Maple leaves

maple leaves

Armed with my camera and busy taking photo of flowers when my neighbor invited me into her garden, she has an amazing beautiful garden. I felt in love with the maple trees. I had seen this beautiful red pointed shaped leave and always want to take photograph of them. The maple tree in her garden is six foot tall and it is raining so I have a happy hour in her garden taking different photos of nature.

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I felt in love with the new ways some of the Japanese photographers taking their photos using the sunlight to create overexposure so that the effect will be one stop overexposure to create  light, fogging, blurring and pastel look to the image.  I wanted to learn how to do as these photographers do with their photos.  So using the micro lens and taking the same image 3 times with different stop – example F11, F8 and F5.6, one is the normal, under and over exposures. When I see them in my computer and love those shots with overexposure  as it does create the image as what those photographers did.

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I will be going away for a long vacation till mid August, taking a long break from all the media to enjoy my holidays with my families in overseas.

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I needed to practice more so that my macro photos will have the perfect effect. At least this is the first step to try to explore and see how it turn up for my macro photos.

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Ladybug or Ladybirds

Ladybirds

At my neighbor’s garden armed with my camera with a macro lens trying my luck to see what I can  get in the garden.  I am lucky to catch a pair of 2 spotted ladybirds mating.  It is an amazing experience to see such a beautiful sight.  It bought me down to earth that Mother’s Nature are so amazing  and if you have the time to spare and enjoy this beautiful nature.

 

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Source from National Geographic

Many people are fond of ladybugs because of their colorful, spotted appearance. But farmers love them for their appetite. Most ladybugs voraciously consume plant-eating insects, such as aphids, and in doing so they help to protect crops. Ladybugs lay hundreds of eggs in the colonies of aphids and other plant-eating pests. When they hatch, the ladybug larvae immediately begin to feed.

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Ladybugs are also called lady beetles or, in Europe, ladybird beetles. There are about 5,000 different species of these insects, and not all of them have the same appetites. A few ladybugs prey not on plant-eaters but on plants. The Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle are destructive pests that prey upon the crops mentioned in their names.

Ladybugs appear as half-spheres, tiny, spotted, round or oval-shaped domes. They have short legs and antennae.

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Their distinctive spots and attractive colors are meant to make them unappealing to predators. Ladybugs can secrete a fluid from joints in their legs which gives them a foul taste. Their coloring is likely a reminder to any animals that have tried to eat their kind before: “I taste awful.” A threatened ladybug may both play dead and secrete the unappetizing substance to protect itself.

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Nature life is full of surprise and arm with the camera I am not sure what I will see or photo when I out in the garden, woodland or rolling fields.

 

A visit to Moon Lake Park -月湖, Ningbo, China

Moon Lake Park

A visit to Hong Kong  to meet my sisters and friends and to visit  Ningbo, China so that we can sightseeing together.  We booked into the hotel – Orange Hotel which cost 20.00 English pounds sterling a night, a beautiful 3 stars hotel, from the hotel about 20 minutes walk to this Moon lake Park, in Ningbo, China.

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China have an amazing beautiful scenic places  of this world  a must to see but it is  hard to enjoy yourself due to most of the scenic places are full of locals and tourists which make it harder for  personal enjoyment and appreciation of the scenery due to the crowds.  It is a love and hate whenever I visit this country.

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Ningbo Moon Lake, also known as Ningbo Yuehu (月湖), is located in the downtown district. It is a great place for a picnic, stroll, or a paddle around the lake in one of the boats available for hire.   According to historical records, in the urban area of Ningbo the Moon Lake was initially built in 636, the 10th year of the Tang Zhenguan period.

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During the Southern Song Dynasty, a lot of towers, terraces and pavilions were built in the region that form the ten wonderful scenic attractions surrounded with seven bridges and three embankments.

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In 833, Magistrate Wang Yuanwei of Maoxian County (the present Ningbo) decided to build water conservancy projects. Under his leadership, channels and weirs were built and water from Lunshan Mountain was led through the waterways into the city and two lakes, the Sun Lake and the Moon Lake thus came into being. During the Northern and Southern Song Dynasties, Ningbo had gradually grown into a flourishing metropolis and a city of strategic importance that was close to the then capital city (Hangzhou in the South Song Dynasty). As the waterways within the city had been successively dredged, a crisscross water network, with the Moon Lake as the heart, was formed. It was well known with its “three rivers plus six canals with a lake at the core”.

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In the past 800 years, the Moon Lake has been an important academic spot, well known in south China for its fine education tradition and many historical celebrities and poets in China like He Zhizhang, Wang Anshi, and Sima Guang often gathered here to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Moon Lake.

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I was totally enchanted by this town  there are so many tourists attraction, nice posh shopping centre to shop and food stalls with amazing beautiful cook foods at a cheap rate. Fully recommend to anyone if you have time or happen to be near this city just take a day or two to see the beautiful scenery in this town.

