WELCOME TO BergiesPlace, MY PHOTO JOURNAL….

…of commentary and images of places, things, or events that I’ve photographed or remembered. On the right are posts from the past few months; click on one and you’ll be taken to it.  ALL earlier posts can be found by clicking here for an alphabetical index..  if If you’d like to get an automatic email whenever I add a post, simply click under Email Subscription at the lower left. You can always unsubscribe.
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In addition to the photographs here in my posts I maintain galleries from nineteen years of shooting digitally.  They are organized by topic and can be seen by clicking here.
 

WHAT I LEARNED FROM REGGIE WICKHAM

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Reggie Wickham was a distinguished photographer with an international reputation.   He was also a member of the South Jersey Camera Club and a contributor to our lives but we lost him in 2016.  Last year and again this year the club sponsored a show of black and white images to honor his work and his memory.  I submitted two images but only one got in.  I dunno why but that’s the way it is in judged shows.

The opening reception was held at the Hanson-Warner building gallery in Medford last Friday night.  Barbara and I went to see the show and to schmooze with friends and colleagues.   After visiting we slipped out before winners were announced and joined other friends for dinner nearby.  While there my phone rang;  Barbara scolded me for taking a call at dinner but the caller, my friend and colleague, Beth Jackson *, was letting me know I shouldn’t have left before winners were announced.  I had earned a second place award.  That’s unusual for me so I was somewhat speechless but certainly pleased.  Shortly, Beth appeared in the restaurant with a copy of the program which had my image on its cover.  Nice.  Here is the image that received the award:

Its title is Blow Down.  In Lancaster County’s Strasburg train yard they were readying this old engine for its daily work of hauling visitors through the farmland. They keep a banked fire burning all night so as to minimize the thermal stress of running cold to hot. Periodically they have to do a so-called blow-down which purges particles that accumulate as the water turns to steam.  It’s a dramatic sight and sound and I sensed it begin just as the engineer started to cross in front of the locomotive.  A once in a lifetime moment…Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment: “To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.

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*   May 18th:  This post originally said that the caller was the show chair, Pat Worley.  It wasn’t; it was Beth who also as noted above then brought me a copy of the program.  I apologize.  I claim old age, a Manhattan down, a lot of cheering (Beth-led) over the phone, Barbara on me about taking the call, and our other friends arriving for dinner.  Too much confusion and too much excitement, but thank you, Beth.

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Meanwhile, what did I learn from Reggie…..a principle of good composition.  Here’s that back story

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I was proud to know Reggie through the camera club and I enjoyed my interactions with him…except the first one.  That was the lesson moment.

Sometime around 2006 or 2007 I had joined the club and was submitting work in their monthly competitions.  One night I was pleased to win a second place with this image:

Wow!  Back lit, specular reflections, and lots of contrast; what could be better?  I thought it was pretty spiffy until Reggie came up to me and said “If I had been the judge I would have thrown out your image.”  What !?!  I was flabbergasted.  How could he say that about such a decisive moment image?  His answer:

“Your horizon     was      not      horizontal.”

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Lesson learned.  For ever ‘n ever.  Thank you, Reggie.

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For more on Reggie Wickham see this article.

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A SAMPLING OF MY 2017 WORK

As others do , I annually assemble a selection from my past year’s photography.  I go through all of my files for the year, and pick out those images that I particularly liked or that I thought were noteworthy.

Last year I started something new…a selection from the selection.  That was an effort to single out an even smaller set that I felt best characterized my work and its breadth.  That was a challenge but satisfying so here’s the story for 2017.

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Our lives generally restart with each new day.  I had already chosen this one for the set and thought it would be good to begin the post with a new day.  I am always drawn to back-lit scenes and specular reflections.  That’s what I saw here but I was also taken with the father and son doing some investigating at dawn.  The specular reflection also takes the eye diagonally across the image to the others walking the beach who anchor the scene in the corner .

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This is also a morning scene.  In this case it’s early enough that the morning dew hasn’t yet evaporated.  I’m fond of these beach roses and it was nice to come upon a bud just opening.

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I was fortunate to grab this shot while I was waiting around for a sunset scene to complete a summer day post.  Instead, the drama of the cloud shapes and their side-lighting drew my interest.  Then it was “Cue gull” and it flew in almost perfectly positioned. I’d have preferred it just a little more down to its right.  Notice also the cloud shadow coming in from lower left to upper right.  And (I’m sorry but I can’t resist it) the big cloud puff is in danger from the alligator cloud moving in on it.

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This is my fantasy arboretum.  It consists of a pebbled glass plate on which the artist painted tree trunks and birds and then glued on bits of crackled glass along with some larger tumbled pieces.  It attracted me because of its novelty and whimsy and because it’s pretty.  I actually photographed two of them together, one slightly to the right and in front of the other, and then blended them in Photoshop.

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This gathering is a favorite for several reasons.  First is the lighting coming in from our left which adds contrast to the scene, and it’s a warm morning light; second is the diagonal array of the terns and the shoreline which takes the eye well into the image to the anchoring trees at upper right; third, I like that the line of the waves parallels the beach and the birds; fourth, I always find these tern gatherings amusing.

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This scene is not on the beach!  It’s unusual for me but it’s a special for the year.  I had gone to Philadelphia to photograph a December festival of lights at Franklin Park which is located at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge from New Jersey.  I enjoyed all of that but this scene from the park grabbed my attention.  In the upper foreground is the sculpture of lightning honoring Benjamin Franklin.  In the lower foreground are the headlights of cars streaming past on 6th Street in front of the steps to the sculpture.  Behind the sculpture we see the traffic and towers of the bridge.  It’s the kind of scene that requires study and is well out of my landscape comfort zone.  Good!  My friend and colleague, Richard Lewis, described the scene as asymmetric symmetry, and I like that as well as the scene.

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Although I admit a predilection for foggy scenes this image earned its way into the selections for total effect. The four regressively dimming poles provide the eye’s path into the image.  That the poles’ direction is reversed in their reflections creates tension.  Although hard to see in this image there are two Ospreys perched on the third pole; grounded due to poor visibility.

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This image appeals to me.  It’s a statement about the darkness that says “End of season.  Go home.”  I like the sole foreground feature, the boat, and I see the horizon beyond the last marker as the end of the world.

(Never mind that the mainland is only a few miles over there.)

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We’re approaching the end of the day so a sunset or twilight is appropriate.  This is one of my all time favorites .  The colors and clouds are, of course, wonderful.  The shutter speed was slow because of the low light such that we see creamier water.  But the crowning touch was to have the Willets stroll in and settle there  for the 1.6″ of exposure.  Without them, nice but just another twilight on the beach.

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Finally, and at the end of the day, we had a special full moon in early December.  I set up the tripod and the long lens with extender and, yes, I got some nice shots of the moon which pretty much looked like every other moon shot in my files.  Then I wondered about the possibilities of this kind of shot.  It “grabs” me somehow.  I know that’s not definitive but … it’s mysterious and I’m drawn into the image.  I also like that next year’s buds were already formed and ready in December.  Consider it an early spring image.

~≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡~

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So, there you are; a special sampling of where I was in 2017, what I saw, what appealed to me, and what I captured.

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Thanks for reading and looking.  The rest of the year’s keepers are in this gallery.

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R&R ON SANIBEL ISLAND

Can I please direct your mind back to February?  Remember dark, cold days?  Sorry, but I’m a little behind in blogging and I’m just now getting caught up.

I acquired a severe bronchitis in late January.  I didn’t feel like doing anything, and dining on antibiotics and Robitussin certainly didn’t help.  I certainly lacked the will to pack and schlep sixty pounds of cameras and clothes or to hurtle my body through space for our annual Sanibel visit.  My Doctor, however, said I should go, and my daughter, Sigrid, offered to pack my bag.  What could  I do?

Well, it was worth it.  This guy welcomed us back.

 

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The next morning we found the beach already crowded.

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Well, now, what shall we do today?  First, breakfast on the porch, nodding hello to fellow guests as they strolled to and from the beach.  Then, some reading and where shall we go for lunch?  Depending on the tide, a daily ride on the wildlife drive around the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, a favorite spot.  Then it’s time for more reading and a nap.  Other after-lunch trips would be to favorite shops to discover what we didn’t need but liked.

