Winter Waves Goodbye

I love taking drives along quiet country roads, and one day near the end of March, 2013, the skies near Blue Knob Mountain, Claysburg, Pennsylvania, called me to grab my camera and come out to play.

Winter Waves Goodbye ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Winter Waves Goodbye … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

The weather at the end of winter can be such a tease, and as I drove I wasn’t sure if I would be in for more snow, or if the sun would break through the clouds and spring would arrive at last. As I drove down one particular back road, I discovered an amazing pass tucked between the distant mountains that reminded me more of Colorado than the Laurel Highlands. The dormant or dead tree in front of me seemed to be waving goodbye to winter as the dirty patches of tired snow at its feet were the only remains of what had been a long, cold season. The wind waved back.

Spring and rebirth are always welcome, but I think there is beauty in all the seasons. There is also great beauty in their in-between stages, too, as they ebb and flow like an invisible tide upon the land.

For you camera techies out there, this image was captured with the Nikon D7000 and the 18-200mm vr Nikkor lens. A bit of standard editing in Photoshop included blending an HDR version created in Photomatix for the final image.

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A click on the image will take you to my website where you can view at much better resolution (and find some purchase options, as well).  And as always, comments are welcome.  Thanks for dropping by!!

 

Visiting The Zoo

One of my favorite places to go for animal photography is the Catoctin Nature Preserve and Zoo, in Thurmont, Maryland.  I’m pretty sure I’ll never get to Africa for that camera-safari I’ve always dreamed of, so for me the local zoos are the next best thing.

You’d think as close as I am (well, relatively speaking) to the National Zoo in Washington DC, that I’d be hanging around there pretty often.  Truth is, I’ve been meaning to get into DC, but haven’t made the effort in recent years.  Note to self:  must do that this spring.  But I do manage to get up to the Catoctin Zoo almost every April … and it’s always been a great source of interesting animal images for me.

The latest addition to my website, a glorious jaguar who seemed to love posing, was actually photographed in April of 2012.  I’ve done a bit of tinkering with it over the years, but only recently found just the right textures and background.

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Who Goes There … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And speaking of posing, the beautiful macaws did, too.

Sweet Sweet Love © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Sweet Sweet Love … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

There’s a fun petting zoo area at The Catoctin Zoo as well.  I loved this particular guy … amazing eyes … and I’m so envious of his pretty curls.

The Year Of The Goat ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
The Year Of The Goat … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And another birdie image … I found this sweet, sweet barred owl peeking out at me from the comfort of his cozy shed …

Wisdom ... ©Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Wisdom … ©Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Another glorious kitty, this time a beautiful white bengal tiger.  We were fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time when his handler came into his area.  The tiger’s affection for her was beautiful to see.  These guys purr loud!!

White Bengal ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
White Bengal … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And … do flamingoes count as birdies?  I think they do … in which case …

The Sacred Old Flamingoes ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
The Sacred Old Flamingoes … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And last but not least, a fun, fun emu who … well … there’s no other word for it … flirted with me!!

That Shy Come Hither Stare ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
That Shy Come Hither Stare … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

So here I sit at the end of March … can you tell I’m looking forward to visiting my friends at the zoo soon?

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As always, comments are welcome (just scroll all the way down on this page) … and … a click on each of the images above will take you to my main website where you can view them at a better size and resolution and less obnoxious watermark.

Winter’s Last Goodbye and Springtime’s Hello

Here we are nearly at the end of March, yet as I listen to the news, the weather guys are predicting even more snow flurries for us tonight.  I think many us will remember the winter of 2014-2015 as The Winter That Wouldn’t Quit.  But maybe after this one last storm, it’ll finally be time for winter to wave goodbye.

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© Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

I snapped the above image at Blue Knob All Seasons Resort in Claysburg, Pennsylvania this past Saturday.  You can see the promising bits of bare earth, which of course to the skiers, isn’t as pretty a sight as it is to most of the rest of us.

I for one am ready for flowers and warmer temperatures.  The daffodils in my front yard have finally started pushing through the ground.  Only about 3 inches of green leaves are showing so far, but hopefully they and the crocus and the azaleas will soon be  perfuming the air.

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Cotton Candy Pink Azaleas © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And I spotted a flock of dozens of robins today as they passed through on their way to their summer homes.  Surely that’s a promising sign!!

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On The Watch For Worms © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Here’s hoping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Town That Time Forgot

Here in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast of the US, it’s been a doozie of a winter.  And at the end of a long, cold one like this … well, we hope it’s the end! … our thoughts naturally turn to visions of spring flowers …

Golden Bells © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

and butterflies …

Pastel © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

picnics in the park, jogging withOUT the treadmill, ice cream cones, backyard barbecues and so many other activities that, once spring and summer are in full swing, we sometimes take for granted.  But we take them for granted because as long as that winter has been, we know these things will … eventually … come back to us.

There are, however, some magical warm weather events that many of us of a certain age may believe exist only in our memories, and which some of us younger folks may never have experienced at all.  Sadly, we believe they’re truly gone forever.

