Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

In a previous entry (or two) I’ve mentioned the lot next door being vacant, but prior to March 14, 2011, a generation of hopes and dreams lived on the other side of our fence:

an UN-vacant lot

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to share this “journey to demolition,” a story that began next door in 2009 via Florida’s Eminent Domain Process.  Although the landscape trees and shrubs were removed in May 2010, the house remained as-is for almost another year.

Alas, in March ’11, a John Deere Excavator and dump trunk rolled up, heralding the beginning of the end. I started taking pictures, shown here in slideshow format:

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Until next time…..

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

I was stumped by this week’s photo challenge until a rainbow appeared around suppertime, just ahead of our typical late-day rain. It jogged my memory of a VERY dramatic one I saw in Ft Pierce last November as a heavy storm ended at dawn:

Ft Pierce Rainbow, Nov 7, 2011

The sky was a study in contrasts!

Because rainbows are created by the internal reflection of sunlight in droplets of water, the bigger the droplet, the better the color; on the day I took this photo, the rain was the size of hailstones!

In Florida, rainbows appear all the time between April and September.  If you’d like to see others I’ve photographed (including today’s) check out my Facebook Album. For info on the physics of rainbows, the USA Today news site has a well written Sky Phenomena FAQ.

Until next time!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted

Although I mainly blog about gardening, I’ve been using the WordPress photo challenges to address subjects of a more personal nature. Stories of my kids, my thoughts and life-at-large have been shared without chronology or emphasis, in the way of a meandering chat among friends. If this blog is my conversation with generations to come, the reply will be in their interpretations….And if all of this sounds straightforward instead of distorted, bear in mind I haven’t shared this week’s photo yet.

First though, context before controversy!

My first experience living in the South was in 1983 when we moved to the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C.  During our 6 years in the Fairfax County area, we lived within a 30minute ride of Manassas, home of several Civil War battlegrounds. and historic attractions.  Given the location and background of the area,  I wasn’t too bothered by the Confederate Flag, (originally, the batlle flag of the Army of Northern Virgina) being displayed in shops, restaurants, etc. along with other Confederate novelties and souvenirs.   In 1988, we moved back North and I can count on one hand how many times I saw the symbol again.

For the past two years, we’ve been back below the Mason-Dixon line, and frequently seeing it flown as a symbol of Southern Pride.  This past week, I snapped this:

Confederate Flag

I cannot say what is in this person’s heart or why the Confederate flag waves here daily, but I do know one thing: our American Flag should not be sharing the same post with it!

I don’t like distorted thinking!  :mad:

Until next time……

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

From first grade through high school I attended Catholic Parochial schools run by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Then it was off to college where I was taught by Jesuits. .Although I’m no longer religious in an organized, institutional way, sixteen years of faith based knowledge permeates my thinking.  While some may freely associate the word “indulge” with cake and chocolate, my mind goes immediately to “indulgence” instead…which leads to the Reformation and Purgatory, and how posting a picture of Martin Luther to personify the movement is totally bush league!

So i decided to indulge in a different free association to come up with a better idea; this is how it went:

  • bush league
  • bushes
  • re-read yesterday’s post
  • Look at unpublished field trip photos
  • Cull 20 pics down to 3 favorites
  • Can’t decide
  • Decide I’m being self-indulgent
  • Eeny meeny miney mo!
  • Here we go:
Pond at IRREC Teaching Garden

This is NOT purgatory! ;)

Indulge in the beauty of nature and you might see Heaven on earth (instead of Martin Luther!)   ;)

Until next time….. :)  :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

When I saw the title of this week’s photo challenge,  I immediately knew which picture to choose. Although my selection process shared everything with the topic,  the reasons behind it do not, and are best described by the caption:


Simple can be complicated!

An American flag, a sunflower, and marigolds on a bright day…July 4th, Independence Day to be exact, but what I saw in my viewfinder gave me time tunnel vertigo, that cartwheel-into-the-past disorientation that toys with calendars and realities. Sure, I saw the flag and flowers in front of me, but mainly as conjurers of sunny days and holidays past.

I had to remind myself, “This is July 4, 2011.”

Simple can be complicated.

Until next time.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter……Out with the (C)old!!!!

Wow! The final weekly photo challenge of 2011 is upon us!!   We’ve a scant 30 minutes ’til it’s “out with the (c)old, in with the new!”

If you’ve looked through my blog at all, you know I spent my entire life in the Northeast. I could share hundreds of Winter “Wonderland” pictures with you, but I”m loathe to perpetuate that myth.  Besides, on the advice of a caterpillar ;) we left that mess behind!  ;)

But the question remains…how to photograph winter, when you live in a place it doesn’t typically visit?    Simple…you take a picture of this December bloomer with a name CS Lewis would love:

Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri

Mexican Donkey Ears

Kalanchoe Gastonis Bonnieri isn’t the only winter bloomer, though.   Look at this other harbinger of winter, watching over my front walk.

Euphorbia Trigona

Euphorbia Trigona

When the yellow “dots” emerge in late November, count forward three weeks to the arrival of winter….and Santa!  Now he’s a myth I can get behind!!!!

Until next year…….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

On December 23,  the WordPress Photo Challenge called for submissions illustrating the concept “Between.”   Due to the bustle of Christmas and houseguests, I fell behind in my participation but am actually glad I did!  While reminiscing with my kids and looking through family photos, I remembered a picture worthy of a belated entry:

Between the Ivory Tower and the Office Tower

At first glance, you see a young man in the iconic garb of a single day, between the Ivory Tower of his past, and the Office Tower in his future.

Studying the photo more closely, you realize he’s crouched by a wall plaque, the source of his bittersweet facial expression, caught between happy and sad.  “Persevere with Love and a Smile,” it reads, in memory of his friend and classmate who died tragically last winter.

When i took this picture, I thought of a family who lost an enormous part of their future when their son left this world.  How radically life can change between February and June!

Something to bear in mind as we enter a new year.

Until next time….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-Portrait

21st century science tells us that electromagnetic fields can interfere with neural synapses in the human brain and theories abound regarding the results of these disruptions.  Did you really see that ghost/orb/entity or was it some strange hijacking of your brain’s communication center?   What of the odd, hazy outline in your peripheral vision, the shadow person just beyond the corner of your eye? Many people have reported seeing the Mysterious Hat Man, a fleeting image in the recesses of a dark room, who brings a feeling of unease, of being watched,  that lingers long after his apparition is gone.

Mysterious Hatman

Thankfully, I haven’t seen this ominous “person,”  but I have caught sight of a different one!  When the light is just right–golden, late afternoon sunlight– I sometimes see a spectral vision, haunting The Ranchero.

shadow woman

Mysterious Garden Lady

Last spring I was lucky enough ;) to catch the above image via cellcam and post it to Facebook with the following caption:  “Do you believe in Shadow People? I do!”

All joking aside, the message in the caption is why this pic is such an illustrative self-portrait: I absolutely DO believe in the fringe-sciences–the left-of-mainstream stuff that brands alot of people as “crazies”–yet I know I’m absolutely sane!   :)   Paranormal events, ESP, remote viewing, UFOs…the wonderful, hard-to-fathom topics of Coast to Coast AM radio; these are the ideas to which I gravitate in books, movies, and TV.

While searching through my computer today, I ran across an old Coast to Coast audio file from the late ’90s when Art Bell, the show’s originator and first host, was in his heyday. .What you are about to hear may be total theater or it may be total truth–who can say for certain??  But without a doubt, this on air conversation between Art  and a pilot flying over Area 51 restricted airspace is 100% entertaining!    Click this to listen!

Remember….The Truth is Out There!!

Until next time!!

Weekly Photo Challenge (Celebration)

I remember the very first time i recognized a perfect moment in time.  My college friends and I were gathered round a table at  the  “Hundred Days” Banquet. Someone lifted a glass to toast our graduation countdown, and the scene before me froze as if within a camera lens: Julie’s new navy blue dress, Mary’s chic-at-the-time Dorothy Hamill haircut, Linda’s shiny, long,  Asian black hair, and Janet standing with her hand on her hip. Decades hence I’ve lost touch with these ladies, but not with the night i realized it would eventually happen.

Living in the moment…recognizing perfect times the very instant they occur. This is worthy of celebration!  Here’s another one, preserved in digital form on June 20, 2011 at 1:45pm.Mulherns at the Beach

Where to begin the celebration of this one? Perhaps with the perfect Florida sky, or the water that looks more Caribbean than Atlantic?  How about the lack of seaweed?  Nature was amazingly cooperative on June 20, no doubt about it. The figures in this beautiful scene are my young adult kids, twenty-somethings poised to begin lives in three different directions.

When i snapped this picture, I had a sense of frozen tableau, of three people who love being together and playing like the kids they used to be…and that is worthy of celebrating, indeed!

until next time…..


Weekly Photo Challenge (Waiting)

Weekly Photo Challenge (Waiting)I took this picture on October 28, after a heavy rain stopped–I’d gone outside to check some seeds I’d planted earlier.  Passing the tree, I caught sight of a little froggy peeking out from his  tillandsia ” attached home.”  I like to imagine he patiently posed for me, but he was probably just waiting for the wan light to get a little stronger!

The terrestrial bromeliads that grow beneath the tree are also great for frog spotting!Neoreglia

I was even lucky enough to catch this one hangin’ around in the adjacent potted orchids!

Brassia Maculata and Frog

Until next time…..