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Posts from the ‘photography’ Category


For many years I sat down with a pile of photos and clippings from the past year and put them in an album, remembering the year as I went and composing our annual Christmas letter. Those photos are slowly fading away and so we have undertaken the project of converting them to digital.

My mother-in-law’s house has been slowly sorted out and distributed; she is still living but in an assisted living home. We have been the recipients of boxes of books, linens, old letters, and now photographs. As I sort through them I can only think of all those people in our area who lost everything–including photos and mementos.

One of my nephews lost everything in a tragic fire—but being of the age he is–kept his photos electronically–and so many of the memories are still there.

This photo is of my middle son proudly mounted on ‘Smokey’ the best horse ever on his first riding at Estes Park YMCA in Colorado.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Is Wheat a grass?

Last week’s photo assignment was ‘grass’. I’ve been busy with a few other things around here but wanted to get back into the routine of meeting the weekly challenges. Usually I do not look at the other challenge photos until I have posted mine–and it seems there are others who also do so. This time, though, I peeked. There were gorgeous closeups of clumps of grass and expansive lawns and even one of a llama with a mouthful.

A year or so ago, my farm renter planted red winter wheat. It wasn’t so successful but there were a few stalks standing. I plucked them and put them on my dashboard to remind me of my farm.  They have slowly dried to the point of falling apart.

I carefully picked up what was left and put it on my front stoop–cement that has seen over a century of moss and rain and weather. As is my usual, I do very little in Photoshop–perhaps the image would benefit from some manipulation.Sylvia Weir Grass

And yes, wheat is a grass.

A la Rocky

This week’s photo assignment was to emulate on of my classmate’s style of lots of texture and alterations in original photos.

After nearly a week indoors due to Harvey and the Noah’s Ark rainfall—I can’t imagine poor Mrs. Noah with that menagerie–trying to feed them all and clean up after them while Noah and his sons sat around playing video games and watching baseball on TV. I’m sure she was the one that told Noah he had to see what was going on out there and let some fresh air into that boat.

But I digress.

Sun shone two days ago and so I wandered out around our neighborhood, camera in hand and spied several palm branches on a vacant lot. I had to step carefully as there was still a lot of water everywhere and took several photos.

Needing a break from the barrage of harrowing water rescues, lost and found puppies, missing uncles, and low water pressure, I decided to play around with one of the images. This can occupy anyone’s time for hours on end. Planning to go out sometime today to check on my property elsewhere and hoping the solar gate has recharged itself, I uploaded this photo as my assignment for the week.

Sylvia Weir altered photo

Eclipsing the Sun with Froot Loops and Rice Krispies

Viewing the solar eclipse has been on my calendar for several months and the only concern was figuring out where I was going to be. I thought of going to Wyoming or even Oklahoma where one small town set up a chicken coop in the center of town so people could watch the chickens roost. But then I had to work and the dogs would not be particularly interested in a long drive nor hanging around while we stared at the sky with our special glasses.

My oldest son is a professor at Texas Weslayan University in Fort Worth Texas–a mere five hour drive from here. I called him and asked what he was doing–he thought he would drive to St. Louis but then decided it would not be good to miss the first day of class. He talked it over with the professor of Physics and they decided to put together an event—in just three weeks. The library director also assisted in the project.

Husband decided to drive down from Wisconsin and I drove from home—and we met at his house–still unfurnished and getting painted before getting the floors done and his furniture moved in—his dog, Rosie, met me with great enthusiasm–she is still a puppy at 18 months–and did a lot of mouthing–I had to have bandaids so I wouldn’t drip on the really ugly carpeting that Rosie would then chew up.

Monday was bright, sunny, and clear with a bit of a breeze. We were assigned the task of making pinhole cameras from cereal boxes–a scramble to find aluminum foil, and pins in an office building but secretary there was quite resourceful. Mike made a point of pointing out the cheap project to his education majors.

Here is Glen working on a pinhole camera from a Froot Loop Cereal Box1-20glen20making20pinhole20camera20from20cereal20boxes-m

We proceeded out to the quad where I practiced using the camera so I could demonstrate–we took pictures through the eyepiece–a bit of a challenge, I tried a solar dye on paper–but there was too much ambient light–and took photos of the eclipse shining through the leaves of a tree on the nearby sidewalk. About six hundred pairs of eclips glasses were handed out–I shared mine with dozens of people. Faculty, students, football team, and even housekeeping showed up to look—it was a spectacular success===amd the universal responses were…..WOW!!!!!!!!! or AWESOME!!!!!!!!

2-20checking20out20solar20dyes-m Solar dye by Jaquard–I picked that leaf off a nearby shrub–hope the garden crew doesn’t mind.


shooting through the eyepiece at the full sun prior eclipse—Froot Loop box. I held the box, husband held the camera.


here we are setting up. The library director, her mother and husband also assisted.


More set-up. Husband is wearing the camo bee veil in foreground, Son is in the black Tshirt and ball cap talking to the studen with a backpack on far left. That T-=shirt is from the telescope in Hawaii–where he and we had a private tour—not at the same time–something few visitors get to see. The man with the blue shirt and khaki pants is the physics professor.


partial eclipse as seen through tree leaves on the sidewalk beside the quad.


