Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Last Correspondent Book Review

The Last Correspondent is a work of historical fiction written by Soraya M Lane.  It takes place during World War II just prior, during and after the invasion of Normandy.  The scenes are set in London and France during the war.  

This story is about three woman who fight to use their careers to tell their story in a man's world.  They show a tremendous amount of courage, grit and determination in order to get the story told.  This then is the story of a war correspondent, a photographer and a model.

I found this book to be a real page turner.  In fact after I was about half way through the book, I couldn't put it down till I read the whole book.  It is one of those books where the author does such a good job of making the characters believable that I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

The Three Women

  • Danni-  Danni is a seasoned photographer, who has photographed the war on several different fronts.  As the days close in on the Normandy invasion she finds herself in London.   Only the  men are allowed to get passes to cover the war during the invasion, but Danni is determined to find a way to get to the action.  She has teamed up with a correspondent, Andy, who has been with her during her last several assignments.  They have become good friends and cover each others backs.  Danni enlists Andy to help her sneak aboard a medical ship that is sailing toward Normandy.
  • Ella-  Ella is a reporter who has written stories  under a man's pen name in order to get her works published.  When she is found out, her publisher fires her.  She finds a job with a magazine reporting on the war from a women's point of view.  She interviews women working on the war effort and the magazine is so pleased with her work that they send her to London to report on the war.  Like Danni, Ella also finds she is limited in her access because she is a woman.  Ella goes by herself to try to find a way to the action and find herself on the same medical ship as Dani and Andy.  After a rough night hiding on board they decide to team up as they make their way to shore.
  • Chloe-  Chloe is Andy's sister who was a Vogue model prior to the war.  When she was in Paris on a modeling job she met Gabriel, an editor, whom she fell in love.  At the beginning of the story Chloe is at her home in England, longing to find a way to be with Gabriel in Paris.  She says she is a showgirl in order to make her way into Nazi occupied Paris.


The Men in Their Lives

  • Cameron- Cameron is a Lieutenant that Danni first meets and has a conflict with when she is covering the war in Sicily.  She meets up with him again in a bar in London and then in Normandy.  They have a real love/hate relationship.
  • Andy- Andy is a war correspondent and best friend to Danni.  They have been together on several war zones and he always has her back when she is pushing the envelope.
  • Gabriel-  Gabriel is Chloe's lover and she sneaks in to Paris to be with him, only to find out the it is very pre-occupied working for the resistance.  
  • Michael - Michael is also a war correspondent and Ella first meets him at the bar at the Savoy in London.  This is a meeting place for many of the correspondents and photographers.  She next meets up with him in Normandy.

Recommendation

If you are a lover of historical fiction this is a wonderful  read.  It is full of history, women's fight to be treated as equals, and just a bit of romance.  A great read all around.  I highly recommend it.




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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Fall is in the Air - A Review of 2020 Fall Favorites

 

Fall 2020
Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the chilly nights, the cool and crisp days, and the wonderful array of colors in nature.  Fall is the time for apples and carmels, sausage and sauerkraut, colorful mums, and fall festivals.  Fall is also the time for candy corn, Halloween, jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pie and of course Thanksgiving.  

Fall is also a wonderful time for photography.  The sun is not quite as intense and therefore the lighting is better for daytime photographs.  I love to wander in neighborhood parks and on trails and I always bring along my camera.  On this page I will review with you some of my favorite things from the fall of 2020.

Parks and Sculptures

This year in my town of , O'Fallon Missouri, we have ten sculptures on loan and displayed around town in various parks.  On my first fall outing, I visited three of our parks to photograph the sculptures.  It was late September and a little early for full fall color in Missouri, but I was pleased to catch a glimpse of color as I took my photos.

     Westoff Park

In this park I photographed a sculpture called Zig  Zag Zugguret by Michael Quintero.  I was also able to capture some pretty colors on the hillside.



     Dames Park

In Dames Park I photographed my favorite sculpture Solitude of the Journey by Jeremy Colbert.  I felt that whole photograph had a fall feel to it from the beautiful fall grasses surrounding theFh sculpture to the expressive clouds in the fall sky.

     Civic Park

My last stop on this outing was to photograph Blue Rail by David Lobel.  It was an interesting sculpture and I also photographed some of the colorful purple mums that were nearby.



Fall  Foods



In the fall I seem to have a renewed interest in cooking and baking.  I love baking apple muffins and pumpkin bread.  I especially like making anything with apples.  I made an apple cake last week and apple pie is always a favorite with my husband.  One of my favorite apple delights is homemade applesauce.  I love the smell of apples cooking on the stove.  My recipe is quite simple.  I just peel, core and cut the apples in chunks and then add them to a pot and cover them about 2/3 of the way with water.  I add some cinnamon and put them on the stove to simmer.  It only takes about 15-20 minutes and they are so good.  Can't you just smell them cooking in the photo below?

Another favorite is microwave apple crisp.  It is delicious and so easy to make.  See the recipe on the Zazzle magnet below.

Fall Decorations

I love to decorate my home for fall.  I usually put up my decorations in the first week of September and take them down after Thanksgiving.  My decorations are fairly simple, just a few colorful leaves and some pumpkins that I purchased at the local craft store.   The two special items that I have are the mini quilt on the entrance table that a friend made for me and the photograph on the mantle.  It is a photo that I took of a lighthouse in Minnesota during the fall and I was able to capture the fall leaves in the framing of the photo.  I had it printed on canvas and it sits on my mantle in the fall.  Here are a few photos of my decorations.

Front Door Wreath



Fall Zazzle Products from my Photographs




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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Visit Missouri-Fort Zumwalt Park


We have several parks in our area, but my favorite is Fort Zumwalt Park.  This 48 acre park is both scenic and historic.  It has a wonderful 3.5 acre lake and lots of trails and paths to enjoy nature.


Newly Renovated

The lake named Lake Wetsel, after a board member that championed the lake, was completely dredged during 2019.  At that time several small bridges and a walking path were added.  This makes it a wonderful place to take a stroll or go for a more energetic walk.




Historic Features


I love seeing the fort each time I go to the park.  It is a wonderful recreation of a log cabin from the late 1700's.  Here is a quote about the Zumwalt home from the O'Fallon city website.   https://www.ofallon.mo.us/fort-zumwalt-park
"It’s hard to imagine the O’Fallon area as the leading edge of the American frontier. But in 1799, when Daniel Boone and his family settled just a few miles away, the area was a wilderness in which Native Americans hunted, fished and trapped game.
At about the same time that Daniel Boone arrived, Jacob Zumwalt and his extended family settled in the O’Fallon area circa 1798, building a large log home. A few years later, when the War of 1812 set off deadly guerilla raids with Native Americans ambushing and killing American settlers, local families fled to the shelter provided by the Zumwalt’s home, which is said to have been fortified with a stockade fence.  A spring, which is now Lake Whetsel, supplied water.
Zumwalt’s Fort, as the fortified house came to be called, was one of 35-plus “settler forts” that once stood in Missouri. Boone’s Fort at present-day Matson, Missouri, was the largest.
The reconstructed Zumwalt’s Fort opened in 2015 as a gift to the City from the O’Fallon Community Foundation. It is the only rebuilt War of 1812 settler fort in the state.
Interpretive signs at the site provide structural details and information about the people who lived here in the days when the O’Fallon area was part of the American frontier."

Another historic house in the park is the Heald house.  It is a large brick home built near the fort on a hill called "Stony Point" .  It was first built in 1884 and was renovated by the City of O'Fallon in 2001.  I love taking photos of the flowers around the house.



Wildlife

Wildlife abounds in the park both in the woods surrounding the lake and in the lake itself.  I particularly like watching the colorful ducks in the lake.




















Here is an Iris I photographed along the lake.

Other Activities at the Park

The park features many other attractions and special events.  Here are a few of the most popular.
  • Picnic Areas
  • Pavilion for Group Gatherings
  • Large Playground
  • 18 Hole Disc Golf Course- this scenic 18 hole course winds it way through the park.  The course is free for open play and scorecards are available near the first tee.
  • Celebration of Lights- each December the park hosts a annual celebration of lights.  This celebration features a drive-through display of seasonal lights.  It also has nights set aside for a walking tour and some nights there are carriage rides available.
  • Founders Day Celebration-The park hosts this celebration in May with live blue-grass music, hands on activities and heritage demonstrations.
  • The Park is the host for The St. Charles Model Railroad Club.

Photo Shoot

I love to do photo shoots with my granddaughters and the park is the perfect place to take their photos.  Here are a few from their recent visit.






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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Visit Missouri-Klondike Park St. Charles County

Klondike Park Meeting Facility

On a recent beautiful June afternoon,  my friend and I ventured out into Missouri Wine Country.  After a wonderful lunch at a winery overlooking the Missouri River Valley, we stopped at Klondike park for a bit of hiking and photography.

Location of Park

Klondike park is located in St. Charles county just 14 miles south of the 40/94 interchange.  It is a wonderful location with over 250 acres nestled in the middle of Missouri Wine Country.

Boat Ramp

As we left the winery we took the first exit we saw for the park and found that this exit really just led to the boat ramp with access to the Missouri river and not into the park itself.  We decided to get out for a few minutes to photograph the river from this vantage point.

There is a power plant in this area and from the boat ramp we got a good view of the power plant across the river.
We had really wanted the main entrance to the park so we got back in the car and went down hwy 94 for about 1/4 of a mile and we came to the main entrance.

Features of Klondike Park

The park has a modern meeting facility (pictured at the beginning of this page) that is perfect for both family and business meetings.

One of the key features of the park is the beautiful bluffs overlooking the Missouri River valley.  There is a paved path that you can hike to the top of the bluffs for some scenic views of the area.

Hiking and Biking Trails

There are more than 4 miles of natural and paved trails for hiking and biking.  The trail pictured above is one that we took to go down to the river.  It was an unpaved path that went down a rather steep hill before it crossed the Katy Trail and eventually ended up at the river.

Katy Trail

The Katy Trail is a 237 mile hiking and biking trail that goes across most of Missouri.  Over half of the trail follows the path that explorers Lewis and Clark took along the Missouri River.

Camping at Klondike Park

If you are looking for a place to stay, Klondike park offers camping facilities including, 6 rustic cabins, 43 campsites, restrooms and showers.

Other facilities include:
  • Picnic shelters
  • Playgrounds for children
  • Large lake that is fully stocked

Unique Birding/Wildlife Area

We found there were numerous opportunities to take photographs.  There were many fields with wildflowers and birds.

Image from Klondike Park

Here is a canvas I found on Amazon which depicts a scene from Klondike Park.  Klondike Park is just north of Augusta, Missouri.

Here is a book with information on day hiking trips in Missouri.




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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review of Spring Photography

Lilacs in the Springtime

Spring is such a wonderful time for photography.  Flowers are blooming everywhere including my own backyard.  I love to go for walks in the neighborhood each day and see what new flowers and flowering trees and bushes are blooming on that day.  In the area of the country I live ,  midwest USA, the beauty begins to unfold in mid March.  From that time and for the next 2-3 months there are new delights to find each day!  On this page I will share with you, through my photography,  some of my favorite springtime flowers.


Early Bloomers

Tulips are one of my favorite early spring flowers.  There are different types of tulips that will start blooming in our area throughout April and May.  The photographs taken below were captured during the first week of April.

This next photo was taken in late April.  This tulip is fully opened and still beautiful.

Zazzle Cards from my Tulip Photos

I love creating cards to send to friends and family from my photographs.  Here are a couple I made on Zazzle.

Yellow Tulip
Yellow Tulip
by mbgphoto

Flowering Trees and Bushes

In the springtime flowering bushes and trees are a wonderful sight to behold.  I particularly like the Lilac bush as seen in the photo at the beginning of this article.  In addition to being beautiful they have a very fragrant smell and I love cutting some off my lilac bush and bringing them in to my house. They make the whole house smell good.

The red bud tree is another beauty of springtime.  In the spring you can see them all over the hillsides in our part of the country.  Here is a photo of one that I took at a park near our home.

One of my favorite trees is the dogwood tree.  They can be found in both pink and white flowers.  Here is a photo of each.

Later Spring Flowers

Once spring is well under way, in late April or May, the Iris's start to bloom.  They are such beautiful and stately flowers.  I love to photograph them.  This first  photo is an Iris from my friend's garden.
I really like the two toned colors.  Here is another two toned Iris, this one was taken on a walk I took at the Missouri Extension garden.
A solid white Iris can be quite striking.  Here is one taken at Missouri Extension garden.

Wildflowers in the Spring

Spring is a wonderful time for wild flowers.  You can see many of these native plants along the sides of roads, in parks and in some peoples gardens.  Here are a few that I found beautiful.






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Friday, April 3, 2020

Teton Trek at the Memphis Zoo Review

The Teton Trek

I absolutely love zoos!  My all time favorite zoo is in Memphis, TN.  They have been improving and adding new additions to the Memphis Zoo for years.  Every time I go, it is like a new adventure.

The Teton Trek opened on Oct. 2, 2009.  Needless to say, I was thrilled when my husband took me to Memphis the very first week it was open
for my birthday.  

The Memphis Zoo really outdid itself with this gorgeous exhibit.  The Teton Trek is stunning!   Not only is the lodge beautiful, but the Grizzly Bear and the Grey Wolves are delightful and mesmerizing to watch.

I wish they had rooms in the lodge to rent.  I would move in today!



The Teton Trek Lodge at the Memphis Zoo


Early on this beautiful, glorious day, I donned my new black Keds tennis shoes, jeans and blouse that my daughter gave me for my birthday, grabbed my new camera which was a birthday gift from my son, snatched my sunglasses and jumped in the car for our new zoo adventure.


Let me tell you, this place was breathtaking! The entrance to Teton Trek is through this huge lodge. The entire area is surrounded by magnificent trees and there is a water fountain in front of the lodge were several people were wading.


This is the perfect setting for Grizzly Bears and Grey Wolves. I was so excited to see the animals, that I practically ran through the lodge when we first got there, but I did go back in hours later to explore. The picture on the right is actually the last picture I took that day at Teton Trek.

Even now, I find myself wanting to skip over writing about the gorgeous lodge and get right to the animals on exhibit, but I will try to contain myself long enough to describe the inside of the lodge.

It is a two level structure with second level decks on both the front and the back of the building where chairs have been placed so you can sit and watch the animals from afar. There were a lot of Moms with their small children on the deck facing the Bear exhibit. I didn't blame them. It is a nice, shaded area out of harms way where they can rest and watch both the children and the animals at the same time.

Downstairs, there are tables and chairs sitting around the vast, open area. This would make a great meeting room or party area. There are also indoor restrooms in this lodge. A necessity when you spend the whole day hangin' with the Grizzly Bear.



Grizzly Bear Habitat in the Teton Trek


WOW!!!

Step outside the lodge and the first thing you see is an expansive enclosure with a beautiful waterfall.  The entire area has been designed to replicate a wilderness most of us would not traverse without a ton of provisions.




The Teton Trek Path

The entire Bear exhibit area is surrounded by a paved walking path. On the outer side of the path, are additional animal exhibits. Since we were there the first week, some of the animals, like the elk, had not arrived so their new homes set empty, ready and waiting for their future inhabitants.

The Trumpeter Swan and the Crane were already in residence by their pond. There were also a few ducks and a lot of area birds filled the trees.






Gray Wolves on Amazing Wild Animals
See More Photos, plus read Grey Wolf Facts on AmazingWildAnimals.com

Grey Wolves in the Teton Trek


I have always loved wolves. They have such an intelligent look and they often seem to be trying to communicate something. 

The Grey Wolves at the Memphis Zoo appeared to be like playful dogs. 

One was busy tearing up the new square of sod while two others were busy fighting over a stick.  But I was not fooled.  They knew we were there.  They're just not as interested in us as we are of them. 

Take a look at my pictures and tell me they weren't posing for the camera.

Grey Wolf Ripping up Sod
Two Wolves Playing
Beautiful Grey Wolf


Grizzly Bear in the Teton Trek


Baby Grizzly Bears at the Memphis Zoo (2009)
These are the little guys I had to see and they were definitely worth the trip!

There are currently three Grizzly Bears in Teton Trek.  


When they first arrived (2009) they were babies and were absolutely adorable.  I knew that even the babies would be dangerous up close, but I found them captivating.  Like all babies, they were sleeping when we first entered the Teton Trek, so we waited. When they woke up, they were ready to play.  They ran back and forth across the enclosure at a shocking speed.

They chased each other.  They swam.  They slapped, splashed, snorted and roared their way into the hearts of everyone present.


We were all completely enraptured with their every move.

The Game of Chase
Searching for Fun
Swimming Together

One Sad Thing


This was such an excellent day!  Very little could have rained on my birthday trip parade.

However, when we got back home and I had a chance to upload the hours of video that I took of those precious grizzly bear babies, I made a sickening discovery.  My brand new video camera records when the light is red.  I thought is was recording when the light was green, thus all I video taped were my feet walking on the pretty walkway.

Dang!  I guess that means we just have to load up the car and go back to Memphis to video record those grizzlies.

One good thing I discovered:  My video camera makes great still shots.



The Babies Have Grown Up
And, I have been back!


Adult Grizzly Bear
Adult Grey Wolves
Still Enjoying the Limelight







Read More about the Memphis Zoo

  • The Memphis Zoo Review
    The Memphis Zoo is one of the best zoos in the United States, actually in the world. Outstanding habitats for animals with safe viewing for visitors...



The Photos in this article are the Exclusive Property of ©Sylvestermouse.
Please Do Not Copy, Reproduce or Use the Photos without the written permission of Sylvestermouse Cynthia.

Many of the photos are available for purchase at Zazzle.com if you would like to own a legal copy.

The Photos by Sylvestermouse Available for Purchase at Zazzle.com



 
Thank you for stopping by!
Do Come Back and See Me Again!




© 2009 Cynthia Sylvestermouse - This Article was originally published on a website that has closed.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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