That’s what yesterday was about. I think that because my fear of the virus has lessened and that I’ve actually came to some decisions about my photographic work, I slept. And, slept. And, slept.
I awoke before 7am. That doesn’t sound like I did much sleeping. After the all seing dog and I returned I started to read. I got drowsy and let myself fall asleep. I slept from about 10 am until just before noon. I ate some lunch. I worked for a bit and decided to read. I fell asleep after 1pm and awoke at 5pm. I went to bed at around midnight and awoke just after 7am.
I feel great.
Remember the artist that I wrote about yesterday? In her same comments she said that she fell into a deep and peaceful sleep at around 11pm. When she awoke she looked at the light and thought that she was awake too early, but the light didn’t look quite right. She checked her phone as most of us do these days. She woke up at 6:30. In the evening.
She felt great.
I guess when you come to terms with the fear of viral death and gain some clarity because of it, you drop your defenses and you stop over thinking. Down you go into a restful and deep sleep.
The good news about the virus locally is not only has the curve flattened, but it is starting to dip. That’s what gave me some peace of mind. Still, stay the course. Stay the course. Stay the course.
The picture. I just walked out and saw it. The dog who shows me things likes to walk around there. I tinkered with it. Those little clover flowers look pink, but photograph white. I had to help you see what I saw.
Stay safe. Care for others. Keep your distance. Wear your mask. Wear your gloves. Take a walk. Go outside. Enjoy every cup of coffee.
That’s what I promised you and that’s what you’ll get. Today is day three of our thirty day pause. Luckily, there is so much to do around this place, so much to read, so much to watch and so much organizing of my archives that I doubt anybody will get bored.
Eventually, we’ll have to sneak out for groceries.
We appear to be self sufficient, but are in a place to help our neighbors and community if they need it. That is so important. And, around here there are so many very elderly blue bloods that I’m sure someone will need something.
For now, we are good. I hope all of you are too. It’s an eye opening thing to realize that I don’t have to explain the feelings or how we are responding because this is global. It’s universal. Hopefully, this will make us realize how alike we are, rather than to drive us further apart.
The picture. See it, photograph it. Unlike yesterday’s picture, this image needed nothing right out of the camera. I did add a little glow to it to make it a little more gauzy and romantic.
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Music. We have so much music that we couldn’t listen to it all in a lifetime. But, I’m finding music that I’d forgotten about. Now, that’s really cool.
I didn’t know that when I photographed the Japonica trees a day or two ago that it would be my last chance. Normally the flowers would last another two or three weeks. But, we had a pretty bad storm this afternoon. Not only did we get a lot of rain, but we also had a lot of hail.
The hail knocked off about 95% of the Japonica’s flowery petals. I’m glad that I photographed the fully blooming trees when I did. Now THAT’S photographers luck.
The best thing about the storm is it that sits on the leading edge of a cold front. That’s good because the weather was starting to get a little too warm for this time of year. I like winter to feel like winter for more than a day.
The winds did something else.
They blew down the scaffolding at the yet to be completed Intercontinental Hotel near the river. Luckily, nobody got hurt, although a couple of cars were badly damaged. One was a taxi with passengers in the back. Once the riders got over the shock of having metal rain down upon them, they walked away without injuries.
As a friend of mine tweeted, “we are not so good at constructing tall buildings around here.”
Yesterday’s sunset was stellar. The sun was hidden by drifting clouds. And, then it wasn’t.
Right then, the Japonica (Japanese Magnolia) trees were lighted by wonderful late afternoon golden light. I was lucky. Ten minutes either way and I wouldn’t have seen this little bit of prettiness. I wouldn’t have been able to make this picture.
You make your own luck. That’s really what photographer’s luck is about. I see that as getting out of your chair and going outside. Not this time. I was outside. I saw the Japonica trees. They were in total shade. I turned around to keep walking and the light broke through. I wasn’t ready and it didn’t last. Then, the light broke through again. I was ready.
Writing this reminded me of something one of my mentors used to say about travel photography. Rather than chasing around trying to find stuff to shoot, and going to tourist sites, he’d find an interesting coffee house or a bar with a view outside. He’d sit there and wait until something interesting passed by. Then, he’d make pictures.
Sounds strange, yes?
I think he’d have some idea of what he was doing, being both a Magnum and a National Geographic photographer.
Try it. You might make the pictures of your dreams.
I have a friend in Milwaukee who was complaining because his four year old snow blower broke down yesterday. I have friends further east who were just waiting until the big snowstorm reached them. Even in Seattle, where the weather is fairly mild, the streets were tangled by snowfall.
Not down here. Oh no. Not down here in the swamp.
Instead, the temperature yesterday was in the mid to high 70s. The Japonicas are blooming. So are all sorts of new little buds. The squirrels are complaining. I’ve heard bird sounds that I’ve never heard in the past,
Not to worry. Today turned chilly. The rest of the week will be downright cold. Lows in the low 30s. At least cold for us.
Then, around the first week of May, things will heat up. NOLAHeat will come after us until October. If I could think of a place where we could spend our summer, we’d go there. But, every place is hot. Some air is dryer. Some air is moister. But, it’s still hot.
My neighbor suggested that we go to the beach. Do you have any idea how expensive it would be to stay for at least eight weeks? If I were going to the beach — which sounds very nice — I’d like to go to the ocean, not the gulf. I’d rather go to the Pacific, not the Atlantic. If course, beggars can’t be choosers.
Where would you go for a couple of months if you could?
Two days ago, the sky was muddy gray. There was rain in the air. It was, in a word, yucky. Then came yesterday. Wowzer! Beautiful cold air. The sky turned blue. The light was spectacular. It turned even better around dusk.
Cold. Like winter is supposed to be. But, not so cold that you didn’t want to be outside. What a show nature put on for us.
In case you are wondering, I’m ignoring the news. I suggest that you do it too. Besides, it’s Sunday. The New Orleans Saints are playing in the wild card game of the playoffs. What could be better?
Oh yeah. I’m not the biggest football fan. I am a big baseball fan. Only six weeks until the pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Then it starts. Soon after we’ll all be complaining about New Orleans Heat.
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.
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.
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.
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.