Opening tip

On New Year’s Eve, J and I went to an afternoon Celtics game, where I took my final photo of 2013: an image of the opening tip I shot on my phone. I intentionally didn’t bring a camera to the game since I knew I had to take only one more shot to meet last year’s 365-day photo challenge, and a cellphone shot would suffice. So with this one shot, my 2013 challenge was done, and I took no photos on New Year’s Day: the first day in a year I didn’t snap a picture of something.

Two squirrels, one mourning dove - Jan 5 / Day 5

I’m grateful to have completed last year’s photo challenge, which I can revisit any time by scrolling through my “365 in 2013” photo-set. Now, though, I’m looking forward to being free of that particular challenge. Shooting a photo a day was easy in the spring and summer when the earth was green and new flowers emerged at every turn. In the barren days of November and December, however, finding something new to shoot became more of a challenge: there’s only so many times, I learned, you can take closeup photos of sleeping cats.

Standing - Feb 15 / Day 46

Since I took so many photos during 2013, however, I had little problem coming up with 13 images for the photo calendars I make each year for family and friends: 12 photos for 12 months, plus a cover image. Selecting images for this year’s calendar was one of the first things I did after I submitted final grades last week, and it was fun (as always) to review twelve months’ worth of photos in advance of the new year.

Snowdrops in snow - March 27 / Day 86

Now that I’ve crossed those two photo commitments off my to-do list, now my only remaining creative challenge (for the time being, at least) is January’s Mindful Writing Challenge, in which I’m committing to write a “small stone” every day during the month of January. I’ll be posting January’s stones on Twitter, tagging them #smallstone. I participated in the Mindful Writing Challenge last year, and I’m looking forward to a month-long challenge that focuses on wordsmithing than photo-snapping: a chance to flex a different set of creative muscles.

Three of the four photos illustrating today’s post appear in my 2014 calendar; click here to see the complete photo-set, or click any of the following links for previous years’ sets: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Enjoy, and happy New Year!