A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape 10/23/2020

I knew the photos I wanted to share for this challenge right away. I love the view of the city I have from my house…of course, the view is not of the city I live in. Nope, this view is of the next city over to the West of me.

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That’s the downtown Seattle skyline, with the glorious Olympic Mountains behind.

These next shots are from an early morning walk when I just loved what the sunrise was doing to the Columbia Center…76 stories, and when it was built, it was the tallest building on the West Coast.

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This towering scraper of the sky has always fascinated me, though I had never been inside it. I rarely go into Seattle. Just not an urban type, although I guess I can hardly say that anymore, given that there is nothing left of the “country-side” my home was part of when I bought it 47 years ago.

Anyway, just a few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of officiating a spectacular and delightful wedding at the top of the Columbia Center. I adore this couple and was thrilled to be asked to marry them, but I have to admit, when they told me where, I nearly fainted. I have a more than mild case of Acrophobia.

I knew I would need to prepare myself so I could be fully present and grounded for their ceremony so I started taking pictures of the building from all over town….trying to make friends with this giant black monolith, towering tall over all it’s neighbors…

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On the day of the wedding, I arrived early to prepare for the celebration. The ride up the elevator to the very top took forever. It made me seasick and break into a cold sweat. When I saw where we would be standing…so close to the windows, I nearly chickened out, but James kept me calm by reminding me that I would be facing inward, my back to the view. (Well, that half glass of Chardonnay he brought me probably helped too. Hmm, I wonder what the Minister’s blood alcohol number is for the legality of the marriage to be in question…😋)

Once I found my footing, I could embrace and enjoy the spectacular view we would all have this day.

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I never told my sweet couple about my trepidation that day but I suppose, now they’ll know. So worth it!! What an amazing, creative, beautiful, warm, interesting wedding. And the “Cityscape” setting? Well, hard to imagine ever topping that!!

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As I was selecting photos, I noticed something! A surprising number of airliners showed up, I suppose headed for landing at SeaTac. How many do you count?

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/a-photo-a-week-challenge-cityscape/

Photo a Week Challenge: Just for fun and Spirit Lifters Day 51 of being “Grounded”

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/04/23/a-photo-a-week-challenge-just-for-fun/

OK, Nancy Merrill’s challenge to share photos this week that represent “Just for Fun!” reminded me to get back to the Spirit Lifters series I started.

So here are some photos for Nancy, and then, some uplifting things for you to check out for yourself.

(Like how I am always giving you something to do? Pretty clever distraction, eh?)

Here are 3 photos of what we call around here, Spring Snow!

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Next, I write a lot about the beautiful street I get to live on, but don’t say enough about my really FUN neighbors.

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These folks always have something fun for every holiday, including a small tractor that pulls little kid-filled carts behind it, decorated and driven by Santa for Christmas, and someone scary for Halloween.

Apparently, even the city workers are getting bored though. I came across this fun scene yesterday…

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Either confused, or high, or they are closet Graffiti Artists…

And one of the more uplifting, fun (and reassuring) beings in my household is Lucy, the Woodpile Cat. She is, as are many cats, such a creature of habit. I can count on her every  morning, to take a shower in the kitchen sink…

And to demand her exercise time every afternoon…

But do not be fooled. She is not all sweetness and light. The only place I can have fresh flowers in my house is the bathroom as she does not frequent that room.

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growing wild all over the yard this year! Delightful!

And THIS Blog, by my sweet friend Lisa, is really worth a visit! Look what she found for us! It is wonderful!!!

https://dailymusing57.com/2020/04/24/koolulam-coldplay-across-the-globe/

Lastly, here is Episode 3 of John Krasinski’s SGN. It can take your mind of all bad virus-related things!

PS The photo at the top was fun…or funny, at least to me. I had just committed to fewer eggs in my current campaign to keep my cholesterol levels healthy. Cracked open my one egg and….well, you see it….TWINS!!

A Photo a Week Challenge: Glass 4/13/2020

I LOVE Glass…all kinds…always have…fascinated from childhood on…blown away at 5 years old, watching a glass blower make little animals at the San Diego Zoo. Started collecting those animals, one Zoo visit at a time…had 50 or so by the time I reached adolescence…fell in love with Cobalt glass eye cups and medicine bottles (after an eye surgery at 6 years old).

At this writing, my collection of blown glass figurines is packed away so no good photos, but here are tiny samples.

 

An addiction you say? Well, probably. Undeniable proof? The Glass Museum in Tacoma is one of my favorite places on the planet, and the fact that I often give a trip to the museum, or a Glass Blowing class (held in a small local studio) as birthday and Christmas gifts!

My collection has become unmanageable, out of control so I had to put myself on Glass Buying Restriction a few years back…

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crammed into way too small a hutch

 

 

I have combed antique stores, garage sales, swap meets, etc. my whole adult life, and have found some real treasures.

Mostly bottles of all varieties…

But once people who love you, know you have a weakness for something, mine being blue glass, they have a perfect (and easy) way to find gifts for you, so my collection grew from bottles to all things blue.

 

And there have been favorites along the way…too many to show you so I picked these at random

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the tiniest candlestick holders ever!

