Tree Blossoms

Though I didn’t know it at the time, I took advantage of an Olympus promotion at our local Looking Glass Photo and Camera just two days before before the Shelter In Place order came through for our seven counties here in the Bay Area of Northern California. I walked out of the store having upgraded my OM-D 5 Mark II for an OM-D 1 Mark III, as well as upgrading two of my lenses to the better built Pro category. I had gone into the store the day before the promotion so I could handle the newly released 0M-D 1 Mark III and test it out. That evening a close friend had encouraged me to take the plunge mainly because the OM-D 1 III was so much easier to hold and handle with my worsening inflammatory arthritic hands. But she also encouraged me because I spend a huge amount of my limited energy day doing photography in one way or another. It’s what I do. It’s what gets me up in the morning on a physically challenging day. Most of all, it’s because photography is one of the things that gives me immense joy.

I have thanked my friend, Anne, a million times. Even with the Shelter In Place order, I am able to take some photographs whilst taking the necessary walk with my dog each day (wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet away from other dog walkers). And I am absolutely amazed at the difference in the quality of the photos from the upgraded camera and lenses. AMAZED. It is giving me joy each and every day. And one of the great things about photography right now is that much of the work occurs in the editing afterwards. Which of course, needs to be done inside. It seems to be to be the perfect solution.

Most of the photos I have been posting have of course been older ones, taken with the older equipment before the Stay At Home order, or taken quickly on the fly with my phone. But here is one that I took today with the new camera and lenses. I was thrilled to have been able to capture the ethereal nature of the blossoms.

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Posted for CitySonnet’s Colors and Letters: April 28: Misty Rose.

From This One Branch…..

……..Can Come Countless Branches of Hope

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I would like to focus on hope in these dark times, and what each of us can do to help. While we know that every person who has COVID 19 can spread the disease to between 2-3 people, I would like us to look at the inverse of that, as we say in mathematics. Here in California we are sheltering in place. I know other places in the States are doing the same, as are many other countries. Think about the inverse of the equation. For every one person who is sheltering in place, whether or not you are infected, you are not spreading COVID 19 to 2-3 people, who in turn are not spreading the virus to an additional 2-3 people, who are not spreading…..  If you do not have the virus, by staying home you will continue to not have the virus. And just by following sheltering in place guidelines and only going out for necessary food and medical appointments, even if your state or country has not instituted this as a blanket procedure and you are only able to do this on your own, think of how many lives you can save. Even if you are someone who has to continue to work in an office, a warehouse, or a factory, you can still participate in social distancing during your off hours, thus reducing the risk both to you and your family and friends.

Please help save lives. Stay home. Stay safe. Stay well.

~Hannah ❤️

Posted for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Countless Branches.

Beauty and Isolation

Maria, at CitySonnet, has two challenges for March 19th: Sapphire and Cheerful. Her March challenges were planned and written, of course, before the world had changed with COVID 19. The sky in this photo is indeed sapphire, and the tree busting into bloom would normally be cheerful. Indeed, this photo has a serene feel to it, almost as if the streets were emptied just for the shoot, and the four pedestrians were perfectly placed and clothed. There also seems to be the proper placement of red – the stop signs and two out of four shirts on the people. The sunlight is even hitting the westward face of the tallest building.

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But this photo was taken yesterday at 5:34 pm. The street should be bustling with people going home or to Whole Foods, and walking their dogs or pushing strollers for a last outing before dinner. The curbs should be lined with parked cars and the parking lot beyond the stop sign on the lower left should be full.

We here in the San Francisco Bay Area are in “Shelter in Place” mode (more on that later), which isn’t a full lockdown, but we are to go out only for necessities such as groceries, necessary doctor’s appointments, or letting our dogs tend to business, and we should not linger.

This isn’t easy, but each day as I walk outside, the beauty of spring causes me to draw in a deep breath, relax my shoulders, and appreciate what we have. Thank goodness I’m not going out in the pouring rain, for instance!

And in case you are wondering why I have so many pictures of this tree and these buildings, it’s because I pass them every day in my walk with the dogs. It’s the prettiest route for our short outing.

Please take care, everyone.

Sun’s Last Rays Through Budding Branches

March 11, 2020

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2 days later – March 13, 2020

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Posted for Debbie’s Travel With Intent Six Word Saturday. Also Posted for Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Spring Has Sprung.