Dinner is late, blame the moon

While prepping dinner, I glanced out the kitchen window to see a big orange full moon floating off to the east, obscured by winter-bare branches.  This was the first clear night we’ve had in ages. Dinner could wait. Grabbed a couple of cameras and the truck keys (after having to run back inside to grab the memory cards that were still in the readers and briefly consider bringing a monopod) and flew west along the ridge to a higher, more tree-free vantage point.  Dinner was a few minutes late, but after savoring a sight like that, there were no complaints.

Moonrise.
FULL MOON RISING OVER LITTLE ROCK’S HIGHEST POINT, SHINALL MOUNTAIN. TAKEN JAN. 4, 2014. 

Phun with Photoshop philters

I’m not big on using Photoshop to “rescue” a bad photo, but sometimes it’s just fun to see what the program can do. Our office has been trying out the cloud version for a couple of months now. It’s a bit of a step up from CS3 on my desktop and Elements 5 on my barely-hanging-on-PC laptop. A couple of photos whose elements I thought translated nicely into the flat “cutout” filter — making them almost like prints, or even stained glass.

 

Loy Krathong

Loi Krathong, or Loy Kratong, is a Thai festival of light and water. During the last full moon of the Thai lunar year, celebrants flock to bodies of water, even swimming pools, to set  adrift a krathong, symbolically setting adrift their own flaws and while showing gratitude and respect for nature. A krathong is traditionally a lotus flower on which the celebrants place candles, incense sticks, coins or other items. Many people use rafts made of banana leaves artfully folded into a lotus shape. Many people take pride in their loi krathong style, including my cousins.

LIGHT THIS CANDLE -- Cousin Dang has her krathong ready to go -- a small pink lotus flower with a birthday candle in the middle.

Loi Krathong is a joyful time. Ironically, some of the celebrations were cancelled this year in Bangkok due to flooding.

Cousins Dang and Nat were in Chiang Mai to mark a birthday and Loi Krathong. Dang was making good use of her new Olympus camera.

ELEPHANTINE -- Floats and lighted displays are part of the Loi Krathong festival in Chiang Mai.
FLOATING BY -- An elaborate float that's part of the Loi Krathong celebration in Chiang Mai.
FULL MOON -- The full moon competes with a lighted ferris wheel and fireworks during the Loi Krathong celebration in Chiang Mai.
TRADITION -- A woman in traditional clothing readies her krathong for the water.
IN TUNE -- This trio of university string players performs to raise money for flood victims.
FLOATING ON AIR -- Cousin Nat enjoys the festivities with Mickey, Minnie and other inflatable cartoon favorites in the background.