Friday, September 27, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 38

The Week 38 challenge was to use the Rule of Odds in a composition. In photography, the rule suggests that photos containing an odd number of items are more visually appealing. While it is somewhat easy to find odd numbers in flowers, the challenge was to use it in an urbanscape/architecture photo. Below is my take on it.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 38

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 37

The weather is changing (sort of), and the Week 37 challenge was Story Telling: Seasons. I came across this leaf that had fallen on a stone wall at Crystal Bridges when we visited there last week. There is not a lot of fall color out yet in the Midwest, but I thought this leaf worked well for the challenge. I got a kick out of the fact that the leaf's shadow looked like a bat.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 37

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Crystal Bridges - Eureka!

After hearing so much about the Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art in Bentonville, Arkansas my husband and I had tried on a couple of occasions to get down there to see it. We finally made it happen last week. After finishing our respective pickleball games on Wednesday and taking care of some business around the house (meaning everything had to look perfect in case a potential buyer wanted to look at it while we were gone), we took off down I-44. We found this amazing little barbecue spot in Aurora, Missouri to have supper. It was tasty, and the staff was so friendly!

Hog Tide Bar-B-Cue
In keeping with my new mantra of "Make the U-turn", when I passed the field of cows cooling off as the sun went down in southern Missouri, I knew I had to turn around. I'm so glad we did.

bathing beauties
We arrived at Crystal Bridges at 9:00 Thursday morning, though the museum doesn't open until 11:00. There are miles of trails in the 120 acres that make up the grounds, and from one of the trails you can walk all the way to downtown Bentonville. The museum takes its name from a nearby natural spring, and the bridge construction incorporated in the buildings. Thanks to Alice Walton of Walmart fame, there is no charge to enter the museum.

There were not too many people around, so we had fun exploring the trails, outdoor sculptures and water features. A Frank Loyd Wright house is there as well, so we secured tickets for a tour (also free of charge.)

Crystal Bridges
We had lunch at the museum, and then headed to downtown Bentonville, which has a lovely town square. It is also the location of the first 5 and 10 store owned by Sam Walton. The museum there tells the fascinating tale of the history of Sam and Walmart.

After resting a bit and having supper, we drove back to Crystal Bridges for some night shots. It was quiet and peaceful as we walked along the trails. At the entrance to the grounds there is a lighted sculpture called Buckyball. On this particular evening they were showing "The Wizard of Oz" on a portable screen. How fun!

Crystal Bridges at night
Friday morning we made our way to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I had not been there since Andy was a baby, so it would have been 1985. We first stopped at the Thorncrown Chapel outside of town. What a serene, beautiful place. It must be something to attend a wedding there.

Thorncrown Chapel
We spent the rest of our afternoon in Eureka Springs, having lunch at the historic Crescent Hotel and walking around town. We stopped to visit Christ of the Ozarks, the second largest sculpture of Jesus at 67' tall, and then headed home to St. Louis.

Eureka Springs

Another bucket list destination off the list!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 36

For Week 36 of the photo challenge the inspiration was "Your Habits." Some habits are good, some are bad. We could use either in our photo. Eating pizza is one of my bad habits, but it is also soooo good! We found this pie of deliciousness at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, AR last week.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 36

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 35

Symmetry is a compositional technique most often used in landscape or architectural photos. For Week 35 we were to break the mold by using symmetry in a portrait. I used Jim as my model, and photographed him in an allee of trees. That seemed particularly appropriate since he is a landscape architect.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 35

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Wedding and Forgetting

Last weekend we attended my cousin's wedding in Cincinnati. As the ceremony and reception were taking place north of town, we decided to stay at a Holiday Inn Express in Blue Ash Friday and Saturday nights. Because the wedding did not begin until 4:30, we had time to go downtown and do some exploring. It was a beautiful day, with low humidity, a nice breeze, and temperatures in the upper 70s. As the song goes, "It's a nice day for a white wedding..."

downtown Cincinnati
By mid-afternoon we were back in the hotel room changing for the wedding. I was unaware that the entire event was outdoors, so I was even more grateful for the mild temperatures. The wedding was very nice, and the vows spoken by the bride and groom were heartfelt. The dinner was great, and we had fun talking with our table mates and dancing the night away. The next morning we were invited to a breakfast hosted by the groom's mother for out of town guests. It was nice to be able to talk to my cousins in a less formal (and less stressful) setting.

the wedding
After breakfast we packed up and headed to Lexington, this time staying at a Holiday Inn Express in nearby Versailles. I had never been to this part of Kentucky, and was eager to see the horse farms and play tourist for a couple of days. We spent the afternoon driving on the Kentucky Scenic Byway, and then looked around downtown Lexington. 

