Sunday, September 29, 2013

I say, a day's delay is no longer in play

post #157
    September 29, 2013: Reality has taken over my life - briefly - so whatever I post in addition to this beginning is a kind of PART TWO.  The reward for those who checked my blog on this Sunday, which is usually the day I post, was my favorite photo, made the day before.  This charmer is the daughter of friends of my son's, and she is holding her mother's lovely and loving hand:

As promised, PART TWO:

      Now that This Day is coming soon, I wanted to revisit my delight in having one of my photos of our creek on the cover of Wendell Berry's collected and new Sabbath poems, to be released October 8!! It is published by Wendell's longterm publishing house, now known as Counterpoint Press, located in San Francisco. I am working to confirm with them via email that the book, This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems, is indeed about to be released even though Amazon says that is the date. Note: I am using an Amazon image below, BUT I encourage everyone who wants to see the book to visit his or her favorite independent bookseller!  (Update 10-3-2013: A friend has already received her copy, as has the publisher, so all is on track.  Great!)


What follows is my original image that was cropped to fit the design of the book cover:

       Bill Moyers is interviewing Wendell Berry THIS WEEKEND on his interview show on PBS, Moyers and Company.  Check your local listings.  (I think it shows on Sunday on KET.) Here is a link to the video trailer which is only a minute and 18 seconds long.  I so look forward to watching their conversation -- almost as much as I look forward to having a copy of the book in my hands.

       I will end with a photo of some iron weed I meant to include in last week's post which featured more of the milkweed images.  Nature is full of amazing moments. I am grateful.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Some catching up -- more milkweed, a deer, and Seamus Heaney

post #156
      I continue to follow the milkweed plants, waiting for the "spider" seed bits to erupt from the pods.  Because I have been looking regularly and closely at the milkweed, I have seen some unexpected things!  This is a wonderful aspect of photography; it helps the eye and the heart to pay attention.

I wasn't expecting to see a frog on the milkweed pod, so I almost missed it!
a closer look, from the side

The next morning -- I am assuming it was the same frog, since this leaf was below where the frog sat yesterday.

a few days later, a gathering of young milkweed bugs

and the same spider type as two weeks earlier! (See the next image)

I have had a request for the name of this spider -- I can't find it on the "fantastic spiders" or "weird spiders" web sites.  Can anyone help me??  Please??

Meanwhile, the deer continue to visit us and check our apple drops.  We have to get them before they do!
        And in the big world, a special Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, died August 30, 2013.  These are the books of his poetry that my husband has had for many years, and he heard him read in Louisville, KY as well.  
     Where would our lives be without fine, brave and generous poets.

     I may end up writing my own poem to go with my series of milkweed photos, but today I am sharing a poem by Philip Levine, called Milkweed. 

Milkweed by Philip Levine
Remember how unimportant
they seemed, growing loosely
in the open fields we crossed
on the way to school. We
would carve wooden swords
and slash at the luscious trunks
until the white milk started
and then flowed. Then we'd
go on to the long day
after day of the History of History
or the tables of numbers and order
as the clock slowly paid
out the moments. The windows
went dark first with rain
and then snow, and then the days,
then the years ran together and not
one mattered more than
another, and not one mattered.

Two days ago I walked
the empty woods, bent over,
crunching through oak leaves,
asking myself questions
without answers. From somewhere
a froth of seeds drifted by touched
with gold in the last light
of a lost day, going with
the wind as they always did.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

faces I've seen these last three weeks -- 4H ones and a few more

post #155
      I often make images of people, but I rarely post them.  My main reluctance to show faces comes from an overabundance of caution -- even though I realize that my privacy concerns sound positively and totally quaint in this day and age.  Well, not for my age.  I have a personal experience with the great intrusiveness by the FBI, for example, and I feel strongly that we should remain alert to the multiple intrusions on our precious privacy.
      That said, I feel the following photos were made in public places, and many of these people would enjoy seeing a photo of themselves. My compromise will be not to identify anyone. Of course, as always, if anyone sees a photo of him or herself and would prefer it not be out there, just leave me a note as a comment -- I read each comment before it's published (or not published.) Also, since I am not making money from this blog, I am not breaking any rules. Were I to have an opportunity to sell an image, I would get first permission from whoever's identifiable in the photo.
       Further, it goes without saying, I hope, that I totally enjoy making these photos. Most of these folks -- and the beef cow -- were not aware of the photo being taken. Once again I thank everyone who puts up with me and my camera.

