52 weeks with Carolyn

A Theme Based Photo Blog


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Week 1 #37 Senior Hands

Today marks the first week of my next 52 Week Photo Challenge.  If you are interested in reading what themes lie ahead click on the Themes 2017-2018 found at the top of the page.

These “Senior Hands” belong to my friend Esther.  She is a soft spoken, modest but spunky 90+ years young woman who moved to Florida from Connecticut 3 years ago.  Esther and I have become friends by way of a Women’s Bible Study at my church and as a member of a Women’s Book Group I host once a month.  I will never forget the day a group of us were getting to know each other and when asked, Esther said “she really didn’t have that exciting of a life”.  None of us believed her and upon questioned her further, she finally said “Well, I was what you call a “Rosie the Riveter” during the war.  Really? Not an exciting life??   She went on to tell us that her husband served in WW2 and flew B-17 Bombers based out of England to Europe.  Esther felt the call along with approximately 19 million women to serve our country during the war by working in factories and shipyards. These women became known as the cultural iconic “Rosie the Riveters”.  Esther worked in a Chevrolet Car Plant in New Jersey, that was converted to produce Navy F6F-5 Hellcat Fighter Planes.  12,275 planes were produced and at peak production came off the assembly lines at one an hour.  After the war she completed studies at Colombia to become a Medical Coder in hospitals.  She raised 3 daughters, and has lovingly held 3 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren with these amazing hands.

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Week 48 #49 Where the President Meets the Sky

My husband and I recently took a road trip from Minneapolis to South Dakota with our final destination to be the Black Hills National Forest.  Located within, lies the iconic sculptured Mount Rushmore.  The four faces of our past presidents; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, tower over the landscape below at an amazing 5,500 feet above sea level.  The original concept for the sculpture came from a South Dakota Historian Dave Robinson in 1923.  A few years later the  American artist and sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed and began construction of the monument in 1927.  Mr. Borglum died in early 1941 and his son took the reins to oversee the project.  Initially each President was to be depicted from head to waist but, due to lack of funding the project was concluded in October of 1941 leaving the monument as we see it today.

Three of our Presidents are carved on the left side leaving Abraham Lincoln off to the right side all alone.  He has always been my favorite President of our Nations historical past.  Choosing to photograph him alone up there where he meets the sky seemed very appropriate.

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Week 41 #40 The Good Old Days

We have a gardenia bush just outside the lanai.  Right now it is blooming and I am enjoying the sweet aromas of its white flowers.  I remember when I was growing up and wore corsages for various events, my mother telling me in “The Good Old Days”, gardenias were the most popular flower for corsages.  They became popular in 1937 when Rod McLellan invented the gardenia corsage.  Not only are they extremely fragrant they also don’t wilt very quickly.  Gardenias are synonymous with love and romance.

I did a little research on Google to check out the history of the gardenia and am quoting what information I discovered.  Gardenias originated in Eastern Asia.   In 1752 a Scottish physician and naturalist Alexander Garden moved to Charleston, South Carolina.  Somehow he became a “pen pal” with an English merchant John Ellis, who also was a good friend of Carolus Linnaeus, a famous Swedish botanist.   Linnaeus had developed the genus-and-species system for scientifically naming and classifying plants.  In 1758, Ellis visited a garden outside London to inspect an evergreen shrub thought to be a jasmine that had fragrant white double blossom flowers.  He and Linnaeus determined it was not jasmine.  Ellis convinced Linnaeus to name the newly discoverd shrub, gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) after his friend Alexander Garden.  In 1762, the first gardenia in America was planted in Dr. Garden’s garden.

Gardenias are still a popular flower for corsages and weddings, especially in the South.  Plants are found in Asia, Africa, Australia, England, Pacific Islands and the Southern U.S.  They also are popular houseplants.  My bush only is in bloom for less than a month, so I am always thrilled to see the first blossom open.

 

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Week 39 #22 Ordinary Objects

I have always been a big proponent of recycling.  Years ago before cities began curb side service I would collect our recycling and make a weekly trip to a drop off location.  Living in Iowa since I was a little girl we had a bottle tax law.  When you purchased pop, beer or other liquor, 5 cent per item was added to your bill.  I remember as a child walking around the neighborhood collecting bottles (cans weren’t as prevalent then) and taking them to redeem at the store to buy candy.  For years when I took my daily walks I would take plastic grocery bags along with me to pick up trash, cans and bottles.  I was always amazed that every day I could fill up sometimes 2 bags.  My neighbors knew me as the “trash lady”.  It became a regular joke with my husband how much money I made on my daily walks.

While traveling recently I read an article about a company in Seattle who has started a clothing line made entirely of recycled plastic bottles.  Their first hot item were women’s black leggings, selling for $25.  By the time the company gets in full swing with other products they estimate they will have diverted almost 7 million water bottles from land fills.  That number is staggering to me and that is just one town one company.

Another fact I was unaware of is how long it takes a plastic bottle to biodegrade.  The experts estimate it could take 450 years.  Yikes!  We Americans drink about 50 billion bottles of water every year but recycle only 23 % of that.  I haven’t gotten in the habit of using a reusable bottle for my drinking water and do purchase bottled water for use when I am away from home running errands etc.  I never leave home without one.  I do however, continue to be diligent in collecting the empties and adding them to the recycle bin for our weekly pickups.

I chose a few varieties and sizes of water bottles to highlight this weeks them “Ordinary Objects”.

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Week 30 #15 Looking Up

In week 28 I wrote about the Powel Crosley Jr. estate, “Seagate” in Sarasota Fl..  My image that week of a windowscape was taken in the Ship room, a circular wooden paneled room that includes a wooden ceiling with a hand painted Compass.  Looking up from the center of the room I captured its beauty.  I enjoyed having a little fun in post processing adding a circular star vignette.

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Week 26 #14 Line From A Song

This fall my photography group went to my friends horse farm.  She has 3 beautiful horses and our group really enjoyed photographing them along with her beautiful serene property.  While this horse does have a name and it is not traveling through the desert it made me think of one of my favorites from the early 1970’s by the group  America “Horse With No Name”.  I know I drove my parents crazy playing the song over and over again!

On the first part of the journey                                                                                                                     I was looking at all the life                                                                                                                    There were plants and birds and rocks and things                                                                          There was sand and hills and rings

The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz                                                                                             And the sky with no clouds                                                                                                                       The heat was hot and the ground was dry                                                                                               But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name                                                                      It felt good to be out of the rain                                                                                                                 In the desert you can remember your name                                                                                     ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain                                                                                 La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la…

Enough of the la, la’s they go on forever.  Enjoy the photo!

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