Going Out in a Blaze of Sunsets

It’s the last day of Becky’s January Square with the topic of ____light, and I am ending my participation with refracted light, such as the light that makes sunsets so colorful!

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Tanzania
2-7 sunrise-Ngorongoro (2)2-11 sunset over Serengeti (2)

Illinois (Mississippi River)
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Illinois – Arlington Heights
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Mont St.-Michel, France
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Egypt (on the Nile)
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On the Caribbean Sea
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The Changing Seasons, Jan. 2020

A NEW CHALLENGE! Here’s what the host, Su Leslie, has to say about it:

“About The Changing Seasons
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.
If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:
The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them
The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):
Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.”

Here is my contribution for January 2020:

Family and friends: 
Left: Colorful family members – my brother-in-law in lederhosen and my grand-nephew (we were at his house to celebrate his 18th birthday) in a flamingo suit we bought him last year; Right: Friends we rarely get to see nowadays, at dinner in a restaurant called Nando’s, which features Afro-Portuguese and South African cuisine.

Cats:
Top L: our cat, Hazel; Top R and Bottom: Two of our four “grandcats” (our daughter’s cats), Freddie (being held unwillingly by our daughter) and Stevie.

Home:
Our senior living community as it looks in this relatively warm January 2020: At right is my car during the only major snowfall we’ve had this month (which is very unusual, but we have had brutally cold as well as mild Januarys these past several years – none has been just “average”, I guess a result of climate change. I’ll take the mild winters any time, though!).

My artwork:
I love to draw and am taking an art class, which has inspired me to renew my artistic output! For the leopard cub I used a special technique, using dark Sharpies so it bled through the paper, then used the back side to color in with pastels. At right is a portrait I did in art class. We are focusing on portraiture this session.

RDP: Nations of Allies

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today (1/25/20) is nation.

The blogger, Marilyn Armstrong, who wrote about the state of our nation said it much the same way as I would, so I won’t repeat the sentiment, but instead provide a link to her blog.

For my contribution, I remember more valiant days in our history.  I am posting photos I took at Arromanches, France, at the site of Port Winston, an artificial harbor important during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. The flags represent the Allied nations during World War II who contributed to the liberation of France from the Nazis.

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Left to right: Netherlands, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), Norway, Poland, Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom, United States of America

Another view:DSC00293
On June 6, 2019 – the 75th anniversary of D-Day – there was a major commemorative event, including the presence of many national leaders, including Trump (I’m glad we were there almost two weeks later instead!). Attendees were given (or they purchased, I am not sure) small crosses with paper flowers attached which they could leave at the base of monuments, write someone’s name, etc. These little crosses were still there when we visited on June 17.
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D-Day was the combined effort of several nations, primarily the British, Canadians and Americans. The site at Arromanches is the location of Juno Beach, one of the British invasion sites. The mission that became the Battle of Normandy, which lasted about a month, was successful only because of the perseverance, bravery, and sacrifice of the forces who fought at the cost of many casualties.

Many Angles of Devil’s Tower

I was looking through my photos of our trip to the Dakotas when we took a side trip to Devil’s Tower, because I had just drawn a picture of it with pastels, and was thinking about Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week – her topic this week is taking photos of an object from 3 (or more) different angles. Although I already submitted photos taken today at my daughter’s house, I am cheating a bit by doing another post featuring Devil’s Tower. I did take it from various angles and it can be seen from so far away! It was more spectacular than I expected.

Everyone who likes sci-fi movies – or any kind of movies – has surely heard of Devil’s Tower, which was featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

So when I looked on a map and saw how close it was to South Dakota, where we were headed, I convinced Dale to take a side trip to it. Our first sighting was this:
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That part of the country is pretty flat, so this one geological formation jutting upward is so amazing.  It was threatening rain so I also got this dramatic shot as we got nearer.
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Once inside the national monument, details of the rocky tower appear. The weather cleared up, temporarily, too!
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Devil’s Tower is made up of igneous rock (volcanic rock) which formed below the earth’s surface and pushed its way up. Over millions of years, erosion stripped away the soft outer layers, producing a lot of columns. The sign at the visitors’ center explains it.
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This geological phenomenon was not always known as “Devil’s Tower.” The native tribes of that area called it many different things, and legends were built around it, a lot of them having to do with bears, because the columns almost look like they were made by giant bear claws.KODAK Digital Still Camera

Here is a Kiowa legend about the rock:
Before the Kiowa came south they were camped on a stream in the far north where there were a great many bears, many of them. One day, seven little girls were playing at a distance from the village and were chased by some bears. The girls ran toward the village and the bears were just about to catch them when the girls jumped on a low rock, about three feet high. One of the girls prayed to the rock, “Rock take pity on us, rock save us!” The rock heard them and began to grow upwards, pushing the girls higher and higher. When the bears jumped to reach the girls, they scratched the rock, broke their claws, and fell on the ground.

The rock rose higher and higher, the bears still jumped at the girls until they were pushed up into the sky, where they now are, seven little stars in a group (The Pleiades). In the winter, in the middle of the night, the seven stars are right over this high rock. When the people came to look, they found the bears’ claws, turned to stone, all around the base.

The Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne and others also had such legends, but I liked the Kiowa story the best. (The link above will take you to a website with all the stories.)

Nowadays, rock climbers climb the tower. I could see them as dots on the surface of the rock, but I was able to zoom in with my camera to get a better view. Some were wedged between the columns as they climbed, others took advantage of a small ledge to take a rest.

The requisite tourist photo opp!20170527_181226_001
From this angle you can see the base of the formation, sort of a wider platform from which rises the columned tower.
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This alien statue is meant to resemble the aliens in the movie.
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Surrounding the rock are forests protected by the National Park Service. Devil’s Tower is part of the national park system, although it is considered a “monument”, not a full-fledged national park.
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As we left, we saw this unusual sculpture, dwarfed by the majesty of the tower.
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We stopped nearby to have a picnic dinner, but had to cut it short when it started to rain. By the time we crossed back into South Dakota, we were treated with a double rainbow and a beautiful sunset!

 

 

 

 

A Photo a Week: Three Angles

Nancy Merrill’s challenge this week is to photograph an object from 3 different angles.

I was thinking of this challenge this evening when we were at our old house, which is currently being rented by our daughter and son-in-law, so I set out to take photos of things in their house from three angles.

A black vase of (fake) black roses and spiders

Liam’s band equipment

Stevie Nicks (one of our grandcats)