Singing “Mockingbird”

When my children were little, my husband and I lulled them to sleep with a rocking chair and our favorite lullabies.

“Hush, little baby, don’t say a word.
Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.”

Those memories are precious.

But I don’t think I have ever SEEN a mockingbird until recently on an early morning bird tour in Naples, Florida. This mockingbird stayed on the pine branch long enough for me to capture this photograph. Now I can SHOW my children (and my grandchildren!) a live mockingbird.

“Paris is always a good idea.”

I have to agree. It has been many years since my last trip to Paris, and I have good news: My friend Diane invited me to join her in November in Paris. Pourquoi pas? I’m going!

Making travel plans again for the iconic city allows me to think back on my 2004 trip to visit my friend Louise, who was living there with her family. We walked all over the city together, starting with Le Tour Eiffel.

#paris, #iconic, #eiffel, #dofirst, #arrived, #seine, #travel
Fresh (or not so fresh) off the airplane, we went to see the Eiffel Tower from across the River Seine.

We hiked to the top of Montmartre for lunch, the art in the square and a visit to Sacre Coeur, a beautiful Catholic church.

#sacrecoeur, #montmartre, #paris, #travel, #summer, #france
View of the neighborhood from the tower of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Paris, 2004.

On Ile de la Cite, the first arrondissement, where the Cathedral of Notre Dame is located, we stopped for ice cream at Berthillon before wandering the narrow streets lined with elegant shops.

#paris, #berthillon, #june, #summer, #travel, #icecream, #glaces, #sorbets
June was the perfect month for ice cream in Paris at the well known Berthillon.

It’s hard to make a short wish list for my November trip, since I spent over a week in Paris in 2004 and toured countless museums, churches, gardens and neighborhoods. One things is for sure: I want to walk the city again. There is so much to discover on foot.

#art, #notredame, #paris, #seine, #walking, #travel, #explore
On the Left Bank of the Seine near Notre Dame, it is fun to peruse the art displayed in the vendors’ stalls.

Bring a bit of Scotland home

Visiting Edinburgh Scotland for the first time, we had a wonderful time walking the cobblestone streets, admiring the architecture, having a pint in the pub and exploring its castles and cathedrals. Naturally, photography helps to preserve those memories. Shopping for a bit of the culture to bring home will too.

The Scots are known for the colorful plaids that traditionally represent different clans, woven into woolen kilts or warm scarves. Today a dizzying array of plaids sold on soft, cozy scarves and wraps make it very difficult to choose one — or two or three. What will match my winter coat? What will my daughter like? They are all so beautiful!

#scaraves, #shopping, #wool, #cashmere, #edinburgh, #gift, #travel, #culture, #clan, #color, #choice
A glimpse into this basket of wool scarves in an Edinburgh shop reveals the many choices in Scottish plaids.

Early Hydrangea

My own hydrangeas around my house won’t bloom until the end of June, but a visit to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh allowed me to dream of a summer day.

#yellow, #blue, #hydrangea, #summer, #phipps, #Pittsburgh #conservatory
This early blooming hydrangea reveals delicate shades of yellow and blue at Phipps Conservatory.

Does the lush hydrangea bloom evoke memories for you? A daughter’s wedding? Or perhaps a summer vacation in Cape Cod?

Photography’s best purpose

When you love photography, you spend a lot of time working on improving your work. A new camera, a new lens, new software, more training, new destinations…

But remember your goal when you first picked up a camera? You wanted to capture a memory and keep it forever. With this in mind, you took lots of baby pictures, and lots of vacation pictures.

Even as a professional photographer, devoted full time to becoming better every day with technique and with vision — I come back to basics. I pull out the old family photo, and transport myself back to that happy moment that I never want to forget.

My Dad, nearly 100 years old, is very ill.  He was youthful and active into his 90s, and of course, we hoped he would live forever. This week, I’ve been so busy taking care of him that I haven’t been out shooting new photos. So, I would like to share a happy moment from 2009 that seems like just yesterday. At age 93, he treated us to one last international cruise to my mom’s favorite destination: Greece. My daughter Caitlin, 24 then, was happy to be on board for her first cruise.

#family, #memories, #goodtimes, #silversea, #cruise
Anticipating fun times ahead on our Greek Island cruise as we set sail from Athens, 2009