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Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen

text + images + ideas = reading/writing + art/design + notions

Results tagged “summer”

Nokia Lumia 1020: Close-up of a Magnolia blossom

Nokia 808 PureView: Close-up of a Magnolia flower

Click on photos for larger versions and captions, both taken by Ms. Jen whilst wandering around Seal Beach. First photo is taken by the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the second one by the Nokia 808 PureView

Thurs 08.22.13 - As Scruffy and I were on our evening walk through Seal Beach, I saw this magnolia flower peeping out from a line of small magnolia trees acting as fence. The flower was right at my shoulder level and I didn't have to strain or zoom to take a photo of it, other than moving a few leaves and getting both the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the 808 PureView close-up to the flower.

Best part was that with the Nokia Lumia 1020, I just had to tap on the screen to tell it where I wanted to focus and I didn't need to set the manual focus in the Pro Cam app. I was about 5 - 6 inches (12-15cm) from the center of the flower. On the Nokia 808 PureView, I did have to set it to "close-up" mode and even then it had the red focus rectangle and not the green.

The Lumia 1020 is very clear and the 808 is a bit soft, esp. in the area of focus - the center stalk of the flower, given how close I put both camera phones to the subject. But the 808 PureView's color is much truer to real life. I find that if I remember, in the moment, to set the Lumia 1020's white balance off of Auto and to the actual light situation (sunny, cloudy, etc.) the color will be more accurate and not as yellow-ish.

Sorry about the attack of Magnolia leaf in the bottom right hand corner of the Nokia 808 PureView, but top of holding the leaves back I also had two camera phones and one dog leash to only two hands.

Lukas at the Tot Lot
Photo of Lukas at the Tot Lot taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.

Tue 07.02.13 - Today Erika and Lukas came down to Seal Beach for a visit. We went swimming in the pool, Lukas had a nap, then off to Udupi Palace for a paper dosa and thali, and finally to the Tot Lot before they had to return home. It was lovely to have Erika and Lukas come for a visit.

| | fun stuff
The S/S Ukkopekka docked at Naantali View of the island sea and sailboat from Naantali Midsummer rose, Naantali Museo Back on the S/S Ukkopekka, rain outside Loistokari Island Midsummer's evening on Loistokari Island Steaming away from Loistokari Island
All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 Pureview Camera phone.

Sun 06.24.12 - In November of 2009, in a flurry of dreaming about traveling, I made a Life List that was mostly crazy, off the beaten path travel to-dos. This last week and weekend I checked off #16: Spend a week in a cabin / summer house on a lake in Finland.

When I originally wrote my Life List, I had hoped to be able to spend a week in a Finnish summer cottage on or by a lake, but when it came time to book, in early May, such an event for the last two weeks of June, I was unable to find a rental cottage that was not HUGE in my rental price range. By HUGE, I mean for 18-24 people - overkill.

Carol Chen came to the rescue when she found out that I was planning on attending Devaamo 2012 in Tampere, Finland, by offering to let me stay in her extra room at her apartment in the wooded & lake'd Tampere suburb of Hervanta.

For one week, I had the opportunity to get to attend Devaamo, hang out with amazing geeks, wander around Tampere & Hervanta, and walk around local lakes. Not quite the summer cottage by a lake, but close enough for rock'n'roll without the mosquito bites!

This weekend, Carol and I went to Turku on the far southwestern coast of Finland, which is the jump off area to visit the Finnish Archipelago - Saaristomeri. We left Tampere via the Inter-City train mid-day on Friday, which was Midsummer's Eve and arrived in a very shut down all closed Turku on 2 hours later.

Luckily for us a few of the tourist options were open, like the Turku Cathedral and a few riverfront bars and restaurants. We had dinner at a nice jazz bar with a swing/ragtime live band, as well as bought tickets to tour a bit of the inner islands on the S/S Ukkopekka for the next day.

Yesterday, Midsummer, we went on two island cruise trips on the S/S Ukkopekka, the first one a day tour to Naantali that included four hours of wandering around old town Naantali and the Moomin island, and the second was an evening dinner cruise to Loistokari Island. Due to rain in the evening, dancing on the island was cancelled, but dinner on the boat with a sing-a-long band was still a lot of fun.

