Tuesday Photo Challenge: Winding & Windy

Frank Jansen at Dutch Goes the Photo has a Tuesday Photo Challenge. This week the topic is wind. Depending on how it’s pronounced it’s either a noun or a verb. Here are a few of each.

Glacier winding down a mountain at Glacier Bay National Park, AlaskaKODAK Digital Still CameraAt Glacier Bay National Park, a steward came around with split pea soup on a tray and handed it out to grateful passengers. It was so windy on the deck that the steward’s tray almost got blown away and he had to hold it with two hands!The steward holds on tight to the tray of soup.Here you can see that it’s windy by my blowing hair.
Fast forward to this year:  On our recent road trip, we went to Rocky Mountain National Park near Denver, Colorado. We went up a very winding road, with a lot of switchbacks.
Note the road sign on the far left.
We saw winding mountain streams…
…and a rushing waterfall that winds its way through descending cliffs.


Adams Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park

At Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, North Dakota, they provide free wine and appetizers every evening in the lobby. We stayed two nights there last year, so you could say we were wined and dined at the hotel, to use a homophone! 🙂

CFFC: Up and Down We Wander

Ways to go up and down outside is Cee’s theme this week for her Fun Foto Challenge.

I think I would be too chicken to go up in a hot air balloon, but an enclosed cable car or funicular is fun.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Cable car to Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Funicular from lower Old Quebec to upper Old Quebec, Quebec City, Canada

Many of the people going from upper to lower (or vice versa) Quebec opt for the stairs, as can be seen by the crowd of people ascending or descending the stairway near the funicular.
20171006_135914I use stairs as much as possible, even if I have to stop in the middle to catch my breath. Five years ago, I climbed these stairs – easier then than it would be now!

Monk Mound, Cahokia Mounds State Park, Illinois (looking up)



Looking down from the top of Monk Mound, Cahokia Mounds State Park, Illinois

Hiking is a lot more my style, especially when the path is smooth! We took a tram into Sabino Canyon in Tucson, Arizona and walked back, mostly uphill but easy, with beautiful views.DSC_0742
In Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North Dakota, we took a path up to a look-out point at the top of a canyon.  This is the path itself…

At the top, we saw this view looking down. The path in this picture is NOT the one we took! (Ours was much shorter; we drove halfway up.)  The park has many beautiful hiking trails for those younger and more fit than we are.  If you are one of them, be on the lookout for bison and wild horses. We saw both!
We reached the summit, where we took photos, videos and admired the views. It was VERY windy up there!
20170527_112754It’s definitely worth going up, no matter how you do it because the views are spectacular. But what goes up must come down and go home! These photos were taken in my neighborhood in Des Plaines.



A house with not one, but TWO stairways to the front door! I don’t suppose this house is handicapped accessible.


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Children’s favorite way to go up and down! On a playground with slides, jungle gyms and swings!  These are at West Park, Des Plaines, Illinois.


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A funky little ladder someone had left against a tree on my street.





CFFC: Rain and Rainbows

Taking photos when it’s raining often produces surprising results. A rainstorm started one Labor Day weekend when we were driving on the expressway in the early evening. With the help of a windshield and lights outside, it made for interesting swirls and patterns. Looking through the windshield at the traffic ahead of us:
Rain on I-90, approaching Rockford (going north/west)Rain on the window
IMAG0952 (2)Although the storm dissipated and the sun came out, there was no rainbow that evening.

Last May, we took a trip to Minnesota and the Dakotas. We ventured into Wyoming one day to see Devils Tower. We were having a picnic dinner afterward when it started to rain! The storm didn’t last long, though, and we were treated to a double rainbow! I have posted some pictures of this before, but here are a couple I didn’t include then.

I chose this photo because I like the way the rainbow reflects on the wet road ahead of us.
20170527_200914_001The second rainbow is barely visible on the far right in this photo, but it looks like the big rainbow is coming right out of the top of the hill!

Posted for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, 3/20/18.

CFFC: Double-U

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues its alphabet with the letter W. The requirements are that the word starts with w and has at least two vowels.

Windows with wrought iron bars (Antigua, Guatemala)KODAK Digital Still Camera
willow trees (Chicago Botanic Gardens)125

wheels (Bicycle with folding chairs, Quebec City, Canada)20171006_142915 (3)

warhead or weapon (Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, South Dakota)20170531_112548

wastebasket (Scandic Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark)100_0041

wood (Ketchikan, Alaska)KODAK Digital Still Camera

writing in chalk, (July 4, 2017 in Arlington Heights, Illinois)20170704_110527.jpg

Women’s March Chicago, Jan. 20, 201820180120_110234


CFFC: Oh, you!!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is the letter U – must have both an ‘o’ and a ‘u’ in the word.



Interlocking hoops decoration on a wall at a wedding venue




Peter the Great loved fountains, so he had a lot of them built on his country estate, Peterhof (near St. Petersburg, Russia)




Mt. Baker, Washington state, from our airplane window





Interesting cloud formations over the prairie in southeastern North Dakota



Ripply  clouds at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, as seen from my driveway.








Looking down on consumers at Mall of America, Minneapolis, Minnesota




Newlywed couple, (my niece Allie and her new husband Alex), prepares to cut the wedding cake.




My husband, Dale,  relaxes as he enjoys wine and cheese hour at Hotel Donaldson, Fargo, North Dakota



The dungeon tour
The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, Charleston, SC. It was built by the British in 1771 in a Palladian style, and was used for trade purposes during Charleston’s growth as a port. During the American Revolution, American Patriots were held prisoners in the dungeon.



Las Bovedas, now a colorful market in Cartagena, Colombia, was a dungeon at one time (las bovedas means “the dungeons”), which is why over each shop door there is a small barred window – this would have been the only window the prisoners in the cells had.




WPC: Favorites of 2017

20170527_200455This brilliant rainbow appeared after a rainstorm and close to sunset on a May evening, on our way back to South Dakota after visiting Devils’ Tower. It’s my favorite because the rainbow was so nearby, that I could see it “touch” the ground.

20170920_191538I took this photo from inside Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier in Chicago last September. It was just past sunset. I love the different hues of blue with the silhouettes of skyscrapers in the background.

20171117_123431 (2)This is sort of an oddball photo, but it’s one of my favorites because of the subject matter. Leaving a lecture at a local community college in November, I passed a room with all these microphones sticking out of the wall. I’d never seen anything like that before and it just struck me, particularly the different bends in each of the cables, creating a sort of chaotic group of curvy black shapes. Then I played around with the light and special effects on the photo to create this result. The closest microphone has a sort of light aura around it, which I tried to enhance further, but couldn’t with my limited photo software. Anyway, I think it’s kind of cool and would like to take more photos of unusual subjects like this.

20170821_122819.jpgThis is probably my favorite picture of flowers this year. I took it at the Chicago Botanic Garden in August. The purple and blue combination on the flowers is so vibrant.

20170713_165802Finally, I was excited to get so close to a pair of loons while on a pontoon boat ride on Lower Kaubashine Lake in Wisconsin with my family last July. I had seen them earlier in the week and knew they had a chick, which was fishing with them on that earlier day. On the pontoon ride, we somehow ended up coming between the loon parents and their baby! The pair approached the boat cautiously and we watched them so quietly, until they began to make distress calls (this is a sort of up and down trill and denotes a warning or danger). Everyone on the boat was trying to get Dale to speed up so we wouldn’t be blocking the pair from their offspring, who had begun to make a distress call back to its parents. Although it was exciting to see them up close and snap several pictures of them, we also wanted to leave them alone. Over the years we have been spending some summer weeks in northern Wisconsin, I’ve gotten to really love these beautiful water birds and the variety of vocalizations they make. Loons are very shy birds, even though they have, by necessity, become used to sharing their habitat with humans. This is a fairly recent phenomenon and so it is still special to be able to observe a loon family at such close range.

