Sunday, May 29, 2016

back home, Memorial Day weekend

post #286
     Next week will be England, part 2. Today I am pausing to recognize the importance of Memorial Day in the region where I live. All the cemeteries are sparkling, and many relatives from away have come in for the weekend. I have missed the shared meal of the McDaniel family today, in their shelter building near the family cemetery, because of other things going on here at the house, but I have been thinking of them all. It's not raining or too hot today, just cloudy with an occasional sprinkle. Sort of perfect!
      First, three photos from the cemetery on our place that I made a couple of weeks ago. I thought the blue flowered carpet was amazing. As of last night, all had been 'cleaned up'.

I discovered this lovely line of flowers behind this gravestone.

overview of one family's section of the cemetery

 Last evening's view of the same two headstones:

 More views of from the whole cemetery:

newly spruced up table top and benches

The tall trees are all part of our land.

      Well, in London last week, I also visited a memorial of sorts, in Bloomsbury, the neighborhood where the homes of Virginia Woolf and many of her family and friends are located, along Gordon Park, near the British Museum. That day the park was filled with school groups, and flowers. George Ella, this is for you.
from the sign post at one of the park entrances

          We are who we are because of who came before us. We honor and love these family members as well as others we have learned from by keeping them in our hearts and minds -- and by acknowledging their part in our on-going lives. For me, this means also working for peace so that brave lives don't have to be lost at war when there are surely other ways to solve problems --  even when that can seem impossible to imagine. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

England in May, part 1

post #285      
       My greetings from across the pond, in the United Kingdom, the other UK in my life (besides the signature university in Kentucky). I am once again visiting my stepmother here, and even though I don't have my main camera with me, I do have a few photos to share.
       First, three from town, which is Chipping Campden, in the Cotswolds. I have shown photos from here before, and next week I will give the links to my other posts from here over the last 5 years.
It's the wisteria time of year.

Chipping Campden is famous for this market place, built in 1627, located on High Street.

This marker is nearby. It sounds so Zen to me!  And Bath is a city... 

Spent some time with a friend in town in her garden area following the antics of a couple of nesting robins. I really missed having my main camera for shots like this!
Farm country surrounds the town.

I guess this group of homes could be called a suburb of CC....

Yesterday I had my visit with June and BIll, friends of our whole family, whom I look forward to seeing every time I come.  First, the chestnut tree in the field behind their home:

I thought they were looking great, especially since their granddaughter had turned 18 this past week, and there had been a big party one night and a family dinner another.  It seems eighteen is the new twenty-one as far as birthdays are considered. This photo makes me happy.

Their house is on the right, with some of its very old parts showing. However, it was warm enough yesterday for us to have our visit in the sun room, if that is what they call it.  Maybe they say the new room.

I made this photo in light rain, at the end of the road that goes through their village: rape seed, for making oils. I love seeing yellow fields, appearing along every road during this time of year.

This morning I followed this public foot path through this field and then next to a plowed field and then up the next hill, on the way to Broad Campden, a village near CC and perhaps part of it. There was actual sun this morning -- however, the photos I took in Broad Campden ended up with the date on them -- hard to take it off -- so I will post them next week when I am home and have more time. This post is simply a taste of the place where I find myself at the moment. 

looking back -- at a man walking his dog

Please note: This tag along paragraph is not about politics exactly, but more about relations with citizens of other countries. I simply have to mention that, as I knew would happen, every Brit who has brought up the subject of Donald Trump has been incredulous that someone as poorly spoken as he is would be a possible president of the USA. They are also very wary of a Trump presidency, because it sounds like Americans are flirting with having extremely unreliable leadership in dangerous times. I tell them that I agree, that many of us are embarrassed and sad to see this happening. In any case, there is never a good time for an inexperienced and totally self-absorbed person to be a head of state.  Well, I guess that last sentence sounds pretty political, but I am feeling exposed over here as a visiting American and this country is more than just full of pretty pictures. They are our friends, and we all need to think BIG PICTURE.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

celebrating photography friendships and ways of seeing

post #284
       I have been looking forward to sharing a variety of photos friends are making. Today there are four such folks. I hope to do another post later in the near future with four others. We each work by ourselves, behind the lens -- and most of us feel we see more from behind the lens than any other way.  We love the act of capturing a personal vision. However, another part of the experience is the sharing of what we see, with other photographers and with eyes from all over the world. I do this post with gratitude for the support I feel from these friends-with-photos. My sincere thanks to Rebecca, Tom, Mary and Chris for letting me post a few of your photos today.

        First, Rebecca, who has such an excellent eye, and she is quick. I am sort of a privacy nut, so as usual I am not necessarily giving full names, but I am proud to proclaim that Rebecca is my daughter! (The title for these three photos, however, are by me.)

bubble nostalgia - I remember that urge to test the bubbles in my bath.

wearing a dress her grandmother (me) once wore

Besides being quick, Rebecca is also playful!

        Next is Tom, who discovered the 4 x 5 camera in his twenties, and who would continue to lug that lovely thing around (a Zone VI Field Camera) were it not for his more than full time job as a professor at the University of Minnesota. He can make a great image with his iPhone 5 as well.
         I find a lot of peace in looking at this photograph and imagining the place having many looks over so many thousands of years.This ancient mound area is near Dayton, Ohio.

Many of Tom's images show the urban landscape, often in Cincinnati. This is one of them.

 city scape, this winter, Minneapolis

       A third friend is Mary Rezny who owns a gallery and studio in Lexington where she  features a core group of artists and she photographs art work brought to her or she goes to such places as museums to do that. SOMETIMES she even gets to do her own work, and be her inventive self. I bought this photo of hers several years ago, and I still love it. It takes me deep into the woods everytime I gaze at it. It's a lumen photo, with oil paint. 

       And now it is Chris's turn, and a remarkable turn it is. Chris Garris grew up near where I live, on the next ridge, in fact, but he went and got a PhD and taught in Saudi Arabia before returning to the USA two years ago. He now teaches psychology at Metro State University in Denver, Colorado. He does love to travel, and I find him a truly awesome photographer.  More of his photos can be seen on his Flicker site, Universal Stopping Point (click here.

          Two photos from the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve -- in Colorado: 

evening mist

         A photo of Ugandan kob, made in Queen Elizabeth National Park, in Uganda, and it was raining at the time:

         Now two photos from Ethiopia:
Mursi girl with puppy

Mursi women with assault rifles

     Chris's photos come with captions, on his Flicker account and to me. For my own information, I looked up 'kob' and found out it is or they are "an antelope with a reddish coat and lyre-shaped horns, found on the savannas of southern Africa." 

     I am happy just being in the company of these artists, and thank you all again. Don't forget that by clicking on a single photo, it is possible to get all the photos lined up at the bottom of the screen to be viewed in a larger size, and in greater detail.  Enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Spring flowers, in between showers, plus cliffs and my kids

post #283
        I had hoped to do my guest photographers post today, but three of them are in the throes of end of university semesters, and therefore have somewhat of an excuse for not getting their photos to me in a timely manner. I will keep trying to herd these cats, for next week or the week after. In any case, spring is fast turning into summer, and I just happen to have some recent spring photos to post!  We have been having our fair share of rain, so I feel lucky to have the photos I did manage to make this past week....
       First, a few from around the house....

mourning doves at the well-ness center....

the steps, under the dogwood

       Our county has a nature center that includes a section of the path designed for wheel chairs as well as regular foot travel. It all starts at the Laurel Gorge Heritage Center

along the first section of the path, with rhododendron (not in bloom in May)

a view of the limestone cliffs, from the path

a colony of pink lady's slippers!!

Notice the difference in the shape of this pink lady's slipper bloom with the yellow one that follows:

These yellows are somewhat less common than the pinks.

       Several moments of fascination for me, seeing what I see when surrounded by these wonders:

        Since today is mother's day, I want to end with a photo of the two people who taught me so much about life, about mothering, and about love. I share this photo with unending gratitude -- and with a reminder that you were each as cute and fascinating long ago as you are now....!