Monday, November 29, 2010

The Overcast Day...

It was a beautiful day here in Massachusetts when we left on our drive to Ohio for Thanksgiving this year.  Along the way, the sky became increasingly overcast and grey.  When we finally got to Ohio, we experienced two days of solid rain but woke up on Friday to a bright blue sky almost devoid of clouds. 

Of course, I love it when the sky is blue and there is no threat of rain and I have to admit that it was a relief to see that blue in Ohio, but I have found that when I take photos outside, I much prefer the overcast sky.  It has so much depth, texture and interest that it is not only a perfect backdrop but also I often feel that the sky is a superb subject in itself. 

Rabindranath Tagore said, “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”  Somewhere along the way while I was clutching my camera, I began to agree with him.  I welcome the overcast day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods…

Thorton Wilder said, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  Today I feel alive because it’s over the river and through the woods we go for Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Though I try to be grateful everyday of my life, it can be hard. Aches, pains and sniffles can drain the gratitude right out of a body. Watching the news at night can make me literally sweat thanksgiving because I know how much easier my life is than so many others in this world. There are times when watching the news can make me feel so hopeless that any treasures I have just feel like burdens.

But today, I am feeling alive.  I get to spend my Thanksgiving Day not only with Greg and my two kids and Olive, our pug, but also with some 20 or so others that I call my family.  And the best part is that my sister Cindy is cooking so it may just be the best food on a Thanksgiving table in the whole USA.  So I will see you soon…a few pounds heavier perhaps but very much alive.

Here are a few of the things I am thankful for… 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunflowers for Remembrance....

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia rambles, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.” If Shakespeare were writing those lines for me, he might have written, “There’s sunflowers, that’s for remembrance and there is tomatoes, that’s for thoughts.”

When I see sunflowers and eat tomatoes, I think of my father.  He grew the largest, tallest sunflowers in his garden that I have ever or will ever see.  And he grew the world’s best (and I’m not being hyperbolic!) the ABSOLUTE world’s best tomatoes. 

Today would have been my father’s 89th birthday.  He was a hardworking, kind, and scrupulously honest man who was a short-order cook of the first degree on Sunday mornings when he would happily serve anyone who wanted to come by the house.  I got my love of baseball and my urge to travel from him…and most likely, my sense of humor.  And I bet he would have loved digital photography.

He has been gone way too long and I miss him.  Here are sunflowers, that’s for remembrance…

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mums and Temple Bells

Earlier this week, my friend Donna S. and I trekked out to Northampton, Massachusetts to have lunch and to check out the annual Smith College Mum Show.
As we admired the display, Donna, an expert gardener, remarked casually that the only thing Chrysanthemums lack is scent.  Personally, I think the mum smells darn good…like the earth and autumn, freshness and growth.  That’s a pretty nice scent to me. 
Still, Chrysanthemums have never been my favorite flower.  To me, they have always been just an impulse buy that I stick in my front yard in order to make the autumn more colorful…like it needs it…duh!  Most years, because I tend to be slow on the uptake, my mums are frosted and dead within a week or so of purchase and my investment is for naught.  But, after seeing the Mum Show, I have changed my opinion of these flowers.  And I think you might see why when you look at my photos. 

Japanese poet Matsuo Basho said, “The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”  I think that now I might have a better idea of what he meant.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Feeding my Autumn Addiction…

Looking out of the window today, I see that the trees are bare except for the stubborn oaks that often hold onto their leaves until spring.  Our yard has been raked.  The ground is mostly clear.  If I didn’t know better, just looking out, I might think that we are inside a winter thaw or that it is an early spring day.  But, in fact, we are really just between seasons.

“Hi, I’m Barb”…(HI, BARB)…and I’m a fall-oholic!”

George Eliot said, “Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”  I have been known to say the same thing although not in such poetic language.  I sometimes fantasize about living in a world of autumns.

But if I were truthful, I would have to admit that I really wouldn’t like that at all.  Because it is the heat of the summer that makes me appreciate the mellow, loveliness of fall, and the intense color of fall that helps me appreciate the spare icy beauty of winter and, of course, it’s winter’s color scheme that makes me long for spring.  If I were truthful, I would admit that I am simply addicted to the changing seasons.  But I am glad that through my camera, I can revisit my favorite season whenever I want… 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting Started

I am Barb Hale and this is my photography blog.  I started this blog for the sole purpose of sharing my photography with others.  I am an amateur photographer who is constantly learning. And I so enjoy the simple act of taking a photo.  I hope you enjoy my work.

My father left a legacy of thousands of photos and slides behind when he passed.  Most were snaps of family and friends.  I probably inherited my love of taking pictures from him but I don’t take many pics of people.  I prefer photographing things and bits of nature.

Confucius said, “Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.”  I accept that statement as truth.  There is beauty all around you if you bother to look.  There is beauty in the mundane and commonplace…and sometimes there is even perfection.