Macro Monday

I look forward to Macro Monday as it is dedicated to getting up close to the endless beauties of nature. I enjoy exploring the woods behind my condo as a source of inspiration, macro camera at the ready.

However, last week I got sidetracked by the bathroom faucets from hell. Both the leaking old and the leaking new.

As a result, this week’s Macro Monday contribution is instead inspired by the past ten days of ridiculousness in my own insignificant small world. One of those home repairs you think is going to be simple…and straightforward…yet it ISN’T. So after three unsuccessful attempts by a professional (yes, three) you fix it yourself. It’s called reading the directions.

I suppose the only silver lining is the diversion it provided from the much more important realities outside my front door. And the feeling of accomplishment in my tiny sliver of the universe.

Before discarding “this” into the trash, I removed any savable parts…and lo and behold…a macro shot for “these days”…

faucet bottom

Now…you’re gonna need an ocean…

Inspired by SixWordSaturday

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My husband and I went for a walk yesterday and stopped next to this beautiful patch of nature’s greenery. I make it a habit to look down for unexpected photo opportunities. Perhaps this was one! The sunlight was filtering through the trees…only a light breeze in the air. It looked promising.

However, my eagle eyed husband soon interrupted my concentration…

Look Out!

Me: What?

H: Be Careful. Don’t go near that. He pointed down at the plants.

Me: Why not? (I always ask why)

H: It’s Poison Ivy! See the three leaves!

Me: Are you sure? So many plants have 3 leaves, don’t they? I don’t stop and count.

H: Yes!

Me: Whatever. But it’s so pretty. I have to take a photo. I inched closer. My inner 12 year old really wanted to get a macro shot…but then again there’s that itching possibility.

Fortunately my inner adult took charge. Which was a good thing.

I didn’t end up needing that calamine lotion after all.

 

poison ivy

 

Lens-Artists Challenge: The Long and Winding Road

Lens-Artists Challenge #100: The Long and Winding Road

…share your images and thoughts about the long and winding road. Feel free to be literal or metaphorical in your approach.

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My long and winding road entries (one begins as a path) for this week’s challenge are close to home…seeing as that’s where I’ve been for 3 months. The photos, however, are from last fall. One could argue they aren’t very long and winding, but the roads themselves eventually are just that.

The first photo is where I turn right into my street. The trees light up with color in the fall and the road does eventually wind – snake like – past 7 almost identical condo buildings to where I live.

road in fall
The second photo is the “road” more traveled and is located in back of my building. At first a well worn path, it eventually joins a dirt road used by runners, dog walkers, dirt bike riders…and sometimes snowmobilers in the winter. Every so often the utility company powers a massive truck past the “no trespassing” sign when it needs to do its thing. Often leaving deep muddy tire tracks in its wake. After fiddling with the massive power boxes or clear cutting trees.

But I like this road for its discovery potential. And the deer I sometimes meet for brief staring contests. Fearless chipmunks and squirrels pay me no mind. The woodchuck, however, always makes a quick getaway at my approach. It’s their home after all. I guess this road was made for them and me. 🙂

As far as I’m concerned…this road is mostly made for walking. And that’s just what I do.

Except to pause when it’s time for play…you never know how many acorns you’ll find along the way.

road path fall

 

Photo a Week: Tulip Tales

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Light and Dark

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING THE CONTRAST OF DARK AND LIGHT.

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As we all know, cut flowers do not last very long. After about a week, the beautiful bouquet of tulips I received on Mother’s Day began drooping. The long goodbye to their short stay on my dining room table had begun.

They had done well…brightening my stay-at-home days.

However, aging flowers also have their beautiful side. With proper lighting of course. No shooting from below…the angle is crucial. I carefully moved the vase and set it gently on the record cabinet I use as my photo studio spot. It is right near the window which lets in the afternoon sun.

The petals sagged a bit, stretched out and relaxed after a week holding strong, but no matter. Their gentle lines of color perked up as the sun’s rays streamed in.

A flower barely hanging on, but still a force to photograph.

Lighting up the dark…

light and dark tulip
Tulip Goodbye

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Benches

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Benches

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There is a public park in my town which borders a tidal river. The grassy expanse is dotted with flowers, enormous trees and “Memorial Benches.” All of the benches (numbering well over 50) have been donated by citizens in remembrance of family members. Many of the original benches were made of wood (newer ones are made of composite material or granite) and have long since started disintegrating. The stain is peeling away. The wood is starting to rot. But the messages…inscribed into the backs…are still legible.

One of these benches has always caught my eye. I don’t know who donated it or when. But I always pause and reflect…thinking of my friends who have faced this cruel disease. And especially my one friend who didn’t make it.

bench

 

No Words

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #98: No Words

This week’s focus is inspired by the events unfolding in the news, but is not limited in its scope. There is much in life that leaves us speechless – both tragic and awe-inspiring. This week, think about the moments that leave you searching for words. Responses can be written, photographic, artistic, or musical.

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The evening national news had just concluded. The entire broadcast consisted of live coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests happening around the country. Reporters conducted interviews with protestors, political figures and children struggling to understand what was happening.

The interviews that stood out for me the most were with African American mothers and fathers. I saw such profound fear in their eyes. Longstanding fear for their children’s safety – especially their sons – both young and grown. They voiced long held terrors…Will their sons return home for supper unharmed? Will they return after a run? Will they return at all? Or will they be targeted by a white member of the community or by the police just because they are black. Look what happened to George Floyd. And so many others – both male and female – like him.

Goodbye and be careful son…takes on a whole new urgency.

I turned off the TV and asked my husband:

What would it have been like if we had needed to worry about our son’s safety every time he left the house…because of the color of his skin? When he left to ride his bike. When we left him off to play basketball. Or baseball. When he drove the car to his friend’s house. Or to the mall to go shopping at Christmas. What if he got stopped in the car…or out in public…for any reason at all? What if?…

Because we did worry about his safety. About what we thought were the “usual” parental concerns. Accidents. Behavior. Illness. Choices.

But due to our privilege as white Americans, we didn’t – and we don’t – experience the searing ongoing daily unimaginable life and death worry about safety that African American parents have always lived with.

What would it have been like?

What would it still be like…?

My mind screeches to a halt. My eyes fill with tears.

I have no words.

waiting for bus 1996

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