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Thursday, July 28, 2016

This Summer I Took Up Photography

By Beth Trissel

I've upped the time I spend outdoors this summer, working in my garden(s), and seeking potential images. The geese, flowers, sunsets, fireflies, any aspect of nature, are all subjects of my pics. Some of my images are surprisingly good. Many, not so much. But it's fascinating to see what I've captured. So far, I'm just using the camera on my Android phone.

You may wonder if I'm getting any writing done? I'm kind of stuck in my WIP. "Wibbly wobbly timey wimey...stuff," and I haven't figured out all the wibbles yet. But thoughts whir outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine--or rain. I go out if it's not a downpour to scout for geese and rainbows. 

When I began my garden forays earlier this spring, I was in slug mode. A half hours work and I was exhausted, my back aching. Now, I've gained more endurance. I still wear out, but not nearly as fast. Even after the cold weather returns, I plan to continue my journeys outside to take images. Being outdoors is good for the spirit, and photography rejuvenates me. I spend a lot of time sneaking up on the geese. I tried tossing grain in their direction to get closer, but they feared I was throwing stuff at them and fled. Suspicious gaggle. I happened upon them counting cows (image below). They don't count very well. However, they have a lot to say. Mostly random stuff. 

Cows are much easier to photograph. They're always hopeful I've brought them a little something. Sometimes I have. The geese hold frequent meetings. Yesterday, they voted on their favorite cookie. It was intense. Below, they're assembling before striking out on a grand adventure. They have no clue where. They rarely have a clue about anything. Barnyard geese are not overly bright.

We've had so much rain this summer, it's made gardening far easier. Also challenging because of all the weeds. But I'd rather fight them than suffer a hideous drought. I have many heirloom flowers that reseed themselves, in addition to wild flowers, perennials, herbs, and vegetables. And whatever the birds plant. A pic below of the main garden in its July glory before storms toppled a lot of plants. I'm trying, not very successfully, to prop them back up.

Sunsets are often wondrous here with the spectacular panorama of the meadow, farm pond, hills above our farm, and the barn. Most evenings, I scurry outside at sunset. Sunrise is tougher to capture, though I have tried and will continue to. If the sky is really amazing at sunset, I run from one side of the yard/barn/meadow to the other getting different angles, and back again. I've never liked exercise for the sake of exercise, but it's crazy what I'll do for a picture.

Endless possibilities for images lie before me. And the story ideas that come while I shoot away. 
This morning, I discovered tiger lilies blooming in my jungle of a backyard garden They are splendid in the light. Like jewels.

(White phlox below at sunrise.)

For more on me, visit my blog:


  1. Beautiful pictures, and commentaries on them. I've enjoyed seeing them on F/B. :-) What an awesome 'homestead' you have there, it would be a great setting for one of your books!

  2. Thanks so much, Linda. I did write a nonfiction book about gardening and country life called Shenandoah Watercolors.

  3. Beth, thank you for your spectacular photos. Those white phlox are like pink ones my grandmother grew. I loved those and always think of her when I see them. I loved all of these photos. Thanks for sharing and getting the day off to a good start.

  4. Thanks Caroline. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and my pics. I also have the pink phlox from my mom, and a bi-color. :)

  5. Thank you for sharing your beautiful images. I have been hiking (and walking) this summer, and have found that photographing the landscape makes the outings even more enjoyable. I believe the process of focusing, framing, and composing a shot makes us even more aware of the world around us. Sounds like you've definitely learned more about the lives of geese and cows through your photography!

  6. Beth, I have SO loved your pictures this summer! I enjoy photographing the natural beauty around here, and I'm glad you've discovered how much fun it can be, too. While we've been suffering from the fire and smoke here, your photos have lifted me up. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Alison. I'm glad. So sorry about your fire and smoke. We went through that in April here. Awful.

  7. Beth, I see you've excelled at your new hobby. Wonderful photographs.


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