Childhood: A Journey of Growing Up

We have recently moved and so I have been going through a lot of stuff stored in our old house, including photos I took of my son, Jayme, when he was a child (he is now 34). I am sharing some of my favorites of the ones I have scanned, for this week’s VJ’s Weekly Challenge #62: Child/Childhood.

1980s

Jayme with neighbor

Playing in a kiddie pool with a neighbor, on a hot summer day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1986

 

Jayme Villa Alvarez - in Janesville wagon

Fall 1986 – in a Janesville Wagon, at his Granny’s house in Janesville, Wisconsin

Jayme Villa-Alvarez - on the pier at the cottage

Faux pout on the pier (wearing an oversized Brewers cap!) – at our cottage on Upper Kaubashine Lake, Hazelhurst, Wisconsin, c. 1988

With his cousins

Julia Waeffler & Jayme Villa-Alvarez

Jayme with his cousin Julia, at our cottage in northern Wisconsin, c.1989. These two were very best friends for years, and only drifted apart when we moved to Illinois and both of them grew older. Julia was just under 2 years older than Jayme.

1990s

Leslie, Jayme, Allie & Katy - at Native Village in Lac du Flambeau

Visiting a native village with cousins Leslie and Allie (that’s me as a much younger mom on the right!) – Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, c. 1992

Eric Nesvold & Jayme Villa-Alvarez

Jayme with cousin Eric, feeding a deer at Jim Peck’s Wildlife, Minocqua, Wisconsin, c. 1993

With his stepdad, my husband, Dale, who is teaching him how to check the tires of his bike, Des Plaines, Illinois, 1996 or 1997.
Jayme Villa-Alvarez, Dale Berman

2019

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Jayme now, taken at his stepsister’s wedding in January 2019.

 

 

 

Sunday Stills: Macro & Mystery

I am participating in a photo challenge entitled Sunday Stills: Macro or Close-up Photography; Is There a Difference? by Terri Webster Schrandt.  Here is what she has to say about macro photography:

“Macro photography is also considered close-up photography. However, using a true macro lens yields the sharpest, tiniest details whereas a closeup may not show each detail.”  I do not have a macro lens, but cropping often produces a similar effect.

This is my favorite “macro” that I have taken. We were on a walk on a bike trail in northern Wisconsin shortly after a rainfall. I spied this leaf and was struck by the perfect drop in the middle of it with a whole microcosm of tiny pebbles & things within it.126One of my photography hobbies is finding mushrooms to shoot. I have a whole file of them! Mushrooms are fascinating because of the variety of shapes and sizes, and the details often found on their textured surfaces.20160506_115441
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I take lots of flower pictures, which I then post linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day. I like this particular shot because of the lined shadows on the flower petals, made by the nearby blades of grass. 20160525_104648
I prefer walking to any other kind of physical activity because I often see details that others miss if they’re in a hurry, on their bikes or in a car. (My husband complains when I stop to take pictures, because he says he’s in it for the cardio workout!)

But I find other opportunities to get macros or close-ups. I could have cropped this photo more to focus on the dragonfly, but I like the way the knots in the wood frame the picture.
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Finally, I have a group of photos I like to call “mystery” photos. Like Terri says, “Sometimes a macro image takes on new characteristics in an abstract way.”  These objects are hard to identify as macros.

Mystery picture: What is this? soap

small soap chips

banana peel

a ripe banana peel

snow boot prints!

Snow from the bottom of my snow boots

Finally, here are my two favorite bird photos from our safari in Tanzania. Both were taken with a Sony Alpha 380 75/300mm lens.

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I love the effect that the grass makes on the dark body of the bird. It almost resembles a painting. Also note that he’s caught a small snake which he holds in his beak.

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I cropped this from the original, which shows more of the blurred tree branches. The focus is on the male weaver, weaving a nest for a prospective mate. Note how tightly woven it is – he’s putting on the final touches before his hoped-for mate comes to inspect it. If she likes the nest, they become a couple!

I also refer you to my archives of February-April 2018 which contain several posts containing my photos in Tanzania.

You can join the challenge and enjoy others’ work by clicking the link above!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Stark

Debbie Smyth at Travel With Intent has a weekly photo challenge and the theme this week is stark.  I looked up the meaning of this word and found two basic definitions:
1. bleak, desolate, barren, unadorned
2. standing out in sharp outline

Therefore, I chose this picture taken on a late May afternoon in Northern Wisconsin. The trees stand out in stark silhouette against a darkening sky. A storm was coming!IMAG2031.jpg

Travel Theme: Animal Companions

For Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week, I am including some animals that aren’t exactly “companions” although in all the time I spent in Northern Wisconsin, I have always looked forward to seeing loons on the lake and hearing their calls. In that sense, they have been my “companions” on the lake, as they have become for many people.  Nowadays, these shy birds are forced to share their lake habitats with increasing numbers of humans, so it is possible to get closer to them than ever before.  In July of this year, we stayed for a week on Lower Kaubashine Lake in a lodge which is part of Black’s Cliff Resort.  My husband and I discovered a loon family (mother, father and baby) when we took a ride on his fishing boat. Later, our family rented a pontoon boat, where we got very close to the parents.

 

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In this picture, the loon parents seem to be looking at each other in realization that a boat full of humans is between them and their offspring, who went off fishing on his own! They began to make distress calls.

 

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We must have gotten within 10 feet of this brave parent, who came closer to search for her chick. My nieces, realizing that we had separated the family, urged my husband (who was driving the boat) to drive away so the loon family could be reunited. That’s exactly what we did.

 

 

And while on the subject of bird companions, I remember the birds we saw on our spring Panama Canal cruise.  In Antigua, Guatemala at the place we went for lunch, we got up close and personal with these guys:

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A parrot on my husband’s shoulder

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He’s a friendly guy! He perched on my wrist!

Speaking of friendly, on a trip in 2014,  we happened upon this calico cat in Beaufort, South Carolina, who loved the attention we gave her!

Horses on a farm in Finland:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

A boy who lives on the farm, rides on a pony, with his mom at his side.

In November 2016, when we were in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we saw lots of dogs, most of them with their owners. We were walking in Copacabana and came across this dog, who was curious about a baby in a stroller:

That same day, we visited a cousin at her condo in Barra da Tijuca, with her beloved poodle:
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