a second look, childhood, finding my way, growing old, life, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, progress, simple things

The finish line…

I prefer to think that my obsession with downsizing, purging, and getting rid of all the ‘stuff’ in my life that was weighing me down, originated with me.  Or, more correctly, with Charley.  That I started feeling as if I needed to liberate myself from my ‘stuff’ came long before the tiny house movement.  Even though we had sold the house we lived in for 35 years and had to pare things down to make that move, Charley still had tons of stuff he left behind when he died.  And even though I remembered how he surprised me back then by going through his things and tossing/giving away all sorts of things without any agonizing whatsoever, I did agonize over his things.  All his things were treasures, they were worth something, collectibles, as he was fond of reminding me.  I could be tossing away something of value.  My own stuff was junk, admittedly, so it was the physical act of going through boxes that had been sitting on shelves in the garage for years that would get the best of me.  I would tell myself that I ought to just throw those boxes away, don’t even open them I’d think, but I couldn’t seem to do that, and I’d keep on procrastinating.  But now I have finally done it, I’m pretty much at the finish line, spurred on because I wanted to save my kids the torture of going through all my stuff and sorting and tossing it away.  They’ll probably have to do some of that one day but they can rest assured that it is, in fact, junk, so toss away!

So what has made the cut?  What have I managed to keep with me through moves from MA, to IN, to CA, to MD, and, finally, to this little place in FL?  Besides the sewing machines, cameras, computers, and iPhones we have these gems.  Treasures from my childhood, and items that caught my eye over the years.  As I acquired them, the little stained glass candle holder bought in Beanblossom, Indiana for example, could I have ever imagined that it would stay with me, across country in both directions, and be with me here in what I expect is my last home?  Which in reality is my first ever apartment, so to speak.  The first place I’ve ever made for myself alone.  But furnished with the items that I have held close to my heart, that have pleased me, comforted me, delighted me, and carried me from childhood to, ahem, maturity…

'scene' along the way, a second look, home, home improvements, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Happy St. Paddy’s Day…

There is nothing Irish about these photos, except that they were taken this morning from a bridge on Rt. 19 in Port Richey, FL.  I still haven’t scouted for new and different spots to shoot the sunrise and/or sunset from my new and different home base.  I’m too busy having brainstorm after brainstorm concerning decorating my new home.  And each new idea seems to require turning the entire house upside down to accomplish them.  That’s not new for me, my kids can attest to that, but once I’m ‘done’ that’ll be it.  It’s the getting there… 03-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise403-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise303-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise203-13-17stpaddy'ssunrise

'scene' along the way, a second look, home, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, sky, sunset

The Ides of March…

After a nice dinner with a friend on Wednesday I realized that I had some choices of places to stop for the sunset on the way home.  But if I headed straight to the pond at home I would be exactly on time, and I’d also be at home.  I opted for home, even though there is only one view available, but it is the sunset that is the star of the show after all. And I don’t know that it’s ever taken me a day and a half to look at my pictures, but my heart hadn’t been in it and I didn’t expect much from them.  I was right, but not completely. 03-15-19sunset1

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Third time’s a charm…

Two previous trips to Philippe Park to see the owls hadn’t been successful.  Not only were we freezing, but the owls were hunkered down keeping warm also.  But yesterday was a perfect Florida winter day, so off I went.  As usual, it was the other photographers who had to point out the nest, and Mama in the tree keeping watch.  But was it any wonder I couldn’t spot her when she was so well camouflaged? 03-13-19mamabackThus you have the dilemma, which side of the trees do you want to shoot from?  This side was the best view of the babies when I was there last year, but the other side had a contingent of photographers waiting for Mama to fly down to the nest.  When the babies were stirring, that’s when they expected her to fly, and that was the shot they were waiting for.  So I marched myself and my camera over to that side to see what I could see.  And I wasn’t disappointed.03-13-19baby103-13-19baby203-13-19babyx2And there was Mama too, always watching.  She was preening, the babies were stirring, the photographers were sure she was ready.  I realized that I could zoom out and you could see the nest and Mama, but the perspective is skewed.  We were standing on a hill, so the fact that the nest was up high, and that Mama was behind, in another tree and much higher than the nest is, doesn’t show.  But this was the view.03-13-19mamagettingready03-13-19momandnestI headed to the other side again, tired of waiting for her to fly, and convinced that the babies would be putting on a show over there.  I missed the fly shot by just a minute, and there was a lot of activity that looked like feeding, but down low in the nest.  Another photographer asked if I’d gotten the shot where Mama picked up a rat and moved it from one side to the other, but no, no I did not.  I was trying to hold out for shots of all three of them, but that one baby wasn’t cooperating.  Darn it.  But I’m not really complaining, it was a fun way to spend the afternoon.03-13-19owls three

backyard visitors, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, home, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Nosy neighbors…

There are a couple of nosy neighbors in my new neighborhood.  And, no, I’m not talking about my aunt and uncle.  No, whenever you are outside the particular neighbors I’m talking about show up in hopes of getting a hand out.  I don’t believe in feeding wildlife because I don’t want them to become dependent on me and then let them down.  But mostly because I know that the sorts of things people do feed them aren’t good for them at all.  Obviously someone feeds these two because they aren’t shy about asking.  In this case I had brought a couple of Magnum bars across the street for my aunt and uncle and these two seemed to think that I should have shared with them also.  I hear that there is at least one equally pesty wood stork that hangs around and comes close looking for a treat also, but I haven’t run into him so far.  I will try to resist buying any more Magnum bars, even if they are on BOGO this week, because I have personally eaten way more than my fair share.  It would have been nice to have had a more natural setting for these photos, but they will do for having walked across the street and sat in the grass with my iPhone for a few minutes…03-13-19egret103-13-19egret203-13-19egret303-13-19egret4

finding my way, friends, fun, life goes on, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, technology, unintended images

Ghostly images…

Several years ago a neighbor happened to make a Facebook post about a photography class, Photographing Birds, that was being offered at a wildlife preserve nearby.  I was off that day, and the class started at 10 AM so I had plenty of time to get there, so in that way the timing was good, but the timing was also good for me personally.  After three years of being a bit of a hermit after Charley died I guess I had realized that life was going to go on after all, and as a long-term strategy being a hermit probably wasn’t the best idea I’d ever had.  I believe that it was just the four of us at that class, plus the teacher, and we have stuck together ever since.  Is it photography that stuck us together?  Because we could not be coming to this hobby/obsession from more different personal angles, but yet here we are.  So while I was away my friends had discovered a photography group that is based a lot closer than our St. Pete group, which we still love and participate in, but easy access is easy access.  So I tagged along to a class last night and enjoyed it a lot.  The leader, Carolyn, is a forensic photographer, so as she was explaining the settings on the camera, etc., the frame of reference she would use as examples might be to include everything you were seeing in the scene you were photographing, such as the body, the murder weapon, the blood spatter, etc. and the settings you need to accomplish that.  A very different point of view to say the least.

I don’t think that this particular technique was related to her work per se, just a fun exercise in what your camera can do.  To use a gauzy flowing drape is an obvious choice of prop for these pictures, and those were the pictures I was liking as I looked at the images in the camera.  Then I got home and was tired, and I didn’t like the images at all.  But this morning, with a cup of coffee, I liked them more.  And really liked the images without the flowing robe also.  03-12-ghostlybetty03-12-ghostlycarolyn03-12-ghostlycarolyn2  Now to think of a way to use the technique.  Someone suggested shooting in a graveyard and having a ghost rising out of a grave.  Now that has potential…