Tag Archives: storm

Poetry on Day 7

My day started early today, with a flight at the crack of dawn.  On the first official day of spring break I was thinking about my students and wondering if they would continue their daily poetry without being at school.  Imagine my delight when I found a couple of poems in my inbox this morning!

Amelia spring signals

Spring’s Signals

Showers of love, chicks hatching, flowers blooming

You know that spring’s warm scented air will come soon

To bundle you up

and say you’re safe here

Photo and poem by Amelia

Alyson stump

alysons poem

(Photo and poem by Alyson)

My own poetry was inspired by some pretty unfamiliar weather for me…  I left mild San Diego to arrive in northern Oregon, experiencing a nonstop rainstorm, complete with howling winds. It hasn’t dampened our spirits (although my raincoat is pretty darn soggy!).  After being buffeted by wind and rain as we explored coastal Seaside, I found inspiration in the idea of music…and of course, a seagull!

A Stormy Symphony

She blows, her instrument tuned

to the pitch of the sea

sounding a somber melody

crescendoing to a dramatic roar.

A steady drip drop

creates the back beat in syncopated rhythm.

Birds dance, pushing their bodies

against the currents, spinning in the updrafts.

A lone seagull listens

humming along

to the stormy symphony.

Douillard 2018

oregon seagull

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up and Down

It’s been a crazy week.  We had bright, sunny warm skies on Monday, the sugar high of Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, and as we head into a week off from school (our district calls it Family Week), a storm brewed all day with high winds and expectations of lots of rainfall.

Like the kids, I was excited this morning–after school I was heading off to the airport to catch a flight to see my twin grandsons.  But those hopes were dashed when the text came through saying my flight had been canceled.  Ugh!  I’m feeling the roller coaster of the ups and downs of the week.  One look up at the palm trees bordering the school playground made clear why the planes were grounded.  The winds are scary today! (But I’m still disappointed that I’m at home for an extra day instead of playing with my sweet babies!)

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That view (today right after lunch) makes it hard to believe that this was my view on a walk after school on Wednesday.  Blue skies with a pelican in flight…and the greens that we have because of all the rainfall we’ve had this winter.  I didn’t even need a jacket as I walked along the shore.

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Looking down as I walk is a requirement when the tides toss the rocks onto shore.  There have been huge piles to navigate lately.  I couldn’t resist a shot of this seagull “on the rocks” who was clearly unconcerned about me and my camera.  He let me get quite close!

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And the sun made our work with cyanotypes possible this week.  The kids were excited to experiment with photo-sensitve paper, creating a “sun print” by laying objects on the treated paper and then wearing plastic gloves (a highlight!) to rinse the chemicals away after exposing it to the sun.  They learned a lot from their first iteration using natural objects that improved their outcomes with iteration number two.  I love the intersections of science and art!

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Looking down on my way into my office at UCSD meant this found still life caught my eye. I love the juxtaposition of the pine cone and the dandelion laying on the grass.

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I chuckled as I looked up as I headed out of Starbucks with my coffee to notice this dog in the driver’s seat of the car.  You never know who you will find driving theses days!

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So, this is the week to consider your ups and downs.  Look up–what do you see?  Look down, what’s there?  Or maybe consider mood as your filter for ups and downs rather than a literal glance in the up or down direction.

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 #upanddown for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Look up, look down–snap, click, post!  Can’t wait to see what you find.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Night

Night is a challenge for me as a photographer.  I have a tendency not to be out taking pictures at night…and when I am, I realize the challenges that night photography poses.  Last night, on a flight to Tucson I had the opportunity to sit in a window seat.  I realize that I often fly during the day, so once I was seated my eye was drawn to the lights against the dark of the night sky.  And as I snapped photos of San Diego from the air, I noticed the moon, nearly full, casting a glow on the water below.

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And every time I try to take night photos, I realize how slowly the shutter closes in low light.  And the slowness means that it’s easy to create blurs, even with the slightest of movement.  So from a plane, blurs become quite prominent.  I love the fun abstraction of this image taken as we landed in Tucson.

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So of course, when I saw this one, I had to try another as we taxied toward our gate.

