Thursday, March 31, 2011

Images from the Past, Part 2 - My Grandmother's 1915 Yellowstone Journal

June 14, 1915, Monday

Arrvied at Livingston, Montana at 5 o'clock.  Saw elk horn fence and snow capped mountains.  Arrived in Gardiner Montana at 10 o'clock.  Took dinner at Gardiner Hotel.

Left for Mammoth Hot Springs 12 o'clock (5 miles).  Arrived there and stayed two hours.  Saw Soldier's Fort and hospital and chapel, homes of soldier's officers, Terraces, Hot Springs, Devil's Thumb, Liberty Cap, started for Swan Lake.  On way saw Devil's Slide, Eagle (Nest) Rock,  Hoodoos (Basin), "Golden Gate", and Swan Lake.  Stayed there all night.

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(Click on information in red to see modern photos and some information.)

My Note:  HERE are 100 amazing photos of Yellowstone taken in 2003 by Charles M. Kozierok.  Granted, my b&w photos are almost 100 years old, but she saw the same magnificent colors - that hasn't changed. 

As to the elk fence, elk retain thier antlers throughout the winter and shed them with the onset of spring.  The local rodent population makes short work of this high quality source of calcium.  Size of the horns does not indicate the age of the male, but does help indicate the health of the animal.  The antlers are renewed each year.  I got my information from Mountain Nature.  I read somewhere that people could literally "stumble" upon valleys of elk horns.  I wonder if that is still true of today?

The entryway into Yellowstone is well captured in the above unique angle - I believe that is an ox or a cow in the foreground.  It is funny to see it just wandering around.  I like the stone foundation of the building on the left; I wonder if it is still there?  

I am not sure of the age of the postcard. I have a vintage postcards that her sister, Bertha, sent to her when she visited the park in the 1920's.  (I will share these here someday, too.)  The back of the "Gardiner Gateway" postcard reads...  Gardiner Gateway to Yellowstone Park.  At Gardiner Gateway, the original entrance to Yellowstone, begins the incomparable "In Gardiner - Out Cody" tour of the Park.  The Northern Pacific Railway serves all principal gateways to Yellowstone, permitting the traveler to go in one entrance and leave by another - at no extra cost. (the bottom left corner has a circle with Northern Pacific written inside)

I will be adding photos the next couple of weeks that depict the sites she mentioned above.  The b&w photos I have are small and in pretty good shape.  But I have highlighted each with a link that shows what each looks like today.

I have linked up with "Sepia Saturdays" - a wonderful site where people share vintage and nostalgic photos of the past.  It is really fun, so check it out.

On my sidebar is a complete compilation of what I have journaled to date.  I hope you come back next Thursday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Barnyard Boss" by Caroline Kelly

This is painted by Caroline Kelly of Log Cabin Studio.  Click to be transported to her blog.  Truly beautiful work and I am honored that one of my photographs inspired this dandy rooster!

Really, I LOVE when people use my photos to paint from.  Please just ask.  Not only will I showcase you here, but I will add you to my "Inspired Paintings from my Photos" blog that will always be displayed on my sidebar.

Now, run along and check out Log Cabin Studio.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A handsome pony and a poem recycled, 184/365

This pony lives down the road and is quite a character.  He reminds me a lot of the pony I had when I was a child.  My pony was all brown, but quite friendly and curious, just like this little guy.  I wrote a poem this past December about Velvet and thought I would re-post it.  This photo is also for "Black & White Wednesday".

Our Pony

Softness of heart, Velvet, her name;
Shaggy coat and gentle gaze.
Her short legs worked overtime;
in front of the pack, the lead she always maintained.

One blue eye, one brown, always cautious.
Watchful babysitter on many a rambunctious day.
Summer mornings, warm and promising, off we went;
field eagerly crossed, sister and I securely upon her back.

Traversing up and down the quarry
through tall cornfield and railroad tracks.
Wading along river bank and forest trail;
aware of the way home, she always led us back.

Until the day our feet nearly dragged upon the ground.
We knew our journeys had come to an end.
With joy I must admit we welcomed a bigger horse,
one eager to explore and take us away, fast.

