Weekly Photo Challenge – Names

I’ve been feeling very nostalgic recently. I’m not sure if it’s because of the holidays or my approaching birthday, but I’ve been going through old pictures and reminiscing.

When I was born, I was the first grandchild on my Father’s side. My Grandmother had two boys and was over-joyed for a granddaughter. When my Parents were deciding on my name, my Grandmother said “I always wanted a Little Renee.”  So…”Renee” it was.

After my Grandparent’s passed away, I inherited several photo albums and cardboard boxes filled with photos. Some of the photos date back to the early 1900’s and most of the pictures are meticulously labeled with family member’s names, dates, and locations.

I’ve framed many of the photos and I look at them often. In addition to photos of family members, my Grandparents took many beautiful landscape shots. They loved the colors of the changing leaves in their hometown of Johnstown, Pa. I have many vintage photos of the fall foliage of Western Pennsylvania.

Since I discovered photography later in life, I didn’t get to share my hobby with my Grandparents. I think they would have enjoyed looking at my photos and sharing this passion with me. Not just because I was “Little Renee,” but because they were also photographers at heart.


Dragonfly or Damselfly? It’s all in the Details!

Dragonfly or Damselfly? It’s all in the details!

I love photographing dragonflies. Their delicate beauty attracts me, and they pose so well for the camera. They flutter by and then nicely perch on a branch or leaf awaiting their moment to ‘say cheese.’

While perusing my many ‘dragonfly’ photos, I started to notice slight differences in their appearance. After some research, I learned that all brightly colored, bug-eyed, skinny flying insects aren’t dragonflies…some are damselflies…and the difference is in the details.

Dragonflies have eyes that touch, stocky bodies, and dissimilar front and back wing pairs. When at rest, as in the picture below, their wings are open, horizontal, and downward.


Damselflies have eyes that are separated, their bodies are long and slender, and their wings are similar in size. When damselflies are at rest, as in the picture below, their wings are held close together and perched straight above their abdomen.


Check out the site below for more information on dragonflies and damselflies.



Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

This is a photo taken at the reflection pool beneath the Portal Bridge at Point State Park in Pittsburgh, Pa. The pool is wide with a pedestrian bridge spanning the middle. The water is only a few inches deep and it artfully reflects the city lights and park scenery. http://pghbridges.com/pittsburghW/0584-4477/portal.htm

The building’s eerie reflection, the sharp architectural lines and angles, and the mysterious color pallet all turn something ‘concrete and familiar’ into something beautifully abstract.





Weekly Photo Challenge – Harmony

Weekly Photo Challenge – Harmony

From early childhood piano lessons to years spent directing the church choir, music has always been part of my life. Music notes, lyrics, and tempos flow through my veins. I’ve passed this trait on to my children and each one has a special gift for music. Music is a huge part of our family and my second child is even pursuing music as a career.

When all of the musical stars align…harmony is the result. But if one note is off-key, the sound can be cringe-worthy. The same can be said for our relationships and families. Recently, my family’s harmony has been off-key. A string of unfortunate events has lead to tension and I’ve been trying to get us back on track. I see progress and I know we will be fine…and stronger!

Missing a few notes and starting the whole song over only makes you a better musician. Weathering the storms and finding your family’s harmony again only makes you a better family.