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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter's Return

Day 343/365
I've been waiting for the right moment to photograph this scene, and today was the day I finally stopped here with my camera. This old mill/waterfall/river scene is in Lincoln Rhode Island.
I went to Twin River in Rhode Island today with my good friend Marlene to celebrate her birthday (If you remember from last year, this is an annual ritual for us.) We pass by this spot on the way, and each time we go by, I always say that one of these days I want to stop to photograph here. The snow was a welcomed sight and I knew that today would be the day for this scene.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Over Yonder

A cold winter's afternoon in Vermont

Monday, February 27, 2012

Postcards From Heaven Part 2

I was so tired last night that I didn't have it in me to tell you about the show I attended. As you have probably guessed, it is titled "Postcards From Heaven." It is a comedic psychic medium show. Sounds strange, huh? Well, I was a bit skeptical at first, but after what I saw last night, I am a believer. We all have guardian angels watching over us. http://www.maureenhancock.com/ Please visit Maureen's website! The things I saw in the show last night.....wow......you can't make this stuff up!!!
So, as I briefly touched upon last night.......this show was held at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy MA. This is a beautiful venue. It sits high on a hill with sweeping views of the city of Boston, and the sun setting on the West over Blue Hills.

The doors to the show opened at 5:30, and the show was scheduled to start at 6:30. I arrived there at 5 pm to catch the views and catch the sunset. (remember........you gotta get the gettin' while the gettin's good........why not go early and take some pictures. Worked for me!)

Here's one more image, very similar to the one I posted last night. I was standing there (really cold esp. with the wind), and I heard a gaggle of geese in the distance. The sky was turning a brilliant orange, and I wanted those geese.....badly......I was already envisioning the image in my head before I even saw them in flight. Suddenly, they rose up from below the hill I was on, and flew across the sunlit sky. I got a shiver........as the show I was about to enter was titled Postcards from Heaven..........the scene before me was very symbolic to me.....as though the geese........(yup, you guessed it)........ were in flight carrying the postcards from heaven!!!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Postcards From Heaven

Day 340/Year 2
"Postcards From Heaven"
I attended a program this evening. It's late and I'm tired but will post more about it tomorrow night. I arrived at the venue early, as I knew the location sits high on a hill with sweeping views. This is one of the shots I got just before I went in. How appropriate.
Good night!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Back to the farm

A week ago today Nancy Carey and I went to Lolan's Farm to do some farm photography. Here are a few more images from that outing.

I hope you had a happy Saturday!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A gray day

Hi........The weekend is here. This felt like such a short week to me, probably because of the Monday Holiday. This will be a working weekend for me.
So, today was a very dreary damp drizzly day here in SE MA. We got some fat wet snowflakes for a short time this morning, but they didn't stick to anything. I took the folks out today. We drove down to the beach in Weymouth, and out to Webb Park. I know I've done a good amount of grumbling about the weather lately. However, today's weather was lousy in a good way. The fog and drizzle helped to make some moody images.

Have a good weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The journey

The "finding your inner spirit program" presented by my friend Greg Lessard, http://greglessardphotography.com/-/greglessardphotography/ which I attended last night couldn't have come at a better time for me. It was just what I needed at this point of my photographic journey. Yes, I look at my photography as a journey. I have had many highs and a few lows as I have taken this journey, and I have learned so much..... not only about photography, but about myself. Where will this journey take me???? I have no idea. But right now, at this moment in time, I feel a new spark which I haven't felt for a while. I'm all set with this winter....the winter that wasn't.......and I am now getting myself into a Spring mode. I even went out shopping today with my good friend Nancy I.......and I bought myself a few subjects to photograph........I am envisioning some still lifes.....and I am looking forward to photographing these subjects, or "props" or whatever you want to call them. I'll be shooting these "Spring things" over the next few weeks and will share them here with you on the blog. Last night's program has also inspired me with ideas for what direction I want this blog to go in after day 365/year 2. When you think of it........that's 730 straight days of posting pictures here. Wow. As day 365 approaches, I will share with you my visions for the future of the blog.
But today is all about the journey. Soooooooooo, I thought the next 2 images would be perfect to go along with this topic. These were taken this past weekend as we were driving through Franconia Notch in NH.
Here's the first image:
“The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants, and discovers along the way, what he needs.” Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."
                                                           - Sir Winston Churchill

