Happy Independence Day


Good morning from a sunny Hastings day.  Hopefully my Internet problems are over and there are no disruptions this morning.

It is now Sunday the 5th July.  But in United States of America the celebrations are just beginning for their Independence Day. I expect to see lots of fireworks on my reader tomorrow.

Stretching the wings (1 of 1)

I love monarch butterflies.  I have a fair few photos of them.  To me they are so free and independent.

Hanging on (1 of 1)

Ailsa from Where’s my backpack? has asked us for Independence today. And these butterflies popped into my mind.


150 Million Hot Dogs…



Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes


Five Photos, Five Stories: A Regal Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly-506

I love monarch butterflies.  There is something so regal about them.

When I was growing up we had a huge swan plant.  I mean it was really big.  Every year we eagerly awaited the arrival of the butterflies to lay their eggs. Then we would count them all and watch them hatch.  We watched them grow so fast and the plant being stripped of it’s leaves and the swans.  Then when they had turned themselves into chrysalises we would gently cut the branch that they were hanging on, put them into mason jars and take them to school.  It was always so exciting to see the butterflies emerging.  If someone had noticed one hatching we would all stop what we were doing and watch it happening. This was our nature lesson.  Never mind the maths class.  This was way more exciting.

We found it amazing that the caterpillars could crawl so far to find a safe haven to turn into their chrysalis forms.  We would find them up under the eaves of the house and trees several feet away.  It was a favourite pastime for us kids to hunt down new chrysalises in new far away places.

My children were also fascinated by the life cycle of these beautiful butterflies.  I think this is because we can really follow them from egg to butterfly.

Now the regal butterflies are in decline.  We need to make sure we have plants that would encourage them.

This is my last story for this challenge.  As part of this challenge I want to nominate Amy from The World Is a Book… Her photos are amazing.  So Amy all you need to do is post a photo a day for five days with a story, poem or something to go with it.  And then nominate another blogger to do the same.  No obligation.

Thanks for visiting.

Copyright Raewyn Forbes

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Monarch Butterfly 6

Good morning from a hot muggy Hastings.  I do feel for those in the UK and Europe who are being battered by this massive storm. I remember being in London for the massive storm of 1987  but I am embarrassed to say that I managed to sleep through it all.  From the sounds and looks of it not many will be sleeping well for the next few days so I am thinking and praying for all you  people.

Anyway this weeks challenge by The Daily Post is ‘Grand’.  Having just got back on the computer since I spent a couple of days looking after my parents it was hard remembering any good photos for this.  By the way thanks for the warm wishes Amanda at www.UniqueSoChic.com.  Then I saw these photos of the majestic Monarch Butterflies so I thought that these fitted the bill.

Monarch Butterfly 1Monarch Butterfly 4Monarch Butterfly 7Monarch Butterfly 3

As usual they have been edited with FX Photostudio Pro using the vignette filter  which I love for the fact that it darkens the background and focuses on the main subject.

Final watermark for blog

Embellishments made easy

Good morning from a sunny Hastings this morning.

I am so excited that I have learnt a quick and easy way of doing digital embellishments.  I have spent the past week working on Photoshop and Preview trying to find a quick and easy way of doing them.  I would do one but then I would forget to how I did it so it was basically back to square one again.  Then late Friday night I suddenly clicked – in other words I clicked on the right icon and it was then soooooo easy.  So then I spent the weekend doing embellishments.  I use a mac but I would imagine Windows is very similar.

I asked my son how to video it and he showed me how to use screen capture to film what I was doing on screen and voila.  I had a video, which I then uploaded to YouTube.

Red and white geraniums


This is the embellishment I did with the video.

A rich world

And this is the finished result.  The background, photo and embellishment are all from the same photo.

Here are some of the other embellishments I did over the weekend.  I did found out that a good mouse and mouse pad is essential.  My son  has promised to get me a good mousepad for Christmas – so that he can get his one back.  I ultimate wish is a drawing pad.  Sigh.

striped roserose - orangeRose budsred rosemulticoloured roseMonarch Butterfly 1IvyIvy 2


I found that having a distinct outline of the image makes it a lot easier to trace around, whether freehand or using the magic wand.

So have fun trying this out.  I am.

Cheers and have a nice day.



Middleton Road

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