Thursday, June 30, 2011


~ just having some mimosa marco fun ~

I have always liked marco photography and back at the beginning of the month I took the leap and purchased a 60mm, f/2 marco. I love, sleep with it under my pillow, really like it! I wanted a f/2 to allow for the fabulous blurred background. Only problem is when I open up to f/2 and get inches away from my subject, the result is a pinhole size focal point and many photos looking completely out of focus.

The other night, I happened upon the neon pink, soft feather like blooms of a mimosa tree. I switched to the new marco lens and in force of habit opened up to f/2. When I reviewed my photos I was very disappointed, all the shots, while looking quite interesting, were a blurred mess. So last evening after work I went back to the scene of the crime. I closed down to f/9 and like magic I captured the effect I had in my mind.

So this month I Clicked it Up a Notch by closing it down!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Phriend and I are always on the "hunt" for interesting and sometimes challenging photographic subjects. One of our country parks features a butterfly garden and during last years visit I encountered and photographed many of these winged insects. We visited the other day and found only one tiny little one fluttering about. They seem to have been replaced by 100s of dragonflies. We didn't know which one to pick as our daily model, so we chose many.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


 ♥ ahhhh, it's the two headed monster!! ♥

Monday, June 27, 2011


I just love his fuzzy little jacket.

join the Marco Monday fun over @ Lisa's Chaos

Sunday, June 26, 2011


The American Goldfinch is the New Jersey state bird. Funny thing is I don't usually see many of them around. This is only about the third one I have seen this spring and luckly I had my camera in hand.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Poor Murf, he just doesn't understand. When I adopted him from the shelter I had a job which allowed me to bring him to work with me everyday. Each morning after a brisk walk and good breakfast, Murf and I would head out for a day at the office. After 6 years, I left the job and Murf began spending his days at home while I went back to college. We started taking long evening walks which allowed us to spend some time together and Murf to get a breathe of fresh air. Now 5 years later and after his February leg injury he has been confined to the house and yard. His leg just can't endure the workout of a walk. So he spends his retirement laying on the porch and wandering around the yard.  He just doesn't understand.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Admittedly, I am not certain what kind of flower this is. It was growing along the 8 mile roadside path at the Refuge. I really liked it and I thought it looked like pink pearls.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I can remember, as a child, when our family drove down one of the local barrier islands, the tops of the phone poles were lined with Osprey nests. I was impressed by the shear size of these nests. They seem to be 3 or 4 feet across. They were enormous compared to the much smaller size robin’s nests we would find back at home. But with each passing summer the nest numbers grew fewer and fewer, than one summer there were none. The Osprey and their homes were gone.

Years later, during one of my science classes, I hear of Rachel Carson. In 1962, she had written a book about the effect of the pesticide DDT. DDT was very effective and very inexpensive to produce, thus it became the pesticide of choice and was widely used throughout the country. I, also, have memories of running in the fog which spew from the back of the weekly spray trucks.

Carson‘s book, “Silent Spring” brought light to the fact DDT was not only killing insects, it was a contact toxin to animals, and could possibly accumulate in the food chain. Carson claimed it was a carcinogen, possibly poisoning food. It’s effects were building up in birds and causing egg shells to be so thin, they were crushed by the parents nesting them. Eagles, Hawks, Osprey and many other birds were disappearing in large numbers. Thanks to her persistence and her well documented facts which were published in her “Silent Spring”, ten years later, 1972, the government ban the use of this insecticide.

During the last several years, I am elated to see many Osprey nests reappearing. Admittedly, not to the numbers of my childhood but there are many. And recently I have even seen several Bald Eagles.

Each spring/summer morning which I am awaken by the squeaking of fledglings, I thank Rachel and I am happy for the lack of silence.

Osprey ~ mama, papa and hatchling 6/21/11 Cattus Island

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The Black Skimmers arrived in May and on each of my trips to the Refuge, I have had the pleasure of watching them. It is great fun to watch as they drag their longer and larger lower mandible along the top of the water in hopes of catching a seafood dinner. These Skimmers are the only skimmers in American.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


just another day at the beach!!

Monday, June 20, 2011


It's a crabby Marco Monday, a Jersey blue claw to be exact.

Join Marco Monday fun over at Lisa's Chaos

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Someone is always ready to bite your head off!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


When I started The Seeing Eye, Puppy Raising Program I thought the focus and joy would be on the puppies. After meeting Dave and Win I realize it was on the people too. I have known D & W for nearly 20 years. They have helped me through some of life’s most difficult journeys and joined me in celebrating it’s greatest joys. I am honored they call me friend. May God bless them and keep them safe in his arms, as they embark on their new journey. I love you D & W and will miss you.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I have been obsessing over wanting a marco lens for awhile now, probably two years. Just ask anyone I know. After looking around, I narrowed it down to the Tamron 60mm, f/2. Monday evening I have had the opportunity to play around with one and knew it had to be mine. Today I made the purchase and ventured over to my favorite place.

