Posts Tagged ‘Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge’

Come walk with me down the brick path to the charming house.   Listen.  I think I can hear the sound of waves.  The beach must be nearby .Let’s change into something more casual and head there right now.  Don’t forget your sunglasses.  I’ve got your number and it’s the number of summer.

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I’m back on the “connected” grid after five days mostly off.  I’ve so much to do to catch up, covering a trip to Arizona as well as our long weekend adventure in South Dakota  But as it’s late evening already and we’re watching game three of the Stanley Cup playoffs (ice hockey for those of you who don’t know), and I have to be up early for work tomorrow, getting you up to date will have to wait.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my entry for this week Fun Foto Challenge theme of “Cee’ Fun Foto Challenge: One“, one item or the number one.

Sitting in the catbird seat” means you’re in an enviable or advantageous position.  The exact origins are somewhat in dispute, but as you can see from the photo, the catbird seat is high above those around it.  Here you see one catbird in that seat.

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I usually visit the desert in January or February, an enjoyable break from the cold, but not the ideal time for flowers.  Although hotter now, the desert is blooming, and every morning during my walk (a photographic walk, not an exercise walk), I took photo after photo of the beauty.  Among the array of glorious colors, purple was the least on display.  But there were examples of it, as you can see from my entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

The flowers on cacti aren’t always long-lived.  Sometimes in a day or two, they’re gone.  While they bloom, however, they’re often stunning.  The size of the flowers is sometimes incongruous:  the mighty saguaro has tiny flowers, while some much smaller plants have large, opulent blooms.  Whatever size or color, these flowers decorate an otherwise mostly neutral-hued landscape with bright splashes of color.  But beware of stepping back unawares while taking a photo or or trying to pick a flower.  They’re well-protected by a bevy of deadly thorns whose effects, if touched, can be rather beastly!

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Pink isn’t a color I wear or have around much. With my coloring, I need darker, rich colors or I look washed out.  But spring usually brings a plethora of pinks and when they’re not near my face, I like them.  Since Cee asked for pink this week, I browsed through a few of my (unorganized except by date) files and found these two that I’d like to share.  The first is a beautiful fungus I came across in the wood of northeastern France last year.  The second is a photographic wallowing in the softness of rose petals. Except for framing and watermark, both are unedited.

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I love this car we saw while exploring Beaune, France. What a great way to advertise the Dali show!  Dali’s expression might mirror that of someone seeing the car for the first time.  It was certainly eye-catching.

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During this trip, we checked off one item from our bucket list–attending a stage of the Tour de France.  After waiting for hours in the cold and rain, the parade of sponsor vehicles came by, including this tribute to the leader of the Tour, the rider wearing the yellow jersey.  This was literally the brightest spot in a day filled with dark clouds and rain, but also with so much fun!

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More Fun Foto Challenge links can be found here.

The biggest challenge of this challenge is…which cloud photos do I choose?  I love clouds and I have so many photos. I decided upon one with color and one with all white clouds, but the latter with both low-lying and high flying clouds, near clouds and far clouds.  The first words that came to mind was from my high school days, when Joni Mitchell sang about clouds and love.  There are, however, as many quotes about clouds as there are ways of looking at them, so I chose a few more for my and your enjoyment.

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere,
I’ve looked at clouds that way.

But now they only block the sun,
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done,
But clouds got in my way.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all.

~Joni Mitchell

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
― Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

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“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay

“Aren’t the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton… I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by… If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations… What do you think you see, Linus?”
“Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean… That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor… And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen… I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side…”
“Uh huh… That’s very good… What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?”
“Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!”
Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960

Every year I visit my parents and family in Arizona.  I love the desert landscapes and their spare beauty.  These shots are from the Mesa and Sedona areas, perfect for the “Landscapes and Seascapes” challenge.

If you don’t die of thirst, there are blessings in the desert.  You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of tiny and precise.  The sky is your ocean, and the crystal silence will uplift you like great gospel music, or Neil Young.
~Anne Lamott

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What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough. 
~Mary Austin

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Oddball
noun
  1. a strange or eccentric person (or photo.)
adjective
  1. strange; bizarre.
    Oddball photos may be strange or eccentric or they may just defy categorization.  Either way,  they’re fun and you can see them every Sunday on Cee’s site.  Feel free to participate if you like.  It’s simple.  Go to the site and make a comment that includes a link to your post or use a pingback or both.
    Brand of tea spotted at the Intermarche supermarket
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    For Halloween, perhaps
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    In honor of my b-i-l, a maker of amazing fires (in the stove!)

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A company shouldn’t get addicted to being shiny, because shiny doesn’t last.
~Jeff Bezos

Shiny in the bathroom sink

Shiny in the bathroom sink

 

Whither goest thou, America, in they shiny car in the night?
~Jack Kerouac

 

A bit of shiny spotted from an airplane

A bit of shiny spotted from an airplane

 

When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.
~Anne Lamott

Me taking a shiny picture with my iPad

Me taking a shiny picture with my iPad

 

 Here are more “Shiny” things.

 

I’m like the little boy in “Sixth Sense” except rather than seeing dead people everywhere, I see patterns.  So the Fun Foto Challenge this week gives me the chance to trot out a few photos that I really like.  The first two aren’t edited at all (with the exception of the frame and my name), the third has a soft focus applied along with the two edits mentioned above.  But I felt the lily didn’t really need gilding on these.  They spoke for themselves.

I’m excited to be one of Cee’s featured bloggers from last week’s challenge, “Smooth.”  Big thanks to Dale Chihuly for giving me such gorgeous glass to photograph and thanks, Cee, for the acknowledgement.  I’m also excited to discover that I can tilt my signature/name on my photos with Picasa 3. From such small things do tiny bit of joy come!

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There’s a poem by Amy Lowell entitled “Patterns” that I featured once before on a post about patterns. Here is again for your enjoyment. Amy Lowell is a poet(ess) worth seeking out.

Patterns
By Amy Lowell

I walk down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday sen’night.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman.
“No,” l told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

Amy Lowell, “Patterns” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell. Copyright © 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © renewed 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Company, Brinton P. Roberts, and G. D’Andelot, Esquire. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Selected Poems of Amy Lowell (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002)