But if you can imagine being a little kid again, gazing with wonder at a home-town parade … complete with pretty parade queens and honking fire trucks … and if you remember what a home town carnival was like, the thrill of winning that teddy bear in the penny-toss game or a blue-ribbon with your cupcakes in the baking contest … do I have a treat for you!

Take a few minutes to experience again the magic and the excitement … because small town parades and carnivals do still exist.  My most sincere thanks to the amazing up-and-coming videographer, Scott Meyers, for allowing me to bring you along on this wonderful visit to a town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that time seems to have forgotten.

[vimeo 118971558 w=500 h=281] <p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/118971558″>Queen Anne Hillsboro Fireman’s Carnival 2014</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user1464946″>Scott Meyers</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Queen Anne Hillsboro Fireman’s Carnival 2014

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As always, I appreciate your visit and hope you enjoy this special posting.  And as always, your comments are welcome.

 

 

 

Window To The Past

Not quite sure why, but I’ve always had a strong attraction to window and door art. Symbolically, windows and doors can be metaphors for many things … freedom … hope … opportunity … possibilities … and as bridges between our inner and outer selves.

Window To The Past © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Window To The Past © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

 

I’ve been holding onto this particular image since August of 2009. It’s now March, 2015, so that’s quite a while. It always appealed to me. I thought it had possibilities, but wasn’t sure what they were. With a bit of Photoshop and Corel Painter 2015 magic, I think it’s finally time to give it its “freedom” … and see what its “possibilities” might be.

This window is from an historic log structure from Old Bedford Village, in Bedford Pennsylvania. More can be read about Old Bedford Village, the Living History Museum, here:

Old Bedford Village

Old Bedford Village is a wonderful place with historic homes, churches, schools, blacksmiths, taverns and shops that can be walked through and experienced from spring to autumn. The structures are not reconstructions … they are original to the area, rescued from destruction and relocated here and preserved. In addition, Old Bedford Village hosts many celebrations, festivals and historic re-enactments throughout the year. If you’re ever in the area during their open season, I recommend a visit.

Original photographic image taken in August of 2009 with the Nikon D300 and the 18-200mm vr Nikkor lens. Some tweaks in Photoshop CS4 and 6, and a trip to Corel Painter 2015 for a complete digital hand-painting session, then back to Photoshop for a few more edits.

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As always, comments are welcome … and also as always, a click on the image will take you to my website where you can view the image in a better resolution and less intrusive watermark.   Thanks for stopping by!

Fresh From A Long Winter’s Nap

If there’s anything cuter than puppies and kittens when they’re sleeping, it’s when they’ve just awakened. Here’s a tiny Maltese puppy, fresh from a long winter’s nap. I crept up on him quietly, trying to get a shot of him asleep, but he’s got sharp little ears and must have heard me coming, because his little head popped right up.

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He’s so tangled up in the white covers and afghan, you can hardly tell his furry self from the blankets!! It’s been a long, cold winter … and I know I’ve taken my share of long winter’s naps lately, too!! Come on, spring! We’re ready!!

Image taken with the Nikon D750 and the 50mm Nikkor f/1.8, December of 2014.

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As always, clicking the image takes you to my website which gives a better resolution view with much less ridiculous watermark .

A Song Of Spring

One of my favorite things to do in spring is grab the camera and take a walk down the road to our community’s 5-acre pond. I’m never quite sure what I’ll find, but the beautiful red-winged blackbird is almost always there to greet me.

A Song Of Spring © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

I’ll usually hear him before I see him … and I invite you to visit Cornel Lab of Ornithology’s “What Bird” page to hear his song:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/red-winged_blackbird/sounds

The Cornel lab has this to say about him:

One of the most abundant birds across North America, and one of the most boldly colored, the Red-winged Blackbird is a familiar sight atop cattails, along soggy roadsides, and on telephone wires. Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they feel. Females are a subdued, streaky brown, almost like a large, dark sparrow. In the North, their early arrival and tumbling song are happy indications of the return of spring.

This particular image was taken on a sunny April morning in 2013. I was using the Nikon D300 and the Sigma 150-500mm OS lens. I treated the image to a fun painterly effect in Photoshop CS6, and added a new sky background, also taken near my home, and a couple of lovely textures, one from Distressed Jewel and one from Two Lil Owls.

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A click on the image will take you to my website where you’ll have better resolution and a less nasty watermark.  And as always, comments and thoughts are more than welcome!

Peaceful Summer Afternoon

On a visit to the beautiful Winterthur estate, former home of the DuPont family near Wilmington, Delaware, visitors can take a ride through the extensive grounds on an open bus. If you visit, I highly recommend taking advantage of this, as you will get a wonderful sense of the size of the estate and, if you’re as lucky as we were, your guide will give you lots of interesting and fun facts that you might not hear elsewhere.

If your bus is full or nearly so, and you’re a camera-bug like myself, you may find yourself on the wrong side when passing by something pretty. That’s what happened in this shot. Normally a landscape image will be in landscape orientation, that is, wider than it is tall. But when you’re shooting between human heads, and out of the corner of your eye you catch such lovely light and color, you quickly turn your camera sideways and snap … and cross your fingers! The beautiful goldenrod and Queen Anne’s lace sprinkled all through this summery field were just too pretty not to try.

