ROCKS, BOULDERS AND STONES IN BLACK & WHITE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Rocks, Boulders, Stones

We live on rocks. Rocks, roots, and shale — that’s what the area is made of. The reason our house is all the way over on the northeast edge of the property is there’s a rock the size of New Jersey in the middle of the property.

The rocky shores of Cape Ann were (are) famous for shipwrecks
Stones under the dam

The guy who built this house (and a lot of others along this road) was not a great planner. Rather than moving the construction further forward on the lot (it’s 2.5 acres so land isn’t the problem) or further back — both of which areas are flatter and has fewer boulders — he pushed the house all the way to the northeast edge of the property line.

Superstition mountains are nothing but rocks
The rocky edge of the Blackstone River. With Great Blue Heron.

Over the property line.

On the neighbor’s property.

With faded green by the stone bridge over the Blackstone River
Stone steps into the river

Which later required a property exchange, a dozen years after the original building was erected.

My personal favorite rocks
Our garden wall composed of giant, lichen-covered stones from deep in our woods

The funny part was because our buildings are so far apart, it took a decade for anyone to notice this house was actually half on the neighbor’s land. Ah, life in the country!

 

FIELDS – CEE’S BLACK & WHITE CHALLENGE – Garry Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Field

Really, we live in a field, except it doesn’t look like a field because it’s full of trees. It’s hard to take pictures of a field with so many huge trees on it. They tend to block one’s view.

So I have settled for more open spaces, except for just one of the walls of Fenway Park. Because you can’t come from this area and not include Fenway!

If I think about it, this area is nothing BUT fields!

Field by the river – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Field of snow – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Mountainous fields in Arizona – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Fenway Park – the oldest baseball field in the U.S. – Photo Marilyn Armstrong
Cornfield at harvest time – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong – The landing field at the Tuskegee site
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong – Field of green by the river in June

 

A RIVER OF MAGICAL PLACES: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Weekly Photo Challenge: Magical Places


The Blackstone Valley Historical Corridor is a series of connected parks in and around the Blackstone River Valley. There are dozens of little, medium, and large parks.

The parks surround many dams, ponds, and lakes. There are bicycle paths, picnic tables, even a few areas where you can swim and many where you can kayak.

Everywhere there are benches, facing the falls, the lakes. My particular favorite place is on the Mumford River (a branch of the Blackstone) in the middle of Uxbridge.

October on the Mumford – 2013
October on the Mumford – 2018
On the Mumford – 2017

I love living in a town in which a river runs through the middle of town. Like Paris with the Seine, or London on the Thames.

Manchaug dam on the Blackstone – 2018
Roaring Dam – Blackstone on the Blackstone River – 2017
Blackstone Gorge – Photo: Garry Armstrong

I have a lot of pictures of the dams, many taken in the fall because it’s the best time for pictures. Maybe not this year, but most years.

ODDBALLS – AND DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! – Marilyn Armstrong

Oddball Challenge: November 1, 2018


I’m never sure if the picture is artsy or oddball. Maybe they are basically the same? I need to think about that some more!

Photos: Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong
Memories on the fridge
Our working kitchen
Waiting for the birds
Kammie’s Oddball Challenge

COMPLIMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS UNBIDDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

I read a post by The English Professor at LargeShe was writing about kindness and love and the simple things you can do to make the world a better place to live. If you have a chance, read her piece. You probably already agree, but she says it so very well and with so much class.

Mated for life

I got to thinking that my version of that is to offer compliments (unasked for) to people who I expect are rarely offered a compliment.

Ducks on a golden pond

I tell people they look great and they do. Maybe not for a 20-year old, but for them, they look fantastic. I tell them when they seem to have lost weight. I got a bullseye last week when it turned out she really had lost 50 pounds. I tell them they have a beautiful smile.

Saying nice things to people who don’t often hear them is the only gift i have to offer. I usually don’t know whether it was appreciated, but I know an unexpected compliment makes me feel good. Sometimes a bit embarrassed too, but what’s a little embarrassment between friends?

Red finch!

On the other hand, I am very wary of offering suggestions to anyone. I have a friend who takes pretty good pictures on her cell phone. She has come a long way, but can’t seem to remember to hold it level. Every picture is just a wee bit crooked. My pictures are crooked too, even with the leveler built into my camera. But I have Photoshop so I can straighten them later.

She doesn’t use any software. What it does mean is if the photo starts crooked, it will slant for all eternity. But she’s sharp. So I finally suggested she try and pay attention to holding the phone level when she shoots. I bet she will, too, because she is one of those “tell her once and she gets it” learners.

I’m pretty sure I complimented at least one follower into getting a better camera and she’s become an amazing photographer. Sometimes, a compliment, a well-meant suggestion can make a huge difference.

The most important part is to offer a compliment or suggestion without an expectation of payback and realize if you get rejected, drop it. The best thing is when you make someone feel better or improve their work or get them started in a different direction … and maybe they don’t even realize you’re the one who did it. When that happens, remember to never mention it. If you bring it up, you’ll ruin it.

Be happy. And shut up.

FESTIVAL OF LEAVES & FLOWER OF THE DAY: A WALK BY THE CANAL – Marilyn Armstrong

Week # 6: Walk By The Canal

FOTD – October 30, 2018


It should have been spectacular color, but it was mostly still green with some yellow. Still, it was definitely pretty, especially when the amber light hits it in late afternoon.

All the yellow leaves
Picnic by the canal

Still, it was a crisp fall day. If the leaves were not scarlet, they were yellow, glowing in the amber sunlight, with the canal as shiny as a mirror.

Just a couple, walking along the trail on their way to River Bend Park.

DINGY – NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU EXPECT – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Dingy


I thought I knew this word. It could be a little boat, often a little boat that lives on a bigger boat and is used to back and forth from the shoreline. It can also mean a little bit drab, or perhaps not entirely clean. It also can mean a sort of grubby off-blond hair color … or a faded hair color.

What I did not know is that it’s also a photographic term, meaning grainy and maybe a bit dark. Not shiny, maybe a bit fuzzy.

It is in the same category as grunge or grungy  — which is sort of like a softened version of HDR, but grainier and not as sharp. Also, things that are described as “chalky” frequently are also dingy.

It isn’t the same as “softened” because soft means taking the edge off the picture. Used a lot in photographs, especially of older people who don’t want to see every wrinkle and skin discoloration.

So these two are both dingy pictures. They look a bit antique and the light is subtly striated. Who knew, right? Yet another definition for a term you won’t find in the dictionary.