Sunday Stills: A Plant’s Life

Quote by Hans Christian Andersen

Thank you to Betty Louise, at Idaho Bluebird, whose blog I have followed for several years. She suggested the theme “plant life” for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge.

I am enjoying a wonderful weekend in San Diego attending my brother’s wedding. Today’s shots of plants and flowers are mostly associated with the San Diego area, where I was born and raised and lived there until age 20. With family still there, three step-children, my daughter and fiancé, and a grand-baby, you can bet I visit there two-three times a year.

Bougainvillea
I love this plant, so much so that I managed to plant one in my front yard here in Northern California, although it may struggle with the dryer, hotter summer air. San Diego is more humid with more even temperatures year ‘round.Bougainvillea are everywhere! It is beautiful, but watch out for its thorns! 

Pink and white bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

Jacaranda
This gorgeous purple tree flowers mostly in June in San Diego (and I’m sure many other places). It is a large tree and a sight to behold.

Jacaranda tree
Jacaranda tree

Jasmine
White Star JasmineAnother favorite plant is “night-blooming jasmine.” I don’t have a photo of one, although while visiting I will try to find some to photograph.

Night jasmine has a tubular yellow flower, much different from the star jasmine pictured. Since they open only at night, I never notice them, but I can smell their heady scent that is mostly apparent at night!

My grandfather had an amazing backyard filled with Bougainvillea, jasmine, magnolia, honeysuckle and two huge date palms, among other tropical plant life that prefers the even temperatures and ocean breezes. He took pride in his yard and spent hours pruning and planting.

Sadly, when he passed away over 20 years ago and the home was sold, the owners sold the two date palms! I guess they are popular trees! Even these days, when visiting, I drive by his old home and still see where the palms resided. I hope they are happy where they are now.

Thank you so much for all the participation with this photo challenge. I’m noticing other comments on Sunday Stills posts of yours which means you are connecting with each other!

Also, one word of instruction to help your blogging journey. When titling your Sunday Stills post, you do not have to use “Sunday Stills” in the title, and it is best NOT to title your post the same title as mine. Our blogs are found on google searches using SEO and having several blog posts with the same title can be confusing. Please be as creative as you wish with your titles!

Because I am traveling when this post publishes, I may not be able to share and comment until Monday evening, but no later than Tuesday!

Do you love the plants of the Earth? Share one or some of your favorites in Sunday Stills. I can’t wait to see what images you share!

 

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The Wonders of the Public Pool

Children playing in swimming pool

I have managed to combine three photo challenges into this one photograph.

Summer in July finds children counting the minutes until their neighborhood public swimming pool opens for the day. Although I no longer oversee the daily operations of these pools, I do appreciate the lengths leisure professionals must go to to ensure clean, safe pools with well-trained lifeguards.

All that training and preparation for the opening of the pools makes no difference to a child.

Child plays in fountain

Inspired by these photo challenges

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Sunday Stills: Can You Capture the #Wind?

Windy clouds at sunset

Today’s Sunday Stills theme challenges you to capture the wind! Wind is a very broad theme which is open to much interpretation.

Like last week, I challenge you to get creative with your photography or other projects! Perhaps you captured the wind in a poem, a song, a quote. I’m sure there are hundreds of songs with “wind” in the titles.

This is one of my favorite quotes.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward

We can only see the effects of wind, whether it’s a gentle breeze fluffing a bird’s feathers, or hurricane force winds ripping piers from their docks, or clouds scudding across the sky blown by the beginnings of a storm.

The featured image above shows wind’s effect on the clouds and the ever-present wind turbines.

Wind plays a big part in my life since I became a windsurfer in 2009. The wind is ALWAYS the topic of conversation from April through September in our household and at the delta as every windsurfer I know checks their wind meters, their weather apps or asks if there will be enough wind for sailing.

When it’s a BIG day, it looks like this.

windsurfer getting air

Brodie loves the wind and waves. You can tell it’s windy by his flapping ear!

Wind blowing dog's ear

I manage to have good days windsurfing. Just last week hubby caught me coming off the water with a big smile on my face after 45 minutes of fun in the wind.

Smiling Windsurfer bringing in her windsurf gear

Did you know my logo for Second Wind Leisure represents stylized sails in an abstract “W”? A graphic artist friend created this for me years ago when I started blogging, and for my website Windigen Consulting (which is German for wind).

I’m looking forward to what your interpretation for WIND!

Link up here with your post! I share all posts on my Second Wind Leisure Facebook page, on Twitter and on Flipboard.



 

Still Looking for Photo Challenges?

Summer Zinneas

Since the WordPress weekly photo challenge ended a few weeks ago, many bloggers are still searching for photo challenges in which to showcase their photographic talents and images.

The word “challenge” is a bit of a misnomer, as everyone is not necessarily in a photography competition, but rather, a showcase of our hobbies and talents.

The challenge lies in finding that perfect image that fits the theme of the host’s challenge. I strive to combine some of the challenges when I can.

I haven’t posted for Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge in a long while! This week’s theme is Plant. In the featured image above, these sunny zinneas graced my backyard deck.

In addition to blogging photo challenges, there are other challenges on a variety of social media. I began taking part in the 2018 Summer Instagram Photo Challenge hosted by Leslie at Once Upon a Time Happily Ever After. 

This was posted recently for the aforementioned Instagram Photo Challenge, a beautiful macro shot of a rose. I love how it worked out that I could share this Instagram post and use it for the blog!

Macro shot of rose
I also tried to plant some vegetables two years ago, last spring, and although the tomatoes (shown here) started out promising, they didn’t have enough juice to become a full, red tomato!

But it sure made for a nice macro image!

The newest challenge to hit the blogosphere is Lens Artists featured on four different blogs. You can check it out on fab photographer Tina Schell’s Travels And Trifles.

For a great round-up of photo challenges for bloggers, visit Cee’s Photography page.

And of course, my weekly Sunday Stills challenge.

As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.” Go out and get creative!

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Sunday Stills: What Does #Summer Mean to You?

Sunday Stills Summer graphic

For the Sunday Stills challenge to celebrate the first week in July, share your favorite thing about summer. You can simply share one photo of your favorite summer experience or wow us with a gallery of what summer means to you.

And it’s not just about photos…perhaps you are inspired by a song, poem, artwork, short story or something else. It would be nice to have a photo of your idea, but please be creative!

What does “summer” mean to you? Is it the warm (or hot) weather? Or…

Witnessing a refreshing summer storm?

Variety of textures in the delta

Planting and enjoying your backyard garden?

Summer Zinneas

Enjoying a water sport?

Windsurfer getting some air
Windsurfer getting some air

Enrolling the kids in some swim lessons?

Swimming lessons for youth are inexpensive and necessary!

A beautiful hike in the mountains?

Lupine view of mountains at Mammoth Lakes
Lupine view of mountains at Mammoth Lakes

Calm sunrise at a Mexican resort?

The difference a new day makes in our quest for change

Chasing your dog on the beach?

Brodie at ocean Beach San Diego
Brodie at Ocean Beach in San Diego

Stopping to smell the flowers?

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

Visiting a national park?

Yosemite Valley with Bridalveil Falls
Yosemite Valley

Whatever it is, please share your idea of SUMMER this week!

Instagram meme Good times and tan linesSince we are on the subject of summer, feel free to join us on Instagram for the Summer Instagram Photo Challenge that starts today. You can join anytime!

Join our growing Sunday Stills Tribe

Bloggers who shared Sunday Stills posts in June

A Day In the Life

All the Shoes I Wear

Cee’s Photography

Geriatri’x Fotogallery

Grahams Island

Hugh’s Views and News

IScribler

Idaho Bluebird

Light Words

Misty Roads Blog

Mucho Spanish

Musin’ with Susan

Na’ama Yehuda

NorCal Zen

Now at Home

OnceUponaTime&HappilyEverAfter

PilotFish Blog

Proscenium

Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters

Retirementally Challenged

Sights & Insights

Smorgasbord Variety is the Spice of Life

Tales from My Lens

That Little Voice

The New 3Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect

Tranature

Wind Kisses

ZestNZeal

If I left anyone out, please forgive me! I can add you!

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Three Ways to Thrive When Your #Leisure Time Expands: A Guest Post

Over 50 & Thriving Series Three ways to thrive when your leisure time expands

Join me today as I share my thoughts on ways to thrive when your leisure time expands. I discuss these concepts on Sue’s lovely blog as part of her Over 50 & Thriving Guest Series.

Thriving at midlife is a concept our parents and grandparents probably didn’t think about. Baby Boomers today have so many more choices in the 21st century with meaningful careers, healthy leisure lifestyles, a variety of second acts, and satisfying retirement.

To find satisfaction as you continue to thrive after 50, I suggest three ways in which to do so.

  • Dealing with Isolation as a Writer/Blogger
  • Feathering an Empty Nest
  • Nursing Injuries after 50.

My fabulous re-decorated fireplace ala Joanna Gaines styleCome on over to Sizzling Towards Sixty  to read the rest and you can see what I did for my summer decorating project!

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Redhead: Cee’s Black & White Challenge

Black and white image of woodpecker with red head

I have been busy on the blog this week, so this post is short and sweet as I share my black and white version of this woodpecker.

Back in early 2017, with my new Lumix camera in tow, I strode along the American River Bike Trail hoping for some good photo ops! Although it was late January, it was a sunny day and birds were out. I was so excited to see Mr. Woodpecker here.

Woodpecker in black and white

Cee’s challenge accepts black and white photos with these elements: I chose the third one to highlight the pop of red on his little birdy head.

  • Black and white photography
  • Sepia tones (browns)
  • Selective color with the majority of the photo being in black and white
  • Desaturated – very little color tone left in your photo

Here he is in full color with minimal post-editing. I zoomed in on him quite a bit, and was pleased with the clarity.

 

Black and white photo beachFeel free to join Cee’s Black and White Photography Challenge every Thursday where she provides a new theme.

If you are on Instagram and enjoy challenges, check out the Instagram Summer Photo Challenge that begins July 1st.

Sunday Stills themes for July are ready for planning purposes, too!

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Calling All Instagrammers: Join the #Instagram Summer Photo Challenge

Instagram meme Good times and tan lines

Summer is a great time for getting outside and taking pictures! Join myself and fellow blogger Leslie  for her second annual Instagram Summer Photo Challenge.

This challenge on Instagram begins July 1st and runs the entire month.

If you can’t post something every day you can pick the daily themes you like and post then. The days and themes are wide open for interpretation. You can choose to share new photos or dig into your archives.

Be sure to include the hashtag #2018SummerInstaPhotoChallenge.

Instagram is a popular photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook. You do not have to be on Facebook to enjoy and use Instagram. However, if you have both, the Instagram app lets you choose to share the image to your Facebook timeline.

While on my 4-month blogging break last spring, my goal was to continue to share my photos on Instagram and build my following. I participated in a couple of daily challenges and followed new people. During that time I also gained over 200 new followers.

Sharing photos on Instagram is all about the hashtags. You can see in Leslie’s example how she used them. This helps folks find you.

Aixa at Mucho Spanish has a huge Instagram following. Why? Because she not only has wonderful photos and shares them consistently, she also engages with comments and follows others’ feeds. Here is an interesting post about her relationship with Instagram.

Sure there a annoying ads on the feed, but I ignore them and keep scrolling.

This is an IG (Instagram) post I shared a few weeks ago that got quite a few likes!  I tell a little story and use hashtags (see Leslie’s post above for her example); almost like a mini-blog! I see too many posts with just a photo and no hashtags. The information helps everyone engage with your image!

Please consider joining the challenge. No Instagram account? Start one!

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Sunday Stills: Who Are #Tourists?

Tourists gather on the beach in Coronado

The last week in June finds the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge exploring the theme “tourist.”

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere sees an abundance of tourists.

We all think we know who tourists are, but did you know that YOU are a tourist? Any time you step out of your locale, you become a tourist.

“Stop hating the tourist—after all, tourists are just us in other locations.” Dr. Greg Shaw

Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act.

In two of the classes I teach, we discuss the idea of tourism. In fact, the major in which I teach is called Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration. Adding “tourism” and changing the major from Recreation and Leisure Studies brought hundreds more students seeking courses in this major which include 14 career tracks beside the traditional public recreation services, parks & natural resources management, and therapeutic recreation.

Future students touring the university
Future students tour the Sacramento State Campus

Tourism and hospitality play a huge role in this major which opens doors for careers in event planning, professional and collegiate sports management, and theme park management, to name a few. One of our class discussions includes these questions:

  • What would you say are your hometown’s best tourist attractions or special features worthy of tourist visits?
  • What special places in your town would tourists ruin?

Food for thought!

“Move to a new country and you quickly see that visiting a place as a tourist, and actually moving there for good, are two very different things.”
― Tahir Shah, Travels With Myself

Photographer reflected in the mirror

Are you a tourist this summer? When we went to the Big Island of Hawaii last winter, I KNEW I was a tourist and was very happy to be one. How else can one learn about the places they travel?

Did I mention I have been to Yosemite National Park 25 times in my life so far? I do not feel like a tourist there at all, more like a local who has chased a few bears away, camped in tents in the frigid alpine nights, and enjoyed countless ranger-led hikes and campfires.

It’s all in our perspective.

SundayStills_blogbanner

Please join the ever-growing list of bloggers sharing for Sunday Stills!

Feel free to use this image for your posts.

The July calendar is posted on the Sunday Stills page.

 

 

Where was the last place you felt like a tourist?

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Horses in Black and White

White horse at the fence

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I share a LOT of photos, mostly in technicolor! I am happy to write that I am back to stretching my camera lenses with Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenges.

This week’s theme is “animals,” and my entry is this happy, cream-colored horse I met while walking with my Dad on Father’s Day. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills (Northern California), in a picturesque, quaint, but very “country” area of his small town.

She came right up to the fence as we approached and her buckskin friend dutifully came along side. This image is in color so you can see the difference from the black and white image above.

Friendly white horse

Dad and I chatted briefly about my old horse Cookie that I loved when I was a young girl living near Portland, Oregon. It got me very nostalgic for my horseback riding days.

For more about my love of horses, you can check out this oldie-but-goodie post, Borrowing Freedom.

“All horses deserve the chance, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.” Unknown

If you are looking for more photo challenges, head over to Cee’s Photo Challenge PageAnd don’t forget about my weekly feature, Sunday Stills. July’s themes will be posted next week!

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Sunday Stills: #Twin Fathers

Flowers twinned

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is “twin.”

I posted the above image on Instagram a few weeks ago. The dandelion weed with its twinned shadow, grew in a crack in my driveway and the dual colors of cement made an interesting yin-yang effect.

When I think of the month of June, I can’t help but think of Gemini, one of the constellations of the zodiac. Gemini is Latin for twins. According to Greek mythology, Castor and Pollux, real stars in the night sky, make up the constellation Gemini, which can be seen in the northern hemisphere’s summer sky.

My husband is an identical twin.

Since today is Father’s Day in the U.S., I had to tie this theme in to my husband and his twin brother who are both celebrating Father’s Day this weekend on different parts of the West Coast.

Twin brothers

My hubby is in San Diego visiting his children and his first grandchild! In the photo, that’s my husband on the right. They have been known to play twin jokes on many people over the years. When I knew them in high school (yes, really!), I could not tell them apart. They may be nearly identical physically, but have very different personalities.

And just for fun, I threw in these twin doors (for Norm’s Thursday Doors) found in the Gold Rush town of Sutter Creek, California.

Twin Doors

Other words associated with twin are couple, clone, duplicate, double and matched. How you interpret twin is up to you.

Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with for the theme! Linking up is optional!

Happy Father’s Day to all the hard-working dads!

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Can You Ride A Unicycle? 

Girl on unicyle rolls by motel door

Something unique for Thursday Doors today! As I turn my attention to taking part in new and old photo challenges, I came across these photos of not one, but two cute girls, with doors as their backdrop for some fun!

In the featured image above, I saw this cutie riding a unicycle around the hotel we stayed in near Yosemite a couple of years ago.  I asked her (and her mother) for permission to take her picture as she deftly rode around the hotel area on her unicycle.

In the photo below, while at San Diego’s Southern California Exposition (also known as the Del Mar Fair), one of the exhibits hosted an Alice in Wonderland theme complete with doors of varying shapes and sizes.

Del Mar Fair Doors

Those of you who posted for the weekly photo challenges, are you feeling a little lost? I joined hundreds of bloggers weekly for nearly four years posting for the WPC.

But there is hope for all of us. Our fellow bloggers are hosting other wonderful photography challenges. If you are looking for more challenges to show off your photography skills and inspire your writing, please join my weekly Sunday Stills Challenge  and take a look at Cee Neuner’s website for an expanding list of photo challenges hosted by herself and others!

And please join Norm at Thursday Doors each week with your fabulous doors!

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
— Aaron Siskind

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Jy is wat jy dink - nie wat jy dink jy is nie. Dit help soms om hardop te lag vir wat jy dink of dink jy is.

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