October kicks off another month of Sunday Stills photo challenges, but did you know that Becky B, square photographer extraordinaire, is back to hosting her squares challenge this month? October’s theme is “lines and squares.”
Why not join in for Sunday Stills this week and post some lines and squares for both challenges! Think of it as photo blogging squared!
Each Fall semester, I arrange for one of my university classes to visit two recreational facilities to learn more about the daily operations and management of such.
My class visited the Sky High Jump Center, a large indoor trampoline and jump facility. As we toured the facility, I took several photos of the interesting perspectives of lines and squares. Since we were there at lunchtime on a weekday, there were very few people jumping. But that didn’t stop a couple of my students from doing so after the tour.
How many lines and squares can you count?
On another day, we visited a community recreation and sports center seen below. On this surprisingly overcast day in late September, taking the image to black and white gave it an unintended brooding appearance. By the evening though, this field was alive with players and teams enjoying softball games.
The Blue Angels are back at the Capital Air Show in Sacramento with their high flying tricks. Quite the straight line at 700 mph (just under Mach 1)!
The same jets appear to fly between the overhead power lines…of my backyard! We are within a mile of the Mather Air Field where the show commenced this weekend and I can stand in my front yard and watch most of it! They practice all week right over our heads!
Lines are also found in nature. I couldn’t resist sharing this line of pelicans flying high, although not quite as fast as the Blue Angels.
Over the next month, I will be incorporating lines into my images for the Sunday Stills’ themes so I can link with Becky B’s challenge. I look forward to what you will share for this week’s lines and squares!
While I take an extended travel break, the Sunday Stills photo challenge is being temporarily hosted by bloggers Carol Carlisle and Hugh Roberts. Please follow their blogs to keep up with the weekly challenge!
Reminder there is no Sunday Stills challenge for Dec. 30th.
I am spending Christmas with family in the San Diego area. If my schedule is on track, I should be on the road to Phoenix, Arizona at the time this post publishes.
This is my official blogging break for the entire month of January, while my husband and dogs travel to Northern Arizona on a 10-day road trip. Since we are traveling with our trailer and camping, Internet access may be unavailable.
Upon my return, I will have lots of new photos to edit, as well as to plan February’s Sunday Stills’ themes. The university’s spring semester begins the third week, so I will be prepping for that. But don’t be surprised if I stop by and visit your blogs when I can!
Happy New Year and best wishes to all for a fabulous 2019!
How do you typically spend your last Sunday in August? For lots of folks, August is still a hot month in the Northern hemisphere, so the beach fronts of rivers, lakes, and oceans see huge crowds spending their last summer weekend around the water.
Water is our “over-arching” theme this week for Sunday Stills. Since interpretation is wide, I encourage you to go with a sub-theme.
You probably know I am an avid water-sports person. Although I dabble in windsurfing, I prefer stand-up paddling (aka SUP).
Stand-up paddling is my sub-theme today.
In the “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the sailor expresses his disdain of being surrounded by (ocean) water but none that he can actually drink. “Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Now you understand the inspiration for the title of my post…or do you?
With water, water everywhere, theoretically, I can use my SUP anywhere there is a body of water over a foot deep. All summer long we have had fabulous windy days at our delta campground, which means lots of windsurfing. Conditions aren’t always right for me to get out on the water with my SUP, hence my disdain over water being everywhere but the conditions are at once too windy to SUP and not windy enough to sail!
I look forward to the calm weekend days at the delta when I can get my SUP out on the water and get my dose of physical activity. SUPing is a great workout which strengthens your core, back, upper body, legs and even your feet.
Because of logistical reasons, I leave my 11-foot fiberglass, stand-up paddleboard at the delta all summer. Our campsite is a few steps away from the levee fronting the Sacramento River, making it easy to carry my board to the water. This summer at the delta I only got out on my SUP three times! I don’t have an extra SUP laying around at home, so if I want to paddle on nearby Lake Natoma or the American River near my house, I have to rent a board. Renting is fine and I have done it, but the incentive is low.
When I’ve had my SUP at home, it takes some effort to load it on top of my car and properly tie it down. That being said, try re-loading and re-tying it after one-two hours out on the water!
Exhausted much? Also, no incentive unless I have help.
Years ago, I tried an inflatable SUP but I didn’t like the bouncy, unstable feel to it. Recently, I tried a new model and it was surprisingly stable even in small waves and a little wind. Major improvements have been made using carbon stringers and other technology for stability and durability.
