Posted in Animals, Cats, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Ever Watchful

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Whether she’s on guard duty in the front window, asleep by the fire, or nestled comfortably on a lap, Bebe knows exactly how to impart a sense of security.

Distrust and caution are the parents of security. —Benjamin Franklin

 

Posted in England, green, Landscape, Photography, spring, Trees, Weekly Photo Challenge

Spring In England

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In late April and early May, it is indeed easy to be green in England. There’s so much to see—curious lambs, bluebells blooming, sparkling rivers, fence stiles, country pubs, deep woods, wonderful fell views, The Lakes, ancient stone buildings, all of it seemingly divided by countless dry stone walls.

The photo gallery below barely touches on the possibilities. These were taken along the Dales Way, a fine 81-mile path from Ilkley to Bowness, on Lake Windermere. For the best information on walking in Great Britian, I recommend The Walking Englishman.

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. —Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Posted in Forces of Nature, Landscape, Photography, Road Trips, Weekly Photo Challenge

Afraid Of Ladders

I will walk under a ladder, but (unless it’s very short) I won’t climb atop one. Metal, wood, plastic … whatever it’s made from doesn’t matter. It’s the balance/height combination that makes me shy away.

I almost fell from  a tree when I was seven years old, though. Luckily, it was a friendly willow.

These days I usually drive up to look down.

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Death Valley is famous for SCORCHING HOT weather. But at Dante’s View (above) you’ll appreciate a fleece jacket in the mornings—even in late summer. And at an elevation of 5,476 feet, you’ll feel like you are on top of the world.

The photo below was taken from Zabriskie Point. It’s much lower than Dante’s, but still able to separate the foreground/background and give depth to the view.

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I’ve been a big fan always of getting my camera in different places and trying to seek the unusual vantage point. —Joe McNally

 

Posted in Emotion, Moods, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Best Wishes

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Built by stonemason Ryozo Kado in 1943, this inscription on the monument at the Manzanar War Relocation Camp’s cemetery translates to “Soul Consoling Tower”.

I learned about wishes over a birthday cake when I was five or six candles old. My unspoken desire was probably a toy; spinning tops were popular then. By my teenage years, I’d switched targets to pimples. That wish took a while longer to come true.

And then wishing subsided. There was no place in adult life for them; isn’t that the domain of dreams?

But I see a difference now; it’s been there all along.

Dreams are extroverts, eyes ahead on some distant horizon, making plans, imagining. Yet unlike the introverted wishes, dreams have very little to do with consoling. At their best moments, wishes speak to universal hopes, and in that sense they’re much larger than dreams.

Too often, unfortunately, they’re offered after an unpleasant fact of life—“I wish we hadn’t done such and such.”  Where does that dubious list begin? Or end? Manzanar? Montgomery? My Lai?

Here is my simple wish—That while we dream of better worlds (where easing hunger is of more concern than hedge fund profits), there will always be those who remain alert to the times we are at our worst, and keep us from falling.

 

Posted in Americana, Museums, Photography, pink, Road Trips, small towns, Weekly Photo Challenge

Detour To A Tutu

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Toward the conclusion of my trip last autumn, nearing a highway junction for Death Valley, I spied a collection of buildings ahead, just beyond our intended right turn—a detour. I’d only driven eight miles that morning, and Ulrich and I were anticipating all we’d see in Death Valley. We didn’t get any farther than Amargosa.

A mostly-forgotten magnet for history buffs, artists, daydreamers, and tumbleweeds, it’s a place you think you’ll stop at for a few minutes, a picture or two, until you’re suddenly booking a room for the night.

The Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, and the artistry of Marta Becket, are the main attractions there. If you look closely, there are many intriguing details, such as a flower in a tutu (one of Ms. Becket’s originals).

The next day we moved on to Dante’s View (a beautiful sunrise) and then Zabriskie Point, where buses of tourists overran everything, selfie sticks in hand. Perhaps Amargosa wasn’t the detour, after all.


Marta Becket danced until she was 85 years old. On January 30, 2017, at 92, she passed away at her home in Amargosa. The link to her name features a short film on her life and art (on YouTube), California Dreamers.

The fine still images my friend Ulrich Rossmann took in Amargosa may be viewed on his online portfolio.

Still round the corner there may wait,
A new road or a secret gate.
—J. R. R. Tolkien

 

Posted in Americana, Colors, Hopeless / Junk, Landscape, Weekly Photo Challenge

Complementary Colors

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At the edge of Goldfield, Nevada, the International Car Forest of the Last Church is an eclectic canvas for cars and colors.

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Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.
—Bill Watterson
Posted in Americana, nostalgia, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Now Playing

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Drive-in theaters are among the last holdouts from a time when entertainment centers sported convertible tops (and the best action might be in the car parked next to yours).

Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. —Arthur M. Schlesinger