But behind the fence we heard her whinny,
her indignant cry of being, finally, left behind.
Never again did she join the pack, no leader she.
Resigned to wait until we returned, greeting us eagerly.

She cared for us when we were small and watched us
outgrow her.  We brushed and petted and walked her by lead.
The big horse moved on when we finally grew up,
but she was family, beloved and cherished, she remained.

By Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 12-21-10

I have to say, the punctuation of poetry is a nightmare for me!  I think I have changed it a hundred times... and I'm sure it is still wrong...  a (,) or (:) or (.)  I think I will just use NO punctuation like many poems I see ;)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Magpie #59, "An Innocent Beauty" - a Rondel poetry form

Photo courtesy of Tess Kincaid via probably Google Images?
An Innocent Beauty

Such beauty sets my heart afire!
Exquisite charm and subtle smile,
Of hazel hue those eyes beguile;
Encourage flames of deep desire.

Attain her love I do inquire...
To win her trust, I'll change my style.
Such beauty sets my heart afire!
Exquisite charm and subtle smile.

Caress her skin, I do aspire...
This yearning lust will wait a while.
Her sweetest glance devoid of guile,
Her innocence I most admire.
Such beauty sets my heart afire!

By Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 3-28-11

(Note: I originally had "Exquisite and subtle her smile" in the 2nd and 8th lines, but it wasn't the right iambic (is that the word?) beat, so I changed it slightly.  I don't like it better, but this type of poem is all about the rhythm. )

Well, this is my Rondel for One Stop Poetry's "One Stop Poetry Form".   The rhyme scheme is ABba/ abAB/ abbaA with 8 syllables with the emphasis on the 2, 4 6 & 8th beats.  Click on the site if you want to know more.  The guest host for todays is  "Samuel Peralta".

This is also for Magpie #59.  I needed to tie the two poetry challenges together as I have another busy week.  I'm not sure if we consider Mona Lisa a great beauty today but when I compare her to other renaissance paintings, I actually think she is attractive.

And speaking of beauties... my daughter's PhotoShopped image as "Cinderella" is in the following post.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our Cinderella, 183/365

Click on this photo to enlarge.  It looks really cool.

This is our Cinderella!  I was unable to participate this past week in a number of my favorite poetry challenges as I was busy with my daughter's play (She was Cinderella) and two performances my son was in at the University.  I am eager to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee Tuesday morning and see what fellow bloggers have been up to.   I hope you had a nice weekend.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Salsa - Corn Salsa, 181-182/365

This corn salsa is very FAST.

2 cups corn kernals (3-4 ears of corn)
5 Tblspns chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbspns fresh lime juice
1 fresh jalepeno, seeded and minced

Boil water in a pan.  Add the corn kernals and cook for a minute or two.  Drain and let cool.   Add everything else and mix.  Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.  Serving size is between 2 - 3 cups.

I usually serve this over chicken & cheese quesadillas, but it goes well with fish quesadillas too.

This recipe was found in "Williams-Sonoma Complete Seasons Cookbook".  I bought it at a second hand book store for $4.00.  This salsa has become a family favorite.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Paintings that honor my photographs! and "Kisses" a poem by my daughter

These three delightfully small ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) were painted by Carol Blackburn.  She painted from my photographs and I so love them!  Her blog is "Limited Space Art Studio".  Click "HERE" to be transported.

Below is another painting that was done from one of my photographs.   I got permission to show it to you here, but Viviane's blog "Les Peintures De Viviane" is "HERE".

Really, I love when artists are inspired to paint from my photos.  Please, just ask!

I've had a very busy week juggling the kids school performances.  My son's at the University of North Carolina was AWESOME and this week and weekend I have been busy with my daughter's performance in Cinderella AS Cinderella.  Isn't that every young girls dream to sing those beautiful Rodgers and Hammerstein songs?

So, please forgive any delayed responses and visits.  I haven't had much internet time and don't think I will until Sunday evening.  I do plan on posting another Salsa recipe tomorrow, though!  So check back for that if you like salsa.

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Below is a poem by my fifth grade daughter:

A Heart's Treasure

Kisses are sweet
They light up one's world
And calm you down.

