Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Clever Brother

Charles is president of the Intermountain Archivists organization this year.
Because the fall caucus was held in Salt Lake,
we got to see him between meetings.
So my parents & I had lunch with him
(in the relatively-new Nauvoo Cafe
in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building).
They had excellent hot sandwiches
and wonderful pie.

10 years ago we had a family portrait
in the JSMB...
we're due for another one.

Parents on Temple Square

Today was a gorgeous warm September day
and my parents and I spent a happy hour on Temple Square.
Dad and I are both shutterbugs.
Plus, I was trying out viewpoints for my nephew's upcoming wedding.

Dad looks a bit solemn in the above photo
(he wasn't feeling the best)
but I love the candid I caught of him and Mom, below:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday Canyoning

We found ourselves a lovely picnic spot
up American Fork canyon
and stayed for hours.
The weather was just perfect.

Canyon views

What is everybody looking at?
Not the leaves, at least not at the moment.
We found a caterpillar at our picnic site
and rescued by putting it on the trunk of a tree:

Isn't it cute?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Reason to Get Up Early

I love the Alpine Loop.

Reds are On

I find the reds beautiful,
but tricky to photograph.
Here are a few attempts.

Neighborhood Cats

My sister's neighborhood has several cats.
Sophie likes the cats very much,
and often plays with them.
The other evening I snapped this picture as Jasmine,
one of the local cats,
tried to get a whiff of what Sophie was drinking
(probably soy milk).
It was so cute I asked Sophie to pick Jasmine up for some more pictures.
"I don't want to. Jasmine bites me."
(Hmmm... just how nicely have you been playing with Jasmine,
Fortunately, along came another neighborhood cat,
one that either is
a) more mellow, or
b) more used to being mauled by neighborhood children,
and we got a good picture.

Perfect Dutch Oven Meal

Take a 14" wide, regular depth dutch oven.
Put down a little olive oil and a layer of onions,
then add whole fingerling potatoes
(you could use chopped potatoes, too).
These were young and tender so we left the skins on.

Next, a layer of baby sliced portobella mushrooms.
Then chicken thighs, bone-in,
with a little more olive oil drizzled on,
and salt, pepper and garlic powder:

Finally, add more potatoes
(we used a whole 5 pound bag from Costco)
and more onions
(we used about 6 or 7 onions' worth).

Here's how it ended up:
(tomato a side dish, not in original pot)

No water needed-- and certainly no "cream of soup"--
the chicken and other things contributed quite a bit of juice.
We had a loaf of bread on the side
and it was very tasty as a sop for the juice.

Humoring Kids

Not long ago when we were up the canyon picnicking,
a couple of wild animals visited our site.
The kids wanted to feed them- we said no.
Then they wanted me to photograph them.
I explained that the light was low, my zoom was not ideal,
and that the pictures would not be good.
"Please, please, please!"
So here they are.
The top one is definitely Not up to My Standards of crispness
(low light, moving bird)--
it was a steller's jay (spelling?)
The bottom chipmunk did a little better,
but they were definitely cuter in their natural state.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

And finally a real smile

So this is what makes an almost-five-year-old REALLY smile.
Giant lollipops and hands-on moveable fountain sculpture.
(She did like the carousel,
but I think for the next few years I will take her to regular parks, and wait until she is older before I try Lagoon again.)

Smiling for the camera

We went to Pioneer Village
and as I adore dressing up for pseudo-historical-photos,
we had our picture taken.
Sophie likes dressing up, too,
and she was quite enthusiastic about the dress and fan and hat,
but she was very shy around the attendant
(I had to be the one to help her into her costume)
and I have to confess, I was rather amused by the quality of her smile
when I finally saw our pictures.
Sophie's idea of smiling for the camera usually has a bit of a posed quality
but this was a downright grimace.
The serious ones actually turned out better.

Funny Faces

The conventional wisdom is that when people have a good time,
they smile.
Well, it's probably a good index,
especially in figuring out kids' reactions to things.
I remember my niece Emeline always used to look very withdrawn in all of her birthday pictures in her young years.
I don't think she was comfortable being the center of attention.
And the niece in these photos likewise is expressing her reactions.
I took her to Lagoon yesterday.
She had been very excited to go,
and she said she liked it.
Except for the shrieks from various rides
and the rattles of the roller coaster.
She regarded most of the rides as "scary"
but did get on the kiddie boats and the little planes.
She SAID she liked them,
but her expressions of liking, if so, are a bit unusual...

The Most Beautiful Place in the World

The other evening, shopping at Costco,
I came out into the parking lot to see the most gorgeous alpenglow.
Everybody should have been oohing and aahing,
but hardly anyone was paying attention.
I had my camera, though,
and I stood by the side of the parking lot watching the light
until it faded down to gray.
I am so lucky to live here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Inadequacies of Google Image Search, Or, Why I Photograph Everything

I was creating a power point presentation on medieval devotional strategies and I wanted to illustrate how modern Christians sometimes continue practices that were popular in medieval times, such as putting actual clothes or jewelry on statutes of saints, especially the Virgin Mary. I knew I had seen examples, usually in Europe, so I tried googling for an example.
I tried all sorts of word combinations- statue, Virgin Mary, clothing, real clothes, ornamentation, and so on. I kept getting lots of sites that wanted to sell me images of the BVM but no decent pictures of the kind I needed.
Frustrated, I finally remembered that back in 2007 when I was in York for the summer I saw an example in one of the York parish churches. (There are over 20 surviving medieval parish churches in York. I have photographed them all.) Searching through those files I finally came up with this modern Mary wearing a veil, from near the rood screen at All Saints North Street, York.
Admittedly google and wikipedia and so on can be useful.
But when one specializes, it's best to have one's own resources.