Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Walking in a #Burlywood World

burlywood stump

My last Sunday Stills Photo Challenge post of August before my short break is the popular monthly color challenge. This month’s color is burlywood, a light shade of brown, kind of like khakis. A very non-descript color in the world of browns and tans, but it seems to be a popular neutral as well.

color challenge burlywood
August Color Challenge: Burlywood

By this time of year in the Northern hemisphere as summer peaks, there is an abundance of this color everywhere in nature and beyond!

burlywood stump
The epitome of burlywood

I’m tying in water to this post for Marsha’s Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays Writer’s Challenge. How does one find light brown water—perhaps we really don’t want to know…but I did have one in my archives.

One dry, May day at the Sacramento River delta a few years ago, I saw this incredible reflection of the golden hills through which the Sacramento River flows. With no wind, the river was abnormally calm. So, I present—burlywood-brown water.

Chocolate River

In the words of Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

Mr. Salt: [about the chocolate river] It’s polluted!
Willy Wonka: It’s chocolate!

Last week I drove to a local spot in search of a change of scenery for walking the dogs. Just 6 miles away from home are some walking trails, that, to my surprise lead right to the Spokane River. While Brodie took a leash-bound swim, I managed to capture this lovely shot.

Reflections of Green and brown
Green and burlywood in reflection

Light brown is a pervasive color in nature as a common color for soil, sand, grasslands, rocks, animals and vegetation. In fact, vast regions of the planet Earth appear to be light brown from space.

John Spacey

Not to be outdone by water, nature decided to show off her burlywood colors as florals. (Sharing for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge).

Here is a gallery of more burlywood inspiration:

And just for fun, my 10×20 foot “she-shed” was delivered on Thursday. It looks so small and plain next to the huge shop! I suppose burlywood is all the rage for sheds. Eventually we will paint her blue.

Where (and why) do I come up with these unusual names for colors? With literally thousands of colors, I like the challenge of choosing an unusual shade from the standard color wheel of six basic colors, plus black and white. I start by searching online for color photo challenges which gives me unique lists of colors. So now you know my secret.

While on My Three-Week Blog Break…

Many thanks to Natalie of Natalie the Explorer who will guest host Sunday Stills while I take a break and travel a bit. You may be familiar with her Weekend Coffee Share Feature. Natalie has chosen the themes for Sunday Stills which are as follows:
8/22 In the Garden
8/29 Afloat
9/5 Colorful Murals

Please enjoy and support Natalie as host. I will have a lot to share about my various adventures upon my return.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Lyrical Bloggers’ Links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite song lyrics or poetry with their photos. I am so impressed with the talent and lyric-inspired images from you all! We shall do this again at Christmas!

That’s my burlywood world these days. I look forward to your posts featuring the color challenge this week. By Friday, I may be slow to approve comments/pingbacks as we travel to San Diego for the first leg of the trip. Sunday, Aug. 22, please watch for Natalie’s post to go live at the normal time of 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Here is her Weekend Coffee Share post this week with more details on Sunday Stills.

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Sunday Stills: Song Lyric Photo Challenge–Summers of My Dreams

Spokane Mountain Views

Welcome to the first-ever Sunday Stills song lyric photo challenge! This type of challenge is not new to bloggers but I thought it would be fun to try it. This theme was a challenge for me because I love all types of music, but I wanted to choose songs that made sense in my own life.

The idea of this challenge is to match images related to your favorite song lyrics. If this is unclear, it might be best to think of your favorite song(s) and highlight some lyrics with your new or existing photos. Here is an example from Marsha and my example from 2017: My Favorite Things.

Also, to avoid copyright infringements of published lyrics, only post a few lines rather than the entire song. If you write poetry or your own songs, you can certainly use your work for this theme!

Summer Rain, All Summer Long

Today, to help inspire you with appropriate images, I chose Summer Rain by Johnny Rivers, a popular song released in 1968. According to Wikipedia:

“Summer Rain” was written by Jimmy Hendricks(!) and performed by Johnny Rivers on his 1968 LP Realization. The song reached No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, No. 6 on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100, and No. 10 in Canada in early January, 1968. “Summer Rain” is a song about lifelong love during “the summer of love” which refers to the phenomenon of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco between 1965 and 1968.

Wikipedia

Think hippie culture and free love. Despite the song’s origins, I simply like the music and the words.

I was 8 years old in 1968. I may have remembered hearing the song in the car on road trips at that age. I suppose it wasn’t until the early 80s upon hearing it again, how much I enjoyed the idea of the lyrics as a celebration of summer. Later as I became a windsurfer, I started to appreciate the types of wind, coming from the four directions, east, west, north, south that the song mentions.

Here are my images for Summer Rain. Imagine the song is written is from my husband’s perspective. I apologize in advance for any subsequent earworms on the part of the reader!

abstract rainy day

Summer rain taps at my window
West wind soft as a sweet dream


My love warm as the sunshine
Sittin’ here by me, she’s here by me

At the delta, pre-wedding, July 2013

All summer long, we spent dancin’ in the sand

Dancin'

And the jukebox kept on playin’
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

She wants to live in the Rockies
She says that’s where we’ll find peace

Happy on our half acre
First look at property in Washington, May 2020

Settle down, raise up a family
To call our own, yeah, we’ll have a home

House and Shop
Waiting for Shop Doors (taken 8/6)

The snow drifts by my window


North wind blowin’ like thunder
Our love’s burnin’ like fire
And she’s here by me, yeah, she’s here with me
Let tomorrow be

Swing your heart out

Summer Rain © 1967 Hendricks/Rivers

Summer Wedding, Climbing Mountains

I’m also sharing for Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays Writers’ Choice “Writer’s Choice” or Mountains this week.
Summer Rain is a celebration of my 8th wedding anniversary on August 22. In two weeks, we will be in the Sedona, Arizona area over a long weekend.

For our wedding day in 2013, I chose Climb Every Mountain from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music as the song in which I walked down the aisle with my daughters. This is one of my favorite musicals.

Wedding photo credits © Kimberly Washington 2013

This verse is my entry for WQWWC this week:

“Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.”

Climb Every Mountain lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

I’ve always wanted to live in the mountains and we do!

Next Week’s Monthly Color Challenge

color challenge burlywood

Next week’s photo challenge is the Monthly Color challenge exploring the color “burlywood”—a light shade of brown, kind of like khakis. By this time of year in the Northern hemisphere, this color should be seen everywhere in nature!

Sunday Stills Moves to Canada for Three Weeks Beginning August 22

Many thanks to Natalie of Natalie the Explorer who will guest host Sunday Stills while I take a break and travel a bit. You may know her Weekend Coffee Share Feature. Natalie has chosen the themes for Sunday Stills which are as follows:
8/22 In the Garden
8/29 Afloat
9/5 Colorful Murals

Throughout this post, I share various images for the following challenges:

Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday and Lens-Artists Challenge hosted by Patti this week.

Bugged Blogger Links from Last Week

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite insect and bug photos.

A Day in the Life

Always Write

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Deb’s World

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments—you gotta see it!

Equipoise Life

Graham’s Island

Geriatrix Fotogallery

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Light Write Life

Light Words

Musin’ with Susan

Now At Home

Nuthouse Central

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Take a Walk

Travel With Me

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

I’m looking forward to your creativity with song lyrics or poetry this week highlighted by your photos! Have a great week! Join me next week for the monthly color challenge before I go on my break!

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Sunday Stills: What’s #Bugging You?

Blue and black dragonfly

How is it the first of August already? For folks living in the northern hemisphere, most of us are experiencing the hottest outdoor temperatures of the year.

