The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Animals

Mid-Summer Flowers

My last photo outing was in early July, and I’ve finally edited it for the blog. There are a lot of other things on my mind right now, as there have been for the past several weeks, but at some point, a person has to move on.

It was a lovely early July day.  I met my father out at a local forest preserve.

TreesInJuly

My intention was to photograph wildflowers, but I didn’t find much that interested me. Lighting was also a bit stark.

SmallPink

I ended up photographing the pink clover, blue cornflower, and grasses at the entry to my parent’s subdivision. There were some bugs as well, including our much hated invasive Japanese beetles.

PinkCloverAndAntCloverAndBeetlesBlueBonnetAndGrass

Summer is about over now. Time to think about fall. This next month will probably not be the best for me, but I might try to get out for photography or do some still life. I’m not sure what my official September blog will be, but I hope I’ll have some good fall photos for October and November.


Love, Again

I post about love around just about every Valentine’s day. It’s kind of a broad concept. Again, I encourage Valentine’s Day as a day to share love with friends and family, not just significant others. (Write, call, visit, or e-mail your mom, dad, grandma, sibling, friend, etc.) Lately, I’ve been thinking of another sort of bond we as humans often enjoy: bonds with our pets. (Maybe this is because my cat’s approximate birthday is February 15th?) Those of you who have pets, whatever species they may be, please take time to let them know they are loved this Valentine’s day, even if you have a date with a human.

This was my quick still life practice for the month.

GirlAndLlama

I know llamas are not common pets, but it was a cute decoration, and I was looking for more stuff for my mantle. This is my love-love, Maggie:

IMG_1383

(Cell phone pic of her cuddling with me.)


Tiny Tropics

The city I live in has a small tropical conservatory. They run various shows in it, each lasting a month or so. The day before Easter, my father and I went to their annual butterfly show. Butterflies of several species were kept in a small enclosure within the conservatory. Only a limited number of people could go in at a time.

Butterflies3OrangeButterfly1

While there, we also looked around the plants in the conservatory. This one caught my eye. The Heliconia, or lobster-claw, is colorful and has an interesting form.

Heliconia

Of course there were Koi as well. It seems like there are Koi all over now. Some places you can even buy Koi food and feed them. When I was little, we used to feed the ducks bread in the same park the conservatory now sits in. There aren’t as many ducks around these days, and no one wants you feeding wild animals. The new conservatory is impressive, and I do enjoy it. However, I sometimes long for the simplicity of the old lagoon full of ducks. This koi is kind of cute though.

Koi

Next Time

I hope I can get out and photograph some spring flowers. Weather has been up and down here. 70+ and sunny, rain, and a snowstorm last weekend.


The Problem with Fall

Fall is a beautiful season. Unfortunately, it’s also crunch time for home improvement projects. I have not been out to shoot this year. Fortunately, I have a few photos left over from last year when I wasn’t blogging.

LateLeavesSquirrelInTreeWhiteFluff

I’m still plotting to get out this year. I’ll have to run away and go south a bit, but I’m still plotting.


Sponge Frog

One day a few years ago, I decided to cook sweet potatoes for the first time. I needed to clean them, and found myself asking “What would Grandma do?” Yes, my Mom cooked potatoes, but for some reason I always got left out of that and was assigned carrot peeling duty instead, so I referenced my Grandma memories. Grandma scrubbed her potatoes with a scrubber she kept in her ceramic sponge-holding frog, a common mid-century kitchen item currently enjoying a bit of a comeback. Lacking such scrubber or a frog to put it in, I had to improvise a bit, but I got the job done.

The desire struck. I wanted a sponge frog. Yes, I could buy a modern one at several stores, but they just weren’t the same. I considered a few on e-bay, but again, Grandma solved the problem. For my birthday that year, she gave me a spare sponge frog she had stored away back in the day. It’s the best. I love it.

FrogSpongeHolder


Maggie

I promised I would do another Maggie post. One sunny Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, the light and the cat aligned and I got a few photos of her. I was going to wait until she was more comfortable with the camera, but it was just too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. Overall, she did rather well. The shutter noise still bothered her just a little (I could see her react to it a tad, small nuances), but the camera itself didn’t scare her. I did set it down and let her sniff it for a while so she could be sure it was OK.

Maggie loves to explore and hide in closets. As long as I’m not on my way out the door or going straight to bed, I’ll indulge her and let her have some closet time. She’ll come out when she discovers I’ve moved to a different part of the house and she wants to know what I’m up to, or she wants food.

MaggieCloset

Like most cats, Maggie also loves beds. Mine is near a large, second-floor patio door that acts like a giant soft box on a sunny morning.

MaggieOnBed

 

Maggie also wanted to play mouse that morning. She can be a feisty little animal when she wants to be.

MaggieAndMouse


More Change

I’ve had a lot of changes in my life these past two years. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring the happiness I thought they would. Instead, they left me lonely. This in turn gave me the desire to adopt my very own kitty. Sometimes, I’m uncertain about her with me. I work full time. Will that leave her lonely? Hopefully, we’ll both adjust. For now though, she is new, and we are getting used to life together. Meet Maggie:

Maggie.jpg


Cricket on the Shrub

I came home from work one day and found this cricket hanging out on a flowing shrub. Fortunately, he hung around long enough for me to run and get my camera and macro lens and take a few photos. You never know what you will see when you take time to look and appreciate the small everyday things in life.

Cricket

Next Time: Jewelry or Garden


Stroll Around the Lake

A short distance from my home, there is a park with a lake. One lovely weekend morning, I decided to go walk the path by the lake. Morning or not, may other people were up and about fishing, biking, camping, and hiking. Maybe I should have gone out earlier – less crowding and better light. But it was still a pleasant excursion.

I liked the way the light was hitting the new foliage on these trees.

NewLeavesTreesByLake

Farther down the path, I spotted these lovely wildflowers.

BunchOfWildflowers

Humans weren’t the only ones out. Mommy duck and her babies were hanging out in the shade looking for food as the day got hotter.

DuckMommy

Next Time: Milk

Yes, milk. June is Dairy Month, and I was a Midwestern 4-H kid for 10 years (no, I didn’t have any animals, not even a cat at the time). This means I spent the entire month of June promoting dairy like crazy for 10 years straight. I’ve never quite forgotten it.


Clydesdale Outting

Every year, the photo club goes to a Clydesdale event. This year, my father and I decided to come along. I’ve not been shooting much due to other responsibilities, so it was good to get out.

Clydesdale hitched to wagon.

Clydesdales pulling wagon

Clydesdale Hooves

Clydesdale waiting