THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Regroup and blast off

A rough start to the new year but one that is in the rearview now. As I turned the wall calendar to February and took a moment to acknowledge how fast the last month went by. To reflect that some goals went by the wayside but other accomplishments stepped in at times.

Untie me because I’m ready to Rocket into this month. Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m already rolling on a new photo project and hope to get a wall covered tonight to sort through the combinations I want to use. Tomorrow I hope to do some woodworking and pick up the cameras again. And I’m thinking about a day or two at the beach before spring actually gets here in full force so it’s time to look at the calendar.

Time moves so fast that it scares me. I saw something that reminded me of a friend who passed almost a year ago and was shocked that time has gone by. I like reading his emails that we traded while he was fighting one of the worst cancers. His bravery and focus on living each day, stick with me today.

We worked together for a little over a decade if I remember correctly. But hadn’t touched base in a few decades. He noted how easy it was to reconnect and that it was just like yesterday when we spoke instead of decades ago. He was one of those people and I hope and try to be someone like that myself. Someone who shared good times and good memories with. Someone you feel that connection to. Someone who is there for you.

So I’m going to think of him watching over me now and saying get up and get busy with your passions. And I’ll smile and appreciate the time I’ve been given.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Do the simple things for people, it is appreciated.
  • College basketball is my favorite sport and the tension is building early this year for March Madness.
  • I looked in the mirror and started to see the makings of a hippie, time for a haircut and beard trim.
  • When I make a mistake, I haven’t taken the proper time to learn from it.
  • My next best picture is the next print coming out of the printer. And then again, the one after that could be the best. Funny how that process repeats itself. Isn’t it great?

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Actually I think they call it “marine fog”, anyway it rolled into Ocean City yesterday morning just after sunrise. I had gone out to take a few shots and suddenly it was soup. I did enjoy the ride with the top down and tunes on just slowly tooling around town. Dreaming a bit of owning a beach place someday by checking homes for sale as I cruised. Watching out for birds on the bay which seem to be all hunkered down with the limited flight distance.

Sun has been up for an hour but its difficult to see from one light to the next. Photo by Mike Hartley

Sun has been up for an hour but its difficult to see from one light to the next.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Watching joggers or bike riders, the occasional Dude crossing the street with surfboard in his hand. I love beach towns. I worry greatly about them if sea level predictions are correct. And I’ve been going along with the other millions of visitors that hit the Maryland and Delaware shores each year enjoying this life. It would be a tragic loss.

Which way to the fish? Photo by Mike Hartley

Which way to the fish?
Photo by Mike Hartley

There is nothing like the beach. To me climbing a mountain is nuts. Yeah you got a view I can’t get, but how long you going to stay there? But the journey and cool temps and thin air and most importantly, lack of lodging makes it something that will never cross my list. Yes I get the accomplishment thing. But give me the sun/sand a good hotel or beach house to rent and I’m in heaven.

Bird activity has been grounded this morning. Photo by Mike Hartley

Bird activity has been grounded this morning.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I bet this Sunday morning it was great down there. A beautiful sunrise, low humidity and breeze to keep it clear and brisk. But I learned on Saturday morning that there was much to appreciate. I wish I lifted my camera a bit more that morning but was doing some mental refreshing also.

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I thought I saw the sun out there today, could it be an illusion. What is real and what is an illusion? I have the illusion of being at the beach today. At least that morning sun today, feels like a beach day. But that won’t be the case in reality for a few more weeks. But it doesn’t keep my mind from wandering into the sand and shore. Or my ears from hearing the sound of the waves. Nor that feeling of sand between my toes.

Sunrise, yeah I know we haven't had one in a while. But I can hope from my past pictures. Photo by Mike Hartley

Past Sunrise, in glorious Ocean City.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Watching the morning pool cleaning and the joggers on the beach and Ocean highway. Mornings are the best at the beach. Everything is fresh again. The footprints in the sand have been washed from the high tide. The boats are just being prepped for the day’s fishing. The trash cans are empty instead of overflowing. The amusement stands/games have restocked their giant stuffed toys. The streets have been cleaned. The traffic is light to none, except for bikes. I love to bike down there and an early morning ride is so peaceful. Well maybe not on biker week or the hot rod week, but all others are pretty good.

I hope time allows for a few weeks down in Bethany and Ocean City this season. And if time doesn’t allow for it, then I’ll just have to manufacturer some.

Why are we spending a gazillion dollars on Sound Barriers when the roads and bridges that they protect local residents from won’t be passable in the near future? Why not take care of the real infrastructure issues instead of aesthetics.

Why are we spending time bashing the two presumptive Presidential candidates when we should be on a search for their replacement in four years and in between that in church praying we survive those four years. And for those not praying to a higher source there is Canada. Just call it, an extended vacation.

It’s a damn shame all this rain in the northeast isn’t over Canada now.

Well, got to get making that Mothers Day breakfast for my better half. Have a great day. I intend to.

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Spent a few days in Ocean City this past week. Only trouble was the weather wasn’t cooperating. Around 60 with wind and rain. Lots of the later two. Crowds were none existent and here is proof. Have you ever seen such a short line at Thrasher’s?  The beach was populated by one or two people for as far as the eye could see and they were in sweats and they didn’t stay there more than a few minutes.

But a good time was had. And now, another work week is upon us. That’s OK, its good to be employed nowadays. Especially at my age and my industry. But I still look forward to the day where I can write and shoot till my heart’s content.

Thrashers Line Photo by Mike Hartley

Thrasher’s Line
Photo by Mike Hartley

This week my goals are go pick up a neutral density filter or two and do some work with the new polarizer I purchased last week. Also to start going through some of the old slides from my parents and doing some scans of them.

