Sea Blue Lens


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Photo-Heart Connection: June 2014

DSC_5252Dear Old House

Dear House,

I just wanted to say “thank you.” For taking me in and giving me shelter. For warm winter fires and cool summer breezes. For snow drifts and icicles. For crocus and lilies of the valley and daisies and roses. For squirrels and birds and that one little chipmunk that came to say goodbye. For surprises and treasures from basement and barn, attic and cupboard. For your amazing light and all the photo ops. For fulfilling some lifelong yearnings over the past seven and a half months.

‘Bye, House. I’ll never forget you.

Love,

Me

 

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection. I moved into my new apartment July 1, so I’m surrounded by the chaos of My Life in boxes, but didn’t want to miss posting this month.


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Photo-Heart Connection: May 2014

Two WindowsThread the Light  [249/365]

This month’s Photo-Heart Connection contains a tiny touch of Photo-Heartbreak. And a very large amount of gratitude.

I’ve had the privilege of living in this beautiful, historic home since last November. Now it has been sold, and in a couple of weeks I will be moving to an apartment. I’m looking forward to getting settled there, in what I hope and expect will be my long-term home. I’m tired of moving.

What I had not expected was that I would be so sad to leave this house. It is large, simple, gracious, and elegant. It’s over two hundred years old, with slanted floors, crooked doors, and wavy windows. And the most beautiful light, threading its way into and through every room. It has a warm, welcoming spirit, a “presence” of its own. It’s altogether the loveliest place I’ve ever occupied.

I moved in here knowing it was only temporary. I unpacked everything anyway. Yesterday my friend Susan asked if I was sorry I did that. That’s an easy one: No!  I moved in completely, bag and baggage, and apparently heart and soul, too. And I don’t regret it for a minute. Living here fully, not just camping out, has been a wonderful experience, and one I’ll always treasure and be thankful for.

The photo above was taken late one afternoon as the sun shone through an old window onto the rough-sawn boards of the mudroom wall. It will be the perfect reminder of the winter and spring of light (and delight) that I spent in this old house.

The title comes from the chorus of a song I’m very fond of, “Down Low” by The Swell Season, that goes like this:

Thread the light
Thread the light
Shine the light
Don’t hide the light
Live the light
And give the light
Seek the light
And speak the light
Crave the light
And brave the light
Stare the light
And share the light
Show the light
And know the light
Raise the light
And praise the light
Thread the light
And spread the light

I don’t know the meaning of the song (I don’t think it’s religious), but every time I think of this image, the tune and words start running through my head. It feels right, somehow.

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for May.


27 Comments

Photo-Heart Connection: April 2014

Yes! [242-365]Yes! [242/365]

It’s funny how often my Photo-Heart Connection image has turned out to be one from the first day of the month. This time it’s different. This image was taken on the last day.

Winters in Maine are typically long and cold. Along about mid-February, I begin yearning for sunshine and warmth. I start to feel claustrophobic from having to wrap up in layers of sweaters, coats, scarves, hats, and gloves just to step foot out of the house. This winter has seemed even longer and colder than normal, whatever “normal” means these days. I’ve tried not to complain, since it was my own free choice to move back here from sunny California last November — just before winter set in. (People have questioned my sanity, or at least my timing.)

April began with piles of snow still lying in shady areas around the house and garden. We even had a fresh dusting of snow mid-month. But just when it seemed she would never come, Spring began showing her colors. She works her way from the ground up. The grass turns green. Tiny bulbs began poking up and then blooming. Sap begins to rise and twigs brighten with red or gold. Leaf buds began to swell, first on shrubs, then trees.

And then…and then…everything seems to simply explode into leaf and bloom, as if all that pent up energy simply must release itself at once. That’s what the image above represents for me. One day, all is cold and dark; the next day — suddenly, finally — Spring is here in all her glory.

She never lets us down. And she is so worth waiting for.

Linking with Kat Eye Studio’s Photo-Heart Connection for April. 


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Mother Nature’s Little Joke

I should not have been surprised, but I didn’t see it coming. Yesterday it rained most of the day, and it was still raining when I went to bed last night. The wind howled and moaned around the chimney all day, but it wasn’t very cold. This morning when I looked outside I was startled to see this:

IMG_2976Patio Seating Still Available

IMG_2965Turn Up the Heat, Please

IMG_2967Cold Coverlet

IMG_2969Waiting In the Wings

A robin sat still in one spot for the longest time as if bemused by the change, wondering what happened to the lovely warmth of the past few days.

