Because Fall

Because colors and sparkling sunlight
Because carpets of crackling leaves
Because the russet smell of the first fires
Because pumpkin spices and shades of port
Because fall makes me breathlessly happy to be alive

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Photography: Flowers

When I’m not taking photos of my family, clouds or fall leaves, you can find me taking photos of flowers. When you get really close, there’s detail and form and colors that are mind-boggling. Nature is so very crazy clever and cool. For anyone wondering, I took these with either an iPhone 4 or 5, no filters or special lenses. These are some of my favorites.


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Busted By The Art Police

Art appreciation is hugely subjective. Especially when it comes to kids’ art.

As new parents, we naturally pore over every scribble, finger painting and nascent stick figure with enthusiasm, curiosity and caution. Will my kid be a future talented artist? What does this picasso-esque rendering of our family reveal about my kid’s psychological state? Why is Mummy’s head so much bigger than Daddy’s?

We proudly stick these pictures to our walls. We photograph their artwork, we post them to Facebook and Instagram. Heck, I even created an online gallery of my son’s best works.

But, really, seriously people: there’s art and there’s art. The reality is that 90 percent of the “art” that our kids bring home from daycare and school is junk. Go on, admit it.

Just recently, a good friend posted on Facebook that she had been “busted by the art police” – again!  Discussion followed with other parents about their strategies for clandestinely disposing of crappy art work, including these cunning maneuvers:

  • in the dead of night, I remove all traces immediately to the outdoor recycle bin
  • I fold them into tiny pieces and stuff them way down at the bottom of the big can in the kitchen under the icky wet coffee grounds
  • I hand shred and place them into old envelopes that bills came out of
  • I wait until recycling morning, then put it all out at the curb after they go to school

Genius! Me, I wait till they are in bed, rummage through their backpacks and then if there’s a roaring fire ….. Alternatively, if they come out of school or worse still, after the craft table at Papa Gino’s on a Thursday night, proudly showing off the paper doily decorated toilet roll snow man they just made, then I put it on the passenger seat of my car as we drive home. Inevitably, as they bundle out of the car and into the house, said artwork nonchalantly slips into the trash can in my car ….. and nobody ever seems to notice. Lucky me.

Parents, trust me. There’s a time to ooh and ah over your kid’s latest masterpiece and there’s a time to find a way to get rid of it.

What to do, however, if your kid insists of keeping his or her drawing? Well then, I’m not above grabbing some tape and sticking it to an assigned wall somewhere. But don’t overdo it or the kids will insist that their art is plastered everywhere. Better to finesse your sneaky disposal habits, trust me.

Have you been busted by the art police?

P.S. For greats tips on how to talk to your kids about their art, check here.


Photography: Clouds

Last week I shared my snaps of the abundant colo(u)rs of the fall leaves which, this very weekend here in Massachusetts, are at their peak. Much as I have been obsessed with photographing their amazing scope of colors, I’ve also been addicted to photographing the skies and especially the clouds, in all their crazy, strange forms in different types of weather. After all, we spend so much of our time squinting at our smartphones, staring at other screens, commuting, face-to-face with other faces and in crowds that, sometimes, it feels good to stop and look up at the vast heavens above and take a deep breath. And a photo or two.

Here are some of mine. Enjoy.

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Photography: The Colors of Fall in New England

I love the colo(ur) orange. It’s vibrant, warm, spicy, alive. So it’s no surprise how much I love fall, especially here in New England where we are truly spoiled with a spectrum of fall colors so rich and spectacular that they truly take your breath away. It’s when Mother Earth is at her most generous, spoiling us with leaves of every imaginable shade of orange, gold, rust, ochre, yellow, red and cranberry. It’s a visual cornucopia.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spontaneously snapping photos of the colors of fall, trying to not only capture the rash of colors but also the light that is unique to this season, against the backdrop of a sky that can blaze blue at certain times of the day. I’ve been posting my photos to Facebook and Instagram (mcgarrysam) one by one, but thought it’d be fun to create a slideshow here of my fall photos. Hope you enjoy!

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