Sunday, December 27, 2015

I Took a Day Off.

My son and DIL host Christmas every year and my DIL's Mom does Christmas Eve. They're both always fun with plenty of excellent food and games. I managed to get all the gifts wrapped and the pies finished early on Christmas Eve so was able to enjoy those events without having to worry about coming home and finishing something.

Nevertheless, by the time Christmas Day arrived, I was worn out from 3 months of life's little surprises, including more eye surgery. I declared Saturday "MY DAY". A day when I was going to do absolutely nothing except what I wanted, including doing nothing. And it worked. My daughter and hubby left me alone all day. That really is rare, but it was much appreciated.

I spent a good part of the day playing with some old photos.

This is an old falling down adobe shack in Arizona. I've messed with this image off and on for a long time. I never could get anything that I was happy with. I kinda like this one, though.

This is the desert in West Texas. We were on our way to Big Bend National Park. The deserts of the west hold a fascination for a lot of people. I am not one of those but will admit in the right conditions they have a very unique beauty. I would like to go back.

One of my favorite states to visit is Maine. I've tried for years to get hubby to buy a vacation cottage there. I love the rocky coastline and all the working fishing ports. I had a ball pulling out, and exaggerating, all the colors that were in this "poster-like" image.

Back to the fog again. These were taken in Gloucester Mass. We had the very best New England clam chowder in a restaurant here. On this trip, they had an unexpected cold spell along with rain and fog which was perfect weather for the chowder.

A face only a mother could love. But, isn't it cute?

I think I have mentioned this before, but I really enjoy living museums. These photos were taken at Williamsburg, Virginia.
The weather was gorgeous, it was early in the morning, and the lighting was beautiful. The original image of the guys yakking by the cart is colorful and sunny. Somehow it just didn't seem right for this shot.

Out of the Dark into the Light. Standing in the shadows looking out across the brightly lit field, that's the first thing I thought.

I love both depictions of the same image . The top one is the original one. What I saw that day. The bottom one reminds me of some of the hand colored images of that era that I have seen.

I have been to several Revolutionary war battle sites, Lexington and Concord, Valley Forge, even Fort Ticonderoga and to several Civil War battle sites including, Vicksburg, Gettysburg and, this one, Shiloh. There are others, but this one, for some reason, affected me the most. I don't know if it was the early fall morning coupled with the solitude of no one else being there, the knowledge of the massive number of lives lost or just the beautiful, now serene setting itself. I just know it did.
Maybe it is because if I weren't a Texan, I would be a Tennessean.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

I really am...

working on my Christmas projects. They're fun and keep my mind focused.
In the evening when I am too tired to work on them and there is absolutely nothing to watch on TV, my mind starts to wonder.
So...I practice creating artistic works from some of my photos.

I've said it before; we don't often get fog. I love the atmosphere it creates and photograph it whenever I can. It can turn a rather mundane scene into something moody and mysterious.
We have a wash that runs across the front of our property. When it rains heavily, the water runs off the hill, across our drive way and into our neighbors tank. In order to keep the water from washing out the drive, we installed large culverts for the water to flow through. This is an image of the bridge my husband built to keep the gravel covering the culverts from being washed away by the falling rain as well.

This image of some elk was taken just outside of the Smoky Mountain National Park early one fall morning. I loved the way the crepuscular rays(sunbeams, sun rays or God rays) were streaming down on them.

Finally, this is an old cabin in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

A Sad Time

So what does a squirrel have to do with sad feelings? Nothing. Except I can get lost in my own world while processing my photos and, regardless of any other circumstance, it makes me happy because I can equate the image to a joyful moment.

My Dad passed away on Dec.2nd at 7:10 am. He was 91 years old.

He loved photography. There were many different wild animals that lived around him, especially deer. He would sit on his patio and take picture after picture, year after year of them. He could tell from one year to the next by their markings if he had gotten a photo of one he had seen before.

I can remember as a child, when he got his first really good camera. Back then, light meters weren't built into them so he had to get one of those, too. I can remember posing for shot after shot while he learned how to use it. I must have gotten my love of photography from him.

I also remember as a child, raising baby squirrels by hand because their mother had gotten killed. We would feed them with doll bottles around the clock until they got old enough to feed themselves. More often than not, he would have one riding around in his shirt pocket. They would meet him at the door when he got home and hitch a ride. While they had the run of the house when someone was home, they also had cages. When they were able to fend for themselves, we would take the cage out to the garage, open it and let them run free.
The image of this squirrel was taken at a campground on Lake Livingston, Texas. He was so tame, that when we returned to our camp site after sightseeing, he would run up to the car and wait for us to open the door and get out so that he could greet us.
I must have gotten my love of nature and wildlife from him.

I also remember as a child, going camping in the mountains of Colorado. We went every year from the time I was 6 years old, and we camped out in a tent. Even after I was married, my husband and kids would go. My youngest daughter was 3 months old the first time she went. She slept snug and warm in a sleeping bag right next to me. We would go in August when it was really hot here. Outside in the mountains at night, it would get really cold, which I loved, and the days were cool and pleasant. We tried taking relatives along with us, but it proved difficult to tell someone from Texas to take a coat and enough warm clothes with them when it was 100 degrees outside. We usually lost them after the 2nd or 3rd night. I must have gotten my love of camping from him.

There are a lot of things, good and bad, that I got from him. He will be missed.