Sunday Stills: #Eerie Sights and Sounds

Spooky Sunrise

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

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

Eerie Full Moon
Eerie full moon viewed through pine trees

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

Merriam Webster Dictionary

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

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

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

Eerie Editing

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

Spooky Sunrise
Eerie Sunrise in black and white

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

Erin Bow, Plain Kate

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

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

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

Gargoyle Wine Stopper

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

Autumn Lake ReflectionsDragon Faces at an angle

Eerie Sounds

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

Eerie Aurora

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

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

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

Discover the World

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

Aurora Borealis from my porch
Aurora Borealis from my porch

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

KREM 2 News

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

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

Mateo’s Law

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

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

Photo Challenges this Week

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

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

Always Write

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along (Image shared in comments)

Equipoise Life (Image shared in comments)

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

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

Loving Life

Musin With Susan

Priorhouse Blog

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections (Image posted on Instagram)

Shutters on the World

Soul N Spirit

Stevie Turner

Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Women Living Well After 50

Working on Exploring

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

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

I look forward to your eerie posts all week!

Halloween Signature

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Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: May #Gray

Slender Snake Cotton

Welcome to the Sunday Stills monthly color challenge! This month’s theme is gray. I chose gray, because, a) I’m running out of interesting colors, and b) I recall years of gray days during the month of May growing up in my home town of San Diego. Marine fog typically rolls in between May and July during the evening and morning hours, burning off by mid-day.

Southern Californians dubbed May as “May Gray,” hence the name of my post. But I’m featuring a variety of gray images so please be as creative as you wish for the color challenge.

“Gray is the queen of colors because she makes everyone else look good.”

Helen Van Wyk, artist and writer

This quote is inspired by Marsha’s Writers Quote Wednesdays, and helps define how we appreciate beauty. As the color gray is often found in nature, haven’t you noticed how much more colors pop against a backdrop of gray clouds? Or in the above image, the light gray snake cotton weed brings out the best of the purple lupine.

Grays Made by Humans

Various shades of gray offer pleasing neutral tones and a popular choice for home interior paint colors.

The gray walls in my new home take on varying shades depending on the light. The new wall decorations reflect gray and wood tones. Even our pole barn/garage currently under construction shows varying shades of gray in the evening sunlight!

Other architecture like bridges lend themselves to shades of gray.

Grays Made by Nature

Mother Nature works closely with time to create granite monoliths that can be found in National Parks and other preservation areas of the world.

Then there are the small things…

Grays Combined

Sometimes, nature and made-made materials combine to make beautiful pairs to highlight the gray and the subject matter. This graceful Snake Cotton weed grows within the stark, man-made dark-gray gravel surrounding areas of our property. These delicate weeds create a light gray patina amongst the variety of weeds and wildflowers.

Another favorite photo is this one of the “twin” dandelion, taken at my former home.

Flowers twinned

A misty spring sunset looks particularly idyllic as colors pop against the gray mist and wet asphalt.

Florals submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Where can you find gray this time of year? Show us in your images, stories, music, poetry and other creative ideas. And don’t be fooled by the post title, gray does not have to occur in May to be shared for this color challenge.

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.

Blogger Links for Weather

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

Next week we look at your favorite vacations spots! There will be no challenge on May 30 during Memorial Day weekend as I enjoy my daughter’s visit for the first time! Have a wonderful week!

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© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: I’ve #Fallen For…

Fallen debris from spring storm

This week’s theme is “fallen.” With Valentine’s Day approaching, you can use a play on words like “fallen” in love, or go with the more obvious showing things that have fallen: leaves, branches, flower petals, night, rain, hail, windsurfers, heroes, people… well, I will leave it to your creative and capable imaginations!

Here are some of my examples to kick off this week’s Sunday Stills’ theme of FALLEN.

Nature’s Fallen

“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.”

Shira Tamir

I love photographing fallen leaves. Their random patterns never cease to amaze me and I especially enjoyed this image from two years ago when leaves fell after Autumn rain.

fall leaves on ground

After a strong, spring storm, fallen debris and hail litter my former backyard deck.

Fallen debris from spring storm

Eroded basalt rock formations and fallen rock signify Mammoth Lake’s Devil’s Postpile.

Visiting Devil's Postpile Mammoth Lakes

Jacaranda trees bloom in San Diego in June. Their fallen purple petals make a delightful carpet!

Jacaranda Tree and Petals

Fallen pollen from a sunflower.

Fallen pollen on sunflower

Fallen debris inundate local rivers in Sacramento after the spring snowmelt from the nearby Sierra Nevadas. Hubby did a great job clearing our windsurf launch.

Fallen debris washed up into the delta

The Art of Fallen

Speaking of windsurfing, as winds blow strong, daredevils put their skills to the test with the inevitable outcome of fallen!

windsurfing
Missed loop, inevitable fall

An early, unexpected snowfall had fallen on the poor harvest decorations. At least they’re still smiling!

Too early for fallen snow

Another spring storm creates a carpet of fallen tree petals.

Tree blossoms scatter on top of walkway

“Every picture shows a spot with which the artist has fallen in love.”

Alfred Sisley

Fallen for RV Life

When explaining my blog theme to my husband, he offered the “fallen Roman Empire,” to which I countered, “I don’t have a photo of that.” This is an example of conversations we have daily, living in an RV with about 200 square feet of interior space.

Kudos to fellow bloggers Ingrid and Liesbet who live in each of their RVs full time with their respective spouses!

I do have this photo of the morning light flooding our RV campground. We love our trailer and I feel as though it is happy to have us living inside!

RV Camground home

I know it’s silly to believe our inanimate objects “feel” anything, but I like to think that as we inhabit a dwelling, whether it be on wheels or in a site-built home, its walls keep us safe, therefore igniting our spirits of adventure and wrapping us in peace.

HOME UPDATE: As of last week, the electrical pedestal was set up and is hooked up to the new home, but still needs to be connected to the power pole provided by our local electric company. This should have been done three weeks ago, but someone had fallen down on the job! Once that is done, the manufactured home contractor can work on the interior and get us closer to moving in.

The images shared today are the things I have fallen for and I hope you enjoy this week’s theme. I’m excited to see what images and other creative ideas you will come up with for the theme!

Be sure to join us next week for the monthly color challenge of Rosy Red! Have a wonderful week!

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© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: December #Chill is in the Air

Frozen Autumn Leaf

Today we welcome the first day of the last month of this decade! Traveling back from our Thanksgiving holiday road trip to Spokane Washington, we certainly got our fill of chilly weather!

road to Spokane
Wintery frost along Hwy 84 in Northern Oregon

Chill December brings the sleet, blazing fire and Christmas treat.

Sara Coleridge
icy twigs

The icy twigs you see in the above image demonstrates the chill of a foggy, icy morning. Frozen fog…”frog”?

I am used to “cold” Northern California weather this time of year with average daytime temperatures holding at 50 degrees. Although it does not snow in Sacramento, the night-time temps easily drop to freezing for most of the month. I know many of you scoff at such warm winter temps, and you should!

Fewer than 90 miles away in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the ski season got off to a slow start. With an unusually warm fall and little rain, the slopes are just now singing their siren song after a winter storm hit the west.

snowy bough
Fresh snow graces this lovely bough

Technically, it is still Autumn until the Winter Solstice on December 21, but this poor leaf experienced the December chill a little early.

Frozen Autumn Leaf

Welcome and please visit five bloggers who were new to Sunday Stills in November. Travel with Tech Blog; The Platinum Line, Sharing Thoughts, The Photography of David and Victoria Slotto, and Sharon McConnel Redux.

Please visit the Sunday Stills page for December’s themes. There will be no challenge on Sunday, December 29.

I am looking forward to your chilly images. If you reside in the warm southern hemisphere, please share one from your archives.

Until next week,

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The #Spirit Moves Us

Yosemite Falls John Muir Quote

There is much we can do with this week’s Sunday Stills theme: SPIRIT.

Humankind yearns for spiritual connections, whether to nature, to other people, to the God of the Bible or to an un-named higher being.

Notre Dame Cathedral Pigeon

I want to take a moment to acknowledge this week’s devasting news about the horrific fire that all but destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral. I grieved virtually alongside Parisians and the rest of the world as images unfolded showing the crumbling spire and damage to the nave and much of the church’s interior.

Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

This happened on the Monday during Holy Week, the traditional time of Christian celebration between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.

“The cathedral is home to exquisite religious artifacts, paintings, sculptures and other priceless works of art. A chaplain and a French official were among a group of people who formed a human chain to save many of the church’s holy relics such as the Crown of Thorns believed to be worn by Jesus Christ.”

Notre Dame Cathedral on Fire

As our spirits grieve for the 850-year old church, an architectural marvel built in the Middle Ages, we must also acknowledge that our faith is not confined within the physical structure of the church itself, but in the belief that God is eternal, as are our souls.

As a Christian, I have accepted God’s grace through Jesus Christ that, when upon my death, my spirit shall live in eternity with God.

Cross and palms

“For I remember it is Easter morn, and life and love and peace are all newborn.”

Alice Freeman Palmer

“And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 1:4
Green-framed door of this quaint, steepled church in Sutter Creek California
Green-framed door of this quaint, steepled church in Sutter Creek California

Out of the ashes springs hope as we celebrate Easter Sunday today.

Earth Day

Monday, April 22 is Earth Day, a celebration of the Earth’s spirit as we inhabitants clean up and care for our environment.

