Monday, November 30, 2009

Taking Risks

Remember, the tortoise only gets ahead if he sticks his neck out. Author Unknown

Sometimes to get what we want in life we have to take risks. Just remember to evaluate those risks and balance them with the potential rewards.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

" . . . practice random acts of kindness, so that which comes to you as seed will be passed on to the next as blossom, and that which came to you as blossom will go out as fruit." By Dawna Markova

What a wonderful quote! Perhaps, as we enter this holiday season, we can all remember this quote and "pay it forward". Think how much better the world would be if everyone did that. So, the next time you buy a cup of coffee or an ice cream, buy one for the next person in line too. You can be sure, it'll brighten their day. After all, isn't that what it's all about?

And now, for a little photo tip - Soft light and interesting subjects are two of the ingredients of a good photo, & I was lucky enough to get both of them in this shot. We were driving down the road on our way back to our motel in West Yellowstone, Mt. when we saw these elk standing next to the river. I had the camera on my lap and was able to fire off a couple of shots before they left. Unfortunately it was dark enough that I had to really crank up my ISO. This caused the original photo to be way too noisy. Since I couldn't remove a lot of the noise, I used a Topaz filter to turn the photo into an artsy image. It's fun to see what you can create in PhotoShop or with third-party plug-ins, such as Topaz. So, when you have some time, open an image in PhotoShop and see what you can create.

Inner Strength

Find the inner strength required when confronting danger, difficulty or opposition. By: Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D.

We all encounter difficult situations as we go through life. The important thing is how we handle them, how we over-come obstacles & how we climb over emotional mountains. So, next time you are faced with a difficult situation, remember these words & this picture of ancient cedar trees. They've encountered years of physical stress and turmoil and still stand straight and tall. I hope that as you go through life, you'll find the inner strength to be like these cedar trees and emerge from difficult situations stronger and wiser for the experience.

This picture, which was modified somewhat with a Topaz filter, was taken at Cedar Grove Park in Montana. It is a beautiful place covered with ancient cedar trees. Vegetation is growing all over the forest floor, giving it a dream-like atmosphere. Trying to photograph the trees, however, was difficult due to the contrasty light pouring through the canopy. I took pictures at various settings and then merged them to get the best exposure possible. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Don't Rush

Rushing water is natural. It's the way things are supposed to be, For people, however, it's better to slow down a little and enjoy life. So remember, as you're rushing around doing your daily tasks, slow down and take time to smell the roses. It will add an immense sense of joy to your day and to your life. Remember to cherish the day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Power Within

Begin to see the invisible . . . so that you can do the impossible. Your positive attitude enables you to see beneath the surface so that you can accomplish anything you want. Keith D. Harrell

I hope that on this Thanksgiving day you will look inside yourself and see the power that is within you . . . the power you need to succeed and the power to make a difference.

Happy Thanksgiving! May this day be blessed for you and your family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Wish For You

My wish for you is that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope we'll all take time to give thanks for all the blessing we've received. Too often, we get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we neglect to do that. So, stop and reflect on what you have. Hopefully, at the top of your list of things to be thankful for, will be your family and your friends. Without them around to share our jouney, life would not be nearly as much fun or as rewarding.
Cherish this day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Around The Bend

As we go through life, we never know where the road is going to take us. Sometimes it just heads off into the distance, like these railroad tracks, and the destination is no where in sight. In those cases, we just have to follow the path and have faith that there's something good at the end.

I hope your day is a joyous one.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


“If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

Rushing Water

Rushing water can be relaxing or scary, depending on whether you're listening to it, watching it or trying to navigate a raft through it. Since we were merely photographing it, the speed of the water didn't intimidate us.
Spring in Yellowstone this year was a little different than what we'd seen previously. They'd had a lot of snow the previous Winter and the melt was in progress, which made for rushing, dirty water. Normally, the water in Yellowstone is crystal clear, but dirt mixed with the water created off-white waterfalls in some areas.
How rushing water looks in a photograph depends on your shutter speed and aperature. I used a shutter speed of 200 and a 5.6 aperature in this particular picture. As you can see, that shutter speed was fast enough to freeze most of the motion of the water. If I had used a much slower shutter speed, the water would have looked silky. I'll post an example of that on a different day.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. Author Unknown
Good quote! Let's just appreciate what we have today and not obsess about tomorrow.