Bi-annually I receive e-mails from a water-sports store in the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Oregon about their clearance items. Recently I saw their inflatable SUPs on sale and an idea brewed in my head about how convenient it would be to have one of these available at home.
Even on clearance, these boards are pricey, so I checked out Costco and what do you know, they had an inflatable SUP package that included the board, a break-down paddle, leash and other goodies (bag and pump included), all for half the price. (No affiliate marketing going on here, just information).
Imagine a SUP that fits in the trunk of your car, or in the carry bag that can also be packed for air travel. Sure, inflating takes about 5 minutes with a manual pump, but a pre-work out is all good! After a couple of hours on the water, carrying the board (less than 25 pounds) back to the car, then pushing the deflate button, and poof! Done! Dried off and rolled up and into the car in less than 10 minutes.
“…and all the boards did shrink.”
Now, my incentive is strong to simply grab the bag (just under 50 pounds total), drive the 6 miles to the lake, inflate the SUP in the parking lot or right on the beach and go!
And I did.
Quite the Zen experience last Saturday at 9am. Cool breeze, calm, flat water…and a ton of people out on their inflatable SUPS and other watercraft!
My escape is to just get in a boat SUP and disappear on the water. ~Carl Hiaasen
Enjoy this gallery of previously posted photos.
Serene stand-up paddle moment
Morning stand-up paddle session in Mission Beach, San Diego.
No wind? No problem. Get out your SUP and enjoy!
Woohoo! In the Sea of Cortez
Here is a little bit more about SUPing on Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma.
Link up here or create a pingback by linking to this post! I can’t wait to see how you will interpret water for Sunday Stills!
The last Sunday in July challenges Sunday Stills participants to find an image depicting “Drunk with…?” Since this is indeed a challenging theme, I thought I would add an optional related theme “Summer Drink.”
Your theme can be centered around alcohol but it doesn’t have to be. I’m not much of a drinker although a special occasion may find me enjoying a skinny cocktail.
What is your take on “Drunk with…?” I’ve heard the expression “drunk with power,” or “drunk with pleasure.” Perhaps one of my blogger friends can show us what this means in a photo, a poem, a short story, or…?
For my own purposes, I chose to go with Summer Drink. I admit I may need more literal themes to inspire me on these hot, lazy days of summer.
This is one of my backyard hummers enjoying his summer drink.
My hubby’s collection of steins from Germany and Europe.
A leisurely sip of cold beer on a hot summer day.
Again, I rarely drink these days, not that I did before. I’ve only been really drunk a couple of times and I HATED the feeling of being out of control, the accompanying sick stomach and the inevitable hangover.
I suppose I can be simply drunk with joy whenever I am out experiencing summer leisure activities.
Sunday Stills Stats
In July, during just the 4 weeks, we had over 60 bloggers share their posts.
We’ve had over 100 links since we started Sunday Stills in May.
Thank you to those who regularly share posts for Sunday Stills! I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!
For the Sunday Stills challenge to celebrate the first week in July, share your favorite thing about summer. You can simply share one photo of your favorite summer experience or wow us with a gallery of what summer means to you.
And it’s not just about photos…perhaps you are inspired by a song, poem, artwork, short story or something else. It would be nice to have a photo of your idea, but please be creative!
What does “summer” mean to you? Is it the warm (or hot) weather? Or…
Witnessing a refreshing summer storm?
Planting and enjoying your backyard garden?
Enjoying a water sport?
Enrolling the kids in some swim lessons?
A beautiful hike in the mountains?
Calm sunrise at a Mexican resort?
Chasing your dog on the beach?
Stopping to smell the flowers?
Visiting a national park?
Whatever it is, please share your idea of SUMMER this week!
Since we are on the subject of summer, feel free to join us on Instagram for the Summer Instagram Photo Challengethat starts today. You can join anytime!
While the U.S. celebrates Memorial Day this weekend (holiday observed Monday), my co-host Aixa at Mucho Spanish chose the theme “aroma” for the Sunday Stills photo challenge.
Memorial Day weekend is the traditional “unofficial” kick-off to the summer season here in the Northern Hemisphere. I, myself, am at the Sacramento Delta for a long weekend as this publishes. Part of the tradition includes backyard BBQ filling the air with mouthwatering aromas of chicken, salmon, tri-tip (my hubby’s specialty) and other grilled treats!
The above image shows an array of canapes perfect to whet your appetite!
Deepest gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.
Last week as I rode my bike around the neighborhood, I noticed many folks preparing their RVs for a long weekend excursion.
Here in Northern California we are within two hours of either the Sierra Nevadas (Lake Tahoe, Gold Country, and Yosemite just 4 hours south east) and the San Francisco Bay area and the ocean. In between are countless campgrounds, lakes, rivers and other wonderful leisure places.
Each with their own, distinct aromas.
In one of the classes I teach, we study a concept called “smellscape,” sort of an exploration of the senses. Students are asked to think about their favorite leisure places and identify the scents, smells, odors and aromas associated with them.
For me, my favorite scent is the blast of pine that fills the cool mountain air as you enter the forest. As kids on our long drive into Yosemite from the Mohave Desert along the Eastern Sierra Nevada, we rolled down the car windows and drank in the scent, as soon as we reached 7000 feet elevation and saw the trees.
Similarly, there is such a distinctive smell associated with the ocean as soon as you pull into the parking lot at the southern California beaches.
The salt air, sun-warmed asphalt and sidewalks, BBQs, sand and ocean air create a cacophony of smells that announces “you are now at the beach.”
So, take a moment, close your eyes and think of scents that bring you joy and remind you of your favorite leisure activities.
What are your favorite aromas? Please share photos that represent them!
Being that this post publishes during Memorial Day Weekend, I am compelled to share one more Water Safety post. 20+ years working in the public swimming pool and aquatics industry will do that to a person!
This theme is right up this blog’s alley…that’s right, when you’re the host of a photo challenge, you get to pick them! I know you will love it though, since recreation and leisure are essential in our lives.
I bet you find yourself participating in something recreational or leisurely every day. Why not share what you do for recreation for the Sunday Stills photo challenge?
In the above photo, I watched as these two fishermen enjoyed their experience on Hilo Bay juxta-positioned against the backdrop of the apartments. It was a Friday, a school holiday, and these fishermen shared the beach with several young surfers.
And I’ll bet you didn’t know that today is also “National Take Your Parents to the Playground Day.” Playgrounds appear in parks and in swimming pools.
I would be remiss (as a former aquatics director) if I didn’t include my annual plug for May is National Water Safety Month.
For more information on keeping yourself and your family safe in and around the water, visit these links:
January is the time of year when folks think and do something about their fitness and exercise regimens.
It is very easy to give up on attempts at exercise when the weather is freezing cold or you and everyone around you are dealing with illnesses and colds. Even I have to force myself to get that gym workout in every other day, and yes, my dogs always need walking.
I am thankful I have my Fitbit to gently nag me to get my 10,000 steps in every day. Do I get them all in? Not every day, but that external motivation does push me a little but further.
With my school schedule set up differently this semester, I can take my favorite Friday morning yoga class again. Boy do I need it!
I end up parking far away on campus from my office so that I have to walk a ways. Every little bit of activity that you can sneak in every day counts for more benefits than you think.
I am sharing some older posts that may help and motivate you toward your fitness goals.
Please check out this previous post. Comments are closed here.
When I ask these questions, the answer I keep coming back to is two-fold:
1. I enjoy talking about the art of writing and the craft of blogging with like-minded people.
2. Being able to freely express my words in published posts and share my photography floats my boat like nothing else!
Connecting with other bloggers is exciting!
I follow and regularly read many bloggers and look forward to their stories, articles, photos and ideas. If the online relationships with other bloggers is gold, then actually meeting them in person is platinum!
Over the last three years of serious blogging, I have managed to meet quite a few bloggers in person. Although most bloggers engage each other by reading and writing comments, conversing face-to-face is beyond special!
What If You Can’t Attend a Blogging Event? The next best thing you can do is to try to meet local bloggers from your own area, city or state. I have been very lucky to meet several fellow bloggers this way. I have found local bloggers by reading their “About me” page. Now you may see why those descriptions might be helpful.
There is just something about going to lunch with another blogger and talking about blogging that is super exciting!
I recently had the joy and pleasure of meeting up with three other bloggers. We all connected both through our blog genre and geographically. Although Janis, Kathy and Donna consider themselves “retirement bloggers,” Liesbet is self-employed and I am semi-retired working as a part-time university lecturer. We all have some freedom to travel and can experience leisure on our terms.
And that was the beauty of our connection.
Donna was in Southern California on a home-exchange, Liesbet is currently house-sitting in San Diego, while Janis and Kathy live in Southern California. I used the holiday weekend and my school schedule to my advantage, along with extensive family who live in San Diego, to factor in my trip south from Northern California. Note: Liesbet could not join us on this weekend, but she met up with Kathy and Donna earlier in the month–she was with us in spirit.
And the planets aligned for a fun weekend.
Another perk of developing online connections is the opportunity to share your insights on other blogs and in turn, offer them the opportunity to guest post on your blog. I think this idea of cross pollination is critical for meeting even more bloggers. When I guest posted for Donna last month, I met and followed other bloggers, extending my own network and creating even more connections.
At our meet-up, we all had questions about blogging. As we chatted, and shared ideas, I learned some important things about my own blog.
Not long ago, through WordPress dot com, my blogging platform, I signed up for WordAds. I see many bloggers who have ads enabled on their websites and there is potential to earn a few dollars. Donna commented that the ads were annoying and tempted her to click off my blog…and she’s a friend and regular reader! How many others felt that way or just clicked away? Egads!
So, as we chatted, I disabled the Word Ads feature. Am I going to miss that $2 a month I was making? Nope!
I also checked some of the widgets in my sidebar while we talked about the pros and cons of Instagram. To my horror, my widget linked not to my Instagram page where I share my other photos, but to my PayPal donation site! I fixed that right away.
For someone who is not intending to monetize my blog at this point, I must have looked like a money-grubbing fool sending unsuspecting readers to endure unwanted ads and then donate money.
But that’s what feedback provides. A fresh look at your own blog.
We also traded some war stories about watermarking images, dealing with social media and privacy issues as a blogger. I told Janis I gave up any kind of privacy attached to my online persona years ago. I asked Donna to Google my name and she found at least 10 pages of links with my name, some from work, school, organizations and blogging. If you blog, you are out there for the world to see!
Out of the four ladies, I had met three of them in person before. Reconnecting was a blast and getting to know Donna and her husband Richard, who hosted our visit, was a joy!
As part of our desert meet-up, we all agreed to share our views and experiences today. Please visit my dear friends and read about their perspectives.
What is lurking just below the surface of the water?
Why, a gigantic whale shark, of course. Would you like to play Peek -a-boo with the largest animal on planet Earth?
C’mon, there’s nothing to it! Almost two years ago, I had the opportunity to swim with whale sharks on our vacation in Mexico in the Bay of La Paz. You can read more about my experience in What Swimming with Whale Sharks Taught Me.
As you can see by the photo below in my peek-a-boo with the whale shark, my presence didn’t even phase him. When I saw it, though, and knowing ahead of time what I would see, I still screamed into my snorkel because I didn’t think they would swim so close to the surface.
Not convinced, huh? Maybe a smaller critter?
How about a game of peek-a-boo with nesting, feeding swallows? I must have taken 100 shots with my camera and barely got images that were not blurry.
A swallow impatiently peeks from her nest waiting for her mate to bring some goodies. She appears not to be too disturbed by my presence.
If you are not able to contort your body under a bridge and wait for photo ops (because the swallows flit and dive crazily if disturbed), perhaps taking a quick peek at a hummingbird as it feeds is more your style. You’ve got to look fast, though, a few peeks is all you might get!
I suppose all creatures play peek-a-boo regardless of their size!
These photos help illustrate the theme PEEK for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Come take a peek at what other photographers shared this week.
Alpenglow is an optical phenomenon in which a horizontal reddish glow is observed on the horizon opposite to the sun.
Tuolumne Meadows, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada’s high country of Yosemite National Park, is the place to witness the amazing alpenglow at sunset. The phenomenon often lingers for several minutes after the sun has completely set, filling the sky with the ethereal orange-red glow.
Not only is alpenglow an amazing phenomenon, but John Muir described the Sierra Nevada Range as “The range of light.”
“Then it seemed to me that the Sierra should be called, not the Nevada or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light. And after ten years of wandering and wondering in the heart of it, rejoicing in its glorious floods of light, the white beams of the morning streaming through the passes, the noonday radiance on the crystal rocks, the flush of the alpenglow, and the irised spray of countless waterfalls, it still seems above all others the Range of Light.” — from The Yosemite (1912)
Hard to capture with anything other than the naked eye, there is something magical about the sunlit Glow reflected on the billions of pine needles that give off a light of their own.
