Sunday, March 16, 2008

Take me away...

from a windowless office, paperwork, and numbers. For a while.


Let me trespass, just a little.

Let me wander aimlessly in my car, or on foot, at my leisure.

For a time, before I die.

Let me be with my point and shoot camera. It was a Christmas gift fifteen months ago and what a gift it is! I have always cherished photographs and cameras but never devoted enough time to turn my passion into a hobby. Boy, am I blooming late.


Phlox made an appearance on Friday.

My Mom told me I was a lazy toddler. There’s a 1956 color photo of me wearing a yellow and pink sunsuit held up with strings tied in bows at the shoulders, sitting among the Dandelions, Clover, and weeds tall enough to tickle my nose. I was examining them with my eyes and hands while the other toddlers trampled them… I’ve seen that photo and imagine it’s somewhere in Maryland.

Does anyone else observe the zigzag path of raindrops falling on the outside of a window during a rainstorm?

Every day now, I pass thoroughbreds grazing around a pond with a pink sunrise behind them and cows grazing near the roadside beyond a wooden white-washed fence. There are vultures circling low and hawks perched on utility poles. I can’t stop the traffic behind me. So I keep driving and groan about the beauty I could have savored and shared.

I do the best I can do.


Saturday was a gloomy, overcast day here in North Carolina where bright sun and blue skies are the norm. Thunderstorms were on the way - an opportune time to watch the birds in feverish activity. Before I turned off the radio and ignition, I could hear a flock of Red-Winged Blackbirds at the grocery store pond.



Male Downy worked diligently in a warm and humid breeze. Not a good hair day for me – but the birds were wonderful.

The squirrels have become shy?

She didn’t mind me overstepping my boundaries. The skies were darkening. Muffled thunder threatened.

Daylight dancing on the waterfall…ahhhh.

Here’s a little switch in content:

This is one of my dramatic photos I included in the December graduation PowerPoint for the Police Cadets. It’s a tear gas drill. Sergeant Moore was ordering them to raise their arms to help release the gas from their skin and clothing. I just learned that this photo and a few others of mine are going to be enlarged, framed, and displayed in the lobby of the criminal justice building where I work. Cool, huh?

It fuels my fire. Keep your camera with you. There’s no telling what you might find.


Any Buckeye fans out there? (Click to enlarge license plate)


brucesc said...

I just love your thoughts and the photos too! Like an illustrated poem. Congratulations on having your police cadet picture chosen!
Either you have a better zoom than I do or your birds are tamer. Are you shooting the feeder birds through the window?
The little waterfall shot is terrific!

thepowerguides said...

great photos it is amazing how much digital cameras have changed our lives and just point and click makes it so easy to capture the moment as you have a few times


Cheryl said...

Hi Mary....yes I do look at raindrops on the window and on spiders webs. I have a photograph of me, as a child of two, sitting in a chair in the garden watching a blackbird and listening to its song. Nothing has changed, I still am captivated by birds and their song.
Whenever I read your posts I feel such an affinity with really is quite amazing.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You bet I watch rain drops roll down windows. I watch all sorts of minutea. I have been told I try to paint too many details in my paintings. Ha... I like details.

I am happy you received that camera for christmas. It has given me many lovely photo gifts.

Cathy said...


I know I've seen that license plate at Magee Marsh in the spring. I'll be looking for it for sure this year:0)

Congratulations on the fact of your pictures finding a permanent home in a very important setting. Very cool.

I know we'd all like to see that picture of you as a toddler. How about handing the camera to your hubby and having him take a photo of you in a similar setting?

Your spring pictures are lovely and give me hope. I do understand your regret when some of the beauty eludes your camera.

And YES! I do watch raindrops. Wrote a poem that began:

'Since I was a child
there's never been a rain come round
that didn't find me leaning close
to the other side of the window . . '

Anonymous said...

Mary, always such stunning photos. I am very glad that photography has become a hobby for your and these pictures are even more proof that it was meant to be!

JeanMac said...

You really should put together a coffee table book someday - I`d buy your first one!

Anonymous said...

I wish that I could use my digital camera as great as you do. I'm still trying to figure it out..LOL..Congrats on your picture being picked to put on display!

I made my sugar water today and my hummingbird feeders are hung and ready for guest. I was sure to hang one outside my office window (I work from home)so that I can keep an eye on it this week.


NatureWoman said...

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and make me smile both inside and out. I really appreciate their beauty right now more than you can ever know. Thanks for sharing with us!

Mary said...

Brucesc, I take photos of the feeder birds on my deck (about 15 yards away). Sometimes I can move closer. I also have 12x zoom and I rely on it with every photo.

Steve, thanks for the compliment. I could never afford pre-digital!

Cheryl, we're birds of a feather. Many who visit here are, too.

Lisa, details make a great photo or story. When reading, you probably hang on every word :o)

Cathy, maybe after I lose 15 pounds I'll hand Michael the camera :o) And oh, I was leaning on the windowsill, too! You are so poetic.

Tom, your photography has inspired me. You are one of the best.

Jean, I'll remember that...

Angie, I'm still learning about my camera, too! Hummingbirds are getting close - you might see them in week depending on where you are in SC. Here's a link to a migration map:

Larry said...

I can relate to wanting to get away for a job to spend more time outdoors.-My mother used to have to throw tear gas in my room in order to get me to go to school.

LauraHinNJ said...

Lovely photos and words, Mary! It's so nice to see you blooming with that camera - late or not.

RuthieJ said...

Wow Mare, the red-winged blackbird pictures took my breath away! (so glad you're getting some more rain too)

Susan Gets Native said...

