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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Our Thanksgiving dinner spread the length of a couple of tables near a stand of moss covered oaks and cypress. The thought of not sitting at a table with china and silverware at first seemed odd, but then I thought back to the first Thanksgiving. Our setting was much more in tune with the Pilgrims and Indians. This arrangement had an unexpected bonus, too, the chance to meet new people.

The camper in the next site saw the bald eagle as I was moving closer to get a photo. When it flew back into the trees he thought he saw where it landed, so we moved farther into the grove as he told me he had never seen a bald eagle in Florida. He was in his thirties, olive skinned, and his dark eyes lit up at such a sighting. Unfortunately we didn’t see the eagle again. The only birds above us were a flock of buzzards. They didn’t mind having their picture taken.

Do you have any idea how much you can learn about a person in a few minutes while you walk back to camp?

“See that small tent?” he said, pointing to a dark green, small pup tent by the larger one. I’m working on a design for a bear proof tent. That one is much stronger than our large, commercial one, but not strong enough.

“My next one will be made from high tensile strength airplane cloth.” This is where he got really excited. “With that cloth you can make a hole only if you really hammer something into it, and then to rip it takes 600 pounds of tensile strength.”

I took it word for it that that was really strong.

I asked what he did when not designing bear-proof tents. He had been a pilot for a cargo company before the economy went down. Now he buys and sells cars. That led to a discussion of the economy and presidents’ effect on it. We were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but discussed the influence of Obama, the Bushes, Clinton and Reagan, agreeing on some points while remaining a chasm apart on others.

As we neared our camps I wondered about his wife, still sitting in her camp chair. Did she have these conversations with him—or with strange men she wandered into the woods with? And was she hot sitting there wrapped from head to foot in a long garment with a scarf around her head? So yes, you can learn a lot in a short walk in a campground, but you can also end up with a lot more questions than answers.

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Hummer!I don’t promise these are great photography, but they are a triumph for me. I finally caught a hummer on camera. Through a double-pane window  and screen, but I caught him. This is the first time I have seen a hummingbird perch. They are always in a tizzy, flitting from flower to flower. This time he sat right down on my red pepper cage and waited until I got the camera. He wiped his beak back and forth on the wire like a chef sharpening a knife, then preened for a while. I’m in awe. So not good photography, but a great accomplishment for me.

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You know what they say happens when you are over the hill? You pick up speed, of course. Darned if it isn’t true and I think I may know why, at least in my case. Older people tend to cast off things that are no longer useful (my mother almost stripped her house) and eliminate activities and associations that no longer give them pleasure. Perhaps the feeling is that life’s fuse is burning shorter and we don’t have a minute to squander on non-rewarding things. I’ll leave that to psychologists. I just held a microscope over my own changes and found them interesting. Here are some of the things I now do.

  • Choose microwave over crock pot (all that planning, you know)
  • No longer compare purchases strolling store to store, but on Internet
  • Encourage e-mails instead of time wasting phone calls (anti-social, I know)
  • During commercials, play show recorded earlier on TV and get two in very little more time
  • Skim newspaper articles instead of reading every little thing. I’ve seen most on Internet anyway.
  • Crave news instantly from Twitter, treating “refresh” like a one-armed bandit in the casino when things are really breaking.
  • Revel in flash fiction and haiku (reading and creating)
  • Love challenge of squeezing my thoughts into 140 characters on Twitter, making every word count.

For what do I squirrel away all this time, you might be thinking. Family, friends, good books (or slutty books, if I like), working on my house and first garden, exercising, keeping an eye on government, doing photography, matching wits with my cats, any darn thing I enjoy – and nothing I don’t.

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P1060173P1060187P1060190My first red pepper. I don’t know whether to eat it or look at it. Who knew gardening could be so exciting?

There’s still a little green on bottom, but couldn’t wait to pick it.

Note: Always click Control & + to elarge my photos.

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Ashlyn-CheerleaderSomeone asked if this was posed. Not at all. My great-grand-neice had been talking with the cheerleaders and next thing her mother knew she struck their pose quite nonchalantly. I could not resist posting. They just get cuter every generation.

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Moth to Frame

Moth on Bamboo

Moth on Bamboo

As usual, I go for a particular shot and get something altogether different. This started out as an attempt to photograph the bamboo that creates a jungle in the side yard. But like a moth to “frame,” this brown and turquoise moth planted itself smack in the view. What resulted was a kind of Asian/Southwestern mix of shapes and colors. I’m thinking nature does a better job of setting these up than I ever could.

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Cloudy, Cloudy Sky

Apologies to Van Gogh

 
Apologies to Van Gogh

We see little sky from our wooded lot, though more now that we had the trees trimmed. So here is a  postage stamp piece of the pink sky for you with a sliver of a moon thrown in.

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Zebra on Fire Bush

Zebra on Fire Bush

Just something to give you a respite from the news of the day. Enjoy.

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owl2-8-0092.jpgducks2-8-0561.jpgThe joys of living in Florida! The beautiful hooded merganser duck wintered in our pond this year. They are found as far north as Alaska, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. We had eleven at one time, but they seem to be heading back home now. When I went to check on them late yesterday afternoon none were in sight, but I caught on camera one of our beautiful resident birds, a barred owl. He flew by me not just silently, but with an absence of sound, a white noise in flight. He was not at all skittish about posing for the camera as I came within feet of him and even used the flash, as it was getting dark.

Our little acre would never be called manicured, but it is home to so many critters. In fact, we are a designated Backyard Wildlife Habitat. If you’d like a little Zippity Doo Da in your life, you might think about certifying your property. It is a simple thing to do and brings great rewards.

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photosgag-0091.jpgphotosgag-0031.jpghawkpics-0161.jpgJerry and I both medaled in the Golden Age Games in Sanford, FL this week, he in golf, I in photography. I hardly broke a sweat, but again have plans to be ready for bench-pressing next year.

Sanford is the site of the original Golden Age Olympics (later changed to Golden Age Games) 33 years ago. It has grown to state and national competition. This week Seniors are hurling discus, throwing javelin, pumping iron, cycling, swimming, running and scores of other feats of athleticism. Most of the competitors are serious and train year round for the events. But they are quick to encourage newbies to give it a try. For those burned out on professional cry babies and steroid pumped athletes, you might enjoy seeing what raw sports competition is really about. You see it in Pee Wee games and you see it here. When Jerry entered bench-press about ten years ago I came away invigorated by the camaraderie and drive of the competitors. One would cheer and encourage another, then give his all to beat him out of the gold medal. I say “he” but include women in this, too. They were all amazing.

My “training” routine was exhaustive, too. I spent weeks searching for the proper mats and frames, then days printing, taping, stapling, applying stickers, etc. And then the doubts set in. Who do I think I am? I just snap pictures. Those other seniors probably have lenses so long they couldn’t lift them without weight training. I have this stubby little protrusion on front of the camera. Lens envy, that’s what I have plenty of. The desire to share the photos I love overcame stage fright and this is the result:

Two third and two first place ribbons out of seven entries. The masthead scene above won a third place as did my giant swallowtail butterfly. A shot of our granddaughter came in first in portraits. I understand the judge had a hard time deciding between the two grands, so I consider them both winners. Oh, and the biggie: A first and Best of Show for the photo on this blog of a red-shouldered hawk and squirrel. Best of Show! I feel like a German Shephard.

Now I’m off to pump iron. Next year, for sure.

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