Serenity Sunday: Solomon’s Seal

One of our favorite plants in the garden is the lovely Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum sp.). CD asked me to make a few portrait shots the other day, and the light and breeze conditions were perfect for it yesterday evening. As I was focusing in on some of the flowers, I noticed what I believe was a very young katydid. So I said to myself, “Self, where there’s one there may well be another,” and upon further searching, my hunch turned out to be right. They are only about a centimeter long, and I consider myself quite lucky to have made their brief acquaintance. I plan to have another look today to see if I can find them again!

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Melancholy Monday: Memorial Day

We decided to attend the Memorial Day celebration today in the Prospect Hill Cemetery,  the oldest cemetery in Omaha. Part of the observance included a spectacular demonstration by the First Nebraska Volunteers, a group of uniformed Civil War re-enactors. The weather could not have been better, and there was a wonderful turnout. It is good to be reminded of the selfless sacrifices made by those who have defended us and those who continue to do so.

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Menagerie Monday (7): Big Bird, Little Bird

On this very warm spring day (it topped 90°F), I was more than happy to take a break from the seemingly-endless rigmarole of planning, sorting, packing, discarding, and continuing to hoard certain things in our rather staggering stash of household goods. As we were having our morning beverages of choice, CD looked out the front window and alerted me to the presence of a few members of our neighborhood gang of “wild” turkeys. The largest tom was making a great show of displaying for the benefit (or, rather—and much more likely the intimidation) of the other tom in the small group; the object of all this attention, seemed to be not very impressed with the display, at least to my eye. And then, later in the morning, the pair of house wrens who have graced us with their return yet again, for what I believe is the fifth year in a row, have begun to set up shop in the little, (very) old wren house that was here when we bought the house nearly 20 years ago. Each year I open it up, clean it out, and re-secure the tin roof, and they seem to like what I do, so I don’t feel compelled to get more elaborate. In fact, they are out there warbling their little hearts out as I write this, and it’s nearly 8 pm. We’re doing something right.

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Melancholy Monday: Rings within rings

It’s funny what turns up from a long ago day:Many a memory long locked away

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Serenity Sunday: Rainy Relief

It’s been unseasonably cold with lots of rain and wind for the past several days, and during a relative break in the otherwise steady downpour, I went out into the shelter of the cubby where our outdoor swing lives, set up my little tripod, and made this shot of our wonderful anemones, which have appeared in greater numbers than we’ve ever seen them before.

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Melancholy Monday: A Farewell to Film

I have been called to task by several of you followers for posting things under my “Melancholy Monday” tag that were not really melancholy. I believe, however, that this one will fit the description quite well.We are in the final throes of selling our house in Omaha and relocating to two different destinations. (This is, by the way, the main reason why my recent posts—and my acknowledgements of yours—have been so sporadic.) We have lived here for almost 20 years—the longest we’ve ever stayed in one place—and the downsizing is formidable. One of the major hurdles—and one I’ve been dreading for many years—is what to do with my beloved accumulation of traditional photography equipment.I remember clearly the day in 2000 when I bought my first digital camera. Before that, I had been a dedicated devotee to film photography, with three 35mm cameras and two medium-format twin-lens reflex cameras that came with me, pretty much in all of my travels. I bought my film in bulk rolls, loaded it into cassettes and carried 36, developed them myself, and had a full black-and-white darkroom. When I began to embrace the digital world, I can’t really say that I never looked back, but I never used film again.I dismantled my darkroom, needing the space it occupied for other projects, but kept it all safely stored, maintain a hope that one of my daughters might take an interest some day, adopt the equipment, and carry on the tradition. But it was not to be. Both of them (and our three grandchildren) now live in New Zealand. We have recently bought a house near them, and will be moving the majority of our stuff there later this year, and will split our time between there and our cabin in the woods in northern Minnesota, avoiding the worst of the winter weather in both places.But I digress. Back to the photo equipment, I tried for quite some time to find good homes for it, first at the local high school and then at the University of Nebraska, but both had stopped teaching conventional photography skills. A clever and knowledgeable person at the latter, however, referred me to the Metro Community College, and when I talked with their fine arts director, I was delighted to hear that 30% of their teaching still encompasses conventional photography. He was very happy to accept my donations of my Beseler 23-CII enlarger, Nikon lenses, and lots of other darkroom necessities, as well as four film cameras, a Super-8 video camera, a digital hard-drive camcorder, and several older-model digital cameras. He assured me that MCC will provide me with documentation for all of this that I can use to apply to my 2017 taxes.  But for me, the best part of all of this is the knowledge that all (or at least most) of the stuff that I’ve donated will be used by young folks who are still interested in carrying on the conventional photographic tradition.  And so, as I bade a most-fond farewell to this integral phase of my life, here are a few of my favorite old-time images, which I’ve converted to a digital format by scanning either the negatives or the prints. So many ways to celebrate this amazing world around us!



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Fleeting Beauty: Going to Seed

Many folks keep a watchful and appreciative eye on the wonderful flowers that appear each spring here in the northern hemisphere, but one of my perpetual favorites is one that often seems overlooked and neglectedthe little dandelion. One of my blogging buddies, however, Lemony, loves to pay them particular attention and has done some lovely series with them in the past. She has taken up their banner again with a fine shot that she posted yesterday (here), which inspired me to get back out into our garden today for this study. This one’s for you, Lemony! (As usual, click on the photo if you’d like an even closer look.)

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