Thursday, February 18, 2010

Friday Shoot-Out: Town Plaza

Welcome to my 100th post!  This week's shootout topic was suggested by Redlan at Redlan's Web of Arts.  This sure was one of the most challenging for me.  Vineland is a huge, spreadout town of farmland and trees.  (Except for downtown Vineland which is rows of old stores).  So, I racked my brain to try to find an angle to fit the assignment.  I decided to go with my apartment complex. 

Here is a big mountain of snow in my parking lot.  There are many of these all through the complex.  We will probably be staring at snow until June!!
This is a wall of snow in the parking lot where I work.  I think I've seen enough snow to last me four more winters!
This winter has led to some massive icicles.  Those things look deadly!
And, finally, outside my back door, I was finally able to get a shot of a cardinal in the snow.

I hope you enjoyed!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday Shoot-Out: Aquariums

The topic for the FSO is aquariums; a great idea suggested by ChefE at  Unfortunately, the weather has prevented me from really finding good shots to fit this theme, unless I could capture shots of the elusive snow shark.  I did take some new shots of the weather in my previous post which you can see at  I "archived" it this week.  Luckily, I did have some pictures of aquarium visits.
This picture was taken at the Camden Aquarium in Camden, NJ.  It is the aquarium closest to where I live.  While Camden has been referred to as one of the most dangerous places in the US, it does have a very nice aquarium.

Here's John, my Valentine, standing next to the jaw of an ancestor of the Great White.  John says he thinks it was called a "Megaladon".

I also got my picture taken by this scuba diver; however, it was one of those shots where my eyes are half closed so I look like I overdosed on some valium.

This picture was taken outside of the aquarium.  You can see Philadelphia's skyline.
These otters were lounging at the Washington DC Zoo.  We were there last June.
We also were able to watch this Giant Octopus eat her lunch.  She was completely still in the corner of the tank until some shrimp on a stick was placed in the water.  I have a similar reaction to shrimp.
Sea life can be quite beautiful and mysterious.  I really enjoyed these trips and taking these pictures.  I hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland Take 3

Hello blogger friends!  I am home today thanks to the snow taking the East coast hostage.  I thought I'd share some of the pictures of this wintry blast.  As some of you have already seen, icicles tend to form off of the roof of my balcony and I love to take pictures of them. 

One of my cats, Winston, was looking out the back door at the snow and the birds flying to the branches above.  I let him step out onto the balcony so he could feel the snow.  He did not really like the coldness on his paw pads and came right back in the house, but I thought the paw prints were very cute!  I also captured some bird prints. 
Who among us who like to take pictures would not want to capture a richly red cardinal amongst the white white snow?  The cardinal must have known this because everytime I grabbed my camera, he flew away!  I was able to capture him somewhat.

Also, for those of you who saw my last Friday Shoot Out, you saw my windchimes.  Well, this wintry blast has even coated them in snow.
I hope some of you are in a warmer climate!  For those of you experiencing this "white wash" with me, I hope you are staying safe and if you have to go out, driving carefully!

(I am going to start putting all my poetry on my poetry blog at spiritsoflenapoetry, in case you miss my photo and a poem.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Friday Shoot Out: Circles

I loved this week's FSO assignment.  The idea of circles came from Kerry at  What I loved about it is that I have always thought of the circle as a sacred shape.  It ends where it begins and the center can be intersected an infinite number of times.  Also, it is perfectly symmetrical.  It is the basic shape of the mandala.  Mandalas are these beautiful spiritual designs and I talk about them more in my posts and

The above picture is from my archive taken in Washington DC at one of the Smithsonian museums.  The rest of the shots were taken this week, but I included this one since it fit the assignment so well.

 I took this picture of a somewhat circular patch of snow in anticipation of the huge Noreaster that is supposed to hit NJ tomorrow afternoon.  Some are saying 9 inches, some are saying 2 feet--we shall see!

This is a railroad crossing sign near my house.
I take Tuckahoe Road to work every morning.  They have been doing some sort of construction on the road involving cutting down trees, and the trunks on the ground made interesting circles.
These last three shots were taken on my balcony.  These are my windchimes.  I obviously love celestial designs!  They all happen to be somewhat circular, which again is another reason I love the circle!

I hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Photo and a Poem: Winter Awakening

Winter Awakening

The ice hung like teeth from the lip of the roof,
dripping the cold dirge of winter onto the ground.
Walking, waking in the frozen air,
the crash of sun is almost a sound.

Blue winter crosses the sky
like heavens last round
before death overcomes
and darkness astounds.

I wake to wake and wake again
into the cold despair of winter dawn,
wasting hours and minutes in moments
that are isolated and a quiet that drowns.

Yet still awakes the hope
of warmth and light and Spring,
the breeze of relief,
like a lost traveler,
finally homeward bound.

If you like my poetry, check out my poetry blog at

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday Shoot-Out: Look Up Look Down

I love this week's topic.  I love taking pictures of the sky and also the ground.  I love the colors of the sky.  As many of the great photographers of FSO have shown, the sky turns so many different kinds of colors, from violet to red to the deepest blues.  I am also always trying to get great shots of the moon--although I do not think my current camera is up to the task.  I also like taking pictures of the ground because of all the textures and designs that nature provides.  Also, looking up and down is not something we do often so by photographing them, we are bringing attention to an unattended beauty, which, to me, is one of the goals of photography.  I could have totally "archived" this post as I tend to take a lot of sky and ground shots.  However, all of these shots were taken today. 
The greenery are bushes near my house and they had some morning frost on them.  The sky shot was taken from my car.  I just liked the particular shade of blue of the sky at that moment.  Then, below that, is my attempt at a moon shot.  Then, the last shot is water melting from a big pile of snow nearby.  It is a pile of snow left from a December storm.  I predicted that the pile of snow would still be there in February.  If it is still there in a few days, my prediction will have come true!  I took this picture because I liked the pattern that the water made. 

Hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Friday Shoot Out--Sounds in your Town

This particular shoot-out comes from a great blogger, Nanu at  I found this one challenging and ended up dipping into my archive.  After I read what she wrote about the blindfold idea, I wished I had done that!  Read it too late.  But I definitely will try that some day! 

From my archive, I chose some of my favorite sounds and pictures that represent them.  Of course, I love the sound of the cat meowing.  I guess that is where the phrase "the cat's meow" originated.  The gray and white one, Magnum, likes to go into the living room in the middle of the night and meow as loud as he can.  Winston sometimes mouthes a meow as if he does not have enough energy to get out the sound.  And, what is better than a purring cat! 

This favorite sound is probably shared by many people.  The sound of water is varied and amazingly beautiful.  I love the sounds of a fountain, the soft sweet song as the droplets hit the surface.  Then, the sound of waves crashing is a wonderful dichotomy in its combination of powerful and gentle rhythms.  As soon as I hear the ocean, I immediately feel more relaxed. 

This picture was taken on my patio.  There are a lot of sounds that I love represented here.  First, the sound of the birds in the morning.  Of course, dry leaves rustling.  Then, the sound of wind chimes.  Wow, after writing this post, it made me realize there are some really beautiful sounds in the world!   Thanks, Nanu, for opening my eyes to wonderful sounds!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Photo and a Poem: Haiku

Following the road
in winter's white-blue tunnel,
Quiet Peace Awakes.

If you like my poetry, check out my new poetry blog at spiritsoflenapoetry

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friday Shoot-Out Birds

This weeks assignment comes from Scriptor Senex at  I think it is a great idea!  Everyone has birds in their town (hopefully) and birds are fun to photograph.  When looking through my archives, I was surprised at how many shots of birds I have actually taken.  I think one reason why birds are so fun to photograph is they have so many visual variations which are interesting.  They come in so many different shapes and sizes providing a variety of silhouettes.  Also, they come in varied colors and designs. 

Another thing that is great about photographing birds is that they bring up so many associations.  For instance, I included pictures of some seaguls from Wildwood.  Seaguls bring up associations of the ocean, beach, and summer. 

Birds also represent freedom and lightness.  I am lucky that I get to see a lot of birds out of my patio door.  There are a lot of blue jays, robins, and sometimes humming birds. 

This picture I took in a strip mall parking lot.  I could not believe how cute the chicks were!  I was glad I had started the habit of taking my camera with me wherever I go.

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you enjoyed!