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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Positively Photos

  by Mauverneen

Me, in Prague. We climbed to the top of this multi terraced garden (I'll have to look up the name of it) the first of two such gardens that day. There was a wedding shoot going on, and when our group snuck in to take our pics against this wonderful view, someone in the professional group took our phones, posed us, and took our photos! 

Everyone knows I take photos - lots and lots of photos. I have boxes of them from when I had a film camera, and a couple more boxes from my relatives who have passed on. And now, in the digital age, I have hundreds if not thousands, stored on my computer, on camera cards, on thumb drives, on - well, you get the picture.I've been trying to clean up my digital files lately, so as to free up space on my pc, spending a little time each day on the effort. A daunting task, given my trigger finger. If I had been doing this all along, as I downloaded new batches... but I didn't, so... Going forward, I'm going to be more diligent. I have been deleting duplicates, blurry pics, and those that make me think 'why did I take that?' 

I took this during Covid. We all had a lot of time on our hands. Since I have always liked puzzles, it was a good way to pass the time, and many of us were posting our puzzle progress on FB. Do I need to save it? Not really. But it does remind me of that time and how isolated I and everyone else felt, and how we did just about anything to keep from going crazy.

On my trip to Prague and beyond, I took right around 2,000 photos. Sounds like a lot, but one of my daughters pointed out "you were there 10 days, so that's 200 a day. Not a lot for you." My kids know me well. 

I did not take this photo. I'm the one in the white jacket. One of our group was speedier to the top of the hill while the rest of us debated about going up now (it was raining) or waiting until later and hoping the rain would stop. There was the option of lunch - soup was a high priority at the moment. The rain got heavier, so we opted for lunch. The rest of us never did make it up that hill.

The point of all this is not that I take photos, but what they mean to me. Yes, they are a record, yes they are fun to look at, but to me, they are more than that. When I look at a photo that I took, I remember almost everything about it. I know where I took it, when, who I was with, and whatever little tidbit of information associated with that moment is stored in my brain. It often takes me down the rabbit hole. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's poignant, sometimes it's downright sad. But it's always like taking a little trip in a time machine. 

June 2018. My family was attending a graduation celebration and we ended up at the London House at the end of the day. It was just getting to sunset, a fog was rolling in, the air was cool, and we all sort of wandered around, taking in the view for a bit. 

Photos - A time machine. We all have our own.

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me!

and visit my website:

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Positively Prague (part two)

 by Mauverneen

I promised more of Prague...

Love locks

It's hard to condense two weeks of experiences into a few words, a few pictures. Where does one even begin? It's easy enough to describe the museums, the churches, the restaurants, the walks along the river, but to convey the feeling? Is that even possible? Perhaps if I were a better writer. 

I love people-watching, and day or night, there were masses of people everywhere in Prague, especially on the weekend. It was hard to tell the tourists from the locals, until they began taking selfies. I tried taking one of myself eating a 'chimney cake', but the vendors were laughing at my struggle with the cake, my camera, my purse, my phone, and took pity on me and asked me to hand over my phone. Besides which, it was raining. I greatly appreciated that!  

On the trams, I think most of the riders were locals. The people were all very considerate, generally giving up their seat for myself, or other older women whenever I and my companions got on. Everyone was just generally considerate... the police officer who tried his best to give me directions when I was confused about which direction the museum I was looking for was in, and the elderly gentleman who rode the tram with me for one stop so he could better tell me how far to ride. In both cases, my bit of czech and a lot of gesturing got us through. In the heart of the city, nearly everyone spoke English - quite good in most cases - but venturing a bit further out, not so much. Especially the older population. 

Crowded Streets - cobblestones and amazing architecture

Old Town Square

Walking across Charles Bridge, with it's towers. Street performers, vendors and very talented artists set up their wares.
Early morning on Charles Bridge brought some delightful surprises... a fashion photo shoot

- and a portrait shoot.

The bridge is always crowded - even in the rain; a parade of umbrellas.

There's even fun under the bridge. You can ride a boat, have a dinner cruise, or rent paddle boats, some, shaped like a car, and some even shaped like swans.

Rush hour is the same in every city. Here in Prague, trams (streetcars) have their own lanes. It's a much quicker way to get around. Or, go on foot, which is what I did most of the time, clocking a little over nine miles on my last day.

Ah those famous chimney cakes! The delicious smell pulls you in. The cake is toasted, brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar as it turns.

The finished product is filled with ice cream. Oh so delicious and filling! 

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me!

and visit my website:


Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Positively Prague

 by Mauverneen

I've always heard Prague was one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so when I had a chance to join a small group of like-minded folks interested in photography, I quickly signed up, even though I knew none of them. 

I spent some time over the following months learning some basic Czech, looking into what I might want to see while I was there, and endlessly debating whether I should go, or not - I don't like flying, there is so much unrest in the world, could I keep up, and on and on, worrying about all those things there are to worry about. Covid, I think, has made us all a bit more complacent, a bit more hesitant, a bit more afraid. I decided to go and I am so very happy that I did!

Prague is truly beautiful! It was not bombed during WWII (with only a couple minor exceptions), so the architecture is original, and amazing. I'm not sure when it shines more brightly - during the day or at night. The streets are filled with people; locals going about their lives and tourists going from one historical site to the next. I walked miles each day, putting in a little over nine miles on my last day there. I sampled the food, the sights, the sounds - my senses were bombarded, and I loved it. 

Our little band of photographers blended well - I feel I have made some new friends. It was rather nice to be with people who totally understood when one of us wanted to stop and snap something that caught our eye. No one was impatient, patting their foot, or silently wondering 'What? Another one?' And we all took pictures of our food!

Midweek we took a train to Děčín, where a guide picked us up and drove us to our accommodations at the Bohemian Cottage in Krásná Lípa, detouring along the way for a hike, for which we weren't quite prepared. Lunch, homemade dinner and breakfast at the cottage, a short walk to check out the area, another hike down into a canyon and then of course, back up (I thought I might die), a beautiful sunset, a glass factory, whew! I'm sure I'm leaving something out. Then back to Prague.

Inside the Prague Train Station

On this trip we got to sample not just the city of Prague, but some of the countryside, namely the
famous Bohemian Switzerland on the Czech/German border, meet some locals, visit museums, and, importantly, take unlimited photos! 

Sunset near Krasna Lipa

This is just a short overview of my two weeks in Prague. In future blogs, I will try to do justice to at least a few of the places I visited. Stay tuned, and join me on the journey.

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me!

and visit my website:

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Positively Eclipsed - Times 3!

 by Mauverneen

Yes, I watched the eclipse yesterday. It was amazing! 

I tried to get a couple of photos, but I hadn't planned it out beforehand, so - I didn't get much. But I tried, so here it is anyway. The second one is the reflection of the eclipse on a white sheet, through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard. I still had my glasses from the last time.... the last time?

I have seen three eclipses of the sun! Odds are I won't see the next one. So below these two pics is a repeat of the 2017 blog about that eclipse.

You can just see it barely beginning

Viewed on a white sheet.

Monday, August 21, 2017, is the big eclipse. I have my glasses.
      I tried them out just this morning and everything was black - save for that little shining circle in the sky.
      I'm kind of excited. I remember the solar eclipse of 1963 when I viewed the eclipse with my head in a box. Really. Those of you who remember that eclipse probably did the same. I hear everyone is selling out of the glasses. You might want to get yourself a big box.
      You put a pinhole in one end of the box, off center so your head isn't in front of the hole. You can use a nail. On the opposite side of the box, line the inside with white paper or posterboard. Voila! Test it out, making sure you see a circle of light on the inside of the box in front of you.
I also found this video from NASA on how to make a viewer out of a cereal box. Same principle.
      In either case what you are viewing is a reflection of the eclipse. Very safe. Do NOT stare at the sun! You really can go blind.
      In case you are interested in some eclipse trivia did you know in 1935 there were FIVE eclipses? A partial solar eclipse occurred on February 3 and covered much of North America.  The other, partial eclipses, occurred on January 5th, June 30th, July 30th, and an annular eclipse occurred on December 25, 1935.
      And just for fun, here is a  comparison of two presidential couples viewing an eclipse. Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States, serving from 1923 to 1929. 
Donald Trump, sans glasses and standing beside first lady Melania Trump, looks up at a solar eclipse from a White House balcony on Aug. 21, 2017. (presidential photos from public archives)

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me!

and visit my website:

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Positively Titanic

 by Mauverneen

Sunday I joined a car club group going to the Volo Museum in Volo, IL. I've long wanted to go there, but this was my first time. I've got to say, it's a bit overwhelming. And it's not just cars. There is plenty there for EVERYONE - the kids, too - they love it.

Our main interest in going this time was to see their newly installed Titanic Exhibit. It may be small by some standards but it is quite well done. There is even a 10 minute documentary, which is a don't miss if you're there. 

Since Volo started as a car museum (I think) there are naturally a number of cars in the Titanic exhibit. Most of them having actually belonged to one of the persons on the ill-fated liner. I say almost because one of them is identical to one that went down with the ship. It still lies on the ocean floor. The cars in this exhibit are not copies, they are original 100+ years old and in beautiful condition! Photos, captions and artifacts on the wall tell the stories of the cars and their owners. It's fascinating.

Also fascinating are the clothes! Oh my how I love the fashions of that era. 

Whether you've been to this museum or not, I highly recommend the Titanic exhibit. Here's a link so you can plan your day! And believe me, it will take all day.

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
                                       However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
  Interested in photo prints? Contact me!

and visit my website: