New England Blogs

Friday, April 30, 2010

"I'm Gonna Be A Police Officer When I Grow Up"

Ever since he was a little boy, my son "N" had the dream of becoming a police officer one day. This kid knew what he wanted, and he did everything he could possibly do to get to where he is today. He got good grades in college, where he majored in Criminal Justice and graduated summa cum laude. While in College, he worked as a summer police officer on the island of Nantucket. He also interned at a local police station, and they sponsored him to go to the part-time police academy in Plymouth MA. Upon graduation from the academy, he became a "Special" police officer for the town. A year and a half ago, he was hired as a part time officer in town. Five months ago, the town sponsored him to go to the full time police academy. Today, his dream came true as he graduated from the police academy and I couldn't be any more proud than I am at this moment. Not only did he complete the academy, which was very grueling both physically, mentally, and academically, but he graduated number one in his graduating class of 50 officers with a cumulative grade point average of 97.365. He was presented with the academic achievement award during today's ceremony. I had tears streaming down my face and it's a wonder I could have taken any decent photos (Thank God for lens vibration reduction) :-)
I can't help but brag so please bare with me. ;-) N had asked his dad if he would do the pinning of his badge during today's badge ceremony. It was such a proud moment for Mr. S!! (Let's just say I wasn't the only one wiping the tears!)

"So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains."
— Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

The Specs for the class photo:
 Nikon D90, ISO 200, 1/400, f10
The Specs for the pinning ceremony photo: 
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 2000, 1/60, f7.1

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's Chrome Alright

I worked today and went out to run some errands after dinner, figuring I'd get today's photo of the day while I was out on such a beautiful early evening. I came home totally deflated.......I couldn't come up with anything to photograph. I pulled in the driveway behind Mr S's pickup truck, and low and behold, I found my photo op in the bumper of his pick up truck! It's's's beautiful chrome! And the way the lighting was this evening, it was giving some wonderful reflections. What you are looking at is a reflection of my driveway, my vehicle, and the neighbors house and fence across the street. The tree on the left that is illuminated by the setting sun sits on my front lawn.
"Chrome, She can see herself In the shiny grill..........Chrome,I said hey little girl you sure look nice Do you wanna ride, I won't bite, she climbs inside Says hell no, I want to drive ............It's chrome alright Shiny,nice polished Chrome, Chrome ..............Her favorite color That girl is all about chrome She sure loves chrome"
Lyrics by Trace Adkins
The Specs:
Pansaonic LX3, ISO 200, 1/500, f2.8, -1/3 ev

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cherry Blossoms

I really hope you like this photo because I nearly FROZE while I was photographing this scene. :-) This was taken at Webb Park in Weymouth MA. In the nice weather, I frequently take my parents here to get them out for some fresh air and a little exercise. Today, they sat in the car (a very wise decision) while I ran around like a nutcase taking photos! There were gale force winds blowing off the ocean that literally almost knocked me over at one point, and the temperatures were in the 40's. Is it really almost May 1st?
Well, in photography we have to get the getting while the getting is was the only day that I had available to get these beautiful cherry blossoms photographed before they fall off so I  had to get out there and "just do it"!
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 1600, 1/2000, f11

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Was worth The Wait. :-)

Don't you just love this color? I've spent the past three days photographing this azalea bush, but have used a different subject each day for the photo of the day. So, today, I went back and I really like the raindrops on the petals. Now I'm happy that I chose not to post the azalea photos the past few days. It's funny how these things work out. :-)
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 640, 1/320, f5.6

Monday, April 26, 2010


Knock....knock.....knock..........that's the sound I heard as I was photographing some flowers. So, I followed the sound.......and there he was! This Northern Flicker Woodpecker was waaaaaaay up high in a tree.
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 1600, 1/2500, f7.1

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bleeding Heart

I hope your heart isn't bleeding. I hope it is filled with peace, and happiness, and hope, and most of all, LOVE!
"Where there is love, there is life."
Mohandas Gandhi
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 1600, 1/320, f5.6

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Eastern Painted Turtles

Mr and Mrs. Painted Turtle are seen here, basking in the sun, at the little pond down in the cemetery in my hometown.
Painted turtles are most active from May to October in the northeastern United States. During the winter, painted turtles hibernate by burying themselves deep in the mud beneath streams and ponds. The mud insulates the turtle, which helps prevent freezing during the harsh winter months. Painted turtles can survive without oxygen at 3 degrees Celsius (37°F) for up to five months, longer than any other known air-breathing vertebrate. The painted turtle spends the majority of its time in the water, but it can often be seen lying in the sun on floating logs or on rocks by the shore. This behavior is called basking.
And now you know...........;-)
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200mm lens, ISO 400, f5.6, 1/500

