The Hunt for Joy: Making a Rainbow

Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy is in its 18th week and the theme for this week is Make Your Own Rainbow.

I love to draw and occasionally paint. I also enjoy coloring books. Here are two coloring pages I did. The first is called “Rainbow Wheel Mandala,” done with markers. The second is “Rainbow Tessellation,” done with gel pens.

Some of my other artwork: The first is called “Arizona Desert,” which I painted with acrylics; the second is untitled, drawn with charcoal pencils.

As bloggers who follow me know, I do a lot of photography also. These photos I took in various places at various times.

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Gay pride at Solstice Parade, Seattle

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Colorful scene in Regensburg, Germany

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This colorful Tanzanian bird is called lilac-breasted roller, and it really does seem to have every color of the rainbow!

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Sunset over North Atlantic Ocean

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A real rainbow, South Dakota. We should have stopped and hiked over that field to the end of the rainbow to see if there was a pot of gold! 😉

 

 

CB&WPC: I’ve Looked At Clouds

Cee’s black & White Photo Challenge this week has the topic clouds. This is an interesting topic, because one of the things that makes cloud pictures spectacular is color – especially sunsets. I tried and rejected several photos because they just didn’t have appeal without the color. Others, however, look even more dramatic in black & white! So here’s what I chose.

I’ll start with clouds seen from above (through an airplane window).
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I got some dramatic sunset photos in black & white when I looked for strong contrasts between the clouds and the sky.
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The variety of the shapes of the clouds makes this an interesting photo in black & white.

2-6 sunset from our room at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (2)
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Sometimes, what attracts me to take photos of clouds is the variety of shapes. It can be especially dramatic in the wide open spaces on the prairies of North Dakota…
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…or a sunburst over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
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More subtle effects over the pond on the campus of our community.
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In this photo, the clouds are reflected in the rippled surface of the water.
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Sometimes, instead of a prairie, a dramatic landscape – such as majestic mountains – enhances the photo, offering a dramatic contrast between land and sky.
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The official title of the following song is Both Sides Now. But this is a pretty rendition with ethereal moving clouds. Although the song was written by Joni Mitchell, who sings it here, it was first recorded by Judy Collins, which was the first version of it I heard.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Stark

Debbie Smyth at Travel With Intent has a weekly photo challenge and the theme this week is stark.  I looked up the meaning of this word and found two basic definitions:
1. bleak, desolate, barren, unadorned
2. standing out in sharp outline

Therefore, I chose this picture taken on a late May afternoon in Northern Wisconsin. The trees stand out in stark silhouette against a darkening sky. A storm was coming!IMAG2031.jpg

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.

Round

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Interlocking hoops decoration on a wall at a wedding venue

 

Fountains

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

 

Mountain

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Mt. Baker, Washington state, from our airplane window

 

 

Clouds

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Interesting cloud formations over the prairie in southeastern North Dakota

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Consumers

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

 

Couple

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

 

Spouse

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

 

Dungeon

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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

86% Totality

On Monday, August 21, 2017, many people across this country were excited to get a look at the solar eclipse.  For the first time in generations, the total eclipse would pass over the continental United States! Some people made pinhole boxes, like we used to in school. Some trekked down to Carbondale or Makanda in southern Illinois to join the crowds viewing the total eclipse – we didn’t go because all rooms were booked, but we vowed to go in 2024, when it will cross southern Illinois again! Some used colanders or their hands to see tiny crescents. A friend in Texas took this shot.
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Another friend journeyed down to Cherokee, NC which apparently was also in the path of totality. Before the total eclipse, she took this shot of crescents coming through the openings in a tree canopy.  Then she got a picture of the total eclipse.crescent shadows-Marge Smtih

total eclipse-Marge SmithMy photographer cousin who lives in Wyoming in the path of totality took this excellent picture.DSCN0306

Here in the Chicago area, we had 86% totality, but that didn’t stop anyone from having a good time! I worried about a shortage of eclipse glasses – I looked online but companies were charging hundreds of dollars for them! Luckily, my friend Betty and I went to the Chicago Botanic Garden, which was partnering with the Adler Planetarium to sponsor an eclipse viewing event – we were lucky to find both parking and eclipse glasses, which were being handed out free one pair per family.

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Happy me – I got eclipse glasses!!

The grounds at the gardens were crowded with people, who had brought lawn chairs or blankets to sit on (picnics were not allowed). The smell of cooking hamburgers wafted through the air as people stood in line to have lunch before the big event.

We attended a concert by a trio of musicians, one of them the composer of a piece written expressly for the eclipse. In his introduction, the composer said that, although we sometimes feel small, the eclipse lets us feel part of something bigger.

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All around the outdoor concert venue, people had set up chairs on the lawn and were getting ready. I heard one woman tell another, just around noon, that the eclipse was starting: “It looks like a cookie with a bite taken out of it!”

A pair of teenage girls and a mother and daughter figure out how to take pictures using their cell phones with the glasses over them. (Not only could looking directly at the sun when not totally eclipsed can damage your eyes, it can damage cell phone cameras as well.)

This guy was ready to take some professional-looking photos. On the right is the rose garden, a waiting crowd getting settled.

Meanwhile, the flowers and plants had a lot to offer in terms of beauty while waiting.

Betty and I finally chose a spot at the edge of a tree, but with a good view. Clouds were gathering and people worried about the eclipse being obscured by a cloud cover.

I settled into a comfortable viewing position, lying down with my head resting on my purse, and holding my eclipse glasses over my regular glasses.20170821_131032

Part of the time, it was clear enough to see the full eclipse, and I managed to take this picture using my cell phone, holding the glasses over the lens, while Betty clicked the button.  At first, I thought it was just a yellow blotch with a reflection of the sun’s rays at the left,
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but when I blew it up, I could see it was a perfect crescent!20170821_130602 (2)

Not bad for a cell phone!!

Soon afterward, during the period of 86% totality, a cloud cover began to obscure the sun, but the cool thing about it was that at first it was a thin layer of clouds and you could see the eclipsed sun right through it with your naked eyes!! I tried to take a picture of it but the clouds moved so fast. Still, if you look carefully to the left of the small light patch in the center of the photo below, you can see a faint partial crescent.
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After that, the sun completely disappeared behind a thick layer of clouds – we’d gotten to see the best part anyway! So we got up and went to have salads for lunch and then admired some more flowers before going home.

I am keeping the glasses for 2024 – Carbondale or Bust!!

 

Photo credits:
Amie Rodnick
Margaret Smith
Katherine Murray
Katy Berman, blog author