Pheathers & Product – White-Throated Sparrow


I heard loud rustling as I strolled a wooded path in the park yesterday. I was surprised to see a  fountain of leaves  exploding from the mossy ground. A couple of peeps alerted me to the presence of a bird beneath the cascade. He created quite a crackling ruckus as he foraged for insects. Aha, he was exactly my purpose for walking the path. I raised my camera, the new Canon with the super zoom feature, and clicked several shots.


I have just replaced my old Canon Camera with a newer model. I wouldn’t have chosen any other brand. My old camera has taken thousands of photographs. It has traveled with me everywhere I have gone in the past few years. It has chronicled parties and family gatherings, holiday dinners and the goings-on in my gardens. Over the years, the camera has been dropped, been left outdoors, weathered drizzle and dew, and still…through it all has continued taking photographs.

After one of the more recent drops, the battery and SF card compartment stopped shutting correctly. No worries, and no replacing it right away, duct tape held it together for a time. Recently though, even the strongest tape, the addition of a rubber band, and the hardest grip of my thumb would not keep the batteries connected. It was time for a new camera. The brand  has performed for me so well, I knew another Canon was only choice. I replaced the old camera with a  PowerShot SX400 IS.

Eye-Spy a White-Throated Sparrow.

Oh the joy of it. On my first outing I zoomed in on the foraging sparrow. Imagine my surprise when I downloaded the photographs and found that the sparrow was quite a fancy fellow. The yellow streaks and white ruff under his chin soon had me goggling, and I was able to identify him as a White-Throated Sparrow.

I have probably seen these birds over the years, but until I was able to zoom in close, I had no idea such beautiful little sparrows visited our area in the winter. Final thought: if you are in the market for a new camera check out Canon brand. They are reasonably priced,  set up easily, take amazing photographs, and best of all…last and last and last.

Photographs – Riding the Waves


Today was the perfect day to put our bicycles in the back of the truck and head for Ocean City, NJ. Quite a few people took advantage of the warm temperatures, and although the sky was overcast, the boardwalk had a good crowd walking its length. In the distance you can see Atlantic City in a haze of foggy mist.


The surf was rough today…according to the Ocean City Surf Report the waves were 7 to 7.5 feet, and the water temperature was between 52-55 degrees. Dozens of wetsuit-clad surfers were gathered in the water waiting for the perfect wave.


I’ve never seen the waves so large in Ocean City.


It’s mesmerizing to watch the surfers “TRANSITION” from calmly waiting to flying across the face of the wave.

water spin

At times the transition means wiping out.


No big deal, the surfer paddles back out and begins again.


Photograph – Foggy Enchanted Trio




“What comes in threes? Submit an image for this week’s photo theme, Trio.”

Between five and six this morning, I ventured outdoors with my camera to take some photographs of the gorgeous moon illuminating the sky. My moon shots were blurry, but while I was attempting to photograph its luminous face, my camera flash bounced off the moisture in the air and captured a sense of the magical within the foggy skyscape.


Photograph – Boundaries/Delaware Bay

Photo Challenge @ WordPress “This week, let’s explore the creative potential of limits, borders, and dividers of all types.”


I love this simplistic view of the Delaware Bay. Each ebb and flow of the tide carves new designs into the boundary of sand.

The photograph was taken in July of this year. Those of us who live near ocean waters return to them with a bit of trepidation each Spring and Summer, almost afraid to lay eyes upon what the N’or Easters and other storms have wrought upon the shoreline. Early October has already brought us a strong hurricane, thankfully, passing by out to sea. The boundaries are in place, but at some point, all shoreline boundaries are broken and changed.

Photograph – Gazebo, Gazebo and Gazebo

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From Every Angle.” “This week, photograph a stationary subject from three different angles.”

The Gazebo overlooking Glen Lake, Pitman, New Jersey.

Gazebo Collage
Gazebo Collage
Gazebo overlooking Glen Lake
Gazebo overlooking Glen Lake
Gazebo looking up
Gazebo looking up
Gazebo - View across the lake.
Gazebo – View across the lake.

Photograph – Ablaze and Abuzz

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Vivid.”
“The theme for this week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.” Perhaps it’s your favorite flower in full bloom, a beautiful sunset or the color of your ice cream. Vivid is limited only by your imagination. Have fun with the challenge!”

Roses & Bee 5

I took a bike ride after reading the WordPress photo challenge for this week, I was armed with my camera and an eye for color. Vivid subjects for photographing presented themselves at every turn of my wheels and handlebars. When I came upon this beautiful rose bush, ablaze with color, I knew I need not pedal any further. Cascades of pink with yellow centers glowed vividly under the early afternoon sky.

Roses & Bee 2

On closer inspection, I heard, then saw, dozens of honeybees clustered on the pollen laden centers. The rose bush was abuzz with their gathering.

Roses & Bee 3

I love honeybees, my grandfather had hives, and now my sister is a beekeeper.

Roses & Bee

The bees, enraptured with the bounty of pollen, were quite the willing subjects for my photographs. I wonder if they might be from my sister’s hives.

Rose & Flying Bee

Honeybees can gather honey up to six miles from their hives, but usually stay within a two mile radius of their home. I enjoy the WordPress Photo Challenges. If I had not ventured out with my camera, I wouldn’t have experienced those fifteen carefree minutes standing beside a rose bush ablaze in petals of pink and abuzz with gathering bees.

Photograph & Perspective – Broken/Little Pencils and Good Ideas


“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” ~ Francis Bacon

The WordPress Photo Challenge for today is titled, “Broken. This week, capture something broken.”

Some things must be broken to be used, an egg must be cracked to be eaten, a tree must be felled to be cut into lumber, a horse must be broken before it can be rode.

A “broken” pencil showed up in my junk drawer recently. I think the small stub of graphite and wood has probably spent about two decades in this shortened condition. Why? Well, because boys will be boys, and most likely one of my sons sharpened this pencil down to a nub while in middle school. This same scenario held true when I was a young student. Preteen boys delighted in reducing their pencils into nubs just like the “broken” one in my photograph. The sight of tiny pencils always curls my lips upward in a nostalgic smile.

So often as I go about my day I will have the flash of a good idea, but later on, find myself completely unable to remember it. I’ve tried carrying around a pen and paper in pants or shirt pockets to write down these good thoughts, but invariably get stabbed in the thigh, or have ink leak out and spoil a good shirt. When I saw this small pencil I realized it solved the problem of being too long, but what to do about that sharp point…Yikes!


The problem was easily solved by placing an old ink pen cap over the sharpened end.


A piece of paper folded into a tiny square was the perfect addition. I’m ready now to record all the good ideas that I am blessed with today and in the future. Do you have any tiny pencils to carry around in your pocket? If not, break a pencil  in two and sharpen, sharpen, sharpen. Good ideas are priceless!

Photograph – Faux Pearl

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enveloped. What does Enveloped Mean to You?”

Oyster with Pearly Egg

Yesterday, while watering my flower beds I spotted a tiny glimmer beneath a bird feeder. An egg lay there, its grey-blue shell speckled with brown. I think it is most likely the egg of a finch. They are plentiful in our area, and frequently visit our birdfeeders, making their nests in the trees in our yard. I might try to save the beautiful piece of nature, and thought the perfect resting place was the ‘enveloping’ security of an oyster shell. What a strange and lovely pearl the humble oyster holds…I love this unique combination of God’s handiwork.

My best description of being enveloped cannot be captured by a photograph, but it is perfectly described in this verse from the Psalms—

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” ~Psalms 91:4

Photo & Phascination – Abstracts?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Intricate.”

Intricate: what does it mean to you? Show us your interpretation”

oyster 2 cropped

Abstract paintings often appear simple, but in reality can be very intricate in their planning and placement of shapes. The beautiful abstract above, however, is not a painting, but a close-up view of the inner shell of a humble oyster. I find oysters beautiful. Here’s another look at the intricacy of the design uncropped.

oyster 2

Next time you’re on a sandy beach, take a moment to admire an ordinary oyster shell. My husband and I often find instances of pareidolia in the designs of the oyster shells.

“Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-DOH-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague or random stimulus (often an image or sound) which is perceived as significant.

Common examples of this are seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, the moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on phonograph records when they are played in reverse.

Pareidolia is the visual form of apophenia, which is the perception of patterns within random data.” ~ Wikipedia

And then, of course, there are those amazing pearls…

Pheathers & Photo – Say, “Ah…”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Motion.”
“This week, share your photographs that have captured motion, and tell us the stories behind the images” ~ WordPress Photo Challenge


I’ve blogged a few times about my family’s encounter with a very tame Blue Jay Here’s a captured image of the Blue Jay, “in motion,” pecking my camera.


Photograph – Skunks, Daffodils and a Birdbath

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Early Bird.”
“For this week’s photo challenge, get up early and explore the morning light.”

Skunk Cabbage

“Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as skunk cabbage or eastern skunk cabbage (also swamp cabbage, clumpfoot cabbage, or meadow cabbage, foetid pothos or polecat weed), is a low growing, foul-smelling plant that grows in wetlands of eastern North America.” ~ Wikipedia

I love this photo I captured of an unfurling skunk cabbage growing beside a creek bed. The early morning light highlights the intense green of the leaves and reveals the texture of the plant in the soft shadows.

Skunk Cabbage in Morning Light

Skunk cabbage does have a bit of an odor, but only if you get close enough to break or step on it. I always enjoy seeing its early awakening, a sure sign of Spring.

Daffodils in Morning Light

Sunlight slants through my back windows in the mid-morning hours. This is a favored spot for displaying a vase of flowers. I enjoy the silhouette of the arrangement as much as the actual flower.

Granny's Birdbath

In this photo you see a birdbath that is a part of my earliest memories. It was my grandmother’s, and I remember standing beside it, so small that my eyes were level with the rim, trying to resist the temptation to swirl my fingers in the water. My mother had the birdbath in her yard for many years, then my sister had a turn using it. Last night, my sister and I exchanged birdbaths. The smooth sides of the mirrored interior were causing the bees from her hives to slide into the water and drown; there is no rough foothold for them to stand upon as they drink. The concrete birdbath I had in my yard will do a better job as a water source for the bees. Joy filled my heart early this morning, as I peered down from my back window and saw not only the treasured birdbath, but the pastel rays of sunrise reflecting in it’s surface. I couldn’t have planned a more perfect photograph for the weekly challenge.

Pleasures – Fresh Donuts!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fresh.”
“For this week’s photo challenge, share with us a photo that expresses something fresh.”

Block Island Donuts
Block Island Donuts

When I think of fresh I think of Payne’s Killer Donuts on Block Island in Rhode Island. They truly are FRESH and capture that “Melt-in-your-mouth” goodness we all crave.

Photograph – Shadowland Selfie

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wall.”


I love shadows on the walls. This week I wandered into an upstairs room and found my geraniums, backlit, and casting amazing shadows on the wall. Of course I had to enter into the Shadowland.



Adieu for today my friends!


Photograph – Green & Graven Symmetry

Symmetry – “For this challenge, share an image of symmetry. Don’t limit yourself to architecture — you can bend this theme in any way you’d like.”

Symmetry – the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.


Bird’s Nest Fern – Longwood Gardens Conservatory

This beautiful Bird’s Nest fern while not being perfect in its symmetry, is still a good example of a plant growing in a symmetrical manner. Growing a Bird’s Nest Fern is easy. The plant is more resilient against dry conditions than the more feathery ferns. An added plus is a Bird’s Nest Fern is a low-light plant.

Another example of symmetry is a gravestone. This one, weathered by years, wind and sea salt can be found in the graveyard on Block Island, RI.


Photograph – Puddled Ice: Designs in the Depths

Whether visually or emotionally, this week let’s dig (or dive) deep.

After a N’or Easter blew by us, thankfully depositing minimal snowfall, we were left in a deep freeze. The moisture left behind grasped the ground and everything lying upon it in it’s icy fingers.

Puddled Ice Frozen in Time

The many depths of this frozen art is fascinating. Some of the leaves seem to thrust themselves upward trying to escape the frozen surface.

Puddled ice Frozen Fingers

 Others float gracefully in the mid-levels, the sun illuminating their edges.

Puddled Ice Icy Chains

Others lie deep and silent, dark and already half-consumed by the appetite of a hungry earth.

Photograph & Praise – Serenity through Song

Sunset – West Beach, Block Island, RI



“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” ~ Psalm 147:2 (NIV)

This post so exactly fit the Serenity challenge for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, I was compelled to edit and enter it also.

I have been singing more. My daily to-do list has a smiley face with a big O in place of the smile, a reminder to me to sing, sing, sing.

I don’t want to let one day go by without singing praises to God. In the past year I have been reading a Psalm a day. They are filled with verses about music and song. In these days of ever-quickening changes the songs I sing give each day stability and remembrance of the awesome and mighty nature of the Lord God.

If I am anxious or troubled, I sing, and the load seems lighter. When Jesus and his disciples finished his last supper here on earth they sang songs of praise together. (Hallel Psalms) Even knowing what lay ahead for him, Jesus praised the Father. In all I do I want to lift a song of praise to his name every day.

“When they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matthew 26:30 (NIV)

This post was originally posted October 30, 2011.

Photo – Snowfall Shadows

“Low-light photography can be difficult to get right, but sometimes the absence of light can make for a compelling, dramatic photograph. Experimenting with shadows can be a fun and rewarding way to push yourself to try something new with your camera and your surroundings, and look beyond the obvious shot.”

Shadowed: A WordPress Photo Challenge


“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

Snowfall…tranquil…hushed, an enduring remembrance of serenity for those who have stood with upturned face, encountering the caress of a snowflake’s kiss. The blanket of a gentle snowfall muffles even the loudest shouts of children sledding down a hill. The cold, though ever-present, is easily forgotten as you crumple into the soft embrace of a snow angel. The white shadows of snowfall convey a moment of peace to even the most anxious of souls.


“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:7


In the cold or the warmth, in the sunlight or shadow, may the love of God embrace you with a sense of His peace this Sabbath Day.

Photo Challenge – Swallowtails, Zinnias and Bumblebees, Oh My!

“Away with the colors of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Show us what “Yellow ” means to you.” Photo Challenge at WordPress – December 19th

swallowtail on zinnia

My first thought for this challenge was to choose a photograph of yellow flowers. I have dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of flowers on disc. Many of the photos have been taken in my own gardens, others at local public gardens in the area I live.

I decided instead to combine a favorite flower, zinnias, with a yellow swallowtail butterfly. Perfect. I love swallowtails. Lately, the weather and environmental issues have diminished their ranks, but hopefully their numbers will rebound in our area soon.

I love zinnias, and especially am entranced by the yellow ring of flowers surrounding their center. I always give this ring of small flowers, technically called “disc flowers” my own whimsical name of fairy ring flowers. This is where the butterflies find the nectar that they drink.

Zinnias have “Heads composed of both disc and ray flowers, with disc flowers tightly packed together in the head’s “eye,” while enlarged ray flowers function as petals radiating outward from the eye.” Composite Flowers – Backyard Nature

Here’s a closer look at the yellow “fairy ring” of zinnia disc flowers, this time hosting a Skipper butterfly.

skipper on butterfly

I loved this photograph so much I used it as a reference for a 5 x 7 watercolor, and posted the finished results on this blog: Skipper on a Zinnia


Another visitor to the zinnias is a bumblebee in a fuzzy yellow jacket. Gorgeous insects all!

This post is definitely a tad out of season, but perhaps you are like me, and at the threshold of winter enjoy being reminded that Spring is only three months away.

Photo Challenge – “Just Doesn’t Belong?” – CONVERGE



Geometrics? Concrete? Yes, I’ve photographed actual concrete…house, steps of brick, shutters…rectangles with a few bushy circles. And then, smack in the middle of it all…the ABSTRACT! This globe full of stinging fire just doesn’t belong on the front of a house. Yikes! The vanishing point…anyone who rings that doorbell will “vanish” quickly. I know I’m taking some liberties with the challenge…oh well! Couldn’t resist using this as my “vanishing point.”

“WORDPRESS PHOTO CHALLENGE – Geometry in photography — shapes, diagonals, vanishing points — fascinates me.