Renaissance Musings Gallery

I think I mentioned that I am a photographer. Guess, then, I should probably post some of my photos. Let me know what you think.

I am behind on my photo posting too. Here are a couple to catch up.

And, continuing with the birdhouse theme, here are several rustic birdhouse for sale in the shopping village of Smithville, New Jersey.

Birdhouses for sale, Smithville, New Jersey

Birdhouses for sale, Smithville, New Jersey

This birdhouse was set up seven or eight years ago. Every year, it provides nesting for at least two broods of bluebirds.

Old birdhouse against clouded sky.

Old birdhouse against clouded sky.

A tractor anywhere is a photo subject for me. This is, I think, a Massey Ferguson, c. 1950. It is still a working tractor assigned to mowing duties right now.

Saw this tractor on the same farm that had the sunflower. I love tractors.

Saw this tractor on the same farm that had the sunflower. I love tractors.

I did not realize sunflower farming was so common in the county. Apparently, some raise fields of sunflowers because they attract doves during the dove hunting season. Sunflowers always make good photo subjects–the trick is to find something different to make the photos a little different from every other sunflower photo.

There is a big crop of sunflowers this summer. Was invited out to take some photos.

There is a big crop of sunflowers this summer. Was invited out to take some photos.

I call this the Garner Barn. It is one of my favorite subjects–it changes from season-to-season, hour-to-hour. Here, the Elk River has flooded. Normally, the water is well out of the photo behind the trees across the pasture. Garner Barn Flood Apr 2011-s

This bridge railing is a favorite on photography classes. The object of the class is that you can find interesting subjects almost anywhere if you just learn to look around and think about the possibilities.

Bridge Railing, Elk River Bridge, Bells Mill Road, Grundy County, Tennessee

Bridge Railing, Elk River Bridge, Bells Mill Road, Grundy County, Tennessee

This geological formation has been part of the landscape since well before humans of any kind had settled in North America, and has figured prominently in the history and lore of the region. If you visit Stone mountain, either take the aerial gondola or the walking trail to the top.

Stone Mountain (Stone Mountain, Georgia) is a fascinating bit of geology to investigate.

Stone Mountain (Stone Mountain, Georgia) is a fascinating bit of geology to investigate.

Living in a rural, farming community provides interesting views and subjects. During the summer months, cattle egrets are a common sight throughout the valley. They walk along with the cattle waiting for them to stir up a juicy grasshopper or other fast-food meal. At the end of the day, flocks of the egrets gather and fly off to roost in trees.

A cow checks out the photographer while her attendants--cattle egrets--wait for her to stir up another meal.

A cow checks out the photographer while her attendants–cattle egrets–wait for her to stir up another meal.

Timing is Everything! Catching the muzzle flash was no easy task, but I captured several during this War Between the States reenactment in Cold Springs Village, (Cape May County), New Jersey. It is interesting to note that no Civil War battles were fought in New Jersey!

"Union Soldiers, here in retreat, fire back at their Confederate pursuers during a reenactment in new Jersey.

“Union Soldiers,” here in retreat, fire back at their Confederate pursuers during a reenactment in new Jersey.

Old Barn, Pelham, TN

Pelham Valley has been a farming community for several centuries. There are a few barns that look like they have been here almost as long!

Pelham Valley has been a farming community for several centuries. There are a few barns that look like they have been here almost as long!

My Father Shortly after I went to college, my folks had formal studio portraits made. My father “cleaned up pretty good!” He got the scar on his forehead at the age of seven. While sledding down a snowy hill in a neighborhood, he ran into a car and actually cracked his skull. Apparently everything healed properly and it caused him no long term problems. He refused to let the photographer touch up the print to remove the scar.

My father dressed up "pretty good." He got the scar on his forehead at the age of seven. While sledding down a snowy hill in a neighborhood, he ran into a car and actually cracked his skull. Apparently everything healed properly and it caused him no long term problems. Re refused to let the photographer touch up the print to remove the scar.

