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Cape Coral, Florida, United States

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Photoshoot in Wickford RI

The Harbor at Wickford, RI

Wickford is a small village in the town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island,  Wickford is located on the west side of Narragansett Bay, just about a 20 minute drive across two bridges from Newport, Rhode Island. The village is built around one of the most well-protected natural harbors on the eastern seaboard, and features one of the largest collections of 18th century dwellings to be found anywhere in the northeast. Today the majority of the village's historic homes and buildings (most in private hands) remain largely intact upon their original foundations. 
Oasis in Wickford a side porch on Main Street
A touch of Americana - The Front Porch
Colors Abound in Wickford

The Beach Rose Cafe  Wickford, RI

Period Homes are found throughout Wickford

Doorway Scene in Wickford, RI

These and many more photos are available for viewing and purchase visit my gallery
at  http://jkphotos.imagekind.com/ or http://www.redbubble.com/people/j01756

Monday, August 29, 2011

Like Living at Plimouth Plantation???? Well Maybe Just a Little

Tropical Storm Irene came through New England on Sunday.  I won't call it Hurricane Irene because by the time it got here it had been downgraded to a tropical storm.  Of course the local newscasts just couldn't let it go and continued in the Hurricane Irene mode.  Even though it was a lot less in wind speed God knows what could happen and perhaps, just perhaps, New England would have it's own Irwin Allen version of a made for New England disaster flick.  For those that don't know about Irwin Allen he was successful at creating a series of B movies that evoked disaster and science fiction combined. (i.e. The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure etc).  So here we were minding our own business just watching the trees bend  perpendicular to the ground and rain coming sideways when the lights started to flicker.  A few minutes later came some small brown outs and at 11AM came the proverbial no power scenario.  Just like that Irwin Allen movie in an instant we went from 21st Century to as my wife dubbed it Living at Plimouth Plantation!  In technicolor! 

For those not from New England, Plimouth Plantation is located near Plymouth MA and is a recreation of Plimouth Village (in Old English is was spelled Plimouth with an i) the original settlement that the Pilgrims constructed back in 1620 when there was no electricity running water etc. 

We visited Plimouth Plantation in the middle of summer some years ago.  The residents are in character and costume and if you ask where the nearest Starbucks or McDonalds is you get this "deer in the headlights" look feigning that they don't know what you are talking about.  Get the picture?  Well at our visit back then it was a sweltering hot day and the "man of the house" did what males did back then working the fields, chopping wood and sweating profusely.  The "woman of the house" was  making soap or candles or slaughtering a chicken or whatever.  This would be a great place for environmental wackos to visit who claim they want to get off the grid and live just like the so called Good Old Days but that  is a story for another time.  Suffice it to say that when we stepped into a smokey Pilgrim home (open hearth fire all natural get that environmental wackos?) between the smell of smoke and body odor and candle tallow or whatever was cooking in the pot you were thankful you were not born a Pilgrim. 

So in my wife's mind we had morphed back to Plimouth Plantation and all because we had lost power.  Trying to be a good sport I said something like ..."It's not that bad"or some other silly set of words like "it could be worse."    About 30 minutes into no power I started to realize that TV was gone as was the Internet and of course my laptop had about 3 hours of battery power at best.  Being an eternal optimist I said: "Don't worry in a couple of hours power will be back."  Of course I knew it was a lie because the wind had gotten nastier and the trees looked like they were stuck in an aerobics marathon with all the gyrations they were doing.  A few hours came and went and the storm radio (I did have batteries) informed us that 350,000 people were without power.  Now I realized this was not a short term thing.  I commanded that we not open the fridge or freezer since we didn't want to break the "seal" somehow I thought that this magical seal would keep my perishables from melting away.  So of course now we were scrounging for dry type foods our first entry into Plimouth Plantation.  Hooray for peanut butter and crackers.  Now I know  Pilgrim families didn't  have peanut butter but I am sure that the "woman of the house churned some cream they got from Bossy into butter.  So in a way we were half way there.  (No we did not churn the peanuts but hey we had to open the jar and peel back the seal thing by candlelight doesn't that count for something?)

Fast forward a few hours.  Viv is now giving me the time countdown as to how many hours we have been without power.  Out of boredom she is lighting every candle in the house.  The radio is turned off  you can only listen to storm news for so long and at one point they were replaying the interview with the power company from three hours ago.  Talk about filler!  Dinner was next we  resurrected a can of minestrone soup and I had to use a flicker clicker to light the gas cook top. I am telling you we were morphing back to Plimoth Plantation by the minute.  Post supper (soup, bread and butter, and Laughing Cow cheese wedges) we sat and just looked at each other - no laptop, no Facebook, no Skype  the world was really coming to an end!  By 9PM we really became like the Pilgrims and went to bed.  OK so we did read our Kindles by battery powered lanterns but hey substitute  the Kindle with Pilgrims Progress and use a oil lamp and it was just the same.

