Sunday Stills: Up #Close and Personal to #Green

clover and rain drops

This week’s Sunday Stills Photo challenge has you getting THISCLOSE to something green!

I always think of March being a “green” month what with St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th and all. We can expect spring to show its glory with colorful florals and wondrous greens!

“If the subject you are photographing is small and you want to make it look big, you end up with a “macro” view of a “micro” subject.
Close-up photography is the act of photographing objects such as flowers or insects in close range so the subject you are photographing fills the frame.”

SLR Photography Guide

I am sharing four images today from my front yard that were taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ mobile phone. Images were post-edited in PicMonkey.

The featured image of the clover leaves with raindrops, to me, symbolizes the month of March.

clover and rain drops

The second image is of the same clover cluster with an unopened flower adorned by a raindrop. You can see the clover leaves magnified in the droplet. Amazing!!

Green Clover flower
Dragon-flower?

I really had to get “up-close and personal” by unceremoniously squatting down in the rain-dampened yard to get the shot! Do you think it looks like a dragon?

The third image was posted on Instagram last week. Our fruitless mulberry trees were just showing new buds. Within a few days, these buds are now covered in yellow pollen, which is one of the few things to which I am allergic.

Mulberry bud close-up
Bud of fruitless mulberry tree

On that same tree lurks a forest filled with strange and wondrous plant life. We call it moss!

Macro Moss Forest
Macro Moss Forest

The clover images are submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day Photo Challenge.

I hope you love green as much as I do or at the very least, can find something green to share for Sunday Stills this week.

Please title your post differently than mine so Google can find YOUR post!

As always, I look forward to seeing your creative ideas in the form of images, stories, poems, and music!

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Holiday #Décor with Optional Red and Green

As we near Christmas and other traditional holidays, no doubt you have managed to decorate your home or yard.

Yard decor for Winter Wonders
Neighbor’s Christmas Scene

I adjusted my holiday travel plans a bit which means I combined this week’s theme, Holiday Decor, with what would have been next week’s theme, Something Red or Green. See end of the post for more details.

Since being with my husband for the last 10 Christmases, I don’t decorate much since we travel to Southern California to spend time with our family, including our combined five children; four who now live there. We also travel for another two weeks since we both can easily take time off from our jobs in January. Taking down Christmas decorations in mid-January is just wrong, although I know many folks who keep their holiday décor up through epiphany 12 days after Christmas and beyond.

Even my university campus decks its halls with holiday décor. Ginkgo trees adorn many areas of campus, and I’m told their small, fan-shaped leaves fall in big batches. The campus groundskeepers and interested alumni team up to rake the leaves into interesting patterns. A red Jump bike and festive flag add to the festive scene.

Campus Decor For Fall

This year, with Thanksgiving arriving later in November, many holiday decorations were already up and gracing the homes of friends and family. My sister-in-law hosted Thanksgiving and had a house full of people, so she put hers up early.

I took some photos of her wonderful décor to share. She has room to display her whimsical miniature villages. The key to capturing these creatively is to get very close with your lens to get the sense of being inside the village. I applied the Painnt filter to the first and third images.

Christmas Village
Inside a Christmas Village
Christmas Village
Nostalgic, snowy scene

These miniature toys decorated a friend’s house last Christmas. Doesn’t it remind you of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Christmas special and the island of misfit toys?

Miniature Christmas Toys
The island of misfit toys?

Then, of course, there are the lights!

Lights2

Please welcome a new blogger to Sunday Stills, Life is Great!

I don’t often get to link with Weekly Lens-Artist Challenge; “display” seems to fit the theme this week!

This week, show us your creative holiday decor with optional red and green!

Christmas red berries

Due to our Winter Road Trip Do-Over, today is the last Sunday Stills post of 2019. I will be taking a blogging break beginning this week through January 17, resuming Sunday Stills on my blog on January 19. Thank you to all who have contributed to the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge in 2019!

Fellow blogger Hugh Roberts is graciously hosting Sunday Stills on January 5 and 12, so be sure to visit. January themes are posted here.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a glorious start to 2020!

Terri_holly

© 2019-2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Is Anything #Scarier than a Two-Headed Hummingbird?

two-headed hummingbird

This week’s theme is all about “something scary” since Halloween is right around the corner. Aside from the requisite ghouls, ghosts, witches and other scary things we associate with the season, I admit that there are scarier things!

To answer my own question, “is anything scarier than a two-headed hummingbird” I would have to answer…probably!

Out in my backyard recently, this little hummer was trying in vain to guard the feeder. She perched in the pine branches near the feeder and flitted around when the male would fly in. She even puffed her tiny feathers to make herself appear larger. But she usually lost the battle as she seemed to be more scared than he was.

Hummer puffed up

These Anna’s hummingbirds are pretty tame and will fly very close to me even if I’m standing near their feeder. This image was hard-won since when they do feed, they seem to hide from the prying lens.

Later, she gazed down at my dogs as if to say “I’m not scared of you.”

Male Allen Hummingbird

In my attempt to capture it all, I set my camera to “burst” and got a strange set of images. Yes, I am still working to figure out these settings, but the resulting shots gave me multiple images layered in one.

SQ 2 headed hummer

Are you scared yet? No? How about the Halloween version?

two-headed hummingbird

I’m also scared of this!

candy closeup

What else scares you? Tell us all about it this week with your photos, poems, short stories and other creative ventures!

Just a few days left to join Becky B’s Lines and Squares Photo Challenge. My scary hummingbirds are lined up to play!

Next month’s themes will be posted on my Sunday Stills page shortly!

Enjoy your Halloween!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: High #Flight

Hawk flies over Valley of Fire state park

Flight is this week’s theme for the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge!

Flight has a variety of meanings, whether it is the obvious where something has wings and flies, or a flight of stairs, or fleeing from danger (flight or fight), or how about a flight of beer samples? Have I piqued your imagination yet? This week I share several photos, new and used, depicting “flight.”

A red-tailed hawk flies over my head between the red rocks in Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, which is the photo that inspired this challenge today. One of these days I’ll get that elusive eagle!

Hawk flies over Valley of Fire state park

This is me excitedly disembarking our short flight from Honolulu to Kona last year! Photo credit: my husband.

Landing in Hololulu

Caught a shot of this windsurfer in “flight” on a nukin’ windy day in the delta last summer.

Windsurfer takes flight
Windsurfer takes flight

Legacies of Flight

Every year, the California Capital Air Show hosts the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels at Mather Air Force Base, now known as Mather Field. It was an active air force base after WWI then was closed in 1993.

Mather Field is currently home to Sacramento Mather Airport for cargo flights (UPS), and military air maintenance. Most of the base was transferred to Sacramento County, which now holds a variety of social services and recreational opportunities in the buildings previously used by the air force.

“Mather Air Force Base was named after Second Lieutenant Carl Spencer Mather, a 25-year-old army pilot killed in a mid-air collision while training at Ellington Field, Texas on January 30, 1918.

More about Mather Field here.

I live within 2 miles of the northern-most boundary and can watch the air show practices all week long from my neighborhood. I managed to get some decent photographs, this one from my mobile phone a couple of years ago. It’s pretty grainy, but I only had my cell phone with me when I saw this.

Blue Angels Ascent

This image it reminds me of a poem I used to hear read at the sign-off of late-night television (remember when local channels ended at 12 midnight?). This poem is shared in part here. Perhaps you have heard of it.

High Flight

“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunwards I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a thousand things…
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high un-trespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand…
…and touched the face of God.”


Doesn’t that just give you goosebumps?

Written by John Gillespie Magee, RCAF, 1941

Read more about Officer Magee and the poem. He is another young man killed (age 19) in service to his country.

What high flights of fancy will your blog take us to this week?

March themes are published on my Sunday Stills page.

Camera graphic

Sunday Stills: Signs of #Autumn

signs of fall leaves

Autumn Has Arrived, like a postcard

Saturday was the official start of Autumn with the autumnal equinox. According to Internet sources,

…the Autumnal equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above Earth’s Equator – from north to south. This happens either on September 22, 23, or 24 every year.

When this happens, both the Northern and Southern hemispheres will experience an equal amount of daylight, hence the word “equinox,” Latin for Equal Night. For those south of the equator, it’s the beginning of spring.

For many, Autumn marks a kind of sadness as longer nights set in. For myself, I love this time of year. After so many hectic summers working as a full-time Aquatics Director, trying not to lose my mind after working 30 days straight, being on emergency stand-by or dealing with 150 lifeguards and their drama, fall was a welcome respite at work. It meant I could be in my office and get administrative work done as I looked forward to some vacation time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Now that I teach in Fall and Spring semesters, my Autumns are ironically busy, but in a different way. I don’t have to deal with the threat of drownings or other emergencies (unless you call a student’s desperate plea for an extension on their term paper an emergency). Plus I am inspired every day that I am on campus watching the leaves change from shades of green to a brilliant variety of colors.

This is one of my glorious views when the ginkgo trees hit their peak!

Campus Ginkos create both a canopy and a carpet of yellow

On a bike ride last weekend, on one side of the American River Bike Trail, were bushes of yellow cone flowers or Black-eyed Susans, which to me just scream “summer is still alive and well!”

Black-Eyed Susan on the trail
But just down the trail were some deciduous trees providing the preview of Fall shown in this image. The signs of Autumn SLOWwwwly morph our warm September days into those longed-for crisp Fall days.

signs of fall leaves

The traditional Autumn colors normally peak here in mid-November, around Veterans Day. Whenever we travel to San Diego for Christmas holidays, Autumn still shows her lovely self in many of the Liquid Amber trees that are still draped in Fall splendor.

California is slow to get into Autumn but we get a long dose of it over several months, depending where you live.

Which just makes it that more special to me as I fill up my Dropbox with yet another set of images of Autumn. For now I will continue to love Indian Summer and embrace the sunny yellows.

For those in the Southern hemisphere, tell me what you like about your autumn!

Festival of Leaves is back!

If your inner geek still needs more of a scientific explanation of the autumnal equinox, check out this article 8 Things to Know About Autumn.

Show us your favorite photos, poems, music, or stories of Autumn from your perspective for Sunday Stills! Link up or pingback your post to this post!

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Sunday Stills: What Does #Summer Mean to You?

Sunday Stills Summer graphic

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?

Variety of textures in the delta

Planting and enjoying your backyard garden?

Summer Zinneas

Enjoying a water sport?

Windsurfer getting some air
Windsurfer getting some air

Enrolling the kids in some swim lessons?

Swimming lessons for youth are inexpensive and necessary!

A beautiful hike in the mountains?

Lupine view of mountains at Mammoth Lakes
Lupine view of mountains at Mammoth Lakes

Calm sunrise at a Mexican resort?

The difference a new day makes in our quest for change

Chasing your dog on the beach?

Brodie at ocean Beach San Diego
Brodie at Ocean Beach in San Diego

Stopping to smell the flowers?

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

Visiting a national park?

Yosemite Valley with Bridalveil Falls
Yosemite Valley

Whatever it is, please share your idea of SUMMER this week!

Instagram meme Good times and tan linesSince we are on the subject of summer, feel free to join us on Instagram for the Summer Instagram Photo Challenge that starts today. You can join anytime!

Join our growing Sunday Stills Tribe

Bloggers who shared Sunday Stills posts in June

A Day In the Life

All the Shoes I Wear

Cee’s Photography

Geriatri’x Fotogallery

Grahams Island

Hugh’s Views and News

IScribler

Idaho Bluebird

Light Words

Misty Roads Blog

Mucho Spanish

Musin’ with Susan

Na’ama Yehuda

NorCal Zen

Now at Home

OnceUponaTime&HappilyEverAfter

PilotFish Blog

Proscenium

Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters

Retirementally Challenged

Sights & Insights

Smorgasbord Variety is the Spice of Life

Tales from My Lens

That Little Voice

The New 3Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect

Tranature

Wind Kisses

ZestNZeal

If I left anyone out, please forgive me! I can add you!

Terri_sig_palm2