Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge 10/11/18 Unusual Clouds

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/a-photo-a-week-challenge-unusual-clouds/

 

I wish I had had my real camera for these shots. My phone barely captured the beauty of these colors…

 

 

While I watched the following sunset, I kept expecting a BOOMING voice from the heavens, telling me to straighten up, or else!

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This is a Sun Dog that WordPress always prints too big on my page… But it was beautiful. Many cars were stopped along the I-90 freeway, clicking away.

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I thought this sky was proof there is an artist up there, painting cloud pictures every day!

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My adopted Dad, who was an Air Force fighter pilot in several wars, used to tell me about the “hole in the sky (clouds)” pilots would watch for, presumably for the quick getaway?

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This was NOT a meteor crashing or alien ship landing…at least, I don’t think it was….

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a Photo a Week Challenge: Water

ttps://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/a-photo-a-week-challenge-water-2/

I come alive around the water. I grew up on the beach in San Diego, so I am particularly fond of the Pacific Ocean.

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Living in the Washington State for more than 45 years now, I have had to be creative in fooling my psyche into believing all water is the same…beautiful, calming, energizing, inspiring.

I’ve actually done a pretty good job. Of course, the Pacific Northwest is a water paradise

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Back ups for missing picture folder 264San Juan's 9-09 110

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But occasionally, I still need to travel in search of water…

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Mississippi River in Natchez
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A Lagoon in Alabama
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Pensalcola

And if I can’t get to a large body of it, I’ll settle for anything…

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Street Anemones

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PS I apologize for my complete lack of restraint!! Picking just one of almost ANYTHING is just too big a challenge for me these days.

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/a-photo-a-week-challenge-water-2/

WordPressPhotoChallenge 3/29/18 Sunrise

Rise/Set

Just a minute. The sun is rising as I am typing this. I’ll be back in a bit…..

Here’s what I just witnessed…(pump up your volume for the video)

 

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I love sunrise in the mountains, especially in Spring when the turkeys are doing their mating performances!!!

But Sunrise in the city (well, suburb) where we also live can be pretty spectacular!

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Sunsets, that’s a whole different thing. I have been blessed over my life with so many stunning views, I can’t even choose one.

So here are a few favorites…

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I think some music from Jesse Colin Young would be the soundtrack….

I loved this topic. I may have shared this story before but a very special Sunrise taught me one of my most important life lessons ever.

See if you can put yourself in this scene. You are on a once-in-a-lifetime, month long trip with your 7 closest friends, sailing in the South Pacific (Fiji). You are sitting on the deck of a 95 foot yacht before first light. As the sun begins to rise, you realize that although every rise and set of the sun down here has been fantastic, this one is going to break all the records. It is quickly shaping up to be maybe the most spectacular sunrise ever, in the history of the world. There are no words. It is happening like a movie, the light changing dramatically every minute or so. All you can think of is waking everyone else up quickly so they don’t miss this one! You become frantic, not wanting to go below decks because you will miss some never-before-seen aspect of a sunrise.

Then it dawns on you (pun intended). This particular, exact, specific sunrise might be intended just for YOU!

Now try not believing in God………….

Daily Prompt: Silhouette

via Daily Prompt: Silhouette

Once again, I cheat…some of these are shadows, not silhouettes, and besides, I think I am supposed to be writing about the word, not showing photos.

Well, there are eleven pictures, so 11 X 1,000=11,000 words, so I figure I’m covered…

(Boy, the lengths I go to get COMMENTS!)

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The Eagles (for once, NOT the rock band)

I have delayed, avoided, and postponed writing this because I wanted to find the words to convey my recent profound experience.

For more than a month, we have had Bald Eagles visiting on our quiet little dead-end street, unusual in the middle of one of the largest, fastest growing cities in Washington state.

I’ve lived in my home for almost 44 years and have sometimes seen eagles circling high above.  Twice, I was even gifted with a low fly-by right in my driveway! But I have only seen them land once before. (I wrote a whole story about that dramatic event but I’ll save it for a later post!)

A few weeks ago on my daily walk I just happened to spot, well actually hear some sky activity. A couple of Bald Eagles, apparently cruising our neighborhood for prey or a nesting site (although it seems late in the year for that latter). Not sure why they are hanging out here. (Hope all the neighbors are keeping their pet Gerbils inside.)

It was a really gray day which made it impossible for my hard-working point and shoot Canon to get a good shot when they landed in a tree top.

And then, a few days later, I was at my computer sending a favorite link to my new blogging friend, Lisa, at  https://dailymusing57.com/  (a terrific Blog, by the way). The link is to a live camera for the Decorah Eagles. As I was typing, I heard that unmistakable eagle-screaming right outside my window! I ran outside onto my deck (without my camera-Dang!) and witnessed the most amazing thing.

This deck is very large, about 600 square feet, and wide open. It’s actually the roof over an old 3 car garage. Before the trees in my neighborhood matured, from my deck I could see the Space Needle and the Olympic Mountains! And every year, lounging on this deck, I would watch the big fireworks shows in July or the Blue Angels performing in August.

But I had never seen a show like this one! There were FIVE BALD EAGLES circling my above me!! Like a small Convocation! (you gotta be impressed I knew that word!) It looked like two were fending off or chasing the other three. Maybe it was a territory battle or some kind of mating ritual. I don’t know!

The twosome flew very close together in large and then smaller and smaller circles. They landed on the top of the biggest tree right in front of my house. The other three flew off into the distance.

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In all these years living in my house, no eagle has ever landed right in front of my house before! Maybe I was just tapped into Eagle Energy on that day or something. I mean, what are the odds I’d be typing away about the Decorah Bald Eagles at the exact moment my local ones appear? I have often wondered if Eagles are a “totem” (spirit animal) for me. Supposedly, if an animal presents itself to you three times, they are yours! So I looked them up.

http://www.pure-spirit.com/more-animal-symbolism/629-eagle-symbolism

For the next several days, the Pair that won the turf battle, hung out in some trees right up the street from me.

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Finally, a sunny day. I shot so many pictures, I broke my camera…literally. I now have to use glass tape to keep the battery door closed.

Now my neighbors all know about our visitors. I am the longest (and oldest) resident on our street and the self-appointed Wildlife Reporter for our neighborhood e-mail list. When I am in the street with my camera, looking up, they stop their cars and ask where the Eagles are today? There have been many emails of sightings, almost as many as when there is a coyote prowling around. On Easter morning, several households were treated to a dramatic Bald Eagle show during outside Easter Egg Hunts. Great opportunities to teach the younger ones about these majestic birds!

Part of the “show” was a couple of Crows dive-bombing these two Eagles, who seemed to be simply sitting there…but I bet there was a Crow’s nest near by.

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This Eagle “peals” each time the Crow dives

This whole experience has totally inspired me to upgrade with WordPress so I can share short videos on my blog. And I think there is a way to capture single frames from a video but I don’t know how. Here is the opening frame of a great video I got of that epic sky-battle. (It’s a photo of my computer screen, so sort of a blurry “screenshot.)

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In recent weeks, almost every clear morning and evening this beautiful twosome sits at the top of my tree to watch the sun rise or set. They remind me of a scene in the movie City of Angels (Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage) where all the Angels are lined up on the beach to watch the Sunset. (It’s in this Goo Goo Dolls video)

 

I have been house and dog sitting for dear friends this last week, so I have missed their visits, but every day I drive the 25 miles back to my house hoping for a sighting. I pay lots of attention to my three cats for a while, pretending that’s why I’m home, but then, I go out on my deck looking for my Bald Eagles. I miss them. (Do NOT tell my kitties that’s really why I’m home. They are so sensitive!)

One morning, at the place I’m staying, I looked up from writing this story to see a huge bird right outside on the fence…some kind of Hawk, I think. Couldn’t get my camera focused fast enough but here he is.

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Anybody recognize this pretty? I thought to myself “Hmm, settling for a Hawk? It’s just not the same.” but when I looked up the Native American symbolism for Hawk, it was so close to Eagles I decided I’d better start paying better attention to their message for me.

I have to admit that with all this activity and totem research, I am now taking these Bald Eagle visits very personally. I’m looking at my current life differently and as usual, with a “message from the Universe”, there is a mixture of wonder, awe, and Duh!

If I knew how to thank these birds, I would.

I mean, I’m not going to sacrifice one of my cats or anything, but I am truly grateful for their amazing and persistent presence.

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My message…
“This may be a good opportunity for you to renegotiate and balance your obligations–-Eagle ”  from http://www.spirit-animals.com/eagle/
OK, got it!! Could not be more fitting right now.
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You must always look carefully at the WHOLE picture….even when there is distracting beauty right in front of you…
(My accidental discovery…I didn’t see my Eagle in the background until I enlarged the apple blossoms…)
If you read all the way to here, I sure would appreciate some feedback or reactions to this post. Thank you.