Saturday, April 30, 2011

Learning from Geese....

Yesterday, Olive, my pug, and I took advantage of the nice weather and walked down to the pond with my new lens.  I was hoping for some “interesting” birds and what I got were Canada Geese.  They stood in the field watching us approach with great wariness but they stood their ground until I found picnic table nearby to sit on so I could focus my camera.  Then as Olive got closer to them, they started shouting at each other as geese do and took off to the safety of the water.  I actually managed to capture their flight.  Woo hoo!

Most people around here don’t much like Canada Geese.  They make a mess of the field in by the pond and with people swimming and playing volleyball and kids just playing, the goose mess is a bit of a downer.  But I find them fascinating.  I remember being at a meeting a few years back.  The person who gave the invocation read a passage about things we humans could learn from geese.  Thinking of that today, I actually found a website that gives those lessons.  Here it is if you are interested:
The one I like best is the last one on the list and it goes like this:  “When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock. Lesson:  If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.”

It wasn’t my intention to scare the geese yesterday and, believe me, Olive is more afraid of them than they should ever be of her.  But, being intelligent birds, they took off in mass and landed in the water about five or six feet away from the shore…safe for the time being.  As Olive and I headed back home, I turned and watched the geese saunter back to their original spot.  Neither of us were the worse for wear.

Splash down!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The crows are calling my name...

“The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw.” ~Jack Handy.

I have a new toy!  I have acquired a Nikkor 55-300mm lens.  I’ve wanted a telephoto-ish lens for a while so that I can take better pictures of birds and other animals who run off the minute they see me coming.  I especially want to take pictures of crows who are my favorites.  But it seems like a birdie telegram went out the minute UPS brought the lens to my door, because the birds have been making themselves scarce in our yard the last few days.  It even seems like the weatherman is conspiring against me since we have only had one sunny day since the lens arrived.  That day, I managed to get out and take a few pics.  I can see that I have a ways to go to get used to the lens but am pleased with the quality of the photos in general.  What do you think? 

Meanwhile, I will hope for sunnier weather and not take offense at the crows who sit in the trees too high for me to see and laugh at the stupid human trying to capture them.

A squirrel's work

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sharing glass art....

Well, I had a bit of a scare this morning.  I went to look for the photos I took yesterday at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and they weren’t there.  Granted, I am not the most organized person in the world, but I have gotten to be pretty organized about my photos.  I just take too many not to be. 

Yesterday afternoon, while I was downloading these particular photos, the computer kept telling me that there were messed up sections on the disc (I can’t remember the exact words the computer used, but that was the idea) and it kept stopping its work in mid-stream.  So in my imagination, I thought the computer must have thought that I was trying to feed it something it didn’t like and decided to spit it out and that was that.

Well, a search found my photos from yesterday.  I had just misfiled them, but that didn’t keep me from that split second feeling of panic.  After all, we went back twice to see the Chihuly exhibit…I don’t think we will be going back a third time.

The exhibit was fabulous and going back this week was one of the better decisions Greg and I have made in a while.  We could take our time looking at these fantastic pieces.
No lines…no problems.
My photos aren’t all that good since the conditions weren’t ideal and I didn’t have a tripod, but I still want to share them because I just love this stuff.

Lime Green Icicle Tower by Chihuly (taken to show the size)

Works based on Navajo baskets & blankets

Detail of Chihuly chandelier

Detail of Chihuly chandelier with Neodymium Reeds in background.

Ahhhh, Chihuly!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Didn't get what I wanted but I got what I needed...

I am a big fan of art glass.  Of course, the huge star of art glass in America right now is Dale Chihuly.  About a month ago I was reading the Sunday Boston Globe and almost started hyperventilating.  The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is having an exhibit of Chihuly’s art right now and until August 7th.  When I saw that I immediately went to my office, got on my computer and ordered two tickets for last Tuesday.

Well, duh!  Last week was school vacation week…something I didn’t even consider.  When we arrived in Boston on Tuesday, the museum’s garage was full and Greg wasn’t too happy.  We had to use valet parking if we didn’t want to walk through the rain for who knows how many blocks.  And the museum was full…and I mean FULL… of kids.  Nothing against kids, but we just weren’t expecting it since we don’t have any kids at the present moment and are not in tune to when they take vacations and such.  Actually, I find it refreshing that there were so many kids at the MFA.  There should be kids at the MFA.  But like I said, we just weren’t expecting it and were not prepared to stand in a very long line with lots of kids to get into the Chihuly exhibit.  What to do?

Upon reflection, we decided to have lunch and think.  So we stood in line for a while to get into one of the museum restaurants and ultimately had a lovely lunch.  With full stomachs, we decided to visit a special photography exhibit that I wanted to see and to come back once the kids are back in school next week.  Fortunately, admission is free if you come back within ten days.  So next Tuesday we will try it again.

I took my camera, of course.  While you can’t take photos in most of the museum’s exhibits, it is permitted to photograph Chihuly’s stuff as long as you don’t profit from it.  So I took some pics in places where it was permitted and will be taking more next Tuesday.  Here are some from last Tuesday.

Arriving in Boston

Chihuly's Lime Green Icicle Tower up close.

Chihuly's Boathouse Neon II reflected in my silverware

Red umbrella left behind...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lessons from the Earth...

Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.
~William Alexander
Earth day…every day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Unbelievable Shrieking...

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

I took another trip around our yard the other day to see what progress was being made toward spring.  Quite a lot is coming into bloom.  We were in Boston yesterday though and I was amazed at how much further along they are because of the tempering influence of the ocean.  That’s kind of nice.  One gets to live through the blooming twice with about an hour’s travel.  I saw the magnolia tree blooming gloriously in Boston and will also get to see ours in a couple of weeks.  Sweet!