Tag Archive | Photography

Going to Glacier National Park by E. M. Bannock

From Christina: When E. M. Bannock posted a few of her vacation pictures on Facebook, I quickly messaged her to ask if she would share her trip — and her gorgeous photographs — with readers at Time for Love. I’m so glad she did! Enjoy her scenic look at Glacier National Park.

 

Going to Glacier National Park

by E. M. Bannock

 

We made the five hour drive from Clark, WY to Malta, MT without event. Malta is a small, rural town named in the late 1800’s when a railroad official spun a globe and put his finger down landing on the tiny island country of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. I had always wanted to go there since my father was born in the ‘real’ Malta and my mother was the first generation out. I’m proud to say that I am a purebred, 100% Maltese.

The fascination for the little town faded when as we realized the train was going to be late, eight hours late to be exact. Our daytime train ride ended up being a very uncomfortable, long, nighttime trip. We had planned on enjoying the view from the upper deck of the Amtrak train as it skirted along the south end of Glacier to our final destination of Whitefish, Montana. As it turned out, it was a nighttime trip and we saw nothing.

Glacier 1This was not a good way to start our mini-vacation. The next day we spent getting caught up on our sleep. Thankfully we had a hotel suite so the kids camped out in the living room while Papa and I made ourselves comfortable in the bedroom. My grandson and his school pal, who came along, took it all in stride and by early afternoon the kids were ready to hit the pool. The next day was GlacierNational Park day. I was really excited. This was to be my highlight of the trip.

Glacier 2After we got a good night sleep and had breakfast we hit the road in our rented car. As we approached the Park we marveled at the wonders of the surrounding area. Kalispell, Whitefish, and the cities around the Park are not exactly what you would call ‘big city’ but it seemed like they had every convenience as well as natural beauty. It was definitely geared for the outdoorsman; white water rafting, fishing, hiking, and other activities.

As we came close to the Park it got noticeably more forested and less populated. My anticipation grew. To my delight I was old enough to qualify for a senior pass. I hate the idea of being old but I am finding that it has its perks; discounted train tickets, discounted meals, and discounted park entrance fees.

Bible RockThis was going to be a quick trip through Glacier National Park. It was only June and the Driving to the Sun road was only opened part way. It had been a very snowy winter and a cool spring. There was still too much snow on the road for the plows to get through. The road was closed 14 miles in but in those few miles I saw many wondrous things. We started with a quick stop at the Park store where our nine year old grandson and his school buddy, who accompanied us on the trip, quickly picked out a stuffed animal to be their trip souvenir. I picked out several postcards and a refrigerator magnet to add to my collection of places I’ve been. Then we were off.

Glacier 5Although I was clearly enjoying the magnificent views of snow covered mountains, lush forested land and raging glacial steams, Papa and the boys were not impressed. The complaining started almost immediately. Papa could not see the attraction. We live close to Yellowstone and I think they were expecting some of the same attractions. There were no geysers at every turn, no hot springs, no buffalo or elk crossing the road and holding up traffic. But there was a whole lot of unspoiled, natural beauty; Flowing, brilliant blue glacier steams that had carved out a path through the mountains making its way to crystal clear glacier lakes.

We stopped briefly at Lake McDonald. Its picturesque beauty was breathtaking. Its stillness reflected the mountains on the other side like a mirror. I found it spiritual and inspiring. It’s tranquility soothing my tensions and stress as I pondered the view from its bank. Although the boys found it boring and mundane I shamed them into stopping anywhere a road pull-out appeared. They sat quietly, but uncomfortably, as I jumped out to enjoy and snap pictures. At one stop, I followed a narrow trail that wound down to a viewing point of rushing waters and mountainous canyons. There were two men on the landing taking pictures of each other obviously enjoying the view as much as I was. “What a perfect place for a picture,” I thought wishing one of my guys were there to take a picture of me.

“Would you like us to take a picture of you?” one of the men asked me.

“Oh, yes!” I answered enthusiastically.

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Although I have many beautiful pictures of the Park, there is only one picture with me in it. It is a lovely reminder of my Glacier National Park trip.



