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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tracking the Creative Exchange








Linking with lovely Lisa for this week's Creative Exchange.  Always appreciate this forum to share images and thoughts from the heart.


Just wanted to say a special thanks to all those who made such lovely comments last week on my post about my visit to my grandmother's house.  I learned by sharing what's dear to me, many others were reminded of a special grandparent or memory as well.


This week, I'm doing a 180 and making tracks.

Down at the Station {8/52}
Down at the Station {8/52}


I don't know that I understand the allure.....but it's there.  It's kind of grungy and greasy and a little daring at times-on the edge of places that don't feel entirely safe.  It's creeping around with one eye in the viewfinder and one eye doing double duty in a peripheral way.  It's empty parking lots early in the morning, and climbing over bankings and past brambles.  But it's most always rewarded.....and sometimes wonderfully surprising.


The Early Train
The Early Train

Old Bridge in the Morning {8/52}
Old Bridge in the Morning

King
King

Old Water Tower BW
Old Water Tower

Shape of my Heart {8/52}
Shape of my Heart {8/52}

Who would guess such a pretty heart would be mid-span on an abandoned RR bridge?  Hate to say it, but a few feet from this someone had spraypainted "Happiness is a Warm Gun"....it's all in where you look.


Have a great week, and don't forget about that eye on the back of your head.  It comes in handy.




Monday, February 27, 2012

Murals on Monday

Rural Mural
Rural Mural

It ain't always easy to find murals when you ain't livin' in a metropolitan area.  I found this little gem in a tiny fishing village.  Had to stomp on the brakes and get out an take a snap.
On the other side of that road you see in the foreground.....ocean.
I wonder how the sea enjoys seeing this view.

Linking with Oakland Daily Photo for today's Mural Monday.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scavenging 'Round

Linking with Ashley for this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  Yay!  Love it!  I really don't know how my addiction to this happened, but it just did.  Press on thru; you may become addicted too.







This week's list: Crossed, A Glimpse, Handwritten, Bliss, and Gray



Snow Fence at Dusk
Snow Fence at Dusk

Crossed:  All the old washed up scraps of lobstermen's lines have been criss-crossed and woven at the end of this snow fence near the dunes.  This view sucks me in....I've taken it at least 4 different times in the last week or so.

Twenty-Five Cents
Twenty-Five Cents

A Glimpse:  These bubble gum machines are kind of a glimpse to the past.  Well, maybe to my past.  The deliciousness level of this kind of gum greatly reduces as the wisdom of the teen years arrives.

Fat Chicks
Fat Chicks

Handwritten:  I suppose something sweet and dainty with curvy letters and words of wisdom would have been a better choice here.  Oh well.  Some things just make me wonder why...like who HAD to write this?

Skipping Lunch
Skipping Lunch

Bliss:  Such a day!  Is not skipping lunch for a quick beach walk a blissful thing?  I can eat a sandwich at my desk and multi-task. 


Heavy Metal BW
Heavy Metal

Gray:  I love me my RR tracks, trains, and graffiti.  They all seem to go hand in hand.


Thank you for visiting "the Ears" for today's Scavenger images.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  Try skipping lunch today and doing something fun in a beautiful place instead.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cabin Fever

Linking with Project 52 for this week's topic, Cabin Fever.


project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge my3boybarians.com


We've had some really lovely weather this February, well this winter in general.  I'm thankful to Mother Nature and to the weather gods for keeping my mood more elevated this year.  March can be a beast and jump up and grab with those lion's teeth, so I'm just going to whisper that "I saw my first robin today"....shhhhh.....

The light is now long enough that if I really rush out the door at the end of the work day, I can get my dog to the beach for a little 20-30 min. walk.  I know no better cure for cabin fever.  I saw some other folks who had the very same idea.

Cure for Cabin Fever
Cure for Cabin Fever

The other bit of good news.  Two weeks until daylight savings time....whoot!  My 2nd fave day of the year. 
My favorite?  June 21st.  Give me the light.

Grrrrrrrr to W.V.

Just Say No - Word Verification


Word Verification is making me a crazy person.  I know I'm not the only one.  Now that Blogger has added another word to type and has distorted the lettering it makes it increasingly difficult and time consuming to go thru the process.  Sometimes I just give up.

The wonderful Ashley Sisk wrote about this.....and easy to follow directions about how to rid yourself of this scourge in her post you can read here.  Please.


Fist


Take a moment to check and see if your blog has this. I know some individuals (yet can respect them) are uncomfortable not having this check and balance for their comments, but perhaps they will try going without the training wheels for a couple weeks just to see how it goes.  It can always be changed back.

Many thanks in advance for at least considering going verification free.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weekend Reflections

Linking with James for this week's Weekend Reflections


The Tree {7/52}
The Tree

I've captured this tree MANY times.  It stands alone beside a large house on a point of land overlooking the sea.  It's like a magnet for me and my camera.

Dinghy
Dinghy

Tied to a working wharf at low tide as the light was getting sweet.  This little lobsterman's skiff became my muse.


