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"L" for LARGE

 

edit: i never thought of the fact that the nobel peace prize takes place today :-) what a coincidence

 

Things are just too busy these days, so i have minimal time for flickr...sorry!

 

I shot this one the same evening as this one: www.flickr.com/photos/uberfischer/5229076010/

 

The activity changed into what i call a "green carpet". The entire sky, in every direction, was completely green.

Not dancing around or anything, just a massive green mass. When you look straight up and focus, you can see the gentle movement. Truly fascinating.

 

I shot this one straight up. You never know what youre gonna get... When i saw this one on the screen it reminded me of a dove with its wings spread out.

 

Have a terrific weekend. Some more aurorachasing is on my schedule...

 

-Arild-

  

For inspiration: www.flickr.com/photos/uberfischer/galleries/

"Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up.

What was is not and never again will be; what is is change. "

~ Edwin Way Teale ~

 

Texture courtesy Eddi 07

#1 Explore / Interestingness

 

Why the Title?

 

While you were asking "Where's Kris Kros?", my mind was already set looking for the road to heaven. I was having difficulty in managing my life. Physically, mentally and spiritually, I felt like a wreck. Never enjoyed the past holidays. Never even felt like they're meant to be celebrated.

 

And I kept on asking if there is really a God? I was looking for Him. Asking Him to show up and help me in my times of need. Cannot find a job that can help me feed my family. Pay my mortgage. Survive. I'm lost.

 

I forgot any skills, any talent I possessed that He bestowed on me. I felt helpless and wasted.

 

I wanted to end all of this misery. I wanted to go to heaven if there is such a thing.

 

But, my sense of love for my family and for my friends and for what I can contribute as an artist to the human race made me change my outlook in ending everything.

 

I tried my best to recover who I am. Tapped the Kris Kros personality that is within me.

 

So, as I've said yesterday, here I am. Back to where I feel the love. Back to the love of flickr society. Back to you.

 

And for now, I want to believe and tell the world, "Heaven Can Wait."

 

But thy will be done.

Inspired by "Need a little suNshine" by AugustaNa.. <3<3<3<3

 

"Hold on, watch your step

You gotta take a breath

No it ain't easy to fly

Get back, lose yourself

Got you and no one else

There ain't no reason to cry

Cause in my life and times

She is paradise, I know you and I

Gotta little bit of faith in the hard times, oh oh oh

Gotta little bit of shade in the moonlight, oh oh oh

Gotta little bit of right at the wrong time, oh oh oh

Got you and I'm feeling alright

Babe I just need a little sunshine

Lay back, feel the beat

You got a hold on me

It's never easy to change

Try hard not to move

Let me get my hands on you

Don't want you feeling this way

No one's gonna break us

No one's gonna bring us down... "

(Today: May 9 2013. The new season for my program "Chicago's Fish'N Kids" has me with little time or inclination to create or process new images as I would like. We have 8,000+ people booked to participate between now and Aug. 31. So, for awhile, I am going to repost some images, or put up images that are very lightly processed. This is one I like and it is from 2010. Didn't know it had been that long ago. :-)))

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGJP4z5Akvc&feature=youtu.be - Eric Alexander, "Let's Stay Together" (A style of jazz heard in joints like this all over the southside of Chicago - and bunches of northern tier cities - back in the day.)

 

Southeast side of Chicago, on 95th street just east of South Chicago Blvd. View On Black (large...it can handle it).

 

The reason I go here is not the fried fish or shrimp. It’s good, but there’s only so much a commercial establishment can creatively (or “cheftistically”) do with batter and hot oil.

 

The reason I go here is the for smoked fish! Especially the smoked salmon! Double especially the cracked pepper and garlic smoked salmon!!!

 

OMG!!! (Say that loud and slowly three times), or as “fluffy” comedian Gabriel Iglesias would say, “daaaaaaayaamn!” It so good, make you wanna' "praise somebody!"

 

Smoking fish and meat is an art, a master craft, witchcraft, sorcery, voodoo; take your pick or combine them all together. Calumet has their act together on this.

 

They have some effing good smoked salmon y’all: one-pound hunk's of juicy, succulent, salmon steak (skin, scales, string and all): worth a drive over miles of icy bad road in a blizzard with bald tires and bad brakes. C’mon now.

 

Then the icing on the cake (for me anyway) is that photographically, and architecturally, I just love this (Calumet Fisheries) as an example of Chicago’s quirky style of itty-bitty, one-of-a-kind, neighborhood-eatery, design. The anti-McDonald’s, the anti-Wendy’s, etc. One of those places that just makes you smile when you drive past it – by day or by night - and point it out to everyone in the car, even if you’ve never been in there.

 

“Hey, lookit that, lookit that.”

“Anybody been in there?”

“I heard ‘bout that place.”

“Is it good?”

“I dunno. Let’s go see.”

 

(The following imagined action is a tire-slipping, everyone fly to the opposite side of the car, illegal U-Turn performed in a blizzard on a slippery road by a professional driver in a car with bald tires and bad breaks, on a closed course. Do not try this yourself.)

 

One of those places in which you might see anyone, at any time, from any walk of life…

 

“You know about this place, huh?”

 

“Yeah!” (with a smile) – Michael Jordan, 11:30 p.m., November, 1998.

 

“Book Cover” texture by the incomparable Skeletalmess: (every collection should have some of Skel’s work in it) - shadowhousecreations.blogspot.com/

 

And, “Nimbus Cloud” texture from the NEW Flypaper Textures’, “Summer Painterly” texture collection. Out, out, outstanding new texture set, worth adding to your texture collection. ~ flypapertextures.blogspot.com/

 

Each texture used three times for depth and richness, thought the blending options and opacities changed.

 

"Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn,

time seems speeded up. What was is not and never

again will be; what is is change."

- Edwin Teale

 

'Change Of Season' (1991) - Hall & Oates!! ~ Happy Listening!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrYQecbQhQk

 

Whatever your Season my Flickr Friends may it be kind to you! :)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTJ7sUvpKjw - Ernest Farrar, English Pastoral Impressions,OP. 26:II, Bredon Hill: Andante.

 

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." - William Arthur Ward

 

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - William Arthur Ward

 

This is one of the places I go to fish. It is one of the places where I instantly feel gratitude. No matter the day, no matter the weather. I would like to live in such a place - along a river's elegant flow; to be able to Witness this, feel this, savor this - any day, any time. I do not come here to meditate; I simply cannot help but meditate once I am here.

 

It isn't a big river, this Kankakee. But, it isn't small either. Sort of "just right" in a Goldilocksian way. At least for me.

 

The river runs east-west here. The sun sets west, the moon rises east. I like to think of that as having more to do with magic than with science. I like a touch of magic in my life. As conscious beings - capable of dreams - we're allowed such license.

 

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." - Melody Beattie

 

May I confess; I'm never out here in the morning. I like sunsets on the water more than I like sunrises. I have reasons for this, but reason isn't one of them. Doesn't have to be.

 

I almost always wade in the water while fishing. Standing up to waist deep, I like the feel of water pressure, the current, flowing around and against my lower body and legs (with a yin/yang feel that is both gentle and firm) , the sound of moving water, the dance of bubbles along the surface. I sometimes drift in a Kayak. Quietly, slowly. Nature pays little-to-no attention when you drift like a log. Nature's creatures pay little heed as well; they look but aren't startled.

 

I smile a lot out here. I talk out loud a bit too, even sing aloud on occasion - just so the Universe can hear my words, and not have to guess at my feelings through a stream-of-consciousness jumble of thoughts.

 

I usually stay until it gets dark. Not country dark, mind you, where you can't see your hand in front of your face unless the moon is out, but edge-of-nightfall dark, just to where the world turns a colorless shade of gray and flattens out in contrast, lacking clear edges and any crisp detail.

 

Then, it is time to go. Time for a leisurely drive down darkened highway roads, to return to home where more gifts await me. Where tea, or wine, or dinner, or dessert, some music, and a laptop full of wondrous images such as this await a chance to blossom from a photo into a memory and a vision.

 

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." - John Milton

 

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” - Thích Nhất Hạnh

 

Worth a try, Master Thay. Yes, worth a try.

 

Android phone panorama.

 

Textures courtesy: Cathairstudios - www.flickr.com/photos/cathairstudios/

Skeletalmess - www.flickr.com/photos/skeletalmess/

DistressedJewell - www.flickr.com/photos/jewellofdistressed/

EXPLORED

 

"Life Is What You Make It"

 

It was raining all night and after a brief break, it started raining again. The weather is still warm and humid even it was pouring down. i was waiting in the car for my friends to return and wasn't very happy about the performance of the 2x II Extender attached with my 70-200mm. cause of the rain and dark clouds, all day relatively stayed on the darker side. It made me wondered if a flash photography is possible for shooting birds in flight, lol.

 

I was parked infront of student hall and there is a road reaching extending out towards the main road. As Friday was public holiday, it made the road stay empty most of the time. The rain was changing its pattern from drizzle to shower to cats & dogs. I was sort of enjoying the sound of rain all around me, it was relaxing.

 

I was thinking about taking some pictures of the rain but with the extender attached, I thought it would be a bad idea. There wasn't anything to shoot anyway. To my delight, a dancing figure emerged from the curve, I saw her red dress in the distance in the dark. She was all jumpy splashing water here and there enjoying the rain, a happy face all around.

 

I opened my window but the rain was very angry, in few seconds, the lens hood got covered with water drops. I shot few times and found totally dark pictures. I have changed the setting but the girl was moving further more. Finally I had two/three shots before she disappeared. She never saw me thanks to my crappy extender.

 

She was a little one, what was fascinating about her was that she was holding her hands out and was feeling the rain drops. Her smile was wide open and clearly she was out of the world in her mind enjoying every bit of rain. I don't remember my 1st rain, but every summer during the 1st rain, I do feel going out and enjoy a splash.

 

There is sadness in this picture. A lonely kid on the street never makes a happy scene. This picture speaks to me, but I don't recognize its language. Maybe it's the picture of loneliness masquerade in rain in a shape of immature heart on the road of life or it's just a picture of the rain, nothing else.

 

Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM + Canon EF 2x II Extender

Camera: Canon EOS 5D

 

Like My Facebook Page

 

All contents herein are copyrighted © by Shabbir Ferdous Photography

Except where otherwise noted. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

"Each moment is a place you've never been."

 

Mark Strand

 

---

I tried a new kind of editing this time: i changed the wheat field (or what used to be one :)

  

Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up.

What was is not and never again will be; what is is change. "

 

~ Edwin Way Teale

  

View in Large On Black

Tigrεss... not othεr :p

to be continued... √allys√aliƒε:registered:

 

"Blizzard" by Fauve" ...

 

Translation awesome french song...

 

"I'm asking you if you're

a savage beast or else a saint

But you are the one and the other

and many more things too;

you're infinitely many, the one despising

the one hurting, the one being, the one seeking

and all the others together.

Turn around

Be careless

Not all is fragile

Hear nothing from around you

Because you're sacred, because you're alive

Because the most important thing is not what you are

but what you chose to be.... (oh yeahaaa 01-10)

 

-----

 

Do you hear it? Of course you hear it

the murmur; the deafening and permanent murmur,

it has taken over the city and the spirits,

it walks the streets screaming.

The deafening and permanent murmur

like a parasitic noise inside you that consumes you,

that whispers in the ear of everyone "you're no good,

you good for nothing, you'll never be good enough",

that repeats to you "you're like that, or you should be,

nothing would change if you changed. "

The deafening and permanent murmur

that hopes to put you down by shouting:

"Don't try to rewrite history,

you'll never make it it's too late,

it's a done deal, it's imprinted in the memories."

The deafening and continuous murmur

What makes you think there's no redemption

no forgiveness, no deliverance, no remission

and you accept it, you let it in.

 

Woh woh woh, what are you doing? Stop!

What has gotten into you to do such stuff?

Why are you mistreating yourself like this?

What's wrong?

Talk to me, you know you can tell me everything.

but neh but all you know is bullshit.

Look me in the eyes.

Look at me. Don't give a shit. It's not important.

Me, I find you beautiful,

since the first time I saw you.

Besides, I'm always getting over it.

Moreover what will I do without you?

Moreover what will the universe do without you?

This will never work. It's impossible.

Come on you shouldn't cry! Don't cry because

it will pass I promise, it will pass.

Because we're among those who recover

among those who resist,

among those who believe in miracles;

not among those saying their corpses move

because their feet are kicking

But one day we won't think all these anymore.

we forget everything, as if it had never existed.

 

What do I have to do

for you to get your shit together

to wipe these shit from your eyes?

You got everything!

You got all the cards!

You got, you got everything! You're too beautiful you bastard!

You son of a bitch! You're killing me! You're killing me a lot!

Along with all the others too,

that are killing me too strongly!

I don't give a shit about the scars, me.

I'm here. I'm ready for everything.

I'm ready to go to hell, I'm carrying you on my back.

I'm taking the blows, look, I'm taking the blows

And you, you're sitting, you planted your ass down!

You refuse to get out of your cell.

But don't you see that I need you?

Don't you see that if you do nothing you serve nothing?

How much longer will this continue?

Will you stand alongside the rails

like a cow staring at the train?

Until you can't anymore or

or till they put you in a wooden box?

Stop your smirk! That smirk there is stinking failure!

Come on give me back that dad smile

but form another point of view you're right,

it's so much easier to smile,

rather than being happy.

