“H” stories voting reminder and Note 8 photos

Let’s get this out of the way . . . It’s been four days since the “H” stories went up and me being too busy to plug them resulted in a low vote count.

Therefore, ergo, thus, here’s a quick reminder to — if so inclined — please read the stories. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge H-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. If you have friends (I mean, even I have a few, so I imagine most readers have many, many friends), you can share that link and help expand the readership. I mean, we’re not professional writers, but there’s usually at least one decent story in the bunch.

So, photos.

Specifically, Samsung Note 8 photos. I mentioned before I’ve been lax in covering Note 8 photography, so let’s jump in with both feet, shall we? Oh, I often frame them, but these won’t be. Also, I’m breaking from chronologically presenting the photo to fit the narrative style of the presentation.

So, there’s not much of a narrative on the above photo. The hummers are back, but the cardinals often come and sit on the feeder outside my office window — mostly on the metal post, but occasionally on the feeder itself.

They don’t hang around long, and they appear to examine the frame of the window as if looking for bugs . . . I’ve never seen them trying to catch anything, so maybe they’re just checking the construction. Perhaps they want ideas for nest building.

Speaking of which . . .

Cardinal eggs

One window ledge they always land on is right outside one of the kitchen windows, so I wondered if they had a reason to be there. Sure enough, there is a nest in one of the shrubs. That’s a quick shot with the phone held above my head, so the eggs aren’t in focus. But, I now have something else to look forward to. 

One other caution . . . this isn’t a short post because I have a good number of photos to catch up on.

Remember this photo?

That’s a robin’s nest in one of the shrubs in the back of the house. There’s another robin nest in the Magnolia tree in front, but it’s about 12-ft off the ground, so I can’t see inside that one, although that robin appears to already be feeding youngs (which seems pretty early).

So, I checked the nest in the shrub, thinking I’d see chicks . . .

Nope; she added one more egg. And, don’t worry. I always check to make sure she’s not on the nest before I approach (I can see it from one of the windows now that I know where to look.

So, there are four active nests just in my yard; two robin’s nests, one cardinal’s nest, and a mourning dove’s nest. There’s actually another nest up high in another shrub, but I’ve not seen any birds fly to and from there, so I wonder if it’s from last year.

Anyway, during this isolation period, we exercise at home and often go out for walks. This was an interesting sight in the late stages of trees flowering . . .

These were obviously washed from the road and carried to this resting place during one of the rainstorms we had. Of course, they looked a lot better while they were still on the trees.

I have photos of other flowering trees that I snapped with my Nikon, but this post is about my Samsung Note 8 photos.

Sadly, all them flowers are now history. There are none left on the trees, and the ones that had gathered in the ground were probably washed down storm drains by subsequent rains.

And, yes, we had a number of rainstorms which means I mow the lawn once every four days, or so.

The rain gives me photo ups like the one above. Those are Stella D’Oro lilies plant leaves. They seem very good at catching and holding drops of water . . .

. . . but not as good as the leaves of this bush . . .

Water is fairly heavy — which you would know if you’ve ever had a cistern land on you — and it amazes me how those drops stay on there.

What? You don’t think it’s amazing?

Here, look at these.

I don’t know the names of those shrubs (and can’t be bothered to look them up) but if I were to name them, I’d call them Water Velcro™ because some of those drops are upsidedown and still hang on.

I mean, the miniature clematis plant flower bud at least looks like it could hang onto a drop of water.

By the way, those have since flowered . . .

Some of those were snapped in full sun, and hence look a bit harsh. That’s also a function of the Note 8’s default photo treatment which tends to add a bit of brightness and saturation to the photos. Possibly even a touch of HDR treatment.

I should get in the habit of using the Open Camera app which can take outright HDR photos and actually saves the individual shots which I could then process in Skylum’s Aurora. Hmm . . . I should do that.

Our neighbor to the South has moved and the house is currently empty, but they had planted some flowers which are managing to survive with little to no care. One of them is a purple clematis to the side of the mailbox . . . which I captured during one of our walks.

These remind me a bit of the clematis we had in Colorado . . . although those leaned a bit more toward the dark-blue purple.

Now, you might think I only use the Note 8 outside . . . au contraire, mes chers lecteurs!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in the habitable world is that?

That happens to be the result of leaving a bottle of maple syrup upsidedown on a plate so as to get all possible syrup out of it. I just thought it looked nice.

Also, can you tell what this is?

That is one end of a banana . . . the one who looks a bit like this guy . . .

. . . or, maybe, this guy . . .

. . . or maybe just an opossum.

Creative Commons from Wikipedia

But . . . no; just a piece of banana.

Which reminds me . . . I’m way behind in presenting all the food faces I’ve captured (click on the link for examples of previous efforts). That will have to be a post of its own.

What else do I capture while inside?

What? You want to go back out?

OK . . . how about a miniature E. T. hiding in my river rocks?

What? I’m barking up the wrong tree?

Well, how about this tree, then?

As interesting as it is, we’re also looking at it as a possible source of emergency toilet paper should things go to heck. Of course, being out in the front yard, it would likely get raided unless I stand out there, guarding it.

Hey, you know what? I had one more thing to show you from inside . . . chocolate covered coconut macaroons.

The interesting patterns you’re seeing are due to the macaroons (and chocolate) having been frozen and then thawed. Looks neat, no?

The pattern immediately caught my eye and . . . what’s that?

What do you mean, “what’s going on there?”

Oh, I see . . .

Best give them some privacy; they’re making more macaroons.

And with that, we are at the end of the regular pictures . . .


You know what’s coming, right? That’s right, modified photos.

Not all, but some of the above have been run through Topaz Labs Impression 2.0 and Glow 2.0.

There are a lot of them, so I’ll just present them in a randomized gallery . . .

You can click on the above photos and see a bigger photo, but you can also go to SmugMug (HERE) and the full-size versions. I’ll even include the intermediary step(s) before I added the frames.

Here are the regular photos in their own gallery:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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