Monday, December 21, 2009

From the Doorway

We had some snow the other night, though nowhere near the kind of pounding the mid-Atlantic took.

I've been thinking more often about taking pictures lately (a good sign?) and actually took a couple over the weekend at Asbury Woods. (My first since before Thanksgiving.)
Today, I thought about going out into the weather, but decided I could obtain decent-enough pictures from my own doorway.

So I give myself an "A" for effort...or maybe a "B."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things to be Thankful For

I will admit that lately, it's been hard not to be bitter. It sometimes feels easier to wallow in self-pity than to focus on the positive when you have to really work to find the positive things.
Every year, Thanksgiving is a reflective time for me, but this year I really had to struggle to identify things to be thankful for. When you're bracing yourself for what seems must be the inevitable, the next rain of frogs or plague of locusts, you're not as able to think about the good things. So I had to work hard to compile these things. To help me, I looked back at a few photos from recent months.
1. I'm thankful to live on Lake Erie, home of beautiful sunsets and other treasures.
2. I'm thankful that I can generally find interesting things to take pictures of, no matter where I go.

3. I'm thankful to live near Presque Isle State Park, where you can drive or hike or go to the beach.

4. I'm thankful for these two kiddos of mine, here in their Halloween gear. Like all kids, they're good at causing some stress on occasion, but I guess I've kept them this long so I can't let them go now. Kind of like stray dogs that you feed a couple of times, they seem to latch on. ;-) As a matter of fact, I'm thankful for my whole extended, imperfect, but supportive family.

5. And lastly (and I really had to ponder this one), I'm thankful that I'm still alive. No matter what happens, my kids need me, and they're great motivators. I may not enjoy what I'm going through right a matter of fact, I may even ponder late at night that nothingness might be better, but that thought is quickly banished. I need to get stronger for them and slowly but surely, I'm trying. And trying is all anyone can ask, isn't it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not a Flicker, A Glimmer.

My usual m.o. when I post a new entry is to go on about how sorry I am it's been so long since I updated. Not this time. People who know me and know what has happened will understand.
These are the first pictures I've taken since mid-October. I've been too deep in a dark hole to consider even trying. As a matter of fact, I couldn't even imagine picking up my camera.
But even when we're grieving, day-to-day life demands that we attend to certain things. And so it was last Tuesday that I found myself outside, raking and bagging leaves. I was feeling extraordinarily tired. Not just from the raking, from breathing. I'd been tired before I'd even come outside.
And then I happened to look up, and I saw this bird.
At first, I had my woodpeckers mixed up, and I thought this was a Flicker. And I thought that was really poetic, because seeing her (I think it's a girl due to the lack of red blaze on the nape) made me think about how life goes on and we get through even that which seems know, like a flicker of hope.

So I put down the rake and tried to go inside quietly to retreive my camera. I was able to capture quite a few shots as she made her way up and down the branches looking for food.

Later, I decided it would be a good idea to look the bird up online to make sure I had my facts straight. Turns out it wasn't a Flicker, it's a Downy Woodpecker. Now, the name Downy just doesn't seem to have the same significance as the name Flicker would have, but all the same: watching this bird made me want to capture some shots, and made me forget about my troubles for a couple of minutes. I actually felt a small glimmer of happiness and hope. And at this point, that means a lot.

Monday, October 26, 2009

One Leaf in Actions

Took a walk today and found many interesting shots, but when I opened a few of them up in Photoshop, I decided instead to play with just this one image:
Above would be pretty typical processing for me...kind of pop-ish, saturated, and bright.
My other favorite action to use is A2D's Lomo. I love how it intensifies the greens and the edge burn it applies.
This one is called Indie Jane's Grunge, which was created and shared over at the Two Peas Photography Board by a generous member.
This one is called "Draganizer." I like the grungy feel it has.
This one is "Bright Punch." Appropriately enough.

This one is Midnight Sepia. I like the gauzy feel to this one.

This one is "Acidic,"
and this one is "Photograin." All beautiful in their own ways.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hot Cat-on-Cat Action

Meet Tom.
Meet Beckers.

Theirs is a special kind of love.
Sure, they're both males. They're also littermates. Don't judge them.

If two cats love each other, they should be able to show it. Who am I to stand in the way?

And they shouldn't have to be ashamed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Woolly Bear

Meet Isia Isabella, or the Woolly Bear caterpillar.
In the spring, this guy (or gal) will become a Tiger Isabella moth. But for now, he's still a Woolly Bear. There's an old wive's tale that the width of the black stripes on either end helps predict the winter weather. Wide areas of black are supposed to indicate a severe winter, while narrow areas of black supposedly foretell a mild winter. This guy's stripes look pretty narrow to me. In any case, one can hope, and I'll take a mild winter any way I can get it.

We found this at Letchworth State Park in New York. More photos of that later, but for today, I wanted to share something a little more full of mystery.

Also, a note: Thanks to all of you for your kind comments on yesterday's post. I appreciate them so much.

Monday, October 12, 2009


It seems that every sporadic blog post I make these days begins with an explanation as to why I haven't updated in so long. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I guess I'll attempt to explain why I've been neglecting photography (a true passion) and posting here.
Many of you know that I was laid off in July. This came completely unexpectedly, and after 10 years of what anyone would consider faithful service to the company I worked for. It wasn't the best place to work, but I counted myself lucky to have a job, and I used to joke with a friend that I was a "lifer." Truly, I probably would never have left unless an opportunity too good to be true had fallen in my lap. I wasn't looking for anything else.
Since that Friday afternoon, I have alternated between feeling scared, angry, bitter, hopeless, paralyzed, and scared again. I don't get enough on unemployment to cover the rent and all the bills, and there's nothing left over for any extras. The help wanted section of the paper is no help. I've put in some applications and sent out a few resumes, but haven't heard anything back. I'm exhausted and feeling pretty pessimistic these days.
I know that attitude needs to change before anything else can happen, and I'm trying. I have many blessings left to count, and more support from the ones I love than a lot of people get when they're in a similar situation. It's just that right now, I feel kind of like this caterpillar, balled up around myself as a defense against what might happen next.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Presque Isle on a Stormy Evening

A couple of weeks back, I stopped by the beach at sunset.
It was windy and spitting rain off and on.
The sky was intense and full of fast-moving clouds.
And the wind was whipping the water into the kind of waves we don't often see on the lake.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Katydid, and a Secret Shame

Let me start by saying that when you have to be shamed into updating your blog by someone like dmack, things are pretty bad. I'm not even employed right now, for the love of God, and I can't seem to be bothered.
So, by popular demand (from dmack anyway), here's a cool bug I saw yesterday.
I'm pretty sure it's a katydid, but if I'm wrong, please let me know. Loads of people out there have way more entomology skills than I do.

Dude was just chilling on the stem of a dead flower.
And he's missing one of his antennae....hope he can still find his way around, or sniff things out, or whatever he uses those things for.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jesus with a Sense of Humor

At St. Bonaventure Cemetery, I managed to find a few statues and headstones that made me giggle.

This one doesn't seem funny at first glance, but when you look more closely....

Why does it look like Mary's left breast is exposed??

Also, why does Jesus have the body of a baby, but the head of a man? And what the heck is going on under his gown?

Nearby, I found a crypt with some busts on top.

Very realistic...

And very creepy. This one reminds me of the old preacher man from Poltergeist 2: "You're all gonna die in there!!"

And finally....I know it's not intended to be funny, but check out Jesus as Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump.