late summer flowers glowing in the late afternoon sun

To follow up yesterday’s flowers in the rain, today I offer some sunnier fare.

A sunflower and visiting bee from 2 years ago.

Blue and purple wildflowers by Salisbury beach a few weekends ago.

Flame-colored astilbes I saw at the zoo this weekend.

blooming tree in the summer rain

This summer brought its share of rainy days. The Fourth of July turned out to be one such rainy day, leading to many cancelled plans for picnics, barbecues and fireworks. I was in the middle of a frantic work stretch, however, so the rain didn’t much dampen my spirits.

Some friends were kind enough to entertain the kids along with their own kids for the day, while John and I both did work. In the late afternoon, while waiting for my children to be delivered home, I noticed that the sun was trying to break through the clouds, and was lighting the leaves and flowers on the tree next to our front porch.

I grabbed my camera, and stood under the shelter of the porch, and was captivated by the sparkling water drops. (I am such a sucker for water drops.)

Really, I should have also grabbed the tripod, but I didn’t intend it to be an extended photo shoot.

On a side note, I don’t actually know what kind of tree this is. Its deep, dark red blooms appear in early summer. I do like their understated appearance.

fall forerunner

While out and about today, the late afternoon sun lit up this towering stray branch of a young Japanese maple.

Even though school has started, it’s still technically summer. Indeed, the last few days have even been among the hottest of the season in these parts. (Where were you in August, sunny 80-degree days?) But the nights have started to cool down, and the trees know fall is coming. One thing this means for me is that my phone and my camera will be filling up with colorful leaves. (I mean, pictures of them. It probably wouldn’t be good for my camera to be stuffed full of leaves.)

boats in Howth harbor

Here are some of the many boats that caught my eye during my excursion to Howth when I visited Dublin back in May.

a few views of Howth harbour (friday foto finder: lighthouse)

During my visit to Dublin back in May, I took a few short daytrips to nearby towns. One day before the conference started, a friend also in town for the conference and I took the DART out to Howth, a small fishing town on the coast.

A short walk from the train station brought us to a small harbour sheltered by a breakwater with a walkway. We caught glimpses of a lighthouse as we walked.

We walked out to the end of the breakwater, and enjoyed the views of the harbour, nearby rocky islands and cliffs, and this little lighthouse. Then we turned around to wander more around the town and hills.

One of the paths we took led us up to the short round tower that can be seen atop this hill. (The tower is a Martello tower a type of lookout tower/fort that the British built around many locations along the coasts of the British Isles and beyond.)

The hilltop offered great views of the harbour.

And my trusty telephoto lens brought me close to the lighthouse once more.

This little excursion to Howth turned out to be one of the high points of my trip, and I have lots more photos from that day. (Happily, I indeed still have them, because I nearly didn’t. This was the town where I almost lost my camera. I’d left if slung over the back of my chair in a dimly dark little cellar pub below the train station, and I didn’t realize the fact until on the train heading back to Dublin…Perhaps a story for another day?)

This week’s friday foto finder theme was “lighthouse.” To catch glimpses of other lighthouses, pay a visit to the fff blog.
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Scattered reflections of an amusement park game

It’s been a while since I’ve been so fixated on a changing series of distorted reflections. They still catch my eye here and there, but aside from when I’m travelling, I just haven’t been taking as many photos lately. (I should work on that.)

These photos are from The Fishing Well, a game at Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. It was one of those games where you paid your fee, and then were guaranteed to win a prize.

In this case, the object was to catch a metal fish on a hook inside a big spinning well of water. The water was murky and dark, and it was impossible to see the fish at the bottom. You’d just drag the hook around, hanging from a chain on a big metal pole, until the hook latched onto one of the fish.

The prizes in this case were brightly colored little stuffed animals with an aquatic theme: alligators, crabs and fish. I like the way you can sort of make out the eyes of the rows of colorful crabs reflected in the swirling water.

The surface of the water was constantly swirling and rippling, from the motion of the motorized tank bottom as well as the various poles and chains being dragged around by kids trying to catch a fish.

The rippling surface reflected back an ever-changing picture of colors and patterns.

I feel like I should have something pithier to say here, but really, it’s all about the “oooh, pretty.”

3 more silhouettes of amusement park rides

These are 3 photos I’ve taken of amusement park rides in recent years. The photo I posted yesterday from our visit to Canobie Lake Park a couple of weeks ago reminded me that I have had this little set collected and ready to post for ages.

2010, Story Land, New Hampshire.

2013, Southwick’s zoo, Massachusetts.

2012, Edaville, Massachusetts.