We enjoyed a guest for a couple of nights, Clair W., a friend from home who was exploring Florida for the future.  On another day there was an annual lunch with our friend, Allyson M., from Beach Haven who winters on the island.  Lunch this year was around the Oasis Pool Bar at the Tween Waters Inn, a pleasure.  It was accompanied by a Pirate’s Treasure, fruit juice with something added, and you can see how all of this facilitated my recovery.

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Our daily trips through Ding Darling were not as productive as in past years but still a delight.  Hope springs etc. for the perfect grouping of Roseate Spoonbills but we didn’t see ANY this year.  Here’s a typical daily scene.  The crowding happens as the tide returns.  I have no idea what the two on the left had done to warrant their isolation, nor were they close enough to ask.  For  a full size version of this, click here.

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More reading, more napping.  Hey, how about a walk on the beach?  There we found this group of Ibises, marching into the sun.  (Colleagues: side lighting = more contrast.)  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells us they’re also seen in Cardinal Red; that would be exciting.  The opening image above is of a juvenile version still in browns.  Down at Forsythe we’ll see them shiny like an oil slick, and referred to as Iridescent or Glossy.

They were followed by the Wandering Willets.

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New to me this year were these Sandwich Terns, so named after the town of Sandwich in County Kent England where they were first discovered.  They’re smaller than their Royal Tern cousins and possess the yellow-tipped, black beak compared to their cousins’ stark, orange beak.   It  is said that they’re rare in Florida, seen after storms and in migration.

 

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Next, if it was Sunday, it was off to the outdoor jazz concert presented by a group of retired musicians: electronic guitars, a clarinet, a keyboard and an accordion, couple of different saxes, a set of traps and a couple of horns.  An informal but skilled group playing old music for old people.  Then back to the porch for some late afternoon reading interrupted by the tap-tapping of this woodpecker.  We’re told that the holes they create will eventually kill the tree.  Meanwhile its colors were great.

 

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Well, we killed another day.  Time to gather to salute the sunset.  Our go-to place, Beachview Cottages, is a collection of twenty-two, old-Florida cottages, spread on either side of a palm-lined drive from West Gulf Drive to the beach.  One of the cottages can be seen (red) at left.  “New” Florida in contrast can be seen looming behind us.  At the beach is this pavilion.  Many of the guests are also returnees and it’s a friendly group.  We all gather here at the end of the day to savor the day and the sunset.That’s Barbara on her phone at the left, ordering up some more ice.  😉

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Sunsets?  Oh, yeah.  It was on its way when I “saw” this scene which stole my heart.  We know there’s a sunset off to the right but this is a softer capture and much more of a statement about life on Sanibel Island.

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Finally, the real thing, further enhanced with some Sanderlings and sun-reflecting wavelets and beach.  Can you wonder why I reserved for next year before we even left?

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A WHITE SPRING

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Snow in March shouldn’t be a surprise although it’s more typically in the first half.  Witness the almost annual Flower Show storms.  But a biggy coming the day after spring officially begins is pushing things.  So…live with it and enjoy whatever part of it you can.  I did.

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It had been hard at it all day, now rain, now sleet but finally, stormy snow.  At 11:00 at night it was still at it.  It demanded my camera’s attention which, unfortunately, meant I had to go out there as well.  A lot of my shots didn’t measure up to what my eye saw but this one certainly made a statement.

Stupid old man; out here in just a sweater.  Nog! Genug! Basta! Ya está bien!  Ca suffit.  And that was it for the experiments.

But the next morning?  Ahhh, a different story.  I have quoted the distinguished Bob Krist before in this blog, “If you want to take more interesting pictures go to more interesting places.”  (He does, for e.g. National Geographic Traveler.)  Well, it occurred to me that your own world is a greatly different place after a snow storm so get out and shoot.

I looked out at it and knew I should be out there but the drifts looked a little intimidating.  What the hell, my “Help, I’m in a snowdrift.” button works all over the campus so, boots on, out I went.

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The first steps were easy before I headed for the woods.  It was a good thing that Sigrid had put up my spring wreath.  Otherwise, the snow might have come right inside.

