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LP/BB Challenge #1 - Moon without the Moon being Seen. - Sunlounger, "Shine on Me"


Question for you: When is the last time YOU sat in the moonlight with someone?

THAT long, huh? :-)


View On Black


You can tell these are young lovers; but they don't have to be young.


“Gray hairs seem to my fancy like the soft light of the moon, silvering over the evening of life.” – Jean Paul


“I think they are wrong with that old saying, "youth is wasted on...." Youth [life] is never wasted on the young, nor the middle-aged, nor for us approaching the long years. Life is never wasted as long as you have it , you want it and you live it.” ~ BossBob


“The glow of the Moon, on some evenings, my be unseen, but its seduction can always be felt.” ~ BossBob


Are each of you willing to understand, accept, and perhaps act upon, the wonders life is still offering us - at this graying point in our lives?


"Can we still sit on a beach together, under a moon and a star-lit sky, holding hands, touching feet under the sand, whispering softly into each other's ears, feeling as fresh as the day we were born?" - BossBob


Whether through death, divorce, separation, alienation, isolation, we (baby boomers) are moving into a new age. Don't waste it. It feels as good at 60 as it did at 20; better, `cause now we know so much more of what we are feeling - and we can SAVOR it!!!!!


"Sip, taste; sip, taste; sip, taste; roll it around; swallow; aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh."


This photo challenge was challenging: how to show the moon, to convey the moon, the power of the moon, the feeling of the moon, the light of the moon, without showing the moon?


I got this image on a sunny, but chilly day last April while photographing the feet of two women (Models) in sand, for an ad about using Chicago's beaches in the summer. At the end of the shoot, this couple was just sitting there; back to us and oblivious to the whole world. Even at that time, I didn't know if I would ever find something to do with this image. I just took it.


Not sure if I made the Challenge, but it feels like a good start.




Textures by:

Pareeerica -

Distressed Jewel -

Flypaper Textures -

Ghostbones -

Dyrk-Wyst -

FP & Explore # 406... May 19, 2009


"Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it."

~ Cicero

(January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC)


When something wonderful happens to us, it may not seem real until we can tell our friends about it. Their happiness for us deepens and intensifies our pleasure.


When something bad happens to us, we search out our friends for comfort, understanding and assurance. Their sympathy eases our pain and gives us hope.


Knowing how much friendship means to us, how can we be better friends to others in their times of prosperity and adversity? I am going to try to be the best friend I can be to the people who bring so much into my life....beginning with some long overdue testimonials I need to write. I have procrastinated long enough!


Here's an interesting tidbit about rhododendrons: The world "Rhododendron" comes from the Greek words: rhodos, "rose", and dendron, "tree".


Oh.... one more thing.... has anybody had experience with Getty Images thru Flickr? They are interested in 14 of my photos.... and I'm not sure about all this... it's new to me! Please flickr mail me if you have any info regarding this.... Thanks!


Have a wonderful Tuesday, my dear friends! ♥

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP


My sisters tell me they had 10" of rain the day I was to arrive - and the party went off well despite the soaking conditions. I tried to cheer myself with some thoughts of sunshine and flowers -

I have a date with the weeds today - the recent bits of rain have given them a strangle hold on the flowers, so today the battle will be fought. It's also time to collect the prodigious amount of seeds produced by my coneflowers, blanket flowers and more and spread them around the property.


We've been collecting the seedheads of Queen Anne's lace for dispersal during some of our walks, and I've ordered a number of packages of poppy seeds to scatter along with the others. This ''Johnny Apple Seed" approach to my front garden is most enjoyable ---! LOL Yesterday I came across dozens of fruits on the Passion Flower vine that also surprised me this year. Once those fruits ripen, I'll make some jam from them. They're very tart and lemony - and are quite like pomagranate seeds. And I found several new zinnias just opening ...One thing about this seed-sowing business, it's always a surprise what grows -- as well as what doesn't ...


Hope your day is wonderful! Our temps have cooled to the mid 80s! Feels like fall!




Such a scary shoot! LOL. I was laying underneath the swing, and felt like she was going to kick my camera every time she flew by. I'm glad we did this though, I like the way it came out.

My imagination has saved my life many times. Instead of giving in to whatever is going on around me – things that may not be positive, sunny, sane or good for the mind, body and soul – my mind has always been able to wander off, sail off or fly off – and find other places to be, even when I couldn’t physically be there. Places where it was positive, and sunny and good. ~ View On Black


If the body can't leave, then just being elsewhere in spirit is enough. Sometimes it has to be. ~ “Azure Skies”, Darshan Ambient


The land, shore, water and sky of Lake Michigan are one such place to visit when one needs to be emotionally, mentally or spiritually away – camera in hand or not.


Strong northeast winds of winter blow huge waves of frigid Lake Michigan water onto our man-made rock shoreline from December through February. Ice formations, up to six-feet deep and up to a mile in length, form along our 25+ miles of breakwalls. And no effort is made to get rid of them. “Nature puts them up, nature will take them down,” it is said. Allow each season to be its own season: I like that kind of thought.


I like wind and storm and wave. So I go out here, to be somewhere else in my being. There is some danger to be sure – it is isolated and if you take a slip and a fall, you are on your own (I tell fellow travelers to wear bright colors; it makes finding the body easier :-) ). But, it is not so risky as to make the hazards outweigh the reward of seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling what such locations have to offer the senses and the spirit.


I call these ice formations, "Chicago’s Glaciers." They look like glaciers in my imagination; in shape, size, color, and the way they snake around the existing environment. In Zen, the ability to see everything, and anything, in fresh and wonderful ways is called “a child’s mind.”


Children see endless possibilities, where adults see only a few, or one, or none. It takes time and work and practice and desire to retrieve one's "Child's Mind," but it is worth the effort.


Anyway, Chicago’s Glaciers pile up over the course of the winter, gaining depth with each new storm and freeze. Then with the coming of spring, their “fields of icy snowpack begin a slow retreat back up the fjord." The debris they leave behind as well as the alternately coarse and subtle changes to the landscape cut by their ice, becomes evident and evidence; available for curious minds to discover, analyze and savor.


Above, a red-tailed hawk circles low to the land, slipping the surface on currents of air, banking in on another pass, looking for any unfortunately exposed, early-season rodents on the scurry (there is as yet, no ground cover in which to hide). Both predator and prey are hoping to find bits and pieces to eat after winter's cupboards have long fallen bare.


Low rise clouds, thickening and gathering moisture on southerly winds, roil low and fast overhead, a gaping yawn of churning mist and water vapor that extends to the horizon. These clouds portend spring’s rain, not winter’s snow.


The retreating ice reveals a mouse or two, perhaps a pigeon or a gull – the unlucky ones or the old; mushed and crushed, skin leathery and slightly mummified, after months sealed under the weight of snow and ice. However, these are not a fresh kills – thus they are only fit to eat were a predator starving. The Hawk ignores them.


Each little world, such as the ones at your feet, not always the one over the horizon, is our own little National Geographic mini-series documentary special on "The Wonder of Nature" in our everyday lives.


At least, I like to imagine it so.


Textures courtesy skeletalmess:


And flypaper textures:


View on black


Merry Christmas everyone!!!





Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.


Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.


He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"


"No," they answered.


He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.


"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."


Bible Verses:

John 21:2-6

Mark 1:17

It's late summer, and the sun is going down for the night. Sometimes, wind, clouds, humidity and dust, get mixed up in the atmosphere in just the right amounts, and we get treated to a long, languid, blood red and orange descent into the deep purple and midnight blue of night's darkness. - Endless Summer, Chieli Minucci.


Most times I fish until it is too dark to see. But when I get teased with the possibility of a sunset such as this, I pack it in early on the fishing, go straight to the car, and start driving west. I can't catch up to a sunset - not without warp drive - but I can drive straight into it, trying to chase it down like a cheetah on a gazelle. Perhaps I can make one minute of fading light and changing color last for two minutes, maybe even three. What should take the sun and the curve of the earth 20 minutes to do, I hope to drag out to 40 by flat out hauling ass and driving straight into it.


Eventually though, sunset outruns me and a dark shroud cloaks the landscape. It is usually a good chase, but, as we've been told many times, "you gotta' know when to fold 'em." Take my foot off the gas, slow down, breathe. Looking at the odometer, I can see my westbound, sunset rundown put me an extra hour away from home. But time spent wanderin' on the road, camera and fishin' gear at hand, always beats gettin' home early. I'll get there when I get there. If not, well that's what credit cards and lonely, out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-track motels are for. Such a gift it is, to have such feelings of freedom open to one. Not everyone does.


As you dig into the back-roads of Illinois, the land changes over from city to 'burbs to farm country. In summer, you can drive with the windows down, hot air blowin’ in, and mini-dust devils forming on the dash. Sometimes, I like to sing when I'm drivin' around like this. Loudly. It's cool as animals have neither hands to cover their ears nor thumbs to turn down on you. They can't roll their eyes at my fractured notes either, although a few have been known to hiss, growl and howl at my efforts.


There are big `ole bugs on these back roads - bigger than anything we have in the City. You catch them briefly in your headlights, just moments before they go “thunk - splat - and - spread” across the windshield. They'll do this on your forehead as well should you be silly enough stick it out the window while you're driving 60. Dogs and kids love to stick their heads out the windows of moving cars, mouths and noses open to inhale the wind. Secretly, so do many men (especially if we're driving alone or seriously soused). I've eaten more than a few bugs this way. I call them "throat-ticklers."


Come dusk the air gets thick with clouds of gnats, dragonflies and damselflies, mayflies and caddisflies, fireflies and ladybugs; apparently, houseflies have some company out here. Animals - big, untethered ones - wander about in darkening fields. It seems that our urban leash-laws haven't a place out here. (It's amazing that 400-pound beasts in the country are more amenable to human orders than city-bred 20-pound, yip-yapping, ankle-biting dogs back in town who desperately run amok when lucky enough to get out the damn house.)


It smells different out here, on these two lane, blacktop roads. It smells like earth (quite different than our city dirt) It smells like animals too...and like heaven. "Aaaah," you think, "it's the smells of the City that are actually odd...foreign...not these." As you drive past the occasional home or through small towns, if people are out and about, they’ll watch you drive by - their gazes a mix of curious and suspicious - but if you wave, they’ll usually wave back.


Sometimes I hear the drone of aircraft. Up in the sky, I might catch sight of one of those little single-engine, bi-wing, crop dusters. Whether fishing or driving I always hope they are still working the skies as the sun goes down. I am captivated by them. With their engines droning and groaning, they writhe about the sky, twisting, turning, swooping, diving and climbing with what looks to be reckless, joyous abandon, I think to myself, "now THAT is flying. Although I have a fear of heights and don't like big commercial airplanes, in those little machines, I feel like what I imagine birds might feel (or Angels on-the-wing being giddy after a few sips of wine too many).


I was only 52 miles south and west of home, cruising through a patchwork quilt of mature corn, soybean and sugar beet farmland, just south and west of the Kankakee River State Park. Felt like I was farther away than that.


Sometimes I pretend I'm lost and can't find my way back home (its fun to play mind games like that with myself - and I feel no need to justify why I do it). But being lost means I gotta' stay in some small town, get a meal at a local diner, buy a malt at the ice cream parlor, and then catch a late-evening softball game under night lights swarming with bugs at the town's baseball field.


I can pick up the trail to home again in the morning.


Yeah, sometimes, you just gotta’ get out of the city, and find something else to look at; something else to smell; something else to hear; something else to feel.


Sometimes, that feels....pretty damn good.


As we sat there in each other's arms.... watching the last rays of the golden sun dipping towards the darkening horizon... I couldn't help thinking that I finally came to the same realization that my good friend Deva did some time ago... there is no denying true love... you may try to run away from it and find happiness with others... or you may tell yourself that it never really existed... however... in reality its did and does exist. We can either give ourselves over to it willingly and enjoy our happy days together or we keep asking ourselves "what else is out there" and just pretend that we are blind to the one true fact... that what we really want and what makes us truly happy is right there before us... and if we stop for one moment we may just realize that it... that she... has been right there waiting for me to come to my senses. Thanks Daisy for waiting... I love you.

# 23 of the "It's a kind of magic" series.



After the amazing contest many of the male members would like to see it again, but it is time to find a good place to sleep.


Knight Zeisy "Ahhh look, this must be a sign. The perfect place to sleep!"

Knight George "A sign? It's only dandelion."

Knight Zeisy "No it's a sign from the great wizzard Peter Lustig!" (German readers know what I'm talking about! :-)


BTW No, I will not tell who is our new princess [you know that you are the one and only princess, honey] :-)



Just a dandelion.

Canon EOS400D. This is no HDR, only CS4





Thanks for all your comments!


View my Photos on darckR or flickriver
 - Holy Other, "Know Where" - I do appreciate those of you who take the time to read this. It is long, and our attention spans aren't what they once were.


We had a storm on Halloween; a good one. Some snow, some sleet, lot’s of wind. 60 – 70 mph winds coming out of the north, blowing straight down the 300+ mile length of Lake Michigan. On the east and west coasts, those are low-end hurricane/typhoon wind speeds. For us in Chicago, these are as good as it gets. Daytime temps were in the 40’s; with the wind chills it felt like the 20’s, a far cry from our normal 55 - 64 degrees for Halloween.


When the wind blows from the north, it can push our southern lake water level up two to four feet. That doesn’t sound like much, but our shoreline waters here are shallow, 20 feet on average. That's not deep enough to make tall waves; the extra water transfer from up north helps. As is 4 – 6 foot waves get boating advisories. 8 - 10 footers are newsworthy. These Halloween monster waves were on all TV channels at once.


The waves reached up to 20-feet in height; that has happened only once before. To get 20-foot waves means some extraordinary, barely comprehensible energy is being created in the Lake. The top of the tower, the red light, is 20 – 24 feet above the normal water surface level. Normal depth here is 12 - 14 feet. There is a 30-foot wide, concrete seawall at the base of the tower that sits 8 – 10 feet above the water. I’ve never, not seen that platform. I've never seen it under water. I’ve never seen waves this high in my 64+ years of living here. Never.


For us, this mimicked the Sea. It was divine and extraordinary, deliciously wild, sublimely chaotic. Because the Lake is so shallow, our waves have no chance to develop a rhyme or rhythm to their movements. They swell and dip and break everywhere in tumultuous disarray; on shore as well as out into the Lake as far as the eye could see. You cannot time the waves or predict where they will crash so as to move back from the shoreline to avoid getting drenched and/or swept out to Sea (where it could be days, weeks or months before you are found - thus it is recommended you wear bright clothing for this; makes finding the body easier :-) ). It is dangerous to stand close to the water’s edge.


But how on earth can you not?


It’s said there are a hundred ways to die and, you should have no doubt, one or more of those 100 ways has your name in their hands (with a bit of a contest going as to who will get to you first). That being said, well, being swept away to die for ones photographic or video art, or for just plain and simple curiosity, or for the sheer giddiness and idiocy of being so close to something so grand, probably beats a bunch of the other ways that will surely come your way.


Of course, I am speaking for myself.


I could have resisted, but I choose not to. I suspected I was going to sacrifice a camera here. Water spray, rain and sleet were everywhere, and digital point-and-shoots aren't good bedfellows with water in any form. I only hoped to get some decent images before it said, “Argh, they got me boys, I’m a gonner,” and shut down operations, like the Terminator’s glowing red eye going dim and black when it went got crushed.


And digitals aren’t keen on being cold, and trying to focus with nothing to lock onto except smooth sky, clouds, water. Plus I really couldn’t see the viewer too well. All of their functions begin to slow to a crawl under these conditions - kinda' like us. Ah, to hell with it, wing it and just kept moving and shooting.


I was out for about 20 minutes and got 148 shots - time enough to get at least four or five good shots with cold-to-numb, cramped, claw-like fingers, I hoped, as well as to get really effing cold, stiff, and wet. I started rapid-fire sneezing; “a cold, the flu, pneumonia, Ebola,” I wondered (ah, the power of mass hysteria and panic).


Hey, I was not alone. A continuing parade of fifty or so people heading home from work roared into the parking lot by the Lake. So excited were they, some would jump out of their cars before they completely stopped. There was a palpable passion to look at the water, the waves, the sky, the sun and that big, `ol rainbow playing peek-a-boo over the waves with our collective inner child.


Most were wearing work clothes, or lightweight, mild autumn-day weather clothes. Most never saw the wave that got them. A thunderous, deep-throated “Whoomp” is all they heard, then a total body swoosh of water is what they felt. I do love those screams – a mixture of surprise and panic that reverberates up and down the lake shore: “SHIT! F*ck! Eeeek! God Damn! OMG! That’s COOOOLD!”


They’d get thoroughly drenched. Some didn't care, and stayed out - a child's sense of determination, exuberance and fool-hardiness. Others, looking like wet, defeated rats, would scamper and splash back to their cars as best they could with icy toes in bubbling-juicy socks in super-saturated, mushy shoes. (Did you know that when regular, leather, dress/work shoes get this wet, upon drying they morph into clogs? They do.)


Heaters on full blast, interior like a sauna, they’d drive off with completely fogged windows, fingers squeaking across the glass hoping for one last look back. It was the price of admission to experience this type of joy, feed their curiosity, display their nerve, and nurture their delight in seeing Nature do her thing up close and personal.


Not too bad a price to pay, I think - just gettin' cold and wet. At least they could tell their friends, “Hey I was there, in person. I got my pneumonia like a Man; I earned it. (achoo!)”


I was wearing the neoprene wading outfit I wear while wading as I fish in rivers, so I was well protected. Protected, but not invulnerable. I got mini –soaked. I think my underwear stayed dry - most of it, anyway – although even a little bit of a cold, wet butt makes for a long, itchy drive home.


148 shots later, the camera died. I was pretty much done too. I started my way back to the car, 100 yards of so away. I had to walk head long into that gale force wind to do so. It started sleeting, with bb sized pellets of ice whipping into my face at 60 to 70 mph. They stung like a thousand bees.


But I loved it. I laughed and smiled all the while in between my exclamations of ‘oouch, ow, shit, that hurts.” When I got back to the car I was wet, frozen, my face candy-apple red from the sleet, and I’d lost a camera.


Yes, I effing loved it.


It was an exquisite diversion to make on the drive home from work. And, I got four decent images out of it.


Texture courtesy Cleanzor.


If that little Canon Powershot does not survive, it will receive a dignified, respectful burial at Sea on the next full moon, right off the end of that pier. 39th St. Pier and Beach, 39th & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.



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


We were headed to another location this night until I realised we were not going to make it there in time, so I told my husband "just get me to the water!" and this is what I manged to get :-)

"We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle" - Marilyn Monroe (100 Quotes Project)


First thing's first, I want to say thank you to Alex Kemsley for a truly amazing testimonial!

Also thank you to My lovely life through a lens and PhotographyLoves for the testimonials, I don't think I ever thanked you properly. Check out their photostreams!


It's a bit wobbly, but I quite enjoy drawing over my photos :) Hey guess what, I am making myself a dress as part of my DT AS Level, it's got one shoulder and is really floaty. The main part of the dress is a gorgeous electric blue with black chiffon layered over, and it has one chiffon sleeve. Well, I haven't even started making it yet, still got a long way to go, but I finally designed it and can't wait to finish it. I promise I'll upload a photo when it's been made, just wanted to build up the suspense haha.


Finally have time to catch up on some tags. I've had this tag loads of times, so here we go:

1. Favourite colour: Hmm, I'm quite liking blue now, how could you tell? :P

2. Describe the background picture on your phone: Haha it's the Angels and Airwaves emblem which was on the back of David Kennedy's jacket (the guitarist). I saw the photo on Twitter and thought I had to have it!

3. Last movie you watched: (500) Days Of Summer, it's a really great film with some incredible music, and I love the story-line, it's like a realistic love story <3

4. If you were an animal what would you be?: Tough one, I love cats, but doesn't mean I'd want to be one. I'd love to be a magical creature!! :D

5. What is your favourite TV show? How long have you been watching it? Doctor Who! Years and years :D

6. Are you allergic to anything? If so, what? I can't handle saw dust or dust, makes my skin itch and makes me sneeze, and a certain type of feather that you get in pillows makes my eyes run and my face swell up :( Not nice. Oh, and henna, I found out the hard way :S

7. Favourite song lyrics: Theres too many out there to chose! Recently been liking Owl City's "I'd rather waltz than just walk through the forest" <3

8. Your dream vacation? The world! I want to explore and meet people from around the world! :D The sky's the limit <3


I think everyone's already done this tag, so don't be offended that you're not tagged :3


Please listen, you'll float among the stars l Formspring


"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don't go back to sleep."

.:: Mevlana Rumi ::.


While on holidays on Agistri (Greece), waking up at 5:30 to see the sun rising behind Aegina was truly worth it.


The colors that fill the sky are inspirational and never cease to take our breath away. In many ways, we enjoy a good sunrise more than sunset. It's a magical time of day: everything is really calm and peaceful, not much is going on yet, not many people are up and about... it almost feels like the sun is rising just for you! ♥


♪ ♫ Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens ♫ ♪


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No usage allowed in any form without our written explicit permission.

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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


( )

"One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


I just love this town! -taking walks and looking up... fun.


(Greetings All,


The other day, I was fortunately enough to spend some time with one of my favorite flickrinos - Brooke (aka Sooper Tramp). We wandered around downtown, did some shooting, found a wonderful alley that I hope to use in an upcoming image, enjoyed lunch, and generally just had a delightful afternoon together. During out little shooting session, I was looking up, as i often do, and found this lone cloud among the artifacts of city living - definitely smile-worthy for me.


