What’s In a Name?

By S. J. Brown

On the day each of us was born our parents gave us a special name they pondered over for weeks or even months. Parents have been known to name their children after friends or relatives, places, objects, and myths. Many people who aren’t fond of their given name will use their middle name or a nick name. But does it really matter?
Let’s think about this, would Hulk Hogan have been taken seriously if he used his given name Terry Jean Bollette? How popular would dear Abby’s column be if it was called Dear Pauline?

How would using the scientific name for animals change your perception of them? Isa Eutamias as cute as a chipmunk?

SJBrown Chipmunk

Could you image calling our national symbol, Haliaeetus leucocephalus ?

SJBrown Bald Eagle

How about having Meleagris gallopavo for Thanksgiving dinner?

SJBrown Turkey

Do you think you would watch a Geococcyx californianus cartoon?

SJBrown Road Runner

I am often asked about my name. Once you say it a few times it doesn’t sound odd. It is a form of my given name. Why not just use my name? It’s not a bad name, just very popular among my generation. Early in my wildlife photography career I switched to using my initials in an attempt to get my work looked at and considered for publication.

S J Brown Photo vertical

Most publishers then and several now believe a woman couldn’t get the kinds of wildlife they were looking for. The train of thought here is that only a man would get close enough to capture the a bear, or alligator photograph that would captivate their audience.

Most photo submissions are done over the internet and don’t require any real interaction between me and the publishers that purchase my work. That means the majority of publishers assume I am a man when they review my work. Yes the check is made out to MR. S. J. Brown, but the bank will cash it for me.

Have you ever considered changing your name? Has someone’s name caused you to make assumptions about them?

Thanks for stopping by

Find me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367
My books, Close Ups and Close Encounters, All the Birds I See, Clancy’s Cat Nap. Bennie the Butterfly and two coloring books based on my images are all available through my website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com.

 

 

One Page

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

Recently I was reviewing some guidelines from a publisher. They wanted the usual information like my name, contact information, the name of the book I was proposing and the word count. Then I saw it the next requirement was an impossible task, a one page synopsis. I needed to share all the important parts of a 44,000 word book all on one page, all text.

SJBrown1 Goose

To give the publisher a true feel for the book I needed to relay the personalities of the two main characters and a sense of their lives. But there was so much to tell. There are roller skates, a sewing machine, costumes, telephone poles, oh and Betty stepped on a needle that was scary. I couldn’t add photos of the main characters when they were young and innocent, well kind of innocent.

SJBrown2 SistersLittle girls like ice cream, maybe if I took an ice cream break this would flow a little better. I had to remember to mention within the pages there is a race riot, a car crash, a séance, boyfriends, and the police, . Dribbled throughout the book were paper bags filled with mystery. This book is about life, there are airplanes, a hitchhiker, tumbling beer cans, and a circus.

SJBrown3 ElephantAt this point I was half way down the page and there was so much more to tell. This was a bit too long already. How was I ever going to get it all on one page? Maybe if I had a brownie I could figure out how to make this work. Nope, no treats until I am done.
I should have started with the title ”Suburban Sisters.” Did I mention this is a heartwarming tale about two sisters? The girls are good Catholics that attend church. There is a bit of a glitch in their perfect world when stolen money in the collection plate. However I need to let the publisher know that along with the jobs, men in diapers and guns there are touching family moments like Christmas morning, family outings and cute little babies.

SJBrown4 TreesOh crap, I am at the bottom of the page and I’m not done yet, DDELETE, DELETE, DELETE. Maybe a peanut butter cup would help.

The publisher’s guidelines state they respond to submissions in 4-6 months, it may take me that long to get this down to one page. I still need to add details like an ice storm complete with dancing power lines, a truck spewing a chemical fog throughout the neighborhood, fire, oh and a dog that shows up for Thanksgiving dinner. Now this blog is getting to long.

