Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad: Blog en-us (C) Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad [email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 07 Apr 2024 23:53:00 GMT Sun, 07 Apr 2024 23:53:00 GMT Only Once

I hope friends and family get to see a full eclipse on Monday, April 8. I got to experience one in my backyard on August 21, 2017. Quite the experience that builds over an hour or so, reaches the magic moment for just seconds, and then the eclipse begins to reverse. Amazing!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) eclipse Sun, 07 Apr 2024 23:53:18 GMT
Can Hope Be Ruined?

I did not want to be standing in the chilly spring drizzle. But there I was. Waiting, praying. What was I, a young pastor, going to say to family members who would soon pass by, and see the first responders huddled in their mother's driveway?

Moments earlier I had been helping a group of volunteers wallpaper the parsonage kitchen. But our project was interrupted by an urgent call about one of my parishioners.

It was the days of double-digit inflation with a dizzying escalation of interest rates. Rising interest rates are fine if you are an investor, but debilitating and devastating if you borrow. Virginia had to borrow. Her husband had died the year before and left her with a farm whose major crop was bank payments. The previous fall had been the wettest in decades and the fields were too muddy to harvest, so the over-borrowed and under-priced crops bowed soggy along the country roads all through Christmas into February. In the cold gray rain, the fields were full of ruined hope.

And now, in the spring, when farmers usually decided what to plant and how much more to borrow, Virginia had made another decision. What in the world had made her think death was better than life?

Amidst the familiar passages for Palm Sunday are these jarring portions from Psalm 31: "Have mercy on me, Lord, because I'm depressed. My vision fails because of grief... My life is consumed with sadness..." (CEB) The words are jarring only because our image of this Sunday is colored by a parade of children waving palm leaves. However, don't these ancient words express a too-common experience, especially during these past two years?

The events of Holy Week can appear to be ruined hope. But that's true only if you leave early, before the ending. So here we are at the edge of expectation.

In death--life.  In sin--mercy.  And in the cold and gray, there is still hope in joyous resurrection.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 10 Apr 2022 11:00:00 GMT
I Imagined Being an Athlete

A friend asked after reading about my granddaughter's softball activity if I had played on a school team. No, but I had imagined being an athlete. I wanted to be a catcher. I used my paper-route money to buy a catcher's glove, which I still have. But I never played on any organized team. We would play after school, although we never had enough players so we would take turns batting and fielding. I wasn't proficient at either. 

We played basketball at the outside courts and would scoop off the snow so we could shoot around. But again, I wasn't good at shooting or dribbling. I imagined being a scuba diver. I again bought a snorkel, and a mask, and fins with money from my paper route. But I couldn't swim. I didn't learn to swim beyond floating until I was a freshman in college. Admittedly, I have had an active adulthood with cycling and swimming and regular workouts at a gym. 

Still, I marvel at a granddaughter who excels in a sport. I enjoy watching her play. I celebrate her skills, batting and fielding. I'm proud that she encourages her teammates, and that she is developing leadership skills. And I'm grateful for her parents who have supported her in so many ways and spent so many hours watching her sit on the bench when she was younger. My granddaughter imagines some athletic accomplishments too, but she's a lot closer to achieving her goals than her grandfather when he was a kid. She's an athlete.

This image is of a very worn, ancient ball glove at the Tennessee State Museum.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 08 Apr 2022 11:00:00 GMT
Ah, April

The blooming season in our yard, if you don't count the hellebores, begins in March. But the number of blooming plants increases as April nears. We have three different kinds of jonquils in thirty different bunches scattered in the front and back yards. This particular variety, which I do not know the name, is the last one to bloom. Most of the others are still blooming. The tulips are blooming, as are the bleeding hearts, virginia bluebells, and phlox. Columbine will bloom Thursday or Friday. Azaleas are already showing the color of their blossoms. Bring it on! April provides the beginning of the show!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 07 Apr 2022 11:00:00 GMT
Active Spring

This photo, and many more to come, is the reason I bought a small compact camera that is smaller than my iPhone in length and width. The telescoping zoom lens fits easily in the 2-inch square opening of the chain link fence that surrounds the softball field. Additionally, the camera can take 20 photos per second or video as well. Maddy, our granddaughter, has been playing softball for half of her life. She loves it and plays well. So, several times per week, we drive twenty-five minutes to her high school to watch Maddy and her team-mates play fast-pitch softball. And I am so thankful for the opportunity to sit on the sidelines and cheer her on! One thing about this picture is that the catcher who plays for another high school is a friend of Maddy's because they played on the same travel team for several years. There was lots of chatter between the two girls as Maddy batted. And although Maddy has 8 stolen bases on the season, she didn't try to steal on K.K. because nobody steals on her. Although Maddy's team lost, they played very well. Maddy had a single and a double. Our spring is active because of her! Life is truly good!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 06 Apr 2022 11:00:00 GMT
The Music

Yesterday, we were in the building. Only the second time since March 1,2020. Worship in the sanctuary is not like worship online, although we have appreciated the cyber connection these past 25 months. The pandemic and my recovery from two cancer treatments prevented our usual worship. And as a preacher who loves good sermons, often not my own, I have to say the music is the reason to be physically in the building. Belmont United Methodist Church has outstanding music. Yesterday was a prime example: clarinet duet, amazing vocal solos, chancel choir, youth choir, bell choir, and organist all provided musical selections. I wept as I sang the hymns. I treasured every note. No doubt, it's the music.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 04 Apr 2022 11:00:00 GMT
In the Moment Can you picture fragrance? Can a camera capture bouquet? Can a painter express aroma? Can a writer describe a smell so vividly that your nose begins to agree with words? 

The gospel lesson for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, John 12:1-8, opens with a celebratory feast. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus host Jesus for a meal of gratitude. Apparently, the reason for the gathering was to honor Jesus who had raised Lazarus from the dead. I can't imagine anything that would exceed the joy of this family having their brother come back to life. We know grief and sorrow. We have stood in the cemetery to remember dear friends and beloved family members. So, to have all that reversed by resurrection is startling joy. Mary performs the traditional welcome for a guest by cleaning the traveler's dusty feet. Here she goes further by using expensive nard to anoint the feet of Jesus and to wipe his feet with her hair. The passage notes that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Can you smell it? 

And Judas spoils the moment of welcome with a rude outburst. Judas was a guest in the house and complains that this perfume that Mary used on the feet of Jesus was worth a year's wages of a laborer. Was that an exaggeration? That's incredibly expensive perfume. What in the world must that fragrance smell like? And Judas insults them all by saying it was wasteful to anoint Jesus in this happy moment. Or was Judas just acting out all of his deep-seated objections to the direction of the mission of Jesus and couching it in the words of charity? I hear a message of shame that stinks up the gathering. I want to sit at that table in that fragrant room and ponder what is about to happen, caught between the joy of the host family and the foreboding of the coming betrayal by Judas. I think this scene captures much of our meditation during Lent. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 03 Apr 2022 11:00:00 GMT
April Promises

Yesterday, the last day of March, the blossoms on our dogwood trees began to open. On this first day of April, the signs of spring are abundant in our yard. The redbud trees are in full bloom, the cherry tree and spirea add white blossoms in our backyard, and the jonquils and tulips have been blooming for more than ten days. But I consider the dogwoods as announcing the arrival of truly warmer days. And I am eager for warmth and color.

Last month's CT scan and bloodwork are still clear of any evidence of cancer. I have lost more than 40 pounds in the last 7 months. During the past month, we have been thrilled to have three couples as overnight guests in our home, a joy we had so missed during the pandemic. Gathering all these in my heart, I celebrate the promise of April for health and life and joy. How I long for the promise to be granted throughout the world!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 01 Apr 2022 11:00:00 GMT
The March to Spring

How can the shortest month seem so long? Even with the celebration of my birthday and the romance of Valentines, the 28 days of wintry February feels interminable! But spring shows up during the month of March. Goodbye winter and hello to spring! I am more than ready to be embraced by warmth.

This plant was added a few years ago to Judy's garden. But it's not a predictor of spring because it blooms in the winter. Hellebores, also called Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose, are evergreen, perennial flowers. And, no, they are not related to roses. Nevertheless, on the coldest days this past month, these blossoms gave me hope that someday spring would be on its way.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 01 Mar 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Light Never Surrenders to Darkness January 6. Epiphany. 12th day of Christmas. Celebrating light. Of course, a photographer finds excitement in this day.

The hymn writer Brian Wren expressed his enthusiasm with the following words:

"The dancing air shall glow with light, and sun and moon give up their place,   

when love shines out of every face, our good, our glory, and delight." 

Carl P. Daw, Jr wrote this lyric to one of his hymns:

"O day of peace that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayer and dreams,

guide us to justice, truth, and love, delivered from our selfish schemes,

May swords of hate fall from our hands, our hearts from envy find release,

till by God's grace our warring world shall see Christ's promised reign of peace."

Epiphany is a day of light, and wonder, and hope, and promise. Last year, as I "zoomed" with my ministry colleagues in Illinois and Wisconsin, I was filled with bright enthusiasm on January 6. But, as we all remember the events at the US Capitol, the day turned dark. I have enough experience and training with group dynamics to fearfully predict that this loud crowd could become an out-of-control mob that threatened our Constitutional processes. As I watched the events on live television of a mob assaulting police officers and breaking windows and threatening members of Congress, I was horrified. I was watching a nightmare. 

January 6 was not the only dark day of 2021. I had my own. Many others throughout the year experienced grief, sorrow, fear. 

Darkness does not speak the final word. The smallest glimmer of light chases the dark away. I am a person of faith who believes in Light. Epiphany is the rehearsal every year of the conviction that God has entered our human history in Christ Jesus with the intention to save us all. Darkness never conquers Light. Never.

So, after the twelfth day of Christmas, we take down our decorations. I want to leave them up. I want to continue the celebration.

Another hymn I love was composed by Kathleen Thompson: "I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus. (chorus) In him there is no darkness at all. The night and day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus." 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 06 Jan 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Delicious Project The adventure on New Year's Day began with sharp knives and lots of chopping.

Four heads of cabbage, giant carrots, celery, onions, bean thread vermicelli, and three pounds of pork sausage mixed in a large bowl.

Seasoned and mixed in a gigantic bowl.

Then a small portion is spooned out on a square of spring roll pastry, and the pastry is folded to seal the ends, and becomes the roll. I think it takes lots of practice to create consistently sized, snug spring rolls.

Ready for frying in hot oil. We brought home 16 cooked, 48 uncooked, and about a pound of filling. Grateful for our neighbor's willingness to teach us how to create fabulous spring rolls.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 05 Jan 2022 12:00:00 GMT
A New Year Begins The weather was more springlike, than that of a winter's day. The latter part of December had been unseasonably warm. I had even taken advantage of the warm days to heat up the spa on two different evenings. But I was most surprised as we walked in the rain to our neighbors' house to see narcissus blooming along their driveway. I stopped quickly for a shot under my umbrella. Could it be a hint of an early spring?

No. Three inches of snow covered our deck by Monday morning, less than 36 hours later. And although the snow was wet and beautiful for a few hours, I prefer the white blooms of the obviously premature announcement of an early spring.

Sony A7r4, Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8; exposure details iso 1600, f/2.8 @1/2000 sec



[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 03 Jan 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Ready for Take-off

I'm ready, too. Covid and cancer has limited our travel. But we are fully vaccinated, including boosters, and there's no evidence of cancer in my recent PET scan. I continue to be amazed that the lymphoma is gone. The chemo and radiation was a lengthy, tiring treatment, but apparently it worked. I will continue to have alternating PET and CT scans and blood tests every quarter for the next two years, but it looks like I am cured. So I am trying to regain strength and lose weight after treatment. Normalcy is returning. Not quite the same normal as before. I'm changed, different, as are so many experiences. But I am more than ready to explore again, embrace life and friends again.

I caught this bee in mid-takeoff the other morning on one of my walks with my my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Surprised at the quality of the image.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 09 Oct 2021 14:00:15 GMT
Climate Change

After yesterday's lament for a longer summer, I read an article in the Washington Post entitled "Our Summers Are Getting Longer, And It Could Be a Bad Sign for the Environment". I admit that I was being self-centered about wanting more days to swim in my pool. I tried to justify that it would help my recovery from cancer treatments. However, I don't want my desire for more summer days to contribute to global warming. I know I have enough bad habits, coupled with millions of other inhabitants of earth, that have already adversely affected the environment. The Washington Post article, written by Kasha Patel, noted that "summers are expanding while spring, autumn, and winter are becoming shorter and warmer..." Researchers have found by studying historical data that spring is beginning earlier and autumn later. The problem is that " small seasonal shifts can throw off the balance of our ecosystem form crop production to increased occurrence of mosquito-borne diseases." With my experience of being mosquito "bait", that sentence got my attention. What we are losing is the predictability of the seasons and the connectedness of our human experiences with plants and animals and other creatures, like bees, that benefit the quality of our lives.

So I take back my desire for more summer, with all of its creeping effects, like the image above. Our seasons are not just an opportunity for change to warmer clothing and appreciation for cider and pumpkins, but are an essential cycle. We all can live with that.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 23 Sep 2021 11:00:00 GMT
A Little More Summer, Please Autumn begins today, but I could use a little more summer. I had just begun to regain some strength after my cancer treatments. I was swimming 2/3 of a mile per day and walking more than a mile. I could use a little more summer, please.

My last swimming day was September 16 which is early for the Hideaway. Two years ago my last swimming day outdoors was October 5. I need some more summer. My recovery is just getting started and more summer would help.

I admit that I like autumn as do so many others. A woman who had her wagon filled with fall plants and decorations at Fast's Greenery told me she had taken the day off from work so she could get started on autumn. I understand that. I love fall color and cooler temperatures. I hope to travel some after my oncologist gives me good news on Monday. Fall can be wonderful!

I just wasn't finished with summer. Mine was too short. My summer didn't really start until mid-August with my recovery. Sure, autumn will be great, and I will get stronger each day. I'd just like some more summer.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 22 Sep 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Potatoes with a Story

August was a wet month. On the very last day of the month, the remnants of Hurricane Ida dropped more than 3 3/4 inches on the Hideaway. August ended as it had begun with a day of rain on the 1st totaling 4 1/2 inches. More than 11 inches of rain for the month. 

Our neighbor, Mr. Do, stopped to talk while we were gardening the next day. His two dogs were missing. They get out of his fenced-in yard occasionally, but they never venture far. He asked Judy to check on the internet, and a short time later she saw the dogs picture on Next Door Neighbor. Someone had found the dogs on the road west of us. A quick reunion occurred as the finder returned the lost dogs. 

The next day, Mr. Do rang our doorbell and had a huge basket with potatoes, twice the amount in the photo above, to thank Judy for her help in finding the dogs. Because of the Afghan airlift that shared the news with Ida, I asked if Mr. Do had come to the US at the fall of Saigon. No, he had worked with the CIA for 10 years because he knew the Laotian, Thai, and Vietnamese. They taught him English. He, his wife, and one year-old son was flew out of the country about 6 weeks before the end of the war. He spent 15 minutes telling us of his experience in settling here and the challenges that he faced. Quite a story. My neighbors have stories of being refugees. My Kurdish neighbor, Gelil, spent three years in a tent with his family in a refugee camp in Turkey before they all were loaded into a truck for an all day journey to an airport. My Laotian neighbor escaped the communists by paddling across the Mekong River in the middle of the night during a driving rainstorm. I have received generosity and hospitality from each of them. My neighborhood is more like the real USA than any place I have ever lived. What a blessing it is to hear their stories about why they are Americans.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 04 Sep 2021 11:00:00 GMT
The Meaning Behind I hate this sign because I don't like the words or the meaning behind the words. I am tempted to vandalism.

Someday I will attack! I've thought about it entirely for too long because I know what I will do: Change the "D" to an "R" and the "E" to an "O" so that "DEAD" becomes "ROAD". and add an "S" to "END". Road Ends. Waller Road is a cul-de-sac just beyond our driveway. The road ends, there is no outlet, turn around. We don't live on a dead end!

I'm having the same problem with my treatments now that I'm done. I'm not finished for I have more scans at the end of September and another appointment with my oncologist at which I presume I will receive an outline of my after-care. I know from previous conversations that I will meet with my oncologist every three months for the next two years, with additional scans. So I'm done, but I'm not done.

And my wondering about words was even stimulated about the discussion in Sunday School about "pilgrimage". Who goes on a pilgrimage and for what purpose? Doesn't it have to be an intentional choice? Does there have to be a destination? My experience with my cancer was not a pilgrimage, although I may have grown spiritually. I'm just wondering.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 24 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Still Flying This yellow tiger swallowtail was sampling blossom after blossom on the "Carol Sing" daylily clump that is blooming near one of the hummingbird feeders. The late afternoon sunlight illuminated the butterfly's wings as it fluttered from one flower to another. Of course, I had to get my camera. I noticed that this butterfly was not one of the fresh, perfect, newly hatched ones. This butterfly is mature. The color of the wings has faded. And the wings are thinner, more translucent. I suspect the days of this butterfly are numbered. But it hasn't quit. Neither shall I.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 04 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT
The Final Treatment The final radiation treatment is today! Five months ago to the day I had an endoscopy performed, oblivious that I had a stomach ulcer nor that I had Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. This past week of radiation treatments has affected me with lots of fatigue, to a surprising degree. I have also noticed the need to have small meals because of the radiation to my stomach.

But my hair is beginning to grow again. I have appointments in two weeks with my oncologist and my urologist. Hopefully, I will hear good news from each of these doctors. I am ready to focus on regaining strength and health. I so appreciate the encouragement and prayers of so many.

This daylily's last bloom was Monday. It's called The Anniversary Pearl. I'm celebrating that this part of my journey is complete. And I will be thrilled when the radiation techs take all those target stickers off my body! I will not miss those. Now when can I get this infusion port removed?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 03 Aug 2021 11:00:00 GMT
At Any Age My tenth radiation treatment is late in the afternoon today, the only time that it wasn't scheduled in the morning. When I asked why, I learned that most of the day would be taken for the treatment of a child. Cancer is a challenge at any age, but it grieves me that it strikes children.

The journey has been difficult for me but I have asked questions, done research, listened to others who went on the journey before me, and relied on family and friends for support and prayers. I have a lifetime of experience. Still, it has been scary at moments. 

The team that has been treating me will turn their attention today to a child who needs even more care and expertise. Blessings upon them. They exude confidence. They want to heal everyone. At any age.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Stretching Autumn Minaret used to be our last daylily to bloom during the season. And usually by that point I was weary of photographing the daylilies. But we have purchased additional daylilies that bloom late and we are still waiting on Carol Sing to begin blooming. Autumn Minaret is a Stout Award winner in 1951, the highest award for daylilies. It's been around a long time, almost as long as me! Hopefully, both of us will be blooming into the next decade or more! My ninth radiation treatment is today, 60% complete. Getting closer!

The scapes (bud stalks) are nearly five feet tall! I took one with a watercolor effect. I like them both. I too am stretching.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 26 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Tired of Fatigue Veterans of radiation had told me that the fatigue effects of radiation built with the number of treatments. Yep, they are right. I didn't have a treatment today (Saturday), but I am definitely more fatigued today than I was earlier in the week and certainly from last Saturday. I'm nearing five months of cancer treatment and I am truly tired of fatigue. Seven more radiation treatments and then, hopefully, I'm done. I'm ready to rebuild strength and endurance. If it sounds like I want to turn back the clock, I do. I want to turn back the last two years. But that ain't the way it works.

Truth is, treatment is about done. I see it on my calendar. I'm ready.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 24 Jul 2021 23:00:07 GMT
Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies Today is my eighth radiation treatment, and they are "flying by." So how about some butterfly photos? This is one of the most common butterflies: Tiger Swallowtail. This is the male of the species.

Another view of its wings.

And surprise, this is the female version in its dark form. They were on opposite sides of the garden. Wonder if they will get together.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 23 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
In Between Naps Another sighting on the butterfly bush, this time by me. This is a Zebra Swallowtail butterfly.

I don't think these are as common as Tiger Swallowtails, large yellow marked butterflies. But the Audubon Guide notes that Zebra Swallowtails "are the most abundant regular North American representative of the kite swallowtails, named for their triangular wings and long sharp tails. Despite a large range, the zebra occurs only near pawpaw trees or its relatives." The host for Tiger Swallowtails are deciduous trees. 

We must have pawpaw trees in the nearby woods. "Picking up pawpaws, putting 'em in our pockets..." Catchy tune!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 21 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
The Magic Machine This magic machine is the Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator.  Varian True Beam link for YouTube

It sings to me.

This photo is the scene when I enter the room. The white sheet covers my unique mold for my treatment. I lie down on my back, reaching my hands over my head and grasping the white vertical handles. The table raises and moves back into the center of the machine. The large head at the top delivers the beam of radiation and revolves around my body nearly 360 degrees. The square on the right rotates to the uppermost position at the beginning and the team uses the green laser to accurately position my body. The first revolution takes magnetic images that are sent to the radiation oncologist to assure that I am in the right position for treatment. The lymph nodes under my left arm are treated first. Then the team checks the magnetic images for the radiation of my stomach (empty for 4 hours). Upon approval of the doctor, the radiation is administered in the second half of the treatment. It all takes about 15 minutes. 

And during the second portion as the TrueBeam revolves around me with blinking lights and whirring noises, it sounds almost like it's singing. Not quite like the musical interlude that signals the end of the cycle of our washer and dryer in our home. But still, it sounds like faint singing. Probably hymns.

Today is treatment #5. 1/3 of the way to the finish line!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 20 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Did You See That After lunch Sunday, Judy asked if I had noticed the hummingbird moth on our butterfly bush. Camera time! Bonus: two photos today! Technical details: 1/1500 second exposure, f/4, iso 800.

These hummingbird moths are members of the sphinx moth family. I believe this specific visitor to our backyard is a male Snowberry Clearwing because of its black legs and black line through its eye. The flared tail indicates that it is a male. It is half the size of a hummingbird.

Hummingbird moths have clear wings, edged in brown or black depending on the species. Unlike typical sphinx moths that fly at night, hummingbird moths are active during daylight hours. The moths lay eggs on plant leaves. The resultant caterpillars feed on the leaves and pupate in leaf litter. We have bunches of leaf litter!

Something to think about on Sunday, different from my health concerns.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 19 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
No Longer Strangers Differences. We readily notice differences. 

And we make judgments about the differences that we notice, assigning value to our preferences.

Consequently, the people of the world are divided into strangers, friends, aliens, and enemies. 

What I understand about scripture is this division is not God's intention.

The epistle lesson for today, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Ephesians 2:11-22 addresses this separation: "With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. He canceled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace....So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God's people, and you belong to God's household."

God's household is larger than most of us imagine.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 18 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Have a Good Weekend "Have a good weekend, " the tech said as she helped me from the radiation table. "I'll see you Monday."

As I thought back on the morning events, I laughed at the interplay of greetings and words. The patient before me, as we passed in the hallway, said, "It's all good!" Not to me necessarily, but maybe as a testament to his treatments. I thought at the time, wait! Have you been checking my website? The parking valet told me to have a great weekend. Possibly, because I over-tipped him. And it is free. 

It will be a great weekend. No treatments on Saturday or Sunday. It's a real weekend!

And Judy brought home sweet cherries from the grocery. I fell in love with sweet cherries 50 years ago when we drove around Lake Michigan and discovered sweet cherries at roadside stands. Three treatments complete. It will be a good weekend.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 17 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Targeted Friday will be my third session of radiation for treating my Large B Cell Lymphoma. There will be fifteen treatments total, with the final one scheduled for August 2. Two weeks ago, the technicians took several x-rays and a scan of my stomach, and made 5 different crosses on my upper body and two straight lines, one over my sternum and the other under my navel. The waterproof stickers protected the intersections but we were encouraged to redraw the lines that washed away with a sharpie. Wednesday's treatment took a long time with x-rays and physician consultations. The techs added red crosses with waterproof stickers over the intersections. But Thursday's treatment was finished in less than 15 minutes. I have not experienced any digestive issues yet with the radiation to my stomach, but I am being careful about what I eat. I do have a powerful need for a nap after the treatment, a substantial nap.

I am continually reminded how serious this cancer is, and how blessed I am that it was discovered early. Even the targets are temporary and will quickly fade. August will be here soon.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 16 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Before Dawn The early morning rain woke me up. The rain gauge contains .2 inch. Not much, but enough to soak the grass seed in the front lawn near Judy's newly modified flower garden. Ginger, the ginger cat, has transformed since the disappearance last summer of her sibling, and craves constant attention as soon as we are awake. This past week has been an emotional challenge. Good news from tests did not prevent blue days. Don't know why. Cancer literature notes that emotional downturns are typical. The physical challenges of cancer treatment are sufficient without the addition of blue days. Healing is a slow process. Slower than I prefer.

Radiation treatments begin tomorrow. Judy has re-marked the registration guide marks on my body several times. Physical reminders of the process for the next three weeks. My strength has not returned. I am impatient. But I am closer to the end of cancer treatment than to the beginning. Just a few more weeks.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 13 Jul 2021 11:02:56 GMT
Showers of Blessing It rained yesterday. The forecast was for a few tenths of an inch. But between 1:30pm and 4:30pm, it rained a lot. 1.4 inches of rain.

And for some reason, as I watched the rain in my backyard, an old gospel hymn came to mind "Showers of Blessing." I looked through my collection of old hymnbooks and songbooks to find it. As I gazed at the page and sang to myself, I realized the words were deeply planted in my memory and spirit.

"There shall be showers of blessing:" This is the promise of love; There shall be seasons refreshing, Sent from the Saviour above.

And the chorus goes, Showers of blessing, Showers of blessing we need: Mercy drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead.

And off I went on another internet excursion to see if there was a story behind the song. I didn't find that story but what was curious was who wrote the lyrics. Wikipedia noted that the lyricist was Daniel Webster. "The" Daniel Webster? No. Wikipedia is wrong! That's a whole other issue. Daniel Webster Whittle wrote hymns under several pseudonyms, which leaves me wondering why he would do that.  Again, I am wandering in the weeds.

My first reflection, though, was about showers of blessings, and how we long for the abundance of being soaked. With hope and joy and grace and peace and healing. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 08 Jul 2021 13:31:37 GMT
Hints of the Future Purple hints of the future. 

I continue to ponder. meditate, ruminate (now there's an old word) on the days beyond the end of treatment. Four weeks from today should be my last radiation treatment and then about two weeks later I'll see Dr. Thompson again as a follow up to all of these months of treatment for lymphoma. That office visit will be far different from the one last March. That first visit was more than scary with so much I didn't know or understand.

Now I'm closer to the conclusion than to the beginning. The cancer appears to be healed, cured.

This dahlia bud is just beginning to unfold and will soon be full of purple like the one behind it. Even though it's just beginning, one can see the hint of purple. I'm seeing the hint of something far different after cancer. I'm going to continue to ponder and meditate and ruminate until I see it.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 07 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
In Between Time It's been four weeks since the last chemotherapy treatment and it's another 9 days until radiation treatments begin. Today, I certainly feel caught in time between chemo and radiation. I don't know if that contributed to my blue day or not. I felt emotionally and physically exhausted. Judy and I walked down to Concord Road and back, so I got to climb the ridge twice. I cannot keep up with her. I have to climb slowly, and catch my breath. I do feel like my energy is slowly returning, just not as quickly as I would like. I'm ready but me body is not.

Last Friday I had my radiation simulation, and now I have a black cross marked on my chest and a line below my navel and one on my sternum and a cross under each arm. An x-ray will be taken as I begin each session so that the doctor and technicians can confirm that I am in the same exact position for each treatment. The treatments begin July 14, so I won't finish in July, and the final treatments will be in August.

The cancer treatments began four months ago and I still have another month of treatments. A new phase will begin soon, but for now I'm in between.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 06 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Squinting The magnolia trees are blooming again. Actually, the trees have continued to bloom since open blossoms first appeared more than a month ago. However, it does seem like there are bloom cycles when there are an abundance of blooms and this one is evidently the peak of one of those bloom cycles. I have shared my visual fascination with magnolia blooms previously. My eye is caught by the image after the bloom has faded and the petals will soon fall to the ground.

This blossom is far past its blooming peak and assumed a unique configuration. If you use your imagination, or just squint, possibly you can see the figure of a person. I notice that by squinting you are throwing away information that your eye can see when its fully open. Isn't it the same when you are ready to fall asleep? It's interesting to me that by discarding information, truth, we can see something that isn't there and make false conclusions. They may be entertaining fantasies, but it's not real.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 03 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
All Good For the last four months, I have been "mostly good." After all, I was experiencing chemo and all its side effects. I was fighting lymphoma, with the help of doctors and many encouragers. But yesterday morning as I made my first one mile walking trip in "I don't know how long" my cell phone rang. It was Dr. Lewis, the same physician who told me four months ago that I had cancer, asked me how I was. "I am good." Yes, you are, he said, all good. Your pathology report shows no lymphoma nor any bacterial infections. Wow! All good! The cancer is gone from my stomach.

This good news is still sinking in. A diagnosis of cancer is a shock to any of us. I received that diagnosis twice within nine months. The cancers were unrelated. The first treatment I chose was surgery, which was over in a few hours and required an overnight stay in the hospital. But this second one has been more challenging. I still have three weeks of radiation to complete, but here in the middle of the process I have already received my prognosis. All good. 

When I first started my website 14 years ago, I chose the tagline "It's all good" as an affirmation of God's creation as written in Genesis. I hadn't expected its personal impact as an affirmation of my healing. All good. Yes.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 02 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Her Bags Are Packed When this is all over, she's more than ready for us to travel!

This photo was taken in October 2018 at Steamtown, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Great place to visit, even in the pouring rain! 

We have friends that left yesterday on The Empire Builder, and that sparked a discussion at our dinner table about how Judy would like to take a cross-country train trip. Well, I would too. And then we began to imagine what that could be like. And where we could stay and what we could see.

Autumn is wide open for travel or visitors here at The Hideaway. Actually, family/friends/visitors/guests are welcome anytime!

If you can catch us at home, after this is all over!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 01 Jul 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Celebrating Early Nearly a week since my last post! But a celebration is in order. 17 weeks ago, I had an endoscopy, with little expectation for any significant issue to be discovered. I had some chest pain that I suspected was stress related. I was wrong. 

And that's how this journey began with a surprising diagnosis of Large B Cell Lymphoma. And a stomach ulcer which was the cause of my pain. 

Yesterday, I had another endoscopy and the ulcer is healed. The day before, Monday, I met with my oncologist who reported the results of scans I had received earlier that morning. No evidence of cancer. He said that I am probably already cured of the cancer before radiation treatments begin later this month.

The cancer was discovered early. It was dangerous and aggressive; the American Cancer Society noted that only 50% survive this kind of lymphoma. But I was treated by an excellent physician and a capable team at Sarah Cannon Cancer Center. Of course, I will continue to receive regular monitoring. But I am thankful and blessed, surrounded by prayers and encouragement. Cured. Wow!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 30 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Getting Ready for a New Day Each evening, as the last bit of glorious sunshine filters through the trees beyond our western fence, Judy picks the finished daylily blooms. Daylilies only bloom for one day. The plant, or clump, may have lots of buds that allow it to produce blooms for several weeks, maybe as long as a month. Sometimes I help; and our granddaughter has been known to help, prior to softball and Covid. So Judy goes throughout the garden plucking today's blooms. We used to call it deadheading the plants. Now Judy refers to the practice as "live-heading". Not every daylily gardener does this, but Judy enjoys seeing fresh blooms in the morning. 

It's very nearly a spiritual practice, "blessing the day", giving thanks for blessings and noting those interactions that were less than blessings. The blooms are picked off and dropped into a large plastic tub. The beauty is past, often with just a hint remaining of the depth of its earlier color. The blessing is remembered. And we, even in that moment, are preparing to see the beauty after the next dawn. I'm very much in that mode as I prepare for my next cancer treatments, thankful for all that is past and what has been achieved, and looking forward to what the new day will bring. Especially when this is all complete!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 24 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Property Lines So, the new neighbor finally hired his own surveyors to mark the boundaries of the property that he purchased last year. The original owner who bought these 6 acres twenty years ago never built a house there but sold it to the new neighbor for $250,000. Without a survey from the seller, the new neighbor alienated all of his neighbors at one time or another by acting as though he knew where the boundaries were by consulting Google Maps on his phone. Trying to avoid additional misunderstandings, I paid $350 last year for a survey of the property line between us. Now we have a a new marker, not so different from the discarded one, and the line goes right through a line of trees that are about 3 feet from my pool fence. 

Obviously, this relationship with my new neighbor has not gone well. I don't have problems with other neighbors. One even called me the neighborhood ambassador. My new neighbor thinks I'm the ass in ambassador. This is clearly a test of my beliefs and practices in forgiveness, and repentance, in grace and compassion. 

The trees are ugly, and certainly not anything I want to protect. I do want to be a good neighbor. In "Mending Wall", Robert Frost wrote: "He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'" And so we have orange markers and we are divided for the time being, and not good neighbors, nor friends, yet.

I have failed so far. And it may never change. But we have each seen glimpses of kindness from the other; we have just forgotten the possibilities for the time being.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 23 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
What If It Spreads Okay, this is ridiculous! 1 of three photos taken with iPhone 12 Pro Max. Initially, I did not think I managed to include the wasp that happened to fly by the trumpet vine blossoms, but there it is! The previous owner planted trumpet vine along the fence between the pool and the end of the driveway, two varieties: orange and yellow. While it provides lots of privacy, the trumpet vines have not been a popular part of our garden with Judy and me. Trumpet vine spreads. Shoots come up between the boards of our deck, easily 15 feet away. I am uncertain whether at this point we would even be able to get rid of it. Did I say that it spreads?

Like so much else that can't be controlled: grace, love, compassion, generosity, understanding, peace. They all spread.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 19 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Among the Living Rough three days! I felt absolutely miserable, even wondering if this feeling would ever end. But Thursday morning was different, and I became aware that I had more energy as the day progressed. Maddy came over at noon to celebrate her 15th birthday (a week delayed) with pizza, neapolitan ice cream and cake. I ate it all. And managed some pool time later in the afternoon. I believe that the prednisone helps me during the first week after chemo, but it would certainly have helped the second week, but I didn't ask. Now I'm done and I will have another 10 days or so of regaining energy before seeing my trio of doctors during the last few days of June who are guiding me to wellness. Today, I'm glad to be among the living.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 18 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Three Weeks It's funny how quickly I seize on good news! Dr. Jones told me Monday morning that I would only receive three weeks of daily radiation instead of the six weeks I had been expecting. Yes, well, only four months ago I didn't know I had Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma and it became good news that I would only require four chemotherapy treatments instead of six, and now the good news of only three weeks of radiation. It is good news that my cancer was diagnosed early and that my body is responding to the treatment. But these past three months have been physically and emotionally challenging. I do anticipate that the radiation will be physically easier. Today, however, was a significant day of fatigue. My white blood count was only 1.7 and the neutrophils were 0.7, very low. So, I remain quite vulnerable to common infections and need to limit my physical interactions with others. But the good news is that long before summer ends my treatments for this lymphoma will be complete!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 15 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Smiling, But It's Not a Joke We have a few jokes in our daylily collection. This is one of them: "Tipsy Parson". We've got a few others that have names that bring a smile to my face. I thought I would include this photo today and why it's significant to me.

I have begun to think about what happens after cancer treatment is complete, and how I can help myself return to fitness and health. Some of the answers are obvious: exercise, healthy eating, no smoking (never a problem), regular check-ups, adequate sleep (will be a challenge), refrain from alcohol (again not much of a problem, hence the photo of Tipsy Parson). There were recommendations for emotional and spiritual support as well. I found an excellent resource from "Life After Treatment."

I did swim 4 times in the pool on Sunday with the longest duration being 10 laps (800 feet) with a total for the day of 2,000 feet. I didn't set any speed records, but that is quite an achievement in less than a week after my final chemotherapy treatment.

I do meet with the radiation oncologist today for a consultation about the process going forward. I anticipate that my treatment will be complete before my granddaughter returns to school for her sophomore year. It feels so good to have these three months behind me. Not tipsy at all!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 14 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Not Just a Patch I shared this photo some years ago, but it represents something different this time.

Renewal. As good as new. Durable. Fixed. Repaired. Good for another 20 years.

Chemo made me feel old. Swimming makes me feel young.

Looking in the mirror is someone I don't recognize. But laughing fills me with hope.

This looks fixed for the long term.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 12 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Keeping Track Data: numbers, words, pictures, who knows what kinds of information can be digitized and stored?

I'm aware that my diagnosis and treatment has been recorded with a plethora of data. All to be tracked in my medical history. And of course, billed for payment. 

Yesterday, I did find energy to record some data, words to add to images that I have created recently. I use several photo-processing programs but have used Adobe's Lightroom program since it first was introduced. The Lightroom catalog notes that I have 113,296 images accessible on my desktop computer that are stored on several internal and external drives. And all the images haves lots of date attached to them, including the camera used, the date, the lens used, the settings of the shutter and f/stop, the iso (film speed in the old vernacular). Plus I have added words that will help me find common subjects or places or other identification. 

So, the data reveals that I have 331 images of Siloam Double Classic daylily. This is probably not the best of all of those photos, just the last one captured yesterday. It's obvious that I don't need that many pictures of this one flower.

Years ago, a friend asked, what are you going to do with all of these pictures that you have in shoe boxes and slide trays?

Indeed. If only knew how extensive it has become. I still don't know what I am going to do with all of these.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 11 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Escape to Paradise Among the daylilies that were blooming for the first time on the morning after my final chemotherapy treatment was "Escape to Paradise", pictured below. Judy and I tease each other that the Hideaway, our name for our home, seems like Paradise to us. We waited until retirement, like many of our pastor friends, to buy our very first house. So at the age of 63 we got a 30 year mortgage. And began making house payments on our own home for the first time. This house is amazing to us, more than we ever expected. And we yearn to have guests again, and want to share our paradise with our family and friends. In just a few weeks, my fatigue and vulnerability to infection will be past. The daylilies will be nearing peak season (which means the bulk of them will have begun to bloom), and the pool will be warm. Paradise!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 09 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Can You See Me Smiling Wearing my 25 year old sailboat shirt, (I just couldn't part with it when I was thinning out my closet a few years ago before CCC), I had to have a selfie as I neared the end of chemo. I still have a dose of Neulasta tomorrow and Prednisone all this week, and 2-3 weeks of fatigue, but I am done with chemotherapy treatments. I have a PET scan on June 28 and a consult with Dr. Thompson that afternoon to discover the results. I will get a referral for radiation and likely begin the daily treatments in July. Three months ago, I first heard my diagnosis of Diffuse Large B Lymphoma. Scary. But I have a great doctor and a wonderful medical team who have helped with this part of the healing journey. In another three months, I will be well on the way to recovery. I will still meet with Dr. Thompson on a regular schedule as he monitors my "durable remission."

That's why I am smiling. Stephen Hawking wrote, "Half the battle is showing up!" There are myriad similar quotes but I am inspired more by a man with enormous physical challenges who succeeded beyond anyone's imagination.

Not my best picture. Cherish it because there aren't a lot of pictures of me floating around the internet!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 08 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
22 and 4 Twenty-two different varieties of daylilies blooming this morning and my fourth and final chemotherapy treatment. Both good numbers!

