Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Super Moon September 2014

"The term “super moon” describes a moon that is closer to Earth than usual.
Because of how close the supermoon is, it can appear as much as 14 percent larger in the sky and 30 percent brighter to our eyes than normal moons, according to NASA."  ...The Epoch Times (

So this morning I was up early and realized the clouds had dissipated, the sky was clearer and I had perfect viewing of this beautiful moon. It was so bright and round and full and big.
(NOW, Technically this was not the ultra-PEAK time of the supermoon , but it seemed pretty darn amazing to me.)
This is the last Super Moon of 2014, so  I grabbed my trusty canon sx50 and headed out.
I did all these photos with my regular camera.(canon powershot sx50)  No extra lenses or anything special. This was just the  power shot and up to 200x zoom. i used the manual mode and did all the settings myself. I used 1/400 to 1/800 (depending on the shot) and between F 5.0 and F 8.0  depending on what it was looking like.  I wanted to really capture the brightness, so I let the lens add in more light, but didn't want the shutter speed to be wrong and make it look further away.  i have found that by just playing around you will find what works best for you.  Don't be scared to take pictures and mess up. Then you can go back, delete and tweak as needed.  i have found my photography has improved 100 fold since I started just experimenting.
I used to be an "auto only" girl, but have since realized manual is really much better to get exactly what you want.
about 50x - 75x zoom

normal right before high zoom kicks in.

love the craters and impact sites

zoomed about 100x and sharpened to see the details a little better.

love this photo. I didn't have to do much to it, other than crop.

zoomed 200x

zoomed about 150x

zoomed about 150x or 175x

did this shot on AUTO settings instead of  my manual settings. you can see a difference in the color and the crispness.

zoomed about 150 or 175x.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Annual Apple Picking Family Day!!

Yesterday we decided to have the annual McBride Apple Picking day.  we packed up, and headed out towards Asheville, NC to the mountains to go and get some Honeycrisps.  If you don't know what a honeycrisp apple is, then you need to find out ASAP.  They are the greatest apple ever invented. Seriously.
they were an experiment at the University of Minnesota, they were cross breeding trying to develop an apple for colder climates. The true parentage of the Honeycrisp is still unknown.  They do know one of the parents is The Keepsake (which is a cross between a Northern Spy and MN447), but the other is still being researched.
. They are a cold hardy apple variety, so even when the mountains get snow and cold snaps the trees flourish. They do best in colder climates like New England, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota , but have since become a prized apple of the mountain growers here in NC.   They seem to thrive in the mountains here.

Why do I love these so much??  They are firm, juicy , sweet and tart all rolled into one. Eat them raw, they cook well too. They are one of the fastest growing apples as far as popularity.

So usually we go to Grandads Apples, but this year we decided to try a new place.  Grandads only had the pre-picked honeycrisps and we wanted to pick our own.  Charles found a place that had U-Pick Honeycrisps. It was Creasman Farms..  They are ONLY OPEN ON SUNDAYS for Picking!! They were a little more remote and out of the way than Grandads, BUT they were quiet, they had lots of trees with really good apples, and they were great price-wise.  The lady at the farm said  "We don't have all the entertainment", that's not what they are about.  they are about you coming to pick apples. No corn mazes, no pony rides, no country store and baked goods. I LOVED that.  I was there to get apples, not spend the day burning money and spent all that time to go and get pre-bagged apples.
We are definitely using them next year!

heading in with the haul

basket of apples

Finn insisted on taking our picture...while Charles was chewing.

apple orchards at Creasman Farms

helllooooo gorgeous!

red delicious

red delicious

After we were done picking we headed back towards Grandads, because no family apple day is complete without a cider slushy and apple turnover from Grandads apples. They were CROWDED.

boys thought they found a TARDIS...turns out it was an old Bell South Phone Booth.

Finn in the phone booth

no filter needed. This is an amazing bit of country

peter in his TARDIS

Pumpkins already?? I guess it's that time of year!
Headed home and now I have about 40# or more of apples that I gotta use up!!

Love apple day. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WEENIE ROAST 2014- Fitz and the tantrums, Foster the People, and WEEZER

Last night hubs and I went to the WEENIE ROAST 2014! It is a concert put on by Budweiser and 106.5FM  There were 14 bands this year.

We didn't get there until after 5pm so most of the bands had performed already. I was mainly there for Fitz and the Tantrums, Foster the People, Fuel and WEEZER.
When we got there J Roddy Walston and the Business was playing. They were pretty good, I had never heard of them, but enjoyed their sound.
According to the schedule ,Fuel was SUPPOSED to come on stage at 6:35. They didn't.  I don't know if they got moved to an earlier slot, or if they cancelled, or what. But i didn't get to see them. 

Us when we got there.  It was like 1000000 degrees outside and everyone was in the lawn or tailgating until the big names came on.

For Fitz and Foster the People,  our seats were left center-ish almost to the back of the overhang. Good seats,  BUT, after Foster the people, someone we knew was leaving and gave us their seats CENTER right behind the VIP  eat and seat. so we had primo seats for Weezer!

I will say that I have enjoyed their music pre-concert, but didn't know a lot of it. I am a new-found admirer and fan. I will DEFINITELY be listening to more of them.  They came out and KILLED it. Seriously. It was so hot and humid and they just absolutely went to town.  they got everyone on their feet and such awesome audience interaction. i REALLY liked them a lot.  i told hubbs that I absolutely wouldn't mind seeing them again.  And I have a new crush. The lead singer is ...wowie wow wow. something about him is SEXY.  Maybe it is the rock star sweat .

This lady right here is AMAZING. She nailed it. seriously.

I am going to be honest, I like Foster the People, but I wouldn't see them again(just on their own). I feel like the music was good, but they had no audience chemistry. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did Fitz and the Tantrums.  The set was great, the music was great, but I just cant put my finger on it, they didn't peak my interest as much. And I am sad to say that because I do enjoy their music. I just felt like it was hard for them to come out after FATT, who had an amazing set and got the audience completely ready , and it was hard for them to hold that momentum, then to be followed by Weezer. It was a tough spot.

What can I say about this amazing band?  The lead singer did his own sound check and tuning (wearing a welding helmet as a disguise??) Then as they were waiting to come out on stage they were playing Frisbee. 

 They came out swinging with My Name is Jonas and just kept hitting with their best songs, their hits, a new one coming out etc. It was amazing. One regret: i wish they had played The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. But other than that no complaints. I loved everything.
 And because of our better seats(Thanks Browns!) we were right near the cameras who were recording so we had primo lighting for photographs etc. i am REALLY proud of some of these. (Like, Weezer needs to call me and use some of them as promotional pictures).  These were all taken with my Canon sx50 point and shoot. 

I LOVE this photo. No photoshop,no filter. This is perfection.

I liked all the "flair". 

this was sound check. It is the lead singer wearing a welding helmet, doing his own tuning and sound check.

This was a great concert. I have listened to  Weezer for 20 years, so i am glad i finally got to see them play live.