October 17, 2014

this moment :: the rain cometh

{  this moment  }
A single photo
~ no words ~
capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
~ SouleMama


inspired by the Friday reflections at Amanda's

October 7, 2014

Hanging out with squares

You could say I've been making the [re]acquaintance of squares ...
as silly as it sounds, Instagram might be to blame.  Which won't make much sense to
non-users so to clarify:  Instagram, the online mobile photo-sharing & networking service,
has the distinctive feature of confining photos to a square format.
If you want to post there your image must fit into a square
so if you didn't shoot it that way to begin with, it's resized to fit.
Remember the Polaroids of old?

Framing within the rectangular 4:3 aspect ratio almost exclusively for most of my life
left me, at first, fighting for elbow room within this equal-sided confined space.

But before too long, I wondered what was so bad about a little size challenge anyway? 
Surely this leap wasn't going to be as great as dumping my film cameras
in trade for digital?
That was enormously difficult.

Fast forward a year or so ...

Forward through a whole lot of practice/editing time
while commuting on the ferries,

forward through lots of "window seat" opportunities to try this, try that, ask what if ...
Alternative worlds were tried on - my app-aholic time, I called it.
It took a while to sort of tweak my viewpoint
but making the subject matter fit into a




finally became not such a conscious struggle.

So what's come from all this?
A hefty file of ferry photos for one ...
During all weathers, ranges of light, in transit & not;
daytime, mid-darkness to ethereal at midnight; 
looking up, behind, out, across the rails or beyond -
laden with tourists in the high season,  deliciously empty & silent in the off ...

and at times, strangely decorated ...
My island wandercloth became a textile installation afloat
near Waldron Island
[yup, there's an app for that].

Somewhere along this mobile photography journey I began to follow an info-packed blog
called, "Art of Mob" compiled by Geri Centonze.  Wowza.  App reviews, tutorials,
fab interviews ... chock full.  I noticed Geri ran the occasional *challenge* on Instagram.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles  [any mode of rapid transit] was the chosen subject recently
so I thought, what the heck, I've got ferries ...
Twas the rope composition which floated me onto the  showcase
but I want to mention that I couldn't have done it without 
Distressed FX texture app ...
*  thank you  *

Now it seems the whole square option is sneaking its way into other aspects
of my once rectangular life.
'splash' went decidedly that direction without hesitation ...

and today's gathering of leaves got into the act ...
during the lineup for the seasonal portrait
they arranged themselves
just so.

October 1, 2014

National Black Dog Day

October 1st is  National Black Dog Day.
It's a special day devoted to highlighting the plight
of black dogs in shelters around the country.

Around our place, EVERY day is black dog day
but to put a special note on it since
black dogs are notoriously difficult to re-home,
a warm hearted backward glance might be in order ...
an ode to some lovely mugs & the humans they owned.

~ archive photo, photographer unknown ~

~ Mary Miles Minter, 1917 ~

~ from George Eastman House ~

~ Queen Victoria, by W. and D. Downey, Getty Images ~

~ cabinet card from Germany, c. 1915 ~

~ Jet ~
[ 7/21/42 - 10/18/49 ]

Jet was an Alsatian who assisted in the rescue of 150 people
trapped under blitzed buildings.  Born in Liverpool, he served with the
Civil Defence Services of London and was awarded the Dickin Medal
and the RSPCA's Medallion of Valor for his rescue efforts.
He trained at the War Dogs School in Gloucester at 9 months in anti-sabotage
work and relocated to London.  Cpl. Wardle and Jet were the first handler and dog
to be used in an official capacity in Civil Defence rescue duties.

~ archive photo, Harris-Ewing ~

~ vintage photo, photographer unknown ~

~ Duchess of Fife with daughters, c. 1908 ~

~ Edwardian lady with her dog, French postcard ~

~ girl & her dog, Stockholm, Sweden, by Wilhelm Lundberg, c. 1865 ~

~ Helen Keller, archive photo ~

Whenever it is possible, my dog accompanies me on a walk or ride or sail.
I have had many dog friends - huge mastiffs, soft-eyed spaniels, 
wood-wise setters, and honest, homely bull terriers.
At present the lord of my affections is one of these bull terriers.  He has
a long pedigree, a crooked tail and the drollest "phiz" in dogdom.
My dog friends seem to understand my limitations, and always
keep close beside me when I am alone.  I love their affectionate ways
and the eloquent wag of their tails.
~ Helen Keller

~ Malvina Longfellow by Bassano, 1918


~ our black dog, Quinn ~

... grateful you came home with us, girlie.
You may be a handful 
and a training challenge, to say the least,
but you're all heart and smart as a whip.
It's only your fears holding you back ...
same as with the rest of us.


Can't adopt a black dog today?
That's ok ... it can be a big decision.
Here's something easy:

September 24, 2014

To consider ancient traditions

While I expected to see many horticultural wonders during my visit to
what took me by complete surprise was a photographic exhibition on display
in the main entrance lobby.  The images were so compelling I used a great portion
of my garden-viewing time to read the entire story
behind each powerful photograph.

With kind permission from the desk staff, I used my phone camera as best I could
to make record of several I thought were particularly potent in their imagery & description;
those that were especially moving and/or important to me.
In light of recent Peace Day 2014 this seemed like an appropriate time to share them.

