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Knowlesville      

The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

September 2007

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Sat, Sep. 1, 2007 - So Long

So Long

All done with moving out of my Main Street studio. It wasn't as bad as leaving our house on Cleaves, but it sort of felt the same. Change is good though, and I'm looking forward to shooting in the new studio. One of these days I'll have to remember to take some photos of the new studio while I'm there.

Sun, Sep. 2, 2007 - Lori's Herb Garden

Lori's Herb Garden

Lori's made good progress on her garden this year. It's really starting to fill in and look nice. The bees and butterflies are loving it too.

Mon, Sep. 3, 2007 - Lupines

Lupines

I wasn't expecting the lupines to bloom so quickly. The seed package that we used was a mixed color assortment, but so far the colors that have bloomed coordinate well with the neighboring plants. It's nice to finally have some lupines. I had tried several times in our Cleaves garden without much luck. I'll be keeping my eye out for Dennis Moore though.

Tue, Sep. 4, 2007 - Lavender

Lavender

Lori is really happy to have her lavender blooming. Similar to my lupine triumph, Lori had tried several times to plant lavender, but kept losing them to the winter floods. Every once in awhile we find something that makes it through the flood, the gophers, the slugs, and of course the deer.

Wed, Sep. 5, 2007 - Johnny Jump Ups

Johnny Jump Ups

Well you can hardly stop Johnny Jump Ups, so I guess it's a good thing they are also one of Lori's favorites.

Thu, Sep. 6, 2007 - Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks

Another plant that I had tried growing from seed several times in San Jose was hollyhocks. It took me awhile to figure out that they look like a very common weed when they start, and I would usually end up pulling them by mistake. So this time I started them indoors and then planted them in spots where I could keep track of them. The deer seem to enjoy them but since they're right next to the house I am getting a few blooms. A Victorian garden just isn't complete without a few hollyhocks.

Fri, Sep. 7, 2007 - 7 Years of Bad Luck (part 1)

7 Years of Bad Luck (part 1)

Ferndale has a city wide garage sale weekend and we had lots of stuff we needed to get rid of. Lori convinced me to get rid of our antique bedroom set that we bought when we got our first old house. Our current old house doesn't have room for all of it, and so we used to have the armoire at the studio. Since it's all a matched set we decided to sell all of it. As we were setting up the armoire in the garage, the back fell off of one of the doors as I was lifting it and the beveled mirror fell out and broke. I couldn't believe that we had this for 17 years and then broke the mirror a day before the big sale.

Sat, Sep. 8, 2007 - Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

While we were having our garage sale I was making use of the time cleaning up the iris bed by the driveway. A huge grasshopper caught my eye, but on closer inspection I realized it was a praying mantis. Never having seen one in the wild before I was intrigued, especially as it was in the middle of devouring a spider. I pulled out my camera to take a picture, only to find my battery was dead. So I went to get one of my other cameras, but my SLRs were at the studio. That left my medium format film camera, but when I tried using it I found that the power button had gotten bumped into the on position during the move and so it also had a dead battery. Not a good showing for a professional photographer. So I plugged my Pentax's battery into the charger and hoped that the mantis would still be there in a half hour. It was, and I got this photo, although by that time it had finished lunch.

Weird Update 9/12: My friend Greg emailed me a photograph that he took of a praying mantis that he spotted in his yard. I hadn't even told him about the one in our yard, it was just a very weird coincidence.

Sun, Sep. 9, 2007 - 7 Years of Bad Luck (part 2)

7 Years of Bad Luck (part 2)

During the garage sale we set the desk out on the driveway to catch the attention of people driving by. Unfortunately, it caught the attention of the wind as it picked up suddenly, and the tri-fold mirror came crashing down. Amazingly, only one of the three mirrors broke, but it was pretty depressing seeing one more mirror shattered. We didn't make that much during the garage sale as none of our big ticket items sold, and it really hurt to see how much damage we caused to the bedroom set in such a short time.

Mon, Sep. 10, 2007 - Spiderville

Spiderville

It's time once again for the spiders in our yard to start putting up the Halloween decorations. This time of year you need to have a stick handy whenever you go through an exterior door because that's one of their favorite construction zones. If you were documenting my life this weekend you would have noticed me doing several weird dances in the yard and in the garage, all while I was muttering something about the damn spiders and their webs.

