Fun at the Peach Farm

Okay – so there are more than peaches here. It’s ACTUALLY McLeod Farms in McBee, SC – but us locals call it “The Peach Farm”, because that’s what we all know it as, and it’s their biggest crop. We went for Peach Enchiladas and Ice Cream. Along the way we ran into the Woodhams, and I convinced them to join us in Strawberry Picking. It was a fun activity, and the kids loved it. Kaylee wanted to eat as many as she picked. It was a little warm outside by the time we finished, and long pants would have helped in the straw, but overall it was really fun. Now Angie just has to do something with the strawberries, before Kaylee eats them all.

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Things are a-growin’

I took a look around the house today… It seems our lemon tree, which bloomed improperly in December, has discovered the error of it’s ways. Dispite my attempts at fertilizing the flowers with a q-tip, no lemons were to be had. However, the bees seem to do a better job, and when it re-flowered recently, it seems like the fruit took.

The grapes are also coming along. The little balls will soon be grape flowers.

The flowers are always VERY small, and I don’t know how the bees even fertilize them,

but evidently it works okay, as I always have plenty of grapes. I learned a few things looking at the vines today at the peach farm. They really know how to trim their vines. I need to get out there with some clippers this fall and hack up my vines.

   Angie’s tomatos are starting off well. They normally do, we always get some good ones to start, and then the whole process goes downhill. I don’t know what it is we do to them.

  Kaylee sizes up the corn. Its the best corn we’ve ever grown. We didnt start from seed this time, we bought little corn plants. The plants are green and strong-looking, not weak and pale and sickly. Maybe its just the kind of corn, or the fact I’m fertilizing the Hell out of everything this year (Organic soy nitrogen something…)

Mother’s Day Poems

If you haven’t already received yours, and you’re a mom with elementary school children, tomorrow you will be assaulted by poems whose only distinguishing poetic part will be that the last word rhymes (much like how students continue to create poems until they graduate high school…so not much will change. The memory of our high school valedictorian reciting some pedantic dribble comes to mind.  DOWN repressed memories, back in the hole!). Witness this gem penned by a not-to-be-named relative:

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

Dad is Great, And so are You!

Actually I’m not sure if that was a mother’s day thing, but you get the point, it would work. Our own daughter surprised my wife with this one on the way home from school yesterday.

I love your job and your car too,

But most of all, I love you.

Your eyes are so sweet,

Like a candy treat.

The sun shines bright

You are cuter than a babies eye. (at least shes not writing this to a boy…)

You are so neat

Your meat is like a treat, to me. (I guess she likes the steak mom fixes?)

Happy mothers day to one and to all,

But I love you most of all.

Happy mothers day!

Face in the clouds

I forget when I took this, sometime early spring of 2010. Not very good lightning-wise, but I really liked the color. Mark Mims pointed out the face in the clouds, just to the right of the tree. I didn’t even see it at first. I tried adjusting the contrast a little to bring it out. The coolest thing was I did it all right from the iPad. Contrast, text, and even this blog stuff. Love this app…

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Its a Global Warming Christmas

I love Global Warming. Two good snows in 2010, and one REALLY good one in 2011, plus a second flurry. I hope as the globe gets warmer we keep having more snow. Anyway, here is my “Global Warming Christmas” in Ashville. I’m moving these albums over from FaceBook, which is sort of a chore…

Everything I Need to Know I Learned at Walt Disney World

A facebook classic – if you follow me there you know all about the “30 things” anyone needs to know. I am moving them from FaceBook to the public. May the wisdom flow into your soul, and your eyes open to a wider world.

1. If you don’t speak English, its okay to cut in line.

2. Same goes for people in electric wheelchairs

3. People will shove old ladies out of the way in order to have their kids pose with a person dressed like a duck

4. A hotdog that costs ten dollars just tastes better because it came from a smarmy guy in a Mickey Mouse hat.

5. Skywriting “God = 🙂 Go To Jesus” above the Magic Kingdom does not make the lines any shorter for Space Mountain.

6. A twenty minute wait feels a lot longer when its 100 degrees at 98 percent humidity

7. Even though I’m paying for it, I could still get really used to being called “my lord” by the people serving me dinner

8. Its possible to be too into your family. Don’t wear the matching “I’m on vacation with my family” shirts, for the love of God.

9. If you bring enough camera equipment for a national Geographic shoot on the Amazon, you’re not cool, you’re just in the way. And you look hot and miserable

10. The tramp stamp tattoo you thought was cool when you were 22 looks really silly now that you are 32 and bending over the stroller dealing with your squalling offspring

11. The best place for your party of ten to stop and adjust hats, cameras, children’s toys, or other accessories is the top landing of a narrow stairway, with half the park waiting behind you

12. You spent hundreds or thousands of dollars getting here, but you can save two-fifty by spending twenty minutes emptying sample cups of foreign coke flavors into your water bottle at Epcot’s “Club Cool”.

