Category: Nature



Once home from Maine we’ve had an extended period with no travel and more mundane life. It was a relief to enjoy the comfort of our home, do a few projects, and have the suitcases in storage for a bit! However, before I get to that, let me show a few photos from our ferry ride home from Maine on the New London to Orient Point ferry. It was pouring rain for the entire ride – not conducive to much photography. But, sometimes the fog and gray conditions create their own beauty:

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1. Another ferry in the distance
2. Orient Point Lighthouse

So – this entry will be devoted to a few photos from our daily life here over the last month or so. I’ve given up on the 365 project, so the photos haven’t been taken daily, but it is a snapshot of August and September…

Thistle is a weed. It’s invasive, grows very quickly, and has the potential to choke other plants which are growing around it. Prior to our trip to Maine, I noticed some thistle growing right in the middle of our front yard hedge. The flowers had not yet bloomed, so I asked Ray to allow it to stay there – just until the flowers bloomed so I could get photos. Days after we returned from Maine – the pink flowers appeared…. It’s such and interesting plant in that the leaves are so full of prickers and sharp as a tack, as you can see in the second photo below! But – the softness of the pink bloom is like a kitten’s fur! What a dichotomy! It is a wonderful place for bees, butterflies, and the goldfinch!

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Only hours after these were taken, Ray chopped down the thistle. It was kind of weird looking growing high above the hedge! It was sad to see it go, knowing that wildlife thrives on it.

The next grouping of photos is from an unusually stunning sunset. Ray and I were on our way home from having dinner out, and the entire earth was engulfed in these pink and orange tones. I didn’t have my camera with me – so I begged Ray to “drive fast” to get me home so I could grab my camera – hopefully in time. These kinds of sunsets don’t usually last all that long. He did – and I ran back to a place up the street where the vision is the best for viewing the sunset. I made it in time, and got the tail end of it:

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In photo #2, you can see the small crescent moon off to the left side…

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The sunset light reflects on my car

Ray and I took a ride in his ’57 t-bird on Dune Road, which is a road that abuts the ocean. There are lots of summer “cottages” (uh – more like mansions!) along the way. Normally I don’t bother with my camera, as Ray is never able to stop for me to get a photo or two. But – this time I did, and took a few from the car as we were riding. Often these don’t turn out very well due to blur, but here are a few from that ride:

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1. The Dunes Church. This building was painted this year, and it’s so bright. At first I didn’t like it, but each time I pass by, the color is growing on me
2. One of those “summer cottages” ~

We’re renovating our computer room in our house — removing the 35 year old lime green shag rug, and replacing computer furniture, removing an old single bed, and replacing that with a futon, and we will be redoing the hardwood floor and repainting this winter (when we’re gone). It will be so good to get rid of that terribly bright yellow paint….! Here’s the room in the midst of the chaos of the task!

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Photo #2 is the new computer nook set up…

Blue Moon – August 31, 2012!

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…with a little help from photoshop…! 🙂

And, last but not least, I never tire of taking photos of the kitties! 🙂

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Misty

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Felix – silly kitty loves to lie on his back!

Mundane life is about to end, however. In 2 days I’ll be headed to Claire’s – and then she, her husband and I will be driving to “Crane Fest” in Wisconsin. This is Operation Migration’s annual gathering where events are scheduled like a dinner, wildlife refuge tour, auction, and annual meeting for Operation Migration, and I don’t know what all else.  I’ve never been before, so I’ll find out!  I have decided to go – but didn’t want to go alone, so am tagging along with my good friend Claire, and her husband. I have spoken about this organization here in previous entries (here and here) during their crisis with the FAA and flying the ultralights.

So – – stay tuned for an entirely different set of photos from my next adventure. If I can post while gone, I will, but otherwise, I’ll be back in early October to update!

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Kezar Lake, July 18-28, 2012


Our time this year at Kezar was nothing like the vacations of my youth where my grandfather called the shots, the routine was exacting, and the life style, rustic. Up until this trip, my husband and I had a busy summer filled with unplanned medical issues, (which have mostly been resolved), as well as trips and events that I wouldn’t exactly call “relaxing”. We were so ready for some rejuvenation time, and 10 days spent “in camp” on Kezar Lake is just the ticket! However, preparations for the trip are a little more involved than going to a “resort” where all your creature comforts are taken care of for you. Although there are blankets in camp, we have to bring up our own bedding. We also need to roughly plan our menus and figure out whatever other necessities we need prior to leaving home. On our way into camp we shop at a major grocery store to purchase these things. The local store nearest camp, The Center Lovell Market, carries a good many things, and I’m impressed with it’s selections. However, it still is a small store, and often an item or two is not carried. This one shopping trip basically holds us for the duration, and we supplement our groceries as needed from the Center Lovell store.

Once we settle into camp, with beds made and groceries put away, it’s time to get serious about the main reason for being there … “chillin'”! And that is just what we did.

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Good Morning, Kezar – as taken from our bedroom upstairs!

Morning coffee was either on the porch or the dock. We lingered – and breakfast often blended into lunch.

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If not on the dock, most of life is lived on the porch!

Dock time! Swimming happened anytime we felt the need for a cool, refreshing break. I had my camera nearby — usually with the 100-400 zoom lens attached — with me to record our time and whatever wildlife we might encounter…

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1. A loon pops up not far from the dock. I think this is what kept me so vigilant with my camera, as one never knew when a loon would appear close by in photography distance. It happened more than once during our stay. They are such beauties! I love their breeding plumage!
2. We have these spiders who live under the dock and either in or under our canoe – not sure. This fear kept me from taking the canoe out at all during our stay, as I didn’t want to get out in the middle of the lake and find one of them crawling around inside the canoe with me! I don’t know what kind of spider they are, but don’t believe they are harmful. However, they *are* are large. I also know they are more scared of us than we are of them because if I leaned nearer them to get the photograph, they often would scamper away.

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1. There seemed to always be a spider on the edge of the canoe!
2. The dragon flies were most beautiful – and there were many of them.

There are things about the view from the dock that I often would zero in on in my photographs:

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I am intrigued with this boathouse that is on one of the islands across the lake. The sunlight catches the roof at mid morning giving off a bright glow on both the roof and the reflection on the lake. But – in the afternoon, one can see it’s pretty green color.

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1. Wouldn’t you like to live in this cabin – sitting on top of this hill looking down over Kezar? Nice boathouse, too!
2. Cloud cover was often the subject for my photographs. I enjoyed how much it changed.

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Water fun: water skiing, sailing and kayaking!

At the end of the day, we either had cocktails on the dock, on the porch, or inside the cabin, then dinner. We ate in camp most of the time, but also had a dinner out at Ebenezer’s Pub twice (for some great microbrewery beer!) and Pleasant Point Inn once. On one occasion we had breakfast, and then another time, lunch at the little restaurant at the Center Lovell Market. It was a nice interlude, and a place to quickly check email on our phones, as they have wifi! There is next to no cell phone service, nor do we have internet or TV reception in camp.

We had one of the most gorgeous sunsets at Pleasant Point Inn…

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Salad presentation is everything!

As I think back on our 10 days in camp, we didn’t “do” all that much. In a way I wish we had done more like take rides in the canoe / kayak, or taken a road trip to Portland, or another place of interest in Maine. Bottom line: we were so incredibly lazy! However, we left feeling much better about life and ourselves. Sometimes it’s good to swear off technology (like TV and internet) and live simply with just a camera in hand, and a good book to read.

Returning to “civilization” is not always easy, although, for this technology junkie, I was glad to return to internet and TV! In addition, it’s interesting how one is so attuned to hearing background noises of civilization – like traffic sounds, horns beeping, ambulances, TV noises, household air conditioning, etc. We blot it out from one’s conscious attention. However these sounds are not present when one is on Kezar, and are replaced by the nature’s sounds: loons, an occasional bull frog, wind in the trees, rain on the roof, the lapping of lake water against the shoreline rocks, and just plain silence. Returning back to “civilization noises” is almost too much stimuli. Until one begins to again blot these sounds out, it can be a bit overwhelming.

