What is black, brown, and orange all over? Why, your photos, of course. Welcome to October’s Monthly Color Challenge!

As much as I love orange tones during Autumn, I thought we could mix orange with dark brown and black found in lava—whether rocks, flowing lava, or glowing coals within a fire. Or anything else!

You don’t need pictures of lava for this color challenge, just a combination of brown, black and orange or pick one of these colors!

Lava Flows in Hawaii

Lava Rocks of Hilo Bay
Lava Rocks of Hilo Bay

To get you started on this color challenge, in case you need natural lava to inspire you, take a look at a gallery of images taken in 2018 and 2019 when we visited the Big Island of Hawaii. The entire chain of Hawaiian islands is made of lava rock through millennia of volcanic eruptions. Tens of thousands of years of erosion have created rich soil where life flourishes. There is still volcanic activity on the Big Island. Graham of Graham’s Island is the resident expert and photographer of active lava.

Photography Fun

Most of you know I spent 10 days with my bud Marsha Ingrao in Portland, then at my home, where we together, must have taken 10,000 photos! While in Portland, we visited the rose garden, Fort Vancouver in Washington, and places in between. We also put in a lot of steps on our walks.

Kirstin, Marsha, and I spent some time wandering the Fort Vancouver Living History area and watched as a volunteer baked bread over coals. On the table was a plate of black tea in cake form.

Marsha and I spent a few hours at Portland’s Washington Park which houses many attractions including the Elephant House on which this mural was placed. The next stop was the Rose Garden area.

Deer, birds, cougar mural
Part of Elephant House Mural, Portland

Orange You Glad For Orange Flowers?…

…Instead of black or brown ones? If you are a floral photographer, let’s see your orange flowers! These glorious orange flowers were taken in my cousin’s Tigard, Oregon neighborhood, and at the Portland International Rose Garden.

Neighborhood Dahlia Display
Neighborhood Dahlia Display

And a beautiful orange hibiscus from Hawaii.

Orange hibiscus
Orange Hibiscus

I did a little photo-editing in this image for a project I’m working on…

Autumn Colors on Spokane's Centennial Trail
Faux Fall Colors

Memories of a Little Brown Dog

Aero the cockapoo
Beloved Aero, still regal on his last day

In an ironic twist of fate, I’m also sharing pictures of my sweet, little brown dog, Aero, whose cocoa-brown fur and calm demeanor made him a very popular dog with my family and friends.

Aero passed away peacefully last Wednesday.

At age 12 he was healthy and full of life. Sunday night he started panting heavily. Suspecting congestive heart failure, I took him to the vet on Tuesday where he was diagnosed via chest x-ray with lung cancer! His entire chest cavity was full of cancer, and we opted to not let him suffer.

He looked healthy in these pictures, but he hadn’t eaten or pottied since Tuesday afternoon. He breathing was labored and shallow. It was time.

Me and My Aero One Last Time
Me and My Aero One Last Time

“It is the most unselfish act in all of life to let one go that we have found beloved. ~Kate McGahan

His sweet spirit now romps pain and cancer-free with his older brother, Gideon, in the eternal home God provides for all his creatures. Thank you to those who sent virtual hugs and condolences through Facebook. It’s been a tough week.

Please enjoy my gallery of Aero as we celebrate his life and the colors of brown, orange, and black.

  • Aero 6 weeks old
  • dog in orange harness
  • Blonde and Brown dogs
  • Aero the dog chases the ball on the beach
  • Aero Birthday
  • Aero with me on SUP
  • Aero coaching Brodie on the finer points of a dog's life
  • Aero at 2 months old
  • Holiday Display Balboa Park, San Diego
  • Me and My Aero
  • Dressed up dogs ready to play

You can see how much I loved this little dog by the number of media file images in this thumbnail sketch.

Media files of Aero

“It is the burning lava of the soul that has a furnace within–a very volcano of grief and sorrow–it is that burning lava of prayer that finds its way to God.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Rest in peace, little Aero.

