Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving from Review This Reviews

 

Happy Thanksgiving
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA.  From the Staff of Review This Reviews we wish you a very Happy and Thankful Day.

Thanksgiving Day History

On this Thanksgiving Day, I thought I would share a few history facts for your enjoyment.  If you'd like you could use these to share or quiz family and friends as you gather for the holiday.  They could make great conversation starters too.   My reference for this information is history.com.  
  • It is commonly thought that 1621 was the year of the first Thanksgiving in America.  During the fall of this year the Colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared a feast to celebrate the harvest.
  • The first Thanksgiving was not just one day but was a three-day festival.
  • The most likely menu for this feast was deer, Indian corn, fowl, barley and nuts, lobster and mussels.
  • This first feast did not become an annual tradition for centuries later.
  • In 1789 George Washington declared a national holiday for Thanksgiving and it was celebrated that year on Thursday, November 26th.  But still it did not become an annual holiday nationwide.
  • In 1827 Sarah Josephia Hale (she is an author best known for the writing the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb") started a 30-year campaign to make Thanksgiving an annual holiday.  She even published recipe cards for Turkey, Stuffing, and Pumpkin Pie.

  • Finally in 1863 during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving to be held each year in November.

Thanksgiving Traditions Today

Menu

Today the most common Thanksgiving menus include:
  • Turkey
  • Dressing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Pumpkin Pie
After these staples that are common to most American households each family adds their own touch to the Thanksgiving feast.  In our family we add green bean casserole, hot rolls, and a sweet potato dish with a sweet topping.

Parades

Another tradition in America is the Thanksgiving Parade.  For those that don't go to a parade they may watch the big Thanksgiving Day parade from New York City on television.

Volunteering

Volunteerism is big on Thanksgiving too.  Communities collect food for the needy and serve hot meals for those less fortunate.

Pardoning a Turkey

In 1989 President Bush came up with a new quirky tradition of pardoning a turkey.  This tradition has carried on with each President since that time.  This is a fun tradition that is seen on the "news" each year.  The turkey will then be able to live out its life on a farm.

Fall Harvest

As you and your family celebrate the holiday may you take time out to remember to be thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving 



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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Autumn Colors in Missouri 2021

 

Fall Color November 2021

I love the beautiful colors of Autumn.  It is my favorite time of the year and after the long hot summer I am always looking forward to the cool, crisp days of Autumn.  This year the hot days of summer seemed to never stop, in fact they carried on well into September.  This delayed the beautiful colors of Autumn to well into October and in my area the peak didn't come till the first week in November.

Peak Colors in Missouri

In order to discover what is normal for peak colors in Missouri I went online and read the Missouri Conservation website.  
That site lists the normal time for Autumn colors beginning about the middle of September, with the peak being by mid October.  But as you can see in the photo below at my home in the St. Louis Missouri area the changing colors were only beginning at the time of the Autumnal Equinox on September 22.
View from my Deck
Here is a photo from a walk in the park in mid September when the leaves are getting a tinge of color.
September

The Missouri Conservation website states that predicting fall color in Missouri can be difficult.  Missouri is blessed with a large variety of bushes, shrubs and trees which change colors at different rates.  The entire autumn color season will last from 4-6 weeks and where the best colors are best will change according to what varieties of foliage is in a particular area.  The changing of colors in Missouri start in the northern part of the state and progress southward.  The weather plays a big part in when the colors change.  This year we had 90 degree temperatures into September and high 80's into October.  This set records for one of the warmest falls on record.  These temperatures delayed the fall colors.

What Makes Leaves Change Color

For a review on what makes leaves change color I looked online for some basic information.  I found out that leaves are green because of chlorophyll production and lots of chlorophyll produces green color and mask any colors underneath.  Light regulates chlorophyll production so the shorter days of Autumn produce less light and thus less chlorophyll production.  The photo below shows a tree in my front yard as the days are getting shorter and the green is disappearing.

Peak Colors for 2021

Today is November 5th and the colors are really starting to pop.  The television newscasters last night said that the next week will be our peak colors.  Here are a few photos I took yesterday.   I love the bright colors.


November 10th Update

Here is an update on the colors from my front porch on November 10th.  The colors are certainly vibrant now.



Zazzle Products from My Autumn Photos

Autumn  photos are great for cards, mugs and other products I make on Zazzle.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Review of Origami in the Garden

Flying Folds

 Are you fascinated by Origami? Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes that look like animals, birds, etc. I always wanted to learn origami, and several years ago I took a short course on origami while I was on a cruise ship.  What I thought would be very easy, was not easy at all.  I felt like I was all thumbs trying to put together a very basic form.  

