Sea Blue Lens


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Scene & Story: November 2017

Ghost Trestle

So there I was, out for a walk around the neighborhood on a dull grey day in Maine, while chatting on my cell phone with my sister in California. I left the house with no expectations of taking photographs. (Stop laughing!)

I also had no expectations of adventure or discovery as I set off down the familiar street. But for some reason, when I reached the old, disused railroad tracks a mile or so from home, I turned down them to the left for the very first time. Now, to the right, the way I usually go, the tracks run between two neighborhoods, and all you can see there are glimpses of houses and back yards. But to the left — things began to get interesting.

There was a vacant field surrounded by brush and trees, their limbs mostly bare already. There were stacks of old railroad ties, weathered silvery grey. The ground sloped steeply down on both sides of the tracks, lined with trees, an occasional bough still festooned with bright-colored leaves. Water pooled in the low ground on both sides, reflecting sky and branches. There were scattered leaves of scarlet and gold along the tracks at my feet.

Photos needed to be taken! I was still talking to my sister via my bluetooth earpiece, and I began using my phone to take photos at the same time. Then…surprise!…I came around the corner, out of the trees, and saw the scene above. That’s my river, the one that runs behind my apartment building! That’s the oh-so-distant trestle that I’ve seen many times from the road. I had no idea it was so accessible, and within walking distance!

I kept walking, chatting away and blissfully snapping photos of all this newly revealed scenery, when suddenly — my phone died. No warning at all, it just shut itself off. That was the end of my walk, my talk, and my picture taking. I headed home as quickly as possible so I could plug in the phone and call my poor sister back to explain. Fortunately she loves me and is very forgiving.

There’s a moral to this story, and it’s this: Expect the unexpected!

There are other lessons to be learned, too. Notes to self:

  1. Get out more.
  2. Take the unfamiliar turn more often.
  3. Always take a camera . . .
  4. AND a backup power source!

I should know by now that I’m inevitably going to spot something I want to photograph. Whether I carry a camera and backup battery, or just a pocket charger for my phone, I want to be ready next time.

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Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

NOTE: December’s Scene & Story on Sunday, January 7, will be our last “official” linkup. Sarah and I have enjoyed hosting the linkup for the past year. It’s been a fun practice and I’ve loved the rhythm of this monthly post, but it’s time to move on to new adventures and projects in the new year. A heartfelt Thank you to those who have joined in over the past year. It’s been a joy to share the first Sunday of each month with you!

 


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Scene & Story: October 2017

Oh, October, you most brilliant and colorful of months! I hate to see you go.

October has always been a favorite month, no matter where I lived. Where I grew up, in southern Nevada, there wasn’t much color to speak of, but by October the weather was always pleasant — not too warm nor too cool — and life would be well-settled into the fall routine of school or work or whatever.

October is usually quiet month, before the excitement and anticipation of the winter holidays set in. It brings with it a touch of nostalgia, as my father’s birthday is (was) in mid-October. He died in 1994, but would have been 99 this year. I still miss him.

The year after Dad’s death, I moved eastward, first to Ohio and later to Maine, and experienced the “real” autumn that I’d previously only read about. It’s been over 20 years and I still haven’t gotten over the wonder of it. So, even though it’s a total cliché, my October scene is all about the leaves.

High winds and heavy rain last weekend brought an end to the peak color, but I have memories and I have photographs to remind me of its glory until October comes around again.

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Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

Scene & Story is a monthly collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 


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Autumn Musings and Summer Reflections

October Marsh

Well, I can no longer kid myself that there’s anything of summer left. October is definitely autumn, though it feels like fall has been slow to really take over. For the most part the weather has been quite warm and mostly clear. The leaves are slow to change color this year, and many trees seem to be letting go of their leaves without the usual spectacular display first.

Autumn Solitude

Today really does feel like fall, though. The morning was overcast and there’s been some rain, and I can see a few colorful branches among the green ones outside my window. A light wind is fluttering the leaves in the trees and scattering them like confetti on the ground.

Dawn Beach Patrol

With the new season I’m thinking about my blog again. It’s been a year since Sarah and I started our monthly Scene & Story posts, and since May that has been the only post I’ve published each month. Last year in September, I took Susannah Conway’s Blogging From the Heart course, thinking it would revitalize my blog. That didn’t exactly happen, but I still have hope — and tomorrow’s another day!

Noontime “Crowds” and Clouds

Today I looked through WordPress’s blog templates, thinking perhaps I’d select a new one to change things up a bit. While there, I learned that mine has been “retired.” I also learned that there’s none I like better, so I’ll be keeping it as long as they will let me! It’s clean and simple and it suits me. I can always change my header photo for a new look now and then (and in fact I just did).

Evening Falls

I have ideas for posts and a mass of photos to sort through! Though I haven’t been blogging much, I have been taking photographs nearly every day, mostly with my phone. I love my iPhone for its convenience, spontaneity, and ease of sharing. Lately I’m feeling drawn back to my Nikon for its creative control and photo quality, but now I almost have to learn how to use it all over again. I think that “A Year With My Camera” may be 2018’s project.

Lone Leaf

The photos in this post are a random sampling from summer and early fall. I am so glad to be able live in this amazing place.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!


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Scene & Story: September 2017

I hope you don’t mind coming back to the beach with me for this month’s Scene & Story. I had thought of several different photo/story possibilities for September. It’s nice to have an abundance of material to choose from, though that can bring problems of its own! In the end, this image turned out to be one of my favorites, and it happened quite by accident.

DSC_1926Summer’s End

A couple of weeks ago, I went over to Ocean Park to see the surf, as we’d had high surf warnings for several days as Tropical Storm (formerly Hurricane) Jose made its way northward up the Atlantic. You may recall that people photography is not my “thing.” But while I was watching the waves, this couple walked down to the edge of the water and stood there with their arms around each other. I thought, “That’s sweet,” and thought it might make a picture. I got off a couple of quick shots and was disappointed that they broke apart just as I snapped the shutter the third time.

Much to my surprise, the third time really was the charm. I love this photo — the wind blowing her skirt and hair, the action, the perfect postures and clarity of their two shapes. The slight angling of their heads and bodies towards each other feels more intimate to me than when they were actually touching.

I don’t know them and they didn’t even notice me, but I’m grateful to them for representing the joy and beauty and wonder of summer for me and my camera. It was pure serendipity, and I love it when that happens.

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Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

Scene & Story is a monthly collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 


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Scene & Story: August 2017

When I reviewed my photographs for the last month, I was surprised to come across the ones I took when I stayed at the beach for a few days in the second week of August. It was only three and a half weeks ago, but somehow it feels much longer. Perhaps it’s because being at that place seems so far removed from my normal daily life and routine. It’s like something in a dream, where time doesn’t really have any meaning. Was I really there?

Oh, yes I was! And I have my photos to remind myself, to remember what it was like to get up before the sun to walk on the deserted beach. Listening to the waves and the gulls as the sky lightens and a new day begins. Feeling the water on my bare feet and the breeze on my face. Not thinking. Just breathing. Just being.

August Sunrise

I’m grateful for this hobby of photography that helps me revisit the past, whether special moments like that August morning or just the small moments of my ordinary days.

And so I say goodbye to summer, and welcome autumn. Just breathing. Just being.

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Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

Scene & Story is a monthly collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 

 

 


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Scene & Story: July 2017

Damsel Fly on Daylily

Once upon a time — well, actually, it was just a few years ago, but I love stories that start with “once upon a time,” don’t you? — anyway, once upon a time, an Older Lady (about 60-something) and a Small Boy (about 6) had a conversation while walking around her back yard.

Lady:  Look, a dragonfly.

Boy:  Aunt Lon, may I tell you something?

Lady:  Of course.

Boy:  Would you like to know an easy way to tell the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly?

Lady:  Yes, how can you tell the difference?

Boy:  When you see one resting, if its wings are opened flat, it’s a dragonfly. If its wings are folded together over its back, it’s a damselfly.

Lady:  Oh, so this is a damselfly. That’s good to know. Thank you!

Boy:  You’re welcome.

I’ve never forgotten how to tell the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly, and I never see one without remembering this conversation. Not so much because of what the boy said, as the way he said it. So polite, so careful and kind in sharing his knowledge to correct the lady.

Time darts and spins and flies as fast as any dragonfly. That formerly small boy will start high school this fall, and I know he will do well. I’m as proud as ever to be his honorary aunt.

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Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

Scene & Story is a monthly collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 


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Scene & Story: June 2017

Summertime Fun

La Kermesse is a festival held near the end of June every year to celebrate our area’s Franco-Americaine heritage, and it always kicks off with a block party and fireworks. In case you didn’t know it, I’m a pretty extreme introvert. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like noise. I don’t like carnivals. But for some reason, I love the La Kermesse block party!

It’s early evening and the weather is perfect. People gather in the park to listen to music from live bands, line up to buy cotton candy and fried dough, shop for souvenirs, play carnival games, and ride carnival rides. As the evening progresses, several blocks of Main Street, where it crosses the river adjacent to the park, get blocked off. The flashing blue lights of the police cars at each end add to the festive atmosphere, and the street fills with people.

And what fascinating people! Amidst the “ordinary-looking” folks in casual clothing are Goth types all in black and spikes and tattoos. Muslim women looking cool and elegant in their long dresses and hijabs despite the heat. A girl with waist-length purple hair that exactly matches her ruffled camisole top. Babies in strollers and old ladies with walkers. Men with impressive facial hair, others with impressive muscles. Kids in t-shirts and shorts rolling down a grassy slope and running to the top to do it again.

I don’t know any of these people and never see them in my day-to-day life. I suspect that all these different “types” probably don’t normally see much of each other, either. But everyone gathered here seems happy. The crowd is in a good mood, polite, having fun, enjoying themselves. People smile at each other. I notice random acts of kindness. I chat with strangers.

The sun sets in a flare of copper-colored clouds and darkness descends, and we find a spot along the bridge to watch the fireworks. Anticipation grows until…finally…the first explosion and flash of color illuminates the night to appreciative “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd. For the next 20 minutes, everyone is focused on the show in the sky, climaxed by the grand finale, a riot of color and noise.

And then it’s time to join the people streaming up the middle of the street, on our way home, back to our everyday lives. Tomorrow Main Street will be filled with the usual traffic, and I will be back to my usual introverted self. Until next year, when I’ll see you at La Kermesse!

Summertime Play (with Impresso app)

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Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo.