30 Minutes in the Life: May 2015

I love it when Mark decides to open up his studio to his meet up group.  Mark sets up all the fancy lighting equipment, and explains to us what he has done and what he aims to get out of the shoot.

We get to hang out and take photographs of the model he has found.  Today it was Rachel’s turn.  Rachel was a beautiful young lady, who was a lot of fun to work with.  She was incredibly patient and willing to try what the 5 photographers asked of her.  As we eased into the shoot so she became more comfortable doing her own moves.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Rachel and would happily do so again.

I do have to confess though that this is not a straight 30 minutes as I would have only had a 4  images.  What happens in the studio is that we do a set up, then all 6 photographers shoot one after the other, then we do another set up and the same happens again.  So what I have done here is accumulated my shooting time to 30 minutes.

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Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 minutes.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my friend, Julia Cooke – Istanbul Photographer and see what she has for you this month.  Julia has the most incredible images of Istanbul.  Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.

If you want to know more about 30 Minutes in the Life head over to their facebook page, or to the blog page.  There is so much new and exciting happenings going on at 30 minutes that you are sure to want to check it out.

If you want to know more about Limelight Studios head on over to their facebook page.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Sharetographers Share Six: May 2015: Floral

As I previously mentioned, Project 10 Challenge is now Sharetographer’s Share Six.  This is the first month that they have invited a guest photographer to join their circle link and I am thrilled to be the person they invited.  I love being part of this group, and with the new changes to the site, there is so many more options to be involved and to learn. Take time to click on the links at the bottom of the page and learn more about how you can be involved in Sharetographers.

This month’s topic choice was floral.  For me that was a sweet, sweet topic.  I love flowers.  My plan was to visit a Botanical Gardens.  However, the prediction of wet weather changed that option and I found myself looking at what flowers I had at home.  I went back on forth on the flowers.  I tried sunflowers, then tulips and finally I settled on the Stargazer Lily.  The Stargazer lily is a hybrid of the Oriental group well known for it’s fragrance.  We started out with one bud opening and it smelled really strong.  By the end I had 12 buds open and the flowers were placed out on the patio where there was a plenty of fresh air.  That was the only way I could breathe. I hope you enjoy my take on the theme “Floral”

 

In Rememberance of Joy: April 18, 2015 0442

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0589

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0575

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0556

 

Sharetographers: Floral: April 19, 2015 0692

Sharetographers: Floral: April 18, 2015 0562

 

“In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.”

~ Okakura Kauzo, The Book of Tea

 

Don’t forget that this is a circle link, and that there are four other photographers in the link this month.  Please take some time to view their amazing work. Following me is Casey from Casey and her Camera.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

If you would like to know more about Sharetographers, head on over to their facebook page

P.S.  Don’t forget to sign up for the Sharetographers newsletter when you visit their page.  You will find lots of interesting topics in there.

365-2015: One Day at a time…..March 2015

March has been a crazy month and I am so behind but here goes:

Day 60:  March 1, 2015

Today was the Renaissance Fair and Ray and I wandered for about 5 hours.  I love the atmosphere, the clothes, the characters.  Ray tried on this little hat and I had just snapped the photo when the owner came up and told me that I was not allowed to take photo’s – oh well I got this one.

Renaissance Fair:  March 1, 2015 3043

Day 61:  March 2, 2015

The local shopping center has restaurants in it and clearly they throw away food in the bins that appeals to the local bird life.  The Black Vulture is something I never thought I would ever see close up.

Nature:  March 2, 2015 3536

Day 62:  March 3, 2015

I go out to feed the duck each day and today Ms Squirrel was hanging out and keeping me company.  I love this little squirrel and her antics.

Outback on the canal: March 3, 2015 3568

Day 63:  March 4, 2015

Peanut treats are her favorite time of the day.  Today it was as the sun was setting and I loved how the rays were filtering through her tail.

Outback on the canal: March 4, 2015 3617

Day 64:  March 5, 2015

Today starts the first day of a 5 day road-trip to Columbus, Georgia.  I am heading up there on a staff retreat with 5 of my co-workers.  I learned taking photo’s from a moving vehicle is not easy but I liked what I got of this red barn.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 5, 2015 3656

Day 65:  March 6, 2015

We are in Columbus, Georgia and it is cold.  The scenery is so different.  Dry, stark, in some places bleak, but there is a unique beauty that is so different to Florida.  I managed to lock myself out of the warmth, in order to take this image.  I was just lucky that my colleagues were sympathetic to my plight.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 6, 2015 3696

Day 66:  March 7, 2015

It is Saturday and we have a break in retreat time, before the evening session.  I had two requests I would like to see the Riverfront and I wanted to find a horse made out of tree bark.  I had them driving around for me.  I think we crossed state line at one stage.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 7, 2015 3696

Day 67:  March 8, 2015

The church where the retreat was held had the most beautiful stain glass windows and during a break, I was feeling chilly and sought out the sun. Outside I once again noticed the starkness of the plants.

Columbus Georgia Trip:  March 9, 2015 3876

Day 68:  March 9, 2015

It’s time to get back on the road again, and face an 8 hour journey back home.  Rest and retreat was had by all and it was such fun to be together with good friends.  Countryside driving home is farmland and I was happy to get a relatively clear image of the watering system from a moving vehicle.

68/365 Somewhere in Georgia:  March 9, 2015 3915

Day 69:  March 10, 2015

It’s back to work, back to the day to day routine, back to the 1 hour drive each way.  I spotted these Cormorants hanging out on the power lines.

69/365 Enroute home:  March 10, 2015 3995

Day 70:  March 11, 2015

Hard to believe but it is day 2 at work and then I will be off on the road again.  This time to Nashville, Tennessee.  However, today while I was out and about I spotted this little stream to the side of the road.

West Palm Beach: March 11, 2015 4010

Day 71:  March 12, 2015

On the road again, as Willie Nelson would say.  And yes, we off to the city of country music.  Not a very auspicious start to the trip.  Fortunately we were only driving 5 hours today.   I am looking forward to spending time with my brother again.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 12, 2015 4038

Day 72:  March 13, 2015

After spending the night in Valdosta, we got back on the road, another 8 hour journey on the horizon.  We navigated Atlanta and the HOV lane in wet weather with high levels of stress.  As we approached Chattanooga, I decided that I wanted to stop and walk around the waterfront.  Brr…I am back in cold country, however, I was determined to walk this area.  Richard on the other hand, headed back to the car.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4118

Day 73:  March 14, 2015

We are in Nashville, the city of country music.  Heading downtown the the Museum of Country, I came across this bronze statue of Chet Atikins.  The sculptor who did this work was Russell Faxon.  This was also a very interesting day because not only did I find myself walking through a country museum, but also getting excited about a basketball game that I was not even watching.  Apparently Kentucky was playing Urburn in Nashville and Kentucky had just made it through to the quarter finals.  Nashville was full of partying folk from Kentucky, and the spirit was definitely catching. What friendly folk we met.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4084

Day 74:  March 15, 2015

Most of my images are of inside the hotel.  We did a whole lot, including the replica of the Greek Parthenon, but in transferring the images I somehow deleted them all.  Big disappointment when I discovered I had done that.  Not only that but I had written over the history as well.  Lesson well learned. Here I played around with freezing water.

Nashville, Tennessee: March 15, 2015 14088128

Day 75:  March 16, 2015

While my brother was in conference, Rich and I headed back to the city.  A bus trip saw I arrive at the water front and we began walking. Down the hill to the waterfront and the Korean Bridge.  I loved this pic of an unknown woman sitting on the edge of a building.  From the waterfront we headed back onto the main streets, and did some country music listening in a couple of different places.  I will give you this, I am still not a country music convert, but I did enjoy most of what I heard.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 16 2015 4773

Day 76:  March 17, 2015

Tuesday was a lazy day.  After breakfast we took a walk on the outskirts of the hotel, down to the Grand Ol’ Oprey, and on towards the Mall.  I also spent some time wandering around the inside of the hotel.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 14, 2015 5061

Day 77:  March 18, 2015

The conference my brother was attending was done, and we were back on the road again.  I had decided that it would be nice to show him a different part of the South and so we headed off to Savannah, Georgia.  I love this city and could spend hours walking the historical district.  The weather, however,  had a different idea.  The 8 hour journey saw us arrive in Savannah around 5pm and we had enough light to walk the waterfront area.  I love the old world look of this image.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 18, 2015 5223

Day 78:  March 19, 2015

Early morning rise and shine and my brother and I headed out to explore the city before the rain came.  I love the side streets, the back streets, the nooks and cranny’s that you find in Savannah.  I love it’s history, it’s architecture.  I love the feel of Savannah, and I would go back again for the fourth time and still not see it all.  Soon the rain came, and we were back in the car and on the road again.  This time to Gainesville to see our daughter.  My brother had not seen Amy for a year and it was a good opportunity to catch up.  The highlight for Richard was to visit the Gator stadium.

Gainesville, Florida: March 19 2015 7902

Day 79:  March 20, 2015

The last leg of the trip started with a really mist morning drive back home.

Gainesville, Florida: March 19 2015 7923

Day 80 March 21, 2015

Today I took my brother for a walk in one of my favorite places, the wetlands.  I took him to the smaller more populated wetland.  After walking around we headed home to a lazy day of doing nothing.  He is not used to the Florida weather and finds it very hot.

Wakadohatchee Wetlands: March 21, 2015 7987

Day 81:  March 22, 2015

Richard has bought a paddle board and so he was determined to take Barry and I off to the beach.  Richard had fun on the paddle board.  Barry got his feet wet and I drank coffee.  This way to early for me.

A beach day:  March 22, 2015 8233

Day 82:  March 23, 2015

I have said goodbye to my brother again.  I am not sure when I will see him again. He headed back to South Africa and I headed back to work.  I hope he comes over next year, but there is never a guarantee.  Meanwhile I am back to the norm of the environment and weeds are what I played with today.  I pulled out my macro when I got home and got down in the grass.

Outback on the Canal:  March 23, 2015 8374

Day 83: March 24, 2015

After an out of office meeting, I headed to a wetland very close to where the meeting was.  I had heard there was new chicks in town and I really, really wanted to see them.  The Sandhill Crane colts had to have been the sweetest chicks I have seen.  Added to that I was able to get quite close to them. The parents did not seem concerned, so I sat down and stayed for an hour.

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8500

Day 84:  March 25, 2015

Early morning out on the canal.  It is a work day and the ducks are fed and I cannot resist stopping to take this misty feeling out back.

