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

flowers

The Last Holdouts

The Last Holdouts

The Last Holdouts

Feverfew, the garden’s last holdouts, looking as fresh as mudsummer.

Copyright (c) 2015 Bernadette E. Kazmarski


Monarch Wing

Monarch Wing
Monarch Wing

Monarch Wing

An incredibly beautiful monarch butterfly hovered over a neighbor’s garden as I walked past. She chose to explore the autumn joy sedum, walking around on the flat umbels and fluttering from one to another, but with her wings closed so I could only get the side. Beautiful still. Polka dots.

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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.


The First of Many Flowered Asters

Many-flowered Aster
Many-flowered Aster

Many-flowered Aster

The first of “many-flowered asters”, a classic autumn flower. That’s actually the name of the flower as well as a turn of phrase, but you can see by all the buds around this one flower that there will be many asters in the near future. When the stems bloom it’s a billow of white and yellow.

Sunrise and sunset are only 30 minutes from exactly 12 hours apart. Autumn is near.

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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.


Make a Ripple

Make a difference.
Make a difference.

Make a difference.

What a gift it was to find this single phlox flower floating on the surface of the birdbath. You’ll see a few more.

This quote is by me.

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Read more about this series of photos.

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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.


Tiny Perfections

Tiny Perfections.
Tiny Perfections.

Tiny Perfections.

They are everywhere, these little moments of bliss. Found this one in my birdbath.

This quote is by me.

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Read more about this series of photos.

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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.


Simplify

Simplify.
Simplify.

Simplify.

After Thoreau. Today my birdbath full of rainwater was my Walden Pond.

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I gave myself a physical and creative break out in the back yard yesterday afternoon. You never know what beauty you’ll find anywhere you go.

I had just wanted to walk around and think about a project I was working on and not be distracted by any other activity, which is what I usually end up doing—take a break from one thing, start another—but it had rained, then stopped, and my Mimi kitty and I would enjoy the air. Typically I take my “good” camera, but determined not to be distracted I took only my smartphone so that I could keep track of time.

Perhaps it was that I had walked out there in a creative state of mind but the place was full of inspiration. It’s just a small back yard, lots of green, not too many flowers after the heat, but I couldn’t decide where to go first. I found one single pink phlox flower that had fallen into a shallow birdbath, and from each angle as I walked around it the view changed, different reflections of the flower, of the tree overhead, of the sky between the leaves, of the mossy concrete below the surface of the water, and magical tiny ripples where the flower rested on the surface of the water, pressing down on the surface tension as if reclining on a transparent mattress.

I prowled around it with my smartphone’s camera as Mimi prowled for the little voles that run right under the leaf litter, each of us aware of each other but focused on our tasks.

Wishing I had all the lenses and quality images I would get from my DSLR—going back into the house would have broken the spell—I pushed that insufficient little phone camera to its limit, and with patience it did not disappoint. I took quite a few photos, several photos that inspired me to crop and edit and add text, which I rarely do, and I shared them on Instagram first, and now here, more to work with later.

So what does this flower have to do with simplifying anyway? It may look like a simple photo, but it’s deceptively complicated, and yet by having only my smartphone to work with I simplified a process which I usually complicate immensely when I run outdoors with all my camera equipment, that’s what it meant for me, and brought to mind Thoreau. Posting a photo that demands one “simplify” isn’t going to convince anyone on the spot, but it may make people stop and consider the idea.

So I got my break, I got creative inspiration to carry back in, and Mimi got her vole. It was very simple.

See two other photos from this magical time, Make a Ripple and Tiny Perfections.

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We’re posting with

in-other-words

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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.


Innocence and Experience

image

Innocence and Experience

Laughing pink innocence of summer phlox,
A golden grape leaf pitted with age and fringed with brown,
holding shadows of its past.

Photos and content (C) Copyright Bernadette E. Kazmarski. All rights reserved.


Poem for Saturday: Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

"Summer", pastel, 12" x 24", 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Summer”, pastel, 12″ x 24″, 1998 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’m a little late with this, considering it’s the first day of August, but July slipped by so quickly—and even in August, you’ll see these same things. A little trip on the highway on a perfectly beautiful summer day brought this all back.

Road Trip, Late July, Western Pennsylvania

Green, green waves ahead
diminishing to blue over the northern horizon
exalted rises and shadowed valleys gradually made plain
to rolling hills and misted hollows
interstate unrolled as ribbon
around hill and following valley,
signs noting unseen destinations
bearing hopeful small town names:
“Freedom”
“Prosperity”
“Harmony”
little hamlets of Pennsylvania coal being crushed to diamonds,
glittering in the vales;
a gauze curtain of rain shower flows across hills
soaking opposite side of road
but the sun shines brightly ahead,
occasionally a sudden cluster of official orange obstructions
gives instructions to change directions
slowing pace to allow a close and careful study
of native plants along the roadside,
a stately brick farmhouse, a skull with empty windows, abandoned,
its outbuildings only roofs in the tall grass
as if melting back into the earth from whence they were created;
then a curving exit that leaves the noise of four lanes behind a rise,
a sojourn on a quiet two-lane three-digit backroad,
once the lifeline before the interstate, now empty;
clusters of buildings at intersections, one traffic light flashing yellow,
old farms and equipment,
rusted industrial structures,
a field gone entirely to Queen Anne’s Lace,
some cows on a hillside,
and everywhere roadside stands
celebrate the first flush of mid-summer bounty;
collect loose change from pockets and floor of car
and with the dole,
buy fresh homegrown sweet corn to feed thy soul.

Poem © 2006, B. E. Kazmarski

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; this poem was one of those selected. 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 find 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.

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.

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About the artwork above

“Summer” is an abandoned farm field on a high ridge which I passed regularly on the way to work each morning for six years, seen right after an early morning storm. I would reach this portion of my drive and pause to look at this field with the morning unfolding above it, different each day, take a deep breath, and go on. The site was developed a few years later, but I still remember that each time I pass by it, even now. It’s one of a four-part commission I painted years ago featuring the four seasons in Western Pennsylvania. Read more about the painting, “Summer”, above, and purchase a digital, giclee or canvas print from my Etsy shop.


poetry book

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

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 find 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. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.


Chicory

Chicory
Chicory

Chicory

Chicory. From today’s walk to the bank. Taken with my phone. Wildflowers are everywhere. Some people misunderstand and call them weeds.

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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.


Busy Bees

Busy Bees
Busy Bees

Busy Bees

Bees, hard at work in the garden, all taken in a 15-minute span—and these were the ones who weren’t too blurry or didn’t look alike. Don’t forget to plant something for them to eat so we can eat too. Collage made in Instagram.

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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.