If it’s July it must be home improvements month. Yes, most of July was spent redoing our backyard. The project started June 15th, right after we returned from Montreal and the Canadian Grand Prix, and was completed on July 23rd. It all began when one of the pipes to the pool sprung a leak and we had to tear up some of the backyard hardscape for the repair. Never hesitating to make a big project out of a little one, we opted to just redo the entire yard. The final results are wonderful, and breathed new life into our enjoyment of the backyard. It was a comprehensive project and included replacing the wooden, termite infested, patio cover with an aluminum one; replacing cracked pool coping and tile; and installing artificial turf to replace the aged hardscape. And last, but not least, we also decided to add air conditioning to our home. We are loving it all!
Photography wise, things were a little slow in July. One bright spot, I was published again. Nature Photography ran my story about the Black Bears of Anan Creek and Watching Backyard Birds choose one of my images for its August cover.
I did manage to get some night photography practice. I call it practice because my images don’t quite come out the way I would like. First, I wanted to get a full moon setting over the ocean. In San Diego, with its almost perpetual evening marine layer, that turned out to be a bust. Then, when I tried for a full moon rising over the city skyline, the morning was overcast. So those ideas were a total flop with no actual shots at all. I did make it out to Borrego Springs, with its dark night sky, for some Milky Way photography. I considered the results mixed so I will try that again.
Finally, in early August, I did get some nice images of butterflies in the wild when I went out with the Photo Naturalists Camera Club to the Bird and Butterfly Garden at San Diego County's Tijuana River Valley Regional Park. It's amazing what I will photograph when I'm hard up. Can you believe spiders and grasshoppers?
Now that the July doldrums are over, I’m looking forward to a more robust photography schedule for the remainder of the year. That will start soon with another trip to the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge in Lake Clark National Park in Alaska.