Brooke is much more together than I - days ago, she uploaded some pics from that get-together. So now i can, finally, show her that i really was taking photos (and not just making goo-goo-eyes... Well... OK, so maybe i was multi-tasking... ;))


So cheers to you all and cheers to Brooke, too. (stop by and tell I said hey)


your pal in wonderment




"Dreams are real while they last. Can we say more of life?"

-Henry Havelock Ellis


Hello to my dear Flickrites! I apologize for not being around lately. I have started work again and my time is getting all used up! However, I was on the way home from work the other day and I happened to look in the mirror and saw these strange shapes. I was already late for a meet with Penny and Kyeti but I told myself it would just be for a few minutes (it's a good thing that I am so gullible...) Anyway, this sky and the reflection are untouched by PS (really!).


I used my IR-converted camera and and added some color (well... OK... and I also got a bit wet laying in that water! :)) but that sky is just as it appeared. Pretty cool.


Now about that bit of color - I want to thank Katrin Ray for her lovely generosity in allowing me to use her image. Thank you, Katrin!


Cheers to you all. Your Pal. -Mark

"Give me a whisper

And give me a sigh

Give me a kiss before you

tell me goodbye

Don't you take it so hard now

And please don't take it so bad

I'll still be thinking of you

And the times we


And don't you cry tonight

Don't you cry tonight

Don't you cry tonight

There's a heaven above you baby

And don't you cry tonight..."


Gun's and Roses - Don't Cry








Early training!


One of our nephews came by this weekend to spend time with the family since we hadn't seen 'em in a while. (Sort of a small family reunion) He brought along his two boys...


Soon after the initial hello and formalities, we told one of the youngsters to relax and play out with his cousins, while the grownups visited and chilled. He did eventually but not before he checked things out. He looked around and after noticing my brother and I wearing our cowboy boots...He'll looked at his dad with sort of a question mark on his face....Hummm (He'll look at mine or my brother's boots and go back look at his dad's shoes...noticing his father was not wearing boots...he'll come back and point to mine and asked his dad "What are these" his dad of course told 'im we worked in a ranch and was it part of our working gear) He was not very convinced....He looked around for a while and came back wearing a pair of boots belonging to my sister in law...We all started to laugh and he was laughing right along w/us, all the while he pointed at his newly found "shoes" as he called 'em...


Children are so much fun! Keep us young...


Guess it is true! We are a product of our surroundings. Nothing like an early start my brother told our nephew...Teach Your Children



"It had been three weeks since the cows busted out."


"And the bull, Mother. Don't forget the bull."


"Right. The bull." Mother shook her head and took a long drag on her smoke. It was hand rolled, filterless, soft and slightly limp. Curly brown bits of tobacco stuck to her lipstick. Now and then she'd spit them off, towards the floor, with a little p-choo sound.


"How could I forget the bull. It never would've happened without him. Things like that don't happen by accident you know. They take..." she laughed, and the laugh turned into a hoarse cough. When she recovered, she laughed again and said, "They take balls!"


"So," the reporter asked, "what exactly happened?"


"Well," said Mother. "Like I said, they busted out."


"We think it was the bull's fault," the son said quietly.


"Indeed," said Mother. "Someone busted right through that rail fence, and I just can't believe our girls would do anything that violent."


The reporter looked skeptical. She had heard the stories; had heard all about the Mother's cows and what they'd done.


"I mean," said Mother. "I mean I can't imagine our girls doing anything violent like that to a non-living thing. To just rush a fence like that... and destroy it. It's just not..." she took another long drag, "just not in the Jersey psyche."


Jerseys, Mother continued, were the most beautiful cows of all - both aesthetically and in their dispositions. "Look into those big brown eyes and tell me if you see violence," she challenged. "It's just not there. They don't have it in them. And yet..." she trailed off, stubbed out her smoke and starting rolling another one.


"Okay then," the reporter said, squirming a bit in her chair. "What about the children then? How do you explain it?"


Mother and son exchanged a look. "Self defence," replied the mother. "I got nothing against children." She gestured to the son. "I raised this one, didn't I?"


The son blushed and looked at his lap. "Them town kids are different," he said.


"That's right!" Mother slammed one hand on the kitchen table. "Town kids." She spit towards the floor. "Good for nothing. They don't know. They don't understand. They don't..." and here she leaned in close, breathing smoky, fetid, toothless breath in the reporter's face... "They. Don't. Appreciate."


Images of children in bank vaults, sitting idly, not earning interest, flashed through the reporter's head and for a fleeting instant she almost laughed. Mother didn't notice, and continued with her story.


"Those town kids. They think food comes from the Safeway. They have no respect. No respect at all for other living creatures. Do you know what they were doing that night? Did you hear? Did you get THAT from your sources?" And she sneered. The local media had, for weeks now, been running stories built on fear and innuendo... quoting so-called anonymous sources. The children had been trampled. The children had been eaten. The children had been regurgitated and rechewed, like so much cud. Bones - small, child sized bones - had been found in the manure pile.


All of this was, in fact, true. But Mother wasn't about to admit it. "Do you know what those kids were doing?" she asked again.


"They came across the cows in the graveyard."


"And the bull," said the son. "Don't forget the bull."


"Right," said the Mother. "They came across the cows - and the bull - in the graveyard. And they..." She started sobbing. "They sexually abused them!"


That too, was true. The children - mostly boys - had poked long pointed sticks into the cows from behind. And then tried inserting many other, various things... including bits of their own anatomy. This was known because certain bits of certain boys had remained in situ, once it was all over.


"We can only reckon what happened after that, but it seems to me the bull took exception." Mother shrugged. Sighed. Wiped at her tears with big rough hands. Things had been so difficult since the incident with the children. "We think it must've been the bull who turned the whole event on its ear," she said. "Attackers becoming the attacked. Like that." And she stood and walked away from the table.


"What about...?" the reporter wanted details, wanted something new.


But Mother stood at the kitchen sink, looking out the window and announced, "I'm sorry. The interview is over."


The reporter stood, gathered her things and couldn't help feeling... in spite of it all.... empathy for the old woman. She'd lost her herd; lost her livelihood; was now reviled by an entire community... and, on top of that, was facing a string of civil lawsuits brought by the families of the dead children. Was it really her fault that a fence broke? That cattle got loose? And that children interfered with them? Surely the cattle's unexpected reaction wasn't the old woman's doing.


Mother watched the reporter drive away; felt relief as the sound of the car dimmed in the distance. Gentle lowing rose up from the basement, and the Mother smiled.


"Come on, son. Grab those chops. It's time to tend our girl."


And down the stairs they went together, arms full of raw meat, to feed the little Jersey calf who'd slipped out... born prematurely in the chaos of the court-ordered round-up and slaughter of Mother's herd. She and the son had spirited the calf away, wrapped in blankets and hidden under brush on the trailer they were using to haul off the carcasses.


Now they knelt in front of the little heifer's makeshift stall in the basement, and fed her strips of raw pork, raw chicken, raw beef. The heifer opened wide, and showed her little pointed teeth. Carnivorous teeth. No grass or hay for this girl.


