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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two Teddy Bears Created A Blog

"Afternoon Stroll"

Just a note to let you know that my two little Teddy Bears decided to have their own blog...
You can have a look at the blog "Two Little Bears" by clicking here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Teddy Bears' Asparagus Hunting

"Asparagus Hunting"

One afternoon, I decided to take my teddy bears out for photographing. I couldn't get inspired most of the way, then I came across this olive grove where so many different kind of wildflowers were flowering. First I took their photos against an old olive tree, but it wasn't interesting at all. So I gathered some wild asparagus growing nearby, and let Teddy to carry them.

Processing the photo on my computer later, I wondered whether I should have let Pencil (the little red teddy bear) to hold one end of asparagus and Teddy (the brown bigger bear) to hold the other end... It might have been better.

Well, it's a bit too late now.

Friday, February 22, 2008

End of Polaroid Film

Do you know the name Edwin Land? He was the guy who introduced the Land Camera to the world. Inventor and scientist, Land developed the first process that could make a finished print in 60 seconds.

Coincide with the anniversary of Land's introduction of the Land Camera, on February 21st, sadly Polaroid Corporation announced that all instant films will no longer be produced after 2008.

After the introduction of digital cameras, as we know, film industry had begun to decline significantly. So, with the close of this year, just 60 years after the first instant Land Camera went on sale, the iconic product for which Polaroid is most known will no longer exist.

Feels somewhat sad...

Read the full story at

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Memory Card Photo Recovery

Today I received an email from one of the site I affiliate with about their new product release.

It is a program called "Memory Card Photo Recovery".
As the name suggusts, this program recovers the deleted photos from your memory card.
I've personally never deleted photos by mistake, but I often hear horror stories about deleting photos from the camera before downloading them or mistakingly formatted the memory card...

According to the people who made this, Memory Card Photo Recovery is one cool little program that can automatically recover deleted photos straight from your memory card.
Simply connect the memory card, or your camera, straight to your PC. Then run this program. It'll automatically piece together all of your "long-lost" photos.

They even say that it comes with a 100% photo recovery guarantee.

If you are interested in, go to their website by clicking here to learn more. (By the way, the link is an afiliate link ;-) )

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

TrekLens New Widget!

The photo sharing site "TrekLens" - I suppose, TrekEarth and TrekNature as well - created a really nice slideshow widget. The above is the one. These photos are posted on my "Theme" on Anybody who is a member of this site can use this widget, so if you are a photographer or enjoy photography, why not to try this feature? I think this is fantastic way to share photos.

P.S. - I found that sometimes this widget get stuck...
If you can't see anything above, go to and take a look ;-)

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Wild Asparagus :-)

"A Good Result"

I went out again to find more of tasty wild asparagus.
Last time I managed to gather only a handful of them but this time, it was pretty good! Look at the photo, that's only 1/3. I love Spanish Spring ;-)
When I came home, I shared them with my neighbors and we all enjoyed.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St. Valentine's Day and Violets

"I Give You My Heart"
I was having coffee in my house looking out of the window. In the corner of
the garden, there was a little violet flowering. As I took my camera out and
looked at it through lense, I noticed a small heart shaped seed from a tree
above sitting on the petal. It reminded me of the legend of St. Valentine.....

What is the flower of Valentine's Day?

I bet you'd say "red roses!"
When you look around the shops, there are many chocolate boxes decorated with red roses, and the flower shops are filled with red roses for this celebration.
But, actually, violet was the symbol of St. Valentine....

This is the legend I'd like to share with you today;

A Christian priest Valentine was captured by a Roman emperor and imprisoned. Even though he was in prison cell, he never gave up with his work, which was to spread the message of friendship and love. Outside of his cell, there were numerous violets flowering. He picked those violet flowers and crushed them to make ink, and wrote messages on the leaves with it. When he finish writing those messages, an obliging dove would come to him and deliver them to his friends...

In the end, St Valentine was executed on 14 February, 269 A.D. His death coincided with the pagan festivals of Lupercalia to honor the goddess Juno, who is the symbol of marriage. Theses two things merged together later, and it became the day to celebrate love, fertility and coming of Spring. As for violets, it linked to faithfulness and devotion and love, it remained as a symbol of St. Valentine's Day and used as an offering between lovers.

You can see violets illustrated in many St. Valentine's Day cards printed around 19th - early 20th century. People were giving bunches of violets to their loved ones then.

So, instead of red roses, would you like to send a bouquet of sweet violets to your love on this St. Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Sense of Wonder

We were enjoying BBQ at our friends' place, then I noticed the
sky was changing colors dramatically. I jumped out of my chair
and ran up the hill, and took this photo. Modified in Photoshop.

OK, the following post is a re-post from my other blog. But I felt that it would be nice to share it here as well...


The Sense of Wonder

How colorless and tasteless this world would be if we lose our sense of wonder?

The sense of wonder is the key to open the door to the unlimited, creative world. It fuels us with inspiration, creativity and many, many possibilities. It's our sense of wonder which makes us progress and go forward.

It is sad that as we get older, very often we start living our daily life on autopilot.
Get up in the morning, have shower, have breakfast, go to the office, come home, watch TV and then go to bed. Many of us rarely notice the beautiful morning sunlight shining through the window when we get up, the color of fresh orange on the breakfast table, the song of a starling on the lamppost, the purple evening sky dotted with stars, and the coolness of the night air.....
The seeds of inspiration are always around us, but if we get desensitized, we cannot see them even if they are sitting right in front of our eyes.
Keeping the sense of wonder is, in other words, keeping a child-self within us.

Please never let the world become just a habit, and please keep your sense of wonder, your sense of appreciation to be intact all the time, and all the way through your life.

The world would be much more fun and joyful place if you do.

Monday, February 11, 2008

One Last Look

"One Last Look"
At St. Julian, Malta

On the last day of our holiday in Malta, I decided to go out by myself to spend some time taking photos around the bay.
Warm afternoon sun, colorful boats and buildings, the place was so cheerful and vibrant.
This was my first visit to Malta, but while I was walking around its back streets and docksides, somewhat I started feeling nostalgic about this place. Hence, this photo was taken.
It was originally in color, but I decided to turn it into B&W to enhance the feeling of nostalgia.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


This is a sketch I did when I briefly went back to Japan in 2004.
It was a perfect time for violets there, I walked around everywhere
to photograph and sketch them. Boy, it was a busy trip...

Back in 1998, I started working for an art gallery/museum situated in a country side om Japan. There, somehow, I managed to get a job that I research and photograph local wildlife. I never had that kind job before, so literally every single day was
filled with some new learing.

Spring came and early bloomers were started coming out - including violets. What I didn't realize at that point was that there were about 20 different species of violets in the field I was covering. Every time when I found a new (to me, that is) violet, I buried my head in several encyclopaedias to identify which kind it was, but
it was certainly a great challenge!

While I was struggling, something happened to me. I was completely hooked by this
tiny plant! I joined some violet societies, domestic and international, and started driving out far just to find violets I hadn't come across! Crazy? Yeah, mabe I am :-)
So, here I am as a violet enthusiast, photographing and sketching violets everywhere and anywhere I can.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Do you still use your film cameras?

"A Long Way Home"
This photo was taken in a small town of Desvres in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.
This railway wasn't in use (I think...), so these bears (and me) were pretty safe.

I wonder how many people still use film cameras rather than digital ones these days. I still have my SLR - Pentax MZ-3 - in my camera box, but I rarely use it now. I would never get rid of it - there are too many memories attached to it - but in reality, would I ever use it as much as I used to? Sadly, I don't think so...

You folks, what happened to your film cameras? Have you still got it? Do you still use it?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Spanish Spring - Wild Asparagus

I took this photo about 2 hours ago from my roof, nice and fresh :-)
The mountain shows so many different faces every day, every moment, I never get bored with taking photos of this lovely mountain.

It's already Spring here in Spain. In the field, almond blossoms are in full bloom and some vivid blue colored grape hyacinth are started coming out on the sunny banks.
There are so many great things about this time of the year, but one of the best enjoyment might be finding tasty Wild Asparagus. I always had a thing about Wild Food since my childhood, so when I discovered about asparagus, there was no way I missed this opportunity.

Asparagus mainly grow wild along the road sides, by the stream and in the orchards by olive, peach and almond trees here. Anywhere grassy is also a great spot where you may find them. The mature plant grows up to about 1-1.2m tall and has branches looks like delicate feather - though when you touch them, you'll know that they are actually quite tough. Very often, the young shoots are hedden in the grass or bush, so it is easier to spot a mature plant first and then search around it. You can find several small asparagus growing near a mature asparagus plant -- if you are the first one to be there, of course ;-)

So far, this Spring, I found a dozen of them. Not much but was enough for our supper. When I find some more, I'm gonna make Wild Asparagus Quiche :-)


Wild Asparagus Quiche

TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 25 min.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) 1% cottage cheese
2 tablespoons flour
4 eggs
2 cups low-fat milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash of Tabasco sauce
2 cups fresh wild asparagus, cut in 1/2-in. pieces
2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese

Directions: For crust, combine flour, shortening and salt; mix to a "crumb" consistency. Add ice water; mix well and form dough into ball. On floured surface, roll out dough to fit 10-in. quiche pan. place dough in pan; prick bottom with fork. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Cool. For filling, combine in blender cheese, flour, eggs, milk, mustard and Tabasco; blend until smooth. pour into crust. Arrange asparagus evenly over filling. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese and paprika. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean when inserted near center.