A Garden of Delights

Posts Tagged ‘Amateur Photography

Actually, none of these photos were taken on the first of any month (I actually took them last September).  But I’d been going through and trying to sort some of the stuff I’d finally uploaded from my camera to the server and saw these shots from our trip England last fall.  We were staying at a farmhouse in the Yorkshire Moors (and if you’re ever heading there, msg me and I’ll tell you the place, because we had a great time) and we took a daytrip toward Helmsley because I’d wanted to see the town we’d only breezed past during our prior trip.

I got some time in the town as a trade-off with my son, on the condition that we go back to Rievaulx Abbey.   The Boodle had loved the ruins during our last visit and was quite insistent that we would go.  So we headed out…

On our way out we found this great marker in the moors where some hikers were heading off:

Then we had lunch.  The Boodle had his usual gamon steak while I went for the Ploughman’s.  It was too much food and so easy to overdo on.

After that, we checked out All Saint Church, Helmsley and Helmsley Castle, plus enjoyed tea in the Helmsley Walled Garden and made some friends with a few local horses. But a promise was a promise, so we headed out the abbey.

We were in for a treat.

English Heritage was holding a three-day event at the abbey, called Illuminating Rievaulx.  Colored lights and sounds set up throughout the ruins set off details that normally didn’t show.  We couldn’t actually stay for the show (the day we’d come, a storm was due—it actually started as we drove out of the valley—and we had to get to our farmhouse before 8pm when the gate got locked… not that I really wanted to drive through the moors in the dark during a storm anyway).  We still got some amazing shots of the setup and some great discussion with the performers.

Heading into the Abbey

Storm Approaching

Perspective… those doorways up there? I COULD walk through them, that’s how big those columns are

Lights before dark….

In all, an amazing full day of discoveries…

All of these photos, save for the one of our meal, were taken on a Canon G5.  The meal was taken on a Samsung Note5 phone camera.

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They don’t HAVE to be new photos….  not really.

I’m starting up the First Friday Photo Blog again.  There’s something about art: drawing, painting, even photography…  like writing, it’s an attempt to capture and create a new life from an expired moment.  A glimpse into the past or a dream…  the world through another person’s perspective.

Like my piece for today….

It doesn’t look like much, I know.  A kind of dirty old wall from what looks to be a ruin of an old church…  maybe?

Actually it’s one of the walls of Westminster Abbey’s Chapter House, and compared with some of the other walls, it looked very plain.  The original paintings and murals throughout the Chapter House had been plastered over for a time (anyone who studies old buildings knows that fads go in and out, and one of these was whether to have brightly painted murals on the walls or clean white surfaces… a lot of historic churches have great artwork hiding just under the whitewash).  Most have been somewhat recovered.  Not this wall, however.  This wall just looked forgotten, like maybe it had never held the brilliant artwork that decorated some of the walls.  Like this image from the English Heritage site or the image below I took while there this fall:

Images of Heaven and Hell

Thing is, when I got a bit closer to the wall (nudged by the crowd), I realized what had looked like blank stone held so very much more…

Don’t be afraid to make this image larger!

And then, zooming in closer….

How is your ecclesiastical Latin?

Do you see it now?  Granted, photos saved for the web don’t do justice to the sheer niftiness of this “blank slate”, but hopefully you see the writing on the wall.  Literally….  It was amazing.  Standing there, seeing all that text on the ashlar blocks.  Everyone else was looking at the gilded murals of the angels and admiring the bright colors, but once the crowd started to drift out, I gathered a peaceful moment with the docent and found the Abbey has been working with extra care to preserve this wall, because the slightest chip could change a meaning in the writing if it lands in the right place.  And there’s so much missing already…

A glimpse of the past…  of many pasts, really.  As well as the present, and hopefully… the future.

Here’s the linky. It will be active all weekend for posting your pictures if you are interested in joining me in this creative journey:

Here I was, all excited about starting up my First Friday Photo bloghop, and what would you know…  the cray-cray and brain drain made me forget to post my link on time!

Well, here it is anyway…

This past Wednesday was a very special sort of full moon.  In two ways…  (Three if you were closer to California, but sadly we weren’t.)

  1. It was a Blue Moon, what they call it when there is a second full moon in a month’s time
  2. It was a Blood Moon (when atmospheric conditions give the full moon has a reddish tinge)
  3. …  it was a partial lunar eclipse

None of these are all that unusual, but they do make for a lovely effect.  I do wish our weather here in Upstate NY had been more agreeable, but we got snow that night, and the skies were grey and cloudy from well before nightfall set.

Still, a snapshot from the deck just before my son went to bed didn’t come out too bad….  or so I think.

Taken with my Samsung Note 5 phone

I added some extra days to the linky, because I realized I’d messed up. Hope you all would like to join the hop.

