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!!
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!
Weekly Prompts has challenged us once again to share something inspired by their prompt. I love their weekly encouragement because they include the following:
Show us or tell us, and don’t forget there are no rules and no deadlines.
On days when I actually have the time (and energy) to post something, but my mind is empty, I go to their site for ideas.
This week’s is great for me because I have a whole category of photos for my blog called saying about “Art is in the eye of the…” . Having this category helps me include my ongoing theme of Chosen Perspectives. Today’s challenge is perfect! HowI (we) look at something is everything.
For some personal historical context aesthetics (and choosing a perspective): I spent much of my early life feeling very “homely”, a conclusion I came to about myself when, at age six, I asked my grandmother if I was pretty. I was probably playing “dress-up” with her clothes and jewelry at the time. In her defense, her answer was probably based on a religious edict to prevent vanity. She said, “well…(long pregnant pause here)…you have nice hair, Dear.”
I was crushed…and you can see here why I had a tough time believing Gramma about my hair…
It wasn’t until I was about eleven years old that I began to reconsider her declaration about my looks.
I saw an episode of Twilight Zone called “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”. Clearly, I was impacted as it’s been 61 years since it was aired, and I still remember most of the scenes. If you’ve never seen it, it’s worth the time. Go online and watch it! If you did see it, I bet you remember it. Mind boggling for an 11 year old.
Anyway, it fit right in with my early thoughts on the lessons my Dad was covertly demonstrating about perspective.
I finally arrived at a time in my adult life when I was seeing myself as at least mildly attractive, with really great hair. My mane was apparently very appealing, even to strangers on the street or at the grocery store. Enough so that people would come right up to me to comment on my hair. Maybe Gramma was right after all?
And then…AGING hit with a vengeance!
I am currently losing the battle between a really loud cultural bias about women and choosing a healthy perspective on my own looks.
Back to the theme for today. Here’s what I came up with on what is (and isn’t) Aesthetically Appealing….for me.
The first four are random shots of things I found beautiful. You, of course, don’t have to…
Next, some comparisons…photos showing how the perspectives you choose can show you so many things…
This is a photo of the San Juan Island rock, that’s been painted over and over for 30 plus years, by anonymous “artists” . I think the first one is not very “appealing”…
But this next one…well, what do you think?
I really love photographing flowers. I have hundreds of shots of perfect flowers that are hard not to categorize as beautiful and aesthetically pleasing…
as long as I don’t zoom in too close. Then, they can be downright creepy! Not at all appealing.
One of my favorite flowers is the Hydrangea. It is so pretty in absolutely all of it’s stages.
Like these luscious, richly colored examples…
But Hydrangeas have taught me a lot about beauty and aging. Have you ever noticed how lovely they become, in a whole new way, as they age and even die?
You tell me, from your perspective, which photo below is more beautiful and appealing?
I really love them both.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about nature and aging and death, probably normal given my age. Why is it more difficult to see beauty in something old or dying, than in something fresh and young?
I did a post earlier this week for Wordless Wednesday, showing the dying process of a beautiful leaf from one of my favorite plants.
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.
Licensed to YouTube by
UMG (on behalf of UME Custom Premium); BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., PEDL, LatinAutor, Sony ATV Publishing, LatinAutor – SonyATV, Warner Chappell, CMRRA, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, LatinAutor – Warner Chappell, SOLAR Music Rights Management, and 4 Music Rights Societies
OK, OK, so the feature photo above is NOT of sun and WATER…but when I took the photo, I thought it was!! We were on a fast moving train and I snapped several before I realized it was not water, but some sort of agricultural stuff.
Then I remembered another picture I took while also moving fast, late for the San Juan Ferry, so no time to pull the car over for a better shot. But it was a stunning sunrise for a few miles!!
Still wracking my brain for a Sun and Water photo, I found these next three, but they were kind of standard and I wanted something different.
OK stretch, I thought…water, sun,sun and water, two of my favorite things to photograph. Surely I had something!
Oh YES! This summer we went to The Wheel, our Church of the Blue Dome…which is a group (2 to 50 people) who meet on a mountain top, every Wednesday evening, and have for more than 20 years…rain or shine…sometimes to share food and music, sometimes to play Frisbee golf, sometimes to Walk the Medicine Wheel, and sometimes to drum. But always open to something miraculous.
These were taken at this year’s Solstice Wheel.
I have been there when coyotes come right up close, when Owls join us to serenade, and when it has snowed or rained or hailed in a big circle all around without touching us at all. So this gorgeous rainbow, doubling itself and then showing us two Pots of Gold locations at once, was miraculous but not a surprise. Sun and Water. What a beautiful combo!
All of this got me thinking about Sun and Water in it’s different forms. That’s when my very favorite popped into mind.
A few years ago, when driving my grandsons along the north side of Hood Canal out of Belfair, WA., the sun rise was at the perfect point for spotting THIS on the side of the road!
It only lasted a few minutes so our timing was fortunate! (I do wish camera phones were what they are today, but I love this memory!!)
OK, last thing, if you’ve a mind to…
I wrote a short story (true) a long time ago. I posted it on my blog when I was still new, so I did not properly credit one of the photos to National Geographic (although their name appears in the lower left corner, so I hope that’s enough).
It’s one of my best stories, and although Sun and Water figure prominently in the tale, it is notall sunshine and rainbows. It is the telling of one of the more profound experiences of my life. Please read if you like. When I first posted it, I had only a handful of “followers” and not much response. So please comment. (Less an ego thing than a bare, naked soul that needs recognition.)