Sunday Stills: #Eerie Sights and Sounds

Spooky Sunrise

Now that my children are grown and gone, I really don’t celebrate the day much except for a few mild decorations, which I shared last week.

Since Sunday Stills landed on Halloween today, I was inspired for this week’s theme, “Eerie,” by the Google Chrome theme “Eerie Autumn” which cycles wallpaper images to my desktop. Creepy spiderwebs, misty moons, and decrepit graveyards adorn my desktop as a reminder that Halloween is in the eye of the beholder.

Eerie Full Moon
Eerie full moon viewed through pine trees

The definition of Eerie is: “Uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird: an eerie midnight howl. (esp of places, an atmosphere, etc) mysteriously or uncannily frightening or disturbing; weird; ghostly”

Merriam Webster Dictionary

As I was capturing decor images last week, I got this eerie one on my porch.

Halloween decor and dog
Doesn’t Brodie’s photobomb make this image look creepy?

Do you get many trick-or-treaters where you live? In my former Sacramento neighborhood, despite being around the corner from the elementary school, we rarely got visitors on Halloween. This coincided with 9-11 in 2001, and it’s been crickets ever since. As I write this I’m wondering if we will get any on our new street, which still does not show up on some folks’ google maps! There are only two occupied homes, and unless parents drive their kids (golf carts and ATVs are a popular way to zip around here), I doubt we will see many kids out on our street. Oh well, more candy for me!

Eerie Editing

Back to our theme, what makes an image “eerie?” With our sunny days and cold nights, we’ve had lots of ground fog which makes for an eerie photo.

Spooky Sunrise
Eerie Sunrise in black and white

“At night the fog was thick and full of light, and sometimes voices.”

Erin Bow, Plain Kate

Another way to invoke “eerie” is to shoot or edit in black and white. I took the original image, then edited it to black and white, and added some other effects.

Suburban pocket forestEerie Edited Forest
A beautiful forest transforms into an eerie sight on Halloween

A visit to Apple Hill near Sacramento in 2019 on the actual Halloween day gave us inspiration for some wine-tasting using this creepy gargoyle aerator!

Gargoyle Wine Stopper

If you use your imagination, perhaps with a twist of the screen, you’ll find mythical beasts in the reflections.

Autumn Lake ReflectionsDragon Faces at an angle

Eerie Sounds

Speaking of eerie. Recently, in our backyard with my dog Aero about 1:30am, I heard what I thought was a coyote howling. I’m terrified my little 13-pound dog will be attacked by coyotes (it has happened to neighbors’ dogs!). So I am vigilant when we go out to do his business. I waited for the yip-yip to accompany the spine-chilling “howl” but heard nothing except another howl, this time with undertones of a whistle and roar. Sufficiently nervous, we went in quickly and I thought no more about it until I read another blogger’s post (Donna from Wind Kisses) which described the mating call of the bull elk during the Autumn mating season as a “bugle.” It was then I realized I had heard an elk’s mating call. That close to my backyard?? As the video suggests, I imagined Tolkein’s ringwraiths calling to me! Eerriieee!

Eerie Aurora

I’ve been dying to share this image on my blog. Many of you might have already seen it on Instagram and Facebook. I follow a Facebook group called Nine Mile Aurora Chasers and I read a post that mentioned weather conditions were perfect for the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, to be seen in Spokane, Washington area. Yes, please.

To my naked eye, the aurora looked merely like a grey, misty cloud on the horizon. Had I not been tipped off by Google and the Facebook group, I would have missed it. When I imagine the northern lights, I expect to see eerie green and blue ripples of light dancing above my head. I’ve since learned you must be much further north to see them in that fashion.

The northern lights usually occur between 60 and 75 degrees of latitude, which covers northern parts of Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Alaska and Russia as well as all of Iceland.

Discover the World

I used my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ to photograph the horizon to the northeast from my house using night mode. When I saw what my lens saw, I jumped for joy. Using a little ambient light from the neighbors’ lights helped more than hindered.

Aurora Borealis from my porch
Aurora Borealis from my porch

The Aurora is created when the energy from a solar flare emitted by our sun hits earth. One such flare hit earth Monday night, creating a rare spectacle that could be seen across much of the norther tier of the United States. The aurora was visible across the Inland Northwest thanks to clear skies overhead and relatively early nightfall this time of year.

KREM 2 News

A rare and joyful, if slightly eerie experience, indeed.

“Sharp winds ruffled his coat and caused bare tree limbs to bend and rustle, throwing eerie shadows on the ground.”

Mateo’s Law

Do you know what else is eerie? According to WordPress:

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You registered on WordPress.com 10 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Photo Challenges this Week

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • 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 into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite seasonal decoration photos. If at any point I have accidentally left anyone off the list, please let me know!

Always Write

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along (Image shared in comments)

Equipoise Life (Image shared in comments)

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News (Image shared in Comments)

Loving Life

Musin With Susan

Priorhouse Blog

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections (Image posted on Instagram)

Shutters on the World

Soul N Spirit

Stevie Turner

Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Women Living Well After 50

Working on Exploring

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

November’s themes are ready for your viewing pleasure on my Sunday Stills Photography Page. Next Sunday the theme is “Fur and Feathers.”

I look forward to your eerie posts all week!

Halloween Signature

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My Book Review of Journey To Aviad

Book Review Journey to Aviad by Allison D. Reid

Book Review Journey to Aviad by Allison D. Reid
original image by Allison Reid

I am pleased to share my review of Journey to Aviad, Book 1 of the Wind Rider Chronicles, by fellow blogger and author, Allison D. Reid.

Allison D Reid photoAbout the Author

Allison D. Reid is a Christian Fantasy author with a fondness for Medieval history. Her first published series, the Wind Rider Chronicles, embraces traditional fantasy elements but is also infused with deeper spiritual themes.

From the Author

“Real, three-dimensional, lovable characters are a must. A good story also has layers of meaning, so that you can read the same book more than once and catch different things each time. There should be an element of beauty and hope, but also plenty of mystery and suspense. I want to be moved by a story without being traumatized by it. I don’t deal well with dark, graphic, or tragic stories—they haunt me without mercy to the point where I wish I had never read them. The real world has enough trauma of its own!”

5 stars

My 5 Star Review

If you have ever read Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, you will enjoy Reid’s fantasy tale of two sisters who embark on a journey of survival and spirituality. This is an allegorical tale set in what may be medieval times. Whether it is in our Earth’s ancient past or far future isn’t clear, but the world and setting Reid builds is consistent and believable.

Reid’s writing is eloquent and riveting—I was drawn in to the mystery after the first few sentences. Her female main characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, with the capacity to grow and learn as the story unfolds.

Reid deftly weaves in scriptural themes and concept such as— “you must drink from my cup, for it is filled with living water, and you shall never thirst again”—without alienating the reader’s existing faith or lack thereof. She introduces the “Ancients” much later in the story as the counterparts to the Biblical Jesus, Satan and the Holy Spirit. Of course, Aviad is God, the Creator. You will begin to see the parallels as you read deeper into the story.

I recommend this book and series to young adults and those of us adults who have been around the block once or twice.

Here is a Synopsis of Journey to Aviad:

Young Elowyn, content with gardening, exploring the outdoors and climbing trees, is drawn to a shiny medallion lying in the shallows of the river. Upon closer inspection, she comes upon a tragic and frightening sight in the Shadow Woods not far from her home in Tyroc.

The Shadow Wood?
image by Allison D Reid

At the gruesome scene lies a slain bowman. Terrified of the wolf-like creatures only steps away, she snatches up the bow and medallion and quickly runs home. A severe storm erupts in the night feeding her unsettled visions of the bowman coming to her door. Upon awakening, she vows to return the items thinking she has unwittingly disturbed his haunted spirit.

The next day, back at the grisly scene, she sees the bowman’s body is gone, amidst large footprints and damaged underbrush. She encounters one of the wolf-like creatures but is saved by a stranger named Einar, who eventually proves to be a friend and mentor.

