Tag Archives: reflections

The Magic of Reflections

_MG_1447

I like reflections. I really love some reflections. There is something magical about reflections. Some reflections, whether in still water or in mirrors or from glass windows, can be crystal clear and they create “mirror images” that are interesting. But the reflections that I find the most interesting are the ones from water where there isn’t total stillness, but some motion in the water. The reflections are therefore distorted and take on a life of their own, challenging the viewer to try to figure out precisely what they are looking it. It is almost like a mirage – and you must decide whether what you are seeing is real or not, and you must wrestle with the visual image to grasp what is really there.

Today’s photo is another that I took at the sunset a couple weeks ago, just a reflection from the sky – no sky itself, just the ripple-y surface of the small lake.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1884, one of the key players in the violent Lincoln County War of 1878-81, cattleman John Chisum, died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Born in Tennessee in 1824, Chisum moved with his family to Paris, Texas, when he was eleven years old. For several years he worked as construction contractor, but in 1854, he decided to go into the cattle ranching business. By 1875, Chisum was running over 80,000 head of cattle near the Pecos River in Lincoln County, New Mexico. Inevitably, such a large herd ranging over a vast and isolated area attracted the interests of rustlers, and Chisum claimed to have lost nearly 10,000 head to thieves. Fed-up, Chisum joined forces with two other New Mexico cattle kings to do battle with the small cattlemen and merchants they believed were behind the thefts. In particular, the big ranchers targeted two Irishmen who owned a large general store, called the House, in the town of Lincoln. Besides giving aid to the rustlers and small ranchers that Chisum despised, the House also managed to gain control over most of the government contracts for supplying beef to Army posts and Indian Reservations, undercutting the ability of the big ranchers to sell their cattle directly to these buyers at high profits.

When a deputy sheriff under the control of the House murdered one of Chisum’s allies in 1878, the Lincoln County War erupted. The battle was about more than that murder, though—it was a struggle for economic and political control of the region. Chisum and the big ranchers turned their cowboys into gunslingers—including a friendly young man named William Bonney, better know as Billy the Kid.

Billy the Kid became one of the ranchers’ most loyal and fierce allies, playing a role in the murder of many of the supporters of the House. When the House eventually emerged from the war victorious, Bonney turned to Chisum for help, demanding $500 in wages for his murderous work. When Chisum refused, Billy turned against the rancher and took payment by stealing Chisum’s cattle and horses. Suddenly abandoned by Chisum and the other powerful interests that protected him from the reach of the law, Billy the Kid’s days were numbered. His one-time friend, Pat Garrett, murdered him in 1881.

Devastated by the Lincoln County War and the continuing losses of his cattle to rustlers and Indians, Chisum lost much of his wealth and power. Nonetheless, when he died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, three years after the Lincoln County War ended in 1881, he left an estate that was still worth half a million dollars, a striking indication of the massive wealth he had accumulated.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The Sahara Desert at one time was lush grassland and savannah. Overgrazing and/or climate change in 8000 B.C. began to change the area from pastoral land to desert. Now it is the world’s largest hot desert at over 3,630,000 square miles—roughly the size of the United States. Antarctica is considered the largest desert (of any type) in the world.

A Glorious End

_MG_1440

Some days great things happen, and on other days, not-so-great of things happen. But when you have a GOOD day that has a GLORIOUS ending, it’s like icing on the cake. (And who likes cake without icing?  It’s not nearly as good!)

So, I shot today’s photo the same day as the photo from yesterday, but this one was shot earlier than yesterdays’, and I included the reflection of the sky in the lake in this one. It was one of those kind of scenes that just makes you feel warm and excited inside – leaving you wondering if you’ll ever see another sunset like it. Fortunately, we have numerous evenings here like this, so I’m not too worried about it.

I hope you enjoy this and that it helps bring you a bit of peace during this hectic season.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1986, Richard Kuklinski, a suspect in several murders, was arrested by undercover agents at a truck stop off the New Jersey Turnpike, marking the culmination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms’ “Operation Iceman.” Kuklinski had sealed his fate when he showed operative Dominick Polifrone how to poison a person with cyanide.

The first murder authorities were able to link Kuklinski to was that of George Mallibrand, whom he shot over a debt in 1980. He then stuffed Mallibrand’s body into a 55-gallon drum in Jersey City. In July 1981, Kuklinski’s partner, Louis Masgay, mysteriously disappeared on the eve of an illegal business transaction, but there was no evidence linking Kuklinski to the incident. When his body turned up in September 1983, authorities determined that Masgay had been shot in the head and kept frozen since the day of the disappearance; his body was then dumped two years later.

In 1982, Kuklinski joined Dan Deppner and Gary Smith in a scam to steal cars. But because he apparently believed Deppner and Smith to be inept crooks, Kuklinski decided to kill them in order to protect himself. In a northern New Jersey hotel, Kuklinski poisoned Smith’s hamburger and then stuffed the dead body under the bed. Despite the fact that other guests had rented the room in the meantime, Smith was not discovered for four days.

In May 1983, a plastic bag containing Dan Deppner’s body was discovered near a tree in northern New Jersey. Because he was believed to have died from cyanide poisoning, police were convinced that Kuklinski was behind the series of murders, and they decided to institute a sting operation. Kuklinski was later taped discussing cyanide’s efficacy as a murder weapon, saying “It’s quiet, it’s not messy, it’s not noisy… You can spray it in someone’s face and they go to sleep.”

At his trial in 1987, Kuklinski argued that Smith and Deppner had not been killed with poison. Indeed, it is difficult to prove murder by cyanide since the poison leaves few traces behind. Nonetheless, the prosecution managed to prove Kuklinski’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He later confessed to killing Louis Masgay.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The most decorated unit ever in U.S. history is the 442nd regimental Combat Team, whose motto was “Go for Broke.” It consisted of Japanese-American volunteers. Together they won 4,667 major medals, awards, and citations, including 560 Silver Stars (28 of which had oak-leaf clusters), 4,000 Bronze Stars, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, and one Medal of Honor, plus 54 other decorations. It also held the distinction of never having a case of desertion.

Vermont Pond

Double click for a larger version of the image
Double click for a larger version of the image

It had been quite a while since I’d been to Vermont – probably around 12 years or so, I think. It is easy to forget how beautiful a place is when you’ve not seen it for a while.

And so it was last week when we were fortunate enough to be there for the better part of four days. I anticipated some photo opportunities so I’d taken my camera, of course!  The very first morning that we were there, I showered and went outside with my Canon 7D in search of “prey” to shoot!  It only took a short walk of perhaps 300 feet until I came to this pond with a very small island in the middle.  The morning was still (as you can tell from the water) and the sun hadn’t managed to walk its way to the top of the surrounding Vermont hills.  I was smitten.  Everything was so still and quiet, peaceful.  Just the way Vermont should be.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1934, a group of federal prisoners classified as “most dangerous” arrived at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay. The convicts–the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary–joined a few dozen military prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.

Alcatraz was an uninhabited seabird haven when it was explored by Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775. He named it Isla de los Alcatraces, or “Island of the Pelicans.” Fortified by the Spanish, Alcatraz was sold to the United States in 1849. In 1854, it had the distinction of housing the first lighthouse on the coast of California. Beginning in 1859, a U.S. Army detachment was garrisoned there, and from 1868 Alcatraz was used to house military criminals. In addition to recalcitrant U.S. soldiers, prisoners included rebellious Indian scouts, American soldiers fighting in the Philippines who had deserted to the Filipino cause, and Chinese civilians who resisted the U.S. Army during the Boxer Rebellion. In 1907, Alcatraz was designated the Pacific Branch of the United States Military Prison.

In 1934, Alcatraz was fortified into a high-security federal penitentiary designed to hold the most dangerous prisoners in the U.S. penal system, especially those with a penchant for escape attempts. The first shipment of civilian prisoners arrived on August 11, 1934. Later that month, more shiploads arrived, featuring, among other convicts, infamous mobster Al Capone. In September, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, another luminary of organized crime, landed on Alcatraz.

In the 1940s, a famous Alcatraz prisoner was Richard Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz.” A convicted murderer, Stroud wrote an important study on birds while being held in solitary confinement in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Regarded as extremely dangerous because of his 1916 murder of a guard at Leavenworth, he was transferred to Alcatraz in 1942. Stroud was not allowed to continue his avian research at Alcatraz.

Although some three dozen attempted escape, no prisoner is known to have successfully escaped “The Rock.” However, the bodies of several escapees believed drowned in the treacherous waters of San Francisco Bay were never found. The story of the 1962 escape of three of these men, Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin, inspired the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz. Another prisoner, John Giles, caught a boat ride to the shore in 1945 dressed in an army uniform he had stolen piece by piece, but he was questioned by a suspicious officer after disembarking and sent back to Alcatraz. Only one man, John Paul Scott, was recorded to have reached the mainland by swimming, but he came ashore exhausted and hypothermic at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Police found him lying unconscious and in a state of shock.

