I am so honored that talented photographer and kindred spirit Catherine Goron of La Mémoire Vive invited me to join in this virtual blog tour. Here are my answers to the tour's four provocative questions:
1. What am you working on?
For the past two years, I have challenged myself to complete a Project 365. Each day, I take photos of beautiful or interesting things that inspire me to stop and take a closer look. This challenge has been an awesome opportunity to slow down, to recognize the beauty and inspiration that surrounds me each day if I just take the time to see them. Project 365 has taught me to be present, to pay attention, to rejoice in the unexpected moments that did not go unnoticed.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
My photographs are all taken with my iPhone. So often, I imagine how lovely my photos could be if taken with a proper camera. I could stealthily zoom in on the lovely creatures that visit my garden. I could take photos in low light, focus on the tiniest details, and achieve a lovely depth of field. Yet, I quite enjoy the portability of my iPhone, knowing that it is available whenever something catches my eye. I also appreciate the challenge of achieving clear, vibrant, creative images without an optimal lens.
3. Why do you write/create what you do?
Technically, I'm learning about angles, focus, composition, and light. In addition to the visual components, writing challenges me to express my creativity in words that complement my images. I feel inspired, dedicated, and so very blessed by the encouragement of all who have followed my progress. Thank you!
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
Over the past year, I have become keenly aware of opportunities to capture beautiful moments. Some days, there is so much loveliness that it can't possibly be contained in a single photograph. Other days (during the fourth or fifth month of winter in Wisconsin), it can become almost frustrating to find something that it beautiful or inspiring. But the challenge is exhilarating and rewarding. I love water, flowers, clouds, sunsets, wine, Paris, French culture, and my beautiful home state of Wisconsin; however, I have yet to find a true focus/theme for my blog, other than that each image has inspired me to be present and reflective.
It's my honor to introduce you to some wonderfully creative and inspiring women whose blogs I look forward to reading everyday:
Catherine Goron of The Mémoire Vive
Nichole Robertson of Obvious State
Erin of Like / Want / Need
Carin of Paris in Four Months
May 26, 2014 Photo (146/365): "Memorial Day"
One day is not enough to remember
our brave servicemen and women including my dad,
our brave servicemen and women including my dad,
Thank you today and everyday!
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women
in the service of our country can never be repaid.
They have earned our undying gratitude.
America will never forget their sacrifices.”
– President Harry S. Truman
May 25, 2014 Photo (145/365): "Au jardin"
Take a stroll though my garden and enjoy the May flowers!
Lemon yellow columbine
Sweet little violas
Pale pink primroses
Big blue hostas soaking up the morning dew
Blue butterfly pincushion flowers
Pink swan columbine
Morning dew drops on primroses
Double columbine almost ready to bloom
Tender new leaves on my seamfoam rose bush
The first few lavender leaves
Pink columbine buds
“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.”
~ an Irish blessing
May 23, 2014 Photo (143/365): "Flyover"
"Spring here is at first so wary, and then so spare that even the birds act like strangers, trying out the strange air with a hesitant chirp or two, and then subsiding. But the season intensifies by degrees, Imperceptibly, while the colors deepen out of memory, the flowers bloom and the thick leaves gleam in the sunlight of another city, in a past which has almost faded into heaven. And even though memory always gives back so much more of what was there than the mind initially thought it could hold, where will the separation and the ache between the isolated moments go when summer comes and turns this all into a garden?
Spring here is too subdued: the air is clear with anticipation, but its real strength lies in the quiet tension of isolation and living patiently, without atonement or regret, in the eternity of the plain moments, the nest of care — Until suddenly, all alone, the mind is lifted upward into light and air and the nothingness of the sky...Somewhere up in the sky an airplane drones." [or three!]
~ from “The Late Wisconsin Spring” by John Koethe
NOTE: This is not my clearest, most impressive photo, but it is certainly what captured my attention this evening. When I heard the droning, I grabbed my iPhone and snapped a quick shot.
Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View, California -- yes, at THE Googleplex! It is such a thrill and an honor to be one of the fifty chosen educators. I'm really eager to meet, collaborate, and learn from the other innovative participants. Last year, I passed six exams and successfully submitted my application to become a Google Education Trainer (read about it here). Next, I hope to complete the trifecta by applying to become an Apple Distinguished Educator. In the meantime, I'm headed back to California this summer for two days of awesome learning and sharing! Here are a few links if you're interested in my application, online résumé, and one-minute video (that took 14 hours to create).
May 20, 2014 Photo (140/365): "Butterfly"
Today I visited the incredible butterfly garden at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
I was at the Museum with PHS anatomy classes to see Body Worlds, but they don't allow photography. The over 500 species of butterflies in this tropical atrium are actually much more photogenic anyway.
The electric blue morpho was my favorite.
It was so much fun hear the children squeal with delight (or fright)...
as butterflies alit upon their heads...
and perched on their outstretched fingers!
Children and adults exercised extreme care...
so as not to injure the butterflies' fragile wings.
"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp, but which,
if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
May 18, 2014 Photo (138/365): "Landscaping"
"All gardening is landscape painting." ~ William Kent
We spent the day sprucing up the yard: mowing, weeding, digging around trees, and planting new flowers. I especially love this corkscrew rush -- an unexpected twist among our annual African daisies. Tomorrow, we'll finish off with five yards of mulch. Don't worry, there'll be lots of pictures ;)
May 17, 2014 Photo of the day (137/365):
"Door County in Bloom"
Capture Door County is sponsoring a photo challenge: "As spring arrives in Door County, millions of blossoms dot the local landscape while businesses, boats and wildlife show signs of new beginnings as they prepare for the upcoming season. What does Door County in bloom mean to you? Upload your best photos, then rate photos to help choose the winner. Share the challenge with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or via email to help pick the best photos in this challenge!" Here are my submissions (all taken with my iPhone). Visit the website to see so many gorgeous images and to vote for your favorites.
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