Category Archives: Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Is That An Actual Photo Excursion I See There?!

That’s right, we actually, finally got up off our duffs for a good old fashioned photo excursion! We’ve lived just around the corner from Grounds For Sculpture for years but have never bothered to go over despite everyone and their mother telling us that it’s delightful. Meanwhile, we hadn’t seen our buddy elizabetht in forever which is totally unacceptable. So last weekend we bundled up the cameras and headed out for some modern sculpture photography and catching up over fried pickles and beers. In the end, I think we were all more interested in the fried pickles, but we did get some shots we liked.


Dirt Carpet

Giant Vase Of Flowers

Red Filter Bokeh Sparkle

Plant Piano

I Blinded Myself For This?

More Than One Peacock

Tiny Chairs

January 28 2012


Filed under Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

The Garden Lives!

From March until May we live in a constant state of worrying about the seedlings — Are they getting enough sun? Are they big enough? Are they getting watered enough? Did we even plant anything on time?! Finally May rolls around and we can transplant the stuff to the beds. Only, then we spend the next two weeks worrying that nothing’s taking and we’re going to have to buy replacement plants and everything’s going to be ruined. It’s really only in June when things calm down enough to really just enjoy the garden for the first time.

State of the Garden June 9 2011

We’ve been harvesting some stuff already, mostly from the lettuce farm on the deck. The lettuce farm has turned out to be a delightful addition to Maple Hoo. So far the winner of the taste test has been Yugoslavian Red, but we’ve got a long summer and a dozen more varieties to try. Schnookie also made the astonishing discovery that a nice bowl of pasta tastes a million times awesomer for the addition of some arugula, so we’ve added that to our list of things to grow on the deck.

Lettuce Farm


Meanwhile, in the front yard things are looking good. We harvested a delightful amount of green garlic, and then the scapes came in not long after. Some of the garlic was bulbs we’d saved from last year, making them essentially completely free! (Or something.)


We also harvested the coral shell peas, which were as early as advertized. They also were short and didn’t need trellising. In short, they’re wonder peas! We’ll be planting them again next year for sure. We planted a second variety which looked to be dead in the water — literally; there was a lot of rain this spring. When things dried out, though, they bounced back and are starting to pod up now.

May 30 2011

Peas Rearing Their Head

Everything else is chugging along. After looking like they might not make it, the tomatoes have all established themselves nicely. The various cherry tomatoes, in particular, are looking hearty, with blossoms just starting to form. The peppers needed one last rainy weekend before they were ready to turn from seedlings into nice green leafy plants. The broom corn, beans, and pumpkins are all thinned and starting to fill out. (Some of the beans are also growing up. We sorta kinda ordered pole beans when we meant to get bush beans and we sorta kinda didn’t notice until they were all planted. Oops.)

June 6 2011

Not Pumpkiny Yet

Climbing Beans

Senor Patata Flowers

So far the only major set-back has been with the sunflowers we planted outside the garden fence. They were looking awesome, but something — rabbit? deer? — ate them all up. Jerks! Oh, and the passalong raspberries Schnookie got from a co-worker are looking pretty sad. Good thing the old canes (and the blackberries) are looking good.


June 12 2011

So as of mid-June, things are looking good! Here’s hoping the next four months go as well. This year we’re partaking in a Flickr project called Garden Grub 120; we’re taking a picture every day for 120 days of what we eat from the garden (or sometimes, on lazy nights, just a picture of the garden itself). You can follow along with our pictures here or with the group as a whole here.

June 14 2011


Filed under 5. May, 6. June, Garden, Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

March at Maple Hoo

Today was the final game of the NHL season which means High Spring is on the way! Here’s a look at some of the earlier signs of the changing season spotted around stately IPB Living manor.


Snowdrops, on March 5th

Lettuces Ready To Transplant

Lettuce seedlings, on March 12th

The Crocuses Are Blooming!!

The first crocuses to bloom, on March 12th

March 16 2011

Forced peach blossom, on March 16th

March 27 2011

Crocus, on March 27th

This Is Your Leader's Crocus

Crocus, on March 27th

Daffodils And Siding

Daffodils, on March 27th

Fritillaria Macro

Fritillaria, on March 27th

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Filed under Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Fun With Crayons

A little over a year ago, we heard that our buddy Elizabeth was partaking in a photo project called “Sixty-Four Colors“. The deal was, the group leaders (the super-talented Jodi and Dani) were going to post one crayon a week from the box of 64 Crayola crayons; participants then had a week to find the color in real life, photograph it, and post it to Flickr. While it seemed fun, we thought for sure the people involved were too intimidatingly awesome and the assignment was too intimidatingly difficult for those of us out in the ‘burbs. We sat on the sidelines and watched as Elizabeth posted the first two weeks, “silver” and “magenta”. Then the third color was drawn, “sea green”. “That’s ridiculous,” we cried, “who could ever find sea green anywhere?! It’s impossible!”

The next day one of us walked into the kitchen and saw on the kitchen counter, a bowl full of drying soup beans. Could it be… Was that bowl really… Yes! Sea green! In our own kitchen!!

January 19 2010

Sea Green by Schnookie

With that picture, we decided we could brave the intimidating people and the intimidating project. We got ourselves a box of crayons and got to work, finding every color in the box as assigned (except magenta, we’re still working on that one). This week, the last color was posted and the project came to an end. The color was “bittersweet” and, gosh, is that ever accurate. We’re so, so, so glad we did this project. It taught us to look closer at the world around us, inspired photos on days when we would have just resorted to another couch challenge, and encouraged us to up our game to fit in with the cool kids. We broadened our Flickr horizons and made new contacts. So it’s definitely sad to see it go. What are our vacations going to be like without making our hosts join the hunt for photos ops of “cadet blue” or “wisteria“? That said… It’s also a bit of a relief to not have to find yet another dang purple!

Here are some of our favorite pictures we took for “Sixty-Four Colors”.

November 30 2010

Red by Pookie

Red Orange Roses

Red Orange by Schnookie

Tumbleweed Weeds

Tumbleweed by Schnookie


Granny Smith Apple by Pookie

Asparagus Green

Asparagus Green by Schnookie (This one was almost impossible to find — until Schnookie spotted it across a crowded hockey arena! This is the stuff “64 Colors” dreams are made of.)

Turquoise Car

Turquoise by Schnookie

Sky Blue Splotch

Sky Blue by Schnookie

Orchid Tentacle

Orchid by Pookie

February 4 2011

Gray by Pookie

Here’s to you, Sixty-Four Colors! We’ll miss you!

The Tastiest Blue Green Ever

Blue Green by Pookie


Filed under Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Scavenger Hunt 101 Wrap Up and Introducing SMERSH!

One of our on-going projects for 2010 was Scavenger Hunt 101 on Flickr. It was an easy-going, gently-paced photography motivator for us. We each did own projects (Schnookie’s is here and Pookie’s is here) and had a total blast. The items on the list were constantly in the backs of our minds, and it wasn’t uncommon to hear shouts of “hey, don’t you need a boat without a motor? There’s one!” or “rats, another ambulance and I don’t have my camera!” We’ve picked out a few of our favorites to share.

First up, item #11, a handwritten sign:

Pink Roses, Orange Tent

By Schnookie, taken in the Netherlands

Sing Out, Canary!

By Pookie, taken in NYC

Next time, #66, a dog. We both figured we’d be able to fall back on taking pictures of our friends’ dog, Pippin, but instead we ended up scoring major dog awesomeness on a Scavenger Hunt 101 trip to Asbury Park with Elizabeth.

A Dog

By Schnookie

A Dog

By Pookie (although it was Elizabeth who brilliantly suggested this should count as a dog instead of the “item that represents your region” which Pookie was planning on)

We also both liked what we got for item #7, a puddle:


By Pookie, taken nearby after an expected snow day

Puddle And A Goose

By Schnookie, taken at the local living history farm

When we started the project, we were sure we’d be able to strike a lot of the items off the list by going to our favorite museums. We did just that with #86, a shadow:


By Schnookie, taken in the big blue whale room at the American Museum of Natural History

Me And My Sword-Wielding Shadow

By Pookie, taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Of course, we were also entirely confident, for no good reason, that we would both find the most troublesome of all the items — #4, a waterfall — on our vacation to Columbus. Turns out we were right! (Although Pookie later switched hers to a better picture of a waterfall found… on our vacation to Dallas. Heh.)