Sat, Sep. 15, 2007 - The New Digs

The New Digs

Finally remembered to grab a shot of the new studio today. Not a very professional shot, and as you've probably figured out by now, I take snapshots just like everyone else. Anyway, it does show how much larger the space is, and I've really appreciated not having everything crammed together. In the old studio I was constantly having to move this in order to move that. We also have a nice restroom right there that can be used by clients to change their clothes (or do the normal bathroom functions). No more squeezing behind the backdrop, going through the curtain, making your way through our storage room, opening the back door (if you're strong enough), turning right, and then finding a tiny, dirty bathroom.

Sun, Sep. 16, 2007 - Natural Light

Natural Light

The other feature of the new studio I'm really looking forward to exploring is working with natural light indoors. The studio has three large windows which make it enjoyable to work in when not shooting as they provide lots of light and heat. No more working in a cold cave.

Mon, Sep. 17, 2007 - The Golden State Building

The Golden State Building

Here's the outside of the building. You should all recognize it as the big building you see on the left just as you come into Ferndale. Until it was recently restored by DCI, it was a large pigeon roost. It is actually a very old building, starting out around the turn of the century as a creamery. After that it became a feed storage warehouse. Now it's home to several businesses including a jewelry maker, a furniture maker, a chemist, a taxidermist, a writer, an electronics fabricator, and now a photographer.

Tue, Sep. 18, 2007 - Praying Mantis II

Praying Mantis II

Spotted another (or possibly the same) praying mantis in the yard today, and this time I had my SLR and a macro lens handy.They do like hanging upside down. I tried turning it around to get a better picture of it but it fell off the branch. They're not very graceful walkers, but then they're not really adapted to chasing their prey. They're more of a wait around and watch what comes their way type of hunter.

Wed, Sep. 19, 2007 - Ahoy, all ye scurvy dogs

Ahoy, all ye scurvy dogs

It has come around again. That day were ye might notice scallywags natterin' wit' a bit o' a piratanical bent. Aye, 'tis once again time fer "Talk Like a Pirate" day. 'n t' help ye natter like a pirate, ye will find this English t' Pirate translator absolutely indispensible.

Thu, Sep. 20, 2007 - Household Hazards

Household Hazards

This is the variety of spider that makes life in Ferndale so difficult this time of year. I wish I knew what they were, not because I'm worried they're poisonous, but if I knew their name, I could curse at them properly. There are so many of them making huge webs that you can't walk through a door, or between anything without first having to brush webs out of your way. They've even started taking over the inside of the garage. Outside if you leave an item in the yard and come back to it an hour later, you will find that the discarded item has been confiscated by a new tenant. Right now it's just Lori and I and one praying mantis doing battle against them. I need to call for backups.

Update 9/27/2007: The Eureka Reporter had an article about these spiders today, and they are appropriately named Pumpkin Spiders, not because they look like pumpkins but because of the time of year that they become so prevalent.

Fri, Sep. 21, 2007 - Housing Crunch

Housing Crunch

There's a lot of places in our house for a comfortable nap if you're a cat. But apparently this one must be pretty special, as Meg and Ricky both decided to spend the afternoon here.

Thu, Sep. 27, 2007 - Best Laid Plans...

Best Laid Plans...

Phil Ostler had a scissor lift in town so he could clean and repair gutters, and since it was a full moon last night I thought it would be a great opportunity to take some photos from a unique position. I checked my GPS to see where the moon would rise and it didn't seem right so I went off my gut feeling from where it seemed to rise the night before. When the moon finally started showing itself, it was exactly where the GPS indicated it would be, so I guess I was doing the calculation right. We were just lowering the lift to reposition when the fire alarm went off for a possible structure fire. Turned out to be some rancher doing an illegal burn at night, but by the time I got back the moon was too high and the sky too dark. I guess I'll pencil that one in for next year, when Phil's gutters need another cleaning.

Sat, Sep. 29, 2007 - Ugly in Pink

Ugly in Pink

I spent the whole weekend stripping the wall paper in the room that's going to be my office. Got rid of the ugly black, pink and green wallpaper, only to reveal beautiful pink walls. I can't wait until that bit of ugliness goes away.