Thursday, February 26, 2009

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

newcastle lighthouse in portsmouth harbor

In keeping with the posts I have been making about standing on a cement dock at the ocean, this is the view to the north.

This lighthouse is in New Castle, which is also in Portsmouth Harbor.

It is called the Portsmouth Harbor Light, and it is part of the Coast Guard Station that is just off to the left of the tower.

This lighthouse dates back to before the American Revolution, and it includes the remains of a fort that was used during that time.

There are underground caverns and tunnels that are constructed with iron bars and hatches that are all hand wrought.

These forts are situated on both sides of the river - all hidden by the granite ledges, trees, and grassy knolls along the coast of the harbor.

Sad to say, they are no longer accessible to the public - too much trash, vandalism, and abuse has made them a hazard and unsafe to visit.

Peering into the darkness through the barred open windows gives one the creeps, and you can almost feel the ghosts. Dank, dark, and spooky.

I'll stay outside in the bright sun and enjoy the lighthouse view and salt air as it breezes against my face.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ABC Wednesday - F is for Firing Range

F is for Firing Range.............

targets at a firing range

It was right before hunting season started, and the boys needed to sight in their rifles.

We live in the country - but it isn't rural enough anymore that we can just set up a target in the backyard.

So, upon calling the local police, we discovered that the recycling center for our town had the outdoor facilities for the state and local police to train and practice.

We just had to fit ourselves in around their schedules, get the correct signed permissions, and we use it.

They really had quite a set-up down away from the where the public goes to drop off their trash and recycling.

Aside from these stationary targets, there were a couple of buildings and blinds that were also used.

Off to one side, there was a whole course with jumps, fences, and tubes set up for training the police dogs.

It was really kind of cool to see all this set up.

The boys accomplished their sightings while I combed the area with my camera.

I got some strange looks from some of the locals visiting the dump since it isn't the most prime spot for taking photos, but the stock photographer in me couldn't have cared less at the time.

The boys were having fun, I was having a ball, and we were all cleaned up and out of there before the next round of troopers arrived.

This is the fourth round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Flowing Seaweed for Green Thumb Sunday

Flowing Seaweed for Green Thumb Sunday

flowing seaweed under water

Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

How to join Green Thumb Sunday

My last Green Thumb Sunday post was about a piece of abandoned seaweed on the beach in the sand.

This week the seaweed is still in the water. It is attached to all the rocks underneath it, and as the tide comes in, it begins to float and wave back and forth in the ocean's currents.

All the little ocean creatures that were hiding under it during low tide also begin to move around and scramble for a new hiding place.

Next week I will show you what they are hiding from.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Whaleback Light House

Whaleback Lighthouse

old stone lighthouse with a lobster boat

This isn't the best photo that I have of this lighthouse, but it is the only one of it that I have taken with my digital camera.

This lighthouse station dates back to 1830, and the present structure was rebuilt in 1872 after the first one was demolished in a powerful northeaster that this region is known for.

It is the Whaleback Lighthouse and it is constructed of solid granite blocks.

It stands in Portsmouth harbor, and is included in the border between Maine and New Hampshire.

It has been automated since the mid 1960's and it's light shines strongly every 10 seconds. The fog horn lets off a blast about every 30 seconds.

I posted a couple of days ago about standing on a cement dock and showing the view to the south.

This photo was taken from the same dock, and this was the view to the east.

I was lucky enough to catch a lobster boat at work with a flock of seagulls overhead, waiting for their daily share of the haul.

Between the lighthouse and the boat there is a red harbor marker that helps guide the boats in and out of the harbor. When the wind blows through it - which is pretty much all the time - it makes a low, groaning sound that is just about as loud as those fog horn blasts.

This old sentinel has always been one of my favorites - standing tall and sturdy in the harbor with it's classic shape outlined against the sea and sky.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ABC Wednesday - E is for Exhaust Pipe

E is for Exhaust Pipe.............

shiny exhaust pipe on a motorcycle

A shiny exhaust pipe on our motorcycle - so clean it is reflecting the green grass in the yard and the blue sky above.

We live on a dirt road, so keeping it in this condition is not easy.

The paved road can also do a number on it - and since it gets so hot, the dirt sometimes get baked right on there.

And speaking of hot - these pipes can be downright nasty.

It only took one time, many years ago, to learn that lesson - the burn mark on my calf lasted all season.

Now, no matter the temperature, the legs are covered with pants - and no sandals on the feet either.

So anxious for all this snow to go away - should be about May before the ice block of a driveway melts and the mud season that follows it has dried up.

Can't wait!!

This is the fourth round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cove in the Autumn

Cove in the Autumn

ocean cove in the cool autumn

The day was chilly, and the wind was blowing in from the ocean.

It was about mid-morning and the sun sparkles on the water were so pretty - but even they had a cold look to them.

I was standing on an old cement dock that was jutting out into the harbor - this was the view to the south.

After snapping this photo, I tucked myself into a space between some giant boulders. The sun soon warmed me back up enough to continue my walk along this beautiful spot.

The coastline of northern New England is rugged but it has such unique beauty in every season.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

a red glass paperweight in the shape of a heart

Hugs around the world to all my Valentine friends!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Zooming in on the Little Things

Zooming in on the Little Things

a pepper grinder with black peppercorns

As I have often mentioned in my posts, macro photography is one of my favorite ways of capturing images.

It opens up a whole new way of looking at things - and sometimes what you discover is exciting too.

There are times when I am processing the photos in photoshop and things will magically show up that I didn't see originally. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes not.

The textures of simple things that we do not normally notice can be quite surprising, and many things become abstract when they are zoomed in on.

I really admire the photographers who capture nature's macros - the tiny bugs and intricate flowers.

I know that when working with such a narrow depth of field, it is very difficult to get a perfect focus, and if the insect moves or a minute wind blows the flower, the focus is gone.

Most of the macros in my portfolio are of objects. Some of the first macro shots I did many years ago were of some miniature dollhouse furniture pieces that my sister had in her dollhouse.

Some of them were so intricate and I was quite taken with the little potted plants and flowers. I wanted to capture these little beauties in their tiny settings.

I didn't realize at the time that the lens I had didn't have very good macro capabilities, and I was disappointed with the results I got.

Years later, when I do have the correct lens to do the job, all those little pieces are no longer around.

My eyes are always open though - searching for all the macros in our daily lives.

If the light is right, and if the family isn't in too much of a hurry, I will grab a shot of that ordinary object - macros are hiding everywhere!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ABC Wednesday - D is for Dry Ice

D is for Dry Ice.............

a bucket with dry ice melting

A bucket of fog - created by a small piece of dry ice.

About 10 minutes after we opened the cooler that had been shipped overnight to us, this white fog began emerging from the top.

Once exposed to the warm air in the room, the ice began to melt - in the form of fog.

We removed it to a bucket outside, and watched as it slowly began to crawl up the inside, swirling and rising until it reached the top.

Then it ever so slowly

a bucket with dry ice melting and spilling over the top

began to spill over the edge and creep down the outside with it's ghostlike fingers.

It was only a very small piece, but it took hours for it to "melt".

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide and is used as a coolant - in our case, to keep food solidly frozen when it was shipped to us.

It did it's job perfectly, and supplied us with entertainment as well.

This is the fourth round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Green Seaweed for Green Thumb Sunday

Green Seaweed for Green Thumb Sunday

red sumac in the autumn beginning to deteriorate

Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

How to join Green Thumb Sunday

Another image from summer past.

This little bunch of seaweed was far from the water's edge - not quite sure how it got here though.

It is still moist with sand granules stuck all over it.

I thought the dark green color was quite a nice contrast against the white of the sand.

I am not familiar with the name of this seaweed plant, but it is quite common around our shores. Usually it is more a more yellow/brown color than this green.

Next week I will post a photo of the seaweed still in the water - lots of it too.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A New Blog

Frugal Healthy Choices

weights and an exercise mat

I started a new website a couple of weeks ago.

I have decided that it is time to take a serious look at my physical condition and really do something about it.

The idea of having to be on medications for things that I can control has me quite determined to discover a more healthy lifestyle.

It's not about any particular diet - Lord knows I have tried enough of them, and it's not about any particular exercise program.

It's about discovering what works for me, and doing it without spending money on fancy foods, gyms, and programs.

A calorie counter, BMI calculator, and several interactive gadgets are in the sidebar of the website for my readers to use.

I will be posting about health, nutrition, fitness, and many tips that I find along the way.

I have also included weight charts for women and men and a slide bar along the bottom to track the pounds as I loose them.

I would love to hear about any stories or tips that you have to offer, or any interesting info you have found or heard about.

It's all about making the right choices for a healthy lifestyle - all on a shoe string budget.

If you get a minute, please check it out at:

I thank you, my friends!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

An Active Teen

An Active Teen

a teen driving golf balls at the driving range

In this day and age of technology, I am glad that my son still enjoys the great outdoors and keeping himself active in a variety of activities.

Now, I am not saying that he doesn't enjoy video games as much as the other boys his age, but he does put them in their place.

And he doesn't mind that we still only have a Playstation 3 unit - saving his money is also important to him. He enjoys the old Sega unit once in a while too - you can't find some of the old video games for the newer units.

He does like to read about the newer systems and games though, so even though he doesn't play them all, he keeps up with video game news.

And he also keeps up with the newer lacrosse and fishing equipment - and don't even get him started on cars and engines.

I am glad he has such a wide variety of interests and spends his time wisely so he can enjoy them all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ABC Wednesday - C is for Chasing Crabs

C is for Chasing Crabs.............

two boys chasing crabs at the ocean

I don't have too many people photos in my portfolio. When selling stock images, you need to have release forms signed by the people in your images if you are offering them for sale as royalty free.

They can be sold as editorial stock images when you don't have the releases, but the call for them is usually limited to celebrities or current events.

I captured these two last summer while visiting the ocean.

They had waited until the tide was far enough out so they could get past the rocks and seaweed to wade in the water.

They were having a ball chasing the tiny crabs that were scurrying around their feet.

Their Mom made sure they had their water shoes on to protect their feet, and off they went with their pails and bags.

As hard as they tried, they were only able to catch one tiny crab. They may be slow on land, but in the water those little things can really move.

It made me chuckle. All I could think of was when my son was small, he stated he could outrun a chipmunk and catch it without a problem because it was so small. Seventeen years later that chipmunk still remains uncaught, but you know, I think he still thinks he can really outrun it.

Those precious moments - it still makes me smile!

This is the fourth round of ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in please visit this site for the details.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Autumn Sumac for Green Thumb Sunday

Autumn Sumac for Green Thumb Sunday

red sumac in the autumn beginning to deteriorate

Green Thumb Sunday Blogroll

How to join Green Thumb Sunday

This past autumn the sumac leaves along the edge of our yard were a more red color than the fiery orange that I have seen in the years past.

I kept my eyes on these guys daily - I wanted to catch them at their peak. It also had to be the right time of the day when the sun was on them. And the sun had to be out in order to have enough light for the photo.

Well, by the time all these conditions were met, of course the peak for them had gone by.

See all those tiny little white "dots"?

Those are holes as the leaves were beginning to deteriorate. You can even see the blue sky through some of them.

I had noticed they were not in their prime when I took the photo, but it wasn't until I was processing it that I noticed all those tiny little holes.

The camera had picked up the light shining through them, where my eyes didn't catch it at all - certainly not the blue sky showing through.

Sometimes it makes me wonder what else my eyes don't see - and that's a pretty unnerving thought!


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