Sunday Stills: Song Lyric Photo Challenge–Summers of My Dreams

Spokane Mountain Views

Welcome to the first-ever Sunday Stills song lyric photo challenge! This type of challenge is not new to bloggers but I thought it would be fun to try it. This theme was a challenge for me because I love all types of music, but I wanted to choose songs that made sense in my own life.

The idea of this challenge is to match images related to your favorite song lyrics. If this is unclear, it might be best to think of your favorite song(s) and highlight some lyrics with your new or existing photos. Here is an example from Marsha and my example from 2017: My Favorite Things.

Also, to avoid copyright infringements of published lyrics, only post a few lines rather than the entire song. If you write poetry or your own songs, you can certainly use your work for this theme!

Summer Rain, All Summer Long

Today, to help inspire you with appropriate images, I chose Summer Rain by Johnny Rivers, a popular song released in 1968. According to Wikipedia:

“Summer Rain” was written by Jimmy Hendricks(!) and performed by Johnny Rivers on his 1968 LP Realization. The song reached No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, No. 6 on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100, and No. 10 in Canada in early January, 1968. “Summer Rain” is a song about lifelong love during “the summer of love” which refers to the phenomenon of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco between 1965 and 1968.

Wikipedia

Think hippie culture and free love. Despite the song’s origins, I simply like the music and the words.

I was 8 years old in 1968. I may have remembered hearing the song in the car on road trips at that age. I suppose it wasn’t until the early 80s upon hearing it again, how much I enjoyed the idea of the lyrics as a celebration of summer. Later as I became a windsurfer, I started to appreciate the types of wind, coming from the four directions, east, west, north, south that the song mentions.

Here are my images for Summer Rain. Imagine the song is written is from my husband’s perspective. I apologize in advance for any subsequent earworms on the part of the reader!

abstract rainy day

Summer rain taps at my window
West wind soft as a sweet dream


My love warm as the sunshine
Sittin’ here by me, she’s here by me

At the delta, pre-wedding, July 2013

All summer long, we spent dancin’ in the sand

Dancin'

And the jukebox kept on playin’
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

She wants to live in the Rockies
She says that’s where we’ll find peace

Happy on our half acre
First look at property in Washington, May 2020

Settle down, raise up a family
To call our own, yeah, we’ll have a home

House and Shop
Waiting for Shop Doors (taken 8/6)

The snow drifts by my window


North wind blowin’ like thunder
Our love’s burnin’ like fire
And she’s here by me, yeah, she’s here with me
Let tomorrow be

Swing your heart out

Summer Rain © 1967 Hendricks/Rivers

Summer Wedding, Climbing Mountains

I’m also sharing for Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays Writers’ Choice “Writer’s Choice” or Mountains this week.
Summer Rain is a celebration of my 8th wedding anniversary on August 22. In two weeks, we will be in the Sedona, Arizona area over a long weekend.

For our wedding day in 2013, I chose Climb Every Mountain from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music as the song in which I walked down the aisle with my daughters. This is one of my favorite musicals.

Wedding photo credits © Kimberly Washington 2013

This verse is my entry for WQWWC this week:

“Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.”

Climb Every Mountain lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

I’ve always wanted to live in the mountains and we do!

Next Week’s Monthly Color Challenge

color challenge burlywood

Next week’s photo challenge is the Monthly Color challenge exploring the color “burlywood”—a light shade of brown, kind of like khakis. By this time of year in the Northern hemisphere, this color should be seen everywhere in nature!

Sunday Stills Moves to Canada for Three Weeks Beginning August 22

Many thanks to Natalie of Natalie the Explorer who will guest host Sunday Stills while I take a break and travel a bit. You may know her Weekend Coffee Share Feature. Natalie has chosen the themes for Sunday Stills which are as follows:
8/22 In the Garden
8/29 Afloat
9/5 Colorful Murals

Throughout this post, I share various images for the following challenges:

Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday and Lens-Artists Challenge hosted by Patti this week.

Bugged Blogger Links from Last Week

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 insect and bug photos.

A Day in the Life

Always Write

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Deb’s World

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments—you gotta see it!

Equipoise Life

Graham’s Island

Geriatrix Fotogallery

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Light Write Life

Light Words

Musin’ with Susan

Now At Home

Nuthouse Central

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Take a Walk

Travel With Me

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

I’m looking forward to your creativity with song lyrics or poetry this week highlighted by your photos! Have a great week! Join me next week for the monthly color challenge before I go on my break!

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Sunday Stills: Circles, Triangles, #Squares, Oh My!

Sunday Stills Banner

It has been a couple of years since Sunday Stills focused on geometry! You know, circles, squares, triangles and rectangles? Geometry appears in nature and becomes a photographer’s dream when angles fit together to enhance an image. This week, look through your archives or search for new geometric angles either made by human hands or by Mother Nature’s.

Relaxing Between the Lines

Just steps from my home are wonderful backroads where I can walk my dogs and relax my mind. I hear the wind in the trees, notice the changing colors and shadows, and understand that no one is within 1000 yards of me. Most of the photos shared today are taken on some of my walks.

Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Challenge is all about relaxing this week.

Walking is my main method of relaxation. I don’t go over my lines or try to solve the world’s problems, I just enjoy the scenery and the wildlife.

Kevin Whately

Almost in the middle of this backroads trail stands this lone, tall tree, showing off its straight lines.

One tall Pine tree

It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods — trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra.

John Muir

Some more angular views on my walks:

Geometric Circles and Orbs

Angle Abstraction

We are very close to finishing the buildings here and to close out our loan, so I will soon be able to relax! Meanwhile, here are a two abstract angles of our pole barn/shop and patio. You can see a little more of the shop in the featured graphic.

Journey the Eagle Update

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on (Image by Diana G)

The family has not been seen in or near the nest since Journey was released. He looked so strong when he was released, flying high.

According to Bluebell Court Eagles hostess on Facebook, Diana G explains: “I believe Journey is ok, following his parents and learning to hunt. Eagles don’t tend to gather at this part of the lake…although that could be due to Mom and Dad chasing all away.” Another commenter on Facebook said, “Lots of eagles at the far end of the lake…we have counted 16-20 depending on when we go. Good mix of young and adults…they are probably hanging out there.”

