Sunday, April 30, 2017


post #333

   Happy last day of April! I get to go this afternoon to my granddaughter's 6th birthday party, a few days before the actual date. Today is warm and sunny so far, so it's a good day to be outside with friends and the new puppy and the wandering cat who chose to have 2 kittens a few days ago behind their wood pile. Also there are the 3 recently added hens from nearby neighbors.  Who needs party favors!!
      During this past week, I have been connected to a local effort to speak up in support of refugees, immigrants, and others in the world who may need safety in a new place, including the place we live. I took the draft of the statement composed by some in Morehead to share with my writers group, which meets monthly, and we tried some things and had a good discussion!  But we didn't feel we got it exactly right (like in "write"....) Then this morning, Marie Bradby, in my writers group, emailed us all a fleshed out draft, and I am eager to share it here today.  Thanks, Marie!  The conversation continues. This is indeed something for all citizens to think about:

An Affirmation for Community

       In these challenging times, we are reminded that almost everyone in America has immigrant roots, whether the Irish we so proudly support on St. Patrick’s Day or people from Cuba, Sudan, Serbia—all seeking a better life. The ancestors of many black Americans were forced immigrants who fought and won the freedom and rights enjoyed by all others. No one has had it easy, not the Germans running desperately from the Third Reich, and not the American Indians—the natives of our country—struggling to hold onto the core of their culture from the blustery shores of the Atlantic, to the purple majestic mountains, to the mesas of the southwest.

        As descendants of immigrants and indigenous natives, we have so many things in common: paramount is the yearning to be free from oppression, persecution, discrimination, violence. We seek to raise our families in peace to be contributing members of society.

       Now, we face the need to think about how we can proudly embrace our community to include new neighbors, thereby enriching our [Morehead] home.

       We believe the lives of all of us are strengthened by the joining of strands of difference, just as a strong rope is formed from separate fibers. Let us use this time to come together as Americans.

              And now a few recent photos, mostly thanks to my work in my photo class at Morehead State. I'm grateful to have had to find these photos which otherwise I wouldn't have made.          
             Thank you for reading this particular post, and, as always, for being interested in my photos.
hiking in Laurel Gorge, in Elliott County, with daughter (and granddaughter)

Sunday morning -- for a photo shoot for the class I'm taking this semester

the pond where I live, and I'm sitting in my car, with a beanbag on the open window ledge to rest my camera on, to improvise a tripod

Another photo assignment is to try a photo in the style of another photographer. I was lucky to be able to do this when the morning light was overcast and just right.

I'm still doing the assignment, capturing mother/daughter -- and puppy -- where the path goes goes up, then down, headed to the waterfalls. One of my favorite photos growing up was the last photo in The Family of Man. This section of our path to the waterfalls has always reminded me of it. 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

This week it's dogwoods and red-winged blackbirds!

post #332
        Rainy week, good light this morning when I took these photos, and April's wonders continue.  I am again parked on a winding road, nearby, looking down on fields and woods. Thank you, drivers, for safely passing me. I wanted to revisit the dogwood tree alone in the woods, blooming with abandon. 

how it started today

spring greens above

     Back home, I ended up sitting/hiding in my car, with a bean bag on the open window ledge to use as a camera balance, trying to catch the red-winged blackbirds on the pond. I do get one -- a female -- using my 70 - 300 lens, which is the best I can do without being a committed bird photographer.  I have cropped one of the photos to show more detail about the bird - which is a female RWBB. I have read somewhere that a single daddy blackbird watches out for several nests at a time.


bird is there, but hard to see

cropped photo of the female red-winged blackbird

The bird is gone, but imagine it returning often....