Even the shining granite known as “glacial polish” adds the ethereal glow Muir described.
The Range of Light has infused inspiration into my soul since I walked these meadows in 1968 as an eight year-old. TWSchrandt
As the autumnal equinox makes its mark today on the Northern Hemisphere, (Fall is here), I’m sharing these photos of layers of leaves.
Fall is my favorite time of year, and this week the unseasonably cool weather brought a hint of Autumn to Northern California. I am so ready.
I got some good news this week about my job as a university lecturer, and peace, along with the Fall-like weather, just seemed to descend upon me after a few weeks of dealing with uncertainty.
Today, as this blog posts, I am spending the morning with 80 university students playing various games and engaging in some fun water sports and activities at the Aquatic Center, enjoying the layers of leisure.
These images are from last year’s play day. And yes, I get paid for this!
Posting for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, Layered
The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure.
Laurence J. Peter
Our Heritage of leisure, recreation and play has roots deep in our government infrastructure. Not just here in the US, but in most countries world-wide. This is not a post about a political statement (Heaven forbid!), but rather a reminder of the debt we owe visionaries who set aside public lands and leisure spaces for all of us to enjoy.
Although the first sandlot opened in Boston in 1886, the playground movement didn’t begin to develop until the mid-1890s, when playgrounds were opened in nine major US cities. The playground movement in America began as an answer to the industrial revolution realities of crowded cities and long work days. This idea sought to save poor, immigrant, and homeless children from unhealthy crowded tenement neighborhoods. The reformers believed that “supervised play could improve the mental, moral, and physical well-being of children.” Bachrach, J. “Playground Movement.” Encyclopedia of Chicago.
Think about how you engage in leisure on a daily basis…
Do you ride your bicycle on a dedicated trail?
When was the last time you took your kids or grandkids to the local neighborhood park and played on the equipment and swings?
Did you enjoy your backpacking trip on the John Muir trail in Yosemite National Park?
How about that cool dip in the YMCA swimming pool?
I could go on all day. The point is our leisure heritage is alive and well.
Next time you visit a national park, a public playground or any other leisure space, say a quick-thank you to these visionaries: Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Jane Addams, or Steven T. Mather, among many.
I know school is out for the semester but the leisure educator in me can’t stop extolling the virtues of living a healthy leisure lifestyle!
If you are a wilderness geek like me, you might know that today, April 21st is the 179th birthday of John Muir. If you didn’t know, let me tell you why he may have been considered (in my eyes) one of the most important men on Planet Earth.
John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. He was the founder of the Sierra Club.
According to sources, Muir petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite as our second National Park. Do you know which was the first? (hint: also starts with a “Y”).
The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas.
He is today referred to as the “Father of the National Parks.”
How fortunate we are as a nation to be the beneficiaries of the natural world that so moved Muir to strongly advocate for the preservation of our Earth.
Even though I have stepped foot in Yosemite National Park 25 times, I am still moved and awestruck at its incredible beauty!
Happy birthday, John Muir, and thank you from the bottom of our nation’s collective hearts!
April 22 happens to be the 2017 date to celebrate Earth Day.
On Earth Day, we celebrate all the gifts the world and nature make available to us. We recognize our complete dependence on its bounty. And we acknowledge the need for good stewardship to preserve its fruits for future generations. John Hoeven
There is nothing like a photography challenge to make you look for photo ops in unusual places. Um, yes, my hubby’s liquor cabinet is full. Actually Dense! Two shelves are full! You will notice quite an array of choices here.
Oh, this must be MY shelf–I see the makings of vodka margaritas. Where is the skinny margarita mix?
Some of these are empty bottles (really!) that we refill and take to our windsurf camp with us. The smaller bottles fit better in our trailer.
There is a lot of landscaping on the property to handle this first weekend day of April, like mowing the two acres of pasture land that becomes our weekend home for 5 months of weekend leisure time.
Hubby and his friends may end up raiding the liquor cabinet after all that mowing and weed eating.
He tends to prefer his beer after a day of working in the “yard.”
He has a small, densely displayed stein collection on a shelf. These steins and goblets are from Germany and Hungary.
Well, whatever you do this weekend, don’t be dense and drive drunk!