      OK, the first NINE photos are from that wonderful 4H day on August 29:

This last one from the 4H day is a repeat, from post #153, but it is such a favorite of mine....

      The next several photos are from Lexington, KY's evening commemoration gathering August 28, 2013 for Martin Luther King's March on Washington fifty years ago.  There were speeches, music, poetry, dancing and a series of essays by middle school students at the Carter G. Woodson Academy.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

4H day in Elliott County, part 2

post #154
        Today I promised goats, beef cows, sheep, pigs, and rabbits, but I also prefer to post  decent photos.  For some reason, I didn't do as well with the pigs, so I will be leaving them out.  My apologies to all porker fans!  These photos all come from the showing of the animals, late afternoon during the 10 hour 4H day on August 28, 2013.

preparing Natalee's goat for the upcoming show time

four young farmers line up their goats after the judging

Issac shows his beef cow that goes on to win the top prize of the day and then be sold for $1,400!

more of the beef cows in the competition, with the judge, on the right

                         Then the sheep:
All the sheep are closely shorn for the show. 

a quiet moment during the sheep showing

Gracey's sheep is the grand champion!

Next: rabbits, two in the cage and one to carry

Issac, in the middle, with friends Hunter and Casey.  Issac was the grand champion of the day!

 Congratulations to all the kids and their families and their 4H leaders for a job very well done!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

4H day in Elliott County, Kentucky, part 1

post #153
      Thursday was such a treat for me.  After many years of not being around for the 4H day or it being too hot or some other lame excuse on my part, I was determined this year to fit it in.  It seems I managed to wait until the new shelter was built  -- it was completed Wednesday!  Very classy.  The morning light was overcast, usually a photographer's dream.  Light but not bright and contrasty.  And also not as hot a day as it could be.
      The day starts at 10 a.m. and lasts 10 hours, starting with the displaying of multiple animals, with one school bus at a time coming to see the animals and watch the kids as they finish the preparations.  This gives all the elementary students in the county a chance to see the 4H program in action.  And ours is a rural county where the three elementary schools are separated by many miles of driving. 
My only shot of the new shelter at the Extension Office, but since most of the activity is by short people (KIDS) it looks deceptively quiet!

My neighbor Natalee's three hens

These two sisters are displaying rabbits AND chickens.
(Please notice that all three hens are in focus!  This is not easy to do with chickens, at least not for me.  Just saying.)
      By 3:30 p.m., it was time for the showing of the animals, starting with goats, and continuing with beef cows, pigs, rabbits, chickens and sheep!  After the ribbons are awarded, the 4H members take part in the interview part of the competition.  They are asked about their work and their animals. 
      Today I am showing just the chicken competition.  I do know some of the players here, so most of my photos from the day include them, but not all.  The young boy with his black and white hens really impressed me with his self-assurance and poise, so I took several photos and then later found out his name is Terrence.  He is a month into first grade.

looking down the line of competitors to the other end, far away

         The 4H participants bring three hens in a cage for the judging, and they are then instructed to hold one of them.  These kids all know the routine by now.  
        Natalee, shown below, and her hens won second place, called reserve grand champion.  Terrence won the grand champion!  Congratulations to you both! 

Natalee in the winner "circle", having her photo taken

         By 6 p.m. it is time for the sale of the grand prize winners; buyers come from quite a distance to bid.  I have to confess that this year I decided I needed to go home by late afternoon, so I wasn't there with my camera.  But next year I will know more what I am doing, and I will then concentrate on the last two parts of the day. 

        Next week: part 2!  Beef cows, sheep, rabbits, and more hardworking 4H members.