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Calm Reflections Photography shares beautiful photographs that can be placed on mugs, mouse pads, canvas, puzzles, T-shirts, coasters and prints. Joanna Macaulay makes souvenirs of St. Mary’s County for tourists and local residents. Information about St. Mary’s County attractions, travel, events and photography can be found at her site. She now does pet photography as well.

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Featured Post

Yucatan Mexico Trip February 3, 2018

We returned to Merida , our main trip destination and a good hub for exploring the Yucatan.  Many of the cities in Mexico now ...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My favorite autumn tree on the base

And everyone else's too! Every year I drive by a little picnic area on base with a gorgeous red leaved tree in the fall. It doesn't remain beautiful for long before the leaves fall off. Most years it rains or I can't find the time to take a picture of it. This year I finally managed to photograph it. I laid on the grass, viewed it from beneath and from afar. As I took the time to do that, every few minutes another person came to photograph it too. Amazing!!
Let me know if you recognize it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Off the Wall Art Market Coming Dec 7th

I am participating in the first "Off the Wall Art Market" at the Leonardtown Art Center on the upcoming First Friday in downtown Leonardtown MD. Please stop by if you come out for First Friday. Maybe you will find a good Christmas present. I have some lovely unique framed prints, coasters, mousepads and mugs that you won't find anywhere else.

I like the clever title of the art show.

Friday Dec 7th 5-8 pm
22660 Washington St, 2nd floor

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WARMTH Art Show and Silent Auction supports Three Oaks Center

I am participating in the WARMTH (Working Artists Raising Money for The Homeless) Art show and silent auction benefiting the Three Oaks Homeless Shelter in Lexington Park MD. It will be held at Camalier House in Leonardtown 22635 Washington St., next to the courthouse, 2-7p.m on Saturday, November 24th.
Some of my artistic friends showing their work and/or assisting include James Antone, Candy Cummings, Margie Haney, and Carol Wathen. Each artist donates a work of art and also gives 30% of any sales to Three Oaks Shelter.  Thirty artists are sharing their work.
When I used to work at the library, the first building housing the library before October 2002  (now the Theater for the Newtowne Players) was next door to the homeless shelter, so we often interacted with a lot of the men living there.  We continued to have homeless visitors in the current location as well.
Please stop by to enjoy the art, or perhaps buy something to help Three Oaks.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Show Us Your Moves Contest Photo

I had some excitement on Friday night.  I got a phone call that I won one of the 6 prizes for a local photography contest with Fit and Healthy St. Mary’s, sponsored by St. Mary’s Hospital called “Show Us Your Moves”.  The photos of friends and family were about people doing healthy activities to encourage the local community to live a healthy lifestyle.  The category for my winning photo was called Nature and Fitness (which wins a park entry pass for summer 2013 to Myrtle Point/Elms Beach County Parks and a full day kayak visit to Colton’s Point Marina near St. Clements Island).  My winning photo was sort of an afterthought, since I thought my other photo was better.
The photo was taken on Black Rock summit trail on short hike we love to take in Shenandoah National Park.  This trail used to be easy for my husband, but it was quite challenging for him this last June, especially with all those rocks!

I read a little about Fit and Healthy St. Mary's.  Some of the statistics in the Community Health Assessment from 2010 were eye opening.  It seems that an estimated 29.5 % of St. Mary's County residents exercise for 30 minutes 5 days a week and we have one of the highest death rates for stroke in the state, Age-Adjusted Death Rate due to Cerebrovascular Disease (Stroke) were 44 per 100,000.   They are trying to reduce the numbers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scott Kelby's Worldwide PhotoWalk at Flag Ponds

On October 13th, we participated in Scott Kelby’s Worldwide PhotoWalk at Flag Ponds in Lusby, MD. Thirty three people signed up to participate on a pleasant sunny day.  Participants were encouraged to submit one photo to the world contest and 13 people shared a photo.  I wasn’t too impressed by my pictures that day, but Jim and I each submitted a photo. Jim worked especially hard on his panorama made of 12 images of one of the ponds and we practiced proper Photoshop techniques with my photo.  Imagine our surprise to learn that Jim received the winning photo for our walk.  It was just amazing, since just holding a camera can be difficult and challenging for him.  We were both thrilled. 