With hot temps, guess who comes to visit? Bugs! Whether or not you are a fan of insects, this is an opportunity to look closely in your gardens (or the floors of your homes?) and search for what is bugging you.

If all insects disappeared, all life on earth would perish. If all humans disappeared, all life on earth would flourish.

Jonas Salk

Truth be told, I rather like most insects. I find many of them beneficial to gardens and even places indoors. Spiders are not insects but rather arachnids with eight legs. Insects have six legs. If I find a hapless spider fumbling to climb out of the bathtub, I’m known to get a tissue and help it out…then throw it outside. I do the same for moths. Perhaps I sound like a misguided Mother Nature, but I’ve seen too many 80s horror films in which the bugs strike back against the mean humans by swarming and devouring or growing to giant sizes and biting off heads. Insect karma…sounds exciting, right? No?

The bugs I dislike are ants, cockroaches, ticks, and flies. Not a fan of black widow spiders either.

Speaking of exciting, I’m responding to Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Challenge (WQWWC) prompt—exciting!

Dragonflies and Praying Mantis

I do get excited when I see dragonflies. My all-time favorite is this one of a dragonfly molting out of its exoskeleton.

Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood
Molting Dragonfly

I’ve come to understand that the most exciting thing about life is change.

Mark Inglis

I found this one a few days ago. When it didn’t fly away from the tomato plant upon my intrusion, I nudged it and it was dead. Forever immortalized in photos.

Blue and black dragonfly

Praying mantis are pretty cool critters, too.

This is a California Root Borer, a type of “longhorn beetle,” I found on my doorstep. I don’t know what it’s doing in Washington, but it’s about 2 inches long. They fly at night and only live for two short weeks.

Root Borer Beetle
Big, scary-looking, but harmless root borer beetle

What’s Bugging Me About Our Property

Delay after delay, that’s what.

Last week the cement floor was finished and the gravel driveway was completed. There is a delay with the shop doors. Building slow-downs have been a major problem in the construction industry, because:

  • 1. Many workers are staying unemployed because they get better pay than working a real job, and
  • 2. Because there are fewer workers, deliveries are delayed and materials are not available.

We are so close to the finish line and plan to close the loan this month!

Life needs to be like a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs. Otherwise, it’s not exciting.

N. T. Rama Rao, Jr.

This is one roller coaster ride I could do without–I have enough excitement in my life.

OK, back to the bugs…

Bee-utiful!

Enjoy my gallery of bees on various flowers. Without bees as pollinators, we would starve.

Flowers are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge. All photos in this post are shared for John’s CellPick Sunday.

Be sure to checkout my Sunday Stills page for August themes. Please note, I am planning a three-week end-of-summer break between August 22-Sept 5.

Geometric Bloggers Links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite geometric photos.

Next week’s theme will be images related to your favorite song lyrics. If this is unclear, it might be best to think of your favorite song(s) and highlight some lyrics with your photos. Here is an example from Marsha and my example from 2017: My Favorite Things. Also, to avoid copyright infringements of published lyrics, only post a few lines rather than the entire song. If you write poetry or your own songs, you can certainly use your work for this theme!

Thank you for your continuing support of Sunday Stills! I appreciate your beautiful creative photography, poetry, stories, and fun conversations! Have a great week!

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Sunday Stills: Circles, Triangles, #Squares, Oh My!

Sunday Stills Banner

It has been a couple of years since Sunday Stills focused on geometry! You know, circles, squares, triangles and rectangles? Geometry appears in nature and becomes a photographer’s dream when angles fit together to enhance an image. This week, look through your archives or search for new geometric angles either made by human hands or by Mother Nature’s.

Relaxing Between the Lines

Just steps from my home are wonderful backroads where I can walk my dogs and relax my mind. I hear the wind in the trees, notice the changing colors and shadows, and understand that no one is within 1000 yards of me. Most of the photos shared today are taken on some of my walks.

Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Challenge is all about relaxing this week.

Walking is my main method of relaxation. I don’t go over my lines or try to solve the world’s problems, I just enjoy the scenery and the wildlife.

Kevin Whately

Almost in the middle of this backroads trail stands this lone, tall tree, showing off its straight lines.

One tall Pine tree

It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods — trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra.

John Muir

Some more angular views on my walks:

Geometric Circles and Orbs

Angle Abstraction

We are very close to finishing the buildings here and to close out our loan, so I will soon be able to relax! Meanwhile, here are a two abstract angles of our pole barn/shop and patio. You can see a little more of the shop in the featured graphic.

Journey the Eagle Update

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on (Image by Diana G)

The family has not been seen in or near the nest since Journey was released. He looked so strong when he was released, flying high.

According to Bluebell Court Eagles hostess on Facebook, Diana G explains: “I believe Journey is ok, following his parents and learning to hunt. Eagles don’t tend to gather at this part of the lake…although that could be due to Mom and Dad chasing all away.” Another commenter on Facebook said, “Lots of eagles at the far end of the lake…we have counted 16-20 depending on when we go. Good mix of young and adults…they are probably hanging out there.”

Nature gifted these eagles with powerful instincts that we can only imagine. Perhaps it’s time to let go and trust that nature always has its way.

Busy with Dad

My 80-year old dad loves Tuolumne Meadows.

I’m sorry I missed reading some of your posts this week! My dad and step-mom were here most of the week visiting from Northern California and we had to explore and relax a little. We celebrated his 85th birthday at a family dinner, visited the Bowl and Pitcher area of the Spokane River, then off to Idaho to Post Falls. I believe they really enjoyed the socialization and the visit was good for Dad to see our new lifestyle and engage with more people.

Below is the Post Falls dam in Post Falls, Idaho. Lots of angles here!

Angles at Post Falls Dam

Images are partially inspired and shared for the following challenges:

EVERGREEN LINKS

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below is the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite evergreen photos.

Always Write

Away We Go

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Deb’s World

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Graham’s Island

Green Dreams

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Musin’ with Susan

My Forever Blog

Natalie the Explorer

One Million Photographs

Photos By Jez

Tranature

Travel With Me

Whippet Wisdom

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Be sure to check out my Sunday Stills page for August themes.

I am looking forward to seeing your posts featuring geometric lines, circles, squares and angles!

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Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Ageless and #Evergreen

In keeping with inspiration from July square trees, this week, Sunday Stills focuses on the color evergreen for the monthly color challenge.

You will remember I am now surrounded by evergreen trees, and I couldn’t be happier. Evergreen is considered a dark green and also the name we ascribe to most pine trees and other trees that stay green year-round. Also known as conifers (cone-bearing) their needles are small and waxy enabling pine trees to stay green all year long, unlike deciduous trees that lose their leaves seasonally.

Here is an example to get your creative ideas going. As we headed to Sandpoint, Idaho, we drove by this lovely spot. I love the shape of the towering sugar pines. Image enhanced with Painnt filter.

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge

This week Marsha invites us to explore “exploration!” I can’t think of too many places to explore locally that doesn’t include seeing evergreens! I found this quote and it begged to become a meme created from a previous image of mine.

quote meme exploration
Hot air balloon above the evergreens!

An orange dragonfly explored my former garden resting on the evergreen stake.

Orange dragonfly

Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.

John Muir

Come explore my backyard and neighborhood with me today…most of the evergreens you see are Ponderosa Pines.

