Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last post of 2011... Happy New Year everyone!

I had grandiose plans to do a year in review post BEFORE Christmas and send an email to friends and family so they could connect here to see what the highlights of 2011 were in my corner of the world as well as my travels that took me here and there. Those of you who only want to view the images may do so by clicking on the first one to get a window that blows it up larger and allows you to step through the images. Friends and family who might want to know what else has happened in my life besides what is represented by the these images are encouraged to read to the very end where I'll share some news of a personal note not included along with the images.

I am currently sitting in a cozy B&B in Red Lodge, Montana looking at last night's snowfall as it has settled on the pine tree outside the window... and I'm thinking I should motivate to go outdoors and take some more pictures... BUT I'm so far behind on the ones I've taken over this past year that I decided to try to post a few here in the next hour or so before heading out to lunch! Here's wishing you and yours the best of everything in 2012!

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Cardinal images from my back yard during January snow storms.

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One of several collages from images taken on a February photo outing with cousin Jane and friend Susie... we went from Bethesda, MD to Shepherdstown, WV for lunch and wandering around to take photos... then we were off to my potter's home and studio near Sharpsburg, MD before heading back to Bethesda. These images are of a church on one of the back roads we took to get to Shepherdstown, a view (upper left) from the scenic lookout on 270 before you get to Frederick, MD and sunset from Boonsboro, MD.

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In March, I glanced out the window when I noticed the birds were chirping excitedly but none were at the feeders... what a treat to see this Sharp-shinned Hawk so fascinated with the birds hiding in the rose brambles that he wasn't the LEAST bit interested in me as I crept closer and closer to get some marvelous images... here are two!

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Squirrel antics in April at a newly purchased "squirrel proof" feeder... of course they soon figured it out and it no longer keeps the rascally thieves from stealing the bird feed.

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Floral images from a May Greenspring Garden macro workshop with Blue Ridge Workshops. Digitalis, Columbine, Lavender and phlox look alike whose name I cannot recall.

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Trying to choose just one collage of images from our June trip to Sweden is quite impossible since we packed so much into the trip. We visited family in Göteborg and Vägsele and saw many sights in between visiting with family. Here we are on the road from Vägsele to Tärnaby with cousins Sture and Inger. We stopped alongside the Blue Highway, a most scenic route, to have a morning coffee and snack break. (the two church photos are not at the roadside stop; they are of Stensele Kyrka) Seated at the picnic table from the lower left is myself, my sister, my brother and in the right rear coming forward is our cousin Sture, my brother's partner and Sture's wife Inger. If you want to know more about our trip to Sweden, Start with this post and work your way forward through newer posts... I STILL have not finished this trip diary!

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Going along with the theme of not finishing the Sweden trip diary... here is a collage from Iceland where my brother, his partner and myself spent three days in July en route home from Sweden. I've barely begun sorting through the scenic photos from Iceland but have managed to put together one collage of bird images from our boat trip to see the Puffins who have established large colonies on two islands in Reykjavik Harbor.

August seems to have been a month for staying indoors due to the heat and attempting to catch up with SOME of my image processing and blogging... So no photo to represent August!

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September found me spending 11 days in Montana and 10 days in Colorado which spilled over into October. The time in Montana was spent in and around Red Lodge, as usual, staying at my vacation home and spending time doing some fix-up chores as well as spending time with friends I see once a year (or more, depending). I never tire of Montana scenery but am going to share an image of Clouded Sulphur butterflies on Spotted Knapweed (taken near Red Lodge, MT, at the West Fork of Rock Creek near the Silver Run parking lot) to represent the month of September.

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With apologies to those of you who have seen this already, For October I am again sharing a collage of Hipstamatic (iPhone camera app) images since one of the best things I've discovered recently thanks to John Barclay and Dan Sniffin and their MARVELOUS Colorado Photo tour is iPhoneography!

sunrise at the 59th street pier in Ocean City, NJ
This image of sunrise at the 59th Street pier in Ocean City, NJ is from another workshop with John Barclay, this time in partnership with George Brown. We spent a mid-November weekend at Cape May, NJ with an early morning trip to Ocean City to photograph this fabulous sunrise! One of the reasons that it has taken me so long to sort through images this year is that I've taken quite a few workshops... and done a fair bit of travel as well! I've certainly learned a LOT about how to improve my photographic skills, both in the field and afterwards with post-processing.

collage of images as described
collage of images as described
December finds me in Montana although I'm not staying at my house over the first of the year because it's rented! I'm staying at the Irish Rose B&B which is a lovely place to stay. It has snowed at least part of every day since my arrival a few days ago and this makes the skiers very happy. I'm not skiing but have been out and about getting a few lovely wintry scenes while here. The first of the two images above was taken on the road from Laurel to Red Lodge and the second was taken at the bridge over the West Fork of Rock Creek at the entrance to the Silver Run parking area.

And now, for some personal notes... in addition to the many highlights represented by the images above, 2011 had some notes of sadness as well. Our half-brother Robin passed away in April after a valiant battle with cancer. Many of us were with him at the end and we celebrated his life with many people in the town of Easton, PA where he had lived since retiring from the phone company around 24 years ago. He was very highly thought of in the town of Easton on the Delaware River and will be missed by many.

In 2011, there were three new additions to my family... Nephew Dan (brother Larry's son) and his wife Wendy added a sister for Elliott (who is now 3) in July when their adorable daughter Holly was born on July 3rd. Nephew Michael (sister Val's middle son) and his wife Dawn welcomed their son, Ethan, on August 24th, making Val a grandmother for the first time. And my niece Lauren (brother Larry's daughter) and her husband Justus welcomed daughter Cora Jane on November 25th making Larry and his wife Chris grandparents for the third time. All are healthy, happy babies... I can't wait to meet them!

And last, but not least, I requested that my significant other of nearly 20 years move out of my house in Bethesda, which he did in November. We were not married but had been together for a long time so, in that respect, there is some sadness at the loss of such a long-term relationship. However, I am very happy and am feeling so much better these days! I look forward to a new year filled with more adventures in photography, more travel and greater peace of mind. Best wishes to all who make it this far for a wonderful 2012!


Ginnie said...

Having followed you carefully throughout 2011, Victoria, and getting to know you better and better, I absolutely know 2012 is here with a bang for you.

I raise my glass to you. 2012 is here!

Dutchbaby said...

My goodness, you've had quite the year, oscillating between highs and lows. I wish you a new year of more highs than lows.