Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Curtains

Kathy got some new curtains for the window on the landing between the first and second floor.  What she forgot to get were the tiebacks.  So she is going to make her own.  Meanwhile the curtains completely cover the window.  I saw this and really liked the play of light and shadow on the curtains themselves.  Perhaps a bit mysterious in feeling.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Done! And It's beautiful!

Well, it was a lot of work, I have to admit.  But to have it done makes it all worthwhile.  I think it looks beautiful.  The ceiling was gray, and I really love this baltic blue color.  It would not have been nearly as much fun if, after all the scraping and priming, I ended up with another gray ceiling.

After I took the first photograph, I backed up and included the pot of Geraniums that hangs at the entrance of the porch.  I love the contrast of the red against the blue.

I am not sure that this gives a sense of how much paint I chipped off the ceiling.  This is a fairly large pile of paint chips.  But there is no scale to the image, except the fact that the porch floorboards are two inches wide, which gives you some sense of the scale.  Guess what else this photo tells us.  It tells us that my next project is to use paint stripper on most of the front porch floor.  There are probably six coats of paint on the floor as well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Morning at Dunkin'

Tuesday mornings are Dunkin' mornings.  Coffee, tea, and a donut for each.  I was standing in line when I happened to notice this tattoo on the back of this man's neck.  I decided to take a photograph, discreetly, of course.  I also decided not to ask him about it!  Can you guess why?  I am really curious, of course, why this tattoo, and why in this place.  Just another morning at Dunkin'.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Long Island National Cemetery

I went to a funeral today, of someone I knew from work.  He was a partner of a colleague who is my friend.  The newspaper is on the other side of the highway from this cemetery and I always knew this cemetery as "Pinelawn Cemetery."  So I drove here for the graveside service, only to discover I was at the wrong cemetery!  This is the veteran's cemetery, known as "Long Island National Cemetery."  Duh!  So then I went to the correct place.  But after the service, I came back here, because I had seen scenes like this!  Long Island National Cemetery consists of 365 acres, and was established in 1936.  As of 2014 there were about 346,000 interments.  It is an astounding sight to see, with gravestones that go out of sight into the distance.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

More Tedious Than I Expected...

I decided it was time to paint the front porch ceiling.  It's been a while.  Apparently before I replaced the entire roof of the house, there must have been a few small leaks above this ceiling.  The water worked its way down and caused some of the paint to peel.  That's not what you are looking at here - this is a half day's tedious scraping of the old paint.  After scraping, I spray the ceiling with a mildew removal solution, then wash the whole ceiling with a garden hose.  After it dries, then it's ready for primer, and then a final coat.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Didn't Do This Well...

The village called a couple of months ago and said that the last thing they needed was a survey of the property with the new addition on it.  So I called a guy and he recommended a guy.  So these two men showed up this morning to do the work.  I was curious how it all worked, and they were really nice and took time to explain the computerized theodolite and how the process worked.  I asked if I could take their picture with their equipment.  Man, I did not do a good job of this.  I was rushing so they wouldn't think the photo was a big deal, and I forgot to do my thing to get people to smile.  I should have had the equipment closer to me and them further away, and the composition would have been more interesting.  I really was not paying attention!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Some Kind of Plant...

"Some kind of plant..."  This is sad, that after photographing gardens as part of my work, for more than fifteen years, that I have no idea at all of what these plants are!  I do love the lighting here, as well as the different textures of the three different kinds of plants.  Perhaps all that matters, is that I can take interesting photographs of plants, without knowing what they are.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


I have been trying to get this photo for weeks.  This is Grace, and she sits in windows all over the house, as she gazes outside.  I saw this photo several weeks ago, and went for my camera, and in an instant she was lying on the windowsill, and the photo was gone.  So I kept looking and kept my camera close at hand.  Today, she sat there for almost a minute, my camera was handy and I finally got my shot! I don't know why seeing her tail like this, hanging straight down, makes me laugh!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jen Gets the Photo!

You will find this hard to imagine, but there is a "photo gene" in our family!  My mom and her sister had it, my sisters have it, and our daughters have it.  When we took our tour of Sea Cliff, I discovered that our niece Jenny has it!  She has such a good eye and an inquisitive nature, and she took some really interesting photographs.  Here she is crouching down, shooting one of the really long staircases the go down the cliff to the beach.  That's why they call it Sea Cliff!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Sisters Come to Visit!

Today my sisters drove down from Connecticut for the day.  They haven't been here in years, and they wanted to see the new addition, and us, of course.  I drove them around Sea Cliff, because they had never seen the village before.  Kathy prepared a fancy meal for our lunch and we had a great day just hanging out and being family together.  The beautiful young woman in the photo is Joan's daughter Jenny.

Monday, June 20, 2016

White on White

Yesterday I showed you brilliant red and yellow.  Today I am being more subtle - just white on white.  Kathy wanted to touch up this chair so she got a can of white spray paint and put a fresh coat of paint on it.  Then when it was dry, she put it on the back steps of our new addition, where I first saw it.  I immediately thought of trying to make a composition from all the elements.  This is that composition.  I have taken more interesting photographs than this.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Astounding Light!

I stumbled across this photograph the other day while looking for something else.  I don't believe that I posted this before.  We were at a family gathering in Connecticut, and I went into the house for another soda or something.  When I saw this scene, I nearly fell down!  The light in this photograph is just unbelievable.  I quickly shot a few images before the light changed.  I mean the colors are astounding, but it is all about the light!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Birthday Girl

Kathy had a birthday a few days ago, and Liz and Amy sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers to help celebrate the day!  It is so nice to have them on the dining table, both for their beauty, and for their lovely scent.  After looking at them for a few days, I decided it was time to take a photograph of the bouquet.  Here's where I get tricky - I got out my "Lensbaby" which is essentially a magnifying glass with a Nikon mount.  It produces an image that is sharp in the center, sort of, and blurry around the edges.  It is good for when you run out of creativity...   :-)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ferns, Again...

I know I did ferns just the other day, but the light was perfect today, and the background was perfect as well.  I used a 300mm lens which allowed me to pick a jet black background by moving a short distance left or right.  The thing that absolutely grabs me is the gentle curve in the main stalk of the fern.  It is such an elegant and subtle curve.  I guess that's what this photograph is all about.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fun With Photography!

I posted a photograph a few days ago of the going away party for our friend Father Greg, out at the seminary.  This is one of the deacons who hosted the party.  He was having so much fun shooting photographs that I just had to take a picture of him at work.  Photography IS supposed to be fun after all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Estate Sale

Every once in a while, the marine salvage company down the road has some items for sale.  On this particular day they were having an "Estate Sale."  Really?  Does this stuff look like it is from an estate?  I did find an interesting used book but I can't imagine bringing any of this stuff home to furnish the house.  And all of this is less than appealing, given that it is all in the dirt!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This Feels Like "Plant Week"

This is a nice time of year to look for photographs.  Flowers are in bloom everywhere around town.  I found these roses up the street a ways when I was riding my bike, and came back later to do the photograph.  These are so beautiful espaliered on this latticework.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Ferns, Again

Every year I look forward to the arrival of the ferns on our front bank.  I have photographed them every year when they arrive.  They are just magnificent in their structure, and their appearance changes dramatically in different kinds of light.  I never tire of watching them from when the first "fiddles" com out of the ground, until the whole front bank is covered.  Just one more of nature's miracles.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee.

The drill is simple.  Brew a single cup of coffee by grinding some whole coffee beans, then putting the grounds into a filter cone and then pouring in boiling water.   So far so good.  Then add one teaspoon of sugar, and pour in enough whole milk to make the coffee the PERFECT color!  But what if the coffee cup was too full?  Well, I keep pouring the milk until the coffee is the correct color.  Whoops.  Too much coffee, too much milk.  Uh-Oh!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Father Greg

This is our friend Father Greg.  We first met him when he was first out of seminary, and came to St. Brigids as his first assignment.  After a few years there, he was transferred to the seminary in Huntington to be the Vice Rector, and the head of formation for Deacons.  Now that assignment is over, and he is headed to Rome for two years to work on his PhD!  Wow!  So today there was a going away barbecue at the seminary for all the Deacons and their wives, and friends.  This is him leading a prayer service before the picnic, in the chapel of the seminary.

