Macro Photo of Sagebrush Bluebells

Macro Photo Sagebrush Bluebells Mertensia oblongifolia

Sagebrush Bluebells (Mertensia oblongifolia) on Schweitzer Mountain, July 2012. ISO 80, f/4.0, 21mm focal length, shutter speed 1/640 sec.


It’s time again for another macro photo! Today’s macro photo is of what I’m relatively sure is Sagebrush Bluebells (Mertensia oblongifolia). But as usual, don’t take my wildflower classifications as 100% guaranteed.

I took this photo in July on the Schweitzer Mountain Nature Trail near Sandpoint, Idaho. See some of the other macro photos I took that day here.

As always, I used my Canon G12 with the Raynox DCR-250 macro lens.

I didn’t see many of these Bluebells on the mountain that day, or I would have tried to get a shot of one with the flowers open. One of the things I find most fascinating about this picture is that if you look at it very closely, you’ll see that the stem has many of what appear to be tiny grasshoppers climbing the stem upside-down! Seems like I always get pictures with bugs in them, but I never notice them until I look at the picture on my computer later. Oh well. It’s still pretty. Hope you enjoy it!

Originally posted on


Macro Photos from Schweitzer Mountain, Part 1

Lake Pend Oreille


In my last macro post, I shared some macro photos of Bear Grass, a spectacular plant that greeted us when we stepped off the chair lift at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Here are some macro photos of the other flowers we saw on the 2.5 mile Nature Hike Trail back down to the village. All were taken with my Canon G12 with the Raynox DCR-250 macro lens. I’m making my best guess on the species, and I can’t guarantee I’m getting them right.

This first shot is what I think is shrubby penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus). I’ve always liked penstemon, but can’t grow them because while they prefer “unimproved soil” (check) they can’t stand clay soil (again, check), and so only grow well in soil with good drainage (definitely uncheck).

Macro photos of Shrubby Penstemon

Next is an interesting shot of leaves from silky lupine (Lupinus sericeus). I got a few pictures of the blooms as well, but they were all unfocused. Not sure what happened.

Macro photos of Silky Lupine leaves.

Here’s a nice shot of a subalpine daisy (Erigeron peregrinus). Love the purple, yellow, and green together.

Macro photos of purple subalpine daisy.

These next two are of subalpine mariposa lilies (Calochortus subalpinus). They look quite delicate, and I love how the center of the flowers look a bit like a propeller.

Macro photos of subalpine mariposa lily.
Macro photos of subalpine mariposa lily.

Here’s what I think is Giant Red Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata). I like how solid this flower looks compared to most other paintbrush flowers.

Macro photos of Giant Red Indian Paintbrush.

Here’s a really interesting one: Parsnip-flower wild buckwheat (Eriogonum heracleoides). What a mouthful. The petals start with a red blush before opening, but lose it once open to end up a greenish cream color.

Macro photos of Parsnip-flower wild buckwheat.

Well, I’ve got several more pictures from the trek down Schweitzer Mountain, but I think I’ll save them for next time. Hope you enjoyed these!

Originally posted on

Macro Photos of Bearded Iris

Beard on Purple Bearded Iris

A close shot of the “beard” on the Iris. Canon PS G12, ISO 640, f/2.8, focal length: 6.1 mm, shutter speed: 1/60th second.

Purple Bearded Iris

Purple Bearded Iris in my backyard.

I’ve always loved irises. My mom has had irises for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, we had friends at church whose son cross-bred bearded irises, and we ended up with a lot of his “experiments.” They’re one of my favorite flowers.

Most of the irises I have came from my parents’ house. I had several different colors. But then we moved, and while I dug up irises from all over my yard, I ended up with only a bright yellow-gold. My mom brought me more, but for some reason it took them a couple of years to take hold, and this is the first year I’ve had something other than yellow irises bloom.

I had two beautiful dark purple ones bloom this year. The lighting is so harsh in the first picture. Most of the time the flower is such a dark purple it almost looks black. I never did get a good picture of an entire bloom. Here’s one I took of the inside:

Inside of Purple Bearded Iris

The inside of my Purple Bearded Iris. Kind of psychedelic, huh?

Isn’t this absolutely beautiful? The afternoon light created a glow when it came through the petals. The three smooth petals on the inside look like they’ve been smeared by a finger covered with oil pastels. I also love the spotted parts on the bottom part of the upper petals. I took this photo with my Canon PS G12, ISO 400, f/2.8, focal length: 6.1 mm, shutter speed: 1/30th sec.

Originally posted on


The Right Camera for the Job, The Finale

Boxes from containing my new camera.

Oh, the suspense!

Well, after two posts reminiscing about all of my past cameras (which you can read here and here), I’m finally ready to tell you which camera I bought. Here were my criteria for a new camera:

  1. Had to have good macro focus capabilities.
  2. Needed to have good picture quality (better than the average point-and-shoot).
  3. Needed to be a Canon. (Nothing against Nikon or other good camera manufacturers, it’s just that Canon is what I know, which you can see from reading my previous posts.)
  4. Needed to fit into my picture-taking habits, which right now are 30% macro, 70% family/event.
  5. If it has accessories (lenses, etc.) they need to be affordable, taking into account my being a blogger/homeschooling mom for the forseeable future.
  6. Needed to be around $500, unless I wanted to keep saving until this Christmas.

I seriously considered the Canon EOS Rebel T3. It’s right in that price range, and is a good beginner DSLR. However, I ultimately decided against it, because of #4 listed above. I may, someday, really want to concentrate on macro photography and spend money on the best equipment to that end. But for now, I need to balance those needs with those of needing primarily a family camera. In the next few years, a lot of our resources will go toward therapy/services for M-bug, and that’s as it should be. I wouldn’t be able to dedicate the funds toward really good lenses, and that’s what really makes the camera. I might get there someday.

I can hear you now. “What the heck did you get already?” Ok, here it is:

My new camera: a Canon PowerShot G12!

My new camera: a Canon PowerShot G12! I was so excited that I was shaking too much to get a picture of it in focus.

The Canon PowerShot G12! Yes, yet another camera from Canon’s PowerShot line. Canon’s G line of cameras is considered by many to be Canon’s flagship point-and-shoot cameras. The reason I chose it was because it has so many of the custom abilities of a DSLR. Also, I can buy adapter tubes to be able to use affordable filters, a telephoto lens, and most important, a macro focus lens. I can start learning more about ISO, f/stop, aperture, etc., while still letting the camera make those decisions for me, in Auto mode, whenever I need it to. I can even get an attachable flash for it.

My Canon PowerShot G12, and accessories.

My Canon PowerShot G12, and accessories.

No new camera purchase is complete without a few necessary accessories. I also got an SD card, a USB SD card reader, an extra battery, and a small camera case. Later, once I start collecting adapter tubes and other lenses, I’ll get a larger bag for it all.

Ultimately, for me, the Canon PowerShot G12 is the right camera for the job. I can’t wait to start using it!

Originally posted on


The Right Camera for the Job, Part 2

Before I tell you about my new camera, let’s finish our trip down my Camera Memory Lane.

Canon PS A530

My Canon PowerShot A530. Yes, I know it’s backward; I took it in the mirror. 🙂

My next camera was another one that Decoder Man surprised me with. When I was in Seattle visiting family one summer, he surprised me by flying in and whisking me off to Victoria, BC for our 10th wedding anniversary. He also presented me with a Canon PowerShot A530.

On our trip there, I flipped through the manual and noticed the “macro” setting. I couldn’t wait to use this camera at Butchart Gardens. I began taking macro shots of all of the flowers, and was having a grand time. But then, I started getting error messages. Slowly the pictures began to disappear from the memory card. Nooooooo! Turns out that the brand new SD card had a crack in it, and the extra was back at the hotel. Of all the luck!

Lens Cover Issues on Canon PS SD1300 IS

My Canon PowerShot A530 was squinting at little M-bug.

I used this camera for almost four years. It also was a good camera. The only real trouble I had with it was after a trip to the Great Sand Dunes, the lens cover didn’t like to open all of the way on its own. I usually looked through the viewfinder while taking pictures instead of the LCD screen, so I didn’t notice it until I came upon a bunch of pictures that were mostly black. Phooey!

So, in 2010 I put my birthday money toward a Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS. I loved this camera. It was much faster than the A530, and could easily fit in my back pocket or handbag. Plus, it was teal, my favorite color.

Pic of Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS

My poor Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS. May it rest in peace. 🙁

I used this camera for just over a year. Then, last summer, disaster struck. The girls and I were on vacation in Colorado, and we had gone to Mesa Verde for the day with my mom. After waiting forever for our turn to take pictures in front of Spruce Tree House, I gave the camera to Mom so she could take one of me with the girls. When I went to take it back from her, the wrist strap got caught on her ring, and I dropped it. The lens wasn’t able to extend, and just gave me an error message. (It’s ok, Mom! Don’t be sad!)

My mom, Bubbles, and M-bug at Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde, CO.

One of the last pictures my SD1300 IS took: my mom, Bubbles, and M-bug on the way to Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde, Colorado.

The ironic thing is that I had only just put the wrist strap on for Mesa Verde. I had gone over a year without it, but was afraid of dropping it on the hike into and out of Cliff Palace, which can be a bit perilous. Of course, it would cost almost as much to send it in to be repaired as it would to replace it with a newer, similar camera, so it’s been relegated to its box in a drawer, where I don’t have to think about it. I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

At this point I had to decide whether to buy a similar camera or save for something higher-end. I decided to save money to buy a really good camera. This meant going back to my A530 for nine months, but I survived. Since I’m the type of person to research every option, I spent many hours poring over reviews and ratings. I decided to stick with Canon, since I know them well, but had a hard time deciding between an entry level DSLR or a very high end point-and-shoot.

So what did I ultimately choose? I’ll let you know next time!

Originally posted on

The Right Camera for the Job, Part 1

I am so excited. I’ve been saving Christmas money, birthday money, and spending money for five months, and I’ve finally been able to buy a new camera! I’ll tell you all about it in a bit.

Kodak Ektralite 10 by Flickr user bbearnes

My first camera: Kodak Ektralite 10*

I’ve had quite a few cameras. My first camera, a Kodak Ektralite 10, I got when I was somewhere around 10 years old. I had it longer than I’ve had any other camera, and to this day when I think of a “roll of film” I think of the Kodak 110 film cartridge, not a roll of 35mm film.

Next was my first 35mm, a Canon Sure Shot 60 Zoom. (I may have actually had one before it, but if so I can’t remember it, so it must not have been that exciting.) I actually had two of these cameras. Did I really like it that much? No, my first one got stolen at my wedding. Can you believe that? We think it probably got set down in all the excitement, and when we were getting ready to leave on our honeymoon, no one could find it anywhere.

Canon Sure Shot 60 Zoom by Sara Glass

My first 35 mm camera: a Canon Sure Shot 60 Zoom (picture by Sara Glass)

So, my dad loaned us his SLR (film, not digital) to take with us. I was a bit nervous, never having used one before, but Decoder Man had been on the yearbook staff in middle school, and had experience with one, so all was ok. I actually enjoyed learning how to focus it, and how clear the pictures were.

Anyway, once I replaced it the Canon Sure Shot 60 Z was a good camera. I took it on my first (and only, so far) trip to Disney World, on every trip to visit family, and to Canada and Alaska when I went on an Alaska cruise.

Canon PowerShot A50 from Canon Website

My first digital camera: Canon PowerShot A50 (picture from Canon website)

When I was about five months pregnant with Bubbles, Decoder Man surprised me with a Canon PowerShot A50 for Valentine’s Day. I was so excited to have my first digital camera. Of course, by today’s standards it was slow as molasses, and had only 1.2 megapixel resolution, but it was awesome at the time. I used this camera until M-bug was about four years old, about six years in all.

I’m sure you’re wondering what camera I got myself for my birthday. Well, I can’t tell you yet. I really wasn’t planning to leave you hanging, but I’m leaving in 15 minutes for a weekend with my girlfriends, and I just can’t tell everything I want to say about it in the time I have left, so stay tuned for Part 2 to find out!   🙂

*Photo of Kodak Ektralite 10 by flickr user bbearnes. See Creative Commons license here.

Originally posted on