After two days of depression, this day has already began as a blessing!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 07 Jun 2021 12:32:15 GMT
This Side Effect I was awake early Friday morning. My feet and hands were especially numb the night before. The soles of my feet and the bottoms of my toes were numb. The palms of my hands, my fingers, were numb. I was worried. During the past two weeks, the numbness had seemed to build and ebb. It was challenging to determine whether it was better or worse. I couldn't sleep at 3 a.m. I went roaming on the internet.

Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy is a side effect of vincristine, one of the drugs used to fight lymphoma. It may go away after treatment, and it may not. It could get worse. After treatment, the neuropathy may take several months to subside. If it doesn't get any worse than the current level of numbness, I can deal with it. Yes, it's better than cancer. But, oh my. 

I did swim Friday in my cool pool. I was numb all over, but that felt good to swim from one end to the other and back again. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. I couldn't tell that my fingers were numb, nor that I have cancer. Some victories take time.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 05 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
The Bloom Begins Gradually color emerges. First, there is just a glimpse. But then the petals begin to peel away and the structure of the bloom begins to take shape.

If you slow down, you can observe the processes of nature. Slowly, there is a difference, a moment when the celebration begins.

Some join the party late and think it occurred as a sudden explosion of form and texture and color.

But everything takes time. Even healing.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 04 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Even in the Shade Judy has worked hard on this corner of the backyard. Several years ago she scrounged every building site around for flat rocks. She carried them out of the woods on the top of the ridge. The garden has grown the same way, with lots of effort. There are several different kinds of ferns, at least 5, and countless hosta. Amazing to see what can grow in the shade. 

I'm learning that every plant has ideal growing conditions, but they are not the same. Some require full sun. Some want moist soil; some dry. And then there are these plants that thrive in the shade. Notice there are no daylilies planted here. I suppose they might grow in this corner of the yard. But I doubt they would reach their potential growth and bloom.

Wondering if there might be some parallels with we human beings.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 03 Jun 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Step Out in the Rain This morning began with me in a funk. It's raining. The pool is cold. I have cancer. What I thought would be a good week, my extra week before the last chemotherapy treatment, has been a continuation of exhaustion. I don't feel as though I am weak, but I have little energy or stamina. Even my mind seems clouded. I'm not blue. But I felt as gray as the day.

Judy had gone out in the yard with an umbrella and came back saying, "Get your camera and come with me!" I grumbled, picked it up, put on my garden clogs, and let her lead me to what she wanted to share. She was right, (again). I needed to be outside with open eyes. I took 125 photos in my wet backyard. And the funk was chased away.

So here is one sight that caught our shared attention.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 02 Jun 2021 17:18:08 GMT
Delayed Season Peacock Maiden kicks off the daylily blooming season in our garden. The season seems to be delayed by the cool weather of the month of May. I would guess that our daylilies are at least a week, maybe 10 days, later than usual. It's the hangover from 2020 that we all are experiencing. And although yesterday was brilliantly sunny, the water temperature in our pool only reached 76 degrees. In years past I would have been swimming in the pool since early May. 

Our first daylily bloom was actually yesterday with Egyptian Queen, and there is another bloom this morning, but it doesn't fully open until later in the day. Peacock Maiden is an appropriate flower to begin the season as it was a Christmas plant exchange a few years ago from Brent Weedman. He was someone I wanted to know better because we shared so many interests: photography, daylilies, Louise Penny mysteries, and similar political views. But he lost his life to Covid this past winter. He is so missed by his wife, Jennifer, and family and countless friends, and by Judy and me. So we celebrate the beginning of the blooming season with Peacock Maiden.

My healing season will continue through the daylily season of the Hideaway with its peak in late June when the effects of my final chemotherapy treatment will subside and my strength will begin to return. And the blooming will continue through July. Hopefully, I will have managed to return to swimming in a warmer pool!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 31 May 2021 11:36:29 GMT
We Are God's Children Romans 8:14-16 "All who are led by God's Spirit are God's sons and daughters. You didn't receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God's children."

It's a big family. And we all belong. Even the ones that I am embarrassed to think must not belong. And who think I don't belong.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 30 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
While We Wait for the Daylilies We are waiting for the daylilies in our garden to begin blooming. It appears that the season is about a week delayed, which is surprising given our beautiful spring. But there are other garden specimens that attract our attention.

Our magnolia tree has begun to bloom, joining the countless magnolia trees in the Nashville area. Magnolia species are numerous, with more than 210 belonging to the family, and they are ancient. I read that they pre-date bees and that there are fossils of them that are more than 20 million years old. The original pollinators were thought to be beetles. The center portion, the carpels, are substantive and can withstand the traffic of beetles.

We planted our tree 9 years ago on Memorial Day weekend and it was barely taller than the fence and now it's nearly triple that height. But it doesn't begin to compare with some of the massive Nashville magnolias. Still, I enjoy it so and the blooms are so photogenic.

These hardy trees, at least for the southern climate, testify to strength and resilience and amazing blooms. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 29 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Puzzled Tuesday, I realized that the numbness in my fingers, hands, and toes had become more pronounced. I wasn't even certain that there weren't places on my face that seemed to be less sensitive to touch. I soon discovered that this numbness could be the result of either the lymphoma or one of the medications I receive in chemotherapy: vincristine.

There are lots of warnings with each of the 10 medications I receive as part of my chemotherapy. I have avoided most of the nasty-sounding ones. But I had not noticed this paragraph regarding possible side effects with vincristine: "Effects on the nerves are called peripheral neuropathy. You may feel numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands and feet. It may be hard for you to button your clothes, open jars, or walk as usual. The effect on the nerves may get worse with more doses of the drug. These effects get better in some people after the drug is stopped, but it does not get better in all people."

As a result of phone conversations with my doctor's nurse, I now have pills for nerve pain (if I have any pain). But I was most troubled about whether this neuropathy is temporary or whether it is permanent and may become more significant. I also realized that I had begun to think I was going to get through cancer treatment with only a good outcome and no difficult consequences. My numb fingers challenged my rosy assumptions with a scary reality check. I still have another chemotherapy treatment ahead with an additional dose of vincristine, possibly.

My prostate cancer treatment last year came with a significant permanent loss. Will I have another loss as well in exchange for my lymphoma treatment? I don't know and won't know until weeks or months afterwards. I began treatment with the hope that I could say one day that I am cured or that my cancer is in "durable remission". That is still my goal, even if I have to make some adjustments to usual practices. 

It's definitely a puzzle that has no immediate answer. I do like puzzles, especially ones that can be solved like this one made of six identical pieces. This puzzle that I am facing now has an answer that I won't know for some time. I plan on making the best of whatever happens.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 28 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Sprouting Sticks Earlier this month, Marcia brought Judy a cutting from one of the plants in her Wisconsin garden. The single rooted stalk became several plant starts as Marcia cut it into several pieces in order for it to fit into her carry-on luggage for the flight to Nashville. It appears from my observation that Judy and Marcia planted nine different portions of that stick into the ground near our trio of dogwood trees. So far, at least six of them have little leaves sprouting. Looks like a good start!

Hydrangea Arborescens "Mary Nell" was named after the wife of professor Joseph C. McDaniel of the University of Illinois. Apparently it is a fast growing variety of lacecap hydrangea. Michael Dirr reported in an article in Nursery Mag that he received two plants in January 2019 that had become 100 by August. This could become a problem! And they grow to five feet tall! I think Judy may need to find another spot in the yard for this new resident of the Hideaway.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 25 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Bring Chalk Last weekend was the beginning of travel season for girls' softball in our area. It seems to me that there are tournaments every weekend until school resumes in August. I suspect that I am wrong for surely there is a free weekend in that stretch sometime. 

Tournaments are all day events; often they are all-day, multi-day events. And when that happens, the whole family is at the ballpark. There are pop-up tents everywhere and electric generators and coolers on wheels. And if you don't have shocks on your fold-up chair so you can rock, you must have missed the memo. Parents and siblings wear team shirts just like the players. And the kids who aren't playing get bored.

Someone remembered to bring sidewalk chalk. And the walkways were covered with drawings and games.

Maddy was there to play softball, four games, all victories including the championship game with trophy and rings. (Although this photo is watermarked DaySixPix, I did not take this picture).  And it was our first outing to someplace that didn't have "medical" in the name!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 24 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Pentecost Acts 2:1-4 "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability."

Interpretations abound on this passage and its importance for the birth of the church.

I am struck on how it emphasized unity; that all could hear and understand. In a time of fracture and tribalism and disunity and information bubbles, the church could provide a setting where all belong. The church should.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 23 May 2021 15:58:31 GMT
Can Tourist Season Be Far Away? Yesterday I did not feel well most of the day, 12th day post treatment. The recovery period has gotten longer with each chemotherapy session and the depth of my fatigue has grown with each treatment as well. I am glad that I get an additional week of recovery prior to my final chemotherapy infusion on June 7. I need it.

But later in the day, I felt better. The pool temperature was 78 and I wanted to vacuum the final last portion of dead algae from the bottom of the pool. So I did. I even got in the water, and by 5 pm, the temperature had increased to 79. And I swam from one end to the other. A remarkable change from Wednesday when I got winded just trying to trim the weeds around one of the flower beds. Better each day. I am blessed. 

Judy's straw hat and Hideaway apron hang on the stair post. Each day we are moving closer to having company and saying good-by to Covid and Cancer. I am more than ready for visitors. Tourist season is year-round, every day, in Nashville. The Hartleroads and the Hideaway are nearly ready.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 22 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Might as Well Choose Color Today felt like summer. Windy, warm. 88 degrees and the pool has warmed to 77. Swimming temperature for me, but not yet for Judy.

It's the kind of day that you search for shade. Several years ago we planted a Forest Pansy Redbud tree at the corner of the house where one of the large Bradford trees had crashed down in a spring storm. It's a beautiful replacement. 

And this afternoon as I ventured out of the house, I noticed the shade that tree provided and looked up to the sky through the underside of those glorious leaves. I've been writing so much about green lately, and our yard has abundant green. So I laughed when I looked up through the shade of this tree and thought how wonderful it was to have colorful shade. 

I'm an ordinary guy, but I love color. (Except maybe on my plate). Unfortunately, that affection for color has sometimes drawn unwanted attention, like the green-and-orange plaid bell-bottomed suit I wore for Easter (when I had hair) or the red and yellow Hawaiian jammers I wore on campus (when I used to wear swimsuits) or madras shirts and striped pants and lots of other clothing choices.

I mean if you have to choose, you might as well go for bold. Maybe I'm not so ordinary after all!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 21 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Irresistible Hope I missed blogging yesterday. I was empty, exhausted.

But I have been invaded with hope, embraced with hope, saturated with hope.

This hope did not come from within me. 

The hope came as a wave from a chorus of encouragers. The hope came as a lifeline from cancer survivors. The hope came listening to Dr. Thompson review the recent PET scan. The hope came from the scriptural affirmation of divine love for all of God's family, no one is excluded.

Whenever we need it most, we are baptized with hope, invited to feast at hope's table.

Not only does green grow in the cracks, hope blooms there too. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 20 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Trying to Wait Out the Fatigue I'm caught in the fatigue. My strength seems not to have diminished. But I have virtually no energy. The last three days have been the most challenging. Don't get me wrong, I'm doing "mostly good". I don't mean to complain.

I know it's just the chemicals that are creating my physical reaction to the treatment. And it will pass with time.

I'm glad there is only one more infusion treatment, and it is three weeks away.

But each recovery period seems to get longer and deeper. Nothing to do but wait it out. 

But it steals my ability to focus, and imagine, and plan, and do. Caught.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 18 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Left Behind Saturday morning I awoke to see two moving vans parked in front of my house. The neighbors across the street were moving. They had a lease to purchase arrangement that apparently didn't work out for either party. Still, it was surprising to see the moving vans because I thought they intended to stay. The effects of the coronavirus has made getting acquainted with the neighbors challenging. We've had very few conversations. We did take cookies over for Christmas. The husband worked on swimming pools and replaced my circulating pump this winter, and I had other pool projects in mind with warmer temperatures. But they are gone, and left the welcome sign behind. The high school senior who lived here is supposed to graduate next Friday. I grieve for their changes.

I moved a lot growing up. And shortly, also, after my graduation from high school. And I spent too many Mays packing to move to a new pastoral appointment in June. I think of all those who have transitions approaching.

I'm reminded too of all those around the world on the move, escaping war, and famine, and disease, and oppression. So much is left behind. I grieve for all I left behind. But I treasure the memories of friends, and shared meals, and laughter. I would have taken the welcome sign with me!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 17 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Seventh Sunday of Easter It may just be chemo weariness. But I don't think so.

I am tired of war, and lying, and hatred, and prejudice, and greed, and injustice, and poverty, and hunger, and arrogance, and intolerance.

Jesus' followers are in the world, but not of this world. To be in the world is to be concerned that all of God's people are harmed by the powers of this world and that awareness defines the mission. To not be in this world is to not be seduced by the false ethics and selfish pettiness that surround us.

And some in the church get distracted by made-up culture wars, when the real evil is so damned blatant.

Eugene Peterson renders one of Jesus's last prayers for his disciples in John 17:15-17, "I'm not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world. Make them holy--consecrated--with the truth."

Carmelo Alvarez, in 2011, wrote, "In preaching on the truth of the gospel, there are some challenging ethical questions that might be considered. First, when the Gospel stresses "live by the truth" (3:21 NIV), it means to accept the ethical demand that leads to the doing of the truth in concrete actions. Second, it requires a faithful people to "tell the truth" (Dietrich Bonhoeffer), as a consequence of a conduct and a testimony (15:26) that witnesses to that truth. Third, it calls to a discipleship in solidarity and the promotion of true reconciliation. Today, more than ever, reclaiming the centrality of the truth of the gospel and living the gospel in truth are daring tasks. (Daily Feast, Year B)

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 16 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
A Pattern to Enjoy As a teenager, I imagined a career as an architect. I was, still am, fascinated with design and construction. And so now, with my camera, I notice those details that add to structures. I love visiting the Frist Art Center in downtown Nashville. The building was previously the main post office, built during the Depression with an Art-Deco style. There are wonderful, eye-catching details everywhere. 

Today, not unexpectedly so, is a low-energy day. Dr. Thompson advised me early on that this first week after chemotherapy I can expect a substantial reduction in energy and then my energy will begin to rebuild after the weekend. It has become a familiar pattern, not one that I enjoy. 

So I decided to share a pattern I do enjoy.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 15 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Good Days Ahead I've noticed today that there is a difference in how I feel compared to my previous experiences after chemotherapy. Fatigue is the primary result of the medications I received. That fatigue is most evident physically. I can do do a few things but I rapidly tire. I have not lost strength, just energy. I know through the rhythm of recovery that my energy will eventually return.

The good news, as my wife likes to say, is that I do not have emotional fatigue. I am more aware of what is happening to my body. My anxiety is less because I know more about the treatment and the response of my body. I have evidence that the treatment is working. I do not feel like I am surrounded by mystery. Knowledge is power.

And today has been another day of watching Judy garden. I think she is having creative fun. I know we are both anticipating the beauty that will soon appear in color and form. She even bought me a Japanese Red Maple today that we need to think about where it could be planted. Put our imagination to work. Good days ahead.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 14 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Fatigue Fog My primary side effect during the first week to 10 days after each chemotherapy treatment is fatigue and low energy. I have managed to care for the side effects I experienced after the first treatment: mouth sores/thrush, digestive issues, and bone pain. But there is little I can do about the fatigue. Rest is not much of a remedy as I don't really have a choice as I do give in to a nap when I get very tired. There's a bit of mental fog as well that I have illustrated with this photo through the window shade to our deck in the late afternoon sunlight. I know what it looks like out there and the view is restorative to me, but this week it's like looking through this screen. I did spend some time outside in the lounge chair near the pool as Judy busied herself with planting a number of pots nears the pool fence. I occasionally encouraged her, but she was enjoying the gardening. Fortunatley, she doesn't need my help this week.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 13 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Double Take Have you noticed recently that the trees are two-toned? The first leaves of spring have been joined by new leaves this week, so the cherry tree in the backyard is two hues of green and the maples trees along the driveway have baby red leaves. The canopy along the back fence doubled overnight in density, creating deep shade. Growth continues.

A friend said yesterday morning that if there were no humans, the plants would take over the planet in mere moments. 

I noted early in this journey that green grows in the cracks. Green has certainly taken over in our little piece of the world. 

I'm also aware of the growth that is occurring during my treatment as the chemotherapy kills cancer and fast-growing cells in my body and the white blood cells bounce back. Life is amazing, resilient.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 12 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Celebrating with Peonies Today is Michael and Amy's 25th wedding anniversary. Wow! How can that be possible!

A friend, Lynn Taylor, brought this sumptuous bouquet of peonies to our house yesterday to help celebrate our good news from Dr. Thompson.

My blood counts were excellent Monday morning. But the exciting news from Dr. Thompson was that the PET scan revealed my cancer is in clinical remission, "no abnormal uptake". "Perfect!" I had my third chemo treatment Monday and will have my final one four weeks later on June 7. Although I have stage 3 Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma which was detected early, the treatment has worked its magic. I will have another PET scan in late June as well as a repeat endoscopy prior to seeing Dr. Thompson near the end of June. He will refer me to a radiation oncologist who will determine the number of treatments. So July will likely be daily trips for radiation. Dr. Thompson was as excited as we were. 

Another friend said this morning, "All you gotta do is show up, and the docs do the rest!" And another added, "Prayers and a smart oncologist are a powerful combination!" Indeed, it is certainly working for me. Long range, I will be monitored every three months for the first year, and with longer time spans for the next five years. But after two encounters with different cancers within a short amount of time, I am hopeful, grateful, blessed, amazed, excited. I awoke early Tuesday. My joy has increased. Planning for the fall, where shall we go?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 11 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Chemo #3 Today is my third chemotherapy treatment. Honestly, I do not want to do this again. After experiencing two chemo sessions, I know what I am facing with the third and how I will feel for the two weeks following. It's no fun. 

I do want to be well. I do want the cancer to be gone. And I know the medication cocktail must be doing what is necessary to kill the cancer cells. I will find out for certain today as I should hear the results of the PET scan that was performed on Friday. I should know the effect of the cumulative chemotherapy sessions on my cancer today. And it will probably be good news, at least I hope so.

I've included this photo to encourage me to have healthy snacks today. From past experience, I don't have much of an appetite on treatment day nor for several days. Today I may have a better sense of the treatment plan going forward as well. Good stuff could still happen today.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 10 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Sixth Sunday of Easter The Common Lectionary readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter include Psalm 98, Acts 10:44-48, John 15:9-17, and 1John 5:1-6. Today is my turn to teach Sunday School via Zoom. We will all be glad to be back together in person some day. I suspect my cancer treatments will keep me out of the classroom longer than the wonderful day when the class can finally gather. My anticipation is already building for that probable Sunday in late summer or early autumn.

The Acts passage is the first instance of "all" meaning ALL when the message of God's love spreads beyond the Hebrew nation to the Gentiles. The non-Jewish listeners to Peter's message respond with exuberant praise which astonished the Jewish disciples. 

The 15th chapter of the Gospel of John explores the significance of being chosen for friendship by Jesus. And that followers of Jesus are to love as Jesus loves. Wouldn't that be amazing if the Church loved as Jesus loved? Too many examples demonstrate that's not true yet.

Psalm 98 is an exuberant hymn of praise that extends throughout creation.

The instruction in 1John 5 is to love those within the Church which is a constrained command for a group facing persecution. It seems to me that the Church fails to even love those within the Church.

Hopefully, this morning's class could be a fun discussion.



[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 09 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Far from Solitary It's tempting to consider one's situation as unique. Easy to think you alone are experiencing this life-altering event. 

But it's simply not true. Many before you have traveled this road and there will be many after your journey.

You are not alone.

Surrounded, wrote the author of the Letter the Hebrews, by a great cloud of witnesses.

Google and various social media demonstrate that one's experience is not solitary.

Two observations:

My experience may not be the same as yours but it is not wholly unique. We can learn from each other's journey.

And we are supported by a large group of encouragers who care about us and want us to succeed.

Not alone. Never was. Never will be.

The image below of Autumn Ferns, cultivar "Brilliance", was shot with a macro lens at f/2.8 which results in a very narrow depth of field. One frond is sharply in focus while surrounding ones are shown in varying softness and the play of light even sends some into the shadows. Our experience is sharply apparent to us, sometimes to the exclusion of others. But I hope this photo represents we are not alone.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 08 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
At the Frist! I made it to the Frist to see the Picasso exhibit! Yes, I have lost hair, haven't shaved my face in about three weeks! Exciting to be out doing normal things, although everyone inside was masked. Still, the Frist is always a joy for us. Pan down to see more exhibit photos.

Creating the American West in Art. "The Rabbit Hunt" by E. Martin Hemmings

"Reading Woman" by Picasso

Titled "Man with an Ax" by Liana Porter, is this the result of a music hater?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 07 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
A Near Normal Day Wednesday was a near-normal day. Beautiful sunshine. 68 degrees. Added more salt to the pool, the water is so clear and inviting. Cooked a boneless pork roast over charcoal on the Weber Grill. Delicious. Shared dinner with friends. Energy level felt near normal.

Celebrating this near-normal day.

This is a rare day now. Few days are near-normal. Chemo on Monday. The days after will not be normal.

But later this summer, my normal routine will return. Friends. Grilling out. Swimming in the pool. Energized. Grateful. Blessed.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 06 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Paradise Needs a Little Help It's gardening season at the Hideaway. The season is long here, as it is with most gardeners. Getting your fingers in the dirt. Wanting new plants. Moving old plants. Pulling the rare weed. Imagining the view. Visiting other gardens. 

Judy has had a garden everywhere we lived. And here she has more room to create. And the garden is growing.

I watch and encourage. Her efforts will result in more opportunities for me to photograph. I do provide some aesthetic advice, what could make a good photo when the planting matures.

Paradise needs a little help. At least our vision of paradise.

And it's better than thinking about my challenges. Something is always about to bloom, and we can't wait!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 05 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
More Complicated Than I Thought Monday's blood test should have been easy. I was cool and calm even when the tech appeared and said she would have to stick me again because there was something wrong with the first sample. No problem. Back to the waiting room until a nurse appeared and said I needed to go to the treatment room. What?!?! Code for something is wrong with your blood scores. Another long wait until another nurse delivers the news that my platelets are very low. No blood transfusion today (not something I had been expecting) but I should call the office if my nose bleeds or if I suffer a cut or bruise because my blood would likely not clot.

I was just beginning to get accustomed to the routine when a new variable rises to the surface. Cancer treatment is a bit like the simulation games we used to play years ago and the leader would announce a new wrinkle that would significantly alter our strategy. A friend had asked me weeks ago about my platelets and while the number bounced around, it hadn't drawn my attention. Now it does.

No playing with sharp things. No tattoos. No flossing! Be careful! Seriously? One more thing to add to my feeling of mortality and vulnerability.

I'm certain the medical team will be watching the numbers and they have a plan for whatever complication shows up.

Just another week to breathe deeply, and be careful.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 04 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Monday Means Blood Test If it's Monday, I am giving blood for a test. It's a 30 minute drive to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center. They do offer valet service which I began taking advantage of on my second trip. Yes, I'm old enough for valet service, and some Mondays, I feel like I am the stereotypical cancer patient. I enter the door and sign in. A receptionist aims a thermometer at my forehead (easy task as I have a lot of forehead now!). And I answer the standard Covid exposure questions. I wait until my name is called. The TV is tuned to HG home improvement show reruns. Appropriate, as all of us in the waiting room are renovation projects. Some of the patients must be there frequently as some of the staff greet them by name. How often do you have to be there for that to occur? Today is my ninth trip to these offices. Yeah, I let the valet park my car.

My name is called and I go back to the area where four chairs are located. One of the technicians sticks my finger. And milks my finger for more than enough to measure. I don't watch. She wraps a bandaid around my finger with a small gauze pad, tightly. I will be glad to remove it soon. I go to another chair around the corner to wait for the results. This time I expect to be told that I'm good and I can go home.

Next Monday, the technician will insert a special needle in my port for the blood sample and to be connected for my infusion. I think I am nearly halfway through this process. 

I'm looking forward to the Mondays that I will swim in my pool and not have to drive across town.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 03 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Learning Love The epistle lesson for the Fifth Sunday of Easter is 1 John 4:7-21. Portions from this passage include the following:

"Dear friends, let's love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God." (7)

"If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us." (12)

"We love because God first loved us." (19)

The writer makes a bold assertion: Love comes from God. We experience love in many different relationships and find it different in quantitative and qualitative ways. There are countless teachers and methods who claim to help us to learn to love. 

I have been reflecting on my pastoral ministry and shared with colleagues this week about my excitement of being appointed as a pastor to a church, and realizing that the fundamental task was to love them. I failed in many ways. But I also experienced being love far beyond what I deserved. It's been 20 years since I was appointed to a church and I am still amazed at the opportunity to love and be loved. Because I am still part of those Christian communities. 

I learned to love because I was loved by God, still am, and that love flows from my life, despite my failures. Truly amazing.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 02 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Not Yet I'm a fan of mystery. The kind of mystery that the author reveals an answer at the end.

Or the kind of mystery that is not solved and invites readers to imagine an answer or resolution.

We live in mysteries. Why did that happen? Why didn't the expected happen? Why was I chosen or ignored?

Possibly it's the perspective of years lived to look back and wonder about events and intersections and missed opportunities.

I have sat in rooms of grief and been asked why and I had no answer.

I have questions too. 

Sometimes there is no answer.

At least, not yet.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 01 May 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Closer Every Day I know this treatment cycle won't last for ever. I think I'm near the midpoint of the chemotherapy if there are four. But it sure feels like a circular process. Infusion. Fatigue. Recover. Approaching normal. Infusion. Fatigue. Recover, etc.

I am eager to get to late June with chemotherapy complete and waiting for radiation to begin. I do want to be rid of the cancer. 

It's just that treatment day is no fun. And there are only two more of those. I can do this. 

And before my next infusion on May 10, I have a week of near-normal with friends coming to visit us. 

I may even make it to the Picasso exhibit at the Frist. Weeks ago I got some of the last tickets before they were sold out.

And Saturday is the beginning of May. Closer every day.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 30 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Treatment Season This is one of those days where I felt better yesterday than I do today. Tenth day after chemotherapy. Tired. My digestive system is out of whack. And it has rained all day with a forecast of more rain tomorrow.

But I am grateful that my treatment season is the spring. And it will last into summer with radiation yet to be scheduled.

I have watched greenness grow in my backyard. Judy has spent two days scrubbing the green from our deck. The grass needs mowed.

Peonies have erupted from the ground and color is showing on their marble-sized buds. The dogwoods lost many petals in today's downpour.

The oaks are the last trees to leaf out and will soon obscure the western sky. We can even open our windows and enjoy fresh air.

So I am glad to be distracted from how I feel by what I can see and touch and smell. I even wandered around my cul-de-sac to see what my neighbors have blooming in their yards. The slow, bald man with his camera and tripod.

I do want the treatments to end, and take all the side effects with them. But I want the season to embrace me with green.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 29 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Another Mystery Solved One of the enduring mysteries this spring has been "what happened to the 71st egg?"

The Hideaway hosts an annual Easter Egg Hunt. Careful preparation is taken. Some plastic eggs even contain cash!

The organizers take great care in counting how many of the plastic eggs have been distributed throughout the premises.

Last year, because of the pandemic, the hunt was postponed.

But this year, the anticipation had been building for some time since the hosts had received their vaccinations and were eager to hold the heralded event.

Easter arrived and the solitary teenager searched the yard. Plastic eggs were counted. One was missing. The pair that had hid them knew it contained a chocolate Cadbury egg. But it was nowhere to be discovered.

23 days passed. And lo, in a bush next to the pool there it was. And the Cadbury egg appeared fine. We are awaiting the test taste to see how it survived within the plastic egg and the foil wrapping.

I'll let you know.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 28 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Soon This Seat Will Be Filled Ah, but it's not art! Hmmm, have you ever seen a contemporary photo exhibit? Okay, it's not art. Just a simple photo at dinner last night on our deck as I saw these two empty chairs...

We have lots of outside seating! Five reclining lounges, six dining chairs, four bar height chairs, 2 aluminum chairs with the round table, four other chairs (2 of which are in the photo), 2 laid back chairs (down in Judy's secret garden), and an Adirondack chair that I built! Plus all the seat boxes around the deck, and the half-dozen places in the pool spa.  Not many takers during the pandemic isolation. But that's about to change. Because...

All the places are...

Waiting for friends

Waiting for conversation

Hoping to catch up on stories and travels

Sharing a joke

Celebrating that my white blood count is high enough that there is no need for antibiotics this week!

Simple victories...

Heading for a cure.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 27 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
I'm Not a Painter I'm not a painter. I had to take Art Appreciation in college twice. That's another story.

But I do enjoy a feature on my camera that transforms a photograph into a watercolor. And the reason I like to do that is that it allows me to see something different that a highly detailed image. The color flows in wide swatches and the form comes to the front and the texture becomes brush strokes, and I find a different appreciation for what I am seeing.

I need that for my cancer.

I'm not halfway yet through the treatments. Oh, I have had 2 of the four scheduled chemotherapy infusions but the effects last far longer than the one day at the oncology center. Today is another blood test to determine how low my white blood count has gone. I suspect it will be lower than three weeks ago, after the first test. My energy was lower all last week and there were a couple of challenging days to summon any strength. It would be terrific if I could blur those days to see the beauty instead of the details.

Dr. Thompson raised my stage to 3 last week. A technical adjustment he said which doesn't affect my treatment schedule nor his intention to cure my cancer. But muted brush strokes would have been helpful there.

Summer doesn't officially begin until around June 21. I should have recovered from my fourth chemotherapy by then. And summer will just be beginning. Radiation will follow. Maybe it will lend itself to more watercolor than chemo.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 26 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Chase Me The week after chemotherapy depletes my energy enormously. Saturday was especially difficult.

But the Psalm Lesson for Fourth Sunday of Easter is the familiar 23rd.

Here it is as Eugene Peterson voiced it in "The Message":

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I am not afraid when you walk by my side. 

Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head, my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 25 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Honeysuckle Friday was cool and cloudy. My fatigue was in control. i slept a lot. I understand that the fatigue is one result of the chemotherapy, and that the purpose is so that I will have healthy, cancer-free days ahead. But I feel sometimes that these are days I am losing. I don't have energy for the projects I usually do in the spring, nor the ones I imagined I would be doing coming out of Covid isolation. Today feels like I am the weakest I have been following the treatments. So I rest, more than I ever have.

I did notice yesterday that the honeysuckle shrub is blooming next to the pool fence. This is not the aromatic honeysuckle vine that will bloom later and carries so many memories of spring in Illinois. Still, the blooms are everywhere announcing warmth. Some day maybe I'll see them and smell them when I am swimming. If I have the energy. Floating in the water wouldn't be bad.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 24 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Stirred from my fatigue After two cycles of chemotherapy, I am learning that the first week after the infusion is wholly given to fatigue. My thoughts are clouded, I move slowly, I have no appetite, the bed calls to me several times a day.

But there are moments, like this evening near our dinner time, when the sunlight filters through the trees of our western border and illuminates the dogwoods. Of course, I notice, and have to take my camera outside. I forget the cancer. I ignore the fatigue. And I just appreciate what I can see. And the birds are singing, singing a hymn to the evening light.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
If I have to Stay Home Then this is a good place to be. The iris began blooming this week. This particular iris bloomed three times last year, with the third time in December.

The rhythm of the bloom parallels my chemotherapy pattern. I feel relatively good before each treatment. And then I have ten days of fatigue, mouth sores, more hair loss, increased vulnerability to infection. It is challenging for me not to see these days as loss. And then I gain strength, preparing for the next round. Ready to bloom.

I still find it incredible that I have had two different forms of cancer within a year. 

Each bloom signals there are possibilities and recoveries.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 22 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Navigating the Obstacles The second chemotherapy treatment was completed Monday. And despite my impatience about getting started, the infusion was largely uneventful. The nurse even advised that I crunch on ice chips during the administration of "the red devil".

The magic blinking green firefly attached to my waist dispensed the dose of Neulasta yesterday evening. Other than the daily dose of prednisone, the medications of the second round are completed.

Now begins the obstacles following each chemotherapy treatment.

My first obstacle is realizing that chemotherapy and radiation will occupy most of my spring and summer. My last chemotherapy should be May 31, if there are four.

I imagine radiation will begin in July.

Another obstacle is lots of fatigue, which all in all, is the lesser of side effects. And is the product of the chemotherapy working. Unfortunately, it is just an extension of the isolation we practiced for a year before we received our vaccinations in February.

The other obstacle is my vulnerability to infection because of the destruction of white blood cells.

But there is a way through this.

Just as the rocks loom in Acadia National Park, there is a path around them. The obstacles do not block the way to my healing. Just one step at a time.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 21 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Neulasta 2 This is my Neulasta Day, for the second time. This evening the little marvel pictured below will dispense medication during a 60 minute time span that will stimulate my white blood cell production. Three weeks ago the little machine, attached near my waist, began blinking it's little green light and made a ticking sound. That first evening, it was just another one of the mysteries that accompanied my chemotherapy. But I have come to realize that it is essential for my recovery.

Created just 20 years ago, this medication and its automated delivery system will help my body develop healthy white blood cells to replace the cancerous ones that were dangerous to my health.

I am so grateful to physicians and researchers and scientists who are dedicated to eradicating cancer.

Yesterday, prior to my treatment, Dr. Thompson said the bone marrow biopsy was negative which was great news.

And to those who read yesterday's blogpost, I ate a whole peanut butter sandwich this time!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 20 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Chemo Day #2 Today is the second long day of chemotherapy. I am scheduled to be at Tennessee Oncology for six hours. 

The last time I could not distract myself from what was happening. I took my Kindle, two other books, and a notebook. And a peanut butter sandwich.

I did not open the books nor the Kindle nor the notebook.

I ate half of the peanut butter sandwich.

This time I'd rather think pleasant thoughts and consider beauty,

and rest in God's hands, the support of prayer partners, and the care of my medical team.

This photo, with a watercolor effect, is the wild columbine in front of our home.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 19 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
More Joy in One Ordinary Day Eugene Peterson's The Message renders a portion of Psalm 4: "Why is everyone hungry for more? 'More, more,' they say. 'More, more.' I have God's more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day."

Judy and I have made a practice to name our blessings each night. Some nights, she does it for both of us when I am so weary, noticing what had brought joy to us during the day. Truly, I am...




Joy filled.





The image below, that I have shared before, is from the old Chain of Rocks bridge (old route US 66) spanning the Mississippi River. I entitled it "Unexpected Joy." Do you see it? Do you have it?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 18 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Three Weeks Wiser My second chemotherapy treatment is in 2 days, Monday. I think I am three weeks wiser. At least when it comes to this specific combination of ten medications and how my body responds, I am three weeks wiser. I still cannot recite the list, nor can I spell their names if I hear them read aloud, nor can I even pronounce them correctly. Still, I think I am three weeks wiser.

I am no longer worried about how tired I will be, not as much as I feared. I am far more vulnerable to infections that first week after treatment than I realized before. I already have some medications that could be necessary for side effects I did not have and for those that I did have. 

I have more hope than three weeks ago. Green is, indeed, growing in all the cracks.

And I have a greater sense of a vast network of prayers and encouragement for which I know that I am embraced with grace.

And I am three weeks closer to being cured.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 17 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Squirrels and Oak Trees We are fortunate to have two large oak trees at the western edge of our property. Well, maybe not so fortunate in the autumn as they generate thousands of large leaves that descend upon us. But they are magnificent trees. 

And we have squirrels. Too many squirrels. Big fluffy squirrels. And they have a partnership with the oak trees. The squirrels keep busy in late summer as the acorns mature and drop to the ground. These fuzzy creatures gather the acorns, one at a time (just one is a mouthful), and bury it somewhere in the yard, frequently in one of the daylily gardens.

I think the intention of the squirrel is to retrieve the acorns to eat during the winter. We find little holes throughout the yard where the squirrels have dug up a winter meal.

But some of the buried acorns are forgotten or not needed. And they sprout. A new oak tree begins. 

The gardener at the Hideaway is not pleased by these surprise oak trees. So she flexed her muscles and pulled up this oak tree all by herself.

She's excited by her efforts and has to show her photographer husband.

Life is truly a wonder. 

Wherever, whenever it happens.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Learning about White Blood Cells I began having annual physical exams in my late 40s. I've been pretty healthy all those years with the exception of being overweight, or under-tall. So I would see my lab results which usually were a collection of numbers in the normal range. And I knew little about white blood cells other than they fought infections. Consequently, because I am an inherent learner and as a result of being diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma and confronted with new lab results with unfamiliar categories, I wanted to know more.

There are three main groups of white blood cells: monocytes, granulocytes, and lymphocytes. (1) Monocytes are present in larger numbers when the body fights off chronic infections. They target and destroy the cells that are causing the illness. (2) Granulocytes are the white blood cells that contain proteins, and have three different cell subgroups. Basophils are less that 1% of WBC and focus on allergic reactions. Eosinophils respond to infections that are caused by parasites, as well as the inflammatory response of the body. Neutrophils are the majority of white blood cells and act as scavengers. They surround and destroy bacteria and fungi. These neutrophils were 3.1 before my first treatment and .4 one week later, important cells that were killed, along with cancer cells, by the cancer meds. And that's why I have to be careful around other people following each treatment. (3) The third group are lymphocytes with three subgroups. Natural killer cells attack and kill viral cells as well as cancer cells. T cells help recognize and remove infection-causing cells. B cells produce antibodies to help the immune system mount response to infection. My cancer is because B cells are running amuck, and will destroy the lymph structure which is why it is such a problem if it is discovered late.

So what fascinates me about this is how much white blood cells act like a team. Their joint purpose is to protect the body against infection and each one acts in concert with the others to help the body remain healthy by performing their respective purpose. These bodies within which our spirits dwell are amazing. Mine has worked wonderfully well for more than 73 years, approaching 27,000 days. Dr. Thompson and his team intend to make it possible that I have many more days. Thank them, thank God, and thank my many prayer partners.

I took this photo at Old Car City USA, White, Georgia. It's an iconic junkyard where none of the cars or their parts are for sale and where they charge you $10 extra if you bring a camera. Fun spot if you like old cars!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 15 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Resilience I've been thinking about resilience. I took this photo in January at Navarre Beach, Florida, because I noticed how this plant was not only growing in the sand, but blooming. Not just surviving. Blooming. My hero.

Resilience is toughness: being able to endure and recover from difficulty. Resilience is elastic: being able to bounce back from defeat. Resilience is strength: able to absorb adversity. Resilience is being embraced with grace.

Not just surviving. Blooming.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 14 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Understanding the Medications

Yesterday my hair began to fall out. I told the pharmacist that it's not as much a shock for a man that's already bald. A friend asked, will you lose your eyebrows? They warned me that I could lose all body hair. I think that includes eyebrows. I wonder if it includes ear and nose hair, not that I have any noticeable, because of my good grooming habits! HA!

Next Monday I have my second chemotherapy treatment. And I have been going over the treatment plan to understand what I am receiving. I receive 10 medications with each cycle. The first 8 take about 6 hours, one after another, with constant monitoring by the care team.

