“Signs”

My goodness!  It’s been a few weeks since I posted last.

It’s been an incredibly busy time with various other activities claiming my attention.  But I’ve missed blogging.  So, I return with the most recent photography assignment with the topic of “Signs.”  Two of them you may recognize from previous fairly recent blogging posts.

Oh well.  Some are worth repeating, right?

These are my four submissions:

Signs #1 – (taken a month ago)

I thought I’d start my submissions with this piece…..er, tree with peace.

 

IMG_3921

 

**********

 

Signs #2 – (taken in March 2017)

Someone was being creative and having a sense of fun!

If you like, you can see my original blog post with it here to read more about where I discovered this sign.

 

IMG_2823

 

**********

 

Signs #3 – (taken in April 2017)

As some of you may know, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday recently – 11 days ago – and there were things that popped up here and there even months before the big day…..to get people into that birthday spirit.

I’m sure some of you will recognize the wrapper for a familiar chocolate treat. When I saw this on the convenience store shelf, I couldn’t resist! Haha!

Yep…..I gobbled it up. Right after I took the picture. 🙂

 

 

IMG_6878

 

**********

 

And to finish off, here is another one with a touch of humour….to give you a chuckle.

It seems this one is always a bit of a favourite!

Signs #4 – (taken Nov. 2014)

This facetious sign is posted above the washrooms area at The Cove Country Inn in Westport, Ontario, Canada. I was there one evening to go see some friends of mine giving a smaller and intimate concert there. Lovely time!

And, as well, if you would like to read the original blog post which featured this photo, you can find it here .

 

Men to the left because Women.....my photo Nov. 8, 2014

 

 

Three Birds and a Chipmunk

Last week’s assignment for my photography group was the theme of “Animals.”

It wasn’t until I had picked the final four and had written captions for each one, that I noticed that the majority were birds.  Haha!  And one solitary chipmunk.

So, here they are:

Animals #1 –  A swan looking comfortable and foraging in the grass on the banks of a pond that’s part of the huge expansive property of the Linderhof Palace in Bavaria (formerly one of King Ludwig II’s residences).

 

IMG_5506

 

**********

 

Animals #2 –  On a hike along the Weitach river in Augsburg-Inningen, among a variety of water birds, my friend, Toni, showed me the nest of this Eurasian Coot family that he’s been observing on his daily walks there.
It was fun to see the babies poking their heads from beneath mama coot’s warm feathery embrace; one of the babies ended up following dad’s coaxing call into the water.
Also, I love how the colourful heads of the ducklings contrast and “jump out” compared to the more “formal” colouring of grey, black, and white of the parents.

(Note:  I had posted a lengthier story with photos on this coot family; find it here ).

 

IMG_5558

 

**********

 

Animals #3 – It seems that I took predominantly bird photos on my recent trip to Germany. Haha! Here’s one of a grey heron that I observed for a good length of time as it hung around the Nagold river by the village of Underreichenbach.  At one point it flew up to the top of the train bridge, and that’s where I captured this one.
When it first flew up there, it had twigs in its beak, so I’m assuming it was working on a nest? I particularly like this pose.

 

IMG_4917

 

**********

 

Animals #4 –  And here’s the chipmunk!  Recognize it from this recent post ?

This photo was taken up at a cottage near White Lake. There’s a resident chipmunk who decided  that the scent of my fresh untouched apple – MY lunch snack – was too irresistible and fair game for sharing. I had put my purse on the front porch with a slight opening…..not really thinking more about it. And along came Chippy! Poked its upper body into the purse opening….scratched up some fresh apple, sat up on its haunches, munched with gusto, and always kept a keen, curious eye directed at me. Did this several times. Haha!

 

IMG_2292

 

 

Let there be purple!

Happy News!

Referring to my recent post regarding the photography assignment on the topic of “Moving Water,”  my photo of the fountain frog spouting water was picked to be displayed on the group’s page banner.  That’s for the duration of a week.  So exciting!

And now this week’s assignment is called, “Purple.

So, here are my four submissions with purple in them.

 

Purple #1 – (Taken two days ago) One of my HUGE favourites in terms of colour and scent – after all, purple in spring! – Lilacs in my garden.

I like the combination of open blooms alongside unopened buds, both in two tones of purple.

 

IMG_2243 (2)

 

**********

 

Purple #2 – (Archived Dec. 2015) When a girlfriend and I went to see a concert at the NAC (National Arts Centre) in Ottawa. This is the view before the show started, and I loved all the purple accents via the lights to be seen on stage.

 

Photography; Dec. 12, 2015 my original to copy to FB

 

**********

 

Purple #3 – (Archived; July 2016) After a wedding catering job, there were table centre-pieces that were left behind, so I had an opportunity to snap some shots of the purple orchids set off so prettily among the white hydrangea blooms.

 

Photography; July 10, 2016 my original to copy for FB

 

**********

 

Purple #4 – (Archived; July 2015) Some raspberry and blackberry plants went a bit wild in one corner of our backyard. Took the picture first….and THEN gobbled up some delectable berries! 🙂

 

Photography; July 22, 2015 my original to copy to FB

 

 

“Moving Water”

Yay!  An opportunity to participate in this week’s photography assignment with the topic being “Moving Water.”

The following were my four submissions:

Moving Water #1 – (taken over a week ago) Fascinating circular sprinkler action in the garden of a swanky hotel in the Black Forest that my uncle showed me at my recent visit to Germany.

 

IMG_6366 (2)

 

**********

 

Moving Water #2 – (Archived from May 2016, Copenhagen). I love fountains! Be they whimsical, artistic, or large and commanding. I picked this one out of my fountain collection, because of the solitary frog spurting out an endless supply of water…..and cleverly missing the tiny human tucked just under the water’s arch….. 😉

 

IMG_0239

 

**********

 

Moving Water #3 – (Taken over two weeks ago)….in the midst of take-off sitting in a propellored airplane – Bombardier Q400 – and I sat enthralled, watching the wheel outside my window spinning along, through the puddles that had accumulated from all the rainfall that day.

 

IMG_6977

 

**********

 

Moving Water #4 – (Taken just over a week ago)…..on a hike along the shores of the Weitach River on the outskirts of Augsburg, Germany. My friend, Toni, pointed out the family of ducks he’s been keeping track of on his daily walks here. And I immediately began taking oodles of photos of this Eurasian Coot family. Here, the Papa is gliding along towards one of the two ducklings who was curious enough to move out of the nest and Mama’s warm, feathery embrace to join in for some swimming and feeding.

 

IMG_5553

 

NOTE:  Some of you may recognize this last photo from the blog article I posted a couple of days ago, entitled “Eurasian Coot.”

“Photographer’s Choice”

With busy Christmas time happening, I just now squeaked in to submit four photos for this week’s photography assignment, entitled “Photographer’s Choice.”  It’s a nice change.  A bit like picking a flower bouquet…..an open-ended mix.

The following were my submissions:

Photographer’s Choice #1 – Archived, Feb. 2014 – Walking towards the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau (formerly known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization in what was formerly Hull).
This street seems to have this lonesome feel to it; I just like the afternoon sun’s shine on the street.

img_1802

**********

Photographer’s Choice #2 – Archived, Nov. 2015 – Well, music is an important part of my life, and it seems that when I plunged back into playing music at a later age of my life, I also made up for my younger years by going to more rock concerts than I did back then.
You can imagine my excitement, when a girlfriend wrote to me and said that she had two tickets to see Santana!! I had missed seeing him the previous year, when he had come to Ottawa to perform at Bluesfest…..so I was bound and determined not to miss this second opportunity.
Yep…we were willing to drive two hours to Kingston, Ontario, in order to see one of his last concerts on this most recent tour.
He and his renowned band delivered to the audience with incredible energy, lots of enthusiasm, great verve….and included a song as a little tribute to Prince (who had just passed away a few days before).
We all were such a happy, pumped, appreciative audience!

I picked this photo from the bunch that I took, because you can see Carlos Santana as he is…..with his larger image behind him…..with the warm yellow lights shining brightly and casting that same warm yellow glow on all the heads in front of me.

img_1876

**********

Photographer’s Choice #3 – Archived, July 2007 – This time I’m picking one from another area of huge interest to me…..travelling. For this one I picked a photo of a smaller Air New Zealand jet that was going to fly from Auckland Airport on the North Island to Blenheim Airport on the South Island, which included seeing some picturesque views of the water between the two islands and some snow-covered mountains on the South Island.

In this photo all of the passengers have boarded, and the flight crew of two (pilot captain and navigator) are getting us ready for take off.
To note that we are ONLY 16 passengers on this plane! There are eight single seats on both sides of the plane. I was in the fifth row. Outside of once being a passenger in a four-seater Cessna, this was the smallest jet plane I’d ever flown in. SO COOL!!
And it was a double propeller plane…..quite noisy. Haha!

dscn5685

**********

Photographer’s Choice #4 – Archived, July 2007 – On a hike in the Nelson Lakes National Park on the South Island, New Zealand,
I spotted these two black swans foraging and swimming together in the lake that my friends and I passed as we headed for the Brunner Peninsula Nature Walk.

These two seemed to be in their own little world…..and I thought of how swans mate for life What a lovely intimate moment!

dscn6007-2

NOTE:  Some of you may remember this swan photo from my Nov. 30th post – you can see it here –  in which I had written a haiku along with this photo.  It’s one of my favourites; hence, why I included it again in this assignment.

“Song Titles”

The theme for this week’s photography assignment was “Song Titles.”  It’s a fun exercise in that it encourages to look at photos from a different and newly imaginative angle.

The following four were my submissions:

1)

img_4325

Song – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (by Randy Newman)

*****

2)

img_4030-2

Song – “Downtown” (sung by Petula Clark)

*****

3)

img_7742-2

Song – “Sunrise, Sunset” (from Fiddler on the Roof)

*****

4)

img_7138-2

Song – “The Rose” (sung by Bette Midler)

About Being….And Love

Somehow it didn’t work out QUITE exactly consecutive….but close enough.  You know how it is.  Other things in life insist on wanting attention outside of writing.

This is the third day in my 3-day Quote Challenge from my blogging friend, A .

I had one more quote, but then I came across another one, and both are on topics very dear to my heart, so as it stated in the rules for this challenge, I CAN post from 1-3 posts for THAT particular day.

So, that’s what I decided to do.

Here’s the first one:

As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” 
– Buddha

On the importance of being mindfully present in your present moment in time, because there is always something to experience and appreciate that’s unique and won’t repeat itself again.

I include two photos about “being.”

img_8910

I noticed this blue cornflower in passing, when I was on one of my walks along my favourite country road near my home.  It’s actually quite a small flower – smaller than the usual daisy – but its lovely shade of blue is  what caught my eye.  So, I stopped walking and spent some time looking closely at this tiny wildflower.

 

img_2182-3

 

For the past two years we have been so lucky to have a deer family – a mother with her twin fawns – come to our backyard woods and spend some time there.  Both last year and this year, I happened to glance out of our bathroom window early on a summer morning and be fortunate to see the whole family foraging and frolicking in our backyard.  For me they are such a delight to watch, and both times I stopped whatever I was planning to do…..and just watched them and enjoyed seeing them being themselves.

*****

For my second quote, I picked:

Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.”  – Dalai Lama

(it was quoted on the Facebook page of Beautiful Minds)

pancake-photo-for-wp

So, why the pancake?

Haha! Well, because, this happened in March of this year, when I was making pancakes for the kids, and when I flipped one of them over, the pattern in it looked like a butterfly.  And I showed it to them.  And butterflies are free to fly.

And another reason is that I have tried to fulfill that quote from the Dalai, especially with my kids, even before I saw that quote.  My wish was always to create a loving relationship with them in which all those aspects were contained.

That completes the challenge.

And I nominate Vonita .

 

 

To be Inspired…To Dream

It’s the second day of my 3-Day Quote Challenge!

Having dreams, nurturing them, and having them come to life is such an important part of our lives, but it isn’t necessarily something that everyone does.  For so many reasons.

Dreams are a big part of the fabric of our lives, and they deserve to be protected and believed in and achieved.

There are many quotes on pursuing one’s dreams.

For today I picked this one –

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
******
Often we have dreams, but also often we get into a mode of thinking that tends towards the negative.  This quote looks to living your life positively….by focusing on your dreams….that which gives you passion and gets you all fired up in life.
And important, too, is that dreams don’t just occur in younger years.  They can spring forth in later years as well.
For my personal example, here is a photo of me at a drumkit, performing with a band in the League of Rock show in December of last year.  I have loved music all my life; however, circumstances and choices made through the years kept my music dream on the back burner…..until they brought me to a place where I jumped into music once again, after my children were well into their teen years.  I started drumming only eight years ago!  When I was 48, I signed up for lessons and the path led ever further…..to playing and more learning and performing.  I haven’t looked back since.  It’s been a blast of a ride!  Lots of dedication and determination and….PRACTICE…..haha!  And meeting all kinds of amazing people and musicians along the way.
I let go of some dreams of my youth but then nurtured other ones to add to my life’s fabric.
*****
And my nominee today is Conrad .
photo-by-steve-st-jean-dec-17-2015
(photo taken by Steve St. Jean at the League of Rock Showcase; December 17, 2015)

Always Learning!

Hello Friends!

I have been nominated by my blogging friend, A , to the 3-day Quote Challenge.

Thank you again, my friend, for such an honour.

For today’s quote I picked one that seems to have become imprinted in my brain and heart from the first time I saw it several years ago.

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”    – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

It appeals to me, because I have observed this experience in my life over and over.  Whether it’s in learning a new skill….or reading something with new ideas….or hearing a new song that touches in a deeper way….or trying out a new food.  Endless possibilities in life, really, for our minds to experience something new and to then move forward in personal growth or personal preferences.

For a simple example, in my case, I developed a liking for olives much later in life.  Before that time, I would steer clear of them.  And mostly because I didn’t know that much about them and partly because the flavour seemed so foreign.  Then!  One day I was given a new food to eat which included olives – black, milder ones – but still, it turned my mind over to the idea that, hey, olives are pretty fine.  Try them again.  And try them in this.  And then, well, perhaps the green ones aren’t so bad anymore.  And try those.  And before too long, I can’t imagine having certain foods and dishes WITHOUT olives.  It’s inconceivable!  Haha!  I love them so much now!

**********

As I understand it, the 3-day Quote Challenge is comprised of:

  1. Post for 3 consecutive days.
  2. Select and post 1-3 posts for each of those days.
  3. Nominate a blogger to go for the 3-Day Quote Challenge on each of those three days.

And so, I nominate my writer/blogging friend, Stephen , for this challenge.

*****

AND….in the spirit of the above quote, I’m including a photo of a Tea Party to which I was invited last year.  On the subject of new experiences, it was the first ever tea party for me.  And fun!   I met someone new – the friend of the host.  And there were some incredible delectables!  Taste combinations that were new to me as well.  My mind was given such a treat that day!  Moving forward again!

 

img_1366

 

 

Focus on Architecture

The way my summer has been unfolding, I haven’t had much time to work on writing and blogging; also less on photography.  And I’ve been missing my set aside time for doing those things, as I do enjoy that kind of work.

So, when this week’s photography assignment was announced, I finally had some time and quickly pounced on the opportunity to put together another set of four.  The theme is architecture, so these are the ones I picked for it:

img_0087

Architecture #1

Two curvy buildings,

Artistic geometry;

This is a hotel?

 

Archived from my mini Europe trip this past May, 2016 – we stayed in this ultra cool-looking place in Copenhagen….the AC Bella Sky Hotel. I picked this photo for its unusual building structure design – I love things with bends and curves, haha! – as well as the triangularly designed hotel bedroom windows. Together it all creates such a geometric and artistic effect. There are also two enclosed walkways connecting both buildings of this hotel; one at the top and one closer to the ground. This place was fascinating to look at inside and out!

 

********************

img_3113

Architecture #2

Skyscraper windows

Reflecting like a mirror;

Looks like a painting!

 

Taken exactly one week ago; last Wednesday – when I was visiting my parents in Toronto and playing tourist in the downtown area. I have always loved the architecture there…..so much variety in design and effects with glass windows and other outward shapes. This skyscraper, filled with offices, I’m guessing, is flanked by two high towers – condo apartments, I’m thinking. What drew my eyes to the building in the middle is how the glass windows look so seamless….there is no break to show where they start and end. It’s so much like one huge mirror! It even looks like a painting. And lo, see how the clouds and sky are wonderfully reflected in those windows!

 

********************

img_3293

Architecture #3

Colourful at night!

Toronto’s CN Tower;

Purple, pink, and white.

 

Also taken last Wednesday in Toronto; in the evening, as my mom and I were at the GO train station, to head back to Scarborough area. This was my first time to see what the CN Tower looks like lit up at night – I was enthralled! I am quite familiar with its daytime look, so this night-time view was super special. In contrast to the tower’s darker lighting hues, you see the bright lights from both platforms at Union Station in the foreground.

 

********************

img_0026

Architecture #4

Big islands of rock,

Of Mother Nature’s design;

Born of volcanoes.

 

For my fourth submission, I am bowing to the original architect….Mother Earth. With her beautiful and majestic mountains and canyons, species of tall trees, ice caves, her creatures who construct amazing homes and catch-ems (ie. intricate spider webs), her endless architectural wonders.

This photo was taken in Iceland during that same mini trip to Europe in May 2016 – it’s a view across the sea from the island of Heimaey located in the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago. As with Iceland, all of her surrounding islands have been created through volcanic eruptions. Outside of one island in this grouping of islands off of Heimaey, all the others are left untouched and pristine…..no human trespassing…..the flora and fauna occurring as nature intends.
They are impressive islands to look at from afar and of a massive size, when up close. No two are alike.
The architecture of our Mother Earth never ceases to amaze me.