It’s cherry blossom time. The Washington Monument makes the perfect foil. You cannot miss this icon and everyone knows where you are. Flags blowing in a stiff breeze make for a striking graphic. Once again, vertical vs horizontal (composition)? Shoot both. Ha! But then you gotta choose. Luckily I can show you both.
Meanwhile it’s also cherry blossom time. The Washington monument is a giveaway of the location. And of course I want everyone to know I was there for this showing.
Most of my posts are un-timed. Untimely? That is to say: there is no specific time frame involved. However, sometimes it makes sense to post immediately. This one involves the recent Memorial Day weekend. It’s the first grilled dog of the summer. It’s the first BBQ. I was just a bit early by a few days. Meanwhile, it’s always different. …except for the hot dog. There was a list of brands recommended by the NY Times. Ummm? A dog is … basically a dog. It’s the condiments and the char – coaled flavor that overwhelms. I’ve had them all… and it only really matters that they are beef. And this year the emphasis is on vegetables. You have limited options if you are cooking gluten free, corn free, and, vegetarian. Yeah, there are sausages on the grill. But that is because I have no restriction. It grilled up good on a perfect spring evening as the sun was gently setting. Good? You bet! And today? It’s cloudy and misty and foggy and a no good very bad day. So, this post makes me smile. Maybe tomorrow we grill again?!
It’s free! Well, no. I paid taxes. Therefore, my entrance fee is built in. Go figure. What if you don’t pay taxes (see President Trump)? It’s still free. These days if it were up to the Republicans, there’d be no arts, no museums…. Meanwhile, aside from the portraits, there is art – aluminum foil art, and steam radiator art. The atrium is cool with a flat fountain (remember it’s free). And then, our government thought enough to make two museums in the same building. So, half and half. You can do that if your patron is one and the same (our fearless government).
It’s inevitable that you run across construction. So, you take what you get. The tulips tell you that it’s springtime in DC. Meanwhile we were here to see the cherry blossoms. I’m just one among many (photographers) trying for a quintessential shot. This wasn’t it. But, I like the graphic anyway.
It also leaves me with a philosophical/existential question. Am I shooting to post? Or am I posting what I shoot? I thought I’d post what I shot? That was the beginning. But it’s way easier to remain in the present than the past. Hmmmm….
We drive a two lane (road) in Maryland. We were about tenth in line behind a truck that took forever to pass… as in we didn’t… until it (road) became a four lane. In NYC a two lane is two lanes on my side or four lanes on my side. Everywhere else it seems that two lanes mean one lane in each direction. Oh boy! What the…! It’s a tank? Covered with canvas. Entry hatches. Driving along in Maryland. “No idea”, as Harry Potter would say. It took forever to pass the thing.
I have a bright memory of the day – May 27, 1960. It was the last day of school, third grade. We had just moved the past year and I attended Elkins First Ward. Miss Ray was my teacher. She drove a bright red Valiant. I had just met Colleen. The day? It was Eric’s birthday. He’d been born in the overnight hours at Davis Memorial hospital. My father had left us (John and myself) sleep. He’d taken my mother to the hospital and returned in time to get me to school. John was still pre-school. We’d been left alone overnight. I never gave it a thought (you can’t just leave kids these days). Meanwhile, it’s Eric’s birthday again. I won’t be with him this year. I got a shot this morning using a macro lens I dug out of the closet. It was a mission/quest. And it was another excuse to post a random flower pic taken today. I’ve got a full-blown garden going. And the other slide is from years back with Eric holding his favorite nephew, Steven. It’s not fair to the other kids, but there was a special affinity. Otherwise, we must be PC and say he loved everyone “equal.” But there was chemistry between them. Happy birthday.
On the road… again. It was the peak of the forsythia bloom. Up close they aren’t much. But the whole bush does seem to pretty stunning as you pass. I keep looking for a quintessential shot. It’s a quest. The key is to get the right composition. Once again, I admit I shot on the fly. I did not stop. There are only so many times you can stop before your companion complains. She indulges me plenty. I try not to take advantage of her good nature. I will live longer that way.