Lexington, KY
That night I happened to ask Jim if he had grabbed our dirty clothes out of the drawer at the hotel in Blue Ash. Unfortunately, he had not. Oops! We immediately called that hotel and after giving them our credit card number, they said they would ship them to us. At that point we were hoping that whatever was in the drawer was worth the shipping costs.

It began to rain during the night, and was still raining when we awoke Monday morning. After checking the forecast, it was predicted to rain all day Monday and Tuesday. After a brief discussion, we decided to head home as the things we wanted to see and do were mostly outside. We drove in torrential rains 3/4 of the way home, and were happy and relieved to get back to Webster Groves. 

While I was unpacking, I realized I had left my camera charger and battery in the hotel in Versailles. Really? Twice in one trip, at two different hotels? When I called the second hotel, they were not as easy to deal with. They said I needed to prepay for a Fed Ex or UPS mailing label, and then email that to them before they would ship anything. That became a bit of a process as I had no idea what size the shipping box would be or how much it would weigh. But I finally figured it out and sent off the label. As of today we have received the clothes but not the charger and battery. With it being the holiday weekend, I have been unable to talk to the office person who handles this stuff for the hotel. 

We have traveled extensively for both work and pleasure, and have never forgotten things in a hotel. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 34

Story Telling: Color without Color was the challenge for Week 34. We were to tell a colorful story but to do it in black and white. My thought was that everyone would be able to visualize the vibrant red of strawberries even when looking at them without color.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 34

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 33

Last week's challenge was Inspiration: Tell a Lie. It is said that the camera never lies. Prove it wrong. I captured this photo of a sunset on a recent road trip. While this is what my camera saw, my eyes saw a different sunset entirely.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 33

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Make the U-turn

u-turn sign
My new mantra is "Make the u-turn." So many times when we are driving down the road or on a trip we pass something interesting, and comment that we should have stopped to check it out. Now that we are both pretty much retired, I told my husband that if we see something we are going to do a u-turn and head back to it. We are going to "make the u-turn."

We had an opportunity to put it into practice earlier this month as we were driving home from Charles City, Iowa. Just a few miles outside of town is the childhood home of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, a women's suffrage leader who campaigned for women to have the right to vote, and founder of the League of Women Voters. For as many years as we have been traveling from our home in St. Louis to Charles City, we have never stopped.

Well, last Monday after we passed the sign for the turnoff, we decided to make the u-turn. I am so happy that we did. What a great visitor's center they have, and our docent was exceptional as she walked us through the house and the restored prairie behind it. An added bonus for me was the barn quilt on the barn. I almost always make a u-turn for one of those!

There is no entrance charge, though donations are appreciated. If you find yourself in northeastern Iowa, I highly recommend a stop here. You can learn more about Catt and the home at this website.

Carrie Lane Chapman Catt childhood home

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 32

Composition: Frame within the frame was the challenge for Week 32. We were to use only natural elements to frame the subject of our photo. This was one of the rare weeks when I had actually photographed a number of different scenes trying to capture the challenge. I decided to use the one of a chair carved from a tree, which I found along a trail in the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park near Two Harbors, Minnesota.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 32

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Mini Vacation

My husband's high school reunion was the last weekend in July in Charles City, and we also had to be back there the first weekend of August for our niece's wedding. Instead of making the long drive two weekends in a row, we decided to turn it into a mini vacation.

We had a really nice time staying with my in-laws and attending the class reunion, which was held at the local VFW hall. Fortunately I know some of the people, and everyone was nice so I had good conversations throughout the night. It was an added bonus for me that there was a beautiful lake with a pretty sunset behind the hall. I'm always happiest when taking pictures!

behind the VFW hall
We left Charles City for Minneapolis on Monday the 29th, and first stopped to have lunch with Jim's cousin and her husband. We also got to check out their new house, though they have already been in it for 5 years. Next up was a visit to the Corbins house in the Twin Cities. They are the friends we travel with, usually once a year. We spent two nights with them, and very much enjoyed seeing the sites in the area.

