Monday Food Moment – Tomatoes

Fruit or vegetable?

This Monday will be a short post, as I’m on the road in sunny North Carolina at New Hire Orientation for my new job.  So, I bring you some lovely tomatoes, which are a wonderful addition to everyone’s diet.

Bowl of goodness

The tomato is the edible, often red berry-type fruit of the nightshade Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. The English word tomato comes from the Spanish word, tomate, derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl. It first appeared in print in 1595.

The tomato belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae.  The species originated in Central and South America and its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Its many varieties are now widely grown, sometimes in greenhouses in cooler climates. The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual. An average common tomato weighs approximately 100 grams (4 oz).

While tomatoes are botanically and scientifically the berry-type fruits of the tomato plant, they can also be considered a culinary vegetable, causing some confusion.

Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content, including, of course, their concentration of lycopene.  This has been found to have a significant impact on bone health, which should be good news to all of us.

No matter how you say it, go have a wonderful tomato!

Technical Details

This image was captured in my studio, with a single softbox and  reflector.  The cmaera used is a Canon EOS 5D Mk II with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.

7 Day Nature Challenge – pt 2

Trumpets herald Spring!

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!!

In this second post in the series, let’s celebrate the Vernal Equinox!!  Yeah, it’s Spring in the Northern Hemisphere (don’t forget to say hi to Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere).

Daffodil Time!

Today’s nature photo is one of my favorite flowers, the Daffodil.  Their design makes for such an inviting, pleasant flower, calling all pollinators to come in from the breeze.

In terms of color varieties, I prefer the yellow-petalled with the slightly orange trumpet over the white-petalled or overly ostentatious orange trumpets.

Which varieties do you like best?

Technical Details

This is an iPhone 5S generated image using the standard Camera app and minor tweaks with Instagram.

The Rules

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


The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger…  Aspire To Amble‘s Kia runs a blog filled with tales of travels all over the world.  Go check out this talented photographer’s blog!  If she accepts this challenge, I look forward to the results!

WPC – Dance

Dancing with a lady

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge gave us the prompt: Dance.  Of course, all of us are familiar with the human activity, but I decided to take a slighlty different approach, which I submit for your approval…

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Prana Dancer

The dance of the Seasons is performed by the majestic Yoga Tree, as her steps are measured and executed with ageless perfection in front of a Universe, whose energies flow through her.

As the Sun rises, stand in front of her, close your eyes and breathe in deeply; feel her movement as prana fills you, again and again, and dance.

Technical Details

Captured with an iPhone 5S using the standard Camera app and Instagram for some minor adjustments.

In response to Weekly Photo Challenge – Dance

Friday Travel Photos – vol 5

Catch of the day!

This week’s stop is in Iceland, where I made an all too short, 4-day stop last year on the way back from Europe.  This country is full of photogenic spots, all deserving time to be explored and presented.

Herring Barrels

These images are from the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður, a small town on one of the numerous fjords on the Northern coast of Iceland.  It is one of the many towns, villages and areas along the north and east coast of Iceland that were deeply affected by the arrival of the herring adventure around the beginning of the 20th century.

Pickling the herring catch

Nowhere did the herring adventure have such an impact as in Siglufjörður. Norwegian fishermen came sailing on their herring vessels during the summer of 1903, and thereby the Herring Adventure had started. Within forty years this once tiny little village had transformed into a thriving town of more than three thousand inhabitants.

Whalebone and museum view

For years the entire life of Siglufjörður centred on the herring catch and its processing – the town’s twenty-three salting stations and five reducing factories were a living reminder of that. Siglufjörður was also one of the most important ports in Iceland and on more than one occasion the herring exported from the town accounted for over 20% of the nation’s total exports.

As the herring adventure progressed, a goldrush-like atmosphere settled over the town, leading to Siglufjörður been dubbed the “Atlantic Klondike”. The town also became a magnet for herring speculators who came and went, some making a lot of money during the stay, and others not. With its booming industry, Siglufjörður also became a mecca for tens of thousands of workers and labourers seeking employment.

A bit of local feel

When bad weather and storms broke, the sheltered waters of the fjord became home to a massed fleet of hundreds of herring ships. Life on land was just as colourful, the streets of Siglufjörður so jammed with crowds and activities that they resembled the teeming avenues of major cities.

Marine resources are notoriously unstable, and herring is no exception. Following depressed catch figures in the years around 1950, herring stocks began to be fished as never before. This was due to a new and more efficient fishing technology developed by Icelandic pioneers. Other countries were quick in claiming these advances for themselves.

The years that followed continued to underscore the decline of catches and fortunes in Siglufjörður and its surrounding area, eventually turning it into the sleepy, beautiful town that it is today.

[Source of background information: Wikipedia: The Herring Era Museum.]

Dogstar Thursday – vol 8

Pirate eyes…

On this St. Patrick’s day edition, I was looking to post an Irish Setter weaving through the poles in agility competition, but will have to table that one for a bit later, when I retrieve it.

Pirate Eyed

Looking mighty tough in the pirate collar, this expression was just one that I couldn’t resist photographing and posting today.  I caught this candid moment during an agility competition, which reminds us that dogs of all sizes and breeds compete.

Hope you enjoy this little cutie and have a great Saint Patrick’s Day!

Technical Details

Shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/80 second at f/3.2 at 640 ISO (light in this building is not stellar).

Upper Level – Lower Level

No way up?

Sometimes, as one walk around with a camera in hand, interesting items just pop up and scream at you to be photographed.  Enjoying those suprise moment, I captured the following image walking around Fenway Park in Boston during a scavenger hunt.

Upstairs, Downstairs…

When I saw these two doors next to each other, it immediately felt like an example of class distinction (do you remember the show ‘Upstairs, Downstairs‘?).  What made this even more poignant is the fact that only the lower level has a door handle.  One can always enter the lower level, but the upper level is by invitation only, as someone has to open the door from the inside to let you in…

Technical Details

My trusty Canon EOS 5D Mk III with my walking around EF 24-105mm f/4L lens attached.  Exposure settings were 1/125 second at f/5.6 and 400 ISO.

Adieu to Sweet Winter…

We will miss your snowy blankets

This year’s Winter paled in comparison to our previous encounter with the cooler season.  Instead of record snow fall, we had just a couple of minor storms and the ground has been bare, waiting for Spring’s arrival.

So I thought that I’d share an image from last year, March 15, 2015…

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Winter’s Beauty

Last year, our beloved Yoga Tree stood gracefully in the snowy landscape.  This was after a relatively minor snowfall, compared to the events of that Winter season, which saw a total snow fall of 110.6 inches (2.80 meters).

Enjoy this moment, as we look toward the warm days of Spring!

Technical Details

Photographed with my iPhone 5S using the standard Camera app and minor Instagram enhancements.