Project 365 [Day 158] Tree Swing on the Farm at Sunset

Project 365 [Day 158] Tree Swing on the Farm at Sunset

This is one of my favorite places in our backyard, and of course if you have been around this site for a while you will recognize the tree swing, but I keep finding unique ways to shoot it. I’m working on getting all the photos on my site of this swing to be searchable through “my swing” but they aren’t all up there quite yet. Yesterday afternoon I was cutting the grass and noticed the sun setting right behind the tree and actually took this shot while I was on the tractor, mowing. I later stopped and tried to setup a better shot with Deborah in the swing but none turned out as this one did with the sun right in my face. Today it was my Project 365 photo for Day 158.

Massive Fog Bank Settles over Our Auburn Trees :: P365 [Day 8]

Every year as the seasons change this tree puts on a different face. I’m guessing I have taken 100’s of photos of this one particular tree, and every shot looks different. Today we had a fog-bank cloud descend over the property making visibility a few hundred feet or so giving me this shot. The weather this year just seems freaky, like having 75*F and fog on December 6th, but in a few days it’s supposed to be below freezing. Oh well, that’s the weather in the south.

I know I post random photos on here from time to time but each individual photo I pull out of a shoot is part of a bigger set, and next year, I am actually going to do something I have wanted to do for the better part of 15+ years, and that’s Project 365 as it is so called now. Project 365 is something I will post about more later, but basically that is a project that refers to taking and posting one photo a day for 365 days. I know, sounds simple. Ever tried it? Maybe 2012 will be the year. Today this is the P365 [Day 8] photo.

Memorial Day Flag Flying from Auburn Alabama

I am glad we still celebrate Memorial Day in this country.  Somehow it seems that as the political correctness of our culture takes over everything we end up loosing an understanding of what made this country great in the first place.  It sickens me to see stories like the one of the Iraq veteran who displayed the American flag in his apartment window and was told to take it down or face eviction due to the fact that the flag is offensive to some of their residents.

Charlie Price of Wisconsin served 8 years for his country in Iraq and Kosovo to find that he isn’t even allowed to fly the flag he fought for in his own window. The couple is now fighting to amend the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 to include renters, and I hope they are successful.  Sometimes it seems that you are no longer aloud to hold an opinion in this country because it might offend someone.  Who are these idiots who have now decided that we need to be a country of brown plain-jane, average, robots, who all believe in the same thing and can never disagree with anyone else?

There is no greatness in average, no conviction of ideals or principles in living a life of medium gray, and these types always seem to get the headlines. It gets tiring to hear the moaners, whiners, and complainers beat the drums of complacency and strive towards moving the country to be average, but sometimes they seems to be yelling the loudest.  Now, instead of being the innovators and inventors, we are having to rely on Russia and Russian built rockets to take us into space, who would have thought that 20 years ago.

It is still the greatest country in the world, I just wish some of it’s residents would take a history lesson and see that America was not built on being average.  The History Channel just finished an interesting series called America The Story of Us.  Though some of it was a little subjective, it showed the overwhelming story of how much innovation, determination, and sacrifice people made because they believed in themselves and what this country stood for.

My family has had people who fought in the Civil War, WWI, both of my grandfathers served in WWI (see Son of a Son of a Photographer), one flew a B-24 Bomber in WWII in Europe, my dad served in the Air Force, and my cousin decided to go into the Navy after 9-11 and is currently serving in the Navy on a nuclear submarine.  I am thankful for their service to this country.  Because they served, my wife and I are able to enjoy living in this great country.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day.  It has been quite a stormy weekend with some crazy weather but I managed to get outside and take a few photos (and some of the dog of course).  The heat is definitely on its way, the pasture, trees, and everything around has taken on the brilliant green of summer.

Fog on a Never End Cycle of Rain in the Southern Winter

Fog on a never end cycle of rain in the south in the winter. You can see the puddles around the tree swing, and the dreariness in the air. Somewhere Spring is coming.

Pictorial History of a Tree in Year Long Time Lapse

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This is not a true time lapse as we might think about today, but, a sequence of shots, taken over time, of the same subject. We have this great tree back behind our house and I usually take photos of it as the seasons change and I have been wanting to write one single post with all of the photos together to see how one single spot can change over time.  Below is where I sit in the summer and read, contemplate life, and view from the house in the winter and rain.  I love the warm open feeling it gives in Spring or Summer and the uninviting look of winter.  As the days count down for our departure to Virginia, this is one spot I am going to miss while we are gone.

The original posts that came from this photos can be found here:

Below is are some of the photos from the posts above.

Storms Arriving in Auburn as We Leave for Gulf Shores

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Cumulonimbus Clouds

Columbia Tent

Last weekend we tried to go camping but the rain never really let up.  Not only did it not let up, but the severe weather down in the gulf kept getting worse so we decided to give it a go this weekend.  We are or were pretty avid campers in the day and we have camped in just about every state in the country but haven’t been in quite a while.

I am looking forward to a bit of relaxing on the beach with some time to read and write, hopefully we will see a bit of sun while we are down on the gulf this weekend.  Below are some of the cloud formations we saw in the storms coming through this week.  I love clouds, they are almost like snowflakes, day is different and they are constantly moving.

Temperature and Dew Point Converge into Fog

Fog in the Trees

Did you notice the fog this morning? Fog is really cool to me.  It doesn’t happen all that often but usually occurs when the relative humidity comes close to 100%, is more commonly around the 40° temp range and happens when the temperature and dew point converge within about 4° of each other.  If you were in the southeast area of Alabama we had a wonderful blanket of fog covering the area last night and this morning.  For those of us who love the humidity, especially in the winter, breathing the thick air is great.

It did add one more weather image to my tree portfolio (see below) but it got me thinking about what other things in our lives can converge to make something rare, unique, perhaps fleeting, and burns off and disappears when hit by a little heat?  That may be a little too philosophical for this time in the morning but there are many things that change molecular structure when heat is applied, including our own lives.  How often do we change our mind, our convictions, our principles, and forget things we have learned when a little heat is applied then all those things just evaporate?  Hopefully not to often.

Crazy Weather with 70 Degrees and Snow in Auburn

Tree in Back Yard

Pork Loin Roast

This has has been a crazy Saturday weather wise.  Started off with tornado and thunderstorm warnings all over the place and turned into a nice sunny and rather warm day at 70*, but tonight, there is snow expected.  I think we are well below the actual snow line if there is one but non-the-less, we are expecting a light dusting tonight.

We did have a nice evening with some friends from church tonight.  We shared a meal (see Pork Loin on the grill below) and enjoyed just a few minutes of not having to be somewhere or do something other than just hang out for a while.  It was nice, just wish it lasted a little longer. The buzz around the Internet right now seems to be how can we get out of going to church tomorrow because it is going to snow type thing, but apparently the doors of the church will be open come rain or snow, imagine that.  I am sure people up north who live in snow all winter are laughing. I guess my thought on that would be if you need an excuse not to come to church for a Sunday then just stay home and relax and watch the snow.

Beautiful December Day with Valkyrie Movie :: Friday Feet

Tree in Winter

feet in concrete

This was probably once of the nicest late December days that I can remember.  It was over 70* with partly cloudy, blue sky and I ended up working outside all day.  We ended up taking down our Christmas lights today and replacing them with our “everyday lights” which will remain up the rest of the year (these are lights that go around the inside of our patio).  We started decorating the patio for this coming summer, which actually was an idea in part from a friend Cindy Wall during her baptism (photos will be coming on down the road).

As the holiday days wind down I am really looking forward to getting back to work (without holiday interruptions).  We have so much coming up in the next few months, and I am really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.  One area we will be ramping up is “Twitter church”.  So if you are not a Twitter member yet, sign up and see what it’s all about.  Once you have signed up, you can follow Cornerstone from @cornerstonebuzz and if you are so inclined, you can follow me at @scottfillmer as well.

My Friday Feet post is a little late because I spent most of yesterday with family and at the movies.  My dad and I went to see Valkyrie and if you have any desire to see the story about the assassination attempt on Hitler, I would highly recommend this movie.  I knew very little about this story from WWII and although it was a movie, it did seem to follow the historical account fairly close.  Although I am not a big fan of Tom Cruise any more, it is hard to deny that this was one of the better movies of 2008.

My friday feet post today is in recognition of the last Friday of the 2008 calendar year.  This photo is on the corner of our patio.  Deb and I placed our feet in the wet concrete just about this time two years ago when we moved into our house.  It is a marker or reminder of the passage of time to me and I look at it almost every time I walk across the patio.  2006, 2007, and a lot of 2008 are almost a blur in history now but this image has become almost a time capsule in my mind of when we finally moved into our house here in Auburn.

Welcome home to all those who were traveling over the last few days, hope your New Year will be great.

The North Star and Long Exposure Star Trails

If you have been following the progress of our tree and tree swing, it now has just about no leaves on it at all, so last night I decided to take advantage of the very dark night out here and do a long exposure of the tree showing the North Star.  This shot was a single frame, 3 hour exposure with another 3 hour noise reduction process.  I started the exposure when I went to bed and it finished around 4am.  Showing star trails are a little easier with a film exposure but this one turned out pretty good. The tree looks like it is leaning over to the side because it was shot with a 14mm lens pointed almost straight up at the sky.  I am actually standing about 5 feet or so from the tree.

You can just see the North Star behind the right side of the tree.  I couldn’t actually see it when I setup the tripod and I was just shooting for somewhere close to the center of the frame.  Missed it to the left by a little but close enough.

The tree is the same one you see in the previous posts, here, here, here, here, and even here.  Some day I will put all the tree shots together in one post.  It is pretty neat to me to see the changes in one single location, sort of like a very long time lapse.  For those of you still wondering, no, I did not sit out there all night with the camera, I just set the exposure time to 3 hours and hoped that a deer or other large animal didn’t tip over my tripod.