I recently was able to view an awesome exhibit of origami, taken to a whole new level.  This exhibit was featured this summer and early fall at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It features sculptures by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box.  These sculptures were created in collaboration with world renowned origami artists.  The large metal sculptures use a lost-wax casting and fabrication.  Each sculpture glorifies the art of origami through museum quality metals.  They are really something to behold.

There were 18 sculptures placed throughout the gardens. In this review I will share some of my favorite sculptures and tell you a little bit about each one.

 Crane Unfolding



The first sculpture we saw when we entered the garden was the one pictured above.   In this beautiful sculpture you can see a crane emerging from a single piece of paper through the folding process to the finished crane.
Here is the sign by the sculpture that expresses what the artist felt.


Rising Cranes


This sculpture depicts a number of cranes rising from a rock base.  This sculpture was set in a small water feature at the garden and I like the way the sculpture is reflected in the water.

 Emerging Peace


This sculpture is a favorite of mine.  It depicts a butterfly starting out as a caterpillar and finally a beautiful butterfly.  I like the write up on the sign below.


Hero's Horse


I love the sculpture of the horse and the message it sends.  It looks great among the trees in the park.  Here is the sign by the horse.


Master Peace

Asian legend says that if you fold 1000 cranes in a year you will be granted a wish.  The artists who created these sculptures created 1000 cranes and wished for peace.  This sculpture is called "Master Peace" and is made up of 500 of their cranes.  The other 500 cranes are scattered throughout the world.


The sculpture stands tall in the pond in front of the climatron ( a wonderful indoor feature of the garden).  Below is a close up photo I took showing a section of the sculpture.


White Bison

The White Bison were displayed alongside one of the paths in the garden.  I thought they were very interesting in their two tone look.



Rock, Paper, Scissors

This simple hand gesture game is played throughout the world.  I was fascinated to read that it originated in Asia in 200 BC.  It evolved over the years and today uses three common items.  Here is the sculpture depicting the game.


Paper Navigators

The last sculptures in this review are the boats that were placed in the pond in the Japanese garden section of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  They  can be seen as you take the path around the pond. I like the way the sculptures are reflected in the pond.



This is just a small selection of the sculptures that were shown at our botanical garden.  The sculptures will be taken down soon.  I hope you will be able to view them if they come to a gardens near you.

Learning Origami

If you are interested in learning origami you might want to try one of these books offered at Amazon.

 





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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Review of Sunflower Facts and Photographs

Fields of Sunflowers


Each year during the month of July, I anxiously wait for the sunflower fields to bloom.  Several years ago I discovered some sunflower fields in the Missouri river bottom land about 10 miles from my house.  My granddaughters were visiting and I took them to the fields to take some photographs.  I wrote this article telling about my experience in photographing the sunflowers. Photographing Sunflowers   

Before they Bloom

In reading about sunflowers I have found that there are actually five stages in the life of the sunflower.  Three of those stages take place before they bloom.
 
1.  The first stage, the germination stage, takes places when the seeds are planted.  This stages takes about eight days.  After the seeds are planted the roots develop and seep into the ground and then a shoot will start peaking out of the ground in search of sunlight that it needs to grow.
 
2.  The second stage is called the vegetative phase.  During the first 13 days after the seedling starts its  growth toward the sun it is in the vegetative emergence stage.  Then the first leaf comes and it is now in stage 1 of the vegetative phase, a second leaf comes and it is now in stage 2, this keeps on as  more leaves are added to the stalk.
 
3.  The third stage is called the reproduction phase.  In this stage a bud will form between the cluster of leaves.  It will initially be star like in appearance but in time will grow into the tall beautiful plants with bright yellow flowers that we know so well.  This whole stage takes about 30 days.  In our area I know that this stage should be coming to an end in mid to late July.  This year I was out with friends in mid July and we decided to take a drive to see how the sunflower fields were coming along.  They were right in the middle of the reproductive stage and I got some nice  photos of the flowers in this stage.
Reproductive Phase


Blooming Stage

During the blooming stage the sunflowers are in full bloom. During this phase you will see lots of bees busy fertilizing and pollinating the flowers.  This stage will only last for about 20 days so I knew I had to get back to the fields quickly if I wanted to see the fields in full bloom.  Fortunately about a week after my first visit a friend posted some photos  showing the flowers in full bloom.  I grabbed my camera and hopped in my car and headed right out to take some photos.  I was rewarded with the following glorious sights.




Harvesting Phase

After the blooms are finished the seeds are harvested.  You will want to wait till the flowers turn brown and start to bloom and then you cut the stems about 4 inches from the head of the flowers. Sunflower heads should be stored upside down in a dry and breathable bag.

Sunflowers are annuals so they must be replanted each year.

Fun Facts and more Sunflower Photos

The Sunflower has been named the plant of the year for 2021.  In her review of this information, Olivia Morris shares more fun facts and photos about the Sunflower.  Hope for the New Year Sunflowers Plant

Zazzle Products from My Photographs

I enjoy making cards and other Zazzle products from my photos.  Here are a couple I hope you like.



Here some more Zazzle Sunflower gifts from my photographs.

 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Friday, August 20, 2021

Camera Lens Cap Holder Leash Review

camera lens holder
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with keeping up with my camera lens caps.  I am not normally clumsy, but my lens caps just seem to slip through my fingers and fall to the ground just as I am trying to capture the perfect shot.

Not only can fumbling with the camera lens cap cause me to lose the opportunity for a great picture, dropping it in dirt can get the lens cap dusty. That pretty much negates the purpose of having a lens cap.  After all, I don't wish to press dirt or dust against my camera lens.

Normally, I wear jeans and my camera vest when we go hiking. If I am taking a panoramic photo of a landscape, I simply slip my camera lens in a pocket.  However, if I spot an animal along the trail, I tend to "flip" the cover off the lens in a hurry.  Needless to say, that is how it ends up on the ground instead of in my pocket.

I've also managed to drop and lose lens caps in our vehicles. They just seem to gravitate to unknown crevices or fall into the dark abyss, otherwise known as under the seat. 

Extreme annoyance with these pesky, unruly covers sent me on a search for a leash to keep them close at hand. I demand, no more runaways!

Obviously, I am not alone in this game of "find the fallen lens cover" because I quickly located exactly what I needed.  You, too, may feel you need a remedy.  If so, I can highly recommend this easy to attach lens cap leash. 

 

Altura Photo Lens Cap Keeper 
Camera Lens Cap Leash for DSRL & Mirrorless Lenses

It might seem that tying a string onto the lens cap would be a simple solution.  However, my lens cap covers do not have any holes in them anywhere. Therefore, a string is not an option.

These camera lens cap leashes have one end that sticks to the lens cap cover and the other end is an elastic strap that stretches snugly around the lens itself.  This simple invention works like a charm!  Plus, the lens cap leashes are extremely inexpensive.

Stop your lens cap struggle today!  If only every annoyance was this easy to eliminate.






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Friday, July 30, 2021

Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist Boat Ride Reviewed

Maid of the Mist photo by Sylvestermouse
Have you ever wanted to step under a waterfall and feel the fresh running water splash over you?  If so, you will love the "Maid of the Mist" boat ride!  

This fantastic boat takes your right up next to the falls, and under the "mist" of Niagara Falls.  It is totally awesome! 

Don't just stand and look at the falls.  Hop on the Maid of the Mist boat and ride right up to them to feel, smell and even taste (if desired) Niagara Falls.  It is an experience you will never forget and something I recommend to everyone who can stand on a rocking tour boat.

Riding out to the falls is an experience in itself.  Reaching the falls, where the boat stops and lingers under the Niagara Falls spray for a few minutes, is magnificent. 

I loved every moment of it and would gladly do it again in a "New York minute".

Niagara Falls photo by Sylvestermouse
View of Niagara Falls from the Maid of the Mist boat just before we entered the mist

 

Maid of the Mist Boat Ride - Niagara Falls

The Maid of the Mist boat ride takes approximately 20 minutes.  On the July summer day we visited Niagara Falls, it was fairly crowded in the Niagara Falls State Park, but the line for the Maid of the Mist was reasonable.  We only had to wait for the length of one boat ride before we were boarding the boat. Therefore, our wait time was approximately 20 minutes and part of that time was spent receiving and donning the head to toe rain poncho provided with the price of the ticket. The poncho makes the perfect souvenir too!

I took my small travel camera so I could take pictures from the boat.  However, I did tuck it inside my cape right before we entered the mist.  Unfortunately, there is no way to photograph from within the mist without a waterproof camera.  Next time, I will take an underwater camera!

Niagara Falls photo by Sylvestermouse
If you look closely, you can see the boat in the (back) falls mist
You can also see the walking trail on lower left side

The cost of the boat ride ticket includes admission to the observation deck.  The elevator down to the boat docking area is the center section, that looks like a support beam, under the center of the observation deck.

Niagara Falls Observation Deck photo by Sylvestermouse

Parking at Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls Rapids photo by Sylvestermouse
Bridge to Goat Island over the rapids that feed Niagara Falls
There are several parking lots for cars.  As you enter the park, there were at least two areas for parking for a picnic or just for viewing the rapids.

In our case, we went to Niagara Falls State Park while moving our daughter to New York.  Therefore, we were in a fully loaded U-Haul truck.  At first, we were concerned for where we would be allowed to park, and for good reason.  Most of the lots accommodate standard car, SUV or van size vehicles.  Fortunately for us, and our camper vehicle friends, there is a parking lot on Goat Island just for the longer, wider vehicles.  Plus, there is a reasonably priced trolley to the heart of the park from the #3 parking area for those who would prefer to ride instead of walk.

