A Dogwood Morning

The Dogwood trees in our yard are nearing peak. Nightly freezes have had some effect on the edges of the blooms, with burned spots. Nothing to take away their beauty however. As the sun was rising the light was good so I grabbed my camera and made these images. It’s definitely Spring, but the temperatures here in SW Virginia don’t always give evidence in that regard.

Finding and photographing our past

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I made this photo last summer. It’s a favorite, and had I not taken a dirt road I’d not have found it. Exploring can be rewarding. For a couple of reasons, I’ve been side-lined from my usual road trips seeking such photo treasures. Winter weather in April being one. So, I decided to publish some from 2017.  This cabin held many secrets, all based only on my imagination. Who lived here? When? Why is there a fireplace hearth outside on the chimney? There was evidence of a rock foundation near and perhaps it served as an enclosed cooking area. It’s fun to imagine. Here’s another example.

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This old structure appeared to have served several roles. A home and I suspect a small store based on the drive-through front. From all the junk around the place, I think it was most recently a location selling antiques. It was as you can see a dreary day and the house fit that mood perfectly. The rusty metal roof added to that. Why the cut logs? More questions remain unanswered.

I’m fortunate to live in SW Virginia where many photo opportunities such as these two are plentiful.  I just need to get out and about and find them. Summer 2018 approaches.

 

Backyard Critters

It seems most of us have them … small wild animals and a variety of birds living close to home. Year around in many locations. Here in SW Virginia we especially have lots of squirrels and wild birds flying and running about the yard. They seem comfortable with us humans and aren’t too shy. Each in their own way can make a nice photo. However, you have to be alert, because they move quickly.

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I was fortunate to see this friendly squirrel sitting on our patio fence right by the door as I peered out. He didn’t move.

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Then today on a misty, cool morning my favorite type bird flew on top of our sundial to clean up seed I’d accidentally dropped after filling the nearby bird feeders. I grabbed my camera with telephoto lens and made this photo through the window glass over the kitchen sink. It’s not as sharp as it might have been had I been outside but these guys don’t linger so I had to get what I could. Photography is fun. Just keep your eyes open and camera handy.

Yard Flowers and a Tree

Grass in our yard is thick and green (thanks to those who maintain it, I sold my John Deere years ago). Mowing has yet to begin. As a result I’m seeing a few pretty wild flowers pop up in places. I guess some experts would just write them off as undesired weeds to be eradicated. Not me. I like them. Out back of the house is another blessing for me at this time of year. Our Weeping Pussy Willow Tree.

The fuzzy looking buds will soon fall off to be replaced by leaves and then the hanging branches will begin to lengthen over the summer creating a nice addition outside our back porch. I planted the tree a few years ago and it’s been enjoyable watching it grow taller. But, it has to be maintained though careful pruning. All this is the sort of light yard work I still do. And look forward to. Another mission.

The Blue Bird House

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Our neighbor George is a diligent worker. Slow but deliberate. When he sets his mind to start and complete a retirement project in between exploring trips, at home and overseas, he does so with usual success. He wanted to attract Blue Birds to nest in (what else) a “blue” house. It even has a metal roof.  I told him one day I’d make some photos of it and post herein for others to enjoy. As I did. He made every part by hand. I especially note the “windows.”

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Not to be denied…

Our recent snow in SW Virginia, melting fast, did not deter these little Pansies who “sought the sun.” Glad I saw this photo opportunity before it was lost. Advantage iPhone camera which is always in my pocket.

The Weather

Maybe it’s because I’m fully retired, with idle time on my hands, that I focus so much on the weather forecast. February and March have been rough months for us here in SW Virginia this year: below normal temperatures, lots of rain and some snow, and too many cloudy, dreary days that affected my attitude. Numerous smartphone weather Apps overload me with information. Long range forecasts depress me when they point to a continuation of bad weather. Today I’m in that predicament. The first day of Spring just passed and cold and snowy weather is predicted. This photo sums up my mood in that regard.

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I know better than to let this sort of thing affect me, but it does anyway. There’s a saying, “One can make their own weather … even if it’s in the mind.” I can’t control the weather but I can control how I react to it. The weather conditions and environment in the following photo is what I choose to focus on this week. How can I be any happier remembering that moment when I captured the image in Alaska last August.

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While in Alaska for a week, the weather was absolutely top-of-the-line. Mostly clear blue skies, long range views, warm temperatures, little if any rain, and total bliss as far as the incredible scenery was concerned. It was easy to be pleased with the weather then. What I have to do right now, dreary as it is outside, is to have the same level of joy I had in Alaska. Make my own weather.