mid july

I drive by this pasture at least once a week. Although the image looks rural, if you pulled back on the shot you would see that it’s actually on the corner of a busy thoroughfare right in town.  I often gauge the change of seasons by what’s happening in and around this field at various times of the year (you can view a couple of the images here and here.)

I set out last night to get a shot of the field as the owners had recently harvested its wheat crop.  As often happens though, once there I was sidetracked by something completely different – in this case a patch of purple coneflowers poking through an old barbed-wire fence.

Coneflowers are the quintessential Midwest perennial, and you see them in many home gardens. They have it all: beauty, hardiness, native habitat and they’re attractive to goldfinches, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

The sight of purple coneflowers in front of a field of gold is about as summer a scene as one will find in the Midwest in mid July.

Oh, and the pretty gold field stubble is still visible in the background. 🙂

coneflowers and fence

canons ashby and priory, northamptonshire UK

Not long ago, my friend and fellow blogger Nigel Borrington did a post on  Kilcooley Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey in County Tipperary, Ireland.  Nigel is an artist and professional photographer whose images of the Irish landscape and knowledge of its history are not to be missed. Please do yourself a favor and check out his blog!

I really loved Nigel’s Kilcooley post as I had visited England and France this past spring and found the religious structures incredibly beautiful and fascinating in their history – especially the lesser known churches that dot the English countryside.  Although Westminster is the most famous of England’s abbeys, I found the simplicity of the small churches to be just as intriguing.  They are remote and peaceful; austere yet humble. You can stand in the nave of canons priory, for example, and imagine this place in the thirteenth century – the monks communing in silence as they prayed, read, fished, meditated, held services.

It’s high summer in the Midwest. The sun is blazing down and the air is thick with humidity. I thought it would be nice, then, to revisit the cool spring afternoon of the English countryside.

The light was low on the day we visited, and these are mobile phone images, so please excuse the poor quality.

I want to thank Nigel for his encouragement and support. He answers my questions with patience and wisdom. He is generous and kind with his feedback of not just my blog but other fellow bloggers on WordPress as well.  So thank you, Nigel!

🙂

1 canon's ashby grounds 1 resized

3 canon's ashby interior window with stained glass hangings

  5 ashby dining room (451x800)

8 ashby childs room 1 (800x473)

17 canon's ashby grounds 2

18 canons ashby grounds 3

19 canon's ashby priory exterior 20 priory exterior

priory church sign (450x800)

22 canon's priory nave 22a priory nave 22a

25 priory interior tower

23 priory interior ornament unknown  26 exterior road leaving ashby priory ashby sign re monks (450x800) ashby sign re monks 2 (800x450) canon's ashby priory monks sign (800x450)

crooked magic hour

magic hour

Having been too busy the last few days to take many pictures, I thought I would go through some past images and find one for the current weekly theme, “The Golden Hour.”

If I could, I would shoot every morning and evening during just these two hours. If it was cloudy, I’d wait for a spot of sun. If the sun didn’t appear, I would photograph the sky anyway – and hope. Because breaking clouds during magic hour are worth waiting for.

I enjoy seeing others’ weekly theme posts and follow them regularly. But alas, I am too lazy to go through the steps myself.

So here is my take on this week’s theme.

I took this image during the drive home after a long flight from London to Chicago. We had been up nearly 24 hours and were nearing the end of the last leg of the journey: the 4 hour drive home.  It had rained a cool spring thunderburst right outside of Chicago and then again as we got closer to home. Just after the sun dipped below the horizon, the clouds broke apart and the sky began to glow.

I thought about straightening the horizon in PS, but it’s a direct reflection of my fatigue and jet lag at the time. And it was such a wonderful holiday…………….

May you celebrate the crooked imperfections in your own life.

🙂

#150, summer holiday

air stream

I’m resurrecting this image today because it was one of the first phone-camera shots that gave me the photography bug. I took it late last summer while we were driving across the state to go bicycling.

Americans have great affection for Airstream trailers as they evoke nostalgic images of childhood vacations, cross country road trips and simpler times:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airstream

I just happened to have my phone camera at the ready when this one passed us on the interstate, and the shot couldn’t have turned out any better!

Thank you to everyone who views, follows and comments on my blog. I hope you’re spending these easy summer days doing things that make you happy.

🙂