Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A Colvinkiwi Christmas

You are not imagining things... there has been a very long dry spell on this blog. Two things happened: (a) I got overwhelmed with other activities plus (b) I was posting on instagram (which takes a lot less time - a good thing when reason (a) is happening). If you are on instagram you can find me @colvinkiwi.

Anyways, I was having a bit of fun as a way to avoid the chaos of the commercial onslaught purporting to be about Christmas. I came up with an idea which I first posted on a daily basis on instagram but now include for you here; it is based on the traditional Christmas Carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas". So hum along with me here...

On the first day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 A pear nestled in the evergreens.

On the second day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Two cold geese, standing.

On the third day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Three french chicks.

On the fourth day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Four red carnations.

On the fifth day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Five gold things.

On the sixth day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Six eggs a laid.

On the seventh day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Seven swans a swimming (see note at end)

On the eighth day of Christmas what did my canon see?

 Eight milk cows watching.

On the ninth day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Nine angels singing.

On the tenth day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Ten pretty blooms fading.

On the eleventh day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 Eleven canes uneaten.

On the twelfth day of Christmas what did my canon see?
 The reason for the season.

Notes from me: it was my interpretation so I got to make my own rules. Many of the photos were taken specifically for this purpose but some of them were taken much earlier and fit the number/theme so I included them.

Yes, you can only see four swans a swimming...three more cygnets had swum out of the frame. However, I really wanted to share this wonderful photo from a series I took on the west coast of new Zealand near Hokitika when we visited there in April 2018.

Yes, the rhyme does not quite work for day 12 but I really wanted to use the manger scene as my final one because it defies all the commercialism that has overtaken us. Also, if you click on the photo and count there are 7 people, four sheep and the feet of one angel (on top of the manger roof) which makes for an appropriate total of 12.

On the 13th day of Christmas I pulled together other items that I had thought about using but ultimately did not. On the 14th day we had the first snowfall of  2020 so I photographed the unused props (above). Hopefully, on the 15th day (tomorrow) I will put them away.

My canon camera and I have been quite active in the past few weeks so keep watching here, maybe I will be back soon. And in the meanwhile go visit me on instagram. If you are wondering what happened to my annual Christmas letter, hang in there, it might still come to you.

Wishing a happy, healthy, safe and calm year for all of us in 2020.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Brunswick MD, Cars and Character part 2

Try as I might I cannot shorten the list of images I wanted to share from our day trip to Brunswick a couple of weekends back. Those cars were just so enticing to me and my camera so humor me and see part 2. This time it is character without an "s" because I also want to showcase a little of the character of this old railroad town.
 You'll recall that the Golden Gears Car Club from Frederick MD was showing their vehicles at a street festival in Brunswick on July 27. The vehicles were parked on the narrow main street of the old town Brunswick. These were potentially the first ones to arrive. I spoke briefly with the older gentleman who has owned this red and cream Chevrolet since about 2000. He proudly told me he drives it quite an amount and that includes a trip all the way to Florida and return.
 Mirror like paintwork on this black beauty but can you imagine riding in something like this with the small windows?
 Under the hood of Black Beauty. Feel free to leave me a comment if you can identify any of these.
These few were later arrivals as I watched while the lime green one was reversing into the space. But wow, look at all that color together.
 Okay, I admit it, my favorite was this 1928 Ford A "Rat Rod" being carefully reviewed here by a judge.The entire event was judged by both selected judges and members of the public who could be seen wandering round dutifully marking their scorecards.
 The front end of the Rat Rod. Such attention to detail.
 Looking at all my photos my other favorite was red cars as they seemed to predominate. Here we have another with tiny windows.
 Same judge, different car.
 Oh yeah, another big red Chevvie.
Now this one was absolutely the baby among the bunch but it still attracted curious onlookers. Can you see why? It is a driverless Tesla! Yes, AppleMac , there in the drivers position seemed to be the only reason it was moving slowly up and down a short six feet or so of the street.

 After walking away from the car event we wandered down the hill and over the tracks towards the Potomac River. Brunswick had a huge railroad yard in past years. While it is no longer the size it was it is still a big area. Both CSX and MARC use the tracks here but I'm not sure which use this particular stretch as nothing passed along it in the hours we were there.
 CSX on the other hand had several long trains pass by on the other set of double tracks.
 The small station building has some character.
This older brick building has had some great cosmetic updates to the outside. Click on the image to see it bigger and you might notice that the middle window at ground level and the bicycles leaning against the building are trompe l'oeil.
In closing out this is a view in the opposite direction of the street in my opening shot. After the car show finished at 3pm the street emptied out really fast.

Did you enjoy seeing Brunswick through the lens of my camera? I hope so as we enjoyed our day visit there.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Brunswick MD, Cars and Characters

A couple of weekends back we headed out to Brunswick MD to see their Heritage Museum which has a wonderful model train layout. However, our visit was totally hijacked by the main street event that day - a collaboration between the Brunswick Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Auxiliary fundraiser and the Golden Gears (Frederick MD) Car Show.

As someone who appreciates color, art and the full-on involvement in enjoying your hobby this event hit all the buttons. So forgive me for the overload of photos and the shortage of descriptions...
 Consider the love in this paint job.
 And the joy in keeping the paintwork spotless.
 The detail work under the hood.
 The enthusiasm for color.
 The full-blown pursuit of steam punk...
 And the vehicle owner chatting to a visitor about his pride and joy.
 Having fun with his 1960 Ford F-100.
 Club member supporting the auxiliary fundraiser lunch.
 Fire engine red.
Contrast in styles - hood up or... no hood!
 The hot rod folk were also well represented.
 Not all the sights were parked up in the street show. On returning to where we had parked our car we found these two bikes nearby. Same auto body detailer perhaps?
 More under the hood fun.
 And more characters.
And to close out - she had nothing to do with the car show but she and her macaw fit nicely under the "character" heading. The boy in the background was entranced with this bird and was able to have it sit on his arm for a while.

I'll be back in a day or so with the balance of commentary on this day out.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Critters in the Garden Salad Bar

We have been keeping a low profile recently while waiting out a prolonged spell of awfully hot and humid weather. With not much going on perhaps an update on critters and other things in the garden might tide us over until something more exciting comes along.
 Here is one of the twin Bambi's after a rainstorm.
 The self-seeded dill was very prolific this year but it does make for a pretty contrast with the salvia and ageratum.
 Nine days later and the Bambi ears seem to have grown rapidly!
 Every year I am resigned to finding these on my tomato plants. Up to now I thought they were the tomato hookworm but I happened to be looking in my garden book and discover that they are actually the tobacco hookworm. Tomato hookworm have only white stripes and a black hook while this one has black outlining the white stripes and a red hook. Both are found on tomato plants which they defoliate at a rapid pace. Although I did pick off seven of these critters on this day I might just as well have left them there as my plants are not doing well at all this year. Very little fruit has gown and that which has is barely ripening.
 This was the only almost-red regular sized tomato I had seen until one day I looked out the window and did not see it. Closer inspection revealed that some critter thought it was theirs to devour and was rude enough to leave the remains laying there for me to find.
 One critter that is very welcome in the garden is the swallowtail butterfly and this has been a banner year for them with dozens and dozens of them each day lately. Sadly I have yet to see a monarch butterfly this year.
 In this instance there were three fawns all here together - one is unseen behind the bush, one thinks it is unseen under the bush and the most bold is perhaps the ringleader.
 I am not sure what this critter is but it is taking lessons from the swallowtail and hanging out on the coneflowers.
 On the deck I have a purple and green scheme going on this year.
 More from the deck plant-pots. Ordinarily there would by now be hummingbirds investigating the flowers but we are only seeing one lonely hummer this season to date.

 Another swallowtail.
 Bees also like the coneflowers.
 Coneflowers at sundown.
Wait, which way should I run?