30 Minutes in the Life: March 2020

It is 30 Minutes in the Life, and if you are wondering, my 30 Minutes was not at the beach.  Since March 13, I feel like I have been on a 25 hour call.  Why? My real job is working with Policies & Procedures, Written Plans, Quality Control, training, and such other things that may be assigned, for Medical Clinics.  And yes, we are most definitely impacted by the changes the world is seeing.

I am tired, but so are many others. This 30 Minutes I wanted to look at the contrast in life – what does that look like, and where do we go from here.

For so long life has been kind of rosy.  The last Flu pandemic, according to the CDC, was in 1918.  Almost 100 years ago.  I feel like we have become complacent and unprepared.  I understand, we do not want thousands of ventilators sitting around for 100 years.  However, it feels like society has been slow to respond to what is going on around us.

On any given day, our lives are sunny and rosy and off to the beach we go.  All these image are taken at Orchard Beach in Maine.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0533

But we don’t know what lurks around the corner.  China was slow to get the news out that things had turned dark, and that they were struggling with something that was rapidly becoming beyond their control. Limited information came out until the situation be came so dire that they were overwhelmed with what they are dealing with.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0536

The rest of the world carried on as normal, enjoying life, living what essentially is part of the social norm.  We head out to restaurants, we go to the beach, we cluster as folks are often want to do.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

It was only when Italy started to show signs of panic that the rest of the world opened up their eyes and started to take notice.  And when Italy’s days became bleak, finally the rest of the world sat up and said perhaps we should do something about it.  The information I kept reading seemed unbelievable and disturbing.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0538

But the world was slow in responding, we carried on as normal.  Around mid March, our offices, began to look at the what if, and a meeting was called to plan for the what if.  What if we have to shut down, do we have a pandemic plan in place, do we have policies and procedures in place?  Do we have a pandemic plan?  Can you draft up one?  Beyond that what does it look like to have staff working from home?  What does it look like to run medical clinics on limited staff? Can we go virtual?  I am grateful that our office was forward thinking and we began to seriously plan for the potential future.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0541

As the devastating news came out of Italy and the numbers began to increase, and the horror of  living with a pandemic really looks like when you are not prepared for the impact of it, begins to seep in.  What hospitals look like when they are overcrowded.  When people are sleeping on the floor because there is no beds for them. What medical staff have to endure when they are working 24 hours on call and they are watching, not only 1 or 2, but thousands of people dying.  When morgues and crematoriums cannot keep up with the death rate.  When churches start to store the coffins and the bodies lie waiting for when their loved ones can bury them.  When medical personnel are required to choose who can live or die.  My heart breaks.  It breaks for each and every person fighting for the life of someone who may die, or more than likely will die.  My heart aches for the medical staff’s family, who do not know if they will see their loved one again.  Children who cannot see their parents.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0546

And yet here in the USA it is business as usual. While leaders indicate that there is a problem, it does not appear that they are ready to make some hard choices.  Spring breakers still hit the beaches in Florida because it is their right to do so, forcing the state to close parks and beaches.  Restaurants are shut down except for take out.  I worry about the possibility of workers being contagious.  People head out on the Intracoastal on their boats, with little regard for the potential that they may be carriers.  It is their right, and besides it does not appear that their age group is not dying, although stats coming in show that the virus is moving across age groups.  They may not be dying, they are right, but they may be killing their grandparents, or parents.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

The USA is slow on the uptake.  It seemed that it was viewed more as a hoax and then as something we would be over soon.  March 20, the numbers were around 8500 people who were tested positive for the virus.  While I understand that there was limited testing in the early days, and a scrambling for the necessary equipment and testing kits, over the past 10 days the numbers have escalated to 105, 470 (as I am writing this).  The death toll is 1590.  This is no longer a joke or something that will die down in a few days.  We no longer have control of the virus. The situation is bleak.  Working from home is not what folks may think it is.  Working from home, for me, this past 12 days has felt like a 25 hour day – 7 days a week right now.  It is learning new technology so that we can still meet the client where they are at, that we can still be of service.  Virtual is the new normal!

