ROCKPORT HARBOR AND ANOTHER SUNRISE – Marilyn Armstrong

Fishing Boats and a Scarlet Sunrise


Dawn in Rockport. If pictures look familiar, Rockport, Massachusetts is one of the most photographed locations in the U.S. Not only is it highly photogenic, but it is also an artist’s colony.

Just before daybreak

First light

It was July 4th and I set the alarm for 4 am. It was still fully dark, but luckily, the place we were staying was across the street from the harbor. No hiking was involved, Having done this before, I had my clothing, camera, and anything else I thought I might need already set out.  I dressed in just a few minutes and got moving. By now, I knew I needed long sleeves, pants, and socks. July in Massachusetts is overwhelmed by mosquitoes. The only thing that makes it bearable is a breeze of at least six or seven miles per hour.

No breeze. Not even a hint. I knew I was going to be breakfast for a lot of skeeters.

Perfect sunrise

Almost day

Homes along the shore in the reflection of the rising sun

I was not the only one awake. The fishermen were rigging their boats. They would be gone by the time “normal” people opened their eyes. They seemed immune to the biting menaces — or maybe they were counting on moving out to the Atlantic quickly and leaving the mosquitoes behind.

OGUNQUIT BEACH WITH BIRDS AND A SUNRISE – Marilyn Armstrong

Sunrise Flight


Dawn on Ogunquit beach. It was about 4:30 in the morning when I dragged my body from the bed, threw some clothing on including long sleeves, long pants, and socks. Not because it was so cold. It was a warm September, but I had already discovered that the mosquitoes are voracious in those early hours.

One gull flying over the shore on the hunt for clams and crabs

Looking for breakfast at sunrise

At first, the beach was completely empty, but gradually as it got closer to daylight, there were runners and strollers. Couples hand-in-hand … but apparently only one photographer. Everyone else stayed close to the incoming tide and many walked in the water.

Plovers and a lone gull

I was looking for a wider view, so I stayed back. The farther you are from the water, the worse the mosquitoes become. I think I may have been the only “live one” on the scene.

 

SQUARE AUTUMN DAWN OVER THE TEEPEE #2 – Marilyn Armstrong

Second square, the last light of Autumn sunset

And so another year has begun. Another decade. The last one was insane. I wonder how bad or great the next ten years will be. I’m torn between a faint hope that things have to get better and a sickening fear that it will never get better. Ever again. That the days we remember are gone and won’t come back.

But until I see it getting worse, I’m going to pretend that it’s about to improve. Because I need hope. Don’t we all?

From the rear of the teepee, the day is ending in mid-Autumn.

SQUARE DAWN’S FIRST EARLY LIGHT #1 – Marilyn Armstrong

First square, the first light of dawn

It’s a square New Year, my friends. Even though these pictures look more or less identical to ones I took before Christmas, this is a new dawn. A different sunrise with fresh early light. The problem is that pictures taken from my deck tend to look the same, depending on the time of year.

In the summer is all leaves and you really can’t see much beyond the fence rail and the bird feeders. In the winter, after the leaves have fallen, you see the same trees against the lighter sky. It doesn’t matter whether I take the picture from the kitchen, dining room, or bedroom. Same woods. Same trees. And remarkably, an almost identical sky. These seem to be our local dawn color combo.

First light of day, first frame on the chip

One day I’ll get something different, but so far, unless it’s raining, cloudy, or snowing, this is pretty much it. No matter how hard I try, I can’t come up with something unique. Same old sky. Same colors. Same trees. But isn’t it lovely?

COMING AND GOING OF THE SUN — Marilyn Armstrong

Early morning – Vermont

Other than from the direction, you can’t tell if the sun is coming up or setting. I’ve done all the checking I can and in fact, the light is the same. It depends on the season of the year, but the coloring is identical otherwise.

Seagulls in Rockport

Sunset at home

And yet we are fascinated by the coming and going of the sun. Even when I was a child, I used to stand outside and watch the sky, sometimes for a full hour from late afternoon until final darkness, watching the delicate changes in the sky and the clouds and the way the light filtered through the trees.

I have not yet lost my wonder.

Sunset at the Marina

The rising sun in the mountains in October

A gull at sunrise

Sunset in Douglas

Sunset through clouds

JULY BLUES AND SUNRISE ON THE VERNAL EQUINOX – Marilyn Armstrong

July Blues and the Sky at Dawn – Vernal Equinox 

It was dawn on the day of the Vernal Equinox and I had not closed the shades. I usually do, but I forgot. When I woke up, it looked as if the room was on fire. The blue sky turned deep red and violet before finally, the sun came up. It was the most amazing sunrise I’ve ever seen. My friend called me to ask: “Did you see that sunrise this morning? It was amazing!”

