Sunday Stills: Your Favorite #Landscape

Water fall on the Feather River

We all love landscape photography. When you first began snapping photos, perhaps you naturally gravitated toward landscapes (or waterscapes—same thing), due to their ease of accessibility. Who doesn’t stand in awe of a wonderful vista and wish they had their phone or camera handy?

This is an easy challenge this week as you share your favorite land- or water-scapes, but the twist is to tell us why the image or images are your favorite, and something about the place. Since most of us are travel-restricted, let’s brag about our best or favorite landscapes as we all travel virtually along with each other!

Winter Wonders

For several years, my hubby and I traveled in December and January when we both could take extended time off from work. We enjoyed two winter road trips in our RV, both times visiting San Diego, Arizona, and Nevada.

We got snowed on in Sedona in 2019,

Snow on Red Rock of Sedona
Snow on Red Rock of Sedona

and visited the Grand Canyon in 2020. It took two attempts to get here!

South Rim of the Grand Canyon in snow
South Rim of the Grand Canyon

On our way home to drop off the RV, we enjoyed a misty morning along the Sacramento River. This is one of my favorites.

FLoating Dock Reflections
“Floating” dock on Sacramento River

How-waia?*

Moving now into warmer winter climates, our first visit to the Big Island of Hawaii was on the Hilo side where we watched surfers skirting around the volcanic reefs on Hilo Bay. This particular image was created as a 40-30 canvas print I hang in my house.

Hilo Surfers
Hilo Surfers

I had to throw in a Painnted (filter) version of this image as we drove UP the Hamakua coastline on the northern end of the Big Island.

Hawaii Big Island Hamakua Coastline
View of Hamakua Coastline

*My grandmother pronounced Hawaii “how-ah-ya,” for which I endlessly teased her, good-naturedly, of course. Though she was an English teacher, her Midwest roots shown through in her dialect.

Baja Bound

Staying with our warmer winter climates, I was fortunate to visit Baja California, Mexico three times in the last 10 years. On the Sea of Cortez side in La Ventana just south of La Paz, mornings saw calm waters and fabulous sunrises, perfect for a morning stand-up paddle session or enjoying a cuppa jo.

Baja Sunrise
Early Baja Sunrise

During afternoons, the wind came up and windsurfing was the only way to enjoy the water. Photo credit to my husband.

Windsurfing in Baja
My turn to sail

Spring Greens

Because I love the color green, I’ll stop for a landscape of cool greens like this one taken in the Sierra Nevada foothills in March, 2016. This area is near the town of Sutter Creek, originally populated during the California gold-rush era of the 1850s.

Mountain Greenery; Green Sierra foothills
Green Sierra foothills

In late March, 2017, we stayed a few days in Yosemite Valley and captured this iconic view of Half Dome with Bridalveil falls in the foreground.

Yosemite Valley with Bridalveil Falls
Yosemite Valley

Fall Foliage

This image got a lot of hits on Facebook and Instagram. This is the Dishman Hills area of Spokane and this particular area looks spectacular in any season.

Winter Scene Spokane

The above version was taken in mid November, while the one below shows early Fall splendor. I am sure to collect images of each season now that I live in the area!

Spokane's Urban Forest
Spokane suburban street

I had to include a favorite autumn landscape titled Quincy in Fall, an image of a waterfall in the Feather River in Northern California. This is another image I had made into a large Canvas print.

Water fall on the Feather River
Waterfall at Feather River

Taken in 2010 with my first digital camera, I’m told by many this was prize-worthy. 11 years ago those compliments gave me much needed confidence to enjoy and explore photography.

And so it goes….

Honestly, this week’s theme couldn’t have come at a better time since we had to move again and I found myself super busy. No, not exactly what you are thinking. Our home is not ready yet, but the good news is that the interior will be worked on this week. Sadly, staying with my BIL in his toxic home environment was too much after 6 full weeks and we were fed UP. We spent all last week looking for another temporary home and I hurriedly put this post together. We looked for a house to rent for 1-2 more months, but nothing was available.

Plan C? Our 27-foot travel trailer has been parked on our nephew’s property, so we braved snowy roads and moved it to an RV campground on Thursday. This was the last thing my hubby wanted to deal with after the drama at his brother’s. At this writing, we are happily sitting in our warm RV in North Spokane enjoying our own space! He looks pretty happy in this pic and we are relieved.

A warm welcome to blogger Frank at Beach Walk Reflections to Sunday Stills last week. He shared a lovely post in response to “clouds and fog” at the suggestion of good friend and fellow blogger Marsha of Always Write. I’m so pleased more people are contributing to the Sunday Stills photo challenge. During January, eight bloggers joined the Sunday Stills challenge for the first time!

This is my last post linking with Becky B’s Squared Up Challenge as hers comes to an end. Some landscape photos do not square-up since they are from my archives. Thanks, Becky, for hosting your delightful quarterly challenge!

I am also pleased to share this post as a “photography journey” of sorts with this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge hosted by Amy.

I certainly look forward to seeing your favorite landscapes (and water-scapes)!

Remember you have all week to create a post for each week’s theme. February themes can be found HERE!

Until next week, stay safe!

SUPSIG

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Opening a Thousand Windows

Quote by John Muir "Opening a Thousand Windows"

Pine Trees make a window onto the world of Yosemite Valley

While the featured image is not your typical glass-pained window, the frame of the pine trees yields a glorious view of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

“Oh these vast, calm measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.” John Muir

For all its natural beauty, sadly, this very mountain endured a recent rock-slide where reports from bystanders described “rocks the size of an apartment building” randomly detached and fell onto the valley floor.

John Muir’s sublime quote can be applied to any leisure experience we choose. Our leisure time spent enjoying wonderful places on our vacations and every day lives also opens countless windows to the wonders of our world.

This can be as adventurous as spending a day exploring an old, abandoned lighthouse in Mexico…

Framed in what's left of the Lighthouse window
Framed in what’s left of an abandoned lighthouse window

…to discovering a partially submerged window in an old abandoned pumphouse on Lake Natoma while stand-up paddling…

Old pumphouse window partially submerged plays trick on the eyes
Old pumphouse window partially submerged plays trick on the eyes

…Or as simple as enjoying the view of the swimming pool from a condo window…

Condo Window looks out onto leisure.

 

Feel free to share this on Pinterest!

Quote by John Muir "Opening a Thousand Windows"

 

Posting these Windows  of leisure for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

What windows open for you in your leisure time?

My signature

 

 

Lusting for Travel

Welcome to Waikiki

Welcome to Waikiki

Why did the traveler cross the road? To satisfy her wanderlust, of course! If that is even possible.

I have barely been off the North American continent, the furthest travel spots being Mexico and Hawaii. But I am willing to pack for any kind of adventure!

Referring to the “Polaroid” above, it has been over 10 years since I visited Hawaii and stayed on Waikiki Beach. That was the view from our balcony. Not a fancy place, but who hangs out in a hotel room all day?

View of La Ventana, home to windsurfing and kiteboarding.

In 2010, I flew solo to Baja, Mexico by way of Guadalajara. I almost didn’t make the hopper that took us to Baja. From this view you can look down into La Ventana Bay which is home to several resorts that cater to windsurfing, kite-boarding and all things water-sport! My hubby (then boyfriend) was already camped there. He had driven in his truck over 1200 miles from Northern California. This is a popular winter spot for wind-sport enthusiasts to get some warm sunshine between November and February.

This week’s photo challenge asks us to share our visions of Wanderlust. Here are a few places I have been.

I am hoping to visit Hawaii or Mexico in January. My hubby and I are making plans to visit Europe in a few years. The road is open!

Where has the road taken you?

 

Vibrant Villa Gate

Vibrant gate guards a homey villa in Baja, Mexico.

Today I hit the photo challenge jackpot! This photo taken in Los Barriles, Baja, Mexico shows a fabulous green gate adorning the gorgeous red fence that surrounds the villa. Yes, I know the family that owns this home hidden by the gate and trees!

Vibrant gate guards a homey villa in Baja, Mexico.

Los Barriles, on the lower Baja peninsula on the Sea of Cortez, offers great vacation activities and fun beach life. Of course, windsurfing, kiteboarding and stand-up paddling are just three of the exciting leisure activities one can try.

Several of our windsurf friends have homes there. After spending several trips in La Ventana, a smaller, sleepier town further to the north, I now see what is attractive about Los Barriles. It felt a little more civilized and much bigger, with more culture. There is an active expatriate life style there and real estate is considerably lower than the U.S.


 

Three of my favorite photo challenges with one photo!

Love a challenge? Got photos? Check out these photo challenges–open to anyone! I just use my Samsung phone and PicMonkey editing. If I can do it, you can, too!

Submitted for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors, Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World “Fern” and Weekly photo challenge Vibrant.

 

Defying Gravity

Weightless water

Weight(less)

I am traveling home after a nice long vacation in Baja Sur, Mexico. For my Leisurely Thursday post, I could not resist including another set of photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

I took these photos on my last day in La Ventana.  The warm desert air combined with the 72 degree water of the Sea of Cortez creates incredible windy conditions from November through March, making this area south of La Paz thee winter destination for windsurf and kiteboard enthusiasts from all over the world

A variety of birds, including turkey vultures, pelicans and other sea birds glide effortlessly on the warm thermals created by the wind and warm water. Here a turkey vulture enjoys a thermal as the windsock indicates a good north wind.

Weightless Wings

A few miles away on the Bahia de la Ventana, a rocky outcropping called “the Boof” provides a visual delight at high tide as the waves crash against the rocks and holes eroded over time.

Weightless Water

Water briefly defies gravity at over 12 feet high.

Water becomes weightless

What makes you feel weightless?

I am adding this to Jennifer Nicole Wells’ color your world weekly photo challenge blue-green.

A Good Day in La Ventana

Beach-Chair-View

Today Was a Good Day

The theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge is to share a gallery of what a good day looks like. My gallery shows photos of what a typical day looks like in La Ventana, Baja Sur, Mexico. I have been there twice and already have made plans to visit again in January 2016. This is one of the winter windsurf and kiteboard capitols of the world.

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You can see that we keep busy from sunset to sundown! Where do you spend your winter retreat (if you are lucky to get one)?

Sunrise Through the Window

Sunrise-Through-the-Window

Sunrise-Through-the-Window
Window Sunrise in La Ventana

In La Ventana (window in Spanish), Baja Sur, Mexico, the sun rises about 6:45am in January over the Sea Of Cortez. I set my alarm while on our windsurfing vacation because I knew I could capture shots like this one.

Notice the molten sunrise reflected in the window.

Being a West coast dweller, seeing a sunrise over an ocean is rare for me.

I hope you enjoyed this photo submitted for the Weekly Photo Challenge!

Early Bird