Friday, July 31, 2009


solo post - L, iphone

T gets embarrassed when I take pictures at a restaurant, but with the iphone I can be a little bit more discreet, so I slipped this one in. We had a nice dinner at Cafe Intermezzo last night. They have the most wonderful outdoor patio – you're taken to Vienna when you dine there. Tonight we had turkey and brie crepes with raspberry preserves, Cafe Brio and tiramisu torte. It was breezy and comfortable outside, almost like autumn. There is nothing I enjoy more than to sit outdoors at a coffee shop with friends, my daughter or a good book. My daughter laughs at me because 9 times out of 10 when we're eating someplace like this I'll say, "I love this, I feel like I'm on vacation." Alot of times before I even say it she anticipates my pleasure and says ," I know... you feel like you're on vacation, right?" and we could be in our own backyard - literally. Why is that? I do like my sunshine and fresh air – I savor every moment of it.

secret: I modified my iphone photo, to give it more DoF, in photoshop.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


solo post - L

“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

jumping frogs / jumping color

solo post - L , you really need to click on the image to see it better.
Taylor has been busy painting furniture and packing up for the move this weekend. Sorry she has been absent from the blog lately.
Today I got the sweetest thank you card from my niece. She is always so thoughtful and remembers to write her "thank you's" without even being told by her mother. Sometimes she just draws a picture and sends us a letter just because. I love that – I love getting mail. She is about the only one who I get snail mail from. Such a sweet girl. Her brother is very thoughtful as well. We stayed at my cousins river house after the reunion and the children wanted to draw a big "thank you" (using the 3D chalk I gave them) for her to see when she came home. They were sorry she wouldn't have the 3D glasses to look at with – said the colors really jumped out at you when you had the glasses on. My cousin was delighted when she saw and hoped it never rained and washed it away. Don't you think children's art is the best? I wish I had saved every precious drawing T created? As the years go by, the marks of her innocent mind become even more treasured.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

red head / red headed

solo post - L
A red head wearing red! Isn't that supposed to be a no-no? T bought this dress at a vintage store. It's the only red piece of clothing she's ever owned I think, but when she puts this dress on I think she looks striking. (As her mother, I can say that). This photo was taken on our way from a reception to my cousin's river house in Kentucky. There was a black bull in that field and we thought the contrast would be a cool photo, so I pulled over. T got out of the car and the cow ran away, not casually walked, but ran as if he was scared of that red dress. Funny, I always thought bulls charged red. Not really, they just charge because of the motion of the cape. Red is just used because it's bold and striking, cattle are actually color blind. Anyway, I like this photo. / "An unmistakable bird, the Red-headed Woodpecker is striking at rest and in flight, showing its colors of red, black, and white." I got to see this beautiful bird up close in a very neat structure on the proptery of Shaker Village. Along one of the nature trails there was a bird blind made for easy observation of birds. We entered this building in the middle of the woods that had one way glass on it. Within a little while all types of birds where feeding at the various feeders that were set up. We saw purple finches, blue jays, red-winged black birds, chipmunks, squirrel and this red headed woodpecker. The variety of birds was not that unusual but it was neat to be able to observe them without scaring them off.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

fail / succeed

L - Nikon / T -Nikon

The last 30 min. before leaving the grounds of Shaker Village we discovered what we had been looking for all along – a wonderful field of wildflowers within easy reach and out of the view of others. The family had all left us but we were determined to try for it in the few minutes we had left – we would catch up later. I quickly searched for some sticks, while T changed into her dress – hoping no one would walk up on us – and then there was a dress malfunction. Not as you might imagine. The dress she had wanted transformed into a short bubble dress had been quickly modified with elastic before we left on vacation and as she was putting it on the hem I had created came undone, leaving her hem hanging all lopsided. No matter, that part was hidden in the wildflowers, but the stick "antlers" did not look as we had envisioned so I only snapped a handfull of images and then we left, frustrated that we had not found this location earlier on in the trip. As we drove down the road, trying to catch up with the others, we were upset that we had not done this and had not done that. So many ideas. oh well... another failed attempt but there is always another chance. / These are T's photo, but my words because she is not here and I want to post tonight.
The reunion was extended by an evening with my immediate family (my younger brother; my older brother, his wife and their twins; plus my mom and dad) staying at my cousins river house. T was more than ready to come home but some of us wanted to stay over so she made the best of it. She got excited when we went down to the river and saw a very rustic little cabin – perfect opportunity for another photoshoot attempt. SO she searched for the woods and found a perfect branch that created a full set of "antlers", she had my niece change into her little white dress and my dad had some medical tape that served to attach the antlers to her tiny back. And they went to work. She kept giggling, saying, " this is funny. i'm a deer. " She was such a good sport and I think she had fun with it. T took so many photos that we had to run to the nearest Walmart (15 miles away) to get another memory card. By now the time was running short, the light fading away and we had to stop. Some photos were good, some not so great, but the memories... fantastic. I'd call it a success. But once again as we drove home we thought of so many missed opportunities in that location. Well, it's my cousin's river home, so there are chances to try again right?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

little lamb / young girl

L - Nikon 200mm / T - Nikon Sigma 30mm

It was such a joy to visit the little lambs each morning and in the evening before bed, to hear their little baa-baas, to watch them play and feed and feel their soft wool. They lived right outside our dwelling place – that's what the homes where called there at Shaker Village. The reunion was such a success. We had 29 out of 36 of our family members attending - the children played ball while the senior adults sat in the cool air (temperatures not exceeding 70) and told stories, the young adults like myself (actually I can't really call us that anymore I suppose) went off together, hiking and shooting photos, touring the grounds, etc. . We ate together and talked in the evenings with our cups of coffee and homemade desserts, then walked the steps to our humble sleeping quarters. And on the last day we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways once again - til next year. The last day is always frustrating to me – there is always someone I regret not spending enough time with or things I didn't get to see and do. I realize that I spent too much time taking photos of scenery instead of the people that mean the most. Thankfully my brother took photos of family and sent a slide show of his images soon after I returned home. It really was a nice time. Aren't photos the best – you can once again hear the children's laughter, you can remember his wise words... you can feel the warmth of family. And isn't all that more important than trying to capture a field of haystacks at sunset? / i took over 100 photos of her. i taped tree branch "antlers" to her back and photographed her in an old river cabin. you may have seen the ones i took of her last year in a wildflower field with a bunny mask on - she is a true sport, so willing to please - a great little model.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

city / country

L - Nikon, 200mm / T - Nikon, sigma 30mm

We're back. We traveled straight city highways and winding country roads, seeing more beauty than we could possibly share. The trip had its up and its downs, as most trips do I suppose, but the family reunion was a huge success. We visited a very cool vintage shop in Knoxville, called Nostalgia and a beautiful cemetery in Lexington, but the country proved to be the most pleasurable – no surprise there. Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill is one of the prettiest places you can imagine, so peaceful and relaxing and the weather could not have been better - temperatures were in the 60s most of the time. We had a great turnout for the reunion - lots of great fellowship. After uploading my photos and trying to select the best I have to say I'm too tired to write more. Maybe later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

we'll miss you

We will be out of town for a few days and I'm not sure if we'll be able to post while we're away. We're hitting the road north, and will be traveling to the beautiful country-side of Kentucky for my family reunion. I hope we come back with lots of photos and wonderful memories to share, but until then... we'll miss you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

night vision / light writing

L - Nikon / T - Nikon
I'm so behind on my blogging these days, work has been in the way, but I won't carry on about that. T and her friends built a bonfire out back and roast marshmallows the other night (4th of July) just like they did last year this time. Last year they camped out there too, setting up 2 tents. This year was much more laid back and quiet and I worried less about the neighbors complaining . I wanted so bad to get some photos of the group but as I sneaked around the side of the house to take some I was afraid they would see me and think me a snoop so I quickly snapped a photo and headed back inside. It looked like they were having a nice time. / my best friend's birthday is on the 4th of July. makes for a great party. sparklers and a camera are fun.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


