Sometimes Things Just Don’t Work Out

I had planned to travel today and take pictures, but I woke up to pouring rain. It’s mostly stopped now, but everything is soaked. Not the best time to be clambering through long grass or woods.

I’d also wanted to spend some time processing and playing with photos, but my right wrist is bothering me to the point where I’m pretty much staying offline today. It does this to me once in a while, and the only cure, short of carpal tunnel surgery, is to give it a good rest.

So I’m reading, which is always a pleasant activity.

Speaking of reading, most of the novels on the right are available in KU at Amazon right now, but they will vanish the first week in December. So if you want to read them for free, now is the time. Click on the book icon, which will take you to my list. There you will find the Amazon links you need. Thanks for supporting an author, and if you really want to do a good deed, write a review. 🙂

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Years ago, I tried my hand at digital painting in Photoshop. It was hard, and I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, but it was also fun. I learned a lot. The first thing I did was a picture of my mother as a child. I painted it for her birthday one year. She loved it, and I have to admit it came out really good. Continue reading

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Trip to LaBelle

A couple mornings ago, I awoke filled with energy. No way was I going to spend the morning, sitting around the house in front of a computer. I grabbed water and my camera gear, and drove to a nearby town.

LaBelle is cute. It’s where you catch the road north to Placid Lakes and Orlando. It recently acquired a Walmart, but they built it out of town, so you can easily pretend it doesn’t exist. Labelle is full of quirky shops and small cafes, and it has the feel of “old” Florida, though my guess is that won’t last long. As climate change progresses, making it harder to live on the coasts, people will move inland to towns just like LaBelle. I’d movee there in a minute if I could find an affordable rental.

My first stop was on Main Street, where I spotted this brightly painted floral and gift shop. Because I was so close to it, I had to shoot it as a two-photo panorama and stitch the pics together in Photoshop. Click to see detail. 

Continue reading

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Reflections on Paris: flash fiction

In another life, I lived in Paris.

I wandered cobblestone streets and drank wine at a cafe table on the sidewalk. People strolled by, chatting and relaxed. It was Sunday, and no one was in a hurry. Spring leaves shone bright green against a dim sky, and I smelled honeysuckle and rose from the flower shop on the corner.

The sun hid behind a thin layer of clouds. Later it would rain, but by then, I’d be back at the atelier, painting Raphael, who would watch me with hooded eyes from the bed, where he posed for me.

The session would be cut short. Unable to concentrate on perfecting the curve of his bottom lip, I would throw down the brush in mock annoyance, cross the room, and throw myself on him.

This had happened many times, and I looked forward to it happening again. Continue reading

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Friday Photos

I’m expecting another edit momentarily, and that means I won’t be taking or playing with photos as much. Work always has to come first. Boo hiss.

Continuing our theme yesterday of sandhill cranes, I processed another one from the set. 

The expression on his face is so obviously joyful! I just love it.  Continue reading

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The Dance of the Sandhill Crane

I was up early today, and instead of sitting in front of a computer, I dressed, packed up the gear, and drove to Harn’s Marsh. It was dawn and chilly, and I couldn’t wait to get there.

First thing I saw were vultures and lots of ’em. They covered the road, perched on rocks, and sat on the roof of some guy’s car. 

New car owner here. Last thing I wanted was sharp claws scratching the top of my vehicle! So I stayed close to my car, looked around, and saw two sandhill cranes walking toward me on the road.

I was thrilled they showed up right after I did. They are impressively large–bigger than wood storks even–and graceful.

I took a few pictures when they were still far away, then moved behind my car so I wouldn’t scare them. They advanced. They knew I was there, because when I poked my head out, they were looking right at me.

My presence didn’t seem to bother them, however, and they moved closer. I had the Sony with me this morning. The sun was mostly up at this point, though not bright yet. I don’t remember feeling cold at all, though the temp was in the sixties (this is usually cold to someone who lives in Florida, wearing a T-shirt and shorts). My focus was entirely on the cranes.

Suddenly, the male leaped into the air, flapped his wings, and spun in beautiful circles. His dance was the epitome of joy. Taken by surprise, I was late taking pictures but I got a few before he stopped. Unfortunately many of them were grainy (no idea why) and some were out of focus (his movements were fast). I blame myself. I was so excited to see his performance, my hands were shaking. This is the male, giving me his version of jazz hands and a saucy look. 

Continue reading

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