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

Art in the Sky

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Trees

…share some of your favorite trees with one another…

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I will be the first one to admit how much I enjoy the Fall season – with its endless array of oranges and reds emerging across the landscape. The multicolored trees are indeed spectacular and I always capture dozens of photographs as the season progresses.

However, my most sought after – and elusive – tree image is only possible in Winter. Against the night sky right around sunset.

After all the leaves have dropped…when a tree’s true shape and character is no longer hidden. Branches, exposed and unencumbered, stretch out…for all the world to see.

Displaying a pen and ink drawing across the sky. A freeze-frame dance of sorts.

As if to announce…here I am! Look at me!

An abandoned bird’s nest…often still nestles precariously against the trunk. Or a massive wasp hive hangs empty…ahhh…that explains the constant buzzing last summer.

The stories these trees could tell.

When the sky turns pinkish/orangish/gorgeous-ish, I attempt year after year to capture an image like I see in my mind’s eye.

I came close this past December on a city street in Washington DC. Taking a walk with my real camera, I had a sense the light would be magic (as cheesy as that sounds, it actually was magic). It was the day after Christmas after all.

A quiet evening at 5:00.

The Tree appeared a few blocks in the distance – but power lines crisscrossed in front of my view. After realizing the light was not going to last much longer, I hurried through the empty streets…getting closer.

A lefthand turn…one more block…it was time.

Standing as near as possible, I decided to include the few power lines still visible under the main branches of the tree. Before I lost the light…I looked up…tried a few exposure settings…and went for it.

Even though I was not able to photograph the entire horizontal expanse of this magnificent tree, I was thrilled to capture a sample of my favorite art in the sky.

bare tree

 

citysonnet January photo a day challenge: Looking Up

 

Windows Retrospective: 2014 – 2015

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Retrospective

Feel free to look back across 2019 or the 2010s, or whatever comes to your creative mind, when you are feeling retrospective!

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Five years ago last November, my husband and I were still living in the home we had bought in 1980. The cape style house had been remodeled several times – adding space as our family grew larger. However, the dining room (originally an office & then my daughter’s bedroom) stayed virtually the same, with the occasional wallpaper and rug update.

I enjoyed eating breakfast in that small, yet cozy, dining room…something I had rarely done years earlier when life bordered on hectic. By 2014 our children had long since grown and moved on. I had (mostly) retired and treasured my mornings, lingering over the first meal of the day. No need to spend more time than necessary in the kitchen!

My seat at the dining room table faced a window looking out on our quiet neighborhood street. I sipped coffee with a clear view of the changing seasons…an occasional car…yellow school bus…jogger.

For some reason…I don’t remember why…I took a photograph of my window view one November morning in 2014. Perhaps it was the autumn leaves still hanging on despite the colder temperatures. Not sure, but I didn’t question the impulse.

Then…one thing led to another…

I thought it would be fun to document – on a regular basis – the changes happening outside…as seen from my seat at the table. At evenly spaced intervals of course. Not too surprising, as I am known to do that sort of thing (just ask my children…). Capturing moments.

For the next 11 months – on or about the 10th of every month at breakfast – I took a picture of that view…trying to line up the shot the same way each time.

The first photo…November 10, 2014:

1Nov10-2014
November 2014

Below are the photos…month by month…

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The last of the monthly photos was taken October 12th, 2015:

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October 2015

I am glad I chronicled this evolving, yet familiar, scene. Little did I know at the time, but major life changes were on the way.

One year later – in October 2016 – we sold our home of 36 years.

I wonder if the new owner is enjoying the view as much as I did.

I hope so.

 

Fifteen Favorites

Inspired by Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

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Choose my favorite photographs of 2019?

That’s a tough one (which I made a bit easier by not including family photos).

I managed to pare it down to 15(!). It was an especially exciting year as I dove into the world of macro photography. An additional photographic challenge.

I am curious…which one is your favorite?

1: January…ice crackling on the river…

exeter river ice

 

2: February…a welcome color display…

flowers for sale copy

 

3: Early Spring…signs of nature coming to life…

fiddleheads

 

4: May showers…

raindrops

 

5: Summer sunsets…

lake frame

 

6: Butterfly on zinnias…

zinnia butterfly close

 

7: The magical pond…

magical pond

 

8: Sunflower parade…sunflowers group

 

9: Amber waves…amber squares

 

10: Crunchy path…

acorns

 

11: Fall arrives…

twisted tree

 

12: Watch your step…

 

13: The cactus blooms!

blossom day 4

 

14: Late fall fantasy edits…

IMG_1487 fantasy copy 2

 

15: Last, but not least, back to where the year began…with the crunch of ice.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!