No-Splash - Strasse S-Ost

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Friday Flowers

FF - August Dahlia

Hello everyone! I’m sitting in my darkened living room right now because it’s only about lunch time but with over 30°C outside the only hot thing I can bear is my coffee. I’m having another long weekend, and the first thing I did on getting up this morning was watering my plants on the balcony because they looked like they hadn’t been fed for a week instead of last night.

Speaking of plants, the above dahlia is the one I bought at the Home & Garden show last week. It’s waist-high and full of buds, and it’s colour is just beautiful. As you can see, when the buds open they’re a deep purple, almost aubergine coloured, then they turn more fuchsia the more they open. So even though the seeds I planted this year failed, I am really happy with my little balcony garden and love sitting out there surrounded by beauty.

I had actually planned on getting a lot done today, being Ms. Efficiency, but in this heat I think I’ll stick to hiding inside for a bit longer. Since I’m not going on vacation this year, I feel like I should be using my days off better than that but when you’re sweating just from typing a blog post I guess being lazy can be excused.

I did do a lot yesterday, spent all morning with my camera using all my lenses. Late afternoon I met a friend in the city to visit the weekly street food market. Unbeknown to me, this food truck event started last year, from early May to the end of September, and all this was going on right under my nose – I only learned about it two weeks ago from a newspaper article. I had expected there to be more food trucks, but I think because of school holidays and the Weindorf being held at the same time, there might have been less than usual. Nevertheless, it was really nice there, we had pulled pork in a pretzel roll, and we’re going again later in September.

On my weekend agenda is a lazy Saturday and a Sunday meeting a friend for a day out and her birthday BBQ later on. So, quite a bit to look forward to.

What are your plans? Hope you’re having a good summer so far!

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Decay - Double Coneflower

Beauty In Decay

Beauty In Decay

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No-Splash - Raspberry Spoons

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Echiancea Piccolino

A late hello on this beautiful Friday! I’ve been having yesterday and today off; as I haven’t planned a vacation this year, I decided to take my vacation days whenever the weather is good. With over 20 vacation days left, I hope the weather will be good for a long while.

Luckily the weather was also great yesterday, because I went to a Home & Garden show, where they sold everything you could use in your garden, from furniture to pools to sculptures, and of course plants. When I walked in, my eye immediately fell on some beautiful waist-high dahlias and some echinaceas, also known as coneflowers.

I went home with 1 dahlia and 3 coneflowers, all of which I’m sure you’ll see here at some point. Two of the coneflowers – a white and a red one – were of the classic variety, whereas the third one – seen above and called echinacea “piccolino” – has fuller, rounder blossoms, hence their name double coneflower. The low price I paid for all 4 plants was quite unbelievable, only 19 Euros. At a garden center I’d probably have gotten just 2 plants for that price.

The Home & Garden show also hosted food stalls, cheeses, fruit, preserves. What caught my eye, though, was an Italian stall that advertised Mandorle, Italian almond cookies. The variety was incredible, and I bought 12 pieces of different flavour (to take to work on Monday, at least half of them!). They cost more than my 4 plants, but still – that day was cheaper than being on vacation🙂 .

Have a good weekend!

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Triptych - Well Pump

Triptych

Tuesday Triptych: The Well Pump

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Nature

Friday Flowers

No-Splash - Pink Cosmea Rear View

Good morning & happy Friday! Are you looking forward to the weekend as much as I am? This week we’ve had a bit of rain and lower temperatures, but we’ve been promised a very warm weekend.

Plans? Last weekend I bought redcurrants to make a typical Swabian redcurrant cake, but then got up on Sunday morning and thought: No. Too much work. So I’m hoping to get the cake done this Saturday, then we’ll be celebrating my godmother’s birthday on Sunday. In between all that I’m hoping to get in some photography.

Speaking of which, if you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll have seen a lot of cosmea flower pictures. The previous years I grew my own but sadly that failed this year, so I bought two plants. I’ve taken a real shine to cosmea flowers and probably have a ton of pictures already, but every year I’m fascinated anew, and when I look at them I tend to jump off my deck chair to grab the camera.

I don’t think I’ve ever photographed this back view, though, and am quite taken with this shot. I’m so glad I bought a new 60mm macro lens, it makes it so easy to use higher f/stops handheld compared to my 50mm lens. I’ve become quite trigger-happy with this lens again, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing even more cosmea flowers while they’re in bloom.

Have a great weekend!

 

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No-Splash - CLR 03

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Allium

Happy Friday! Today’s allium flower was on its last legs when I took this picture – I’d already plucked some of the blossoms for my Beauty In Decay series when I remembered to take a picture of it… oops.

Plans for the weekend? None so far. We’ve been having lots of afternoon, evening and night rain this week, today looks a bit dull as well, but I’m told we’ll be having another scorcher of a weekend. I guess I’ll wing it then, just see what I feel like doing.

I know there are a few fields around where I live that are now full of those round hay bales I always try to capture and miss every year, so I might have a drive and see if I can get a few pictures in.

Also, I’ve seen great nature pictures with back light and was wondering why I’ve hardly ever tried that. So that’s another thing I might check out this weekend.

Hope you have nice plans and good weather!

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Decay - Dahlia Bowls

Beauty In Decay

Beauty In Decay

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Service Personnel Bahn

Life

Wordless Wednesday

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No-Splash - Wheat Brushes

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Life

Public Transport In Black & White | Collab Photo Project

Collab 02 - Pub Trans 04a

Welcome to the second photo collaboration project I’m doing with Ines of IMonnet. This month our theme is Public Transport In Black & White (and this first photo is not part of the collaboration, I just liked it as an intro).

As I did with last month’s collab, I left everything to the last minute. In this case, that turned out to be a very good decision, because I happened to walk the city with a new friend who pointed out places to go. This friend is not originally from Stuttgart, but to my shame I had to realise she knows way more details about it than I do.

What I did know, though, was that we do have interesting public transport here. Apart from your typical trams and buses, we have both a cog railway and a funicular railway. This funicular railway is made of wood, has been in operation since 1929 and is still in use. It’s route is very short, taking you to a cemetery up the hill, and it was this cemetery that was the reason the funicular railway was actually built. In 1986 it was declared a cultural monument.

Collab 02 - Pub Trans 03
After I had breakfast with my friend this past Saturday, we ventured down to a close-by underground tram station. It’s not a very nice one, but I took quite a few pictures there, all of which I deliberately kept dark-ish as a reference to the way I perceive this station – dark, ugly and a place I don’t want to be for longer than it takes to change trams, especially at night.

Collab 02 - Pub Trans 02

The next place our walk led us to was the central station. The photo opportunities there were manyfold, but I was really happy when I saw this man cleaning the train windows!

Collab 02 - Pub Trans 01

With my fourth picture I’m taking a bit of an artistic license – it seems messy and on downloading it I was wondering what I was focusing on and why. On closer examination I really liked it, though, because the tram and the city – through the reflections – seem to be melting together to me.

Collab 02 - Pub Trans 04

And that’s it for my interpretation of Public Transport In Black & White. Do go and check out Ines’ interpretation of our collaboration!

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Life

2016 July In Pictures

Welcome to the month in pictures. What a multi-faceted month, and not just weather-wise. We’ve had many heavy rainfalls in July, but we’ve had equally hot days, too, which made people complain. I’ll take the heat over rain any day, thank you very much.

My friend E from Dubai visited, so we hung out together; we had our annual company picnic, which was good fun; I ventured into the city for breakfast a few times, which I love; I went to my parents’ garden for the first time this year, which provided me with lots of pics; I completed another photo collaboration; and I found people willing to be photographed, which means I’ll have to get my people photography act up to speed.

How was your July?

Click on any pic to start gallery

 

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Dahlia Bouquet 0716

Happy Friday, everyone! After a strenuous week regarding my health with sun allergy that ended with a heat rash all over my face and neck, making me look like a teenager with acne, and a vicious migraine for 3 days, I’m finally really fit again and enjoying the beautiful hot summer weather.

On the way home from my GP earlier this week I passed a flower stall and almost didn’t buy this bunch of dahlias you see above, because I felt guilty – for buying flowers while I was on sick leave. Gave myself a stern talking to because the flowers would be a real highlight during this sh***y time, and took that bunch home;  it’s currently gracing my coffee table.

As for the weekend, I’ll be having breakfast in the city with a new friend, then get a move on to finalise my second photo collaboration for this weekend. Nothing like last minute pressure to motivate me🙂 .

Have a good weekend!

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Are you familiar with the website unsplash.com ? They feature pictures that people put up there for free download, available for use for everyone, even for commercial purposes, licensed under the  Creative Commons Zero . That’s the bit I don’t like about it.