The original photographs have been slightly cropped to fit
the format of this blog post.  Reflections on framing glass couldn't be avoided
nor some odd angle and color distortions.
The descriptions were copied verbatim from the exhibit walls. 
Photographer's names are clickable to their websites.
Visit them.  They are all amazing.


no strangers  poses a fundamental question: What does it mean
to be human and alive?  When the people of the world answer this question, they do so
in 7,000 unique voices.  Tragically, half of these may be silenced within a generation or two.
At risk is our human legacy, a vast achieve of knowledge and expertise.
Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of culture is a
crucial challenge that should be faced.

            LHASA, TIBET
            A young Tibetan woman poses next to a Chinese fighter jet on display in front of the
            Portola Palace, the ancient home of the Dalai Lamas, the spiritual rulers of Tibet.  Such
            symbolic gestures of intimidation are encountered throughout Lhasa, which has become
            largely an outpost of the Chinese government and a symbol of their conquest of the 
            Tibetan nation.

            © Randy Olson

            OFU ISLAND, SAMOA, 2000
            The training of the Polynesian way finder, or navigator, begins in infancy as he is placed
            in tidal pools for hours at a time so he might feel and absorb the rhythms of the sea.  If,
            on his first deep ocean voyage, he becomes sick from the swells, his teacher will tie him
            to a rope and pull him behind the canoe until the nausea passes.  It was by such devotion
            and rigor that the Polynesian ancestors settled the Pacific.

            KENYA, 2006
            A Swahili woman from Kenya decorates her hands and feet with designs made from henna,
            a dye derived from a powdered leaf mixed with water and the juice of unripe lemons.  The
            designs are drawn with a fine twig; five to six applications are required to ensure that the
            henna doesn't fade too soon, a process that takes up to 12 hours.  In modern times, a black
            synthetic dye is used to enhance the elaborate designs.  A Swahili woman who appears in
            public must remain concealed in black veils and long robes.  Her hands and feet are the only
            parts of her body that may be seen.

            © Brent Stirton

            TIMBUKTU, MALI, 2009
            In 1914, when the French took control of Timbuktu, they confiscated the ancient manuscripts,
            threatened the scholars with jail and taught the children that their ancestors were not Arab
            or Berber, Tamashek or Tuareg, but Gaul.  The library pictured here is one of the oldest in the
            world.  It is filled with ancient manuscripts that have survived throughout the centuries.

            © Wade Davis

            For over 55,000 years, the Aboriginal peoples of Australia thrived as hunters and gatherers,
            and guardians of their world.  In all that time the desire to improve upon the natural world had
            never touched them.  They accepted life as it was, a cosmological whole, the unchanging
            creation of the first dawn, when earth and sky separated and the original Ancestor, the
            Rainbow Serpent, brought into being all the primordial ancestors who through their thoughts,
            dreams and journeys sang the world into existence.  This woman stands in a sacred site of
            the Rainbow Serpent.

            © Aaron Huey

            OGLALA, SOUTH DAKOTA, 2011
            Stanley Good Voice Elk is a Heyoka (clown dancer) and a dreamer of the Thunder People.
            His Heyoka name is Wakinyan Hoksila (Wakeeya Hokshila) which means Thunder Boy, or
            or Iktomni Hoksila, Spider Boy.  He burns sage, prays and prepares for a coming kettle
            dance to thank the thunder beings (thunderstorms) as they leave for the summer.

            © Steve McCurry

            HENAN PROVINCE, CHINA, 2004
            Young monks train at the Shaolin Monastery in Henan Province, China.  The physical
            strength and dexterity displayed by the monks is remarkable, as is their serenity.  At its
            core Buddhism is simply a wisdom philosophy, a set of contemplative practices, a spiritual
            path informed by 2,500 years of empirical observation and deduction that, if followed, offers
            the certain promise of a transformation of the human heart.

            © David Hiser

            SARAWAK, MALAYSIA, 2012
            A Penan family from the Ubong River in Sarawak with a feast of wild foods - sago, wild
            boar, fruits and seeds - all gathered or hunted in the forest.  A Canadian or American grows
            up believing that poverty for some is a regrettable but inevitable feature of life.  The Penan
            live by the adage that a poor man shames us all.  The greatest transgression in their culture
            is "sihun," a concept that essentially means a failure to share.

: : :

Traditional societies are not failed attempts to be modern, let alone
failed attempts to be like us.  Every culture is a unique expression of the
human imagination and heart.
When asked what it means to be human and alive, the peoples of the world
respond in 7,000 different voices, 7,000 languages that together
express the full wisdom and knowledge of our species,
insights that no doubt will prove invaluable to future generations,
even as we continue this never ending journey.

~ Introduction, copied from the entrance wall ~

September 19, 2014

this moment :: vintage buttons for a modern story

{  this moment  }
A single photo
~ no words ~
capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
~ SouleMama


inspired by the Friday reflections at Amanda's

September 17, 2014

'solace' in troubled times

~ photo by India Flint ~

Passing the word about 
An Invitation
from India Flint ...

Participation is open to  anyone ... everyone
All the details on her blog: simply click the link above