About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Avocados, Peach Pie & Croghan Bologna for breakfast

Two of my favorite foods are avocados and Croghan bologna. Add some peach pie and I had a great breakfast. The pie was made by my sister S. She used peaches picked at an orchard in Pennsylvania. (On a recent visit she brought us a peck of those peaches.)

Breakfast of this champion consisted of  Peach Pie, Croghan Bologna (JalapeƱo& cheddar cheese version) and sliced avocado. 

The recipe for the pie came from the Peach Truck Kitchen web site. Croghan bologna is a local, northern New York delicacy. It has been made in Croghan NY since 1888. However, the bologna in this photo is their NEW version. It is the exact same recipe as the original but has JalapeƱos & cheddar cheese added to it. It's delicious.  Avocados are avocados. You like them or you don't. I buy mine from Sam's Club. Generally there are 5 or sometimes 6 in a bag for about $5.00.

We used a premade crust for the pie and lost track the time while it was in the oven so it overcooked & burned the edge of the crust. BUT, it was still great. I urge everyone to try the recipe.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Rhodes Greenhouse a camp fire and Moon photo made with Sony a6000

We had a nice day in northern New York. It was sunny and mild. After working on a project in the garage the Better Half nd I took a drive to Rhodes Greenhouses in Henderson, NY. They have an abundance of plants for home and garden. Over the years I have frequented various garden / greenhouse centers in the north country. Rhodes' plants always seem to be superior to me. They are lush and robust. Why they seem better to me than their competitors I can't really say.

Rhodes Greenhouses in Henderson, NY. Their vegetable and flower plants are lush and robust. They have a large selection too. iPhone 6 photo by Gary Walts

From there we went up to visit my mother t the Hospice care facility in Watertown. We spent the evening with  her daughter H's family in Brownville. We sat around a fire in their backyard, drank a couple of beers and had a most pleasant time. 

Video is a slowmotion clip of the campfire.

When we arrived back home about 11:00pm I snapped a quick sot of the moon over our house. I used a Sony a6000 camera with a Minolta 300mm f4 AF lens.

Moon photo shot with Sony a6000 and a Minolta 300mm f4 AF lens.   photo by Gary Walts

Monday, May 14, 2018

Notes from recent visit to my Mother in Hospice Care

My mother has been in Hospice care for a few months now. She is not at home, but being cared for at their facility near Thompson Park in Watertown, NY. My brothers and I never thought she would survive this long. I believe it was September or October when she became a resident. at first my visits to see her were to entertain her and help her escape the monotony of being bed ridden. We would converse and some times play word quiz games. She was able to help feed herself handheld foods such as sandwiches. She could hold onto beverages. Those days are over. She goes days and days without speaking, eating very little, and rarely opening her eyes.

My mother holds a cookie in December 2017. By now she was becoming less able to feed herself. 

A couple days ago she spoke and interacted with me for the first time in about two weeks. She isn't always lucid. On this day her eyes were open. She began speaking to me as if I were a toddler, cooing and baby talking to me. Several times she invited me to sit on her lap.

I ask her what she is thinking about: "Nothing, just enjoying the noise."

"We need to get a group and have a party," she says.

I asked her if she was hungry. "Yes, but I don't know what t have."
I'll go check what is for lunch.

She ate an entire bowl of chili and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. With her first bite of chili she remarked, "That's good."
Haven't seen or herd anything like that from her in a long time.

" Have you had enough to eat?" I asked her. "More than enough." she says.

Out of the blue, with no context she says, "Two of them are my boys. They are good boys too. Their father was awful nice to them."

After I say goodbye she said, "It was nice spending time with you."

After weeks of basically to interaction with her, this was really something.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Along The River's Edge annual art show, Clayton, NY

For quite a number of years now the Thousand Islands Art Center has a juried art show called Along The River's Edge. I usually submit couple of entries. The following photos are my entries for this year (2018).

