Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cherry Blossoms - Continued

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout and hands full of flowers. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here is a continuation of some of the cherry blossom photos from my last post - there are too many to choose from! These are all by me with my Lumix - my husband was off somewhere with our Canon at this point. :)

Oh, how I love Radlab, and for this set I used their "Sexy 70" filter on all of them. I love its dreamy, romantic effect and use it often! It's one I'm always drawn to.

I'm linking up with Kim's Texture Tuesday - for the first and third images, I used her "cora" texture at Soft Light/20%. It's a soft pink texture, so it added a lovely, subtle touch to the pink in the cherry blossoms and sky.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cherry Blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossoms - Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.

My husband and I made a pre-dawn trip down to D.C. on Friday to see the cherry blossoms. We left the house at 5am and were lucky enough to find the last of a couple parking spots in a lot near the Tidal Basin. Or, at least we thought we were lucky...until we trekked back to our car at 7:45am to head home, and met up with the policeman writing our parking ticket! Oh well, we decided $30.00 was worth the price of admission.

Even though we arrived there by 5:40am, we couldn't believe how many photographers were already there waiting for the sun to come up. By the time we left, it was wall-to-wall people. It was a spectacular sight with all those beautiful blooms and the Jefferson Memorial right there as a stunning backdrop, not to mention the Washington Monument standing tall in the distance. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for us...and despite the incredible volume of people, it was still possible to get some great shots if you were patient.

Here are some of my favorites - I may share more later because we got so many good ones. And I must be upfront about this particular set of photos: this was a team effort by my husband and I. We had two different cameras we were using, and although I did all of the Photoshop editing, my husband took some of the initial images. Even though my signature is on all the images for the sake of the internet, he had a part in some of them!

I'm linking up today with Kathy's Song-ography, and this week's prompt is "Photograph".

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.

~Julian Grenfell

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Grace of Spring

Spring 2014 trees

Spring 2014 trees

Spring 2014 trees

Spring 2014 trees

Grace is always present. You imagine it as something high in the sky, far away, something that has to descend. It is really inside you, in your heart. When the mind rests in its source, grace rushes forth, sprouting as from a spring within you. ~Ramana Maharshi


A fallout of body and mind: the melancholy of winter sank in, as it tends to do. My heart was put on a shelf by my own hands, numb and dumbed down by gray snow and screen glow. There was the passing of time, the rise and fall of moods and moons. But spring's wind is like a soft, holy breath against my skin. And its blooms are like visible prayers suddenly revealing themselves. I'm drawn back to the shelf and I retrieve my heart, studying it with no noise to hinder thought, in a stillness so soft it charms. The heart is our dearest partner, I remember. We do everything with it: loving, fearing, hoping, falling apart. Our soul resides in it, in the silence. I go outside, and I take my heart. It breathes again, filling my spirit's winter hollows, replacing them with joys again, soothing my sorrows. April's flowers have magic powers.


My first attempt at a prose poem...I'm not even sure if I did it right, but I like how it flows so smoothly, as if I'm writing in a journal. May you feel the hope and grace of spring! That is my wish for you.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring is a Happiness So Beautiful

spring is here

Hello! It's been too long...I've been M.I.A. for weeks. My back and ribs are improving tremendously and I couldn't be happier. Spring has also officially arrived in Virginia, which makes me almost giddy.

These last weeks have been tough - it's funny how, when you're ignoring the balance in your life, your body will literally bring you to your knees to get your attention. My pain issues forced me to re-evaluate and I'm spending less time sitting at the computer these days. I'm also eating much healthier, meditating, and doing yoga. It's hard to believe, but I think my injury was actually a blessing in disguise because it forced me to take a look at some bad habits I had developed. I'm now making my physical health a priority in my life, and reducing the "noise".

Our daffodils are out! And the birds were happily chirping this morning when I woke up with the sunrise. Our trees have buds on them, too...oh, how I love spring!! Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope to be back to more regular blogging now. I will finally have pretty things to take photos of, now that things are starting to bloom! No more gray trees and brown landscapes. I'm linking up today with Kim Klassen's Friday Finds.

Spring is a happiness so beautiful, so unique, so unexpected, that I don’t know what to do with my heart. I dare not take it, I dare not leave it – what do you advise? ~Emily Dickinson

Kim Klassen dot Com

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Light and Shadows

light and shadows

I haven't been blogging much lately...my apologies for being absent and out of the loop. I've been dealing with some pretty intense rib cage/upper back pain for about five weeks now and it's just not improving...it's very uncomfortable to sit for more than a few minutes at a time. This has put a huge cramp on my blog posts, photo editing, and any other creative thing I'm wanting to do...all of which require sitting. I'm also having trouble sleeping because lying down just doesn't feel good. I've started physical therapy this week and am hoping it will start helping me heal. I'm trying to stay positive and not let my discomfort get me down. Any and all prayers and good thoughts are deeply appreciated.

The weather went crazy last night - we went from the high 60s to single digit temperatures overnight. The winds were brutal - in excess of 60 mph! It's still very gusty this morning but it's supposed to slow down soon. Needless to say, I haven't been outside and I took the above image this morning in my dining room. The grain, light and shadows are symbolic of my state of mind right now: there's an ongoing struggle between the frustration of my pain and my hope that I'll be better soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope spring is coming soon wherever you are! We're almost there...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring is Just a Rumor

lake sunset February


I wander with my winter heart,
inhaling the March tones,
the silence of things,
the showy sunset.
If the sky had a scent
it would smell of
tangerines and honey.
The birds speckle the air
with flecks of color:
rubied cardinal, rusted robin,
purpled finch.

Tulip buds hide and ache
beneath the snow, yearning
for their colors.
I breathe in the smell
of a winter fire, the
loneliness of chimney smoke.
I fret about the looming hollow
of moon shadows across
midnight walls. Spring
is just a cruel rumor,
whispered bitingly
among the oaks.

© Sherri Brannon 2014

Every winter, 
when the great sun has turned his face away,
 the earth goes down into a vale of grief, 
and fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
 leaving her wedding-garlands to decay -
then leaps in spring to his returning kisses. ~Charles Kingsley

Actually, spring is more than a rumor...it's a tiny light in the distance, and I can see it. This makes me happy! It's supposed to be in the 60s here for the next couple of days. I'm so ready to let go of the winter "blahs", so much so that this poem irritates me when I read it back. These words I wrote are tiresome...remnants of that melancholy head space I get caught up in every February and March. I'm so ready to let them go and move on to the renewal of spring!

The photo was taken with my iPhone on a winter sunset walk to our community lake recently. Thank you for stopping by! I'm linking up today with Poetry Pantry.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Flower Power

Flower - Photo Art Friday

It was such a welcome change to work on this flower image and see so much beautiful color for a change...this endless winter landscape is so gray and drab that it's seeping into my spirit. Every blog post I write lately is about my melancholy, winter state of mind - I apologize for sounding whiny! This weekend the time changes and that always helps: more daylight in the evenings. Just a few more weeks and April will be here...

This was a flower I photographed at Disney World in January. I used Bonnie's "spring light canvas" texture and also played around with the cutout artistic effect in Photoshop. I then put my image through Radlab until I was happy with how it looked.

Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts. ~Dodinsky

Pixel Dust Photo Art