Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

June 30, 2013

June Photo Hunt Thingy

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:08 pm
Tags: , , ,

I noticed when I was popping around visiting many of your blogs this month that I often had a hard time deciding what name with which to reference the June photo hunt. Was it a photo hunt? Sure. Was it my creation? No. The fine ladies over at iHeartFaces call it a “challenge”. I took their challenge and tweaked it to my liking. I ended up calling it a photo “thingy” or some variation of that when I left a comment on some of your blogs – hence the title of my blog post showcasing what I ended up doing with the iHeartFaces photo challenge.

These photos are in no particular order as far as the way the dates were listed out in the original challenge. I plopped photos that I liked together in collages. Yup, that’s my technical term: “plopped”.

finalcollage5

finalcollage2

finalcollage1

finalcollage3

finalcollage4
I thought this last one could use a little explaining. The top left is Meghan getting a hug from her high school principal during the graduation ceremony – sorry for the blurriness, all my photos from that night are pretty blurry. The bottom photo is the hall where we had Meghan’s graduation party. The upper right is one of the well-deserved beverages I had after setting up that party! :-)

I ended up doing 20 of the original 30 prompts (21 if you include the “selfie” in the post when I announced this photo thingy). How did you do? I’m looking forward to coming around and seeing your photos.

June 1, 2013

Hearts ‘n’ Flowers

Wow, it is June already! This is going to be a crazy busy month around here with prom, graduation, recital, and the end of school all coming up. I was trying to think about a photo hunt for this month since everyone enjoys them so much, but I also didn’t know if I could really do it with everything else that is happening this month. I was on Facebook today when I found an idea.

Monthly-Photo-Challenge-I-Heart-Faces-1-Photo-30-Days

The fine ladies over at I Heart Faces posted this interesting photo challenge over on their page. If you click that link, you can read about all the different ways you can participate in their photo challenge. There is a great variety, and rules are pretty loosey-goosey: participate as much or as little as you like. Do it every day, once a week or whatever you’d like.

So here is what I am proposing to you: since the nice keepers of the web page said we could feel free to share their graphic so that lots of people could participate, I’m inviting you to play along with them and/or with me. Choose as many or as few of these words that you’d like to photograph. Make one big post or as many smaller posts as you would like, following the dates the ladies layed out or not, and leave me a link in the comments of this post. If you wish to participate with the I Heart Faces folks, check out the directions in the link above. I’ll make the deadline for posting links to my blog July 1st, in case you’d like to do the day-by-day challenge.

Playing along with the photos of the day, here’s a picture of me from a day when it was NOT 90 degrees outside like it is today:
highlights1
I have no idea how much I will keep up with this challenge myself – I’m going to try to do as many as possible, but I’m sure there will be some days when it just won’t happen.
I’ve also got some more flowers in bloom to share with you.
lily of the valley
Lily of the Valley
bearded iris
Bearded Iris
iris almost open
Nearly open iris
English daisy
English daisy
evening primrose
Evening Primrose
foxglove
Foxglove
I hope you’ll let me know what you think about the I Heart Faces photo challenge. Have fun!

May 22, 2013

A Plethora of Photographic Passion

Contrary to how it may seem, I really have been thinking about Scott Thomas’s current photography assignment “Your Photography Passion”. Scott posted some interesting articles concerning the subject and mentioned that there are really two ways interpret this idea: what you are passionate about photographing or representing your passions with photography. Two really different ideas, that I think could also overlap. Hmmm, a challenge if I ever heard one.

I believe the first interpretation of the idea is the simpler one for me. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you have probably noticed that I love photographing the details of nature. Flowers are usually a very congenial photography subject, and I love taking their pictures, and if at all possible, taking the pictures to a different level either literally or figuratively. Let me try to show you what I mean with some of my favorite photos from the past.
Fuschia
crazy poppy
sunny sunflowers (2)
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More recently, I’ve become more passionate about improving my bird photography. Last year, I started attempting to keep a “life list” of the birds I’ve seen, and I’m always trying to identify the birds I may not know or get a picture of one I’ve never photographed before. I’ve been especially passionate about getting pictures of the tiniest and largest birds in my area: hummingbirds and hawks.
hummingbird edit
hawk1
And I sure spend a lot of time taking bird photos on vacation too:
Blue Heron 4
snowy plover
But what if “passion” is defined as those things that we choose to find or make the time in our lives for? Of course I am passionate about my family, but I believe that is natural and not necessarily definable as a “passion” in this instance. So what else do I make the time for in my life because it is important to me?
In this sense of the word, I think dance would qualify.
Picture Fall, Day 12
I make the time for those few hours a week of exercise and socialization and learning and fun.
My garden would qualify too, I think, since it certainly isn’t a necessity in today’s world and why the heck would we gardeners go to all this trouble if we weren’t passionate about it?
P5292323
I am perhaps most passionate about one of the more elusive facets of my life:
Hills Beach Mosiac
The beach and the ocean are the place where I find myself most at peace. Breathing the air and feeling the sand and the salt and the sun bring me to a special place within myself, in all likelihood, the closest I will ever find myself to a zen-like place if I am using that term correctly.

Thank you, Scott, for a very thought-provoking photo assignment!

May 4, 2013

Wrapping Up Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , , , ,

IMG_9657
It has taken me a week to do it, but I am back with a little wrap of the Color Photo Hunt! I’d say I was slacking, but I really haven’t been. I’ve been taking pictures and working outside and reveling in the fact that spring has really, truly arrived. My usual Saturday morning ritual of catching up with all of you over a cup of coffee was even put on hold for a visit to the garden center. Another blog post relating to that is still to come, but let me get on with the wrap-up!

Robin jumped in right away with a post about the color purple. She found a stunning variety of shots to showcase in purple. I don’t think she had to hunt too hard for her beautiful collection!

Joanne, my inspiration for this photo hunt, also brought us a lovely variety of photos of purple. Her purple Australian sunset is amazing! Joanne also includes the psychology of purple. Joanne has been delving into the psychology of colors, so I am happy to add a link to another post she did about blue. I just love the shot of the misty morning in this one.

Kathy found it pretty much impossible to choose one color to which she is drawn, so she chose them all! ROYGBIV is her favorite. I still remember learning that mnemonic device for the order of the colors of the rainbow when I was a child. Click here to have some fun checking out Kathy’s post!

Stacy did a color that many of us probably would not have considered when thinking about the colors that we are drawn to – she chose brown. For anyone who loves nature, this is really a perfect choice when you think about it!

Isa hadn’t even realized I had posted a photo hunt, but she happened to pop over and see my post and kindly asked if she could include a link to a recent post of hers about the color green. I said, “Mais bien sûr!” (French for “but of course!”) Well, I didn’t actually say that but I wish I had been witty like that at the time! Isa has a pretty collection of shots to remind us in those days without much color, that spring will someday arrive.

It wasn’t too hard to figure out what color Sybil would choose when it came to this challenge, even though she did try to trick us! If there is one blogger that I read that is a more hard-core gardening lover than me, it has to be Sybil, so her color naturally had to be green! I still remember Sybil’s response to Scott’s “Winter” photo challenge because it made me laugh and I totally agree.

Dawn was totally right when she said that I posted a photo hunt about color at a time when a lot of color was not easy to come by for those of us in the northern climes. But a color hunt would have been too easy in the middle of summer, wouldn’t it, Dawn? Dawn wracked her brain and came up with some beauties to feature about the color red and the joy that often goes with it.

Carol is another who had trouble choosing just one color to present in her photo hunt. She talked about neutrals, and burgundy and green, and gave us a nice peek into her life. I love blog posts that give us those little peeks, don’t you?

Indecisive bloggers turned out to be quite common in this photo hunt! But you know I’ve never been a stickler for the so-called “rules”. Sonali’s lovely post starts with a beautiful burst of yellow, which I thought was going to be her color choice, but she went on to present a pretty variety of colors.

Apparently I made Tamara worry that she wouldn’t get her post in on time! (Tamara – see that part in the last paragraph about me not being a stickler for rules, LOL!) Tamara is another lover of purple and has a sweet post presenting her favorites.

If you happened to miss my post (but probably not since I haven’t post anything else in a week, I’m guessing!) it was completely in the pink!
IMG_9651

I’m glad so many of you jumped in and enjoyed this photo hunt. I thank Joanne one more time for the inspiration. I can’t promise it with any regularity, but I will try to come up with a few more photo hunts in the future, oh, I don’t know, maybe when I feel like it? ;-)

April 28, 2013

My Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

Hello  everyone!  I can’t believe it has been two weeks already since I posted the color photo hunt post and that I haven’t posted anything in between!  Spring has definitely arrived to this part of the world and I’ve found myself quite busy with all of the spring yard work that goes along with it!  I had a birthday a couple days ago as well, and toss in all of the everyday life stuff and I just haven’t had the chance to be here at the computer.  I feel like I have lots to write about, but since today is my deadline for the photo hunt, I will get on with telling you about my color.