Nature gifted these eagles with powerful instincts that we can only imagine. Perhaps it’s time to let go and trust that nature always has its way.

Busy with Dad

My 80-year old dad loves Tuolumne Meadows.

I’m sorry I missed reading some of your posts this week! My dad and step-mom were here most of the week visiting from Northern California and we had to explore and relax a little. We celebrated his 85th birthday at a family dinner, visited the Bowl and Pitcher area of the Spokane River, then off to Idaho to Post Falls. I believe they really enjoyed the socialization and the visit was good for Dad to see our new lifestyle and engage with more people.

Below is the Post Falls dam in Post Falls, Idaho. Lots of angles here!

Angles at Post Falls Dam

Images are partially inspired and shared for the following challenges:

EVERGREEN LINKS

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below is the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite evergreen photos.

Always Write

Away We Go

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Deb’s World

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Graham’s Island

Green Dreams

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Musin’ with Susan

My Forever Blog

Natalie the Explorer

One Million Photographs

Photos By Jez

Tranature

Travel With Me

Whippet Wisdom

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Be sure to check out my Sunday Stills page for August themes.

I am looking forward to seeing your posts featuring geometric lines, circles, squares and angles!

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© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Ageless and #Evergreen

In keeping with inspiration from July square trees, this week, Sunday Stills focuses on the color evergreen for the monthly color challenge.

You will remember I am now surrounded by evergreen trees, and I couldn’t be happier. Evergreen is considered a dark green and also the name we ascribe to most pine trees and other trees that stay green year-round. Also known as conifers (cone-bearing) their needles are small and waxy enabling pine trees to stay green all year long, unlike deciduous trees that lose their leaves seasonally.

Here is an example to get your creative ideas going. As we headed to Sandpoint, Idaho, we drove by this lovely spot. I love the shape of the towering sugar pines. Image enhanced with Painnt filter.

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge

This week Marsha invites us to explore “exploration!” I can’t think of too many places to explore locally that doesn’t include seeing evergreens! I found this quote and it begged to become a meme created from a previous image of mine.

quote meme exploration
Hot air balloon above the evergreens!

An orange dragonfly explored my former garden resting on the evergreen stake.

Orange dragonfly

Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.

John Muir

Come explore my backyard and neighborhood with me today…most of the evergreens you see are Ponderosa Pines.

Morning walk a block from our home

Even the Birds are Evergreen…sort of…

Some new-old pics from my archives of my sweet hummingbirds. Perhaps not truly evergreen in color, but the second one is surrounded by actual evergreens. These are my headshots for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Green hummingbird
Evergreen hummingbird

Update: Journey the Bald Eagle, An Ageless and Evergreen Story for Our Times

Journey the juvenile Bald Eagle was rescued three weeks ago when he fledged too soon due to the extreme heat here in Eastern Washington. See my post here.

Juvenile Bald Eagle, Journey Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey

Thanks to the efforts of staff at Birds of Prey Northwest, he was safely placed in a large aviary and treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration. He exercised his wings daily and once our weather “cooled,” he would be ready to fly back to the nest where his parents are waiting for him.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practicing for flight while still in his nest

Well…Friday, July 16th was the day! KREM 2 news in Spokane, WA, covered the story as Diana G of Bluebell Court Eagles (on Facebook) and Janie Veltkamp, MS, Biology, and director of BOPNW, was there to enable Journey’s first flight since he was rescued. He was launched off Diana G’s deck…

Journey’s (and Janie’s) headshot!

Eagle images are shared by Diana G with her permission.

Success!

…he flew strongly and purposely, never losing altitude, to a nearby pine tree (evergreen!) in the shade. Janie assures us that Journey will return to his nest close by, where his parents will continue to feed him and teach him to hunt!

Another dedicated volunteer of Birds of Prey Northwest, Tina Penny, shared the following images on the Facebook page, Bluebell Court Eagles. She graciously gave me permission to share them.

You can view Journey’s flight here.

https://www.krem.com/video/entertainment/places/inland-northbest/journey-the-eaglets-first-flight/293-1c1a5df4-9a73-4f41-b26d-e4630e2a1fdb

As of Saturday afternoon, we are still anxiously waiting if Journey was reunited with his nest and parents.

There are thousands of people following Journey’s story all over the world. The rescues of early fledgling birds of prey has ignited our concern for climate change and our ability to be the stewards of God’s creatures while we all inhabit Planet Earth. BOPNW reported that they have rescued over 20 raptors in the last 2-3 weeks due to the extreme heat. The organization averages 1-2 rescues a YEAR under normal weather circumstances in addition to the other work it does.

If you can, I urge you to donate to your local animal rescue organization or the Birds of Prey Northwest. Journey’s story has opened our eyes to the wonderful folks who give of their own time and resources, like Birds of Prey Northwest, to rescue and reintroduce our incredible (some endangered) raptors back into their own habitats.

And as Sheriff Andy Taylor told us last week, “But Don’t the Trees Seem Nice and Full?”

Also sharing for Lens-Artists Challenge: Getting Away

Last Week’s Links Under the Trees

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below is the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite photos under the trees. Please take a moment to visit a few, especially those new to Sunday Stills!

Thank you for reading this week! My dad just celebrated his 85th birthday and is visiting this week from Northern California for the first time! I look forward to your creative evergreen images!

Go exploring have a great week
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Sunday Stills: A Solstice #Sunrise-Sunset

Sunday, June 20th marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. What a perfect week to show off our sunrises and sunsets!

But First, The Solstice!

If being celestial two weeks ago wasn’t enough “geek” for you science buffs, let’s talk about the solstice.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”), because at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) pauses at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.

Wikipedia

It’s hard to believe we will lose two minutes of daylight a day in the northern hemisphere for the next six months as we head into Autumn and Winter. As the southern hemisphere experiences their winter solstice Monday, folk down-under will gradually see two extra minutes of daylight each day.

