Smile

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #65: Smile

…I challenge you to pay attention to and share some smiles this week.

[also submitted for September photo a day challenge: Autumn colors]

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A multi-dimensional word…smile. I try to coax a smile from my elderly neighbor who is not happy to be living here in the Northeast. She misses the warm dry weather of her former home in Las Vegas. Sometimes I succeed. Often I don’t.

At the grocery store I often catch the eye of a curious toddler or infant propped up in a nearby cart. Looking around while her or his parent inspects tomatoes or apples in the produce department. I’ll hold the little one’s gaze and smile…or wink. Nine times out of ten I’ll get a smile back. A real smile when the eyes join in. Later in the cereal aisle, I’ll sense someone looking at me. It’s that same smiling kiddo…often peeking around mom or dad. Who often don’t even notice. And if they do, they’ll smile too.

A smile just brightens the day.

Lately it’s not only the spontaneous grins from children that make me smile. Since I’ve dug more into photography, I’ve started smiling more at nature. Or more specifically, what I discover during the picture taking process.

When I got my first 35mm camera at the age of 24, it was all about people. Friends and family. I whipped out the Canon for my children’s milestones, school events, birthdays, first days of school. Or just fun everyday life stuff.

I was first in line at family reunions to record stills and video. Vacations were for photographs of scenery. My everyday life was full of work and focus on family. My husband was the one who would be crouched down taking pictures of a spider web or peeling paint on old rocking chairs. I didn’t understand why.

It’s interesting how things change.

Since retirement, emptying of the nest and downsizing, all of a sudden (it seems all of a sudden, but it really isn’t) another dimension in life has opened up.

Perhaps it started with this blog. Or just coincided with it; nudged forward by all the WP support. Digital photography and instant results played a part…as it encourages practice without the worry of buying film and paying for processing.

For instance….a few days ago I was finishing the last loop of my late afternoon walk when I noticed these trees up ahead:

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The light. The colors. Oh my.

No cars in sight.

I crossed the road. Stood under the tree and looked up, focusing with my iPhone (wishing I had brought my “real” camera…). Turned around in a circle. My head back. Ignoring the cars going by. Hoping I wouldn’t lose my balance (I didn’t).

And then this exact moment caught my attention:

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The longer I looked, the more I smiled.
And captured it minutes before the light shifted.

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I was smiling even more when I discovered this sunflower extravaganza in a nearby town.

I will admit I went (more than) a bit crazy there.

A sunflower convention…a sunflower Woodstock…!

sunflower crowded

The crowd goes wild!
sunflowers group

I was a grinning fool by the time I hiked out of there.

Perhaps the moral of this story should be…
“We become more easily amused the older we get”

 

 

 

Flower of the Day: Red

Inspired by:  Cee’s Flower of the Day and Citysonnet’s photo a day challenge (Soft Red).

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I spotted this pot of red flowers earlier this month during our visit to the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. Unusually warm for early September; it felt like mid summer.

I don’t know what kind of flowers they were, but there they sat – all by themselves on a porch – basking in the sun.

Looking a bit lonely…

red flowers on porch

…but thriving all the same.

 

 

Clouds

 

I knew I was saving this photograph for a reason.

One day in June – that time in late Spring when you notice the landscape has totally changed from brown & white to color – I looked up. And paused from snapping photos of leaved out trees, budding flowers and soft no-longer-crunchy green grass. To catch this…

Waves of clouds.

Kind of like the ocean in the sky.

clouds

 

Clouds also brings to mind Joni Mitchell…and my favorite song from her album Clouds, which was released 50 years ago in 1969.

Both Sides, Now is that song…

 

Inspired by Citysonnet’s photo a day challenge. Prompt for today: Clouds

Sandy Beach

Citysonnet’s photo a day challenge for August features Sandy Beach for today’s prompt.

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A sandy beach is one of my favorite places to visit, relax, walk, vacation…and take photos. No two pictures are ever exactly the same.

I have posted many photos from California’s coast, but this time I will share one from the coast of Maine. My husband and I enjoyed a rare few days away in 2014….

Crescent Beach State Park
Crescent Beach State Park
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

…to a sandy beach off season and deserted.
Perfect!

Farmers’ Market Fresh

A Farmers’ Market is the perfect place to discover the freshest produce…if you are lucky enough to find one near you. During a visit to Washington DC in June to visit my daughter and her family, we spent one Saturday morning enjoying the sights and sounds of the Petworth Community Market. A bustling collection of local vendors displayed a wide variety of products and services for sale. The community – all ages – was out in force taking it all in.

Tented displays featured a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and meats for sale. Along with flowers, coffees, breads, cookies, bagels and donuts. Including a booth selling fantastic gluten free donut holes!

Truly something for everyone.

Root vegetables were just a sampling of all the deliciousness available…

farmers market two

farmers market three

farmers market one

 

farmers market
Petworth Community Market
June 8, 2019

 

Photo a Day challenge: Fresh
Colors and Letters challenge: Start with the letter F