Yellowstone With The Boys

As we approach Thanksgiving, I'd like to say that I'm thankful for our wonderful grandsons & the opportunity we've had to share Yellowstone with them. It's a wonderful place and it's fun to watch the amazement on the face of a child as they experience its' wonders.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beauty of the Seasons

Each moment of the year has its' own beauty. Ralph Waldo Emerson

This picture was taken in Yellowstone in Oct. 2009. Due to a snow storm, we were confined to the area between West Yellowstone and Old Faithful for about three days. When we were finally able to head to the North part of the park, we saw this winter wonderland like scene beside the road. My husband stopped the truck and I walked down the middle of the snowy road to "get the shot". When photographing scenes like this it's important to expose for the highlights to prevent the snowy portion of the scene from being blown out. HDR would have been another option, but setting up the tripod in the middle of a snowy road was not something I was willing to do. I spite of the contrast, I think the picture came out pretty well. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Capturing Moments

When you grab your camera and go on a photography outing, remember that your goal is not just to take a picture, but to "make" a picture, to tell a story. One way to do that is by capturing moments. A picture of this baby Colubos monkey or the mother, by themselves, would not create the feeling that you get when viewing this tender moment between the two primates. Capturing moments isn't always easy, though. This baby was jumping around, hopping from place to place and, generally, being very difficult to photograph. If I had just snapped off a couple of pictures and then left, I would have missed this heart-warming scene of mother and baby. Getting the picture you want takes time. If you just take a picture, you won't be as satisfied as if you'd taken the time to "make" a picture. So, slow down, look at your subjects and think about what they might do next. Try to anticipate their actions and always have your camera ready to go.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A healthy, vital society is not one in which we all agree. It is one in which those who disagree can do so with honor and respect for other people's opinions . . . and an appreciation of our shared humanity. Marienne Williamson
I guess the above quote touches on what differentiates humans from apes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Power of Learning

Become a lifelong learner. Expose yourself to new ideas. Take classes regularly. Resolve to remain teachable throughout your life. Christiane Northrup, M.D.

My mom definitely believed this. At 82 years old she was using a computer to make greeting cards to send to her friends who were ill or lonely. Granted, once in awhile, I had to remind her how to do something, but she got it done. She listened to radio programs that explained how to do gardening, home repair, etc., and would read magazines and newspapers to learn more. She'd cut out informative articles & send them to family members, because she wanted all of us to continue learning. She was a remarkable woman who believed in the absolute power of learning. She was my role model. I hope I continue to take her advice and am still learning new things when I'm in my 80s. It definitely makes life more interesting and more fun!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Can & I am!

Words of Wisdom from Personal Development -

No doesn't mean no --- it simply means not yet!

Only you decide if you can or can't.

Speak out loud every day, "I can and I am!"

What good advice! Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something, because only you can decide that. Don't let anyone squelch your dreams, for they are within your grasp. All it takes is time, hard work and determination. Of course, a little luck thrown in doesn't hurt. What is luck, though, where does it come from and how do we get it? A friend of mine says that, when someone tells him he's lucky, his response is, "The harder I work, the luckier I get". So, work hard and never give up on yourself or on your dreams.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Siberian Tiger

I'm getting ready for a photo club meeting this afternoon and am not feeling very creative or inspirational this morning, so this picture is all you get today. Hopefully, I haven't already shared it with you. If so, sorry for the duplication. I'm going to have to edit some more photos next week, so I'll have new pics to share. I hope you have a safe and wonderful week-end.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Attitudes Show

I took these pictures of a baby snow leopard about two weeks apart. The look in his eyes, in the picture at the top, made me want to take him home. He looked so cute and cuddly. The other picture is how he looked just two weeks later. I titled this picture "Attitude", because it looks like he definitely had one. Our attitudes, and the way we feel, show in our eyes and in our body language. So make sure, as you go through this day, that you project an attitude that will help you succeed in your life and your career.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Look For The Good in People

I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. - Anne Frank

If Anne Frank can still believe in the beauty and goodness of the human heart, after everything she went through, we should be able to do the same. So, recognize your fellow humans for the complicated, but good, people they really are.

These two photos were taken in Glacier National Park in September. We couldn't get a place to stay that was close to the best scenes, so getting there at the right time of the day was difficult. So I didn't think I'd gotten many good pictures. However, when looking through them again, I decided these weren't bad. Taking them at the "magic hour" would have been much better, but I guess they'll have to do. I sincerely hope you enjoy looking at them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall is a time when trees go dormant and lose their leaves. They need time to recover from a busy year, time to recoup so they can spring forth with beautiful colors when the time is right. Just like the trees, you need time to recover from busy and stressful times or circumstances.
So, take a break, do something relaxing and enjoyable, just for yourself. Afterwards, you'll spring back into shape and be better prepared to face life's challenges and to offer your friends and family your "best self". Enjoy this day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Life's A Torch

"Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." George Bernard Shaw

What a wonderful quote! Life would probably mean more to all of us if we lived according to this. I'm going to try. What about you?

Monday, November 9, 2009

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will educate the patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)

I wonder why it took "medicine" so long to start looking at those things instead of simply getting out the prescription pad. Interesting!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What Is Hope?

"What is hope? To want? To desire? To expect that what's envisioned may indeed happen?
Yes to all of the above.
Is hope that gut feeling that it's worth holding out and hanging on for just a little bit longer?
Is hope the core of the human condition?
Can you have hope without faith and humility and wonder?
Just the thought that there's something bigger, something truer, something totally surprising out there waiting for us is . . .

What would you be without hope growing deep in your bones, thriving in every inch of you?


What does it take to hope?


From the little book I Hope You Dance

So, remember, whatever you do, whatever the circumstances are, have hope. It'll help get you through the day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just Play

Playing is good. Friends are good. They help relieve stress and increase enjoyment. So, go out and play this week-end. Forget that you're an adult. Pretend you're a kid again and find enjoyment in the simple things of life.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I just found out that my aunt is very ill and probably won't make it. She is the last member of my dad's immediate family, so this is a rather sad day for me. I'll take comfort, however, knowing that she'll soon be in a better place and united with her husband, parents and my wonderful dad.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Attitude and Success

You're going to do what? Do you ever get that type of comment when you share an idea with a family member or friend? Do they act like you're crazy for trying something new? Just remember that your ideas and abilities are awesome and the comments of others may be based on their own feelings of inadequacy. Keep believing in yourself in spite of the comments of others. Support from family and friends is nice, but if you don't have it, proceed in the belief that you will succeed. Attitude is important. Visualize yourself succeeding and it will happen. The power of your success is in your own mind and no one can take that from you. You are a winner and success is within your grasp. Just remember to never give up.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Love Isn't Easy

Love isn't always easy but, even with the occasional scrapping and squawking, it's worth it. So, cherish the relationship you have, and work to make it better. After all, anything of significant value usually requires effort and continued dedication to retain its' splendor. So, give your loved one a kiss and tell him or her how important they are to you. For those special words can never be said too often and they're always appreciated.
Photo tip: As you probably already know, in order to get the type of wildlife pictures you want, you have to be patient. Unfortunately, animals don't pose for us according to an appointment schedule.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Question. The Solution?

What do you think about when you look at this picture? Do you just think "What a cool tiger?" or do you think about predators and how they affect our lives? There are many predators in the wild, such as tigers, lions, wolves, bears, coyotes, etc. Without them, the eco-system is out of balance. Species reproduce and, without predators, populate their habitats to the point that there's not enough food in the wild to sustain them. These animals often starve or become a nuisance, and sometimes a danger, in populated areas. As a species, man has interfered with the balance of the eco-system to the point that this is occurring more and more often. What do we do to correct the problem? Do we allow hunting to the point that these animals are almost driven to the point of extinction? Do we reintroduce predators to areas that are close to human population and livestock? This is a complex question, because it has implications that touch our emotions, our economy and our safety. When I read about wolves being de-listed and hunted, I wonder what's going to happen to the Yellowstone eco-system. Without enough wolves, the elk population will increase to the point that it's not healthy, which is why wolves were reintroduced to this wonderful and wild area in the first place. Nearby ranchers, on the other hand, don't want wolves killing their livestock. In the Kansas City Area, hunters have been allowed to kill deer that have become a problem for nearby residents and drivers. Because of our increasing population, and our intrusion on the habitats of these animals, we have created a problem that we are now trying to solve. Unfortunately, it's a complex question with no easy answers. All we can do is try to find solutions that are best for all of us - humans and animals. We're on this earth together and we need to find answers that will let us co-exist successfully.

Unfortunately, though, wild animals aren't the only predators we encounter in today's complex society. We also have human predators who cause much more damage than our animal friends. These individuals don't just kill, or injure others, in order to exist. They make their living, and get their kicks, from preying on other people. Unlike animals, they are not following their instincts in order to survive. They intentionally cause pain to others, for no reason other than cruelty. There's no question here. As far as I'm concerned, these people need to be locked up and the key thrown away. Perhaps if we could solve this problem, we'd have more resources to devote to the intelligent management of our eco-systems, the development of environmentally-friendly energy and other issues which will impact everyone and everything living on this planet for generations to come.

Sorry for the soapbox. I guess I'm just on a roll this morning. Perhaps this will give you something to think about, though, as you go through your day. If we merely read about these issues, but don't do anything about them & don't get involved, the solutions will never come. It's up to us, to all of us, to make the changes necessary that will create a better world for our children, our grandchildren and their grandchildren. :<)