After years of living in both Southern and Northern California, I got used to summer nights lasting until 8:45pm or so, with first light around 5:30am. One year I spent the 4th of July celebration with my Dad in the town of Alturas, in the most northeast corner of California. The fireworks didn’t start until 10:30pm when it finally got dark! As much as I thought that was impressive, Spokane (Nine Mile Falls), WA, sees 16 hours of official daylight on the summer solstice.

Image screenshot from Weather Underground App

You can google more information here if you are interested in seeing your own daylight hours.

There is also something called “Civil Twilight,” where light begins or remains in the sky before the sun rises or sets. Spokane’s begins as early as 4:10am and the light in the sky ends at 9:35pm, that’s about 6.5 hours of darkness. I know many of you live in more northern latitudes (Alaska, Canada, Sweden, etc) and it would be interesting to know what your sunset time will be on the solstice.

For you in the southern latitudes, what time did the sun go down on this cold winter day?

The construction crew is slowly building the polebarn/shop. This was taken at 10:00 pm a few days ago. Still a lot of light in the sky, enough to hide the stars.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

John Steinbeck

And so the world turns.

Now that all the science is out of the way, how do you celebrate the solstice? In my world, and for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme, we will simply enjoy sharing our favorite sunrises and sunsets.

The Heat is On

Similar to our experience with the summer solstice is the heat that comes with enjoying what summer brings. Marsha at Always Write challenges us this week with “heat” for her Writers Quotes Wednesday Writers Challenge. Marsha has a series of hilarious quotes you don’t want to miss. I found a few of my own to share. But I thought this one seemed appropriate since we just read about daylight hours.

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

“Dear weather, stop showing off… We know you’re HOT!!!”
“I’m glad it’s finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is.”

Authors Unknown
Weathered sun

And with Summer’s Heat Comes…

To me sunflowers are a wonderful representation of all things “sun.”

red gold sunrise sunflower

The sunflower’s name comes from its tendency to reposition itself to face the sun. It’s genus, Helianthus, is rooted in two Greek words — “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower. Here is really great article about sunflowers if you want more information…

I miss my sunflowers, the ones I planted from seeds back in my former home in Sacramento. I spent hours taking photos over three summers. I even got great close-ups of bees seeking pollen!

As I’ve mentioned before, I now live in Eastern Washington where sunflowers and their close cousins, coneflowers, grow wild on our property among the pine trees and lupines.

As always, my sunflowers are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Ready for Some Sunrises?

It has been a few years since we visited Baja Sur, Mexico. We typically went in late December and early January. Sunrise was at 7:00 a.m. and I made sure I set my alarm to enjoy the spectacular sunrises over the Sea of Cortez. A real treat to see the sunrise over the ocean instead of the sunset expected on the US West Coast over the Pacific Ocean.

Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
A sunrise brings a new day and a renewed chance of happiness.

How About Some Sunsets?

A sunset over the Sacramento River Delta never failed to inspire.

Clouds and waves combined with a sunset provide lovely textures in nature

After a warm, windy session windsurfing, sometimes a sunset sail is the most memorable.

Summer Sun sets on windsurfer getting the last bits of wind.

“Wind is God’s way of balancing heat.”

Author Unknown

Or how about a sunset in the Yosemite high country?

Half light of Tuolumne Meadows sunset

Turn around and even better, alpenglow appears on the opposite horizon from the setting sun!

Alpenglow Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows
Unlike the direct sunlight around sunrise or sunset, the light that causes alpenglow is reflected off airborne precipitation, ice crystals, or particulates in the lower atmosphere. source

A look at my world during the summer. Linking to Lens-Artists challenge “World.”

In case you need ideas, consider sharing anything anything related to sunrises and sunsets: sunflowers, glow, lighthouse, brilliance, alpenglow, dusk, twilight, dawn, rooster crowing, Stonehenge, stone circles, sun god, ancient myths, etc.

In the Pink Blogger Links

Color challenges seem to be waayyy popular! Bloggers shared 17 links just on Sunday alone with a grand total of 33 by Saturday! Thank you for your continuing support and I hope to see a lot more for this week’s prompt!

I am also “sharing my snaps” over at Denyse Whelan’s blog this Monday!

I’ll sign off with this image of me from 2019 enjoying a very boozy sunset Mai Tai at the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego in Fall 2019.

Terri enjoying a beverage at Bali Hai

Next week, we explore the Great Outdoors (June is Great Outdoors month somewhere). I will share a sneak peak perspective of Becky B’s July Squares: Trees.

Enjoy the solstice and have a wonderful week ahead!

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Favorite #Vacation Spot

Sunday Still banner vacation

To wrap up the month of May at Sunday Stills, let’s share our favorite vacation spots. As more of the world gets vaccinated against Covid-19, masks are coming off and the world is opening up! Hallelujah!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

John Muir

This week, I am sharing my favorite vacation images from my archives. Now, some of you world travelers, like Sarah, will have to choose your favorites, (aren’t they all though?).

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

Seneca

While you think of your favorite vacation spots, remember why we take vacations. In my retired world, every day seems like Saturday and I’ve been on a perpetual vacation for a few months. But think of a vacation in broader terms, like leisure and travel, and how they are all connected. My point (finally) is this: How do the concepts of leisure, vacation, and travel make you feel? Would you say that these words invoke healing when you experience their manifestation?

According to Marsha at Always Write, her newest WQWWW (Writer’s Quote Wednesday) is “healing” and I suggest this is what time off does for us in the form of a vacation, leisure time in a hobby or physical activity, or travel! This quote speaks volumes:

“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Join me as I share my galleries of trips down memory lane and hum along to the song titles. I apologize in advance for any earworms created. You will notice how many of my favorite vacation spots feature the colors blue and green, which ties in nicely to Tina’s Lens-Artists challenge this week!

I Left My Heart in … a US National Park

“Within National Parks is room–glorious room–room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve.”

Enos Mills

My family spent a LOT of time visiting national parks, notably Yosemite and Sequoia, since they were in California. Last July, I spent a couple of hours in Sequoia with Marsha, when she lived 30 minutes away in Central California.

Down In Mexico

“Never underestimate the healing power of these three things – music, the ocean and the stars.”

