A LONG ABSENCE

I AM NOT SHOUTING AT YOU, AS INTERNET ETIQUETTE WOULD IMPLY! FOR THE TIME BEING IN ORDER TO WRITE BLOG POSTS, I MUST USE ALL CAPS, AS I MUST USE ONLY MY RIGHT HAND.
IN NOVEMBER 2017 I HAD A STROKE, APPARENTLY I DID NOT GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME AROUND AND HAD A SECOND AROUND CHRISTMAS! WHILE I CAN LOOK BACK NOW & MAKE FUN IN JEST; THERE WAS NOTHING TO JEST ABOUT AT THE TIME! LOOSING THE USE OF MY LEFT SIDE, RUNNING INTO THINGS, CALLED (LEFT SIDE NEGLECT) WHERE YOUR BRAIN HAS TROUBLE RECOGNIZING YOUR LEFT SIDE. MY SPEECH RETURNED WITHIN TWO WEEKS, LEFT LEG STARTED RETUNING IN ABOUT A MONTH, I WAS UP AND WALING WITH A CANE IN ABOUT 6 WEEKS. GRIP IN MY LEFT HAND AND ARM STARTED TO RETURN IN ABOUT 8 WEEKS, THOUGH IT IS STILL NOT 100%, IT FLUCTUATES I WOULD SAY BETWEEN 80% -90%, THOUGH I CAN PICK UP CHANGE, TWIST OFF CAPS ETC, TYPING IS MORE OF A CHALLENGE, I AM STILL NOT THERE YET. I COULD WAIT TO DO BLOG POSTS UNTIL I CAN USE BOTH HANDS, OR I CAN EXPLAIN THE SITUATION AND GET ON WITH LIFE & POSTING

THE FIRST THING I DID IN THE HOSPITAL WAS GIVE MY LEFT HAND A NAME “HERMAN”, I AM CERTAIN YOU ARE ASKING YOURSELVES MANY QUESTION AT THIS POINT! WHY IN THE WORLD NAME MY LEFT HAND? WHY HERMAN? ALL THE NURSES & THERAPIST ASK THE SAME THING, AND IMMEDIATELY INFORMED THE NEUROLOGIST. OF COURSE HE QUICKLY ASKED ME WHY ?……..
WHICH IS MORE POSITIVE?

DEAD HAND MOVE! OR “HERMAN” CAN YOU PICK THIS UP??
THE NEUROLOGIST JUST SHOOK HIS HEAD AND WALKED AWAY! HOWEVER, THE NURSES & THERAPIST LOVED THE IDEA OF GIVING THE NEAR LIFELESS LIMB A PERSONALITY, AND FELT THIS WAS A VERY POSITIVE MOVE ON MY PART, AND ONLY ENCOURAGED IMPROVEMENT OVER STARING AT A LIFELESS HAND, THEY SEEMED SO AMAZED AT THE SPEED IN WHICH HERMAN STARTED HIS JOURNEY TO RECOVERY, WHICH LOOKING BACK NOW I CAN SEE HOW QUICKLY I DID REGAIN SO MUCH GROUND, NOW PROGRESS IS FROM DAY TO DAY IN SMALL WAYS, THEY TELL ME IT MAY TAKE UP TO A YEAR TO REGAIN FULL PRE-STROKE FUNCTION….IE TYPING, I AM GETTING ANXIOUS AS WELL TO GET BACK TO PHOTOGRAPHY FOR MY BLOG POSTS. EVEN WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL I PSSED THE HOURS AWAY BY SKETCHING PICTURES WITH THE SET OF ALBRECHT DUER WATERCOLO PENCILS I GAVE MYSELF FOR CHRISTMAS, WHICH FOR MYSELF COMES IN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER EVERY YEAR AND IS GENERALLY ART OR PHOTOGRAPHY RELATED. HERE YET AGAIN YOU ARE ASKING WHY IN THOSE MONTHS? AFTER OCTOBER THERE ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE THINGS TO TAKE ANY RESERVE MONEY I HAVE, AS A SINGLE PERSON, IF I DON’T BUY MYSELF CHRISTMAS GIFTS, I PRETTY MUCH DO NOT GET MUCH. CHRISTMAS EVE & DAY I SPEND THE DAY WORKING ON ART IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, THIS DOES ALSO INCLUDE PHOTOGRAPHY. MY POINT HERE WITH THIS WAS, HOW ADVANTAGEOUS, THIS WAS, AS I DID NOT KNOW I WOULD BE LAID UP IN HOSPITAL WITH A STROKE, LET ALONE TWO.

