Taking pics in the neighborhood…..

Today was one of those days.  It started out political and I ranted accordingly.  Then, once the effort became tiresome, I noticed that it was unseasonably warm outside, the sky was blue, and I had no place I had to be.  Fortunate enough to still be housesitting in Connecticut on the Long Island Sound it is a good day to see what the neighborhood has to offer.  I grab my little Panasonic digital, hop on a bike, and head out to exercise the other side of my brain for a while.

It doesn’t take long.  In fact, I had to stop my bike practically before the wheels could rotate twice.  I have a soft spot for old wooden buildings.  They seem to whisper secrets and I can’t help but listen.  With its windows hazed over and tree branches hovering protectively I snap a few shots of a neighbor’s shed while resisting the impulse to straighten out the lines.  Since it is 2:00 in the afternoon the shadows are close to perfect.   A few minutes later and I am ready to head a bit farther down the road.


 Now,  I must admit I have never spent time in a northern coastal town during a cold spell.    Having spent thirty years in the heart of the midwest I have been trained to believe that beaches are to be accompanied by palm trees and tropical weather, not fluffed up sea gulls and icy breezes.    But, cold as it is, and devoid of the customary turquoise waters and happy tan folk, there is much to see.   About a mile up from where I had just stopped the road curves back around to the ocean and a couple of  small islands begin to show.  Small enough that if one would choose to build a house only one would fit.  I spot two different islands where that’s what they chose to do, build a single house on each.  I pull my bike over and pull out my camera again.

 I guess if you’re going to isolate, why not do it in style.

Funny thing happened while I was taking these photos.  A car had stopped at an intersection that dead ended just behind where I was standing.  I had assumed that the driver was just taking in the ocean on a beautiful day.  But, then I noticed that he was holding something and talking into it while looking at me intently.   Nope, that’s not a cell phone.  Sure as heck, he’s a cop in an unmarked car.  I give him a smile and turn back around.  I haven’t done anything lately, but let me mention this.   If you are ever in Connecticut don’t expect to recognize the cars since the days of the lincoln with all the antennae are, apparently, over.

My next stop was at the local gas station.  You can view that picture at the top of this blog.  The ambiance is everything one could ask for to enjoy a cup of coffee and a muffin.  While sitting there I spot another shed.  Something about aged wood gets me going I tell you.  I sip my coffee and head across the parking lot to take a closer look.  I’m guessing it is probably used as a market stall in the summer.

On the outside a few tools hang on to the walls for dear life.  Not much to cling to and their colors blend with the wood.  Like old married folks who’ve been together so long they’ve started to look alike.  The sun has done its work and the metal is hard to separate from the wood, visually speaking.  Inside I get a peek at the purpose.  Looks like they sell corn here in the summer and decorate the shed for the winter.  Christmas lights curl around the corn stripping sign.                                                                    

The lady inside the gas station is quite friendly.   When I had first gone inside I told her that I was hoping to hang around and take a few photos and wanted to assure her that I wasn’t just loitering, or had bad intent.  With a smile she replied, “well, I’m sure I could take ya, so I’m not worried bout ya.”  How fun.  A bit later I was talking to her about the photo opportunities around her location.  Apparently it is a photographer’s favorite and I can certainly see why.   Finishing my coffee I head out again. 

I notice that houses around here often have something a bit on the whimsical side and I  stop frequently to snap away.  I’m using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 16x Wide Angle Op… It is my first digital and, as a result, there are no bells and whistles  so that I can learn to work with it.  Right now, the only trouble I seem to be having is working without a viewfinder.  Holding it away from me seems unnatural and I find myself holding my breath, a lot, so that the shot will be clear.  But, as cameras go, it is lightweight, small, convenient, and a great little tool to help me ease my way into the digital world.   The colors are good and the details, so far, are adequate for days like today. 

This house on the right isn’t near as fancy as many of the others, but it is immaculate and this little grouping arranged on the porch roof caught my eye.  I always enjoy those little touches of individuality that make a house a home.  This owner gave me a wave from his driveway while I was taking this picture.  Like I said, his home may not been quite the size, or as decorative as many of those surrounding it, but that didn’t stop him from making his mark.  I wave back and hope he feels good that someone is taking shots of his house too.

A couple of hours have passed.  Had my coffee, talked, waved, and smiled my way around the neighborhood.  Time to head back to my current digs.  I hear the weather will be reverting back to more familiar winter temperatures tomorrow.  Glad I took this opportunity.   But, before I put the camera away for the day I have to snap one last pic.  A neighbor has chosen to pose just outside my porch and I just can’t pass that up.  Salud!