Memorial Day Weekend Begins

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.  ~Daniel Webster

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We are blessed this Memorial Day Weekend with the visit of our youngest grandson.  At 20 months old, he has kept us quite busy,  This is also the big race weekend in town.  But we should remember that above all the rest this weekend is a weekend of remembrance,  for those we love who have passed and for those who have served bravely for us and have died. 
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I don’t remember how many years ago the Healing Fields came through, but I will never forget the impact.  Rows upon rows of flags with yellow ribbons.  It was amazing, beautiful and moving. 

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  ~From a headstone in Ireland
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When I was there the wind was blowing strong and all the flags were at full face. 
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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. 
~Joseph Campbell

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Summer

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Summer.  Lately my summers are directly linked to grandchildren or nieces. Every time they visit their request is the zoo and Chicago.  I show a lot of photos of the zoo so, Chicago it is.

This view is from the Ferris Wheel at the pier.
The Bean. How great to lay on the cool ground in the shade of the bean and look at your distorted image.

My niece in the fountains near the bean.  Such a cooling spray.

A-Z Archive Challenge – Letter U

Ugh!  The letter u!  What to do?  This is tough, Fritz!  I’ve been thinking about it all weekend.  Even at work I found myself looking around trying to think of things that begin with U.  For those of you who would like to join in on the fun (torment!) get  the details at Fritz’s place and join in.  For the most part it is a good time.  I have not yet looked at any submissions by others.  I want to figure this out.  All that pops in my mind is Unicorn and … welll… haven’t seen any around lately.  So, I must get creative or philosophical….ugly…. that wouldn’t be nice. Uruguay … a map?  uterus… lol … I really don’t think so.  Uppity?  Udders?  Upholstery?  boring,  This is hard!!!!!

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Ailsa’s Photo Challenge – Summer

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buoy1, a photo by cindratee on Flickr.

I can’t remember where I found the link to Ailsa’s photo challenge. I think it came about as a result of an alternative challenge – reflections. Everyone loves a photo challenge, so here goes! Although I have a million beach photos and summer shots in Chicago and other localities, I chose this one. One of my most memorable summer vacations was spent with my sil, Chris. We went to Alaska.
Although Chris wasn’t with me on this particular adventure, we shared quite a few.  This was a photo whale watch tour.  Our boat was smaller and we were closer to water level than in most whale watching tour boats.  We had a pod of Orcas swim right under our boat.

I would go on another whale watching cruise in a minute.  There is nothing more fascinating than seeing them surface and move with their pods.  I felt like I had received a rare treasure.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands

I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge.  Each week presents a different challenge, a different way of viewing something.  It is so much fun viewing others’ work, too.  This week the subject hands was tough.  I love hands, but don’t photograph them much.  I tend to focus on the faces.  Here are some weak attempts.
This photo wasn’t actually taken by me.  It was taken by my son right before he became a father for the first time.  That hands are those of his wife and his mother in law.  It was a rough labor and her mother is giving her comfort and strength.
This photo was also taken by my son.  It is his son – brand new.  Very emotional for all of us.
Finally, one taken by me.  This is my husband’s hands holding our newest grandson.  He has large hands and tends to carry babies like footballs.  It is a very secure way to carry them and surprisingly, the babies are calmed by it.  I love the contrast of the fingers.  Now those fingers are always dirty.  He’s 20 months old and into everything.  He will be visiting this week and I know I am going to get some photos of those hands… probably filled with little cars.

Other hands posts I have liked:

West Park Wetlands

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I left home this morning with my camera, tripod and bottle of water.  It was 7:15 and I was thinking low light garden shots.  The son is out with a vengeance today and our town doesn’t have much in the way of public gardens.  Hmmmmm.  So we found ourselves at West Park in their wetlands area.

First of all, there was nothing subtle about the light, even at 8:00 a.m.  BRIGHT!  And the interesting aspects seemed to be at a distance and I had offered my 300 lens to my friend.   Darn.  The best option was to get closer.  I’m brilliant.  The lilies were still all closed, but the water was filled with them.

I do like this photo.  You can see the detail without the glaring colors.  I find water lilies fascinating.  They thrive in the murky, yucky waters that hide all kinds of  “things” in their root system.  It’s a whole ecosystem.  And in those murky, icky, yucky waters that I don’t even want to dip a toe into, a beautiful flower opens and almost radiates a beautiful soft light.

This is probably my favorite shot from the whole morning.  Totally untouched.  It shows the messiness, the variety of  “stuff” in the water, the darkness and the simple, radiant beauty of the lily.

I missed some of the better shots of the blue heron because of my lens limitations, but managed to catch a decent one of it leaving to find some peace and quiet.  I think we disturbed his meditation.

And the last photo is one of the royal geese arriving.  I say royal because of all the honking and fanfare they made and then how they swam around the pond like they owned it.  All in all it was an enjoyable morning, but not what I thought it was going to be.

Weekly Photo Challenge- Blue

Sara from The Daily Post at WordPress  has posted the new weekly theme and it’s BLUE!

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Every year, at the opening of the State Fair, I try and attend the Night the Light where they set up the balloons and light them up as the night sky darkens.  This was taken a few years ago.  Now they wouldn’t let people this close.  I loved taking pictures of the insides of the balloons.  Bet you CAN guess what this balloon was about…

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This photo was taken the next morning when the balloons were taking off.  I think I permanently ruined by neck taking this shot.  Again, they won’t allow you to get this close.

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And this last photo had to be the blue blue sky of Newport, RI.  We were just driving around and came across a number of kites.  It was wonderful.  Sea air, blue sky and colorful kites.

If you would like to join in the challenge or view other photos click on this link to the challenge page.  I especially love the blue domed roofs in Frizztext’s photo.

Happy Mother’s Day!

What a lovely morning!  I woke up to these…

Then it moved out to the back porch to enjoy the beautiful morning filled with birdsong and squirrel shenanigans.  The view from the porch is beautiful and restful.

The photos are taken through a screen.  I love the softness it gives the photo.

My kids are all out of state, but have already checked in, so I’m going to go back out on the porch, put my feet up and read a book.  Hope all mothers out there are having a wonderful day.