Think On These Things ~ Colossians 1:9-17

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 

so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 

being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

Friday Favorites ~ Birthday Edition

My birthday was Wednesday and turning 51 was a lowkey event and lovely. The kids gave me a beautiful Willow Tree figurine and it seems I am finally going to actually start collecting them and that makes me happy.

Rob got me a thingie called an expo card that helps set accurate white balance when taking pictures and I am looking forward to working with that but what I am most excited about is the set of extension tubes he gave me. They are a poor man’s answer to a macro lens and they worked so much better than I expected! A good dedicated macro lens is going to range in price anywhere from $400 to $1200 and while it would be nice to have one I just can’t see spending that kind of money on “nice”.

Enter the extension tubes. They work great for a macro hobbyist who is just doing occasional up close work. Metal rings that attach to the camera, literally extend your lens so it can function as a macro. The set came with three different sizes and what is pretty cool is that they can be stacked to achieve different focal lengths.

I took around 275 pictures yesterday morning just getting a feel for them. Any macro lens gives you an incredibly narrow depth of field which means focus can be hard to nail. Pardon me while I geek out, but it was just so much fun to play around with!

This was one of my first successful shots.

I received some beautiful birthday flowers from friends and they came in quite handy as a practice subject.

And of course I needed to see how cheerios looked through the tubes.

I braved the cold (winter has arrived in Louisiana!) long enough to do a couple of random outside shots.

I’m hoping that as I practice I will get really good at macro work. There is something special about focusing in on the very small details that we usually just glance over. Almost like God is sharing a secret with us. Not sure what the secret in cheerios is but… 🙂

Always happy to get suggestions for photo ideas so feel free to share any you have.

You can use this link to check out some really amazing macro photographers who are most likely not using extension tubes 😉

Hosta Randomness

Did you know that hosta plants actually flower?

I did not so I was super surprised, and more than a little happy, when the lone hosta plant I bought on impulse started showing signs of flowering a few weeks ago.

Over the last couple of years I have been enjoying some moderate success with my house plants (the ratio of the still alive to oops, I don’t know how I killed that is in my favor) and combined with the results of our flower and veggie beds this year and last have me feeling like a real gardener of sorts.

To be honest, I have no idea what I am doing and I am more than slightly convinced that there is some kind of magic at work with anything horticultural. Basically I am winging it and hoping for the best. And loving every minute of it.

All that to say, I had no idea I would get to enjoy such delicate and sweet smelling blossoms on my potted hosta so naturally I turned to the internets to help fill in my knowledge gap.

Turns out there are over 3000 varieties of hostas spread throughout about 45 different species of the plant.

They’re native to China, Japan, and Korea and came to the United States by way of Europe in the 1800s.

Something else that really surprised me is that they are edible and are actually grown as a vegetable in some Asian cultures. A quick pinterest search yielded some recipes that actually look like they could be tasty. I don’t think I will be in a hurry to add them to my menu anytime soon as I am still trying to make sure it stays in the still alive category but I am definitely interested in the idea of cooking with them. Would you try it?

Because I am me and it’s what I do, you know I had to spend some time taking pictures of the elegant flowers.

The blooms on my plant are a soft white with a hint of pink to them and they also have a pleasant and subtle fragrance.

All in all, they are quickly becoming one of my garden favorites this year.

You can go here to see a few more pictures I took of them that I am sharing on the photo blog. I was really pleased with the dreamy abstract ones I got using the reverse lens method.

Until next time, hosta la vista!

(See what I did there? Man, do I crack myself up!)

The Scent of Summer

It’s a fragrances that can evoke memories of my childhood with the slightest whiff.

It calls to mind bare feet in the sweet grass, rich earth under my hands, blue skies and sweaty pony tails as we raced around the yard, climbing in and out of the low heavy branches.

It also calls to mind plain cheese sandwiches with a little mayonnaise. I must have eaten one almost everyday under that great big magnolia in our back yard. Funny, but now I wouldn’t touch that sandwich, but magnolias?

Oh, how I love them.

Maybe it’s the way the big waxy petals seem to enclose a secret treasure.

Gradually unfolding to reveal the scarlet dipped treasure at it’s center.

I have always been fascinated by the stamens and the way they’d gather, cupped in the soft white petals like some kind of offering.

It’s a hardy tree that can grow tall with branches from the ground all the way up making it the perfect fort and climbing tree.

With every intake of it’s sweet scent I can hear echoes of my childhood…my sisters…laughter…my Mother calling us in for the night. And if I sit still long enough I can almost see the fireflies that used to dance among it’s leaves late in the evening.