Carolina Home & Garden Show

Bo was able to round up 7 free tickets for the Carolina Home & Garden Show in Hickory again this year. It seems to me that the show gets smaller each year.  It’s a 3 day show starting on Friday, and we went to the one on Saturday. The Light Place was one of my favorite displays, I would love to have the bamboo mat for my backyard or camping.

Everything there was for sale, including the orchids on display.

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My dad was checking out the Ford truck, it’s definitely too big for him.

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Lee found her car, I’m glad it’s a few more years before she could drive and on the meanwhile she has to take the school bus to and from school.

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Every year we visited this plant venue.

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I let her purchased the Venus Fly Trap this year. I think it will be interesting for her to learn, although I’m not a fan of this type of plants.

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The free food samples were great, these are chocolate covered strawberries.

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If the show could foretell this year’s economic growth, I have to say it’s not very promising.

Early Spring Flowers

I made a point to run some errands today so I would be out taking pictures of the spring flowers. My first stop was at my sister Bee’s house.

I had my 50mm prime lens with me since it’s light to carry around but it lacks the ability to zoom because it is a fixed lens. This is my latest lens and I sold my old zoom lens to get this one. I bought an 85mm lens before and returned it within a day since I was not used to the fixed focal length and I thought I would never buy another fixed lens again. What attracts me to this lens is the wide aperture, and I like it so far and think that the images are very closed to what I am seeing.

My sister Bee planted many fruit and flower trees.  They are blooming and I think they might have bloomed too early since we are expecting a frost Monday and Tuesday night.

The next stop was at my dad since I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of his Japanese sakura, or cherry blossoms on Saturday and they are also in bloom. By the time I got to his house it was windy and cold.  It was not the easiest task to get a clear shot of the blossoms.

My mom’s orchid is not in bloom.  It’s the stem in the background and should be blooming in the next few weeks. The blooming orchids below are my sister, and they have been blooming for several weeks now.

I do love this lens.  It works so well in door and under low lighting condition.

This picture below is for my oldest sister, she planted the garlic during the week of Christmas.  She didn’t bury the bulbs deep enough and the rains had washed most of the soil and left the bulbs exposed.

The gas price has gone up again, it is $3.69 per gallon at my local pump and $3.73 near my dad’s house. I guess I shouldn’t be ranting since other parts of the country and world are far more expensive than this. I’m just glad that I don’t have far to commute to work, and only have to fill up my tank once a week.

This was what I saw in the opposite direction.

All photos were taken with CanonT2i, EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens.

Holiday Lights at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

[vimeo  http://vimeo.com/33861685 w=515&h=290]
Click here to view this video on YouTube

Yesterday we decided to visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden to see the Christmas lights. We got there early and it was still light outside. Some of my photos have digital noise, there was not enough lighting and I bumped the ISO up to 6400.  My camera doesn’t do too well at a high ISO, and for me I rather have some noise than blurry images.  All images and video clips were shot with a Canon T2i and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens.

The Orchid tree composed of more than 300 orchids.

At 16 feet tall the tree only includes orchids and ferns on a metal frame. One of the most spectacular aspects of the tree is the vast number of varieties of orchids.

My sister by the palm trees.

I was photographing my niece, she is right in the center of the waterfalls.

To get a clean sharp image of the Christmas lights a tripod is a must and I saw many photographers walking around with a tripod last night. The next 4 images of the Christmas lights were shot at manual mode, f/6.3 to f/8, exposure time 15 sec to 30 sec, ISO100, and tripod mounted.

The coffee bar area is a lot warmer than outside.  I only stayed in here for a few minutes and headed back outside to shoot some videos.

Hot chocolate

They have crafts for the children also.

Lee purchased a dragonfly wooden ornament.

Orchid night shots