Bloganuary, Day 4 (But I Never Got 1-3!): A Childhood Passion

Today’s Bloganuary prompt is What was your favorite toy as a child?

I have come to believe that whatever your interest or passion as a child, even if you don’t follow that passion for many years, will come back to you sometime in adulthood, and you will have a chance to pursue it once again and hone your skill.

My favorite toy, although not really a toy, was reams of paper that my dad picked up at the local newspaper’s office. It was left over from what the newspaper used to print each edition of the paper. My dad knew I would be happy to put it to good use. Along with pencils and crayons, this paper was the material I used to create my drawings and writings. I wrote little books, usually about my family or an experience I had, such as a basketball game, and illustrated them.

This image was downloaded from Google Images.

A few years ago, going through some of my mother’s stuff, I found several of these little books, which my mom had had stiff covers put on to preserve them. I haven’t been able to throw them out! I guess I will leave that to my kids to sort out after I’m dead. At that point, I will no longer care!

As I got older, my stories were longer and usually fictional. I wrote a “book” of several chapters when I was in junior high – I typed it and illustrated it. It was about a girl who meets a boy when visiting California and they are separated when she has to go back home to Wisconsin. Did he love her as she loved him? That was for her to find out (typical young teenage preoccupation!).

I have always loved drawing and writing. I kept a diary for many years when I was a kid, and I still journal, although not nearly as often as I would like to. I also have started writing projects which I keep meaning to get back to. Some day they will all be stored on flash drives and my kids can either read them or discard them. Maybe they will entertain or enlighten someone. Anyway, I enjoyed doing them! Currently I spend more time drawing and painting than writing. I am not very good at painting yet, but have done several watercolors, such as the one below.

Watercolor, finished in July 2021

SYW: Breakfast, Clever Answers to Mindless Questions, and Cat Preferences

Monday = Melanie’s Share Your World! I haven’t posted much lately, but I always look for Share Your World!

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This week’s questions:

Is cereal soup? Why or why not?

What an odd question! Of course cereal isn’t soup, unless you like soggy cereal drowning in a bowl of milk! Actually, I rarely eat cereal with milk anymore – I usually use yogurt instead. I have cereal with fruit & yogurt for breakfast a few days a week. Soup makes a good lunch in the winter. Another difference between soup and cereal is that usually cereal has some sort of sweetness to it, while soup tends to be salty.

What are some interesting ways to answer everyday questions like “how’s it going” or “what do you do”?

How’s it going? “Going? Going where?”
What do you do? “Lots of things – eat, sleep, make love, read, exercise, go to work, sleep late, travel. Which one are you asking about?” (I might select a couple of these depending on my mood.)

But I never have a clever response to anything like that – I don’t think of clever things on the spur of the moment; sometimes I come up with a good response an hour later when I’m in my car. However, I do want to be honest sometimes when someone asks me, “How are you?” I usually say, “fine and you?” But what if I said something like, “I feel like sh** this morning, how about you?” I mean, do people really want to know how it’s going or how I am? It’s just a mindless greeting. I prefer greeting people with a smile and “hello!”

What was your favorite toy growing up?

It wasn’t really a toy. Paper and crayons/pencils. I always loved to draw, and I would write and illustrate little books. As I got older, I preferred journaling or writing romantic stories, but added drawings as well.

If you have a pet, and you could ask it three questions, what would you ask?
Every animal has its own personality and preferences, and Hazel is no exception! I would like to ask her about some of her idiosyncratic preferences:

  1. What makes you choose one place over another to take your many cat naps?
  2. You change your mind so often regarding what food you prefer, so what kind of cat food do you really like? (I know what people food you like!)
  3. Why do you only want to sleep between Dale’s legs when he’s sitting on the recliner (and not when I’m there) but in bed, you always sleep between my legs and not his?
Hazel sleeping blissfully on my bathrobe (which is soft and plush)

Attitude of Gratitude Section (Always Optional)

What’s one simple thing society at large could do to improve our world? Wear a mask and believe what doctors tell you!

Selfie: Dale & I wore our masks at Millennium Park.

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! 😉

 

 

Blogging Insights in Quarantine

Dr. Tanya has a question she asks each week. This week, #27, it is: What are you doing to ‘repair’ (re-vamp or update) yourself and your blog during the lockdown? 

I haven’t really done anything to change or revamp my blog. I am probably blogging more now, but some days I don’t blog at all. One thing I’m making time for is reading other people’s posts, from pingbacks on other challenges but also from the Reader. I should do a lot more of this, I know.  People will respond more to me if I am commenting on their posts also. So some days when I am not inspired to post anything, I spend my blog time reading and commenting.