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brownington Congregational Church

Day 336/Year 2
Today is Ash Wednesday. This is the first year in a very long time that I haven't gotten my ashes. Now I feel guilty. I typically feel guilty for things though......it's from my Catholic upbringing......I call it the Catholic guilt. If you were raised in a strict Catholic household, and especially if you attended Catholic school, then you know exactly where I am coming from. Now, don't get me wrong.......I am not knocking my religion.......just stating the facts about the whole Catholic guilt thing. :-) At least I'm abstaining from eating meat and from eating between meals today. That's got to count for something, right???? :-)
Well, tonight I am going to "find my inner spirit" at the Plymouth Public Library. (I wonder if my inner spirit suffers from the Catholic guilt.........it just may!!!!) :-)
The program I will be attending is given by my photography friend Greg Lessard.......it is about finding your inner spirit and how to allow your inner spirit to come out in your photography. In part two of the program, Greg will be showing a slideshow of images he took out West last year, and he will be playing the Native American Flute during the slideshow.
Todays images were taken on Sunday morning in Vermont. This is the Brownington Congregational Church that you are seeing.

Sooooooooo..........I'm looking forward to tonight's program. I think I already have a pretty good handle on my inner spirit, and I think I use my inner spirit already in my photography.........meaning I feel like I photograph what I am drawn to and what makes me happy (perhaps I was a farmer in a former life?????) But seriously, I am drawn to photograph certain subjects, and I believe if you like your subject, then it will show in your photographs. It will be interesting to see what Greg has to say tonight, and I'm hoping to learn a little bit about myself and my photography.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More with Josie

Just a few more images taken on Sunday morning while out shooting with Josie. This is an old abandoned barn in Barton, with the Jay Peak range off in the distance. We first took a few shots from street level, then I took Josie up on the hill at the golf club across the street to show her how different the perspective can be from a higher spot.
We both liked the way the sun was lighting up some of the mountain tops.
Josie wanted to take me to a lookout tower in Brownington, so that was our next stop. As we were hiking up the hill to the tower, Josie stopped to take a picture of a lone tree at the crest of the hill. I was VERY IMPRESSED with her "eye" for this composition........and when I asked to see the image that she took on her LCD screen, I was expecting that I would be teaching her to not center or "bullseye" the subject (the tree), but instead place the tree over in the left third of the frame. Guess what?????? Yup.......Josie had already composed her image that way. Not only that, but she said "Did you see the bird in the tree??? Isn't that great that a bird was there"??
Yes......this kid is on her way to being a great photographer. Her'e my lone tree image:

And finally, here's the view from the top of the lookout tower:

Fun time!!!! :-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Morning with Josie

Guess what? I found some snow up in New Hampshire and Vermont this weekend. It's wasn't pretty white fluffy new snow, and it wasn't on the trees. It was more or less crunchy dirty icy stuff under your feet. But still.....it was snow......and after the snowless winter we are having, it was a welcomed sight.
I took a new friend out on a photography outing with me yesterday morning. Her name is Josie and she is 15 years old. I met Josie through her parents, who we actually met at the breakfast restaurant down in the village (yes......very small town life) Josie had a small point and shoot camera when I met her last summer, and she showed me some of the images she had taken.
Wow.
This girl has an eye.
Josie recently upgraded to a bridge camera, which she loves. Her and I headed out together at 6:30 yesterday morning for a photo shoot/lesson. Josie has no formal training, and she is still at the point of keeping her camera on P mode. BUT.......she has the eye and was born to be a photographer. She mentioned to me that she has a 1 hour ride on the shcool bus each morning, and she just stares out the window and is in awe of the beauty of the sunrises she sees.
Yup......she's got the photography bug! :-)
Unfortunatley, the clouds won over and we didn't have one of those gorgeous sunrises to photograph. We did find a little bit of color in the sky and stopped to take some shots. I taught her about the rule of thirds, and I also taught her when shooting a landscape, it is more pleasing to the eye to have 2/3 land and 1/3 sky, or visa versa (1/3 land and 2/3 sky).......try not to have the horizon line split the image in half. I also taught her that it's important to have a forefront interest in a landscape, and we also touched on the importance of leading lines. Here is one of the images I took, and I'm sure Josie has one similar to mine (who knows.....hers may be better than mine!)

Day 334/365
This was taken on Duck Pond Rd in Barton VT. I asked Josie what else she was interested in shooting, and she really wants to take some nice wildlife pictures.
Well, the wildlife Gods were with me once again, and no sooner did we come across a herd of deer grazing in a field on the side of the road. They were on the passenger side of my car, so I shut the engine off, Josie put the window down and we used the car as a blind, and she got a FANTASTIC shot of a deer looking straight into the lens of her camera!!!!! I was sooooo happy for her. My camera was in the backseat at the time, but I was happier just to watch her shoot away. It was wonderful!!! :-) The deer scattered off into the woods, but one of them ran the opposite direction of the others and crossed the street. I was then able to go to the back of my vehicle and grab my camera. Josie and I waited for that deer to cross back, and sure enough, she did.

It was an awesome morning, and I look forward to taking Josie out shooting again one of these days. I have more images to share from our outing on tomorrow's blog.
I hope you enjoyed your weekend too!!




Saturday, February 18, 2012

The end :-)

Hi, things have been kind of "deep" around here on the blog the past few days. Soul searching is a good thing I suppose. Speaking of "deep", I was ankle deep in some cow sh*t earlier this morning down at Lolans Farm in Middleboro. My forever friend Nancy Carey wanted a farm shot for a project she is working on, so I hooked her up with my farm friend Sue. I've said it before......I have met the nicest people through my photography, and Sue and her husband Sam are two wonderful people that I have met.
I am leaving right now to go to Vermont for the weekend. I'll be back Sunday with some Vermont images to share. Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Feeling very unsettled

Mr. S and I were heading out this afternoon, and we heard many sirenes in the area. We then saw a fire truck from a different town on the road, and we knew something big must have happened. This is what we came upon.
An SUV heading south had gone over the yellow line for some apparent reason, and hit an oil truck. It appears the SUV started to go underneath the rear end of the oil truck, and it actually ripped the rear axel right off the truck. The truck hit a pole and came to a rest along the side of the road.

There were 2 children in the SUV who were transported before we got there. However, the jaws of life were needed to remove the driver from the SUV and she was still trapped in the vehicle when we arrived.



As you know, I have been doing some deep thinking re my photography lately, and trying to decide in which direction I want to take this blog, and which direction I want to focus my photography on.
Taking these images today was very uncomfortable for me. This is someones life..........this was as serious as it gets.......and here I was with a big old Nikon strapped around my neck, shooting pictures of somebody's pain. I did not like the feeling one single bit. It felt wrong. Why then did I take these images????? Honestly??? Because I needed a photo of the day for my blog.
Pretty bad, right?
Photography is a wonderful hobby which has brought me more joy than I can express. It's not something which should cause me to feel this way. It's not "me" to feed off of someone else's pain or to benefit from someone else's misfortune. I could have sent these images in to the local newspaper......I know they would have at least put them up on their website. But I won't be sending them. The only reason I am showing them on this blog post is because it's cathartic for me to work through these feelings. Also, perhaps by sharing my feelings on this type of "photojounalism", I could possibly help someone else who may be struggling with something similar.
I guess you could say this blog post was about soul searching.
Please say a prayer for the family in the suv, as well as the driver of the oil truck. May God protect them and help them to heal and recover.
Thank you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Frustration

