Showing posts from May, 2019

Cyanotype Img 5.31.19

Dear Henry,

I like bats.  I do.

I know everyone thinks they are scary, but they are cute in a "Nightmare Before Christmas" kind of way, and I relate to that kind of cute.

Plus, bats are great mosquito eaters.

Lately, there has been a fungal infection destroying bat colonies across the country.  The fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans irritates the skin of the bats, awakening them during their winter hibernations. Drawing the bats out of hibernation causes them to use resources they don't have and many ends up starving to death before Spring. White Nose Syndrome is considered to be the worst wildlife disease in the current time.

And I have a cave (read hole in the rock) with a small colony of bats near me - so of course, these are now "my" bats and they are at risk.

Fortunately, there is some good news.  Scientists have developed a vaccine and while it isn't 100 percent effective, it seems to give the bats a better chance fending off the effects of t…

South Boulder Creek

Dear Henry,

It's Friday! Yay!  I don't know why but short weeks always seem to take the longest.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Oddly enough, Fish and I don't have anything planned and we may actually spend the weekend at home.

It will be nice to stay at home and maybe go putter around the lake.

I certainly need to stop by a farmer's market or two, I need to get some flowers.

xoxo a.d.

Cyanotype 5.30.19

Dear Henry,

The late Chris Farley was one of my secret celebrity crushes and I still keep an ear out for any celebrity gossip about him.

A&E had created a biography about Chris Farley and within it, there was a tidbit about Mr. Farley I didn't know.

Chris Farley attended college at Wisconsin's Marquette University, where he played rugby.

He apparently has some love for his alma mater and has been known to haunt the dorms and knocks things about during his movies, particularly Tommy Boy.

and I really can see him doing this.....

xoxo a.d.

The Way

Dear Henry,

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

How old were you when you figured it out?

Have you ever figured it out?

I was reading about one of those kids who graduated from an Ivy League University before they could drive a car and I thought how...

I mean, I get that these children had a great deal of support for their academia very early on, but for them to have found their passion so young in life is just amazing.

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up - I am vacillating between world famous artist and hermit in the woods.

xoxo a.d.

Cyanotype Img 5.29.19

Dear Henry,

Google released its map of the "most common misspelled word" by state.

The map was generated by that year's searches "how do I spell..."

The results are both stereotypically funny - i.e. California's word was beautiful - and stereotypically tragic - Pennsylvania's word was pneumonia.

There are a couple - Louisana's word Indict -  and - Alabama's word Fifteen - that make we wonder what is going on down along the coast.

Playing with the map has been a fun activity - try it and see.

But really, I think the biggest question I have it why so many people in Hawaii can't spell it.

xoxo a.d.

Vista House

Dear Henry,

I heard the best quote:

"The majority of who we are is who we nurture"
The bestower of this piece of wisdom was a Washington D.C.  personal trainer named Elizabeth Brooks,  meaning this wisdom would be bestowed at an ungodly hour of the morning, with heavy weights and annoying shouts of "One More!" but still,
It is a piece of advice to value and largely, I believe, true.
xoxo a.d.

Cyanotype 5.28.19

Dear Henry,

Do you remember when I told you I was inspired by Anna Atkins, the English botanist?

In addition to being one of the first female photographers (if not the first) she also used to preserve images through cyanotype photograms - laying material over chemically treated paper, which was then laid in the sun.

Her book, "Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions" is considered to be the first book illustrated with photographic images, although it was William Henry Fox Talbot's book "The Pencil of Nature" that was the first book which used camera produced photographs (versus photograms).  His book was also the first to be commercially produced.

I had seen images of her cyanotypes and was inspired to pick it up and have been trying to duplicate the detail and feel of her work.

And I finally think I would be proud to show her my work.

xoxo a.d.

Alpine Sunflowers

Dear Henry,

The song of the day is "Here Comes the Rain Again" by Annie Lennox.

I wish it would stop.

The Arkansas River is currently at 41 feet - flood stage is 22 feet and it is still rising  - the forecasted crest is about 43 feet.

I couldn't find a record of a flood of this magnitude occurring since the flood records were kept on the Arkansas River.

We are fortunate to be far enough away from the Arkansas River to be affected. However, I have seen some of the damage first hand and it rough.

Fish and I had gone through Fort Smith this last week and had seen, already, so many homes inundated with flood waters and to think that it will be getting worse for these people breaks my heart.

With the severity of the weather that we have been having (Poor Ohio last night) and the amount of damage it is causing,  I think it is really going to take everyone pulling together, from both inside the affected communities and from the surrounding communities. I hope we can do that.


I-70 Utah

Dear Henry,

Today is Memorial Day and if you are looking for something to do before the afternoon's activities, I came up with a few ideas:

Any National cemetery will be having a memorial ceremony if you live close by one, I highly recommend going to one of these.

Many VFW posts, American Legion posts and DAR chapters do a memorial ceremony, often together, at a local cemetery.  Attendees are always welcome.

Many churches are also offering Memorial Day services in honor of the day.

Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00pm local time to remember.

Finally, when you raise a glass this evening, keep a Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine in your thoughts, if you don't know any, you can browse through Arlington Cemetery and pick one to toast too.

xoxo a.d.

Pink Pair

Dear Henry,

At midnight, I bolted awake with one of the earth-shattering but imaginary problems that seem to plague all adults in the middle of the night.

I went out to sit on the porch and listen to the night while I mulled over whatever it was that woke me up.

I ended up watching fireflies and listening to the owls - we now have 3! in the immediate vicinity - they chat all night long.

And then I suddenly realized that I didn't remember what it was I was fussing about.

I realized how grateful I was that:

1 - It is warm enough to sit on the porch in the middle of the night again

2 - I live in the middle of the woods, as I believe being in nature will cure insomnia ( Psychology Today says so too)

Anyway, now that the insomnia is handled,  I think to go back to bed and get a couple more hours in. :)

xoxo a.d.

Azaleas 2019

Dear Henry,

Everyone has a talent: mine is to say exactly the wrong thing to exactly the wrong audience.

You would think by now I would have developed a thicker skin from "the look".

I haven't, so I spend the rest of the day being emotional about it and wishing I could learn to just give big smiles and say something offhand and sweat and then get away before I say something stupid.

Cheers to ruminating and overthinking!

xoxo a.d.

Norwood Deluge

Dear Henry,

I get to work from home (which I love) - but it is nice to get away from home.

But even then, sometimes getting out of the house isn't a rest. Because I am generally with Fish and sometimes it is really nice to be ALONE - which is impossible at home, I have far too many animals (3 cats, 1 dog).

So I decided to head out to Lake Hamilton Arkansas for an "evening away" (planned before we knew of the upcoming storm system), and catch some early morning "sunrise over the Quitchitas and/or Lake Hamilton" photographs on the way back (and maybe sneak in a spa treatment, Hot Springs has wonderful spas).

But this Spring has had some erratic and powerful storms.

I wasn't too worried when I left, I checked the radar on the map and was positive I was going to be between the two bands of storms the entire time  - and here you thought I was being irresponsible for leaving during last nights weather activities.

And really, I was right, I stayed between the two …

Daisies 2019

Dear Henry,

I hadn't ever been in a storm that scared me, until last night.

Last night we had a hail storm and a strong Northerly wind.  The hail storms were huge and blowing sideways.  I was sure the windows were going to break.  Fortunately, that didn't happen, and after an hour of utter chaos, the weather calmed down.

This has been a weird weather season.  I have heard that my friends in Colorado have been dealing with snow.

All I can say at this point is - my poor tomatoes!

xoxo a.d.

Cyanotype 5.20.19

Dear Henry,

An update on the cyanotype process - it is coming.

I was getting incredibly frustrated because I had a vision of what I wanted and that didn't seem to be what I was getting.

There have also been several rainy days to contend with.

It does appear to be coming together though, I am hoping to have an "image to be proud of soon".

xoxo a.d.

Moonshiner's Falls

Dear Henry,

This waterfall is called Moonshiner's Falls. It is generally the barest spring unless it rains.

I was disappointed when I looked up the name, hoping to get the backstory on house, perhaps some juicy details about the moonshining business that used to thrive in this area.

Nope, there is nothing of the sort.

It may not, in fact, be anything more than a place to stay while hunting. 

From what I can gather, ATV'ers discovered this find only a few years ago and because it was a tiny home tucked in a bluff next to running water, it must be a moonshiner's cave and the name stuck.

The area has too much peace to have been a place of violence.  I truly think it was just a place to get away.

xoxo a.d.

A Spring at Devil's Den

Dear Henry,

While we were out and about on our last excursion, it was rainy.

Rainy weather is actually perfect weather for taking pictures of waterfalls, the flows are higher and it is easier to get the light right.

The downside is lens fog.

This time though I think the lens fog was necessary, I thought so when I took the shot.

What do you think?

xoxo a.d.

Fish's Miniature Mushrooms

Dear Henry,

Fish is drawn to the very small.  On every hike we go on he seems to find a small little world somewhere.

He has found the coolest little worlds over our many hikes and I keep trying to capture them and have always felt like I have missed "something" in the aura.

I am still not sure that this one has that "something", but I think I am beginning to convey the wonderful thing he sees when he finds these small little places.

xoxo a.d.

Moonshiner's Side Fall 2019

Dear Henry,

Today I am waxing philosophical - and this piece is such a great representation of that philosophy.

I remember seeing this side fall and wanting to get a shot of it, but it was challenging to get to.

It was raining that day and had been raining heavily for weeks (I suspect this waterfall exists only during heavy rains).  The trail had an interesting "floaty" feel of ground that is so saturated that the entire forest floor feels as if it is suspended.

The rocks were also pretty mossy and slick and I was convinced there were copperheads under each and every one of them (I am positive there are venomous snakes under each and every rock and clump of leaves in my immediate vicinity).

Despite this, the area was so beautiful, I could have stayed there forever.

It was a metaphor of life - a trail through a world of immeasurable beauty during a rainstorm, with unstable footing, over venomous serpents (real and imagined).

Of course, Fish just thought the area pretty and w…

Cyantoype 5.14.19

Dear Henry,

These are buttercups.  I think they are so pretty and I love passing the fields, most of which are carpeted in yellow.

I decided I wanted to try and see how they turned out as a cyanotype (I like it - what do you think?) and while I was picking these on the side of the highway I realized a couple of things.

 1. I live in an area in which most of its men are of the "women shouldn't be alone on the side of a highway" generation. (and I truly appreciate each and everyone that made sure I was ok as I was picking flowers)

2. I wanted to tell you about it.

Social media updates are great and all but it is difficult to tell the whole story in 150 characters and I want to be able to tell the whole story.

xoxo a.d.