13. When you are waiting in line to eat for a long time, don’t bother trying to decide what to order, or making sure you have money ready. Wait until it’s your turn at the register before doing any of that.

14. Anyone with a stroller has the right of way. Anyone who fails to yield the right of way to stroller pushers may be struck in the ankles repeatedly until they learn the error of their ways.

15. When boarding the monorail, especially at peak times when there’s a line, don’t bother folding your ginormous tandem stroller. Just let it take up half the cabin, and don’t bother locking the wheels because when the train stops, the other passenger’s ankles will stop it.

16. When the monorail pulls into the station and the doors open, block the exit talking to your children, unfolding your stroller, gathering your stuff, or deciding where to go next. Don’t let anyone else off until you are ready to go. This also works at bus stops.

17. Always use the handicapped restroom stalls when available. They are twice as large and have their own sinks.

18. No one is too old, too fat, or too under dressed for the “Bibbiti Bobbiti Boutique”.

19. Yes, it is possible to wear your baggy pants below your waist and show off your stupid boxers, thereby maintaining your “street cred” while waiting in line to ride “It’s a Small World”.

20. Buy a really nice camera just before your trip, but don’t bother to learn to use it. Just ask other random people with nice cameras to take your picture because “you look like you know what you are doing”

21. Thin white shorts/skirt, black thong. Still in style.

22. Sometimes the bus ISNT faster than driving. Some trams are going the wrong way.

23. It is possible to videotape your entire vacation, from the moment you get off the bus, while waiting in line, even while eating. Fuss at people who get in your way while you pretend to be Stephen Spielberg.

24. The best way to photograph anything in the parks is to have your camera ready, then come to a sudden stop in front of a crowd, and take a picture, expecting the entire park to stop for you.

25. Document everything. Take enough pictures that you could build a copy of Disney World. Be sure to use your flash, even on rides like “Pirates of the Caribbean” where they tell you not to. When other riders complain, say “no English”.

26. When a bus is packed tight with people, one squalling brat will set the others off, much like barking dogs at 3 am.

27. When preparing to get on a bus you have been waiting on for twenty minutes, don’t bother to take your two year old out of the stroller and fold it until the bus arrives and you are standing in the doorway. Do not move aside so anyone else can get on, while you forcibly remove your screaming, thrashing spawn from the stroller.

28. Are you worried about people crowding you in line or while you are on rides? Don’t bathe or use deodorant on your trip. This works especially well for foreigners.

29. If you brought way too much crap to carry around the park, just bring a huge rolling backpack or duffel bag. As you roll through the Magic Kingdom, those laughs and derisive comments are sure signs other people are just jealous of your ingenuity. Either that, or you’re an idiot.

30. Wearing skimpy underwear under your clothing is only a good idea until it rains. The more overweight you are, the more revealing your clothes should be when wet.

Lightning Rules

I love lightning photography. It is one of my favorite subjects. It doesn’t judge you, it never says, “Does it make me look fat?”, and there’s no chance for a reshoot. What you get, is what you get. Of course, there is the danger of getting electrocuted, but I’ll take that over those poor professionals who have to spend six hours dealing with brides, grooms, and families. In fact, lightning might be safer. Besides, it’s not going to sue you if it’s not happy with it’s pictures.

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This was from one of my only (but favorite) shoots last year. A line of storms came through on a night with a full moon. Most of the action was to the right of this shot, but I kept watching and saw a few stirrings, and took a chance. I was rewarded with this brilliant blast, out the side of the clouds, lit by moonlight. The white specks are actually stars visible in the clear sky.

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This one was one of my first shots on that same night in July of 2010. A lot of the crappy clouds finally moved out of the way later, but i was impressed with this one, too, as it went through so many layers.

I know, you hate the watermarks. I do too, but a lot of people feel they can right click pictures and print them off and hang them up, or even worse, submit them to contests, etc. I wouldn’t mind if people only wanted them for desktop backgrounds, but who knows what happens to a picture when its out there. So – we suffer through the watermarks. Of course, if you want to buy one of my pictures, I’ll be happy to sell any of them to you. Except for ones of my kid, that’s just creepy, so don’t ask.

A word about “it doesn’t matter productions”. For years I used WWMD? (What Would Mark Do) as a slogan for images, video, etc. This year I found out the Glee people started using it to mean “what would madonna do?”. It upset me that they stole my idea, but as there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, it had to happen sooner or later. It Doesn’t Matter Vineyards is my joke business I use when making Jelly. “It Doesn’t Matter” is also my idea for a restaurant name, and “It Doesn’t Matter Farms”, which is my garden. Therefore it only seemed logical that “It Doesn’t Matter Productions” should be an extension of that theme. Video and Photography, of course. Try using a fake company name when you are filling out internet forms. You’ll be amazed the catalogs and freebies you get offered once your name gets sold.