After the rain: March 25, 2015 8676

Day 85:  March 26, 2015

It is Thursday, which means it is Friday for me, and I am on the road to the office.  The sky is stunning and this 2 minute stop was well worth it for me.

Early morning on the road: March 26, 2015 8710

Day 86  March 27, 2015

It’s Friday and its my day to wake up slowly, smell the coffee, brew the coffee, drink the coffee and say good morning to the critters out back.  I love to take my coffee and my camera out on the deck.  Mornings are great and right now there is no mosquito problems.  Today Master Squirrel was hanging out for breakfast.

Out on the Back Canal: March 27, 2015 8788

Day 87: March 28, 2015

It was with excitement and pleasure that I was able to photograph the ring my son Cameron gave to his fiance Kathryn as part of their engagement shoot.  We are thrilled to have Kathryn join our family and we are looking forward to what the future will bring for them.

Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014  9027

Day 88:  March 29, 2015

I have discovered that the Mockingbird is Florida’s state bird.  I have also discovered that it never stops singing.  I am convinced that one day it will loose it’s voice but so far it has not happened.

88/365 (Project 365) Outback on the Canal: March 29, 3015 9081

Day 89:  March 30, 2015

I was out in the garden with my macro lens when I spotted this Damselfly hanging out on the plants.

Outback on the Canal: March 30, 3015 9100

Day 90:  March 31, 2015

It is the last day of March and I cannot believe how quickly March flew by.  Talking about flying by, I found this Dragonfly sitting on the tip of my orchid shoot.  I am convinced it was eating the ants as they were walking up the stem.  Not sure but it seemed to be constantly munching.

Outback on the Canal: March 31, 3015 9156

 

Thank you for joining me as I challenge myself to pick up my camera and take two photo’s a day.  Sometimes it is easy, other times it is a lot harder.  Look out for the next installment for the month of April.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Tell Me a Story: April 2015

This month my plans fell through. I had planned to go down to Fairfield Gardens in Miami.  However, the weather predicted rain and I did not want to drive 1.5 hours and then walk around gardens in the rain.   Then the actual outing I was going to was cancelled and to be honest I have felt tired lately, and decided to just take a walk locally.  So I pulled out the Macro lens and went to the park very close to my home.  At the entrance to the nature trail they have a Butterfly garden.  This is where a spent a bit of time.

The Mockingbird is the state bird of Florida, and they tend to sing endlessly.  Today there were a few flying around.  It is spring in Florida and birds are singing and mating and laying eggs.  We have a mockingbird in our garden and every so often I wonder if it will ever tire out it’s voice box.

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 17, 2015 0345

I love Butterflies but they are really hard to photograph.  They never stop for too long and it take a lot of patience to wait for one to do so.  Below is a Zebra Longwing Butterfly.

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 17, 2015 0359

Bees are another insect that is hard to photograph.  They are always so busy flying from one plant to the next.  You have to catch them when they are gorging on the nectar or collecting pollen.

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 17, 2015 0373

Butterfly gardens are full of plants that attract these insects to them.  It is always so nice to sit back and watch them hover around.  I would love to plant a butterfly garden in my back yard

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 17, 2015 0395

The Cassius Blues (Leptotes cassius) is a minute little butterfly that flits from plant to plant.

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 17, 2015 0415

This Bee really got it’s head well into the plant. I was interested in why Bees need nectar or pollen.  Interestingly nectar provides an energy source while pollen provides protein and fats.  I did not know that.

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 10, 2015 9843

Butterflies are such delicate insects.  Quite often they look quite raggedy by end of their life cycle.  This butterfly has a big chunk out of it’s wing as you will see in the second image.

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 17, 2015 0403

Daggerwing Nature Center. April 17, 2015 0398

Another Mockingbird flitted into the trees.  They seemed to be out in abundance this day.

Daggerwing Nature Center: April 17, 2015 0349

Last image is again of the Cassius Blues (Leptotes cassius).  I feel like these butterflies are not much bigger than my a 50 cents piece.

Daggerwing Nature Center: April 17, 2015 0409

“Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days.”

~ Ellen DeGeneres, The Funny Thing is …..

This is a circle blog, so please head on over to J Garcia Photography’s page and see what she has for you.  Janelle is the newest member of our group.   I know that you will love what she has to share with you.  I so enjoy being part of this group and collaborating with other photographers.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

30 Minutes in the Life: April 2015: Walking in creativity..

March was an interesting month of nothing works. I struggled with a pinched nerve in my lower back, making it hard to sit for too long so editing had priorities.  I need to finish my son’s photo’s.  I went out once to the beach, but did not like the images. The sun was shining too bright and they were boring.  I went to the wetlands and it was overcast and while there are a lot of tiny chicks, I wanted to do something different.

