Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in Appalachia, but with many more English photos to share

post #46
      I traveled home all day Friday, a long, long day.  However, not sleeping for that many hours almost makes it easier to adjust to the five hour time change.  It is wonderful to be able to make that shift near one's own bed!
      First, I do realize it is time to review how this blog works, for all you new readers, but since there are these English photos I want to include today to finish up my trip there I will just give the link here to the Sideway Views review (post #25).  I also recommend reading the very first post, way back in October 2010.  One way to go back to previous posts is to find the end of each section and then click on "older posts", found on the right at the end of the last post in that section.  Then scroll, scroll, scroll.  And enjoy. 

       OK, ENGLAND -- here are some more photos from where I have been, and again I will give the info in their captions.  The light over there is so amazing.  Hard to keep from reaching for the camera.  It is my privilege to have this tool to experience the place where I am more intensely and to connect with it.  This is a gift that art can offer.  

AN EVENING WALK:
just your ordinary backyard garden....
passing by the green grocer's window, after the closing
going through a field of sheep

who seem to be used to hikers and photographers.....or so I hoped
same crooked steeple as in last week's post, but now the time is 9 p.m.

crossing over a stream, with flowers along the bank!
other evening walkers, who may or may not be from England (Surely green hair is universal.)
VISITING DON, a lifetime gardener

baby carrots to take with us!
Don actually picking a rose for me

which I kept in my room until the day I left.
WHIMSEY and FUN:
the neighbor's fanciful entrance garden, well loved and enjoyed

This is my new definition of a morning SLUGFEST!
making like a Photoshop filter by looking through a bathroom window from the outside??!!

my very favorite garden bit of fun - hot diggity dog!
         If you feel you have also been on a bit of a trip, I am glad.  Thanks for staying to the end -- and happy foraging to you this week.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

finding a way while away, in England

post #45
       I have been in England just a few days, but I've loved being able to take some photos to follow-up on the ones I posted last week.  No rain here after all -- probably because I brought a raincoat -- but cool temps continue.  Since it feels like dawn comes in the middle of the night -- though it is only at 4 a.m. -- most of these photos are taken in the evening or when it is cloudy in order to get better light for them.   
      First, however, here's a photo I meant to include last week -- a friend's "grand-dog" with a PHEASANT toy:

           Now, some more photos, each with a brief comment or two, from this current visit:
this morning, blue sky (!) at 8 a.m. when the store opens to sell many, many Sunday newspapers
near the steeple, steps that have been well used forever

evening light, on particularly amazing hanging baskets

a walk up to Dover's Hill with my sister, with us both looking back on the town
on the top of a hill covered with sheep and evidence of sheep....

side by side

back to back

the back of the house, from the garden

in the garden, hydrangea sargentia
golden showers rose

red in the garden, tonight's glory -- it even smells beautiful as well

      The truth is that even though it is great to be in this place and to see new things to photograph, I am aware that it is not home and not where my heart or my work is.  There is such a difference between taking photos of a place that is beautiful but not intimately known, and a well worn place where there are strong emotional connections.  Maybe that is how it works in any relationship -- the known providing both the perfect and the disappointing, and the new being glorious but way less grounding and satisfying.  
      So, for now, how about my suggesting that we just give ourselves over to where we find ourselves this day and make art whenever and wherever we can!  The world's injuries require nothing less.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My English-Appalachian connection

aster, in England
post #44   

        England is one of the places besides Appalachia where I love to take photos.  It is where my step-mother lives, in the Cotswolds, near Stratford-on-Avon; she is English.  Various ones of our family try to get over there when possible, and I am going this week.  So I figure today I now have a great excuse to post some photos I have taken on earlier visits.  Next Sunday, or after I return home, I will hope to add some from this upcoming visit.  It all depends on the light, which is usually fantastic.  One bonus is that, of course, this time of year, daylight lasts longer there than it does here since all of England is way farther north than we are in Kentucky.
out the third floor bedroom window, VERY early in the morning

                       same view, more zoom in my lens, 1 or 2 hours later, different light.                               Note: very nice for photo taking to have NO wires or poles along the streets.  Bravo for town planning, 80 years ago.
            Though these photos were taken last September, there are plenty of flowers in every garden and everywhere else.
a gate between two sections of a garden!

in town, along the main street (High Street)



in the town, waiting, without "whining...."

not in town, but nearby, at Hidcote Gardens
While looking through the birches toward the kitchen window, I "saw" that there would be a much better photo with them at a different time of day.
I went back to the birches, early the next morning with its even light. This time my back was to the kitchen window.  I left for the airport soon after taking this photo. 
I thank all those English gardeners for their hard work and love of beauty! I try to remember this when the skies can be gray, day after day, and when English life seems eternally damp.  BUT what great weather for the plants.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

hickory, chicory, and dock!

post #43
first -- near our roadside mailbox
     After many years of trying to get even one good photo of our roadside chicory, this year I am happy with three!  The challenge for me is the light -- the blue flowers only open during mid day, when the sun can wash out the color of anything.  Then there is the question of wind.  Well, recently we have had less wind than usual plus many days with clouds.  Yea!  Could it be that flowers can be fooled?
      By now I make photos of this plant as a challenge to self and not just because I love its blue and brightness.  I'm showing these three photos in chronological order.  
second -- This pair, with some dock, was mowed down an hour later by the road crew.


third -- the beautiful weed that chicory is

    Thank goodness that the annual seasons give us a second chance, or a third, fourth, what ever! 

Later on Sunday, part two:  At 3 pm I pushed the Publish Button by mistake and learned that I didn't know how to unpublish something!  This post hadn't been truly finished.  A kind of Twitter moment perhaps?  I now have a plan for the next time I do that, which I surely will.
     One thing I had intended to add is a link to an article the Lexington paper ran soon after my post #41 -- from the LA Times -- about teen substance abuse

      
    
    And I had a few  more photos to share:  Tammy, this one is for you -- with thanks for your call about Kyle.
     
    The next two photos are from a recent visit with family, including the granddaughter who is 2 1/2. (If I knew how to put these photos side by side, I would do so....) 
   May we all have such smooth sliding in our lives this week!  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

hay there and here

post #42

      Today, new flowers on the old hay rake, and lots of hay rows on hillsides.  It's just that I can't keep myself from being captivated by hay rows. I think photography must be all about what obsesses and fascinates.
     The last four days have been filled with hills being mowed, rowed and rolled, making for wonderful designs.  And then there's been that good light and the minimal wind that make all the difference to us photographers.  Low humidity, too.  All happening this week in Kentucky!

after the mowing, doing the raking into rows
popping a 5 by 4 out the back of the round baler

What keeps the bales from rolling away??
  
      Then there is the big field I drive by year after year. I love to watch it change through the seasons.
two evenings ago, sections of these hillside fields in different hay stages
nearby valley view, to the east, on the same evening
to the west, this year's view of a garden plot in the hayfield

     I have shown this section of this field last year when it had hay rows.  That photo has been on two of my posts so far.  This year the rows were there only a day or two, and I didn't see them in time to have taken a photo like last year's.  Also, the garden plot has now been moved.
     I am honored, however, that last year's photo, despite needing to be in a cropped version, will be appearing on the cover of a reprint of Wendell Berry's poems titled Farming: A Hand Book, to be released in mid September!  (I borrowed this cover image from Amazon.)


Counterpoint Press, 2011
    Note: I received fewer responses than usual to last week's post, about Kyle and his death at a young age and my photos of him over 8 years.  I am not complaining, but I am curious whether I expressed myself clearly and whether such a personal story was of interest to the wider world.  Thanks as always for reading all the way to the end of the post!