Monthly Archives: November 2013

The warmth of winter

Even in the bitter cold, a little bit of sunshine goes a long way to adding a layer of warmth to these winter days.


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Felt case DIY

Hello all Apartment Therapy visitors!

Thanks for popping over to check out my blog. While I dabble in crafts here and there, this space is focused on my nature photography. The felt phone case was a wing-it kinda craft, and is pretty flexible regarding design and pattern. You could embroider any style, as long as you ensure the felt is large enough for the phone, and that you keep the edges on 3 sides sealed (I used blanket-stitch for that). If you have any questions on the tutorial, I would be happy to answer them, so please, fire away!

Happy crafting,


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Dominican Republic: Birds

(Click through to see the 5 images in this post).

Of course, being in the Caribbean without kids meant I had the time and opportunity to do some serious birding. While the biodiversity of Central and South America is better, there were still lots of endemics and beautiful birds to observe. Ironic that the best place to bird was actually at the resort, even though we spent over 8 hours in the Nacional Parque del Este (with a pricey private guide and boat tour), where we barely heard a peep. And you know what? Not much can beat birding in a bathing suit with a rum punch in your hand.

All of these images were taken with my trusty 70-200 mm f/4, which is a bit of a bulky beast to carry around on vacation. More to come on that later.

White-necked crow (with a crazy red eye):


Pearly-eyed thrasher:


Black-crowned palm tanager:


Hispaniolan lizard-cuckoo (so cool watching this guy hunt!):


Hispaniolan woodpecker, excavating a cavity:


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Dominican Republic: Critters

(Click through to see the 5 images in this post).

In the Dominican Republic for a week, our time was pretty evenly spent looking out at the ocean, up at the birds, and down at the ground looking for critters. Ok, maybe there was a little time spent gazing into each others’ eyes – it was our 10-yr anniversary after all, and we were on vacation without the kids – but not much of that, there were too many adventures to be had!

We managed to get off the hotel grounds a few times, and spent some time in Bayahibe, on Isla Saona, and for a hike in the Parque Nacional del Este, entering from the NE access point in Boca de Yuma. The bird post will come later this week, but here are few of the critters we encountered here and there in our travels.

Blunt-headed Green Tree Snake:


A terrestrial snail on the limestone trail in the Parque Nacional del Este:


A crab on the beach in the fishing village of Bayahibe:


A basking Santo Domingo Curly-tailed Lizard:


An anole on the trail between Bayahibe and Dominicus:


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Had a date with the ocean last week. My husband of 10 years (the real reason for the trip) didn’t mind that I was two-timing him, he understands the seduction that was involved.
More to come…


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In my neighbour’s yard 3

Dark understory, bright overstory, and a wide angle lens – suddenly I’m transported from a backyard garden to a world where Ents exist.


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In my neighbour’s yard 2

While the roses are long gone, there is still much to appreciate in a fall garden.

It was really hard to meter this correctly, ensuring the frost sparkled, but didn’t get washed out, and trying not to get the leaves to show up as black. Every leaf was on a different plane, too, so I had to tweak the depth of field to get certain leaves but not others in focus. While this image captures the essence of the glittered rose leaves that morning, it can probably be improved on. No matter, I definitely learned a lot in the process of composing this image. And I can always head back down the road to my neighbour’s yard to try again some day.


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In my neighbour’s yard 1

I have the best neighbours. And they have the best backyard. I took the liberty of wandering through their space with my camera on a crisp sunny morning this fall, to see what I could see, and capture what I could. I got a serious crick in my neck trying to line up the sun with a hole in the leaves just the way I wanted, but it turned out pretty good, so it was worth it.

FYI – a nifty trick taught to me by Harry Nowell in one of his photography workshops, is to set the aperture at f/16 or smaller to get a starburst effect at your points of light. A simple technique that has been lots of fun to play with (thanks Harry!).


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