Warmth (Day 9)

Warmth (Day 9)

Before last summer, I had never been to Nebraska. Frankly, I never wanted to go to Nebraska because I pictured it flat and boring with nothing to see. The only reason for visiting Nebraska (in my mind) was to check it off my ‘Visit all 50 states’ bucket list. As far as I was concerned, the drive from Oklahoma to South Dakota last summer could clip the tip of Nebraska, and I would be happy.

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Our trip took us further into Nebraska than I hoped and  I was delightfully surprised. Nebraska was nothing like I imagined. For Day 8, I chose a photo of the warm, golden fields of the Nebraska grasslands.

The Natural World (Day 8)

The Natural World (Day 8)

Nature is full of wonder and the perfect photo op. There is never a shortage of magnificent subjects in the natural world.

Exotic Tropical Flower
Exotic Tropical Flower

 

This flower was taken in a tropic forest in Honduras. The long stamen reminds me of a tongue sticking out of a mouth.

 

 

 

 

 

Birds sitting in the bare branches of a tree
Birds in a Tree

Even in my own backyard, nature offers herself up for a photo. I was outside a few days ago when I heard a lot of birds chirping in the trees next to the house. I was curious what type of birds they were because they seemed large from a distance. This is the picture I got and while you can’t tell what the birds are, it fits the theme of natural lines.Yesterday I took a walk outside and noticed the vibrant pink of my Redbud tree. The long-awaited color is a welcome change to the browns of winter

 

Yesterday I took a walk outside and noticed the vibrant pink of my Redbud tree. The long-awaited color is a welcome change to the browns of winter.

Pink blooms on the Redbud Tree
Pink blooms on the Redbud Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connected 24 x 7 (Photography 101/Day 6)

Connected 24 x 7 (Photography 101/Day 6)

 

imageBeing connected has its ups and downs. As a mom, I feel comforted knowing I can reach my children when they are away from home. As a wife, knowing that I can call my husband and remind him that we need milk while he is at the grocery store makes my life much easier. But as an employee, being connected comes with baggage.

Like many professionals, I feel an unspoken expectation that I need to be reachable, even on my days off. This not only includes phone calls, but e-mails and instant messaging. It seems there is no escape from the possibility that at any given moment, I am expected to be back “on the job”,  a feeling that negates some of the benefits of being away in the first place.

Even if your employer is not that demanding (and mine really isn’t), as employees there is an addiction to being connected 24 x 7.  It’s part ego and part insecurity. We never want to find out that our employer, boss, or team can actually get along without us.

The umbilical cord that connects us with our employer also connects us to our co-workers through social media. We are Facebook Friends, LinkedIn, and Twitter mates. Personally, I think it is unhealthy to be that connected with the people I work with, especially my manager. While most interactions are harmless, we all know people whose opinions are so ‘out there’ that it affects how we feel about them as a co-worker. And heaven forbid we get too carried away with our own posts our of fear of what our office mate might think.

Connections are like bridges, joining us together, and that is not a bad thing. But even  bridges have limits: times when they may be crossed, limits to what is brought from one side to the next. Our personal connections need some limits tooDSCF8429

 

 

 

 

Photo101 Week in Review

Photo101 Week in Review

To recap the week, here are some photos that I took earlier today, trying out all the different techniques. Even if the subjects aren’t exactly exciting, it was fun practicing.

Establishing Shot – This is at a local cemetery (to capture the feeling of solitude). I took a long-angel photo down a line of head stones, using the ornately decorated one as the foreground focal point.

Wk1_Establishing Shot

 

Orientation – This picture was taken at a local park. The man sitting on the picnic table was feeding one of the geese. The first picture was taken vertically, the second horizontally. I can’t choose which one I like more.

Wk1_Orientation_VeriticalWk1_Orientation_Horizontal

Rule of Three – The same goose from the previous photograph. I placed him in the upper third of the photo. I was actually standing behind a tree because he wasn’t too happy to have his picture taken.

Wk1_Rule of Thirds

Water (Day 3)

Water (Day 3)

tree reflected in water
Reflection of a tree in stream

 

The water in this photo is part of a stream system that dates back thousands of years. Native Americans once lived along these backs and used the water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. The fish that once swam between its shores feed the tribe. Many tribes lived along these shores and the names the gave this water reflects it value and importance in sustaining life: Water, Cool and Sweet; Clear Good Water; and Cool Goodwater. Today, it is called Soldier Creek, named for the White soldiers who camped along these shores while forcing the native residents to leave their homes.

Bliss (Day 4)

Bliss (Day 4)

Island of Roatan
Roatán, Islas De La Bahia,

 

If Bliss means heaven, then cruising the Caribbean is my idea of bliss.  Although I have only take three cruises so far (fourth later this summer) I am hooked and all that holds me back is time and money.

There are many things I love about cruising. The serenity of being on the open ocean, away from cell-phones, emails, and social media provides a much needed break from life’s demands. The smell of the ocean air and watching  fish fly out of the break from my own small balcony helps me appreciate the simply pleasures in life.

Archway
Archway at Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica

I love the sense of adventure and exploration. There is always something new to look forward to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roadside Market
Roadside Market in Roatan

I enjoy experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, and trying new things. Seeing people whose lives are so much different than mine reminds me of my own humanity.

 

 

 

 

Galveston Bay at Sunset
Galveston Bay at sunset

Sunrise and sunsets are always beautiful, and there is no better way to start the day than by grabbing cup of hot  coffee and watching the sun come up over the ocean horizon. There is peace in the quiet and beauty at the start of a day.

 

 

And a sense of gratitude in knowing there will never be another sunrise like the one before you.

Welcome to Sturgis (Day 2)

Welcome to Sturgis (Day 2)

DSCF6778 Photo101

Last summer I knocked an item off my bucket list by attended the 75th annual Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.  Mind you, I am not a rider. My husband’s best friend, however, wanted to go one last time, so we tagged along in our Ford F150 pickup truck, with camping gear in the back. This picture tells the whole story. During the first few weeks of August, bikers from all over the world converged on this little town, with a normal population of just over 6,000. By the time it was over, the official count swelled to over 750,000.

I took this picture at the top of a tower, looking down the main street.

Home (Day 1)

Home (Day 1)

imageFor me, Home  is the comfort and familiarity of my own bed.

As a business traveler, I enjoy the luxury of a bed I don’t have to share with a husband, a dog and a couple of cats.

I love the feel of clean sheets every night and the softness of a good mattress.

I delight in the silence of a good book.

But at the end of the week

I am thrilled to come home a dirty sheets, to a dog that takes her half of the bed out of the middle and to cats that announce it is time to get up by scratching at the window blinds. I feel blessed to have a husband who insists on telling me all about his book while I am trying to read mine.

Nothing say HOME like my own bed.