Inside The Waterfall

By Schnookie, taken at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus


By Pookie, taken at the Dallas Arboretum

We cracked ourselves up by discovering after the fact that we both used roses for #12, a cliche:

One Perfect Rose

By Pookie, taken in the Netherlands

A Cliche

By Schnookie, taken in Texas, of course

The final item was a self-portrait:

A Self Portrait

Pookie By Pookie

Schnookie's Self Portrait

Schnookie by Schnookie

And here are a few of our other favorites:

Food Growing

#74: Food Growing, by Pookie, taken in the garden

An Exotic Creature

#79: An Exotic Animal, by Schnookie, taken in the Netherlands

Italia Bike

#65: A Bicycle, by Pookie, taken in Princeton

Wouldn’t you like to do a project as fun as this?! YOU CAN! Join us for the Super Mega Exciting Radical Scavenger Hunt (a.k.a. SMERSH)! We’ve made our own list of 101 (+1) items that we’re going to be looking for. There’s no time limit and no pressure, just fun fun fun!


Filed under Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

A Very Dallas Vacation Recap: Day 4

So, back to our Dallas vacation recaps! After our visit to the State Fair, we let our cameras cool off with a couple of lower-key photography days. We headed out to McKinney to do some hard-core quilt shopping one day (Patty is the world’s most patient hostess. We spent FOREVER in the AWESOME quilt shops there), then spent the next day sampling biscuits and gravy at Bubba’s, doing some furniture shopping, visiting the Mustang fountain in Irving, then partaking of the stunning cocktails and desserts at La Duni restaurant back in Dallas. Of course, “cooling off” doesn’t mean our cameras were getting the days off entirely

October 18 2010

If you are ever in McKinney, go to Spoons cafe and get the chocolate cake. Seriously. It looks like a regular old cake, sure, but seriously — this is the best. cake. ever.

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and gravy, by Pookie

B/W Mustangs

Black-and-white lensbaby Mustangs, by Pookie


Curious Mustang, by Pookie


Galloping, by Schnookie

October 19 2010

Schnookie, by Pookie


Hooves, by Schnookie

Iron Hooves

Iron hooves, by Pookie

Horse Face

This is your leader’s nose, by Schnookie

La Duni Chupito

La Duni Chupito, by Schnookie

Extravagant Drink

La Duni Shaken Mariana, by Pookie

Lemon 43

La Duni Lemon 43, by Schnookie


Filed under Away From Home, Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

A Very Dallas Vacation Recap: Day 1

You may have heard that we recently spent a marvelous week (In Dallas) with our great friend Patty. Since returning home we’ve slowly been building up to being able to share the stories and pictures from this wonderful vacation; we don’t like to rush into things, though. We’ve been busy! We can’t be helped that travelogues don’t write themselves! But excuses aside, it’s time for you to gird yourself for our blog-style vacation slide show. It’s like being trapped at our house for a cocktail party, but in text.

Our first big adventure in Dallas was to meet up with Myra, Dave, Grace, and Caitlin for a scrumptious dinner at our favorite restaurant Matito’s, and then to watch from kick-ass seats while the Stars played the Blues. Before you scoff at that less-than-sexy matchup, it should be noted that this was a couple of weeks ago — Patty was still gloating that her team was unbeaten. ::Eyeroll:: Whatever, Patty. Good for you. (Not that we’re bitter about the stupid Devils.) The game was a pretty exciting affair, not that you could tell from our photos, and then we capped off the evening with a visit to Patty’s friend Jim’s skyrise apartment to see his boffo views of the Dallas cityscape. All in all, it was a day extremely well spent.


Stars over Matito’s, by Pookie

October 16 2010

Smoke-spewing star, by Pookie

Speed Lines

A study in motion and long shutter speed, poorly, by Schnookie

Disco Ball

Disco ball with rink reflected, by Schnookie

Stars Opening Video

Escher jumbotron, by Pookie

Disco Bokeh

Disco ball bokeh, by Schnookie

We're Number One

Number one, number one, number one, by Pookie

Disco Stars

Dude, was Schnookie even watching the game, or was it just the disco ball?, by Schnookie

Fisheye Dallas Skyline

Dallas through the fisheye, by Pookie

Bokeh Dallas Skyline

Dallas bokeh, by Pookie


Filed under On The Road, Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Olde Timey Plowing! Yeah, We Are SO Cool!

