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

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Indoor/Outdoor #Décor

Wood block Haloween decor

This might seem like a strange theme this week, but between Halloween and Autumn (or Spring) decorations, I thought it would be fun to see what everyone else sees. I like to surround myself with the colors and signs of the season. As the holidays approach, seems like indoor and outdoor décor is all around us in some form or another.

Porch Decor
Welcome to my festive front porch

In the first image you see, I bought these decorations from the Fall Festival local vendors and picked up a few pumpkins. I need a bigger porch! On the back of the Harvest sign is a Christmas-inspired theme. Double-duty–I like it!

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays Writers Choice theme this week is resilience or fortitude. What has this got to do with decorating? Glad you asked!

“Resilience is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.”

Andrew Zolli

If you’ve followed my blog for the last year, you know about our move to the Pacific Northwest (Spokane, Washington) from Northern California. When you stage a home, you sadly put away any decorations, so we packed 99% of it and moved three-quarters of our stuff to Spokane and placed it in storage. (Yes, we are still unpacking).

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers

My fabulous re-decorated fireplace ala Joanna Gaines style

I used to be limited to décor in my former house, choosing to decorate around the fireplace mantel. I still have each and every piece shown in the picture (and more)!

One year ago this week, I tested positive for covid while feverishly putting the final touches on our home to ready it for sale.

Luckily my bout with covid was mild and we were back on our feet making final arrangements for the move. 2020 was crazy in many respects, proving resilience and fortitude are needed when buying and selling real estate and moving during a pandemic.

“Facing the pandemic, it’s not what happened (that) matters, it is how we respond.”
― Napz Cherub Pellazo

Indoor Décor

You will see that with a larger home, more time on my hands, and not being able to decorate last Autumn and Winter, I have made up the difference.

Autumn-Inspired

I found this vintage wall sconce at a thrift store in GreenBluff Farms area. A little DIY by adding no-flame candles and Autumn festivity. After Thanksgiving, to make it a seasonal decoration, I will add green and red garland.

This bowl of bird-like gourds seemed to fit well on my living room coffee table.

Autumn Gourds
Bird-like gourds grace my living room table

“Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.” —Charles M. Schulz

Halloween-Inspired

The skull in the first image was a specialty bottle of tequila. I picked up this adorable wood block trio from a local vendor while volunteering at the Fall Festival.

Décor Out and About

I frequently get inspired by indoor décor from others: restaurants, family and neighbors. The toy image is a Painnt-filtered version of my SIL’s Christmas village from two years ago.

Nature’s Decorations

No matter the season, nature does a fabulous job of decorating our outdoor spaces. Autumn is at its peak here in Northeastern Washington. Storm winds and rain are expected all weekend to inevitably blow the leaves from the trees. Good thing I did my leaf-seeking all this week and can post those images for a few more weeks!

On my former university campus in Sacramento, groundskeepers use fallen ginkgo tree leaves to decorate.

Campus Decor For Fall

Some neighbors don’t have to rely on store-bought decorations with nature providing most of the them.

I wonder if these folks know how gorgeous their home looks from across the lake?

Autumn Lake Reflections

Do you decorate your homes or work spaces for each season?

“An empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you’re the author.” Charlotte Moss

Photo Challenges This Week

This week, I am linking with the challenges of these talented bloggers and photographers:

Marsha’s WQWWC Fortitude or Resilience
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Jude’s Life in Color: Orange
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Becky B’s Past Squares

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.

BLOGGERS’ IN THE PINK LINKS

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 34(!) bloggers who shared their favorite photos in pink that honor breast cancer awareness month.

Always Write

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

The Day After

Deb’s World Image shared on Instagram

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Equipoise Life

Geriatrix Foto Gallery

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Musin’ with Susan

Natalie the Explorer

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Picture This

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections image on Instagram

Stevie Turner

Shutters on the World

NEW Soul N Spirit

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Women Living Well After 50

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Every week I look forward to reading your Sunday Stills posts and enjoying your fabulous photos and other creative ideas! Next week, we’ll celebrate Halloween and the theme of “eerie.”

Autumn Bitmoji

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Is Anything #Scarier than a Two-Headed Hummingbird?

two-headed hummingbird

This week’s theme is all about “something scary” since Halloween is right around the corner. Aside from the requisite ghouls, ghosts, witches and other scary things we associate with the season, I admit that there are scarier things!

To answer my own question, “is anything scarier than a two-headed hummingbird” I would have to answer…probably!

Out in my backyard recently, this little hummer was trying in vain to guard the feeder. She perched in the pine branches near the feeder and flitted around when the male would fly in. She even puffed her tiny feathers to make herself appear larger. But she usually lost the battle as she seemed to be more scared than he was.

Hummer puffed up

These Anna’s hummingbirds are pretty tame and will fly very close to me even if I’m standing near their feeder. This image was hard-won since when they do feed, they seem to hide from the prying lens.

Later, she gazed down at my dogs as if to say “I’m not scared of you.”

Male Allen Hummingbird

In my attempt to capture it all, I set my camera to “burst” and got a strange set of images. Yes, I am still working to figure out these settings, but the resulting shots gave me multiple images layered in one.

SQ 2 headed hummer

Are you scared yet? No? How about the Halloween version?

two-headed hummingbird

I’m also scared of this!

candy closeup

What else scares you? Tell us all about it this week with your photos, poems, short stories and other creative ventures!

Just a few days left to join Becky B’s Lines and Squares Photo Challenge. My scary hummingbirds are lined up to play!

Next month’s themes will be posted on my Sunday Stills page shortly!

Enjoy your Halloween!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

The Orbs that Rule #Halloween Night

Full moon captured within the thorny branches

Full moon captured within the thorny branches

This is as close to a Halloween-themed post as I will get. The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge uses Rounded as the theme.

I captured this full moon last year near Halloween with my phone! Really!  I used some post-editing effects with some tweaks in exposure, but it seems to work for this challenge.

For your consideration, here are two more orbs that rule Halloween night.

A real lighted orb to light an outdoor Halloween party

To celebrate our finished master bedroom addition in October 2015 (has it already been 2 years?) we hosted a little get-together on our deck and this lovely paper lantern lit the night efficiently! (Another cell-phone photo).

These Moody Blues lyrics come to mind describing the “cold-hearted orb,” the moon as it lights up the darkness of night.

Breathe deep the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room…

…Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight…
Red is grey and yellow white…

…And which is an illusion?

from Moody Blues, Nights in White Satin (Late Lament)
Songwriters: JUSTIN HAYWARD
Nights In White Satin lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, T.R.O. INC.

Seems apropos for a Halloween-themed blog post!

And because I’m not a dark, creepy person and enjoy the color orange, pumpkins and jack o’lanterns, here is a cheery photo of happy pumpkins waiting to be taken home from their pumpkin patch in nearby Apple Hill. Will they grace a family porch as jack o’lanterns, or become wonderful pumpkin pies….or both?

Pumpkin Patch


Although I did not completely accept the “Seven Days, Seven Photos in Black & White Challenge” by long-time fellow blogger and amazing photographer Lucile De Godoy,   who was kind enough to nominate me, my featured image of the cold-hearted moon actually photographed in black and white. I admire those who can photograph in black and white…it is more difficult than one might think! Please stop by and visit Lucile’s blog and take a look at her beautiful photography!

Have a safe and sane Halloween! I’ll be passing out candy to the few neighbor kids who still trick-or-treat in our neighborhood!

My signature

Zombie Plants Attack!

Zombie Plants

As this is the week before Halloween, let’s play with some black and white photography of spooky objects made of wood.

The community garden planters at the local school appear as tombstones laid side by side. Zombie-like plant life comes alive as they appear to crawl out of their coffins.

Zombie Plants

Living in the old mulberry tree in my own front yard is a burl full of ghostly faces ready to pop out and scare the trick-or-treaters as they walk by!

Ghostly Faces in Wood

These were submitted for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Things Made from Wood

Join Cee’s Photography challenges any time.

Also posted on Lucile De Godoy’s The Clinic: Photo 101 Rehab.