Join in the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge fun here:
Fresh picked Strawberries almost everyday from early spring to late fall is just one of the many reasons why I love living in Southern California. The last few weeks I have been picking a pint basket, or two of Strawberries nearly every day.
Mmm, I’m thinking Strawberry Nutella Crepes for breakfast sounds like just the ticket.
…or was that twisted?
These photos were taken at a surprise Redneck BBQ Birthday Party that my sister and I put together for my Mother’s 75th Birthday. The funny thing is that my twisted family all came dressed in redneck costumes, the party was a complete surprise to my Mom, but she was still perfectly dressed for the Redneck theme. My Mom laughed so hard at all of our costumes that her teeth nearly fell out. She didn’t stop talking about the party for weeks. I think she had the best birthday ever.
I decided to use my Polymer Clay Jewelry as the subject for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, since this weeks photo theme is Work of Art. I chose these particular photos for the challenge not because they are great photos, quite the opposite reasons really. Sure, I love playing around with amature Photography, but I know my lack of photography skills really shows when it comes to product photography.
I use a Nikon Coolpix 510 Camera, Macro lens setting, a light box with natural light, but I still can’t seem to get it right. I’m not going to lie, I would be up a creek without Photoshop! I especially struggle with glare off of my shiny jewelry pieces. I’m not really skilled enough to use the manual settings on my camera yet, but any constructive tips on jewelry and product photography from you photo blogging masters would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Linda
Here is my submission for the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge. This weeks Photo theme is On the Move.
Sex in the Garden, or as I Like to Call it Tickling the Pistil
Sex in the Garden
I decided to combine a gardening post that I have been meaning to write with this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring. Sex in the Garden is not really as exciting as it sounds, well, maybe in my younger days, but that is another story that I am not really ready to tell. I planted a Hass Avocado tree in my garden on Mothers Day 2 years ago that I had purchased at a local nursery. Last year I was really exited when just before spring my Avocado tree started to flower. I could almost taste the Guacamole melting in my mouth thinking about all those tasty Avocados I was going to get. I was sadly disappointed when not one Avocado appeared on my tree.
This year when my Avocado tree started to flower I decided to do some research to see if there was anything I could do to help get my Avocado tree to bear fruit this year. Mother nature graciously helped me out when the honey bees built a huge beehive right next to my Avocado tree. Here is my post about the Beehive. http://lalindaartstudio.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/1-beehive-honeycombs1-jpg/
Unfortunately my beehive got too large and the bees decided to make a new hive next door in my neighbors backyard. Which would have been all well and good, but the neighbor decided to call out a bee exterminator to get rid of the bees. I was already thinking I was going to have to give in and remove the beehive after my grandson got stung on the finger, but at this point the beehive was way too big, and it was too entangled in my trumpet vines for me to safely remove it. Soon after the exterminator came and removed the bees from the neighbors backyard my beehive started to die. I was sad, but I was able to don a mesh laundry bag over my head and I removed the almost empty beehive myself. Yes, I did feel like superwoman that day. Two able bodied men actually live here, but it was me that got the job done.
Back to my Sex in the Garden story. I still desperately wanted Avocados on my tree, so what could I do about it? After doing tons of research I finally figured it out. I learned that Avocados have flowers that are both male and female, bi-sexual, but not at the same time. There are many different varieties of Avocados, some have A type flowers and some have B type flowers. The Hass Avocado is an A Type flower, which means it starts out opening as a female flower in the morning of the first day and after a few hours the female flower closes. The same Avocado flower re-opens on the following day in the afternoon as a male flower. In B type Avocados the flowering cycle is reversed with the male flower opening on the first day. This flowering cycle makes it rather difficult for the flowers to get pollinated without the help of bees, bugs and birds. It is often recommended to plant a second Avocado tree close by with the opposite flowering cycle to aid in pollination.
I don’t have the room to plant a second Avocado tree, so I decided I would experiment with trying to pollinate the Avocado flowers by hand with a paintbrush. I tried collecting the pollen from the male flower on a paintbrush in the evening, then transferring it to the Pistil of the female flowers on the next morning. The issue I was having was getting the male pollen transferred onto the female flower while the pollen was still viable. Even with it sealed in a plastic baggie the pollen would dry up on my paint brush overnight. I found that if I picked a few of the male flowers and put them in the baggie overnight with my paint brush the pollen was still wet and viable the next morning.
Hand pollinating an Avocado flower With a Paintbrush
Baby Avocado fruit beginning to grow on the tree after pollination
My step-daughter laughed at me out there with my little paint brush tickling the Pistils every morning. I’m not really sure if it was the Bees or me, but I am overjoyed with the results. I now have at least 30 baby Avocados growing on my tree.