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Spring Is Here – God Is In Charge   Leave a comment

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Spring is here…New life begins again…Winter is over…Change comes…

On April 14th I will be having cancer and facial reconstruction surgery at the U of M hospital in Ann Arbor. I have Squamous Cell Carcinoma in my nose and very close to my left eye. It is possible that I will lose the left eye as the cancer is very close to the eye. I have a surgeon that I trust and he has made that possibility clear to me from day one. He will try to save the eye, but getting all of the cancer is the priority and I agree totally. I will be in the hospital for 7 days after the 8-10 hours of surgery. Then after 5 to 6 weeks I will have 15-20 minutes of radiation 5 times a week for 6 weeks. In addition to that I need to have cataract surgery after all that is over. And, oh yes, when the MRI was read there is a small spot on my brain! Not quite the spring and summer I was planning on. But I am okay with all of that.

I won’t preach, that’s not my job. I take photographs and sing, but I really believe that God is in Charge of my life. He has a purpose in all that happens so I will trust in Him. As I told my church last Sunday, I’ll either wake up with two eyes, one eye or in Heaven and any of those choices are okay by me.

My youngest daughter, Kitten, and her husband, Rob, will be here for close to three weeks. They will take care of the dogs, Duke and Buster and the cats, Frankie, Black, Little Grey Kitty (LGK) and Roofie while I am in the hospital then stay a week as I recover. And there are a lot of people praying for me and I appreciate each one. My friends, John and Carol have provided transportation to my appointments and more, They are my friends from church and are very special people.

So, I’m okay. Actually, more than okay, for I know “No matter what ‘ere betides, God will take care of me.”

Posted April 5, 2016 by hwilliam in Photography

A Stranger At My Door   Leave a comment

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“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” ― Hebrews 13:2, Holy Bible: King James Version

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.-Tennessee Williams

“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.” ― Steve Maraboli

“Love between strangers takes only a few seconds and can last a whole life.” ― Simon Van Booy, Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories

“Getting lost is just another way of saying ‘going exploring.” ― Justina Chen, North of Beautiful

Saturday I came home from town and as I pulled into the driveway I heard my two dogs barking their heads off. They were really going at it. And when I got out of the Blazer I discovered why…..they had an unwelcome visitor…..another dog!

Not just another dog…but a young Redbone Coonhound who was running around outside their pen wanting to play. Duke, the 100 pound Black Lab mix would have probably assented to his wish, but Buster, the Cheagle, wanted no part of him.

When I walked up, the dog came running to me thinking I was the answer to playtime. He bounced all around me, wanted to lick my hands, overjoyed that a human was there.

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He was wearing two collars. One was an old wide leather collar with a tag that had a name and phone number, the other (which I found out later) a training collar. Somehow I managed to get a leash on this beast and took him for a walk around the neighborhood to see if anyone recognized or was looking for this monster. No luck. Had he been dropped off somewhere in the area?

I called the number on the collar and found myself talking with someone about 100 miles away who told me that first, it wasn’t his dog, and secondly, he had only had the number for a short while. He asked me the name on the collar and when I told him said he knew someone with that last name and would call her and get back to me.

To make a long story short, the dog spent the first night out in the pen. Sunday afternoon after not hearing anything I called the person I’d talked to and found out the name on the collar was a second cousin to the woman he called. However when she called the phone number had been disconnected.

Sunday night was spent in the garage as he wouldn’t stop barking in the pen. I spent most of the day trying to figure out what I could do with him. He as too much dog for a 77-year-old geezer to handle, plus having two dogs there was no way I could have another one, even though we live in the woods. So Monday morning I called the county Animal Control Officer, about 40 miles away.

Turned out it was the best thing I could have done. The man that came was friendly, took one look at the dog and his training collar and told me he had picked up another Redbone Coonhound a few weeks ago with the same identical collar. In that case the owner was not found, however the dog was adopted in about a week. He assured me the police would be contacted to see if they could locate the owner and if not, since he was a hunting dog, would probably be adopted quickly. He also told me that a dog that runs away during training might travel a long distance. He really put my mind at ease.

So, Friendly Big Hound Dog, I enjoyed our time together. I pray that you will either get reunited with your human or find a new forever home and have a long happy life. You sure deserve it.

PS: A few days after I posted I talked to the Animal Control Officer that picked up the dog and found that on the backside of the collar they found the current phone number of the owner and he was reunited with his pup.

Posted September 15, 2015 by hwilliam in Photography

The Lesson of the Deer   Leave a comment

P1180413-upload“I don’t have to take a trip around the world or be on a yacht in the Mediterranean to have happiness. I can find it in the little things, like looking out into my backyard and seeing deer in the fields.” – Queen Latifah

“Bambi was inspired, and said trembling, “There is Another who is over us all, over us and over Him.” ― Felix Salten, Bambi

“Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, Where the deer and the antelope play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word And the skies are not cloudy all day.” – c.1873 ‘Home on the Range’

For the past few weeks several deer, up to five at a time have decided to come and feed under both the feeders in the back yard and the one in the front. I know there are at least two does with their young ones and possible the fifth deer is a buck. That one never gets close enough to make sure. I still have screens on the windows, so it is a challenge to get a good shot. I got this one putting the lens close to the glass so it diffused the screen.

They are such beautiful animals and just what I needed to see as winter starts to wind down. It’s been a cold, cold winter with lots of snow. Having two hills that wind between two small lakes make getting in and out a challenge at times. So I have been spending a lot of time inside. The dogs and I go out for short walks several times a day but often they and phone calls from my daughters in Florida are my only companionship, so having some deer come to visit is a welcome change.

Right now one of the young ones has come back after the others saw me through the window and ran back into the woods. She is a brave little deer, seems not to be afraid as she feeds on the sunflower and bird seed on the ground. She doesn’t quite know what to make of the cats when they are out though. But she doesn’t run very far away. She waits and then comes back and resumes her feeding.

I want to be like her. When things that I don’t understand cause me anxiety and I start to run I want, with the strength and peace that comes from God, to stop and slowly wind my way back to where I belong.

And that’s the lesson I’ve learned this last day of February, 2015 from this little brave doe.

Posted February 28, 2015 by hwilliam in Photography

Art?   Leave a comment

P1180023-edit1-paint-upload“Art is not so much a matter of methods and processes as it is an affair of temperament, of taste and of sentiment… In the hands of the artist, the photograph becomes a work of art… In a word, photography is what the photographer makes it – an art or a trade.” – William Howe Downess – Photo Era, March 1900, World History of Photography by Naomi Rosenblum , ISBN: 0789209462 , Page: 296

“The eyes sink to the heart to make the art.” – Melanie Einzig

“Art helps us see with new eyes what we knew was there but never really recognized. I photograph not to record or document—but rather, to capture and hold, just for a moment, the essence of what exists beyond the scene.” – Robert Hall

I like that last quote a lot, “I photograph not to record or document-but rather, to capture and hold, just for a moment, the essence of what exists beyond the scene.” If you visit my website (http://www.naturephotographybyhwillam.com ) you will find these words: “Photographs on this site are not meant to be exact representations of an actual scene as recorded by the camera. As a visual artist rather than a documentary photographer, I reserve the right to alter each image to represent my impression of the scene……..Because of this possible manipulation of the image, the image is not to be considered as a documentary representation of the scene as it existed.”

There is nothing wrong with presenting an image as close to reality as is possible. It takes a great deal of talent both in capturing the image and getting it ready to be viewed. Clyde Butcher ( http://www.clydebutcher.com ) is one of my favorite photographers of this era and while he does dodging and burning his images are as close to reality as possible. He has spent years documenting the Florida Everglades and other locations and I consider him a documentary photographic artist.

On the other hand, more and more, I am seeing my world in a different way. Sometimes in what I would call abstract and other times in a way I would like to paint it, if I had the talent to wield a paint brush. The attached image is an attempt to add a “painterly” feeling to this photo of leaves. I would be interested in knowing if you feel I have done that. Your objective comments are appreciated.

Posted January 28, 2015 by hwilliam in Photography

Lonesome Pine   Leave a comment

Lonesome Pine-upload“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” [Meditations Divine and Moral]” ― Anne Bradstreet, The Works of Anne Bradstreet

In 70 days it will be April 1st and unless the weather plays an April Fool’s joke on us it will be warmer, the snow will be gone, the grass will turn green, the early spring flowers will open their blooms to the world and I won’t have to wear my boots when I go outside with the doggies.

Winter is more of a stay-at-home time for me now. Not complaining, not lonesome, just a fact. Heavy boots at my age don’t make for long walks in the snow-covered woods. So, I sit here at the computer and work on seeing what kind of art I can create from photos previously taken. This is one of them.

Not sure when I took this shot, probably 2005 or 2006. I know it was taken with my HP 945 point and shoot camera but so far I can’t find the original image on one of my backup drives. it might be on one of my DVDs I haven’t gone through for a long time. I entered it in a Better Photo contest and was given an “Editor’s Pic” award. My fist “like” for a digital image. (http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/free/gallery.asp?mem=96923 ).

Posted January 21, 2015 by hwilliam in Photography

My Thoughts About “Out With The Old — In With The New”   Leave a comment

IMG_2208-1stedit-uploadResolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.
Jonathan Edwards

Celebrate what you want to see more of.
Tom Peters

I wish you sunshine on your path and storms to season your journey. I wish you peace–in the world in which you live and in the smallest corner of the heart where truth is kept…More I cannot wish you except perhaps love–to make all the rest worthwhile.
Robert A. Ward

Sunrise or Sunset? One comes up in the East, the other goes down in the West. Is there a difference, other than location? Is it the same sun? Does it matter?

The sunrise starts the day, the sunset closes it. I look one way to see the glory, majesty, and beauty of the beginning of the day and I look in the opposite direction to see the same glory, majesty and beauty of the ending of the day. Same sun, different meaning.

And so as I look back at 2014 and then begin to do a 180 and look forward to 2015 I see the same kind of glory, majesty and beauty that exists in the sunrise and sunset.

2014 was filled with glory, majesty and beauty of the past year. Yes, there were days of storms when the thunder rocked the sky, the lightning flashed and the earth rocked with their fury. But, there were also days of quiet contemplation where the peace of God enveloped me with rest and comfort. In looking back, I know I needed to see both kinds of days and all of those in between.

And now I start the 180 degree turn to look at 2015. It is just beginning and I have no idea what it will hold. Do I fear it? No, because I have faith that it will provide what I need. The storms, the sun, the thunder and the stillness, all will help me grow. And that is my goal…growing in all the best ways to serve God and my fellow humans. That’s my New Year’s Resolution!

Posted December 31, 2014 by hwilliam in Photography

Memories   2 comments

ShirleeOne year ago this morning, November 30, 2013, sometime between 3:30 and 5:15am my wife, Shirlee, left this world to spend eternity with her Jesus. She is free from pain and suffering. For the past year she can walk, talk and breathe. She is with her beloved son, David, her sister, Jacqui, and her parents and other friends and family. She has been joined this year by two of our best friends, Al and Helen. Questions have been answered. All doubts are gone. She is at peace and so am I.

Of course I miss her in so many ways. Our morning conversations, sharing Lions football games, Bible reading, holding hands as we prayed together, laughing at the antics of our big, black Lab, Duke and the little Cheagle, Buster, as they would roll around on the floor, play biting. I miss sitting on the back deck with her on warm summer mornings drinking coffee and watching the birds as they came to the feeder. I miss going to church together, being in the choir together, singing together. Yes, there are so many things about our life together I miss, but I am okay.

My wedding ring is still on my finger. My heart still belongs to her. I write her notes every night, sharing my day with her. She is still my best friend, my soul mate.

I thank God every day that He took her home to Heaven when He did. It was the best healing for her. We still share smiles. She is smiling down at me as I smile up at her. Someday we will be together again. I have no doubts about that. We spent the first 17 years of our lives as friends and the last almost 11 years as husband and wife. We were in each others minds for the 45 years in-between even though we had lost touch. Then God brought us back together. So, if God did that down here, I have faith that at His time He’ll bring us together again. So I’m okay to patiently wait until then.

Posted November 30, 2014 by hwilliam in Photography