In 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy ordered Alcatraz closed, citing the high expense of its maintenance. In its 29-year run, Alcatraz housed more than 1,500 convicts. In March 1964 a group of Sioux Indians briefly occupied the island, citing an 1868 treaty with the Sioux allowing Indians to claim any “unoccupied government land.” In November 1969, a group of nearly 100 Indian students and activists began a more prolonged occupation of the island, remaining there until they were forced off by federal marshals in June 1971.

In 1972, Alcatraz was opened to the public as part of the newly created Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is maintained by the National Park Service. More than one million tourists visit Alcatraz Island and the former prison annually.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Protein is in each of the trillions of cells in the human body. There could be no life without protein. The only other substance more plentiful in the body is water. Approximately 18-20% of the body is protein by weight.

Shattered Glass Reflections

_MG_0112

I like reflections.  They are interesting to shoot – and they can be rather challenging.  If you are shooting into water to see the reflection, it helps if there is no breeze!  And, the lighting has to be about perfect, too, or it will seem either too dark or too light.

Fortunately, if you are shooting reflections in windows, they aren’t quite as touchy!  And when the glass you are using to capture the reflection is shattered, it makes for interesting intersections of cracks in the glass and the reflected images, as is the case in today’s photo.

In a way, the cracks in the glass almost appear as star bursts from fireworks….and the branches of the tree could be imagined that way, too, with just a bit of work.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1513,

Near present-day St. Augustine, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon comes ashore on the Florida coast, and claims the territory for the Spanish crown.

Although other European navigators may have sighted the Florida peninsula before, Ponce de Leon is credited with the first recorded landing and the first detailed exploration of the Florida coast. The Spanish explorer was searching for the “Fountain of Youth,” a fabled water source that was said to bring eternal youth. Ponce de Leon named the peninsula he believed to be an island “La Florida” because his discovery came during the time of the Easter feast, or Pascua Florida.

In 1521, he returned to Florida in an effort to establish a Spanish colony on the island. However, hostile Native Americans attacked his expedition soon after landing, and the party retreated to Cuba, where Ponce de Leon died from a mortal wound suffered during the battle. Successful Spanish colonization of the peninsula finally began at St. Augustine in 1565, and in 1819 the territory passed into U.S. control under the terms of the Florida Purchase Treaty between Spain and the United States.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Some Mexican free-tailed bats can fly up to 250 miles in a single night. They can fly up to 10,000 feet high and reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour .

Echoes

_MG_9193

Have you ever thought about echoes and reflections? Echoes are reflection of sound from off a solid object, like the side of a building or a mountain cliff.  Every child delights in echoes and tries fervently to produce them whenever they can.

Reflections are very similar, except rather than being sound waves bouncing off objects, they are light waves bouncing off a surface that is reflective.  As I was thinking about this, I thought that perhaps it would be fair to say that echoes and reflections are the same thing, or at least not that very different.

When I shot today’s picture of a swing on the far side of the lake, I liked it because of the reflection in the water and intrigued by the early morning lighting that made part of the tree very dark and the upper part brighter.  I like reflections. But then, as I kid, I liked echoes, too!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1991, after six weeks of intensive bombing against Iraq and its armed forces, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a ground invasion of Kuwait and Iraq.

On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, its tiny oil-rich neighbor, and within hours had occupied most strategic positions in the country. One week later, Operation Shield, the American defense of Saudi Arabia, began as U.S. forces massed in the Persian Gulf. Three months later, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq if it failed to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991.

At 4:30 p.m. EST on January 16, 1991, Operation Desert Storm, a massive U.S.-led offensive against Iraq, began as the first fighter aircraft were launched from Saudi Arabia and off U.S. and British aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. All evening, aircraft from the U.S.-led military coalition pounded targets in and around Baghdad as the world watched the events transpire in television footage transmitted live via satellite from Baghdad and elsewhere.

Operation Desert Storm was conducted by an international coalition under the command of U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf and featured forces from 32 nations, including Britain, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. During the next six weeks, the allied force engaged in a massive air war against Iraq’s military and civil infrastructure, encountering little effective resistance from the Iraqi air force. Iraqi ground forces were also helpless during this stage of the war, and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s only significant retaliatory measure was the launching of SCUD missile attacks against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saddam hoped that the missile attacks would provoke Israel, and thus other Arab nations, to enter the conflict; however, at the request of the US, Israel remained out of the war.

On February 24, a massive coalition ground offensive began, and Iraq’s outdated and poorly supplied armed forces were rapidly overwhelmed. By the end of the day, the Iraqi army had effectively folded, 10,000 of its troops were held as prisoners, and a U.S. air base had been established deep inside Iraq. After less than four days, Kuwait was liberated, and a majority of Iraq’s armed forces had either been destroyed or had surrendered or retreated to Iraq. On February 28, U.S. President George Bush declared a cease-fire, and Iraq pledged to honor future coalition and U.N. peace terms. One hundred and twenty-five American soldiers were killed in the Persian Gulf War, with another 21 regarded as missing in action.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  In Kansas, when two trains meet at a crossing, “both shall come to full stop and neither shall start up again until the other has gone.”  (Galen: What can I say about this?  It’s KANSAS!)

At Water’s Edge

Behind the hills of Livermore, CA is a man-made lake, Lake Del Valle.  I suppose it was created for irrigation purposes and perhaps to provide water to the city of Livermore and environs.  It is not a wide lake, but it is long.  Due to the rather dry years in California lately, the water level is down, but at this time of the year it is nearly always low.

Around Thanksgiving, I was at the lake with my friend, Ken (who I posted about previously) and as we tried (in vain!) to find a place where the fish were biting, we hiked along the western shore of the lake for some distance, trying different spots that we thought might be home to “the big one”.  Well, it seems that the big one had done to some relatives house for Thanksgiving and wasn’t back yet, but it wasn’t a wasted day.  It was a good day because I spent it with my friend, and also because I had taken my small Olympus point-and-shoot digital camera in case there was something worth shooting (I didn’t want to haul my Canon 7D around with all the fishing gear and I could put the Olympus in my pocket).

At one point in our sojourn, we came across a place where branches of a tree were sticking up above the water.  I don’t know how long the tree had been down, but it had obviously been down for quite some time, and with the low water levels it made for an interesting shot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1964, the first Medal of Honor awarded to a U.S. serviceman for action in Vietnam was presented to Capt. Roger Donlon of Saugerties, New York, for his heroic action earlier in the year.

Captain Donlon and his Special Forces team were manning Camp Nam Dong, a mountain outpost near the borders of Laos and North Vietnam. Just before two o’clock in the morning on July 6, 1964, hordes of Viet Cong attacked the camp. He was shot in the stomach, but Donlon stuffed a handkerchief into the wound, cinched up his belt, and kept fighting. He was wounded three more times, but he continued fighting–manning a mortar, throwing grenades at the enemy, and refusing medical attention.

The battle ended in early morning; 154 Viet Cong were killed during the battle. Two Americans died and seven were wounded. Over 50 South Vietnamese soldiers and Nung mercenaries were also killed during the action. Once the battle was over, Donlon allowed himself to be evacuated to a hospital in Saigon. He spent over a month there before rejoining the surviving members of his Special Forces team; they completed their six-month tour in Vietnam in November and flew home together. In a White House ceremony, with Donlon’s nine surviving team members watching, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented him with the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty.” Donlon, justifiably proud of his team, told the president, “The medal belongs to them, too.”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Television’s Mr. Ed was played by a horse named Bamboo Harvester. The voice was supplied by Allan Lane.

 

Waxing Nostalgic

My, my, my.  I don’t know what has prompted my recent musings, but I have been getting very nostalgic lately.  Numerous things have triggered long, lingering fond memories as I look backward at my life.

I was listening to a Fernando Ortega song, Dragonfly, the perhaps started the nostalgia ball rolling.  It is a song, as you may have guessed, about a dragonfly, and there’s a line that goes like this: “…between the skaters and fishing line…”, about how the dragonfly darts between the water bug skaters and the fishing lines that are in the water.  That brought to my mind a summer’s evening long, long ago when I was perhaps six or seven years old  My dad had finished his farm work for the day and he took me out to the Raccoon River not far from our farm and we baited our hooks with worms that we’d dug up on the farm and threw our lines in the water.  Our fishing poles were made of thin, flexible metal of some kind, and my father and I sat on the bank, side by side, waiting for a fish to bite.  Water bug skaters slide across the water in the protected areas and dragonflies were darting all over.  The sounds of turtle doves cooing filled the air as the sun began to sink in the west and the light turned beautiful and golden.  I don’t remember what, if anything, we talked about, but I remember sitting there with my dad that day as if it were this afternoon.  How I wish I could go fishing with my father again!  Years later, when we lived in Antioch, CA, he got a boat and we’d go out fishing on the delta throughout my high school years.  Later still, after I had my own family, I got a boat and would take my dad out fishing.  Oh, how I cherish those moments…and the moments when I would take my kids out fishing with me.

Van Morrison’s song, Brown Eyed Girl, prompted another memory when it came on the radio.  During the school year of 1966-1967 I was preparing for my freshman year in high school.  I was desperately, madly in love with a brown-eyed girl named Mari (short for Marilyn), and I’d been head-over heels about her for a while.  I last saw her about 2-3 years ago and she still has that same twinkle in her eye and smile that I so fondly remember.  I can vividly recall the butterflies of young love…for truly, I was as madly in love with her as a 15 year old boy could be.

Last night, I performed a wedding ceremony for a young lady who I have known since she was about four years old.  I couldn’t help but think back over those years and reflect about my own wedding.  When I asked the groom before the ceremony if he was nervous (I could tell he was!), he bravely admitted it and wondered if it was normal.  I assured him that it was.  I recall those butterflies….and it is good to know that the butterflies are still flying.

Then, today was a car show in Livermore and since my wife had been sick for the better part of a week, she was desperate to get out a bit without risking close contact where she might make someone else sick.  So, we piled into the car and drove over the hill to the car show.  There we saw a yellow ’67 Camaro, much like the one we had when my wife and I were going to school in Florida.  It is the subject of today’s photo, but ours had a black vinyl top with a black racing stripe down the side.  It had a 327 engine and it would flat out get up and go.  We loved that car, and seeing several ’67’s at the show brought it back as if it were just yesterday.

How can so many years have passed and I still recall the sights, smells, sounds, textures, tastes and emotions that happened 40-45 years ago as if they are happening to me all over again?  Perhaps it’s because human emotions never change.  We remember the moments that have defined our lives, and as far as my life is concerned, they are almost all good memories.  For that I am thankful.

Treasure your life’s moments.  Old ones, and new ones…for one day, they will be the moments and memories that you will cherish as long as you live!

_MG_6560ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1547, Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, was born near Madrid.

Cervantes led an adventurous life and achieved much popular success, but he nevertheless struggled financially throughout his life. Little is know about his childhood, except that he was a favorite student of Madrid humanist Juan Lopez, and that his father was an apothecary.

In 1569, Cervantes was living in Rome and working for a future cardinal. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the Spanish fleet to fight against the Turks. At the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, he took three bullets and suffered permanent damage to his left hand. Later, he was stationed at Palermo and Naples. On the way home to Madrid in 1575, he and his brother Roderigo were captured by Barbary pirates and held captive in Algiers. Cervantes was ransomed after five years of captivity and returned to Madrid, where he began writing. Although his records indicate he wrote 20 to 30 plays, only two survive. In 1585, he published a romance. During this time, he married a woman 18 years younger than he was and had an illegitimate daughter, whom he raised in his household. He worked as a tax collector and as a requisitioner of supplies for the navy, but was jailed for irregularities in his accounting. Some historians believe he formulated the idea for Don Quixote while in jail.

In 1604, he received the license to publish Don Quixote. Although the book began as a satire of chivalric epics, it was far more complex than a simple satire. The book blended traditional genres to create a sad portrait of a penniless man striving to live by the ideals of the past. The book was a huge success and brought Cervantes literary respect and position, but did not generate much money. He wrote dramas and short stories until a phony sequel, penned by another writer, prompted him to write Don Quixote, Part II in 1615. He died the following year.  Some consider Don Quixote to be the greatest novel ever written.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The smallest of American owls, the elf owl, often nests in the Gila woodpecker’s cactus hole after the woodpecker leaves. The owl measures barely 6 inches tall. It specializes in catching scorpions, seizing each by the tail and nipping off its stinger. It then swallows the scorpion’s body, pincers and all.

 

Only the Shadow Knows…

I enjoy shooting pictures that have watery reflections (or glass reflections) in them.  Of course, it tends to require a fairly still day for good water reflections, and that’s one of the problems with those type of photos.  Often, if there are water puddles around, for instance, it’s because it’s stormy.  Lakes or ponds offer better chances for a good reflection photo.  Reflections in glass windows obviously don’t suffer from that type of problem.

A few days ago I stepped out of the fifth wheel and saw something that interested me.  Just about 15 feet outside of the doorway is a palm tree.  It has a curved cinder-block planting edger (you know, the masonry type with scalloped top) around it.  Inside of that is a solar light is stuck in the ground, and a metal sign that speaks about our love for dogs.

A few years ago, we bought two metal “stick-’em-in-the-ground” type of said signs.  One had the cutout image of a boxer (for our great love of boxers) and one is about yellow labs (the breed of dog that my wife always wanted – and which we got about 3 years ago).  As it turns out, the sun was up in the east and the metal sign about the yellow lab was stuck in the planter area east of the palm tree.  The result was that the words and images from the metal sign was displayed on the base of the palm tree as light and shadow.  I thought it was interesting, so yesterday I finally got around to taking a picture of it.  Just like reflections in a glass window, shadows aren’t subject to wind…but you do need enough sunlight to make it work!

So, to answer the question of “How does Laurel feel about her yellow lab, Lucy?”, here’s the answer:

ShadowsON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1836, Mexican forces under General Santa Ana seized the  mission fort known as the Alamo, commissioned by Davy Crockett and 154 Texans.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Which beverage was named for the Queen of England in the 16th century notorious for her persecution of Protestants?  Why, the Bloody Mary, of course!

Kennebunkport Sunset

Ah, yes, my view from my cottage on the coast at Kennebunkport is gorgeous.  My next door neighbors are the Bush’s.  What?  You didn’t know that about me?  You don’t believe me?  Why?  Today I’m showing you a picture that I took in Kennebunkport of a sunset.  If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will, I guess.

Oh, OK…I’m not a Kennebunkport resident.  I was just there in 2001 when we were vacationing up in New England.  I happened to see this sunset reflecting off the water and thought it was worth a shot.  I like sunsets, and I like to take pictures of reflections.  Maybe I’ll have to start a “folder” of favorites on Facebook of “reflection” pictures.  We’ll see.  You can get some really cool pictures that way after a rainstorm!

Sunset in Kennebunkport, Maine

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1878, a Turkish steamer became the first ship to be sunk by a torpedo.  It was fired from a Russian ship.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: male western fence lizards do push-ups on fences and branches as a display of courting prowess, hoping to impress the lady fence lizards.  Strange, isn’t it – not that different from young adolescent human males!!!

Reflections

There are some brilliant reflections that people have had.  For example, Solomon had lots of wise reflections that are recorded in the ancient book of Proverbs.  To wit, “The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy”, or “It is better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind.”  Lots of things to ponder in that wise man’s book!

When I am looking pensive and someone asks me what it is that I’m thinking about, I share some of my own wisdom, such as this jewel: “I think it takes a big dog to weigh a ton.”  Another one of my favorites when our kids were still living at home dealt with the subject of fairness.  When one of them felt I wasn’t acting fairly, I usually would say, “Life isn’t fair,  get over it!”

There are other kinds of reflections as well as mental/verbal ones, and today I am sharing a photo of a reflection with you.  I’ve been so desperate to find a few minutes to cram in some shooting that I was going crazy (it is my great escape from life’s pressures!).  I shot this picture just this morning in the plaza in Cloverdale where the Cloverdale Arts Alliance was sponsoring and antiques and art fair with little booths offering to sell you things (just imagine that – what a shocker!)

As my bride was looking at stuff in one particular tent/booth, I noticed a mirror sitting on the ground leaning against the tent support pole.  I happened to maneuver myself to where my reflection and Laurel’s reflections were in the mirror.  Yes, I shot my wife.  But I also shot myself.  But, I didn’t not shoot the deputy!

How I shot my wife and myself, but not the deputy...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1980, Ladies Home Journal startled their readers by putting a photo of Robert Redford on their front cover.  It broke a 97 year policy of never having a male figure appear alone on the cover.  Now, if the tables were turned, wouldn’t someone have been screaming discrimination?  And let’s face it ladies, he was only on there as eye candy for you gals!!!!

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the moose is the largest member of the deer family in North America.  They can attain a height of 7 feet at the withers and a full-grown bull moose can weigh as much as 1800 pounds.  I know when we lived in Maine and I was driving at night, one was very careful because the moose were so tall that if you hit one with your car, all you’d really hit was their legs and it would take their legs right out from under them and the full weight of their massive bodies would come crashing through your windshield.  It was often fatal to both the moose and those in the front seat of the car.