject, as you know, is the sky and the mountains near by, and in this photo, I was able to fulfill three assignments at one time; light, silhouettes, landscape, and you may even consider the clouds as lines. With a little enhancing in Snapseed, I was able to give my photo a painterly quality.

Silhouettes

Teaching my eye, and my brain, to look at other things (other than up) can take a conscious effort, but my walk through Sugarhouse offered the opportunity to capture a couple in silhouette as they walked through the tunnel hand in hand. I love the way the light played in the windows in front of them.

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I've also learned about denoising and used the technique on this photo to bring out the leaves and the texture in the wall. I'm having fun reading through the instructors notes and suggestions and trying out their effects and ideas on my own photos. It's fun to learn, to play, to create, but I find it a little addicting. There are times I put the phone in a drawer and lock it away so I can concentrate on other tasks and creative endeavors.

But there are times...

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..I stop in my tracks and snap a photo. I play with it later to get the effect I want, in this case, a dramatic shot of the rainstorm that moved in Monday night and caused havoc as I drove to my book group.

Having a smart phone is one of the best things I've done for my creative life, but not to worry, there is still plenty of knitting, reading, and a secret project on the horizon, too.


True to My Word

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As it turns out, I stayed true to my word and stopped by to see Parley P. He stood majestically overlooking the canyon named in his honor.  It was a little surprising to see a stone with the names of Parley's wives etched into it. Wife number seven, Sarah Huston, is my g-g-g-g-grandmother. ETA: Some comments asked about the last wife who did not take the Pratt name. Parley and Eleanor have quite a story, which includes Parley's murder! You can read more here.

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From there, I drove a short distance to Sugarhouse Park, where I took a stroll through the tunnel that connects it to the business district to its west.

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As I walked down the pathway into Hidden Hollow, I happened upon a bronze sugarbeet, which I found a tad surprizing. I felt like a tourist in my own town, as I didn't even know they'd saved Hidden Hollow, let alone there was a sugarbeet sitting in its midst. 

I took loads of pictures for my Big Picture Class, spent time with friends, as often as I could, and, when possible, spent snippets of time with Smith. We spent Friday morning weekend the garden for TWO hours, but rewarded ourselves with a lunch at our favorite tacqueria.

All in all, I'd say it was a good weekend and I'll share more about it as the week unfolds. 

Did you have a good weekend?