Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thank You and Ending the Year on a Positive Note

I want to thank everyone who has visited and commented on my blog over the past year and I appreciated the holiday comments and well wishes during my break from blogging. I hope everyone had a pleasant Christmas if that's a special time for you and for those with other important days during December, I hope they were a happy time. As the year has wound down, I tried something a little different. Rather than think ahead to goals for the new year, I decided to set end of year goals. I knew that if I made a commitment to take a walk each day, for the last week of December, I should be able to achieve that goal. Today was day six of taking a pleasant walk each day, and it makes me feel good to have done what I decided to do for the last six days of December.
For the most part the weather has cooperated. The snow storms which have been hitting north and west of me, were rain here. Now that it's cold enough to snow, it's clear again. I was happy that I was able to walk around the rain since we were mostly getting afternoon or morning showers but having long enough stretches in between to get outside.
The other goal I set for the end of December was to write in a paper journal by hand each morning. Since I started blogging in 2006, I have to a large extent stopped writing in a journal. There is something therapeutic to me about being propped up in bed with pen to paper while drinking my morning coffee which I have missed.I also made some other end of year goals which I have managed to achieve. Small baby step types of goals but good to get a little motivation. The only New Year's goal I have is to try each week to decide what I want to be sure that I accomplish in addition to work for the upcoming week. Somehow, I think that is better than trying to make longer term plans.
I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, peaceful and productive year ahead. Happy Last day of 2008!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

See you in the new year if not before

I thought I'd post at least one more photograph for 2008. Not much to say and thinking I'll take a break from blogging until 2009. For those of you who celebrate christmas, I hope you have a safe and happy one. For those of you with other special days coming up, I hope they are safe and happy. I will still be doing the photohunt on snap2days but think my personal blogs will be quiet for the rest of the year. Cheers!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Weekend Snapshot: Number 66

The shot above is of my nandina berries in my back garden. The shot below is a macro of one of my low dogwood tree branches. Both shots taken Saturday.To visit other participants - Home of Weekend Snapshot

Friday, December 05, 2008

Photohunters: Breakfast

The photohunters theme is breakfast this week. Both of my breakfast shots are old shots which I may have used on my blog for some other purpose before.The blueberries were off of my bushes which sadly were damaged by our past drought. I used to have loads of blueberries in the summer for breakfast, pies, and for anytime I felt like picking and eating them. Although the drought ended the blueberry bushes didn't recover very well.The second shot was a weekend breakfast and I remember thinking it was pretty enough to photograph which I did, although the light wasn't great.

Snap2Days - I have a parallel lives PH post there with SabineM.

where participants post on Saturday.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weekend Snapshot: Number 65

I enjoyed having a long weekend. We had a pleasant Thanksgiving dinner but beyond that I mostly puttered around and had a pretty low key lazy weekend.The photographs in this post were all taken on Saturday. I am finding it easier to photograph birds in the trees and also around bushes and vines. Bare trees are the easiest place to photograph the birds but they are pretty far away. The vines and bushes still have some leaves for cover but not as much as they used to so I can get some closer shots of the birds feeding if I'm quiet.I guess that's it for my weekend snapshots. I hope everyone has a good week ahead. To find other participants please visit the home of Weekend Snapshot.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Photohunters: Metal

The photohunters theme this week is metal. Perhaps a somewhat ironic choice, but I thought I'd show you a metal leaf in the North Carolina Botanical Garden. There are also many vegetative leaves in that garden, but I think the idea of a metal leaf is novel. If you get a chance to visit Snap2Days, I do parallel lives posts, including photohunters, there with SabineM. You can find other photohunters at the home of the hunt - on Saturday and you can browse anytime at .

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Walk at a Different Lake

My regular lake walk is at Shelly Lake which is in my neighborhood but there is another lake, lake lynn, which is only a few miles from where I live. It's fun to walk there for a change of pace.
I managed to take quite a few reflection shots when I was walking around Lake Lynn on Sunday. I might have used them for the Saturday photohunt if I hadn't taken them the day after the hunt.If you like reflection shots, you should check out the fantastic photography of JC at Castleriuns. She's posting a daily reflection shot this week. I enjoy the change to winter. There is something about bare trees that I find very beautiful.
I probably won't post on this site again until after thanksgiving, so for those of you in the U.S. that celebrate that day, Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Snapshot: Number 64

I woke up Friday morning and it was snowing. It didn't amount to much but still fun to see the second touch of snow in one week.
I understand why people who live places that have to deal with massive amounts of snow in the winter would get tired of it, but I love snow. We occasionally get significant snow but in recent years we've only had a few light ground covers.
I'm ready for a winter with some nice deep snow to photograph and play in. I know I need to be careful what I wish for. The problem with our occasional deep snow is the city isn't equipped to deal with it and it takes forever to clear the roads.
It's also a lot harder for the birds to survive in bad weather. If you look at the deck shot in the second photo, you may note the holes in the deck wall. I mentioned them a few weeks ago in the ruin(ed) photohunt theme. I'm noticing the birds seeking shelter in the wall as the weather gets colder. Winter is the best time to replace the deck wall before the birds begin nesting in there again during the spring. The problem though is since they are seeking shelter for the winter in the wall, I also hate to disrupt that place of warmth.If I replace the deck wall, the birds will still have the overgrown bushes for warmth as well as the nesting boxes. Still I hate to think what I'll find inside the wall. Oh well, it's one more expense I really don't need so I suspect another year will go by with the deck wall serving as shelter for the birds.

Please visit the home of Weekend Snapshot to find other participants on Monday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photohunters: Reflection

The photohunt theme this week is reflection. First a reflection which makes the lake look white, almost like snow. By the way I woke up this morning and it was snowing. So pretty although it didn't last. At least I got some pictures but no reflections so I'll post them another time.
Instead of getting annoyed with the bus that blocked my car at a parking lot a few months ago, I took pictures of the trees reflected in its window.
Last is a fall reflection shot I took about three weeks ago at the lake when there was still a lot of color.I also have a parallel lives PH post with SabineM at Snap2Days. I'm posting early as usual but on Saturday participants post at the home of photohunters.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I love this time of Year

I love this time of year when frost coats the plants and makes them glisten in the morning. If I'd been faster Tuesday, I would have photographed our ten minutes of snow. Unfortunately it was so short lived that it stopped before I got a chance to photograph it.It's beginning to be easier to photograph the birds. The robin above looks like she's trying to be a leaf but there isn't enough cover for her to succeed.
Cardinals are always at a disadvantage, or the male ones are, because their red feathers tend to stand out unless they manage to blend with red leaves.
Yesterday, I almost felt guilty when I was photographing the birds. There were so many and they were so active. Some almost collided with me as they flew around. I know the cold makes them have to work very hard to survive.It's hard to resist photographing the birds because they are so much fun to watch and follow with my eyes until they rest somewhere for a clear shot.
I have continued to spot the moon in the morning and never tire of photographing it. There is something so beautiful to me about a morning moon. It's hard to believe that there are still some lingering oak leaves in the trees because there are so many on the ground.When I was a child, I had neighborhood friends that would make extensive leaf forts with me. We lived next door to a family with children my age and our leaf forts would extend from my backyard to their yard. I think I'm one of the few people in my neighborhood that doesn't bag up my leaves to be hauled off by the city. I recycle them back into the soil and use them for mulch but everyone else seems happy to discard them.
I'll end with one more bird trying to look like a leaf. This one comes very close to succeeding and you may need to enlarge the shot to find it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My local PBS station

The photographs in this post are ones I've taken within the past month or so but most of the trees have dropped their leaves over the past few days. I used to use photographs as a way of making it easier for me to talk about what was on my mind on my blog. My blog has increasingly become more about the photographs but for this post I'll go back to a chit chatty post and throw in miscellaneous photographs I haven't posted yet. Sunday night I was looking forward to the PBS Masterpiece production, Mary Waterhouse: Filth. I was shocked that it wasn't aired on UNC-TV at 9:00 pm as scheduled, and was re-scheduled to be aired this coming Saturday at 2:00 am. It wasn't a big deal since I was able to go to the PBS site Monday and download Filth and watch it on my computer. If anyone hasn't seen it and wants to, you can follow the link and during this week it will be available for download. Since I missed most of the announcement about why it wasn't being shown as scheduled on my local PBS station, I emailed UNC-TV.They replied promptly and following is the relevant part of their answer. I am breaking up the answer with photographs. Thank you for your message to UNC-TV. In response to your inquiry, UNC-TV had originally scheduled the latest PBS episode of Masterpiece Contemporary: “Filth” – a dramatization of the rise of British media activist Mary Whitehouse, and her persistent battles with the BBC which began in the mid-1960s.
Upon our review of the film, UNC-TV found objectionable content that prevents us from airing the program at 9 p.m. This is due to strict regulations which impose severe fines for violating FCC safe harbor rules. UNC-TV regrets we were not informed of the problematic material with sufficient notice to make this decision earlier. However, UNC-TV will air the episode of Masterpiece Contemporary – “Filth” – in its entirety Saturday morning at 2 A.M. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience caused by this scheduling change.The response to my email has left me almost more baffled than I was before I emailed. I watched Filth online and compared to shows they have aired at 9:00 pm, it was very tame. For one thing, it was a comedy about an historical time. Having lived through the changes during the 1960s, it was fun for me to watch. I also thought is was a balanced parody. Mary Waterhouse came off as a caricature, in a way, but so did the head of the BBC.
Even comparing this production with the recent Masterpiece one they did air in the 9:00 pm time slot, The Last Enemy, this one was tame. The Last Enemy had plenty of sex and violence, and although not offensive, it seems a little whacky to me to air that and not Filth. I am well aware that the reason they didn't air Filth is bound to do with complaints by someone or a group of people that have above average enfluence in my area. UNC-TV airs the same PBS programs that are aired accross the U.S. and they deal at times with tough subjects. This program was basically a comedy and did not have explicit sex or violence or any of the other fare that are routinely a part of televised drama and documentary.
I may be cynical but I find it hard to believe that the average person who saw this production in advance of it being aired in the regular time slot, and complained, would have managed to get it pulled from the 9 pm time slot. I equally don't believe that UNC-TV staff viewing the show would have decided it was too provocative without getting a push from someone.
I wish I knew what actually went into having the program pulled. That's the issue I am the most bothered by. I want to know who pushed for the change, what reasons they gave, and why UNC-TV gave in to it.
In my imagination, I see someone or a group who give a lot of money to UNC-TV and possibly see themselves in Mary Waterhouse. I could be way off base but if pressure was brought to bare based on those kinds of consideration, then what's the point of public television. Commercial television, to an extent, has to deal with paid advertisers and occasionally pressure can be brought from them. Public television should be beyond that, or it would be in my utopian imagination. Oh well, I'll probably never know why they made the decision they did. Note- all the photographs except the last two were taken in Raleigh or Durham. The last two were taken in the NC mountains.