Kisses are the world
They're a bandage;
Never rip it off.

Kisses mean: "Love You".
They are Happy and
Often full of joy.

Kisses also mean "Goodbye"
"Sorry" and "I'll miss you"
Yes, they are sometimes sad.

No matter what,
A kiss is a kiss
The heart's treasure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Images from the Past, Part 1 - The Badlands, South Dakota, 1915

Marguerite Hutchins is seen above in her highschool graduation photo.  She attended Northern Illinois State Normal School in Dekalb (which is now Northern Illinois University).  The summer of 1915, when she was 23, she and a group of friends traveled to Yellowstone National Park to work for the summer.  I have her journal and her photos.  This is my attempt to document this period in her life.

June 12, 1915 - Saturday

Took North Pacific line at St. Paul at 10 o'clock at night.  Came through S. Dakota.  Saw Bad Lands in afternoon on Sunday.  Came through Montana.

The above is a photo I particularly like that she took in 1915.  My guess is there are places that still look a lot like this.  But I do wonder what the big building on the left with the bell tower is.  I would hazard a guess to say it is a school as it seems in the middle of nowhere for a courthouse or post office.  Below I have linked the National Park Service's web site and a link to Google images of the Badlands.

Click HERE to be transported to the National Park Service Web Site
Click HERE for images of the Badlands National Park.

I will be hooking up with "Sepia Saturday" every week.  It is a site that gives bloggers an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs.

Most Wednesdays I will be posting "Images from the Past".

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Testing, testing Photoshop Essentials, lesson 2 with Kim Klassen, 178-180/365

Part of today's lesson (actually last  Friday's, but I am finally getting around to it!) is about resizing and saving them for printing and web format  The very top photo was done at 600 pixels wide and the two below at 800 pixels wide.  Do you see a difference?  Above, the second one is from my SD chip, no resizing.  It the top image a bit sharper?

Can anyone explain why this is an important step as I don't see much difference... (note:  Thanks for answering - I guess it has to do more with printing out the images and if you view in a larger format.  And a smalle pixel size saves memory.)

Daffodils are wonderful and I love this first burst of spring color!  Spring is finally here!

Now I am off to learn about the Adjustment Panel in Photoshop.  I will be posting the experiments to my blog tomorrow.  This class makes learning this program so enjoyable in the least amount of time.  I have wasted SO much time trying to figure the basics out from my "how to" books.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Poetry Book Giveaway; Abandonment, a short poem; 176-177/365

Photo courtesy of Toril
The photos today were captured by my friend when she took a trip to South America.  I love these images and would love to paint them someday and I also think they are fine examples of what I call photographic poetry!  She is also a fabulous artist but life has gotten in they way and she isn't painting much anymore.  I am really blessed to have a few of her paintings in my home.

I stumbled upon a blog that I wanted to give attention to: Kelli Russel Agodon's - Book of Kells.  Her March 20th post announces a Big Poetry Giveaway which begins Thursday, March 24 - guidelines will be given as to HOW to participate - either via giving away one's own books or chapbooks - or two of their favorite poetry books.  Of course, one  can just sign up to enter to win the drawings!  Last year, 50 bloggers participated, giving way 100+ books plus a few subscriptions to literary journals.  How FUN is this?
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Photo courtesy of Toril
I'm working on One Stop Poetry's "One Stop Poetry Form".  This Monday and next the poetry form "Rondel" will be looked at closely.  The rhyme scheme is ABba, abAB, abbaA.  Capital letters are the refrains, the meter is typically 8 syllables, and often written in iambic tetrameter "da DUM da DUM" or heartbeat.   I'm working on it but it might not get finished until next Monday as it takes me a little time to mull this one over.  Check it out and try it for yourself!

Photo courtesy of Toril
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And the photo below is for "Movement in March".  Do you see the happy bumblebee?

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Also, the last photo is for "Creative Exchange".  At Lisa's blog today, she is participating in "1000 Cranes for Japan".  The flicker site which I have highlighted, is beautiful to look at.  I think my daughters might like to do this as they are good with this sort of thing... my origami only inspires a free throw to the garbage can!  These two last photos a part of my "365 Photorgarphic Journey" - I'm half way through!