And when she was old enough, she would be inseminated. Mother had the big aggressive, breakout bull's semen stashed in vials in the freezer. It would be the start of a whole new herd... and a whole new way of life.


"Everything's so blurry

And everyone's so fake

And everybody's empty

And everything is so messed up

Pre-occupied without you

I cannot live at all

My whole world surrounds you

I stumble then I crawl


You could be my someone

You could be my scene

You know that I'll protect you from all of the obscene

I wonder what you're doing

Imagine where you are

There's oceans in between us, but that's not very far



Can you take it all away?

Can you take it all away?

When you shoved it in my face

This pain you gave to me

Can you take it all away?

Can you take it all away?

When you shoved it in my face


Everyone is changing,

There's no one left that's real

So make up your own ending

And let me know just how you feel

'Cause I am lost without you

I cannot live at all

My whole world surrounds you

I stumble then I crawl


You could be my someone

You could be my scene

Know that I will save you from all of the unclean

I wonder what you're doing

I wonder where you are

There's oceans in between us but that's not very far




Nobody told me what you thought

Nobody told me what to say

Nobody showed you where to turn

Showed you where to run away

Nobody told you where to hide

Nobody told you what to say

Nobody showed you where to turn

Showed you where to run away


Can you take it all away?

Can you take it all away?

When you shoved it in my face

Explain again to me

Can you take it all away?

Can you take it all away? "


Puddle of Mudd, Take it all away


Master Wizard Ondmund : "Gather all mage into Hall of Elements at once!"

Joanne Ervine : "What is going on? I can sense them too!!"

Master Wizard Ondmund : "Death is coming...."

J'zarghul : "J'zarghul can't understand you."

Master Wizard Ondmund : "We have to prepare ourselves against those two."

Sylvanna Gane : "Damn it, can you just tell us very clearly? Who the hell are they?"


Master Wizard Ondmund : "There's no time. Now, go inside, I will tell you later!"

Master Wizard Ondmund : "Gather all mage into Hall of Elements at once!"

Joanne Ervine : "What is going on? I can sense them too!!"

Master Wizard Ondmund : "Death is coming...."

J'zarghul : "J'zarghul can't understand you."

Master Wizard Ondmund : "We have to prepare ourselves against those two."

Sylvanna Gane : "Damn it, can you just tell us very clearly? Who the hell are they?"


Master Wizard Ondmund : "There's no time. Now, go inside, I will tell you later!"

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP


I painted this a few months back while taking another on-line class. It's a different style than the one I've been learning these last few weeks, but I like it too -- it's just a different approach and to me conveys a different feel and emotion.


I didn't have much time to paint last night and won't the remainder of the week with meetings and other obligations. I am already missing that quiet time with paints and water ....


We've a few cooler days - much appreciated - and a very small chance of rain.


It's easy to tell the season of summer is quickly moving toward fall, despite the high temperatures. Already student cars are filling the parking lots; there's a bustle about the college that was missing during the quieter months of June and July, and even now, a bit after 6 am, it's still dark outside and the sun won't be up for another 20 minutes or so .. Time passes so quickly ...


Hope your day is terrific!



Sometimes I wonder how Mike puts up with me. I'm not exactly a "normal" wife. Not only am I generally uninterested in things like cooking and other traditional wifely arts... I spend a lot of time doing messy things that would make most "normal" people shake their heads.


Last week, I flagged down a local parks crew. They'd been out pruning the ornamental plums and cherries that make our corner of the world so pinkly magical in early spring. For years, I've been asking the dudes to tell me when and where they're pruning... so I can grab some branches before they hit the chipper.


This year I hit the motherlode.


The dudes pulled over in their truck and, when I asked for branches, handed me some clippers and told me to take whatever blooming sprigs I wanted. I looked at the clippers in dismay. "Can't I just take them all?" I asked. And the dudes pretty much just shrugged and said, "Um... yeah... sure... if you want them." So I hauled them all... a truckload of small-tree-sized blooming branches... into the back yard.


Over the weekend, I used some sprigs (along with tulips, daffodils and Dutch irises) to make a bunch of bouquets, which I placed all over the house in vases.


But the real fun started when Mike went to work, and I was free to drag said tree-sized branches into the house. (!!!) I made a huge mess, but... whoa... you should've seen my office filled with blooming branches!!! They're still here. Rather brown and dry... and shedding petals like crazy. But I'm not ready to give up on shooting their shadows yet.


So I really really appreciate that Mike obligingly turns a blind eye to the... ahem... organic matter littering the hallway, stairs, etc. As he turns an obliging blind eye to the various things I leave lying around... plastic eyeballs, doll parts, waterbloated books, hairy crab shells, huge creeping roots covered in sticky mud... etc.


In my defence, I come by this naturally. Just the other day, my mom was telling me how very tolerant my dad has become... how he rarely if ever remarks on the stuff that SHE has strewn around (I'll spare you the list, but it's frequently weird).


So... yeah. Anyway, this is one of those pics that turned out pretty much almost exactly as I'd imagined it. And it's pretty much straight from the camera (I just bumped up the contrast a bit to try to bring out the shadows a little more).


Happy first day of spring. May all your metaphorical offices be filled with metaphorical cherry blossoms.

9" x 12" Watercolor

Arches 140#CP


With the approach of Hurricane Sandy 24 hours away, the last day of Jean's workshop lost several participants as folks made their way home before the storm. In order to accommodate all the requests Jean received and in order to maximize the time remaining, Jean worked on a few more demons, and then launched into her prepared lesson to move us from 'free flowing practice' to work that was a bit more 'story telling.'


I was given permission earlier this year to paint from Rupa's fabulous plums and I had her photo reference with me. Though I painted these before in a more traditional way: I wanted to see what they might look like in a looser style. (Thank you once more, Rupa!!!)


Jean was kind enough to demonstrate how she would approach this image, and for the rest of the workshop, I practiced. Each of my practice pieces came closer to the 'story' I wanted to tell... but this one, done a few days after the workshop, seems a bit closer to the combination of Jean's looseness and a bit more of my own style.


The workshop ended with the promise of Jean's return to New York next October, and then everyone scrambling to homes, last minute planes and trains, all to get out of harm's way.


It was an incredible workshop -- and I thank Jean for all her sharing of skills, enthusiasm, encouragement and joy!!!!


Can't wait to do it again next year! (without hurricanes, of course!)

“We do not remember days, we remember moments” ~ Spanish philosopher Cesare Pavese. I have used this quote before; I will use it again. It is something I live by. ~ View On Black ~ "Twilight World" - Marian McPartland.


It was simply too nice a day to be in the office. So, I drove around. When I do – drive around – I usually find myself by some water.


Some days we feel so much more exquisitely alive than others. Some days, we are so deeply in the moment, so aware of everything, that we feel as if we may explode into our atoms at the incredible power of it all.


The connection we feel to life, to the earth, to the universe is so succulent, so intense as to be overwhelming. Could we jump for joy, hysterically laugh and fall down to our knees and thank God we are alive at the top of our voices – and not get locked up for it – we most surely would.


We wish we could capture this feeling forever. At this moment one knows and feels the value of life, the sanctity of life, the sheer joy of being alive, in this place, in this time – right now.


For a little while, we understand – and feel more than we ever imagined - the peace and serenity and completeness that each book of religion, each tome of philosophy, each fiber of our soul tells us is truly, if only momentarily, possible .


