LAST POST FOR THE TIME BEING

Hello, and welcome. If you’ve landed on this site, I hope my other blog directed you here, if not, here’s a short explanation about this site, and although I don’t contribute to it anymore, why it’s still up and running. A year ago I suffered a massive stroke, and spent three months in the hospital. Since my release I have been working at rehabilitation and trying to improve my quality of life. I am an amateur photographer, and enjoyed taking pictures that challenged my talents. The site you see here, is two years of work, and I am proud to display these works on this blog. I keep this running in hopes of recovering some use of my left hand, and adding to the site, as my health allows. Please feel free to browse this site, and if any of the pictures elicit a response, feel free to make comments. I check this site weekly, and would be pleased to hear from anyone viewing these. Currently, I am contributing to the Internet with a blog concerning the everyday trials of a stroke Victims recovery. Follow this link to take a look http://astrokediary.wordpress.com/ at what I’m doing  there. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and have a great day.

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100 Posts and Counting

I have been trying to decide what to do with my 100th post and after some deliberation I decided it would be fitting to re-post my very first blog entry.  A simple post, just a picture of a small green lizard and a few words to describe it but the beginning of a journey of unexpected knowledge and personal discovery.  I don’t think most people understand how diverse the “blogosphere” is.  In the last 10 months I have seen some amazing photos taken by some very talented photographers, read descriptions and seen images of places I have only heard about, learned about unexplored parks in New York City, and read topics and opinions from very informed people.  I am proud to be a part of this world and hope in some small way to contribute to it.  Thanks for looking at this and as always comments are welcome.

Inside Looking Out 1

I love going to the zoo.  This past week we took our Granddaughter, and had a wonderful time.  We are fortunate to have a world class zoo here in Knoxville, Tennessee, and I understand and appreciate the important work that is accomplished there.  Many species are brought back from the brink of extinction due to the diligent work of these dedicated professionals, and sometimes, in rare cases, reintroduced into the wild, a very worthy cause.

We walk through the grounds, take the kids to the petting zoo, eat lunch, watch the beautiful and exotic animals from a distance, and I take a few photos.  As I shoot these pictures I believe I’m looking at the big picture, the composition, exposure, focus, and checking the aperture, I never truly see the animal till I get the photos home and load them into the computer.

As I download these shots and begin to examine them a feeling of sadness comes over me.  I can’t explain it completely, the animals are healthy, they have lots of room, and I understand the great work that is being done there, but it is a sadness none the less.  It has to be the eyes, they all seem to have a listless, staring into the distance gaze, as if they are looking at or for something we can’t see.  I realize I am projecting a human characteristic on an animal driven by instinct, and I have never been to Africa, South America, or Australia to see if these animal have the same look in their eyes in the wild, but I doubt it.  They are living in an unnatural environment, and the haunting look in their eyes is reflected in my 300 mm lens.

I guess the point to all this is we need to better manage our resources.  These animals need to live and grow in a natural environment and “endangered species” is a phrase we should never hear.  I will be posting a series of photos this week from the trip to the zoo, please take the time to examine them and let me know if you agree or disagree.  Thanks for taking the time to read this, and as always comments are welcome.

Pip

Our Terrier Pip.  Family pet and a brave and loyal companion.  In this shot I was perched on the deck looking down on her, and she was scanning the canopy of trees above me for her life long, but very elusive enemy, the backyard squirrel.  She’s great at spotting them but terrible at catching them….thank goodness.

Street Fair

I was standing on top of the levy at the Riverwalk in Augusta, GA.  Looking at the farmers market my attention was drawn to a little girl running through the fountain.  She circled around several times and each time took the plunge with a squeal of such joy and abandonment I had to try to capture the moment.  Hopefully we can all remember how it felt to “take the plunge” when we were small, and still experience it today.