The Quest for the Blue Hour

Things like this keep me up at night.

This, and the possibility that marauders have invaded suburbia, that the cats will evolvulate opposable thumbs, and that some idiot in marketing will pull the plug on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. If that last one happens, I say we revolt. I’ll crochet a pitchfork if I have to.

At Between Naps on the Porch a few weeks ago, Susan talked about taking pictures of The Blue Hour, that glorious time at twilight when the sky radiates color.

I want one. I want pictures of the blue hour. And I want an Oompa Loompa.

And I thought (and see how dangerous it is when I think?) that I would set up a little tablescape and my tripod and take blue hour pictures. A charming little tablescape and beautiful photos are both Martha-Worthy pursuits, and since I’m still only sitting at +9 points (due in part to overwhelming reader opinion that wine supplies earn points, which actually is an axiom I think we should all live by) I figured I could use a boost.

My subject: a jewelled hurricane lamp next to a steaming cup of tea in a bone white china cup.

Fact one: I am a cold weenie. This is why I live in California. Trust me, I spent two years in England WHINING. So, despite it being June, I am sitting outside in a cap and scarf.

Fact two: My very modest backyard is surrounded by a six foot fence which means sky is rather high up on the horizon.  I was not secure enough in my hat and scarf in June, toting my camera and wee tablescape of the hurricane lamp and the steaming cup of tea in the bone-white china cup to park myself in the front yard to bring the horizon down a few degrees.  (The fence, by the way, is a good thing or Backyard Neighbor and I would never have ANY wine supplies at all, because we would constantly be in each other’s yard having a wee nippy. For breakfast.)

In order to deal with the elevated horizon, we sit two little tables on top of each other. So now the genteel tablescape of the jewelled hurricane lamp and steaming cup of tea in the bone-white china cup is perched on two stacked patio tables. Some of the casual elegance seems to have escaped.

I notice here that during the elevating process, some of the steaming tea in the bone white china cup sloshed over the sides and puddled in the saucer. Becoming a little overwhelmed with the process, I dried the saucer on the grass.

Himself has joined me in the process, which is perfect, because two crazed OCD people on any given project are better than one.

Fact three: One candle illuminates….nada. No light actually reaches the four inches to the no longer steaming cup of tea in the splotched bone-white china cup. The sky was rapidly progressing in its glorious blueness, but I couldn’t get any light past the actual flame of the candle.

Himself fetched a flashlight and attempted spot illumination on the tepid cup of tea in the splotched bone-white china cup.

The result looks rather like what I think a séance for dead coffee spokespersons must look like.

We tried with him standing further and further away with the flashlight, but never managed to shake that beverage-of-the-undead feeling.

At which point Himself gave up and left me to futz around with shutter speeds.

Around the time that I took this shot…

…was when I started to get attacked by bats. Four bats.

Only one of them, in fact, dive-bombed my head, but the others were waiting in formation.

I had only one choice.

Retreat. I’m not proud. I’m not going up against four military trained bats who were clearly after the cold cup of tea in the splotched bone-white china cup.

So here’s the score:

  • Lori: 0
  • Kamikaze Ninja Bats: 4

I don’t think I lost any Martha Points, but I’m not awarding any to the bats. If they want them, they’re going to have to clean something.

This post linked as part of an ongoing quest for perfection to “Table-Scape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch.


  1. But you did capture the blue hour! That was your goal. I gotta give you props for going so far as to stack tables to get a tablescape shot. You must have really wanted that shot. I don’t have two tables I could stack and wouldn’t have thought of it anyway.

    1. That’s only because I am crazy that way. The crazier part? When I said, “This just isn’t high enough, I need two tables on top of each other” and Himself said, “Okay.” And went off to fetch the other table.

      Meant for each other. Clearly.

  2. “And I want it nnooooooooww!”
    Beverage of the undead! Sounds like a cocktail!…that you should drink with your neighbor!
    Oh, and I say you should totally take down that fence! I wish I had a neighbor like that!

      1. I COMPLETELY agree about the fence! We should take it down – and down the wine instead!

  3. We used to have bats in our junior high on the top floor where all the “cool” (in their own minds, maybe) upperclassmen had their lockers. You kinda had to run for cover when those varmints got mad.

    You certainly get an A+ for effort!

  4. Ah, what we’ll go through for a photo. I enlist my husband’s help on all my food photography. He makes it look all fancy and Marthalike. I am a hot mess putting food on a plate!

    Love the “dead coffee spokesperson!”

  5. Wow, the bats came out of no where – literally.

    Nice shots though! You could really have some fun with a flashlight and long-exposure. You guys should try it out sometime. .

  6. What a hoot! Love your post and your account of your quest for a stunning blue hour tablescape! I starting laughing when you stacked two tables and got progressively more tickled as your adventure wore on! Thanks for linking to Tablescape Thursday this week!

    1. SOMEDAY I will actually have a gorgeous tablescape to share. To date it has mostly been how mine have somehow fallen apart or…been attacked by bats.

      I am determined.

    1. At first I saw the bats and though, “Oh, hey look, bats over there…”

      Then the bats were DIVE BOMBING MY HEAD and that was just too damned much nature for me.

  7. Call me crazy, but I like the last picture…you know, the one that you took right before you got attacked by bats!

    Also…I am totally with you on the revolt of peanut butter cups ever get yanked.

  8. Argh! Those darn bats!

    Beautiful pictures! The blue is simply gorgeous. You need to award yourself some points for that!

  9. Lori, I started laughing this morning after I read your sausage comment on my post, and when I came by to tell you how you are to blame for the coffee I dribbled down my “dryclean only” blouse, I managed many more out loud gaffaws and spills. . .

    OK, who am I kidding.? I don’t own dry cleanable blouses. But my holy pajama top was a wreck. Truly… several and then several more, out loud laughs. That is something I thought you should know.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. You are such an angel! And you cracked me up to…”who am I kidding, I don’t own any drycleanable blouses…”

      Glad I gave you a laugh, sweet lady!

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