One of the items on the Scavenger Hunt 101 list is “a beast of burden”. Maybe some folks would have difficulty with that one, but when we saw that all three of us said, “No sweat! We’ll just go to the Plowing Competition!” This is the third year in a row we’ve gone. The first year was the day after Schnookie gave me the Canon DSLR for my birthday, so we didn’t really know what we were doing and we had to share the camera. The second year, I took a polarizing filter I didn’t really know how to use and then tried to use a custom white-balance setting I really didn’t really know how to use. Needless to say, all my pictures sucked. So this year my goal was to not share a camera, not use a polarizer (even though the bright blue sky would have been perfect for it), and not take pictures quite as crappy as last year’s. I took the Lensbaby and the 15mm fisheye lens Schnookie gave me for my birthday this year (it’s like a super-wide angle 50mm — I’m in deep smit with the fisheye) and Schnookie took the 70-300mm lens. Here’ s sampling of the pictures we took.

— Pookie

Novices, Not Listening


B/W Mules

Composition In Horse And Barn

The Team Of Black Horses


Plowing Attitude

Mule Eyes

Fisheye Plowing


Filed under Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Your Intrepid Photographers

This Monday marked another in our continuing adventures of procuring travel visas for Schnookie’s bosses. The bosses may see it as Schnookie being an uber-admin, but really it’s just an excuse to go into NYC and take cool pictures. In this case, our subject was the USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. We’d been there before and had taken some pictures on the flight deck (including the undisputed Favorite Shot of 2009), but this time, rain kept us confined to the lower decks, but that didn’t stop us! Here are some of our favorite shots from our trip.

April 26 2010

Keep The Ship Afloat

Another Call From The Aircraft Carrier

People Of Earth

Star Medal

The Anchor Room

Red Light On Mint Green

Us Taking The Intrepid Very Seriously

Schnookie Posing With A Camera

Fighter Jet

The entire set can be viewed here.


Filed under Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

We Take The Most Exciting Vacations: Part 1

This past weekend we decided we’d had enough of New Jersey and headed on out for a long weekend in an exotic locale. Since we both hate air travel, the exotic locale had to be somewhere drivable. And since it’s still the hockey season it would help if the destination had an NHL team. And since we’ve both been bitten by the quilting bug, a place with a nice quilt store would be a plus. We plugged those three requirements into the trusty IPBTravelTron3000 and discovered that the place for us was none other than Columbus, OH! WOOO!!!

The eight hour drive out there was delightful, bucolic, and involved driving through tunnels under mountains. Exotic! The hockey game was amazingly fun and the home team fires a canon after every goal. Exotic! The quilt stores were stunning and we left with piles of fabulous fabric, including some imports from Japan. Exotic! However, with the exception of the spectacular Blue Jackets mascot, Stinger:

March 25 2010

the opportunities for photos at those places weren’t great. So here in this space, we’ll share with you the two photography excursions we went on. The first was the Franklin Park Conservatory.

Driving there, we had visions of Victorian palm houses straight out of an Amanda Quick novel. Once we got there, our hopes were dashed and then trampled upon by the hordes of school children teeming all over the place. Shudder. The entire place was overrun with students with the notable exception of the handful of other adults with DSLRs who were also clearly unhappy that kids in Ohio are ever let out of the classroom. Somehow, though, we persevered and managed to snap a few shots of the place.

Orange Orchids

Bonzai Bark

Purple Orchids

Pink Cyclemen

The Orchid Area


In addition to having several conservatories for different regions — the Himalayas, rain forest, dessert, South Pacific — the conservatory is home to a bunch of art glass installations by Dale Chihuly. Normally, this isn’t the kind of art that floats our boats, but in context, it looked really striking tucked in with the plants.

Blue Glass

Blue Glass Sculpture Garden

Chihuly Cave

Ship Of Chihuly

The best part of the trip to the Conservatory, though, was that both of us were able to check off one of the most troubling items on the Scavenger Hunt 101 list: a waterfall. Pookie predicted we’d find waterfalls in Columbus, and she was right!

Inside The Waterfall


If you’d like to see the rest of the photos from the Conservatory, you can see the whole set here. Stay tuned for Part 2 for the other exciting photo excursion.


Filed under On The Road, Pictures Worth A Thousand Words