7-Day Nature Photo Challenge – pt 7

The sun arrives…

I was nominated by a fellow blogger, Stella of  Giggles & Tales, for a 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge.  Stella’s blog is always full of interesting posts, which are a blend of poetry, photography and perspectives on the world around her.  Go check her blog out!!

On this final day, I am closing the series with my beloved Yoga Tree

2014-12-30 07.47.47 HDR-1
Morning Clouds

Taken on a late December morning in 2014, I wanted to capture the high speed clouds crossing the sky and allow the Sun to come out of hiding from behind the lovely tree.

I hope the Lady of the Fields inspires your day as well!

Technical Details

This image was captured with my iPhone 5S using the standard camera app and a little bit of additional saturation through Instagram.

The Rules

Post a #naturephoto every day and nominate another blogger for this challenge.

Nomination

The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger…  Elusive Trope‘s Doug Branson runs a blog that, in his words, has the “intention with this blog is to not only maybe provide something to ponder and just maybe facilitate a better understanding or or perception about themselves”.  Go check out this extremely creative blog and enjoy yourselves!  If he accepts this challenge, I look forward to the results!

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 10

Not so quotidian after all

In this post, I’d like to get things back to some of the very basics of Nature, which has no shortage of amazing, wonder-worthy attributes.

Never-to-Fall_MG_9701
The Simple Leaf

The leaf is a a rather everyday item that we encounter in many places. However, lest we forget that leaves are the powerhouse of plants. In most plants, leaves are the major site of food production for the plant. Structures within a leaf convert the energy in sunlight into chemical energy that the plant can use as food. Chlorophyll is the molecule in leaves that uses the energy in sunlight to turn water (H2O) and carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into sugar and oxygen gas (O2).

A leaf is made of many layers that are sandwiched between two layers of tough skin cells (called the epidermis). The epidermis also secretes a waxy substance called the cuticle. These layers protect the leaf from insects, bacteria, and other pests. Among the epidermal cells are pairs of sausage-shaped guard cells. Each pair of guard cells forms a pore (called stoma; the plural is stomata). Gases enter and exit the leaf through the stomata.

Most food production takes place in elongated cells called palisade mesophyll. Gas exchange occurs in the air spaces between the oddly-shaped cells of the spongy mesophyll.

Veins support the leaf and are filled with vessels that transport food, water, and minerals to the plant.

And, if this is not enough to amaze you, leaves are things of beauty as well.

Hope you enjoyed this!!

Technical Data

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens with a circular polarizer.  Exposure was at 1/320 second at f/8 and 320 ISO.

7 Day Nature Challenge – pt 6

Morning’s fire

I was nominated by a fellow blogger, Stella of  Giggles & Tales, for a 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge.  Stella’s blog is always full of interesting posts, which are a blend of poetry, photography and perspectives on the world around her.  Go check her blog out!!

Today, a little something to show the awesome drama that is nature…

2014-01-20 07.01.59 HDR-1
Morning’s Fire

This Winter morning scene was well worth the stop on my daily commute in early 2014.  I had seen the way the cloud formations were coming together and when I noticed that the sun was just coming up, I knew that I had to capture this little bit of morning drama before it disappeared.

I love to hear your thoughts about this snapshot.

Technical Details

This image was captured with my iPhone 5S using the standard camera app and a little bit of additional saturation through Instagram.

The Rules

Post a #naturephoto every day and nominate another blogger for this challenge.

Nomination

The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger…  Alanemartinez’s Blog‘s Alan runs a wonderful blog with many interesting images that he captures with great regularity.  Go check out this talented, creative blog!  If he accepts this challenge, I look forward to the results!

TTT – Analyzing an Image

Framing is everything

As I got a number of positive responses the last time that I did an analysis of how I made the decisions that got me to my particular take of the scene in front of me, I’m doing another post along this vein with a very different image.

_14E0575_6_4_7_8_tonemapped
Late Summer’s Day

This image is more about discovery than any other factor, as I found this location while driving through the Harvard University research forest in Petersham, MA.  There are times when one should not believe all signs; on this fine day, I chose to ignore the ‘Road Ends’ sign.  The paved road ended, but a dirt road continued and led me into a forest, where I found this stellar location.

This particular landscape has a lot of beautiful elements to it, but not one stand-out element that I wanted to highlight in this photo.  When this is the case, I like to frame the image, such as with the tree on the left and top, the overhanging branch on the right and the tall grass down low.  Framing provides a sense of looking into the scene, as it provides depth and a sense of looking into the scene rather than at it.

This rather simple trick is something that dresses up many a scene, whether you shoot it in portrait or landscape mode.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you, if you have tried this as well.

7-Day Nature Photo Challenge – pt 5

Winter relinquishes its hold

I was nominated by a fellow blogger, Stella of  Giggles & Tales, for a 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge.  Stella’s blog is always full of interesting posts, which are a blend of poetry, photography and perspectives on the world around her.  Go check her blog out!!

After a brief hiatus to catch up with things, here we continue for the final three days of the challenge…

Landscape-110325_MG_6980
Spring’s Thaw

This image came from a walk in early Spring 2011, on a beautiful day that showed the promise of the season that had just commenced.  Walking by this small pond, my eye caught the interesting aspect of having two distinct types of reflection at work: the slightly rippled water and the not-quite-perfect ice.

What attracted me about these reflections is not only the difference, but also the similarity.  In transition from water to ice, the character of the reflection is preserved, as can be seen in a number of the birch trunks.  But then, we also see that the reflection is more muted and diffuse in the ice.

Hope you enjoy this image, as Spring moves forward in the Northern Hemisphere.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/80 second with f/9 at 400 ISO.

The Rules

Post a #naturephoto every day and nominate another blogger for this challenge.

Nomination

The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger…  Walking with a Smacked Pentax is a truly fantastic blog with beautiful images of the sights of Northern England.  Go check out this talented, creative blog!  If he accepts this challenge, I look forward to the results!

Monday Food Moment – Adzuki Beans

Simple, yet effective

Today, I’m presenting you a food that is not extremely glamorous, but, nonetheless, should be considered for a starring role in your diet: the Adzuki bean.

Adzuki_Beans_14E9311
Simple Ingredients

This little bean hails from East Asia and was later crossbred with native bean species in the Himalayas.  The earliest known archaeological evidence of this bean comes from the Awazu-kotei Ruin (Shiga prefecture) of the Japanese mid-Jōmon period of 4000 BCE, and later occurs commonly in many Jomon sites of between 4000 BCE and 2000 BCE in Japan.  The analysis of the unearthed beans indicates that it first was cultivated in Japan during the period from 4000 BCE to 2000 BCE. In China and Korea, specimens from ruins date from 3000 BCE to 1000 BCE, and these are thought to be cultivated ones

The adzuki bean is commonly used in a sweet, dessert bean paste across Asia; it can also be used in bean salads and makes a wonderful soup ingredient.

Some of the nutritional benefits of the adzuki

1. No fats

Even though adzuki beans (especially when they are dry) are rich in calories, they are free of fat content. One cup of dry adzuki beans is estimated to contain only a gram of fat. These beans contain saturated fat of not more than 4 grams.

2. High in fiber

Besides being rich in calories and proteins, these beans are also a great source of fiber. The main benefit of dietary fiber is promoting satiety as well as regulating the levels of both sugar and cholesterol respectively.

3. High in protein

Dry adzuki beans are an ideal menu option for high-protein diets. Protein is quite essential in the human body since it aids in building and repairing worn out body tissues, hormones and cells.

4. Minerals and vitamins

Dry adzuki beans have a certain amount of various minerals. Some of the minerals contained in these beans include calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. Dry adzuki beans are, however, not too rich in vitamins. Nevertheless, these beans contain vitamin A, vitamin B-9 and Folate.

Health Benefits of Adzuki Beans

1. Improve bowel movement

Since they have a high fiber content, adzuki beans greatly improve bowel movement. This helps in keeping the digestive system smooth, thus preventing constipation. The fiber contained in these beans also helps in preventing colon cancer.

2. Stabilize cholesterol level

Due to high concentration of soluble fiber in adzuki beans, these beans are ideal for stabilizing the cholesterol level. They also help in eliminating cholesterol and toxins from the body.

3. Prevent breast cancer

Adzuki beans have certain components that help kill cancerous tissues. Consuming a cup of these beans on a regular basis lowers the risk of getting breast cancer among women. These beans can also be consumed to lower the risk of getting different types of cancers.

4. Treat bladder infections and urinary dysfunction

The high amount of soluble fiber in adzuki beans helps in treating bladder infections and urinary dysfunction in both men and women. This soluble fiber has a soothing effect and is thus ideal for healing an infected bladder and urinary tract.

5. Lose weight

Since they are rich in soluble fibers, adzuki beans help keep your stomach full for relatively long hours. Therefore, these beans will keep you satiated for long hours. They are also rich in protein and can therefore help in keep sugar levels low. As a result, they help in keeping weight off.

So, go try some of these beneficial beans; you can find creative and tasty recipes that will please even the most distinguishing palate.

WPC – Half-Light

Coming out of the water…

Another episode of Half-Light, the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge . This one is a little more ethereal or even spectral, with a nod to this day in one religion.

Spectral-Apparition_57A4150
Spectral Apparition

Marcellus to Horatio and Bernardo after seeing the ghost:

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.

— Hamlet Act I, Scene I
William Shakespeare

In response to WordPress Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge – Half-Light