The Different Perspectives of a Surprised Exuberant Squirrel

While I believe Becky has in mind using different apertures, focusing, and distance to show how one can achieve different perspectives in photography, I thought I would approach it from a lighter perspective for my first square of this month’s challenge. This friendly, exuberant, (and surprised) urban squirrel was observing me from four different perspectives!*

#1 Uh oh! Caught in the act!

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#2 I’m really not so sure about this…..

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#3 Maybe it’s safe…….. I’ll try it out.

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#4 Oh, you seem to be friendly, and your dog does too, so…. TA-DA. Here I am in all my exuberance, complete with tail!

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*I don’t normally do this, and I think it’s technically against the rules, but I got carried away and combined….. four challenges. My own exuberance got the better of me.

Colors and Letters: July 3 – Starts with the letter E

Lense-Artists Photo Challenge – Surprise

Photo a Week – Squirrel!

Becky’s Squares – The Art of Perspective

June Has Been Pride Month

For all our LBGTQ+ brothers and sisters. While we should celebrate their lives all year long, each year we especially dedicate the month of June to raising awareness of their lives and their struggles, and honoring their contributions. This has been a June like no other, but even in the midst COVID and all the other uncertainties, I hope that each person who identifies as LBGTQ+ has had someone say to them, “I’m glad you are who you are, and I am glad that I know you.” And my message to each of you is that you are loved.

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Posted for CitySonnet’s Photo a Day Challenge: June 30 – Goodbye June

Families Protest the Murder of George Floyd

I am fortunate to live in Oakland, California, a very diverse city with a population of close to a half million people. Last Sunday, June 7th, along with the peaceful protests by teens and adults, there was a protest scheduled for families with young children. As it was gathering across the street from my apartment, and families were practicing good social distancing, I grabbed my camera and did some photo journaling.

All We Have Is Now

As scary and heart wrenching and even terrifying as it is during this time, now is all we have. The past is filled with our memories, and COVID 19 has so throughly transformed our world we truly don’t know what the world will be like when we emerge on the other side of this.

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But what we do with our time, our life of now, is up to us. I’m not advocating that we look at the world through rose colored glasses and pretend that everything is fine. We know it isn’t. I’m saying that each of us have strengths, and each of us know what helps us feel more whole. I can’t see my grown daughters at the moment, and I can’t hug my grandchildren. But I can still notice beauty. And that is one of the things that is helping me make my way through this. What we do right now matters. Our children (or our grandchildren) will ask us one day, “Grammy, what was it like? How did you make it through?” I’d like to have some answers for them.

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What is helping you navigate this difficult path forward?

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Please leave word in the comments. We can draw strength from each other.

❤ Hannah

Veterans Day 2019

Here in the States, November 11 is Veterans Day. Originally it was established as Armistice Day, the day Germany formally surrendered at the end of WW I: November 11, 1918. In 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day, to honor U.S. veterans and victims of all wars.

In 2015 my husband and I took a long awaited trip to France. One of the places we visited was the American Cemetery in Normandy. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and contains the remains of 9,388 American soldiers. There are graves of Army Air Corps crews shot down over France as early as 1942, and graves of 4 American women. But most of the graves are of those soldiers who died during the Invasion of Normandy.

It is a sobering place, as you look out over row upon row upon row of crosses and stars of David. My husband said, “There is such sadness here.” My thought was of all those men, overwhelmingly young, who would never have a chance to have a career, or fall in love, or get married, or live to see their children grow up. They would never see their lives open up before them.

Here is a closeup of an infinitely small section.

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The American Cemetery at Normandy                                                                Image: ©Hannah Keene

Posted for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bravery.

Haunting

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

🎃🎃🎃

We are fortunate here in Oakland to have several very talented Mural Artists. I drove by this mural yesterday, made a U-turn, parked, and took several shots.

At first glance from the car, this appears to be straight out of my childhood nightmares. So much so that I wondered if the artist, whom I have never met, had a window into the horrors of my brain. This mural is HUGE, painted, as you can see, on 2 sides of the building, and probably 15 feet tall.

From the car, this portion was all that I saw. It is terrifying.

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Up close, I saw the full mural.

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This mural completely overwhelms you. But once I had gotten up close, I noticed this small courageous figure and the forrest of stark trees, which hadn’t been noticeable from the car.

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A closeup.

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This young boy, standing up to the wild, fantastical beast, is showing so much bravery, that you think that he just might prevail. He must be terrified inside, but he continues to stand, recorded in paint on a wall. It ends up being a powerful symbol not only of courage, but of resistance. I suspect the world is in desperate need such symbols, haunting though they may be.

And the title?

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All photographic images: Hannah Keene 2019.

Posted for Terri’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge: Something Scary.

A Boy and His (Shared) Dog

I am finding myself somewhat nostalgic and sad lately. The daylight is beginning to fade sooner and sooner, and while fall is usually my favorite season, September 2 marked the first year anniversary of my husband’s death. So I have been looking through family pictures of late, and went searching for these, as they are among my favorites of the past year – the first year without my husband of 44 years. While the post itself is far longer than six words, the title is exactly six, so I hope I can still use the Six Word Saturday hashtag.

I have written before about the fact that my good friends, Martha and Arthur, and I share our two dogs. Theirs is Teddy the Labradoodle and mine is Zoë the Miniature Schnauzer. When my husband and I returned to Northern California three and a half years ago and moved into our retirement community (St. Paul’s Towers), the grandkids were just 1 and 3½. Teddy was bigger than the 1 year old, obviously, but he was also awfully big for the 3½ year old. About a year ago, when they were 3 and almost 6, the two of them decided that it was time for them to start walking the dogs instead of just accompanying me when I walked them. So they became the walkers, and I became the accompanying and supervising person. The 3 year old was still rather scared of Teddy, but was comfortable walking Zoë. The almost 6 year was adamant that he wanted to walk Teddy by himself, without me holding on to the leash. Here is the result: he walking confidently on ahead with Teddy last February, when he was fully 6+ a few months. My granddaughter, Zoë, and I are lagging behind, in a perfect position to capture a photo.

Walking the Dog at Twilight

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Images: Hannah Keene 2019

Posted for Six Word Saturday. Well, at least there’s exactly six words in the title. 😉