Archive for the 'Black Swallowtail' Category

Birds and Butterflies

amywink March 20th, 2013

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Sitting out in the yard in the more pleasant Spring weather, I’ve been lucky with a few photography targets. This past week, the Cedar Waxwings have been coming through. Their high peeeeping makes them a distinctive sound in the other bird calls but they are an elusive photography subject. High in our red oak tree, nearly at the top, I did manage to capture a few shots of them. They are such elegant birds and I’m always pleased to encounter them on their way through.

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Welcome, Spring

amywink March 1st, 2013

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It’s 37 degrees this March 1st morning and I am wrapped in a wool blanket in my writing cottage as my Crazy Ohio Dog races around the yard in the streams of light and shadows angling across the yard. The above photo is actually from a much warmer February day but her joyous personality comes through clearly and it’s become an iconic “Lily” image for me. It was about this time last year that I located her breeder through another breeder and began my wait for the arrival of my “writing/carriage” dog. Lily has turned out to be my exactly right dog and there are times when I think she knows what her work is far better than I do–as she often reminds me with a well-placed paw. We are progressing very well on our “carriage” work.

As far as my writing is concerned, I’m in a fallow state. Perhaps the coming spring will bring a few changes to that but for now I like to think I am “doing” so that later I can do the writing. But truth be told, I’m not doing very much at this moment either other than playing with Lily–and sometimes that means watching her at play.

My list of 2013 goals is really short as well and are mostly Long Game types of goals so I am adjusting, sometimes poorly, to the state of resting. 2012 was a year of many accomplishments and completion of some long term goals, the most important of which was Blessing’s training, a goal set 2 years before when she arrived in my life. She’s now getting a well-earned respite from the challenging work of becoming an accomplished drive-and-ride mare. I have not driven as much as I have wanted in the last 3 months but the weather has been a challenge–poorly timed cold fronts for weekend driving, allergies triggered by the trees–so I am waiting for Spring, thinking about not doing, working on resting, focusing on peaceful waiting. And I’ve moved my writing goals to the new year’s list as I moved it last year. I may be that I am not ready, may never be ready, to turn these experiences into the book I imagine they might be one day but I am often thinking of writing, particularly of this blog. So for now, I will just have to see what happens. My last book took 13 years to complete so I’m may just be in the very very early stages of the next project.

I have turned to another one of my hobbies that has long been stalled by the dramatic change to photography in the digital age. I have owned for 30 years (and still own!) a lovely Nikon FG, now far out of date and practically impossible to use because of the difficulty of finding film and film processing. I have been using a point-and-shot Canon as well as the phone camera, but the art of photography is hampered by the limitations of those tools and I have often been disappointed by what I cannot do with those cameras, though I clearly have enjoyed snapping many photographs with the tools at hand. But this spring, I finally decided on the DSLR that I wanted, a Nikon d3200, and took the leap this past month (checking off the one 2013 “purchasing” goal). I love it.

Now, I am now a different observer. With the camera, I’m a more artful watcher, more attentive to detail, focusing on the activity of birds in the yard, thinking of Lily in motion, thinking of her at rest. It’s a good hobby to resurrect in a period of rest, a action that necessitates patience, waiting, observing. Not unlike writing, in a way, because now in the digital age, it’s possible to take many many photographs, then edit out the worst shots, save and revise the best ones. So while I take this pause in my writing, I’m paying a different kind of attention to the details of the world.

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