This is condensation on the plastic lid of a coffee cup.   iPhone6 photo by Gary Walts

Porch of a house in Cape Vincent NY looking out onto the St. Lawrence River in April. iPhone 6 photo by Gary Walts

I snapped both of these photos with an iPhone 6 and filtered them with Instagram. I find the results nothing short of amazing.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Photos of a mother fox (vixen) & her babies - (kits, pups, cubs)

It is April in northern New York and for the most part it's been lousy weather. A couple of days ago the sun came out and the temperature hit60 degrees son the Better Half and I took a drive down to the lake. We spotted a mother fox and her babies that evidently are living beneath the porch of a lakeside cottage. The creatures were lounging in the sun.

The lake is Lake Ontario. The photos were taken at Wilson's Bay in Cape Vincent NY which is a favorite swimming place of ours.  
Foxes are dogs, according to a google search of the subject.  A females fox is called a Vixen. The young are called pups, kits, or cubs. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Coconut Cream Pie & avocados for breakfast

Awoke to another miserable April morning here in northern NY.It was snowing. Yesterday snowed and rained. The basement of our home in Chaumont is wet, wet, wet. The sump pump was barely keeping up with the rain flowing in. On a different note I had a great piece of pie and some avocado for breakfast, along with some coffee. It was a coconut cream pie made from scratch by The Better Half for my birthday. It is my favorite pie and the one she makes is about the best I've ever eaten. Other lovers of coconut cream pie that have tried hers agree, it's the best. I also hade some avocados just perfectly ripe for slicing and eating. This afternoon I have guitar lessons at North Country Music in Watertown.

Coconut cream pie and sliced avocado breakfast. iPhone 6 photo by Gary Walts 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Adirondack chairs in the snow at Frink Park, Clayton NY

It has been a long Winter here in northern New York. I snapped the photo presented here back on December 20, 2017. The Adirondack chairs are at Frink Park in Clayton, NY, a village on the St. Lawrence River. I took the photo with a Sony a6000 camera and a Minolta 200mm f2.8 lens. I used the Sony LA-EA4 adapter to mount the lens on the camera.

Adirondack chairs in snow at Frink Park, Clayton, NY on the St. Lawrence River. 
Sony a6000 camera, Minolta 200mm f2.8 lens.  Photo by Gary Walts

Now it is spring and our region is experiencing some of the worst April weather that I can recall.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Amazing detail in photo made with Sony a6000 & Minolta 200mm f2.8 AF lens

I snapped a water drop falling from an icecicle with a Sony a6000 camera fitted with a Minolta 200mm f2.8 lens. I used the Sony LA-EA4 adapter to mount the lens to the camera. The first photo is full frame. I cropped the the 2nd photo and inserted a detail of the water drop t she the amazing amount of detail in the image.  You can see an inverted image of a tall pine tree in the water drop. 

Water drop falling from an icecicle in backyard of my home in Chaumont, NY.
 Photo by Gary Walts made with Sony a6000 & Minolta 200mm f2.8 AF lens.

Detail of water drop falling from an icecicle revealing a reflection of tree in the droplet. Photo by Gary Walts made with Sony a6000 & Minolta 200mm f2.8 AF lens.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sunset photo with Sony a6000 and Minolta 500mm AF reflex lens

This is a sunset photo I made with a Sony a6000 and Minolta 500mm AF reflex lens. I used the Sony LA-EA4 lens adapter to attach the 500mm lens to the camera. The adapter permits the auto focus to work. Auto focus did not work with earlier adapters.
Sunset in Dexter, NY. Made wit Sony a600 & Minolta 500mm f8 reflex lens.             photo by & copyright Gary Walts
I snapped the photo in Dexter, NY.

