A TINY CHURCH – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s a tiny church hidden behind houses in Amherst. If you don’t know to look, you would never find it. About the size of my living room and dining room combined, the cross on top is a bit crooked. Such a small church, such a long history.

The Goodwin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is a historic church on Woodside Avenue in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The church, built in 1910, is located down a narrow lane in the otherwise residential neighborhood. It is about 25 feet by 50 feet, styled in the Craftsman style popular at the time of its construction. It remains essentially the same since being built.

The church is named for Moses Goodwin, a local resident and parishioner. It was the second building for the African-American congregation that occupies it. The first — built in 1869 on a nearby lot — was demolished in 1917. It continues to be a social and religious center for Amherst’s African-American community.

Zion Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

THE EARLY GOLD OF AUTUMN – Marilyn Armstrong

The leaves have definitely begun to change! The aspens are bright yellow and there are edges of red on the maples. There is a hint of gold on al the leaves as if some painter was doing a watercolor and washed it with light golden amber.

And there were a bunch of Tufted Titmouses on the feeders this morning. Can the rest be far behind?

Osprey, Cape Cod, Late April 2018 – TRENT’S WORLD (THE BLOG) – Trent McDonald

These may be the best pictures of osprey I have seen. Possibly ever seen. Truly gorgeous shots!

Trent's World (the Blog)

osprey

I spent a chunk of the last week in April on Cape Cod.  On one of my walks down a Bell’s Neck in Harwich I watched about a half a dozen osprey hunt/fish.  I took well over 200 photos!  The sky was awful – it was cloudy and about noon.

Heres looking at you

My camera also did a weird thing in its focusing and exposure.  I have noticed that occasionally some settings will seem to change randomly.  Long and short, the exposures were awful for anything not pointing at the water.  The sun did eventually come out and a couple of osprey flew by, so I have a couple of “sunny photos”.

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DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid exists in pretty much every living organism. It is the stuff of chromosomes and carries genetic information. Our DNA is a map of who we are and will be, representing the fundamental and unique characteristics of someone or something.

DNA molecules are a schematic of who you were, are, and will be. All of you, and me, and everyone else. Even some viruses.

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DNA is programming we inherit not only from parents, but from their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents back to the mists of time.

One of the coolest things about DNA is that it doesn’t all “turn on” at birth. Which is how come we don’t look the same throughout our lives. Different genes “kick in” at different ages, so we look like mom as toddlers. Are a dead ringer for dad in our teens. Show a remarkable resemblance to grandma when we hit forty. It isn’t an illusion. It means various pieces of our programming are turning on while others are turning off.

Some basic stuff, such as eye and skin color, are fixed. But — for example — hair may change both in texture, type, and color many times. Mine was dark as a baby, lighter as a young adult, grey in my forties, then white in my fifties. Now, it has begun to turn brown again — patchily, but definitely brown. It has been very curly, almost straight, and wavy. Thicker, thinner, silkier and rougher.

The changes are never finished. And not only signs of age. The shape of our eyes and skull. The set of our jaws. Whether or not we keep or lose our hair.

24 or 25 ... Owen was a toddler and this was Maine on a summer's day

Just when you think you know one thing … what you look like … suddenly, you don’t look like that anymore. You look in the mirror and it’s … Mom?

Spring forward 25 years. Who do I look like? For 20 years, I looked like a clone of my mother. Now, finally, I look like me. At least that’s who I resemble today. Who know what DNA is lurking in my chromosomes? What’s next? I’ll let you know when I know.

A WALK IN THE WOODS – SYMBOLIC JOURNEY AND PHOTO GALLERY

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2014 #27

My favorite road pictures. From different places, different times … and for a variety of reasons. Since I started taking pictures, I’ve been searching for the perfect path, the one that symbolizes life. Over the past 40 years, I’ve expanded my search from woodland paths, to roads of all kinds, including canals and railroad tracks. There is something inherently symbolic about a path.

There used to be a game we played. Not really a game, more like a mental imaging exercise. I originally heard it in the 1960s when I was in college. I was told it wasn’t psychology, but rather drew on symbolism, images out of mythology and folklore. And, of course, our subconscious.

If you feel inclined, come along with me. The meanings, to the degree I understand them, are at the bottom of the page after the photo gallery. I’m pretty sure if you Google this, you’ll find other versions.

