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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wave as They Pass By

ISS Clear
41 second exposure

Do you see that faint streak of light up there in the center of the photo? That's the International Space Station, hurtling through space at a speed of about 17,000 mph. It is 230 miles above the earth and is the brightest man-made object in space.

Last night, when I took this photo, we all stood outside and watched it pass. As we craned our necks up at the sky, feet firmly planted on the ground, I wondered what it must be like to be up there, looking down. How surreal to see your planet zooming past like a giant schoolroom globe - day and night and day and night -15 orbits in a 24 hour period.

Do they get used to it? Does it grow to feel commonplace?

I'd like to think that I would spend my six months in space gasping in awe each time I passed a window, but somehow we humans grow easily bored of awesome.

We drive into our garages and enter our homes completely oblivious to the wonder that exists around us. We catch a glimpse of the vastness of space and forget to be amazed. We see a sunrise and rub our eyes and wish we were still in bed asleep.

My mother taught me to name the constellations and marvel at meteor showers. I hope I can manage the same with my children. I certainly intend to try.

ISS_Long
122 minute exposure - ISS and star movement

P.S. There are some excellent resources available if you are interested in tracking the ISS or finding what's going on in your part of the night sky - here are a few...

Find out when the ISS will be visible in your part of the world here.

Check out the constellations in real time on your iPhone here. (There are Android apps available, as well, but I don't have an Android phone, so I can't really recommend them.)

Plan your next meteor shower viewing here.

Keep looking up, people.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Source

Sunset

I spend a great portion of my days looking at power lines. I find them oddly beautiful, with their soaring towers and sweeping connective curves. I remember going on long car trips with my family and staring out the window at them as we passed by, my eyes swooping down the length of wire and back up again to the next post.

I loved the back country power poles with their weathered wood and classic insulators. I loved watching them change from small to large as we approached the Mississippi River - huge sentinels of power crossing the wide expanse of water.

I'm not sure what that says about me, exactly.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eyes on the Prize

Joshua FH

I love the intensity and focus in his eyes -- there's just no doubt he's going to make perfect contact with the ball.

I find tennis to be the ultimate metaphor for life...


  • Work hard with focus and determination, but be still and reflect when you have the opportunity.
  • Competitive spirit shouldn't trump fair play. 
  • Be polite, even especially to your opponents. 
  • Breathe through your anger and disappointments.
  • Don't be so hard on yourself. Perfection is unattainable. Mistakes are just growth opportunities.
  • When things aren't going your way, fix your mistakes instead of blaming your opponent.
  • Sometimes the other guy just gets lucky. Sometimes you do.
  • Solve problems as you face them. 
  • There's no substitute for excellent preparation. Play hard. Practice harder.
  • Find a coach that believes in you and can help you reach your goals.
  • At the end of the day, shake hands with your opponent, and wish them luck - even if you lost this one.
  • There's nothing wrong with going somewhere private to cry it out. Passion often ends in tears. 

Hang in there, people. Play it out. Never, ever give up.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Canopy

Redbuds

When I was a young girl, I wanted a canopy bed so I could sleep under the magical forest that lived in my head.

I also spent a lot of time in my closet with my dad's flashlight, exploring the depths of uncharted caves, so I probably shouldn't be taken very seriously.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Edges

Joshua Portrait

When he was really little, I had a hard time getting a focused photo of him. He was all soft and round and perfectly smooth. There were no defined edges for the autofocus to use.

Not any more. He's all angles and edges and sharply defined lines. He's deep black eyelashes and strong eyebrows. He's intense focus and pale eyes and gorgeous freckles.

On the one hand, it means my photos of him are much better.

On the other hand, it means my baby is growing up way too fast.


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