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/

Pull up a Seat Challenge 10/25/19

I’ve been saving photos for this challenge for a while so here goes:

One of my favorite places to Pull up a Seat (if I can’t be right next to the Pacific Ocean) is on my sister’s porch….especially at, but not limited to, sunrise. Nothing like having your morning coffee on this porch in the early summer.

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Deck Garden 3

But then there are benches all over their property for sitting and becoming one with Nature…

Or you can be like Ola, the Wonder Dog, and plant yourself on one of the bridges over the pond between the house and the gardens and green house. (Although this might be better titled “Pull up a BED“.)

Ola, still on duty

 

Ah, but the memories of me with my grandsons pretend-fishing off these bridges…Maybe that’s my favorite.

Pull up a seat

 

I love seeing where other species choose to Pull up a Seat.

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Then there’s our friend Mark who has a very boring selection of where to Pull up a Seat

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At our Mountain Retreat, someone has chosen to Pull up a Precarious Seat, but for very good reason!

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They were putting in a new glass roof over our other favorite place to Pull up a Seat…our Porch Swing!

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It looks out over a beautiful valley.

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I always hate when this time comes each year when the porch seat gets tied up to make room for firewood…

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Then I just remember all the different butts that have planted themselves here.

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Father/son moment

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Three Brothers

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Then there were two…

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And I know James is not looking forward to being just one…

But he’ll have so many memories to savor…pulling up this particular seat!

porch swing

 

 

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2019-Week 42

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge 9/28/19 Changing Seasons

I have been blessed in my life to witness Seasons Changing all over the US…from the West Coast beaches to the expansive Southwest deserts to the Deep South to the East Coast, to Canada and back to the Pacific Northwest!!

But I got completely spoiled a couple of years ago right here in my neighborhood when I accidentally discovered the most glorious Autumn display I have ever seen.

I was simply driving out a different driveway than usual from my Home Depot parking lot…and there it was. So fantastic, I made 5 or 6 trips in the following weeks to try to capture this Color Extravaganza in all its stages. On cold dark days, in the pouring rain, in the blinding sunlight (that’s how we experience sunlight up here…blinding), sunrise, sunset, and always with both my cameras! I even gave it a name and told all my friends and neighbors to go see it.

I’ve posted on it before but here are some photos to enjoy. Believe me, it’s not even close to walking the block-long side walk in front of “The Wonder Wall”!

Not driving by. You have to stand in front of it and feel the thrum of color and growth, right there in front of you! Just pretend…and see if you can hear it….feel the colors.

 

 

 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/a-photo-a-week-challenge-changing-seasons/

Friday Flowers 9/27/19

Is there any flower that ages as beautifully as the Hydrangea??

I try to learn from this flower, to be accepting and graceful about my slow decline…

 

And these delights…so much cheerful color in our rapidly graying Northwest!!

 

 

Lastly, don’t you just want to dance when you see this?

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I don’t really know if this is a “challenge”, this Friday Flowers thing, but here’s where I spotted it. She does beautiful photography!

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/category/friday-flowers/

HELP!!!😜

I’ve been missing from the Blogosphere for a while…a little distracted by everyday life…and a few relatively minor “first world” problems…well, they will seem minor someday, I’m sure…

A small leak, needing a plumber to fix it…but in my wonderful, century-old house, it was a $30,000 to $40,000 job!!! The exact death knell for my home I’ve been dreading for 45 years.

Luckily, James is a genius and figured out the $5,000 to $7,000 version that buys us some more years here. He has done an amazing job of creative plumbing, as well as a “might as well do it now” kitchenette remodel for the tiny basement apartment we live in here. We shifted down so my son and growing grandsons could live upstairs where the ceilings heights are normal. That way, they don’t end up with banged heads and visits to the chiropractor from all the ducking it required for them down here.

It’s been distracting and stressful.

Why is it that when I go camping, some bottled water, a freshwater stream and maybe the luxury of a porta-potty are more than enough. But no running water in my home for 8 or 9 days is enough to send me over some edge I didn’t know existed. That means no dish washing or shower or laundry or certain kinds of cooking, or the biggie, no TOILET all this time.

I do have to say, James and the guys made sure MY bathroom was up and running first. I claimed it as mine when we first moved downstairs. I decorated it perfectly for my taste, all aqua and frilly, and have called it the “Girl Bathroom” ever since. The guys have two other bathrooms, but in our current crisis, their’s are not restored to a usable state yet…so I’m sharing.

Have I mentioned I live with SIX MEN?

Having NOT grown up, or lived for any length of time in a Third World situation, I am now way too old to haul my own water. This current situation has highlighted, LOUDLY, how amazing it is, and how lucky we are to have fresh, running water…and these days, with the new faucets and such, you can literally just wave your hand, and voila, clean, hot or cold running water, 

I tell you what, I am now Matt Damon’s biggest fan.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/22/matt-damon-on-solving-the-worlds-clean-water-crisis.html

There are the other, expected construction zone inconveniences of course.

I mean, below is my living room.

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These piles will be cleared up eventually, and I can see the beginnings of a real kitchenette, after more than 40 years of makeshift counters, shelves, and a 1930’s enameled, cast-iron sink and drawer unit, grabbed from an old Seattle apartment building destruction. Most of the college students and single Mom’s I’ve rented to over the years thought it was “cool”.

Out with the old…

But in the mean time, I cherish my outside moments each day even more than usual.

And sent just for me to brighten my day, look who I found while watering my Fuchsia.

This Mama Oregon Junco has had her own plumbing problems lately because I have been soaking this plant (and her nest) every day for a couple of weeks now…and yet, here she still is….

My inspiration to hang in there….