However, what I do like is discovering great photographers there, and also the “feel” of the photos. To me they all seem to have a certain hue that I like to try (emphasis on try) to recreate with my own pictures (in editing, needless to say).

My pictures just sit on my hard drive, I never posted them here because some of them are just a differently edited/coloured version of ones I’ve posted before, either here or on my other photo blog.

I’ve decided to put one up here every once in a while, just because. No proper category, no proper title. Hope you’ll like them.

4DC_0369 LR-2res

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Friday Flowers

FF - 2016 Cosmea Bud

Happy Friday – more or less… I woke up at 6 am by what sounded like a random beep of the fire alarm, then couldn’t go back to sleep. Then it started happening in 5 minute intervals which kind of made me get up on the wrong foot. Called the fire alarm company and now have to wait till they contact me – not with a time when they’ll come by to fix it, but to make an appointment. I don’t think so. Took out the batteries – at my own peril, of course – because who wants to spend who knows how long, probably a whole weekend, with an annoying beep.

Being up this early got me to work early, though, so there’s a plus side🙂 . Also, we have our company picnic to look forward to tomorrow, the motto of which will be Italy. So sunshine, pizza and ice cream are on the agenda for Saturday.

Today’s Friday flower happens to live on my balcony right now. I went to the nursery last weekend to get a few potted plants to make up for the non-starters I had seeded myself, and this cosmea plant was among them. Last night I sat on the balcony and noticed this budding flower, so I jumped up (literally, because I always do that when I see a photo subject) and got my camera with the new 60mm macro lens now seemingly permanently attached, and I love how this lens brings out the best in my little cosmea flower.

Hope you have pleasant things planned for the weekend. Have a good one!

 

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Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Details

WPC - Detail

I rarely visit my parents’ garden but this past weekend they had guests for a BBQ, so I joined them. My sister advised me to bring my camera because so much is in bloom right now and there’s ample opportunity to find photo subjects.

It turned out that my father couldn’t understand why I was lurking around the shed with my camera instead of taking more flower pictures. The window to the shed was ajar, and I was originally concentrating on capturing a rusty spot when I noticed these filigree leftovers of a spider’s web with bits of fluffy poplar seeds sticking to it. A nice detail for this week’s photo challenge.

 

 

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Artichoke Flower

Happy Friday! Today’s flower is one I also bought at last week’s Friday market, together with the sunflowers I posted last week. I’m not very keen on eating artichokes, but I do love them displayed in a vase.

This last week has been quite busy – or lazy, depending on your interpretation. Last weekend I met my friend E, who’s on her annual home visit from Dubai, for breakfast, the family celebrated my mother’s birthday, I took two half days off just to chill, took a whole day off to meet with E and her mum, who cooked for us, and suddenly it’s Friday again.

The weather is keeping us quite annoyed. We went from last weekend’s 34°C to day-long downpours to spring temperatures and having to wear a cardigan to leave the house. Apparently we can look forward to temps in the high 20s again as of this weekend, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Everyone’s asking me about my vacation plans, but I have none. Earlier this year I wanted to take a trip to Edinburgh, had looked out the flights and B&B but something kept me from clicking that “book now” button. I regretted not doing it, but now that I’m thinking about it again, I’m still in dithering mode. We’ll see.

Have a good weekend!

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Friday Flowers

FF - July Sunflowers

Hello everyone! A bit later today than usual, because I didn’t have any flower pictures to show you… I took the afternoon off to go to the Friday market, as I tend to do regularly, and it’s almost always a given that at least one family member will show up there, and we’ll spend an hour at the ice cream parlour that overlooks the market.

The last few weeks I came home empty handed because I wasn’t too keen on the flowers I saw at the market. Today, though, I wanted to buy flowers come what may because a) I needed some for this post and b) I was excited to use my new lens. This is a 60mm micro lens, basically a newer model of the one I already have; I mentioned here a while ago that the old lens doesn’t auto focus any  more and couldn’t be repaired. Trying manual was absolutely useless, especially with higher f/stops. So I thought very long and very hard whether I wanted to replace it with a new one, and earlier this week I discussed it with my “photo consultant”. Afterwards he said: From what you just told me, I gather that you used this lens a lot and that you totally miss it. Yep, that was about it. Could have saved myself weeks of thinking by just talking to him… Instead of going for another used lens I decided I wanted a new one this time, and it arrived yesterday.

So, my half day off consisted of ice cream, shopping at the market, buying flowers, and christening my new lens. I hope you’ve been having an equally pleasant time!

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