Word and Image

Posts tagged “Flowers

On a roll

I’m faced with a dilemma. Post while we are on vacation. Or, wait until our return. There will be a lot of imagery I would have posted but waited patiently until our return.

Scotland – wrong side of the road. You can see I am in the driver’s seat from a different perspective. Well, I am jumping the proverbial gun. We are there – 2019. Harris Tweed was the word(s). No doubt our luggage will have souvenirs. We’d have a sheep if Colleen could figure out how to get it thru customs.


Paper! Neat! And it fooled me. Sort of. At first glance… if I look closer, ok, I get it! Wow! Unexpected. Well done. Who thinks of these things? We got some. How could you/we not?

Flowers or fish?

Would you rather…? I do not regret being in Saudi. Eh? I am glad to be home. I was homeless in a rhetorical sense for a bit. But I always seem to land on my feet. Flowers preoccupied me in the summer as never before. I got hundreds… thousands of pictures of the blossoms. Daily! Hundreds! Obsession? Compensation? Psycho? And, my/our cats. … because I could take good photographs in focus and well exposed with decent composition. Yes, all of the above. We all need an outlet? Eh? I’d rather be diving. But the price in Saudi was too steep. So, no! I am just fine here and now.

Random stroll

Did you know I have a catalog? Several. Hey hey! Ha ha!

These recent years have been dominated by cats and flowers. Travel has been restricted due to covid. It was only a short time since we got Tillie and Peas. The new macro lens made close-ups of the flowers in my garden… imagine if I had remained in Saudi. The blog would be flooded (pun) with underwater fish. Flowers or fish? Both start with an “F.”


I never thought of Sony as a camera. They make video. But as I dove, the merits of the RX100 family – models I to VI – became apparent as a sought-after underwater camera if you did not shoot with a DSLR. My Canon G7 point and shoot dive camera has so many images that I was sure it was about to fail from all the use it had received.

September 14, 2018. New camera. Sony RX100 VI. It would have been my dive camera but I had stopped diving in 2016. An excuse? to get the camera? Nope. None. Just camera envy. 133k images later it is still in the rotation. We have taken a lot of images together. It’s not exclusive but it is still in active use.

And the first pictures?… new car, building the bookcase, selfie, flowers, cats, all the usual… from my activities and interests at that time. Who knew? A year later I would be married too!


I will spare you the sweat involved in the planting of my container garden. It’s gobbles up plants. But the planters are full of summer flowers. Bang for the buck! Every year different flowers, same flowers, and there is the struggle to make it all work. Colleen is replacing the ugly pots with painted colorful ones. There is more than enough potential at this early stage to whet the appetite for the summer to come. I will be in photo heaven. Macro photography – I got too many opportunities. For now, it is the official start of summer flower season. Yay! Pfewf! I’m tired!

Dinner at five

Post what you shoot, or, shoot what you post…do I shoot with posting in mind?

Ah! Everyone makes fun of me. Everyone notices. Most comment. No one minds a bit if you “iPhone.” But, a camera is a production statement. Important?!

I shoot. And a lot of times I forget… to shoot. We forgot (to shoot) the cole slaw. Oh! Stop the presses! … it’s complicated. Colleen tolerates me. Does anything else matter?

We have embarked on a dinner series. I am making dinner for 4 or more. We play games after dinner. Fun!!

The pantry is dwindling. We have fewer leftovers. I am practicing portion control. It’s not really one dinner but two. Colleen is vegetarian. So, no meatloaf for her. Spontaneity reigns. We were ready early. Make biscuits… done. Grilled veggies, yes, over the grill, dummy, not under it. She sent me out for daffodils for the center place setting. Why not? It’s mashed, silly. And asparagus – overdone and mushy – well, no one complained… all gone. Beans – good (tasty) for you. Coconut custard pie – don’t ask – it’s so good but bad for you – a whole stick of butter. Apples on your meatloaf, it’s Colleen’s recipe. Yum! The best? Potato cakes for breakfast with the leftover mashed. Yes, we made enough. It was an excellent meal!