Loan figure on beach. Photo by Mike Hartley

Loan figure on beach.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So lets see if I can regain some energy and spirit this week and crank out some work that would be worthy of comment. For the chance for creating something special is a oportunity not to be passed on.

Which are flocking? Photo by Mike Hartley

Which are flocking?
Photo by Mike Hartley

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To warmer days

Can’t remember exactly but I believe I snapped these off the deck at Fager’s Island in Ocean City. I love watching the summer sunset from that vantage point. As I sit here with the chills from some bug that has latched onto me, thoughts of having this position this coming summer already makes me feel better. Cough cough.

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Ocean City Maryland 2

The colder it gets here, the more I think of summer. It was 12 degrees in balmy Woodstock this morning. But 5-6 months from now my toes will be in the sand on the eastern shore of Maryland and all will be right with the world. And yes I’ll get busy doing some winter shooting the next few days but I’m building up the courage to go out in it.

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Ocean City Maryland 1

This is one of my favorite spots in the State of Maryland. Yeah its crowded, yeah there is too much traffic, yeah it’s too commercial, yeah it can be expensive, yeah there are better surfing spots, yeah there might be better fishing spots, yeah the boardwalk can resemble Walmart with less cloths.

But you know what, I don’t give a RATS ASS about any of that. Its got great beaches, a ton of party spots, has great food and is a wonderful place to photograph. I does have great fishing and there are surfing spots every day, friendly people and good life guards. Had to put in a plug there because my nephew guarded there a number of summers. And I’ve been going there for almost 5 decades now and I still love the place. Just a little over 2 hours from my front door I can have my toes in the sand and water. I can be catching rays. I can be chowing on countless variations of food. i.e. the term Fat and Happy.

But most of all, I get rid of the stresses of life here. The waves allow me to recharge.



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Sunrise at Ocean City

Was cruising through some very old pictures and ran across this sunrise. And in honor of the temperature rising above the Freezing mark on Thursday I thought I’d try to provide some additional warmth.

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Looking back – moving forward

I would like to thank all the photographers putting together all those year in review galleries. They have been wonderful to view and the talent leaves me in awe of such beauty. It also inspires me to go out and try to do better each day and maybe after a period of time I’ll have a body of work to draw from to inspire another.

Even though its Winter here I can’t help but let my mind wander off to the warmer days of Summer as I came across the image of this guy. He’s looking back inland waiting for my behind to get back to the place I love, the beach.

Looking inland waiting for me to return. Photo by Mike Hartley

Looking inland waiting for me to return.
Photo by Mike Hartley

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Wishing for Warmer Days

As I step back indoors from 32 degree temps this morning, I again find my mind wandering to those summer days. So I grabbed a few shots from a visit this past July to Ocean City. It wasn’t just the warm temps, it was one of the best family times also, which keeps my heart warm today.

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Ocean City Maryland

I’m always enjoyed going to Ocean City a few times each year. Most of the time its with the family which is great. Sometimes it by myself which is great also because I can totally march to my own tune for a day or two. Sometimes its with a friend for the day. Regardless of who and when I always seem to have a great day. I went yesterday so here are a few shots from this visit on Aug 14th.

Ocean City Maryland Beach and Parasail Photo by Mike Hartley

Ocean City Maryland Beach and Parasail
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve always found photographing this town and people a very fun experience. Mostly family photos but I’ve started to expand in recent years. Light is a beautiful thing and there is plenty of it here. And the people, I can sit for hours each visit just watching the diversity. Like these two ladies below who were drag racing down the boardwalk and what was a initial speeding incident turned into an EMS event. Just kidding about the racing.

Now ladies, no more wheelies on the boardwak, do you understand me? Photo by Mike Hartley

Now ladies, no more wheelies on the boardwak, do you understand me?
Photo by Mike Hartley

But OC is about relaxing for allot of us. That can include anything from surfing the waves to riding a chair and railing.

Sun, feet up, great view. Photo by Mike Hartley

Sun, feet up, great view.
Photo by Mike Hartley

This used to be quiet the party town (Believe it or NOT) but a persistent effort for decades now seems to be paying dividends for those who chose that path of a Family Destination.

Believe it or NOT Photo by Mike Hartley

Believe it or NOT
Photo by Mike Hartley

Parasail has always caught my interest. But who regulates this business? I’m sure the view is beautiful and I’m sure it’s safe. But I think I’ll stay on the boat or land.

Sail (para) boat Photo by Mike Hartley

Sail (para) boat
Photo by Mike Hartley

It’s the land of Power Fishing and Power Boating. I had some rockfish bites for an appetizer at Dead Freddies and they were great.

Power Fishing & Boating Photo by Mike Hartley

Power Fishing & Boating
Photo by Mike Hartley

Again this year I failed to try something that is on my bucket list. I want to ride a jet ski. Shouldn’t be too hard. I road a motorcycle for over 3 decades. So next summer is the year I take that wet ride. Actually I’m afraid I might like it so much I’ll have to buy one and a trailer and then I’ll need to buy a new truck to hall it around.

Jet Ski class Photo by Mike Hartley

Jet Ski class
Photo by Mike Hartley

Overall it was another great visit yesterday and the week of vacation a week before that really helps one get a mental balance. I think its the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand between your feet and all the beautiful nature and people. So may the Marlin continue to jump and the waves continue to pound and the people continue to come. Thanks for another great season OC.

Marlin Entrance Photo by Mike Hartley

Marlin Entrance
Photo by Mike Hartley