Saturday, July 14, 2007

My July Bumble Bee

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Golden Gate Park has an amazing Dahlia garden. It is tucked back from the road, and sits next to the Conservatory of Flowers. It comes magically alive in the summer, and it is one of my favorite places on earth. I find it especially inviting on days after I go to therapy. Therapy has healed me, but like with any discipline one learns, it can be very painful as time takes care of what ails you. I usually come out of those appointments exhausted, so sometimes going out with the camera can be difficult, but I know that using the camera to look at the beauty in the world, to focus on something other then how torn up I feel, is the way to process those secret inner feelings we all carry around. I decided a couple years ago, to have a subject, something specific to search for, when I am needing to do that kind of mental processing. This summer, I have chosen the bumble bee.

I think I am getting better with my bee photos. I am learning about light and shadows. I am really learning about timing. LOL. These are happy little critters. The can also be quite a tease. LOL. It was hard to not take this bee's personality quirks personally. LOL. Just as I found a comfortable way to stand, just as I got the setting right and the wind would stop blowing, just as I was about to snap the photo, this bee would happily buzz away to a new blossom. I swear I could almost hear her giggle as she flew by me. LOL. Almost.

I stuck with it, and here you see what I got, but not without a good deal of patience. I still haven't gotten the perfect shot of a bumble in flight. It will come. I am going to visit the Dahlia garden at least once a week this summer, at least until my garden begins to blossom. It will be another four weeks or so, before it's ready, but it should be very colorful when it does. I am putting some dahlia's in the pots this week for a mid-autumn bloom. Purples and oranges. It should be ready, just as my therapy comes to a close. Nice timing I think. :) Yep, I'm a happy camper.

So tell me, when you are out with your camera, do you ever give yourself "assignments?" Do you ever use your photography as a way to process what ails you?

"My July Bumble Bee"
Dahlia Garden
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
July 11th, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

Eight Random Facts About Me :) A Meme Sent To Me From Patrick

"When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves."

My friend Patrick has tagged me to play a meme, "8 Random Facts About Me." He was tagged by Laura, of "Adventures In Juggling." I always enjoy doing memes, of any kind, but I always worry a bit about doing memes that ask me to name facts about the wonder that is me, because I have been blogging almost 4 years. Over the last few years I think I have shared just about all there is to know. Well, at least all I think you would be most interested to know anyway. So what's new I could share? Well, when I really thought about it, I have plenty to share, mostly by way of updates to facts about me that you already know. That could be interesting... right? So, here is my, 8 Random Facts About Me, but first we have to present the memes rules.

The Rules
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog post (about their eight things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.

And Now... The List

1. I LOVE fast food, and my newest fast food obsession is Stuffed Jalapenos. :) YUM.

2. My great photographic quest this summer ,is to capture a Bumble Bee in flight. I am doing a lot better with my flying creature photos, but perfect shot of a Bumble Bee in mid flight is still eluding me. I am working on it. :)

3. Alan and I have decided to coach each other in T'ai Chi and Meditation. He and I have a few days a week set aside to share some moments of peace.

4. I will officially be done with therapy at the end of August. Last Wednesday, Sarah and I talked a lot about what I have worked on in the last few years. I still have some issues that tend to haunt me... but who doesn't? It just feels good to be back to living life with the coping skills I have learned.

5. I am a night owl. I love to sit up at night, into the wee hours, doing my photo editing or writing in my blog, but coming soon, I am going to try to get back to going to bed no later than 11:00 P.M. I am wanting to enjoy the warm sunny days of summer, because it makes my sore muscles feel better. Look for my new hours soon.

6. I have never been to a movie by myself. Another thing I hope to change this autumn. Hmmm... I wonder what movies are coming out?

7. I have a Boyd's Bears teddy bear collection, to which I add one new piece each October. Oddly enough, the first stuffed critter I ever purchased from that company, was a Moose. :) You remember Ross, right?

8. I am 16,439 days old. :) But I only feel, 9,125 days old. Except when my Fibromyalgia is being mean, on those days I feel, 31, 025 days old.