Morning walk a block from our home

Even the Birds are Evergreen…sort of…

Some new-old pics from my archives of my sweet hummingbirds. Perhaps not truly evergreen in color, but the second one is surrounded by actual evergreens. These are my headshots for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Green hummingbird
Evergreen hummingbird

Update: Journey the Bald Eagle, An Ageless and Evergreen Story for Our Times

Journey the juvenile Bald Eagle was rescued three weeks ago when he fledged too soon due to the extreme heat here in Eastern Washington. See my post here.

Juvenile Bald Eagle, Journey Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey

Thanks to the efforts of staff at Birds of Prey Northwest, he was safely placed in a large aviary and treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration. He exercised his wings daily and once our weather “cooled,” he would be ready to fly back to the nest where his parents are waiting for him.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practicing for flight while still in his nest

Well…Friday, July 16th was the day! KREM 2 news in Spokane, WA, covered the story as Diana G of Bluebell Court Eagles (on Facebook) and Janie Veltkamp, MS, Biology, and director of BOPNW, was there to enable Journey’s first flight since he was rescued. He was launched off Diana G’s deck…

Journey’s (and Janie’s) headshot!

Eagle images are shared by Diana G with her permission.

Success!

…he flew strongly and purposely, never losing altitude, to a nearby pine tree (evergreen!) in the shade. Janie assures us that Journey will return to his nest close by, where his parents will continue to feed him and teach him to hunt!

Another dedicated volunteer of Birds of Prey Northwest, Tina Penny, shared the following images on the Facebook page, Bluebell Court Eagles. She graciously gave me permission to share them.

You can view Journey’s flight here.

https://www.krem.com/video/entertainment/places/inland-northbest/journey-the-eaglets-first-flight/293-1c1a5df4-9a73-4f41-b26d-e4630e2a1fdb

As of Saturday afternoon, we are still anxiously waiting if Journey was reunited with his nest and parents.

There are thousands of people following Journey’s story all over the world. The rescues of early fledgling birds of prey has ignited our concern for climate change and our ability to be the stewards of God’s creatures while we all inhabit Planet Earth. BOPNW reported that they have rescued over 20 raptors in the last 2-3 weeks due to the extreme heat. The organization averages 1-2 rescues a YEAR under normal weather circumstances in addition to the other work it does.

If you can, I urge you to donate to your local animal rescue organization or the Birds of Prey Northwest. Journey’s story has opened our eyes to the wonderful folks who give of their own time and resources, like Birds of Prey Northwest, to rescue and reintroduce our incredible (some endangered) raptors back into their own habitats.

And as Sheriff Andy Taylor told us last week, “But Don’t the Trees Seem Nice and Full?”

Also sharing for Lens-Artists Challenge: Getting Away

Last Week’s Links Under the Trees

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below is the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite photos under the trees. Please take a moment to visit a few, especially those new to Sunday Stills!

Thank you for reading this week! My dad just celebrated his 85th birthday and is visiting this week from Northern California for the first time! I look forward to your creative evergreen images!

Go exploring have a great week
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Sunday Stills: Under (And Over) the #Trees

suburban pine forest

Welcome back to Sunday Stills! I took a weekend break over the July 4th holiday, but I managed to publish two posts between July 2 and 7…whaaatt? I do like my once a week blogging schedule, but I enjoy mixing it up a little now and then, so thanks for reading.

Most of you know I love all types of pine trees, and finally moved to Eastern Washington last December where I am surrounded by Ponderosa pines. Having spent most of my childhood in San Diego surrounded by palm trees (which I love, by the way), my preference for pines was undoubtedly influenced by our two-year stay in Portland, Oregon. We lived on the corner of this Beaverton suburb and you can see the gorgeous view of the Sugar Pines (taken recently while there for a family memorial service).

suburban pine forest
Childhood home under the trees

While we were in the Beaverton area, we stayed in a lovely AirB&B and I discovered a wonderful suburban trail….

pathway under the trees
Suburban trail in Beaverton, OR

…That led to this pocket forest.

Suburban pocket forest

How wonderful to find a surprise forest in this neighborhood!

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

Tree images are shared for Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday and Becky B’s July Tree Squares.

I am still inviting links to Marsha’s Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays Writer’s Challenge while she is out and about exploring trees! Please link to THIS POST until next Tuesday–your choice of theme.

“But Don’t the Trees Seem Nice and Full?”

You may have read last Friday’s Bird weekly post where I shared our neighborhood eagle “Journey,” and my former home’s sweet hummingbirds. Journey, the young eagle is still being monitored at the Birds of Prey Northwest facility in nearby Couer d’Alene, Idaho, and is progressing nicely. He is housed with another adult eagle who can mentor him until he is ready to be released. The temps are still very hot, in fact record breaking for this area and time of year, so he will stay at the facility a while longer. The parents are still visiting and maintaining the nest which is a really good sign.

Partially inspired by Lisa’s Bird Weekly (common birds found in your neighborhood), I have three species of birds that can be found over and under the trees.

R-rr-rr–Raven

On my morning walks with my dogs, I take a tree-lined path off the main road. A huge family of ravens inhabit the area and seem rather tame. They are certainly not bothered by my presence even when I creep toward one to take a pic! Of course one will scold me for getting too close! Now that I know the heat caused many young birds to fledge early, perhaps they were keeping track of the fledglings (none that I saw).

High Above the Trees

Birds of prey abound here in Eastern Washington and especially in our rural area of Nine Mile Falls, 20 miles north of Spokane. On any given day one can look up…way up, and see a variety of birds circling. The best times to see them are early mornings and twilight as they search for food.

Hoping to see more eagles, I was surprised to see this particular bird, the Turkey Vulture, also seen in California, circling the skies here. They soar over 300 feet up but I got this shot with my Lumix!

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

Another busy bird around these parts is the Western Osprey, a member of the hawk family. Lately a family of three soars the morning and evening skies, often heading back and forth between the forest and the nearby Spokane River (Long Lake). The osprey has distinctive face marking, like a black mask across its eyes. A really stunning bird and fun to capture in flight with my Lumix.

Western Osprey
Western Osprey

I’m always a little worried that these huge birds might see my little dog Aero as a tasty treat, but luckily, the Osprey prefers fish while the Turkey Vulture feasts on carrion.

So what does my heading have to do with this section? Let me explain:

The quote in the heading was inspired by an old Andy Griffith TV show from the 60s starring Andy Griffith as the Mayberry, North Carolina sheriff and Ron Howard as his son Opie Taylor.

In the 1963 episode “Opie the Birdman,” Opie accidentally kills a mother bird, then he becomes a foster parent to its three orphaned nestlings and hand-raises them, naming them Winkin, Blinken and Nod. After successfully releasing the birds, Opie sadly remarks, “The cage sure looks awful empty, don’t it, Pa?

Andy Taylor replies, “Yes son, it sure does… but don’t the trees seem nice and full?”

Awwww….I love that reply and the whole episode! And isn’t that how it should be with our birds?

Join me for Sunday Stills the rest of the month:

  • July 18 Monthly Color Challenge: Evergreen (yes, more trees if you wish)
  • July 25 Geometric–think triangles, lines, squares, etc

Great Outdoors Bloggers links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors! Previously shared on last Wednesday’s Writers Quotes Wednesday, in case you missed the list.

Have a wonderful week!

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge: Writer’s Choice or Culture

Create a WQWWC Post

I took a one day break from Sunday Stills to celebrate the Independence Day holiday. My good friend Marsha is busy with her new property as they prepare to get it ready for its new AirB&B status! So I offered to return the favor to host her weekly blog feature Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge (aka) #WQWWC for her this week!