I have always been  drawn to the color pink in all of its varying shades.  Heck, I even love the artist who calls herself Pink!  I think she’s a fabulous singer.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ve seen pictures of my kitchen and dining room.  Ever notice the color theme that runs through both?
IMG_3994

IMG_6716

When I received a Kindle this past Christmas, I ordered a case for it. Here’s the color:
kindle case

With spring busting out all over, it was time for me to start putting my feet in my favorite style of shoes – sandals! But you can’t wear sandals without first getting a pedicure, right?
pink pedi

And you knew there would be flowers didn’t you? Could there really be a spring blog/photo hunt about color from me without flowers?
unknown pink tree blossom

hyacinth

birthday bouquet
(I bought myself a bouquet on my birthday!)

Here in New England, magnolia trees are blooming like crazy this time of year. They are simply gorgeous. I don’t have one of my own, and I envy all of the yards I see with these beautiful trees. I drove around town looking for one where I could take pictures without stepping into someone’s yard, then found one at our public library. I took these shots on my birthday, which just happened to be about as lovely a day as you could ask for.
magnolia 1

magnolia 2

magnolia 3

magnolia 4

I found a webpage with the psychology of pink. Here are my favorite lines from that page:
“The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. It relates to unconditional love and understanding, and the giving and receiving of nurturing. Pink is feminine and romantic, affectionate and intimate, thoughtful and caring. Pink is intuitive and insightful, showing tenderness and kindness with its empathy and sensitivity.” If you’d like to read more, click here.

I hope you all enjoyed this photo hunt! It is not too late to jump in! You can post all day today, and if you’d like more time to be included, just drop me a comment to let me know. I’m looking forward to coming around to see all of your wonderful color posts! I’m hoping to do that later today, and to write a wrap-up post in a few days.

April 13, 2013

Colors of Your World

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 10:40 am
Tags: , , ,

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(from April 2011 archives)
As so often happens to me when I am making my way around the blogosphere visiting all of you, I got inspired this morning. This time my inspiration came from Joanne at Home Life Online and this post of hers.
IMG_7703
(from April 2012 archives)

I’d like to use Joanne’s lovely post as the basis for a photo hunt. Many of you mentioned in the comments of my last post how much you enjoyed the photo hunts that I’ve posted in the past. I fell out of the habit in recent months, but Joanne’s post got me thinking. So here’s what I am proposing: Choose a color that you are drawn to. Post at least 3 photos (can be more if you like!) that feature this color in some way. Tell me what it is that draws you to this color. If you’d like, take it a step further and do a little research like Joanne did and find out some of the psychology of your chosen color.
IMG_0575
(from August 2010 archives)

I’m going to post a deadline of Sunday, April 28th for this photo hunt, but you know how I am about deadlines – it is more of a loose goal than a firm commitment. If you want to participate and you need more time, just let me know. As we have done in the past, leave me a link to your post in the comments of this post and I will do a wrap up post a few days after the deadline. It would be great if you could help me spread the word about this photo hunt to your own blog readers so that we can have lots of participation. Thanks, and I hope you have fun with your chosen color!

March 18, 2013

Stripping Away the Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

When Scott announced his photography assignment for this month, I wasn’t sure I would participate. Black and white photography!I thought to myself, oh dear, not a favorite for me.
For me photography is all about color – yes, composition and subject are huge parts too, but I just didn’t know if I could find any of my photos that would be interesting enough to present in black and white. I don’t react well to black and white photography as a general rule. I’ve had this pre-conceived notion in my head that black and white is always moody.
However, to show my support of Scott’s tenacity for bringing us new assignments every other month ( I know how much work it is to write those wrap-ups from when I did the photo hunts), I decided to peruse my archives to see if I could find some shots of interest. I believe I still like these photos better in color, but I can see some appreciation of the subtleties of black and white as well.
In this first picture, Meghan had asked me to take a picture of her in an arebesque on pointe so that she could use it for an art project.
b&wmeg
In removing the color from this photo, I noticed shadows both on the walls and in the mirrors that I hadn’t seen in the color version. I think that adds some interesting movement to the shot that wasn’t in the color one. The Christmas decorations still hanging on the walls are little less emphasized in the black and white version as well.

For this photo, it occurred to me that Teddy could make a good subject for black and white photography since he is really a study in contrasts to begin with.
b&wteddy
Teddy has a truly expressive face, and at times it is quite comical, but black and white seems to bring an unusually sorrowful look to his usually clown-like face.