 

You're asking yourself if you're

a savage beast or else a saint

But you are the one and the other

and many more things too;

you're infinitely many, the one despising

the one hurting, the one being, the one seeking

and all the others together.

Turn around

Be careless

Not all is fragile

Hear nothing from around you

Because you're sacred, because you're alive

Because the most important thing is not what you are

but what you chose to be

 

Do you hear us yo Blizzard? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us, go fuck yourself.

Did you think you were going to have us huh?

Did you think we haven't seen anything?

Surprise asshole!

Do you hear us yo Shame? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us watch out

when you're returning home alone at night,

we may decide to remake

your jaw with metal-objects;

or wash your head with lead,

what do you think?

Do you hear us yo Sadness? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us it's because you too

you'll be packing your bags soon,

take a left one first, second one right,

then left again and go fuck your kin and kith

Congratulations! Cheers!

Do you hear us yo Death? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us know that you don't frighten us,

you can take anything you want,

we go on all the same, you can't stop us,

and we won't leave anyone behind

we won't leave anyone to be knocked out.

It's all over!

We'll become good people you'll see!

And one day you will be proud of us.

 

Do you hear us yo Dignity? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us know

we've knelt on earth and we feel sorry

we feel sorry for everything we've done to you,

but it will change!

Do you hear us yo Love? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us you must come back

because we're ready now, it's done.

We screwed up, it's true, but then we've understood

and there we are with open hands, our heart in them,

you must take it and guide it.

Do you hear us yo Universe? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us, wait for us, we're coming,

we'd like to understand all, know all, see all, live all,

we're looking for the door to the new world

to be able to blend in big time.

Do you hear us Yo who's waiting? Do you hear us?

If you're hearing us remember you're not alone, never!

We're too many to be a bit shaky a bit flaky.

and in our minds there's a blizzard,

like the mystics, big-hearted losers;

we must sound the alarm, to find each other again,

to rejoin, to kiss each other

to be millions of hands on million shoulders.

to repeat one more time that weariness is a crime,

that life is a heist of the century, a chili pepper whore.

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

It's all over.

 

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

When the only thing you feel capable for

is lying down curled up and think of nothing.

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

If you feel sliding down there will be hands to catch you

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

Delve to come through. Stop only when everything is cleared away.

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

You'll get there, you'll breathe air

and you'll realize that there's something that's changed.

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

The night will be calm. No one's left behind.

Go fuck your mother yo Blizzard.

There will be aches and sorrows but we'll stand on our feet..."

I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow

I never meant 2 cause u any pain

I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing

I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain

 

Purple rain Purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain

 

I only wanted 2 see u bathing in the purple rain

 

I never wanted 2 be your weekend lover

I only wanted 2 be some kind of friend

Baby I could never steal u from another

It's such a shame our friendship had 2 end

 

Purple rain Purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain

 

I only wanted 2 see u underneath the purple rain

 

Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing

It's time we all reach out 4 something new

That means u 2

U say u want a leader

But u can't seem 2 make up your mind

I think u better close it

And let me guide u 2 the purple rain

 

Purple rain Purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain

 

If you know what I'm singing about up here

C'mon raise your hand

 

Purple rain Purple rain

 

I only want 2 see u, only want 2 see u

In the purple rain

   

♪♫"Purple Rain (PRINCE)"♪♫

'You're just wasting your love & time"

I will never let you change your mind♥♪

I've never been very much on making plans and setting goals. Oh... sure... I've made them and set them in the past. But I never follow through so... what the heck's the point? Plus, I've found that happenstance is frequently my friend so... I'm pretty much content to just let life happen.

 

It's funny thinking back on all the many things I thought I wanted, and wanted to be, growing up... all the different jobs and professions I considered... not to mention the days I cursed the simple fact of having choices. In my mother's day, things were simpler, I thought. If you chose to do something other than raise kids and/or look after some man, your choices were relatively limited - the conventional ones being nurse, teacher, nun.

 

By the time I was on the scene, everything had changed. My parents told me constantly that I could be and do absolutely anything I wanted. Nice. But also... aacck... highly pressurized. Anything? Geez. You mean I have to choose from an infinite number of options? It was pretty overwhelming, especially since the things to which I naturally gravitated all seemed problematic.

 

I wanted to be a poet. My mom said: impractical.

 

I wanted to be a philosopher. My parents assured me: not at all viable if you want to eat on a regular basis.

 

Then I wanted to be a vet. Until I learned about medical school and the long taxing hours that would have to be got through.

 

At one point, I honestly thought I'd want to do AI - artificial insemination. It seemed rather "vet lite"... and the AI guys who came to our farm to inseminate our cows seemed to have a pretty spiffy life... driving around the countryside with a trunk full of frozen semen, putting on the long glove and reaching way inside a beast... bringing together the first two key ingredients in a brand new life... and then driving on to do the same thing somewhere else.

 

Then I got older and lazier. I started assessing career options based on the length and complexity of the required preparation. Interior designer, I thought at one point. I figured I could be done with the training and working and supporting myself well before my 20th birthday. Then I took a related course in high school. Ha-a-a-ted it. And decided to just chuck the whole career idea entirely.

 

Most of what's happened since has been accidental. Or coincidental. Or whatever you want to call it.

 

It may be sad from a certain perspective, but many of the major changes in my life were precipitated, over the years, by partnerships with men.

 

I took my first radio job - not because I loved the work, but because it would bring me closer to my then-boyfriend.

 

Years later, I moved to The Big City and took a job there to be with another boyfriend.

 

Ultimately, I left radio entirely and moved here, to the Island, to be with Husband Mike. And I'm certainly not complaining; it's all worked out.

 

So I wasn't at all surprised when I saw this pic. It was completely unintentional... but I love what resulted. This was from Friday, when I was gearing up for the knife shot. My dear little fuzzy friend was nearby, as always. I'd already triggered the shutter... on a timer... when she walked into the shot and sat there looking at me... all ears and quizzical eyes. I started laughing... and she turned to face the camera just as it clicked.

 

Anyway... like I said... I'm a fan of happenstance. So this is my little tribute to it.

 

And really... what's better than going through life knowing that you never know - and can't know - what great thing will happen next?? Bring it on.

..."Approaching the sun, brings definitive change. It will never again be the same. Appearing in our skies it is believed to be a prophecy of extraordinary events. The birth of kings... The death of Empires. After centuries... or millennia... the journey must end. Perhaps smothered by its own dust, the dark, soulless body continues eternally through space and time.

 

It may disintegrate and crumble into inconsequential rubble. Or it may be lost forever; crashing burning... into the yellow sun. And tonight...as I look into the sky, and it looks back on me...

I want to know...which am I?

I need to know...is this the beginning of the journey...

Or the end?"...

 

Frank Black

Millennium Episode:2.0

On Black

"The Wild and the windy night,

That the rain washed away,

Has left a pool of tears

Waiting for the day"

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)

 

Maulin Mountain { 563 } rises high over the Wicklow/Dublin border with views to the Irish sea, Bray Head and Killiney Bay. It is a wild, wet boggy places but I love it as its a great place to go and find out who you really are.

You can see a pathway winding to the top which I had just traveled over, from the opposite side on a 3 mountain trek.

If you look to the left [north] of the mountain you will see a stone wall in the distance. These are famine walls built between 1847-1850 under the Office of Public Work, for no reason than to make the Irish work for there food[alms] so as "Not to encourage laziness! " { Lord John Russel }

 

www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/hunger.htm

 

Unfortunately they were dying by the time they got it. It solved "The Irish Question " The Landlords wanted to clear the land of the troublesome natives and replace them with sheep which were less trouble and more profitable. The famine was a great solution for them! To me the many thousands of stones used, is fitting tribute as each one represents someone who died of starvation. How dreadful.

Ive tried to tone down the harsh truth of this but I just cant. There is no way of justifying the death of over 1 million people.To this day it stands as the single worst injustice

ever foisted upon us and it is still ingrained very deeply in the psyche of every Irish person. The British government, under John Major, has done wonderful work and has apologise`d for what happened and helped to create a lasting peace in Northern Ireland so that has made a vast difference to all our lives.Lets make certain nothing like It will never happen again!

We move on though as we must and we learn but lets not forget these unknown innocents who just disappeared and who are buried on these mountains. Maybe thats what draws me there and why it means so much to me.

Anyway, thats enough sad stuff. Heres Andy Irvine and Liam O Flynn, Wont you " Come with me over the mountain "

So come on then. Try to keep up, but Ill wait for you anyway.

 

Enjoy!!!

Hugs,

P@t.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lAXmNG0VDA

 

Update; Wow In really amazed at how much you seem to like my pic!!! Thank you!!!

Just something I wanted to say!

One million immigrants from Ireland were taken in by America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Only for them I dread to think of what would have happened. That explains of course why we are everywhere and we do pro create at a fair rate!!!. Maybe thats to do with the Guinness! 12 pints and Im anybodies! Well, probably nobodies and everybodies all at once!!!

The World is changing now and what with Brexit and closing of borders etc, we must guard against becoming bigoted patriots. I know all about that from here! Its dangerous and our fellow human beings are the most important life on this fragile planet that we all share.I do think that good people always win through!

Love and Hugs to all of you from me!

P@t.

   

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn 1606 1669. Amsterdam

Man with helmet. Homme avec casque sans date.

Groningen. Groninger museum

 

LE BEAU EST UNE EXPÉRIENCE PARTAGÉE

 

"Le monde discerne la beauté, et, par là le laid se révèle. Le monde reconnaît le bien et, par là le mal se révèle."

Dao De Jing, le Livre de la Voie et de la Vertu

LAO TSEU (Laozi)

 

"The world discerns beauty, and hence the ugly is revealed. The world recognizes good and hence evil is revealed."

Dao De Jing, the Book of the Way and Virtue

LAO TSEU (Laozi)

  

"Tout l’art florentin depuis Giotto et tout au long du Quattrocento, possède cette stupéfiante qualité de vérité absolue, reconnue. L’effet immédiat d’un grand Giotto ou d’un Masaccio est de laisser le spectateur sans voix. Cela s’appelait autrefois la Beauté."

MARIE MAC CARTHY "Les Pierres de Florence" 1956.

 

"Everything Florentine art from Giotto and throughout the Quattrocento has this amazing quality of absolute truth recognized. The immediate effect of a large Giotto or Masaccio is to let the audience speechless. It s' once called Beauty. "

MARY MAC CARTHY "The Stones of Florence" 1956.

  

Contrairement à une idée reçue, toute nouvelle, considérée comme une évidence à notre époque, le Beau n'est pas subjectif. Non, le Beau n'est pas seulement une question de goût personnel, un arbitraire total, absolument égocentrique. Le beau n'est pas autiste, il est un partage, même si certaines de ses formes peuvent être plus accessibles à certaines personnes qu'à d'autres, à certaines cultures et pas à d'autres.

La preuve que le Beau existe est qu'il est reconnu et admis de manière unanime par les opinions publiques, et celle des spécialistes, pour des millions d' oeuvres dont les dates de création vont de - 3000 à nos jours. Le Beau est d'ailleurs reconnu, vécu comme une expérience généralement partagée, non seulement dans l'art mais dans tout le spectacle de la Nature.

Il faut laisser de côté les définitions abstraites. Les Philosophes n'ont jamais réussi à donner une définition satisfaisante et incontestable du Beau. Laissons à Platon son Idée d'un Beau transcendant impossible à atteindre. Restons à un niveau plus trivial, celui de la beauté remarquable, concrète : il n'y a absolument aucune discussion sérieuse quant à l'existence du Beau, d'une sensation commune, une émotion poétique, partagée par des millions d'hommes, depuis L'Art Paléolithique, l'Art Egyptien jusqu'à l'Art Moderne, depuis la Chine jusqu'à l'Europe et l'Amérique.

Le Beau ne se définit pas, il se ressent individuellement et collectivement. Individuellement ressenti le beau est seulement subjectif, il n'a d'importance que pour une personne, collectivement ressenti, partagé par les élites et les populations, ensemble, il s'objective. Il devient une réalité à l'échelle d'une collectivité plus ou moins large, et même jusqu'à la Terre entière. Le Beau est tout simplement un fait vérifié par l'expérience de milliers de générations d'humains sur l'ensemble de la Terre.

On peut même soutenir que des trois idées fondamentales Beau, Bien, Vrai, le Beau est la première dont nous pouvons repérer l'apparition avec certitude dans l'histoire des hommes: Parce qu'il laisse des traces que nous constatons. Quand apparait l'idée de Bien? Quand apparaît l'idée de Vrai ?

Le Beau ne se définit pas, il se ressent et il évolue en fonction du temps. Sans doute l'erreur de l'Académisme a-t-elle été de vouloir définir les règles du Beau, in abstracto, et les impressionnistes ont eu très vite raison contre lui.

Le Beau peut prendre des formes différentes selon les cultures ou les civilisations. Il est reconnu comme Beau à l'intérieur de son domaine culturel, mais aussi souvent à l'extérieur.

La peinture des lettrés chinois est très particulière, il est possible à titre individuel de ne pas l'apprécier, mais il serait faux de parler à son propos d'un Art du laid, et elle n'est pas jugée comme tel par l'épreuve du temps et de sa confrontation avec d'autres cultures comme celle occidentale.

Le Beau est tout simplement un fait vérifié par l'expérience de milliers de générations d'humains sur l'ensemble de la Terre. Le tableau de Léonard de Vinci, la Joconde (Mona Lisa) et le succès qu'il rencontre auprès des populations extrême orientales est une preuve de cette universalité du Beau.

Il existe "un sens du Beau, commun à toute l'humanité" qui est indépendant des modes, des religions et des idéologies et même des cultures. Même s'il ne faut pas négliger certaines spécificités ou variabilités tenant à telle culture ou à telle époque. Le constat global reste celui d'un partage du sentiment du beau à l'échelle universelle.

Le beau s'identifie par une intense satisfaction, un sentiment de bonheur, de joie, d'ordre sensuel ou intellectuel qui envahit la personne, c'est son point de départ subjectif . Ce point de départ subjectif qui s'objective par le partage de ce sentiment avec une foule d'autres personnes, de cultures et d'époques différentes, pour parvenir à l'émergence d'une quasi unanimité et d'une quasi universalité.

Le beau est certes un vécu subjectif en ce qu'il est ressenti individuellement, mais il s'objective par l'opinion convergente, formulée au cours du temps, par les peuples et les élites. C'est ce jugement commun des peuples et des élites, cette expérience partagée, qui objective et prouve le Beau.

Ce qui est subjectif ce sont les préférences des individus. Ce qui est subjectif c'est quand une personne préfère les fresques romanes ou l'art du gothique international à la peinture de la Renaissance Italienne.

Quand une personne préfère l'art du paysage ou la peinture de moeurs à la peinture religieuse.

Si on avait dit à Fra Angelico, à Raphaël ou à Rubens que le Beau n'existe pas et est affaire purement subjective, ils auraient haussé les épaules.

Non seulement le sentiment du Beau est un fait d'expérience, un bien commun à l'humanité, qui traverse les temps et les cultures, mais le Beau peut être ressenti alors que les idéologies qui ont inspiré les oeuvres d'art à une époque donnée, dans une région de la Terre, sont mortes en tant que croyances actives.

Il n'est pas nécessaire de croire dans les Esprits, les Dieux Egyptiens, Grecs, Hindous ou dans les Bouddhas pour apprécier la beauté de l'art des cavernes, de l'Egypte antique, de la Grèce, de l'Inde, ou de l'Asie du Sud Est.

De même, les représentations de Dieu et du monde qui sont celles des églises chrétiennes, qui ont été vivantes et profondément significatives pour les populations européennes pendant plus d'un millénaire, peuvent ne plus avoir de sens pour une très large majorité des populations de l'Europe de l'Ouest et du Nord au 21è siècle. Il reste cependant que ces populations, comme d'autres peuples dans d'autres cultures, peuvent reconnaître le Beau dans des oeuvres d'art dont les symboles ne sont plus idéologiquement significatifs pour elles, voire même leur paraissent absurdes. Les croyances changent mais le sentiment du Beau dure.

Le Beau est donc un fait constaté au travers de toute l'histoire des civilisations.

Le Beau est certes une idée, mais pendant des siècles ce n'était pas une idéologie. Et encore moins son contraire le Laid. Les multiples idéologies, le plus souvent religieuses, qui ont habité durant des millénaires l'esprit des hommes ont utilisé l'idée du beau pour soutenir leurs croyances les plus diverses et même opposées.

A partir de la seconde moitié du 20è siècle les élites idéologiques et politiques de l'Occident, athées, ont décidé d' imposer la croyance que le Beau n'existait pas, et de faire croire que le Laid est une valeur recommandable. L'art contemporain officiel en est la démonstration.

L'affirmation que le Beau n'existe pas, est purement subjectif, est une idée fausse, conçue et répandue au cours de la seconde moitié du 20è siècle pour des motifs idéologiques et économiques.

Les motifs idéologiques sont, notamment, que ce relativisme permet de justifier l'Art Laid officiel et que l'art laid est un critère de distinction entre les Eclairés et ceux qui ne le sont pas. L'homme peut en effet inventer des idéologies, des croyances, qui nient le Beau et le Bien. Cette capacité d'invention de croyances les plus diverses et contraires fait la différence entre l'homme et les animaux.

C'est une évolution mais ce n'est pas nécessairement un progrès. Ce peut être, c'est toujours, inévitablement, sous certains aspects, aussi une régression. La capacité d'inventer le Beau rencontre son contraire, celle d'inventer le Laid. Et même, comme dans l'art contemporain officiel, d'en faire une règle, une doctrine. La capacité au Bien est inséparable de celle de faire le Mal. Et la formulation de vérités ouvre toute grande la porte aux mensonges.

Outre les motifs idéologiques, cette affirmation permet aussi de fabriquer et de vendre du Laid, ce qui est une excellente affaire.

 

THE BEAUTIFUL IS A SHARED EXPERIENCE

 

"Everything Florentine art from Giotto and throughout the Quattrocento has this amazing quality of absolute truth recognized. The immediate effect of a large Giotto or Masaccio is to let the audience speechless. It s' once called Beauty. "

MARY MAC CARTHY "The Stones of Florence" 1956.

 

Contrary to an accepted idea, all new, considered as obvious in our time, the Beautiful is not subjective. No, the beautiful is not only a matter of personal taste, a total arbitrary, absolutely egocentric. The beautiful is not autistic, it is a sharing, although some of its forms may be more accessible to some people than others, to some cultures and not to others.

The proof that the Beau exists is that it is recognized and unanimously accepted by the public opinion, and that of the specialists, for millions of works whose creation dates range from - 3000 to the present day. The Beautiful is recognized, lived as an experience generally shared, not only in art, but in all the spectacle of Nature

The abstract definitions must be left aside. The Philosophers have never succeeded in giving a satisfactory and incontestable definition of the Beautiful. Let us leave Plato his idea of a beautiful transcendent impossible to reach. Let's stay at a more trivial level, that of remarkable, concrete beauty : there is absolutely no serious discussion about the existence of Beau, a common sensation, a poetic emotion, shared by millions of men, from Egyptian Art to Modern Art, since China to Europe and America. The Beautiful does not define itself, it is felt individually and collectively. Individually felt the beautiful is only subjective, it only matters for a person, collectively felt, shared by the elites and the people, together, he is objectively. The Beautiful becomes a reality at the scale of a community more or less wide and even to the whole earth. The Beautiful is simply a fact verified by the experience of thousands of generations of humans on the whole Earth.

One can even argue that of the three fundamental ideas, Beautiful, Well, Truth, the Beautiful is the first of which we can spot the appearance with certainty in the history of men: Because the Beautiful leaves traces that we see. When does the idea of the Well appear? When does the idea of Truth appear?

The beautifful is not defined, it is felt and it evolves with time. No doubt the mistake of Academism has been to want to define the rules of the Beautiful, in abstracto, and the impressionists were very quickly right against him .

But there is absolutely no serious discussion about the existence of Beauty, a common sensation, a poetic émotion, shared by millions of people, since the Paleolithic art, the Egyptian Art to Modern Art, from China to Europe and America.

The Beautiful can take different forms according to cultures or civilizations. It is recognized as beautiful inside its cultural domain, but also often outside.

The painting of the Chinese scholars is very particular, it is possible individually not to appreciate it, but it would be wrong to speak about it an Art of the ugly, and it is not judged as such by the the test of time and its confrontation with other cultures like the Western one. The Beautiful is simply a fact verified by the experience of thousands of generations of humans all over the Earth. The painting of Leonardo da Vinci, the Mona Lisa (Mona Lisa) and the success met among the populations of the Far East testify to this universality of the Beautiful.

There is "a sense of beauty, common to all mankind" which is independent of modes, religions and ideologies and even cultures. Even though certain specificities or variability should not be neglected in relation to such a culture or at that time. The overall observation remains that of a sharing of the feeling of beauty on a universal scale.

The beauty is identified by an intense satisfaction, a feeling of happiness, of joy, of sensual or intellectual order that invades the person, it is his subjective starting point. This subjective starting point becomes objective by sharing this sentiment with a multitude of other people, cultures and different eras, in order to achieve the emergence of almost unanimity and almost universality.

The beauty is certainly a subjective experience in that it is felt individually, but it is objective by the convergent opinion, formulated in the course of time, by the peoples and the elites. It is this common judgement of peoples and elites, this shared experience, which objective and proves the beautiful.

 

What is subjective what are the preferences of individuals. What is subjective is when a person prefers Romanesque frescoes or the art of international Gothic painting of the Italian Renaissance. When a person prefers the art of the landscape or the painting of morals to religious painting.

If someone had told to Fra Angelico, Raphaël or Rubens that beauty does not exist and is purely subjective matter, they would have shrugged.

The Beautiful is certainly a subjective, individually felt, but it is objectified by the synthesis of the multiple opinions of peoples and their elites.

Not only is the feeling of the Beautiful a fact of experience, a common heritage of humanity, which passes through times and cultures, but the Beautiful can be felt while the ideologies that inspired the works of art at a certain time, in a region of the Earth, have died as active beliefs.

There is no need to believe in spirits, in the Gods of the Egyptians, Greeks, Hindus or in the Buddhas for to appreciate the beauty of the cave art, or of the ancient Egypt, the Greece, of the India, or of South East Asia. Similarly, the representations of God and of the world, which are those of the Christian churches, which have been alive and profoundly meaningful to European populations for more than a millennium, may no longer make sense for a very large majority of the Western and Northern of the Europe in the 21st century. However, these populations, like other peoples in other cultures, can recognize the Beautiful in works of art whose the symbols are no longer ideologically significant for them, or even appear absurd to them. The beliefs change but the feeling of the Beautiful lasts.

The beautiful is therefore a fact of experience found throughout the history of civilizations.

The beautiful is certainly an idea, but for centuries it was not an ideology. And even less its opposite the Ugly. The multiple ideologies, most often religious, that have inhabited men's minds for thousands of years have used the idea of the beautiful to support their beliefs the most diverse and even opposite.

The assertion that Beauty does not exist, is purely subjective, is a false idea, conceived and spread in the second half of the 20th century for ideological and economic reasons. Man can indeed invent ideologies, beliefs, who deny the Beautiful and the Good. This capacity for invention of the most diverse and contrary beliefs makes the difference between man and animals.

It is an evolution but it is not necessarily a progress. It may be, it is always, inevitably, in some aspects, also a regression. The ability to invent the beautiful meets its opposite, that of inventing the Ugly. And even, as in official contemporary art, to make it a rule, a doctrine. The capacity for good is inseparable from that of doing evil. And the formulation of truths opens the door wide to lies.

The ideological motives are that this relativism makes it possible to justify the ugly art, the academic art , and that the ugly Art is a criterion of distinction between the Enlightened and those who are not.

In addition to the ideological motives, this statement also makes it possible to manufacture and sell the Laid, which is an excellent deal.

   

I have been wanting to make a trip up to Yosemite during Autumn ever since purchasing "The Four Seasons Of Yosemite" by Mark Boster a couple of years ago. I had also just recently seen a photo by Michael Frye showing the sun coming up much further to the South of Half Dome giving some wonderful side light to the trees along the Merced River and I knew that there would only be a few weeks out of the year when you could photograph the light hitting the changing leaves from that angle. As Veterans Day fell on a Monday this year, it opened up just enough of my Fall schedule to allow me to make a quick overnight trip up to the park. I set off at 6 AM last Saturday and arrived in the park just after noon.

 

The most amazing thing about this trip was....it was like visiting the park again for the very first time. The light and shadows were completely different than my last visit in June. In June, huge expanses of the park are completely lit by the sun for the entire day, but in November, the jagged peaks of the Cathedral Rocks and Sentinel Rock move continuously across the valley floor. In the Eastern part of the valley, only a small section will light up in the morning and then the sun is gone for the rest of the day. And the water levels were radically different. Yosemite Falls and stopped flowing completely and Bridal Veil was down to a thin wisp. The upside to this was that the river was almost impossibly still in several locations, creating an incredible mirror to the changing leaves of the Cottonwoods and Oaks along its banks.

 

After a quick hour or so of shooting in the valley, I drove up to the trailhead for Sentinel Dome as Glacier Point road was still open. I had never been up to the top of the Dome before and was completely blown away by the 360 degree panoramic view of the park and surrounding peaks.

 

After spending the night with some friends in Mariposa, I woke up at 4:30 AM and drove up to Glacier Point for the Sunrise. Again, I was amazed at the extreme change of angle of the sunrise. In June, the sun comes up almost directly behind Half Dome, but in November, the sunrise was FAR to the right, lighting Half Dome from behind. After shooting for an hour or so, I ran back to the car and drove back down the the valley floor. I was positive that I had waited too long to get my sunrise reflection shot of Half Dome, but as I parked by Yosemite Village and ran through the trees, it looked like I had shown up just in time. The trees along the Merced in that corner of Yosemite had just hit peak and the sun was still low enough to grab a bit of a starburst behind the larger firs and pines on the opposite bank.

 

Although my time in the park was brief, I shot almost non stop while I was there as there was still plenty of color up and down the Merced River. I came back with over 2000 images and I'll try to upload as many as I can over the next few weeks.

 

If you had asked me three years ago if I wanted to shoot Yosemite during Autumn, I would have passed. Brown weeds, low water levels, no waterfalls...why make the trip? After shooting up there this weekend, I could not have been more mistaken. Between the changing leaves, pristine reflections, and completely different light and shadows to work with, I would highly recommend making a trip up there between September and November to ANYONE who is a fan of Yosemite National Park.

 

NB: When I arrived at the location in the above shot, I was literally the only one shooting for a full 30 minutes. If not for Michael Frye's book , The Photographer's Guide To Yosemite I wouldn't have known about this location at all. This was not taken from Sentinel Bridge, but from just off the overflow parking area of Yosemite Village. If you are trying to find this spot, park as far East as you can in the lot, walk through the trees, and you're there.

  

William McIntosh Photography | 500px | Twitter

 

The Power of God's Word | Christian Music " The Creator's Authority Never Changes"

 

Power of God's word | Christian Music "The Creator's Authority Never Changes"

 

God is with authority and power; they are real, not merely words.

 

Revealed in steps, shown in His creation and His control over all things.

 

Seen in how He guides and manages man.

 

Proved by every way, detail and perspective of His rule,

 

by His deeds and grasp of all things.

 

Heaven and earth may change a lot, but God’s authority will stand firm.

 

All things may vanish and be gone, but God’s authority remains.

 

This is the essence of it. Unique to God, the Creator.

 

God’s authority and power, seen in all things, revealing they are real.

 

With them, God works, rules, and makes commands.

 

No angels nor God’s messengers can wield such power in His stead.

 

Only God can exert this power.

 

No one, no thing can escape from it or change the rules God wields it by.

 

Such power and rules will never change.

 

Heaven and earth may change a lot, but God’s authority will stand firm.

 

All things may vanish and be gone, but God’s authority remains.

 

This is the essence of it. Unique to God, the Creator.

 

from The Word Appears in the Flesh

Continuing with the Bromance theme:

 

If I was forced to pick a favorite image from my own "portfolio", this would be it. Most times, I'm not terribly thrilled with my photographic results. My usual workflow goes something like: Shoot image. Edit image. Like image. Go check my contact's images on Flickr. Realize how much better they are than mine. Go back and dislike image. There are a handful of photographers on Flickr who I KNOW are going to produce outstanding shots on a consistent basis. One of the folks at the top of that list is Jesse Estes

 

The most astonishing part of Jesse's high quality of work is that he is self-taught. I just don't know how people can produce such artistically sublime imagery without lots of instruction. I guess some talent is just pure.

 

Of all the incredible images that Jesse has shared with us in his photostream, one literally dropped my jaw to the floor and sucked all the air out of my lungs. OH MY GOD CHECK THIS OUT!! THIS image will stand the test of time as one of the most wonderful I've ever seen, because it was my introduction to a truly magical spot on earth. I think I sent Jesse a note expressing the enormity of my admiration.

 

Fast forward to last winter, and imagine my sheer delight when Jesse invited me to make the trek in to see this corner of the Gorge that he worked so hard to find. He warned me it would be tough to get to. I figured I'm a pretty big guy, so how tough could it be? It was tough to get to.

 

I liked Jesse instantly. He's a true gentleman; soft spoken with kind eyes and a relaxed demeanor. You couldn't ask for a better guide, as Jesse was constantly attentive to make sure that I hadn't been swept to my death by the strong current and ice-slick rocks. To reach this spot in the winter requires several crossings of some extremely swift water, at times approaching the cold-sensitive bellybutton on my 6'5" frame. Ever the gentleman, Jesse would always position himself upstream of me to break the current as we struggled across..... of course now that I think of it with a non-frozen mind, he was probably thinking "One wrong step, and I'm going for a nasty, cold, LONG, dangerous ride. I'll bet that fat guy downstream of me will make an excellent raft". Make no mistake, it was treacherous.

 

I've been back to this spot several times since this first incredible day, thinking that I wanted to see it with its spring green coat. The crossing gets MUCH easier as spring takes hold, but the mood changes as well, and I've found that the character of the place slips downstream with the diminished water flow.

 

After a few hours of uneasy footing and freezing adventure, sprinkled with some wonderful conversation, we rounded the corner into this amphitheater of moss and atmosphere. In short, the place delivers. I'll never be able to fully thank you, Jesse, for sharing this wonderful morning with me. It definitely marks the high water mark (pun intended) of my short shooting "career", and I suspect it will be many many years before I'm able to replicate the sense of awe that befell me that day.

 

I'm off, Flickr friends. A little work followed by a week long vacation/phototrip. If I get eaten by a bear, I wanted this to be my last image posted. Luckily, the way I see it, I don't need to actually outrun any bears, I just need to outrun Steve Turner.

 

I guess I'm not supposed to put my website address here, so it's in My Profile if anyone cares.

  

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This portrait of my dearly beloved BFF Fleur was taken the end of May of this year just as Fleur and Velvet, the reigning royal Blackbird couple of the area were taking a short break between successful broods.

 

Fleur had been indulging in extensive spa treatments on my terrace the better part of May after briefly introducing her lovely daughter to my terrace earlier that month. I had mentioned to Fleur how I would so love to get a really decent image of her all fluffed up at the birdbath as I could not get over her super cuteness factor and so wanted to share it with my friends on here.

 

Fleur kept obliging and waiting for me as well as for the lighting conditions to be optimal. That day, I was sitting indoors with the terrace door open albeit with the mosquito netting in the way. So, Fleur patiently waited for me to get up and go outside so that I could take this series of her while standing in front of her.

 

The above image has now ended up being my absolute favorite image of her ever due to how lovingly Fleur is looking at me besides proving that she is the fluffiest and most adorable Blackbird in all the land ;-)

 

It is also the personal favorite of my very dear friend Carole from Barry & Carole Bowden who is basically like the human version of Fleur for me and who loved Fleur as much as I did. As a little thank you for all of Carole's incredible support during the difficult past months, I am dedicating this portrait of "our" Fleur to her.

 

I am delighted that this image is now also available via my Getty Images Portfolio with more than 500 nature and wildlife images and that it is also part of my Flickr Getty Album on here.

 

Any question I ever asked Fleur, even just in my head, she would answer without fail that same day by showing me the answer. She was also an incredible empath around me and the other wildlife, going out of her way to show me when something was wrong with someone else.

 

All the other songbirds revered and respected her. Fleur had a special friendship with my late female resident Dunnock Hedy. The visiting female Dunnocks from this past spring and summer adored Fleur. No other bird ever chased her and she was also completely fearless, baffling even the biggest loner Rat while still a junior bird. Even the Jays listened to her and would honor her requests. She was absolutely fierce, ever so feisty and utterly fabulous!

 

Fleur was a true Buddha Angel. She was the most remarkable bird I have ever come across plus the most loyal of friends. She was always there for me, every single day, no matter what was going on in her life. Thanks to her patience and training, I was just about to understand the complex language of the Blackbirds to a tee.

 

I am forever grateful for all the magical moments I got to share with her and for the great blessing of her presence in my life these past few years. Fleur took over the role of my most special guardian angel from dear Flaushi back in January 2016 when he left to check out the area. Fleur really changed my life for the better through her unconditional love. Please note that I am not a religious person, though I do consider myself to be a spiritual one.

 

I will write more about my special friendship with First Lady Fleur as well as all about her remarkable abilities and powers under a very fun series of images of her raiding the mud of the flower planters of my adorable upstairs neighbors for her last nest in June which I will post at a later date.

 

The last time I saw my BFF Fleur was on the afternoon of July 30th as she was trying to introduce her son to my terrace. I went outside briefly in the sweltering afternoon heat of nearly 40C (over 100F) on my terrace to tell her how much I loved her and that I needed to get going as I still had an appointment that early evening. I also told her that it was way too hot and stuffy for me and that hopefully, it would cool down soon (it did not) and we could try again the next day in terms of the proper introductions.

 

Fleur was not yet in her molt and in the best of spirits as it was the last day of her looking after her son as the three-week period of showing the fledgling kids the ropes was now over. She lived to be a mom and was the most devoted momma bird I have ever known. Velvet had already briefly shown their daughter my terrace and person a few days earlier.

 

Both Fleur and Velvet were now finished with their parenting duties and I was blown away by how they had managed to raise two kids successfully in spite of the brutal heat wave and drought which made finding any worms and snails nigh impossible. Hence, my organic raisins were definitely helpful to them and all the other Blackbirds together with the daily fresh double-filtered water in the birdbath I had gotten from the UK in June 2017 specifically for the Blackbirds.

 

Fleur and Velvet were only three years old. Once Blackbirds manage to survive their first year, they can easily live 10 years or even more than 20 years.

 

The reason they average out to only 4 - 5 years is due to all of the millions of roaming house cats in Germany as well as the glass windows and doors most people do not bird-proof around here plus the pesticides used nearly all over Germany - though happily, not in my neighborhood.

 

So, their lives are drastically cut short thanks to us humans. So sad. Alas, this post will now get even sadder thanks to a terrible tragedy that struck my area and town concerning all the songbirds and basically wiped out all the Blackbirds and other Thrushes.

 

But before I get into that extensive documentation, I wanted to thank all of my friends on here for their most thoughtful comments and wonderful support during my lengthy absence from Flickr. I kept hoping to become active again on here sooner than later, but something always kept coming up besides the various work-related writing deadlines I still had to honor even though I was fighting for my life half the time.

 

I already went into yet another a life-threatening mitochondrial crisis the very beginning of April thanks to my rare inborn error of metabolism followed by many relapses as well as one full-blown circulatory collapse after the next one, starting the end of April due to the unusually warm weather that we had from the beginning of April through most of September.

 

Quite a few of these collapses were actually the result of my trying to help my dear terrace friends survive. Just last week we still had temps above 30C plus high humidity and absolutely no breeze followed by 3C one night.

 

I have written extensively about what I get to deal with on a daily basis for the past 47 years ever since I was a baby in terms of my rare genetic condition under this older post in which I also explain why my terrace friends mean the world to me: My Guardian Angel

 

Oh, so normal temps for Hamburg are the 60's and low 70's Fahrenheit (so around 20C) in the summertime. It is rare that temps here go above 75F into the 80's and if they do, it is only for a few weeks every few years. Since the beginning of April, it was well over 75F and 25C for the most part with practically no rain even though Hamburg is the greenest and rainiest city in Europe. Even more rain than Seattle.

 

I moved here because of the little sunlight as I react massively to sunlight as well as any temps above 75F as my body starts failing me when the temps go up into the 80's and the humidity rises above 60%. My ground-floor flat was well above 25C and 60% for most of spring and summer. My various ventilators did not have much of an impact.

 

Having massive construction going on across the street from the beginning of May until the end of August in the form of my landlord redoing the ginormous tiered roof his over 100-year-old mansion was also not that helpful or relaxing between all those fumes and the impressive drilling noises which made going to the dentist seem like a vacation. Even with all the windows and doors closed, it was bad enough to drive anyone's BP well above 200...

 

During July and August, it was in the 90's Fahrenheit (around 35C+) for weeks on end with super high humidity plus not even the slightest breeze and no AC anywhere, not even on public transportation. But no one said anything and the media went on about how great the people are as no one complained.

 

It was actually the hottest and driest spring as well as summer in recorded history since 1881 as well as the sunniest. Between the beginning of January and the end of July, there were 140 sunny days. January did not really count as it and December 2017 were the darkest two months in recorded local history as they totaled 2.5 days of sunlight altogether. So basically, it was sunny all day long for nearly five out of six months!

 

The one or two times it briefly rained each month, the media would go on as if it was the end of the world and that any rain needed to be outlawed as it was so terrible. I guess everyone missed the memo that we do need rain for all life to exist and flourish. In fact, the opinion of the general public and the media has basically been that global warming is the best thing to happen to Hamburg since sliced bread...

 

Please bear with me as it will take me quite a while to catch up with all of my friends and your beautiful as well as inspiring images. I did try to keep up with most of my friends during April and May, albeit it just was no longer physically possible for me and I am anything but out of the woods yet or even remotely stabilized as my rare genetic condition is progressive.

 

This post is my longest backstories ever after not posting anything for the past 6 months. I will be posting the other part of this backstory down the road as it goes into detail about the general environmental issues in Germany.

 

I am pretty sure my friends on here will need to line up a few coffees or something even stronger to get through this post just like it took a great deal out of me to write about what happened to my beloved songbirds this summer.

 

It also took quite a bit of time and research to make sure that all my facts and figures were up to snuff as I love debunking modern myths via scientific evidence. To be fair, I have seen even longer posts by other members on here though these usually involve actual chapters from budding novels ;-) Not to worry, I will make sure that my next uploads will be short and sweet!

 

I did have a slew of riveting stories to share with my friends before disaster struck here in August but I then got wrapped up with all of the extensive documentation efforts for the super nice and most helpful consulting ornithologist for NABU, the partner of the Audubon Society.

 

I was already in contact with him as well as the Director of the Edward Grey Institute and head of the Zoology department over at Oxford University all of July due to a rare and extreme case of Avian Pox in my one female visiting Dunnock here starting in June when the Pox devoured her one eye.

 

That story is quite the miracle and I will write about it all in greater detail when I get around to posting those harrowing images on here. Mrs. Nougat was the most amazing little bird as she survived the odds and made a full recovery. She even regained her eye as well as eyesight without anyone else coming down with this highly contagious and often deadly Pox.

 

All of June and July was spent fearing for the welfare of this lovely little Dunnock and all of my other smaller songbirds in terms of the Avian Pox while doing all that I could do to help my little friends out. Just as that was finally over, all hell broke out here in the form of the Usutu virus turning up for the first time so far up north. The devastating Usutu virus originally hails from the Usutu River in Swaziland.

 

Alas, the month of August 2018 turned into Songbird Armageddon around my place and town as the lethal Usutu virus made its way to Hamburg for the first time due to our extreme heat wave thanks to global warming.

