Nature

4 SEASONS – CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: LANDSCAPES OR SEASCAPES

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Landscapes or Seascapes

Most of the pictures I take are landscapes. Whether it’s of water or land, there are so many it’s hard to pick a few favorites. So, I decided to take a couple from each season. This satisfies my sense of balance and makes it easier for me to make a choice. Hope you like them.

SPRINGTIME IN THE VALLEY

April at Manchaug falls

The Blackstone Canal in May

The Blackstone Canal in May

SUMMERTIME

Sunrise - July in Rockport

Sunrise – July in Rockport

Mid-August - Cows at home

Mid-August – Cows at home

GOLDEN AUTUMN

Bright color in woods bathed in twilight

Bright color in woods bathed in twilight

Morning in Vermont, October 2014

Morning in Vermont, October 2014

SNOWY WINTER

Red farmhouse in Snow

Red barn in Snow

snowy field in Hadley

SUNDAY AFTERNOON SOMEWHERE IN SUTTON

We were actually heading for one place, but the pond we were trying to get to was accessible only by a private road. Residents only. Rich people territory. This is where we ended up. The only problem is, I’m not sure where we were other than “somewhere in Sutton.”

There were ducks and geese on the pond, as well as a couple of beaver. Kaity got a shot of the beaver, but I was too slow. For all that, it was a good afternoon shoot.

This is the end of autumn, just before it becomes winter in the valley.

WITH GRATITUDE – AND ABOUT THE WELL

Feeling Fancy — You’re given unlimited funds to plan one day full of any and all luxuries you normally can’t afford. Tell us about your extravagant day with as much detail as possible.


Raining

Raining

It’s such a dreary, drippy day. I think it will be teeming soon enough. That’s what the forecast calls for. Almost 3 inches of rain today and flash flood warnings throughout the Valley.

At least it isn’t as cold as yesterday, or all the stuff falling out of the sky would be snow and sleet. It’s dark, too. I keep turning lights on, but it doesn’t feel bright enough. And my head hurts. I blame it on the weather.

I blame everything on the weather. The weather can’t argue back.

It is hard for me to imagine spending unlimited funds on myself for any reason. It has been a long time since I saw money and didn’t think “bills need to be paid.” That’s life in the slow lane, life since retirement, since the paychecks were replaced by pensions and Social Security.

So many things which were yearned-for luxuries have no place in today’s world. Not that long ago, a “spa day” sounded great. Now, it sounds like a long drive through heavy traffic, somebody poking at me, followed by a long ride home. I haven’t had my hair professionally cut in more than a year. Not because there are no hairdressers to whom I could go. It’s that I don’t trust anyone near my head with a pair of shears.

I wouldn’t mind a pedicure, though. That would be nice. I can do that locally. Get my eyebrows waxed. How about dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant? Get the car detailed so it looks good and smells fresh?

72-Heron_137

If we are going to go all out, how about a chair lift so we can stop hauling our reluctant bodies up the stairs? And a pair of senior scooters plus a car-carrier so we can take them with us? That would make life a lot more fun!

Maybe a contractor to fix the stuff that needs updating, replacing, repairing, restoring. Not an overhaul. A coat of paint. New vinyl in kitchens and bath, carpeting in bedrooms. Give the old place a face lift. Since you asked.

I don’t brood on this stuff. We manage. We’re not suffering, though we aren’t getting younger or more spry. But who is?

december bouquet

We have a lot more than many others, so rather than yearning for what we lack, I’d rather dwell on how lucky we are.

It has been an amazing year. I’m alive! That’s a good starting point!

ABOUT THE WELL

With your help, we have a well. Water flowing from the taps. The project is not quite completed. We still lack the well’s top. Probably not going to get that done until spring. But everything else is finished.

The well is working. We have water pressure. Water from the taps is icy cold and crystal clear. It means we can continue living in this beautiful valley of rivers and dams, beavers, ducks, and herons.

So this is a good time to be glad. Christmas is rolling around and I’m here to celebrate. Grateful to have friends who care. Family. And so happy we have each other.

That’s huge. Come to think of it, I’ve got plenty!

WHICH WAY BY WATER

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2014 #23

Welcome everyone to Cee’s Which Way Challenge. This challenge subject is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, we move from one place to another on. You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride them, as long as the way is visible. Any angle of a bridge is acceptable and are any signs.

I thought, since we live by the Blackstone River and canal, this week I might show you the waterways … canals and river and some of their bridges.

LAST WINTER

Winter is on its way. We’ve been warned. A couple of little snows. Just a few inches and now it has melted, so we are back to mud. But that’s because it warmed up and rained last night.

72-February Snow OO_4

In a few weeks, it will stop warming up. All precipitation will be snow or sleet (I hate sleet).

72-February Snow OO_1

Last winter was horrendous. It was bitterly cold and never warmed up enough to melt off. It would melt a little bit, then immediately freeze again until our driveway was a glacier from which we could not escape.

72-February Snow OO_2

Yet. It was beautiful. Snow is beautiful. Living in this valley, when the snow cover turns the world shiny and white looks like a painting, a Currier and Ives illustration. Even the most hardened winter hater can’t help but be awestruck.

72-February Snow OO_3

A few pictures from last winter … antique-style to add just a hint of unreality. I’m down with winter’s unreality, by the way. If only I could stay unreal until spring …

TESTING 1-2-3

72-Thanksgiving-First Snow_15

This Christmas cactus was too dark, too grainy, very crooked and distorted. In a single operation, I straightened, skewed, cropped and de-noised it. Surprise!

I finally made the decision to buy onOne’s Perfect Enhance 9 module. I had already decided against buying the full suite. Too many of the tools in it were ones I’d rarely or never use, or duplicated tools I had in other software.

72-Nov-Mallards_010

This picture was not only out of focus, but so crooked I did not expect to salvage it.

The enhance module has a bunch of features I can and will use, and they may help me rescue borderline pictures which are too grainy or too soft. The sharpening and noise reduction functions in this software are exceptional.

Cleaned up, with the tones more even. And, of course, straightened.

Cleaned up, de-noised, and straightened.

Another feature I didn’t expect but am enjoying is the multi-faceted crop function. It lets me straighten, skew, and crop in a single operation.

Adjustments were made on just about everything, from brightness, to contrast. It has been straightened and sharpened.

Adjustments were made on just about everything, including exposure, saturation, and contrast. It was straightened and sharpened.

As far as I can tell, it is not well-integrated with the Windows Photoshop CS-6. All the onOne tutorials use a Mac version which has different menus from my version. I’m not sure what version of Photoshop they are demonstrating, but I have not (yet) been able to integrate this module as a Photoshop plug-in. It remains essentially a standalone application which uses some Photoshop features and formats. I like it anyway.

SNOW ON THANKSGIVING (AGAIN)

72-Thanksgiving-First Snow_01

I know it snowed last Thanksgiving too because I have photographic evidence, but I don’t remember. I know it was a terrible and long winter. That it was bitterly cold before Halloween and stayed cold until the middle of March.

72-Thanksgiving-First Snow_04

It’s not so cold this year. It has actually been a bit warmer than usual, though it’s not warm today. It started snowing — more accurately, sleeting — yesterday morning and has been dribbling icy stuff from the sky ever since. Now, at 3 in the afternoon, it seems to have finally stopped.

Nothing is falling, but the sky is a leaden white that to me, in my unprofessional role of meteorological guru, screams rain. Probably followed by freezing. In other words, ice. We have new snow tires, but they aren’t much help on ice. Nothing, including 4-wheel drive, is much help on ice.

Tempus fugit!

Tempus fugit!

So here are pictures of Thanksgiving Day, 2014. Not the dinner table because nothing is served yet … it’s all in the oven. I can smell it. The best part of Thanksgiving is how good it smells. My nose is singing a Hosanna.

72-Thanksgiving-First Snow_22

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

Reflections on Life through poetry, essays and photos

Living Life Day by Day ...

... and coming up for air

soul n spirit

seeking for happiness in the psalms of life......

Empty Nest, Full Life

Formerly: PostDepartumDepression Thoughts about the "post Mommy" years of life

Talking Horror

Movie Reviews

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

genusrosa

words. matter.

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS

Not just another WordPress.com site, but an extraordinary place to spend a weekend, grill a cheese sandwich and watch a film to improve your life and stimulate a few of the grey cells.

tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

Mostly unfinished stories primarily produced as a direct result of my association with the OC Writers Guild

I'm a Writer, Yes I Am

Martha Ann Kennedy's Blog

Theme Showcase

Find the perfect theme for your blog.

Stuff my dog taught me

and stuff I'm figuring out on my own

Evelyne Holingue

Chronicles, Stories & Books by a French-American Writer

Godless Cranium

Random musings of a godless heathen

Surrounded By Imbeciles

Inside the Mind of a History Professor

THE WRITE PLACE...

...to build a community. Share Patti Hall's journey ...

Enchanted Seashells...Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

Beguiling pearls of wit, wisdom, and whimsy-with attitude

Evil Squirrel's Nest

Where all the cool squirrels hang out!

Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel

Viewing the World Through the Observation of Squirrels

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,530 other followers

%d bloggers like this: