I Can’t Keep Up!

Trying to keep up with photos is nearly impossible for me. I think that means I’m taking too many pictures, really. I need to be better about this: I shoot away, forgetting that I later will need to sort through everything. While digital is so much easier (and cheaper!) than film, it does mean that some of us (well, me, anyway!) aren’t as discerning about what we (I!) do. Here are just a few shots I’ve recently shared elsewhere.

I still have so many desert photos to go through. The beauty there was just insane! This is at Zabriskie Point.
Morning_at_Zabriskie,_4.3.14

This shot isn’t perfect, but it’s the first time I’ve managed to capture a hummingbird! I now know where to find some, should I decide to go back and patiently wait.
Hummingbird,_3.27.14

Iris have so many amazing features. I don’t particularly care to shoot them “whole”, but like to dissect them. (But then I’m that way with most flowers!)
Yellow_Iris_Center,_3.27.14

The swirl of this rose caught my eye, as did the water drops.
Pink_Swirl_Rose,_4.9.14

Another iris, a different way.
Lavender,_Purple,_Yellow,_Iris,_4.15.14

Another swirl, this time in red.
First_Shot-_Red_Rose,_4.15.14

Osteospermum are pretty common flowers around here, but that doesn’t keep me from shooting them!
Yellow_Osteospermum,_3.17.14

Planning Trips Is Troubling

I don’t think of myself as a totally stressed out person most of the time (stop laughing readers!), but attempting to plan a trip or two sure does a number on me. I can’t seem to focus on anything. In addition last week was stressful for other reasons on which I won’t elaborate. Today, trips unplanned for the most part, I decided a walk was of utmost importance. I have grown to need my walks for my sanity … or what is left of it after nearly 40 years of professional oboe playing! Yes. Forty years. Am I old? It appears that I might be.

My walks are funny most of the time. I head out not really sure of where I’ll go. Sometimes I cross a street just because the street light is in my favor (I don’t like to stop). Sometimes I think I’ll head one way and my feet take me elsewhere. The destination is rarely the goal (although the rose gardens here will occasionally demand my attendance). The goal is just to walk. I try to walk for 30 minutes before pulling the camera out. I mostly fail. The goal is to walk at least five miles. I usually succeed. 50% success, I guess. That’s not a good grade, but it’s great for a batter. Hmmm …

images

50% would be bad in a class:
failing is rotten — I feel like an ass!
50% is okay for a batter
so I’m dumping the former
and choosing the latter.

Ta-da! A magnificent poem. Or not.

In other news, I lost my spare pair of prescription glasses. I’m annoyed that I’m losing a lot of things lately. I think, though, that the fact that I know I lost them is a good sign … right? The brain isn’t completely fried.

Here are two shots from today, along with a few I posted the past few days.

First_Shot-_Orange_Rose,_4.14.14

Fremontodendron_Flower,_4.14.14

Pale_Camellia,_1.20.14

Pink_Tulip,_3.17.14

Wisteria,_3.17.14

Red_&_Purple,_3.21.14

Thoughts From A Trip

When Dan and I were in the desert I was thinking about photography (surprise, surprise!) and about the “why of it all.” Do I take photos for money? Certainly not. Do I shoot for popularity? Obviously no. Do I capture things so I can remember them? A bit … especially on a trip. But most of my photos are from walks and I’m not sure I need to remember my walks like that.

Why DO I do this? I’m not going to make money off of it. I’m not going to become known for what I do.

I do it because it brings me joy. I also do it because it reminds me of the beauty of God’s creation.

That’s really it. I don’t even care quite as much about the end result. Maybe that’s a good thing. I just love looking through the camera lens. Of course I do enjoy seeing what I get when I download (upload? I’m never sure!) things on to the computer. But really, the joy of shooting is a main thing for me. Between my walking and my shooting (in the most peaceful way I can think of), I’m more content now than I was, say, ten years ago. I think I need to apologize to my children: I wish I’d “discovered” this while you were home: maybe I’d have been a nicer and better mother!

But hindsight isn’t worth a whole lot.

Mostly I’m just so grateful to have learned about the joy of photography now. Even someone in her fifties can learn new things, I guess!

Sadly it does mean my house is a lot messier.

Unsharp-_Hardenbergia_violacea,_1.18.14

Just a few photos …

What a week. Four Don Giovanni rehearsals isn’t all that horrendous, but when they are in the day time it throws off my life so much I’m in a bit of a state. Funny how silly things like that can do me in! I’ve neglected sharing photos. Mostly because I forgot. here are a number I put up on Google+ this week.

A rose from a walk this week. (Yes, I managed to walk for part of the week, leaving early enough that I’d manage some miles despite the rehearsals).
Bright_Rose,_4.8.14

Again, from a walk:
First_Shot-_Yellow_Iris,_4.8.14

A “First Shot” rose. I like to try and shoot something good for my first shot. Just because.
First_Shot,_Rose,_4.9.14

There’s a house nearby that has an incredibly front yard iris garden. For the first time this year I got to meet and chat with the owner! I think she was pleased that I look for her blooms every year.
Iris_Detail,_4.7.14

One of my favorite neighborhood dogwoods:
Pink_Dogwood,_4.7.14

An unidentified desert plant. I’m hoping by posting it in multiple places someone will identify it for me.
UnidentifiedDesertPlant,_4.2.14

Our first day in Death Valley and I encounter this? I knew it was going to be an incredible trip!
Death_Valley_Landscape_with_Clouds,_3.31.14

From our desert trip, this is when we headed up a bit and encountered a snowy day.
Snow_on_Lupine,_4.2.14

I wonder who this is?!
The_Photographer_in_the_Snow,_4.2.14

Getting Back To Normal … Maybe

It does seem to take a while to feel like things are back to “normal”. Of course, in truth, nothing has ever felt normal to me. I’m not sure if it’s because we base “normal” on what we grew up with or what. I have finally realized that life is what it is and I will never have the sort of schedule that my parents had. I will never have a set schedule at all, really. That’s the music biz for you! Or maybe it’s just 21st century life. I’m not sure.

