If you wait for perfection, you'll miss life

Harvest Moon 2016

Posted on September 16, 2016

This year I made “Harvest” moon a family affair. For the past 2 years I’ve always been by myself because the boys were too little to wait around until the moon rose, but this year I made “Harvest” moon a family affair. We read the children’s book “Hello, Harvest Moon” by Ralph Fletcher (an excellent read and one of our favorites). We then made our way to our nearby shopping center, since that’s the best vantage point near us and set up the tri-pod and camera. We tracked the moon with the Skyview app. (My boys and I love this app) and just waited for the moon to rise. I think I got a few good shots considering I had to zoom in because of the lights around the parking lot. The boys really enjoyed tracking the moon’s rising time and looking at it through the camera lens. Until, Oliver made it very clear that he was tired and wanted to go home, but all in all “Harvest” moon viewing with the family was the perfect way to spend this Friday night.

Our Bird House

Posted on September 9, 2016

Over the summer Henry and Oliver helped me paint this birdhouse. I think they did a fine job.   We have it hanging from a tree outside our kitchen window.  I finally got around to setting up my camera on a tripod and ended up taking these photos.  According to our field guide I managed to get White-breasted Nuthatches, Titmouse, Chickadees, and Mourning Dove.  I’ve also had Blue Jays (they do like to make a big racket), American Goldfinches, Cardinals and a bonafide Hummingbird (I would love to get a picture of the Hummingbird). We’re starting to know their songs without looking out the window which I think is pretty cool and Oliver likes to imitate their song.  Happy September everyone and I dedicate this post to my aunt.  Happy Birthday!

Homemade library bags

Posted on July 6, 2016

For the longest time Henry and Oliver have been asking me to make them library bags.  We almost always end up asking for plastic bags at the front desk to take the books home in, but plastic bags can be uncomfortable for little hands, not to mention it’s not good for our planet so to kick off summer reading I surprised the boys by taking them to the fabric store. I had them pick out the fabrics for their bags and a few days later got to work sewing.  To say they were happy to see their bags is an understatement.  I knew they would be glad, but Henry especially was really touched I had sewed their bags from scratch.    The look on their faces made sewing into the wee hours worth it. So not only did these library bags put a smile on their sweet little faces, but they’re also helping the planet (albeit in their own small way).  I think that’s a great way to start off summer reading.

“How To Raise A Wild Child” book review

Posted on April 21, 2016

Growing up in NYC I didn’t have many opportunities to be out in nature except for going to the park nearby our home or visiting Central Park on a weekend, however ever since I could remember I have always felt drawn to nature. I still remember when the street I grew up in was all concrete and there wasn’t a tree in sight. As a young girl I didn’t know anything was missing, but then one day some people from an organization (perhaps a beautification organization) came and planted trees up and down my block. I was so excited because suddenly my block looked so pretty. That was over 25 years ago. Today those trees have grown big, strong and beautiful. Whenever I return home to visit I’m always struck with how pretty the street I grew up in looks because someone took the time to beautify our block with a little nature. When I was in college in upstate NY a group of friends took me to New Paltz to hike the Mohonk Preserve and climb their Labyrinth/Lemon Squeeze. Lemon Squeeze? What the heck is that? As a city girl I had never hiked in my life let alone climbed some mountain. I didn’t know what I was in for, but hiking the trail that led to the mountain and then scaling those rocks that just led you up and up  I suddenly understood why people like to climb Mount Everest. What a thrill it was to test your own endurance and when I reached the top of that mountain and looked out at the beautiful view that overlooked the tops of trees I knew that a) I would return and do it again and b) I wanted more experiences like this. As the years have gone by I realize that climbing that mountain set me on a path to visit more natural parks and preserves. I sometimes feel more at peace in nature then I do anywhere else (except the library of course). Being in nature puts me in a state of Zen and that love of nature is something that I want to impart to my boys.

