Lens-Artists Challenge: Winter

Lens-Artists Challenge#107: Winter

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell

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Winter brings back the cold. Reliable get-out-the-thick-sweaters cold. Gotta put on a coat before stepping outside cold. Hats and gloves cold.

Most of the time, however, this season of cold shows off…with spectacular displays of snow. My favorite time is right after a snowfall…while it is still fresh and new.

snow maple

Before the city plows started piling it up at the end of our driveway…

snowplow

That’s how I remember winter days back when we owned a house with a driveway and a walkway and a deck. Where the oh-so-beautiful snow couldn’t remain where nature dropped it. When we had to shovel and snowblow and move it out of the way.

snow deck

Color exploded in the sky our last Christmas at the house where we lived for over 36 years.

sunset69
December 2015

Along with Christmas comes a gathering together of family. Complete with holiday lights and decorations.

Winter also brings about changes at the beach – the sand is groomed into hills to guard against storm surges. At least that’s what the hippy guy from town told me – who I crossed paths with the day I took this picture.

winter beach
Hampton Beach, NH – January 2020

A January walk in the woods isn’t totally devoid of color…if you look closely…

winter berries

And last…but not least…in my growing family winter always meant…
…are you ready for some basketball? 

Both of my children played for their high school teams and enjoyed it immensely. As did my husband and I…watching and enthusiastically cheering in the comfort of a heated gym.

Box Out! 🏀 Defense! 🏀 Go Team! 🏀

Lens-Artists Challenge: Autumn

Lens-Artists Challenge #106: Autumn

…share your images of this season.  What does autumn look like in your part of the world?  What does this season mean to you personally? 

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Autumn marks time until the cold darkness of winter arrives…as each day rewards us by unveiling ever-changing shades of yellows, oranges and reds.

Along with greens stubbornly hanging on from summer.

A feast for the eyes.

twisted tree

The line of trees along my street pop with color, one by one.

fall road

Halloween, my favorite holiday, happens in Autumn. There’s no pressure for gifts or elaborate meals. It’s just all about fun and make-believe. Since moving to a condo, I miss the trick or treaters and those knocks on the kitchen door. Little upturned faces covered with makeup and masks…the scary or beautiful or silly masks that have holes made especially for mouths and noses. I absolutely delighted in their joy as the doorbell rang over and over from 5 to 8 pm.

halloween pumpkin064

Autumn also means it’s time for annual fall festivals…including a very special one that I attended last year. It is cancelled for 2020.

fall festival
Apple Harvest Day
Dover, NH
October 2019

Eventually all the leaves turn brown…

brown leaf

…and at the end of a late September day – if you’re lucky – you witness a blaze of gold in a grocery store parking lot…

fall parking lot 2

…in the Autumn.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Spring

Lens-Artists Challenge #105: Spring

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Except for the errant March (or April!) snow storm that rears its ugly head here in the US northeast, Spring changes my world from black and white to Color. Remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz? Almost like that.

The dull grays and browns and monochromes begin to fade. Colors start appearing in the tiniest of places. Since I’ve dived into macro photography, I am noticing these hidden gems.

early spring
March 28, 2020

 

early spring leaves
May 3, 2020

Once Spring bursts onto the landscape full time, technicolor takes over…including my favorites…

IMG_1666

 

forsythia

IMG_5939 2
And let’s not forget the gardeners among us…who look forward to the long awaited beginning of the growing season.

It’s the time of year to carefully nurture life…from seed to plant. And once the harvest arrives…a welcome addition to the dinner table.

Spring gardener age almost 2
May 2018

Lens Artists Challenge: Summer

Lens Artists Challenge #104: Summer

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“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

Up until 2020, summer was a fairly predictable time of year. I could plan trips and get togethers with friends and family…without a second thought. Including return visits to favorite summer festivals and fairs.

I painfully realize now how much I took all of that for granted…thinking oh we can come back next summer…when the 2019 schedule got crowded. This summer…it’s all cancelled.

I actually look forward to the seasonal chore of storing away sweaters, hats and mittens. And then dragging out the “summer clothes” from a high closet shelf. Pulling out shorts, T-shirts and sandals. Ready For Summer.

Well, I can still switch the clothes around…but that’s about it.

However…thinking back on life “before”…

During my earlier days of parenthood, summer always included extra family time together with my children. Camera always in hand.

Nothing fancy. Sometimes just day trips…

summer93 copy
York Wild Animal Kingdom, Maine 1993

For over 20 years we established a family tradition. A week away…to connect and just enjoy each other. Most vacations were only a 90 minute drive to a special place on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. The last 2 were cross country on the California coast.

summer2000 copy
San Diego, California 2000

Fast forward about 17 years…and summer included the next generation…

beach summer
Hampton Beach, NH 2017

During the 36+ years we lived in a house with a yard, we delighted in beds of flowers that exploded into life every summer.

One of our favorites: black eyed susans…

black eyed susans
We have continued one summertime activity through the years, despite moving to a condo and emptying the nest. Picking fresh blueberries! They are amazing when eaten within hours (or days) of being picked.

One of our neighbors, where we used to live, let us pick from his carefully tended bushes. Now we visit a local farm that has a “pick your own” field of blueberry bushes. Fortunately you can still do this during a pandemic by following the posted rules: Wear a Mask and Social Distance.

No Problem.

Here is this week’s harvest…

blueberries
Fresh New Hampshire Blueberries

They taste just like summer.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Old and New

Lens-Artists Challenge #99: Old and New

We look forwarding to seeing your “Old and New” interpretation. It can be the contrast of architecture, fashion, collections, treasures…in one photo or multiple photos.

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My first “old and new” image is a “view from beach towel on sand” photo taken during a solo 7 day vacation in Coronado, California. I was feeling most grateful for the chance to enjoy precious peaceful time away. As I often do, I captured the moment on “film” and one photo highlighted the odd contrast between two very different buildings from very different times.

On the left: the old upscale for-the-tourists (and movie stars and all around famous people) Hotel Del Coronado with its signature red roof. Built in 1887, it has since been designated as a National Historic Landmark. I didn’t stay at the “Del” but enjoyed a meal and a drink at its restaurant. And, of course, I had to check out the gift shop.

To the right – and actually farther off in the distance than it looks – the more modern day high rise apartment buildings. Home to residents and, I imagine, not-so-famous people.

Worlds apart in more ways than one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Coronado Beach, California 2006

My second “old and new” photo originates much closer to home. Once spring appears, my trusty path in the woods…which I have gotten to know well…always reveals a combination of the old and new. But only when I remember to pause and look down.

During a walk last month…I stopped next to these fallen leaves, now old and brown, which had covered the ground with thick layers of crunch. However…they were obviously no match for a glimmer of new growth forcing its way up towards the sun.

old and new leaves
Spring in New Hampshire 2020

Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Changing Seasons

Sunshine’s Macro Monday #35

Photo a Week Challenge: Changing Seasons

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Here in the northeastern USA, the comforting signs of spring are still hard to come by. And, believe me, I am looking for them. Those vibrant splashes of yellows and purples as hibernating bulbs push signs of life up through the cold ground. Surrounded by trees and bushes newly dressed with greenery.

However…as I discovered this past weekend…if you look closely…Mother Nature is making her presence known..little by little.

budding out

 

A welcome – and hopeful – sight.

Ice Map

Inspired by One Word Sunday: Ice

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The ground during a winter walk through the woods always surprises me. The layers of crunchy fall leaves at first covered with mud. Then snow. More mud. Ice.

More than a little depressing…and challenging to navigate. And why I don’t often walk in the woods during the winter months.

However, one day in January I noticed the sun was actually shining for more than 5 minutes. It wasn’t too terribly cold. Cabin fever was setting in. I dug my rubber boot shoes out of the closet. Grabbed my camera. And off I went.

As expected the path was sloppy. Although patches of ice greeted me, much of it had started to melt on the surface – thanks to the sun.

Fortunately I was looking down – mostly to prevent a slip and fall scenario…how embarrassing would that be – and discovered what looked like a topographical map of ice. In the middle of a clearing under the high tension lines. Still in place despite the late day sun.

Whoa.

Bending. Crouching down. Balancing.  So many fascinating views through the camera’s lens.

Here is one example…

ice patch

 

also…photo a day challenge: End with the letter E

Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Winterberries

Inspired by Sunshine’s Macro Monday #27

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Last week it was “warm” enough for a relatively comfortable walk through the woods in back of my condo building. A sunny mid-afternoon in winter is an opportune time to catch the light – despite freezing temperatures. I lasted almost an hour before my fingers were too cold to operate the camera.

I never know what I will discover.

Much to my surprise (mostly because I am no plant expert and don’t expect anything colorful to survive winter), I noticed clumps of red dangling among the eternal browns and dull greens around me.

I am guessing these welcome splashes of color are winterberries…

A few winter survivors…still hanging on…

winter berries