Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wake up a little earlier . . .

"Life is too short," she panicked, "I want more." He nodded slowly,
"Wake up earlier." - Dr. SunWolf

I've really never been a particularly natural early riser, you know without an alarm, however I do quite enjoy setting my alarm for this. . . .I hope you aren't tired of sunrises yet!

1. At some point the sunrise time started going backwards, getting earlier. Just a few weeks ago I remember it being at 7:19, tomorrow it will be 7:09. So by the time we 'spring ahead' on March 9th, the sunrise time here at my spot will be at 6:35. But I don't think they take into account that we turn our clocks ahead so will it really be 7:35? Hmmmm. This sunrise was on Sunday and this shot was with my 50mm lens and I had a little fun with slow shutter speed and camera movement (I'll share those later).

2. I wonder . . . you know that saying what a difference a day makes? Do you think they said because they watched the sun rise two days in a row. . . because what a difference a day makes!! This was on Monday.

3. THIS, is why you never leave right away after the sun rises. Because if you're lucky, someone will show up to go wade fishing and give you a silhouette photo op.

4. Do you think seagulls can smell french fries in your pocket?

5. Why yes, yes they can. And they will bring their friends and relatives. Tip: throw the french fries in front of you not up in the air above you unless you have on hat. Not that I know this from personal experience or anything, but I have keenly observed when others have not been so lucky. ;)

Oh, and this was back at the same spot I started at in the morning. I had gone to the nursery and then to the butterfly garden, which looks terrible since our hard freezes, and then to lunch across the street for fresh shrimp (and french fries).

I hope you have a great weekend and remember, wake up a little bit earlier!
Love, Kim

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Get your blog on . . .

. . . cause it's a party!

Last year Vicki from (2 Bags Full) had a wonderful Grow Your Blog Party hop, and I definitely wanted to do again as I met some great bloggers and I'm always up for meeting new friends. A big huge thank you goes out to Vicki for putting together this epic event, double last year's party.

This is me, Kim, a 51 year old mom of two (half an empty nest) with one in college and one still in high school, and a wife of 21 years.

A learner of life, a seeker of light, and a finder of all things beautiful . . . and I document it here in my little space. I've been blogging here for a little over 3 years now.

I love nature, I tend to be a deep thinker, and share my thoughts and my view of the world through my pen and my camera.

I have a love affair with the beach, and shells, and the ocean . . . 

And sunrises . . . definitely one of my favorite things. I am fortunate enough to live on the gulf coast of Texas near Galveston Bay, and 25 miles north of the island. You'll see a lot of sunrises here because I live 30 minutes away from an hour vacation . . . gosh I love that!

And, last March a friend gave me some cuttings of milkweed that ended up having 2 monarch caterpillars which turned into a nursery in my dining room and the nickname of 'The Monarch Farmer' from my son. Since March I've raised and released over 400 Monarch butterflies. I am still working on getting through all my photos from last summer and putting together my journey in a series from egg to butterfly. They are amazing creatures!!

I also raised queen butterflies, black swallowtail butterflies, a few pipevine butterflies, and tersa sphinx moths (aka hummingbird moths).

I love flowers, and photographing them especially in my garden, when I have visitors.

And I love sharing the beauty in the ordinary I find through my lens. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. I look forward to making the rounds today, although truthfully it will probably take a week with this many blogs!

You can follow along with me here: Flickr (I'm attempting a 365 day project), instagram (kimatpickingpoppies), and you can like me on my Picking Poppies facebook page. I am also part of a collaborative blog, Focusing on Life (my recent post), with 9 other women of all ages building a community for people passionate about photography and life. You'll find me musing there every other Tuesday.

Until next time,
Love, Kim

2 Bags Full

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You're taking a pictures of ...?

"By these labels we recognize everything,
and no longer see anything."

- Frederick Frank

Why yes, yes I did!

I went to the sunrise yesterday toting my camera and my 50mm lens, and well besides loving the sun rise, this weeks lesson with the nifty fifty is landscapes. It was somewhat of a challenge as having a crop sensor it's more like a 75mm, and I'm used to being able to zoom and or get a wide angle shot.

After the magic sunrise moment was over I headed over to the boardwalk for a coffee and a little stroll and as usual I garnered a few followers. I thought it was just because they like me, but apparently they have darn good memories (aka, nice lady that has kibbles in her pocket), and I'll get to that later too, the memory part not the kibbles. See #1 of random facts below

I had stopped to watch the pelicans in the harbor when I noticed one of my feathered friends drinking from a little puddle of water. I got down on my knees to get a low shot when around the corner I hear footsteps and a grumpy woman's voice say, "You're . . . (pause) . . . taking pictures of a . . . (pause) . . . pigeon?"

Now besides her feeling the need to ask me (although I'm not sure it was really a question), it really was about how she said it.
I replied back, "It's all about perspective, about how you choose to see things," to which she replied, "oooooh . . . . oh....kay," in a sarcastic tone as she walked away.

We've all heard that saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Salma Hayek says, "that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look..." It certainly doesn't hurt my feelings that someone doesn't like pigeons or anything else that I like. You don't have to like the what, but it reaches a different level when you question my why because I see with my heart first and then my camera.

Labels are barriers and to really "see" anything or anyone at their true core we have to take care not to use them, if not for the shear fact that by labeling others we label ourselves.

Here are some random reasons to like pigeons: (aka the Rock Pigeon descended from the Rock Dove)

1. French scientists did research that suggested that not only do pigeons recognize people, but that they will avoid those who have in the past been hostile. (article) See #5 - good reason to never piss off a pigeon, and well they do live for almost 30 years.

2. Pigeon guano was considered a very valuable resource in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe and used for gunpowder.

3. He is a war hero . . .and messenger. In WWI and WWII the pigeon was able to save hundreds of thousands of lives by carrying messages over enemy lines. And the earliest communication network used them around 5th century BC in Syria and Persia and was used in Roman times to carry the results of sporting events, which is why we today we release white doves at our Olympic Games.

4. They have an incredible knack for being able to 'return home' even when released 100's of miles away. Some theories say they use the earth's magnetic field.

5. They're lifesavers, one of the most intelligent of all bird species and the Navy has found a unique use for pigeons . . . since they can see color in the same way we do they have been trained to identify red or yellow life jackets when floating in the water to save us humans and they've had a high success rate. Don't forget #1

One of these days there will be some clouds again. I noticed the last couple all seem to look the same even though they are slightly different. I was trying with slow shutter speed to really slow down and blur the water again, but I got there and got set up about 15 minutes or less before the sun rose and it was getting too light. And since I got there with not much time to spare I had to pick a spot...hard to do when you know you won't be able to zoom.

Just trying a different composition here and playing with different depths of field. Now if I can get out to find another landscape besides the sunrise.

I hope you all have a really great weekend - we are under a winter storm watch here that could turn to a warning tonight as some areas may get 1/8" of that could be a town that is not prepared for that sort of thing. All I know, is I want a snowflake photo so bad!!

Love, Kim

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Purple Iris . . .

"The flower is the poetry of reproduction.
It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life."

- Jean Giraudoux

The Iris is the birth flower for the month of February.

It is the Tennessee State flower.

 It's a perennial herb and some can even grow in deserts, and swamps and even in the very far cold north.

It is named after the Greek rainbow goddess, 'Iris,' for the variety of colors you can find them in.

{KK Edith}

From ancient times the Iris's stateliness stood as a symbol of majesty and power.
And as the three leaves of it's blossoms exemplifying faith, wisdom and valour, the Egyptians
placed it on the brow of the Sphinx.

{Monet Inspired}

"Don't try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go.
See [God/Spirit/All That Is] opening millions of flowers 
every day without forcing the buds."

- Bhagwan Shree Rayneesh

I think we could learn a lot from flowers, their patience, the beauty that is revealed in that patience,
and with a few essentials we all have the possibility of blooming.

There is also much to learn about their giving and our receiving with out boundaries.
Today, I'm over at Focusing on Life sharing thoughts about boundaries and expectations
and how they can get in my way of 'seeing.'  I would love for you to come on over and
join in the conversation . . . and I'm proposing a challenge.

Love, Kim

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A short sunset walk . . .

"Know where to find the sunrise and sunset times
and note how the sky looks at those times, at least once."

- Marilyn vos Savant

We are lucky enough to live 30 minutes from an hour vacation . . . 

Sunday at about 4:30 in the afternoon, we got the bug . . . to just drive to Galveston and walk on the beach at sunset. Happy sigh . . . 

We weren't the only ones . . . and this cute little guy had a different agenda than his human. I was eagerly greeted with some love. 

So many little gifts I found scattered the beach, 

 and I filled my pockets until the sun no longer provided enough light.

 There were little pieces of artwork drawn in the sand . . . can you see it, the "hang loose" hand sign?

And warm enough to go barefoot, hand in hand.

If I haven't snoozed my alarm too many times this morning, I will at approximately 7:19 be greeting the morning with the seagulls and my camera. I might even splurge and get some donut holes.

The house is a little quieter once again as we took our girl back to college after a nice month long visit. There was an epic two layer, two cake mixes, homemade butter cream frosting, chocolate in the middle with vanilla on top, cake made while she was here....just sayin'! :) 

I have one monarch chrysalis left to emerge and I hope its story is better than the last one (insert sad face).

On a happy note, I'm getting a LOT of seeds bursting forth from the seed pods.

Monday I started back to my metals class...and OH my arms are out of shape. I know this because after sawing for two days the muscles in my sawing arm are sore. Not exactly sure what I'm making, but I do know that there will be some butterfly shapes involved, and flowers.

And that's a random wrap . . . 
Until next time,
Love Kim

                   Friday Photo Journal

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In search of simple . . .

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary
 so that the necessary may speak."

- Hans Hofmann

This could be said of our words, our possessions and the way we present ourselves.
THIS, very much relates to life. 

And... how I can better use my camera.