turkey in the yard, with (trust me) a daddy RWBB companion
  I have way too much fun putting these posts together. I have other photo work that needs doing now, so thanks for the looking with me. I so appreciate all the people across the world who expressed support this Earth Day weekend for using hard-earned skills to learn as much as possible about the world we live in -- the one we want to preserve and protect by using this essential information. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

apple blossoms and red buds, April 8, 2017

post #331
       Not much space for writing today - there are all these photos I want to share. I made them a week ago, in the evening, spurred on by needing a photo of an apple orchard for a book project George Ella and I have been working on. I had to park the car very near a major curve on a hill on Route 32 in order to protect myself while working with my tripod. There are few photographers out there on the roadside.... and there was a lot more traffic than I expected.The evening light was so beautiful, though. It was almost dark when I finally left. I don't know if we will use any of the photos, of course, since we may need to show actual APPLES, but in the meantime, here is some Appalachian beauty as seen from 6 feet of roadway. I'm grateful I had an excuse to stop and look and savor.     
        Please note: these are most of the images I shot, since I work at a deliberate pace. They are unedited, and in chronological order, as I explored what angles I could manage from where I was located. And the evening light was, of course, gradually dimming. A friendly reminder: click on one of the photos and then look at them one by one, larger, along the bottom of your screen.















        If one or two of these work particularly well for you, please let me know.  I will give each photo a number, in case, to reduce confusion since they are versions of a whole.  Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

family photos from southeastern Kentucky

post #330
       Every once in a while I reach out to share photos by other photographers. Last week, in the great digital photography class at Morehead State that I'm TAKING, I was curious and asked to see Rachel Cook's work for our second project in the class - environmental portraiture. We were assigned to produce 80 photos as contact prints and then choose 6 - 8 of them to print.
        I thought her work was so evocative. It spoke to me. I asked her if I could post some of those photos and she said yes. Thank you, Rachel! 
       The photos were made at her home in Letcher County, Kentucky, over the spring break. They all live in her grandmother's house. It's a special kind of challenge to be making photos in such an intimate location where the people there have to sort of ignore what one member of the family is doing -- to say nothing of how hard it is to work with available light. I know this is the age of everyone taking photos of each other, but to show a slice of family life and family feeling is a whole other accomplishment. At least that's how I see it. Since I have this handy blog, I now hope visitors here can experience this slice as well, including the putting away of groceries and the caring for one another.

      My political plea for the week: the arts are so valuable in expressing who we are and the world we want to have. Please speak up for Arts Funding, and this includes the Kentucky Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Kentucky Educational Television (KET) and our brave and visionary citizen artists, like Rachel and the other members of our photography class. Seek truth and celebrate it.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

from northeastern Kentucky, but with some remaining English photos

post #329, on Sunday, April 2   --   Happy Birthday, today, to Ann Scott! 

       I'm looking forward to sharing some photos from a few of my classmates in my Morehead State University digital photography class. Next week. But today I have several photos from England that I have not yet shared. Though I had decided not to bring my best camera on the trip, for weight and weather considerations, I did have my 6s iPhone, an earlier Canon SLR I used to know how to work without thinking, and a Canon point and shoot. Since it did rain quite a bit, I'm glad I wasn't relying on my full frame Canon, but it turned out I was a bit awkward on the other two Canons. Sometimes even a thinking pause can thwart a good photo. And sometimes there's nothing like the iPhone's reliabilitly for certain shots.

First, a reminder of Snowshill Manor, house and fields. Try pronouncing it like the locals do - with 'now' sounding like now, as in 'right now.'

Thea's choice for the photo to show of the entrance of the house.

This March garden is located near that front door. Did you doubt me when I said it rained quite a bit??

Inside treasures included some costumes in the closet to try on!

Back in town, we try to stop by to see Christina -- of the threads collection fame -- who lives almost directly across the street from my stepmother. Gotta love the gate!

And it is even better when Christina opens it!! And when she doesn't let her beloved dog run out into the street!!
Please note: she is not as short as this photo may make it look like she is.

This is what is actually directly across the street from her red gate.

Next two more photos from Hidcote Gardens of a girl on the move:

and three more from the Airbnb where R and T were staying:

the kitchen/dining room window sill later in the week

Koala and the blanket traveled with us, but the bed was just waiting for them to arrive!

I love the spontaneity of this photo, and I wish I had for once requested that she give me one more try....
A brief note about a loss our community has had, when Larry Nethterton passed away Friday night. He was the National Public Radio go to in Eastern Kentucky, running the station from MSU --  WMKY -- that is currently celebrating 50 years on the air and whose funding is currently and sadly in peril.  I worked for him part time for several years, doing the PR and fundraisers. I am also friends with his wife, Mary Jo, and his daughter and mine are close as well. Larry, thank you for how hard you cared and worked and made a difference.