Tag Archive: sunset


One Photo Each Month – 2012


I may have failed miserably in taking one photo a day, but I do at least have one for each month. This really does capsulize my year…:

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1. January: A pretty little downy woodpecker in the Whooping Crane Pond Conservancy on Hilton Head Island
2. February: A great blue heron up in the tree in our back yard in Hilton Head – calling to his mate. He built a nest there, and I got to watch it throughout the spring
3. March: Before the bluebirds found the bluebird box, the nuthatches were checking it out…!

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1. April: The bluebirds ultimately tried to raise their babies in the bluebird box. Unfortunately they did not make it…
2. May: The HMS Bounty — at the Tall Ships Celebration in Savannah, GA. The Bounty ultimately sunk in Hurricane Sandy off of North Carolina
3. June: A cardinal at a tree near our feeders – on Long Island

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1. July: Kezar Lake — view from the dock out to the islands
2. August: An amazing sunset and crescent moon off Wickapogue Road
3. September: At Operation Migration Crane Fest. The whooping crane chicklets after training behind an ultralight aircraft – taken from the blind in White River Marsh Wildlife Refuge in Berlin Wisconsin, where the birds had their training this summer. They are being fed grapes by their handlers. they have since migrated behind the ultralights and are now at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

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1. October: Storm Sandy wreaks havoc in our back yard. Our cedar tree is gone
2. November: a short hike to Valley Green over Thanksgiving week – this is the covered bridge
3. December: Christmas in Hilton Head – with Misty kitty looking on.

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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!

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.


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!


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 rather late in getting my blog posts up here, and what I’m going to write about today happened several weeks ago, but it’s worth mentioning – even though delayed.

It happened after a long, dark, rainy day – one of many that we’ve had this winter.  Ordinarily, I love rain, and the cozy feeling it gives you when it’s falling and you’re inside listening to it patter on the roof above.  It’s an excuse to do “inside things” – reading, computer work, and take life a little slower.  However, there is a limit to this enjoyment.  For one, doing errands in such weather is low on my list of fun things.  After a while, there’s a hankering to get outside and be in the fresh air without the aid of an umbrella!  Rainy day photos don’t cut it, either.

So – it was at the end of one of these days, and I was hanging out on the computer.  At some point I looked up – expecting to see more of the dreary looking day, but was shocked to see that our entire yard had this orange, pink kind of glow.  It was dramatic, and at first I thought there might be a fire not far off, which was of concern.  As I think about it now, I wonder if my complete surprise over the color was from being so color-sensory deprived over the course of that gray rainy day, and what I was seeing was so dramatically different.

I grabbed my camera and ran outside to see what was going on.  To my surprise, it was STILL RAINING!  By that point, I knew it was not a fire, as I noticed this magnificent sunset, but my mind still wasn’t thinking “rainbow”.

I snapped some pictures….

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Photos which show both the strong pink and orange colors of the sunset

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Reflections on water.  Picture #1 is taken in the front yard from a puddle on the driveway. Picture #2 — “Upside down trees” is a reflection of the sunset on the lagoon, which we see from our backyard.

Then I realized there was a rainbow!  I wished I’d been somewhere else – like Dolphin Head Beach where there are no trees to block the view of what I realized was a complete rainbow that went from horizon to horizon.  Logic tells me that I’d never have gone there in the rain, but it sure would have been magnificent to see it in that environment  The many trees in our yard blocked the view, but I snapped what pictures I could of it:

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1.  Rainbow taken from our front yard – colors seem more pink

2.  Rainbow taken from our back yard – colors seem more orange.  You can see the faint evidence of the double rainbow

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Here’s one shown larger, and you can see the double rainbow even more clearly.

Just a reminder:  Any photo can be “clicked” and seen larger in my Flickr account.  When you get to the picture, click “all sizes” to see it any size you choose.

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