Here is the same photo on Instagram after filtering and editing it.
Another sunset photo made with the a6000 & Minolta 500mm lens.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

My guitarist ad for Wedding Musicians in Northern NY

Here is my latest ad for wedding guitarists in northern New York.
My latest ad as it appears in NNY Biz magazine. I am a solo guitarist playing weddings and other events in northern NY. 
The ad appears in the latest edition of NNY Business magazine. I have been playing solo guitar music for weddings and many other events in the Watertown and Thousand Islands Region of New York State. I am available to play n restaurants, cafes, wine tastings, you name it. Music for all occasions. I play selections from classical guitar composers such as Tarrega, Sor, and Carcassi, to beautiful arrangements of contemporary and pop tunes by the Beatles, Elton John, and more.

Here it is on the printed page:
My latest ad as it appears in NNY Biz magazine. I am a solo guitarist playing weddings and other events in northern NY. 

As long as you are here check out me playing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. This version was arranged for guitar by Jorge Nolla.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Notes from visiting mom at hospice: she is very emotional

Last night, December 13,  I was visiting my mother hospice. It was interesting and sad. During the 3 hour visit she went through a string of emotions. At this point she seems out of touch with reality at times.
First thing I put my hand on her head ands barked at me saying "Keep your hands off me! "

"You know why. All you do is lie to me like everybody else."

She proceeded to admonish me for being a conspirator and lying to her about everything. Eventually she focused on other topics. She began talking abut the "farm" and other odd things. She wanted to know who's truck was parked in the driveway. She asked me if the LaBrie's ( a neighboring farm family) where moving into her house. Then she wanted to know where my father was. Why hadn't she seen him for so long.  I carefully reminded her that the passed away a number years ago. She looked at me with disgust and said, "That is just more lies. Want to know where he is and all you people can do is lie to me."

Eventually she became sad. I told her I had to leave and go home but I would be back. Withtears rolling don her cheeks she said I had better return because she didn't want to be alone. "Why don't you go upstairs and get some blankets and sleep on th couch," she asked.  "Or go upstairs, get some blankets and you can stay upstairs and go to bed. Or you can sleep on the couch."

She went on to say she didn't understand what she did to deserve such treatment and that what ever it was she was really sorry for it, all the while weeping. I told her everything was going to be ok. "My heart is breaking," she said, "and I don't know what to do about it. There is know one I can turn to for help, no one I can truly trust."  It was killing me to see her so sad and helpless.

What she really would like is to go home. I think that is what bothers her the most. A week torso earlier the Better Half and I were with her when she went through similar sad spell. In that one she expressed her desire to go home and she didn't seem to understand where she was. To that she said, " I know if I just stay here in one place eventually Ronnie will find me."

To see her feeling helpless is is tough.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My mother is in her final days

The following are some random notes I jotted down a month or so ago after my mother was admitted to the hospital. She is 85 years old.

My mother surrounded by myself and other family members on Mother's Day, 2012.   

So it appears my mother is in her final days. Unlike my father who had a switch ready to flip to end his life my mother lingers, drifting in slow motion down the River Styx toward her demise. If she had the life ending switch to flip she is not, at the moment, ready to flip it.

There is a small creek that runs behind the house I grew up in, the house that's been my mother's home for 64 years. My siblings and I would play along the edged of that creek against our mother's wishes. Though it was only a foot or two deep, depending upon the season, I suppose she feared one of us might accidentally drown, especially when we were very young. Inevitably she would catch us playing there and we would be scolded in some fashion. But where we played along the banks was hidden from view of the house, obscured by trees and brush. We were mystified how she knew we were there. We determined she must have some sort of extra sensory power, one that she obtained by drinking from the dark stream.

I remember once when it was early Winter and there was a sheet of ice over the creek and I went down there to throw rocks on it, shattering the ice like glass. It was great fun. One rock after another. The stream was quite shallow at the time. The larger rocks crash through the ice and sent up great splashes of mud. One of those eruptions sent a large frog into the air along with the mud. The creature was stiff with its legs extended. It was strange and weird. The poor Devil must have been hibernating in the mud.