Having a place, living somewhere for a long time, being a local, belonging to community…these are things that, in large part, define my life. Like a lifeboat I can float in when in danger or stress, I count on these things.
My daily photography reflects this, of course, and often it is the detail and intimacy of my life that is shown. I am comfortable with this–indeed, this is why I love to take photos. When true to myself it is the small picture that I seek and in which I often find treasure.
Corralitos Market…local sausages!
Never far from this swing.
Newness. Spring. Out with the old. We like these concepts. While I am consumed with these, some of my 365 buddies around the world are heading into Fading. Autumn. Embracing the coming winter. It throws me, I admit. I have a hard time understanding Christmas in the summer or Easter as the fall beckons. But I like the balancing act of seeing their photographs along side of mine.
This week’s groupings begin with a large slug and end with an image taken while trying to beat the heat…the waning of April, a wonderfully varied month in my life this year.
The hummers are back, much to my delight.
Ah, the patience required to wait your turn for the swing.
What a difference a week makes! Drove home from a week of spectacular vistas and rigorous hikes, heartfelt conversations and lots of needed laughter to…spring cleaning and maintenance. From appreciating nature to trying to contain and destroy both animal and vegetable…quite the change of gears. The property I own (well, me and the bank) has acreage that needs mowing and whacking and taming. It also is home to rodents of unusual size and these rodents like to nest in my storage areas. We’ve made this easy over the years by using old horse paddocks that were hurriedly enclosed as temporary storage places when we first purchased the property…so much for temporary. It has been over 15 years and we have declared war (or we have admitted defeat…either way we are choosing to demolish and rebuild on a smaller scale). I’m choosing war over defeat because, well, I’m rather tired of defeat. First task among many, scrubbing rodent waste off of storage contents. Welcome home!
The drive home.
Goodbye Utah dust and dirt!
A growing pile of cleaned containers—progress?
End of day satisfaction with mowing.
Always interested in this subject…
Looking for a subject for my daily photo, I found reflections in my photo frames…bringing the outside in.
End of long day.
What a pleasure to visit not one but three National Parks in Utah. And what a treat to do so with my sister and my dear friend. We drove to Moab where we stayed for four nights as we explored Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. The weather cooperated, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the springtime beauty of the desert (the greens!) and to complete some rigorous hikes. We finished our trip with a day in Zion National Park, again being blown away by the amazing sights and sounds. I cannot say enough about how thrilling it was to get away and refresh body and soul…a feast for eye and camera.
I returned home filled with gratitude and a profound thankfulness for a nation with enough foresight to invest in the preservation of so many parks and wilderness areas.
Picked up my sister in Vegas where she attended a work conference. Not a favorite place, I confess, but the sheer volume of over-the-top hotels and casinos is oddly impressive.
The snow along the way reminded us of the possibilities of cold weather…so glad we avoided most of that!
Arches National Park, Delicate Arch.
Sunset in Arches.
This is called Newspaper Rock. From prehistoric history on, the rock seems to have been a place to share information.
Checking in at the end of the day…
Zion National Park. A view showing our climb on the well maintained but steep trail while on the way back down to the valley. Stunning and humbling.
It is April…just like that. Full of promise and light and color.
And sleeping babies.
And children reluctant to be seen with their parent…
And hordes of visitors on Spring Break.
And packing for a road trip to hike in the Canyonlands of Utah. Ah, April.
Taking photos everyday, intentionally, means you mark the passing of each day, each week, each month. And, except for those days when I struggle to find a suitable subject, time really does seem to fly by. My photo project correlates with a renewed desire to read more and so I feel like my days are doubly filled with searching. Searching for meaning through my lens and searching for meaning in the books I read.
Like stretching to lengthen tight muscles, photography and reading seem to add length and greater reach to my days. Instead of wandering around with idle thoughts brought on by social media hunts, I’m opening back up to more thoughtful contemplations. I’ve needed this push…this change from mental junk food to mental soul food.
Speaking for themselves, another week of eclectic images:
I’ve just committed to another round of 365 photographs with some of the original women with whom I did my first 365. I’m delighted and will be able to use the same daily photo for both venues if I choose, but I’m 80 odd days into this one and so I’ve just signed up for a much longer time with the new group. Like the little engine: I think I can…I think I can.
This image represents a blue fury of frustration with my internet provider brought on by more bureaucratic constipation. When finally resolved I was grateful for the odd human in the mix that made the difference…a confirmation of the ability of humans to reason and create.
Hard to resist the reflected self portrait combined with a dear face.
The images from the past seven days are a varied lot, reflecting a truth about my life. It is nothing if not a jumble of activities…connected here by my choice of the daily photo. One image was taken on a walk, one of my favorite things to do. Two demonstrate my weird sense of humor (you will have to figure these out on your own), and three were taken while I spent time with people I love.
And of course there are the pear blossoms. The pear tree is the largest in my small orchard and the most ignored. I rarely pick the pears, mostly due to the fact that I do nothing to protect them from insects and fungi and so the pears are usually more of a pain to use than seems worth the effort. It is not a pretty tree in leaf, but oh those blossoms. It is just this promise to take photographs that caused me to get close enough to hear the buzz of the bees and appreciate the spectacular beauty of the pear, and for that I am grateful.
A couple of bridges in Santa Cruz are adorned with wonderful mosaics and I finally sought them out.
What could possibly inspire such duplicity of signage? What outrage or foul deed?
Some surprises turn out to be the very best.
There’s a catch to a project like a 365 day photo shoot. It gets boring. The longer I go—seventy days now—the more I see the same patterns to my day. This makes sense, of course, since I live a fairly routine life for most of the time. The challenge, to myself, is to see. As Thoreau so aptly said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” I like that very much. It more than explains the reason behind this daily habit of photo taking. I wish to see, with new eyes, please.
I also need to hone my skills with my camera and my lenses and so today, for instance, I pulled out a little used lens…a macro lens…and I decided to put it on the camera and keep it there for a few days. Magnification reveals flaws, and also potential perfection, and so perhaps this will be a diversion in my quest to see. I began with an amber necklace, the last photo of this group, given to me from my mother via my dear departed Aunt Ruth, who received it from my much-traveled Aunt Mary. It has been passed through precious hands to find a place in my drawer, this fossilized plant resin full of bubbles of very ancient air.
This day’s trip to the accountant did not make the cut, nor did the appointment for physical therapy for a testy shoulder. (Sometimes it IS what you look at that matters. Take that Henry.)
As I prepared to leave my Illinois family I felt torn by the fact that I couldn’t quite complete the job I’d come to do (get Mom moved into her new assisted living apartment) and also because leaving my mother is increasingly difficult as her health declines. Sure enough, back safe in the budding beauty of this left coast, I get a call that Mom is headed for the hospital. Oh, she’ll be good to go in no time after being treated with steroids and antibiotics–just another bump in her pot-holed road. I text and call and wonder from far away, as do many others across this country and world. I say prayers of thanksgiving for my sisters and for Mom’s improvement and I shake my head with frustration all the same.
It feels like the ultimate multi-tasking…my thoughts in two places, my heart in two pieces, my body firmly rooted in the hills outside of Santa Cruz.
I drink my coffee indoors these days awaiting the shift in weather that allows me to sit on my swing with my early morning read and cup. I look forward to my next trip back even as I unpack and unwind from the last.
Couldn’t resist a photograph of a crocheted parking meter cover calling out to me with a “Hey Honey”!
By the end of my visit my mother’s bruises were almost gone and she had a smile.
Dusk from my back deck.
Art about town.