Photographic WaterColors: Blog https://www.pxldoc.com/blog en-us Copyright(C)Andrew H. Towle photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) Wed, 29 Dec 2021 22:27:00 GMT Wed, 29 Dec 2021 22:27:00 GMT https://www.pxldoc.com/img/s/v-12/u687308868-o655493323-50.jpg Photographic WaterColors: Blog https://www.pxldoc.com/blog 120 80 Moments To Remember https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/5/moments-to-remember Click The Image To View The Gallery

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08 May 2021

Moments To Remember

Stephens Falls and Parfrey's Glen

Because it was Spring I wanted to return to Stephen's Falls. I asked Suze if she wanted to join me. She agreed. We arrived around 10:00 or 10:30. Wasn't exactly keeping track of time.

A moment to remember. In my excitement to get going and make sure I had the gear I wanted, I forgot the most important object for this excursion. My camera.

My iPhone 8 Plus was recruited as a suitable replacement. Funny thing, I acknowledged my forgetfulness and moved on without beating myself up about it. A step forward in looking at the situation and not letting emotion envelope my thoughts and actions.

It's a short walk to the falls. Suze mentioned she felt wobbly. Her walk down the precarious steps to the waterfall was laced with caution and regret.

She did soldier on tough though and sat and rested, recording a few videos of the falls. I looked for new angles and once again focused too much attention on the falls and not enough on the surroundings. I did offer a family the benefit of taking a family picture for them with the wife's phone/camera.

The iPhone worked of course and Suze and I made our way back to the parking area. By then we were thirsty, and sat in the car and drank our water. Of course, we needed to go back to Madison and pick up my camera.

Click the link to see: Stephens Falls

Suze decided not to continue with me to the next stop. Not having a decent breakfast she was shaky and thought it best to return, eat something, and rest. No worries were the first two words out of my mouth and after picking up my camera and dropping her off at her place I drove on into an unexpected encounter.

I enjoy the word encounter, it has such a mysterious connotation, no matter what the context. I punched in the directions on Maps in my phone and headed out. By the time I reached Prairie de Sac, a detour caused some consternation.

I started following the detour signs but soon realized this was going to take me too far out of my way. Turning back to Hwy 78 the road closed signs were pulled over onto the shoulder of the road where the road was previously blocked. That was a sure sign the road ahead was open.

Crossed my fingers, pressed my foot to the pedal, and drove on without a hitch. Parfrey's Glen was only about twelve more miles and it was reached without further incident. The parking lot, of course, was full.

Left my monopod in the car, shouldered the camera bag, strapped hat to head, and shuffled along the road to the trail. The hike to rushing water began, and not knowing what to expect loomed up a slightly inclining trail. Mostly families with young children and bored young couples with nothing to do were coming and going in both directions.

The paved trail soon surrendered to gravel, to rocky dirt. Several couples passed me by on their way to this escarpment of boulders and rushing water. I began to tire. It was hot and humid but refusing to rest became a mantra.

I did stop several times and shot a few images of the small creek running down the hill. Crossing a creek with logs and rocks for stepping stones while shouldering a backpack tends to throw my balance off. I slipped and landed in the creek without falling.

Now that my feet secured a baptism there wasn't much reason to attempt any more log and or rock crossings. When needed, I just stepped into the water and crossed over to the other side. The hike up to the rushing waterfalls area is about a mile and a half.

Another map states it is 1.7 miles. Either way, it was a roughshod hike over some boulders, through the water, and on to a declined area that passes for falls. Climbing over huge boulders with a pack tends to be intimidating. If a person loses their balance and falls, injury to one's camera could be serious.

Once again having expectations cause disappointments. The glen is not a waterfall in the expected description of a waterfall. You know, water rushing over a cliff and dropping down at the least a few feet and continuing on as a stream.

Not here. The water does rush, gush, and becomes white with foam. There is, however, no drop. There are two points where the stream pours overextended rock formations and drops to the next lower level.

Still, it is a beautiful area. It is also one of the most visited areas in the state. At least for those individuals who like this sort of adventure. I raise my hand, I'm one of 'em.

For the first few moments I'm there, it is quiet, peaceful, and filled with solitude which enriches my soul. The wonderful thought that I'm the only person in this world crosses my mind. I sigh in relief.

Way too soon. Families perk up over the rocks just as I am relaxing into a zone of comfort. Children ask parents if they can wade in the water by the shallow pool below the 'falls.' Couples take selfies, and admire their images with broad smiles and kisses.

I watch and shoot. The photojournalist in me will never leave. Once a person becomes an observer of people who captures their intimate moments the desire, the compulsion, the thirst to encapsulate humans as their relaxed selves is a rewarding imperative.

Standing as still as possible my aching hips, and wobbly legs realize it is time for a return trip to the oasis of my vehicle. Being this tired there is more of a risk of losing my balance and finding disaster on the way down. Carefully engaged boulders, dead slippery leaves, and the shallow creek allow me passage as I hobble down to safer ground.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will there be more like this? Of course.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/5/moments-to-remember Sat, 08 May 2021 13:21:16 GMT
Easter Eggs and Other Treats https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/4/easter-eggs-other-treats 04172021SEauClaireDells216ATwp04172021SEauClaireDells216ATwp

24 April 2021

Easter Eggs and Other Treats

Last weekend Friday,16, April, was the beginning of a three-week delayed trip up to the Dells of the Eau Claire River. When I first mentioned this to my friend Dave Keeffe, he was excited for us to explore some wildlife areas he has been going to for some time.

In the middle of Friday afternoon, I loaded my gear and took off to Wausau. Driving up I thought about how much had changed on the drive up to Wausau from the time I was in high school at Newman. Hwy 51 is now I-39 and four lanes all up and beyond Wausau.

Back then it was a two-lane highway, though not much traffic except around the various holidays. I wondered back then if I would ever see the completion of a 4 lane highway to central WI. Asked and answered, some 30 or 40 years later.

Linda and Dave greeted me warmly when I arrived and we discussed what was on all of our minds, food. We decided on curbside pick-up at Sconnie's, just down the road. Dave and I hopped in his van while our takeout was being readied, and went to a place he has been frequenting lately because of the Eau Claire River water flowage.

It was near Schofield Dam. Keeffe parked and we turned our cameras on, checked the light for metering purposes, and strolled over to the river. A few seagulls were resting on a log and four Great Blue Herons were fishing upstream, though too far away for any decent shots.

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An eagle decided to check us out, came our way but remained what seemed to be too far out of range. We fired off some shots anyway. Sconnies called to establish the cost for our separate meals but phone reception was poor, so we took off for the parking lot and waited for our food to be delivered curbside.

After our meal back at Linda and Dave's house, we sat around the dining room table and discussed our families for some time. We also discussed the various antics we have been up to, our assorted dysfunctions, and life in general. Dave put some of his photos up on their smart tv and we talked about them until we realized our bedtime had caught up to us.

In the morning we said goodbye to Linda as she was heading up to Lake Superior with a friend, and we headed out to a place called Steinke Pond. It is a wildlife area and a nesting place for migrating birds such as Canadian Geese, Sandhill Cranes,  Great Blue Herons, Mallards, Pied Bill Grebes, and many other birds of note.

Steinke Pond is North and East of Wausau and closer to Antigo than it is to Wausau. It is a great place for the kind of shooting Keeffe and I prefer. We left early enough in the morning so few nature lovers were out and about.

Every time we heard a strange call, we stopped and listened. Keeffe identified some of the calls. As he has been out and about a lot he has been able to identify many of the birds. I was impressed.

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We managed to spot a muskrat, took a few shots, and moved on. Those creatures are pretty fast in the water. Bigger than I expected too.

Being so far out, and away from a populated area, Steinke Pond's only sounds were bird calls, the wind, and an errant plane or two. Keeffe pointed out a two-story observation platform, and we took a short rest there. A chill wind kicked up while we were on the platform, and we returned to the path leading out.

We passed an elderly couple on our way back to the small parking area and Keeffe engaged them in a short conversation and pointed out the best place to spot two different Sandhill Crane nesting areas. He wondered out loud if they would see anything at all. I mentioned probably not.

The highlight of the trip, Dells of the Eau Claire River, is almost directly South of Steinke Pond. It did not take us long to get there. The parking lot was almost completely empty. A good sign.

I remember nothing from my childhood about 'The Dells,' except the falls, the rushing river, and the rock formations. The parking lot, the outdoor lodge, the picnic areas, and now newly added camping areas were strange and new to my mind and eyes.

We left the car, took the trail to the falls, and began our trek around the area. At this point, everything changed for me. I did not abide by one of my major 'rules,' concerning shooting; Slow down, take your time, observe first, then shoot.

I had a feeling of urgency. Like I was on a time schedule and needed to get it done. It was an emotion of shoot everything you can, get particular, isolated shots, and move on.

It wasn't until later that day when I realized I was in a frenzy while at 'the Dells.' Being aware of my state of mind, I doubted if any good shots might be revealed from my time there.

Looking at my images I feel the need to return. I missed the whole picture. It is not the first time.

After the 'Dells,' Keeffe and I took a break. We had been out all morning shooting. A little after noon we got food, had lunch, and took a well-deserved nap.

In the middle of the afternoon, we took our memory cards and loaded the images into our respective filing systems, and did a little editing. I was partly right about the 'Dells,' images.

Many were not exposed properly. I missed opportunities. A more comprehensive shoot is necessary to capture the many different angles of the waterfalls, rushing water, and the scenery encasing the 'Dells.'

Before having supper we went to Rookery Park on Rib Mountain Dr. Not much happening there. Our final late afternoon stop was Bluegill Bay Park. A Great Blue Heron and a few shots of a couple of Pied Bill Grebes was an excellent reward.

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After supper, Dave called his brother Kevin and asked him to come over. Dave still had their dried-out Christmas tree to burn and mentioned to Kevin it is a nice night to burn the tree and eat S'mores over the fire pit.

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Kevin brought his daughter Elle who had all the ingredients for S'mores. We chatted, burned or roasted, depending on your preference, marshmallows and ate our treats. We all took pictures of the blazing branches of the Christmas tree as it flamed high and crackled loudly. Dave took some nice shots of us as we were standing around. We looked weird in the firelight.

Sunday morning dawned with almost clear skies, a chill in the air, and a wildlife area about a half-mile from Dave and Linda's. Wow, how convenient. It is part of the Eau Claire River flowage coming into Wausau.

It was a great escape into what seemed like a wild area right in the middle of civilization. We followed the trail in and about 200 yards in Keeffe instructed me to go left, as the path forked into two different areas. Shortly thereafter a whitetail deer scampered north without a sound.

We heard and quickly saw a Sandhill Crane circling an area in some distress but the trees blocked any decent shots. We continued on. Eventually, we came to a crossing near a beaver lodge and almost gave up our trek. However, a beaver damn provided a damp crossing point and we took it.

As the morning warmed we began to see and shoot a modicum of turtles sunning themselves. Keeffe pointed out several places where he had previously shot more than 30 turtles sunning themselves on stray logs. We did not encounter quite that many.

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Woodpeckers chasing each other through the trees provided wild entertainment and a few crisp images. As we continued we reached one of Keeffe's favorite spots in this area. From a position by a tree on the bank of the river, one could see the river in a 180-degree arc.

It was a beautiful patch of ground to sit and contemplate one's surroundings. This particular speckle of ground was also an ideal vantage point for many photo ops. We saw another deer here though too far away for a decent shot. At least for me.

On the way back we noticed a Sandhill Crane on the ground where we previously saw and heard a Crane flying around in distress. We took a few shots. It wasn't until later when Keeffe discovered the Crane was standing right by its nest!

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I looked closely at my shots when he announced there was an egg in the nest. My shots revealed two eggs. The Crane had been rearranging the eggs. Perhaps to turn them over to warm them in the sun.

That's called 'an Easter egg;' a surprise treat not noticed until later.

Further, along on our way back, Keeffe recognized a Kingfisher call. We stopped in our tracks and waited. Poof! There it was across the river in a tree where we could see it. We took our shots, crossed our fingers, and hoped for the best.

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As we were nearing the parking lot I asked Keeffe if he had ever seen any snakes around here. He said no. Ha! Right after that statement a green snake slithered across the path in front of him.

 The whole weekend treat for me was more than expected. But then, I generally go into these sorts of things without expectation of 'Easter eggs' or any other kind of exciting surprises. The more you shoot the more opportunities are afforded you.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/4/easter-eggs-other-treats Tue, 27 Apr 2021 22:35:28 GMT
Driving Into Sunrise https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/3/driving-into-sunrise 12142017AmarilloSunrise008AT copy12142017AmarilloSunrise008AT copy

20 March 2021

Driving Into Sunrise

Dust in my shoes. I've pondered this need to move, to pick up stakes, and never plant myself like a tree in one place, more than a few times. What is this?

Did it begin during our trips across the country that always ended in California? Each summer a different route. First in a tent all the way, sometimes stopping in a farmer's field, plus the occasional campground.

Not so many back in the day. Not like now. Everywhere campgrounds and everything, for a price.

Did those early travelings prick me with a needle-filled fluid of constant movement? Is always being on the road an addiction, or an engine that never shuts down, but rather has idle moments. Once the engine engages is there no point of stopped movement? Is there always fuel waiting to fill that almost empty tank?

Was it the vast seemingly never-ending desolate desert, or the mountains, never knowing what might come around the bend, or the golden waving grain, blown by the rushed wind. Which bite of those moments sunk its teeth into my skin, piercing my soul, itching my body to travel, to push the horizon, cruising at full speed into each and every sunrise with the same urgent gaze.

Driving into sunrise shooting those moments, riding the road less traveled, finding those odd stretches of America most people do not stop and wander about. No, they beat the speed limit hoping to make it home before sunset.

No matter how permanent each living space seemed, there was always a tent in the closet or the trunk. Pouring over maps of any state of travel consumed free time like holidays gave others a respite from the everyday rituals of living. The road was never far away.

Sometimes I stopped when the road was a ghost, got out of my car, and just looked up and inhaled the Milky Way with bright eyes. There is no joy as happy as knowing our galaxy is nothing but a pinpoint in the universe. I'd raise my arms to the night and beg for ascension into the stars.

Then there were roads where the rain ahead looked so terrible I'd never want to ride my Honda Shadow ever again. 60 miles per hour rain is cold as ice in the summer of New Mexico. There is no shelter in the desert.

Eventually, the packed suitcase, the shoulder bag, and the bathroom kit became more of a burden and less of a secure and safely impermanent standard of this tumbleweed life. Even in the permanence of a house in the country, I needed to walk the morning, watch the darkness release its night coat, and surrender to each sunrise.

The meditation of this ritual gave me that wandering relief. Being out in the wild breathed its own kind of life into a long-traveled spirit. The constant thrum of this practice enriched my life in the same way the hum of wheels over the road soothed the vibrating motorcycle of existence.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/3/driving-into-sunrise Sun, 21 Mar 2021 12:26:18 GMT
Icicles Dripping Hurriedly https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/3/icicles-dripping-hurriedly 03062021StephensFalls066ATwp03062021StephensFalls066ATwp

08 March 2021

Icicles Dripping Hurriedly

Some time ago, the memory of when escapes me, I became intrigued with the waterfalls of this state. I had no idea WI has so many until I typed in a search on the internet. More than 100. Wow.

How cool is that? I decided to spend this spring, summer, and fall embracing these natural wonders. Stephens Falls was the first, as it was also the closest.

It is located in Governor Dodge State Park just north of Dodgeville, WI. on State Highway 23. Driving from Madison on Hwy 151 it is 42 miles west, and a few miles north on Hwy 23.

Take the Hwy 18 exit off of Hwy 151 at Dodgeville, and look for the Hwy 23 signs north. Governor Dodge State Park will be about a mile and a half up the road on the right.

Saturday, March 6, 2021, was a great sunny spring day with nary a cloud in the sky and only a slight breeze. The small parking lot near the waterfall was almost full, but people were leaving in twos, and threes, so getting a space was easy.

Getting down to the waterfall took an unexpected turn. The path from the road into the woods was slushy, and a little slippery. A sign of things to come.

As I approached the woods a young man coming from the waterfall observed me with a camera and began shouting, 'Take my picture! Take my picture!' I ignored him. He stopped asking and continued on his way.

When he was about 20 yards behind me I turned around and shouted 'Hey!' He turned around and saw I was taking his picture and immediately thrust his arms into the air with his index fingers pointing to the sky.

I shot a burst, lowered my camera from my face, and shouted 'Gotcha!' He was one happy fellow. Unexpected moments yield some of the best images.

The path changed from open field to close woods with a safety rail along the edge of the cliff leading to the waterfall. Looking down I heard gurgling water and saw a family of three, mom, dad and little girl coming up the path holding on tight to the metal pipe railing. Oh, oh, a slippery slope of icy natural stone stairs was in my immediate future.

It was a warm sunny day, and I thought gloves or sturdy hiking boots were not needed. I was ill-prepared for the final leg of this shoot. Having never been here before I did not realize it involved a descending staircase covered with winter's deviously slick and slithery ice-coated steps of stone.

I took the least frightful path and slid down the steps, embracing gravity but holding on to the cold iron pipe railing with a chokehold grip. I fell at the end of this slimy ride but grateful to make it down safely.

My hands were cold from holding onto the pipe railing, so I stopped at a nearly flat area and surveyed my surroundings. The water flow was a mere trickle. Sort of like a sprinkler with low water pressure.

The area around the waterfall is shaped like a softly rounded wide 'V' with a small stream barely moving along a southeast direction away from the falls. The stone walls encompassing the waterfall have frozen areas of water on either side.

Observing these areas it looks like water was flowing in a rush down the walls when frigid air suddenly froze them in place. It was like stop motion one sees in the movies. I found it quite surreal, and wonderful to behold.

There were several patches of numerous icicles dripping hurriedly onto the rock bed of the stream. There was a large overhang near the waterfall where I was able to stand under it and take a few images of the icicles from the backside looking out toward the stream and other rock walls.  

I was there for nearly an hour, but other small groups of people began arriving and I knew it was time to leave. But first, I had to wait until no one was coming down so I could ascend. Now it was me against gravity and the slickest iciest stairs ever.

I watched an older couple coming down the steps. They were seasoned winter hikers. They had ski poles and crampons on their hiking boots. They wore light but protective clothing in anticipation of sudden movements they might need to make.  

It took some time but I wrangled my way back to the top without falling, sliding, or breaking any part of my body. The cold pipe rail was not so cold going up. I was grateful for that.

A man waiting for me to clear the path asked me if it was worth the pictures I shot. I said the most exciting part was getting back up the stairs. He and his partner laughed out loud.

When those two men reached the bottom I shouted down to them, and yes it was worth every image! I took a few shots of the path with all those muddled and mushed footprints in the snow leading to and from the waterfall. It was a small indication of the number of people who came here to see this frail natural wonder of this part of Wisconsin.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.


Click the link below to view Stephens Falls Gallery

https://www.pxldoc.com/p852553952

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/3/icicles-dripping-hurriedly Tue, 16 Mar 2021 11:59:22 GMT
But That's Another Story https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/but-thats-another-story 10282019BandonSplash717ATwp10282019BandonSplash717ATwp

December 26, 2020

But That's Another Story

The first time I attempted to meditate I had just applied for a job at Pohlman Studios in Milwaukee, WI. It was a commercial studio whose biggest client at the time was Harley-Davidson. Surprisingly enough I got an interview with the head photographer.

I wanted that job so bad I was ready to cheat, lie, steal, and do anything else I could to get it. I did none of those things. Bobbie had just gotten a nursing job at St. Joseph Hospital two blocks from our apartment, and I was anxious to be employed too.

Not much of a person to get on my knees and pray, I did not do that. I thought I'm a hypocrite if I prayed now and not when things were going well and when they weren't.

While Bobbi was at work I sat on the floor in the living room, crossed my legs, relaxed my hands in my lap, closed my eyes, and for twenty minutes every day, I imagined myself working in the studio, shooting products, talking to clients, and doing everything the head photographer, Tom Condi asked of me.

I got the job! I thought it might have been the meditation. But I did not meditate again until recently.

Having now meditated again daily for almost a year, I know that is not how meditation works. Or perhaps maybe it does, and I've only been introduced to one form of it. Sue Kennedy introduced me to a program or App, whichever you prefer, on her iPhone, called Calm.

Calm is more than meditation. It offers sleep help, music for calming, meditation, breathing exercises, and other ways to relate to the world and minimize stress. It is a monthly subscription on your phone.

When I began again it was easy to get into the groove, sit relaxed, and be calm for ten minutes every day. I started with Jeff Warren and his 30 days of meditation. It was a course on how to meditate.

After the 30 days, I set my timer for ten minutes without Jeff and found myself lost. I took the course again, and then again. I found I was unable to concentrate without a voice in my ear.

But 90 days of Jeff was getting redundant. I knew I needed something else. I searched Calm for others and found Tamara Levitt. There is always an introduction with her, but her technique is not teaching, rather relaxing and focusing on concentration.

It is also ten minutes. I knew I needed more than that. After the morning session with her, I have a timer set for 15 minutes. No voice, just the sounds of my left ear humming, the refrigerator noise, the clock ticking on the wall, and other ambient sounds that pass through.

I listen to the sounds, accept the sounds I do hear, and then let go of them. I can still hear them but only as ambient noise. They are part of the environment of silence I am in. My focus becomes the pattern of my breathing, the feeling of my body, my relaxed position in my chair.

Everything fades. I hear only the air as it enters my lungs, and escapes again. My breath, the in and out of air in each and every inhale and exhale is a point of focus.

Thoughts come and go. I do not suppress them. Like a mosquito buzzing around the room, thoughts swirl in and then swirl out. My breath, my inhales, and my exhales are the focus, the concentration.

This process strengthens my ability to think, to realize each moment as it is. Most people think great ideas will come into mind as you meditate. No, the daily practice of meditation reveals itself outside, when you are living life.

I thought when I started because I fell into the concentration mode so quickly the rest of everything else would come quickly too. Not so. Meditating is much like life itself.

I wanted a quick fix. I thought this was it. There is no such thing.

Sometimes I have trouble with a solid point of focus and have difficulty meditating. That is ok. That is life.

Sometimes I sit in relaxation and meditation is over in a heartbeat, or so it seems. Each time there is a different feeling, a different experience. It's okay. It's life.

There is never an agenda. One comes into meditation with no expectation of an outcome. I think that is why I fell back into it with such ease.

My days as a photojournalist were exactly like that. Whenever I went on an assignment I focused on no expected outcome. Each outcome was its own reward.

The same was always true for my morning walks. Does that mean I have unconsciously been meditating for most of my adult life? I have no idea.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/but-thats-another-story Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:43:49 GMT
Rodents of the Courtyard https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/rodents-of-the-courtyard 12192021GreySquirrelMunching117ATwp12192021GreySquirrelMunching117ATwp

January 16, 2021

Rodents of the Courtyard

Editing the Afternoon Walk images of this squirrel it was noticed its fur had many brown patches or areas on its body tinted brown. A curious find not noticed before among the small population of these creatures within the confines of the courtyard of Stone Ridge Apartment Homes. Is this discovery due to my laxing skill of observation, and only finding it upon closer observation while editing?

These brown patches were most noted around the head and ears of this creature. I wonder if I looked closer at other members of this cadre if I could identify them according to the lack of said coloring or because of it.  Is 'Brownie' a proper name for this creature?

Perhaps future and further observations will reveal more interesting results. I have noticed three other squirrels within this population. Mostly when they forage and compete for what little food supplies are available. Not much chirping like chipmunks but rapid chasing, posturing, and territorial guarding of certain trees and areas within the courtyard.

Recently one of the larger and more massive trees in the courtyard has been chained sawed out of existence. A shocked and disturbing surprise brought some sadness into my heart concerning this destruction. Why? was my immediate question.

Safety? was my first response. Perhaps there was a need to take this large, formidable, shade-filled tree down and annihilate its massive limbs, and trunk for possible burning or grinding to sawdust. My emotional response of sadness could not reconcile its loss because I did not know the reason for its demise.

The squirrels were equally responsive though in a much different way. There was much scattering, scrambling, and wild scampering around the courtyard. When the crew finally left with the tree chain-sawed into chunks of wood, one of the squirrels pounded over to the stump, sniffed it, and scurried around the area as if looking for the rest of the tree.

I wonder if any of the bushy-tailed rodents of the courtyard had a stash of nuts or other food hidden somewhere in the tree? My thoughts were about the squirrels, and the why of this gone tree. This tree filled a need in the courtyard.

It provided needed shade in the summer. It was a marvelous living, breathing, and comforting presence in this small but welcome courtyard. The large trunk and huge long limbs reaching for the sky were constant wonders of the growth of trees and their unique beauty. It contributed a place of rest, food, and safety for squirrels, birds, and chipmunks. Why? discard it.

The squirrels seem to have scattered from this place. Are they looking for a new respite from humans? Will they come back and inhabit this courtyard again?

My fascination with the striped rodents who mainly stay on the ground and their bushy-tailed tree-dwelling relatives who resided in the remaining trees will continue. However, that huge gaping hole in the courtyard will be a constant sigh of sadness. Change, as usual, is the only constant in every life, in every breath ever breathed.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/rodents-of-the-courtyard Sat, 16 Jan 2021 14:10:48 GMT
A Treasured Place https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/a-treasured-place 01092021StoneRidgeIcicles160ATwp01092021StoneRidgeIcicles160ATwp

January 03, 2021

A Treasured Place

Storytelling incidents hang around edges of the mind like melting icicles off the edge of a roof. Drip-dropping thoughts liquid with prose fall as gravity allows. Temperature is always a factor with cold air warm enough as it transforms ice into miracles of water.

Mundane thoughts and ideas whip around the mind like clouds expecting to be dust devils or major whirlpools engaging the only acreage available. The freshly groomed minds of readers bold enough to venture out of their comfort zones tempt the wind. Take a breath and hold the air captive as your lungs allow.

The exchange from inhale to exhale is like a currency. Breaths of equal value calm the body with their soft rhythm. Muscles relax, bones feel their weight, and air becomes a monetary symbol of life ever on.

One cannot exist without the other. A persistent barter, Oxygen in, CO2 out like a bellows in a blacksmith caldron. The clicks of keyboard keys is no match for the constant ringing clang of a blacksmith's hammer shaping the hot red/yellow metal.

Seven days later this thread continues. Occasionally words stop coming into consciousness. Much like the blacksmith's forge fire burns out, so to words cease their hot flow from mind to electronic paper.

This passage is like a rest stop. Everything concerning the written word opens the door and silence embraces the mind like a bubble of protection. Whatever catalyst enables more words renders the silence moot and inconsequential.

Scenes of driving roads I've known for years continue their presence in my thoughts. The motto of 'Forward!' flares its banner across Observatory Dr. and meets my thoughts like an old man declaring who knows at this stage of life no other action is better. Sometimes I close my eyes and drive the roads.

They have been driven so often it is easy. I know where the bumps are, the smooth tight corners pull me into the curve and the pressured pedal increases my speed as the hum of the engine becomes the only sound worth hearing. My eyes scan the road like a beam of radar looking for elk, deer, or the occasional coyote.

The peace of the drive is a prayer. These are sacred moments. I'm only a visitor now.

I laugh. Pete Aleshire comes to mind. He always wondered how I shot some of the road scenes he could never capture.

When I left the Payson Roundup I finally told him my secret. I shot them while driving. Because the passage on these highways was so frequent I knew where all the good shots were. There was no need to stop. The point of view would never be the same as from the driver's seat.

I never saw a more blank face than his at that moment. He could not believe it. Unable to process how I could do such a thing, he had no response.

01092021StoneRidgeIcicleReflections168ATwp01092021StoneRidgeIcicleReflections168ATwp

Highway 60 and Highway 260 in Arizona will always hold a treasured place in my heart/mind. Hwy 60 mostly because of the Salt River Canyon, though not completely. There are other scenically satisfying vistas found nowhere else.

Hwy 260 has the Mogollon Rim challenge, both up it and down it. My challenge of the Rim drive was coasting downhill as fast as my vehicle would allow. My goal was always to reach 90 mph. Never happened.  

When I came to the top of the rim going toward Payson, which is South and West. I took my foot off the gas pedal and just let the car go downhill. If there were no other vehicles on the road I did not use my brakes, having learned on the Canyon drive how to accomplish that.

The highest speed ever attained was 80 mph. I never pushed the gas pedal to go faster on these challenges. If no cars: No brakes, no gas pedal. So much for goals.

It feels like more words are needed. But why? What purpose to continue? The remainder of this thread took off on a new tac and now it is finished. Fill in what may be empty spaces for your own mind. Imagine. What else is there to tell?

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/a-treasured-place Sun, 10 Jan 2021 15:53:49 GMT
Dusty Lens https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/dusty-lens    * 08172013Aug.RodeoDelvecchioKaye618AT* 08172013Aug.RodeoDelvecchioKaye618AT   My last rodeo. After shooting many of them the excitement was sometimes the encompassing aroma of tingled nerves, parched throat, and dusty lenses, as the star spangled banner announced the beginning of another event. I do not regret one moment of those days. I found this post on an extra hard drive while looking for something else. Isn't it the way? 

     August 01, 2013

Dusty Lens

     I think cowboys are crazy. Who, in a sane world, gets on the back of a 1300 lb. animal that doesn’t want you there? And, attempt to ride it for 8 seconds? Be it horse, bull, or scared steer running for its life from two guys with ropes?


    People used to say, ‘Only in America’, such craziness. But, the human spirit seeks challenge and finds it in insane ways. Rodeos probably evolved from some vaquero betting another he couldn’t get on the back of a bull and ride it without getting hurt. And from there, it just kept going.


    Then along came photographers. They are crazy, to begin with, and have no excuse. The events got recorded and published and helped the ‘sport’ grow.


    I was excited to shoot my first rodeo, back in 2007. Being the first time for such an activity I didn’t know what to expect, what to shoot, or how to shoot it. It was an advantage. Fresh eyes see, sometimes, what old eyes don’t.
    

    What’s it like to shoot a rodeo, on the floor, so to speak? First word, dangerous; animals are hard to read and predict, even if you’ve been around them for a long time. They do the unexpected.     

 

    Second word, adrenaline rush; knowing you are in a place where a large animal can stomp you, kick you, crush you, gore you, ram you and toss you anywhere has a certain ability to increase the flow of juice in your system. This can be a good thing. Having your senses at their peak sharpens the sense of urgency and opportunity for ‘getting the shot’ right in front of you, closer than anyone else can get. Some of my best images are rodeo.


    Third word, boring; I know, that’s opposite of everything else, but between events, there is nothing to do but have the heat, dust, and hot muggy air, contaminate your energy.


    Fourth word, opportunity; the audience is always different. This is a chance for many of them to see a rodeo this one time. They want to identify with the cowboys. And they dress in Scottsdale cowboy fashion, a shooter's dream. But, the real attraction is the men and women who rodeo. Most of them are ‘Salt of the earth’, honest, straight shooters, who give you what’s on their mind, and you can do with it whatever. They are always who they are and this is the opportunity to shoot them raw and real.


    Fifth and final word, finality; a rodeo is like a wedding: a photographer has only one chance to shoot a wedding and get it right. Rodeos are like that. Each one is a ceremony and event, but each one is unique and you only get this one chance to shoot it right.

082008rodeo370AT082008rodeo370AT
    Shooting rodeos is a hot, windy, grimy activity with little satisfaction; the really good shots are an oasis in a desert of images. You shoot what you can, you shoot what you must, sometimes you get it, and sometimes it’s dust. I still think cowboys are crazy. But, I’m a photographer, and I have no excuse.

 

    Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2021/1/dusty-lens Sat, 09 Jan 2021 15:02:11 GMT
Six Days Later https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/12/six-days-later 10272020BakedEarthLaughingSun102ATwp10272020BakedEarthLaughingSun102ATwpBaked Earth Laughing Sun

December 12, 2020

Six Days Later

Several mornings ago, who knows when a first waking thought was a challenge posed to Ernest Hemingway. Maybe this challenge is a myth. I do not know

The challenge was: write a short story using only six words. Hemingway's response was impossibly magnificent. "For sale, baby shoes, never used."

The profundity of that did not strike me with its full impact until that first waking thought of several days ago. What did you think when you read that? An entire nine months can possibly go through your mind.

A hospital birth ending in tragedy can whirl your brain. A screaming ride to an emergency room or doctor’s office might take shape and form in your imagination. Only to have a newborn death on arrival.

You become the writer of that story because of what you know and think from reading those six, simple, depressingly poignant words. Hemingway, according to history, was a lot of things. Above everything else, he was the master of simple, eloquent sentences.

I’ve read a few of his books. Though his politics, love of the bullfight, and his constant romance with alcohol, put me off. It may be time to re-visit his writings and absorb whatever is available for me of his talent. One must put personal preference aside and read because of the lessons embodied in his gift of writing.

Our prejudices restrict our learning. There’s a lesson. Be mindful of the person but soak up the gift, and use the knowledge gained from every writing.

Practice writing at every opportunity. I believe one of my major assets is the cultivation of my voice of writing over the years. I think it began long before the creative writing class I took in Payson, AZ. This is where I first thought my voice was awakened.

I currently believe it began when I started writing letters back home while in the Air Force stationed in Germany. There was a lot of free time when not working. Not large chunks of time, like days on end, but those smaller blocks of time; three hours here, maybe half of a day there. That sort of time.

Those were segments when a person could find a quiet place and write to Christy Mason, or mom and dad, or whomever else one might think about. Not sure how to write to anyone, I wrote as if I was having a conversation. It transferred from pen to paper with the least effort.

My preferred writing materials were a yellow legal pad, and black ink pens with a fine, thin flow of words. The legal pads were large. I could write in the margins, and the yellow paper was softer than white.

I liked the thin pens without tip covers. Those tips were always getting lost or misplaced and hard to keep track of. The ‘click’ pens hid the ballpoint tips when not being used. One could put them in a shirt pocket and have it at the ready when needed.

It wasn’t long before I tired of writing. My handwriting is not good. The Air Force taught me typing and I took advantage of that.

I do not remember acquiring a typewriter but apparently, I did. I remember Otto? the German boxer asking if he could borrow my typewriter for something he had to write. He was so grateful he gave me a sweatshirt from the sports club he belonged to.

I still have the shirt. I never wore it much, but I kept it because it was a gift from his heart. Otto took care of the gym on base, and the sports equipment we used.

Having the typewriter changed things. I wrote a lot more. It was faster. Thoughts flow through the mind quickly. Typing got them out without losing the thread of thoughts waiting for conveyance from mind to paper.

That is the real origin of my voice. What changed was being honest. That occurred in the creative writing class.

Hemingway killed himself with a shotgun. A shotgun. How messy is that? Ugh. I’ll bet that was a closed casket.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

 

 

 

 

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/12/six-days-later Wed, 23 Dec 2020 20:33:16 GMT
The Unexpected Circumstance https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/12/the-unexpected-circumstance 12112020BassGuitar771ATwp12112020BassGuitar771ATwpBass Guitar

 

December 20, 2020

The Unexpected Circumstance

On December 11, in the early afternoon as I was leaving my apartment building one could not help but notice the electric bass guitar leaning against the fire hydrant near our driveway entrance. Yes, of course, my iPhone was used to record the unexpected circumstance. The guitar remained in place until sometime later in the night, perhaps the early morning.

Questions? Absolutely. How could there not be questions?

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Who? Who knows? A lost guitarist? A vengeful friend? A jilted lover exacting a price? Perhaps a drug-influenced musician on a rant against the music world because of a slight, or a fateful rejection, set it there and walked away.

Maybe someone was moving and in their haste to pack up the guitar was forgotten in the rush of some other crisis. So many possibilities. All of them true.

The following morning I thought of the guitar early after rising and went to the entrance and glanced out the thin stripe of a window to the left of the door. The blue bodied instrument with "Rogue" in script at the end of the fretboard on the body of the guitar was gone

I sighed. I was disappointed. I was hoping it was still there and thought I might get a glimpse of someone jumping out of a car in a rush and quickly snatching it up and driving off with a whoop and a holler.

No such luck. Just the fire hydrant, the settling snow, and the cold wind pushing flakes around in a swirl. At least I had a clear image of this mysterious guitar event. Speculation ran rampant in my mind.

What a short story. It has possibilities. What is my favorite tale in this happenstance event?

Turn down the lights. Close your eyes. There is a woman at the crux of this tale.

Across town near Milwaukee Street and Stoughton Road, there is a cowboy bar. Really, in Madison, Wisconsin. No names, please.

Every Thursday and Friday night the bar hosts a local group of musicians of any flavor who have the time and the inclination to play there. December 10, a Thursday, The Saddle Back Band took to the small stage and entertained what passed for a crowd in a night of a heavy snowfall.

The bass guitar player, heavy with long hair beginning to show white, had one too many beers between the first and last set of the evening. His girlfriend was flirting with a member of the audience. At the table closest to the band.

Of course, the bass player started out with a few verbal insults, to her and the man she was toying with. The words became shouts. The shouts turned a corner of aggression and the drunken bass player was soon knocked down and out, laying across the table, wet with spilled drinks.

You know the rest.

How about this? The Saddle Back Band has four members in the group. A lead guitar, also the lead singer, a rhythm guitar, a bass guitar, and a drummer. The lead, the rhythm, and the drummer were waiting at the cowboy bar for the bass player.

He was late as usual. It was his trademark. It's why the group usually told him their gigs were an hour before they really were. Most of the time he came on time then.

Snow was beginning to fall. They were getting impatient. The drummer was a practical joker. He suggested after the gig was over the lead guitar and the rhythm should distract the bass, and he, the drummer would sneak the bass guitar out of the room and hide it somewhere.

But where? said the lead. Why not make it a scavenger hunt? said the rhythm. Great idea, said the drummer.

Let's add a little twist, said the lead. Let's each pick a place to hide the guitar around town somewhere outside. Do not tell where you want to hide it. We'll each have a place in mind.

Then what? said the rhythm.

Well, we'll ask the bartender to pick who should go first. That person will go hide it in the spot they pick and leave written clues for the rest of us. Whoever finds it first then takes it to their hiding place and leaves clues for the rest of us again as to where they hid it. We can keep this up forever.

The drummer gave a loud Yee-ha! as the rhythm and lead shouted and laughed in unison. Thus began the roaming scavenger hunt of a bass guitar. I wonder where that guitar is now?

Olbrich Gardens? Owen Conservation Park? The Epic Campus? The bust at the end of Henry Mall on the UW campus? Oh my, the possibilities are endless.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/12/the-unexpected-circumstance Mon, 21 Dec 2020 13:23:19 GMT
Falling Off The Edge https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/12/falling-off-the-edge 07072019SouthGibraltarRockPark556ATwp07072019SouthGibraltarRockPark556ATwpSouth view Gibraltar Rock State Park

December 06, 2020

Falling Off The Edge

This year is falling off the edge of time and into oblivion. What a long, terribly anxious year it has been. Almost everyone in the world is celebrating its demise.

 A conundrum of my own is the ability to write emotionally but not speak with emotional words. There was no awareness it was an issue until I began seeing Dr. Johnson, and my lack of verbal expression with emotional words was pointed out.

Now I know why when attempting to speak sometimes the connection from brain to tongue cannot cross that great divide. It's like wondering if having another espresso right now is a good idea or not. There is nothing but silence.

My mind twirls with excitement as the froth of the liquid swirls in the cup. Another sip rushes the senses, but verbal expression pours not from pitcher to receptacle. The mantra of success: practice, practice, practice; whispers my tongue in a barely audible reply.

Where does this gift come from? How write are these words? All those long moments of intense observations without expression stored in a warehouse of memory manage their appearance when necessary.

Grateful effusion is heartfelt when sentences, paragraphs, and commentaries resonate in the minds of others. Too hot to touch the small ceramic cup with its steaming liquid remains undrunk while waiting on its coaster like a leftover vessel. Approval of effort will shine forth whenever a consequence is realized.

Every day burdens wear thin on the shoulders but become heavy with age. How long the carry lasts may be determined by personality, events without control and a measured degree of mental agility while the weight increases. Although we may be masters of our lives; circumstance, peace of mind, and attitude are the blenders of most outcomes.

Ah, yes, the year seemed long with stress, and without much relief from those oh so many short-tempered tantrums between even the best of friends. Times of quiet repose were like refreshing drinks hardly sipped between bouts of conflict. Savor the sip touching your tongue as you slowly swallow a fresh volume quenching not your thirst but the need for liquid.

Now feel your lungs expand as you inhale, notice the pause before you exhale your tension, and relax your mind. Conflict is another word for challenge. Replace this definition and strive for better outcomes.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/12/falling-off-the-edge Sun, 20 Dec 2020 15:53:22 GMT
By The Clock https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/11/by-the-clock 11222020WebOfBranches106ATwp11222020WebOfBranches106ATwp

November 22, 2020
By The Clock

Faint sirens fade from West to East on Mineral Point Road, as squirrels chatter and scramble between four hugely present trees in this back courtyard of the Stone Ridge Apartment Homes property on Island Dr. The courtyard remains vacant almost all year. Few inhabitants of this complex partake of its peacefully quiet space.

It is late morning, and the dishes have been used and washed and used again for breakfast and washed, again. They sit patiently in the dish drain waiting. My right thumb throbbed for several hours from the burn of hot water while cleansing the Nespresso Espresso Inissia machine.

There is currently a debate going on in the hemispheres of my mind concerning the purchase of a new Nespresso Espresso machine. Cleaning this machine this morning became a burned thumb accident and a frustratingly tedious job. I'm now not sure if it will work properly again or not.

Two eggs, over easy, and two slices of turkey ham, on a paper plate in a sturdy plastic holder, were this morning's feast. A large second cup of coffee, too hot to drink, cooled while The AARP magazine opened to the Bruce Springsteen article. I read the article with little interest.

For an unknown reason, though I like some of his music, this particular musician does not ring in my ear as someone I need to listen to. Reading all the lyrics from his latest album "Letter To You" did not register with me.

A few songs piqued interest, but no profound meaning in his words caught my thoughts. There is a disconnect. And I so wanted a link, an association, a bond with his words.

