Sunday, January 30, 2011

Welcome to Will! And winters past!

post #18
          I figure any title that includes the word WINTER with the word PAST will get somebody's attention.  Two of my sisters live in northeastern cities, and they are ready to throw in the snowball!
        But first, a follow-up note from two weeks ago -- our new grandson has appeared, and all is well.  However, to refer back to my comment then, about "no small feet," I 'd have to say that even these two new small feet aren't that small....  WELCOME, WILL! 
photo by Will's thrilled dad


       Next, I do have a few more winter shots to share -- sort of under the theme that other things happen in the winter besides just snow falling. 
For one thing, chickens still lay eggs!  Thanks, girls!!  I call this image chicken house light (12/09). .............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Old farm implements endure -- one winter after another -- proud to be scenic in the snow.

    Two years ago, a car slipped off the road we call Mauk Ridge, and slid down into a small pond.  Luckily, the driver was able to get out early, unhurt.  This photo was featured in the Ashland Daily Independent, thanks to digital and to our electricity staying on during the storm.  I couldn't have delivered a photo by car.  Well, of course, it was also thanks to John Flavell who is their Chief Photographer.

    Then there are my trips to England, where I have family.  The first photo shows the garden there, in December, two years ago.  Winters can be chilly and damp, but, unlike this year, snow is usually unexpected.

December 2009, east side of the house.  The garden grows!
In December 2009, across the street, west side of the house, trees are dramatic!  Emily Bronte, where are you?

      But the reality is that snow falling has shaped many of our days lately.  I took this photo Thursday morning before ever driving or walking up the quarter mile driveway from our house to the mailbox.
     I am grateful for quiet beauty and for reminders of peaceful possibilities.

January,  2011,  still another way of seeing what I pass almost every day

Sunday, January 23, 2011

sharings from the wider world

post #17
        My plan was to avoid snow photos today because there seems to be more than enough of the stuff already!  But then a friend's recent email included these thirteen words, a poem called "Like Snow," in Wendell Berry's Leavings: Poems (2011):

      Suppose we did our work
      like the snow, quietly, quietly,
      leaving nothing out.

     Yes!  Is that not a different way of seeing the ordinary?  And that's what I hope this blog is all about as well. 
       So I went outside to do some seeing -- after throwing a jacket over my nightgown and putting on my yellow rubber Wellies.  The temperature was around 18 degrees...

early morning light, looking south
Visitors last night!  And action!  What we miss by sleeping....(See next photo for detailed view.)    

see wing print, top, on the right


hay rake, later, along Mauk Ridge (I was better dressed when taking this one....)

     I had wanted to include this link today to photographer Milton Rogovin, who has died, at age 101.  Such stories help me find my way in the photography world.  I learn answers to questions I didn't know to ask.  This artist I would have loved to meet.  Here is the link to a few more of his photos, and Scott Simon did a fine piece about him Saturday on NPR.
      And in honor of future word plays on this blog, I can't resist recommending this story about the bird seen inside the reading room of the Library of Congress.  It's a hoot!  I'm glad someone took photos!  The comments section continues the comedy of it all.  Thank you, George Ella, for finding this.

      That's plenty of bits for today -- words, links, birds -- all falling in a friendly way out of our shared sky.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

redwoods and babies

post #16
            Time for me to lighten up in this new year.  I do want to reach out to that inner sassy that I wrote about in post #1.   And chances are I am showing the love of my place by sharing what I take photos of when I am away from home. 
            So, first, let’s start with the very old.  Some redwood trees!  Which are also very tall.  Very humbling.  Very magical.  I think of all the travelers who have admired them over thousands of years.  (How could ANYONE say that if you have seen one you have seen them all.  Maybe instead that's what these trees think about the travelers….)   I remember ferns from earlier visits, but this trip I learned about clover (everywhere!) and redwood needles which look so ordinary.  Did the size of the trees keep me from noticing such details the last time??  Or are my eyes better after doing more photography?  We will never know.
            It is true, however, that for me such photos are more a record than anything else.  It is simply a sharing of where I was privileged to be.  It's what I saw that was beautiful and stirring.  But I am grateful for photography giving me a way to experience where I am with greater intensity. 
note: clover ground cover
looking for the tallest, not knowing which one it was

redwood branches


    Let's go now to the very new -- I share this photo of daddy shoes next to his daughter's shoes, along with the news that the grandson has not yet arrived, even though I have saved this spot on the blog for him before I return to Kentucky tomorrow.  So, what can I say, except that having a baby arrive on someone else's schedule is "no small feet...."


Monday, January 10, 2011

today, just words

post #15
      I have been traveling for several days, visiting friends and family in California. By last night my life caught up with me.  I was a tired puppy.  So I thought I would wait until this morning, Monday, to see if I still felt that what I wanted to do for this week's blog was just write -- since the horrible, scary and predictable Arizona shooting is on my mind.  And tears are in my eyes for our national community.   
      I don't know what all is being said by others.  In fact, I haven't seen a TV in days.  But I want to share this commentary by Michael Yaki, emailed by my friend Joyce, and also Thomas Krugman's column this morning in the New York Times. Sorting this out will take a while.
      I did see the movie "The King's Speech" this weekend.  It now occurs to me that the struggle of a king to overcome his stammer and his anger because his country's survival needed him to do it says something about what each of us could be facing.  Hard work.  Courage.  Steady effort in the face of great odds.  Remembering what leadership means and requires.  The movie also shows the strong role played by early radio broadcasts.  These days we might instead be reaping the results of media excess.
      Yet today I can also share happy news, of an encouraging nature, showing hard work paying off, and courage too.  During the annual awards announcements this morning by the American Library Association, I was thrilled to hear George Ella Lyon's name for the first one announced, the Schneider Family Book Award, picture book section, her The Pirate of Kindergarten, illustrated by Lynne Avril.  (I was able to watch the ALA video cam.)  Bravo, George Ella, and also thanks, ALA, for supporting quality in literature for kids! Stories are who we are and what we can be.
     As I continue to struggle with the psychic and physical wounds from Tuscon, a hats off to public servants, especially those who are trying to make our democracy work by reaching out to all people.  They shouldn't have to risk their lives to do this essential work; harming them is never ever acceptable.  
     Next week, photos again and more words.  I hope you are taking time to listen to your own stories.   Ann

Sunday, January 2, 2011

another way of seeing our woods, cliffs, and waterfalls

post #14
        We are fortunate to have a generous friend who loves to come stay in our home when we are away.  So, over Christmas, after the snow, he was here and could go down to what we call the first waterfall. (See post #2.)  Oh my gosh.  He is a very accomplished working photojournalist, but even so these photos are stunning.  And ice is hard in more than one way.   I asked if I could share two of them in this blog; if you want to see the rest of them,  go to his Winter Walk 2010 section.  The last photo in that slide show is the red-bellied woodpecker who comes to our feeder on the black walnut tree where I took the first pileated woodpecker photoThank you, John Flavell, and bravo!!

     Can you find the one in the other?
      We had rain most of yesterday and a general melt down, but thanks to John's two + hours in the cold I can share here moments of beauty from this last storm that also was the cause of such havoc in the eastern USA.
       Happy and healthy warm wishes to all in 2011, Ann