Aero's Orange Collar
Aero’s Orange Collar, Bought in Hawaii

Waiting at the Door

For those of us who have said a sad goodbye to our beloved pets, I offer this wonderful meme someone sent me.

Sorry to make you weep.

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

How To Participate in Sunday Stills Photo Challenge

Sunday Stills weekly photo challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.

This Week’s Featured Bloggers

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared colorful photos featuring orange, black, and brown. I add these all week as new links are posted.

I am volunteering at the neighborhood fall festival this morning and will read and share your links Sunday afternoon.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I can’t wait to see how you interpret the colors of orange, brown, and black this week! Join me next week as we explore the theme “Fleeting Moments.”

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family in Canada! Have a great week and know that, although I have moments of sadness, I am doing OK.

Autumn signature

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128 thoughts on “Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: #Lava and Memories of a Little Brown Dog

  1. Sorry for your loss, Terri. I know the heartache of losing a beloved pet. Our last pet’s parting was so difficult for us, we vowed to not own another. I know we are missing the love and enjoyment of another family member.
    I expect Aero felt young again as he went across that rainbow bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so very sorry about Aero, Terri 💔 I can imagine how much you’ll miss him. It’s one of the hardest things. The photo gallery is lovely, we’ll never forget those fur babies we’ve lost.
    I love your gallery of photos. I’ve never seen real lava. The flowers are gorgeous and I love the faux fall colours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Terri, What a beautiful post, so positive yet so sad and respectful. I’m so glad I got to hold Aero one last time. He was one of the sweetest dogs ever and so soft and cuddly. I adored him and am so sad for you. I’m glad you have Brodie because he won’t let you ignore him. The funniest thing that happened at your house was with Brodie. On the last morning I got up Brodie ran from the family room to my door barking his head off. As soon as he saw me, he turned around, tail between his legs. A minute later he was back and laid his chew toy at my feet as an apology. That was so cute. Thank you again for all the wonderful times and hospitality. Arizona beckons! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you my dear friend, and for sharing that bit about Brodie. That brought tears to my eyes and reminds me that Brodie is a sweet, loyal dog whom we love! He may have been overshadowed by Aero’s presence but no more. He is top dog now. I let him sniff Aero’s fur clippings the first night and he seemed to understand Aero was gone. I’m glad you got to snuggle with Aero–he would have made a great care dog at the nursing home.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Janis! Our last trip to San Diego, where he discovered his older brother Gideon was gone, was heartbreaking to see as he spent days looking for him around the house. I love that shot of his ears flopping too. When he would come in and sit down, he flopped and so did his ears. I miss that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry for your losing Aero. A family pet is just that–family. Your tribute to him was lovely and showed how much love you gave him and what he gave in return. May his memory be a blessing for you always.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to hear about Aero. At least he didn’t suffer too much, not that that makes it any easier for you. A splendid collection of photos with all the autumnal colors. Did you try the black tea cake? Looks like something you could break your teeth on.

    The current eruption is still chugging along here. It’s been more than a year now, and while it’s not as spectacular as some previous events, it’s still cool to see, especially at night. As you’d expect, I wasn’t short of options for this one: https://grahamsisland.com/2022/10/09/lava-in-all-its-colors/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terri, you have done it again – Lava? Well, I stepped up to the challenge this week, and while it does not rival the beautiful job you have done here, I gave it a shot. So sorry you lost your beloved Aero. Seems like you had a lot of very good years together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susanne, LOL I try to keep the color challenges somewhat challenging. I find myself forgetting Aero is gone and look around before I do something. We have some nice photos of him in the house and a big image of him on my 32″ monitor. I say good morning and good night each time the PC comes on.


  7. Aw…I’m crying too now…I know how it feels to say goodbye to a beloved dog. Aero was clearly loved and treasured. It takes so much love and strength to let them go when it is time. Your lava-inspired photos are beautiful, thank you for hosting the color challenge for October. Hugs to you! 🤗😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Our old guy is struggling with vestibular disease and each episode he has I wonder is it his last. Then he rebounds but one of these days. They are such a huge part of our daily lives it’s so hard.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. That poem totally made me tear up Terri. But that quote is absolutely fabulous. I just love how you included those older photos of Aero.
    Lots of hugs and love,

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Terri, I’m sorry for your sudden loss. Your photo gallery of Aero and lava shots are all beautiful, especially Aero’s eyes and fur colour. I have an ‘orange/ black’ post for your colour challenge. I’ll link up on this coming Friday. Sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So sorry to hear of Aero’s passing Terri. It is difficult when that time comes especially an animal. In 2016, it was Maggie (our previous labrador) who was paid a visit by the vet. Six weeks later, while in Europe we had to sit through the movie ‘Marley and Me.’ With forty other happy travellers watching as well, it was one of the hardest 90 minutes we both endured.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A beautiful post Terri, with such a sad ending. Having enjoyed many previous posts about Aero I was so surprised and sad to hear about his passing. Such a sweet little guy. I had a related experience with my own little Punky. She had similar symptoms that came on very suddenly. I took her to the vet and it turned out she had stomach cancer. She passed away during the night that I took her in, which was a complete shock. I like to think of the rainbow bridge as a place where all of our beloved pets are once again their own frisky selves. Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tina. It’s a post I imagined I would write in a couple of more years. I’m sorry about your Punky. I suppose if cancer is the reason for their ends it goes swiftly with no lingering. I know in my heart that there is a heaven for all of God’s creatures. And they are happy and frisky again–I like that!


  12. Beautiful photos of Portland, Terri, but I must say that I’m left with tears for Aero. What a sweet little pup and giant loss. I adore the photo of him playing on the beach. We give our four-legged family members wonderful lives and then, gently and with love, must let them go. It’s heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Diana, Aero left us too soon, and it still hurts and will for a while. I know he is at peace and likely playing on that eternal beach, ears flapping! Someone wrote on Facebook that pets must leave before we do so they can greet us when we arrive.


  13. I’m so sorry for your loss Terri, Aero was such a sweet loving dog and the greatest gift you could give under these circumstances was to let him go. Sending love and hugs and may your sweet boy run free 💜🕊🌈 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Loved your hibiscus flower photo, Terri! So sorry for your loss of Aero. Glad you had so many good years with him. We had a dog named “Arrow” at one time. Me and my arrow, as the song goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a heartbreaking but lovely poem you shared with us, Terri. I’m so sorry about the loss of little Aero. All those memories you have of him are something you can treasure forever. I hope they help you through this tough time.

    Lava was a challenge for me. I couldn’t come up with anything apart from this.

    I guess it is the season, and the stalk of the pumping did look kind of lava coloured to me.

    Take good care of yourself.

    Sending hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hugh. My 32″ computer monitor has a beautiful pic of Aero that greets me every morning. I say good morning and goodnight to him and I know he is at peace. I do love that lava pumpkin you shared. All the right colors for the challenge. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I am so so sorry, Terri, for you and your family’s loss of sweet Aero. May your beautiful memories help replace your present tears. And, yes, I did weep at the poem…..I still miss my 14 yr old black lab, Shadow, and it’s been six years. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am sorry for the loss of Aero. There really is nothing like our furry friends.

    On another note. A great look at lava this week and month. Hawaii was a great place to share the color and geology. Nice. And it looks like it was another great blogger trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve just found you from Jo’s blog – your photos are lovely. I particularly love the Elephant House mural and the flowers but I’m so sad for you that you had to say goodbye to Aero. He looks adorable and it’s obvious he was loved so very much – RIP Aero, heaven has gained another angel now 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  19. As much as I love your other lava photos (the cake black tea is intriguing), Aero photos took my heart in this post. He looked very cute from the day he was a puppy until his last day. I’m very sorry and I hope that wherever he is now, he’s doing great with Gideon.

    Liked by 1 person

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