Minnehaha Regional Park
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
From Minneapolis we headed northeast to Two Harbors, Minnesota, where we stayed at Larsmont Cottages for two nights. Nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, the location was excellent for the sight-seeing we wanted to do in the area. The accommodations were wonderful with excellent sunrises, and we enjoyed the lighthouses, waterfalls, and natural beauty around us. One more day would have been great!

Larsmont Cottages
attractions in Two Harbors and Duluth
Friday we made our way back to Charles City as our niece was getting married the next day. We rented a house in town since our two children were both flying in as well. The weekend flew by, with a beautiful wedding and many fun times with the family. I'm so grateful that we all had the opportunity to get together. It was the perfect ending to our mini vacation.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 31

The challenge for Week 31 was to tell the story of someone you know well. My husband and I were recently on a trip to Lake Superior in Minnesota. As early risers, we were able to capture the sunrise on the lake. This photo represents my husband in his new phase of life: retired and relaxed.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 31

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 30

The Week 30 challenge was to be inspired by Exit. I loved their tagline, which was "Every exit is an entry to somewhere else." That was very thought-provoking. I took several photos of different things to try to capture the essence of exit, and this is the one I settled on. Where will this exit lead me?

It was taken at Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 30

Thursday, July 25, 2019

House for Sale

In anticipation of putting our house on the market, we began the process of purging months ago. Three truckloads of items have been picked up by various charitable organizations, our trash cans and recycling containers are consistently full each week, and many other items have been re-gifted to others. Let alone being married for 41 years, we have lived in the same house for 32 years! That is a long time to accumulate junk as well as treasures.

At first it was difficult for us to let some things go, but this has gotten much easier as time has passed. The reality of moving to a new home that has no basement or attic storage, and is 1000 square feet smaller to boot, has sunk in. We simply can't take it all with us.

Our realtor was upfront in telling us that this new group of house hunters does not want to feel as if they have walked into "grandma's house". Ouch! The quilts on the wall must go! Grandma's handmade doilies must go! The antiques should go, if possible. She suggested that any items we didn't plan on taking with us be removed from the house before listing. We took her at her word, and as we had no plans to fill a brand-spanking new home with antiques, we got rid of the antiques except for two heirlooms. We found an auction house who would come and pick up the items and then sell them at auction. They were all removed Mother's Day weekend.

What that means is that we have nothing in the dining room, and no dressers in any of the rooms. So where do we put our underwear??? As my husband says, it looks like a monastery around here. We each have a nightstand for socks and underwear, and a plastic bin under the bed for shorts and t-shirts. It has been interesting to see how little clothing we really need.

We found a couple who are on a mission to place as many free libraries as they possibly can in rural Missouri, so they were thrilled to take a dozen or so boxes of books off our hands. Another lady was happy to get a twin mattress for an AirBNB she was setting up.

We had set aside multiple bins of toys for our kids to go through, which they did the beginning of July when they came to St. Louis for a final visit of their childhood home. Whatever they didn't want was then taken to the Salvation Army. Our son had driven his pickup truck here so that he could take a chest of drawers that once belonged to his great-great-grandparents, so he had room to take some of the teak outdoor furniture as well. He looked like the Beverly Hillbillies when he left here. We will store a couple bins for our daughter as she had no way to take them back on the plane.

We know that we have to weed out more items, and we have hundreds of record albums to take to a record store and some collectibles that need to go on an auction site. But I'm incredibly proud that we have made so much progress. The house is on the market, and looking better than ever before. It's almost too nice to leave. Almost... Now if we can just get around the HGTV mentality where all the buyers expect to have the entire house in perfect condition with everything they desire in it, but without a large price tag attached.