 

Get this, most people I have run into around my area either firmly believe that global warming simply does not exist or that it is had nothing to do with us humans affecting the environment so adversely. You should hear their "sound" theories and I am talking about perfectly nice people who are seemingly intelligent as well as aware enough.

 

It does not matter what our local climate experts are saying or explaining in terms of how they can prove all of it scientifically. Next time, I am going to start checking whether people are still convinced that the world is flat and not round...

 

Global warming does not mean that every single spring and summer will be even hotter than the one we just went through. No, it has to do with extreme weather conditions worldwide plus the mean temperatures steadily rising, including the ocean temperatures. It only needs a few degrees to wreak even more havoc.

 

The Usutu virus has decimated the songbird population here, especially my beloved Blackbirds who always make up the majority of the victims in each region the virus first spreads to although Great Gray Owls have also been killed by it and it also affects bats as well as all other mammals, including horses.

 

And no, it is NOT transferred amongst the birds or via the birdbaths and feeders as some misinformed local media reports have claimed while misquoting the experts.

 

A local homegrown female mosquito (the males are harmless as they do not sting) has to bite the bird and either the mosquito already has the virus or it bites an infected bird. As mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water (even under flower planters), it is recommended to remove all standing water in the gardens or to rinse it properly off about once a week plus let it dry out as the life cycle for the eggs to hatch and the larvae to transform into the fully-fledged insects takes two weeks.

 

This does not mean to remove all the birdbaths! I change the water in my birdbath or birdbaths on a daily basis and always rinse them out before pouting in my double-filtered water. It is recommended to change the water daily in all standing water birdbaths to avoid the growth of bacteria and to keep it clean in case someone poops in it by mistake.

 

During the heat wave, I was changing it several times every day. I also scrub it once a week and if necessary, with boiling water which disinfects everything perfectly. Please never ever use any cleaning agents or bleaches on any birdbaths (or feeders) as they always leave a residue and this is toxic for our little friends plus can even be lethal.

 

And no, the larvae and eggs are NOT destroyed or harmed when it rains or one pours water over them as most people believe. They will just swim to the bottom when disturbed. You can tell if there are eggs and larvae in water as there will be lots of little "water" bubbles in one small area by the surface.

 

If the standing water is not too shallow, a goldfish or two will eat the larvae. If one has a little decorative pond, having frogs and fish will do the trick. Alternatively, a running water feature will keep the mosquitos from breeding there.

 

When I tried informing some of my direct neighbors, they simply shrugged their shoulders plus none of them had a clue as to what was happening. Most of them told me off and that it was too invasive to expect them to remove any standing water under the planters. They were just going to let nature takes its course as they were true nature lovers who do not interfere with nature unlike moi (according to them) even after I pointed out that the Usutu virus being in Hamburg has nothing to do with nature or natural selection.

 

Others stated that mosquitos are necessary for the birds to survive as the insect population keeps diminishing. Indeed, our insect numbers are disturbingly low but encouraging our local mosquitos to multiply with the Usutu virus flourishing inside them is definitely not helping out any birds as it is destroying them instead as of this summer.

 

Another neighbor claimed that once Usutu has killed off all of the Blackbirds in the region it would cease to exist as it would have nothing to feed off of and that the virus simply needs to run its course. Huh?! The Usutu virus can infect every single mammal as well as bird plus our local mosquitoes are not going to be wiped out, barring some asteroid flattening out this part of the world.

 

A few of my direct neighbors mentioned that they intend on living their lives the way they want to live them and they don't give a damn about what effect their actions have on others. And this coming from people who are part of my generation aka in their 40's and 50's.

 

I always thought that my generation was already way too self-obsessed. Never mind the self-entitled and dreaded selfie generation following mine. It all does not bode well for any possible future for our amazing planet. I give it less than 50 years at the going rate.

 

Without bees, no life can exist on this planet. On the flip side, without our species and our beloved pets, our planet would fare much better and not experience any of the current issues. That is how unimportant we are in the grand scheme of things, even if we take everything we do so seriously and think we are the center of the universe plus above all other species. We are so not.

 

The Usutu virus has turned into the most deadly bird virus of the year all over Germany. Locally in Hamburg, it has become the deadliest outbreak ever recorded in any city worldwide in terms of the birds, especially the Blackbirds. And it has basically just begun wreaking havoc around here...

 

It is very closely related to the West Nile fever, which is particularly deadly for the Raptors and which has also been confirmed in a several dead captive Owls together with a few wild Raptors and one Blackbird as well as one Horse this summer in Germany. When the West Nile virus invaded the United States, dead birds were falling out of the trees in New York City's Central Park back in 1999.

 

The Usutu virus was first confirmed in the songbirds in Germany back in 2011 when it decimated 90% of the Blackbird population along with other songbirds in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg. Around 300,000 Blackbirds died from it in that small region alone that year. Just as a reference, there were about 8 million Blackbird nesting couples in all of Germany before Usutu struck this summer.

 

Basically, all of the Blackbirds and other Thrushes are gone in my part of Hamburg. Nearly every single one plus plenty of other darling songbirds like Tanni the Coal Tit, who spent his last 24 hours on my terrace under the ivy and whom I buried on the morning of August 8th at the height of the heatwave while the sewage from my various different neighbors was spilling out from my kitchen sink on the hottest and muggiest day of the year.

 

I also buried a junior Blue Tit that same morning only to discover that most of the junior Blue Tits and Great Tits, did not survive our brutal summer along with the various Finches and some Dunnocks as well as Robins, Wrens, Nuthatches, Starlings, and Jays in my neighborhood.

 

My BFF Fleur's super adorable younger sister Amselie spent most of the day on my terrace in a really bad state the very beginning of August although she had not even started her annual molt. I thought she would not make it but she turned the corner and was back to normal the next morning, though I have not seen her since.

 

At the time, I thought that she and the other affected songbirds were all suffering from the extreme heat. I thought that Tanni had died as a result of a heatstroke as his symptoms all lined up with that, including the neurological ones during the last part of his suffering and I could not find anything about Usutu in this part of Hamburg at the time. The extreme heatwave was over by August 10th.

 

Then my Fleur's hubby Velvet spent a week on my terrace the middle of August and I thought he would not make it as he was just sitting on the terrace tiles under the ivy all fluffed up with his eyes half-closed and hardly ever moving at all. He could hardly fly and I thought he would not survive the night on August 20th after it was touch and go all day. About once an hour a tiny small white fluid drop would come out of him, just like with the others who were affected.

 

Clearly, this was no longer the heatwave and I then found out via my NABU contact that Usutu was decimating the songbirds in Hamburg since the end of July. But, most people also assumed it was due to the heatwave at first.

 

I did my special brand of "Bird Reiki" with Velvet for a few days just like I did with Amselie, spending hours sitting on my terrace lounge table with Velvet by my feet until he finally turned the corner. He developed immunity which can sometimes happen to a handful of birds when the virus first appears in a region. Sadly, it is then NOT passed on to any offspring like what happens via mammals.

 

Velvet was also basically finished molting which is helpful when fighting off such a virus, as he has a very early molt which starts the end of May. Alas, after he was finally physically tip top again, I fear that Mr. Sparrowhawk snatched him up on August 27th in the backyard as I heard some terrible adult Blackbird screams for about a minute higher up and then I never saw Velvet again.

 

Mentally, Velvet was completely down as he lost all of his children, relatives and the love of his life my BFF Fleur so I was not sure he would want to hang on but clearly he wanted to survive as he came to me for help.

 

Of course, I am still hoping against the odds that Velvet is still alive and simply hiding out somewhere but he was quite attached to me so it would not make much sense for him never to stop by since that fateful day.

 

Usutu survives temps of minus 50C (-58F) and it survives in the eggs of our local mosquitos who transfer it to the birds as well as ALL mammals. Most of the Jays are also gone and Usutu has been confirmed this summer here in Hamburg in dead Blackbirds, Thrushes, Jays, various Tits aka Chickadees, Finches, Sparrows and Starlings plus Wrens, Robins, Dunnocks, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers as well as Bats.

 

Hamburg happens to be the epicenter of the massive outbreak this year. Usutu does not go away when it gets colder or so: it is here to stay and continue its devastation.

 

Contrary to popular belief, a very cold winter is actually great for the eggs and preserves them perfectly (think cryogenics) as long as temps are under 6C (42F). That explains why one is eaten alive around the lakes of the Scandinavian countries in the summer even though their winters are often truly Siberian.

 

If the temps are higher in the winter, the eggs will rot or get eaten by predators or develop fungal infections. If there is a very cold spell in March or April, that will also kill off the mosquitos nicely as they will not be prepared. But many of the buggers will find great hiding spots in basements and buildings.

 

Neither cats nor dogs will be affected by Usutu and 80% of people will not have any symptoms at all, though a few will have flu-like symptoms which doctors will mistake for the summer flu and those with severely compromised immune systems can end up with Meningitis.

 

My immune system is not compromised but my body cannot metabolize any toxins, including all man-made toxins that exist due to my rare inborn error of metabolism.

 

A small insect bite on my lower left leg (still swollen to this date) in June 2017 nearly ended me last summer and a simple cold can easily kill me, so Usutu is a real worry for me as I also go into life-threatening mitochondrial crises from any medication there is, including any alternative ones.

 

We actually had very few mosquitoes here in July and August due to the extensive drought but that kind of weather is exactly what enables Usutu to make its home here. I have mosquito netting on every window and door, but they still latch on to me and ALL repellants are toxic for me plus the natural ones have no effect.

 

In terms of the decimation of the songbirds, this year is the worst ever since it was first confirmed in Germany in 2011. The arbovirologists from the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute in Hamburg who are leading the investigation plus performing the bird autopsies and to whom I have spoken a few times have mentioned that this year is far worse than ALL of the past 7 years combined and it keeps spreading all over Germany.

 

August and September are the peak times as the mosquitos are packed with viruses, though October can also still be bad depending on the temps. Blackbirds seem to have a weaker immune system, especially as they usually start their exhausting 90-day annual feather molt after their last brood is finished sometime in August.

 

Thus, the mosquitoes have easy access to them where their feathers are gone like when their heads are partially bold during this phase plus all birds are in a weakened state during their annual molts and thus easy prey for any predators.

 

Plus the few birds who do develop immunity will not have much of a chance as while they are fighting Usutu, they are hardly able to move and they take to the ground as Velvet did at my feet for a few days. So, the 11 million 24/7 free-roaming house cats plus 2 million more stray cats alone in Germany are having the time of their lives going after the remaining songbirds...

 

Prior to this summer and Usutu, there were around 9 million nesting Blackbird couples in all of Germany, so nearly one roaming house cat per Blackbird. During every nesting season, our beloved pets are responsible for 90% of the nestling and fledgling deaths of all of the ground-breeding songbirds in my area including the Robins, Dunnocks, Wrens, and ChiffChaffs besides the Blackbirds plus quite a few parent birds as well.

 

Also, the Blackbirds were the main warning system in terms of the roaming cats as well as natural predators like the Sparrowhawks for all of the little songbirds who are now pretty lost and confused besides being even more stressed out than usual. Currently, around 80% of the songbirds in my entire neighborhood are now gone. The survivors keep calling out and looking for fellow survivors. The poor little junior ChiffChaff spends most of his day uttering his warning call everywhere together with the junior Wren.

 

So, I am beyond heart-broken as the more than 20 adult Blackbirds (not counting the juvenile ones) around my place were truly my family and they integrated me in all aspects of their lives plus kept me going as I have no one around here who checks in on me or is there for me. These past few years, the dear Blackbirds and Jays really took to looking after me and lifting up my spirits. They were all such special souls and I learned so much from them and through them.

 

I am still hoping against all the odds that there are still a few Blackbirds in my neighborhood, but it was looking pretty hopeless as there was no sign of them anywhere. The tons of untouched cherries in front of my bedroom balcony are proof. And no, our local Blackbirds are not migratory in any way. They always stay very close to where they were born and grew up in, meaning in the same area.

 

A miracle did happen just a few days ago on Thursday morning. Every day since the middle of August, I have kept "craning" my ears to see if I could detect a Blackbird call somewhere. I sometimes thought I heard something out back but then it usually turned out to be the Great Tits emulating various Blackbird calls.

 

I had my backyard balcony door open and then clearly heard the "quacking" sound of a Blackbird followed by a 100% visual confirmation of the silhouette in the ivy hedge! I could thus not tell if this was a female or a male Blackbird nor if it was an adult or junior one. Let's just hope whoever it is, he or she manages to stay alive and find their way to the ripe berries on the Wayfaring tree overhanging my terrace!

 

My terrace no longer is "The Enchanted Terrace" but has been morphed into the "Sole Survivors Club."

 

Currently still alive and somewhat kicking are the Robin brothers Sir Angelo and DJ (both born summer 2016) plus their first cousin Colonel Trudy (born July 2017), who just returned to her home turf a few weeks ago after an absence of exactly 6 months during which she went off husband-hunting for the first time. Our tiny miracle Robin seems very happy so I reckon she was successful with her brood and she has now morphed into a true little Buddha Angel. So, she is an ex-Colonel ;-) There also seem to be some very shy junior Robins flitting about.

 

My Great Tit Ziggy is now the biggest songbird still alive and he has taken over Velvet's role as head honcho of the area together with his lovely wife. Since the middle of September, he is back in his man cave every night aka guarding the Schwegler nest box for his wife. So, my favorite terrace roomie is back for the third fall and winter in a row now ;-)

 

But, like every fall, the various junior GT males are trying to snag that nest box so guarding it is way harder than it sounds. The junior GT males are very cute but so self-entitled. They are also the ruffians of my terrace. One of them will even go into the nest box when Ziggy is already in it.