Snow Day

The weatherman and the New York Times have been on for days…. It’s gonna snow!! Big! All over the United States, coast to coast, a deluge. A storm for the ages! Eh!? When was the weatherman right? Ever? Last? … not this time either. Here is our snowy day. Early spring is in the air everywhere I look. No snowflake? There is an insult in this somewhere I fear. But, alas, no snow.

Just like a broken watch is right twice a day, it did snow!


Back on February 20 in the dead of winter the temps were running in the 60’s. Do you believe that?! Not here! We got cold!! Nope! And the daffodils did not know it. So, they popped up and bloomed. Februrary!! Nope, there is no climate change. …. There is no climate change.

We live next to a little pond in the backyard. When we first moved in there were tall grasses – phragmites, a garbage invasive weed grass. One January I decided to cut the grass down to enhance my pond view. And there between the pines was a bench! I never knew it was there. Yes, we were surprised! The previous owner had left us a little “Easter egg.” Thanks!

Old friends

…Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be 70…         Old Friends, Simon & Garfunkel

Andy is my high school buddy. Colleen? We met in the third grade and orbited together `for five years without truly knowing one another. But, I never forgot her. And, never will…  Chicago, AANS national meeting. Ethiopian meal with the cousin. When did we lose our hair and get old and fat? Who’s fat!? American Gothic, Van Gogh’s bedroom? Classics! I have seen them?! I was in their presence?! Memories fade. Colleen still checks the weather constantly. Me? I forget to wear socks.


I have been indeed fortunate to have experienced unusual things with Colleen. Sunset, unique never to come around again in the same form. Great? Another tomorrow? Sure, but not the same.

We have seen the Christmas tree decorated in wildflowers collected throughout the year. Unique?! Different?! Sure! Truly a labor of love.

Charles Dickens great grandson doing a one man show of the Christmas Carol. Sure! Special! … until it was canceled. Hopefully it was not due to covid. We don’t know and don’t know if we will ever see it again.

I have often wondered if my pictures are better than snapshots. Not particularly. They are merely anchors of my memory to recall events and times past. Sure, sunset is unique. Haven’t we all seen a great one? Without being too sentimental, I think they are all special and to be enjoyed especially with the one you love.


I don’t keep track well. The garden is done when? After the first frost, everything goes dormant. All the impatiens are gone overnight. The frost came late this year. How would I know that these pics a week or so before were the last from my garden till next spring. Bye! It was a good year!? I have a few pots that come inside… Meyer lemon trees, asparagus fern… I like the cycle of the seasons.

Fill time

It is a rare day that goes by without me taking pictures. Subject? Ah! Cats and flowers… they are available and do not object too much. Seven cats – only a few are cooperative. The rest avoid me.

Take a picture just to take a picture? Umm, I consider it a challenge. Get a technically sound image with some wrinkle in detail – water – that is a bit out of the ordinary.

Busy time activity? Boredom? Warding away the doldrums of retirement? Ha! Colleen fills her time with reading. For me, there are only so many times I can hit the refresh button on the NY Times.


I wonder why I blog? Not too much. But… ego? Show off? Do I need to share? Am I needing accolade?

It started a while back as a suggestion from cousin Amy. It has lasted. Occasionally, there are mentions from my family and friends. “Likes” and “comments” here are appreciated. Of course!

Colleen! Yes! My muse. She is the current driving force. Ginny commented that things got a lot more personal when Colleen entered my life again. Sure. It was always in me from freshman college English. I could/can always write. But the personal side… that is/was guarded.

Meanwhile, beauty and wonder are all around. I marvel at the images my camera will produce. I do not consider myself an artist in the “drawing/painting” sense. But I enjoy documenting my life. I am creating a legacy while capturing life as it unfolds for me and for Colleen. Lately, I’ve begun to wonder how legacy carries on. Not too many people use telegraph or horseback these days. Do you still have a hard line phone?

As ever, I remain fascinated at the detail my camera lens can capture.

What lives

Year to year. Annuals are flowers that last the summer and die with the frost. Cherish them. Water them. Enjoy! We plant again in the spring. Start over. Cherish them…


I recall vividly that the last slide I shot was at Dave’s graduation. Little did I know or suspect film would so suddenly be gone in my life. I just simply never went back. I did not look back. And I have not shot a roll of film since my Nikon D70 arrived late after I got home from work. Who knew?!

Nothing of import was on that last roll of slides. The deck, my dog, Dave, the school play and some flowers numbered among the mundane subjects. Interesting to see. I had never really checked until now.


Develop has a whole new meaning these days. It used to mean taking film and transforming it into a print. Digital images require no printing. Manipulation can transform an image into something it wasn’t when it started. Cropping? Or, there are black and white conversions. Or toning. Whatever. The effects can be dramatic. So many flowers, so little time.

Point and shoot

I humbled myself this morning. I was passing over these images and simply assumed I had shot them with my trusty “big camera and lens.” Wrong, it was my point and shoot Canon G7. Too easy, the camera was too basic to get shots like these. Nope! Each and every one was the G7. I’m so biased. I do not believe iPhone to be a worthy camera. In a pinch, but not a mainstay, the iPhone lens is too small!

It’s not the camera it’s the photographer, eh?!

This year

It happened. Can it be? Covid – mask? Ukraine? Travel? Events? Forbidden?

Though many around us have been touched by covid – children, grandchildren, cousins and so forth….

We went to the museum to see the new exhibit. It’s on loan and traveling from Long Island. Photos forbidden. Oops! I already shot by the time Colleen pointed it out. Does this fall under street photography? It was illustrative that covid was still in our thoughts.

Taken at random the flower or the fish could have been anywhere. I needed the white gate to orient me. Aha! Winterthur – been there!

Random sunset. Or perhaps sunrise? It would depend on which side of the car windows I was shooting. Aha! Metadata?! 6:56PM.

Fine photography? No, nope, not hardly… but, fine by me.

Three star

I rate my pictures as I edit. Two stars – technically good, not outstanding, but a good shot. Three stars – a little bit better. I’m looking through three star edits. No worries. Good shots. Fun. Solid. Wow! They might make you smile. It’s not necessarily an easy shot to get. The smiles are real. I can admire my technical prowess sometimes. It’s like kids. Don’t you love them all? Equally?

Fast forward

Life is in fast forward these days. There’s no let up soon. We returned from Maine and flew to California. Day trips. Thanksgiving at our house. Ohio a couple of trips. We are on the go. In between there is a lot of fleece to wash, card, and spin. No boredom around here. Looking back at the first part, maybe that was the slow part?

Family, kids, nature, cats… repeat.


I am racked with guilt. Even when they were both with us, I could never tell the difference between Ray and Nutley looking at them head on. There was a white collar of fur on Ray’s neck. Flowers look the same too? Right? You don’t mistake your kids? Relatives? Friends?

Ha ha. Freudian? I started to list the cats as “family” in the category and tags.

End of the season

It’s the end of the garden season. I try to have color all spring and summer. Flowers, even annuals, have a season and some do not last all season. Glancing briefly at last year there was a better season, so it seems. There were more picturesque blossoms that lasted longer. Really? Does it matter? We go forward. But, gee, I wish I were getting better.

The best I can say is “different.” Each season is learning what works and what did not. No complaints. The nurseries carry different flowers. Some work; some do not. Be positive. Be happy. Don’t worry.

Don’t worry. Be happy!

Who’s watching

Colleen reads my blog. She is very complimentary. Of course! Well, thank goodness. She is quick to tell me if she dislikes something. She is my number one fan and supporter. Do I need more?

They keep statistics on the parent website. It tracks visits and views and from which country I am being viewed. I have been seen from around the world. Not all at once but over time someone from almost every country has seen one of my posts. Impressive! I am awed at the reach of the internet. Some folks even come back more than once.

So. Today. I see some nice things. Peonies. Who knew? I ignore them in the plant nurseries. They put on an utterly amazing display in the spring. It’s too short for me to plant in my container garden. I want color all summer long. But spectacular! My thanks to the patient gardeners who have such a brief but spectacular show. It’s still pandemic as evidenced by the cat mask (Colleen made it, my favorite).