Thursday, January 27, 2011


Luckily, my feed store had a special on suet cakes!
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why I left that standing dead tree behnd the house . ..

And my wish came true. I have to photograph through two panes of glass, but he comes almost every morning between 9:30 and 10:30 and several times there have been two of them! Today was sunny and some of the pictures were better. Happiness!
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Monday, January 10, 2011

He's Back!

Right now in my back yard. I tried to get a video, but don't know yet if it worked.
Very cool, no???
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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Hopper Family Christmas circa1947 Round Trim

My mother had the unfortunate habit of trimming photos like this. Maybe somewhere the whole photo or negative exists, maybe not. This is what I have of the Christmas when I wore such dark red lipstick and held David on my lap at lower left. Dig the Santa mask, and notice how Richard (on Santa's lap) is always so sure of himself and self-directed. We were still living in Scotia, New York at this time.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My family 1946?

My family 1946?
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I'm on the left. Notice the separation between me (an only child for 4 years!) and them. This is an example of the informal family portrait in outdoor light. My mom and dad are looking good. I also notice that this is one of the few pictures of Richard (far right) that he doesn't look happy and completely self-possessed.
I have a broken key on one laptop and the hard drive on the other just stopped working. Alas, a sad, sad story.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Another family group photo

Look at the expressions on some of the faces. Even though the photo has faded, it still is fun to look at, and an example of the fresh look I like. Look at my mother's face! She and my dad are gone now and the baby boy with the cast on his arm. And Barbara Vroman, who came on that trip with us, where are you now?? I would love to hear from you.

Monday, January 03, 2011

On Family Portraits

At this season of the year, lots of family portraits have been landing in my mailbox, my inbox, and my Facebook feed. They have been formal and informal, current and quite antique; it has gotten me thinking about this tradition in my own family. My husband's family was too poor and often too demoralized, after the death of his little brother, to have ever had one made. My family made only a couple of sporadic attempts to have group pictures taken. I remember one of the first five children by a traveling photographer, one by a photographer for the Schenectady Gazette, when my mother was Mother of the Year for the County, and one by a friend, whose lens caused the heads at the edges of the photo to be misshapen. You might get to see all of these very soon now that I am thinking of them. S and I made one attempt, only partly successful, before our first two children were in school. Since I like photography SO MUCH, one might think I would have managed more. What I like, though, are those gesture-captures like the one above of married friends at a campfire we had this fall--the feet of their child also in the photo. I hope to post others in the coming days.

My sister Susan married a man with a tradition--they had a family portrait taken every year. Most ot them were tacked to a school-sized corkboard in their family room for many years.

Here is what Saul Steinberg said in the 1970s, deploring the decline of traditional photographic portraiture. It's in the current Paris Review #195, page 36. (I LOVE the Paris Review, but lately, I have been loving the New Yorker even more. If it is true: the predicted death of magazines, I will mourn forever.)

"Russia remains the only place where portraits are still made according to the old rules. I've made drawings of them. A couple: a man in military uniform, with all the medals on his chest, and his wife whose chest is as big as his, without medals. Both of them are on the verge of bursting into tears from the sheer seriousness of the thing. And naked babies, plump as whales, and entire families photographed in the most dignified way: the older people in chairs, the younger people surrounding them, and the littlest ones at the base of the pyramid."
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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Snow Shadow and EReader

Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Here I am on the porch after a snowy night before Christmas. What I like about this is the delicate traceries of the weeds against the blue-shadowed snow. It makes me want to be a textile designer, without of course, having to learn how, or interview for a job. More snow last night, but not this much.
Had a fine chat with my brother, D, and his wife today. She is getting an ereader and we both wound up ordering the refurb. Sony that Woot was offering today. Will we be sorry? Stay tuned, probably for quite a while, since Woot stuff comes on the slow train. Still, it was pretty cheap.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Of course it is all melted now

This view of the West Meadow was taken on December 13 after the wind blew wet snow against trees all night. We got more snow after that, but the last couple of nights brought warm rains and the snow has mostly melted now. And 2010 has also melted away and I have become an irregular and irresponsible blogger. Here's a fresh start. Hello, June and Joann and anybody else who might still be sticking with me!
My planned project for 2011 is to put up a lot of the passages in the books I have been reading through the summer and fall.
Here's the first one -- I found it today when I looked up William Styron in Wikipedia. Turns out this quote is already ALL OVER the web. Perhaps the excellence of Google is a little too much of a good thing.

"I felt myself no longer a husk but a body with some of the body's sweet juices stirring again. I had my first dream in many months, confused but to this day imperishable, with a flute in it somewhere, and a wild goose, and a dancing girl." This is from Darkness Visible, his memoir about his severe depression.
For this New Year, may you have great dreams. Like this one, each dream should have music, the natural world and maybe a little sex.
Good night! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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