Author Archive

Backyard Birds

I confess I haven’t spent much time on photography since this whole thing started. But thank God for birds! I’ve been emerging from my office lately to sit in the yard with my camera and watch the goings-on. We’ve noticed less bird activity than I can remember from previous summers here (despite feeders and fountain), but I was happy to see that the mourning doves are back. So today’s bird portrait is of one of those quiet beauties.


Gold and Green

Goldfinch- stopping for a drink in the late afternoon light


Bill in the Wild

Since I’ve lived here, I’ve had fun taking photos of Bill, the statue atop the Elks Theatre in town. A few weeks ago, we were walking on a street behind and uphill from the theatre when I spotted Bill. It was sunset, and the angle of my shot had Bill silhouetted atop Granite Mountain in the background- as if Bill was in the wild. I darkened the already dark foreground to eliminate the lines of the building- and then went wild with textures. Not my usual colors and style- but it does have part of a circle. Pandemic Photoshop Play. . .


Circles

I’ve always been in love with little bokeh circles (created by shooting into the light with a large lens aperture)- and still am! I recently glanced at my instagram gallery and noticed how many photos have curves or circles in them. An insight into my soul! Hmmmm…..


Streetside

I always admire the streetside planting along one particular sidewalk near downtown. Every summer there is a wonderful collection of flowers blooming- and this year I took some photos.

 


Beach Patrol

I’m reaching back into the archives for another beach photo. This one is from our 2018 trip to Homer, Alaska. Really sad to miss seeing our Alaska family this summer. . .


Lit from Within

Another trip to my photo archives- a fun edit of a barrel cactus.


Untouchable

Another photo for my AAUW photo group- this time a barrel cactus!


Red Rocks at Sunset

The assignment for my AAUW photo group this month is Arizona rocks, trees, and plants. I’m reaching back to February for this one- a view from the top of Airport Road in Sedona.


A New Day

Each day is a new day. Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Waterways

Reflections in water are often prettier than what is being reflected. Does that make sense?

From a late afternoon visit to Watson Lake.


Moon Watch

Time spent gazing at the night sky can be as calming as watching the rhythm of ocean waves. Last night I went outside for a half hour or so before the International Space Station was due to fly over and spent time looking at the moon as it appeared and disappeared behind fast moving clouds.

And then we watched the space station as it made its arc over our driveway- looking like a bright star zooming across the night sky. A few moments of excitement on that dark night.

I missed blackout Tuesday- I hadn’t realized it was happening until late yesterday. But I add my voice to those crying for justice for all Black Americans. These are dark times- but I have hope for better days ahead.

 


Tuesday Rose

A rose for today.


While Strolling

After last night’s dinner, we drove downtown, parked and took a short walk through an older neighborhood. As we strolled along, we couldn’t help but notice the beautiful flowers in many gardens. The sun was starting to set, so I took a few shots in the pretty light. A nice way to spend an hour!


Strike a Pose

Beaches are open, but not for us cautious types. This is from last March’s visit to Newport.

 

 


The Three

Another shot of our irises- this time a group of three in black and white.


Reflecting Words

 

I’ve posted photos of this book of sermons by my great-grandfather, Rev. Andrew J. Mowatt, previously here, but yesterday I took a few more for a photo assignment for my AAUW photography group. I’ve learned a lot about Rev. Mowatt since my original post, including the fact that he authored at least FOUR books based on his sermons. This particular book was based on sermons he delivered at St. Paul’s Presbyterian  Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Andrew J. Mowatt was the son of the immigrant Thomas Mowatt whom I wrote about a week or so ago.

 

 

 

 


Artsy Alley

A blast from the past (ok, 2019) when we visited Petaluma. It had just rained, and we spent some time walking around the downtown area near where we were staying. Petaluma is such a great town!


Sea Change

“Sea change is an English idiomatic expression which denotes a substantial change in perspective, especially one which affects a group or society at large, on a particular issue.”– Wikipedia
When we were in Newport Beach at the end of February, we were already aware of the likelihood of the pandemic- and I look back at my photos and can’t help but see that awareness in the photos I took.  Revisiting those photos, the phrase, SEA CHANGE, entered my mind. The world transformed so much in the weeks following our visit- as if undergoing a “sea change.” I used this photo sequence of a wave cresting and crashing for our final assignment (a triptych) in my photo group.

