I love winter…but by the end of it there is a fog of desperation hanging over me that only another soldier of a North East winter could understand. Spring in the Adirondacks generally means mud. And snow. When other portions of the country are swathed in cherry blossoms and daffodils we are still slipping and slopping our way through the thaw. But now that May is here with warm winds which have dried out the stubborn patches of snow and mud it finally feels like spring. I watched my first spring sunset with feet firmly planted in the sand up to my ankles in frigid lake water last night. It felt amazing. I was also numb from the cold. (But it was the best kind of numb!)
Freshly tilled fields draw birds to feast on the bugs and grubs turned over and the sickly sweet smell of manure reminds me that even the cows have been longing for a break from the barn. Trees burst into green and white fluffy blossoms bedeck every other branch that hasn’t been claimed by shades of pink. In my own garden I have been waiting all winter to see the tulips I planted last fall. Now, everyday another green stalk is growing taller and I’m being rewarded with bright colors where only a short time ago snowbanks stood. Spring is here and I am ready to kick off my shoes, throw on my garden hat and enjoy it! — Tarah
Tarah’s beautiful words already encompass so much of my own experiences in spring, so I’ll be brief. Spring is the season of my birth, and I always feel most strongly myself in this season. I wake with attentiveness as I listen to the birds sing, I watch as every corner of the world bursts into color, and I feel the warm sun on my face and the moist earth between my fingers as I work in the garden…the world is alive, and I am also alive. — Kelli
“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.” – Doris Day
I am very, very lucky because I belong to a family that is full of love. I had some photos that I took for this theme, but they didn’t quite express what I wanted them to. So, I was looking back through all of the photos I’ve taken in the last year or so and I realized that I had a lot of photos of my family members loving each other…and the ones I’ve chosen to share are only a sampling of all of the images I found! How wonderful it is that I have been able to capture these small moments, and now I have an occasion to share them all. — Kelli
When I was little I remember driving through the dark and searching out the lighted windows in homes we passed. What were people doing? Where the walls a pretty color? Is growing pains on the t.v? AM I MISSING GROWING PAINS RIGHT NOW?
Our home has a window over the kitchen sink which looks out onto the backyard. I’ve watched snow fall, my children play, the dogs run, birds at the feeder and measured summer days by the height of sunflowers in the garden. I’ve left windows open in summer storms. Coming home to puddles and screens filled with drops of water then fallen asleep to the soft whirring blades of a fan in the window on a warm summer night. So yeah I’m a fan of windows. I’d have a beer with windows. Well, if I drank beer. Which I don’t. Wine…..I’d have a glass- no- scratch that. I’d share a bottle of wine with windows.
Also windows and I go way back. One of the MANY adorable stories about me my mom could tell you is that once, when I was little, I was standing up in my crib looking out the window at the snow yelling “nose!” over and over. That’s frickin’ adorable. Even the window was like “awwww”. Now as an adult I see how useful windows are. As well as being an aesthetic addition to the home they are an effective means of communication. For example: My son is in the back yard doing something he shouldn’t be doing. I am inside yet I see this and wish to express my displeasure. (This is where windows come in). A quick BANG! BANG! BANG! on the window and stern head shake means “oh crap mom saw me.” Wild hand gestures (from mom) and silently mouthing words means “oh crap she’s really mad. I’m going to release this raccoon back into the wild NOW.” Thanks windows, is there anything you can’t do? Oh yeah…wash yourself.
In the center of things
between the pressing of the window and air
— a small space —
there is a meeting that defines
— from “Windows” by Rachel Sherwood
I spent a lot of time looking out the window this winter. As the snow piled up, I pined away for Spring and imagined the glorious moment when I would finally feel the warmth of the sun on my face and hear the birds singing, and maybe even get a glimpse of my tulip bulbs sending up shoots. And, finally, that moment has arrived! It’s time to open the windows wide and let in the fresh air of the new season. — Kelli
I have included the typical instagram “car selfie”
The lesser known “lighthouse selfie”
A black and white “look away and appear artsy and thoughtful and too good for this photo shot.”