When the reminder went out on Wednesday that links were due on Friday, I went into cold sweat.  Ugh – where did time go.  No images, no prospects, no ideas.  To add to that it was raining.  What to do out of the rain and in this city.  A part of me wanted to go to the Holocaust museum.  I have just recently finished a book on the prisoners of Dachau, and it was the Holocaust remembrance this month.  However, it appears there is no museum in Boca Raton.  After a quick search Thursday evening, I decided to take a leaf out of my friend Colleen’s page, and head off to the local museum.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1203

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1167

There is something about a museum that reminds me of a library.  There is sort of quiet reverence as you walk in.  A feeling of awe at the incredible talent that you are about to look at.  The quiet reverence, was not quite there on Friday.  The feature display was on Helena Rubenstein.  I have to confess, I do not know anything about her.  However, I will say that there was a gaggle of women, walking through the display that made it virtually impossible to view the display, and added to that I could not take photos.  So I headed upstairs.  Come walk with me……

You will learn something new about me today.  I love abstract art.  I am not the conventional painted picture type of person.  My first area that I walked, I found so much to stimulate my visual senses.  The first set of images  is from the artist Bhakti Baxter.  This Miami born artist quickly grasped my attention with two unique pieces of art.  The first was this series called “An Intelligible Sphere, 2006” .  The artwork was created out of EPS foam, plaster and paint.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1095

Moving through the following rooms, I found wall murals of vibrant colors and incredible detail.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1083

And rooms of more traditional artwork sculptures, paintings, black and white images.  The image that shows you the women in detail was actually hollowed in and I am not sure that I saw all the detail  when I was looking at it.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1077

The second of Bhatki Baxter artwork was name “Inflorescence, 2013.  The intricate detail of the center of this flower was just amazing and I was drawn into it.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1098

Metal work by Anthony Caro and John Chamberlain were unique and very different.  Anthony Caro is actually Sir Anthony Caro, a British born abstract sculptor.  He uses found industrial materials.  His style is classified as modernism.  John Chamberlain was an American sculptor, who specialized in using automobile parts, vibrantly painted and twisted into varying shapes.  His art would fall into the abstract impressionism category.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1108

I called this the piano room.  The sculptures aside, it reminded me of the stories I have read of previous times of earls, lords and ladies gathered around a grand piano.  Where rooms are lined with the artworks of the masters.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1127

At the end of the passage way and in front of Bhatki Baxter’s artwork was this intricate design of shiny gemstones titled Angels and Ancestors by Wendy Wischer.  American born, Wendy Wischer works in a variety of media.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1111

Back in the piano room I found a variety of artists that caught my attention.  American born, Blacombe Green was active in promoting the acceptance of abstract art.  Marcel Gromaire was French born, and mostly painted on social subjects. His style can be defined as Social Realism.  This style of art draws attention to the poor and the working class.  And then I found one of my favorite artists, Pablo Picasso. Spanish born, Picasso, had a variety of styles.  Traditionally trained, he went through various phases of art, the blue period, the rose period, cubanism, surrealism.  This image is of Fernande Olivier, Picasso’s first mistress, being part of his life from around 1905 -1912.  She was his subject for various portraits during that period.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1124

I wandered off down the hall towards what I thought would be more African artwork, and I was not disappointed.  However, I will say that I would not like to run into any of those masks on a dark night.  The top one is kind of scary.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1146

Heading back to the stairway I stopped at the glass art.  This has always fascinated me.  My mother used to love those clowns of multicolors and these reminded me of those.  The amount of time and effort that goes into this type of art work never ceases to amaze me.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1160

Back downstairs, the noise level vibrated and I have to be honest heading towards the new display was not something I chose to do.  So I meandered past the display and headed to the far end of the hallway to a series of televisions depicting various facets of Shannon Plumb.  I did not know who she was and so had to read up on her.  She displays life in cinematic studies ranging from a humble person to the legendary figures.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1195

Last but not least was the work of Izhar Patkin.  Take your breathe away kind of work.  My photo’s do not do it the full justice it deserve.  I walked into the room and it was floor to ceiling tulle curtains, painted with various scenes.  The theme of the artwork, is defined as “You tell us what to do” based on a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  Patkin was born in Israel and now currently lives in New York.   From what I can see the images are painted onto layers of tulle creating this beautiful and stunning effect.  I can tell that I stayed in that room for a while.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1191

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1181

I have lived in this town for 15 years and this is the first time I have been to this gallery.  I have to be honest and say that I really enjoyed my time there on Friday.  I hope you enjoy seeing it through my eyes.

Boca Raton Museum of Art:  April 24, 2015 1206

 

“Others have see what is and asked why.  I have seen what could be and asked why not”

~ Pablo Picasso, Pablo Picasso:  Metamorphoses of the Human Form: Graphic Works, 1895-1972

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 minutes.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my friend, Lynzi Berg Photography / Hamden Connecticut Photographer and see what she has for you this month.  Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.

If you want to know more about 30 Minutes in the Life head over to their facebook page, or to the blog page.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

Sharetographers: Share Six: April 2015: Tasty…

The topic is tasty.  Oh boy, this is my challenge.  I could do chocolate, but then I would be forced to eat it all.  I thought about a salad but that was not capturing my attention.  Recently on facebook there was a recipe going around that I had downloaded because it really looked interesting.

Let me start out by saying …I am not Julia Childs…!!  I can cook but it is most definitely not a passion.  My mother could bake, I did not get those genes.  Cooking for me is on an as needed basis.  Richard needs and so I cook.  I cook every day, but I will be honest, it is basic cooking and nothing fancy.  I could not be bothered and do not want to waste my time in the kitchen.

The gene I got, was having my nose in a novel.  I would rather time travel, to lands of swords and dynasties, than hang out in a kitchen cooking.

However, I told Richard I was making breakfast on Sunday and I was taking photographs.  He went cycling and I meandered downstairs for my cup of coffee.

I pulled out the recipe and gathered the ingredients.  Another confession….I am really not good at following recipes.  I think I added my favorite foods, which were not in the recipe….mushrooms and peppers.  Richard was interfering, and  when I discovered that he had used all the onions for his turkey burgers, I sent him off to the shop.  Double score.  I got rid of the interference and told him to buy me some flowers.

Let me say this, the end result in my opinion is never the same as the photo that which I am working towards.  However, it was not bad.  Down side, it takes way to long to prepare and if you are having guests over for breakfast, you best work fast and not take photo’s of everything.

So this is the combination of a scrambled egg mix, with mushrooms, red peppers, chives and onion flakes added to it, layered on Pillsbury crescents, topped with cheese and bacon and garnished with additional cheese on top. One additional piece of advice – don’t take the Pillsbury crescents out until the very last minute.  Fortunately I had bought two containers of them.

Sharetographers: Tasty: April 12, 2015 9947

Sharetographers: Tasty: April 12, 2015 9950

Sharetographers: Tasty: April 12, 2015 9989

Sharetographers: Tasty: April 12, 2015 9994

Sharetographers: Tasty: April 12, 2015 0001

Sharetographers: Tasty: April 12, 2015 0024

 It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day.

That’s what human life is all about – enjoying good things!

~ Julia Childs

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

If you would like to know more about Sharetographers, head on over to their facebook page

P.S.  Don’t forget to sign up for the Sharetographers newsletter when you visit their page.  You will find lots of interesting topics in there.

 

Sharetographers: Share Six: March 2015: Where I stand……

As a mom, I have always prayed for my children.  Endlessly……  I’d  pray that I would bring them up to have good manners.  That they would be children of integrity.  That they would know love and give love unconditionally.  That they would be independent.  That they would have solid values. That they would be socially conscience.  That they would love and respect the people in their lives.  For the most part I believe we have done okay.

They are both great kids.  Different in many ways.  Cameron has a strong faith and a compassion for his fellow man.  He has volunteered with youth in our church for about 7 years.  That brings him joy.  Amy on the other hand, is a strong independent young lady.  She has strong convictions of what is right and wrong.  In a different way Amy is serving the community.  Come September she hopes to leave with the Peace Corp for Macedonia where she will teach English to students.

Most of all I pray for the other half of their lives.  You pray that your children will find someone who will treat them well.  Who will respect them and love them.  In turn you pray that your children will reciprocate with the same feelings and emotions.  My desire is that Cameron will always be the man we have tried to bring him up to be.  Strong, and yet tender.  Not afraid to show his feelings.  To treat his partner with the respect she deserves.  To know that when times are tough there are there for each other.  I pray that Amy will always know the softer side of her beautiful spirit.  That she will be respected.  That she will always feel loved and cared for.

This February,  Cameron made a commitment to a young woman who shares the same values and principles as him.  Kathryn is a beautiful young lady with heart for young children.  Her passion and training is with young children who suffer from autism. Together they compliment each other so well.  They are playful at times, serious when they need to be.  They are committed to living their lives centered on their faith.  We are so glad to have Kathryn join our family.

I cannot wait to see what the journey ahead in life has for them.  My prayer is always that they would be strong in times of trouble, have a willingness to listen to each other when they don’t see eye to eye. and be supportive of each other.  And that when the children come along, they will understand what it means to be a unit, undivided when it comes to making the tough decisions.

From where I stand…. Both Richard and I are extremely happy to have Kathryn join in as part of our lives.

I had the privilege of taking some photo’s of them last weekend.  But I have been asked not to post and “people” photo’s until they are all done. However, my 6 images are of the ring Cameron gave to Kathryn as a pledge of his commitment to her.

Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9027

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Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9045

Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9047

Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9055

Cameron & Kathryn Engagement: March 28, 2014 9057

 

Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

~ 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

If you would like to know more about Sharetographers, head on over to their facebook page

Tell me a Story: March 2015: I heard a rumor…..

I was in Nashville when I got the message “Where are you?  When will you be home?”  It was Sunday and my return home was due to be Friday afternoon.  My message told me that there were new kids in town.  Ugh!! I am sitting in Nashville and life for the new kids is going to change so quickly.  And then when I get home, they may not be there!  Patience is not my strongest point, but I will have to wait.  We arrived home late Friday, exhausted and ready to just chill and do nothing.  My brother was home with us for the weekend.  I took him to the wetlands, however, even the “spring” sun is not a comfort zone for him.  Unlike me, he burns very easily.  So after the first wetland, we went back home.

Monday I packed up my camera.  Time change has happened and I thought that I would head to the wetlands after work.  Well that did not happen.  I ended up working longer than I expected and the weather changed.  I am chomping at the bit.  I really want to go.  My biggest fear is that the parents will leave town with the new kids.

Tuesday we had an out of office meeting very near to the area I needed to be.  So once the meeting was over, I decided to head over to the wetland and try to find the new kids.  Ironically I walked most of the wetlands, only to find that had I walked in and turned right, they would be halfway down the bank.

Once I found them I sat down in awe and did not move for the next hour.  I was so close to them.  The parents did not seem to mind.  In fact coming right up to in front of me and dug for food.  I sat still and watched.  Here are my photo’s of the new kids.  They are Sandhill Crane colts.  They are about 2 weeks old and unsteady on their legs, but are the cutest things to see.  Their wings are tiny so they do not offer much in the line of balance.  Their legs are long with knobbly knees.  When they sit their legs bend backwards, and they just plonk down.  They also tire very easily and so they may have been following the parent and suddenly they sit down and sleep.  I hope you enjoy the awe and beauty of brand new nature.  A first for me and such a treat.

