Monday, July 28, 2008

If you go back to the posting for March 6, "It's a Miracle", you'll see the first photos of Chelsea's new baby--in utero. On July 13, her friends and church family celebrated this miracle with a shower for her. I couldn't be there in body, but I definitely was there in spirit. The little people look like they were having a good time too.

About a week later, Chelsea gave birth to her son, Tyson. I haven't seen him yet, but I spoke with Chelsea yesterday and she said things are going well.

The next two photos are of Leah doing two of the things she likes to do most. Eat and hold babies.

Before Tyson was born, this was the youngest baby in the congregation. I don't know how Leah managed to beat out the competition to hold her, but she did.

Speaking of babies....when I got home from my workshop in Geneva, the baby birds had "flown the coop" so to speak. They were gone. Before I went away, I went online to find out something about the habits of robins. It said that once a baby left the nest, it never came back. Also, the mother robin could lay eggs two or three different times, and usually would use the same nest. So I'm going to keep watch on the nest and see if the female comes back.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Last week was the yearly summer Workshop for the Professional Photographers of NYS. It takes place at Hobart and William-Smith colleges at the northern end of Seneca Lake of the Finger Lakes. It's a beautiful location and campus. The school begins on Sunday afternoon and goes through Friday at noon.

The subject of the class I took this year is scenics and nature. We alternated classroom work with outdoor shooting. The weather was exceptionally fickle this year. It definitely fit the saying, "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute." The rain would be pouring down torrentially and 5 minutes later it would stop and 5 more minutes later the sun would be shining like it hadn't rained in three weeks.

We did manage to get outside quite a bit in spite of the weather. Our first early morning shoot was at a winery not too far from the school. There was a sweet flower garden as well as a grape arbor and an area of growing pears.

Another morning we drove down to Watkins Glen at the lower end of the lake. It was very cloudy and overcast, but the light was good, and it made for better shooting than if it had been sunny. With the sun, the contrast in the glen is too intense and it's difficult to get a well exposed image.

Another morning we went to a small commercial lily farm. The flowers were in practically peak condition--it was beautiful.

After dinner one evening we went to the town of Seneca Falls to shoot along the river. Across the river was a beautiful old building that had once been a mill. We drove over and had a blast photographing the building. I tried to find a way to get inside, but couldn't unless I had broken a door or window, and even if I had gotten in, I didn't have a flashlight to find my way around.

Not too far from the college campus there is a row of town houses. The fronts are painted different colors--we nicknamed the area Rainbow Row.

Another evening we went to a marina at the state park, also not too far from campus.

So it was altogether a great week in spite of the weather. The instructor was Tony Sweet and if you'd like to see some of his great work, go to his web site,

Don't forget that you can leave comments for any of these blogs. I check back at least every other day.

Mahalo for looking and Aloha for now.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Two days ago, the Walter Elwood Museum in Amsterdam, which is a renovated school house, held its annual ice-cream social. It's a lovely old building that causes me an extreme case of nostalgia every time I go there. There's a gift shop in one of the rooms, and different themes in each of the other downstairs rooms. Upstairs is the office, store room, an art room and a gallery. There is a yearly art show in the upstairs gallery that I participate it--

So...the ice-cream social is a fundraiser for the musuem. I've never been before, and I was very surprised at the great turnout. There were vendors, food booths, face-painting, a bouncy-bounce, caricaturists, a dj, wagon rides, and a classic car show. Very impressive. The entire street was closed off.

Here's the bouncy-bounce. Not too perky, huh? Well, I was busy talking with a friend, when I heard some frantic voices saying, "hurry, get out" and when I turned around the adults were trying to get all the kids out of the collapsing bouncy-bounce. Of course, no one was hurt, it's not like the thing went down with a thud. It just acted like it was fading. It was pretty comical. So I grabbed the camera and got a few shots. The generator had run out of gas, ergo, the collapse of the giraffe. By then, everyone was chuckling. So they hauled another generator in, and the giraffe came back to life and stayed that way for the duration.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I wasn't able to photograph the birds yesterday, the 3rd day, but I got some shots today. You can see that the fuzz on top of their heads is gone already. And the feathers are beginning to thicken.

