Friday, October 30, 2009

Green Day

I ran away a week or so ago to see what could be seen and capture what could be captured. Heading west toward favorite wild areas and Wilson Dam, I enjoyed several days of isolated bliss snapping photos of a variety of things. Upon arriving back to the City House and downloading my gems I discovered most of my favorite shots were of things green. The old Eastern Red Cedar above was a first favorite years ago when it was immortalized by my Sony Cybershot 5.0 digital camera. Comparing the two shots should be fun.

Green grasses protect the Canada Geese at Joe Wheeler State Park.

Green trees and green shrubs hug the bank along greenish waters.

A green trail beckons.

Green moss glows along the riverside.

Green moss accentuates a shoreline rock.

A dead tree cascading over a cliff side adorned with greenery.

Back home again, the shagbark hickory's green leaves are beginning to turn gold, catching fire in the sunset. This is the beginning of the Golden Tree Hour at our lake house. Cheers, everyone.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bell Mina, Alabama

Finally, finally, finally...I can respond to other's posts, seemingly, and can post photos in my blog. Thank you blogger folks for your help. Now....where was I? Ah yes. Meandering to the lake house on a glorious breezy sunny bodacious clouds scudding by kind of autumnal day. On a whim I drove through several small villages that have been in my heart since childhood. First stop - Bell Mina, Alabama, where people normally drive through without stopping and trains rumble by blowing their horns on their way elsewhere. There's not much there except quaint homes, dishevelled store fronts facing the railroad lines, boarded up buildings and the scent of antiquity. It is beautiful to me, in its uniqueness and authenticity.

Bell Mina Methodist Church

This is the Bell Mina Methodist Church. There's no date on the sign but it's really old. Probably late 1800's, early 1900's. Every Christmas the church members decorate the doors with greenery, fruits and berries. I mean to get photos but never have.

Bell Mina store front

I was a small child when my mom and her best friend dragged me here. At that time it was a store of some sort, bustling with business. The roads were dirt roads. Our car was one of only few; the rest being mule wagons and farmers. There was dust hanging in the air. The mules fascinated me, and I remember romanticizing those visions with something akin to Little House on the Prarie and Laura Ingalls. Most wagons were carrying crops in the back, occasionally added to by whatever the Missus picked up at the store. It was a different, foreign place to me. This vision, this visit has stayed with me all this time. I return to Bell Mina from time to time just to feel that feeling and remember. My mom bought a chandelier at this very store that hung above our dining table. I don't know what happened to it but it's been long gone.

Hahn Firetruck

While I was skipping down memory lane my eye caught this amazing, old firetruck off to the right. Well, I had to see it! Don't you love it's face?

Parked here so long ago that weeds are growing around its tires, this firetruck has great personality. It fits this place! While I was photographing it a fireman, who was nearly as old as the truck itself, walked (slowly) over from the fire station to ask if I was interested in buying it. Well, no, but it sure is pretty, isn't it? He didn't think so, but he wasn't romanticizing this place in his mind like I was. He lives there and that sorta says it all.

The old firetruck and old building, recently painted in glorious red, compliment each other perfectly. It was a fine day for meandering and reliving past memories. By the way, the building is for sale and the firemen would love to sell the antique firetruck. Any takers out there?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In the Moment

Have you ever been so focused on a moment in time - an event, a project, your art, writing, traveling - that you don't see something obvious? Sometimes I find myself so obsessed with logistics that I forget to enjoy the trip. Or, details of a project overwhelm me long before I get to that point. Or, losing myself in the sheer pleasure of photographing a subject matter and don't see the speed limit sign. At such times I should obey the Universe's speed limit and slow down. Step away, breathe, think, take a long walk in nature, go visit a dear friend, call a family member - remember what Life is really all about. It's all too fleeting as it is.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My new Canon 20D arrived in November, 2005. I'd been using my husband's Sony Cybershot so much that he realized I needed my own camera. A 20D had been my dream so he made it my reality. After finally learning how to insert the flashcard without damaging anything (I was a little nervous) the first subject of my first 20D shoot were the blazing red Bradford Pear trees lining the entrance to our subdivision.

