CFFC: The Ground We Travel

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge this week is: Ground: sand, dirt, paths, walks, trails, roads, etc.

Bridges, paths & walkways, desert and mountain terrains, and national parks – these are some of the places to find interesting “ground.” Sometimes there is an added bonus: a lizard, a flower, or a butterfly, or something ugly, like trash. This challenge is a way to showcase the photos I don’t usually publish in other posts!

Chicago Botanic Gardens: bridges, paths, and walkways

Cuba Marsh Wildlife Preserve (Illinois): walkways and grassland

The Middle East (Egypt and Israel): Desert landscapes, markets and farms

Mountain and Southwest (USA) terrain: ground above & below the tree line and rocks at Rocky Mountain National Park; trails and paths at Bryce Canyon National Park

CFFC/CMMC: Oranges & Holes

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic of hole/whole. And for her newest challenge, Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge, the topic is orange.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is a wonder of geological formations called “hoodoos.” These orangish sandstone shapes were carved over millions of years through water and wind erosion. Besides being orange, look carefully to see the holes!


Another beautiful national park in Utah is Arches National Park, named for the many arches carved by nature into the orange rocks. The first picture below is an iconic image, which many people have seen on calendars or posters. I had to use my telephoto lens to get a good shot of this beautiful arch, because without an arduous climb we could not get very close to it! The second photo is another of the park’s arches, which form a type of hole due to erosion, out of the whole rock!

Pumpkins, when they carved, become jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. At night you can see the light of the candle glowing through the holes!

Chihuly piece at Museum of Glass in Tacoma

Orange foliage with “holes” between the leaves!

I keep this (whole) water bottle next to my bed.

It has a hole in the top where the straw goes in!

A Special CFFC: Bryce Canyon NP

I already participated in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge with the theme orange and green. But later I remembered this beautiful national park we visited two years ago, so I wanted to share some of the beautiful vistas we saw there! Here is a gallery of orange and green at Bryce Canyon National Park! Click on the photos to enlarge. (I had intended to include more photos but the new “Block” system on WordPress deleted all but these when I tried to change the format from “Gallery” to “Tiled Gallery.” Since I had already spent quite a bit of time downloading the photos, I decided to give up at that point!)

2020 Photo Challenge: Shot From Above

Travel Words’ 2020 Photo Challenge theme for September is “point of view” and for this final week, the subject is shoot from above.

Looking down on Maasai villages from prop plane flying from Serengeti National Park to Arusha, Tanzania
Plane ride Serengeti-Arusha, Tanzania
Hotel room balcony view, Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt
Ruins of Roman settlement during the siege of Masada, from Masada plateau, Israel
Looking down from the courtyard behind the abbey atop Mont St-Michel, France
Looking down on the Rhine River from Marksburg Castle in Germany
Looking down on hoodoos from the Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
A trail we chose to view from above rather than hike down! Bryce Canyon NP, Utah

LAPC: Long & Winding

Lens-Artists’ 100th(!) photo challenge is long and winding roads.

French countryside, province of Normandy
Not exactly a road, actually it’s a path. But it’s a long way down! Above the town of Arromanches, France and Port Winason. The British created an artificial harbor here using old barges and truck bodies, which was named Port Winston, in preparation for D-Day.
The island of Mont St-Michel is reached by a long causeway at low tide (at high tide, the island is cut off from the shore). Taken from the abbey at the top of Mont St-Michel, France.
Are we looking down at the road just traveled, the road yet to be traveled, or the road not traveled? Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA
The road winds up and down mountains at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
A long and winding hiking trail (which we did not explore) at Arches National Park, Utah, USA. We were content to photograph the scenery!
A dusty and winding road at the base of Masada plateau, Israel – the workers’ entrance?
A very long and very dusty path for the hardy hikers who take it up to the Masada plateau. Taken from the cable car our group wisely chose!
Another photo of hikers on a very windy path taken from the top, at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.
Not much of the road is visible here, but the sign tells us about it! Near Oatman, Arizona, USA
Around that 15 mph bend in the road and who do we see? A couple of Oatman residents on the road! Oatman, Arizona, an old mining town today survives because of the tourists on Route 66, (of which this is a part), who come for the burros that hang around town – and hike along the road! Oatman has a couple of Route 66 touristy stores and buildings that are the remnants of its mining heyday.
Leaving Sedona, Arizona, after a weekend celebration of the 70th anniversary of Verde Valley School, where I attended high school (but much less than 70 years ago!).

And to end, I can’t resist – because this is what I was singing in my head while composing this post.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Steep Drops & Trails

Frank at Dutch Goes the Photo has a Tuesday Photo Challenge and this week’s topic is steep.

Last summer we took a road trip which included a visit to Bryce Canyon National Park. We did want to do a bit of hiking but knew that the steep paths would be too much of a challenge for us due to our age and arthritic knees! So we took the rim trail which afforded many amazing views. And stay away from the edge – it’s a long way down!
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Then in January of this year, during our trip to Israel, we visited the high plateau of Masada, where in pre-Christian times, a group of zealots who were living up there battled with Roman troops, ultimately ending in a mass suicide when it became clear that the Romans would conquer and either massacre or enslave them. The Romans built a huge berm to be able to scale the high plateau and found all the zealots already dead.

It used to be necessary to take a long, steep trail up to the Masada site, but fortunately one can now go up by cable car. From the cable car, I took these photos of the steep switchbacks of the trail with hardy souls hiking up.
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Another cable car about to pass us on its way down the steep cliff.
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Looking down at the last stretch of the trail from the top.
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Here are some people going back down the trail; this photo was taken from the cable car on the way down.
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A Photo a Week: The Beauty of…

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week challenge this week is Beauty.  This is a difficult one to choose only a few photos, for the Earth is full of beauty, natural and manmade! So I am going to choose some of my favorite “beauties” from my photo collection.

Beauty of a sunset: Rio de Janeiro, from the top of Sugarloaf. Every time I go to Rio, I make time to go to the Sugarloaf late in the afternoon, taking the cable car up to the top. I like to watch the sunset from there, and little by little, the beaches grow dark and lights begin to wink on. And up there, I see this view.
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Beauty of Sedona, Arizona: Everyone nowadays knows about Sedona, right? It’s been “discovered.” But back when I was a teenager, I went to a private high school there with the majestic Cathedral Rock as a backdrop. Few people even knew Sedona existed then. I still think Cathedral, viewed from the campus of Verde Valley School, is the most beautiful sight in Sedona. I took this shot late in the afternoon last June.
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The beauty of a national park. That’s a hard one! I love national parks and find great beauty in all of them. I should post a picture of the Grand Canyon or Yosemite here, but they are iconic. Instead I chose a scene at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, which we visited last June. I had always wanted to see it, but never had a chance until last year.
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I have to include one more, which was taken in 2016 at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.
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All these beauties are majestic scenery. I appreciate beauty on a macro level also: an animal, a flower, etc. This is a beauty of a flower – the lotus – which is sacred to many cultures. I took this shot last July when the lotus was in full bloom.
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The beauty of a cat (my Hazel, of course!)
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The beauty of a tree in autumn
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I thought of including manmade beauties, but that would take too long – I find beauty in almost everything! Besides, the greatest beauty in the world is the beauty of nature.

CFFC: Bryce Canyon National Park

This week’s topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Places People Visit. 

Each year, America’s national parks host millions of visitors, Americans and foreigners alike. The national park system has a variety of different types of parks with diverse landscapes as well as historical and cultural attractions.
20180605_095721I appreciate all natural beauty, but I admit I am partial to the geography of the American Southwest. Last June, on our road trip which culminated with traveling Route 66 from L.A. to Chicago, we visited many places on our way out west. I always want to see as many national parks as possible, and Bryce Canyon had been on my bucket list for decades.
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Bryce Canyon is the 12th most visited National Park in the United States. In 2017, it had  2,571,684 visitors.

Because I didn’t book far enough in advance, our only choices for lodgings were overpriced hotels located several miles outside the park. No Ruby’s Best Western for us, although we are Best Western members!

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Sunrise from the parking lot of our hotel

 

The road into the park takes vehicles under an arch of red rock. DSC05435.JPGOnce in the park, we were able to park our car and wait for a shuttle which would stop at various popular points along the way. The shuttle is free and one can get off and on at any time at any of the designated shuttle stops. The shuttles run about every 20 minutes.
DSC_0390We only had about half a day to spend at Bryce Canyon. We wanted to see as much of the canyon as possible during that time and we knew we wanted to hike. However, for health reasons we couldn’t take any of the trails with large changes in elevation, so we chose a couple of miles along the Rim Trail, from Inspiration Point to Sunrise Point. 20180605_103329
This allowed us to see many beautiful views from the top.
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Bryce Canyon is well-known for its most interesting geological feature: hoodoos. Hoodoos are spires or columns of rock that rise up singly or in groups.
DSC_0444.JPG50 million years ago, the place now known as Bryce Canyon was a lake surrounded by higher land. Through erosion, tiny particles of rock accumulated and cemented together.
SONY DSCPlate tectonics (movement of sections of the surface of Earth) lifted these rocks to an elevation where other forces could act upon them.
SONY DSCWeathering from ice, rain and wind sculpted the columns of rock we see at Bryce Canyon today. Sometimes a section of rock breaks off, leaving an arch or hole.
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It is advisable to carry plenty of water and keep hydrated when hiking. Not all the shuttle stops have facilities available.DSC05455.JPG
My husband and I took a lot of photographs, sometimes two in a row that were very much alike – that’s because the views are so awe-inspiring that every time I looked, I felt the need to capture the scene on my memory card!
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We spotted some wildlife, including lizards
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and birds.
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CWWPC: Not All Wanderers Are Lost

Cee’s weekly Which Way Photo Challenge is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, steps, signs, etc. we move from one place to another on. You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride on them, as long as the specific way is visible. Any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are any signs.

A preserved section of old Route 66 in southern Illinois, before it was paved over in cement and asphalt. This stretch is about 2 miles long through typical Midwestern countryside, flanked by farms and cornfields.20180616_105759.jpgEntering Sedona, Arizona with its famous Bell RockDSC05767.JPGIn the middle of the street in Winslow, Arizona
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Hiking trail winding its way down into Bryce Canyon National Park, UtahDSC05482.JPGBridge across a river near St. Robert, MissouriSONY DSCStairway at Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Back of a “Highway Hippy’s” truck seen in Springfield, Missouri. I took this picture for the bumper sticker that says “Not All Who Wander Are Lost.” That could be my mantra!20180615_080932