Friday, October 31, 2014

Willy-Nilly Fall Friday 5…

Baseball season is over.  This makes me sad.  I do have to admit that it was a fun World Series to watch though.  And there was no stress because I didn’t really care who won, although I will admit that I really liked the Kansas City Royals and had to root for them.  Oh, well…  Maybe next year.

I do watch a lot of television from Great Britain on Netflix these days.  You know, things like Dr. Who, Torchwood and Midsomer Murders.  I’m always surprised when people who need to defend themselves on these shows often pull out a baseball bat…a baseball bat, for pity’s sake.  Now, I may be wrong, but I don’t think they play baseball in Great Britain.  So why do all these people have bats in their closets and where the heck do they buy them?  They must be sold as weapons over there in the stores.  You almost never see a baseball bat used as a weapon on American TV.  I mentioned this today to Greg for whatever reason and his answer was short and to the point.  “That’s because,” he said, “American use guns.”

Are you sick of political ads yet?  I sure am.  We get them not only from Massachusetts but also from New Hampshire.  It almost makes me nostalgic for that Verizon ad with the bouncing, whispering couple with the baby that makes the salesgirl shush so as not to wake the kid.  I’d like to slap those people and I am non-violent by nature.  But those dunderheads are a breath of fresh air compared with all this politics.

The biggest leaf I've found this year so far.
I have sciatica and am going to physical therapy trying to get it under control.  I laughed about the first exercise that the PT gave me, which was to lie on my stomach for fifteen minutes three times a day.  Hey, even I can do that!  But I was told yesterday that I needed to roll in and out of bed.  Do you know how hard that is??  I always thought that it was kind of a figure of speech but apparently it is an actual way to get in and out of bed.  I haven’t mastered it yet.  I am afraid that I require further instruction.

I've already posted this photo on Facebook, but I think it bears repeating.  This is my mother, father and me all duded up and ready to leave for a Halloween party at my sister Cindy's house back in 1976.  Pretty funny, isn't it?!  I'm not dressing up this year.  As a matter of fact, I almost forgot all about Trick or Treat and had to run out and purchase last minute candy.  I need to start paying attention to the calendar.  Have a safe and happy Halloween!

P.S.  I'd like some help identifying this cute little guy who has been hanging out at our feeder.  He scrounges underneath and doesn't go on to the feeders.  He must be some kind of sparrow but what kind is the question.  He's a tad bigger than a dark-eyed junco.

Linking up to Tanya's Around Roanoke, VA

Willy-Nilly Friday 5!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Good Shaker Fences…

When daughter Carrie and I visited Hancock Shaker Village back in September, I got quite a few photos of fences.  If you are interested in the Shakers at all, take a look back at my October 20 blogpost.  They are a fascinating sect.  And they build Good Fences…

Linking to The Run*A*Round Ranch Report's

Good Fences.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Using my super power…

Being on Facebook, I have learned that there are lots and lots of t-shirts available for photographers.  Those are the advertisements that pop up most often when I go on to check on all the odds and ends my friends and family are posting.

  The t-shirt I like best has a camera printed on it and says, “I can stop time.  What’s your superpower?”  One of these days, I may just click on that link and buy one of those, because in many ways that is true.  Photography does give us the ability to freeze moments in time.

Still, I find myself wishing this superpower of mine didn’t require a Nikon and, in fact, wasn’t just a catch phrase on a t-shirt, because this has been a ridiculously busy month and a half for me.  I cannot put my finger on why exactly, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I was born a slow and deliberate person and as I age, I’m just getting slower and slower and more deliberate.  Things just take me a lot of time and I can’t seem to change that.  So when I add in appointments and other obligations, the things I actually enjoy doing get shoved to the side…like this blog, for instance.

Yesterday, I thought I would have time to post something, but my yearly eye exam was scheduled for the afternoon.  I was happy to learn that my eyes are not showing the normal signs of aging that other parts of my body are.  I was told that there is no sign of cataract or glaucoma.  And the doctor was polite enough to not mention that when he looked though my dilated pupils, he could see that my brain was starting to atrophy and lose its elasticity.  I thought that was rather kind of him.  But those drops he used did put an end to me doing anything useful for the rest of the day.

Anyhow, thanks to the Nor’easter that passed through here last week, our fall color is pretty much gone.  Sure, here and there, you may spot a nice bright red tree, but mostly what’s there now are the coppers and browns of the oaks.

  Of course, the oaks never really completely let go of their leaves until the new ones come in.  Isn’t there a saying that says, “Stubborn as an Oak!”??  If not, I may have that one printed on a t-shirt, too.  There are probably people I know who would find that pretty appropriate for me.

Well, since I have it, I might as well exercise my superpower!  Here are a few shots of autumn that I have frozen in time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Looking back…

If you read my last blog post, you know that I had three photos entered in the Massasoit Art Guild Annual Art Show.  I am pleased to report that I took home an Honorable Mention ribbon for my photo “Pod” in the Digitally Altered Photography category.  If you saw what I was up against, you would be impressed with that.  The photo that won the category was taken by my friend Paulette Adams.  It was an absolutely fabulous photo of two hats taken at Old Sturbridge Village and it was a very deserving winner, indeed.

I have been so busy since September, that I feel like I have left a lot of photos in the lurch so I am going to spend some time going back.  I hope to have more time to catch up with everyone's blogs soon also.

My daughter Carrie and I picked an absolutely pristine early autumn day to visit Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  The Shakers are an interesting lot and if you are ever in this area, a trip to the village is highly recommended.  But you had better hurry.  They close in early November for the season.

Soon after our visit, I spied a copy of Down East magazine and, lo and behold, the cover story was about the last three remaining Shakers who live near New Gloucester, Maine.  I won’t get into the gist of the article, but if you are interested in the Shakers, click HERE, for a link to the story.

Hancock Shaker Village is a true Shaker village that was settled in the 1780s.  I took a lot of photos of this beautiful place and will post a few today.  It is truly a gift to be simple.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Judgment Day Is Coming…

...and I'm thinking some Willy-Nilly thoughts about it.

This weekend the 11th Annual Art Show of the Massasoit Art Guild is being held at the Spencer, Massachusetts, Town Hall.  If you are around and have some time, the show goes on from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.  I’m pushing this because I am a member of the Guild and have three photos in the show.  I don’t expect to win anything, because I have seen the work of others who are going to enter the show, but I’m going for it anyhow.

The thing about preparing for a show like this for me is that I have to go through and evaluate my own work.  I find that incredibly difficult.  You see, I know what I like but I don’t have a clue what might or might not appeal to others.  In the end, after long and hard consideration, I sort of closed my eyes and picked three of my photos and had them framed.  Of course, now I am wondering if I shouldn’t have picked something else.  Here are the ones I am entering:

I have a photo that I really like and spent some time on trying to make it work for the show, but no matter how much I messed with it or how I cropped it, I just couldn’t get it right.  That’s frustrating.  Wondering what you think.  I like it but can’t put my finger on what's wrong with it.  It’s this one:

This morning I took the time to adhere the identification stickers to the backs of the photos.  The IDs ask for the artist’s name, the name of the picture, what category it belongs in and what the price is.  I could remember my name and what I decided to name the photos, but I’ll be damned if I could remember the number of the category they belong in or the price I put on the entry form I sent in a few weeks ago.  I was not happy.  I usually agree with Rita Mae Brown’s quote, but not this morning.

I want to acknowledge an old friend of ours, Newton Frost.  Newton was a true Renaissance man and a member of the Massasoit Art Guild.  Sadly, he passed away in March of 2012, but three of his paintings are hanging on the walls of this house.  Whenever I look at one, I remember him and know that he lives on through his art and that’s a wonderful legacy.

Linking to Tanya's Willy-Nilly Friday 5!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


The stripped and shapely

Maple grieves
The ghosts of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,

As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,

In its distress,
Displays a certain

-   John Updike, A Child's Calendar

I love it!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good Fences Keep Out the Riff-Raff...

"Hey, Whitey, what the heck is that down there?"

"Well, Henry, I think it smells like a Pug!"

"Sure enough, y'all.  It's a pug."

"Thanks goodness for fences."

Linking to The Run*A*Round Ranch Report's Good Fences!

Thanks, Theresa!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rust Never Sleeps at Three Sisters Sanctuary…

The photography group I belong to meets tomorrow evening.  At our last meeting, we decided on the subject “Rust” as our assignment.  Personally, I think rust is a terrific photographic subject, but it’s not always so easy to find a good supply of rust.  Sooooo, in September,  I got in touch with my daughter, Carrie, and asked her if she wanted to take a little ride out to Goshen, Massachusetts, to Three Sisters Sanctuary because I knew that I could find rust there.

SPOILER ALERT!  If you are a member of the Massasoit Art Guild Photo Group, you’re going to be seeing these shots tomorrow night.  Just so you know.

This shot is not of rust, per se, but there is a rusty fence in the background.

I have to recommend Three Sisters Sanctuary as a cool place to wander around.  There is much more to it than a lot of rust.  It’s billed as a place “where nature and art are joined” and is the brain child of environmental artist Richard M. Richardson.  Here’s a link to the web-site:  Three Sisters Sanctuary.  If you find yourself near Goshen, Massachusetts, you should stop in.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Good Rockefeller Fences…

One of the things I like best about photography is that it allows one to time travel.  That’s what I’m going to do today.  I’m going back to August 28 of this year, when Greg and I were in Maine visiting our friends, Linda and Brian Friedmann.

Linda and Brian own a camp on a beautiful lake in Maine not too far from Acadia.  We were lucky to get to spend a couple nights with them on our way home from Nova Scotia.  We were also lucky that they happened to have four tickets to the opening of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor.  This garden is open to the public only once a week in late July, August and early September, so we were very fortunate to get to go.

I don’t think much needs to be said about the beauty of this place so I will let the photos do the talking.

The walls that surround the garden were spectacular in their own right.  For my purposes here, I’m going to call them fences, because that’s really their function and it allows me to hook up with Theresa’s Good Fences.