Word and Image

Archive for August, 2017



It’s easy to get a single cat. T wo? The sisters are ok sometimes. But the others are less likely to be together. They orbit in the same solar system but not on the same plane. They posed on the old Singer…

Individually, I can get any cat. But, can I get all five in less than five minutes. That’s not easy either. 60% asleep helps.



Another day another sunset. … the parking lot at Lowe’s.



What makes a good sunflower shot?



Wow! I got a willing subject to pose. I shot and shot and shot. I show four pics. Eyes, proboscis, antennae… Focus. I did it. Interesting.



You would think it’s easy to get a bee shot. It ain’t. You take lots of flower pics. You get a bee once in a while. Mostly it’s luck. The bee just happened to be in the picture when I did the edit. Ha! I don’t seek the shot.




Do you believe this? The resolution of these images far surpasses what I remember with film. Did I get better? My vision is worse, if you ask my kids… Ha!





I don’t know what flower it is. Don’t ask. But the detail! Oh my! I would say that I did this, but really, it’s the auto-focus magic going on. I’ve just been in the right place…



It’s been a long time. I saw/shot some in Maine. It’s not hard. They were sitting/sunning. I just couldn’t get close. I have learned to isolate my subject. It’s a work in progress. The shot… flight. I’m working on it.


I go to a lot of charming towns. They are resurrected from the throes of irrelevance by aggressive downtown restorations. And then there are wannabes. That would be Dover. It’s a town that wants to get better. It’s a mix of shops, most of which are irrelevant. It’s an old historic city with a seat of government and plenty of history. It’s just that no one seems to care or to want to be there. The loud music attracted us. We were there for an art exhibit at the museum. The band played to a listless crowd. There was a long line at the beer booth. Everyone else … well, you can see, even the vendors were unenthusiastic. Nice idea, not quite charming when you have few businesses or consumers.


Resourceful? Or cheap? Hmmmm…? Recently a visitor (of not disproportionate size) sat in my lounge chair(s) and broke through. Not, as in ‘good idea’, but, as in fell through. No, it was not his size, but his technique… because a day later he sat in the other chair and did the same plunging act…. Yup, sat through both chairs. Damn! No, he’s not allowed to sit anywhere anymore… ever! (not in my house…) So, I got canvas at a sewing store in Elkins. I got a denim needle for the sewing machine. It’s a “cutting” needle – for all you surgeons amongst my viewers. I got grommets from Amazon. And the paracord…too. I have never used a sewing machine. If you peruse past posts you will note that I have a collection of at least five (count ‘em!!) Singer sewing machines of vintage age. I could not get any of them up and running. Ha! Too complicated. I used a Kenmore – Sears, (company) nearly out of business – machine. It worked. My seams could have been better. It took a day. Yup, I could have done better by throwing the broken one out. After assembly, you can note that the grommets are the weak point and are already giving way. One seating and … about to break again! Damn! No need to do the other… except… overnight, it came to me in my dreams. (I have often woken with the solution to computer problems after a night’s sleep.) I wound the paracord in a lace net below the seat and it worked! Support! The seat held without any extra pressure on the grommets. Long story? Short… the next piece of canvas was sewn and ready to grommet in about 30 minutes. Alas, I did not order enough grommets. But, soon…

Eclipse – Got It!


I shouldn’t sound smug. But I got some decent images. Today was the eclipse. You could see it if you had the right eye protection and the sun was not obscured by clouds. Then there was the matter of view. I was not in the “totality” zone. I was not OCD enough to travel that far. I had the right gear and had practiced once to be sure I had the exposure correct. We traveled to two spots. Really? I could have been fine in the front yard. It was like the end of the world. We watched at the beach with friends. Interestingly, they had protective glasses but I had to remind them when to view. Meanwhile I shot 500 images from start to finish. Yeah, OCD. I got it focused and …. The composite is what you see. We got 80% totality. What does it mean. At the fullest, the moon covered 80% of the sun. It was still plenty bright. There was no change at the beach. Everyone still got tanned. It got hotter when the sun came out again. I’ve shot a lunar eclipse before. This is my first solar eclipse. Was it fun? You’d have to ask my companions. I had a good time. Call it a once in a lifetime experience.

VTH eclipse

Barb kindly posted this one. Yes, I went upscale from my use of a ball cap.



I used to watch fascinated, the African “survivor of the fittest” where the lions took down their prey and everyone watched the ghastly horror of blood and gore as the victim was eaten on TV. Now, I hate insects and don’t care much for spiders. But a photo op is …. There, on the window, I watched a spider busily reeling in and entombing a large meal. I don’t know the bug (type). But it was still moving as the spider skittered up and down its silk thread to imprison and immobilize its prey. Ugh, a meal, life and death. I shot 175 images. Then I blitzed an edit down to four pictures and story. You get a lot of out of focus shots. The web thread was swaying because of the ongoing struggles. And I was shooting through the window. I guess I could have raised the window. The spider would probably not have been deterred from its mission. I could have gotten better detail. Maybe? I would have liked better focus on the eyes and the mouth. I could not do it on this day. My OCD stopped short of perfection.

Beach Lineup

You go to the beach and people gather in a lineup. Thanks.


Beware! Mosquitos! You have to walk a woodland trail to get to this lighthouse. And the mosquitos fly as high as the top too. So, we were running for our lives by the time we got to the base. And there! At the desk! The display included info and bug spray. Imagine that! I wish they sold it at the start of the trail. I mean it was bloody. Those suckers were fast and furious. The town? – beach funky.



The German – Andrew Wyeth

Rock! I’ve been under a rock. I missed the most liked tweet – ever! Ah! But I’m not on twitter – tee hee. I got this bit of news from late night TV.

Seriously, I’ve been searching for a way to express my feeling without joining up with the “Antifa.” There is good in the world. Click your heels three times and you’ll be back in “Kansas.”


Obama tweet copy

Why did the turtle cross the road?


He was slowly ambling across the road. I got off the bike, got down low, and shot. I don’t know. And I don’t know why the chicken did either.


It doesn’t much matter what subject you have. There are simple things to keep in mind. Background. Lighting. Composition. I could go on and on. I won’t The cats always cooperate. They sit and stay when I ask. Caterpillars are very agreeable. And plants and flowers are easy. I get people too. But that’s a bit more complicated.

Chasing the Sun


We are due for a solar eclipse on August 21. The path is across the USA and will be partial where I am in Delaware. No, I’m not going to NC to get the total effect. And who knows? Maybe it will be cloudy and rainy? There is advice for those who may get to see it happen. Do not look at the sun directly! Do not point your naked camera/lens at the sun. Use proper protection (your eyes and the camera). You can get this protective gear from many sources. Get it or don’t look at the sun/eclipse directly. Me? I got glasses, a binocular, and a lens filter for my big 400mm zoom lens. The stuff was cheap. I spent about $20 for the lens filter. One trick pony, one time use. You could use a telescope or a mega zoom lens and dedicated filters = megabucks. Nope. I’m casual. One and done. Shoot the moon – super moon, blue moon – I get it when I can.

Technical specs: This image was enlarged from 400mm zoom on a full frame Nikon D610. I used: ISO 100 f10 1/250 sec. I bracketed. I can make out a sun spot at 8 o’clock. Otherwise the sun is just an orange disc to me. I’ll see what shakes when the solar eclipse passes me. Or not – if it rains. I am relatively prepared. I won’t be disappointed. Good luck to us all.

Unintended images

I planted dill and fennel. The fennel has some nice flowers. And I had a nice out of focus background. And… there was a bee! And another…bee! Cool! Meanwhile, the caterpillar was still munching away.


Cats can jump. Ours can do a standing jump from floor to a ledge more than three feet high. They are surely better than me. I let them out on the deck. I put up a child guard gate. We are up one floor. And, Willow, the adventurer, took a leap. He was on the rail! He gingerly walked the precarious perch to the edge and then promptly lost his grip. He slid down the bannister to the ground below. Imagine a very narrow ski ramp. Claws scritching and scratching all the way… to the bottom… and the ground! Escaped! Only for a moment…. I don’t know who was more shaken, the cat or his mistress. I was in the dog (cat) house for hours after. Willow doesn’t do it anymore. He was out in the heat (forgotten) and doesn’t want anything to do with the great outdoors.

Our adventurers are Spice and Patch. No, I don’t have image or video of Willow’s great escape. I’d have been dead ham for trying to film during his (mistress’s) traumatic experience.

Barn Loom

The cat has to be involved. She’s curious. She is in the middle of it all. This is a revolutionary war era barn loom. Honest. 1700’s. The timber and construction is of the style of barn construction. The timber size was of the kind used in barn construction. It does not mean the loom was to be used in a barn.

Why? Why did we need one? Why did we get one? Don’t ask. Most of it is original wood. Some isn’t. We are puzzling out the works. We will make this (loom) work. I hope that it will eventually be more than a resting place for (curious) cats.

Beach Cottage


At one point this was an inn. Currently, it’s in rental? It is of the style of the beach neighborhood. People remember back to 1900’s. The house is in good shape from the outside. I imagine there must be air conditioning too. …. and new pipes, and new electric…. But, it is a fine example in the style of the 1900’s homes that were here.

Bad for you

There’s not too much redeeming about a hot dog. They taste great. Or not. A chili dog? Gluten free? Every year at Memorial Day and the start of summer, I try to grill and eat one (or two). I have grilled, fried, George Foreman, microwaved… eaten beef, and all brands and styles in between. Me and hot dogs. I know they are not good for you. The Nathan’s hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July is famous and televised. It’s complicated. I still eat them. I’ve no plans to quit.


I watched the interaction of these kids. A pair of sisters in the wagon were eating pizza. The three older sisters were with their little brother who played with the little sister in the wagon. The older teens were tickled that brother was playing with a little girl. The teens squealed with delight and peals of laughter. The other little girls interwove their way in and out of the scene unfolding. I tried to guess. By my observation the teens are sisters. There was a total of six kids. It’s a large family. Ah! That reunion? (after the pig encounter) They had ten kids. That is/was a tribe!