Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Hard Way


I can still do photos by uploading them from my computer. But it's not as easy and convenient. I have to make a file for blog, copy the photos I want to that file, and resize them down so they upload at a reasonable rate. Sigh.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Stopping in to Cry

Hello. Now that I can no longer post my photos from Flickr, having a blog is boring. So if you've been coming here and finding nothing, it's because I can't find a place to "Authorize" Flickr to post my photos to my blog. I know it can be done, because others have done it. But since this blog went beta, I'm lost.
Good bye.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Continued Frustration...

There is supposed to be a "Change authorized websites" link from the My Account page.
BUT THERE ISN'T!!!!!!! I can't find a way to authorize the Flickr website.

I've been working on this for well over an hour. Can anyone help me?
There is supposed to be a "Change authorized websites" link from the My Account page.
BUT THERE ISN'T!!!!!!! I can't find a way to authorize the Flickr website.

I've been working on this for well over an hour. Can anyone help me?

Still confused.

So I'm trying to re-establish my Flickr link. Flickr instructions say this:

Authorize posting to your Blogger (beta) blog
If you're using the new betablogger.com,
we'll need to authenticate against the new Google system. We'll send you to Google.com, if you aren't already logged in, you'll be asked to login.
Once there "Grant Access" to flickr.com, and you'll be sent back here, and we'll finish setting things up.


But I can't figure out how to "grant access" to flickr.com. In help, it doesn't tell me.
Anyone out there with a suggestion?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Argh!!

Still unable to post a photo from Flickr. I have no idea what the problem is. I'll keep trying.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Frustration

I've been trying to post an entry from Flickr, and can't seem to get it to work. So I went to eblog home and found I need to have an account with Google now. I created one, and still couldn't post from Flickr. Then, checking my e-mail, I saw I hadn't activated the new account.
This is driving me crazy!!! Maybe it will work now. I'm going to go try.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hey, It Actually Happened!!


Hey, It Actually Happened!!
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Yes!! My Popular Photogaphy Magazine arrived in the mail today and there is the article!! Sometimes dreams come true!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Seasons


Primary Colors
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Today was my fiftieth birthday.
Somehow that artificial number seems more significant than others. Yes, it's halfway to 100, but I don't expect to live to be 100, so wouldn't 40, which is half of 80, be the real landmark? Ten years ago, I didn't have time to reflect on the number. I was too busy raising children and returning to teaching and mourning my beloved Aunt Eileen, who had just died from cancer. I barely noticed turning 40. I still wear the Black Hills gold band on my finger that my husband bought me as a 40th birthday gift.

Ten years ago I read in a magazine somewhere that this hunky actor guy was turning forty, and the media asked him how he dealt with that. He said, "I just close my eyes and spend 10 minutes imagining that I'm fifty. Then I open them and realize that I'm only forty, and it seems young." I tried that method, and it seemed to work pretty well.
I suppose I could try imagining I'm sixty for a while and see if the notion of fifty becomes more palatable.

I'll let you know.

Meanwhile: I have been saving up for a new purse camera for about six months now. Today, with birthday money, I had just enough to buy it. I wanted the Sony Cybershot T30, but it was just too expensive, so I went with the Cybershot W70, which was the same in everyway except the LCD window was larger and it didn't have image stabilization, which I think I can get along without, and it was $220 less. So I went for the lesser camera. Ritz camera will let you return your purchase with no re-stocking fee if you change your mind within 10 days. They also offer a no-fault insurance policy at a reasonable rate. I purchased that so I can enjoy the camera.
So that was my big present.

Emily called to sing Happy Birthday to me. I miss her so much. Sam is a sweetie, though. He was actually affectionate tonight and gave me a home-made card with $20 in it. I thought that was pretty affectionate.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Glorious Mailbox on a Rainy Day


Glorious Mailbox on a Rainy Day
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
You can wait and wait for the October sun to shine so you can enjoy a picture-taking expedition. But eventually you have to go take your photos anyway, because if you wait for conditions to be perfect, the autumn will pass and the color will disappear and the leaves will all lie rotting on the ground.
So Sunday I spent a little time in my car in the country in the rain. With my camera.

Two years ago I was on my way to school on a foggy morning, driving down this road when I saw this same mailbox glorified. There were beams of sunlight coming through the fog and lighting it up as if it was visited by an angelic mailman.
Here is that photo: Glorious Mailbox

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Raisin


The Raisin
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
A chain of dark, cold and rainy days was broken, however briefly, yesterday as the sun peeked through gray clouds just long enough for me to go down to the river with my camera. I came back covered with mud and little seed burrs, but it was worth it.
Fall is so beautiful, but so transcient.
And when this goes, I might as well just shoot black and white.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Autumn Days for Me


Autumn Days
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Diane and I went for a hike on Saturday. It was a beautiful day - a little chilly, but really nothing to complain about. Somewhere along the path I lost my glasses. I think they fell out of my camera bag when I was taking the camera out to take a shot. We went back to look for them, but no luck. I left my name and a description of the lost glasses at the main desk of Hidden Lake Gardens: brown plastic frames, really old eye glasses.
Two days earlier, on Thursday, I had renewed my driver's license. I flunked the without-glasses eye test, so the lady at the secretary of State's office ruthlessly, unhesitatingly, and without an ounce of pity, remorse or guilt about her actions, changed my license from "no restrictions" to "corrective lenses".

So now I can't drive. My sixteen-year-old son is chaffeuring me around like a blind grandmother until my new glasses arrive.

Getting old is hell.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Power of Light


Power of Light
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Pause.
Breathe air, pump blood.
Wrap yourself up in now.
Stop the thoughts from running in circles.
Call back the dogs from their useless sniffing out the future.
Muzzle the memories, barking for the moon past.
This hour, this minute, will never come again.
Be here, look at it.
Peace.

Barn Heaven


Barn Heaven
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
This is my world - on some mornings; especially in September.
Warm wet earth meets crisp air. Rural, tranquil, filled with light.
On my way to school, I drive into the sun.
On my way home, I drive into the sun.
Sometime this makes things difficult,
but sometimes the beauty is
almost unbearable
and brings tears
to my eyes.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

September Light


Morning Light 3
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Whereas September can be the dreaded month, signaling the end of summer freedom and a return to the paper chains of schoolwork, there is an up side.
Warm wet earth and cool morning air creates clouds of fog that sit tight to the earth, or layer themselves along the branches of trees, dividing the morning sun into slanted golden fingers that play where the sky comes down to the earth so that you can touch it and breath it and walk through it.
Or you could, if you didn' t have to go to school.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Field Hunter


Field Hunter
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Today was a very good picture day. It started with a beautifully misty/sunny morning in which I meandered to school, seeking out light and forms in the fog, and no I wasn't late.
After school, I took my camera and went hunting butterflies in the shorn field next to the orchard. Cally saw me lying on my stomach and assumed I was after prey. She came out to join in the hunt.
I have enough photos to upload for a week.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Break-Through


Break-Through
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
As I begin to fall back into the rhythm of rising early and going to school, I can at least appreciate the approach of fall. The misty mornings, the slanting light, the trees beginning to turn, the glorious goldenrod in the fields - all this color bleeding out of my world with the dead-white approach of winter.
Winter seems so dominate in Michigan, with summer only a pleasant but short interlude. From November 1 to May 1 the trees are stark skeletons against a mostly gray sky.

Enjoy the moment, live in the now, don't think about something that is six weeks away, and about which you can do nothing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mother and Child


Mother and Child
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
For the few of you who read my blog, this photo may give you pause. After all, most of my photos are appropriately seasonal. No. It is not snowing in Michigan.

Yesterday I received a Flickr email from a woman who said she worked for Popular Photography and Imaging magazine and was interested in featuring my snowflake photos on the “My Project” page. She asked would I be interested in working with her on this?
[visualize my jaw hitting the floor]
Popular Photography is probably the foremost photography magazine for serious hobbyists in the nation.
I answered that that sounded like fun.
As soon as I got home from work, I ran upstairs and dug up my August issue of Popular Photography. Sure Enough. This woman is listed as the copy editor and there is a feature called “My Project” that she writes.
The next morning she had already responded to my email, asking if we could schedule an interview soon. I emailed her back giving her the school’s number and telling her that my prep period was about 11:15 to noon, assuming that she would call in the next couple of weeks.
At quarter to noon, she called. I gave up a little of my lunch time to finish the interview, because being interviewed is more fun than eating a salad. I have done probably over a hundred interviews in my brief newspaper career, but this was the first time anyone had ever interviewed me. To say it was a heady experience would be and overstatement, but it was fun.

So anyway, the result is that the December issue of Popular Photography will immortalize my humble, amateurish snowflake captures.

If you would like to see them, go to my flickr site (www.flickr.com/piper) and scroll down the main page. On the right you will see my sets. Click on the “Snowflake Project” set.

Now I have to go calm myself down before God sends me something embarrassing to keep me from getting a big head.

You say, oh come now… God wouldn’t bother with that. Oh, yes, He would.
I’m his kid.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Camera Shy


Camera Shy
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I don't often get the opportunity to shoot hummers. Today I sat quietly by the woodpile and waited for the goldfinches. When they came back, Lucy immediately scared them away. After putting the dog in the house, I went back to my seat. Presently I noticed a hummingbird visiting the sunflowers, then coming closer and going after the zinnias.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Wake


Wake 2
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
How I long for the simple life of summer again.

Have you ever woken up at 1:35 in the morning, suddenly wide awake, realizing that earlier that evening you said something unbelievable stupid? And now there's not a thing you can do about it?
Tonight was parent’s night at the school. Parents and students came around, doing a fast version of the student's daily school schedule. Teachers can talk about what to expect in that class, and how the parents can best help their children.
Two parents, new to the school, came early while everyone else was still in the auditorium. The mother had come to talk to me last spring, considering our school, and asking how I challenged the bright students in my classes. She mentioned that she taught writing at the U of M. Over the summer, I considered her question. I don't really do anything to challenge the brighter students, and I realized it's because I'm already teaching at a high level. My problem is making allowances, modifying tests, and creating extra credit assignments for the students who can't handle the level of challenge already in place.
Anyway, I now had my chance to say this. And I did.
They tried to get their son to say something in response to this, but he wasn't being communicative - typical of a freshman guy. I said my son was like that -- kind of a... [I tried to think of the right word]... lugubrious guy. The father wanted to know what that word meant and I said it meant responding with as few words as possible - a word from our Tale of Two Cities vocabulary.
"Oh," he said. Laconically.

Soooo at 1:35 AM I wake up, and suddenly I think, "I wanted LACONIC, not lugubrious, which actually means the opposite."
I'm sure the father realized that and now is chuckling all the way home and thinking what an idiot his son's English teacher is.

Why couldn't he just correct me?

I also realized that I was talking too fast. I think it might have had something to do with that big glass of ice tea I had before all this, and my nervousness as I met the parents, who, ultimately, are your judge and jury.

I wish it was still summer. Or maybe I need a different job. One where all I have to remember to say is “Would you like paper or plastic, Sir?”

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Best Agate


My Best Agate
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
We are back from vacation in the Upper Penninsula - one of my favorite places to play.
This stone I found on the beach of Lake Superior. More later.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Em at Three


Em at Three
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Tomorrow we are taking Emily, our first-born, to college. She will live in a dorm, and only come home for visits. It feels like the beginning of the end. Sam is still home. Well, not much, actually, now that he’s sixteen and has his license, but officially he still lives here and comes home to take showers. And sometimes he sleeps here. But I digress. The future seems so empty. I feel so sad, and yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it’s hard.
Last night I woke up and began thinking about Emily not being here and I couldn’t sleep. I don’t drink, but last night, I think I would have had several glasses of wine. If I could have tolerated the taste. And if we had any in the house.

