Stony Creek?????

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I don’t know what it is about Stony Creek, Connecticut; it seems to have fully pulled me in with its beauty.  I am so tempted to return, this summer, to take photographs of the quarry where my grandmother enjoyed viewing the water lilies as a child.  In her 1954 travelogue, there was mention of going for a walk to the quarry, but there were no photos of the lilies.  I think her travels may have been too early in the season to view them.  I’ve heard that it needs to be hot and humid for the lilies to be in full bloom.  Certainly in California, that is not the case.    

 

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Returning to the CT shoreline is completely compelling to me.  Being there when the humidity is high, is not nearly as attractive.  Is there anyone who could let me know the true story behind the water lilies and when they bloom on the east coast?

 

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It is times like these that I think, I never would have gone to France to get this shot next to Monet’s Garden if it hadn’t been for my sister-in-law, dumpster diving about twenty-eight years ago.  Her second grade teacher had passed away.  The teacher had never married and left her belongings to nieces and nephews who obviously had no regard for her things.  They had a dumpster delivered in front of her house and emptied her mementoes into it.  We happened to drive by and see that someone was going through those things in the dumpster, and we recognized her!  There was this lovely painting of a dome, that I brought home to reframe.  I did not recognize where it was, until I was at Union Square, in San Francisco, and I saw it again in a photograph.  I asked the artist where the photo was taken and he told me it was Sacre Coeur.  I needed to go to Paris, France.

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Here it is.  It was a rainy day but the views were still spectacular.  I also acquired a lovely lithograph on that dumpster day. I don’t know where that location is either, but when I figure it out; I’ll be going there too.  Below is the lily pond, at Stony Creek, in the fall.  I was hoping to find the lilies in bloom.  Wrong time of the year for me as well.  All I could see were spectacular fall colors and hundreds of lily pads fading away.

 

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Here’s where you can help me.  I know how many views I get on this site.  If you “like” this post this week, that will be a vote for me to return during the humidity to photograph the lilies.  If over half of the viewers like it, I’ll be sharing those photos with you by September.  There is something inside of me that feels like Grandma’s travelogue of photos would then be complete, as I would add the color photo to all her black and whites.  Should I or shouldn’t I go?

I must add one more thought; my sister-in-law has an adventuresome spirit.  I think sometimes it has rubbed off on me as well.  I know that there are many places on this planet that I probably would not have gone to, had it not been for her wanderlust.  So I want to say, “thank you for that, it has opened my eyes to our beautiful world.” 

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A Whale of a Tale

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My god-daughter, from England, and her parents came to visit a few years ago and she wanted to go to Monterey on a  whale watching excursion.  She had seen a video on YouTube that looked amazing, so we arranged the tickets and headed for the coast.  We stopped along the way to view the coastline.  It was a rather gloomy day, probably a lot like the days they were accustomed to in England.  We no sooner got out of the car, when we noticed a young woman approaching a picnic table with a brown paper sack.  I assumed that she had wanted the peace and tranquility that surely could be found at the beach.  She sat down and took out a Subway sandwich of which she took a bite.  A seagull immediately swooped down and took the entire sandwich from her hands.  She got up and started running, flailing her arms, and screaming at the bird.  It was an amazing sight!  I wondered, what would she have done if the bird dropped the sandwich?  Surely, she would not have eaten it.  We all laughed because it was such a sight to see.  As we walked away, I noticed this flowering plant in the sand.  I just had to snap this photo.  It is one of my favorite flower shots because the circumstances around it, fill my mind each time that I view it.

Sea Shore Heart Shaped Flower

Sea Shore Heart Shaped Flower

I thought that, even in the chaos of the moment, there is beauty to be found, everywhere.

Gulls of the California Coast

Gulls of the California Coast

Here are some of those dastardly birds.

Monterey Bay whale watching

Monterey Bay whale watching

The whale watching trip was unbelievable and the whales were all around the boat feasting on krill that was running on the top of the waters.  I never thought that I would bother to go whale watching again.  It couldn’t ever be that fabulous another time!  

We did go again, but not to Monterey.  We went many times while on our cruise to Alaska.  The whale watching trip that stands out the most was the one we took in Valdez, Alaska.  That place is pristinely clean, beautiful, and full of gorgeous wildlife.  We were on this small boat, looking ahead for puffins when we saw a bald eagle swoop down and steal the fish away from a snacking seal.  The seal looked a little bewildered and I caught this shot as the eagle was pulling up with the fish firmly in his talons.  

Valdez Bald Eagle Fishing

Valdez Bald Eagle Fishing

Chaotic for the seal, yet a wondrous sight for all of us.  Beauty in chaos.  Is there a time when you have found something unexpected in a surprising place?

A Whale Tail

A Whale Tail

 

 

In Tribute

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(I have added another layer to my blog, with sound, and you can visit it at this vimeo site or on Facebook.)  

https://vimeo.com/97889226

John at Stinson Beach

John at Stinson Beach

Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the most remarkable man.  I had no idea at the time that he would become my father-in-law.  He was, in so many ways, a true father, mentor, and friend to me.  Mine, was not the only life he touched; he touched all the people he came in contact with.  He passed away in 1990 after a year-long battle with terminal cancer.  It seems a short time ago and a long time as well.  He had a brain tumor and was loving and brave through it all.  As much as cancer is a horrible disease, it gave us all the chance to tell him what he meant to us.  I remember sitting in the church during his funeral mass; I was sad in the reality that I had only known him for a short time.  I wished it had been longer.  The depth of all our grief was immeasurable.  It was felt by each of us individually and collectively.  A bit of that sadness still remains with each of us today.  Father’s Day, without your father, seems an unfamiliar thing, but for many of us, it is just that.  A day to remember your loss, and to celebrate with our own, new Father’s Day traditions. These are the days that our father’s would have so enjoyed watching.

The song that I wrote and played for him is embedded in the vimeo at the top of the page.  I have placed the poem I wrote to express my feelings for him at the end of this post.  He enjoyed them both, although he never heard the end of the poem, as I didn’t realize that it wasn’t finished until he passed away.  That is when I added the last  part to the poem.  I read it at the cemetery on that cold and windy Wednesday.  (I’ve never liked Wednesdays much since that day.)  We celebrated Thanksgiving the next day.  It didn’t seem much like a celebration to us.  It seems like there are times, when it would just be perfect if, the world would slow down for a moment, so you could take the time to grieve.  There was a time, not so long ago, when all people driving their cars would put their lights on and follow behind the mourners until they turned off toward their loved one’s burial place.  Those were respectful times.  Maybe that is why I feel like the world should slow down, not for all time, but just for a bit.  We should remember those precious souls that we have lost.  Remember too, all that they have taught us about becoming a better person.

I Think of You 

I often think of you

In the wee hours of the morning

I hope that you are resting well

Enraptured in fantasies, dreaming

I often think of you

Many times each day

I hope this life you have

Is kind in every way

I’ll often think of you

Someday when you are gone

Memories of your ways

Will fill me with a song

I’ll often think of you

As I watch your son

And all the ways he is like you

You never will be gone

I’ll often think of you

As I watch my son

He already is, quite like you

And so the cycle runs

I’ll often think of you

As I watch his son

It’s then I will remember

That I’m the lucky one

For I wasn’t born with your genes in me

But was fortunate to be

The vehicle to pass yours on

What an honor that was for me

I never want to make you sad

I just want to let you know

You are so very spectacular

You’ve helped us all to grow

So if you’re here, or if you’re gone

Every precious moment you give

Is filled with love and memories

Of the distinctive life you live

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And so Dad,

Now that you are gone

I find I often think of you

As the days continue on

I think of you

And wear a heavy heart

In the fact that now

We are far apart

I know that someday soon

My eyes will dry from tears

Those precious memories of you

Will surround me through the years

I will always miss your presence

Though your essence has come to fill

My heavy and quite saddened heart

To help my soul be still

 

Written by:  Bonnie DiMichele 1990

 

Those things that Dad loved.

Family

Growing Family

Growing Family

Friends

Wine Making with Friends

Wine Making with Friends

Mountains

Sardine Lake View

Sardine Lake View

His angel

The Love of His Life

The Love of His Life

Love you Dad!  Thanks for making wonderful memories.

 

 

 

  

Going To The Dogs

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Salmon Lake

Salmon Lake

Last weekend my husband and I went fishing at Salmon Lake in the Sierra’s.  It was a rather gusty day but the fishing was good.  It was quite still at times, and then the wind would pick up and you could hear it coming before it swept down and touched your face.  There weren’t many people out on the lake but there were quite a few dogs sitting in kayaks and canoes, looking as pleased to be there as their owners were to have them tagging along.

Cody Taking A Ride

Cody Taking A Ride

The first dog was Cody and I asked his name thinking that it would be the only dog that I would see out floating on the lake.  I have been there many times and have never seen a dog gliding across the water.  Often they are playing fetch or resting on the banks of the lake.  Not too long after Cody had passed by a few times, came two more dogs.

Dog Two and Dog Three

Dog Two and Dog Three

They stopped for some time at the cove next to ours.  They were having a wonderful time playing on the bank and in the water.  Fairly soon after these dogs and owners left, came two more dogs.

Dogs with LIfe Vests

Dogs with LIfe Vests

There were again two dogs, one in one kayak and one in another.  I was a little late in capturing a good photo of the other dog.  But I can tell you that they both looked as happy as they could be.  These two, each had a life vest on.  It was my initial thought that these dogs were the most loved, because they were wearing life vests.  Upon thinking further, wouldn’t it be hard to do the doggie paddle with a life vest on?  Not to worry, as no one tipped over and they all looked like they were having a great time.  If the lake is, “going to the dogs,” I’m happy to see it.  Their presence brought an extra bit of joy to my watery surroundings.

Spring on Salmon Creek

Spring on Salmon Creek

I should mention that it is an excellent time to go see the wildflowers.  They are everywhere, next to streams, springs, and sprouting from the crevices of the rocks.  It’s quite good viewing right now.  I hope you’ll have the time to go enjoy this springtime weather soon.