I’d have liked to take a long stroll all along this road with my camera, and hope to get back and do that some fine summer’s day. The rolling hills you see here offer wonderful views and vistas that, even as un-shy as I am, I didn’t have the heart to ask the bus driver to stop for!

Original photographic image taken in August of 2014 with the Nikon D7000 and the 18-200mm vr Nikkor lens. Lots of fun with the image in Photoshop CS6.

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As always, a click on the image will take you to my website for a view with a much nicer watermark … and … purchase options.  And as always, the image is available on other products and can be licensed. Just let me know.  Leaving your own thoughts of country lanes and summer days is always appreciated … don’t be shy … if the comment section isn’t right below here, just make sure you’ve clicked on the above title and the “comment” box will appear.

 

Good Things Come In Small Packages

We’ve all heard the saying that “good things come in small packages.” When it comes to the Maltese breed of dog, those words could never be more true. Fun-loving, gentle, loving and so smart, the Maltese is truly a bundle of joy.

Good Things Come In Small Packages  © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Good Things Come In Small Packages © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

This image was captured with the Nikon D7000 and the 50mm f/1.8mm Nikon / Nikkor lens. The background is a lovely field I found not far from Bedford, Pennsylvania. Both images were combined  with much editing in Photoshop CS6 and Corel Painter,  with a lovely texture from Cheryl Tarrant’s Distressed Jewell collection added.

This little darling’s name is Blush, her registered name is GCH Ecstasy’s Glowing Sensation, a finished Grand Champion. Blush was one of the lovely creatures owned by the breeder of our own Buddy, whom we took home at the end of May, 2014, and who has stolen all our hearts. Buddy will be one year old in March.

Shocking to admit, but Buddy’s image was taken with my iPhone … (I know … horrors!!) then added to a lovely field I captured in West Virginia with my Nikon D300 and the 18-200mm vr Nikon / Nikkor lens.  Added together with much editing in Photoshop CS6 and a texture from Distressed Jewell and a bit of hand painting in Corel Painter 11.

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As always, comments are welcome (I love dog stories!) … and also as always, a click on the images will take you to my website with a much nicer watermark and better resolution (and shopping suggestions!)

 

Rock On, Oh Ye Magnificent Road Warrior, Rock On

I was on another one of my many cool-barn hunts when I stumbled across this magnificent beast-that-was. Tucked away, covered in weeds and brambles, there he crouched. I could almost hear his once-proud roar … waiting, straining at the bit to eat up the highways just one more time.

Rock On Road Warrior SmWtrmk

Not a clue what happened or why he was there. He didn’t seem to be in that bad a shape, but I didn’t look too closely, preferring instead to believe that whatever unfortunate circumstance landed him where he was, all would be forgiven and he’d once more growl to life, hauling product to markets on the broad open road from the Atlantic to the Pacific again some day.

I have a true soft spot in my heart for truck drivers. I used to be a CB’er. Yes, truth time. I really was, and no, I won’t tell you my handle. But suffice it to say, I can tell you for a fact that there ARE many true gentlemen and gentle-ladies behind the wheels of those big things you see barreling down on you on the interstates. Please give them their due … give them respect.

So to my big handsome blue friend I say, rock on, buddy, rock on.

I believe this is a Diamond Reo truck … but can’t tell you the year or model. Wikipedia has this to say about him:

“Diamond Reo Trucks was an American truck manufacturer. In 1967, Diamond T and Reo Trucks were combined to form the Diamond Reo Trucks Division of the White Motor Corporation. Reo dated back to 1904 when Ransom E. Olds, founder of Oldsmobile, began building motor cars, and Diamond T dated back to 1905 when C.A. Tilt began building vehicles.

In 1971, Francis L. Cappaert of Birmingham, Alabama, bought Diamond Reo from White. And, at about the same time the Diamond Reo C-116 series was introduced, which featured Cummins NTC-335, NTC-350, NTA-370 and Detroit Diesel 12V-71N engines. Despite new model introductions and excellent reputation Diamond Reo was forced into bankruptcy on December 6, 1974.

One year later Loyal Osterlund and partner Ray Houseal bought the rights to Diamond Reo trucks and made room to continue production in their Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, facility, originally a dealership and maintenance facility. The single model C-116 Giant was continued in production with the Cummins NTC-290 diesel engine as standard power. Production for 1978 was 131 units. By 1985, the Harrisburg plant was expanded to be able to produce 10 trucks per day, although output continued at about two per day. The company continued to build about 150 Class 8 trucks annually through 1995.”

For all I know, he still waits … today, probably covered in snow and ice in addition to the itchy weeds.  Hats off to ya buddy … I’m sure you worked hard in your day and deserve your rest.

As always, clicking on the image will bring you to my website where you can see the Road Warrior in larger size, better resolution and less nasty watermark.  And as always, I’d love to hear from you.  Make sure you’ve clicked on the title of this little story and scroll down to the comments section.

And … rock on!!

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