 

So, Ziggy ends up spending half of the day in it as well when he is not defending it with his life! Often it is like the GT version of "High Noon" played at and in that nest box. At least it gives some semblance of business as usual on my terrace for this time of year ;-)

 

There is another cute GT couple around (possibly Ziggy Junior from 2017) plus the Blue Tit couple of Mr. Rosie Junior and wife (born summer 2017) as well as Mr. Rosie Senior, Miss Tanni the Coal Tit, Maxine the Crested Tit and new this year: a flock of 8 super adorable Long-Tailed Tits.

 

Also still alive are the two junior resident male Dunnocks from last summer as well as a junior Wren from this year and I also spied a juvenile Garden Warbler for the first time ever plus plenty of Wood Pigeons and Buzzards in the area as well as Mr. and Mrs. Sparrowhawk. Sometimes, I catch furtive glances of the Blackcap couple snagging a few berries form the Wayfaring tree overhanging my terrace and I also managed to get some dismal shots in of the pretty rare Lesser Whitethroat on his way to Africa a few weeks ago.

 

Sadly, the Jays have also not been coming around since the beginning of August, though this morning two Jays did briefly show up near my terrace. For the past 4+ years that I have lived here, they have always been on and around my terrace even when the acorn crop was good. There were more than 20 adult Jays as well, though the last time any juvenile Jays made it was back in the summer of 2014 when Flaushi and his two siblings were born.

 

Now, there are one or two couples left but they remain high up in the oak trees in the backyard and mostly completely out of sight. No more burying acorns around my flat but staying up high may enable them to survive as our local mosquitos will generally not fly higher than 20 meters aka 65 feet.

 

Here is a link to the album of the Blackbirds I had up and running, which I now renamed: The Telenovela Blackbirds RIP

 

The little darlings all have it so hard thanks to us humans. Between the pesticides, roaming house cats, annual summer trimming travesties, the glass windows which most people do not bird-proof and even the "eco-friendly" wind turbines. Now, this.

 

I already predicted that nearly all of the songbirds and other birds would be gone from Germany within the next decade unless the pesticides are outlawed, the roaming house cats are reigned in and everything else is re-thought. All of which is possible! But with Usutu on the loose, all bets are off and it would not surprise me if ALL our songbirds were gone by then as well as plenty of other bird species.

 

The Usutu virus here is also a result of us humans and was probably brought to Europe via goods that were imported and people who were infected in southern Africa plus also via the luggage as per the leading virologists. It first appeared in Tuscany in 1996, then moved on to Vienna and Austria as well as Hungary followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany.

 

Sadly, the general public in my town doesn't really give a damn about the wildlife and most people do not even realize what has been going on except for where the streets were lined with dead Blackbirds and other birds as the Blackbirds generally all go into hiding during their annual molt between August - October.

 

After I questioned them, a few of my technically wildlife-friendly neighbors told me that they had noticed lots of dead Blackbirds lying around our little local pond during the first part of August, but no one wondered why and they just went about their business.

 

I warned everyone about the high price the wildlife and crops would pay due to the ongoing heat and drought back in May but everyone I ran into or dealt with just said who cares and they still react that way. The main thing is that it is super hot and dry now for half the year as the unusually warm temperatures have lasted from the early April until late September of this year. That is all the general public around here is keen on.

Milky Way over "Temple of the Moon" in Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef National Park. This monument rises about 270 feet (82 m.) above the valley floor. Cathedral Valley is a remote area in the park that is sometimes accessible only by 4-wheel drive. I hope they never change this —I only saw two other vehicles my whole trip this last weekend in May! This is a single exposure "NightScape" during which the monument was light painted and the surrounding area received a "fill" light exposure from Mother Nature (read here, or go two images back in my profile)! MORE: is it natural or is it just "Photoshop"? Some have wondered how much of the beauty of my "NightScapes" is natural and how much is Photoshop. To answer that question, click here, or go back one image in my profile >>

 

My new ebook, Milky Way NightScapes, gives extensive details on my style of starry night landscape photography. Four chapters cover planning, scouting, forecasting star/landscape alignment, light painting, shooting techniques and post processing. Special Flickr Promo: Use Discount Code FLIK for $5.00 off at checkout (limited time only).

 

Night Photo Blog | Facebook | 500px | Google+ | Workshops

I've changed. But in the background i'm still being the same, because as Imagine Dragons said, "i've never changing who i am".

At the end of this year, i've realized i have to change many things of me. Because I've lost, but i'm going to find meyself again. Accept is the beginning. Yes, it's time to begin. Time to learn to accept each change. Because change is constant. We feel as if we died or we can take it as a second chance. Like if at any time we could have a new lease on life. As if at any moment we could be born again.

 

I'm thinking about doing a 52. I'm thinking it so so so much, i still have doubts.

 

3 days to new year. Have a nice break christmas everybody!!!

 

Facebook Page

www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

  

"I used to write,

I used to write letters I used to sign my name

I used to sleep at night

Before the flashing lights settled deep in my brain

 

But by the time we met

By the time we met the times had already changed

 

So I never wrote a letter

I never took my true heart I never wrote it down

So when the lights cut out

I was left standing in the wilderness downtown

 

Now our lives are changing fast

Now our lives are changing fast

Hope that something pure can last

Hope that something pure can last

 

It seems strange anekatips

How we used to wait for letters to arrive

But what's stranger still

Is how something so small can keep you alive"

 

Arcade fire

 

ROID WEEK -Day 4

 

♪Music♪

 

"Brand New Me"

 

It's been a while

I'm not who I was before

You look surprised

Your words don't burn me anymore

Been meanin' to tell ya

But I guess it's clear to see

Don't be mad

It's just a brand new kinda me

Can't be bad

I found a brand new kinda free

 

Careful with your ego

He's the one that we should blame

Had to grab my heart back

God knows something had to change

I thought that you'd be happy

I found the one thing I need

Why you mad?

It's just a brand new kinda me

 

It took a long, long time to get here

It took a brave, brave girl to try

It took one too many excuses, one too many lies

Don't be surprised,

 

If I talk a little louder

If I speak up when you're wrong

If I walk a little taller

I've been under you too long

If you notice that I'm different

Don't take it personally

Don't be mad

It's just a brand new kinda me

That ain't bad I found a brand new kinda free.

 

Hey, if you were a friend

You'd wanna get to know me again

If you were worth the while

You'd be happy to see me smile

I'm not expecting sorry

I'm too busy finding myself

I got this I found me

 

I don't need your opinion

I'm not waiting for your "OK"

I'll never be perfect,

But at least now I'm brave

I know my heart is open

I can finally breathe

Don't be mad

It's just a brand new kinda free

That ain't bad

I found a brand new kinda me

Don't be mad

It's just a brand new time for me

 

" Time is never time at all

You can never ever leave, without leaving a piece of youth

And our lives are forever changed

We will never be the same

The more you change the less you feel

 

Believe, believe in me, believe, believe!

That life can change, that you're not stuck in vain

We’re not the same, we're different.

Tonight ... "

equipped with my cell phone & his atomic watch, Woody is taking on the task to change

all the clocks in our house again, he knows that I hate to do it ......this year we (the U.S) are

the last ones to turn the clocks back 1 hour...........someone in Washington made that

decision last spring to save energy......I wonder if it do any good..........

 

NO PHOTOSHOP........

 

if you want to try it, see set-up shot & instructions below.......I dare you all to try it.....LOL

   

"Like a glowing jewel, the city lay upon the breast of the desert. Once it had known change and alteration, but now Time passed it by. Night and day fled across the desert's face, but in the streets of Diaspar it was always afternoon, and darkness never came. The long winter nights might dust the desert with frost, as the last moisture left in the thin air of Earth congealed - but the city knew neither heat nor cold. It had no contact with the outer world; it was a universe itself.

Men had built cities before, but never a city such as this. Some had lasted for centuries, some for millennia, before Time had swept away even their names. Diaspar alone had challenged Eternity, defending itself and all it sheltered against the slow attrition of the ages, the ravages of decay, and the corruption of rust.

Since the city was built, the oceans of Earth had passed away and the desert had encompassed all the globe. The last mountains had been ground to dust by the winds and the rain, and the world was too weary to bring forth more. The city did not care; Earth itself could crumble and Diaspar would still protect the children of its makers, bearing them and their treasures safely down the stream of time."

 

prologue from 'The City and the Stars' by Arthur C. Clarke (1956)

I went to an art expo yesterday, Saturday, March 12, 2011. "Perception" came up in conversation. More about that in a moment.

 

bighugelabs.com/onblack.php?id=5524566800&posted=1&am... - see the texture large.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS6xE8gEexk – with the subject matter, coulda’ picked jazz, coulda’ picked classical, or coulda’ picked country. Naw, too traditional.

 

Photo: Two or three months ago, I found these delightful, old flies in one of my fly boxes. Years old – like 40 plus. By today’s fly-tying and artistic standards these old flies would be considered somewhat “garbagey.” They aren’t neatly tied or properly proportioned for show and tell, illustration or layout. They are tied to be used; for catching fish. They were to be sold, gotten wet, hooked into a fish and/or lost. At that time, 40+ years ago, they were admired simply for being.

 

“Catch a nice fish, and that fly has earned its living” is my motto. It can be retired. So, I think of these old flies as mini-sculptures; little, functional pieces of art. After the fish is caught, take the fly home, put it in a shadow box with a photo of the fish it caught, complete with the fly in its mouth, and hang it on the wall for all to see.

 

“But, these aren’t tied very well,” many would say to me today. “See this, and that, and that there. Not very good.” And they would be accurate. In olden days, individual and personal style counted more than cookie-cutter, perfect replication. And, it isn't as if perfectly tied flies catch more or bigger fish. They don't. Perception of a "good fly" has changed.

 

I then I tell them who tied them: a well-known, long-time famous, fly-tyer, writer and lecturer who shouldn't be named here.

 

“Oh…OH!...Yes, I can see now. Tied by him, huh? Oh, very nice. Classics...”

 

These old, moth-eaten, raggedy flies moved from junk to craft to art in a matter of moments. Perception, again.

 

Art Expo: I went to an art expo yesterday. People wondered about my images. I've come to expect that. “Are these photographs, paintings, what? How did you do that? What did you do to them?” I’ve noticed that more people over 40 ask such questions - about photos, about flies - than do those considerably under 40.

 

I, of course, had answers, and a discussion ensued. Such discussions help me think, “what art are we making with our “photography,” here on flickr?”

 

British Philosopher Richard Wollheim (1923 – 2003) said, “The nature of art is one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture."

 

And, German Philosopher Theodor Adorno (1903 – 1969) said, "It is now taken for granted that nothing which concerns art can be taken for granted any more: neither art itself, nor art in relationship to the whole, nor even the right of [the concept of] art to exist.”

 

The internet and its opening up of “artistic possibilities” to everyone, everywhere, all at once, all the time, has made the question, “what is art?,” well, if not moot, then something closely approaching that line. So, if not "art," what?

 

“The purpose of living is for each of us to develop ourselves to our fullest potential,” ~ Mr. Spock, Star Trek II.

 

Perhaps 21st Century words, placed into the mouth of a late 23rd Century character, are coming true faster than we could have imagined that they would.

 

“Will it change your feeling about the images, if I tell you how I did them?” I asked the man. (Sometimes I call them images, other times photographs). People say “oh, no” almost reflexively, but the searching look in their eyes, and their ever-so-slightly furrowed brows say, “No. Perhaps. Yes.”

 

Each conversation I have along these lines buoys me. I come away with less doubt about the path that I, and many of you, my photo/artist, flickr friends and contacts, find ourselves wandering down/over/under/around and through.

 

“Well,” he said, “perhaps you’re right. How many more Ansel Adamses does the world of photography really need?”

 

Perception.

 

It is all…so…damned…exciting. I can barely sit still or breathe.

 

I hope you guys will forgive or indulge me. This is how my mind seems to work.

 

Natural light with dull-side, aluminum-foil-on-cardboard reflector fill.

 

Textures by The Usual Suspects: Flypaper, Distressed Jewell, Skeletalmess, KimKlassen

 

Dreams By The sea - "John Martyn" - Play this track here.

 

¿Whats this iPod Shuffle set all about? Read about it here

 

John Martyn, OBE (who passed away 29th January 2009), was a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. Over a forty-year career he released twenty studio albums, working with artists such as Eric Clapton and David Gilmour. He has been described by The Times as "an electrifying guitarist and singer whose music blurred the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues.

 

This excellent track is from 'Solid Air', a folk jazz album released in 1973. Its a truly classic album and sounds as fresh as a chill-out album even today. "Solid Air", the title track, was dedicated to a friend of Martyn's, Nick Drake. Drake died of an antidepressant overdose 18 months after the album was released.

 

Martyn said of the track 'Solid Air' "It was done for a friend of mine, and it was done right with very clear motives, and I'm very pleased with it, for varying reasons. It has got a very simple message, but you'll have to work that one out for yourself."

 

If you fancy sampling more, checkout the 2009 Deluxe Edition, with an extra 16 live tracks, demos and outtakes. Tell 'em I sent you.