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachuttes:  September 2018: 0536

The days ahead seem surreal.  Cities are slow to shut down.  Government is worried about economy.  I understand, but I have to wonder what the economy will look like 24 months from now if a stand is not taken now.  I am praying for a nation wide shut down.  Life to freeze in all aspects, so that this situation can be controlled.  We don’t want to be China.  We don’t want to be Italy, where the death toll went from 9134 to 10 779  men, women and children in less than 24 hours.  We don’t want to be Spain where they are having to make decision on who lives and who dies.  Where they are using scuba diving equipment just to help people breathe. Where they are storing bodies in an ice rink just to protect the bodies from decaying and smelling.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0559

Life has become a roller coaster.  We are on a fast ride, and we don’t know when it is going to stop.  We need to face reality that unless something significant is done by all States at the same time, nothing is going to change.  Right now I live in a State and in an area where “snowbirds” are a huge part of our lives.  In winter they are in our county and in summer they head up north.  A lot of them to New York.  I cannot blame them for wanting to flee New York.  That would be my first instinct as well.  But I live here and I have to wonder what that will bring to South Florida.  A community made up of a lot of elderly folk.  Already Miami is under curfew, Broward county is under stay at home, Boca Raton, is under stay at home, and Palm Beach County has implemented some mandates as well.  We have to start making some really hard decisions at a much higher level than me.  All I can do, is do my part.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0521

We can be part of the pack, or if we are able, we can stay at home, isolate from the crowd. We can protect our families and friends, and we can ease the burden that our medical system is going to have to deal with.  Friends remember to take these items into account:

  1. Have you or a family member, or co-worker traveled internationally (or been in close contact with someone who has traveled internationally) within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you have traveled from a “hot spot” to another area?
  3. Have you been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have a pandemic virus?
  4. Are you experiencing any respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, or difficulty breathing?
  5. Are you experiencing a fever or flu like symptoms?

If you have please, please you need to consider quarantining yourself

Wash your hands, well, use hand sanitizer if you have it.  If you go to the shop, take your sanitizer with you and clean the cart.  Be aware of what you are touching, the people you are interacting with, people who may be coughing and sneezing around you.  Protect yourself, protect your family.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay sane, don’t be like me, having major conversations with the TV, and watching my blood pressure rise.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, during this challenging time in life.
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal from Crystal Bella Photography and see what she has for you this month.  

Tell me a Story: February 2020: Maine

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0248

The Coastline of Maine is beautiful, and we got to explore the area.  Heading up to Bar Harbor, Maine, Richard had a goal.  Visit Arcadia National Park.  If you know anything about me or if you have learned over the past few years, I have had 3 foot surgeries.  The words National Park, and foot surgeries do not go well together in my opinion.  I know what to expect when I hear National Park.  While my feet are okay they certainly are not pain free and after 3-4 hours of walking I need to stop and rest for a while.

One thing that I really enjoyed about Arcadia National Park was the coastline.  And yes, it did involve the word “Hiking”.  Ever since my 20’s the word “hiking” makes me want to run and hide.  I do however, get through it and typically find I have enjoyed it by the end.  Hiking in Arcadia National Park is really not the same as hiking in South Africa.  In the USA it is more drive to the next parking lot, spend 20 minutes trying to find the furthest parking from where you are actually going and then walking on a pathway/steps etc to get to where you are going.

