The one day of Winter

I pulled up some of the shots I took from the one weekend that we actually had something resembling January weather this year and found this.  A dogwood tree with one leaf still hanging from the tip of a branch encased in ice.

I can’t say that I am sad that this has been a very mild winter but it is nice to have a change of seasons so we can appreciate what is different in each.  I was just talking to some friends at choir about how the seasons in Atlanta are somehow harder on people’s health than in places where it gets really cold in the winter.

In climates where you get a deep-freeze winter, the weather changes and stays fairly constant.  Your body adjusts and you don’t get a shock to the system with temperatures changing.  In Atlanta, even though the temperatures don’t drop below freezing all too often, you can get 30-40 degree swings during a day.  Sadly, that means cold, flu and allergies.  Oh well, I guess everything has its pluses and minuses.  I’ll just try to stick to the positive and enjoy what I can!

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/7.1 –  1/60 sec – ISO 200

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OK, spoons can be cool

Yesterday, I posted a shot of some of my wife’s spoon collection and wondered how people started spoon collecting.  After we looked at these for a while, a set of commemorative spoons from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair were found.  It is a neat set with different buildings from the World’s Fair on each spoon.

I had learned some history about this when visiting with the family in Chicago.  There were two worlds fairs in Chicago.  The first in 1893 followed 40 years later by the one these spoons are from.  The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is the last major building from the 1893 World’s Fair that is still standing.

The 1933 fair did not leave any permanent structures. The fairgrounds on Northerly Island, became Meigs Field, the lake-front airport which is now gone, and McCormick Place. Since almost all of the Worlds Fair presence is gone from the “White City” now, it is neat to still have a piece of this history.

spoons-6947

Though you can’t see much of it, the background for these images is a vintage Chicago post card which we think is also from the World’s Fair.  The theme “A Century of Progress” also reminds me of the “Carousel of Progress” at Disney World.  I believe that was originally from a World’s Fair exhibition.  It is fun to see what was considered futuristic in the past and to see what has come to be and what is still science fiction.

All that from some spoons.  Pretty cool.

1939 Chicago World’s Fair Commemerative Spoons
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
(1) 105mm @ f/22 –  3.0 sec – ISO 200
(2) 105mm @ f/22 –  1.3 sec – ISO 200

It’s a Small World

Just a few of the many souvenir spoons that have been collected by Joyce and members of her family.  This is one of those things that kind of makes me say – “What were they thinking?”.  So, what exactly was the idea when people started making tiny spoons as something to sell as a remembrance of a visit to someplace different?  Why exactly do I want a little spoon?  Then again, other options like plates, shot glasses, beer mugs, etc. I suppose are no less practical but how did they get started with spoons?

I found an article on the Georgia Public Broadcasting website from a show they did on these spoons – History Of Souvenir Spoons.  It explains that commemorative spoons date back to the 1800’s and became very popular around 1890 but it doesn’t really explain the why of spoons.  It did say that this started with wealthy silversmiths using the spoons to create an image of some location they visited on their travels.  I suppose the large surface of the handle and the spoon gave them more space to work with as opposed to a knife or fork.

Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1/3 sec – ISO 200

A promise of life returning

Even though this plant is brown and without any leaves, there are little buds to be seen.  I think this is some variety of azalea but I don’t know for sure.  The little buds look almost like a pine cone and I love the arched patterns you can see here.

Maybe there is the hope of Spring returning before too long after all!

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
110mm @ f22 –  1/20 sec – ISO 100

Waiting for Spring to return

I know that it is only January and this has been a very mild winter but spring seems so far away right now.  When I go outside and capture the dried up remnants of last years growing seasons, it seems a bit sad.  Most of the color has gone out of the world.  Of course, gray and brown are colors but, you know what I mean.

So, until Mother Nature decides to push away the cold weather and I start complaining about it being too hot again, this is what we have to look at.  All things considered, nature is still amazing.  There are still patterns and textures that boggle the mind if we take time to admire them.

Perhaps the winter season is given to us as a gift to make us appreciate what surrounds us when the first buds appear and things turn green again.  Or perhaps this is a lesson to help me learn to find great subjects when nothing jumps out and grabs me immediately.  It is amazing what lengths God goes to for us to open our eyes!

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia
Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f13 –  1/25 sec – ISO 200

What ever happened to Heloise?

I came across this book in a secretary that I inherited from my grandmother.  It is stuffed full of clippings and notes written out on the secrets of successful housekeeping.  When did we stop focusing on wax build-up and tarnish removal?  What happened to the days when Heloise and Dear Abby fought for the top ranking in the newspapers.  Today, those names are barely remembered but they were once known world-wide.

I remember a time when TV commercials were packed with all the marvelous products that would make the tasks of housekeeping so much easier.  Now, all I see is robot vacuum cleaners and Swiffer dusters.

I don’t think America has ceased to care about household cleaning but somehow it seems to have faded into the background.  In any case, if you need to know how to control that wax build-up or remove that pesky ring-around-the-collar, I have just the book for you!

Heloise’s Housekeeping Hints (Ninth edition – 1962)
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1.3 sec – ISO 200

Wee Books for Wee Folks

These are just the bedtime stories that mothers need for noddy little heads.

I’m sure we all recognize the name Peter Rabbit but how many of you have seen an edition like this? These two books are part of the Wee Books series of classic stories in hard-bound covers that measure just 4 3/8 by 5 ¾ inches in size.  I’m sure this will make for some fun bed-time reading for future generations.

This is in amazing shape considering the 1935 date on it.  Pretty incredible for someone who thinks Dr. Seuss is vintage.  Even more interesting is that this book was not written by Beatrix Potter, the inventor of Peter Rabbit.  Apparently, the original publisher in England, failed to register their copyright in the USA and unauthorized versions began to appear.  They tried to get the rights to the troublesome little bunny back but by then, he had escaped from Mr. McGregor’s garden and was off on his own.

How Peter Rabbit went to Sea
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  0.6 sec – ISO 200