Good Saturday morning folks!
I have three pictures to show you because… Well because the snowball bush is in bloom and for some reason I find the damn thing fascinating. Truly though, there are only so many pictures I can show you of tiny white flowers. 😀 And I do have something special to show you. The blog title is a bit of a misnomer. There is only one new Wolf to show you but I wanted to share Chelle’s profile with you too. Her background and the new Wolf’s background are tied together and it happened completely by accident.
But I’ll get to that after the pictures.
Does everyone know what a snowball bush is? No? Well, it’s remarkably similar to a hydrangea but the balls of flowers are about the size of a snowball you’d make in your palm, hydrangeas can have flower clusters the size of your head. And the flowers are much smaller and simpler. And it only comes in white. (The hydrangea in that link there is spectacular!) Some people do call a hydrangea a snowball bush but I think that’s largely because no one can ever remember ‘hydrangea’.
Okay, okay, so really the only thing they have in common is the fact that the flowers grow in ball shaped groups.
Last weekend our rather large snowball bush began to bloom. We were disappointed because the flowers were coming up green and we didn’t remember that happening last year. At this time last year it was all leaf and buds then BOOM! pretty white snowballs. Like, overnight. But last week they were green. I went and took pictures with my phone, just to see how they’d come out. Not bad really. I played with the ISO and the white balance and the contrast and got a bunch of pea soup coloured pictures. *le sigh*
There were, however, two I really liked. This first one happened after I put the camera on landscape to see how that would come out. I did have to tweak the colour a little bit. It wasn’t quite bright enough so I played with the green and yellow in shadows, highlights and midtones. I am impressed with the picture overall. I like the scale of it and the depth of field surprised me; I figured it would come out a little flat.
Pretty isn’t it? Hard to be disappointed in the wee green flowers. ….But they weren’t white!
This second green one was taken with the white balance set on Daylight and the ISO at 800. To find that the picture looked the way it does surprised the hell out of me. I didn’t do much in editing, I simply touched up the contrast a little.
Striking, isn’t it?
Finally, this is what I came back to yesterday. I took the pictures early this morning after the sun rose but before it was well in the sky. I did like 3 or 4 of them but only this one well enough to share. There’s a breeze today and it seemed that the Gods did NOT want me taking pictures because every time I lifted my phone, (used for continuity in quality), the breeze kicked up and nudged those heavy snowballs into bobbing like crazy. To edit this one I tried auto-levels, didn’t like it and undid it. I tried auto-contrast but didn’t like that much better. So I played with the brightness and contrast manually until I got it right. Didn’t take much. I chose this picture because of the shape and that the contrasting greens made the white flowerettes seem all that much brighter.
And that’s it for the photos today!
This came out longer than I thought so I’m debating whether or not to put both biographies in here today or put in one and post the other tomorrow. My usual sounding board is still asleep, (damn her for being 3 hours behind 😉 ), so I’m going to make an executive decision. Oh hey, I AM the executive, guess I have the power *He-Man voice*.
Me? Crazy? Nahh…
I’m going to post Chelle’s – whom you only think you know – and see how much of your time I’m taking up. Sound like a plan? Or at least a pluh?
Michelle Moira MacMichael
Pack Status: Gamma
Supernatural Status: Liam’s enforcer
Human: Chelle is a bleached blonde. The carefully maintained straw coloured silk falls to her shoulders and allows her to hide her intelligence in the stereotype. She is slim and lithe but she is well defined in the shoulders, arms and legs, her stomach is lightly rippled with a six-pack. She has pale green eyes and a full, sensual mouth. She dresses like a man more often than not – jeans, sweats, men’s shirts, tank tops – with her hair up but somehow still manages to look very feminine.
Wolf: On the small side, in comparison to her Alphas and Beta but no less strong. She has copper fur and yellow-green eyes.
Background: Michelle was not born into the pack as a very large portion of the pack was. Michelle is not the name she was given at birth. She came to the pack seeking asylum as a ten year old, the daughter of a mated Beta pair. The Alpha of her previous pack, one set deep in the Highlands, had a taste for young girls, brunettes in particular, and girls who began to fill out early were of a special interest to him.
One night, a night her father was on patrol and her mother had been sent away to negotiate with a coterie who wanted hunting privileges on their land, the Alpha snuck into her bedroom. She awoke at a soft noise and slipped her hand under her pillow for the knife her parents insisted she sleep with when home alone. He crept close to her bed and eased the blankets back while she pretended to sleep. She let him run his hand down her ribs and over her hip to her knee. She let him slide his hand under her shirt and even moved restlessly, like she was dreaming.
