Kenai Fjords


Yesterday we took a Kenai Fjords tour to see the wildlife and Glaciers characteristic of the Alaskan Wilderness.  I was a little disappointed in the pictures that we took as the conditions were very challenging.  In photography, light exposure comes from balancing three things:  f/stop, shutter speed, and ISO.  If you have low light conditions, you can open the aperture by choosing a lower numbered f stop, you can choose a slower shutter speed, or you can increase your ISO making the sensor more sensitive to light.  There are tradeoffs however to doing any of these.  If you choose a larger aperture, you sacrifice depth of field so that not all of your subject will be in focus.  If you shoot at a lower shutter speed, you will have motion blur, and if you increase ISO you introduce grain, or noise into your image which can be removed post processing…

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From my travel blog…


Of all the places on earth, Alaska  holds the most intrigue for me.  I’m not alone, either.  The tourism industry in Alaska provides for roughly 40,000 jobs or roughly 14% of all employment there.  In 2010, 1.5 million people visited Alaska.  It’s beauty in the natural resources of glaciers, and wildlife are a draw for so many outdoor enthusiasts and cruise goers.

I have ties to Alaska as well.  My paternal grandfather homesteaded there well before my parents were even married.  My father spent his summers in Alaska, an avid outdoor fisherman.  My maternal grandfather spent his youth there, well before my paternal grandfather even thought of going there, working in the industry of road building by cutting roads through the mountains with high pressure water hoses.

I never seemed to make it there however.  So when the boys expressed a desire to go to Denali, we decided the time…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

By the Pricking of my Thumbs, something wicked this way comes.                     Shakespeare’s MacBeth

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Ancient Rome

From my travel blog…


In April we took the boys to Italy for spring break, thinking that they would have a marvelous time exploring all that history.  Seeing that history is their favorite subject, mixed with historical politics we also though ancient Rome would be a favorite spot.  When we got there, we were surprised to see bored faces, and unimpressed looks.

It seems we have Hollywood to blame for this.  When we made our way to the coliseum (and realizing we were losing our audience) we thought we’d wow them with the ancient structure.  Turns out, they were expecting a rebuilt version of it’s former glory, something akin to what they saw in Gladiator.  I guess we should have taken them on a formal tour to pike their interest.

In the end, they thought it was impressive.  But their favorite tour turned out to be Villa Adriana and Villa Deste, better known as…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

Rome is the city of curves…

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Floral Friday 6.21.13

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.” – Denis Waitley

UVA Magnolia 2013

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Floral Friday 3.8.13

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

_K8A1142 _K8A1147 _K8A1156

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Having spent a few days of the last week scuba diving (it would have been the whole week had it not been for a rather violent illness that knocked me out on Wednesday) several creatures come to mind when thinking of Lost in the Details.  The first is called a Toad Fish.  He looks similar to a scorpion fish, highly camouflaged to protect him from predators.  All these “details” make it very difficult to see his features.

Toad Fish

Toad Fish

Toad Fish

Toad Fish

Many other creatures find hiding places in the details, like this eel:

IMG_4248Here is the cropped version:


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Floral Friday 3.1.13

Those who do not weep, do not see.                                                                                      Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

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Prayers for Restless Hearts…

So many thoughts, and no words to say them with.  I’ve been befuddled, perplexed and even fearful.  I don’t know if it is right to share publicly what is personal family trauma.  If it happened to me and I want to write about it, do I have an obligation to others involved to keep my trap shut?

I’ve been struggling with this for weeks now.  I’ve started several posts that I have discarded.  I have theories up the yingyang, philosophies that would astound Sophocles, and ideas that would curl most people’s hair.  But knowing if I have the right to tell what I think is as illusive as the fairy basslet fish I’ve been trying to photograph all week.

This conundrum has silenced my writing wit for the past several weeks.  It has broken my heart and left me on my knees begging God to wave a magic wand over the individual who has me in such straights.  No, it is not hubs nor my children.  It is my brother.

I’ve written letters to him I will probably never send.  I believe, rightly or wrongly I don’t know, that something happened to him when he was very young.  And it was irreparable.  A brilliant mind was shattered, and the soul that was left was plunged into a life of unimaginable misery.  I don’t know the complete truth, but would dearly love to hear it.  Maybe I’m  being a simpleton.  Maybe I’m the one with the problem, unable to believe that someone could stray so far down a horrific path without just cause.  I don’t know what to believe, and I am extremely short on answers and wisdom.  I only know that it is so painful to watch him suffer, even if it is his own doing.  It’s even more difficult to acknowledge that not only is it not up to me to save him, but understanding that even if it were, I could not.

And that leaves me with prayer.  For whatever happens, the answer will be in prayer.


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