Tell me a Story: June 2017

It is so hard to believe that we are halfway through the year already.  For this months blog post, I wanted to do something different.  After all the rain the wetlands was not a place I wanted to visit.  Hot, sticky and mosquito’s come to mind.  So I decided to go to the Butterfly House…, sticky, mosquitos!!! Add to the equation birds that poop on you.  It was a fun day.  I had to go and wash my shirt and ended up leaving my cellphone in the bathroom.  Thank you Lord for honest people.  All in all it was an eventful day.

Here are just some of the many images I took of the butterflies.  For this shoot I took 4 lens and ended up only using the Macro.

I hope you enjoy some of nature’s beautiful creatures.

Tree Nymph




Piano Key


Piano Key


Butterfly selfie


White Morpho


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


I think this is part of the Longwing family


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


Thank you for joining me for this month’s Tell me a Story.    This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my fellow blogger LUPJi Photography | North Virginia Events Photographer and see what he has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.


30 Minutes in the Life: June 2017

I am surrounded by water issues just lately but today’s blog is one of the better issues, thank goodness.  The home flood aside, and the air conditioner issue aside, we are also in the throws of 10 days of rain.  Typically this would not be an issue, but the canals were creeping up higher and higher, and our single access out of our community was flooded. So I stayed at home and worked from home.

One thing I enjoy doing when the rain stops is head out to these trees and capture water drops with my macro lens.   I always love to see what reflections come out in the final cut.  Lots of palm trees, fences, and water.

So I hope you enjoy my 30 minutes for this month…..

Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4377


Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4378


Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4381


Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4383


Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4388


Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4391


Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4393


Out on the back canal: June 4, 2017: 4401


Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickr, Instagram, Viewbug and Google+



Artists Inspired: June 2017: Turquoise

Turquoise and where better than the oceans of the Florida Keys.  There is just something about hitting those islands and seeing the color of the water, that has Richard opening the windows, turning up the island music and driving happily along.  Of course, I have my hair blowing all over the place and particularly in my eyes.  However, he is in his element.

My camera is on my lap and I am ready for the change in perspective and the ever changing colors of the water. From the top of the Florida Keys to the tip the water is a change of colors depending on the amount of sunlight and the patches of reeds in the water.  I have shared with you some of my favorite turquoise Keys images.

Heading out of Miami and onto the Keys and the first stretch of water has you picking up your camera and marveling at the beautiful color of the ocean.


It also has you wishing that for a brief while you had a boat.


Driving across this bridge reminds me that we are not far from our first stop Long Key State  Park.  You may remember some of the sunset images I have taken have been from the other side of this bridge with the power pylons in the image.


Arriving at Long Key State Park and this bench will be one of my viewing spots for the days ahead.


On of the fun sports to watch and photograph is kite surfing.  I love it when the surfer jumps out of the water and into the sky.  It is pure art at the whim of the wind.


Of course another option is to head out into the ocean and find a small island spot where you can anchor your part and play in the water.


Heading further down the Keys we often stop at Curry Hammock State Park.  It is smaller and there are some nice kayaking routes.  Added to that there are some trees to sit under in the very hot weather.


Or alternatively you could just do what this group is doing and head out into the ocean.


One of my favorite activities is to bird watch and watching the magnificent Osprey go fishing is always such a pleasure.


Not really my thing but people do love to stand in the gorgeous ocean and fish 🙂


Heading further south and you will find the stunning Bahia Honda State Park.  For those folk not into camping, they actually a few cottages in the park.  You are able to climb to the top level of the bridge and see the view.


And this is just one of the gorgeous views that you can see.


And yes, we have kayaked out to this island.  It is covered in coral and unless you have shoes on you are not walking comfortable on it.


Bahia Honda State Park also has a beautiful swimming beach.  I say swimming but honestly it is more like wallowing in ankle deep water.  You really have to walk a way out to get it waist deep.


Final stretch to go and we are down in Key West and I always love heading down there.  There is so much to do and see in Key West.  Aside from the city you have all the beaches to go to and all the activities you can take part in.


Activities like Paragliding.


Or swimming with the sharks.  Just kidding!!!  We noticed a young girl walking along the edge of the pier and peering over. We were wondering what she was doing. We headed out of the water in time to see this shark swimming right where we had been swimming in the water. Kind of freaky to be honest.


Last but not least, end off your day with a sunset cruise.  They are such fun and we have now done three of theme.  A snorkeling cruise, and 2 sunset cruises.  Beer, wine and snacks to keep you busy as you sail around until sunset.

I hope that my turquoise theme has stirred in you a desire to head to the Florida Keys and enjoy the beautiful scenery in front of you.  This is always a favorite of ours when we need to do a short 3 day getaway.

Just a reminder that this is a circle blog and I would encourage you to click to continue on reading what they other photographers in this group have for you.  Please stop by my friend and fellow photographer Sarah Skaggs Mason page and read her blog.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug


The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.



Share Six: June 2017: Dream/Dreamy

The topic dream or dreamy was chosen by Claire of Wilhelmina Photography.  I was pretty stumped with what I was going to do.  This is what I love about this group – it continually taking me out of my comfort zone.