WQWWC Requirement

More About Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge

I have been participating lately…I originally misunderstood the prompt thinking it was more of a writing prompt responding to a chosen quote. Just shows you how wrong I was. Like my Sunday Stills photo challenge that has a prepared weekly theme, WQWWC also has a weekly theme. This week is writer’s choice!

If you think this is still a writer’s challenge, you would be right, sort of. As bloggers, we are all writers to some degree. Many of us focus on different types of writing, whether the subject and focus is poetry, photography, DIY, lifestyle, food, travel, and others. Most bloggers share their craft in several creative ways, combining photography with some form of writing.

Many bloggers also combine their posts into several challenges or prompts—i.e. photo, poetry, flower-of-the-day, color challenge, and more. Hot this month is Becky B’s square trees challenge. Need more inspiration? Check out Cee’s page For the Love of Challenges and click on the challenge of your choice.

If you were planning to share your trees anyway, why not search for a quote about trees?

For Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge, the sky is the limit. Especially this week as it is writer’s choice—that’s YOU, the writer.

WQWWC Suggestions

Now that you have the hang of it, let me take a moment to provide a few examples and illuminate the prompts.

Culture

As host this week, it is my sworn duty as a patriotic American to mention culture with a word or two about USA Independence Day, July 4th and what it has morphed into. While freedom and pride are the overarching themes, Americans love a party!

While many cities solemnly celebrate Independence Day with speeches, parades, and a little pomp, as it should be, most Americans are happy to have a summer holiday and blow off fireworks!

Erma Bombeck says it best…

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

Erma Bombeck

Do you have a favorite culture quote from your own country?

Writer’s Choice

From here we explore writer’s choice, so share your creativity… c’mon, you can do it! I’m back outside to enjoy water and trees.

Like Marsha, who loves to combine photo and writing challenges in her posts, I’m linking some images to other photo challenges today.

Last week, hubby spent the week traveling back to Sacramento to bring back the rest of the items in our storage unit—bicycles, BBQ, random outdoor furniture, his tools, etc. Once he was done, he celebrated by doing his favorite activity—windsurfing!

Hans Schrandt Executes Big Jump
Hubby with a Big Jump!

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

Jimmy Dean

Shared for John’s On the Water LAPC and John’s CellPic Sunday

While hubby was camping in his truck and hanging with friends in the windy and cool Sacramento delta, my dogs and I endured the record heat by rising early. At 4am I was greeted by this amazing sunrise over the ridge.

Colorful dawn in the mountains

John Muir says it best with this quote:

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

John Muir
Painnt Filter Forest
A serene walk in the forest. Image enhanced with Painnt

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

These wonderful Ponderosa pines that surround me are shared for Becky B’s squaretrees.

Now It’s Your Turn

What inspires you more, your images or quotes? Now you will be doubly inspired. Your choice or culture…maybe both?

Create a WQWWC Post

Post it on your blog and link to this post. Leave me a comment to make sure I see it. I will respond to your posts while Marsha is busy! For more information on the writer’s quotes challenge, visit Marsha’s page. Themes for the next few weeks are posted for those who love to plan in advance.

Last Week’s Freedom WQWWC Links

Marsha and I thank you for linking your freedom posts last week. Please visit if you can!

Sunday Stills is Back on July 11 with the Theme: Under the Trees

In the meantime, there is no reason for me to wait to share all the amazing Great Outdoors Bloggers links until July 11th. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors!

Have a wonderful week and thank you for linking to all the wonderful blogging prompts and challenges available.

SUPSIG

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Bird Weekly: “H” is for Hummingbird and Haliaeetus Lucocephalus

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July

Catch your attention, did I?

Since I’m not posting for Sunday Stills this weekend as we are busy with a family gathering for the Independence Day holiday, I’m sharing for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Amazingly, to satisfy the prompt for Lisa’s Bird Weekly (birds starting with letter H), the scientific moniker of the American Bald Eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

Bald Eagle Soars over Lake Couer d' Aline

Terr’s actual image of Bald Eagle flying over Lake Couer D’Alene

I originally planned to only share my Anna’s Hummingbirds seen later in the post, but the story of a juvenile bald eagle is eager to be told.

Inspired By the “Journey” of an American Bald Eagle

When I moved to Nine Mile Falls, Washington (near Spokane), I expected to see a lot of Bald Eagles. I have seen a few in my own neighborhood and I’ve managed to capture some grainy photos of some. Jonesing for a way to find and photograph eagles with my own lens, I stumbled on a Facebook group, Spokane Birders, from which I am inspired daily by wonderful images of local birds and eagles.

A local woman, Diana G, who lives a short distance away, discovered a Bald Eagle’s nest visible from her backyard and has been taking incredible photographs of the adult pair and their newly hatched juvenile eagle, dubbed “Journey.” She shares her gorgeous photos of these eagles and other birds on Spokane Birders, but as her images of eagles grew in popularity due to a slew of newspaper articles and local newscasts, she created a Facebook group called Bluebell Court Eagles.

Diana has graciously given me permission to use some of her amazing photos to share more about the Bluebell Court Eagles and their “Journey!”

It starts with the Bluebell Court Eagles preparing their nest.

A Baby Eaglet is hatched in early April!

Journey Matures!

As Journey prepares to fledge, the heat is on right now in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are as much as 30 degrees higher than normal for late June. Many juvenile birds are fledging early and bird parents are extra vigilant (we hope)!

Videos and images of him flapping his wings and hopping to higher branches of the nest to beat the heat had us cheering him on as he strengthens his wings for his first flight. Until…

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on

…he disappeared from the nest! “He likely fledged,” reported Diana G. This poignant image shows mom in the nest looking in vain for Journey, and panting from the heat.

BlueBell Court Eagles Diana Gigler
Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler

On June 28, Journey indeed fledged too soon due to the extreme heat and safely fluttered to the ground. A nearby neighbor found Journey in her backyard and reported to someone who supplied her with the contact for Birds of Prey Northwest in St Maries, Idaho, near Coeur D’Alene.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
I’m safe in the loving hands of Birds of Prey NW

A volunteer reported they rescued Journey and successfully rehydrated him and intend to care for him until he can fly back to the nest next week.

Journey’s journey continues…please stay tuned.

More About Birds of Prey Northwest

This 28-year old non-profit is dedicated to rescuing and releasing birds of prey here in the Northwest. The organization received many donations as a result of following Journey’s story on Facebook. An even more incredible story is the how the talents of its staff rescued and rehabilitated Beauty, a bald eagle that was shot in Alaska and left for dead. The gunshot wound destroyed her upper beak. Not to be deterred, the talented staff used science and technology to create a 3-D printed beak used as a prosthesis to save Beauty from a senseless fate.

Here is Beauty’s story…better get a tissue handy! Read here HOW SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND A 3D-PRINTED BEAK RESCUED A BALD EAGLE.

I’m not kidding when I learned this organization is thee place for rescuing birds of prey!

Why the American Bald Eagle Symbolizes Freedom

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July
Colored by me via ColorPlanet

The U.S. Bald eagle, (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), is the only eagle solely native to North America, and the national bird of the United States.

The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent. The eagle represents freedom.

source

“The power and autonomy of the eagle in the air makes it a symbol of unrestrained freedom.”

Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, a professor of veterinary medicine and anthropology at Tufts University
Freedom quote Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
original image ©Diana Gigler

Freedom quotes are shared for Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays. I will be hosting WQW on July 7 while Marsha takes care of some business! Next week’s theme is Writers’ Choice or Culture.

Small But Also Mighty

Annas Hummingbirds are typically found in the Western US and migrate South in cold winter months. My hummer families lived in our former Sacramento home all year ’round.