My father dressed up “pretty good.” He got the scar on his forehead at the age of seven. While sledding down a snowy hill in a neighborhood, he ran into a car and actually cracked his skull. Apparently everything healed properly and it caused him no long term problems. He refused to let the photographer touch up the print to remove the scar.

Alien Life Form or Bee Keeper Posting several more photos of my father and me, as part of my Father’s Day Tribute.
My father tried many different enterprises on the farm, from commercial fishing to raising bees. Honey never became a business, but he maintained a couple of hives for some years.

Either and alien with a ray gun or my father in his beekeeping suit!

Either an alien with a ray gun or my father in his beekeeping suit!

We had a nice little beach on the Chickahominy River. From the time I can remember, I looked forward to going down to that beach, and in retrospect, must have bugged my parents almost continuously throughout the summer. I think my father liked it too, but was usually very busy. As I got older and spent more time really working, we would schedule beach time at the end of the day to cool off.

If you have read my posts, this is the beach in front of the fish house--my father, my cousin Neil Murray, and me at about age 10. Neil lived on the farm with Susie for many years.

If you have read my posts, this is the beach in front of the fish house–my father, my cousin Neil Murray, and me at about age 10. Neil lived on the farm with Susie for many years.

For Father’s Day, some posts of My Father, Paul Richmond.
All of the time I was growing up, if I could, I was with my father when he was working on the farm. I learned to hammer nails, shovel dirt, gather eggs, etc., at an early age.From before I can remember my father included me in many activities–not sure how much I helped, but he took every opportunity to show or teach me something. And he always made it seem important for me to learn something. The dog was Barney.

From before I can remember my father included me in many activities--not sure how much I helped, but he took every opportunity to show or teach me something. And he always made it seem important for me to learn something.

From before I can remember my father included me in many activities–not sure how much I helped, but he took every opportunity to show or teach me something. And he always made it seem important for me to learn something. (1947)

This is probably just before Christmas or maybe my birthday, looking through a catalog of tricycles and bicycles.

This is probably just before Christmas or maybe my birthday, looking through a catalog of tricycles and bicycles.

Lindau Harbor (taken from the top of the lighthouse) Ferries run regular routs around Lake Constance. Lindau’s picturesque harbor is one of the more popular stops on the ferry’s route.280601-59

Lighthouse at Entrance to Lindau Harbor, Bodensee (Lake Constance), Germany Lindau, an island city on the eastern side of the lake, hosts an annual meeting of Nobel Laureates that is attend by doctoral and post doctorate students from around the world. It is a quaint, major town in Bavaria.290601-01

Bells Mill Sunrise There is far less competition for sunrise photos–after all, it is necessary to be up before sunrise to be ready to take the photos. Sunsets are easy! Pelham is in Middle Tennessee.

Sunrise, Bells Mill Road at Interstate 24, July.

Sunrise, Bells Mill Road, Pelham, Tennessee, at Interstate 24, July.

Large Garden Spider – Common around yards, fields, and gardens in North America, these spiders a voracious insectivores. This one had a leg span of about four inches, the web was roughly the size of a table place mat.

This is a large garden spider, probably Genus Argiope.

This is a large garden spider, probably Genus Argiope.

Foot Bridge Reflections Taken in Leamings Run Gardens, Cape May, New Jersey, captures one of my favorite subjects–reflections.

Footbridge, Leamings Run Gardens, Cape May, NJ.

Footbridge, Leamings Run Gardens, Cape May, NJ.

Batsto Turtle Nature and wildlife photography has always been my first love. This turtle seemed perfectly comfortable posing on his log.

Red-bellied Turtle on the edge of Lake Batsto, New Jersey

Red-bellied Turtle on the edge of Lake Batsto, New Jersey

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, Fort Story, Virginia This is a monochrome experiment of a color photo taken at the top of the old lighthouse looking down the circular stair well. Buildings below are visible through a window in the upper right-hand corner of the photo. I used Corel PaintShop Pro X4 to achieve this effect. This photo was included on Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY’s Monochrome Madness No. 13 (http://leannecolephotography.com/2014/05/28/monochrome-madness-week-13/).

