Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving week, a photo a day

post #219
       Last week I said I would take a photo a day for this week.  I did it, even though a holiday week makes for some random images.  Here are six days, the photo -- and sometimes more than one photo for one day. I start from near my home, a sight I often pass, at all times of day and night:

       We traveled on Tuesday, heading west, to be with our son and his family.  Even the dog seemed glad to see us -- or am I just imagining that to be true....

      Wednesday we were up and about downtown Denver, checking out the blue bear sculpture,

     and traveling on the light rail and passing freight trains carrying coal.  I loved the lines and the colors here, and of course I love moving trains:

     There were also Thanksgiving preparations that evening,

      with more to do on Thanksgiving day.
     On Friday my granddaughter and I went to the wonderfully humid Botanical Gardens to meet a Kentucky friend, who is an ace photographer.  The day was sunny and warm, but the two following photos were taken inside the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory.  I chose the topics for how interesting they were to me.  

      Then yesterday more family came, some of us got dressed up for a Christmas photo taking session, and there was again good eating, this time mostly Mexican.  I made the last two photos after doing the family shoot. They are a happy way, for me, to end this post today.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

fourth and final year of my most popular blogs, and news (Arts Fair, George Ella Lyon book)

post #218
A bluebird nesting box in our yard, opened recently to reveal an even more crowded living situation than my study!  It is nice to have beautiful companions in crowdedness....

        Who would think it.  A post from a year ago ends up on my top three from year four.  It is called a change of seasons sweep-up: post #164 on 11/17/13.  There is mistletoe, barns, a four wheeler, and information about the upcoming annual Arts and Crafts Fair at Morehead State University.  I am thinking the number of page views might have something to do with the Fair, actually, since two weeks later, on 12/8/13, for post #167, I have some photos from the Fair -- which also made the top three posts for the year.  In fact, there have been recent viewers!  I do give the link for Monarch Butterfly stations, however, a hot topic in recent years.  The post is called Updates: monarch butterfly stations, the local arts Fair, and frogs changing colors.  
         I love that little frog whom I would not have noticed perched on a milkweed pod had I not been looking carefully at the plants almost every day, for art's sake.  Here is another photo of the frog when I went back to revisit him later in the day.  He had moved to a lower leaf, still green:


This is just another version of the frog earlier, on the milkweed pod above the leaf.

       The top post for year four includes a couple of milkweed in winter mode, several interesting but far from awesome photos of some mourning doves making do during a snow storm, and two scenes from down near our waterfalls. I don't even show the waterfalls, shaped by ice.  I have NO idea what draws attention to this post, #171, on 1/5/14.  A good mystery to have.  Maybe, now that I think about it, it might be due to the simple mention of milkweed in the title.

      By the way, I am doing the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Fair at Morehead State again this year, on Saturday, 12/6/14, in two weeks.  The hours are 9-4.  Of course my own hours are a lot more than that -- prep time earlier in the week, set-up time on Friday afternoon, and regrouping time after the 4 pm closing.   As my new bumper sticker points out, "ARTWORK IS WORK."
      This year I will have my photo note cards, as I always do, but I will have many more 8 x 12 photos matted in 12 x 16 archival mat board, each in a protective sleeve, $25 each.  I will be sharing a double booth again with Jennifer Reis!!  As I say every year after she and I do this, "ARTWORK SELLING CAN ALSO BE FUN!"
       If I manage to be on top of my game, I will post a photo from the Fair in a special blog post early that day!!  Girls gone wild!

         Speaking of artwork, it is a privilege to announce that George Ella Lyon has two books coming out in November.  The trailer for the first book, VOICES FROM THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON, has just been released, and she sings on it! Beautifully. The book contains poems written by two poets, George Ella and J. Patrick Lewis. They imagine the voices of people who took part in the march.  (Published by Wordsong, an imprint of Highlights, 2014)
        The link to the trailer is HERE.  I love the fact that her singing sounds louder and stronger just as the resolve to be there became stronger for those many people who went.

        This coming week, my plan is to take a photo a day for next week's post. I haven't actually ever done that yet, and I think it is way past time to try it.  I'm rewarding myself for finally studying the instruction booklet for my "new" camera....  In the meantime, here is a photo to keep you warm.  It shows all the wood my husband has prepared for this winter for use in our wood burning cook stove!  It is currently sheltered in the barn, with some logs used already since I made this photo.  Surprise, Frank, and thanks! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

three popular posts during the third year of my blog, and regional seasonal art venues

post #217
        My weekly posts have readers from all over the world, but the most come from the USA.  As I start on my 5th year of doing these posts -- every Sunday -- I have been sharing a few of the ones most viewed during each of the first four years.  Today is for year three, starting with post #122 on 1/27/13, titled "with a wood stove in our kitchen."
       Appropriately for our unusually early cold weather it shows our wood cook stove in action.  Indeed the stove is providing heat here today.  I don't know if visitors to this post were researching wood cook stoves and my post came up or whether they were experiencing cold weather and needed to think warm and toasty!

ash holder drawer, on the bottom

       That post also includes some winter photos by photographer John Flavell, so perhaps that could also be the reason for the high viewing numbers of this post....

        A second popular post is #148, from 7/28/13, titled "the country way of making room for the stuff of photography -- Sideway Gallery."  I am so fortunate to be able to have had this space for my work for almost four years now.  Living in the country makes this place both possible and necessary.