These first two Annas Hummingbird pictures were taken at my Dad’s home in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

FLoating hummingbird
Floating to the feeder
Annas Hummingbird
All mine!
Male Allen Hummingbird
This perched hummingbird nested in our California Redwood Trees in Sacramento. Sharing for Becky B’s July Squares: Trees

“H” is also for HERO, recognizing citizens and volunteers who care for our creatures during extreme weather conditions, injury and beyond. And as we celebrate US Independence Day, please remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Thank you to those who are serving now.

Are you crazy about eagles? Visit Tofino Photography. His images of eagles are a sight to behold.

Remember, Sunday Stills takes a one week break on July 4th. Won’t you join me as I host Writers’ Quotes Wednesday on July 7th as I stand in for Marsha at Always Write? There I will share all the Sunday Stills links from The Great Outdoors! We’ll be back on July 11 with the Sunday Stills theme of “Under the Trees.”

Stay safe and cool!

Bitmoji Birding

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Sunday Stills: Are You Ready for the Great #Outdoors?

Walking dogs on a trail

As you read last week, the northern hemisphere experienced the summer solstice and people are heading for the great outdoors. According to the US National Park Service and National Today, June is Great Outdoors Month. There are still 4 days left in June to get outdoors and of course, that door is still open next month and all year long!

I wanted to title this post: “Can you handle the great outdoors after a pandemic?” But no, enough about it! While some countries still struggle with vaccinating its populace, here in the US, most of us are out and about with few restrictions. Make no mistake, Covid is still floating around, so stay safe if you find yourself around a crowd of people.

“During Great Outdoors Month, I encourage all Americans to explore our Nation’s beautiful outdoor spaces. As we enjoy the great outdoors — from national parks to our own backyards — let us rededicate ourselves to conserving our Nation’s natural spaces for our own well-being, and for the health, safety, prosperity, and fulfillment of generations to come.”

US President Joseph Biden

Ways to Celebrate “Great Outdoors” Month and Beyond

Take a Vacation!

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is prime vacation time. Join Marsha at Always Write for her weekly feature Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge, where “vacation” is the theme. I commented back with now that I am retired, every day feels like a vacation. Hard to get used to but I’m managing!

“A vacation helps to relieve stress and boredom, gives us a change of scenery, provides us with adventure, and helps to bring us closer to the people in our lives.”

E. S. Woods

“Life’s short. Eat dessert first, work less and vacation MORE!!”

Lea Mishell
Breakfast in Waikiki

I enjoyed my first Hawaiian breakfast outdoors on the lanai of our beach-front hotel in Waikiki (Oahu) in January 2006.

Enjoy Backyard Birding!

Join a birding or photography group. I follow Spokane Birders on Facebook but I hope to find some fellow local birders to learn more about birds in the area.

Backyard Birdwatching
Anna Hummingbird

“Bird watching is now North America’s second most popular outdoor activity (second only to gardening).”

Bernd Brunner

Hike a Trail!

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

John Muir

Over Memorial Day weekend, we got to take my daughter and boyfriend on an easy hike to a local area along the Spokane River called the Bowl and Pitcher, in Riverside State Park, just minutes from our new home. Large blocks of basaltic rock lie in and above the Spokane River in the formation of the bowl (right) and pitcher (left).

Walk the dogs. Another trail, just 100 yards from our house, is a great place to walk the dogs. With this heat wave, we get up early to accomplish this!

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau
Walking dogs on a trail
This tree-lined path is a prequel to Becky B’s July Squares

Stop to smell a flower. Remember the earlier quote about gardening being the number one outdoor activity? Plant a garden or simply admire flowers and plants. Sharing for Cees’ Flower of the Day.

More Ways to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month and Beyond

In your backyard or neighborhood
Throw a block party. Grill in your backyard. Start or join a walking club. Relax and read a book on your porch.

In public lands...go camping. Plan a picnic. Swim, kayak, or boat on an ocean, lake, or river. Go fishing.

Visit a National Park!

Painnted Half Dome
View of Yosemite’s Half Dome from Glacier Point

In case you REALLY need ideas, visit 125 Ways to Celebrate Nature!

Hot Blogger Links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite sunrise and sunset photos as we celebrated the solstice. Please visit a few when you get the chance and welcome three bloggers as they share their posts for the first time at Sunday Stills!

Be sure to visit my Sunday Stills page for July’s themes. There is no challenge for July 4 as I celebrate Independence Day. But I will see you for Lisa’s Bird Weekly challenge on July 2. Get outdoors and be safe!

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Sunday Stills: A Solstice #Sunrise-Sunset

Sunday, June 20th marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. What a perfect week to show off our sunrises and sunsets!

But First, The Solstice!

If being celestial two weeks ago wasn’t enough “geek” for you science buffs, let’s talk about the solstice.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”), because at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) pauses at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.

Wikipedia

It’s hard to believe we will lose two minutes of daylight a day in the northern hemisphere for the next six months as we head into Autumn and Winter. As the southern hemisphere experiences their winter solstice Monday, folk down-under will gradually see two extra minutes of daylight each day.

After years of living in both Southern and Northern California, I got used to summer nights lasting until 8:45pm or so, with first light around 5:30am. One year I spent the 4th of July celebration with my Dad in the town of Alturas, in the most northeast corner of California. The fireworks didn’t start until 10:30pm when it finally got dark! As much as I thought that was impressive, Spokane (Nine Mile Falls), WA, sees 16 hours of official daylight on the summer solstice.

Image screenshot from Weather Underground App

You can google more information here if you are interested in seeing your own daylight hours.

There is also something called “Civil Twilight,” where light begins or remains in the sky before the sun rises or sets. Spokane’s begins as early as 4:10am and the light in the sky ends at 9:35pm, that’s about 6.5 hours of darkness. I know many of you live in more northern latitudes (Alaska, Canada, Sweden, etc) and it would be interesting to know what your sunset time will be on the solstice.

For you in the southern latitudes, what time did the sun go down on this cold winter day?

The construction crew is slowly building the polebarn/shop. This was taken at 10:00 pm a few days ago. Still a lot of light in the sky, enough to hide the stars.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

John Steinbeck

And so the world turns.

Now that all the science is out of the way, how do you celebrate the solstice? In my world, and for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme, we will simply enjoy sharing our favorite sunrises and sunsets.

The Heat is On

Similar to our experience with the summer solstice is the heat that comes with enjoying what summer brings. Marsha at Always Write challenges us this week with “heat” for her Writers Quotes Wednesday Writers Challenge. Marsha has a series of hilarious quotes you don’t want to miss. I found a few of my own to share. But I thought this one seemed appropriate since we just read about daylight hours.

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

“Dear weather, stop showing off… We know you’re HOT!!!”
“I’m glad it’s finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is.”

Authors Unknown
Weathered sun

And with Summer’s Heat Comes…

To me sunflowers are a wonderful representation of all things “sun.”

red gold sunrise sunflower

The sunflower’s name comes from its tendency to reposition itself to face the sun. It’s genus, Helianthus, is rooted in two Greek words — “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower. Here is really great article about sunflowers if you want more information…

I miss my sunflowers, the ones I planted from seeds back in my former home in Sacramento. I spent hours taking photos over three summers. I even got great close-ups of bees seeking pollen!

As I’ve mentioned before, I now live in Eastern Washington where sunflowers and their close cousins, coneflowers, grow wild on our property among the pine trees and lupines.

As always, my sunflowers are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Ready for Some Sunrises?