I did not hear him early enough in my life? Other sounders touched me with deeper meaning before I heard his brand? Maybe my mind was looking down different streets in a smaller town and could not make the streets meet at the corner.

Whatever it is, disappointment spread itself across my horizon as I listened to and read the lyrics. I did hear a hint of Bob Dylan in the harmonica, and some words of several songs. But then Dylan has lost favor with me anyway.

The search continues for a different voice hoping for a companion with Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Dan Fogelberg, Carole King, and Bruce Cockburn. After all, one needs many different sources in order to spin off other prosaic words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. Enrichment from widely diverse founts fuels and fires every creative endeavor.

By the clock, morning is closing its window, as afternoon opens its curtains and begins its march through the cloud-shrouded sky. A solitary image was shot early on though it may never find its way to publishing on the website.

The gap between creative images continues to grow wider, like the universe as it pushes everything further away from everything else. From seconds to minutes, to hours, to days, to weeks, to months, to years, to decades, light fades, and images lose their luster.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/11/by-the-clock Sun, 22 Nov 2020 17:52:36 GMT
Subjects of Regret https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/10/subjects-of-regret 08232020DancingCloudsOfMorning086ATwp08232020DancingCloudsOfMorning086ATwp

October 03, 2020

Subjects of Regret

Subjects of regret and lost opportunities break over my mind like winter waves on a California beach, wind-whipped, with cold and hard shivering goose-bumped skin

All across these moments have come and gone some linger, some flee with such haste they are flashed exposures similar to never bought wedding proofs. In these cold empty memories, silence reigns as if sound never heard anything but echoes of screamed regret. In those screamed moments my body shuddered, and my mind trembled as those screams expressed all those thoughts never given voice.

This is a mind with so many songs to sing. Like a frozen winter, there is no ground only snow, melting whenever it touches these fingers so ready to spill the blood of all my thoughts. Every sentence clashing like lightning holds its place refusing to leave these clouds with so much rain floods look like puddles, and thoughts become ocean surfing letters to a beached blond paper which cannot hold anything resembling ink.

Where on this landscape is there room for simple sentences, and plain thought arranged on the grass in simple, easy phrases anyone can understand? Never guilty as charged. Worshipped words are those which bring poetic positions into starlight clarity as sentences touch any mind with wonder, beauty and a sense of the lightness of being.

Burton Road images never knew their value until they became memories. Always future reflections see the past with a mirror. Look, regret sends a greeting card, an invitation to evaluate and attempt to understand now what we did not understand in those previous moments of action.

All these images only have meaning when the context needs no explanation. Any, every, and all images capture but one moment in a forever flow of information. The trophy sought on these moments is clarity - a quality of being coherent and intelligible. All those finger pressed instances regard time with an irony of eternal humor.

As usual, this is not where my journey began. Walking down an old road always brought fresh thoughts. Now the road does not call. Thoughts are old, tired, and tread so many times it is at a point of boredom.

There are no voices howling in the brush waiting to stalk me. Waiting instead in a perfect sitting pose, proper, straight and vastly formal. It is one of my favorite images. It was a new year's morning of some 20'something year. I do not remember without looking it up.

My writing journey began in a creative writing class in Payson, AZ. Wait, that is not right. My writing journey began with Sue Arnold. My creative writing began with Ray Bradbury, which broke out into my own in a creative writing class in Payson, AZ.

Another person who worked at the Payson Roundup took the class with me. They never managed to write with their blood. They danced around the knives of honest writing, getting close to the skin but never piercing the meat of their own truth. Cutting open your wounds in creative writing is the only way to release yourself and find your blood on the paper.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/10/subjects-of-regret Sun, 18 Oct 2020 20:16:45 GMT
A Long Time Gone https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/9/a-long-time-gone 090162020HourGlass104ATwp090162020HourGlass104ATwp

September 16, 2020

A Long Time Gone

Random thought awake at 2:00 am. When Bobbi had me ejected from the house that March 8th night, in 1980, she did not want me back. Just now I realize that? Wow.

All these years later, and suddenly I am awake with her thoughts about getting out of the marriage and away from me. She didn't think I'd get sober. She was counting on me staying a drunk.

What does that say about her? What does it say about me? Two extremely wounded people who were grasping with their lives, and not knowing how to cope.

And cope we did. I became a dry drunk for some period of time. She adjusted, adapted, but began looking for a way out of the marriage. I think these thoughts now, not then. I was still totally clueless in Sconnie, in Rochester, MN, and later, in Arizona.

Meditation has brought these thoughts to my awake mind. I think them now without rancor, without bitterness, without malice, and without pain. A sense of wonder floods me with its otherworldly detachment.

I have been asleep to these things for so long. Finding out about her two affairs after we moved to AZ. gave me a long pause when I accidentally discovered them. What startled me the most was my lack of emotional response.

There was no anger, just wonder. There was no shock, just a thought of Wow! There was surprise.

I was so blind. I trusted her with such deep faith it never dawned on me she strayed and found someone else, twice. I wonder if there were others?

Perhaps her disgust at being with me, or lack of courage to file for a divorce, forced her rebellion into doing what she believed to be the most egregious actions she could muster.
 
She probably hoped I would find out and file for divorce. The thought of her having an affair never entered my mind. I'll wager there were major clues she probably dropped all over the place. I never picked up on them.

And then we began sleepwalking our relationship. Going through the motions, not really doing anything together but holding onto each other with no real plan for a future together as we began to age.

But then I learned to use computers, especially Macs. That was a turning point as far as our relationship goes. Once I earned my certificate as a desktop publisher, what a laugh now, I got a few minor jobs.

I knew there were more jobs out there to be had. Finding the photo-journalist job in Show Low kicked off our separation and led us down our own distinctly different paths.

Being in two different cities gave us different perspectives of each other. Oddly enough, if memory serves, which it usually doesn't do accurately, I was pretty ok with our situation. She was not.

She found someone else and told me about Madison in a round-about-way. I figured it out by the hints she dropped. In anger, in an immature response, I retaliated and began looking for someone in Show Low.

Of course, she finally let me know she wanted a divorce. I think she held off until her mom died. I could be wrong but I think she did not have the fortitude to do it while Gert (her mom) was still alive. I was fine with that.

By then Becky and I were sleeping together as were Bobbi and Madison. It was all pretty amicable. Becky did pressure me to hurry up the process as she was getting anxious. After all, we had set a date for our own marriage, and time was ticking.  

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2020/9/a-long-time-gone Wed, 16 Sep 2020 19:34:55 GMT
A Piece Of Time https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/11/a-piece-of-time Click The Image To View The  Gallery

November 26, 2019

A Piece of Time

It was 1969 in Ulm/Neu Ulm, Germany. Three Air Force friends were waiting to depart and begin their journey back to civilian life. Terry Groat, Worth Reis, and Richard Findtner were saying their last good-byes.

I feigned sleep. I did not want them to see me cry. I tend to hold on; to people, things, memories, romantic ideas, stuff like that.

In one of Worth's bags or trunk lockers was a photo album titled, "A Piece Of Time". While stationed together I learned to use a camera, process film, and print pictures. I gave him the album as a memento of our time together.

I forgot all about it. I do not remember taking the pictures, or printing them or even assembling the album. Those moments are lost to me.

Worth, however, kept the album all these 50 years. Wow. We recently met for the first time again in Bandon, OR. He brought the album with him so I could page through it and we could share our thoughts about those days.

The album has seen better days. Some of the pictures are faded, losing their original crispness. A few are poorly printed by yours truly, but, hey, I was young, and not too experienced in the art of the process.

I took pictures of the pictures, doctored them up some but not much. I want them to show as they were/are. It gives that time a sense of place. It gives them the piece of time that it was.

I must say, I had the seed of photo-journalism even then. I did not know it at the time. Working at the Milwaukee Journal while going to photography school, and rubbing shoulders with Buck Miller, Steve Lilligren, and Gebhardt, whose first name I cannot recall, probably helped.

And that's the backstory on that little number. Our own piece of history, preserved. Terry Groat is no longer with us. He had a heart attack in the '80s. Too young.

Richard Mahlon Findtner is nowhere to be found. Perhaps he doesn't want finding. May your life be good, with valuable memories. Prost! We salute you, Findt.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/11/a-piece-of-time Wed, 27 Nov 2019 22:44:17 GMT
Morning Walk - Morning Walk on Burton Road https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/8/morning-walk---morning-walk-on-burton-road 02012014SnowLines669ATwp102012014SnowLines669ATwp1

August 07, 2019


Morning Walk on Burton Road

Once upon a time in the out of Burton Rd., that wild place where any creature who disregarded fences wandered, there was always peace ready to suck itself into my spirit and declare itself home. Especially those dark, early morning hours when sunrise was only a faint hint of a blue/black sky fading to sprinkled stars losing their morning shine. Solitude reigned down like a torrential storm of silence. It was the only magic time my soul rejoiced without any utterance of verbal expression.

It was an injection of a narcotic you cannot buy, barter, negotiate, or discuss into being. It was either felt in the depths of the soul or lost in the wind because you could not feel it, due to a total lack of awareness. There are faint hints of this tranquil state, here, in this conquered country called Wisconsin. Up North, however, I know there are spaces waiting discovery.

Will I find them? Who knows. I think it might not happen again. I had my time, and it was gloriously embraced, absorbed, and felt with gratitude, and acceptance. Photography introduced me to the use of light, as if I had really only known it before as a means to an end - i.e.; earning a living. "Best Light of Morning" was my baptism image.

When I realized that image I knew an opportunity was at hand. Wrapping my eyes around this mile of road, peace of soul began its journey through my mind, and body, changing me in a way nothing else nor anyone else could. It became a daily ritual.

In the dark of morning no matter the weather I woke, dressed, slung the camera across my shoulder, and out the door with my brown, four-legged, companion. We strode the distance in silent reverence, hoping no other humans might break our solitude. On the first curve up Burton Rd. most mornings we paused, surveyed the surrounding land, and listened, and watched, standing in total stillness, assimilating this quiet as if it was a prayer.

It was so quiet then any noise of consequence seemed like a violation, except for natural sounds. Elk munching grass, birds sounding their territorial alarms, coyotes announcing the sunrise, or owls hooting their displeasure of light breaking the horizon.

Sometimes I wished I could float above the road so as not to violate the sound of crunching gravel, alerting wolves, or elk, or possibly a cougar, of our presence. I have probably walked that walk a few thousand times. It started in 2007 and ended when I relinquished my presence in Arizona, in 2017. That is ten years of almost every single morning in the wild. Not to mention the afternoon and evening walks.

When I moved to Lakeside, the dynamic changed, though not much. It brought about a few new areas, though they were not as primitive as Burton Rd. Even now, I'm sure Burton Rd. has changed and does not have the same wild flavor it had then. The wild I walked cannot even compare to the wild Native Americans knew before the invasion of civilization. Civilization my ass.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/8/morning-walk---morning-walk-on-burton-road Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:37:57 GMT
Chased His Shadow https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/1/chased-his-shadow

January 19, 2019

Chased His Shadow

Back in the day, when our version of the Viet Nam War was young, middle 1960's, I was slowly losing my status as a college student. The Army latched on to that and began calling me for a specific reason; I had a pilot's license.

I was:

• working as a country school milkman and dairy worker,

• going to the Wausau, WI., version of the University of Wisconsin,
• working at the then Wausau Airport as a janitor,

• taking flying lessons to secure a pilot's license, and

• slowly sliding down the pole of student status by failing my classes.

Too much work, no study time, and not knowing how to study properly, cemented my demise. The local Army recruiter kept calling and telling me what a great thing was at my disposal; becoming a helicopter pilot for the Army!

 Girls loved officers in uniform and helicopter pilots were high on their list of favorites. The Army had a great helicopter training program in Germany, which in and of itself was a great opportunity; I'd be in a foreign country with beautiful women who loved American pilots. I'd get to fly helicopters and be the envy of my former classmates, and a warrant officer! People would salute me!

But, I better sign up now before I was drafted, once that happened, there was no telling what would happen. I signed up all right. I volunteered and went into the Air Force. I knew where pilots were going, helicopter pilots in particular.

After training in Germany they went non-stop to Viet Nam and the killing fields. Funny thing, after my Air Traffic control and radio operator training I was sent to Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinios for six months and was then re-assigned to Germany. Ha! Another funny thing, I was stationed a half-mile from the Army's helicopter training school. I had made it there after all, sort of.

One of the best things about being in Germany was becoming friends with other airmen. Many of us arrived at about the same time, overlapping by a few months. We were stationed there for three years, which was the rest of our Air Force time. Two of my best friends became Worth Reis and Richard Findtner. We spent almost all of our off time together. We were all radio operators mostly on different shifts but with plenty of free time together. 

We traveled together occasionally, smoked so many joints together we lost count, and enjoyed listening to music while stoned and going out to eat under the influence of marijuana. It was great. 

Unfortunately being a part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), we were also stationed with the Army. That meant when they had field training, we had to go with them as air support. Didn't matter if it was spring, summer or winter we spent at least two weeks in the field, in tents, or unused German army buildings as our living quarters. Nice...not!

But our friendships grew. We stayed up late some nights and talked until sunrise, or smoked joints until we fell asleep and turned each other's record players off  depending on who fell asleep first. We played flag football together, basket ball, and some softball, though I watched those two sports and cheered my teammates rather than play.

These times were also my introduction to using a camera. Reis and Findt and I were kinda like triplets; going everywhere together. Reis and I especially hung out a lot together. He was my best friend after high school during that time.

Then one day, Reis and Findtner's time was up. Their tour of duty was over. Poof, just like that they got their orders, and away they went, back to the States. I was so hurt I could not face them and say good-bye. They didn't know it, but I could not say farewell without crying, so I wasn't there when they left. I pretended to be sleeping.

Findtner and I did get one visit in after the Air Force. Then we never met again. I traveled to California to find Reis but chased his shadow down the coast and never saw him again.

Until last week. If Facebook has one major saving grace it is reuniting old friends. We texted for a few days and then called each other and talked for over an hour. It was like we had never left each other. Our connection still worked, and is still working. It is a marvel, a gift, a wonder of science, and a joy of the heart.

This is the short version of our story. A new chapter begins now. We are planning a get together and will re-unite sometime soon. The 49 years between our last meeting has gone up in a puff of smoke. Now there are a million stories to tell, to listen to, to marvel at our different adventures. OMG there will be sleepless nights of talking so much we will be reduced to hoarse whispers with sunrises to watch as we recall our lives and compare our notes. How lucky can we be?

I can hardly wait.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/1/chased-his-shadow Sun, 20 Jan 2019 19:30:00 GMT
Episodes Of Elk https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/1/episodes-of-elk 093011elkintown152093011elkintown152

December 30, 2018

Episodes Of Elk

The Morning Walk evolved from an opportunity to be out and about and maybe get a few good shots in the morning, to a ritual. A ritual of stepping out of civilization and into the wild. Yes, that is a bit of a stretch, though in places like Arizona, not so much of a stretch.

By doing this early in the morning, before sunrise, chances of being alone without humans, and being in the presence of wildlife was greatly increased. The one mainstay that has always worked for me in regards to photography was no expectation of success. For example; I never left the house thinking: 'today I'm going to get the best shot of my life.'

In this way, I was never disappointed. It's like a door-to-door salesman hoping for a sale. If you think every door you knock on will be a 'sale', you will quickly become discouraged and dread each house call you make. 

Conversely, if you expect a 'no' every time, but make the best effort every time you have no expectation of success, you will not become discouraged. Realizing you were at your best being out there, finding wonder in ice crystals frosting a fence or seeing a coyote stalking a dog, or watching a raven playing with wind in the air, you have been exposed to natural elements most people never see, appreciate or enjoy. That is success. Getting a decent image is a bonus.

The Morning Walk started in 2007 and continued up to my departure from Arizona. During that time I saw many fantastic sights, heard many sounds of nature at its best, and even shot some good images. Living in Linden was a gift.

I could step out the front door, walk half a mile, and find a coyote stalking me, or a wolf watching in the distance, or come across a small herd of deer in the trees. Always in the presence of elk, ravens, hawks, cattle, and horses. During this time three incidents took place that shattered my experiences.

All three involved elk. The first one was only heard. One cold winter December morning Brownie and I were walking back to the house when we heard an elk bellow. We stopped in our tracks, slowly turned around, and looked to a ridge just above Frost Ranch Road.

Brownie sat down and kept looking over the ridge. I stood still, waiting. We heard the elk bellow again. The sound was more of a plea, a cry for help. As soon as the elk bellowed, one or two coyotes barked and squealed, and yipped. The elk bellowed again weakly almost a whimper.

More coyotes yipped, barked, and howled. Silence. The elk bellowed as best it could, sounding painfully panicked. The coyotes now began a non-stop chorus of barks, yips, and occasional howl.

Once more the elk bellowed. The coyotes began their chorus immediately. Sounding like a multitude declaring victory, the howling drowned out any other sounds.

Then, Silence reigned down that ridge like a roll of thunder. It was like sound had vanished from the earth. Nothing could be heard. I stood there, facing the ridge, and knew what was happening now.

Brownie got up and began walking back to the house. I could not move. I finally turned and walked back home in shock, awe, sadness, and wonder. I recorded a video of what I had heard. I couldn't write it then, I had to tell it. Speak it.

About a year before I left the house in Linden another incident embraced me. It was early Autumn, a chill in the air. The morning was still dark, too dark to shoot anything, but I knew elk were in the area, I had heard a few bellows when I left the house.

As I approached the first curve by Frost Ranch Road, I saw a shadowy figure on the west side of the fence. I was unable to discern what it was. There wasn't enough light to see clearly. It looked like something huge on two legs slowly walking toward me. Adrenaline rushed through me.

 Then I heard an elk breathing heavily as if it couldn't catch any air. It huffed and puffed walking slowly in my direction. I froze on the road. Brownie too stood still, not making a sound.

The elk approached, and I could finally make out its features. It only had one antler on its left side! OMG! It snorted, stepped over the barbed wire fence, and took a few steps on the road toward Brownie and me.

I remained still, just looking at it. It was light enough to see each other but not enough light for a decent shot. It continued breathing heavily, staring at me not sure what to do next. 

It finally decided we were not a threat, turned, walked over to the next field, stepped over the fence, and up into the brush on the other side of Frost Ranch Road. It stopped then, apparently to catch its breath, as I could hear it breathing hard, gasping for air.

It crashed through the brush knocking branches and breathing heavily until I couldn't hear it anymore. My heart was pounding hard. I had met, shared space on the road with, and stared down an elk with only one antler. Ya don't get to do that every day.

On our way back to the house the sun had risen and was warming the air as I stopped where the elk had stood on the road and looked down; there were several drops of blood spatter. It had been in a fight with another elk and lost.

I've wondered since if it survived or died from its wounds. Once again I felt privileged for the experience of sharing space with this huge creature who had lost a battle, been seriously wounded but managed to at least walk away with its life for the time being.

Leave the house with no expectations and reap rewards. One of my last walks up Burton Road surprised me once again. I knew it was elk hunting season as many people were coming in the store, buying clothing, shells, etc. I thought I'd better be careful on this walk, as hunters may shoot first and examine what they shot after the fact.

I didn't know if this area was designated or not for hunting at this time. I knew elk were in the area and thought it might be nice to get a few shots of my own. If not, that's ok. I'd just enjoy seeing them or being out here enjoying the morning quiet.

I did see five cows and one huge bull elk too far out of reach. I took a few shots anyway, as they jumped a fence and disappeared into the brush.  I walked a little faster up the hill as I now hoped to be a little closer to them and maybe get a shot of the bull elk.

Instead, I heard the sharp crack of a rifle. I ducked, ran to the side of the road near some brush and waited to hear another shot. None came.

In contrast, I heard a woman's voice shouting: " I got him! I got him with one shot!" Apparently, she had called someone in her hunting party to exclaim the news. My heart sank. I had shot him too, but mine was an image of him looking at me before he jumped the fence.

After about a minute of taking my shot, he was dead. It just grabbed me hard that I was recording his magnificence and someone else was destroying it because they could. I was angry, hurt, disappointed, and saddened.

I found out later that it was an illegal kill. This area of Burton Road was a legal hunting area, but not at the time of this kill. A fitting farewell to Linden. The area is in transition and the elks departure was part of my departure.

The Morning Walk, and the Afternoon Walk have become symbols more than an experience these days. That is alright. This is different country, different stories, and a different life.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2019/1/episodes-of-elk Wed, 02 Jan 2019 22:00:05 GMT
Nothin' Doin' - When They Need You https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/12/nothin-doin---when-they-need-you 02052015ColorinMonochrome26102052015ColorinMonochrome261

November 30, 2018

Nothin' Doin' -  When They Need You

The struggle to identify, or pinpoint how writing and reading enhance an ability to write is a mystery. Does one surrender the question and go with the correlation, and write?  What?

Therein lies the quandary. All writing from this brain has been focused on perception. My perception, interpretation, and focus of how those external events cause, shape or construct memories or help form whatever meaning has flowed onto any page.

Sometimes, though rare, I know, humor has played some part in those occurrences. The fake leaf image immediately springs to mind. The fake leaf image is just that; an image I shot of a fake leaf laying patiently on the ground waiting for me to finally investigate.

It looked so real I couldn't believe it kept its orange/red color for so long. I finally shot it among the many real leaves that had long ago lost their color. I marveled at its ability to remain so colorful until I picked it up.

It was fake. A leaf from some table decoration, or fake fall wreath, or some such festive artifact. I had been hoodwinked by a manufacturer. A smile creased my lips, which launched into a belly laugh. I kept the leaf for some time as a reminder; everything is not always as it seems.

Many of the writers' I've read and enjoyed seemed to have had some traumatic experience or two thrown into their lives that pushed, pulled, shoved, or kidnapped them into writing. Which of course shaped, translated, and transformed their writing into comprehensibly meaningful pieces worthy of reading more than once. But not all.

Some began way before me and could pull stories out of suggestions by others and write brilliantly crafted short stories, essays, or thoughts worth emulating. Which means there is no one path. No one method, or strategy, or a single formula one must follow.

Our own path. Whatever that is, and wherever it takes us. There are occasions when the well dries up, the ink needs replenishment, or there just isn't enough mind left in the brain to write anything, for personal or possibly external reasons.

What is the point? Don't ask me, I'm just writing it as it comes, and going wherever it leads until an endpoint shows up as either a 'Dead End' sign or I run out of space, ha...

You cannot run out of space on a computer, there is always more. And that is a compelling body of information indicating a desire, need, or motive in a continuing effort to write. To write any and all emotional fluctuations of momentary need for the persona of self.

Another pointless essay looking more like cotton candy with every keystroke. You know cotton candy. That colorfully light, attractive, and sweetly smelling ball of whiffy-looking clouds on a cardboard stick waiting for its first taste. 

Yeah, me too. You grab a bit of it, pull off enough to stuff in your mouth, and as it melts sweetingly slowly, you realize it's more air than substance. Oh, my, sugar never tasted so good.

This is the part where you ask yourself: "What did I just read?" Don't ask me, I'm just writing it blah, blah, blah...

To the meat of this writing...

One of the strongest lessons I've finally learned in a concrete manner recently occurred when the moment of decision arrived about what I was going to do about a friendship. Be with friends when they need you. This one opportunity may not come again for you with this person.

My friend, Jo Baeza, an author, and a historian of Arizona died in the middle of November. I had known for some time of her being critically ill. I took the news well only because I knew it was coming.

I used to live about ten minutes from her place in Pinetop, AZ. While I was still living in Lakeside, Arizona, I visited her when I could. Just a stop by and chat time.

Jo was famous in Arizona for her writing. She had many friends, was a designated culture keeper of Arizona due to her books concerning its history. She had also written many articles and stories about the state and its people. Being a culture keeper was quite an honor. 

Jo, on the other hand, never said much about it. She was glad to have written the books and flattered that people thought so highly of her writing. She never bragged about it, or brought it up in conversation unless someone mentioned it. She just liked to write about things that interested her.

I'd stop in to see her once or twice a month, depending on my schedule and her doctor appointments, tests, and certain issues with her illness. Her house was old but sturdy. It was a warm, comfortable, welcoming space, like that cabin you always wanted as a retreat from the world where you felt safe, content, and at rest.

Jo's serious decline started after her last dog finally succumbed and took its final rest. The cats too departed but Jo found a stray, and then another, and these two hung around loosely, like hangers-on who wanted her friendship but weren't quite sure if they could come inside.

With her dogs gone and the cats no longer coming around except for these two new strays, life took the fork in the road we all take one day. Her illness crept into her life slowly, surreptitiously, like Autumn; one-day blue skies and bright trees, and then leaves changing color, fading away into ground.

She knew death was coming. She did her best getting ready for it and wondering how much longer time would favor her presence. People began coming over, keeping her company, doing her shopping, preparing meals, just being with her making sure she had what she needed. 

During this time my situation changed. I left Arizona and moved back to Wisconsin. As it happened a grade school friend and I met again, renewed our acquaintance, and forged a new friendship.

My partner Sue is a retired nurse. She has been in the trenches of nursing in Madison, WI., while I had been exploring other areas of the U.S. camera in hand, on hip, in newspapers, and such. Sue had been in the clutches of nursing people back to health, serving them with a smile, and with a keen awareness of their ailments, and how to minister to their needs.

This is something not taught in nursing school. Picking up on what ails people can be written in a chart, but knowing how to spot their needs while they are in the throws of their malady takes the right kind of analysis. Sue has that ability, in spades.

This came into play when I was informed of Jo's worsening condition. I had a choice to make. Go to the memorial service after she passed or visit her at the most optimum time; right now. 

Sue's experience with those with limited time left to live provided the best response. Sue had cared for many patients who ultimately left the hospital on a gurney, not in a wheelchair. Sometimes she cared for them at home and they left their homes in this manner.

She had said goodbye to more people than most of us ever will. Visit her now while you still can. She didn't need to say it twice.

On the last three days of October, I flew back to Arizona. While in the White Mountains of Arizona I stayed with a precious friend, who in my eyes, cared for Jo as if she was his own mother. We all need at least one friend like that.

Time with Jo meant a lot to her. Always subdued in her presentation sometimes it was hard to know how she felt unless pushed too far. While still living in Arizona and visiting her our conversations centered around our ties and times at the Independent (White Mountain Independent newspaper).

These talks always spurred other topics; friends we knew, and some she knew, and some I knew that each of us knew separately. Cats, dogs, apple trees, and history, all kinda mixed together in our talks, flowing one to the other as the sun arched over and sometimes down the horizon.

Though our horizons spanned many topics, our mutual love of writing never spilled into each other's laps in a confining manner. We never talked about our writings. Because, oh because, Jo valued our friendship and decided early on this might be a wedge of resentment or an uncomfortable space between us. 

It never entered our space. Ah Jo, you of little compliment, which made them all the more precious to hear, know and savor, only purchased your words when they held a full meaning of what you wanted to say. Thank you for your wisdom and generosity of sparse accolades.

Sue knew the time to see Jo was in these moments of life, when we sat together, sometimes in a light silence, sometimes making her more comfortable, and sometimes going back through the years and how we managed to get this far along and still find each other welcoming friends.

Having that last conversation was a fitting goodbye. It was stoic, it was short, and like a cattle, brand seared our hearts with the burn of friendship. It sat well on her mantle in the living room over the fireplace, and held the rest of her days with peace of mind, knowing loyal friends are there when you need them.

When your friends are laid up and dying, take Sue's advice; visit them now, while you still can. Do not wait and think you have time, you don't. 

Find the courage, take the flight, hug them, hold them, tell them how you feel, talk about all your best days together, because these are their final days, there aren't anymore.

I miss Jo. She is always in my mind alive and well, and having our conversations. She will always be alive in my heart. 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/12/nothin-doin---when-they-need-you Mon, 17 Dec 2018 01:08:40 GMT
A Travel Event - A Visit With Jo https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/11/a-travel-event---a-visit-with-jo 05102017JoBaeza322AT3a05102017JoBaeza322AT3aJo Baeza - A conversation with Barbara Bruce
November 03, 2018

A Travel Event - A Visit With Jo

Late afternoon flights are not exactly a preferred time to travel. However, one books what is available and cost-effective. Sue took the best route to the airport. But then she is a seasoned traveler, knows her way around Madison, and a fearless driver. We embraced, said our salutations, and went our ways. Her back to our place and me into the strange world of travel by flight.

It seemed the flight to Denver took way too long, though I’ve no experience with flight paths, arrivals, and departures for any of the major airlines or airports. First time in first class. Did not request it, but there it was. Nice.

Getting into Phoenix after 8:00 pm, I knew there was still more travel time to the Show Low area. Plus the prospect of elk on the road at any time after leaving the Payson area is always a concern.

Elk were spotted along the route, though none jumped out in surprise to ride my rental. Arriving in Linden, Wiley’s directions were easy. Though I knew Burton Road and had scanned that portion of Linden many times on Google Earth. Rough road after passing Burton Tank, all the way to Moonshine Circle.

Morning came and presented a fantastic sunrise. The only images I took on this leg of the journey. Couldn’t find the coffee in Wiley’s kitchen. I saw a pot ready for the next percolation but no coffee. Hmm... got dressed. Drove past my old place in Lakeside. There was a ‘For Sale’ sign in a front window. A head-scratcher, that. He just bought the place.

Parked in Denny’s lot. No cars. That was a puzzlement. Ordered breakfast, turned on my iPad, and poof, the restaurant filled with people. A small sigh of relief.

It was satisfying to visit with so many old friends at the White Mountain Independent. I began to think I budgeted too little time for this trip. Too late.

Did have some great though short conversations with Terry Corrigan, Debbie and Jenna, Corrine, Mike Leiby, Bryan Cramer, Mark, Barbara Bruce, Andy Staton, and later, a few people at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Was unable to connect with two friends, Bryan, or Lloyd.

Quality time with Wiley in his office, and then off to visit with Jo. There are mixed feelings of writing about my final conversation with Jo. It was mundane. It was a search for a deeper connection. It was a walk on thin ice, as to her emotional connections with others.

Some aspects were sharply personal, displaying much courage on her part, as she revealed her pain, her thoughts about her current situation, and what it is like to want to die but not succumb to the temptation of letting go completely, but following the rule of Catholic doctrine, as she suffered with the insipid torture of her body shutting down.

There were moments when pain ran across her face like lightning, as she attempted to remain calm, and change her position in her chair seeking a comfort always out of reach. Seeing this first hand without power to assuage her aching body, to halt this slowly progressive demise was chilling, shivering in its impact.

For a brief time, she laid on the couch searching for sleep. She said she liked the sound of my voice, and could I keep talking. I picked up a week old Independent newspaper and read a few articles. She asked for more.

After a while helping her to her chair again I read more. We ended with the police blotter and some of the foibles of those who defied the law and were either fined or arrested again for their efforts. I asked about her son. She mentioned they did not communicate much but they both knew of their love for each other and that he had his own path to follow.

I was struck by her answer. My first thought was; this is the code of the West frontier people used and is still an aspect of the lives of those who have lived in this harsh land, who have been subject to the winds, and the ways of frontier life. Living in the West there isn’t much help when things go wrong or something breaks when you really need it, and fixing it yourself is the only alternative.

This has forged a self-reliance those who live in large cities have no experience with. It has framed an attitude of government help as a weakness and reinforces a code of this is life and I can live on my own and find a way to remain independent. 

This is a part of Jo and has been for as long as she has been a resident of Arizona. Another aspect of Jo is her generous nature, though there is a certainty she will deny it, and refer to it as just a ‘help’ for someone who needs it. No doubt there are others who have their own event in which Jo helped them as well.

For a week during my first few months in Show Low working at the White Mountain Independent, I was without a place to live. Having a key, I snuck into the newspaper office way after working hours and slept on the plush carpet of the publisher’s office. Before anyone else arrived I’d wake up, leave the office and come back at the regular work time in the morning.

One morning, I overslept and was caught. That day after work Jo took me in and said I could stay with her until I found a place to live. It was an unexpected relief. I did find a place, but never forgot Jo and her kindness, offered and given without fanfare, just simply as one person to another. It was her way.

Her way was the way of those who survived in this severe land of Arizona and eventually thrived through their independence, strong will, rugged work ethic, and just plain tenacious ability of living with nature’s seemingly absurd demands.

Now Jo mentioned her readiness to leave this life. She knew from here on out it was a matter of time, and she was prepared to go. Unable to write anymore her mind however could not let go of writing. Her whole life was bound up in writing. 

She said she had let go, though that was not the tone in her voice. It seemed more likely she was somewhat angry at her body for its betrayal in crippling her hands, but leaving her mind clear, sane, and sharp. 

There are occasions when people say one thing, and mean something else. It usually occurs when they repeat themselves and insist it is what they mean. She mentioned she had tried dictation but that it didn’t work for her. 

No, of course not. It was a pasty imitation of her writing style. Putting words on paper with her own hand was a direct, meaningful, and simple effort expressing her thoughts, making them clear when expressed on paper.

There were tears when we parted. I knew from how she answered my query about her son that revealing how I felt about her might muddy our last moments together. Be good Jo. I will pray for you. Take care, and I’ll see ya.

Everything else after our visit was pale. 


p.s. Jo died this past Saturday morning, Nov. 17, 2018

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/11/a-travel-event---a-visit-with-jo Sun, 18 Nov 2018 14:26:55 GMT
Boulder Junction - A Cherished Visit https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/10/boulder-junction---a-cherished-visit Click The Image To View The  Gallery

101322018BlueJay455ATwp101322018BlueJay455ATwp

October 23, 2018

Boulder Junction - A Cherished Visit

In darkness, our trip began with a chill in the air and heavy traffic on the Beltline. It's Saturday, so much traffic. It must be the old thoughts of living in a much less populated place, where crunches of cars took place between six and nine in the morning Monday through Friday.

We expect the drive to take five hours. Boulder Junction is approximately 233 miles away, and traffic may be thick all the way to Wausau or Tomahawk, who knows. It's been years, no decades since I'd driven this far North, and I had no idea how long it would take.

Trees were color-changing already. Some were just beginning, others showing partially bright shades of yellow, some dull red, and some almost naked of leaves. Construction slowed the journey at Portage, though not much. Full speed ahead.

Coming into Wausau we pulled into a mall for a brief stop, relieved ourselves, and hit the road again. I marveled at the changes; a freeway runs through former farm fields and revealed previously unknown vistas. Growing up here and then leaving for so long, I was in a strange land.

 As a kid, Hwy 51 was a two-lane road, and once you left Wausau there wasn't much between you and Tomahawk except trees, deer, a river, and Merrill. As a child driving to Tomahawk was a road trip, and seemed to take forever. Not any more.

Cars dropped by the wayside after passing the turn-off to Tomahawk. The four-lane ended, and it became important to not miss any road signs pointing to Boulder Junction. Only those with serious intent continued further North. Serious intent may be defined as bowhunters, committed hikers, visiting relatives, and those interested in discovering 'Fall Colors' in full bloom. 

We shared two categories; visiting relatives, Tom is one of Sue's brothers and looking for fall colors and bright images to record the visit. Pulling into Boulder Junction we played tourists and shot each other with our heads sticking through the standing cutouts at the Information Building on the edge of town while we waited for Tom to guide us to his new residence. He was kind enough to take a shot of us together as we stood in one of the hokey cutouts.

Boulder Junction is a jumping-off point for anglers, boaters, hunters, hikers, campers, and summer vacationers looking for that wild, but relatively safe experience. It will not disappoint those who make the trip. But come early and leave as late as you can.

Tom is one of those campers who has traveled far and wide. He is quiet, unassuming, an excellent cook, and experienced with a woodsman's knowledge of nature, more comfortable among lakes, streams, forests, mountains, and wildlife. Though on certain subjects his conversation flows like a cool bubbling stream.

The rest of our Saturday began with a stroll through a few shops in town, and then off into the woods we ventured, stopping at three different lakes, with two boat launches that provided an open view of each lake, and paths to camping areas. Leaves were falling like snowflakes, though somewhat slower in their gentle descent.

Star Lake came with a small windowed shed and a 'Minnows' sign prominently displayed on the building exterior. The interior of the shed was glassed off so visitors were allowed to look inside this one-room museum. It had been hosted by two sisters; Edith and Hazel, local characters who sold bait, and other fishing gear, and provided information to those who wanted to know more about the area. 

There is a small plaque near the shed with a dedication to the two women who served anyone who came by, offered advice, and gave away smiles to everyone.
Who could possibly resist? Sunshine and rainbows, those two.

Photographing their shed and the memorial fishing monument with plaque did not cover their contribution. How could it? It must have always been a treat, a privilege, and a gift for those who knew them, to have known them.  How many of us go through life and never meet wonderful characters such as these? 

'Ever on...' Dan Fogelberg. Those who know will understand, those who do not, spend the time, do a little research, look it up. Find out something new.

We returned to the road. As we traveled back, I asked Tom to stop and go back about a quarter of a mile. There, a group of trees, with all yellow leaves stood in the sun, black bark trunks of other trees spaced unevenly between them. It caught my eye and the contrast, the stark beauty of that stand formed a memory. I knew it needed recording.

I took two images but knew immediately after taking the second image, the first one was it. It's a wonder how that works sometimes. I made an image like that with a firefighter in Arizona at a brush fire along the Bee-Line Highway. As soon as I pushed the shutter, I knew that image told the story. 

The firefighter was carrying a heavy and large hose over her left shoulder. She glanced at me, smiled, and kept walking. The image showed her smile and over her shoulder on the highway above us, her crewmates were doing some of the clean-up that was left. The burned brush was a black area near them. It illustrated the difficult part of the job; working a steep downgrade, attempting to put out a fire or at least control its burn. 

Those are the rare moments. The moments that freeze time, freeze the mind and encapsulate an entire event. Sometimes you know right away. Sometimes you see it on the download and editing process. 

We returned to Tom's place, had some snacks. Sue laid down and took a nap. Tom and I traded stories. Each eager to impart an old adventure, and make it new again to fresh ears. Too bad we weren't sitting around a campfire on a lake in the middle of nowhere. But being in Boulder Junction, we were as close as you can get to that. 

Tom prepared our evening meal, as we three chatted on. His cooking skills are first-rate. It was a challenge to not stuff one's face but eat politely. Sue's chocolate chip cookies were a fine treat after our meal. 

Morning light came slowly through tall trees. Sue and Tom were already up and talking. I made my own coffee, as my version is stronger, darker. We sat and talked, watched the birds at the bird feeder on the porch. I shot a few images.

Some of the smaller birds at the feeder, like juncos and nuthatches, are extremely swift and jump around quickly from spot to spot. It is difficult to get any clear shots. Larger birds do not move as swiftly, but still, they tend to hop around and move quickly. A few images emerged worth saving. 

We offered breakfast on us for Tom, and off we went to a local restaurant. Good food, good company, and a short ride around town after our meal. As fortune would have it, we managed to discover a small herd of doe in a neighborhood near the downtown area of Boulder Junction. Got a few shots off, but only one worth keeping. So it goes.

We said our goodbyes and headed south. As soon as we left the area, it began to rain. Rain turned to snow, and soon we were traveling into a huge storm with shallow visibility. 

By the time we passed through Wausau, the storm abated, turned to rain again. As we bypassed Portage the clouds were moving swiftly and it looked like a break in the clouds might expose some sunshine. Didn't happen.

At least the storm had passed and our journey was calm as we pulled into the Madison area. As the days passed my mind was still reeling from the adventure. Tom's place is cozy, quietly peaceful, and far enough away to snatch your breath without offering an inhale. 

A cherished visit. 

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

 

 

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/10/boulder-junction---a-cherished-visit Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:45:06 GMT
Into The Out - Part Two https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/10/into-the-out---part-two Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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Into The Out - Part Two

Summer in AZ could be hot, sometimes humid. Then, in middle July, Monsoon season arrived. That too, like dizzy dust devils, was unpredictable. It might provide a torrent of flash flood waters or a slight downburst of no consequence. 

Monsoon always seemed a misnomer. My understanding of monsoon is a season of heavy rain lasting for several weeks or months. Meaning, nothing but rain, all the time.

In Arizona, rain came and went in short bursts, though sometimes, as mentioned above, quite heavy. Heavy enough to cause flash floods. Though it never lasted for days and days at a time. It came and went. Or didn't live up to its name, at all. 

So, in that context, it isn't really a monsoon, but hey, I was a transplant to Arizona, so I never said much in opposition. Any rain in AZ was welcome, no matter how it came, or how much. 

For those of you who have only seen flash floods in movies or in a television show may have been misled by Hollywood. No surprise there. Having seen a few up close and personal, they also are not to be trifled with or taken lightly. 

When it rains in Arizona, and you are aware that rain is occurring in the mountains and you are in the desert in an arroyo, ya might want to find higher ground, flat and wide. Arroyos are steep-sided gullies carved by fast running water in arid regions.

Arizona has a plethora of arroyos. When a storm hits, water is not soaked up into the ground much in arid climates. Arizona is an extremely arid climate. As rain pours out of the mountains it accumulates in the valleys, gullies, and arroyos and begins to move; quickly.

Flowing downhill it gains speed and picks up anything in the arroyos; small trees, boulders, dead branches, tires, people hiking, or whatever has been discarded, and sweeps it along as the flashing flood gains speed and moves downhill, faster and faster.

I have stood by small streams that turned into flash floods and have seen the power and destruction. One flash flood absorbed its water and became a mudslide near Roosevelt Lake. It covered part of Highway 188 along Roosevelt Lake and buried three cars under ten feet of mud and sand. No one was killed or injured.

It took highway crews a week to clear the road. What a sight that was. Nothing but heavy sand and mud ten feet high covering the main thoroughfare. So, yes, flash floods are not trifles.

Wisconsin, of course, has nothing to compare with that, except for the excess of rain, cloudy days, occasional tornados, and heavy thunderstorms, also not to be trifled with. Ah Wisconsin, its own varied landscape has gems of different kinds. 
From the cliffs along the Mississippi and La Crosse to the Kettle Moraine areas, to the deep, thick forests of the Northern reaches of the state, that end along Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.

There are waterfalls, vigorously cold streams, rocky bluffs one can hike, and look out over the forever land of farms, woods with wildlife, and a healthy sky of gathering clouds, congregating for rain. The rolling hills with their mixture of deciduous trees are great fall scenes of vibrant color. The Wisconsin River, in the wet fall, swells and offers those who kayak and/or canoe, morning mist and tranquilly quiet spits of land as unnamed sanctuaries.

Now you have a slight comparison of geography between these two homelands of this formerly wandering spirit, and how their effect has been absorbed and translated by my history of living in them. May your journey find you with expanding horizons and peaceful retreats.  

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/10/into-the-out---part-two Fri, 12 Oct 2018 19:19:19 GMT
Nothin' Doin' - Into The Out https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/10/nothin-doin---into-the-out Click The Image To View The  Gallery
 

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October 11, 2018

Nothin' Doin' -  Into The Out

Having rain everyday, lately, is a completely different atmosphere from a high elevation Arizona White Mountain experience. In AZ one looked out a window, scanned the sky for clouds for the morning venture into the Out, and surmised the possibilities. Early morning clouds portend a great shot of an always unique sunrise.

That was not always the case, even in northeastern AZ. There were hits and misses. Though chances were tilted in favor of a seriously expressive sunrise. But Nature, like humans, is distinctively ubiquitous. One never knows what was going to happen until the scene was set and ready.

So too, Wisconsin, though the scene is overcast more than sunshined, and having a morning clear and blue is the exception, not the rule. After 24 years of AZ, it is an adjustment.

Plus, desire for that unrepeatable sunrise has lessened. Having done it for so long there is less wind in the lungs, less fire in the mind, and a more sedate attitude of calm, rest, and comfortable quiet. There is much contemplation in a morning filled with silence. A silence strokes the mind, easing the sound of covers thrown off and bare feet touching a rug, soft and comforting. There is a less stirring desire for an outward-bound stroll.

Standing in the loft and looking up through a skylight, a patch of blue creases a smile. Hearing the wind whisk through the bushes, waving tall grass in vacant lots soon populated with quickly built and occupied dwellings, evokes a different perspective. A new reality has arrived.

Coffee cup in hand one stands at the patio door looking out, looking for birds. The lady jogger trots up the slight incline and curve of Kimball Lane. Her ponytail hair bounces back and forth like an ersatz pendulum quickly pacing her time. 

Canadian honkers are heard though not seen. Their plaintive bleats echo in the wind, fading quickly into gushes of bursting sound as the wind pushes across the building. The howl wind erupts and subsides in seizure-like gasps, settling into a slower constant.

The White Mountains also had its wind. Mostly in Spring and early summer. Sometimes one wanted a huge hollowed-out ponderosa pine to step inside and close a door, sealing out that constant yowl. When windless days arrived, joy opened its face and smiled as broad and as bright as a warm spring sunrise.

During those windy months, dust devils made their yearly appearance. Oh, such fun to watch these Minnie tornados dancing across open meadows. They looked like whirl wind dancers, dancing to some secret music in a feverish twisting jumble, picking up leaves, twigs, sandy dust, plastic bags, and anything else not fastened tightly to some anchor. They were not to be trifled with, as their brisk blowing twister movements were quite powerful and unpredictable.

What was once taken for granted as an annual occurrence, and therefore, not thought about, becomes a sweet memory. Time, in all its movement, has segments, snippets, short moments, held in the mind, played back as if a film short, as one recalls these impressions. Now there are new ones, waiting for a future.

To be continued...

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/10/nothin-doin---into-the-out Thu, 11 Oct 2018 17:51:47 GMT
Afternoon Walk  -  A Breath Of Wonder https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/9/afternoon-walk---a-breath-of-wonder Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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September 18, 2018

Afternoon Walk  -  A Breath Of Wonder

There is a lot more rain here. Thus the greening of the Midwest saturates the mind with its constant lushness. Variations of green explode into one's eyes and almost blind the mind with their variety.

And in this part of Wisconsin glaciers have left their mark across the landscape. The topography consists of rolling hills, constant small bodies of water, lakes, small rivers, and creeks meandering across the land. One can drive into the rolling hills and lose a sense of direction in minutes. The perpetual change of direction, the surprise of so many high and low places, as trees, hills, and narrow bridges strafe the mind with too much information.

These rolling hills in South Central Wisconsin are rollercoaster rides worthy of exploration. One caution and one difference; one is more likely to encounter another vehicle coming from the other direction. As opposed to Arizona, where it is less likely. Tractors, for example, pulling some kind of wagon or other machinery.

It beats a heart faster with its surprise. And that is the thrill, the mystery, the unknown quality of this experience. Though the question of disaster is minimal, it is present. Adrenaline rush keeps one focused and sharp. Also, while riding these roads there is another awe.

So much variation in these textures of landscape curiosity becomes animate. One wants to pull over, somewhere safe, and explore. Though there are designated places for such activities, the desire to get out anywhere and just partake of this feast of senses being bombarded is high.

Pastoral scenes abound with nostalgia. Of course, one needs to have lived with this landscape from childhood on and traveled it while growing into it as a young adult. For example; One knew a ride to Marathon meant a day on the grandparents farm. Always an encounter worth the trip.

Sometimes on these Sunday afternoon road trips, the stops were at local watering holes (bars) my parents knew well. Few memories of these stops stand out with any consequence. Probably due to boredom, as there was not much of interest for a child to explore.


Now there is interest once again as one travels these secondary roads. Though the wildness has been cultivated out of the experience there is the geography, history, memories, and organizations searching for people who desire to connect with nature, however fleeting or temporary. 

These like-minded people understand touching our ancient selves may help massage our human nature giving us a breath of wonder. An inhalation of calm. A soft boost of energy injected into our minds, our spirits, as refreshing as drinking clear, cold, glacial water, millions of years in the process.

Thus there are places like The Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Horicon Marsh, Blue Mounds, Devil's Lake, Eau Clair Dells, Gibraltar Rock, and many other preserved natural areas. These joys of nature surround and abound. Knowing they exist is an embrace of joy.

These distinctly unique areas are an open offer for administering a healthy measure of grateful tranquility. Opportunities for expeditions into their hearts is an invitation for openings into this heart and embracing journeys through these terrains as welcome respites. Breathe deep, expire peacefully.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/9/afternoon-walk---a-breath-of-wonder Tue, 18 Sep 2018 20:14:57 GMT
Morning Walk - Out Of The Wild https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/8/morning-walk---out-of-the-wild Click The Image To View The  Gallery

08272016NaturalSolarization473ATwp copy08272016NaturalSolarization473ATwp copy‘Natural Solarization’ is probably one of my favorites because the light is perfect, and it is one chance effect that may not be seen for along time again.

August 21, 2018 

Morning Walk  -   Out Of The Wild

The last time I was fired the only trauma was figuring out what to do with the extra time on my hands. After a few days of doing nothing, being an early riser, going for a walk seemed like a good idea. 

Out the door and into semi-wild spaces down Burton Road in Linden, Arizona became a ritual, a meditation, and an exhalation of stress. One might add, it was also a blessing and a gift to have the time and the opportunity for such a space.

A saving grace of this particular part of Arizona was and may still be, what was for me a wild, open, quietly peaceful landscape. My only companion, Brownie. Elk, coyotes, an occasional wolf, horses, cattle, and flittering, chirping, stalking, soaring birds were treats and opportunities. 

Every day out the door and into this wild space, camera in hand, and sniffingly joyous Brownie and I left the house and sauntered our mile. Images were shot when and if they presented. As the seasons changed morning light changed from totally dark to faintly visible, temperature, clouds, and creatures varied accordingly. 

Bellowing elk moved to higher or lower elevations, horses disappeared, migrating birds flew their routes, coyotes were seen less, though still seen. Wolves were heard but seldom appeared, and yes, snow fell, changing the landscape. Another modification also occurred.

An internal transfiguration silently, invisibly, altered my mind, body, and spirit. One must always be grateful for this moment of life. Over this period of approximately ten years, I have heard and seen things most people will never experience. 

Every day I was home I took that ritual walk, spending at least an hour to two hours outside in the company of no one but wild creatures, extremely valuable morning light, and fanciful weather conditions. Because it was done every day, the changes were not noticed, and thus were absorbed, internalized, and burned into mind, and body.

But, there is always a but…other life choices intervened. That is another story. Those choices were welcomed though one did not realize immediately the consequences taking place in my head, and body. 

I chose to leave Arizona and return to Wisconsin. I knew I would miss being out in the wild. There was no realization of how much it would be missed and how much my mind had changed because of these excursions into that open feral landscape.

Being ‘out’ as I have come to designate it; It is difficult to explain the loss of this experience. It brought peace into my heart, it gave me a creative outlet for writing and shooting, and a greater understanding of how man has changed and lost touch with his natural surroundings.

Being Out integrated sunshine into my head. It released stress in a way nothing else can. There were times when I stopped on the road and listened to nature without any man-made sounds. Sometimes, nothing was heard. Unless you have ever heard that you have no idea how great it sounds.

Sometimes, I could identify all the animals speaking their message. That was a particular smile. And always, being in nature felt like it was pouring itself into my pores. It filled me up with a peaceful energy. 

I’ve finally recognized the withdrawal from that. It was a natural drug, and not having it has caused some internal and external pain of the mind and spirit. Recognizing a complication is a road to recovery.

Wisconsin is a different landscape. Out of the wild, and into an environment with different aspects to explore. Now there are memories, to savor and soothe, and assuage the wild.

Letting go of addictions, and in a way, it was an addiction, is demanding, complex, and wearisome. Many trite and true phrases surface as one ponders a description of addictive behavior. In this instance, it was a positive addiction, and it ended due to a life choice. Some addictions do not have decent, optimistic options, nor choices as marvelous.

Releasing one activity opens the door for others. Now an excitement begins; a pondering of what-ifs, speculation concerning discovery, wonder, and grateful appreciation for more opportunities.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

 

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/8/morning-walk---out-of-the-wild Wed, 22 Aug 2018 11:41:42 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Two For One https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/6/afternoon-walk---two-for-one Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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June 27, 2018

Afternoon Walk  - Two For One

Just a little something from yesterday's afternoon. The 'Two For One' is the third image in this gallery. A whim, a humor, a smile, and an embellished 'shop (Photoshopped image).

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/6/afternoon-walk---two-for-one Wed, 27 Jun 2018 12:56:20 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Renascent https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/6/afternoon-walk---renascent Click The Image To View The  Gallery

03192016PintailLakeFramed028ATwp03192016PintailLakeFramed028ATwpPintail Lake Framed There is a brick information building at Pintail Lake called a blind with eight or nine windows for bird watching. Only got two in this shot.

March 20, 2016

Afternoon Walk  -  Renascent

The urge to write, to express the self has been inside since high school when I discovered the joy of the English language. Having only my native tongue for examples, it occurred to me early that writing, words, and creating unique sentences was fun, interesting, and an artistic expression. I have not lost that joy.

So far. English can express such confusing and consternating sentences. For example, the word meet, when spoken but not written has different meanings depending on the context. There are many, many examples of this.

But writing in English, because of the many meanings words acquire, display, and can be used for, it is always a challenge to write, to express in a creative way. There are many writers who put their ideas, stories, and findings on paper for others to read, and the great joy in writing is that everyone can write the same topic and say the same things but with a difference that is as individual as the person writing.

For example: write a sentence with the word shoes, as the subject and a verb that means motion. The flame-decorated shoes strolled aimlessly down a tattered sidewalk of dreams. Shoes meant for others tromped the battlefield in a disgusting display of revenge. Flip-flopping down the steps her make-shift shoes broke a thong, as she tumbled the steps to a major disaster. There are at least 26 different verbs one can use to write a sentence like that. And the ideas expressed go into a realm of creative energy of anyone who can write a sentence.

The point: the point is that language is a universal and completely expressive medium for anyone, IF, and WHEN, they obtain the courage to communicate their ideas through writing. No one can ever take from writers their creative spirit of writing unless they succumb to fear.

This writer knows as fear has come upon me more than once. Fear of losing friends, fear of exposing thoughts so personal they can drive others away, ideas so remote and out of the mainstream, one wonders how they even entered this mind in the first place.

For example, while splitting wood to heat our home many years ago, I thought: What if the ax slips and cuts my right hand off? What will I do then? I’ve tried writing with my left hand and my writing is terrible. I feared I would have an accident and hurt myself. I thought about an accident; I thought about fear and what can happen when one is not careful.

About ten years ago, the ax did slip. The backside of the ax was a hammerhead, which crushed my index finger. There are three screws in my right index finger holding the bone together. Be careful what you think. Fear can manifest itself when you least expect it.

One avenue out of fear is to write your fright out of your mind. In the process, people close in friendship may be lost, even family, because including them in the writings and what you think about may be too much for them to handle. The only good writing is honest writing, and that leads to a narrow and harrowing path for those who express their deepest thoughts.

An aside: Word for the day; renascent - being reborn, springing again into being or vigor.

Yes, indeed. My current fear is writing a short story about someone I once knew. I will refrain from writing this story for years. But once the time is ripe, it will spill out of me in a torrent. It will be complete, it will be well written, and it will never occupy my mind again. Writing about getting sober was like that. It lived in a room in my mind for more than 20 years. Then it got written and lifted a weight off my shoulders that has never re-visited.

Some stories are like that. Some life events are like that. They churn around inside for decades, then one day, poof, out march the many words of this event and place themselves in sacrifice on the page, never to engage the mind again, as they have escaped their prison and reside in a story, an article, an episode.

Using the urge to write and express is an agreement; once entered into, and learned well, is like breathing. This creative process, this love of language, and the use of words is a fire that must be fed until no combustible energy remains.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/6/afternoon-walk---renascent Sat, 09 Jun 2018 12:43:42 GMT
Chasing The Light - In A Silence https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/6/chasing-the-light---in-a-silence Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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June 07, 2018

Chasing The Light - In A Silence

In a silence 

of my left ear

 

a fullness

 

so say doctors

of audiology

 

So says I

In a silence 

of my left ear

 

a vacuum

an unmeasurable space

empty

 

a ton

of weight

against sound

unheard

 

In a silence 

of my left ear

 

a silence

so loud

no screams

pierce its membrane

 

a bubble

ever unpopped

impenetrable

 

a cusp

of sharp volumes

prick dead hairs

 

a tickle

as sound waves

bend without recognition

 

In a silence

of my left ear

 

So, you asked me: “What is it like, as sound enters, and you know, nothing entertains those vibrations?”

 

“Question answered?” Probably not. As your head has no compared event. Least words communicate more, as is best. Because, if you comprehend, reading between lines, spaces fill with words. Your words. Such has my writing become.

 

Volumes unspoken. Silence it seems has its place ever-increasingly contained between, within, and held with fragile bonds in these fingers. For now, for this ever increasingly longer expanse, in a silence.

 

“Another question?”

 

“Please...”

 

“How are images determined?”

 

“Visually appealing.”

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/6/chasing-the-light---in-a-silence Thu, 07 Jun 2018 16:32:08 GMT
Morning Walk  -   An Uncommon Human https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/5/morning-walk---an-uncommon-human Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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May 24, 2018

Morning Walk  -   An Uncommon Human

Reggie, we hardly knew ya... I’ll bet most, if not all, of his Newman High School classmates can say this phrase with conviction. I know I can. But still, Reggie walked around with a seemingly perpetual smile, if not on his face, in his heart. Not everyone has that. Most people do not have that.

A sharp memory from grade school stands out in this mind of his sense of playfulness, humor, and joy. Of course, being a gullible child on my part helped. Even as young kids at St. Anne’s Catholic School in Wausau, Reggie already had his gift of humor in high gear. 

When I knew he and his brother Dennis were in the same grade I asked him one day if you guys were twins. “Yeah,” he said, “sure we are.” Consider this; He and Dennis were about the same height, build, and looked the same age. And of course in the same grade, in the same class. 

After all, my dad was a twin and his other self was his sister Dorothy, so it’s entirely possible that he and Dennis, though they looked nothing alike, were twins. It was kinda odd though that Dennis had red hair, freckles on freckles, and they didn’t look anything like each other. Reggie had dark hair, no freckles, and was slightly taller than Dennis. But still, Reggie said they were twins, and I believed him. He probably laughed at telling this harmless untruth, and never gave it a second thought after that.

At the memorial service for Reggie at Helke’s Funeral Home, I asked Dennis about that. He told me they were 18 months apart. After all these years I laughed heartily. His joke had lasted the test of time. It was wonderful. I’ll bet if he knew that I’d believed that all this time, he’d attempt to sell me a new untruth with just as much humor, and a twist to make it interesting.

As previously stated most of us didn’t really know Reggie that well. His sudden demise, however, holds a place in memory that is not fading. Memories of his antics remain, and circle within this mind and will not release themselves. 

What is it about his death that lingers, that echoes in this mind with such clarity? Still coping with it. Even my brother Ron has a memory of riding around with Reggie and having a blast. 

Reggie was one of those individuals who stamped your mind with a smile, and we all remember at least one particular event or incident with a lucidity so uncommon it has etched itself into our heads permanently. We should all be so lucky to have that gift of his and perform that marvel. An uncommon human to the end.

Getting a grip on why his antics and memory remain so strong in my head. When I found out about his passing I knew it was important to show up at the service, say goodbye, and hello to those also there for him. 

Being in our 70’s we are susceptible to various cancers, illnesses, and unexpected health issues. But still. There are remedies, there are fixes, there are alternatives one can pursue and remain healthy and active. It may be that his death brought home our mortality, our finiteness, our last hurrah.

Perhaps it is because at some point we had shared our lives, had lunch, had laughs, and told tales of days gone by. Perhaps our common ground of growing up in the same grade school through high school tied a bond that broke when he died. Perhaps it is that one connection that has no repair, that has no alternate outcome, that is such a final, abrupt, break, one cannot fathom its profound effect.

All this will pass as time continues its relentless pace. At some point, these incidents move further back, and then only occasionally arise. For right now they are strong, clear, and prominent. Our lives were better for having known Reggie. May we hold that in our hearts, give thanks, and appreciate the gift of his being. 

Reggie, we hardly knew ya...Take care, and be well as you venture anew.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/5/morning-walk---an-uncommon-human Thu, 24 May 2018 16:52:06 GMT
Chasing the Light - Henry Vilas Zoo https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/4/chasing-the-light---henry-vilas-zoo Click The Image To View The  Gallery

04222018ZooSign140ATwp04222018ZooSign140ATwpZoo Sign

April 23, 2018
Frog Parking   -   Henry Vilas Zoo, April 22, 2018 1:16pm

Yesterday my partner suggested a visit to Henry Vilas Zoo on the Northwest side of Lake Wingra in Madison, WI. You bet. It’s a beautiful spring day. One of those days a person just aches to get out, take a walk, breath spring air, and feel the freedom of being out, brushing shoulders with little kids, old adults, and like minded baby boomers. Off we went, camera in hand, phones in purse and pocket.

A zillion people were out celebrating Earth Day, celebrating a good day of our long awaited Spring, celebrating life in a liberally liberating excursion through an ‘under construction’ zoo, as improvements re-shape the topography of this no-fee menagerie. Too much to see, too much to shoot all at once.

Enjoy the few new images of various creatures in residence at Henry Vilas Zoo, and several occasional visitors. Other days will bring other images. The first 16 images were taken at the zoo.

Last two images of the first 16 - the loon with fish, and a muskrat were taken in Lake Wingra. They just happened to be there. It's one of those things that happen when you always shoot and take your camera everywhere.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) zoo https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/4/chasing-the-light---henry-vilas-zoo Mon, 23 Apr 2018 17:18:12 GMT
Chasing The Light - An Evocative Image https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/3/chasing-the-light---an-evocative-image Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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March 26, 2018

Chasing The Light  -  An Evocative Image

A few days ago someone posted an old aerial photo from the late 1950s of Wausau, WI. on Facebook. Much was recognized. Nostalgic comes to mind.

It was an evocative image of childhood. Being twelve years old at the time one was not concerned with how an image like that might later influence a writing like this. Children, even those on the cusp of teen years are involved in right now. In this moment.

One could say it flushed the mind, bringing back memories of those years. Not exactly. Wausau was younger then, in many ways, still flexing its bulging muscles of industry, growth, and expansion. This youth, like most of us then, was exploring the vitality of the times and embracing life with wonder, joy, trepidation, and eternal thoughts of ‘this will always be.’

Surprise! Sixty years later, a circle of life, has revolved, evolved, and transformed all of our lives into something we never thought possible. How many of us might want to return, in a Twilight Zone moment, to those days? Yes, and a resounding no.

Looking at that posted image, one did recognize many buildings, places, and features of our quaint existence. It spurred only a partial urge to build a time machine, suck back into a memory, throwing a penny for your thoughts into a wishing well, and be there. Must be too many steps have been marched away from that life.

Those years of growth were a great moment in my life. They were also a fulcrum, launching this individual into a different world, a universe, like our own, continually expanding, reaching out, exploring obtuse and acutely different ideas. Some ideas completely foreign to Wausau, to this writer, to former classmates, friends, and relatives.

It was a moment when time stopped, if only for that fractional slice of eternity. Unlike many high school classmates whom I envied, higher education in the form of college was too intimidating. A different path opened its urgent door. An unexpected opportunity occurred, and this passage took its Towle. No regrets there.

So began a wandering and wondering how one might navigate in a world with knowledge and ideas that seemed unfathomable. Rote teachings were cast off, and this new ocean of knowledge was embraced. Though the raft of life one clung to was precarious it stayed afloat, and when a 35 birthday reached its time a realization struck, like a ship’s bell clanging.

One item, thank you again, Sue Arnold, picked up its pace. Writing continued, though somewhat stop and start, it clung to this mind like a virus, breaking out when least expected. Besides being sober, writing probably retained whatever sanity there is contained within this spirit.


After Air Force time, one took a deep breath and photo school schooled a profession that suited this personality. There is a copious amount of gratefulness oozing these pores for this occupation. Never acquired suitable income, though peace of soul caressed this life. Not everyone loves what they do.

That image of Wausau? Ticked other images and brought a longing for different memories and choices not made. No one will ever convince this writer some choices bring no regrets. However, it is a look we all take at one time or another. Standing at the edge of life after all of our adventures there is always a: “what if...?”

This path to different knowledge has been a grateful search which continues until the last breath. Every corner turned, every doorway passed through, every new idea is welcome. It does not mean embracing all of them. One may entertain these nuggets without ingesting.

If anyone ever asks: “What’s the most important thing you know?” ‘Never stop learning,’ comes to mind, because; The more you know, the less you know.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/3/chasing-the-light---an-evocative-image Sun, 25 Mar 2018 18:33:21 GMT
Morning Walk - Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Verona Segment https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/3/morning-walk---ice-age-national-scenic-trail-verona-segment Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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February 09, 2018

Morning Walk   -   Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Verona Segment

Thursday afternoon a lifetime friend, Dave Keeffe,  and his partner, Linda Weltzin, came down to Madison to attend a Robert Cray concert. Naturally, we got together before the concert, ate out, and shared old and new times. Gus’s Diner in Verona serves up some delicious food and way too much dessert in the form of chocolate malts.

They went to the concert. I left and went back to our place, but a morning walk was planned so Dave and I could explore part of the trail and maybe get a few shots of birds or anything else we might find interesting. 

Into the chilled morning air, we walked for a bit before heading off onto the trail. No problem. It was part of the trail in Verona I had not explored yet. It’s always good to save some things for special occasions. We were not disappointed.

 Though too far away from us for good shots we managed to see two, TWO, Great Horned owls on the trail. As soon as they took flight a murder of crows chased them around, through, and over the trees surrounding a ballpark and part of the wildlife area connected to the Ice Age Trail. We hoped the crows might send them in our direction. Didn’t happen.

No worries. We were happy to even see owls at this time of morning. Grateful, we were, and are for this opportunity. However, along the way we both managed to get a few decent shots of two Sandhill Cranes lingering about Badger Creek, which runs through part of Verona. 

Dave managed a short video of the cranes, and I got a decent shot of one walking water. Ok, it was ice, but hey, water is water, frozen or liquid. We also managed to shoot several red wing blackbirds and a marvelous coniferous tree that somehow managed to look more like a giant bonsai than a pine tree. 

Go figure. That tree will be the subject of future shoots for me. It was great wandering around on crunchy snow, chatting, observing, and comparing notes on our various shooting adventures, all the while shooting two different viewpoints of the same events. 

After a late breakfast at Tuvalu’s Coffee House and Gallery, Dave and Linda waved farewell. I plugged into my computer and now offer these few shots. I’m sure Dave can hardly wait to plug his card into his laptop back in Wausau. 

We’ll compare shots and talk about this event soon and get together for another soon enough. Happy Trails my brother from another mother.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/3/morning-walk---ice-age-national-scenic-trail-verona-segment Fri, 09 Mar 2018 21:28:06 GMT
Chasing The Light - Odd Striking Moments https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/3/chasing-the-light---odd-striking-moments Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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March 03, 2018

Chasing The Light   -   Odd Striking Moments

Circles of people touch each life according to intenseness. Some are barely tangent. Some are exceptional. Deep touches leave emotion in hearts for an entire life. How can each different life cross us like railroad tracks? What power has whom?

Flies time in no straight arrow flight. More like a wheel, different gears meshing, releasing, and meshing again at some other time. What crossword puzzles flinch into existence marking each puzzle in ink?

Once written no eraser can remove such lives crossed in minute detail or a whisper of life, perhaps a cold breath in winter never breathed again. Odd striking moments remembered years later, wonders why this memory and not another? I.E.; sitting at the magazine rack watching dad walk out the door, no second thought for a youngest son reading comics.

Never angry at this forgotten moment, only a wonderment of absence. We all have them. Some bring them to a forehead and bash the negligent committer of this deadly deed. Let it go.

It has become apparent some lives will always cross us. Others, like birds migrating, are seasonal in appearance and will eventually fade with the season and dissipate with time and distance, for earth turnings tilt and change. Celebrate those lives which return, even if late-life embraces each. There is meaning we may not fathom then or now.

Some lives burn like quicksilver melting young though in the process forge a weight of memory in the light of their quickfire. No names, please. We all have them. A brother, a sister, a friend hammered out in one breath and gone in the next though never released completely.

All in this space of time known as our lives. How quickly traveled we are. How slow too this realization crystalizes, and then gone in a sunset.

This changing season grabs a curtain, pulls the shades up and down according to sun position. Too bright at noon, though soft and warm early light and late. We all have them. Recollections of friends, families moving through our memories, gone lives like marbles in the ring hoping no cat’s eye bumps us out of the circle.

Eventually all die. What can we say of our lives? Whom have we helped? Whom have we hindered? What kindness was shared? or withheld and why?

365 24/7. Each measured moment eventually pulled into a dust bunny of time, fragile, irreplaceable, though unique for everyone. Fingerprints, DNA, snowflakes melting in sunlight. It is a mystery of the universe. Ever solved, or always never known completely.

Circles of people intersecting all of us at different times, brushing our lives with scents, skin touched smooth or perhaps ruffled in dresses we cannot dance harmoniously together. Will we ever come full circle with those initially fashioned at our beginnings? It has no importance. How each of us took our need of the other and what have we done with those moments has importance.

Did we scuff, laugh, and abandon those touches? Or has every contact wrought our shape into a semblance of kindness? All it means is this: what have we learned, and have we practiced our lessons to a meaningful end?

 I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/3/chasing-the-light---odd-striking-moments Sun, 04 Mar 2018 15:11:05 GMT
Afternoon Walk - A Welcome Release https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/2/afternoon-walk---a-welcome-release Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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February 28, 2018

Afternoon Walk  -  A Welcome Release

Over the years this writer has developed what is known as a ‘voice’. A style unique to what and how pieces are written. Anyone who writes evolves a style. Part of this voice began with the writing of letters while in the Air Force, stationed in Germany. Neu Ulm, just across the river from Ulm, the old city.

It was a productive pastime, and a welcome release valve for pent-up emotions, worrisome ideas, and a need for connection with friends and relatives. My dad usually responded. He knew the need for connection and understood how important contact with those we love and cherish can be at such times.

I had several friends, mostly young ladies in college who were kind enough to respond.  Of course, a girlfriend who would soon spiral my world into a tailspin. On one leave home, I confronted her. She refused any explanation when I asked her ‘why?’

The look on her face of defiance told everything. No answer would ever be forthcoming. The open door and her request for me to leave were her last words.

 When my return home brought me to Fort Atkinson, and then to Madison, I looked her up but did not accost her. That was useless. My consternation lasted for years after my discharge.

The memory lingered until the sting of rejection was lost like a key to a lock that no longer worked. Finally, I released my hold on this memory like a helium balloon, and let it drift away. Moved on.

This writing style while in Germany was a conversational tone still used, though language, sentence structure, and presentation have changed and grown with experience. Much reading and many authors later, writing with a poetic style has evolved into a unique voice.

Images appear in the writing so those who read these articles have a concrete setting and may grasp more fully whatever it is this writer manages to score. Editing on the fly has also become a mainstay of this style.

Percolating in the mind like a crockpot an idea flows after a simmering of time has cooked it into a decent account. The editing takes place as the page fills the blank white space with words, here and there, as needed. Each narrative has its own expected tone, angle, and offering. Some relevant to those who accept each rendering, some not.

Not everyone has the same experience and either relates to the subject at hand or skip the substance and move on to something more. More fulfilling, more thoughtful, more apropos to their life, your life.  Those of our generation might linger on such articles while others find no connection and wonder why.

Too late the writing. Too long between time. Each account is summoned by reading, by an apparent coincident of time that flicks a memory on,  or by a need tugging for expression.

Sometimes, pulling words from the mind seems like a gardener pulling weeds from hard-packed clay. These attempts laugh the face, cause long pauses, and discourage further the idea of writing anything. Cultivating a persistent presence enables a writer who occasionally finds the clay a deep disturbance of purpose.

One cannot bow to these whimsical moments of doubt and pain. Only writing cures the ill, no matter if each attempt fails. Write. It is the only response.

Find your vehicle. Find your expression. Explore it. Rewards, satisfaction, and peace of mind wait in the folds and furrows of our gardens.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/2/afternoon-walk---a-welcome-release Wed, 28 Feb 2018 18:16:41 GMT
Chasing The Light - All Our Time Apart https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/1/nothin-doin---all-our-time-apart Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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January 25, 2018

Chasing The Light -  All Our Time Apart


Time is all there is, and of course, as always, never is there enough. Selfish as we are, it is again, as always, taken for granted. Don’t care who you are, we are all guilty. Take those moments before night, relish them, savor their flavor, and taste a sunset.


Every, each and all, sunset is one never seen again. No matter how much, how often, or whatever joy we celebrate in them, they are gone. Celebrate them as unique. On the other hand.


Each, every one of them, sunrise, brings a sense of peace, a heart swell of joy, thankfully grateful, in the hope of this new light. Occasionally, a wetness fills these eyes, knowing another day begins. There is hope, again. Today can be made, shaped, fashioned, sculpted. No matter how temporary, it gifts us with expectations, goals, and daydreamed plans.


In reference to time and how we use it, there are words, thoughts, and ideas to reflect our present moments. We have traveled some distance to embrace our current lives. We share our sunsets and sunrises.


Right now, the transition of this life has not been contemplated, has not been measured with much accuracy. The state of being is vibrational, and no settling has taken place. The power and marvel at the course of our lives is a large wheel still rolling, shifting, progressing. There is still an awe and marvel at this state of being.


The realization that a simple nudge and a decision to give energy a push, events one foresaw have expressed themselves; this has given silence a home. In other words, this writer is speechless at how the determination of making events occur has brought them to life. It is a power not grasped for some time. Knowing Sue and finding our lives intertwining as we imagined it, has become our new reality.


We are without expression. Not enough dust has gathered, nor settled. Oh yes, there is joy in our togetherness, there is much laughter and much peace as two into one combine. Yes, too, we are each our own. Having the privilege of living this many years, there is baggage and experience. We are grateful.


All our time apart has brought us together. There is no other conveyance, no other communication, no other articulation, as complete, as succinct, or as expressive. Words fail, though the heart knows. A ripe pear slurps the mouth with this much satisfaction.


As the wheel turns we find new. We find old, we remember, and we ring our bells in recognition of our common ground. We are grateful.


There is no flood of words. There is no pouring out as one usually expects in these moments. There are long silences between writes. Pulling quills feels like this. Compact writing has walls, barriers, obstacles of mind. This writer has made sparse prose a near reality of a poets’ shorthand.


Joni Mitchell knows. Pete Aleshire has a window into this practice. However, Ray Bradbury gave me permission, unknowing guidance, and grateful inspiration.


Transition continues, as always, as it should. Time has no patience, as always, it moves at its pace, and we, as always, find ourselves out, of time.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2018/1/nothin-doin---all-our-time-apart Sat, 27 Jan 2018 18:42:24 GMT
Chasing The Light - The Snowball Effect https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/12/the-snowball-effect Click The Image To View The  Gallery

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December 17, 2017

Chasing The Light - The Snowball Effect

If someone had predicted a year ago that two lives, mine and Sue Kennedy’s, were about to change drastically I might have laughed in their face. There is not much for this writer to believe in anymore. However, now it is a year, and Arizona is no longer a place of residence, mentally or physically.

Once the process of our lives blending together began, the snowball effect pushed everything into high gear. What was a dream and conversational topic for Sue and myself, metamorphosed into its own reality. Getting together became the only goal worth pursuing.

At times, we found ourselves saying to each other, OMG, this is really happening. The impetus for change, like that proverbial snowball, took on its own life, and no obstacles were going to halt this force.

In many ways, AZ was a great place, and for many people, it still is.  Living in the White Mountains of Arizona was about as close as a person could get to Northern Wisconsin, minus the difference of altitude. Four seasons, mountain streams, small lakes, an abundance of wildlife, and magnificent trees have a bonding effect on someone with a memory connection to the north woods of WisCahnsin. Yep, that’s how we pronounce it.

There are no close relatives for me in AZ. The two of us share a mountain of common values. Plus, there is the added incentive of this author owning a much different mindset than most of the people I knew in AZ. It was a no-brainer.

Sue and I decided getting together as soon as possible was our main objective. The surprising thing was, it did not take long to grasp the reality of that. We are not young. We share many of the same friends, values, and interests. Common ground is our meeting place.

Life is short, and so are we. The opportunity was now, or not at all. Packed my bags, threw my cart of goods into a Uhaul Box, inhaled deeply for the trip of a lifetime, and headed East.

There was much time for thought on the four-lane of 1,650 miles between the outskirts of Show Low, AZ, and Verona, WI. At no time on Hwy I-40, and the other roads leading to Sue was there any doubt about the choice of leaving Arizona. My emotional ties to AZ were severed along the route of finding Sue and realizing how well our relationship jelled.

There are a few people who will be missed. There is the resemblance of the White Mountains to Northern WI. Though nothing compares to the reality of lives that intertwine so well together. At some point, it wasn’t a choice at all. It was a mission, a goal, a chalice pursued and grasped like a holy grail.

We know we are blessed. We are grateful and fortunate at finding each other. It is a rare occurrence when two people are able to make each other laugh, so often and so heartily. Without realizing it, we have known each other all of our lives.

It is a unique life lesson knowing that it is never too late to begin again. Plus, we shared similar experiences in those early years when we were in two different grade schools together. This was a cementing of our common ground, knowledge, and friends. We took the leap over our canyon of doubts. Flying discs should be so lucky.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/12/the-snowball-effect Sat, 23 Dec 2017 18:56:36 GMT
Morning Walk - Pushing The Broom https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/11/morning-walk---pushing-the-broom Click The Image To View The Sunrise Gallery

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November 26, 2017

Morning Walk - Pushing The Broom
 
Little more than a month ago while at work, a couple’s feet were run over by my broom. Before being close to them I said; “Excuse me,” three times. They did not move. At that time I made a choice of pushing past them.

That, apparently, is when I ran over their feet. Didn’t feel the broom touch them or change its position on the floor. Went between them and continued on. Immediately, the woman came after me; said “Excuse me.” I turned around and faced her. She said, “Manager!”

I said, “Pardon me?” She pointed at me accusingly and said, “Get a Manager. I want to talk with a Manager. Now!”

“Sure,” I said, still unaware of what I had done to raise her ire so high. I found my manager and let him know this couple was upset about something I had done, so lookout. The woman is really upset.

I went about my tasks at the back of the store. About 10 minutes later my manager finds me and tells me this woman wanted him to find me and drag me in front of her so she could berate me for my rude and inexcusable behavior. I asked him, “What did I do?”

He then told me that he and the store manager looked at a tape of me going between them. One could not tell from the tape if I had done anything wrong or upsetting other than to make a poor choice of pushing a broom between them.

My manager said next time there is a narrow aisle like that, just don’t go there. Push a broom somewhere else. You bet, no problem. End of discussion.

During my lunch hour, I visualized this woman as she told me to get a manager. Her reaction to me was extreme and bothered me extremely. I kept thinking about it. She over-reacted. Something else was going on in her life.

I remember her face clearly; dark hair, dark eyes, slim, good-looking woman, probably early 30’s. She wore a dark sweater and yoga pants. I froze her face in my mind.

I looked at her eyes. I saw fear, anger, and pain. This woman is carrying a burden. She is unable to release it, express it, or communicate to someone what is hurting her. That bothered my spirit. She is struggling with some pain or hurt inside, and has no way to unleash the churning, conflicting feelings inside her mind and body.

Her only outlet was to attack someone. She was looking for a valve to unscrew, a pressure point that could rip open the hurt and get rid of the pain inside. I was just a target she needed to strike and let go of this fury without someone close to her getting hurt.

When I realized this, I wanted to find her, hug her, and let her know she could give me her pain. A mutual embrace might relieve her of this millstone. She could transfer it, tell me about it, and let it go.

It was not to be, of course. They left the store after this episode and will probably never come here again. It is a difficult responsibility to carry torment around inside one’s self like that.

I think about her now and then, at work, and whenever I see someone acting in a similar fashion. People who strike out at others are mean, or insulting to other people, are in serious pain themselves.

Have mercy, remember they are in pain. Be kind.  There might be more to say, or not.  We all have our own concerns, our own problems, our own difficult situations, sometimes too much.

It has been some time since expressing thoughts on this blog. Perhaps a rest was needed. Maybe the blank space was a breath of exhale. I have noticed over the years my writing is like that.

A place of silence, a room without furniture, a tree without leaves, a sky free of clouds, a lake with a mirror surface; that sort of thing. And now, I am moving on. Time here in Arizona has ended or is quickly coming to a close.

A new life began for this shooter/writer when a certain someone said; “Hi, Andy!” on a FaceBook post. Full circle keeps coming to mind. Yes, and no.

We have some of the same friends, we grew up not far from each other. We went to the same schools together. We have touched some of the same bases.

We have much in common; we make each other laugh, we look for the sunshine in the rain, and on. It is a tremendous feeling knowing you are in such great accord with another person.

The journey continues, and now with much delight, laughter, and likeness of each other. From this perspective, it is a rare gift to give laughter to another person, and have them give it back to you, in spades.

It is never too late to begin, again.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/11/morning-walk---pushing-the-broom Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:34:47 GMT
Chasing The Light -  A Never Ending Quest https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/8/chasing-the-light---a-never-ending-quest Big Springs - Budding Thistle

August 28, 2017

Chasing The Light -  A Never-Ending Quest

It is always about the light. Why? The answer is obvious. The important reasons are:  How, Where, When, and What. 

How is the light striking whatever the object of focus is? Is the light bright, stark, sharp, clear, and powerful? Has the sun not risen yet? Is the light soft? 

Is it only edging its first inclination of bending over the curved surface of the earth, revealing itself? 

Is the sky changing from a deep, darkest blue almost black to a light and barely changing white? As the earth begins to be seen, look around. Take in the soft, rich colors of whatever place you are. Just look.

Objects begin to shape into recognizable forms; plants, flowers, trees, buildings, horses, whatever. As yet there are no shadows. This time will last between 15 and 20 minutes depending on time of year. Now. Shoot now. 

This from a morning person. The light will not get any better from this shooter’s perspective. There are details in the highlights, shadows, and middle tones. The colors will never be richer, deeper, or more saturated. 

That is one time to find light at its best. The other is after the sun has set. The same set of circumstances prevail. One caveat; one must shoot quickly, as the light fades exposure increases, lessening the opportunity for decent exposures.

Of course anytime during the day are terrific opportunities to shoot and find what you like.  Those moments before and after sunrise and sunset, however, give the best light. Even as the sun rises and before it reaches its zenith, light still has qualities useful for excellent exposures. 

Where to shoot? In open shade. What is open shade? Open shade is any large area that is not receiving direct sunlight, a large building’s shadow, the side of a garage in shadow, a thick-leaved tree, a well-sheltered porch. Any place that is in an evenly lit area of shadow out of direct sunlight.

Shadows are soft, uniform, revealing all parts of an object with some shadow but heavy with detail. Color is bright but not overwhelming. Shadows are soft but defining, giving the object an even exposure and providing dimension. A best light situation.

When to shoot? Whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes rules must be ignored. Opportunity does not wait for ideal conditions. One can anticipate and attempt to find places for optimum conditions and best exposure, however. Preparation is experience in action. 

What to shoot? Whatever you find appealing. Whatever satisfies your expression of creativity.

This shooter looks for quality of light. It does not matter what is being shot. What matters is how light exposes, illuminates, and defines, even the most simple object.

Look at today’s image. It is shot late in the day. The sun is setting and almost everything is in shadow. The light is almost dividing the thistle in half between light and shadow, but not quite.

The division of light gives the object a more three-dimensional quality. There is detail in the highlights, and detail in the shadows. Now, look at the background.

The background has two defining qualities: It is darker than the object, and it is out of focus. This accentuates the main object. By being lighter than the background the budding thistle stands out. By being out of focus, the background thrusts the thistle into the center and forces the eye to examine every part of it. It’s as if one could reach out and touch it.

How, Where, When, What. Each in its time. Put together over time these things become a part of the whole process as one learns from each opportunity and applies them. 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/8/chasing-the-light---a-never-ending-quest Mon, 28 Aug 2017 18:14:05 GMT
Chasing The Light - Are You A Sunrise Person or A Sunset Person? https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/8/chasing-the-light---are-you-a-sunrise-person-or-a-sunset-person Click The Image To View The Sunrise Gallery 

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August 07/14, 2017

Chasing The Light - Are You A Sunrise Person or A Sunset Person?

Being an early morning person has probably shaped my penchant for sunrises. It was not until moving to the White Mountains of Arizona did this realization strike with such a moving force. At that time the only job available to me was as a part-time graphic artist at Insta-Prints. The job usually did not start until 10:00 or 12:00 noon, depending on the amount of work available.

What could this shooter do with all that morning time? Take a walk. Before the sun came up. In the summer, that was around 4:30 to 5:00 am. As the earth tilted with seasonal change the time slowly stretched later and later. 

Did not matter. It was still early morning. Not too many people around heading off to work down Burton Road in Linden, AZ at that hour. Throwing the camera over the shoulder, walking out the door with Brownie, and a walking stick in hand, off we went.

The weather was not a concern, especially in Arizona. One always hoped for a cloudy, but not overcast morning. Anytime clouds were available each sunrise became a unique opportunity to photograph amazingly marvelous color.

Seasonal change did play a part in the intensity and type of color rendered. Summer colors are warmer, yellow/orange, red. Winter and Fall colors are more intense and vibrant, reds, fire yellow, and deep orange, almost red. Spring mirrored Autumn to some extent.

Winter also offered the cold blue colors before sunrise. This shift always presented a singular time to record the strange, mysteriously blue monochromatic landscape. Every winter morning rendered a different shade of blue, depending upon whether the sky was clear, without clouds, or overcast or cloudy.

The sunrise itself? Not so exciting. The colors refracting/reflecting off of the clouds and atmosphere were the goal, the sparkling, emotional, and intense colors this shooter anticipated. 

One came to understand that either sunrise or sunset offered an approximate window of 15 to 20 minutes of shooting time before the sun rose or after it fell over the horizon. This was the magic time when startling images were sought and recorded. 

As stated earlier, being a morning person one has not had many occasions for sunsets.  By late afternoon most energy for the day has been spent. However, that has not always been the case, nor will it be always true in the future.

Time and circumstance change everything according to one’s place in life. As far as sunsets are concerned, there have been some stunning and speechless times of day as our majestic home rotates the sun out of sight. But wait...

Click The Image To View The SunSet Gallery

05132012FrostGateSunset462ATwp05132012FrostGateSunset462ATwpFrost Gate Sunset

The best light is after every last discernible ray of light no longer strikes earth’s curvature enough to be seen. The clouds have it, as always. Time of year, in each season, will capture those rays, curve them, bend them and refract such awe it can be without description. 

Words fail. Our minds must remember, must record, must burn images inside us, and bring permanence into these sunset moments. More people like, and prefer sunsets because they are awake and their day has concluded. 

Seeing sunsets more frequently, especially fascinating ones, soothes the mind, brings an emotional context of peaceful feelings, as people realize this beautiful occurrence. Stimulating the correct brain cells, and firing those neurons bring an easy pleasure we like to repeat. More sunsets.

That’s this shooter’s take on sunsets. As explained earlier, more pleasure is found in the quiet world when no one is awake when dust has settled, and all is at rest. Waiting for a new day, a new life, a new opportunity to experience whatever comes this way. That is the excitement of a sunrise.

 

If you have a photo question or a camera problem click on SEND MESSAGE at the bottom of the page to send an email message.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/8/chasing-the-light---are-you-a-sunrise-person-or-a-sunset-person Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:50:58 GMT
Chasing The Light - Exploiting Nature With Exciting Action Shots https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---exploiting-nature-with-exciting-action-shots  

Click The Image To View The Gallery 

Whether you read the text or not, at least click the image below and view the gallery.

July 25, 2017

Chasing The Light - Exploiting Nature With Exciting Action Shots

This must be prefaced with a disclaimer: The creatures recorded by this shooter have been captured through a constant routine of going to nature preserves, parks and natural formations like the Mogollon Rim and its many trails in and around; Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, Payson, Tonto Creek, Roosevelt Lake, Whiteriver, Sitgreaves National Forest, and Tonto National Forest, the White Mountain Apache Reservation, and the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

It must be noted by visiting these places on a regular routine basis some wildlife will adjust to your presence, as long as you do not disturb them, frighten them, or attempt to get too close to them. No sudden movements, no constant and/or relentless eye contact, and no attempts to approach them directly.

The camera was always taken. It was not always used. These images were garnered over a long period of time. As a serious amateur of shooting wildlife many of these places were visited over and over, and over again. There were occasions when only a decent sunrise or sunset was captured.

In Arizona, even those two items are gloriously fantastic especially when you know when to ‘take the shot.’ Thank you Dennis Fendler for that phrase, so often repeated at the many rodeos we shot and shared. The ‘money shot’ phrase is one this photographer has come to disdain and refuses to use in a photographic context.

Many images shot by this photographer are aviary in nature. Having a fascination with flight, birds, and their beauty has dictated somewhat the images captured. Many species, like humans, are creatures of routine, and predicability. Barn swallows, for example, will nest in the relative same area unless forced out by other birds or humans. This made it relatively easy to photograph nests of fledgling chicks. 

Ospreys, eagles, cormorants, great blue heron, great white egrets, red tail hawks, and Stellar’s Jays, are common is Arizona. This makes finding and shooting them relatively easy. The hard part is being able to find and frequent their favorite areas.

Most waterfowl are seasonal and also have favorite wet spots. The two best times of year to capture them with a long lens is Spring and Fall. As they pass through various ponds, lakes, and nesting areas, sit tight and wait. 

Eventually, surprising shots will present themselves. The learned lesson here is patience. Your repetitive appearance at their favorite spots will present you with startling images. Wait, wait, wait. Be still, be silent, be ready.

A simple habit has reaped a multitude of shots. By constantly holding the camera up to my eye and covering the face, birds cannot see your eyes. No visual clues are given for them to read. Slow movement, knowing your surroundings, and boundaries will make an approach easier.

One can train the mind to keep both eyes open while shooting. Your dominant eye in the viewfinder, focusing on the subject, while your other eye is looking at the surrounding area, maintaining a safe environment. This practice has been used for many years, and has been a great help in getting ‘the shot.’

Next stop: Sunrise or Sunset? Which one are you?

If you have a question or a problem eamail: photoll@mac.com

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---exploiting-nature-with-exciting-action-shots Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:37:13 GMT
Chasing The Light - Telling A Story With One Image https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---telling-a-story-with-one-image Chance Encounter

July 18, 2017

Chasing The Light - Telling A Story With One Image

Dogs and people are an interesting mix of elements. Yes, dogs are human’s best friends. We all know that. Having had several dogs it is fairly easy to spot different kinds of owners. My favorite kind of owners is those who do not teach their dogs tricks or train them for hunting or protection but have them as companions and treat them like family. 

They are easy to spot. Take a walk sometime in a park, with your camera, of course, sit on a park bench and observe. It is important to interject that good photographers are excellent observers. When the mind is in shooting mode but relaxed it gives one the opportunity of taking in what is going on around you.

The photo above is a good example. This older couple and their dog are interacting with this young lady. This park is frequented by many kinds of people and having been here over a period of time and watching the people at some point there is always a story waiting to be shot.

Catching the moment and capturing the story in one image renders the moment timeless. This is where knowing your surroundings and being familiar with people who frequent certain places are ideal settings for stories. It is sometimes called practice, practice, practice.

When this group was first noticed one realized the opportunity was approaching. Knowing where to be was important in this case. The setting involved being at a certain spot on the path at the right time. With an eye constantly in the viewfinder, the image was framed and the shot taken. 

The image below has several elements working together to give this wordless narrative its energy. The rails of the shallow arch of the bridge frame the sides and draw the eye into the center of the image. The green of the surroundings contrasts sharply with the clothes, the people, and the color of the dogs.

The young lady wants the dog to pay attention to her, but the dog is not having it. It tells us the dog is relaxed around people and has probably been handled like this before. The women may be discussing the situation, or the girl or the weather. It doesn’t matter. There is action, subtle but dynamic. 

The light in this situation is also of major importance. It is bright, but not stark, thus no hard shadows casting areas of the scene into sharp contrast. The sun has either not come over the top of the trees or the sky is cloudy or has a light but dense overcast.

Everything is delineated sharply, but softly gentle. This renders the scene with a quality of a realistic painting. What is not noticed and should not be noticed unless you are a serious photographer, is the gradation of the image from white with definition in the highlight areas, to detail in the shadows or darker areas.

Bridges

This is what gives an image of this type its best quality. Its ability to tell a story. Next stop: Exploiting nature with exciting action shots.

If you have a question or a problem: Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on SEND MESSAGE

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---telling-a-story-with-one-image Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:48:05 GMT
Chasing the Light - How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part Two https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---how-do-you-add-interest-to-a-plain-photo-part-two 07092012willowlake07092012willowlake

July 08, 2017

Chasing the Light - How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part Two

Now you are out with your camera having learned in, How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part One, how to use the foreground, middle ground, and background to best advantage.

Quick recap; Foreground somewhat out of focus but recognizable, main object or action in sharp focus, and background with a minor interest in or out of focus. Whether the background is in or out of focus depends on how important it is to the image in terms of understanding what is going on in the image itself.

There you are at an interesting wildlife area you like to frequent because of the birds, skunks, raccoons, hawks, herons, plants, and flowers that make for great opportunities of capturing those natural nature moments.

You come upon a large pond that is naked: no waterfowl, no frogs, turtles, or other creatures out getting their morning meals. All is quiet. The water is fairly calm, the sky and clouds are reflecting beautifully on the water. 

What a shot! It’s so big you need your wide-angle lens if you have one. Or maybe your zoom has a great wide angle but not such a great telephoto. Wide-angle, of course, to gather in all of the pond, the grasses and trees in the back and the meadow in back that seems to go on forever.

Taking a couple of shots, you notice that like the floating dock it is devoid of interest. Hmm...Putting something in the middle ground of the image gave us an interesting and information-loaded image. But this time...

08222016BigSpringsPond017AT.jpg08222016BigSpringsPond017AT.jpgBig Springs Pond

We want something a little different, but something that still provides an image with special interest. Put that wide-angle to use. Looking around one notices there is tall grass at the edge of the pond. Kneel down in front of the grass. Focus on the grass. Darn, the wind is blowing in gusts. Wait for it to settle down, or slow down. Set your camera for a high shutter speed. Shoot!

Being a fairly wide-angle lens with a reasonably high ISO, almost everything should be in focus. Check your image on your screen until you have an image you like. There you are. 

0822016BigSpringsSerenity022ATwp.jpg0822016BigSpringsSerenity022ATwp.jpgBig Springs Serenity

Congratulations on another fine shooting experience. The foreground grass is in focus, the pound is in focus, the tall trees at the back of the meadow are just barely in focus. You have achieved another goal and gained experience. More knowledge tucked away in the brain for future use. 

But wait, there are other special interests.

1. A foggy lake early in the morning with mist rising off the lake. Using reeds as a curtain, a wide-angle lens, and a chance to get your feet wet, literally. This image has mystery, interest, and uniqueness. Catching the mist rising off a body of water is not an easy task.

07092012willowlake17707092012willowlake177Willow Lake, at the top of the Rim, on a cool summer's morning.

Unless of course, you know this happens periodically; after rainfall on a cool summer’s night. In the spring when daytime temperatures are high and the nights are rather cool. Get up early, get out there and shoot.

2. A wildlife refuge area where you know hatchlings are out with the adults learning to feed and swim, and exploring the ponds of opportunity.

06192017Canadians@PintailLake524ATwp.jpg06192017Canadians@PintailLake524ATwp.jpgCanadians at Pintail Lake

This time, in order to keep the birds close, kneeling down in front of these reeds, and using it as a shield a family of Canadian Geese is captured as they quickly cross an open expanse of water.

But wait they are out of focus. Doesn’t matter. 

Canadian geese are rather recognizable and by focusing on the reeds we establish our camouflage, the birds are in focus enough to be recognized, and the viewer becomes an observer of a scene not seen often.

3. A slight mystery of what is that object out there?

07092012willowlakemistboat07092012willowlakemistboat

 Oh, it’s a man in a boat fishing in the mist. The reflection of the trees on the water in the foreground draws the eye into the image, the rising mist partially hides the boat and one sees it at first as only a dark object. The edge of the sky and tall pines capture the morning sun and frame the top part of the image. The water at the very bottom of the image provides the same function. 

Once again, foreground, middle ground, background, all with areas of interest making an eye-pleasing, relaxed and soft moment. 

How do we tell a story without words? Come back again, find out next time.

If you have a question or a problem: Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on SEND MESSAGE

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---how-do-you-add-interest-to-a-plain-photo-part-two Sat, 08 Jul 2017 13:31:13 GMT
Chasing the Light - How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part One https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---how-do-you-add-interest-to-a-plain-photo-part-one 03202017GlidingGreatBlueHeron166ATwp03202017GlidingGreatBlueHeron166ATwpGreat Blue Heron Gliding across Show Low Lake

July 04, 2017, Happy 4th of July! Have a great Holiday!

Chasing the Light - How Do You Add Interest To A Plain Photo? Part One

So, there you are out in the early morning air, a fresh new SD card, or maybe a 16GB (Gigabyte) Compact Flash memory card, clean, never been used. Needing to be baptized with exciting images. 

What to shoot? You’re looking for something to take back from this holiday, this week in a tent, or RV. Something to show the family or put on Facebook. And watch those ‘likes’, and comments reach high numbers. 

You’re at the end of the trail and you notice there’s water out there between the trees. A lake. You’ve come out of the woods right in front of Show Low Lake. Yes!  Now you’ve got this wide, wonderful expanse of blue calm water.

It’s early morning and there’s no one here! Luck is with you. No boats, no anglers on the shore, no tree huggers cluttering up the trail. Look at that lake. All blue, all calm and quiet. Now’s the time.

Get that shot. You quickly frame the water and take a few shots of the lake. There is a loose dock gently floating on the left, great. Click, click, one more, click. Got it.

03202017ShowLowLakeDriftingDock151ATwp03202017ShowLowLakeDriftingDock151ATwpShow Low Lake Drifting Dock

You look at the images you just shot and...are disappointed. It’s not interesting. It’s just some water and a dock that needs to be pulled to the shore and anchored. The dock is small, it looks tiny in this shot. Ah geez, that’s no shot. 

How can I fix this? Let’s see. This camera does have a built-in zoom right? Yes. On the other side of the lake is another dock that is also floating-free. Hmm...

Maybe if I zoom in on the floating dock and line them up so the floater is in front of and just under the other dock it might look like a double-deck dock. At the least, it will have more interest than just all this water and a dock floating free. 

Click. Well, that looks interesting. Even Billy might ask; “How’d ya do that?”

03202017DoubleDecked155ATwp03202017DoubleDecked155ATwpDouble Decked

How do you add interest to a plain photo? Three words. Foreground, middle ground, background. 

By placing something of interest in the foreground, the front part of the image, the eye is drawn into the image. In the middle ground is the object of interest, in this case, a floating dock. It does not need to be in the exact middle of the image. 

Background, the other dock, the road, and the camping area behind in the trees. The trees act as a wall stopping the eye from wandering around, bringing the mind back to the floating dock. Now you have an image with interest.

Why is that dock floating? A mystery. The dock behind it almost looks like it is balancing on top of the front dock. Cool.

A few RVs can be seen way in the back so we now know this is also a camping area. Wonderful. So much information in one simple image. 

Here are a few other examples:

1. A cormorant resting on a log.

03202017CormorantOnAStump134aATwp03202017CormorantOnAStump134aATwpCormorant resting on a log.

2. Two men in a boat just about to throw their lines in the water.

03202017AnglersAcumen141ATwp03202017AnglersAcumen141ATwpTwo anglers getting ready to fish.

3. A Great Blue Heron hiding in plain sight

03202017DriftwoodHeronWide156aATwp03202017DriftwoodHeronWide156aATwpGreat Blue heron hiding in plain sight.

03120017DriftwoodHeron156ATwp03120017DriftwoodHeron156ATwpCloser

 

In these four examples, the foreground is mostly out of focus, and the center image is in sharp focus. This pulls the eye into the image as the mind looks at the overall scene. 

 

By zooming in just a little on the Great Blue Heron it becomes the star of the image. There is more empty space on the left side of the image. Why? It gives the heron space to move. Putting the bird dead center does not allow for possible movement to the left.

 

Now, we know how to add interest to a plain photo. But wait, there’s more. How do we add special interest to a plain photo? Come back again, and find out next time.

 

If you have a question or a problem: Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on SEND MESSAGE

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

03202017GreatBlueHeronInset161sATwp03202017GreatBlueHeronInset161sATwpGreat Blue Heron on the wing.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---how-do-you-add-interest-to-a-plain-photo-part-one Tue, 04 Jul 2017 16:18:06 GMT
Chasing The Light - How Do You Make A Photo Look Like A Painting? https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---how-do-you-make-a-photo-look-like-a-painting 08222016WaterColorUpsidedown013aATwp08222016WaterColorUpsidedown013aATwpWater Color

July 03, 2017

Chasing The Light - How Do You Make A Photo Look Like A Painting?

It seems like photo-bloggers are like drops of water, or developer, or fixer, or, in today's term, a myriad of filters, all wanting your center stage attention. Where does that leave me, or others of my ilk? A tiny spot, brightly colored, of course, blinking blindly for a sparkle of scrutiny your eyes may or may not notice.

What glimmer of glam will pique your mind, pinch your cheek, or poke your eye with delight? A question? posed as a challenge or inquired with a simple statement that you may implement immediately.

After all, today’s technology has advanced so quickly any Joe worth his blow can afford even a simple point and shoot and still manage to record an image, in focus no less. The question then becomes; What answer may respond to your simple question you didn’t know you were asking?

In other words, there are answers to questions you did not know you have until you read them. For example: How did you make those clouds and grass look so much like a painting? What filter did you use? Did you use photoshop or some other program?

The answer: None of the above. Huh? One can achieve certain special effects without the use of filters, or digital darkroom tricks, of which there are many. In-camera cropping, and realizing that water can be its own painting if one is aware of how to use it. 

When searching for abstract images in everyday objects, an open mind is essential. That particular day this shooter was looking for abstractness at a pond and the surrounding area. Staring at the water did not help until the water looked like a canvas and not water at all.

It was then possible to see the reflection in the water as its own watercolor filter. After a number of exposures from various angles and different places, several images yielded an abstract image and a watercolor image without digital manipulation.

Want an image to look like it is a watercolor painting? Use water; a pond, a lake, a large puddle, a large sheet of clear ice, may also do the trick. Observe your choice from all angles, high, low, middle, and other positions. Think of it as if it is already a watercolor painting, then find the best possible viewpoint and shoot. 

There may be more than one possible viewpoint that is best. There may be several, shoot them all. Occasionally what is seen in the viewfinder looks better than it is once it has been recorded. The opposite is also true, take the shot anyway.

The mind interprets what it sees. The camera records only what it is capable of recording. Two thoughts one must always remember when shooting. With practice, these two concepts can mesh and eventually produce your thoughts in an image.

Have a camera question/problem you have not been able to solve or answer? Ask Andy. Next time: How do you add interest to a plain photo?

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

If you have a question or problem: Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on SEND MESSAGE

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/7/chasing-the-light---how-do-you-make-a-photo-look-like-a-painting Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:47:35 GMT
After The Break - No Sustainable Relationship https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/6/after-the-break---no-sustainable-relationship 05282017PurpleIris393ATSides3wp05282017PurpleIris393ATSides3wpPurple Iris

04 June 2017

After The Break - No Sustainable Relationship

Relationships 

like life, are fragile. 

They can be broken at any moment. 

 

Relationships 

like eggshells, 

have strength under pressure 

but break when pierced. 

 

Relationships 

like wind, 

can tornado into destruction

or 

comfort a body when just a breeze. 

 

Relationships

like unexpected storms, 

are able to flood without a moments notice 

or 

nourish growth when delivered gently.

 

Relationships 

like flowers, 

can ooze a person’s nose into ecstasy,

or 

brighten a mind with their beauty. 

 

Relationships

like waves,

in a rush of water 

may deliver untold treasures without notice, 

or carry away everything you own. 

 

Relationships

like humans, 

are surprises, 

who reveal joy without expectation,

or

when unwrapped, reveal a darker side 

unleashed without warning.

 

Relationships

like humor, 

explode a face into happy laughter. 

 

Relationships

like tears, 

eyes well up with emotional waterfalls

with cried rivers 

of unexpected pain or joy.

 

Relationships

like bubbles, 

are more fragile than eggs, 

as beautiful as rainbows, 

lighter than air pushed on gentle breezes, 

finite as the least moment of time, 

memorable as eternity, 

complete as only a circled orb can be. 

 

Bubbles remain whole 

because 

they attach with trust 

and each and every molecule 

will hold onto every other molecule with equal force and faith. 

They believe in their connectivity. 

They have faith in each other.  

 

Relationships are all these things, and more.

Without these two qualities: 

trust and belief, 

no relationship will sustain itself. 

 

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

 

'After The Break' refers to a relationship that could not support its own weight. 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/6/after-the-break---no-sustainable-relationship Sun, 04 Jun 2017 15:43:12 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - There Is More... https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/5/nothin-doin---there-is-more Click The Image To View The Gallery 

012020145ElkSunrise845ATwp012020145ElkSunrise845ATwp5 Elk Sunrise

May 15, 2017

Nothin’ Doin’ - There Is More...

A singer, a woman’s voice, high pitched soft, clear, strident, and soothing. Rings in my right ear. No earbuds plugging ear holes. Just the echoes off walls bouncing her song around this room.

A thought, like her voice, speaks suddenly between beats. Twirls around the head like a needle-scratched vinyl record emitting a song in each revolution. It asks a simple but thoughtful question.

At what time in the life of humans will a person be able to have permanent earbuds? Each being ensconced with their own private music library inside their heads with access to all the music ever written, scribed, performed, and recorded.

Or, will one have the option of not hearing anything if one chooses to turn off their ears? Sweet silence in a cacophony world of poundingly constant noise, every timbre of sound waves penetrating all our fibers of being. A world of no escape other than to turn our own ears off.

Even then, sound vibrations penetrate as a matter of physics. Some escape is better than no escape at all. And in a world of such, will immersion therapy spas become a major corporation of world power?  Humans so hungry for silence any price will be paid.

One can imagine. But wait, there is more...

Studies have already proven a constant, and frequent return to our natural environment is more soul-satisfying than anything humans have invented for easing the mind and bringing peace into the heart. 

This writer did not need a research paper as proof. Burton Road in the early morning before sunrise was enough evidence. Out the door, image-maker slung across the shoulder, hiking boots crunching the road, as Brownie sniffed the future. Down the road, out there where horses stood silent waiting for the sun to warm them.

Leave the phone at home, leave the earbuds by the computer, and do not strap that watch to the wrist. Just take some steps North up Snowflake way on the winding road with its gentle ups, downs, curves, and tanks here and there.

Listen. The wind carries a howl of a grey/brown coated coyote. Hawks ride the thermals with starkly dark wings shifting and flicking, maintaining their flight against a deep blue morning sky. Shining black ravens caw in pairs. Two-toned brown elks echo the hills with bellowing trumpets. 

The green grasses in the meadow wait for a bright a yellow sun to kiss more life into their stalks. A haze of moisture shrouds the distant hills, and whitish grey smoke from a wood stove signals an early rising for some.

Brownie lays down on the road. Watching for movement, she sniffs a breeze, licks her paw, and rests her head on her forelegs. A brief moment in the morning in the life.

Standing at rest in the middle of the road on the first curved hill looking South. These are the only sounds and sights. There is a peace in the air one cannot receive any other way. 

Resting on a favorite staff an inhaled breath of cool air pumps the lungs full. A moment of eternity fixes this place, this time in the mind. It will never leave. 

A moment carried in memory. Like a locket hung around the neck holding this one instant of time forever safe. Nature’s immersion therapy.

Thank You. I am grateful for your visit.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/5/nothin-doin---there-is-more Mon, 15 May 2017 15:13:36 GMT
Nothin' Doin' - Notice Is Given https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/5/nothin-doin---notice-is-given Click The Image To View The Gallery 

03120017DriftwoodHeron156ATwp03120017DriftwoodHeron156ATwpDriftwood Heron

May 14, 2017

Nothin' Doin' - Notice Is Given

Once upon a time before a hip became an appliance of shiny, smooth, almost unbreakable, metal, someone had a dog, a staff of spindly wood, and a large, heavy, mechanical slash electronic image recording device and a goal.

A goal consisting of image satisfaction. One waiting for atmospheric changes that brought bright colors and amazing combinations of elements to wow the mind, the eye, and the heart. Goals worthy of sharing, writing about, and publishing.

Then a subtle transformation, like the barely discernible tilt of the earth through the seasons, edged its way into this life. Sleep or the act of laying in bed without motivation, and unemployed thoughts of those loved, and distantly remembered characters of time entertained an idle mind. 

There was no rushing race to beat the sunrise to the lake, or forest, or surprised clouds of color on the horizon. Those shots had already been shared in memory clouds, on hard drives, on flash memory bits, and in cyberspace. The imaging instrument of choice became noticeably heavier.

The desire to capture ‘that moment’ faded into a ‘meh’. The fire burning in the heart became embers slowly cooling, as one could hold them in a palm of this hand. The immediate need of chasing time slowed to a lazy, listless, limping walk.

Oh, it did not seem like much at first. But like seasonal change, one day it is spring, and then without warning summer heat blasts your face red. On that day notice is given and shockingly received with surprise. Trites ’Didn’t see it coming’ phrase slaps a forehead with a 2x4.

Another process aided and abetted the long slow metamorphosis from active shooter and seeker of distinct perspectives to a less caring, and acquiescent searcher of the unique. The old dog was put down, a harsh choice but inevitable. Walks became less frequent, lacking determination. Desire became a stale drink without fizz or bubbly carbonation.

Without a companion, four-legged or otherwise, breaths of wonder faded into darkness like a slowly creeping fog shrouding the life and clouding the desire. But there is more. It wasn’t just an absence of another life sharing these moments. 

Just one of those long, slow, imperceptible, modified moments that change a life and remain unnoticed until it becomes a routine that shifted into its present state. One becomes comfortable with it. Like a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, a gas tank empty, and no town, or city, or help in sight. One accepts this change and moves forward with it.

Sure, one shoots now and then, looking for abstraction in everyday, ordinary life. Not with fire in the mind, not with desire that causes excitement, and a rage to capture ‘that moment’, but with a goal of slight, subtle, satisfaction finding an unseen point of view of that which is common. 

Any shooter worth their instrument of choice never gives it up completely. There is always a moment anticipated, patiently waited for, or shot when time stops and peaks its moment as decisive as Henri Cartier Bresson knew it.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/5/nothin-doin---notice-is-given Sun, 14 May 2017 14:59:04 GMT
Afternoon Walk - A Churned Landscape https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/afternoon-walk---a-churned-landscape Click The Image To View The Gallery 

04202017HummingBirdCloud266ATwp04202017HummingBirdCloud266ATwpHumming Bird Cloud

April 22, 2017

Afternoon Walk - A Churned Landscape

In the coziness of our cottage comfort is the warmth of silence.  Always there are house sounds,  the refrigerator motor humming quietly, an electric heater whirring as it spreads warmth across the room. The 4:30 alarm of a gentle music refrain, repeating every minute, rising in volume until it is tapped off.

Now comes the espresso, sipped, swirled around the mouth as the intense flavor licks this tongue and lips. A thyroid pill tickles the tongue, washed down easily with the espresso. Being up this early one remembers to change the cover photo too.

In the busy activities of a workday, it is easy to forget a few simple pleasures. Cozy sox, a warm bathrobe, instead of work clothes, a few scans of news articles, and a moment of doing absolutely nothing. Thoughts of others close to us slowly seep into the mind. A loved one, friends, relatives, and the peace of living in solitude.

It is the last workday of the week. One relaxes his grip on this morning with no urge to ‘get things done.’ Time will manage without activity for at least a half-hour. One needs to savor a quiet morning pause.

Such a jumble of life sometimes breaks the gate and the outside world stampedes into the meadow of quiet space. Like a frightened herd of buffalo running wildly with great abandon, distractive thoughts crowd the mind and rush the blood. Leaving behind a churned landscape of mutilated words and sentences. 

Later, there will be time to find all the scattered thoughts, phrases, metaphors, and expressions of tranquil ideas. Breath deep, inhale quietly and expel all but those dreams still humming their tune of relaxation. Now is the time for a slipstream of transition into a working mode.

In the busyness of workdays, one forgets to become this moment. The blur of days becomes a string of beads all of the same color, a blur of blue. Rest and quiet are warm and gold. Like rosary beads, those golden days are separate but connected. 

As age creeps into one, a desire for more days of gold and fewer blurs of blue becomes prominent. Not yet, not yet, whispers this scrooge of time. Our day will come, but now, it is time to work, to push your limit, and look to the sunrise of rest. But rest comes with a ticket one must use in the search for golden days.

The late afternoon walk of April 19 was such a ticket of searching. This hunt for this quiet, outside of our cottage, in the world of the Rim Trail, began. A search for some significant image of satisfaction. Too late the day, too slow the exposure. 

At least one broke the comfort zone and explored an old trail with a new perspective. A cliche of effort foot stepped the same trail, finding a new version of exposure. Though not realized that day, the idea and the vision of new images emerged.

Tweaking the exposure, time of day, and use of shadow and light shall produce images of abstraction one has been searching. Lloyd’s admonition, which has rattled this brain on its own, rang like a bell and vibrated within the self: Get out! Get out of your comfort zone!

Though no images of note were captured, a lump of coal became a diamond of a goal sought haphazardly for some time. Thank you, Lloyd. Future images will test the clarity of this hardened rock of sparkles.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/afternoon-walk---a-churned-landscape Sun, 23 Apr 2017 14:18:20 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - If Not Images https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/nothin-doin---if-not-images Click The Image To View The Gallery 

03202017GnarledAbstract207ATwp03202017GnarledAbstract207ATwpGnarled Abstract

April 16, 2017

Nothin’ Doin’ - If Not Images

In the world of religion, this is a celebratory time. It is also just another Sunday. Another sunrise missed by this writer, as these days sleep and rest dominate the morning. Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and may Passover bring you a greater and better understanding of your faith.

There is a Spring chill in the crisp morning air. As sunset nears later today, time will discard the usual and shape a different form in a walk, in a contemplation of breathing, a sustained life that has been magical at certain times, and through no action of this writer. 

There are times when it seems this pathfinder has a guide with invisible signs one reads through intuition and escapes moments where one might be eclipsed into non-existence. I am grateful and thankful for having lived this long. If there are parallel universes there is no doubt in my mind, I am already dead in one or more of them.

Get out of my comfort zone! Is an admonishment slung at me from a friend at our last photogs meeting? There is a problem with that. There isn’t much I have not ventured photographically. Oh yes, there are areas to explore. Drawbacks however are time and money.

And attitude, and desire, and energy. Excuses all, you bet! 

When you have photographed death up close and had to be at accident scenes, seen things most people never see and documented it, covered fires that have burned the earth to cinders, ash, and smoldering trees, and covered the same events so many times, closing your eyes and just listening could have gotten decent photos, there isn’t much-left one has the heart to shoot.

This writer/shooter has pared images down to what is abstract; objects, scenes, sights, events, or people that must be captured not as they are, but as one can interpret them. It is a difficult search. No whining, please.

The search is a challenge for this reason; all of these items are so familiar, exploring them from a new perspective is the real challenge. It can and has been done. Clearing the mind before venturing out is the crossroads event that is so elusive.

When the Morning Walk or Afternoon Walk were mainstays of this life, it was easier. The walk provided time, space, quiet, and distance. This mind released everything and just settled into the present moment. Images did not always just appear, some days there was nothing, which was ok. The walk itself provided inner peace if not images.

Other days images were thrown across the landscape like a deck of cards scattered across my feet to the horizon and back again. Consistency was the linchpin. All images swung around this measure and found expression. 

Walking Show Low Lake, Show Low Creek, and the Rim Trail have distinct limitations. People. Yes, the whine master is searching for his piece of cheese. Putting such restrictions on the process narrows the scope and provides excuses. Comfort zone hedging buffers the process.

There will be no new growth without breaking the comfort zone.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/nothin-doin---if-not-images Sun, 16 Apr 2017 16:28:38 GMT
Nothin' Doin' - The Best Comfort https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/nothin-doin---the-best-comfort Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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April 12, 2017

Nothin' Doin' - The Best Comfort

Memories are never true. As they recede further into our past they become more of a fantasy than an actual occurrence that really did happen. It is the mind coping with what pieces we manage to hold onto.

For example, a picnic at the beach with relatives on the 4th of July, becomes a roaring good time, with the children (us) playing and swimming and eating hot dogs and playing water tag and splashing the girls who are attempting to bronze the skin of their emerging woman. 

Adults drink beer, smoke cigarettes, tell stupid jokes, some of which are funny, and sit around talking about relatives who are not there. The men are waiting for the women to cook the burgers, hot dogs, or whatever else was brought, from potato salad to sauerkraut, and some kind of fruit salad this writer never has liked.

The women talk about the latest pregnancy or recent birth and how fat or thin so-and-so has gotten and shouldn’t she be wearing a dress and not those shorts so soon after the birth etc. Gossip, as a mainstay of conversation, is always fashionable.

Maybe it did happen that way. Maybe there is some truth in those buns and marshmallows ready to be burned over an open fire and consumed as a gooey, sticky, mess of melting sugar. Maybe the youngest boy in the group did cry and beg and plead to light sparklers before dark and got his way. Maybe not.

These are sometimes memories that are savored and cooked over a brick grill in a Wisconsin park and tasted every so often with the relish of fading memories. The scene is just yards from a wonderfully cold lake, waiting for humans to invade and squeal their way through the summer.

But the memories of going over to mom and dad’s on a Sunday, having dinner, watching t.v. or cooking on the patio, and then relaxing in the late afternoon sun have more significance. Those days are missed like a severed limb, a foot no longer attached that is a phantom one can feel but never touch again. You know it’s there, but it isn’t. 

It resides solely in the mind and slowly changes, evolves, and becomes bittersweet with age. Those were days when it felt like nothing would change, and life would be peaceful, good, satisfying, and always the welcome place, and always there. Those are times missed more than any other.

Driving to mom and dad’s and being there, just content to be there. It was the safe place of this soul. It was the place no outside war, or battle with life could enter. It was an impenetrable fortress of peace, and safety.

There is no place like that now. One cannot go anywhere and feel that relief of being safe, comfortable, relaxed, and at ease with the world. Being in the shelter of parents, even as an adult always gave this writer breathing space, a calm, a haven, a nest of security.

Yes, there are made places like that, but not ever like those places. Being with the boys, or my brother is as close as one gets. Being with a loved one is also the best comfort, arms surrounding each other in a warm, eternal, embrace. May it always be so.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/nothin-doin---the-best-comfort Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:43:58 GMT
Nothin' Doin'- Nothing Beats Time https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/nothin-doin---nothing-beats-time Click The Image To View The Gallery 

03202017PonderosaSunset203ATwp03202017PonderosaSunset203ATwpPonderosa Sunset

April 10, 2017

Nothin' Doin'- Nothing Beats Time

When first conscious, still in the bed, wondering if one should pee, or rollover, and curl up, and suppress a natural function, one realizes this person is still alive. Cold feet, or not enough blankets, or being sweaty from turning the electric blanket too high, reassures the energy of this entity, life is pulsing.

The black sleep of pills has worn off and the mind is searching for sounds, for familiar company. Noises of the world, wind, barked dogs, truck roaring engines, a simple quiet melody on the iPhone nudging its owner to taste again cold mountain air. These are the moments.

These are the openings one waits for. When they arrive there is no time for anything but this time. No music, no distractions, no earbuds.

Just a bubble of silence and a light tapping of furious keys. Ideas begin their unfolding of mist-like blankets releasing their contents into the open and if one does not heed the stir of thoughts, one can only be responsible for what is not said. So many days, so many mornings, these thoughts pass into another realm and wait. 

Eventually, everything comes out. Eventually, everyone is offended. Some ducks of people take it and most do not. The change of life is the only constant and one either rolls with it or becomes resistant and transforms into a wall beating against time.

Always a loss. Nothing beats time. Nothing.

To write whatever is the only solace, the only proof of life, the only release. Thoughts and ideas cannot remain in cages forever. There is always escape.

Some escapes are rather accidental, as the mind knows when to unlock cells and even the gatekeeper cannot determine when who will out. Surprise. A slip of the tongue, a phrase said in the moment, without thought, but with impulse reveals what lies behind the eyes.

Sensitive individuals catch those impetuous moments and either express a question or hold them captive for future use. What is the purpose? To express a process. 

Writing holds its best moments when no plan is formed, formulated or constructed. An urge, a feeling, a spurt of energy fills the spaces of this mind like an expanding gas, and fingers explode the words into cyberspace of pages electronic. 

There is no mention of nice, or good, or bad, or pedestrian, just what has been expressed. Most leave it on the page and care little or not at all. It does not matter.

Reading more then becomes the most important activity for those who express with words. There are so many choices. One must find those who oppose the reader in style, content, themes, plots, and ideas, and those who read like a river. 

In the contrast of these writers, one will find a better instrument for the self. It is this amazing silent disparity that brings forth a stronger, clearer, and more profound voice. Tempered reading with continuous writing is a perpetual motion machine.

That means one will never run out of material if the schedule is kept to on a regular basis. Or in this writer’s case an irregular, intermittent schedule. We all develop our own styles.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/4/nothin-doin---nothing-beats-time Tue, 11 Apr 2017 13:35:53 GMT
Morning Walk - A Sigh Of Relief https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/3/morning-walk---a-sigh-of-relief Click The Image To View The Gallery 

03202017AnglersAcumen141ATwp03202017AnglersAcumen141ATwpAnglers Acumen

March 20, 2017

Morning Walk - A Sigh Of Relief

The month of March or in Gaia terms this period of time when the earth’s rotation continues its slight but inevitable tilt has been a period of dislike for this particular writer. Generally speaking, it lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 days, though never a constant. Never a set amount of days, always an approximation.

After all, Nature’s schedule is so much unlike man’s. It does what it does when it does it. One season the weather can be more nasty than nice. The next season’s shift may waltz in in a mood of romance and be a love state of wonder and sublime beauty.

This is March. This is the one period of the year of the most unpredictable weather changes. A Doctor Jekyll of weather who may become a turncoat traitor and become a Mr. Hyde of storms, wind, harsh rain, and possibly snow/ice with high snowdrifts, without warning.

This state of weather is, and probably always shall be, a condition out of the control of humans. Though this writer abhors these conditions and outcomes, there is, to some extent a certain beauty and awesomeness contained within this modifying Gaian landscape of weather. It brings to bear the realization we are a small part of earth and subject to its constantly shifting state of evolution.

Unpredictably high winds, possible snow, hard icy rain, cold nights with on and off days of warmth, may arrive like a child’s tantrum and torment the northern hemisphere for an inordinate amount of days and then whimper away as if its outburst never occurred.

One season while living in New Mexico, March arrived like a Southwest tornado, never paid the rent but stayed a full 45 days. Each day howling its displeasure as if the residents of Los Alamos had ordered its incarceration to this mountainous village of scientists, intellectuals, menial workers, and technicians of all stripes and flavors.

The wind pushed and pulled, screeched and howled, uprooting trees, ripping leaves of off branches and sending dust devils down every street, whirling and blowing and scattering twigs, leaves, dust, sheaves of paper and plastic bags across the landscape in torrents of terrible behavior.

Finally, in the second week of April as if a warrant of arrest had been issued by Gaia’s police of nature, March gave up its angry energy, blew its lungs out into the valleys below, and slunk away quietly. No apology, no “I’m sorry for the havoc,”  no announcements offering repayment or restitution or asking for forgiveness. Just a silence of no wind, no destructive storms of fury slamming its door on its way out of the season of tilting change.

It was probably the harshest March ever remembered. Now, here in the White Mountains of Arizona, there have been some similar times, but nothing quite like that season. For which gratitude is always at the top of the list at this time.

Now April shows her face. Blooming and fruitful warm days touch the mountains, and maybe a touch of rain encourages the growth of all plants. Drab colors transform like cocoons into butterflies of bright greens, yellows, purples, reds, and blues. 

A collective sigh of relief whooshes through the ponderosa as sunset cues the approaching darkness, and silence throws its blanket over our part of the world. Now we may find a clearing, look up at the universe, and marvel at our place in this vast eternity of space.

Thank you. I am grateful for your visit.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/3/morning-walk---a-sigh-of-relief Mon, 20 Mar 2017 17:39:03 GMT
After The Break - Before You https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/3/after-the-break---before-you ********07222015WaterAbstract545ATwp********07222015WaterAbstract545ATwpWater Abstract Sometimes one catches an image just right. Attempts at reproducing it are not that easy. Such is the case here.

March 04, 2017

After The Break - Before You

In the middle of it all, he sat there, close to the fire. Wanting the warmth of the flames but seeking the darkness outside of the warmth. As always a contradictory nature wrapped inside and out of this small, thin, man.

He wanted to run, to hide, to disappear into a billboard and be forever lost. He also wanted to rifle through the bodies finding whatever valuables were quick and easy snatches. He did neither. The thin man sat by the fire and weighed his real options; stay and wait for the beach patrol, or leave now before it got light. He could already see the cliff fifty yards behind him. The inevitable sunrise was approaching.

On the beach between the ocean and the seagrass bodies lay contorted, bloody, silent, and clothed only in beachwear, ready for a party. The wind blew in gusts, whipping the man’s long white hair in front of his face, and twirling it around his neck. He turned and looked out at the ocean. Small waves crashed and began their slow creep up the beach. The tide was coming in. 

Soon the sun would rise over the cliffs behind this shocked, and stoic survivor. With daylight approaching, he knew two inevitable forces were about to collide. The local beach patrol would discover the mayhem of the night before, and the thin man, if he remained here, would be suspect number one.

The thin man pulled a blue bandana out of his back pocket, ran his hands through his hair, and wrapped the bandana around his head, hippie style.  He looked around for his backpack, shoes, and light windbreaker. His pack was still on the picnic table, his shoes were missing, and the light jacket was loosely stuffed inside a net pocket of the pack.

He grabbed the pack and headed up the winding path that led to the top of the cliff where he had parked his motorcycle. If he was quick enough he knew he could escape before anyone even knew he was at this scene of depravity and chaos. 

Out of breath and breathing hard when he reached his Honda 750 his shoes were still on the seat, as he had left them. A small detail he forgot until he saw them. Catching his breath he heard the particular whine of a four-wheeler pushing through the sand about find the carnage on the beach below.

Crouching down he slipped his shoes on, threw his pack over his left shoulder, gripped the handlebars, and pushed. Nothing happened. The bike would not move. He pushed again. Nothing.

Looking at the back wheel he saw a car boot attached to it. Trouble, he groaned. But then he remembered a trick a fellow rider had mentioned in passing a few days ago. Digging in his pack he found his small bright flashlight, flicked it on, and looked for the air valve on the Fatboy tire.

The car boot was not made for motorcycles, it was too big. His Fatboy tire was almost as wide as a car tire but the boot was loose on it. He used his leatherman and began letting air out of the tire. The wind and swishing grass muffled the squeal of air as the tire deflated.

He let just enough air out of the tire to wiggle the car boot loose, packed his gear, and struggled pushing the bike through the heavy sand and onto the two-lane road. Pushing the Honda for all his slight body was worth the thin man hopped the seat and began using his legs to push his load at least a mile away from the scene.

He looked East and could see details in the hills and trees. An out of sight shelter was his main concern at the moment. Anything to hide him, a shed, a close clump of trees, even a large billboard with tall grass growing at its base would do at this point.

 

To be continued...

 

If you are interested in reading more; please share with friends, relatives, co-workers, enemies, whatever... and email me. Say Yes! in the subject line.

Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/3/after-the-break---before-you Sat, 04 Mar 2017 13:38:59 GMT
Morning Walk - Echo Of Wet https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/1/morning-walk---echo-of-wet Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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January 14/15, 2017

Morning Walk - Echo Of Wet

The ‘E’ is fading this keyboard. The keyboard itself needs cleaning, not just dusting, cleaning. One cares not for the state of clean, rather what these keys can do, can produce, can render. Express those difficult thoughts.  Those sharp, contrasted, contradictory, words, no one prefers to hear, read or write even.

Words fade into mist. Sentences hide between thoughts. Regret helicopters everywhere. Bring any person before this writer who has no regrets. Liars all.

The shadow of Cormac hovers. Short, choppy sentences, some incomplete, scatter-like raindrops in this storm, striking everything with bombs of water. Shuck those thoughts, just be. 

A walk in the rain after work. Raincoat that fine electronic imaging instrument, then venture forth. Do not look for anything. Express the moment, shoot those emotions waiting in the rain of discovery.

Discovered moments strike as lightning. Disjointed thoughts pour out, shower the page randomly: This writer is comfortable living alone. There is no comfort however, in sleeping without you. Your presence is everything. Our warm bodies spooned. Arms wrapped around you gently holding our security between satin sheets, and blankets electric.

Can images in the rain of emotion express that? 

Rain wets everything without discrimination, as words compete for this privilege. A shower of words splashes across an electronic page, saturating the memory of this computer.  Do they soak the mind, or are they passed over without comprehension, lost in the deluge?

Rain becomes a steady hum as the weight of water drops onto metal, bringing its own drum of music. A hypnotic thrum of constant, soothing, splashes, rule the night as puddles enlarge and increase the echo of wet everywhere. A January night of 2017 without memory.

Morning mist is a blanket of drops holding their place like diamonds waiting for a sun to sparkle them. A light fog wears its coat of wet like a useless waterproof jacket attempting to keep Big Springs dry. The touch of cold wet seeps everywhere touches everything.

This spirit in particular has no protection from the weather of emotions. Assaulted from all sides by every sense, there is no cover, no camouflage, no cloak of invisibility magic enough to conceal this spirit.

The truth of words seems to have a hole in it. Seems whoever reads these thoughts sees a different perspective, thus a different truth. What is true for this writer may not be the same truth for you, even as we see, say, read, the exact same words. Truth is what you believe of what you read not what you read. 

No wonder communication cannot be had clearly. Even objective facts remain debatable. Everything is subject to one’s experience, or lack of same, to one’s perspective, knowledge, or lack of knowledge, and always, attitude.

For example: 

One day on his way to work, a man stopped at the cafeteria as it began to rain. Forgetting that he hadn't brought an umbrella, he reached for the nearest one when he got up to leave. 

"That's my umbrella," a woman immediately scolded. Abashed at his mistake, he left and walked to his office. He was drenched by the time he arrived. Once there, he discovered three umbrellas that he had left in the office over the months, and he decided to bring them home at the end of the day. 

That afternoon he ran into the same woman who had confronted him earlier. She looked at the umbrellas, then at him, and tartly remarked, "You did really well for yourself today, didn't you?"

Like the fading ’E’ of this keyboard, one may stress a point into infinity, even the evidence of showing the worn letter may not be enough to prove, or validate a truth stressed over and over. Someone with convictions to the contrary, that they have the ‘truth’ may not be able to accept what is in front of them. 

Words fade into the mist of this morning. Sentences conjure meanings and hopefully clearly express thoughts waiting for validation. Dressed for the wet one seeks those intangibles once again.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/1/morning-walk---echo-of-wet Sun, 15 Jan 2017 19:19:06 GMT
Morning Walk - This Prison Break https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/1/morning-walk---this-prison-break  

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01082017FootPrintsOfAir520ATwp01082017FootPrintsOfAir520ATwpFoot Prints Of Air

January 08, 2017

Morning Walk - This Prison Break

Cormac McCarthy has paralyzed my fingers. Thoughts no longer run freely through the filter of reading others and expressing this self in a flurry. His simple, though complex sentences, and tight descriptions have built walls in this mind and locked up expressions.

Where is the key? How is a key even possible?

How can these fingers compete with him and flow onto a page in my own words? It is like reading myself into the story and becoming a character in ‘The Road’. A mere zombie of myself.

Sitting here in blank mind has been a cruel experience. What can this writer write now? It is like the last book ever to be read. Out of this experience, a new expression coined in the blank spaces of electronic paper must imprint a shared experience rendering new phrases of a creative spirit.

In the silence of this simple cottage, one may discern a way out. Or the unfamiliar long walk in a cold frost-bitten forest bereft of birds, coyotes, wolves, elk, deer, and bear may bring meditation, and opened skin pores may receive those natural thoughts of earth waiting for absorption.

A purge of Cormac must be excised. What else is there? A steeped reading of all his books? Breaking bonds of an imaginary prison of this writer’s own device?

Where have all the words gone? Hanging in cobalt blue sky like lighter than air snow flakes? Clinging to hidden branches unable to release their delicate power of description? Hiding as pine needles in plain sight on the ground beneath feet unable to feel their magic power of expression?

Waiting between the notes of Wolfgang’s Symphony # 29 in A Major for the exact moment to spell themselves, and form coherence of thought? 

Only a meditative experience can assist in this prison break. Where goest thou? Into the cold of bitterness, in the opened spaces freed of thought of any kind, a visual dynamic of bright color, sharp winds, and silence of thought?

Cormac, how write you in your own solitude? What do you read for inspiration? How come you to the sentences, phrases, and concise structures of paragraphs littered with images a mind’s eyes see with impunity?

Now a forest walk sought and satisfied, brought some measure of quiet. Though moist mud slipped along the trail without punishment. All was quiet in the forest, while a new fence stood guard on the borderland of  White Mountain Apache land. No crossings were attempted.

On the Rim Trail voices melted down the ridge and filtered through tall pines. No longer alone, footfalls slowed and trudged with mud sloughed through the landscape. This writer’s handy walking stick provided a fair measure of balance and steady footprints through the soft land.

Images embedded themselves in a card of memory, almost full. Time tossed itself to the wind and disappeared into high cirrus clouds of no consequence. A warmness embraced this writer as the trail turned to pavement and other voices drifted through ponderosa pine like a lost wind.

No gloves were worn, no hat pushed over ears, and a warm vest zipped to the neck did its proper job. Perhaps this walk broke chained up words. Held for ransom, hoping for relief, any words would fit at this point.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/1/morning-walk---this-prison-break Sun, 08 Jan 2017 19:50:55 GMT
Morning Walk - Poignant Images https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/1/morning-walk---poignant-images  

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01012017NewYearsMorning517ATwp01012017NewYearsMorning517ATwpNew Years Morning

January 01, 2017

Morning Walk - Poignant Images

Not exactly a memorable day through the years. It is so much of a celebration for some and has much less meaning for others of a different mind. There have been several meaningful mornings as one trekked out on a meagerly used road in Linden, in search of poignant images.

They have been found. On occasion, they have not been recorded also. Each new year contains its own unique flavor, of course. So there is and have been surprises containing eye candy and walks with empty memory cards bereft of images. 

Now man’s construct of time once again controls us all and we march to the tune of a calendar. Would society even exist if there were no calendars? Nature seems to work just fine with its uneven blend of seasons across millennia.

Why not us? Ask who you will, our lives have been engrained across the same millennia with such a constant tick-tock, it is practically impossible for human beings to not have a clock of some kind on their person or in their heads. This writer is a reasonably good example.

As a young teen in the boy scouts learning to use a compass, every hour a clock was checked, and then a quick outdoor check of the position of the sun in the sky was observed. This went on for about nine months. 

After much practice of this ritual, this writer could look at the sun and guesstimate the time within 15 minutes of a standard clock. There has been some loss of this ability but it has become part of an inner clock, and on most occasions, it is still fairly accurate.

For this writer, time has been locked within and I am its prisoner. There is no complaint. It is thrown completely off however if access to the sun is not granted over a period of a day or so.

There are times, for example, when writing or when one is lost in an activity, time does not stop, but grinds its wheels more slowly. What image or images will arise like the sun on this, the first day of a new cycled calendar pages of days is not yet seen.

We shall see as this big blue marble rotates on its regular and presupposed journey around the sun. Which of course is not the actual steady state of affairs at all. But that’s another story.

One has cause to reflect on the passing of relationships; new, old, and constant.  The old ones, the constant ones are the most worrisome. It seems fragility increases with age. 

The fragile nature of communication, the delicate balance of thought between friends, may increase or decline as each mind diverts more, or less, in direction, in philosophy, in interest. Some come together in more solidarity, while others find their orbit redirected and begin a drift away in a changed trajectory.

This may or may not occur as a good or bad thing.  Perspective and attitude are the important elements for each to observe and remain respectful of the philosophy of the other. There may be regret or joy at this juncture. One can only say; let the sun rise and be interpreted by each as they see it.

Celebrate this new calendar of days if that is your ritual. Or mark it in a different way as it always has been done unique to your relationship with time. Let us all rejoice in our consciousness in this new sunrise of this new day, every day.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2017/1/morning-walk---poignant-images Sun, 01 Jan 2017 17:32:48 GMT
Morning Walk - December 25, 2016 Christmas https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/12/morning-walk---december-25-2016-christmas Morning Walk - December 25, 2016 Christmas

Not much for words these days. May the images portray one individual's current status. Be sure to click the image and enjoy the other seven images shot around sunrise. The early cold was grippingly forceful.

Click The Image To View The Gallery 

12252016ChristmasMorning422ATwp12252016ChristmasMorning422ATwpChristmas Morning Such a pretty scene. It looked better in the darker of night.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/12/morning-walk---december-25-2016-christmas Sun, 25 Dec 2016 16:10:28 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - Writing To Percolate https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/12/nothin-doin---writing-to-percolate  

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12112016EarlyColor389ATwp12112016EarlyColor389ATwpEarly Color

December 18, 2016

Nothin’ Doin’ - Writing To Percolate

Most of you, hopefully, have read enough of these writings to know there are certain authors, singers/songwriters, who have inspired and whom without being able to hear them, or read them, there probably would not be near as much output from this writer as there is. 

Four main singers/songwriters in no order of importance, are Carole King, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and Dan Fogelberg. Why these four? It’s like asking why I like Canon Cameras, or what lens do I prefer over others? 

It all depends on time, emotion, situational awareness, and what tugs at this heart whenever a keyboard is within striking distance. For example, today is a hellishly cold day in Arizona, in the White Mountains in particular, and the only really warm place in this cottage is at the keyboard with Carole King singing my mind.

A small heater right by the chair helps. One strum of a guitar lick hits the mind and off we go. How? I do not know. Why? Because that guitar lick, for whatever reason, pierced me in just the right way. 

Tomorrow, or even later today, it could and will be something else. That particular lick has been heard hundreds of times and then, zam! Off we go. 

Another case in point is reading. One can read a paragraph of Ray Bradbury or some other author, and a phrase, a sentence, a word, opens a door, a memory, a thought hidden waiting, ready to spring out and express itself. 

 

Finding the path one goes down each different day depends on the factors stated above: time; that elusive man-made construct civilization revolves around. Emotion; those fleeting moments coming and going at all speeds possible within every second, depending on our thoughts, and current input. 

 

As was written the other day at the end of a particularly emotional moment: “Words dance as music encases this mind inside these songs singing their hearts; fingers pound keys with abandon until the vessel is drunk empty. It is all I can do to keep up.”

Situational Awareness; is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event. 

In other words; the environment in which writing takes place because of future, current, or past memories or experiences. Thus, what tugs at the heart is whatever situational awareness has prominence. Any one of the Four can trigger what hits the electronic page. 

One does not, however, rely on them as the only source. They are guides, shaman, inspiration, assistants, purveyors, and vessels of transmission. There are occasions when one thinks there is nothing left, but writes anyway. There is always something.

Speaking of which, there is also emotional drainage. Times come when what is written stains the page red. Lifeblood writings are hard to come by, and they often drain the spirit.

The search for other heroes is continuous. Hearing certain singers/writers has a certain key (pun intended), and if these writers/singers do not match it, they are liked but not followed. This writer does not know what the key is, until it strikes.

Authors are even harder to find. Perhaps it is this writer. Perhaps the looking has not been searched carefully enough. 

Maybe because all authors are compared to Ray Bradbury. When you discover the poetry in his writing you will understand. A short tale: Bradbury was discovered in high school. Read everything he wrote. Collected all his books, except one: Dandelion Wine. A voice in my head said; no, do not read this, yet. This was back in the late 1970s.

In 2009, in Payson, found a used book store, went immediately to the science fiction section, looked for Bradbury. Dandelion Wine was the only book there of his I had not read. I knew it was time. It is almost a bible. A go-to book.

My mind knew. I needed time for the writing to percolate, to filter through experience, love of English and maturation of fingers slapping keys with abandon. Had Dandelion Wine been read earlier its effect would not have been the same.

The sentences, the phrases, the paragraphs are magical. Not every page, of course. There are passages that ring, sing, and celebrate the language as no other. 

Read, write, read more. Repeat. Find what works. Find your heroes in song, in words, in whatever works for you.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/12/nothin-doin---writing-to-percolate Sun, 18 Dec 2016 17:48:32 GMT
Morning Walk - Circumstance And Attitude https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/12/morning-walk---circumstance-and-attitude  

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12112016BandOfGold359ATwp12112016BandOfGold359ATwpBand Of Gold

December 11, 2016

Morning Walk - Circumstance And Attitude

Not much of a walk before sunrise. More of a wait, watch and catching light as it turns its dial from near dark to continuously lighter. Without the grace of clouds and the moisture in the air to shape them into weather, there would be no colorful shades of sky to shoot, to marvel, to be grateful for.

 

One must break the rack of routine rituals we all suffer, or delight in, frame of reference ya know. There are always routines one gravitates to and which we wear like bathrobe mornings. The comfort of sameness and the warmth of presumption of no change surround us all in our ordinary lives.

This morning, this one set of time of the deep darkness before sunrise, that space where it is almost light but still not enough to see. This is the expanse of time one can actually move through with a sense of passing.

Waiting at the fence watching the shape-shifting clouds wind pushed into other shapes and spaces, one defines forms with the mind's eye. Some delight, some abstract, some actually looking alive. 

One can lose the sense of time and almost forget to take the shots as they evolve, change, and shift sunlight through their filter. Their prism of water and light as the sun moves through them, modify colors, their structure, and semblance of what is familiar and what are merely odd formations to wonder, and wander the mind into something resembling reality.

One sparks hope of excellent capture, but then settles into exposures and emotional grasps of; what feelings touch this mind that shoots these images? It is the intuition of eye and mind, not the analyzing of what is seen, that one must follow and let dictate image capture.

Hope and success must wait, like a patient in a room and let go of control. Seize this moment. Forget about reason, plans, calculations, just grasp the colors, configurations, and reflections of light upon the water. 

There is no time to shape these moments, there is only time to shoot them. This window of earth turning has an extreme finite possibility. Within that frame of reference, whatever strikes the heart is the shot that matters. 

These days opportunities are fewer, and further between spaces of life as it is currently lived. It just is. How much joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment, that resides in these spaces is determined by circumstance and attitude.

Must the walk relate to the images or the images to the walk? Does not matter. As a shooter, it is always shoot, shoot, shoot. As a shooter one is always asked; “What kind of camera do you have?” As if success depends on the camera and its sophistication. It is like asking a surgeon which instruments he uses. It doesn’t matter.

It does matter how you use what you have and the invisible mountain of experience tucked away in the mind that explains images that evoke a response and those that are just “meh.” 

The constant fascination with sunrises, and sometimes sunsets, is the uniqueness of each and every one. This writer is a sunrise shooter, more than a sunset image-maker. Not that these are the only two possibilities. Those are endless. It is the constant search for satisfaction of the heart.

Perhaps the next opportunity will yield images more pleasing, more surprising, or so different one might wonder why these images never occurred in the mind before. Circumstance and attitude are defining conditions. One must always be ready.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/12/morning-walk---circumstance-and-attitude Sun, 11 Dec 2016 16:19:10 GMT
Morning Walk -Rifts of Loyalty Among Social Media Users https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk--rifts-of-loyalty-among-social-media-users

November 21, 2016

Morning Walk -Rifts of Loyalty Among Social Media Users

This particular presidential election season has caused major turmoil among friends, and relatives who follow each other on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, StumbleUpon, and other social media. These conflicts of belief, political perspectives, and prejudices have caused a great deal of shouting, name calling, real and imagined threats against each other, blocking, and deleting various people across social media. No doubt many of the opposite values of these social media users has ripped at the hearts of those struck by former friends, and relatives alike.

What has caused these rifts of loyalty? Why has this fabric of communication been ripped apart, and sometimes over trifle events? Concrete answers are difficult to find and complex iin nature, requiring thoughtful responses. Parts of the problem may be found in the advent of social media, the light speed advance of technology, and the isolation of using electronic communication devices, smart phones, if you will.

Social media, for example, can be viewed as an oxymoron. Social media in one version of the phrase is not social at all. It is the exact opposite. By way of illustration, two people  texting each other, though they occupy the same room, or possibly the same table, arrive at a place of abrupt and adverse viewpoints. Why not just have a conversation, verbally? One can hear voice intonation, word emphasis, and strength or weakness of thought conveyed in a statement.

In another example, people in different states who are having the same textual conversation may terminate a friendship acrimoniously due to indelicate or thoughtless statements. By continually using social media as a major form of communication, dissemination of ideas, thoughts and beliefs lose major values of context. This can bring about a loss of sensitivity for the other person, their perspective, their social norms, and their value as humans.

 

The rapid advance of technology is also a culprit. A majority of elderly people have not been educated in smart phones, tablets, laptops, and computers in general. This is a major divide between the young and old. A whole generation of people are left out of a major avenue of communication; polite conversation and the manners and respect for each other as human beings. The young do not know how to hold a complex and involved conversation between themselves, or their elders. This is a serious issue for everyone.

Smart phones may have more technology packed into them than the Library of Congress has books, but their constant and continuous use has provided invisible walls of separation between friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Walking into a breakroom during work, three other people are in the room, all of them looking at phones and texting or browsing the internet. They are all shut off from each other and probably do not even know the last name of the person sitting next to them.

As a result, the only tangible of this election has been the awakening of the realization of how misconstrued information resulted in a surprise political victory. Many people who were polled did not really want to reveal who they were voting for or against and lied about it instead. The rest did not vote, thus sending a message of their own to both political parties. All this name calling of each other on social media and 'de-friending' people because of instant and emotional responses instead of calm, well thought out replies have had the effect of further separation between dissimilar groups of people.

One is tempted to believe these magical communication devices capable of uniting everyone, in causes, in useful conversation, and effective communication. The sad opposite is true. Perhaps this election cycle is a turning point, a peak moment in history of understanding the power of technology when it is used in a beneficial and cooperative manner. One can hope and dream.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk--rifts-of-loyalty-among-social-media-users Sun, 27 Nov 2016 13:34:45 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - A Persistent Insistence https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/nothin-doin---a-persistent-insistence  

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11132016SolitaryAngler298ATwp11132016SolitaryAngler298ATwpSolitary Angler This image also sprouted an idea for a short story, but that shall remain private.

November 15, 2016

As a child learning his numbers this writer had a problem with the number 15. Let’s see, there is thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen. If it’s fourteen and sixteen and all the rest, why can’t it be fiveteen?

My explanation; because it is the English language. English being the amalgam of German, French, and a few other languages, notably, Dutch and Swedish, thrown in over the centuries of conquest of England. For some time I insisted on saying fiveteen. However, parents, when a person is young, are the final arbiters in many childhood situations. This was no exception.

This may be the kernel, the seed, of my fascination for words, meanings of words, their use in language, and how a multitude of different words sound the same, but have different meanings. Eventually this led to writing, though not too well at the beginning, at least it was a start, and a long irresistible journey of discovery. 

Of the self, of reading an eclectic collection of writers, and over the long haul, an inspiring and fruitful passage to finding my own voice. Voice, in a writer’s sense, my own style. That seed began while I was in the Air Force and stationed in Ulm, Germany. I wrote letters constantly.

I wrote letters home whenever I had time to myself, which actually wasn’t that often. But when alone, a yellow pad and a pen were favored companions. I wrote to my parents, friends, my girl friend at the time, until a ‘Dear John’ letter graced my mailbox. I wrote to anyone who I knew who had an address.

Those who did not answer, or answered infrequently punctured my sensitive ego, and heart with arrows of disappointment. That was crushing for awhile. Did not stop the writing. 

My basic style remains: I write as if writing a letter to a friend. Now enhanced with better sentences, a larger vocabulary, poetic phrasing and sentences, and hopefully, a broader appeal. Maybe. Who knows? It does not matter. 

What does matter is the continuity. A persistent insistence on stringing sentences together to form a mode of expression others may read, and hopefully enjoy or at least contemplate thoughts written from this writers viewpoint, even if for a minute [mi-(y)noot] minute. Express thyself. 

For some, my brother, for example, it is music. For others, including my sons, it is singing, dancing, painting, sketching, or adorning the body with various inks or scarification. We all have our vehicles. 

Everyone has a gift of some sort. Finding it, or recognizing it and then having the discipline and courage to follow it is the key. One must remember one important aspect. Most people are driven by greed, which is a form of self-preservation, and if their gift does not help them make money they abandon it or do not work at it to become more proficient in it. That is their choice, but from this perspective, a sad one.

Some people fear their gift. They are actually afraid of success. They will not take the leap for fear of falling, or crashing and burning and being called a failure. So what? As long as a person is alive and can function, give it a shot, keep at it.

Never give up, never surrender. No, I have conformed somewhat in my use of language. Fifteen does make sense rather than fiveteen. But, I’ve a kernel of funny, a nub of a joke, in that, and it brings a smile when the story is told again.

So write your songs, paint your canvas, play that piano, shuffle those feet across the dance floor and put your soul into it. It will come back to you, more than you realize.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/nothin-doin---a-persistent-insistence Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:08:45 GMT
Morning Walk - Writing the Morning https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk---writing-the-morning Click The Image To View The Gallery 

08142016SloopOfTheLake354ATwp08142016SloopOfTheLake354ATwpSloop Of The Lake

This is an edited version. The complete version may or may not appear in the future.

August 14, 2016

Nothin’ Doin’ - Every Drop Available

This morning’s walk was; sheltered, quiet, and solitary. The sacredness of the loved one, ever in evidence. Will we walk this rugged path together? Shall we use a cane and a walking stick with roughed out hiking boots? Shall we descend to Show Low Creek and enjoy the silent stream and chapel-like silence, and speak in whispers out of reverence for the peace we find here?

The brown, four-legged, companion recognized the setting with eager joy. Rubbing the two-legged creature by the knee with her muzzle, always her greatest sign of affection.

Few birds graced the sky, several jacket-covered anglers braved the chill, a few scattered tents began morning fires; coffee, pancakes, eggs, and bacon smelled the air wafting high on a slight breeze. A comfortable place for a cool morning walk.

A young osprey veered off its course and flew over us in curious observation.  No image was garnered. Joy of presence stroked this mind.

The absence of humans on the water was a stark contrast of previous visits. The chill of morning? Lateness of season? Other pursuits probably arrested those who usually used to favor this body of water.

A side note; how do some balladeers immediately grab these ears/minds and others, just as capable, do not? Searching for songwriters/singers who touch this heart/mind with such force as to knock this writer over with their power. Ain’t happenin’.

Like Ray Bradbury for writing, a need arises for fresh sounds and imagery of words sung in rhyme. Striking a chord of resonance with singer/songwriters helps create new writings. A hole in the wall of this mind remains.

Last year about this time morning walks found birds of prey in the lens, water creations emerged from images well used, and walks filled the spirit with peace and fulfillment. Every season has its own song and never repeats. This August remains apart, different, and focused elsewhere.

Writing the morning slips into early afternoon with the ease of espresso brewed and sipped with a measured ambiance. Editing has not been touched and images cry for attention like breastfed babies at a late feeding. Treasuring days off has become a savored luxury of time well spent.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk---writing-the-morning Mon, 14 Nov 2016 17:55:00 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - Every Drop Available https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/nothin-doin---every-drop-available 02052015ColorinMonochromeWorld261ATwp02052015ColorinMonochromeWorld261ATwpColor in a Monochrome World

November 13, 2016

Nothin’ Doin’ - Every Drop Available

Some people appreciate small events, small gestures, little accents of life occurring with regularity in our everyday lives. We stop noticing. We take them for granted.

I am one of those people who appreciates those little things. For example, I threw a spoon in the dishwater this morning after  squeezing every drop available out of the coffee bags in my cup. It left an outline of the spoon in the bubbly soap. Cool. Like that. Little things.

Another little thing are friends who call me every now and then, asking me how I’m doing? 

“Oh , you know, the usual. Still workin’, still breathin’ “ and such like. They care. I call them too. Not as often, though.

For some one who professes he is a communicator, personal interaction is not one of my strong points. Being comfortable with myself since childhood has fostered an independent spirit. Sometimes, not such a good thing. Sometimes, a beneficial state.

Little things give me joy. Going for a walk alone and not interacting with others when my own company is enough. A form of meditation. 

Humor in everyday discoveries. Like the time a colorful Maple leaf landed in my yard under my carport. It was bright red/yellow/orange. Cool. I need to shoot that before it fades. Two weeks later it was still those bright colors. 

“Better shoot it now,” I said to myself. Took the shot. I picked it up. No wonder it did not fade, it was fake. A man-made leaf. Joke on me. Still, I got a nice shot and it does not look fake in the image.

I laughed. I noticed the leaf but did not examine it closely until after I shot it. It’s in my kitchen, on the wall. A reminder of how one can be fooled by not looking closely. Little things.

Back in the day, middle 1970’s, when I worked in Los Alamos, NM., my work area was so far from the break room where the coffee pot was, I adapted to drinking cold coffee. Had a big cup too. 

Learning to adapt, to adjust to a situation and be comfortable with it, is a small thing, but valuable. Keeping one’s eyes open and acting on impulse has also garnered satisfying small moments.

During my second tour as a photographer with the White Mountain Independent in Show Low I was driving back from Springerville/Eagar after a photo assignment. I noticed a field of yellow flowers near Hon-Dah Casino. I went past it. Then slammed on the brakes, backed up and shot the field.

I knew as I sped by the field if I did not stop regret would pull at me for a long time. The paper never used the picture for anything. Did not matter. It was a soul satisfaction.

We need those. We need those discoveries that stroke us, that yield to our yearnings. Without those little things a part of us dries up, we become hardened soulless humans. It is also how we turn against others, those whom we do not know personally, or those we know, but not well. 

Everyone needs to find those little pleasures touching our hearts, stroking our minds with good feelings. The key is sharing those moments, expressing our enjoyment, and communicating those feelings especially to those whom we do not know. Touching as many people as we can.

A slight aside; That last sentence; “Touching as many people as we can,” is one of my signatures of writing. There is more to the sentence that is not included. It is not included for a reason. It is for the reader to finish. 

For example, one could finish the sentence by saying ‘in the process.”, or “so others may benefit.”, or “ because by doing so maybe we can re-awaken the little things in some of us who have lost that skill.”.

The shortness of some of my sentences is my process of assisting readers to think, understand, and finish the thought with their own. My hope is; it draws readers in and brings more participation. 

If not, that’s okay. At the least reading this has been entertaining to some extent. At the most insight has broadened the scope and thought process of those who have read about ‘little things.’

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/nothin-doin---every-drop-available Mon, 14 Nov 2016 13:34:11 GMT
Morning Walk https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:15:00 GMT Morning Walk - Fast Forward https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk---fast-forward 11132013Windwashed406AT1wp11132013Windwashed406AT1wpWind Washed An image taken on the day my dad died, 23 years later. I took 31 images that day. This is my favorite.

November 13, 2016

Morning Walk - Fast Forward

Today, 26 years ago, November 13, 1990, my father died alone in a hospital in Madison, WI. He was 69 years old. For several years after his death I held a resentment against my mother. Dad had mesothelioma, probably acquired while on one of the few commercial jobs he worked as an electrician. 

He had one job in Green Bay, WI., in the early ’60’s, wiring a new hospital there. He came home on weekends, and spent the week in the fall and winter living and working in Green Bay. Mom hated it. She finally convinced to find work in Wausau. 

I think that is the job where he first inhaled asbestos while working. You do not need to inhale much of that stuff. Asbestos was used in many public buildings as insulation at the time.

Fast forward to the late 1980’s. He started mentioning a constant pain in his chest, and being short of breath a lot. He said it was probably just a cough and it would go away with medication or just be gone soon. It didn’t.

He would wake up at night and not be able to breath, except when he sat up in bed. When it got to the point where he couldn’t sleep he went to the doctor. The doctor sent him to Madison for a biopsy on his lungs. He had several biopsy’s, each one lead to the sole conclusion of mesothelioma.

By now Bobbi and I and the boys had moved to Rochester, MN. She applied for a job at Mayo Clinic in the surgery ward and was accepted. We were out of jobs at the time, managed to sell our house and move there. I worked as an Asst. Manager of the video/photo dept. in a grocery store.

We went back home often on weekends and visited mom and dad. At the time there was hardly any treatment for mesothelioma. Dad was in and out of the hospital in Madison a few times. He finally straight out asked the doctor how much time he had. 18 months, maybe less, maybe a little more.

When we found out, I calculated how long he had been in pain before going to the doctor. He had put up with the discomfort and gradually increasing pain for about 18 months before seeing a doctor about it. I remember him and mom getting ready to leave our house after a visit near Watertown, WI., when he first complained of his chest pain. 

We were all standing in the living room. I gave him a big hug, and he pushed me away saying, “Not so hard.” He’d never done that before. Intuition told me something was wrong. But I denied it, let it go, and pushed it to the back of my mind.

After one of his visits to Madison, he came home and he and mom attempted to resume their life as best they could. We drove down to visit with them at Fort Atkinson, WI., when we were able to get days off on weekends. A few days after coming back from one of our visits, we got a call from mom. Dad had fallen in the living room and couldn’t get up.

Mom had called the ambulance and they had taken him back to Madison. He was there for about a week, maybe a little more. We got the call early one morning while still in bed. He had died earlier that morning.

After the funeral I got to thinking about mom calling the ambulance and having him taken to the hospital. I got upset. I thought she should have left him at the house. She could have stayed with him and let him die in her arms on the floor in the hallway.

I carried that resentment around for awhile. She could have let him have the dignity of being with her, of him letting go in familiar surroundings with someone he loved all of his life. He died alone, in the middle of the night, in a strange place with people who did not know him, and probably did not care.

It took me a while to understand mom was clinging to a life they had led together for many years. She didn’t want to let go of that. Who would? She was hoping he would hang on longer, at least for a few weeks or a month more.

I let go of my feelings of resentment and abandonment. Mom did the only thing she knew to do to keep him alive longer. She was hoping it would work out in his favor, one more time.

After so many years together a person grabs whatever straws are available, even the thinnest ones, hoping they won’t break. Letting go of a loved one, even when you know they are going to die, is probably the hardest part of any loving relationship. So you fight the reality with as much denial as you can muster.

Now it is a fast forward to today. Today is a day to celebrate his life, to remember him as a strong, quiet man with a gentle sense of humor who always, like mom, found the good in people, and did his best to help others do their best.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/11/morning-walk---fast-forward Sun, 13 Nov 2016 11:59:13 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - A Messy Business https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---a-messy-business 07252016Curiscuro125ATwp07252016Curiscuro125ATwpCuriscuro

 

October 30, 2016

 

Nothin’ Doin’ - A Messy Business

 

Having a mustache can be a messy business. For example; eating an ice cream cone. If your mustache is untamed most of the time hairs between your nose and your upper lip are irregular in length, sometimes wild and curly, going and growing their own way. Put an ice cream cone under that nose and take a few licks.

 

Inevitably, the slightly solid, deliciously flavored treat will soon be liquid, and will decorate your hair in a nano second of the first lick. Depending on how delicately you manage to use your tongue, you may, or may not, avoid a meshing of the two. 

 

There are those who have practiced this activity with various results. Some men may have a long and thin tongue with dexterous and limber muscles that navigate this challenge with ease. Good for them.

 

Then there are individuals of the rather nerdy persuasion who have a high degree of OCD, but loathe the inescapable mixture of ice cream and hair. For them it is a principle of neatness and ice cream desire mixed together. They have, through much practice, found a way to enjoy the cone without a mess of any kind on their precious and prideful facial decoration. Congratulations on your excellent accomplishment.

 

A third group with sub-categories also exists. Yours truly proudly ranks in the lowest group of these ice cream cone lovers. Those in the highest group takes their cone, grab a multitude of napkins, or possibly a large, oversized, handkerchief, and proceeds to devour the large, sweet tasting delightful, melting mess with no holds barred, wiping their ‘stache occasionally with the napkins or ‘kerchief, and consuming the afore mentioned after meal treat with as few licks, bites, and slurpings as possible. Usually, when they finish, there is a long, loud drawn out; “AHHHH!” as they wipe their ‘stache, lips, and chin with delight.

 

This lover of ice cream, if and when an ice cream cone is presented to him, gives it the once over quickly, and sizes up the best method of attack. Most times there is no getting around it; the ‘stache is gonna take a hit. 

 

If it is a tall cone one can start at the base, with the tongue extended as far as possible, to minimize contact with the hair, and work one’s way up to the top of the cone. A smaller cone can be surrounded by the mouth and depending on how well the mustache is trimmed, insert the whole top of the cone in the mouth and suck it slowly gathering ice cream into the throat and eating it that way.

 

If that is not possible, another method is grabbing napkins and wiping the ‘stache with every lick. This too is not satisfactory to enjoyment, as the concern centers on keeping the mustache free of ice cream debris.

 

Finally there is the escape method. As everyone with you orders their cone, you wait and are the last one in line and politely ask the server; “Can I have a small cup instead of a cone, and a spoon?” Problem solved, enjoyment maximized. End of story.

 

Needless to say, but saying it anyway. This writer is a lover of ice cream. It takes the place of alcohol, and is a cherished treat of long standing. Have gone through many favorite flavors in the years gone by, one has mixed feelings about them. Initially vanilla with too much chocolate syrup was the first venture into the world of ice cream delights.

 

Other flavors came as one grew into maturity ranging from cookie dough, to mint with chips, pistachio, moose tracks and vanilla/chocolate swirl, and a few other exotic flavors that did not last the test of time. Moose tracks is the actual favorite, but the price is too high for the low amount of package received. Ah, ice cream, a valued treat forever savored.

 


I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---a-messy-business Sun, 30 Oct 2016 14:45:05 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - Favorite Images https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---favorite-images Click The Image To View The Gallery 

07032016GreyBlackWhite328ATBWwp copy07032016GreyBlackWhite328ATBWwp copyThe stark ‘BlackWhite’, black and white ducks, like salt and pepper shakers, compliment each other.

October 23, 2016

 

Nothin’ Doin’ - Favorite Images

 

There a only a few of these. Images that satisfy this spirit. The light is used, and the images are what was seen and expressed as intended. Always a goal. Hardly accomplished. Most viewers will shrug and just say; “Meh.”  Or an equivalent thereof.

 

Their choice. All eyes do not see what is available. Or, what the eyes see is interpreted from each perspective differently. Therein lies the beauty of art, of photography, or drawings, or painting, and any other visual form of communication.

 

Only 15 images in 10 months. Perhaps even that is too many. However, each image brings emotional attachment, for this writer, hardly anyone else. It is expected.

 

Each image evokes a memory or a feeling brought forward from the memory of mind. The stark ‘BlackWhite’, black and white ducks, like salt and pepper shakers, compliment each other. ’Shroud’ is looking at an ordinary plastic trash can liner, and seeing something else. ’Barrel Wrap’ is in the same category.

 

’Scar’: It has been chopped, cut, slashed, drilled, and bound by wire. It is not dead. It remains alive, not for long but it holds on. ‘Aggressive Coot’ is a territory display of who is boss of this particular area of water. ’Sun Blessed’, the light is at its best exposure, also reveals this plant at a peak unfolding. ‘Not Lost Or Found’ evokes a panic in my heart. Apparently abandoned clothing at the edge of Show Low Creek may mean nothing at all; on the other hand it may mean dire news for some parent, or loved one.

 

‘Thistle Flower with Insects’ looks like it is floating on air and the bugs are along for the ride. ‘Natural Solarization’ is probably one of my favorites because the light is perfect, and it is one chance effect that may not be seen for a long time again.  ‘Great Blue Heron Flight’ catches its wings at the height of their wing flap, describing motion at its peak just before the downward thrust that will propel it farther away.

 

“Crossing Paths’ is a large and young tarantula moving across the same path Brownie and I were walking. Its long legs and the tense pose captured my attention for a long time. ‘Waiting to Seed’ is another fascination by this shooter with the light and the grass. Getting the exposure right is everything for an image of this nature. The grass reminds me of Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ journey through space using a dandelion as a spaceship. 

 

’Misty Morning’ was a totally unexpected surprise leaving the shelter of our cottage. The contrast of light and dark, combined with the mist provided the ingredients one has longed for and finally captured. 

 

 ‘Fallen Giant’ conjures up the history of an old, old ponderosa that has succumbed to the moist ground and reveal a strong root system unable to maintain itself against a swamp. The vertical offers a slightly different angle.

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---favorite-images Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:23:55 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - Bonds Of Brotherhood https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---bonds-of-brotherhood Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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October 16, 2016

Nothin’ Doin’ - Bonds Of Brotherhood

In many ways the week just passed like a falling meteor, burning through air, turning to ash and then a wisp of nothing before one had a chance to say: “Wait! There is more to do!” In other ways the week just passed like a heavy wagon stuck in mud-clay in narrow tracked wheel ruts, and one had every reason to say: “Hurry! There is a need to rest these weary bones, muscles and mind.”

Always a coin, always flipped, forever tossed into air, always landing on the edge.  To put it another way: Life is a top spinning, and spinning into the moment. No time to grasp a lever stopping the spin until the kinetic energy of this top can no longer resist gravity. Tumble and fall, all of us, each at our own moment, mostly never picked on purpose.

Like the morning and afternoon walks whatever comes is what is used. Not too many of those at this time. It seems the photographic life is losing its place in the scheme.

Had a friend once, in Payson, whom I watched descend into being just another amateur, no longer a shooter of note. This writer wonders how his life is now. Has he hung up his camera, put it away in a closet, or placed it on a table near the door for those times when he escapes out into the world?

I hope he is still shooting. I hope he has not lost his energy. I hope his images please him more now than they ever have. May he shoot until the sun sets, and his camera dies from overuse.

Which brings to mind these thoughts. Without the brown dog as companion there is no urgency in the free weekend mornings, nor the easy warm late afternoons of Fall searching for those abstract images, or curiously placed objects and/or people as they go about their business. Not walking Burton Road has taken away many of the vistas once available at fifty yards down the road.

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Sometimes, location is everything. Sometimes, those companions whom are no longer with us, and who have shared many footsteps bring one up short of ambition. Just reflections on what once was. There is always a new horizon, a different vista worth pursuit.

That being expressed, another flash of the fingers stirs these words. Earbud wearing enhances the keyboard strikes of expression. An amazing aspect is the management of language, of expression; making images with words. Some are blessed with this ability. This writer is thankful and grateful for whatever skill has found life on electronic paper, and in digital images.

This will be the second weekend without a morning or afternoon walk. No images offered. No images taken. Just some thoughts bouncing around the walls, halls, and empty staircases of this turbulent mind.

My brother once called it (me) a troubled mind. Cannot argue that. We have done many things together, and know each other like twins, though born 15 months apart. Those bonds of brotherhood are never broken.

The sun rises on another new week. How shall it pass? Swiftly? Like meteors showering the atmosphere? Or will it sink slowly into ground like a deep muddy spot waiting to swallow the week one day at a time?

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---bonds-of-brotherhood Sun, 16 Oct 2016 17:47:10 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - Less Is More https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---less-is-more Click The Image To View The Gallery 

10022016TwoFemaleCommonMergansersTakingFlight172ATwp10022016TwoFemaleCommonMergansersTakingFlight172ATwpTwo Female Common Mergansers Taking Flight

Three Morning Walk and seven Afternoon Walk

October 09, 2016

Nothin’ Doin’ - Less Is More

Another week fleeted passed on Time’s Arrow. How shall we hold onto Time? Living each moment as a rich endowment of our lives. 

Juices flow the mind in and out of thoughts, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  It seems thoughts can only be held like a fog. One can see fog, one can walk in it, one can feel the moist effect of its presence. 

One can never grasp it or hold it tight. Like air it is elusive, always present though never solid enough as rocks or trees or water as we embrace our surroundings. We are its captives but we can never clench it in our hands.

So too, every thought, idea, or concept. The idea of expressing these intangibles must win out with expressive, articulate, voices in any creative language available. Each of us with our own device.

This writer walks the trails of various favorite places looking for solitude, and at the same time wanting the environment to absorb this spirit and energize this body with its beauty, its peace, and its essence.  Breathe deep, inhale and fill lungs with this core of life. Exhale with strength, relax the mind, cleanse the substance of life within each moment.

On these journeys the expectation of results haunts these footsteps. Most of them are no longer adventures of the spirit but a scan for a target, a direction, a goal. A self-defeating meandering excursion.

With that thought it must be noted the four legged companion no longer sniffs air searching for the origin of the many scents she used to catch on the wind. She no longer lives with this writer. Our responsibilities to each other have been severed.

In some ways this circumstance has been a relief, a release, and for now, a sadness that will pass. We have parted. No explanation is forthcoming.

Ah, the jumble of thoughts rush around crashing into each other. One has difficulty placing an order of importance. Thoughts slip through and become lost in the process.

In one instant my heroes become hated for their success and creative energy. In the next, they are welcome residents. Such conflict is a constant, a driving force, and a feverish addiction.

This is a good thing. Really. The conflict powers the writing in ways one does not fathom but exploits. One can rely on this old saying: ‘Whatever floats your boat.’

Which brings into view another subject close to this heart. Images. How does one utilize them to best advantage?  There are enough images in this shooter’s catalogue worth capitalizing on and risk a new direction. 

Like finding abstract images in everyday objects, nature or things, new directions challenge the soul. However, without the challenge what is life but a humdrum existence? Another driving force feeding the spirit of this life. 

Thrown into this mix is this: Occasionally, ha, writing may be compared to attempting to tickle yourself. Yes, it is trite. It is also meaningful. It ain’t easy.

Combining the two elements of writing and images becomes alive as a new expressive vehicle. Others, ‘Been there, done that.’ Of course. Doesn’t matter. 

Another week possesses this spirit. Riding Time’s Arrow, and using each moment as a celebration of life is always and only, the best quest.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/10/nothin-doin---less-is-more Sun, 09 Oct 2016 16:15:54 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - Roll With It https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/nothin-doin---roll-with-it Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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Two Afternoon Walks, Four Images Each

September 29, 2016

Nothin’ Doin’ - Roll With It

This past divided week wasn’t. It was out of time, separate, a piece of indulgence, like a cherry pie with vanilla ice cream, warmed in a micro-wave oven. Just roll with it as you read. There is a need for more of this particular piece of time.

It was a rest. It was a relaxed moment, perforated with a woman known to none but this writer. It was a pause button on a digital pendulum swinging its never ending swish from here to there and back again.

It was a heart beat break, between the lub and the dub, that then continued. It was a speck of sand in the universe held static for one brief eternal remembrance. It was a space between atoms, electric in its positive charge, and now we are back in our times moving at a regular pace in everyday lives. May it occur again, and soon.

There is nothing as warm and loving as being in the arms of a lover and falling asleep in the peaceful privacy of togetherness. Listening to the breath of the others’ sighing breaths, measured, rhythmic, changing with sleeping thoughts. Short quick breaths relax into deep, strong, slow air coming in and going out. Deep sleep.

Now, when the other has descended into this mode, these eyes close, reach into the darkness grasping rest, peacefully guaranteed. There is no ease as blissful as this. A good night.

No Morning Walk nor Afternoon Walk can compare to this time wrapped in the arms of love. It is a kind of magic. Events of the day melt away and are nothing. 

Across the meadow at Big Springs an examination of images yields little of satisfying value. Mundane, dull, ordinary, the worst description one can attribute. Ordinary. Enough to shout foul language in frustration.

Where goes the mind? The sight of creative force, blind and pointless reflects back from the pond into this mind. It is time for a change, a shock to the system, a different horizon. 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/nothin-doin---roll-with-it Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:35:05 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Blood Pumps Words https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/afternoon-walk---blood-pumps-words  

 

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September 17, 2016

Afternoon Walk - Blood Pumps Words

Now it is five days down. September 08, it was three. A trend? 

All the days melt from sunrise to sunset into each other in a uniform blend. Too much introspection, too much thought. Live and let go. 

Lack of sleep is killing words waiting for expression. Leg cramps torment a body already pushed too hard. Ah, to rest in one uniform night of worthy sleep. Every night. Dreams are made of this.

In another vein, where blood pumps words into a vast tank, waiting for use, there is a thought of composing a circle of  employees’ descriptive attributes. For example; Fruit Loops, a description of someone, Driver, is another, as is Chaos, Speedo, another, Corkscrew, and on. 

There are more waiting for an opportunity. Lockless, Late Again, Braggart, Bean. What is left to do is a description of character and a few quotes from each.

Watching people as a relaxed past-time. How much they reveal by what they say without thinking, or by what they wear, or how they present themselves, even for work. Do not mis-understand these words, but the amount of tattoos among this crew is astounding. 

Ink on your skin can be a declaration of purpose and belief. Many, from this perspective, have not, it appears, to have put much thought into such a permanent statement. Perhaps it is a reason this one has never inked. No definitive or clear expression can be that concrete in the flow of time.

Never was much for people.  Most of them anyway, always more of a one on one than in groups. So it is.

But wait...the meadow at Big Springs spreads the grass high and low, as yellow flowers give it one last color before dying. In the fading sun light, colors mute, wind spreads seeds across the land, while an azure blue sky as a dome of protection caps this small space of peace.

The lone female mallard hangs on at the pond, preening, drinking, resting on a rock. The fading light kisses the long and bent grass, as stalks flay their hair, getting ready to release progeny to chance. Cattails die and burst hoping to catch a favorable wind. Insects flitter and fly in a confused state of chilled air. Fall is on the threshold.

A woman and her dog parallel our foot steps on the forest trail, about 50 yards behind. Sizing her up from a distance, she is only doing her duty with her dog.  Missing the beauty, not in tune with this chapel of nature. Her hurried steps betray her intent; ‘Do your duty, lets go, and leave this place.’

This writer’s slow measured pace throws off her schedule. No friendly gestures or welcome signs cross her face. So much information garnered from a few quick glances

Will the trend of fewer writings between the days stretch further into the future? Does it matter? Yes, and no.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/afternoon-walk---blood-pumps-words Sun, 18 Sep 2016 07:06:17 GMT
Afternoon Walk - A Glimmer of Wisdom https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/afternoon-walk---a-glimmer-of-wisdom  

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September 12, 2016

Afternoon Walk - A Glimmer of Wisdom

One does not intentionally go out on a walk and think; “Today, I’ll shoot just the light and dark objects.” Or some such nonsense. No. One goes out and just looks. Sometimes, elements are found that appear interesting. Those are shot. 

Highlights on water for example are never quite what one sees. An exception is when one is using a polarizing filter. Such is not the case with this shooter, as there is no such filter in any camera bag to be found.

Water is tricky. Many times available light with water, is more than expected, or it does not conform to reasonable expectations of exposure.  What appears yellow or orange or pale pink through the lens, may record as a much paler color. It must be said however, time of day results in unexpected exposures, especially later in the day.

Afternoon light has its own flavor. Much of which depends on cloud cover, or lack of same.  Even with overcast skies there is always a variation of quality. Dense cloud cover invites lower, slower, shutter speeds and more open f/stops.  And of course the opposite is true with lighter cloud cover, resulting in lighter shadows and brighter whites. A medium cover of clouds appears as the ideal balance for strong detail in highlights and discernible detail in shadows.

The yellow flowers in this image illustrate fully the effect of late afternoon, medium density of cloud cover. The female Mallard scooting across the pond illustrates the effective use of camouflage of the late afternoon shadows dancing on the water. While another aspect of contrast is illustrated in a semi-abstract image of the duck with bright and dark reflections in a more open area of the water.

And of course, the ever popular use of backlight to accentuate the main subject, the female mallard again, as it stands out against a darker background, giving it the illusion of a three dimensional object. Within the space of three minutes, or less. One did not choreograph any of these situations. One looked for interesting plays of light and dark within a confined situation. 

Always hoping for a best outcome, gifts of exposure arrive and present themselves for capture. Just a simple stroll through a small meadow while investing in an open mind allows an exploration of white flowers along the path. Composition, in this case, is also a determining factor in the presentation of the image. Knowing where to place the strength of the image is key.

It is all about chasing the light and ’seeing’ the play of contrast between light and dark. Patterns can be re-affirming and present the mind with such wonderful choices, like the tall grass in late afternoon sun. The alternating areas of sun and shadow on the grass creates such a pleasing pattern. If presented as a black and white image the stark abstractness of the image is emphasized even more. 

The last image in this Afternoon Walk is somewhat mundane. It has been seen and recorded by anyone with even a glimmer of wisdom. The power of clouds is a fascinating, and constantly perplexing part of our world. The desire, the need, to capture these events is most compelling. 

The end of the walk was an unexpected gift.  One is always grateful for those final moments of sunsets. One does not intentionally step out onto a path and think; “Today, I’ll capture that image of a lifetime.” No. Or some such nonsense. This writer, when in tune with his senses, just takes a walk with his dog, and nature offers gifts one is free to accept or not.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/afternoon-walk---a-glimmer-of-wisdom Mon, 12 Sep 2016 15:42:54 GMT
Afternoon Walk - A Place Of Joy https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/afternoon-walk---a-place-of-joy  

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September 08, 2016

Afternoon Walk - A Place Of Joy

Three days down. Though words have splattered themselves on someone’s page. Just not public. There are private areas to every life. Someday perhaps those words may be seen by other eyes other than their intended.

No music hunts for my ears to embrace their magic sounds. A quiet space is also a place of joy. One does not require background music for every and all events or phases. The music enhances, accompanies, magnifies, heightens, and inspires. Silence too.

A sparseness creates spaces for thought, for blanks, for words provided from others. As in; find your own context. The rhythm of music pushes those limits. Silence too. (This is what I mean by spareness, find your own context, i.e.; Silence too creates spaces for thought, pushes those limits, etc.) Get it? 

Wet walk. The rain dripped like a weak bladder without muscle. The woods’ path moist though not enough for earth to adhere to soles of feet. Dull grey sky, muted light, no wind, only a rustle sound of vehicles drumming the road.

It was a space between time. There is no explanation. It is either understood, or not.

As we tread without sound along the 300 Road, a recent memory of  a silent and un-owned dog came into mind. Could not place the type of dog.  A black muzzle, black ears, tall, tan, looking like a German Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback combo. No collar.

It stopped 30 yards from us. Undecided. Brownie moved in its direction. The leash held her firm. This writer looked away. It disappeared. As silently as it had appeared.

Though shots were taken, they were over exposed, too light to use or correct. A mystery born in a few silent moments. 

We moved on with the rain. Some days provide a mind with more expression than others. As previously noted, words find exposure in other places. One is not always able to proffer them to others. 

It is another way of saying; ‘that’s all folks.’

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/afternoon-walk---a-place-of-joy Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:31:01 GMT
Morning Walk - For Future Images https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/morning-walk---for-future-images  

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September 05, 2016

Morning Walk - For Future Images

This is a day for sitting quietly. Sure. Whomever said that was not this writer.  Yes, however, there are those days. For sitting quietly, and contemplating whatever quiet one has the need to pursue.

Yesterday’s promise was a possible 500 words or more. Did not happen. Broke apart into a fit of words, chopped out like a wood-splitter getting ready for a cold winter stoked with a fine wood stove keeping house warm while a howling wind rattled windows.

Such is this life. One three word sentence rolled into a set of words working to determine a sharp response to no writing. It could only be called, as it was, ‘Words Fail’. It happens. All too often it seems.

Having observed a semi-famous author on and off a few years ago, this writer noticed one thing about his style. Like Dylan in his early years, this person had one theme in his writing and constantly tread old ground over and over. He did this through re-packaging. 

Re-packaging consists of writing the same thing using different words that mean the same thing. If you read enough of anyone who does this the pattern will become clear. This writer is himself a case in point. One does attempt avoidance of these pitfalls, not always with success.

It is a trap some authors fall into, from which hole it is difficult to climb out of. One method of climbing out of this hole is exploring other venues, others places, and other subjects one needs to research before writing about. It makes this one wonder if this person is still treading the same old turf. Have not read anything of his lately. Speculation says yes. Successful methods die hard.

Back to this morning. The parking lot at Big Springs comfortably holds about seven or eight cars. There were six vehicles in the lot when this shooter parked and unloaded the brown dog and image gear.  Before our hour long trek began, a moment was taken for a deep breath, an exhale, inducing a release of mind. A practiced technique to open the field of dreams within the confines of this writers brain.

With so many cars in the lot one expected to bump into the owners of said vehicles. Again, did not happen. No let down there. A breath of relief exhaled. The fewer people the better. It is one of the best redeeming values of Big Springs.

No abstracts emerged. It was a relaxed pace of finding objects for future images. Time of day is critical for imaging if the goal has a point or certain perspective. A long dead immense log has less character if photographed at 10:00am, in full sun, rather than at five a.m. when the light is much different. In such cases shadows contribute in a subtle though defining measurement of the prospective subject.

As usual Brownie had had enough sitting around as this shooter watched clouds shape-shift across the sky. As an Aussie sheepdog and border collie mix, her tolerance for daydreaming is limited. Other delights were the family of Coots still nesting here, the small flighty birds looking for a quick shore bath, and of course the plethora of insects, biting and buzzing relentlessly.

This quiet sitting is an easy request to honor. One is absorbed into the landscape, birds forget your presence, dragon flies skitter aimlessly, while near-sighted grasshoppers bump into trees, flowers, and sharp edged grass as they fly/hop from here to there. These are the days.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/9/morning-walk---for-future-images Tue, 06 Sep 2016 13:45:00 GMT
Morning Walk - The Present Tense https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/morning-walk---the-present-tense  

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August 29, 2016

Morning Walk - The Present Tense

Yesterday’s Morning Walk was a small, satisfying treat. Many people leaving Show Low Lake after unsuccessful attempts at catching fish. A few arriving with dreams of success. 

Ospreys hung air overhead, one had a prized fish in its talons. If any anglers saw this, envy smirked their faces. Remember one thing, the ospreys  have evolved with certain skills no human has. Be glad of an opportunity of being here. 

Brownie sniffed every scent wafting into the range of her sharp and articulating nose. Lucky dog. Her life is always in the present tense. 

Humans should be so lucky as to maintain such presence. We attempt this whenever we can. The human mind however, has issues most creatures do not.

First image of the morning is a Great Blue Heron gulping a black fish of some kind at Show Low Creek. Three attempts and it is down the throat and gone.  Sudden movement behind it prompts a quick flight away from noisy humans descending a trail near this majestic bird. Two acceptable images emerge.

Where you at Bradbury? Your wisdom is acute, on target, and usually fit to most occasions. A writer’s plague is lack of concise and relevant information shared with others. Hence, a sometimes need to invoke giants of literature such as yourself. But then, we are at the lake, and observing

Two anglers occupy the end of the dock in what appears as meditative positions proffered as prayers to the god of fishing.  May fortune smile on them. Serious anglers, it seems, are the most optimistic sportsmen on the planet. Perhaps because they realize; if not today, tomorrow.

Into the woods surrounding the lake to a favored spot, to sit, watch, absorb, relax, and release time to the wind. A shadow dancing on the wind is a chance recording. An old, abandoned sock of some kind peeks from behind a rock, a styrofoam cup another sample, along with waves, and a butterfly.

Such is yesterday morning. Several people stop, ask if they may pet Brownie. Of course, she is harmless and welcomes new scents.  A husband is admonished by his wife to catch up with her, as their children are waiting. I offer; “I’ll be here next weekend.”  He laughs, shuts a car door and moves on.

Check the creek for birds of prey. Empty. Osprey again circles overhead, only one decent shot. Even that is marginal.

By now the eggs on the counter at our cottage are room temperature. Soon an omelette will grace a breakfast table with toast and espresso. Background music of Bonnie Raitt and Carole King will alternate, and echo our cottage with music from their hearts to this one.

Brownie trots with purpose, occasionally jerking the leash. She knows food and water are waiting on the porch. This shooter’s gait does not change. “We will get there, dog. Lighten up.”

One does examine these excursions into the world. Some unravel into chagrin, others are celebrated as gifts, though they all are gifts; others reveal their meaning at a later time. Many are totally forgettable and dissipate like dry, Arizona clouds void of moisture.

And that is okay. The opportunity to find a satisfying image, or a revealed thought hidden in the mind, or just being content with the quiet life, is enough. One does not make demands on these outings.

They are all treats, or gifts, or events for the mind and spirit. One returns to our cottage with peace and a quiet stillness. Amen.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/morning-walk---the-present-tense Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:43:50 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Always With Joy https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/afternoon-walk---always-with-joy  

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August 28,  2016

Afternoon Walk - Always With Joy

Brownie was surprised and overjoyed by our walk last night. She did not beg/bark for it. The surprise of it joyed her, and in the process smiled my face. Do the unexpected and those you love will love you more.

Not a long walk, not anything to write home about. Just an evening stroll up the road and back. Too wet for a forest amble. Camera slung over the shoulder, always on, and ready but not looking. Just breathing the wet, the humid air still clinging to the rain, the clouds moving east, against a setting sun.

This is when images present themselves. Do not look for them. They will find you. Not all of them are earth shaking or immortal, just small captures.  It is these small treasures one pursues without looking.

In tune with these thoughts is a book recently purchased; “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. Yes, a hard copy, hold in your hands, book. There is something about that activity  that makes the reading more real. Reading electronically is okey. Reading hard copy is tangible in a way electronic words never are.

Saw the movie first, four or five times. Have it in iTunes. It grabbed my heart, and I knew it was special. Have not been able to explain why. 

It is one of those instances that pierces the heart and expresses what lies deep within the spirit. Now reading it. Not disappointed. Better than. A unique love story told out of sequence. It cannot be told any other way.

It has grabbed my mind and will not let go. Those are the writings that give these fingers their power, their expressiveness. More, one always needs more. So it goes.

Now, this morning, one wondered what happens in these early hours. I look up and 5:00 a.m. has rotated to 8:00 a.m. What? How? I just sat down.

The music settles in, sitting on the bathroom throne/library, thoughts cascade in and out of this mind with a rush of a waterfall. The need to punch keys obliterates everything. In what seems a few minutes turns out this morning’s ‘It Never Wasn’t’. One must investigate the possibility of  ‘Dandelion Wine’ as a Kindle reading.

If you only read one book of Bradbury’s, choose DW. It is not so much the stories, the characters or the setting of boyhood. It is the words, how they are used with such poetic phrasing and composition. This writer’s copy is covered with underlinings and margin notes.

It literally changed this writer’s writing; it brought forth what was already there and helped express my own ability.  A watershed moment. These moments come and go light fast in their occupancy of time. 

In this time Brownie sleeps, but shall awake and stalk around the property, bark for attention and hope for some leash time out of the yard. It may or may not occur, it is like whatever is written by this writer. Memory must serve this mind; let it come of its own accord. 

Never pull, never beg, never force that which is already there. Just write. Best advice ever.

The Brown dog shall have her time. Always with joy she is. Who cannot help but smile at such pure innocence?

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/afternoon-walk---always-with-joy Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:00:00 GMT
Morning Walk - It Never Wasn’t https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/morning-walk---it-never-wasn-t Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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August 24/28, 2016

Morning Walk - It Never Wasn’t

The clouds and rain are a constant, and have been for way too many days. Yes, we need the rain. Yes, it is great to have the wetness, the rain, the land sucking it up like a sponge dried too long. I know that.

Since moving to AZ in 1992, my personality has taken a turn for the better. Yes, really. I realized when Zak was diagnosed as bi-polar, and would fair better at a lower latitude, that I too, have done much better in AZ than in Wisconsin. Zak has also found a way to minimize his situation by ingesting certain vitamins. Seattle is not exactly the sunshine city. (Interesting to note, how one state is spelled out and the other is abbreviated. Food for thought.)

All these cloudy days, and rain, my perspective is more morose. I NEED the sunshine. That vitamin D is an essential ingredient in how smiles occur on this face. They are infrequent enough. Please, release these clouds from our territory, let the sun shine.

With those thoughts, let it also be known having other humans who can smile this face is a great blessing for this heart. Those far from here and near-by are able to paint beams of sunshine into this flesh, and bring a twinkle into these eyes. It helps.

Now the morning walk of several days rides across the sunshine on this August, Sunday, 28, 2016. Flowers of rich color shout for exposure. Water birds squawk, splash and challenge their own kind in a dancing water display. Clouds reflect off of the small pond at Big Springs and become abstract representations of thoughts.

One in particular looks like a water color painting without manipulation of any kind. Just the right amount of wave to impress the image as an almost painting. One old yellow/brown dog leaves her temporary half print on a rock. A fleeting wetness recorded in some resemblance of permanency.

High grass in the foreground divides another image into two distinct images but manages to be one. A faux curtain, that teases the eyes, but releases the rest of the image for exploration. At the end there is the floating flower. No stem is seen. It is as if it hovers in space like a UFO, though with much earthly color and substance.

On another page not yet published an Afternoon Walk explores the trade off between light and dark. The last rays of sunshine struggle to remain but lose their hold and release themselves to a soft twilight before night. Capturing the contrast has become a challenge. Not that it never wasn’t.

The Brown dog now is eager to move on. An impatient four legged ball of yellow brown hair. A few dogs in yards bark their own lament of capture. Brownie ignores them.

The road is dry, the land is still wet from the earlier rain. Clouds have said their good-byes and dissipate into the atmosphere. Shadows have danced their last struggle and fade into a soft, warm, featureless light.

Another day has turned into its nighttime bed of soft sleep. A quiet blanket of silence covers the land, draws its curtains, closes its eyes, and begins its restless evening. May the dawn be clear, free of clouds, and color the sky with its deep azure blue of morning.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/morning-walk---it-never-wasn-t Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:15:23 GMT
Nothin' Doin' - Writing of Consequence https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/nothin-doin---writing-of-consequence 08062016AggressiveCoot297ATwp08062016AggressiveCoot297ATwpAggressive Coot

August 13, 2016

Nothin' Doin' - Writing of Consequence

For the past several weeks no writing of consequence touched the electronic paper. Who knows why, who cares? It is an act of rebellion. A middle finger salute to all words and phrases issued forth from these hands. There is no explanation at this point. 

For sure one will slither out of the slime of thoughts having begotten such phrases. In place of lengthy or medium sized palpitations projecting from this mind there is a reason. Just not one bubbling to a flat and level plane at this time.

There are words brought about instead expressed in other ways. Most humans call those poems. Whether or not they qualify for that status remains for the judgement of others to ascertain.  It has come to this writer’s attention what is written with these fingers has become a shorthand, a precisely tart and minimalised amount of words expected to convey the most meaning with the fewest syllables.

Often words left out presuppose their existence; i.e. “Answer the door”, and not, “Will you answer the door?” See? A tight and controlled set of paragraphs. Minimum verbiage, maximum meaning. A shorthand of sorts, but with maximum message, and a unique voice of translation. Writing is a quantum leap of faith, one that may convey many meanings. So it goes. 

This is what that means: this writer’s writing is evolving. Clipped sentences, like grocery coupons, contain more meaning than first thought and writing in this manner a change of construction of sentence structure is taking place. Not exactly poetry, but a form of writing incorporating it into sentence structure.

This is possibly why not much newly aggressive themes have spewed forth. One is struggling with a form of expression that moderates poetry and long sentences with complex ideas. There it is.  More poems, fewer soap box grand-standing events.

It is one of those occasions where the writing leads the writer, not the other way around. This brings these fingers into the situation and more is made clear. As this writer pursues many avenues of self-fulfillment, this particular language greases the page and slides into a most poetic avenue of pursuit.

This writer was not aware of the evolution taking place, just an absence of enough words knee-jerked denigrating thoughts, and verbal chastising. This all comes with a sigh of relief, and a “Thank God for that,”

phrase of reassurance.

Whew! Thought this might be the end of the line. Never happen. As long as this body, this mind, these fingers find their writeful place on the electric paper, ideas flow like the ’Spice’ of Dune. Some will, however, take longer than others to find voice.

Four more poems, and the adventure begins. ‘Five Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Four Miles’, was transcribed to electric paper today. It has been hiding in plain sight, it just needed the right phrase, words, or fractured fragment of a storm to kickstart the process. Always a relief to get it out.

‘Five Thousand Three Hundred Forty-Four Miles’ will not be published at this time. Now there are three. These emotional expressions arrive at their own time. One cannot rush, push, or force such expressive thoughts.

This clarification has been a weight lifted, and not with an Olympic sense of reference. Other acts of rebellion concern getting out of our comfort zones. Stepping on thin ice is one way to test the strength of ourselves. How far can one go before falling through?

Goodnight to everyone. I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/nothin-doin---writing-of-consequence Sun, 14 Aug 2016 16:08:09 GMT
Morning Walk - Essence Of Mind https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/morning-walk---essence-of-mind Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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Aug. 07, 2016

Morning Walk - Essence Of Mind

Essence of Mind, sounds as if it could be a drug or perfume. Just sayin'.

Yesterday was a day for abstraction, a mixed emotional condition to find what one cannot see at first view. It is a search for self. Self realization, self-accomplishment, a trophy one can place in the mind and stroke this brain with pleasure at having found images no one else has seen or visualized.

There is not in this shooter a creative spark that says, “Hay I’ll realize this image, make it, and bring it forth.” Have never had that. There is a different, acquired, skill, still partially hidden, though it is being exposed, and making itself known. One just needs freedom from stress, a proper process, and a ritual taking place before venturing out to find these images. Without this process there is little chance of ‘seeing.’ 

Burton Road was a great teacher in that regard. The half-mile walk in any weather opened this mind, released notions, let them fly away, like clearing stale air from a room, and inhaling fresh, crisp, clean, unaltered essence of mind. Maybe one can revisit Burton Road.

One can never go home again, trite yes, but always valid. Once the cord is cut, the life is changed, or a direction altered, there is no going back. The simple act of contemplating change alters the avenue. 

This morning was just a walk in the park, nothing more, nothing less. Exercise obtained, a fresh journey stepped with solitary paces. Few images held any essence. 

Part of this conundrum is too many people.  This walking poet/shooter spoils his own time of solitude with grumpy statements. Many strollers at Woodland Lake Park are walking their dog, or dogs. Joggers wrapped in earbuds, block out the life surrounding them. Some old people walk with a quickened stride, bringing their hearts to a new state of health, others walk at a mild pace sucking in the their surroundings with the knowledge of shorter days and hospital beds in front of them. Children want to pet all the animals, ducks included. 

Off the regular path around the lake Brownie finds discarded dog or cat food. An opportunist, she nibbles. Not satisfactory to her taste buds. Back to our cottage.

First image, stalks of water grass. Caught in the right light it contains a soothing quality.  A purple flower, a second image, a color of fascination, always. This image has been shot before, though the color of this flower comforts the eye.

Third image, four humans, two dogs, nothing special. A normal interaction between all. A resting place for the mind, watching this interplay. 

There was a noticed lack of waterfowl. Have they moved on? Are they scouting other territory? Is the water level too low as summer begins its retreat?

Overcast skies hung above the lake for the duration of this walk. No rain, just a cloud cover. Soft light permeated Woodland Lake. At one time this soft light was preferred as the best light for many situations. Not so, now.

Abstraction needs contrast to highlight, to accent, to split differences, to emphasize, to distinguish, and transform. The play of light, on dark, bright, and medium tones interpret what one sees and reshapes the ordinary into extraordinary.

The secret is out. Still, practice is always the mantra. Find yourself. It is worth the effort.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/morning-walk---essence-of-mind Mon, 08 Aug 2016 13:06:09 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Light and Circumstance https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/afternoon-walk---light-and-circumstance  

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Aug. 7, 2016

Afternoon Walk - Light and Circumstance

One sits down to write, hardly ever with a clue of what may transpire in this transcript of various thoughts, emotions, ideas, and images. One may have an idea or a kernel of a theme, and a half-baked direction. Some days, and some of the best words, ideas, and thoughts lead this writer down a path not conceived at the outset.

Gotta love that.

One could say, “Surprise me!”, but no. False Dominion, a recent poem, is a good example.  It has description, turned phrases not read before, one can only hope. A kicker at the end sums up the title, and the state of man as Gaia begins her response to Man’s misuse of her cornucopia of plenty laid waste. Can we get an Amen? That, for those of you in the dark, is a phrase currently trending on Facebook.

 

Here is the poem.

 

Aug. 06, 2016

 

False Dominion

 

Volcanic rock 

tread this path

unsteady steps

stride precariously

a slow measured pace

 

Sunlight lingers on higher branches

shadows embrace this

meandered meadow

Big Springs settles into twilight

 

Coots fight

amongst themselves

across living creatures

territory remains

a universal squabble

 

Brownie lingers over

a pungent aroma

lapping pond water

 

This writer wonders

shall there be an infection

or other ailment

in her

 

Time may reveal

any sickness 

 

Three motorcycles 

roar sputter and zoom

echoing their troubles

across the streamed tall grass

and dead cattails

 

Birds bring 

attention to what struggles

remain close

 

Street noises collapse into 

silence

a setting sun

pulls a curtain on what

human sounds remain

 

This walk ends

with some peace

even as

a quiet thunder

cannot be stilled

 

Monster clouds

muscle their power 

nature remains

a final restraint

on two-legged creatures

pounding their chests

in faux bravado 

of their artificial dominance

 

Our walk last night at Big Springs was calm, refreshing, quiet, and worth it. Big Springs however, is small, and that does not exactly endear it to this writer. So picky, a walker’s snob. Yeah, well, one becomes more particular once exposed to so many variations of terrain, topography, and wild life.

Looking for those unique, abstract, images one strives to create requires being picky. One must sift through many instances of what seems at first glance as totally ordinary in the search for abstractness. Finding what is abstract in nature is the biggest challenge of this photographic life. 

Nature has an advantage; millions of years of evolution. One could say one must look in unseen places, or look at the obvious. Images are staring this shooter in the face, hiding in plain sight. Always a challenge, see it for the first time.

There was another aspect of yesterday’s Afternoon Walk. Coots were attacking each other, at least that is what it looked like. Perhaps it was something else. A courting ritual? Territorial dominance? Perhaps two males showing off for a favored female. At least one decent image managed an appearance.

The grass also held a surprise. Not exactly abstract but...it did not matter. It is, after all, all about the light and circumstance.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/8/afternoon-walk---light-and-circumstance Sun, 07 Aug 2016 18:37:38 GMT
Morning Walk - Roll With It https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/morning-walk---roll-with-it  

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July 31, 2016

Morning Walk - Roll With It

This morning walk was wet, humid, and above all, quiet. This shooter had good circumstance. Every walk, under ideal conditions, contains the last quality.

The meadow path invited our footsteps with its wet, and colorful conditions. We accepted. Upon reaching the pond our feet were soaked, mallards came to greet us, and the invisible croaking toad belched his voice intermittently.

Perhaps one walk will reveal his presence and a decent image may immortalize his countenance. No luck this morning. Ever hopeful it may be some day soon.

Brownie lusted for a drink from the pond. This shooter did not oblige.  Turning to the woods a search began for the path leading to Woodland Lake. It was found after some minor wandering in the sparse woods. This shooter, on another day, might prefer the wandering, throw life to the wind, and just travel on a whim to wherever.

A left turn on the Woodland Lake path put us back on the path to the Big Springs parking lot. Brownie enjoyed the foray on no path at all. Her nose is her guide. This writer should be so lucky to have a sense of smell. Long gone due to abuse. Figure it out.

 Two young adults were sitting on the only bench near the parking lot, arms surrounding each other. It was one of those opportunities, you know, when you have that shot of young lovers entwined in each other’s minds. 

Did not take the shot. It is one of those times when it is better to allow them their moment and not record it. Perhaps this shooter might conduct a survey of fellow shooters: Have you ever had the opportunity to take a perfect shot, and refrained from shooting?

This writer contends there are moments that belong unrecorded, no matter how perfect or right, or wished for they may be.  They are personal moments, and belong in no camera. They belong to the owners of those significant seconds, instants, or times.

Done, at the Durango, Brownie loaded, off we go. Now to more mundane tasks; breakfast, espresso, washing, drying, and dreaded paper work.

One always questions the self. How are the images? Will they work? What captures the eye first, last? Was the exposure visualized? Does it touch the heart?

At this time: They are terrible, no, nothing in particular, first or last, yes, no, none. That’s just the first look. It is usually the best impression. Some days are like that.

The morning faded into afternoon with the humidity remaining the same, a spattering of rain, came and went. Clothes got washed, dried, folded, and put away. Music echoed the rooms, no earbuds now. The vibrations cut through everything and hummed this body into a quiet repose. 

Not exactly a walk in woods and/or meadow, but deliciously quiet, music not withstanding. Not a great day for images. Other days, other perceptions. Life rolls on, sometimes the best option is to roll with it.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/morning-walk---roll-with-it Sun, 31 Jul 2016 22:17:57 GMT
Afternoon Walk - To Keep Pace https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/afternoon-walk---to-keep-pace Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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July 31, 2016

Work interferes with pleasure, still. Walks have been regulated to afternoons, except for Sunday and Monday. Those are days without work at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Never enough time.

Days turn too quickly into night, even work days, and tired bones sit numbly in a chair and watch a flat screen that allows this mind to jell. Most times watching t.v. is just something in the room that simulates people, conversation, and companionship. That is sad.

Stopped at Big Springs for the first time yesterday afternoon. Needs more exploring. Ducks are less afraid of humans there. Good. Perhaps other creatures may be as friendly. It may be the new contemplation destination.

Hard to believe, but this writer does like people, just in small doses however. Big Springs, at the right time of day, offers the fewest humans. A small pleasure for this heart.

Walking a trail, it was hard to choose which one, Brownie and this writer began our short journey. Traffic hummed by in a busy state of rush. Echoes of engines and wheels racing along vibrated through the meadow. A minor nuisance.

The first image, roots of an upturned tree. Not much, but light and shadow playing their music with these eyes along the ripples of roots. Total fascination of the struggle of life in this dead tree exposed.

Second image appeared to be a possible beaver mound with three mallards resting. Perhaps just a convolution of dead limbs and mud from a flash flood. Origin unknown. The light bleached bones of dead trees contrasted greatly with the dark green reeds, mud and water. The water fowl blended well into this peaceful and eye resting scene.

Third image was a female mallard just sitting, possibly waiting for bread crumbs, no fear of the human. That touched this heart. Other females glided across the water as if moving by motor. They were quite quick, interesting to watch them slip through the water making waves, but silent, heading towards Brownie, lapping the water quickly as if there would not be enough.

Fourth image a young coot exploring the pond but keeping its distance from the two legged and four legged creatures on the edge of the pond. Though the beak is yellow/orange in the young coot it was also the distinguishing feature labeling the fledgling. Soon the beak color would change to white and the feathers to black. Already it is almost adult in size. How quickly they grow.

Dark clouds from the Southeast held a storm in its bosom, slowly moving toward Big Springs. The wind pushed against us, a plea for us to leave ahead of the storm.  Looking West, the sun on the almost horizon seemed more like a light inside a cloud attempting to expose itself. We turned back and followed the grass path in the open meadow back to the small but sheltering parking lot.

There are other new images also added to this post, however, one did not care to comment on each image. That has been left to the comments section under each image in the gallery, at least for this particular blog post. It is necessary. Time is a clock and it speeds through the universe at light speed. We need to keep pace.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/afternoon-walk---to-keep-pace Sun, 31 Jul 2016 13:21:38 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Abstractions https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/afternoon-walk---abstractions Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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July 28, 2016

My favorite month is sun setting soon. Why? Middle of summer, my birthday almost half way through and it is the height of sunshine and warm days. Ok, as a kid they were warm, now they seem hotter, but still... 

Time to catch frogs, skip stones, swim until your arms fall off, sparklers, fireworks, picnics, vacation, and travel to far away places. Driving through Washington state, where the trees were taller than any building this child had ever seen. 

California redwoods so big, a dance hall with a bar inside one. The wonders of the West were jaw dropping and shut this mouth, because no words could describe the beauty, and majesty all around. 

Each summer we traveled a different route to California. Dad had a war buddy there. They were at the Battle of the Bulge together. Those events bind you in a way that sometimes cannot be expressed by ordinary men. 

Dad earned a Bronze Star. His company was pinned down, and he would stand up in the trench they were in and wave his arms at a machine gun nest in a second story of a building of the town they were attacking. By doing this artillery was able to pinpoint the building and destroy it.

One year we moved to Sacramento, CA. Ron and I had many adventures. Being the new kids on the block, we were tested by the other kids, and after a few fights, we were welcomed as new blood to this gang. Doesn’t get better than that.

School came and we were way ahead of the other kids. Teacher’s wanted to advance us, put us in higher grades. Mom was adamant; “NO! If we move back to Wisconsin, they will be behind. It will not happen.” We didn’t care, we liked the kids, the school and the teachers. 

It was the first time we left a classroom and the hallways were outside! Cool! You could see jets flying over, here trains whistling in the distance, and an easy escape to the playground. 

Mom got homesick. Did not like being so far away from family. One day we packed up and left. No good-byes, no sad partings, just gone like a strong wind pushing us home. We never went back. 

It was the end of one aspect of our childhood. But new summers, new July’s called us to embrace our new friends, new adventures, school and returning to some old friends too. 

This habit of wandering every summer grabbed me. I liked it. Never staying long in one place, but somehow staying in the same town, we moved from apartment to apartment, until mom put her foot down. By high school we had found a nice compact, and comfortable house, near a Catholic church/school and the new Catholic High School, Newman. Named after Cardinal Newman.

There was no more wandering until the end of those four years. Glad of that. Leaving high school closed one chapter, but opened another. But of course, that is another story.

Good-bye July, come again next year. I will wait for you. Please hurry, you hold many memories that embrace this heart.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/afternoon-walk---abstractions Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:58:25 GMT
Morning Walk - Two Weeks https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/morning-walk---two-weeks Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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July 25, 2016

Morning Walk - Two Weeks

One generally does not begin a writing with a title in place. Titles generally arise in the writing, in the thoughts placed on the page. There are exceptions. It may work, or not. Like adult underwear, depends. 

Life, of course, is always such a vein. The blood running in veins may always travel their courses, though never the same cells.  So it is, one never knows what going out the door, or perhaps even staying in will occur within each particular day, hour, minute, and on..

For these past two weeks the trouble of rain coming up late in the afternoon has whetted the appetite of one dog, and her relaxed companion, to get OUT. You know, leave the house and taste the air. The one with two legs, and a slight limp hardly noticed, unless and until one is tired and worn, is the companion.

For the four legged one, it is an aromatic adventure. For the companion, it is mostly an adventure in sight, and sometimes, sound. Slim pickings these days, with the rain and all. Brownie barks her disapproval in the evening, to no avail. No desire to walk the rain. Sometimes yes, but right now, mostly no.

Ever the human, ever fickle. It is revealed, the writing of poems of the last few days has stilted my writing. Short sentences. See?

Anyway, the last two weeks have managed to yield a few images. As this is the Morning Walk there are a few missing that this writer rather likes. This shooter is concerned with abstract images of mundane, ordinary, items most of us pass by and never give a second glance. At the moment finding those items in nature is a game of hide and seek. The harder this shooter seeks, the more images hide. A conundrum. Like that word, conundrum, descriptive.

A few have exposed themselves in all their naked glory. Part of the goal is to shoot what one cannot recognize at first. The mind, relaxed and unfettered, may turn ordinary into extraordinary. The intention when galvanized sees ordinary as something unusual. It is harder than it looks.

Those abstracts will appear in an Afternoon Walk. Tomorrow? One never knows about tomorrow. One can never count on it. So life moves in a flow. Like a river. It is all water but it is never the same water. Take a breath, exhale. Now go.

Ah, one word, three times; practice, practice, practice. One must enter a groove of sorts, a mind set, a habit of looking and not seeing the ordinary in the ordinary. Riding a wave, here. This is the goal, to write it concisely, and smooth the understanding with as few words needed.

One might consider writing poems more often interspersed with regular structured writing. Bradbury, it has got to be. No one else has influenced me lately, even with reading other authors. Go figure. 

One has been writing, but nothing for regular consumption. The words of the past two weeks are shown to only one. The loved one.

This started with Two Weeks. Guess what? it has ended with two weeks. Bringing the writing full circle, as designed.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/morning-walk---two-weeks Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:19:19 GMT
Morning Walk - Holiday Weekend https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/morning-walk---holiday-weekend ​Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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No words just weekend images. Happy 4th of July!

Two morning walks combined into one. Many families, some with grandparents. Many with dogs. 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) anglers birds fishing forest lake water woodland https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/7/morning-walk---holiday-weekend Tue, 05 Jul 2016 13:15:48 GMT
Morning Walk - A Mile And A Half https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---a-mile-and-a-half  

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Ever a trip astounds this shooter

it is always this one

never the next

 

next walk may

or may not

appear

 

Our lives pre-suppose

too much

 

Never new thoughts

always an open mind 

walks

without anticipation

but expectation

 

New is welcome

in all forms

in the release

of bonds binding

a mind

each step forward

travels unbound

 

All stop

old ways

 

A loose mind 

is a mind released

from everyday

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---a-mile-and-a-half Sun, 26 Jun 2016 18:29:51 GMT
Morning and Afternoon Walk - Anarchy And Chaos https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-and-afternoon-walk---anarchy-and-chaos 06122016ApproachingStorm175ATwp06122016ApproachingStorm175ATwpApproaching Storm

June 13, 2016

Truly, yesterday was a day of rest. Brownie whined in the morning, begging for a walk. We went early, but not early enough. The sun was too high, and many cars were parked near the east side dock of Show Low Lake. Many anglers already had marked their shoreline. Invisible ’Do not disturb’ signs lined the rocky outcrops where each angler had stationed themselves, and venturing onto the path along the lake was not worth the trek.

We turned back. Enough of the lake on this day. My glasses broke for the second time as I pulled them from my pocket. Just proves not all things can be fixed with super glue. The first time they broke while putting them under the vacant pillow, when slipping into bed two nights ago. And that vacant pillow, a constant ache. But that’s another story.

Brownie collapsed on the road before we reached the Durango. She was unable to get up right away. Finally, she pulled herself up as if nothing had happened and we continued. 

Back at our cottage she did not want to use the ramp to exit the vehicle. This writer left the back hatch open and the ramp in place and went into the cottage. About fifteen minutes later Brownie whined long and loud. I went and stood by the ramp and coaxed her down.

The rest of the day was a usual Sunday. Wash clothes, and struggle with writing. Sometimes it is like a wrestling match with an invisible opponent. The mind, the heart, fill with emotion and desire, but words punch the fingers, jabbing and twisting but refusing to make sense. A silent and neutral keyboard just waits. 

Finally, a Dan Fogelberg song, This Heart, kicks into gear a mind in neutral, and a semblance of a poem finds the paper. Then, nothing. That’s all folks...ain’t no more.

Silence in the cottage becomes the music of the day. By 5:30 Brownie is barking for a walk, no whine,  strong, sharp barks of protest. Pintail Lake this time. An arthritic and disinterested dog walks the path, but without heart. This is not her favorite place. Sunset is not the time for this venture.

Leaving the lake one ponders the Orlando Shooting. 50 dead, and 50 injured. One thinks of the two sides of this tragedy who will scream the loudest. Those who want gun control, and those who cry terrorists are coming, we  need more guns. The people of this country need to decide what to do. 

There are already enough guns sold in this country for every man, woman, and child to own one. Think about that for a minute. I mean really. Get off your goddamn soap box, and ponder the fact that there have been enough firearms sold in this country for every person alive. 

That fact alone is insane. We do not need more guns. We already have enough weapons. That is a known fact. What we need is a reasonable policy of gun control. What is a reasonable policy of gun control? A license to use a firearm, for one. And that means education. 

No 16 year old in this country can drive a car without a license, at least legally. And that means they need to take classes, learn the rules of the road,  how to handle a car safely, and then take a test to be a qualified, licensed driver. A firearm, a means of killing someone, has no such qualification. Anyone 18 or older can walk into a gun shop buy a firearm, and proceed to use it against you or me whenever they want.

More gun regulation is also needed. That does not mean taking guns away from people. It means deciding what firearms people may purchase. Who NEEDS an AR-15 or any other type of automatic weapon? The military? Yes. Civilians? No. What for? Has any country invaded this nation and succeeded? No. Besides, as already stated, we have more than enough firearms.

Our military industrial complex has always made sure our wars are fought on foreign ground. How in the world did this go from a day of rest and relaxation to firearms? It went where it did because this writer is afraid firearms have no controls. And that is scary.

Too many people have been killed because there are no controls on who has firearms, how many they have and why they have them. This must end. If it continues, anarchy and chaos will reign, and that means everybody loses.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-and-afternoon-walk---anarchy-and-chaos Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:53:35 GMT
Morning Walk - Pushing Blood Around https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---pushing-blood-around  

​Click The Image To View The Gallery 

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June 20, 2016

After this mornings’ shower, this writer wondered about his contribution to the world. The only real contribution has been our sons my first wife (Bobbie) and I had back in the early ’70’s.  All other contributions, if there really are any, cannot compare with the boys. Both of whom are extremely creative, free-thinking, humorous, independent, and responsible.

After that initial thought, this shooter paused, and realized it is a 50% amount. After all, it takes two to Tango. And danced we did.  After raising children and watching them progress through life on their own a parent always has doubts, concerns, and ‘what-ifs’.  

From this perspective if there are no doubts or concerns, one wonders about the parent. At any given time a daughter or son may make a choice that leads to negative outcomes, and once those choices are made the road back may be lost forever. Thankfully, both of them did not go too far down any negative ventures.

Oddly enough, I believe music and their playing musical instruments kept them from deviating too far off any good roads. Why? Because I believe, music, and playing gave them good powers of reason, and an honest sense of humor. An honest sense of humor is seeing the bright side of situations and the silliness of certain acts, and them always finding the kernel of a smile, or a shot of laughter in dire situations. It is like zipping open a dark cloud and letting the sun shine through.

Once you have that, it is hard to take anything too serious or too dark to believe. Of course they have always had a serious streak in them, but their smiles and laughter bubble to the surface at just the right moment. How lucky they are to have that.

These reflective thoughts are due to yesterday’s Father’s Day. After viewing so many good wishes on FaceBook this writer believes those ‘celebrations’ of social media went into the brain and stirred around for awhile and are now emerging on the page. The mind is a wonder of odd placement of thoughts. 

It did not dawn on me until now the reason so many people went out walking around Woodland Lake yesterday. So many families, so many dads out with their little ones, and so many grandpas holding grandchildren hands as they strolled around the lake. No doubt many also had reservations at popular breakfast restaurants in the area.

Will every walk at Woodland Lake be like that? Who knows? This shooter will know soon enough. Walks taken may be determined by those who occupy the lake and when. 

So life continues, hearts beat, pushing blood around, feeding those areas that need it most first. This mind apparently is last on that list, as one is not as sharp in the morning as one used to be. That however may have other causes. But that is another story.

This shooter (photographer), is like this morning’s cleansing, showered with thoughts more during the early hours before sunrise than at other times. The seasonal change is pushing Morning Walks into late Afternoon Walks, a consequence of work, and lack of time. At least during the week. Perhaps this shift may cause a shift of thought to later in the day.

One is thankful and grateful for the boys Bobbie and I have. May they live long and accomplish whatever their creative forces bring forth.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---pushing-blood-around Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:36:21 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Solitary Settings https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/afternoon-walk---solitary-settings ​Click The Image To View The Gallery 

06182016FemaleWesternBluebird218ATwp06182016FemaleWesternBluebird218ATwpFemale Western Bluebird

June19, 2016

Brownie is an older four legged companion. However, she insists, by barking at the house, knowing who is inside, that a walk must be taken. Sometimes, her insistent barks are answered with a leash and a walk. She much prefers the Rim Trail walk to any other.

Why? The varied scents she is able to detect and investigate. There is one caveat since the Cedar Fire, bears have also been seen on the Rim Trail. They have come up this way for obvious reasons. For those of you who do not know, the Cedar Fire forced them out of their usual habitat. This writer, when the bears are spotted, beats a hasty retreat back to safer areas. 

This has caused a few of our walks quick curtailment. Brownie for her part, is no dummy. Once back at our cottage her barks broadcast her distain. Sorry, this chicken livered human is not going near a forest with known bears lurking about looking for food. The only regret is not getting a decent shot off before either the bear or this duo turns tail and retreats to safer ground.

The fire is now under control to some extent. That does not mean anything to the bears. Their habitat has been destroyed and now they must seek other feeding areas. This of course means they are probably not going to leave anytime soon. Once they have injured or killed a human along the Rim Trail, they will either be shot or captured and released in another area that is safe for them and away from humans. Good luck with that. But that’s another story.

Back to Brownie’s desires and wants and needs. She does not like Pintail Lake, not enough scents. She does not like Show Low Lake, too short of a walk and not many new scents for her keen nose. Hmm...

Another venue, Woodland lake.  Yes, a likely spot. There is a path around the lake, people bring their dogs here, it is well traveled, and a busy place for people, birds, dogs, and anglers. Late yesterday afternoon was our first venture there, at least for Brownie. She liked everything but the covered walk-way bridge. 

It is a decent but not ideal spot for walking and allowing her to explore the air, the ground, and any favorable aromas she may encounter. Why not ideal? Too many people of course.

This particular human likes the silence of solitary settings. You know, those places most humans do not frequent in the early morning or late afternoon. Those places where the only sounds, stirrings, and stimulating places are where humans are not. Yes, this is a whine. And not the kind one has with cheese. Most people will not understand the reference. In the past, when a person whined about something, a sarcastic person listening to the whine might ask: Would you like some cheese with that? 

This of course meant; quit whining and deal with it. That brings this writing back to Woodland Lake. Which will now be a frequent haunt for a while.  Knowing full well Brownie will always prefer the Rim Trail. Ya can’t always have what you want, sometimes, ya get what you need.

Her late afternoon barking will still be heard. She thinks a morning and afternoon walk are required. They are not, at least for her two-legged companion.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/afternoon-walk---solitary-settings Sun, 19 Jun 2016 14:54:42 GMT
Morning Walk - Not Enough Scents https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---not-enough-scents ​Click The Image To View The Gallery 

06052016FreeBobbers099ATwp06052016FreeBobbers099ATwpFree Bobbers

June 09, 2016

Pintail Lake is a wetland project lake just north of the Show Low Airport off of Hwy 77. It is a great place to visit if a person wants to see a wide variety of waterfowl, insects, an occasional pronghorn antelope, and enjoy an immense amount of peace and quiet.

No one goes there, or if people do, there are not many who do. Thank you. Too bad it is not closer, this shooter might spend more time there.

Brownie does not care for the place much, not enough scents to invigorate her sense of smell. Oh well. Not much of a walk either.

One wonders where the words have gone. Are they hiding in the small spaces between this writer’s ears? Maybe they are in the electronic spaces of the digital image device, on the flash card. Not much of an issue these days. Perhaps there is a building up of material inside waiting for a proper entrance.

Anyway, here are a few shots from Sunday’s early morning venture.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---not-enough-scents Thu, 09 Jun 2016 13:02:04 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Like Mayonnaise https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/afternoon-walk---like-mayonnaise ​Click The Image To View The Gallery 

06032016FoamWater094ATwp06032016FoamWater094ATwpFoam Water

June 04, 2016

Does anyone write like Ray Bradbury? I think not. I read, and I read, and I read, but nothing sprouts forth from these fingers when I read someone else. Just normal everyday stuff. Someone has to write like him. 

Where have all the Ray Bradbury’s gone?  Hiding in swamps, checked out in Death Valley, riding a rocket to Mars? He always gives/gave me good stuff that bounces back onto my own pages in colorful phrases, and simple clear sentences spread across the page like mayonnaise on bread. 

Perhaps, living in this solitary world, I have lost touch with other writers who paint their pictures on pages. Writers who describe their ideas in plain and easily understood images with just enough words one can close our eyes and see with our minds. Writers who tag the page like graffiti artists who express what others think but cannot paint.

Where you at? I need you, now. Too many blank days have written themselves out of my memory. There is fog everywhere I look. How can I write when there is no one to read? Oh sure, they are out there. It is my responsibility to find them. Yes, and no.

Perhaps the surgery has taken its Towle, and words have been set aside for now. Why? It was a greatly traumatic experience and this writer has nothing to say? Go to hell.

There is everything to write but...Blank pages envelope me and mail me to NoWhere Land. Silent mornings, and quiet, late afternoons are gifts this shooter relishes. These times bring forth the ink in my veins, and words write themselves. Not so.

The late afternoon of yesterday opened a gate of silence and calm. Brownie and I went through that gate and wandered. It was a short stroll into the forest. 

A bear or bears decided to share it with us. We decided not to share it with them, or it. Did not even get a decent shot off. It was hard to determine if it was a cub or just a young bear. Did not wait to find out.

How does one find writers like Bradbury? Ask a librarian? Ask other writers? Maybe.

So many of us, so little time left. Reading a book called The Martian. It is interesting in a mystery way. You know: a will he survive and will NASA be able to save him or help the stranded astronaut? Nice reading, but no imagery, no poetic phrasing, no sentences that end with this writer thinking : “I wanted to write that!”

Or this writer underlining certain passages in various Bradbury stories, and notes saying “OMG! what a great sentence,” or “WOW!, now that was a phrase to emulate.” No, there is none of that. Why should I read it, if it gives me nothing like that in return?

Talk about a pedestrian writer, no doubt this person probably fits in that category as well.  So, if there are any Ray Bradbury’s out there, perhaps you will be found, some day soon...

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/afternoon-walk---like-mayonnaise Sun, 05 Jun 2016 14:25:20 GMT
Morning Walk - Recovering Walks https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---recovering-walks ​Click The Image To View The Gallery 05222016DarkBarkBW002ATwp05222016DarkBarkBW002ATwpDark Bark

June 1, 2016

Just a few new images from a week of increasing the amount of steps one walked while building strength and stamina. The goal was to walk one quarter of a mile further every day. There was no rush on the walk just more steps each day. The goal was reached. Yes, a stubborn man reaching for his 70th birthday.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/6/morning-walk---recovering-walks Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:56:00 GMT
Morning Walk - Nothing To Write https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/morning-walk---nothing-to-write May 19, 2016

 

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Sometimes there is nothing to write. No matter how full the mind with thoughts, ideas, regrets, hopes and dreams. The connection from the mind to fingers is blocked. Not being a believer in writer’s block one cannot use it as an excuse. Writer’s block is fear. That is this writer’s take on the issue.

 

The only thing stopping a person from writing are various fears created by said writer from inside the mind or sometimes by outside influences that create barriers. The writer is then free to use these ‘blocks’ as an excuse to hide from the particular fear of the moment constructed to prevent writing.

 

This goes along with every writer constantly doubting their ability to communicate accurately. Accuracy? Accuracy is having a fist full of stones, throwing them all at a target, and hoping something hits somewhere within the vicinity of a bull’s eye. 

 

If  a person writes long enough, someone will like one piece of a writer’s work or many, it comes down to aligning with an audience in some way. Some writers never find an audience, or if they do, the readers are a small marginal group. 

 

The other end of the spectrum are those writers who capitalize on a theme broad enough to garner many followers, maybe once or twice or many times. This depends on how adroit they are at holding this audience. Steve King, for example, Anne Rice, J. K. Rowlings, etc. These writers had something they liked to write about and by chance or circumstance a group of people were pursuing a similar path and a cross-roads event occurred that meshed between the two.

 

Famous writers find their audience and the rest is the continuation of a cliché. It happens all the time. Unfortunately for writers, publishers, libraries, book sellers, et.al. the amount of hard copy books being sold has shrunk considerably since people have turned to the internet for most of their entertainment, be it reading, or visual stimuli.

 

The electronic media has become a monster in all of its incarnations; from smart phones to gigantic t.v. screens.

Visual stimuli is the main force and is getting bigger. The prophecy of an illiterate society is soon upon us. Of course there will always be hold-outs who will keep their books, paper, computer keyboards, printers, and other devices for creating written thoughts, words, and ideas. However, they will be marginalized, and left behind.

 

What we now have from this writer’s perspective is a dumbing down of America. Something totally unthinkable when this shooter was in his prime. What happened to our country, and the current lack of education in America?

 

For example, how many of you reading this know who the first president was? Or why did the North and South divide into factions and fight a certain conflict you do not know the name of? This country has tumbled into a state of chaos, because of the dumbing-down of its citizens.  And this has caused a fall from democracy to another type of government no one saw coming.

 

It has fallen from a true democracy to an oligarchy. For those of you who do not understand: an oligarchy is a small group of people having control of an entire country. In this case, several giant corporations who have conspired to control the news, formally known as the fourth estate, or independent source of free information that kept the public informed of what politicians were doing, keeping them in check, and answerable to the citizens of this country.

 

That is no longer the case in America. News is spoon fed through various news outlets, and whatever news people see on t.v. or read, always has one slant; the slant those in control of the news sources want the citizens to see and/or read. These corporations and their leaders want one thing, power, power to keep people in line and push only those ideas the oligarchy deems fit to push.

 

One of two things will happen in the next few years; either enough people will conspire to over-throw this system, hopefully in a peaceful manner, or the oligarchs will have enough power and control to keep Americans smart enough to produce, but dumb enough to not care.

 

Sometimes one starts with a premise like: “There is nothing to write.”, and ends with a completely off the wall writing, with no intention of going in this particular direction. But the mind seeks and finds buried thoughts, and then expresses them. For this writer it proves one thing: There is no such thing as writer’s block.

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/morning-walk---nothing-to-write Sat, 21 May 2016 19:30:46 GMT
Morning Walk - The Shrouded Sky https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/morning-walk---the-shrouded-sky Click The Image To View The Gallery

051762016RainFutures534ATwp051762016RainFutures534ATwpRain Futures

May 18, 2016

 

Yesterday, this writer ventured out into the world on his own, with a cane, a camera slung over the left shoulder like an ammunition belt, and a leash with a happy brown dog at the other end. There was no plan to walk a certain amount of steps, or reach a set goal. Just a venture out to test the mettle of the new hip, the endurance one could handle, and the stubbornness of an old guy who pushes the limit.

 

Brownie of course was the puller on this walk.  A tight leash stretched between us as she sniffed, and explored the moist but not wet earth, her nose a barometer constantly testing the air for new scents. She kept doing circles in front of me and then rubbing the right knee of said traveler. Her gesture of affection. 

 

We stopped many times due to her expressing happiness in her way. This writer did not mind the stops. Opportunities arise from such quiet moments.  The cane turned into a liability at such times. There were not many places to prop it up against something, and take a shot.

 

Walking with a cane when the ground is uneven is always a challenge. There are shallow dips on the path, embedded rocks to trip on, dead branches, twigs, and the constant ducking of low limbs. Not exactly ideal conditions for walking, even for someone in the best physical shape.

 

Looking at the sky shrouded by tall ponderosa pine this shooter observed the many patches of blue punctuated by white, fluffy clouds, and some dark grey masses holding rain. Irritation flexed the face muscles, until a blue horizon came into view as we looked west on the 300 Road. 

 

No rain, at least not right now. Sitting on a stump along the path thoughts of doubt stirred the mind, and the question of how much farther wandered around waiting for an answer. There was no answer in the hallway of this head. 

 

Only questions slithered in and out, like snakes looking for prey. Have too many steps been taken? Will a rock on the path cause a stumble? Will a bear show up and decide we are a good meal? Will the cane slip off a dead branch causing a loss of balance and the ever dreaded fall?

 

Brushing aside these sinister questions of self-doubt the walk was resumed. No major thoughts with deeper meaning appeared between the eyes in a whispered voice. One was hoping for some new insight into people, of this person, or something new for this mind to contemplate. Just blank blackboard.

 

All attention turned to navigating the path and making a safe retreat back to solid ground and flat and even roads. For the first time since the operation this writer knew the limits had been pushed too far. Oh, our cottage would be reached probably without harm, but the boundary of safety had been crossed and frequent stops were mandatory. 

 

The venture out into the woods had proved pushing limits is one thing, but knowing when to stop is more important. The new hip being mostly steel did not have a problem, the owner of said prosthesis however, does have issues concerning limits.

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

]]>
photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/morning-walk---the-shrouded-sky Wed, 18 May 2016 17:50:44 GMT
Nothin' Doin' - Echoes of Our Father https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/nothin-doin---echoes-of-our-father 05122016BirdsOfAFeather502ATwp05122016BirdsOfAFeather502ATwpBirds of a Feather

Click The Image To View The Gallery

May 16, 2016

Echoes of our Father, sounds like a title for this particular writing. Because? My brother Ron came, stayed with this writer for 8 days, and became my hands and mostly my feet. A total left hip replacement puts one at a mobile disadvantage for a certain period of time. 

How much time? Depends. Are you healthy? Are your bones strong and in good working order? How about your mental status? Mind sharp and optimistic? Are you motivated to heal, or are you now weak, helpless, and unable to do for yourself?

Depends. It greatly depends on how a person approaches the situation. Number one. This writer had already determined before the surgery that healing would take place right after the surgery and would continue until the new hip, and muscles, and tendons, and tissue would begin healing and put this shooter back on both feet as soon as possible. 

Number two. This writer would push himself past his limits until he knew he had gone too far. These thoughts, ideas, and goals are in motion, and have been carried out. Pushing past limits until the pain was prominent but not so serious more medical action was needed.

Number three. Follow doctors orders. Lessons learned from previous surgeries dominated this order.

The most important part was having Ron here to help me do things I could not do on my own without getting into trouble. Things we all take for granted; shopping, driving a car, cooking meals, vacuuming the house, re-arranging furniture with pathways wide enough for a walker, washing clothes, washing dishes, and on.

Something else happened un-expectedly. Echoes of our father began to permeate the rooms with Ron’s presence. Ron whistled while he worked, cooked, drove, and shopped. Echo. He also spent much quiet time reading whatever was at hand, finding something to enrich his mind. Echo. Offered his opinion with humor, and gentleness. Found the good in each situation, especially negative places. Again with humor and kindness. Echo.

Never complained about doing anything, just doing what needed doing. Big echo. Dad’s shadow followed him everywhere. It was a comfort, a peace of someone long gone. That is not to say Ron did not have his own way of doing everything, he did.  What he did echoed the example our father gave us as children, and young adults.

This of course, brought a great measure of peace and comfort to this writer. After such a traumatic event as a hip replacement it was exactly what was needed. A pillow of comfort for an aching and sore wound. Without his presence this writer thinks events might have transpired differently.

Having someone come into the home once or twice a day, who is paid for their services, is not the same as having a brother stay with you and be there all the time. It is like having a shield of protection envelope the whole house, a sanctuary, an umbrella of safety against the droning of outside forces.

Ron has done his deeds and taken his leave. This writer is now back on his own two feet, though not fully recovered, recovered enough to make his way. Now, time is the healing action. The rest is habit, determination, and realistic goals.

Echoes of our father no doubt also echoes with this writer. How we grow and develop is reflected by those who taught us, each of us not realizing these habits, thoughts, and ways until we have matured and stand on our own. Even then it may not be noticeable. We, all of us, must know our limits, know our powers, our faults, and our strengths, and remember where we come from and acknowledge those who shaped us.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/nothin-doin---echoes-of-our-father Mon, 16 May 2016 13:55:03 GMT
Nothin’ Doin’ - Advanced Directives https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/nothin-doin---advanced-directives  

May 09, 2016

Morning Walk - Advanced Directives

Click The Image To View The Gallery

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May 9, 2016

Cannot exactly go for a walk these days. Brownie, however, thinks this writer should be up and att’em ASAP. Yeah, me too, dog, but it ain’t happenin’. Not for awhile anyway.

For days before being admitted to the hospital, this writer tossed and turned in the bed, made out a will, filled out ‘Advanced Directive’ forms and prepared for the worst. Did not happen. An excellent outcome happened instead.

Advanced directives are; a living will, and do not revive orders in case anything negative did happen. The drive to write is not rearing its awkward head. Too much medication or too tired to think or a combination of factors. 

Discharged from the hospital Friday, May 6, 2016. That first day was a struggle, but there was much support from friends, and that helped ease this writer’s transition. One of the most interesting aspects of being in the hospital was observing the staff,  and how they provided care, from the food service people up to the nurses.

Two of the food service people seemed inexperienced and were not sure how to respond or react to situations presented to them. For example, how to raise and lower the portable table, and how to provide more room by sliding the extra tray to make more room available. The other one acted like this writer had a catchable disease and stayed as far away from me as she could.

One of the techs was a control freak and wanted everything done her way. Apparently as I was getting dressed for discharge my attitude also raised its head. This tech person picked up my shoes, started to untie them when she was admonished to leave them tied, as this writer could slip them on without difficulty. She stepped back and just watched as I continued getting dressed. 

After that she did not touch me, but asked if I needed anything.  Always, the response was a polite “no, thank you” to her stiff inquiry. One of the male nurses and the PT person were two of my favorites. They did their jobs professionally, but also with humor. They also never let me be a slacker, and pushed me to do more on my own and not let them become crutches.

It is always great to have friends at at time when a person is incapacitated, whether in great need or to a much lesser degree. Several people who formerly worked at the White Mountain Independent helped me with getting back into the groove of being at home. Wiley Acheson orchestrated this network of people and did a great job of it too. 

My brother came to stay with me for a week, and other friends who have connected ourselves to each other like magnets have also helped on this journey. Times of need and stress bring out those who are friends and those who are just passing through. 

The excellent outcome by the way, is this writer still breathing, having a hip replaced that is not that bad of an operation, and recovering rather quickly from the trauma of body invasion. Contrary to a belief this shooter acquired through experience some surgeries have better than expected outcomes. Not as fast and as good as Brownie likes them, but good outcomes. Sort of like good out-takes but real, not reel ones.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/5/nothin-doin---advanced-directives Tue, 10 May 2016 13:54:39 GMT
Morning Walk - Afternoon Walk - The Freedom Of Silence https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/morning-walk---afternoon-walk April 09, 2016

Morning Walk - Afternoon Walk - The Freedom Of Silence

Click The Image To View The Gallery

04102012ScreamingHorse260ATwp04102012ScreamingHorse260ATwpScreaming Horse

 

Neither Morning Walk or Afternoon Walk are what they once were. There was joy, inner peace, complete quiet, silent solace in being out in the semi-wild of Arizona. Like an extension of the self, the black box of image capture slung over one shoulder, hung from the left hip waiting for whatever, almost always captured something.

Not so, now. It has become a chore, a duty, an empty obligation of the ragged spirit of this writer. What does this mean? A vision lost, a purpose not found, and little desire to shoot anything. There is a thought : Like Jeff Robbins, former friend and fellow photographer, there is nothing to shoot. There is plenty to shoot. What is lacking is the ability to capture ‘it’: It being those images that used to excite, provide satisfaction of the mind, and the marvel of recording them at all. This shooter noticed Jeff’s fall when we were still friends, and wondered; when this too shall happen in my hands, eye, and mind.

Somewhere, somehow, along this steady pace of foot falls into nature, the essence of this writer/photographer has dissipated like morning mist in the sunrise. This spirit has always known the words trumped the images, and now the fading desire to shoot has revealed itself in the lack of good, satisfying images. They too, have faded like a captured sunset, and the nightly curtain of stars has wrapped itself around the black box of image creation, in a silent night of no expressive consequence.

The walks have become a duty of responsibility of taking care of Brownie. She pulls me along as the nose, still sharp with curiosity, searches the air for any new scent the leash allows her to investigate. This writer is just along for the ride.

April 21, 2016

As the days lengthen morning walks turn into afternoon walks. Not a favorite time, but the Brown dog’s owner must crease the fading light with a presence in the almost wild outdoors of Arizona. It is not necessary to shoot anything. The necessary activity is experiencing the freedom of silence. It requires time outside to listen and to hear the inner voice. The voice of the heart of the mind. That ever beating lub dub, lub dub, that expells more than blood. It pushes ideas and words into the red color stream flowing the veins from brain to hand to paper.

There are times, like now, when there is too much time between writing. The mind being the fault line of creation or the lack of same. The cause is always the same but always different: it is some trauma that blocks the expressive nature, the expressive need to write and the gripping fear of writing. 

To write is to reveal. There are writers who cannot write for this reason and this reason alone. It is their failure, their cross, their ultimate fear. At the end of this life, I will at least know I have written and expressed whatever demons possessed me to write. Funny thing, by writing one releases those demons and they fade into the sunlight like a morning mist, never seen again. Write when you got it, tomorrow may not appear.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you

 

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/morning-walk---afternoon-walk Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:00:00 GMT
Morning Walk - Six Reflections https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/morning-walk---six-reflections February 22, 2016

For some reason this never got published, Hmmm...

Reflections

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02212016MirrorOne549ATwp02212016MirrorOne549ATwpReflection One

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/morning-walk---six-reflections Fri, 22 Apr 2016 12:09:03 GMT
Morning Walk - A Different Route https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/morning-walk---a-different-route April 04, 2016

Morning Walk - A Different Route

Just Images, no words

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040422016PillowRock161ATwp040422016PillowRock161ATwp

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/morning-walk---a-different-route Tue, 05 Apr 2016 11:56:16 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Blind Faith https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/afternoon-walk---blind-faith April 03, 2016

Blind Faith

belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination

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041022016ReachingForTheLight101ATwp041022016ReachingForTheLight101ATwpReaching For The Light

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/4/afternoon-walk---blind-faith Sun, 03 Apr 2016 14:30:32 GMT
Morning Walk - Between Paragraphs https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/3/morning-walk---between-paragraphs March 27, 2016

Morning Walk - Between Paragraphs

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03272016ManzanitaBlooms073ATwp03272016ManzanitaBlooms073ATwpManzanita Blooms

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/3/morning-walk---between-paragraphs Sun, 27 Mar 2016 20:45:00 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Renascent https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/3/afternoon-walk---renascent March 20, 2016

Renascent

Being reborn; springing again into being or vigor.

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03192016PintailLakeFramed028ATwp03192016PintailLakeFramed028ATwpPintail Lake Framed There is a brick information building at Pintail Lake called a blind with eight or nine windows for bird watching. Only got two in this shot.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/3/afternoon-walk---renascent Sun, 20 Mar 2016 16:54:36 GMT
Morning Walk - Gate Of Entry https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/3/morning-walk---gate-of-entry March 14, 2016

Gate of Entry

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03132016ShowLowCreek001ATwp03132016ShowLowCreek001ATwpShow Low Creek

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/3/morning-walk---gate-of-entry Mon, 14 Mar 2016 19:18:48 GMT
Morning Walk - Deceptive Appearances https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/2/morning-walk---deceptive-appearances February 08, 2016

Deceptive Appearances

Frozen waves, frozen ripples, poppers, Show Low Lake Alligator, Dragon of Show Low Lake, Entrapment; all deceptive in appearance. It is as if the freezing cold froze a moment of time. Show Low Lake Alligator, Dragon of Show Low Lake, and Entrapment, are elements of deception of the mind, who is trapped and is that really an alligator, or a dragon?

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02082016ShowLowLakeAlligator482ATwp02082016ShowLowLakeAlligator482ATwpShow Low Lake Alligator

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/2/morning-walk---deceptive-appearances Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:55:51 GMT
Morning Walk - Balance https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/2/morning-walk---balance January 31, 2016

Balance

Last day of the first month of the new year. Not a goal intended, but one that emerged in process. A balance of elements. Most of this shooter's images are not balanced, even or symmetrical. An exception to a rule, in this case.

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01312016Guardian405ATwp01312016Guardian405ATwpGuardian

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/2/morning-walk---balance Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:09:22 GMT
Morning Walk - Everything Frozen https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/morning-walk-everything-frozen January 25, 2016

Everything Frozen

The cold was tolerable. The solitude was satisfying in a peaceful setting. Gloved hands felt no chill, mind open, and relaxed, everything frozen. Best circumstances available.

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01252016SpearsOfIce361ATwp01252016SpearsOfIce361ATwpSpears Of Ice

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/morning-walk-everything-frozen Tue, 26 Jan 2016 13:15:00 GMT
Morning Walk - An Easy Phrase https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/morning-walk---an-easy-phrase January 24, 2016

An Easy Phrase

The cold was barely tolerable. The solitude was immense, satisfying in a maximum setting. Hands were chilled, mind was charged, location ideal. Best circumstances available.

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01242016PaleYellowSlateBlue298ATwp01242016PaleYellowSlateBlue298ATwpPale Yellow Slate Blue

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/morning-walk---an-easy-phrase Sun, 24 Jan 2016 19:12:19 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Entwined Mysteries https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/afternoon-walk---entwined-mysteries January 10, 2016

Entwined Mysteries

One shot 32 images yesterday. Mission accomplished. One had the smug idea abstractness had been captured. Six images survived the cut. The rest, meh. Even three of these six are suspect. You find them, you decide.

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******01092016JuniperShadows238ATwp******01092016JuniperShadows238ATwpJuniper Shadows

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/afternoon-walk---entwined-mysteries Sun, 10 Jan 2016 14:16:24 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Last Walk 2015 https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/afternoon-walk---last-walk-2015 December 25, 2015

Last Walk

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12312015BlueAndWhite181ATwp12312015BlueAndWhite181ATwpBlue And White

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2016/1/afternoon-walk---last-walk-2015 Fri, 01 Jan 2016 13:11:14 GMT
Morning Walk - Onto The Ice https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/12/morning-walk---onto-the-ice December 25, 2015

Onto The Ice

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********12282015FrozenCreek157ATwp********12282015FrozenCreek157ATwpFrozen Creek

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/12/morning-walk---onto-the-ice Tue, 29 Dec 2015 13:18:16 GMT
Morning Walk - Christmas https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/12/morning-walk---christmas December 25, 2015

Christmas

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*******12252015SlateGreenAndWhite129ATwp*******12252015SlateGreenAndWhite129ATwpSlate Green And White

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/12/morning-walk---christmas Fri, 25 Dec 2015 23:12:18 GMT
Morning and Afternoon Walk - Moods and Abstacts https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-and-afternoon-walk---moods-and-abstacts November 22, 2015

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A mix of images; morning and afternoon. The guard rail lit like never before. Really, just never noticed it until this particular morning. 

Late afternoon as is this case. But then, Autumn sunsets do come early.

******11222015Guardian467ATwp******11222015Guardian467ATwpGuardian

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-and-afternoon-walk---moods-and-abstacts Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:56:36 GMT
Morning Walk - Shapes and Colors https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---shapes-and-colors November 10, 2015

Shapes and Colors

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***11092015SpillwayWallTwo399ATwp***11092015SpillwayWallTwo399ATwpSpillway Wall Two

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---shapes-and-colors Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:52:23 GMT
Morning Walk - Frozen https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---frozen November 08, 2015

Frozen

This photographer has begun a project of interpreting landscapes as abstract images. Not all of them are successful. One is just beginning.

The image below is a display of color as ice crystals bend light as in a prism. Different colors are seen from different angles. In this moment it seemed the best conveyance of this idea was a mostly out of focus image.

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************11082015RainbowIce308ATwp************11082015RainbowIce308ATwpRainbow Ice Most of this image is out of focus. It was a good way to illustrate the different colors in the ice crystals.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---frozen Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:32:05 GMT
Morning Walk - A Peaceful Force https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---a-peaceful-force November 02, 2015

A Peaceful Force

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*****11022015EmperorOfTheLake291ATwp*****11022015EmperorOfTheLake291ATwpEmperor Of The Lake

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---a-peaceful-force Wed, 04 Nov 2015 13:35:41 GMT
Morning Walk - Mostly Blue https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---mostly-blue November 01, 2015

Mostly Blue

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******11012015TenBarSunLight251ATwp******11012015TenBarSunLight251ATwpTen Bar Sun Light

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/morning-walk---mostly-blue Mon, 02 Nov 2015 23:42:44 GMT
Double Walk https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/01/double-walk---afternoon/morning November 01, 2015

This is a combination of two Morning Walks and one Afternoon Walk. The Afternoon Walk is sandwiched between the two. An interesting set of images.

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1026015SixBottleBush205ATwp1026015SixBottleBush205ATwpSix Bottle Bush Another sample of "People Without People"

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/11/01/double-walk---afternoon/morning Sun, 01 Nov 2015 20:59:19 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Compilation https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/10/afternoon-walk---compilation October 18, 2015

Having not been seen for at least a week, this is a catch up of images, right up to; "Sunset Reflection".

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/10/afternoon-walk---compilation Sun, 18 Oct 2015 14:29:47 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Boats https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/10/afternoon-walk---boats Not too many new ones, but...worth a look.

October 12, 2015

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09112015BigBoatSmallLake362ATwp09112015BigBoatSmallLake362ATwpBig Boat Small Lake A rather large overloaded craft for such a small easy to traverse lake.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/10/afternoon-walk---boats Mon, 12 Oct 2015 13:13:47 GMT
Morning Walk - Alone And Abandoned https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---alone-and-abandoned September 28, 2015

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*********09282015AHeavyThirst516ATwp*********09282015AHeavyThirst516ATwpA Heavy Thirst Yesterday's walk one noticed a person of indeterminate gender sitting on the spillway wall looking East. One could tell they were drinking something, but did not know what. Now it is known. This qualifies as a "People Without People" image - the presence of someone without a human being in the image.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---alone-and-abandoned Tue, 29 Sep 2015 01:41:46 GMT
Morning Walk – Pulling Clouds https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk-pulling-clouds September 22, 2015

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********09212015LastColorsOfSunrise398ATwp********09212015LastColorsOfSunrise398ATwpLast Colors Of Sunrise If the clouds pass across the horizon at the right time, a range of colors is always available. These were the last wave lengths available before their normal shade of grey or white returned.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk-pulling-clouds Tue, 22 Sep 2015 12:49:12 GMT
Morning Walk - A Certain Loneliness https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---a-certain-loneliness September 21, 2015

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Click the back button or arrow in your browser to return to the previous website page.

******09202015Determination378ATawp******09202015Determination378ATawpDetermination Not being a person who engages in catching fish, this writer does not know much about fishing. That being written, one does notice however, the fishing rod being used by this angler is for fly-fishing, not for fishing from a dock. Perhaps the owner changed his mind, forgot his other instrument, or does not care, as long as something is caught.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---a-certain-loneliness Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:02:36 GMT
Walking Wisconsin - Devil's Lake https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/walking-wisconsin---devils-lake September 14, 2015

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*******09152015DevilsLakeBeach952ATwp*******09152015DevilsLakeBeach952ATwpDevil's Lake Beach What a view. Not many people at the lake . It is still early in the day, people slowly arrive, buy their park pass, unload, and make their choices for an activity of the day.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/walking-wisconsin---devils-lake Sat, 19 Sep 2015 12:48:09 GMT
Morning Walk - Grey Morning https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---grey-morning September 10, 2015

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********09102015PinkFire246ATwp********09102015PinkFire246ATwpPink Fire Parking above the West Dock area, before Brownie was even let out of the car, this shot needed recording. One knew it was shoot now or lose it. Most morning cloud reflections of sunrise light are not pink, not like this.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---grey-morning Fri, 11 Sep 2015 10:47:20 GMT
Morning Walk - Cloudy With Great Blue Heron https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---cloudy-with-great-blue-heron September 5, 2015

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**************09052015Angler'sDock098ATwp**************09052015Angler'sDock098ATwpAngler's Dock The contrast of light and dark and the colors in this image struck this shooter as unique.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---cloudy-with-great-blue-heron Sat, 05 Sep 2015 19:32:29 GMT
Morning Walk - Cloudy https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---cloudy September 4, 2015

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****09042015MigratingSpirits090ATwp****09042015MigratingSpirits090ATwpMigrating Spirits The thin wispy clouds look like spirits.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---cloudy Fri, 04 Sep 2015 16:05:49 GMT
Morning Walk - Surrounding Silence https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---surrounding-silence September 3, 2015

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****09032015PorterMtnCloudsSunrise060ATwp****09032015PorterMtnCloudsSunrise060ATwpPorter Mtn Clouds Sunrise One takes what is offered.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/9/morning-walk---surrounding-silence Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:50:31 GMT
Morning Walk - Sun Flowers and Anglers https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---sun-flowers-and-anglers August 29, 2015

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**********08292015SunFlowerSunrise008ATwp**********08292015SunFlowerSunrise008ATwpSun Flower Sunrise Sunflowers contain a fascination in their combination of colors; yellow, like no other yellow, green, and the dark, rich, thick brown at the center of the petals.
Petals looks like individual flames in a frozen moment, surrounding the dark center, as if it was a world charred and burned in self-destruction, but in a classically romantic and beautiful death.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---sun-flowers-and-anglers Tue, 01 Sep 2015 02:37:41 GMT
Morning Walk - Yesterday's Feast https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---yesterdays-feast August 26, 2015

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*****08262015LargeTroutLargerRaptor257ATwp*****08262015LargeTroutLargerRaptor257ATwpLarge Trout Larger Raptor That looks like a fairly large trout. However, the Osprey is a skilled hunter/angler, and that fish is now history.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---yesterdays-feast Thu, 27 Aug 2015 12:30:06 GMT
Morning Walk - Small Victories https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---small-victories August 25, 2015

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******08242015FemaleHouseFinch142ATwp******08242015FemaleHouseFinch142ATwpFemale House Finch

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---small-victories Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:33:58 GMT
Double Walk Day - Morning And Afternoon https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/double-walk-day---morning-and-afternoon August 22, 2015

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Usually one does not venture to the same place when doing a double walk. However, the sky offered a rare opportunity both in the morning and late afternoon. Some days are like that.

****08222015SolitaryAngler096ATwp****08222015SolitaryAngler096ATwpSolitary Angler All alone on the lake. Powerful clouds in the South look ominous, but never amount to anything.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/double-walk-day---morning-and-afternoon Mon, 24 Aug 2015 20:00:39 GMT
Morning Walk - Explanations https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---explanations August 19, 2015

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******08182015BreakingTheHorizon030ATwp******08182015BreakingTheHorizon030ATwpBreaking The Horizon
Sometimes, just being in the right place yields a chiaroscuro image, like the image above; 'Breaking The Horizon.' Chiaroscuro-an effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---explanations Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:31:16 GMT
Morning Walk - A Series of Images https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---a-series-of-images August 17, 2015

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********08152015GrassWithWeb210ATwp********08152015GrassWithWeb210ATwpGrass With Web

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---a-series-of-images Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:50:30 GMT
Morning Walk - It Is An Inside Joke https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---it-is-an-inside-joke ******08112015BozoClownCloud170ATwp******08112015BozoClownCloud170ATwpBozo Clown Cloud Bozo the Clown face is at the very top of this cloud.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---it-is-an-inside-joke Wed, 12 Aug 2015 14:08:50 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Stirring Of Ambition https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/afternoon-walk---stirring-of-ambition August 11, 2015

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********08102015BlueWhiteRain133ATwp********08102015BlueWhiteRain133ATwpBlue White Rain A patch of blue, a patch of white and rain moving in.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/afternoon-walk---stirring-of-ambition Tue, 11 Aug 2015 13:26:55 GMT
Morning Walk - Wave The Wind https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---wave-the-wind August 9, 2015

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08052015ManPowered085ATwp08052015ManPowered085ATwpMan Powered Looking closely one can see the oars, thus the title.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk---wave-the-wind Sun, 09 Aug 2015 12:46:09 GMT
Afternoon Walk - Balance Of Elements https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/afternoon-walk---balance-of-elements August 3, 2015

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********08022015ApproachingStorm114ATwp********08022015ApproachingStorm114ATwpApproaching Storm

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/afternoon-walk---balance-of-elements Mon, 03 Aug 2015 15:09:55 GMT
Morning Walk -Bliss After Exposure https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk--bliss-after-exposure August 2, 2015

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******08012015OnTheCusp066ATwp******08012015OnTheCusp066ATwpOn The Cusp

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/8/morning-walk--bliss-after-exposure Sun, 02 Aug 2015 13:09:47 GMT
Morning Walk - Two Days https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---two-days July 29, 2015

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***07292015Totem055ATwp***07292015Totem055ATwpTotem

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---two-days Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:08:59 GMT
Week Review https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/week-review July 24, 2015 

Only three days this week, with images. Not much, but so much. There is a dearth of quality images; not as many as one would like. However, it has occurred to this person, those who shoot the most are offered the best images. It is the constancy, the perseverance, the habit of shooting, the stubbornness of will, as Dennis Fendler used to say, maybe he still does: "Get the shot."

Click the image to view the Gallery

*07182015CassinsKingbird274ATwp*07182015CassinsKingbird274ATwpCassin's Kingbird

June 19, 2015 

Here we go again. Another week has pushed its way into the downside of June. So it goes. Work schedule has changed, good for me. However, another development has opened up for this person. There is great excitement, for this individual and one other.

The coming nine days may provide images and thoughts from a different location. It greatly depends on the circumstances; take care and keep your faith.

06152015LookingAhead909ATwp06152015LookingAhead909ATwpLooking Ahead

June 12, 2015 

Some weeks travel through our lives much more quickly than others. This has been one of those. Being employed can do that. The last week and a half, this person has been actually doing physical labor as the company who has employed this person, needed to prepare a new store for opening, today, as a matter of fact. All employees were needed to work full time for this to happen. 

Hopefully, this time of full employment will revert to part-time now and a more relaxed pace, at least for this person. It has been draining, but fun too. However, the down side is the lack of images available for viewing. Enjoy what is available. Hopefully, you may be pleased by these.

06112015BrightnessAmongShadows891ATwp06112015BrightnessAmongShadows891ATwpBrightness Among Shadows

June 6, 2015

Ain't life grand? one minute you are on your way to visit someone in about 15 days. The next minute your plans have changed, and one does not know if it will get better, ever again.

Well,  life just keeps moving, whether it is in your favor or not. Here are some images. Hopefully they will bring joy to someone.

05312015OspreyCatchSilhouette620ATwp05312015OspreyCatchSilhouette620ATwpOsprey Catch Silhouette

May 30, 2015

05232015CampingOnTheEdge457ATwp05232015CampingOnTheEdge457ATwpCamping On The Edge Memorial Day Weekend

May 22, 2015

05172015TurkeyVulture274ATwp05172015TurkeyVulture274ATwpTurkey Vulture
Another large flyer, graceful on the wind, as it seeks its food through smell of decaying flesh.

The older we are, the less time available to us. The major flaw of humans is the inability to grasp this concept, or for most of us, the insight to use it to our best potential. Part of this is due, I believe, to our minds, those of us who manage to keep our sanity for our age; because we still think we have time; we think time will not overtake us. 

We think if it does not get done today, tomorrow will be the time, will be the occasion of our completion of whatever project we happen to be working on.  It is certainly true for me; and I'm just an average nobody, like most of us. So it goes. 

At this time my quest is for forgiveness from those whom I have harmed, caused pain, or put in circumstances they have not chosen, but are there through some action of mine. You are out there, I know it.

To write and explore this personal pain in public is not for fragile hearts. I have lost friends through expressive exploits. No doubt more casualties will occur. Not that one seeks these as a matter of course, they happen, for whatever reason.

However, I will not hide away, be closed off from others to avoid such occurrences, but there is a conscious effort to avoid them if possible. Saddle up, hit the trail, buy your ticket, ride that rail. The horizon approaches, night begins, waste not your arrows on the winds.

May 15, 2015

Not a busy week, though not exactly one without satisfaction.

05142015DriftwoodMonsterOnShoret210ATwp05142015DriftwoodMonsterOnShoret210ATwpDriftwood Monster

May 8, 2015

Another slow week, for images. Saturday set a nice pace that fell off the next day and continued throughout the week. So it is.

05082015ASplashInTime100ATwp05082015ASplashInTime100ATwpA Splash In Time

 

May 1, 2015 

04302015YellowBloom526ATwp04302015YellowBloom526ATwpYellow Bloom

It has been a slow image week.

April 24, 2015

04182015LiliesOnTheRock189ATwp04182015LiliesOnTheRock189ATwpLillies On The Rock A strange sight, an unexpected occurrence, as one walks this trail almost everyday. What is the significance of the flowers? What circumstances brought them here?

Some weeks are better than others.  This appears to be a reasonably good one, as far as images captured. Enjoy these images. Perhaps you could share with others, those who appreciate a good image now and then. 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

April 17, 2015

04172015NeverAlone167ATwp04172015NeverAlone167ATwpNever Alone

This has been a Friday of catching up. Seems someone was not watching the store and fell behind on Week In Review. Oh well, the good part of that is a treat of new images, most of them aviary in nature. Have been going over to Show Low Lake more and more. It seems to satisfy a four legged companion, and the Alpha dog, that would be me, more than constantly covering the same ground at the Rim Trail.

Part of it may be the attraction of water, the birds, the silence, and the variation on what might happen at the lake. Plus, a recent discovery of a side trail has also enhanced the appeal. This particular feature provides one with a lot more silence and fewer humans. Bodies of water of a certain size (something you cannot throw a rock across), draw more creatures, have different weather (fog, mist, waves, reflections, brightness, and on), and provide a varied terrain. 

Enjoy the images, comment, offer an opinion, ask a question, be happy. To view all the new images one might want to click back to March 21.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

March 27, 2015

03212015FourDuckLake217ATwp03212015FourDuckLake217ATwpFour Duck Lake

Freaky Friday – Week In Review

The elk, the elk, the smashed up car, the dead elk and the shock of impact. The reality of the situation was itself, unreal. I had been so fortunate, traveling this road so many times, so many close-calls, so many misses, so many near hits without a scratch, imbued one with a sense of invincibility; “It won't happen to me.”

It was a usual Wednesday night. Crab legs at the casino, intense conversation, always good cheer, 'drive safe, stay awake, let me know when you arrive.' All the usual stuff. 'Hey, no problem, I'll be safe, I won't speed (liar), I'll stay awake. There is a moon, that should help illuminate the road and the night. It will be a good drive.'

Until mile marker 325. Having driven this road so many times, the mile markers, the major ones, the markers that have significance, are plugged into the mind, and one can tick off the journey, knowing their location gives scale and time to the drive. Though the impact was actually closer to mile marker 324. Did not know that at the time.

Hwy 260 between Show Low and Payson is an interesting road. Their is hardly any shoulder to speak of and ponderosa pine in some areas literally come right up to the road. It is a formula for hitting elk, deer, skunks, squirrels, badgers, whatever happens to make the mistake of crossing the road at the wrong instant.

It is a beautiful drive; a rich deep, thick, forest, plenty of hills and curves that break the monotony of a drive. A scenic treat for the mind, eye candy supreme, and a joy to travel. Except after sunset. Elk wander the road with impunity, grazing near the white line, standing in the road when the urge strikes them. If a passenger carried a yard stick with them, sometimes, you could literally stick it out the window and touch the elk as they grazed.

My drive that night was almost over, approaching Clay Springs, I knew I was eight miles out, mile marker 325 was just up the hill. Show Low lights were dimly visible on the eastern horizon. I relaxed. Major error. By the time I saw the elk, I hit it. It was just standing in the road, not crossing the road, standing there absorbing the heat from the pavement.

The windshield exploded into the Durango when the elk hit it. The force of impact spun the elk into the driver's window, exploding it, and smashing the outside mirror into my left upper arm. The elk slid down the road and into the ditch. I stopped the car, did not see the elk. The Durango was still idling, not leaking oil or gas, or water from the radiator. The right headlight was still on, and I was alive.

The only thing I wanted to do was drive home and be in a safe place, away from the road, away from people, in a dark, warm, safe, hole. That is exactly what I did. A Show Low Police Officer stopped me about a mile-and-a-half from my destination, advised me to call DPS about the accident in the morning.

He asked me if I knew I was bleeding. I did not. My nice white shirt was blood stained but not soaked, my left arm was sore, and the little finger of my right hand was dripping blood. The glass from the explosion had cut it fairly deep.

Small shards of glass were everywhere; in my mouth, in my hair, in my eyes, in my shirt, all over the car, the floor, the seats, just everywhere. I had been spitting glass out of my mouth most of the way home. I did not rub my eyes, however. I could feel the specks in them but thought I better not rub, rather, splash my eyes with water, when I could.

My friend had texted me and asked if I was home yet? Texted back what happened. We had a conversation for awhile. It helped. That is a gross understatement. It preserved my sanity.

The next morning when I woke, my mind was racing about what happened. I decided I was not going to buy another car, just find a place to live in an apartment in Show Low, take the bus everywhere and rent a car if I needed to take a trip or something, and only drive during the day.

I texted my friend and the response was; “You are in shock. Call or text?” I texted, feeling if I talked to anyone, I would break down and lose it. The texting and the advice were the best things that happened that day. Without that interaction the recovery might have been worse, longer, more traumatic, and less positive. It is good to have friends like that.

I knew if I did not take a trip as soon as I could, at night, I would always fear the road in the dark. Didn't take a long trip, but I did drive as soon as I got a rental car. My speed at night has now dropped down into the 50 mph range. One can still hit an elk, or deer, or whatever, but the impact may be lessened or possibly avoided altogether. At 70 miles an hour, at night, the opportunity of avoidance is greatly reduced, as well as the time it takes to react

I was lucky. I walked away. Age, a good friend, and prior experience with trauma have all helped one cope with this incident. I am grateful for the friendship, my ability to cope and more than anything, grateful for being alive. An elk that size could have come into the vehicle, possibly crushing me or causing me to drive into another vehicle or into a ditch with dire consequences.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

March 20, 2015

Zoom, another week posts itself across the world. How fast it goes, how little we pay attention; to our surroundings, the people around us, the environment we live in, and our enjoyment of it, or lack thereof. 

03142015BloomingLonesome018ATwp03142015BloomingLonesome018ATwpBlooming Lonesome

March 13, 2015

Not much of a week. Oh yes, this was the week of the car rental and there was no room for Brownie; hence, no driving to the lake for walks. Not much attitude for decent images either. 

03072015EarlyBloom925ATwp03072015EarlyBloom925ATwpEarly Bloom

March 6, 2015

This has been a different week than usual, mainly because of the accident which occurred on Wednesday evening driving back from Payson.

02252014GauzeMesh556ATwp02252014GauzeMesh556ATwpGauze mesh

Feb. 20, 2015

Another Friday. Another week passes into memory. Several items of note; discovery of unique forms within the forest one had not seen or wondered about. Always something to find, see or acknowledge. One is blessed with this beauty so close at hand. I am grateful for this. Show Lake has perspectives to offer; if visited; now and then. So peaceful, the quiet embraces those who travel there and listen to its power. More gratefulness. Click the image to see the gallery

02152015ImaginaryLandmasswithCoast491ATwp02152015ImaginaryLandmasswithCoast491ATwpImaginary Landmass with Coastline

Feb. 13, 2015

Sunrise opportunities are not as available as are sunsets. Therein lies a conundrum; sunsets are not a favorite shooting occasion, for philosophical reasons. Think about it. That must take a backseat to available circumstances. Afternoon Walks become a new routine. Never as long though almost as fruitful as Morning Walks. Click the image to view the gallery.

0208015BlueMoon310ATwp0208015BlueMoon310ATwpBlue Moon

Feb. 6, 2015

For the first time in a long time, one took a stroll during a sunset. Craving shots of the clouded sky forced an Afternoon Walk. Sunrises and sunsets are deceptive. One may conceivably trade them; one for the other, and fool one's audience in the process. Unless a person has access to technical information concerning the image they are sometimes difficult to distinguish. Being there; not so much.

02022015StumpFace131aATwp02022015StumpFace131aATwpStump Face

Jan. 30, 2015

Another week slips into days past. Will continue with captions in the image. It is like a compulsion to provide an explanation, information, anecdote for, of, images. A testament of what is seen, explored, and why. Except for the featured image.

01272015AcornWoodpecker086ATwp01272015AcornWoodpecker086ATwp

Jan. 23, 2015

This week a slight variation on a theme; placing captions in the image, except for the panorama of the Mogollon Rim.

MogollonRimPanorama3wpMogollonRimPanorama3wp

122652014RoadLessTraveled100ATwp122652014RoadLessTraveled100ATwpForest Road 300, also known as General Crook's Trail, spans the Mogollon Rim and was created to avoid Native Americans in the valley below.

The week of Dec. 21, 2014 to Dec. 26, 2014. A quiet week. There are those times when the interest, the desire, the energy, is lacking, or focused (pun intended) elsewhere. It is Christmas week, other activities garner more attention. So it is. However, there is always a shot here, a shot there, one just looks, they are really everywhere all the time. It is a circumstance of choice and selection.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/week-review Sat, 25 Jul 2015 15:34:00 GMT
Morning Walk - A Variety Of Images https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---a-variety-of-images July 22, 2015

This morning there was an urgency flowing through my body and mind. It was a feeling of getting to the lake, now. Not later, not after a few chores were done, not even after a quick look at mail or facebook; NOW. Off we went.

When these feelings approach a person, when they slip inside your mind, or give your body a little jolt, it is best to heed them. Yep. Parked above the boat dock on the West side of the lake. For two reasons: it makes the walk longer, and it provides one with more shooting opportunities.

To say the sunrise was spectacular might be an exaggeration. On the other hand, it certainly garnered a wow! Had one not heeded that feeling tugging at my mind, some of these images would not be here. One has a limited time to capture these colors, this atmosphere, this unique time of morning.

The image titled Spectrum Fading Sky is a reference to that exact statement. The sun is hardly reflecting on the underside of the clouds. Hence the reference to the spectrum of colors fading away. Most mornings of a sunrise, or a sunset, last about fifteen minutes, according to the time of year. That isn't much time to capture colors at their peak. 

It is important to be there before it starts or at least when it is at the apex, or highest point for capturing the desired effect. One was fortunate today.  Changing where to park and walk has also increased one's opportunities for images that just happen to occur when you are there. That is also another factor; just being there.

**************07222015SkyFireReflection502ATwp**************07222015SkyFireReflection502ATwpSky Fire Reflection Self explanatory

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---a-variety-of-images Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:29:37 GMT
Morning Walk - In The Mist https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---in-the-mist  

July 21, 2015

Click The Image To View The Gallery

Each image has a short description.

For those who are interested there is also Morning Walk  -  Nick Of Time at http://www.pxldoc.wordpress.com

07212015TPorterMountainSunrise366ATwp07212015TPorterMountainSunrise366ATwpPorter Mountain Sunrise A Great Blue Heron fly by at the right time.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---in-the-mist Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:22:54 GMT
Morning Walk - A Different Perspective https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---a-different-perspective July 17, 2015

Click the Image to view the GALLERY

07152015CastingHope215ATwp07152015CastingHope215ATwpCasting Hope

Morning Walk - A Different Perspective

Not walking much these days. Not as one has intended. Even yesterday's excursion was just a simple up to the creek and back. Before we got even that far, voices could be heard. Four joggers and their companion dog, running the same path but coming toward us. As they crossed the creek they ran straight ahead onto a different path.

The only one who saw us was the dog. They were talking. They were immersed in chatter. If you are going to do that, why not just go to a coffee house or bistro, sit down and have a conversation? But, hay, what do I know? My purpose is my own, and no doubt these joggers had theirs.

It seems to me, whenever there is a group of people, three or more, someone is compelled to open their mouth and splash the air with words, hoping a reply will issue forth. Of course, someone does, because they feel obliged to respond. Me, I do not go there when people do that.

Brownie and I got to the creek and headed back. Yesterday and today are work days at the store, and time is already blocked out for eight hours. One cannot linger among the trees. However, one can leave early, stop by the lake before work, and know again the lake from a different vantage point.

This time one parked above the boat launch area on the West side of Show Low Lake, a different perspective. A few images burned their electronic signature onto a compact flash card. Low battery warning. Ah, this shooter always pushes the limit. Sometimes one wonders what motivates one to do that. Always pushing to the edge of the cliff, but never jumping off.

It has always been like this.What is the underlying motive for such activity? Is one pushing his own limits to challenge the existing order? Does one need to find what the limit is? Is there a need to find the point of destruction, a point of creative limit, or break open a new door, and find what lies on the other side? Or just pushing because the real desire is finding a place to stop and say; “This is far enough.”

It certainly has caused a lot of consternation- feelings of anxiety or dismay, from the Latin: to terrify. Without a feeling of adrenaline rushing through the marrow one does not feel as alive. Sometimes, it is just the rush that is needed. That tingling of the blood, the hairs standing on end, reminding one, You are alive! One of these days...

It seems this one has never really lost that thrill of almost kicking the bucket. Percentages, man, percentages. At the very least, this one has pushed his life to the edge, looked over, and can say; “Not this time.” One of these days...

I have driven the Salt River Canyon, twice, without using my brakes. I have stood on the edge of a 40 story building on an extremely windy day, without a railing, and looked down at the ants below and wanted to fly. I have pushed a motorcycle to its speed limit, the engine screaming, and could not stop shaking afterward. It brings a calmness to this spirit after these experiences are over and one reaffirms the line between living and dying is faint.

The presence of walks in the morning is not accidental. They are the well of contemplation, the meditation of existence,

the reminder that life is a gift, and as such a sacred trust of this mind, your mind, any mind. Every walk yields some thought or other, sometimes profound, other times, a simple affirmation of known responsibility.

My years of life have brought one continuing positive assertion; it is important to find a path, a source of inner strength, a place for one's heart and mind to refresh, rejuvenate, replenish; mine is the Morning Walk. I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk---a-different-perspective Fri, 17 Jul 2015 13:59:08 GMT
Morning Walk - Raven Tales https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/monrning-walk---nothing-doing July 15, 2015

Yesterday no allowances were made for time at the lake. However, a quick drive-by yielded this short display between three Ravens. Somehow, one was in the right place at the right time, and this drama unfolded. I shot it. Looking up, this hot air balloon also appeared. Not bad for an old shooter.

Click on image to see Gallery

07142015Shaming172ATwp07142015Shaming172ATwpShaming

 

July 6, 2015

06282015Ft.Lauderdale008ATwp06282015Ft.Lauderdale008ATwpFt.Lauderdale, FL 008

Some days one wakes up at the earliest inconvenience possible. Not on purpose, of course. It just happens. Roll over, right shoulder pain is too much. Trouble is, the left ear offers the comfort of the least noise entering the mind. Silence can sometimes be its own noise. For whatever unknown reason, this writer’s left ear is fairly useless for hearing.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/monrning-walk---nothing-doing Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:15:00 GMT
Morning Walk - At The Linden House https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk June 30, 2015

Yesterday was another day of cleaning up the yard, cutting grass, trimming with a weed whacker, and just lingering among the memories. We need to get the house on the market, get it sold, and move on.

After cutting the grass out by the road on the other side of the fence, I was going to go into the house and take a break, drink some water, and just rest for a bit. I passed the flower garden in front of the porch and just glanced at the flowers. 

The image stuck. Got the 7D, and went back out. The flowers were still in open shade. I knew, the light, as usual, had grabbed me. It was why the image lingered in this mind. For your eyes. May the images bring a smile, a satisfaction of beauty expressed.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

Click The Image To View The Gallery

06302015DayLilies044ATwp06302015DayLilies044ATwpDay Lilies

June 14, 2015

04162015PairedMarbledGodwit137ATwp04162015PairedMarbledGodwit137ATwpPaired Marbled Godwit

Random Thoughts

The clock above the refrigerator is slowly falling forward, in slow motion. Gravity pulls this Grandmother bong clock from Germany in a slow-motion movement. Live and let live. Eventually, it might be face down on the top of the refrigerator. We'll see.

Layla loves being outside but runs away whenever the male human who occupies the cottage approaches. Even the two times she managed to find an exit, assisting her back into the yard was frustratingly difficult, but eventually accomplished. She has not ventured out since. Oops.

This morning's wash will be done twice; someone did not read the dial correctly and therefore the wash began halfway through the cycle. Cannot one read? Was the half-awake state responsible for this error? Oops.

Brownie constantly wants to venture outside; until the door is open and she is free to wander the yard at will. When walks are taken, her excitement knows no bounds, until we leave and are either in the car to the lake or down the street on the way to the Rim Trail. Go figure.

The house is a mess; scattered papers and clothes, everywhere. The floor needs cleaning, the bathroom, the same. This person knows it should be done, today, now, this minute. The knowledge and deed do not mesh.

Writing is not forthcoming at this time. The excuse is working at the new job, and the tiresome body that drags itself home every day has little if any energy to spare for mindful tasks and exploration of creative efforts. Words will come again, just not right now.

One wonders about someone who can create reasonably good stories, communicate feelings in writing and express inner thoughts with such poetic touches, but is paralyzed in this process when it comes to family. It was the example growing up, in a home where parents showed affection for each other but restrained themselves when embracing, or not, as was the case, their children.

My father said something forever burned in my brain; “Get a job where your hands are not always dirty.” He meant a manual labor job like he had. Though proud of his work as an electrician, he wanted better for us and for us excelling with our minds and not so much our bodies.

This person has never liked getting his hands dirty. My second wife always made fun of it. This person always resented that. When it has been necessary to dirty one's hands, this person has not hesitated to do so. If the task at hand requires such things, they are undertaken and done until the job is complete. It is just not a relished task or one engaged in with gusto.

Before a certain person and I re-connected, in a way neither one of us thought would ever happen in our wildest dreams, there was wonder about where life was going and if anyone would ever truly embrace this spirit again. Life is a circle with certain points that connect, touch other lives, and in some of those moments an invisible rope, string, wire, thread, whatever is created, and a bond forms between these uniquely certain connections. In this case, this part of these two circles of life have been rejoined.

Someday, that clock will fall, maybe with a crash, with the bong ringing, or maybe glass breaking and a commotion of sound and surprise. This person will laugh. Maybe it will just slide onto the top of the refrigerator and one day this person will notice the clock no longer standing and wonder when that happened.

In either case, it will happen. So also these two circles, and their bond shall intertwine, moving together.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

June 2, 2015

An unexpected catch of images; the vertical creatures, and the aviary ones. 

 

06022015KnotsToYouFisherman715ATwp06022015KnotsToYouFisherman715ATwpKnots To You Fisherman Someone has a tangled line or a knot in the line.

May 17, 2015

A wintery, cold, snow/rained morning. Good fishing for some, nice empty lake for a kayaker, a soaring Turkey Vulture enjoys the gusts of a chaotic, schizoid wind. A human fisherman wishes he was an Osprey. A morning walker regrets not leaving the cottage sooner, but in the end; all is well.

 

05172015TurkeyVulture279ATwp05172015TurkeyVulture279ATwpTurkey Vulture

April 27, 2015

 

04262015BuddingOut472ATwp04262015BuddingOut472ATwpBudding Out

A few images from Yesterday and Today. Not a feast, not a famine, just a few simple, quiet images. Much like the days in which they were taken.

 

April 23, 2015

 

04242015RecedingClouds381ATwp04242015RecedingClouds381ATwpReceding Clouds

A cold wind morning curtailed a long stay at Show Low Lake.

 

April 23, 2015

 

04232015TreeSwallowPreening372ATwp04232015TreeSwallowPreening372ATwpTree Swallow Preening

Only one subject today, a tree swallow.  Several different views.

 

April 22, 2015

 

04222015FishingOsprey354ATwp04222015FishingOsprey354ATwpFishing Osprey

This morning something happened that occurs now and then, but not too often. The avoidance of someone who has been talking with me in the morning when we go to Show Low Lake. Part of the purpose of these morning excursions contains the element of being alone; one needs the quiet, the lack of people, as it is a spirit renewal. It is a meditation, a way of charging my inner self. It is a ritual, like brewing coffee, or taking a shower, a gathering of strength for whatever one needs for this particular day.

 

This person also comes to the lake, early, like me. This morning was the first time I schemed to avoid him. I do not like that. It brings negative energy into the situation, not a circumstance I need or want. A change of routine might be needed. But that also does not sit well. There are enough compromises. Something I can live with, however, has occurred to me, though it is not a completely satisfying solution.

 

Sat on the same tree root, waited for whatever was going to happen, to materialize.  An Osprey, the feather still hanging on to the reed, and more pink star flowers. Brownie got restless, and my scheme to avoid this person transpired. I felt like a kid in a dime store shoplifting. That kinda shut down my purpose of being at the lake. Tomorrow is a walk in the woods.

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

April 20, 2015

 

0422015GreatBlueSilhouette198ATwp0422015GreatBlueSilhouette198ATwpGreat Blue Heron Silhouette

After the walk, Layla wanted to spend sometime in the yard. No problem. Brownie too. The yard is fenced, Layla knows the boundaries, and does not attempt to leave the yard. Took a break from writing and walked over to one of the front windows, there she was, preening and cleaning. Good light, good opportunity. Took the shots.

 

Ah, the walk. Went to Show Low Lake. Brownie does not like the trip over to the lake, but she likes being there. I believe it is the open space, the fresh breeze, the smell, and the peace of the setting.

At first I thought it might be just another morning, silly me. One must remember my routine of walking from the Linden House. Walk out the door, expect nothing, get everything in return.

So, get out of the car, walk across the spillway and release the mind of thought, accept whatever happens. This morning turned into peaceful excitement. First, I saw the Great Blue Heron on the edge of the spillway, then another flew up behind me and over my left shoulder. Sucker took me by surprise; as I had looked down on the stream, and saw no birds of any kind near the water.

As Brownie and I took to the woods, I counted four Great Blue Heron on the other side of the lake. Four. Did not expect to see four. I had thought there were only two hanging out at Show Low Lake. I watched them through my 70-300mm lens. They were fighting on the opposite shore! Three were chasing one. The one was larger than they were. Maybe that was a factor.

They kept moving South on the shore, chasing this one. Finally, it had had enough, and flew to the far South end of the lake. The other three then settled in and found their respective places on the shore, standing in sunlight, warming up, and probably fishing too.

I found a root of a dead tree to sit on with my feet almost dangling over the water. And just watched. In the distance, I noticed an osprey at the top of a large ponderosa pine looking down at the water. What a lazy guy. He was fishing from the tree.

Just then I saw a bald eagle heading in my direction and got off about 30 shots, hoping at least one might be decent. Will not tell at this time if I got a decent shot or not.

I watched and watched, the osprey never did swoop down and catch anything from its perch high in the pine tree. My butt finally got sore from the branch and we headed back. I had hoped to get a closer shot of the osprey sitting in the tree, but he flew away.

On the way back to the Durango a couple more shots were taken of fishermen in their boats and three Marbled Godwit's. We were at the lake for an hour and a half, much longer than usual, but well worth the time. The rest of the images will be published in Week In Review.

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

April 16, 2015

 

04162015Two MarbledGodwitWhiteFacedIbis133ATwp04162015Two MarbledGodwitWhiteFacedIbis133ATwp<span class="large"><strong>Two Marbled Godwit and White Faced Ibis</strong></span>

 

Today, was a Show Low Lake day. It was a cold morning, with a slight wind, cutting bare skin, cold. That kind of weather. Did not care. It was calm, quiet, at the lake, barely a breeze. Thankful, I was. Brownie is now going down her ramp, on her own. When she gets to the bottom, the first thing she does is look at me. 

 

She wants approval, and receives much encouragement, and a hug, and praise. She seems more enthused about coming here than going for a walk in the woods. Maybe it is the openness of the space, the smells, the lack of intruders, my lingo for people.

 

I like people, sometimes. But in the morning, not nearly so much. We walk, I limp. There is a hip replacement in my future. No osprey, no great blue heron, just cormorants, two Canadian honkers, and a Western Grebe. Not much to shoot there. The Grebe is too far away, the honkers are common, and the cormorants are too shy. 

 

So we take our usual walk and sit on a log I've come to admire, as it is in a good location on the lake. Far enough away from people, good view of the lake and not so far to walk. Somedays sitting there, all noise that drifts over from the highway, seems to fade away. I look out at the water with its state of calm, hear birds, listen to the waves gently nudging the bank, the rocks and the logs, and life fades into a peaceful reverie. Silence seeps in, absorbing those deeds of regret; at some point amends will be restore this karma and return with positives.

 

The return walk yielded a friendly face in a man who previously ignored me as much as I ignored him. He pointed to two birds on the spillway, and said he had never seen them before. I shot, and pulled them in close to view on my camera, me neither. My Merlin Bird ID brought forth no results. Just then another, different, bird landed right by them. Again, no luck with Merlin. Guess the ID's would wait until later. 

 

We chatted some, about the area, his constant collection of rocks, and Brownie got restless. It was time to head back for breakfast. Crossing the spillway, I shot and walked towards the birds hoping to get good close-ups. 

 

If you hold your camera to your face and walk towards some birds, they have no eye contact with you and do not know where you are looking. You may be able to get reasonably close to them this way.

 

Walk slowly, and know the ground in front of you, first. Sometimes, the yield is worth it. Not all birds will allow this, but it is worth a try with all of them; unless of course your lens is longer than most, you are in a blind, or are well hidden in some other manner, and very patient.

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

April 14, 2015

 

04142015BirdsOfAFeather008ATwp04142015BirdsOfAFeather008ATwpBirds of a Feather

 

It is one of those mornings; not starting out on the right foot. Just want to be quiet, be peaceful, and contemplate the last few years and the mix of choices one has made. A few good ones, but mostly not so much. I like that phrase, I do not care if it is trite, old, over-used or whatever. 

 

It is succinct, compact, crisp, laconic, and encompasses a lot of territory in three simple words that combine to express a multitude of meanings. Plus, it can be used in a wide ranging set of circumstances. I'll use it until it is irrelavant. 

 

It seems the downhill slide continues, except in one area that is a shining contrast of an unexpected circumstance that changed one direction of this current flow of life. It will continue, the shining contrast, of course. 

 

Two osprey circle overhead, screech, and continue searching the lake for a morning meal. For my ear, they have a screech that sounds more like a smaller bird, a sparrow perhaps, or a robin. It does not seem to fit their nature. But then, I do not know that much about osprey, nor have I heard them very often.

 

The walk is over, Brownie is in the back of the Durango. She is finally adjusting to her new ramp. Got tired of picking her up. It was hard on her and hard on me. I've got a couple of shots of two Great Blue Herons and a title for the best image, not original, but it fits; "Birds of a Feather." Getting into the SUV when a raven lands on the cement wall of the spillway, just on the other side of the vehicle. Oh boy.

 

Grab the camera, but the raven quickly flaps a few wing beats and is in the middle of the road. Fine. Still available for a few shots. He struts and caws, as if he owns the road. I know, he is warning other birds away, he found road kill and isn't in a mood to share.  Got my shots, thank you very much.

 

In that respect it is one of those mornings when one threw away any desire to shoot anything. But look, opportunity knocked, a few shutter clicks later, the morning smiles, I smile, a brief respite, and a sip of satisfaction.

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you. 

 

April 10, 2015

 

 

 

04102015PerchedGreatBlueHeron625ATwp04102015PerchedGreatBlueHeron625ATwpPerched Great Blue Heron

When first moved to my current location in Lakeside, I ventured forth on the Rim Trail, which is about 1/4 mile away, with much gusto. Soon, it was obvious the surroundings did not offer the same photo ops of Burton Road in Linden. Though the walk up and down Burton Road may seem like it has less variance than a wooded trail along the Rim, the opposite is true.

 

There is a meadow on either side of the portion of Burton Road this photographer walked. There are also domestic and wild creatures taking advantage of that open space, bordered by trees, hills and mountains, North, East, and West. The landscape along Burton Road varies much more than a trail in the woods allows. There is always a vista to take in, with the option of using trees in the foreground or not. The Rim Trail does not offer that.

 

The next choice was to vary my walk by driving over to Show Low Lake. It is a scant two miles. Every couple of days, sometimes two or three days in a row, Brownie and I take our walk there. The wildlife consists mainly of birds, but the type always varies; from eagles and osprey to geese, cormorants, great blue heron, egret, and a wide variety of ducks, plus ravens, and smaller birds like sparrows, blue birds, the ever squawking Steller's Jay, the mountian jay, and acorn woodpeckers.

 

Today, a great blue heron perched in a tree managed to stay put long enough for a decent image of it.

 

I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.

 

April 9, 2015

 

To write

 

what comes in flashes

or

long thoughts

or 

emotional breaks of spirit

is not the point

 

To write

an experience

a feeling

a thought

an insight 

of another's pain, joy, sadness

or

emotional hinge of doors opening

 

closing

in such manner 

as to evoke

an emotional or intellectual

response

in you (me)

 

that is

the point

 

how a particular event 

curious happening 

feeling

of any kind

has affected this moment of your (my) time

in such a way as

to cause 

a record of said event

 

That is the time

To write

 

to put into a particular perspective

whatever it is that affects you (me)

to write about it

that is 

to write

 

To write

the right

to get it right

to be right about it

to write about it

is to write until

it is right

 

that is

to write

 

You (me) 

always need

to express

thoughts

feelings

emotional imbalances

which you (me)

have to some

unfathomable extent 

and in this

particular ocean

need

to write

 

this enables you (me)

to exercise some

control of your (my)

particular situation

 

a faucet of ideas

flowing freely for you (me)

but not everyone

has this ability

to write

 

which may be why

we read

look at picture books

movies 

cards 

comics

paintings

of some historic

event

 

to write

 

so basic

so compelling

it is in 

all of us

 

some just release it

to write

this or that

and 

in the process

are revered

honored

praised and looked to 

with 

envy

joy

relief

and satisfaction

 

ah

to write

 

 

04092015Reeds598ATwp04092015Reeds598ATwpReeds

April 2, 2015

Not much activity here of late. Mostly Week Review. Looks like only when something of real interest offers itself for shooting does one rise to the challenge and, "takes the shot." 

04022015OspreySunrise397ATwp04022015OspreySunrise397ATwpOsprey Sunrise

Feb 15, 2015

Looks like there have not been many images placed here for some time. My bad, as usual. Here are three new ones. Click on the image to view the Gallery.

0215015Nature'sArt487ATwp0215015Nature'sArt487ATwpNature's Art

Jan 20, 2015

01202015PonderosaClouds934ATwp01202015PonderosaClouds934ATwpPonderosa Clouds Sometimes titles are easy, sometimes; not so much.

Click the image to see the Gallery. Another morning in the forest. Did something that needs to be cleared from my head; namely, expectations. Walk out the door, expect nothing, receive gifts; visual gifts, sound gifts, contact gifts, spiritual gifts.

Embrace the morning, absorb life as this mind perceives it, be grateful for every breath, every thought, every moment. Hear everything, see everything, dissipate into the air and be absorbed. Reception of life gives life back and is expressed in the life that is led with harmony and communion.  If there is no forest where you live; a park, a silent less traveled road or street. Give your life away to this environment, it will give itself back to you.

It requires practice and letting go of the ego; the self as an important being, release your spirit to all of life surrounding you, eventually it returns rewards no money can provide, no ideology can give you, except the acceptance of the self as part of the whole of life.

It is not instant, it is not immediate. It takes time, it takes practice, constant practice. Eventually if one does this everyday or almost everyday, the realization of life embracing you, will occur. You will know it.

Take no watch, take no phone, or at least turn your phone off. Go alone, no other human. Listen to the silence, it will speak to you. It will not make you aware of what it communicates to me. It will give you your own gifts. Be grateful, thank life for this gift, and practice your embrace of life, everyday. 

Jan 18, 2015

01182015GoldenCloudsSunrise890ATwp01182015GoldenCloudsSunrise890ATwpGold Clouds, always a treat.

 This weekend both Saturday and Sunday have provided visual and sound treats. Yesterday, just before reaching the 300 Road, movement on the road caught my attention. A group of deer were running west on the road. I counted them, a total of 18 deer passed in front of me. A visual treat I could not shoot; too far away and too many trees between us. Still, to stand silently, and watch them pass in single file, was a breath of freshness. Reaching the road two late comers turned and fled in the opposite direction. A total of twenty deer in one morning. Ah, small joys bring much comfort.

Today, taking my first shot of morning, the trees above, crunching and snapping of branches startled me and Brownie. Standing quietly I looked around and did not see anything, but heard more crunching. I waited. Nothing. Decided to move closer to the sounds coming from the Rim area. Silence. I waited, standing motionless, ear to the south. Elk chirps, do not know any other word that fits, could be heard from the Rim. I followed. They were leading me down the Rim, but I knew the fence separating White Mountain Apache land from the Rim, was approaching. One long high bellow was heard. I knew it was useless to continue.

Hearing them call back and forth continued for the rest of my walk to my destination; which was group of rocks about a quarter further up the trail. Hearing them is not the same treat as seeing them, but life gives you unexpected gifts, take them and be grateful.

Jan 15, 2015

01152015BreakingMist784ATwp01152015BreakingMist784ATwpSun warming changes the mist as the earth rotates.

 This morning was one of those walks when the light was near perfect. It became a matter of choosing what to shoot. The last image is a favorite for the quality of the light.

Jan 14, 2015

01142015BlueLightSpecial752ATwp01142015BlueLightSpecial752ATwpLeft the exposure as taken. Liked the atmosphere of the blue cast to the light.

More snow and freezing rain hit the White Mountains yesterday. This is the morning walk in cloudy conditions, in the dark, before much light spread across the forest. It was mildly cold. Can it be 'mildly cold?' As usual, my best joy of the morning; silent earth surrounding me, Brownie, and the wilds of the Mogollon Rim and everything below it.

Jan. 3, 2015

01032015TortoiseKnot297ATwp01032015TortoiseKnot297ATwpTortoise Knot. One of those objects one comes back to, to get it right, with the light, the circumstances, and the elements.

A Saturday morning walk in cold conditions with a clear sky, biting wind, crunching snow and a willing dog.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) forest Mogollon photos Rim scenic https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/7/morning-walk Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:51:00 GMT
New Year Snow https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/1/new-year-snow 01012015VirginTrail200ATwp01012015VirginTrail200ATwp

Click the above image to view the gallery.

Snowfall began late yesterday afternoon in Show Low - Pinetop/Lakeside in 2014, and continues into 2015. The walk this morning was short. The depth of the snow was about 6 to 8 inches. Brownie has short legs, as does her two legged companion. Even with warm and comfortable snow boots, the constant splashing of the snow as we trudged through it, kept gaining ground, and eventually crept up to knee level.

Brownie laid down several times to rest. I continued to shoot. Visibility was short. Standing on the Rim itself brought the strongest wind and pelting snow. The camera began to accumulate snow. Mustache gathered enough snow for a quick drink, just kidding. The trail was pristine. First sloughing through of the day. A trail blazer.

The silence was immense; the best part of this early morning trudge through the white frozen water flakes.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2015/1/new-year-snow Thu, 01 Jan 2015 17:19:24 GMT
Storms of Opportunity https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2014/12/storms-of-opportunity 12092014BranchesofLife141ATwp copy12092014BranchesofLife141ATwp copy

People always want a sunny day for taking pictures. They want all that light, sunny skies, and white puffy clouds pushing across that open expanse of blue. They want memories, moments frozen in the sun on a perfect afternoon.  However, there are other good conditions for shooting most people consider the worst times to record their fleeting recollections.

Most people just do not take the time, or even think about all the other times available when one has the opportunity for other, exciting possibilities. What most others consider the poorest possible conditions, may in reality, be the best ones. Take fog, for example. It offers endless chances to shoot subjects in ways a person does not have at any other time.

Thick fog provides the best and worst challenge. Photographing towns, cities, rivers, canyons, forests, any place one counts as a favorite, is the spot. Venture out when the weather is at its worst, and bring home images no one else thought about getting. Desolate places become even more abandoned, offering a mystery in those precious images as they play havoc with imagination. A delight.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2014/12/storms-of-opportunity Tue, 23 Dec 2014 20:19:49 GMT
260 Rim https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2014/11/260-rim Between PonderosasBetween Ponderosas One of those traveling days. Sometimes, a person needs to just get out and go somewhere. Took a drive, did some business and then figured heading to the Mogollon Rim for some shots might be a decent place to visit. I thought it would take me longer than it did, so shooting sunsets, did not happen.

However, still managed to find a few interesting viewpoints. and one cute shot when I arrived in Payson. They have a great set of lakes there and a relaxing park; for walking the dog, playing with children, watching water fowl, fishing and making friends or meeting friends too. Anyway, here ya go.

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photoll@mac.com (Photographic WaterColors) https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2014/11/260-rim Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:00:26 GMT
Boyce Thompson Arboretum https://www.pxldoc.com/blog/2014/4/boyce-thompson-arboretum The Salt River Canyon drive is always a traumatic experience. My latest trip through was no exception. Sunday morning was a planned trip to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. No problem there. I knew before even getting in my vehicle driving through the canyon might not be the experience I anticipated. So it goes.

My frustration with other elements in my life rubbed my drive through the canyon against the skill or lack of it, with less knowledgeable drivers in front of me. At the first opportunity I passed them both, shifting into excessive speed right past an ever watchful DPS officer. No, I didn’t get a ticket but I was served a warning to slow down and get that cracked windshield fixed too.

I thanked the officer for stopping me. I meant it, too. His admonishment gave me the pause I needed. It wiped away personal feelings and focused energy on the trip and destination. The rest of the drive was without incident. 

Never having been to this State Park before, I didn’t know what I’d find. It was exciting to drive into a new place, a new photo-experience, a chance to see and explore a new horizon. By the time I arrived most parking places were being snapped up quickly. I found one on the outer edge of the facility. I liked that. The more I walk, the better.

Paid the entrance fee, took a few shots going in and lingered at the entrance. As a life long people watcher gazing at the multitudes strolling about, checking the gift shop, refreshing themselves and using the facilities, finding someone to shoot offered no challenge. A Park employee didn’t mind me taking his picture as he sprayed plants, watering them diligently. 

Several families were standing around before entering the formal arboretum grounds, looking at the map, wondering and discussing which way adventure promised the most. I too, peeked about, looking around and musing on a path. I finally decided to go where everyone else wasn