Arcadia was not far from that although we did get to do some rough climbing over rocks etc.  The coastline is rugged and impressive and is well worth the visit. On some of these images I  stood at the top of the rocks looking down watching the water come in and go out and kept getting the feeling that I was being sucked into the flow.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0238

If you are visiting Maine, do your best to plan a stop over in Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park.  Visit the Mount Desert dramatic rocky coastline and also look out for Jordan’s Pond in Arcadia, or also know as Long Pond.  It is definitely a highlight in the area.  Look out for our early morning sunrise at Bar Harbor blog coming out on the 6th.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. My friend Mindy of  is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

 

Love:  October 18, 2015 2172

30 Minutes in the Life: February 2020

If you are heading to Maine, take a bit of time to visit Ogunquit, found on the southern coast of Maine.  Lying between the Ogunquit River and the Atlantic Ocean, Ogunquit Beach is a long, sandy peninsula with grassy dunes.  There are also cliff walks with coastal view

While in town, take some time to look up the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.  I visited with a friend on an overcast and damp{ish} day.  The art is unique and interesting, the gardens are beautiful, and the view over the bay stunning.  The grass was a little waterlogged but we continued on through the gardens.  Here is my 30 minutes of the exterior visit the Ogunquit Museum.

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Henry Strater was the founder of this art gallery in 1953.  This art gallery houses over 3000 pieces of artwork – prints, photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures.

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Current exhibits at the time of writing this blog include Kathleen Speranza, Emily Nelligan, Jo Sandman and Charles Woodbury, along with Art’s Ball: Wood Gaylor and American Modernism, The View from Narrow Cove, Bicentennial Ogunquit,  and Light Southerly:  Henry Strater in Verde Valley.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0710

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

If you are planning on visiting the Museum, remember that it is closed for the season.  Open hours are Daily, 10am – 5pm from May 1st to October 31st.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0716

Also make sure to check out the website for their photography policy 

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0721

We  did meander through the interior of the museum before heading on to our next destination, Nubble Lighthouse.  Sadly the Lighthouse was under construction and was covered in green cladding preventing us from actually seeing the beauty of the lighthouse.  It was also raining and out stay there was not long.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this this small but oh so interesting museum of art.  Look out for another travel blog at the end of the month.  This time we are heading to the rugged coast of Bar Harbor. 
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Jess from The Art of Adventures Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook  and Instagram pages as well. 

Tell me a Story: February 7, 2020: Burrowing Owls

Burrowing Owls are the cutest little feathery critters that I have had a close up encounter with.  Every so often I will take a drive down to the reclaimed garbage dump that was turned into a park.  Fortunately it does not smell anymore.  This park seems to be the home for the largest community of Burrowing Owls that I have found in the south.

While it may look like I am up close and personal with the owls and maybe even in their space, I am truly not.  Each owl burrow has fencing around it, preventing you from encroaching on the owls space.  My trusty zoom lens (which is not so trusty anymore) is the best way to get close to these tiny owls.

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5065

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5069

The owls are on constant look out for predators, so while they are watching me they are also watching the sky.  They typically do not go to far from their burrow.

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Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5133

This little one above popped out of it’s burrow to see what I was doing.  Often they will shoot into their burrow as you approach and then curiosity gets the better of them and they will pop back out again.  I typically lie down flat on the grass and just try to keep as still as possible.

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5137

The burrows can house quite a few owls.  The most I have counted has been six.  Today this lot had 3.

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5138

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This burrow actually had 5 owls.  At least one of them is keeping an eye on you at all times.

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5173

Often you will find an owl having a sand bath.  It helps to keep the mites down.  It amazes me how the owl blends with the surrounding area.  It’s really helpful when it comes to hiding from predator birds.

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: April 27, 2018:  4557

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5175

Burrowing Owls: Fort Lauderdale: May 17, 2019: 5179

This little owlet was just a ball of fluff out in the sand.  They are cuteness personified and I love taking the time to go down and visit with them.  It does help that the South African shop is down there and I can stop by and stock up on the goodies I miss from home.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. My friend Mindy is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

Love:  October 18, 2015 2172

Share Six: February 2020: Out of Focus

Did I say Share Six was going to take us out of our comfort zone this year.  Well so far it has.  I chose the theme this month and yesterday realized that I had not got all six images, so some quick work had to be done.  This month’s them is {out of focus}.

I lean towards abstract images as being some of my favorites.  There are ladies in this group that excel at these images, and leave me green with envy.  I wanted to attempt this myself.

Lensbaby is a great way for me to get an out of focus image.  Sunsets are a favorite time of day  So what a great time to get images.  I headed out to the wetlands to play and see what I could come up with.

A.R.M Loxahatchee National Park: February 239, 2017: 8396

This was another lensbaby image.  Partial blur.  I love black and white images and played around until I got the finish I was looking for.

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In camera motion or my attempt at taking a photo from a moving vehicle.  I am definitely going to try this again.  We were out at St Petersburg, had just watched the sunset from the beach and were now heading towards the Sunshine Skyway.  I decided to pull at the camera and slow the settings and see what I could come up with.  Not perfect but I am okay with it for a first attempt.

St Petersburg: Dec 15, 2019: 8891

Another Lensbaby and post edit combination. While the container was out of focus the straws were more defined.  I played around in Photoshop until I got the result I was looking for.

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This photo was also taken heading towards the Sunshine Skyway just outside of St Pete’s. This time I was passing some bushes.  It’s kind of creepy but I love the wave effect of the water.

St Petersburg: Dec 15, 2019: 8892

Last but not least, I had a friend visiting and we took her grandson to the park to wear off some of his energy.  The park was amazing for that.  Next to the climbing area was a carousel.  I knew that this was going to be one of my out of focus images.  The color images was great but the black and white created the mix of definition which I loved.

BFF Beach and Park:  January 25, 2020: 9754

I am by no means an expert in {out of focus}, but practice and more practice will be what helps to make it better.  I hope that you enjoy the topic and feel like you are stretched a little bit further as well.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  I love sneak peaks – they are always amazing.  This is an incredibly talented group of ladies.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Liz of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson and see what she has for you this month. To check out her Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

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.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_macro

 

 

30 Minutes in the Life: February 3 2020: San Antonio Riverwalk

We traveled so much last year that I did not have time to edit all the images that I took.  So I decided to go back and do some editing today and share the photos I had not shared when we visited last year.

San Antonio Riverwalk was definitely something I had read about, and something I wanted to see.  This is definitely more than thirty minutes but I wanted to keep all the riverwalk images together in my blog. I have shared a few images on the Riverwalk last year, however, there are more photo’s that I did not share.

The hotel that we stayed at opened directly out onto the Riverwalk and so we walked out of the building and onto the buzzing walkway of restaurants and people.  Lots of people. Clearly the easy was to see the Riverwalk would be to do a ferry right, but we don’t do easy.  We walked.  To be honest it was not a lot of walking.  We ventured out for breakfast and then we were out again for dinner. Most of the restaurants were to the right of our hotel.  Some of these are the restaurant walkway and some are of the road less traveled 🙂

Meander with me as we head along the Riverwalk…..

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The restaurant area is busy.  Lots of people, lots of restaurants, a hive of activity.  There are so many places to eat at.  We had bangers and mash at Mad Dogs, Seafood at Joe’s Crab Shack, Breakfast at the Original Mexican Restaurant and we stopped for beers at Durty Nellies Irish Pub.  Oh and add a few sausage rolls to that order.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3837

On of the things that I really loved about the San Antonio Riverwalk was the mix of old and new.  These arched bridges give the sense of a timeless period long ago.  Similar stone was just at the Alamo and at the Missions.

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Always a favorite of mine is natural wildlife and the riverbanks and the river itself had these beautiful ducks out and about.

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This walkway headed up to another shopping center and restaurants, and was also the pathway to the Alamo.  Starbucks was around the corner and we stopped there on the way to the Alamo We also stopped by Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for dinner one evening,

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3921

The stairway took us up to the restaurants and a busy area givent

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3927

Walking back from the shopping area we meandered down this pathway, past the waterfall and back to the busy canal.  I love the colorful umbrella’s and the pathways of green.

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All this walking definitely creates a thirst and this was a great spot to hang out and drink a local beer.  The ducks were swimming up to the edge looking for handouts.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4090

Heading left from our hotel, the area is quieter, more peaceful and relaxing.  The walk was more meditative.  There were no general restaurants in this area and the few that we did see were the dining areas for a specific hotel.

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Outside the Briscoe Western Art Museum was this incredible set of statues of a cowboy herding cattle.  The stairway below leads to the art village La Villita Art Village.  We meandered through there one of the afternoons.  The last image is of Rosita’s Bridge leading over to the River Art Group.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019:

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You have the best of both worlds on the Riverwalk.  You have the hustle and bustle of patrons heading in and out of hotels, looking for places to eat, listening to music, and then on the other side you have this quiet, relaxing, peaceful walk.

This was definitely worth the visit and I was glad I could cross it off my bucket list.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this incredible journey in time.  I so enjoyed the mix of the old and new world.
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal from Crystal Bella Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook page  as well.   I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.  

Share Six: January 2020: Macro

Welcome to 2020.  I hope you all had an awesome Christmas and New Year and you are now ready to tackle this new year head on.  I just started back at the office today so that gets my year on the go.

Share Six chose the theme {Macro} this month and I know that this year Share Six is going to stretch us a bit more.  We are going to try and come up with themes that challenge a little bit.

So I love Macro.  I always wanted a lens and one day I saw that a photographer in a group that I was in was going to sell her lens.  I took a deep breath and decided to go for it.  It was not cheap even second hand, but I ended up having the Canon Macro 100mm in my hands not long after that.  It not a lens I use every day but every so often I will go out and play with it.  The macro lens is ideal for ring photography.  In this case both were beach engagement ring shots.

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Share Six: Macro Jan 2020: 9026

 

Macro lens are also fun to experiment with.  Today I went out into the garden and lay down in the grass.  Sadly Richard has been trying to kill the weeds.  He tells me that feeding the ducks is causing weeds.  I, however, am not happy about the ducks going without their food. I am in my happy place feeding the birds, the squirrel and any other critter that may stop by.

Back to Weeds – That is what I am looking for. There were not a lot in our garden that were still living but I did find a few tenacious strugglers (I think I just made up a word) that were not giving up without a fight.  One thing I have discovered over the years is that there is a whole world down in the grass.

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Share Six: Macro Jan 2020: 9369

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I also realized that I have used my macro lens a lot more than I thought. Below are a few older images that I have taken with the macro lens.  In the image below I had gone out to the park just after it rained and the drops were still sitting on the top of the plant.

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Another two rain image, this time taken in our back garden.  We have these variegated leaves of pink and green that creates a really nice effect when they are covered with water drops.  Sometimes I am lucky to get a reflection in the water drop.

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

The image below is definitely a favorite of my and it graces the screens of my work computers.  I loved that I was able to capture the ladybird in this image.

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This is another out in the garden macro image of a tiny little bud.  I so enjoy seeing the details come to life within the image.

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For the longest time I did not have a macro lens but I had a real desire to do macro photography.  I happened to come across a group in Flickr that talked about using a lens reversal ring to do macro. So what is lens reversal all about.  Think free lensing (which I am useless at) but the lens is actually attached to the camera via the reversal lens ring.  Just a little tip here.  Do not put the ring in to tight.  You will have a panic attack when it does not want to come out.  Your camera is not seeing that there is a lens attached, so you are focusing manually and what you are seeing in your camera, but I did love what I managed to capture with that method.  If you cannot afford a macro lens, but really want to do macro photography you can get the lens reversal ring for canon for $7.95 at B&H.  Google about it and then play if you can.  I know I did.  Below are a few shots taken using the lens reversal ring.  If you want to learn more about the ring check out this YouTube video.

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Macro is a fun topic and one that I have really enjoyed over the years.  This has been a great way to start off the year 2020.  I hope that you will all enjoy contributing as well.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  I love sneak peaks – they are always amazing.  This is an incredibly talented group of ladies.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Elizabeth of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson and see what she has for you this month. To check out her Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

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.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_macro