I have so many stories of many other years at Kezar, and I’d like to compile them in a few entries here. As I think on them, they will become entries of their own… Later on that.


After the 4th of July, it was time to pack for a quick trip to Hilton Head to pick up Ray’s 2003 t-bird, which was still down there, and needed to come back to New York to be inspected. On July 6th we drove south together to accomplish this task. This would not be a long trip, and definitely was not considered a “vacation”. We planned only to spend two days there to rest up before returning north again, with Ray driving the t-bird and me driving our Ford Edge. Of course I took the time to take some photos while we were there…

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1. Front Yard – Hilton Head Island
2. Sego Palm branch
3. Sego Palm

We didn’t do all that much during the two days there in order to rest for our return trip. The weather was hot — triple digit hot — so we limited our outside activities unless absolutely necessary. However, I connected with my friend, Kim – and we took a sunset photo walk on a beach up in Sea Pines the night before we left. It was hot and humid – even at that hour of the day, but the breeze was stiff which tempered the heat.

However, I ran into an interesting problem when I tried to take photos. The temperature and humidity difference between the air conditioned house and car and the hot sticky beach was great and my camera’s lens totally fogged up – – so much so that when it was at it’s worst, there was no way the camera would auto focus on anything. When I looked through the camera, it was like looking through my own foggy eye glasses when there is a change in temperature from cold to warm, so I understood what was going on. It’s not as if this was the first time this has happened to me with a camera, either. However, it seemed to take an unusually long time for the lens to finally right itself. Kim wasn’t having issues, and was taking photos, which worried me some. I didn’t know if I should intervene and clean it – but my instinct told me not to mess with that inner lens – especially on a windy, sandy beach where sand particles could get inside. Thankfully, right before the sunset, it finally cleared out – – just in time!

Here are pictures as taken through the foggy lens once it would auto focus:

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1. The first picture my camera took with foggy lens of sea debris
2. Oddly beautiful — eerie – facing into the sun.

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1. Professional photographers often use the beach as a backdrop for formal family photos, and this family is organizing for their picture. I think the choice of turquoise is nice contrast to the color of the sand.
2. The water is “liquid gold”!

The Sunset
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Sunset – far away and close up

If you wish to see any of my photos larger, click on them to see them in Flickr.

Golf and Flowers


The last two days I’ve focused on flowers as my 365 photo subjects. It’s summer – floral color is everywhere and I must take advantage!

Yesterday I played golf for the first time in nearly a year. I am not a fan of the game, but my husband and son are, and my in-laws were. It was inevitable that at some point I would be drawn into the game. When my son was young, the amount of time he and his father played together, leaving me at home by myself, made me realize that if I wanted more family time with them, I’d have to take up this game myself. I enjoyed my alone time, but I also missed them. So – I took up golf – admittedly a bit grudgingly. Unlike our son, who was a natural at the golf swing, I had to work at it, take many lessons, and practice, practice, practice. It was also a game which made me nervous, as a speedy “pace of play” is expected so one does not hold up the group behind you. When one is learning and not hitting the ball well, that is difficult. While learning the game, I felt “watched”, and I worried I was being criticized from players behind me for holding them up – so much so, that I was often reduced to tears, and my golf got even worse! I wanted to quit, but persevered because my family wanted me to play. Ultimately I got good enough so that some of this nervousness subsided, and I actually began to like the game, although I’ve never had a love affair with it either. I still am not much of a player, and my golf handicap – which is a 36 – has actually gotten worse over the last year, mostly due to lack interest, which translated into lack of play. The reality is that my interest in photography has increased at the same rate that my interest in golf has decreased! But – I still can keep up and manage to play the game without embarrassing myself … most times.

I am a member of the 18 hole women’s association, but this year I have not played … until yesterday. I’ve been avoiding it, but so many have asked where I’ve been that I thought I’d best appear on the scene!

The tournament yesterday was to benefit the Ellen Hermanson breast Center at Southampton Hospital. $20. got you into the tournament, and there were winners in 4 different “flights” (handicap levels). Each participant got a goody bag with a t-shirt, golf tees, pen and post-it notes – all in pink! The day was crystal clear, very cool (requiring a wind shirt) and very windy. The wind was a major distraction, but I managed to hold my own, and won a gorgeous hanging flowering plant for winning my flight! 🙂

Considering the lengthy amount of time since I’d played before, I was surprised but very pleased! Yet, in reality, there is a phenomenon whereby one often does much better the first time one plays after a long hiatus. One has fewer expectations to play well. One is simply glad to hit the ball ok as much as possible. More importantly, the critical voices in your head telling you every little thing that is wrong with your golf swing are less vocal. In that first game, you simply rely on body memories to accomplish the golf swing. Now … if I could silence those voices during my next game, I would be happy!

So – – today’s photo will be what I won – – the (pink – the breast health color) flowering plant, which now hangs out on the over hang on our deck:

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365 photo #178. I admit – – I do not know what this flower is – and I pray I can keep this alive. I’m known to be a “plant killer” – though not intentionally! If I find out the name of the plant, I’ll add it here.

Bonus photos … some of the individual flowers:

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Will this little winning motivate me to play more? I kind of doubt it. However, it did remind me that I still *can* play, and I’m sure I’ll play “sometimes”. I did sign up for next week’s tournament, but because of travel during the month of July, I won’t be able to play until August. In hot, humid weather, I count the holes until the game is over, and yesterday’s game was anything but that. So — we’ll see how it goes as time moves forward…

Today’s photo are more of our hydrangeas. They are more nearly in full bloom and are becoming very pretty:

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365 photo #179

Bonus photos:

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Hydrangeas are interesting flowers in that with some varieties their floral color is – I believe – based upon the level of acidity in the soil. We do nothing to our soil, so our mostly dark blue flowers tell us that our soil is naturally acidic. The more blue the flower, the more acidic the soil. Yet – we also have shades of pink in some of the flowers, and in some blooms both colors are represented. It makes for a very pretty bush!

I admit — I am a little sentimental about this hydrangea bush. It was given to me by Ray’s Rotary Club on the occasion of my father’s death in 1988. So – I think of him when I enjoy the blooms.


Here’s a quick photo update of the last two days…

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, and the weather perfect. I took a photo of our pool. Inviting … yes?!

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365 photo #176 (June 24)

Today I woke up to the darkest skies ever and rumbling thunder noises in the background. I thought it was a lot earlier than it was, and quickly checked the weather map at accu-weather on my computer to see what was going on. There was a large front – with “red blobs” of very stormy weather, and they were headed right for us. There is something inviting about a rainy morning like this, especially if I do not have to go out anywhere and can just enjoy my morning coffee with Ray — listening to the sound of rain on the roof. And – it was a cozy morning.

I took one photo when it was raining the hardest looking out of our sliding glass door towards the back door which is sort of off to one side. It was an experiment in learning to use different F-stop settings to see how much of the photo — both raindrops and door — I could get into focus. Of course the higher the f-stop, the slower the shutter speed, and since I wasn’t using a tripod, the blurrier the photo! But – I got a few shots, one of which will be my photo of the day. It’s not an exciting photo, but it is a photo that describes the morning:

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365 photo #177 (June 25)

Today’s bonus photo shows that by sunset the skies ultimately cleared – – somewhat, at least. In reality, the weather really remained unstable most of the day…

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This was taken up the street from us where there are fewer trees than around our house so the sunset was more visible. I stopped along side of the road where there is a farm field before the houses that you see in the background. The reflection of the sky in the standing water was really pretty.

Tomorrow I will be playing golf for the first time this season, and I can’t take my camera onto the course as it’s an annoyance to my playing partners. I wish I could because a golf course can be a very scenic environment! Sometimes, instead of concentrating on the golf, I’m forming photos in my mind! However, I will get a photo of some kind when I get home… I think the weather will be good – and not too hot, either. However, if it is, there’s the pool (above) to cool off once I get home!