Today I returned to Helsinki with much of life still shut down for the national holiday weekend. I am very fortunate to be able to visit Finland in the summer, particularly over one of their biggest holiday weekends of the year.

People, do not allow any Finn to convince you otherwise, but the big secret they like to keep is how amazingly beautiful Finland is in the summer, even if a bit cloudy and rainy at times. Finland is a truly lovely country.

Video taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8 cameraphone in Kalkaji, New Delhi, India.

Tues. 06.14.11 - More photos to be added.

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.

Sunday 09.26.10 - The first day of real summer heat occurred on the fourth day of autumn. Welcome to SoCal's fire season.

| | oh, california
Julie Wanda and Ms. Jen at the Orange Street Fair The Altar Billies Wes and his Remarkable Porkpie Hat

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.

Sat 09.04.10 - This afternoon Julie Wanda, Wes, and I went to the annual Labor Day weekend Orange International Street Fair. Per the usual, the weekend of the Street Fair is/was the hottest weekend of the summer. It was 72F degrees when I left Seal Beach, 86F at Julie Wanda's house, and in the 90s when we were out at Street Fair. Dang it was hot.

We wandered around all four streets plus the Orange Circle, said hello to Dave Mau, and watched the Altar Billies, before the heat got to be too much. Upon arriving at the car, it was 97F and we drove back to Julie Wanda's to enjoy the air conditioning. Living in Seal Beach has made me even more of a temperature wimp than I was before.


| | oh, california
Very tall yellow daisies and blue sky Very tall yellow daisies and blue sky

Photos of the 6ft. tall daisies by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.

| | oh, california
June Gloom in July
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86 this misty morning about 10:30am looking out from Seal Beach to Esther the Oil Platform.

Mon. 07.05.10 - Rarely does the Southern California's June Gloom last into July. Some years the marine layer of clouds will stubbornly persist in the mornings until the Fourth of July, but most years the Fourth of July dawns sunny and hot, not low, gray, looming clouds with a windy chill as yesterday's weather.

In the course of my living memory, there have only been two summers where the clouds stayed past noon and/or the clouds stayed all summer long, depressing many and causing tourists* to snark about "Sunny California".

The summer of 1983 had clouds that lasted well into July and it did not get good and sunny at the beaches until August. The winter of 1982/1983 was one of our biggest El Nino years in history and the following year was a La Nina year. The summer clouds created by the chillier than normal ocean & hot land foretold of the La Nina to come.

The summer of 1991 had clouds as far inland as Buena Park all summer long, while it was odd to be socked in with clouds 20 miles inland from the ocean in August, that was the year that Mt. Pinatubo blew it's top and created the 2nd biggest eruption in the 20th Century. But the early nineties were also a strong La Nina and California drought era.

In a year of drought, it can be a blessing to the parched hillsides to have clouds and a bit of mist over a hot, drying sun, even if it causes S.A.D. and cranky beach goers.

Scientists announced last month that this past year's El Nino had abated and that the Intertropical Convergence Zone in the Pacific has lower than normal temperatures and they declared 2010 to be a La Nina year. Or shall we also account Eyjafjallajökull's ashes to partially account for this year's extended June Gloom season in SoCal?

My bet to account for the longer than usual June Gloom this year is largely with La Nina with a possible sprinkling of volcano ashes. Regardless, this morning and yesterday morning had low lying clouds bordering on fog and the temperatures were in the 60s F / late teens C and not the 80s F.

Yesterday the sun finally burned the clouds off at 12:43pm and they did not return until after 5pm. Today we had a sprinkling rain most of the morning, the clouds didn't burn off until after 2pm and by 4:30pm the clouds had rolled back in.

Clouds most of the day with a fine misty morning? Who imported in a nice western Irish summer to Los Angeles?


* Dear tourists, please note that SoCal is at her *TRUE* glory from Jan 15 - March 15th. When your town is knee deep in with snow & cold, SoCal gets a storm or two that blows in, blows out, and leaves crystal clear, sunny days with snowy mountains. Our summer does not really start until July most years, and does not really heat up until August & September. Check Weather.com and book your holidays accordingly. kthnxbai.

Mon 06.21.10 - At the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, today was/is Midsummer, but here in the mid-latitudes (33N), today at 4:28am PDT marks the beginning of the summer season, or the summer solstice.

Now, the specific 33N mid-latitudes that I live in is the greater Los Angeles basin area, of which June 20/21st marks the end of the June Gloom season (May 1st - June 30th) and the start of the Mostly Consistently Sunny Season but before the start of the official Fire Season (Sept 15th - Oct 31st). Thus, Summer in other people's worlds.

Me, I am not so much of a fan of the season known as Summer, and I am even less a fan of the late Fire Season. I like my mostly consistently sunny season to be Dec 21st - March 15th. I like my sun to come with sharp, crisp chilly weather, not sweltering, stagnant hot weather.

I will leave the love of the hot to the folks of the higher northern latitudes who have a real winter and thus summer is a treat or to the folks of the equatorial latitudes for whom summer is year around and any drop below 68F/20C is FREEZING.

So how, some way, I will figure out how to spend Midsummer to late October north of the 55th parallel line next year. Some how, some way.

And to the rest of you, Happy Summer!

| | nature + environment , oh, california

I will be on an airplane flying from Los Angeles to Stuttgart, Germany, most likely somewhere over northern Canada when the official summer solstice occurs tonight 10:45pm PDT (5:45am UTC), which is highly appropriate to be in a northern clime during the actually time of "sun-standing".

Here is a cool chart from the US Navy on the relative length of longest day and longest night depending on your latitude: If you live just a bit north of Los Angeles at 35N, then today/tomorrow will have 14 hours and 31 minutes of sun, but if you live in Helsinki or Anchorage at 60N, then you will have 18 hours and 53 minutes of sun (providing it is not cloudy, so I should say daylight)!

If you belong to a good old fashioned Sun based religion, enjoy your day and evening... Happy Midsummer!

| | fun stuff , nature + environment

Fri 08.22.08 - Ryan staked Bird's sunflowers last weekend as they were falling over. Soon the seeds will be harvested, then soaked in salt brine, then roasted, and then we can eat them.

File under odd but True: This summer at least once a week we have had June Gloom (maritime inversion layer clouds) until 10am or noon. Usually, from July 4th to October or November, we are cloud free. The days we have the inversion clouds it makes photography difficult.

| | nature + environment , oh, california

According to the nice folk at the US Navy Observatory, today, June 20, 2008 at 23:59 UT will be the Summer Solstice.

To most North Americans, this is the day we mark as the start of Summer. When I was in Ireland, May 1st was the first day of Summer and today would be considered the high point of Summer. Where ever you are north of the equator and whenever you start your Summer, Happy Longest Day of the Year!

Enjoy it as you will. I will be driving to Lake Tahoe for CampCamp 5.0. I should be on the Interstate 5 driving north at 4:59pm Pacific Daylight Time.

| | fun stuff , nature + environment

Out of Season : Winter Storm in Late May

Fri 05.23.08 - Othewise entitled "Winter Storm in Late May".

The light streaming into my apartment this morning with the cold wind that was making my curtains billow was not the bright light and warm winds of May or even the dull, clouded light of early June gloom, but instead this morning was the completely out of season winter storm continued its assault on the whole of the West Coast (from BC to Baja), as well as the Western States.

The light this morning was intense with a bright gray light streaming in and the curtains puffed out with chilly wind. Now it is Friday evening and I can't walk the dogs for the rain.

If you live in a wet place, this is not strange. But SoCal is on the edge of the desert. We are a "Mediterranean Climate" in the best of years or a "Semi-Arid" climate in the worst of years. In the best of years the rainy season starts in late Oct. or early Nov. and lasts until March or April, in the worst of years we are lucky to get rain in Feb. & March. Coastal SoCal (within 100 miles of the Pacific Ocean) does not receive the "North American Monsoon" rains in the late summer that Arizona and New Mexico receive. To get rain, real rain, not sprinkles from the inversion layer clouds, anytime from May all the way to Oct. is a very rare event and considered strange.

The last two days with near gale force winds, rain, and chilly weather in late May have been strange. This is weather we expect Dec - Feb, not months later.

Odd, but welcomed. When you live on the edge of a big desert, any rain is welcome.

| | nature + environment