Photo a Week: Stacked

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Stacked



This past June I enjoyed a visit to a farmers’ market in Washington DC.

Fresh vegetables stacked on tables…under tent after tent.

Local produce at its best.

Including carrots…as fresh as you could find anywhere…



Let’s compare to carrots from a plastic bag…in the produce section…at my local grocery store.


but just not the same…

baby carrots





Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Fuzzy

Even though I have quite the collection of unintentional fuzzy photos, I decided to take some fuzzy-on-purpose photos for this challenge. (for years, my family would hold up a finger for me to focus on with my old Canon film camera…even so, results often were fuzzy. Oh well, many of those years are fuzzy in recollection anyway)

I digress…

A recent late afternoon walk around the block revealed these fuzzy flowers. The light cooperated, as it often does that time of day.

I have no idea what these flowers looked like pre-fuzz, but I enjoyed this brief stage in their plant life cycle…


fuzzy one


fuzzy two


Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #64: Resilience

There is a catch to this week’s challenge: I don’t want you to use the word itself, but to illustrate what resilience means to you.


It is not true that life is one damn thing after another — it’s one damn thing over and over.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


Please be careful!  I hold my breath.

I don’t speak  because he can’t hear me…outside two stories beneath my dining room window.

I can see him walking his lively little black dog. Across the grassy area between my building and the road. Painstakingly. Slowly. Steadily. In the snow. In the rain. Blistering heat.  The dog needs her walks.

In one hand he grips a long retractable leash. The other a sturdy cane and plastic poop bags. His body, bent over, lurches to the side as he walks, his left leg immobile in a metal brace. With each slow step of his right foot, he drags the other leg along. At what looks like an impossibly treacherous angle.

Step. Drag. Step. Drag.

Periodically he stops, balances on the cane and reaches down with the green plastic bag. His pup patiently waits, tail wagging…clearly used to the routine.

My neighbor has not always been like this. I met him when we moved into this over-55 community 3 years ago…and he is several decades over 55. All I know is he suffered a brain aneurysm maybe 10 years ago. Lost the use of his left leg. If he falls – and he does – he can rarely get up by himself. Add leukemia to the mix.


He drives. Goes to the grocery store. Once back home, he transfers full shopping bags to a cart. Pushes it to the elevator in the garage. Slowly. Steadily.

He attends condo meetings. Cookouts. Pizza parties. He and his wife traveled to Europe last winter. Back in the day they skied on a regular basis.

He just does what he has to do. Offers of help waved off. Always a smile.

It looks so damn hard to be him.

But he keeps on keepin’ on in ways I can’t even imagine.


side yard copy


Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #63: Magical


Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.

Nora Roberts


During two visits to Vermont’s Shelburne Museum this summer, I kept gravitating back to this pond. One of many beautiful spots on the 45 acre campus. I’d walk by and then double back as the light shifted throughout the day. I took photo after photo, each shot just a bit different from the one before.

At one point, as if out of nowhere, a family of ducks glided across…and then…disappeared.


magical pond

A few years ago I felt the pull to another favorite place…the ocean’s edge…late afternoon. In November when the beach was nearly deserted. The sun sinking.

I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time.


hampton beach magic


Photo a Week: Something New

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Something New



When a kid gets a new bike…if that kid is fortunate enough to get one…it is an exciting day. Exciting enough to document with a photo.

At least it was at our house.

When my daughter was five, she was so done with her Strawberry Shortcake tricycle. She was usually “done with” things like that far sooner than we thought she would be. In her mind, she was always ready for the next thing.

She helped pick out her new purple bike, complete with a bell similar to one I had when I was little.  We insisted on a helmet, which she was too young to protest. This was 1987 and children did not commonly wear bicycle helmets yet. She was the first one on the block to be seen with one.

The neighbors commented that we were overprotective. I did not care what the neighbors thought. Protecting her head when she (inevitably) fell off was uppermost in my mind.

It wouldn’t be the first – or last – time she heard me say I don’t care what the other mothers do/say/think.

Regardless, she was one mighty proud five year old with her new “big girl bike.” Training wheels and all.

new bike K


Her younger brother, on the other hand, graduated from a tricycle to his sister’s hand-me-down purple bike with training wheels. A bit banged up by then – 6 years later – but it still transported him around the driveway. Carefully up and down the street. And he didn’t seem to mind riding it. When you are not the first born, you often don’t get “something new” right away. If at all.

However, when my son outgrew his big sister’s bike, it was time for a new one of his own. Which he helped choose at the same local bicycle shop where we had gotten his sister’s bike before he was born.  By then a helmet was standard and seen on the heads of most of the neighborhood children. Thank goodness.

A mighty proud almost seven year old, he did not need those training wheels…

new bike T

…and off he went.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Candid

Inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Candid (human or animal)


When you’re a six year old big sister, it’s fun to read to your 1 year old little brother. Complete with distinctive voices for all the book’s characters, animals included.

This reading thing is a big deal, especially at six.

And it’s one activity an active little brother will sit still for.



And when your little brother is 2 years old, both of you can hide under the dining room table…


…for a perfect cozy story time.