Shape Of Water Series #1

I really liked the concept of the photo series I did with the peonies, so I’m going to repeat it with this theme. I again enlisted the help of BG in creating some waves and movement in the pool so I could take photos of the play of water and light that happens when it is in motion. I did this last year and came out with some phenomenal photos and I wanted to see if I could pull it off again.

Nearly 600 photos later (easy to pull off when you are in action mode and holding down the button), and I managed to get quite a few. I was surprised by how few, but I also attempt to try and do some of these with my macro lens as well as my zoom. The macro lens just does not respond fast enough to get focused. I did get some while using that lens, but not many. I did get more than enough overall to run these as a series, though.

Like with the peony series, I’ll mix in other subjects along the way.

Peony’s End Series #8

This is probably going to be the last of this series and also just so happens to be one of my favorites.

One of the things I love about this one is that there are three separate flowers, all in very different stages of life. It just almost has that maiden/mother/crone kind of thing going on, but narrowly misses that symbology.

When I first pulled this one up on my computer, it gave me the feeling of the kind of image you’d see in the background of a rustic wedding theme. Like something you’d see on a wedding web page or even in the background of an invitation, especially if it were to be softened and faded out a bit. Of course, that made me want to play a bit.

Peony Cluster In Various Stages - Soft Version
Peony Cluster In Various Stages – Soft Version

Some photos just really work with that softer focus kind of look. I really like both versions and couldn’t decide which I’d rather post, so I’m doing both since this is the end of the series.

And just because… I have the soft one in a pretty black and white as well.

Peony Cluster In Various Stages - Soft Black And White Version
Peony Cluster In Various Stages – Soft Black And White Version

Strawberry Season

The strawberry plants I bought for BG are putting on berries. She’s been able to pick probably a half dozen or so. Just enough for everyone to have a taste and for her to have a treat here and there.

Three plants won’t be enough to have a large batch, but she has been having a blast going out and checking every day to see if she has one ready to pick. It has been fun to watch her enjoy it and 3 plants in a pot is easy enough to take care of.

I should have enough lettuce and spinach for a salad or two soon as well. That has definitely been a learning experience. I really enjoy the idea of having a few things like this growing. I just need to figure out a better place than these pots if I want a few more next year.

I don’t want a full blown garden, but these little bits have been fun.

Peony’s End Series #4

This peony had a friend. And apparently also one of those little red mite/spider thingies. I didn’t know about the red visitor until I brought this up on my computer. This little friend stuck around long enough for me to get a few shots before he slinked back behind the flowers.

Snail On Peony
Snail On Peony
Snail On Peony
Snail On Peony

Strawberry Moon

I made the time last night to attempt to get shots of the strawberry moon. I lucked out in so many ways!

I found a new amazing spot to get moon shots. In the process, I also found a new amazing spot for sunsets, but that’s for another post. The sunset spot is in a different location, but I was stoked to finally find places nearby with a phenomenal horizon view that wasn’t on a busy road. The location for these wasn’t quite ideal, but it was still so much better than most I’ve attempted.

Strawberry Full Moon
Strawberry Full Moon

 

Strawberry Full Moon
Strawberry Full Moon

While these aren’t perfect, I was still impressed with what I got as I really kind of wasn’t prepared and I felt rushed. It gives me a place to start doing more of this.

Strawberry Full Moon
Strawberry Full Moon
Strawberry Full Moon
Strawberry Full Moon

And…

I got to do this with Hubby which was amazing and reminded me of what we used to do very early on when we got together. I was taking a beginner photography class at the community college at the time. He would drive around while I took photos. Multiple times those drives sent us chasing after hot air balloons in an effort to get close enough to get some good photos. It was this amazingly fun time and something we both loved to do, but because we started on kids right away since we wanted to keep them close in age with my oldest, our photo outings didn’t last terribly long.

It was so much fun last night to do this with him. I think it just might be something we try to do more often now that we are actually in a position to do so again. We had so many reasons not to for years and kind of forgot how much we both enjoyed this, even if all he did was drive me around and follow my crazy prompts of “Oh!! Stop here! No! A little more that way!” all while watching for other cars to be able to actually do those things.

It wasn’t quite as wild as some of our adventures in trying to get me in position for just the right shot, but it reminded us of a really simple pleasure, which is exactly what we needed.

Peony’s End Series #2

Today I’m even more grateful that I got the opportunity to get all those peony photos the day I did. Yesterday, all the petals from every flower except the healthiest were blown off in a nasty storm that raced through overnight. That was followed by another one last night, leaving even fewer flowers and petals to take pictures of. That poor peony just looks stripped bare now.

Peony’s End Series, The First

Yesterday was an unusually great day photography wise. I think I just hit the exact right time of day for lighting or something because I had more amazing photos in the round than I think I’ve ever had at one time. Funny, but almost all of those amazing ones were of peonies that were dead or well on their way there.

When I was moving them all from my camera and I realized how many good ones I had and how much of a struggle I was going to have deciding which ones I was going to want to share. Especially since so many of them were of peonies in various stages of dying off. All so similar in subject, but so unique at the same time.

I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try and post them as a series. Not that I don’t sort of already do that, but this way I’m being a bit more specific in what is related. Mostly it will just be in how I name the posts.

Anyway, that just means I’ll be posting lots of photos of peonies for a while with maybe some non-peony photos mixed in here and there.

Black and White Drops and Ruffles

I had such a hard time deciding if I wanted to post this version or the color version because they are both amazing. So…

Peach Iris Coated In Rain
Peach Iris Coated In Rain

Yesterday went well for BG. She feels so much better about everything now that she knows how the new normal looks and runs at dance.

The masks were an absolute hit and cracked me up to no end. BG hadn’t been in the studio with them for 5 minutes when I see the owner walk out with one on. Less than a minute later the teacher for that class also walks out with hers on (all the students were greeted with hand sanitizer outside the doors of the studio before they were allowed in). It was funny and sweet and I’m over the moon thrilled that they are enjoying them.

Another upside was that all the kids going into the studio had their masks. The parents standing around socializing outside weren’t as good about keeping theirs on or keeping their distance, but it could have been so much worse.

The sad thing, and we don’t know yet what it means going forward, was that probably half or less of the class showed up. It is going to be interesting to see how the rest of the week pans out as this was the very first of all the classes back. I’m especially concerned about how many older girls will show and how that will impact routines and recital.

BG was absolutely stunned to find out that her assistant friends from last night had either not practiced AT ALL or only a tiny bit. My girl has been dancing nearly every single day. As soon as a video for one of her routines was posted, she added it to her schedule and started working on it.

It is going to make an already chaotic and different recital even more so.

In some non-dance news, I’m working on making some changes for me. I’m sure it has already been noticed that the book reviews have dwindled down to almost nothing. There are lots of parts to this and I may still work up a post about that, but for now, I’m stepping back from most of that, including writing them for Envie!

This blog has been and always will be a space for me to share the things that bring me joy with the occasional rant or emotional outpouring thrown in. When things start to feel like that isn’t the focus anymore, I’m going to make changes. It seems like now is one of those times. I’m still not 100% sure what all will be changing or how much. It may not even be all that noticeable because the photos will absolutely still be coming.

Life is so full of stress and frustration and uncertainty right now, the last thing I need is for my blog to add to that so I’m going to make sure it isn’t.

Iris, Honeysuckle, & Chaos

Okay, so there isn’t anything really special about this photo, but there is something about the color contrast of the honeysuckle bloom laying on that purple petal that just kind of grabs you. I just thought it was an interesting contrast of colors, especially because it was such an unintentional setup.

Today marks the beginning of the chaos that was originally supposed to start back in April. BG goes back to dance for the first time since early March. With that comes a whole lot of new chaos that wasn’t in the original plans.

Yes, she will still be at the studio 4 times a week. Yes she will still have her extra rehearsal times for her additional performances. Those parts were already in the plans. Now included is the requirement for ALL students, teachers, staff, pretty much anyone that sets foot in the studio to wear a mask.

Even that requirement has been changed once as it was originally just staff and assistants that were required and all other students were optional, but local ordinances changed, so they implemented those changes.

My part of that effort will be going with BG to class tonight. A total of 30 masks, the bulk of which are for the studio staff. The handful of others will go to her fellow assistants in the classes she shares. I would have loved to have made one for every single assistant at the studio, but that number is nearly 100 and doesn’t include the actual staff.

It is going to be extremely interesting to see how everything plays out from here. I cannot imagine being a teacher and trying to enforce the mask rule on kids that are not only dancing, but in each other’s presence for the first time in months. Especially those in the much younger grades.

It is also going to be really interesting to see what kind, if any, push back they get from parents for enforcing that rule.

The other part of the chaos is going to be how I handle her long days at the studio.

Normally, the days she is there for longer than an hour, I go back home. Now, classes have been slightly shortened to allow staff to do any sanitizing between classes and to try and minimize the surge of students passing each other through the lobby between classes. I’m not certain what this means for ballet days where BG already normally has an hour gap between as they have not said anything about those students needing to leave. If she has to leave the studio, it would mean I’d need to stay the entire 2 1/2 hours so she could come sit with me in the car for that gap. The 20 minute drive home makes it impractical to leave and come back.

To make that already confusing for those long days even more so, she has at least 2 where it is even longer because of extra rehearsals. The first one is this Saturday. She is supposed to be at the studio from 3:30 until 9, with 2 different breaks in between. One is that hour long break and the other is a 15 minute break.

I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do that day. The idea of sitting in the car for that long really doesn’t appeal and it’s not like I’m going to go hang out at a nearby restaurant or shop right now. I wasn’t doing it before and I’m certainly not doing it now. I still have time to come up with a plan, but I’m struggling.

I still have a whole lot of mixed feelings about all of this moving forward. Especially with recent events creating something of an outbreak bomb waiting to go off in the area. As of right now, all the numbers are still impossibly low, so that helps. I’m just not convinced it will stay that way and that the parents will act responsibly on sending their kids to classes.

The only thing I know for sure is that BG is as ready as is possible for her to be to go back. She still isn’t entirely comfortable with wearing a mask while dancing, but she has gotten used to it enough that I’m not worried it is going to set off an anxiety attack at the studio.

I’m also fully prepared to pack like I’m going on a trip with my camera, my computer and my tablet to ensure I can keep myself entertained. No matter how long I’m having to sit in the parking lot.

Thank goodness tonight will only be about an hour.