Morning came, still no power and that meant no coffee so I trekked out through the wilderness of downed tress and foliage seeking a Dunkin Donuts with power.  My search led me to the Auburn area where I waited in line forever to get coffee and then found a Price Chopper where I purchase 35 pounds of ice so I could try to save some of our fridge items.  Plimouth Plantation ws slowly but surely consuming us. 

Misery continued until 1PM  - 26 hours and 37 minutes by Vivian's reckoning since we had lost power.  Magically a National Grid truck pulled into the complex.  The Pilgrims never had a National Grid truck pull up to their shanty village!  A smile came to our faces.  Rescue from Plimouth Plantation was at hand.  In a few minutes we were transported like through The Time Tunnel (another Irwin Allen movie) back to the 21st century.  The Internet came back, as did TiVo even Charter Cable was working and to make it even better the AC kicked on.  Life was good again. We had made it we had escaped from Plimouth Plantation!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Catching Up.....

It's been a while since I posted; however, I have been taking more photos and have worked on my Photoshop Elements capabilities.  Here is the first batch of photos I want to share.  They are from the Grafton/Westborough area soem landscapes for you viewing pleasure:
Green and Yellow Carpet  Cornfield in Grafton MA  BikonD90

Sunset on Grafton Fields Taken on the grounds of Tufts Veternary College Grafton, MA  NikonD90
Stormy Weather - Meadow on Arch Street in Westborough MA  Nikon D90  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Visit to Kittery Point, Maine

View From Kittery Point Looking Toward Portsmouth Harbor

Cross the bridge over the Pistaqua River separating New Hampshire from Maine and proceed a short way and you'll see the sign off Route 1 for Kittery Point, Maine.  Settled back in 1632, fishermen, hunters and trappers were the first residents of these parts.  Along the coastline stands Fort McClary used as a defensive fortification in the 19th Century guarding the entrance to the Pistaqua River.   The fort is named after Major Andrew McClary of New Hampshire. He was the highest ranking officer
killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. Today, a blockhouse, walls, earthen works and remnants of other buildings along with the tunnel system remain as reminders of what is was like for the young American nation to stand guard against invasion.  That invasion took place in 1812  when once again the United States was at war with England.  The fort was manned for five different war periods:  The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, American Civil War, Spanish American War and World War I.
Today the blockhouse (built in 1844) and remnants of the walls stand at the site.  It is an ideal spot for a day trip with great vistas of the Portsmouth Harbor area.  There are numerous granite blocks in different piles leftover remnants of construction that was never finished. Construction was halted in the late 1800's when the rise of superior naval firepower made these coastal fortifications rather obsolete.  You can also visit the former powder magazine and underground bastion that housed large cannons aimed toward the entrance of the harbor. 
Your journey begins at a tunnel entrance with a series of steps guiding one down into the bastion.  Walking straight ahead you will encounter the outer wall with the gun ports still visible.  It is a dank and wet place and makes one wonder how large 250 pound cannons were hauled down into the emplacement.  Once outside you can walk over the emplacement and enjoy the view of Portsmouth Harbor and even see a myriad of commercial fishing boats, sailing vessels and even a tour boat pass by.  On the far shore you will see the local lighthouse and further south lies the Portsmouth Naval Yard the new outpost guarding our shores in the 21st Century - instead of 250 pound guns you will see nuclear submarines moored for retrofit or repair. 

The blockhouse is also an interesting museum with artifacts and history of life at the fort providing a glimpse into the past.  There are additional buildings in and around the blockhouse area.  Once you are done doing the historical gig head into the town of Kittery Point - it is a well preserved period town with a quaint smattering of period buildings and colonial homes.  You will also see a few lobster places selling fresh lobster right off the boat, bring a few home to prepare for your own lobster feast.  Why did I go back to Kittery Point after all these years?  Well many years ago when Chris was about 10 and Matt around 4 we brought the boys to Kittery Point and they loved exploring the fort and I remember Chris climbing on those rocks.  Besides the period history I had some personal history enshrined in this place.  While shooting away with my Nikon I could still see Chris and Matt running around the place.  Great memories which I will treasure forever. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Everything Looks Worse in Black and White

This past Sunday we embarked on  a whale watch cruise out of Boston Harbor.  A great way to enjoy a beautiful day in the Fourth of July Holiday weekend.  I began to casually shoot away with my camera capturing this scene as we were leaving the Boston skyline  heading for the Stellwagen Banks where the humpback whales are currently feeding.  While processing the capture in Photoshop I came upon the idea of converting the background scenery to black and white while keeping the main subjects in color.  Shades of Paul Simon - I actually started to hum and sing the lyrics to the song he wrote and performed in 1973 "Kodachrome"  (yes I am showing my age again).    In the song he states that "Everything looks worse in black and white."  Maybe it does,  even though black and white photography has an elegant space in the photo world.  However, in this capture I wanted to focus on how sometimes the world around us may seem bland with no color while we operate in a "Kodachrome" environment. We are accustomed to seeing and expecting to see everything in color.  We expect to see "those nice bright colors....the greens of summer....making us think all the world's a sunny day!"   So, my interpretation of this capture is that we were departing the Boston skyline fading to "black and white" while maintaining our "Kodachrome" environment out to sea. And sometimes, the world may not be a sunny day but a droll black and white while the Kodachrome environment is all around us.  Perhaps it also isn't just "black and white" but many shades of grey!  By the way the humpbacks were very active and we did see a pod of whales and they were many shades of grey, beautiful and majestic in their own way!  Hope you all had a festive 4th! 
Song Lyrics: "Kodachrome" Recorded by: "Paul Simon" Written by: (Paul Simon) Album: "There Goes Rhymin' Simon" - 1973. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Close Encounters of the Poppie Kind

Zoey and her parents came for a visit last week,  It has been three months since I last saw her  and I was very anxious to see her again.  The transformation has been remarkable!  Zoey has become her own little person.  She smiles at you, one of those "I am so shy" smiles that just melts your heart.  She also has big beautiful eyes that just swallow you up!  So Zoey and I had some great time together it was almost like starting all over again with the poppie thing but boy did we have a blast. We played "rocketship"  which consisted of holding her in standing position on my knees doing a mock countdown and then bringing her up over my head.  She liked that and I made sure this activity was not conducted after her feeding, the consequences would have been messy at best.  We "conversed" although at times I did most of the talking which is not an unusual trait that I have; however, in time I am certain it will be the other way around and it will be Zoey doing all the talking and I will have to practice better listening skills.  I find this poppie relationship so wonderful and rewarding at times incredulous  that this beautiful work of creation is my granddaughter.  More incredulous that one of my children has children! A sobering thought that gives way to my own aging process and the fact that 61 years has rushed by at the speed of light!  That now,  the things I did with my sons when they were infants I am beginning to do with a grandchild.  I want to slow down from that rush of the past 3 score and1 years and enjoy it.  I want to enjoy every moment I can with Zoey.  I have  visions of taking her fishing in the pond behind our new home in Cape Coral, riding the teacups with her at Disneyworld, so many things I want to do and have her experience.  Of course that is in the future so now I need to slow down and enjoy her as much as possible at this stage where every moment is a new adventure for her.  She is just finding out what the world and all these strange people are all about.  All too soon it was time to leave.  Sad when I have to leave her especially when she throws you that smile.  Well in two weeks I will see her again when we fly to Dallas for her baptismal.  That  will give me another week of  a Zoey encounter of the poppie kind!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cape Cod Railroad Bridge at Buzzards Bay

I love anything that has to do with a railroad.  There is something magical about trains and rails.  As a child I used to runaway to the local railroad station and be enchanted by the sights, sounds and smells of the railroad yard.  At  that time it was steam trains with massive  locomotives huffing and puffing. That gives away my age however, it is a sight that my children Chris and Matt and now my grandaughter Zoey will never expereince unless they visit a train museum.  So on this photo shoot I wanted to concentrate of this railroad bridge built in 1933. The bridge has a 544-foot  main span, with a 135-foot clearance when raised  It was a rail connection between Cape Cod and the rest of Massachusetts spanning the Cape Cod Canal.  It is still operational today by the  Cape Cod Railway  running narrated train excursions  from Hyannis to Buzzards Bay with an Elegant Dinner Train running on weekends.