Unknown

My windsurfing husband dragged me to Baja, Mexico three times to the La Paz area. In nearby La Ventana is incredible windsurfing and kite boarding. I took my turns windsurfing in the Sea of Cortez as well as some stand-up paddling. A great vacation spot!

California Dreamin’

“Nature itself is the best physician.”

Hippocrates

Because I lived in California most of my life, I spent the first 20 years in San Diego and the rest in Sacramento (Northern California). On two San Diego vacations, I met fellow blogger, Janis, for lunch twice, and one lunch there with Liesbet, who I met in Sacramento! Since 2009, my vacations consisted of summer weekends at the Sacramento River Delta, with occasional visits to Yosemite. It has been my goal to stand-up paddle on every significant body of water on vacations!

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of the trees.“

Anthony William

Arizona was and still is a winter vacation choice. Not only did we meet fellow blogger, Ingrid and her husband in North Phoenix two years in a row, my brother and recently my stepdaughter now live in the Phoenix area. Winter roadtrip 2022 is in the works!

Blue Hawaii

“Leisure, some degree of it, is necessary to the health of every man’s spirit.”

Harriet Martineau

I’ve been lucky to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 with the goal to fix up and sell my husband’s house on the Hilo side. The house is dilapidated and needs work that we just cannot do at this time in our lives. This year we will make final arrangements for its sale. During these weeks, we did manage to do a bit of relaxing and exploring after taking care of the home. Hilo is not the tourist mecca like Kona is, but it serves as the county seat where most of the government infrastructure is housed. Hilo is also the wettest city in the US. In 2018 we visited Volcanoes National Park before the last eruption took place. In 2019, I got to visit the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens with fellow blogger, Graham. We had a blast taking tons of photos!

Viva Las Vegas

“Life’s short. Eat dessert first, work less and vacation MORE!!”

Lia Mishell

Las Vegas, Nevada is known for its casinos and nightlife. It’s also a great place for winter RV camping. In 2018, our winter roadtrip to the Southwest was cut short by unseasonable cold and snow, so we high-tailed it to Las Vegas as our last stop and enjoyed a pleasant week. Unable to visit Antelope Canyon that borders southern Utah and northern Arizona, we stumbled on the Valley of Fire State Park just an hour northeast of Las Vegas. I still got my slot canyon fix and plenty of hiking! In 2018, we met up with fellow blogger Maria, formerly of Sagittarius Viking, still on Instagram.

I sum up my vacation experience thus far with this meme I created when I was teaching leisure education and management at Sacramento State University. These surfboards were situated at a windsurf resort. I took the picture and added this thought to help make the point about taking time off of work or other obligations and enjoying leisure time!

Sorry, couldn’t make it…had a mandatory board meeting.

You Are My Home

“Come to the woods for here is rest.“

John Muir

One year ago almost to the day (May 2020), my husband and I stood together on our property for the first time.

Happy on our half acre

We’ve come a long way in one year, figuratively and literally! We are moved in and enjoying everything that goes along with building! All during a pandemic, no less.

New mfg home

Our vacation of choice in 2021 will be a “staycation” since we are new to our home and hoping people visit us as we continually move in. Will the unpacking and getting everything just right never end?

If camping in an RV counts as a vacation, then our 2-month stay in North Spokane RV Park was quite lovely despite winter/early spring-living while we waited for our home to be ready.

Like this Canada Goose family enjoying their home near a local lake, we expect to enjoy all the area has to offer. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Canada Geese Family

We plan to take some local overnight and weekend trips to the German/Bavarian town of Leavenworth; the Columbia River Gorge near Mt Hood, Oregon—motivated by windsports; and Sandpoint, Idaho; and beyond.

I know several bloggers who live near these areas, so lets meet up when the time is right!

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.

June Themes are on my Sunday Stills Photography Page

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…

Good Gray Matter in these Blogger’s Links

I am looking forward to seeing your favorite places where you vacation and relax! Speaking of relaxing, Sunday Stills is taking a break next Sunday as my family celebrates a long Memorial Day weekend. See you in June and have a great week!

SUPSIG

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: #Water in the Details

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Welcome to the first Sunday in May! How did that happen? This week’s Sunday Stills theme is water. Not only will I share some images of water, I will get into the details partially inspired by this week’s Lens-Artists challenge “in the details” over at Patti’s blog.

As a former Aquatics Director for a large, urban parks and recreation department, I want to remind everyone to observe safety as you venture out into the waterways this month. Memorial Day weekend (end of May) here in the US marks the beginning of summer activities, especially around the water as temps rise. Here in my new neighborhood, I saw people already out in their kayaks and fishing boats.

May is National Water Safety Month

May in National Water Safety Month

People die every year of accidental drowning because they underestimate the cold water, fast currents, or drink too much and enter the water without life vests. Aquatic Professionals all over the world are hypervigilant to keep everyone safe in and around the water and actively promote water safety to their constituents. Please keep yourself, your kids and grandchildren safe!

Overview of Local Waterways

Water exists in all forms here in Eastern Washington, from frozen lakes, rainy days and insane amounts of rivers and lakes. Who needs an ocean?

Let me show you around my new neighborhood of Nine Mile Falls, Washington. As you can see in this featured image, this is the actual Nine Mile Falls dam, for which the town is named. The dam breaks up the Spokane River which originates in Lake Couer D’Alene in Idaho and flows 111 miles into the Columbia River in Oregon.

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Nine Mile Falls Dam is a dam on the Spokane River, in the unincorporated community of Nine Mile Falls, Washington. … The 58-foot-high cyclopean masonry dam and its powerhouse, storehouse, ten cottages and other structures were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. Built in 1906.

Wikipedia

Nearby Riverside State Park is a favorite destination in the area, complete with fishing and water sports like boating, kayaking and stand-up paddling. This image was from last October while smoke from wildfires in the West enveloped the area.

Riverside State Park, WA

Long Lake Dam overlook shows the stunning Falls, still slightly frozen in this photo taken in February.

Completed in 1915, the Long Lake spillway dam is 400 feet long, 250 feet thick at the base, and 208 feet from foundation to crest. It is constructed of concrete on a base of solid rock. When built, the spillway dam was the tallest of its type in existence.