As of today I hope to be back on a walk schedule, but opera rehearsals starts tomorrow so it still won’t be quite as it was. That will have to wait a week or so. Today’s walk was six miles and it felt great. I’m trying to not take as many photos: I have too many to go through as it is. I am horrendously bad about “camera resistance” though.

Today’s walk brought these Watsonia flowers my way. I like to play with them in a somewhat abstract way since they are just so darn colorful and cool!

I liked the rainbow look of the right side on this one:
Orange_Watsonia,_4.7.14

The “all of it” … or at least closer to that:

Orange_Flowers_against_a_White_Fence,_4.7.14

Two More Photos

So I thought I’d post a few photos from our vacation. Then I thought, “How about a First and Last?” So here they are the very first shot I made followed by the very last!

The lodge we stayed at in Laguna Hills was like staying in a garden! I spent time walking around shooting the flowers … and yet all remained alive. ;-)
First_Shot-_Red_Rose,_3.29.14

On our drive home we just had to see if there were any birds at a refuge. Yep. Birds and a sunset … (two bits?!)
Parting_Shot-_Birds,_Water,_Sunset,_4.3.14

Beware the Rebates!

I have had two disappointing rebate experiences recently. One finally worked out. The other? I still don’t know.

We purchased a refrigerator for Kelsey and Mel as a housewarming gift. I bought it through Lowe’s back in December, when they were having rebates on the one we purchased. I filled everything out, made copies for myself, and sent it all in on time. I later received a letter saying my purchase didn’t qualify. That was simply not true. I sent everything in again, circling the part where it says my purchase qualified. Since then I’ve heard absolutely nothing. (I was so hoping to give the kids the rebate as it was a gift card to Lowe’s and we all know how new homeowners have extra purchases when they are getting set up.) Should they not reply soon, I can assure you that I will never purchase a thing from Lowe’s. We are certain to need a new dishwasher as well as a washing machine soon. (Sigh.) I was planning on going to Lowe’s for both. So much for that, I guess. (But hey, Lowe’s, if you read this perhaps you’ll finally respond?!)

I also purchased an Epson printer that came with a good rebate. I submitted THAT in time as well. I even kept a record of all the dates. I mailed the rebate in on January 8. They processed it on January 20. According to the Epson “Terms and Conditions” they were to send me my rebate “within 8 weeks from receipt of a properly completed claim”. Nope. Didn’t get anything. I wrote and Epson replied, “Your check was printed out on March 10, 2014. Please allow 3 to 4 weeks to receive your check in the mail.” Hmm. That’s a whole lot later than their very specific “Terms and Conditions”! I finally received the check today, April 4. On the check was printed NOT VALID AFTER 90 DAYS, and the check was dated March 10. Obviously I was within the 90 days, but I wonder, had I not written to ask about the check, if I would have received it when I did.

I’ve heard so much about the rebate scams, but this was the first time I’ve run into issues. Just a warning: always make copies of your forms, receipts and serial numbers. Don’t let these companies get away with this. I’m annoyed with Epson and furious with Lowe’s. Sigh and double sigh.

In happier, less whiny news, I’m finding a lot of nice shots in the huge collection of things I did on our vacation. Stay tuned for flowers and the “bigger stuff”. Here are two I posted on Google+ and Facebook already:

Gilia latiflora (Broad-flowered Gilia)
Gilia_latiflora_(Broad-flowered_Gilia),_3.31.14

Sphaeralcea ambigua (Desert Mallow/Globe Mallow/Apricot Mallow)
Desert_Mallow,_3.31.14

Kiddie Concerts, Over ‘n Out!

Whew! I walked every day. Today I could only do a one-way walk, but Dan picked me up which enabled me to at least walk TO work. What a fantastic week for walks!

Not so much for photos, though: I couldn’t take the time I normally do, since I had to get to work. That was fine, though, and part of me thinks perhaps I should leave the camera at home and “just” walk. That way I wouldn’t have so many photos to get through!

I’m glad we do these children’s concerts, but I’m also glad to be finished. They are incredibly tiring. Now I will spend a week relaxing, before we jump into Don Giovanni.

A few hours ago I received a private message via Twitter. A woman I had communicated with quite a lot there — a pianist who lived in Los Angeles — had died suddenly. I’m still in a bit of shock. It’s so very strange to think someone whose voice I’d never even heard but someone I felt very connected to is gone. Very, very strange. I’m still processing this one.

Just a few photos … no words … just photos …

Dancing_Dogwood,_3.27.14

Pale_Iris_Detail,_3.27.14

African_Iris,_3.28.14

Rucola_3.27.14