Tell me a Story: October 2021

Saturday the 9th was a long day and well into the late night. Just around 11pm, we became grandparents, as Luka made his debut into the world. I waited up and Amy and Daniel face timed me shortly after he was born. Can I say I fell in love. I absolutely did.

Monday was a holiday for me and I decided to do a quick walk in the morning and then be ready to go and meet our little boy when he arrived home in the evening.

While walking I was giving thanks for the safe delivery, and just taking deep breaths and communing with nature.

Today as I was editing the images, I was thinking it is less about the critters and more about the backgrounds. Minimally, we are seeing signs of fall and I am enjoying the change of season. I cannot wait for winter to reach Florida.

This little Green Heron was hiding out in the long grasses while it’s partner in crime was wading in the waters.,
I love the blending of the colors in the back ground and the softness of the Anhinga.
I took this image a few weeks ago for 52 Frames, but wasn’t totally happy with it, so I took it again,
I came across another Green Heron just hanging out.
There was an abundance of female grackle out this particular morning. I love the colors in the background of this image.
Dragonfly were hard to find today but again I love the weird background that has shown up here.
Another female grackle just hanging out looking for my dragonfly.
It seems like the 4 spotted pennant was the dragonfly of the day.
Clearly this Female Grackle is a mom with teenagers because she has that mean look in her eyes.
I love the faded grass and the bokeh in the background.
Time is everything and I did not see this pod dropping to the floor.

The highlight however, was not in the park but rather in the parking lot. A few had already spotted it and if they had not seen it I probably would have walked right past the the trees but luckily curiosity got the better of me and I turned around and looked at this Red Shouldered Hawk.

I am in awe of how nature is created. The feather’s color distribution is fantastic and so impressive.

Thanks for joining me today on my walk. If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home in February after his melanoma Stage 4 diagnosis. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. While the medication has shown some positive signs of working on reducing the melanoma, we have to be aware that melanoma is very unpredictable and you honestly need to take care.

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a circle blog so take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Beth of Beth Williams Photo Blog is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: October 2021

One day in the life of a Southern Magnolia flower. I spent a busy week’s vacation helping my daughter with our 12 day old grandson. Included in the week were sleepover’s and some super late night early morning sessions. Typically I took him after his 9pm sleep so that my daughter could catch up some sleep. He however, had other ideas and instead of him going to sleep he was wide awake at midnight. I have told him we need to be awake more in the day and less at night. However, this week has been an absolute blessing and I have loved having that little man sleeping on my chest.

In-between, all of that this year has been dictated to by Richards immunotherapy treatments every three weeks, and we try if we are going to go somewhere to travel about 8 days prior to the next treatment. I think we were spooked by the first adverse reaction and have been cautious on making sure that we have passed the 8-12 day mark before we head out.

This weekend we headed up to see our son and his wife in Lake Placid, Florida. This is a sleepy little hollow with not a lot going on but I was excited to see that he had a bloom on his Southern Magnolia tree. From what he tells me the flower only lasts a day. So I have tried to capture the various stages of the bloom from all the other buds on the tree.

On the tree are a number of buds that look like the photo above.
When we arrived on Saturday the flower was already loosing it’s stamen. The plant has the stigma above on the cone and the stamen below.
By Sunday morning it was already dying
Obviously other flowers have bloomed and died and are starting the drying out process
What fascinated me the most was this post flower cone that was pushing out seeds.
I have never seen this before.

Nature is beautiful and at best is one of the most incredible parts of creation for me. I am always blown away by the incredible stuff I see when I am out walking.

This month it looks like I am the only one blogging and I will be planning a sabbatical for the group through the new year. While I may continue to blog under this name, I am tired, the group members are tired and I feel like a good rest for the balance of the year.

Thank you for joining me today. Have a great week. Look out for another blog on the 31st.

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Share Six: October 6 2021: Documentary

I am a days off from becoming a grandmother. 5 to be exact. It’s super exciting and I cannot wait to meet our little guy. If nothing happens between now and the 10th, then on the 11th Luka will make his debut.

Recently my theme for 52 Frames, was “Woman”, and my daughter is my go to woman. Not that she really wants to be. However, she agreed and I headed over with a number of ideas. I liked the idea of really light windows – with a blown out look to the image. I had another idea that involved children’s bubbles. She was not too keen on any of the ideas that I had. She had been trying to get a maternity water image, and so she suggested that I use her GoPro to take some images of her in the water.

Well that was a learning curve. The GoPro kept shifting over to video and she was getting freaked out. Added to that it really is not easy to take maternity shots and all credit goes to her for the poses that she managed to come up with. She came up the one time and said “I used to be able to hold my breath for much longer than that”. In the end we probably took over 200 images. Amy narrowed it down to about 30 images she was happy with and I narrowed it down to one image. However, for my blog today I pulled down a few more images and tried to work with them.

The images were taken in jpeg, which had me experimenting to see what I could come up with in Photoshop. The original quality was a murky turquoise color but I had some fun playing around. I didn’t realize how much you can do with a jpeg in Photoshop.

The theme this month is {Documentary} and I am documenting my daughters last weeks of her pregnancy. Below are some of the images that I have decided to use.

The challenge for me was getting that contrast without going to dark. In the second image I had to because I was loosing her face in the light. In the lighter images I feel like the extremities were disappearing into the light. However, the image that I needed and submitted was the one below. This image was selected for one of the top 52 out of over 2000 images, and it was 4th in the number of views that it got. So I was pretty happy overall. What fascinated me as I was editing, was that I noticed a face in the water directly above her. I was not sure if this was a good thing or something creepy. I have had some interesting comments on it, my mom was watching over her, my dad was watching over her, and this looks like the baby’s face. That said, I am still not sure what to make of it.

I am so excited for both Amy & Daniel. We had breakfast with them last weekend and Amy told me that this was the last time she was leaving her home. She is so uncomfortable and starting to get lower back ache. I feel for her because I remember the lower back ache I had. The days are passing so quickly that before we know it the 11th will be here. I cannot wait to see Luka’s sweet little face.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Katherine of Cobert Photography is up next is up next. I can’t wait to see what she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page. Definitely take some time to check her out.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_documentary

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.