Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thinking Thursday

Greetings to all and hello!  It's us, Mags and Cam.  We were just ... thinking ...

IMG_3461MagsThinking
"Why DID the chicken cross the road?
Which did come first, the chicken or the egg?
Why is a rubber chicken funny?...
Cam?  What do you think?"
IMG_3460CamEyeRoll
"Why am I hungry all of a sudden?"

Some of life's great mysteries!

Have a great day!

Mags and Cam

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Distracted

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Cam and I are still waiting for Mom to finish going through all the photos from our Saturday adventure - hopefully this weekend we'll have some birdie shots for you!  In the meantime, we're just hanging out.

IMG_2998Mags
"Hey, Mom.  Taking a break?  This a little backlit and underexposed, don't you think?"

I shouldn't have said anything.  She gets distracted so easily!  She thought this was the perfect time to do some manual exposure setting work on the iPhone.  And me?  I need to "stay".  Sheesh!

IMG_3002Mags
"Yeah, yeah.  'Stay.'  Like I don't have anything better to do!"

Well, OK.  I don't, but I might have!

Birdie pix soon, readers!  If Mom stops getting so distracted!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cool!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Yesterday, it was actually COOL outside! I mean COOL!  It was amazing!  To celebrate, I decided I wanted to go for a walk!

IMG_3770MagsCamWalk
"This is so cool!"
"And the other kind of cool, too!"

We ALL went, and that was so wonderful! Everyone had the best time! Maggie was so happy to have me and Mom there (she has been taking Dad for walks every morning!) that three times she stopped, gently put her paws on Mom's chest, and gave her kisses! Mom loves it when she does that!

I set a really good pace, but made sure to stop and smell the roses along the way ...

IMG_3776CamWildflowers
"These aren't roses, but close enough!"

... or Thickspike Gayfeather, as the case may be!

It was such a cool day - temperature-wise and other-wise!

I hope today is a great day for everyone!

Cammie!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Our Adventure, Part 1.5

Hello, everyone! It's me, Cammie!  As we told you yesterday, we all went on a wonderful family adventure!  Could you tell where we were?  We were right ... here:

IMG_3744MagsCamKSWetlandsEdCtr
"Hey, wait!  Where did Dad go?"
"Probably to check the bird sightings map.  Or to see the Prairie Dogs ..."

We were at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center!  That's right - a birding trip to Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.  It was fun, but quite toasty (thank Heaven for air-conditioning in the HR-V!).  Because of that, I really enjoyed doing this when we stopped for our water/snack break at the Ed Center:

IMG_3745CamKSWetlandsEdCtr
"Oh, does this feel good!  Maggie, check it out!"

They were watering the Butterfly Garden and it was getting the sidewalk wet!  It felt great!

IMG_3747MagsCamKSWetlandsEdCtr
"Oh, YEAH, Cam!  Hey, Mom, you should jump in here!"
"Don't tempt me, Peeps!"
"I like this!"

Anyway, Mom has a gazillion photos to process through, but in the meantime, would you like to see a video of some American Avocets?  Don't mind the Kansas breeze ...


To watch on YouTube, please click here.

We'll have lots of photos for you later! I hope you enjoyed our stop at the Kansas Wetlands Ed Center! Could you feel the sprinkler?!?

Cammie!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Oops!

Greeting and hello, everyone!  It's Mags and Cam here.  Sorry we didn't get a post up earlier - we went out on an adventure today!  Can you tell where we are?

IMG_3746MagsCamKSWetlandsEdCtr
Us - Maggie and Cam, out on adventure!

We had a blast - we'll tell you all about it later!

Mags and Cam

Friday, September 15, 2017

Flowers On Friday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Today, Cam and I thought we'd show you some of our flowers that are still in bloom.  Let's start over here by the Mums!

IMG_3060MagsCamMums
"Hey, are those Old Mother Hubbard's?"
"The Extra Tasty kind?!?"

That's actually the second photoshoot of the day of us in front of the Mums. The first time, someone forgot the treats, and ... let's just say it was an awesome shot of the back of my head!

How about a closeup of a Mum?

