Thursday, August 4, 2016

Swaying

Winds rush through leafy treetops
Back and forth, sway, bend
The song of leaves fills my soul

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Which to choose...

Which is the face I present today?
Strong, tender, angry, sad...
My hand hesitates with so many choices
I hope it lets kindness win.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Answer Me

I wanted to call you today, even though I knew you would not answer.

It's been years, but I kept your number; I see it when I search for the digits of doctors, aunts, uncles and mom.

It's then that I allow myself a moment to pretend I could call and check to see how you're doing.

I picture myself dialing; you answer and we fill one another in on the new course of our lives.

We'd agree it had been far too long since we got together and make plans to meet at your place for dinner.  If it were like old times, I would be cooking while you kept busy, distracted with grading papers, but I wouldn't mind.

I have to remind myself that kitchen now belongs to the people who bought the place. They fill the air with smells that are not yours; but for a moment I can almost taste that chicken you loved to make...the one whose recipe I lost.

I should just forget the number: it probably belongs to some exhausted soccer mom, always on the run and wondering who I am to interrupt her mad rush into the store for milk and toothpaste before her toddler wakes up from his nap.

It is not as if I need to call ahead to see your new home, though it's door is always shut and will not open to me. I know it's yours because it says so in the letters engraved across its face.

I cry awhile, and try talking, but I have yet to hear you answer. I hold my one-sided conversations until I run out of things to say.

I carefully apply my lipstick and quietly kiss the open space next to your name before I leave; admiring how the bright color stands out dramatically against the dark stone.

Maybe one day when the grave yields up their dead you will see it and know I came calling.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Unanswered

Hello?

Am I the only one who feels stuck while the rest of the world rushes by my window?

There they go: busy...capable...full of life...bursting with energy and oozing with possibilities.

I stumble where others move on undaunted, unhindered, unfettered and unconcerned.

My days are unchanging; without drama and the bits that make for amusing stories. In the Book of Living I would not even merit a footnote; boring even to myself.

I want to fill my days with the fire I once enjoyed, but I struggle to lift my arms, my camera, my pen or my book.

...but in my dreams I dance among the tall grasses.

I am wandering over distant green hills and discover hidden glades of bluebells, and the woods reveal the secluded, dappled meadows that hide within their depths.

I listen to the wind as it caresses the leafy treetops; sharing secrets to the Robin nesting there.

Do you only live through dreams now too?

Will you please answer me?

...hello?






Saturday, January 2, 2016

Snowy Observations

Newly fallen snow
Sparkling in winter sunlight
Turning shadows blue

Friday, January 1, 2016

Images of Winter




I haven't posted on here for far too long; something I plan to rectify this year (hello 2016 and a very warm welcome to you!).  As the word for this week is SNOWY I decided to post some of my all-time favorite shots of snow/winter that I have taken over the years.... they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is eighteen thousand words for you...

I hope you enjoy.



Lake Reflections, Winter 2013, Newport, WA

This was an early morning quick stop along the road on our way to Sandpoint (our usual route takes us through Coeur d'Alene, but as we had dropped my stepsister off at the airport in Spokane that morning we were taking a different route) ...I couldn't help but try and capture the fog over the lake.  In temperatures below freezing and without gloves Richard and I walked to the lake edge and I began snapping shots of the frozen marshland on the near shore.  The fog parted for a minute and I was amazed to see this building revealed on the far side, surrounded by frost and reflected so beautifully in the chilly waters...needless to say, this shot alone made the stop completely worth it.


All dressed up for Christmas, Winter 2014, Uniontown, WA

This darling sculpture is a favorite of mine and sits alongside the road behind a wire fence and greets the cars driving past the Dahmen Barn where local artisans have set up shop (totally worth stopping for! I could walk around the inside of that artisan faerieland for hours...three floors of various media artists' little shops and wares and many of them working on new pieces while you wander freely around them!)  

For the holidays the artist's deck her out in anticipation of Santa...isn't she sweet?  The little scrap metal cat that sits underneath her has been spotted wearing a scarf, but my camera battery died on me this trip before I could capture him as well.  It has since taught me to always keep extra batteries on hand and to keep them charged, because you never know when you might stumble across something absolutely priceless.



Cold Night, Winter 2008, Salt Lake City, UT
  Taken just south of Temple Square as we were walking back to our car...and boy was it cold out!  I had let Jason and Yancy get ahead of me so I could snap this, and I am glad that I did, as it is my favorite photo that I have taken.  Something about the stillness of the night and my brothers walking peacefully in it... somber I am sure from the lovely nativity we had just seen and the glory of the lights on the square (my first visit there).  Yancy was due to catch a flight back to New York in a few hours, and from here we drove him out to the airport, so this was a bittersweet moment, knowing that he was leaving after spending Thanksgiving with Jason and I.  

On a side note I was really surprised that my breath wasn't fogging up the camera lens and I held my breath as I took this, just to be sure.  



Country Road, Winter 2009, Provo, UT

I love capturing fog (in fact, if I ever have "fog" as the word of the week there will be at least one photo post as I have oodles of fog shots!).  Being so foggy out I decided to drive out to Provo Lake to try capturing the fog and ice, but I kept stopping along this back road to capture the road, and then a set of field sprinklers (that shot is a little further down).  This is also the same trip where I took pictures of some darling calves alongside the road (those are also some of my favorites, and one of those is also further down in the post).  It was an amazing day for photos and I returned to this drive in other seasons as well... and I never was disappointed any time I took this little drive.  The next time I visit Utah I shall have to take it again and see what I can find...several years have passed since I last drove here, and I doubt much has changed, but I find myself excited to find out!

I think this may have been one of the last photo sessions I had using my Panasonic Lumix camera as it was stolen out of my car shortly afterwards while I was grocery shopping....bummer too, because I really loved that camera.  It was the first digital camera I had ever purchased for myself, and, in spite of its attached lens, it took amazing photos.  




Still Waiting, Winter 2008, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT
  
Taken an hour or two before I captured "Cold Night"... I spent probably a good twenty minutes or so watching this darling man, a temple worker, waiting for his ride to come pick him up.  He paced back and forth patiently, smiling at the people who would pass him on their wanderings around the square, and often stopping to look up at the snow that was drifting down with (what seemed to me at the time) wonder.  I couldn't resist sneaking a few shots of him as he reminded me of my grandpa who had passed on years before this (love and miss you Grandpababy!).

I don't know if it would have spoiled the mystery, but I do wish I had gone over and spoken with him for awhile...



Temple and Nativity, Winter 2008, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT

If you ever have a chance to see Temple Square in Salt Lake City during the holidays, do it.... whether you're a Christian or not, the temple workers string lights all over the square and it is such a wonderful thing to wander around and gaze at the beautiful display of lights...the temple itself has spotlights year 'round and it just glows in the night so beautifully.  

Okay, forget just during the holidays... if you can visit any time of the year its worth at least driving past the temple at night just to see it lit up.  You can see it from the freeway, but its pretty dwarfed by the local skyscrapers.... go ahead.... take the exit ramp and get a closer look.... you won't be sorry.  Wander the grounds, you'll be glad you did.





Winter Sun, 2010, Provo, UT

The sun going down behind Provo Lake in the winter... much of the lake's edges freeze over, with the edges crunching up and water ice stacking in jagged mini icebergs on top of one another due to the wind coming down the canyon disturbing the water that hasn't frozen over at the lake's center.  Truly worth seeing.

On this day it was cold out, with an amazingly blue sky... I drove out on the jetty, passing a few die-hards who were out ice fishing off the jetty's boulder-strewn edges, and sat, watching the sun getting lower in the sky.  From out there I could only hear the wind across the ice and it was so peaceful, and exactly what I was searching for.  The winds died down close to sunset and the reflections in the unfrozen water were so wonderfully clear that I just had to capture it.



Winter Garden, Late Fall 2009, Springville, UT

Unexpected snow in the fall at my friend Cynthia's house...as you can see, the weather up until that point had been nice, and her garden was still blooming.  I don't think anyone had even noticed that I had arrived until after I had already spent fifteen minutes or so capturing the snow clinging to the blooms.



Calves, Winter 2009, Provo, UT

Taken on my winter drive out to Provo Lake...alongside the road were several calves, standing next to the fence, eating some alfalfa that the farmer had brought out for them.  They were just so sweet looking that I couldn't resist pulling over and taking their pictures.  I took dozens of shots, and patted some noses...some of the easiest models I have ever worked with, I had far too many good shots to choose from in the end.



Palouse Barn, Winter 2013, Moscow, ID

Easily the most photographed barn in all of the Palouse region...you will often find cars parked alongside the road and people getting out to take pictures in all seasons (mostly summer when its surrounded by the tall, green grains of alfalfa that the local farmer plants).  You can see its image hanging in most of the local businesses in the area, shot by one photographer or another.

I have photographed this barn in all seasons now, and in a myriad of different weather conditions, and I still find myself drawn back to take yet more shots of it.  Its been leaning severely for years now, and I hope it manages to last for many another year...the day it finally collapses will be sad, but I am sure that even then it will possess its current grace and beauty.






Frosted Gate, Winter 2013, Bear Lake, WA

I absolutely love Bear Lake, and whenever I find myself driving past (which isn't often enough, considering its a good couple hour drive north of me, and well out of the usual route for Richard and I to go to Sandpoint to visit dad, and even fairly out of the way (though not so bad) to go to Chewelah to see mom.  

This was taken on the same trip that I captured the lake reflections shot (top of this page), though I have taken pictures here in most seasons.  My favorite time of year to get shots of the lake, however, is fall, as it is surrounded by aspens and tamaracks that change color so beautifully and can be found reflected in the lake itself, and even the cattails along the eastern shoreline change color to a lovely deep orange and rust brown that is beautiful against the water's deep blue hues.  

At that time of the year, and during the winter, you usually have the lake to yourself.... also a wonderful thing, as it can be a busy swimming spot in the summer months, even if it is rather small.


Fall Meets Winter 2010, Orem, UT

Surprisingly enough, you really can take great shots nearly anywhere if you care to look for them... this was taken in the tiny grassy yard in front of a former employer, right off the freeway in Orem.

I loved the trees out in front of the office, and we had an early snow (which melted far too quickly, as the early snows do on the valley floor).  The property owner's grandsons hadn't been out to rake the leaves before the snow hit, allowing me to run out and capture shots of the newly fallen snow amongst the gorgeous fall leaves.  Sure enough, as soon as the snow had melted, the grandsons were out there raking everything up. I was so happy that I had thought to bring my camera to work with me that day!


   
Kitten in the Snow, Winter 2012, Springville, UT

I don't take pictures of people very often, but this little gal is one of my favorite people
in the world and I just adore her...she can have all the pictures taken that she wants! Not only is she incredibly photogenic, but she has an amazingly fun personality that really comes across in the photos.

This day was very cold, yet she took the cold in stride like a trooper, posing in different fields around town so that we could capture some shots of her beautiful prom dress in the snow.  I took lots of pictures on this day, and while there are many great shots in the bunch, I think this one is one of my favorites...she trusted me completely when I asked her to pose like this, just so I could add snowflakes drifting down afterwards.


Watching the Snow, Winter 2010, Orem, UT

My cat Samson (on the left) and Jasper (the furry defector who eventually decided he loved the roommate whereas he barely tolerated me), watching the snow fall.  Being indoor cats, and only experiencing whatever snow was tracked into the house, they were fascinated with it, often sitting in the window and watching it drift down for hours.

Of course, now that I have an upper floor apartment with a deck, Sam has discovered snow up close and personal, decided he doesn't like it and no longer seems to care for watching it.   


Along the Shore, Winter 2013, Newport, WA
Taken at the same lake where I captured Lake Reflections (top of the post)....this is the marshlands on the near side of the lake.  I love the contrast of colors in this shot, but man it was cold out!




Field Sprinkler in the Snow, Winter 2009, Provo, UT
Same country road drive as my Country Road and Calves shots above.  I saw this sitting in a field and loved the star-like design of the spokes, but I didn't think it would be much at the time.... it wasn't until I was going through my memory card later that I noticed how lovely the dark metal looked contrasted against the snowy backdrop.

It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes a thing that doesn't look like much at the time can become so much more when captured with a lens.



Dragon on the Mount, Late Fall 2012, Orem, UT

I was at one of Kitten's Lacrosse games, taking pictures when I looked up during halftime.... the clouds looked so much like a dragon looking back over its shoulder that I had to grab a couple of shots.  Thankfully, this one turned out and I love it!


Canadian Geese at Bear Lake, Winter 2013, Bear Lake, WA
Also taken the same day as the Bear Lake Fence, Lake Reflections and Along the Shore images (what an amazing day for photos!)  The lake was completely fogged in where you could hardly see a few feet in front of you, though we could hear what sounded like hundreds of geese, honking in the murk.  As we got closer to the shoreline the fog thinned just enough to be able to see that the waters were covered: geese were swimming in the water, as well as standing on the ice along the lake's rim, with every one of them chattering away like a symphony of kazoos.

It was amazing to be there, just Richard and I and the geese; we stood there freezing for over an hour, listening to the geese taking off and soaring above our heads, though we could only see their faint shapes as a darker gray against the fog, if at all.  Walking around the lake we realized that the surrounding fields were also covered with geese, all preparing to continue their journey to warmer lands to the south as the sun slowly rose behind us.

It is something I will never forget.



Wednesday, June 10, 2015