So focused was he on her soft skin that he didn’t notice her change in breathing or the tension coiling in her body as she shifted to her back and changed her grip on the knife. So intent was he on touching the small, developing breast that he didn’t see anything but his goal. When he touched her, finally, he sighed with pleasure and closed his eyes for a moment. Chelle used that moment to strike at him. She sank her small blade into the right side of his chest, feeling the steel slide between his ribs. As he stared at the hilt in shock she bolted from her bed and then the room.
It was a hard journey south in little more than her pyjamas. She had been tempted to go back several times in those three days from flight to found to make sure her parents were okay but she knew she’d be dead the moment she stepped on pack soil. She ended up at Liam’s side after he and Marcus found her begging for scraps outside a pub on the edge of Glasgow.
When the Alpha she’d stabbed showed up at the Four Claw house it was Liam and Marcus who hid her. Liam and Marcus who lied well to keep her from being taken. It was Liam and Marcus who had taken the beatings for the lies and it was Liam and Marcus who told Liam’s father what had happened and made sure that she was inducted into the pack. Liam’s mother taught her how to dye her hair and it was Liam’s father who welcomed her into their home permanently. From then on she had shadowed Liam and Marcus, learning everything she could from them.
Weaknesses: She doesn’t trust a man’s word, outside of Liam and Marcus. And maybe Doug. She has a fierce hatred for those who abuse children and tends to go overboard in her reaction to seeing mothers or fathers who spank their children in front of her.
Strengths: Phenomenal martial arts skills, high level black belts in Seikido, Kung Fu and Krav Maga. She is a sharp shooter, the best in the United Kingdom, third best in Europe.
Abilities: She is a shape shifter and has superhuman strength, above and beyond most other Supernaturals.
Lovely woman, strong as hell, and absolutely in love with Marcus. And thank you, lovely people, for showing me that it needed edited. I think that I will post the new Wolf’s bio here. It will make the blog a little on the long side but that’s nothing new, eh?
Introducing… *drum roll*
Human: McKenna – Mac to her friends, precious few that they are – has broad shoulders, generous breasts and an hourglass figure. She has shockingly red hair that is all natural and falls around her face in short, just above the shoulder waves. She has the porcelain complexion that is typical of a Scottish redhead, along with a smattering of freckles below the bright blue eyes. Very delicate, elfin features draw the eyes of men and women alike despite her every attempt to downplay them.
She has a scar just under the right side of her ribcage, around the back, where a would-be mugger stabbed her in the kidney when she refused to cooperate. And she is missing a chunk out of her left breast from a mishap with a Tiger that got infected and never healed quite right.
Wolf: Medium sized Wolf with rust coloured fur and pale, washed out blue eyes.
Background: McKenna was born to a single mother who happened to be a lone Wolf. A Scottish Wolf living in London, McKenna’s mom was a runaway, the Theta from a northern Highlands pack. One who had run away when her Alpha raped her while she was caring for the wound in his chest caused by a missing young girl. When the mother found out she was pregnant she sought sanctuary in London and raised her girl with love and the arts. McKenna’s mother died the night of McKenna’s first heat. The heat had called in several males who were eager to get at the fourteen year old girl. Mac ran as her mother fought for their lives. Three males lost their lives before Mac’s mother lost the fight.
Mac did everything she could to cover her scent and crossed into Wales, where she stole art supplies and food and made a home for herself in a cave in the Cambrian Mountains. She began to sell her work for pennies until a gallery owner saw them, and her, and took her in. It took Mac a long time to trust the old man but he did nothing to her but treat her like a granddaughter and sell her work.
One full moon night, coming from the gallery on her way to run she was stopped by a Tiger. He accosted her, demanding to know why she was on their territory without permission. When she told him the truth he tried to take her to his Alpha by force. She shifted and ran for the mountains, not knowing that the old man always followed her on her runs. The Tiger shifted and followed her. He caught up to her in the foothills and attacked. She was losing the battle, having been bitten in the chest, a large chunk of flesh torn out, when the man shot the Tiger, repeatedly, emptying a semi-automatic rifle – a Browning Bar Mark II – into the Cat and dragged Mac into his truck. Only her being a Wolf saved her that night.
When the man died a couple of years later she mourned him like a grandfather. Then she took the money and the rifle he left her and headed north again, landing in Glasgow and selling her wares in the Barras.
Weaknesses: The fact that she’s a lone Wolf makes her half as strong as she could be. She trusts no one and allows no one to get close to her.
Strengths: She became a marksman, not at the level of the upper four in the Four Claw pack but well enough to defend herself. She is an underground boxer, taking her aggressions and anger out on the men who laughingly step into the ring with her. She doesn’t dwell in her anger but has used it to fuel her survival.
Isn’t she lovely? Twelve years younger than Doug, sure, but she loves him and he her. And you will meet her properly in HW2.5, the short story I’m doing for KallySten’s anthology.
I’m out, folks! Have a wonderful weekend!