Enjoy the memes celebrating nature’s spirit:

Yosemite Falls John Muir Quote
In every walk with nature...Muir
Nature holds the key to our...satisfaction. Quote

“May your spirit soar throughout the vast cathedral of your being.”

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Whether you believe in a higher being, a natural Earth, follow an organized religion, or simply just believe, show us something that moves YOUR spirit.

Happy Easter!

Tiki signature

Flowers of the Day are Festive Autumn Leaves

Pink Autumn Leaves

Today seems like a great day to add my Autumn leaves to Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge!

What intrigues me about the colors are the pink tones, found in nature no less!

Pink Autumn Leaves

This little tree was already decked out for Autumn while the rest of the tree is still green!

Still waiting for Autumn in Northern California to “fall!” Very unseasonable warm weather…temperatures range from low 80s in the day to mid-40s at night.

And because the tiny tree looks so festive, I’m submitting this to Dawn’s Festival of Leaves  photo challenge!

Autumn SIGNature

The Structured Life of a #Dragonfly

Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood

Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood

As bloggers, I believe most of us are quite structured in our daily approach to writing; at least we try to be.

The weekly photo challenge asks us to share images that show Structure of something typically overlooked.

This past summer, as I enjoyed a day on the beach where we windsurf, I had the chance to photograph something amazing! In the wooded area less than a foot behind our beach chairs, a dragonfly nymph found a safe place to shed its exoskeleton and enter into adulthood.

“When the nymph is finally ready for adulthood, it crawls out of the water onto a rock or plant stem and molts one last time. It takes up to an hour for the adult to expand its body.” Source: 10 Fascinating Facts About Dragonflies

Even in the strong breeze, this smart little fellow stuck like glue onto the log as he emerged from the structure of his previous skin.

Molting Dragonfly: The Wonders of Nature

 

The breeze blew his now dried exoskeleton further from him.

Dragonfly leaves skin behind

It was amazing to sit and just watch this phenomenon of nature, while he seemed content to dry his wings in the sun.

A new adult emerges

The structures and cycles of nature are truly remarkable!

I wonder if we have the power to shed our old skin with the gracefulness and bravery of a dragonfly?

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I Stare at Naked Ladies… and Other Flowers!

Sunflower and worm love a summer day

Sunflower and worm love a summer day
See the green worm in the bottom left?

Nothing is more distracting on my walks with the dogs than the lovely flowers I see all around me. Even in my somewhat mundane neighborhood, many folks plant some wonderful flowers. Intent on walking a large number of steps, I have to STOP for several photo ops.

Naked Ladies
Amaryllis Belladonna (aka Naked Ladies) lose their leaves in summer, hence their nakedness!

The Weekly photo challenge theme is Ooh, Shiny! “Diversions, distractions, and delightful detours.”

Sometimes I take my Lumix camera with me, but lately, while walking two dogs, I end up just taking my mobile phone. I managed to capture a lovely bouquet of flowers in this post.

Ever in the pursuit of awesome photos, I have been known to actually be talking on my phone then tell the person I’ll call him or her back so I can get that photo!

All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today, Indian Proverb

August is the best time of year to see sunflowers—my favorite! August is also the best time to see the amaryllis belladonna in bloom (aka “Naked Ladies).

Enjoy the show!

Speaking of distractions, the looming total solar eclipse has done just that to the nightly news (thank goodness)! As they say, “stay tuned” for photos of the eclipse from Northern California next week!

To all my fellow US friends, while viewing the eclipse, please use proper eye-safety wear, and a solar filter on your camera!

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Seasons Beneath My Feet

Step carefully, spring green beneath my feet, but watch out for the ladybug!

“I think that to one in sympathy with nature, each season, in turn, seems the loveliest.”
― Mark Twain

For the weekly photo challenge, my photos show the Seasons  beneath my feet.

Step carefully, spring green beneath my feet, but watch out for the ladybug!
Step carefully, spring is green beneath my feet, but watch out for the ladybug!

“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“Winter brings a colder palette with more heavy blue and violet, Fall has substantial more reddish and brown, Summer brings a variation of pastel colours and Spring fresh green and tangerine.” ― Siren Waroe

“In the summer heat the reapers say, “We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Photography 101: More Autumn Leaves

I can’t really explain why I am so obsessed with Autumn. I love the colors of the trees–the yellows, golds, reds and browns against the few remaining greens. After a long hot summer, Autumn brings cooler temperatures, shorter days and the promise of a crackling fire in the fireplace. Autumn also ushers in the holiday season. Being born and raised in San Diego where Autumn briefly visits in mid-December in the few deciduous trees that lose their leaves, perhaps I missed the colors and weather changes I now experience in Northern California. Leaves on the ground This is an older photo I took with a digital camera. While looking for typical shots of trees, I saw the ground covered with leaves and simply took the picture.

Autumn Haiku

Autumn’s in the air

Leaves now fallen to the ground

Clustered now in peace.