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!

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Sunday Stills: In Your #Town

Cal State Capitol

Something about the month of December invokes images of quaint towns decorated for the holidays, like you might see in Norman Rockwell paintings.

The theme for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge is “In Your Town.” What is special about your hometown or the town in which you currently reside?

Last week, on the way to attending a Lindsey Stirling concert in downtown Sacramento, I finally took a photo of California’s State Capitol. You would think that after living here for 30 years, I would have a photo or two by now.

Cal State Capitol

This night shot was 2 weeks shy of the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony. You can just make out the crane and unadorned, dark tree in the shadows.

Near Old Sacramento, a popular tourist destination home to the Gold Rush Era of 1849 (an outgrowth of Sutter’s Fort), the capitol is within walking distance (about 10 blocks) and is a popular must-see when visiting the Sacramento area.

Sacramento County imageSacramento is centrally located to other world-wide tourist destinations: San Francisco Bay area, 90 miles west, and Lake Tahoe, about 90 miles east of Sacramento. Because of Sacramento’s location, many visitors stop by the Capitol on their way to or from these destinations.

 

In Sacramento, what I think stands out from most other cities, is the sheer number of trees found in the region. At this writing, Autumn hit its peak colors late, but oh what a show!

According to Wikipedia’s City of Trees, Sacramento boasts the largest tree canopy in the US and third-largest in the world! Local California State University, Sacramento (where I teach), is also designated “Tree Campus USA.”

Below is why!

Yellow Ginkgos

I braved rain and blustery conditions the day before Thanksgiving to capture the Ginkgoes before the storms blew the leaves off the trees.

This image is linked to two photo challenges, Sunday Trees and Festival of Leaves. 

Back to the idea of quaint towns, not far from Sacramento resided local Northern California artist, Thomas Kinkade, whose magical paintings invoke fairy-tale towns and images. His home gallery is located in Placerville, California and features his best works. Born in Sacramento in 1958, Kinkade passed away in 2012. Years ago, my mother bought two of his prints for me which happily hang on my living room wall.

Painting Pink Tree
One of my Thomas Kinkade prints

Time for Autumn! I have a Japanese Maple tree in my own front yard, because not only do I love trees, but I also like the idea of contributing to the local tree canopy.

Red Maple Square

This one is linked to Becky B’s #timesquare December photo challenge. This is also linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Other sights to see in and around the Sacramento area are featured in this gallery.

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If you were a tourist visiting your own home town for the first time, what would you want to see? What special feature of your town would tourists ruin if discovered?

Please visit our new Sunday Stills November participant Little Borneo Girl.

I’m in the throes of the final days of school which means lots o’ papers to grade! That’s why I managed to link to four photo challenges this week in one post! Hope you can join in the fun!

I have discontinued the link-up. Thank you to all of those who participated faithfully in the link-up! Please link to this post or my Sunday Stills page so I can find your post and share it!

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Sunday Stills: #Orange You Glad?

Great pumpkins

Yes, I know it’s a silly blog title, but aren’t you? Glad, I mean, now that with Halloween almost upon us the holiday season is officially here?

I’m not sure if I’m particularly glad about the hustle and bustle with shopping and more traffic, but I’m very much looking forward to the road trips to visit family.

Whatever your feelings about the holiday season, I love the color orange because it seems like such a happy color!

According to an online source:
“Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

Although I personally don’t wear bright orange because my redhead complexion couldn’t take it, I do wear muted shades of orange like peach, salmon, and rust.

Fellow blogger and over-50 fashion guru Jodie shares her ideas on orange as a fashion statement.

I naturally have surrounded myself with the color orange. My home has two pumpkin-colored accent walls in the kitchen and dining room. My updated white brick fireplace now sports some Autumn decor on the mantle.

hello fall

When we got married 5 years ago, I chose a non-traditional wedding ring that boasts an orange sapphire!

wedding ring

Does the color orange make you happy? Here are a few more of mine to get you started:

An end of summer delta sunset from September. Everything was orange!

delta sunset

Of course, a post with the theme of orange would be incomplete without some Fall colors.

Autumn leaves and palm

I call this “California Autumn” because of the juxtaposition of fall leaves against the back drop of a palm tree.

