Sunday, June 27, 2010

Spotlight Photos ~ Water ~

Another great shoot out this week. I just love all the reflections in the water shots and the many interpretations by the shooters.

Writing in Food, Yearbook of the U.S., Department of Agriculture, 1959, Dr. Oaf Michelsen of the National Institute of Health, tells us:
 "Next to oxygen, water is the most important factor for survival of man and animals. A person can do without food for five weeks or more, but without water he can survive for only a few days." 

Water is necessary for life. Water comes in three forms; solid, liquid and gas.

 in the solid form, ice, from Sarah-Paige.

in the gas form, clouds by GingerV.

in the liquid form, Plot55.

Another very interesting shot of water in liquid form is the cup and saucer by Sara Williams. And I quote her  ........ "I will get you guys some more information on the cup and saucer! I am a bit worried though, I only took this picture a few months ago and one of my friends told me that it is now gone but the pump is still there. I sincerely hope she is mistaken because this was a fantastic bit of engineering and as Jama says "unique"." We will be waiting to hear more Sara!!

The theme for July 2 is Urban Macro by the Town Blogger Team. As explained by GingerV ..... in our towns are many features that we see from a distance and think nothing of. it could be a line of pine trees on main street or Lights along a path.... but what makes them beautiful.... close up is it the pine needles or new cones on the branches? or the metal work of the light posts.... or the grain of the granite on the city hall....?

Urban definition
1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.
2. Characteristic of the city or city life.
Macro definition
1. Of great size; large.
2. Large in scope or extent; large-scale

See you all next weekend!! Have a fabulous week shooters!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

FMTSO For This Friday and Other News........

 Hi All!!

Wow! West Michigan has been getting hit hard lately with storms. Last night tornado sirens going off. Extreme rain, thunder and lightening! Today the weather service told us it was not a tornado but straight line winds up to 75 mph.  Many people had severe damage today. Trees on cars, houses and power lines down, etc. And they are predicting more severe weather tonight and tomorrow. 

 As you may have notice we have been doing some updating and revamping of the sites. Hope it is pleasing to everyone. 

The shoot out this Friday is Water / Lakes / Streams - by Nicole Howard (Father's day - June 20 what did you do for DAD?)

Also we are taking suggestions for future themes. Feel free to leave a message here of your thoughts and suggestions.   

Thanks and have a great rest of the week and can't wait to see all the "Shoot Outs" this weekend.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Spotlight Photos ~ Rocks ~and Happy Father's Day!!

This was a fun theme, as all our themes are! Friday My Town Shoot Out is just a fun blog and a fantastic place to visit. As you may have noticed there has been some updating and revamping going on. Hope you all like the new look.

Now on to the Spotlight Photos. (no particular order) 

Redlan - amazing!

JarieLyn - rocks for resting

Lena - nature's art

NanU - small but unique

Manang Kim - to remind us of the cold and snow

Scriptor - oldest in the world

Jama - to add a bit of color

The theme for June 25 is Water / Lakes / Streams - by Nicole Howard (Father's day - June 20 what did you do for DAD?)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"In The Limelight"

Friday My Town Shoot Out's first "In The Limelight"!!

Our first guest interview is with Pauline from New Zealand. You can visit her spot in the world at

When did the photo bug bite you?

I caught it from my youngest daughter, Justine, who is an avid photographer. There was no money for a camera in my family when I grew up but my grandmother had old photo albums that we looked at every school holidays. I loved the touch and smell of them, loved looking at and learning about the generations before me. My interest grew as I became more grandmotherly I think, as I became aware of my responsibility to educate my grandchildren about older generations. The passion grew as my pace of life slowed and I spent more time appreciating the beauty of the world around me.

What was your first camera and what do you use now?

I think the first was a Kodak Instamatic. I never knew where it was and when I did take photos I often forgot to take the film in to be processed. Thank heavens for the arrival of the digital age. Now I have a little Canon Power Shot A710.

Have you ever taken any photography courses?

No, I’ve always thought they would be too technical for me. But I’m thinking about joining a Camera Club, I think I’d learn better that way.

What inspires you to turn on the camera, the gotta have it shot?

Oh gosh, what doesn’t? I live in such a beautiful place, the mountains and creek never look exactly the same as the day before. On a day when the light is good I can take hours to get home from work, I just have to stop to get this or that, it might be different tomorrow. I think the locals are now used to seeing my car stopped by the side of the road. One day the local vet stopped to check that I was OK and when I explained I was trying to capture how lovely the road looked in this light, he turned around and looked, shook his head, smiled and said, “Of course” and went on his way laughing.

What is on your equipment wish list?

