Sunday Stills: #Yellow Discoveries in the Golden State

sunflower

The color yellow and all things associated with it is the theme for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge.

I had a slightly different post planned, but my journalist tendencies would not allow me to bury the lead.

Blogger Meet-Up

Two Bloggers

This week I got to spend a day with my blogger pal Marsha Ingrao of Always Write at her lovely home near Visalia in the Central Valley of California. Driving to the small town of Woodlake, I discovered the charming, nearby town of Exeter, amid the golden yellow foothills.

As we drove around the area, we spontaneously took the short drive through the foothills into the south entrance of Sequoia National Park! Sequoia is known for its giant redwood forest, home of the General Sherman tree, Moro Rock, and other natural wonders of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Range. And she lives so close to the park!

I was 12 years old the last time I visited Sequoia and nearby Kings Canyon NP. This was a treat!

We drove the winding roads and stopped along vista points to capture the scenery. Yellow leaves and dry grass help frame the jagged peaks. On a clear day, you can see Mt Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous U.S. at 14,505 feet. We walked a little for more photo ops, but I will leave that for Marsha to tell you.

Yellow leaf vista of Sierra Range

As we drove toward the park exit, a black bear stood in the road begging for a photo op. By the time I got out my phone (I left my camera in my overnight bag), he had lumbered off the road amid the yellow grasses, the late afternoon sun highlighting his coat a golden brown.

Golden Black Bear

Why California is Golden

In Northern California at the end of July the grasses have turned yellow as vegetation dries out and temps heat up.

While walking in the delta last weekend I found these beautiful yellow wildflowers growing along the levee.

Delta Yellow Wildflowers

Summer flowers show a variety of colors but none so recognizable as the sunflower. Indulge me while I share a few with you this week.

Another golden bear, this time a Teddy Bear sunflower!

Teddy Bear Sunflower 2020

As of this post, I have a whopping 13 sunflowers in my small garden. These are two of the five varieties I planted from seeds from last year’s crop. I recently caught this one opening up.

Square photos of varying perspectives are partially inspired by Becky B’s July Square Perspectives and Cee’s Flower of the Day challenges.

Blogging Break

Please note that after this week, I’m taking a six-week break for travel and family events while focusing on packing and working on our house to ready it for sale in October. I also need to focus as I prepare to teach my university classes online for the Fall semester at the end of August.

Sunday Stills will be in the capable hands of Cathy Ryan of PictureThis who will take hosting duties during August, while Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views and News will host September 6 and 13th. Please visit and follow their blogs to stay updated for the challenge. You can find their themes and links to their blogs on my Sunday Stills Page.

I will be back on Sept 20 with new themes. Please stay tuned. Please follow me on Instagram as I travel around Mammoth Lakes and San Diego.

Please link your yellow posts to today’s post so I can read, comment and share. You can link all week; however, by Thursday I will be driving to Mammoth Lakes and may not get to your post right away.

I appreciate all of you who take the time to read and comment on my posts and photography, and those who take part in Sunday Stills each week. Photo challenges are fun and offer a chance to be part of a wonderful blogging community. Who knows? You might also meet a fellow blogger in real life, too!

All my best as you enjoy the rest of your summer (or winter)!

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: #Wild and #Weird Perspectives

Wing Surfers

This week’s theme of “wild and weird” offers photobloggers a chance to share your random photos for Sunday Stills. You know, the ones you take that you can’t classify or end up in the miscellaneous file?

I have quite the collection, but will share just a few with you today.

Take Your Medicine…

…If you can catch it. I take a daily medication each morning and sometimes if I have a headache I add some behind-the-counter Sudafed (red pills) and aspirin. One morning, as I placed the handful on the counter, they fell into this pattern.

Pills

Amazing the tiny little Sudafed even stayed on its side! Of course, I ran to get my phone and capture the weird moment. Yes, I felt better after I swallowed them.

WING Surfing? Say what now?

Wing, not wind! Most of you know we spend summer weekends in the Sacramento River Delta. Because of COVID, we got a delayed start but drove down to the County park for a day trip in early May. Hubby windsurfed while I sat in the truck bundled up against the too cool wind. Out in the water, I kept seeing what I thought was a kiteboarder struggling with his sail in the water. A moment later, I looked again and saw this:

Wing Surfers

I had my good camera with me and zoomed in and stood in awe as I watched the birth of a new water sport: wing surfing, also called wing foiling. Foiling is a newer sport that adds a special hydrofoil to a modified windsurf board or kiteboard. The foil has a propeller that pushes the board above the waves and surf for a smoother ride.

