Sea Blue Lens


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An Anniversary

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Today marks five years since I began this blog, intended to serve as a photojournal for an online photography class I was taking at the time (Kat Sloma’s “Find Your Eye” course). For the first time, I shared both my photography and my writing with a wider audience than just my family and close friends. Since then I’ve become more confident not only about my photography, but about myself. I’ve made connections online that have become friendships as real as any in the “real world.” I not only found my eye — I also found my voice.

IMG_1757Just Breathe

Why do I pursue¬†photography, anyway? My motivations haven’t changed in the five years since I first thought about that question for Kat’s class. I take photos to capture a moment, a memory, something I want to hold on to. My subject may be permanent as a mountain or ephemeral as a sunbeam, vast as an ocean or tiny as an insect, but it is always something that has captured my eye and my imagination and demands to be captured in turn with my camera.

IMG_1119Quicker Than the Eye

I take photos to explore the world around me.¬† I love the way my camera helps me to notice things, and even to see things invisible to my naked eyes. I love the way photography allows me to share the things I discover with others. I think what keeps me going, photographing even familiar, “same old, same old” subjects over and over, is the possibility of discovering something new and never-before-seen — at least not by me.

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IMG_0630Wings of Light

I photograph the places and things I love. My photography is not a means to an end, it is an end in its own right. I do enjoy publishing my photos on my blog and it’s a special joy when someone tells me one of my pictures has touched or inspired them in some way. But underneath it all is still just that basic need to express myself, to create something that seems beautiful and satisfying to my own eyes.

IMG_0621Summer Sun

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If I’m troubled or anxious, a walk with my camera takes me out of myself and brings peace better than any meditation. Is my photography going to Change the World? No, probably not. But it captures a bit of the beauty I see in the world, and that makes me happy. If it gives you pleasure, too . . . that makes me even happier. Purpose fulfilled all around.

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Summer Shower

We had a brief thunderstorm this afternoon. It didn’t rain long, or much, but it freshened the air and rinsed the pollen dust off everything. Afterward I walked to the park next door to see what I could see.

DSC_0198Birds of a [Different] Feather

An American Robin and a House Sparrow were keeping company on a dripping overhead cable.

DSC_0200Dropped

A maple leaf had let go of its lifeline.

DSC_0203Mystery Blossoms

Raindrops freshened flowers and foliage and pattered down from the trees overhead. I don’t know what these flowers are — the pink ones are on a large shrub, and the blue ones are a vine entangled in it. (If you know, please tell me!)

IMG_1153The Last Iris

IMG_1158The First Daylily

DSC_0226Hammock

This web is strung horizontally between the leaves of a huge hosta. There was no one home, but as you can see the larder is full of gustatory delights…if you’re a spider, anyway.

IMG_1169-2Storm? What Storm?

Behind the apartment, all traces of the storm were gone.

DSC_0236Rosa Multiflora

Bowers of tiny roses climbed high into the trees, their petals already dry.

DSC_0241The Calm After the Storm

leaf light and sky shine
illuminate clear water
ripples reflect peace

Wishing you a happy Wednesday, friends.


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Evening Out Back

Late afternoon. Something about the quality of the light through the window catches my eye and I head outside for a better look.

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The “golden hour” approaches — those last few minutes at the end of the day before the sun goes down. It’s one of my favorite times of day. I don’t need to go far, just down the stairs and around behind my building, to capture the interplay of glowing light on leaves and water.

IMG_0609The low-angled sunlight casts a beautiful sidelight on the trees at the edge of the river.

IMG_0607The mosses and ripples seem lighted from within.

IMG_0615Leaves glow against deep shadows.

IMG_0618Reflections dance quietly on the water.

The sun sets, the light fades and in moments is gone, and another day is done.


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Bountiful Blossoms

I’m loving the rhododendrons blooming all around my neighborhood right now. I’ve noticed that the buds are always more intense in their color than the opened blossoms. So many variations…from delicate pale pink buds that open nearly white, to shades of lavender and magenta, to dark red buds that open to a fiery deep pink that my camera couldn’t quite capture.

Not having a garden of my own, I’m grateful to be able to enjoy other people’s beautiful flowers from the sidewalk. Here’s just a sampling from a recent walk:

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These photos were all taken with my iPhone 5s within a few blocks of my home.


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Finding Focus

The warmer, longer days seem to have switched on a surge of energy in me, and I find myself wanting to Get Things Done. There are so many projects on my to-do list — where do I start? Also, it’s summer, and I want to have fun!

IMG_1904-2Summer Dreams

One of the problems with retirement, though it’s a delightful problem to have, is that you can have too much free time on your hands. In fact, it’s all free time. I’m a person who prefers spontaneity, who doesn’t like being regimented and scheduled. There’s always tomorrow, right? But recently I came across a line in a book I’m reading, Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, about establishing good habits and breaking bad ones. She wrote, “Something that can be done at any time often happens at no time.”