I had a little run in with some barnacles last year and I can tell you it is not a battle any human or living creature is likely to win. They are razor sharp and cut you up like a paper shredder. Here’s a closer look at these little, seemingly harmless, beasts from the sea.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Yesterday, my home town had a dedication of a “Freedom Wall”. The wall will display the names of every township resident who lost their life fighting for our freedom. It is a small act, but one in which, hopefully, every family member of a fallen hero will know the loss has not gone unnoticed. As a town and country we are thankful to have men and women who unselfishly protect us. They will not be forgotten.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Last evening Phriend and I had the opportunity to take a portrait class. It was instructed by a photographer  who has over 200 magazine covers to his credit. We spent time inside while he explained a few important facts to keep in mind while adjusting white balance and advice on preventing shadowing. We headed over to the beach with two barely dressed young ladies, who were professional models. We were shown how to set flash for use in the bright sunlight, how to angle the subject, and practiced the techniques for setting white balance. It was informative, but the best part was the Tamron reprehensive who was there lending out (yes free of charge) any and all lenses for use during the shoot.

I have been pining over their 60mm, f/2, marco for awhile now and could not wait to get my hands on one.  It was a beautiful thing.  I found I was having more fun taking marco shots of all things around me. In fact I wandered off in search of subjects and ended up taking only a few photos of the young ladies.

I am purchasing the lens by the end of the week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Today's highlights; "Phriend" gets a new camera, I start to shot in RAW, and we go to the beach.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011


In celebration of our anniversary, B and I spent the day doing some of our favorite things. Starting our day, we went for a deep tissue massage (ahhhh). Need I say more? After coming back to earth, we went for lunch at a little eatery, that’s special to us, enjoyed a relaxing lunch of soup and salad. Following a 2 hour nap short afternoon siesta, we decided to return to the place of our wedding, sat on the dock where we exchanged our vows and headed to the outside deck for dinner. The heat of day was subsiding, while we watched the boats coming in from a day of fishing, making it a wonderful evening for a walk on the boards capped off with some Kohr’s twisty ice cream, one of the boardwalk‘s best treats.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


"It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes sayin’ you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me if ever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old mr. webster could never define
What’s being said between your heart and mine"
~ Allison Krauss

Happy Anniversary B ♥
thank you for the best years of my life

Friday, June 10, 2011


soon the pier will be full of people and screams, both of fear and delight ~

Thursday, June 9, 2011


A number of years ago my grandmother gave me this violin. Her father, my great grandfather, was a instrument repairman. I can remember seeing violins, guitars, and other strings hanging from the basement ceiling. We are not sure if someone gifted this violin to him or just forgot to pick it up.

When Nana gave it to me, I proudly displayed it on an end table and enjoyed it’s beauty for about a year before noticing a stamp on the inside which read Stradivari. Good Gravy!! It was a Stradivarius, I had hit the jack pot.

I figured it would auction for millions of dollars, the few other remaining masterpieces had sold for around 4 million apiece. I immediately removed from the table, packed it in bubble wrap and put it a safe place before contacting the famous NY auction house, Sotheby's. They asked me to send photos, describe and measure it. After which, I promptly received a letter stating it was an recreation of a Stradivarius and was valued at thousand dollars or so. I’ll hang on to it as it’s worth millions of memories and one good laugh to me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A girlfriend’s daughter is getting married later this month. For a special gift and keepsake, my friend had family members and guests to the wedding write good wishes on a table cloth. Her almost 90 year mother then hand embroidered over the wording, making it a permanent figure on the cloth. She asked me if I would machine embroider her daughter and son-in-laws names and wedding date. What a great idea! It looks beautiful.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


B and I aren't the only ones who are happy the hot tub is open.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Cuisse de grenouilles ~ with promises of seeing some more amazing birds, I was able to convince Phriend to go on yet another photo field trip to the Refuge. I had heard rumors of the Black Crown Night Heron's visits. No sooner had we started the 8 mile drive and off to the left was a treat waiting for us.  While it was a bit unsettling to watch, it was nature at it’s best.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Working less then a mile from home affords me the opportunity to come home during my meal breaks. I have plenty of time to let the puppies out, have a meal, and relax for abit. This afternoon when I came in for lunch this is what was sitting in my kitchen sink.

Friday, June 3, 2011


B was out last evening, leaving the dogs and me home alone.  We were under a tornado watch which is unusual for NJ.  Generally we don't experience such extreme weather.  Willow doesn't like thunder and I wasn't thrilled with the thought of a possible tornado.  To help keep us calm I decided to get out the camera and work on a few selfies.  All poor "Willy" wanted to do was climb into my lap.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


B and I took advantage of a few free hours of time yesterday morning and started our summertime tradition of early morning walks on the boardwalk and a picnic breakfast on the beach. We were soaking up the warmth of the sun rays, listening to the rhythmic pattern of the ocean waves, relaxing in the cool breeze, wiggling our toes in the sand, enjoying the quiet beaches (now that the Memorial Day holiday is over and the bennies went home), and exposing our winter white, unprotected bodies to the UV rays a little to long. By last evening when our lobster red skin felt two sizes to small, we realize our error of rejoicing in the joys of the beginning of summer.

This morning we decided it would be in our best interest not to take our sun burnt selves to the beach. Instead we enjoyed breakfast at our local diner and took a walk on the docks of the bay.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Why is Blogger being so difficult?  For about the last week, I have not been able comment on any blog which uses their newer comment link, as many of you do.  It said, I have to login, I do, although I am already logged in, and then it sends me around in circles. I finally went on to the blogger forum and many are having the same problem.  Thanks to the other bloggers who posted the fix, I am now able to play catch up with everyone during the week.

Ruddy Turnstone