So, I took a little creative license with this photo. I captured it last week, while visiting my daughter in Massachusetts. In the original, the house was almost hidden by a dense thicket of branches. I felt, the main focus, was obviously the bird house, so I did a little cropping, and was able to pull the image in quite nicely. Next, I softened the edges, by using a vignette filter, with Adobe Photoshop…thus my creative license. I was pleasantly pleased, with the outcome, so much so, I intend to use this as the subject of a forth-coming, watercolor painting.
I took this photograph, while living in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. I was outside, one late, Autumn day, raking the oak and maple leaves that densely covered our yard, when I noticed, Danica, had found her comfort, nestled within the pile I had made.
This photograph was also taken on an Autumn day, but this time, in the Shenandoah Valley. Every year, our church, gleans the orchards of local, kind-hearted farmers. The densely packed apples, were distributed to shelters, that help feed the poor and homeless within our community. I absolutely love our church! RISE is all inclusive and seeks, in every way possible, to mend God’s creation. If you’re ever in the area (Harrisonburg Virginia), please visit us! You will be warmly welcomed. http://www.riseharrisonburg.com
Continuing with an apple theme, this photograph was taken while I was in the midst of making a pie. “My counter lay dense, in beautiful hues of red.” (hmmm…that last line could be the beginnings of a beautiful poem…)
Below are my entries into this weeks Photo Challenge: Capture a shadow.
I’m not quite sure if reflections count as legitimate shadows, but I loved the shadowy reflections captured in this photo.
Last year, we were able to spend a few days in Newport Rhode Island, to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I took the above photo on one of our evening walks.
When we lived in New Hampshire, we were only five minutes from Hampton Beach. When this particular photo was taken, our life was in crisis mode because of a job loss. We actually worried of becoming homeless. During those months, we took many steps in the sand.
Autumn is my favorite time of year. We always looked forward to visiting Applecrest Farms during their annual Harvest Festival. On this particular outing, our dogs, Danica and Dolly went with us. Above, Danica looks to be surveying the clearing, beyond the shadows that hold her captive.
Morris is our rescue kitty we got from a friend. You probably can’t see them, but he actually has freckles on his nose. Of course, red hair and freckles are the norm for us gingers. Ginger Power! Morris loves the outdoors. In this photo he is lounging on the back porch taking in some rays. The shadow of his head reminds me of Batman.
[Me:] God, why can’t puppies be born with bigger bladders?
[God:] Puppies have been born for some 65 million years, give or take a million or two, why the need for bigger bladders now?
[Me:] Well, Lord this morning I stepped in her piddle-puddle…barefoot and before coffee; and I have to say it wasn’t a very pleasant experience.
[God:] I can understand how that may seem like a crisis…especially before coffee.
[Me:] Yes…I guess it was sort of a crisis because I had already prepared a delicious cup of coffee with my favorite Cold Stone Sweet Cream, and was on may way to a comfortable chair when I happened to step in something wet. Sure enough, the “wet” was golden in color, so I had to put down my coffee, go into the kitchen, grab some paper towels and the bleach cleaner, walk all the back and clean up Gracie Lou’s mess. By the time I was able to sit down my coffee was cold and the only way I like cold coffee is if it were made to be cold from the start.
[God:] Hmmmm…Yes, I can see how that could be quite frustrating. I’ve gotten a lot of frustrating stories this morning. Take for instance…
[Me:] Oops, excuse me Lord. Gracie just awoke…gotta take her outside before she squats. I’ll be right back.
[15 minutes later]
[Me:] I’m sorry it took so long, Lord. After Gracie peed she ran to my garden with plans to chew up my squash plants. I’ve told her no some “fifty-million” times!
Well, as fate would have it, I was still barefoot, and I didn’t want to take a chance in stepping in poo, so I had to go all the way back inside and put on my shoes. Shoes on, I go back outside and Gracie is licking the dew from the grass. Well, of course, it becomes obvious to me that she’s thirsty; so I have this debate in my mind as the whether I should give her some water or not…as giving her water would only serve to intensify the problem. Well… I just could stand the thought of her being thirsty so I gave her some water. Whew!
(deep breath and a pause)
[Me:] So, God, you were saying?
[God:] Yes, I was letting you know that I’ve had numerous conversations lately and many of them were crisis stories such as yours. Take for instance, all the way from Alaska, I heard someone cry for help. A 220-foot fishing boat was filling with water and would soon sink. Thanks to me, all 46 crew members made it into the rafts. I sent the Coast Guard to make sure each one made it home safely.
(God pauses for a moment)
And just yesterday two soldiers, were shot and killed while in the process of protecting a woman from a lone gunman. Both of these good Samaritans had children. I am saddened they will have to grow up without their fathers in their life.
(God pauses again)
Here’s one you may find interesting, as I know how much you love our four-legged furry friends. Just last week two dogs were left alone, without water, on a tar roof in Newark New Jersey. As the temperatures rose to 96 degrees the tar on the roof started bubbling and burning the dogs’ paws. Both of them tried in vain to escape the roof. The tiniest one, a Yorkie, kept running to edge trying to find a cool spot and the other guy, a pit bull, was covered in hot tar and had given up hope. Animal officers rescued the two dogs and took them right away to get medical attention. I’m happy to say both survived and both are being loved by their new caretakers…caretakers much like yourself.
(God pauses again)
You know…Gracie Lou is one blessed little puppy to have a mommy like you. Thank you for taking care of one of my beloved creatures. I truly love them all and I’m saddened even when one of my sparrows fall to the ground.
(God pauses and looks to me with tender eyes)
[Me:] (bowing my head) Lord, I’m sorry for complaining, especially when there’s so many in the world truly suffering.
[God:] That’s okay my child. I understand. Hang in there because the blessings Gracie Lou will bring to your life, will far exceed the frustrations.
[Me:] Yes, Lord…?
[God:] Just remember…Gracie’s bladder grows bigger as each day passes.
Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; and continue in prayer.
He wrinkled his brow, sniffed the air and vigorously kicked his hind legs. He rarely took the time to relieve himself while on the job, but this one had been necessary. Call it an emergency that couldn’t wait. Feeling his tummy rumble he grimaced and vowed to pass on the next road kill. It must have lain in the sun too long he surmised. The next time he’d take it home to the cat.
Bagsby looked up and down the busy street, and was relieved to see his target had yet to round the corner of Big Bills Butcher Shop. Bagsby, thankful his poop stop had not thwarted the mission, sent up a silent “thank you” to Pooch Heaven.
All four of Bagsby’s, short but muscular legs, carried his stocky little body towards the perfect hideout. He had spent weeks watching and calculating the moves of the big guy, and Bagsby was confident this was the perfect place for the ambush.
Stifling a bark of laughter, Bagsby began back into a small space between two large trash cans. This maneuver proved difficult as the space was quite small. He grunted a cuss word or two and wiggled his booty back and forth until he finally squeezed within the tiny opening. It had only been yesterday, he had backed himself in with ease. Bagsby was baffled until he remembered the road kill and realized the tainted stuff must have given him gas. A repetitious rumble squeaked out his back door giving credence to this assumption. The confined space captured the ripe fragrance and wafted it to his nose. Bagsby curled his upper lip, scowled and cursed the road kill. Then he thought about the cat and smiled.
His mischievous reverie, interrupted by the sound of a whisle, dissipated at once bringing his thoughts to the task at hand. Harmonious whistling had always heralded the big guy’s approach so Bagsby knew he was close. He tensed and readied his body for the ambush. The whistling grew louder as the target rounded the corner of Big Bills. After a moment he could hear the big guy’s footsteps above the whistling, and so Bagsby hunkered his tiny (but muscular) legs closer to the ground, preparing himself for the attack. Bagsby could barely contain his excitement.
Wait for it…
wait for it…
not yet…wait for…
…and then it happened… Shoe-leather and a blue pants leg crossed Bagsby’s field of vision. Without hesitation Bagsby flung his bull-dog frame forward but his gas-riddled body wedged once again between the two trash cans. The noise startled the big guy dressed in blue and once he caught sight of Bagsby ricocheting between the two cans, he screamed and ran down the busy sidewalk dodging the passerby’s.
Fearing the big guys escape Bagsby lunged again. Adrenalin and another slippage of gas propelled him forward and away from the toppling trash cans. Bagsby hit the ground running, booking it in the direction of the fleeing target. When he was within striking distance he jumped with teeth bared and jowls flapping in the wind.
Bagsby came down on all fours with a mouth full of leather. Proud of his conquest, he vigorously shook the leather satchel which created a snow drift of stamped envelopes. The satchel’s engraved name of Newman was completely slathered with drool. Bagsby smiled, holding the satchel between his teeth. He enjoyed watching the colorful pieces of paper scatter in the wind.
Dropping the satchel he thought, “Now for the finishing touch.” Bagsby lifted his hind leg and christened the bag with yellow dew. With that done he turned, kicked his hind legs and walked towards home. He and Newman would meet again tomorrow.