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Everything posted by Marianne

  1. Just in case you misinterpreted my comment, It's not a fear of competition on my part, nor is it an attack on new contributors - I just scratch my head when a business that is trying to make money during the pandemic advertises for new contributors who, while they may bring in money some time in the future, right now the deluge will only take up the time of their already limited and overburdened staff rather than advertising to get the attention of new customers for increased revenues.
  2. Sign in a corn field: A little girl cheering on her father in the New York Marathon: A sign of the times:
  3. The one with white flowers is Andromeda (Pieris japonica) and yes the one below that is Azalea. We have Forsythia and the other two in our yard. I always wish the yellow flowers of the forsythia would last all summer and not just through spring. Sorry I've never seen the last one with the yellow flowers but I'm sure someone more knowledgable here has.
  4. I always assumed Wim was the diminutive for William - good thing I didn't write a Wikipedia article about it. The Netherlands was actually the first European country I ever studied in depth. In middle school we would have a week where we chose any topic we wanted and spent a week doing nothing but researching it, then doing a presentation. I was fascinated by how they reclaimed land from the sea and by tulips, and tulip mania and the tulip bubble. Another place to visit on my bucket list in some unknown future. Wish we had exported better restaurants than Micky D's . I'm always gobsmacked by Americans abroad who actually eat there rather than sampling the local cuisine, which should be part of the travel experience. I was last abroad in 2011 with a travel group of 14 people, In Stockholm, the breakfast spread our hotel put out was endless, all kinds of Swedish food as well as cereals, breads and eggs for the less adventurous, yet one guy in our group, who has travelled extensively, went to McDonald's every morning for some egg and mystery meat on a bun. I guess I learned my lesson at 16. The first McD's had just arrived in Paris so my friends and I thought it would be fun to try it out. It's the only time in my life (I've been to France 6 times) that I had a meal in France that wasn't delicious. We never went back. I do have some affinity for the chain, however, as, like millions of my fellow Americans, my first job with a regular paycheck (I babysat for years before that) back in high school was at the local McDonald's, which burned down my senior year, was rebuild, and is still there 40+ years later. They do make amazing French fries.
  5. Insurance is a lot less expensive in the UK than the US - but then our society is probably the most litigious in the world. I'm with Ian, having been a trial attorney for years, I'd be very worried to be without liability coverage. As my broker once noted, if the UPS guy trips on his way to my door with a package for my business, my homeowner's insurance won't cover me if he sues. Eerily, not long after that, a florist delivered a beautiful bouquet, turned around, headed back up the path to his van and minutes later there was a loud crash and a huge tree limb came down where he had just been standing. We were both very relieved that he was on the opposite end of the path. Of course, that would have been my homeowner's policy but you get the point. Having been through fires, floods and hurricane wind damage, I'd be scared to self-insure, though I've got a high deductible, it's one I can handle. Oh and on the camera, I vote for the Sony full frame. I have the A7rii and with 42MP you could crop substantially.
  6. Clearly written by someone at Modula who doesn't know much about stock photo agencies, but certainly has their own website setup covered LOL. Wondering if the ad was purchased before the lockdown - since print goes to bed at least 60 days before publication - and ads are usually sold even sooner so the magazine can decide on how many pages they can afford to run. But it is discouraging that rather than advertising to attract new customers, a source of revenue for all of us, they are out looking for yet more weekend shooters and spending for a two-page ad from which they will receive absolutely no revenue for six months. The competition meantime is advertising for customers all the time. I don't get the strategy. It's the wee hours of the morning here - I just can't sleep these days - and I've already made more on the micros than I've grossed all year here. But kudos to Alamy for being so polite to the OP - they continue to have extremely nice staff. Just wish they were spending their time drumming up customers rather than contributors.
  7. LOL Sandringham sounded right but I actually meant Sandition, it was a recent PBS Masterpiece miniseries loosely based on Jane Austin's unfinished novel. But thanks for the link. The Crown is a wonderful series. I can't believe I haven't watched Netflix at all during this plague.
