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Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Finds & Randomness

 
Meet my latest find and newest edition to my photo props.
Sometimes things are just right in front of my nose and I don't see them. This chair was. My sister and I recently went to a flea market, where I picked up a few small things for photography; a vintage piece of lace, a small blue cup, and a wooden bowl. There was a wire basket that I looked at and then put back. Later I wished I'd bought it, so I decided to make a return trip. I picked up the basket and started to walk away when I saw what it had been sitting on!  This sweet little child's chair. I love it...pealing pain, wobbly legs, missing pieces of wood, and all! I finally got a chance this week to photograph it for a class (Be Still-52) I'm taking with Kim Klassen. Our focus was on allowing room in our photos and our lives so that we can breathe.
 
Linking with Kim's Friday Finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com
 
 
Randomness
 
#1
It's rained every day this week. In fact, it's raining as I type! The rain has left the pasture damp and with the warmer temperatures the mushrooms are sprouting.  I have never seen one like the one on the bottom right.  It looks like a marshmallow sitting on the ground.
 


#2
Some days I don't know which way is up!

 


#3
Arkansas strawberries are in and they are delicious.  I made strawberry freezer jam this week. I refuse to tell you how much sugar the recipe calls for!  We'll ignore that fact! I'll just have to walk an extra lap or two when I eat any!  I love to make pancakes on Sunday night and strawberry jam is the best topping there is!
 


#4
One of my azalea bushes has just now bloomed. It's never done this before, bloom later than the others. Did it want to be noticed so it bloomed by itself or was it just waiting to soak up all this rain?
 


#5
I found some different seedpods yesterday.  In each of these bell shapes there are several tiny black seeds just waiting to be scattered by the wind!
 

I'm going to be a little scarce for the next week. I'll be spending time with family. I hope each of you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just Shooting...

 
This morning I read a post from one of my favorite blogs, Focusing On Life. I've mentioned them here before; this wonderful group of talented, inspiring writers and photographers. The post this morning was called "Looking Back". Leigh, the author, spoke of when she looked through her archives of images recently. She discovered that she "wasn't the same photographer." Photography had become "ho hum" and she wondered what caused it. Then, she wrote something that made me stop in my tracks and begin to think.
 
 
You see, I've been feeling the same way. The joy of photography seems to be escaping little by little. Her thoughts, "I think we study so hard to learn our craft that we get wrapped up in the technical aspects."  Could this be? Yes, I think so, at least for me. I remember the days of just snapping a photo of something that caught my eye, uploading it to the computer, and then smiling because I'd capture what I wanted. Was it technically perfect? Probably not, but it was what I saw and what I wanted to capture. Now, I worry about all the technical things like light, aperture, shutter speed, rule of thirds, crisp focus, and on and on.
 
 
So, today I grabbed my old trusty point and shoot camera and went outside between rain showers. I didn't go far, only in my front yard. I didn't plan. I didn't think. I just clicked and you know it was a lot of fun.  Just plain relaxing and fun.
 
 
By no means can I go back to "no technical" shots completely, but I'll be making more time to stop learning, to stop worrying. to just shoot and capture what my heart and eyes see.
 

 
Confession:  I did crop a couple of these...that pesky two-thirds rule just won't go away!
If you're feeling similar, read Leah's post here, then grab your camera, skip the technical stuff, and just have fun!
Thank you, Leigh!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Remembering...

 
This is Memorial Day
In our land of the free.
 
 
 
 
It's because of those who sacrificed
Whose graves you're here to see.
 
 
They fought on foreign lands
And across the open sea,
 
 
And paid the ultimate price
To keep you and I free.
 

 
So put all things aside
And honor this important day,


 
Which we have dedicated
As our Memorial Day.
 
LTC RET. Samuel Lombardo

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Sundries - Edition 15


"Colors are the smiles of nature."
Leigh Hunt

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Finds and Randomness

 
I am not a flower gardener!  I have shade gardens with azaleas and hostas which are easy-peasy and not necessary to tend in the heat and humidity of summer!  BUT, I do love flowers (those that requires little attention) so, I add some pots here and there for color! I finally made the trip to the closest nursery to buy my annuals and found these petunias. I've never seen this color before. Sometimes they're dark like these and sometimes the blooms are more yellow with deep burgundy stripes. They're right by the door where I can enjoy them each time I'm in and out!
 
Linking with Kim's Friday Finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com
 
 
 
Next comes the randomness!
 
#1
Topping the list this week is my grandson Josh. Josh is seven (one of the twins) and has an amazing talent for music. Yes, I'm partial,, but it's true. He's only been taking lessons since January and is breezing through his piano book. This past Sunday he had his first recital. He was able to play a song he loves, Beethoven's Ode To Joy. I took this picture of him when he was practicing his piece right before we left. At the recital he played beautifully; never missed a note or missed a beat...it was perfect!! You can tell that he enjoys music and feels it in his heart!  He brought tears to my eyes as he performed.  We are so proud of him! I think they'll be investing in a piano before too long!
 

 
 
#2
This is my daughter's flower garden.  Her peonies are always gorgeous! There's also water flowing into a rock pool complete with fish! It's so pretty and peaceful.


 
#3
Now, for some things that caught my eye this week. Have you ever noticed that some older buildings and monuments use the letter "V" for the letter "U."  In case you've ever wondered why, according to Scrabble Help,  "At one time, in the Middle Ages, the U and V were very closely related and were commonly used in words, that would seem backwards to us now. For example, Upon would have been written as Vpon. This was slightly due to the fact that there was no capital U in the alphabet. However, as this changed, the U and V were changed and the distinguish between the consonant and vowels." And, now you know! 

 
 
#4
I spend another day traveling Arkansas in search of courthouses. I now have taken pictures of 49 of Arkansas' 85 county courthouses. This is a project I started several years ago and it's been such a fun adventure. Most of the courthouses are in the older downtown areas and I never know what I'll find like this pretty mural. This is only one small section of the mural that told the history of Harrison, Arkansas. I really like the old rock building in the background, too!

 
 
#5
I love to walk down alley ways in the these older sections of town. You find great textures and a few surprises! I spotted a heart in the crumbling wall of a building.
 
 
 
 
 I leave you with this scene which made me laugh!
 
Just look at mama's expression! I'm sure she's saying, "Honey, you have something on your bill. You must be neater!  Our little one watches everything you do!"
 

 
To those of you in the States, have a nice Memorial Day Weekend!
To everyone else, just have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Taking The Long Road Home

 
I am never, ever disappointed when I travel the back roads of Arkansas.  Of course, I'm partial, but it is a beautiful state filled with mountains, valleys, quaint old towns, and delightful surprises. Recently I went on a photo excursion on the way home from my daughter's house. Instead of the fastest way, I took the LONG scenic route home.
 
My first stop was in Norfork. My husband had told me about this historic home standing high on a bluff overlooking the White River. He said he knew I'd want to photograph it.
 
 
This restored log cabin belonged to Major Jacob Wolf. Wolf built the cabin in the early 1800's to serve as post office and county seat. After the county seat was moved it became  his family dwelling. Wolf House is a dogtrot house which historically consisted of two log cabins connected by a breezeway or "dogtrot" all under a common roof. The breezeway provided a cooler covered area for sitting.

 
On his property, Major Wolf also had his own cabin,  a tavern (inn), blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, and a store. He took full advantage of the river traffic.
 
 
 
When I'm looking for places to visit, it's the big picture that draws me to a location, but often times it's the details that catch my eye; the peeling paint, the rust, the grunge, and the varied textures.
 
 
 
As I traveling on toward home, I spotted the Old Historic Galatia Church. The sign says it was built in 1886, but as you can tell there's siding on it now.
 
 
 
And, behind the church I found the "out house."  Yes, we do have a few of these around that are still being used. This one is for the "sisters". The "brothers" use one at the far end!
 
 
 
Next, stop was in the town of Calico Rock. East Calico Rock was a primarily the industrial section of town, first as a  landing for steamboats and later the railroad. The area that was once the center of all the hustle and bustle of trade has been abandoned. The buildings are vacant, some are only shells. The foundations are overgrown with weeds and wild vines. Even the railroad spur has been abandoned. It's kind of sad to walk down these once busy streets and see nature taking over.
 
 
My last stop of the day was in Batesville. When I wander around the older downtown areas there are always a few things I look for like shaped windows and reflections.

 
 
 
I also look for old signs.
 


My favorite signs are the "ghost signs" which are old hand-painted advertising signage found on the sides of usually brick buildings. This one is pretty odd. It looks like it's been painted over, but the underneath paint has seeped back through.
 

From there I headed home.  It normally takes me a little over three hours to get home, but this day it took nine! Once I get going I just can't seem to stop.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Blackberry Winter



 
Blackberry blossoms
Surprised by the wet cold rain
Blackberry winter
                                                  
 
(Blackberry winter is a colloquial expression referring to a cold snap
that often occurs in late spring when the blackberries are in bloom.)

Friday Finds & Randomness

 
What can one do on a rainy day?
The best thing I know is to go to the flea market!
What does one look for at the flea market?
Photography props, of course!
Did one find anything to bring home?
Oh yes, this pretty wooden bowl to put my spools in!
 
Linking with Kim's Friday Finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com
 
 
A Little Randomness
 
#1
I went for a walk on Monday morning and this is what I saw.
 
 
 
 
 #2
This is what I saw on Tuesday morning...rain!



#3
This is what I saw on Wednesday morning...more rain!
 
 
#4
This is what I saw on Thursday afternoon....lots of rain with the sun shining...no rainbow though!
 
 
#5
I started Kim Klassen's class Be Still Fifty-Two. It's a year long class focusing on stillness.  My hopes for this class are that I'll slow down, take a deep breath, and really look at what I'm wanting to photograph before I snap the shutter. I have a tendency to just snap away and hope I get one good image. In the slowing down process, I want to really look at and consider the light, which in essence is what photography is all about.  It should be an inspiring  journey. The  photo below was the first one I posted for the class. Nature in any form or shape makes me take a deep breath and "be still."
 

Monday, May 12, 2014

What I Saw Today...

I have lived in this house for 38 years.
I have sat in my swing hundreds of hours.
But, today held a first for me!
 

I've been trying very hard to get a good picture of a bluebird.
Today I sat in my swing so very, very still,
camera on the tripod focused on the bluebird house,
and waited.
 

My waiting paid off, I did get a couple of good shots.
But, being very still also brought a big surprise.
I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye,
turned,
and there to my surprise were two peacocks!
 
 
Where in the world did they come from?
They were out in the bright midday sun and
they never stopped moving while they pecked the ground.

 

My camera never stopped clicking.
I was terrified I'd not get a clear picture.
 


Stillness and patience can sometimes be greatly rewarded!

 
Here's my sweet bluebird...
 
 
Such a great day for me!
 
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory"
Revelation 19:7