Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #145 – Getting to know you

“The artist’s gaze, the photographer’s eye, when cast on a subject begins a relationship. That relationship can grow into a deep affection and a profound wisdom. It is that aspect of relating to your subject that I invite you to explore in this challenge.” Thank you Priscilla of scillagrace.

Photography has always helped me to see the world. It may be the quiet moment when I am out and can appreciate nature. It allows me to take a deep breath and slow down. You must be still as you press the shutter button.

Exploring my backyard with my macro lens I spot this dragonfly.
Posing for me

Sometimes I am occupied looking for the unusual. This may be a funny sign, or an object found out of place.

This bird is taking a stand!
Found this in Locke, California.
Old Folsom Bridge

Other times I see faces or animals in many of my images. This is pareidolia. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines pareidolia as, “The tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful, image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.” Hey, photography has even opened me up to learn new terms.

My photography has helped me get away from my introverted self. I like to people watch, and I use my camera as my lookout point. Some images are candid moments, some environmental portraits, and some tell a story

Photography has been with me since I was nine years old. It helps me connect with people, places, and things around me!

Lens-Artists Challenge #136 : The Letter S

Patti says, “For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136, we’re circling back to the alphabet.  This time, we’re going to focus on the letter S.  What images can you find that feature a subject that begins with the letter S?  Here are some ideas to get you started.”  

My friends and I visit sunflower fields in Yolo County.

Shadows on my Sunflower!

In Sacramento, there is the Museum of Medical History. An interesting place to visit when it reopens after CoVid. So my first letter S is for Skeleton with its funny sign.

Is this the result of too much touching?

So many things that shout out to me, “Pick me! I start with the letter S!”

Variety is the Spice of Life!
Sunset looking toward the Sutter Buttes

I hope I made you smile with my Letter S!

Lens-Artists Challenge #135 A Glimpse into Your World

Over the past year, I followed many photographers as they shared amazing images. I decided that for me to grow I would need to open myself up to this experience. So this week I accepted Sheetal’s challenge to, “Show us the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.”

Charlie has captured my heart. My Australian Labradoodle just celebrated his first birthday. My life has revolved around this boy, and the bond is strong. The day starts when he says it does. He quietly calls out to me that he is awake. With his collar on, we head to his round bed where we snuggle for a time. Then out for our short walk in our court. Six houses and I take in the changes from day to day. Occasionally, we greet a neighbor or see a jogger. Then home to have breakfast. With no plans for the day, we settle on the couch, catch up on emails and take a morning nap together. I am the person who trains and cares for Charlie’s needs. We take a walk and play fetch. We have one training session a day, one game of “Find It!”, and one grooming session after dinner. Some indoor fetch and he settles while my husband and I watch television. Charlie has found a place in my husband’s heart. When I am away, Charlie keeps him company. Charlie is a people magnet. I just hope that he soon becomes more relaxed being out and about with me and my camera.

Charlie has us wrapped around his paws. Discovering each other, training together, and becoming part of the family.

This litter of 10 adorable Australian Labradoodles is 1 year old (put together by Jo)

Camera in hand, looking out at the world makes me happy. What I capture in the frame just depends on what catches my eye at the time. Small objects, funny signs, colors or shapes, patterns, contradictory images, animal and people expressions, and the people busy doing things. I don’t see myself stuck on one subject. My only limits are what kind of lens I can carry, and I usually only carry two. My camera has an added value in my life by connecting me to wonderful photo friends.

Amusing signs

The pandemic has slowed down life, and I try and appreciate this new pace of life. One day, one goal. Thinking back over the decades I now wonder how I kept up that frenetic pace. I am home with my husband that I have known now for 54 years. We take turns arguing with the television over the news coverage. We share opinions on how to fix the world, if only they would listen. We read the newspaper and find books to read on our iPads. We play Scrabble, and figure out what we want to eat for dinner. It is a serene existence. We talk about what we want to do after “the pandemic”, and when will life return to normal. Actually, we also discuss what that normal will look like. Hopefully, eating out, traveling both near and far, and feeling less restricted to be around people. I look forward to new adventures with my husband and my Charlie.

