If there’s anything you can count on in life it’s change. Nothing stays the same forever, change is inevitable!

I’m beginning to wrap up the logistics of my upcoming road trip to see my sister in Aiken, SC. I haven’t seen her in 11-12 years since moving from Aiken to Portland, OR to take a job with Intel Corp. Fast forward 10 years and again I was forced to move, this time in retirement to Uxbridge, MA where I now live.

My stay in SC is planned for a week, spending it mostly being entertained by my lovely sister, Barb. She is 77 and lives in the home where she and her husband raised 4 girls, all grown now with families of their own. My sister has many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I contacted my good friend, Marion, who lives close by to my sister in North Augusta, SC. That’s just down the road a piece from my last residency along Ascauga Lake Road in Graniteville, SC, the town where we both worked at the textile mill for 13 years.

Everything has changed. The textile mill no longer exists. The owner closed the doors of 13 mills in 4 states in the South in 2006, laying off thousands of long term workers. That particular company had existed for 150 years. They’re gone! So is my favorite little mom & pop restaurant in Graniteville, SC,  The Hard Hat Cafe. It’s been closed now for years due to the mill closing and severe recession. Even it’s replacement, Ruby’s Cafe, has come and gone.

I checked another favorite restaurant in Blackville, SC called Miller’s Bread Basket, a mennonite restaurant with the best home cooking anywhere. They too have sold their business and retired. The restaurant still exists but under new ownership.

So if I get together with good old Marion for a trip down memory lane it will need to be at a place new to me. I’ll find out the details of all the changes in the area. My sister has already warned me of growth in the area as well as many changes. Change is inevitable!


Playing It Forward

With the sale of my first National Geographic print I intend to use that money to buy 12″x12″ prints of 9 of my favorite square format animal photographs. I have the foam core boards and more than enough Russian baltic birch plywood squares to mount them all. I’ll bet that would be enough to cover my small apartment walls with the images of animals I love, some of which have passed away since I took these images. Thank you customer #1.

To Be Printed

Zawadi On A Summer’s Day

I was really surprised to receive an email from National Geographic stating that someone has contacted them desiring to purchase one of my photographs. All his contact information along with his specific requirements were included. I left a phone message as well as sending him an email explaining the process and price I’m asking for the 11.75″ x 24″ canvas gallery print he requested. That’s a very customized size so I needed to crop the original to his exact needs and save the results to a renamed file. In the email I sent him I attached a low resolution version of the cropped file. He should have no problem getting the photograph printed as a gallery wrap canvas print. I suggested to do the work. They are a quality lab dealing with professional needs. I feel they could handle the custom size for around $100 and have excellent shipping practices that really take care of the finished product. I’ve used them for my custom work before.

So it would seem that my photographic work has begun to be recognized, whether as a winner of a calendar contest or National Geographic. I like the way NG handled this transaction, keeping my personal information private and leaving the details of a potential sale up to me.

The print below is the custom cropped version I’ve sent to my customer.

Zawadi On A Sunny Day 72dpi

Share Your World – 2016 Week 34

Share Your World – 2016 Week 34

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

That would be fresh fruit whether berries, watermelon or bananas.

Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?

Yes, of course!

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

I live along, the mouse is doomed!

Would you rather not be able to read or not be able to speak?

Friends of mine would be laughing at this question when it applies to me. I’m a talker so I could live without reading. LOL

Casual Friday


The Swans Of Whitins Pond

I drive by Whitins Pond every time I’m heading for Plumber’s Corner in Whitinsville. I pass by and see these three resident swans that have a nest along the shore. I finally pulled over and grabbed my camera when I noticed all three close to the road and shoreline. I had to get these shots through dense foliage but managed acceptable shots.


Selfie With New Glasses

I hate taking my own portrait. I never did learn to smile on command. About the only thing that will bring out a chuckle is seeing a republican with his/her hand stuck in a garbage disposal. (I’ve got to stop making sick Republican jokes or I’ll lose half my best friends!)

Anyway here’s a mug shot of me wearing my new glasses and frames. It’s been heavily Photoshopped to protect the eyes of the innocent and small kids! My complexion looks like it was smoothed out with a red brick. LOL

Thank you all for your comments on the new glasses. I decided to go back 6 months and do a side by side comparison to the selfie I took wearing my older glasses. It immediately struck me that I’ve lost a bit of weight since that first shot. It’s amazing the difference 10 pounds can make.

Bob's Glasses 02


I Did It Again

I’ve talked many times about entering photo contests. I pick my entries carefully because in general, the contests are rigged. They’re either after your personal data, your photos for their own use or you never stood a chance because an insider for the organization was hand picked with no regard to the quality of the entrant’s submissions. I’ve fallen victim to all three scams.

I entered one of my Uxbridge photographs taken the first month I lived here. I personally like this photo enough to have it made into a picture puzzle and given as a Christmas gift to my landlord, Marilyn Armstrong. I entered this same photo in the Blackstone River & Canal Calendar contest with Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. Darn if I didn’t win! If you’ll notice this same photo has by my blog header since I moved here, another sign that I liked it!🙂

Congratulations, Robert!

One of your photos has been chosen for our 2017 calendar! Your photo “Blackstone River & Canal” will be our October photo.

 As a winner, you will receive 6 free calendars and will be recognized during our celebration event in October. The date has yet to be set, but we will keep you posted with the details.

 Once again, congratulations on the win!

 All the Best,

Stephanie Begin

Administrative Assistant

 BHC wheel

Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc.

A Walk In The Park #4

Share Your World – 2016 Week 33

Share Your World – 2016 Week 33

Would you travel into outer space?

As long as outer space had no taxes, Republicans or McDonald’s I’d go.

Which country/city in the world (that you have never been to) would you most like to visit and why?

I know it’s the United States but I’d like to go to Alaska. Denali National Park would be where I’d like to visit on a guided tour. I’d like to go to Alaska via cruise ship.

What could you do to breathe more deeply today?

Lynch the 90 year old woman next door who insists on chain smoking right outside my door/window.

Complete this sentence:  This creamy peanut butter sandwich could really use some …

First it would have to be on Dave’s Killer Bread, toasted. Next I’d like E.D. Smith’s Peach Mango Orange Preserves. They have just 6 grams of sugar per tablespoon and are extremely delicious. I used to buy their products at Costco when I lived in Oregon.


“It’s In The Mail”

My first 20″x30″ lion print is in the mail and soon to arrive. I’ve purchased 4 more 20″x30″ foam core mounting boards at $1 each. That sure beats the price of a glassed in picture frame of that size. I’m selecting more photographs to put on foam core boards in the near future. Since the supplies to do the mounting have already been purchased the actual prints will be my only cost, for a while. When the lion print is mounted and hanging on my living room wall there will be a two photo set of square Orangutan portraits of Kumar and Kutai, Kumar being the new kid on the block at 10 years old and Kutai having passed away at 20. We all miss Kutai.

It’s a shame Costco Photo doesn’t have larger prints available in square format. 12″ is as big as they go at $3.95 apiece. I’ll be sure to purchase a number of 12×12 prints at one time to hold down the shipping costs. I’d love a 20″x20″ square format of each of the ape shots. I’ll work on that possibility even if I must use another print source.

Kumar & Kutai


Zawadi Printing: The Breakdown

I have a number of photographs that are on my wish list to mount and hang on my apartment walls. It’s a small apartment, basically 10’x20′ that make up the living room and bedroom areas. One of the walls in that main room is a brick wall, very attractive and natural brick. The hardwood flooring creaks but then again, it’s the real McCoy not Pergo or some vinyl, wood looking product of dinosaur  fossils. That being said just know that I love my little home and want to decorate it with a few large photographs from my collection.

One of my favorite pictures is a closeup of Zawadi Mungu, the magnificent male lion at the Oregon Zoo. I’ve seen him mature over the 10 years I spent in Oregon to become the king of his jungle. He has sired 6 cubs by two adult lionesses that are part of his pride. No one knew what his reaction would be when the first three female cubs were born and introduced to their father. He was a natural, taking them under his wing, teaching them how to snarl. I have a treasured photo of Zawadi giving one of his young daughters a love bite on her neck while drawing her closer to him. Skin was not penetrated yet the sight of his gigantic incisors on her neck would make the feint of heart pull away, sure that he was about to do her in.

So it is that I’ve chosen my favorite Zawadi portrait as my first artwork in my new home. I have the 20″x30″ print on it’s way to me from the Costco photo center I used to frequent while living in Portland. With shipping that large print worked out to cost me about $15. I found a cheap source of foam art board at the Dollar Tree. You guessed it, the boards cost just $1 each. Next came the spray adhesive I’ll be using to affix the print to the artboard. The 3M Super 77 spray adhesive is in the mail. The 10.7 oz. can cost me $8.97 and will handle over a dozen large prints. I discovered this morning that my local Lumber/Hardware store, Koopman’s, carries an ever bigger can for just $10 plus tax, making it a 1/4 mile to buy more should I need more. I bought a roll of blue painter’s tape from Koopman’s for that mounting project at around $7 a roll.

Although the total spent for this photograph’s mounting seems like a lot the bulk of the expenses is for materials that will mount many other pictures to my walls. It’s an investment toward the future. I have 3 20″x30″ foam core boards waiting for pictures. I could easily fill the walls of 10-20 apartments with different photographs in each location. Some local here have suggested I find a gallery to display my work. If I had the available cash to print and mount that many picture I’d love to fill a gallery’s wall with my animal portraits. If it ever happens I’ll let you know.

Zawadi Mungu

Zawadi Closeup #1

Zawadi Love Bite

Zawadi Love Bite