Note: I have signed up for a Fibromyalgia Support Group. When it hurts so bad sometimes, that I can't even tolerate a hug, it's time to do all I can to help myself feel better.

Be sure to drop by Patrick's Place to read his entry. Thanks again Patrick! Now, I am supposed to tag 8 people to play along, but I think this one has been around for a while, so I will leave it open to anyone who wants to play, to do so. Please don't forget to let me know you played, by leaving me a link to your entry in the comment thread. :)

"Bumble Bee in the Mist"
Half Moon Bay, California
July 11th, 2007
Late Afternoon

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Steven's Feline Friday: The Many Moods Of Elvis EP #1

"In the middle of a world that had always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

-Rose Kennedy

Guess What? Elvis and I decided to try making a new video. He was feeling a lot more animated the other day, and in a much better mood, so we decided to give his reach for stardom one more try. :) I think this one is better then the last one, but we still have some room for improvement. :) We likes the camera, which will make things easier. I am trying to break the habit of talking baby talk to him. LOL. What can I say, he is my baby! :)

In this video he is being very affectionate. We had just finished doing some Yoga. Yep, he and I do Yoga together. He even has his own mat. I help him with his stretches, and then we do some Qi Gong and meditation. Although, his meditation sounds a lot like sleeping. Snnnnnooooorrrrrrr. :) Maybe our next video will be one of he and I practicing our search for inner peace. :) For now, enjoy!

There is still time to get your entry in for this week's edition of Feline Friday, over at my friend Steven's blog, (sometimes) photoblog. You can find out all the information you need to play along by clicking here.

The Many Moods Of Elvis
Episode #1

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Geometry

"It has been said that art is a tryst, for the joy of it maker and beholder meet."

-Kojiro Tomita

Monday Photo Shoot: Picture something that shows off something geometrical. Squares, cubes, vectors, right angles, tangents, and so on; basically, any picture that shows geometrical forms and shapes in an interesting way.

-John Scalzi

I love public art. This beautiful geometric sculpture is called "Calliope" and was designed and presented to the city of Berkeley, California in 1982. The sculpture had come under some disrepair, but was restored to it's full glorious beauty in 2004. If geometry had been this interesting and appealing when I was in school, I would have paid closer attention. LOL. There are many other examples of Mr. Slusky's geometric art throughout the Bay Area. I have been wanting to take a weekend and visit as many of the pieces as possible. I love his art. To see more, visit his website here.

Helios (Bayer Corporation)
Berkeley, California

"Calliope" By Joseph Slusky
Berkeley, Marina
Berkeley, California
Spring, 2006

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: The Road Less Traveled

"A person without a sense of humor, is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road."

-Henry Ward Beecher

"The Road Less Traveled"

I just love this photo. I know some of you have seen it before, but I thought it might be fun to show it off again. :) I first found this street about 10 years ago, when I was out for a ride in the East Bay hills. I thought is was so amusing. If you look very close, you will see, one sign says, "Not A Through Street," while the other sign says, "One Way." This is so metaphoric. Now tell me, how many "roads" have you gone down in life, that you wouldn't allow you a way back? If the folks who live at the top of this hill drive up the hill to their own homes, they would be breaking the law to come back down the hill. So going strictly by the letter of the law, there is now way out! LOL. Now I am assuming that the local police doesn't actually enforce this certain legality... but personally... I wouldn't push it. I imagine this is a true, "Road Less Traveled." :)

Our newest member of the Round Robins, Vicki, author of the blog, "Maraca," has chosen "The Road Less Traveled," for our last challenge. Well, actually, it's not our last challenge, it is just the last challenge we will be doing in the sidebar rotation format. If you have been paying attention, you already know that beginning at the end of the summer, the Round Robin Challenges will be doing things a little different. We will no longer be following the list of Robins on the sidebar to find our challenges. We are now asking all Round Robin members to submit their ideas for upcoming challenges. Everything else is the same. Karen, Steven and I will still be taking turns bringing you a new challenge every other Wednesday. All you have to do is send us your ideas, subjects or themes. You can submit as many times as you want, and if we use your idea we will still feature you and your blog that week. Come on Robins... we can't do it without you... send in your ideas! :)

Be sure to visit all of our participants for our current challenge...