Yet again I’ve allowed myself to get way behind on the posting of my photos, and will try to catch up now. I admit – I missed taking a photo during one of the days during this time. Much has happened since I last posted. I’ve returned from a wonderful visit to my friends Claire and Terry. While there, I attended the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church on the day that the new retirees made 3 minute speeches capsulizing their ministries. Terry is now retired, and I was there and took photos while he spoke and Claire stood next to him. It was a moving experience to be a part of their transition to “retired status”.

We also had dinner in a Japanese steak house at their hibachi grill and on another day we went to “Mark of the Potter” gift shop to check out their hand crafted pottery. But, most of all, I just enjoyed being with Claire and Terry in their lovely new home which they purchased a few months ago for their retirement years. It’s beautiful and a house which just screams “I’m home” when you’re inside. It’s also not far from a National forest so birds and wildlife are never far. At dusk it’s not uncommon to see deer scampering through the yards in the neighborhood.

Now that I’m home, it’s back in mundane routine. There are days when I am at a loss as to what to photograph, as I fear I’m repeating myself. Same subject, just different day. Maybe I am, but often the second photograph reveals something new I didn’t see the first time, so there is nothing wrong with that, either. there also have been days I’ve not been in the mood to take photos, but that is also part of the process – to push myself even when I don’t want to bother. On one day my photo was taken close to midnight.

So … with that – I’ll pick up where I left off:

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365 photo #163 (June 11). This was one of the nights we went to the Japanese Restaurant “Kiku’s” – and I took pictures during the show. This is taken when the chef piles onion slices in the shape of a volcano, and then lights it to allow smoke and flames to come from inside so it truly appears like an erupting volcano. You can see our main course is also cooking at the same time!

365 photo #164 (June 12) – EPIC FAIL. No photo taken

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365 photo #165 (June 13) – This was the day we were at the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. This was a globe from a world missions booth. The dove is a symbol of peace, and the globe has Africa facing the outward. I took many photos of Claire and Terry but not sure they should be posted, as they were taken particularly for them.

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365 photo #166 (June 14) – this photo was taken at “Mark of the Potter”, which is located right along a flowing stream. In fact there is a balcony in the shop that looks over this stream. What a beautiful setting!

Bonus photos for this day:

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1. The rushing stream
2. I love this sign 🙂 It pretty much gets the message across from the trout’s point of view!

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Both photos were taken near Claire’s feeders outside her front door…
1. male goldfinch
2. female cardinal

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365 photo #167 (June 15). I left Claire and Terry’s on this day and this photo is taken at the Hampton Inn motel where I stayed that night. I was on the 4th floor – and it was an interesting view at sunset. Sometimes high tension wires can be photogenic!

Bonus photos from the motel:

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1. view as a whole from my room
2. purple clouds of sunset – also from the room.

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365 photo # 168 (June 16) – These are the coffee mugs I purchased from “Mark of the Potter”. I love the shape, and they are very comfortable to hold, not to mention that they hold a lot of coffee, which is a requirement for a coffee mug for me!

I just checked – and according to my camera, I technically took this photo at 12:03 a.m. on June 17, but I’m going to count it as June 16th!

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365 photo #169 (June 17). Periodically I must make sure the kitties are subjects for the photo of the day. This is Felix lying on one of his favorite beds, on the back of the couch where we’ve placed their fleece beds. 🙂

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365 photo #170 (June 18) Late afternoon sun looking out over our front yard. You can see the shadow of the top of the house on the lawn at the bottom of the photo, plus our arbor vitae, and the birch tree to the right in the photo.

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365 photo #171 (June 19) – male and female cardinal ground feeding under the feeders.

Two bonus photos of male cardinals near the bird feeders out back:

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365 photo #172 – (June 20). This is not that great a photo, as I had to take it out a rather dirty window. the deer is at the edge of our property all set to dart away through the bushes. If I’d tried to go out, I’m sure this very skittish deer would have been long gone and the photo would never have happened. I messed with contrast and saturation to make it a bit more clear, but it still feels a bit distorted. At dusk we have so many deer who frequent our yard. The hedge in front of our house has been pretty much decimated by the deer this year, and we have to do something about planting something else — making sure it’s something deer don’t like to eat!

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365 photo #173 (June 21) Our hydrangea is beginning to come out!! More photos will come later of these!

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365 photo #174 (June 22 – yesterday) I was not in the mood for photography yesterday and I don’t know why. So – later in the evening I took a photo of the soda I was drinking – black cherry Fresca. It’s my favorite flavor. Sadly it’s next to impossible to get in Hilton Head. I bring down a few 12 packs, and then drink it sparingly while we’re there.

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365 photo #175 (June 23 – today). This is a view of our side yard (I’m standing in the front yard) showing the brick walkway which goes up to the front of our house, and a section of our driveway. It was a gorgeous day today!

And – that completes the photos – – until tomorrow, of course. Until then….!


Let’s see if I can catch up … only to get behind again!

Tomorrow I’m leaving on yet another trip. Due to needing to go to PA because of my mom’s illness in March, I was unable to visit my good friend, Claire in North Georgia. At that time we were planning to do a spring piano / flute concert in her church. She ended up doing the concert alone, and I can’t redo that experience. However, I can finally do a visit, and I am leaving for her house tomorrow. Among other interests we share, we both are photography enthusiasts, so I will have lots of different photos to share for my daily 365 photo during my visit. I”m looking forward to the change of scenery and some different kinds of photos from a different area. Claire lives in a beautiful area, so who knows what my subjects will be for my photos!!

But – before I do – I am going to finally catch up on the photos that are not yet posted…

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365 photo #150 – (May 29) – House Finch in the black pine staging area for the feeders.

Bonus photos:

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1. Grackle – kind of a bully bird. I feed the birds only safflower seeds mainly because the grackles don’t much like it so they are less likely to be around to bully the smaller birds. However, they try…!
2. Male Cardinal in the black pine “staging area” of the bird feeders.

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365 photo # 151 (May 30) – a gorgeous sunset which gave the world an orange glow for a bit!

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365 photo #152 (May 31) – I believe these are crabapple blossoms which grow wild around our yard and neighborhood.

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365 photo #153 – (June 1) Misty lying on her fleece mat which we have placed on the couch above our head as we’re sitting. I will miss my kitties when I’m gone…

Bonus photo:

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I must include Felix if I’ve shown Misty! 🙂

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365 photo #154 (June 2) – Female cardinal hanging out on an old wrought iron railing that was placed there after being removed a very long time ago. I had forgotten it was there until I saw Mrs. Cardinal there that day. I can’t believe it hasn’t been pitched, as it was from a patio that has long since been transformed.

Bonus photos:

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1. Red winged blackbird — Sometimes they are “bully birds” to the smaller birds, but they are so pretty, I think.
2. Dove

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1. White Rhododendron. The white ones are the last to bloom, so these flowers are almost done for the season. They are so pretty and am always sad when they’re done blooming.
2. The white rhododendron bush

Yesterday I made a point of going down the street to where I’ve noticed a vacant field that’s had numerous wildflowers planted. I don’t know who owns the field and why they are planting these flowers. I think it’s a future development – but it is really pretty. I stopped by to take some close up and landscape photos of the field while it’s so pretty. I don’t know what many of the flowers are…

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365 photo #155 (June 3) I don’t know what this purple flower is, but blurred in the background is a large area of wild daisies.

Bonus photos:

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365 photo #156 (June 4) – suitcase packed — ready to go tomorrow morning – pronto! It was not much of a photo day today…

And — that brings me up to date. I don’t know how well I can keep this up while I’m gone, but there will be photos for those days to post later….

Laterz…!


I’m never going to catch up if I let days go by before writing any entries. I end up just as behind as ever! Photos are being taken and I’m happy to say that I’m finding almost as much interest here on Long Island as I did when I was in Hilton Head. The landscape, plants and wildlife are different but still beautiful in their own way. I have places I want to go for future photos – so it’s all good. I do miss Hilton Head, the lagoon, the beach, Great Blue Herons, egrets and bluebirds. In the last few days the island has been inundated with bad weather. Tropical Storm Beryl has dropped torrents of rain, and I hope there has been no flooding or wind damage.

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365 photo #141 (May 20) – a blue jay in the “staging area” trees – not far from the feeders. They don’t get on the feeders much but are basically ground feeders. Blue Jays can be such bullies to the smaller song birds (along with grackles and red winged blackbirds), but despite that, they are so pretty to look at with such beautiful blue markings!

A few bonus photos:

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1. The lilac bush is blooming!
2. More rhododendrons. We have several bushes, and they don’t bloom all at the same time, which is nice as it extends the season.

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365 photo #142 – (May 21) — Ooops – I nearly forgot to take a photo that day. This is a mug I purchased when I went into NYC to see CATS – the musical. And, ironically, Ray and I will be seeing it again tomorrow night at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY. I did not know this when I took this photo. I’m very excited as it’s my favorite musical. Figures – because of my love of all things feline!

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365 photo #143 (May 22) — Another day of not much interest in photography – so I took a photo of a photo. Not exciting, nor innovative or creative, but it is a chance to show off one of my favorite photographers, Dan Williams. This is one printed on photo canvas I purchased from him at “Springtime Made in the South” craft fair in Savannah. He told me that he took this in the Savannah Wildlife Refuge at sunrise. If you check out this link you will see just HOW gifted he is!! On the day I took this photo, I was also preparing to go to PA for my Uncle Ned’s funeral…

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365 photo #144 (May 23) — flowers at my sister’s house in PA

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365 photo #145 (May 24) — I arrived home from PA to misty, foggy, damp weather, and took a photo of the rhododendron bush that’s just outside of the living room window that looks out to our front yard.

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365 photo #146 (May 25) — It was another rainy day – and I took this photo of one of my lucite kitties which I have on one of my window sills where it picks up the light and interesting colors from the outside.

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365 photo #147 (May 26) — finally a clear day and I discovered the goldfinches have found our nyger feeder. Here is one, in all it’s glorious yellow summer plumage, on the trees just around the corner from the nyger feeder!

Bonus photos:

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1. Male house finch – in the staging area near the feeders
2. Male cardinal – also in those same trees

Not quite caught up — but I’ll end here. For now.


I took a few more photos on May 17th – so there will be bonus photos! I usually include them when I have trouble deciding what photo to choose on any given day.

That day was the first day for photos of the feeders that had been recently put out. It took a little while for the birds to find them, but once they did, they have come in droves as they fight over the precious few feeder holes! I feed my birds only safflower seed, as the grackles, blue jays, and red winged black birds don’t like that all that much. I found if I used a mixed seed, I had to add seed to the feeders at least twice a day! Now … that’s too much — and too expensive, too! A few days ago, I decided to add another feeder so that the food will last a few days before having to restock their food.

So — my photo of the day will be one of a male and female house finch posing on top of the feeder:

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365 photo #138 (May 17)

Bonus photos

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1. “The early bird catches the worm” — Robin in our back yard
2. A carpenter bee. This bee flies so slowly that I was able to focus on him in the air and get him pretty clear. Unfortunately we are going to have to get pest control for them because they are making their nests in our deck’s foundation – boring holes there, which is not good for health of our deck. (click this photo to see it larger)

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1. Blue jay enjoying seed below the feeders. They may be bullies to the smaller song birds, but they sure are pretty!
2. Red winged black bird – WAY high in a tree. I’m noticing that there is a bird (either a blue jay or red winged black bird) up there almost all the time. It’s like “their” perch. (click this photo to see it larger)

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365 photo #139 (May 18) — another rhododendron bud about to bloom.

Bonus photos:

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1. Our driveway
2. One of our rhododendron bushes – in nearly full bloom

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365 photo #140 (May 19th) Today was Male Cardinal day – as I saw so many around the feeders and the trees nearby. This one was waiting for an empty feeder hole to catch a bite…

Bonus photos:

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1. Cardinal in another nearby tree
2. And one on the ground under the feeder area finding seed there.

And … I’ll stop for now – and continue my update later.

I’m headed for PA tomorrow morning for the funeral of my uncle, but will just be staying one night. Yes — my mom’s brother died last week at age 97 😦 He was an amazing man: a scientist, an author, an artist, a sculptor, a birder, and a husband, father, brother, grandfather and great grandfather. He’s worth his own blog entry about his rich and full life. But – I am not sure about family privacy issues, so I’ll leave it at that. Just know he’ll be missed, especially by his wife, and that we truly are celebrating his life. My photos will continue – and hope they will chronicle those days…


Our trip north was when things deteriorated with my 365 photo project. I’d planned to quick run out and take one last photo of the lagoon the morning we left Hilton Head. I went to get my camera, which I’d placed in the “staging area” of our living room – but my husband had been ever so vigilant – and the camera had been long since packed in the car – and buried under a multitude of other things. There was no way I could unearth it for the photo… 😦 However, when I ran out to remove the bird feeders (which is such a sad job for me, so I wait to do it at the very last minute — the morning we are leaving), there was a most magnificent Great Blue Heron walking right on our lawn along the shore of the lagoon. I stopped short and looked at him — and “snapped the photo” in my mind. If only that camera was with me… I looked at him squarely in the eye — and he looked at me. I finally said … out loud, “Goodbye sweet Great Blue Heron, I will miss you so very much. I’ll see you in the fall.” Yeah — I know … I’m sappy. I thought my voice would scare him and he’d fly off – but he continued to look at me even as I said, “I love you sweet birdie”. I don’t know if he/she was the bird who belonged to the nest we had in our yard this spring, but I also thanked him for allowing me to see his nest while he/she raised his/her babies. He continued to look at me, but then started walking slowly across our yard — and faced the lagoon – fishing, as always.

So – – in honor of this great blue heron — a photo of another one is my photo of the day. I’m sorry that the “real” photo is only in my mind and that I can’t share it here, but here is a photo of another great blue heron in it’s place:

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365 substitute photo of the day #129 (May 8) of a great blue heron taken 1/7/11 on the shores of our lagoon

And … with that we were on our way north…

The following day was a complete blur, and once my camera was unpacked, I was way too exhausted to even think about a photo of the day. These trips north (or south) with the cats are tiring, and fray my nerves. I need to remember that they always end up fine, and that it’s my lack of confidence in the entire process that makes me nervous.

365 photo #130 — Epic Fail. (May 9)

365 photo #131 — Another Epic Fail. Wildly distracted in “Unpacking hell”! (May 10)

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365 photo #132 (May 11) — Finally a photo was taken. This is a mirror which we purchased from Lori Wilkinson, a vendor at “Springtime Made in the South” in February. Check out her website to see more of her wonderful work! I knew when I purchased it where it would go – in the dressing area of the bedroom. It’s made of a lovely color combination of mosaic tile and it’s gorgeous. You can see the reflection of the window to the back yard in the mirror.

365 photo #133 (May 12) – Another Epic Fail. How did that day get away from me? I was getting nervous that this project was headed for the trash. Even with forgetfulness, however, I have decided to continue…

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365 photo #134 (May 13) – a sparrow of some kind – – I hope not a house sparrow, as they are the arch enemy of bluebirds and bluebird nests. I think it’s a song sparrow, though, and it was singing it’s heart out the entire time I was snapping photos! It was taken – by chance in one of our bushes. Our feeders were not yet up at this point.

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365 photo #135 (May 14) – azalea bush in full bloom – with the rhododendron bush next to it just coming into bloom

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365 photo #136 (May 15) – Sweet Little Misty kitty. I almost forgot to take the photo that day! The cats have made themselves at home in their Long Island home!

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365 photo #137 (May 16) – the rhododendron buds are are beginning to bloom!

And .. with that I will end for this entry, but will continue with the catch-up soon…. Stay tuned!

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