Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Night the Lights went Out:

Driving indoor temperatures below the forty degree mark, residents tried to bundle up and dig out of two feet of snow.  Without generators to power wells, they used bottled water for toilets or filled motel rooms.

The winter storm blanketing the region has left thousands of Dutchess County, NY residents without power as of Wednesday afternoon.   Many were  still without power Sunday evening.  Power officials noted that over 150,000 customers were left without power which is about half  the companies total customer base.

Crews continued to restore power into Monday while county and city crews cleared fallen trees throughout the area.


Ripe Snowflakes:


Patty: Try to catch snowflakes on your tongue. It’s fun.
Linus Van Pelt: Mmm. Needs sugar.
Lucy Van Pelt: It’s too early. I never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January.
Linus Van Pelt: They sure look ripe to me.

The Economy and the Icicle

Work for the fun of it, and the money will arrive some day. -Ronnie Milsap-

How long does it take ice to melt before it becomes a puddle?

Is it the largest icicle with the widest grip on the roof that will hold the longest, or does the weight drag it crashing to the ground before the thin more fragile ice spikes?

There appears to be a parallel to the economy and the nation’s continued unemployment with that of the weather.  Over time the temperature determines if the melting water continues to grow the icicle or it becomes fractured like broken glass…the same with people who love to be useful and find that through using their acquired skills.

Last evening, I was returning from my “Job Searching Techniques” class at the local community college.   The headlights illuminated and doubled the size of each snow flake produced by the white flurry making it impossible to see the car ahead.

Why am I intimidated by the classroom white board? Is it the instructor?  The magic markers that never work?  Not really knowing my career objective?  What are my skills and my strengths…do I still have them?

As humans, we are defined by our employment, five seemingly very nice people trying to understand who they are and what they want to be when they grow up. We were all sitting in a cold classroom with a menacing white board predicting our future.

There was the corporate financial analyst, who knew it would be a short time before his position was down-sized or out-sourced. It was a nervous laugh when he said, “he wanted to be a clown.”

The social worker, who was beat down by the work load and the hours.  She wanted to help others, make a difference, and maybe thought a career in health care. 

The woman who owned a child care business, who was also beat by the long hours and who felt she had fallen behind in technology.

The security administrator, who had worked hard and sacrificed much, returning to school for a degree and still confused on life’s direction. She felt safe in what she knew but knew she needed more.

And, the photo editor who felt much like an icicle, not sure which one he closely identified with but his eyes are coldly fixed upside down on that puddle below.

Another Snow Day…they’re endless:

The Last Key:

Second Floor Doors

“It is often the last key on the ring that opens the door.”


Appearance and Judgement:

Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.

-Jean de La Fontaine-

Savor a bad mood:

I like these cold, gray winter days.  Days like these let you savor a bad mood. 

-Bill Watterson-


Longing for Flight:



Caged birds accept each other but flight is what they long for.

-Tennessee Williams-

The Rag was a Flag:

A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole
It does not look likely to stir a man’s soul,
‘Tis the deeds that were done ‘neath the moth-eaten rag,
When the pole was a staff, and the rag was a flag.

-Sir Edward B. Hamley, 1824-1893-

Cold Springs, NY


Water Can Flow:

“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

-Bruce Lee-

Nothing exists for itself:





“Nothing exists

 for itself alone,

 but only in

 relation to

 other forms of


-Charles Darwin-

Know the Road Ahead:

“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”

-Chinese Proverb-


Get Out of Town!:

Get Out of Town…is always the best information that someone can give you when you hope to photograph the night sky unless of course you want to do some color correction in Photoshop.

This image was photographed at f-16 during a time exposure that lasted thirty minutes.

The gold cast that you see in the sky is from the ambient city lights of Fishkill, Beacon and Newburgh on the westside of the Hudson River.

Automobile lights can be fun to experiment with at night.

You can use them as a focal point as they trail off into the distance or you can use them to highlight areas of your image as in the image below.

Don’t let yourself be limited by the light source, grab anything from a flashlight to a small string of battery operated Christmas lights and experiment.

Look to the Stars:

It’s a wonderful time to take advantage of the full moon nights that come with the winter months.

I must admit that it is a bit more wonderful if you’re working in the high desert of the Mojave or the lower desert floor near Joshua Tree National Park rather than New York’s six degree snow covered forest floor.

Never-the-less a time to experiment with long time exposures and maybe a small strobe to help nature’s ambient light.

A reminder that it is best to have a central subject, tree, rock, person along with your tripod, cable release and a kitchen timer works great to keep track of your exposure; small piece of plastic if standing in the snow.

Light your subject a little warmer and let the strobe feather off.

The above image is a sixteen minute exposure while popping a strobe full power on the large tree and half power each on the tree limbs and the back rock wall.

Find a good chunk of night sky and play with the star trails.