Weekly Photo Challenge, 12/20/17

CFFC: The R’s Have It

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is to post photos of things that start with the letter R and have at least six letters.



Natasha Stojanovska performs  at St. James Cathedral, Chicago.




One of my all time favorite pictures that I’ve taken. I was walking in the woods shortly after a rainfall when I saw this leaf.




My husband and I were caught in a downpour in the middle of a walk. We finally huddled under an awning and waited for the rain to abate.




Another of my favorites. This brilliant rainbow appeared over the fields alongside our car as we drove back to South Dakota after visiting Devils Tower in Wyoming. Just after we left Devils Tower, it started to rain, but cleared up by the time we crossed the border back into South Dakota.


Railway station


Ogilvie Transportation Center, downtown Chicago


Railroad tracks


Waiting for a train downtown in the evening, in front of Des Plaines Metra station. It had just started snowing.



KODAK Digital Still Camera

Reflection of the sky and mountains on the sheen of still water, Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska



WPC: Going Up?

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge this week is ascend.  If I were a bird, I would spread my wings and fly! Since humans have no wings, we have created other ways to go up…

Escalators at Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago (two of these go down, one goes up)20171211_175047

Circular stairways at Grand Ave. Mall in MilwaukeeSONY DSC
The funicular and the stairs connecting Upper and Lower Old Town, Quebec City, Canada

Want to see the view? Try Chicago’s Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier!

Circular stairway at Museu da Arte Moderna (MAM) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I did a long post several months ago about going up Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) in Rio de Janeiro, including a video of our cable car ascending. Here it is again:


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Some are getting ready to descend, or are disembarking after ascending!

Winding staircase and marble staircase at State Capitol, St. Paul, MinnesotaKODAK Digital Still Camera


Elevator door, State Capitol, Bismarck, North Dakota20170526_133446




CFFC: N is for…

My grand-nephew Nicholas (picture taken several years ago; Nicholas is now 21.) Not only is he handsome but he’s a talented musician also!Nicholas Keriazakos.jpgNicholas-Xmas14

November nature display in my neighborhood20171108_121602

A Nissan in NicaraguaPanama Cruise C 441.JPG

Northern Lights on an Alaskan nightDSC_0780.JPG

Native American culture at the North Dakota Cultural Center (Bismarck, ND)

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Reproduction of the first house in North Dakota, made of wooden posts, covered in bark or hide


KODAK Digital Still Camera


KODAK Digital Still Camera

This winter count, created by High Dog, depicts 114 years of a Teton Dakota band’s history. Spiraling clockwise from the upper left hand corner, each pictograph represents an event in a given year. Modern winter counts continue to record significant events in tribal history.

(More about the North Dakota Cultural Center in a separate post.)

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Letter N (must start with N)




CB&WPC: Bismarck: State Capitol Building

The Bismarck State Capitol is unlike most others. Built in 1934 in Art Deco style, it is in fact a 15-story building, rather ordinary looking, but it’s the tallest building in Bismarck! There is one elevator you can take to the Skydeck, which is actually the 18th level, but only 15 of the floors are readily accessible.  Since the theme of Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge this week is indoor hallways and elevators, here are some B&W photos inside the building.

The Capitol building from the outside:20170526_131635 (2)

Hallways:  The interior is in fact quite dark, with the use of dark woods and darkish walls, depending on artificial and natural lighting.20170526_133230 (2)

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There is also the North Dakota Hall of Fame  in the main hallway off the entrance. Actress Angie Dickinson is at the end of this row and on the other side are rock ‘n’ roller Bobby Vee and author Louise Erdrich. 20170526_132221 (2)

Elevator doors:
20170526_133446 (2)

20170526_133854 (2)