Last week I started a class, The 50mm project class with Kim Manely Ort Photography. A four week course touching on contemplative photography where last week we concentrated on finding simplicity. For the whole of the class lessons we are using only our 50mm lens as she says it is closest to how our eyes see. I have to admit that when I first got this lens, or have been in low light situations like the missions in San Antonio, I used this lens a bunch. But since getting my 40mm macro lens two years ago, I'm afraid it doesn't get used as often now. So, I'm re-aquainting myself with intention, all the simplicity the 50mm (1.8) lens has to offer.

I went to the sunrise on Friday and while after it rose it was light out side, the sun never showed up for my party and apparently I was the only one that didn't get the memo. So I quickly changed to my nifty fifty and headed down the bunny birding trail.

This was my sunrise that morning, grey, and very foggy, and the tree was covered in large dew drops. My husband stopped by on his way to work...he said my hair was covered in dew drops too, lol! 

I found some red berries framing a path that said, come hither!

And I know we are a little ahead of things down here in Texas, but golly I found daffodils blooming already and the mountain cedar is pollinating profusely. (Hachoo) 

I wish I had brought a plastic bag with me (left my camera bag with the plastic bag in the car for simplicity sake) to gather all the beautiful pine cones for next fall.

Used shallow depth of field,

{KK Oh My}

 and manual focus to explore simple.

And I can't seem to get enough photos of all the wonderful textures of the grasses.

Yes, with a little intention and my 50mm lens I'm not only finding but celebrating simplicity.
Now, if it it could only simplify my closets for me!

Wishing you all the beauty of a simple day,
Love, Kim

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Random five, or so . . .

"Why is that when you wipe up dust it's called dusting but when
you wipe up a spill it's not called spilling? Just something to think about."

- Ellen DeGeneres

Kind of like why is an orange called orange and a banana not called yellow.
We'll never know....

Yes, that was totally random, which is the point of my post today, AND I may even have more than five random things by the time I get to the end.

My milkweed is exploding . . . the seed pods that is, and I'm obsessed with taking photos of them.

I mentioned that I am participating in a Focus on a photo a day - a 365 day project. Can I just say, what the
heck was I thinking? Now, I take a lot of photos every week (I have thousands of monarch photos to prove it, because you can never have enough of those), but one a day, posted to a that feels a little like a commitment. And it's not that I can't commit or anything like that, but I'm just sayin' that yesterday I was already using some curse words because not only was it cloudy but it was only one shade of grey, the yucky shade of grey. AND it was windy and it's hard to take a picture of something when it won't stay still. And because it was so overcast there was no light in my made me grumpy! :) 

But in between wind gusts I did manage to get this one, for my 365 project and for a 50mm project class I'm taking. And after several light freezes and our recent hard freeze two nights in a row I can't believe this rose bush is still blooming. In case you are wondering, it's called "Belinda's Dream" and it smells like heaven.

I walk the beach a lot in the summer, and I find a lot of shells and in fact you can probably see that some of them are favorites. They are the ones that have stories, the vulnerable ones ready to let the world see them in their brokenness. And, that glass bottle top, it's going to be in a necklace one day, I'm just not ready to take it out of my treasure bowl just yet...I like the way it looks in there.

Yep, I blew some bubbles this week. And you know, it's really tricky to blow them yourself and then chase them down before they hit the ground. And with our temps in the twenties (yes that is very cold for us here) the bubbles have been turning these beautiful golden, magenta, blue colors. It would seem that by the time I got done blowing that last bubble out everything had blown away or popped. So I was pretty happy to get at least two in the same picture. Had to resort to bubbles because we don't get snow, at least not unless we've had a hurricane the previous summer.

This was our first sunrise of the year last weekend, and oh the colors and that lone little cloud. Can I just say that I love google sky maps helpful in telling me where to point my camera. 

Can't believe it's almost time to take our girl back to her great having her here over a long Christmas break. And yes there was a cake, a two layer cake with one cake mix for each, chocolate butter cream middle, and regular on top. It didn't last long....

Getting excited, my metals class starts next week!! I love the sound of sawing and hammering...

The last of my monarch butterflies from this batch are emerging, but had an epic fail yesterday. One just couldn't quite get out and his wings were crumpled and one of her legs were broken...sad panda face!
I am starting to see some new growth on the plants again though.

Well I think that's random wrap, ya'll have a great rest of the week,
Love, Kim

Sharing with Little Things Thursday, Random Five Friday, Friday Photo Journal, Favorite Photo Friday,
                   Friday Finds

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Progression of a morning on the bay . . .

"The sunrise never failed us yet"

- Celia Thaxter -

{KK 511 - overlay)

No, the cat doesn't have my tongue, haha! I just figured that sometimes, especially when it comes to sunrise photos, a picture IS worth a thousand words. AND, I'm musing today over at Focusing on Life about our monthly theme "Beginnings." Meet ya there (click here) . . . there is also some information about a Focus on a Photo a day - 365 day project if you are interested. Doesn't matter what you take the photo with, just take one each day and share. Plus, I'm going to need all the help I can get to do this for 365 days. You in?

Have a fabulous day!
Love, Kim

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