Monochrome treatment of Old

Monochrome treatment of Old Cape Henry Lighthouse

Flipflops on Display Street festivals always offer opportunities for colorful photos–and this collection of flipflops is an excellent example. The geometry of the display and the rainbow of colors made it irresistible (and earned me a blue ribbon at a local country fair photo competition!)

Flipflops on display at a street festival.

Flipflops on display at a street festival.

Meet Grover, the Groundhog that Lives Under the Smokehouse About two years ago we noticed a groundhog grazing in the back yard. We named him “Grover.” It soon became apparent that Grover had a den under the smokehouse, directly behind the kitchen window in the house. Last year, he found a mate to share his den. This spring, they presented us with three pups. Anybody want some groundhogs??

This is Grover. He lives in the backyard under the smokehouse.

This is Grover. He lives in the backyard under the smokehouse.

Raccoon on the Farm (c. 1957) This is the raccoon that I encountered described in today’s post, “Another Walk…” I took the photo with a 127-size film box camera with a flash cube (do you remember those?). I made the mistake of trying to catch it. It scratched my hand, and my hand became infected and swollen.

This is the raccoon that I encountered. I took the photo with a 127-size film box camera with a flash cube (do you remember those?).  I made the mistake of trying to catch it. It scratched my hand, and my hand became infected and swollen.

This is the raccoon that I encountered.

It’s That Time of Year. Mid-spring and throughout the summer, goldfinches provide bright splashes of color around the yard. A goldfinch feeder filled with nyger seed is soon crowded with goldfinches. Place the feeder close to approach perches for really great photos.

Goldfinch Time in Tennessee

Goldfinch Time in Tennessee

Civil War Reenactment in Cold Springs (Cape May) New Jersey Although photographed in color, it seemed that black-and-white was more appropriate since color photography was not available in the 1860s. While monochrome is a valid photographic tool, especially for dramatically lighted images, I like to use monochrome images to emphasize the historical aspect of a subject. Most of the images used in the “I Grew Up on Farm in Virginia” series are monochrome, even though many of the photos taken at the time used color film.

Civil War reenactment in New Jersey (where no Civil War battles were ever fought!)

Civil War reenactment in New Jersey (where no Civil War battles were ever fought!)

Stone Mountain Grist Mill This grist mill is part of the history captured at Stone Mountain, Georgia. This is a beautiful area to explore.

Old grist mill at Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Old grist mill at Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Sunrise Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey

 Sunrise at Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey


Sunrise at Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey

Ant Lion Traps

These little cone-shaped pits are actually traps to catch ants and other small arthropods that wander into the pit. Hidden in the soil at the bottom of the pit is the ant lion, waiting with jaws open to catch what ever hapless critter stumbles into the pit. When an ant falls into the pit, it may start to try to climb out. The ant lion will trow sand at the ant to knock it back to the bottom of the pit where it falls into the ant lion’s jaws. Ant lions are harmless to humans and anything much larger than an ant. The ant lion is the larval stage of small lace-winged flying insect.

Ant lion pit traps

Ant lion pit traps

Generations

These hands span four generations: Great Grandmother Peggy to Great Granddaughter Katie Ann.

Spanning Generations - Great Grandmother to Great Grandaughter

Spanning Generations – Great Grandmother to Great Granddaughter

Tennessee River Railroad Drawbridge – Bridgeport, Alabama

This was taken one day when Don Griffin, a friend I met through the store, and I explored the area across the river from Bridgeport, Alabama–an area that includes Long Island and Hog Jaw Valley–Don’s childhood home. The current bridge is a lift drawbridge. Don tells me he remembers when it was a pivoting bridge–the bridge would rise a little, then turn parallel to the river to let boats go by. Don tells me, as a kid, he used to “ride” the old drawbridge as it turned. I climbed up a steep embankment to get to the tracks to take photos of the bridge. The bridge tender yelled at me from the cab atop the drawbridge to get off the tracks. Don thought it was funny!

Railroad draw bridge across the Tennessee River between Bridgeport, AL and Long Island

Railroad draw bridge across the Tennessee River between Bridgeport, AL and Long Island

Fall Creek Falls

Fall Creek Falls is the centerpiece of Fall Creek Falls State Park, near Spencer, Tennessee. Was able to snap some reasonable photos on a brief weekend camping trip to the park, but need much more time to really get the photos I want.

The top of Fall Creek Falls; the water drops 256 feet to the pool below. A .4 mile trail leads to the base of the falls for additional views.

The top of Fall Creek Falls; the water drops 256 feet to the pool below. A .4 mile trail leads to the base of the falls for additional views.

Eastpoint Rivulet

I like the image of the water flowing around the grass, the colors, and the lighting. Apparently, others agreed with me because this won a blue ribbon (first prize) in a regional, New Jersey photography contest. The beach is on the Delaware bay, adjacent to Eastpoint Lighthouse. Not shown in this photo, there were many horseshoe crabs around on the beach that same morning.
East Point NJ-05-08-02

Red Barn
“Red Barn” is a poor title unless they are numbered–there are dozens of red barns within a few minutes drive here in Pelham Valley. This one happens to be close, and one of my favorites.

Even a brief drive in Pelham Valley takes you by many older, photogenic barns.

Even a brief drive in Pelham Valley takes you by many older, photogenic barns.

Stream, Grist Mill, Stone Mountain, Georgia
This century-old grist mill was moved to Stone Mountain Park in 1965. This is one of the more picturesque spots in the Park, it makes a great place for picnics. I used a long exposure to capture the motion of the water flow.

Mill stream from the waterwheel grist mill at Stone Mountain, Ga.

Mill stream from the waterwheel grist mill at Stone Mountain, Ga.

Old Barn, Pelham, Tennessee
Talk about timing; two months after I photographed this old barn, what was left collapsed. This dramatic shot was a achieved by having the bright sun behind the barn and just out of view of the camera. I will post another photo of this barn, taken at the same time, that results in an entirely different photograph.

Old barn in the Providence Community of Pelham. When I went back two months later to take more photos, the barn had collapsed

Old barn in the Providence Community of Pelham. When I went back two months later to take more photos, the barn had collapsed


Washington Monument Reflection

I am fascinated by reflections in photos, and this one is apropos today, since his the photo I used in today’s blog, Part 1A – A Word about the Constitution and our Government – Guest Commentary. In effect, this blog entry “reflects” on the the Constitution established by the Founding Fathers and the condition it is in today.

The Washington Monument--an enduring reminder of our Founding Fathers and what they went through to establish the United States and set us on a course for success.

The Washington Monument–an enduring reminder of our Founding Fathers and what they went through to establish the United States and set us on a course for success.

Morning Trawl Part 1A –
A fishing trawler departs Barnegate, New Jersey. I would get up well before sunrise to make the hour drive to the coast on the chance that I would see a photogenic sunrise. Rarely was I disappointed.

Outbound, Sunrise, Barnegat Inlet, Barnegat, New Jersey

Outbound, Sunrise, Barnegat Inlet, Barnegat, New Jersey

“Sunset with Action!”
Taken at the NASCAR 500 race at Atlanta in 2012. Two cars speed down the front stretch under a spectacular sunset. A sunset with action!
Atlanta Speedway Sunset with Action

East Point Lighthouse, New Jersey
East Point Lighthouse is located at the mouth of the Maurice River on the north side of the Delaware Bay. The Maurice River provides access to the oystering town of Bivalve, which at one time had as many as 500 vessels sailing into the river. The light went into service in 1849. At the outset of World War II, the light was darkened so as not to aid enemy vessels-and it was never reactivated. It is now owned and maintained by the local historical society.

