Friday, December 16, 2005

Recess in the Snow


Recess in the Snow
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
It was a beautiful snow, despite the fact that it made us nervous about having to drive home in it.
Perfect packing snow, I longed to go outside and make a snowman, throw snowballs (illegal, but who cares?) and be an elementary teacher again.
I also wanted to take photos of the children with their bright scarves, red cheeks and shining eyes, but I was stuck in the classroom, giving a test; the best I could do was shoot from the back door with my little 3X Nikon.

Today is the last day of school before Christmas vacation, but there will be no relaxing until the cards are out, the presents are wrapped, and the house is clean.

It's snowing again.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Saline River


The Saline River
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
A favorite childhood haunt.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunrise on November 25


Sunrise on November 25
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Friday morning, released from the pressures of Thanksgiving, we arose to a bitter cold morning. Ice crystals in the air created this sun pillar and I ran out with my coat over my PJs to capture it, walking all the way to the road to avoid the telephone wires that crossed my view.
By the time I got back to the house, my feet were icicles and my hands were almost numb, despite my gloves. One must suffer for one's art.

The best pillar I ever saw was years ago when I was going to college. I was teaching an afterschool recorder group in a nearby town. As I traveled, the sun was setting and a golden pillar formed. About two thirds of the way up a narrow flat cloud crossed the beam, catching the gold light and creating a perfect cross. Of course, I didn't have my camera with me, but the image has been in my mind all these years.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Misty November Morning


Misty November Morning
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
All that's left to do is wait for the snow. Coming Wednesday.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Julie


Julie
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Me - my last photo at age 48.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My Favorite Shoes on My Favorite Carpet

After a stressful day at school, I go for a walk in the woods to relax. Living in a house next to a river in the woods is one of my greatest blessings.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Maple Cathedral


Maple Cathedral
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Saturday the color was at its peak. Although it was cold and threatened rain, LeeAnn and I went to Hidden Lake. It was her first time there and she was in awe of the beauty. Well, so was I, really.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Summer is Leafing


Summer is Leafing
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Fall: so beautiful and yet so sad; so enjoyed and yet so dreaded; so amazing and yet so foreboding.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sneak Preview


Sneak Preview
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
This caught my eye in the fading light which I think gave it a softness and enhanced the blue color. I should mess around with it a littel in photoshop and see if I can't improve on the slight blur that mars it. But school has started and there is too much else that must be done.
Sigh.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Dusk


Dusk
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
The Saline Fair has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was there I saw blue ribbons won for high quality work. I was there I learned that too much of a good thing can make you throw up. It was there I discovered that just because you are a cute little six-year-old girl, it doesn't mean the carnival man will let you win the big stuffed cat - he will take your sixty-cents if you gamble it. It is there I return year after year to know that nothing has changed. Not really.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Sun Goes Down on My Summer


The Sun Goes Down on My Summer
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
ON Labor Day I felt the final cuts of the knife on the threads of my freedom, severing it from me and carrying it away for 9 months. Before it faded away, I immersed myself in it, riding my bike, talking to strangers, wading in the river, and taking photos.
Now I am teaching again, which I do enjoy - it's just the stress of deadlines that make these chain imprints on my forehead.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Steps at Twelve Mile Beach


Steps at Twelve Mile Beach
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
We just returned from our vacation in the upper penninsula. We rented a cabin on Indian Lake near Manistique, and it was fine. But the best day was Tuesday when we drove up to Twelve Mil Beach and went swimming in the huge waves that happened to be in fine form that day.
On Thursday the boys wanted to return to Twelve Mile, since the fishing wasn't that great and Lake Michigan was calm. We warned them that there was no way to know what Lake Superior would be like on any given day. We aren't experienced enough to determine that information from wind direction or velocity given on the weather channel. But they wanted to go for it anyway. So we made the two hour trip north. The Lake was calm. Pefect for snokeling and looking for pretty rocks, which is what I love to do. The boys (and girls) were deflated.
Eventually the stable flies, which love a calm day when the wind is out of the southwest, drove us away with their incessant biting. But before that, I stayed in the water and snorkeled until I was chilled to the bone. Probably close to two hours.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The River at Sunrise


The River at Sunrise
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I woke up early this morning and saw that there was a thick fog in spots and layers of it. I immediately thought that it might be worth my while to haul my rear out of bed and take photos of what promised to be a particularly beautiful morning. I pulled on a shirt and a pair of jeans and headed for the back country roads before the sun was up.
It was definitely worth it. For more pictures, go to my Flickr site:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piper/

Monday, August 01, 2005

Good Morning, Good Bye


Good Morning, Good Bye
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Summer mornings are bliss. For me, anyway. Tim still has to head off to work very morning. I was noticing the morning light warming the garage and the cool west light in the kitchen contrasting with it. Kind of interesting.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Air Mail!


Air Mail!
Originally uploaded by speedeep.
I saw one of these a long time ago. don't remember where I saw it.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Ann Arbor Art Fair"


"Ann Arbor Art Fair"
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
It was comfortable in the morning, but the afternoon got to be hot. We were able to duck into the air-conditioned comfort of the Michigan Theater, which is also, BTW, a great place to use the bathroom.
My purchase of the day: a blue and green ceramic tile: "Mowabi"... something like that. I can't figure out what the word is, even looking right at it. But I could have spent hundreds of dollars on paintings and pastels and figurines.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Flying Camilo


Flying Camilo
Originally uploaded by ryanbooth.
A photo by Ryanbooth really keeps coming back to me. I love the abandonment to joy in it. It makes me want to go on vacation, but with so many expenses coming up, I'm not sure we can afford a vacation this year. We sold the trailer, so would have to buy something in order to camp, and I hate pitpots, so we would have to get a second hand trailer. Expensive, since Tim took a pay cut, and I didn't get my expected raise.
On the otherhand, next summer Emily will be graduated and might be working, so this could be our last opportunity to take a camping vacation together as a family. I'd hate to waste it.
Time slips away...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Everone


Everone
Originally uploaded by tom de plume.
Tom de Plume, poet extraordinaire wrote this and it captured my attention.
It's about how we just go on with life - buying jewelry and other things that mean nothing. All the accumulation seems like a complete waste when one faces "the Knock", or the knowledge that death is coming and can't be stopped. It seems as if you face it alone because you leave all your loved ones and go on alone into the dark silence.

However, if you have spent this transience of life building a relationship with Jesus, I expect the big step won't be quite so alone. I've seen the people that know Him die. It's much more like going home.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Panoramic River


Panoramic River
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
There are many talented and amazing photographers on Flickr. And different people like different types of photos. Some find my work common "calendar" photos - too provincial for their sophisticated tastes. But I shoot what I love, and never worry about impressing anyone.
No. I take that back. Whenever I upload a photo I love, I check back often, hoping for lots of comments. It's like throwing out a lure to see if one can get any bites.
Anyways, keep looking around on flickr, and you will be blown away by what you find. Check out the photography of foreversouls, airchild, tp, fd, creativity+, and jeffclow for starters.
Have fun!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Waving Hi


Waving Hi
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I went swimming in the river for the first time this year yesterday. It was very hot, and after I had attempted to capture photos of the blue dragonflies from the sand (and failed miserably), I slipped into the water (sitting on a nettle on the way in) and waded ou tot he middle of the stream. I was easily able to get fairly good shots from here, although they weren't going to let me get as close as the blue-eyed damselfly did a couple of days ago.
Afterwards I slipped into the water and cooled off, floated, and just enjoyed the fact that it is summer.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Stop and Look Clouds


Stop and Look Clouds
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Emily was driving and I took this photo of the clouds in the distance with the stoplight in the foreground. I think this is really neat. I love the contrast of the stolid everyday stoplight and the distant ethereal clouds. The question is, can I still love it even if no one else does?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Geese Again


Thanks, but no Thanks
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
When I went down to the woods tonight, what I think was the same Canadian geese family was there. they didn't hang around this time. And Lucy didn't "herd" them toward me. So I had to catch them on the run.
So glad to have our electricity back on again after two days without it.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Cool Hat Lucy


Cool Hat Lucy
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I didn't even take work home with me this weekend. I needed to get completely away from school. I have rested - but I can't stop thinking about something that happened at school last week. I can't discuss it. I wish I could stop thinking about it.

I worked in the garden and all my fingernails are dirty. It feels good.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Frosted Cherry Blossom


Frosted Cherry Blossom
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Whoops! Spoke too soon. No actual hit-the-ground-and-stay-there snow, but a few flakes were spotted on May 3, and that night heavy frost took our the redbud trees right before they were about to blossom. The welfare of the lilacs remains to be seen, but last year a frost like this killed them before they could blossom. It is too sad to be bereft of lilacs two years in a row!

Monday, May 02, 2005

At Last - We've Crossed the Line

May 1st. Could it be any more beautiful?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

So You Just Edit Reports and Look out the Window

Late April snowstorms just suck.
I saved the only two of my tulips that were ready to bloom and I am enjoying them from inside the house as the snow blows (and I do mean blows) around outside on this day, April (yeah, right) 24th, year of our Lord, 2005.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Garter Snake Pose


Garter Snake Pose
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I went for a walk in the woods yesterday. Spring arrived two weeks ago wih none of the tenative teetering, peeking in and out that it normally does - it just walked in the door and stayed. I have been enjoying watching the plants grow like mad - early spring wild flowers are already appearing in the woods, and the grass is turning green almost overnight. My only concern is that the fruit tree buds and blossoms, the flowers of all sorts - like my lilacs - will come blithely forward and then get severely bitten by frost and die. Last year I had no lilacs on my blue Lincoln because about a week before they would have bloomed, a frost killed them. The other lilacs seemed to survive. This year the Lincoln blue is LOADED with lilac babies - more than I have ever seen! I am going to have to listen to the weather report, and if I hear about a hard frost, give my baby a sheet for the night.
It would also be bad for the fruit crop - a freeze taking out all the blossoms. That is a real possibility this year.
Early springs are nice, but they have their drawbacks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Frustration

First of all, I just don't feel like writing lately. Too much other stuff to do - no feeling that a leisurely weaving of words would be a pleasant pasttime. Secondly, the "hello" program is not working correctly, so uploading my photography is a hassle. Nothing seems to work. I click on the picture above to insert a photo and nothing happens.
Gotta go to bed.
I'll figure it all out another day.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


This is the view from my new classroom. After it is landscaped you won't have to look at the piles of dirt and broken bricks that are still littering the "schoolyard", but the sunsets are awesome.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Today was the first day of school in the new school building. It’s hard to believe that it was three and a half years ago that the school board decided God was leading them to build a new school. We had no money, no land, and no prospects. There were people who said it would never happen. And from the world’s point of view, they were right. It should have been impossible.
Today I taught in the impossible dream. I walked the halls, played volleyball in the gym, and visited the preschool of the impossible dream. I saw the end result of faith in action.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Endings. The end of an Era. Today is the last day that WCA will hold school in the A of G church on Old Creek, where the little Christian school has carried on for almost twenty-five years. I was there on the first day in 1981, teaching third and fourth grade in the new building. Now a determined goup of parents and administrators have brought about what some people said would never happen - a multi-million dollar school has been built and tomorrow we will turn to the future and begin moving in. But today, we take one last look behind us and honor the past and live in the moment, for this particular day will never come again.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Yelling Cat


Yelling Cat
Originally uploaded by Special.
I have come back a coupla times to this photo by Special. This just cracks me up!

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Fifteen years ago today I had a baby boy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


This red tailed hawk perched in the sycamore just long enough for me to get off two shots, neither of which is that good. But the weeds waited patiently with no time restraint.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Sparrow


Cold.
Deep January cold that makes you dread the journey from the car to the house, or the parking lot to the school or the store. Cold that bites your skin, warning your instincts that it is no minor thing to be trifled with, and you had better hurry. Cold that negates the shining sun and tightens up the twinkling of the shivering stars. It makes the waiting cat change her mind about going outdoors, even though she despises her litter box.
And the sparrow fluffs out its feathers and says, "It is nothing."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Monday night I took the back roads again. The sky was a mix - a little bit of everything: blue sky, dark clouds with snow swirling out of them, golden light, I ws stoppping about every three minutes. It's a good thing Sam and Emily weren't with me. They would not have appreciated me making a half an hour journey into an hour and a half. But, as you can see, it was worth every delay.

Monday, January 17, 2005

the lady in the rocking chair


the lady in the rocking chair
Originally uploaded by tp.
This is a photo by Tania, a woman who lives in Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic. She does exceptional photos of people. I will be going there in two months with the senior class from my school.

Friday, January 14, 2005


A warm wave from the south melted almost all our snow. Lucy and I went picutre taking in the woods until dusk. The darker it got, to more my photos began to take on a blue tint. Correcting them with the automatic setting on the microsoft photo program only made them bluer. I like it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Surprise! The school day turned into a snow day. I started working on my exams and correcting papers - then I shoved it all to the other end of the table and put on my coat, wrapped a blue scarf around my head, put my husband's hat on for coolness, and put my digitals in plastic bags so the snow wouldn't get them wet. Then Lucy and I went for a snow hike in the woods. Many more photos of the morning on Flickr, CaptPiper.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

January 8th, 2005


January 8th, 2005
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
The forecast was for maybe one inch of snow, but we got about four or five inches. I woke up, threw on my coat over my pajamas, and got out there before the wind took all the snow off the tree branches. The floating clumps of snow are what has been falling from the trees.
Of course, Lucy came with me.

January 8th. It was forty years ago on this day my mother died.