Sunday, May 26, 2013

storms, sharing art, and seeing a rainbow

post #139
     The NEWS I meant to include last week: the annual Folk Art Fair is this coming Saturday, at the Morehead Conference Center across the street from the Folk Art Center in Morehead, KY.  Called A Day in the Country, the fair features fifty or so folk artists from ten states.  In addition, this year a half dozen regional artists, from as many specialities, have been invited to set up in the hallway outside the central room.  So I will be selling my photo note cards and some matted or framed prints and a few books there from 9 - 4 on Saturday, June 1, 2013!  Mixed Media Artist Jennifer Reis will be sharing the booth with me 9 - 12:30, selling her jewelry and embellished fabric art.  As the art gallery director for Morehead State University, she has an exhibit opening there to attend to in the afternoon.       
        Come join us all during this remarkable annual gathering!

Folk Art Fair poster

       My photography is very definitely of my place.  Where I live seems endlessly fascinating to me.  I'm drawn in to what is happening around me, whether it's weather or something new to see -- or seeing the usual in a new way.  I blame it all on my overdeveloped curiosity gene.  The following photos were taken, as often happens, on my way home from town, a serious storm following me all the way.  (We live east of town, and the weather more often than not comes from the west.)  I figured I had time to stop at this hilltop I know about to catch the look of the sky.  Sure enough, when I finally arrived home, the drops were just beginning to fall. 
       The place where we settle can hold a strong power over us and keep us connected, like an anchor.

This contrail from an invisible airplane has made a shadow of itself!

      The rain was followed by a double rainbow, so this photo was taken from home.  I would be grateful for the beauty of such benevolent weather even without its contrast to some of the devastating happenings we might not experience directly.  My storm might not be your storm, but I hope rainbows come to all of us when they can. 
       My thanks to the many more viewers than usual who found my blog post last week --  I will do some more horses when I have the opportunity! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

mid May, horsing around, and more

post #138
         Last night we were part of the 25th reunion held by a high school class my husband once taught. I was fascinated by their stories, including the ones I heard about their history teacher, and impressed by so many bright kids from a small, rural eastern Kentucky school system still holding their own in the world and doing well.  
        Of note: They all use facebook and would include last names, but I still hesitate to do so without permission.  However, I learned that the high school senior I took the photo of (see last week's post), the one who had taken a photo of me, turns out to be one of three validictorians, and I want to say at the least Congratulations, Andraya!! 

      Last week I received some articles that I found interesting.  One is about Mother's Day,  by writer Anne Lamont, who says it like she sees it. Thanks, Leatha, for the alert.  Another is about CLEAN WATER, just in case any regular reader of this blog doesn't realize yet how important an issue that is to me.  I really thank the folks, like Ted and Doug from our part of the state, who are working so hard to hold our state government to what it is legally required to provide.
       The most energizing link is to a letter a reader sent to a writer.   George Ella discovered it.  I warn you, it is very heartening.  If you have time for only a single link, read this one.

I have been posting a lot of photos lately, so I decided to slow down a bit for today and only include a few I couldn't resist.  If you need more photos, go back through my last few posts and enjoy!

Miss Kim dwarf lilac, near our chicken house

  Yesterday I visited Jean, of Jean's jeans, where I unexpectedly had a chance to learn about horse photos:

Next time I will hope I have the right lens on hand, and a faster speed for my "film."  It would also help to have some advance warning that running was about to commence!

As always, her laundry line intriques me. I love the light this photo has.  And notice -- no wind, no running, and very clear detail.

      I feel strongly it's important to acknowledge the value of "mistakes" and "first tries" and "new territory."  Where would I be without them all!  This is of course also true for all the growing up we do and are a part of.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sweet! Spring sweep, before summer sets in!

post #137
NOTE on Tuesday evening - I did post this on Sunday, but I seem to have then erased it!  MY BAD and MY being a DITZ!  along with my apologies.  I have now managed to reconstruct the post (8 pm Tuesday), so here's my second try: 

        A friend in Bolivia emailed today that they are "bracing for winter".  Oh my.  He did add that their winter means "temps that average about 68 degrees and bright sunny days and bright blue skies."  I had already decided not to delay posting the spring photos from this year that have so far not made it on to my last four posts.  Now, in addition, I would like to dedicate today's post to all those in the earth's southern hemisphere who haven't seen spring in many months....

ferns unfurling by the creek (see last week's post)

wisteria, with its ant helpers

the principal's office at the high school on Senior Prank day

This senior was taking my photo for a county project, but she had to tolerate my taking her photo as well.  Thanks!

lovely evening light on the way home from town last week

Thanks to this Angus bull for the fine pose

and to this calf for being curious!

     When I did get home that day, I took these two images of this dogwood tree, within a few minutes of each other.  All I changed was where I was standing. I rarely use Photoshop, and I didn't do that here. Beautiful, beautiful symbols of spring.

      This last photo was one of my first spring photos, taken in March.  Today I am thinking it is one of my favorite photos so far this year.  I didn't know what kind of tree or shrub it was or what the hanging things were --- but luckily there are ways to search out such information.  These are hanging catkins on an American Hazelnut.  Such discoveries in the woods that come from looking with my camera are a continual amazement for me.

    I apologize again for having erased (by mistake) the first version of this blog, but luckily I had kept a list of the photos I had used.  Thank you, George Ella, for wondering where Sunday's post had gone to.  Here's to life's second chances.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

bird families, creeks and Cumberland Falls

post #136
       Spring continues, for just a bit longer.  A friend, Mary Camille, sent me a photo of baby robins newly hatched in a flower pot on her deck.  This photo says HUNGRY!  The parent had gone for a quick perusal, perhaps?  (Thanks for this birth announcement!  Please keep us posted on their progress.)

  •        On my own recent day of birth, we were visited by not one but this time TWO pileated woodpeckers.  They were checking out our fallen willow tree.  I didn't have my 300m lens on the camera at that moment, but I did catch the following photo as record of the event, with my 25 - 105 lens.  I was pretty amazed to see this pair of pileateds -- from our kitchen window.

         For today's post, I want to share several images of our creek, which is so central to the natural life of this place.  Tonight, after so much rain, it would look very different than it does after weeks of no rain, but, as always, so much of plant and animal and insect life is connected to its ebbs and flows. The first image is what I might see when I first get to the creek, before crossing over it and walking along one side of it.

     The next view was taken during a dry spell, looking back at the creek after having gone a bit farther along.  Notice the dark tree trunk in the upper right of the photo:

       This third view is from not much farther along.  I am now standing with my back near the edge of what we call the first waterfall.   Notice the same tree, again in the upper right of the photo:

   I have been thinking about this creek and its variations and my many photos of it because this last photo is going to be used on the cover of a book that will come out in October!  However, for design purposes, the publishers have cropped the photo so that only the middle section is shown, in what is almost a square.  I understand their need to do this, but of course I am attached to the image as I took it.  Does that sound like some kind of worn out artist's lament?  In any case, I am so pleased the image will be used because the book is This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979-2012, by Wendell Berry, to be published by Counterpoint Press; I will be saying more about this book in future posts. 

     To end today's post, I want to share two images from today when we returned from the wonderful Farm House Inn in southern Kentucky and stopped at the nearby Cumberland Falls.  It was exciting to feel the energy there after 24 hours of steady rain. I began thinking about how water comes from under the ground and comes from our creeks.  It becomes a river -- and then comes Cumberland Falls and such -- on the way to the ocean. 
      As I will say yet again, we all live downstream, and I just can't understand why we are not courageous enough to preserve sources of clean water, essential to the health and well-being of our planet and of our selves. 

      I enjoyed having my Panosonic Lumix waterproof point and shoot to use in the pouring rain, even though I don't use it often enough to remember all its bells and whistles.  Now someday I would like to see the famous moonbow these falls produce during a full moon on a clear night.  I am sure there is a bigger crowd for that than there was today, despite this spectacular show.