It has been a few years since we visited Baja Sur, Mexico. We typically went in late December and early January. Sunrise was at 7:00 a.m. and I made sure I set my alarm to enjoy the spectacular sunrises over the Sea of Cortez. A real treat to see the sunrise over the ocean instead of the sunset expected on the US West Coast over the Pacific Ocean.

Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
A sunrise brings a new day and a renewed chance of happiness.

How About Some Sunsets?

A sunset over the Sacramento River Delta never failed to inspire.

Clouds and waves combined with a sunset provide lovely textures in nature

After a warm, windy session windsurfing, sometimes a sunset sail is the most memorable.

Summer Sun sets on windsurfer getting the last bits of wind.

“Wind is God’s way of balancing heat.”

Author Unknown

Or how about a sunset in the Yosemite high country?

Half light of Tuolumne Meadows sunset

Turn around and even better, alpenglow appears on the opposite horizon from the setting sun!

Alpenglow Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows
Unlike the direct sunlight around sunrise or sunset, the light that causes alpenglow is reflected off airborne precipitation, ice crystals, or particulates in the lower atmosphere. source

A look at my world during the summer. Linking to Lens-Artists challenge “World.”

In case you need ideas, consider sharing anything anything related to sunrises and sunsets: sunflowers, glow, lighthouse, brilliance, alpenglow, dusk, twilight, dawn, rooster crowing, Stonehenge, stone circles, sun god, ancient myths, etc.

In the Pink Blogger Links

Color challenges seem to be waayyy popular! Bloggers shared 17 links just on Sunday alone with a grand total of 33 by Saturday! Thank you for your continuing support and I hope to see a lot more for this week’s prompt!

I am also “sharing my snaps” over at Denyse Whelan’s blog this Monday!

I’ll sign off with this image of me from 2019 enjoying a very boozy sunset Mai Tai at the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego in Fall 2019.

Terri enjoying a beverage at Bali Hai

Next week, we explore the Great Outdoors (June is Great Outdoors month somewhere). I will share a sneak peak perspective of Becky B’s July Squares: Trees.

Enjoy the solstice and have a wonderful week ahead!

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Sunday Stills Color Challenge: A Portland Summer in #Pink

Painnted Rose
SS Banner Color

Welcome to the Sunday Stills Monthly Color challenge this week!

June’s color is any shade of pink.

“Pink is a beautiful color, because it is one of the colors that the sun makes at twilight and in the dawns.”

C. JoyBell

Depending on where you live geographically, you may be experiencing shades of pink all around you as we near summer here in the northern hemisphere. If the color pink escapes you in nature now, I’m sure your photo archives are full of pinks. And who needs nature to see pink, right?

Since summer is basically here, it’s time for water sports and I won’t be caught dead (poor pun, I know) without my pink life vests. More about water in a minute.

Security dressed in pink!

Before I begin sharing examples of pink, I’m joining Marsha from Always Write for her weekly feature WQW Writer’s Challenge. This week’s quotes focus on summer. Nothing says summer like the image above, or this quote:

Roses quote

Portland’s Parade of Pink

Portland, Oregon, is home to the Portland International Rose Test Garden. It has been a few years since I visited, but the gardens are stunning. Roses really love the climate and in fact, Portland is known as “the City of Roses.”

Last week we spent the weekend in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland, Oregon to gather with my cousin and our family as she put her beloved husband to rest. We stayed in an Airbnb in the Highland area and I had the chance to take a walk through this gorgeous neighborhood. It was a bit overcast so the various lush shades of green made the pink pop even more so! Please enjoy my gallery of pink roses and other pink florals.

I was THISCLOSE to visiting my blogger pal Cee but we didn’t have time. These florals are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge.

My mom’s birthday was this week (June 9th). She would have been 81. Turns out she shares her birthday with blogger Anne Leueen of Horse Addict! Anne shares her spot-on thoughts on aging and I miss my mom every day. My mom wanted to be healthy and she strove for an active lifestyle. But RA and dementia took their toll and she passed in March 2020. Before we sold mom’s house last August, my daughter attempted to rescue her beloved roses.

Mom's last rose

Sadly, the two plants did not survive our trip north. I intend to plant some roses in her honor once we figure out our backyard landscape plan.

As I continued my walk, I found the opening to the suburban trails that so uniquely define the Beaverton-Tigard neighborhoods. I happened along a youth baseball game in progress and stood for a moment to watch youth playing, as proud parents watched the game. Even this mom was in a pink mood to go watch her child play baseball!

Walking to the game
Wearing pink for the game!

I’m pleased to share this post for Denyse’s Life This Week Link-up!

Summer Hummer

Inspired by Lisa’s Bird Weekly challenge, at the 11th hour, I found a freckled hummingbird in my archives, interestingly surrounded in pink.

freckled hummingbird

No editing here (other than crop and exposure), just a trick of my camera and lighting I suppose!

Closer to Home

I felt I was in heaven on Memorial Day as we took the eight-minute drive to Tumtum, a lakeside resort area that sits on the oxbow of the Spokane River, dammed on either side to create Long Lake. This was our first time paddling in Washington waters and on my brand-new inflatable pinkish-purple SUP. Hans got in on the action, too, as we took turns watching the dogs.

Isn’t it a relief to see the world getting back to normal?

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

I hope you had as much fun posting your celestial images as I had to see them all. Many mentioned that this was quite the challenge but we had 19 links to the theme. Celestial moments in blog land indeed! Please take a moment and visit two or three if you haven’t already. Reminder, each week I share your posts on the following week’s post, so please link to my post by Saturday 5pm to make it onto the list!

Out of This World Bloggers!

Next week’s theme is “sunrise or sunset” as we celebrate the solstice. Did you notice that the solstice could be considered a celestial event and many sunrises/sunsets are pink? Cornfused? No worries, have fun, and have a wonderful week!

sign off banner

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Sunday Stills: Being #Celestial

I’ve always been fascinated by cosmic events, the night sky and constellations, moonrises, comets, and meteor showers. Years ago I witnessed the Space EX launch that we saw in the skies over San Diego.

SpaceX Launch
SpaceX Launched 10 satellites into space from Southern California

The Northern hemisphere reached meteorological summer this week and in light of the recent full lunar eclipse, our Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is “celestial.”

Definitions of Celestial

The Oxford Dictionary defines celestial as positioned in or relating to the sky, or outer space as observed in astronomy. Other synonyms to get you thinking include: supremely good, heavenly, holy, celestial being (aka angels), sky, otherworldly, unearthly, blissful, ethereal, spiritual, supernatural…

For Marsha’s Writer’s Quote Wednesdays, I submit this quote for this month’s writer’s choice…shall we say celestial?

“Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.”

Michelangelo

Cosmic Events

Last year, we got a glimpse of comet Neowise on a dark night in the delta. It was just a vague smudge which was a remarkable sight. But as I looked again to show someone else, I saw the light of the international space station juxtaposed against it in its orbit. I almost fell over with delight!

Trust me when I say I will do what it takes to get my camera ready for an eclipse which is what you see in this image from Instagram. I took this shot at 4:15am, and it was already getting light outside. I saw better lunar eclipses posted, but I’m happy with it. Some of you already saw this on Instagram and Facebook.

Being Celestial All Week

While my daughter visited over the Memorial Day Weekend, I looked to the skies for inspiration. They did not disappoint.

A hot air balloon flies low over Spokane neighborhood…seen from my brother-in-law’s deck!

In downtown Spokane’s Riverfront Park, old meets new under the skyway as the iron sculpture of the Salmon Chief seeks a blessing for his catch. The Spokane River’s lower falls that run through the downtown area were a fishing spot for native Americans for thousands of years. This sculpture was created by Colville Reservation native Virgil Marchand.

In the same area, the remaining skeletal structure of the Pavilion, built for the 1974 World’s Fair, lends an otherworldly sight to downtown Spokane.

Wild sunflowers at home reach for the setting sun in their celestial quest.

Sharing these ArrowLeaf Balsamroots for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Cosmic Songs of Galaxies

Celestial events are popular inspiration recorded in pop music. According to Spinditty, there are 134 songs relating to astronomy.

Recognize any of these? I was greatly influenced by the 60s-70s generation of music that spoke so eloquently of the cosmos. (By the way, due to copyright infringement concerns, I’ve only published snippets of the lyrics of each song).

“And all that is now and all that is gone
And all that’s to come and everything under the sun is in tune,
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.”

Pink Floyd

“When the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets, And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius…

The Fifth Dimension

“Once upon a time there was light in my life, but now there’s only love in the dark
Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart.”

Bonnie Tyler

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control, I’m stepping through the door. And I’m floating in a most peculiar way, and the stars look very different today.

David Bowie

Celestial images captured by our lenses spark the imaginations of what really lies beyond.

When Celestial Becomes Infernal and Funereal

Despite recently installing satellite internet, I crafted part of my post this week without internet. High winds messed with our dish, then the 4G mobile network was intermittent due to excessive heat this week. I could have sworn we moved to Northeastern Washington but it feels like we are still in Sacramento if the weather is any indication. The very antithesis of the meaning of celestial.

As you read this today, we are traveling by car from Portland, Oregon, back to Spokane. My family traveled from far and wide to attend the celebration of life for my cousin’s husband, who passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago. Though the circumstances were solemn and sad, we know he rests in peace with our Heavenly Father. In our grief, we managed to enjoy seeing everyone in person since before Covid. Nice to be among my fellow vaccinated family.

“The Ancients often believed a celestial event like an eclipse to be a bad omen, that the sun or the moon vanishing from the sky was a harbinger of disaster, a sign of devastation or destruction to come.”

Jenna Wortham

Hmmm, food for thought. Nothing surprises me now that we have experienced a pandemic first hand.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below is the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite vacation photos. And with that…

Blogger Links from May 23: Favorite Vacation Spot

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to reading your creative choices for CELESTIAL!

Camera graphic

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Sunday Stills: Favorite #Vacation Spot

Sunday Still banner vacation

To wrap up the month of May at Sunday Stills, let’s share our favorite vacation spots. As more of the world gets vaccinated against Covid-19, masks are coming off and the world is opening up! Hallelujah!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

John Muir

This week, I am sharing my favorite vacation images from my archives. Now, some of you world travelers, like Sarah, will have to choose your favorites, (aren’t they all though?).

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

Seneca

While you think of your favorite vacation spots, remember why we take vacations. In my retired world, every day seems like Saturday and I’ve been on a perpetual vacation for a few months. But think of a vacation in broader terms, like leisure and travel, and how they are all connected. My point (finally) is this: How do the concepts of leisure, vacation, and travel make you feel? Would you say that these words invoke healing when you experience their manifestation?

According to Marsha at Always Write, her newest WQWWW (Writer’s Quote Wednesday) is “healing” and I suggest this is what time off does for us in the form of a vacation, leisure time in a hobby or physical activity, or travel! This quote speaks volumes:

“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Join me as I share my galleries of trips down memory lane and hum along to the song titles. I apologize in advance for any earworms created. You will notice how many of my favorite vacation spots feature the colors blue and green, which ties in nicely to Tina’s Lens-Artists challenge this week!

I Left My Heart in … a US National Park

“Within National Parks is room–glorious room–room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve.”

Enos Mills

My family spent a LOT of time visiting national parks, notably Yosemite and Sequoia, since they were in California. Last July, I spent a couple of hours in Sequoia with Marsha, when she lived 30 minutes away in Central California.

Down In Mexico

“Never underestimate the healing power of these three things – music, the ocean and the stars.”

Unknown

My windsurfing husband dragged me to Baja, Mexico three times to the La Paz area. In nearby La Ventana is incredible windsurfing and kite boarding. I took my turns windsurfing in the Sea of Cortez as well as some stand-up paddling. A great vacation spot!

California Dreamin’

“Nature itself is the best physician.”

Hippocrates

Because I lived in California most of my life, I spent the first 20 years in San Diego and the rest in Sacramento (Northern California). On two San Diego vacations, I met fellow blogger, Janis, for lunch twice, and one lunch there with Liesbet, who I met in Sacramento! Since 2009, my vacations consisted of summer weekends at the Sacramento River Delta, with occasional visits to Yosemite. It has been my goal to stand-up paddle on every significant body of water on vacations!

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of the trees.“

Anthony William

Arizona was and still is a winter vacation choice. Not only did we meet fellow blogger, Ingrid and her husband in North Phoenix two years in a row, my brother and recently my stepdaughter now live in the Phoenix area. Winter roadtrip 2022 is in the works!

Blue Hawaii

“Leisure, some degree of it, is necessary to the health of every man’s spirit.”

Harriet Martineau

I’ve been lucky to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 with the goal to fix up and sell my husband’s house on the Hilo side. The house is dilapidated and needs work that we just cannot do at this time in our lives. This year we will make final arrangements for its sale. During these weeks, we did manage to do a bit of relaxing and exploring after taking care of the home. Hilo is not the tourist mecca like Kona is, but it serves as the county seat where most of the government infrastructure is housed. Hilo is also the wettest city in the US. In 2018 we visited Volcanoes National Park before the last eruption took place. In 2019, I got to visit the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens with fellow blogger, Graham. We had a blast taking tons of photos!

Viva Las Vegas

“Life’s short. Eat dessert first, work less and vacation MORE!!”

Lia Mishell

Las Vegas, Nevada is known for its casinos and nightlife. It’s also a great place for winter RV camping. In 2018, our winter roadtrip to the Southwest was cut short by unseasonable cold and snow, so we high-tailed it to Las Vegas as our last stop and enjoyed a pleasant week. Unable to visit Antelope Canyon that borders southern Utah and northern Arizona, we stumbled on the Valley of Fire State Park just an hour northeast of Las Vegas. I still got my slot canyon fix and plenty of hiking! In 2018, we met up with fellow blogger Maria, formerly of Sagittarius Viking, still on Instagram.

I sum up my vacation experience thus far with this meme I created when I was teaching leisure education and management at Sacramento State University. These surfboards were situated at a windsurf resort. I took the picture and added this thought to help make the point about taking time off of work or other obligations and enjoying leisure time!

Sorry, couldn’t make it…had a mandatory board meeting.

You Are My Home

“Come to the woods for here is rest.“

John Muir

One year ago almost to the day (May 2020), my husband and I stood together on our property for the first time.

Happy on our half acre

We’ve come a long way in one year, figuratively and literally! We are moved in and enjoying everything that goes along with building! All during a pandemic, no less.

New mfg home

Our vacation of choice in 2021 will be a “staycation” since we are new to our home and hoping people visit us as we continually move in. Will the unpacking and getting everything just right never end?

If camping in an RV counts as a vacation, then our 2-month stay in North Spokane RV Park was quite lovely despite winter/early spring-living while we waited for our home to be ready.

Like this Canada Goose family enjoying their home near a local lake, we expect to enjoy all the area has to offer. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Canada Geese Family

We plan to take some local overnight and weekend trips to the German/Bavarian town of Leavenworth; the Columbia River Gorge near Mt Hood, Oregon—motivated by windsports; and Sandpoint, Idaho; and beyond.