It feels as if it lasts an eternity: this moment.


And, as we get older, each time we are blessed to feel it again, we savor it just a little bit more, suckle at its charms just a bit more energetically. We know how precious these moments are; how seldom they come; and how few remain.


I can never express my thanks enough for such moments. I love you all; I feel you all: my fellow artists and seekers.


Someone says :"If we love someone, we shouldn’t be afraid to tell them, because hearts are often broken by words left unspoken."

I think I need to tell you that I extremely love you.

And this is your time.

Your new age.

Your life.

Don't worried about the thing passing on your life.

Let's enjoy it.

For my Bắp

Master Wizard Ondmund : "Gather all mage into Hall of Elements at once!"

Joanne Ervine : "What is going on? I can sense them too!!"

Master Wizard Ondmund : "Death is coming...."

J'zarghul : "J'zarghul can't understand you."

Master Wizard Ondmund : "We have to prepare ourselves against those two."

Sylvanna Gane : "Damn it, can you just tell us very clearly? Who the hell are they?"


Master Wizard Ondmund : "There's no time. Now, go inside, I will tell you later!"

"One cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but one can prevent them from building nests in your hair." -Chinese Proverb


A silly hat makes me smile. One of my weapons in my fight against the flood.


(Greetings Dear Flickrinos, this idea has been in my head for about a year and I have started and stopped reworked and deleted in disgust and thrown my hands up and whined and kicked the dog (well, I would've if only we had a dog... apologies to Susan). Is it what I had in mind? well, no, not really - and it just doesn't matter.


Anyway, this is about the little (and big) things that happen to us along the way... the people we lose, the friends that leave, the body that doesn't seem to skate as fast as I remember, the ideas that don't quite work out, the dreams that fade... my daily job is not to let it drown me, my spirit, my joy. I am reminding myself to be vigilant because all of this happens so very slowly... one drop at a time, grinding away and I look up and suddenly that joyful, exuberant man is gone, that smile is hard to find - and who the fuck needs that!


What's with the hat? well, i was gonna use a flower as a metaphor for my joy that I don't want to drown and then I figured 'what the hell - I love this hat!' it's as good a thing as any to save from the flood...


I have to tell you I went out to take some images for an idea I got when shooting at Green Lake the other day. As I was processing these things, the sky was a wonder and the shadows and my blocky coat and Penny said "these are interesting, what are you gonna do with them?" So I told her my idea and she said "Nah, put 'em up just they way they are." "I can't do that!" so I started playing with them and suddenly my 'Sorrow' idea resurfaced and off I went. :))


cheers, my friends. The grind goes on....




(I also want to give a special nod to a fellow flickrino who has had her share of wet feet this year - Robin, here's to you, my friend. I know you already have a hat of your own. -M)

Sammy D. Higgins bulldog is puzzled and asks oink the pig, " What are we looking for" ?


Oink would love to loudly squeal and oink in frustration after telling Sammy how much Bessie loved looking for toads but he knows making such a fuss would limit their chances to find one.


Oink does short whispering oinks and replies, " Sammy we are on a toad hunt and the object is to find that special toad Bessie had already named Twinkle Twinkle.

She so hoped to be able to find this special toad but she also said if she was not gifted with another season to hunt toads that I promise the first toad would be named Twinkle Twinkle .

Bessie also told me she decided on that name just in case she was no longer here to enjoy the toad hunts as all we had to do is look at the clear night skies and she'd be one of those twinkling stars smiling down at us. She said there are many twinkling stars of one's we have loved however if we looked up at all the millions of twinkling stars she would sparkle and shine brighter for a time so we'd know that one was her smiling down at us. Sammy..... Bessie had many across flickr land who loved her and she is shining brightly and twinkling for them as well. Lets get on with the toad hunt Sammy and if we don't find one on this hunt we will try again."


Sammy has met a turtle and some ants , wild rabbits, squirrels and birds and he's not quite sure yet what a toad looks like as he and oink go on their first toad hunt.

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing." -S


I told you I was holding out on an image that I shot last month at Snoqualmie Falls when we had the big snow. I have actually redone this image five separate times because of the erasing of water spots all over the image! Here is a shot when we had a visit from "The Pineapple Express:"


As I was shooting with an ND 8 filter to get the milky white of the water, the exposures were lengthened. This allowed the unforgiving mist that this waterfall gives off, to collect on my camera lens each shot! I was furiously wiping between each exposure, but still wound up with a ton of spots. The snow is all gone, and there is no going back...Okay...maybe when we get our next snow! I only live about 15 minutes from this spectacular natural wonder!


This is a combination of three exposures (-2,0,+2) merged and tonemapped in Photomatix 4.0. Then LOTS of erasing of water spots using a combination of the "Clone Stamp" and the "Content Aware" function of the "Healing Brush." I am hard to please, so I am not sure if I am 100% sold on my efforts here! I then ran through Topaz Adjust for a boost in contrast, as the original image was completely flat, and then final vignette in Lightroom 3.0.


Thanks for the views, comments, and faves. I appreciate them. Again, Merry Christmas to all and have a safe and prosperous New Year!

This is in response to our weekly "Monday Photo Challenge" to "retread" a previously posted picture. Those that know me, know that I LOVE going back and retreading. The original post of this photo was posted a year ago today and it was an easy pick for me to retread today because I'm coming off of a week of "heavenly days" and I can't stop singing this song by Patty Griffin...


"Oh heavenly day, all the clouds blew away

Got no trouble today with anyone

The smile on your face I live only to see

It's enough for me, baby, it's enough for me

Oh, heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day


Tomorrow may rain with sorrow

Here's a little time we can borrow

Forget all our troubles in these moments so few

All we've got right now, the only thing that

All we really have to do

Is have ourselves a heavenly day

Lay here and watch the trees sway

Oh, can't see no other way, no way, no way

Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day


No one at my shoulder bringing me fears

Got no clouds up above me bringing me tears

Got nothing to tell you, I've got nothing much to say

Only I'm glad to be here with you

On this heavenly, heavenly, heavenly, heavenly

Heavenly day, all the trouble's gone away

Oh, for a while anyway, for a while anyway

Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day"


Please take a minute or two while listening and check out all the other "heavenly" retreads and join us for "Retread Thursdays"...


"Springtime" is finally here !!! Hand in hand with Nature's seasonal awakening, my inner urge to go out for some really early morning shooting awakens too ...


This time I decided to pay a visit to one of, what it proved to be, the most picturesque places of Drama's prefecture ...The Angitis river and the wonderful Nature that is formed all around it and mainly due to it ... To tell you the truth I didn't expect to come face to face with such an amazing place, with such interesting early morning lighting conditions, a real challenge for my camera to convincingly capture ... I had paid a visit to this place before, maybe about twelve years ago, but photography was not included in my prime interests then ... Something that I'll never cease to regret ...


Anyway, manual focusing was the only way I could work in order to capture the petty amount of both natural and artificial light that existed all around ...


Don't forget my friends that before sunrise shooting at a photography inviting place, may actually push your photo-shooting technical capability to its limits ...


Every time I do it I return wiser and definitely more experienced !!!


EXIF: NIKON D90 with Nikon Nikkor 18-55 lens, Manual mode, f 9, ISO 200, focal length 18 mm, manual exposure selection, manual focusing, white balance set to cloudy weather, pattern metering mode, shutter speed 6 s, HDR processing was made after a single long exposure frame, exact lighting conditions are successfully conveyed to the viewer, use of tripod, no flash, original RAW image dimensions 4288 X 2848 pixels ....


View Awards Count


:copyright: Copyright - All rights reserved


See where this picture was taken. [?]


"READY TO BLOOM and regale you with my beauty"?

Although the petals look waxy... they are silky soft.

The Peony is indigenous to China, but was imported to Japan so early it is difficult to be certain when the transplantation occurred. It is a perennial plant with single flowers of white, red, hot pink or pale pink, which are born in late spring.

The peony was originally introduced as medicine. In fact, its ancient Japanese name "Ebisugusuri" literally means ‘medicine from China’. However, due to its beautiful and now mostly double blooms, in time, many decorative varieties were developed. In Japanese society, it was seen both as a medicine and a source of beauty.


Lead and enjoy a good life, do and say things that enrich... and do not forget to tell the people close to you, how much you love them!

With love to you and thank you for ALL your faves and comments, M, (* _ *)

For more of my other work or if you want to PURCHASE (ONLY PLACE TO BUY MY IMAGES!), VIEW THE NEW PORTFOLIOS AND LATEST NEWS HERE on our website:

IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN (BY LAW!!!) TO USE ANY OF MY image or TEXT on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. :copyright: All rights reserved


"Ooh gurl theres only 6 of us left now...I only gotta knock down 5 more of these girls before that crown and title it mine, and trust me when I say that I'm gonna get it! Last week I got third...again...I mean third is good and dandy most of the time but ya'll I'm being so robbed of first its hella' ridiculous, ya get me? Well anyway for this shoot we had to pose with these long silk pieces on and work with the wind and lemmie tell you - I did not have a good time! The wind was being hella crazy and I kept losing my balance plus not to mention my piece of silk kept on dropping down almost revealing a few areas. I better get a good placing for this...because lord...model is so tiring!"


This photoshoot was actually SO hard like I had to take a tone of photos before I found one I was happy with. I hope that this one looks okay.


Hope you like it! :)


CALLED: 01/06 - "Lujon" Henry Mancini


I was 27 when I was told I had an “old soul.” At that time, most of my friends were 15 to 20 years older than I. Not quite my parents group, but the one’s just under them. I liked hanging with that crowd. I liked their music, their rap, their smooth style of dress and manners, the use of perfume and cologne, and the way alcohol smelled on the breath. It smelled like the potential for sex.


Back then, people still dressed up to hit the streets on Friday night – especially when the eagle flew (payday); me too. While I loved the music of my generation, I loved the sound of jazz more. Sinatra, King Cole and Johnny Hartman were my favorite male swingers. And “The Count of Basie” (thank you Daddy-O Daylie) was one of my fave bands.


Sinatra & Basie – “Fly Me to the Moon”: (Please, please, please - dig the man's phrasing and timing!!!!)


I spent many years with the older crowd, learnin’ from the older cats. I also learned from the older women (40’s – early 50’s) that I found in my bed: the ones with those incredible, enticing laughs: alternately purring and growling - a woman’s laugh, not a girl’s giggle. The women that allowed me the honor of thinking I had seduced them. They’d even buy me gifts. I must admit – I felt so damn sophisticated and slick.


And when i hear the sounds of those great jazz voices and music of those feelings of "being cool, Daddy-O", still resonate within me.


These days we have no where to go where one can dress up, eat, drink, smoke and dance to jazz. No where to find young women (late 20’s to 30’s) who think they are so damn sophisticated and slick. Lithe and lissome, furry-fucky, little dolls whose giggle has not yet developed its enticing/intimidating purr and growl. Women upon whom an oldster might allow the honor of thinking that they have seduced us into their beds, and induced us to bring forth gifts from our wallets.


Naw, Baby-Girl. It isn't your power. It is, indeed, only money, the power of Dead Presidents and I eventually learned the older partner really gets the better of that deal. :-)


This is not a lament, mind you. I got in on it. It was the tail end, the lingering echoes, of that 40’s, 50’s and 60’s era of Friday night glamour, but I got enough to give me a genuine, deep, and long-lasting appreciation for the “art of seduction”: where the “journey and the end” are equally magical and both should be practiced and deeply savored.


Wes Montgomery, Bumpin’ (1966) – “Bumpin’ on Sunset”:


Love has always been for sale, in one way or another. It just feels as if the sale used to be conducted with more class and style, wit and guile, an arched eyebrow and a come hither smile.


So, now I sit on the back porch at sunset - on these smooth, silken-breezed, Friday summer’s eves. I’ll sip some chardonnay, put on the some of that finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’, back-crackin’ jazz - kick back and watch the sun, set.


9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP


Home. There are few other words in the language of humans that conjure up so many emotions and thoughts, images and memories. I feel as though I haven't seen my own for months .... and to finally sleep in my own bed, drink my own coffee, make order how of the remains of my hasty departure, are truly balms to the soul.


I chose flowers today, Iceland Poppies painted in between times of mom's wakefulness and sleeping; the quiet colors, simplicity and stark white of the paper to remind me of mom - her gentleness, simple ways, love of flowers.


She's finally well enough to be in rehab and moved there yesterday. She's still somewhat confused, and thinking she's in her former dwelling in Florida - but she's being looked after well and the stimulation of moving around more, exercising her new hip, eating with other people, should (?) we hope, give her a bit more liveliness and normalcy.


I too hope to return to a more normal schedule, but since her illness is long term, we'll all be preparing to repeat the last few weeks experiences.


What all this keeps telling me is how very precious each and every moment of our lives, the way we choose to spend each moment and with whom. I find myself even more grateful for those friends and loved ones who take the time to chat a moment, give a smile or a hug, have a cup of coffee, share their own lives. I have always found solace in the natural world and this continues even more.


The situation brings up the question, once more, of priorities, and how our lives are lived, and what is truly important. I've always been one to share such thoughts and ideas, and hope to do so here in words and images, as I too work through my own evaluations. I suppose we do this each New Year - resolutions of a kind. But I hope this 'evaluation' is far larger than dieting (again), keep off the cookies, and exercising daily!! LOL


Meanwhile, it'll be rest, a walk through the woodlands (isn't it unusually warm again???), and God willing, a bit of painting.


I'm thinking of starting a journal again - I used to keep one but I find it challenging to add one more thing to my day - so we'll see where my contemplations lead me.


Thank you once more for all your prayers and kindnesses. They have sustained me and my family more than you can know.


Biggest hugs ... and a heart of gratitude!

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.


My kids had some time off this weekend on Martin Luther King day, which is now a national holiday (for most people :))


We had some good discussions about what he stood for and how it can be an example for us. How you always need to stand up for what you know to be right, even if it costs you your life.


But it didn't really hit home for me until I stood alone at dawn in thigh-deep surf, watching the waves crash against the rocks. You can't get much more iconic than lighthouses, which are internationally recognized as beacons of hope, standing strong against the storms, and bringing the ships safely home. So much amazing symbolism, literature, and history, so much to love about lighthouses.


But for me the rock tells a much more compelling story. For every lighthouse there are thousands of rocks standing in the crashing waves, gasping for breath against the charging surf. And almost nobody will drive hundred of miles to see this rock, but it tells a story about how we all can live our lives in quite defiance of the raging storms, standing up for something even when nobody will ever see our struggle, or remember us for ages to come.


Stand up for something! And you will see beautiful things in the process :)


#escaype #sunriseforecasting



All images/videos copyright Sam Post, please do not blog/crop/re-share/use my photos without written permission. If you do re-share, please give attribution and a link back. Prints available at

"Everything comes too late for those who only wait"

Elbert Hubbard


...when sadness is surrounding us, when there seems to be no's time to water the seeds of faith.....






"....Just give me a reason

To keep my heart beating

Don’t worry it’s safe right here in my arms

As the world falls apart around us

All we can do is hold on, hold on


Take my hand

And bring me back


I risk everything if it’s for you

I whisper into the night

Telling me it’s not my time and don’t give up

I’ve never stood up before this time

Demo yuzurenai mono itta kono te wo hanasanai....."


TUNE: ONE OK ROCK - The Beginning


The tune just makes me thinks a you got to listen to it :D


Blogpost: Where do I begin



"....It was all to stay awake for the longest time

It was long, it was wrong

But it felt so right

See you at the finish line

See you at the finish line

If you got the heart to join us...."




-Blogpost: I did tell you the reason why



" 'I am not going to tell you my name, not yet at any rate.' A queer half-knowing, half-humorous look came with a green flicker into his eyes. 'For one thing it would take a long while: my name is growing all the time, and I've lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time saying anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.' "

~Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien~




I spruced up the color a little ;~)


My dad used to tell me that the only thing that is above all human power and overcomes almost all obstacles in life even that one of death - survival instinct is the feeling of “thelisis” (thélō ="to strongly desire, strong wish of achieving smth”).


So my questions were too many “what if this, that” and still the answer was the one and the very same for each of my questions… “when the time will come that your thelisi for something will knock your heart, that moment you know you can do it and you will see that you won’t have any hesitation to go for it”.


So here I am, having walked almost 4kms on the seaside (sand) climbed up a 6meter rock and standing on top of it to see whats on the other side I see in the distance an amazing formation of rocks (I will be posting photos of it in the next days). I see behind me the distance, I see the rock formation ahead of me and I calculate is about another 3kms away with a middle rock formation that needs to be climbed over to reach the destination. So I m thinking… climbing down meters of razor sharp rocks, walk 2kms, climb up and down another rock formation and walk about another 1-1,5 kms to reach the rock formation my eye caught, climb up there, get the shot (1-3 max in long exposure of 3-5mins each), pack, get down from there and walk back all this to reach where I m standing, and then climb down to walk 4kms back to car… its about 50mins if all goes well, if the sea doesn’t rise as is afternoon and no waves get higher to cut any part of my route… and if nothing is wrong on my path through the rocks…


I have just 60mins max before is dark…. I know I DO want to get this shot of those rocks…but I do am alone and in a place with no cellular reception and I do have just half a bottle of water… I do also know that I not all my days are as good as this and I know I can’t come back for sure for another good 6months here… So whats the deal?


This is the point where my Thelisis kicked in… I look once back and once forward… and so I did my first step, that moment I knew it I knew it that is was my thelisis to get that shot that took that risky decision for me…


I just remembered my childhood conversation with my dad…. Yes its this moment dad that I do know that this feeling overcame all my reasonable and orthological calculations and “pushed” me to move…


On the way back, the sky was already angry and the sea started to getting warmed up and the tide about to kick in.. so my path backwards would be kinda tricky to risky.. and yet I did have some good 11 minutes to make it to the next seashore behind the 6m rock I was standing initially, when I saw these 3 rocks in a very calm safe gulfy-look protected side … so I threw down my backpack and zipped out fast, set up my tripod my filter and gave it my last 5minutes I needed and inside me I wasn’t even contemplating whether this would be a nice frame or not, I knew it would be and didn’t even look at this single frame till I got to my car!


Thelisis… never fails you….


Till we meed Dad...




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Jökulsárlón (lit. "Glacier Lagoon") is situated in south eastern Iceland, at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull, just East of Skaftafell National Park. It evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lagoon, which is 200 m deep (approx 600 ft), has grown since then because of melting of the Icelandic glaciers. The lagoon now stands 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away from the ocean's edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). Its size has increased fourfold since the 1970s. Teh Glacier lagoon is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland.


--- Did you know?: The rule is that only 1/10 of an iceberg is visible over the water surface. Thus, this chunk of ice is 10 times bigger than what you see! So its total size is somewhere in the range of 5 to 10 citybuses. It also tells us that The Glacier Lagoon is pretty deep; in other words it is approx. 200 meters (600 ft.) deep.


--- The Glacier lagoon can be seen along Route 1 between Hofn and Skaftafell. It presents a picturesque parade termed as “A ghostly procession of luminous blue ice-bergs through the 17 km2 (6.6 sq mi) (18 km2 (6.9 sq mi) as reported in other sources) Jokulsarlon Lagoon”. A boat ride of about 40 minutes in a broad bottomed boat, winding through the floating small icebergs of the lagoon, provides an enchanting experience.[2]

--- Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies; 'A View to a Kill', 'Die Another Day', 'Tomb Raider' and 'Batman Begins'), in addition to the reality-TV series Amazing Race.


"You drove how far to see what?" When I told people we drove a whole day to see this iconic barn, some thought I was nuts...LOL...but you flickr people understand perfectly! I am sure we would all go just about anywhere to get a photo if we had the time and money to allow us to follow all our dreams!


What's on YOUR bucket list? New Zealand is on mine..after Oregon and Washington and the west coast.

IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth premiered on October 1, 1999. Paul and I were fortunate to have been at EPCOT Center for the inaugural show. It was an instant favorite for both of us and we have seen it literally hundreds of times. Each time being just as special as the last.


This image was taken on May 1, 2010 while we waited for the lights to dim for the opening introduction to start the show...


"Good evening. On behalf of Walt Disney World, the place where dreams come true, we welcome all of you to Epcot and World Showcase. We've gathered here tonight around the fire as people of all lands have gathered for thousands and thousands of years before us... to share the light... and to share a story. An amazing story as old as time itself, but still being written. And though each of us has our own individual stories to tell, a true adventure emerges when we bring them all together as one. We hope you enjoy our story tonight: Reflections of Earth."


Thank you all for your sincere out pouring of support over the last few days. You've made the days more tolerable and comforting.


"....that the ocean and me….we are in tune to the same station….and us….we are just here."


thank you for your beautiful and original shots with wow-ness in the art…

five things that make me happy……. May


5. animals

4. the look on people's faces when they experience something for the first time….

2.when someone "gets it"….

1. beach…ocean…. :]


five things that make me sad


5. ignorant people OS

3. religion

2.killing animals

1. assumptions and "know it alls"…

So this is the time of year everyone makes their New Years resolutions and tells themselves that they're going to do this n' that better, yada yada yada....


Well, this is the first time that any of that has made a difference to me. 2008 has contained some life changing events for me. And for the first time in my life I can actually look at the new year as a fresh start, a new beginning. And in the words of MrObvious: "We often stare down fate in the moment of truth, before we step into the unexplored realm of who we could be....Some falter, some step through to the other side."


Goodbye 2008, and good riddance.

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