Last But Not Least by Debra A farewell of sorts … in 2016 Carolyn and I decided to try a blog together. We have been friends since 2009 when we both took an online photography… More
“I never get tired of the blue sky.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Located off the Mullica River is the Great Bay where Motts Creek Inn is located. This little house is located on the road to Motts Creek Inn. Living here nearly 15 years I have never been to this local spot. Their motto is “Beware of the Locals” with a picture of a green head fly, if you are from this area of NJ you know about green head flies. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky! The area closest to the marsh is known for green head flies, so their motto is meant to be funny I suppose?
There is an old folklore in this apart of the state known as the Jersey Devil. The hockey team from NJ is named for this old folklore. It is a well known topic where I come from and some people who were born and raised in this area believe in this folklore. Honestly, even though I’ve lived in NJ my entire life, I never heard this folklore until I moved to my current home.
Aside from the folklore and green head flies, the road this small house is located on is extremely quiet and peaceful. During my ride last Sunday morning, the sun was shining brightly and the sky was a beautiful vibrant blue. As I stopped to take this photo, I could not help but notice the sound of absolutely nothing but complete quiet. There was the occasional bird chirping and the crisp morning air was so refreshing, I couldn’t help myself from just enjoying the quiet and solitude of the morning. As we celebrate Easter today, I encourage each of you to stop and take a moment to celebrate the glorious and beautiful world we are a part of.
Happy Easter … until next time … Debra
He is not here, He is risen!
Glorious words for me! My granddaughter Layla said it right. This is the most important day of the year for me. She wondered about Christmas too though because as she said, ‘If Jesus hadn’t been born then we couldn’t have had Easter’. She’s a sweetie and very deep in her knowledge and thoughts even at her little tiny age of 7.
You know, that Jesus came into this world to be the light and to lead us out of darkness and to bring us health and new life!
Hope is what this day brings to me …
“… in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
If you have not yet, I ask you to consider asking Jesus into your life today. He will bring you that peace and happiness you’re longing for.
‘Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life,
and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth,
on the basis of God’s own commitment,
that the best is yet to come.’
Be blessed on this Easter day!
Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tulips, hyacinth, and bright colors! Can you feel the happiness in my photo today. The weather warmed up a bit here in NJ this week and people seemed to be happier and lighter. As I approached my driveway yesterday, I was greeted by these beautiful colors in my front yard. It only seemed fair to share them with all of my friends.
I cut a few tulips and a piece of the purple hyacinth, which if you are not familiar with, is extremely fragrant. I played around with a few different vases, but this mason jar seemed to have the feel I was looking for. The jars were used for my daughter’s engagement party, hence the heart and bow. Once I arranged the flowers, I couldn’t help but think, how simple and beautiful! It all just seemed to work almost as if the flowers knew what was in their future before I did.
As the warm weather approaches, the air if filled with fragrant scents, the grass is a vibrant green and the clouds and sky appear to be smiling down on us. What is it about spring and summer that brings out the best moods in people? Warm weather and sunshine is such a simple recipe, and so welcomed after a long, bare winter. As I’m writing this, I am listening to Thomas Rhett singing “Die a Happy Man”, the wedding song for my daughter and son-in-law last year. Such a happy time and song, which makes me feel even happier. Happiness can be infectious, I hope you were able to grab a piece from my photo today, if not, go pick some tulips of your own and see how they brighten your day.
For more of my work, please stop by my Instagram page, until next time … Debra
A bucket of white roses … how simple is that. A photograph with just one item can really grab my attention. It gives me the feeling of peace and quiet … a couple of things I long for in my life. Although nights like last night are ones to treasure … we had a sleepover with the grandchildren. We have 9 and they were all involved in the sleepover. They range in age from 13 to to 15 months. Each one is so special! It was definitely not a night of peace and quiet!
So, back to peace and quiet …. in this busy world today, those two things can be hard to find. Sometimes they come in large chunks of time, but for me they are in moments. I have found that I just need to take my life in in the way it comes. I can’t stress about things not being how I might think it ought to be or how I see someone else’s life playing out.
My peace and quiet is found early in the morning … like right now. It’s 5:38 a.m. I can hear heavy breathing behind me from some of those adorable grandchildren … this is my time to quieten my own soul. Time to stop and think … to read … to ponder … to plan my day. Do you get time for that in your busy schedule? I hope you’ll plan some if you don’t have it already.
Peace to you on this lovely Friday ….
If you’d like to join in on some of my quiet moments you can follow me on Instagram.
Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/180, f/4.5, ISO 250
“The World is Quiet Here.” – Lemony Snicket
Can you hear it? If you close your eyes and breath in and out, I’ll bet you can hear what I heard while shooting this photograph. Complete quiet with a small stream of water trickling into the pond. Sunday morning is one of the nicest mornings of the week, especially when Spring is blooming. I think this is true in most seasons, but during Spring it is a bit more peaceful and calming, flowers blooming and the scent of Spring in the air. Today I woke up early and went for a drive. There are several special spots I love to visit during the year, this being one of them. The development I live and in the surrounding developments, we all have retention ponds. This particular pond is just a mile or so down the road from my home. The Cherry blossoms are at full bloom now and the scene was picture perfect!
I grew up in the city and we had two trees on our block. The houses had small alleys between them, with small yards located behind the homes. When I moved to Central New Jersey when I was 26 years old it was like culture shock. We lived in a small development with a huge yard and trees around our home. It took me quite a long time to adjust to the area. Fifteen years ago we moved to where I currently live, in Southern New Jersey, which is completely different from where I previously lived. It took me even longer to become acclimated to this area of New Jersey, but now it’s most definitely home. I love the quiet of where I live and the fact that there are less people who live in this part of the state.
As I looked at the gazebo this morning thinking of how I wanted to compose this shot, I knew I wanted to emphasize the flowers, that’s what Spring is about, the blooming earth and how it has awakened from winter. Therefore, the scenery is blurred enough to put emphasis on the flowers but to also give you a feel of the scene. The reflection in the pond of the gazebo and trees which have not bloomed yet, and the beautiful pink buds in the foreground showing how Spring has begun to arrive. If you don’t venture out on a beautiful, sunny morning, I encourage you to try it. Just sit and enjoy the quiet for a while, it will be a great way to begin your day and especially the new week.
Thanks for stopping by and I will see you next time … Debra
It seemed as though winter had set in again on this cold April morning. The sky was filled with clouds overhead and thick heavy rain clouds in the distance. We decided to continue on with our hunt for wildflowers regardless.
We headed in the direction of Shandon. Our goal was to go to Shell Creek Road. It is typically the place for wildflowers here on the Central Coast. Once we got there, I actually was slightly disappointed, but there were quite a few more wildflowers than other years. The sun was still hidden behind the clouds, so the lighting wasn’t what I had hoped for either. We made the best of it.
While there weren’t as many as I had hoped, there were still areas that were blanketed with yellow and pretty patches of purple. I suppose all the talk had my expectations higher than was realistic. The lupine stood high above the yellow flowers and seemed to be calling out just to be photographed. I love the purple and pretty white tips of these delicate flowers.
The hunt for wildflowers is always a pleasant drive, no matter how many we find. The road is an easy drive and not too far from where I live. Any chance to get out in the country is great for me …
Camera Settings: 40 mm, 1/250 sec, f/6.7, ISO 160
We really appreciate you stopping in and joining us on our journey. If you just happened upon this entry, we’d love it if you followed along. Just click here to do that. To see more of California in my gallery, you can click here.
“One who has hope lives differently.”― Pope Benedict XVI
Spring is a season of renewal and hope. You can feel the energy when you smell the air and breath in the sweet aromas of flowers, grass and even the spring rain. Life is very much like the seasons, as human beings we go through many situations during our lifetime, some fun and happy and others are difficult and sometimes sad.
Someone very close to me is going through a very difficult time right now and it brings back memories of when I went through a similar situation in my life. I wish that I could make all of the pain and unpleasantness he is experiencing go away. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to make it easier and less painful for him. It breaks my heart to know how sick and unhappy he is.
After speaking with him today, I felt such a heaviness in my heart and I needed something fresh and bright to express how good life is. I purchased these tulips several days ago, I always feel as though it takes a few days for tulips to be just perfect to photograph. It is one flower, that becomes more beautiful with time. I wanted to share what hope and renewal feel and look like to me. With certain life situations, it’s sometimes difficult to find the light but always easy to see the darkness. Hope is what gets us through the darkest of times, without hope there is truly nothing. I think it’s human nature to see the bad and not see the good, finding the good in a bad situation is never easy, but it’s that goodness and hope that gets us through the darkest times in our lives.
I pray that he finds the light and the hope in his heart gets him through. Life is precious and sometimes it takes life threatening situations to make us realize how precious each and every day is.
Thank you for listening … Until next time … Debra
Flowers have become a very favorite subject of mine. I suppose that’s one reason I like spring … there are flowers everywhere. These roses grow on long vines with small almond shaped leaves were growing at the back of a parking lot in town. I drive through this lot several times a week and have been waiting for the opportunity to stop and clip a few off. It wasn’t just a rose bush, it was a huge rose wall! Probably 10-12 feet in the air and maybe 50 feet in length. So today, I remembered to stop and clip.
Our life is like a thorny rose, not perfect but always beautiful.
Kirston D. Warfield
Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/180, f/2.5, ISO 100
Short and sweet for me today! Thanks for stopping in. To see more of my still life work you can click here.
Paradise has never been about places. It exists in moments.
In connection. In flashes across time.
“Even the Devil was once an Angel”
Road Trip by Debra
My husband works every other weekend, the weekends he is home we love to go exploring and take a day trip just to get away. This weekend we decided to visit some wineries in Brandywine, PA. We went online and found one that we thought looked really lovely. We drove 90 minutes to get to the Brandywine area in Pennsylvania, stopping on the way for breakfast.
We arrived at the winery, the vineyards were completely bare, not even a hint of color in the vines, looking as though they were a prop from a horror movie. After driving such a long distance, we decided to get out of the car to walk around hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I grabbed my camera and jacket, as I closed the car door, I noticed the building door was opened a crack, a woman proceeded to walk out of the building to greet us. I asked her if they were open, she said yes and invited us in, Brian and I look at each other, not sure if we should go in or get back in our car, but feeling obligated, we followed the woman inside. Once inside there is a wood stove burning with an overwhelming smell of smoke, then she closed the door to keep the wind out. I think our hearts skipped a beat, looking nervously at each other, Brian asked if they had wine tastings, she said yes. We are then asked to step into the wine tasting room, which was the size of a large closet, wine bottles and chocolate covered pretzels laid out on the table. A second older woman introduces herself and begins to explain the process of grape growing and how wine is made. Still unsure about the entire winery, we ask if there is any scenery for photos, she says yes. Then leads us outside to a very unkept area where there are the most adorable sheep. I think that was the highlight of this winery, not the wine!
While walking around the property I came upon this birdhouse, which I thought described the essence of where we were. I knew once I photographed it there was something oddly special about it. This particular birdhouse expressed the entire mood of the winery and described everything we had been feeling since we stepped out of the car. To add to the eery and creepy feeling, the sky was very overcast and the day was damp and bone chilling, which enhanced the overall feel of. While driving to the next winery, I was thinking of the strangeness of the place we had just left. It was a true experience and not a good one. Not every experience is good but I do believe we always come away with feeling something from each experience we have.