Eastpoint Lighthouse on the Maurice River and Delaware Bay in the winter. (Minor post processing to achieve dramatic lighting.)

Eastpoint Lighthouse on the Maurice River and Delaware Bay in the winter. (Minor post processing to achieve dramatic lighting.)

Batsto Lake
Although not a remarkable photograph, this is one of my favorites. The only thing that would have made it better would have been me in a canoe gliding across the clouds. This is Batsto Lake in Historic Batsto Village in New Jersey. (Go to the essay page.).

Clouds reflected in Batsto Lake

Clouds reflected in Batsto Lake

Wiscasset Schooner – 1975
I snapped this photo of one of the Wiscasset Schooners in 1975. Sad to say, these abandoned and magnificent ships slowly rotted away, finally to be demolished in 1998. For more information, go to: http://www.hazegray.org/features/schooners/

 The Wiscasset Schooners The four-masted schooners Hesper and Luther Little were laid up at Wiscasset in 1932. Here they remained, rotting and becoming tourist attractions, until thier hulks had deteriorated into eyesores. In 1998 they were demolished.


“The Wiscasset Schooners
The four-masted schooners Hesper and Luther Little were laid up at Wiscasset in 1932. Here they remained, rotting and becoming tourist attractions, until thier hulks had deteriorated into eyesores. In 1998 they were demolished.” Source: Haze Gray

Russia’s Memorial to 9-11
For the story see Russia’s Memorial to 9-11
9-11 Memorial donated by the People of Russia in 2006

Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May, New Jersey

When I was living in New Jersey, Cape May was close enough that I could drive there frequently. I especially enjoy the sunrises along the coast and each morning trip offered some new view to capture.

Sunrise at Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey

Sunrise at Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey

Anhinga Tree
From my post about airboats and Florida, this photo was captured on Lake Toho, about 20 miles south of Orlando. The Anhinga, sometimes called Snakebird or Water Turkey, is a water bird of the warmer parts of the Americas. It is a diving, fish-eating, cormorant-like bird with a very long neck. It often swims with only the neck above water looking like a snake ready to strike. Their ranges often overlap those of the cormorant–the Anhinga has a sharper, more pointed bill and more slender (snake-like) neck.

Anhingas or Snake-necked birds, sunning atop a cypress tree.

Anhingas sunning atop a cypress tree.

“Angry Cat Sunrise” Cropped for Effect
My approach to photography is to try to capture the photograph I want in the camera at the moment the photo is taken. Still, cropping and color enhancement are often useful in improving the final image. In the case of the Angry Cat Sunrise, the photo that I posted earlier is the shot as taken. Below is the same image slightly cropped for what I hope is a more dramatic effect. Incidentally, no color correction was needed. Let me know which version you prefer.

CapeMay040709-11z
“Angry Cat Sunrise” Cropped for Effect

Angry Cat Sunrise
This is a Sunrise over Cape May, New Jersey. The “ears” on the “cat” are caused by a mirage effect. A layer of cooler, denser air magnified that portion of the sun. The gulls in the photo were a happy accident. It is as if the screaming of the gulls “woke and angered the cat.”

"Angry Cat Sunrise" over Cape May, New Jersey

“Angry Cat Sunrise” over Cape May, New Jersey

Waiting for the Tide

Oyster Fleet, Winter, Bivalve, New Jersey

Oyster Fleet, Winter, Bivalve, New Jersey

Oyster dredges moored at Bivalve, New Jersey in the winter. Bivalve has a long history associated with the tasty bivalves, and fortunes have been made–and lost–in the oystering business in the Delaware Bay.

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7 Responses to Renaissance Musings Gallery

  1. Don Charisma says:

    Very nice photos Jeff 🙂

  2. fantastic!!! Love them all. Nothing better than capturing life!

  3. Pingback: Campers, Politics, and Farm Life Rank High in Renaissance Musings Top Ten Postings | Renaissance Musings

  4. What a wonderful collection of photography! Really enjoyed it.

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