Seven in Black and White

A different kind of photography assignment this time.

No people.  Just objects or views or animals.

I randomly picked seven that seemed intriguing.

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1) There was some car trouble en route with one of the cars, so we had to stop along the roadside to check things out.  While the mechanically inclined looked under the hood, I did some looking around and was immediately drawn to this line of a tall “wall” of trees in the Wairau Valley, South Island, New Zealand.

 

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2) I was enthralled with watching all the water fowl, hanging out at a huge pond, nearby an historic N.Z. building….geese and ducklings….and even a rooster, too!  It had rained for a while, and this goose was taking sips of water as she walked alongside this curb.

 

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3) There was a flock of seagulls around the picnic area at the Pancake Rocks in the South Island, New Zealand.  I followed a couple of them around with my camera in hand, always hoping for good close-ups and also in-mid-flight moments.

 

Seagull in N.Z. from DCIM, Nov. 2017

 

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4) One from the archives of my current drumkit.

 

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5) We’ve had some snow already in November, but it has melted away again each time.  On Dec. 1st, I happened to see this lake with a thin layer of ice as far as I could see – large chunks of this thin ice lying on the water’s surface – with ice shards accumulated at the shore.

 

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6) Also from the archives….from last winter.  I had gone out one night to capture images of icicles in the front yard, illuminated by the house light.

 

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7) My latest hand drum, an African djembe, newly strung with goatskin on top, and I especially like the carvings in the drum’s body.

 

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“Circles”

This time the photography assignment theme is “Circles.”  Having just returned home from my trip to New Zealand, I decided to still squeeze in four submissions before the deadline last night.

The first photo for this assignment will be familiar to those of you who saw my post – here from November 13, 2017, entitled “The Unfolding Circle.”

 

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Circles #1 – (just over a week ago).
The circular, nautilus-resembling unfurling branches of a large or giant fern (as grows abundantly in New Zealand) – the size of it when it is still tightly curled up, such as this one, is approximately the size of your fist. SO COOL!!

 

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Circles #2 – Nov. 21, 2017 – The back sides of five pieces of New Zealand currency. My online research from the following link gave me additional information regarding the pressed images:

Left to right, top to bottom:

$2 coin – The kotuku (white heron), flying right. The kotuku is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds and is held in particularly high regard in Maori mythology.

$1 coin – The kiwi bird

10 cent coin – A Maori carved head or koruru under the figure “10” with Maori rafter patterns.

20 cent coin – Representation of a well-known Maori “pukaki” carving.

50 cent coin – The barque Endeavour, commanded by Captain Cook, sailing south, with Mt. Taranaki (Egmont) in the distance under the figure “50”.

 

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Circles #3 – Late last night – taken facing straight down onto the game board of Settlers of Catan – a HUGE family favourite game of ours! – showing circular numbered tokens in the various fields as well as the top of the grey figurine (standing in the forest here) known as “the robber.”

 

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Circles #4 – Late last night – The shape of a much-loved, colourful hacky sack – tightly crocheted (I think) – as well as the bright yellow in the middle of the pattern.

 

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“Landscapes”

This past week the photography assignment theme was “Landscapes.”

I picked four from within a time span of the past four months.

Most participants were submitting a great variety of cool landscape shots, some quite spectacular.

I was pleased with the ones I had picked – although they probably weren’t spectacular, haha! – and I was mostly inspired with the fun of sharing.  Which is why I started my set of four off with this one…..taking the theme but giving it an unusual twist in perspective…..

 

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Landscapes #1 – (Archived, May 2017) With a different perspective….from up high. Coming in for a landing in a propellered airplane…..landing wheels extended…..over Montreal. T’was a rainy day. 🙂

Added note:  I knew it didn’t have any spectacular sun views or sky views, since it was taken on a rainy day, but I thought it fit the theme and it was something a little different. At the very least, I thought people might like seeing that shot from an airplane view. ^_^

 

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Landscapes #2 – (Archived, June 2017) Splash of vibrant sunset colours behind silhouetted farm fields just a couple of kilometres from my home.

 

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Landscapes #3 – (Archived, May 2017) A winding road running along the shoreline of the Plansee in Bavaria.

 

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Landscapes #4 – (Archived, August 2017) A couple of the kids and I went out for a two-hour canoeing/kayaking excursion – two canoes and I was in the kayak….from Taylor Lake to Clayton Lake. Squeaking in to our destination just as it was getting dark. So peaceful on the water……with forested shoreline all around.

 

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This last photo was one of several that I took….some of which I included in a recent blog post, here.

“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.

 

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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.

 

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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. 🙂

 

 

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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).

 

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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 ).

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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….. 😉

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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:

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

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Song – “Downtown” (sung by Petula Clark)

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

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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.”

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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.

 

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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.

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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)

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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 .