Monday, January 17, 2011

1-17 Bird Watching

On of my favorite spots for photographing the birds is our upstairs bathroom window. The window opens easily and in winter there is no screen to distort the image. Additionally, the window slides open smoothly and more importantly, silently. Usually the birds pay it no attention.

So, this morning I was sitting downstairs enjoying my morning breakfast when I spied a beautiful cardinal at the feeder. I quickly went upstairs to see if I could grab a good shot. The bird flew away before I, and my shadow Addie, made it up to the window.

Apparently Addie wanted to see the birds too as she then climbed up to look out the window. I love this shot where she is turning her head as if to say, " What? I'm busy."
She is such a funny joy!

1-16 Stopping by the Woods...

One of my all time favorite poems is Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. I don't know when I first heard this poem or even why I like it so much. There is something so peaceful and majestic about it. Our backyard has this bench in our little "woods." I like to think of sitting there and watching the world go by.

1-15 Time for the Cardinals

I have had this metal anti-squirrel feeder for over 10 years. It is rusting in some places - mainly where BBs hit. We do our best to keep it full year round so as to not attract birds and then leave them hungry. All year long I am fortunate to see all types of birds. My favorite remains the cardinal in winter. There is just something so bright and cheery about the crimson plumage against a dreary winter sky.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ancient Life Forms

Can you tell what this is? I was struggling with coming up with a photo subject as I feel that I have so many of snow and snowy scenes - dogs,birds, etc. Finally, in desperation as I sat in my car behind the ice covered windshield, I saw this. Cluster of ice stuck to the glass in spite of the blasting defrosters. Eventually, the ice melted and gave way to water - the origin of all life.

Sunrise 1- 13-11

Leaving the house just as the sun came up allowed me to witness this beautiful sight. The sky was a lovely watercolor of blues, pinks, oranges and purple. With the white snow on the ground and the houses enshadowed it made a lovely scene. Photography helps to capture the moment, but it is never the same.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day

Today was our third snow storm of the year. 6 - 8 inches of snow used to be consider a storm. However, after last year's record snowfall and major storms of 12 - 14 inches plus, 6 - 8 inches now seems like a dusting.
Today's dusting came last evening and didn't end until the wee hours of the morning. This lead to school closings and delays for may in our area.
After shoveling the front walks, (DH had wonderfully done the driveway and cars before work!) I took a walk over to the local sledding hill with the dogs. I let them play while I took some pictures of the sledders.
I really like this picture of Addie and Ahna having so much fun in the snow. They love the snow and enjoy wrestling each other. To the unknown observer their growls and snarls sound like a fight to the death. But I know that one yip of pain and the games stop on a dime.
I now have two exhausted dogs passed out dreaming of their snow day.


We have plenty of deer in our area of town. I thought these white wooden reindeer looked so pretty with their red tartan bows, the snow and the back-drop of the gaily lit bushes. It looks like a Christmas card.

Our Little Town

Growing up I lived in nine different houses in two states and many different towns. I never had a sense of "my town." When people asked where I was from I always used to say Philadelphia area.
When we had our children and were looking for a house sidewalks to a town were one of my major "wants." I am so glad we were able to find just the right house. We live on a cul-de-sac which was wonderful for our children. Additionally we, and they, have been able to walk or ride our bikes to the baseball fields, drugstore, hardware store, etc. It gave our sons an early opportunity for independence which is so often missing in our sprawling suburbia.
After the most recent snow, DH and I took a walk into town with our two dogs. It was quiet and peaceful in the "just-snowed" kind of way. I was attracted to this lovely house on the main street. Decorated for the holidays I thought it looked so warm and welcoming.

