Summertime in Wilbraham. A simple small town with simple tastes.
One of our most famous tastes (at least in the northeast):
We feel pretty strongly about ice cream around here. In fact if I ever tell someone I’ve just met where I’m from, they say, “Oh yeah! Home of Friendly’s!” as it so clearly proclaims on the Massachusetts Turnpike. (Click here to see a photo of that proclamation that I took for one of Scott’s assignments way back when) In fact, Friendly’s just set a Guinness World Record to do with ice cream.
I’m not 100% positive, but Friendly’s may have chosen to do this in conjunction with the fact that our town is celebrating its semiquincentenial – 250th anniversary – this year.
There have been a variety of events around town this summer (and had I been aware of Scott’s assignment earlier I might have made more effort to get out and photograph them!) including a parade, a town-wide tag sale, an antique car “hill climb” (sorry Scott, I bet you would have liked to see photos of that!) and there is a picnic/festival still to come this August.
In addition to eating ice cream, we like to go the movies too. This theater is not in Wilbraham, but it is very close to the town line.
I know you can go to the movies any time of year, but we enjoy seeing many of the big summer releases and like going at just about any time of the day since there is no school or work for the girls and me in the summer.
Other things I enjoy about summer happen right here in my own backyard, literally:
(I tried very hard to use the self-timer on my camera to take a picture of myself lazily floating on that raft, but that was as far as I could get in the 10-second maximum allowed by the timer!)
What’s nicer on a warm summer evening than kicking back like this?
Well, Scott, I don’t think I’ve compelled anyone to book their next summer vacation in the Home of Friendly’s, but I hope you’ve enjoyed a look at summer in Wilbraham!
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.
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.
And I sure spend a lot of time taking bird photos on vacation too:
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.
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?
I am perhaps most passionate about one of the more elusive facets of my life:
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!
When Scott Thomas recently commented on my “Camping Critters” post about how my ruffled grouse appeared to be moving quickly, I was inspired about what to shoot for his assignment this month about motion photography.
The hummingbird moths have reappeared at the butterfly bushes and their tiny wings are always in rapid motion:
The monarch butterflies are always in frenetic motion around the yard and bushes. I tried to capture a crazy escapade of a monarch around my yard, but the photos didn’t portray motion all that well to me. Here it is when it finally came to rest on a bloom, but with wings still ready to go:
While I was watching the butterfly bushes yesterday, so full of frantic motion of moths and bees and butterflies, I heard that tell-tale call of a raptor up above. It is a different view of motion:
Remember my “conducting duck” from the Camping Critters post? I realized that another shot that I took of him or her had another view of motion:
This is my submission to Scott’s motion assignment. There is still time to get involved in this assignment if you would like – posts aren’t due until Wednesday, the 25th at midnight your time.
Hi everyone! I’ve missed you this week! The blogosphere has gotten away from me as I headed back to work this past week after our nice holiday break. I’ve done some reading and commenting here and there, but it has been nearly a week since I posted. I don’t have much in the way of new pictures to share (just this one above of Cedric not letting the Christmas village get in the way of his enjoyment of viewing the outside world) but I did want to say hello and share some tidbits.
The Christmas village has been packed away for the year, but before I took it down, I tried making a couple of little video tours of my little town with my iPod. I was considering posting them here, but I haven’t uploaded them anywhere yet, and now that it is January 7th, it feels a bit after-the-fact, ya know? The tree has also been taken down and dragged to the small thicket of trees at the back of my property. The outdoor Christmas lights and the glowing snowman are all that remain of the decorations. I figure the snowman can hang out for a while; he’s more of a winter fellow than just a Christmas sort.
In addition to Christmas clean-up, I’ve been doing a little housekeeping here on the blog. I changed my archives to a drop-down menu because the months have been piling up over there. I’ve also added a new drop down menu for categories and a new category to my blog posts called “Walking the Dogs” – so many of my posts and pictures come from my walks with the furry children, I thought they deserved a category. I’ve gone through a lot of my older posts and categorized them this way, so if you are interested in that, have a look. I’m thinking about doing a “For the Birds” category next.
If you haven’t been over to see Scott’s latest assignment yet, you really should! It concerns that photography stand-by, the rule of thirds. He wants us to find a shot that makes great use of this rule. If you are a photo-newbie who isn’t sure what that means, Scott has some great links to help you out. For those of you who aren’t feeling the photo-mojo this time of year, Scott is allowing the use of an older photo that you crop into a rule-of-thirds example, and would like to see the “before” and “after” if you choose this route. As an added bonus to participating, Scott is offering a chance at a spot in a really cool photography e-course! He will randomly choose a winner from all who participate! Deadline is January 18th so that the lucky winner can be part of the class beginning on January 20th.
I’ve got one more “Christmas” get-together today – the famous “pig out” – and it is at my house this year, so I’d better get moving along. I hope to catch up with everyone later tonight or tomorrow. I hope your 2012 is off to a great start!
Scott’s assignment is due tomorrow – did you finish yours yet? Here’s my contribution.
We have been picking raspberries in my backyard for the past couple of weeks. My younger daughter Sarah has been going out and picking them faithfully, despite the fact that she doesn’t like them herself ( I know! Weird, huh?). One morning she brought in a huge berry, and it happened to be the day after Scott announced this assignment. I wondered if it would make a good showing scale photo. I compared it to a “normal” sized berry figuring most folks could probably make that connection:
(This shot was harder to get than I orginally thought! I ended up placing my camera on my deck railing, setting the self-timer, and using live view tried to arrange my hands in front of the lens. Even though I was out in bright sunshine, I needed a fill-flash so that the berries’ color looked right and so that my hands did not look like gray zombie hands!)
I wasn’t content with just this shot however. A new-to-me flower this year is bee balm. I’m doing my best to make my little hummingbird happy this year, so I planted this perennial this spring. I’ve been fascinated taking its photo as it blooms. I showed you its early stages in this post a couple weeks ago. Yesterday, I took this shot:
If you aren’t familiar with this flower, you really have no idea how big it is from this shot. I thought I could show some scale with this bloom:
Here it is with a dime in the center of the bloom. While I was setting up this shot, another idea occurred to me for a way to show scale:
And it gave me an excuse to show my handsome boy Teddy too!
Thanks, Scott, for another good assignment!
It is photo assignment time at Scott’s place once again! The subject this time is Close-up Photography! Yahoo! One of my favorites. Deadline for your post this month is March 23. Need some tips? Today’s post at Scott’s place is chock full of them. There’s even some pictures from lil ol’ me! I was quite honored that Scott asked me for some shots to show what I’ve been doing with my extension tubes. My mosaic up there is made up of shots taken with my Raynox macro-adapter and some are with the tubes. Both fun toys! Have fun with this assignment!