Red-shouldered hawk and the Sunset

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I dug this old pic up from 2005 from when I took my old Canon 10D and 400mm f5.6 to the Everglades to do some nature photography. The sun was setting after a very stormy afternoon and caught this red-shouldered hawk admiring the sunset as much as I was.

It truly is amazing how photographs can bring you back to a certain moment. It seems I forget more than remember these days, but seeing this and I am immediately back in my old Ford Explorer, wet, cold and sitting on the side of the road watching the sun set when I noticed this hawk sitting on this old wooden structure about a quarter mile up the road. I moved my Explorer up to get the shot, took this picture, and shared a beautiful sunset with a magnificent creature. Certainly not a bad memory to recall!

Good Morning St John’s

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After a night of chasing ghosts, Emily (about a year old at the time) woke up early so I decided we should go on walkabout to see how Savannah transforms from the most haunted city in America to an enthralling architectural and historic beauty. This photo of St. John’s Episcopal Church captures a little of both as the golden light of morning pushes away dark shadows hiding vengeful ghosts. Shot on Fuji Provia 400X film (sadly discontinued in 2013).

Happy Anniversary to my wife, x5

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It was our first big trip together; Sonoma Coast wine country in California. One of many firsts for us as a couple and looking back a defining one. It is when I knew.

There were many memories made that trip, but one stands out. Watching the sun set on the Pacific, high on the coast, not a soul around us. I spotted this area earlier in the trip and wanted to come back to it one evening to watch the sun set. The first day there was a clear evening we decided to go for it and while most were heading back into town to catch dinner we headed out to see the day’s last light fall serenely into the ocean. We got there early and I remember thinking how long it was taking for the sun to go down. I got restless, as I do, fiddling with my camera, walking around to find the prefect vantage point and being the anxious person I am until she said to take it easy and come sit down. It was about this time that DMB’s “You and Me” (which was our wedding song) came onto the iPod and that was it for me. It just all come together and I knew I loved this woman and wanted her to be my wife.

The memories didn’t end with the magical sunset. Our rental Mustang sat low on the ground and got stuck on a bump on a hill as we were leaving the coastline. No cell phone service and night was coming down fast, I was getting worried about our chances of getting out of there in a reasonable amount of time until two good ‘ole boys pulled up and helped me lift the car off the hill to get us on our way. Crisis averted, we were starving and headed down the coast for some food. Being the middle of the week most places were closed and unlit so we drove on. And on. And on. It wasn’t until many miles later that we saw lights. And like hungry moths we flocked to the light, finding, of all things, an Indian restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I do not know if the empty pit in my stomach affected my brain chemistry, but it was the best Indian food I have ever had. And one of the most memorable  dinners we ever had, to this day.

This took place in April 2010 and is something that will be remembered all my days. A year later we were married. A year after that we had our first daughter. Two years forward we had our second daughter. Today, it has been five years since we were married, and though a lot has happened I am excited about what the future holds for us. As a family, as lovers and as friends.

Thank you, my love, for the great memories, beautiful daughters and life we have together. Happy anniversary with many more to come.

AG

It’s going down

It's going down..

The shadows grew long and dark as Special Agent Fitz followed his mark. He  was quickly approaching the van where other agents lied in wait to take the man they had been watching for many months. It almost seemed too easy, Agent Fitz reflected, but the man was obviously too distracted to know that Federal agents would soon be swarming down on his position and foiling his plot. Or does there man have something more sinister waiting around the corner for the unknowing agents…..

Okay, you can tell I have been binge watching The Blackilst while home with the baby. This is just a scene captured during my bachelor party in NYC, but seeing it though up this silly story and wanted to share with all of you.

Path to oblivion

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The order came, firm and clear; march to the end of the walkway and wait. Wait for what? That important bit of information was not included, nor was what to do while waiting or how long to wait. Follow instructions, no matter how vague, and trust our superiors know better was the only comforting thought as I made my way down the ladder. This service was performed countless times in my duty, but something felt different when I got to the bottom.

The walk across the bridge was always unnerving. Chaotic water was mixed black, green and blue with dancing white caps that threatened to sweep whatever foolish trespasser crossed the tiny bridge. But today the water was calm and only slight ripples penetrated the bottomless expanse. The ocean was a mischievous blue-green hue that would have been considered inviting to the uninitiated, but threatening to a seasoned dockman like me. Unnerved and wary I crossed the bridge, moving slower than normal in case the water changed its course and decided to wash me to into the darkness. Nothing quite as dramatic happened as I made my way to the terminal point, and in that moment I realized that the danger my mind created had distracted me from the task at hand which was now here.

I stood there and waited. And waited. And waited some more. No signs of life, no clear idea of what was to be done other than wait. The blue green ocean laid placid and after a time I wanted the threat to be real so at least that would occupy my mind. I looked back at the ladder, which was barely visible from my vantage point, and had the fleeting thought to abandon the mission and head back. Can’t do that, I’ll lose my post. And being so close to retirement left abandonment an option only a fool would consider. So I stared into the ocean for what seemed like an eternity with no more movement than the slight breeze could stir.

Day turned into night, night turned into day and this exchange of light and darkness came and went in silence until I noticed a slight stirring beneath my feet. A strange movement, a strange light emitted from the water. Very slight, so slight that it could not have been real but it was. It had to be. Staring into the depths, I heard a song, sweet and slow like a lullaby while the light beneath the surface grew warm and inviting. Time soon became irrelevant as my thoughts focused on the serenity the depths now promised.

It was only after the water washed over my head and my body sank downward that the realization I could not breathe came. An afterthought to my actions. Air did not matter now, neither did the fear of abandoning my post or losing my well-earned retirement. All that mattered was reaching the light and that beautiful song, just a little further down, just a little deeper.

As life seeped from my body and oblivion became my residence, it became clear that death was my mission. To join the ocean in willing sacrifice so that mankind could go on, and the timeless blue ocean would not claim all. A fleeting smile crossed my face as I reached the place where cold water, warm light and sweet song met, and knew my mission was complete, cradled in the bosom of my maker, as instructed.