Tower Detail Cape Cod Railroad Bridge
 I wanted to capture the bridge not just as a bridge rather as a work of art.  Look at the girder crossbeams and the patterns they make in this architectual style. The top towers have intricate patterns of geometric design sometimes looking rather gothic.   It  is a marvelous work of art designed by a engineering firm at the time located in New York.  What stories the ironworkers must have collected working on this bridge during those two years of construction.  This was a Public Works Administration project so many of these ironworkers were probably in their glory since work was not plentiful during that period.  The Great Depression was still lingering.  Imagine the workers on those dizzy heights constructing this bridge girder by girder with tools that today would seem somewhat primative; however 70+ years later here it stands in all its glory. 

Cape Cod Railroad Bridge Spanning the Cape Cod Canal
 In 2002 the bridge went through a major rehab to include new cables, machinery and electrical systems.  Chances are that it will still be here 70+ years from now.   It will be an iconic symbol of engineering and art as well as a tribute to the ironworkers that walked the  high girders at a time when riding the rails was the ultimate mode of transportation on a magic carpet made of steel!

Time to Get Back into the Swing of Things

Well it has been a while since I have posted.  Two things I have neglected my camera and my blog.  No good excuse yes I could say I have been too busy or involved with other issues but let's be realistic it is a bunch of excuses.I did make an attempt a week before but I disliked every photo I took.  Like playing the piano if you don't shoot consistently your end product sucks.  I  have seen the difference as I sit in my Photoshop Elements program and view what I have taken.    So last Saturday I decided to hit the road an go take some photos and get back into the swing of things.  So off we went to the Cape Cod Canal down in Buzzards Bay it was a beauty of  a day.  We went to the beginning of the Cape Cod Canal where the Cape Cod Railroad is located and I decided to devote my shooting session to the railroad bridge and the rail station.  I did shoot over 100 frames a good start and kept about 18 shots.  Well it's a start; however, if I am to get good at this I need to shoot more 200-300 frames on a weekend is not out of range.  I just need to make that commitment.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Old Glory on Display

Yesterday morning I receive the news that Ossama Bin Liden has been killed.  I remember the morning of September 11th 2001 I was leaving the parking lot after dropping off my dry cleaning.  Viv my wife calls me on my cell phone and informs me that planes have flown into the Twin Towers in NYC.  An accident I ask no she says we are under attack.  Stunned I tune the radio and head to Brockton where I am to meet one of my sales representatives.  The news gets worse as I pull into the Holiday Inn parking lot and inside I meet Bob.  We are both glued to the TV set in the dining room watching in horror as the first tower falls.  One of the waitstaff is crying we find out she has relatives in that part of the city and can't get a hold of them.  We watch the second tower fall.  Again we are numb trying to rationalize that we are watching  a fictional action movie not something happening live.  I leave a message for all my sales representatives go home get with your families.  Bob and I part company and head home numb, weak in the knees and close to tears.  I will never forget that day and the many souls that would not see September 12th!  How did I feel when I heard they killed the mastermind of all this - relieved with a sense of closure.  One less "Bad Boy" that wants to hurt people that don't think or act like he wants them to.  Pride in our military that have given over ten years of duty and sacrifice so we could sleep well at night. go to work, go to a movie or out to dinner without worrying if it would be our last act.  We owe those men and women so much!  I also saw Old Glory flying again on front porches and displayed on buildings such as this one. In one town someone had  taken two small flags taped them to a telephone pole with a sign that said "Thank You Navy Seals" Some commentaries I read later in the day were critical that we as a country took a human life, that we cheered and shouted USA USA.  I feel sorry for those that think that way.  There is a basic good in this USA we are not perfect but then again who is.  Yet we are the last remaining beacon of democracy with a belief that you have a good shot at life liberty and the pursuit not the guarantee of happiness.  Those victims of 9/11 deserve to hear our cries of USA USA because in return we are claiming that we have not forgotten them and we never will.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring is Here
The view from Mill Pond right near where we currently reside in Westborough.  Ice was still coming off the pond as you can see in the distance.  I prefer the black and white version of this capture since it captures the mood - yes spring is coming but winter's grip is still evident.  The light and warmth of spring will eventually overpower the dismal white and greys of winter for another year. 


On March 3rd 2011 I became a first time grandfather.  Zoey Jean Kapusta made her grand entrance at 5:33PM at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas TX.  I arrived the next day to meet my granddaughter.  I can say that all the typical stereotypes about being a grandfather had run through my mind these many months.  A vision of "gramps" sitting on the porch in a rocker was one of them.  When I held Zoey in my arms for the first time let me say that those stereotypical feelings were gone in a flash.  I developed an instant bond to Zoey something that went deeper than just being a new grandfather, rather a connection to our entire family -  Here is one of the first photos of Zoey on her first day home.