Thanks for stopping by, until next time … Debra
Photo Session at the Mission
It was a cold and dreary day when we pulled up to the old mission in San Miguel. Not a bit of blue in the sky and the threat of rain. There weren’t too many people at the mission, just a few wandering about, looking at the work of those who lived there once upon a time.
We were there for a different purpose. I arrived with a family of six and we were set to do a family photo session. The mission is a great location for family photos or just for visiting. The beautiful adobe building was built more than 200 years ago. It was named for the Archangel Saint Michael. It is the 16th of the California Missions and is located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The twelve arches are a variety of shapes and sizes. At first glance, it isn’t noticeable, but with a further look you can see that they are indeed different.
On this cold November day, we started out front near the large archway opening with our photo session. We moved in to the plaza and took some photos near the fountain. As we continued on, we headed around the back to the cemetary and got a couple of unique shots near the bell tower. The old church doors made a perfect backdrop for the four adorable children. If you click here you can see some of the photos we took that day.
We ended up getting just a bit of rain on us … the clouds overhead didn’t produce much, but it was the beginning of a very rainy season for us here in California.
Thank you so much for stopping. We’d love it if you followed along on our journey as we share our lives coast to coast.
“Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh
Transition is something we experience throughout life, in many areas of who we are and what we do. As I get older, I become more sentimental about so many things. It’s so difficult to think how fast time has gone by. This year I turned 55 and it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was 18 and 21 and 26 and 29. All memorable ages for me, 18 is a year when you believe you are an adult, yet you really have so much to learn; 21 is another age of freedom. I lost a very close friend when I turned 21, she died in a car accident and it made me think about how immortal I really wasn’t. At 26 I got married and three years later at 29 I became a mom. All very memorable events in my lifetime, and yet it they all seem like yesterday. My daughter turned 26 this past week and now she is beginning to feel the immortality starting to kick in. Not that 26 is old, because it’s quite young, but it probably seems old to her. Once you reach a certain age, time seems to just move quicker than it once did.
I’ve had so many transitions in many aspects of my life and with my art I am experiencing another transition. I was chatting with Carolyn on Wednesday afternoon and we were discussing how our photography has taken such a turn in the past year. I think art is an extension of who we are and with each stage of life, things change and it’s reflected in what we do, who we are, who our friends are and with me, how I view life which in turn is reflected in my photography. For a while I thought I could make money taking photographs of people, but in reality, it’s the quiet and thought process which makes me really appreciate and excel in photography. I prefer to be alone with my thoughts, being creative and thinking about how I want to compose what I see in my mind. It’s that satisfaction of seeing my work laid out in front of me and in it’s final process – in print that truly brings me joy.
Transitions are part of life, but how you handle those transitions and move forward is what truly defines whether you will find your inner peace or not.
Thanks for stopping by, Carolyn and I hope you sign up for our weekly newsletter to follow along as we both transition through our journey. To follow me on Instagram please click here. Until next time … Debra
With Spring comes flowers! Transition is a good word! Our lives change from season to season. Sometimes those changes are difficult to handle and other times we move into the next season with ease. I can think of times in life where I’ve experienced both!
The divisions of the year are the same. Typically when we get towards the end of one season I begin to look forward to the next. Some I’m more anxious to get out of … winter would be one of those. I’m a warm weather girl … cold days and nights don’t agree with me unless I’m snuggled up under a blanket sitting in front of a cozy fire in our wood stove.
Spring is an especially wonderful season to arrive. The stark landscape begins to take on color. There is gorgeous green in every direction. The barren trees begin to bloom. Little tiny flowers begin to pop up across the landscape and before we know it, there are flowers everywhere!
What a beautiful part of creation God has given us to enjoy. Spring brings new life to everything around us and new life to each of us as we step out of the dreariness of winter into this glorious colorful season!
… silver white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things …
Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/1000, f/3/5, ISO 400
Happy Spring to you!
A Flower Story by Debra
“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval
The Growth of an Orchid