Dawn – Vernal Equinox

And I keep a camera in the bedroom, just for this kind of event. I can only get these amazing sunrises before the leaves come out. After that, the trees hide the sky.

LET THE SUNSHINE IN – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Sunshine

It was the theme for my son’s fourth-grade graduation ceremony. Funny that I should remember it so clearly. My son is turning 50 in a few weeks and I’ve forgotten a lot, but this I remember. And I remember that I cried.

A DAILY MIRACLE – Marilyn Armstrong

Dawn of a new day, as indeed it must

Every dawn is a little miracle. An expected miracle. We know there will be dawn because there is always dawn and then sunrise, right? So, let’s go with the expected.

The sun will rise and the earth will turn because it always has and that’s the way we like it.

Sunrise over the ocean in Ogunquit, Maine – About five in the morning

Thus we greet the day.

WINTER SOLSTICE – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Friday: SOLSTICE

Why did it have to be raining? Why was today the day that every bone in my body hurts and some things which are arguably not bones, hurt too? The birds are outside rain and all.

They don’t expect a warm, dry house … and there’s a feeder to raid. I suppose, when you are a bird, a decent meal is about as good as it gets.

I know this means the season is turning again and days will get longer and ultimately, it will warm up. But not for a while. We have three long winter months to navigate and we’ve barely begun yet.

And meanwhile, at Stonehenge …

The bears have not gone into hibernation. Not cold enough yet? Too many trash cans to raid?

The sky is a leaden pale gray as the heavy rain falls. The dogs want nothing to do with outside. Snow is fun and everything else is okay too, but rain? No, thank you. Pass the biscuits. The sofa is home for now.

Winter Solstice – Sunrise – 2016

I have a doctor appointment. My right arm has taken to hurting a lot and won’t let me sleep. Nothing makes it any better. I think it may actually be a sign that my chest is beginning to heal, but why does it have to hurt so much?

It could be snowing. That would probably be worse, or at least, more complicated. We still have no one to plow the driveway and it’s a long, long road to the “real” road.

Winter has finally come, I suppose. I should be happier about it. I’m trying hard to find that happy place.

SUNRISE ON A COLD WINTER’S MORNING – Marilyn Armstrong

We seem to get our best sunrises on the quarter of the year. Sometimes glorious during the Vernal Equinox in March and just around Christmas, if the sky is clear, the eastern horizon lights up. Sometimes, it looks as if the house is on fire when the sky is that deep scarlet.

This morning, I woke up and realized I had nothing to drink. The dogs were barking anyway and Garry was sleeping like the veritable log, so I got up and made my way into the kitchen.

I poured myself something wet and cold … and looked out the window. The sun was just coming up and it was beautiful.

I can’t see the sky in the summer or fall. When the trees are full of leaves, all I see are leaves. But when the trees are bare, I can’t see the sky unbroken, but I can see it. Since I now have cameras ready and waiting for the shots, I just grabbed one and took half a dozen shots. I gave each dog a couple of little biscuits and headed to bed for a few more hours.

It’s almost the winter solstice and the sunrises are bright with the glory of the turning of the earth. And I have cameras!

THE HOPE OF DAWN AND DUSK – GLIMMER – Marilyn Armstrong #Writephoto

A Hope for Dawn and Dusk – Glimmer:
Marilyn Armstrong #writephoto

It could be the first light of the sun creeping over the horizon or the last rays of light as the sun sets below the horizon. It’s impossible to know. I always wondered if there was any way to tell the difference between dawn and dusk and the answer turned out to be “no” — not really.

I have seen sunrises so brilliant that they came through the window and the room in which I lay seemed to be on fire … and I’ve seen the setting of the burning orb over a bay that set the entire sky alight — 365 degrees of solar magnificence.

And yet, for all that, my favorite times are the soft rising and setting of the sun. The glimmering. A quiet rising and a gentle departure. Soft blues, golds, and pinks — the beginning and end of an ordinary day.

There has been so much craziness in our world. A peaceful start and close to the sun’s passage seems a good choice.

I am trying to find some peace in a world that seems at war with itself and certainly at war with me. I cannot fix it. The best I can do is find a bubble of quiet and hope greater powers than mine grab hold of the world and tenderly bring it back.

This continent on which I live — the northern end of the “new” world — was and still is magnificent. We have great mountains and prairies and lakes the size of small oceans. Giant rivers where the salmon have run for centuries and if we allow it, will continue for centuries more.

I’m not much on prayer. I have no idea where prayers go or if anything or anyone hears them … but for those spirits who might be listening, I offer a humble hope to hold fast to this beautiful planet.

May our better selves emerge to save us from our own savagery.

THE NEWEST, SHINIEST “SHARE YOUR WORLD” – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – 9-17-18


What is your favorite beverage?  

Favorite hot drink? Coffee.

