SERENDIPITY PHOTO PROMPT 2015 #12 – EARLY

SERENDIPITY PHOTO PROMPT 2015 #12 – EARLY

Wednesday – July 1, 2015

It’s Frisbee Wednesday again. The world has turned. Springtime ended. It’s summer! If you are anywhere in the northern hemisphere, you are no doubt feeling the pressure to have fun. To leap out of bed to greet the sun. Romp on the beach. Burn meat on a grill. Drive a thousand miles. Climb a mountain.

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Do something. Earn some bragging rights before it’s too late. Don’t forget the camera.

GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE

I have an ambivalent relationship with “early.”

I love sunrise. First light. The glistening of light on leaf and grass. The glow of dawn. A flight of birds across a pristine beach.

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I would merely prefer that it happen later. Like around ten. After I’ve had a chance to have some coffee, catch my breath. Focus my eyes.

Did you know you can say “good morning” to your computer and it will say “good morning” in return? You can do it and it’s easier than you think. Most newer computers and tablets (and telephones) will happily burble to you any old time of day. I have carefully avoided activating any computer voices.

I can barely bring myself to be polite to the dogs in the morning. They are wildly enthusiastic, but know better than to bark at me. The stand in the kitchen doorway huffing, puffing, wagging, and dancing. In silence. Because a biscuit is coming, a biscuit is coming. Unless they bark at mom. If they are noisy, mom will put her four-footed pals outside until she gets her cup of coffee.

To have my computer jabbering at me would put me over the edge.

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I can prevent my computers from babbling, but there’s nothing I can do about the birds. Birdsong is beautiful (sometimes). Under the right circumstances. The problem is that birds sing at ungodly hours. In particular, the little Carolina Wren who has taken up residence in our back forty.

He sings so piercingly loud and so early, it wakes me out of a dead sleep.

“What? What?” I cry, but it is only the bird. Such a little bird. Such a big voice. What an amazing decibel level!

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I’m proud of these pictures because these wrens have a serious case of ADD. They are never still for more than a nanosecond, so getting a picture of one represents a personal best.

CALL OF THE WILD

When I was a kid, my bedroom adjoined the roof of the “playroom” on the ground floor. It was right next to my window. A broad expanse of nearly flat asphalt tiles, it became — for reasons I’m sure someone could explain, but no one ever has  — the battlefield of an ongoing territorial dispute between the crows and the squirrels.

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They bickered and quarreled at the top of their obnoxious voices. They didn’t care it was not their property. Nor did it actually matter who (if anyone) won the battle.

It was a bloodless war, characterized by sound and fury. Signifying nothing. Every morning, year round, the grey squirrels and the black fish crows went claw to foot for domination of my roof.

Chattering and squawking, they would start before dawn and continue until I found myself pounding my tiny fists on the glass and screaming ‘GO AWAY, GO AWAY.’

They never quit. My mother was unsympathetic, though nothing would get her out of bed before mid morning.

Even coffee couldn’t make her cheerful in the morning. It merely woke her up. Jumpy and grumpy. Not a morning person. It seems I have become remarkably like her in ways I never expected.

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Now, though, I keep a camera — sometimes several — on my jewelry chest near the accessible window in the bathroom. When my body tells me to get up, I can turn a necessity into an opportunity by snapping sunrise and early bird photographs. Then, I pull the shade down and climb back into bed.

Sunrise Strider

I hardly break my sleep rhythm. Until the phone rings …

RIDING SHOTGUN THROUGH LIFE – SHARING MY WORLD

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #26

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

For many years, I would have rather driven, but these days, I’m perfectly happy to ride shotgun. And navigate. I can read a map, an all but forgotten art form which enables one to correlate one’s position in the real world with a virtual location on a piece of paper.

The road and an atlas

The road and an atlas

Oddly enough, this primitive system works very well and the paper map rarely routes me into weird back roads to bridges that have long since collapsed.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

It would depend on the opera. I’m not a big opera fan, but there are some I like better than others … and I might go just for the architecture. They have restored Boston’s historic opera house and I wouldn’t mind a visit.

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE:  does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)

Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.

Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

I’m sure there is a middle ground between those extremes. I’ll take the option that gives me a reasonably peaceful life with enough adventure to build up happy memories, funny anecdotes, and interesting experiences.

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Because it’s hard to write about life and the world if you’ve never gone anywhere or done anything. Also, there are only so many photographs you can take in your kitchen.

 

WAITING WITH THE NEWS – A HEALTH ALERT UPDATE

The only time I read the newspaper is when I’m waiting for the doctor or dentist. Usually, I get headlines online and carefully avoid reading “hard news.”

I don’t want to know. I can’t fix what’s broken in the world. Knowing about it will depress me.

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Yesterday, I had a moderately long wait for the dentist. It was an emergency visit and I didn’t bring my Kindle. My bag is already stuffed, overloaded with camera equipment and everything else.

Garry always buys newspapers and he had brought two. Halfway through the second newspaper, I remembered why I don’t follow news. I caught up with everything I didn’t want to know.

The waiting experience was crowned by seeing the dentist.

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The good news? The antibiotics healed the infection in my gums and if I lay off the flossing, I should be fine. Other good news? My broken tooth was filled. I no longer have a big, jagged hole where my premolar ought to be. In fact, I still have the premolar, or what’s left of it. Even better news? The tooth can be fixed, made good as new, almost.

You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, right? Wait for it …

$1200 for the crown. No insurance. Because health insurance doesn’t cover teeth, vision, or hearing. Eating, seeing, and hearing are cosmetic, not medical issues.

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Now that I know I’m not going to die from infection, I can relax. I can stop being cranky, snarky, and insomniac. Because all I need to worry about is money.

Footnote: The photographs have nothing to do with the post. I took them when we got back from the dentist. With the Pentax Q7, which was not having a good day. It took me an hour to figure out what was bothering it — and set it to rights. I felt obliged to use the pictures.

LET MUSIC FILL THE AIR!

Daily Prompt: Groupthink 

by michelle w. on February 2, 2014

Photographers, artists, poets: show us a GROUP.

I didn’t think I could do better than my original post on this prompt, so here it is again. Not all acts bear repeating. This is one of them.

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Nothing I can think of more represents “group think” in a positive way than does an orchestra and choir. Here, people coöperate, play their parts in a carefully arranged order. Anyone who plays or sings out-of-order will ruin the harmony, destroy the beauty of the whole. For me, a concert represents human society at its finest.

Working together, all focussed on the success of the group without regard for individual attention. Anyone who has ever worked in a troupe of performers, whether it be dance, music, song or drama understands that coöperation, coördination and putting the welfare of the group ahead of individual achievement is tantamount to success … and how great it feels when it all comes together.

Group think doesn’t necessarily mean the loss of ones individuality, but can mean the subordination of ones talent to create something far greater than any individual could do alone. Let there be music!

Often considered the most beautiful melody ever written — there’s to my mind a good deal of competition in this category, but it is wonderful — this is the finale to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, “Ode to Joy.” Orchestra and chorus, together to make a truly joyous noise!

MUSE: FOLLOWING THE RIVER

I fell in love with the Blackstone River when we moved to the valley fifteen years ago. The birds that nest along its length, its canals, tributaries, bridges, ponds. Even the swamps make this one of the most beautiful places in the world. In the autumn, the trees are magnificent.

We have swans and geese, ducks and herons. Turtles, beaver, fishers, and trout — they all live along or in the river. It is a rich and fertile world. Beautiful and ever-changing.

HOW DOTH MY GARDEN GROW – JUNE 2015

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The winter did some serious damage. I didn’t believe anything could kill the spiderwort, but we had almost none this year. We have day lilies, but fewer than half what we had last year … and they are late. The wild strawberries didn’t make it, nor did any of the fancy Chinese lilies return this year. Two rose bushes died.

The remaining three rose bushes are doing well. Two are red, one is pink.

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We have some Columbine. The Goat’s Beard I planted in the woods years ago has finally come into its own, much to my surprise and delight. Hosta are apparently unkillable.

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That any garden remains is nothing short of remarkable. Between the past two bad winters and neglect, I expected worse. Only the holly bush has truly thrived.

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It is huge and will have to be cut back or it will block the entire front path. It has nasty thorns and will grab clothing and flesh if it gets the chance. Still, nice that at least something did well!

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All the pictures were shot with the Pentax Q7 in late afternoon.