Source

Between these two dams on the Spokane River, Long Lake was created. Our home is situated about a quarter mile from this lake!

On this same day trip, we drove to nearby Loon Lake for giant pizza calzones and a look at the frozen area of the lake.

A Rainy Day’s Details

Right in our neighborhood, unofficially called “Tum Tum,” spring has sprung, and with that, some seasonal rain showers. In between showers last week, I took the dogs for a walk on a “new-to-me” trail and enjoyed blossoming trees and wild sunflowers adorning the trail. Have I mentioned that pine trees and sunflowers are my favorites and they live together here? This is how I knew we found the right place to live!

If you look closer at the details, you will see the raindrops on these sunflowers, dubbed “noxious weeds” by locals, but are really “Arrowleaf Balsamroot,” a plant of the Asteraceae (sunflower family). Believe or not, this entire plant is edible and is known for its medicinal properties!

Water droplets also adorn these blossoming ornamental plum trees.

Adding this walk to Jo’s Monday Walk series!

I hope you enjoyed my tour of my rural neighborhood. Just for fun and to enter Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge: Birds in Flight, I share an old photo of swallows nesting under a marina boat ramp along the Sacramento River Delta.

Swallow fly in chaos around their nests.

Behind the Artwork Details, Part 1

Since we are on the subject of water, I wanted to share more about the details of the three framed prints I posted last week that sit over my dining room table. These three pieces are special to me and two are water-themed. For Part 1, I will share details about the center print. Next week I will share more about the Kinkade prints.

Dining room

The middle print, 34 x 44, is by Thomas Mangelsen, world-renowned American nature and wildlife photographer.

How did I get this framed print? Years ago, I visited my brother in San Diego who had just purchased a framed print at the Mangelsen Gallery in La Jolla. I accompanied him to pick it up during their gallery show and filled out a raffle ticket. The grand prize was a $500 gift certificate. I won! I looked all over the store but couldn’t find anything at the time. I had a year to claim the prize and at Christmastime, having viewed some prints online, I visited the gallery again and had narrowed my choices down to a couple prints. But then I saw the print you see now.

Not only did the stunning Autumn landscape speak to me but you may just be able to see a moose walking in the shadows.

Mangelsen Snake River

Turns out Mangelsen had captured this scene along the Snake River near the Idaho-Oregon border. The Snake River eventually feeds into the mighty Columbia River in Oregon. As we hung the print in our new home, I exclaimed to my husband that the moose has come home! Well sort-of. Thar be moose here in Eastern Washington.

This post is also partially inspired by Cee’s Flower of the Day and Jez’ Water Water Everywhere

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. Each week I share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…meet the:

Lovers of Pets and Kids

Copyright Disclaimer

Images of prints are copyrighted by the original artist. I have permission to publish as a certified owner of the prints.

I look forward to your creative images, stories, comments, music and poetry related to water this week. Remember to please be safe in and around the water!

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Sunday Stills: Celebrating #Pets and #Kids

Aero in sweater

Monday, April 26 is National Kids and Pets Day, so let’s share our favorite images of kids and pets. Last week I hinted at some ideas to get you thinking:

No kids or pets? Improvise! Images of other’s kids or grandkids will work, as well as any kinds of images of animal, bird, reptile, fish or critter. Anything goes, so have fun with this theme.

My kids are all grown up, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t celebrate them. Now that we live two states away, I miss my daughters, but we talk regularly.

For my only photo of little kids, I captured my grand niece and nephew last fall playing joyfully in the garden in grandma’s front yard. They gleefully unearthed roly-polies and made little leaf houses for them, at least the ones that didn’t flee. I used to love playing in the dirt, how about you?

My “kids” nowadays happen to be our sweet dogs Aero and Brodie. They love carousing around their new half-acre backyard chasing balls and sticks.

Aero prefers his sweater when visiting our nearby relatives.

Brodie on alert in this image taken in Bend, Oregon, where we got the good idea to eventually build a rural or pine-pole fence around our place. Five to six feet high fences are designed to keep the dogs in and the deer, coyotes and moose out!

Aero sort of photobombed this shot of our new welcome mat sent from my brother.

A “painted” version of Aero enjoying a warm RV a couple of months ago.

Brodie remembering the good times playing in the river at the Sacramento delta.

Wind blowing dog's ear

Are Backyard Birds Pets?

For years, while living in Sacramento, I enjoyed a wide variety of birds that regularly visited my backyard. I enjoyed several generations of kites, members the hawk family, for more than 20 years. The kites nested in the huge pine trees in our yard.

Bird of Prey Kite

Every once in a while I would get an unusual bird like this black-headed grosbeak, a “fake finch,” which surprisingly belongs to the cardinal family. Sharing for Lisa’s Bird Weekly, Birds with letter F.

Black headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

By far, I enjoyed generations of Anna’s hummingbirds that fed and nested in my backyard. They got quite tame and “let” me take their pictures! I put out some bird feeders in our new backyard, but no hummers yet! I miss these little guys!

The Lens-Artists challenge invites us to explore the relationship with those things that are dear to us and how they affect us. As you have read, my dogs are an integral part of our lives. The birds I have photographed over the years are beloved to me as well and I thank God for nature and this beautiful world in which we live.

House Happenings

Since I’m still struggling along without wi-fi in the house, my photography has slowed down. I managed to upload these two images of our home using the WordPress Mobile app then edited on the laptop using the hotspot. This process works for now. I have 100s of images that need to be uploaded and edited and I need to hang out at a neighbor’s house to use their wi-fi. Soon.

Today I share two quick pics of our finished dining room and a view from our back deck into the house.

Aero managed to photobomb yet another picture. All about pets, right?

View from dining room, and living room from back deck

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. I sure enjoyed catching up with everyone last week! I was so thrilled to see so many purple/violet/lavender images shared by you all.

“No Shrinking Violets” from Last Week’s Links

May themes are listed on my Sunday Stills page. May 2nd’s theme is water. If you followed my blog long enough, you might remember that May is Water Safety Month, and my former identity as an aquatics director rears its head as I still enjoy promoting water safety. Water in any form, from droplets to oceans will be welcomed.

Sharing for Becky B’s Bright Squares

Looking forward to seeing your images of kids and pets! Have a great week!

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Sunday Stills: A Celebration of #Leaves

Red Maple

How is it November first already? This morning, here in the US, we set the clocks back to end daylight saving time. Lighter in the morning, darker at night, but I am glad to get that hour back!

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is all about leaves. No matter where you live, you may have some kind of display of leaves, whether they are newly green from spring in the southern hemisphere or a downright festival of leaves here in the northern hemisphere.

Believe it or not, here in Northern California, our leaves have not turned yet due to unseasonably warm weather. Once it gets cold enough overnight, the sap stops running within the trees and leaves start the process of changing colors to eventually drop as the trees become dormant.

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower quote

Join me as we celebrate leaves!

My current leaf images were gathered from central Oregon and Spokane, Washington during last week’s road trip to move another load of household items.

Our trip was delayed due to an Un-Named truck rental company’s decision to cancel our reservation for no reason. Although we were delayed by two days, we eventually got a great deal on the new rental and saved $1,400. To do this we had to drive the 20-foot truck there and back. Apparently, a lot of folks are moving out of California and trucks are not making it back. Oops, that would be us.

October Autumn Central Oregon
Central Oregon

So while hubby drove the first two days, I captured some fab Fall leaves on the road.

“I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling.”

John Muir

Once we got into Spokane, I wandered through my BIL’s backyard and took a lot of pics. I took these on Tuesday and Wednesday before we left early Thursday morning. On Friday, a major winter storm landed in Spokane, Eastern Washington, and Western Idaho and dumped over 7 inches of snow, breaking an October snowfall record from 1959! One more day of lingering and we would have been delayed getting home.

Red Maple
Red Maple

Needless to say, most of the beautiful leaves dropped like stones after the first snow! This image was taken two years ago right after the first snow on Veteran’s Day.

Fallen frosted leaves

Here are some more from my archives.

A California Fall, a mix of autumn leaves juxtaposed with palm trees.

Autumn leaves and palm
Autumn Birch Tree
Autumn birch leaves look like butterflies.
Autumn leaf on wood shows it's splendor

This was taken last December! I have a feeling our Fall colors may be delayed again until this December.

leaf reflections

I’m also joining the Lens-Artist challenge “Focus on the subject”, hosted by Patti Moed. I enjoy focusing on leaves as they have fallen onto the ground.

fall leaves on ground

This week’s images are also shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day (because every leaf is a flower) and for Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

I look forward to seeing your images of leaves! Please feel free to share poetry, music or stories of your leaves!

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Sunday Stills: Kinda Backyard #Birding

Hummingbird ready to feed

This week’s Sunday Stills’ post is partially inspired by Lisa’s Weekly Bird Challenge. What kinda birds live or visit in your backyard?

As you read in my post last week, I have enjoyed my backyard as a happy place. Not a huge backyard, but it does the job with the 5 redwood trees I planted which attract a variety of birds. The sunflower seeds and various bird feeders also attract a nice variety of birds and offer a treat to boot!

Blue jay contorts to get some yummy treats!
Bluejay contorts to get some yummy treats!

The Backyard Hums

My hummingbird feeders sing their sweet siren call to the local hummers who nest here most of the year and offer a syrupy sip.

Hummingbird ready to feed
Hummingbird quartet at feeder

In the above image, four thirsty hummingbirds manage to share the feeder.

I tried my hand at the image compare feature of the block editor to show that the squared version for Becky’s KindaSquare challenge doesn’t look as good as the original as seen above, since it cuts out one hummer.

Hummingbird enjoying his shower
Hummer after the rain
Puffed up hummingbird enjoying the rain

Do Kites Fly?

Kite on a wire

Our redwoods are home to nests of White-tailed Kites, a bird of prey from the hawk family.

As recently as the 1940s, this graceful hawk was considered rare and endangered in North America, restricted to a few sites in California and Texas. In recent decades, it has increased greatly in numbers and spread into many new areas.

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/white-tailed-kite
Kites sharing the top of a tree

Each day at twilight they gracefully circle the neighborhood on the hunt for abundant small rodents! The first family of kites moved here 20 years ago.

Kites Birds of Prey

These birds are large, with a wingspan of 35-40 inches! We’ve seen several generations of them over the years and our moderate climate in Northern California keeps them here all year long. I’ve seen as many as 20 filling the skies at sunset as they hunt. Quite a sight.

My images are a tad fuzzy since the sun was setting and the birds are in the branches 300 feet up!

Other Visitors and Other Backyards

Swallow

I’ve kinda considered the Sacramento Delta as our backyard these last 11 years, as we maintain a campsite there all summer. Swallows nest in the spring here and sometimes think it’s OK to nest in our sail shed.

You may remember this cutie from July. A blogger told me that it is Black-headed Grosbeak!

Black headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

Some of these are square images inspired in part by and Becky B’s KindaSquares Challenge. Bird treats and eye candy were also inspired by the Lens-Artists Challenge theme “Quite a Treat.”

I like that Lisa has her weeks planned out with the theme for each type of bird. If you enjoy birding as much as some of your fellow bloggers, please visit her page for more inspiration. How I wish I could capture all these types of birds on her list with my own lens! I’m still holding out for the American Bald Eagle.

Some of these birds have been nesting in some old blog posts and image files. They are happy to be viewed today! I would love to see what kinds of birds visit your backyard and while you are at it, do link to Lisa’s weekly bird challenge!

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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!

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Sunday Stills: #Perspectives on …

Pinnacle Peak

Don’t you love photo challenges? Even if you are not a photographer yourself, I’m sure you appreciate the lovely images your fellow bloggers share. Over the years, I’ve been inspired by the perspectives and stories of their images.

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “perspective.” Yes, I borrowed the theme from Becky B’s Squares July photo challenge and enjoy promoting her challenge to others (not that she needs it)! Plus, I love to be challenged too! Remember your main photo needs to be square!

squares photo challenge

This post is chock full of images for some of my favorite photo challenges! See the end of each section for which photo challenges I’ve linked to and where you can find more inspiration.

Did you know that “Perspectives On Leisure” was the name of my blog when I first started in Fall 2014? I later changed it to Second Wind Leisure Perspectives for a variety of reasons. It doesn’t really matter. I guess that’s MY perspective (wink wink).

Floral and Summer Perspectives

“There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation’s braggart Lords.”

John Muir

A summer mustard flower’s perspective of the Antioch Bridge in the Sacramento River Delta.

spring flower perspective

Spring is the time to plant sunflowers from seeds. But summer isn’t official until the sunnies burst into bloom. They bloom quickly in the warm sunshine, often in less than 48 hours.

Another floral perspective of Pinnacle Peak in Northern Arizona.

Pinnacle Peak
Pinnacle Peak

These perspectives are inspired by Amy’s summer theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Perspectives of Point of View and Geometry

A warm summer day at Lake Natoma where I often enjoy stand-up paddling. At 9:30 am there were already many families enjoying the water.

Late spring on Lake Natoma

Armed with the knowledge of the upcoming square perspectives challenge, I made sure to get several POV shots. This next one shows the same boys at play.

Boys at water play

At least their life vests are close-by.

While out for a walk, I caught lovely shadows and geometric perspectives on the sidewalk alongside the City park.

Street posts in shadow

Becky B’s July Squares Challenge has begun. Read how to join here.

Summer is here and many bloggers take a short break. Perhaps you are in a slump and need more inspiration for your blog? If you are looking for more photo challenges, take a look at Marsha’s page of challenges.

What’s Your Perspective?

I am looking forward to seeing your images depicting perspectives. Show us in your images, stories, poetry, and other creative ideas!

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If you enjoyed this post, perhaps you might be interested in this:

Sunday Stills: The Rise and Set of the Sun

Sun sets on Hilo Bay fisherman

Sharp-eyed bloggers may remember this theme offered by the now-defunct WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge a few years ago. I thought it would fun to challenge ourselves again by sharing our images of sunsets and sunrises as we celebrate yesterday’s solstice.

Winter Sunrise over swimming pool

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

Jo Walton

I scoured years of images from my Dropbox files to find a variety of sunrises and sunsets. Apparently, I capture many more sunsets than sunrises. This time of year, in Northern California, sunrise comes quite early, 5:40am! I rise at about 6:30am most days in the summer. Sunset on the solstice was 8:33pm, with last light at 9:05pm. Plenty of time to capture sunsets.

To help inspire you, I’ve chosen new and previous images of sunrises and sunsets.

Sunrises

“The secret to a good morning is to watch the sunrise with an open heart.”

Anthony T. Hincks

How about a foggy Malibu sunrise to start your day?

Malibu Sunrise

I shared a version of this sunrise from Spokane, WA in February. This was post-edited with the Painnt app.

Pixelated Sunrise

Sometimes a sunrise looks best with its light shone on the subject and reflected in the windows as depicted in this sunrise in Baja, Mexico.

Sunrise in Baja Mexico

This one shows the sunrise in the Mojave Desert near Victorville, California. We stayed with friends at their home on Silver Lake. The countless ducks enjoyed feeding on insects common with the sunrise.

Mojave Desert Sunrise

Sunsets

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

My sunset images have a theme…they show the setting sun over water. The first photo is the Painnt version of a sunset in the Sacramento River Delta.

Delta Sunset Painnted

Another delta image shows us enjoying a sunset paddling session near the end of summer. Notice there were no wind turbines in the nearby hills then.

SUP Sunset

In this view of San Diego’s harbor, the setting sun highlights the downtown high-rise windows and creates a gentle reflection on the calm waters of the bay’s surface.

San Diego Harbor Sunset

The final image is one of my favorites, from Hilo Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. I called a similar image “The Lonely Fisherman.”

Sun sets on Hilo Bay fisherman

I used LightRoom to edit the lighting in this photo and added a sunflare in the post-editing process.

To sum up the idea of Rise/Set, I offer this quote by John Muir:

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

Did you know the WordPress Weekly Challenge Photo pages are still available to view? Here is the link to 2018’s Rise/Set.

Does a sunrise or sunset bring you a quiet moment? I’m pleased to link this post to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, A Quiet Moment.

What is your favorite time of day? Does the sunrise kick start your day and provide you with inspiration? Or are you an evening person who chooses to linger over a sunset with an adult beverage? Saturday’s solstice meant you had to be up very early or stay up rather late to see the sunrise or the sunset. Did you see both?

If you enjoyed seeing sunrises and sunsets, you might like these previous post:

I can’t wait to see your favorite sunrises and sunsets!

Camera graphic

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Walking in the Valley of Fire

Walking into the Slot Canyon in Valley of Fire

Hello fellow walkers! Walking is about the ONLY exercise I have engaged in since California’s Stay-At-Home order on Friday, March 20. Believe me, I am happy and grateful to walk outside in my neighborhood, and my dogs never complain, but why does it feel like it’s been longer than 9 days?

Walking two dogs

Thankfully, we can ride our bikes on the nearby bike trail, which I did last Sunday. Lots of people were enjoying the glorious sunny day, walking, bicycling or running. It is easy to maintain 6 feet of social distancing here.

As part of our three-week road trip in December and early January, we spent the last leg of the trip in Las Vegas. My brother lives there now so we spent time with him and his partner. They had not yet visited the Valley of Fire State Park, and we were happy to re-visit and show them the sights.

Our first stop was to the Visitor’s Center at the west entrance to the park (only $10 per car) to grab a brochure and map of the area. It can take up to two days to see everything. Just driving through all the red rocks is quite stunning.

Hello from Valley of Fire
Canyon Drive
Driving through Valley of Fire

The first area to visit, because it gets busy, is the White Domes area that is also home to the slot canyon.

Red Rocks Nevada
White Domes Area

I played around with some photo-editing of the image of me walking into the entrance of the slot canyon, camera at-the-ready.

Ready for the Slot Canyon in Valley of Fire
Walking into the Slot Canyon in Valley of Fire

I feel like this image really defines me! Thanks, Ingrid, for the inspiration!

Once inside, the light is incredible.

Slot Canyon Hike
Almost Antelope Canyon

After much “oohing and aahing” from my brother and his partner, we stopped for a picnic lunch then drove on to other areas of the park. The park covers over 40,000 acres, so driving is a must, but you can park and hike to suggested points-of-interest. In the shot below, my brother is blazing a trail with me on his heels to the area where the petroglyphs can be seen up close.

Hiking in Valley of Fire State Park
More walking in the Valley of Fire
Ancient Anasazi Petroglyphs

Yes, the sand is also this red!

Valley of Fire's Sand
Reddish-orange glow of sand

One more point of interest after spending nearly 8 hours in the Valley of Fire, was to stop and gawk at the Elephant Rock, at the east entrance of the park.

Elephant Rock, Valley of Fire
Elephant Rock in Valley of Fire
Surrounded by fiery rocks

If you didn’t get your 10,000 steps with me on this outing to the Valley of Fire, you can click here to take a cold walk with me on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

If you can get outdoors to walk, I encourage you to do so! Intermittent rainy weather kept me indoors this week and I found a good yoga practice on Youtube. I also own some fitness bands and do a series of calisthenics with those. Any kind of exercise is good for our bodies and spirits now!

This post is partially inspired by this week’s Lens-Artists challenge hosted by Tina this week for Distance. To help you get your steps in today, connect here for Restless Jo’s Monday Walk.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge resumes next week as we kick off April with a whole new set of themes. Visit my Sunday Stills page for a preview.

Sunday Stills: Photographing #Near and #Far

Lighthouses from Afar

This week, our Sunday Stills photo challenge is to photograph something from afar, then get close to the object or scene and take a close-up or image from a reasonable distance to show more details. Reach into your archives or take some new photos for the challenge.

This week’s challenge was inspired by the following photographs of a small grove of ornamental cherry trees on a residential street in my neighborhood. They bloomed early in February and put on a “stop the car” show.

Small Tree Grove just in Bloom
Spring brings clouds of blossoms
From 2017

Once I got out and took the shot, I walked closer and noticed the blossoms were alive with bees!

Blossoms and Bee up close


I am glad I took these when I did, as the north winds have since blown away the delicate blooms.

This photo was taken at 20,000 feet on a flight from Sacramento to San Diego over Yosemite Valley. Not bad for a window shot and I took the liberty of marking the main peaks for you. What is astounding to me is to be able to see the high country of Tuolumne Meadows at the top portion of the image!

Yosemite Peaks from Afar

As close as I can get is this shot of Half Dome from Glacier Point in Yosemite Valley. My brother and my two daughters have taken the hike up Half Dome. It is strenuous and I admire those who can devote an entire day (12-15 hours) to the hike. This is close enough for me, thank you.

Half Dome View from Glacier Point
Half Dome View from Glacier Point

Valley floor view of Half Dome in Spring, shrouded with clouds.

Clouds Hide Half-Dome in early spring

Ten years ago, in February 2010, was my first trip to Baja Sur, Mexico to meet my not-yet husband on his windsurfing vacation in La Ventana. We toured the area south of there and came across these lighthouses. The shorter one was in the process of being replaced by the active, taller structure. With binoculars, you can see this peninsula from La Ventana and you can make out these structures (don’t have that shot to share with you).

Lighthouses from Afar

We were able to climb into the old lighthouse for the “near” shot you see of me!

Inside the Lighthouse

As host of Sunday Stills, I am always pleased whenever you share your photos each week. I am always excited to welcome new bloggers who join the challenges. Please welcome and visit our five new participants who joined in February!

I’m linking with this week’s Lens Artist Challenge Change Your Perspective!

Open Your Eyes, Too!, Unfold and Begin, Ramya Tantry, Jacqui Biggar–Author and Zebra’s Child.

Of course, I always take my own challenges literally, but you can be as creative as you wish! Have a great week!

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Sunday Stills: Holiday #Décor with Optional Red and Green

As we near Christmas and other traditional holidays, no doubt you have managed to decorate your home or yard.

Yard decor for Winter Wonders
Neighbor’s Christmas Scene

I adjusted my holiday travel plans a bit which means I combined this week’s theme, Holiday Decor, with what would have been next week’s theme, Something Red or Green. See end of the post for more details.

Since being with my husband for the last 10 Christmases, I don’t decorate much since we travel to Southern California to spend time with our family, including our combined five children; four who now live there. We also travel for another two weeks since we both can easily take time off from our jobs in January. Taking down Christmas decorations in mid-January is just wrong, although I know many folks who keep their holiday décor up through epiphany 12 days after Christmas and beyond.

Even my university campus decks its halls with holiday décor. Ginkgo trees adorn many areas of campus, and I’m told their small, fan-shaped leaves fall in big batches. The campus groundskeepers and interested alumni team up to rake the leaves into interesting patterns. A red Jump bike and festive flag add to the festive scene.

Campus Decor For Fall

This year, with Thanksgiving arriving later in November, many holiday decorations were already up and gracing the homes of friends and family. My sister-in-law hosted Thanksgiving and had a house full of people, so she put hers up early.

I took some photos of her wonderful décor to share. She has room to display her whimsical miniature villages. The key to capturing these creatively is to get very close with your lens to get the sense of being inside the village. I applied the Painnt filter to the first and third images.

Christmas Village
Inside a Christmas Village
Christmas Village
Nostalgic, snowy scene

These miniature toys decorated a friend’s house last Christmas. Doesn’t it remind you of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Christmas special and the island of misfit toys?

Miniature Christmas Toys
The island of misfit toys?

Then, of course, there are the lights!

Lights2

Please welcome a new blogger to Sunday Stills, Life is Great!

I don’t often get to link with Weekly Lens-Artist Challenge; “display” seems to fit the theme this week!

This week, show us your creative holiday decor with optional red and green!

Christmas red berries

Due to our Winter Road Trip Do-Over, today is the last Sunday Stills post of 2019. I will be taking a blogging break beginning this week through January 17, resuming Sunday Stills on my blog on January 19. Thank you to all who have contributed to the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge in 2019!

Fellow blogger Hugh Roberts is graciously hosting Sunday Stills on January 5 and 12, so be sure to visit. January themes are posted here.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a glorious start to 2020!

Terri_holly

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