solo post - L
I took a sip of tea tonight and was instantly transported back to an adobe-style B&B in Cortez, CO in the middle of the McElmo Canyon. Isn't it wonderful how a taste or smell can take us back to another place and time? Several summers ago, my best friend and I traveled in New Mexico from Albuquerque up through Chaco Canyon up to the Four Corners across Colorado to Mesa Verde and back down through Taos to Santa Fe. What an amazing trip that was - so many new things to see out there. I can't quite describe the feeling I had the morning this photo was taken It was around 6:30 in the morning that I got up to hike, the air was cool and the sweet grass scent strong. I just felt a peace.
There was a black tea I had there at the B&B called Taste of Summer and I enjoyed it so much. I saved one of the tea bags so that I could remember the name in hopes of finding it at home. The tea, a blend of strawberries, oranges, and marigolds - now that's summer isn't it? I couldn't find the tea in the stores so I searched online. I ordered several boxes. T fell in love with it as well. For weeks after she got home this summer she reminded me, "mom order more of our taste of summer". Just this week my new shipment of tea came in. We're happy. She'll probably take it all back to school with her. I better hide myself a box.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

peach and copper

solo post - L
I bought 3 peaches at Whole Foods the other day with plans of photographing them... before we ate them. Well there's just one left now and here it sits. I have nothing but this lonely peach. The others sure were tasty and sweet.

This peach reminds me of "james and the giant peach". Doesn't it look really large? that bowl is actually very small.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

open wide / watchful eye

solo post - L

This is the second family of bluebirds to build in this house. Today the mother and daddy were very busy feeding the little babies. I watched as the mother came to feed the babies, their mouths opened wide and eager. As soon as she left, the daddy, watching and waiting on a branch nearby, would fly in to feed them more. Isn't it touching how the male and female bluebirds take such an active role in the care of their young?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

traditions - old / new

solo post- L
The table was decorated with red, white and blue and everything looked very festive. I was there when their guests arrived (two couples I've known since I was a little girl) and I smiled when I saw that they all were wearing their patriotic colors – one man even had a t-shirt that said "Proud to be an American". My dad has a red, white and blue striped shirt that he's been wearing on this day for years – I love that he does that. My parents were having a get together at their house and prepared a traditional 4th of July dinner with barbecue pork (cooked on the green egg), potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans and corn on the cob. My dad traditionally bakes an apple pie for the 4th of July and this year was no different. And I have to say it looked delicious. (btw, T was very disappointed that there was none left over for her).
I'm not much of a cook but I love to look at new recipes. I clip them out of magazines, thinking that one of these days I will try them out. In fact, I clipped a recipe just yesterday that I saw in Southern Living. T and I both thought it sounded so good. It wasn't my party but I thought this recipe with watermelon was just what they needed to complete the meal. It was called Watermelon, Mache and Pecan salad and had a pepper jelly vinaigrette with gorgonzola cheese and toasted pecans – sounded like the perfect refreshing summer salad on a day when watermelon is a tradition – and so much less messy too. I prepared it for them and it was every bit as delicious as it sounded. I think it's going to be my new tradition for the 4th of July. Do you have a traditional dish you prepared on this day?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

just a day

solo post - L, iphone

"What a beautiful, sunny morning. It makes you happy to be alive, doesn't it? We can't let the sun outshine us! We have to beam, too!" - Takayuki Ikkaku

I'm loving the weather these last few days – there's been the most pleasant breeze mixed with the heat of the sun. I try to enjoy every moment possible outdoors, even if just a moment with my morning coffee before going inside to work, or for an afternoon break walking outside beside the waterfalls (man-made but still) and flowers.


The photos on the left are taken by me, Leslye, the mother. The photos on the right are taken by my daughter, Taylor – unless otherwise noted. Comments are always welcome. thanks
If you care to visit, I, Leslye, have another blog - AutumnSun where I ramble around different paths and pleasures of my own.