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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:


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...




For inspiration:

"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

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... "

#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.

"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!


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

(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. :-))) - 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 ( 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, “daaaaaaaaamn!” 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) -


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. ~


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


I went to an art expo yesterday, Saturday, March 12, 2011. "Perception" came up in conversation. More about that in a moment. - see the texture large. – 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?”




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


"Not much hair. It looked black when he was born, but I swear it's turned ginger in the hour since. Probably blonde by the time I get back. Andromeda says Tonks's hair started changing colour the day that she was born."

—Remus Lupin on his infant son's Metamorphic abilities

A Metamorphmagus (pl. Metamorphmagi) is a witch or wizard with the ability to change their physical appearance at will, rather than requiring Polyjuice Potion or a spell like the rest of the wizarding population. They are also extremely rare.

"Metamorphmagi are born, not made."

—Tonks explaining to Harry about Metamorphmagi

Unlike Animagi, Metamorphmagi can take a wide variety of forms, changing sex and age, potentially looking like anyone at all, or even just changing a part of their appearances, such as the shape of their noses. Animagi also transform at will, but only into one animal form which is determined by their inner traits. It is never revealed if Metamorphmagi can take the full form of an animal, and Tonks simply describes the ability as being able to change her "appearance".


Also, a Metamorphmagus is born, not made; it is not a skill that can be learned. There also seems to be a degree of heritability, as both Nymphadora Tonks and her son, Teddy Lupin, were Metamorphmagi, although both of Tonks' parents, Andromeda and Ted, were not. The ability presents very early in life, as Teddy Lupin's hair changed colour when he was a newborn infant, as did his mother's.



"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


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All contents herein are copyrighted © by Shabbir Ferdous Photography

Except where otherwise noted. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

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 so I can follow all your new uploads.


(c) TonySmith Hotpix / HotpixUK


( ) - 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 -

Skeletalmess -

DistressedJewell -

'You're just wasting your love & time"

I will never let you change your mind♥♪

"The Wild and the windy night,

That the rain washed away,

Has left a pool of tears

Waiting for the day"


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 }


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.






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!



"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 :)


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)"♪♫

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

..."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 I look into the sky, and it looks back on me...

I want to know...which am I?

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

Or the end?"...


Frank Black

Millennium Episode:2.0

On Black

...delicate and poignant too. can, and should, take the time to create such a life for yourself. And, yes, YOU can...and from time to time... you should. Don't you know...You can create your stories don't just have to inherit them, feeling trapped as if they cannot be changed or released.


Pictured: part of a hand-written note and some keepsakes sent to me by a Dear Friend. - "Harvest the Night" - Greg Maroney


“There's a certain charm to fragile hearts:heart:”

― Karishma Magvani


It is true. But when I was a younger man, like so many of us, I would never have thought of myself as fragile. I would have been most uncomfortable with that thought, that feeling. As an older man, I've come to embrace life's fragility, as well as my own. Knowing that life and I are fragile, ephemeral and temporary allows me to live fully, deeply, and passionately in the exquisiteness of the present moment. I can "be" without the recklessness, callowlessness and lack of compassion often found in the way we live our lives in the throes of our "masculine youth."


It feels so scary and yet so deeply comforting at once, this fragility. But with each day so lived, the scary lessens and the comfort grows.


"The good part about getting older is you stop trying to prove anything to anyone, including yourself. All you are in the pursuit of is collecting experiences - beautiful, fragile little soap bubbles that you store in your heart, and every once in a while you pull one out and gaze at the delicate pictures it shows you." - Twinkle Khanna


Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It's too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.” - Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance


“...allowing yourself to be vulnerable makes you weak but also opens you to the nuances of beauty...” - John Geddes, A Familiar Rain


1,749v, 66f, 102c



Distressed Jewell -

Flypaper Textures -

Delany Dean -


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.

Letters, postcards, small packages of things ordered from far off places; notes from neighbors ("your package came today, Marion. It's over here, Myrtle"), party fliers, christmas cards, birthday cards, invitations; a few bills, some circulars.


Most were hand written; hand labeled. Most had a cancelled stamp that had been licked and placed, noting place of origin ("Mom, who do we know in Arkansas?"). The front door wasn't locked then, so the postman could come into the vestibule and put packages on the floor, and letters in the mailbox top slot. (Sometime by the late 60's to early 70's social change had come; people started locking the outside doors and had mail slots cut into them.)


But before those times, you could hear the postman come in, keys jangling, squeaky sound of metal drawers opening, the swoosh-thump sound of letters being dropped into the box. If you ordered something fun, like a toy from the cereal box, you'd run out to see if it had come. - Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes - Please Mr. Postman - Beatles

These speak to the teen years mainly, but not exclusively: waiting is a universal angst.


"Hey little Bobby. how are you today?"




"You looking for that Commando Ring?"


"Yeah... I mean, yes sir."


"Here it is," he said, handing me my Commando Decoder Ring in a small package from the people who made Kellog's Frosted Flakes.


"It came! I got it!" Off you ran to start decoding the secret messages you'd collected eating all of those damned bowls of sugared cereal.




These mailboxes are in my hallway. They still carry my grandfather's name: William Thomas (W.T.) Gallaway. Never saw a point in changing that. They are the same, except for some rust here and there, as the day the building was finished in 1927. Shot this today, running up and down to the basement, in between laundry runs.


Challenge called by Divebob.


