an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

  • Pear blossoms.
  • Well Camouflaged
  • A Message From Last Year
  • "You're my best frond."
  • A busy bee.
  • Five honeybees!
  • Myrtle
  • Shepard Fairey mural
  • Announcement

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A Little Bit of Rain

Pear blossoms.

Pear blossoms.

The sun shone this morning but the rain clouds moved in, a nice intermittent rain that let the sun shine between the raindrops, so pretty on the pear blossoms, forsythia, forget-me-nots and green grass.

Big round water droplets on the flowers.

Big round water droplets on the flowers.

Pear blossoms.

Pear blossoms.

Crystals.

Crystals.

Pear blossoms.

Pear blossoms.

Forsythia.

Forsythia.

Pear blossoms.

Pear blossoms.

Forget me nots.

Forget me nots.

Pear blossoms.

Pear blossoms.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Well Camouflaged

Well Camouflaged

Well Camouflaged

A goldfinch landed just for a moment in the river birch as the sun shone through all the new leaves on everything. The photo is taken through a double pane window at an angle into the sun, I’m shocked I could focus at all and glad I caught this little guy.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Poem for Arbor Day: Like a Tree

pastel sketch of tree

“From the Ground Up”, pastel on multi-media paper, 6.5″ x 9.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I have looked at this tree every day I’ve lived in this house, bu tone morning last year I followed my little black cat Mimi into my neighbor’s yard, just across the fence line, no fence, from our yard, and looked up at the tall maple tree from a different angle. What a great view, all those colors and shapes and little bits of sky, I guess I’ll sketch it, I thought.

Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April in the United States, as trees have been celebrated all over the world in other festivals throughout human history, and we plant trees, care for trees and observe and honor the trees we live with. You can learn more about Arbor Day here.

The coming of green to the bare trees in spring is as exciting to me as the coming of wild reds and yellows in autumn. Tiny tentative sprays of green spread from one tree to the next, each day brings more green, more shades of green to all the trees around me. Even more than bird returning or daffodils and crocuses and forsythia blooming, the return of the leaves is a confirmation of the return of life to me.

Here in Western Pennsylvania with our miles and miles of tree-covered hills it’s as if someone is air brushing the landscape, and as the leaves spread and grow the hills, which had before seemed flat now take shape and dimension. Because I am compelled to photograph and paint these colors I run here and there when the morning sun catches the trees, or the purple clouds of an afternoon storm gather behind the brilliant lime of the tree tops, or the evening sun shines, angled, through a grove of trees.

Because I paint Western Pennsylvania, nearly every one of my landscape paintings contains a tree, usually more than one, and often the trees themselves are the subjects. I have gigabytes of photos of trees, just for the trees’ sake, not to mention ones where the trees are the supporting cast. The other day I ran an errand entirely on winding back roads so that I could drive 10 miles per hour and photograph the beauty unfolding at every turn, even if they weren’t particularly good photos; the change had come so quickly that I was completely distracted and it was either that or have someone drive me or I’d wreck my car.

I think of the trees around me as I think of my friends, those constant presences that are more a part of us than we know. They inspired this poem.

Like a Tree

To live my life like a tree,
to grow steadily from small beginnings,
fervently when possible, and quietly adapt when necessary,
stand in peace and harmony with my neighbors,
bear my fruit appropriately,
bring shelter and comfort to others indiscriminately,
and when my season is over
graciously give my gift to the earth
for the benefit of myself and all around me,
and without fear
patiently wait for my moment to return
in spring.

poem © 2000 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

You can find the painting above and all my paintings of trees, originals or prints, on my website in Landscapes and My Home Town, and in my Etsy shop.

Read the rest of the poetry from my first ever poetry reading and art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, in 2007 entitled Paths I Have Walked.

poetry book

Paths I Have Walked, collected poems.

About Art of the Watershed and the Collected Poems

A series of seasonal images of the Lower Chartiers Watershed

“I have travelled a good deal in Concord,” said Henry David Thoreau in Walden, his paradox of exploring a small town and its surroundings teaching him as much about human life and the interactions of nature as if he had traveled rare and exotic places about the globe.

I’d love to paint faraway exotic places, but in the interests of time I stay close to home for my hiking, bicycling, canoeing, walking and painting excursions, that being the valley where the Lower Chartiers Creek flows.

I’ve seen some exquisite sights on my adventures, and committed them to various media. The most moving are the ones I’ve chosen to paint large and in detail so that I might convey at least a portion of the grandeur that moved me beyond awe to action, sharing the places right around us though most people would never see them. Thus was born the series offering an image indicative of the watershed in each season.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to fi nd my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. Each year I am invited back to read my poetry and exhibit my artwork. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.

And visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.

Visit my website to see the full set of paintings included in the “Art of the Watershed” series.

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Shared on Inspire Me Monday

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A Message From Last Year

A Message From Last Year

A Message From Last Year

Even as it seems everything is suddenly in bloom I gathered these stiff and worn parts left from the blooms of last year’s garden, both domestic flowers and the wilder sort who volunteer where they will. I love these dried bouquets with their rich earthy colors, especially as I prepare this year’s garden for the growing season, and honor them.

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Five Sentence Fiction: Changes

Understanding is given from one generation to the next regardless of desire as the season changes in an endless cycle, and the cycle comes back again to its beginning. As you revel in the inspiration of the vibrant green life that fills your eyes, do not forget the roots from which this life springs. The remnants of that life have a beauty that youth has not the depth to express for it does not seek to profess beauty, only truth. Treat these remnants with care and respect, for someday your wisdom will speak in this form as well. The most weathered and resilient will be the ones to tell the stories.

 

NewFSFBadge-1

This week’s key word also makes me think of a song by singer/songwriter Phil Ochs…Changes. Do have a listen, and make sure you read the lyrics.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Earth Day

"You're my best frond."

“You’re my best frond.”

A few years ago I used an online calculator to test my “carbon footprint”. I was off the scale—the bottom of the scale, lower than the test measured.

So give me some sort of sustainable laurel wreath, but I don’t really deserve one since I haven’t made much effort. Most of what gave me a good score has been through what others have sometimes considered strange habits that I’ve maintained all my adult life: piling up stuff—cardboard, batteries, construction materials—until I can make one trip to wherever I can recycle them; avoiding packaged foods by cooking most of what I eat from fresh materials, most of that from my organic garden complete with compost bin to mix vegetable scraps and coffee grounds, scrap paper and dryer lint to turn into fertilizer; salvaging older and used materials in maintaining my home and car; using age-old cleaning methods instead of packaged cleaners; walking or riding my bike instead of driving when I can, etc., etc.

But the creative burden…

Good for me. It’s not so difficult to maintain a daily lifestyle that doesn’t overburden the environment. More difficult, in fact sometimes impossible, is keeping my life as a creative person as green as possible. It’s been a constant frustration that I have very little control over the manufacture of the art materials I purchase, and in many cases those materials need to be made from chemicals I’d rather not think about in order to create the effect I envision. Oil-based block printing ink, for instance, is made from petroleum, and cleans up with turpentine—I cringe each time I use it and try to minimize the amount, but nothing else prints as well from a block or is as durable when printed on fabric. The pigments in my pastels, watercolors, acrylics, the fibers in my drawing papers, the cotton in the yarn I crochet…I can and do make decisions on the purchases to find the most sustainable products, but often there’s no alternative.

The chemical-free digital camera

Which is why I am grateful for the digital camera, considering the amount of chemicals that went into developing and printing all my film through the years. I gave up on my own darkroom years ago because I just didn’t want those chemicals in my home, but someone somewhere else had to use them if I didn’t.

