Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ice Storm

To top Tuesday's storm off was a layer of ice, about a 1/4" or less. Nonetheless, it's stick slick, hard to walk or drive on. To be safe, I went into work a little later than normal. I wanted to be able to see where I was going and look ahead for those icy patches. A day like this, I thought I'd have no use for my camera but quickly changed my mind and grabbed it. During lunch I went to my normal park to sit in the car and read. I decided to attempt walking around but wasn't going to carry my camera since it was still icy. I got a few steps into my walk and saw the beauty the ice storm had created. A layer of ice shows the beauty of the subject it covers. The dark gray skies and misty drizzle falling made the park shine in beauty. This is one of the images I captured in my walk yesterday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Snow

The first snow of the season has finally come! It snowed most of the day yesterday creating a beautiful white landscape everywhere. The beauty of the first snow is almost indescribable. A white coating on everything gives the area a look that's like a wonderland. Even the highways had beauty. As always, I have my camera with me wherever I go. Yesterday, I made sure that I didn't forget it. During my lunch break, I walked through a park and captured this image.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tribute to A Friend

It was late afternoon that I got the news about my friend. My emotions were confused as to what to do, I wanted to cry because he will be missed by us and especially his wife and daughter but yet he is no longer suffering pain and discomfort. For he fought a great fight this young friend of pain.

I met him, his wife and daughter via email from a close friend at work. Prayer was needed as he had become ill again and wanted the comfort of friends praying. After several months of emails and prayers, I got to meet the family in December. I spent several hours with them assisting with a request they had. I just wanted to help and do something for someone. During the hours I was there, I noticed how kind he was to me, making sure I was comfortable and I had what I needed, his wife and sister did the same. The kindness was a realm that I didn't expect as I was there to help them, not make myself known or take care of me. The day went well and I noticed I never heard a complaint from him.

Christmas came and I thought more of the family I went to assist. My heart was filled with joy as I realized the blessing of being with this couple for a few hours on a Saturday. No other present I got that day, meant more to me than the realization of the unexpected blessing. In their situation, love filled the house, love was shown to me and other visitors, it was an unexpected and unexplainable blessing which had to be from God.

My friend is gone now, but I realize that he is not suffering. He is well now and enjoying himself as he is whole again. I will see him again one day.

We may not know why God doesn't choose to heal everyone, but we do know that whatever happens is always for God's purposes and might be used to help others. Faith, Trust, and Obey are imnportant aspects of the Christian life. As I look back on that day in December, I saw the beauty of this in a family.

(This photograph is dedicated in celebration of my friends "homegoing". I have left off names to respect their privacy).

Thursday, January 22, 2009


My other pet is a cat. Actually, my wife is the one who wanted a cat. Having grown up around big dogs, i.e. German Shepherds, I never cared for Cats. I wouldn't hurt one and would definately help one that is in need. Anyway, our current cat is Haydn, named after the great composer and because when we got him, he was always hiding. The name fit very appropriately. It's taken us awhile to get used to each other. But, then, he had a lot of adjusting. He came here from WV, had to get used to a big dog in the house and his new space. Now, he and I are becoming buddies, I am learning "cat" and he is gradually learning to rest and be at home with me in my studio or wherever. He likes to play a lot of games, like right now his is chasing a bottle cap around the room and batting it to me. I'll roll it to him and he'll bat it back. He's gotten to where he likes to sit and my studio and watch me work and sometimes add excitement by stealing my supplies and strewing them throughout the house or in his hiding place in the basement! Or, in the early morning hours, he'll jump up on my desk and scare me half to death. Satisfied at his accomplishment of startling me, he jump down and go explore somewhere else for awhile. Cats are as unique as they are special. Haydn is certainly both.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yearning for God by Bud Hance

Psalm 42:1-2 (NASB)
For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for Thee, O God.
[2] My soul thirsts for God, for the living God….

A deer that is desperate for water will go to great lengths and travel great distances if need be to find a source of water. For you see the animal will not survive without water. So it is with man. This is also true for the spirit of man. It is impossible to survive without water. It is just as impossible to survive without God's presence in our lives. Without God we will ultimately perish. Do you long to know God like the deer longs for a cool drink of water? Pascal once said, "There is a God shaped vacuum in the soul of man." It can only be satisfied by personally knowing God.

John 7:37-38 (NASB)
….Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. [38] "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.' "

Are you desperately thirsty in your spirit today? Jesus invites you to come and drink of the living water that only He can give.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My thoughts today turn towards dogs. I have had a dog for about 10 years now. His name is Ruffgang Amadeus Mozart, not named for pedigree but for my love of classical music. Most of my schedule has been centered around making sure he is walked, feed, and given attention. It's been a schedule with quite a few rewards. Yeah, I have to be home for this or that. But, when I walk in the door, he is so happy to see me. He acts as if he hasn't seen me in weeks. When I go back out to the mail and return, he is, again, so happy to see me. If I have a had a bad day, don't feel well or just in a bad mood, he instantly cheers me up with that unconditional love. Mozart never fails to show his love.

That reminds me of God's love for me. Often I have a hard time understanding His unconditional love for me. I struggle with being unworthy of God's Love but He loves me despite where I have been or what's going on in life and wants to be a part of my life. "For God so loved the world, that He Gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life"- John 3:16

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wow! January 19 already!! 19 days into the new year. Have you kept your New Year's Resolutions?? I quit making them, so I don't feel guilty when I break them. The weather here has been too cold to go out and photograph so I've missed it quite a bit. 3 degrees at 7:30 a.m. sucks the life out of camera batteries -- not to mention I don't want to go out in it either. The weather finally warmed some to a warm 25 degrees so I ventured out this morning to the pond at Walney Nature Center.

As I was shooting this morning, a rustle in the leaves near me and got my attention. Too cold for snakes was my first thought, then I saw a red fox running up the hillside. I wasn't able to photograph him, but I watched as he climbed the hill.

It started to snow as I walked through the park. I kept hoping it would snow harder so I could photograph it. But, it didn't. My friend Jaimi has been telling me about the beauty of winter so I've spent the past two seasons finding it. This photo is an example of my attempt.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Hi! I spent a few minutes this morning photographing nature in the Reston area. One of my favorite spots seems like it's away from busy Northern Virginia, but it really close to many important aspects of the area. I met a group of people who were counting birds to tally the species in our area. Fascinating project. I forgot to enroll in the Bird Count this year, again, but it seems like an interesting event. Apparently, groups of people gather and then spread throughout the area to learn about the birds. Another event is the Backyard Bird Count.

I captured images of the sun coming up over an icy pond. Beautiful way to start a weekend. Then I headed to do Deep Water Aerobics.... very good exercise but tiring.