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Today’s photo and commentary are only marginally related.  I’ve posted this photo before, back in February.  I wanted to post it again today because it matches my mood.  I’m feeling blue because the economy is bleak and people are hurting.  The unemployment rate is way up, job availability way down, and even families who have lived comfortably in the past are feeling the bite of this recession.  In Anderson, we’ve had at least four local restaurants close in the last month.  It’s disheartening to see this happen…to watch the demise of peoples life savings and their dreams.  And it saddens me to see even more people become unemployed.

If you follow this blog, you know that I work for a local non-profit agency called Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM).  Non-profits feel the bite of a tough economy too.  Although donations can go either up OR down in lean times, almost always peoples needs and requests for services rise.  And indeed they have risen!  At AIM, they are up 40% from last year, which was already up from the year before.

I work predominantly in the Hunger Ministries of AIM.  During the last two months we estimate that we’ve distributed food valued at $100,000.  We’ve seen nearly 1500 families through our food pantry and another 400 or more thorough Manna Distributions.  AIM’s Emergency Assistance program has spent $110,000 during this same two month period, helping people with needs such as rent, mortgage and utilities.  The Women And Children Suceeding program (WACS) has provided assistance in excess of $50,000.  This all totals up to a tremendous amount of money, and we find ourselves left with little to continue meeting the needs of those who need our services.

I’ve not lost faith though, and neither has Kristi King-Brock, AIM’s Executive Director who says, “God has sustained and BLESSED this ministry for over 19 years and I have the faith that God will continue to bless AIM.  However, we need your help.  Please pray for AIM, please give and ask others to give.”

Visit our website to learn about how you can help.  Call 864-226-CARE (2273) to speak with someone about how you can make a difference in the lives of hurting families.   afs

Oh BTW, today’s photo is of a portion of the stadium at Clemson University.  I originally named the photo “Moon Over Death Valley”.  Although it obviously does not feature a human face, it nicely portrays the face of this well-known and well-loved stadium.  I hope it counts, because I’ve entered it today in a photo challenge over at I ♥ Faces.  Take a moment to go check out my entry (#551) and all of the other “blue” themed entries.   And please, wish me luck!   😉

See these GREAT and BEAUTIFUL TracyJoy camera bags?  Well, the I Heart Faces photography blog is giving one away!  Go and check them out for yourself!

 

button - silhouettes

You might remember this photo from a couple of months back.  I originally posted it on March 9.  I’m posting it again here today because I’m entering it into a weekly photo contest  at “I Heart Faces”  photo blog site.  It’s my first attempt at entering one of their weekly competitions, so say a prayer and wish me luck!  If you’d like to check out my photo and the other silhouette photos in this weeks contest, you can click the icon link above and go directly to the site.

03-09-09

I find that I keep going back to look at this photo.  There’s nothing much special about it but I find the silhouettes fascinating!  This couple was walking their dog across one of the dikes on the Clemson University campus as the sun was setting behind them.  I usually don’t do much in the way of editing, but I did crop this one some.  Even in it’s original size, the fact the man was wearing his cap backwards really stood out to me.  afs

04-20-09

My friend Lessie and I get together when we can to go photo-trekking.  We both enjoy taking photos, we both have daily photo blogs, and we both learn more when we practice together.  We got together on Saturday and ending up doing a little “photo tracking” you might say.

While walking these tracks, we had a nice, young, “helpful” man in a Jeep YELL  gruffly at us to “get off the tracks”.  We wondered why he was so concerned, since there was no sign of a train coming.  We probably shouldn’t have been up there and did eventually see a sign to that effect.  We were being a little adventurous I suppose (adventurous by my standard anyway 🙂 ),  but we felt safe enough.

My husband told me later that high-speed trains use that track and that should a train have come, we might not have had enough warning to be able to get out of the way without getting hurt.  Lesson learned I guess, but it was really interesting to walk the tracks and I’m glad that we did it. 

We saw countless discarded old railroad spikes and I even brought a dozen of them home (although Heaven only knows for what reason.)  Our perspective of traffic and businesses from the tracks was quite unique too.  I enjoyed it.  We both took a wide variety of photos of the tracks and then Lessie noticed the wording that you can see in the photo above.

We also spotted a fuzzy caterpillar making his way down the track.  Of course I had to snap his photo too.  I did a little research and think this is an Eastern Tent Caterpillar, which morphs into a rather plain looking moth.  Judging by the photos that I saw, he’s living his best-looking days now.   afs

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02-26-09

Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain’d his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray’d together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Away,
Like to the summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew,
Ne’er to be found again.

Robert Herrick

Daffodils photographed at the SC Botanical Garden in Clemson.

Experimenting with the use of my tripod for the first time at the Botanical Garden in Clemson, I sat in wait of the perfect subjects to walk away from me down the walkway.  It was more difficult than I expected, as there would inevitably be someone coming toward me just as I thought I had my shot.  I managed to get a couple of different photos (without sun spots) that I liked, this one of a lady walking her dog, and this one of a family.   afs

12-18-09

These trees, shining in the light of the setting sun, and the tilted way in which they grow make for a lovely abstract, don’t you think?  Photographed at Clemson University.   afs

02-17-09-tree-abstract

02-16-09

Great Blue Heron getting in the last few rays of sunshine for the day at the Clemson University campus.  I took quite a few shots of this bird, who was oblivious to us being there, and waited for him to fly away so I could try my hand at catching him in his take-off.  Well, guess what?  I look away for one second, and…you guessed it…he’s a memory!   afs

02-15-09

02-13-09

Love was in the air at the Botanical Garden last weekend!  I caught this snap of a young couple spending some quality time together.  Lots of people were out exploring at the Botanical Garden on this unusually warm winter day.  I’m thinking that maybe Punxsutawney Phil was wrong in his prediction!   afs   

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Last Sunday was a beautiful day to be out and about.  We had our Photography class field trip to the Old Stone Church and the Botanical Garden, and then we followed that up with a trip into Clemson to see what there was to be seen.  I love how a rising and/or setting sun gives everything such a nice warm glow!  These past few days of warm weather has triggered Spring fever in many people, me included.  I only hope that w don’t have a deep freeze that kills everything that has begun to sprout and blossom.   afs

Thanks for visiting! Enjoy today’s photo and if you have time, scroll down to see previous photos dating back to August of 2008. Nothing fancy, just everyday bits of my life and the lives of those around me. Please say hello or leave your comments by clicking “comments” above any photo. I post a new photo every day, so bookmark me and visit often!

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