Word and Image

Archive for December, 2018

Once upon a time… perfect

2507 36 Julia David fish raft

Did you ever have one of those perfect days? You know. It’s one that sits there in your memory and comes back with a smile. We did this exactly once. I don’t know why not.

2507 34 David Julia fish

You might think the water was deep. I’m not sure the kids were even using any bait on the hooks. I certainly know they would not have cared. It was idyllic just having a private moment there all alone. There was no one else, no music, nothing… just the soft summer breeze and total serenity. I’m wishing now that we had gone back. Would that have changed the memory? I wonder if the kids remember this one.

For Ginny

2843 09 Ginny Pam Pat Pegy

This one is for Ginny. She is a friend who inserted herself into my life. I was reluctant. Maybe I still am. I count her among the only conservative Republicans I speak with. Ha ha. This is a shot of my OR nurses at the time. (a long time ago, so long that we won’t count the decades) This was a one of, a singular pool party that did not occur again for me. I am not used to things out of context. I’m used to seeing this group in scrubs. It’s like my elementary teachers. I go home and they are there the next day: kind of like the refrigerator light. Don’t laugh. It’s just my juvenile mind not seeing past my nose.


noun: friend; plural noun: friends; noun: Friend; plural noun: Friends

  1. 1. a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations


I never think much of trees. They live forever. At least they should outlive me. Along a country road someone planted a rose – a fairy rose bush – in the hollowed trunk of an old dead oak. The roses were striking enough for me to take pictures whenever I rode by on my bike… until the roses weren’t there anymore. They laugh at me to talk of fairy roses in DE. They don’t grow in DE. I’ve had no luck whatsoever. Here! They grow on LI.

The copper beech that you see behind the post office is an enormous specimen. I mean it is just stupendous. This tree grows that way. Words and this picture do not do true justice to its grace. And then… it was cut down to make way for a building. There’s no other way. It can’t/couldn’t be moved. Gone. I think of that tree. It was old. Then gone. Who will remember it was ever there?

Too numerous to count


I have taken too many digital images. Ha! You never stop. But, try and find one. That’s another ballgame altogether. Even Lightroom will only help so much. You are lost without a logical filing system. And then you need to keep everything in one spot. Needless to say, it’s not easy to cull 200k images no matter how efficient you are. I’m not… efficient, just good, but nowhere near great. This image will be circa 2015 or thereabouts. Good enough. I just wanted one so that you know that everything is good and that I am happy in life – then and now.

Cat portrait


Okay okay, they are not all looking into the camera. Manipulated? You bet! It took me more than 100 shots to combine and get seven cats into this picture. No cats were harmed in the filming. Two were highly reluctant. Two posed spontaneously. The last three were confused participants. One posed multiple times. In the end I have a portrait of the kids. Three sets of twins and Elle. It was easy in the end. You are looking at the final product. Someone asked me if I liked using Photoshop. No, but I do have some skills.


This was our Christmas card for this year. What will we do next year? 9..10 cats?

It’s been a long time

_DSC4600Someone I know has been waiting a long time. Colleen. For some time I have referred obtusely to her presence in my life. Family and friends have been aware. I’ve refrained from revelation on my blog.

We’ve been together most of our lives if you believe in spirit; and physically inseparable since 2014.

The New York Times runs a Modern Love column and recently asked for submissions in 100 words or less accompanied by a picture:

“Before the term existed she proclaimed we would marry and had her mother invite me to a “playdate” at age eight. We were in the same classroom 3rd to 6th grade. When I moved we never communicated again. Fifty years later, I was deleting junk emails when Elkins caught my eye in the subject. Another classmate was inviting me to a class reunion, a class I never graduated with. Colleen? Oh, yes, she’s still around, recently widowed. She responded to my email with, “I’m nosy…” Within a month it was true love. Can you say happily ever after?”

Happy Christmas


I am inspired by the TV ads that offer up luxury cars for Xmas. Inspiring! Find a car in your driveway on Christmas day. Oh brother!? Why not Xmas in August?

The old one was a bit long on the mileage. Not too bad for a Subaru. But?… Well you show up and they offer you: last year’s model, this (new) year’s model, or a certified used (low mileage) model. The last year’s model was selling at 0% finance. No brainer. Ha ha. I did brain surgery? No longer. But we got a new one, car not brain. Moon roof, automatic rear hatch open/close, back up camera, and navigation – new features appreciated. New cars are an extension of the technology/computer/internet era. Navigation? It’s an add-on extra. But… you can hook up your iPhone maps without the nav package! I have driven without a backup camera forever. It’s mandatory in new cars now. I still look over my shoulder and out the back. Old habits are hard to change. But for the other driver in the front passenger seat….she won’t have to look around so much any longer. And, the old Forrester? They sold her a day later. Old Subarus, they sell like hotcakes.


2491 26 Wildflowers

Would you believe that this is the slide that precedes the slide of Nellie in yesterday’s post?

A field of wildflowers can’t be beat. I grow flowers and do it well in a container garden on the deck. I’ve had a deck most of my adult life. Lucky me. But a field… that’s a whole ‘nother game. Beautiful and wild! Except that it’s work. Yup! This field did not appear the following summer. It was a once and done. It seems that you have to cultivate a field like this. Sure, there are wild flowers. But they are a bit more fastidious than this field led me to believe. Yes, there is no free lunch and maybe flowers aren’t really wild after all.


