A little pink flower hidden on a bed of green.

A tiny little thing.

It was hidden in plain sight. So small that I had to look twice and break my cardinal rule of photography. I had to move some of the greenery around to photograph the flower. I try never to move or change anything when I make these kinds of semi-nature pictures. I had no choice. If I wanted to make the flower’s picture, I had to be able to see all of it.

There.

Honesty. Full disclosure.

It’s a very peaceful picture. After another week of political craziness, more lies and memorial sadness, I think we could all use a picture that’s a little quiet. Besides, it’s Sunday in the U.S. It’s a Sunday kind of picture.

Because it’s Sunday, I’m going to be quiet.

Have a great day.

 

 

 

 

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Late blooming summer flower.

While I was walking.

I spotted these tiny little pink flowers.

They are located high up, growing from a sort of ivy that covers a chain link fence. As we enter into September, this is the time of the summer season when most flowers are dying. Green trees look faded. Not these flowers. They are new blooms. I realize that we have year round growing seasons, but they normally start in late February and again in October.

This summer has been more moderate than past summers. The actual temperature has not risen to 100 degrees. The air is a little dryer now, but when it was wet we did have “feels like” days when the combined temperature and humidity rose to around 110 degrees. But that happened early in the summer and it wasn’t often.

It still could happen. We normally don’t start drying out and cooling down until mid to late October. Even then, we have warm days. We rarely have a white Christmas, but sometimes we do have a warm Christmas.

That’s life in the swamp.

The picture. Old school approach. Many youngsters have no clue how to do this even though DSLR cameras and some phones allow you to do it.

I metered very tightly and from the lightest point of the flower. I wanted the flower to have shape and detail. I wanted the background to be dark. The white part of the flower is at least a stop and a half lighter than the darkest areas of the picture. It enhanced the drama and draws your eyes to the center of the picture without much post production. Ask if you have any questions.

Happy Sunday.


About freedom.

Floating.

Above it all.

I was walking and I saw a balloon drop out of the sky from nowhere. It was sort of stunning. It was so unexpected. I made a couple of pictures. It floated away.

Just like that.

Sometimes, that’s how things happen. It’s up to us to accept them, exploit the moment, or do nothing. For me, the last option is unacceptable.

I’ve had two occasions in the last few days to offer my “wisdom of age” to guys younger than myself. Normally,I don’t think it’s my business, but they asked.

The first guy is very overweight. He had an electrical heart issue. That was fixed. Now, his blood pressure spikes for no apparent reason. His doctor gave him a couple of options. He asked what I thought. I told him it was really simple. He only had two choices. Live or die.

Yes. It’s that serious.

The other guy wants to move really badly. He doesn’t know where. He likes the beach. He is getting older. His life is slipping by. I suggested that he travel some. To see if what he thinks that he wants, he really wants. And, then do it.

This has been going on for years. We’ll see what happens.

Now that I’m old, I see my options fairly clearly. I’m starting to get clarity on a couple of issues. I’ll make up my mind in the next day or so. Then, I’ll do it.

Time is always short. No matter how old you are. Use it. Don’t waste it.


Flowers in her hair.

The thoughts came to me in a dream.

The dream wasn’t clear. It was muddy. Murky. Like something dredged out of the middle of a brackish lake.

Somewhere in there I saw a lot of my life. Not like you do at the end of a life. Little flashes. Bits. Pieces. Parts. I saw people who I haven’t thought about in years. Sometimes we talked to each other. Sometimes, we didn’t. We just passed.

I awoke with this stuff swimming in my head. I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I started thinking about anniversaries. Not like weddings or birthdays. Little things. Like the anniversary of our return to New Orleans. That’ll be eight years on July 8.

Or, the anniversary of scooping up the dog who sees stuff. She’s a rescue. When she came home with us, her person had just passed.  She was 85 and had been in poor health for a couple of years. Her person’s care givers didn’t like my dog. They treated her poorly. She was underweight. She was sick. She was scared.

Today, she is happy, healthy, and weighs what she should. She has dog friends, lots of people friends and she’s claimed me. What’s not to like? She’s a very pretty cocker spaniel. She kept the name she came home with — Sophie Rose.

There’s a lot more to write about. Changes. Anniversaries. More changes.  I suppose that I’m starting to look back with the wisdom of age. Or, just with age. Likely, that.

The picture. It’s two. The pink flowers are layered over some pure color.  You can see it here and there, in the background. I guess, I’m experimenting a little again.


More like magenta.

Getting close.

Close enough to see the details. The shape. The various shades of color.

Color.

Call this what you want. Is it pink? Is it magenta? Is it something else? If you are trying to match color, as I used to do on a big commercial printing press, it matters. If you aren’t, enjoy it for what it is. Whatever you think it is.

Now. A quick message from our sponsor.

I was reading a Facebook conversation between a couple of people and an author friend of mine. They were discussing how to market a book. One thinks websites are dead. Another thinks blogs are dead. A third one thinks Facebook is old fashioned. None of them discussed tweeting or Instagramming.

They admitted that they had no idea what was right or wrong. They were guessing.

The correct answer, according to the head of SEO for CAA, is all of them as long as the same people don’t follow you around. They may think that they are helping, but they are not. Each of those social media platforms reach different kinds of audiences. Having a Facebook page is like being in the telephone book. Remember those? You have to be there or for sure nobody will find you.

The other big trick is not to share, post or tweet the same material. That makes sense. If people follow you around, you want them to see different stuff. If somebody stumbles on your work in a couple of places, you don’t want to bore them.

Get it?

The picture. A new summer bloom at home. I saw it. I photographed it. That was pretty much it. Ma Nature made that flower. She doesn’t need help from me.


Fallen.

Things fall down.

Like this flower. It fell from a tree. I don’t know its name. That’s rare. While I readily admit that I don’t know flower names, I do know tree names.

It starts blooming in late spring and continues until early summer. Streets, cars, sidewalks are cover in tiny pink flowers. I like photographing them after a rain. They glisten and glow. They stick to everything. But, they aren’t damaging. They are just pretty. Just pretty. Funny, that. If every thing was “just” pretty  we’d be far better off.

Anyway.

We had some rain.

The rain knocked a lot of these little flowers off of the trees. The walkway was glistening. Sparkling. The light was getting low so it backlighted this one little flower. I got down as low as I could go and pushed the button a couple of times. I selected another version of this picture. I struggled very hard to make it work. It really didn’t work.

I took another look. This image took about a two minutes in post production. It just sort of “was.” This is the right picture. Work is hard. The process should be easy.

The picture can never be made again. Yes. It was a moment in time. A brief flash. That’s not it.

Nah.

The dog who sees things stepped on it and crushed it.

Sometimes, that’s how it goes.

 

 


About changes.

A little Friday art.

Pure art. The picture is as I saw it. Very little post production on this one. It’s meant to be soft and gentle. It’s meant to be a break from real life. A little peace. A little quiet.

I could stop right here and wish you happy Friday.

You know me. Lately, that hasn’t been my way. Lately, I have the need to talk, er, write.

This is about joy. Joy from anywhere. I started thinking about this after watching and Amazon show called, “The Grand Tour.” It was created after the original Top Gear team left the BBC. It stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. Last nights show was the final episode, not of the series, but of the entire thing.

History. Clarkson got fired from the BBC for punching a crew member. Over a sandwich, I think. The other two realized that two without one didn’t add up to much, so they asked to be released from their BBC contracts. Clarkson went through some behavior modification counseling and the three of them joined Amazon. The new name reflects what tours of the world used to be in the 1800s. They were called a grand tour and used to last for months.

The original version was Clarkson’s brainchild. Prior to the arrival of Top Gear, car shows were boring. I like cars, but I never watched them. Once I saw Top Gear during its first year I was hooked. Comedy reigned supreme. Things crashed. Things blew up. Things burned. Richard Hammond almost got killed (for real). Only his short height saved him from losing his head.

Last night they said goodbye. Clarkson, who can be a giant knob as Richard May would say, fought back tears during their entire announcement. They played some highlights, some of which were borrowed from the BBC, to the tune of the original ending of Eric Clapton’s “Layla.” For me, that has always been a leaving song, especially the end  piece with Eric Clapton and the late Duane Allman playing intertwined guitars over a piano.

I was in tears.

They’ve done this for 17 years. I’ve seen every episode. Think about that. I’m 65 now. I started with them when I was 48 years old. They’ve made me laugh and laugh some more, even during the dark days immediately following Hurricane Katrina. When I say laugh, I mean laughing out loud, rolling on the floor.

The audience was crying. They talked about their favorite shows.

Then.

Finally, the three of them made another announcement. The talk show, the in studio work and their local race track scenes were ending. The show as we knew it was ending.

But, they love Amazon and Amazon loves them. So, Clarkson claims. Instead of thirteen weeks every year, we were going to see what they do best. Long treks in some foreign country with either junkmobiles or the best of the high-end Lamborghini, Maserati and Porsche cars. Those are the episodes that to me, and I’m pretty sure, most of us liked best. We won’t have to wait a year to see new work. It’ll be released as Amazon continuing series.

My heart jumped. I immediately felt better.

One more thing for you to know.

Anyway.

I borrowed that from them. Since they really drive the cars, catch on fire and get in crashes, they decided how to move on if one of them was killed. They would briefly tell the studio audience what happened and would immediately move on with…

Anyway.


Into the sky.

Spring’s rebirth.

A seasonal cycle. Now you see it. Now you don’t. We are at a seasonal point that you can’t help but see it.

If you look at Facebook, the keeper of all infinity, your pages will start filling up with spring flower pictures. It starts around now and lasts for a while as our friends in the snowy north start to awaken from their winter slumbers.

Makes me smile.

Since I only look at my threads on various social media twice a day, I wasn’t aware of the melt down of Facebook and their related sites. Apparently, it got so bad that Facebook had to go to their competitor’s site and tweet about the problems.

So many people were frustrated by the whole thing.

As I said to a friend of mine, it was the best day in a long time. No alerts. No emails saying that somebody commented on one of my pictures. No pop ups from Instagram telling me somebody likes something. Just a pleasant day. A lot of work got done. Not just by me, but by a lot of people.

I suppose the young lady who has a big following, and is an influencer on Instagram, and whose mom was arrested for bribing a USC official in that huge scam was upset. While she lying around on the president of USC’s yacht.  She couldn’t make money while it was down.

Damn.

Funny thing about her. She doesn’t care about college. She makes really big bucks using Instagram. That’s her job.

I’m willing to bet that she hasn’t taken the time to look around and see a place like the one in this picture. Sure. She gets outside. For big deal stuff. But, little stuff?

I’m pretty sure that I’m having more fun seeing stuff like this, than any of the people who were busted. Before they were busted. They seem like a miserable lot. They are too busy cheating.

Many people are blaming the parents, coaches and some colleges themselves. They claim that the kids probably didn’t know anything about it. Yeah. Right. That’s why little miss was cruising around on the college president’s yacht.  Of course the kids are culpable.

One more thing.

I don’t know about you. But, I paid for my schooling. Every time. At every university. I didn’t cheat to pass tests. I didn’t claim to be anything that I wasn’t. I just worked hard.

It’s amazing.

How a pretty spring picture could bring all of that up. It shouldn’t. I’ve known for a long time that the game was rigged. Every game. With every kind of rigging.

Anyway.

Look up. Look down. Look all around. In front. Behind. To the side. See what you see. Make a picture. Make another one. Keep making pictures. Until you are done. If you are really good, it could take you one picture. Or, two. If you are like me, maybe 15 or 20. But, I like to explore the scene. I don’t machine gun. No point in that.

You might make a picture like this one. Or, not. Or, a better one.

But.

There is no competition. Unless it’s with yourself. As they say, help a brother out.

 


For Valentine’s Day.

Today.

Things are twitchy. Maybe you received an empty post. That happened when I hit the tags button. Then I used the pending button to stop the post. I received a need to refresh pull down. It wanted me to refresh my LinkedIn connection. I didn’t even know that I shared to LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, I’m receiving a weird kind of malware pop up that starts yelling at me, while claiming to be from Apple. I had malware. Between McAfee and me, it’s gone. Yet, this thing remains. I suppose that I’m going to have to let it play and Google the solution to killing it.

Who knows?

Anyway. It’s Valentine’s Day for those who celebrate. Happy Day. I had another picture planned for today. I subbed this one in. It’s more romantic. And, pretty.

It’s also Parkland High School memorial day. One year. A year that should have changed a lot. Very little has changed. I follow a lot of the survivors on Twitter. Today is hell for them. Please have a good thought.

And, yesterday, Rover Opportunity was declared gone or dead. It’s last message was…

“My battery is low and it is getting dark.”

I don’t know why, but when I read that yesterday, I thought it was about one of the sadist things I’ve read. Apparently, a lot of people were touched the same way.

I don’t know why. It was a machine. Metal. Silicone. Wires. Diodes. Still, those words hurt.

I constructed my own end for Oppy. It’s not gone. It met a band of friendly Martians, dug with them and doesn’t want to be found by humans. Oh, and it met David Bowie who is also alive and well and living on Mars. He started a band of merry Martians. That’s it. That helps.

The picture. Oh, you know.