Zoom In

“Must get to higher ground…rains are coming.”  I love zooming in on subjects I photograph as much as I do taking wide angle photos.

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The pitter patter of rain drops

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quickly turned to a torrential downpour that lasted all night long filling up our pond until it was flowing over the emergency spillway.  The water was coming through this 6″ pipe with the gusto of water from a fire hose.  Zooming in and taking a freeze frame produced an interesting picture…see the face with vacant eyes looking back?

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Those eyes reflect my sentiments with all of this rain, leaving me only one course…’pop a top’ and enjoy a soda.  🙂

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In between bands of rain, we  were able to get out and walk in the refuge.  Lo and behold, I heard a pair of mating owls calling back and forth to each other.  No picture, but then none was needed as I stood there, ears turned and zoomed in, listening to the pair hooting back and forth.

Z is for zooming in and then zooming out to look back and see that I completed the A to Z challenge.  🙂

Yellow is the Color

Yellow.  It’s a simple word that fills the world with light.  I love the color yellow, especially in nature.  Yellow flowers, birds, sunrises, sunsets vibrantly burst forth with color that always puts a smile on my face.

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A long time ago, I read an article by Martha Stewart that every room should have yellow in it to make it cheerful.  When I walk into a room and see my yellow cookie jar in my kitchen, a yellow rose on my dresser, or a yellowish blanket on my couch, it really is comforting and cheerful.

Now, the only time I don’t wish to see yellow, accompanied with orange or red, is on the weather map because that means a LOT of rain, and it’s a LOT of rain we are getting at the moment.  The clouds and rain may dull the sense, but all I have to do is look around my home to cheer me up.

 

eXasperated

I wanted to find a really good X word for this post.  My dictionary is among a stack of books under the TV antennae raising it as high as possible for reception, so I turned to the net.  I had to click at least 3 times to find a new word and read the definition and that became too frustrating.  As a last resort I decided to use a children’s dictionary in the classroom I was substituting in today.  Much to my dismay, I could not find a single dictionary in the classroom.  Seriously?  No dictionaries for ABC order practice and looking up definitions?  I used to love flipping through the dictionary in school.   Gone is the thrill  of opening the book and discovering new words.  Are classrooms truly depleted of these humongous books that took up way too much shelf space?  I am an avid proponent of technology and I do realize how easily information is at the tap of a key.   Obviously, finding an X word on the computer was too taXing for me, since I’ve resorted to using a word with an X in it as opposed to a word that begins with X for the A to Z challenge.

And a photo?  My husband and I love to hike and take a lot of vacations that include hiking…eXtreme hiking.  We’ve hiked mountains in the Rockies, trails down into Grand Canyon and just recently did a lot of hiking in the northeast.  We scaled straight up the beehive dome pulling up on ladder rungs in Acadia National Park.

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and hiked the most eXtreme mountain of all, Mt Washington in New Hampshire.   The Cog railroad tracks cross the hiking path, of which we had to cross with winds gusting up to 70 mph…NO kidding.  I could barely keep my balance to stand long enough for this picture.  Thank goodness it didn’t happen on the rails, but at one point on the trail the wind gusted so hard it knocked me down to my knees.

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mt wash

Looking through these photos has me eXasperated that we don’t have a hiking trip planned…yet!  And that’s as good as it gets for the letter X.

What in the World?

When I used to teach, weekly I posted a picture under the title, “What in the World?”  Most often it was a zoomed in picture of something familiar and the kids had a week to figure out the name of the object.  When shut up inside the house all day due to rain, I was sifting through pictures and came across a few that fall under this title.

This picture conjures up good memories of a day trip across the Mexican border sitting in a side garden enjoying the culture.  When I looked up into the tree above, I saw this fig.  My mouth watered at the thought of eating a fresh plucked fig, but it was …just out of reach.

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I took this photo for a texture challenge after I dumped a cooler of ice in the grass.

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This was taken in town growing up the side of a building.  I’ve no clue what type of plant it is, but love the symmetry.

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And last but not least, my favorite.  I saw this guy and his wife while hiking in Colorado and did a double take when I saw his hiking mascot hanging off of his back pack, so I had to ask for his story.  His comment, “It’s always nice to have a beaver on the trail with you.”  Stunned, I glanced at his wife who just rolled her eyes as if she’d heard that comment one too many times, and then we all cracked up laughing and went on our merry way.

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Look around…W is for wondering, ‘What in the World?’

Vexing Day

Today was a vexing day.  Nothing went according to my plan due to the weather.  My plans for today were changed as well as those for this weekend, which included seeing my grandkids.   And then my revised plans were a bust, too.

One small piece of joy was seeing this iris open up.  To welcome the day in all its splendor, it began its journey yesterday opening up.  I know I’ve posted a picture of an iris before but that was taken alongside the road.  This is one I transplanted last year in my front yard, so I’m most proud.  There were two more taller buds that my visiting nephew whacked off with the wiffle bat this past weekend.  I cringed as I watched it happen but had some comfort seeing there were still two more buds to bloom.  So at least I got to see one flower from this plant.

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The sun showed itself briefly this morning and then ducked behind clouds for the remainder of the day.  I was able to squeeze in a walk before the first round of storms, and then on my way to the mailbox in between rounds, I snapped this leaf donning water drops.  I do believe I’m inspired to try and paint this-or at least draw it.

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While the storms began their sojourn, I was in the kitchen making some pie crust for our strawberry shortcake dessert.  The crust with strawberries and whipped cream gives the dessert a bit of a crunch, and I love it much more  than sponge cake which gets all squishy from the juice.  Strawberry shortcake is a summer time dessert.  At least I ended my day with a burst of sunshine-berrily!

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Tantalizing my taste buds,  at least this dessert did not vex me…V is for a Vexing Day.

Tears of Joy, Tears of Sorrow

This weekend was my niece’s wedding which means huge family reunion with siblings, cousins, and friends coming in from across the country.  We all enjoyed visiting and catching up, laughing and reminiscing…a weekend filled with joy.  I drove 150 miles to get to the wedding, so imagine my surprise when one of our local news cast ladies walked into the church.  Naturally, I had to talk to her and confirm who I thought she was.  So we even had a celebrity in our midst.

When I got back home there was a message on my answering machine that my dear friend lost her battle with cancer.  She lived a full, rich life of 88 years and is now resting in peace.  I knew the news would be coming but was not ready for it to come this soon. (Is anyone ever ready for that news?)  She lives across the country and does not have internet, so I had the privilege of talking to her with lots of phone calls and snail mails.   Sadly, I had mailed a letter out on the morning that she died.

My brother from Alaska, made the trek from the city down to our place today.  He has 4 kids ages 6, 5,and twins that are 3 (3 boys and one girl-a twin).  She’s a tough little cookie that holds her own with the boys.  They had a blast down here taking tractor rides and fishing.  The older boys have fished before but never caught.  The twins had never fished.  Today, all 4 kids reeled in fish and were tickled pink with excitement.  At lunch time they were still talking about the fish they had caught and telling ‘big fish’ stories.

In spite of losing a dear friend, it was a fun filled weekend with my family.

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For A to Z challenge, T is for Tears of Joy and Sorrow and U is for Undelivered letter.

Saturday Sitting

My hummingbird is back from last year.  I had not gotten the feeder out yet when I saw a hummer hovering where it hung last year-looking for food.  I immediately got the feeder out and have enjoyed watching a nesting pair feed.  They love the rain, sometimes just sitting on the feeder looking out at the world.

Today will be an action packed day with a lot of sitting.  I have a family wedding with a 3 hour drive to get there.  And then there will be lots of sitting throughout the day and evening.  Sitting and watching the bride and father walk down the aisle and the couple take their vows.  Sitting and enjoying the festivities with hopefully a bit of dancing in between.  Sitting and visiting with family I’ve not seen in a long while.

S is for Saturday sitting…that’s my day.

Raindrops and Rainbows

The pitter patter of raindrops  that started yesterday have increased to a steady rain today.  We are now up to almost 2″ with more still falling.   There are some that aren’t bothered by the rain and are a treat to eyes peering through the window.

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eagle

The rainbow is another treat that most often comes with rain.    This vibrant neon colored rainbow was actually taken last year on a hike along Grand Canyon Rim after a light shower.  Rainbows always put a smile on my face and make me feel blessed.

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Whether it’s raindrops or rainbows, the pitter patter of music tapping on my rooftop can lull me to sleep even in the middle of the day, so for the A to Z challenge, R definitely stands for Raindrops and Rainbows.  (Don’t you like how I found a way to get that eagle picture into my post for R today?)

Quilt Tops

I’m not a quilter but I love making quilts, as in sewing the pieces together.  I’ve always been fascinated with sewing since I was old enough to piece patterns together.  It’s always fascinated me to start with a piece of cloth, cut out the pattern pieces, and sew them together to create a garment.  In fact, I made a lot of my clothes in high school.  But the one thing I never could stand to do was hand sew something.  Zip it through the machine-no problem; hand sew it-BLAH.

After years of marathon runs and 10K runs, my husbands ‘trophy shirts’ filled up 3 drawers of his dresser.  I saw a quilt at a runner’s pre-race convention and thought, “I can do that!”  After a bit of research and looking at several samples, I started making t-shirt quilts.  I did everything but quilt it, leaving that to someone with a quilting machine.   Here’s the quilt I made with all of my teacher spirit  shirts after I retired.

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What else can Q stand for but for Quilts, or in my case, Q is for Quilt Tops.

Photo Walk

I woke feeling like I had not connected with nature in well over a week.  So before I did anything else today I grabbed my camera and went for a walk.  I absorbed the sights of wildflowers in bloom, the sounds of birds singing, and the smells of nature-there is a tree in bloom that is giving off a raw, earthy sweet scent.  I smelled it yesterday while working in the woods and this morning walking among the trees.

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Lot only did I have a great walk this morning, but I also got together with my friend and painted with a palette knife.  I had a delightful day, where P stands for photos and painting.