Tuesday, April 25, 2006



The camera and I at Stan Hywet with Mike, Julie and Brendan

*German for "Sunday Afternoon Stroll"-- See, I was paying attention, Frau Ream! Posted by Picasa


My son, Olivia's father.

There is something so incredible about these 2 together that I have no words adequate to express it. It is more than love, more than tenderness, more than the heart can hold and the mind can describe. It has to be seen.

George, who before Olivia didn't really interact with small children all that much, is utterly fascinated by her, thrilled by the tiniest development, concerned by the challenges she faces... my son the enigma has become SuperDad. He is certainly more passionately involved with her than with anything else ever in his life.

Olivia is the making of George. George is the sun, moon, and stars in Olivia's universe.

OK, most little girls and their Dads have a special bond, but this is somehow...more. Livvy might not have originally been on George's pre-determined life plan, but she is most definitely the best and most precious surprise gift he's ever likely to receive.

Time and change being what they are, it is likely that things will not remain this simple forever. Livvy will grow up and George will need to grow and change with her. Everything I've seen for the past 16 months leaves me with no doubt they're going to be just fine in the long run.

They're both so beautiful it takes my breath away. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 24, 2006


A boy's story is the best that is ever told.

( The quote is from Charles Dickens)

It's no secret that I have a soft spot in my heart for small boys.

As a mom of 2 sons, I know that they will try your patience and push the limits at every opportunity--- but I also know that there is nothing more precious than a hug from small arms or the sound of a boy's unrestrained laughter.

This one is the son of my son, and he has me wrapped right around his grubby, inquisitive, band-aided finger. Watching him chase butterflies and blow on dandelion heads in the park and
fall down laughing when he zapped me with the hose was better than $250/hr therapy for getting my head screwed back on right.

There is an inherent difference between being a parent and being a grandparent. Parenting is very serious business. You're so overwhelmed with the responsibility, and every decision seems so momentous. Everything is a Very Big Deal.

By the time you get to be a grandparent, you've figured out that grass-stained jeans, skinned knees, and unfinished dinners don't really add up to a hill of beans in the long run. By the time your kids have kids, you've learned to regret the times you scolded rather than shrugged, or, worse yet, laughed.

You've seen all the psychological and even most of the medical advice you were given when your own kids were small do a 180 or two, so you don't trust the "experts" as much as you did when you were younger.

Brendan asked me this weekend, "Who takes care of you?"

I'm the only significant unmarried adult in his world, and it shocked him to hear that I neither have nor need a husband to live very nicely. (The conversation began with, "Who is your husband, and why don't I know him?") Most of the other women in his circle lead lives very different from mine. They wouldn't choose to move to a new city, change jobs, buy a new car, or go on a trip without consulting someone else. Yet I have done all of these things in his memory. I make my own money and my own decisions, I "do my own chores," I'm not afraid to go places and do things on my own. He was curious why that was , and how it all worked. The questions he asked let us talk a little bit about making choices, and understanding the repercussions-- both good and bad-- of those choices.

(Just so you don't think it was all Heavy conversation time, I also fielded the question, "Why do you drive a different kind of car every time you visit?" and had to explain about rental cars, too.)

And maybe, just maybe, our time together will open his mind to options for his own life that may require him to make non-traditional choices someday. Posted by Picasa


Butterflies on the brain

Got the chance to combine three pleasures on Sunday
---Time spent with my family
---Time with my camera
---Introducing Brendan to new things

Bren was alternately overjoyed, awed and a bit freaked out by the butterflies.... but the idea of one just sitting there on his head made him giggle Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Sisters, friends

Sometimes sisters can be best friends. I know people like that. My mother and her sister were probably like that.

That wasn't my own experience. Growing up, my sister and I were both too different and too caught up in the sibling rivalry thing for that to happen. By the time we were old enough to perhaps have gotten past it, she was killed in an automobile accident, so we'll never know what might have been.

Sometimes friends can be sisters in all but biology. I do know enough about sisterhood and friendship to talk about this one. It is rare and precious when you find it.

When we were 8 or 10, friendships were so important, so passionate, so vital, so urgent. Then we grew up, discovered the opposite sex and work and money and a million other things and frienships got back burnered, or got morphed into "business relationships" "contacts" "associations" and precious few adults I know put real work into friendships.

It makes you cherish the ones that do.

So, for my friends who have gone the extra mile lately when I've been going through a tough patch, I just wanted to say out loud that I love you, I appreciate you, and I'd even share my
favorite blue barrettes and my really good chocolates with you. :-)

But asking for the red shirt with the white buttons might be pushing your luck. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Maybe I was a butterfly in another life

Like this guy, I'm both tougher and more fragile than I seem. I'm not as beautiful as he is, but I do have a flamboyant side and a more sedate one that I use to hide from the predators of the world.

And I know that sometime you've just gotta hang on by your toenails and pray you don't get gobbled up. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 17, 2006



"That's not a dog, hon. This is a wildlife refuge, not a pet store. It's a wolf. And they usually travel with friends, so you might not want to get much closer to the 'pretty dog,' OK? Use a long lens."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006



Waiting in the drive-through line to buy coffee on my way to work this morning... I was amusing myself by taking pictures in my rear view mirror. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Does this look like a cheesy Obsession ad or what?

Ever since I first saw this pool at Goodwood Gardens, all I could think of were those bizarre Calvin Klein Obsession Ads Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006


I just like this shot

There's something about the textures... Posted by Picasa


Gainesville Stop on the Way Home

The weather was icky (overcast, drizzly) in Orlando on Sunday morning, so I decided to get on the road and head back right after breakfast... Of course, the farther north I went, the better the weather started looking.....

Stopped in Gainesville on the way back to say "Hi" to my lepidoptera buddies. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Face to Face with Bill Cosby

Face to Face with Bill Cosby (click the link to see the images)

Yesterday's shoot was a performance of Bill Cosby at Sea World Orlando.

I have a season pass to Sea World (which is very inexpensive since I'm a Florida resident these days) and a couple of weeks ago, I got a notice
that Bill Cosby would be performing there on April 8.

I hauled myself to Orlando yesterday early enough to get a 5th row seat for the 3PM show.

Lighting was tricky--no Flash allowed and the spots were more than a little harsh, and a tripod was not an option, and the bright white shirt wasn't a big help....but I got a number of interesting shots.

What was kind of interesting was that, while the audiuence was laughing hysterically throughout, even though I shot a couple of hundred images in the 80 minutes, there were very few that actually showed a smile on *his* face.

Old-time Cosby fans would recognize riffs from "Russell...with whom I slept"and "Fatherhood" but his take on Grandfatherhood was largely ad-libbed and completely on the money and very, very, funny. His take on "Time Out,"elaborate birthday parties for 1 year olds, and "modern trends in parenting" had folks from 5 to 80 laughing so hard tears were streaming.

During his discussion of sibling rivalry and birth position (oldest-middle-youngest children) I had to put the camera down because I was laughing too hard to hold it still.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Eyes on the prize

Ribbons from the event

There are another 70 or so images
from this event at

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They weren't ALL girls

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American Beauty

Another shot from the horse show. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 03, 2006

It is something of a challenge to take a good seated portrait of a horse and rider, because of the distance between the horse's nose and that of the rider. In this shot I opted to keep the girl in focus and let the focus on the horse be a bit softer. If I were preparing this as a serious portrait, I would take the power lines out of the background and clone over the light to get rid of the distractions.

Anybody else think this kid looks a little like Renee Zellwegger in Cold Mountain?

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls. They give us hope.

Toni Robinson

This young competitor was a joy to behold. She was full of heart, and joy, and I know her grandmother and all of her family was so very proud of her...

Her smile could soften the hardest heart.
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He has galloped through a young girl's dreams, added richness to grown women's lives, and served men in war and strife.

Toni Robinson Posted by Picasa


Another Equestrian Moment

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Saturday Morning Horse Show

I spent Saturday Morning and part of the afternoon at the monthly Leon County Horseman's Association horse show.

I got some interesting shots, and I left my web address with the association and promised them copies of whatever they liked, but I wonder if the subjects-- and/or their parents-- will like them.

If they were expecting portraiture or photojournalism, they may be somewhat disappointed. While I don't have a lot of patience with folks who consider themselves self-styled "artistes," I did approach this shoot with an artists's perspective, not that of a documentarian or horsewoman.

I converted many of my color images to slightly warm monochromes, because the subject matter seemed so timeless. Mostly very young women and girls, clothing that could have been 2006, 1956, or 1906, and the sculptural beauty that is a horse...

My only regret was that so much of the competition that I was able to witness was at a walk or all but motionless... there is nothing more elegant than a horse and rider who are in total synchronization when they are in motion.

A posthumous thank you to my Dad, who taught me at a very early age to appreciate the ballet of a horse and rider. Admittedly, they were usually thoroughbreds and the ballet was often 6 furlongs in duration, but if I close my eyes I can still see the sun glinting off saddles and silks and hear and smell the massively powerful animals thundering by....

Young girls instinctively understand about Pegasus. In our hearts we know that horses really ought to be able to fly.

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Saturday Morning Horse Show

I loved all the parallel lines and textures in this shot, but that's an artist's perspective, not a portraitist's. Posted by Picasa

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