Butterflies & Horn Toad #25 !
I'm still mentally skipping, doing cartwheels and grinning big. The butterflies, hundreds of them, all came to my yard this year.
Several years ago a humungous group of butterflies called question marks and commas (seriously), came to enjoy all the fermenting peaches dropped from my tree.
They flew in long lines together, in cirlces like they were holding hands. It was a butterfly dance.
This butterfly party has everyone! Buckeyes (which are usually rare) by the dozens, painted ladies, red admirals, hairstreaks, commas, swallowtails. I am deliriously happy to host these beauties.
Below are some Ylee friendly WU pics. The rest are coming from Flickr cause it's faster.
With that I will segue in to my thoughts on photo editing programs. Recently the corporate giant Google devoured the best on-line photo editor ever created called Piknik. Not to worry, the brilliant folks that created it have started a new site called PicMonkey.
I used PicMonkey to edit these WU photos. It only took a few minutes per photo to upload to PicMonkey, change my exposures, saturation and sharpness. They didn't need much, but it made the photos better. Then I save it back to my computer. The original is untouched.
For the photo of the painted lady with all the blue sky behind her, I used the "clone tool". Clone tool copies something, in this case the blue sky, and covers something else with it. There were powerlines in the photo so the clone tool covered them with blue sky.
PicMonkey is a great easy to use program. I also have Photoshop Elements 10. It is a slightly less expensive version of the famous Photoshop. Not as many bells and whistles. I had to buy two different "how-to" books to start understanding this program. It is much slower than PicMonkey to do the same simple edits. It uses lots of computer memory and hangs up requiring shut down and re-start. (I have 6GB ram, a fast fancy processor and high dollar graphic card). I feel for what I need in a photo editor, this program is not for me.
If you have not tried PicMonkey here is the link; Link
Updated: 4:29 PM GMT on April 23, 2012
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NWS Tornado Report #7
What a weekend. So far they are saying at least 12 tornados ripped through the DFW Metroplex. Thanks so much to everyone who checked in. Your concern is really appreciated. We even got calls from people we haven't heard from in years.
Cannot believe the luck that we only got hail and it did not damage anything beyound small chips and dents. To the near north and south they had baseball size hail!
Sunday I had gone to two plant nurseries and spent a bundle on new heat and drought tolerant plants. Just finished planting everything when the storm came in. They all were okay! Some of you may recall that last year during the drought and record heat my bird and butterfly garden took a hard hit.
Guess the serendipity of Sundays adventures left some good juju on the plants. We started with breakfast at Mimi's and could not resist crossing the parking lot to go see a gunshow at the new Lewisville Event Center.
If you have never been to a large gunshow, it is quite an interesting experience. Texas is a right-to-carry-concealed state. There were more hand guns and things to hide them with than you could shake a rifle at. However, there are so many places that you aren't allowed to carry concealed that really, why bother.
We did find the coolest flashlight ever and bought that. (I LOVE flashlights and have a bunch.)...probably should have bought two because both of us want to carry it.
Then we went to the two best plant nurseries north of Dallas. I was totally skippity do dah through them. Was good and kept to the scale garden diagram I brought with.
These are some of the assorted salvias I bought.
Here is a new miniture rose cultiver for 2012 called "Itty Bitty Pink". It is a rosa meilezpha type. May have to migrate a pink flamingo to the back yard to keep it company lol.
Now just for Ylee here are two WU pics he can see. The first is the start of the new garden. You may notice waaaaaaay too many iris on the right.
What happened is most of those are mustard yellow and about five are a beautifull sky-blue. When I did the frame and dirt makeover none of them were blooming. I have no idea which are the blue ones until they bloom. Hence, dividing and re-planting about 100 iris.
Updated: 9:55 AM GMT on April 07, 2012
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