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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Monthly Theme: Nature

Weekly Content: Photography

Photo courtesy of Roisin Byrne. http://www.redbubble.com/people/roisinbyrne

For Baby…

We can all appreciate the beauty of the fall, but watching the leaves change colors is especially magical for children.  Maybe it’s just nostalgia for my own childhood, but running through a pile of crisp leaves just seems to be as good as it gets!  I love this photo because of its unique perspective – it reminds me of how big the tree must seem to a little one standing underneath. You may want to teach baby the signs for tree and leaves. My little guy loves to use them because they just make sense. To sign tree, hold one of your elbows with your opposite hand and point your free hand up so that your arm looks like the trunk of a tree and your hand looks like the branches. Twist your hand back and forth so that it seems like the branches are blowing in the wind. To sign leaf, use one hand as the actual leaf and use your pointer finger on your opposite hand as the stem, pointing to the heel of your hand. Wiggle your fingers like the leaf is falling to the ground. (Side note: I am not a ASL expert so these signs may be slightly incorrect. However, they still work really well to communicate with baby!)

For Mommy…

Need to get the baby tunes out of your head? Here’s a verse from my favorite song for the season:

“Moondance” by Van Morrison

Well it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
You know the night’s magic
Seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight
Seems to shine in your blush…

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Monthly Theme: Nature

Weekly Content: Photography

Photo by Ami Vitale.

Copyright photo courtesy of Ami Vitale. http://www.amivitale.com

For Baby…

This was the first photo my son and I approached on a recent visit to Cooper-Hewitt’s exhibit, “Design for a Living World.” (By the way, this will definitely be the culminating event for this week as the museum is also hosting a Fall event for families this weekend.) “Flowers?” my son asked. “Idaho?” I replied. I guess I was just struck by the natural beauty of this state that, frankly, I know nothing about. After I got over my initial shock, my little one and I talked about the tall mountains in the background as well as the pretty blue sky, white clouds, and purple flowers. After staring at this photo with baby, you may feel like jumping in and running through the tall grass!

For Mommy…

Ami Vitale’s work has taught me a lot about the power of photojournalism. It may sound obvious, but what I’ve discovered is that the work of the photojournalist is to literally take the viewer on a journey. What an incredibly difficult task this must be using only one still image! The above photo captures the fresh, open feeling of what it must be like to stand in the middle of Lava Lake Ranch in Hailey, Idaho. Just like Monet’s water lilies, I can almost feel the breeze running through the tall grass. I can tell the clouds are quickly moving over the mountains and can almost feel the alternating warmth of the sun and chill of the shade as they make their way across the sky.  To learn more about this ranch as well as to view some more breathtaking photos, take a peek at the Nature Conservancy website.


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On Cloud 9

Monthly Theme: Nature

Weekly Content: Photography

Photo courtesy of Roisin Byrne. http://www.redbubble.com/people/roisinbyrne

For Baby…

For the first time today, my son pointed to the sky and correctly identified a plane (I think he’d been confusing planes and birds a bit up until this point). It seems he’s really into any mode of transportation these days! Can you imagine, though, how incredible it must be to see and hear a plane go through the sky for the first time.  This beautiful photo was taken from a plane above Boston. How incredible to see the clouds from the other side. Who knows, maybe baby will be able to understand that this photo is taken from a plane flying in the sky. Hey, even if he/she doesn’t, it gives you something to talk about! Take a peak at the recent NY Times article, “From Birth, Engage Your Child With Talk.”

For Mommy…

Why do we take photos? Is it to remember? Is it to appreciate? Is it to communicate? Although I am certainly no expert on the art of photography, one thing I do know for sure is the power of a photo to transport the viewer to another time or place.  Whether it’s a personal photo or an image from national geographic, there’s something really powerful about being able to observe a split moment in time through the eyes of the photographer.



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9/11/09 Mamas Never Forget


Photograph by Jerry Salamone salamone@frontiernet.net Taken April 14, 2001, Sunset. Source:  Jan Knepper

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — 
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things. 

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver 
published by Atlantic Monthly Press
© Mary Oliver Source: Soft Animal: The Poetry of Mary Oliver

 

For Baby…

Our babies are too small, and will be for quite some time, to truly comprehend the significance of this day. It is our job, however, to learn how to talk to them about this very painful imprint on our nation’s memory. You may want to show baby this beautiful photo of the twin towers and start a conversation about the importance of the day. Here are some suggestions of how to start: “Today is a day that mommies and daddies hold their babies very tight. It’s a day that we remember the heroes in our world that work hard to keep us safe. It’s a day that we appreciate all the little moments in our life that sometimes go unnoticed. It’s a day we all take a pause in our busy lives to remember how delicate life is and how lucky we are to share it together.” Depending on your baby’s age, this is definitely a more sophisticated version of what your “conversation” may sound like. I showed this photo to my 1 year old son and he was interested in the “wawa” and thought that maybe a “boat” would come floating by. His words just made my heart sing, and all I could say to him was, “I love you.”

For Mommy…

Our hearts break when we remember all the mommies and daddies, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends and co-workers who lost their lives on 9/11. There is such a range of emotions that we feel on this day. We feel helpless that nothing can be done to bring back those we have lost, angry that something so horrific could have happened in our nation, and guilty that, to a certain degree, we have moved on and lived our lives such as we did before September 11, 2001. This year, as I listened to Vice President Biden read the above poem by Mary Oliver to mark the 8th anniversary of September 11th, her words “the world goes on” really stayed with me. Even on this very day, many ordinary events are happening: some children are starting their first day of school, people are celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, babies are being born, and, last and definitely least, some movies have just been released in theaters. What can we do then in our own lives to remember this tragedy on its anniversary and throughout the year? I think the answer may lie in the beginning of Oliver’s poem: “You only have to let the small animal of your body love what it loves.”  Because, really, in this crazy world, love is all we have and it’s truly the only thing we can leave behind once we’re gone. 


 

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