1) Tylenol tablets

2) Benadryl, 50 mg, first time was liquid in my IV, during which I jumped all over the chair, not pleasant

3) Dexamethasone, a glucorticosteroid, treats nausea and lymphoma

4) Fosnetupitant, used with above medication to treat nausea and vomiting

5) Doxorubicin, the red liquid, that treats cancer by interfering with DNA of cancer cells

6) Vincristine, attacks normal and cancerous cells during cell division, hair loss, causes extensive tissue damage if it escapes the veins

7) Cyclophosphamide, works as above, but attacks normal and cancer cells during rest phase of cell division

8) Rituximab, monoclonal antibody, targeted antibody that attaches to the cancerous B cells and destroys them

9) Neulasta, attached to my waist and automatically dispenses 27 hours later, expensive ($6,231) stimulate WBC production in bone marrow

10 Prednisone, five daily doses, a steroid to decrease my immune systems response to the medications and to reduce reactions

Quite a regime, but far from the most difficult. Explains the fatigue. I'm counting all of this to kill my cancer!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) cancer chemotherapy Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma lymphoma Tennessee Oncology Tue, 13 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Monday Morning Coffee If we could only get together for coffee this morning.

I enjoy the smell of coffee brewing.

Although I probably should refrain from the coffee because my stomach ulcer may not be healed yet.

If we could only get together. I'm vaccinated. You? 

We could talk, share from our hearts. 

A hug would be nice.

I've missed being with people, haven't you?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 12 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Recognized by Wounds This image is my nurse injecting Doxorubicin into the IV attached to my chest port. As near as I can decipher, Doxorubicin interferes with the DNA of cancer cells through a process of preventing replication of the DNA and blocking the double helix from resealing. Far more sophisticated medical terminology that I can barely understand. It was the first chemotherapy medication of four different medications that complete the treatment.

Today is the second Sunday of Easter and the Gospel lesson (John 20:19-31) focuses on the apostle Thomas who is not present when the others encounter the Risen Christ. When Thomas is told by them that they have seen Jesus, he said he could not believe unless he sees and touches the wounds of Christ. I have preached on this text many times, but this week I am caught in a different way by Thomas's awareness of the wounds. He must have been present at the crucifixion. He either saw him die or viewed his dead body. I wonder if his grief wasn't affected by the reality of the wounds and prevents him from quickly believing the others' reports that they had seen him alive. Thomas isn't ready to move beyond the suffering. Maybe he wasn't with the others because he needed to grieve alone. I don't know. I may be stretching the scriptures.  I'm not like Thomas. I was always one to speed past the crucifixion and the suffering to Easter joy. And I wonder if I didn't try to make suffering invisible because I'd just as soon it not happen. I prefer to avoid my suffering and not just this event, but the suffering of many others. 

Some wounds are obvious. No one can miss that this person is injured. But most suffering is hidden, out of sight: sexual abuse, racism, broken hearts, dishonesty, mistreatment of all kinds. Or we choose not to see. And although there is no obvious wound, the injury may be even more devastating and dangerous to one's well-being. And these are the kinds of wounds that are easy to ignore or pretend that they are not serious or that they even exist.

I know I have failed to notice or care enough for people I know that were hurting. Forgive me for minimizing the suffering of others. I'm not asking for sympathy for me. I'm being taken care of. My cancer will be cured. But there are friends and loved ones whose pain we minimize in the hope that they too are not that wounded. Did we miss seeing how hurt they are?

The gospel account concludes with Thomas seeing the wounds of the risen Christ, and believing. The suffering is real, and so is the victory.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 11 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Cancer Is a Damn Weed Aggressive is the word my urologist used last summer to describe my prostate cancer. Aggressive also is the description for Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, a type of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, for which I am being treated now.

Cancer is a damn weed.

Cancer grows where it's unwanted. Cancer is like a weed threatening to push aside desired garden plants.

Cancer is like the weeds in my lawn, taking over and crowding out.

And it grew silently, without detection until a pathologist expertly detected it in a biopsy sample.

Cancer is a weed.

Yes, it's an ugly picture. Cancer is an ugly weed.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) cancer lymphoma Sat, 10 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Waiting Today, another day of fatigue, I wondered how long this would last and what the recovery period was going to be like with each successive chemotherapy treatment.

I wonder if it's working.

Is my body generating sufficient white blood cells? Will I experience the same side effects or will there be new ones?

I am trying to remain positive about the outcome. But I have begun to imagine what life beyond lymphoma will be like. My third treatment will be May 10 with a possible fourth treatment on May 31. And radiation after. When? I have no idea. And how many of those? 

I do have control issues. And all of this is beyond my control. And much seems to be dependent on the partnership between the chemo cocktail and the reaction of my body.

Spring is proceeding as well without my input or guidance and occurring in a beautiful display. Relax. Notice what is happening. Each day is a revelation.

So I am waiting, like this peony bud, for the right time, the full time, the color-burst time, the healing time.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 09 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Rest in the Fatigue When asked about how I am feeling during these past 10 days, my frequent response has been "Mostly good." I had few symptoms prior to beginning treatment. I have had a couple side effects to medication, but my daily companion has been fatigue. This is all the consequences of chemotherapy and the resulting drop in my white blood count. 

The advice has been frequent: rest. Let your body take care of itself. I haven't always been very good at resting. I often failed at sabbath keeping. And truthfully, much of my resting during my working years was the pause caused by exhaustion. So I do not presume to be an expert on resting.

My body, however, has asserted itself. Rest is necessary for my recovery. And so I wait. I read. I nap. I take an occasional photo. I relax and let the healing ease my body and spirit. 

And I have to confess: it ain't all bad!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) chemotherapy fatigue lymphoma rest Thu, 08 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Long Answered Prayer These maple tree seeds, "whirlygigs", have me thinking about prayer. It's no surprise how they caught my eye in my backyard! And I am so appreciative of those who are praying for my healing and for their support and encouragement. How much those prayers are clustered like these red wings!

These seeds have a long lineage. The tree that bears these seeds were planted by the original home owner more than 20 years ago. This maturing tree produces countless seeds so the cycle can continue into abundant life, even far from this spot, with the possibility to multiply many times over.

Some prayers are immediate petitions that spring from this moment or this specific need, waiting for answers or resolution. How quickly they spring from our lips or those of friends and family.

But I realized that many, maybe even most, of my prayers were answered long ago when Dana Thompson entered medical school and decided to specialize in cancer treatment, even before the creation of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center. He knows how to cure my lymphoma. He has done it before. Many of my prayers were answered by the training, compassion and experience of Dr. Thomas Lewis who first said "lymphoma" to my stunned ears. Many prayers were answered when a countless multitude of researchers and scientists began to develop treatments to cure cancer. Prayers were answered 20 years ago with the approval of a medication I will receive after each chemotherapy treatment to help my body make more white blood cells. Many of my prayers were answered when men and women decided they wanted to help care for cancer patients, and now carefully monitor my treatments and those of many more. They know how to do this. They want to help heal me and countless others. I am filled with gratitude for their skill and compassion.

As I contemplated all of this yesterday, I realized God had a head start. This all didn't spring into motion at the beginning of March, 2021. I'm just in a moment that has been prepared for healing. Some prayers are already answered.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) chemotherapy lymphoma prayer Sarah Cannon Center Tennessee Oncology Wed, 07 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Not What I Expected This post was going to "fly" in a different direction as I noticed a yellow swallowtail butterfly and this black one on the day before Easter and I wanted to talk about the surprise before Easter. This is most likely an Eastern Black Swallowtail, as it has landed on one of our several beds of spring phlox. And I wanted to share how much excitement I felt seeing butterflies before Easter. That is still all true.

But I got an unexpected surprise when I got the results of my white blood count yesterday afternoon. The technician performed a quick finger stick and asked me to wait a few minutes and she would have the results. Soon she appeared with my folder, and said you need to go to the treatment room so the nurse can discuss your results with you. First detour to the exit. Soon, the nurse appeared and said we need to check your vitals, are you coughing, have you had fever. Second detour to the exit. Wait over there, she said, I need to talk with the doctor. Another escape prevented. And before too long, she appeared again. "Your white blood count is 1.3." Way below normal. Last Monday it was 5.6, and the chemotherapy drugs had decimated my immune system. That's probably not medically accurate. But I was stunned. I was prescribed another antibiotic to take daily for a week, and be extra cautious with any person or substance that could infect me. My system would have difficulty fighting infection.

The reality is that's why patients are checked a week after treatment. I'm not the first to have a precipitous drop in WBC, and the staff knows what to do about it. 

But none of this is what I expected. I don't want more isolation. I don't want cancer. But I am surrounded by family and friends and medical experts who know what to do. So take a deep breath. I am held, watched over. This is not what I expected. But the doctor is not surprised. He's done this before. This clearly is not my solitary journey. So I can pay less attention to numbers and more to butterflies.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) butterfly cancer chemotherapy Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma Eastern Black Swallowtail lymphoma Tennessee Oncology white blood count Tue, 06 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Spring Begins Again The temperatures dropped below 30 degrees this past Friday and Saturday morning, which is why Judy and Michael spent Thursday wrapping trees and covering plants. Some flowers were left to  deal with the cold, like these tulips.  Heads bowed, wearing a sparkling coat of frost, they assumed the position of the defeated. 

But as the sun warmed the air and melted the frost, they resumed their proud stand. I too was bowed yesterday, not by frost, but just by physical discomfort. I did not feel well; I was not a jovial host for Easter dinner and didn't participate in the annual Easter egg hunt. I am still better than I anticipated a week after my first chemotherapy. And I do believe I will bounce back like the tulips.

Later today, my white blood count will be checked to assure that the treatment is not suppressing it to precarious levels. And I expect to resume the journey toward spring.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 05 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Easter I'm not a fan of Lent, nor mortality for that matter. And as a friend said today, it feels that we have been stuck in an elongated Lent since last year. I'm always more than ready to move to Easter, with acclimations of new life and the celebration of spring. And I love Easter worship. Every part of it. I recall a sermon I gave years ago in which I shared that if you can come to church only once a year, come on Easter.

And I miss it again this year.  And today, less than a week after my first chemotherapy treatment, I feel, well, yucky. Not nauseated, not really tired, just kind of awful. I suspect it's to be expected that some days I would not feel terrific. But even with my physical discomfort, I feel joy and hope and promise and compassion and gratitude and grace. Yes, Easter.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 04 Apr 2021 17:10:03 GMT
Wrapped in Compassion Job 14:14 "If mortals die, will they live again?" It's a common question when confronted with our own death or that of beloved family and friends. Amidst the passion narrative detailing the events between Jesus crucifixion and resurrection is Saturday. A day of grief. We know the answer to the question. We have stood in many cemeteries, placed flowers, traced the letters in ancient stones. Saturday was a day of grief and final preparations. And they, the women, would return on Sunday to wrap the body, and anoint it with spices.

Michael and Judy wrapped our Japanese Maples in preparation for the hard freeze these last two nights. I watched. And thought how much their wrapping was an act of care, in similar manner that the women were preparing so long ago to wrap Jesus. 

After a year of Covid distancing, how much we long to wrap, embrace, care for friends and family. When I prayed for the sick, I would ask if it was okay if we held hands. There was power in the touch, in illness, in despair, in worry, in grief. More than any words we would say, we were wrapped in compassion. How often in my ministry did I rush through the activities of the Easter weekend and miss the significance of the Saturday preparation to do the final act of caring? And how it would prepare our hearts to see Sunday!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 03 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Separated in Suffering Good Friday. First disclaimer. This is not my art work. It was created by my niece, Diane. She was born with Down's Syndrome. She loves art. And although her communication skills are limited, she is expressive with color and seems to intuitively understand the relationships between colors. I find it fascinating. But her art and her persona came to mind as I read scripture for Good Friday, from the prophet Isaiah: "Surely he has born our infirmities and carried our diseases, yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted." (52:13) I was caught by the invisibility and the shunning of those who appear different. We grievously and mistakenly conclude that somehow they are less than we are. Their condition is someone's fault or a punishment from God. How wrong we are. The core of the salvation story of Holy Week is about a man who willingly suffered punishment and death because of a sinful, unjust political and religious structure. And through that death came life for the invisible and the afflicted and the suffering. And rather than being ignored, dismissed, overlooked, abandoned, we all are gathered into one embraced community with a diversity of color and gifts.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 02 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Together for Thursday Maundy Thursday, another significant gathering time for the Christian community, arising out of the Passover meal. The people at table together. Jesus's prediction of suffering. He knelt and washed their feet as an act of service and compassion. A neighborly act for dusty feet two thousand years ago, but striking that the host would cleanse and soothe the feet of travelers, a task usually performed by servants. We still long to gather at table and compassionately care for the guests beside us. We hold hands, we laugh, we cry, we note those who are no longer with us, we pause to cherish this moment for it may never be the same again. We eat the bread, we drink the cup. We remember. And join the psalmist: "Thank God because he's good, because his love never quits. Tell the world..."The Message, Psalm 118.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 01 Apr 2021 11:00:00 GMT
In the Cracks Sprout Green I've been meditating on this scene this week. The stones and the moss were moved two years ago from gardening friends of ours who sold their life-long home to move to assisted living and who offered their garden to all who wanted parts of it. We bought home several carloads of flat stones to create a patio off the south side of our deck and Judy planted the moss between each stone. And just like last spring, green fills the cracks between the stones. Have you noticed how green fills cracks? Sidewalks, street cracks, brick and stone walls. I noticed green is invading my shed. Cedar trees grow in the cracks along the stone cuts where the highway cuts through the hills. Wherever the surface is disturbed and broken, green grows. Life will not be denied. Sometimes we call it weeds because it's growing where it's unwanted. But it still grows to reclaim. There are broken places in our lives, cracks, disruptions, opportunities for green to poke though. When it's unexpected. These days, this week, I call it hope. 


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 31 Mar 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Peering into the Future The first chemotherapy session is done. We didn't get a lot of clarity as the bone marrow results are not in yet, and the nurse did her job, as Dr. Thompson said she would, to tell us of all the possible side effects. That was the only nauseous moment of the day as she factually described unpleasantness. I have a plastic, electric powered injection machine that is supposed to deliver medication tonight that emits a bright green flash every few seconds. I'm the first firefly of the season to show up at the Hideaway. And I picked up two additional nausea medications plus Prednisone from the pharmacy that I am supposed to take for next five days. Go back in a week to check white blood count and do it all again in three weeks. I did see that I am stage IIE which means it's early and is located in extranodal tissue (my stomach) as well as a lymph node. It was a long process as I was in the clinic for 8 1/2 hours. Plus rush hour traffic both ways. We timed that right, didn't we? 

We are so appreciative of all the encouragement and prayers. It means a lot to receive the messages.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 30 Mar 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Healing Monday Today is the beginning of my healing. My first chemotherapy session. I admit that I am anxious about all that I don't know: results of tests, the procedure, my physical reaction to chemo and all the days following. Fascinating that I begin this journey as the Christian community begins holy week. 22 weeks ago I began to look toward the future and imagined that by Easter, we would be vaccinated and spring will have burst out with proclamation of new life, and we would begin some semblance of "normal". I kept reminding friends how many weeks until Easter as the calendar pages were being turned. I did not expect this turn of events. But I am fortunate and blessed, surrounded by prayer partners. When I told my Kurdish neighbor Sabrina that I had a different kind of cancer and needed her prayers, she stopped our conversation, covered her hair with her black lace scarf, lifted both hands with palms to the sky and began to pray. It was a holy moment. My healing has begun as the tulips bloom in the backyard of the Hideaway on Holy Monday.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 29 Mar 2021 11:00:00 GMT
Palm Sunday Even the most nominal church-goer recognizes the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem with the crowd waving palms and welcoming the Messiah into the occupied city. Change is about to happen, in ways that few can anticipate. 

The lesson from Psalms for the day cites portions of Psalm 118 which begins and ends with the phrase "his steadfast love endures forever!" Constant, unending, compassion and grace is announced over and over, not only by this psalm, but others which affirm this experience of God's love. God's love will not weaken or disappear. God's love is for this moment and all those that follow. Change will happen in our circumstances, but our experience of God's care for us is an embrace that will not quit. Ever.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 28 Mar 2021 11:00:00 GMT


At first I heard nothing else as my doctor gave me the news. But the reality began to sink in after a few days, diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

How could that be?

Last summer, 9 months ago, I listened as another doctor told me I had aggressive prostate cancer, and the best option was to surgically remove the cancer. I had recovered well. My PSA was zero. No, the previous cancer had not returned; this is a completely different cancer, and even more perilous to my health. 

So the last two weeks have been filled with blood tests, and CT and PET scans, and doctor appointments, and counseling. I have a good prognosis with the test results from last Friday revealing that in addition to cancer in lymph tissue in my stomach, I have cancer in the lymph node under my left arm. Fortunately, miraculously, this cancer was found before I have any symptoms, and with little dispersal through my body. I have heard too many stories of patients who were diagnosed too late. DLBL is a serious threat; it can be fatal.

I am hopeful. My oncologist is confident that the cancer can be, will be, cured.

Next Monday I begin chemotherapy with a combination of four drugs. Every three weeks I will get an infusion that will take 3-4 hours. Nasty side effects may follow each week following treatment. The doctor said I may need radiation following the chemotherapy. And I will have lowered immunity with the risk of infection.

I got my second vaccination against Covid in late February. Supposedly, I am immune. I was ready to break out of isolation, see my friends, invite them to my home, eat in restaurants, go to the theater, hug my granddaughter. But I have something new stalking me. 

So I have a new journey ahead, not unlike the multitude of times I escorted parishioners through this perilous land. Except this time, it's my journey.

Of course I won't be alone. My neighbor said I certainly have more resources than the typical cancer patient: world-class medical facilities, amazing physicians, prayer partners including my Buddhist and Muslim neighbors, my wife and family, and my faith in God's healing.

I expect to be riding a roller-coaster of emotions, and sometimes the future may appear murky. But I have hope that I will be twice-cured.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) chemotherapy Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma lymphoma Tennessee Oncology Mon, 22 Mar 2021 11:00:00 GMT
New Year Puddle New Year's Day, January 1, 2001, was a glorious day in our neighborhood. Windy, warm, with a high of 73 degrees. It was quite a change in weather from the previous day when it was cool and rainy. So we spent much of the day outside. Haircuts for both of us. The third or fourth time I trimmed Judy's hair during the pandemic while Judy has regularly cut my hair for more than 15 years. And we walked. The puddle near the road was still and the surface did not reflect the sky and beckoned me to use my new phone to record an image. Simple fun.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 02 Jan 2021 16:49:18 GMT
Looking for Different

Like everyone else in the world, I am eager to see 2020 move on. But the reality is that a new calendar year is a bit of an illusion. Today is not much different from yesterday, especially when one is retired. Nevertheless, there is a freshness about a new calendar, a new budget, a new president (soon-to-be).  I'm glad to be done with cancer, and hopeful for a COVID vaccination. I'm eager to be out and about again, and looking. This image is one I discovered last week as I was processing some photos from the autumn of 2015. I may have tweeked the saturation a little, but it does portray what I saw with the stack of basalt rocks at the Interstate State Park in Minnesota. I am looking for different in the new year, a different hopeful spirit in the country, a desire for justice and equality, a quest for peace, and images that will make me dance and sing (even at my age.)

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 01 Jan 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Autumn All Around

One doesn't need a calendar to know that autumn is all around. As I drink my morning coffee and gaze out the window, I see one of our burning bushes lit by the morning sun. What a glorious day!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 11 Nov 2020 13:40:51 GMT
21 Weeks Until Easter

Actually, my countdown started two weeks ago as I looked at what adjustments I might need to make with the coming winter. Some might think I am rushing the calendar. But I need a marker of hope. I want to look forward to the future. this year I have survived cancer, avoided Covid, longed to hug my granddaughter, missed my family, yearned to visit friends. I want to move beyond the toxic chaos of political poison. So I set a mark on the calendar when life could be different again, maybe not normal, but not like it is now. Easter. The day of resurrection. Celebration. Spring. This photo is from April 5, 2020, captured in my backyard. 21 weeks until the dogwood is in full bloom again. And I will celebrate.

And to use the days ahead, I have begun to set goals so that these 21 weeks can have a purpose beyond waiting. I have a list of projects and hopes. By the time I get to Easter, life will be different.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 08 Nov 2020 14:00:01 GMT

Susan brought us gifts. She brought flowers to a gardener and a photographer of gardens. Wow! Unlike any flower we had in our gardens. The giver brought a special flower. But the point is not that the flower was different. The point is that it was a gift. Family is a gift. Faith is a gift. Friends are gifts. A simple day changed by a gift is truly a blessing. Every day can be changed by gifts and givers.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 21 Aug 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Reblooming Survivor

It's been a month since my surgery. The good news is that the pathology report reveals that the cancer was wholly contained in the prostate and the surgeon is confident that he removed all the cancer. When I return to his office in another month, I hope that the blood test confirms that I am a cancer survivor. I am so appreciative for the many prayers and notes of encouragement. It is good to know that the journey was not a solitary one. Thank you.

The magnolia tree in our backyard is reblooming as are a number of our daylilies. It's my hope that here in mid-August in a tumultuous year that we all might have an opportunity to rebloom.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 20 Aug 2020 11:30:44 GMT
Living in Hope Tucked into a corner of the garden are a few coneflowers, not many, just this red variety. The plant has been blooming for a while, but the sun this morning accented the various stages of growth in this single plant. I am glad that I saw it because it has been a stressful time, not just for me, but for all of us. My surgery is this coming Monday and I am hopeful that I will begin the road to recovery. I am not so optimistic about the national approach to the spread of the coronovirus. But I dwell among hopeful people.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 14 Jul 2020 17:11:28 GMT
Reality The doctor said there was good news. No cancer in your bones or lymph nodes. But in describing the cancer he used the word "aggressive" too many times. I wake up early morning. I look at the clock and again it is way too early. Dark outside. And before long my mind clicks on, I have cancer. The first week I found it hard to believe it. I wondered what the future looked like. My mother died because of cancer just 5 years ago. I made the journey with numerous church friends. I remember so clearly being speechless when "Dite" said he had cancer. I loved him. And I had nothing. He wasn't the first. He certainly wasn't the last. Nor am I.

I have prayer partners everywhere. And family and friends who are so dear to me that our relationship transcends words. So what happens now?

The reality is I have cancer. And I have an appointment with an exceptional surgeon in a world-class facility in the midst of a pandemic. But I am filled with hope. And peace. Veterans of this surgical procedure have given me details of their journey. And I can do it too. And I could ask for no one who cares for me more than Judy. Life is truly good. And I have years of moments ahead to be amazed at what I see.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 02 Jul 2020 19:54:50 GMT
Waiting in Hope In addition to all the daylilies in our yard, Judy is growing Stokes Aster this year in several places. The bloom is a large, wonderfully fringed purple flower. This last week as I was painting the deck I noticed how these flowers begin to unfold. This round ball will soon open to a new glorious expression. This morning I will be having a biopsy that I have been waiting to have performed since I received MRI results three months ago, nearly to the day. The nationwide precautions regarding COVID-19 caused the fusion biopsy to be cancelled twice. So I have waited for these past three months to receive information about something that I would have liked to ignore. I have been hoping that the matter can be cared for as I have no symptoms that indicate a possible issue. So little has been normal this spring: abundance of rain, ordering groceries online, seeing friends and family on FaceTime, going to church on Facebook Live, attending Sunday School on Zoom, watching the economy crater, and unrest in the nation over issues of racial injustice. So waiting has been a challenge. I have a tan, as usual since I have retired with a private pool. I have photographed everything that has bloomed in our garden. I have read, watched too much TV, and eaten just the right amount of chocolate. And I hope. Just as this flower is about reveal the reason for the waiting. May I experience release or be given patience as I celebrate whatever days are ahead.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 09 Jun 2020 11:00:00 GMT
What is this? As I was looking at this morning's photos of daylilies, I saw the outline of a strange object on one of the petals, and then over-exposed the image to see the insect more clearly.

Then I cropped the image to zero in on the bug and found something I have never seen. What is this?

So this is Himmelman's Plume Moth. I'm not certain that it is a welcome visitor in our daylily garden.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 07 Jun 2020 14:09:41 GMT
Moment Not fine art. Although a photographer friend claims this is a wide category, especially if I tweak it in some processing program and add a texture. Rather this is an iPhone photo, close-up of the butterfly on our patio door. Just a moment one morning last week. Just fun.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 06 Jun 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Surprise in the Tree Judy was surprised in the garden this week by one of the residents in the yard. I hope this snake eats moles, although this day the snake was spending more time in trees than on the ground.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 05 Jun 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Dark Another view.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 04 Jun 2020 12:20:41 GMT
Magnolia Magic I took a week's break from the blog while the intensity in the nation was off the charts. My photography helps me to see beyond headlines and emotions and spiritual trauma. Friends and family and my faith sustain me. I so enjoy magnolia blooms, especially as they begin to fall apart and scatter on to the petals. I like the texture, and the depth, and the expression of time.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 03 Jun 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Once Upon a Time A story begins. And ends. Sometimes before we are ready. The resolution was unsatisfactory. Story threads are left hanging. Characters have disappeared. 

So many dreams have ended. May they be replaced with new ones. So new stories can begin. So we can make hope real.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 25 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Eternal Life This is the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Next Sunday is Pentecost. The Gospel Lesson from the Common Lectionary is John 17:1-11. This begins the final prayer of Jesus for his disciples. The air is heavy with anticipation and sorrow and uncertainty. But Jesus prays for his followers in a confident manner, deeply personal, revelatory. And I find verse 3 to open understanding: "And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." What is being referred to here is not perfect understanding. Instead, eternal life is found in relationship, knowing and being known. One of my colleagues yesterday, In-Sook Hwang, made a comment on one of my Facebook posts, which began that she "still longs for the beloved community in which we respect and value diversity and intercultural relationships..." I was powerfully moved to consider how too I long for the future Beloved Community. But every once in a while, one gets a glimpse of respect and justice and love and peace and equality. All hint about eternity that is made real in relationship. And in these days of restrictions and social distancing, the people mightily witness to the love of God made real in the world. And that is eternal life, now and not yet

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 24 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Longing for Simple Debates Is it Loopin or Lu-pine? How do you pronounce Lupine? For that matter, how does one pronounce Peony? Or Missouri? Or Tomato? Issues today result in a more stark, toxic divide I admit I am baffled why reasonable, smart, educated people support points of view other than mine. If we could rationally persuade the other to see the flaw in their loyalty, couldn't we come to some sort of agreement? But we have preferences, and prejudices. I want to believe that there are some things, values, commitments, truths upon which we can agree. And leave our disagreements to lupine, and peony, and tomato.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 23 May 2020 12:59:20 GMT
Missing Library Concerts One of our traditions since we moved to Nashville is to attend the noon concerts downtown at the Nashville Public Library. They begin later in the summer and extend into the fall months. There have been a few difficulties the last few years with parking, but it's usually worth the effort. Last year was a real treat to hear Rod McGaha again. We first heard him perform with the Fisk Jubilee Singers at the Ryman. I used a function in my Sony camera to create a watercolor effect, although I took many photos that day that did not have this effect. I like this one that captures his intensity. And nobody has eyeglasses like that!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) jazz Rod McGaha trumpeter Fri, 22 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Trio This is just a fun photo, or a bunch of photos in one. First, the red emblem on the chrome hubcap indicated that this car is a Plymouth, probably vintage 1939-1940. Plymouth was a division of the Chrysler Corporation what was manufactured from 1928 until 2001. I remember my dad owned a burgundy 1954 coupe in the early 60's. And then the blue automobile reflected in the hubcap is a 1958 Chevrolet Impala. And then of course, there is the self portrait of the photographer.  Behind me is the historic Illinois capitol building with the red dome, built during 1837-1840, and was the site of candidacy announcements of both Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. I saw one of those.

So I guess there are more than three subjects in the photo. Slightly more. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 21 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Robot Cat Today would have been my mother's 91st birthday. She died in June of 2015. I am blessed by her love, her faith, her laughter, her music, and her enjoyment of family and friends.

This photo is from Christmas 2008. She loved cats but didn't really want to care for a cat, especially with how they can get underfoot and cause one to fall if you're not careful. So we got her a battery-operated cat that would move and meow, and if left alone, would meow again for attention.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 20 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Honeysuckle My very first summer as the associate pastor at Effingham Centenary UMC I was introduced to Little Grassy Camp near Carbondale. We went there a lot over the years: summer camp,  confirmation retreats, Youth weekends, Emmaus weekends, Board of Ordained Ministry meetings, workshops, training events. Michael and Amy were married at Inspiration Point 24 years ago last week. And one of my most lasting memories is the smell of honeysuckle that seemed to be everywhere in the spring. So it's a delight to me that on the northern fence of our yard is an abundance of honeysuckle. Good memories that surround me with fragrance.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 19 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Gardening Wins We went to St. Louis in February, and besides visiting with family and friends, we went to one of our favorite places--the Missouri Botanical Garden. And there in one of the interior spaces was the glimpse of spring. Little did we know that it would be one of the few trips in 2020. And little did we know then how important gardening would be to us as we have spent the last 10 weeks isolated from family and friends. In spite of it all, gardening wins!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 18 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
In Every Place Today is the Sixth Sunday of Easter. Portions of another sermon from St. Paul appear in Acts 17:24 "God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth." and 17:27-28 "God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. In fact, God isn't far from us. In God we live, move, and exist." In this time when everything appears to have unraveled, it is good to remember this affirmation that God is near to us in every moment, and in every place.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 17 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
She Was With Me Nearly Every Time The stress of being home, and missing family and friends, and everything else is getting to me and yesterday I was complaining, feeling sorry for myself, and barked at Judy. Later as I apologized and talked to her about my remarks, I began to unpack some of the possible reasons that had provoked my response. One of those was that I had no one to photograph with, no buddy who I could go out and take pictures. Ain't it awful! But later, I realized to my embarrassment, and I am confessing now to her and everybody else, that she was with me nearly every time I pushed the shutter. She carried the tripod, she pointed out flowers or bugs or rocks that I might be interested in. How many times had she walked the trail, or stood next to me or posed as the human element in a landscape? And when we made the transition to digital and could immediately see the resulting image, who did I show the photo to first? She was always appropriately awed at my composition. The reality is that I do have a buddy to photograph with and sometimes she even carries the camera!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 16 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Not So Cuddly No, this is not a microscopic view of the coronavirus. But is a photo of cactus at the Missouri Botanical Garden, photographed pre-pandemic. Our politics are prickly and has invaded all the places in our lives where it should not matter. I am distressed when we have massive unemployment claims, incredible amounts of money going who knows where, and a global virus that has killed hundreds of thousands which has no cure or vaccine, that we are divided by the poison of partisanship. Add racism and fear of all kinds to the brew. What a summer we are going to have!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 15 May 2020 11:06:56 GMT
Ready for Release I've been thinking about cars and traveling the last several days, and looking through some of my photos of cars and automotive items. Back when cars had prominent radiator caps, an entire industry developed making elaborate ornaments to be fastened to the top of the cap. This one is for a 1930 Cadillac and depicts a woman leaning into the wind with her hair and cape flowing behind her. Must be super-woman!

We have limited our exposure to COVID-19 by mostly staying home and wearing masks when out in public. I suspected when this all began more than two months ago that hand-shaking would be a greeting that would disappear for a while. Now I grieve that the precaution of wearing a mask is a political statement, and I felt uncomfortable in the local hardware store with clerks and customers not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing. So this ornament expresses my yearning for the future when our spirits can be free and healthy.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 14 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
September in Springfield 2008, the hotrods, customs, gearheads, food stands were thick in downtown Springfield, Illinois. I had found a parking spot early in the evening and the cars paraded through downtown for what seems like hours and then parked for a street party, complete with oldies bands on numerous corners. What an amazing evening! It felt like I was back in high school. What fun!

I'm pretty sure this is an early Oldsmobile, probably about 1952. Spinners on the hubcaps! And teardrop spotlights, and laker exhaust pipes!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 13 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Loving Lane I love auto museums. I love cars. So I've visited the Crosley Museum in Paducah (it's a definite must; there is nothing like it). And probably my favorite is the Auburn-Cord-Duesenburg Museum in Indiana. Well, there's also the museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the one at Darlington, South Carolina. Oh, and I forgot about Henry Ford Village in Greenfield, Michigan, that one was amazing! I can't forget going to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. There's an interesting auto display at the National Transportation Museum in St. Louis. And then there's the car collection at Harold Warp's Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska. Have you been there? I've probably forgotten even more than I've listed here. Today's photo comes from The Lane Motor Museum here in Nashville, a fascinating collection of vehicles with a display that has been different every time I have visited. I love going here as well. Because I love cars.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 12 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
What We Went to See One of the places that I wanted to see and photograph on our early March trip to Hunting Island was the beach with driftwood trees. I had seen photos by others and wanted to visit that beach. Of course, the weather that day was abysmal, not in the dramatic photo way, and there is a significant beach restoration project underway near the lighthouse. But we did find a beach with large driftwood and I did manage a few pictures. This one was one of the more interesting.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 11 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Not Everyone Wants to Hear about Hope Fifth Sunday of Easter. Acts 7:55-60 is part of the lectionary readings for the day, and follows the longer section in chapter 7 of Stephen's sermon. His message differed in tone and content from Peter's sermon in chapter 2 with a crescendo of examples of the failures of God's people. Eugene Peterson paraphrased the critical part of the concluding passage of Stephen's sermon as follows: "Your ancestors killed anyone who dared talk about the coming of the Just One. And you've kept up the family tradition--traitors and murderers, all of you. You had God's Law handed to you by angels--gift-wrapped!--and you squandered it!" At that point they went wild, a rioting mob of catcalls and whistles and invective." Stephen is stoned, killed, praying for forgiveness for those causing his death. And concludes with "Saul was right there, congratulating the killers." And there follows one of the most stunning stories of transformation as Saul becomes Paul, the prominent leader of the Christian movement.

It might have been how Stephen chose to deliver this message or the content that angered his audience, but he stirred quite a reaction. I have noticed some of the same reactions in our current crisis where a message provokes opposite passions. Truth is not heard. Facts are discounted. Messengers are accused of fraud. How can it be that grace is unfair and the poor can be ridiculed and abused? Not everyone wants to hear about hope and love and peace. But it's the only message we have.

Essentially, Stephen told his audience that they were in God's way, opposing the movement toward wholeness and justice and restoration. And they didn't want to hear it.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 10 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Rain on the Sand Two months ago, March 3, we visited Beaufort, South Carolina for a week of fun with our friends from Maine. We were saddened to discover that the "boneyard" of driftwood and trees at Hunting Island State Park had been bulldozed off the beach near the lighthouse. But we did find an area near the Nature Center. This is one of the many photos that I took that emphasized the patterns of raindrops on the sand. There is simplicity here when we live in chaos and complexity.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 09 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Compassion I have heard more than one person express the hope that whenever the COVID-19 crisis winds down that they want to see kindness and generosity remain. While there are some observable shortages from toilet paper to accepting responsibility, I do notice an abundance of compassion. I just wish it was more contagious.

Sony 7rii, 90mm lens, f/13, 1/13 sec., iso 400, tripod, additional lighting by Lume Cube

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 08 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Blackberry Winter With this stretch of predicted seven days with colder than average temperatures and the abundance of blackberry blooms surrounding the property of our house (and probably other places), I realized that this is Blackberry Winter. Margaret Mead said, "Blackberry winter is the time when the hoarfrost lies on the blackberry blossoms; without this frost the berries will not set. It is the forerunner of a rich harvest." It is a colloquial expression used to describe a cold snap that often occurs in late spring when the blackberries are in bloom. The Farmers' Almanac notes that it usually occurs May 10-15. It's a few days early. And I certainly hope that there will be no frost in Nashville, although the forecast is for 35 Saturday morning. What a year this has been! No swimming in the pool yet!

I do have a terrific iris photo for tomorrow!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 07 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Iris Silhouette

Iris season is well underway at the Hideaway. Two years ago Judy transferred some iris from Illinois to Brentwood so that today there 12 varieties blooming, a pittance compared to the number of daylilies we have. Here's one taken on the dining room table with the white shade closed, providing a perfect high key backdrop. This setting could be used for other subjects. Ah, some new things to try! Nevertheless, this photo shows just one way of photographing an iris without color. This variety is completely dark which probably accents the effect.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 06 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Afterwards We have spent the last week waiting. Waiting for water to be reconnected to our house, after a leak in the neighbor's yard was shut-off which evidently supplied water to our house. Waiting for the electricity to be restored to much of Nashville, the largest outage in the history of the metro area. After 24 hours we rejoiced when the light over the game table erupted with brilliance, that same table where Judy beat me at Scrabble. She celebrated the rare occurrence. Waiting for some resolution to the coronavirus. Exhausted. But as I told a friend in the midst of our waiting and adjustments, "We have our books, we have our garden, we have each other. We will be fine." Yes.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 05 May 2020 12:04:35 GMT
Cloud Grid I took this photo last year with my iPhone of the convention Center in Peoria, Illinois. I had dinner with friends near the riverfront and had walked back up to the hill to get my car and noticed how these reflections and clouds and shapes complemented one another.

The Coronovirus has postponed the annual gathering until mid-August and reduced the meeting time to just one full day (two half-days). I have spent a bunch of days inside this building, so it's fun for me to consider this view from outside and this vantage point that I rarely experienced. I'm also reminded of all the people I miss seeing.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 04 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Unjust Suffering Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter, and I will be teaching my Sunday School class today online. Thankfully, it will not be recorded as I have little confidence about my presentation. Familiar passages are part of the lectionary today including Psalm 23 (certainly the most familiar psalm, if not the most known biblical passage), John 10:1-10 (assurance of abundant life), and Acts 2:42-47 which describes the early practice of the followers of Christ. Also included is 1 Peter 2:19-25, a troubling passage about unjust suffering, which seems to be included only because of the ending that the wandering have returned to the shepherd.

For me, the study of scripture includes a conversation between the original context and our current situation if we are to understand its relevance. The larger context of the letter is that it is addressed to a community that is poor and suffering, and that the pain has been experienced through no fault of their own. How does one live when circumstances are destructive? Who do we get to blame, who do we get to attack? Can we identify who has caused our current pain?

I hear Peter advising us that the witness of the community is strengthened when we react with love. I admit that there are dimensions to that conclusion that may sound weak and unresponsive to injustice. But we participate and thrive in a community that recognizes the leading of God, that finds strength and mercy in compassion.  In the cacophony of the sounds of destruction and hate, we hear the voice of God calling us to love as we are loved. We follow the Christ who suffered greatly but responded with love. Good is God's intention, not violence, or separation, or evil of any kind. Through grace, we are healed by love. The whole world will be healed by love.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 03 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Iris Challenge Our irises are beginning to bloom and as I noted before, I have countless images. I find the iris, like the daylily, challenging to photograph as the bloom is large relative to other flowers and it has a compound shape that does not lie in a singular plane, like a daisy for example. The size of the bloom does permit close examination and lends itself to abstract images as the photographer captures just a portion of the bloom. I never tire of the challenge to interpret my feeling of this flower. It's fun.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 02 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Iris Macro Yes, this is close! Sony 7rii. 90mm macro lens. I admit I love getting close-up. I have 3 macro lens, extension tubes, 2 different close-up lens that will screw on the front of zoom lens, a reverse adapter so that you can mount a lens backwards. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 01 May 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Didn't See the Spiders This photo is an example of not seeing what you thought you were photographing. This cluster of purple flowers was another example of a wildflower that we saw on our recent trip to Long Hunter State Park. This is wild phlox, but I didn't see the two small spiders until I was processing the photo. The individual blooms are about the size of a thumbnail so you know the spiders are small and easily overlooked. That's probably how they survive predators and scaredy cats like us.

Photo details: Sony 7rii, 90mm macro lens, 1/80 sec, f/6.3, tripod

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 30 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Iris Season Judy has had a multitude of gardens over the years as we have moved from house to house. And every garden has included different varieties of iris. I have loved photographing them over the years and have hundreds of pictures in prints, slides, and now digital images. I am convinced that each photo is different. The plethora of images comes from different flowers, time of day, length of lens, framing, and other factors as well. In most photographic images, the direction and quality of light can create quite an impact beyond whatever the subject might be. This iris is a good example of the impact of light. It had bloomed the day before, and rain had soaked the petals; consequently, this flower was not an optimum subject with the bloom not being fresh. But the ray of light that peaked through the petals caught my eye, and for me, made the photo interesting.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 29 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Escape We escaped from the Hideaway yesterday. We crossed from our county (Davidson) into Williamson, and through Wilson, and into Rutherford, a journey of 15 miles. Judy had cabin fever and wanted to go to Long Hunter State Park to find wildflowers. She has a long history with wildflowers, loving them as a child behind her home in Jersey County, Illinois. Back in the film days, we went all over everywhere taking photos of wildflowers that we put into a visual program that bored many a viewer. We found a few varieties yesterday and it was good to get out of the house without being in contact with another human being.

As I processed the images, I decided I liked this one best of all. And I admit it surprised me. More of an environmental portrait! But keep scrolling as my partner likes the one below it better! By the way, this wildflower is Yellow Star Grass.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 28 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
When I can't predict the future. I see and hear lots of predictions. Some are grim, some are buoyant. It's an illusion that we might know what will occur tomorrow or next week or next year. We have fear and we have hope. And it's all covered with this opaque layer that we so desperately want to peer through. If only we knew, and then again, maybe we don't. Today has enough challenges.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 27 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Are You the Only One Today is the Third Sunday of Easter, and we are worshipping at home. Our last Sunday to be physically in our church (Belmont UMC, Nashville) was March 1, eight weeks ago. We have still been able to worship through the Facebook Live broadcast of our service, which has provided a significant way for us to remain part of our congregation.

Today's gospel lesson is Luke 24:13-35, commonly referred to as "The Walk to Emmaus". Two travelers encounter a stranger on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus, about 7 miles away. When the strangers asks about their conversation, one responds with "are you the only one" who doesn't know what has happened with the crucifixion of Jesus, and the emerging account of his resurrection. Even without the internet, and news media of every kind, the travelers are astonished that the stranger is ignorant of current events. But then the story flips with the stranger sharing the long view of the Biblical story and how the current event is part of God's actions. And then he pauses to share a meal with them, and they recognize the stranger is the risen Jesus. The kernel here for me, among other matters and insights, is that the study of scriptures is not just about the past, but is also critical for us to see God's actions now and in the future. In the midst of this pandemic, we need the long view about truth and God's care for all of humanity. And, oh how we need to break bread together! 

This image is from Acadia National Park in Maine, September 2018, just outside of Bar Harbor.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) abstract Acadia National Park meditation Third Sunday of Easter Sun, 26 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Teach Me about Art It's a long story that I won't go into here, but I had to take Art Appreciation more than once in college. And I don't think I did much better the second time. But I found photography, or photography found me, in my senior year. So I have tried to work hard over the years to develop any skill, any understanding, about the basics of art. I am still lacking, and I have such admiration for some of my friends and how truly gifted they are.

All of that is to say that I am thrilled to live in a community with an exceptional art center and the dedicated people who share their love of art to all of us who want to know more.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 25 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Inside I stopped at the ruins of this old church near Beaufort, South Carolina, expressly because I recognized the building from a photo by a friend, Al Wood. His photo is more evocative than mine because there is now a fence that goes completely around the structure and is difficult to omit from photos. Al's photo is actually better than mine, but not because of the fence. We came to find out during a tour of another historic Beaufort church that vandals were removing the bricks from this structure and the fence was built to discourage the disassembly. Fortunately, the gate was open when we visited and we could go inside where I found the textures of the walls and the forms to be image-worthy.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 24 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Iris, of course

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 23 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Earth Day Today is earth day and I celebrate it with the detail of a painting I saw in the Parthenon last year. I am embarrassed to say that I did not note the artist but I was so taken by the bold strokes of the painter and how he/she was depicting the landscape. I love being outdoors and hope that we are doing our part to save the environment so there will be generations of artists who are captured by the beauty of the earth.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 22 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Gotta Pay My Dues Today I share an image from last year during the tulip bloom at Cheekwood. We belong to the Frist Art Museum and Cheekwood Garden, both here in Nashville. Not only are they world class facilities, but membership in each provide free entrance to other museums and gardens. Although we are looking forward to their re-opening when the coronavirus is less of a danger,  we have enjoyed virtual tours at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Cheekwood recently. I would have paused and taken photos in lots of places, which is why I am no fun to be with if you are not a photographer. My motto is that you can never have too many photos, especially now when you just buy more digital storage. The time is approaching to renew our membership in both The Frist and Cheekwood. We love taking our guests to these places, and we will be there again.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 21 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Waiting Waiting. When will it be the right time? Waiting. At home. Keeping my distance. Eating ice cream. Because.

I watched him along time, standing in the dark. He kept checking his phone. He would shift from side to side, but always leaning against the same post. Was he waiting for a call? Or someone to meet him? Was he wasting time? In a little more than a week, we would be back home. Waiting.

This photo is from Beaufort, South Carolina. Before the waiting began.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 20 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Protection The Psalm reading for the Second Sunday of Easter in this lectionary cycle is Psalm 16, a petition for God's protection. I doubt that I have preached from this passage on this particular Sunday because the more familiar passage is about the encounter of the risen Christ on the Emmaus Road, an immensely preachable narrative. But during this pandemic Psalm 16 speaks words of relevance in the first verse: "Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge." The photo below is from Penn School on St. Helena Island, South Carolina. Penn Center was a school started in 1862 to educate freed black slaves. The prayer of the school is especially resonant with current events: "O God, give me clean hands, clean words and clean thoughts. Help me to stand for the right against the easy wrong. Save me from habits that harm. Teach me to work as hard and play as fair in thy sight alone as if all the world saw. Forgive me when I am unkind and help me to forgive those who are unkind to me. Keep me ready to help others at some cost to myself. Send me chances to do a little good every day, and grow more like Christ. Amen."

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 19 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Backyard Companions Maybe you can see from this image why I find it so challenging to capture this group. And why I find it so enthralling. I'm not sure this image works. It's almost an HDR, but it's not really. May I have many springs to perfect this view. And every year the trees grow!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 18 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Dogwood Watercolor My Sony cameras have an option to take photos with an effect, although I usually take RAW photos and do the processing of the images in the computer. But it's fun, every once in a while, to use the applications in the cameras. This image was taken with the watercolor effect. The f/stop or the opening of the diaphragm within the lens appears to alter the affect. In this case, I used a wide angle zoom at 16mm and f/4 to accentuate the watercolor appearance and remove nearly all details. What I enjoy about using this setting is that it encourages me to more carefully examine the composition with less attention to the details. You may notice that it also changes the original proportions of the image which is generally 2:3 but is 9:16 which some artists say is a more appealing proportion.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 17 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Third in a Row The newest dogwood tree in our yard is this white one. I go out every day to speak encouraging words to this beauty.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 16 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Another View Why not? I don't get tired of the blooms. Maybe you won't either.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 15 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Elusive We have four dogwood trees in our backyard, each one with different color of blooms from the others. Each spring as the trees grow and mature, the blooms get more and more numerous. It is pure joy to sit on the deck and overlook the show. I have hundreds of photos of these trees, taken at all times of the day, with different angles, and different lenses. And I never seem to capture the essence of the the tree. Elusive beauty.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 14 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Homemade Is the Best The first mention of crocheted doilies is about 200 years ago. And when thread was mercerized in the 1840's the craft became popular with strengthened thread. Doilies were placed on furniture to protect the wooden surface, and used under dinner and dessert plates much like chargers today. They appeared on upholstered chair backs to protect the fabric from men's oil hair products. We have friends that collect antique doilies. It's important to know that it's homemade doilies that are collectible. And how does one determine that the doily is handmade rather than made by a machine? Handmade doilies have imperfections: stitches that were missed or a difference in tension in the loops. Handmade doilies are imperfect but the best. Could be a lesson about our lives as well.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 13 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Hunting for Easter No, I didn't take this photo. I suspect it is from 1956, in front of my grandmother Wolf's house in Peru, Indiana. This week my sister was reminiscing about Easter celebrations with our grandparents. Here we are with Easter baskets, although I notice my brother, Steve, doesn't have one. Next to him is my cousin Nancy, who shared the blond hair coloring of my brother and me. And next to me is my sister, Patsy, who is 2 years younger than me. And that's me on the right. Where did all that hair go? And why didn't I stick with bowties? Clearly my style! 

When we were children, we didn't know about the true reason for the Easter celebration. I thought it was all about jelly beans, chocolate, and new clothes. But we are no longer children. And as my sister said this week that although we can't be together nor worship with our congregations, it's all about Jesus. Christ is risen! Alleluia! Those kids have something to smile about, indeed!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 12 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Mired in Grief We have never experienced an Easter weekend like this before. Churches are closed, millions are unemployed, and thousands are dead. Grief is so very real as it must have been that first weekend. Whatever the mission of Jesus had meant to his followers, his death plunged them into the depths of despair to the point of hiding behind closed doors. At that point, they didn't know about the hope that would cause them to spread the news of resurrection around the world. May we find reasons to help us leave the present grief behind.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 11 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Found in a Favorite Spot Good Friday. The Gospel lesson includes 2 long chapters, John 18 and 19, describing the events of the arrest of Jesus, "trial", and crucifixion. This year I was struck by words at the beginning of the lesson. "After he said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples and crossed over to the other side of the Kidron Valley. He and his disciples entered a garden there. Judas, his betrayer, also knew the place because Jesus often gathered there with his disciples." So it was a familiar place, loved by Jesus and probably his followers. Was it a place of respite, restoration? Was the experience of going there like that of mine retreating into my backyard, surrounded by the singing of birds and reveling in the blooms of every plant? Was it a spiritually nourishing place? Was it one of the "thin places" where heaven and earth are barely separated and the spirit is loosened?

And then what did it become, a place of conflict, confrontation, treason, disappointment, deception, sorrow?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 10 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Bluebells Judy's brother, Ted, gave us these wild bluebells years ago. She remembers having them in Springfield, and Galesburg, and Metropolis, and Murphysboro, and possibly even before when we lived in Benton. So that means that these bluebells have been part of our spring wonder every year for nearly 30 years. It is so good to have them in our garden and to remember Ted and how he loved wildflowers. Aren't we blessed by the love of family and friends?

Today is Maundy Thursday. And part of our Holy Week observance has been to gather and remember and share in the Lord's Supper. We can't be in the sanctuary this year but the observance is no less real. And we remember.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Isolation Weary of staying home. Tired of not being with family. Disappointed to not have friends be with us at the Hideaway. Looking for photos in the yard. And filled with joy yesterday morning to find opportunities galore yesterday for photography. But I will be glad when touching is allowed.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 08 Apr 2020 13:02:19 GMT
What I Need

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 06 Apr 2020 14:30:06 GMT
Missing Cheekwood Tulips are blooming at Cheekwood, but this photo is from last year, 2019 (April 16 to be exact). But we can't get in this year; Cheekwood is closed to visitors because of COVID-19. So we take virtual tours on YouTube and look at our own photos and remember. And plan for next year. Another thing to anticipate besides hugging my family and friends.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Remembering How It Was

Art will help us survive. Although I took this photo in the time before "social distancing" and COVID-19, I think this image speaks to our present predicament. These two people, standing more than 6 feet apart, contemplate this marvelous French painting of a time past of close social interaction. You can almost hear the chatter of diners, the clinking of glasses and silverware, the calling of children, the laughter of lovers, all the noise of an evening out. Looking on in silence, we remember, and long for its return.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 03 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
Wild Among the first flowers to bloom in our yard this spring is this wild columbine. Judy has transplanted this flower from garden to garden as we have moved from city to city, house to house. But this particular plant had been left behind in Springfield for several years after we had moved to Tennessee. The Illinois house was going to be sold last year and Judy was invited to return to move any plants that she might like to retrieve. So now we have some of our iris, some hosta, and this wild columbine. This flower has thrived at its new location and become a massive plant this spring. I wonder if it's wild any longer. I think it is just glad to be home and tame like the gardener's husband.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:00:00 GMT
No Joke

How our lives change. Just a month ago, Judy and I left Nashville to meet our friends in Beaufort, SC. We spent Sunday night, March 1, in Waynesville, NC. We left early the next morning to continue our journey. We were eager to get there so we stopped only for gas and the necessary break. No photos on the way, except I couldn't resist when we passed the ruins of Sheldon Church, first built prior to the Revolutionary War. I was surprised to find the gate open as access to the grounds had been restricted due to vandalism. I have other photos, nearly 100, that I took on this brief stop that detail the structure and landscape. But I decided to share this one first because of the significant change in our world that has occurred in the past month. There are several massive mausoleums that hold the remains of the Bull family that were instrumental in the development of the area. I was caught by the signs of life in these monuments to death. I don't know what the future holds in these scary days. But I claim the signs of hope.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:47:42 GMT
Is It Art or Graffiti?

Stacking rocks can be helpful as a signpost to a trail, but we encountered similar stacks throughout the Northeast. Most of the time I think of them as an idle-time novelty, but they are increasingly viewed as destructive to habitat for all sorts of creatures. So I find them visually interesting, but...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 29 Oct 2018 13:19:16 GMT
Between the Raindrops

Three weeks ago this morning (could it be that long ago?), our friends (Mike and Marcia, and Gerry and Christie) had left Quebec City to return to their regular lives, and we were left behind to explore. Judy wanted to go back to the old city. It was raining. There were few tourists walking the narrow streets of old Quebec. But this shop was open for refreshment. Within an hour, the streets would be so crowded that it would be difficult to move, but at this moment. there was time for a croissant, and reading, and snuggling. Oh, so appropriate. It's easy to fall in love with Quebec.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 28 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
How Many Years

How many projects has this stool witnessed? This blue metal stool is located in the wood shop of the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. I loved the aroma of this shop. It was large enough for several good sized boats to be constructed side by side. Tools and clamps were everywhere, and there sat this stool. Everybody I saw that day was standing to work. But I could imagine using it to sit while you sanded a hull, or painted a boat. I think there were lots of dripping paint brushes used in this space, and the stool was near the action.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 27 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Couldn't Be Better

Our visit to Acadia National Park in Maine was dismal for visitors, but terrific for photographers. Tall waves added to the fog created dreamlike scenes. I captured this image using a circular polarizer and neutral density filters. Exposure data: 100 iso, f/13 at 6 seconds. 24mm setting on 24-240 lens. The polarizer eliminated the wet, shiny highlights on the rocks. The neutral density filters allowed a slow shutter speed (longer exposure) which blurred the motion of the waves.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 26 Oct 2018 11:24:26 GMT
Duck Season Buddy

On a warm, sunny day we stopped to explore the Shoreham Covered Railroad Bridge, one of only two covered railroad bridges left in Vermont. The bridge was built in 1897 and last used in 1951. It was located on a short section of railroad that connected the Rutland Railroad with the Delaware and Hudson. We ate our lunch in the parking lot and took several HDR photos inside the bridge. We then moved to another bridge so I could take the photo below. And then I noticed behind me (photographers should always turn around to check the view behind them) that here was this fellow who was putting his canoe in the water. His dog was ecstatic to be going with him! I shouted that if every fishing buddy was as enthusiastic as his dog, no one would stay home. Oh, he's excited all right, the guy replied, but we are not going fishing. Tomorrow is the first day of duck season and we are going out to check on my blind. I got nearly as excited as his dog because they really made my picture better. And he even wore a red shirt. Now, that's special.




[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) bridge canoe covered dog Vermont Thu, 25 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Boston Sunset

I waited on the bow of Norwegian Dawn for departure, and for sunset. Standing next to me were new acquaintances, Kate and Daniel, charming and inquisitive young people. Daniel had his camera and was hoping for a sunset. Kate was doubtful that the clouds would part and give these two nearby photographers a spectacular sunset. I have shot a ton of sunsets, in hundreds of locations, even on black-and-white film. Sometimes the sunset is spectacular, even if my photo fails to capture the glory. I have always waited in hope that this time would be incredibly awesome. But I admit that this evening I was doubtful, too, that the heavy overcast would surrender to the setting sun. It had rained all day, from the time we boarded the bus in Portland, Maine, through our arrival at South Boston Station to the short, but wet, walk to the pier provided by the gracious city bus driver who went beyond her scheduled stop. As we watched, there was a hint of a golden line that might get better at the right time. But it wasn't happening. And then the ship began to move away from the pier, further away from Boston Harbor. Daniel and Kate gave up on the sunset and bid farewell as they went to their cabin. I stayed on the bow, caught in the excitement of seeing the night skyline of Boston from the ship. I wasn't disappointed in the scene nor the image I captured. The adventure was just beginning.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) a7rii Boston Dawn Harbor night Norwegian skyline Sony sunset Wed, 24 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT

My eye was captured by this pair during a recent trip to Cheekwood, the local botanical garden here in Nashville. The gardener obviously intended for visitors to see the contrast of color and shape and texture. But these plants were not the stars of the show. Or were they?

We all notice the obvious blooming accents of color that is scattered throughout the acreage. This display of greenery could be viewed as the backdrop to the blossoms. But I stop and ponder that it is the overlooked, the ordinary that gives structure to the garden. These plants provide interest, and often endure longer than the blooms. They invite touching. They have a depth of being. The viewer is invited to a deeper relationship. I know some fascinating people because they function in the same way: quiet, deep, strong, vital, interesting.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Have to Get Wet Yes, I stood in the stream to get this photo. I found secure spots for the legs of my tripod so that I could blur the rush of the water with a longer exposure. I could have stood on the bridge, but that wasn't the photo I wanted. Sometimes, you have to get wet to create the image. 

I got wet swimming today. Duh, by definition that happens. But today, it rained while I swam. I have been using a full face mask to allow me to strengthen my knee since the injury last September. So for lap after lap, my view point is from the underside of the surface of the water. It is another world experience with the sunlight sparkling through the ripples on the surface. Today, it rained as I completed the last few laps and the drops would pierce the surface about an inch or so during the brief cloudburst. It was awesome. And I felt the cool raindrops on my body as I swam and saw them plunge into the pool as I watched them. Wow! It's great to be alive!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 30 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Fall Trip

We stay home during the summer. A pool and a daylily garden with 100 varieties encourage us to enjoy our personal resort. But we have been taking extended trips in the fall. And 2018 has all the possibility of being another fun experience with a cruise, and train rides, and bus trips, and a lobster boat, and Niagara Falls and completing our visits to the fifty states. I can't call it a vacation since I no longer work. I just call it fun.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 29 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Sometimes I Forget

I began with film, long before there were digital images. And when I first developed my film and printed my first photograph, it was black and white. I was stunned at the magic, despite the absence of color. One of my first jobs was working in a black-and-white darkroom, processing film and printing enlarged photographs. I love the simple monotone images.

But I forget even my own attraction to them. It is simple in Adobe Lightroom to see a black-and-white version of any color image by pressing the letter "v" on the keypad. I need to consider that option more frequently, like this one today.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 28 Aug 2018 11:32:32 GMT
And the Real Number Is  

Most of my adult life, I have watched the dial on the bathroom scale jump from one number to another. I admit I have been a comfort eater in my attempt to deal with personal stress. So I gained weight each time I moved from one community to the next. It wasn't a great amount with each specific move, but it added up over time. I would go on a diet when I reached a number that I thought was too much, and I would lose pounds. But they seemed to always come back. About ten years ago, I did reach my peak. I was too heavy. I see how obvious it was in old photos. I did lose some pounds and gained back some. And the roller coaster continued until recently. And I have been diligent with Weight Watchers online and exercise for 4 1/2 months. I will continue as I am probably just a little over halfway to my goal. I regret that I hadn't been more successful in the past. But I am doing it this time. And it's pretty exciting. The good news I found out in June was that my bathroom scale weighs two pounds heavier than the one at my physician's office. So this post is not photography related, but I wanted to depict how erratic I see the pointer as it bounces between the numbers on the scale. I took a number of photos where I varied the weight on the scale. And then I opened each photo as a layer in On1 and used the multiply blend mode and then merged all the layers. And you see the result. Pretty easy. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 11 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Bug in the Pool

Judy and Maddy spotted this bug floating in the pool yesterday. I took this photo with my iPhone so that I could identify it. Apparently, it is a red footed cannibal fly, Promachus rufipes. The size of these species of robber flies is 28-35mm. It was every bit that big. And looks ferocious. It is predatory with every other insect and will even attack hummingbirds.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 10 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Quick Portrait

This is my sister-in-law and her eight-month old great-granddaughter. I saw the opportunity for a fun photo when the family told that Karlee was beginning to pull herself up to a standing position. And that her favorite place to perform this was to use the window ledge. Sure enough, she crawls over to the window, reaches up to the ledge and pulls herself to a standing position. I took several photos as stood there, and then got an idea for Wanda to go outside and look through the window to her little girl. The moment didn't last real long, but long enough for half a dozen shots. This was the best one.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 09 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Last Friday Morning

Last Friday, Judy and I were away from home, visiting family, and decided to take a morning walk in a local park. One of the features of that park was a rose garden. It was large, well-maintained, and aromatic with a variety of colors and shapes. We don't grow roses in our home garden. I don't think a real rose gardener would count "knock-out roses". Real roses require care. Judy complimented the two gardeners who were caring for the garden that morning. The man said, "Wait until you see next week." Alas, we would be at home and not witness the glory that he predicted. This specimen was pretty spectacular all by itself.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 08 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Mesmerizing What is it about the ocean that captures our attention? No moment is exactly like another. The sky changes. Each wave is unlike the one before or the one after. We stayed in Navarre Beach, Florida for nearly the entire month of February and were enthralled by the scene each moment of every day.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 07 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Failed Dream

Someone built this cabin with dreams and hopes of being able to make it on the high prairie, near the border of North Dakota and Montana. Maybe they succeeded. This building appears to have been constructed a long time ago. Part of the walls are sod. It has been in this spot for quite some time. So maybe they succeeded.

But, now, no one lives here. And, by its dilapidated appearance, it seems that no one has lived here for a long time. This building has stories to tell, if we only knew how to listen.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 06 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Crack in Creation

This Sunday's lesson from 2 Samuel1:26-12:13 follows the reading from last week, and describes the prophet Nathan's confrontation with King David about his immorality. Someone has to speak truth to power and make clear what the King has ignored and is blatantly obvious to everyone else. Nathan presents a moral issue to David where an unknown offender has stolen a lamb that was precious to its owner. David is outraged by the naked violation of ethical norms. Who is this vile person who ought to be punished? Nathan answers, "You, you are the man." I have wondered over the years about how Nathan delivered this indictment. Was it a thundering accusation? Or was it a barely-whispered, sorrow-filled complaint? I have found myself in situations, that I did not want to be, delivering a similar message to someone who was hiding their sin and had damaged their congregation. I grieved that we were caught in human failure, that neither one of us were perfect. And it was doubly painful when the other person was my friend. We all have sinned. Just admit it. There is a crack in creation to which we all have contributed. Repentance begins there at that moment of confession. 

And so does mercy and forgiveness and grace and restoration. As the words form in the heart and spill from the lips, I am sorry, a new journey begins.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 05 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT

I didn't become a coffee drinker until I became a superintendent. Don't know why. I can't even pinpoint the day. And I am not one who needs coffee all day long, nor does it need to be strong.

Some might say I'm not a real coffee drinker because I put sugar in it. Some of my friends would say I put a lot of sugar in. Because I'm not a real coffee drinker. I've tried artificial sweetener and I can taste every single kind and find it ruins the coffee for me.

I am struggling, since I've been on Weight Watchers now for 4 months, that it is a challenge to begin the day counting at least 3 points for my sugared coffee. I tried it without for a short time. And discovered that I was just using coffee to get my sugar fix for the morning. Since I only get 24 points per day, and it will decrease as I continue to lose weight, the sugar in my coffee has an end in sight. The question is: without sugar, will I still be drinking a cup of coffee first thing every morning?

By the way, this sign is painted on the sign of a railroad diner car in Milton, Florida.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 01 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Evening Colors

This is an 8 second exposure which blurred the motion of the ocean waves. I do recall that there was some wind blowing on shore, and it was difficult to keep my tripod steady in the sand. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 30 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Lust and Lies

The Old Testament Lesson for today is 2 Samuel 11:1-15, the familiar story of lust and lies. The scripture reading sets the scene with the context that it is spring, the time when kings usually go off to war. That's a disappointing observation to say the least about the normalcy of war. But the point the writer makes is that David stayed home. And notices Bathsheba, bathing on a nearby roof. Without any hesitancy, it seems, he orders her brought to him. And although the text minimizes the sexual act, most likely he rapes this married woman. She gets pregnant and notifies David. To cover what he did, he brings her soldier husband back from the battle front with the hope that he will do what husbands and wives do.
But he doesn't go to his house. He doesn't have sex with his wife because he is an honorable man who knows that the loyalty of a soldier forbids him this pleasure while the battle rages. Even when David gets him drunk the following night, Uriah still does not sleep with Bathsheba.

David takes another step that deepens this tragedy. He tells his commander to place Uriah in the center of the battle and then to fall back so that he will certainly be killed by the enemy.

Make no mistake that this is a commonplace story of adultery. Rather, it is an indictment of a powerful man who acted beyond the boundaries. While this Bible story tells of an ancient event, it exposes truth in contemporary situations where powerful men use women for their own pleasure and deny their wrongful actions. David thinks he has covered his sin but, as we hear next week, he has only deceived himself.

Imagine the grief of Bathsheba whose life was turned upside down by the lust and greed of David. Imagine the embarrassment of a nation that is trying to develop a system of ethics, morality, and law distorted by a corrupt king.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 29 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT

Just my idea of a joke. How does one title these daily entries? There is a star, a light, an awning. There are other possibilities. I could tell about the scar on my hand that I got from an awning. Deep cut. I was in junior high, and somehow, I cut my hand from the awning over the front door. I bled a bunch. Probably should have had the cut stitched up. I don't know if I could even describe how I cut it, if I remembered.

It may look pretty. But it is dangerous. Take it from one who knows. I have the scar.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 28 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Auto Pilot

If ever there was a road that one could put a vehicle on auto pilot, this could be a good candidate. Straight road, virtually no traffic. Ditches on either side to help correct any straying. North Dakota. Just south of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Good road to practice driving, although it would be helpful to learn to turn left and right.

And where does it go? I don't know. I had some other place to be, and this road off into the prairies was not on the itinerary. Could have been an amazing discovery if I had turned from my destination and followed this road.

Instead, I just have a photo of a road that disappears on the horizon. What if?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 27 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Just Inside

Truth never goes out of style.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 26 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT

When we bought our house in 2011, several large concrete pots came with the purchase. Originally, eight-foot tall palm trees were in each one. The previous owner was intent on creating a tropical scene around the pool. Summer wind gusts would tip the trees and pots over, nearly depositing them in the pool. And then they had to be kept in the garage during the winter months. We tired of that scenario rather quickly. So a couple of summers, Judy planted hibiscus in the pots with yellow one year and red the next. And the last couple of years, she has planted petunias and sweet potato vines. The petunias have surrendered to the sweet potatoes.

So while I am photographing the daylilies in the morning, the sweet potato vines grab my attention. Every leaf seems to be a different color. They will not be ignored, nor be regarded as inferior to the morning's blossoms. The shapes and patterns have a beauty of their own that is different from the flowers. It is easy to pass by that which could be considered ordinary or common and miss the sweet beauty of diversity.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 25 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Do Over

One of my growing areas as a photographer is my skill to process a digital image. I spent a lot of time in my formative years using transparency film, "slides". The emphasis is those days was framing the photo exactly, exposing the film exactly, and being very careful to eliminate unwanted things in your photos, from stray branches to litter. I still try to do that, but that is just the beginning with digital images. After the exposure is completed, there are a million things you can do to that image: crop, change the color temperature, change the tone values of light and dark, intensify certain colors or restrain them. And best of all, you can change it again and again. I shot this photo at the Missouri Botanical Garden several years ago. I'm still working on it.


Yes, I am a reflective person, pondering what is past, and wondering about "why" and "what if". Hopefully, I can see something new in what has already been.

This was the original photo:

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 24 Jul 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Every Night in Nashville

Every night in Nashville, at least when the sky is lit up with a sunset. The lights come on in countless buildings, some are offices, apartments, hotel rooms, stores, and of course, music venues. Nashville is a growing, vibrant city. We live 25 minutes south of downtown,  close enough to visit, and far away enough to enjoy the solitude. I took this photo last November on a beautiful evening. I'm privileged to live here.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 24 Jul 2018 01:05:57 GMT
Sarasota may have the Museum, but Emmett's from Peru

Emmett Kelly, known also as Weary Willie, was a famous clown of the early 20's stretching into the 1950's, He was born in Kansas, died in Sarasota, but is buried in Indiana. Peru certainly has a claim on him as well. He started performing in the circus as a trapeze artist in one of the circuses that wintered in my hometown, Peru, Indiana. So the character of Weary Willie shows up in Peru a lot during the Festival and portrayed by more than one person. Here, he is feigning hunger and one of the boys watching the parade offers him a candy sucker. This moment unfolded rather quickly as I was more intent on photographing the clown. But the little boy's outstretched arm completes the scene.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:00:00 GMT
Evening for Ice Cream

We recently visited the historic river town of Madison, Indiana, and as a friend advises: "When you are on vacation, eat ice cream." So, instead of supper, we went looking for ice cream. I pulled into the parking lot across the street from one of  the ice cream parlors on Main Street., and saw this scene right in front of me. The green brick wall with the two windows is completed by the shadow of the lamp post  I could say that I worked this scene and took dozens of photos, but the truth is I made just this one image.

Would I have been drawn to the windows without the shadow of the lamp? I don't know, but I doubt that I would have the same urgency to photograph the scene. Sometimes, just one element completes the scene, finishes it in an entirely different way. A different feeling is conveyed with the shadow.

Madison is one of the most picturesque places, with an abundance of photographic oppportunities. It is a fun town to roam with a camera.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:00:00 GMT
Beauty in the Raw

I shoot raw images which means that I prefer to process my images rather than allow my excellent camera to do it when I push the shutter. So what that means to me is that I can return to this image that I took 10 years ago this coming October in Minnesota along the shore of Lake Superior. I have more skill to process my image and better tools so I can use the raw image I captured and process it so that it depicts the original scene as I remember it.

The photo below is the raw image without any processing. I used to be disappointed when I saw this on the computer screen, not realizing that it had all the data contained within so that I could eventually bring forth the scene when I first saw it.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:44:50 GMT
Lenten Rose The botanical name for this plant is "hellebore", an evergreen perennial plant that blooms in the winter and early spring. Despite the name they are not related to the rose family. They are frost resistant and grow well in the shade. We almost bought some at the Lawn and Garden Show in late February. They are quite prolific under the dogwood trees at Cheekwood.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:00:00 GMT
Last week at Cheekwood I met a painter in the parking lot and as we greeted one another, we each remarked what a glorious day it was. I noted that the flowers and trees were beautiful. Yes, she said, but wait until you walk down the hill behind the visitor center. The tulips are blooming, and the hyacinths. And she said, be sure to smell the beauty. Oh, my. She was more than right.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:00:00 GMT
Isn't That Water Cold? These three kids were sitting on the ready made seat at the top of this small waterfall. The water ran down the hillside and I suspect that the stream was created by water pumped from the lake up the hill near the Cheekwood and then released to go down the manmade creek, eventually emptying into the lake again. And these kids were having the time of their lives sitting in the water, soaked all but the upper part of their shirts. But we wondered, isn't that water cold? Apparently, not to them.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:00:00 GMT
Whispered Beauty Another photo from our visit to Cheekwood last week. These small white spring flowers caught my eye as we wandering among the numerous varieties of dogwood trees. The trees are not blooming yet but we were trying to see what a mature specimen would look like as we were given a native variety at the Lawn and Garden Show last month. And then there were a number of these small flowers dotting the landscape. They didn't attract as much attention as the tulips or the hyacinths, but still quite intriguing.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 13 Mar 2017 11:00:00 GMT
Surprising Spring Saturday, March 11, was the first snowfall of the winter. We have already had three weeks of spring according to the scientists who keep track of those things. And then after a beautiful, warm, spring day just 48 hours previous, roars in a wet, brief snowstorm. The large flakes left two inches of snow at our house. This brief visit of winter will likely not be much of an impediment to spring as the snow had all melted before evening. However, the forecast for the middle of next week is for two nights of hard freezing temperatures. Sure hope they are wrong.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 12 Mar 2017 11:00:00 GMT
Looking Up Another shot from our visit to Cheekwood. Some of the blooms on this tree had already turned brown but some were fresh and new. I stood under this one and shot at a fast enough shutter speed to stop the movement caused by the wind and caught this fascinating background of blue sky and other blooms. Just by trying a different angle.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 11 Mar 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Before the Freeze The tulips have begun to bloom at Cheekwood in Nashville. The day yesterday was delightful, sunny and warm, and we stopped there for an hour before we picked up our granddaughter at school. Not the optimum time to go, but there was far more blooming than I expected. And the aroma of the hyacinths was intoxicating.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 10 Mar 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Spring in the Sycamore We went down to the neighborhood rookery this morning and counted more than a dozen Great Blue Herons in the sycamore tree with ten nests in various states of being constructed. The old tree that they used the last few years had fallen and they moved to a stronger tree. Some may have already laid eggs as one of the parents was snuggled into a few of the nests. This is a fun sight each spring, and I thought I was leaving wildlife behind when we moved to the city.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 09 Mar 2017 15:06:42 GMT
Happy Mistake In the past, I would have discarded this image. It did not turn out as I had intended, the shutter speed was too slow to capture the butterflies in detail. It was a mistake. Or was it?

The slower shutter speed, 1/40 second, does communicate the movement of the butterflies. the photo is more expressive of the near constant motion of these blurs of color. Not a mistake after all. I can even pretend that this was just what I hoped would occur.

Some art is just a happy accident, being in the right place to see. And inviting others to see.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 08 Mar 2017 09:47:19 GMT
Back in the Day How far back is the good old days? I remember listening, when I was very young, to Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers on the radio. We lived in a duplex and I shared a bedroom with my younger brother and sister. Was that the good old days? My school years were spent moving from place to place, with my dad always changing jobs. That didn't seem like the best times. I remember that the air was dirty and coal soot would collect on the snow. There may be adventure and promise in the future, but there is comfort and nostalgia in looking back, although our memory is selective. How could it be so good when it wasn't in color?

Yeah, I'm teasing some. But all in all, I choose today.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Leave the Driving to Us My best friends, the ones who have had some kind of working relationship with me, know that I have control issues. I say, I can't help it if my hands just perfectly fit the steering wheel. I do like to drive. I like to know where I am going. And I am guilty of wanting to be in charge of how we get there and when. I have ridden the bus, and the train, and in airplanes, and helicopters, and in ferries. And I admit that sometimes it is more comfortable to let someone else drive.

On our recent trip to Jackson, Tennessee, Judy discovered that the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Jackson was an original art-deco style. History and Why Halfway We drove down at night to photograph it at night but there were no lights. So we went back in the morning and a bus was waiting to board passengers to Dallas.

Most of us don't travel this way anymore but there are many with limited resources who find the bus will get them where they need to go.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Greyhound Bus Station Halfway Station Jackson, Tennessee historic architecture old bus stations Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
The Best Camera As I have heard many times, the best camera is the one you have with you. This is an image using my iPhone 7. And I'm not certain that my expensive Sony a7rii could make any better of a photo. I could make a much larger print using the Sony, but for the web, this looks terrific. And this scene was begging to be captured.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Sprung This is an update to an earlier post that showed the maple tree blossoms just beginning to open. Now they are in full bloom. The air seems different, not just unseasonably warm with a reminder of the calendar. Yesterday felt more like spring has sprung. Warm. Birds singing. The phlox has begun to bloom. The bridal veil spirea is blooming. It is probably difficult to see on this photo that is sized for the internet, and I didn't notice when I was snapping the picture, but there are strands of spider web stringing from blossom to blossom. I'm ready.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Seventh Sunday after Epiphany The Gospel Lesson, Matthew 5:39-48, contains familiar words even to those who do not claim to be Christian. "But I say to you. love your enemies...If you love only those who love you what reward do you have?" It is not reasonable to love one's enemies. And Jesus compounds the commandment because the word "enemies" refers to personal opponents, adversaries that we know. Enemies are not far off. They live next door. Sometimes we work with them. I have even witnessed that they can be in the same church. Our current environment warns us that enemies are everywhere. So we respond with fear, and exclusion, and war--the opposite of what Jesus said his followers should do. Love. Difficult to do. We love our enemies because God loves all. Every one of us.

Do you know of Shel Silverstein's poetry?  In his book, Where the Sidewalk Ends, is a delightful poem entitled "Hug O' War".  I'd like to share it with you.

   "I will not play at tug o' war.

I'd rather play at hug o' war,

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs,

Where everyone giggles

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses,

And everyone grins,

And everyone cuddles,

And everyone wins."


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Seeing Deep We took a short trip this week to Reelfoot Lake and ate catfish at Boyettes, in business for nearly 100 years. The staff at the visitors center encourages us to walk on the boardwalk to the edge of the lake. Judy asked me if I had seen the green plants just below the surface of the water. I hadn't, so I looked down and saw this amazing sight, of green at the top of the cypress trees and green in the water. Reflections tend to trick our eyes and make us question what we are seeing. By looking down, we are seeing up. My iPhone 7 is responsible for the capture of this image.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 18 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
A Whisper in the Earth What stirs the sleeping plants to spring forth from the earth? An increase in the daily amount of sunshine and the corresponding warmth of the earth signals the plant that it could be time to start. Sometimes, our hopes are thwarted with late hard freeze. Not so many years ago I recall that the trees in southern Illinois had leafed out. It was an early spring with a late frost that froze the new leaves and the leafing of the trees began all over again. I was disappointed as I think many others were as well. The early pink cherry trees are blooming. The forsythia is starting. Even the tulip magnolias and the star magnolias are beginning to bloom. I certainly hope they are not wrong.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Could It Be? The pink hyacinth is beginning to unfold. I noticed several days ago as I walked our garden that the leaves had begun to push their way out of the soil. Now it is preparing to bloom. It is early. But yesterday on the way home from church I noticed the tulip magnolia tree at the WSM radio tower (the Home of Country Music) was beginning to bloom. Tomorrow or the next day it could be in full bloom. By Valentines' Day? In some ways, it is not surprising as Nashville barely had a winter. I love spring!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 13 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany The Gospel lesson for today continues the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5:21-37. And Jesus makes some startling pronouncements: anger is the same as murder and lust is the same as adultery. We recognize the prohibitions against murder and adultery as part of the Ten Commandments. They are religious and cultural norms that limit destructive behavior. Most of Jesus' listeners then as today could say of all of the Ten Commandments they have kept these rules. But now Jesus crosses over into the mess of our lives where anger and lust and name-calling and broken promises litter our landscapes. Those listening can no longer say they are not guilty. Anger is a frequent emotion, or at least we engage in name-calling while driving in metropolitan traffic. And it certainly has shown up in this political season with its sidekick fear. Essentially Jesus said that rule-keeping is not enough. Relationships are more important, Reconciliation is a hope for those who have a dispute. Seek the wholeness and respect of men and women rather than treating them as sexual objects. Oaths are to be replaced by unabashed honesty. At the core of this message is certainly the teaching of the Golden Rule, treating others as we wish to be treated.

Okay, what is this picture supposed to be? I was fascinated by the light coming through the textured glass in our front door.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 12 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Listening for Worms Dozens of robins have been in my backyard this past week. On the one hand, robins are frequently seen throughout the winter here. Several years ago, I posted an image of a robin perched in a tree in our backyard during a snowstorm. But now they are down on the ground, pausing for a moment, and then scurrying to another place just a foot or two away, pausing, and moving again. Robins search for their food source using visual, auditory, and olfactory senses. Experiments have demonstrated that they can find worms underground just by listening. Their numerous appearances suggest to me that the ground is warming and a variety of bugs and worms are moving through the topsoil and attracting the robins. Maybe it's another sign of an early spring.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 11 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
In a State of Disbelief Eight days ago the so-called spring-predicting groundhog saw his shadow and went back into the ground for six more weeks of winter. I'd rather believe real observable facts. This maple tree next to the driveway at the Hideaway is blooming. Daffodils are blooming all over metropolitan Nashville. The lawn needs to be mowed. The iris leaves are more than 8 inches long. The daylilies are sprouting.

After today's cold start, there are no more freezing temperatures forecast for the next ten days. It may be that rural Pennsylvania will have six more weeks of winter. But it is looking more and more like it will be early in Nashville and much of the southeastern USA. Our nursery man warns that it is still possible for a hard freeze. However, in light of the evidence, it is a challenge not to get spring fever. Especially when the tree buds are exploding. This is a macro image that is larger than life-size.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 10 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Just for a Moment Yesterday was mostly a cloudy, rainy day, but for just a moment the sun came out and highlighted the trees at the back of our property. I know that the sun hitting the trees in just this way has likely happened many times. The difference was that this time I saw it, and that I noticed it, and that I took a picture just before the sun disappeared behind the clouds. And the scene that was there for a moment had vanished. I share the photograph as an illustration that our lives are a series of moments. Some we sleep through. And others catch us with awe because we opened our eyes.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 09 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
My Life Is Good Not the most flattering picture, but it's real. And it's all Maddy had to work with. Thanks to Judy for the German Chocolate Cake (made from scratch). Birthdays were always important in our family when I was growing up. So we celebrate and give thanks for another year of life and the blessings of family and friends. I am so thankful for this journey so far and all the delightful people I have met and all those I love. Far more than I deserved. My life is good.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:54:07 GMT
Feeding Time This is the kind of photo that makes me wonder. Because it was taken nearly 12 years ago, with equipment that is not as good as I currently use. But I would be hard-pressed to say that any of my photos now are significantly better than this one that was taken at my sister-in-law's house, through her dining room window. The white-breasted nuthatch has created a hole in the bark of the tree by repeatedly using it to hold the seed that the bird cracks open.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 07 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Mender of Broken Walls This is the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany and the lesson from the prophet Isaiah 58 could not be any more appropriate for the current times. Sometimes the scripture needs little commentary.

"Isn't this the fast I choose: releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke, setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke? Isn't it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family? Then your light will break out like the dawn, and you will be healed quickly. Your own righteousness will walk before you, and the Lord's Glory will be your rear guard. The you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and God will say, 'I'm here.' If you remove the yoke from among you, the finger-pointing, the wicked speech; if you open your heart to the hungry, and provide abundantly for those who are afflicted, your light will shine in the darkness, and your gloom will be like the noon. The Lord will guide you continually and provide for you, even in parched places. He will rescue your bones. You will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water that won't run dry. They will rebuild ancient ruins on your account; the foundations of generations past you will restore. You will be called Mender of Broken Walls, Restorer of Livable Streets."

Isa 58:6-12 Common English Bible


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 05 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Saturday Markets Saturday is outdoor market day in many places. This photo is from an autumn Saturday in Des Moines, with this woman offering an abundance of flowers from her garden. I admired this beautiful arrangement and laughed at myself because I leave most of my blossoms in the garden but they can be enjoyed inside as well. Flowers are not just for outdoors. I guess everybody knows that but me.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Anywhere In yesterday's blog post I shared two photos of the Windsor Mansion Ruins near Port Gibson, Mississippi. You may have noticed the bright red streak that highlighted one of the pillars. As I was trying to capture an overall scene of the ruins, looking for a composition that included many of the pillars without distortion, this red vine shouted to me. So after I took a number of photos of the group of pillars, I moved so I could concentrate on this one pillar and the contrasting vine. Nature is relentless in recovering in spite of our human construction and destruction. Plant life will grow nearly anywhere. I'm glad I was there in November as I think the red autumn color contrasts more than what I imagine summer's green would be.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 03 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
All That's Left The pillars are all that's left of the Windsor Ruins, a mansion that was built just prior to the Civil War and completely destroyed in a fire in 1890.

The 17,000 square foot mansion with 29 forty foot tall columns was built 4 miles east of the Mississippi River on a 2600 acre cotton plantation by Smith Daniel who died just after its completion at the age of 34. The mansion was used by Ulysses S. Grant during the war as a command post. In today's currency, the mansion would have cost nearly 5 million dollars to complete. The property remained with the family until 1974 when they donated the site to the state of Mississippi.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 02 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Still More Stories After Thanksgiving, we drove from Natchez to Nashville on the Natchez Trace, the longest National Park, 440 miles. We went out of our way near Port Gibson to visit the Windsor Mansion Ruins, photos of which I will share tomorrow. But the first thing we saw as we turned into the short road toward the ruined mansion was this enormous oak tree. There are many ancient oak trees in the southeastern US, but this one is huge, much larger than the one in McMinnville that is more than 150 years old. Judy is standing near the tree to provide some perspective on the size of this tree. The Windsor Mansion was built during 1859-1861 and although I cannot find specific information on this tree, it must have been here long before the construction of the house. What stories could it tell?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 01 Feb 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Somebody's Treasure I read something the other day that everything you own will someday be owned by someone else. I like to think I'm going to be able to pass my prized possessions to my children and grandchild and friends. But I discovered when I began to deal with my mother's things after her death in 2015 that there may be no room or desire for someone else's prized possessions. They just become things. So we gave my mom's furniture away, and was so disappointed when the new owners didn't seem to treat the things we had given away with care or respect. They were just things to them. Unwanted stuff.

"One man's junk is another man's treasure", so the saying goes. I wonder if we won't end up with more junk than treasure.

Bailey's Harbor, Wisconsin.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 31 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Another Cold Day The Winter Rain by Wendell Berry

The leveling of the water, its increase,

the gathering of many into much:


in the cold dusk I stop

midway of the creek, listening

as it passes downward

loud over the rocks, under

the sound of the rain striking,

nowhere any sound

but the water, the dead

weedstems soaked with it, the

ground soaked, the earth overflowing.


And having waded all the way

Across, I look back and see there

On the water the still sky.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Blessed Today is the fourth Sunday after Epiphany and the Gospel Lesson is a familiar passage, not only to Christians, but to many others. Matthew 5:1-12, commonly called The Beatitudes, is the initial portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Rather than an exhortation to take on certain qualities, I hear Jesus recognizing qualities and needs that are already present in his listeners.

So Jesus sits on a hillside where anyone and everyone could belong and he is surrounded by a crowd.  They wanted to be there to hear what Jesus had to say.  But I suspect there was the sneaking suspicion that they felt they didn't belong near this man of God.  The Pharisees insisted that God's favor was given only to those who obeyed God's law, but here was a whole crowd who didn't measure up.  There was the businessman, living in a dog‑eat‑dog world, who has lost friends but made money.  There is the young couple who couldn't resist each other sexually and were worried about someone finding out.  There was the woman scared of dying.  There was the one who couldn't help passing along the latest gossip.  They want to be there to listen to Jesus, but if anyone finds out who they really are and their weaknesses, they don't know if they'll hear humiliating laughter or screams of scorn.

I like the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases this portion: "You're blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you, You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought." The passage continues, including

There are those who long to do right, they're going to do it.

There are those who banish feelings of revenge and ill will, they will be forgiven themselves.

There are those who have integrity within, they will see God everywhere.

There are those who work for peace, they are God's sons and daughters.

And to everyone of you‑‑‑God bless you.


Do you hear how I believe Jesus personalized these Beatitudes and included all who were gathered on the hillside, whatever their need, whatever their hope?  Here, where they thought they didn't belong, with just a few words Jesus included them all in the Kingdom.  This is what it is all about.  Jesus took what was true in their lives and turned it into blessing and the source of happiness.  It is not just a matter of sappy, shallow happiness.  It is not about becoming something different so that you will belong to God.  Happiness comes from God's blessing upon us, not by our actions.  The blessing of God is not earned.  It is a gift, a wonderful, undeserved gift.  It is like a kiss, given ‑‑because of who you are, in spite of doubts and fears, with the faint awareness that you are okay after all.  God pronounces his blessing upon who we are‑‑on the God‑shaped‑ness of our lives, where we have been kissed by that sense of wonder and awe.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 29 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Window Week 4 Here we go with another image that is not my usual subject, or at least not my usual way of seeing. But what appeals to me is the asymmetrical position of the window and the electrical socket, the peeling paint, and the color (in differing values) on the window trim, the wall, and even hinted at on the outlet. The blue of the window shade mimics the blue on the wall. And in this horizontal image, there are strong vertical elements, even the window crank, and then there is the horizontal line in the window and the shadow. In my class this week, we are examining where we personally see beauty and why we see certain things or scenes as beautiful. This scene did catch my eye.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 28 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Window Week 3 Resuming the "Window" theme: This window was nearly hidden in the shadows. Usually, windows are placed to add light to the building. I'm not sure that was accomplished. Someone was real proud of it and wanted you to know it was there with the red painted frame. So I admit that I am fascinated that a fairly non-descript, common window receives an attention-getting frame.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 27 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Forty Nine Years On a rainy Friday night in Godfrey, Illinois, 49 years ago, Judy and I married. Obviously we were still children. Because we can't be that old. Our good friend Mike Eischen took this photo last October in Door County, Wisconsin.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 26 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Window Week 2 Continuing the theme of "windows" this week is this image from Bell Buckle, Tennessee. Is there a story here? Well, I wonder about the obvious new concrete blocks beneath the painted sign "entrance", and wonder if those were replaced, how did they do that? And no reason to repaint the "entrance" sign. And no reason to paint the frame around the window either.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 25 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Window Week 1 This photo is not one of my typical subjects although there was a blog post recently that included a window, so I guess this might be considered the second. I found this wall appealing because of the color of the paint and the resulting texture. The windows are of different size and one is open. The frames are painted different colors. And there are odd other boxes or "things" attached to the wall. I'm not sure what this building was originally. I think it is a curiosity, a mystery, a wondering. Maybe it's two pictures...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 24 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
And There It Was I am participating in a six week Google+ mentorship on Creativity. And as part of the assignment this past week in which we were to capture images that express our gratitude, I noticed the morning light on this basket. Out front door faces east, has a large faceted glass window, and the morning light streams though it. And this particular morning, the rays caught this basket. And so I remember buying this basket with Judy and that it has shells that we have collected along the ocean shore. So I am grateful for color and sunshine and memories. Life is good.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Third Sunday After Epiphany I share these words of Walter Brueggemann from Texts for Preaching, a book that I purchased 22 years ago, about the biblical texts for this Sunday during the season of Epiphany:

"Light does not merely illumine,

but it brings a changed situation,

in which people depressed by the darkness,

under assault from known or unknown forces,

mired in anguish can experience the new day.

...everything becomes possible."

That will preach this weekend. I certainly saw light on Saturday.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 22 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Hope, Still I don't know what to say. Oh, I have emotions, concerns, convictions. I have friends and family that share them, and I have friends and family that don't. So I hope. I pray. "Love will never end." I didn't take this picture. But it is me and my granddaughter, 10 1/2 years ago. I held her in my arms, amazed with her newness and prayed. And I suspect it was the same prayer all grandparents pray for their grandchildren: for health and safety and faith and love made real in her life. Tonight I will be with members of my Sunday School class sharing what love we can with the homeless. And praying. And remembering this moment not so long ago. And I suspect that will be better than anything I might have seen on television today.



[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Grand Seems Like Such an Inadequate Word I am grateful that I can see. Last February, I stood at the edge of this awesome wonder. No photograph, certainly none of mine, begins to show the scope of the Grand Canyon. It is immense. I wonder at the centuries that it took to create this. Geologists note that the rock exposed at the bottom is from billions of years ago. I find it challenging to comprehend. "Grand" seems such a small word for such a vast place.

And I am grateful that our nation has deemed it important to set aside portions of this country as national parks for the enjoyment of all. This visit last February was at the top of Judy's bucket list. She did skip the mule ride when she saw how icy the trail was.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Peering Through A Mist Opportunities for new beginnings are all around us. Even as I begin a new adventure in exploring my creativity, I realize that I cannot see too far into the future. I am reminded of this familiar biblical passage in 1 Corinthians 13 that is given fresh language by Eugene Peterson: "We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright. We'll see it all then, see it all clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as {God} knows us."


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Open, Open All the Way Wow, it's been three months exactly since my last blog post. It's time to change that pattern. I began to participate this week in a six week online group that is already stirring my creativity. I give thanks for that. It is a beginning, a new chapter, a re-opening, a gateway to something different.

We all have opportunities to begin something new, all along our journey. We can turn this way or that, walk though this gate or that one over there. It is the process by choosing to go through the opening that we find something new. I'm looking forward to the adventure.

Today's image is the gate to the Melrose Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi. Sony a7rii, 90mm, f/5, 1/800, 1600iso, adjusted in Lightroom.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:56:48 GMT
Near the Northern Tip Our friends, Mike and Marcia Eischen, live near the northern tip of Door County, Wisconsin. So while it is in the 80s (still) in Brentwood, it is much cooler here. We had a hard freeze a few nights ago. The fall color is a little delayed behind what it was like last year. But the trees are beginning to approach peak color. Sandhill cranes were in the field across the road from their house this morning. It's always a delight to visit our friends.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 17 Oct 2016 22:19:44 GMT
Almost Lost This photo was taken in eastern Tennessee on the Hiwassee River. We followed a gravel road in the National Forest, over an unmarked railroad crossing, along the river, until we came to a parking spot along the road. I noticed that these trees were reflecting in the river. So, yes, this images is upside down from the way I saw it. But it gives the trees an abstract, pixelated look. Notice it especially in the green areas of the photo. Quite obvious when seen full size.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Celebrating Fall Fall color comes at different times to different places. I've seen photos of autumn color in the Rockies already and we won't see color in the lower elevations of the Smokies until November. Wherever there are trees that change color, one can celebrate autumn. I guess you could also celebrate with cider and pumpkin pie. Oh, and I loved going to the apple orchard near Centralia and buying a dozen of cinnamon doughnuts.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 05 Oct 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Thin Skinned Few trees have bark as thin as birch trees. Some layers appear to be no more thick than a sheet of paper. While the trees are beautiful and the bark of several standing together in the sunlight can be an awesome sight, they are often brittle and susceptible to disease. So one can often find trees that have the upper part of the tree completely broken off. Found all over the northern hemisphere, the trees are generally short-lived.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 04 Oct 2016 11:00:00 GMT
All at the Same Time It's not a short trip from Nashville to the shore of Lake Superior. The forests there are resplendent in the fall with color. The season can be short as it seems as if all of the trees have decided to have a group display all at the same time. Makes for wonderful time to walk in the woods and enjoy the crisp air and open your eyes.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 03 Oct 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Snow in the Higher Elevations Especially in the mountains, autumn weather can be quite a mixture. We enjoy visiting Great Smoky Mountain National Park in any season. And the autumn colors can be eye-popping. From one of our favorite vantage points one cold morning, we saw the span of color at the lower elevations and snow on the higher mountains with the ever-present fog nestled in the valley. The show is beginning soon.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 02 Oct 2016 09:55:27 GMT
Reworking the Old I've been trying to improve my ability to process my images, even working on photographs that are older. This one is from the Oregon coast on a trip in May, 2005. The westward wind was driving massive waves into these enormous rock formations and then exploding the spray into the air. Quite a bit of fun!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 01 Oct 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Rain in the Fall I began my college education at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. My intention was to become an aeronautical engineer. Many of my classes were on the other side of campus from where my dorm was. So I walked. And it seemed that it was often raining in the fall when I would go to class. I often got soaked. And the leaves would fall on the sidewalks. Wet leaves. Long walks. And I have learned that cloudy, even wet days, provide great opportunities to take photos of fall color. Especially with wet leaves, it is a good idea to use a polarizer or try to avoid reflections that eill leave "white holes" in your photos.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Further Down River It's the season with cool nights and colorful leaves. Just at the right time, they release from the branches and fall to the earth. Some fall in the streams and float down river. And then occasionally some are caught and held by the force of the water. This is an 8 second exposure, revealing what the eye does not see. Sit still and watch, and there it is.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
AuTrain Falls I have a print of this photo hanging on my wall. It reminds me of a favorite spot on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where fall colors are absolutely gorgeous. Cool days like we are experiencing now makes it feel like autumn, even down here in Nashville. We will be heading north in two weeks to visit with friends and enjoy the colors. And probably take some more photos.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Endurance I am intrigued by this photo. I like it, obviously since I'm sharing it in this blog. But I'm uncertain what to say about it. I have thought to share where this is and the significance of this building, but I don't think that's important. That knowledge doesn't add to one's appreciation of the photo. I do find myself drawn to scenes like this.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Morning at My House Morning often begins early at the Hideaway. Moving east 5 years means that dawn come earlier than it has for nearly the last forty years. I don't use the alarm clock in retirement. Besides the early dawn light attempting to shine through the slats of our bedroom blinds, there's the mockingbird that seems to enjoy the crape myrtle trees in the front yard as he greets the morning with a repertoire of brief melodies. And the school bus from the county to the south turns around in the cul-de-sac at 6:30 with the required beeping sound when the driver puts it in reverse. And this time of year, flocks of Canada Geese transfer from one pond to another, honking an encouragement to the youngsters to keep us as they fly in formation. It's good that I am awake before all this starts. And now we have two outdoor cats that wait on the deck and look through the door anticipating that Judy or I will go out into the garage to open a can of food. I make my pot of coffee, with a little more than a cup, and sit in the great room if it's too chilly to sit outside. And this week the sun streams through our front door in a straight line and illuminates the top of our treasure table. And I notice the morning light. And I give thanks, for another day.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Knot Just wanted to share this image.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Our Own House Today is an anniversary for us. Five years ago today we bought the Hideaway, our own house, our first house that belonged to us (and the bank). I lived in a parsonage from 1975 until I retired in 2012. Before that Judy and I lived in rental homes or apartments. My parents never owned a home while I was growing up. So it was a big deal five years ago to go through the search for a retirement home and complete all of the paperwork for a mortgage to get to this point where we were handed the keys to our new home. We drove from the realtor's office, invited Mike and Amy and Maddy over and jumped in the pool. It was chilly that day.

From September through June I drove the 400 miles between Springfield, Illinois and our new home. I got to know the road pretty well, especially dodging all of the road construction in Illinois at the time. We probably bought too big of a house for just the two of us. (Duh, ya think!) But we wanted space for our family and friends to stay when they came to visit us. And Nashville is a great place to visit!

We have come to love this house, and living in Nashville. And Friday night was the Harvest Full Moon, hiding for a moment behind the clouds. And today members of our Sunday School class will celebrate with us, another one of the 50 events that we are using to remember fifty years of marriage. Burgers and brats, and s'mores of course. Life is good. By the way, since we came home from Seattle after visiting our cherished friend, Linda Summers, I've been in that pool 115 out of the last 123 days. Yeah, this is great!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 18 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
For Sale at Antique Archaeology We have been to LeClaire, Iowa, just across the Mississippi River from Moline, Illinois. There are several good places to eat there. And it's also home to Mike Wolfe and Frank of the "American Pickers" television show. Each week's episode finds them exploring a different part of the USA in search of treasures hidden away in barns, or basements or abandoned stores. The people they meet are often worth the episode all by themselves. Mike and Frank bargain with the owners to buy some things that look valuable and old and other things that look like junk. Mike seems fascinated with old clothes. Whoops, I just realized I have a fifty-one year old pair of pants. (see earlier blog post "Trend Setter". Maybe Mike would want to buy them, they are valuable!) Mike and Frank have also opened a store in Nashville at the historic Marathon Motor Works, just south of downtown. It's a must stop for the millions of tourists who come to Nashville yearly (generating $100 million in tax revenues!). And among the items was this oft-mended denim jacket. Seriously. Now who would buy this? And why? I think they'd rather have a pair of 51 year old corduroy pants. I could make them a deal.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 17 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Stories in Old Barns Old barns have stories. Like this door that was half painted. Or maybe it is more correct to say that half the door is half painted. The painter was going to save the lower half for another day, but nature is quicker at finishing the job and claiming the boards, unpainted or not. And when was the painter going to paint the right side? And why is the job half-finished? Was there an interruption, an emergency, another task? Or did the painter just run out of paint?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 16 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
An Exercise in Seeing I went with a friend last week to photograph along "Slow Roads" in Tennessee. Our first stop was behind an abandoned building that may have been a motel. I admit if I had been driving, I probably wouldn't have stopped. But I am intrigued by my friend's style of photography so I looked to see what caused him to stop. His first comment as we passed the front of the building was about the direction of the light, that likely would be lighting the rear of the building. The building had several layers of paint including an odd baby blue. I picked up my camera and began to try to see it, to imagine how my friend might be seeing it. I noticed this south side of the building and shot a few frames. I don't know yet what my friend saw, but I found a photo different from what I usually create. I ponder this scene. Processed in Lightroom and On1.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 15 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Trend Setter Except that it was a trend that didn't last. When I was in high school in Indiana, senior boys wore painted yellow corduroy pants and girls wore similar skirts as a visible sign of school spirit. When I moved to Effingham, I didn't want to be left out and thought we could start a new tradition. So about 8 or 9 of us purchased the yellow cords in Indiana and decorated them for the Effingham Flaming Hearts. I may be the only one who still has my pair. And although the perspective of the photo doesn't show it, I am not small enough to wear mine. Don Stuckey hoped I would bring them to the reunion and surprise the class members who remembered what a silly guy I was (am).

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Effingham reunion senior cords Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
The Celebration Begins Our "50 for FIFTY" celebration began last Friday night at the first night of my high school class reunion. There had been a thunderstorm earlier, and as I visited with friends, I couldn't help noticing the sky through the window. I had to step out and take a couple of photos.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 14 Sep 2016 02:12:35 GMT
Behind the Pool Pump Behind the pool pump is another world. But it is obvious that it is late summer, with a large garden spider that has caught a cicada in her web. The spider is a female black and yellow argiope. The female is nearly twice the size of the male and is distinctly patterned with the bright yellow and black design on its abdomen. While the image of this spider can be surprising to us humans, it is harmless and quite beneficial. I love that it eats mosquitoes.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Something Different I'm still looking for images to add to my presentation on closeup photography. And yesterday morning Judy noticed that one of our old cottonwood stumps was sprouting a new fungus. So of course I had to not only see it but to photograph it as well. We noticed on our walk ion our road this morning that there were giant toadstools in several of our neighbors' yards. The moisture and heat evidently is helping to produce a bumper crop. I had been out in our yard earlier to photograph new blossoms on the magnolia tree. But I had missed seeing this new display.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 28 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Doesn't Look Like a Bean Lupines are members of the legume family and, in some parts of the world, the seed is eaten. Most of us just regard them as attractive plants that are usually found in cooler areas. I don't see many in the South, at least not like this one that I photographed in Washington state.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 27 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Southern Sight I have begun to be fascinated by magnolia blossoms. While the range of the tree is not limited to the South, a magnolia grandiflora tree seems to me quintessentially Southern.  We planted this tree in May 2012 and we enjoy watching it bloom much of the summer.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Another Butterfly, Same Spot Tiger Swallowtail on our butterfly bush. I'm still working on my presentation for closeup photography.

Photo details: Sony a77ii, 100 mm f/2.8 lens, iso 400, 1/90 at f/6.7, processed in Lightroom.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Late Summer Probably for the last 25 years, in the yards of our several homes, we have had a butterfly bush. The blossoms are so aromatic that they seem to attract butterflies from the entire neighborhood and any that might be migrating through the area. I took this photo just last week, and then noticed that this butterfly has the appearance of some age (much like the photographer). The cool evenings this week have also been a reminder that this is late summer. I've enjoyed every day. And there are quite a few left, but there is no mistaking the summer is waning. I've tried to identify this butterfly, as it was unfamiliar to me. It is a Gulf Fritillary, and Tennessee is the limit of its northern range. Similar in size to a monarch. Photo details are the following: Sony a7rii, 90mm f/2.8 macro lens, iso 2500, f/13 at 1/500 second. Processed in Lightroom.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Take a Step Back Take a step back in time. When a mechanic worked at the gas station. When someone came out when you ran over an airhose and a bell rang inside the building. And he asked you how much gas you wanted and checked the air in your tires and washed the car's windshield. And you owned a Corvette,... Oops, I don't remember that! This scene is one of many inside the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Where does this trail lead? Judy and Maddy were on the trail to the former location of the Boundary Oak at Sinking Spring Farm, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. The Boundary Oak was 28 years old before Lincoln was born in 1809 and lived to be about 200 years old. The historic tree died about 40 years ago and was cut down about 20 years ago. Maybe we could find the stump of that great tree. This is the trail, and I took their picture as they began their journey. But the trail was a loop and ended where it began. And any remains of the tree was likely to Judy and Maddy's right where they posed for the photo. It was fun anyway.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Walking to Kentucky The big rivers of our nation require bridges. The interstate 65 bridge crossing the Ohio at Louisville has been an ambitious project that I crossed many times in the past 4 years and now it is nearing completion. But the fun bridge is the former railway bridge that has been converted for pedestrian use. Including the north and south ramps, it is a mile long. Fun place to walk, skate, or ride your bike and see the new bridge nearing completion.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 21 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Corvette Parking Don't make a mistake and park in the wrong spot. My red Ford Taurus didn't quite blend in with the dozen or so Corvettes that were parked outside the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I worked for a Chevrolet dealer in Grandview, Missouri the summer before my senior year in high school and got to drive a number of Corvettes. I never got to own one. But I know I can drive one. Maybe there will be Corvettes in heaven.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 20 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Working on Macro I have volunteered to do a presentation for my photography group on macro photography. I have a ton of examples but I noticed the magnolia tree in our yard this morning. And as I approached to make an image, this bee was also interested. So we both got what we wanted.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
For Her Dad Visitors to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory can pose with bats used by famous players. Maddy chose the one used by Chicago Cubs star Ron Santo because her dad is a Cubs fan. She has a new stance that looks a bit unorthodox with her lead foot further from the plate but is helping her to hit with power.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 18 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Always Wanted to Stop Just on the north side of Clarksville, Indiana, there is a retail concrete business on the west side of Interstate 65. On our trips from Nashville to Columbia City, Indiana, we would drive right past and one can't help but notice the concrete hippo and giant rooster and hundreds (maybe thousands) of other concrete statues. So on our trip last week to the Louisville area with Maddy, I told her that one place was going to be a surprise: someplace that she would always want to stop even if she didn't know it. Well, I have always wanted to stop. And I wasn't disappointed by the Concrete Kingdom. (They even ship to your door).

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 17 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Fossils at the Falls We roamed the fossil beds at the Falls of the Ohio on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, just west of downtown Louisville. The fossil beds date from 387 million years ago, and this photo shows an example of the one of the many shell fossils. This one may be a brachiopod. I am certainly no expert, and just guessing at the identification. We were astounded to see such a large number of fossils on the banks of the Ohio River.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 16 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Schimpff's Candy Maddy's first Coke at a soda fountain in the 125 year old Schimpff's Candy Store in downtown Jeffersonville, Indiana (just across the Ohio River from Louisville. This delightful place was a serendipity on a two day trip with Maddy to Louisville. We packed a lot of fun in a short amount of time.




[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Blooming Again MacBeth is blooming again. This daylily, a gift from Elke to her mother, bloomed earlier in the summer, and is now delivering even more blooms that it did earlier. We have many other daylilies that have more than a season of blooming. It is fun to see them repeat. Feels like summer goes on forever.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 13 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
One of the Restful Places This is the "two year chair" that provides a restful spot in the yard of the Hideaway. The "two year chair", an Adirondack design, took me two years to build. Or it took some reminding to get it complete. But now it provides another place to retreat, to be restored, to reflect.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 12 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Playing for Tips She was playing her guitar where people often relax in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. But there weren't many people there that day. But she didn't seem to mind, She sang her favorite songs, with a little bit of story in between each one. I contributed a tip as well. But she's not going to get rich or famous. I don't think that matters to her. She just sings her songs.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
The Cookie Shack The Cookie Shack at False Bay, Lasqueti Island, British Columbia is always open. Each plastic bin contains a different kind of delicious cookie. There is no clerk, just a money box, trusting in the honor of the customers. I thought it was the first place you stop after you get off the ferry from Vancouver Island, and the last place you stop before you get on the ferry. You can never go wrong with a cookie!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Hummingbird Rescue Yesterday wasn't a good day for the hummingbirds in our yard. Most of the summer we have had two or three that have been visiting our trio of feeders. But within the past week, the numbers have escalated with multiple challenges occurring at the feeders or at the trumpet vines. We have even added a fourth feeder as the number of birds has increased. Yesterday morning, the cats, caught one. I was very disappointed with Fred's behavior and told him so. As a result, we moved the feeders further from the deck to at least increase the difficulty of capture. But in the evening, as I was preparing to start the grill for dinner, I noticed two hummingbirds, struggling on the deck. They must have been chasing each other and crashed into the window. And there they were stunned from the collision. Judy gathered both of them up in a dish towel, away from any other predators. They slowly revived, and before they flew off to the trees in the yard, I managed to capture a few images of one of them. 

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Good Chance of Rain It's been wet outside. The pool nearly overflows with water from frequent thunderstorms. And the grass is growing so fast, I have to mow the lawn every 5 or 6 days. Water is a precious gift. We all need it the refreshment.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 08 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Detour to Snoqualmie Thirty miles east of Seattle is Snoqualmie Falls. I photographed the falls (270 feet high) with a relatively high shutter speed, 1/400 second. I like to shoot water at a very slow shutter speed which lends a milkiness to the water. But this time, I was fascinated by the cascades of water, and knew that I would need a higher shutter speed to capture the effect of the water. We also stopped for ice cream.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 07 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Ah, A Cat Picture It's kind of a long story. But two orange-striped cats, Fred and Ginger, live at our house. Actually they live outdoors. And they have settled into a routine. They wait patiently each morning on the deck for one of us to be awake. So Judy or I open a can of food for them; they also have dry food always available. But we have a routine. And then the feline siblings hope to receive some attention from the humans who live here. And then they play. Wrestle. Stalk. Hide. Before grooming and a nap. How did this happen? It's a long story.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 06 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
The Door Won't Open Once upon a time...this pair of doors were beautiful. Someone took time to create a pair of doors that fit the opening perfectly. But time has not been kind. So the doors have begun to come apart and sag at an awkward angle. They not longer fit the opening. They won't open and they won't shut. I wondered why they were there.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 05 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Without Color It's better in black and white, This scene was rather monotone. The wall was made of stones all the same color and the weathered wagon wheel was a similar color. Boring. But processing it as a black and white image emphasizes the texture of the wall and wheel, even if it was not captured in optimum lighting. I learned photography with primarily black and white images. I shot a lot of black and white film and made a lot of black and white prints. It's fun every once in awhile to explore what a photo might look like if it wasn't in color.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Somedays You Just Feel Old And I think it would have been better if you just left things alone. And let the worn green paint alone. The blue paint didn't last. And I think just it was a feeble attempt to cover what was authentic. Just let the real be.

From Old Car City.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 03 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Hearing Rhythm Maybe she's right, it's all about the bass. Actually, it's the double bass or string bass. Six feet tall with Just four strings, the bass is played with a bow in the orchestra, but generally plucked or strummed by bluegrass or jazz musicians. One thing I find amazing is that it's large size does not translate to a big sound volume, because its notes are so low. The bassist does not generally play on every beat, usually first and third beats of a 4/4 measure, although may play every beat during a transition. So it's quite a treat when the bass player has a solo and gets to play the melody line, several octaves below what we had been hearing previously. I suspect they do not consider themselves part of the percussion section.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Well-worn Lots of footsteps on these wooden stairs. The edge of each one is worn down to just a fraction of the original. Every day up and down. Every day for years. Every day for more than a hundred years. This is the stairway inside the Falls Mill near Belvidere, TN. This old grist mill has been in operation for more that one hundred years. And every day people walked up and down these stairs. Hard work in a noisy mill. And every step worn away just a little. It must have took millions of steps to wear away the wood of this stairway. It obviously has been here more than a few years.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Eventually I don't know if you will be able to see it on your computer or device screens, but there is a young woman wearing a bright purple coat in the lower right corner of this photo. The large balanced rock is at least 12 times her height. So I would estimate it's between 60-70 feet tall, and 40 feet wide, and who knows how much it must weigh. That means the balanced portion alone is as large as a 6 story building. I am in awe. I don't know how long that this rock has balanced in this way, nor do I have any idea how long it will remain this way before it falls. But eventually...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 31 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Not All the Same This is the time of year in the Illinois prairies that they are filled with yellow blooms, with several different varieties of wildflowers. Passing by quickly on the highway, they all blend together in a blur of yellow. But they are not the same, and some are quite unique. I believe that this is a Compass Plant, so named because its leaves are oriented north-south. The center of the flower with its stringy center is again quite different from coneflowers and sunflowers and daisies and coreopsis and black-eyed susans. But you have to wander in the prairie among the flowers to see the differences.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 30 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Going to Be a Beautiful Day It already is. The day is already beautiful. Just by opening my eyes and seeing.


This image is from Tybee Island, Savannah, Georgia, nearly 12 years ago.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 29 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Inside the Tower Inside the Desert View Watchtower, located on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, are numerous pictographs and symbols of the Native American culture painted on the walls. The visual center is a mural of the Hopi Snake Legend by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie that describes their cultural connection to the Grand Canyon. This painting tells the story of a Hopi man who floated down the Colorado River through the canyon in a hollow log. And here is a man using his phone to record the depiction of this ancient story. The tower is 70 feet tall and offers a number of windows to look out to see the Grand Canyon. This structure, as are several others within the Park, was designed by architect Mary Colter in 1932.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Sharing the Work The community garden in Door County thrives through the hands of many volunteers. There is a list of things to do and tools than can be used. And so, somebody plants in their spare time. Another weeds. And someone else harvests. And the bounty is shared. Sounds scriptural.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Little Free Libraries This replica of a British phone booth sits prominently in the lawn of my friend Linda's home in Seattle. It was built by her son Sean, and is part of the worldwide network of Little Free Libraries. Their purpose is ...

To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. There are nearly 40,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, bringing curbside literacy home and sharing millions of books annually.

Last fall we saw this library in Minnesota that matched the historic building nearby and contained an abundance of books in Swedish.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Hillbilly Haiku Saturday night music at our first house concert in Nashville: Daniel Seymour on Bass, Daryl Dasher and Linda McRae on guitars. Amazing music made for a fun night at the home of the Williams' who call their monthly venue Hillbilly Haiku. Photography was a challenge in a dim living room, but I cranked up the camera's iso sensitivity and was able to capture some images that hopefully convey feeling and music.

Our friend Eugene Baldwin, who is an exceptional author, drove down from Alton, Illinois to read two of his poems from his Genehouse Chronicles.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Peach Season at the Hideaway Judy loves peaches. Well, so do I. But Judy loves them. And she finds all kinds of opportunities to enjoy peaches, from putting them on pancakes at breakfast to peach pie for dessert. And last week, she and Maddy made frozen peach yogurt. And we like to share. So two of the neighbors got peach pies last week and another pie baked yesterday. It's peach season.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 24 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Remembering Cooler Days The weather has been hot here, so it's fun to remember cooler days like the one last February when we were following the Colorado River into Moab, Utah. The snow lingered enough to emphasize the texture of the landscape. Good day to pause. Sony a7rii, 70-200 mm lens @200, f/7.1 a7 1/1600 second, iso 400.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Painted Desert One of the detours we took last February as we drove along historic Route 66 in Arizona and New Mexico was to drive through the Petrified Forest National Park and through the Painted Desert. February was a good time to visit with no heat and few tourists. And the colorful layers of exposed sediment was spectacular.  I'm still awestruck as I look at the photos months later.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 22 Jul 2016 14:25:01 GMT
Another "Odd" Photo We were fortunate on our passenger ferry rides to and from False Bay, British Columbia, that the sea was relatively calm. The ferry is small enough that large waves can make for an uncomfortable excursion. Inside the passenger cabin were bench seats but some people preferred the open area at the back of the ferry. Passengers with dogs would ride back there and try to converse by shouting over the roar of the engine. I went out there on the return trip and noticed that there were fascinating patterns of light reflecting on the surface of the sea. Each image was different as I checked the back screen of the camera. So I would try something different on the next photo. And experiment some more on another photo. I think people wondered what in the world I was seeing that I would want to take pictures of it. But that wasn't the first time that I received curious looks as I aimed my camera in a direction most observers thought was odd.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
King Size The contour of the Coca Cola bottle was patented in 1915 by The Root Company in Terre Haute, Indiana. (I remember that there was a Root's Department Store in downtown Terre Haute. Wonder if it was part of the same company?) Originally the bottles were 6 1/2 ounces in size. I'm old enough to remember that you could get them in the vending machine for 5 cents. (Seriously?) In 1955, the King Size 12 ounce bottles were introduced, as well as 10 ounce sized bottles as well. The King Size bottles were nearly double the size of the originals. And we have moved beyond that to the 32 and 64 ounce cups that you can get in a variety of convenience stores. The bigger cups ensure that one makes more bathroom stops as we travel down the road. Twelve ounce cans became available 5 years later.

I suspect that this is recreated sign rather than an original in Fort Collins, Colorado. But it did make me wonder about "King Size."

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Afternoon The gardens on Lasqueti Island were amazing. My assumptions about what might be growing on this island, located north of Vancouver, British Columbia, were so wrong. Everywhere I looked, something was blooming. Even this iris had an admirer.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Finding a Fortune We didn't find a fortune, but we did find a few dollars, when we went exploring at low tide on our recent trip to Lasqueti Island. The sand dollars were alive (the dead ones are the ones that are rigid and white) and wedged in the sand in shallow water to be able to feed on whatever might come its way.

A close up view reveals the tiny cilia attached to spines that provide the sea urchin the ability to move across the bottom of the sea. You can also see the spines in this cropped magnification of another image that I shot through the surface of the water. A polarizer helped to eliminate reflections on the surface of the water.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
One of Thousands The peak of the daylily blooms is past for our garden, although we still have about 20 varieties that have blooms. Skyhooks was done last month, but I still enjoy looking at the photos. Oh, and I have thousands of daylily photos.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 17 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
On the Wrong Road Our friends were trying to find a road that they had been on before that they thought was exceptionally scenic for this part of Washington State. After several miles of driving, they began to say to one another that they thought this was the wrong road. So we turned around. I had noticed this barn and field of yellow flowers when we drove past it the first time, so when we approached from the other direction I encourage them to stop so that I could take pictures. It's always challenging for me to take photos when other people are patiently waiting (or I hope they are patiently waiting). But I try to be quick, identifying the best composition and taking a bunch of photos. This times there was a barbed fence in the way, so I leaned down and stuck the camera through the strands of wire, trying to emphasize the flowers with a low angle.  Now if the cows had been walking toward the barn...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 16 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Adding Color to Music Since 2010, the Bohemian Foundation in Fort Collins, Colorado has solicited the community for the donation of pianos. 65 have been received and painted by local artists and placed in various locations around town (6 during the winter and 20 during the summer) and musicians are welcome to play them I suspect they don't fare too well in a Colorado winter and I wonder about how long they stay in tune, if ever. But they are eye- and ear-catching.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Starting Point I shot this photo in northern Minnesota 10 years ago with my first digital SLR, Konica-Minolta, with 6 megapixels. This was the only model that the Konica-Minolta merger produced when it came to DSLRs. Sony bought the company after that. I have "upgraded" four times since then with new Sony models. Fortunately all of the lenses I own fit these cameras. Yes, it's likely more than I need.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
After the Rain The Great Smoky Mountains frequently have a mist rising from the trees, especially after a rain shower. The fog creates a depth in the scene. I shot this from the porch of the cabin where we were staying with our friends, Gerry and Christie Saunders. I used my 150-600mm zoom lens to be able to zero in and compress the scene so that the fog could be enhanced.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 13 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Built By a Committee I don't know how to explain this barn. Some of the boards run parallel to the ground, while others are vertical, sort of. None of them are trimmed square to match nearby boards. They are different sizes. There's even a large area that seems to have no siding or structure at all. How is this thing still standing? Did one group want vertical siding while another opted for horizontal? At first I was caught by the color on the boards and how that mimicked the dandelions, and then I noticed the haphazard way this building was constructed. Or maybe somebody was in a hurry. And it's lasted more than a few years. Hope it wasn't a model barn that served as an example for others. Possibly, it was an exercise in creativity. Ah, yes, that's it.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Double Siloam Color. Shape. Texture. I'm in awe.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Winners I remember playing baseball when we didn't have teams. A half dozen or so of would show up at the diamond at the neighborhood school. One would bat and the rest of would be in the field, guarding the bases and roaming the outfield. Usually there wasn't a catcher. The batter would just go back to the backdrop and pick up the ball and throw it back to the pitcher. And we would rotate through all of the positions. Funny thing, we all won that way. I thought for the longest time that was how baseball was played. We all were winners.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 09 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Tools of an Artist During our recent trip to Lasqueti Island, we had the opportunity to visit the home and studio of Eve Llyndorah. She is a sculptor, jewelry maker, and painter. She showed us one of the paintings that she was working on and I couldn't help noticing her brushes that were on the floor at my feet. These must be her secret to her great art.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 08 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Old Paint Old paint is fascinating to me. I have a print above my fireplace of old paint on a steel bridge girder. I love the texture of that image. My son, Michael, appreciates my photography, but he objects to some of the close-ups of peeling paint. It just feels wrong to him. This image is the side of an old truck at Old Car City where I intentionally blurred the exposure to emphasize the colors rather than the texture. Hope it feels right. Image data: Sony a77ii, 24-70 lens at 45mm, f/8 at 1/5 second, iso 160.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 07 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Sugar Cookies Within the restored farmstead at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was this young park employee who had the hottest job of the day. She was tending the fire in The Davis House and placing hot coals on the top of cast iron pots. (The Davis House is unique in that it was built with chestnut logs, a tree that has virtually vanished from the US landscape.) She was baking sugar cookies in those pots and the kids that had helped make them judged them as delicious. A little later I saw the same young woman stoking the fire in the blacksmith's shed, a hotter job than this one of baking cookies. I told her that she had obviously drawn the short straw that day to spend it with two hot fires.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Family Fences There are 26 historic cemeteries on 19 wooded hillside acres just west of downtown Roslyn, Washington. The fences of all types separate portions of the acreage: ornamental iron, chain-link, and wooden picket fences of every pattern and size. They delineate sections of graves that are tended by various ethnic lodges or families. Care for these plots by the various groups appears to be a sacred responsibility. The brochure that describes the cemeteries notes that the fences keep out grazing animals. Some of them did not look substantial enough to carry out that intention. So, there are fences and fences and fences guarding the resting places of loved ones and lodge members. I found the intersection of these fences created interesting patterns, that represent a kind of security amidst old pickets, a sign of family care that has not stopped.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 05 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Have a Safe and Happy Fourth This photo is from a few years ago at Gills Rock, Wisconsin.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 04 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
When the Dancing Begins Again Today's scripture lessons include Psalm 30 with the concluding verses as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson: "You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance. You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I'm about to burst with song. I can't keep quiet about you." Sorrow and grief are real. Tragedy has invaded many homes. This family lost two precious baby children during one winter: one at the beginning of November and the other in late January. I can barely imagine the sorrow in that home all those cold nights and gray days. How does one move beyond death into life?

I admit that to me the psalmist makes it sound easy and quick. That has rarely been my experience. I have observed that sorrow is eased with memories of better days, and the embrace of family and friends. And the spring that eventually comes after a winter like this one, even when it takes years.

This image is from Roslyn, Washington, where there are 26 historic cemeteries. And a thousand stories of people remembered and families cared for, and promises kept until the dancing begins again.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 03 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Instead of a Pedicure The same afternoon that we arrived in Seattle, the trio of women that I was with decided that it was time for a pedicure. They didn't really ask me if I wanted one too, but dropped me off at the Seattle arboretum. I didn't really know where I was but began to explore the paths, The gardens were abundant with blossoms. And people out enjoying a wonderful spring day. And then a couple told me that some crows were harrassing an owl so I began walking in that direction. The noise of the birds made the grouping easy to locate. I took several photos although the locale didn't lend itself well to photography. This was the best of the bunch. My female friends were suspicious when I reported that I had photos of an owl in their park. But here it was. Iso: 6400, 300mm, f/8 at 1/100 second. Sony a7rii. Cropped from original to about 3/8 frame.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 02 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Tide Story My experience with ocean tides is limited to being at Florida beaches and having more sand or less sand on the beach. But it is a different event entirely where one can witness the vertical change of the tides. On our recent trip to Lasqueti Island, our friend Linda said that we need to arrive at her cabin at high tide because it can be quite a climb to her place at low tide. This is a picture at low tide of Judy sitting on a rock that we had noticed at high tide.

And here's a photo of the same rock, in different light and from a different point of view, at high tide. The depth of the tides in False Bay can be 14 feet. Yes, it was good to be at the cabin at high tide.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:00:00 GMT
I Remember Radio One of our fun visits recently was to the town of Roslyn, Washington, and for the fans of Northern Exposure this is the genuine radio set for the show. Folks may recall that John Corbett played Chris Stevens, a philosophical ex-convict who worked as the disc jockey at KBHR 570 AM. Between songs, Chris offered comments on events in Cicely and more intellectual subjects, and occasionally functioned as a non-denominational pastor at weddings. This scene also reminded me the number of times I did radio programs. The first was in Herrin, Illinois when I would go late night to have theological conversations with the DJ that I don't even remember. I was on TV in Lincoln, Nebraska, but no one would have recognized me as I wore a big fiberglass head as one of the McDonald's characters. The Effingham church services were recorded every week. And I would go to the Murphysboro and Benton radio stations to record weekly devotions. I don't think I always appreciated the opportunity. But I was surprised and pleased from time to time to get a letter from someone who had appreciated what I said. Almost forgot, I was interviewed on the radio in Monrovia, Liberia. Fun times. And I'm thankful for the memories.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Northern Exposure Roslyn radio Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
There's Always One I photographed this Blue-winged Teal Duck and her family on Lake Washington, in Seattle, last month. I walked along the shore and got numerous images as the ducklings followed their mother along the shore.

Most of the time, they were swimming along behind in a line. Occasionally, one little one took the lead. I don't know how old the ducklings are, but they can walk to water 12 hours after hatching and stay with their mother until 6-7 weeks old.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Blue-winged Teal ducklings ducks Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Tourist Info Last April, we were on the North Carolina side of the Smokies with our friends Gerry and Christie. On one of our daily excursions, we began to search for tourist information. And there was a sign directing us to a small town, a very small town. In the old school was an art gallery, a restored theater, classrooms, and two helpful ladies. So if you ever find yourself near Stecoah, do stop in. The art gallery was amazing! And then there was the opportunity for this trio to become musical sensations. They are still waiting for their agent to call.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Parked Too Long Another fine automobile to admire in Cle Elum, Washington. Two trees are growing right through the center of the car. It has been parked too long. I suspect it actually was planned to catch one's attention. There was no interior and no engine and one tree grew right through the windshield. It wasn't going anywhere. Just something fun along the road.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 27 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Fire from Heaven The Gospel Lesson for this Sunday is Luke 9:51-62.  Jesus is headed to Jerusalem through Samaria. Some would consider it hostile territory for a Jew. Messengers went ahead to prepare the way but were rebuffed when they sought a place for the travelers to spend the night. How quick James and John were to take offense.  I suspect they expected Jesus to be rejected and were eager to call for divine punishment.  Their attitudes about Samaritans are stripped bare.  The worst thing about mirrors is how much you see of your self.  I can fool myself about a lot of things about who I am as long as I don't have to look in a mirror.  The Bible is an unflinching mirror telling the truth about human relationships.  It can make me squirm. So many of our problems could be fixed with "a little fire from heaven." I even have thought from time to time how handy a bazooka would be.

But Jesus rebuked James and John.  It says "Jesus rebuked them" in lots of places in the Bible.  I always wonder what the rebuke of Jesus sounded like.  I know the rebuke of my mother.  I even know the rebuke of some parishioners.  Sometimes the rebuke of Jesus cut to the core of one's being‑‑‑ swift, clean, surgical.  At other times, the rebuke was tender and careful.  I imagine that the rebuke of Jesus could even on occasion have been just a glance.  Some ancient versions of this passage include the rebuke: "You do not know to what spirit you belong; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy lives but to save them."  The rebuke is not included in every version of Luke because there is some question as to its authenticity.  It sounds like the kind of warning Jesus might have given.  Wish no person hell.

We can imagine the suffering and the separation, the deprivation and the degradation of the condition we call hell.  Some do not have to imagine.  They have been abused by those who were supposed to love and protect them.  They know the pain and terror of diseased bodies.  They have experienced the scorn and humiliation of their community.  They are swallowed by the hopelessness of increasing debt and disappearing jobs.  The trap of addiction is all too familiar.  They know it all too well, even the neglect of good church folk. Don't add to the burden.



[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
So Where Ya Been (#5) Tall trees in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. After our trip to British Columbia, we drove south and east to Roslyn (site of the TV show "Northern Exposure). One day we drove up into the mountains and found snow and gigantic trees.

With moss hanging from the branches.

And then we peeked through the trees and saw more mountains.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 25 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
So Where Ya Been (#4) Om Mother's Day, we flew to Seattle to visit a friend we hadn't seen in 28 years. The next day Linda drove Judy and me, and her dog Theo, north three hours to the Canadian border. We took a 2 hour car ferry to Vancouver Island, drove an hour north, and took another ferry (without the car) to Lasqueti Island. A neighbor took us across the bay in a small motor boat to her cabin that had the view below of False Harbor. We had a terrific time bonding with this dear friend whom we met 48 years ago in Herrin, Illinois. We had come a long way from southern Illinois. This image is a merger of two images via Lightroom that I took on the last morning that we were there. What a great time we had!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Lasqueti Island dawn harbor sailboats Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
At the Frist One of the current exhibitions at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in downtown Nashville is "Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance 1945-1975". Judy and I escaped the heat of the day by going to see the cars. This is the second automotive exhibit at the Frist since we have lived here. And these cars are remarkable. And this one, 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, is one of only 39 made to compete in world FIA racing events. Needless to say, it is very expensive, a similar one sold at auction two years ago for over $38 million. No wonder I don't have one in my garage!

Now for some more amazing info with details of the photo. Camera: Sony 7rii, lens 90mm macro, exposure f/8 at 1/160 second, and the iso is 25,600. I didn't dare use that high of an ISO with any of my previous cameras. I am amazed. So I was able to take the photos I wanted with the museum's restrictions of no flash and no tripods.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Ferrari Frist Center for the Visual Arts Thu, 23 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Wyatt's Cameo Do you have a favorite? I'd have to say that at least 40 of our 50 varieties rank as a favorite. Maybe all 50. There are some that bloom and bloom. They urge consideration as a favorite. Wyatt's Cameo is one that could be considered.

By the way, this image is from my new Sony camera 7rii with the 90mm macro lens. Exposure data: iso 3200, f/5.6 at 1/640 second.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wyatt's Cameo daylily Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:00:00 GMT
So Where Ya Been (#3) Judy had always, ALWAYS, wanted to see the Grand Canyon. So we went on an extended trip (through 10 states, including Tennessee) in February to visit dear friends in Colorado, and then on to the Grand Canyon. It was awesome. We spent parts of four days and one night in the Park; the other nights we stayed in Williams, Arizona (a picturesque Route 66 town). The weather was mostly warm with fewer tourists. We loved it!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Grand Canyon Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Early Arrival When we first moved here, we brought with us a dozen or so varieties of daylilies. I thought that there was a perfect spot near the pool and deck. The garden grew. I added a section north of the first one and brought it up to the level of the pool deck by adding lots of soil and 122 concrete blocks. And then I expanded the first bed. And I'm thinking about making it a little larger. We now have over fifty varieties. Some are already finishing for the season. Everything started to bloom about two weeks early. And each new bloom bring so much joy. It's not peak yet.



[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 20 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
So Where Ya Been? (#2) Would you believe, dinosaur tracks?

After we spent the night in Yuba City, we saw a sign that advertised "Dinosaur Tracks".  Judy had read about this location in the guidebooks and wanted to stop. It was already sunny and warm, even if it was February, and the Navajo couple welcomed us to their rustic display shelter. She had jewelry of various kinds and explained that her husband would guide us. And just as we were about to set out across the dusty red rock landscape, she called him back and handed him a bottle of water. I wondered if we were in for a long walk and whether we ought to get our water as well. But, no, he used the water to spray in the depressions that were left centuries millennia ago in the mud by creatures that must have been larger than us. We were fascinated and awestruck at the footprints that were everywhere.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 19 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
So Where Ya Been? (#1)

Utah. Moab. This past February. On our way to the Grand Canyon.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Arches National Park sunset Sat, 18 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Another Admirer A morning ritual at our house during the summer is to stroll though the daylilies, to see which new ones are blooming that day. Sometimes, there are surprises, like the visitor on the petal of Joan Senior. I only noticed a few minutes ago that just above the snail there are areas missing from the petal. Families members report that daylily petals taste sweet, like sweet pea pods. The snail appears to agree. And I thought it was just looking.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 16 Jun 2016 11:00:00 GMT
Tea Time Warm water and cool air, morning fog. Two canoeists, paddling in the mist. They've brought along hot water and tea bags, to sit and sip. Greeting the day with quiet contemplation. Sacred moment.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 29 Oct 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Just a Few More Days of Autumn I'd like a few more days of autumn please. And then could we just skip to spring?

I love the colors of autumn and when some of the leaves fall, there becomes a transparency to the forest. You can see further. Details are exposed. And here is this grape vine wrapped through the limb of the tree. This scene is not too far off the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, just out of Gatlinburg.

I like the feeling in this photo. I have a framed print of this image hanging in my dining room. Just a few more days of autumn, please.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 28 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Don't Leave the Camera Behind This another photo from Door County, Wisconsin, along the Mink River. I thought the sky that evening was quite unusual, and a reminder to take my camera with me all the time. Photos like this are an encouragement to me to go looking for an opportunity to take a picture.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 27 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Everyone Has a Camera I've owned some kind of a camera my entire adult life. Just by writing that statement I realized that is not impressive nor unusual. My granddaughter has an iPad which uses to take pictures and she even uses it to create movies. Everyone who has a phone has a camera. And life on this planet is recorded millions of times a day.  And on the back of phones or posted to social media sites we show friends and families photos after photos. Nothing so unusual about taking and sharing photos. But our enthusiasm is not dimmed as we say, "Look at what I saw!" And joy is doubled.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:01:41 GMT
What Do You Want Our good friends, Mike and Marcia, always help us see the most interesting places when we visit them in Door County, Wisconsin. But I was perplexed when Marcia said we were going to a cemetery. Pastors spend a lot of time in cemeteries, and I don't usually visit them when on a vacation (Can you have a vacation when you are retired?). "There's a tombstone I want you to see, it's over here." And then the mystery deepened. Three names on this creative marker: a man and woman, each who lived to be nearly 100, and a younger man who died nearly the same time. But who made this marker, with shells, and broken pottery, and engraved rocks. It was something to see.

The Gospel lesson today is Mark 10:46-52, about Bartimaeus, a blind man who is restored to sight by Jesus. Bartimaeus could only beg, until he could miraculously see. There's more to ponder in the passage and the surrounding stories, if you can see.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 25 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Irresistible Red Another photo from Copper Falls State Park, Mellen, Wisconsin. The delight of autumn in the far north is that the peak color season is compressed so that the trees are "dressed" all at the same time. I thought that the season moved south down the country like a wave. But it doesn't. Autumn seems to progress in pockets, and can vary from year to year (which I knew). Our red maple tree next to our driveway is glorious this week even when there is little color here in Nashville. Our friends in Maine and Door County have sent images near their home and fall is beautiful this week where they live. Enjoy the color wherever you are.

Sony a7rii, 70-200 mm lens, A3E adaptor, iso 400, 135 mm, f 6.7, 1/500 sec, tripod

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 24 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Been Here Before I photographed a sunset over Loon Lake in July 1998. I was proud of the image at the time. I looked in my slide books (I have thousands of slides) to find the previous photos. The old image doesn't begin to compare with this one. And I was one of those who thought digital images wouldn't measure up to those taken on film. I was wrong about my photos. i even met someone recently, an accomplished photographer, who said film was superior to digital. Maybe he can do it, but I can't. The dynamic range in my new camera allows me to make photos I couldn't do with my film camera. It's tough to admit when you're wrong, but, in this case, it sure feels good.

Details: iso 100, 35mm setting on 16-35 mm lens, f/13, 1/30 second, tripod. Processed to brighten the shadows.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Copper Falls State Park Lake Loon Wisconsin dynamic range sunset Fri, 23 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Time How many years does it take for water to carve rock? Patient, persistent. The solid obstacle gives way. Disappears.

This is the Presque Isle River in the upper peninsula of Michigan, just before it empties into Lake Superior, and joins more water, with more power. A photo that I took years ago at this very spot was one of my mother's favorites.

Every one with a camera of some sort, not just photographers, pause on the small (bouncing) suspension bridge to capture this scene of the solid rock and water-carved potholes.

Details: Sony a7rii with 90mm lens, iso 200, f/13, 2 second exposure, polarizer and neutral density filter.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Michigan Presque Isle River patience persistence water Thu, 22 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Superior Every since our first visit to the shore of Lake Superior, we have been fascinated by the variety of rocks. And we always seem to bring a few home. During both of our visits this fall, we encountered significant waves which made for challenging conditions for photography and rock picking. I did make a number of photographs along the waters' edge in several locations, but I did respond to a simple rule of photographers: turn around and look behind you. And in the stream that emptied into the Lake was this scene. What caught me was how the sun made an interesting pattern through the ripple of the water.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Lake Superior Minnesota rocks Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:12:30 GMT
Even the Sky Reflects Autumn Before dawn on Farm Lake, near Ely, Minnesota, the sky begins to announce the morning. Autumn is beginning with the cool air drawing the mist from the water. Another seasonal change. Another morning for wonder!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Minnesota autumn dawn lake reflection Tue, 20 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
So, Did You Find Color? Yes, I did. This is Loon Lake at Copper Falls State Park, just south of Ashland, Wisconsin. Judy and I camped at this lake 17 years ago and enjoyed this lake (yes, with loons) and the waterfalls that are located in the park. It was a little colder this time; actually, a lot colder since the previous visit was in July. I had just finished photographing the sunset from the eastern side of the lake and the color of this hillside made me stop and take a few shots. The primary purpose of the trip was to offer photographic guidance to a friend. Her husband called it a photo workshop. I guess it was. She learned a lot in two weeks about photography and digital processing, and I managed to learn a lot about my new camera with more than 1600 images. This photo was taken with the Sony a7rii and my new 90 mm lens. I'm definitely keeping this camera.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wisconsin autumn color fall reflection Mon, 19 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT
To the North Woods Beginning near Ely, Minnesota, I have begun to search for fall color and other things photogenic. Of course we had to stop along the shore of Lake Superior and gather rocks. (Judy hasn't seen a rock that she didn't like.) I, too, am amazed a the variety of rocks that one can find along the shore of this lake. There appears to be more variety in rock color and composition along Lake Superior than one might find if you were searching for seashells along the Gulf coast. I'm here, first, because we love this area, and second, to teach a friend some of the things I know about photography. Yesterday, as we drove to the resort, I had to stop and take this photo because the black-eyed susans are still in bloom along with the changing colors of the leaves.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Minnesota autumn color fall wildflowers Sat, 26 Sep 2015 18:08:27 GMT
Summer's Over At our house the last few years, the end of summer means putting the leaf net on the pool. I admit it's a sad day. It is especially for me as the autumn season change affects me emotionally. I'm outside a lot during the six months of April through September. I swim every day that I can and I enjoy the sunshine. The rest of the year is not without attractions nor days outside. I wear more clothes. I walk instead of swim. There are lots of good things that I anticipate. But it's always sad to put the summer away, until next year.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 23 Sep 2015 09:24:02 GMT
Summer's Last Swim I imagined what it would be like to have a swimming pool. But I am still surprised by how much I enjoy it. I swim nearly every day from early May until now, often several times a day. Ah, the life of a retiree! I could say that it just came with the house. A pool was not at the top of our list when we were shopping for our retirement home. (Today is the fourth anniversary of our purchase). It would just be a bonus if the house we bought had one. It's been quite a bonus with the best part being that our granddaughter, Maddy, loves swimming in our pool. Sweet!

Today will probably be the last swim of the summer as the days get shorter and the nights get cooler. It's been a wonderful summer.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 19 Sep 2015 10:33:29 GMT
Because You Asked Okay, here's a closeup of yesterday's photo. The original dimensions of yesterday's photo was 7952 pixels by 5304 pixels. The cropped version for today is 2970x1981. That makes it about 6 megapixels and I routinely made and sold 13 by 19 inch prints of the 3000x2000 images produced by my Konica-Minolta 7D. And I can tell you the resolution of that older camera doesn't begin to compare with this. Could be why I am excited about this new camera and lens combination. This crop is 14% of the original image. Can you see the pollen on the bee's "hair"?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 18 Sep 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Just Beyond the Fence Another experiment with my new camera and macro lens. Details: 1600 iso, 90mm lens, f/8, 1/200 second. This wildflower is wingstem, a sure sign of late summer. The plant is just at the end of my backyard, and I saw the patch of yellow from my deck, so I thought I ought to investigate. A couple of bees were searching the blooms for pollen, carefully but efficiently gathering what they needed. I got close but I was not their subject of interest, so I could focus close on them and the blooms. I like it.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 17 Sep 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Last Days of Summer The kids have been in school for a month. The last days of swimming in the pool will likely be this weekend. And the milkweed pods are exploding.


I have a new camera. And two new lenses. Oh, wow! For my photographer friends, this image was shot at iso 2000 at f/5, with the new Sony a7rii and the 90mm f/2.8 macro, an incredibly sharp lens.

I'm sorry to see summer end. The summer weather has been mostly glorious. And soon autumn begins with scenes that delight the eye.

Can't wait to see. I'll take you along.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 16 Sep 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Turning Around The railway turntable was invented in England in 1840 to be able to turn steam engines 180 degrees. While diesel locomotives can run at the same speed either forward or backward, steam engines were limited in the speed they were able to run backwards, so a method was needed to be able to turn them around to utilize their speed efficiently. This turntable is located in Chattanooga with an engineer operating the controls in a small shed that rotates with the section of track atop the turntable.

I can imagine other situations where it would have been helpful to easily make a 180 degree turnaround in my life. Just push the button, be patient, and head back in the opposite direction. Sounds theological.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 03 Sep 2015 10:48:19 GMT
Seeing Clearly At the end of August and nearing the end of summer, I like to say that there are still several weeks of summer. Swimming in my pool generally ends about September 21 as the water temperature drops into the 70s. In Nashville, the mild weather continues often into November. And the seasons change.

The summer has been glorious. Almost like the days of childhood that stretch on for ever, beginning with watching the hummingbirds before breakfast to the seeing the fireflies flash in the darkness. I don't have the energy to go and go, but I still have the wonder. My appreciation has deepened of what I have the opportunity to savor.  And I have time to reflect even on reflections and days gone by.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:36:22 GMT
A Moment to Rest I love butterflies. I have no idea how many images that I have that contain some species of butterfly. In addition to the digital images, I have hundreds of slides and negatives, taken over a span of years, of these beautiful insects.



[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 29 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Listening for Loons Yesterday, as my wife Judy shared my blog post on Facebook, she asked if you could hear the loons in the photo of Vermilion Lake. We spent a week there and were fortunate enough to have our hostess take us out in her canoe to find a loon family. So we got up close and personal.

The male demonstrated by his posture that he intended to protect the small ones if we got too close.

We've made a dozen trips to the far north including several visits to our dear friends, the Eischens, who live in Door County, Wisconsin. We are looking forward to our visit north this fall and listening for the loons.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Minnesota loons Fri, 21 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Working on New Skills I've nearly finished making some needed updates to my desktop computer, re-installing software, and finding places for all of my photos. And I'm continuing to learn to use my two primary programs: Lightroom and Perfect Effects. This photo is from 9 years ago with my 6 megapixel Konica-Minolta DSLR, shot in raw. (While I still have the camera, I have upgraded several times and am considering the newest Sony A7Rii, 42 mp.) I recall being so disappointed with this picture 9 years ago, but it was because I didn't know how to process it well. By the way, processing photos is not a rigid process. The same image can be processed by different people with the same software, resulting in vastly different pictures. I think this version is very close to what I recall seeing 9 years. This is Vermillion Lake in northern Minnesota. The canoeists are friends of mine that I will be seeing next month when I return to the area for a photo trip.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Minnesota canoe sunset Thu, 20 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
At 1/25 of a second I took this photo at Twin Falls in April 2014. It's actually just half of the frame, but it is the more interesting portion. The challenge was to capture the kayaker at a relatively still position and still show the action of the river and the waterfall. I used a polarizer to cut down on the reflection of the water and slowed the shutter speed to 1/25 of a second which blurred the water. I used Lightroom to make some initial adjustments and then used Perfect Effects for additional processing including cloning out some distractions in the bottom of the frame.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) kayak photo processing waterfall Sat, 08 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Can't Get Enough I thought it was time for a waterfall photo. I never tire of waterfalls. This one was noisy and wet. The entire canyon seemed to be misty. And the view is rarely the same as some other day. There's more water or less water, all rushing over the cliff and descending down the rocks. I like it. I enjoy standing there, mesmerized by the sight and sound. I almost forget to take the photo.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) waterfall Fri, 07 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
You Can Tell It's August By Listening There's a buzzing sound in our backyard. It started a few weeks ago and seems to have grown more pronounced. The cicadas have emerged from the ground where they have been for several years, shed their old skin, and started a racket! Cicadas are not locusts, although many of us refer to the insects and the sound that they make as locusts. However, Cicadas are related to leaf-hoppers and spittlebugs.

It's the male that makes all the noise, sometimes as loud as 120 decibels.

Apparently, cicadas are eaten in some cultures. In the U.S., an ice cream shop, "Sparkys" in Columbia, Missouri incorporated cicadas in a single batch of ice cream in 2011. I love ice cream, but wouldn't have tried that delicacy. And few had the chance as it turned out. The local health department advised that there should not be a second batch. 

Seven weeks of summer remain.  Long after the kids return to school, I'll be swimming in my pool and thinking about familiar ice cream!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) cicada listening Wed, 05 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Caught My Eye at Breakfast Our morning routine is that we usually sit outside at the table next to the pool. I drink coffee. Judy drinks hot water. And we watch the birds as they land at the sunflower feeders. It's nearly a ritual every morning. We have received twice the amount of normal rainfall during July. So our yard is green. The trees that surround our home are green. So it shouldn't have been a surprise to see several toadstools glistening in the early morning dew.

Only photographers retrieve plastic sheeting and a towel to lie on the grass and creep close enough with a macro lens and experiment with different lens settings to get a photo like the one above. Seeing is fun!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) backyard dew toadstool Tue, 04 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Anybody The epistle lesson for today is Ephesians 4:1-16.

Frederick Buechner from Wishful Thinking.

"God was making a body for Christ, Paul said. Christ didn't have a regular body any more so God was making him one out of anybody he could find who looked as if he might just possibly do. He was using other people's hands to be Christ's hands and other people's feet to be Christ's feet, and when there was some place where Christ was needed in a hurry and needed bad, he put the finger on some maybe-not-all-that-innocent bystander and got him to go and be Christ in that place himself for lack of anybody better."

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 02 Aug 2015 06:00:00 GMT
Spilling Out It's been nearly six months since my last blog post. I'm resuming the blog today, although I do not know if I will return to the daily pattern of the previous year. Nevertheless, here we go!

I took this photo on the morning of May 28. What attracted me was the detail of the blossom falling apart. It was the same day that my mother began the last week of her life. And although she was not a celebrity (as most of us are not), and her life was unremarkable by most measures, she gave her all. Just as this Magnolia blossom, one of millions or billions, bloomed and spilled out its all in the moment.

Much has happened these past six months for me to grow in my appreciation of life, and family, and friends, and faith. It has been good.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Magnolia blooming Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:00:00 GMT
Ah, Love Valentine's Day: greeting cards, candy, and flowers are the tangible symbols of the day. I recall the decorated shoeboxes that we had in the elementary grades to receive our valentines from our classmates. And I remember trying to decide which one would get the various cards: a few special ones for a few special girls and not too mushy for the boys. But we gave cards to everyone, an early lesson in caring for every person equally. And then as we matured, it became a romantic holiday with gifts for a select person.

Originally, St. Valentine's Day recalled the martyrdom of one of three Valentines, each of whom sacrificed his life in the service of Christ for the benefit of others. So in some ways, giving tokens to everyone equally may come closer to the original observance. I'd rather celebrate the presence and power of love than so many other things that call for our attention these days.

This heart was carved on a rock in Minnesota, near the Mississippi River.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 14 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
How Long Is It Going to Take? I watched this snowy egret for a long time. He had caught a small fish. I guess it wasn't that small as the fish seemed too big to swallow whole. But the egret was not about to give up on this meal. He would thrash his bill around in the water. He would change the position of the fish in his bill. First, it would be on one side, and then the other. He would just about be ready to swallow it, and then he would dip it down into the water again. This cycle was repeated over and over. I gave up. I don't know if he ever swallowed it. And after all, I prefer my fish cooked.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 13 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Abe's Birthday I don't know where else, but it used to be (in the good old days) that Abraham Lincoln's birthday was a holiday in Indiana and Illinois. The kids got a school holiday in the midst of winter: a day to go sledding, or to get ready for Valentine's Day. We memorized the Gettysburg Address and studied the Emancipation Proclamation and saw his profile on every penny. Our nation's history seemed to hinge on the Lincoln presidency. He refused to let the Union be destroyed.

This house is Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois and has been designated as a national park. Two blocks in central Springfield have retained their historic character. One can almost imagine the time of Lincoln.

Now all of the Presidents are honored on the third Monday of February. The kids get out of school. The banks are closed. But all of the rest of us go about our business and don't remember.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 12 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
At Another Time

We went to Pere Marquette Park on my birthday. As sunset approached the sky was clear, and then it seemed like all of sudden a bank of clouds appeared that could make for an interesting photo. As things progressed, it was apparent the sunset wouldn't be memorable. And then this young couple walked up to this structure at the edge of the river and began to climb the metal stairway. This might be more interesting. And include the bare tree. Well, I wish the sky was more spectacular. Hmmm, I may try some "creative" adjustments when I get back home.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
As Strong as Stone

I do not know the story, but I am intrigued. These are the columns of the old post office in downtown Fort Myers, Florida. They appear to be made of coral with countless fossils of long departed sea life. How many centuries did it take to create this kind of substance that could be carved into columns? I just stare and wonder.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 10 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Summer Celebration

I admit it. I love daylilies. I love the colors, the forms. Something to contemplate on a winter day.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
They Will Fly Up

One of the passages for the fifth Sunday after Epiphany is Isaiah 40:21-31. It's a passage for times like this, too frequent in human history. The chapter concludes with these words: "Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He doesn't grow tired or weary. His understanding is beyond human reach, giving power to the tired and reviving the exhausted. Youths will become tired and weary, young men will certainly stumble; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary." (Common English Bible)

And yes, I know, this is not an eagle. It's an osprey and its young.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 08 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Gallery Guard

So many of our friends are dog owners; they love their pets. Both of our kids have dogs (I guess it's because we didn't have one while they were growing up). This is John Brady's gallery in Florida. His prints were stunning. I enjoyed visiting with him and hearing about his photographic adventures. Like Clyde Butcher, John takes an 8x10 view camera into the swamps of Florida to create wonderful images. The fun part for me is when he said he was beginning to use a new camera: one of the Sony mirrorless cameras. He said the resolution was fantastic and might replace the cumbersome view camera.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 07 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Bluebirds Are Here

Bluebirds are showing up at the feeder this week to add to the abundance of birds in the backyard. We spend way too much time watching out the window. But we have never lived anywhere that has the number and variety of birds we have here in our retirement home. This year I have not seen any Northern Juncos (snowbirds) at the feeder. Not a bad sign.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 06 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
One Year Ago Time passes quickly. We have memories. I have pictures that remind me of standing on a bridge with the sunset behind me, watching the sky and water light up. This view is from Bonita Springs, Florida. Looks different from snow.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 05 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
I See You The cardinals are beginning to pair up. We may have about 8 or 9 pairs at the feeder. This morning I even noticed a male feeding a female, which is a sign of courting behavior. I took this photo with my new 150-600 zoom lens. Looks like a good investment. Spring will soon be here!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 04 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Hanging Around Opryland I've been spending several days at Imaging USA at the Opryland Hotel. I'll be going back today to get some personal consultation for my website. Yesterday, I roamed through the photo exhibition of the Professional Photographers' Association, and enjoyed seeing the incredible work that was presented. I am challenged to work on my own photographs to a new level. The photograph below is one of the first I sold in the gallery in Springfield. It is Little Wildcat Falls in South Carolina.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 03 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Shadows and Spring It's a Ground Hog Day. In some places there is a pancake and groundhog breakfast fundraiser. I'm so naive that it took me a number of times seeing the signs before I realized they weren't serving groundhog, but pork sausage. Duh... It's also that great day of mythological spring predictions based on sunny or cloudy mornings. If the groundhog sees a shadow, back into the den and six more weeks of winter. But it turns out that the groundhog is less than 40% correct, and more often wrong. But yesterday, in the rain, as we went to a restaurant for dinner, I saw forsythia blooming in downtown Nashville. I think that's a better forecast than a groundhog's shadow.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 02 Feb 2015 07:00:00 GMT
February Begins I'm teaching my Sunday School class this morning and the lectionary today includes 1 Corinthians 8. Paul responds to a question "Is it okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols?" At first, it may seem as an archaic matter for contemporary Christians, but it soon moves to a discussion that continues through chapter 10 about "strong" and "weak" Christians. So it becomes relevant for the church today that is divided by numerous differences, behaviors, theologies, and social issues. And the focus shifts to the "strong" Christians and how they conduct themselves and influence (in a destructive way) those who are "weak". I think Paul's answer is a challenge for those who are "strong", because essentially he says don't act in a way that is destructive to the church by disregarding the objections or the conscience of the "weak". Be sensitive to the concerns of the "weak", but without retreating from one's own convictions. I think this is difficult to live out. It will make for an interesting discussion.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 01 Feb 2015 12:45:04 GMT
Cold, But Not Like Last Year This is the fourth winter of living in Brentwood (technically, it's my third as I was traveling back and forth to Illinois). The first winter we had our pool covered and serviced for the winter. But the pool company said a lot of people in Nashville keep their pool open year round. Really? We ought to try that. It worked fine the winter of 2012-13. The coldest temperature all that winter was 19. Not bad, we can do this. But last was a lot colder, in the low single digits, and several times. And the surface of the pool froze and it looked unhappily cold. One night I thought I would take pictures and turned on the lights under the surface. And shot photos of the the fountain. Brrr...


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 31 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Stopping for Purple Purple was my grandmother's favorite color.

As we neared the Oregon coast, I noticed the hills were covered with these purple flowers. I asked to stop so I could take pictures. I had seen similar ones in Colorado and Michigan and Alaska. They are lupinus, a flowering legume, of which there are more than 200 varieties. Texas bluebonnets are lupines. They are found in a variety of colors, although the foliage is quite similar. Seeds of the lupin or lupine have been a food source (similar to soybeans) for thousands of years, but are grown largely as an ornamental plant in gardens. These plants were wild, which probably means they escaped from someone's garden. I suppose some people might even consider them weeds.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 30 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Lavender Clouds Ten years ago this coming May, I went with two other photographers to the Oregon coast. This was a time of transition for me as I took my film cameras and my digital cameras. I shot many of the same scenes with the two different cameras. At the time, I was impressed with the immediate feedback I got from the digital camera. I could see immediately if the exposure was correct and whether other details within the photo appeared as I wanted. Not too long after that trip, I began to use the digital cameras more and more, and the film cameras less and less. And it has only been within the last few years that I have began to realize the potential in a digital image as I continue to learn how to process it. And only this week, as I have worked on these ten year old images have I began to see them as I saw the original scene. Was the cloud color this intense that evening? If not, it was how I remembered it. And I can create a digital image that expresses that day more fully than the transparency that was almost correct. I loved film, but I don't look back. One can do so much more with a digital image, even to make the clouds lavender.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 29 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
I Think I Know How to Do This I look at scenes like this and wonder. This is the side of an old barn, and apparently someone decided a light fixture was needed on the side of the barn, and they had a spare one that might work. So up it went. And it likely worked. Maybe for a long time. But it's obvious this wasn't done by an electrician.

And still the barn didn't burn down.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Before Dawn We left the parking lot in absolute darkness. I was probably still wiping the sleep from my eyes, and we began driving toward our vantage point for dawn. We drove for more than 30 minutes on what seemed like the top of the world. We stopped and began to set up our gear. It was cold and windy. The color in the sky began to happen even before the sun would show itself. Soon it looked like the sky was on fire. Although I was still cold, I was thrilled at the sight. This is West Virginia.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 27 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Washed Out But Not Up This photo is scanned from a slide, taken by our friend Keith, that was damaged by flood water in Colorado. It's from a few years back, but it makes me smile. Today is our wedding anniversary. I thought about sharing that info in our Sunday School class yesterday, but we've been married longer than some of the folks in our class have been alive. So I didn't want to reveal that we might be older than they realize. Actually, we were kids when we got married, not fully aware of what all that "I do" meant. But we've made it this far. And we are blessed and happy, after 47 years.

It was a rainy Friday evening at the Godfrey UCC Church. My mother, sister and brother were there. (My mother had to give permission for me at the courthouse since I was under 21). It was a small wedding. My best friend Bob Griffin was my best man and Mary LaGudice was the maid of honor. They were our only friends present. And Judy's family was there. Judy made her wedding dress. And we spent our wedding night in an "expensive motel", and I left the key in the door!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Preaching to the Choir Excuse my sense of humor. I thought it was funny last week to see this large crow, summoning all of its bluster, enthusiastically calling to the sky with dozens of blackbirds observing on the other limbs. From this distance, I could not tell if they were ignoring or listening to the crow.

Today is the third Sunday after Epiphany. The gospel lesson is Mark 1:14-20 which describes Jesus calling two pair of brothers, Simon and Andrew, and James and John, to be his disciples. Mark records that the response of each pair to Jesus' invitation to "come and follow him" is immediate.  The person of Jesus and/or his invitation was so compelling that the fishermen exhibit no hesitancy to leave their nets to follow Jesus. They immediately drop their current, familiar responsibilities to embark on a totally new journey. Mark gives us no clue as to whether the fishermen had a prior relationship with Jesus, nor to any of the rationale why they would do such a thing. The emphasis here is on the call of Jesus and the immediate response of the fishing brothers. The direction of their lives, their loyalties, were changed in an instant. The impact of the call on their lives was profoundly immediate. Nothing would be the same again.

Maybe my photo isn't such a joke. The listeners hear something profound, and are captured by the vision they hear, and the change that is imagined.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 25 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Letting the Light Through This photo of mine appeared earlier this week in SightPsalms, a daily visual devotional ministry of The Upper Room. I took this photo last January in my backyard. Earlier in the morning, everything had been shrouded in a winter fog, and then the sun broke through the eastern sky and illuminated this tree as if it was spotlighted. Suddenly there was depth to the scene, which made the image.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Cactus Facts I certainly hoped to see and photograph cactus when we visited Arizona. Saguaro cactus is probably the icon of the Arizona desert. I had seen photos of them against sunsets or scattered over mountainsides. I didn't know that the Saguaro blossom is the state flower of the state. They are often huge, even though the cactus grows slowly, adding their first "arm" after 50 years. Saguaros are a protected plant as it is illegal in the state to transplant or destroy them.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 23 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Adapting to the Environment This week I am sharing images from Arizona that I shot on slide film. The location for this photo is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. This is a male Gila Woodpecker (I think). It's small red cap is just barely visible. For these birds, a cactus provides the same functions as trees elsewhere in the country: places to perch, nesting, and boring in them to find insects. Trees look definitely more hospitable, but I guess you have to use what is available. Using a long lens and a shallow depth of field result in the cactus at either side of the frame to be blurred, emphasizing and repeating the center cactus.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Stories Uncovered in Low Water This a portion of the Granite Dells near Prescott, Arizona. When we visited the area, it was quite obvious that the water level in Watson Lake was low and had been low for some time. Revealed was some intriguing rock formations that resembled all kinds of creatures. It was a good place to wander and contemplate the wonders of the earth. Later I read that uranium is present in significant levels here. And that there is a legend that gold is buried somewhere in the formations and it has never been found. And right near the left center, is that the head of one of the seven dwarfs?


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 21 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Don't Touch The spikes or thorns on some cacti are spaced far enough apart that one could touch them. Obviously this one is not that kind. It has abundant spikes. Reminds me of a porcupine. Or some people that are hostile to any intimacy. Just walk away.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 20 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Full Moon at Thumb Butte Back in the film days (although it was still during this century), we took a vacation trip to Arizona. And as we were visiting near Prescott, there was a full moon. I looked around for a vantage point and found a shopping center that parking lot that had a clear view of Thumb Butte. I took about a dozen exposures at various settings and found this one to my liking. I scanned the slide and made a few adjustments in the digital image, not much.

I'll be posting images from that Arizona trip this week.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Not One the Same Psalm 139, which is a portion of today's lectionary reading, is intensely personal. The repetition of personal pronouns emphasize the surprising intimacy in which God knows each of us. And unlike this wall of gears at the St. Louis City Museum, we are uniquely known. The psalmist goes back and forth from amazement that God cares for him to the plea for examination. Nothing is hidden. All of one's life is in plain view. And not condemned. It is like knowing the worst of someone and still loving them.

And it is this stunning awareness of being loved, valued, created, that motivates one's change for goodness and gratitude. And the psalmist is amazed at the thought. As I am.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 18 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Another Version This one is a different moment from the one I posted yesterday and with a different processing approach. Just trying to learn new ways of doing different things.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 17 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
The Right Moment I regret all the times that I thought the presence of some person was ruining my picture. This time I waited for the hiker to be in the right place, separated from the background. Without him the photo would be boring. Maybe it is now, but this man in his orange vest walking on the swinging bridge improves the picture and gives visual proportion to the waterfall. I did have to make some adjustments in the photo as the waterfall was in shadows and a bright sky was behind the hiker and bridge. And here there was also an issue of shutter speed and depth of field. A wide angle lens was used which has a greater depth of field. But I wanted to blur some of the water with a slower shutter speed but still have a short enough exposure that the figure would not be blurred. And as I share what I have done I realize that there are some other things I can still do to blur the water a little more. May have to try it.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 16 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Being Seen Winter strips nature to the essentials. The structure is revealed without color. Tree and sky. It is a time of waiting. A time of truth. Pretense is not possible. The real character can be seen.

That must be why we all want to wear coats and hats and gloves.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 15 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Unavoidable I spent some time last night watching the Jackson Barrett auto auction. I was priced out of the opportunity to bid on classic cars pretty quickly. Then I saw 60 year old Suburbans that sold for as much as new ones. They looked new, and not old. Sixty years old and looked new.

Several conversations I have participated in this past week seem to have focused on the issues of aging. That's not how they started. Aging wasn't even the primary topic. But aging intruded on normal discussions. Sometimes it is the shadows. Other times it is out in the open. Possibly, it's because family and friends are having birthdays. Some have lots of years but don't show it. How does that happen? I guess you have to choose your parents well. Funny. Would my children have chosen me? I hope so.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 14 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Hot Rods and Corn Dogs Springfield, Illinois. Where else? Springfield is one of the stops on the historic Route 66. And if you go through on a September weekend, you might experience one of the several car enthusiast weekends. When I lived there, I spent the weekend downtown (the streets surrounding the courthouse were blocked and cars and vendors were everywhere). I have hundreds of photos to prove it!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 13 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Just the Color Sometimes it is all you need. Morning dawn over an Indiana lake. Some clouds. Soft light and still water. Time to think and thank.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
In the Beginning I am uncertain as to when I first heard about evolution, but I think it must have been during a college biology class. I don't recall that it was an especially surprising concept for me; nor that it conflicted with my faith. The biblical creation story is a poetic affirmation about the beginning of this cosmos and of human life. It is not a scientific explanation nor a historical timeline of the creation of life, just as scientific methods rarely address faith questions. Does the Genesis account begin with some assumptions? Sure, as I think all attempts to explain the beginning are based on some kind of assumptions. Scientists say that evolution or the Big Bang or some combination was the process how we all came to be. Maybe. Who knows for certain?

I choose to believe (I have no proof) that before anything existed, God did and still does. I am amazed at the macro world and the infinite universe. I wonder about how and why. But I have a sense of peace believing there is a purpose. And that's enough for me.

So I am in awe every morning, about the wonder of how this all came to be.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 11 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
In the Eye of the Beholder The wood stork is one of those birds that has beautiful plumage and a less than attractive head. While there are a number of storks species in the world, this is the only one in North America and was upgraded this past June to "threatened" from "endangered" as a species . It is a tropical/subtropical bird so it is seen in only a few places in the continental United States. I photographed this bird in Ding Darling on Sanibel Island, Florida last winter. They often ride the thermals and can be seen gliding with seemingly little effort in the sky.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 10 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Staying Curious One can spend all day at the beach with a plastic bucket, watching the water and sand fill it up and then drain out. I don't know what he found so fascinating, although I can become mesmerized by the surf as well. I don't know who this boy is, but I understand his curiosity. We are born with it. And as long as we have it, we are still a kid, filled with wonder.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 09 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Sandhill Trio Tuesday, Judy and I went to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge near Decatur, Alabama, 100 miles south of our house. We met up with Susan Hay and Emily Helms to photograph the sandhill cranes and other birds that are spending the winter in the south. Sandhill cranes are large birds, can stand 4 feet tall and have a wingspan of over 7 feet. Last year 12,000 of these birds wintered at Wheeler. This is only one of the hundreds of photos that I took. I like the new lens and this shot was even through the thick glass of the observation building.

I'll be sharing some more photos this week.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 08 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Setting Moon Some of you may not believe this, but I have been failing at moon photography for some time. Not as easy as it sounds. Automatic settings on your camera will not get it done. I shot this photo early yesterday morning after Lori said she wanted to see the moon picture. The ones from Monday morning were not good. So I woke up early and went out on the deck. Camera was on the tripod with 150-600 mm lens, with camera on manual. Manual focus and exposure at 1/200 second, f/10, and iso 200. I did try some photos with the moon caught in the tree but again there is an enormous difference in how far away the moon is and how close the tree is. I'm thinking I could put two photos together to show what I experienced the other morning. Ah, for another time. I'm just pleased I finally got the exposure right, or nearly so. One thing at a time...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 07 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Cold Forecast Not this cold since last January. Single digits in Nashville. A lot colder in other places. Winter is just getting started and I'm already checking the calendar. I haven't counted the days until March, but I'm thinking about it. Judy has said, we don't want to wish our lives away. There is enjoyment possible every day.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 06 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
I've Declared a Truce We enjoy feeding the birds in our yard. And we have done so each place we lived. One of our neighbors enjoyed feeding the squirrels, and attached ears of corn to the trees. When the corn was gone, the squirrels would feast on our sunflower seeds. So I tried several things, finally purchasing this feeder that springs shut when a squirrel attempts to get the seeds out of the feeder. But they are persistent animals. And now we live next to the woods. I tried last year to become a killer. I was a poor shot, and some in my family thought I hated squirrels. No, I just thought they shouldn't eat all of the sunflower seeds. This week I counted more than a dozen squirrels gathered around the feeders. They are smarter than I am. I surrender. As long as they promise to share...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 05 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Is Thanks Enough? We took our tree down yesterday and put away the decorations. Our holiday guests are all gone. But Christmas is not over. The epistle lesson for the second Sunday in Christmastide (the 11th day of Christmas) is Ephesians 1:3-14. Within these few verses, the blessings of God are celebrated. And then there is this wonderful verse: "Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us." God intended to bless us from the beginning. And there's nothing we did to deserve the blessings. And there is nothing we can do to repay God. That sounds good, but we like to give back, pay back, earn what we receive. But then it wouldn't be a gift.

Madeline (Maddy, as she prefers to be called) doesn't fit in my hands like this anymore. This photo is from the day of her baptism 8 years ago, a favorite of mine.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 04 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Something to Talk About Another named winter storm. More disruptions. More cold. More precipitation.

Friends and family north of us brace for winter weather. Some have headed to the south to avoid it altogether.

The weather is a topic for conversation whether you love winter or already are anticipating spring. Don't you love it?


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 03 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
Behind the Wheel One big change between working and retirement is the difference in the number of hours I spent in a car. I traveled a lot to one meeting after another, especially when I was a superintendent. One benefit of traveling was seeing the sky all of the time. Often I would be on the road before dawn and heading home at sunset. And I never saw the sky the same (except for the gray, cloudy days--I suspect there was some subtle differences that were lost on me). This is one of those dawn moments on the Illinois prairie.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 02 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
New Year Dawns Other than a day and year noted on the calendar, today is like every other day. But we do attach some significance to this first day of a new year. Today is often used as a starting point, a beginning day, an opportunity for resolutions. I'm thinking I just want to pause more often and look and appreciate and wonder and enjoy. I want to keep that resolution.

Actually, I do have some plans regarding my weight and exercise. I hope to learn more about processing my photos through Lightroom and Perfect Effects to the point that I have joined a learning group online. I want to travel some. I want to read more. I have so enjoyed reading some wonderful books this year. I want to love my family and my friends, and intentionally visit with them in person or through written communication. I want to reflect on life and faith. It's going to be fun.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 01 Jan 2015 07:00:00 GMT
On the Edge of a New Year It's been a great year! Well, as I reflect on the past twelve months, I can honestly say there was more good than bad. Yes, then, it has been a great year. So I'm looking forward to the blessings of 2015!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 31 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Rules and Referees We learn at a fairly young age that games have rules. And rules are meant to be kept. And sometimes we need independent, neutral judges to enforce the rules.

Did you ever play a game when the rules keep changing? And just when you think you have it figured out, a different rule is introduced, often to your disadvantage. That ain't fair. And we all know that the rules have been changed and they are no longer equally just.

And the game isn't fun anymore. When it's not fair, it isn't fun.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 30 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Just Follow the Line In Nashville, as in many other cities, you can learn a lot by following a painted line on the sidewalk. This blue line takes visitors throughout the city to learn about 200 years of history of Music City. I recall following a line in Boston as we learned about events of the Revolutionary War. So, keep your eyes and ears open, you might wind up in a different spot by following the line.

Today's photo is from downtown Nashville.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 29 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Light and Shadow I'd rather live in light, than among shadows. Photographically speaking, shadows add depth and texture, and mystery. Some of our personal history, beyond photography, is in the shadows. And those events have added depth and mystery to our stories. I suspect that there is not one journey without shadows, and without which, we would not yearn for the light. Today's gospel lesson, Luke 2:22-40, tells of an event of longing and fulfillment. May we all have moments where light is victorious over the shadows.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 28 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Just 50 More This 500 piece puzzle is still missing about 50 more until it's complete. I've given up. From here on, all of the pieces look the same and don't have the clues of different colors and shapes. I did nearly all of this. But I'm done. Judy thinks we ought to finish it. Nah, I'm done.

Nashville has (at least) two wonderful print shops. This poster/puzzle is from the Anderson Design Group. Of course the other historic print shop is the Hatch Show Print, now located at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. Delight to the eyes!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 27 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Hope You See Snow Our granddaughter is concerned that we may not get to see snow in Tennessee. So she hopes each winter that there will be sufficient snow in Nashville to impress her grandparents. We tell her that we are well aware of snow. In fact, we have shoveled it many times, like this one in Springfield, Illinois. That was enough snow to last us several winters. And I know for certain that Maddy's grandmother does not miss snow!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 26 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Merry Christmas Merry Christmas to you all. This manger scene belongs to Dr. Keith Zimmerman, and wonderfully made by his father.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 25 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
The Eve of Christmas Advent is complete, will be at sunset this day. And I have tons of memories at numerous candlelight services in the churches that I served. Walking in the snow and caroling, even at the tavern in Matheson, Colorado. Sharing communion with families, kneeling in the darkened sanctuary, and praying for them. Singing "Silent Night" by candlelight. Being with my family. I am blessed.

This photo was taken in the lodge at Pere Marquette State Park in Illinois.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 24 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Under the Tree Presents under the tree equals temptation. Does that one have my name on it? How heavy is it? Does it make a sound when it is shaken? Can I see through the paper is I press it hard enough? I even know of someone who unwrapped her presents to find out what they were and then carefully re-wrapped them so that no one would know that she knew! No, it wasn't someone in our family but a friend will recognize that story! And I admit that I was ready to have presents opened when I had finished shopping. It was so difficult to keep a secret. Let's just unwrap them now!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 23 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Good Reason for a Lighthouse Crescent City, California. Strong wind and surf. Crashing waves. Fog. Boulders littering the shore. The seals love it; they are just beyond the lighthouse, huddled together on the flat, wide rock. I could not help but notice that the western coast is so different from the eastern coast and the gulf coast. Giant surf with monster rocks.

Funny how a bad day for boats is great for photos.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 22 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Nothing Impossible The Gospel lesson for this Fourth Sunday of Advent is Luke 1:26-38. The passage tells the story of Gabriel, an angel, appearing to Mary, and telling her that she will bear a son, that she will name Jesus. The moment expands with Gabriel giving additional titles and expectations to this child. And finally promising, "Nothing will be impossible with God."

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 21 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Decorated This would be pretty in our house or yours. It's Chihuly glass sculpture that hung in the lobby of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Of course, it's so big, I'm not sure it would even fit in my house. I doubt I could get it through the door. But if I could, I would sure enjoy looking at it!


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Why I Need a New Lens Okay, I've been a photographer for a long time. And I have been using a single lens reflex camera with an interchangeable lens for a long time (decades!). And I have lost track of how many lenses I have purchased over the years for a variety of brands of cameras (Canon, Mamiya Sekor, Pentax, Minolta, and now Sony). I currently have 13 that I use on a regular basis. But I need a new one. In fact, it arrives today: 150-600 mm zoom lens. I took this photo last year of one of the hawks that inhabit our woods with my old 400mm lens. It's relatively sharp, but I'm looking for improvement. Okay, it's a "want" and not a "need". And here it is a week before Christmas and I'm buying a new lens (my family says this is one of my flaws with timing for Christmas gifts). If my subject shows up again soon, I'll post some comparison photos.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Self Styled Cleric That was the words the news reports used, "a self styled cleric", when they referred to the man who took over the Lindt Chocolate shop in downtown Sydney, Australia this past week. He held more than a dozen customers hostage until police stormed the store early in the morning and he was killed, along with two of the hostages. He was also referred to as the "Fake Sheik" by the local authorities. But that phrase caught me as I pondered it for several days. Apparently, only in his mind was he clergy. I've known a few Christian clergy who could have been referred to as "a self styled cleric". No real credentials. No group that had agreed that he/she was spiritually mature and had gifts for ministry. No accountability to any agency or supervisor. Fake. Why would anyone listen to "a self styled cleric"? One's spiritual journey is important enough that a guide should be carefully chosen. There are fake ones and real ones.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Blast From the Past No, I didn't take this photo, Judy did. This has been birthday week. Last Thursday was Michael's and today is Elke's. So I thought I 'd share a photo from us on the beach at Destin. Just guessing, I would say this is Christmas, 1980 or 1981. Where has the time gone?


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 17 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Catching Rays Winter has not even begun. I am weary of gray skies.

I recall a winter day 20 years ago when I announced to Judy that I was going to drive south until I found sunshine. Fortunately, I didn't have to go too far that day. The sun was shining in Paducah. I had a sandwich and sat in the restaurant window and soaked in the sun.

And this photo, although it is of a sunny day, was one of the few sunny moments on a trip to the Oregon coast. Sometimes, a moment of sunshine is all that is needed.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 16 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Advent Worship Yesterday, we were reminded of the power of the light in the darkness. And that even a very small light can provide hope in the darkest dark.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Promised Gifts Today's Old Testament passage for the third Sunday of Advent, Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, proclaims an over-turning of the world order. A great change occurs in the situation from verse 1 (the oppressed, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners) to verse 9 ("they are a people whom God has blessed"). What brings about this reversal? Apparently, it is God's desire for justice: "I hate robbery and wrongdoing." Many of us will quickly move past this passage because we want to hurry to get to the good feelings of Christmas.

But this prophetic word is radically unsettling for the comfortable and the well-connected. Given our political, economic, and social issues these past several weeks, we may want to pause and ponder what injustice looks like in these days, and to whom God promises good news, and liberty, and release, and healing, and blessing.

These carving tools were photographed in the lepers colony in Ganta, Liberia.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 14 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Corner View The end of one log notched to set upon another. Add another. And do it over and over. It's a simple structure, used a century ago and before, to construct buildings all across this country. Some still stand. Nothing meant to be artistic in the way it was made. But surprisingly, it is.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 13 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Persimmon Possibilities If you wander around in the woods in the late fall in the eastern part of the US, you most likely have seen these marble-sized fruits. You may have even tasted one. Where fully ripe, they have a very sweet taste, similar to apricots. But unripe persimmons are basically inedible, and may make you ill. There is a persimmon festival each fall in Mitchell, Indiana where persimmon pudding is the featured treat.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 12 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Downstream Poinsettia It's that time of year. The Opryland Hotel is decorated for Christmas. It is an amazing place anytime of year, but the decor turns toward Christmas for several weeks. But, of course, I found odd subjects for photography. I noticed these poinsettia leaves flowing over and down one of the waterfalls in the complex. But the leaves were caught by the action of the water and held in one spot for some time, long enough for me to watch and be fascinated how they floated and swirled among the bubbles. I thought this was the best image of the ones that I took.

One of the gardening staff told me that the poinsettias are replaced every two weeks.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 11 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Time to Finish Raking The leaves are all off the trees. The pear trees in the front yard are the last to shed their summer clothing. It seems backward. We put on clothes and the trees become bare for the coldest season. Even the oak trees just outside the back fence are bare. We rake them up and dump them throughout the woods. It will soon be time as well to take the leaf net off the pool. During the winter months, we can heat the spa and enjoy the outdoors on evenings and days that are not too cold. Last winter was not conducive to many times in the spa. But we hope that this year is not so cold. My niece noted yesterday that it's 100 days until spring. Optimism must run in the family.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 10 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Alive I shared this photo previously on SightPsalms, but it is the first time I have shared it on my blog. So often we see sand dollars on the Florida coast that are white, and they become mementos of a trip to the beach. But this one is on the Atlantic coast, and is alive, or was when I took the photo. There is so much life on this planet that is amazing and that we overlook, or step on.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 09 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Timing Another photo taken at the wrong time of day. Not in the "magic" light of early morning or late afternoon.

But the image is magical to me.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 08 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Advent Two Today is the second Sunday of Advent.  Last Sunday as we attended worship in McKinney, Texas, with Elke and Robert, their pastor asked for volunteers for lighting the advent wreath. The church with four traditional and two contemporary services each Sunday means 24 families or individuals have an opportunity to participate through the season, with even more on Christmas Eve. Although it's a large membership church, I know from my own experience that it's still a challenge to recruit enough people to serve.  Thankfully, most people consider it a privilege to light the wreath's candles, and read the scripture lesson, and lead the congregation in prayer.

I always thought it important to include the wreath lighting in the advent worship planning as the ritual provides a moment for quiet personal and corporate remembering.  We pause amidst our activity to reflect on the mystery of why God would even want to be involved in human events. Our global family is battered by poverty, injustice, war, hunger, disease, and harm of every kind (much of which we are the cause). Still, we believe that the hope proclaimed for centuries will become real. We certainly need the hope. I do.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 07 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Snowy Range The water in mountain lakes is cold. All year around.

The water in this Wyoming lake is clear, refreshing, and cold.

I admit I'm partial to warmer water, and a warmer climate. So the best part of this photo is that I'm not alone. Having fun with Judy, Keith, and Mary Ann.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 06 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Sunset on the Mississippi For five years I served as the superintendent of the Spoon River District which spanned six counties along the Mississippi River in the northern portion of Illinois. I drove over 30,000 miles per year as I traveled throughout the communities. I took my camera with me every day. One of my favorite roads was the highway that extended south of Nauvoo, Illinois. This photo is from one autumn evening with water fowl resting on the water. I enjoyed this side benefit of my job, but it is also a reminder that I had a lot of night meetings and it was still 90 miles before I was home.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 05 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Yellowstone Rainbow We made a special trip to see Upper Yellowstone Falls at 9 a.m. because you could see a rainbow in the falls on days with bright sunshine. I recall that it would also be visible on certain nights with a full moon when the angle of the light was correct. In retrospect, I wonder. You can create a rainbow with the water hose in your yard. It was still impressive. And our National Parks are all worth a visit.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Blue Shadows A moment in time. Morning light shining on an ancient wooden wall.

Light has lit this wall for how many mornings, for how many weeks and months, for how many years, for how many decades?

But it was the first time that I saw the light in this way.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Frosty Morning I can see my breath. Mornings like this prove we are alive when the air is cold and our breath is warm.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 02 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Learn Something Today is back to school for a lot of kids. The Thanksgiving holiday is over, and the learning routine resumes of "readin, writin', and 'rithmetic". Funny to even write that old phrase. Learning topics today are far different from that time-worn trio. Classrooms look different as well. No chalkboards in my granddaughter's school. They have "smart boards", connected to the teacher's computer. The kids all have iPads. Chairs and tables are different than these rough hewn desks from a hundred years ago in a remote school building in Great Smoky National Park. The environment has changed.

Each morning as my children left home for school, I encouraged them to "Learn something." I knew they probably would. Few days in our life go by without learning something. It is as much a part of my life as breathing. I hope it is a habit that is passed to all generations in all parts of the world.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Waiting and Waiting Today is the First Sunday of Advent and the scripture lessons for the day warn of being ready for the end of time and the coming of God's kingdom. We have been waiting a long time, far past our attention span. I recall a worship service my first month in seminary where one person whispered in my ear "The kingdom of God is here" and later a different person whispered "The kingdom is not yet." We live in the tension of moments of grace with other times of despair. The events of this past week demonstrate how far we have yet to go. But still we live in enough hope to watch for a transformation.

"The call to watchfulness, to being alert at all times, is critical to our very being, not only to be ready for Christ’s appearance, but also to be aware of all that would seduce us into believing either that time for preparation is unlimited or that it is sparse because the moment of Christ’s appearing is imminent. We are honor bound as Christians to keep awake to the evidence of injustice and oppression so that we can seek justice for all people in the name of Christ. It is more than watching for his coming as a final event, but it is watchfulness that enables us to be Christ’s presence in the world. In that way, we live in a state of readiness for the day of his final appearing." Gennifer Benjamin Brooks

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 30 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Let the Decorating Begin! The ads have been all over TV, my email box is full of announcements from all of my friendly retailers, our kids even got a big free newspaper on Thursday morning with dozens of colorful inserts, touting the never-before-seen sales. Tomorrow is the beginning of Advent which is a season of preparation for an entirely different event than making merchants happy. I am beginning to see twinkling lights and trumpeting angels and wreaths of every hue. Decorating has begun.

I saw this scene yesterday of a wall of dilapidated doors, transformed by a holiday wreath. I hope that my shabbiness can be changed with hope of the season, and that the Prince of Peace might indeed reign in all human hearts.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 29 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Leftovers This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Plano, Texas, at Elke and Robert's house. Robert's parents and his brother's girlfriend (who is amazing and delightful) gathered around the table for a family photo. We had plenty to eat with two turkeys and all the vegetables and desserts. I suspect your gathering may have been similar. We were glad to be here.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 28 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Simply Thanks We have crossed Lavon Lake (just east of McKinney, Texas) numerous times since Elke and Robert moved to Plano. But this is the lowest water level I have ever seen. When we first came this way, the lake water was more than halfway up the bridge supports. Tree tops were barely sticking out of the water. I knew it had been dry in Texas but this view surprised me with its severity. And on this Thanksgiving, I simply give thanks for water, and the life it provides. I am blessed with bounteous gifts and the gathering today certainly reminds me that we have abundant resources. The meal will be a celebrative feast. But I've had Thanksgiving meals all week. And it's not the food that I appreciate: it is the blessings of relationships of family and friends. I am deeply grateful.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Looking Up at Elegance This beautiful skylight spans the lobby of the Nashville Union Station. The magnificent station was built in 1900 to serve the passenger needs of eight railroads routing through Nashville. Passenger service declined especially after World War 2 until there were no trains utilizing the structure after 1968. After years of deterioration, it has been restored as a hotel. I find the details of many buildings from the last century to be extravagant and likely not to be duplicated in the future. That's why it is so enjoyable that these buildings have been saved for the future.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
All in One Day The park in Granite City, Illinois has several Gingko trees, also commonly called "Maidenhair" because of the distinctive shape of the leaves. We had a large one near the rear door of our parsonage in Metropolis, Illinois. The leaves turn a beautiful golden yellow in the fall, and it was our experience that they would fall all in one day, usually in mid- to late November. The tree is a hardy survivor with some in China reputed to be 1500 years old. It is also called "a living fossil" as one of the oldest known trees, dating back 270 million years. One rather unique characteristic is that the tree comes in two sexes, male and female, with the female having fruit in the fall that has an unmistakable odor. It seemed as though we had a dog kennel in the back yard in the fall. Pretty leaves...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Announcing Winter This is an ice ribbon, known by lots of other names. But I had never seen this phenomenon until I was in the south in November at just the right time. This occurs before the ground is frozen and on mornings when the temperature is below freezing. I've noticed that the optimum temperature seems to be 27 and below. Certain wildflower stalks, like ironweed and frost flower, are still green and have water in the stalks. The freezing temperatures create ice and the water continues to seep out of cracks in the stalks and create these ribbons or flowers. When I first saw them several years ago along the Interstate highway, I thought paper tissues had been caught near the fence. But I stopped, being the curious sort, and discovered dozens of these frost ribbons. They are quite fragile and easily crumble when touched. And the sun instantly melts them. From mid-November until about Christmas, on cold morning, I can find them along my road and the land behind my house. Like snowflakes, they are all unique. I already have hundreds of photographs of them. Most are usually close to the ground, but I have pictures of several that are 2 feet tall. Amazing.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
The Sole Criteria Today's Gospel reading of Matthew 25:31-46 presents a stark division in a scene of final judgment, with all the nations gathered and separated into two groups with a single qualification. No pleas of correct doctrine ("I believe the correct things") or entitled positions of privilege ("Surely you must know who I am") or achievements of ethical behavior ("I've earned this by being very good") are presented to the Judge as sufficient to earn entry to the eternal kingdom and its blessings. Only a simple series of questions that ask did you feed the hungry and give refreshment to the thirsty and welcome the stranger and clothe the naked and care for the sick and visit the imprisoned. How did you give life away? 

I admit it is a challenge to see Christ in the beggars on the corner with their cardboard signs and the immigrants who don't speak English and the contagious sick and the scary criminals. But it sure looks like treating the least fortunate like one would treat Jesus is the sole criteria for inheriting the kingdom. This might be a problem...

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
On the Wrong Boat? I seldom leave my cameras behind. I took them on my mission trip to Mexico, to Liberia, and of course, to Alaska. We went on a mission trip, led by our friends the Icenogles, to Juneau. We all worked hard at a church camp and in a kitchen for the homeless. But we also had fun, especially with sightseeing. I was so excited to see the cold blue ice of a glacier up close. The ship our group was on came up into this bay, and I saw this other sailing ship at an "ideal" spot, even closer to the glacier. And for a moment, I wished I was on that boat for a closer view. But it took only an instant to realize I had a photo that no one on that boat had, a different perspective. One could get some sense of the size of the blocks of ice of the glacier by comparing them to this sailing boat. The mast gave dimension and the white hull contrasted with the blue ice. I was on the right boat, ... for a photo with dimension.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 22 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
In the Neighborhood Beauty is everywhere. Just a brief walk from my house, to the top of the ridge, was the scene pictured below. I took dozens of pictures. I like them all. Some are backlit, and it seems that the seeds of this milkweed plant are exploding out of the pod. I even tried this in black and white, and I still liked it. But I do like color the best.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 21 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
It's a Big Park Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you'll find that everyone is on the one-way road through Cades Cove. But there is a lot more park than the Cove. And there is certainly more to see than a drive through the Park from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC. The park covers 521,490 acres or about 800 square miles. There are 384 miles of roadway and 800 miles of hiking trails. It is possible to be alone or nearly so in this massive park. One such place is Cataloochee on the far eastern edge of the park; it is home to a sizeable elk herd where one can readily hear them bugling. This photo is of Palmer Chapel on a November evening with the elk nearby.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 20 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Surely It's Warm Somewhere When it gets cold, I like to imagine warmer places, like the beach at Maui. We went in 2008 and are ready to go back any time. Cold weather not only affects toes and fingers, but it messes with the brain. I noticed that someone else had written recently that cold weather makes them feel alive. Yes, it does that. And I have admitted at other times that I can miss snow. But I love being warm. And my one trip to Hawaii was in March. I could go in December or January or February.

I took this photo with a 11-18mm zoom lens, iso 200, .6 second exposure at f/20. The longer exposure blurred the action of the waves.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:29:24 GMT
Drive in the Country Some might think this odd, because you are either too young or already live in the country. But when I was a kid, my dad would announce that we all were going for a drive in the country. I loved it. It was a a chance to see something new, to go somewhere we hadn't been. And we would just roam the country roads. At least, it seemed that way to a kid.

I spent a lot of miles driving during my ministry, especially during the five years I was a superintendent. Again, it was new territory for me, and I have always enjoyed driving. This photo is on the road along the Mississippi River, just south of Nauvoo, among the prettiest places in Illinois.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 18 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Foothills Parkway I have waited on this hilltop several times for dawn. I was first introduced to it in 1997 by Bill Fortney and John Shaw at a photography workshop. This was in the last century when film was king. However, this is a digital image. And now it is hard to believe that this spot is only a little more than three hours from my house. I do think you have to be here every morning or very lucky to get a spectacular sunrise. I have seen some fantastic photos from this hilltop because I think every photographer east of the Mississippi River knows where this is. I'd like to take a great picture here, but it is a challenge to get out of a warm bed and drive in the dark up to this spot. But how will you know what dawn looked like unless you make the journey?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 17 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Who Is Who Today's lesson from the Psalms (123) concludes with these intriguing lines: "Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud." The petition comes from those near the bottom of society, those who live at the margin, those who are looked down upon.

The petition is as true today as it was thousands of years ago. People grow weary of being treated and used as things. And they plead to God, to be noticed, to hope their plight will be noticed by God because they are ignored and mistreated by the powerful. I find it to be a rather convicting message. I'm the one that walks by and looks down.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 16 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Memory Triggers I loved riding a bike as a kid. I love it as an adult. I learned how to fix punctured inner tubes and to remount tires on rims. And then you need air. The nearby filling station often had an air hose attached to the building. Often, they would tell us kids not to use up all their air. But it was always free. And as we got older we realized that there was a compressor somewhere in the garage that provided the free air for bike tires and basketballs. I saw this "tireflator" on the wall of an old service station in Cowan, TN. One half of the building is a museum, while the other half is the town library.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 15 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Take a Friend Once in a While Most of the time I photograph alone. Judy is often with me on my trips. She helps with a lot of knowledge about nature, and she sees things that I might overlook. And sometimes, I travel with non-photographer friends and they tolerate my stopping to snap. I usually feel like I am impeding their excursion, and knowing the whole time that I'm not really getting enough time to do "real" photography. Every photographer knows the inner tension I am describing. But once in a while, I take a friend with me as I did on this trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden. I thought autumn color would be wonderful and my friend needed a break from the routine. So I called and announced that I would be coming to her house to pick her up to take her to Shaw's Garden. She protested, but agreed finally. It was a beautiful day. And I took some nice fall photos. And I think I doubled my joy by bringing someone with me.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 14 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Had to Stop This is a serendipity photo. I stopped not to take a photo of this scene, but to retrieve a bicycle wheel. We were driving in Wisconsin, with our bikes attached to the bike rack on the top of the car. We had already driven several hundred miles when I noticed in the rearview mirror that a bicycle wheel had flew off our roof and was bouncing on the pavement and disappeared into the tall grass. I tried to keep track of where it had vanished and turned around when I had an opportunity to go back to the spot. We parked alongside the road and began to search all over. It took a good while. Slender, bouncing wheels do not leave much of a trail. We did find it. And then I noticed the light streaking through this grass and got out my camera.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 13 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Rapid River I do not recall why we turned down this road in upper peninsula of Michigan. On a repeat visit, I noticed that it was a rather small sign that points toward Rapid River Falls. The water in this river flows to Lake Michigan while rivers in the northern portion flow toward Lake Superior. I stood in the river (in a shallow spot) with my tripod to take this photo.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 12 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Veterans' Day The pastoral prayer Sunday morning transformed my ambivalence about Veterans' Day. I am conflicted because I value the people who have worn military uniforms, and gave several years of their lives, with some being wounded and some killed. I do not want to overlook or disrespect their significant sacrifice. And on the other hand, war seems so futile and wasteful and devastating. Heather's prayer this past Sunday caught me with her petition that was something like the following: " And we thank You for our veterans who have borne the sacrifice because we have failed to love our neighbor." That's not quite the phrasing, but what caught me was two things: conflict that rages through the centuries and around the globe is because of our human failure to love our neighbor as self; and the recognition that countless individuals (on every side) have paid the price of war and all that effort represents, even death. I have heard it before, but it caught me in a far different way to consider that freedom isn't free. And peace is not real until the whole globe has no more war.

This photo is from the Stones River National Cemetery, site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Visit at Noon This is Bond Falls, in the upper peninsula of Michigan. If you are there at noon on a sunny day in the fall, sunlight reflects off the trees on the opposite shore and creates the illusion of paint spilled in the water. I admit that when I happened to be there at noon, I was concerned that I had missed the optimum photographic possibilities. Usually the light is better the few hours after dawn and the few hours before sunset. But this setting defied the "rule". Morning or evening light does not produce this kind of reflection. Obviously the "rules" are not always right. You have to be prepared for the light, regardless of the time.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Wind and Rain The rain may have arrived too soon. But the combination of wind and rain cleared the trees of fall color. And surprisingly, stuck them to our picture window when we lived in Galesburg, Illinois 10 years ago. I've tried to replicate this, but the effect is not quite the same as what nature can pull off.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 09 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Wears Valley We did find color in the Smokies a week ago, on a road that we had not been on before. We enjoy the small area of Townsend more than the tourist attractions of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. But last week, we stayed in Pigeon Forge and drove the Wears Valley road to Townsend. And there was color all along the way. We also visited some other places that were new for us, including hiking to the Walker Sisters' cabin. While it was certainly quiet by the cabin, we imagined that it must have been a very difficult life for the family in that remote location. We enjoy living closer to the Park than we ever have before.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 08 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Generations Past It began Wednesday night with Madeline"s homework. When did your first ancestor come to America and who was it? The question had come up before, not in her mind necessarily. I've wondered, among other members of my family. Part of the answer was Johannes Herchelroth in 1733, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather. But there are 256 persons that make up that generation, which means Madeline (my granddaughter) has 1023 other great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents besides Johannes Herchelroth, including some on her mother's side who were here long before the great German immigration of the early 1700s. But I never had an answer to "why" until yesterday when Michael found a narrative from some our extended family that filled in at least an outline of possibilities. As I read the account of persecution and starvation that caused many Germans to leave and come to America, I wept. One of my ancestors, that I interestingly share his name, landed in Philadelphia after a long and difficult sea voyage on The Elizabeth. He was 19. The account is much too long to quote here. But I wonder what he thought when he stepped off that ship in Philadelphia's harbor.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 07 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Hundreds, Maybe Thousands The last thing I did before I left Old Car City this past Saturday was to go upstairs in the main building. Signs invited visitors to see the art gallery. One room had a number of abstract paintings, with a few that could be classified as primitive folk art, but the second room was filled with styrofoam cups.

Every one of them was covered with designs. Not one was the same. Obviously, hours of effort was represented.

The owner of Old Car City "doodles" a cup, or more, most evenings. Just something to do. Some of them you could buy, if you wanted. For the first time all day, my mouth just kind of fell open. Who knows where you will find art?


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 06 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Stand On Your Head This past Friday we were on our way from Pigeon Forge, TN to Cartersville, GA, taking the scenic route (not down the interstate). Among the places that we drove through, we stopped at the Hiwasee River where we had ridden the train in September. I thought there might be some fall color somewhere along the river. We found ourselves in a rather remote part of the National Forest driving, on a narrow gravel road. I saw some reflections of fall color in the stream next to the road and stopped to take the photo below. You may have to stand on your head as the reflection is upside down, just as I saw it. I not only like the color and the shape of the trees but how the ripples of the water adds to the picture. Something to look at today instead of political ads.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
First Visit to Old Car City Shortly after I moved to Nashville and became part of the Brentwood Photography Group, I began to hear about and see photos from Old Car City in White, Georgia. I wondered about it. And then this past Saturday I was one of a dozen club members who spent a cold, blustery day exploring 34 acres of more than 4,000 old cars. I dressed warmly (I am from the north) and began to make my way around the trees. It wasn't long until I realized I was alone and could not see another person. For a moment or two, I wondered if I would be able to find my way back to the entrance. Soon, it didn't matter as I saw possible photos in every direction. I made more than 250 images.

After a while, I began to consider that these old cars had become derelicts. And Old Car City had become an entertainment destination rather than a salvage yard. They no longer sell used parts. Some cars looked like they could be somebody's restoration project. But they will just continue to rust away in northern Georgia. Part of me was disappointed that among the memories there was no hope for renewal. Don't get me wrong. I had fun. I have some great images, I think. But it was quite different from appreciating gleaming, rebuilt old cars. In the end, I felt different emotions than when I attend a car show. Do you see it in this photo?

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 04 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
For Just a Minute This is one of those photos that was better behind me than the one I was taking in front of me. I had stopped along the stream in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The color wasn't spectacular. But I was relaxing and enjoying the drive. Except an occasional stop to take a photo. Sometimes, I foolishly wait for people to get out of my photo, but this time the fisherman made the picture. He was moving around, looking for a better fishing spot, so he was in this position for just a moment. In less than a minute, he was further away from me. And the picture wasn't the same. I am learning to relax and let the pictures find me.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 03 Nov 2014 07:00:00 GMT
Remembering the Saints Before I was ordained a Deacon in the summer of 1982, I had attended the annual gathering of Methodists only once. So I was unfamiliar with the traditions. And I had never heard of All Saints' Day. But I have come to cherish the rituals and traditions of the church. Two hymns are traditionally sung at the Annual Conference: a Charles Wesley hymn often sung at the beginning, "And Are We Yet Alive", and "For All the Saints" commonly chosen for the memorial service as we remember those who have died during the past year.

My memory is full of those dear ones who have gone on before me. Each year my congregations lit candles and recited the names of members and friends who had died the preceding year. And we sang. One hymn became precious to me.

The third verse of Natalie Sleeth's "Hymn of Promise"

"In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity; in our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity. In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see."

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 02 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Looking at Rust Old Car City in White, Georgia is on the agenda today. I think Judy is going to find something else to do besides roaming around 34 acres with 4,000 cars in a junkyard, looking for photographs. I cannot imagine why she wouldn't want to do this!

This shot is from an earlier trip to a salvage yard. Actually I think this is kind of intriguing. All in the eye of the beholder?




[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Halloween You may have seen the photo I posted earlier of Madeline and her parents, all dressed as blue jellyfish. This is Maddy. I celebrate my kids this day who join in the costume fun with their kid. Nothing scary or gruesome. Inventive, creative. Maddy enjoyed what looked like blue jellyfish in the Chattanooga Aquarium that we visited this summer. I love that she is inquisitive. And happy. I pray that she will always be. And how I wish it to be true for all of the children of the world.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
My Maple The maple tree next to my driveway was beautiful this week. And yesterday began to drop its leaves to the ground.

Actually, there are four that line the driveway. But this one is the most spectacular. It would have been amazing if they had all been the same variety and this color of red. But the traffic to gawk at our leaves on our dead-end road would have clogged what traffic there is.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 30 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Autumn Ideal Too many times I have gone on a fall photo trip in hopes of the ideal fall picture in the perfect conditions. But it is not so easy. I've arrived too early for peak colors or I have been in the ideal spot a week too late. It has rained. The wind has howled like a gale, the kind that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald. I've been too tired sometimes even to see it, right in front of my face.

But I have learned to stop, look, take a deep breath, and enjoy. Put the camera up to your eye, or place it on the tripod. Compose. Click the shutter. And do it again. And do it all again next year. And forget about the ideal and the perfect. And just photograph what you see. Ain't it amazing! And aren't you glad!

This is Door County, Wisconsin. With my good friend, Mike Eischen standing right next to me. That's perfect.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 29 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Vantage Point Unlike the diverse, vegetation-covered hills and mountains of Tennessee, the largely naked mountains of Colorado have evergreen and aspen trees. If you can catch them at the right time, the contrast between green and yellow trees and blue skies can be spectacular. And fortunately, there are an abundance of places where one can get a broad overlook of the expanse. This photo is above Georgetown, west of Denver. By the way, there's a great scenic train here that we have ridden twice (although not recently). A wide angle lens proves useful to take this kind of photograph. I used a 24-70 zoom, set at 35 mm.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Obscured But Not Hidden I know that this is not much of a photo. At least, it's not up to my usual standards. But I was caught by this scene, and felt that the setting had something to teach me. I have been known to take photos of paint on brick walls. I like to catch the hint of an era that has gone by, but not vanished. The evidence has been left behind. I saw this wall and wanted to photograph the large sign on the side of this building. But there was no vantage point where I could get an unobstructed view of the sign. But some things are so recognizable that you don't have to see all of it to know what it is. Silhouettes can be so familiar that the thing or person is identified even in dim light. An old television show, "Name That Tune" challenged the contestants to guess correctly the song with just a few first notes. As an adolescent I could at night tell you the make and year of an automobile just by the shape and number of the taillights. When we have a strong sense of familiarity, our senses fill in what is not there. Some thing may be obscured, but it is not hidden. So we don't have to photograph the whole thing, but can recognize just by the swoop and arc of the letters that this is an old Coca Cola sign.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 27 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Invited Inside and Outside We drove to the edge of Eureka Springs, Arkansas to see this church. It sits in the woods at the end of a narrow, winding road. It is a remarkable building. From outside, it is tall, but narrow; squeezed in among the trees. I had seen photos of this award-winning building for years. Night photos are especially fantastic. We might as well go inside.

Photographs are permissible inside the building as long as the photographer is seated. The building seems constructed of glass and matchsticks. The vertical timbers, little more than 2x4 inch boards, seem much too small to be of any significant support for the building. I thought this a fascinating sanctuary where the outside environment would be distracting to the congregation. Sermons are rarely remembered anyway. The stories last a little while and the jokes are told for a week or more. What can a preacher say that will compete with what's outside?

The Gospel passage for today, Matthew 22:34-46, is the concluding series of questions put to Jesus by the religious authorities. "What is the greatest commandment in the law?" (At the time, there were 613). Jesus responds "Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself." The answer is both simple and profound at the same time. There is nothing here about proper doctrines, or extensive theologies, or ethical debates. The sermon is brief. Invited in to love God and invited outside to love all. There are no walls when it comes to God, and no inside and no outside.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 26 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
The Lincoln Home This house was the only home that Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln ever owned. It was in this house where he was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1846 and to the Presidency in 1860. He was here when word was brought to him that he had been elected.  Their son, Robert, donated the home to the State of Illinois in 1887 with the provision that it be open to the public without charge.

The area surrounding the home has been designated a historic site and, although it is just south of the downtown area, one can easily imagine the scene of more than 150 years ago when the Lincoln family lived here.

I took several photos of this house, including some at night, but I enjoyed this autumn, very early morning scene the most. By the way, avoid the distraction of blank, bright skies by seeking framing elements like leaves. I changed my point of view to include them and intentionally used a small lens aperture to keep the house and the leaves in focus. And yes, I used a tripod.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Mabry's Mill This mill is probably the most photographed building on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I know I was thrilled to see it when I stopped there one autumn day. The mill was built around 1903 by Ed Mabry who used it first as "a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, then later it became a sawmill. By 1905 it was in operation as a gristmill. By 1910 the front part of the mill was completed and included a lathe for turning out wheel hubs, a tongue and groove lathe, a planer and a jig-saw. "

I enjoyed the stop and the scenery and the moment back in time.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Mesmerized Today's photo is for my car buff buddies. During the years that I lived there, Springfield, Illinois was a mecca for automobile enthusiasts. It seemed that every fall weekend there was a gathering somewhere in the city. I was most enthralled by the two weekends in September when the entire downtown area was blocked off and the streets were filled with hundreds of cars and trucks. I would walk around for hours and dream and hear "car" music in my head. And sometimes I even felt like a teenager again.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Favorite Color We started with fat crayons, almost as big around as our fingers. It was long before we would have a box of 64 slender crayons with a sharpener built right into the bottom of the box. We just had eight big fat crayons: red, blue, yellow, green, purple, orange, brown, and black. With those eight colors, we could draw pictures all day long: green grass and blue skies and yellow sun and black dogs and brown trees and purple umbrellas and orange trucks. But red was my favorite color: red hats and red cars and red roofs and red birds and red flowers and red signs and red cabooses. Red is still my favorite.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Fall Trip? I have a plan that I have yet to fulfill. I want to start in the north, around Lake Superior, and just follow the progress of the fall colors as it moves south. I wonder if I could be in the right places for the peak color. Once in a while I'm lucky as this photo of West Virginia shows.

I think it would be fun. Anyone want to go with me?


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Look Closely Make a careful examination of this picture. This tree grows on top of a rock pillar on the shore of Lake Superior in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Through wind and water erosion, all of the surrounding rock has disappeared, leaving this tree on top. And just to the left are several sizable roots that stretch to a place where the tree can receive nourishment. This popular attraction on Lake Superior may even be in "Ripley's Believe It or Not" for all I know. A seed took root a long time ago in far different circumstances and grew into a tree that is dependent upon its lifeline. How long will it survive this way?

I think it's kind of a fun image that reveals that we do not live alone. We need to be connected to thrive.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
And What Belongs to God? The Gospel lesson for today is Matthew 22:15-22 and tells of a time when Jesus was asked by opposing groups (Pharisees and Herodians) if one should pay taxes to the emperor Caesar. If he says "yes", he offends the Pharisees who hate all that the Romans symbolize, and if he answers "no", he will be reported as a traitor by the Herodians who collaborate with the emperor. So he asks for a coin and further inquires whose image and title is on the coin. The crowd responds that it is Caesar, the emperor. Then Jesus answers, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give God what is God's." The query is not resolved because the riddle is extended with an implicit question: what belongs to God?

The question is enormous. I met this boy in Monrovia, Liberia in February, 2008. If he is alive, he is at the edge of young adulthood. If I knew his name then, I do not remember it now. I have this photo framed in my study. I see him staring back at me every day. He belongs to God as I do, made in the image of God as I am. When I ponder the dangers of Ebola and poverty and violence and malaria and hunger and ignorance, I realize that he is in more peril than I. Some voices say his life is not as valuable as those of us who have money in our pockets. And though he lives outside our borders, he belongs to God. We all do.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
The Tree Shouted to Me I was on a photo tour and the group was all photographing a barn to the east of us when I was interrupted by a tree that shouted to me. I turned around and saw the scene below. I moved over to another vantage point to be interested in a wholly different subject. The tree was in bright sunlight while the hill behind was in a combination of clouds and sun. I like how the angle of the hill in the foreground matches the angle of the hill in the background. As I look at it some more, I think I might crop the upper portion of the image but including the sunlit slope. And maybe not.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 18 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Texas Wheel I have to tell you what this is because there are not enough visual clues to help one decipher it, and what there is present is likely confusing. It is an old railroad wheel that was cast in Marshall, Texas. There is some kind of colorful algae growing on the metal surface. The wheel appears to have been in this location for some years. If I had photographed the entire wheel, I dare say that all or most could correctly identify it. But focusing on just a portion that has colors and details that one would not expect adds mystery.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Looking for Answers This stairway looked ancient and I felt more secure climbing the stairs than descending them. The proprietor invited us into his store which seemed to have as much of its share of junk as it did treasures. He was difficult to understand, his voice low, the sentences he spoke rambled. But he was proud of the art within, artists of the Ozarks from nearly 100 years ago. The prices were too high for us, even if we saw something we might have liked. And then he opened an old trunk and began to show drawings of a nude woman that he claimed was the wife of the historic artist. Who was this person that he talked incessantly about and whose art, sculpture and paintings, dominated the two buildings of his "collection"? We looked up the name on the internet later, Louis Freund, and found that indeed the artist was a prolific, well-known artist of the area. But why was it here and who was the shop keeper? Maybe it was Mr. Freund himself and we had entered a time warp down a side street in Eureka Springs.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Bubbling Up "The crystal clear water has flowed out of this rocky hillside for centuries, at the very least." We were near the fountain at the center of Eureka Springs when we overheard a guide explain to her group that native Americans came to this spot before the American Revolution. The water of the springs was claimed to heal visitors from all kinds of afflictions. And I counted nearly 10 springs located on the tourist map. From deep underground the water bubbled through the rocks. I saw this leaf floating in the sparkling water of the fountain.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Any Music Left? Is there any music left in these old trumpets? They are bundled together and sitting on the porch of Mitchell's Folly in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It's not possible to play any of these anymore. The valves are missing in all of them as well as the tuning slides and the mouthpieces. No more jazz, no more marching tunes, no more blues, and no more swing.

Ah, but could there be memories of music somewhere lingering in these old horns? Tunes that cause you to tap your toe, sway your body, clap your hands? These old discarded trumpets are just a stack of metal without the breath, the spirit, of musicians. You won't hear musical magic without the skilled people (no matter how old). Musicians still have (always have) music within them that needs to get out in their very breath. These old trumpets may not have any music left, but they share the memory of being filled with musical energy.

When I return home, I plan on working on this photo to see if I can express more fully the memory of that energy.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
We've Got Options I saw this contraption in Eureka Springs last week. I suspect that it had something to do with a steam powered water pump that was nearby and might have been some kind of water distribution system. The collection of valves could be utilized in such a way as to send water to different destinations. But all of those connections were long gone. It did remind me that we always have options to resolve the situations in which we may find ourselves. There is more than one answer, more than one solution, more than one option. We have hope. I imagine you thought of hope when you saw this collection of valves.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Anxiety Could Get You Down The epistle lesson for today is Philippians 4:1-9. Paul is writing from prison to the small congregation at Philippi, encouraging them to care for one another through consideration and compassion. And he tells them not to worry. Easy for him to say might be a contemporary reply when fear appears to be marketed in every media. Fear of terrorism, and fear of disease, and fear of poverty, and fear of the other political party, and fear of spying, and fear of other religious faiths, and fear of other races, and fear of criminals, and fear of those who will take our weapons, and on and on. But Paul's message is counter to the culture then and now. Anxiety is a threat to personal well-being and community peace. Fear is the opposite of trust. And the result of trust is joy. Worried people, even those who claim a faith, will find it a challenge to experience lasting joy because fear is a shroud of darkness and death. Kirkegaard called anxiety "the sickness unto death." Paul's letter encouraged his readers to let it go. There can be another way to life.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 12 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
No, Really Our last two trips to my mother's home in northern Indiana, we have tried alternative highways to the typical interstate route. And as we drove through this small Indiana town, I saw this theater sign. I often say to myself, I should stop and take a picture of that. And this time I convinced myself that I would. And as I was stopping, I saw the second sign, and found it humorous to include them both in the same picture. I suspect it's not pronounced the way that it appears. It never is.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 11 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Faded Fragrance Judy gathered up a lot of blossoms from our Hydrangea bush in our front yard and brought them in and arranged them in two different baskets. We have enjoyed their fragrance this summer as they stood just outside our front door. I found the display by the fireplace intriguing, and even more so, as I took the photo seeing that the background was nearly the same shade as the highlight of the blossoms. In reality, it is not. But something mimicked the color and added to an ordinary photo. Sometimes, maybe often, the photographer gets surprised.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Hibiscus Lantern I'm enjoying my new camera and exploring its capabilities. And I couldn't help noticing how the afternoon sun was lighting this hibiscus bloom and casting a shadow on the petals of the stamen. Even the stem appears to be radiant. it's all about light.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
What Is Good Lighting I typically try to avoid taking waterfall photos on sunny days. The contrast in the scene usually makes for a rather difficult exposure. So I generally choose to do waterfall photos on cloudy or overcast days. But I found this scene when we were in the Smokes last week as we hiked north of Tremont. I took the photo and admit that I didn't expect much, given what I had seen in the past. But the combination of the lighting through the leaves overhead made for a photo that appeals to me. I see a different energy in the picture because of the interplay of the bright light and the shadowed patterns.

Exposure 1.3 seconds, f/6.3, iso 100. I opened the shadows when I processed it in Lightroom, and tried not to blow out the highlights, which is challenging, given the lighting. Polarizer and neutral density filter used.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Looking for Fall Color Today's photo is from the same parking spot as yesterday's photo in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is different beyond being a horizontal photo as compared to a vertical photo. The fog is different. It's in a different direction. It feels different. Photographs have an emotional as well as a visual quality. If the viewer experiences something beyond the visual, then the photo speaks. There are hints of fall color here, obscured by the fog. Change is in the swirling air. You can almost see it move. I hope you can feel it.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Waiting in the Rain Last week we drove through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was raining. It was foggy. We had just crossed over the overlook near Clingman's Dome (couldn't see anything, other than the road) and was heading downhill when I pulled off the side of the road. And waited. I got out of the car with my camera and watched the fog come in and dissipate. There was a possibility for wonderful pictures, if one is patient. The trees are always there, in the same spot. But it is a different scene each time, because of the quality and direction of light. Fog is even more fun, with diffuse, even light as it obscures and reveals and hides again. So there were dozens of photos as the scene changed as I stood in the rain. I must have been a sight. Other cars would stop, and the passengers would look to see what I was looking at, and they would shake their heads, and drive on. If they had just waited,...


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 06 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
A Week Later We had two invitations, but we didn't go. One man even gave us a brochure and described it in detail. "The numbers are 5 feet tall!" he beamed. And the following day, our seatmates on the train couldn't contain their awe, and insisted that we visit the Fields of the Woods on our way back to our motel. "You'll be going right by it. Don't miss it." But we decided to skip the world's largest Ten Commandments as well as other superlative Christian symbols that were prominently displayed on a mountainside that had been cleared of all trees. And, here just one week later, the Old Testament lectionary lesson, Exodus 20:1-20, is the Ten Commandments.

By one count, there are more than 4,000 public displays of the Ten Commandments, and yet less than 10% of Americans can name more than four of the commandments. So much for memorization and prominent monuments, made of rocks set on a mountain of rock.

This photo is of a rock that when illuminated glows like a hot coal. This artifact may be a Cahokian Sun Effigy, 1000 AD.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 05 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Color Everywhere This is "Freeda James", blooming in our garden on October 3. There are still a number of buds remaining that may bloom, if it doesn't frost first. We purchased several daylilies late in the summer with the intention of having a longer season. Although this flower is blooming in October, it may not bloom so late next year. But if it does, we will have daylilies blooming from late May into October. This is not the only one as "Autumn Minaret" still has blooms as well. And our maple trees are showing red and yellow leaves. Color everywhere.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 04 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Mystery Number Three for this week Another puzzle from our trip along the Hiwassee River...

Tall bush, probably over ten feet in height, with yellow fruit and sharp thorns. What is it?

I wondered if the thorns were preventing me from being poisoned or guarding a delicious snack.

After an internet search, it appears to be Kei-apple plant. Apparently tastes similar to apricots. But it's home is southern Africa. In the late 1940's some kei apple plants were grown in California and Florida, but the fruit was difficult to pick with the large thorns and challenging to process. Some places have used it for a tall, uninviting, but fragrant hedge. So after we discovered what we think it must be, a new mystery emerges---what is it doing in southeast Tennessee? It was thriving along the river, planted behind an old church near Reliance, Tennessee. It makes me wonder who planted it there and how they came across the plants. Life is full of mysteries!

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Mystery Number Two This is the second of three mysteries I encountered this past week. We saw this in two different locations: along the banks of the Hiwassee River and on the middle fork of The Little River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I posted this picture in the Tennessee Outdoor Photographers' group on Facebook and got an identification in less than three minutes. Isn't the internet great?

Turns out it has several names--American Strawberry Bush, Hearts-a-Burstin, to name just two. It's not a very large fruit, smaller than a ping pong ball, but it's pink exterior and orange seeds are a bit garish in the late summer landscape, making it difficult to ignore. Tomorrow is the third mystery. For more information, check out the link

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Mystery Number One Saturday, we drove to Murphy, North Carolina. We stopped on the way to explore the route of our railroad trip along the banks of the Hiwassee River in southeastern Tennessee. We stopped at one of the parks and walked down to the river bed and found thousands of exposed rocks. At first they just looked dark, but on inspection they had streaks of green as if some meticulous painter had been very busy. I wondered if they weren't some oxidized copper residue, as they were copper mines in the past in the area. Judy thought they were some plant material as it scraped off fairly easily. It's still a mystery to us, but I found that the autumn leaves that had fallen onto the rocks created a picturesque landscape. I seem to find a picture everywhere.

Taken with a 100mm macro lens, f/4, 1/320 sec, iso 400.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Backward Fence This is the reverse of the view from yesterday. Photographers are often encouraged to turn around and see if there's anything interesting behind you. I enjoy this photo as well. Exposure: f/4.5, 1/200 sec., iso 200.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Breaking the Rules I know the rules of composition. I try to be attentive to the placement of objects and the rule of thirds and noting where the scene is bright or dark. This photo from Bishop Hill, Illinois, breaks most of the rules. But it appeals to me. One thing I notice is how the fence draws your eye into the frame. Then your eye follows the windows in a counter-clockwise pattern to the leaves above and back to the left again where they obscure the columns. And the vertical columns direct your eye back to the fence. And then there's that tree, smack dab in the center of the frame. I suppose one could crop the two windows on the right, but then you omit the interesting wall detail. And how do you split the barrel of flowers that sits on the ground between the windows? I like it.

Bishop Hill was the site of a religious, utopian community founded in 1846 by Eric Janson. While it did not last long, some consider this town the beginning of Swedish America. At it's peak, more than 1000 lived here, but now the population is barely more than 100. Several buildings still stand and are part of historic preservation efforts.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Better Late Than Never Another parable from Matthew's Gospel has Jesus telling about two sons, each receiving a request from their father to do a task.  (21:23-32) One says he will do it but does not do it, and the other refuses initially but later complies by doing what was requested. Jesus asks which son was obedient. While the obvious answer for me is the one that did the task finally, there are cultures that respond that the second son insulted the father by saying no. So there is some ambiguity here, just as in the follow-up where Jesus says the tax collectors and the prostitutes will enter heaven first before those who claim to be religious (without showing it). There is a difference between words and actions. And God's realm includes those we think are too far gone on the moral level.

I also hear something about nudges. I have a feeling I ought to do this thing or that or call this person. I'm surprised when I do how the timing was just right. I also regret ignoring so many nudges. Better late than never.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 28 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Pretty Day for a Walk The days are getting shorter. The length of daylight is quite noticeable here as dawn arrives later and sunset is just after supper. But the weather has been glorious. I've resumed walking. It's not nearly as hot and I'm not swimming outside anymore. This shot is from last October when we went to Wisconsin for several days. I enjoy getting outside smelling and listening and seeing. It does me a world of good.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 27 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Hibiscus Last year we had red hibiscus flowers in the three large planters, but this spring Judy bought yellow ones. The open bloom is quite nice but I thought this flower was striking with water droplets on it. I had fun with my new camera and macro lens. I use a tripod most of the time to be certain that the focus is sharp. No tripod this time. f/13 at 1/320 sec. with iso at 400. Camera is incredibly fast at focusing.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 26 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Efficient for More than a Hundred Years Last year, about this same time, my photo group wet to southern Tennessee to photograph Falls Mill near Belvidere. Built in 1873, it still operates five days per week, year-round, grinding corn and wheat. Originally it was built as a cotton factory, and was used over the years as a cotton gin, and wood-working facility. The water wheel is 108 years old and is the sole power of the grinding wheel. So the massive wheel is turned by the force of water falling. And inside the noise is nearly deafening as gears and belts and wheels turn. No fossil fuels, no nuclear energy, no natural gas, no electricity; just water flowing downstream. Simple. Effective.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 25 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Complementary Complementary colors are those that are opposite of each other on the color wheel, as in this example of purple and yellow. The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look. Notice the yellow center in one of the flowers. And there are two bumble bees. I planned it that way! Another happy accident.

It is easy to over-saturate complementary colors and ruin the effect; it becomes jarring. The right balance, however, is pleasant and energizing. This could be said about human relations as well. Opposites attract, and if they are not overly-saturated, it can be an energizing relationship. And just like colors, the relationship is enhanced by balance. (I think you'll need to define "over-saturated" for yourself. You could probably recognize it when you see it!)


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Glorious Endings Some days end with us being weary. Our bodies ache, our minds are exhausted, our spirits are depleted. How much we need glorious refreshment, being renewed by visual celebration, hearing a song that lifts us. Every day needs a glorious ending.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Autumn Begins Today Late today it's official. Autumn falls.

I enjoy it visually. The trees show their true color as the chlorophyll exits the leaves. The pigment gives the leaves the green color and helps trap light needed for photosynthesis. But the pigment is no longer needed as the hours of daily light decreases and the temperatures drop. I ought to be exhilarated by the brisk air and all of the activities. There is some of that excitement, especially on the bright, sunny days. The dark days are less fun, which is why it is important for me to seek light. And take my camera to capture what I see. There is always something to celebrate in a photograph.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
God Isn't Fair The Gospel lesson for today is Matthew 20:1-16, a parable that appears only here. Jesus described the kingdom of heaven by telling of a landowner who hires laborers in the morning for the usual daily wage. He returns to the marketplace at 9, noon, 3 and 5, hiring more workers each time. At the end of the day he begins to pay them ,even those who worked only one hour, a full day's wage. Those who had worked all day, and were the first to be hired, complained that it was unfair, as they noticed what was happening and began to expect to be paid more. And the landowner, responds by saying, "Are you envious because I am generous?"

Generous with whom, one might ask; surely not those who had worked all day. All the workers had the same need: enough money to care for themselves and whatever family they might have had. Those who were still waiting to be hired at 5 p.m. had the same need as those who were hired first. Who would have been left at the last hour, but the elderly and the weak, the scoundrels and the criminals? And they were at the edge of having nothing for the day. The parable's outcome is not fair but describes a generosity that is unexpected, and beyond what was deserved. How can this be right? How generous will God be? What about what we expect? Something to ponder this day. We expect God to be fair, rewarding the good and punishing the evil. But we are uncertain about a God who is generous, caring for all, even those we think we might be better than. God isn't fair; God is more.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 21 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Seeking Support This tendril stretched for something, anything, to grasp. These modified leaves will wrap quickly around another stem to support the plant. Passion flower, clematis, and morning glory use tendrils to climb and seek additional support.

These flowers are quick to seek support. There are times that we humans need to be quick to seek support as well. The whole system is stronger when connected together, and it is difficult to determine which one sought the other.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 20 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
World's Largest Yard You may have to be a railroad buff to appreciate seeing Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska.

The world's largest classification yard is 8 miles long and 2 miles wide. It has over 200 tracks with nearly 140 trains with 14,000 railroad cars passing through the Bailey Yard EVERY DAY.

This photo from the 8 story tall observation tower shows the locomotive fueling and service center; 8,500 locomotives pass through this facility every month.

You might have thought North Platte was only famous as the home of Buffalo Bill Cody, and missed this. And maybe not.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Close Encounters All in one day:

We stopped at a Goodwill store to check out their hardback books, only to discover they had more than I had ever seen at Goodwill. Soon a clerk was rolling another cart down the aisle overflowing with books. "Wow, even more!" I said. They are only romance was the reply. "And I don't look like the romantic type? If you only knew, ..." And she laughed.

While we were eating lunch, a cell phone rang and the man across the way pulled out his flip phone and dropped it on the floor. I retrieved because he couldn't reach it, and then he told his caller that a nice young man had gotten his phone for him.

Later, in the same day, we met travelers from California and we took turns photographing the other couple near the town's fountain. And he said, as he admired the photos, "Not bad, for two old guys!"

Hmmm... It's all about perceptions, and what one sees, and what is true.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Waiting for Next Summer The weather has taken a decidedly cool turn. It is the night temperatures that affect the warmth of the pool. Swimming season is over. Time to put away some of the toys, like these "Noodles". I liked the rainbow effect.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Rock and Roll During the second half of a long train ride, I began to look around at what I could photograph. The first portion was filled with new sights. But on the return trip, we changed sides (required) but all we could see now was vegetation covered hillsides. And soon, I began to wonder. What if? What if I slowed my shutter speed and the ISO way down. The railroad car swayed and rocked and I made little attempt to hold my camera still. I would check the image on the back of the camera after each exposure and make further adjustments that could create a different effect. Those who sat near us asked what I was finding to photograph and that so clearly had interested me with dozens of exposures. I would show them, and they would just shake their heads. What do you see, they would question further. Light! And motion! And a train trip.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 16 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
It's a Small World Several years ago I went to West Virginia for a photo workshop on my way to a professional conference at Duke University the following week. In between the two events I had a free day besides the time needed for travel. I saw that Floyd County, Virginia was on the way. Fred First, a blogger at Fragments from Floyd, was someone I wanted to meet. I spent the night in a nearby motel so Fred and I could have breakfast together in downtown Floyd. And our meeting was all that I had hoped. Fred is a kindred spirit who shared many of my interests. I had read his blog for several years but I found him to be even more engaging in person. He felt like he was an old friend, who happened to live a long way away. Afterwards I drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway and encountered fog and this tree. I did not know what was beyond the tree for I could barely see it. I felt like I was in a small world, just like my breakfast conversation a few hours before. I think the world would be a lot different if we lived like it was small and that what we said and did would have consequences that mattered. A world no further than we could see.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 15 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
How Many Times The Gospel Lesson for today is Matthew 18:21-35. Peter, like everyone of us, has been harmed by someone else. And he asks Jesus, "How many times must I forgive? Seven times?", which sounds like a generous offer. But Jesus replies, "Seventy time seven." The parable following this passage is troublesome on many levels and those questions entice us to evade the push of Jesus' answer. We all want forgiveness. It is hard to keep giving it over and over to those who wound us again and again. Who is going to forgive that much?

It is not about counting or keeping track of wrongs. Life is not about revenge. Rather, we are to practice extending forgiveness. Easy to say, tough to do. But this is advice about how to live in community. Sooner or later, we all need to be forgiven for a word or an action that harmed another. And we will want the other to forgive us. Again and again and again. If our relationship is going to grow, forgiveness will be an essential part of our living together.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 14 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Could It Be Sometimes the leaves float downstream, but this time they are caught, trapped by the force of the water, pinned to branches and rocks, unable to journey any further downstream. Could be us, wanting to be carefree, floating with the current. But we get caught by worry and fear and the mundane and what we regard as necessary and by others' expectations of us. I prefer to float free.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 13 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
No Weeds Please Some gardeners are constantly on weed patrol. No, I suspect that it is most gardeners, and it could be all gardeners are armed with some kind of physical or chemical execution method when it comes to weeds. This thistle wouldn't dare to grow in our garden, so it is blooming next door in the vacant lot, in the portion that I don't mow. It must not be a weed over there; it appears to be a wildflower in the lot next door. I guess it's all in one's definition or perspective about what doesn't belong and what you choose to label it. I notice that it doesn't change in any way whether it is a weed in my yard or a wildflower next door. My label doesn't change it. It is what it is.

iso 400, f/8, 1/250 second exposure with a 100mm lens.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 12 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Pearls Just a portion of a dew-covered spider's web. It was huge. More than 5 feet across.

The dew looked like crystal pearls strung from junction to junction, highlighting the design. I imagine that it would take days and weeks to weave this gigantic web. But I had used the trailer on Sunday to haul dirt and mulch for the enlarged flower bed. And there was no spider web on Monday morning. So it was spun in just one day. From tree branch to shrubs on the pool fence and anchored in several places to the trailer. And now it was drenched with dew. The invisible had become obvious, revealed.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Spring's Promise in September The fog Tuesday morning was thick. And when I went out to get the morning newspaper, I noticed an enormous dew-covered spider's web in the driveway. The errand was forgotten and I went back inside to get my new camera with a 100mm macro lens. I'm still learning the intricacies of the new camera but I took nearly two hundred in my yard and the lot next door. But this photo of a dogwood bud declares to me that there are seasons to come. The bud will likely make it through the fall and winter and blossom pink in the spring. Some promises come true.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 10 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Since 1879 Ranked as the 21st must-see attraction of 122 Nashville sites, Hatch Show Print has specialized in letterpress posters since 1879.

The business used to be located on South Broadway in the midst of the "honkey tonks", but moved to the Country Music Hall of Fame when the building recently expanded. The posters are collectors' items which provided an idea for me recently. I will be making a collage of about 4'x6' of Hatch Show Prints (not the collectable ones) and attaching it to a small ceiling area near our kitchen and laundry room. I think it will add interest. It could just be Nashville "tacky". I hope not.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Forty Nine No, it is not the season for daylilies, although we do have one (Autumn Minaret) still blooming. But we are imagining what next summer will bring. We have enlarged the original bed and stacked stones to make a retaining wall on the west side. We brought in more dirt and compost to make the bed level, and have made plans to re-arrange some of the plants so that the taller ones will be toward the back, away from the pool. And we bought a few more plants at Iris City (they grow lots of flowers), so that now we have 49 varieties that will begin blooming in late May and continue into September. The season almost lasts as long as the pool season (5 months). We are having fun imagining what next summer will look like. Peak will be mid-June through much of July.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 08 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Art Is Nature paints.

And inspires.

Art is.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 07 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Wading in the Mud The Gospel lesson for Sunday is Matthew 18:15-20 which concerns the process for dealing with conflict and sin in the church. I found myself using this passage many times to help a congregation and its pastor to find its way through difficulty. But "just because the Bible says it" doesn't make it easy or even helpful. Most of the time I felt like I was wading in mud, and sometimes I was up to my neck.

What I found helpful was that sometimes wronged people need to deal with an issue face-to-face. It did not work, nor did I do it, with an abuser who would victimize, terrorize, and manipulate the one they harmed all over again. In other situations, I hear that it is important to be honest and vulnerable and genuinely to listen to the other. It is difficult to extend or experience forgiveness without being willing to listen. And it is difficult to experience forgiveness without some intention to live differently. The Bible calls that repentance.

What I found to be a problem was that congregations were generally unwilling to confront persons who were harming the church by their arrogance or meanness or gossiping ways. I fail to understand why the most destructive persons in a church are tolerated. They complain about them, but no one wants to deal with them. And if they are substantial financial givers, then it will never happen.

And then we hear these words to treat the unrepentant as tax collectors or Gentiles. Hmmm... Jesus loved the sinners and the outcast and the marginalized. And Matthew continues next week with the question of whether there is a limit to the number of times we ought to forgive. I'm glad for the grace. And I think it goes all the way down in the mud.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sat, 06 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Near the Port of Savannah This lighthouse on the south channel of the Savannah River, rebuilt in 1855 or 1857, is the shortest lighthouse at 46 feet along the Georgia coast. Built on an oyster bed, it survived the civil war, especially the Union bombardment of the nearby Fort Pulaski. Cockspur Island Lighthouse is only accessible by boat, although at low tide there is a small patch of visible land. John Wesley first landed at Cockspur Island (just west of the present location of the lighthouse) on February 6, 1736. A simple brick column on the island notes that the small band of travelers gathered for prayer at their first stop in America.

From the National Park Service: "Wesley's departure from Savannah to his native England was unplanned. He left Georgia a very disappointed man. His plans to preach God's word to the natives never materialized. Wesley also became a man of great controversy in the new settlement. His love affair with the Chief Magistrate's niece further isolated him from the citizenry."

And what really became a problem was when he declined to serve the Eucharist to Sophie and her new husband. He had to escape in the dark of night. Lots of stories, even before the lighthouse was built and directed sailors to this place, could be told here.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
I Can't Help It I have a good view of the sky from our home, but not of the western horizon. There are so many things I appreciate about our retirement home, but I had hoped that we would have views of dawn and sunset. We can see the morning sky over the top of the houses across the street. The sky can be spectacular some mornings as it was one day last week, but it's not photogenic. I still appreciate it, but my photo spirit is a little disappointed. The same is true of the western sky. We have wonderful trees beyond our fence. And the late afternoon light as it comes streaming through the leaves, well, you just have to see it. And there are hills, taller than the Illinois prairie, beyond the trees that prevent any clear view of a sunset. Again, I appreciate the beauty of what I can see. At times, it is nearly magical. But I love sunsets. And this photo is an example of why I enjoy the experience. This is from Maui.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Thu, 04 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Flowing Green Not far from Munising, Michigan is AuTrain Falls. I love to go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to photograph or just to be.

This scene is further down the river, closer to Lake Superior. Autumn comes early here and winter is harsh and long, with feet rather than inches of snow. But the scenery is beautiful, and one can find silence easily in these woods. The autumn colors are as vibrant as any place in the country and in spring the wildflowers make you glad you can see.

I used a 100mm macro lens with 6 second exposure at f/20. Polarizer and neutral density filter was also used. A long exposure like this required a tripod as well. I like the flowing green vegetation on the left side of the frame as well as the leaves in the right center.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
More Practice Needed I never saw an eagle flying through the sky until well into my adulthood. They were rare in the continental US, and then the pesticide DDT was banned and eagles began to increase in number. They are now plentiful in many areas. In Illinois during the cold winter months, one can see dozens by the lock and dams of the Mississippi River. I saw this eagle near Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River. I used my trusty old Sigma lens (did I mention that I'm buying the new Tamron 150-600 zoom?).  One of the few photo competitions that I entered, I won with an eagle photo (not this one). That's another story.

This photo started with the eagle shot at f/7.1, 1/1250, 400 iso, 400mm lens, cropped slightly and combined with sky image.

Maybe I like it better without the combined image. Also, you can't always believe what you see. I did take both photos at about the same angle in the sky, and I have other eagle photos with the moon in it from the same day. So not as dramatic a creation as one might imagine it could be.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
September Starts I can pretend that it's still summer. But there are signs this month that changes will happen soon.

I would like to ignore the signs. It's been such a delightful summer. I have been outside every day. It has been hot, but not oppressive recording-breaking sweltering hot. Yes, there have been too many mosquitoes, and I have had the welts of bites displayed some place or other on my body. The flower garden has provided too many blooms to count. But there are subtle announcements that summer is drawing to a close. This leaf on a lichen covered rock hints at the change ahead. If it wasn't so eye-catching, I would want to ignore the message. I'm not ready. I'll let you know when the time is right.

[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT
I Thought About It a Little One of the locations my small photo group visited recently was the Natural Bridge at Sewanee. After walking the steps down from the parking lot, we see the stone arch. It is obvious to me that the best vantage point will be from down below and the easiest way to get there is to walk across the bridge. So I begin the journey over the narrow path. I admit that later I wondered if one or two people crossing it might stress it too much and cause it to collapse. Nah, that wouldn't happen. It's been there a long time, but isn't that the point, it could be closer to the moment of failure. How many hundreds, thousands of people had crossed over this bridge? How many years of erosion had created the bridge and how many more years could it exist? The end wasn't that day, and probably not next year or ten years from now. But I admit that I wondered.


[email protected] (Day Six Pix, The Photography of John Hartleroad) Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:00:00 GMT
Seeing and Hearing The lectionary l