Starting Over

Since this is a new year,

I am starting over.

I will be posting what I see.

No particular theme or composition.

Just whatever attracts my attention.



The other night, I photographed Big Lucy.

He’s grown into a really big boy since I got him in June.

He and Little Lucy fascinate me.

He shed the skin from one of his back legs.

It fits on my index finger

like those toys we used to call “Chinese Finger Traps”.

The skin looks fragile and rigid, but it is not.

It’s flexible and rather soft.

The connecting pseudo scales look like a woven net to me.

Fantastic natural engineering design!


I reached for the only dark background I could see

on which to photograph the dragon skin.

The address book that has followed me everywhere

since I was maybe thirty years old.

It is very like me to have chosen

one based on its sturdy construction

instead of having chosen a pretty one.


Remember when we bought leather ones with

spirals that actually worked for years?

And the front read “Telephone”?

The addresses are so far out of date that

few are relevant now and some have

unknown cemetery addresses.

Why do I keep it on the kitchen counter in the letter tray?

I have absolutely no idea!

39 Comments on “Starting Over

    • Somehow, I missed this. Apt analogy. It’s hard to sort through what to keep and what to discard. I give it away to anybody who will take it! Kelli and Susie and anybody who walks through and admires something! Too bad if the person were simply being nice. He’s going home with it anyway! A new start is always good. Have fun! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Right. Often we miss the obvious. 🙂 I’ve never really had trouble letting go of things. People, yes, a few of my animals, yes, but life is what it is. All the hand-wringing in the world does nothing except make us miserable. I’m not much on misery. I like the new haircut, by the way. Very short hair takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it. I’ve had my hair cut at a barbershop for many years. Walk in, get a haircut, walk out. The old fashioned way! 🙂 Barbers are generally better at cutting short hair than women hairdressers or “hairdressers” in general. Find yourself a good, old fashioned barber. Guarantee you he’ll do a better job! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  1. The old address book,
    Shed skin of other years –
    I run my fingers
    Over memory’s texture.

    Great post George. Wonderful associations. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I reckon I’m working my way backwards, Joseph, or the cognitive dysfunction is getting me in the end! Chuckle… Wonderful poetry, as always. Hope you are well and happy as a damn clam! 😉


    • Somehow, I missed replying…duh… It’s the cognitive dysfunction again… Chuckle… Thank you, Ashley. You are just too damn nice and kind! You’ve had some really fabulous work on there! I’m impressed! It was such a great idea and I love the conversation between Scarlett and Guest! Another great idea!


  2. Sounds good to me. Whatever you want to do is bound to be of interest to more than a few of us! I have to say, the skill with which you rendered the phone book is impressive! The texture – and black, somewhat shiny things can be hard. It looks really good – exactly like what it is – if that makes sense. And the skin textures and colors are perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Blue Girl! You would have laughed if you’d seen me trying to find a place in the kitchen’s yellow light that would do for a photo. Shadows and light spots and yellow…. UGH. I gave up and just snapped. I’m glad you think they are okay. I forgot to photograph the top side of the leg skin with the pattern on it. Actually, he has never lost a whole piece of skin before. Usually, their skin comes off in pieces. They don’t shed often now since they are not growing as fast. He’s probably as close to his adult size as he will get. Thank you for always encouraging me. And visiting. I appreciate that. I really do! 🙂


    • Hi, Dave! I have been thinking of you and Joanna in Switzerland. I could hardly believe she was able to drag you away! Who took care of your flock? I know you are coming home with the most amazing photographs! But, nothing on the planet beats those photos of the sheep that I so love. And the first photographs of the building that looked like a church, etc. I loved your photographs from the very beginning. The farm is where I ‘see’ you. I cannot imagine you and Joanna anywhere else. You have to let me know what the plans are now… Actually, you’re probably at home now! Thanks, Dave!


      • Hi George. I read your response while still away and it hasn’t been until today that I have had a few seconds to respond. Joanna had a grand time in Switzerland … and I survived! Everything at the farm was in good shape when we returned except for a single frozen drain pipe! Several days were below zero here when we were gone … I can’t imagine, however, how a drain pipe from the upstairs shower could freeze … drain pipes aren’t supposed to have water in them! Argh! That’ll teach me to leave the farm in the dead of winter. Joanna and I would like to move to New Hampshire/Vermont to be closer to our younger daughter who is now living there. We have worked Pairodox since 1987 (first in Indiana and now, of course, here in Pennsylvania) and we’re thinking that it’s time for a change. Change is good … right? We’d like to be able to go away, and travel a bit, without the constant worries associated with livestock and complex infrastructure. Do you know what I mean? Anyway … do not fear … I’ll still be me, wherever we should end up! Thinking of you. D


  3. We may not be so good at shedding old skin all in one piece, but starting over, well, that’s something more of us should do. At least sometimes. Thanks for the continuing inspiration, George. And – wow: striking portrait!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Alessandro! Starting over is always a good idea, you’re right. I think we have to be able to adjust to whatever and to wherever we are. Change is good and interesting. It keeps us alive. We worry entirely too much about what other people will think of us and of what we do. That becomes tedious, to say the least. A great many bloggers measure themselves and their “work” by the number of clicks they get on each post without ever carrying on any kind of conversation with their followers or getting to know them at all. Perhaps, that’s important to some people. It seems superficial to me. But, then I’m not here to show my fuzzy photos! Chuckle… I simply love snapping photos and talking to the wonderful people who come here to visit. But, then, I’m shameless as you must know by now! 😉 Thank you, Alessandro! You’re a good man.


  4. Beautiful portrait, my friend – and posting what you see sounds good to me. My address book was given to me by my mother, something like 45 years ago. Its battered now and with all kinds of contacts in it and many loose papers – in a way its a chronicle of my social life. I hope you’re contented and happy my friend. Adrian xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, if my book is a chronicle of my social life, it ended years ago! 😉 I don’t think I’ve made a single entry for years. I do stick letters and notes with addresses and numbers in it intending to enter them, but never do. If my computer goes down, I have no access to anybody’s address or phone number now! Actually, I know many people who no longer have land-lines and rely solely on smart phones for everything. I have an iPhone 6 Plus, but I rarely use it. A total waste of money on me. I love that handsome Big Lucy. He’s such a rascal, too! Little Lucy isn’t as handsome, but she’s the sweet one who loves for me to hold her. Figures that the male would be the rambunctious one! He poops in the front of his terrarium and runs back and forth through it! I get so annoyed with him that I simply hold him under the running faucet water and scrub it off. That offends him mightily. However, he will lie across my hand in the warm water so I don’t feel too bad about it! Thanks, Adrian. I’m fine. Stop asking me! When I don’t feel fine and content, I’ll let you know…LOUDLY! Chuckle…


      • Hi George, I like hearing from you! My ancient address book is full of loose notes and letters too – its a given that I’m never going to organise it properly – my only concession to that is to cross out those who have died or whom I’m no longer in contact with, so that when I die my family don’t waste time trying to contact them. I’m not of the mobile phone generation either, and although I have an ancient one for emergencies, its usually switched off – the last thing I want is its ring interrupting a nice moment! I know you’ll let me know LOUDLY – but asking if someone’s fine is just a part of being “an English gentleman, don’t y’ know, Madam”??? Love from me! A xxx

        Liked by 1 person

    • I thought the same thing, Linda. The interlocking pseudo scales protect the animal from heat. And I presume from cold too. It isn’t a very good shot because I can’t use that cussed 105mm lens very well. The area of focus is small and the magnification is not as good as it takes for that kind of image. I should have used the magnifying filters on a regular lens! Lemony used a Panasonic Lumix X5 to capture fantastic macro shots for years. The thing has a fixed Leica lens. I have the same camera, but have no idea how to use it for macro shots. The whole camera cost less than half the price of the Nikon 105mm!! Nikon should not advertise that as a macro lens. It’s a great lens for rather close shots of stuff, but not for real magnification. UGH. I’m a real sucker for technology that I can never use. Chuckle… The skin looks like crochet or some woven fabric. Natural engineering is fascinating. We should have evolved a more protective covering like other animals! 😉 I’m freezing!


      • I thought your closeup was an awesome shot. You are so picky! I liked the way you framed it and everything. At first I did actually think it was a fabric. You know, I’m never satisfied with my images either. It must be a built-in super critical factor.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know, Linda, but I put it in the cabinet in the living room. You can have it to keep and watch it yourself. Chuckle… I’d guess that it remains pretty much like it is since the skin contains very little moisture. Eventually, it would become brittle, I think. You can inherit it along will the cotton burr. 😉


  5. Superb shots, George!

    My address books tend to end up covered in doodles and notes, so I replace them often. Not a bad move as copying across all the addresses reminds me to get in touch with people. Oddly enough, I do tend to keep them though… and never go for pretty ones either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And, worse yet, I can’t read the notes! Or they are about some thing I no longer recall. I stick letters and notes in the book until it bulges and I have to throw them out. Habits. Our lives are controlled by habit. The page that I photographed does not contain one single name that I remember. The letter is many years old from when my college roommate changed her address, and I stuck it in there intending to copy the new address to the book. Never did. I am amused that mine is labeled “Telephone” on the front. WOW. I’ve lived too long. Chuckle… There are generations of youngsters behind me who cannot imagine keeping an actual book of names, addresses, and land-line phone numbers. Most folks I know don’t have land lines anymore. Well, not most, but the younger ones don’t. New day, Sue. And a good one, I think, if we’d stop killing each other with technology, and use it for “the common good”. Ah, I’ll be interested to see what happens in my next tour here… Chuckle… Thanks for visiting, Sue. It’s important to me.


      • The worst of it is, we used to remember all those landline numbers… even though we had them written down… we used them, so they stuck. The memories on our devices are far better at that, so emails and cell phone numbers never need to be entered by hand and we don’t actually know them. Of course, when the technology goes down… which it invariably does… then it is those of us that still cling to those old habits who have the advantage 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • Happy new year to you guys, too, George! I just snap whatever I see these days. I guess I am too shameless to worry about the photos! I have so many exotic animals to care for that I think I need a keeper for myself! Chuckle… Thanks for stopping by. It’s good to see you and that beauty behind you! 🙂


    • Thank you so much, Celestine! Good to see you. I think of you often, but I don’t get around to the reader or much of anything else lately since I have so many animals and my stamina has its limits! May this year bring you much joy and peace, too! I appreciate the visit more than you can imagine! 🙂


    • This cussed Nikon 105mm lens is not worth the cost. You’ve got to have way more magnification and a wider field of focus than I can ever get with that thing. I suppose in good light with a tripod, you could manage much better, but to heck with that. I don’t have the patience to plan or set up for any shot. That was at night on the kitchen counter in very yellow light. UGH. I don’t really care since I’m shameless and don’t mind looking inept. Chuckle… The skin is fascinating. The “engineering” of the animals we see is astounding. The dragons feel like leather on the top side and are very soft on the underside. Forget the address book. Every name in it is either unrecognizable to you now or dead. What amuses me is that the address books were titled “Telephone”. Now that is a real anachronism in today’s world. People do keep “pass word” books. Kelli gave one to me and howls about how I never know the usernames or passwords since I gave the thing away. 🙂 Thanks, Rob.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I havent’s seen this skin before… This is amazing. And beautiful photographs. I love to watch the world around you from your amazing camera, dear George, Thank you, have a nice and enjoyable day, love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Nia! His skin is kind of “woven”. It isn’t like snakes or frogs. Dragons are desert animals, so their skin is dry and feels a bit like soft leather. He looks as if he has scales, but he doesn’t. His belly and entire underside are soft. He has those kind of sharp “spikes” along the sides of his head, but they don’t actually injure you. Dragons are very intelligent and sensitive animals. They look at you and listen when you talk to them. Big Lucy is the handsome one. But, Little Lucy is the sweet one. She is a female and he is a male. Chuckle… They bond with their keepers. Little Lucy loves to be held. I can’t take macro shots well. I use a Nikon 105mm lens that is not worth the cost of the lens, at least not to me, since you need much more than 105mm magnification to actually get a good shot of that skin construction. I’m glad you enjoy what I see. I certainly love what you see through your lens, Nia! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, NoNo! Are you posting to your blog now? I rarely look at my reader, but I never see you there. I used the Nikon 105mm lens that I can never use very well for macro shots. It works really well for portraits, etc., but it really should not be called a “macro” lens. You gotta’ have a much greater magnification than you can get with 105mm! Thanks, NoNo. I love it when I see your Gravatar!! 🙂



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