Last month the library was showcasing their new books and I came across Dr. Scott D. Sampson’s new book, How To Raise A Wild Child.20160421-DSC_9284

If the name sounds familiar to parents of little ones then it’s because he’s the paleontologist that appears after the PBS show Dinosaur Train. It’s a wonderful book about getting kids back into nature. Kids are staying indoors today at an alarming rate. They are not playing as much outside as my generation did and this is not a good thing. A lot of kids today are too wired to their screens or for one reason or another not going outside as much as they should. Researchers are finding that taking time from our hectic lives, slowing down and connecting our children with nature can help with depression, attention deficit disorder, obesity, resilience and self confidence. “How To Raise A Wild Child” at it’s core is about how to mentor our children in acquiring a love of nature and all that our beautiful planet has to offer. Being in nature allows children to play, explore, and discover. I find that when I take my kids hiking, afterwards they are actually better behaved at home and also play more creatively. They are calmer and sleep better.  For nature enthusiasts that either have children or work with them the book will solidify what they have known all along, which is that having a better connection with nature helps not only our physical and mental health, but also helps restore in our children an authentic sense of awe and wonder that you don’t get from being indoors.  As for me I still remember that sense of spiritual awe and gratitude I had standing on top of that mountain in Mohonk and I hope that I can instill in my boys a love of nature that will last a lifetime.

Here are a few pictures I took a few days ago while hiking with Oliver at our nearby Pinebush Preserve.  He’s a trooper!  He walked the first hour or so and although I had to carry him on and off after that I was amazed at how happy he is to be outside. He’s definitely a child that has A LOT of energy and he was actually the one to ask me over and over again to take him hiking.  He’s not even three years old yet, but this is something he definitely likes to do.





20160418-DSC_9229It was a little challenging convincing him that we had to leave.





Hold Still Sally Mann Book Review

Posted on December 18, 2015


If you are wondering what to get for the reader/photographer lover in your life for Christmas, birthday or just because, then look no further than Sally Mann’s epic memoir Hold Still.  It seems since the moment the book came out the reviews were off the charts.  Every review that I read praised Hold Still.  Can a memoir especially one that clocks in at almost 500 pages be this good?  Oh, yes it can.  Hold Still did not disappoint.  I do have to confess that Sally Mann is my favorite photographer of all time.  Yes, there are other photographers that I esteem just as highly as Mann, but if I had to say who influenced my style and sensibility it would definitely be Mann.  So with that information at hand you may think I am being biased when I say that Hold Still was an excellent read from start to finish.  The plethora of information that you acquire as you read along about  Sally Mann’s family just kept tumbling out.  Her family history is absolutely fascinating and just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be any more family secrets to top the last one lo and behold I would find myself swept away in an even more “did-this- really- happen- in-her-family?” anecdote.

Of course Mann also writes about the famous (nude) pictures she took of her children when they were young.  I have always loved these beautiful and intimate photos, and as a mother and photographer myself I have often wondered, given all the hoopla her photos gathered after showing them to the world would she do it again?  This particular chapter illuminates Mann’s thought process on what led her to photograph her children in this manner, and yes if she had to do it again she regrets nothing about these pictures.  Good for her.  Good for us.

I walked away from this book with a better sense of the woman behind the lens.  Resonating strongly throughout the book is Mann’s distinct voice.  Her soft southern accent, unique personality and wicked sense of humor is what makes you feel as if Sally Mann herself were sitting across from you and telling you her life story; and her life, career and family history has been an incredible one.  What I encountered in Hold Still Sally Mann is a woman who is brilliant, contemplative, connected, strong, extremely independent and a lover of life.  I’m so thankful that she decided to write this book and I think you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Foggy, rainy mornings are the best

Posted on October 29, 2015

I opened my front door this morning and to my delight I saw a thick fog blanketing the landscape (I love foggy, rainy landscapes. The colors just pop while the tone of a photograph retains that ethereal quality). I wanted so much to grab my camera, jump in the car and find the perfect scenery to photograph, but mommy duties were calling me so I spent the better part of the morning looking out the window witnessing the changing landscape. Finally, a while later I finally made it outside. It was pouring rain by then, but I headed to the park and managed to take a few shots. Thank goodness I got a chance to shoot. I couldn’t let this gorgeousness pass me by.