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8444

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8435

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8438

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Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8448

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8460

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8461

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8477

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Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8500

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8539

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Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8569

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8572

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8583

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Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8606

Peaceful Waters Wetlands: March 24, 2015 8610

“In a world where thrushes sing and willow trees are golden in the spring, boredom should have been included among the seven deadly sins.” 

~ Elizabeth Goudge, The Rosemary Tree

I love creation.  I love life.  These little lives bless me immensely. To be able to sit on the ground and enjoy watching their activity was so special. I hope that you enjoyed seeing them.  Hopefully I will be able to get back and see them again as they grow.  Spring is splendid in the wetlands right now. The Great Blue Heron chicks are growing.  The Woodstork chicks are growing.  The Great Egret is laying eggs, as is the Tricolored Herons.  New life is abundant and I am in love with it.

This is a circle blog, so please head on over to Kelly’s page and see what she has for you.  I know that you will love it.  I so enjoy being part of this group and collaborating with other photographers.

If you did not see yesterdays post, know that I spent the early part of March traveling.  Watch out for the blogs on my trip to Nashville, Tennesse and also to Columbus Georgia. You can read our first stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee here.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

 

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2015: We’re on the road again….

March has been a busy month.  I traveled to Columbus, Georgia on the 5th.  Returned home on the 9th and left for Nashville, Tennessee, on the 12th. In-between that I had to run payroll, and sit in a 4 hour meeting.  Why Nashville??  Country music…mmm, let me say right up front, this girl grew up on Rock and Roll.  Country did not play a huge part in my life.  My brother was flying into Nashville for a 4-day conference, and since he lives in South Africa, and I live in the USA, when he is in town, it is always my desire to spend as much time as I can with him.  His initial plans had him flying back out home the day the conference finished. So we agreed to travel to Nashville.

Let me start out by saying that Richards idea of a road trip is to get in the car and drive until we reach out destination.  My idea of a road trip is to meander.  Stop off here and there and walk around and take in the sights.  I guess for the most part the person in control of the wheel has the most say. Added to that he decided that we should listen to country music to get us into the spirit of all things country.  We left late Thursday afternoon, our destination being Valdosta and an over night stay.  Early the next morning we headed out, with another 8 hour journey on the clock.  Richard had made the decision to drive through the center of Atlanta, rather than do the ring road.  The weather had changed and it was bleak and wet.  The stress levels were high as we navigated the HOV lane and the Atlanta.  We did not know if we needed to stay in the HOV lane or jump out when the directions changed.  The atmosphere was charged….Rich and I will never do the Amazing Race together, that is all I will say…

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 18, 2015 4062

Atlanta was finally over and we were back to normality, and the rain had lessened to a drizzle, and we began to relax and enjoy the hills.  Actually after Florida I am pretty taken with the hills. 15 years of flat, and a bump in the road is a real pleasure to view.  I began spotting signs to different places like Rome, and Lebanon and Chatsworth and felt like I was traveling the world.  Actually the road trip would do that.  It is a long long way out of Florida when you are driving.

Just as the rain stops I see the sign Chattanooga.  Just the previous weekend I stood at the edge of the Chattanooga River in Columbus, Georgia and it was such a pretty sight.  So I decided I wanted to go down to the riverfront in Chattanooga.  Oh boy, that messes with the driver and his plans to arrive in Nashville at a specific time.  I had not planned to stop in Chattanooga or I would have done some research, but spontaneity is the spice of life.  We had now been driving some 5 or so hours, and this wall graffiti is the first sight I see as we drive into the city.   Here is where my 30 minutes starts.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4084

Mmm…donuts and coffee.  Right then I could have done with that.  Well lets be honest, coffee would have been good.  Donuts very rarely find their way into our lives.  So as we drive along “my scenic route” all I am seeing is factories and dock like views.  Hello, Sharleen, this is a harbor town.  Just as Richard is deciding that he has had enough we start to see some signs of residential areas.  Actually they reminded me of my visit to England, with the terrace houses.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4087

Something else that stood out to me that was so different to the lush green of South Florida, was the brown starkness of the trees.  Pretoria, South Africa looks a lot like this in winter.  The house are face brick, the grass is brown and the trees are leafless.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4086

The first sign that we have arrived at the river front was this beautiful building, which I have since found out was the Tennessee Aquarium.  Had I known I may have asked to stop a little longer.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4089

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4102

We are in Chattanooga, actually managed to find the riverfront, and we get out the car.  Oh man, it is cold.  We were already seeing signs of summer in Florida.  The warm days were happening and the humidity level was climbing.  So to get out of the car at 47F/8C, it was cold.  The Africans do not do cold that well.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4092

They are also not dressed that well for 47F.  I will confess though that Richard generally does not appear to feel the cold in his feet and legs, he always complains that his chest is cold. Today I think his legs and feet were also cold.  Me – hands, feet, face, they are all cold, and if they are cold I am cold.  However, I am also stubborn and determined.  I am going to walk as much as I can.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4093

To the left of the pier was this beautiful little lady, the Southern Belle.  Designed by Captain Alan L. Bates, she was one of 3 Riverboats built around 1985.  The Southern Belle now cruises the Chattanooga River offering lunch and dinner cruises.   Back in the 1800’s these riverboat cruises were a common sight as the boats went up and down the Chattanooga River

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4095

To the right of the pier is the Market Street Bridge.  The draw bridge did not open while we were the but it was still pretty spectacular to see.   This visit really lent to black and white photos.  The day was gray but I did not want to take away from the color that I did see.