Textures by

flypaper -

dyrk wyst -


Karen -

Debbe -


Bob -

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 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


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.



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



"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 ... "

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

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!

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..........




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)

"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"


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 :)


Do you remember the story behind "Some things will never change"? Well, I met the owner of that flower field when I went back there during the last national holiday, the same day when I got this flower macro. I was expecting the owner to be someone from a local family, but no, not at all. To my surprise the owner is a nice and pretty woman with amazing green eyes, about my age, that lives in Lisbon and goes there once on a while for a rest and a flush of fresh air. She told me that for several times she thought of building a fence around that field, but in the end she never did because of a few people whom she has found there enjoying the most simple pleasures life can give, time and space, a resting place both for body and soul. Some things will never change, that's for sure.


This one is for you! It's your's, anyway, I just made it mine for a brief moment. Thank you :-)


Title as suggested by my friend Kara


"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





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



(Turn and face the stranger)


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


(Turn and face the stranger)


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

"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

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 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 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.




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

"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

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:


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!


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

you never do get to say everything you need to say.

three hundred and twenty three.

like, you never get to say the "i'm sorry" that you should have said. you never get to say that last "I love you." you never even get to say "I miss you" because that just opens cans of worms. you never get to say that you wish you could do things over. you wish you could try again. you wish you could never had had to make wishes. you never get to say can we just forget about everything and pretend it never happened so that it can happen again, only the right way this time? you never get to say that you hate hate hate that you did that. you hate it. you never get to say to people that you don't understand and that you're sorry and that you hate them and that you love them and that you just want to be able to talk to them one more time. but you never get to say those things. that's the worst thing about real life. you never do get to say the things you need to. you'll always wish you could have said something. or said something different. you'll always wish that. it's words that are important. it's the things you didn't say that are sometimes so important. and sometimes it's the things you did say. but you never do get to say all the things you want to, and you never will get to say the things you need to. you never do. you just wish. you just wish. you just wish.


*I think I look different here. I think i've become such a different person lately and I don't know if I like me anymore. or maybe I like this new different me more. I just can't decide. I don't like changing. but it happens anyway. and I really do wish I could say the things I need to. but no one ever gets to, no one.

This violin only measures 4 inches!


"Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But he held it up with a smile.

"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,

"Who'll start bidding for me?

A dollar, a dollar - now who"ll make it two _

Two dollars, and who"ll make it three?


"Three dollars once, three dollars twice,

Going for three". . . but no!

From the room far back a gray-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening up the strings,

He played a melody,pure and sweet,

As sweet as an angel sings.


The music ceased and the auctioneer

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said: "What am I bidden for the old violin?"

And he held it up with the bow;

"A thousand dollars - and who'll make it two?

Two thousand - and who'll make it three?

Three thousand once, three thousand twice

And going - and gone," said he.


The people cheered, but some of them cried,

"We do not quite understand -

What changed its worth?" The man replied:

"The touch of the masters hand."

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and torn with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd.

Much like the old violin.


A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,

A game and he travels on,

He's going once, and going twice -

He's going - and almost gone!

But the MASTER comes, and the foolish crowd,

Never can quite understand,

The worth of a soul, and the change that's wrought

By the touch of the MASTER'S hand.

~Myra B. Welch


"....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



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!


...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).

"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.

"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."

"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've never had a picture like this before, where the slightest change of the crossover point in "curves", causes the trees to either recede or stand out in the mist! I can change the entire feel by a slight adjustment! Of course White Balance is also critical here.

The slight browning in the lower right reflections is the first sign that the sun is soon to make its appearance, though I didn't notice it at the time..

Follow-up to "At The Heart of it All" macro photo of this lovely tropical water lily or waterlily -- never can remember. Pretty much out of camera with a crop and some clarity following the resize. Nikon D200 80-200mm macro lense.


EXPLORED #30 Thank you all my wonderful friends for your daily visits, your kind comments and fav'ing my photographs. Your friendship, comments and fav's are what I value the most. I will not be looking at my 'contacts' and will be commenting from Fav`s 1st and 2nd photo comments.


View larger photos on black at Andrea Kollo's Flickriver. Do NOT use this image on websites, blogs or other media without my explicit permission. © Andrea Kollo - All rights reserved | View Favourites According to Flickr | Map It | EVEN MORE IN YOUR FACE - hehehe


Been asked by a number of friends how the sale of the house was coming and I guess all I have to report is that its not. I've had to rewrite listings and website text, insist that 2 bedroom (start/retirement) be changed to what it is a 4 bedroom family home. 6 agents showed up for the open house because it was a dumb time to have one, ie: holiday week and most were away. No showings ... and with 3 teenagers and their friends its maddening trying to keep it showroom perfecfct all the friggen time. Sooooooo, there you have it ... not much is going on. Everyone, please send good vibes. I want out of here so badly!!

"You disappear so completely into your head sometimes." he said.

"I wish I could follow you."



[March 27, 2011]


took my little brother to the woods for the first time. it was nice not just pointing the camera at myself.


93 (Someone asked me this question on my formspring, and I'd like to put it here.)


What are five things you wish you could change about yourself?

1. My self esteem. Which includes bad thoughts about: my hair, my eyes, my face, my body, my legs, etc.

2. To take action, and not wait around for things.

3. Stop daydreaming once in a while and face reality.

4. Have a better ability to accept that some things will never happen.

5. To stop letting my pride ruin things for me.

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