Glen cut a somewhat ragged hole in a very large piece of cardboard and we directed it at a plastic wrapped piece of poster board.


a nice smooth hole yielded a better image


compared to this one.


here is my attempt with solar dye–it was purple–on my sketchbook–but there was too much light. I should have put the paper inside the cereal boxes.

Next event is in 2024 where we will be in the total eclipse zone.




Rusting Architecture

This week’s photo assignment to find a bit of architectural detail that could be called abstract. Last year someone did a lovely shot of window blinds but I decided to wander around outside and find something interesting.

I live in the Historic District and so there is always something interesting to see–just walking down the street the opposite way of usual–or taking a different route for daily activities. I ended up with this shot of the screening on my laundry room. The screening is rusting as it is exposed to the elements–a very moist and humid world in this part of Texas. However, the roof overhang prevents direct rainfall unless it is a hurricane horizontal rain.

Speaking of rain and weather; a mere half hour after taking a series of photographs of this part of my house, rain began falling–I am a fair weather photographer–so I retreated indoors–with this photo as my entry for this week’s assignment.

Sylvia Weir Architectural detail

Wild Thing You Make My Heart Sing

Sylvia Weir Week 25 Wild Thing You Make My Heart Sing

This week’s photo challenge was ‘Wild Thing’.  I remember quite vividly Jim Morrison singing this in our courting days. And Proud Mary and Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival; none of which are particularly romantic melodies.

My husband has a lot of hair–and it is a little bit curly–not as much as mine–but still some waviness. When we married, his hair was about eight inches long and my mother was aghast. He also can grow a full beard in less than a week; typically shaving it off in the winter time==so altering his appearance that our youngest refused to go home with him after school—he was in kindergarten at the time but consented after he heard him speak.

I could write a lot more about him but after nearly 47 years he still makes my heart sing.

What is it?

Sylvia Weir Week 24 What is this

Last week’s assignment was ‘what is it?’. This is always a fun assignment as photos are posted and people guess as to the origin of the photo. Many of the photos are macros or cropped. The guessing is fun and frequently people are stumped. This exercise encourages looking at things from a different point of view.

My entry this year is from a morning’s work in my kitchen.

This is the wax residue from processing five frames of honey from one of my hives. It is a very sticky project and I end up washing my hands and wiping down kitchen counters multiple times during the project, followed by mopping of the floor at least twice. I now have a lot of honey in jars and some comb honey in containers.

This is not a cheap hobby but there are definitely more expensive ones.


This was the  photo assignment for last week. Although we live fairly close to a marina/yacht club and have a sailboat on a trailer on some property nearby, those all seemed to easy. We also have a dinghy upside down in our backyard to serve as a refuge for the dogs on hot days–and I guess we could use it in case of a tropical storm or hurricane flooding the streets. We are a comfortable 13 feet above sea level and have had water just topping the gutters but never close to the house.

So, I convinced the two dogs to jump onto that dinghy. They were excited and thought it to be some wonderful fun new game–Dora lost interest fairly quickly but Toby thought it was grand because it allowed her to survey the yard from a nice vantage point.

I did take a few other photos that might be better but this week will be another fun challenge.

dinghy-mdinghy-m1dogs20on20boat-mSylvia Weir Week 23 Boat


This week’s assignment was “Backside”.

I pondered this assignment thinking about all the terms that go along with back–or backside.There’s back draft, back lash, back fire, turn your back, go backwards, turn back, and then all those things that used to happen behind the barn. But I was in a city busy with disability exams for Social Security–not for myself but for people who have decided that they want/need a disability check.

I chose to take a photo of the back of a nearby office building–the place where the utilities are hidden along with garbage cans, cast off furniture, broken grocery carts, cardboard boxes and so forth. This builidng had a very discrete very tall wooden fence hiding all of this—yes, I peeked through the spaces between the boards to see.

Sylvia Weir Backside Week 17

I could say a lot about my day doing disability exams for Social Security but it is very depressing. So many people just want a check instead of trying something else, trying to improve their health–they want someone else to take care of them. And the grouching that we were behind schedule! Some people wanted to tell me their life story and like a three year old point out every ‘owie’ and it was so amazing to see that my exam must have had restorative healing properties as many were able to leave the exam area with little indication of their claimed disability.

This is the backside of Social Security.

But I finished in good time–and arrived home today to find my chickies had survived the weekend without me–tomorrow you will get to see how much they have grown.


Austin Bound


Spring in Texas lasts a long time with bluebonnets and paintbrush and firewheels on the roadsides and pastures. I didn’t see many bluebonnets but the firewheels were out as well as the paintbrush–none here at this little picnic spot on route to Austin.

I usually prefer the smaller roads–less traffic and more lovely scenery to view. I had never stopped at this particular spot before but it was quite lovely. Only one other vehicle was there–who left within a few minutes of my arrival. Fish swam around in the pool, hoping for a meal but I disappointed them–yogurt and a banana aren’t really great fish food.

A few more photos are here: