Autumn’s First Sunrise

9-23-14 014As I left home this morning I rode into one of the most stunning sunrises I have ever witnessed. I couldn’t help myself so I stopped at a couple of locations as I headed east and took multiple photos. Each photo is untouched and the colors were as rich and vibrant then as now. 9-23-14 015I hesitate to share too many images, but am compelled to give you a half-dozen just so the intensity of this sunrise captures you as it did me.9-23-14 017Having a stationary object included in a sky photograph usually accents both the sky and the object, as did this utility pole. However, only one stayed still, and it sure wasn’t the clouds!9-23-14 022I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of the photographer. I like reflections from glass, water or from any reflective material.9-23-14 028Within minutes the shapes and colors of God’s palette changed. I never knew ambers so rich as these. And the shadows so vivid while the reflections were so brilliant. Ablaze was the eastern sky this morning. And just think, this is eastern Kansas and not some exotic locale. What a privilege to have witnessed this unfolding of morning on September 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox. Perhaps this Fall will be special. It certainly started out that way for me…and now for you!9-23-14 032

Point of View

7-30-14 010I’m curious as to what captures your attention when you first view this photograph. I know what I see, and it isn’t all that clear. However, I still like the variety of colors and shapes found in these flowers, regardless of their clarity (something in extreme focus). My point of view from a photographer’s perspective is affected by light, angles, distance, movement, camera settings, and much more. As applied to me personally, my point of view is affected by my state of mind, stress level, amount of sleep, pain level, happiness level, relationships, events, trials, schedules, etc.  Below are two more examples of the same perspective dynamic, with each image taken from the same location and within a few seconds of each another. The difference is in the focus aspect of my camera (depth of field). This was purposely done to emphasize what I wanted to be in focus: Carson or the flowers. I could have chosen to make everything in these images clear, but that would not help me in making a rather simple point. And, my point is…………………………………. 7-3-14 018How we view life and respond to it can be boiled down to what we focus on. The clearer our perspective (point of view) usually results in an objective response while the opposite generally holds true. Namely, out-of-focus perspectives result in very subjective and often overstated or inaccurate responses, and often create problems.7-3-14 017I was reminded of this dynamic when I listened to a wonderful song by Johnny Nash from 1972. The lyrics go like this: I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds which had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sunshiny day. I encourage you to listen to this song as it will put a smile on your face. May all your days be filled with lots of sunshine and your perspective clear.

Bell Ringers

misc 005Just for fun I thought it interesting (for lack of a more descriptive word) to display several telephone devices from different eras. Please forgive the quality of this photo, as I had a difficult time supporting the various configurations of devices and keeping the direct sunlight off of them. Hence, the glare spot. If you remember all of these telephones then you have witnessed a technological revolution in your lifetime!

I project that almost 100% of you are familiar with a Smart cell phone (even if you don’t own one), as revealed by my Samsung Galaxy III (even the name sounds futuristic). There were several variations of mobile phones before the Smart phones of today, but the bag phone was the coolest of the early mobile devises. It had power, mobility, a leather case with zipper and a rather neat looking antennae. It had decent sound quality and good range. If you owned one of these babies, you were pretty cool at the time. Plus, you dished out a lot of money for one.There were other handheld wireless phones, but they resembled WWII walkie-talkies in size and were not very powerful.

Let’s step back a few years to the rotary corded telephone which was the staple of most homes for several generations. If you are over the age of twenty then you probably had at least one of these in your house. Not only were they offered as wall phones, but as desk phones, too. These were called Princess phones…the seventies and eighties colors were similar to appliance colors. Yuck. Eventually, push button phones started replacing the rotary dial types, but there were a few die-hard fans who were content with the rotary. Hence, the yellow telephone was my stepmom’s!

A true advancement came when the corded phone progressed to a cordless phone with base receiver. They still looked similar to the smaller Princess style phones, but one could walk around the house while talking to someone. This was the precursor to the mobile phones of today as people became used to cordless devices. Many even came with belt clips and had a range of up to a hundred feet.

Now, for the oak cabinet wall phone which was common in many a home when they first appeared on the scene in America in the late 1880s. This model is a Kellogg wall phone and was quite popular through the early 1900s. One had to turn the crank several times to energize the wires which would in-turn caused the signal to transmit. Conversely, when someone called, the bell-ringer would alert the home owner. One anomaly of the early telephone transmission system had to do with Party Lines which inter-connected multiple telephones to one transmission line. Therefore, all who heard the ringer could pick up the receiver and listen in on another’s conversation…or butt-in when annoyed enough!

Alexander Graham Bell invented the first audio-recognizable telephone device in 1876. His initial objective was to enhance the capabilities of the existing telegraph system, but when he was able to discern familiar noises from his inventions his focus shifted to the telephone. He started Bell Telephone Company in 1878 (now AT&T). The first telephone lines began to be installed in 1887 and by 1915 the first transcontinental line was operational. Now, not only can we call anyone anywhere in the world (almost) we can transmit all sorts of data, watch streaming videos, and play games without having any wires connecting the phones. I wonder if Mr. Bell could conceive of such technological advancements in the 138 years since his invention. All of this technology makes me wonder what will be the form of verbal and data communication twenty-five years from now. Stick around to find out!


The Imposter & Engineer

9-9-14With the advent of Autumn just around the calendar’s corner, all manner of night fliers are out gathering the last bit of nature’s nectar and insects. Last night as I opened the door to our deck, I witnessed this White-lined Sphinx ‘hummingbird’ moth feasting on the petunias in our flower basket. Some of these imposters can have wingspans up to five inches, and can look like the genuine hummingbird…this species not so much. However, at first glance I thought it was a hummingbird as it fluttered from flower to flower. As you can tell, the season for petunias is nearing its end.9-9-14 002Another example of nature’s ever-changing dynamic is the proliferation of garden variety spiders which multiple toward the end of summer. I almost walked right into the center of this web this morning. Fortunately, I caught a glimmer of reflective light from one of the silk strands and stopped. My camera was nearby so I grabbed it and took a quick shot of this waiting predator and his intricate silken web. Amazing is an appropriate word for what a spider can create in a single several-hour period, and then repeat the same construction night after night. I’m fatigued just thinking about the amount of effort that went into creating this masterpiece of structural and functional design. It pays to be aware of one’s immediate surroundings. An added benefit to being a witness of nature’s unfolding drama is to have a child-like fascination for God’s creation. Such fascination enhances the experience…just ask a child what she is thinking when she studies a tadpole in shallow water or a little boy as he pokes at a turtle to make him move. They are simply amazed, as am I.