Tag Archives: reflection

…and the Reflection

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Reflections attempt to portray a glimpse of reality.  A face reflected in a mirror, a person reflected in a store-front window, a building reflected in a puddle of rain water – they aren’t the real thing, but just reflections of something more substantial and beautiful.

When I was in California recently, I met up with my daughter and her family and we went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  I’d never been there before (hard to believe for someone who has spent as much time as I did in the greater San Francisco bay area!) and I had a wonderful time!  The best part of it, of course, was the time spent with those I love, but there were other things that made it interesting, too.

There is a carousel there at the Boardwalk and it features at least three different “band boxes.”  They were very interesting and colorful.  As I took the picture you see here today of the beautiful music machine, I noticed the even more beautiful reflection of my oldest grand daughter reflected in the glass.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1972, seventeen U.S. helicopters landed 1,000 South Vietnamese marines and their six U.S. advisors behind North Vietnamese lines southeast of Quang Tri City in the first South Vietnamese counterattack since the beginning of the communist Nguyen Hue Offensive. The marines reportedly killed more than 300 North Vietnamese before returning to South Vietnamese-controlled territory the next day. Farther to the south, North Vietnamese tanks and troops continued their attacks in the Kontum area.

On May 1, North Vietnamese troops had captured Quang Tri City, the first provincial capital taken during their ongoing offensive. The fall of the city effectively gave the North Vietnamese control of the entire province of Quang Tri. Farther south along the coast, three districts of Binh Dinh Province also fell, leaving about one-third of that province under communist control.

These attacks were part of the North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive (later called the “Easter Offensive”), a massive invasion by North Vietnamese forces on March 30 to strike the blow that would win them the war. The attacking force included 14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, with more than 120,000 troops and approximately 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles. The main North Vietnamese objectives, in addition to Quang Tri in the north and Kontum in the Central Highlands, included An Loc farther to the south.

The situation at Quang Tri would not be rectified until President Nguyen Van Thieu relieved the I Corps commander and replaced him with Maj. Gen. Ngo Quang Truong, whom Gen. Bruce Palmer, Jr., later described as “probably the best field commander in South Vietnam.” Truong effectively stopped the ongoing rout of South Vietnamese forces, established a stubborn defense, and eventually launched a successful counterattack against the North Vietnamese, retaking Quang Tri in September.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Penguins often slide on their tummies over ice and snow. This is called tobogganing. Researchers believe they do this for fun and as an efficient way to travel.

Reflective Musings

Are you into reflecting?  Pondering?  Musing?  I find myself fascinated by reflecting on certain things that especially interest me.  I love things having to do with space.  I love to ponder some of the mysteries of the world and creation.

In photography, nearly every picture is made with a reflection of some kind.  After all, everything we see is the result of light reflecting off of different surfaces at different wavelengths, with the resulting variation of color.

It is interesting to take pictures of reflective things.  Sometimes it is the surface of a body of water, or a water puddle reflecting a building or plant or person.  Sometimes, as in today’s picture, it can be a mirror.

This mirror was on the wall at Sandpiper in Mendocino.  I rather liked this mirror and others they had hanging on the wall, and I liked the resulting pictures, too.

It is interesting to me that we can be “lost in reflection” yet also “found in reflection.”

Lost in reflection…

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant all of its women the right to vote.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the US was waging war with Mexico when gold was discovered in California.  In fact, California still belonged to Mexico at the time!

When the Going Gets Tough…My Team Isn’t Playing

Tonight is the first game of the 2012 NBA Championship series between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  As much as I love basketball, I probably won’t even watch the game (Laurel said so! – not really, but I know where my bread is buttered!)  Why not?  Because my team isn’t even in the finals.

My team is the (drum roll please….) Los Angeles Lakers.  I have been a Laker fan ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and we lived in the southern California area.  Those were the days of Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Darrell Imhoff (later on Wilt Chamberlain, etc.) and I fell in love with basketball in that era.  It’s been a love affair that has lasted lo these many years.

I’m not one of those people who changes allegiance to a team just because either they, or I, have moved.  How can you call yourself a fan of a team if you change loyalties that easily?  Balderdash!  Poppy-cock!!!  Horse feathers!!!!!  Boloney!!!!!!!  People who do that were never really fans of a team in my ever-so-humble opinion.

So, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China or of soy bean futures in Chicago?  Not much, except it serves as a lead in to my picture for today!  (See how cleverly I did that?!?!?)

Lakers colors are purple and gold.  At the Renaissance Fair a week ago last Saturday, there was a small pool and fountain inside the main entrance, and in the water were two large, floating glass globes: one purple and one gold.  I, of course, had to take a picture.  if you look closely at the purple globe, you can see the reflection of the frog that is spitting water into the pond.  (I just wanted to clarify that what you see there isn’t my reflection…I am definitely NOT a frog, though I may be a toad.) If you want to check it more closely, click twice on the picture for the blown-up version.

Now, in the spirit of resignation and with the words on my lips: “Wait ’til next year!”, here’s the picture:

Go Lakers!!! (Oops…they already left the building!!!)

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1923, Harry Houdini amazed the audience by his escape while in a straight jacket hanging 40 feet above the pavement, suspended by a crane (no, not the kind that flies!)

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in the French court, women survived mostly on a diet of soup because they believed that excess chewing could result in wrinkles and premature aging.  (So much for Cindy Crawford’s anti-aging creams!!!!  Just go “eat soup”!  Don’t let them “eat cake”!

Changing of the Guard

A beautiful spring day in Georgia today!  It as a bit cool this morning, but the wind died down and it was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.  We went in for a free(!) heart scan using some kind of high-tech thingie (I heard it advertised on the radio “a complimentary heart scan” if you sat and listened to a spiel for a while first and given my family history, I figured it would be worth it!), and afterwards we were anxious to explore a bit.  We went to Marietta (more on that another day!), and then came back to Norcross and did some grocery shopping.

I’d notice on numerous occasions an office building about 1/2 mile from us that had a highly reflective outer “skin”.  At different times the color it reflects changes as the angle of the sun moves, the clouds come and go, etc., but there are now trees starting to blossom all over the area, and I had always thought it would be worth shooting for fun.  Since I had my camera with me (duh!), I told Laurel that we’d stop there on our way back from grocery shopping so I could take a few exposures.  Today’s photo is one of them. To me, it speaks of the changing of the guard as the winter is nearly all over and the springtime has come.  A sign of the times…and then, time changes tonight, too!  That’s a sure give-away!

Look at the reflections of the tree trunks, the flowers on the branches, etc.  I kinda liked it.

A changing of the guard as winter gives way to spring...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the government and charged with sedition.  He was found guilty and sentenced to 6 years in prison.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the Hope diamond was acquiared by King Louis XIV in 1668.  It was worn 120 years later by Marie Antoinette and now resides in the Smithsonian.  The beautiful natural blue diamond weighs 44.5 carats.  You won’t find something like that in your box of Cracker Jacks.

The Glory of Color

I am a fan of color.  I know that many of the greatest photos ever taken were done in black and white.  Ansel Adams was a master at the darkroom work which brought out the best in the black and white image.  I’ve often wondered what his pictures would have looked like in color.  I love colors – blending and twisting into one another in a glorious, swirling dance to tantalize and delight the eye.  I’m so grateful God created colors…and gave us eyes to see it!  (I hear that dogs and cats really can’t see color – and that makes me sad!)

I not only love color, but I loved stained glass windows.  Today, we attended church with our son and his wife.  They attend a large church here in the Atlanta area, and we’ve visited with them before and I’ve always been blessed.  Today, rather than going to the large auditorium (which probably seats several thousand people), we intended on going to the Chapel…a much smaller, but beautiful place, where the music is a bit different.  We’ve not attended at the chapel before…and we still haven’t, as today they weren’t having a 9:00 service in the chapel…only in the main auditorium.

Still, I’d been in the chapel before and thought it was beautiful.  I had to go back to the church building later this afternoon for a meeting and I took my camera with me, thinking I might be shooting some pictures of people.  I didn’t.  But, I did sneak into the Chapel after my meeting and took a few shots of some of the stained glass windows.  There is just something that captivates me with the light passing through the translucent, colored glass.

I liked this picture because of the variation in the colors…including the reflection on the flooring of the stage.  I hope you enjoy it, too.

The glory of light and color...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1865, slavery was officially abolished in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Coco Chanel introduced her first perfume in 1921.  She called it Chanel No. 5, skipping past 1-4, supposedly because 5 was her lucky number.  She introduced it on the 5th day of the 5th month (May).  She may have been on to something, because it went on to become the best selling perfume in the world.

Who Is That In There?

I like to fool around with all sorts of photography.  One of the thing that I enjoy is macro photography – shooting small things at a magnified size so more detail can be seen.  I experimented with eyes – taking pictures of eyes from regular distances and also from extreme close ups.  The difference in eyes is amazing!  And the detail in the iris and white of the eyes is also not just amazing, but sometimes spellbinding!  When I find someone that I think has very unusual or attractive eyes, I will ask permission to photograph their eyes.  So far, so good.  I even did it with my little granddaughter when she was just 5 months old (now THAT was a challenge because how do you get a 5-month old to sit still long enough that you can take a picture of their open eye?!?!?!)

Anyway, today’s picture is of one such “eye”…not my granddaughter’s, but the daughter of a friend – and the dad and daughter both gave permission to shoot her eyes.  I’m glad they did, because I got some nice shots out of it.

One of the things that I liked about today’s picture is the if you make it large enough, you can see both my reflection and the lens opening on my camera reflected in the pupil of this young lady’s eye.  I was wearing a white t-shirt and the camera lens opening appears as a black circle neary in the center of the pupil.  You may need to click on the picture a couple of times to “explode” it up so it’s large enough for you to see what I’m talking about…in the full-sized picture it’s quite evident.  So, what we have here is a picture of me taking a picture of someone’s eye!  F-R-E-A-K-Y!!!!

Eye See You, er, I Mean, Me!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1786, commercial ice cream was manufactured for the first time in New York City.  (I wonder if it was maple nut – the world’s BEST flavor!!!!!)

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in China, giving of straw sandals as a gift is view as a severe no-no because they are associated with funerals.  


One of the things that intrigues me is rather abstract, but let me see if I can explain it.  We are all very keenly aware of our own thoughts and our own situation: we hopefully know where we are, why we are there, what we are doing, where we are headed.  We all operate in our own realm of consciousness – and we can’t get out of it.  In particular, we can’t get into the consciousness of others.  Each day as I go about my business in my consciousness, my family members are going about the reality of their life in their own consciousness.  I can’t see or know what they are feeling.  I can try to picture what they are doing, but at best, it’s only a guess.

I sometimes think about inanimate objects in the same way.  For example, when I walk through a redwood forest that is 1000-1500 years old, I look at the incredibly huge and ancient trees and try to picture what they have witnessed – all they have seen – over the years.  But, of course, trees don’t have eyes nor can they see.  But I still ponder it: I will look at a particularly large tree and think about how that tree must have seen native American Indians walking through that forest, of the fires that swept the area but which the tree managed to survive.  Of the cold, the heat, the animals that found rest under its sheltering canopy.

Today’s post is titled “Sentinel” because it is a shot of a tree standing in water – a different tree than I showed a couple of days ago, and I can’t help but wonder what all this tree has witnessed…what kind of stories it might be able to tell if it had a tongue and lips and could form words.  In Yosemite, I think the same things about El Capitan or Half Dome.  It is pointless, I know, to ponder such imponderables, but I find delight in trying to imagine such things.

I hope you enjoy “Sentinel!”


The Sentinel


ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1898, the American battleship “Maine” was blown up while at anchor in Havana harbor at 9:40 p.m.  The ship sank quickly and 260 members of the crew were lost.   “Remember the Maine!” became the war cry and a formal declaration of war against Spain was issued on April 25.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: after her successful role in The Miracle Worker, Patti Duke became the first American teenager to be given her own television show, The Patti Duke Show, that ran from 1963 through 1966.


Season of Light

One of the things I enjoy most about Christmas is all the bright and beautiful lights.  I love colors…but I also find the clear white lights that dangle like icicles beautiful as well.  It doesn’t matter if they are flashing or on all the time, I love looking at Christmas lights!

Yesterday we flew to the home of our youngest son in the Atlanta area and when we got to their house, it was dark outside and some lights were on the tree.  There were two green candles sitting on a table between me and the tree and the clear glass of the candlesticks caught some of the reflecting light from the tree and icicles hanging outside the window.  I thought it presented an interesting photographic challenge to shoot such a scene in a darkened room with no flash, so I went for it!  Today’s picture is the result.

Tonight, after dark, I’m going to walk down the street where my son lives and will take some pictures of some spectacular lights!  Just down the street is a house voted “Best Lights” and I’ll for sure do my best to capture that one.  There was another that caught my eye as we were driving in last night that had plain white lights, but it looked very beautiful, though it was simple.  I’m going to try to get a good picture of it, too.

Christmas is sometimes called the “season of lights” and I’m sure that’s true for many reasons – the lights on the trees, houses and businesses; the aurora borealis in the great north; and lest we forget, it is also the season when the Light came into the world (John chapter 1).

I hope you enjoy the lights and the pictures of lights that I’ll probably share the next few days!

The Season of LIghts, #1

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1986, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager became the first people to fly around the globe non-stop in an airplane without refueling.  They flew for a grueling 216 hours!  They eclipsed their previous record of 111 straight hours of flying that was set the previous year.  The name of their aircraft was Voyager.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In 1979, an organization known as SCROOGE was founded in Charlotesville, Virginia.  SCROOGE stands for the Society to Curtail Ridiculous, Outrageous and Ostentatious Gift Exchanges.  Ba-humbug!