Tag Archives: Bliss List

A “blaze” and some bliss

This week’s Photo Friday Challenge is BLAZE. I knew immediately, when reading the challenge email early this morning, what photograph I would use, although I had thought initially that it was one that wouldn’t make it into the ‘share’ pile. I was experimenting with shooting glass pieces reflecting against a large window at night when I decided to see what sort of abstract I could produce with a long, handheld exposure. Not sure that I thought I’d get this result, but I like how it looks like the woods are on fire.

Blazing Trees

And, as I’ve done for the last few weeks, here is this week’s List of Moments of Bliss. See other’s Bliss Lists at Liv Lane’s blog.

1. Frying an egg perfectly — and admitting that it was the first time ever!   I’ve been afraid to try to fry an egg for at least 20 years.  Having never learned how, I failed miserably at making eggs the way that I liked: with set whites without any crispy, brown edges and a warm, runny yoke. Now that I know how to cook — something I didn’t learn until I was in my 40’s — I was a bit embarrassed that I still couldn’t fry an egg. So I tried. You know what?  It’s easy if you know how. I used this recipe by Alton Brown, though I would rename it something a bit less gender-oriented. The secret is low heat, and a lid for the pan. I still think I make an awesome scrambled egg, but I’m happy that I can now make eggs the way I like them. This is especially useful since I don’t have the resources to go to France — where I think they only serve them this way — on a whim.

2. I had coffee on Saturday with two dear friends — our weekly get-together that, due to lots of life’s circumstances, last happened on 12/31/11.

3. Some friends of mine have a bi-monthly girls-only gourmet dinner. The host choses the menu and each person brings the specified dish. Due to a last-minute cancellation, I was asked to sub. Although we all agreed that the too-rare standing rib roast was not our favorite, we enjoyed the meal. What fun to share a meal and laughs with good friends and new friends. My cat allergies (the reason I have declined joining the group of 5 cat-loving cooks permanently) stayed at bay until it was time to leave.

4. February is over and March is here! In Indiana, March can be any of the four seasons — and sometimes all of them, it seems, on the same day. Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day; today is colder and blustery with a chill that reminds me that there are still officially a few more weeks of winter.

5. I took my son to the dentist. While a dental visit is not usually blissful, the time spent with my son was. To understand the circumstances, you can read about it here, or a slightly better, edited version on my Open Salon blog.


Friday Bliss

Today was a beautiful, Spring-like day. Typically, February in Indiana is bitterly cold, grey and often snowy. If there is a teasingly Spring day, it usually doesn’t occur until March. I went out for a long walk wearing a sweatshirt and heavy winter coat, scarf and hat. Luckily, I had big pockets in my coat, because by the time I had walked a 1/2 mile, I was too hot for either the scarf or the hat. It was a perfect day for a leisurely, blissful walk.

A few scenes from my walk:

Just before I walked out the door, a bright red cardinal perched on a tree outside my dining room window. The cardinal was not the only bird I saw, of course. Along the way, I saw flickers, robins, ducks, and geese. There were a few leftover nests from last year, visible on the barren trees.




Last year's nest

I walked along the creek for 2.5 miles, stopping often to look and listen to the flowing water. Because we’ve had so little snow this year, the creek is much lower than normal. The sandy islands that form in the middle, usually only accessible in late summer, were reachable in a few spots. It isn’t a view I usually get to enjoy. I crawled out on one dead tree and sat for a while and listened to the rapidly flowing water and the birds.

As always, there are lots of interesting things along the side of the trail. Today’s surprise was that on the small island, there were many clam shells. I knew that clams populated inland waterways, but I had no idea that I could find some along this creek. Many were pearly and several were as large as my hands.

Of course, not everything to be found is natural. Looks like someone left in a hurry, leaving an unopened bottle.

A few days ago, Terry at Mobius Faith (Click on that link! His photos are fantastic!) posted some photos of concrete. I know it sounds a bit odd — concrete? — but his post inspired me to look at concrete differently. I’ll post more later — there are some that I want to experiment with in post-processing — but look at the interesting shapes and color from lichen and rust from the bridge materials. In places where graffiti artists have been, the parks department has tried to cover it up. The paint, as it ages, creates an interesting pentimento. Even the shapes of the concrete bridges are interesting.

Of course, there was plenty of nature to photography as well: empty milkweed pods, hanging from a limb; fungus on fallen trees; stark trees pressed up against the gorgeous, cloudless sky; snowdrops, those early signs of spring, pushing their way up from the winter ground.

As I returned home, walking up the drive, I noticed the tulip trees in the front ravine. They are over 100 feet tall, so it’s difficult to tell, but I think they may be starting to bud. As nice as it was today, early blooming is not good for the trees.