First Snow of 2015 in SLC, Utah and I was THERE!

A few days ago I posted  discussing the last roses of summer. TODAY TODAY!!!!! SNOW SNOW SNOW!!!! Well.., it stuck to leaves and flowers and outdoor chairs in our rose garden, so don’t plan to sit out there today, you’re behind will get wet! I saw it start while socializing at the end of our breakfast time and had my phone with me, as I was waiting for a call. SO, with phone in hand I took a couple  pics flat against the dining room glass window. The flakes were hard to see, barely there, but snow none the less.

Before long, the flakes got larger and fluffy and began to stick. Couldn’t stand it any longer so out I went into the fray of snowflakes, if, indeed, snowflakes really can stir up a fray. Beautiful it was, send a nice image to my daughter, but we really don’t have fast internet here and I hadn’t yet had the chance to downsize the image so it didn’t go. She’ll see it later here.

Prior to the snow, as I was getting ready in my room to come down for breakfast and noticed the tops of two trees in the rose garden that had changed colours in the past few chilly nights and days. Just a couple of shots, but here are those two:

IMAG3385So without further ado, here is the SNOW !!!!!

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30 October 2015 Ascending of the Goblins on Friendship Manor Residents

Here in Salt Lake City, Utah, we have a ghosties and ghoulies infestation, especially on All Hallow’s Eve. The little ones gathered at the First Unitarian Church, steeple of which I see from my balcony, and marched directly for their trickery here at Friendship Manor. Only 2 houses and our parking lot separate the church and the manor, so we aren’t very well protected from the likes of them, so we made the best on the level A this past Friday night.

Children don’t remain in any sort of stasis for very long unless in the arms of slumber, and when costumed, not even a normal amount of stillness applies. Thereby, quite a few of my camera shots ended in the trash bin, blurred beyond hope. More were salvageable with some touches of Smart Sharpen in Photoshop, contrasting, highlights/shadows tweaking, along with a bit of vibrancy. Some children actually stopped and stood still for the count to 3 for a picture.

Enjoy what I was able to get! Cheers, Kathy

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BOOOOO !!!!!

Some compositing work still being done with Photoshop!

I love taking pictures, each opportunity a new present to open! Compositing is just a spin-off from the images a camera hands you, and that you make better with Photoshop, adjusting contrast, shadows and light, mood and vibrancy. Each picture can turn into a quite different animal once it has made its’ trip through the Photoshop grinder. Sept and Oct were slow months for time spent on computer (though I do admit I spent quite a bit of time catching old Chicago Hope episodes, Fringe episodes and Under the Damned DOME episodes which made Dwight Yoakum loom like a hokey dork which definately offended me, the all time fan of the sleepy eyes, hat and tight pants….)  but Compositing got its’ share. Here, without credits (freaking sue me) as I have had mucho maddening Pictify upload sessions, uploade 2, lose the 3 you uploaded 15 minutes ago and so on……ARGGGGG! So I just barely got Sept up and am not looking forward to Oct composite Picify hassles. Since Opera blog left people and friends in probably a couple hundred countries high and dry (thanx a freaking lot guys…..I had friends in nearly 100 just myself…and many composites I had done…then there was the dramatic and not the anonymous and quiet splash I’d hoped for ….dive into DA. DeviantArt is full to the brim with many drama queens and turf protectors filled with grazing Llamas. I still have a profile up, quit uploading in 2012 when I began Pictify in the absense of Opera Blog and Galleries. I have in the past uploaded for examples’ reasoning, composites, but not for a bit. Here are the ones from Sept and Oct 2015.

darkness fall kitty fall-leaves Four o'clock garden bliss hearts melody light and shadow moonlight and rain night on battleship nighttime fragrance no trespass our own star Panda Bear picturesque light pink flowers Queen's lace red dress on Rose of innocence shanghai Steven and Ashten truth wildside Corsican Beach Autumn Muse AwsuUXvVMVH4CNXrJdLh3GGKr4o blind beauty Blue Water Bridge, Span 1 Daisies gazebo nostalgia out there Rose simple joy simply out there white roses and doves wild autumn orange as the world turns autumn fairy light

How many states in US still have blooming and budding ROSES????

