Tag Archives: digital infrared

Trouble Sleeping?

 

 

tulipoirpink-bed-webStress? Allergies? Age? Nightmares? Caffeine?The causes of sleeplessness? Who really knows? It might be all of them or none. Lately it’s been difficult to sleep through the night. I started to imagine a pleasant place to dream and this is what I came up with. If you share the same issues, I hope it helps!

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Storm Clouds

stormclouds-web

A storm approaches – pearly gray sky turns to slate. Slashes of charcoal add menace and contrast to the lacy shrubs.The wind murmurs and joins the conversation as tingly currents spider up my spine. Did I head for shelter, a prudent , practical choice, or face the intensity and revel in the forces? Often the difficult decision is whether to hide or face the storm.


Leaning into the Light

notfar-webOn days or weeks when there are nagging worries, it’s so easy to embrace the negative. Strength in numbers, misery loves company, or whatever the appropriate phrase, I find myself submitting as well. It’s what I imagine drowning to be like, being pulled deeper downward and seeing darkness, feeling cold , and in my case craving chocolate or any form of sugar.Like any other vice, once you’re hooked, it’s so difficult to break that hold. People commiserate and support your feelings. You begin to believe you have been wronged, cosmically or intentionally.You see only your point of view and your Greek chorus of naysayers become backup singers.Giving up that level of comfort is difficult, but no more so than losing the first twenty pounds or only shopping when you need something.Finding a substitute to provide comfort is worth the search.For me it’s sunshine. Like plants, I tend to lean into the sun. Literally. In my classroom at lunch, you may find my chair pulled up to the window so I can recharge.At home, I open blinds, drapes, curtains, any barriers to the light. Maybe I was a cat in a former life, but it’s where I choose to be. When I shot this photo, the sun on the other side of the pond beckoned the trees and they obviously are reaching out toward the light. It’s my best practice against believing I can be defeated by those unidentified powers that be when they choose to intrude into my daily life for no good reason. The wind in the leaves and birdsongs are more affirming that the sounds of wallowing .


Rainy Days and Mondays

I just returned from Cape Cod where the light has delighted artists for generations, the cool breezes made wandering possible and inspiration hovered everywhere . Back in Memphis, it’s raining. After ten or more days of 100 +temperatures and blazing sun, here the rain is more than welcome. It’s a perfect day to think and relax. This photo, taken during winter vacation, when a storm interrupted a day of infrared shooting, shares the softness and beauty of a rainy day. Combined with this quote from Gloria Jones, ” If you’re only happy when the sun is out, you’re missing half your life, ” reminds me that we need to appreciate each day for its gifts.


A Voyage of the Imagination

It’s hard to know if you are ready,  if you are willing to look and reach beyond your comfort zones. These are the decisions we make as we stretch our creativity. Embarking on a new voyage brings its own complement of thrills and fear.Stepping onto the deck begins the journey.This infrared image ,shot in Ladew Topiary Gardens in Maryland, symbolizes that voyage for me.


Visiting the Abandoned Tugboat Graveyard Isn’t Easy

A warm September Sunday morning found us searching for the tugboat graveyard that I’d read about on several abandoned building sites. In New Jersey for a short weekend visit, my husband obligingly helped me search the outer part of Staten Island for the graveyard at Arthur Kill. We found Witte Marine, the salvage company that bought the boats back in the sixties, but that Sunday there was no way to gain admittance .The property is presently known as  Don John Iron and Scrap Metal .

Farther down the road, we spied a boat skeleton out in the distance.Finding a spot to park, we crossed the road to find a worn and weed covered stone staircase.At the top of  the five steps stood a small family cemetery that dated back to the 1700’s, and beyond that- a sea of reeds.

The sun’s heat intensified the stench , and using the reeds as a solid surface enabled us to cross the slimy goop that was mudlike in texture but suggested something more sinister and chemical.It sucked at your shoes and I have to believe anything that succumbed is still buried beneath.  Part way to the water, you could see the carcasses of several tugs.My husband found a stopping point and waited loyally while being devoured by insects.

I ventured forward, taking big high steps to flatten reeds while sliding and juggling two cameras. The remains of the tugs were identifiable but without waders and a crowbar, I wasn’t able to get much closer.

Changing strategies , I veered to the left towards a wooden hulk . As I looked for planks to aid my mud-crossing, two other adventurers appeared and we headed there together. They were more limber and scurried up the side of the boat. I worried that my husband would need a transfusion due to mosquito bites and might not come after me if I fell through the deck.

Eerie and beautiful in the same moment,although difficult to capture the atmosphere , these photos document our visit. I am not sure how many more ships can be seen by kayaking in the Arthur Kill or by gaining entrance into the salvage yard.The numbers I have read indicate at least several hundred recorded.The challenge of the graveyard partially met, I am anxious to return in cooler weather with more appropriate gear.

From preliminary research, I learned that one of the tugs still visible was the Abram S. Hewitt, a fireboat built in 1903. It had played a role in the rescue attempts as the command center at the burning of the General Slocum in 1904. On June 15,1904, over 1,000 women and children perished in the fire on their way to a day’s picnic outing on Long Island. It was the largest loss of lives in New York until September 11.

Also found in the graveyard is the New Bedford which served as a troop transport during the Battle of Normandy. The other ships have their stories also. Buried in the mud lies the history of New York  and beyond.

It turns out that the boats cannot be moved or salvaged because populations of sea life took up residence in the remains and now they are a protected environment by law.

The tiny graveyard sits between the polluted waters and a busy road.It is the resting place of early settlers of Staten Island and is known as The Blazing Star Cemetery. The community was named Blazing Star for a ferry service that ran from the pier at the Witte Salvage Yard across the bay to New Jersey in the early 1800’s. The surviving headstones , beautifully carved and delicate, date from before the Revolutionary War, but that’s for another story.

Relevant sites:

oboylephoto.com/boatyard/index2.htm ( incredible black and white photos of the area from 2004)

forgotten-ny.com/2010/01/ship-graveyard-rossville-staten-island/

atlasobscura.com/place/tugboat-graveyard

everydaylive.com/tugboatgraveyard

http://www.undercity.org/photos/ship_graveyard1/index.htm

http://www.the freelibrary.com – wrecks of NY Harbor


“Not yet!” Words that Limit your Creativity

“Why always not yet? Do flowers in spring say not yet?” Norman Douglas

      Standing and admiring the tulips, the beauty and serenity on that afternoon at the Botanic Garden made me grateful.When I came across this quote, it suited the photograph perfectly but it also resonated with me.”Not yet” – my overused code words for I’m afraid to try, It’s not perfect, or no one will like this. Two words – an easy way out , a simple way to postpone life.

Without the tulips, a photograph of the mulch, ( unless you could discern a famous face or answers to life’s important questions in it) by itself wouldn’t have been effective.

Now when I’m tempted to say “not yet” I substitute “think flowers”. This is my new code phrase for “get over yourself and take a chance!”

I hope you find your personal code words, but while you’re searching, you can always borrow these. Our world needs more flowers!


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