Floral Friday Favorites

Withering sunflower

I’m busy getting my cast off today, so I’m taking this moment to share two of my floral favorites! I suppose it is like sending flowers to myself to celebrate!

This first image is a stylized version of Teddy, who is withering a little each day. I know flowers don’t last long, but Teddy was my first one of this variety. The plant has several buds, so I’m sure more Teddies will bloom soon!

Withering sunflower
Filtered light on a tired Teddy Bear

I haven’t shared a lot on the blog this year about my sunflower obsession, but I have been posting on Instagram almost daily. Here is an IG post of my Tall Sungold, aka Teddy Bear, in all his golden glory!

My other floral obsession is with plumerias. After our last visit to Hawaii in March, I was determined to plant my own and grow these amazing flowers. When a friend on Facebook who lives in my area shared that her potted plumerias are thriving, my quest to plant my own began.

I found a Hilo vendor on Amazon who sent a four-pack of cuttings. I did my research, prepped the proper soil in large pots using the recommended rooting powder. All four were planted in late April.

I continued to fertilize them and water as scheduled. My research suggested that it would likely take up to three years for the plants to bloom.

This week, when I looked out my bedroom window, I saw a pop of pink. Thinking it was one of Brodie’s ubiquitous rubber balls that had bounced into the pot (oh, the horror!), I grabbed the crutches and raced out (as if) to check it out.

Surprise!

My first plumeria
My first plumeria!

Here is the Instagram version. Once I watered them (having a very hot week here), I saw yet another photo op!

Sharing for Becky B’s Blue July Squares and Cee’s Flower of the Day challenges.

signature

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Veering off the #Path

Curiosity Leads to new Paths Quote

I’m ba-a-ack!
This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “paths.” When I think of a path, my literal brain takes me to pathways, roads, and trails. As we celebrate Father’s Day in the U.S. this Sunday, I think of how my own father blazed trails in our leisure lives and set in motion the way we choose and experience leisure.

80-year old dad hiking on his birthday in Mammoth Lakes
Dad loved the trekking poles he got for his 80th birthday!

Brief Surgery Update

My Knee Scooter

This month I have veered sharply off my normal path, but this temporary path is helped along by this knee scooter as I continue my recovery from foot surgery. The surgery went as expected and I was well taken care of by the surgical team. Although I experienced pain during the first two days, five days after surgery, the pain diminished to where I no longer needed the prescribed pain meds. I still take ibuprofen for swelling but the pain is rated as 1 out of 10. By the middle of the afternoon, I do feel a little fatigued as I know my body is healing and focusing energy toward that process.

I have a post-op doctor’s appointment this coming Tuesday and I am anxious to know how things are progressing. I’m hoping for a walking cast ASAP, so I can begin a new path to normal. More about my surgery experience to come.

Thank you to Hugh Roberts for hosting Sunday Still on June 2 and 9th while I recover from foot surgery. I appreciated your good wishes and enjoyed your comments about your own experiences!

On With the Challenge

“When the path ignites a soul, there’s no remaining in place. The foot touches ground, but not for long.” ― Hakim Sanai

I love this quote, for this is the moment where your path meets your passion. My husband found windsurfing as a passion in his early 40s. The quest for places in which to sail has taken him on paths I’m sure he would never have thought existed. From the Sacramento River Delta, meandering northward to the windy Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, all the way south to La Ventana, Baja, Mexico, these paths toward windsurfing are just the first steps on the rest of the world’s paths for fun and leisure.

Narrow paths to the action.

“My father raised me to think independently and follow my own path in life.” Antony Garrett Lisi

Daddy and Daughter at the beach

As much as we both would love to instill the love of windsurfing into our respective adult children, this is not the path they would choose for themselves. As a father, Hans is content to enjoy his daughter’s company.

When you are passionate about something, especially your leisure choices, sharing that love may take the form of teaching other parents’ children the ins and outs of windsurfing as shown here. (Even with a beer in one hand).

Hans teaching windsurfing
Hans teaching windsurfing to a friend’s son.

Perhaps you are seeking the right path for you. We all search and discover that path’s change, diverge or simply end. I will leave you today with some quotes and images.

not all those who wander are lost
Take a dirt path to leisure
Tuolumne Meadows high country, Yosemite
Curiosity Leads to new Paths Quote
What to do at the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Perhaps my favorite is this image of a man surrounded by kite-surfers and stand-up paddleboards. His attire and posture seem to project his desire in contemplating a new path. He may have been a windsurfer before and is experiencing the nostalgia of days gone by.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where do the paths take you in your own life?