Wednesdays seems to be flying by this year.  Here’s another one and time for…


Just Another

2018 ROW80 Check-in WWW Wednesday Post First Friday Photo

Post

(click below an image to go to the specific section you want if you don’t want to read the whole post)

Since one of my new ROW80 goals was to start blogging more consistently and since I’ve wanted to become more active in the IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) and since I have read a lot and wished I had a way to share my recent pleasure… this seemed like a great place (and great time) to start.

First things last and last things first, got a picture you’d like to share, a thought on photography or even a piece of digital art…

The First Friday Photo blog hop is open for submissions.  All creative images* welcome as long as you link your post up this Friday.

I created this blog hop to make a space to enjoy art in my busy life, even when it’s only once a month and to share my love of photography with others.

The rules are simple (quoted from my original First Friday Photo post Still Motion):

  • post a photo (one you took, please don’t post other people’s work) on your blog
  • include a link to the linky (so visitors can visit each other’s work)
  • add the link to your post to the above linky (so we can find your work)
  • visit other people’s posts
  • enjoy

I had to put that “enjoy” there.  Every time I open a package of instant ramen, I giggle because of that.  I mean, of course I am going to enjoy…  yummy ramen is, well, yummy.  😀

Hope to see you there!

(*if your image is explicit, please use discretion and an NSFW warning)

Now, let’s go with WWW Wednesday where, according to the rules of the bloghop, I need to answer three main questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently? I’ve been plowing through the Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson.  Since my last WWW Wednesday post, I am now reading Murder on Amsterdam Avenue.  This is book #17 of the series.  At my last post, I was on book #5.  I’m a short ways into In Like Flynn, another Molly Murphy mystery by Rhys Bowen, but I confess to setting it aside to fully invest myself into the lives of Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy.  My ARC of To Woo a Wicked Widow is nearly done (review next week), and despite the cray-cray I made some progress on the beta read I accepted.

Recently? It’s been two weeks since my last WWW Wednesday post, so it looks like I’ve read a lot of books.  I won’t bother to list all the Gaslight Mysteries titles I’ve read.  I read twelve of them.  I’ve also read two Molly Murphy mysteries (Death of Riley and For the Love of Mike).  Dear Life by Alice Munro presented a welcome though-provoking serious note here and there.

Next? This Monday I turned in books and took out another twelve.  In bag…  Kindred by Octavia Butler, the next Deep Fried Mystery by Linda Reilly, Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr, and so many others.  Oh, and all but the latest Gaslight Mystery.  But I do have the next six Molly Murphy’s…  That should keep me busy a while.


And lastly, here is my ROW80 check-in. For those who didn’t see my goals for the upcoming 12-weeks of ROWing, you can see them here. You can find our very supportive and helpful group here, as well as some history and “rules” if you want to know more about the ROW80 in general.

My creative writing has been pretty staggered.  I did manage a Stream of Consciousness post (on Sunday instead of Saturday) and a WIPpet Wednesday post today.  But I hadn’t even looked at 750words.com until today.  I did keep up the ROW80 blog well enough, although I am behind on my sponsor visits.  (Actually, I’m behind on all my blogging visits…  last week was…  difficult, and this week, when I wasn’t reading, I was recovering or sick.)

So it’s been a pretty off few weeks in my writing life.  But the mind is starting to demand something other than staring at little black marks on a white page.  It’s demanding I make some of them myself at least.  And the body is demanding I get up and move and do.  So I have started some.  Even if it’s just reading  while pacing in the living room.

Small steps…

Yet Another…

2018 ROW80 Check-in WWW Wednesday

Post

(click below an image to go to the specific section you want if you don’t want to read the whole post)

As is becoming the trend, first things last and last things first, the WWW Wednesday where, according to the rules of the bloghop, I need to answer three main questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently?  An odd mix here…  I just started an ARC of Jenna Jaxon’s To Woo a Wicked Widow.  I’m also almost done with Book #4 of the Victoria Thompson Gaslight mysteries Murder on Mulberry Bend.  And I’m delving into Cathedrals of England by Sir Nicholas Pevsner.  It’s an odd passion of mine…

Recently? I’ve set aside Gun, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.  I just took on a beta read and an ARC (above) that I need to prioritize, and it’s a library book.  It’s back into my TBR list for another time.  Of course, I have indulged in a fair amount of escapism, having finished Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore by Rose Pressey.  By the end, I was actually glad I’d read the book, and definitely looking for the next one.  However, since I couldn’t find it (even at the local Barnes & Noble), I jumped into Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight series and plowed through books #3 and #4 (Murder on Granmercy Park and Murder on Washington Square.

Next? Let’s see, I have my beta read (sooper sekret! 😉 )to do, plus the next Molly Murphy mystery Death of Riley.  Though  went through another short in Dear Life by Alice Munro, I’m not sure I call it in my “I am reading” list because of where my head is right now.  I also picked up Tête-à-tête by Hazel Rowley at one of the local used bookstores because a glimpse of a few pages intrigued.


 My ROW80 progress has been bit less inspiring.  My 750words.com word counts are slowly increasing (averaging about 600, so I’m not on track yet, but the creative ideas are flying fast and furious).  In keeping with my theme of consistency (and because this was my week off from the Weekend Writing Warriors blog hop) I’ve posted a WIPpet Wednesday post on Many Worlds and done my best to offer some thought-provoking posts to the ROW80 blog for our check-ins.  I’m still trying to figure out the exact rhythm our writing community performs best at now that I’ve taken over the blog from Kait Nolan.

I’ve also started work toward my upcoming First Friday Photo post.  This morning offered several of those remarkable post-snowstorm captures…  and one (though not my best shot) was of a gorgeous murder of crows I saw on the drive to bring my son to school (no buses were running today).   I love crows.  Last Friday we had one sitting on our deck.  Squee!

That’s it, I guess.  Signing off from my “office” at the Glenmont Applebee’s…

Consistency has been my main goal this year and especially this Round of Words in 80 Days session.  Given that common wisdom these days suggests 66 days is the average time to make a habit stick, I guess having a few extra buffer days is a good thing.  I haven’t exactly set records out the starting gate any year before this.

Nor have I this year…

Of my main goals, I’m only kicking off on three of my four cylinders, and with this cold—not just the sub-zero temps and fierce windchill outside, but the knock-me-off-my-feet-make-the-whole-world-look-funky-and-fevery beast that had me bundled up for the past two days—getting the engine going has been harder and harder.  Stalling out is an ever-present concern.

So, it’s with some relief I can say I’m still making steady progress toward most of the goals I set at the beginning of the month.  I missed two days of 750words.com (Thursday was a pen & paper day at Panera with a friend, and Friday was the in-bed-no-computer sort), but even with those misses, I’ve rediscovered my joy of free-writing and on-page musing the site offers me.

The blogging isn’t exactly where I want it to be—I still need to update the pages for our ROW80 sponsors and set up the new sponsor post.  As for figuring out how to merge Many Worlds (where most of my writing samples and art exist) with here is…  waiting.

One thing I don’t want to wait too far on…. returning to my photography.  Even if I’m not taking new pictures, I have a ton of images to process and organize.  Some of these I want to share…

So I am starting up the First Friday Photo bloghop again.  The linky froggie (below or in the sidebar, either one works) will be open for the month.  The actual posts go live on the first Friday of each month.  In the case of this session, the posting day will be Feb 2.  The linky will close the day before.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to join in.  This isn’t a contest…  just a way to share a bit of love to the art of pictures.  Here are some of my past entries: #FirstFriday

That’s about it…  for today.  😀

I gave all my money to a cult today.

Well, technically I had lunch with my husband and son and paid the tip with all the cash I had on me, but we didn’t realize that the restaurant we’d gone to was run by the Twelve Tribes.  Which is weird…  I’d looked up their website several times before we went (we live in a very rural area, so finding a decent selection of local eats beyond the local grocery has been a challenge, especially since our favorite pizzeria burned down two years ago), and somehow missed that bit of information.

To be fair to the group, they weren’t hiding anything, on the web or in the restaurant (look up the Yellow Deli in Oak Hill if you’re curious, and before you ask… yes, the food was yummy and the restaurant was beautifully decorated, but no, I don’t think we’ll be going there again, not even for those pictures of the place I’d wanted to take).  I was just somehow dense or blind.

But something about the place felt odd, and after a lot of discussion with hubby (who usually is pretty good at finding out creepy stuff and somehow didn’t either), I looked again and suddenly finding the nasty stuff was easy peasy.

But no matter!  This post, being my weekly ROW80 check-in, is about more than my weird lunch…  it’s about my writing goals and my (debatable) progress.  I could have wished for a more productive week as far as my goals had been planned.  But I accomplished a huge amount of unplanned-for stuff that needed to be done on short notice.

Specifically, I didn’t do much weeding out of extra paperwork; if anything, I added a bunch with all the notes and research that filled this week.  In doing so, I read two books from my research stack, Radium Girls by Kate Moore and The Honor Code by Kwame Anthony Appiah, and got ¼ through The Faithful Executioner by Joel Harrington.  Oh!  I got some incredible answers for some worldbuilding conundrums I’d been trying to figure out.  (And I did get rid of some extra fluff.)

So win in my book…

The rest of my goals need more due diligence this upcoming week.  I did write every day, but only three days involved new story.  My walking schedule was equally sporadic, and often devolved into stepping in place before bed because I missed the goal all day. But best for last… my house-cleaning goal has been a resounding success even with the busy week, with tons of laundry, vacuuming, dusting and closet-clearing achieved. 😀

And I even took some awesome pictures of our week of fog, the mini-maker faire my son was involved in, and some lovely baby horses at a nearby farm, like the two pics in this post.


First Friday Photo

Something to inspire

obligatory “What I Allow”

Short Stuff

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