A “collage” of some words that describe or have been attributed to me. (Go nuts with that pseudo psych wanna be’s)
and a photo of that lighthouse. Because it’s beautiful and I drove ten hours to take that photo and THAT says more about me than anything else.
In college I took a course about the Renaissance period in Europe. Instead of using a textbook we read contemporary sources — things like Machiavelli’s The Prince and Christopher’s Columbus’s diaries. We also read Montaigne’s Essays and talked about how he and some of his contemporaries represented the burgeoning concept of self-fashioning.* To me, Montaigne stands at the pinnacle of this exercise, and we have him and many others to thank for developing and popularizing more personal forms of self-expression. If there had been iPhones in the Renaissance period, Montaigne would have been the King of the Selfie. In any case, whenever I think of “self” or “self-identity” I can’t help but think of the Renaissance (thanks, Professor Germana!). But, I am not like Montaigne; I am fairly uncomfortable sharing my “self” with others, so this assignment was rather painful. I’m not sure if any of these images really capture me — I don’t usually self-fashion through my appearance. [I should note that I am certainly self-fashioning right now through my commentary!] I suppose those who know me well might be able to say one way or another.
*If you’re interested in the concept of self-fashioning in the Renaissance, I recommend you read Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt.
I have learned through the process of taking these photos that I really do not live my life by the clock. I very rarely know what time it is unless one of us has to be somewhere at a set hour. I tend to measure time in familiar sounds, activities, and the light throughout the day. To a greater or lesser degree I suppose I measure things in vacations and haircuts. Backpacks and socks. Because time doesn’t really matter. It’s a tool like anything else we can use effectively but most of us don’t. To me what makes me take note of time are haircuts. “Oh he needs another one already.” or socks- as they have both outgrown theirs. Backpacks mark the school year and vacations offer time to soak it all in. Because it won’t be long before they need new socks. — Tarah
This has been one of my most favorite collaborations to date. When we learned that we were going to be working on the theme of “time” we thought we might try something a little different. Instead of just interpreting the theme in our own way, we decided that we would each take six hours during the day and take a photo during that hour (Tarah took odds, I took evens). Although the pictures weren’t all taken on the same day or by the same person, the end result is a complete day — 12 whole hours. My personal favorite is Tarah’s 7 am photo, as it accurately represents how I feel pretty much every morning. — Kelli
Lately I don’t know where my head has been. I have been negligent in my photo blogging and it’s NOT COOL- There are at least three people who read this blog and I am letting them down. This morning I woke up determined to spend the day focused solely on this blog and my photo mission. Litter-box be damned! Those cats will just have to wait. We had beautiful fluffy snow overnight and it was brilliantly bright and sunny which made driving out to the farm store an absolute joy! I took the long way and enjoyed the drive. I love Reber Rock farm. Reber Rock Farm is an 88-acre draft powered farm on the southern edge of the Reber Valley in Essex, NY and everything I have ever brought home from there has been top notch. Since this post was all about “eat” or “eating” I thought it would be fun to see what was in the store and put together dinner from the farm. We had a hearty stew with farm carrots, adirondack blue potatoes and garlic to compliment some some beef broth I made and it was topped off with dumplings. It was perfect. I’m also really looking forward to making the kids a special breakfast of pancakes with Reber Rock maple syrup! — Tarah
kelli ann wilson
This was the one assignment that I didn’t find difficult — I guess I like taking closeup pictures of food! I am very frustrated, though, because I had some other photos I wanted to use, but they’re on a camera card that is currently missing. When one lives with young children, things tend to “disappear” and then suddenly reappear in the most unlikely of places. Case in point: my daughter just found the missing baby Jesus from our nativity in a box full of video game paraphernalia in her room. (I am very confident that she is not responsible for this — she was framed!) I’m really hoping my card turns up, and the whole situation reminds me that I need to take better care of my camera equipment (and perhaps put tracking devices on everything I own?)! — Kelli
I feel like if you encounter a woman on the shoreline of lake Champlain in winter singing let it go (loudly) and pretending to form an ice palace you just turn around and walk away. — Tarah
I was all set to take these pictures last weekend, and then it rained. A lot. Not exactly the right environment to take images that evoke “cold.” But, luckily for me (?) it actually did get cold this week. My photos were taken at the pond behind my house. I had originally planned to visit our usual trail, but it was so icy that I abandoned that effort in favor of something, well, flatter. I wasn’t worried so much about getting hurt as I was about falling and breaking my camera — priorities!
You’ll probably all hate me for saying this, but I’d love to get one more big snowstorm before winter is over. I’m not such a huge fan of ice encrusted everything, and I know at least one three-year old who is very sad that he can’t build a snowman! — Kelli
We are over a week into the new year now and while I may not make resolutions, my cats have reminded me they do. They are always lording it over me how much more evolved they are and how superior as a species they are in general. So as a kind gesture to them. I the lowly human offer to share with you Stripes and Stitch’s New Year’s resolutions. — Tarah
[click on the kitties to see their resolutions]
1 Make more eye contact during conversations.
2 Get outside more
3 Focus on inner beauty
4 Take risks
5 Learn a foreign language
6 write a book
You know what I’m good at? Gravity. As a kid I think people assumed I was shy, and I’m certainly not an extrovert, but the truth is that I’m really just thoughtful. When faced with this week’s prompt I spent a lot of time thinking; probably too much time. Hence, the fact that Tarah was done days ago, while I’m still here struggling. Eventually thoughts have to become actions. So, even though I’m not really very happy with these photos, I’m putting them here anyway. And, if I must make a resolution (in the spirit of this post’s theme), then I resolve to put more effort into this project going forward and not let my thoughts get the better of me. — Kelli
a thoughtful bird by kelli ann wilson
I think it’s fitting we got off track and are thus dropping the NUMBERS post in 2015. The first week of a whole year of reminding my sister it’s 2015. She doesn’t believe in “New Years” so is still convinced it’s 1678 and is awaiting her copy of Pilgrim’s Promise via the afternoon coach. Actually I believe she said something like “New years is stupid. Change your calender or just change. Whatever.” I couldn’t hear her that well over the rumble of carriage wheels in the yard. I won’t bore you with my resolutions. Mainly because I don’t make them. I’m great and feel no need to conform to societies standards of the collective and try to change. It’s also why I don’t wear a bra and hate underwear. Keep away from my knickers “the man”!!! However I did have a lot of fun with these photos. Three are present day and three are throw backs from trips that express numbers and have always been favorites. But while I may not make resolutions I do love the sharp sting of the wind in my face that you only get from standing on the edge of a new year with all it’s adventure and promise blowing right at you. 2015! NUMBERS! BRING IT! — Tarah
Here are some numbers for you: a new year brings us 12 new months; 52 new weeks; 365 new days; 8,760 new hours; 525,600 new minutes; and 31,536,000 new seconds. As of this writing I’ve already used up 2 days, 15 hours, 28 minutes, and some untold seconds of my new year. I really appreciate that I took this assignment very literally whereas Tarah, as is her way, interpreted it much more artistically. I mean, just look at those sunflowers! (They’re also a nice reminder that it won’t be cold forever…) — Kelli
From Wikipedia: In photography, bokeh (Originally /ˈboʊkɛ/, /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay — also sometimes pronounced as /ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə, Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.”
One of the things that made me want a DSLR camera (versus a point and shoot) is the versatility of lenses and the ability to create beautiful, blurred backgrounds. In short: bokeh. I find that the best way to achieve this is to use the widest aperture possible (my 50mm lens opens to 1.8), and then focus on a small area of detail in the foreground. Christmas is the perfect time of year to play with bokeh because there is an abundance of sparkly lights during the holiday season. When out of focus, lights on a tree or a house look really spectacular. — Kelli
kelli ann wilson
“I like bokeh. It’s nice and smells good. Most of the time.”
(Since it’s my 15th wedding anniversary this week I thought I’d share an excerpt from my vows.)