Mama & Papa were pretty annoying again today. They would fly from the tree straight at me and at the last minute, when only about 1 1/2 feet from my head, they would veer off. I could feel the breeze that their wings made. It was kind of funny, in a weird, "The Birds is coming" sort of way.

Again, I didn't hear a peep out of the babies. Is that strange or not? I don't know, since I don't know much about bird behavior. I guess I expected some little cheeping noises from them, especially since they were wide awake and had their beaks open.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

2nd Day of the Vigil

Today was beautiful. Not too hot and low humidity, sunny and breezy. Just about perfect. Of course, I worked indoors at church all day. Not too bad, however, with the window open and the breeze blowing in. Anyway, I got home late in the afternoon, and at the last minute remembered that I wanted to take photos of the baby birds.

While I was on the ladder, mama and papa bird were pretty agitated--they were making all kinds of noise and they practically dive-bombed me. I think if the overhang weren't there, they would have run right into me they were so close.

Dinner was simmering away, so I didn't spend too much time on the ladder. Very little activity from the babies, so these images are pretty boring, but they still document the progress---very little since yesterday.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Monday. I love Mondays. I usually don't have any plans, so I can take my time getting up. I clean the house a little, get things organized, catch up on emails, and basically catch my breath after the weekend. This weekend was the NECCC conference--it's a photo conference that takes place at the U Mass campus. It's 2-1/2 days of 1 hour seminars on various photography subjects. Not only are the seminars usually educational and inspiring, but it's great being able to spend the weekend with over 1,100 people who love photography.
I didn't take any photos at the campus. I did that the first three or four years I attended, but have since decided that I didn't want to schlepp the camera and tripod around campus. It's usually very, very hot and the extra load is depressing.
So, getting back to today. By late afternoon I was getting a little restless, when I remembered that the other day I saw a bird's nest at the corner of the house. So I found a ladder and did my best to get some photos. Unfortunately, the nest is on a 2x4 jutting out from the house, under a slanted roof, so I couldn't get a good vantage point because I couldn't get up high enough to shoot down at the nest.

Mama and papa were flitting around, making all kinds of noise to scare me away during the entire time I was attempting to get situated. Sporadically mama would land on the post of the pool not too far away, so I managed to get a couple of shots of her.

So here are the babies. There are three in the nest. They must be pretty young because, as you can see, they only have a little fuzz on their heads. Now that I think about it, they weren't even making any noise. They were acting really hungry, so I got down off the ladder, sat myself down in a shady spot in the yard and waited for the mama to visit her babies.

I thought I might be able to get a shot of mama on the edge of the nest. Sure enough, she didn't go near the nest--guess I was too close, or too visible. I'll just have to remember to get some more pictures in the next several days. Many years ago I documented another nest and I was astonished at how quickly the babies grew and how soon they were out of the nest.

My short photo expedition did quite a bit to rejuvinate me. It was fun and out-of-the ordinary compared to the kind of work I usually do.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

The 4th of July and Cemetary Angels

This is the last day of the 4th of July weekend. It has been a beautiful weekend, sunshine, clear skies and low humidity--all very rare, especially for three days in a row. Friday, the 4th, started the weekend with a church picnic at Louise's. There were quite a few people there.

On Saturday, I just puttered around, but then got tired of being in the house on such a beautiful day, so I decided to drive around to find something to photograph. I was on my way to one of the lakes, when I passed a cemetary and decided to go in a see what I could see. There weren't too many angel statutes, but enough to keep me busy for a while. Following are some of the results.

After church on Sunday, we just hung around the house and finally in the late afternoon I went out to the high school football field/track field to photograph "lines" for an assignment. Pretty boring shots, but it satisfies the assignment and it got me out of the house again.

So tomorrow begins another week. Aloha