To see more Flag pond photos, visit my Facebook page at my Flickr page at
If you are interested you might want to read more about the PhotoWalk

Monday, October 15, 2012

Muskegon Michigan Highlights

Last month we visited relatives in Michigan.  Here are some highlights of Muskegon, near Lake Michigan.  The depot was an old train station, now used by the tourist bureau.  It featured a small train museum.  An interesting piece of trivia was that Buster Keaton, the talented comedian from old films was originally from Muskegon.  The old brick building had an interesting façade with lots of angles.
We drove to the local waste water management property to view the birds.  There were many birds, but they were difficult to photography.  It was rather exciting driving through a whole flock of birds though.  Later, I photographed this duck family in a stream that was much more accessible for photographers.


I took a tour of the Hackley Hume Historic site.  The Hackley house, originally owned by Charles Hackley a wealthyMuskegon lumber baron.  It was decorated in the Victorian era, so it was very elegant and full of beautiful wood carvings (of course!).  This photo was taken of the City barn, where the horses and carriages resided, looking out from the carriage entryway of the Hackley house. Pretty fancy barn! The Hume house next door was owned by Hackley’s business partner Thomas Hume and was less fancy in its 1920’s style.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Going to the Races, the Boat Races that is

We attended the Third Annual Offshore Grand Prix Boat Race on Solomon's Island recently. We almost missed it, because it was in September instead of October. Some of the biggest boats were particularly exciting with their powerful jet engines, very loud and rumbling. The local favorite was Tug It, (from Maryland, I believe) which won unexpectedly when another boat missed a buoy. I am sharing a photo that portrays a little of the excitement of this race for the National 2012 title. There is usually a helicopter or two around for fast rescues.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Exotic Water Lilies

I recently photographed some gorgeous water lilies. It was a little too early in the day, but I liked them anyway, even with strong shadows.
I have photographed water lilies 3 or 4 times in recent years. I find that I usually need a long lens to get good "closeup" photos of these lovely flowers, rather than a macro lens. I used a 70-300 zoom for these images. The flowers never seem to be near the edge of the pond!
If you know the names of these beautiful lilies, please comment. 😊

Monday, August 13, 2012

Woodlawn Farm Romantic Jazz Concert August 10th

We attended another fantastic concert at Woodlawn Farm in Ridge, MD starring the Sara Jones Trio.  It was a windy evening, so the temperature was lovely for August.  Paul Langosch (pictured) accompanied on double bass with Shawn Purcell on electric guitar.  To see Jim's article on the Bay Net and my other photo, see Waterside at Woodlawn Presents Sultry Nights in Brazil

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Concerts at Woodlawn Farm Aug 3, 10,17

Don't miss some of the folks from the Chesapeake Orchestra at Woodlawn Farm in Ridge MD.  They are doing three concerts in August.  To see the BayNet article Jim and I wrote click on the link.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Last River Concert of the 2012 Season Supported Local Talent

Former jazz ensemble director Rick Humphrey performed a wonderful solo on sax at the River Concert last week at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. 

To see more of our local talented musicians and read about last week’s River Concert, please read my review at the Bay Net  I reviewed the last five concerts.  You’ll have to wait till next June to see more River Concerts on the green, but the Chesapeake Orchestra will continue performances in other locations.  What a great season!

Monday, July 23, 2012

River Concert Review on the BayNet

Here's the link to the July 20th River Concert story on the BayNet and a bonus photo. 

Next week is the last River Concert this year, complete with jazz and folk music!  Don't miss it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

St. Mary's College River Concert: July 6th

We enjoyed the holiday River Concert last Friday very much.  The Chesapeake Orchestra tends to play very well known classical works for the holiday concert, since the crowd tends to be larger and have lots of children.  Who can resist fireworks accompanied by "The 1812 Overture" and "Stars and Stripes Forever".  We are so lucky to experience such top notch music nearby!  To read my review of the July 6th Concert, check out River Concert Delights the Audience with "That Independent Feeling" at The Bay Net.  There are actually two published Bay Net stories.  My review only has one photo of the Jazz Vocalist featured at the concert, Hilary Kole.  She was fantastic.  The other story has quite a few photos and a brief description about the evening and is called "Annual River Concert Series". 