And this one I thought was an odd candy dish…until I got it home and really looked at it

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It’s actually a “front door”

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If you look closely, you can see hinges and the door handle

 

But really, my favorite use of this Cobalt Collection is designing playgrounds for my BUGS!

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/a-photo-a-week-challenge-glass-2/

Photo a Week Challenge–Nancy Merrill RED 3/5/2020

Hmm, I thought I had very little red in my life. Couldn’t think of a single place to photograph something red. But while perusing my photo library, I found more “red” than I expected. Of course, many of these pictures capture colors closer to Fuchsia or orange, but I am counting them as RED today.

Good challenge. Now I’m on the lookout for more RED out there in the world. It is definitely an energizing color!

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/03/05/a-photo-a-week-challenge-red-3/

Photo a Week Challenge-Sleeping 2/13/2020

I know all cat guardians have favorite photos of their cats sleeping. I’m no exception.

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I think this is the last time I saw Loki asleep…at least two months ago.

 

This may be why…

 

But then there is Phineas, who will sleep anywhere, anytime, and through most anything.

 

Maybe it’s our house ,because even visitors fall asleep here…

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Of course, disappearing into the carpet may have helped.

 

Lucy, the Baby of the family (until that evil Loki showed up) also sleeps where ever she wants.

 

But she always slept way better with Zorro right near by.

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So did Phineas..

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We all miss Zorro, the protector of us all, even in his sleep….

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/02/13/a-photo-a-week-challenge-sleeping/

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

I had a slightly startling revelation as I was plowing through thousands of photos from 2019….and No, I don’t mean realizing that I take way, WAY too many pictures. I already knew that.

I had already picked 29 “favorite photos” before arriving at the end of February. I was exhausted trying to choose so I stopped there.

It became clear that, only on occasion do I take a photo hoping it will capture exquisite beauty or be all “artsy”. Instead, often I snap away at images that will enhance a good narrative. Good visual aids for a tale that might interest, tickle or inspire someone.

I guess I’m saying I prefer story telling over photography, which is what startled me. I might be saying that although I am an extremely visual person, and I still hate writing (see my bio), I’d rather write you a story with photos than anything else.

So here are the pictures I picked (for January and February)…with the most brief explanation an overly wordy, *unpolished writer can come up with. (*ending my sentence with a preposition…)

 

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This is the Seattle skyline, especially the Columbia tower. I took this while trying to distract myself, waiting at the Harborview Medical Center to find out about a very blue, slightly broken ankle…and yes, I took pictures of my ankle but will spare you. It was so cool to see the Tower from this perspective, having just officiated a wedding at the top a few months prior.

 

 

Next, we have a poignant plea tacked onto the neighborhood’s most beautiful old tree. The note was written by a very young environmentalist, a precocious 6 year old, when she realized they might cut down this tree in the process of building a new home across the street from hers.

The note didn’t work so I felt compelled to capture as much of the mystery and beauty of this tree’s remains as possible. I did several posts on it.

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Next, I thought I’d experiment with my new point and shoot Canon on the occasion of the Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. I was not that disappointed given the limitations of my equipment.

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We had a ton of snow in January, a bit rare for the Seattle area. I worried about all the birds I feed all year round (mostly Crows, Hummingbirds, and a variety of seed birds). I had wondered what would happen in the snow to the Covey of Quail that visited each morning to clean up under the bird feeder, after the messy House Finches had their breakfast.

I guess I needn’t have worried…

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Throughout the last few years, I have shared about my bugs. I love photographing them (and coming up with silly captions).

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Lucy says “I know, I know…not a toy, right?” (Good Kitty.)

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Giant, Spiny Australian Leaf Bug…GIANT indeed…

 

And of course, my cats. This was Lucy’s way of comforting me while I had to stay off my feet for a while for that ankle thing.

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My favorite photo of Lucy last year though was the one at the top of the page.

You know that thing older people sometimes do, where they are frantically searching for their glasses, only to find them right there on top of their head? Well, I took this shot after a frantic 20 minute household search for Miss Lucy. She has never been outside (our neighborhood is plagued by coyotes) so when I couldn’t find her, I panicked! I called and called her and though she is normally, the sweetest, most sensitive, gentle and affectionate cat I have ever had, this photo captured something akin to disdain. A kind of judgment at my ignorance, having walked literally right under her nose probably 10 or 12 times! sigh.

 

I walk daily, and if I keep my eyes wide open, like my Dad taught me very early on, I can make the same exact walk completely different every single day. I look for anything Nature has re-arranged (since yesterday) for my personal viewing pleasure.

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This is one of my all time favorite photos…a total accident!

 

 

Thanks to the Lens Artist Photo Challenge. This was really fun…and I fear there may have to be more installments. I hope you’ll comment.

And visit more of my Blog in the future!

Happy New Year from ChosenPerspectives!

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

Photo a Week Challenge: Clouds 12/30/19

Another delightful challenge from Nancy Merrill.

I do so love me some clouds.

As Nancy wrote in this challenge: I’m a sucker for a beautiful clouds. Fluffy clouds. Streaky clouds. Dark and foreboding or airy and almost not there. I’ve never met a cloud I couldn’t love. 

I know what she means. Clouds really speak to me. And maybe, because I grew up in San Diego, where there were rarely clouds, I have a different appreciation for them.

Of course now, living in the Pacific Northwest, actually seeing individual clouds, rather than the sometimes oppressive gray ceiling, brings me pleasure in a similar way.

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“Overcast” or low ceiling does not stop  the Blue Angels!

 

Most of us love the beautiful, often intense color of a sunset,

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but sunrise is my favorite.

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And then there are those times when clouds can be a bit intimidating, even when they are simply doing their job.

 

I think one of the miracles of life, of Nature, is when the clouds put on an unexpected show for us.

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Especially one we can’t explain…

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Yep, clouds are the best…..

 

Anyone else hear Judy Collins singing just now??? (sorry about any ads…)

 

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Straight up into the only real cloud around!

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/12/26/a-photo-a-week-challenge-clouds-2/

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Atmospheric AND Weekly Prompts Challenge- the Colour Challenge FLAME! 10/31/19

I thought of the same series of photos for both challenges so here is the amazing experience I had this week on a mountain top outside Spokane, Washington. Both sites have such amazing contributions each week. Check them out too!!

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It almost became a joke for all of us witnessing the gift of this sunset. Every few seconds someone would say “Look at the SUNSET!” and sure enough, we’d turn to look and it was a completely different one from just minutes before!!

What an amazing experience.

The atmosphere was aflame!

And I can’t help but feel for the people down in California right now facing a differnt kind of atmospheric flame.

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/a-photo-a-week-challenge-atmospheric/

Photo Challenge Flame

 

A Photo a Week Challenge: Open Topic 10/26/19

So the whole Time Marches On thing is in my face right now…well, the face of my whole neighborhood, actually.

My chosen theme for this Open Topic Challenge from Nancy Merrill is Experimenting with Telephoto Photography. I’m hoping it can help me see more clearly into the distance (and the future)… and maybe understand it better.

When I bought my home in 1976, there were only 4 other houses, all with horse acreage,  on my long dead end street. Now there are 25 homes…and although, we still have a few chickens, there are certainly no horses. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the 40 plus years I’ve lived here but the trend now seems to be for a builder to come in and tear down anything from the 1980’s and before, and build these whopper new giant homes. I’m only partially complaining. We’ve gained a wonderful new group of neighbors, and luckily, all of our lots are still over-sized enough to accommodate a 3,000 to 4,000 foot home fairly well.

But sometimes heartbreaking things happen in the process….especially to the old growth trees! I have addressed this before and here is an example: Tree

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/10/05/tree-daily-prompt-from-chosenperspectives-10-5-16/

Right now there is a wonderful little red and white farm house, barn, and matching well on the lot behind me facing the next street over. It’s been there since the late 1940’s. They are about to tear it all down (of course) and are building an 8,900 square foot house with a huge wall (not a fence…a WALL) around it. (None of the older homes in our neighborhood have fences. It’s wonderfully wide open.)

I should also say we live on a fairly tall hillside, and many of our homes have western views (if only partial) of the Olympic Peninsula and mountain range…beautiful!

 

Back to my complaining about so-called Progress…

So this McMansion builder, who is going to level the cute red farm house, first came in and took down 6 or 8 HUGE, beautiful trees along the western border of the property…assuming for the VIEW, right?? But I had to go over there and see just exactly what view would be worth murdering all those trees!

What follows is my telephoto experiment.

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If you look very closely, just beyond the treetops, you can see our “downtown” area.

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a blend of Bellevue and Seattle’s high rises….

Here’s what’s most interesting to me. Remember, I am experimenting with telephoto photography, using the feature on a relatively inexpensive Canon point and shoot.

The whole time I am taking these pictures, I think I am shooting the Bellevue Skyline.

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closest shot of Bellevue I could get that day…

But I am actually capturing a blend of downtown Bellevue and the Seattle Skyline some eleven miles west of us.

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I loved watching this sunrise reflection get bigger and bigger

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And when I got TOO close, I accidentally got this shot! (which I kind of like!)

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It was hazy that day, so all I could see clearly, in my clearly biased view, was that this builder guy had killed all those trees so his buyer had a view of our famous, rapidly growing, “tech-centered” city. All I could see was the combination of two city’s massive, view-blocking high-rises!

Then, later that day at Sunset, I got this shot…Bellevue, Seattle AND the Olympic mountains, which are 65 miles away (as the crow flies).

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Oh……OK, at least from another person’s perspective, maybe I get it…….

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/10/26/a-photo-a-week-challenge-open-topic/

A Photo a Week Challenge: Signs (II) 10/20/19

Uh Oh. I had to circle back to include these wonderful old Neon Signs collected inside the old “Vertigo Building” where I get my hair cut.

 

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(This post dedicated to the person whose blog is entirely about Neon signs. We had an exchange when she saw some of these signs on an earlier post of mine, but I lost her email address. Hoping she spots this and leaves a comment!!)

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/a-photo-a-week-challenge-signs-4/