Posted in nature, Photography, Photography 101

Triumph (Day 20)

1-DSCF5571-001Participating in Photo 101 has given me a new perspective on photography. Gone are the days of a non-thinking ‘point and shoot’ mentality. Going forward, the photos I take will be more thoughtful and deliberate. Although I wasn’t able to create a new photo for every assignment, just going through my old photos with a specific theme in mind helped me see them in a new light.

In contrast to my old self , I triumphed by not giving up on this class on the days when I could not go out and photo something new; by not putting this off because there was something more important (and less challenging) to do; by giving this my best shot and  putting myself and my photos “out there” for comment.

I also triumphed by finally getting a photo of a woodpecker that frequents my bird feeder.

 

Posted in nature, Photography, Photography 101

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography, Photography 101, Travel

Awesome Big (Day 7)

1-DSCF6848You can see it for miles, looming in the distance. The day we visited Devil’s Tower was cloudy and rainy, and the distant fog cast an eerie glow on the laccolith ahead. Compared to the trees, it doesn’t seem so big.

But once you get closer

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the sheer magnitude of it’s size leaves you in awe.

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Are you in awe yet?

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Posted in Oklahoma, Photography, Photography 101

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

Posted in Miscellaneous

On Being Happy

This post is about ways to improve your attitude and be happy. It is not meant to suggest that people who are clinically depressed can overcome their depression simply by changing their thoughts. Depression is a serious illness and if you are clinically depressed, please seek help.

When I was younger, I was terribly unhappy. There were times when I might actually have been considered mildly depressed, but back in the 60’s and 70’s, a depressed child was told to just get over it. For a very long time, I was not happy with my life, my looks, my family, my job, or really any aspect of my life. Everyone else seemed to have it better than me and it didn’t seem fair that I was singled out for a life of misery. There were periods when I was happy but they were not enduring. Continue reading “On Being Happy”

Posted in Miscellaneous

DAY 19 – Try a New Posting Style

The following was an assignment from a writing class I took. It is a short fiction loosely based on my Grandmother Daisy and her brother George. I welcome all feedback .

Unexpected Messages
 

Daisy peeled potatoes and daydreamed about hats, or at least one in particular; a stylish black hat with a large feather plume that she saw in the window at Eaton’s Department Store on her day off. Daisy pictured herself wearing the hat as she strolled down King Street, dressed to the nines, with her head held high and her dainty nose in the air. Gentlemen would tip their Homburgs and say Good Morning, Miss Webb, while women draped in pearl would huff with jealousy. Image

Just as she was about to stick her tongue out at Mrs. Jenkins, a loud knock at the front door yanked Daisy back to the kitchen. Wiping her hands on her dirty white apron, Daisy hurried to the front of the stately house where she worked as a domestic servant. A cool morning breeze off Lake Ontario chilled Daisy as she opened the door. Should have grabbed my shawl, she thought.Image

A young boy, no more than 15 years old, stood on the front steps. In his dark wool uniform with brass buttons down the front, the boy could easily pass as a young soldier. Only the red bicycle at the foot of the stairs and the small pouch attached to his belt said otherwise. The telegram messenger, an omen of bad news, was an all-to-frequent visitor in the upscale Ontario neighborhood.

“Telegram for Miss Daisy Webb,” he said. His outstretched hand held a pale envelope, imprinted with a small red cross.

Uncertainty echoed in her voice. “I’m Daisy.” As she reached for the envelop she noticed a heaviness in the boy’s eyes. Although the Great War was less than a year old, Daisy suspected this boy had delivered many such messages.

 The envelope felt heavy in Daisy’s hand. Instinctively she already knew what it said. After 10 long years, Daisy had received another unexpected message late last summer from her brother George. In it, he told of his long search for her. The home in Peterborough had given him her current address, he wrote. He had wanted her to know he would soon go to France to fight in the war. Would she write to him, he asked? Once settled, he promised to send her his address.

George’s letter never mentioned their last day together. Daisy had been 10 years old, George 12, when authorities had abducted them from their grandmother’s London home. Grandmother could not care for them anymore, they said. The authorities had placed her in a school where she learned domestic skills. At 16, they sent her to Canada as an indentured servant until she was of age. Until the letter arrived, Daisy thought George was dead. Daisy understood. They were Home Children. Some things were best tucked away and forgotten.  

She never received George’s address and Daisy thought it just as well. Daisy lost her brother 10 years ago. The George who went to war was a stranger. 

Daisy gently folded the unopened envelope and placed it in the pocket of the dirty apron and went back to peeling potatoes.  Image

 
Posted in Miscellaneous

Herding Cats (part 1)

An attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are uncontrollable or chaotic. Implies a task that is extremely difficult or impossible to do, primarily due to chaotic factors.

I never gave much thought to this phrase. At least not until I actually tried to herd cats. I live with four felines that keep me on my toes. Each one of them is special in his or her own way.  And in no way controllable!  Over the next few blogs  I would like to introduce you to my wonderful cats as I am sure they will be fodder for future blogs.

Poe, named for the poet Edgar Allen Poe, joined our family in October 2013.  Black as a raven, we adopted Poe from the Human Society when he was about 8 weeks old. What made Poe stand out in the crowd was how he carried his toy in his mouth. I know this is not uncommon with some cats but I had never seen a cat do that before and I fell in love. As a kitten, Poe loved those wands with the feathers and he would vault like an acrobat to grab it. Once it was his, off he to the bedroom. I guess he wanted to make sure it was safe. If he thought I was ignoring him too much, he would bring the wand to me so we could play.

Black Cat
Poe

 

Reinette, our  “little queen”, wandered to our  house only a few weeks after adopting Poe. She is also black as a raven, which we thought rather odd since stray black cats were uncommon in our area. We could not find her owner so we decided she could stay. Reinette is more of an outdoor cat and not overly affectionate. She doesn’t demand much and isn’t much of a bother. Unfortunately Reinette had not been ‘fixed’ when we found her and before we could take care of her, she ended up pregnant.  My daughter was thrilled but she didn’t understand that it meant we had to find homes for kittens. I think I fretted over Reinette’s  pregnancy as much as my own. I kept looking for signs that she was ready. I made her a birthing bed, which she ignored. The night of the birth she didn’t show a lot of signs. It was only when I woke up to a tiny mew that I realized she was giving birth – on my bed! All you can do is sit back and be glad that she decided to let us be a part of it. Reinette gave birth to three males and a female.

We gave two away. The other two are for another day.

Black Cat
Reinette