Racing alongside spring's first breeze 
a moment of abandonment, enjoyed,
as only a child knows how.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 3-21-11
for the March Challenge - prompt: reflect upon being at a child's level

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Immortal Influence, a poem 173-175/365

Photo courtesy of James Rainsford for One Stop Poetry
Immortal Influence

Indelible impressions molded and carved,
expressions frozen, evoking sentiments, strong.
Life's vitality, offered a second chance.
Toppled are some.  Idols no longer,
voices silenced, memories banished.
But some are revered, stirring hearts and
motivating minds with influence immortal.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 03-20-11

This is for One Stop Poetry's Sunday's Picture Prompt Challenge.  The featured guest interview was with James Rainsford.  He is an amazing photographer (HERE) and a lovely poet (HERE) and (HERE).  He is a twice published author and I encourage you to sit back and enjoy his work.

For me, poetry is something that I must read everyday, practiced everyday in some way in order to improve.  Word jotted down in a little journal - at times, thoughts scribbled upon a napkin.  Poetry is work for me, but a challenge I enjoy.  To have even embarked on this sort of writing amazes me as I really have a lot of insecurity with what I am doing... Critiques are always welcomed here - my goal is to improve.  I am always searching for poets to read, to absorb.  My son just read William Blake to me in the car and I loved the way his words flowed (didn't understand them all, but I will have to go back on my own and investigate).

I have attached a copy of "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde about a statue and a swallow.  It ties in nicely to the photo prompt, I think.  Please click HERE to read it.

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Sunday Creative Word Prompt:  "Magnified"

Yesterday was a perfect day to enjoy the out of doors.  I think we walked 5 miles and stopped many times along the way.  When I am with my three year old son, life is magnified.  The smallest things fascinate him and this is one example.  He insisted on peering at the edge of the water - always looking for fish or frogs.  He was rewarded with a turtle backing out of the bank.  I almost didn't capture this big  turtle before it quickly swam into the deep water.  Does anyone recognize what kind this is?

The photo below is today's shot for "Movement in March".  This is not just some random guy running past me.  It is my husband helping me capture an action shot.  :)

I have taken a number of photos of this same sweet spot.  He loves to throw stones into the water here.  This is for this week's "Black & White Wednesday". 

And following is a photo that you are free to download and do with it what you will.  Please just give me credit for the photo and if you add a texture or paint it, please let me know as I would like to see it.  On my side bar is a "button" of which you can click and see other "give-away" photos.  Thank you.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Salsa - Caribbean Salsa, 172/365

This salsa certainly surprised me!  I thought the combination was certainly a recipe for disaster.  I did learn how to tell if a pineapple is ripe.  First of all, if it is fully green, it will never ripen - it should reflect a golden yellow color.  It should smell sweet, if it has NO scent, it is not ripe.  It should be firm to a gently press and only yield slightly.  I thought if a leaf removed easily it was ripe... not true!   I have never tasted a ripe pineapple before, only tasted from the DOLE can... and how unfortunate as I now love pineapple and can't believe what I have been missing!  Another tip is to turn the pineapple upside down to allow all the juices to run through it (for 20-30 minutes).

The following recipe is from 5 a day - the better health cookbook.  I changed it slightly by using a vidalia onion and used a very mild pepper (above).  The store was out of jalapeno peppers.  My son thought it needed a spicier kick and added medium peppers to it.

2 cups watermelon, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped - (I used vidalia)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 oz orange juice (I used fresh squeeze)
1 Tbspn jalapeno peppers, chopped

Simply mix all the ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour in order for all the flavors to mix and blend.

Enjoy this taste explosion!

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This is for "Weekend Reflections"#78.   This was taken while at Disney in Florida last year.  Can't you just feel the summer sun and the lazy day feeling?

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This flower is for "Macro Monday".  I just love pink and orange together!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A day at the North Carolina Zoo, 171/365

The North Carolina Zoo is an awesome walking zoo with gentle hills that give a great cardio workout and plenty of shade.  We arrived mid afternoon and were surprised to see the animals quite active.  I have never seen the bears walking around before nor the polar bears swim.  The Rhinos were actually closer than usual, but by the time we reached the elephants, they were back by their "barn" ready to be fed.  We did enjoy the statue above though.  I'm afraid my youngest wants a baby elephant now!