DSC_4732“I thought it was spring….”

 Still, a bird’s gotta do what a bird’s gotta do.

DSC_4737Looking and Listening

 And you know what they say.

DSC_4738The Early Bird [228/365]

I’m sure it was all just a late April Fool’s joke, and this was absolutely the last snow before spring comes to stay, right?

Right?

 

 


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And So It Begins

I know that for my online friends who live in the Southern Hemisphere, the season is turning from summer to autumn. But here in northern New England, we’re beginning to see signs of our long-awaited and, we like to think, well-deserved Spring.

DSC_4688And So It Begins

The trees are still bare and patches of snow linger in the shade. The newly-revealed ground is littered with last autumn’s leaves and the skeletal remains of last year’s perennials. But look! Right at my feet, pushing up through those decaying leaves and dead branches: the first crocus, tiny cups of brightest gold holding the promise of spring at last.

DSC_4682Are You For Real?

The earth is waking up from her long winter’s sleep. Last week I noticed a few green shoots of bulbs poking up through the soil, and this week there are dozens and dozens.

DSC_4667Ready or Not, Here We Come

Leaf buds are swelling in the lilac hedge.

DSC_4673Potentiality

There are more crocus blooming in the bed out back.

DSC_4671Old and New

And I’m not the only one happy about it.

DSC_4606Ecstasy [218/365]

Ah, Mother Nature, I knew you wouldn’t let us down!


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Photo-Heart Connection: March 2014

The moment I saw this photograph, I knew that it was going to be my Photo-Heart Connection image for March.

IMG_2826Through the Looking Glass [208/365]

Why? That’s the question I’m still pondering. Perhaps it was the surprise element in how it came to be.

It was very early (for me, anyway) in the morning and I was getting dressed to meet a friend for breakfast. The rising sun was streaming in the window, striking the mirror on my antique dresser and backlighting me at the same time. The sunlight was doing interesting things to the scratched and hazy surface of the old mirror, so I grabbed my iPhone and took several shots, moving around a bit in relation to the sun, shadows, and reflection, hoping for an interesting self-portrait.

This photo was the last shot of the series, and a complete accident. All the rest were sharply focused – and sharply disappointing. None of them captured the excitement I felt at seeing that light. This one made me stop and suck in my breath, all the while wondering, What happened? How did I get this out-of-focus image? Who cares? Let’s process it!

So I cropped it a bit, and converted it to black and white – something I seldom even think of, but it felt right for this image. Then I brought it into the Distressed FX app and used a filter that added some colored, grungy texture. Quick and sure, yes, that’s it, perfect!

Both the image itself and the making of it are quite unlike my usual practice. The end result is both Me and Not-me. A sort of spirit selfie, not quite corporeal. Who is that blurry woman? What is she doing, where did she come from, and where is she going? All I know is…she’s discovering more of herself every day. Every time I look at this serendipitous, spontaneous photo, I’m reminded of the excitement I felt when I first created it. I can’t wait to see what will be next.

Linking with Kat Eye Studio’s Photo-Heart Connection for March.  Come join us! 


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Good Morning, Sunshine

The Old Maple

Reaching For the Sun

Yesterday was grey and drippy, but today dawned blue and gold. The thermometer rose, at least briefly, into the low fifties. What should I do? I know — I’ll sit on the back doorstep, soaking up sunshine and making vitamin D. It’s probably even better for the soul than for the body.

Sunshiny Day

Sun Worshiper

There are still some sizable piles of snow on the shady sides of the house, but most of it is gone from the lawns, leaving behind a few icy patches and a small pond.

IMG_2840

Chillin’

Snowmelt

Snow Puddle

Underneath it all, things have been getting ready, and now they are venturing into the light.

Spring Peepers

Spring Peepers

And then, as if that weren’t enough surprises for the day, I found this:

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang

Perhaps it’s a reminder that things will work out and balance out: the light and dark, the warm and cold. It may have seemed like an endless winter, but spring is coming. The real thing will be here soon!

 

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