I chose to include this last shot in the black and white assignment because when I originally posted it in color in the “What Winter Means to Me” assignment, my mother happened to comment on how much she liked the “black and white” photo of my backyard! There was very little color in the original, so I decided to see what it would look like completely stripped away.
b&wyard
The photos don’t look extremely different, but I think the black and white looks more like bad weather is imminent.

For a transitional month, so lacking in natural color, this black and white assignment turned out to be one that I could work with afterall! I am, however, very much looking forward to the colors of spring!

Scott’s assignment isn’t due until this Wednesday the 20th if you think you’d like to join in!

January 21, 2013

What does winter mean to me? (and a little mystery too!)

Filed under: For the Birds,Photo assignments — Karma @ 10:14 am
Tags: , , , ,


If you ask me how I feel about winter in general, “Grumpy Cat” does a good job of expressing my feelings! (You’ve all seen Grumpy Cat around the internetz by now, right?)

I generally don’t like being cold, dealing with poor driving conditions, having the wind whip across my face or feeling like my nose has frozen shut when I step outside. I am a summer girl at heart, as I have expressed many times here on the blog. So when Scott proposed this month’s assignment on winter, I felt a bit like Grumpy Cat up there.

However, having lived in Massachusetts my entire life, even I can appreciate some of the simple beauties and offerings of wintertime.

My backyard does have a tendency to look a bit like a Currier and Ives painting after a fresh snow fall:
snowy backyard

Although I’ve pictured them many times here on the blog, a blog about winter has to include my two goofball dogs loving the snow:
golden retriever loves snow!

collie face full of snow

Winter time sometimes also means an afternoon hot coffee break. Curling up on a cold afternoon with a cup fresh from the Keurig and a biscotti for dipping can be a nice way to warm up:
coffee break
(like my cute teacher-cat mug?)

I enjoy bird watching all year round, but I have a tendency to fill the feeders and watch and enjoy the birds more in the winter (especially since there are no flowers to take pictures of!):
chickadee at birdfeeder

Birdwatching on this particular day brought me the answer to a mystery I’ve been trying to solve for years now. I took this picture of this adorable little brown bird sitting in the rhododendron right outside my window:
carolina wren
and set out to identify it afterwards. It was about the size of a sparrow but didn’t look exactly like most of the sparrows around here. I went to my go-to birding site, Cornell’s All About Birds and started searching. I found what I believe to be a match, a Carolina Wren. Now here’s the mystery part. For years, my husband and I have been joking about a bird call. One day he said to me, “I wish that bird’s girlfriend would answer him! Can you hear him calling ‘JudyJudyJudy’?” Then the call seemed to change slightly and I said, “Hey, I think she’s finally answering – it sounds like she’s saying ‘JimmyJimmyJimmy’!” And hence began the saga of Jimmy and Judy. One of us would often say “I think Jimmy and Judy are having a fight!” or “I wonder where Jimmy and Judy are today?”

Throughout all this bird-calling, I was never able to identify Jimmy or Judy. I’d see a little flit of a brown bird pass through the yard, but could never quite make out exactly what the bird looked like. Now the Cornell website includes typical bird calls for help in bird identification. While identifying the Carolina Wren the other day, I clicked on the bird call and guess what? “JudyJudyJudy,JimmyJimmyJimmy” played out from my computer speakers! Mystery solved!

Thanks again for the photo assignment Scott!

December 31, 2012

My Favorite Photos of 2012

Since I started blogging in 2010, I’ve done a wrap-up of my favorite photos of the year.  They aren’t always my more “technically” good photos, but photos I’ve come to enjoy for one reason or another.  I believe these photos have all appeared on the blog already this year, but that is because I am always anxious to share my favorites with you!  The photos that follow are in chronological order approximately one for each month of the year, but in one case I didn’t find anything I liked all that much in a month (February) and for April and July I couldn’t make up my mind between two shots, so you get them both for a baker’s dozen total.

In January, I was finally able to get a close-up shot of a Mr. Cardinal that made me happy:
mrcardinal3

In March, I felt lucky to grab this shot of a soaring hawk, with feathers strongly defined:
hawk1

In April, I went on and on about one of my favorite vacations of all time, the cruise we took. Meghan and Sarah, first day on the ship and taken with my Blackberry, remains a favorite:
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There were so many beautiful sights from the cruise, but I wanted to share a shot that I love for its simplicity:
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The warm, turquoise Carribbean water brings me back to those precious days when there was little to worry about and happy memories were being made.

May brought me a picture of one of my favorite types of flowers, a bearded iris, that I was very pleased with how it came out. It was the header picture here on the blog until very recently:
IMG_8033

Ah, June! The end of the school year, the start of my favorite season. Yummy raspberries are a nice representation of the many good parts of summer.
fresh raspberries

July is the month when my butterfly bushes start going wild and bring many winged visitors. This monarch was one of my best butterfly shots this year:
King of butterflies

I just love this photo of Sarah from her birthday party. Her braces had been removed and her smile was big and genuine:
Sarah1

As part of a photo hunt that everyone really seemed to enjoy, the “Ends of the Earth”, I took this photo in August from our little mountain here in town:
mountain2

In September, my summer dreams faded away with the weather. This dahlia reminds me of the warmth of the afternoons that I continued to enjoy as long as I could:
Dahlias #2

October brought a blog-along walk over at Robin’s Life in the Bogs. I found myself doing some quiet contemplation while watching birds appear before my lens. I loved this sweet little chickadee:
chickadee

I was happily surprised to have the opportunity to photograph an eastern bluebird for the first time in November. It isn’t a wonderful photo, but I was thrilled with the chance to get this picture:
Eastern bluebird

How ironic that I spent December wishing for a gentle blanket of snow to take pretty pictures in and then ended up sharing this adventure with you just yesterday! (If you haven’t read it yet, go ahead, have a peek!) I still really like this picture of my new snowman ornaments, even if I could now do without the sentiment:
"Let it Snow" 2

Happy New Year everyone. I hope that 2013 brings you good health, and paraphrasing the words of a fellow blogger, enough of what you need most.

December 30, 2012

Well that was unexpected!

At least it was unexpected by me.  For reasons unfathomed by hubby or myself, we set out to visit friends living about an hour away in a very “country” section of Connecticut yesterday afternoon – without checking the weather forecast!  On Friday I had noted that Saturday’s forecast was calling for an inch or two of snow.  Eh! I thought, what’s an inch of snow?

Our arrival in Woodstock CT was greeted with a very slippery driveway – a covering of snow over some previously frozen ice.  All the husbands from my group of friends, plus daughter’s boyfriend, worked at getting my little red Ford unstuck from the bottom of the driveway.  With several of these helpful souls pushing and my driving and trying to steer up the upward curving driveway, we arrived at the top with several fewer layers of rubber on my tires.

After that eventful start to our get-together, we settled inside for drinks, food, conversation and laughter with dear friends.  Outside, the snow continued to pile up.  We noticed snow plows passing by several times on the country dirt road.  My husband’s concern for our travel home deepened as the night went on.

By the end of the evening, when everyone was wishing to head out for home, the driveway had pretty much been blocked off with a snowbank from the passing plows.  Husbands again went to work clearing the way.  My hubby lamented several times about our lack of checking the weather foreccast.  If we had realized what we were in for, we most certainly would have chosen his 4-wheel drive Chevy Suburban to travel in.  Usually my car is our travel-vehicle of choice due to its better gas mileage and smaller number on the odometer.

What followed was a white-knuckled, foot-shaking, stiff-necked, 20 mph ride home.  Living in New England, of course I’ve driven in snow before, but I found something about last night’s ride scary.  The roads in Connecticut were snowy and slippery and not well lit.  I was the responsible driver for my family and daughter’s boyfriend. I was the protector, at the time, of three young lives in my backseat.  Several times I wanted to pull over and ask hubby to drive, but we were afraid of losing momentum and ending up stuck in the snow with those tires now missing a bit more tread than they had arrived on if we dared to stop the car.  So onward, slow and steady, we made the trek home.

In the morning, I had a look around.

what I woke up to this morning

This was definitely more than an inch or two!

Although it wasn’t fun for driving, the dogs certainly found it fun for playing!

Chase time
Teddy and his stick
Dog tug-of-war 2
Dogs consider stick
Golden retriever snow portrait
Collie snow portrait

All is well that ends well, right?

Announcement:  Today is the beginning of a new week and at midnight tomorrow into Tuesday we ring in a new year.  How about we go for that dinner photography blog-along I mentioned a little while ago?  Take pictures of your dinner for about a week any time between now and January 13th – that’s two weeks from today, then post the pictures, along with a description, in a blog post.  Leave me a link in the comments in this post, and I will write a wrap up to send everyone around to maybe get some new ideas for dinner.  As I stated before, it matters not to me if your dinners are fancy or plain, homemade or pre-made, take-out or eat-in, vegetarian or carnivorous.  Like to use recipes?  Post a link if you like!  Prefer to do “a little of this, and a little of that”?  That’s okay too!  Just show me your food!  Due dates are loosey-goosey! ;-)

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