Sea Blue Lens


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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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Soul Food

Like everyone else I know, I’ve been grieving the results of Tuesday’s election. This post will have nothing to say about that, because I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been expressed by others…many others. This post is about what I did yesterday afternoon to distract and soothe myself.

I picked up my camera and I went for a walk.

fallen leafFallen Leaf

I followed the Saco Riverwalk, which begins just a few blocks from my apartment. To get there, I had to pass the covered bridge to the little park next door, where I paused to take the photo above.

fernNext I found this delicate fern growing out of a crack in the wall of a railroad overpass.

pathWhen I got to the river walk, the path was so leaf-strewn that it was barely visible. It’s narrow and slopes steeply down to the river’s edge, so I kept my eyes on where I was placing my feet.

daisy-boulderI came across a few wildflowers still blooming. This large, round boulder is a puzzle — it looks completely out of place atop the angular granite riverbank. I wondered how it got here.

rose hipsRosa Multiflora is a terribly invasive plant, and there’s a lot of it in this area. But it is beautiful! It’s covered in tiny white flowers in the summer and masses of small red hips in the fall and winter. I’ve read that they are edible, but I’ve never tried it.

twigsMany trees have already shed their leaves. You’d think those ones at the very tips of the branches would have been the first to go, but they are hanging on tenaciously.

benchA favorite resting place. I love this view to the neighboring town across the river.

birchesThis clump of birches is one of my favorite places to take selfies. Yes, I did get my phone out of my pocket and snapped a few. Not very successfully, though – it’s a windy spot, and I couldn’t keep my hair out of my face!

bare birchesAnd here are the tops of those birches. This makes me think of spatter painting.

oak leavesThere’s not much red left, so I was especially pleased to spot these oak leaves.

dsc_0989The river widens into a little bay here and the path curves left to follow it around.

bittersweetWith apologies to my friends who have to pay florists exorbitant prices for a bit of bittersweet — this stuff is everywhere.

wall of goldAnd here the trail swings back to the right…

power easement…to follow this power line easement.

chickadeeI don’t know what those tall, auburn-colored plants alongside the trail are, but they were filled with the rustling and twittering of small birds. I saw many chickadees, busy doing whatever chickadees do in the fall, calling out their cheery little “chickadee-dee-dee.” (This image is greatly cropped, since I didn’t have my tele lens with me.)

leaf carpetAt the top of the hill, more trees and so many leaves! I sat down in the middle of these for a while, just inhaling their delicious spicy scent. The river walk has turned away from the river now, and is circling back toward town.

yellow leavesFrom here, there’s just a glimpse of the water. The tide was out so the water level was very low. (The Saco River rises and falls with the ocean tides all the way to the center of town.)

red leafOne more surprise: a single scarlet leaf on a bright golden maple tree.

trail's endAnd that brings us to the trail’s end. Those steps on the left lead up to a small parking area, where I begin my zigzag path along the neighborhood streets and sidewalks toward home.

On the way home, I looked up and saw this:

crisscross cloudsCrisscross Clouds

And an hour or so later, the day’s final gift:

sunset viewFrom My Window

I needed that, so very much. I hope it has lifted you up a little bit, too.


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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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Last Look at the Leaves

I woke this morning to white flakes drifting from the sky and beginning to cover the ground. It wasn’t cold enough to last for long, but the message was unmistakable. Winter is very near! Before it gets here, I really wanted to post some photos of the glorious autumn we’ve had here this year.

About a month ago, being encouraged to “change it up” and take a break from still-life photography for our Be Still – 52 class, I visited Laurel Hill Cemetery to photograph the fall leaves. I’ve been there many times in the spring for the daffodil display, and I got some wonderful photos on a snowy day last winter. Can you believe this was my first fall excursion to this beautiful cemetery?

DSC_7044Welcome!

DSC_7061Under the trees, the air itself seemed to be glowing.

DSC_7060It was just as brilliant underfoot.

DSC_7086An unexpected downpour sent me dashing for the shelter of my car.

DSC_7149I thought of heading home, but the rain passed quickly, leaving the color even more intense.

DSC_7098From the benches above . . .

DSC_7094. . . you can look out over the marsh and river.

DSC_7201Raindrops

DSC_7177Victorian era cast iron fence

DSC_7273Mosses and lichen

DSC_7285Paper wasp nest

DSC_7165A perfect maple

DSC_7167Old, crooked gravestones

DSC_7243Kaleidoscope of color

DSC_7253These trees looked as if they’d been purposely decorated by the windblown leaves.

DSC_7322The road back to the gate passes the pretty, vine-covered chapel, built in 1890.

DSC_7326It’s worthy of its own photo essay.

DSC_7332The tower

DSC_7330Even the window glows with autumn light.

DSC_7355One final look back. Goodbye, leaves . . . til next year.


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Craving Color

Today looks like this — again. And it’s snowing — again.

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Now, I think the snow is beautiful, and I’ve been enjoying it. But as you can see, my world is pretty much a black and white one at the moment. It seems it has been so for months.

Yesterday, knowing another storm was coming, I decided to walk to the shopping center that’s just a couple of blocks from the house to stock up on a few essentials. I can’t face a storm without milk and bread and a rotisserie chicken.

And just inside the door, I found this:

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Be still, my heart, and breathe deep, my soul. I didn’t need to buy any to bring home (they’d have frozen before I got there, anyway). I just feasted my eyes and filled up the well. It made me very happy.

On the way home, I stopped by a snow mountain piled up by the plows in the parking lot, and snapped a silly selfie. The sky was blue. That made me happy, too.

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Then, half a block later, this:

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Not much color to speak of, but a tiny message of love right at my feet, from a Universe with a sense of humor. That might have made me happiest of all.

I wish each of you a happy Valentine’s Day, full of love in whatever color and shape you find it.


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Photo-Heart Connection: November

Apples & Oranges

Apples & Oranges

This month’s Photo-Heart Connection for me is about embracing change. This year has been full of changes in my life, and this photograph illustrates some of those changes for me.

It’s impossible not to make comparisons between where I was and where I am now. But it’s as futile as comparing apples to oranges. They are so different that there is no comparison. Both are complete and good in themselves.

This image also includes the old and the new. The cut crystal bowl was Mom’s and has been around as long as I can remember. The crystal candlestick is one of a pair, modern and simple in style, that I bought shortly before my move. I love the way the unity of material and the sparkling light pull them together in spite of their differences.

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The Next Day: A Photo-Heart Confession

So there I was last night, waxing all philosophical and poetic about my picture of a bowl of fruit on my table. I couldn’t think of how to wrap it up, so I saved my draft and went to bed.

When I woke up this morning, I suddenly realized what really drew my heart to this image out of all the photos I took in November. It wasn’t anything deep and philosophical at all. It was the vibrant and joyous color and light. It’s sunshine in a bowl. That was what made me take the photo in the first place.

Those other things also happen to be true, but they are afterthoughts, and perhaps “over-thoughts.” The real reason I’m drawn to this image is simply this:

It makes my heart glad.

I’m linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection for November.