Sunday Stills: #Early to Rise

Winter Sunrise

The word “early” invokes a variety of quotes, phrases, and conditions. Let your mind run wild with these concepts of early:

  • Are you an early-bird, an early riser, or just love being early to events?
  • Were you highly intelligent at an early age or naïve in your early years?
  • Perhaps you are a “later-in-the-day” person and dread the early morning hours.

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is EARLY.

If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late.

Vince Lombardi, American Football Coach

Being a very time-conscious person, in most cases I tend to be early to appointments. Ironically, every Friday morning I rush out the door at 7:45am to get to my 8:00 am yoga class. Sort of defeats the purpose! Although I am only a few blocks away from my gym, I do try to arrive by 10 minutes before the hour to get a good spot and unfurl my yoga mat.

Arriving early to something gives me time to relax a bit and breathe if I’ve had to rush to get somewhere. I am always early to get to my campus office hours and classes. I like that 10 minutes of classroom prep time to gather my thoughts and get media ready for the lecture.

University classroom
Early to arrive in the classroom

Although I don’t claim to be a morning person, I have never complained when I am up early to see these sunrises!

This lovely winter sunrise was taken earlier this month while I was visiting in Spokane, Washington. I got up earlier than everyone, started the coffee and saw THIS out the kitchen window. Despite the COLD temps, I rushed out into the street in my PJs to capture the dramatic textures and colors.

Winter Sunrise

This image was from a few years ago in Baja, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez. Always strange to see the sunrise over the water. We west-coasters are used to seeing sunsets over the water!

Baja Sunrise
Early Baja Sunrise

Back in January, I complained about the gray foggy days typical in Northern California. February tends to be a cool, rainy month, but as of today, we have had NO rain in this area. These warm sunny days are ushering in an early, dry spring which translates into early flowers.

Here is a pic of my neighbor’s poppy.

California Poppies

These California poppies normally pop out in March, but with all this sunshine, I have already seen them along the side of the highways earlier this month. The other day I went to buy some birdseed for a new feeder and found these lovely Icelandic poppies in the garden section. They provide some beautiful color to my front porch.

The poppies are submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day

Get an early start for March photo challenges! March themes are already posted on the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge page.

What does EARLY mean to you? Show us your take on early with photos, poems, stories or music! Remember, my blog posts early Sunday mornings at 7:00 am (Pacific Time)!

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Sunday Stills: What Do the #Shadows Have to Say?

dragonfly's shadow

Shadows. This was a theme I had been considering from my long list for Sunday Stills, then realized I instinctively chose it for Groundhog Day. This seems to be an East Coast tradition, as Punxsutawney Phil, the long-lived groundhog, makes his annual weather prediction of when we can expect spring to unofficially begin.

Although we basked in the light in January with Becky B’s square photo challenge, this week Sunday Stills will explore the absence of light, the shadows.

The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.

Gregory Maguire

Let the shadows in your images be the subject. Different than a silhouette or a reflection, a shadow is a dark area or shape produced by an object coming between rays of light and a surface.

Shadows produce depth and interest to an image. Although most photographers prefer well-lit images, even a shadow created by a setting sun can steal the show.

fire in the window

Shadows play in front of and behind these fall leaves.

Red Fall Leaf in Shadow

For landscape shots, the winter’s lengthening afternoon shadows create a vivid contrast in the image.

Cave Creek, Arizona
Cave Creek area, near Phoenix, AZ

This semi-transparent windsurf window hanger casts an orange shadow on a wall … or is it a reflection? Hmmm.

My hubby mugs for a photo at Valley of Fire State Park. Note the three shadowed figures with their phones.

shadow selfie

This dying dragonfly rests in our trailer, but casts a shadow full of life!

dragonfly's shadow

Got shadows? Share your shadowy images this week! I’m looking forward to not only your fab images, but your poems, music, stories and quotes!

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

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?

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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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Triple Satisfaction

Blue jay contorts to get some yummy treats!

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

Nothing satisfies a hobby photographer more than capturing great close-ups of birds feeding.

Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life. Linus Pauling, Scientist

Is a hummingbird really ever satisfied?
Is a hummingbird really ever satisfied?

 

Nature holds the key to our...satisfaction. Quote

 

“Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want; it is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have.” Unknown

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