Month: September 2014

September 2004-2014


A Calendar of Sonnets: September

By Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden-rod is yellow; 
The corn is turning brown; 
The trees in apple orchards 
With fruit are bending down. 
The gentian’s bluest fringes 
Are curling in the sun; 
In dusty pods the milkweed 
Its hidden silk has spun. 
The sedges flaunt their harvest, 
In every meadow nook; 
And asters by the brook-side 
Make asters in the brook. 
From dewy lanes at morning 
the grapes’ sweet odors rise; 
At noon the roads all flutter 
With yellow butterflies. 
By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here, 
With summer’s best of weather, 
And autumn’s best of cheer. 
But none of all this beauty 
Which floods the earth and air 
Is unto me the secret 
Which makes September fair. 
‘T is a thing which I remember; 
To name it thrills me yet: 
One day of one September 
I never can forget.

I think that this colourful poem and my picture go together quite nicely.

In May I posted a Photography: May 2003-2014 set of images. I am doing it again,  “one day of one September”. Isn’t photography all about memories? 🙂



This is the house I grew up in. It is the back yard, these windows face the lake; the front yard used to merge with a large ancient forest.  The building is about 200 years old.  In 2004 we traveled around visiting all the places that are dear to us, and I took this photograph. In 2010 the new owner cut the forest down.



I love trees. This Monkey Puzzle ( Araucaria) alley is almost gone due to the old age.  Last year I visited the place again, and it doesn’t look like in this picture anymore.



St Canice’s Cathedral grounds, Kilkenny.  I call this image Dwellings: Past, Present, Future.



Galtee Mountains.  That green patch down there is a forest. We are half way to a beautiful mountain lake, icy cold and transparent like a crystal. I came there again two years ago, solo. Walked through the forest, took some pictures. I didn’t plan to walk to the lake, of course, but it was nice to know that it is there, just a couple of hours away.



This picture was taken in the park in Limerick.  I think it was my most uneventful, and overall miserable trip ever.  Never been to Limerick again.



There is a tiny road in Clonmel going up the mountain. People walk or drive it to climb to the Holy Cross and get a bird’s eye view. This old man is walking down  that road with his cows. He and his brother live ( lived?) right around the corner, so his flock doesn’t interrupt traffic too much. I stood in the street watching them and tears came up to my eyes. God bless old people.



This isn’t a result of photo editing: all the colors are natural.  Antelope Island State Park, Great Salt Lake. Abundant wildlife, beautiful scenery, solitude and tranquillity.



A friend invited me to take a trip to Connemara. We had two fun days in spite of the weather.



These clouds are something to remember.



A big sister.



This picture is here because I am  saying good bye to the river.

Thank you for reading about my Septembers.  What about yours?  I would love to hear 🙂

Photography tip of the day: More DIY  🙂 Take pictures through plastic bag, stained glass, plastic bottles, magnifying glass,  etc. Cover your “filters” with colored vaseline.  You will get interesting effects depending on your lenses.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great week!

Snakes, ladders and mushrooms


We met this snake in Twin Falls,  at the edge of Snake River Canyon. He was moving lazily with no apparent purpose and looked harmless.  I walked behind him and worried that he could crawl to the parking lot and get run over,  but he was too big for me to feel comfortable picking him up and taking to the bushes.  Luckily a man  walked by and showing no respect carried the  beast by his tail to the safe place.


Not always was I so shy dealing with the snakes…

When I was a young child I used to spend a lot of time in my Grandparents home. Two images below were taken a year after my Grandmother died ( I already had a daughter of my own), and the house was abandoned and vandalised by that time. It was burned down after another couple of years.



No one would live there in the middle of the forest, with no decent road ( you would be surprised to see how quickly the new growth consumes abandoned road!) But when I was a child the house was beautiful, and there was a farm, and a garden. Grandparents were busy so no one would ask me where  I go and what I do. When I got tired I would climb up the ladder in the hay shed and sleep. I was my own man.