  8. They finally had active dry yeast at the grocery store so I can make myself bread. 😎Since finding out I had a gluten intolerance several years ago, I have really missed good crusty bread but haven't baked any kind of rising dough bread in decades, so it should be interesting. I tend to bake pies, cookies and quick breads. I toyed with purchasing a pricey Emile Henry baguette pan, but found a silicone 3-loaf bread form on Amazon for roughly 1/10th of the price so figure that's more appropriate for a neophyte bread baker. I actually love baking in silicone - I have red silicone muffin tins and loaf pans, they cook evenly, nothing sticks, and they clean up easily - even in the dishwasher. Easy to store too. I did get myself their medium sized Dutch Oven for Mother's Day - on sale - I've been making so many soups, stews and chili in my huge 12-quart Caphalon stock pot but my freezer is getting full with all the leftovers/extra so this should be perfect for when I just want to make enough for the two of us with maybe leftovers for one day - and it's supposed to be awesome for no-knead bread (of course, when baking gluten-free you don't knead the bread dough anyway) - but it's a crusty round loaf and I found a GF recipe. Look for photos in a couple of weeks when all these cooking goodies arrive. I've been baking like crazy but haven't been photographing any of my efforts. Too busy eating!
  9. @gvallee Gen, Amazing hike. I'd need an oasis halfway through, and a donkey for the rest of the trip. You rock! (pun intended)
  10. Yep nurseries are essential businesses here in NY. My hubby picked up potting soil, lyme and other garden items I ordered on his way to the grocery today. Walking through Manhattan with a flat of impatiens makes me think of the first time my roommate and I carried a Christmas tree from a lot up around 110th street or so to our first apartment on West End Avenue and 92nd. The next day a friend and her cousin each bought one, so we hiked down from there to Amsterdam and the 70's, four of us two trees in tow. Scary to think of deserted streets in daylight. Here a coyote has been walking our street in broad daylight. Seeing photos of the empty streets in NYC seems soo surreal. Saw an ad for a free course (by Adobe I think) on how to shoot drone video of empty streets for the commercial market. But can you really fly a drone in Manhattan safely without a lot of practice and a license. Best of luck with the flowers. Seeing things grow, new life, whether it's plants or cute ugly ducklings, is balm for the soul these days.
  11. Australia has some of the most amazing wildlife - beautiful image - but how sad! Hope they develop herd immunity to whatever it is soon and it runs its course. So beautiful juxtaposed against those flowers. What are they? i.e. what kind of tree?
  12. That's the book I first read when I learned about stock circa 2008 - still on my bookshelf. Incredibly helpful. Scary how fast any one of us could disappear these days. Glad all here are well. Sorry for those who've been lost since this forum began.
  13. NYTimes today: Image ID: W1WWYG The Kindred Spirits Choctaw Monument art installation in Midleton, Ireland, commemorating the Choctaw donation during the potato famine.Credit...Ognyan Yosifov/Alamy The story is as lovely as the sculpture in this beautiful image This week so many kind Irish more than paid back the Native Americans who helped them in their time of need.
  14. Horses, though one bit me and another stepped on and broke my pinky toe, the first year I took riding lessons (English saddle) at the tender age of 11, I still love them. Never bitten by a dog and had a German Shepherd and a Shepherd-Collie mix growing up, but I'm still wary of them. Betty, all those horses! I'm terribly jealous. Only the two rich girls in my class had their own. The rest of us rode whichever horse they assigned us each week. Some of them were less than sweet-tempered as you might imagine from their aggressive behavior.
  15. Glad you're feeling better. This morning I ordered some lyme (to help break down the wood and leaf mulch), deer-repelling fertilizer, and potting soil that hubby picked up en route to the grocery store today, and have some young plum tomato plants on order being held in the local nursery's greenhouse until all chance of frost is gone here (snow is quite possible Friday!). I got round one of my Heirloom grape tomato seeds and salvia planted, keeping moist on top of a radiator cover near a south-facing window until they sprout and then go into small pots until they are ready for their third transplant outdoors. My Bee Balm seeds are in the fridge (I read they should be kept there for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months - in two weeks I'll want to get them going so they germinate early enough to get them sown, so 2 weeks it is! I had a couple of spirea bushes along two walls of our south-facing barbecue area that died over the winter, so my husband is going to dig them out. The dead plants are right in the center of the two intersecting rows, so it's the perfect place to plant my butterfly garden with the well-established remaining spirea plants on either end. I plan to plant mostly perennials there with a few annuals for interest, and more in pots along some low stone walls. My non fruit-bearing apple and pear trees are beginning to bloom, and the lilacs are nearly in full bloom now, hoping they will be ready to cut tomorrow to avoid damage from the potential snow on Friday. I love the smell of lilacs and though one tree lost a very large limb due to a wind storm, they were my Mother's Day gift the year we bought the house 22 years ago and one tree still reaches our second floor office window, even after pruning it back last year. I'm so excited to be gardening again. When we bought our house a friend bought me a beautiful book on flower gardens (that has also helped me identify wildflowers I find in my travels), and I'm enjoying re-reading it. I was an avid gardener for years, pottering in the yard at 6 am before getting my daughter ready for daycare then grammar school and myself off to my law firm (a lifetime ago it seems) until a series of accidents and two surgeries conspired with my RA to tamper my enthusiasm, so for over a decade now I've rarely done more than grow potted herbs, and zinnias, sunflowers, or other easy annuals. New meds for the RA has improved my outlook and I'm ready to get back to digging in the earth, and am really excited to grow some veggies along with herbs, and to get some new perennials established. And the photo opportunities.... More fodder for this thread come June!
  16. Have been to London (in 1974 and 1980) and Edinburgh (2007), but not to the English countryside yet - it has always been on my bucket list. God-willing I'll still get there some day. Since reading my first romance novel as a tween - maybe Daphne Du Maurier, Emily Bronte? - I've wanted to wander the moors. A photographer friend has been sharing photos of Cornwall the past few years and I've been trying to get my husband to take some time from work for a trip to the British countryside ... something to look forward to & dream about when this plague ends. Wherever they filmed Sandringham also looks lovely....I'm a bit of an Anglophile. I'd be lost without all those period dramas and murder mysteries on BBC America during this lockdown. Cliffs, castles, moors, and those charming villages. A girl can dream... Have been to Montreal twice too, as a kid and again in my 40's - a lovely place and one I'd like to get back to. My daughter and grandson would have been here this week en route to spending a month in Europe, visiting our family in Italy and Spain, and my son-in-law's in Germany and Poland. Can't wait for a time when we can travel safely again, but I'm betting it's going to be a long wait.
  17. Those gnarled trees in Wistman's Wood do look magical!
  18. Thanks for sharing @Colin Woods- it got me clicking on other photos comps there - check out especially the dragonfly in the UK National Parks winners - amazing: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2020/mar/13/inspired-by-nature-national-parks-photography-competition-2020 Sure makes me long for the old uncrowded outdoors. Wonderful images - thanks again for bringing a little joy into our days Colin!
  19. Scavenged my emptying pantry and made a meatless pumpkin quinoa black bean chili. (I found a recipe, didn't have half the ingredients, so I innovated, e.g. substituting a couple of sweet potatoes for butternut squash, adding garlic, and choosing a different palette of spices - not to mention using black beans instead of pinto beans). My husband, who normally treats any meal without meat or fish as a side dish rather than a real dinner, loved it and found a single serving to be very filling. While I cooked he made us Magheritas with fresh squeezed limes, which we had with the homemade humus I made a few days ago and chips (delicate corn chips, what you'd call "crisps.") A real cocktail hour before dinner as the pot of chili simmered Nice way to wind down the day. Tomorrow we get the car towed for a new battery. No luck with the jumper cables. The car is a little over 5 years old, low mileage but I think that's about the life of a battery so I shouldn't be surprised.
  20. I've been baking a lot but go through flour quickly as I am gluten intolerant and it only comes in small 1lb boxes. My husband got some plantain flour and almond flour as well as the all purpose gluten free King Arthur's brand but that's only enough for a few quick breads and some cinnamon coffee cake. Was headed out to a state park nearby shortly after lunch today (parking is free after 4:30 pm at which point there is nowhere left to park so best to get out before the crowds or you often have to turn around and go home) but my car battery is dead from sitting in the driveway unused. I didn't want to intrude on my husband's work day for him to jump it. Hubby has a small sports car. Although I actually taught him to drive a stick shift years ago when we first met, it's been over a decade since I drove a stick and I decided despite having 30+ years of practice before that, this wasn't the time to try my luck, grind the gears, and find myself stranded. So, out for a walk around the neighborhood. Was out earlier hoping the Blue Angels would pass close enough for us to get a peek - the map showed them heading well north into the NYC suburbs, but they weren't even close enough for us to hear them coming. An odd time to salute our healthcare workers, though it was "lunchtime" I doubt many doctors and nurses in NYC were out and about at that hour, though I'd guess it would have drawn crowds of others just like the hospital ship coming into port. But I'd have love to have seen them - a nice if brief distraction from the monotony. After my walk I actually will try to turn my "compost" pile - rotted wood and leaves piled high in a corner of the yard. I'll have to read up on how to use it. But the dirt underneath is always dark and rich looking so I'm guessing it's worth adding to the soil when I plant? Will rotted wood leave me with bad stuff - it was from a tree that we had to cut down at leas 15 years ago - shortly after a huge oak came down and we ended up with so much firewood we couldn't use it fast enough before it rotted. What's the difference between LEAF (edit) mould and compost? So much to learn. One thing this pandemic has done is convince me when we move it will be to a small house and not an apartment. But I better learn to garden.
  21. Allan, if you do end up being able to move and can't get a bed right away, you might want to get an air mattress. We have a double bed, double height Coleman air mattress that we use for guests - we used it when our daughter took our old bed when she got her first apartment, and we were waiting for our new bed to arrive and it was extremely comfortable - and we both have had back issues. We used it again set up by our roaring fireplace when we lost heat and power after Hurricane Sandy. And any guests who've used it have remarked on how comfy it is - much better than a sleep sofa. It rolls up to about the size of a sleeping bag, and you need a small electric pump to blow it up - fairly inexpensive, and both easy to store and easy to travel with, -We sed to take it on visits to our daughter before she had a home with a guest room. Maybe that's what you are calling a "camp bed:" - The key is to get the double height bed - we had a single height one and it's very uncomfortable but we've used the double height one comfortably for weeks at a time.
  22. The state of our world even before this disaster was a disaster...the loss of civility, the disregard for truth and science, the rise of xenophobia ...it's no surprise that we have become a world of angry people ready to turn on each other at the slightest provocation. I'm so sorry to hear about the abuse some of you have experienced while you are out risking your health in order to simply do your job.
  23. Thanks. That's an excellent price. Since you said $$$, I figured it wasn't going to be one we'd rather not become public. Appreciate your sharing. $450 for two photos is excellent! Congrats!
  24. Always try to negotiate for a better rate. Rates for writing have dropped significantly but the rate quoted is still much lower than even the stingiest publications I'm aware of. If you are writing for a company that will be using the e-book to market their other products, you should be able to get them to increase the rate. Also, as others have mentioned, negotiate photos separately and make it clear that you will provide first rights not all rights. Even these days with both old and new clients, I've been able to negotiate around the "all rights" grab, so it may not be a deal-breaker. Good luck! You could also try to negotiate for a flat rate plus a percentage of the profit, unless of course it's being given away as a free loss leader to entice the purchase of other items. These days, any income is welcome, so ultimately you should feel comfortable with what works for you.
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