Archive for February, 2012

Tooting Our Own Horn

February 6, 2012 54 comments

aka Blatant Self-Promotion

I consider myself an ordinary guy who loves the outdoors and has a passion for photography, and am fortunate to have been able to combine the two for many years. And even though my images have been published throughout my photographic career, I still get a kick out of it every time.

A number of months ago, my wife and I decided to collaborate on a project. Actually, it started as an idea for a Christmas gift for our friends and family. My wife is an art director for an advertising design studio, and well on her way in her journey as a writer. And me…well, you know my story.

We thought we would put together a book featuring my floral photography and her prose and design. The thing is, we did not want an encyclopedic or field guide approach. We wanted a different viewpoint. So, my wife suggested the book be written from the floral’s point-of-view. She asked the question: what would a sunflower have to say if it could speak?

And that is how we came up with the concept for our first book titled “Voices In The Gardenscape.”

What an amazing experience it has been. From the first cull of images and final selections, to writing the prose and completing the book layout, down to the dilemma of traditional versus self-publishing. And somehow along the way, the project grew from a holiday gift to friends and family into something we wanted to share with folks outside of our inner circle.

And guess what…we did it! Not only that, I am in the process of doing the first cull of images for a second book in the series. Same “voices” premise…just a different topic.

So, if you would like to see what I have been up to for the last few months, take a peek at the “Look Inside” web gallery via the weblink below. And I will keep you in the loop about our adventures of the next installment in the series.

And while I am here writing such a personal post…I wanted to thank all of you who take the time to click a “like” button or post a comment. Your responses are very much appreciated and I never take them for granted.

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February 3, 2012 35 comments

I have always been a rock hound. Even as a young boy I collected rocks. I would often come home with a pocket full of stones or pebbles. Shiny rocks, flat rocks, round rocks. Once I even found a gold nugget that was two inches across. I thought I was the richest kid in the world! I didn’t know it at the time, but it turned out to be iron pyrite, commonly called fools gold.

Now whenever my wife and I travel, we always come home with a handful or two of rocks. We have acquired a nice collection of pocket weights from all over the country.

When we were packing to move into our current home, we thought we’d take it easy on the movers. So we packed our rock collection in small eight-inch-square boxes, thinking to keep their load lighter.

The movers were a great bunch of guys and there was a lot of teasing and laughing going on the whole day. The guys were constantly poking fun at us about the obsessive level of organization and how everything, excluding the furniture, was in a box. And labeled with a description of its contents.

When one of the movers was loading up a hand truck with…you guessed it…boxes, to take out to the moving van, he came across one of the rock boxes.

“Aww…what a cute little box,” he teased. Then he attempted to pick it up. “Jeez, what the heck ya’ got in this thing…rocks?” he asked.

“Dude…there’s a label on the side. Didn’t you read it?” I replied.

“Oh…Rocks of the USA: Box 4. Who woulda figured?” he muttered.

Well, his co-workers sure got a lot of mileage out of that one. “What’s the matter, Joe?Can’t you pick up a teeny tiny little box?”

This is a eight inch long geode from my collection that is filled with amethyst crystals. It’s a little big to fit in my pocket, so it sits on a shelf in my studio.



February 1, 2012 38 comments

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway traverses the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire for 34 miles. It is like traveling back in time because there are no services such as gas stations, hotels or restaurants. Several campgrounds are in the area along with numerous trailheads for hiking and a few pull offs to take in the scenic views.

My wife and I had been hiking one of the numerous trails in the forest and we realized the water supply we had with us was getting low. We could hear water tumbling over rocks nearby so we thought we would have a look and fill our canteens. As we headed off the trail towards the sounds of cool refreshment, we were stopped suddenly in our tracks.

About 15 feet in front of us, the underbrush started to move about in an unnatural way. Out from behind the curtain of green popped a fully grown adult male moose. It’s antlers had a spread of about five feet. Male moose can weigh between 800 and 1500 pounds, and he was at the upper end of the scale.

He looked at us, tilted his head to the right, then tilted his head to the left, then gave a loud snort. Apparently, we interrupted his refreshment time. Needless to say, we cautiously reversed our heading. Since we were there right in the middle of the rut season, giving a wide berth to the big guy was a wise idea. Male moose can become aggressive during this time. And after all, he had his priorities.

After the moose decided we were not his competition, he took flight deeper into the woods and we made our way to the stream to fill our canteens. Partly, so we would have water for the way back, and partly to quench the instantaneous dry mouth we both had developed from startling a moose 15 feet in front of us.

Making our way back towards our starting point, we met three hikers about 200 yards from the trailhead. They were heading towards moose land. We tried to explain to them about the moose but they didn’t speak any English. I resorted to putting my arms up in the air pretending they were antlers, thrashed around in some saplings, and repeated the words “600 kilos” several times. They got the message. We never saw those hikers again…not even back at the trailhead.