THIS POST WAS A QUICK ONE TO LET ALL MY SUBSCRIBERS KNOW WHY THERE HAVE BEEN NO POSTS FOR THE PAST 6 MONTHS. THERE WILL BE MORE AS WELL AS PHOTOGRAPHY, IN GENERAL AS WELL AS PICTURES OF MY ARTWORK. THAT IS IF YOU CAN PUT UP WITH MY “SHOUTING”AT YOU, UNTIL “HERMAN” IS READY TO TYPE AGAIN.

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PLEASANT VIEW OLD ORDER MENNONITE CHURCH~JULY 2017

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Pleasant View Old Order Mennonite Church ~ Dayton,Virginia  Pleasant View Old Order Mennonite Church ~ Dayton,Virginia

Several Sunday’s ago, we had a very low humidity day, while this does not effect the photography, it does make for a much happier photographer. While Pleansat View is just that, it has a pleasant view in any direction you look, however being located at the top of a hill, your options for photography are very limited with a full churchyard of horse and buggies. There are not many options that allow you to get far enough back to be able to get a shot and remain on a public road, without running around in someones field.

Pleasant View Church B&W -Sepia (4 of 6)

The pictures were taken on the lower south eastern part of the churchyard, going down the hill, as if you were traveling down towards the harness shop, this is a good place to pull off the road, and get out and move around, however with all the church doors and windows open I do not want to be seen running around with a camera. Next time I go, I will drive down the road going west from the church, like I am going to Rocky Cedars (Ruth & Etta Showalter’s) business on down the the road, there I will be down the road and can get a picture of the church and buggies in the churchyard looking eastward.

Pleasant View Church B&W -Sepia (2 of 6)  Pleasant View Church B&W -Sepia (3 of 6)

Sometimes some subjects look better in color, while others look good in black & white, or sepia. Working in Lightroom and with RAW files, this is the nice part you can experiment with pictures and never loose the original. Once you get past the fear of making a mistake, you can actually have fun with it. I am finding out exactly what I have been told from the beginning, you learn through experimentation. You can watch all the videos, read books, in the end the best teacher is to just get in there and experiment with the subjects at hand.

Pleasant View Church B&W -Sepia (1 of 1)

I am including one color shot of the churchyard, to compare the differnces of what you perceive in color, which for me, your eye tends to wonder all over the picture, taking in everything. In black and white, I think you, in this case tend to be drawn to the main focal point which are the horse and buggies, an dthe detail of the buggies, horse harnesses, etc. I have been experimenting for the first time with adding some sepia, which may make some cringe, however being there that morning and noticing the sun coming through the trees against the black buggies, I thought added the feeling of warmth.

Pleasant View Church B&W -Sepia (1 of 6)  Pleasant View Church B&W -Sepia (6 of 6)

Plain and Simple it is all about experimentation. I want to go back one day and actually take more time and do a better job with the photography, I do so much better using the tripod, and I think next time I will use one. I still have a lot to learn, what is too dark in black & white, the only way is to just continually make adjustments.

As always more detail show up when you enlarge the pictures from the post. I will admit that I do not know how they look or show up on a smart phone, as I do not have one. I leave if up to you to tell me how they show up on your smart phones. Please let me know. Through WordPress all posts are to made to adjust to your different sizes of phones, computers and i-pads. (Supossedly)

MOUNTAIN VISTAS ~ELKTON, VIRGINIA

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Mountain Vistas~Elkton,VA (2 of 5)

*Much more detail show up when the photos are enlarged by clicking on them

Recently I have started to take short drives around different area of my part of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, which happens to be the areas of Harrisonburg, Dayton, Bridgewater & Elkton. These towns and cities, are in the Counties of Rockingham, North Western Augusta, and Shenandoah in Virginia.