Arch Upon Arch
Arch Upon Arch

There's a little window of time at the local library when the setting sun hits the building.  You have to be quick; the show doesn't last long. I love the old architecture and the light arched inside in the reading/study room.


Church and Tree
Church and Tree

Around the other side branches and, glowing off in the distance, a church steeple.


Reach
Reach

And just because I'm sort of a clown....I'll share this silly shot that has nothing to do with reflections, but it's legit, just to show you the wonderful light.  That's a good excuse isn't it?

Have a wonderful reflective weekend.


Myself in the Picture


In The Picture


Linking today with Urban Muser for {in the picture}.


A year long selfie project. Self-inflicted, self-exploring, self-deleting, self-surprising, self-fulfilling, self-posing, self-rushing to hit the mark.....self as subject for silly self-thoughts, self-cheering for getting one after self-aggravating 29 tries.  Yah.

This month the suggestion was to combine words with yourself.  Well....I didn't do so great with that.  I did one shot with words and it wasn't my best moment......

Hard Times
Hard Times

.....but I am willing to own it. 
As a kiddo, I wasn't allowed to oft express negative moods like anger, frustration, sadness, etc.  I was encouraged to brush it off or keep a stiff upper lip.  "You bleeding?"  my Dad would ask.  If there was no blood you were good to keep on going.  Probably all good advice, but sometimes things just aren't all rose colored glasses.  It is kind of fun to embrace "yuck" in photos.  I don't feel yuck all that often, but I am enjoying being allowed to or to monkey or pose it for a photo.  I don't have to eat all my vegetables if I don't want to either.


As a total opposite to the above

Focus {6/52}
Focus

I be looking good in this shot.  I am willing to own this one too.  Got some nice browns there, but no words.  You know Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model?  She says to smile with your eyes.  I didn't get that, but I'm starting to.  I'm not sure my moods were widely different in these two pics, but I was able to get 2 different results.  I like eyes.  I think they tell a lot.

The most fun I had this month with selfies was a day I went to the beach.  I didn't plan to take selfies, I normally drag my camera along most everywhere for "just in case" moments.  Apparently I became the "just in case" moment du jour.

Tidal Pool
Tidal Pool

I didn't bring a "just in case" tripod....rocks.  Big rocks with no sand.  I'm sure I could find some poetic words to go with this narcissistic pose, but I'm so poor at quotes, better to just leave it be.

My favorite selfie this month is kind of a pondering moment.  It's miraculous, because my camera was perched high on a rock.  I had that 10 sec window to climb down, run over to the spot and look like I'd been sitting there all afternoon considering the meaning of life.  I deleted the images where I didn't make that athletic feat.  I should have saved them....like bloopers, or outtakes....that might be funny.  That would also be a good selfie project.

A Moment {7/52}
A Moment

I imagine there are wonderful words to go with this.... but I have no clue what they are, and that's OK.  Apparently, I'm at a loss for words. 

Thanks for checking in with my selfie project.  Just to keep it not "all about me", I'm looking forward to seeing what my co-selfie project friends came up with.  Have a great day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Silhouettes

Morning Flight
Morning Flight

Last minute linking with Kat for Exploring with a Camera where this month's topic is silhouettes.



I never realized how much I enjoy silhouettes....until I took a good look at my collection of images.  Kat mentioned that it's likely they are taken without much thought...and she was right.  I also noticed they didn't appear much in my first 6 months of shooting, but the longer I shoot, the more they pop up in my images, or the more my head swivels when I see an opportunity.

Crane 11
Crane 11

This was a head swiveler for sure.  From last summer it was a "screech on the brakes OMG I have to have that" kind of shot.  Cranes are cool-they have all those angels and things.  Day to day I could care less about them-but against a nice sky.  Yum.

Shade Shadows
Shade Shadows

Sometimes I get confused about whether something is a shadow or a silhouette...like this one.  I suppose is doesn't really matter as long as I like the shot.  Another head swiveler while I was waiting in a DRs office.  Run out to the car, grab the camera, and get stared at while snapping.  I can handle it.  Embrace your weirdness and remember they likely have no clue there's a chance someone would buy this (well maybe not this one) and hang it on their wall.


This week I tried to be a little more aware and tried to find silhouettes as opposed to them just coming to me.

Tulips in Waiting BW
Tulips in Waiting

I'm not crazy about this tulip in the window shot....I think maybe the forms aren't separate enough-but tulips in February?  Gotta give that a try.

Steps in Silhouette
Steps in Silhouette

From a low dock at low tide looking up under a pier.  I think you have to be an ocean person to "get" this one.  I do like the shapes.  My light was going fast behind those clouds too.

Morning
Morning

An early morning shot, playing with trees.  This one has silhouettes and shadows.  A two-fer.

On High
On High

And tonight, I climed high to get the final glimpses of sundown.....and then wondered how I would get myself and my camera back down to the ground safely.  I managed-but better to think of these things before hand.  This image has a hint of shape and color as you can see my hand and watch band.  I think I prefer silhouettes that lose their form, but this one is kind of cool too.

Something I didn't try was using the aperature controls that Kat suggested.  I just stuck with my manual settings and metering that I'm accoustomed to.  Next time I'm in a good silhouette mode, I hope to give those a try. 

Thanks to Kat for taking me out "exploring".....Can't wait to find out what next month will bring.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Linking with Kent for this week's Wordless Wednesday. 


WW_KW




Waiting BW
Waiting

Monday, February 20, 2012

Creative Grandmother Exchange

Linking with Lisa (she's awesome) for this week's Creative Exchange.  Thank you to our wonderful hostess. 







Camera in one hand, heart in the other.  That's the premise and this week for me, that certainly is true.


I sell houses.  Real Estate.  I don't like it.  It isn't a match for me.....I'm not meant to sell things but, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, so I keep doing this hoping I'll figure out what I should be doing instead.  There's still time.  Retirement is only/still/at least 15 years away.

Dials
Dials

A week or so back my grandmother's old house went on the market.  It is currently owned by my aunt and uncle, so tho' it's been 10+ years since my grandmother passed....well, inside my brain and heart, it's still her house.  And within a day or two someone wanted to see it .  A potential buyer.  I was on tap for showing the property.  I hadn't been inside but once or twice since she passed.  Wow.

Because it's business and this is what I do, when the gentleman said "oh....this is a total "gut" job", it didn't bother me.  He's right.  There is a lot of updating that needs doing in an 1850's home (a lot).  But being in the space, she was still there.  And "gutting it" is gutting her, and my memories, and something irreplaceable.  After the showing I went out to my car and got my camera.  Just in case, you know, it was my last time being there with her.  Alone.

The Front Doors
Front Doors

I didn't take a lot of photos, but some things just struck me as "her"....that when I saw them, I felt her presence, like an angel.

I noted that I knew where to reach for a light switch, or where the floor dipped, or when an old glass doorknob had been changed for something updated.  I saw the ugly wallpaper still hanging in the living room, and the window where she would sit and look out from her rocking chair.  It was hard not to see those things.

Turn Gently
Turn Gently

I stopped at the beautiful etched glass in the front doors-yes two-and took a variety of photos.  It was only later when processing them I remembered we (my cousins and myself) were NOT allowed to touch the doors.  At all. Yet, they pulled me in as her.

Corner
Corner

The old cast iron stove still sits in the kitchen.  When I would spend the night in the unheated upstairs, she would send me to bed with a brick from the oven wrapped in a dish towel that warmed the sheets and my feet.  Tho' the butterfly bedspreads are long gone, I could still see them.  I'm sure they are still there.  I can almost touch them-feel their stitches, see their varied colors-if I close my eyes.

Grandmother's Stove
Grandmother's Stove

Measure Up
Measure Up

On both sides of the door that leads from kitchen to barn (with a screen door that goes "slam" in the summer), my aunt and uncle have kept the measuring "device".  I found my name with the others.  I found her name too maybe at her majestic height of 5'2" something or other, or at the height she shortened to as her years went into the 80's and then the 90's.

Gug
Gug

There she is "Gaga" surrounded by the next generation, the great-granchildren.  My aunt and uncle's grandchildren.  I wonder if they know my generation had "hipped" her up to just "Gug".

On my way out, locking the door she forever left unlocked and "open" I found her on the screened porch overlooking the yard where whiffle ball was played and where I pushed the red lawn mower back and forth every other week for $15 dollars.  I saw the tree, now better than 20 feet high, an Arbor Day gift that arrived in a styrofoam coffee cup from a third grade classroom.  In the raw February wind I saw the amazing flower gardens, now long gone, that she tended summer after summer.

She Sat Here
She Sat Here

I don't fault my aunt and uncle for selling their/her house.  I totally understand and I know from my time in the real estate business, a house is not a home.  But I do cherish the chance I had to be with my grandmother again for just 20 minutes or so.  Just she and I rambling around in that big house.

I think I was her favorite....either that or she was the kind of grandmother that made every grandchild believe that.  I do know, she was my favorite, even though she was my only grandparent-had I had 100, she would still have been number 1 to me.

*On another note....the potential buyers did make an offer, but it was very low, so the house remains on the market.  Perhaps a buyer will come along that won't find it a "gut job";  a buyer who delights in old homes and who will update the house, my memories, and "Gug" with tenderness. 


I'm afraid that this week, my heart was in one hand AND in the other and that my camera was just a device hanging 'round my neck.  I do appreciate the read anyway and give thanks to Lisa for this forum to share....and to you for any comment you wish to make.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

True Love

Linking with Project 52 for this week's prompt "true love".

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge my3boybarians.com



How lucky am I?  I have TWO true loves.
Miss Tula goes to the office with me almost every day.....

Work Assistant BW
Work Assistant

....and Princess P sunbathes at home while waiting for us to return.

Princess P
Princess P



And catching either one of them in sweet light makes me very happy.