This shot was the very first image taken with my Canon 20D. This is Straight Out Of The Camera. No Photoshopping done here except to change the image to a more reasonable size for publishing.

These days find me at the computer more working toward an exciting future. One day I'll post about it but for now I'll be showing you various older works (haven't I done this before? LOL!) so that I can keep in touch.

So this was it - the first shot. The first shot of gazillions, but still one of my favorites.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Outting with Mom

Mom and I enjoyed a recent trek to the Huntsville Museum of Art. Located beside lovely Big Spring Park the museum is quite a treat both inside and outside. Gorgeous setting, easy parking, not too big, not too small - it's just right. Our mission was to see the Women's Art exhibit, but there were other exhibits to see as well. Upon opening the door the first exhibit we see is the Elegant Vessel display. Oh, wow...these pieces really called to me. This first piece had us gasping, appropriately so!, in amazement.

"Bodacious Gasp Johnson"
Stephen Rolfe Powell

I always photograph the information plate so that I can read about the artist and their work later, and can Google them to learn more about their art. This piece, above, was created using a technique of "fusing small, colored pieces of glass known as "murrini" into dramatically scaled multicolored vessels." Mr. Powell loves to title his pieces provocatively, with names like that above and "Pushy Violet Throb" and "Undulating Groan Jones." I would love to see those pieces in person as well. Out of all that I saw this day, this piece was my absolute favorite. ** Note: Just perused his website and Mr. Powell was born in Birmingham, ALABAMA! You can link to his website above.

Mom standing in front of the Elegant Vessel entrance. The enclose piece to her right is an exquisitely cut celery vase in a pale blue crystal. Stunning.

This red vessel caught my eye as well. Elegant in its simplicity, the reflection on the stand reminded me of Saturn and its rings. I forgot completely to capture the information plaque so I cannot tell you who did this piece. If I find out I'll come back and post it here.

Reluctantly leaving the Elegant Vessel display we arrived at the exhibit we came to see: Another Point of View: Art by American Women. These pieces were highlights from The Sellars Collection. This is the painting that greeted our arrival - an oil on canvas painted in 1887 by Anna Elizabeth Klumpke titled "Catinou Knitting." I'm crazy about oils - the richness and texture, and how it catches the light.

There were 3-4 or more rooms of paintings, bronzes and sculptures. This was one of my favorites simply titled "Oranges" by Julia Hart Beers - an oil on board painted in 1888 in New Orleans. The colors were so deep and rich, and there was a luminescence to the painting due to the board upon which it was painted. Exquisite.

"Grand Canyon"
Bertha Menzler-Peyton

"Arizona Desert"
Jessie Benton Evans

These two Arizona paintings were after my heart! I love the deserts and mountains and canyons of Arizona, and the light that surrounds them, bathes them, loves them. I thought of my new blogging buddy Gaelyn, at Geogypsy who is a park ranger at the Grand Canyon, and knew she would enjoy these paintings. Still, there's nothing like the real thing, eh?

All walked out, mom and I decided to lunch at the museum's cafe, "Pane e Vino." Gourmet pizza (we had the Monet, which was arugula, prosciutto and roasted tomatoes on oven-baked crust). Their motto is "In Crust, We Trust." Trust me - this was divine. We even had a little Pinot Grigio to celebrate out outing.

There is an outdoor area overlooking Big Spring Park, but the north winds were fierce and only the brave - and those too late to get an indoor table - could take. Hubby and I are going Sunday night with friends for dinner. The museum outing was such fun! I love seeing new things and being around the creative passions of true artists. It's inspiring and opens up my mind to new ways of doing and thinking. Museums refresh my soul every bit as much as the museum of nature. Isn't Life grand?!


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