The whole shebang! A whizzbang camera that takes great photos despite my incompetence. Is there such a thing? I’m very much an amateur at this photography game.

Have you missed an awesome shot because you didn’t have your camera with you?

My camera is nearly always with me or nearby. Most times it’s a matter of not having the skill to capture what I know could be an awesome shot. I’m still regretting one morning last winter when I hadn’t allowed the extra 10 minutes to drive to work to compensate for creeping through the fog. As I came around a corner I could see, through a gap in the roadside trees, a bull hazily outlined on the top of a hill right in the centre of the soft ball of light that was the sun. I can still see it and still wish I had risked being late for work. After all, it would have been a first (being late for work, that is) and I know my boss would have understood.

Blogging since 23 January, 2009

Why did you start blogging?

A friend said, “You should start a blog, I’ll send you the link to my sister, Bev’s.” Another friend helped me get started. In the beginning it was the place I planned to put the little stories I have written for and about my grandchildren , the poems I have written and stories about my childhood, perhaps a little family history. My first post was a little story, “The creek and the mallets” which one of my children still thinks is my best. So, in the eyes of one, it was all downhill from there.

Is there a story behind the name of your blog?

Not really, it’s just where I live. If I had to come up with a clever name for it, I would never have gotten started. When my son and daughter-in-law first bought this farm and told me there was a little cottage on it for me, my house stood in the middle of a paddock with no fence around it, cows grazing right up to the doorstep. It was immediately nicknamed The Paddock. The other name I nearly used was “The barely contained wilderness” as that was what I wanted to create after the fence was erected but I didn’t know if I would succeed (I think I am well on the way now, three and half years later).

What does blogging mean to you now?

In how many words? A hobby? A weird compulsion? Hopefully not an obsession. For years I’ve had a personal need to write something nearly every day and this took many forms. My blog has centered my focus somewhat. As a rather solitary person it gives me a connection with interesting, creative people and, thanks to blogging, I have met a now dear friend. Since I discovered the Friday My Town Shoot Outs, I have the opportunity to appreciate beautiful places I would never otherwise see. I am so glad I overcame my inferiority complex about my photographic ability and joined.

What advice would you give to a new blogger?

If you have the inclination, just do it. It can be a bit like sitting down to write an essay or a school assignment. Just get started and something will come to you. Visit lots of other blogs to help clarify your vision. And remember it’s your blog, do it your way!

Do you have a favorite time of the day to write posts?

Either in the afternoon when I get home from work or after about 8.30 pm. Basically I’m a night owl so it would be later at night if I didn’t have to get up for work the next morning.

Have you set any goal about your blog? Anything you want to achieve with it?

Planning has never been my strength. No, I will just go with the flow. For as long as it gives me pleasure I will continue, the focus might change, I think it probably will shift back to my original idea when I retire. The one thing I do want to achieve is better photos.


If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

The answer comes in a heartbeat - to Brazil where my son Bernie lives. I am an avid follower of Ginger. I see through her eyes (or lens) what surrounds my Bernie.

What would you like to teach others?

Gee, I’m not the person to teach anything to others. I’d rather think about what others could teach me. But, if there was one secret to a contented life that I could pass on to others it would be to take pleasure in the simple things, the laughter of children, a raindrop on grass, the things that cost nothing but the moment it takes to notice them. They can enrich our lives so much.

Which adjectives best describe you?

I wonder, should I choose those I think would describe me or as others might? My oldest daughter said “Delightfully different”. I liked that, then read on. She clarified that by adding is there a word for “nearly, but not quite eccentric”? My grandson, my beloved Michael, said “insightful”. I think different adjectives apply in the different roles we have in life.

What is happiness to you?

Whew! After that last one I needed another easy question. The love of my family. Being with those I love. Knowing my children have grown into fine adults, watching their delightful children grow. Hearing the ranch slider being opened and “Hello Granny”.

What are your basic stats that you would like to share?

I am a transplanted Aussie, the oldest of 12 children of Irish Catholic descent. I’ve lived in New Zealand since December, 1973, except for four wonderful years in the mid to late 90s when I returned home. (I only had one grandchild then, Michael, and I missed him so much. When my daughter told me she was pregnant again I was practically on the next plane back.) I have four children and dozens of terrific nieces and nephews. I now also have five grandchildren with high hopes of a few more (no pressure, Justine and Bernie). I have reached retirement age and work part-time as an administrator at the local polytechnic, NorthTec.

Besides blogging or photography, what is your favorite thing to do?

Play with my grand-daughter, Georgia. Walk and talk with Georgia. Any activity with Georgia.

Favorite saying or quotation: (or any comment you would like to make)

I love Edith Wharton quotes and always have one of hers on my refrigerator door. I swap them around from time to time if I think I need to be reminded about something. My favourite is:

"Beware of monotony, it’s the mother of all the deadly sins."

And there is Maori proverb I love:

Turn your face to the sun and the shadow falls behind you.

Can I please add my appreciation for the TownBlogger Team who keep the shoot-outs going for the rest of us. I’d really like to see your names listed under a separate heading on the side bar.

I found that adjective question the hardest.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 18 - Rocks Large and Small by ChefE

ChefE suggested this topic nearly 6 months ago. I love it. In our towns there are many different uses for Rocks (or stones); to same a few - construction, garden decoration, streets and walkways, and just nature itself.
I feel that I have an unfair advantage in Nature Itself catagory. In Rio we have one or two of the most world famous rocks.
Can't wait to see All of Your Town's Rocks both Large and Small.
The sugarloaf, Rio de Janeiro by GingerV

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spotlight Photos ~~ Public Art ~~

Thanks to Barry and Linda for this awesome theme! And thank you to all of this weeks shooters!! You have all made my job of choosing Spotlight Photos very hard. (in no particular order)

 Elaine Dale




B&B, bringing art and nature together. 

What is Public Art?

Public art fits a much broader definition than art in a gallery or a museum. In simple terms, public art is any work of art or design that is created by an artist specifically to be sited in a public space. It can tower several stories high, or it can call attention to the pavement beneath your feet. It can be cast, carved, built, assembled or painted. Whatever its form, public art attracts attention. By its presence alone public art can heighten our awareness, question our assumptions, transform a landscape, or express community values, and for these reasons it can have the power, over time to transform a city’s image. Public art helps define an entire community’s identity and reveal the unique character of a specific neighborhood. It is a unifying force.

Why Public Art?

The impact of public art on a community is priceless and immeasurable and once experienced it only appreciates. Public art has the power to energize our public spaces, arouse our thinking, and transform the places where we live, work, and play into more welcoming and beautiful environments that invite interaction. Public art can make strangers talk, children ask questions, and calm a hurried life. It enhances the quality of life by encouraging a heightened sense of place and by introducing people to works of art that can touch them and generations to come.

The Many Benefits of Public Art

Beyond its enriching personal benefits, public art is a true symbol of a city’s maturity. It increases a community’s assets and expresses a community’s positive sense of identity and values. It helps green space thrive, enhances roadsides, pedestrian corridors, and community gateways; it demonstrates unquestionable civic and corporate pride in citizenship and affirms an educational environment. A city with public art is a city that thinks and feels.

Public Art Funding

Funding public art is a wide-open endeavor. It can be funded by state, local or federal governments. It also offers funding opportunities for percent-for-art programs, public agencies, the general public, individuals, churches, educational institutions, museums, hospitals, corporations, and private foundations. Public art is a community-wide mission with no boundaries for participation and sponsorship.


 (p.s. be sure to tune in June 16th for FMTSO first "In The Limelight")

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Announcing ............ "In The Limelight"

"In The Limelight"

(photo credit

Watch for Friday My Town Shoot Out's first segment of "In The Limelight" coming June 16th.

This is an interview with one of our members each month.

A personal glimpse.....

A monthly roast of sorts......

Be sure to tune in!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Member Voice – Barry talking about Public Art

June 11 - Public Art
by Barry and Linda
Public Art is the way our various towns represent themselves to the outside world. By definition Public Art is artwork that is free, publicly displayed and tells the world something about us. family2007 109 Often it is represented by the ubiquitous general on his horse, sword raised in triumph,  the poet in his robes clutching his books to his chest, the heroine  in flowing robes. Sometimes it represents a famous moment in local, national or world  history or transports us back in time to remind us of our roots.
In a more modern context it may be represented by a work that is more abstract and serves as a design element to bring a public building to life.
Whatever it is in the context of your town, here is your chance to share it with us for next Friday's shoot out!
Barry Fraser,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Friday June 4 – Menu Spotlight photos

Some topics, like this week’s, take me by surprise.  I guess that is what brings me back week after week and why I am am still participation after 65 weeks.  This week I loved the posts about menus.  Doesn’t it seem as though menus told us something about the town, areas or countries of those who participated?  Thank you Sara Williams for the great topic.
Here are just a few photos to mark this week’s totally great participation. 
Jarielyn menu[1] JarieLyn really enjoying her menu!
Linghams BookStop by Scriptor Senex Bookstore’s standard fare by Scriptor Senex
MenuCollage by CollectInTexas Gal
CollectInTexas Gal’s Vintage Tablecloth Restaurant.