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Wheels On The Bus Go 'Round And 'Round

Hey, not bad! I got today's photo of the day taken by 5:45 am this morning! This was taken on the shuttle bus on my way to work. Hospital employees park off site to allow ample parking for patients and visitors.
The Specs:
Panasonic LX3, ISO 800, f2, 1/15

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Shoes

These are my son, N's Police Shoes. The thought occurred to me that these shoes will be carrying him into some dangerous situations. What happened to the days when I would be putting his feet into his little sneakers with the Velcro enclosures and then send him off to play in the backyard? I would worry about him falling off the swing set, or skimming his knees if he tripped and fell. Then came the days when he would tie his own Nike sneakers and ride his bike down the street to play basketball at the park. Riding a bike outside of ones own driveway can be very dangerous you know! Then came the days when he first got his drivers license and he would be driving off, pressing the gas pedal with his Etnies on his feet. I would breathe a sigh of relief every time the car pulled back into the driveway knowing he made it home safely.
He's a grown man now, and will be graduating from the police academy next week and will be putting his police boots on his feet and living the career of his dreams. I pray for his safety everyday, just like I always have....... and always will.
                                           The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 3200, 1/60, f5.6, "Polaroid" photo frame added in post.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Bee-yooo-tiful Day!

Carpenter bees make nests by tunneling into wood, vibrating their bodies as they rasp their mandibles against the wood, each nest having a single entrance which may have many adjacent tunnels. The entrance often is a perfectly circular hole on the underside of a beam or tree limb.
I took this shot of a carpenter bee in flight (not an easy task ....whew!) out on my back deck today.

"Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Lets do it, let's fall in love."
Cole Porter
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 500, 1/2000, f5.6, -2/3ev

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From The Derelict To The Graceful

There's just something about old run down barns. They're such a great subject to photograph! I was fortunate to have my good friend Nancy accompany me today.....which was a very good thing.......because this barn was pretty creepy and I don't think I would have liked to have been here alone. We had fun even though we got kinda spooked. :-)
We then headed to DW Field Park in Brockton MA and enjoyed the beautiful Spring day. This male Mute Swan came over for a visit.

The Specs
The barn photo....Panasonic LX3, ISO 80, 1/400, f2.8, Dynamic Black and White Mode, poster edge filter used in Photoshop CS3
The Specs:
The swan photo......Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 200, 1/600, f7.1, -2/3 ev, Pencil edge filter applied in post.
Thanks for the fun day Nancy! :-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Look Out!!!!!!!!!!!

Canada Goose coming in for a landing in the warm late day light.
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 640, 1/1250,  f5.6

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Doesn't This Just Get Your Goat?

I just love this pose and smile!!!!! ;-) He's cute, isn't he? Taken today at my Father-In-Laws house in Halifax MA.
Today's photo is number 30!! Woo-hoo!!! One month is done. Eleven more to go. :) I hope it's been an enjoyable view for you. I'm learning a lot as I'm going along here....had a good email conversation today with a good photographer friend about this project as I have started to put a little pressure on myself and obsess about the quality of the photos. His advice......."Just Do It"!!'s my new motto.....:-)
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 500, 1/3200, f5.6

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth, without rain, there would be no life.
                                                    - John Updike

                I'm trying to find something positive about a rainy weekend........
                                                      The Specs:
                     Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 800, 1/200, f5.6

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just Ducky

It's always fun to go down to one of the local ponds and photograph the ducks. Not today though.. It's cold and rainy and I'm so not in the mood to be outdoors. This little ducky "lives" on a shelf in my kitchen. There's plenty of other days to photograph the "outside" ducks. In the meantime, I hope this little guy puts a smile on your face. :-)
Well, like they say...........if it looks like a duck.............;-)
                                              The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 3200, 1/40, f4.5, vignette and frame added in post

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Three Dollars For A Bottle Of Water??!

Okay.........My Dad took me and my Mom out to lunch yesterday after the Glastonbury Abbey visit. I ordered a bottle of spring water to drink with my lunch (and a cup of ice with a lemon wedge yummy). When the bill arrived, my Father could not get over the fact that a bottle of water would cost 3 dollars. He kept talking about it.......... A lot...............**Smile** So, I told him I would bring the bottle home with me and stick some forsythia from the backyard in it so that he could get his money out of the price of the bottled water. **Smile again**
Here it sits on my kitchen island. It actually worked out well, as these are the colors of my kitchen. This photo is for my Dad. Although he won't be able to see it.......I will tell him all about it, and I can picture now the smile that will be on his face!
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 1000, 1/50, f3.5, -1/3ev

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Glastonbury Abbey

The Glastonbury Abbey is located in Hingham MA. It's such a beautiful, peaceful spot. The life of a monastery centers on prayer and contemplation but also practices hospitality to its many guests. The monks celebrate the Eucharist each day in the chapel, and it is open to the public. In addition, they pray the Liturgy of the Hours (chanting psalms, reading scriptures, offering prayers of intercession) four or five times each day.

Visitors are also welcome to walk the peaceful grounds - walk the labyrnth, enjoy the herb garden, and walk the stations of the cross. There is also a gift shop located on the grounds, which is where I took my parents today so that they could buy a gift for someone.
We also stopped in to visit the chapel after I walked the grounds and took some photos. It's a favorite place for my Mom and Dad. They used to like to attend Mass here when my Dad could drive. It's a beautiful chapel, and a wonderful place for some peaceful reflection. I took a shot of this bowl of Holy Water inside the chapel.
"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls."
Mother Teresa

                                        The Specs for flower shot:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 250, 1/500, f10
The Specs for garden shot:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lenas, ISO 200, 1/160, f13, -1/3ev
The Specs for Holy Water:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 3200, f5, 1/200

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Grandma" For A Day!

I had such a fun afternoon! This photo is of my buddy James. James and his family moved to the house next door to us from California and soon became not only our neighbors, but part of our family. James and his brother Eric are very lucky boys because they have 2 sets of grandparents who love them sooooo much. There may be hundreds of miles seperating them, but it's heartwarming to see the closeness they have despite the miles.

James' 3rd grade class is celebrating Grandparents week this week in school. Each child can invite their grandparents to come into school for lunch. Well, since logistics prevented his grandparents from attending this event............James felt the next best thing would be to invite ME! I had some very big shoes to fill, and although I could never replace the space in his heart that James holds for "the real thing", it was a pleasure and honor for me to be his honorary Grandma for the day! :-) We had a wonderful lunch in the school cafeteria, then we went back to his classroom for a visit and he gave me a gift that he made......for me and Mr. S to share. It's a bookmark that was colored so neatly by James with love!!!! :-) Thank you James for inviting me. I had a ball! :-)

On my way home, I decided to take a ride through town and check out the pond and see if any of my feathered friends were around. There wasn't much action going on today, so I went to my next stop on my usual "photo op loop" through town, which is the cemetery. There's a pretty little pond where the wildlife like to hang out. It's pretty quiet down there and I think they enjoy the peace and quiet. That is, until the annoying lady with the camera shows up...... :-). Take a look at who's back in town after vacationing down South for the winter. I've been going through here for the past month looking to see if he's back and I found him today!
Of course he flew away after I took a few shots, but I was happy to see him, nonetheless.
                                           The Specs for the shot of James:
                                Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 400, 1/50, f4.8
                                          The Specs for the Great Blue Heron shot:
                                Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 200, 1/400, f5.6
    Happy Grandparents week to any Grandparents who may be reading this!!!!! :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

How Precious!!

Please meet Makenna Rae. Isn't she adorable?????? :-)We hosted a family get together tonight for Makenna and her Mom and Dad who are all up here visiting from S Carolina. It was sooooooo good to see them. My new external flash got a good work out this evening. I kinda took a lot of pictures. ;-)
Well, I miss you already Shantal, and I can't wait to hold Makenna again. We'll see you in September!!!
Love and kisses!!!!!!!!

"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body."
Elizabeth Stone

                                               The Specs:
                         Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, 1/60, f5

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lines In The Sand

It was another beautiful day in New England. After picking up a photo that I had hanging in a juried art show in Duxbury, we headed over to Rexhame Beach in Marshfield for a walk on the beach. The lines and patterns from the late day shadows caught my eye.
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-2oo mm lens, 1/1000, f7.1

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How Divine!

There's something about a white steepled church that just screams "New England." This church is across the street from my work. I have often thought about photographing it. As I left work this afternoon and was walking across the parking lot, I knew today was the day for me to get the camera out and take a shot. The bright white steeple, framed by the gorgeous white flowering trees against the deep blue sky was a sight to behold. Springtime in New England......simply beautiful!
The Specs:
Pnasonic LX3, ISO 100, f2.8, 1/2000, -1ev

Friday, April 9, 2010

Purple And Pink Please

I just love doing this 365 day project....especially on days like today where the photo is one that I probably never would have thought to take if I were not doing a photo-a-day. I took this shot in my parents driveway, while sitting in the car! It was raining and I pulled in the driveway and called them from my cell phone to come on out. I didn't feel like going in to get them. As I sat there, I saw the Azalea Bush along the side of the house and I liked the contrast of the purple against the pink flowering tree on the neighbor's lawn across the street. I got the Nikon out of the camera bag, and as I looked through the viewfinder, I liked the fence........a lot! I got the widest aperture I could and focused on the azalea bush and was hoping to get a narrow depth of field with the fence and neighbor's tree out of focus. BINGO! I just love that feeling of knowing I got the shot I was after.
The Specs
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 500, f5.6, 1/160, white vignette added in post

"For after all, the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's Time To Lime

A "zoomed" focus on Mr. S as he limed the lawn this afternoon. It's that time of year again! We have some rain showers expected in the area tomorrow. Have you limed your lawn yet this Spring?
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 800, 1/4000, f4.2, -1/3ev, focal zoom in post using Picnik.
I cringe as I post this exif info.......I didn't change my ISO from last night but it is what it is, as I grabbed the camera and ran out to catch him before he finished up the backyard without checking the settings....I shot in manual wonder I was able to get such a fast shutter speed. :-)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hi Bud, How's It Goin'?

A bud from one of the flowering trees at the butterfly garden in Abington MA. In a week or so, this will have some pretty white flowers. Not sure what kind of tree it is, but after it flowers, I'll take a shot of it and look it up. I'll let you know when I find out. Stay tuned............
The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200mm lens, 1/320, f5.3, -1/3ev, ISO 800

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Colors Of Spring

It's amazing how in just a matter of days, things are blooming and budding all over!

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
~Mark Twain

The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, 1/1250, f5.6, ISO 400, -1/3ev

Monday, April 5, 2010

Diagnosis: Pneumonia

Miss J has been really sick the past few days. We went to the Dr today and got the diagnosis that I was expecting to hear. Mom's seem to know these things.........
Feel better soon Miss J!!!!!!!
The Specs for first photo:
Pnasonic LX3, 1/50, f2.8, ISO 100
The specs for second photo:
Pnasonic LX3, 1/30, f2.8, ISO 100
Both photos were shot in Dynamic Black and White Mode and vignette added in post

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Three-for Easter

A perfect Easter Sunday! We had family over for dinner and spent a majority of the day outdoors on the back deck. The fosythia is in full bloom and it looks so beautiful framing the edges of the backyard.
Hmmmmmmm..........was it Easter or was it Thanksgiving out in our back woods today???? We had some familiar visitors come through the yard this afternoon. I haven't seen them for a few months, but they paraded through the backyard like they own the place :) There were 5 of them today which makes perfect sense, as it is mating season! Wild turkey males are polygamous with harems of five or more females that they mate with. Did you know that during mating season, the male will erect his tail and spread it like a fan? This male was strutting around making gobbling sounds. This behavior is very alluring to the female. ;-)
Here he is gobbling towards the females:
Here he is strutting his stuff and fanning his tail:
What a CASANOVA he is!!!!! ;-)
The Specs for forsythia photo:
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, 1/8oo, f2,8, ISO 200
The Specs for Turkey Photos:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, ISO 1000, 1/50, f5.6

Saturday, April 3, 2010

25 Candles

25 years ago today, "N" came into this world weighing 9 pounds 2 ounces at 10:21 pm. My entire life changed for the better at that moment. I became a Mom.

Happy birthday "N". God not only gave us a gift the day you were born, but he gave the whole world a gift. You are following your goals and dreams, and you will be making this world a better place. You make it so easy for us to be proud of you. We love you!!!!!!!
                                                 The Specs:
Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, ISO 200, 1/60, f2.5

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
                                            Henry David Thoreau

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Basket

The Easter Bunny arrived a little bit early to my house, and left some Easter "treats" for my backyard friends!
              The Specs:
Nikon D90, 18-200 mm lens, 1/640, f6.3
Added a white vignette in post to give a soft Easter feel to the photos.

This little guy was so funny! He would come up to the basket, grab a nut, and he would take off with it, and then come back for another. Upon returning home this afternoon, I discovered the basket is now empty!
The Specs for photo#2:
Nikon D90, 18-00 mm lens, 1/800, f5


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Heading Home At The End Of The Day

We appreciate days like this so much more after we experience the really bad weather, don't we? I stayed at the pond tonight until the day's end. It was very good for the soul!
The Specs:
Nikon D90, ISO 200, 1/800, f14, -1/3 ev
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely".
Ralph Waldo Emerson