May is Here!

May is here!

To kick-off May I have planted two tomato plants!  I hope these Rossi tomatoes will grow big and quick so I can enjoy the fruits (botanically speaking) of my labor!



Beer-can Chicken

Posting this in reply to Photography Tips of the week 10 Tips to Improve Your Food Photography Styling

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Beer can chicken allows for you to “steam” the inside of your bird in order to keep it moist.  After you add your herbs and spices to the chicken, set it upright on a half-can of beer (using a heavier empty-vegetable can may be easier for you) and cook it for around 2 hours, depending on your grill/chicken size.  You can also do this in the oven – but it will not make the neighbors jealous then!

In the article, tip 5 states

5. Choose simple crockery and tableware

While highly decorative China and napery are beautiful on their own, they can detract from the visual impact of the food

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By showing this chicken on black crockery and still on the grill helps add an atmosphere to the photograph I hope.

PS: it was tasty!

Curious Squirrel

Well, not so much curious as he was friendly.  This little critter posed for a few shots while he foraged through a tree at the National Zoo in Washington, DC yesterday.

While he was not part of any exhibit, besides the Zoo in Your Backyard, he was still rather comfortable hanging out at the Zoo.  Surely he is able to find lots of free food from visitors!


National Zoo in DC

I finally got too visit the National Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, DC!  I went by myself, but with my Canon Rebel XSi digital camera with a 55-250mm attached telephoto lens ~ so enjoyed the lack of company!

I got there later then I hoped, after 3pm.  I took the Orange line of the Metro around 2pm and rode it til it connected with the Red line at the Metro Center connection.  I then rode the Red line til Woodley Park, Zoo exit and rode up what must be one of the tallest escalators in DC (picture from Wikipedia)!

I walked with a large group of people for about a half mile to the Zoo.  Before entering I stopped in at the conveniently located 7-11 across the street from the entrance!  I found the Zoo this Saturday to be relatively busy but not overcrowded – also it was 3pm and they close at 6pm so it likely was not peak time.  I then wandered through several parts of the National Zoo until my camera battery died – I shot over 200 photographs and would have shot many more, but with a telephoto lens and occasionally using flash on indoor shoots this drained my battery.


The giant panda exhibit was very large, but the animals we’re very well hidden indoors when I was visiting.  I found this guy napping indoors behind glass and grabbed a few shots, but he did not move or do much   🙂

I hope I can visit the Zoo again soon – it was not too hot or raining at all this Saturday I chose before Easter, but next week the weather is predicting heat!


Spring Flowers

Spring is in full bloom now in mid April.  Flowers are opening and growing towards the warmth of the sun.  While the flowers for viewing were lacking at the White House, there is no shortage of landscaping in New Carrollton, MD.

Both city entrances are diligently maintained by workers every year, offering a beautiful entrance to this city of 12,500 residents.  Located just off Route 50 or the Beltway, New Carrollton is best known for the Orange line of the Metro system.



Visiting the White House

I took the opportunity to visit the White House April 10, 2011 during the spring garden showing.  The White House is only open to the public twice a year, in the spring and fall, so it becomes a very busy event.
We we’re able to see the South lawn and the Kitchen garden, though the Rose garden itself was blocked off and not yet blooming.  The white house has a large water fountain on the South lawn and a single-hole golf course for practice.  The Kitchen garden had several herbs growing while a nearby beehive buzzed noisily.  Security was heavy as expected and secret service agents could be seen littered throughout the crowd.  The weather was pleasant and overall the day was very rewarding.