Sea Blue Lens


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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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Photo-Heart Connection: February 2014

Morning WindowsMorning Windows

I’ve been living in this house for three and a half months now, and I still feel a sense of wonder at being here. It is only a temporary refuge — the owners are trying to sell it — but for now, it is home, and I’m treasuring every moment I spend here.

There’s just something about this place. A sense of timelessness and of history (is that a contradiction?), of connection with people and a way of life long past. I like to imagine what it might have been like to live through a winter such as this one with only fireplaces for heat and for cooking. I’ve never seen or felt any ghostly presence, but I do feel a sense of companionship with those who were here before me. It’s almost as if the house itself were alive and glad to have me here. Fanciful, I know.

Pictured above is the room where I sleep. It’s a large and gracious room. Judging by the window casings and other details, I believe that when originally built it must have been the parlor or “best” room of the house. The mantel remains, though the fireplace was bricked up long ago.

At night, when the shutters are closed, the room is very dark and the quiet is profound. In the morning, daylight shows itself in small slices around their edges. I open them to see what the day is like, and the room floods with light even if the sky is cloudy.

On the morning I took this photograph, the sun had come out after several days of gloomy overcast skies, cold, and snow. I went to the kitchen to make tea, and when I walked back into the bedroom it was glowing with sunlight. And so I picked up my camera, to save and savor this moment in time. 

They say “home is where the heart is,” and this month, home is also where my Photo-Heart Connection is.

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for February


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And Then the Sun Came Out

Last night before I went to bed, I took this shot through the window with my iPhone:

IMG_2414Snow Mountain 170/365

This morning when I woke up, the neighbors’ landscaping looked like frosted desserts.

DSC_4381Snow Cones

Others, including us, have icicles hanging from the eaves — very pretty, though not good for the house.

DSC_4382Pretty But Perilous

DSC_4441Like Icing On a Cake

These could be dangerous if they fell, except that our snow mountain prevents our getting anywhere near them.

The sky cleared as the sun rose.

DSC_4407Look Out Below

Sunshine came streaming in through the windows, pale at first . . .

DSC_4393Treasure Chest

. . . but gaining strength.

DSC_4414And Then the Sun Came Out 171/365

DSC_4408Showing Her Age

I love that you can see the texture of the wavy old glass in the shadow on the wall. I believe this fanlight is original to the house, which would make it over 200 years old. No wonder the glass is a bit saggy and wrinkled.

DSC_4426Curiosities

Interior corners were illuminated, like my cabinet of natural wonders.

DSC_4434

White snow, blue sky, and sunshine are such a beautiful combination. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for long. In the afternoon, this happened:

IMG_2417What, Again?

and by evening it looked like this out back:

IMG_2452Yup, Again.

But that’s all right. There are compensations.

DSC_4455And life really is good.


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Painting Pictures

I have a new toy! A couple of weeks ago, a friend in a Facebook group I belong to mentioned an iPhone app called Waterlogue. It sounded intriguing and seemed like an affordable splurge (under three dollars) so I indulged myself. And have I ever been having fun since! Here’s my very first try:

IMG_2311Beginner’s Luck

And the second:

IMG_2321Huh. Maybe It’s Not Just Luck.

Yes, they really are photographs, and what this app does to them in an instant seems more like magic than technology. In each case, I selected a picture from my Photo Stream on the iPhone, the app did its thing to it in about 3 seconds, and I saved it back to my photo library. Done.

Here’s a before and after:

IMG_1904

IMG_2377Summer Vacation

Here’s one image done three ways:

IMG_2381“Natural”

IMG_2379“Bold”

IMG_2342“It’s Technical”

Are we having fun yet? I’ve been deliberately choosing colorful images to transform, but it does nice things even with my presently monochromatic environment. Here we have a white house and white car in the white snow under an overcast pearly-white sky:

IMG_2382New England Winter

One nice side effect of playing with this app is that it has inspired me to get out my actual watercolors, which I haven’t used in much too long, and have a try at some real painting again. And by “real painting,” I still mean “playing”!

Meanwhile, until spring arrives to produce some real flowers, here’s a couple of tulips from two years ago, newly Waterlogued.

IMG_2323It’s Coming

Have a wonderful weekend!

Note: I have no stake in Waterlogue and am not being paid to endorse it. I’m just happy to have heard about it myself, so I thought I’d pass it along. It’s been a fun way to spend some time when the snow’s falling and it’s too cold to go outside. 

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