Tag Archives: Rain

Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

Some weeks I find myself retracing my steps, traversing paths that are familiar, my feet knowing the steps almost automatically.  But sometimes I have to stop, bend low, and take another look to see the path in a new way.  I felt that way in my back yard earlier this week.  It’s been raining a lot here this winter–or at least it feels like a lot after six years of drought, so plants are growing, weeds are growing, cacti and succulents are sprouting these magnificent blooms.  And the scented geranium beckoned with a green that nearly glows.  I love the sense of abstract art conveyed with this shot.

e6ac2fd4-75b6-47cd-8eed-bfbdffee3201

Over the long weekend I was lucky enough to be in Los Angeles (playing with my grandson) and hanging out with my son and daughter-in-law. My usual path as the sun sets leads me to the ocean.  But in this part of LA, the ocean isn’t near.  I found this sunset while standing on the upper level of a parking garage, looking out over the LA skyline.

snapseed-9

I frequently walk this path at a local beach…this is the place we call “the corner,” where the beach seems to turn slightly.  It’s also a place that is difficult to get past when the tide is high.  This particular shot feels like a painting to me.

c77f184c-2d43-4815-8002-dfb6894b1b89

I’ve been playing around with black and white this week as the clouds create paths in the sky and diffuses the light, creating shades of gray.

img_4972

Yesterday, after a rainy morning and with forecasts of rain all day today, I decided I needed to squeeze in a walk on the beach on my way home from work.  I stopped at Torrey Pines–a path I frequently drive by, but seldom stop to walk.  I’ve been thinking a lot about Ansel Adams as we’ve introduced him to our students through the book Antsy Ansel written by our colleague and friend Cindy Jenson-Elliott as part of a study of photographers, photography and biography.  As I walked I found myself drawn to light and shadow, trying to capture the contrast knowing that I would be transforming my image with a black and white filter.  I know from experience that I need the right image to get my intended effect in black and white.  I loved the path the sun was taking across the lifeguard tower, the dark of the cliffs and the shades of white and gray of the clouds in the distance.  Here’s the original photo (no edits).

c233e264-8e87-4584-8447-48a104cde9f7

And here is my Ansel Adams inspired black and white version.

img_4984

I do love the effect!

As predicted, this morning dawned wet, painting my morning’s path with raindrops, puddles, and watery lights reflecting in the darker than usual sky.  I couldn’t resist a quick photo while stopped at the intersection, capturing the action in that split second.  It was also a reminder that I would spend my day inside with more than 40 energetic children excited by the wind and rain, a path that we don’t often travel in this arid climate. Mixed blessings…needed rain, the exuberance of childhood, and an opportunity for me to practice patience and appreciation.  I do love my work!

img_4986

So, as you head out on your daily pathways what will you find?  What’s usual?  What’s unexpected?  Will you seek out a new path with your camera in hand?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #path for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Whether you let your feet determine the path or your eye, head out with your camera and document what you find.  What will your path reveal?

Weekly Photo Challenge: By the Numbers

It seems that this time of year is all about the numbers.  There’s the constant countdown of shopping days, days til the new year, and as a teacher, days until our winter break.  Today was that day, the last day of school before the break…and it was a rare rainy day.  A day that resulted in a canceled assembly (ours take place outdoors), canceled recesses, indoor lunch (we do not have a cafeteria), and canceled cardio club (a school-wide running club)–which meant that on the last day before a two week break, the kids were in the classroom all day long!  Luckily, we had the novelty factor to help us out and we really do need the rain.  I can count the rainy days we’re had on one hand!  Here’s the view from the library window where we went for a change of pace to read a story.

snapseed-4

I’ve been noticing numbers in other places this week too.  A walk at the beach early in the week had me look up and notice this 2 groups of 2 arrangement of pelicans and palm trees.  I had fun playing around with the image to layer in some color too.

img_4483

I also found these three seagulls hanging out in the silvery gray light of a late fall sunset.  I’m always excited when reflections are crisp against the shiny shore–it is all about the light!

b020bd3c-2cfb-4228-9e95-5b882aa6408f

And the Christmas lights are in full effect in my neighborhood–and the number of lightbulbs seem uncountable!  My neighbor consistently puts on quite a display, with hundreds of lights on display (quite a contrast to my undecorated abode!).  I always have fun trying to capture the colors of the light in the darkness–this is the view from my front yard.  (Night photography is still a pretty steep learning curve for me!)

3e802fd7-4e08-4ac9-91bd-c1218c4572d3

This shot, taken with my iPhone, features one light and one moon as the focal points.  I love the Hopper-esque quality of the light in the image. (Think Nighthawks)

img_4492

And then there’s that tractor making trip after trip, carrying sand from the shore to build up a protective berm along the high tide line.  I am continually fascinated when I spot a tractor on the beach…always at low tide, counting the minutes ticking away as the water inevitably rises.

19df88f7-fbfc-4086-b4ad-02613fe41908

So, how might your view change if you look by the numbers this week?  What are you counting?  What is involved in your countdown to the holidays or the new year?  What numbers emerge for you?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #bythenumbers for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

 

Start counting…or multiplying or subtracting.  What will you see when you look at your world by the numbers?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Finding Fall

Today is the first day of fall…according to the calendar.  Seasons aren’t prima donnas in these parts.  They don’t demand a lot of attention.  In fact, seasons are subtle, making their entry is small, sometimes overlooked ways.

A predicted heatwave over the weekend never materialized on the coast. When we headed to the beach for walk late Sunday afternoon, instead of heat we were greeted with damp, gray mist.  It was warm, but not your picture perfect beach weather.  That didn’t bother the seabirds though. They were out enjoying the low tide and the emptiness of the beach now that the tourists have mostly left town (for now).  I couldn’t resist this little fellow with its foot in action and  its crisp reflection visible on the sand.

Processed with Snapseed.

I like the mood the fogginess brings to the beach.  It brings the world in a bit closer and adds that fall-like mystery.  I wasn’t feeling like I do in the summer, escaping from the heat and relishing the sun on my shoulders. Instead, I was noticing the cool and reveling in the emptiness of the wide open space in front of me.

img_3325

Surprisingly, Tuesday brought rain!  (Remember, average rainfall for us is about 10 inches annually…and we’ve been in a severe drought for several years now.)  The sky was beautiful in the morning, with the dark blue skies and thick layers of clouds.  It was definitely a sign that we would have a rare weather episode!

img_3341

It did end up raining a good part of Tuesday and into Wednesday morning.  We were loving sandals and skirts and sleeveless tops in the warm, balmy rain.  Our students showed up in rain boots and jackets–I guess you deal with being too warm when you have so few opportunities to sport your rain wear!

A trip into the backyard yesterday afternoon had me thinking about fall!  I noticed the unusual pools of water filled with the seed pods that fall from the tree.

img_3358

And the brilliant red of the Japanese maple shouting at me to pay attention to the impending change of season.

img_3354

I’ve never noticed these seed pods before but I love the gold, tan, and black–neutrals that remind me of fall.

img_3357

And I’m noticing the light changing as the days get shorter.  The lowering sun was making this dandelion glow.  I decided to mess around with it in prisma to see what effects I might get.  I like the way this one captures the glow and the textures of the plant.

img_3359

So, what will you notice when you set out to find fall?  Maybe you’ll find the traditional colorful leaves dressing the trees in brilliant colors or maybe like those of us in these parts, you’ll have to pay closer attention and look for more subtle seasonal changes.  Or maybe you’ll find fall indoors, or through the food you eat, or in some other way!

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #findingfall for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Grab your camera and head out in search of fall.  Don’t feel confined to iconic images of fall foliage–embrace what you find!  What does fall look like when you look for subtle, often overlooked evidence?  I’m looking forward to seeing what you capture when finding fall through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: My Week

As much as I love my job, it still takes some effort to come off the two week winter break and get back into the groove of work.  And to make it even more challenging this year, we began our week back with rain! (Remember, this is San Diego and rain is a major weather event.)

It was damp, but not wet enough to keep kids indoors as I headed out for Monday morning playground duty.  I love our view…with the ocean visible in the distance.  We could see that we had some stormy weather in store…

wet playground

Rainy days at school tend to be a rare occurance, and the kids love them! Teachers, however, start to feel the energy building as kids who are used to lots of outdoor play spend too much time confined in small spaces. When we finally got outside late in the afternoon, there was a wonderful light illuminating the playground.  I love the brightness of the light, the ominous dark clouds in the back, and the colorful kids in this view.

img_8646

On my way home I couldn’t resist stopping by the beach to see how the storminess was affecting the shoreline.  I was greeted by tractors pushing sand, building up the protective mounds to create a defense against the high surf and powerful waves.

img_8662-1

Between the tractors and the power of the water, the beach is always changing.  The sand comes and goes, shaping the shoreline and creating pools of water in unexpected places. As I looked up at the clouds I also noticed the pelicans in formation.  img_8655

The rains continued through the week  (dropping more rain in a few days than we get in a month or more in other years) and the news has been filled with reports of flooding and road closures…and even a tornado warning on Wednesday! The alert system on my cell phone has indicated flash flood warnings several times over the last few days. I even dug out an umbrella on Tuesday to try to keep my bags dry as I headed from the parking lot to the writing project office on Tuesday.  By Thursday, I knew that working from home (instead of heading to the writing project) was a good idea.  As I took a break from grant writing, I noticed the sun glimpsing through a break in the clouds.  I take many photos of this tree…and here it is still hanging onto one lone leaf against the brilliant blue sky.

img_8704

Less than an hour later, the skies darkened and the wind picked up.  The rain was coming soon.  The tops of these palm trees leaned into the breezes and you can catch a peek at the sun setting as the storm rolled back in.

img_8714

Today we got a reprieve, and the rains have left…for now anyway. (They’re expected back tomorrow night.)  I couldn’t resist pulling off the road on my way to work this morning to capture the sunrise reflected in the clouds.

good morning

And our students carry on with their learning.  Piles of kelp collected from the storm-strewn beaches were the basis of today’s science lab.  Students observed, labeled parts…and eventually photographed and sketched our local giant kelp.  And they love big words, like the scientific name for giant kelp.  You’ll notice this first grader has labeled his sketch macrocystis pyrifera, commonly known as kelp.

macrocystis pyrifera

So, what has been going on in your week?  Are you back to work after a break or out enjoying your local winter weather?  Have you experimented with some aspect of your photography or documented something you are noticing in new or different ways?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #myweek for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So what has happened during your week?  How might you document it through a photo or two?  I’m looking forward to seeing your week through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growing

Even though January is deep into winter, I always think of it as a time of growth and growing. This is the time when my students flourish and they begin to display their independence and initiative  as learners.  And if you look closely, you can see evidence of growing all around.

Having spent time in the temperate rain forests outside of Seattle last weekend, I saw many evidences of growing all around.  I’m still thinking about these tree that seem to be covered with fur, as the mosses gather and grow.

moss covered trees 2

And I learned about the ways that even dead trees contribute to the growing process of the rain forest.  This tall tree in the center is actually dead…and yet is hosts fungi, mosses, lichens and more, contributing to the life cycle of the forest.  And when it finally falls down it will likely become the fertile nursery for tree seedlings to take root as new trees begin to grow.

even dead trees contribute

And there are also many kinds of mushrooms sprouting all around.  These particular mushroom grow very large and some are quite high on the tree trunks.  (You can catch a glimpse of some others in other posts about the rainforest, here and here and here.)

fungus on tall trunksEven as I moved away from the forest, nearer to the beach where plants seemed dormant, when I looked closely, I could see that they were still growing.

winter plants

And in addition to noticing plants growing, I am also working to grow my own skills.  I played around a bit with night photography on my trip, trying to figure out how to capture the glow of light in the background of dark…and the rainy weather added some reflective interest and challenge.

This shot was my attempt to capture the shine of the wet streets and the way the light reflected on them.

the glow of wet streets

It was hard to get a picture of this tanker ship, so I was trying to shoot through the chain link fence.  I like the effect of the edges of the fence framing the ship.

tanker through the fence

As I was getting back in the car, the gas station caught my eye.  I was reminded of Edward Hopper’s paintings of buildings and tried to capture the emptiness and the light in this space.

gas station at nightSo this week’s challenge is all about growing…what you notice growing or ways your are growing yourself and your skills.  Take some shots of what growing means to you right now.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #growing for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

What is growing in your life right now?  How can you document it through your lens?  I look forward to seeing what is growing through your lens!

Exploring in the Rain

When you visit a rainforest, especially in January, you should probably expect rain.  I could hear the light rain falling even before I was quite awake this morning, lightly tapping on the roof of the lovely Bed and Breakfast where we stayed in the tiny town of Forks (of Twilight fame).  Light comes late here, with sunrise around 8am!

It was gray and wet as we ventured out, heading toward the Hoh rainforest and the Hall of Mosses.  But we weren’t the only rainy day adventurers.  As we registered at the ranger station I couldn’t resist this shot of the hiking boots from the other side of the sign.

boots

All this rain results in spectacular displays of mosses.  Everything that stands still is covered in velvety coats of shaggy moss.  You can see the magnitude of the mosses in this shot of Geoff dwarfed by the mossy trees.

mossy tree

And of course, I continued to be on the lookout for mushrooms.  I wasn’t disappointed.  There were enormous shelf mushrooms that grew tall above my head and tiny mushrooms sprouting from cracks in logs.  This tiny fairy village of mushrooms caught my fancy today growing among the mosses.

mushroom village

As we left the rainforest my eye was drawn to the way the fog hung low behind the treeline.  It almost looks like snow out beyond the river.

low lying fogLeaving the rainforest, we headed north toward Port Angeles and another part of the park.  And after an unfortunate encounter with a park ranger (going too fast along the road near the lake) that resulted in a speeding ticket, we headed up to Hurricane Ridge.  This is the highest part of the park at over 5,000 feet in elevation.  We could see snow capped peaks as we wound our way up and could feel the temperature dropping.  And Hurricane Ridge lives up to its name, the winds were vicious as we got out of the car!  The fog and snow blended as we looked out across the ridge.

hurricane ridge

Away from the ridge, the winds calmed and it was fun to stomp around in the crunchy snow as the rain continued.  Geoff caught this picture of me enjoying my third visit to the snow in the last three weeks.  I think that is a record for me!  (I may not have spent as much time in the snow in the last decade as I have in the last three weeks!)

in the snow

On our way back down the mountain, we noticed a deer family crossing the road in front of us. We slowed to a stop, camera in hand, snapping pictures as they crossed…and then seemed to freeze in an effort to appear invisible to us.  This shot makes the deer almost look like a museum model rather than a living, breathing animal.  I got pictures of all three…

deer near Hurricane Ridge

We ended our adventure with a delicious and relaxing dinner at Next Door GastroPub…even sharing a rich and decadent dessert.  Before heading back to our hotel we took an evening drive around the seaport to try our hand at some nighttime photography.  I’ll end with this shot through the rainy car window of a small coffee shop.

coffee shop through raindrops

Another wonderful day exploring, can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Playground Life

I spend three mornings a week out on the playground watching children play.  These early morning duties are generally calm, giving me an opportunity for reflection and observation.

I notice children making up games, resolving their own conflicts, and through their play, improving their coordination and fitness.  I see the same early arrivers most mornings and watch the seasonal changes in the sports of choice.

Balls are always popular, the current favorite ball games are wall ball, basketball, and a blacktop version of baseball that requires no bats or mitts and involves a large rubber ball.

I wasn’t sure this morning that the kids would get to go out and play.  We had a rare rainy day and I ran my windshield wipers all the way to work.  But by the time kids arrived, the sky was still dark, the ground was still wet, but as long as no drops are falling, the kids can play.

rainy playground

The day turned out bright and sunny–and I am doubly glad that I stopped to capture this wet, cloudy moment of children at play.  And so this becomes my Street Life for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow.  We need the rain so badly that I’m not complaining about the inconveniences of rainy day schedules.  Instead, I’m looking for the silver linings…