Friday, May 25, 2007

More fun with mannequins!

More fun with mannequins

"Thanks for coming to this meeting on such short notice, everyone. Naomi here and I have been talking, and I think we have a plan for escape. First, we need clothes..."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Where I'll be the next three weeks

Where I'll be the next three weeks

And so it begins...50% off today!

In a great bit of perfect timing, yesterday's photo was selected for the Rearview shot at Gaper's Block today. Yay!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Waiting around for their closeup

Waiting around for their close-up

It's the end of an era as the store I work at starts to shut down. The official last day is June 15th, so until then, the POTDs may be sporadic. :)

Oh, also, the wild onion shot from last week was selected to be on the WBEZ main page today! Hurray!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Green Striped Tulips

Green striped tulips

I've never seen this color of tulips before!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wild Onions about to bloom

Wild Onions about to bloom

This was last week at the Botanic Garden. They may have already bloomed by now; hopefully I'll make a trip up there on Tuesday to check them out.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Unfurled Ferns

Unfurled Ferns

While we were walking through my favorite garden (the birches) at the Chicago Botanic Garden, my friend Kris asked me as I stopped to kneel down to take this photo, "How do you see these things? I walked right by that."

The answer is...I just do. I guess I look for them consciously, but by now it's so ingrained it doesn't feel like it's a conscious effort. I look at everything as a possible photo op, zooming in small critical details or different angles or whatever it is that I think will draw eyes in. But it's been something I've had to teach myself, and certainly not something I used to before I started my interest in photography. I am astonished every time I go back to Connecticut because it looks different now to my "camera eye" than it did to my regular eye growing up. I didn't notice anything back then!

That said, I know I have a lot more to learn about improving my eye and my composition; I look at other photographers' work over at Flickr every day, and I see the details that they emphasize, which I then also absorb into how I see through my camera eye. It's a wonderful learning tool that way.

Enough musings for today!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Red-winged blackbirds

Red-winged blackbirds

Without a telephoto lens, this is as close as I can get to these beauties. Funny, because I don't remember seeing them when I was growing up. Maybe they're a Midwestern bird only?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May 14th just seems too early for this scene

May 14th just seems too early for this scene

And it is, since it's dropped down to 50 degrees two days after this was taken. Heh, I love spring.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sign? What sign?

A month ago, we had snow.

This shot is clearer in large format. Can you believe a month ago, we had snow? Me neither!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ivy Fountain: Winter and Spring

Another start of a four-season series.


Ivy encroaching Closed Fountain - Winter


Ivy Encroaching Fountain - Spring

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Surreal, but real

Surreal, but real.

Everything about this seems unnatural, doesn't it? But it's completely unmanipulated. It was taken through a pane of yellow-tinted glass at the Children's Garden in the Morton Arboretum.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms! I wish this had been a mother with her daughter, instead of a grandfather, but it's still a nice family scene. Maybe the mom was out pampering herself. ;-)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tree in two seasons: Spring and Winter

The plan is to do a four-season series of this majestic oak.

From this winter:

Winter Tree

From this spring:

Spring Tree

Friday, May 11, 2007

By Request: Comstock Bridge

The Comstock Bridge over the Salmon River B&W

This is the Comstock Bridge over the Salmon River in Connecticut. It was drizzling and gray when I went to go shoot these, and I'm not entirely pleased with how they came out. But the river is about fifteen minutes from my parents' home, so I'll try to go back on a better day my next trip. There are usually a lot of fly fisherman hip-deep in the water under the bridge, but not that day.

My Dad requested seeing these shots, so here you go! I got an interior one, too, so you can get a good idea of the color.

Interior of Wooden Bridge

Thursday, May 10, 2007

By personal request: Black Tulips

Black Tulips

My friend Kris accompanied me to my first spring trip to the Botanic Garden this week, and she requested I post a shot of the black tulips because she loves their color. So here you go!

Any other requests? Anyone?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Stopping to smell the crabapples

Stopping to smell the crabapples

A visitor enjoys the scents of spring at the Botanic Garden.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

Circle Garden Fountain

Circle Garden Fountain

It was such a pretty day out today!

My childhood home

My childhood home

(A larger view is available here.)

When I was thirteen, my parents moved us from tiny middle-of-nowhere Northford to what we considered the more "urban" Wallingford, into this gorgeous big old house. It sat on a side street right in the middle of downtown, a half-block from the library, police station, drugstore, and the firehouse where my grandfather worked for many years. The house was over 150 years old, drafty and creaky with twelve-foot ceilings and weird built-in cabinets and extra windows you could only see from the outside. There was a huge curving staircase in the foyer, and my L-shaped bedroom above the add-on kitchen used to be the servant's quarters. It was beautiful, and my parents did a lot to restore it to its full glory while still encouraging our family to enjoy just living in it. I sure did enjoy it.

We drove past during my trip there a couple weeks ago, and it was a little sad to see how it's become so shabby since my parents sold it several years ago. The new owners repainted some of the Victorian gingerbread trim with the wrong shades of pink and green, and let the trees and shrubs overtake the side yard. At least the cherry tree we planted was still there and in full bloom. (I'm not posting the shot of the left side of the house, where the ancient stone porch is visibly crumbling apart.)

It will always be beautiful and majestic to me.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hey, where did everybody go?

Hey, where did everybody go?

The Morton Arboretum has some great gardens and adventures for kids, including this fun hedge maze. They even have a knee-high hedge one for toddlers. It was adorable.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Daffodils in the sun

Daffodils in the sun

Taken in the Daffodil Grove at the Morton Arboretum, May 3, 2007. Most of the blooms were gone, but a few hearty ones enjoyed the sun's warmth.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The first tulips of the season

The first tulips of the season.

Taken this morning at the Morton Arboretum, May 3, 2007.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lessons passed down

Learning to ride a bike

A father teaches his son to ride a bike, on the same stretch of street where he learned to ride many years ago.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Auntie Nellie

Aunt Nellie

This is my great-aunt Nellie, who is 92 years old. She's the last of her generation in my family, but I was lucky enough to have been able to spend time with many of the others before they passed on. Nellie, my Babchi, and my Auntie Mitzi were friends from childhood, and they stayed friends until the end. When I was very young, Babchi (my grandmother) used to take me with her when she visited them, and we would play bingo and cards together. Later, when I was in high school, I remember the three of them sitting together at family parties. Nellie always had a big glass of seven & seven, and she would regale everyone with stories. She was always "the pistol", the one who broke all the rules, my mom says.

She's lived in the same little house since 1939. The place is immaculate, and in pristine condition. She's got the old metal cabinets in the kitchen, with one of those huge ceramic one-piece sinks, and there's not a dent or a scratch on it anywhere. Her lawn and flowerbeds are her pride and joy. She told me this weekend that after her husband Duke died (who she still misses and talks about, twenty years after his passing), she cried and cried for two years. Then one day she bought a push mower and started to take care of the lawn herself. She was over seventy years old at the time.

She is a pistol, indeed.