Tag Archives: photographs


zinnias in the garden

Another gorgeous photograph by Sonny Carter

The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him. ~ Auguste Rodin

To me, there is hardly anything more beautiful on this planet than the wide variety of flowers which give it beauty. I try, spring after spring, to grow marvelous crops of flowers across my patio, some years with more success than others.

But even in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, I know where I can turn to find the beauty of the flower gardens at my fingertips — in the gorgeous photography of Sonny Carter. While I am enthralled by his cats, and luxuriate in the rich landscape photographs he takes, it is his flowers that warm my heart. Every Friday, my morning email is blessed his newest Friday Flowers photograph. Each on is breathtaking and so real you’d swear you smell it through the screen.

Please take a moment (or an hour) to walk through Sonny’s flower garden of photographs at his website: http://www.sonc.com/friday/index.html. You will find a virtual greenhouse of flowers through which to wander.

If you visit, and I highly recommend it simply for the peace it brings to the heart and soul, let me know which one was your favorite. I have too many to list…..

[Note: This post is #26 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button at the right of the page for more information.]

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Roses in a Vase

Roses in a vase, photograph by Jane Reece

Yellow Roses in a Vase, by Jane Reece. Courtesy of Wright State University's Special Collections and Archives.

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~ Emma Goldman

Since I recently did a post on photographer Jane Reece, I thought I’d share another of her photographs with you, since the beauty of that picture always takes my breath away. It’s an original, hand-tinted photograph Reece made around 1941. I love the simple coloring, the detail of the vase, the flowers, the wood behind them. It’s beautiful in its complex simplicity.

Roses are certainly beautiful, and I adore their scent. But I will admit to being partial to carnations as my favorite flower.

What’s your favorite?

[Note: This post is #18 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “R” post: Rain, Rain.]

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Poetry in Motion

Jane Reece and Paul Shivell exhibit

Capturing the Moment: The Intersection of Poetry and Photography in the Work of Paul Shivell and Jane Reece


Photography’s own etymology connects it to writing: photography literally means writing with light. A great many poems focus on light and time, photography’s two essential ingredients. Illumination is at the heart of both, the illumination of something evanescent, intense, fleeting. The singular eye of the photographer is akin to the singular voice of the poet. How alike poems and photographs can feel, both concise slivers of the whole, blinks of time and sensation.

~ Scripps College, 2006

Part of my work as an archivist is creating exhibits which highlight our collection materials. Exhibits give us the chance to show off some of our materials, sometimes the familiar, sometimes the unknown, and to take our materials –usually copies, not originals, by the way– to different areas. Special Collections and Archives is located on the top floor of our library, a place few people head unless they know they want to see us or to find a quiet spot to study. Many of our exhibit cases, including our largest ones, are located just inside the main entrances to our library.

My colleague, officemate, and BFF Toni and I have just finished creating and installing two cases of exhibits that we both simply fell in love with while doing the project. We hatched the idea for these cases back in early winter and have been putting them together ever since. The focus –Capturing the Moment– centers on the work of Jane Reece, a local Dayton photographer from the early part of the 20th century, and her fabulous photography.

Jane Reece self-portrait

"The Poinsettia Girl," Jane Reece self-portrait, 1907.

Coupled with Reece’s phenomenal photographs are other local Dayton artists, notably the Schwarz Sisters, who founded the Dayton Ballet, and poet Paul Shivell.

Toni created the magnificent and hauntingly beautiful exhibit on the Schwarz Sisters and Reece.

Schwarz Sisters and Jane Reece exhibit

Capturing the Moment: The Intersection of Dance and Photography in the Careers of the Schwarz Sisters and Jane Reece

Reece’s photographs of the two sisters capture their beauty and elegance, their graceful movements.

My contribution was the side of the exhibit pictured at the top of the post – the Jane Reece and Paul Shivell connection. Shivell’s poetry is a mix of religious works, folksy dialect poems, and –what I think are his best works– his pastorals, many of which were written about the Stillwater River near Dayton. His first book was published in 1898, but it was his second one, Stillwater Pastorals, which attracted the most attention. Indeed, it caught the eye of one famous American poet, Robert Frost. As I noted in a post last fall about Frost, Frost sent a letter to Shivell, complimenting him on the book, mentioning two poems by name. When I saw that letter, I knew I wanted to create an exhibit about this little-known Dayton poet. When Toni raised the idea of doing an exhibit using Reece’s photographs, I knew it was a winner. Part of the new Shivell collection we have are portraits of Shivell and his family taken by Reece. Between the Shivell collection (which is still being processed) and the Reece collection, there were many portraits available to work with. Reece took portraits of Shivell, including a stunning study of just his hands. She also took family portraits, photographs of his children, and there are Reece photographs of Shivell’s daughter from about the age of 4 or 5 all the way up into adulthood. In return, Shivell had written several sonnets to Jane Reece, including works about her cottage, the art of her photography, and several on specific images, including his own portrait by her. And in a strange, final connection, I discovered that Reece had taken a series of portraits of Robert Frost as well. I love it when things come together.

So, especially since April is National Poetry Month, what better way to celebrate Poetry in Motion than by looking at the unique blending of dance, poetry, and photography, each an art of capturing the moment.

[Note: This post is #16 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “P” post: Peacock in the Park.]

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You know when you have found your prince because you not only have a smile on your face but in your heart as well.  ~Author Unknown

How could you not love that face? If you’ve noodled your way around my blog, you’ve read some about my family. But I’ve neglected introducing one of its most important members, and there is no better time to correct that omission than on his birthday. So, I’d like to indulge for a bit and introduce you to the love of my life – my husband, Patrick.

That’s him, up there, as a little sprite. But those big blue eyes and cheeky grin are two of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Plus he’s intelligent, charming, sweet, and –as my mother would say– an all-around good egg. He’s far and away the kindest person I’ve ever met.

As I’ve gone through another round of family photographs, I’ve found a mix of pictures of him, so I thought I’d share some here, with his permission, of course, to celebrate his birthday.

And to round out the week of McCartney/Beatle references…. there’s just something in the way he moves……

*soft sigh*

In front of his house before heading off to school
Happy 14th Birthday!
His first computer, a Commodore 64….
Rocking the hat – Welcome to the ’80s!
With his kid sister, Joanne.
With Joanne on her wedding day
We surprised him with a party on his 40th birthday!

The birthday man and his mother

He’s a Mac guy from way back, so the chance to get a “Mac & PC” picture was irresistible!
Letting ladybugs loose in the hydroponic gardens during the “Behind the Seeds” tour at Epcot’s The Land.
One of my favorite recent pictures, just before dinner out with some good friends.
At one of his favorite places, with the Mouse in Charge!

Happy Birthday, Handsome Man!

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A Life in Pictures

If God had intended us to follow recipes,
He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.
~Linda Henley

I’d like you to meet my paternal grandmother. Grandma Nellie lived in the same small town I grew up in, just across the length of the town from my house. I could see her house out the front window of our house. In fact, my mother and I would watch the barn behind her house every weeknight. As soon as my mother saw those barn doors close, she would head into the kitchen to put the final preparations on dinner as that signaled my father was done for the day and headed home.

I have only vague memories of Grandma Nellie. I remember her house, surrounded by farmland, barns, grain silos, and gardens. The old horse trough in front of it that had an old pump. The chicken coop door that I spent hours hammering nails into while she babysat me. Her refrigerator, filled with homemade treats and home-canned foods. The old pot-belly stove in the sitting room, next to her rocker, and the couch with her crocheted afghan across the back. Her dresser, holding the box of powder and antique glass perfume bottle that smelled of lilacs. I remember how strong her arms were. And spending lots of time sitting at her kitchen table watching her cook.

The stories I most remember about her involved cooking, as that’s where she spent a lot of her time. I, of course, always wanted to help, and she was patient enough to let me, even though now I realize I caused more trouble than I actually helped in any way. One of her prize canning recipes was the one for her pickled beets. I did not like them, but they were the most beautiful color. Their juice was vibrantly scarlet. I loved the color so much she would save me all the leftover juice so that I could fill the sink with water and soap bubbles, pour in the juice, and play with a mound of scarletly-pink bubbles until they disappeared. My hands would be stained pink for days! One very memorable time, she indulged my whim to help her fry some liver for dinner, not anticipating the abandon with which I would toss the floured piece into the cast iron skillet of hot oil. She scrambled for a bucket of ice to cover the burns on my arm before shuttling me into the pick-up truck and driving me uptown to my parents, who were attending a meeting at the church. From the time in her kitchen, I learned the best way to roll biscuits, how to make an amazing white gravy, and the recipe for pumpkin bread that I still use today. I was only eight when she passed away.

As I’ve gone through the first round of family photographs and started organizing them into family groupings, I’ve found a mix of pictures of her, so I thought I’d share some moments of her life as I’ve discovered them.

A life in pictures.

Grandma Nellie was born in Kentucky in January 1887. The earliest picture I have ever found of her is, unfortunately, the one in the worst shape, and, of course, undated. I’m guessing she was probably four or five at the time, but that’s just a guess.
The small image at the top of this post came from a larger picture I had not seen until recently, a family portrait of her family taken when she was about thirteen. Her youngest sister, Conie, was born in 1891, so I’m going with the later date on the photo of around 1900. Somewhere between 1891 and 1900, the family moved from Kentucky to Illinois, although I have yet to learn the reason why they moved.

Nellie, on the left, with her younger sister, Conie.

When I was growing up, my family used to say that I looked exactly like how my Grandma Nellie looked in this picture. I knew for sure we had the same light blue eyes. As a child, I had long hair that I often wore in two braids down my back, like she has here.

One of my favorite photos - all the sisters.

I simply adore this photograph, with their beautiful dresses and exquisitely done hair. This photo makes me wish I could enter the moment it was taken, just to listen in on the conversations that must have been going on as they were getting ready. Taken July 1903.

High School graduation

In my stack of family documents, I have the diploma she is holding in this picture.

With her sister, Conie

This photo is another one where I wish I knew the context around it. Were they dressed up just to get their pictures taken? Was it for some special occasion?

Sisters and friends

Wedding Portrait

I have found no other photographs of her wedding, nor any of my grandfather in anything but his later years.

My father was her first-born child. Taken April 1914.

Aunt Edith, Grandma Nellie, and my dad, 1954

This photograph was taken in front of my grandmother’s house. My grandfather died in 1951, and she lived with my father and his sister, Catherine.

Grandma Nellie holding me in her lap.
The last picture I have of Grandma Nellie, taken approximately 1972.


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