Favorite cold drink? Not so clear. I like Coke, but I also love fruit juice. All kinds of flavors, too.

What is your interpretation of ‘The Golden Rule”?  Are there ramifications to breaking it?

I go with the Jewish version: “Don’t do to someone else what you wouldn’t want to be done to you.” It is the summary of most religious law.

Are there ramifications? Only if you have a conscience. Too many people don’t seem to have even a minimal sense of right and wrong. But they go to church.

Sunrise or sunset person?  

A gull at sunrise

It used to be sunrise because you can’t see a sunset on this property. Lately,  it has been sunset when I’m somewhere not so “treed” in.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Do people in modern society anthropomorphize animals too much? 

I don’t think we do, but some do. I don’t have a “count” on how many do what. I do know we love them a lot and why not? They love us back and they never pick on you for your faults.

What were you grateful for during the past week?      

Our anniversary, seeing old wonderful loving friends, and making an amazing clam and shrimp chowder 😀

PINKEST SKY AT VERNAL EQUINOX – Marilyn Armstrong

As pink as pink can be!

On the morning of the vernal equinox, I woke up to a room that was blazing in shockingly hot pink pre-dawn colors.

There’s something about the equinoxes that creates amazing sunrises and this one was something exceptional. I called (later, not at dawn!) a friend and she said she’d thought the house was on fire. It was that intense. I’m not even sure I have managed to capture the intensity.

Burning sky!

Amazing color

Just before sunrise

 

 

TRACES OF THE PAST YEAR 4 – MAY 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: TRACES OF THE PAST Y4-05

This time, it’s something old, in color.

Lacking cathedrals and mansions, we’ll have to settle for just old things. Like me?

Okay, not me.

Something else, but what? How about the old mansions along the dock in Rockport, Massachusetts. This picture was taken at sunrise on July 4th, at five in the morning.

Old houses along the dock in Rockport, Massachusetts

jupiter najnajnoviji

GOD HAS A PLAN – Marilyn Armstrong

I was still trying to figure out if John Oliver was really going off the air, or it was the end of this season, or we’d just missed the final few minutes of his piece because we have a stupid DVR that clips the final few minutes. Instead, the Sports News Final came on.

It was retribution for Bruins fans. They lost. Bigly. All five games. So I left it on until finally one player admitted that the other team “played better than us,” and no amount of analysis was going to change that. This was the hour that I spend trying to find all the missed typos in new posts and that usually  takes me about an hour.

Garry goes off to bed because he has a DVR in there with all his favorite old westerns on it … plus a bunch of 1930s and 1940s black and white movies he loves which I don’t love nearly as much. He watches with the headset on and he is finally happy. No one is going to ask him to do ANYTHING. He has found true peace.

At some undetermined point, the Bruins concluded their apologies to all their fans and it being late Sunday night, a preacher came on television to announce that God has a plan.

For everything. Every single thing.

March Equinox Sunrise

Everything you think. Every illness, every idea, every mistake. Everything. Effectively humans have no control over their lives because it’s all part of God’s huge, gigantic, amazing plan that covers everything, everywhere forever, amen and probably the Bruins will win next year.

After a while, the harangue got a bit intense and I had to turn it off. I was getting ready to yell back at the television and ask about cancer and pain and death and Donald J. Trump, but I have found that yelling at the TV isn’t nearly as effective as I want it to be.

I gave the dogs their final biscuit and went into the bedroom. I made Garry remove his headphones and told him that God has a plan.

“Okay,” he said. “What brought this on?”

“The Bruins lost five to nothing and then there was a preacher and he was shouting how God knows every idiotic idea in your head, every ridiculous thing that might happen to you or me or anyone, so no matter how painful or scary life is, IT IS ALL PART OF GOD’s PLAN.”

“What were you WATCHING?’ he asked me. He then pointed out that on television they were singing Shall We Gather At The River with the ultimate intention of hanging someone.

I pointed out that this too was part of God’s plan and Garry said I should stop watching that stuff because it was ruining his viewing experience.

So, I wrote this instead. By the way — they hanged the guy. Not to worry because it was all part of God’s plan. I know because they told me. On television. So it must be true.

FLAUNTING? Marilyn Armstrong

Some people like to flaunt stuff.

They get a new car and they want to make sure every single person they know — or almost know, or might know in the future — see it. Most of us like to show off new stuff, but we have limits. We don’t show off everything and we don’t do it all the time.

Along the Atlantic …

I think of those who flaunt as people who wear and use bright colors. I’m not one of the them. I get uncomfortable if too many people notice me. I’ve stopped wearing most large jewelry because I don’t want people to see it or comment on it.

It’s just a thing. To each his own, but that isn’t my way.

But I do like having work I write read. Does that count? And having pictures looked at, too. That’s sort of flaunt-ish, right?