 

------------------------

 

Leith is a suburb of Edinburgh where it meets the sea. It lies on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, Lothian, Scotland UK. Leith had electric street lighting from 1890, and electric trams from 1905 (only Blackpool was earlier in the UK). the trams are returning at great cost and more changes have improved teh Leith waterfront in recent years.

 

The Malmaison Hotel, beside the entrance to Leith Docks, at the Shore, Leith, shown here was formerly a sailors' home. "The Sailors' Home used to provide accommodation for sailors whose ships were in port. The Home contained comfortable rooms for each rank, a canteen, a low cost clothing shop, recreational rooms and a chapel.

 

It was an innovation in social care at a time when many workers lived in overcrowded slums. The angel in the stonework above the door was an emblem for the seamen's mission. Much investment has been made to improve the area from The City of Edinburgh District Council, Forth Ports Authority and the Water of Leith Conservation Trust.

 

The statue to the left is of Sandy Irvine Robertson OBE, wine merchant, charity promoter, founder of Scottish Business Achievement Awards, once wrote of as "one of those people who made life worth living. A bear of a man, standing six and a half feet tall, he had a heart the size of Scotland. He was mischievous, often outrageous, but never unkind, and those of us privileged to have known his friendship will be eternally grateful for it". Praise indeed.

 

Leith is known for its port and red wine imports and I assume he was linked to 'Irvine Robertson Wines' who are located just up the road. After his premature death (Born: 11 August, 1942, in Stirling Died: 20 June, 1999, aged 56), his friends commissioned a bronze statue on the waterfront at Leith. It was sculpted by Lucy Poett. She studied under Cubilt Bevis at The Heatherley School of Art in London and with the late Scott Sutherland RSA in Dundee.

 

NB: Like all the images on this stream, full size images are available, Check my profile for how to contact me.

 

Checkout more Leith, Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland from my photostream.

 

Keep in touch, add me as a contact www.flickr.com/relationship.gne?id=33062170@N08 so I can follow all your new uploads.

 

(c) TonySmith Hotpix / HotpixUK

 

( )

"Whenever I look back

On the best days of my life

I think I saw them all on T.V.

I am so homesick now for

Someone that I never knew

I am so homesick now for

Someplace I will never be

 

Time won't let me go

Time won't let me go

If I could do it all again

I'd go back and change everything

But time won't let me go

...

If I could go back once again

I would change everything, yeah

If I could go back once again

I'd do it all so much better

 

"

 

The Bravery," Time Wont Let me Go"

 

This the best rendition of the painting I have at this time even with hours of photoshopping. If I get a better image, I'll update this. Here are the Emails we exchanged:

  

I received this Email 051609

 

Dear Mr. Strain,

 

My name is Elizabeth R. My mother had one of your paintings entitled "There Is A Boy Who Loves Me". When she passed away in 1996, the painting was given to her sister who lives in Dallas, Texas. She has the painting hanging in her den and I told her I would do some research regarding the artist. And I looked you up on the internet.

 

The painting was done in 1968. You have signed it on the front and there is a letter attached to the back of the painting. I think my mother may have purchased this piece of art while she was living in Corpus. She had it on an easel for as long as I can remember. She lived in Victoria, Texas and that is where I was born. She loved the painting and I can just see it right now.

 

I thought maybe you could tell me something about the painting. My aunt is 85 years old and is not able to remove it from the wall unless she has help.

 

I would like to know if the painting is an original or a print? there is not a number in the right hand corner of the painting; just your signature.

 

I will do more research on the painting but if you could email me any more information regarding this piece of art, I would surely appreciate it.

 

Thank you so very much. I surely did enjoy enjoy reading your biography. I am presently living near LG, Texas.

 

Elizabeth R.

 

The same day, I got another Email from Elizabeth:

 

Dear Strain,

 

I just spoke with my aunt and she did tell me the contents of the letter that came with the watercolor and ink painting.

 

It says that you came upon a young lady in the road and all she said was that there is a boy who loves me. She is wearing a white dress and she is barefoot and she has long hair and there is a house in the background.. I am sure you will remember this painting and maybe give me more information.

 

Thank you again.

 

Elizabeth R.

 

The same day, I sent this response to Elizabeth:

  

Hi Elizabeth ... I just don't remember the picture. I do remember the title. I traveled a lot into Mexico when I was working in the Rio Grande Valley and I was much intrigued with the responses of the more primitive poverty stricken people of La Frontera. I do remember a little girl saying that to me in Spanish. I smiled and thought she didn't know what to say to a stranger, so she just said the most important thing in her life that day. I did a number of versions as I recall. The actual incident took place as I was driving south from Mier toward Reynosa on the Mexican side. The little girl (grade school, perhaps third grade) was standing on the school ground of a most unusually shaped school building. I stopped to sketch and she came up to watch. That was the only thing she said, although I tried to talk to her. Later I used her as a person standing in front of an unusual home I sketched in Falfurrias, Tx.

 

I think if I could see even a poor grade photograph of the watercolor, I'd be able to tell you all about it. What your aunt has is an original, because I never went into the print business. If it's the watercolor I did of the little girl in front of the original school where I met her, I think it's one of my better watercolors and your mother paid a whopping price for those years probably as much as $60 to $75 ... LOL ... If I could get a good resolution photograph of it, I'd love to put it on my sebsite.

 

I'm doing almost entirely computer art now and having a ball. As you probably know, my website is www.billstrain.com and my main thing going now is the first selection on that site with the word Flickr in it. That's where I do a daily blog of art, humor and narrative. I have as many of my old originals on the Flickrsite as anywhere under the set name of "Blasts from the Past."

 

I look forward to hearing from you. You might want to change my Email to bill.strain@yahoo.com. That's where I get most of my mail. This address is the old original one that we set up with the old website. Thanks for you inquiry and ..

 

Best wishes from Sherry and Bill in Kerrville

 

Still on the 16th, this Email from Elizabeth:

 

Hi Bill,

 

Thank you so much for your reply. I read your email to my aunt, who does not own a computer and never will, and she gave me a more detailed description of the painting. there is a one story house in the background and to the left of the house appears some black crosses maybe 5; look like crosses. then the little girl is standing on some stones and there appears to be more stones that could have been from a stone wall. She says the colors are magnificent!!! she just loves the painting.

 

She has a friend who will be returning to town around the 25th and he will come over and take a picture of it digitally and he can email you a picture. Then perhaps you will remember the painting. She is thrilled that I heard from you and will be glad to have her friend take a picture. I am thrilled that it is an original.

 

My aunt had it put into a different frame and she sees it every day all day when she is in her den. She acquired the painting about 11 years ago.

 

Thank you so much for the information and you will be hearing from me when her friend can send you the photo.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Elizabeth R.

  

Then this Email came from Paul, actually 3 Emails each with a different JPEG of the watercolor. It was from these three JPEGs I got the image posted. I'll keep this updated until we get the best results we're going to. So another magic "BLAST FROM THE PAST" ... lol

  

From Paul: Sorry for the reflection. I couldn't see it until I got home and downloaded them onto my computer.

 

I'm sending the three best. Will try again, but am traveling till next week.... Have Jean remind me when I get back.

 

Sending them separately.

  

Paul

 

Here's my Email to Elizabeth after I saw the painting and was able to remember it:

 

Hi Elizabeth,

 

I got three photographs from Paul and he will try for more quality when he returns from a business trip. I worked a couple of hours trying to restore the color and detail, but the reflections were too strong.

 

That IS the primary painting I remember. I conisder it one of the top twenty paintings I've ever done. And that's the school I told you about and a caricature of the young gangly girl I talked to that day. I felt pretty special that she had shared with me something she probably didn't even share with her parents ... LOL ... for fear they'd cut off the possibility of a friendship with the boy.

 

I have an 13 x 18 inch scanner and could scan that watercolor without taking it out of the frame, if anyone is ever in the Kerrville area. I can't remember the size of the actualy painting, but I could do it in two or three scans and then patch it together and provide you with a CD and the potential for having prints made for the family or anyone you wanted to give them to.

 

If Paul is able to get a better quality photograph, I'll put it on my Flickrsite and add it to the "Blasts from the past" set and that one really is a blast from the past. On my website with my conventional art I have a publication "Nueces District Clerk's Journal" or something to that effect and a similar composition is in black and white on the cover. Also from the same era is one I called "Coronado's Child" of a little boy sitting on the edge of where a sidewalk ends in front of an abaondoned old church in Mier, Mexico. During those years I did a lot of sketching up and down the Rio Grande, Camargo, Mier, Rio Grande City, Roma, San Ignacio and even up to Laredo.

 

Well, it's been a hoot and I thank you for making it possible...grin. I'll wait for Paul's next effort and we'll talk some more.

 

Best wishes and ...

Love from Sherry and Bill

Iceland-September 2017 - one of the best vacation trips of my life! I stayed one week. 5 nights I saw them.....

If you have never seen the northern lights (as I had not before going to Iceland), then you'll find them really absolutely gorgeous - maybe a life changing experience. I was so excited by them that I found it difficult to shoot and watch them at the same time. It is one of the most impressive and beautiful sights I have ever witnessed. It is literally out of this world.....

 

The aurora borealis is a fickle phenomenon... A week can pass without a flicker ... then Bang! The Northern Lights come on like a celestial lava lamp (NIGEL TISDALL).

You will need lots of patience as auroras start out faintly. Look to the north for bands of green-white light that run in an east-west direction. As the light show intensifies over a period that can last seconds, minutes or hours, the lights streak, dance, ripple, arc or spiral southward, creating a dramatic, colourful light show. Many hotels in Iceland offer wake up calls for northern lights viewings and tour operators are experts for pinpointing sightings. ("Where, When And How To Catch The Northern Lights This Year", Huffington Post Canada, January 18, 2016)

 

This is a composite shot. One shot for the foreground (1/640 at ISO 200, and one shot for the aurora (8 sec at ISO 2000 ), put together in snapseed.

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to look. Hope you enjoy and potentially learn something! Big thanks to the amazing Flickr family out there!

Changes

David Bowie

 

I watch the ripples change their size

But never leave the stream

Of warm impermanence and

So the days float through my eyes

But still the days seem the same

And these children that you spit on

As they try to change their worlds

Are immune to your consultations

They're quite aware

of what they're going through

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the stranger)

Ch-ch-Changes

Don't tell them to grow up and out of it

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the stranger)

Ch-ch-Changes

Where's your shame

You've left us up to our necks in it

Time may change me

But you can't trace time

 

Taken at Potter Point this week with the Focus Crew. Hope you like "Changes"....Cheers, Mike

10 1/4" x 14" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP

 

There are so many signs announcing fall's approach - those later sunrises and earlier sunsets, cooler mornings, the mist and fog that greet me upon awakening, bluer, less hazy skies, bits of yellow and red in the trees and shrubs, golden wildflowers blanketing the roadsides.

 

It was just such a morning image that seemed to capture that 'early fall feeling' - posted by my dear friend, Maurizio:

 

www.flickr.com/photos/53359531n04/7944076612/in/photostream

 

whose work never fails to inspire me. My thanks to him for allowing me to use his photo as this painting's inspiration! Please stop by his flickr stream to enjoy even more incredible works!

 

Our temperatures continue to offer cool mornings and warmer afternoons, and today and tomorrow, a bit of needed rain. I spent a good amount of time over the weekend closing some of the vegetable beds and collecting flower seeds. I'll do some seed scattering later this month to prepare for next season. Each morning I walk I notice more and more leaf color changes...and it's a pleasure to be outdoors!

 

Hope your week is wonderful!

  

"....If I could change your mind

I would hit the ground running

It took time to realize

And I never saw it coming

Forgive my lying eyes

Gonna give you all or nothing

If I could change your mind

I could make you mine, make you mine...."

 

TUNE: HAIM - If I Could Change Your Mind

 

Blogpost: I never done this before

-

-

"You know a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows.

And a dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes.

Trying to learn from what's behind you and never knowing what's in store

makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.

And I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.

Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky.

I'll never reach my destination if I never try,

So I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.

Too many times we stand aside and let the water slip away.

To what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today.

So don't you sit upon the shore and say you're satisfied.

Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides."

~ Garth Brooks

 

(I don't think I know this song but I like the words.)

 

Watercolor in a 9 by 12" ProArt Sketchbook

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." Franz Kafka.

 

The incredible beauty of Prague reaches its maximum splendor every sunset, when the sun hides behind the historic district of Malá Strana and the sky is dressed in vivid colors that reflect in the waters of the Vltava River. Thinking that hundreds of years ago this image would not change much, it makes that the beauty that transmits the city is still greater. As if we witness a historical beauty that has been etched in the stone of each of its splendid buildings, as well as in each of its corners, by the presence of those people who have been building the city with their stories.

This photo of Prague was one of my main goals. When I climbed to the "Old Town Bridge Tower" I was told I could not use the tripod. Was I going to give up?. You know I wasn´t. Taking advantage of the crowded tower, I stood in the farther corner from the security guard, where he could not see me. Completely surrounded by people, I placed my little mini-tripod as I could. The biggest problem was that I had to be on my knees, and my operations on the right knee don´t let me be in that position for 2 hours. So I was changing my uncomfortable position every little time, while I protected my camera to avoid people move or drop it to the void. The great effort was totally worth it once again. All for taking with me a bit of that beauty that Prague gives to everyone who visits it.

 

----------------------------

 

"Cualquiera que mantiene la habilidad para ver belleza nunca envejece." Franz Kafka.

 

La increíble belleza de Praga llega a su máximo esplendor en cada atardecer, cuando el sol se esconde por detrás del histórico barrio de Malá Strana y el cielo se viste de vivos colores que se reflejan en las aguas del río Moldava. Pensar que hace cientos de años esta imagen no cambiaría mucho, hace que la belleza que transmite la ciudad sea aún mayor. Como si presenciáramos una belleza histórica que ha quedado grabada en la piedra de cada uno de sus espléndidos edificios, así como en cada uno de sus rincones, por la presencia de esas personas que han ido construyendo la ciudad con sus historias.

Esta foto de Praga era una de mis objetivos principales. Cuando subí a la "Old Town Bridge Tower" me dijeron que no podía usar trípode. ¿Iba a rendirme?. Sabéis que no. Aprovechando que la torre estaba abarrotada de personas, me coloqué en la esquina más alejada del guardia de seguridad, donde no podía verme. Me hice un hueco entre la gente y coloqué mi pequeño minitrípode como pude. El mayor problema era que tenía que estar de rodillas, y mis operaciones en la rodilla derecha no llevan muy bien estar dos horas así. No obstante, fui cambiando mi incómoda posición, al mismo tiempo que protegía mi cámara para que no me la movieran ni me la cayeran al vacío. El gran esfuerzo mereció totalmente la pena una vez más. Todo por llevarme conmigo un pedacito de esa belleza que Praga regala a todo aquel que la visita.

Well, i just couldn't "bear" not to post another bear image, but I thought I would at least mix it up just a bit.

 

This image was taken in Denali NP in early September. The fall colors were absolutely amazing, having just peaked in very late August - such amazing tones of yellow, orange, red, greens - stunning! For someone who never gets to see much seasonal change where I reside, this was a special treat.

 

Of course, the biggest treat was the abundant bears that we saw in 2012. yes, for us it was the Year of the Bears. Coming in time for the expected moose rut, we expected to see more of that, and while we did see some preliminary moose rut activity, it seemed to be more of a "dress rehearsal" than the real thing. Still exciting. But these grizzly bears - wow, so many this year. Single sows, single boars, and quite a few sows with the cubs. How adorable these two young cubs were as they ran down the mountainside, trying to keep up with their mama, eating berries, and stopping to play along the way. Definitely the best year for bear photography we've ever had in 6 seasons!

 

It wasn't without concern and sadness though - for just several days earlier, Denali had a terrible incident where a lone hiker was mauled and killed by a grizzly boar in the backcountry. Sad for the hiker and the loved ones left behind, but also for the grizzly bear population in Denali. It was their first human death by a bear in its history. Quite remarkable, when you think of it.

 

It is my hope that all who go out into the wilderness know how to do so safely and follow those learned rules of behavior and the warning signs of all wildlife, not just the bears. Remember, they are just that - WILDlife and we are entering their home.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by to view and especially for all of your thoughts and comments shared. I truly enjoy them all. Can't wait for the weekend to get here already - just hope Hurricane Sandy doesn't pay us a visit though.

 

© Debbie Tubridy / © TNWA Photography - All of my images are protected by copyright and may not be used on any site, blog, or forum without my permission.

      

Reminds me of years gone past.. when I was young and would hang around the "J&J Ranch", which wasn't far from my house at the time.

My friends and I would be bailing hay in the barn and then we'd make tunnels to crawl through ... laughing, and literally without a care in the world.

If someone would've told me then that it would end all too soon, I never would've believed them.

To quote the 'Guess Who': Seasons change and so did I....

 

PLEASE Don't Use Any Of My Images On Websites, Blogs Or Other Media WITHOUT MY EXPLICIT PERMISSION!!

Please Ask Me First!

 

I’ve probably been to Yosemite about ten times, but before this past weekend I’d never hiked the Four Mile Trail. The trail runs from the valley all the way up to Glacier Point (an elevation change of about 3,200 feet), but the uppermost part was still covered in snow and closed off.

 

Even some of the open parts of the trail were snowed over, which made things interesting. I wouldn’t call myself clumsy, but you're never going to hear the term "cat-like" used to describe my sense of balance. I’m perfectly capable of wiping out on a straight, level trail. So when you add ice, a steep incline, and an awkwardly-arranged pack full of photography gear, there’s a decent chance I’ll be taking a spill at some point. And sure enough, on the way back down I bit it good. Normally a little fall is no big deal, but, when you have your Canon 5DM2 in your hands and your 1DM3 around your neck, it gets a little more complicated.

 

I slipped on a snowdrift and fell forward onto some rocks, which triggered the normal instinct to reach out and catch myself. But my head had to override my instincts and order my hands to protect the 5DM2 at all costs. So it played out like this: first my knees cracked into the ground, then I basically face-planted into the snow and rocks, which caused my tripod to launch itself out of my backpack and smack me in the back of the head. But when the dust settled the 5DM2 was resting safely off the ground, none the worse for wear. Good thing there weren’t any witnesses for this one – it was not pretty.

 

Anyway, the views from Four Mile Trail are incredible. Back towards the west you see the landscape in this photo (sometimes called the “Reverse Tunnel View” because it’s the opposite of the famous scene just outside the Wawona tunnel), to the north you see a great full-on view of Yosemite Falls, and to the east you see Half Dome (assuming it’s not clouded over like it was during my hike). Really an awesome trail.

...but I´ve never done one before :).

 

Oh well, I never know how flickr´s gonna do with sharpening - this one´s oversharpened for a change...*sigh*

 

I figured I might not have time to take this week´s photo so I was all responsible and did it today. Woke up voluntarily at 6 (!!!!) hoping for a sunrise. Unfortunately sun decided to ignore me. It was incredibly misty and I was thinking I shouldn´t constantly make excuses about weather and just go try take something. Normally mist would equal to some thoughtful, atmospheric photo but I was in a cheerful mood and god knows why, decided to try jump shots for the first time ever. It was a surprising fun and I had to laugh when I imagined what it would look like to random passers-by.

 

So, this is supposed to be a photo for "This Is Me" topic, but I might change it later in case I get the opportunity to take a different one.

It´s also not very precise - why did I get the guitar? Maybe THAT is me, really, doing things that make no sense to anyone sane. See, I can´t play a guitar. Always planned on learning it but I´m just too damn lazy and when it doesn´t work without practice, I give up :). I used to play violoncello for years and the great pity is I don´t own the instrument because I´m sure I´d enjoy photographing it a lot more than playing it.

Anyway, suppose I wanted to try the guitar for its shape and interesting color. Weird, huh.

 

2/52 This Is Me

  

UPDATE: Wow, thanks for the Explore. Feels undeserved judging from the photos that normally appear there :/. Also, after all the nice comments I feel like a liar, because I´m everything BUT cheerful and optimistic or whatever adjectives people appoint to me. Wish I was, but most of the time I´m the exact opposite of it. The photo was just a rare moment, really (probably hysteria caused by lack of sleep? :P).

"A sparrow falls by providence, and the evening sky

is smeared indigo. I won’t repeat our darling word

dusk, since breaking old habits is a new promise.

Sometimes the heart locks, before it dangles, ready

for releasing. Something in the amorphous shape

the trees espouse at this time of day is a resistance

to anything particular or complex, as if a more subtle

variation were possible. A toning down of contrast

makes the hour we named for us a kind of yielding.

‘We are something’, you say, and I try to believe.

But even as I write, the sky’s streaks fade, the burls

of cloud formations begin to disappear, obeying

Newton’s third law that for every act in this universe

there is an equal and opposite one. Today I walked

the streets, observing what I’ve missed of late—

a white magnolia in full bloom with delicately scented

petals, chaste as Ophelia, among the topiary plants;

a house in ruins becoming some ugly new development.

And, of course, I thought of us—that hole we cut

in the stillness of evening, when the heart is disposed

to abandon the thought of never wanting this to stop.

The heart is mute but cries out in protest: Be free,

what are you afraid of? Advice I tested last night

at the Opera Bar. I kissed the princely lips of madness:

Hamlet himself, after the proscenium. Not yet drunk.

His eyes, untamed, a little lost, perhaps. I trembled

but he didn’t seem to mind, and I was glad, recalling

a soliloquy which speaks of fate’s occasion being fickle,

how the end is ever present, how the readiness is all.

The harbour slapped softly, in Luna Park the Ferris wheel

turned. At least every so often, it is good to tremble.

And somehow the moment cured me of the incomplete

metaphor of madness I had taken for myself. So moments

change us, the evening bleeds and bruises. Words come

to me as freely as a sparrow falls, unfastened by the sky."

 

© 2010, Michelle Cahill

" Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time "

"Walking on a dream

How can I explain

Talking to myself

Will I see again

 

We are always running for the thrill of it thrill of it

Always pushing up the hill searching for the thrill of it

On and on and on we are calling out and out again

Never looking down I’m just in awe of what’s in front of me

 

Is it real now

When two people become one

I can feel it

When two people become one

 

Thought I’d never see

The love you found in me

Now it’s changing all the time

Living in a rhythm where the minutes working overtime

 

Catch me I’m falling down

Catch me I’m falling down

 

Don’t stop just keep going on

I’m your shoulder lean upon

So come on deliver from inside

All we got is tonight that is right till first light." Empire Of The Sun

"I didn't hear you leave

I wonder how am I still here

And I don't want to move a thing

It might change my memory."

-Dido - Here with me

 

Which is more likely?

That in this infinity of time and creatures..

a) I'm just darn lucky to be alive right now in the thick present? That the present that is moving through infinity is right now just passing through my ridiculous (so far) 28 years of existence?

b) I have always been?

 

of course, I could go outside and get hit by a car and then the present had swiped through my tiny existence. But right now I only know how to be alive.

 

Or: maybe we aren't lucky to be alive? What if it's not such unique and maybe it's not the mountain top. Maybe it's a sneeze. A side effect of something. Like a fish doesn't know of life behind the pond, we know nothing about life beyond our little aquarium.

 

There's a funny bridge between science and imagination. I read today that only 50 percent of what we think we know is real is imagined. For example history depends only on our imagination. Our visions of it may not be correct, but we live by them. For example, we all think that dinosaurs look like the ones in Jurassic Park, yet that vision is only an artists expression. These days scientists are wondering if dinosaurs had feathers.

What if they had hair and looked like giant dogs? Think about the skulls and bone structures of animals - they all look like tiny dinosaurs. I bet that same artist who sketched the dinosaurs would have never thought how furry cats really are if they had been extinct.

 

This universe is one big mystery. I love it.

One of the classic spots to see Yosemite Valley. Appropriately named "Valley View". Thanks to the changing seasons, light, water levels, and clouds, this oft-photographed spot can offer all kinds of different looks. I've stood in this spot countless dozens or even hundreds of times – in every season, and in every year of my life – and I never get tired of it.

 

One shot JPEG, hand-held Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, with M.Zuiko 12-50mm lens, 12mm focal length (24mm FF equivalent), ISO 200, 1/20-sec, f/14, with a Hoya circular polarizing filter.

 

This recent trip was a great one, and you'll likely see many shots from it in the coming weeks, including several from this particular location. If you haven't been to Yosemite, you need to find a way to drop what you're doing and get there as fast as you can. I've been a lot of places in this world, and there is simply nowhere like it.

 

View Awards Count

 

#2 Flickr Rank - month August year 2012 - group The Best: BRAVO (INVITED images only) - 7744 members: www.flickr.com/groups/thebestbravo/discuss/72157627335368...

More flowers from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa... these ones had just been watered and the droplets really sparkled :)

 

I find my Tamron 90mm macro lens works a treat, and was a great investment for anyone who's interested :)

 

Wishing you all a very blessed Sunday and even though it's getting close to Christmas, and people are becoming more agitated and less tolerable of others (scenes we witnessed from "Black Friday"), the Lord Jesus Christ never changes, He has never stopped loving us, He is always beside us and is constantly interceding on our behalf to the Father. I trust you will all know His peace and remember He is the reason for this season :)

 

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful comments on my previous uploads... I have not had time to reciprocate, but I'll get checking out all your work again soon :)

 

Lo So Shing Beach, Lamma Island, Hong Kong. Please see complete album here....

 

"Cool Change" by Little River Band

 

If there's one thing in my life that's missing

It's the time that I spend alone

Sailing on the cool and bright clear water

It's kind of a special feeling

When you're out on the sea alone

Staring at the full moon, like a lover

Time for a cool change

I know that it's time for a cool change

Now that my life is so prearranged

I know that it's time for a cool change

 

Well I was born in the sign of water

And it's there that I feel my best

The albatross and the whales they are my brothers

There's lots of those friendly people

And they're showing me ways to go

And I never want to lose their inspiration

 

Time for a cool change

I know that it's time for a cool change

Now that my life is so prearranged

I know that it's time for a cool change

 

I've never been romantic

And sometimes I don't care

I know it may sound selfish

But let me breathe the air

Let me breathe the air...

 

Well I was born in the sign of water

And it's there that I feel my best

The albatross and the whales they are my brothers

It's kind of a special feeling

When you're out on the sea alone

Staring at the full moon, like a lover

 

Time for a cool change

I know that it's time for a cool change

Now that my life is so prearranged

I know that it's time for a cool change

"Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them." Dion Boucicault. Even as the rocks cannot withstand the river and the river can never be the same. "The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, however persistent." Albert Einstein. Perhaps for 1/60th of a second all time was united here. I will try to imagine the change of the first quote and the stability of the second in this soft and hazy moment by my neighbourhood creek. Millard Creek, Courtenay, British Columbia. For ODC, 10 August, "You can quote me on that."

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