Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fireworks Season!

In mid-June the fireworks stands pop up here on every corner like dandelions in spring!

Last night a good friend of ours had an early Independence Day party...

complete with live band...

 and a sizable professional fireworks show.

I haven't tried to take pix of fireworks before so this was a good opportunity to experiment & learn. For a first attempt, I'm fairly pleased with the results. Here's just a few:

I did some reading up on techniques. Certainly, it's a recipe involving shutter speed & timing. A tripod & remote shutter release are essential. Finally, just like real estate - location, location, location. Having something in the foreground gives some perspective. I used the trees on this property to frame some shots, however they got in the way of some good ones.

In this set of photos, I did play around with Lightroom to crop or enhance, just because it's fun.

There's no set of rules for how fireworks pix should look. I think it's interesting to see the trees framing the sparkles or the blur of slow shutter speed.

 The one below is my favorite. Classic explosion but the spirals show up really well, creating an interesting effect.

Next Friday is the huge annual celebration our church hosts for the community. Hopefully, my practice run last night will pay off!

Hope you all have a great Fourth of July holiday! Be safe; and remember - freedom isn't free.

Freedom is a fragile thing
and is never more than one generation away from extinction.
It is not ours by inheritance;
it must be fought for
and defended constantly by each generation,
for it comes only once to a people.
Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again.
~Ronald Reagan

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hot Air Balloons!

So, Tulsa had a little Balloon Festival...

It's actually not the first time. It's moved around over the years and I've never really gone. However, it was close by this time and I wanted to get at least a couple pictures.

As usual, Oklahoma weather tried to rain on our parade. Between the wind and a couple thunderstorms, they weren't able to fly until Sunday night. There were lots of other activities, though.

We drove over Sunday evening and watched them lift off. Some drove to another location and we could watch them fly back. There was a balloon glow at dusk but we didn't stay for that.

I love seeing hot air balloons! The first time I ever saw one was 1984. We had just moved to Broken Arrow; I went out to pick up the newspaper on a summer morning and saw a balloon coming down about a quarter mile away. It was all field in that area then. I put my little boy in the car & we zoomed over there, both of us still in pajamas. It was so cool!

So here's my hot air balloon pix 2017. It was a spontaneous fun kind of evening as we wound down our Father's Day celebrating.

I would love to see Albuquerque's balloon festival someday. This doesn't come anywhere near that, but hey.

I saw other pix of the balloon glow which showed several more balloons than I show here.

Up, up and awa-aay
in my beautiful
my beautiful

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

I know the "holiday" is past, but I still wanted to share these photos from Ft Gibson National Cemetery here in Oklahoma. I had posted some a few years ago when my husband performed a service there. This recent Memorial Day, we just wanted to take a short drive and decided to visit the Ft Gibson area again.

I've posted pictures from a local cemetery that puts up hundreds of flags to honor those who served. I confess I was curious to see if the National Cemetery does anything similar. It was a solemn, yet beautiful sight.

This cemetery has an interesting history, which you can read by clicking the link in the first paragraph. Other than that, I'll let the photos tell the story.

In this section, "wreaths for veterans" were laid. They are paid for by donations.

We went early in the day, but missed a special ceremony attended by officials and dozens of motorcyclists. As we were leaving, the line of cars to get in stretched a good half mile. In spite of all the circus taking place in Washington these days, regular Americans still have a sense of honor, duty and respect for those who keep us free.

God bless America.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Peace in the Mess!

 I decided to clean, rearrange & reorganize my girl-cave. It's a multi-use room for office, crafting & sewing and now, Khaleesi's Salon. So with the addition of a grooming table and dog dryer, something had to give.

I'm starting with the closet and hoping to make room for the small bookcase in there. In the meantime, everything is moved to the center of the room. I started this Saturday morning, but had to stop mid-day for other obligations. I confess, it's a bit overwhelming!

I was reminded of something I recently read in the "Jesus Always" daily devotional. It's inspired by the scripture from John 16:33.

Here's Khaleesi thinking "what is going on in here & why are those things in my chair?!?"

Well, now that I've shared my mess, I'll be sure to post the "after" pictures -- if I can ever dig myself out!

I have told you these things,
so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33 NIV