IMG_2983MumHDR
Mum, shot with iPhone

Pretty cool, huh? Shot in HDR, with the iPhone, as is this next one -

IMG_2974LiriopeHDR
Hi-def Liriope

Mom shot this next one with the iPhone, too:

IMG_3079RoseOfSharon
Rose of Sharon blooms

 ... but used the Canon 7D Mark II for this closeup:

3R4A0818RoseOfSharon
Same Rose of Sharon bush, but a different colored bloom

The blooms on that bush are multi-colored.

Mom posted this next shot for her class and shared it with her FaceBook friends; she got a lot of nice feedback on it!

UUJL5297HenAndChicks
Hen and Chicks

That was shot with the iPhone!  No filters!  No special effects!  Shot in HDR and demonstrating how changing the angle can enhance a shot.  Whose idea might that have been?

IMG_3402MagsGarden
Mine!

Sure, Mom said she had to work around me, blah blah and blah, but I'm sure I inspired it!  

Hope you enjoyed your garden tour!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Thursday, September 14, 2017

More Homework

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  It's fortunate for Mom that Cam and I are Working Breed dogs, because we've been the ones tapped to help her with all of the homework assignments for her photography class.  It's all work, work, work!

Anyway, let's get to it!  We're working on a couple different lessons today.  First up ... "subject".

IMG_3401Mags
"Perfect, Mags.  You're my subject, OK?"
"Whatever."

Well, seriously. Couldn't have picked a better one. But now ...

IMG_3400Mags
"OK, now FOCUS!"
"I AM focusing, Mom!"

That one was over-exposed, so she adjusted the exposure for the next one:

IMG_3398Mags
"I'm still focusing, Mom!"

Oh.  Right.  She meant setting the focus on her iPhone.  Who knew?

I stopped focusing and gave her a super-model pose:

IMG_3399Mags
This is my "Ennui" look

Pretty good, don't you think?

We moved on to the next lesson - "HDR", high dynamic range.  Sounds exciting!  It blends three shots together and is a good setting for adding detail in both the low-light and high-light areas.  The only catch is that the subject (again -- me!) has to be stationary.  Now THAT'S a homework challenge!  No worries, I've got this:

IMG_3413Mags
Ta-da!

So Mom got "subject" and "HDR" both in that shot -- plus set the exposure and focus manually.  Awesome combo.  But ... what's she doing on her knees?

IMG_3416Mags
"Mom? What are you doing down there? You didn't trip again, did you?"

Ah.  Apparently there was another lesson about something called "angle" (perspective), too.

I'd say we did mighty well.  And a certain "subject" deserves a couple of treats -- right?!?! It's a good thing I'm a Working Breed - this is getting brutal!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Homework

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  As Cam mentioned the other day, Mom is trying to improve her iPhone camera skills.  She showed you one of the shots she did for a homework assignment - and I thought I'd share some more today!

Her first assignment was to manually set the focus and exposure.  What better subject to focus on than yours truly?!!?

IMG_3289Mags
"Ha roo!"

Awesome job, don't you think?

Moving on to the next lesson, we needed to practice "Burst Mode". This calls for action! Here I am, trotting down one of our garden paths:

IMG_3274Mags
"Quick, Mom!"

And here's Cam, coming the other way:

GVYZ8753
"Ready, Mom!?  Go!"

Part of the challenge of this course is that any editing can only be done on your iPhone, so any added special effects (like in the shot of Cam I just posted) are all done on the iPhone. The only thing we added with PhotoShop Elements is the watermark.

Mom wanted more practice using Burst Mode, so I came over to lend a paw.

TGXS1534Mags
"How about I do some jumping?!?"

Helpful, aren't I? I don't think she could have focused if she wasn't using Burst! Let's look at that in black and white!

TWIN7409Mags
"How would I look as a grey Siberian?"

I might even like that better than the color version ... although the original did show my eyes nicely, to include my parti-eye. Speaking of which, let's take an even closer look at that, shall we?

IMG_3301Mags
"Now, Mom!  Now!"

Mom thought that was probably enough for the day. Something about me almost knocking her over.  I'm not sure.  Anyway, I thought one more burst photo would be a good idea. How's this one?

VHCF4446Mags
The End

"The End." Get it? Ha roo roo roo!  Anyway, we're having fun helping Mom.  So far, it involves action and treats, so, hey, let's do some more homework!

Have a great day, everyone!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11/17


Never forget.

Never surrender.

Never stop thanking those who fight to keep us free.

God bless the United States of America.

The Ao4

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  This week, for Serene Scenery Sunday, I thought we'd have a look around our gardens.

IMG_2882CamYard
"Let's see what's happening out here!"

You might notice a theme to this post. Not just serenity, but serenity in winged creatures - and not birds this time! It's not just migration season for lots of our birdies, but it is for butterflies, too! And there are Painted Ladies all over our gardens! They're on the Butterfly Bushes:

3R4A0646PaintedLadyButterfly

The Pincushion Flowers:

3R4A0682PaintedLadyPincushionFlower

And the Hummingbird Mint:

3R4A0684PaintedLadyHummingbirdMint

They're also on the Sedum:

3R4A0700PaintedLadyOnSedum

And a flower that Maggie and I just love - in name, anyway - Snow On The Mountain:

3R4A0719PaintedLadyOnSnowOnTheMountain

Here's one soaring through the Russian Sage:

3R4A0738PaintedLadyRussianSage

And here's another one on one of the Butterfly Bushes:

3R4A0749PaintedLadyOnButterflyBush

I wonder if they know Mom planted those just for them?!!?

The Painted Ladies aren't the only winged creatures that like our garden! We also saw some bees enjoying the Purple Emperor Sedum:

3R4A0806BeeOnSedum

And Mom shot this pollinator with her iPhone:

IMG_3247iPhoneBurstBug

It's a Hemaris of some sort.

And yes, that was with her iPhone!  She is working on improving her iPhone skills; you'll be hearing more about that in posts to come, I'm sure!

We hope you feel nice and serene now!  Have a wonderful Sunday!

Cammie!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Saturday Selfie

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  I thought I'd share a quick selfie with you today:

IMG_3031CamToy
I'm concentrating very hard, can you tell?!?

It's not easy to shoot a selfie and hold on to my toy at the same time!  Whew!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  

Cammie!

Friday, September 08, 2017

When Nothing Good Is On

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  As many of you know, I love watching good movies and TV shows.  Sometimes there's nothing good on, though, or we haven't gotten to what we've recorded or have in our queue on Netflix or Acorn or Amazon or wherever.  Like the other night ...

IMG_2730CamMagsTVTime
"Nothing good is on.  I am so bored!  What to do ... what to do ..."
"Uh oh."

At times like those, I have to take matters into my own paws.

IMG_2733MagsCamBoom
"Hey, Cam!  Are you ready for a little ... BOOM!?!"
"Not yet, Mags."

Cam is getting a lot better, but she's not quite ready for Crazed River Otter Games just yet.  I respect that - and I'm actually being a "very good girl", according to Mom and Dad.  So is Cam.  Go, us!

Anyway, by that time, Dad had the night's viewing all set:

IMG_2749MagsTV
"OK, shh!  Everyone quiet.  Narcos is on!
Este es un gran programa de televisión."

Right. Well, I felt like I picked up a little Spanish there toward the end. Great show - but wow, mighty intense.

IMG_2748MagsCamTVTime
"Zzz..."
"Wowzerzzz..."

What have you all been watching?  Anything good?  Movies?  TV?  Baseball?!?  Or do you make your own entertainment?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

PS:  Photos via Mom's iPad and low lighting.  ðŸ˜•

Thursday, September 07, 2017

A Tale Of Two Toys

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  As Maggie mentioned the other day, she and I spent a little quality time with Sneaky Snake II and 3-Rings.  Mom put a couple short video clips together that we thought you might like to see.  It not only shows the two different toys, but how Maggie and I approach play time with them a bit ... differently.

IMG_2658CamSneakySnakeII
"OK ... very differently."

Let's roll tape:


To play on YouTube, please click here.

See what I mean? Very different. A tale of two toys, but also a tale of two vastly different approaches!

Speaking of tales ... or is that "tails"?

IMG_2683CamSneakySnakeII
"C'mere, Sneaky.  You have a little something on your tail."
"Uh-oh!  You haven't been hanging out with Maggie too much, have you, Cam?  Cam?"

Have a great day, everyone!

Cammie!