Okay. I don’t know my raptors. So, it might be anything else in the group. It’s not a bald eagle. We saw one pass over the road right in front of our car. Alas it happened too fast to get a shot. Ha! So, you’ll have to settle for this image far away in a tree. He/she sat, I shot. I’d have liked to have had an action shot. But it’s didn’t move, and I didn’t have the gear to get an in-flight image.
A garden folly is something that is placed/constructed in a garden to cause the viewer to pause. It’s an architectural feature of a garden. I think “gazebo.” Then, think far more creatively. We saw a whole bunch. Why folly? It ain’t a “show.” Who knows? That’s what they call ‘em. If I had more time, I’d consider lounging about for a spell.
Yes, this castle-like structure was built as a garden folly. Go figure. You can climb it. It was designed with a wide stair to allow people to climb and descend easily.
Thank you. I got to enjoy this tree while it blossomed. All the perks without the work. By the time we returned about two weeks later, the leaves were out and the blossoms were faded. Timing is everything. But really it’s right place right moment.
There are a lot of cherry trees. The blossoms are different from tree to tree. Pistil, stamen, remember to focus. It ain’t easy. There’s usually a breeze. I recall the saying, “Every once in a while, even a blind squirrel gets a nut.” Point and shoot. A lot.
There’s not too much to like about Canadian geese. They poop – a lot – all over the grass. Laughing? Considered a nuisance there are local measures in place to get them to go elsewhere. Somebody else’s back yard? Me? They are not on my radar. The rabbits and deer who are eating my plants are (on my radar). So I tip my hat and take my pictures.
What can I say, it’s the closest thing to gambling that I can aspire to do. That’s Jane. She’s the auctioneer. She knows us. She poked fun at me. Last year we had to rent a van late on a Saturday afternoon in order to cart our purchased loom home from the fair. Yeah, it cost more to rent the van than it cost to buy the loom. And the bench that came with it was worth more than the whole lot. Ha ha, the joke was on me. You know you’ve been marked when they remember you for that stunt.
That singer sewing machine is old – 1910’s – according to the index of serial numbers. The great wheel we would win was one that I’d seen early in the day. Little did I know we’d have to make more room in the car going home. And of course, it rained (just like last year). So our purchases had to reside under the umbrella while we bid onward. You can guess (me) who was wet, “taking another one for the team.” At least I wasn’t on the ‘net looking for a van.
Actually, we know Jane’s significant other too. He’s from WV too. He has a part we dropped off with him two years ago. This is second year now in which we have cajoled him for not producing the part we need for a spinning wheel that he had promised. We know where he lives. We’re not worried he’ll run away. That’s a lot of trust considering we aren’t in his neighborhood too much these days. It doesn’t look like it we’ll see the part any time soon. ….kind of like the leaky barn on a sunny day.
I can shoot one cat. But two? That’s a more difficult issue. It’s the eyes. Four eyes, two sets. The rest doesn’t fit neatly in the picture. The tail was a plus. But for me the it’s the eyes. The other interest is that it’s darned hard to get two cats in the same photo. I can’t direct a pose. I don’t speak cat. I’m good one on one. Elle? Even she has given up. It used to be that she’d run as soon as she saw my camera. Now? Call it, “resigned to her fate.”
It’s in the eyes. You focus on the eyes. That is the heart of the image. You knew that. Right? I’ve lately been having trouble with my trusty Nikon D610. Hey, it’s four years old now. I don’t even know what their latest greatest (new model) is. I no longer have camera envy. But, I do want good images. I’ve been having focus problems for a while Well, I dropped it to the sidewalk in 2016. It’s hasn’t been right since it came back from repair. User error! Me. I finally sat down with the manual again today. Yeah, yeah, I actually read the instructions again. Don’t laugh. Don’t tell. And I think I’ve figured it all out again. I wanted closest focus done automatically. I want to just compose and shoot. Unfortunately, I also want to place the main subject off-center in the image. This does not always comply with what the camera is doing. I’m go… and the camera is still deciding what to do. I get shots. But I would like a higher percentage of success. I read the manual, I made my adjustments, and now I’m holding my breath.
Speaking of instructions – did I tell you this one? We got Jules an Easy Bake Oven for her birthday – many many years (decades) ago. My brothers happily got to work and assembled it. There were two leftover screws (that went somewhere) when they were done. Not extra screws! I saw them toss the screws into the oven. Fine by me. We’d find out where the screws went later. It’s a guy thinking here. No! No! The wife/mother tossed the screws in the trash. I witnessed that too. Why didn’t I act? And we eventually found the place the screws were missing. And that oven rattled forever more till we threw the thing out. Let that be a lesson!? Read the manual?
We’ve been rearranging things. I stacked stuff on the top of the cabinet. Cats are curious. Ha! Elle decided to get in and amongst the glass and picture frames. She managed to step around everything and not knock anything over. Luckily she doesn’t swing her tail like the boys. Yup, luck for me too.
It’s not ok!! I don’t care what your political persuasion is any longer. It’s never right for a kid to die. Imagine? Another group of kids are dead in America. This group is dead right before graduation. This group didn’t deserve to die. I don’t care to whom you wish to assign blame. You can blame anyone. You can blame guns. I’m so beyond rhetoric. Enough is enough?! Can we just try something else? The news plays the platitudes – “thoughts and prayers.” Instead of graduation, someone is attending a funeral this weekend. There will be empty seats at their high school graduation. There is an empty seat in college next year. Why? Can’t we stop with the wishing and hoping and do something? Each time they shoot another kid – it’s someone else’s son or daughter – I am (selfishly) thankful that mine are no longer in school. Another moment of silence, listen to the politicians spout? I say no more. I attended the Washington rally on March 24. “Vote them out!!”
My last experiment taught me that I need a pasta maker. We borrowed/took one from a relative. She wasn’t using it. So, it’s on, sort of, permanent loan. But I told her I borrowed it. I actually did good. The pasta doesn’t resemble anything store bought. It’s gluten free. Ha! Can’t you tell? Anyway, it’s all in the sauce. The foundation (pasta) worked just fine.
We don’t frequent this beach. It’s crowded and touristy. I don’t need to be here. So we stopped on the way through. Just to look. It’s honky. You see neat stuff. Don’t curse. Oh, and you are not allowed to bathe bare chested. Well, that would be if you are a woman.
Don’t get me wrong. I got nothing against bare chests. Some people just shouldn’t…. It was chilly that day. But there are always those who insist that the weather is better than it is.
This poor guy was playing his guitar sideways. He needed a better speaker. He had no audience. No one who passed, paused. Maybe he was just practicing for the summer crowd to come?
Putting it all together, daffodils and forsythia are spring. I like the bright brilliance of the yellow flowers in direct sun. I enjoy the muted colors of an overcast day. It’s glass half empty or half full. It’s the same level in the glass. You choose.
We passed fields of early spring flowers. I don’t know what they are. Leaning trees. I guess I don’t notice the leaning when the leaves are out. But in early spring I wonder how and why the trees progressively lean. Are they republican?
It’s not clover. It’s not a field crop. The flowers give a nice pastel to the field. It sure beats the monotones of winter.
Forsythia, they bloom for a short time in the spring. Bright, brilliant, showy, and then gone. I don’t like them because the bloom is so relatively brief. And daffodils, the same. I’m not a bulb guy. I like to look, but I’ve never cultivated them. Water droplets are a plus. This detail of a forsythia bloom is less usual than the whole bush. I don’t mind visiting these flowers in someone else’s yard.
Do as I say, not as I do…. And, you (my kids) can do this in a moving car, driving, and holding and iPhone. Many of the images I get are done on the go. I don’t stop. Ha! Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t stop. I’m go. So this is another moonrise over the highway. We were headed east in Maryland. I shot a couple images as we drove along. This one made the cut. Snapshot. I know. I could have maybe had something if I’d stopped and set up. I don’t travel with a tripod. I wouldn’t even know what to do if I had all the time I wanted to get a proper image. Shoot and go. Me.
I probably shouldn’t spend too many posts on flowers. I can’t help it. They are all around. And like fish, I can take some pretty nice shots. Muted tones, soft focus, it works. I don’t have wall space to print and display all the great shots. Just like my fish, the images sit on my hard drive. Luckily you only get the tip of the ‘berg.