Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"MAGIC MOMENTS"

Well after trying to figure out what to concentrate on for a new book, I decided to go back into the archives and find only those pictures that contain a little magic - something quirky - something more than just a bird on a branch.  So here it is, "MAGIC MOMENTS".  It contains 55 images with descriptions about what was happening at the time the picture was taken.  This takes a little time to go through, but it's all free on line. Make sure you turn your computer into full screen by clicking the four arrows in the lower right corner where the preview button is located.  Now go ahead and have some fun:


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cutest Squirrels Ever!!

"Well, I think you have a fever."

Mom and the Kids
Me and Mom

Pushing Mom Around


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nikon D4 Battery and Cover

Yesterday, as I do most every day, I arrived in Valley Forge National Park around 10:00 a.m.  I had my big 600mm lens attached to my Nikon D4 all mounted on my tripod.  Slung over my shoulder was my 105mm macro lens attached to my Nikon D800.  All was good until I realized I had taken out the memory card from the D800 and put it into yet another camera. (I have way too many cameras.) But still I could manage with just one memory card and switch it in and out of whatever camera I was using.

I decided to head into the woods and look for owls.  To get into the woods I had to climb a little five foot embankment.  With the heavy cameras and lenses and tripod, my footing could be quite challenging.  As I was headed up, I noticed a few people walking my way.  I look rather strange - this short older lady with tick pants, high boots, floppy hat and huge cameras and lenses trying to maneuver up a five foot embankment.  I bent over and pushed my way up, but almost tripped causing the equipment to be jerked a bit, but I made it and quickly crossed into the woods trying to evade the eyes of the curious onlookers.  I made it all the way across one deep woods.  The floor of the woods was just beautiful filled with all colors of fall leaves and lots of acorns.  I kept my eyes up in the trees looking for anybody who might wish to pose.  Finally I got to a clearing and saw a little black eyed junco.  I put down the tripod and turned on the camera to take the picture, but the viewfinder was black!  Nothing, no light.  What happened??  I checked again - nothing.  I turned the camera on its side and could see that my battery chamber was empty.  Oh my gosh!!  Probably while I was scrambling up the embankment, I jerked the camera so much that I loosened the battery chamber and the big battery came out along with the battery cover.  Many bad words came from my mouth.

But, I was determined to the best of my ability to find the GD battery.  I looked all around where I was and found nothing.  I set up the heavy camera and lens securely on the tripod because walking all the way back to the embankment with the camera was just too much work.  I traced my steps - but with all the leaves I had no idea if I was even following the same path.  I got back to the embankment - searched and searched and searched and no battery or battery cover.  I traced my steps back again through the woods to where I'd set up the camera and tripod.  Dejectedly, I folded the tripod and walked back again to the embankment with all my heavy equipment.  When I got back to the embankment while I was again looking for the battery I saw a beautiful big nursery spider in the leaves.  Well, what was I here for?  I changed the memory card back into the camera with the macro lens and just forgot my troubles and took many pictures of this beautiful bearded spider.
After taking his picture I felt much better about the whole situation and decided not to let the day go without taking a few more pictures.  So I turned around again with all my heavy equipment and walked back through the woods to the clearing, this time concentrating not only on looking for the battery, but also looking for more little critters.  When I got to the clearing, what to my merry eyes did I see - but my battery just lying there in the leaves waiting for me!!!  Oh, you cannot imagine the joy.  The thanks I gave to whomever led me this way.  A great nursery spider and a filled battery chamber to make my little camera work.  Now who says life is not good every single day.....

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Scrabble Game

I hope I can write about this afternoon with the depth of feeling that is in my heart right now.  I had a wonderful morning outside at Eastern College.  It was a beautiful day - way too bright to take good photographs, but I still found a little secret place to stand in the middle of a little secret stream.  Had my boots on so my feet didn't get wet.  The vines that crawl up the trees were bearing beautiful little blue berries and the robins were having a field day trying to evade my camera all while eating the blue berries.  I took time out to call my wonderful friend Kathy while still standing in the stream on the lookout for a National Geographic moment.  Kathy is in the midst of a bump in the road with her love and we talked about unconditional love on the phone and she is filled with it and I think her love would like to be filled with it too, but he is too afraid to let her know and she is too afraid to let him know.  But that was this morning and I want to write about this afternoon.

I came home and Joy the wonderful but stern and many layered care giver was here with Ken.  She is the best for him because she is tart and smart and loves him and takes such good care of him.  She went home about 2:30 and Ken was not feeling very well.  As many of you know, Ken is in the late stages of Parkinson's Disease.  Which means he has real trouble talking, walking, moving, doing anything.  But thank the dearest Lord above he has not lost his wonderful brain.  And he has not lost his sense of humor or his drive to live and to love.

So, like we do many days, we played a game of scrabble.  Ken can sit up and can play very well.  He has trouble putting the letters on the board, but he always comes up with great words or double words or triple words.  I am no slouch myself and forever we have been great competitors.

Now many of you might not think playing a game of scrabble could make a great afternoon, but my friends, you have not lived until you have played a game of scrabble at 470 Glenmary Lane.  It was mid afternoon.  I put Pandora Radio on our sound system to the random setting - meaning that the songs that would play would be a mish mash of our favorite songs - from Beethovan's 5th to Tina Turner.  The music was better than ever.  I got the best letters and was making good words left and right.  I was winning by double digits, but then Ken took over and after about two hours, was beating the heck out of me.  Now during the game Ken had to get up with my help and stretch every half hour or so.  So I would stand up and reach my hands out and pull him up.  And then Smoky Robinson and the Miracles came on the radio and I told Ken he had to dance to the music for his stretch - and one great benefit of Parkinson's is that patients can't walk, can't talk, but they can dance.  So there we are - up from scrabble and dancing to Smoky Robinson.  And if you knew Ken Kono, you know he is not really a Smoky Robinson kind of guy, but he loves his little Kitty, so he danced - or swayed - to Smoky and we both laughed and swayed to the music and it was so so lovely.

Then we got back to the game.  Ken was still winning - but I was catching up.  The game was winding down.  Ken is winning by about 18 points.  But I have a few good letters left and score within 7 points.  Ken has two letters left and I have none left.  You have to take points off for letters left.  When he took his letters off, I won by two points.  Oh the joy of it all.

Doesn't seem like much, but an afternoon at home with the person you love more than anything in the world, with the best music in the world, and to beat Ken Kono at scrabble, life does not get better.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Research on Parkinson's

A few days ago Ken and I heard a broadcast on National Public Radio about a new study done on a drug called Nilotinib.  The drug is being used for cancer patients, but it was used by two neurologists from GeorgetownUniversity Hospital in Washington D.C. on a small group of Parkinsons patients.  The study included only 12 patients, but after six months all 12 got better - some dramatically.  One man in a wheel chair was able to get up and walk.  Others who could not speak could talk again. The little study is certainly not enough to introduce the new drug, but it was such a ray of hope for this family.  We have contacted the two neurologists and asked that maybe Ken could be put in a future trial.  His neurologist is not very supportive and we realize it's a very long shot, but we will continue to see if we can do anything to make this happen.  The results of the study will be published in the journal below.  I put it here so I could make sure to have a copy of the study as soon as it is published.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Beautiful Palm Warbler

A little flock of these beauties landed in a field of shrub in Valley Forge and let me get awfully close.  Love when that happens!

Saturday, September 19, 2015