Sunday, January 26, 2014

home again, back to winter -- in Kentucky

post #174
        I am focusing on how this cold winter weather might be destroying harmful summer bugs.  This helps me to accept what is, but then I don't have kids at home clammering to see their friends at school.  Or a job that requires me to be at a certain place at a certain time.  In fact, going with the flow, I made a few photos from the great number of visiting birds this morning which I will share in this blog today.

      First, I was able to attend a lovely reception for a photo show in the historic Kentucky Theater in downtown Lexington Thursday evening.  I am sharing three photos I took there, with a hats off to the photographer, Jimmy Stevens.  To begin with, I thought the Mission Statement was terrific:

      A favorite photo which several of us tried to capture had reflections that were too challenging.  I believe it is a photo of Jimmy's mother.  Wonderful.

      Rather than show other works there, and not do them justice either, I am instead showing a moment with some of the folks who came.  The photographer is the one sitting in his chair.  I so enjoyed getting to something like this in the middle of our winter!  Thanks, Jimmy and Jackie, if you are reading this.

    Now, here is a taste of this morning's birds:

cardinals at rest, with a junco

cardinal on the go!
two robins passing through, checking out our berries

      Two more cardinal views -- we had about six pairs interested in the bird feeder this cold morning!
waiting in the wind
facing into the wind and watching and being handsome even with snow on his beak
        Despite the fact we live on a ridge and quite a ways from town, we can usually get out and about whenever we want to.  Last night we went to a community theater event at the Rowan County Arts Center.  Many other people made it there as well despite the wind, cold and ongoing snow showers.  WAY TO GO, COMMUNITY!  I mention all this because I do have readers/viewers in all parts of the world.  Some, I am sure, never get to see snow.  So here, for you, are a photo and a short video I took from the front passenger seat in our car last night during our drive in:

      I am still learning about videos, on the go, so to speak.  I am going to publish this post now, and if the video isn't working, it just means I am still working on making it work....later: got the video to work, but haven't managed to delete the one that doesn't work...stay tuned.

      A special shout out to our neighbors Sandy and Junie.  I hope things are going well today.  We miss you and send our best!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

a meditation, a media frenzy, and a moment in the mountains

post #173
      I was mezmerized by the shadows of water flowing under the ice, in our creek, ten days ago.  The shapes fascinated me. It led me, finally, to try a video with my cell phone.  I offer it here, today, in hopes it is of interest to some and of note by others, since it is a first for me.  I posted it on our family Instagram address, but here I can show it in its full size. I am even including the last second as a reminder that I have a lot to learn, as usual.  Were it ten minutes longer, it could be good meditation opportunity.

      I am currently visiting family in Denver, where today there is a major football game going on.  I am leaving the house shortly to see if there are any people at all in the stores; I hear that they will be deserted.  If I get some good photos of empty places, I will be posting them later tonight, mountain standard time.  
      As a token of all the hoopla surrounding this big event, from someone who is in no way interested in football, I found a great sweatshirt at Goodwill for my grandson, to show that I can overcome prejudice of every sort.  I have his father's permission to share this photo on today's post:

       This sweet fellow is almost three, and he is indeed the one who is so photogentic that I have never been able to manage a photo that doesn't show his face. 

        So that's all for now, or I will miss the opportunity to shop in an empty store.  More later, including some mountains.  Ann, on the move

LATER: went out, not much traffic, more cars in the Barnes and Noble parking lot than in the Home Depot, stopped at a favorite shoe store (for someone with very long feet) and at a Whole Foods, who said their usual Sunday afternoon was way slower than usual.  Some photos:

This gentleman -- wearing a Broncos sweatshirt -- explained that he had recently been working a great many 12 hour days, and he was using today to get back in favor with his shoe-shopping spouse.

Two views at Whole Foods, from one spot.  This staff member is a big Broncos fan but he was all right about working during the game --  said he could watch the game later.

Very friendly and laid back check-out clerks, all two of them.

