Macro Monday: Pine Needles

I went searching for Spring during a late day walk in the woods yesterday. Not much was going on bud-wise, so the evergreens took center stage. Often overlooked in the search for color (well, besides green), the sun made sure I spotted them this time.

A well deserved moment.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: March 19

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: March 19

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post was published March 19, 2020 as an entry to Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge. The pandemic had just taken hold in my state and harsh new realities were revealing themselves. Little did we know what was to come. Looking back a year later, there are less NO signs. Schools are reopening in some form. Businesses that survived are cautiously re-opening. The town library has fully opened…and finally sent a notice of our overdue Parks & Recreation DVDs which kept us distracted with humor during lockdown & beyond. Restaurants and coffee shops are displaying Open signs, although I am still hesitant to enjoy a meal out. The toilet paper situation…well, now the local grocery store has stacks and stacks of TP. It may take a while for the hoarded stockpiles to run out.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Fences & Gates

Inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge: Fences & Gates

Everywhere you go these days, there is a NO sign.

No school. No work. No library. No restaurant. No coffee shop. No toilet paper…..

No. No. No.

We all back away.

When I attended the Newport Folk Festival in 2009, the site was surrounded by a fence designated to keep attendees from swimming in the harbor. Probably for their own good. Isn’t that what all good fences are for? Protection. Safety. Whether we like it or not.

It appeared to be somewhat flimsy, but a barrier nonetheless. I never saw a swimmer, so I assume it worked.

A visible barrier against a visible risk.

Newport, Rhode Island

Macro Monday: One Week Later

I am happy to report that last week’s Macro Monday bud is in bloom! Miracles do happen. At least I like to think they do…with the help of plant food, pruning and many words of encouragement. So, yep, I’m talking to my plants. Sigh.

Totally worth it.

Witness my discovery this morning – alongside another bud ready to join in the action…

The sky is so blue I couldn’t resist a view from below in front of the window…

…Happy Monday everyone!

Hide and Seek

One Word Sunday: Light
Weekend Sky

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It’s been one of those weeks. You know, one you’d like to forget…pretend it’s a dream.

However…today brought with it the promise of longer days with the beginning of daylight savings time where I live. I know the days aren’t really longer, but the hours of daylight will begin to stretch well past dinnertime. I’ll take more light however I can get it.

The sun kept teasing me this morning as I sat at my computer. It would shine through my window…and then disappear…shining…disappearing. It got me out of my chair. I stepped outside and was greeted by a cloud parade playing hide and seek. Or was it the sun playing hide and seek? I watched and waited and clicked.

In capturing the action – and probably staring into the sun too long – I began noticing the clouds making faces. Or something. Whatever was going on, I got it.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: March 12

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: March 12

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post was published March 12, 2019. It’s been 2 years and what feels like a lifetime since I detailed what it was like to vote in our small town election. The 2021 Town Meeting took place this past Tuesday March 9th and, as you might expect, was night and day different from 2019. Arrows taped on the floor directed voters to entrances and exits. Plexiglass barriers separated poll workers and voters. Signs were posted on walls and doors with familiar messages…Masks Required. Hand Sanitizer here. Stay Six feet Apart. Not as shocking as in 2020. By now we’re used to it. At least I am.

By the way…the middle school expansion was voted in…and due to the pandemic…construction proceeded ahead of schedule.

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Give Peace (and Education) a chance

Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.

Maria Montessori

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Vote YES for the middle school expansion!

Today is voting day in my small town. Or…as it was formerly known…Town Meeting Day. Or, more specifically, Town Meetin’ Day.

Many years ago, it was actually an open meeting for all town residents. Who assembled on folding chairs set up in the town hall. Votes were cast on various budget items and for the election of town officials. Attendees were given an opportunity to stand and voice support or opposition to the matters at hand. Sometimes a paper ballot. Sometimes just a voice vote.

Now, as the town has changed – and the population has increased – we vote in voting booths. In the former high school’s gymnasium. Exactly the same way we vote in the general elections.

Some may say these local elections are not all that important.
I disagree.
We are choosing the individuals who will sit on the School Board. We are voting for the members of the Board of Selectman, which governs our town. Making crucial decisions. Rules affecting how we live, where we live, where we park. Public safety. Fire trucks. Street signs. Police activity.  Water quality. Local businesses also absorbing the direct and indirect ramifications.

Today there are over 20 individual budget items to consider, including the annual operating budget. One item on the ballot – for the 3rd year in a row – is all about education.

The middle school desperately needs to be expanded and renovated. Each yearly proposal has slashed more of its requests to reduce the cost. Letters to the Editor in the local paper shout out We Need This! or A Waste of Money!  Often implying that the senior citizens…or those without school age children…are the reason this hasn’t been approved.

The financial burden of property taxes (which is how our schools are financed) is real. I get that. But I also know that the dollar increase due to this ballot item is not extraordinary. It averages out to a few monthly meals at the local bar and grill over the course of a year. Maybe. Or a weekly latte at the coffee shop.

So I ask myself…why don’t people understand the significance of educating our children to the best of our ability? Why do they want to keep class sizes large and cram kids into a too-small cafeteria? No music room? Art on a cart? Educating the whole child…what happened to that, I wonder….and its ramifications if not done with care. And, yes, with some sacrifice.

As cliché as it sounds, it remains a fact: (Everyone’s) Children are the Future.

My children were raised in a different town than where I currently live. I will always be grateful to the citizens who voted in favor of school improvements and supported the teachers with the salaries they needed and deserved. Despite the sacrifice. I know many of those voters were senior citizens. Who had the foresight – and wisdom – to understand the need. And the significance.

Our children and their education is important.
Voting is crucial.
Let’s not take either for granted.

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Lens-Artists Challenge: Natural Light

Lens-Artists Challenge #138: Natural Light

There are abundant opportunities to capture natural light as sunlight changes color over the course of the day. Light is different every day and every moment. You may also include photos of backlight and/or side light in your own yard/ local parks or shadows from your windows.

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I’m always chasing the light. If I’m lucky, the sun shoots its magic through my living room windows at just the right time so I can catch it. Flowers are hastily moved to one spot after another…on a hastily cleared shelf…

There’s no time to waste…

Natural light cooperates more fully outdoors. If you’re paying attention…it may surprise you…

But my favorite natural light captures are at the end of the day…

…and as day turns into night.

Macro Monday: Christmas in March?

I’m going to take it as a sign of hope…my decades old Christmas Cactus is showing signs of life after months of…just collecting dust. Lots of dust. Perhaps the fact that I recently gave it a brief shower in the kitchen sink helped. And a shot of fertilizer while I was at it.

My reward? This morning I noticed a BUD…in the sun! Even if it’s the only flower that shows up on my aging plant, it will be a welcome bit of color as we wait for Spring.