Dan and "The Girls"

As someone who grew up with dogs most, if not all, of my childhood and adolescence, I never gave dogs much of a second thought. I love dogs and think they are the ultimate human companion. I am limited in which breeds I can own because of my allergies, but I truly love all dogs.
I also love that my husband who did not grow up with dogs is such a loving dog owner.
Our first dog, Bo, a "fat" Yorkie was our first "baby." We had a lot of fun with Bo, but unfortunately not for a long time. Bo got out on the day we moved into our first house and ran. Yes, he was a runner. He ran a mile or two to River Road where unfortunately my husband saw him get hit by a van. With a broken back, there was only one, sad outcome.
Our next dog was a brief blip on our life. Picked up for the "wrong side of town" this dog, Pepper was not destined to stay long. After he snapped at our then toddling son, it was "So long, Pepper."
Dog number three was a winner - and for 17 long years. Possibly a poodle, possibly a mix, Barkley was purchased from a pet store when our older son was two. Barkley was an awesome dog who lived a long and I believe happy life.
Today, we are the people of our two "girls." With just sons, Addie and Ahna our our girls. Dan adores them and takes better care of them than you can imagine. I am sure there will be many posts this year of "the girls."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sign of the Times

Today's picture is a sign of my times. Trying to eat in a more healthy fashion I went shopping tonight. Fruits and vegetables made up the bulk of my purchase. I rashly picked up the Green Giant "Just For One" single servings of broccoli with cheese sauce. Now, those who know me well, know that I am not a fan of vegetables. I try, honest, but I just don't like them. I can eat the starchy ones like potatoes (white and sweet), corn, and carrots. I have learned to be okay with lettuce greens, spinach greens, and celery. I would really like to branch out into other vegetables. First one to try - broccoli.

Thursday 1-6

Today's assignment was to go high contrast. I am not sure I accomplished that, but I did really think the inside of a pomegranate looked cool. I have never eaten one before. I have had the juice and enjoyed it, but I never knew how or what to do with a fresh one. This past week one of my students was eating one for snack. She explained how to prepare one. (It is really easy, just quarter.)

So, I went to the grocery store and bought two. Easy to prepare, easy to eat, and yummy. Now I just need to figure out how to eat it without getting the juice all over me. And I hope it doesn't stain.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday January 5

Today's assignment was to take a photograph of something ordinary and mundane. I played around with a penny at first because I thought that it was something so very ordinary. However, I didn't really like the way it looked in the photograph. After trying other coins and different backgrounds I chose the quarter where the United States of America is clearly visible with a reflection on the lower half. The background of black wool really set off the quarter.

Tuesday January 4

Today's assignment was to take a photograph with a diagonal line leading the viewer's eye through the photograph. All day I searched for diagonal lines. I took a few photos but nothing that I really liked. In desperation I had a photo that I was going to use, even though I didn't really like it.

However, the following day, I was standing in my classroom when I noticed the flag. I liked the way the angle leads to the light, the windows and the timeline. It seems like a pointer for what we are studying in fourth grade.

Where does the flag lead you? Is it a pointer for you? Thoughts?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3 - A Symbol or an Icon

I have to admit it took me a while to find something I wanted to photograph. I thought of various logos and words but nothing seemed to fit. Then finally, my eyes landed on the iconic #2 pencil. How many tests and scantron sheets have we all filled out using the #2 pencil? What is it about the #2 pencil that makes it the champion of all assessments? Is it really better than the #1.5 or #2.5? And seriously, do they even make different numbered pencils? When these grading machines were made, why was #2 the lead (actually graphite) chosen?

As a teacher who has to proctor those oh-so-important-but-not-really state assessments, I can attest to the fact that not all pencils are #2, Furthermore most of the decorated, cutesy pencils have no numbers on them at all. I now wonder if this is some sort of conspiracy to alter the test results.

Teachers and students of the world - grab your #2s and let's go!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2 - An Interesting Texture

Today's assignment was to photograph something that has an interesting texture. I took some cool shots of paper towels, my dog's hair and other things. It was such a grey day though that everything seemed blah. Finally, I noticed my aloe vera plant 's pot on my kitchen window sill. It has a nice crackled finish with a green that hints of sunny days to come. Just what I needed today - a grey, rainy, last-day-of-vacation day.

January 2011 a New Year

And so a new year begins. My online social networking sites are rife with people talking about the 365 challenge. Take a photo a day for a year. Some people just take a photo and upload. Others, like me, take a photo and write a blog post. I started 2010 with the challenge and didn't quite make it half way. Various things intervened - nothing huge - and the challenge went by the wayside.

And so, here I am again. A new year, a new challenge. I plan on using The Daily Shoot for ideas on themes. However, if I see something that catches my eye or captures my thoughts, I may veer off on my own.

Here's to a great 2011 for everyone and a new beginning. Whatever is past is past, the future begins today.