As of last evening, there was a possibility of us getting a snowstorm this weekend, here in Southern New England. Sigh......tonight's report is the storm is going to go out to sea south of us. No snow. Again.
Sooooooo, I went through my files from the very little snow we have gotten this winter, and processed this shot for today's photo of the day. This was taken at Wollaston Beach in Quincy MA in the early morning. That's the Boston skyline in the background (for those of you not from this area.)
This weather is sucking the life out of my photographic vision. I just don't have it in me to get out and take pictures when the world out there is blah, grey, and lifeless.
I am planning on attending a program next week about how to find your inner spirit and bring it out in your photography. I always thought I knew what my inner spirit was, and I thought I was bringing it out in my photos, but I'm hoping there's more of an inner spirit that I haven't found yet.......and if so.........I can't wait to find it! Either that, for the love of God.........can we pleeeease get some snow around here?????? :-)
34 days 'till Spring.......yes, I'm still counting. :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Looking back and reflecting on the past


Day 330/Year 2
In 35 days it will be the first day of Spring. In 35 days it will also be the end of year 2 for this blog. Year one was fun and challenging. Year 2 has been even more challenging, but it has also been more of a burden. I'm not complaining per se, but just saying it like it is. It's a huge undertaking, and I'm ready to move onto something new when these next 35 days are over. I'll still be posting on this blog, but I'm not quite sure how I am going to be changing things up, and in what direction I want to take the blog. I have a few ideas, and come Spring, we will see where this blog is headed.
In the meantime, thank you all once again for taking this photographic journey with me!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

XXOO

"We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence and its only end."
----------Benjamin Disraeli

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love is in the air

Day 328/Year 2
I found this potato in the bag when I was preparing dinner this evening. I thought it would make a sMASHING Valentine's Eve photo of the day!!
This was backlit using the flashlight from yesterday's image.....then I gave it a pink hue to make it a pretty in pink potato picture.
Now that's what I call cooking with LOVE!!!!!  :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Code Brown


Day 327/Year 2
We had a planned utility interruption at work today. The electrical power was shut down from 8am to 4pm to allow the electric service to be updated. So, we ran on emergency generator power for the day. Everything went smoothly, with just a few minor glitches.........but I did my work in my office via very little emergency overhead light and flashlight.
I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Today was bitter cold....especially in the wind. Brrrrr!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What a wimp!!!

Happy Saturday!! I hope you are enjoying your weekend. How about the snowstorm we got here in SE MA today???? NOT!!!!!! The forecasters finally got us excited with the prospect of snow, and then the storm wimped out on us. As I looked out the window at work today, it was snowing.......but it wasn't sticking to anything. I say if it's gonna snow......then at least it should make everything all pretty and white, right? None of this wet snow flurry business that doesn't even stick to the limbs of the trees.
It's just wrong!.........
Okay, now that I am off my no snow rant, I will share with you a snowy image.......taken back in the days when it really did snow in the wintertime in New England.
Those were the days..........

Friday, February 10, 2012

The big yawn

It all starts with the big stretch..........

Followed by the tongue curl....

Now squint those eyes and open wide....

There you go....

Now, that was just what I needed....


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Goosed


Day 324/Year 2
Geese are common subjects to photograph. Go and visit any local pond, and you are almost guaranteed to find some geese. I decided to give this Canada Goose image an artistic look. I didn't want it to look like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry goose image. :-)
I hope you like it!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Just relax

Day 323/Year 2
We all need a moment of calmness in our lives. Sometimes all of the hustle and bustle of daily living can make us so stressed out that we take the stress for granted and forget what it's like to just relax. I hope you can find some relaxing moments in your daily lives....it's important!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nailing the shot

Day 322/Year 2
Today was a pretty good day. How was your day? I hope you had a good one. I was out with the folks for a while. On the way home, I took a drive through the cemetery. My wildlife friends were not around so I went looking for them down at the pond. BINGO! There were lots of mallard ducks and Canada Geese, and the swans were close to shore.......love when they are close to shore. I spent a little while photographing them, waiting for something to happen..........the geese were diving for food, the gulls were taking flight........and I got many shots of these activities........but nothing was exciting me......until this swan stood up and stretched his wings, practically filling the frame of my camera.....and he was positioned perfectly in the frame.......allowing enough " room" in the frame in the direction of where he was looking.
It's a great feeling, that as soon as you press the shutter, and you just know you nailed the shot.......always puts a smile on my face and gives my heart an extra beat! Fun stuff!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Antique Police Call Box

Okay.....so the game last night didn't end the way we hoped, huh????
Lets' move on to happier things, shall we? :-) Like, this antique Police Call Box that N purchased on EBay. It arrived via UPS this afternoon and I think it's pretty darn cool!
This circa 1940's callbox was used in Marblehead MA............Humphrey Street at Atlantic Ave.
Pretty cool, huh?
The police on foot patrols would use these boxes to contact the Police Station. They would have to call usually every half hour to see if there were any calls pending. This of course, was before radios were used.
This is what the interior looks like:

This callbox is a nice addition to the antique police memorobilia that N is collecting. When he buys his own house, he hopes to have a nice room to display his collection.
------------------------------------------------------
Now onto the buffalo chicken wonton recipe as promised yesterday:
Buffalo Chicken wontons:

1pkg wonton
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breast
Franks red hot sauce
5 green onions chopped
1/2 block regular cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
garlic powder
salt
pepper
olive oil
veg. oil
blue cheese dressing-for serving

1. cube chicken (season salt, pepper, garlic powder) and cook in olive oil in large skillet
2. Once fully cooked, add 1/4 cup hot sauce and cook 1-2 minutes
3. Remove from pan and mince in food processor. Remove back to pan.
4. Add green onions to food processor and mince. Put back into pan w/ chicken
5. cook chicken, green onions, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and hot sauce to taste. Cook till melted and heated  through.
6. Put about 1/2-1 tsp. of chicken mixture into the middle of the wonton. Fold over into a triangle. Using your fingers, press along the edge with a little bit of water.
7. Fry in veg. oil approx 1 minute.
8. serve w/ blue cheese
****These are mild........add more hot sauce to taste if you like it hotter****

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl

I'm not one of "those girls" who only watch football on Super Bowl Sunday and the only reason why they watch is for the commercials. Hell no!!!! I'm a true Patriots fan through and through. I can tell you that a turnover is NOT a fruit filled baked pastry. A touchback is NOT something your husband does to you in the middle of the night........encroachment is NOT an apartment for roaches..........a kickoff is not what you do to take your shoes off at the end of the day..........a man in motion is NOT a single guy in a bar (well, maybe it's that too) :-).............getting picked off is NOT what you do to the lint on your clothes..........a snap is NOT what you do with your fingers to get someones attention........a spiral is NOT a ham..........
I could go on and on but I think you know where I'm coming from. 
I must say though, besides the excitement of the big game, the other really good thing about SuperBowl Sunday is the SuperBowl  food.
These buffalo chicken wontons are delicious. I will give you the recipe tomorrow.
Okay......so the Pats first possession ending as a safety is not how I envisioned this game to start.
I've gotta go get a cannoli.......



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

sunrise clouds

Day 318/Year 2
"I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's clouds illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Subungal Hematoma

Day 317/Year 2
It amazes me.....no matter what the inury, this kid can still text like there's nothing wrong!
This minor injury is the result of getting his thumb caught in the door of Mr. S's pickup truck last night. After a night of no sleep due to the throbbing pain, and the purple swollen appearance of his thumb this afternoon, Jay decided he should go to the ER this afternoon to get it checked.
No fracture thank goodness, but he had a large pool of blood under his nail which needed to be drained.
Yuck.
Doc says to expect the nail to fall off within the next week or two..........I promise........when that happens, it will NOT be a photo of the day. :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What a difference a year makes

Today is February 1st, 2012. The temperature was 60 degrees today. I was outside without wearing a jacket, and was very comfortable.
These were taken one year ago today on February 1st, 2011:

Look at how the snowbank is over Mr. S's head. Pulling out of the driveway was nearly impossible.....it was more or less inch your way out and say a prayer that nobody was coming.

This was the photo featured on my blog post a year ago today.
Crazy, huh?