Mountain Vistas~Elkton,VA (1 of 5)

Unless you live in these areas, I do believe most people take the quickest route to their destinations, using interestate and quicker routes designed to get you places faster. Unfortunatel to those passing through Virginia, as well as living here, they miss so much, in the way of beauty and relaxation by not getting off the interstates and other four lane highways and making the trip part of the vacation.

Mountain Vistas~Elkton,VA (3 of 5)

While this was just a short trip, close to home within 10 miles, the views in this post were taken about 3 miles from my home, yet views like this are ever present along the Blue Ridge in the eastern counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Shenandoah and Page. If you just get “Off The Beaten Path” and make exploration part of your vacation or Sunday drives. It is amazing how quickly you can become relaxed just driving the countryside, even in just a 10 mile radius. We miss so much by always being in a hurry and taking the fastest route to our destinations.

Mountain Vistas~Elkton,VA (4 of 5)

Alas sometimes from a photographic standpoint in todays world beautiful views are encumbered by telephone and electric poles along the way, sometime the views are in areas where it is impossible to pull off the road enough to get a good shot, that is if you are a photographer, however this does promote exercise in finding the right place to pull off the highway, and walk to find a good location. Each week just take a couple of minutes or an hour or so and explore the area in which you live, find the natural beauty that surrounds you and give yourself a break from the hurried stresses of life. These photos were taken with thirty minutes of where I live in Elkton, VA.

Mountain Vistas~Elkton,VA (5 of 5)

PHOTOGRAPHY & HOT SUMMER DAYS

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Balcony Flowers (6 of 12)  Varigated Geranium

Varigated Geranium  Balcony Flowers (12 of 12)

It is just so hard to feel motivated to do much at all outdoors when the heat and humidity is so high. One morning this week, due to a good nights sleep and air conditioning, I felt energized to get up early and go out and do some exploring around the country roads through the mountain hollows of easter Rockingham county, which means just close to home. It was 8 am when I left my apartment, actually was simply a beautiful day, partly sunny, perfect for taking pictures, right, until I opened the door! Nonetheless, I thought that I could get some quick pictures, and run back home, cool off and process the images, that was not meant to be a joke, but it turned out to be, within minutes of setting the camera on the tripod and getting ready to snap pictures, my glasses were covered in salty sweat, I looked like someone pushed me into a swimming pool, it did not take me long to figure out that I was just a tad over zealous, I packed all back into the car and returned home. AHHH Air Conditioning!

My Daily Visitor  My Daily Visitor

Balcony Flowers (3 of 8)

As it turned out it was much easier to walk out onto the balcony garden and into my own little microcosm of nature and take pictures and walk back inside to the air conditioning, resulting in a much happier day and much happier me. While on the deck I found my little friend (generally spiders and I do not like each other) however, this one seems to like my Japanese Painted fern and the geranium leaves, he is so small you must look hard to see him and his web. It just looked like a little spider, until I pointed the 55-255mm lens with all 3 extension tubes attached  at it atop the tripod, then the magic of color happened. Amazingly enough it was one of the most brightly colored spiders I have seen, only really visible at this magnification, otherwise it just looked light grey.

The flower picture below the spiders, is a very petite thumbnail size zinnia that was kindly left for me last fall by a bird, totally volunteer and I could not bring myself to pull it out, it is kind of shy, it does not like to show its pretty face, just its backside, so this is what you are looking at.

Below, is a yellow Gerber daisy, partially opened. Below it are two very deep purple fusia geraniums, on with the remnants of the morning dew on its petals.

I have really been hoping that we have some moderately comfortable morning, so that I can get back over to Dayton, however those days have not been this week, perhaps next week.

Balcony Flowers (11 of 12)

Balcony Flowers (7 of 12)  Geranium Blossom