My photography isn't the best as it was full sun.  Most of the photos were taken through a clear plastic partition so a bit of a glare is visible.

The gorillas always fascinate me.  They usually never turn to look at the crowd of people.  But I got lucky.  I was the only one still watching and three of them started walking around.  When they do stop to look at a person, (above) it is impossible not to be spellbound.

The video below is fun to watch.  They are so huge and powerful with such long massive arms, yet so delicately do they pull the grace and eat it...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My son performing a "Flogging Molly" song "Laura", An Irish-American Celtic punk song and my Magpie #57 poem

Flogging Molly is a seven-piece Irish-American Celtic punk band.  My son loves the band and has been singing this song for years.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  My son has his own writing and poetry blog "HERE".


Feel the words from my lips
To your harsh finger tips
Then you know where I come from
Cause I know, yes I know
Cause I lost everything I had
See, I could have danced on the sun
But my world came undone


There's no need for tears
Cause there's no need to cry
The love that you leave
Will never be denied
This pain in my head escaped from my heart
No woman alive can touch who you were
So bye bye, Laura
Cause no one could take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade
The seed that you've sewn
Will reach for the sky
This love that you leave
Will never be denied
And after this song, her spirit lives on
Though you're not around you'll never be gone

So bye bye Laura
Cause no one can take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade
Well I... I could have danced on the sun
But the world came undone
Yeah I... I could have danced on the sun
But my world came undone
So Bye Bye Laura
Bye Bye Laura

So bye bye, Laura
Bye bye Laura
This pain in my head escaped from my heart
No woman alive could touch who you were
So bye bye Laura
Cause no one could take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade
So bye bye Laura
Cause no one can take your place
Bye bye Laura
Your beauty will never fade

Photo courtesy of Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales
The following poem is for Magpie #57.  It really falls apart at the end as I was trying to stick to a rhyming pattern.  I'm reworking the entire poem and I don't think it is worth reading after unwise.   I'm reading a book on the history of Ireland and hope to resubmit this in a few weeks.  I hope you enjoyed my son's song, though!  :) Even though my poem below is not done,  I am submitting this to One Stop Poetry's "One Shot Wednesday" as I thought a number of you would enjoy the Irish "ballad".  I hope you don't mind.   Hope you all had a fun St. Patrick's Day!

Life's Real Prize

If ever you catch a leprechaun, beware.
Of kind heart and honest I hope you be
and not scheming to become a billionaire
as greed and foolishness they hate to see.
Solitary tinkers with a mischievous side,
these little men clad in coats of green, realize
man's plight and will feed upon your pride,
persuading you to select wishes unwise.

Yet, these fairy folk are quick to brandish
something which you desperately need,
a gift perceived as "The luck of the Irish"
in fact is a Leprechaun's good deed.
Rare as a four leaf clover, such luck
is splendid, indeed.  But faith, hope and love
represented by the regular tri-leaf shamrock
is life's real prize of which we are all capable of.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens, 3-17-11

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First PhotoShop Lesson with Kim Klassen!

How easy Kim Klassen makes it to  learn PhotoShop.  (The button is on my sidebar)  She supplied her own photos, but this is one I took and wanted to see how I did on my own.  I think the above is a vast improvement over the photo below and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  No textures or anything fancy yet.  I erased the wires and took out the telephone pole and changed up the exposure a bit.  I'm really happy with the way this turned out.


Now, I'm not saying that this shot is an award winning photo. But since we were working with barns, I thought I would stay with the same subject.  The above is quite an improvement over the shot below.  I erased some of the "dots" and look at the "bubble" on the door.  Gone!

If your love gives you roses, don't scoff. 169, 170/365

This rose is for "Black & White Wednesday".   My husband bought me a dozen "supermarket" roses for $5.99 and I scoffed at them.  Snipped they wouldn't open, nor last.  Well, was I ever proven wrong.  These were long lasting roses and didn't droop as they often do.  They lasted just over a week.

And the following photo is for "Movement in March":