Tuesday, October 19, 2021


I have the mind of a wanderer. Did you ever set something down right there, and then promptly forget where right there is? 

I do. I have to chuckle at that often. During my physical, I had a 'memory' test. I was sure I'd flunk given that I set my cell phone down, or my keys, and immediately forget which flat surface I dropped those things on.

I start to fold laundry and end up vacuuming because I see Charlie hair roll across the floor. That morphs into cutting up squash to cook and freeze while I am cleaning, washing dishes...and OH...wait, I was folding laundry!

What is this mean? Is my mind filled with gobbledee gook or what?

This past week has been especially distracting. IF I do not write down my list of To Do's with a cup of coffee first thing, I will definitely get off track for the day.

My father used to say that a distracted mind was a sign of being creative. My mom would say different and I think her mind always was calculating and spot on.

So for our Sunday Stills yesterday we were to go out and take shots from a bug's eye view. That is not an issue for me at all.  I have a flip screen on my DSLR and my pointy shooty camera is tough so I will lay it on a log or in debris to get those close to the ground shots. I like those views anyway.

I live surrounded by a cluttered forest. So my attention always falls to the forest floor. 

The afternoon light filtered through the trees above ... on a hillside...

But then above me ... more light.

and Charlie who is searching all tree trunks for any squirrels he can chase...

...then the sun and leaves provide a stunning scene along the trail.

So I just start to walk through the afternoon light in an aimless sort of way back to our place. I start finding fungi, moss, and interesting little things. I realize that as soon as I stopped concentrating on the one thing I set out to do, I was having much more fun.

I must be destined to have a distracted mind.

When I got to the house I spotted a butterfly. A spotted Sulphur, I think. So I dropped my stuff on the porch and completely forgot about getting things ready for supper and doing chores.

A tiny bee landed on the butterfly and then took off. Thanks to the feature on this camera that starts photographing before you press the shutter? ... I got the bee taking off from the Sulphur's wing.

How cool is that?

I eventually decided that I had better go in the house and get some stuff ready for supper.

Otherwise, I'd get distracted by something else important. Like watching the afternoon light on the trees that still have leaves.

I'll be that old lady that wanders off in her PJ's because she saw something pretty or interesting outside and just thought she'd go take a look.

Then she'd keep on going...

Monday, October 18, 2021

The art of play?

 A friend of mine just commented that I am Nuts, but in a good way. He is a retired IT Guy. He cannot quite understand my world of play. 

My father was a very creative and imaginative soul. My mother is also. Both were master story tellers. Dad's creativity is well known in the commercial world of the 60's and 70's. 

My husband shakes his head at me when he sees me 'messing' around with my toys. 

Some people distract themselves with other things. I like photography and I am a fan of that little strange niche of  Toy Photography. It is engaging and fun. It is similar to doing Still Life and Fine Art but with an imaginative twist.

Saturday was a play day. I painted my dollhouse furniture that came colored in Pink. Pink for mini wood creatures? Nah. 

I did keep some bright colors for my these pieces. These little wooden figures came to us in the mail from one of my childhood friends.
She sent me her childhood collection of wooden 'zoo' critters.
Of course the donkey would love that toilet!

This summer I complained about this big old trunk that I moved out of the living room and set in an unused spot in the kitchen/dining area. I put some boards on it so I could use it as a folding table, but somehow, it has morphed into a play area.
Oh wait. No, it is a decoration area. See? See the Fall sign and the leaves?

Even Groot had to get in on the things! I purchased the wooden mushrooms at the Farmer's Market. They just go along with my critters so nicely. 

Then I had a lightbulb moment. Last year BJ sent me some Halloween windup toys. Crazy and fun little things. I couldn't use some of the toys unless it was really near Halloween.

So...with a bit of help from Charlie, I set the toys up on the floor in the living room.

Charlie was fascinated by the little witch who walked and wobbled when wound up. He was startled by the teeth that clacked. Rich and Charlie were quite entertained.

I decided to try just a plain white board for the back round. Other wise you'd see the door to our bedroom and the concentrator.

That was a bleh photo and not interesting. 
So, I tried a composite using ON1's Sky Swap just for kicks.
This rocks! 
This was a fun experiment. 
I can add my own photos to Sky Swap. The possibilities then become 
boundless for doing some interesting composite Still Life work.

Just think if I'd added smoke and fog in the foreground!
Brewwww hahahahah.....

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Stills #24

Bugs Eye View.

This was pretty hard for me because I got sooo distracted.

Moss 'flowers'

Big Foot. My dog's foot.

Fungi. Laid the camera on a log because I love love...love flip screens!

After I did these I followed bees and a tiny yellow butterfly around like a kid.



Friday, October 15, 2021

Vermont Teddy Bear

I received a surprise package in the mail from a friend of mine in Alabama. BJ and I have never met face to face but somehow our friendship that started on Flickr morphed into something quite different.

It was a box. On the top of the box it says: Someone who cares about you sent you a Vermont Teddy Bear.

So Charlie was pretty darned sure that this toy was intended for him.

A Teddy Bear in a Moose Jumpsuit with my name embroidered on it!

Here is what the card inside said:

Share your Bear Story

There's a story that goes with every opened Vermont Teddy Bear box, and we want to hear all about yours. Was your Bear a birthday gift? did someone far away want to say they miss you? No matter the occasion, we want to hear all about it! Share your Bear story and pictures with us on social media using the hashtag #LoveIsInTheBEAR.

On the next section the card says:

Love Is in the Bear

Someone who cares about you designed a Bear just for you! A Vermont Teddy Bear is more than fur, stuffing, and joints - giving a Teddy Bear is an act of love. Each Bear is as unique as the person who receives one, but each says the same thing in his or her own special way: "I love you."

The last section of the card:

Guaranteed for Life

If anything should ever happen to your Bear, even if the family dog decides to make it a favorite toy, send your Bear back to us and we will nurse him or her back to health in our Bear Hospital at no charge. If, by chance, your Bear was too badly injured with no hope of recovery, we will replace your Bear with a new one for FREE!

This came just when I needed it. I held Moose close all evening while we sat and watched some programs. Moose. I guess that is what I should call him/her? Not sure. But he is so soft and huggable. Not only that? He is jointed which makes him extra special.

So today marked our first adventure together. 

I may have to trim a little of his long hair around his eyes. But I think we are going to get along just fine.

Moose seems to like the forest just fine.

And Bear agrees with me. It will be a good fit.

They even spent some time at the creek watching the trout below. Notice who had to join in!

There is one last note that came with Moose Bear.

"When you go down in the woods any day, take a companion along. BJ"

If you go out in the woods today
You're in for a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today
You better go in disguise
For every bear that ever was
Will gather there for certain because
Today is the day the teddy bears have their picnic

The Teddy Bear's Picnic ~ by Rosemary Clooney

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Chasing Fungi, Lichen, and Dreams


This is the spot where I turned around and headed back alongside the creek. 

I found this old fungi carcass ... is that even a proper way to say it? Dried out black old fungi. I thought it would make a good Trick or Treat surprise to gross someone out. 

The hike back along the creek was much easier than going up and over. The lichen on the rock faces always stop me in my tracks. 

 The colors range from pink to green to an aqua color. I have no idea what all of the lichen are called.

In a few spots there were tiny ferns growing. 

When the leaves fall and the colors leave the forest, I turn my eyes to the tiny things such as moss and lichen. 

I will transition from chasing fungi and mushrooms to chasing moss and lichen. [And Ice Caves!]

The beavers of Weister Creek  rebuilt their new home near the rock bluffs until the next flash flood moves them again.

Their work is a sample of ingenious engineering. I didn't get a photo of it as I was sort of hurrying back to the car.

When I climbed over the section of where the beaver dam used to be, I took a detour to see if I could glance down at one of the ice caves.

I got sidetracked by Woodland Russulas...I think:

They were everywhere! I could smell mushrooms in the air.

These coral fungi were hiding. The tiny Rabbit is 1/2 inch tall for some perspective.

I stopped here and sat in the pine needles. I could hear an occasional vehicle out on County P and I could hear waterfowl coming in for a landing below me on a large bend of the creek.

I didn't want to leave. 
I just didn't.

May...be, if I just melted down into the pine needles. I could just become part of the forest. I was sure if I shut my eyes and opened them very carefully, I'd see gnomes an fairies peeking from behind the trunks of trees.

My camera could capture photos of the adventure but not the essence. The smell of mushrooms, pine, and leaves...what sweeter smells could there be?

When I got home I was excited, tired, and relaxed. My mind was still in the forest.

The phone rang and it was my doctor. She affirmed what I'd seen in the test results. Her concern was rather urgent and she ordered more tests for Friday morning.

I don't like the 'unknown' I'm a person who likes to have all of my facts up front so I can look at them and deal with them. I like a plan, I like order, and I dislike chaos. But the human body is chaos.

A bone density test rates your bone mineral loss and the brittle factor so to speak.  It is to assess risk factors going forward. So since I am a very small person, it was no surprise that I was rated with mild osteoporosis  in one hip and a bit worse in the other. However the score for the Lumbar area was out of this world.  Leave it to me to be unusual. You know I strive to be 'different'.

Well huh. I guess that means I need to come up with a plan after the new test results come in. I feel better when I think I have a plan for things. And I do realize that I am not always in 'control' of my world. I would love to think I could be!

I am going back to the forest to Dream...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021



I thought it would be a good day to walk or just go for a hike. 
I walked the barely perceptible Winter Ice Cave Trail near Weister Creek. 
It was a bit messy and muddy from the August flash floods and heavy rains.

The beaver dam had been swept away too.

I spent some time just listening to the water sweep by me and then I turned and decided to go up over the top.

Here I am standing holding onto a branch to show the depth of the flash flood waters that came through here earlier this summer.

I went up and up and followed what could have been a deer or old trail from days long ago. The land in this area is not like any other place I've been. Up and up a person goes with thigh burning inclines. At the 'top' there is a sharp decline with a gully of sorts at the bottom.

But there are trails if you can spot them. The land has its own wicked and beautiful shapes. Here is where I stopped on a 'point' to have an apple and gaze down on Weister Valley. 

I went looking specifically for fungi and ended up just finding myself breathless at the scenery. I've never gone 'over' the top that I can recall before. I found more potential Ice Caves.

Most of all? 
I think I found myself.

Deep in the forest I stroll
to hear the wisdom of my soul...
The trees still the mind
and the deeper you go....
the more the soul's port widens.
Within that space
wisdom whispers.

~Angie Weiland Crosby

[Most of these were shot with my TG6 pocket camera. And there was some editing for color involved. The rest of the hike ... later.]