Lens–Artists Photo Challenge #103–Surprise (Day 116 of being “grounded”

What a delightful challenge for this starting-to-seem-endless, cooped-up time. It comes from:

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-103-surprise/

I am especially blessed these days by my father’s powerful teaching and modeling. His most strongly held spiritual belief was that boredom was a sin, and an insult to Mother Nature. He taught us to always look for that big surprise. He believed we were constantly surrounded by miracles and could find one anywhere, anytime.

Nothing cancels out boredom better than a miracle.

Being trapped in my rooms for so long has been mostly OK because of this exact philosophy. But I have to admit, I almost get to the point of boredom sometimes. When I find myself feeling that, I know it’s time to get outside. Even if just in my country-like, suburban neighborhood. Rain or shine, day or night, peopled or not, the miracles abound.

Here are some recent Surprises!!!

First, water, early morning sunlight, and shadows…a great combination for surprising beauty.

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Next, the bunnies are still around, which means the Coyotes, Owls and Hawks are probably well-fed elsewhere…for now.

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Surprise! The baby Apple Tree has its first baby apples!

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Next, very early sunlight sometimes messes with my mind. At first I thought these lovely plants had been attacked by some strange blight, only to discover on closer examination, was surprised to see it was the sun slipping through the cracks in the fence!

 

I love experimenting with things that close-up, are mysteries….but a step back reveals the origin of the surprise.

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And this one surprised me because I didn’t notice until writing this post, the shadow, light and colors from the Hummingbird feeder look remarkably like a Hummingbird!!

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And lastly, though I’m not sure it will actually work to post this, I had a long-awaited surprise just this morning.

I love my local crows and have been feeding them everyday for many years now. I wait each year for early summer, hoping to capture the Teenage crow “Feed Me!!” phenomenon.

They put on quite the show for me today!! The video is long-ish, and kind of bumpy, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear the reason for the camera jerks.

 

You can hear Miss Lucy, purring her competitive little heart out, and see the results of her head-butting my camera.

What a wonderful, surprising challenge today!!

 

Go here to see others’ creative interpretations of “Surprise”!

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/lens-artists-photo-challenge-103-surprise/

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/

A Photo a Week Challenge: Timing (again) 8/3/19

Maybe you had to be there to understand the whole Timing part…

A few days ago, in the late afternoon, I walked through my darkening Group Therapy room. I was headed for the door into the main part of  my house, and was stopped in my tracks by a stunning image.

There was one narrow beam of sunlight, still left in the day, and it was streaming through the row trees that border the west side of my property. This spotlight shot through my window, perfectly aimed at a crystal elephant that sits on the window sill (a precious gift from my grandson).

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The combination sent a laser-like rainbow clear across the room! It was huge and landed on the only section of West-facing, uncovered, white wall.

I knew I wanted to snap a photo of the results but, honestly, by the time I got back from the sprint to get my phone, it was already fading…and fast!

I got these shots…and then it was gone!!!

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Good enough photos I suppose. But it triggered in me the idea for a photo card, which I have made for years, and give as gifts.

I set my alarm for graduated sundown times, for the next three days, and waited for that perfectly timed beam to recreated the rainbow wall-art, so I could create my imagined photo.

But it never happened…not even close and no amount of staging, shifting, twisting and turning of my crystal elephant brought that big color spectrum result from a few days earlier. One of the days, I even ran across to my neighbor’s house, whose kitchen I know gets a ton of late afternoon sun. Me and my elephant, racing the sunset, frantically searching for the right timing and position.

No luck!

But I’ll tell you what I was after so you can picture it yourself. And who knows, maybe you’ll come upon a perfectly timed rainbow someday and can capture my illusive photo.

It’s an image that would be good for everyone!  (In my opinion.)

Here it is: Imagine the hand shadow in the photo below, imposed across that rainbow. I can think of so many uses for a greeting card like that, especially for some of the struggling, newly “out” young people I work with these days…

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/a-photo-a-week-challenge-timing-is-everything/

From Darkness to Light

Warning:

When I first started my blog, I warned readers I would be posting a lot of music and photos and humor (well, I think I’m funny at least), but would also occasionally have a heavier story to share.

Today’s post is an example of the latter.

A wonderful, provocative challenge was issued by Sreejit from The Seeker’s Dungeon. 

He said “I am asking you to rip yourself open and put yourself back together again; explaining where you’ve been and where you are headed.  In so doing, we hope to help others understand that they are not alone on this path.”

Then, encouraging us to dig deep, he wrote “Many times our darkest moments are what end up turning us towards a path of light. It is these soul shredding moments that I want us to share here. Let us in on one of the moments that took you from darkness to light.”

The following story is my response to his challenge. It’s long, and may be difficult for some readers. I would really appreciate comments, if you read it.

I am posting the link to his blog so you can read it there. That way, maybe you’ll  glance through some of the other posts also. These have been some beautiful and powerful stories.

From Darkness to Light Day 16 by Kathie Arcide

Thank you,

ChosenPerspectives

Lens Artist Challenge 4/27/19 theme: Less is More

I always liked this photo. I loved the weird light from outside, and the way the moisture had collected itself on my window. But I always thought there was something wrong with the picture, something missing, something I needed to add.

Today’s challenge made me think of it in a whole new way.

Maybe it’s something I have to remove from it….making less more…

Here’s my experiment. Tell me what you think.

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Original
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Cropping some of the dark strip on the left

These two are with the smaller dark strip more centered

 

 

 

 

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Final crop choice

I like the last one. It seems so much more full and alive with detail and color. And I like that it’s a little more difficult to identify.

 

Thanks for this interesting challenge. Now I’ll go out there and apply these lessons to my hectic day!

 

 

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/less-is-more/

A Song for Helen, who has given us SongLyricSunday for so long!!

 

Dear Helen,

I’ve posted this song before but I listen to and watch it almost every day. It reminds me, and lifts me, and helps me with my own frustratingly unexplained physical limitations!!

I wish you the best and want to encourage your return, if and when that works for you.

Love,

ChosenPerspectives

 

 

 

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/guest-host/

Photo a Week Challenge-Eyes 12/21/18

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/a-photo-a-week-challenge-eyes/

Try saying NO to these eyes…..

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They have been testing my Grand-mothering will power for almost 16 years!!!

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Anyone else hearing the Guess Who right now???

Photo a Week Challenge-Lit from Within

I think I’m late with this one..but here are some “lit” photos!

 

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Clever holiday decorating idea (on the kitchen counter at the Air B and B we are currently occupying!!)

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/a-photo-a-week-challenge-lit-from-within/

LensArtistsChallenge #20 Doors/Doorways

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We have this one really dark hallway in our 100 year old house…so dark that we had to install an extra light. This zigzag shaped hall is about 9 feet long and is pitch black in the middle of the day.

Off the hall are the doors to a bathroom, two bedrooms, a floor to ceiling linen closet and a long pantry…making a total of 8 doors in this small space.

This hallway was a frightening to my son when he was very young so we transformed it from the “scary dark place” to the special “room”, made especially for checking out all the “Glow in the Dark” things Mom could find; toys, stickers, sports shoes, and even a couple of t-shirts.

Once he was no longer afraid of the “dark place”, it became a favorite indoor playground. He learned which of the doorways he could “climb”, frog-walking up the openings to see how high up and for how long, he could suspend himself in that doorway.

And he discovered early on that because of the shape of the tall linen closet (it was angled due to the stairway to the basement located behind and below it) he could climb the shelves and shove himself into the larger, top-shelf space, plenty big enough for a kid.

Pulling the door closed behind himself, he could curl up and hide, and apparently even sleep in there. (My son has now taught his sons all the secrets of this hallway.

Here’s what part of the “scary dark place” looks like with the lights on.

 

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Side by side…

 

 

https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/lens-artists-challenge-20-open-sesame-doors-and-doorways/