I am taking the first step in sharing with the Lens-Artists. This is my new challenge, and I hope that I will be able to meet it!

Adding an addition

I am now on baby alert. My daughter is blessing me with a grandson. This will bless me with a 6th grandson, I have only 1 granddaughter. Birth plan calls for baby Colton Levi to be born on February 3rd or before. Here’s hoping that Mother Nature kicks into gear. Reading about the induction procedure is not comforting. With the 49ers in the Super Bowl next Sunday, and the excitement here in California I’m placing my bet on Super Bowl Sunday as a due date. I won’t be busy. With this pregnancy my daughter’s gestational diabetes makes the condition of a date due advisable. This is her second time with gestational diabetes. It skipped her last pregnancy.

So with four boys 8 years and under (8, 4 and 2 years old) she is ready with most of the baby stuff. But there always are things that are needed. Yesterday my daughter and I again headed to our Buy, Buy Baby Store. About 4 years ago I wrote a post about this experience. You may find it here. And like deja vu we were out buying a new mattress. I should be experienced at this. The mattress purchased the last time is being used by Wyatt, the two year old. But as you know progress must continue. Now there are layers (4-5) over the springs, foam mattress, hybrid coil/foam or dual foam mattresses and this strange looking web-like plastic stuff. The Newton Baby Wovenaire Crib Mattress tag line is “Born in water, designed to breathe”. If the crib sheet, and crib mattress cover gets wet you can not only wash this, but you can take the whole mattress out and hose it down. Then wait for everything to line dry. This mattress also offers peace of mind. If your baby turns over it will still be able to breathe with his/her face down. Wow. Not to be pulled into new age stuff we decided on a more traditional mattress. Baby needs a hard mattress for his growning bones. I told my daughter if the baby doesn’t sleep, don’t blame me for buying the mattress. LOL.

Next mattress I purchase will be mine. Still waiting for that perfect sleep. It would be nice if my husband woke up refreshed each day. I would like not to wake up in a puddle of sweat. TMI. Oh well.

Could not leave the store without buying a couple of newborn body suits with gloves. So many cute things. More fun to shop for baby than for myself.

While walking around the store I again was amazed at all those items out there for new parents to consume. Got out my iphone and here are a few. I call these consumer items, “maybe useful, but unnecessary. Agree? Disagree?

Where oh where to put that baby quieter?
In the dog world we call these poop bags. Maybe this is where I will go to get my holder.
They didn’t have one available to drop. Hummm. That would make for interesting entertainment.
Such an adorable name. I’m sure baby will be smiling when he or she sees this coming.
Just when checking out I spotted this lovely new gadget. And I love to look at gadgets.

So when expecting your new bundle of joy there are so many choices and decisions to be made, be sure to think. “Do I really need this? And where will I put it so I will use it when needed?

Now for some other news. I am hoping to bring a puppy into my home at the end of March. Ginger, an Australian Labradoodle is starting to show. Jo sent me some photos this weekend. I am either 5th or 6th on the list for this litter. Ginger has delivered big litters in the past two. (9 and 11). On February 3rd the ultrasound may give us more information.

My daughter is jealous. Gestation for a dog is 63 days. Ginger is more than half way there. I do hope that I will be lucky enough to welcome a pup into my house.

Expanding belly.
Such an adorable face.

Soon I will be out shopping and getting ready for my new arrival. I’m sure there are a bunch of things that I will need. Or will I? What are the must haves? What can I just skip? It has been 10 years since I brought my Liberty Love home. Still miss her so very much.

Early March my husband and I will head to New York City for a 10 day vacation before (I hope) my puppy arrives at 8 weeks old. Plan to play tourist, and see some family. Staying on the upper West Side, but plan to venture out to Brooklyn and Nassau County. Any places I should stop and see? Last visited in 2014.

Exciting stuff ahead. Now to my sewing machine. Time to quilt.