Photography Challenge Weeks 28 and 29

Life is crazy right now, so I am behind in getting the challenge photos posted to my blog, though I have been taking them in a timely fashion. For Week 28 we were to tell the story of our culture through a photo. I had no clue what to do for the challenge until I was at the airport last week. The American Airlines planes outside the window worked perfectly to let everyone know I'm American.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 28

Week 29 involved depth of field, which is a way of isolating your subject in a photo. Normally you would have your subject in focus, and the items around it out of focus. The challenge, however, was to make your subject appear to be part of something larger. An unknown woman absorbing the view at Grandfather Mountain near Linville, North Carolina seemed to fit the bill.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 29

Monday, July 15, 2019

On Retirement

My husband retired a couple of months ago after selling his portion of a design firm that he and his business partner had developed 20+ years ago. While he will remain on in an advisory role for 12 months, for all intents and purposes he is done working.  I have not worked in corporate America since 1997, though I did contribute to our organics company until we sold that several years ago. Since then I have been writing and doing photography, so I have been working out of our home for many years.

We knew that we would not want to stay in our 2 1/2 story Queen Ann-style home for much longer, so last year we began to talk about where we would want to move. We could stay in St. Louis, of course. But a lot of the work involved in moving would take place whether we moved a mile or thousands of miles away. That thought process opened up all kinds of opportunities to us.

When we moved to St. Louis in 1978 with our fresh college diplomas in hand, we thought we would be here for a couple of years and then would move on. Yet here we are, 42 years later. St. Louis has been very good to us, and was a wonderful place to raise our children. But they don't live here any more. We have got one on each coast of this vast country.

As we started discussing where we might like to live, several things became clear. First of all, the benefit of being with the same person for over four decades is that you do tend to think alike. We both wanted a location that has all four seasons - just a little less of the winter season. That automatically ruled out a number of retirement spots such as Arizona and Florida. We have zero interest in owning and maintaining two separate residences. Neither of us wants to live any further north than where we are, or to spend way too much of our retirement savings in expensive cities like Washington, DC (where our son and daughter-in-law live) or Los Angeles (where our daughter lives.) Being adverse to worrying about our house being demolished in a hurricane, the coastal United States was off the consideration table as well. That still left a lot of options to examine.

view from the community center
North Carolina made the top of our list due to its natural beauty. We had visited the state and loved it. It also seemed that anytime we wanted to fly somewhere out of St. Louis we had to go through Charlotte to get where we were going.

We thought we found the perfect place in a community called The Coves. Located in northwestern North Carolina equal distance between Charlotte and Asheville, the development would allow us to buy as many acres as we would like and to build a custom home. With 3,600 acres of land, it offered a community center, hiking trails, a riding stable, a vineyard and community garden, rivers, waterfalls and miles of hiking trails. On paper it looked perfect. For a number of reasons, it was not right for us once we visited in June of 2018 even though the mountain views were quite pretty. On that trip we looked at a several places in central North Carolina as well as the Charlotte area and didn't fall in love with any of them. We were back to square one.

After talking with a number of my pickleball friends who either travel extensively or own second residences, we began to think for the first time about 55+ active adult communities. In a million years, we never thought we would even consider such a concept. But the more we read about them, the more intrigued we became. People are drawn to them because they want to make new friends, have a variety of activities available, have their yard maintained, and be able to "lock and leave", knowing their home will be safe and looked after when they travel.

I decided to give the Charlotte area another shot due to its great international airport and good health care reports. Did you know that Charlotte has 38 of these kind of communities? Holy smokes! That says something about the area to me. I could eliminate a lot of them because they were too large or too small, or they focused on an amenity (like golf) that was not important to us. I was left with a list of 6 or 7. Through my search I found Roger Holloway, the YouTube star of 55+ communities in the Charlotte area. I reached out to Roger, who is a buyers agent, and we set up a time to go to Charlotte and see some of the communities. That happened in February of 2019, prior to our Southern Caribbean cruise out of Fort Lauderdale (because yes, we had to fly though Charlotte to get there from St. Louis.)

We were very impressed with the design and amenities of the Trilogy development, which is about 50% built out. All the people we met were friendly and gracious, and the community center and gathering spaces were incredible. The only problem was that the most desirable (in our opinion) lots were already taken. We were not interested in a lot that backs to a retaining wall, or the neighbors screened in porch.

Imagery by Lennar
Then we went to see Imagery by Lennar. It is the only community that is built on a lake - Mountain Island Lake, to be specific. So new that there were not even models built that we could take a look at, this 320 acre development is being constructed on land once owned by the Bechtler family, for whom the art museum in Charlotte is named. They had a home on the land as well as 6 or so large cabins, where visiting artists could live in residence while creating their art. When the Bechtler's sold the land, a commitment was made by Lennar to keep the "artistic" feel of the property, including the house and cabins which will become activity centers for the new community. While it is a little hard for some people, me included, to visualize what the community will become, fortunately Lennar has a similar community nearby that we could visit. Tree Tops is not located in a lake, but it gave us a good sense of what Lennar is going for in the new development.

As it is so new, lake view lots are available. Well, once you see that you cannot unsee it. We knew we would not be happy in a home that did not offer us a view of the lake from our own property. We just were not sure that we wanted to live through the pains (and noise) of a construction zone for quite some time. We headed off to our cruise, enjoyed going over all the pros and cons with our friends on the trip, and came back to St. Louis to think some more.

proud owners of Lot 33
After a couple of weeks we decided to make an offer on a lot and one of the house plans that was available to go on it. Following a little back and forth, we came to a mutually acceptable price. And just like that we were landowners - in a new land. With these communities, you must have them begin construction pretty much right away. While that pushed us some, we like the fact that people aren't buying lots and then just letting them sit, which is pretty much what is going on at The Coves. With a construction timetable of 5 months, we selected a closing date of October 31. Happy Halloween!

We quickly kicked into purging mode here on the home front. It has been a dirty, challenging, frustrating, and somewhat freeing process. The unusable has gone in the trash or recycling bins, but three truckloads have been picked up by the Salvation Army and a couple of other loads delivered by us in our pickup to their store. We will have at least one more load before it is all said and done.

The toys and games of our children were boxed up separately for them to review. They both came home recently and went through the boxes. Andy took what he wanted back to DC in his pickup, and Katie has 2 plastic bins that we will take with us and store for her. Her apartment in Los Angeles has no storage space, and she couldn't have taken them on the plane anyway. The remaining toys were taken to a charity.

I've also had some fun with a Facebook group called Webster Groves Buys Nothing. Local residents are always putting out a call for something they are looking for, such as the original "Home Alone" on VHS which I gladly re-gifted. On the opposite end, people like me are getting rid of things, so a simple photo on the site usually results in multiple people vying for the free item. It is fun to see that others will enjoy things that we no longer want.

Less fun has been getting the house ready to go on the market. More on that in my next post.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 27

For this week we were to show gratitude in our photo. I'm grateful to live in a community that still embraces a hometown parade, and for the men and women who make it possible for us to celebrate America's freedom. It was an added bonus that our son was visiting from the D.C. area and wanted to attend the parade with us. It was been many years since the kids have been here to enjoy the 4th of July festivities.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 27

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 26

For Week 26 we were to use geometry in our photo. I really dislike math, so I was not excited about this challenge. However, I spied this bell tower at the Salvation Army when I arrived to play pickleball this morning, and it seemed to fit the bill.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 26

Monday, July 1, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 25

Week 25 was Story Telling: Freedom, and we were to tell a story of what freedom means to us. I cannot think of freedom without envisioning the men and women who have fought and are fighting so that I may enjoy freedom. This photo was taken in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, the final resting place of so many of our brave soldiers. It is also a place where the deer roam free, keeping watch over the graves.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 25

Monday, June 17, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 24

For Week 24 the theme was inspiration. We were to take a photo that would tell the viewers the story of who inspires us. I came across this woman while taking photographs at a park last week. I don't know her, but I am inspired by people who are not afraid to wear their beliefs for all to see. It was an added bonus that it appears she was in the park to take photos as well, judging by the camera by her side.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 24

Monday, June 10, 2019

Road Trippin'

Old Route 66
Last weekend I went on a road trip with one of my nieces, which was my present to her in celebration of a milestone birthday. In looking at where we might be able to drive on a three day weekend, I realized that if we went to Tulsa, I could possibly have one of my other nieces drive over from Dallas as a surprise. So I proposed to Julie that we drive parts of old Route 66 to Tulsa as there are lots of photo ops along the way. I was afraid she might say "Why Tulsa?", but she accepted my suggestion with no comment, trusting in my judgment. My other niece Sara readily accepted the offer to join us, and I found an AirBNB with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths that could accommodate us for two nights.

Devil's Elbow Bridge

The drive to Tulsa would take about 6 hours if you drove straight there down I-44. But with hopping on and off the interstate to drive the old Mother Road and taking tons of pictures, it took us 11 hours to arrive. Part of that was due to the fact that my car GPS failed in certain areas, as did both my cell service as well as Julie's. Luckily I brought a paper map along to help us navigate! We also ran into flooding in Miami, Oklahoma while on Route 66. It took awhile to find someone who could offer advice on avoiding other flooded roads so we could get to the Turnpike to continue on to Tulsa. But as they say, it's about the journey not the destination. We have stories to tell!

Sara and Julie
Once in Tulsa we pulled into the driveway of our rental house, and Julie was more than surprised to find Sara there. It was a moment! We took off for a late dinner, then returned to enjoy margaritas and rousing games of Yahtzee.

Tulsa icons
The Gathering Place

Saturday we spent the day exploring Tulsa, and of course hitting the local Route 66 icons. Tulsa, while suffering some of the flooding much of the US is experiencing, is a vibrant, fun city that offered lots of things for us to do and see. We got rained on a bit after lunch, but that didn't dampen our enthusiasm for the day together. Following dinner, we again retuned to our Yahtzee game.

Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast at the house since checkout time was not until 11. Then we made our way to the Blue Whale, reportedly one of the most photographed spots in the area. We were fortunate enough to meet the custodian of the property, a man whose parents had established the tourist spot. He was fascinating to talk to. Spying a sign for the Nut House in the parking lot as we were leaving, we had to check that out. The store has a fun gift shop in addition to offering fudge, coffees, teas, and other goodies. For sure we had to try (and buy!) some fudge, and as they also had a delicatessen, we decided to just order sandwiches and have a last meal together before we took off for home.

the Blue Whale
the Nut House and Grand Falls

Sara headed west to Dallas, and Julie and I went northeast. We were bound and determined to find the spot where you can stand in three states at the same time. We couldn't locate it on the way down, but this time we were armed with directions from a Route 66 enthusiast. We easily drove right to it this time.

laying on Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma

We also stopped at Grand Falls by Joplin, Missouri. What a wonderful spot! There were many people taking advantage of the cold water on a hot summer day. After that we stuck to I-44 as we still had a long drive ahead of us. We grabbed a quick dinner in Rolla, but it was still 10:20 by the time we reached my house.

stopped to capture this beautiful sunset
I am blessed to have be able to call these two wonderful, fun-loving women my nieces, and I am grateful that it worked out for the three of us to spend the weekend together. I just wish we had been able to make the trip longer than three days.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Photography Challenge Weeks 22 and 23

Last week's challenge was to tell the story of a stranger. As I was on a road trip with my niece over the weekend, I had many opportunities to photograph people that I didn't know. This one spoke the most to me, so I chose it. Taken at Grand Falls in Joplin, Missouri, I got a kick out of this guy wearing a jacket with the hood up as he sat in the cold water on a hot summer day.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 22

For Week 23 we were to use strong leading lines, but it had to be in food photography. Sometimes it is fun to play with your food! I decided to use the jar of jam in the shot, as that was to be the ultimate fate of the strawberries.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 23

Monday, June 3, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 21

I must confess that I did not participate in the Week 20 challenge, which was to create a powerful landscape using negative space. I just couldn't find anything to shoot that seemed to fit the bill. I may come back to it at some point this year.

Week 21 was to use Serenity as our inspiration. What does serenity mean to you? For me, my home is the place where I feel the most calm and peaceful. The garden makes the house shine even more in the spring, so that was my inspiration for the challenge in week 21.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 21

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Photography Challenge Week 19

This week's challenge was to tell a story of aging using just one photograph. Rather than going the more traditional route of photographing an elderly person or their hand, I chose to represent aging in a different manner. This was taken on a rural road in Iowa while visiting my in-laws over Mother's Day weekend.

Dogwood Photography Challenge Week 19