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Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4099

In front of me was an old warehouse with graffiti all over the wall.  I love graffiti.  The building was pretty shabby and looked derelict but I loved how the colored writing stood out.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4105

 

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4106

By this time, I had turned around to hear Richard muttering something about going back to the car.  Nope I am not, I am still going to walk. So I said I will see you at the car.  This is where I am heading….

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4110

Looking down from the pier, I quickly realize that walking on the grass is not an option.  The land was sodden, and the puddles were huge.  In the areas where I did go on the grass, it was squishy and my jeans ended up wet.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4111

So I headed off the bridge and along the pathway.  I am really taken with the trees.  I love the starkness of them.  They remind me of our home back in South Africa.  We lived in Pretoria for 7 years, and this was winter.  brown and dead.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4113

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4114

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4117

I cut across the grass towards the Riverboat.  Perhaps not the best idea, but I was starting to feel cold.  I decided to take the direct route. However, I paid the price with wet jeans for the rest of the trip to Nashville.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4123

I fell in love with this walkway.  The first image was going up it towards the bridge, the second was the same walkway heading back to the car, just slightly closer to the car than the bridge.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4118

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4124

Clearly one way to see Chattanooga is by bicycle, but the only place I am heading right now, is back to the car.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4135

A brief stop, a glimpse at a place different to home, and then 30 minutes later we are back on the road again.  Country music a happening, and Richard advising me that we are not stopping again other than to get coffee.  Goodbye Chattanooga, maybe will will visit again one day.

Nashville/Savannah/Gainesville Trip: March 13, 2015 4137

On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

~ Willie Nelson

And so we are off to Nashville, the city of music, country music.  Keep a look out, for my visit to the Country Hall of Fame.  Yes I did it.  I discovered that someone decided that Kris Kristofferson was country.  I thought he was folk.  Goes to show what I know.  Now I knew Willie Nelson was country, but I kind of liked him because he was eccentric.  More in another blog.

Also look out for the blogs of the Gaylord Oprey, the Parthenon (although I have to add that I somehow deleted all of my images and will have to use my brother’s and Richards images), a night in Savannah, and a short stay in Gainesville.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 minutes.  This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my sweet friend Sophie James | Bluebells on the Green Lifestyle Photography, Glasgow, and see what she has for you this month.  Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  I had a peek at the single images we share and they all look great.  I cannot wait to read their stories.

If you want to know more about 30 Minutes in the Life head over to their facebook page, or to the blog page.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.

 

 

365 -2015 One day at a time: February 2015

Day 32:  February 1, 2015

I took a walk into the wetlands today.  I like to get out and clear my head a bit after a busy work week.  I love the intricacy of a spider web.  It always amazes me how beautiful they are built.

Green Cay Wetlands: February 1, 2015 0712

Day 33:  February 2, 2015

Orchids remind me of my father.  Whenever they bloom, I can picture him inside his shade house pottering with his many orchids.  They bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

Outback on the Canal:  February 2, 2015 0906

Day 34:  February 3, 2015

I have looked at this tractor a number of times driving to work.  I recently was invited to join a group that works in textures and this was my first attempt to create a textured image.

Enroute work: January 3, 2015 0919

Day 35:  February 4, 2015

Say hi to Heuy, Dewey and Louie.  They hang out on the back canal waiting for the ducks to finish up with the seed.  They are also very good at aerating the grass.

Outback on the Canal:  February 4 2015 0960

Day 36:  February 5, 2015

Thursday was one of those late days when I knew I was not going to get home in time to get any photo’s and I had not got some in the morning.  Stopping off to pick up some roses not only pleases me but it allows me to take my daily image.

Rose:  February, 5, 2015 0989

Day 37:  February 6, 2015

It’s Friday and I am at home.  I love spending the day outside.  I hate it when I have to clean house.  Today was a have to clean house kind of day and so my photo was taken out in the garden.

Outback on the Canal:  February 6, 2015 1073

Day 38:  February 7, 2015

I walked in the wetlands today but decided to my daily photograph would be something different.  I love weeds, they are very pretty when you get up close.  Today I decided I like the common blackjack.

South County Park:  February 7, 2015 1129

Day 39:  February 8, 2015

It is Sunday and I am back out in the garden watching the critters.  This tiny little Palm Warbler (I believe) has been hanging out around the garden.

Outback on the Canal:  February 8, 2015 1375

Day 40:  February 9, 2015

It’s Monday and back to work, so a quick step outside in the morning to feed the ducks.  Hewy and Dewey are out.  Not sure what happened to Louie this morning.

Outback on the Canal:  February 9, 2015 1596

Day 41:  February 10, 2015

Early morning Tuesday and a quick breakfast shot before I head out on the road.  I am gone for the next few days.

Outback on the Canal:  February 10, 2015 1612

Day 42:  February 11, 2015

Wednesday morning and I am in Gainesville, Florida, at the University of Florida Dental Department.  My daughter Amy is having surgery.  I am trying to escape the Dental Office Police (aka the front desk assistant) who was insisting I sit in a chair and wait for 2 hours.  With the excuse that I was taking my coffee cup and jacket to the car (which I did – so no lies), I managed to escape from that chair.  Winter is very evident in Gainesville and the change is scenery is very beautiful.

Escaping the Surgery Center: February 11, 2015 1639

Day 43:  February 12, 2015

Surgery seemed to go well for Amy.  Today it was Xeno’s (the rat) turn.  She was having surgery to remove some mammary tumors that had developed on her little body.  She was at the vet until 4:30, so Amy and I decided to visit the Sante Fe Rehabilitation and Training Zoo.  This Ocelot was one of the animals we got to see there.

Gainesville: February 12, 2014 1738

Day 44:  February 13, 2015

The pain kicked in on Thursday evening, but Amy asked me around lunch time today if I wanted to go to Paynes Prarie.  I had mentioned that I wanted to go and look for wild horses.  Of course I did not get to see the wild horses but I did manage to see a Bald Eagle in the wild and there was the obvious highlight of spending time with my daughter.

Paynes Prairie:  February 13, 2015 1867

Day 45:  February 14, 2015

Having been gone most of the week, I was glad to get home to Richard and Moonshine.  I missed being with both of them while I was away.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2044

Day 46:  February 15, 2015

Today is a day to relax.  I was tired from all the driving.  I just wanted to sit on the bank and watch the world go by.   This Dandelion blossomed in the grass close by to where I was sitting.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2065

Day 47:  February 16, 2015

It’s Monday morning and I head out to feed the ducks before I head off to work and the canal has this awesome fog all over it.  This appears to be the start of the foggy season.

Outback on the canal:  Feb 15, 2015 2073

Day 48:  February 17, 2015

There were  no images this morning and nearly none in the evening.  I stopped along the road on my way home to capture this sunset.

Heading home:  Feb 17, 2015  2092

Day 49:  February 18, 2015

Today was a special treat.  I got to celebrate in the retirement of a volunteer who had volunteered with our organization for over 30 years, at the age of 90 years old.  Oh my, what a treat. What a character and what character.  Marian shared her stories of her life, and my only response to her was to write them all down.  She served in so many capacities during her lifetime.  I hope I can look back on my life as Marian did with hers, and say I made a difference.

Marian's Farewell:  Feb 18, 2015 2229

Day 50:  February 19, 2015

Driving home from work today, saw these guys watering their crops.  I could not help but stop and enjoy the sunset and all the activity going on.

Heading home:  Feb 19 2015  2292

Day 51:  February 20, 2015

Day 51 and it is Friday and the weekend has started.  I pottered around the house until about 2:30 and then decided to go for a walk in the wetlands.  What a thrill it was for me to see Bobcat in the wild.

Green Cay Wetlands:  February 20, 2015 2476

Day 52:  February 21, 2015

Lake Worth, Florida has an amazing Street Art painting weekend and this was the first year that I got to visit.  I know I will be going back.  To see more of this street art click here.  I was pretty impressed with this living statue.  I have seen this before and I am always amazed that a person can keep still for that long.  I remember as a child an uncle timing me to see how long I could sit still.  It was not very long,  I can promise you that.

Lake Worth Street Painting:  February 21, 2015 2532

Day 53:  February 22, 2015

Sunday afternoon and it is a lazy day.  Dinner time is outback on the patio, enjoying the sunset.

Outback on the Canal:  February 22, 2015 2650

Day 54:  February 23, 2015

This was by far my favorite morning.  It was so foggy outside and I was driving out.  I drove past this young boy walking, decided to turn around and head back down to the beginning of the road and take the photo.  Some days you just have to do that.

A Foggy Morning: February 23, 2015 2660

Day 55:  February 24, 2015

After work today I decided to do a quick detour to the Wetlands to see what was happening with the chicks.  Of course, they are growing.  However, my favorite shot of the day was this Woodstork flying into the rookery and the Anhinga throwing a fit.  The Wood stork was just a little too close to their nest.

Wakadohatchee Wetlands: February 24, 2015 2759

Day 56:  February 25, 2015

Nothing happening out back this morning.  Ms Squirrel sleeps late when it is cold.  I managed to get a quick shot of her before I had to head out to class again.

Outback on the canal: February 25, 2015 2845

Day 57:  February 26, 2015

Today was a rough day photograph wise.  There was nothing happening out back before I went to work, and I worked late so by the time I was driving home it was starting to darken.  I also stopped to get groceries so I got home around 7pm.  No light, but I did have an Arum Lily in a pot and so it had the privilege of being my model today.

February 26, 2015 2862

 

Day 58:  February 27, 2015

I was sitting out on the back on the bank watching the critters, and Big Blue decided to go fishing.  I loved watching him do that, however I wasn’t too crazy when he caught and swallowed the fish.

Outback on the canal: February 27, 2015 2916

Day 59:  February 28, 2015

Today I remember my father and my brother, both who were born on February 28. My dad passed away in 1995, and Mark died at the age of 5 in the year 1962. I never had the chance to know my brother, but his memory through the stories of many lives in my heart. Both are missed dearly, both are loved.

Family:  February 28, 2015 2952

 

 “Everything in the Universe has a rhythm, everything dances”.

~ Maya Angelou

If you are interested in seeing more of my photography take a look at my Facebook page or my Flickr Page.