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But, into the woods!  I had wondered how it would be on the Red Trail under a bower of snow-laden branches.  It was mesmerizing, and there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Other things seen along the trail.

Buds ready to swell.

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Need a rest break?

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More Ice in the Pines.

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Looks as though the sun will break through.

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Wait.  It seems as though the trail is leading back home.  And to breakfast.

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Thus endeth the snow walk.  Back home again and with a golden hint of spring insisting on moving in.  Hurry!

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ANOTHER FLOWER SHOW MOVES ON

The Hort (The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society) has announced that over 250,000 people toured last week’s 2018 Flower Show.  Why did they all come on the same day I went?  Maybe it was payback for last year when I went on the snow day and counted only nine others in the entryway exhibit.  The annual Flower Show storm was scheduled for Wednesday so I and the other 249,999 people went on Tuesday.  Oh, well, it was worth it.  The entryway exhibit was eye-filling and breathtaking.

It was a huge structure around and over us, the upper part built of bamboo supported on steel pipes made to look like bamboo.  It took me back to our China trip many years ago in which we saw that all construction was created within a scaffolding of bamboo, even ten and twenty story buildings.  The structure was laden with plant material, most in sphagnum moss containers but with isolated specimens in water-filled glass tubes.  The color and texture were magnificent but….but….it was the sound of the tropical rain forest birds and other creatures that brought it home, almost to the extent of my thinking maybe I should keep my cap on.

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The imagination in the design of the entryway exhibit continued on into the show.  I thought that the other exhibits were well designed and well executed.  There were even — hold it — a lot of flowers on display.  (I’ve knocked it in the past for paucity of blooms).  The tulips were there from Holland, always a pleasure.

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And orchids galore; they were all through the rain garden exhibit as well as here and there in individual exhibits.

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But, the art in the exhibits……

This was an arrangement of hanging glass globes with orchids inside of them.

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There must have been a sale on the glass globes.  Here was a cascading arrangement that made me think of Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Park.

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The show’s theme this year was “Wonders of Water.”  Here was a fine example: a backyard lighted pool enjoying a gentle rainfall.

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Another suggestion of water: a series of multicolored pipes hanging from the ceiling suggesting a rain shower.

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Finally, a perfect suggestion of water: a rain barrel, catching the runoff from the rain forest.

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I loved the show.  I also enjoyed the Hamilton Horticourt which features members’ specimens in competition.  I thought that the lighting was the best I can remember and that the arrangement of categories was pleasant. A knock, as I’ve mentioned before, the Hort has taken over (my guess) about a fourth of the display area to flog their own wares… plants, gardening and show-related items.  It’s nice stuff but I can’t help but think about the ticket price paid, in part, to walk through their store.  That space has, in the past, been useful for garden clubs and landscapers to exhibit their capabilities.

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WHERE’S BERGIE BEEN?

A friend recently noted my absence from this blog; my last post was January 9th.  Well, life gets hectic; acute bronchitis comes along; a recuperation on Sanibel becomes necessary (I know, tough).  My old PC monitor died and a wrestling match ensued with a new 4K resolution monitor; it turns out that legacy apps may not have kept up with the technology and so their menus are tiny on screen.  The only one I’ve found that I coudn’t fix is my last version of Photoshop, CS6, so it’s live with the fine print or surrender to CC, Photoshop in the cloud.

Struggling.

Other obligations become backed up.  Only today did the Christmas train platform come down.

And there’s also always an issue about coming up with new material but I think I’ve got a backlog now.

Please, stay tuned.

ICE IN THE PINES

My backyard is bounded by woods along Sharps Run, forming part of the perimeter of Medford Leas.  Most of the woods is evergreens and much of that is white pine.  Last night’s mix of rain and sleet enjoyed settling on the pine needles.  It certainly wasn’t my plan to be out there this morning but there you are.

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I was pleased with my results but I kept seeing slightly different points of view so ……

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Here’s an overview that made me think of a mummer’s costume.

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A winter version of a Cleome or a Spider Mum.

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The sun finally rose above the rooftops on the left, and it will make short work of the iceing.