I know several bloggers who live near these areas, so lets meet up when the time is right!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

June Themes are on my Sunday Stills Photography Page

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…

Good Gray Matter in these Blogger’s Links

I am looking forward to seeing your favorite places where you vacation and relax! Speaking of relaxing, Sunday Stills is taking a break next Sunday as my family celebrates a long Memorial Day weekend. See you in June and have a great week!

SUPSIG

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: May #Gray

Slender Snake Cotton

Welcome to the Sunday Stills monthly color challenge! This month’s theme is gray. I chose gray, because, a) I’m running out of interesting colors, and b) I recall years of gray days during the month of May growing up in my home town of San Diego. Marine fog typically rolls in between May and July during the evening and morning hours, burning off by mid-day.

Southern Californians dubbed May as “May Gray,” hence the name of my post. But I’m featuring a variety of gray images so please be as creative as you wish for the color challenge.

“Gray is the queen of colors because she makes everyone else look good.”

Helen Van Wyk, artist and writer

This quote is inspired by Marsha’s Writers Quote Wednesdays, and helps define how we appreciate beauty. As the color gray is often found in nature, haven’t you noticed how much more colors pop against a backdrop of gray clouds? Or in the above image, the light gray snake cotton weed brings out the best of the purple lupine.

Grays Made by Humans

Various shades of gray offer pleasing neutral tones and a popular choice for home interior paint colors.

The gray walls in my new home take on varying shades depending on the light. The new wall decorations reflect gray and wood tones. Even our pole barn/garage currently under construction shows varying shades of gray in the evening sunlight!

Other architecture like bridges lend themselves to shades of gray.

Grays Made by Nature

Mother Nature works closely with time to create granite monoliths that can be found in National Parks and other preservation areas of the world.

Then there are the small things…

Grays Combined

Sometimes, nature and made-made materials combine to make beautiful pairs to highlight the gray and the subject matter. This graceful Snake Cotton weed grows within the stark, man-made dark-gray gravel surrounding areas of our property. These delicate weeds create a light gray patina amongst the variety of weeds and wildflowers.

Another favorite photo is this one of the “twin” dandelion, taken at my former home.

Flowers twinned

A misty spring sunset looks particularly idyllic as colors pop against the gray mist and wet asphalt.

Florals submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Where can you find gray this time of year? Show us in your images, stories, music, poetry and other creative ideas. And don’t be fooled by the post title, gray does not have to occur in May to be shared for this color challenge.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Blogger Links for Weather

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I will share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…enjoy the weather from their perspectives!

Next week we look at your favorite vacations spots! There will be no challenge on May 30 during Memorial Day weekend as I enjoy my daughter’s visit for the first time! Have a wonderful week!

Camera graphic

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: #Weathering Memories

Strange Cloud

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is all about weather, which can be quite unpredictable during the spring in the Northern Hemisphere as well as the fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

This week, our weather warmed up to 80 degrees on Thursday then it rained overnight! Strange even for the Pacific North West. After a cool, windy day on Friday, we woke up Saturday to frosty conditions. Four distinct weather conditions in two days!

Lets take a look at the the kinds of weather we can expect in May. First up is the creepiest cloud formation I have ever seen. Hubby and I sat in our backyard enjoying the evening and these clouds started developing into…a face? A skull? Egads! It looks creepier in black and white!

Remembering other days of turbulent weather, out of a clear blue sky, spring thunderclouds appear and chase our cars or block our views of Yosemite’s Half Dome!

I’m more used to the beautiful spring storms we would see in the Sacramento Delta.

Thunderstorm

Those same delta spring storms are a mere preview to a windsurfer’s dream day in high winds!

Windsurfer getting some air
Windsurfer getting some air

Unexpected snow falls in desert places (Sedona on the left) or makes a late spring hike in the mountains slightly unmanageable.

On the flip side, too much sun over a long period of time can create devastating drought conditions, like what we experienced in Sacramento 6 years ago.

Dry Park during droubt

Even the Birds are Confused

Speaking of weather, these sunny days warm the land around our property and create thermals that attract the nearby nesting Violet-Green Swallows. They dart and fly at breakneck speeds feasting on insects. For Lisa’s bird weekly, I’m sharing this perky swallow with attitude perched on top of my husband’s truck.

The other day, we found a swallow trapped in our wood stove, having flown into the tiny space of the rooftop smokestack. Luckily my dog’s frantic barking alerted us to the dilemma. Of course I rescued it and took a photo op! She flew away quite vigorously and seemed no worse for the wear. Yesterday, as we continued to watch their flitting antics, my dog kept barking at the BBQ grill. Yep, I opened the cover and out flew another swallow!

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays

Have you heard of Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays feature? This week is our choice, so I thought I would hop in with a quote about weather from one of my favorite writers, John Muir.

“What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm!”

John Muir, Stickeen

Behind the Artwork Details, Part 2

Last week, to celebrate the theme of water, I shared some information about the Thomas Mangelsen Snake River print hanging in my dining room.

The other two pieces are framed prints purchased in Placerville, California, near my former home in Sacramento. Placerville is home to a popular, long-standing Thomas Kinkade art gallery, a beloved local Christian artist and painter, who passed away in 2012. He was best known as the “Painter of Light,” depicting whimsical cottages, magical streetscapes, mountain churches and idyllic landscapes. He also painted scenes from around Northern California, instantly recognizable by locals.

Memories My Mom Made

Since Mother’s Day is celebrated in the US today, I wanted to share more about how I came by these prints.

Dining room

Back when my mom could travel, she visited me in the early-2000s and we took a drive to walk the quaint streets of Placerville. We stopped in at the Kinkade gallery and gawked at the lovely prints and originals. Of course, most originals and many framed prints were out of my price range, but we saw a two-piece framed set that included the two smaller prints you see. One is of the pink cherry blossoms, a fantasy-scape for which Kinkade is so well known. The smallest print is a snow scene of the American River that runs along Highway 50 that leads from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe.

Kinkade American River
Snow Along the American River, Thomas Kinkade

Believe me when I tell you, I have driven by this scene countless times over the last 40 years during every season. As I oohed and ahhed, my sweet mom, lover of art, bought the set for me. She had some money saved and said it was a gift to me. One that I will forever cherish especially now that she is gone. This is my second Mother’s Day without Mom and my first without my Mother-in-law who passed in February.

Nature’s Garden

With capricious weather conditions here in Eastern Washington, wildflowers can be found everywhere, including our bare backyard. We have lived in our new home for almost two months. As we await the pole barn/shop to be built soon, landscaping our property is a distant project.

I really miss my sunflower, hydrangea and plumeria plants, which were grown and nurtured from seeds. The plumeria and hydrangeas were rehomed where they will thrive. For now I can enjoy what nature provides in the way of wildflowers on our property. Surprisingly, for a half-acre of nothing but sandy dirt, these wildflowers manage to pop up everywhere.

You have seen the Arrowleaf Balsamroot before (aka sunflowers), but just this week, the gorgeous Silky Lupine (a similar species grew in Yosemite) and Carpet Flox are popping up and adding purple and white spots of color to the forest floor and to my dirt yard!

Sharing my wild, Alpine garden this week for Amy’s Lens-Artist Challenge: Gardens. And for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I will share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…we had 26 link-ups this week and two new bloggers to Sunday Stills. I enjoy reading each and every post!

Cascade of Blogger Links for Water

What kind of weather are you expecting and what is your favorite? Some of us are getting it all this month! I look forward to seeing the weather in your neck of the woods. Have a great week!

my signature w/ hibiscus

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com