Archive for March 2013

Give Me Five!   Leave a comment

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Even Acker Woods knows how to count!

Five Facts About Five

Five is the only prime number to end in the digit 5

There are 5 oceans in the world:
Atlantic, Arctic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern

We have 5 senses:
Sight, Smell, Hearing, Touch, and Taste

The Torah contains 5 books:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

There are 5 stages of grief:
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance

Five Quotes About Five

Confucius:
“To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.”

Pythagoras:
“It is only necessary to make war with five things; with the maladies of the body, the ignorances of the mind, with the passions of the body, with the seditions of the city and the discords of families.”

Buddha:
“There are five things which no one is able to accomplish in this world: first, to cease growing old when he is growing old; second, to cease being sick; third, to cease dying; fourth, to deny dissolution when there is dissolution; fifth, to deny non-being.”

Warren Buffett
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”

Five Facts and Quotes courtesy Squidoo.com

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Posted March 28, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

Over The Rainbow Bridge   Leave a comment

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And so life goes on. The sun came up in the East this morning, the snow continued falling, Duke, Buster and I went for our walks, birds sang and everyday activities continued. But, it just wasn’t the same. Flan was gone.

Last night while we were eating dinner Shirlee said, “Even though Flan didn’t make much noise, it sure seems quiet without her.” And that is so true. For some reason the house seems quieter. Everything seems slightly out of kilter.

But, I am sure Flan is enjoying her new freedom across the Rainbow Bridge. No more pain, eyesight restored, new places to explore and new friends to make. But maybe, just maybe, part of that land is like back home. Acker Lake glistens bright blue in the late fall sun as a slight wind ripples the surface. The geese call “Hello, Flan, Welcome to Rainbow Bridge Land. We know you’ll like it here.” She answers back, “Thank you. I’m sure I’ll be happy here until my humans come for me.”

And so, for us and for Flan, life goes on. We may be in different places now, but we are all together in each others hearts.

Posted March 20, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

Goodby, Flan Girl – Rest In Peace   1 comment

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Today was a cold, windy, snowy, overcast March day. Today was the day we had our beloved Flan put down. Today was the day I cried as I said goodby as she took her last breath Today was not a good day.

Flan was a Border Collie, White German Shepherd mix that Shirlee bought as a cute, cuddly white bundle or fur almost 13 years ago in 2000. It took a little while for her to decide I was okay when I entered Shirlee’s life in 2003, but she came around, accepting not only me, but my dog, Brandi Sue. In the past 10 years we spent days walking in the woods, either alone or with one of our other dogs. She was primarily an outdoor dog living in a huge L-shaped pen behind the garage. She got to come in the house now and then and she would head for her basket of toys to find her favorite. In the summer she loved to play frisbee with Shirlee and she would play catch with herself with a ball she kept in her pen.

We will miss her very much. I will miss hearing her howl when I’d take one of the other dogs for a walk and she was left home. I will miss wandering around behind her as she would chose the route she wanted to follow on our walks. I will miss watching her make snow angels as she’d roll on her back in the snow. I will miss her getting up on the couch and cuddling up beside me. I will miss those cold winter nights when we’d bring her in and she’d climb the stairs and sleep with me on the bed. I will even miss getting up at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning to put the leash on her so she could go out and piddle!

So, today she starts her new life somewhere across the Rainbow Bridge, where someday Shirlee and I will cross over and she, along with her friends Dutchess and Brandi Sue will come running to greet us. Until then, Flan Girl, rest in peace.

Posted March 19, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

Rare Species of Bird in Acker Woods   Leave a comment

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The fun thing about living in Acker Woods is never knowing what kind of wildlife will be encountered on the twice a day doggie walks. For example, Duke and I encountered this strange bird sitting in the snow on our morning walk a couple of days ago. I think Duke discovered it before I did, gave a bark to let me know and trotted over to say good morning. Duke is a very loving, playful Black Lab and gets along with almost all of the creatures we find. He sniffed it a few times and when it wouldn’t fly, walk away or play he quickly lost interest. Since the snow was fairly deep, I hesitated in checking it out, but thinking it might be injured I made my way through the snow to give it a closeup look. Imagine my surprise to find not only was it okay, it was the very rare Oaklimb Branchopolis! I had only seen a picture of one in a bird book so I knew they are not native to West Michigan. What a find! Once again I can thank Duke for helping me with another great photo op!

Posted March 14, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

Rainy, Foggy Morning at Acker Lake   Leave a comment

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This morning we woke to a foggy, rainy day here at Acker Lake. It’s not a hard rain, but we can see the snow slowly melting and that’s a good thing! I’d like to get rid of the snow so the doggies and i can get back out in the woods without my having to wear my tall heavy boots. I’m sure we’ve got some more snow and cold weather to come, but at least I see spring is not too far ahead.

I made this picture this morning on my drive to Fremont to buy a Sunday paper. It was so foggy that the autofocus didn’t want to autofocus. I converted it to black and white with one of the Lightroom presets after an initial manipulation. It has a soft look that I really like.

Posted March 10, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

I Shot, Took, Captured, Made This Image?   Leave a comment

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So what are the right words to use when our eye sees an interesting image, the brain clicks into gear, we point our camera in that direction, press the shutter and magically the image is embedded onto film or a digital memory card? Did we shoot the photograph, take the photograph, capture the photograph, make the photograph or use some other word to tell the world what we have done? Actually, I have a problem with most of the above words!

Well, not a major problem, but they all seem to have a negative (pun not intended) connotation.

To say we shot the image is in some ways to say we destroyed it. Like a hunter shooting the deer and taking it home. The deer now ceases to exist in its woodland home. Of course that is not true with the image in the camera. It still exists for others to enjoy but the idea of taking it still exists.

How about the words took or captured? To me, again, the implication is that we “took” the image with us so it ceases to exist in the place where it was. It has not been destroyed, it still lives, but no one else will ever be able to find it to photograph.

Made? Now that I think about it perhaps “made” is a good word. It implies that I, as the photographer, have had some input into this image creation. There is more to producing the image than just shooting, taking or capturing. We have manipulated it through post processing and made it something uniquely ours. No other photographer will be able to produce exactly the same image, it is ours alone.

As to the included image, I noticed the way the branch in the center part of the photograph bends around to form sort of a squashed heart. I have walked down the road where those trees are located at least once a day for almost ten years and never saw it until yesterday morning, and if it I hadn’t been looking for the woodpecker that was making all the noise it would have remained unnoticed. Guess the tree decided it was time to let me and the world to know it really does have a heart!

Posted March 9, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

Thank You Dewitt Jones!   Leave a comment

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Every now and then something happens in your life that really blows you away. Monday, March 4, 2013 I received an email that sure qualifies as one of those times. The email had a subject heading “Facebook” and when I opened it, this is what I read,

“My name is Barbara Bozzo. You’ve probably seen me posting and commenting on Dewitt Jones’ Daily Celebrations Facebook Page. I’ve been helping Dewitt with the administration of page and am writing on his behalf.

Let me begin by thanking you for your postings on Daily Facebook Celebrations. They’re wonderful!

Dewitt has chosen your lovely photo of “Cruisin’ On A Sunday Afternoon – Sept. 25, 2012 – as one of his “favorites”.

He would like to post it on the Celebrate What’s Right website and, as a thank you, send you a print of one of his photos”

Wow! To have the attached image included in the first 24 images he chose from all those that have been posted on his Daily Facebook Celebrations site is a real honor. You can see all the images he has chosen so far by clicking here

I discovered Dewitt Jones a number of years ago when my daughter, Kitten, sent me some copies of “Outdoor Photographer” and I discovered his column, “Basic Jones” Not only were his images fantastic, but the way he explored and explained the spiritual side of photography was inspiring in a way I’d never thought of before. He has continued that unique perspective with not only his weekly Photos of Celebration and his daily postings on Facebook.

On his blog he states, “I spent 20 years as a photographer for National Geographic. Every time they sent me out, they would ask me to Celebrate What’s Right with the World. I did and it changed my life. Everyday I see images that make me want to celebrate. One day, I decided to stop keeping these moments to myself and instead to share them with as many people as possible. So, each week, I send out an image with the same simple message.” And not content to just share his own images, he recently started a new page on Facebook and stated: “I’ve started a new community page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/celebratewhatsright.”

“Here everyone can post their own photos and stories of celebration. Hundreds of wonderful photo/stories have already been posted.”

So, “Thank you Dewitt. You certainly made March 4th a ‘A Day of Celebration’ to me.

Posted March 7, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography