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Posts tagged “summer

A Day In the Woods: 2011

Looking Forward
Looking Forward

Looking Forward

One of my favorite photos from a visit by my great niece and nephews a few years ago, “Looking Forward” was included in my exhibit, “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons Along the Panhandle Trail 2015“.

I enjoyed this day so much, and this photo has become one of my favorites of all time for so many reasons: the literal and metaphorical meanings behind my great-niece standing in shallow water, looking upstream, the ripples rolling out from her, she is growing up; the colors and spatters of sun on the water, and how much she reminded me of myself at that age, going barefoot and carrying my shoes, which I still do as I was standing barefoot in the water behind her with my camera, and the practicality of a bathing suit she can grow into, tied in a knot in the back because it was a little too big for her right then. I have a large print of this in my home to enjoy and wonder how I caught such a moment.

I spent a Sunday afternoon in the woods along the Panhandle Trail with my great-niece and and great-nephew, 9 and 11, just to run around, explore, be outdoors and make up our own activities with whatever was there—paths up and down hills, wildflowers, trees, a stream (Robinson Run), a trail made from an ex-train track (rail-to-trail), and an absolutely perfect day.

And we did. We did everything. I was so happy to have someone to play with, a few sun-warmed black raspberries and muck on our feet. Above is one of my favorite photos for the light, the color, the composition and the memories; that might have been me forty-odd years ago wading in a stream barefoot, carrying my shoes. It’s my great-niece Cassidy, just as fearless as I was then, and we were joined by her brother Kyler. We enjoyed exploring the woods, but we liked being in the water best. They live in Savannah, GA now, 88 degrees “is kind of like what it’s like in the spring,” but their streams happen to have alligators so they can’t go swimming like you can here.

And the rope swing…there is nothing like swinging on a rope swing, even if you don’t go too high it’s just that feeling of freedom, letting go, waving your feet around—the things that usually carry you around are off the ground!

Yes, their great-aunt was right there in the woods and the water and the rope swing with them, who do you think showed the way and was the first in the water and the first on the swing? But I had the camera so there were no photos of me.

The white signature you see will not appear on any prints purchased. I sign each print by hand.

SHIPPING

Shipping within the US is included in all the prices listed. All shipping is via Priority Mail. Prints are shipped flat in a rigid envelope. Canvases are shipped in a box to fit with padding. Since this original is small it is also shipped in a box with extra padding.

FRAMED PRINTS

The photo is matted with Arctic White acid-free mat and a solid wood white frame. Frames may vary in style and finish, but are always about 1″ wide. Framed prints are signed on the photo and on the mat.

Other custom framing options are also available for a special quote. Please ask if you’d like another option.

PHOTO PRINTS

Prints are made on acid-free gloss photo paper using archival digital inks. I usually leave an inch or two of white around the print for easier frame fitting. All prints are countersigned by me.

Larger sizes are available than what I have listed, so please ask if you want a special size.

CANVAS PRINTS

I usually have at least one of the smaller sizes of canvases on hand, but order larger ones as they are ordered here because customers often want a custom size. Smaller canvases are a 3/4″ in depth, Canvases 12 x 16 and larger are 1-1/2” in depth. I set them up so the image runs from edge to edge, then the sides are black or white or sometimes I slip in a color that coordinates with the painting. This canvas is wraps around the sides.

Shipping cost is included.  You can find the photo in my Etsy shop.

……….

Included in Inspire Me Monday on Create With Joy.

Inspire-Me-Monday-Button-1502

0/If you’d like to be informed about new artwork plus sales and specials before everyone else, please sign up for my Art & Merchandise e-newsletter. In September I’m planning an autumn-themed artwork sale as well as a review of an exhibit from 2008 entitled “My Home Town”, with a few originals as well as many prints still available, and a special set of notecards. “Art & Merchandise” is a separate list from my Creative Cat e-newsletter if you’re already signed up for that one.

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 Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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.

. . . . . . .

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.


Fireworks Over Water

fireworks
fireworks

Fireworks Over Chartiers Creek

Of all the fireworks photos I’ve taken, this is my favorite, and I took it with my first 2MP digital camera and a tall narrow tripod. This camera had no zoom so there was no real focus time, and it caught the action of the fireworks without hesitation.

This is over Chartiers Creek in Carnegie, not on July 4 but at the end of our community festival in 2003. Chartiers Creek flows right through the middle of town and bridges span it in several places, including these two bridges about 100 yards apart. The fireworks are being set off on the Main Street Bridge, I am on the Mansfield Street Bridge. The building to the right is the Husler building with houses the  Historical Society of Carnegie.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Poppies

Poppies
Poppies

Poppies

It’s overcast and raining…again. I’m really glad we’re not roasting, or steaming, but I’d really like to see the sun a little more often. So here are some bright orange poppies in the sun to brighten things up.

More poppies

More poppies

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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.


Spidery Visitor

Opportunist.
Opportunist.

Opportunist.

Today’s garden visitor, hard at work, clever little orb weaver. I’m surprised my smartphone got such clear photos, and the light was only angled into that spot for a few minutes. I posted it first on Facebook, but I always download my phone photos to my computer and I can do so much more retouching in Photoshop, adjusting the light and especially retrieving details in the overdone highlights on the spider, though I don’t get them all back.

Hanging out.

Hanging out.

And here is one from 2013 on this date, much more balance taken with my DSLR.

Waiting. spiderweb

Waiting

. . . . . .

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.


Fireworks Over Water

fireworks
fireworks

Fireworks Over Chartiers Creek

Of all the fireworks photos I’ve taken, this is my favorite, and I took it with my first 2MP digital camera and a tall narrow tripod. This camera had no zoom so there was no real focus time, and it caught the action of the fireworks without hesitation.

This is over Chartiers Creek in Carnegie, not on July 4 but at the end of our community festival in 2003. Chartiers Creek flows right through the middle of town and bridges span it in several places, including these two bridges about 100 yards apart. The fireworks are being set off on the Main Street Bridge, I am on the Mansfield Street Bridge. The building to the right is the Husler building with houses the  Historical Society of Carnegie.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


A Day In the Woods: 2011

girl in stream water
girl in stream water

Looking Forward

Rather than post a photo of frost or snow or something else to do with this frigid weather, I thought I’d share one of my all-time favorite photos from my visits to the woods along the Panhandle Trail, from summer 2011 when a great-niece and great-nephew came to visit from out of town and we went exploring, and swimming in the swimming hole. Feel warm? I do!

I spent Sunday afternoon in the woods along the Panhandle Trail with my great-niece and and great-nephew, 9 and 11, just to run around, explore, be outdoors and make up our own activities with whatever was there—paths up and down hills, wildflowers, trees, a stream (Robinson Run), a trail made from an ex-train track (rail-to-trail), and an absolutely perfect day.

And we did. We did everything. I was so happy to have someone to play with, a few sun-warmed black raspberries and muck on our feet. Above is one of my favorite photos for the light, the color, the composition and the memories; that might have been me forty-odd years ago wading in a stream barefoot, carrying my shoes. It’s my great-niece Cassidy, just as fearless as I was then, and we were joined by her brother Kyler. We enjoyed exploring the woods, but we liked being in the water best. They live in Savannah, GA now, 88 degrees “is kind of like what it’s like in the spring,” but their streams happen to have alligators so they can’t go swimming like you can here.

And the rope swing…there is nothing like swinging on a rope swing, even if you don’t go too high it’s just that feeling of freedom, letting go, waving your feet around—the things that usually carry you around are off the ground!

Yes, their great-aunt was right there in the woods and the water and the rope swing with them, who do you think showed the way and was the first in the water and the first on the swing? But I had the camera so there were no photos of me.

I was also scouting places to paint and this year I’m determined to get out there. One little casualty was that I slipped sideways and my little Lumix digital went underwater in my pocket. It was out of order until I could take it apart and things could dry out a little and I got some action from it; I put it in my gas oven with the warm pilot light overnight and today it works but I need to replace the battery pack. I looked at the waterproof cameras for a reason, but they just didn’t take good photos. The other casualty from the same little slip-up, and more serious, was my 70-300 zoom lens for my Pentax K10D. I think it may come back too, but I am awfully fond of that lens. My camera bag is breaking down and took on water where it never used to.

Click here to see last year’s post for a brief slideshow of some of our events.

I enjoyed this day so much, and this photo has become one of my favorites of all time for so many reasons: the literal and metaphorical meanings behind my great-niece standing in shallow water, looking upstream, the ripples rolling out from her, she is growing up; the colors and spatters of sun on the water, and how much she reminded me of myself at that age, going barefoot and carrying my shoes, which I still do as I was standing barefoot in the water behind her with my camera, and the practicality of a bathing suit she can grow into, tied in a knot in the back because it was a little too big for her right then. I have a large print of this in my home to enjoy and wonder how I caught such a moment.


Migrating Monarchs

monarch on leaf
monarch on leaf

Monarch butterfly on mulberry leaf.

It is thought that butterflies represent the souls of loved ones who’ve departed.

This monarch was resting on a cool leaf as it traveled through the neighborhood. It only stopped to rest in several areas, though my yard is still fresh with phlox and echinacea, two of any butterfly’s favorite foods. Likely the monarch is looking for milkweed plants to lay its eggs as it travels south. (Last September I featured a few photos of Munching Monarchs, monarch caterpillars munching away on milkweed leaves, one of my favorite sets of photos.)

Butterflies and birds are all in migration now, and the ones you see at your feeders and in your yard are likely not the ones you saw all summer. The same species of birds move farther south from their summer ranges, from Canada to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S., for instance, or from Pennsylvania to Florida, making it seem as if the same birds visit your feeders all year long.

And now is an especially important time to keep feeders and birdbaths filled for birds and butterflies who need to make a quick stop for nourishment before they move on. I have a few decorative additions to my garden and birdbaths for butterflies that hold a small amount of water in a shallow cup, a small luncheon plate on a tree stump that holds a small amount of water and I also keep a flat rock in the middle of a birdbath, all safe and convenient landing spots for butterflies to stop and have a sip.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Fireworks Over Water

fireworks over water
fireworks over water

Fireworks Over the Creek.

Of all the fireworks photos I’ve taken, this is my favorite, and I took it with my first 2MP digital camera and a tall narrow tripod. This camera had no zoom so there was no real focus time, and it caught the action of the fireworks without hesitation.

This is over Chartiers Creek in Carnegie, not on July 4 but at the end of our community festival in 2003. Chartiers Creek flows right through the middle of town and bridges span it in several places, including these two bridges about 100 yards apart. The fireworks are being set off on the Main Street Bridge, I am on the Mansfield Street Bridge. The building to the right is the Husler building with houses the  Historical Society of Carnegie.


Starfire

leek flowers desaturated

Leeks.

leeks in the garden

What leeks normally look like.

Nothing fancy, just a little work in PhotoShop on a very common vegetable. These are the flowers for leeks, a member of the onion family. They are biennial as onions are, growing greens and growing their bulbs the first year, which is when we usually pull and use them. If left to overwinter in the ground the second year the bloom in June with big spheres of flowers at the ends of long rays; these spheres can vary between 2″ and 5″ in diameter. The flowers are pale yellow with a pinkish tinge, but the rays vary from pale pink to bright magenta.

Seeing them in the garden they made me think of balloons on long strings, and abstract patterns. I photographed them from all angles trying for total darkness in the background, and then found I had to adjust some levels because of the contrasts of dark and light I had included in the photos, discovering how cool it looked with just the pink. So I desaturated the green and yellow and left the red, magenta and blue channels alone. Below is a closeup of them.

Leeks are also highly attractive to bees, which is one of the reasons I let them bloom in my garden. All kinds of bees large and small and all colors and shapes come to visit the leeks, bees I’ve never seen before. Here’s a photo of a leek flower with a few bees hanging onto it in Daytime Fireworks.

leek flowers

Leeks again.


Happy Summer!

oscillating sprinkler
oscillating sprinkler

Happy solstice.

Oscillating sprinkler spattering
hot morning sun
dripping tomatoes
summer.

Happy solstice! Today was a rare day for watering but necessary, and because I don’t have my drip hoses set up I used the somewhat wasteful oscillating sprinkler. Such a nice memory of other summer mornings from way, way back seeing the oscillating lawn sprinkler,  my parents’ original aluminum one, slowly waving back and forth in the sun, its funnel-shaped spray looking as if it’s arms were open and reaching to the early morning sky, the misty spray full of rainbows, the water droplets pattering all the leaves.

And below, just to make it complete, dripping tomato cages, happy tomatoes, happy lettuce, happy carrots, happy leeks, happy phlox, and happy me, behind the camera.

garden being watered

Happy garden.


At the Farmer’s Market, 2009

farmer's market
farmer's market

Arriving at the Market.

I shop at a very large farmer’s market in Gladden, “out in the middle of nowhere” as it were. It’s huge with 40 vendors at the height of the season and it’s open three nights a week from May until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

farmer's market

Deliberations.

I sat in the back seat of one of my dad’s vast cars as we drove there when I was growing up, and the drive out there and the market, and my enjoyment of both, haven’t changed much since then. A glimpse of horses or cows or a farmhouse lit by the golden early evening sunlight and nestled on the gently rolling hillsides is still just as exciting. Even now, the crowds of people earnestly shopping for their produce, the conversations flying back and forth over the tables of produce and products between the farmers and the customers, the smells of the cooked food and the sound of the clanging kettle at the kettle korn stand are so familiar that I miss it when it’s over and long for it in the spring.

farmers market

Full view of the market.

Even though the place is at a desolate intersection on a four-lane highway, beginning this year I’ve sat in line at the left-turn light for up to fifteen minutes to get in, even almost two hours after the market has opened for the evening. I don’t mind—in fact, I’m glad of it because it means more and more people are shopping there. For many years I couldn’t find any markets and couldn’t make it to this one very often at all, but now they’ve sprung up everywhere and seemingly every community has its market every week for most of the summer.

farmer's market

This is just one vendor!

I’m glad to see people taking advantage of good food grown locally, and it seems they take the food more seriously when it’s sold to them by the very people who planned the crops in the winter, planted and tended the plants through unpredictable weather, harvested and cleaned and packaged and brought it to the place for sale. I sometimes wonder how farmers do it, especially when they often have day jobs to make ends meet, as if farming isn’t enough of a day job already. I like to look at the person who’s done all that work mostly for my benefit and smile and say “thank you”, and if they think the thanks is just the formality of a small business transaction, I know better. Read about two of the oldest farmers I know of who have been there for decades.


New and Old

morning glories on white barn
morning glories on white barn

New and Old

I’m back to that old white barn in my neighbor’s back yard. Each year morning glories grow at the corners and they always look fresh and new, no matter the color. The graceful vines and shapely bright green heart-shaped leaves along with the vibrant purple flowers look delicate and sweet clinging to the weathered boards with peeling white paint.

Another huge clump grows at the corner where the fence meets the building, and I’ve had my eye on that since it started twining on the fence, waiting for the flowers to bloom. I went there this morning to catch them in full sun but before the flowers closed for the day, but it’s been so dry they were wilted. I tossed my bottle of water on their roots and I’ll hope for a better outcome, a little earlier tomorrow morning.

See other photos of my neighbor’s barn, and other photos of morning glories.


Wild Hollyhocks

Wild Hollyhocks
Wild Hollyhocks

Wild Hollyhocks

I love finding an unassuming but lovely wildflower that managed to sneak into a little unkempt patch along the sidewalk.


What Does Silence Look Like? 2010

trees sky and trail
trees sky and trail

Summer Silence

On a still, hot afternoon, the time of day in the time of year when sensible wildlife take refuge in shade and rest, and even insects take a break in their brief but incessant calling for the continuation of their species, I encountered a trail off into time.

At first my ears rang with the silence of the afternoon and of my own stillness, accustomed to the noise of my daily life, the radio programs I listen to, the white noise of my computer, the sounds of my neighbors going about their summer days drifting into my windows, the thoughts that accompany my own daily activities.

Then, in the same way we let our eyes adjust to darkness and suddenly we can see all about us, I let my ears adjust to the silence and heard the slight rustle of a breeze in the very tops of the black willows, crickets in the grass, the occasional chirp or click of other insects, an occasional bird moving from one branch to another. My mind was momentarily as empty as the air with the resting of my senses.

This trail off the trail leading through woods to a field was so enticing but time was elusive.

I remember exploring the woods and fields that still existed when I was young, following a path just because it was there, soaking up the sun and heat of a summer afternoon and filling my senses with all it offered.

Because our daily lives are so full of activity we rarely experience silence, or at least the quiet that generations of people heard before us, before we had so many ingenious motorized things and methods of transportation, then there are those cell phones ringing everywhere and one-sided conversations. Even once we escape all these noisemakers our silence today is rarely complete. It is, however, restful to the ears and to the soul, as I find in an afternoon outing on the trail, in the woods, out in a field somewhere.

A few minutes into my trek onto the trail, no matter the season or the weather, and the reduction of sounds has an impact on me that nothing else ever does. I don’t realize until then how I’m often breathing shallowly or even holding my breath, gritting my teeth, holding my shoulders rigid, even when I think I’m relaxed and happy and ready to stay all day, or forever.


Migrating Monarchs, 2010

monarch on leaf
monarch on leaf

Monarch butterfly on mulberry leaf.

This monarch was resting on a cool leaf as it traveled through the neighborhood. It only stopped to rest in several areas, though my yard is still fresh with phlox and echinacea, two of any butterfly’s favorite foods. Likely the monarch is looking for milkweed plants to lay its eggs as it travels south. (Last September I featured a few photos of Munching Monarchs, monarch caterpillars munching away on milkweed leaves, one of my favorite sets of photos.)

Butterflies and birds are all in migration now, and the ones you see at your feeders and in your yard are likely not the ones you saw all summer. The same species of birds move farther south from their summer ranges, from Canada to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S., for instance, or from Pennsylvania to Florida, making it seem as if the same birds visit your feeders all year long.

And now is an especially important time to keep feeders and birdbaths filled for birds and butterflies who need to make a quick stop for nourishment before they move on. I have a few decorative additions to my garden and birdbaths for butterflies that hold a small amount of water in a shallow cup, a small luncheon plate on a tree stump that holds a small amount of water and I also keep a flat rock in the middle of a birdbath, all safe and convenient landing spots for butterflies to stop and have a sip.


Summer Festivals, 2009

A Date at the Fair

A Date at the Fair

Those old-fashioned street fairs are fun in the daytime, rides turning in the heat of August, too much cotton candy and pop taking their toll…but for all their fun in the day, they are magical at night, the lighted rides turning against a starry sky, the attractions an oasis of colorful neon and incandescent in the midst of an inky darkness of streets, then just as suddenly as it sprung from nothing in a parking lot, it’s gone, leaving only darkness and cool September nights.

In this photo, a couple on a date wanders toward the rides.

From back in my first year of photo blogging! This event is coming up again, and I hope they have the rides for great night photos.


Homegrown Tomatoes

basket of tomatoes
basket of tomatoes

Homegrown Tomatoes

Only two things money can’t buy, and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes (thanks Guy Clark).

From my garden. September tomatoes are the best, even if it’s only September 1.


The Fine Art of Making a Snowcone

two girls in pink wait for their snowcone
two girls in pink wait for their snowcone

The fine art of making a snowcone.

A few more photos from Rock the Quarry yesterday, and two young ladies in pink waiting for their rainbow snowcone.

The making of snowcones is a family affair for the woman in charge here; I didn’t realize when I ran out to the snowcone truck when it came around my neighborhood I’d meet those same people again one day as an adult.

making a snowcone

Rainbow snowcone is done.


How Did They Get It There?

American flag reflected in pond
American flag reflected in pond

American Flag Reflects

A fairly large flag hangs on the highwall of the old limestone quarry, above the quarry pond, along the Panhandle Trail in Walker’s Mill, near Pittsburgh, PA. Today the event was “Rock the Quarry XII”, an annual two-day community event that also raises funds for the trail development and maintenance. The trail runs along an abandoned railway line and through the older part of a limestone quarry (part of it is still quite active), and the festival has music and food vendors and games for visitors.

 


Really Red

red flowers
red flowers

Really Red

It doesn’t get much redder than a scarlet runner bean flower.

Hummingbirds are frantic, still need to catch a photo of them.


Morning Garden

pastel sketch of garden
pastel sketch of garden

Morning Garden, pastel on multi-media paper, 6″ x 8″ © B.E. Kazmarski

The view out my basement door as I did laundry today, the garden in the morning sun, flowers blooming, some dishtowels on the line, the brick patio, the trees in shadow behind. Some of the colors could be brighter, but it’s such a welcome sight nonetheless.