Good.  Back to breakfast.

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On the way in, not a pine tree branch but, nevertheless, asking for my camera’s attention.

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AU REVOIR NOËL

For many years now I have found Christmas to be anti-climactic. For weeks there is the buildup – – – the decorating, the holiday parties, the music, the final preparation of gifts, and the gathering of family and friends for Christmas dinner.  Then …  Then ?

So now it’s the day after and for me it’s a let-down.  Back to pedestrian reality.  Part of the therapy is to review all of the pleasant and fun events of the buildup.  One that came to mind was Medford’s Dickens Night.  We haven’t been able to go for six years because I was involved in an annual craft show the same day.  When we did get there it was a wonderful evening.

This year we went back but couldn’t see much of the traditional charm because the street was lined with food tents and crafters’ tents.  “You can’t go home again.”

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On Christmas Eve morning I was starting to feel some of the let-down so I decided that I needed to go to the city to see and photograph people and color and signs of Christmas.  Off I went on a sparsely occupied High Speed Line …. but pleased to find that my fellow riders included lots of children headed for some center-city excitement.

After arrival in the city I decided to go into Macy’s to find the schedule for their light show.  Instead, I found one in process.  Since it had already started, I wound up well in the back but that was OK as I’ve surely seen it off and on since the early 60’s.  Instead I concentrated on other views and enjoyed the process.  My view was blocked by an arch but it was decorated and so became a sample of everything.

The most exciting part of the show was, after its conclusion, to run into Bobby and Sigrid and grand-daughters Maddy and Gretchen.  We even concluded that we had come in on the same train.  They invited me along for their Christmas Eve wanderings but I demurred as I had photographing in mind.  Here was my final shot at Macy’s, taken after the crowd had dispersed.  That eagle has been coming there even longer than me.

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These two shots, however, reminded me of another pleasure several years ago when I captured the Philadelphia Boys Choir at a morning rehearsal before the light show was turned on.

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Outside of Macy’s the show windows were Christmasy and colorful.  Here’s one which included a replica of City Hall.

Nahhh.  That’s a reflection but I liked the combination.

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Then a walk through City Hall.  I had done the west area a couple of weeks ago so this time I exited towards north Broad Street.  This tree at the entrance was attractive.

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From there I walked a couple of blocks east to the Reading Terminal Market, always a favorite.  The market was busy, busy, busy.  I wondered around for a while and then settled in with a PHILADELPHIA Cheese Steak.  It can not be more authentic.  Everyone seemed in a good mood.  After lunch, more wandering including a favorite, the produce area.  A box of Driscoll’s strawberries was about 40% less than at ShopRite and my dazzling personality brought me another 10% off without my asking.  For that she got a “Merry Christmas” and I got an additional smile.  My last stop was at the Pennsylvania General Store for a box of Asher’s dark chocolate salted caramels.  See what I mean about reviewing pleasant events?

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CHANGE OF SUBJECT BUT STILL CHRISTMAS

This week an older image of mine resurfaced as shared on F/B.  It is some photoshoppery of a fisherman’s or hunter’s shack which marked the entrance to Long Beach Island for many years.  Even before its disappearance in Hurricane Sandy, it had become an icon.  It celebrated one’s arrival for vacation and added poignancy when leaving at the end of vacation.  One year I enhanced an image as more of a winter scene and added a Christmas Tree that lives in several of my images.  I subsequently sold many copies at craft shows and a couple of years ago I uploaded it to the Remember When Long Beach Island F/B page.

The original image was made in February, 2005, and the foreground snow was there.  In 2008 I replaced the sky with the gradient blue fill, and added the falling snow effect and the Christmas Tree.  I had captured the tree at the Pittsburgh Winter Garden in 2001.

Well, it has resurfaced and has accumulated over five hundred “Likes” along the way.  That makes for a warm feeling.

And, it helps one get past that anti-climactic feeling.

Merry Christmas for yesterday and for the future!

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P.S.  For more of my peripatetic Christmas Tree, click here.

