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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blog beginnings

Dear Blog.... Have I told you lately that I love you?  Who'd have thought that this little stretch of world wide web space that I've been writing and posting pictures on could provide me such joy?  Certainly not me.  To think that I never blogged until this past April is now most unthinkable and unlikely, and is definitely unfortunate.  I have grown to enjoy this healthy addiction and somehow I feel that it's just a beginning.  Beginnings can be very good.

I was watching a show on Netflix the other night where a mother was trying to explain the sweetness of a first kiss to her young daughter.  She said something profound which I'll likely poorly paraphrase....she said "all the kisses that follow the first one, live in it's shadow".  The fact that I can remember it at all speaks to it's beauty in sentiment.  It rang very loud and clear to me.

That first kiss is a beginning....and hopefully unlike a first kiss, the beginnings of this blog are just the smallest grain of sugar on a large sugar-coated sugar cookie.  Blog....I'm really enjoying you, so thanks for being here.

Your author, photographer, and friend-
Susan

P.S.  A couple of nice photos that I didn't get a chance to post in the last few days.

Thank goodness Tula enjoys walking the woods with me.  We pass so many beautiful locales.

Too lovely not to photograph.
More sweet scenes from underneath a bridge. Merriland River at Harrisecket Road.

Pretty yellow something-or-others in the office garden.

Receding tide's leftover art.

One in the world

I snuck out last night after dinner needing a photo fix.  The day had again been MUH-GEE here in Maine, but I ventured forth despite the overcast skies.  There's a quirky antique/junk/old house collector place I thought I might find some interesting subjects but when I drove by all entrances had ropes across and it seemed best to wait until another time when a visit would be welcomed not chased off.

I decided to stop at Laudholm Farms, a nature preserve where I've never been because they don't allow pets.  The property was all but vacant....I never saw another soul while there and just as I pulled in the sun made a reappearance.  Perfect timing.  The world (well the world at Laudholm Farms) was all mine.  How grand and rare at this time of year when the region is normally inundated with tourists and vacationers to have a piece of it all to myself.

Most of the buildings are painted a golden yellow which added to the appeal of the setting sun.  I assume at one time the property was a large dairy farm.  There is a huge barn with horse stalls, and a variety of outbuildings.  I had to be quick as the sun was setting, but I did get a few shots that I liked.  I think I'll go back there sometime and hope to again be so fortunate with this beautiful outdoor space.

Water tower

I love the sunlight playing off the front of the old farmhouse.

The open fields are full of walking trails

I missed catching this old dairy barn with the light upon it....rats.

Great reflections on the front porch

I love old garage buildings.  The golden paint picked up a pinkish tint from the last of the sun.

I'm not much of a sky or clouds photo taker...I guess this would have been nicer without the tree tops.  Always room to grow.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my photos.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Free

This weekend someone put an old wicker rocking chair out  in the grassy strip between street and sidewalk hoping it would be adopted into a new home.  Next to the chair was a loosely rolled bunch of chicken wire.  Rocking chair, chicken wire....don't know how they ended up together.  People around here do that....put stuff out at the end of their drive with a "free" sign angularly duct taped to it; most often the word FREE in all capital letters.  Amazing how much stuff is gone in a matter of a few hours, saving the owner a fee at the transfer station (dump) and gladdening the lucky new owner; the successful bargain hunter with vision to re-create and bring forth renewal.

I had several appointments today requiring me to pass the old wicker chair....on the way out, on the way home, on the way out, on the way home, on the way out....you get the idea.  Each time I passed the chair I gave it a hard look.  I did not want to adopt the chair for my home, but it was as if the chair had a message for me or I for it.  The chair and I we had something going on.  I wondered if the chair would be gone, but on each subsequent trip it remained holding down that grassy patch, along with the chicken wire.

I imagined the chair beautiful with a fresh shiny paint job, tucked on a screened porch over looking a street or garden somewhere...it's new owner lazily riding back and forth on the curved wooden bases while sipping an iced tea and listening to a squeak from below and the crunchy breath of the chair with each postural shift.

On my final trip home this evening the chair was still there, so I had to stop.  I decided to take some photos of this old beauty and I'm glad I did.  They were the best shots I've captured in the last 2 or 3 days.  I did not take the chair home with me....as I said before, I didn't want it, and besides I have no space for it, nor is wicker really comfortable to sit in for long stretches of time.  This chair deserves a good home, and mine will not measure up....no screened porch, no view for it to oversee....

I don't yet know what I learned from the chair, but I did appreciate it's tattered and magical detail work and the daydream it offered me on this early summer Sunday.  I wonder if it will still be there tomorrow....along with the chicken wire.



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Darkness and Thunder

Yah; okay....I hear ya.

There was a time I thought it would be interesting to keep a camera handy and photograph signs with messages, such as the above, that particularly hit home or caused me to laugh.  That was before my new interest in taking photos.  Tonight I took this....because I ended up nearly face to face with it with camera in hand.  Don't tell me there's not a God.  This might be God hitting me over the head...not sure.  I was actually taking a shot of this...

because it looked so lovely in the setting sun, when I all but ran into the sign.  Food for thought.  My brain is hungry.

