Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself (Converge Part 2)

This week’s photo challenge is part 2 of my Moscow penpal saga.  If you’re new or missed part 1, read this first. The short version: I’ve been communicating with a Russian man for quite awhile now, and this week I received a package!


Ayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! 🙂  Such crazy fun and what an interesting glimpse of a major cultural difference!  First the trinkets:


…next, a perfectly themed Yuri Gagarin t-shirt!  Evgeny is an astrophysicist: one of our earliest conversations was about the Cold War Space Race.

Maggie arrived home while I was opening the final item and we nearly killed ourselves laughing. Gender roles are alive and kicking in Moscow…bigtime!


I’ve been around a long time, and no man in his right mind has ever given me an apron!  Apparently this is high praise from a Russian male so I won’t smack him with a frying pan; couldn’t reach that high anyway!! 🙂

I’ve been enjoying this entire experience so much I began studying Russian two months ago.  Slow going, but I’m getting better at cadence and recognizing which cyrillc syllables are stressed when I see words in print.  However, to express yourself well, you REALLY need to understand complicated grammar rules…so I bought these:


До следующего раза! (until next time!)

🙂 🙂 🙂


Related articles

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

This week’s photo challenge asks us to use three distinct elements to “tell a story in three pictures.”:.

1. Use a broad shot to establish the subject; I’ve chosen a Yucca gigantea from my rear container garden:

Yucca gigantea, 2/23/142. Snap a photo showing 2 elements interacting within the broad subject. Lucky for me, I noticed three crosshatched webs loosely connected to the leaf margins and each other.

Yucca gigantea leaf with webbing and bugs, 2/23/14

3. Show a more detailed image of the elements in picture 2.  Look real closely, and you’ll see two small creatures among the webbing. (Note, clicking on the next photo will enlarge it for a better view.)

Cropped for close-up view of webbing/critters, 2/23/14

I’m not sure if these teeny critters are bugs or spiders….or if the cottony material is part of either’s entymology or something completely seperate! I queried several bug specialiists for assistance and have received emails saying they’re investigating further. (Thank you, George!) I will update with positive I.d. as soon as the info comes in!

For other interpretations of this week’s challenge, click on the zemanta related links below.

Until next time……

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

This week’s Photo Challenge asks us to illustrate the concept of juxtaposition: a fancy term for incongruous elements of strong visual weight that draw your attention at the same time.

Uh….. Say what ❓ ❓

Maybe I should just show you some examples! 😉

1. A seagrape branch where seapgrape shouldn’t be, on a day just shy of magical.

Seagrape, Jaycee Beach

2. The lushness in the top half of the next photo is in stark contrast to the railroad vine in the sand, below.Railroad Vine, Jaycee Beach

3. The next shot is a twofer! 😉  Same juxtaposition as above, but with added contrast of sun vs. shade competing for the viewer’s focus. :

Railroad vine closeup, Jaycee Beach

4. The last juxtaposition is a clash of opposing emotions:  Melpomene and Thalia at the Seaside Grille! 🙂
Jack and Maggie, Seaside Grille, 1/10/14

This was SUCH a creative challenge, yeah?  I hadn’t participated in awhile but the topic drew me back in!

For other bloggers’ submissions, click on the Zemanta related links that follow!

Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂

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Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

Lately, I’ve shot many photos from above…..which just happens to be the topic for this week’s photo challenge.   Don’t you just love serendipity!? 🙂

First up, a macro image of Iris Hexagona, one of Florida’s prettiest native wildflowers. 20130504_095843 When the rain stopped last Thursday, one of my newly planted Wal-Mart lily bulbs was opened wide.  This Asiatic variety is known as “Tango Orange Art“.20130502_085143

The colorful Gaillardia Torch Red Ember (G. Pulchella) reseeds all over the place…Here you can see it from above, growing through broken cement!


Sometimes what you notice from above can surprise you!


The nodding Hippeastrum Vera Amaryllis suggests we aren’t alone keeping track of things from above.


Probably keeping an eye (throat?) out for interloping Gaillardia seeds….or frogs!  😉

For other bloggers’ views from above,  check out the Zemanta provided links below:

Until next time……

cheerleaderYay Spring!! cheerleader

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

Riverside Park was transformed to a tropical oasis this weekend thanks to the annual celebration of Gardenfest!  I’ve just started transferring the ridiculous amount of photos I took, but it’s proving quite a challenge. Two days ago, my trusty, broken-in, much loved laptop shuddered and faded away….seriously!!  One massive vibration and bright flash of light before the screen slowwwwllllyyyyy went black! 😦  Goodbye old friend, hello Windows 8 new friend: please tell me where you’re hiding my pictures!?

New relationships….Arghhhh. 😉

Happily, I’ve managed to locate a few of my Gardenfest images, and they uniquely sum up the magic that is Vero Beach:


Epiphytes and seashells: separately abundant here,  yet unique when combined.

The epiphyte above–Tillandsia Bulbosa–fits the weekly challenge in an additional way.  With its contorted, cylindrical, bright green leaves and 2″ diameter bulbous base, no other “Tilly” looks remotely like it. It is truly unique among its species!  As bloomtime approaches, it produces bright red/orange bracts (like you see in the picture,) from which purple, tubular flowers emerge.  To learn more about this airplant, check out the informative plant of the month article at the Central Ohio Cactus and Succulent Society website.

It may be a few days ’til I’m comfortable enough with Windows 8 to manage a full entry on the many interesting booths and vendors I saw this weekend. Every possible garden accessory/tool/plant from mundane to exotic was represented….and I”ve got the pics to prove it!

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

I visited the Palm Beach Zoo yesterday and noticed monkey business among the trees!


Zooming in a little closer, it looked an awful lot like love. 🙂


For a complete list of the Zoo’s inhabitants, check out their Animals Page.  FYI, I’m heading there now: I loved this wacky, intense bird from the Zoo Wetlands Area and need a species i.d.!


Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂

Rectangular Shaped Stairs at Jaycee Beach..Geometry surrounds us!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

This week’s challenge asks for photos that highlight “the shapes and rhythms that make up the geometry of our world.”  At first I thought it would be difficult, but on a trip to the beach last Sunday, I noticed geometry all around me: 🙂

Geometry abounds at Jaycee Beach

Cement cubes, triangular shadehouses, and hedges sculpted to look like arcs…..all examples of applied mathematics at work.

But geometry is not the province of man alone.

Nature reveals her own complex pattern of spirals and swirls. The Fibonacci Sequence (a common geometric curve structure) is seen in seashells and cresting waves:

Geometry in Seashells

And what of hyperbolic geometry in which the surface of an object curves away from itself along any given point?  Coincidentally, marine organisms with “ruffles”  grow in ways that perfectly illustrate the mathematical form of hyperbolic geometry, like this piece of coral washed ashore on Jaycee Beach:

Flower frog for a mernaid

For more information on Hyperbolic Geometry, check out this YouTube lecture:

To see how other bloggers interpreted this week’s challenge, click the Zemanta links below:

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂

Vero Beach Neighborhood Trees at Sunset 9/23/2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

For this week’s challenge, I’m sharing tree silhouettes.

This Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is located behind the gate to my rear yard.  When I took this picture at 7:01pm, I thought a wierd lens-smudge caused the white spot in the sky. Nay-nay!!  ‘Twas merely the waxing crescent moon! 😉

Backyard Queen Palm Silhouhette, October 20, 2012

Fourteen hours later the sun returned, creating a daylight silhouette among the heart-shaped leaves of my Bauhinia tree:

There are over 200 species of Bauhinia and I have yet to determine where mine fits.  (I’ve had several landscapers (I fire them frequently! ha!) each tell me something different. :shock:)  Based on flower characteristics and the October-December bloom time, I’m leaning toward Bauhinia Purpurea.

Although not exactly a silhouette picture, I thought you’d like to see the first Bauhinia bloom of the 2012 season (taken Oct.22nd:)

Bauhinia Flower Bud Cluster, October 22, 2012

Until next time,  take a peek at other silhouette interpretations via the Zemanta links below!

🙂 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming

This week’s challenge asks that we share a photo that makes you dream, so when I noticed this picture of two 9 year olds on my Facebook Timeline, I knew I’d found my shot.  Taken in 1998, you might recognize one of the little girls as a younger Maggie (yes, she was lanky even then! ;))  At the time, she and her chum were one year into a friendship I suspect will be lifelong.

2 friends 1998

What dreams may come?

The unstructured, round faces of not-yet-tweens, looking at bugs on a sunny, spring day!  I LOVE this terribly blurry shot taken by a teacher during a school trip to Duffy Field.

The neighborhood in which their friendship formed was  exactly what you’d expect of a residential enclave in urban New England: 100+ yr old streets, and homes with big, leafy trees. The park in the photo was equidistant from both houses, a pretty, winding street away, and they’d stroll to meet each other there.  Together they hatched plans, discussed boys, and created a haven away from family turmoils, which were eerily similar in both young lives.

friends 2009

They grew close and grew up! 🙂

In the way of true friends, they lend support when dreams are shattered, and celebrate when they come true!

friends in florida

Their only impossible dream? Being more beautiful….inside or out!  😉

Eternal Flame by the Bangles was a popular song when Maggie was born. Although written with romantic love in mind, the chorus applies beautifully to any solid friendship:

Say my name sun shines through the rain
A whole life so lonely
And then you come and ease the pain
I don’t want to lose this feeling

I hope you enjoy the song, set to Disney animation in honor of the 9yr olds who watched these movies and inspired this post:

Until next time…..