May 9, 2018

Sunny, 58 Degrees, No wind.

I awake to substantial pain in my leg and hip. I take a shower, which is excruciating. Standing upright is all it takes to invoke almost unbearable pain. There will be no trip to the woods this morning.

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A few Magnolia blooms have opened late. The light on this one is nice.

I still want to take Jamie for a walk. I don’t want to start disappointing him after taking him for a trip to the woods yesterday. So I take him to a neighbor whose dog he loves and who loves him. The dog is a three year old Golden Retriever named Hank, and he and Jamie have known and loved one another for years.

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These are leaves on the Magnolia. I love the complex ways they open and unfurl.

They will run and play and get plenty of exercise without me having to walk too far. It is a joy beyond measure to watch these two dogs together. They truly love one another in a way I have never seen before.

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Our neighbor’s Maple now has leaves as well as seeds in progress. Notice that many of the flowers have only nacent seeds, while others are full grown. It will be interesting to see if these other flowers develop seeds or not. Perhaps they weren’t pollinated?

Their dog lies on his deck all day long, watching for Jamie to come by. When he spots us, he yelps as if he’s losing his mind. I know he is yelping at their sliding glass door so he can be let in and then let out their front door to greet Jamie.

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Meanwhile, the Maple in our back yard is growing only leaves and has not bloomed or produced seeds. I think it will do so in the fall. We shall see.

When he gets out, he runs wildly for several minutes, with Jamie making passes at him, jumping wildly from side to side and running as fast as he can. Hank always runs to me as soon as he gets out of the door, but Jamie is in hot pursuit, so he gets only a quick pat on the head as he runs past. The whole ritual takes only a minute or two, then they settle down to their own explorations and we head off toward the school yard where they can run off leash and generally have the time of their lives.

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They’re just beautiful little blossoms, looking great against this dark background. 

The neighbor Pat is a lovely woman, with whom I’ve walked dogs for a couple of years now on almost a daily basis. We met through our dogs, and have become close friends through all the hours we have walked together.

Pat has walked the woods with me many times and is always great company. We both love seeing our dogs so happy together and so happy to be free to enjoy themselves as dogs were meant to do.

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I like the complex linear elements in the background of this shot. I’ve shot these trees many times before without feeling that I got good images. I feel like these are so much better. Maybe it’s all the practice, or maybe my mind has opened up. 

The walk is not as painful as I anticipate, though I take advantage of the benches there to rest my leg. I stretch as well, to keep the pain in check. I get back home in not too bad shape and let Jamie loose in the back yard, where he is happy as a clam, chewing on a bone in the tall green grass.

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This shot is hard to read at small scale, but only the lower branches are in focus for an interesting effect.

Last night around sunset, I went out in the yard with my camera and photographed the changes in the Magnolia and the Maples in my yard. I also took some interesting pictures of the flowering trees in our front yard. I really should find out what they are. They look like Flowering Pear trees, though they bear only a small berry-like fruit.

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I love this effect with the lower branches in focus and framing the out-of-focus tree top.

The blossoms are gorgeous and I get some conventional shots that are nice, and some interesting shots using unusual angles and depth of field. I like these shots for the way they make the mind work.

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Another interesting effect from the linear branches playing against the blossoms.

I hope to go to the woods tonight and photograph some of the pathways and the small details of the leaves that are bursting out everywhere. The weather is clouding over, so I’m not sure if this will work. But I hope to try, unless it starts raining. My leg will protest, but I want these shots at any cost. They are a key part of my project. I can’t miss them.

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