I must have been five years old that summer. Every evening I asked my Grandma to tell me a story, and she often used that as an opportunity to give me a warning. There were multitudes of Adders living all around, and their bite could be dangerous for a five year old;  it is why many of my Grandma’s stories were dedicated to the snakes.

My dear Grandma! How many times I went exactly where she told me not to go – to the ruins of an old farmstead where the Adders were sunbathing in the middle of the day.  No, I am not proud of what I did, but I was only five! With a sturdy stick in my hand I walked to the unsuspecting critters and killed them in bunches! And I did it a good few times that summer.  I guess  I didn’t make a big dent in the Adder population  –  sometimes they even crawled into the house. And I loved lizards, frogs and toads.

There are a few pictures of a Slow worm – a legless lizard, sweet and harmless creature, often abused. I helped him to get off the road and took him to the safety of forest.




I love toads and kiss them whenever I have a chance.


I don’t like slugs. I know it is silly but I  think that they can  jump and strike… I took a picture of this one because it’s belly was orange color.  Don’t like spiders either, but admire their skills.



This is the forest where the images were taken…



…and these are the mushrooms we picked.


The images were taken on my holidays last summer.

It is well known that St Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Some say it was the Ice Age though… but I believe in Patrick.

I don’t know who created this image, but I saw it on Facebook  last Paddy’s day. Makes me smile 🙂


You can walk through the waist-tall grass in your slippers here. You can step over the old tree trunks and sit on the rocks without looking first. You are safe!

Do you have any snakes where you live?

Photography tip of the day: Sometimes you have to use your  built in  camera flash.  Here you can learn how to make a DIY diffuser,  simple and very effective.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great day!

Castle and Peacocks

Johnstown castle

I learned to read very early: the magic of putting the letters together opened the whole world to me. One of my first books was a photo anthology of European capitals. Very little text and a lot of pictures, but when you are four even very little text is too much, and architecture is not your idea of fun. The only worthy images in the book were those of Zoo animals.

I memorized their names. I hadn’t been taken to the Zoo yet, but living in the farm with my Grandparents, surrounded by forests and bogs and all sort of wildlife I appreciated the variety of species… I don’t remember seeing much of exotic animals on TV until the mid of the 60s, except some cartoons, so the photographs in that book were my only source of knowledge. The most beautiful of all the animals in the book was a peacock. In my imagination I pictured him walking in our back yard where my Granddad’s blue, green and brown beehives were sitting in the lush grass. My imagination painted the bird in pink, purple and gold: the pictures in that old book were black & white…

I want to share a few images from my recent visit of Johnstown Castle and Park, Co Wexford. If you want to go there some day, here you can find useful information about the tickets and directions.

As you can see, the weather was gradually getting better. Cranky grey morning turned into the perfect sunny afternoon. Photographers are wandering around the castle looking for a good composition.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Since the days I was four I learned to love architecture, but still I visit Johnstown castle mostly  because of the peacocks.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Their beautiful plumage  hasn’t fully grown yet at this time of the year, so I didn’t take any breathtaking images of a peacock in his full glory.  I was simply happy to be close and watch them.

A bold one came to me to check out if I had any snacks.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

After getting some pieces of French toast he settled in front of me.

Johnstown castle

I don’t remember when I found out that peacocks are not pink and purple, but I was right about the gold.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

There are two images of the trees taken into the sun.  I loved trees before I learned to read.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

After that I went to the lake and took all the pictures I posted in REFLECTIONS. This is how the castle looks from the lake.

Johnstown castle

Thank you for visiting Johnstown Castle with me! Do you remember what animal or bird impressed your young mind? 🙂

Photography tip of the day: Horizontal means horizontal. Keep your camera straight. Of course you can straighten your images with the editing software, but sometimes it means losing the details that are important for your composition.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great week!