Sunday Stills Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title your post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • Entries for this theme can be shared all week. Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Special note: Due to ongoing problems with pingbacks not consistently working on WordPress, please also leave a link to your Sunday Stills post in the comments section of this post.

I am glad to be back and hope you can celebrate Father’s Day with an important man in your life!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Is #Danger Closer Than You Think?

Dogs alert for Danger
Dogs alert for Danger
Dogs appear to be guarding me on the water.

What could be dangerous about a sublime day paddling on the river?

Don’t get me started.

As the former aquatics director for a public parks and recreation organization, it continues to be my duty to remind people to be safe in the water.

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “danger.”

In the photo above, our dogs seem to be on high alert for danger as I kayak on the river. You can barely see me. Thanks to my daughter for the cool image!

And I was wearing a life vest, like the one in the shot below.

SUP transportation

Even Aero wears his life jacket when we go out on the paddle boards or kayak.

Dogs-Wear-PFDs
Aero hoping to shake off the life jacket.
May in National Water Safety Month

Every May, I post something about the importance of water safety, which coincides with National Water Safety Month, as the traditional start to summer begins this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

In a previous post from 2015, I share five tips for keeping your family safe on the water. Interestingly, “danger” was the prompt for this post when Ed hosted Sunday Stills!

A beautiful day out on a calm river or lake may look dreamy and fun, but danger is closer than you think. Regardless of what you believe about your own swimming abilities and others with you, the calm water can quickly change. A lifejacket WILL save your life!

Sadly, this is a common sight to see–too many lifejackets are still hanging up!

Kids-don't-Float-2015
Kids Don’t Float Campaign sign at Sacramento County Access on Sherman Island

At least these school children exhibited good safety behavior as they explored shallow areas of the American River.

Middle school kids avert danger by wearing life jackets even in knee-deep water.
Averting danger by wearing lifejackets around the river.

We continue to celebrate National Water Safety Month to bring awareness to the dangers of playing in and around the water without a life jacket. Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe by wearing one and insisting they do, too!

Terri Webster Schrandt https://secondwindleisure.com/2017/05/09/danger-averted-too/

I’m posting some news and Sunday Stills themes for June on May 31st. Stay tuned!

I predict many of you will share your unique perspectives on danger this week for the Sunday Stills photo challenge, and they do not have to be water-related.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: For the Love of #Reading and #Books

Sunday Stills: For the Love of Reading and Books
Sunday Stills: For the Love of Reading and Books

April marks our 12th month of Sunday Stills since I reinstated this photo challenge last May, 2018. A huge thank you and shout out to all bloggers who have faithfully posted Sunday Stills images since the beginning and to those who post regularly!

Let me take a moment to share some stats!

We’ve Come a Long Way

Our first month saw over 3300 visitors to my blog (not bad after my 4-month break)! The inaugural post had 95 likes, 15 pingbacks (links) and 3 re-blogs! The total pingbacks for the month of May was 44, and that was still during the WordPress WPC’s last month!

We started with the Inlinkz sharing app, which allowed folks to share their posts in the thumbnail gallery. The intention was to somewhat replicate the Weekly Photo Challenge’s thumbnails of images posted. It cost a few dollars a month, but many bloggers did not choose to use the feature. As a result, I ended the subscription in December.

Pat yourself on the back, lovingly clean those lenses, and congratulate yourselves for being inspired by photography!

Let’s Get to Today’s Photo Challenge

Today, April 7 marks the beginning of National Library Week! This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “For the Love of Reading and Books.”

Random Assortment of Books
My random assortment of books on one shelf

This is indeed a challenge. How often can images depict “reading” or “books?” Surprise me and take a look at some of my images and my interpretation of the theme throughout this post.

Do You Frequent Your Local Library?

Three years ago, I visited my local library to get a library card mostly to rent audio books for my two-hour weekend delta drives. Not only did I get a new card and tour of my neighborhood library, the librarian helped me subscribe to the Overdrive App where I can borrow e-books (read on Kindle—so convenient) and audio-books! All FREE! Yay! No wonder I love reading!

Reading and lounging
Yep, that’s me reading outside on my deck!

Because I teach at a university, I also get to enjoy its vast library.

Library books on university shelves
A long shelf of university-worthy books

To help celebrate books, and the love of reading, please visit these bloggers.

Paperback Book More Glimpses_HRoberts

Fellow blogger/author Hugh Roberts recently launched his newest book More Glimpses!

The signed paperback arrived in the mail on Saturday afternoon! This is my photo of the cover.

If you are looking for inspirational reading and books to motivate you, my blogger friend Michele recently posted this book list on her blog!

I just finished blogger and self-published author Jacqui Murray’s wonderful book, Born in a Treacherous Time (Book 1 in the Dawn of Humanity Trilogy). An excerpt from my review Amazon and Goodreads… “That Lucy has the capacity to learn and understand her environment, as well as to befriend an orphaned hominid child and injured proto-canine, speaks to the humanity in all of us and our innate need for love and acceptance.” Check out her newest book Survival of the Fittest.

Are you on Goodreads?

Visit These New Sunday Stills Participants

March’s Sunday Stills themes attracted 5 new bloggers to the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge. Please drop by their blogs and say hello!

Light Motifs

Wild Daffodil

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Minding My Ps with Qs

Little Borneo Girl

Do you enjoy reading and books? Show us your interpretations! You can link all week!

Camera graphic

Sunday Stills: Show Us Something #Green

Island Gecko

Tis the season for showing us something green, if you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Even if you don’t, the color green is all around us. If you want to get creative, you can use and interpret green idioms as in “green with envy,” “going green” (environmental), “sure as God made little green apples,” “giving something/someone the green light,” or “green thumb.” You get the idea!

Since I am all about my favorite color green, my images for this week’s Sunday Stills theme focus on things that are green.

As you read this week, you may have guessed that I am visiting on the Big Island of Hawaii. We are on the Hilo side, enjoying some R & R and working on some construction details of our little house. Hubby bought the house years ago but only recently has had the time to do the work needed to make it habitable. Meanwhile we are enjoying the amenities of the B&B on Hilo Bay.

These photos were taken last year in January 2018, when we were there last.

This green gecko is very small, only about two inches long, but he let me get a nice close-up with my phone! They are all over the place and eat pesky bugs.

Island Gecko

Akaka Falls State Park is found 11 miles north of Hilo and boasts the 442-foot tall Akaka Falls. A short hike gets you surrounded by green!

Akaka Falls near Hilo

Within a short walking distance from our B&B, is a path that takes you out onto the bay as you walk gingerly through the stilt root palms.

Palm trees on Hilo Bay
Stilt Root Palms

Closer to home (in my backyard) is my favorite hummer family. The little female contemplates her next sip perched on this new green feeder, surrounded by my California Redwoods.

Hummingbird on Feeder

Both images, the palms and hummer are submitted for Becky B’s Spiky March Squares this week and the Stilt Palms are for Becca’s Sunday Trees. I adore photo challenges!

Be patient with me for comment and pingback approvals when you submit for the Sunday Stills photo challenge this week, as I expect to be out and about enjoying the warm temps and green surroundings. No daylight saving time here, so it gets dark around 6:30pm. I still take the time to share your posts to Facebook and Twitter when possible.

I am looking forward to your interpretations of green! Mahalo for playing along!

Tiki signature

Sunday Stills: Unexpectedly #Frozen

Ice Frozen in Fountain

This week’s theme for Sunday Still is frozen! I figure we can endure one more week of winter scenes and freezing weather in some places, then start dreaming of spring!

This week’s images demonstrate snow and ice appearing in unlikely places at unexpected times of the year.

Most of you already know of my slightly frozen winter road trip to the so-called warm American Southwest.

Upon our arrival to Sedona we strolled around and came across this frozen fountain outside nearby art galleries. At this point, it was cold but had not snowed yet. Despite the frozen water, some of it was still flowing. Photo credit goes to my husband!

Ice Frozen in Fountain

The next morning, we experienced unexpected snow in Sedona depicted here by my happy husband (he liked the snow for a few minutes). We did pack for snowy conditions, fortunately, but this much snow really caught us and everyone else by surprise!

Man in the snow
Hans enjoying the Sedona snow

This second image shows a beautiful winter scene outside my brother-in-law’s home in Spokane, Washington over Veteran’s Day weekend, in mid-November. We expected the temperatures to be cold there, but this was the first snowfall of the season and it arrived early for this area.

Spokane Snow

This poor daffodil was unexpectedly snowed upon in early May in South Lake Tahoe. The day before was a warm, sunny day as we left Sacramento. The snow started in the early afternoon and covered the ground for several hours. And to think I entertained the idea of bringing my stand-up paddleboard along!

Daffodils in the snow
Unhappy frozen daffodils

Whatever your feelings for snow scenes and all things frozen, the subject matter makes for beautiful photos!

“Only mountains can feel the frozen warmth of the sun through snow’s gentle caress on their peaks”
― Munia Khan

This week, show us your version of frozen for Sunday Stills!

My sympathies to all who are enduring freezing weather conditions. Stay warm and safe!

Sunday Stills: My January Round-Up

SundayStills_blogbanner

Although I was on a break from hosting the Sunday Stills challenge, I left it in the capable and creative hands of Hugh and Carol! Huge thanks to them for posting their own interpretations of each week’s themes and for sharing your posts!

Trust me when I admit I miss my own photo challenge! Here is my round-up of January’s themes all in this post!

Reflect

Driving on a road trip allows time for thinking. Although hubby and I do a LOT of talking, I managed to reflect on recent events and how blessed I am to be able to take road trips. The beginning of 2019 was a time to reflect on the previous year.

My time in Phoenix allowed for later reflection on the fun times we had with Ingrid and her husband. This hike to the Cave Creek area shows a wonderful juxtaposition of desert saguaros reflected in the stream surrounded by cottonwoods.

Desert Saguaros

In this photo, previously shared on Instagram, I was struck by the reflections even in the fog. We drove through the delta that day to return our trailer to its storage spot. Although a typical foggy day in January, the Sacramento River provided unexpected beauty.

FLoating Dock Reflections

Vintage

I posted this image of my turquoise rings, all purchased in antique stores near Las Vegas.

rings
Turquoise Ring Collection

Window

I love taking pictures out of windows. During our stay in Sedona, most of what we saw lie in this view of our snowed-in campground from our trailer’s window.

Sedona Snowscape through Window
Trailer Window View of RV Campground in Sedona

Night

Not happy that we had a cloudy night during the lunar eclipse on January 20th, I managed to capture the same moon at 5:30 in the morning (still night by my standards). This was the same January Wolf Moon, but the eclipse was long over. This was taken from my kitchen window! What I was doing up at that hour, I still don’t know!

January Wolf Moon 2019
After the Eclipse

Sunday Stills is back in my hands starting Sunday, Feb 3rd. Please join the ever-growing number of bloggers who are sharing their images each week.

February themes are available on my page. Click here for details.

#Thankful Thoughts for Sunday Stills

Sunday Stills Thankful

This week I have much to be thankful for as I prepare for Thanksgiving.

While we were on the road over the Veteran’s Day holiday weekend visiting family in Eastern Washington, I learned from Facebook about the devastating wildfires raging in northern and southern California.

We experienced the first snow of the season in Spokane while we read about the fire’s devastation 90 miles north of where we live in California. As some friends marked themselves safe, others posted about friends and family members evacuating and losing their homes.

The young woman who stayed at our house to dog sit at the last minute texted to tell me that her extended family evacuated from Chico area and lost their homes to the wildfires.

Within minutes of reading this news and responding to inquiries about our safety, I read about the passing of my favorite high school teacher Mrs Lee, with whom I celebrated her 90th birthday party in 2016. Read my previous post here.

Meeting my high school teacher 38 years later

Shaken at all this distressing news, I simply sat and quietly wept.

We flew to Spokane to visit my mother-in-law we call Mama Hella. My husband recently heard of the passing of his Aunt (father’s sister) who lived in Germany. He felt compelled to fly up for a visit to see his mom and the rest of this family.

son and mother

Mama Hella is 87 and lives in a care home. Her health has declined dramatically since my husband saw her a year ago. He visited her every day while we were there, and all three brothers got together for photo ops with her, perhaps the last ones.

Grateful quote

It is so easy to take our everyday lives for granted.

I’m thankful to our family for hosting us on this hastily planned trip north.

I’m thankful for the last-minute dog sitter.

I’m thankful for the teacher who dedicated her life to educating and inspiring generations of students.

I am thankful for being able to see my mother-in-law, and soon my father at Thanksgiving and my own mother at Christmas time.

I’m thankful to God for my own life and the time He has given me to spend these last days, weeks, months, years with our parents.

My Thanksgiving is perpetual.

As you share the theme “thankful” for Sunday Stills this week, what are you thankful for?

Autumn SIGNature

Sunday Stills: Fun with #Photo-Editing

Words and camera

Words and camera

If you have ever uploaded an image to your media files for a blog post, no doubt you have edited the photo to some degree. Whether you cropped, adjusted exposure or watermarked your image for publication, there is a need and an art to photo-editing.

Some are masters at creating a digital painting, while others are just happy to have a decent photo to share. Tina at Travels and Trifles and Susan at Musin With Susan have successfully experimented with Topaz Labs.

Tina had this to say about photo-editing: “Simple edits in programs like Lightroom or Google Photos, or Apps like Snapseed or Diptic give even beginning photographers the ability to morph their photos into something a bit more artistic.”

I am no expert, believe me, my photography is pure hobbyist with some “serious leisure” thrown in.

A form of leisure that many people find themselves enjoying is “serious leisure.” This is the systematic pursuit of deep satisfaction through an amateur, hobbyist, or volunteer activity that participants find so substantial and interesting that, in the typical case, they launch themselves on a (non-work) career centered on acquiring and expressing its special skills, knowledge, and experience. Robert Stebbins, 1992

Sounds like photography to me!

When I got serious about blogging in 2014, I also got more interested in photography after learning that just grabbing images from Google and plopping them into posts was a no-no and could violate copyright laws.

Needing some know-how, I discovered WordPress’ Blogging University (I’m glad to see it is still around)…I took Photography 101 & 201 in Fall 2014 and met so many bloggers and learned a lot about photography, techniques I constantly use. The process really encouraged me to take lots of photos.

From this experience, I was exposed to PicMonkey and eventually bought the Premium package. I have yet to use most of the features but my go-to basic photo edits are cropping, exposure, saturation, and image rotation or leveling. There are almost countless editing features and you can find a tutorial on most of them. I also use the special effects, text, frames and overlays.

Although I have not yet tried the new PicMonkey yet, I will need to wait until this semester is completed before I can make my brain learn something new. I’m also flirting with the idea of using Adobe Lightroom!

I learned from a pro photographer to always straighten your images, especially if water is part of the horizon. I feel like I’m falling off the Earth!

A simple edit in post-processing will fix this minor faux-paus.

I’ve started taking a series of local photography courses. The subject of the first class was just getting to know your camera. Wow, the things I learned in the first class!

For the Sunday Stills photo challenge today, show us the before and after images of your photo-editing favorites.

To get you started, here are some of my before and after shots:

In these images from our trip to Hawaii, my eyes saw the image on the right, but the camera saw the image on the left. With a few minor edits the photo finally matched more of what my brain told my eye.

You may remember these from an earlier post and recently on Instagram, where I played around with a Painnt app. The app creates a whole new look to any image.

Many bloggers also enjoy creating graphics for their posts. Both PicMonkey and Canva do this job very well. These before and after images created my Sunday Stills graphic.

 

What is your favorite photo-editor? Do you have recommendations? Please share in the comments!

Link to this post so I can share your post! Link up below if you wish!

Autumn SIGNature

 

Festival of Leaves: An Inspired Start to Autumn

Autumn leaves amid clovers

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know I love posting photo challenges on Fridays. I have gotten used to the fact the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has gone the way of the dinosaur, but we photo-bloggers have found continuing inspiration with each others’ challenges.

Having joined the pink party a little late at Becky B’s Squares in September, I was inspired by all the shades of pink that surround us in nature. So much so that I have been posting pink photos on Instagram for October’s traditional Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More about this in the Sunday Stills challenge this week!

I was pleased to see that Dawn, from The Day After, is again hosting her photo challenge Festival of Leaves. Because you know how much I dislike Autumn

There is still a LOT of green and very little color this early in October.

Green autumn leaves

But, the Festival of Leaves is slowly working its way to the ground amid confused pink clovers.

Autumn leaves amid clovers

In a couple of weeks, we may see this!

Red and green fall leaves

Keep your fingers crossed!

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” Elizabeth Lawrence

Cee Neuner posts an extensive list of photo challenges. Perhaps you will find one that inspires you!

Autumn SIGNature

Can You Ride A Unicycle? 

Girl on unicyle rolls by motel door

Something unique for Thursday Doors today! As I turn my attention to taking part in new and old photo challenges, I came across these photos of not one, but two cute girls, with doors as their backdrop for some fun!

In the featured image above, I saw this cutie riding a unicycle around the hotel we stayed in near Yosemite a couple of years ago.  I asked her (and her mother) for permission to take her picture as she deftly rode around the hotel area on her unicycle.

In the photo below, while at San Diego’s Southern California Exposition (also known as the Del Mar Fair), one of the exhibits hosted an Alice in Wonderland theme complete with doors of varying shapes and sizes.

Del Mar Fair Doors

Those of you who posted for the weekly photo challenges, are you feeling a little lost? I joined hundreds of bloggers weekly for nearly four years posting for the WPC.

But there is hope for all of us. Our fellow bloggers are hosting other wonderful photography challenges. If you are looking for more challenges to show off your photography skills and inspire your writing, please join my weekly Sunday Stills Challenge  and take a look at Cee Neuner’s website for an expanding list of photo challenges hosted by herself and others!

And please join Norm at Thursday Doors each week with your fabulous doors!

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
— Aaron Siskind

Camera graphic

How to Use Your Photos to Generate Blog Ideas and Readers

Large, blue garage door graces this fabulous retirement villa in Baja.

January always seems like a great energizer to either begin a blog or to re-energize a current one. With January almost over, have you met your short-term blogging goals? Are you still inspired and keeping up with your posting schedule? Do you need a kick-start to your inspiration?

Use your images as inspiration for your blog.
One way I find inspiration is to look at my photos. Between my old digital camera and my Samsung phone, I have thousands of photos! They say a picture is worth 1000 words. I am here to tell you a thousand words (in a blog post) are worth a picture!

If you have a large file of digital images, take the time to go through them. Most images tell some kind of story, whether it is a memory of a special vacation spot, family photos from 20 years ago, or images that can be edited into “art.” Chances are, you have a great subject for your next blog post and the image to go with it!

Photography Challenges
Another source of inspiration is to take a look at the variety of photography challenges available. Several bloggers offer these as challenges to share photos that fit a particular theme. Here are some to visit:
Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World Challenge. 

WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge

Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors 

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Hughes News and Views Weekly Photo Challenge

Large, blue garage door graces this fabulous retirement villa in Baja.

Baja Doors
The photo above (featured image) is submitted for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors. Because of this challenge, I now purposely take photos of interesting doors. In doing so, I have guaranteed future blog posts with stories behind the images.

I took this photo while we were in Mexico. Several of our friends own properties and homes on the Baja peninsula. Most of these folks have retired and spend a few months in Mexico where they indulge in leisure pursuits like windsurfing, stand-up paddling, golf, hiking…you name it. Many of them plan their time so that they never have to see another winter day!

I also incorporated this photo into the color theme “cornflower” for Jennifer Nicole Wells Color My World. See? Two photo challenges with one photo!

Images can also be the source of poetry, prose or flash fiction. PJ at Beautiful Words frequently posts short flash-fiction inspired by a photo. You may be able to submit a photo for these challenges, which will create interest in your blog.

Photo challenges can also bring in more readers and followers to your blog. Many challenges have a link or a ping back which places the photo in a community where others can click on the image and read your post.

In fact, the Weekly Photo Challenge, which begins each Friday, is my biggest traffic generator and my best day of the week for blogging.

Photo Apps, Quotes and Text
Using photo editing programs/apps like PicMonkey or Canva; or Photoshop, for serious photographers, can add dimension to your images and the ability to watermark your image with your name/website. Using text on images, in the form of a blog title or an inspirational quote, elevates your photo to other social media sharing opportunities like Pinterest and Instagram.

I have used quotes on images with great success. Not only do they inspire another blog post, but the images shared in linky parties may get featured, shared and pinned, therefore bringing in more traffic to your blog.

Here is the same photo with a quote added to it as text. This adds much more dimension and potential for a post about the subject of retirement abroad.

use a quote on an image to generate interest

And then you can take the same image, crop and edit it further and make this your featured image. When I share this post in the link-ups I take part in each week, I will be able to select the photo below to help “sell” the post in the link-up photo gallery. I also add these to my Pinterest and Instagram accounts for more sharing opportunities.

using images as inspiration for your blog

If you find you are in need of inspiration, kill two birds with one stone. Go through your files and look for an image that tells a story and off you go. Add it to an appropriate blogging, photo or fiction challenge and have fun with it!