Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mystery Plant

Today's photo is of a gift plant from my wife's aunt. Aunt Joan calls it Jacob's Ladder. But, if you google Jacob's Ladder, what I have looks nothing like any of the many plants under that name. I'm  thinking that anything that grows tall, or has leaves that have a ladder pattern can be called Jacob's Ladder. This plant has both.

The original plant has split a few times and we now have seven or eight of them. Early next spring I'd like to move some of them. They smell nice and they grow about thirty inches. This year is the first year I've seen butterflies on them.

Everyone have a good Memorial Day , and remember no matter how you feel about war or the government, service people deserve recognition and thanks.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
  - Aristotle

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rainy Day Photo

It was a beautiful day today, I just finished working on this image I made awhile back. So I wanted to post it today. I love things look through a rain drenched windshield. I made this image in the parking lot of the Arthur Cromity Court House in Riverhead when I was there for a press conference.

Last December I made a similar photo, at night in Patchogue.

I used the Canon G10 and processed this image with Photomatrix Pro.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wall Mural

Keystone Auto in Lindenhurst is a special place. The owner and his wife started a not-for-profit that does auto repairs for families in need for free or very cheep, depending on their needs and the cost of repairs. Yea, can you believe it? They have applicants screened through the town council office. Their needs are established and the application is given to Keystone. They try to do one car a month.
It' s all about “giving back to the community,” they say.
They decided to ask the art club at a local school to paint a mural on the side of their building. This is day two of the painting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Till

We almost always eat at Cactus Grill and Contina when we're in Potsdam. I love Mexican food and they do a great job at good prices.
This is the counter and register. I had to make a quick snap of the old register. I think they were a bit uncomfortable we me making a couple of snapshots of the old till.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Racquette River

This is a photo I made today from Ives Park in Potsdam. I'm looking out to the island in the center of the Racquette River the water and the air are so still.

The colors are so beautiful.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Red Caboose

I made this photo of a red caboose in Wading River. I saw it for the first time last Thursday, but I didn't have time to photograph it. I used Photomatix Pro to process this HDR photo. I love the contrasting red and green. It's too bad about the graffiti.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Village Snapshot

When I was a kid, there used to be a home heating  company named Commander Oil, and on top of all there trucks were German Shepard's. Not live dogs, but statues. This dog was in the village yesterday, and she was real. There was another Shepard on the hood with the owners. They were obedience trainers.
The nice weather brought the crowds out for the weekend. I hadn't been to the village for a while and was surprised by the number of vacant shops and restaurants. 
Southampton is more or less a summer community. The rents in the village are very high for the shops, and in combination with the slow economy I guess some owners just couldn't last over the winter.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wet Bamboo

I love Bamboo. We don't have any around the yard. It's fairly difficult to control. Unless, maybe if you have a Koala bear or two. Actually that politically incorrect of me, Koala's are not bears, they are marsupials. I'd love to have a couple of them... and some bamboo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Georgia O'Keeffe

I rented Georgia O'Keeffe, last night; it was a good made for TV movie. Years ago, I read a biography about her, mostly because of my interest in her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. All the reading I've done on Stieglitz portrayed him as a controlling womanizer. The movie was a good representation and stayed close to everything I've read. I think some information that was left out was important, like the big summer house on Lake George, where they summered, belonged to friends. And that most of the Stieglitz income came from O'Keeffe. It was through the biographies of both that I became a fan of O'Keeffe's work.

Today's post is a tribute to Georgia O'Keeffe. I recommend the Georgia O'Keeffe video, Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons do a great job as well as Tyne Daly playing the part of Mabel Dodge.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Burnt Paper and Leaves

Today started off with rain, but cleared up a bit. I had some free time in the early part of the day and went for a short walk. It was short because I was getting wet and needed to be at a job...dry. A local elected official was speaking to a high school group, I don't think it would have been good looking like a wet rat.
Anyway it was a productive walk. I found this burnt newspaper mixed in a pile of leaves.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wild Bluberry

I made this photo last week as I walked through a different section of the Pine Barrens. Blueberries grow wild in many parts of Long Island; we have two very large bushes on the property line between my sister-in-laws house and ours. We've never been able to harvest and berries though, the birds get them before we do.

Saturday I purchased a Blueberry bush at a local nursery. I'm crazy to think that I'll be able to get berries before the birds do, but I'm gonna try.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I passed this mailbox a while ago while I was in a rush to get to a job. I knew I has to come back for my number series. What a color, no one could possibly miss this mailbox while driving down the street. Very original and full of personality.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our Flag

Flying American flags in front of gas stations is fairly common here on Long Island. I don't really understand it, there's little American at most gas stations. This one at least does auto repairs and is not just a convenient store and filling station.

Many gas stations around here are run by foreigners, mostly Turkish, and probably grossly underpaid. The station across from my house has a man that seems to be there twenty-four seven. When we were building our house I'd stop there for coffee a few times a day, he was always there.

This gas station is in Ridge. I was waiting for a parade an thought this was visual pollution and a misuse of our flag. Our flag should not be used as a sales tool.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer in the Hamptons

I had a little fun with a poodle in a BMW waiting for her person to return to the car. The dog was very annoyed that I was trying to make a photograph, but I got it anyway. This is what summer in the Hamptons looks like.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Drug Money

I covered a press conference held by our District Attorney, Tom Spota yesterday that announced the arrest of a major heroin ring here on the east end of Long Island. Our town supervisor, Anna Throne-Holst was also there to announce that the town was joining the East End Drug Task Force.

The two previous supervisors did not feel joining the other four towns, DA's office, FBI, State Police and other federal resources would help in the fight against drugs.

In typical fashion the DA's office spread out the fodder of the bust for the media to gawk over, film and photograph. I was amazed to see $174,000 spread out on the table. But even more amazed to here the story of how one of the dealers had large amounts of money all over his house, tossed over the floors, stuffed in pockets hanging in the closets, under the sofa and in the ceiling joists.

Some mornings I clear my dresser looking for an extra quarter or two for coffee on the road!

Made with the Canon 5d mkII and processed with Photomatix Tone Mapping program.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yellow Iris

This Iris is one of many transplanted from my mother-in-law's yard when we first moved in seven years ago. We planted them along the driveway, but they never got enough sunlight. We did get flowers, but they were few and purple. Not that anything is wrong with purple.

Two years ago, I moved them to a sunnier location and, not only do they bloom earlier, they are now yellow instead of purple. I guess it might have to do with the PH of the soil, I really don't know. They are a whole lot happier in their new location.

This photo was deliberately underexposed in camera and processed in Photoshop. Made with the Canon 5d mkII.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Well it was a nice Mother's Day, despite the high winds and frigid temperature. It's going below forty tonight, some say it might even go below freezing. I'm glad I didn't put the vegetables in.

My wife's nephews decided to take the kayaks out and I thought it would make a good photo to post for today. I hope everyone had a beautiful day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Praying Mantis Egg Case

I had no idea what I was looking at. I had to be told that this was an egg casing for the Praying Mantis. We came across quite a few of them in the open field. Each casing could hatch a couple of Praying Mantis.
This is probably the best part of my job, getting to photograph things I know nothing about. Because in the process I usually learn about what I'm photographing.
Today, I was in a manufacturing plant that makes parts for airplanes. It was fascinating to listen to and very cool to see the parts being made.


The Lobster Inn is an extraordinary seafood restaurant three doors down from where I live. It's a landmark, the first thing you come to, after miles of Pine trees on your way to eastern Long Island. The food there is always a cut above and the fish is always fresh. For years, Skip, the owner gives mothers a potted herb plant for Mother's Day. That's where these Chives came from.

Last year, we transplanted them to the flower bed next to the patio. That's part of our spring ritual, transplanting things around the yard. Many of the plants we purchased seven years ago, when the house was new and the yard was dirt, have grown larger that what we anticipated. Or we changed our mind in the yard design. Or they spread or needed to be split; well you know the story.

This year I plan to undertake four major projects: an outdoor shower, a brick walk, a fence around the vegetable garden and fix the thin back lawn. We moved the Boxwood bushes for the shower, that's a start. Now the tricky part, not to run out of energy, money or time before I finish.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Extra! Extra!

I covered a town hall style meeting with a candidate running for state office. During the question and answer portion a woman got up and started to knock education. She said her daughter; a high school senior and honor student can’t write or do long division.  Incredible.
She was blaming the system more that teachers. She found fault with the fact that teachers teach for the state tests, not for skills needed to get by in life; writing and long division.
As a parent of two high school graduates and a high school freshman, I wonder where she (the mother) was for the past years of her daughter’s education. Why is it only now that she is noticing these problems?
My wife and I occasionally read my son’s reports and homework. We did the same thing for the older two. Mostly, it’s out of interest in what they’re doing in school, not to check-up on them. See, we went to their wrestling matches, track meets, lacrosse and soccer games, so why shouldn’t we be interested in their school work too?
My wife and I feel we have an obligation to see that our children do the best they can, and we’re there to help… if needed. We are not there to be idle by-standers to criticize the end results. I guess it’s just easier to point the finger.   

“Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”
  - Albert Einstein

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Oak Leaves

I took a short walk today, after a heavy rain. I was lucky it didn't start to pour as I made me way though the woods. I liked the colors and the raindrops.

Made this with the Canon G10. I just love the macro on that camera.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sugar Maple in Spring

May years ago I use to print black and white negatives for a camera store. Customers were able to get a semi custom print at a fair price. One of the negatives I made was of a backlit Maple leaf. It was an excellent photograph and I tired may times to try and copy the image. To this day I still look for that image, that's how powerful it was.
Today's post is my most recent attempt at making that image. It doesn't look as translucent at the original.