Simply pay attention to signs as you enter the park.  It is easy to miss parking directions because it is exciting to see all that is there, plus the need to watch out for pedestrians.


More to See at Niagara Falls State Park

Believe it or not, there is more to see at Niagara Falls State Park than the falls.  While Niagara Falls is clearly the main attraction, there is an aquarium, hiking trails and the "Cave of the Winds" (a man made walk along the bottom of the falls), as well as food vendors and souvenirs. There is also a Top of the Falls Restaurant that overlooks Niagara Falls.

You can view Niagara Falls at Night too thanks to the colored lights which Mary Beth photographed and previously published on Review This Reviews.







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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Photo Review of a Random Act of Beauty in Paso Robles

 

Sunflowers on Parking Strip
Sunflowers on Paso Robles Corner Parking Strip, © Barbara Radisavljevic

A Random Act of Beauty?

Would you rather see these gorgeous sunflowers next to your house every day or would you rather have the view below?

City Maintained Paso Robles Corner Parking Strip, © Barbara Radisavljevic


That's what I thought. And that's probably what Tiffany, the woman who planted the sunflowers, thought, too. This is part of the parking strip the City of Paso Robles planted.  It's across from the house next door to Tiffany. I can see why she preferred sunflowers. 

I discovered her literal forest of sunflowers on my way to the grocery store in Paso Robles California one July afternoon. I was participating in a Medium Photo-a-Day Challenge and I hardly ever go out of my neighborhood. When I do go anywhere I can't walk, I try to take a picture of something unique for the challenge. So on my way to the store my plan was to drive around the block the store was on, park behind the store, and walk until I found something worth taking a picture of. I hadn't even turned the corner when I saw this in front of me. 

Sunflower Forests on 21st Street
Sunflower Forests on 21st Street, © Barbara Radisavljevic


In the foreground you see the sunflowers in the parking strip in front of Tiffany's house. In the background is the center strip across the southbound lane of the street heading toward Vine Street. I walked the center strip and it appears that besides the flowering trees there, the city had also planted some hummingbird sage (unless someone else did). Most of that strip past the sunflowers looked like this.

Hummingbird Sage in July on 21st Street Median Strip, © Barbara Radisavljevic


There was also a lot of this grassy plant on the median strip. I'm not sure what it is but the city plants it in all these storm drain strips. The white flower is bindweed or wild cucumber. It's a weed. I've no idea what the green plant at the back is. I can understand why Tiffany preferred sunflowers.

Unidentified Grasses and Bindweed on 21st Street Median Strip, © Barbara Radisavljevic


You Can Also Create This Kind of Beauty

When I see sunflowers in bloom they lift my spirits. They speak of the energy it takes to grow tall and reach for the sky. And they are easy to grow. Would you like to get involved in your own random act of beauty in your neighborhood or property? You could even make it a family project. 

First you need seeds. Here are some good choices for an awesome display.



8 Sunflower Seeds to Plant | Bulk 1000+ Seeds | Heirloom Seeds | Non-GMO Flower Seeds for Planting Outdoors | Garden Seeds for Baby Shower Favors or Wedding Favors | for Birds and Bees8 Sunflower Seeds to Plant | Bulk 1000+ Seeds | Heirloom Seeds | Non-GMO Flower Seeds for Planting Outdoors | Garden Seeds for Baby Shower Favors or Wedding Favors | for Birds and BeesSunflower Seeds for Planting | Autumn Beauty Non-GMO Sunflower Seeds | Planting Packets Include Planting InstructionsSunflower Seeds for Planting | Autumn Beauty Non-GMO Sunflower Seeds | Planting Packets Include Planting Instructions

 



Start Your Day with Sunflower Energy


I confess my normal wake-up default condition is not energetic. It's groggy. I can't even get my eyes to focus when I first get up. Until I've had a couple of cups of tea I'm not very alert. Having your preferred hot beverage while looking a sunflower in the eye should brighten your morning perspective as you fuel up. So I made this for you on Zazzle. You can make it whatever size or style you like best. The largest size mug is eleven ounces. That's enough to wake the brain up!


Sunflowers to Perk You Up as You Enjoy Your Drink Coffee MugSunflowers to Perk You Up as You Enjoy Your Drink Coffee MugSunflowers to Perk You Up as You Enjoy Your Drink Coffee Mug

 


Are you ready to go plant sunflowers this autumn and help brighten the corner of the world where you live? Too many sunflowers live lonely lives with only a few weeds for companionship. 

Lonely Sunflower Surrounded by Weeds on 21st Street Parking Strip, © Barbara Radisavljevic






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Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

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