I did not find the change to digital easy, and floundered my way through several little point and shoots and lots of research until I found the magic combination that produced photos much like my beloved Pentax K1000, the battered old fully-manual SLR I purchased just out of college, the one that taught me about photography and over the years became an extension of my eyes. My Pentax K10D has all the same manual controls available, I can use all the lenses and filters I collected for my K1000 and every day happily shoot more photos than I ever did before, knowing that I can simply download them to my computer with no use of chemicals whatsoever.

So on Earth Day I celebrate both the earth, in a few galleries of the photos I’ve taken, and this advance in photography that allows me to take thousands of photos and view them without anyone taking a bath in volatile chemicals, including the air, soil and waterways where everything ends up no matter what we do.

Enjoy the galleries in Nature Walks Around the Lower Chartiers Watershed.

Happy Earth Day!

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Hanging By A Stamen

Hanging by a stamen.

Hanging by a stamen.

I saw a big happy bumble browsing the blossoms of the ornamental pear that grows next to my deck. The top branches lean sideways far enough to see them right outside the bathroom window and I and my cats had front row seats to watch this big slow-moving black and yellow bee in the early morning sunlight.

From the side.

From the side.

I had to photograph through my screen, though, and you’ll see an odd doubling of some of the edges of the bee and flowers. Bumblebees will not run away if they see movement or “hear” noise in the form of vibrations as other bees will often flee so I could have pushed the screen aside and gotten a clearer shot, but I wanted to make sure I got a few good shots first. Often enough I try to prepare everything for a clear photo but by that time my subject has decided to move on!

A pretty morning.

A pretty morning.

Bumblebees are as imperiled as other bees, and in some ways are more important to pollinating certain crops. That loud vibrating buzz can actually shake the pollen off of one flower and onto another so that the bee doesn’t have to visit each flower to effect pollination as do other bees.

Falling!

Falling!

A female bumblebee can sting repeatedly, but they generally ignore humans and animals. Most of the time they’ll just move away from something that gets in their way so they may fly around you and even land on you, but they’ve got to be pretty stressed to sting you.

A busy bee.

A busy bee.

The blossoms will only last a few days so I will likely not have another opportunity to photograph a big bumbling bumblebee in the pear tree until next year. but I really like the effect of the screen on this one. You can learn more about bumblebees on this study page Bumblebee.org or visit the Wikipedia page.

Happy.

Happy.

This is shared in Inspire Me Monday on Create With Joy.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Got That Pollen, Heading Home

Got that pollen and taking it home.

Got that pollen and taking it home.

Someone’s headed off to the hive with stash of pollen! How many bees do you see here? And in all the other photos? One of them has five bees on these crocuses! These crocuses were humming with bees as was another clump of them, and as long as the sun was shining the bees were very, very busy.

I photographed this back on April 1 when I photographed the “one white crocus” and forgot to share it then. It’s nice to have spring-blooming flowers you can enjoy, but it’s far better for the bees to be able to find an good meal in early spring. Crocuses, which sometimes bloom even earlier, even during a late spring thaw when bees often awaken in the warmth, are rich in pollen and are easily found by bees. Never underestimate the value of any blooming flower to help keep bees alive—you can help with very little effort in your own back yard.

See other of my posts on helping bees in your own back yard and in encouraging wildflowers in your area.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Hello

Myrtle

Myrtle

Myrtle bloomed the other day, just before the forget-me-nots; I’m catching up on what’s blooming bef0re I post more. Also, love that shade of periwinkle blue.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

On a Street Corner

Shepard Fairey mural

Shepard Fairey mural

Interesting to see up close, especially as parts are peeling to see what’s underneath.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

In Spring Does Not Forget

Hello

Hello

I’ve been waiting for those little buds to open, and they’ve been waiting to bloom. Just a few days ago I noticed the rosettes of leaves were beginning to grow taller than the grass, and then tight little bunches of nascent purple buds were clustered within the rosettes. In just the past week stems began to rise up and but clusters open up. Today the first flowers opened. It’s time for the spring celebration.

Announcement

Announcement

Doubles

Doubles

Best Friends

Best Friends

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

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