Remembering Jade (1997-2014)

The intensity and smarts of her border collie heritage. The heart of her Lab side. My best friend for 17 years. What more can I say.

She loved laying on fresh mulch in the sun on a cool day.

Or when it was hot, hanging out under Rosie the Airstream while Elly worked on her remodel.
stay-cation pix

Running through the snow.
dogs in snow

Chasing the deer back on their side of the ‘invisible fence’.
deer taunting Jade

Always with a ball or — more often — a Norway spruce cone — in her mouth begging for me to play fetch.

She knew pretty well when the bag on the lawn mower would be full and would meet me at that spot to get in a throw before I went back to work. (She’s going on 13 in these last two.)

During winter when the spruce cones were buried, she’d jump up and pull them off the low-hanging branches.
jade pulling spruce cones

She was never a mother, but she would have been a good one. Late in life, she was great with Corey and Noah’s Charlie …


Jade is over 10 years old in most of the pictures I have. But I do have a few from the early days that we shot with our first Casio digital camera, which we thought miraculous what with those 320-pixel-wide images …

I only wish I had some pictures of her doing agility or chasing down the frisbee across Suggett Park to the cheers of families eating supper in the distance.

And of course she had a great buddy Fred.


She always managed to sneak in to some of my favorite garden photos. (Guess that’s why she’s been in my banner image from the start.)
jade in the morning

Farewell old friend. The yard isn’t the same without you.

Jade rolling in the grass under a double rainbow.
jade and double rainbow

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Doc Watson 1923 -2012

I’ll admit that I had never heard of Doc Watson until 1972’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken. I still have the 3-LP collection in the attic somewhere, though I bet the grooves in Tennessee Stud are worn smooth. Later I discovered some of his earlier work, and even had the blessing of hearing him live in 2006. So many notes so tastefully rendered. So many stories so lovingly told. You will be missed, Doc.

An early version of his signature song.

Though rare, I loved Doc on the banjo. Pretty sure this song was the inspiration for my daughter’s name.

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‘Picture this’ prelim: The ‘genius loci’ of Ellis Hollow

My favorite part of the gardening blogosphere is Gardening Gone Wild’s Picture This photo contest. I’ve had the honor of winning twice and the privilege of judging once.

What I like most about the contest is that it often pushes me — a rank amateur photographer — to venture beyond my boundaries and comfort level. It makes me a better (though still not great) garden photographer.

So I’m a little bit frustrated with this month’s ‘assignment’: One shot that captures the ‘Genius loci – the special atmosphere of a place’.

That’s a tough assignment for a garden in February in snowy upstate New York. Sure, we have a genius loci in winter. But it’s not really focused on the garden. And good luck to folks in Chicago and across much of the U.S. going out to capture that special shot this month.

But I’m undeterred. This gives me a good excuse to go back through old images to see if any capture that. I do a lot more close-up and medium range shooting. But I think I’ve got some longer shots that might capture a bit of the genius loci. Maybe I’ve succeeded? Maybe not.

And here’s where you come in. I have some favorite genius loci shots, what with living here and all. But from an outside perspective, which of the following images to you think best captures the ‘genius loci’ of Ellis Hollow?

From one of my first posts. I suspect the ridge to the west will be a familiar theme.
early landscape

From 2005? My banner is (and always has been) a slice of this image.

Same image with tilt-shift treatment.
tilt shift trials

The white pine, the lone crab apple in the marsh and the ridge help define this place.
lonely apple

From June 2007. Decent overview with nice light. But the Norway maple is no longer with us. Might be a little more clinical than spiritual.
june panorama

One of my favorite borrowed scenery shots.
walk view

Front with tilt-shift treatment.
tilt shift trials

Water garden, Sept. 2007.
water garden, fall morning

Grasses, Sept. 2007
grasses sunday morning

Dare I submit a video of a day …

The day in 50 seconds from Craig Cramer on Vimeo.

Or a season?

Veggie bed close up from Craig Cramer on Vimeo.

Fall grasses and bottles maybe?
silhouetted grasses

Will a stitched image tell the tale?
new view two
Larger view

Sunbeams. A little trite?

This might be the closest thing I have to showing the gradation from human to wild.
old pix

Looking these over, I’m starting to envision the shots I wish I’d taken. So maybe this assignment will be a good motivator.

Which one do you think I should enter?

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