For one, Utah. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, in the Rose Garden of a specific Apartment complex named Friendship Manor, there, on 31 Oct, still blooming roses, marigolds, petunias and a few other random blooms. So if you are mourning an early frost in a northern state, here you go.DSCN2456 DSCN2457 DSCN2458 DSCN2459 DSCN2460 DSCN2461 DSCN2462 DSCN2463 DSCN2464 DSCN2465 DSCN2425 DSCN2426 DSCN2427 DSCN2428 DSCN2432 DSCN2433 DSCN2434 DSCN2435 DSCN2436 DSCN2437 DSCN2438 DSCN2439 DSCN2440 DSCN2441 DSCN2442 DSCN2443 DSCN2445 DSCN2446 DSCN2447 DSCN2448 DSCN2449 DSCN2450 DSCN2451 DSCN2452 DSCN2453 DSCN2454 DSCN2455

Our “Rose Garden” I have covered in previous posts welcomes the morning sun on its’ eastern side near the waterfall/koi pond first, then it creeps on seductive feet west, an inch at a time, to kiss the rest of the flower beds, trees and plants, sleepy from the cold night before. Being my first autumn here, winter coming with unknown temperature and force soon, each day and each flower still in meet and greet mode is another gift, a reason to be.

Sugar House Park, Salt Lake City

I visited the park the other day as it is easy to get to from where I live; no complicated directions and best, it is free. Lovely, well manicured grounds, and still a few lovely large lilies in hot colors for my camera to eat up. Got my feet wet in the large pond, first time this year I’ve done that, and I was right near Lake Huron till last month. There were quite a few gulls and pigeons, as well as a few ducks, but that is all….. my first view from the road of the pond gave the impression there may be swans, but they were the gulls on the water. SO. Take your pic of the bird images, all pretty much the same and if you slow down or stop your car, they think they are getting treats and run on over, just like at the Thomas Edison Parkway back in Port Huron. The huge mountain in one of the images with the clouds on it’s top is Mount Olympus, least that’s what the sign said.

Here is a bit about the park from

Sugar House Park, considered a “crown jewel” among regional parks in the Salt Lake Valley, comprises 110.5 acres of lush, rolling green space, located on the site of the old State Prison in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City. It is bordered by 1300 East on the west, by 2100 South on the north, by 1700 East on the east, and by I-80 on the south. There are two entrances for vehicular traffic off of 2100 South, at 1400 East and 1500 East.

Though known for its verdant vistas, which are enhanced by a large pond in the western part of the park, Sugar House Park also offers many options for those interested in more than just a lovely walk. Among the park’s features for public use are: seven pavilions for group gatherings (see Reservations for more information); regulation soccer and baseball fields; a large, cement basketball court donated by the Utah Jazz; two children’s play areas, with plastic play sets; a small amphitheater with seating for 220 people; seven volleyball courts (one at each pavillion), and a sleigh-riding hill.

In addition, the park road, which winds around the park for 1.38 miles, has a 16-foot-wide inside lane which has proven popular among walkers, runners, bicyclists, and cross-country ski trainers.  The distance around the full perimeter of the park (including around Highland High School) is approximately 1.9 miles.

The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the summer, and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the winter.


For nearly a century, the current site of beautiful Sugar House Park was, incongruously, the grim site of the Utah State Prison. The federal government operated the penitentiary until Utah statehood in 1896, when the prison was then granted to the State of Utah.

By the middle of the 20th Century, state officials had finalized plans to move the prison to a new site at the Point of the Mountain, thus igniting discussion of what to do with the old prison site. Sugar House businessman Horace Sorensen lobbied for a decade to have the site converted into a state park, and that seemed to be the site’s destiny when the Legislature passed a statute in 1947 setting aside the “old prison site” as a state park….

Under the leadership of Harold Fabian, who was president of the Park Authority for its first 18 years, the park developed gradually over its first decade under a plan developed by Denver landscape architect Jack Harenburg. Many of the existing structures, such as the restrooms and some of the terraces, were completed in the early to mid-1960s. Subsequent Park Authority boards have endeavored to preserve the pristine nature of the park over the years since.

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Utah pictures from my HTC phone’s Camera

When the Nikon isn’t close, or I’m out and about without it, the HTC takes pretty good pictures. Here are images of my bird, Pepper, the African Gray in her travel cage. When I graduate to a larger apartment, her big cage will be shipped from Michigan. She is out most of the day, plays on the top, or swoops down on my bed as I work on Photoshop or watch a movie. She likes to watch movies right along with me. Some images from inside the apartment, from the balcony – scenes of the Wasatch mountain range, the glimmering lights from the homes and businesses across the valley from me hard against the foothills of the range. I haven’t processed these through Photoshop yet, simply used Faststone Image Resizer, a program indispensible to me as my cameras take quite large images… resize for websites and also to add a simple border, it is the best free program out there. Here are images from September and October. I got my hair cut and styled, so those are images of me from the beauty parlor. Now if I can lose the extra pounds, we’ll be good. My phone takes pretty clear images.  If you see a lot kind of the same, it’s because if you look closely, I’m chasing a magpie, a koi fish, or a quail, which all run faster than I can focus!  Enjoy!

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My studio apartment here is perfect! Pepper, my African Gray likes the view from the balcony (from inside, duh, don’t want my bestest friend to fly away) and so do I. The view overlooks the courtyard, called “The Rose Garden”. Me and my Nikon Coolpix have photographed in the past 2 days since I moved in, every rose and flower in the beautifully structured courtyard, suitable for a royal family with raised beds, trees, many birds and a to-die-for pond/waterfall. Large Koi swim lazily around the roomy pond and are brightly colored, delighting the residents and visitors to the Manor. Without  further adieu, here are the pictures taken during my first few days here in Salt Lake City, Friendship Manor. The parakeets in the large cage are outside the dining room.

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August 2014 in Georgia

Last August I had the pleasure of taking a road trip with my son and his 2 children to go visit Aunt Betty (my sister), and her daughter Sandy and family. Flowers were EVERYWHERE and of course I love flower pictures and making them even better with Photoshop!

A simple person, I am not one to delve into every dang button on the program but I did find a useful one with Shadows/Highlights which helped me out with a few dark images. I normally use some contrast and some vibrance. White balance sometimes is needed and I use Topaz Clarity for that, although I do admit PaintShop Pro X7 has a nice interface and white balance is included.

A few of these are just family and pets, but some pretty flowers, woods and lake images were captured as well. I did create a vignette before I started and used it on each image for uniformity. Enough jargon…here U R.

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Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

  1. Red Butte Garden and Arboretum is a botanical garden and arboretum operated by the University of Utah, in the foothills of the Wasatch Range in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. It is open year-round to the public. Red Butte Garden contains over 100 acres (0.40 km2) of botanical gardens and several miles of hiking trails through native vegetation. Red Butte Creek runs within the northern part of the park.
    Red Butte Garden
  3. Address: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
  4. Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

     At the end of September I visited family in Salt Lake City, and we had a few great day trips, one to this enormous garden….Photoshop got the workout with this folder of images, and now here they are, flowers, sky, grandkids, all the eye candy one could want from Utah. Enjoy!

    Red Butte Gardens & Arboretum

    Red Butte Gardens & Arboretum


    The garden began in 1930, when Dr. Walter P. Cottam, co-founder of The Nature Conservancy and chairman of the Botany Department at the University of Utah, began using campus land for plant research. In 1961, the Utah legislature designated the University’s campus landscape as the State Arboretum. In 1983, the University dedicated 100 acres (0.40 km2) at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon for a regional botanical garden.

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