Some traffic on Colorado Boulevard, but not the usual.  Notice the beautiful day!

    To end, here are two photos in the mountains west of Denver, taken yesterday, with thanks for the beauty of our world no matter the upheaval we put ourselves through. I made these photos at the same spot, and I share both because of the difference it makes in how the camera is held.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

the wonder of water in the wild, flowing or frozen or foggy

post #172
       The threat of impending rain got me down to our waterfalls Friday morning. My friend, also an Ann, was able to come with me.  I wanted to be sure we saw the ice before it all melted.  In addition, there could be that wonderful early morning foggy light.  That is exactly what we had, and it makes for some magical moments.  It is always beautiful down there, but also unpredictable, changing, and unusual.

          First, on the way to the big waterfall, icicles on the creek bank, followed by a detail of this photo:

   The following photo is of the first waterfalls, taken by my husband, Frank, on Wednesday:

      I made the two following photos there on Friday, from the path, still headed toward the big waterfall:

This is farther along the path, in the area of what we call the second waterfall.

Now: the top of the big waterfall, showing the ice funnel made from the water going over the cliff.  I am standing on the forested hillside before going down to the bottom of the "big waterfall".

Ann up close and personal with the ice pile
      Along our way to this place, we had been startled by the loudness of a big crash.  We figured it was ice falling from somewhere.  Had we arrived here 10 minutes earlier, we might have seen it as well as hear it.  In other years the ice from the top of the falls has occasionally met the sculpture of ice piled up at the bottom.  Stunning.

      Oh, that foggy mist I mentioned earlier:  this is what I saw when I turned around from looking at the ice pile, the cliffs, and Ann:

      It is hard not to end by showing this late winter plant that Ann identified, one of the earliest wildflowers to bloom in the forest: a round-lobed hepatica.  To me it is full of beauty and hope.  However, I also hope we have more ice; I'd like to try for some more photos....


Sunday, January 5, 2014

milkweed, mourning doves, and our winter waterfalls

post #171, 
       and my first post of 2014!  Since I post once a week, that makes Sideway Views 3 1/4 years old!  I may be amazed by how long I have been doing this blog, by current standards, but I realize that all my life I stay amazed by how each new season feels unique and new.  I am one who can liken herself to a goose -- I wake up every morning in a brand new world!

      This winter's wonders are no exception.  Of course, this year, wonder can have two meanings -- finding wonder-filled aspects of the season OR wondering how all this seriously dramatic weather can be happening.  So, to celebrate this new year, here are some photos from this past week.

      First, the milkweed report, current views of the two milkweed plants I have been following since July, one on our driveway and the other on the side of our road to town:


      Next are some of the photos I took of a mourning dove who seemed to be seeking snow storm shelter in the bushes below our living room window, puffing up the body, staying still, opening and shutting its eyes.  A second dove then joined in these activities.  The photos are made through two panes of glass, which dulls things a bit, and I apologize.  In any case these birds are not known for being colorful, though they are so less flighty than most other birds, a definite compensation for the photographer.
       To start, look at the eyes in the next pair of photos:

    And now, in the following pair of photos, look at the pair of doves, first back to back and then side by side:

       The blinking and the visiting went on for quite a while, which helped, since there were other things going on in the house I had to take time to deal with as well!

      On New Year's Day, I went for a walk in our woods and was down near the waterfalls.  Here are two photos showing the lay of the land in that area.  I would have shown more of the water falling (in the second photo), but it is steep there and the leaves were slippery from recent snow, and, sorry again, at that point I was not ready to risk my life.  
       I'd like to give a shout out to Chris who works in the Middle East but who is from this ridge.  These woods photos are for you. 

     The coming bitter temperatures will cause this waterfall area to freeze up.  This can be spectacular to see.  I will hope to be able to take some photos of it all to post next week. 
     I hope for warmth and safety for everyone affected by the storms in the USA this week, and in other places in our world as well.