Posted tagged ‘photography’

Midsummer Tale

August 20, 2018

In the middle of this harsh, Tucson summer filled with plenty of heat and anticipation of the monsoon rains, plus my exhaustion with our country’s political reality show, something very joyful happened that directed my attention to a very different reality.

Returning home from a three week vacation, I discovered that I had a new neighbor!  A charming, energetic female established her home very near my studio where I work. Actually, she moved so close that it was a bit shocking for me, as I never imagined such a possibility. Her place is so near that I can see it (and her, as well) from the window above my desk and when opening the studio’s door. Such a neighbor could be very annoying if it were a human, but it is… a hummingbird!

In the Nest

Yes, they are present around our property, and we are aware of them. A couple of feeders and local desert plants, which are part of our landscape, keep them happy. They seem to like the long dense row of oleanders next to the small white building that is my Word Studio.

It was immediately very clear that my tiny neighbor is a SHE, because I know that HEs (male hummingbirds) do not participate in building nests, or sitting on those two (they lay only two) precious eggs, or feeding the offspring. She has to do it all! As a woman and a mother, I immediately felt solidarity with her!  I have felt such solidarity with cats, cows, horses, and other mammals, but not with a bird.

What possessed her to build that nest on the wires of lights decorating our outdoor covered ‘sitting room’? I do not know! Perhaps she is an intellectual bird that likes books? Actually (joking apart), it is a very safe place – sheltered from rain and winds by a huge tree on the north side and the walls of the enclosed part of the patio on the south side. There also is a fringe benefit – closeness to a hummingbird feeder that might be very handy for a busy, expecting mother hummingbird.

Lenika's Nest

The next question was, will she accept my frequent coming to my studio or will she abandon the nest? Being concerned and knowing that hummingbirds love red and other bright colors, I initially wore my red summer dress. Each time I approached the door of my studio while she was in her nest, my heart was beating a bit faster from excitement, but of course, it could never match her amazingly powerful heart that beats more than 1000 times per minute when in flight. She did not fly away from her nest, and I felt great relief!

A day or so later, she accepted my presence around the studio, even when I was wearing a variety of colors. Wow, it felt great!  Soon a couple of frequent visitors were accepted by her, as well. One of them suggested that we should name her; after all she (the hummingbird) is a part of this establishment now. ”Tina or Tania, perhaps?” They were almost okay – short, energetic names…. “Oh, no, nothing with a T”, I protested!  “Grace maybe, since she is so graceful?” That one did not fly either — there was something “too much” about that name. “How about Ana, Ania, Anna?” The fact that there are Anna’s hummingbirds, and I am still not sure what kind of hummingbird she is, we decided that such a name might be too confusing. Finally we settled for Lenika, created from parts of our two middle names. And that’s who she is – Lenika.

Lenika closer

One day Lenika got inside my studio by accident and immediately flew straight into one of the windows. Of course, she was not able to get out. Surprisingly, Lenika let me take her into my hands without any resistance or fight. She sat there calmly and let me enjoy feeling her silky small body as I walked outside to let her go free. Soon enough she was back in her nest.

Lenika trapped 2

Three weeks or so past, and I noticed that Lenika became restless and less trusting. She flew away when I entered my studio, or even when I approached it from the far side of our large patio. I have to confess that upset and hurt me, as if she were a real person and not a very small bird. I concluded that it might be the time for her to become a mother, and I started tip toeing around her, like around a woman at the very end of her pregnancy. Other times she behaved like before and at night was back in her nest – very calm, deep in her sleep. That made me calmer, too. Still, some worrying thoughts entered my mind; maybe there is some delay in hatching? Perhaps they are already hatched, and I can’t see them because new born hummingbirds are the size of a raisin and would not be visible yet. And what if the eggs got broken for some reason?

Nest on Patio 2

I truly hope that Lenika’s story will have a happy ending — for her sake and mine. She will have her babies, and I will be free from worries! In the meantime, I am amazed how powerful this tiny, wild creature influenced my behavior and feelings!  Such is the case when one cares about another person or another living thing. It can by joyful, and it can be painful, but it makes us more connected to each other and to this planet.

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Text and photos Copyright © 2018 by Alicja Mann, alicjamann.com

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

April 25, 2013

Sometimes we do not need words of explanation or captions for photos. Such is the case here with my interpretation of “Up”.

 

Tall building in New Yourk

GW Bridge

View from the car of  a highway loop

Soutwestern Church with ringing bell

Tall business building in Tucson

I responded to several Weekly Photo Challenges before:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

November 5, 2012

 

I see geometry everywhere!  Enjoy these photos – Alicja

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Desert Soldiers  © Alicja Mann

 

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Squares  © Alicja Mann

 

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Just 4U  © Alicja Mann

 

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Sea Dogs Resting  © Alicja Mann

 

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Southwest Windows  © Alicja Mann

 

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Roses of the Southwest  © Alicja Mann

 

 

Studio Event – Photography

November 9, 2010

This weekend I will be wearing a different hat, that of a photographer rather than a writer. I will participate in a popular event among artists and residents of Tucson — an Open Studio Tour.

Every year in the fall the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC) organizes that event with great skill and dedication. As a result the Open Studio Tour is growing into a bigger, more popular, and more prestigious event. This Saturday and Sunday, November 13th and 14th, from 11am till 5pm, over 200 artists of Tucson will open their studio doors and welcome visitors. Here is the LINK where you can find the participating artists and their studios.

I will be honored if you find time to visit my studio. Please do come, see my new photos, gather some information about our book design and publishing, and just have some fun.

Here are a few words about my photography.

I was a writer before I became a photographer. The photography sprang from my writing and publishing assignments and it became an integral part of my life — a joyful one. It brings a good balance to the very demanding, lonely, and often frustrating act of writing. Writing and photography — I love them both, just like two different children.

So far my photography is narrative, rather than experimental. I try to show how I see things around me, what fascinates me, tell a story, or make a comment.

My strongest interests in photography are people, plants, and architecture.

Photographic close-ups of people’s faces are the landscapes of their souls in my opinion, while plants fascinate me with the contrast of their fragility and strength.

Thistle Man in Tubac, Arizona

I like photographing architectural structures because they tell us a lot about the place, the time, and the people who created them.

Tucson through an archway Agave

While traveling across this country twice a year (from Tucson to Cape Cod and back) and enjoying being a passenger most of the time rather than a driver, I have a great opportunity of taking my photo observations “on the road.” My hope is to share them later with others in my photo essays — an exciting combination of words and images.

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Copyright © 2010 by Alicja Mann


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