Thursday’s Hilo #Doors with a View

Hilo Bay View

While on the Big island of Hawaii this week, I looked for a variety of interesting subjects to photograph. I hadn’t posted a Thursday Doors post in quite a while and hoped to find some special doors here in Hilo.

Although there are some beautiful homes, their doors are nothing special…here are the only two I saw on one of my walks.

Hilo Front Doors
Best looking doors in the neighborhood.

A modest Colonial hosts some happy dogs.

Hilo Home door with dog
Modest Colonial Style

You know why their doors are nothing special? Because I believe folks focus on what is viewed from outside their doors!

Like this view of Hilo Bay from where these two houses are located.

Hilo Bay View
Looking across to the other side of Hilo Bay.

I probably would have “no worries” about how my door might look to a passerby when I could watch the surfers all day.

Hilo Bay Surfers
Surfs up on Hilo Bay

And who would be looking at the doors anyway?

Any interesting doors in your part of the world? Check out Norm’s weekly feature Thursday Doors!


Sunday Stills: Objects Over #100-Years-Old

Greek Church

Attention globetrotters! This photo challenge theme is for you! Well, it’s for anyone, of course, but since our Sunday Stills theme this week is “Objects Over 100 Years Old,” your photos from countries abroad will likely showcase places and spaces that have been around for over 100 years.

Just be careful about publishing images of artwork, sculptures and paintings, because the objects are copyrighted, even though you took the photo with your own lens. I doubt the image police are going to find you if it’s something you do infrequently.

Some of you are adept at portrait photography like fellow blogger, Lucile de Godoy, who specializes in street and portrait photography. Perhaps she has photos of objects or folks over 100 years old!

I, myself, don’t photograph a lot of architecture, although now that I sometimes post for Thursday Doors, I try to look for interesting doors when I’m out and about.

I say this because I cheated a little for this theme and borrowed one of my daughter’s photos of her trip to Greece. In the featured image above, this is the Church Zoodochos Pighi, Megalochori, on Agistri Island, Greece.

Yes, I know I need to get out more, and by that, I need to get out of the US…one of these days. For now, I must rely on historic cemeteries, California missions or downtown churches to meet the criteria of this theme.

Double Headstone

The photo was taken in the Masonic Cemetery in the town of Michigan Bluff in the Sierra Foothills in 2014. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought hoards of homesteaders, prospectors and fortune-seekers from South America, Asia and the U.S. East Coast. Many died young from various illnesses, as their headstones reflect the dates of their lives and deaths.

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

Speaking of the Gold Rush, another fortune-seeker, Patrick Monogue, “saved his money to live in Paris where he planned to enroll in seminary college and become a Roman Catholic priest. In 1886, Manogue was appointed as Sacramento’s first bishop. Inspired by churches he’d seen in European plazas, he worked to secure property just one block away from the capitol building, with a dream of building a cathedral in Sacramento (from Wikipedia).”

Construction on this Catholic church in downtown Sacramento began in 1887. You can see the top of the California State Capitol Building at the bottom right of the image.

For a shot of nostalgia, here is a older post I did for the original Sunday Stills, showing a photo of  Sunday Stills: San Diego Presidio.

San Diego Presidio
The Spanish Presidio in San Diego

My annual plug to celebrate the National Park Service, which celebrated its 100 years of service in 2016. My photo of the fridge magnet, artfully framed with pine needles.

NPS Logo 2016

So there you have it. Whether you have a photo of something over 100 years-old or an image that represents age, be creative and show us what you’ve got!

Many folks have also submitted wonderful poetry or flash fiction to further depict the Sunday Stills theme of the week!

Thank you for your participation! Please link up or link to this post so I can share your selections!


Sunday Stills: #Twin Fathers

Flowers twinned

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is “twin.”

I posted the above image on Instagram a few weeks ago. The dandelion weed with its twinned shadow, grew in a crack in my driveway and the dual colors of cement made an interesting yin-yang effect.

When I think of the month of June, I can’t help but think of Gemini, one of the constellations of the zodiac. Gemini is Latin for twins. According to Greek mythology, Castor and Pollux, real stars in the night sky, make up the constellation Gemini, which can be seen in the northern hemisphere’s summer sky.

My husband is an identical twin.