 

E. M. Bannock is the author of Totally Devoted, a spicy romance.

She was born in 1950 and grew up in the Detroit suburbs. She is the second child of seven and eldest daughter of a working class family. Her mother was always at home to care for her children, which instilled Marie with deep rooted family ties. Her parents had traditional, old style, European ideals which clashed with her modern, adventurous personality. The daughters were not encouraged to attend college. Instead they were expected to get married, have children, and be homemakers.Her love for writing began during high school where she excelled in writing short stories and poetry. During her junior and senior year, she wrote and sold short stories that other students turned in for homework assignments.Born with the wanderlust, she found herself in Los Angeles. LA was an exciting place to be in the early 70’s and E.M. experienced all that it had to offer. It was here she met her husband. The two have a son.

E.M. and her family have lived in California, Oregon, Alaska, Florida, and Wyoming, where she now lives with her husband, son, grandson and a menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, and horses.

She has made her living as an office manager, computer programmer/analysts, and project manager. Throughout it all, she never lost her love for writing. Although never published, she has a small collection of the short stories and poems that have been written throughout the years.

Until 1999, she had never attempted to write a novel. Then, while descending into Detroit on a business trip, she had the inspiration for her first novel, Totally Devoted.

After completing the book she submitted it to several literary houses only to be rejected. Life became complicated and her book sat in the memory of her computer for 15 years. At her husband’s urging, she “brushed” it off, added more dimension to the characters, and more spice to the romance. The result is a gripping, erotic tale of modern romance and rugged western adventure that exposes the struggles of life with raw human emotion, lust, love, devotion, and danger.

She believes that writers should write what they know about and draws inspiration for her characters and locations from her varied and unique life. She writes about the places she has lived or visited because she feels correct geographical details are an important ingredient in a story to give the reader the full experience.



More from E. M. Bannock

Winter Morning in Clark

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Nature Photography by Devika Fernando

From Christina: I’m excited today to share a post from Sri Lankan author — and dear friend — Devika Fernando. In addition to being a talented writer, she’s a photographer as well. Although she claims to be “an amateur”, I think you’ll agree that her work is stunning. 

 

Nature Photography

by Devika Fernando

 

Thank you, Christina, for giving me a chance to share my thoughts and some of my photographs here!

My biggest hobby – apart from writing, which is profession and passion all rolled into one – is reading, but photography also makes me happy. I’m an amateur with anything but the right equipment, but I love taking photos with my digital camera, and do receive positive feedback whenever I share some of my best works on deviantART, redbubble or Facebook.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Devika 5I agree that to some extent, professional equipment and basic knowledge about photography is necessary to shoot “beautiful” or “good” photos – however, my emphasis lies on “to some extent”, because even if you have the best equipment and a degree in your pocket, your photos can still lack something. What I’m talking about is a certain passion for the subject, an eye for beauty in its million faces and forms, and the will to catch something special. Whether it’s a snapshot where luck also plays an important role, or whether it is a carefully set up shoot with hours of thought and preparation – in the end, the photo needs to somehow incorporate a little part of the photographer. Who is behind the lens is just as important as what is in front of it, because as with every other form of art, the creator is part of the creation. That’s why all really great photographers have their own style and convey a message.

Nature photography

Devika 1I love nature, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that most of my snaps belong to the category nature photography. I’m endlessly fascinated with the flora and fauna of places, much more than with people or architecture. If you give me a single tree or bird or flower, I can spend hours shooting away, and hours getting lost in the photos once they’re on the computer. My favourite is water of any kind, although it’s the most difficult to capture. The ocean is of course the mightiest, followed closely by waterfalls, but in the end, all forms of water fascinate me. I just feel so humbled when I look at a lake or river or even just a pond that is its own tiny habitat. Speaking of humility, I believe that the awe in nature is what makes nature photography so outstanding and powerful. If you just snap a creature or look for a picture-perfect postcard shot without feeling connected to the scene or longing to capture its essence, the photograph won’t have its own kind of magic.

Devika 2When I photograph animals (yay to my new camera with a wide zooming range! *lol*), I kind of shut my mind and shoot as if I want to pay homage through my lens. I’m filled with love and admiration and respect for the creature, and I hope that shows when I portray it. I’m anything but a wildlife photographer, and I feel so blessed whenever I get the chance to catch a rare bird or even just capture my own cat in a tell-tale pose.

Devika 3Speaking about nature photography, I think I love landscapes even more than animal pictures or flower macros. There is something inherently beautiful about any kind of scenery, some magic waiting to be awoken, some hidden power and perfection that will always triumph over man-made things. Capturing a beautiful landscape, to me, is on the one hand much more difficult than photographing an animal, and on the other hand much easier. Firstly, an animal is one small splendid thing to focus on, and it will speak for itself. Secondly, a scenery is a grand puzzle full of detailed pieces. It’s up to the photographer to decide whether the bigger picture is more powerful than one highlight. Then there’s the mood a landscape automatically creates, and of course the possibility to bring out the forms and / or colours in a certain way.

Devika 4Nature photography can be challenging, but for me, the act of pressing the button is already a reward. I could spend my days simply looking at gorgeous sceneries and drawing inspiration for writing or for life in general from them. They have a soothing or stirring effect, can make me think or simply enjoy.



 

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon. 

 

 

Welcome, Spring by Janice Seagraves

From Christina: Today is a day I’ve long awaited. Spring is here! Spring is always a lovely time of year, and it’s perhaps at its loveliest in the central valley of California. Author Janice Seagraves is fortunate to be near the beauty…and we’re fortunate that she’s here to share it with us.  Here are a few thoughts and many photos from Janice. Thank you for sharing!

Welcome, Spring

by Janice Seagraves

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I live in the middle of the Central Valley of California. The bread basket of the world. The best part is all the fresh produce, and the blooms. I bought a new camera during cyber-Sunday, so I’d be ready for the almond blooms. You see, my home is in the middle of an almond orchard. The blooms are truly spectacular. Each year they are more beautiful than the last. And I was ready.

 

 

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Bees pollinate the almond blooms, so we have almonds and honey.

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My favorite part of spring is the beautiful open faces of the blooms.

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Happy spring, everyone.

About the author:

 Janice Seagraves grew up with a deep love of science fiction and adventure stories. Always the consummate artist, she traded in her paint brush for a laptop to write breathless life-affirming novels that celebrate enduring love. She lives in California with her husband of many years and their grown daughter. When not writing, you can find her in the yard either gardening or snapping a photo or two.

Fall Memories by Nikki Lynn Barrett

From Christina: I loved reading Nikki’s autumn memories. Falling in love can be beautiful in any season, but I think there’s something special about autumn romance. What do you think? 

Fall Memories

There is definitely something about autumn that is appealing. Maybe lately it’s that now that I live in Arizona, I’ve already been sick of the hot weather for months and anticipate a nice cool down — the kind of temperatures and crisp cool air that I can sit outside on my swing with a good book and just enjoy the peaceful time.

I’ve always loved the season of autumn though. It means the last few months of that specific year are going to be filled with fun and festivities. Back to back holidays that have a lot of meaning and memories.  Piles of leaves to jump in with best friends.

My husband and I fell in love during the fall. We were both going through hard times in our lives and turned to each other for friendship and support. Before we got together, we’d been friends for six years. We were both in different relationships when we met, but we became good friends. The year we got together, fall had just arrived.

Photo by Christina

Photo by Christina

 

We used to take midnight walks, very long ones, and talk about things. Our problems, how to handle them and what the next chapter in each of our lives might be. Who knew that it would lead to us discovering feelings for each other? I never expected that. But that’s exactly what happened.

 

 

Between our late night walks, talking about everything and the changing of another season, life changed things up for us and started something that every time I think back on, despite some of the crazy drama that happened around our getting together, it’s something that I think back fondly on.

That was nearly six years ago. We’re now married with a four year old and still enjoy that time when the weather gets cooler and we can take those late night walks. It used to be we pushed our son in the stroller and he would be soothed to sleep. Now, he actually walks with us. We don’t go as far as we used to, but we still get pretty far because our kiddo has a lot of energy and can walk a nice distance without tiring. Hmm. I think he gets that from his parents.

So every year, I look for the magic of fall. The changing of seasons, the promise of something good. Maybe I’m a bit of a dreamer…wait no, I KNOW I’m a dreamer, but there’s something about the magic of autumn that I long for all the time.

About Nikki: 

Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She’s an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade.  You can visit Nikki at her site, Welcome to My World, for more information. She is working on her next book. Nikki would love to hear from readers. Email her at nikkilynnbarrett@yahoo.com. Her books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. She does book reviews at Storm Goddess Reviews. 


Keep Each Other Cozy: Fall Dates (everythinggirlslove.com)