2491 27 Nellie

Lest anyone forget… (did you ever know)… I miss my ol’ dog. I’ve got cats now. I hate cats. Don’t laugh. I do love them. But, not as much as Nellie. I once told my kids I liked her better (than them). She was the screensaver pic on my phone… till I got a new love (human). Cats are grand. They don’t need to be walked and they are easy to care for. They (cats) don’t come when I whistle. Okay! There are pros and cons. I still love that ol’ dog! This is a young picture of Nellie. How do I know? I don’t. But she looks like a young dog in this picture. Not a puppy, but…

Don’t mention dogs. Now that I have seven cats, they remind me every day why I love cats. I think.

Farmer’s market

Sometimes less is more. I got this girl as a total grab shot. Too much foreground and too little girl. But it works in a way too. Who goes to the hot market dressed all in black? CIA? NSA? What? Did your mom tell you not to wear that. It’s not flattering. Or maybe you have a warped sense of body image? Sorry! Catty. I just notice things that don’t fit. To me it don’t. but then again that’s my opinion. No, I’m not having a Joan Rivers moment.


This butterfly wandered by. I got a shot with proboscis out and ready to eat. Have I told you I hate bugs. I think it’s the crunchy squishy part that I’m squeamish about. Then again, ants and mosquitoes are no problem. DOD. I have a simple rule. Outside, fine. Inside –“ dead ham.”


I do not commonly see much close interaction between the older cats. They are free agents who bump into each other infrequently. The kitties like to be close by to one another. They also have not developed manners. They do not hesitate to crowd out the older cats in favor of a place at the feed bowl. There’s no dignity among them when it comes to chow time.


2006 08 5281 John

Happy birthday. I like this pose of John. He was in front of the fence at his house. It’s a long time ago. It looks like summer. That would be likely a birthday party for his boys. There would be a BBQ, followed by cake, and a dip in his pool. It’s a relaxed moment. In spite of all the pictures I take/took, there are few that are quintessential.

However, I have so many pictures. That makes it a tall order to find just one. Jules asked me for baby pictures the other day. That would mean culling thousands upon thousands. Luckily, I did an edit many years ago and was able to send 100 via the cloud. The times change, tech changes, it’s still work to track down the perfect image.


Nutley was aptly named. He likes to be right in on the action. I’m cooking. He’s there. nuts. No cats were burned in the making of this photo. Nuts! He just lay his head down and was not the least affected by the heat. When I went on to another task he followed. I’ve been called the pied piper of the cats. The sisters like to follow me to my desk and they sit mere feet away. Am I being followed? Hmmmm….

Death wish

This is Ray. He has a death wish. He jumps to the rail and looks longingly over to the crepe myrtle. He will fail if he tries to land in the branches. And I’m not going after him. So, I scold him and hope the lesson takes. He’s a smart kitty? Right. He burned himself on the citronella candle flame. That hurt his little paw as much as it surprised him too. I only hope I don’t have to rig up some kind of rescue if he jumps into the crepe myrtle branches.

Surf ‘n Turf


In the middle of winter this is a fond memory and portent of things to come albeit in a few more months time. Grilled pork and salmon. It even looks juicy and inviting on the grill. It was moist and tender. After I initially seared the meat, I had an indirect flame. I’m learning not to flame everything. It’s never too late to learn. I used tzatziki sauce over everything. The pork was moist. That’s not easy. I hope I can do it again.

Praying mantis

It showed up at dinner when we grilled on the deck. I got a shot. It’s not my first. But they are rare enough to see that I took a few shots. Then the cat found it and chased him down between the deck planks. It lived on.


Spice perches on the stair landing and watches over the house. It’s her spot. Nutley, just as his name implies is always up to no good. The girls otherwise like to lay about on the couch. I swear that some of the poses are not entirely ladylike. But then again who expects to be photographed when you are just lying around.


It grows by front door. The blooms are spectacular. They look other worldly. They fold up at night and in the rain. I do almost nothing except encourage them to bloom some more. That would be the easiest thing ever.


Kittens play. The old cats don’t romp as much. I like kittens. Ooooo! Careful. I’ll end up with more kittens before long.


Sideways (profile) is a good view. It’s not very forgiving. You have to have a blossom that is near perfect. That’s like beauty – easy to say, but, not so easy to capture.

Add water, that helps.


I’ve been posting more than one image. I limit myself to one post a day. Otherwise TMI and no one would be looking. Few enough do anyway. Meanwhile, more flowers. It was like so many fish have now become too many flowers. No matter. They are available and colorful and… more side view and I am still focus challenged. I get over that by shooting multiple images. This is less skill dependent. This is more skill dependent.

There are so many images that I am still doing flowers in December. Too many images, not enough time.

African Daisies

They flower in waves. They bloom, die back, then bloom again. This time around I found that they appeared in three different shades on the same plant. How nice! I’m trying a different view (pose) – side profile. Learning new tricks is fun.

For fun


Right about now the annuals in my container garden are about done. It’s been a good year for me. I’ve had a lot more success than I remember in past years. I kept experimenting with my images and am more aware of the background and focus. I have a lot of good images and among them some stand out. Sometimes it is the gestalt more than detail that catches my eye. Lately there are so many images that I let Lightroom guide my eye toward an outstanding image. The colors just complement. It was fun.