The wing is connected to a leash attached to both the wrist and ankle, so it doesn’t get lost with the inevitable crash, or fly away out of control.

“Although it was conceived to be used with a foil board, it can also be adopted for riding stand-up paddleboards (SUP), windsurf and kiteboards, and even skateboards and snowboards. It is also a lot of fun on a big touring SUP board. It’s difficult to paddle when it’s windy, especially with five or ten knots. With an inflatable wing, it’s easy and entertaining,” notes Robby Naish, the developer of the Wing-Surfer.”



https://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/what-is-wing-surfing

I would try it with my paddleboard, sans foil…

How Does a Bumble Bee Fly?

bumblebee on sweetpea

Did you know that bumblebees should not be able to fly, based on their large bodies and disproportionate small wings? According to a 2005 study, high-speed photography showed that they flap their wings back and forth rather than up and down, reminiscent of hummingbirds.

“The wing sweeping is a bit like a partial spin of a helicopter propeller, researcher Michael Dickinson, a professor of biology and insect flight expert at the University of Washington. The angle to the wing also creates vortices in the air — like small hurricanes. The eyes of those mini-hurricanes have lower pressure than the surrounding air, so, keeping those eddies of air above its wings helps the bee stay aloft.”

https://www.livescience.com/57509-bumblebee-facts.html

Speaking of Insects

Have you ever seen a dragon fly? Maybe not a “real” dragon–wouldn’t that be weird!

orange dragonfly

Of course, we have, but this rust-colored one that has been hanging around my backyard lately is spectacular.

Backyard Alien Bird

My backyard attracts quite a few birds when the feeders are full, including hummingbirds, crows, kites, turkeys, robins, blue jays, mockingbirds, and finches.

But this guy is one I’ve never seen before and he put on quite the show with his acrobatics on the feeder. I took a LOT of photos. Anyone know what kind of bird this is? I’m thinking some kind of finch as I look at his beak. Hopefully, they will stay away from the dragonflies!

A Neighbor’s Alien Flower

Out during my usual dog-walking, and mesmerized by a neighbor’s sunflower in April, I spotted this unusual flower.

passionflower

I’ve never seen anything like it and it looks like several different parts of other flowers cobbled together. It took my brother-in-law who lived in Chile until age 9 to recognize it as a passionflower! Who knew? And how is it growing in hot, dry Sacramento? Pretty, but weird. Sharing for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Over the Moon

And speaking of alien and spacey subjects, June 20th is the 51st anniversary of the US moon landing. Because you have seen all my moon shots, how about a weird shot of a SpaceX launch caught flying over the top of our family home in San Diego in December 2017?

SpaceX Launch
SpaceX Launched 10 satellites into space from Southern California

Or this image of apple pie flavored moonshine to celebrate? I may feel a little weird and spacey after a couple of shots of this stuff!

Got moonshine?
Got moonshine?

Wild and weird images create fun and unique perspectives and are also submitted for Becky B’s Square Perspectives Challenge.

I look forward to your wild and weird photos this week for Sunday Stills. C’mon, you know you have them! Dust them off and share away!

Until next week!

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Look! Up in the #Sky!

Blue Sky Half Moon

The theme for Sunday Stills photo challenge this week is “sky.” Three weeks ago, we shared our sunsets and sunrises. This week let’s look at the sky from other perspectives.

Hot air balloons float in a desert sky. Taken in North Phoenix in early January 2019 with my pal Ingrid.

Balloons float in a desert sky

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Over the last few weeks, I have been in the right place and time to capture decent images of the moon by day and by night. The daylight moon was taken in late spring and is featured for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Spring, hosted this week by Tina Schell.

Blue Sky Half Moon

This was the full moon on July 4th at the Sacramento Delta, framed by the tree. There was still some light in the sky at 8:30 pm, causing my camera to be a little touchy and not getting the clearest shot.

Full moon Perspective

“You cannot look up at the night sky on the Planet Earth and not wonder what it’s like to be up there amongst the stars. And I always look up at the moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos.”

Tom Hanks

A spring sky in the delta featuring a brooding sunset is enhanced with the Painnt app filter.

Spring Delta Sky

“Late afternoon on the West Coast ends with the sky doing all its brilliant stuff.”

Joan Didion

Back on Earth, a newly-blossomed sunflower provides a skyward perspective as it turns toward the sun. Cee’s Photo of the Day.

sunflower looks to the sky

Two previously featured photos show the sky from the perspective of autumn leaves…

grape leaves

…and the vast blueness punctuated by the flight of the Blue Angels in their annual Sky Show.

Blue Angels Air Show Sacramento
Blue Angels

And while you are thinking of your perspectives, drop by Becky B’s July Squares challenge this week.

“God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.”

Marcus Garvey

What do you see in the sky? Rainbows, clouds, birds, airplanes, superman (as the title suggests), hot air balloons, vast blueness, drones? I can’t wait to see your interpretation!

signature

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Wordless Wednesday: Aero’s Square Birthday

Aero Birthday

I normally don’t post on a Wednesday, but I couldn’t resist sharing square images of my precious pup, Aero. Today is his 9th birthday,

Aero on the Beach

Why square images? I am submitting these for Becky B’s month-long July blue squares photo challenge.

In the photo above, Aero romps around San Diego’s Ocean Beach dog park. He also loves the Sacramento River Delta and poses handsomely on the launch.

Caramel Dog

Aero catching a nap surrounded by white and blue.

Aero Sleeping

I found this article on how to calculate dog years to human years.

Aero is a small dog, weighing in at 13 pounds, and according to the above link by the American Kennel Club, Aero would be 52 years old in human years and is considered a senior dog!

Aero Birthday

With their gray muzzles and wise expressions, senior dogs are especially lovable and poignant.

Erika Mansourian, American Kennel Club

Today is Aero’s birthday, but Brodie keeps him on his toes when he is not too tired from fetching the ball!

Brodie is tired after fetching!

Since Brodie is 50 pounds at 2 years old, he is 24 in human years, according to the article. No wonder Aero growls at Brodie’s antics!

I know this post is a little wordy for wordless Wednesday, but please enjoy the photos.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Celebrate #Blue with Flowers

Blue and purple hydrangeas
Blue and purple hydrangeas

These blue hydrangeas have inspired me to share their loveliness for not only two photo challenges today, but to introduce a daily journal challenge for the month of July.

Journaling in July

Journaling has been a challenge for me most of my adult life. I did keep a journal when I was between 18-20 years old and still have the books. Nowadays I like to think of blogging as a way of keeping a journal, as I share thoughts about photography, fitness, and leisure.

With that said, I am joining other bloggers for Sue’s Journaling in July, with 31 days of journaling prompts to inspire our creative ideas. Each Saturday, you can link up with other bloggers and share your journal prompts. Please visit Sue’s post for more information.

Journaling in July

How Will I Do This?

Each week as I post for Becky B’s Blue Squares in July and my weekly photo challenge Sunday Stills, I intend to share within those posts, the journal prompts that inspired me that week. We can all use some extra inspiration, so for me, combining these challenges into two posts a week sounds like a great way to spend the month of July as I continue to (impatiently) recover from surgery.

This week I share the journal prompts that resonated the most with me.

July 3 What Makes Me Feel Happy

At our ladies retreat in early May, we also had opportunities to journal over that weekend. A similar question “What feeds your soul” had me answer similarly that I love photography and usually take a picture of something when I see it. The hydrangeas pictured above symbolize my happiness as I enjoy a bit of gardening and can see my potted flowers grow and thrive in the warm California sun. Of course, I will shoot the flowers with my phone or camera so I can enjoy looking at them throughout the day, week or month.

July 5 What I Did Today

Since I’ve committed to gardening, the simple act of watering my flowers and plants daily is gratifying while I am staying close to home. The things we do each day needn’t be glamorous or electrifying, and I am rather grateful to have this downtime. But I admit that watering the front and back yards with a hose while walking with crutches is probably the most challenging thing I did all day!

If I had been asked this question this time last year, I would have written that my hubby and I spent the weekend at the Delta playing on the water, on our windsurf- or stand-up paddleboards. I am counting the days to July 26th when my cast comes off!

4th of July Weekend 2018

If you are craving some blogging inspiration, visit Becky and Sue at their links in the post. I’ve also submitted the hydrangeas for Cee’s Flower of the Day photo challenge.

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