That line pierced me to the heart. I have always been a terrible procrastinator, and I suddenly, vividly, realized that I could easily spend the rest of my life doing, basically, nothing. Waiting until “tomorrow.” And while I hope and expect that I still have lots of tomorrows ahead of me, I don’t want to waste any of them!

IMG_0844-2Making Plans

So . . . I’ve bought a calendar/diary, the kind that shows a week at a time, that I plan to use to give my days a bit of structure and routine. I’m editing my Need-to-do list, prioritizing projects and breaking them down into steps. I’m making Want-to-do lists, too, of places to go and things to do for pleasure and adventure, of books to read, of photography classes, photo walks and projects to complete. All those things are going into the calendar.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Right now it’s time for…hm, let me check my calendar for Sunday.

Happy Feet 2Happy Feet

Oh, well. Baby steps! Enjoy the day, my friends.:-)


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Springing into Summer

Not only is winter over, but I have completely skipped spring here on the blog. Well, not completely, since officially the first day of summer is still a couple of weeks away. But around here, Memorial Day weekend is the real beginning of summer regardless of what the calendar says.

My daughter and I took advantage of the last week before that holiday to take a day trip to Ogunquit, a popular vacation destination that’s packed with visitors during the summer months. It was one of those idyllic days that linger in the memory long afterward.

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Wouldn’t you love to stay at this beautiful inn? I always like to imagine what places like this were like when they were private homes.

We browsed in a few shops, then enjoyed lunch at a new restaurant: delicious clam chowder and a Maine crab melt sandwich with Old Bay fries, the sandwich grilled to tender, crispy perfection and the fries offering a spicy counterpoint to the delicate crab.

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After lunch we strolled along Marginal Way, a popular path overlooking the ocean. On a midsummer weekend, you would not be able to see the pavement for the people!

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The blue-green sea softly melded into the sky at the horizon.

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The sun-warmed breeze was sweet with the scent of lilacs and wildflowers.

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Did you know that Mallard ducks will visit the ocean to bathe and feed? I had thought they were strictly freshwater birds. I was very surprised to see them paddling around in this tide pool.

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The sound of the waves mingled with birdsong and the quiet conversation and laughter of others out enjoying the day.

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There was even music!

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Who could ask for more?

We drove home tired but happy. It had been a perfect day. It was just a few hours, spent less than an hour’s drive from home, but it truly felt like a vacation. It reminded me of how little it takes to break out of my routine for a refreshing change, and how good it feels when I do. Here’s to more “Daycations”! *

* Credit goes to my friend Cathy H at Gramma’s Little Corner for introducing me to this delightful word.


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Winter’s Arrived

It felt like winter finally arrived on Friday, when we got almost ten inches of snow.

IMG_8804Snow Day Afternoon

One of the rules at my apartment building is that we must move our vehicles out of the parking lot by 8 a.m. on the day after a snowstorm, so the lot can be plowed. Saturday morning dawned: it was 7 degrees at 7 a.m. I filled my travel mug with hot coffee and headed out at 7:30 to do some shopping while I waited for the all-clear to go back into the lot.

The sky was blue, every twig was white, the air was crystalline. Do I want to spend this glorious morning at Walmart? No, I do not. Change of plan — let’s take the scenic route instead.

First, Laurel Hill. Is it strange that I love hanging out at this cemetery? It is always so beautiful and peaceful there, no matter the season. Yesterday was no exception. The only sounds were a faint hum from distant traffic, and the songs of a few birds who sounded as happy to be out as I was.

IMG_8810Into the Light

IMG_8816Where Daffodils Bloom

You may remember seeing photos of this view in the springtime, when thousands of blooming daffodils tumble down the hill almost to the water’s edge. The snowy hillside and icy river were just as stunning a sight.

IMG_8825Luminous

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The angel-messenger waved goodbye as I drove on to see what was happening at the beach.

First, to Camp Ellis. Even after fifteen winters in Maine, I’m still enough of a California girl that a snow-covered beach feels like a very unnatural natural phenomenon. But isn’t it pretty?

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And on to Ocean Park, my favorite beach for walking. I was not the first, but I did have the beach to myself.

IMG_8849All Mine

ECZW0145Treasure Hunting

GHGC4871Sky Dancing

FCCB3981Up “The Creek”

PATD9302Sea Wall

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The pathway to my “secret beach” was inaccessible, so I circled back to my car and that mug of coffee. By that time my fingers and toes were numb and the warmth of a store didn’t sound like such a bad idea. Off to do those errands!

Side note: While I wasn’t paying attention, WordPress has gone and changed everything, and I don’t like it one bit! It looks like they’ve tried to simplify things, but to me it feels more complicated than before. I can’t see half of what I’m doing, categories and tags have moved to the opposite side of the screen, and my sidebar has disappeared completely from the posting window. It’s much harder to format photos the way I want them. I feel like I’m starting from scratch with a completely new blog host. I’ll get used to it, but meanwhile, I’m not happy. And to think, I’ve been telling everyone lately how much I’ve always enjoyed blogging on WordPress…. Okay, rant over. Sorry about that!

 

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