Tree Hugging🌲

Hi Folks:

This seemed like a good idea for the first post of 2021… Have you hugged your favourite tree today?

Enjoy this short video from Sarah Wallace Scott:

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. Also check out our post, Telling Tales (“it hugged me back”). 🌲

Who Were Those Masked Reindeer? I’d Like to Thank Them…

Hi Folks:

Last Sunday Twinkles and Krinkles decided it was time for their annual festive walkabout downtown. This is the sixth year in a row they’ve done this; their reasoning is that a lot of people lose their smiles this time of year and so Krinkles and Twinkles like to help people recover them. These energetic reindeer have huge hearts and they love nothing more than to share that with others.

We set off from our home in James Bay, and stopped first at Cora’s restaurant on Douglas Street for a fortifying breakfast. Twinkles and Krinkles were welcomed right in (our host has a soft spot for reindeer, especially around Christmas).

Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Cora's

Mrs. Claus, Twinkles and Krinkles at Cora’s

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Happy Holidays!!

Hi Folks:

Well, it’s been a year, to put it mildly. Ironic perhaps that in many ways the very things that have kept us distanced have brought us closer together. We’ve learned that while we see this planet as a huge place, it’s just a tiny blue ball in the vastness of space, and yet all of our loves and losses and hope and history are caught up on the surface of that little blue ball. In David Suzuki’s book, ‘The Sacred Balance’, he asks us to imagine a sphere the size of a basketball. Lay a sheet of tissue paper over the ball. All life on this planet of ours exists in that layer of tissue paper. As the Lakota people say, “Mitakue oyasin”: we are all related. The coming year promises to bring its own share of joys and challenges, but together we can build something beautiful.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Festivus, Solstice or Saturnalia, the arrival of Sinterklaas or Grandfather Frost, Hanukkah, Mawlid Un Nabi, Yalda, Pancha Ganapati, Bodhi Day, Kwanzaa or something entirely personal, we send you love. Create an amazing 2021!!

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. So much of Christmas seems to be about gifting. We offer two thoughts from others on what gifting really means:

from Burning Man (click the image or the caption to go to the article – image © Jane Hu (2018)):

from Robert Lee Fulghum: The Orange 🍊

Thank you, Charles…

…for the love of Snoopy. 💗

For everyone who needs an extra hug today:

Hugs from us too!
M&M

It’s Our Birthday!!

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC

Hi Folks:

Well, it’s now been 11 (!!) years since our blog took its first breath, and we currently have 635 blog posts and 150 pages on our site. The posts cover poetry, photography, our hugging adventures (88 countries and counting!) and various other musings; our pages include some of our stories and free Adventures of Rainbow Mouse colouring pages to download and enjoy. We’ve shared some wonderful adventures with you through these and are looking forward to sharing more in the future! This blog is our gift to you, our readers, and we very much appreciate having you here with us. Feel free to drop by any time, check out Marcia’s books, download our colouring pages, read our stories, leave a comment or reach out, relax and enjoy yourself. We don’t have any birthday cake that we can share, but we send you love.

Remember to hug someone you love today, even if it’s just screen to screen. You’ll both feel better for it! 🙅‍♀️🙅‍♂️

M&M

P.S. Extra special thanks to our son Nick, who does all of the techie stuff that keeps us afloat!! 🙂

2021 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the eleventh year now that we’ve made our photo calendar templates available, both for MS Word users (for those who don’t use graphics programs) and as .png files for those who do. As before, we’re also making our own calendar available in .pdf format for those who are interested. For our calendar we’ve used images made in that month (i.e. the image for May 2021 was made in May 2020). Because 2020 has been what it was, we didn’t do any significant travel off of Vancouver Island this year and 11 of the 12 images were made in and around the Victoria area. We did manage to trade Victoria for Tofino (on Vancouver Island’s wet coast) for a bit in October, and the image for that month was made in Ucluelet.

click on the image to access the .pdf file for download

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom, Affinity Photo or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the graphics stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2016 to make the template and saved it as a .docx file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

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If trees could speak

Well worth 3:50 of your time. 🌳🌱🌲

_____

Ancient One

Ancient One

As I walk through the forest
the trees start to sway
to the music they hear
coming quietly
through my earphones

The apple trees
shed their blooms
upon me
while laughing quietly
at my surprise…

In a corporate boardroom
a $50B deal is made.
Far away, a baby laughs.
A grasshopper leaps.
Which one is most important?

Hugs,
M&M

Admiring the View

Admiring the ViewHi Folks:

We’re actually in Tofino, on Canada’s wet coast right now. Last Thursday marked four years since Mike’s dad passed away, so when we saw this man on the rocks admiring the view we thought of Pop. Wherever he is now, we’re sure he has a great view!

Hugs,
M&M

And They Called It Puppy Love…

Hi Folks:

It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to go out and share Free Hugs with people, so we really appreciated seeing this today! Many thanks to Robert Martinez for the share and the smile. 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

Learning to See in Black and White

Hi Folks:

This is the sixth of the YouTube videos we’ve done for the Victoria Photography Meetup Group. Since the videos are out in the wild anyway, we thought maybe we should put them up here as well. The last talk was on the basics of colour so this one is on making black and white (grayscale) images. For most people, the best way to make grayscale images is to shoot in colour and then convert the images into grayscale on the computer. We explore the reasons for that and a few ways to maximize that colour information…even when all you can see on your screen are shades of gray.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below or fill out our contact form.

Two versions of an image of the Koksilah River: the top in colour and the bottom in black and white. This image is the link to the tutorial video.

Learning to See in Black and White

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can find the rest of our tutorial posts here. We’re closing in on a hundred now, I think.
P.S. II, the sequel. Harvey Stearn has an excellent post: Black & White Image-Making In the Digital Age. Well worth reading.