Since today is Father’s Day in the U.S., I had to tie this theme in to my husband and his twin brother who are both celebrating Father’s Day this weekend on different parts of the West Coast.

Twin brothers

My hubby is in San Diego visiting his children and his first grandchild! In the photo, that’s my husband on the right. They have been known to play twin jokes on many people over the years. When I knew them in high school (yes, really!), I could not tell them apart. They may be nearly identical physically, but have very different personalities.

And just for fun, I threw in these twin doors (for Norm’s Thursday Doors) found in the Gold Rush town of Sutter Creek, California.

Twin Doors

Other words associated with twin are couple, clone, duplicate, double and matched. How you interpret twin is up to you.

Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with for the theme! Linking up is optional!

Happy Father’s Day to all the hard-working dads!

Camera graphic

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

WPC: Thanks for the Photographic Memories

Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has been a staple on my blog since January 2015, when I began submitting to its new theme each week. 

This is the last week that the weekly photo challenge will prompt bloggers like myself to stretch our imaginations and take a photograph that depicts the theme. The last theme, appropriately is All-Time Favorites, where we are to share our favorite images from past WPC posts.

This was one of my first entries into an amazing world of photo blogging! Expressive Dock Eagerly Awaits Visitors

Lake Dock

Not only did this photo pop, but it was one of my better attempts at a decent blog post title.

Here are a couple of fan favorites and one of mine:

Legs cast shadows and reflections
Reflections and Shadows

SpaceX Launch
SpaceX Launched 10 satellites into space from Southern California

Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood
Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood

These photos are different in nature but all seem to have unusual features: a downward focus to catch both shadows and reflections; a fleeting moment in space, or a macro shot of Mother Nature in action. This is the creativity the WPC inspired in me,  to think and see like a photographer every minute of the day.

The weekly photo challenge was responsible for providing me with hundreds of followers over the years and was instrumental in improving my photography over the last three years, and I credit it for linking me with so many other amazing bloggers who share their photos in posts each week. I will seriously miss this blogging event!

I must give a special shout-out to a fellow blogger and Northern California neighbor, Frank at Petaluma Spectator Blog.

Lumix cameraWhen I began shopping for a REAL camera, I reached out to Frank by e-mail asking what camera he used for the WPCs. Not only did he share the information on his favorite camera (Panasonic Lumix FZ300, which I purchased), he sent several messages with the links to good photography practices. And he even sent me a hard copy photography book!

Without Frank’s help and inspiration, this amazing world of photography I find myself in would not be the same. My photography has certainly leveled up all because I developed a relationship with a fellow blogger on the subject.


To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. Elliott Erwitt

Although I hate to see the WPC go, I thank the WordPress team at the Daily Post  for the support and prompts to help new and veteran bloggers stretch our wings and soar!

Stuck for ideas? Why not join these photo challenges hosted by your fellow bloggers?

Cees Photo Challenges 
Thursday Doors 
Tourmaline Jennifer Nichole Wells 
Sunday Stills (hosted by me)
Visit this WordPress Daily Post Community Event page for more blogging events!


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!


© 2017 Copyright — — All Rights Reserved

Cabin Doors of Lake Tahoe

Colorful Cabin Door

Colorful Cabin Door

What is a blogger to do when there is no Weekly Photo Challenge scheduled this week? Why, post for Thursday Doors, of course!

Back in July (seems so long ago now), we stayed with friends in their cabin near the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It was another endlessly hot weekend in the Sacramento Valley, so a 2-hour drive to the Sierra Nevadas seemed like the best place to go.

After playing on the lake with the dogs and enjoying the mountain air, I took a walk with one of my dogs around the neighborhood and discovered LOTS of wonderful cabin doors!

The above photo shows the creativity and color this person added to his cabin door. Even though the sign says “Xx’s Roost” I doubt the roosters hang out there much since there are very active bears that lurk around in the forest day and night. Look closely on the door and you can see the electric gizmo attached to keep the bears away while the residents are gone.

Our friend’s cabin had an electric doorstep as a bear deterrent, and even knowing it was turned off during the day, you can bet I cautiously stepped over it each time!

A frame gives way to reflections

Love the red door of this cute A-Frame and how the trees are reflected in the windows. Must be a stunning view from the inside.

Door to leisure

Some lucky child is going to have some fun as she parks her bike in front of their cabin garage door.

A nice walk is all anyone needs to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in these unique Lake Tahoe neighborhoods.

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” Flora Whittemore

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Note: Addresses and names muted for privacy.

Join me on the weekly photo challenge next week, but in the meantime, stop by Norm’s weekly feature Thursday Doors!

My signature

The Doorway Under the Bridge Leads To…?

Is there a doorway under the Sunrise Bridge?

Is there a doorway under the Sunrise Bridge?

With all the rain we got this past winter in Northern California, epic flooding in the rivers, lakes and streams was at an all-time high in 20 years. This photo shows a “doorway” view of the American River from under the Sunrise Bridge.

Interesting perspective! Hmmm, to where does that “doorway” lead and what could be lurking behind that “doorway?”

These other photos show the view of the bridge.

We are expecting another big storm event to bring snow into the mountains and rain to our area. The flooding has decreased significantly since these photos were taken in January, but the snow will begin melting in the Sierra Nevadas in late spring, early summer. Flooding may still be an issue as the dams release more water into both the Sacramento and American Rivers.

I linked this post to Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors photography challenge.

Let’s hope that whatever might be lurking behind the “door” will be flooded out!

Seasonal Sensations Link-Up April FlowersDon’t forget about the April Flowers link-up going on now through April. Click here for more details.


AND…check weekly for new photos added to my photo sharing site: FREE PHOTOS FOR YOUR BLOG.

Thursday Doors: Green Doors in Sutter Creek

Bright orange door graces Sutter Creek Inn

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

I am celebrating my spring break from teaching with some down time! We took a short, 45-minute drive to the Gold Country in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

Northern Californians know where I am talking about, as popular must-see’s along the scenic, historic drive of Highway 49 include Sutter Creek, Daffodil Hill, Jackson Rancheria Casino, and quaint, California Gold Rush towns.

Early Spring was in full swing with plenty of blooms, abundant greens and of course, tourists!

As we strolled through Sutter Creek’s main street, my camera worked overtime capturing historic architecture, doors (for Norm’s Thursday Doors), flowers and other interesting things.

I was surprised how much the color green is used on many of the doors and facades, whether residential or business. This is linked to the weekly photo challenge It IS Easy Being Green!.

AmazingFREE PHOTOS! Don’t forget!

If you are in need of FREE photos for your blog, stop by my page Free Photos for Your Blog and click the Dropbox logo to view the free files. No creative commons or other licenses. They are free for you to use!

Thursday Doors: The Mariner

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

While visiting sunny San Diego over the holidays, we visited Coronado for a quick walk on the dog beach area. Walking back to the car, I saw this amazing door!

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. Psalm 107:23-24

Here is a closer shot of the door showing the intricate wood work.

Closer up of the Mariner Door

It’s not always that easy stalking people’s front doors with a camera. I sort of hid behind my car and zoomed in enough to read the quote above. It is a breath-taking door surrounded with beautiful stained glass, complete with a port-hole.

All within a stone’s throw of the beach!

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature on Norm 2.0’s blog.

It’s Not This Time of Year Without Holiday Thursday Doors

Fall and Christmas come together for Thursday Doors

Fall and Christmas come together for Thursday Doors

It’s not this time of year without…

…holiday decorations on porches and doors!

We spent the Thanksgiving holidays in Spokane, Washington.  After eating wa-a-ay too much dessert (yes, all week long), I took one of many walks. Our family lives in the beautiful Dishman Hills area and walking up and down those hills is great exercise.

If you just believe

The day after Thanksgiving, the residents jumped in and started decorating. I love the simplicity of this one. “Believe!”
This photo screams Merry Hallowgiving! Or Happy Thanks O’ween?

Merry Hallowgiving!

These photos demonstrate their creativity as well as their penchant for combining more than one holiday theme. I think they made it work.

These photos are submitted for Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0 and for the weekly photo challenge It’s Not This Time of Year Without…

Commemorative Cherry on Top

Tioga Pass Entrance

If you are a fan of the US National Parks, 2016 marks to 100th Anniversary of the NPS (National Park Service). Without these national treasures, visited by people worldwide, our planet would be a sorry place indeed.

“The Centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks through recreation, conservation and historic preservation programs.” (Yosemite Guide 6/22-7/26, 2016)

August 25th is the official anniversary date! If you happen to be in Yosemite, there will be activities and events commemorating the event. Visit Yosemite Guide online for more information.

These photos were submitted for two photography challenges: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Cherry On Top and for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors.

What makes this a “cherry on top” moment is the mere fact that National Parks are vitally important to our heritage as Americans. The flag in the photo is a symbol of America and its positive influence on society.

My love for the national parks and Yosemite, in particular, can be attributed to this man, my dad! His “cherry on top” moment was not only catching this fish in the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River in Tuolumne Meadows, but celebrating his 80th birthday here!

Still Fishing at 80

Without his love for the outdoors and our summer vacations to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, our family would not have been exposed to camping, recreation and the need to be present in nature.

I would love to hear about any visits you might have made to a National Park this year.

These photos were taken by my new,  “cherry-colored” Canon digital camera.

red camera

Thank you for visiting today!

Thursday Doors: The Ex-Ahwahnee Hotel

Ahwanee Hotel Patio Doors

Ahwanee Hotel Patio Doors

While in Yosemite Valley a few weeks ago, we road our bikes to the Ahwahnee Hotel…oops, I mean the Majestic Yosemite Hotel…huh? No doubt you may have heard of the naming rights and trademark dispute that has led to the renaming of Yosemite’s landmark spots.

The Ahwahnee Hotel opened July 14, 1927. The hotel was the brainchild of the National Park Service’s first director Stephen T. Mather who envisioned building a hotel to attract the wealthier class of visitors.

The Yosemite people (Miwok tribes) called Yosemite Valley “Awooni” for its resemblance to a bear’s gaping mouth. The Yosemite people called themselves as Ah-wah-ne-chee, or “dwellers of Ahwahnee.” The spelling was later modernized to “Ahwahnee.”

Ahwahnee Hotel national historic landmark

Despite the plaque designating the Ahwahnee Hotel as a national historic landmark in 1987, the new signs dub it “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel.”

I had always wanted to spend one night there to say I did (price is upwards to $500 a night for a standard room), but now if I did so, I would technically NOT be sleeping in the Ahwahnee.

After 24 visits to Yosemite since 1970, I will always remember and refer to it as The Ahwahnee Hotel. …sigh.

view of backyard of Ahwahnee Hotel

The featured photo is submitted for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors photography challenge.

The Doors to Knowledge Invite the Love of Reading

Doors to knowledge open here

Doors to knowledge open here

What is your “one love?” As a writer and educator, I have to admit that the love of books and reading is at the top of my list of loves.

The above photo shows a sculpture of a woman reading in the lobby of the Sacramento State University library. I was surprised that I had not noticed her before. That is what photography will do–provide a new perspective while searching for the perfect shot.

What I love about this is she is reading near the doors, as if she had just checked out her book and couldn’t wait to start reading.

“The doors to knowledge invite the love of reading.” -Terri Webster Schrandt

teach love of reading

These are submitted for the weekly photo challenge: One Love  and for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors.  Feel free to join these photo challenges any time.

Vibrant Villa Gate

Vibrant gate guards a homey villa in Baja, Mexico.

Today I hit the photo challenge jackpot! This photo taken in Los Barriles, Baja, Mexico shows a fabulous green gate adorning the gorgeous red fence that surrounds the villa. Yes, I know the family that owns this home hidden by the gate and trees!

Vibrant gate guards a homey villa in Baja, Mexico.

Los Barriles, on the lower Baja peninsula on the Sea of Cortez, offers great vacation activities and fun beach life. Of course, windsurfing, kiteboarding and stand-up paddling are just three of the exciting leisure activities one can try.

Several of our windsurf friends have homes there. After spending several trips in La Ventana, a smaller, sleepier town further to the north, I now see what is attractive about Los Barriles. It felt a little more civilized and much bigger, with more culture. There is an active expatriate life style there and real estate is considerably lower than the U.S.


Three of my favorite photo challenges with one photo!

Love a challenge? Got photos? Check out these photo challenges–open to anyone! I just use my Samsung phone and PicMonkey editing. If I can do it, you can, too!

Submitted for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors, Jennifer Nicole Wells’ Color Your World “Fern” and Weekly photo challenge Vibrant.