Yesterday I had hardly a moment for indulging in photos, but did find these outside the Wells town office.  Very pretty indeed...not a clue what they are.

In the evening I did some drumming with my drum group and my friend Randy.  We met in his studio where he has amazing guitars, sitars, large and small percussion instruments, numerous flutes, and musical memorabilia.  The lighting wasn't good for grabbing any cool pics of his collection of more than 250 different instruments, but this close up of a bass drum worked.  Then the thunderous syncopated hand drumming started and the camera went into my pocket.

The last few days my mood has been dark and sallow.  I don't like feeling this way, but it happens and it hovers o'er me.  The weather has been muggy, much like I remember Florida being..sticky and uncomfortable and unhelpful to mood lifting.  This evening I took Tula to the beach in the humid air.  The sun and clouds were trading places and intertwining with one another decorating the sky.

At the end of the beach is a rocky area and a large summer home.  I spotted this lone chair looking out to sea from under this lone tree.  Tula and I puttered on the rocks....she in the seaweed, me with my camera.  As we headed back up the beach the clouds began getting the better of the sun.

Darkness in triplicate.  That lone chair next to that lone tree was no longer looking like a spot for respite.  I had left my hearing aids home so I didn't hear the thunder in the distance but was soon on the wrong end of Tula's leash having a dog sled ride back toward the car.  The little miss does NOT like thunder.

It was a ominous sky tho' I'm not sure my pictures capture the intense flavor.

Silly me, I was trying to get a picture of lightning.  Ha.  I'm going to be very impressed next time I see a photograph of a lightning bolt.  I took a bunch of this view hoping I might get lucky.....not so. 

This storm seemed to be primarily over the ocean and poor Tula was pressed as far into the back end of the car as possible, so I headed inland.  Something drew me to the cemetery between town and beaches and I'm glad it did.  Maybe it was the darkness in the sky mirroring the darkness of my emotions.  Driving amongst the headstones I saw familiar last names. Names I grew up with....Wentworth, Towne, Butler, Sheppard, Jackson, Smith, Curtis, Baum, Boothby, Doane....names that remind me of my youth, of where I come from.  I saw a headstone bearing my father's name, only with the wrong middle initial and dated in the 1800's....as if also seeing where I am going, where we all are.

Along the edge of the grounds was old fencing that caught me at the same time the sun began to again over take the darkness in the sky.

 
I don't know what it was about the strength of the granite post in contrast to the aged and broken pickets, but for some reason I liked this scene.

Most of the pickets along the border are now missing, but the stone pillars remain.

This bench was also near the cemetery border....I was receiving messages tonight from everywhere.  Grieve is some one's last name, not a suggestion....unless you might need it to be.  I love the stark difference between this undoubtedly costly bench and the simple wooden cross behind it.

Another message I missed tonight and only caught after I returned home and viewed my photos.  I found this a sweet tribute to one who must be longed for very much.

On the way home I stopped on Durrell's Bridge Road.  I've taken several photos of bridges.  I like crawling underneath them and seeing what's there.  Often the views are pretty amazing on one hand and pretty ugly on the other.

As the sun was firmly reasserting itself and fading at the same time, I shot this railing view.  Don't know why I like it, but I do.

I was happy with this capture as well.  I am hopeful my dark and sallow mood will soon be won over by light such as this....but with light, I see, there are always shadows as well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Close to home

Tonight I threw a potato in the oven, grabbed my trusted friend Tula and my camera and did a "walk around the block."  I live on a quiet horseshoe shaped neighborhood street whose ends touch a busier but not busy road that runs from town to beach. 

I thought it might be a good challenge to find something nice to shoot in my neighbors' yards on my 1/2 mile loop with hound.  Stealing from the neighbors in a legal way, if you will.  I was limited to curb appeal....truly curb, as I don't suppose it is polite to go traipsing across thy neighbors' yards without first asking permission...well except for my across the street neighbors.  I knew they weren't home, and even if they were they wouldn't mind.  It's good fortune to have good rapport with your across the street neighbors.

Tula did not particularly like this walk....too slow, and we stopped next to things we never stop at.  For a timid dog with 10 million fear-filled hang ups, this is very stressful.  Anything that is not exactly the same as it always is, is stressful for Tula.  Rescuing has it's pluses and minuses....for instance, she doesn't chew on things and never has accidents in the house.  There's a flip side to everything though.  How scary can a hammock really be?  An empty hammock, that's not moving at all....sigh.....

On with the walk....here are some goodies we snagged thanks to the neighborhood.

These lovelies were surrounding a mailbox post.  They aren't day lilies, maybe some type of hybrid thingy....I guess I need to become better versed in flowers if I'm going to take pictures of them.  I liked the way the green leaves were kind of swirly underneath the blossom.  Science terminology has never been my strength and I'm okay with and accept that about myself.

One of us has more legs than this pic shows....just sayin'.

