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  • Archive for March, 2011

    Woman's Day Garden & Outdoor Living
    This whole thing fell to luck, really. I happened to check my email in Orlando when we were on the Florida Trail and see an email from a woman who said she was with Woman’s Day magazine. Apparently she’d found a photo of a tomato of mine from a few years ago and wanted permission to use it in a special issue called Woman’s Day Garden and Outdoor Living. I was a bit suspicious so I did some Googling and found out that she was completely legit. I figured she might need a full res photo or something so I emailed her back and gave her my number since I didn’t know the due date and the specs for it all.

    Thankfully she called me that night in the hotel because the due date was the next day! Luckily she didn’t need a full res image and could pull it from the internet.

    I’d kinda forgotten about it until we got back and we thought it was due to be out earlier in the month but I found out it was supposed to be late March instead. Yesterday we got a call from Chris’ mom that she saw it but wasn’t sure which photo was mine. Chris and I tracked the magazine down at Walmart and I found it! Not how I figured it would be used, but I’m going to be paid for it so I don’t really mind! Here’s the original photo in my Etsy shop. I wish I could tell you I had some seeds to sell to you now but they are still in storage.

    I will definitely be doing more ‘tomato portraits’ in the future and hey, now I’m published! heh!

    Thanks Woman’s Day, you can call me any time to use more photos!

    Don’t forget to schedule a portrait session with me in March or April for portfolio building rates!

    Chris and I ventured to Tandy Hills on Friday to check on the trout lilies for the season. While we did find a lot of the plants up and growing, we didn’t find a single bloom. We couldn’t decide if we were too late or a bit early, even though last year we saw blooms at about two weeks prior to this time. So, who knows? It has been dry this year so perhaps a rain event would trigger some blooms? If not, I guess I will have to wait until next year.

    I didn’t leave empty handed photograph wise, though. We did find a few flowers poking out and I want to go back within the next week and explore some more. I love that there is this great big natural area in the middle of the suburbs!



    The trout lilies not blooming—bummer. We wayyyy underestimated how many there were in the area last year. Last year we went in one area, found them pretty quickly and just kinda assumed there weren’t more. Boy, were we wrong! I bet they are beautiful when they are all blooming.

    A few butterflies were out and this sulphur managed to let me get a few decent shots before I startled it into leaving.

    seed pod
    A trout lily seed pod. See, I figured if more had bloomed there would have been more seed pods and we didn’t see but that one.

    red bud
    A redbud tree, Cercis canadensis, flower.

    purple indian paintbrush
    Purple paintbrush, Castilleja purpurea var. purpurea, I have to go back and get these when they are fully open. I’m guessing by the end of the week!

    I think this is lotus milkvetch, Astragalus lotiflorus, another common bloom right now.

    Same flower as above!

    Chris checking out something on the overgrown side trail we took.

    white flower
    Have yet to id this one.

    Most of the agave have dried seedpods on all of the leftover stalks from last year.

    We came across this bamboo ‘teepee’; it appeared that perhaps there had been a small thicket of bamboo and some kids were having fun in the woods. Looks like a fun little place to play to me!

    A fruiting shrub that I need to identify still.

    I came across two bulbs sitting in the middle of the eroded trail and nudged them to the side with my foot before deciding they deserved to be photographed. I’m loving how this one turned out.

    We followed a creek bed for awhile before deciding we weren’t in the mood for bushwhacking. Another day perhaps.

    false garlic
    These resemble a daffodil of miniature proportions but my sleuthing on the ‘net led me to find out it is crow poison/false garlic, Nothoscordum bivalve, a member of the lily family. While visiting my brother’s house I noticed that this plant was growing everywhere in the neighborhood yards and was coming up as a weed in his yard, too.

    There were many patches of grape hyacinth blooming as well.

    Finally we spotted some bearded iris in what was once perhaps a homestead.



    We’re looking forward to Prairie Fest in April! Maybe next year we will be photo exhibitors!

    stephanie's wedding 10-18-08 149

    Meet one of my best friends Michelle. We go back to some point in time during the summer of 1998 while cruising in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean. Then we went to college together for a couple of years, weathered some weird patches, and now she’s married with a nearly three year old girl in east Texas.