Tomorrow night's (July 13) 8 P.M. concert  is guest conducted by my past choir director and friend Larry Vote, featuring vocal works by Handel and Purcell including "Music for the Royal Fireworks" and The Hallelujah Chorus from "Messiah".  Don't miss it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

St Mary's College of MD River Concert June 29th, 2012

I've been away in Pennsylvania and Virginia for a month and just got back in time to see the 2nd wonderful River Concert of the season.  We missed the first concert on June 22 (boo hoo) which was apparently fairly stormy.  It featured two talented young sister violinists, Jessica and Katelyn Lyons   To read my review of the June 29th concert visit the BayNet at: 

More on our other adventures will follow soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The SMAWL Animal Fair in St. Mary's County

I attended the 8th annual  SMAWL Animal Fair on May 12th with my husband to see all the cute critters.  There were many visitors with every breed of dog imaginable. I saw a cocker spaniel that looked just like my 2nd dog (awww) a beautiful white samoyed, a beagle and russian wolfhounds just to mention a few.  Dog service groups abounded including Greyt Expectations Greyhounds, All Shepherd Rescue, Doberman Assistance, Northern Chesapeake Sheltie Rescue, SMAWL Cats, Golden Retriever Rescue, Snowflake Society (horses), the Tri County Animal Shelter, and even the Hedgehog Welfare Society.  Fair visitors could buy doggie clothes from Custom Dog Jackets, adopt a pet or buy candles.  Also in attendance were many of the local veterinarians like VCA St. Mary’s Animal Hospital, All Kinds Veterinary Hospital, and the Well Pet Clinic. Kennels galore were in evidence too like Chesapeake Pet Resort & Day Spa, Farmstead Kennels an Indian Bridge Kennels & Suites.
 We had a lovely conversation with a woman from Pets on Wheels.  They bring therapy pets to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and Veteran’s homes to help improve their health and cheer the local residents.  We watched Dakota’s Legacy Horse demo with several horses walking backwards and a young cart horse driver.  We chatted with the pet photographer, Gary Garcia from ImageZ Galore Photography, Inc., watched a dog fitted with doggles (dog goggles) and met a piglet.  Fun activities included a musical dog sit, an animal pet parade and woof it down pie contest and a silent auction. It was altogether a fun time for pets and their people.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flowers from the local Garden Center in St. Mary's County

I enjoyed photographing more flowers at The Greenery in Hollywood MD and Meadow Farms in Leonardtown when I was looking for an anniversary gift for my husband.  They both have quite a variety of lovely flowers this time of year to enhance your garden.  There were many flowers to pick from both perennials and annuals.  I especially liked the white gardenias bushes (that smell heavenly) and the red zinnias at the Greenery.  I think the last flower may be a red dahlia, but I'm not sure.  If you know,  please comment.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Photographing Spring flowers

I've spent some time recently photographing spring flowers using a micro (macro) 60 mm Nikon lens and 2 small flashes on a ring around the lens (a special Nikon flash system).  The azaleas, dogwoods and tulips were in bloom.  A tip for photographing flowers is that uneven numbers of blooms look particularly nice.  I often like dark or blurred backgrounds and the flower's center and foreground should be in focus.  Azaleas were difficult because they tend to bloom in pairs not triplets.  Red flowers tend to get overexposed with a digital camera, so I underexpose them a little in RAW format and check them on my camera viewing screen often.  I particularly like backlit flowers and flower shots taken from unusual angles, like underneath.  To learn a little more about flower photography, check out this article by the New York Institute of Photography.

Monday, April 23, 2012

More Winning Photos at SMCCC

We had a fairly difficult new photo judge last week for April’s St. Mary’s County Camera Club competition.  At the last minute, he tossed out one of my favorite dog photos, but kept my Eastern Screech Owl for Advanced Digital First prize and my photo of an Old Boat at St. Mary’s College of Maryland for third prize.  I liked the reflection of the autumn trees in the boat photo and the big eyes of the owl, the way its’ ears waved in the wind in front of the bokeh(BOH KAY or BOH KA) background (out of focus blur that sometimes looks like circles).  The 8 or 9 inch owl kept closing his eyes from the wind making it challenging to photograph.

Next month’s competition theme is St. Mary’s County.  Maybe I should have kept the photo for next month, but I have some others I can use.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Calm Reflections Photography's photostream

Chihuahua as Mrs ClausLotus 4810Murphy beach 8413Nenes 8692Shenandoah Misty Woods 6234Beach on Molokai  8854
Governor Martin OMalley SingingGlacier Creek 6966Cathedral RockWhite Sands FloodSharp TopOrange Pier Sunset 9673
St. Marys College SunsetTrinity Church Myrtle 09River Concert FunPoint No Point Lighthouse 7057Pier SunsetBlues 4_8928
Bluhaven Piers 7986White Faced Scops Owl 2743Vulture 20101030 Conawingo Dam 5844Pair of DragonfliesPeacockOsprey 0609
I just started a new Flickr Photostream with some of mybest photos. Please have a look and write a comment or two.

I had great fun visiting all of my favorite travel spots and marking them as favorites. Most of them are absolutely gorgeous. A free vacation! You can see them under Favorites too.