When I was eight years old, my mother died from cancer. Ever after that, I was haunted by a sense of loss of a family, especially after my older sister, living with us temporarily to take care of me, moved away from home and into an apartment with her husband and baby. Even when my father remarried and my step mother moved in, that connection was never really the same. Then my step mother died when I was twelve, and it was just my dad and me for a long time. I knew that I could not change the past – I could never get my mother back. But I could become the mother.
I waited patiently as the years passed, believing that God would restore what had been lost. I went to college, graduated, and began teaching school. I waited. Around me, my girlfriends were marrying; couples hooked up and began families. I waited. I dated guys, but none of them seemed to fit that picture in my head of my husband and the father of my children. I began to worry that it might not happen for me.
Then Tim came into the picture. He was right in every way. We married. He was 31 and I was 27, almost 28, so we didn’t want to wait too long before starting a family. Months passed and still I did not become pregnant. After a year had gone by, I started seeing a fertility doctor. Eventually I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I began a series of treatments: drugs, fertility pills, hormone treatments, tests, laser surgery… I read books on the subject of fertility. I was ready to do whatever it took.
Each month, when I discovered that I still wasn’t pregnant, became a teary session of longing and prayer. Eventually, I came to a place of faith in which I believed that God wanted me to be happy. Whether I had a child or not, He was building and developing my faith and trust in Him, and that should be my goal, not endless longing for what I envisioned my future should be. I relaxed, calmed down, and sought His will. Then I got pregnant. Finally, after two years and four months of various treatments and intense hoping, I became pregnant. Then came a kind of joyous, edge-of-your-seat type waiting, again praying that I would not lose the child, but at the same time trying to be submissive to God’s will.
Nine months later, right on schedule, Emily was born: A beautiful healthy child and the joy of my life. Then two years later came Samuel, no hassle whatsoever. There was my dream - right before my eyes. I felt so blessed, even though being a stay-at-home mom was possibly the hardest thing I had ever done – especially when taking care of an infant and a toddler. Wow.
So for the past eighteen and a half years, I have been living that life I envisioned. Tim is a great husband and father, and both my kids are pretty good, too. Not perfect, but no serious concerns like drugs or drinking. And I know I have not been the perfect mother; that goes without saying. But we have been happy.

Now I need to begin to create a new vision for my future, so I don’t get this black hole vision when I think about the empty nest. Back to the prone before God position.

Monday, August 07, 2006

After the Storm


After the Storm
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I've been scanning old photos, mostly for my daughter's graduation slide show, and I came across this photo that I took when I was visiting my aunt and uncle on the farm in Iowa in 1975. There had been a fierce storm, and afterwards the sky turned gold, so I went outside with my dad's camera and took several shots. This is not photoshopped! This is the actual color of the sky after the storm. My cousin, who was married and living in Nebraska, had a large wall photo made from the slide and had it on her wall in her livingroom for years.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Some Road Some Where


Some Road Some Where
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Monday morning, I forced myself out of bed and hit the road, searching for misty spots and pretty pictures again.
I saw seven or eight deer - more bucks than does, which is unusual. Tons of rabbits. It was an enjoyable morning. I'll have to do it again after the heatwave has passed.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

But It's a Loss to Me


Redwing Pair
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
All summer I have been enjoying this field owned by our neighbors. I have watched it grow, going through stages, different wildflowers, coming and going, rabbits, birds, spiders, hoverflies, and bumblebees, sweet smells - I fell in love with it. I began a photo journal of it.
Yesterday, the owner mowed it down. He got himself a new John Deer tractor and wiped all that life out. It's just a field of ugly barren stubble.

I am feeling SO sad - almost grieving for the loss of that place. I know the guy has to mow it eventually, or it will stop being a field and become a young forest - already little ash trees were beginning to root and grow - but I will miss it.
Walking hip deep in wildflowers, even through Queen Anne's lace that was over my head, chickory, clover of the pink, purple, yellow, and white variety, hawkweed, St. John's wort, milkweed, wild aster, goldenrod, and a dozen other wildflowers I don't know the names of; butterflies flying all around me; birds swooping and singing; finding little hidden treasures - no more.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Howl


Howl
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Lucy greets me as I return from next door. You would think I had been gone for days instead of minutes.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Safety Net


Safety Net
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I've become fascinated with tthe webs in the morning dew. These latest were taken in the field next to my house. I was out there in the morning in my pajamas, soaking wet with chilly dew, taking shots.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Inspired by Lynn's quotes


Field of Dreams


Field of Dreams
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
July 16, 2006
Summertime… and the livin’ is easy.

But once in a while, it pays to drag myself out of bed and drive country roads as the sun is rising. Last Friday morning I looked out the window at 5:50 a.m. and saw a slightly thicker fog than usual lying over the fields like a cloud. I decided not to go back to bed, but take my camera hunting.