Love that blackbird photo!!!!

You know, Mary....Ohio is COOL. You should come on over.

PJ said...

I've been away from my fav blogs..boy have I missed a lot with yours! Your pictures are just so gorgeous. You must have a lot of patience with your birds :) I've been meaning to ask what kind of camera do you use..if I may ask?

Anonymous said...

I love your photos and thoughts!

Beverly said...

Yes, I do follow raindrops trickling down the window...How did you know?

Sherry at the Zoo said...

North Carolina! I'm sitting in a hotel room in North Carolina right now. The scenery is spectacular!
When I'm at work I watch the raindrops, but when I'm at home there is always so much to much to do....

Your pictures are fabulous!

Marvin said...

Such a cool illustrated meander through you mind's musings. Great work, Mary -- and congratulations on having your photos selected for display.

KGMom said...

Oh, take us all away from windowless offices. Whoever invented them?
Sounds like you are getting more rain--and that's good, right.
Love the action shot, and congrats on being "published."

Mary said...

(the other Mary) What lovely writing! You have a wonderful eye for both what you actually see and what lies behind it. We're all glad you got that camera :-) The blackbird is beautiful.

Jayne said...

It rained cats and dogs here too on Saturday, but Sunday was glorious. LOVE, love, love all your purty photos Mar. What an honor to have your photos displayed!!! You go girl!

Kerri Farley said...

Mary, it is wonderful the way relay your thoughts to makes us feel like we are with you!

How exciting to have your picture chosen for display! Congratulations!!!

Texas Travelers said...

I really like your posts, your writing, your photography and especially your attitude. Great photos for a "point-n-shoot". I included you in my 'Check it out - favorites' blogroll. I'll read you regularly from now on.

Again, you have some nice photographs.

Troy, in Ft. Worth

Peg Silloway said...

Oh, Mary, you are such a poet! Your photos and your words weave golden spells that work to open my eyes and appreciate the beauty of little red buds on the tree out back, or the robin hopping on one foot across the deck. Thank you for a beautiful Monday morning.

dguzman said...

Nice post, Mary. I wish that first photo was of my backyard....

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Hi Mary, I've been here a couple of times, but the pictures won't load for me, so I'll be back later to see them! I accidentally posted my comment in the wrong place, so I deleted my comment below and put it up here instead. Sorry about that. It's confusing when there are big spaces missing. LOL ;-) In the meantime, I enjoyed reading what you wrote. :) I don't know how you do all that financial stuff. I hated it when I was working. It's so nice that you can escape with your camera and see a bit of wildlife around you.

Anonymous said...

You've been tagged! Come to my blog to find out the rules on how to play the 6 word memoir blog meme!

Bek said...

I love the pictures of the blooming trees and the blackbird. So colorfull!

Stacey Olson said...

Love the redwinged black bird, we had them living in a pond at our last home 4yrs ago, and I still miss the songs they sang in the morning. thanks for sharing

Cathy said...

I wandered down that alee of bloom again . . . knelt down to sniff the sweetness of the Phlox . . .and the Red-winged Blackbird 'o-ka-reed from the field.

Thanks, Mary.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh, that redwing photo!! I loved this post. You are one with your camera and your aesthetic sense. Bravo!

Dawn said...

Well, you may be a late bloomer, as you say, but when you bloom you really take off. You're a very talented photographer. What a joy it is to visit your blog and read your poetry and see your images, Mary. You've a true gift. Thank you for sharing it with the world. :-)

BTW, I love the first photo!. The blooming trees reminded me a little of the scene from the movie, "Excalibur", when the knights are riding through the renewed land. Beautiful! (And yes, I just proved I'm a total poly-geek...heh!).

Peg Silloway said...

Mary, I thought of you on Friday when I discovered the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, MD. Did you ever visit there? Amazing resources and drawings of birds as well as plants. You've given me that friendly kick in the posterior to post about it...the blue heron is for you!

Chrissie said...

Yep, I have been known to take photos of raindrops running down window panes :-) Everytime I visit you, Mary, I sit here agreeing with your thoughts. I would love to be out more with my camera. We share a similar type of job I think, budgeting at the moment and end of financial years! Congratulations on your photo display :-) Brilliant news! Have a great week and enjoy the weekend :-)

Donna said...

Mary, your photos are just fabulous. Congrats on the photo of the cadets and having it framed and hung in the crminal justice bldg. Wow!
Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! That Re=d-winged blackbird is stunning. I had one land here about two weeks ago and I got a fleeting picture, out of focus and sad. The next day I got a whole herd of female red-wing blackbirds and I felt sure there would be a male about but none showed up. Those are on my birds blog (the females).

After 46 years I got photos of crows and got them to land here. What a blessing that was. They are on my brookville daily blog and on my birds blog too.

I came here from a person's blog who visits my blog. I saw your link on his blog and came over.

I am from Ohio.

If you would like to take a look at the females I would appreciate it. I am really anxious to see the red-wing here but have few hopes at the moment. Your photos are fantastic.

Don't get all upset if you scroll down and see me wearing a blonde wig. That was from Sunday when two of our girls celebrated birthdays.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Ohio

kate said...

Seeing Phlox again was wonderful - as well as those amazing flowering trees. A shy squirrel? It looked guilty to me - probably raiding the birdfeeders!

I'm glad you can find these beautiful moments throughout the day!

Susie said...

Hi Mary,
So glad you share your part of the world with us through your camera's eye! I have my camera with me almost always too, but certainly don't have your skills!!

Mel said...

Hi Mary!
Great pictures! Congrats on the display of your pics!
Little moments of beauty is what you discribe in that post, just beautiful :)