Friday, June 10, 2016


Our astronomy club put on a Moonwatch tonight, at an elementary school about 40 miles away.  We have been here before and it's always rewarding.  The parents, children, and teachers are always so thankful for us showing them some of the most spectacular things in the heavens: the Moon, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn.  It is wonderful to see elementary school children, who have never looked through telescopes before, see these magnificent objects.  And the parents are as amazed as the children are.  Everyone was so thankful for us coming there.  There is not much that is more rewarding to all of us than that.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

More Art

So this is interesting.  This sculpture, called "Wood Duck" is by the same artist who produced the sculpture in yesterday's post, Allen Bertoldi.  I have photographed this sculpture before, in overcast light, and so I thought I would try it in bright sunlight. I am not sure that I like the shadow of a tree branch on the face of the piece, however.  But I do love the piece and how it is displayed in the pond.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Needs Work

This is a sculpture at the Nassau County Museum of Art, and it is in sorry shape.  The piece is called "Redbank 31, Nassau Variation", and it consists of 16 of these Cor-ten steel rectangles, each ten feet tall and 6 feet wide, in a line, but rotated slightly from one to the other.  I have known this piece for years.  Originally all the elements were all painted glossy black.  Over the years, the paint has faded.  I don't think that Cor-ten steel can rust, but they have painted some red primer on parts of it, as if they are about to repaint the whole piece.  But they haven't.  I really do like the appearance of the lichen growing on the paint, adding different textures to the original finish.  I think this is a really interesting photograph because of these subtle variations in texture and color.  But this hardly seems like the proper way to take care of an important piece of sculpture.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Art, or Not...

When I see kinds of art that I am unfamiliar with, I really take the time to try and understand it.  I owe this attitude to a college professor who, in music and art classes that he taught, told us of brilliant masterworks that were poorly received and disparaged when first performed or seen. So I really do try to understand new things.  But this piece, called "The Cavern," although interesting to see, really didn't move me, sad to say.  It was on display at a nearby art museum, along with paintings by the same artist as well.  The paintings didn't work for me either.  There was another exhibit upstairs of paintings by graffiti artists.  I am famous for spending 5 or 6 hours in a new museum that I haven't seen before.  But this day, I was done with all the exhibits in less than an hour.  I should consider that a personal failing on my part.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Just Walkin' in the Rain

I went out walking in the rain yesterday when it wasn't pouring.  I was rewarded with all these green leaves, with water droplets all over them.  Does anyone know what plant these leaves are from?  I love the different textures in the photograph, particularly the long, thin leaves in the foreground which feel as if it is water pouring down hill.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Some Are Watching, and One is Not

What's going on here?  I am trying to do "street photography" is what's going on.  I am only mildly successful at it, but I keep trying.  The correct way to do it is to spend the entire day in the city, and photograph all day long!  That's how the great street photographers have always worked.  I took this in Times Square when we were waiting before going to the theater.  We were sitting on one of the marble walls  that have been added for people's comfort.  Then behind us, six street performers showed up and began their routine.  Most people, including us, turned around to watch, but not the fellow in the lower left forground.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


This is another photograph from my walk to the parade that wasn't.  This is a shop that has been an antique store for years and years, although it seems to come and go with different proprietors.  I drive by this store nearly every day, but it is hard to tell if it is open.  Sometimes in warm weather there will be several people sitting in antique chairs out on the sidewalk.  I think they own the place.  Anyhow, I stopped to look inside and saw these Scrabble tiles spelling out "SOON."  So I am guessing the store is closed for a while.  I think that this is a very clever way to let people know that the closure is only temporary.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Always Worth the Walk

I mentioned the other day that I walked up to see the Memorial Day parade, only to find that the parade was cancelled.  Waste of a walk, right?  Well, no.  I found a number of photographs along my way, which is always a bonus!  It wasn't exactly raining, but there was a mist in the air, which left moisture on leaves and blossoms, and the light was very soft.  I think that the old fence adds a lot to making this a beautiful picture.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

National Doughnut Day!

Today, Friday, June 3rd, is National Donut Day!  Did anyone know that?  And here is a secret:  If you go to Dunkin Donuts, you get a free regular donut if you buy any drink.  We went to Dunkin this morning for coffee and a donut, and that's how we found out about National Donut Day.  We like our weekly donut, but I am not sure if we will be going back for two donuts in a row, even if one is free.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pie Town!

Kathy has been baking up a storm in the last day or so.  That's because we have company coming in the next month or so, and so we need to have goodies for them to eat while they are here.  And of course we both have a sweet tooth, so the smaller pies are for us, like right NOW!  What we have here is a large blueberry pie, and a large strawberry rhubarb pie for guests and then we have smaller versions of those pies for us, in addition to two blueberry tarts for us.    You know "two for us, and one for the company..."  I couldn't resist titling this "Pie Town" because I was actually in Pie Town, New Mexico last February.  And now pie town is right here in Sea Cliff.  Don't these look good?  They are delicious!