SJBrown5 TurkeyI haven’t even mentioned the girl’s parents yet. So much happens in the 12 years the book covers. Now I needed to DELETE, DELETE, DELETE and DELETE some more. I shortened a sentence here and omitted an event there but I need to add in details about when the girl’s world shatters. So I deleted some more. Two days later it was finished and I celebrated with some chocolate chip cookies.
In closing I will ask how do you tackle a seemingly impossible task. How do you reward yourself when you accomplished your goal?
Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with me on Facebook and be one of the first to see what I have been up and view my Sunday Shares.

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Visit my website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com to view more of my images or purchase one of my books.

 

 

 

On the Road Again

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The car was fully loaded, leaving just enough room for Jay and me.  The back seat held a small cooler for drinks, 2 camera bags, 2 duffle bags, and a bag of snacks.  In the trunk was a large cooler with food for the next few days, linens, hiking boots, a tote loaded with plate’s cups and silverware, and our coats.

SJBrown1road

Jay and I were heading north on a 5 day excursion.  The trip began with torrential downpours and lots of traffic.  Our first stop made it all worth it when we got a chance to hang out with family and have pizza for dinner. 

The next morning we were up with the sun and back on the road.  Our destination, Michigan was still over 7 hours away.  We encountered more rain, more traffic and road construction.  Still we managed to arrive in Holland Michigan in time to cruise the downtown area, find an array of tulips and find our cabin before sunset.

sjbrown2sunset

Jay and I were heading north on a 5 day excursion.  The trip began with torrential downpours and lots of traffic.  Our first stop made it all worth it when we got a chance to hang out with family and have pizza for dinner. 

The next morning we were up with the sun and back on the road.  Our destination, Michigan was still over 7 hours away.  We encountered more rain, more traffic and road construction.  Still we managed to arrive in Holland Michigan in time to cruise the downtown area, find an array of tulips and find our cabin before we were encompassed by darkness.

sjbrown3coot

We were up were up with the sun and on the hunt for critters to photograph.  Thanks to some informative birdwatchers we had a new destination. Just 2 hours away there were Heron, Cranes and several other critters building nests and settling in for a while.   As usual local people had the best information and we found some very co operative cranes and their friends.

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We returned to our cabin in time to watch the sunset over lake Michigan accompanied by hundreds of people who had the same plan.  The following day was filled with black squirrels, geese, ducks, a muskrat, and a stop to tour a working windmill.  It was imported from Holland decades ago and they still grind flower there every week. 

sjbrown4windmill

Our last day was mostly driving toward home.  We did stop for a while to see the cranes, and Herons one more time to help break up the trip. 

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By the time we returned home we had traveled 1822 miles.  I had clicked off 17 rolls of film and captured 28 different types of critters.  Now I am ready to do it again.    

Thanks for stopping by. I hope your days are filled with one happy adventure after another.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

 

 

The Power of One

imgp6507 By S. J. Brown

Can one person truly make a difference, ABSOLUTELY.  Think about this one person came up with the idea of bottling water.  Last year alone Americans used approximately 50 billion bottles of water.   Unfortunately only 23 percent of those bottles are recycled.

Have you ever heard of Rosa Parks? When she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man the civil rights movement exploded and continues today.

The millions of starlings found throughout the United States are descendants from 100 birds that one man imported and released into Central park, in New York City.

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Thanks to the efforts of one man volunteers like me have planted hundreds, if not thousands of trees along WV waterways. These trees reduce run off, and erosion improving water quality for everyone.  They provide homes and shade for wildlife, are esthetically pleasing and will stand tall for decades.

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As a wildlife photographer, nature lover, tree hugger, wildlife advocate I know the power of one. One single location can make the difference between survival and teetering on the edge of extinction for migrating wildlife.

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One source of clean water can quench the thirst of multitudes of people and critters.

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One Image can make you laugh.

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One click of my shutter button can make for a successful photo trip.

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I strive to make this a better world one person at a time by sharing my images, experiences, and knowledge. How do you use the power of one?

Thanks for stopping by, I hope I can count on you to share your thoughts and this blog.

Naturally,

S. J. Brown

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Thank you for stopping by. I hope I can count on you to comment and share this blog.

 

 

Falling for Wildlife

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

Okay so maybe the title is a little deceptive. I am sure most of you are looking forward to stories about how clumsy I am when I am focused on a critter.  Sorry that isn’t today’s subject.

Instead I am focusing on the changing seasons. I’m sure most people think summer time is prime time for photographing wildlife, not this summer.  When it the temperature hits the upper 90’s most of us are hot, cranky and generally in a bad mood.  Critters feel the same way.  Approaching a cranky deer can get you charged, or stomped by those powerful hoofs.

1-deer

Bears are large, strong, and have massive claws and some nasty teeth as well. They don’t like the heat either.  A large bird just trying to stay cool doesn’t want to pose for a picture.  They can show their irritation by swooping down and attacking with their razor sharp talons.

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So I spent most of my summer approaching smaller critters less dangerous critters. I added shots of, some passive shore birds, butterflies, squirrels, ducks, and frogs.

3-frog

Now that the hot oppressive heat of summer is gone and Fall has arrived I am ready to go. It’s time for me to head to the woods.  This time of year the vibrant fall leaves make a great backdrop for critter photos.

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So I have pulled out my sweatshirts, purchased back up batteries and extra film for the camera and I am heading to the woods. I may stop along the river’s edge and visit a lake or two in the early morning hours.  When most of you are having that second cup of coffee I will be zooming in on my next subject.

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As you munch on your lunch Jay and I will be discussing where we want to be just before sunset. As you settle in for the evening I will be heading home with a number of new images and some happy memories of the day.

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Enjoy the cooler temperature of fall and take a few minutes to let the colorful array of colors Mother Nature give us this time of year engulf you.   No Fall isn’t my favorite season, but it does come in second.  What is your favorite season ?

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Thank you for stopping by. I hope I can count on you to comment and share this blog.

Critters by S. J.

Sue profile_pp

This Blog by S. J. Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of an A-z blog challenge I was asked to base my blog on the letter C. I took some time to 1Coloradoconsider what to write about. I could have written about my trip to Colorado. It was an interesting experience with a Wedding, a Pop up town, blue people, and yes wildlife. No matter where I am I seek out wildlife to photograph.

 

I also considered blogging about creativity. We all have a creative side and I could talk about mine. The many creative endeavors I approached over the years would make a good blog. I ran a ceramic business, dabbled in stained glass, and sketching and of course I write. However it just seemed natural for me to blog about critters. I photograph them, I write about them, and hang out with them whenever I can.

A critter is defined as being a living creature. I use the word critters a lot to describe my target 2chipmunksubjects when I am photographing. Critters come in a variety of sizes, shapes and temperaments. All of them fascinate me.

 

Some critters don’t live in areas I have access to so I have to visit them in zoos. While the challenge of finding my subject doesn’t exist in zoos there are other factors like fencing, fellow visitors and angles to contend with. Having a captive subject doesn’t always guarantee great images.

3Camel

Wild critters are the real challenge for any wildlife photographer. They aren’t acclimated to people and tend to be where they want to be, not always where they are easy to find. Occasionally I get lucky and a critter magically crosses my path.

4coyote

Most however need to be searched for, then not all of them are co operative. Others love the camera and will hang out with me for quite a while.

5coot

Some critters that are commonly seen can be quite difficult to photograph like the cabbage white6cabbage white butterfly. They flutter around and only pause for a brief few seconds. This leaves me with a very small window of opportunity to get them into the frame at desired angle and click the shutter button. Generally it takes several attempts even when I ask them to hold still.

 

Canada Geese are another critter that is easy to find and photograph. Since they hang out in groups or flocks I can zoom in on one or two and click away.

7canada goose

Larger critters can be easier to photograph, but few of them begin with the letter C. So I will end with one more critter who’s name begins with the letter C. This is a very popular critter who adorns holiday cards, symbolizes relationships, and vitality, and often visits my yard.

8cardinal

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my thoughts on Critters.

You can find me on facebook at

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Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013

Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

A to Z Blog Challenge Post A-to-Z Road Trip