Sunday, June 19, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 06/18/16: I'll Do My Best with What I Got, Loving National Parks, Party with Laura

1. My sisters and I are adding a photography project to our life of sibling assignments. For now, Christy will be giving weekly sibling photography assignments, assignments growing out of the workshop she took a few months ago in Spokane with the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I completed the assignment today by driving down to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and then to the National Arboretum. I had decided that when I think of summer and color, flowers are the first thing that come to mind. I loved seeing some lotus beginning to bloom along with water lilies at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and wished I could see some of the pictures that the numerous photographers were taking, aided by tripods, huge lenses, and light diffusers. I take seriously the stuff I read that dissuades me from suffering photography gear envy and try to do what these articles say again and again:  learn what I can do with the equipment I have, explore it as fully as I can, look for ways to improve, and always know that every lens can help a person take good pictures -- but, really, it's not the lens, it's the person releasing the shutter.

If you'd like to read the assignment and see the four pictures I posted, go here. For anyone interested only in seeing the pictures, I'll put them at the end of this post -- and I'll include a few others.

2. The parking lot at the National Arboretum was packed and, even though it took me a while to find a parking spot, knowing all these people were here made me happy. I didn't walk deep into the arboretum but strolled around the garden beds near the Visitor Center. I loved what I saw.  A bunch of families had come to the National Arboretum to picnic. Many were young families, two or three families together, relaxed under trees, shaded from the increasing heat, enjoying one another's company. As I walked around snapping pictures, I heard bits and pieces of conversation about national politics, what was happening where picnickers worked, raising children, and I realized that when I'm in Washington, D. C. it's scenes like this, whether at the National Mall or at the National Arboretum or at the Aquatic Gardens or at any of the national parks around here, that make me feel the most connected to being an American. I felt the same way on the public beaches on the Oregon coast and when I went hiking to waterfalls in the North Umpqua River basin. I love the physical beauty of the USA and deeply appreciate being able to enjoy these places. I enjoyed the solitude I almost always experienced on certain undisturbed Oregon coast beaches and at  Watson Falls and other such spots in Oregon.  I also enjoy the throngs who stroll the lawns and are moved by the monuments at the National Mall and the crowds who were loving the beauty of the National Arboretum today.

3. The Deke and Laura, a server at the Old Line Bistro, and I love hanging out with each while Laura is working, especially when she is the server for our table. Late this afternoon, for a while at least, things were kind of slow at Old Line and Laura spent chunks of time with us, talking about beer and different festivals and flow fire tricks with nunchucks and hula hoops, and, as always, when we talk to people in their twenties and thirties, the Deke and I had our knowledge of the world expanded. Laura is especially good at telling us about stuff we know next to nothing about. It's really fun. We had an exceptionally good party at Old Line.  The tap list was awesome, the po' boy shrimp tacos rocked, and we had a ton of fun yakking with Laura.

Sibling Photo Assignment pictures: 

Here are a few other pictures I took:

No comments: