My first image from my new camera. Taken last weekend early on a Friday morning. 

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers and with the rampant deer population around these parts, we've never had success growing them.

Until The Oracle devised an elaborate fencing plan to go along with a plant that was given to me as a get-well gift after my hip replacement.

This year, for the first time in 2 years, the plant produced an unbelievable amount of flowers with colors from periwinkle to the deep pink you see here (in fact this particular bloom overall is the size of a human head).  And as they are drying now they are going to a greenish-purple that is just beautiful.

As of today, those blooms are no longer on the plant.  In anticipation of "Irene", I clipped them all and arranged them around the house.  They really are - peaceful flowers.

As for the camera, I couldn't be happier!  It really does have an infinite array of features and photographic possibilities.  It is also amazingly easy to use - it's going to be fun to really dig into the options as we move thru autumn!  And even though I am down to one lens (from 4 with the old Minolta) the one that I have will be up for most of the kind of photography I like to do ... for now.

One more image for you today - our pre-Irene harvest.  The Oracle has grown himself a bumper crop of cayenne and jalapeno peppers.  The tomatoes you see represent about 20% of what is still on the vines.

We have taken the necessary steps to protect the outside of our home.  All furniture has been stowed away, hanging plants are down and safe.  The container gardens we have this year for herbs and veggies are also stowed away.  As indicated we harvested the vulnerable stuff, in particular the tomatoes.

Those are 4 plants in very large pots - impossible to move as they are all staked one to another in mutual support.  We reviewed our options and have chosen to lay them down on the ground, one supporting the other as they did upright.  We may lose one plant - depending on ferocity of wind - but the other 3 are well-protected.

As much as we can be - we are ready for whatever Hurricane Irene wants to bring to us.