Category Archives: reflections

The More Things Change . . . .

I call this photo “shadow selfie.”

I call this photo “shadow selfie” (snapped during my 12-mile run last Saturday).

The start of a new year means yet another blogiversary for me. I now have a whopping five years of random snippets and apertures under my too-large belt. I’ve written 1,307 posts and have never missed answering the blogging bell on Monday through Friday.

But that’s about to change.

As much as I really enjoy writing and oversharing photos, the time has come to move in a slightly different direction. Of course, it doesn’t help that my two main characters, aka my sons, Jake and C.J., are in college and aren’t giving me lots of new blogging material. And there are only so many sleep pics that I can snap of them when they are at home (they are so lazy!).

But I’ve also found that I need more time to work on projects (such as slurping this blog into books and finally catching up on the boys’ scrapbooks, where “catching up” means “actually starting them”; gotta love being 22 years behind!) and decluttering.

So I’ve decided to cut down my posting schedule to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I might occasionally chime in on a Tuesday and/or Thursday, but that will be the exception instead of my five-year rule. It’ll be interesting to assess after six months or so whether I’ve accomplished a lot or merely spent time watching lots of Jimmy Fallon on YouTube (C.J.’s current obsession).

One thing’s for sure . . . .

Still love those reflections!

Always love those reflections!

There still will be plenty of photos, especially of nature during my morning walks and jogs, posted here. That will stay the same.

Thanks for continuing to be part of my journey!

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Reflections On a Difficult Week

Early morning reflections are captured by my iPhone 4.

Here’s a quick update on the educational situation with my younger son:

My 16-year-old only made it through that first day of high school. When I picked him up at 2:30 p.m., he told me how he liked most of his classes and teachers. That if he just didn’t have his problem with sitting in class, he’d like to continue going.

Unfortunately, he does have psychosomatic issues . . . serious ones stemming from what happened last spring . . . that make him feel miserable in a classroom. After a veritable roller coaster of emotions Monday evening, he sadly concluded that he couldn’t return to his high school . . . or any setting where he has to sit for long periods of time.

So the Mister and I mulled over our options and concluded we only had one right now: Online high school. We’ve applied to Texas Tech University ISD and hope to have our son rockin’ and rollin’ in its program sometime next week. He will take the exact same courses that he would’ve this junior year at his physical high school . . . except it won’t be a similar experience at all.

I was almost crying when I signed the papers to officially withdraw him from high school. Oh, what my precious son will be giving up by being schooled at his iMac! No talking to friends as they pass in the crowded hallways. No laughing and chatting with his buddies during lunch. No fun and spirited class discussions. No track practice. No photo in the yearbook. My heart breaks for him.

My biggest fear? That his close friends will forget about him, making him feel even more invisible than ever. To be stuck only socializing with your overstressed mom is no fun at all. Especially one who has gotten very used to her me time.

I think there’s hope for my boy, of course. The Mister and I are going to search for a talented cognitive behavioral therapist who can help our younger son overcome his school anxiety and once again sit in a classroom, to learn and to take the SAT/ACT. Perhaps he even can return to his high school second semester (the online program mimics the school year, so he would stay on track).

And I believe that everything happens for a reason. Just think what a great college essay subject this will be!

Dynamic Reflections

Our local park offers wonderful reflections.

After I finished my walk around my community last Saturday morning, I checked out a few pics I had clicked with my trusty trekking companion, my iPhone 4.

The park’s trees look great in and out of the water.

As I fancied them up a bit using the Camera+ app, I liked how they accurately showed what I had seen that morning. The reflections were simply beautiful.

But then I got curious about using a different Camera+ setting—HDR. High dynamic range imaging ramps up the contrast such that the colors and texture you see in real life aren’t accurately represented in your photo.

The HDR version of my favorite bridge and gazebo in our park.

Usually I don’t like how HDR pics look more like paintings than photos. They often seem too fake.

The HDRed trees really stand out!

But these I really like! Maybe reflections are just meant to be more dynamic.

Cloud Reflections

Clouds in my Pilot

Oh, what a beautiful morning today! The barely post-sunrise clouds were so pretty . . . like the ones reflected in the back window of my Honda Pilot.

The sunrise starts to fade in my pool.

Or, a minute or two earlier, those reflected in my backyard pool. It’s easy to feel contented and one with the world . . . especially when the low temperature is 55 degrees!

Galleria Reflections

A metal arch hangs high above a street in Houston’s Galleria.

Last month when I took my life into my hands and drove from quiet suburbia (and my usual 10-mile radius) into Houston’s posh Galleria area, I couldn’t help but notice the large, metal arches that cross the busy streets.

What a great mirror effect!

It was a crystal-clear day, and I was glad I had my Nikon digital SLR along for the ride.

Do my hands look really big?

It was fun getting up close and personal with a reflective metal arch.

The arch reflects the flowers’ beauty.

The city planting gorgeous flowers nearby to be reflected in the shiny metal was fortunate indeed.

Flowers look reflectingly great.

It was nice seeing pretty blooms in a different way.

But one of my favorite reflections that I captured wasn’t viewed via the arch. Instead, I looked just past the metal monstrosity and noticed the sun being reflected off a steel streetlight.

A cool star effect without using a star filter

I was star-struck!

Nature Continues to Call

Perfectly reflected!

At the risk of turning this blog into Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, I’m going to share more photos of my egret pal. Mostly because I love the above photo that I snapped when the great white bird started to fly away from me yet again.

Yes, I am a slow learner.

Come back! I’m not trying to sell you insurance!!

Once I snapped the pix I shared yesterday of the egret soaring across the lake, I again drove to the other side to take more photos of him. But he wasn’t putting up with any of my nonsense, and he quickly skedaddled away.

Is that fall I spy reflected in the lake?

I really didn’t mind, though, because of what I saw reflected in the lake as he glided over it.

The egret looks for a nice spot to land in.

It was unmistakably autumn, the search for which had set about the events that caused me to blog all week about reflections and birds in the first place. How ironic!

The landing gear is down!

My feathered friend had given me so much in an hour of shooting: His beauty amid the changing fall colors.

The egret has landed.

Guess I’ll leave him alone and concentrate on other compelling subjects . . . for now.

The Third Time Is the Charm!

Reflections of fall . . . with a twist

And on the third day, I finally got my reflections of fall photo!

The timing, around 8 a.m. yesterday, was spot on, so much better than my attempts on Sunday and Monday.

Several colorful trees reflect on autumn.

Standing across the lake with the sun at my back, I reveled in the colorful, reflective fall scenery. How fortunate I felt being able to capture such beauty!

Then I took a good look at what was sitting on top of one of the trees. I added my Nikon 1.7x teleconverter to my Nikon 70-200mm lens so I could zoom in better.

An egret enjoys its colorful perch.

Bonus, baby!