    Two years ago after the birth of Kylen she started having some vision problems in addition to some other health issues that lead to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. MS is a disease affecting the central nervous system which means it can affect movement and the use of all sorts of body systems. There are several different courses MS takes, some of which you can read here.

    I think what is most extraordinary and home-hitting is this sentence at the end of the page, “Since no two people have exactly the same experience of MS, the disease course may look very different from one person to another.” My Florida friend Christine also has this disease and was diagnosed several years before Michelle and has very little problems right now. I had hoped this would be the course with Michelle but it hasn’t been.

    Michelle can tell you more about how she feels than I can, and probably her husband John Paul could as well (John Paul, in my opinion, is the boy version of Michelle, well, for the most part. He’s the best thing that’s happened to her besides Kylen). But, it is hard to see your friend doing tasks that would take a normal 31 year old no time at all or could be done with ease, while she struggles to keep up with daily chores and tasks. Not to mention the extreme tiredness that occurs with her.

    I suppose what I wish to do, since it is MS Awareness week, is to bring to your attention another debilitating disease that is out there besides breast cancer. Now, I’m not belittling cancers or people with them as they are just as important, but sometimes I feel that other diseases get the shaft and when you see someone you love hurting so much you just wish you could do something to help them out.

    And Michelle doesn’t deserve it. She deserves to be able to work outside in the summer without getting exhausted after a few minutes, to chase her three year old around without needing to rest, to be able to get up in the morning and get moving before noon and to do all the things she wishes without hurting or being tired or losing more of her vision.

    So, please, the next time you consider donating to a medical cause, consider donating to the MS society or walking one of their walks. If I know two people with MS, more than likely you can find someone within a degree or two away from you that has it as well.

    Love you Chelle Belle!

    Things are starting to flush out in green here and a few things are blooming. However, it is very dry here and we need some rain to get more spring wildflowers growing here in Texas. Flower photos to come!

    First up, I added a widget that allows you to bookmark a blog posting in a social networking site or to email it. It will be at the very end of a post. Yes, I know I am decades behind in this trend, but I thought it would be very useful for the posts that are most interesting (I’m hoping there are some!). So, there ya go!

    And a few links to share:
    + It’s MS Awareness Week.
    + My Flickr friend and fellow photographer Heather Green has a super awesome article in the St. Petersburg Times regarding the Florida panthers she saw a few months ago in Fakahatchee Strand. Makes me miss the swamps a bit and want to get out and explore around here!
    + Found via MCP Action yesterday is a cool blog called Shoot Tokyo with photos of the aftermath of the earthquake.
    + My friend Connie from college lost her triplet boys in a too-early childbirth last March and it is now a year since they were born and died. She has written about what happened that day and a lot of the grief and recovery during the past year on this blog. She’s currently expecting twin girls this summer (yay!). Before clicking on the link, it should be known there are photos of the boys on her blog and if you are not emotionally ready or faint-hearted be careful. The boys were even at a younger development stage than my niece Ashleigh was so it might be shocking to some. That aside, it is a beautiful blog and makes me miss my friend a lot. Connie’s sister is doing a photoblog of her current pregnancy and the photos are beautiful!
    + I found a recipe for bleu cheese dressing that I really must make.
    + And another recipe from Oh She Glows, Creamy, Cheesy, Tomato Risotto…mmmmm!

    That’s it for today’s link roundup! Any items you have to share?

    I went by the plot today to check on how things were going. The last we’d seen were that the carrots were up and the potatoes were thriving.

    This is the shed where anyone in the garden can use tools and organic fertilizers and pesticides. It is super organized with printed recipes for making the pesticides or fertilizers, too.

    My mom’s onions have been up for awhile and are doing great.

    We’ve got five tomato plants that we bought from the store. Chris got a bit overzealous with some orange oil for bug prevention and the next day two tomatoes looked to bite the dust. So, he replaced them a couple of days ago with two new plants and they are looking great. We were lucky to find a couple heirloom varieties, too. The tomato seed we started at home still haven’t sprouted so I am hoping they will just magically come up one morning. Hrmph.

    My mom’s potatoes are also doing really great and I foresee lots from this harvest! Growing up my parents did potatoes quite a bit so I will be learning from mom as she harvests them this year.

    A few nasturiums are coming up on the edges of the plot.

    We are going to have to really thin the carrots out when they all come up! Have you seen how many come in a packet?

    An okra seedling making a debut.

    At one end of the plot we broke it down into several small sections of herbs. I *think* this is the cilantro, but we will just have to wait until they get true leaves.


    A shot of some of the plots, including my brother’s, the one with all the onions.

    Back at home a few things are blooming such as these snowdrops in the front beds.

    And of course the dandelions are beautifying spring.

    I spent a good bit of time this afternoon working on another bed out in the backyard putting in caladiums. Now that after 25 years of living in this house all of the trees have finally grown up and so my parents have a lot of shade. Caladiums make great shade/part shade plants and this one particular bed can be a bit of a pain to plant. Anyway, the dogs had to come out and sun themselves while I was pulling weeds. This is Isabelle, she’s getting old and is partially blind.

    And then there is Daisy Lou who is the baby and an attention hog. She spends lots of time outside when the weather is good, mostly being teased by the squirrels that run from tree to roof to fence, torturing the poor pup along the way. Someday she might actually get one.


    wildscapeportraitbeginning copy

    Give me a call or drop me an email. We can shoot on location at your home, garden or natural area of your choice. I shoot in natural light with on-camera flash so please consider lighting when choosing a location. I’ve got some ideas for locations if you are stumped on places to go.

    Pricing information.

    Wee little Zoe loves the zoo and we love taking her! We went out for a little adventure last week with Mimi and Uncle Chris so she could see all the animals. Her favorites included the elephants, giraffes, penguins, alligators and crocodiles.

    An elephant enjoying a dirt bath!


    Enamored with the crocodiles! I’m kinda surprised she likes them so much!

    Sharing a drink with Mimi.

    Spring is coming!!

    Looking at the gazelle’s. We initially walked by them and then she got excited and had to go back and check them out.

    I didn’t take a lot of photos and was much more in the moment instead. I’m just amazed at how excited she is with all the animals and I’m glad she has an affinity for them. Maybe another zoo trip will happen in the near future!

    For the record, I’ve been horrible are remembering to take photos every day, so these aren’t consecutive days. I’ll try harder.

    African penguin, Fort Worth Zoo
    Tech specs: ISO 1600, f/8, 1/20sec, 55mm

    Miniature rose
    Tech specs: ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/250sec, 55mm

    Leaves in the pond
    Tech: ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/100sec, 100mm

    Now that I am finally getting back into ‘normal life’ again we are ready to start doing more with our photography and Wildscape Photo. That means that we are available to take fine art photography orders, talk to people interested in stock photography and also to start scheduling portrait sessions!

    There are some business aspects we are still working on but plan to have done soon, like fully registering as a business, getting a tax id number and all the other little legal paper aspects associated with having a business. I’m sure we will be small for awhile, but wouldn’t it be grand if we could make a living taking photos? Ah, isn’t that every person’s dream with a favorite hobby?

    Since I still have quite a bit of free time until a job comes along, I want to make photography my job for the meantime. There will be introductory offers for the portrait side of things since I am building my portfolio, too.

    For now, why don’t you meet my ‘sister-in-law’ Mitzi. She’s Chris’ mom and step-dad’s dog, one of two and she’s a sweet little thing.




    This one of my favorite.

    I am planning on taking them somewhere tomorrow to get some more shots of them together so look for those later this week! Yes, I’m interested in pet photography too!

    Send us an email if you are interested! oceanicwilderness at gmail dot com!


    First off, it should be said that since we have come home from the Florida Trail Zoe has been much more interested in Uncle Chris than before we left. I am pretty sure this is because he plys her with sugar. Alas, she has taken to wanting to do everything with “Both you guys!” Or rather “Bofh you guys!”

    Last week sometime I was sprawled out on the floor of my parents living room, Chris was at the kitchen table working on some fishing lures and Zoe was standing next to the glass door to the back yard wanting us to go outside. She’d just said she wanted to outside with “Bofh you guy!” and this is how the rest of the conversation went.

    Uncle Chris: We’re not all guys.
    Aunt T: Yeah, Chris is a guy, I’m a girl.
    Zoe: No.
    Aunt T: No? I’m not a girl? What am I?
    Zoe: Aunt T.

    Well then.

    She’s so cute!

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