At first I didn’t find anything much. I took a few of the sunrise through the fog. I got one misty blue field with a double track meandering through it that I liked.
The sun was well above the horizon and I was actually on my way home when the road lead me though a valley filled with a light fog. Sunbeams were shafting through tree branches into a weedy golden meadow. Well, this was worth stopping for. After I was out of the car and searching for the best angle and crop, I noticed that the weeds in the field were draped with spider webs – beautiful round webs sparkling with beaded mist. And there were hundreds of them. This was the treasure I had been searching for. What a rush!!

If you want to see more digital captures from that morning, click on the photo to go to my Flickr site and look at the "Morning in July" set.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Summer Song


Summer Song
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Almost done with the yearbook. A new computer makes all the difference in the world!!

This is the most mosquito infested summer I can remember. Even in the middle of the day in the sun, the mosquitos will find you - and go our on a cloudy day? You don't dare! You will be swarmed and the mosquitos will attempt to take you down. Looking out the window, I even see them hovering around our cat, trying to find a way through her fur, but other than an occasional flick of her ear, she doesn't seem bothered by them. If it would just hold off raining for a while, the swampy areas in the bottom land would dry up, and within two weeks the mosquito population would dwindle.
In the meantime - buy lots of Northwoods Off.

Friday, July 07, 2006

June RiverSwim


June RiverSwim 31
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
This is summer!

Soaring


Soaring
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
When I was a kid, if I could have had just one wish, it wouldn’t have been for a million dollars or world peace, or great beauty, or a horse (although that one would have been close to the top of my list) – I would have wished to be able to fly. Not in a plane, but to just spread out my arms, give a couple of flaps, and take off into the blue. I wanted to soar among the tops of the clouds and swoop down, weightless and totally free. I wanted to feel the wind lifting me up and slide down warm drafts like an invisible rollercoaster. (I especially felt this way during Mrs. Houghton’s math class.) Sometimes I would even move my arms up and down, trying to build my muscles, just in case.
I knew that it would never happen, but one could dream, couldn’t one? My best dreams were ones where I could fly. Although they usually ended with me unable to get off the ground because there wasn’t enough wind, or there were too many electrical wires strung across the sky.
I still dream about those wires. They represent, I’m sure, responsibilies - the obligations and expectations of society.
I’m too old now. I’m earthbound and solid. I don’t want to fly any more. Not often, anyway.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Redwing at the Dock


Bird at the Dock
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
She was letting me get even closer this time. I wonder how close she'd let me come if I went out there every day. She seemed to enjoy playing a game - flitting upward and hovering overhead, then landing closer the next time. Finally she reached her tolerance point. I could almost set my focus at that point and shoot at about twenty feet.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dark Skies


Dark Skies
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I haven’t made an entry in a while now. Most days I get up and go to school and work on that yearbook, but I am feeling bitter about it. Friday I couldn’t get the pages to print out, so our computer tech guy came and got them to print, but as soon as he left, they wouldn’t print again. Monday he was out of town, so I waited for his assistant to come, but after several hours, he still hadn’t shown, so I decided to wait at home. Yesterday no one from the office called to tell me the printers are working again, so I just stayed home. I need to get away from it for a while, but even more, I need to get it finished.
Maybe it’s the heavy graphics that are messing up the printer. It printed out the first 16 pages without any problem, but after that is when the trouble began.

I hate this.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Grackle in a Redbud


Grackle in a Redbud
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
Pressure and stress at work has acted like a shield between me and the spring. I think that the rainy gray skies for a solid week also added to the general feeling of depression and sadness. When the sun came out this evening, the mood lifted and I felt that old spring happiness.
My little girl has only three more days left of school and then she's out for good - except for college.
I'm going to miss seeing her every day in the halls.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Woods in Spring


The Woods in Spring
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
If winter was any longer, I think I'd just roll over and die.
The light, the warmth, the color - This is what I have been needing. As soon as school is out, the yearbook is sent to the printers, my daughter's graduation party is past, and my niece's wedding is accomplished, I can feel like a human being again.
At least until September.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Glistening Frost


Glistening Frost
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
The dreaded frost made its appearance on Wednesday morning. Last year a hard frost in May was a disaster for the fruit crop around here.

This year a few blossoms were browned, but most survived. Hopefully there will be fruit.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nourishing Spring Rain


Nourishing Spring Rain
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
At last! the color is returning. Spring abounds.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Peek-a-boo Catty


Peek-a-boo Catty
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
A lovely walk in the woods after work today. Cally and Lucy went with me.
It's finally beginning to feel like spring.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Opening Day


Opening Day
Originally uploaded by peggy..
Ah, another year of watching the Tigers screw up. Who could ask for more?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

13 This Really Stinks


13 This Really Stinks
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
My camera... my new camera for which I saved for a year and a holf. I am bereft.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Typical March


Typical March
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
This sky kind of reminds me of my mind right now; darkly lowering,cold, gray moods with occasional bright shafts of reason.
I have been so depressed lately, yet I realize I really don't have anything seriously wrong in my life to be depressed about. I've know REAL trouble and grief - perhaps even more than my share. This is not it.
Nevertheless, I seem to be indulging in this spiraling morass of self-pity. I feel unappreciated, overlooked, taken-for-granted, and used.
I think I need to take a day off.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Typical March


Typical March
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I drove many miles out of my way to find a good spot from which to capture these lovely rays.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Firey River Orange


Firey River Orange
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
It is getting to be that color-hungry time of year. I watch out the west window as the sun gets lower and lower to see if I think there might be a good one developing. If conditions are promising, I grab my camera and take Lucy (the dog) with me, because she would be inconsolable if I left her behind. And we go down to the river to hope for a blast of color. At least I am hoping for a blast of color. Lucy just hopes for a muskrat to be out of its den, or a goose on the loose.
Wednesday night it was orange.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Serious Sunrise


Serious Sunrise
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
The only color around.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Color-Coordinating in Nature


Color-Coordinating in Nature
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
The river is doing its February flood thing.
A couple of years ago, a well-meaning group of people (probably democrats) wanted to create a path down by the river, so everyone could walk, run, bicycle, whatever, and enjoy the beauty. We taxpayers owning river front would, of course, be responsible for path up-keep. The residents put up a strong protest, and the township board told the group no.
The lawyer leading the "nature preserve" group wrote the newpaper the next morning calling the folks around here racial bigots and Nazis. He said the reason we didn't want the path is because we didn't want black people in the neighborhood. As if it was connected. (Besides, there are already black people living around here, and everyone I know is just fine with it.) The real reason we didn't want a path by the river is because the bottomland floods every year, usually several times. Trying to keep a path maintained in land that is constantly changing - are you kidding? It would cost thousands of dollars and be a frustrating, endless, thankless task, for which there would be financial penalties if a resident didn't maintain the path and keep it clear of downed trees and branches. Wood chips used on the path would be swept away every spring and at least once during most summers.
Sorry. It's just too much trouble.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hail the Queen!


Hail the Queen!
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I am still in shock. Not that Emily Ruth didn't deserve it - she is the essence of Homecoming Queen - it's just that the competition was also so deserving.
My mother would have been so proud. Her namesake is very much like her in every way.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Look Below the Surface to See Above the Trees

The 4 or 5 inches of snow we had on Wednesday has melted completely away in a single day. Now the sun is out and the sky is a deep blue we don't often see in the winter. There still isn't much color around, until one looks down into the puddles of melted snow at one's feet.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Lucy in the Snow with Diamonds


Lucy in the Snow with Diamonds
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
It was so frustrating... to get a camera - my dream camera for Christmas, and then have nothing decent to shoot with it.
Days of flat gray.
Featureless clouds.
No shadow, no depth, no color, no nothing...
Then Wednesday morning we woke up to a world in clean white again. The snow clinging to the branches is always a lovely sight, but I had to go to school. Exams. No time to meander or hunt for good composition.
I didn't believe the beauty would stick around until I got home from school. But it did.
It did.

This was taken when it was rather dark. I was shooting on program mode with an ISO 3200. It was dark and very blue, but I color corrected for white and got this; something my old camera was totally incapable of.
I'm sooooo happy.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cooper's Hawk


Cooper's Hawk
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I had never seen one of these before I saw him in my sister's backyard today. Jan says he comes there looking for a meal. Considers her birdfeeders bait.
I wish I could have gotten a better shot.
The reason I was at Jan's is because it was the Christmas gathering for Jim's daughter's family. She is a couple of years younger than me and she has six grandchildren! That's scary.