We have major renovations going on in our home. Items in the house seem to move from room to room.  One of the items that moved out of our closet and into my office was a filing cabinet. Inside the filing cabinet was was all sorts of interesting things, including a book that I had once written poetry in.  So I am going to get a little vulnerable here.

It was the typical teenage angst of life.  Young, not quite an adult, but knowing that there is a world out there to conquer.  There are dreams that need to be fulfilled.

I hung out with a group of friends who came from all walks of life.  We were idealistic. We would laugh together, dream together and then the unthinkable happened.  One of us died. How do you handle your emotions.  How do you express what you are feeling.  Part of it for me was to write the words I was feeling. He was a very close friend, who had come from a troubled background, who seemed to be getting his life on track when he was sadly killed in a car accident. He was just 24 years old.  I believe this was my way of processing his death.   Where I could I have tried to tie poems to my dreamy images.

There were so many dreams that we all had as teenagers and young adults.  Like any young idealistic person, some of our dreams were realistic and others just a little unrealistic.  Loosing this young man that we all loved was a real wake up call that you are never too young to die. Even today as I think back and as I re-read the letters he had sent to me and remember the friendship that we had, I see his beautiful smiling face and know just how much of an impression he made on me, on all of us.  It was a big hole of disbelief when he was taken from us.

He has been gone from our lives for over 30 years, but his memory lingers on.  It is a good reminder to love wherever you can, to take what life offers you and to look for the best in all circumstances.  Hug your family and friends.  Tomorrow is not promised. Today is all you have.


I saw a man

He stood at the shore.

The waves lapped

over his feet.

And in his mind

I saw trouble and doubt.

He was alone

to think it out.

Could he try

to find out why

something went wrong.

Why life was so troubling

and seemed to face him everyday.

Then his mind went blank

a wall of darkness

closed it off.

When I looked again

that man had walked away.


He was someone

close to us.

A man who used to love so much.

He received so little

yet gave a lot

He was someone we all loved.

His life was filled with emptiness,

yet he face up to it expectantly.

He conquered all that that he needed to 

and pushed past the misery.

He had a family he never knew

He had friends He could turn to

Yet he stood strong

and faced life alone

until that final blow

took him away from us.  

It’s lonely on the outside

where there’s nothing much to share

It’s lonely on the outside

when there is never people there


turn around and look inside

and see if it’s all there

the love, the hate, the bitterness

the thoughts that say you should care,

find out if your loneliness

is ever present there.

Understand it takes two

to bring about a unity of souls.

A piercing cry ripped through the sky

I looked overhead

to see a gull in full flight

his body arched

his head thrown back

his tail upright

as he flew by

the he turned and flew by again

as if to say


I looked

into a crystal clear pool of water

and saw myself


But unlike myself

this reflection showed fear,

across the forehead

a crease.


The mouth pulled taut

full of doubt

a questioning look reflected.

I dropped a pebble into the water

hoping the reflection would disappear

yet when it re-appeared

the look

was still there.

When I looked upwards

I realized

the sun was shining in my eyes.

Once in the life of yesterday

I saw it from afar.

It was a bright illuminating

entrancing little star.

Pierced by the encounterance

I moved into the light,

And there below this awesome sight

I stood abound in love.

Poet I am really not, but I grew up with the great artists like Leonard Cohen and Joan Baez, story tellers of excellence.  All I wanted to do was write stories and write poems. I wanted to be the next aspiring artist.

Writing this blog tonight Leonard Cohen is playing in the background. He still takes me to those deep dark places where you can slip into your mind and find the memories in there in the form of dreams.  As I reflect on the past, the late teenage years and the early twenties were some of my greatest moments, and deepest lows.

When I think about that beautiful life that was taken away from us and the loss we all felt, I am reminded that I still have a life to live.  No matter what age you are remember that tomorrow is not promised.  If you are thinking of doing something, don’t put it off, do it as soon as you are able.  Always remember to hug your loved ones tight and to tell them you love them.

In my dreams I see the face of Todd, and I hear his laughter and his jokes.  I also see the sadness and the sorrow.  I wish I had another chance to remind him that he is what made his life.  He was what made us love him.  His lot in life was not the best but he took what he was given and he faced up to that daily walk.

 I will leave you with one of his poems that he sent to me just before he died.

Kindred Spirits meet unsought – by an

alchemy of thought.  Towards each

other they are led – guided by the

unseen thread of accident or passing

chance – caught in a web of


Kindred Spirits, souls in tune – come

together late or soon – like notes that

harmonize when played – thus

affinities are made – and lifelong

friendships come about.  Time alone

can work it out.  Two in tune in time will

meet – and life at last will be complete.

~Todd Michael Vermeulen


Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit our my friend Aubrey of Applewood Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

Now it is your turn. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at Share Six and come and share your images on the theme Dream/Dreamy  throughout the month of June.  A new theme will come out on July 6.

Remember you can follow us on Instagram at @sharesix  and tag your images #sharesix_dream or #sharesix_dreamy.

You can also find the Share Six webpage at

We look forward to seeing your images on the theme Dream/Dreamy