Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's Foto - Garden Perspectives - Verbana

(C) Allen Pearson
Over the past 4 or 5 years, I've been in the habit of planting Verbana in my container garden where I need to add a different color.  I have found them in several colors like red, white, purple, coral, lavender, and this white and purple.  This one has become my favorite because it looks like God took His paintbrushes and splattered paint on the blooms to create a beautiful annual flower.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Daisies by the Rocks"
(C) Allen Pearson

"And unto man, he said, 
Behold the fear of the Lord, 
that is wisdom: and to depart 
from evil is understanding."  
Job 28:28

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day- THANK YOU!!!

Thank you for fighting for our freedom- Thank you for giving the ultimate sacrifice! Giving all you had so this country can exist with the freedoms it has and the ability for it to go forward and help others in need. The words thank you aren't nearly enough to express my gratitude for the sacrifice and work you've done. Thank you to the family members who have given so much to support the work of a military service person and especially to those who lost a loved one fighting for our country.

Memorial Day- Hug and Thank
a Military Service Person!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday's Thought

"Arlington National Cemetery"
(C) Allen Pearson
Today I want to turn my thoughts toward Memorial Day.  Typically, at least in my area, it's celebrated as the start of the summer season.  Though I love summer and look forward to it's start, I have tried over the part few years to re-train my focus- to remember those who have served in our military and lost their lives.

Heavenly Father,
We praise You today for the
many blessings you have given each of us,
for the freedoms we have to 
live in this country.

We thank you for the many lives who
have served in the military forces
who've gone before to allow us to have
the freedoms we have today such as speech,
worship, just to name a few.

We thank you for the many military families
who have given more than most of us will
ever know, sacrificing Dad or Mom,
in some cases both parents,
at football or baseball games
or at music or dance recitals, birthdays
-any of those special life events
because they'd be deployed.

On this Memorial Day, 
I pray for those who are still with us,
whether actively serving 
or retired. Please be with them as they
continue to serve this country in their duties 
and especially be a comfort to those who
remember fellow service members who have
lost their lives in the line of duty.

Lord Jesus, please guide our leaders
across this great country in all they say and do,
direct their to do what is right for the people
and our country, states, cities and counties.

We praise you Lord for all you have done and
are going to do for it is in your name, we pray.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday's Thought

As I've thought today about what to write, several topics came across my mind. This isn't unusual for me as I like to let God place on my heart what to write about.  I don't mean this as high and mighty or holier than thou or whatever, I just like to leave the slate open.

This week has been busy, seems to have been busier than usual with me running here and there and everywhere else all at the same time!  That sentence makes me tired just reading it!

Through the busyness of my life and the unusual schedule this past week, a thought which kept recurring is that "the Love of God goes beyond anything I could ever imagine."

The thought returned repeatedly over the last few days- so instead of trying to explain my thoughts, I found this YouTube video which sums up how the beat of my heart today-

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, 
With men this is impossible; 
but with God all things are possible."
  - Matthew 19:26

"Virginia Bluebells"
(C) Allen Pearson

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Garden Perspectives - The $1 Plant

"Tiny Hope Asiatic Lily"
(C) Allen Pearson
I spent $1 plus sales tax on lily plants a few years ago at the local garden center.  I was looking for something different and unique for my container garden but didn't want to spend much money.   About to give up and leave the area I was going to plant empty, when I came across the "Tiny Hope Asiatic Lily" on clearance for $1. They looked a bit sad, but spending the $1 and some green thumb- may work. I figured why not?!

This season, the plants are growing again. I expect them to bloom within the next few weeks.   I think it's pretty funny how the flowers turned out!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Garden Perspectives - "What Would You Like Me to Sing Next?"

"What Would You Like Me to Sing Next?"
(C) Allen Pearson
One of my first frog shots, "What Would You Like Me Sing Next?" is still one of my favorites.  The look on the frog is almost like he just finished a song and wants to know what's next.  I photographed this at the pond in Greens Springs Park, Alexandria, VA. I used a "glorified" point and shoot, Fuji S5200.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday's Thought

"Wild Bouquet"
(C) Allen Pearson
Happy Mother's Day!  Today, we celebrate the many great things that mothers have done for us, had done for us, or in some cases, will be doing for their newborn children.  Being a mother is the most important job in the world!

I've been wanting to write a special blog post in honor of my mother who passed away on February 10, 2011 for a few years now, but just haven't been able to pull something together.  I loved my mother, we were very close, but writing about her hasn't been easy.  I guess it's because she was so great that I didn't want to bore my readers with the details of the wonderful person she was!

A few weeks ago, I got to thinking about her again, more than normal as I usually think of her daily, but I was working in the garden which is something she loved to do and thoughts of her came to me.

My mom blessed me with the concept of enjoying the simple things in life.  They can be, and often are, as much fun as stuff you have to pay money to do.  She taught us to play outside, enjoy the outdoors, and be creative when we got bored with it.  TV was off limits except for an hour a day and I had to share that with my younger brother- I got to choose a show to watch one day and he, the other.  These days, I find myself enjoying the outdoors much more than being inside and especially watching TV. I can be outside enjoying nature's beauty forever to where most TV shows put me to sleep pretty quick.

The only regret I have about loosing my mother was not writing down some of her garden wisdom.  I took the time to enjoy her while she was alive but I didn't think to write down what she suggested to do with a certain plant or what this plant is named or how to care for it -especially those that she gave me.  When I garden now, I frequently think to call her and say, "Mom, what do I do with this?"  Can't do that now- should have paid better attention when we planted it instead of rushing to get it done.

I have many garden memories of my mom- one of the funniest was when I bought some plants from the county's extension office.  In order for the plants to reproduce and create the natural habitat that I wanted, I had to have a male and a female within close proximity of each other.  So, how do you tell that on a plant?  I looked at the plant, I went "Googled," and then called Mom.  After explaining the situation in detail, I asked  "Hey Mom, how do you tell if a plant is a male or female?"  Her response was appropriate and funny, "Well, if you don't know- it's no wonder I don't have grandchildren!!"  I was taken by surprise, but then we both laughed for the longest time.

Mom wasn't above being mischievous.  I'd heard stories from her sister all my life. It really became evident when my father and I were working on a project of cleaning out the weeds and assorted other growing things from underneath the deck of my house.  The house is about 20 years old- when we moved in, it looked like the area under the deck had never been cleaned out.  Prior to our going under the deck, my mother showed me some turtles on sticks she'd bought me while they were traveling.  I love turtles so she'd bought these for my garden.  Wanting to know where I wanted them, I suggested somewhere around the deck would work great.  Dad and I went under the deck and I warned him about possible snakes including rattlesnakes.  He was surprised and concerned.  Telling him what to do if he saw one, we proceeded.  Then, we heard a noise.  Oh my. I was just "warning" about rattlers. The snakes are in the area where we live but generally do not come into developed areas unless some kind of weather event or whatever causes them to do so.  Dad asked if I see the snake, I said "no" do you?  I was about to pass out from panic when I hear it again.  I told Dad we might want to get out of here so we did.  Just then, we heard it again and a laugh. The turtles my mother bought me made noises which sounded like a rattlesnake. We got out from underneath the deck and she was laughing hysterically.  Covered in mud from head to toe, Dad and I, at first, weren't laughing.
"Striped Verbana"
(C) Allen Pearson

Though I miss my mom, she wasn't well when she passed away so I didn't want to cling onto her or keep her here with the suffering she had.  I am thankful that as a young man, I took time to do stuff with my parents, to chat with mom on the phone from college and, after I graduated, from my apartment.  She was thrilled when I got married, she was happy to have a daughter-in-law since she raised two boys. After I was married, I kept in touch with her though it was less than before, after all I had a wife now.  Mom was welcome in our home and family.  We had many laughs over the years and lessons learned.

Remember, take the time now, not later, to enjoy your mother. Not tomorrow. Today.

Thank you Lord for making me slow down to "smell the roses" and including enjoying my mother along the way through all the changes in life as a growing boy to a man with a wife and furry children. Bless those without their mom's today for whatever reasons that may be.  If their mothers are still living and they are separated because of some trivial disagreement, unite them before it's too late. If their mothers are miles away, remind them to call their mothers and say "I love you." Bless the mothers today as they continue the task of raising in children in a time when it is most difficult to do so- give them guidance, love, and wisdom to do the tasks ahead.  Amen.

Written in memory of my mother, Judy Pearson, June 1943 - February 2011.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Summer Clouds in the Heavens"
(C) Allen Pearson

"but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint."

- Isaiah 40:31 
ESV Study Bible

During a period a challenges in my college years, God gave me this Scripture to be a source of strength.  I've kept this Scripture in heart through the years and it's reminded me that He is my Strength.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Garden Perspective - Tulip Symphony

"Tulip Symphony"
(C) Allen Pearson
One of my neighbors loves to plant tulips.  I love tulips- to see them, photograph them and admire the beauty but I've not had much luck in growing them in my garden.

As the winter season begins to wind down and come to its end, I look forward to seeing the tulips in my neighbors yard.  Having their permission to photography whenever I want, I captured this image of a variety of Tulips, titled Tulip Symphony.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Garden Perspectives - Daisies and A Bee

"Daisies and A Bee"
(C) Allen Pearson
"Daisies and A Bee" bringing together two favorites of mine, daisies and photographing bees.

Not sure what I find fascinating or interesting about photographing bees but I do so you will see several photographs of them over time.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday's Thought

I was talking with a friend this week about preferences and convictions.  Basically, it wasn't directly about these two subjects but it's what the conversation came down too.

"Mysterious Shenandoah"
(C) Allen Pearson
I enjoyed the conversation until the person told me that regardless of what I said,  they would have a response and I wasn't going to win.  I don't enjoy discussions which go that way as that tells me the other person has already closed their mind to anything you have to say even if it is one of those stellar moments in history that you would come up with something which would solve all the problems in the universe with the one simple solution.   I. personally, have those moments often but getting someone else to notice it, or believe it, is another issue.

I ended the conversation with a question, and it's stuck with me for a few days so maybe it's a good point, "Why should someone do something that goes against their convictions, not just their preferences?"  The other person thought about that for a few moments and we ended our conversation.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the meanings of conviction is "a strong persuasion or belief."  The definition of preference is "the act of preferring : the state of being preferred and the power or opportunity of choosing."

So my question is, "should someone go against their 'convictions' to do something that would make someone else happy- though they could ask someone else to help them out?" And, we're not talking the obvious of helping someone out in an emergency situation or circumstance.  I can understand someone preferring not to do something- but they could do it if need be.

My thought today is, "do you have convictions about something?  Do you go against them to please someone?  What about preferences? Would you go against them to please someone?"  The "someone" being a person you don't know.

An odd question maybe, but I would like to read your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Garden Perspectives - Butterly and Purple Butterfly Bush Blooms

and Purple Butterfly Bush Blooms"

(C) Allen Pearson

I enjoy "Butterfly and Purple Butterly Bush Blooms" because I love watching them come into my garden for nectar or water, and flutter around the garden or yard awhile before they head on their way.

Usually, I will see the Yellow Swallowtail and the Monarch every summer after the Butterfly Bushes bloom.  I put in a few Butterfly Bushes of different colors to  grow in my wildlife garden, purple, white and pink.  The bushes are pretty hardy with spectacular cone-shaped blooms.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday's Foto

"My Noah!"
(C) Allen Pearson
Today is my 50th birthday.  And, WOW!! Where did the time go?  It's seems like only yesterday I...... has been a common thought lately. Well, it probably was only yesterday and I just forgot..... oh well.  And, I have to laugh at how many times I thought fifty was old when I was in my teen years.  Doesn't feel that way- 

I've selected "My Noah" as this week's "Friday Foto" since it is one of my favorite photographs of  my dog Noah.  If you've followed my writing long enough, you know he's a rescue we got from PetConnect Rescue in December 2009. 

I love this photo and as time goes on, I realize it more and more is a true capture of his personality.  Yes, it's not completely clear, a bit blurry in the eyes and more crisp in the nose area.  The blurriness is the curiosity Noah has as a hound dog.  He's constantly thinking and in search of something or sniff the trail to find the critter.  He comes across as a smart, sophisticated dog because of his looks which are portrayed in the face area.    The mouth or muzzle seems to portray a slight smile and toughness.  He's a happy smiling dog, yet territorial.  

As a dog photographer, I try my best to get to know my clients dog before the photo shoot so I can capture the images they would like of their pet.  It's not the same for everyone or a uniform fit type thing.  As I present several images of the dog to the owner, it's interesting to see which one they select to have printed.  The saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is very true.  As a dog photographer it helps to have a strong passion for dogs and bringing their personality to life in art is an exciting adventure.  

I've gotten many compliments on the "My Noah" photograph.  And quite a few asking, "Why are you showing this....."  It means something to me, and that's what counts.  That's the way it is with clients too.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Garden Perspectives - Baby Robins

"Baby Robins"
(C) Allen Pearson
As I created Garden Perspectives, I decided I had to show a few older favorites along with my newer work.

Another favorite photograph of mine is "Baby Robins."  I was blessed to have an American Robin family build their nest in tree in plain sight of my front porch.  I was able to get close enough with a decent camera, my old Fuji S5200, to get this image.

Keep in mind when photographing birds, there are rules created to protect them from humans who wouldn't think about doing something to harm them or lead a predator to the nest.  You want to stay far enough away that you're not pointing at a nest saying "Here it is!"  Also, be aware of any noises around you such as a cat's meow or the birds chirping sharply or very abrupt.  The cat is an obvious danger to the nest.  The birds chirping are a possible danger to you or a warning that they will be "coming after you" soon.  Heed the warning and back away.

No American Robins, or any other birds, were harmed or in danger during the photographing of this scene.

A good resource to learn about photographing nature, including birds, is Nature Photographers.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday Words

"A Garden's
Simple Beauty"

(C) Allen Pearson

"The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him,
to the soul that seeketh him."
 - Lamentations 3:25