        One of the most popular posts ever is #114, on 12/2/12, featuring more of the photos Chris Garris had recently made in Indonesia.  Three of them are below.  The official title is "photos of Indonesia, part 3."  It also has photos by Carolyn Franzini, from her visit to Borobudur.  Thanks again to you both.

Ashley and Carolyn at Borobudur

        Before signing off, I want to share information about an art venue that has reopened this month -- in the Kentucky Market Pavillion along Interstate 64 near Owingsville, KY, off exit #123.   The displays look great, and they have great food.  The best info is on their Facebook page -- basically they are open daily 10 - 6, and noon - 5 on Sunday.  I have some notecards there, a selection of 12 x 16 matted prints, and copies of Counting on the Woods, signed by both myself and George Ella Lyon.  (Phone: 606/674-6688)
       I also sell photo note cards at CoffeeTree Books and at the Kentucky Folk Art Center, both in Morehead, KY, and at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, KY, right off exit 77 on Intersate 75.
        Enjoy!!  And stay warm!!  Buy local, wherever you are and whenever you can!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blog highlights, for the second year of the four

post #216
        The big election is over, and the candidate I have supported didn't survive the onslaught of money and meanness.  I am still proud I could vote, and for her.  My rural county and several others near here gave her the majority of our votes as did the big cities. (Kentucky has 120 counties, so they are small enough that we think of ourselves primarily as part of a county.) 

       Well, today I return to blog reviewing, for my blog year #2.  I'm just mentioning my most viewed posts -- popular for whatever reason.  Who knows why.  In fact, who ever knows what makes anything or anyone "popular!"
  • On 3/25/12, I talked about the different cameras I use.  The post is called "a plethora of cameras." (I liked the way those words sounded together.)  My tools haven't changed much since then, except that my best Canon camera is now a really better one.  I continue with my iPhone 4G as well as the Lumix point and shoot I can take out in the rain or under water.
  • On 6/10/12, my topic was part of the draft of the Appalachian Alphabet book George Ella Lyon and I are still working on.  Specifically, it's the letters Q, R, S!   If you have time to check out just one of these former posts, I recommend this one -- it has the greatest variety of photos. By the way, George Ella's latest book has just been released:  What Forest Knows, illustrated by August Hall and published by Atheneum.  It is getting some fine reviews!!
  • The post that got the most views was my tribute to Mike Mullins, from Hindman, KY, who died very unexpectedly.  He was the Executive Director of the Hindman Settlement School, and the power behind the annual Appalachian Writers Workshops there. I knew that many people who appreciated Mike would not be able to make it to Hindman for the funeral, in late February, 2012, so I am glad I was set up to be able to share some photos with them. 
      To finish this post, I'm going to yesterday.  I left home early to attend a conference in Midway, KY, just west of Lexington.  The topic was a report about energy options for Kentucky.  I found each presentation truly riveting.  And there was also discussion about the election, led by former Governor Martha Layne Collins.  I'm so glad I was able to be there.  
       I did take my camera with me, of course, and the first two photos are near home, showing that I indeed  left early!!)  The two maple tree photos are mid morning in Midway.  We don't see trees like that so much in my part of Kentucky.  A great day -- except I would have loved to have more morning time for photos in Midway, which is horse country beautiful.

the neighbors, untouched photo

behind me at that same spot

Midway College campus

      Today is sunny here, lovely, leaves keep falling, our wood cookstove is back in winter position, and I will be back here in a week....

Sunday, November 2, 2014

midway between Halloween and the election....

post #215
"Well, here she comes again, with that black thing in her face!"
    I saw this goat on my way to visit my clever neighbors who always have an amazing Halloween display.  The family hay ride and party had to take place two weeks ago, but LUCKILY two of their creative creatures were still there to greet me the day after Halloween:


 The leaves have been changing all through October.  Here below are three photos from last week:

fallen leaves on the driveway, facing the way we "leaf home":

the barn, behind the sycamore

the chicken house/tool shed building, with sign

       My milkweed project lasted a year, but I have been keeping an eye on the plants this year as well, out of habit.  I have seen hardly any of the fluffy, sailing seeds!  This year would have been a bust as far as following the plants month after month.  
      Then, just the other day, I noticed a single milkweed plant in a totally unexpected location, with seeds opening!  At last.  I took this first photo Thursday evening, with its lovely sedate artistic display. 
      This second photo was taken after our Friday night storm: wind! rain! first freeze!

       Many thanks to someone for the comment on my blog last week about my letter to the editor!  I'm sorry not to be able to write back, but I don't see the email address the comments are sent from.  
       The sun is shining today which is why I decided I would not continue my blog review until next weekend.  I want to get outside!!  But I do have one last democracy directive to throw your way.  The election is soon, on Tuesday, though the political shenanigans continue.  My hope is that if enough people get to the polls to vote, Kentucky might actually elect Secretary of State Alison Grimes to be our US Senator and change the course of history. 
      Alison came to nearby Morehead Thursday night, for some speech giving and photo taking.  She could so entirely do a great job as our US Senator.  I will be calmer next week once this whole thing is decided.  

       PLEASE VOTE, where ever you are, and bring a friend with you!!  We need to make a special effort this year to do so to honor the many citizens who are being shut out from voting because of repeated Republican attempts to make it harder to pass muster at the poles, despite hardly any voter fraud anywhere in the nation.  In Kentucky, we also need to honor the convicted felons who have done their time but are still blocked from voting!