This last image is also submitted for the following photo challenges:

Festival of Leaves

Sunday Trees

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Show us your versions of orange with your images! Link up below and see what other bloggers are posting this week! Or ping-back to this post so I can share your orange images on Facebook, Twitter and Mix!

November’s Sunday Stills themes are now available on my page.

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Sunday Stills: #Texture is All Around Us

Textures of autumn flags

This week’s Sunday Stills Photography challenge is all about texture. Textures occur both in nature and in human-made materials, and it all around us. A random photo of a mundane item can yield extraordinary textures you might not have noticed with just the naked eye.

In texture photography, it’s all about patterns, colors and depth, and every single detail of a texture plays a significant role in the overall perception of the photograph.

This photo of Aero laying on my bed shows the contrast in textures of his cocoa-brown fur against the soft textiles of the bed linens.

Textures of Aero and bed linens

In this image captured at our local elementary school, I love the textures of the flags hung on the fence.

Textures of autumn flags

Texture can appear both in macro photography and in landscape photography.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing two photos by Molly from Shallow Reflections. She mentioned Maine has its peak Autumn colors now and graciously sent me several photos to use!

I love the textures she captured in this garden gnome, not only in the carving’s materials, but in the surrounding garden. Totally serendipitous she sent me this photo full of texture…

Textured woodland gnome

Molly also sent me this stunning Autumn image of trees reflected in a lake. I’m sure the live view showed the textural contrast against the reflected two-dimensional view of the trees.

Autumn textures

I’m submitting Molly’s beautiful tree image for this week’s Sunday Trees.

And for Dawn’s weekly feature Festival of Leaves.

Here is one of my own Autumn textures to add:

Maple begins to turn to seed

Textures can also appear in music, food, writing, the list goes on.

How will you interpret “texture” this week? Please link to this post and add to the link-up!

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These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops sit delicately atop a spring rose bud

The WordPress weekly photo challenge asks us to…

…”celebrate the end of the year, by sharing the most meaningful (or favorite) photo you’ve taken in 2017.”

It has been a great year for photography buffs. I certainly was excited to get my first “real” camera, although I have great success with my mobile phone!

Today I am sharing your favorites and mine through the beloved song lyrics of “My Favorite Things” sung by my favorite singer, Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. You might have to use your imagination for the exact image to match the sentence.

All of these images were shared in 2017 on my blog and received the most pages views and “likes.” I threw in some of my own favorites, too.

Please feel free to sing along!

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Raindrops sit delicately atop a spring rose bud

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens 

What are the odds of finding a rainbow in my hand?

Brown paper packages tied up with strings,  These are a few of my favorite things.

Yosemite Valley with Bridalveil Falls
Yosemite Valley

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleigh bells, and schnitzel with noodles;

Bright orange door graces Sutter Creek Inn
Bright orange door graces Sutter Creek Inn

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, these are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver-white winters that melt into springs, these are a few of my favorite things.

Snow falls for a brief time in Lake Tahoe in May
Snow falls for a brief time in Lake Tahoe in May

When the dog bites 

Fast friends, Boykin Spaniels

When the bee stings 

Bee on Lavender

When I’m feeling sad

My Haiku: Spring blossoms flutter, whisking away winter blues, hope springs eternal.

I simply remember my favorite things, 

Gideon sits and chats
Gideon (dog) thinks he can just sit on the sofa like a human and chat with my hubby!
Sunflower and worm love a summer day
See the green worm in the bottom left?

and then I don’t feel so bad!” 

Original lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, published in 1959, used in part here.


My Top Posts for 2017

These three posts rose to the top of the list of most viewed in 2017.

My favorite high school teacher:  Reconnecting with My High School Teacher

My photo sharing service: How to Get 100s of Free Photos for Your Blog

I wrote this post about my niece Tiffany at the infamous New York Fashion Week, and I STILL get new followers to my blog because of this post. Not too bad for someone who is not a fashion blogger: Tiffany’s In New York:  A 10-year Old Fashionista’s Perspective on Fashion Week

My Favorite Photo Challenges

A huge Thank You to these bloggers who take the time to host photo challenges!

Musin’ with Susan’s Macro Moments
On Butterfly Wings with Buttercup Tea, Sunday Trees
Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors

Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

Submitted for 2017 Favorites

This may be my last post for 2017! Enjoy your holidays and savor the time with your friends and families!

Terri_holly

© 2017 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Experimental Autumn Perspectives

Backyard porch light illuminates delicate Fall leaves

Backyard porch light illuminates delicate Fall leaves

For a photographer, perspective means everything. Many photographers have their specialties, whether it is landscapes, macros, portraits, street, action,…well, the list goes on.

I don’t feel I have a particular specialty, but my eye tends toward landscape and macro photography…and color! I prefer color but I appreciate the black and white images that I have seen from many fellow bloggers that are incredibly stunning.

Since Autumn is in full swing here in Northern California, my new phone is collecting all kinds of Autumn leaves and trees. This might be my obsession but I hope you will indulge me today as you look at my collection of Experimental images.

The featured image above was taken from my cousin’s deck in Portland, Oregon, last fall as the porch light illuminated the leaves in such a beautiful way. I even caught a spider web in this shot.

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

On the Sacramento State University campus, where I teach, the eclectic collection of trees and the Autumn show is breathtaking!

It is normal to take photos of landscapes like the one below. This happens to set the stage for the rest of the images as the perspectives and angles change to capture some experimental shots. The ginkgo trees in two areas of campus attract a lot of attention by students taking photos and selfies with their phones.

Campus Ginkos create both a canopy and a carpet of yellow

Once I see a landscape like this, I look up and then down for any unusual perspectives. I was not disappointed with what I found!

Rain had fallen the day before, leaving behind puddles with floating leaves. I noticed right away the reflections of the trees from which the leaves had fallen which created unusual images.

More reflections from the ginko trees

Students looked at me with curiosity as I squatted down and contorted by handbag-laden body for these unusual puddle shots.

Fallen Leaves float in puddle amid the reflection of the tree from which they fell

At least I didn’t fall face forward into one of the puddles.

Famous photographer Ansel Adams said: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

Indeed!

Think of yourself casually walking along on an asphalt-covered road and take a peek at the show under your feet.

Don't forget to look down for an Autumn show

“Photography helps people to see.” Berenice Abbot

Ansel Adams Quote

These photos are submitted for another photography trifecta for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge,  Sunday Trees and Festival of Leaves.

What unusual photos can you make today?

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No Willing Exit in an Autumn Forest

Joys of an urban forest

Joys of an urban forest

A serene walk last October in the urban forest of Dishman Hills, Spokane, Washington.

An autumn forest is such a place that once entered, you never look for the exit. Mehmet Murat Ildan

I just love a photo challenge trifecta, don’t you?

Submitting the sublime Glow of the Dogwood trees for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Join Becca over at her weekly feature Sunday Trees.

And it’s not too late to join the Halloween-themed One Word Photo Challenge “Forest” with Jennifer Nichole Wells.

Enjoy your day!

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Playing in the Trees

Students hanging out in the trees

Students hanging out in the trees

Mid-October finds me longing for trees decked out in Autumn splendor. Here in Northern California, as the nights get cooler and the day time temps hover in the upper 70s, the leaves have a couple more weeks to go before we see significant color changes.

For now, as I post for Sunday Trees hosted by Becca at “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea,”  I will have to settle for some photos of leisure and play time in the trees.

Last weekend, I had arranged for one of my recreation classes to participate in the campus Peak Adventures Ropes course. Facing their fears, they embraced their opportunity to climb up trees over 40 feet in the air to a platform, rope or pole from which to execute the challenge.

In spite of them being harnessed in and belayed by professional staff, students reported the lasting affects of the adrenaline rush of walking across a wobbly rope while looking down on fellow well-wishers.

Student scales a tree showing perspective

And…she jumps!

Student takes the "leap of faith" 40 feet in the air at the Peak Adventures Challenge Ropes Course in Sacramento.

I can’t wait to read their reaction papers!

I am also including these for the Weekly Photo Challenge Scale! Please feel free to participate in these photo challenges!

What did you do this weekend?

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