 

 

 

 

Growing Nigella damascena – Love-in-a-Mist

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My neighbor invited me into her garden, she has different types of poppies growing in her garden without planting them.  After taking some photos of the poppies, there were the deep blue flowers caught my eyes. It was the Nigella Damascena or well know as Love-in-a-Mist. I love the fern like leaves which look like a nest below the flowers. If you see this beautiful flowers you will see the unique  and unusual shaped petals and leaves.

 

I enjoyed two hours happily snapping my camera at her litte paradise garden.

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Source from Gardening more informations on this beautiful flowers:

Nigella earns its common name of Love-in-a-Mist with a tangle of ferny, fennel like foliage that form a mist around the flowers. I’m not sure why anyone would call Nigella Devil in the Bush. Nigella flowers start off as interesting puffs, open into rich toned, straw-flower like blossoms and change into equally attractive seed pods.

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Once you see Nigella in bloom, you will always recognize it by its unique mist of airy bracts and foliage. The foliage is ferny, the flowers are fluffy and the seed pods are intriguing. Best known for the vivid blue blossom variety, Nigella also blooms in purples, pinks and white.

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Design Suggestions:

Nigella is a wonderful cottage garden plant and a great filler. The airy foliage makes a nice complement to broader leaved plants. The flowers keep well as cut flowers. The seed pods can be dried and used in arrangements. To dry the pods, cut while the pods are still green and somewhat fresh. Tie the stems into a bundle and hand upside down to dry. You can cut the seed pods in half to display the interesting seed chamber structure.
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Growing Tips:

Nigella does not like being transplanted and does best if direct seeded outdoors. Seed can be sown from early spring, throughout the summer and even in fall, in climates with mild winters.

Choose a site that gets either full sun or at least morning sun. Nigella is not particular about soil quality, but it doesn’t like to remain wet.

To sow, simply scatter the seed and rake it in. You don’t really need to cover the seed with soil, but it does need to be pressed down slightly.

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Maintenance: Nigella is a short lived plant and probably won’t make through an entire growing season. For a continuous bloom, repeat sow every 4 weeks. Once your plants have begun to scatter seed, you won’t need to continue sowing.

Cutting and deadheading will keep your plants flowering a bit longer, but you’ll sacrifice the seed pods.

A Happy Father’s Day – 2014

 

ImageSalute to all the fathers and wish all of you have “A Happy Father’s Day”. It is a day to celebrate with the families members to show their appreciation that men are as good as women as parents to all our children.  A day for children to show their love to their fathers and say “I love you”.

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My father died when I am 10 years old even though he was always in my heart and treasured times when he was ill I had to look after him for the last few years. He was not rich or successful but he had a heart full of love for all his 6 children, he tried his best to earn enough to feed us and clothed us but we do not have all the luxuries keepsake or toys for our childhood.  All of us were always bellyful and well dressed and all of us squeezed into a two room bedrooms village home.

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A Happy, Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers in this world. A small token of my photos to show my appreciation for this great man and for all the fathers in this world.

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Uninvited guest – Damselfly

Damselfly

I had been watching “Spring Watch” for 3 weeks and follow the advice of not mowing the garden and let the grasses grow wildly. I had an invited guest in by garden yesterday, a pair of damselflies flying in the garden till sunset. I had a great opportunities to take photos of this beautiful insects.

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Source from British Dragonfly Society

In many ways this could be considered to be the most typical British damselfly. It shares its blue and black colouration with several other species. It can be distinguished from the others by its broad ante-humeral stripes. In the male, S2 has a characteristic mark of a spot linked to the inter segment suture by a short line. S8 and S9 are entirely blue.
The female occurs in two colour forms, one blue, as in the male, the other dull green. The mark on S2 is thistle shaped and there is a “Christmas tree” shaped stepped triangle on S8.
They often perch gregariously on emergent plant stems, all facing the same way.

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Habitat

It occurs in most waters and on large lakes is usually the most abundant species.

 

Final Year Exhibition – Journey of Life – Crossing

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My 8 weeks of exploration, researched and produced four pieces of sculpture pieces. My work theme – the journey of life from when we are born till we grow old. My parents wanted me to have a good education so that in the future I can achieve my goal.  During our this journey of life we might encountered unexpected forces of circumstances, illness, drugs and drinks to change our life from bright side to dark side.

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Three of my sculptural pieces represent  a family of young children and a parent;  using the denim fabric which is a strong, hard woven material to illustrate the daily working life in our world.  The creases on the denim show the movements of our daily day life and the fabric covered with plaster clay.  I love the pure white of the plaster clay to represent the bright side in the journey of life.

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My last piece is a “lost Soul” which illustrate that a person passed away and become a lost soul in the afterlife world. In our Chinese culture or tradition when a person dead we burned paper clothings, dresses or shoes to the lost soul so that they can have it in the afterlife world. My last piece is a dress made with plaster clay to represent a paper dress and spray with black car spray and drape with the curtain to separate the bright side from the dark side in the journey of life.

 

Our final year exhibition public viewing is on the 10th June from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. at Sutton Coldfield Campus, Outline Art and Design  – Summer Shows  June 2014.  This exhibition will be open to public from 10th June to 20th June all friends and relatives are welcome if you happen in England. Email me and let me know  if you want further details on the shows.