Posted by: suesilver | March 30, 2014

A Family that Fishes together….

I had just got off the phone with my niece having discovered that her partner and her sister’s partner are both into fishing.” Yowza, “I said to my friend, Mike, we are going fishing! I was in NZ in Wanaka at the time. Wanaka is in the South Island west of Queenstown. It was  mid December and I was about to meet up with my family in Cromwell, for a family wedding. Cromwell is on Lake Dunstan, and the beautiful Clutha river flows into the Dunstan there. I really, really like fishing and although I am not,  at least not yet, a fly fisherman, I have spent many years fishing  with rod and reel in and around the Blue Ridge area of West Virginia, where I live.

The morning of the wedding dawned and the men, my niece’s partners picked me up at 0630 or so. It was chilly and the skies were clear. We drove out to  the main highway looking for a likely place to fish. The men had their gear with them and I had a camera. No, no fishing gear for Sue. That’s OK I thought, this time I may get a couple of fly fishing lessons at least. We had arranged this just the night before and I had not as yet had time to get my own gear. Graeme followed a road in the direction of the water and we found ourselves going through rabbit world. There were thousands of them and pretty strong fencing to keep them off the local farm and home properties. Their burrows dotted the hills and they are seriously everywhere. We carefully locked the gates after ourselves and drove towards the water.

After some maneuvering over a twisting, narrow back road, we parked at a flat spot where the bank allowed easy access to the river. The men donned their waders and fishing gear, checked their rods and lines and waded out into the chilly waters. I watched, furious at myself for not buying some fishing gear and a license in Wanaka, when I first heard I would get the chance to fish. Oh well what can a girl do, but make the best of things. So I walked around had a look downstream, watched  the men fishing and took photographs. Oh  and I did get a couple of fly fishing  lessons from Graeme.

The beauty of a spot like the edge of Lake Dunstan is it is so beautiful there. Many lovely mountains rise out of the distant shoreline with colors of browns and beige, the sun is rising to the east and the early morning light pops the green of the trees. The birds are busy singing and that light is just lovely for taking photographs.

The second time we went out the women were with us, including my 2 nieces and a grandniece and we were geared up. We had visited the local fishing and sports gear store in Cromwell and bought expandable rods,  Shimano Raider, line  and some very nice reels, Shimano Cazna, by brand.  They may not be the most expensive rods and  reels,but they were decent and had a decent sensitivity to them. With a great tip from a local fisherman, we found a good spot and I,  dear readers, caught a good sized trout. That spot was down river from where we had been on the Saturday  and we had to wade out.  The mud was the kind you sunk into a bit so it was challenging. The exciting part of it was the Clutha flowed pretty fast into the Dunstan on our side of the waterway. The  water there was blue deep and fast flowing and that dear readers is where I caught my trout. Only one, but better than nothing.

It was a lovely day, the men caught lots of large New Zealand trout and we had a wonderful time. My grandniece is excited to go fishing again and so are my nieces and I  indeed  am looking to seeing all the pictures of those days. I will share them with you as soon as I get them uploaded, but just now I don’t have enough space on this computer to load up all my NZ photos.

I miss my New Zealand family  and friends so much and here’s a big shout out to you all!! Here’s a toast to all you who love fishing and love the outdoors!



IMG_2199                                                                                                   My family

#1 fishing spot

#1 fishing spot


Posted by: suesilver | March 21, 2014

Estrella Morente

Estrella Morente

Posted by: suesilver | March 21, 2014

Estrella Morente

Estrella Morente


Posted by: suesilver | March 21, 2014


I probably would not have heard much Flamenco music or even gone to a spectacular concert at the Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD, were it not for my friend Kerry who has the Duende radio program at WSHC 89.7 Shepherd University Radio from 3pm to 5pm on Sundays where she showcases Flamenco music. Flamenco is some get down vibrant and passionate music. 

We have a lot of music in our town. A lot of Bluegrass, Rock and Roll, Classical, all kinds, so my thanks to Kerry for introducing me to Flamenco a music of Moorish origins, alive with passion and poetry. As a fairly new admirer of Flamenco I was truly transported during  this concert.

Cantora Estrella Morente was accompanied bb Montoyita and El Monti on guitar, with vocals and palmas by Antonio and Angel Carbonell and El Quiqui, and percussions by El Popo. The palmas clap rhythmically and sing back up. All had a chance to solo and the percussionist favored us with song and dance. El Popo performed tender miracles never overwhelming the voice or the guitarists while providing a solid beat. We were also favored by the performance of Estrella’s brother Kiki playing flamenco guitar and singing.


I was fortunate to have a front row seat at this performance. Estrella, towards the end of the program, descended from the stage and singing, walked around the hall, serenading members of the audience. As she walked in front of me, two feet from where I was sitting  she turned to me and sang to me directly. What an experience! I am still transported just thinking about that moment. The whole concert was a passionate experience.

 Estrella Morente is a wonderful performer from a family of talented performers, nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2013, for her album “Autoretrato”. There is so much written about Estrella, her beautiful talent and poise, elegance and richness of spirit, her originality and try passion. Check Estrella Morente out on YouTube and have a listen to Duende radio show. Flamenco!  

 I am officially hooked!

This is a wonderful review from Estrella Morente’s performance at Carnegie Hall Saturday March 8th.

Posted by: suesilver | February 22, 2014

New Zealand Visit

     I recently returned from a visit to New Zealand for a family wedding. My niece,Sarah, my brother’s eldest daughter got married. It was a fabulous trip and I had such a great time visiting with family and friends. I flew to the South Island to Queenstown on Air NZ.  Landing in Queenstown is a real treat as you fly down through the Remarkables mountain range, over Lake Wakatipu and land just outside of town at the Queenstown International Airport.

It is such a beautiful part of the world and I was truly thrilled to be there. My friend Mike very kindly met me at the airport and we stopped in town to pick up a birthday present for his daughter and some lunch. A delicious onion soup and a cup of tea. Queenstown is surrounded by the mountain peaks of the Remarkables and sits on the rather large lake Wakatipu. The view there from any point is lovely and there is so much one can do. A favorite tourist town in New Zealand there are sports of all kinds, photography, sightseeing, skiing, hang gliding, jet boating,hiking, horse back riding,and shopping, you name it you can probably do it right there in Queenstown.

We travelled by car to Lake Wanaka where my friends Mike and Barb live. The road through the mountains is truly beautiful, just a two lane, it has its dangers, mostly from folks renting cars or RVS or whatever and proceeding to drive on the wrong side of the road!! It was, nevertheless, a lovely drive through tobacco colored hills and mountains, past the lovely town of Cromwell where the wedding was to take place and Lake Dunstan and the Clutha River, where I caught a trout of a good size. It is truly a lovely part of the world.

It is early summer in New Zealand in December and in the South Island it is chilly. What with the elevation of 990 Feet and the southerly aspect as it were Longitude 44.509637300000000000 Latitude and 169.133206600000000000. So it’s close to the South Pole relatively speaking.

Wanaka is another town on a lake and from which it took its name. Lying west and north of Queenstown. First settlers arrived in 1860 and gold was discovered there in 1861. The first survey for the town was  made inco Originally named Pembroke it was renamed Wanaka in 1940. The Clutha river springs from Lake Wanaka and curves around the land and flows into Lake Dunstan. This area is a winegrowers heaven and the delicious wine grown by my friends is truly the best I have had. A red, it is a Pinot Noir and it is sooooo good. My friend Michael grows his own grapes and has a beautiful spot with a view of the lake and the mountains. There are ski fields nearby at Treble Cone, a beautiful golf course overlooking the lake and so much to do. A wonderful path by the Clutha River is a great walk and another a walk into town from my friends home a good 6 miles or more. 

I will post some photos soon.

Posted by: suesilver | October 30, 2013


ImageThis is my new photograph. 

I hope it will get onto the blog here soon. Once I figure out how to do it.

I just returned from Florida after a wonderful program with my Spiritual Teacher and Guru, Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi.

The Profound Mystical Journey. 

This weekend I will be with Maa again at Shiva Nights in Albany, NY.

I feel very blessed to have this amazing opportunity.



Posted by: suesilver | October 4, 2013


The Appalachian Festival in Shepherdtown, WV home of Shepherdstown University took place the last week of September 23rd through September 26th.  To quote from the Shepherd website “The Anthology of Appalachian Writers is a publication that encourages a long-established tradition of storytelling, love of language, and creative expression associated broadly with the area of the country known as Appalachia. Though the principal mission of the anthology is to provide a venue for publication of new writers, it also provides a collection of literature and scholarship that contributes to an understanding and appreciation for the region.”

I am pleased to tell you that I myself have had three poems published in the Anthology. The Anthologies are a great read and include stories, poems and photographs.

This years winner and Writer-in- Residence for “Voices from Affrilachia” the Poetry and Storytelling of Frank X Walker. Kentucky’s Poet Laureate, Director of the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky, and editor of PLUCK!, the New Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Frank X Walker is author of When Winter Come, Black Box, Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York, Affrilachia, andIsaac Murphy among others. Walker coined the term “Affrilachia” in 1991, in an effort to make Appalachian literary studies more inclusive–understanding, as do we all, that seizing the language (and telling one’s own story) is the first step in wresting one’s identity and true independence.

Dr Sylvia Shurbutt a professor in the English Department at Shepherd is the driving force behind the Anthology of Appalachian Writers and Photographers and leads the course in Appalachian Studies Minor

The Appalachian Studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor that is designed to make students aware of the rich and varied traditions of and the cultural and environmental influences on the geographical area known as Appalachia. Students often attach the minor to degrees in history, English, Environmental Science, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Sociology, and other degrees with an associated connection with this geographic area.

I was able to attend the Appalachian Festival events including several talks and the Master Class where writers read their work and were critiqued by Dr Shurbutt, Frank X Walker and Natalie Sypolt. The work presented by these budding writers was fantastic.

Frank X Walker’s presentations and discussions of his poetry his life completely engaging.Image

 I am proud beyond words to have been published in the Anthology more than once! 

The Anthologies past and present editions from Shepherd Bookstore at or our local bookstore Four Seasons Books

I hope you will have a chance to check out Frank’s extraordinary poetry and the Anthology itself.Image


Posted by: suesilver | May 30, 2013


There have been many well known black and white film photographers: Henri Cartier- Bresson,Mary Ellen Mark, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Brian Duffy to name just a few. When I began taking photographs as a kid I had a brownie and the smooth wide rolls of film that fit into it. I belonged to a family of  photographers. No one was a professional, but looking at the albums there are many, many photographs taken all over the world and almost all of them using black and white film.

I continued with film and when digital arrived I started learning that. I love photography, the  way it captures history in the moment. Think of all those truly famous photographs, Eugene Richards ”  grandmother cools off  beneath Brooklyn Bridge 1993 ” , Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston, Miami Beach, 1964, Bettmann/ Corbin  and of course the iconic photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt ” V-J Day in Times Square, New York City, Aug 14, 1945″,with the sailor kissing the nurse, her back arched he bending over her in just that way , the whole angle view of the photograph is what makes it so great.

The time I spend in the darkroom is time I really enjoy. I tune the radio to our local University station WHSC, organize my equipment, whether I am developing film, loading it to the developing  cartridges in the dark not always easy, believe me, or readying the paper for printing, the sense of discovery, holding the film to the light being pleased with the result, that feels good.   I had the opportunity to join a black and white photography group where I could work on my darkroom skills as well as my photographic skills through my local Jefferson County Photographers. We got a grant from AHA, a local group that is very supportive of the Arts and took photos all around the county. We would have two shows a year and publish a book of our photographs. This has been a great opportunity for me and I am particularly grateful to our teacher and the  founder of our group Benita Keller. I include here a few photographs.

Posted by: suesilver | May 22, 2013



I took a few photos of this dramatic sky


SPRING SUMMER STORMWe have had some great Spring and early Summer rain storms here lately. The other day I was heading home and had my mini iPad with me so I was able to get  some pretty good photographs. The iPad has a good camera in it, but it is easy to mess up the focus as it’s easily shaken.

I took the first shots in the Lowes parking lot. The clouds were rolling off the mountain to the west and while not a very high elevation the clouds in front of the mass were white and looking like a waterfall. I headed east towards home with the goal of getting more photos and watching the storm in my rearview mirror. Once near my turnoff I headed to the south again instead of north and was able to pull off the the two lane.

The sky had blackened and the clouds were rapidly moving changing shapes and generally creating a beautiful show.

Posted by: suesilver | May 22, 2013




I came of out of Lowes last week to this amazing sky and followed the highway east hoping to get more photographs of the storm. The photos were taken with my mini iPad which takes excellent photos but is a bit hard to hold really still. It was evening and I pulled off the road to get the second set of photos.Image

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