I arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida before lunchtime. The Chickens in the backyard urban garden loved the Broccoli leaves I brought from my indoor hydroponic AeroGarden Farm. My father pointed out that a bunch of Bananas were resting on top of a bee hive. My mother had some blooming orchids hanging from the Mango trees. She also had strawberry plants and berries in a Grow Tower that had been moved to the upper part of the driveway.
Daily Electric Energy Used (45.3 kWh) from Sense and Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (33.6 kWh) from SolSystems and Locus Energy. Overall a net deficit of 25.7 kWh. Most of the hydroponic gardens were off or only on for fewer hours. Also, the thermostat for the Geothermal heater and hybrid heat pump hot water heater were set for vacation mode.
Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 16: Torres del Paine National Park, Los Torres Hotel, Chile.
We spent the day on the back of a horse (equitrekking) and hiking from the hotel to Mrador Las Torres in Torres del Paine National Park. Small White Orchid. Image taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/4, 1/125 sec.)
Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.
Summertime Nature at the Caribou Ranch Open Space Preserve in Boulder County, Colorado.
While on a hike at the Caribou Ranch I noticed this strange plant growing in the forest. A tall reddish stalk with hanging bell like flowers. It doesn’t appear to have any chlorophyll and lives mostly in the shade. I wondered if it was related to the Snow Plant I saw in Yosemite. Later on I found that it is a Coralroot Orchid. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm macro lens. Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 4: Kona and Volcano National Park.
Four years ago I was attending a photography workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii led by Thom Hogan . Before breakfast, I wandered down to the harbor and captured a Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe with a Cruse Ship in the background. We spent a good part of the day driving to Volcanoes National Park. We stayed at the Lodge — Volcano House Hotel within the National Park through Thanksgiving. After getting settled, the group went for a hike down into the rain forest from the lodge where I took these three images. The first is a wild yellow orchid along the trail, the next a purple fungus (?) on the forest floor, and the third a palm frond. All three of the images used my SB-800 flash, where Thom was helping me learn how to best compose and use fill-flash to light up the subject of the image. Although we didn’t experience much rain, a few days after we left the park got 13 and 17 inches of rain and we would have been spending our time taking images of the fireplace (which has been burning continuously since 1877). The Volcano House Hotel is now closed. Unfortunately, the fire went out on 01-January-2010. The hotel is now being renovated, and will not open until sometime in 2012.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 6: Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
We stopped at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens on our last day of the workshop. The Garden is located about 7 miles north of Hilo along the Old Mamalahoa Highway overlooking Onomea bay. This was a target rich environment. I do recommend mosquito repellent and possibly an umbrella. The hike down the trail from the gift center to Onomea bay takes a couple of hours, and is about a 500 foot elevation drop. Just remember you have to walk back up (although there is a golf cart for the physically challenged to take you back up). Thom spent some time helping me get the focus right for the image of the yellow orchid. I learned that Varilux glasses can be a problem when trying to get accurate/critical focus through the viewfinder.