Sea Blue Lens


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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. 


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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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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.