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Before that, up in the air, I was treated to an amazing light show.  I watched an electric storm light up the clouds like fireworks in the distance.  Since I wasn’t able to get a photograph because of the darkness, I decided to try my hand at some video.  And while it isn’t perfect, you do get to see the beauty of the lightening lighting up the sky.  I know I should figure out how to strip the sound of the aircraft and add some music or something…maybe one of you can give me suggestions for how to best do that!

Once we flew away from the storm, the lights of the city began to appear in the distance.  And as we got closer and began to fly lower, my picture was less blurry and abstract.  I also suspect that the plane’s light, that seems to come on at a certain altitude, helped give more light to my lens to make the shutter speed a bit faster.

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After renting a car and heading out of the airport, I just had to take a photo of the iconic saguaro cacti, especially when I noticed the full moon behind them.  My husband was nice enough to pull over so I could get out to take a few pictures of these magnificent plants.

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So, try out a little night photography this week.  What happens when the light is low?  What light will you capture when the sky is dark?  You don’t need an airplane for this exploration, you can try looking out the window of your house…or maybe even standing outside looking in!

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 #night for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So head out into the dark of night with your camera (or phone) in your hand.  What will you find with night as your lens?  I can’t wait to see what you find!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

When your week throws you curves…take photos of them!  It’s been one of those stressful weeks.  Our third graders grappled with the mandated state testing, tensions are running high as decisions are made about staffing for next year, and the oft-promised rain actually came yesterday…the day before our annual (outdoor) ice cream social!

In spite of wanting to go home after work and just sit…I stopped by the beach to walk.  I’m so glad I did.  The rhythm of the waves and the wind in my face seemed to wash the stresses of the week away.  I didn’t walk far or fast, but my walk was deliberate and healing.  I went as far as this “corner,” and looked back on the beach from the curves in the wall.

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There are plenty of beach warnings after the rain–the surf is rough and unpredictable and the run-off from the storm drains introduces bacteria into the ocean water.  I sat for a few minutes watching the water run through the large curved drain pipes that allow water from the watershed into the ocean at the beach where I most often walk.

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Lucky for us, the rainy morning turned into a glorious afternoon and allowed students from our other school to come down for the promised band concert.  It’s fun to watch former students play their instruments…and then stop by afterward to give a hug to their past teachers!  The towering piles of curved clouds suggested there still might be storm to come…

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Our school is a place of much natural beauty.  While I was on playground duty earlier this week the curves of these roses caught my eye.  I love the hint of pink…

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And I continue to love the way the late afternoon sun comes in through my dining room window.  That light even makes the curves of a dying sunflower beautiful!  I love the contrasts of darks and brights, reminds me of paintings of “old masters.”

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When I did finally get home last night and took some time to sit and do nothing, I noticed this shadow and the curved lines of light and shadow. Was it a reflection from the blinds? A recording of my brain waves? Abstract art?

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So, what curves were thrown your way this week?  Grab your phone or camera and start snapping!

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 #curves for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

What curves will you document this week?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Tonight was Open House at my school, that wonderful evening of celebrating all the learning that has happened all year.  The third graders (and their parents and teachers) are feeling a bit melancholy, realizing that the end of three years is in sight and there is change in the air.

In addition to spending time chatting with families we currently teach, we also met many of the students who will be our first graders in the fall.  Those shy, unfamiliar faces will soon be a part of our learning community.

Tonight’s Open House featured MACville–our student created community made up of twelve 32 x 32 inch grids.  Each grid was planned by a group of four students working within the constraints of a building code.  Here’s a peek at our cardboard community.

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And when I got in my car to head home after a very long day, the sea and sky called to me.  The weather forecasters have been predicting rain, but we often get a chance of rain in the forecast that comes to naught.  But with the sun setting into the ocean and storm clouds gathering, I headed toward the beach with my phone in my pocket.  As the wind whipped my hair and my jacket billowed around me, I snapped shots of the amazing colors of the sky and sea.  No editing was needed, the light and clouds and water did all the work.

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So where is the change in your life right now?  In the weather?  In your classroom?  In your personal life?  In your art?

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 #change for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Change is the air for me right now.  What change will you capture through your lens?