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!
Next, I write a lot about the beautiful street I get to live on, but don’t say enough about my really FUN neighbors.
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…
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.
And THIS Blog, by my sweet friend Lisa, is really worth a visit! Look what she found for us! It is wonderful!!!
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!!
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…
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
And this one I thought was an odd candy dish…until I got it home and really looked at it
But really, my favorite use of this Cobalt Collection is designing playgrounds for my BUGS!
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!
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…)
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.
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.
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…
Throughout the last few years, I have shared about my bugs. I love photographing them (and coming up with silly captions).
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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
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.
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.
But I am actually capturing a blend of downtown Bellevue and the Seattle Skyline some eleven miles west of us.
And when I got TOO close, I accidentally got this shot! (which I kind of like!)
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).
Oh……OK, at least from another person’s perspective, maybe I get it…….
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.
(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!!)
(Scroll to the bottom and hit play if you’d like music while you browse my SIGNS!)
I love Signs. I take pictures of signs all over the country. Some are funny, some thought provoking, some are informational, and some are great just to prove you were there!
We spend a lot of time in Natchez, Mississippi. Wonderful old signs with history lessons everywhere.
Mississippi may be lacking in some things but HUMOR is not one of them.
And these are also in front of Fat Mama’s Hot Tamales!
I love a sign that makes me laugh out loud…
Then there are pretty signs…
Or mind-blowing signs…..
Or signs that cause a double take…say WHAT now???
But my favorite sign is in my neighbors front yard!
Thanks for coming along. Hope you enjoyed the tour.
SIGNS by Five Man Electrical Band
And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply” So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do” So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!”
Whoa-oh-oh Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
And the sign said anybody caught trespassin’ would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house, “Hey! What gives you the right?”
“To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in” “If God was here he’d tell you to your face, Man, you’re some kinda sinner”
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign? Now, hey you, mister, can’t you read? You’ve got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat You can’t even watch, no you can’t eat You ain’t supposed to be here The sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside Ugh! [Lead Guitar]
And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray” But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.” Wooo!
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign? Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Sign Sign, sign
Re-released in 1971 on the A-side, “Signs” reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
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