 

 

THE RETURN OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE

Today at 11:28 AM marks the occurrence of the winter solstice. Its Latin roots are sol and stit or sun stopped. As a practical matter the sun appears to have moved as far south as it ever goes and will now start its journey back north. Tomorrow there will be two more seconds of daylight.  Phew! What a relief. However, even so, it’s going to take a few months to warm up again.

Cold or not it’s a beautiful time of the year but, come on, it can also be a little hectic. Sometimes it whirls by in a swirl of color and that helps make the short bleak cold days tolerable.

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The little figures above were as seen by my Lensbaby Composer Pro lens. Sometimes it gives the effect of too much partying but I like what it does. The little figures were in a stand at Philadelphia’s Christmas Market in Love Park near City Hall. It’s always fun to wander amongst the families enjoying the scene with its Weinachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) character.

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Elsewhere in the area, in Dilworth Park Garden just west of the City Hall building we found an enchanting America’s Garden Capital Maze. A half dozen of these big guys were watching over everything and I thought they were a great contrast with the downtown center-city buildings.

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Still in the Christmas Market area I came across this artist who created animals from heated colored glass rods. Seen again through the eye of my Lensbaby lens there is an aura of 10,000 B.C. to it all.

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We’ve been blessed with two decorative snow storms. They’re decorative in that traffic didn’t get snarled and they didn’t have much impact, and lingering warmth disposed of them pretty quickly. While they last the results are magical and fit our northern concept of Christmas. Here was my view of my friends’ nearby town house, that of Valerie and Dick C. They always enhance their place with decoration and lights, both inside and outside, and it adds to our life.

On a snowy night, perfect.

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After the snow my late wife Marty Lou’s crafty snowman looked good and felt at home. Marty and three of her buds would get together in December and make a Christmas Craft. They started here with a clear glass lamp chimney and painted it white. The get-outta-here felt hat is pinned up in front with a tiny sleigh bell. On the rim is a cardinal’s nest and miscellaneous grasses. There’s also some mistletoe berries and a tiny ceramic ginger bread man on the back of the rim. A plaid scarf protects against a sore throat, and the nose is a painted slash.

Sadly, of those four crafty ladies only one is still with us. I look forward to the annual reappearance of the little snow man. Christmas as a family event refreshes memories of family and friends who have left us. This year that includes Miss Pearl who I lost last December.  I miss her very much.

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HAS CHRISTMAS ARRIVED IN MY TOWN HOUSE?

You bet!  Too many traditions to ignore. First, my 86th Christmas Tree. I don’t remember the first three or four. Frankly, there are lots of others that I might not specifically remember, but I do remember the concepts and isolated memories of Christmases past. Notably, the $2.00 Charley Brown tree from our salad days in the early 70’s. This year’s tree is beautiful, loaded as always with ornaments from over the years including some from my grandparents’ trees. Age? I don’t know, but my parents married in 1918 and probably had their first tree that year.

Barb and I decorated mine last Saturday and we applied the tinsel one strand at a time as my childhood friend, Bimmie W. trained me to do.

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Elsewhere Christmas has cropped up in my living room. The Snow Village houses have appeared on the top of the china cabinet and on top of my wall unit. The houses and trains of my youth are on the shelves of the wall unit. One of the centerpieces which Sigrid made for our recent joint (Barbara and me) birthday party is on my coffee table. A basket of tree ornaments is on the little side table between the two chairs, and crystal and pressed glass pieces are on the dining table and on the coffee table. With the candles lit it is festive.

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A BEVELED GLASS PANEL

Finally, I tackled and completed another beveled glass panel this fall. It doesn’t say Christmas but it will be a long-requested gift. Details and construction are seen here (scroll to the bottom) on my Stained Glass page.  Tho not specifically a Christmas theme, it is a warm inviting window panel for the holidays.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS OR A HAPPY HOLIDAY

TO ALL OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS

AND A HAPPY, PROSPEROUS AND HEALTHY 2018

 

AROUND THE SUN AGAIN

As Sigrid pointed out yesterday, today I begin another trip around the sun.  That’s eighty-five completed, in the course of which the sun has rolled around me 31,046 times (counting leap years), and here it came again.

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That’s eighty-five years of family..

———- Grandparents Louella and William

—————– Parents Rebecca and LeRoy

———————— Siblings Betty Ann and Bill

——————————– Dear late wife and friend of forty-eight years, Marty Lou

—————————————— Dear daughters Kirsten and Sigrid, and son-in-law Bob

————————————————— Dear Grand Daughters Madeline and Gretchen

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and eighty-five years of friends ..

———- Old ones and, amazingly, still acquiring new ones

—————— And special friend,  dear Barbara

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My deep appreciation to all of that which inspires me and of which I am in awe and by which I am deeply moved…

Great music, great landscapes, the profound mysteries of life’s recurrence, the sea in all of its moods,

and the universe in all of its magnificence.

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 “Flow, flow, flow, the current of life is ever onward.”  –  Kobo Daishi, 774-835 A.D.

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And my deep appreciation to all those who have befriended me and from whom I have learned and by whom I have been comforted.

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Good Morning to another day of this grand adventure!

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THE HOLIDAYS APPROACH

As color and light fade in nature’s seasonal transition other sources come to the rescue.  Peddler’s Village at Lahaska, PA has done a great job at this.  I deliberately arrived late afternoon so I’d be there when the lights were turned on.  It was a pleasant afternoon with a crisp wind blowing, lots of holiday merchandise to see, and families enjoying the scene.  It was a festival for phone cameras but when some noticed my tripod and camera I was asked if I would take their family picture.  Of course. One young woman even asked if she could pay me to do it.  Wow, a new alternative to my paper route.  In between such excitements I captured some scenes.  Here’s one example:

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Another show for the season was the opening of the Electrical Spectacle show of lights in Philadelphia’s Franklin Square Park.  I have avoided their shows because the park is not convenient to mass transit.  This time, however, I forced myself:  the Patco High Speed line to 8th and Market and then only a ten minute walk to the park.  Here was my reward:

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Continuing with holiday color, a couple of years ago I first noticed some glass boxes filled with LEDs.  I decided I could do that as well and so made three boxes for family and a friend  last Christmas which can be seen here.  I ran out of steam on the project so one didn’t get made for me.  This past fall at a craft show I saw some lanterns in which the clear glass sides had been replaced with colored glass and then the lantern had been filled with lights.  I had such a lantern and I had seen some striking glass on the Facebook page for Macie Art Glass and  managed to buy the last two pieces they had.  Here’s the result.

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But nature’s work isn’t quite finished.  While having coffee in the sunroom one recent morning my eye was caught by sparkling in the nearby trees.  While I haven’t copied Morse code for years I made out that the signal was “Get your camera and get out here.”  The elves had hung diamonds in the trees.  Here’s one in which you can see the capture of the rising sun and the adjacent meadow and trees.  Thank you, nature.

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And speaking of my sunroom I did some redecorating there this fall.  On a house tour last summer I was in the new home of an artist friend, Andrea P.  In her studio I saw a clever way to display smaller matted prints.  They were resting on narrow shelves which included a slot for the bottom edge of the mat, and a lip to further prevent slippage.  I learned that they had found them at Ikea, a perfect destination for this Swede so Barbara and I headed there and found them.  Typically for Ikea they have a weird name, Mosslanda, but they’re perfect for the job.  To top it off we brought home some Swedish meatballs with lingonberry preserves.

I planned out the wall and then Sigrid, my decorator among other things, amended my vision.  Then, as my back was feeling its age Sigrid did the heavy work to get the installation started and I finished the easy parts.  Add to that the upper wall of Beach Haven and Sanibel prints and I am content until spring.

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Returning to nature’s compositions I recently walked out the front door and found the walkway blocked by a massive spider web.  It was anchored between a bush on the left, and the roof of the  garage about nine feet away.  The early sun was playing with the web strands and the morning dew.  Behind it, the fading color of some fall hydrangeas.  My compliments to the spider.

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For my closing color I chose this piece of blown and molded glass.  I photographed this at the October Festival of Fine Crafts at Wheaton Arts.  This is an annual “must-attend” show for me as it is consistently a show of up-scale, quality craft work.  I think it’s the best that I attend anymore.

I thought others might enjoy this piece, the kind of thing my late wife, Marty Lou, used to call “a pretty”.

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