1. Imagine you are going to take a walk in the woods. What kind of day is it (sunny, cloudy, raining, warm, cold, summer, winter, autumn, spring)? It can be anything, whatever you see.

2. There is a path ahead of you. Describe the path (open and clear, full of rocks and other hazards, overgrown, etc.).

3. What is the woods like? Pine? Hardwood? Does the sun filter through?

4. As you walk along the path, you see a structure. What is it? It can be any kind of structure — house, shed, ruin, church, modern — anything. Describe it, please. Does anybody live there? Are they home? Do you go inside? How do you feel about the place?

5. Now it’s time to leave the house. You are back on the path and you come to a body of water. What kind of water (stream, river, ocean, lake, puddle, creek, swamp, etc.). You need to get to the other side. How do you cross the water? (Let your imagination roam free!)

6. Having crossed the water, you rejoin the path. As you stroll or stride along the path, you look down and see a cup. What does it look like? Do you pick it up? Keep it or not?

7. Further down the path, you spy a bear. What is the bear doing. What do you do about the bear?

8. You have passed the bear and you have walked a distance until you come to a wall. What does the wall look like? Can you see over it? Do you know (or can you see) what is on the other side of the wall?

What it means, as I learned it:

1. The walk is life and the day is how you see life — dark or bright, shadowy or sunny. All that you see is part of your vision of life. Whether or not there are obstacles in the path, or the path is clear is also part of it. The nature of the woods is also descriptive of how you see life.

2. The structure is your childhood. Many people see a storybook house, gingerbread or the woodsman’s cottage out of Hansel and Gretel. Some people find it terrifying. Some people go inside and don’t want to leave.

3. The body of water indicates how you feel about the challenges in your life. The body of water can be just a puddle that you step over, or an ocean that requires you conjure up an ocean liner to cross. It can be deep and dark, scary or someplace lovely into which you want to wade or swim. How difficult (or easy) it is to cross the water talks about how you feel about overcoming obstacles you {did, are, will} face.

4. The bear is responsibility. Some people run, others freeze. Some people make friends with the bear and it accompanies them on the rest of the walk. It’s all in your imagination and there are no limits.

5. The wall is death. The most common things to see on the other side are a beautiful mansion (heaven?) … more forest (reincarnation or just a continuation?) … the ocean … One guy saw a burning forest (ouch). What you see is what you see and it may not be what you expect.

I have done this several times at different ages and stages of my life. My answers were different each time, reflecting the current me.

What little I know of this is its origins are probably late 1890s, England. Hope you enjoyed your walk!

PICTURING 2014

Creating this gallery mirrored my year. There are no pictures at all taken between December 2013 and May 2014. I was either waiting for surgery, in the hospital, or recovering — too sick to go out and shoot.

And then spring came and Garry started encouraging me to go out, even if only for short periods. And then, there were photographs. This is my year from May through December. In pictures.

Although things seem to have worked out well, especially considering the challenges life threw at us, I would wish for all of us a less eventful 2015. Fewer cliffhangers. Less drama. Good health. A few more parties, concerts, sunny days, and rain in its season.

SEASONAL TOUCHES AND AN OLD MOVIE

The new bouquet came complete with one bright red decoration, a red carnation, some green flowers (not sure what they are) and a large sprig of pine. It fits well with the decorations awaiting the one more small tree that, according to LL Bean, is en route, the Christmas cards, the generally festive look in our living room right now. It’s a nice backdrop for our annual orgy of old Christmas movies.

Today’s feature was The Shop Around the Corner. It’s a 1940 American romantic comedy produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch, starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, and Frank Morgan. The screenplay, by Samson Raphaelson, is based on the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László. The entire story takes place in Budapest — something that has always struck me as odd, considering it’s an American cast and no one explains why these people are living in Budapest.

The plot has become familiar: two people who don’t much like each other developing a love relationship through correspondence. It has been remade a bunch of times, including as the ever-popular You’ve Got Mail (1998) starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Sorry, digressed again. Just that it’s an interesting movie with a rather more abrasive set of relationships that we see in most holiday-themed movies. Take a look if you have never seen it.

And of course, I hope you enjoy the photographs.