Linking List

1. Vicki... Maraca

2. Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

3. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

4. Janet... Fond Of Photography

5. Renee... Ode to the Muse

6. Dallas... Dallas Miao'd **Welcome New Member**

7. Brandon... A Visual Experiment **Welcome New Member**

8. Carly... Ellipsis

9. Kerrin... A New Day, A New Photo

10. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

11. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pics

"The Road Less Traveled"
Hayward, California
Circa 1997

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hey Now, You're An All Star, Get Your Game On, Go Play

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

-Yogi Berra

San Francisco has been all a buzz lately. Well, for the last week or so anyway. Tonight is the All Star Game, at At&T park. There was a lot of activities for fans, this past weekend. The city is decorated with banners and last night, after the Home Run Derby, there was a pretty nice fireworks display. That bright light in the center of the above photo, is the ballpark, all lit up. The water next to the park, McCovey Cove, was filled with fans in small boats and kayaks just waiting for one of the home runs to make it into the water. It was freezing last night, so my deep respect really goes out to those who lasted the whole time out on the bay. I took this shot from Treasure Island... and let me tell you... it was COLD. It always throws me that San Francisco can be so cold and windy, even in the middle of July. If you ever come for a visit, don't forget your coat, no matter what time of year you come! :) I love it here.

So Tell Me, Who Do You Root For In The All Star Game? American League? Or National League?

The View Of The Ballpark
McCovey Cove
San Francisco, California
Bay Bridge
July 10th, 2007
9:45 PM

Monday, July 09, 2007

Music Please (A Musical Meme Sent To Me From Laura)

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself. Incredible and inconceivable."

-Aaron Copeland

Yea! I have a new meme to play, y'all know my fondness for memes. :) In fact, I have two new memes for this week. One sent to me from my friend Laura, of the blog, "Adventures In Juggling," and one sent to me from another good friend, Patrick, of "Patrick's Place." I am going to do Laura's meme first, and Patrick's meme later in the week. This is a busy week for me, and we have a Round Robin Challenge coming up this Wednesday, so Patrick, look for the meme you tagged me to do, this coming Thursday! :) So now... on with the Music Meme...

Here are the rules

1. Name between 5 & 10 songs that have made an impact on your life. I'll leave it up to you to decide how many you wish to describe.

2. Pass it onto five other people with a link back to your own post and this one as the original.

Click HERE to see Laura's original entry. :) Thank you Sweetie! :)

My Music List

1. Here Comes The Sun, By The Beatles
It was the first song I remember hearing on the radio as a little girl. I remember singing it over and over as a child, and I also remember that it always made me smile... even to this day. :)

2. I Saw The Light, By Todd Rundgren
As you know, one time, a long time ago, I fell in love at first sight. I remember every thing about it, even the fact that this song was playing on the radio. Well, it wasn't meant to be, but Mr. November did become my friend. It's a fond memory, of a profound moment, a long, long time ago. :)

3. Groovy Kind Of Love, By Phil Collins
Alan and I fell in love to this song. :) We enjoyed it so much that we had it played at out wedding, as our parents walked down the aisle. It's still our song. :)

4. The David Duchovny Song, By Bree Sharp
You knew I had to include this song... right? Oh how I lust after that man! LOL. Sighhhhhhhhhhhh. Hey David, like the song says..."I'll be waiting... in Nevada." :)

5. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, The Ramones
What can I say? It really, really rocks... and appeals to my wild side, which is fading fast. ROFLMAO! God, middle age is soooo much fun. :)

6. Prelude in C Minor, By Chopin
I really enjoy classical music. Always have. I put this piece on when I am feeling a little lonely, there is just something about it which makes me feel good inside. It's romantic, but a blue kind of romantic that makes it seem a little bit ok, to allow myself remember loves from the past. Sigh... I guess it's a girl thing.

7. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, By Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff wrote pure romance with this piece, it was a perfect choice for the haunting tune in the movie, "Somewhere In Time." I had heard it years before the movie came out, but since hearing it in the film, I always associate it with Christopher Reeve, and Jane Seymour in the roles of Richard and Elyse. It's one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written.

8. Soak Up The Sun, By Sheryl Crow
I like this song for a pretty simple reason... it reminds me to stop taking life so damn serious, and have some fun. You know? ;)

9. That's Just What You Are, By Aimee Mann
I swear this song was written about every man, Alan and Elvis included, that I have ever met. Ladies, you can find the lyrics here. Go have a look and tell me if it reminds you of anyone you know? LOL.

10. Amas Veritas/Practical Magic, on the Practical Magic Soundtrack.
I loved the book, but I loved the movie just as much. :) This particular song is so lovely and so vivid that it is what I imagine autumn would sound like if it have an official tune. I love playing it, it is warmth and color and everything autumn is to me. I sound crazy I know, but it truly is sensual in every sense of the word. The whole soundtrack is wonderful, but this song makes the whole thing come alive. I love getting lost in the notes. :) You really must hear it sometime. :)

Okie Dokie, that's it for me. I now need to tag five people to play along. I usually leave it open for folks to join in, or not as the spirit moves them. So here is what I will do, I will send out some emails to some folks, as to not put them on the spot, and if they play, I will ask them to come back here and leave a link in the comment thread for this entry. If there is anyone else out there who wants to play, feel free to join in. Everyone is welcome! :)

Thanks again, Laura! :)

"Notes At Rest"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
July, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bumble Bee Tongues

"For many 19th century artists, the usual reaction to photography was no reaction at all. They simply ignored it. But not Degas. He was deeply interested in the new medium, not just as a tool that could help with his drawings and paintings, but as an art form in its own right."

-Edward Saywell

Can you believe it? It was cloudy and kind of cold yesterday, at least I was cold. Elvis was by my side most of the day, I think he knows when I am not 100%. Sigh. I have been having nightmares again. Nightmares are the most inconvenient things. It's so strange how we can be sound asleep, and yet transported forward or backward in time, to places we have long since forgotten about, visiting with people we know we will never see again. The surreal can seem so vivid. Like I said, nightmares are inconvenient.

That's why I take pictures. Photography allows me to step into the surreal with a certain amount of control. I love taking photos of gardens, because there is so much going on, and everything changes in a blink. It takes a great deal of concentration to photograph butterflies and bumble bees, especially on a warm, sunny day. It's a good thing, but it is definitely a challenging thing. I don't know... my mind gets completely filled with whatever scene is in front of me. The flowers, the things with wings, the sky... whatever. Everything else gets blocked out. At least it seems that way. Maybe that is why I have nightmares when I haven't been particularly active with the camera.

Of course, it might also mean it wasn't a good idea to eat 8 Jalapeno Poppers at 3:00 in the morning. LOL. Jeepers, that is why I dreamed the hills that surround the house I live in were on fire! Could be. Or it could have just been my mind reminding me of my lifelong fear of fire. I have conquered a good many fears and phobias. I took charge of my life, and eliminated panic attacks from ruining my life, but I have never been able to cure my fear of fire. I try to photograph fire when I can. When Alan barbecues, I am right there with the camera, snapping away. Still... the fear continues. Maybe my dream was saying, "Get over it girl."

I used to be absolutely scared to death of bumble bees. Now I seek them out, so much so that recently I was on my stomach in Golden Gate Park, photographing some bumbles that were enjoying some dandelions. LOL. I had to laugh at myself, because it was just a few years ago that I would have left the park, for fear of bees. Silly of me, because look how beautiful they are. They have such interesting lines, and who knew they have tongues? :) It never occurred to me they would, until I was licked by a butterfly last year at the Conservatory of Flowers. LOL. It seems I had a little bit of maple syrup on my hand, left over from a pancake breakfast I had eaten earlier that day. Talk about surreal... being licked by a butterfly, is surreal! Almost as surreal as watching an opossum use it's thumbs. But that is a whole other entry. LOL. It's not supposed to be cold in July... is it?

"The Bumble Bee's Tongue"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Late June, 2007