When the Earth Images Blog hit its 500th post, I was asked if we will see 600?  My reply was “no way“, 500 is already too many. As is often the case, I was wrong.  This is our 600th post.

My last article on traveling America as a photographer, has resulted in a little bit of back channel stir, so I thought I would include the link to an old post titled Road Trips.  It is a more complete view of the subject.  Of course it comes from my own personal experiences.

If anybody who has read my last post, or the Road Trips post mentioned above,  still doubts my love (lust?) for wandering,  just take a good look at this post.  Me thinks I will be wandering a bit.

In this world of electronic conversations it would seem that we should be able to carry on friendships through the world of posting/texting/instant messaging, without ever actually seeing the person we call our friend. I am told that there is  a percentage of this current generation that are not developing their face to face communication skills because of the ability to “talk” without ever seeing their friends live and in person.  Notice I said “live” and in person.  I do not include face to face computer/tablet/cell phone conversations. It has certainly never been easier to keep up with old friends from across the country. We can definitely share our lives.  Just the same, the truth is and always will be that there is no actual substitute for really being there in each other’s presence.  The past three or four years of my life have proved that to me. Electronic communication only works for so long before one or both parties slip away.  The only remedy for that is periodic in person visits, if that is possible.  It seems that with technology, the more you gain the more you lose.1476437_193838537487000_234779375_nI am not sure whether the sign above is saying that motorists should slow down because children are texting, or to beware because the children that are texting, are in fact slow?

The winter holiday season is a great time for the arts. From classic bands to the symphony, from the ballet to the theater, and from gallery shows to craft fairs, this time of year is supreme.  We could all use a little culture once in a while, so treat yourself and your loved ones this season.

Christmas is on its way and the annual barrage of Christmas movies is here.  I actually am a lover of Christmas movies.  Especially the old classics, although here and there I see a newer TV movie that turns out to be quite good. I do think classics are usually classics for a reason. A few of my favorites?  Christmas in Connecticut, It’s a Wonderful Life (of course), Holiday Inn (a great musical where the song White Christmas was introduced), White Christmas (made from the idea of Holiday Inn), every version of A Christmas Carol (Scrooge, etc.) ever made, although the 1951 British version is my favorite, Miracle on 34th Street, and my favorite Christmas comedy ever made, The Lemon Drop Kid.  That would be Bob Hope (and Marilyn Maxwell) as Hope plays his usual con man, womanizer, coward who crosses up a criminal and is given until Christmas to find a way to pay him back.  He turns his scheme into a self enriching plot, using some sweet old ladies as his pawns. In the end of course he does the right thing and the ladies are taken care of and he and Maxwell agree to marry.  The Christmas classic Silver Bells was introduced in this movie.  In the 1980s I put this movie to the test with my girlfriend of that time, and it got a four star **** rating.

Many times in recent years I have spent Christmas Eve photographing Christmas lights at places like the historic Wind Point Lighthouse, and Christmas day photographing birds.  Photographers are a strange breed.  This year I will simply stay warm..

I believe that everyone who as ever lived, be they the good, the bad, or the evil, has a spiritual side living within.  I have always known that of myself. It is only in recent years I have finally begun to understand it, and accept the benefits.  I was shocked to find that I was not so unique after all.  It is a journey that everyone needs to make, and I suggest that it is one that should sit atop our priorities list.

Just a few words about freedom. I write a lot about this subject because there is nothing that is personally more important for me.  Know what it means. I have walked in and out of people’s lives for as long as I have existed, all for the sake of freedom.   Freedom is a beautiful thing but it can also be a lie.  It can be an excuse for self-indulgence.  Never walk away in the name of freedom, as it has to be earned honestly, not worn on your sleeve like a badge.  Freedom should come with warnings signs, “Caution, bailing out when it gets tough is not freedom!!”  I know there were times in my earlier years when that sign would have been helpful.

Maybe it’s like the song Me and Bobby McGee, penned by Kris Kristofferson and voiced by Janis Joplin. One line read….”freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”.  Handle with caution!   (Notice that the song is in fact, a road song.)

Let’s close with some pictures that say winter.  The first image was created by the great wildlife photographer David Hemmings, the next three are from Google Photos, and the final three are my own. 1472085_10202293457754321_1683510868_n




================================================================DeerIllinois 047


Winter Petsbc 095

Thank you for stopping,                                                                                                              Wayne

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