Elowyn’s adventure and ultimate journey begins as she realizes that a dark evil is slowly descending on Tyroc and into the Shadow Woods. Even at home, she feels unsafe, under the tyrannical influence of their greedy, over-worked mother, a weaver by trade.

Instructed by Einar to meet him deep in the woods, at an ancient shrine dedicated to Aviad, Elowyn waits for him, spending several nights alone. Here, she dreams and has visions instructing her to “wash in the temple basin to be ready for her journey.”

The story continues to unfold using narratives and back-stories to discuss the history of the Ancients, the coming evil, and the prophecies to which Elowyn and her sisters are linked.

Meanwhile, her older sister, Morganne, works endlessly with their mother to sew and weave fine, royal clothing for the Sovereign’s bride-to-be. Once their royal contract is finished, Morganne wants nothing more than to escape her life. Finally fleeing the abuse and disinterest from their authoritative mother, the girls take their baby sister and set out to escape the evil that is manifesting in their city of Tyroc.

As they journey over hundreds of miles, Elowyn confides in Morganne about her visions. Morganne, who studied the Ancient Scrolls briefly as a young girl, knows something of the scriptures, legends and prophecies, and confirms Elowyn’s visions likely come from Aviad.

At River's Edge
image by Allison D Reid

In one dramatic turning point near the end of the novel, Elowyn is led to an abandoned shrine in which the basin has been dry for millennia.

She cleans the basin and places Morganne’s old drinking cup and some herbs in the basin, as reverent awe wells up inside her, remembering the words “If only this basin was filled with living water, I would gladly drink.”

With nothing more to be done, she quickly leaves to finalize their preparations for the next part of their journey.

As they leave the next day, people are shouting the news that the once-dry shrine is alive! A monk tells them that it is a “wondrous sign from the Ancients…the restoration of the shrine was foretold in prophecy, and I never thought I would see it fulfilled in my lifetime.” But Morganne cautions Elowyn not to tell anyone about her part in this.

Once Elowyn understands who Aviad is and her place in the prophecies, she asks Morganne to read more from the ancient texts.

“They were no longer simply ancient tales meant to be quietly kept in leather-bound volumes on dusty shelves. They were lessons in history that had begun to merge with the present in ways (Elowyn) could not have imagined.”

The more Morganne reads, the more she believes the words are written on her heart where they shall live and grow, and cause her to grow.

Like many chosen heroines, touched physically and spiritually by their Creator, the sisters are led to the point where they can begin to fulfill the ancient prophecies. As dark forces conspire around them at every turn, so do the forces of Good as Aviad sends visions and spirits to gently guide them on the right path.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs are, you as the reader will easily empathize with Elowyn and her sisters as they continue their mysterious and mystical journey upon which Aviad has set them.


I hope I have intrigued you to visit Allison on any of the sites listed below.

Where to find the book: Amazon Kindle and paperback

Follow Allison’s Blog:  Allison D. Reid Christian Fantasy Author

Allison’s Goodreads Page

Facebook: Journey to Aviad

 

I encourage you to sign up for her newsletter. Currently, Journey to Aviad is free to new subscribers and she may still offer a coupon for the second book in the series, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths.

Allison is also a photographer in her own right, as you can see by the images used in this post. In fact, she donated a huge folder of wonderful images of trees and forests to my shared folder where all bloggers can use free of attribution.

You can check this out here: Free Photos for Your Blog. Click the DROPBOX LINK then look for the file “Donated Images.” These are all free to use and other files were recently updated!


As I begin the process of writing my next book “No Excuses Fitness” I am developing a mailing list and newsletter with a focus on fitness. I think her newsletter and posts serve as a great example for other authors of how to engage readers, new and current, to keep them interested in her books.

Read my book reviews on For the Love of ReadingI am one lucky blogger to know so many of my peers who are writing and have written books in a variety of genres. Are you a blogger with a story to tell? Let this blogging community be an encouragement to you!

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