Iris Disco

Our yellow iris bloomed Mother’s Day weekend. When I photographed these swaying in the late afternoon winds, the sun shining on the bushes in the background created colored bokeh, reminding me of a disco ball (or Christmas lights).


Mother’s Day

H A P P Y    M O T H E R ‘ S   D A Y !

Wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and grandmas out there- and to those of you who have had moms and grandmas (that’s all of us!)!  I’m grateful for my wonderful mother and for the two grandmas who both lived with us- I was so lucky!

I took this photo in our yard last night and edited it with one of my own textures this morning. I’m looking forward to a barbecued hamburger for dinner tonight! Have a great day everyone!


Morning Quiet

It was over a year ago that we stayed on the lavender farm, but I still remember the feeling of getting up before anyone else and walking around just after sunrise. I came upon this quiet scene, and something about the textures on the door, the bench, the basket, and the cat bowls (!) appealed to me. It’s a simple photo, but it takes me back to that peaceful walk at dawn.


Keep Your Distance!

Daydreaming about the beach . . .

This was from our last trip to California- February 27- before the lockdown but just as we were becoming aware trouble was headed our way.

 

Edited with one of my beach textures, created in my at home time.

 


The Mill

The first time I heard of my second great grandfather, Thomas Mowatt, was when I was going through my father’s personal files about 1992, ten years after his death. I had started researching our family, and was following the advice to start with what you know. As far as I knew, my father had no interest in genealogy or family history, but evidently his family DID and had sent him some letters, photos, and documents over the years. He never shared any of this with me when I was growing up, but somehow had the foresight to not throw away the few things that he had that were relevant to his family history.

Thomas Mowatt was my father’s great-grandfather and had died about ten years before my father was born. I was raised knowing I was Scottish on both sides of my family and had proudly worn a wool jumper sewn by my mother out of the Mowatt tartan when I was in fifth grade- but that’s all I knew about the Mowatts. So when I looked through my father’s files and found a typewritten document about this unknown ancestor, Thomas Mowatt, I was curious.

The document reads:

This certifies that Thomas Mowatt, a native of this neighborhood, of credible parentage, leaves this country for N. Brunswick, wishing to better his situation in that land. He is a member in full communion with this Presbyterian Congregation and has always acted as becometh the Christian.

He is of a mild inoffensive disposition, exceedingly peaceable, quiet and retiring, very highly esteemed as a servant, well acquainted with husbandry in all its modern improvements. He has had for several years the oversight of a corn mill, and is very capable of managing such a concern, so he is likely to prove an acquisition to any gentleman improving his estate.

He leaves us in comfortable circumstances, with his brother, James. But if a mysterious Providence should visit them with shipwreck or disaster, the British agent or Consul must afford them protection, and the humane may rest assured that they lend aid to the deserving.

Given in the name of the members, Trustees and Elders of this congregation,  Thomas Hall, minister

Crookham, County of Northumberland May 21, 1837

It had been transcribed from the original by a grandson of Thomas Mowatt.

Flash forward a few years to 1996, and my husband, son, and I were driving through Northumberland, England to Ford, the birth place of Thomas and which he had left with his wife and brother James and friends and neighbors on the Cornelius, headed for New Brunswick, Canada. Ford is a small village, but has a castle, a church, some homes- and a mill!

It turned out that the mill, restored and fully operational, is the same one where my ancestor worked- and that there has been a mill on this site since the 1300’s! There was a tour going on, and when we were approached by the person in charge, I showed him the transcribed document. He was thrilled- and introduced us all around as the Canadians who were descended from the local Mowatt family! Our status increased immensely!

I was not a photographer back then, but of course took many photos, and this one of the mill is a favorite. I had scanned the photo with a little portable scanner a few years ago so decided to make a little art piece with it for my photo class this week. I think my father would have been pleased- more with the photography than the genealogy!