Monday, August 4, 2008

Golden Glow

It's been a busy and hectic past couple of weeks, much of which I've spent at Frank's place, so I've had little time to even upload photos from my camera, much less select and organize them for blog posts. This past weekend was also our annual street party. I'll have photos of that once I take some time to sort through them and other images. Until then, I'm posting a few photos taken over the past week or two. As is often the case with the pictures that I like, many were taken in late-day sunshine.

Please remember to click on the photos to enlarge them.

An early evening walk through the cedar grove always provides a plethora of visual treats. This beautiful yellow flower soaked up the last of the sun's rays and took on a glow of its own.

Benny has been busy too these past couple of weeks. He's learned that he can swim. He's hoping that one of us will toss a stick into the creek so that he can go in and fetch it.

So of course, somebody did.

On our way back home from walking, we stopped to sit on a bench for a few minutes. A small flock of ducks flew past us against the backdrop of a golden sky.

As the setting sun lit the sky, it was time head back home.

This is the view from Frank's back deck, when looking down the steps which lead to his patio. Three are some lovely flowers growing in his yard, which his late, estranged wife planted years ago.

Like these.

Glancing to the left, you can see this ivy peeking between the parted slats of the fence.

Some Clematis deadheads created an interesting silhouette against the darkening sky.

Back home at my place, a young Black Crested Night Heron hides amid the branches of a nearby tree.

For several days now, at Frank's place and mine, we've caught sight of one, or a pair of these wonderful birds.

This one is more mature, and was spotted on this concrete structure at the edge of the dam.

This Monarch Butterfly soaks up the last of the sun's rays. The right side of his wing appears to be torn.

When the day is done, we pull up a couple of chairs on the balcony, light a candle and pour a bit of Irish Mist over ice. The perfect ending to a golden week.


gary rith said...


Russell said...

Love the image of the yellow coreopsis - I have a lot of these in my ditches right now and they are some of my favorite flowers.

The photo of the Irish Mist was most interesting, also. I really like the light in that image.

This week the Iowa State Fair starts in Des Moines. It is, I believe, the largest or second largest fair in the U.S. They exhibit about 800 photographs in their photography contest display and I think they get several thousand submissions.

Your photographs are better than most of what I see at that exhibition...

I also especially like the 6th image - the one looking down the steps. The wood in that photograph is most appealing and the overall image is wonderful.

I am sorry to hear about Frank's estranged wife, Helen. I did follow the link you provided and read what he said about the situation. It is all very sad and I do extend my condolences.

Take care and know we enjoy your photography a great deal!

SandraRee said...

Hilary, once again, through your eyes, stunning beauty. Loved the video of Benny, pets bring so much joy! I followed the link you provided also of Franks's estranged wife, so sad and yet so touching...he's a strong man, god bless him.

Leah J. Utas said...

The top photo of the yellow flower is so rich. Excellent job.

the Bag Lady said...

Man, Hilary, these were excellent! Benny is too cute, and the photos of Frank's back yard just made me want to sit down and enjoy a little quiet time. (especially with that glass in my hand.....)

Suldog said...

Can I please come and sit in your garden? You can even keep all the Irish Mist for yourself. I just want to sit there and see the things you see. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous pictures!

Travis Erwin said...

Benny has some crazy hair and I have those Herons in my creek and I never knew what they were. Thanks for ID'ing them for me.

Daryl said...

Its all so wonderful, you have become an amazing photographer .. with an excellent eye for composition ..


Woman in a Window said...

Beautiful images. My cupatea.

Thanks for the kindness.

Louise said...

What a post. Love all of it.

Thanks for the link to the story. No words for that, but the connection to the flowers is nice to know.

My favorite pictures:
- The ducks against that wonderful sky.
- The sunset. I've never seen anything like that before.
- The clematis deadheads. Just beautiful.
- The Night Heron pictures. So well-done!

Hilary said...

• AND THE JETS! Thanks for stopping by, Gary. ;)

• Thanks for the floral education, Russell. I had no idea what that yellow flower was. The Irish Mist was indeed interesting.. right to the last drop. ;) Thanks so very much for your kind words all around. They're much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandra. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. You're always so kind. :)

• Thank you, Leah. :)

• Thanks, Baggie. Those last few pictures were actually taken at my place but I promise that if you ever show up in this neck of the woods, you'll have one of those glasses in your hand in no time flat! ;)

• Thanks, Sully. The same goes to you as to Baggie. I'm willing to share gardens, views and Irish Mist. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, Mark. :)

• Thanks for stopping by, Travis. Yes, Benny's hair is a bit wild and getting more so as the summer progresses. Some days he sports a nifty little Mohawk do! We needed to look the herons up too. They're quite the cool bird. :)

• Thanks very much, Daryl. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Thank you, Erin. Your wonderful "Cherry Tree" post which David pointed out, prompted me to subscribe to your blog. Looking forward to reading more. :)

• Thanks very much, Louise. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for the visit.

Tink said...

They're all beautiful, but the birds against the golden sky is my FAVORITE. I love your photography. You should make inspirational posters or something.

Reb said...

Beautiful! Love the first flowers, love the birds against the golden sky, the sunset, Frank's garden, your garden! They are all just beautiful! I really like the light through the Irish Mist though! The video of Benny is wonderful.

Kat said...

That setting sun is just pure magic. Gorgeous!

david mcmahon said...

Great work, particularly shots #1, 4, 5, and the clematis.

steviewren said...

As always, your nature pictures reveal your deep connection to the world around you.

That's a sad story about Frank's late wife. Sad the things we do to ourselves and the people we love.

Shammickite said...

That Benny, he's so funny! It's amazing that he has suddenly learnt how to swim. Clever boy! he doesn't have to spend megabucks on swimming lessons now.
I followed the link to Frank's story... I know how much alcoholism affects relationships. he and his sons can beathe a lot easier now. Sad to say, but it's true. Tragic but true.
The garden is lovely. Don't mend the fence, just let the ivy peek out to it's heart's content.

Jo said...

You take wonderful photographs. I don't know how you do it. My favorite time of the day is late-day as well, when the sun is slanting from the west.

I would love to go swimming in that creek as well. Creeks and rivers are the best for swimming. Lucky Benny!

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Every time you post a shot of your dog, I get permasmirk. I just love that canine!

Indrani said...

I loved each shot, difficult for me to choose one over the other. I am glad you are logging your moments here and sharing them with us.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That butterfly is breathtaking.

Latin Lupe Lu said...

Pour one for me! Love that shot of the Irish Mist...great lighting.

Frank Baron said...

Great shots, as always Hil. And I'd like to pass along my appreciation for the kind words of many of your folks.

You attract good people. ;)

Mrs. O said...

Lovely photos! I have some of those yellow flowers in my garden - you captured them perfectly.

Hilary said...

• Thanks muchly, Tink. Your encouraging words always mean a great deal to me. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. I'll be sure to pour you a candle-lit glass of Irish Mist if you ever come to visit. :)

• Thanks, Kathryn. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, David. I'm glad you like them. :)

• Thanks very much for your always-kind words, Steviewren. :)

• Well darn, ex-S, you dropped your "ex!" Now I'm going to have to start calling you "S." Thanks always for your lovely and kind words. And I'm glad you're enjoying Benny the clown. :)

• Thanks so much, Jo. I find that time of day irresistible. The creek has been running so swiftly the past couple of weeks due to the excessive rain we've been having. I always hold my breath when Benny's in the water, lest the current carry him away, but so far he's been able to figure his way out safely. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, MamaGeek. Permasmirk! I like that. Benny is actually Frank's dog, but I get to share him on weekends and a couple of days every other week when I go to visit Frank and his guys. At those times, he's "our" dog until he poops on the lawn.. then he's just Frank's. ;)

• Thanks kindly, Indrani. What a lovely thing to say. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Jenn. I'm glad you like it. :)

• Thanks, LLL. There's a glass of the Mist waiting for you anytime. :)

• Thanks, Frank. It might have something to do with the company I keep. ;)

• Thanks, Mrs. O. Much appreciated. Thanks for the visit. :)

Kerri Farley said...

Fabulous shots Hilary! I posted a similar shot of a Monarch today. Benny is as cute as ever....and that Night Heron just takes my breath away. How Neat to have one so close!!! And that sunset is awesome!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, love the way the golden light adds emotional resonance to all those beautiful shots.

Damn, meant to say something amusing and somehow ended up sounding like a pretentious twit instead.

But, well, it's true.

Can't wait for the neighborhood block party--last year I feel like I actually got to go.

Melissa said...

What a very cool blog!!! I have to come back here and explore more deeply than I have time for right now! Thanks for the "golden glow" I'm feeling right now.

SK Waller said...

Wonderful photographs. I just love gardens like that one, and Benny is too cute!

Thanks for dropping by my blog; consider yourself blogrolled!


Shammickite said...

I dropped the EX 'cos once a Shammickite, always a Shammickite, there's no EX allowed!

O Profeta said...

Ai quem me dera agitar o tempo
Atirar a mágoa à voragem da noite
Arrancar as raízes ao pensamento
Sentir a paz que uma lagoa acolhe

Boa férias

Mágico beijo

just jamie said...

I learn more about nature from your blog than I ever do outside.

Melinda said...

Whoa. I'm so glad you commented on my blog just so it could lead me here. You have an incredible talent for photography! What kind of camera do you use? Have you taken classes? As an amateur photographer, I'd love to hear about how you created such beautiful pictures. You captured the sun right when it makes everything glow - just fabulous!

Shrinky said...

hilary, your photography is nothing short of stunning, and the soft late afternoon sunlight was the perfect kiss to set it all aglow. You always have a wonderful eye for a frame.

I can't wait for the street party photographs, I just know you will have captured lots of candid shots of expressions and gestures that will prove irresistable.

Hilary said...

• Kerri, thanks so much for all of your positive comments. That means a lot to me coming from such a fine photographer. :)

• Crabby, you had me at "emotional resonance!" ;) I hope the street party pics don't disappoint. I haven't even looked at them yet. In fact they're still in the camera. Thanks for the nudge, and for your kind words. :)

• Melissa, welcome! And thanks for your very kind words. I hope you'll come back soon. :)

• Thanks, Steph. I'm glad you like the photos and for the blogrolling.. it didn't hurt a bit! ;)

• OK then ex-ex-S, Shammy it is then.. or the Blogger Formerly Known as Ex-S. ;)

• Obrigado, Prophet! :)

• Thanks, Jamie. I learn most of what I don't know through Google! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Melinda and thanks very much for your kind comments. I use a Canon PowerShot S3. Nope, have never taken classes, but that sounds like a good idea. Early and late day sunshine provides my favourite kind of lighting, but I'm rarely functional for the early part of the day - in summer anyway. So I tend to prefer early evening. I'm glad you like them and hope you'll be back soon. :)

• Thanks so much, Shrinky. I sure hope the party pics turned out. I should probably take a look at them.. now! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your kind thoughts. :)

Michele said...

Beautiful photos, as usual, the setting sun took my breath away...

Anonymous said...

The view from Frank's deck is incredible. The garden is really something!

Colleen said...

Oh, these photos are so beautiful. I love the one of the sun setting and first photo of the bird.

photowannabe said...

Beautiful end of the day photos Hilary. You have a great eye. I followed your link and was so sad to read about Frank's estranged wife. Alcohol is so distructive. My condolences to all of you. said...

Your photos are so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

You made my morning. Beautiful pics and a great tour of your day. Suzanne and I are going to join you on the balcony for some Irish mist.
See ya,
The Bach

RiverPoet said...

Simply gorgeous pictures, and I love the dog video. I posted one this week on my blog, as well, of Bodhi with Froggie. :-)

Peace - D

Mental P Mama said...

Absolutely beautiful. I feel like I've been on a little vacation...

Hilary said...

• Thanks very much, Michele. I'm glad you liked it. All of your photos are breath-takers so your kind comment means a lot to me. :)

• Thanks for stopping by, Amy. Yes, it's quite a lovely spot. :)

• Thanks so much for the visit and for your kind words, Colleen. :)

• Thank you, Photowannabe. Yes, it's a sad situation for all involved with this disease. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks kindly, Carol. :)

• Thank you, Bach. I'll have two more glasses waiting for you. :)

• Thanks RiverPoet. I'll come check it out as soon as I'm done here! :)

• Thanks, Mental P Mama. I'm glad you could join me! :)

Dianne said...

Your talent at capturing the perfect light is amazing!

and I love the look on Benny's face right before the stick is thrown - Benny is such a cool guy!

Pat - Arkansas said...

I thought I had left a comment when I first visited, but I think I followed your link to Frank's blog and didn't get back here. Your photos are, as usual, wonderful. I watched Benny with great enjoyment; I had almost as much fun as he did.

Jennifer S said...

That sky! The heron--I've never seen that one. I always love your photos. They really are breathtaking.

Daryl said...

Thanks for visiting my Sky Watch photo ... I am sure the people behind me on the escalator were thinking What is this dame doing, she's going to fall backwards ..


Hilary said...

• Thanks, Dianne. You should see the look on his face when we blow bubbles for him! In fact you will.. eventually. :) Thanks for stopping by.

• Thank you, Pat. It's amazing how watching him play, we get more exhausted than he does. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much Jennifer. That means a lot to me. :)

• Daryl, I think I probably would have. ;) Thanks of the revisit. :)

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

:) love that time of the day.....i am lucky to have an apartment facing West (in apartment living, you are thankful to the smallest of luxuries like that)so I get to enjoy that golden hour from my deck every evening ...............:)

love your images (as always). As my visits get less frequent(things have been really busy at this end :((( I wanted to let you know I miss visiting your blog.

Take care! :)

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Moi for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit and leave such kind comments. I've noticed your absense and missed your wonderful posts. Hopefully you'll find more time for posting again soon. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Country Girl said...

So wonderful, Hilary. I love the bird photos. And the sunset. And yes, Irish Mist was the perfect ending.

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, Kate. I'm glad you liked them. :)