This is not the interesting shot I had hoped it might be (remember, I'm a beginner).  I'm simply including it to prove my point that it is NOT a scary item.

Line painters came out in the middle of the night last week.  Quality may suffer when work is finished on 3rd shift....but traffic flows better.

I'm going with pansies....though maybe the white ones are something else...not sure, pretty though.

It is hard to fathom how this photo beat out flower pictures for inclusion, but I liked the discoloration on the letters.  I'm quirky, what can I say?

The old spilling out of the tipped over flower pot trick. It's working for me.  More pansies.


My neighbors have a large patch of day lilies.  Some of the first blooms are just starting to appear....a little early this year.  A festival of orange right across the street, like a private show just for me, well and everyone else who passes by.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pat's Birthday

Today is the first day of summer, and the longest day of the year, and my friend Pat's birthday.  I hadn't really thought of this prior to this year, but today is my favorite day of the year....for all three of the reasons above.  Unfortunately today I was not on my "A" game.  I think maybe today I was bringing my "D+" game at very best.  Just tired, un-energized, dragging myself around-on the day that has more light than any other.  Say it isn't so...that I wasted today on a downer rather than an upper.  Alas, tomorrow will be better and there will still be lots and lots of light. 

I didn't have much chance to shoot pix today....bummer.  I was hoping to get out this evening but was in a meeting that ran long leaving only 30-40 minutes of fading light.  Not enough.  After checking out the results tonight at home they match my mood and lack of energy level from today and are rather bland and uninspiring.  Boo, hiss!  "Tragic disappointment" she said while throwing tomatoes at herself on the stage.  Just proves to me that my disposition, mood, and feelings translate into the art of photography as well.  There's so much to learn when you're a beginner.

I'll post a couple that got better than D+ marks according to the boss....that's me.  How great is it to be your own boss of something at least?


This evening my meeting was in Portsmouth, NH so I was looking forward to getting some shots in a different location.  I like how this fish market extends out over the water.  Too bad I'm not much of a fish eater!

From this view you'd never guess the place is on stilts with water below.

This little boat dock is still decked out for Memorial Day or getting a jump start on July 4th.  As my Aunt Lois often says "don't rush the season", so let's hope it's the former and not the latter.  Seems like a nice place to sit a spell and take in the water view.

This architectural bump-out caught my eye as the sun was fading.  Looks like a New Englander that had Victorian touches added to it.  Interesting.

This is today's fav for me.  I noted the little dinghy through the shrubs and thought....."I've got to get a shot of that."  I climbed over a bridge railing and crouched on an embankment to get close enough to get a view.  Came out kind of nice....my B+ game showed up for this one.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Hopefully there'll be a more inspired individual who climbs out of bed in the morning.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Between Worlds

Did you ever feel  like you were living between worlds?  I have, I did, I am, I do.  Often.  I feel like I'm between multiple worlds all the time.  One of my problems, or assets, depending on whom you're asking and when, is I can see both sides of the coin.  This happens in politics, in relationships, in day to day living.  My astrological sign is Virgo, but sometimes I think I should have been Libra with the scales weighing one thing vs. another.  I feel I am constantly at odds or between factions....both parts of which I love, unable to make decision about which side to join in earnest. 

The problem is I can see myself joining either side. I am the perfect independent/undecided voter...mostly 'cause I haven't got a clue where the hell my thought process is.  This middle ground is a desirable place to be, but it takes no stand, argues with none, throws oneself to all wolves....remaining steadfast in the middle watching the jousting begin.

I went out shooting photos again today....much easier than taking a stand on any cause or political quandary.  For your pleasure should you wish to view.

I know little about these lilies that accompany lily pads. I viewed this lily at 10 in the a.m. I feel lucky to have made this shot as when I went back a few hours before dusk the lilies were all closed up. My timing allowed me to catch the lily in absolute peak beauty.

This tree seemed so lone in it's being.  I photographed it both late morn and early evening standing firm on the rocky hillside. It balances between sea and fertile growth.  I love it's independence.

In a patch of yellow roses I found this tattered one calling to me; something about it's pinwheel sense and the shoot-off growing buds appealed to me.

This depicts a space balanced o'er water...a place to unwind by the week, weekend, month, or year.  I would feel honored to spend time here suspended above tidal waters.

Lobster boat at dusk....believe me there was plenty of "salty" language going on in the background whilst I obtained this shot.  Lobsterman are hard working but carefree in their tongue.

I have acquaintances that belong to the "River Club".  More often than not it seems like a far away perfectionist world to me.  I'm sure it's members think themselves nothing but ordinary....it's the rest of us who see them differently.

There are beautiful views everywhere if you know where to look.  Here's an example of hidden beauty.

I took several photos of this flower before I hit the right focus.  I think the blossom may be gardenia.  I love the independence of each petal...reminds me of me.  I thought the blossom absolutely stunning.

Thanks for checking out my blog.  Sometimes the posts are accompanied by red wine and make less sense than others.  Appreciate the understanding....wine and beer with lime make everything seems OK until the morning.