Also, I want to do more writing challenges on my blog, which is why I decided to start participating in this one! I love to write, but sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about, so these prompts are helpful.

We’ve been in quarantine since mid-March, and it is going to continue at least until the end of May, maybe longer! When it first started, I wrote down some things in my journal that I could do with my extra time, which I enumerate below with modifications (although I’m retired anyway, so my schedule hasn’t drastically changed. The main thing is that our senior community no longer has any activities, which I really enjoyed.):

1. Read more. – This is happening, although not a lot more. Since the book groups at the library that I belong to have been suspended, I’ve been doing more reading of books I acquired or had around the house, and just want to read. But now the book groups have gone virtual and I participated in my first Zoom book group this morning! So now I am reading the book for the next meeting. The library is choosing books we can download on Hoopla free of charge if we have a valid library card.

2. Do artwork. – Since my art classes have been suspended, I’ve had to motivate myself to do more artwork on my own.  I’ve done several drawings, and am working on a drawing of one of my grandcats, Freddie, on a dark background using colored pencils. I’ve done a practice drawing and have seen what I need to improve. I want to give the drawing to Freddie’s “parents” – our daughter & son-in-law. My son-in-law is an excellent artist too, and I think he will appreciate it very much, if it comes out well. I also wanted to do some painting, but can’t find my paints!

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Here is a drawing of a cat I did recently – it’s not Freddie, though!

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This is the style of drawing I want to do of Freddie. I also have been drawing a lot of swans, because we have two pairs of swans here and one of the pairs will be having cygnets soon! I want to photograph them, and draw them as well.

Besides my computer in our extra bedroom (where our TV is also), I have a desk in the kitchen, which has been used since we moved here as a dumping ground and storage for a variety of miscellaneous items. I want to clean up that desk and make it my art desk! My art stuff is all here in the room with TV & computers, but it is becoming impractical, because I have acquired more supplies and have a lot of finished pieces. So I want to transfer all those things to that desk and have convenient places to put everything. That means finding a place for everything else that is currently being stored there!

3. Work on travel photo books. – I finished my first Shutterfly photo book about Israel and received it in the mail last week! Now that I’ve done one, I can see where I can improve and also know better how the photos look on the page, so now I am working on a couple of others of recent trips.

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My Shutterfly photo book of our trip to Israel

4. Sort through and put away the things in boxes that we haven’t gotten around to going through in the eight months we’ve lived here.  – This is a project in progress. I’ve sorted the box of bathroom stuff and sorted everything into bins by category, with labels, for easy access.

Last weekend we had some warm days so we spent time in the garage going through boxes we hadn’t unpacked yet. Some stuff I threw away. Some stuff we put aside for my church’s huge rummage sale. The stuff we wanted to keep is now consolidated into one box plus one Trader Joe’s shopping bag – which is sitting in the living room! So now I have to put that stuff away.

5. Put up wall art. – I really need my husband’s help with this. I’m not good with hammering nails into the wall in the right places and putting the things up straight. I’ve been dropping a lot of hints, and he knows it and so far isn’t taking the bait!

6. Exercise as much as possible. I am being gentle with myself, because some days the weather is crappy so we don’t want to walk outside. If the weather is even halfway decent, we walk around the campus twice, which is two miles, and then go out again later if the weather is good. When we have to stay in, we have been recording the exercise classes given on our closed-circuit TV station by the fitness instructor here, and then replay them and follow along. That’s what we’ve done the last two days, but tomorrow I will go out walking again. I’m trying to be more consistent, as much as feasible during quarantine, in my exercise routines. I have to admit, though, I can’t wait until we can go back to the fitness center and the swimming pool!

 

 

FPQ 67: Why blog?

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week:
As a blogger, when it comes to your blog, what makes you tick?
As a preface to this, Fandango wrote that he had gone to another blog which asked a similar question, and asked several of his own in the comments: In my post in response to Dr. Tanya’s post, I wrote that I am curious about what purpose blogging achieves or fulfills. What internal needs does blogging meet? What part does it play in their daily lives? How important is it to them? If they weren’t blogging, how else would they spend their time? On a scale of one to ten, with ten being blogging is their entire reason for being, and one being that, meh, they have nothing better to do, how does blogging rate?

I will use these additional questions to guide me in my response.
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What is the purpose of my blog? Originally, it was a forum to write my travel journals, but it has expanded into much more than that, although I use my travel photos very often in my responses to photo challenges. I like to write and keep a journal in addition to my blog, although I write in my blog far more often than in my journal these days. Originally, I wanted my blog to be a place where my descendants could read about me and my thoughts – leaving something behind for posterity. But I don’t think of that much anymore. I thought I could post some of my best writing and putting it on a blog is like publishing it in a way. I always wanted to be a writer but never wanted to jump through the hoops one much jump through to be a published writer these days. Self-publishing is another way to go, so I am working on a book about my ancestors, which I will have a printer put into book form.

With my blog, I soon discovered that I was unable to generate the kind of audience I desired with my writing. I think a lot of people don’t have the patience to read a long piece online, and it seems to help to break it up with photographs every couple of paragraphs. Doing some of the things people on WordPress suggested to expand my audience worked on a limited scale. I was disappointed that it didn’t do more, so around that time I started writing my blog for myself. It gives me satisfaction to blog – after all, I’ve been writing all my life and never had a single thing published (except a couple of letters to the editor), but that didn’t stop me because it has satisfied some internal need. I just like to do it. I like reading and am influenced by writers to write better myself. Also, I enjoy photography so getting compliments on some of my photos also satisfies my ego.

I blog every day or almost every day, unless I am on vacation and don’t have a computer with me. I know when all the photo and writing challenges I like are, so I try to participate in them as often as possible. I get more “likes” for these because people find my post through the challenge host’s link. Sometimes I take a lot of time composing a blog and even doing several small posts takes time. The challenges give me a way of organizing my photos and writing. When I get on my computer, I often have a specific task to do – such as pay bills or do spread sheets – but first I check my email, where the responses to my blog come in. Then I am lost! The bills are completely forgotten when I am absorbed in my blog and reading other bloggers. If I haven’t blogged all day, then I will go on at night, and it’s usually after midnight when I stop.

If I weren’t blogging, maybe I would spend more time on one of my long-term projects, such as working on my ancestors’ book, making photo albums on Shutterfly, transcribing my dad’s World War II letters, or doing some kind of artwork.

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My Shutterfly photo album of Israel

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projects to work on, in my closet!

Besides writing and photography, I love to draw and I am pretty good, which makes it gratifying.
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On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate my blog somewhere between 7 and 8, (although if I had lots more readers, it would be 9 or 10). If I am not able to blog for a couple of days, I get very ornery and then prioritize it over all else. I have been known to publish 6 blog posts in one day, although my average is much lower. When I travel, I think about what I’m going to post on my blog. I love Norm’s Thursday Doors, and take photos of doors abroad specifically to post for his challenge when I get back. I also started doing more flower photography after participating in Cee’s Flower of the Day.

I like to read other people’s blogs and see their photos of where they’ve been, which might inspire me to want to travel to the same places. Or it’s just awesome photography. I talk to my husband and others about fellow bloggers and often use a particularly inspiring post in my own journal.

Another reason I like travel blogging is to review places I’ve been – I forget a lot of things I learn on trips, so when I get back, I do research on the places I’m blogging about. This helps me relive the trip and appreciate it more.

GCB-TTT: Lockdown Limbo

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Topical Tropical Trinity questions are about your interests, your passions, your hobbies and activities and about living your life in general.
Each weekly game will have a fixed ‘subject’ and ask you two basic questions – and one three fold question.

Today’s Questions for Topical Tropical Trinity are based on ..
“Lockdown Limbo”
Q.1
How long have you personally been in lockdown – when was the last times you were out and about and will you automatically return to your life post-lockdown?

My husband and I live in a senior community, which declared lockdown (stay-at-home) the week of March 17. I’m don’t remember if the governor declared it that week or the next week. We have a new routine which took a couple of weeks to adjust to. We get our news from staff and exercise classes on TV – we have 2 close-captioned TV channels here.

I’ve only been “out” (off campus) a couple of times since then. It doesn’t seem that long though. The last time I was somewhere other than here was not for a good reason – I found out my son had OD’d on pills due to depression, and had been in the hospital, but was released. We went to his residence and pounded on the door and yelled his name until he answered. We had to find out how he was. He was OK, but this stay-at-home order is making life very difficult for him. He suffers from depression, a diagnosis he’s had for many years, which has made it hard for him to work steadily. He last worked for Uber, but he doesn’t want to do that now and have “random people” in his car. So he’s stuck at home and is getting bored with watching movies. (Things are really bad for him when he says he’s sick of watching movies!)

When this is all over (if ever!), I will resume my former life but it won’t be terribly different. I will start doing meetings with friends live instead of on Zoom, and I’ll go back to my book clubs, church and choir. When we take walks around here, we see some of our friends doing the same, so we stop to chat while standing on opposite sides of the road. (One friend carries a large umbrella – he’s figured out that the length of the umbrella plus the length of his extended arm is the mandated 6 feet!)

Q.2
Are you happy with your progress so far and your ability to stay sane? [Alternative question – When did you pass Go on the Insane journey – how is that going for you?]
Both Dale and I still have our wits about us. Dale spends a lot of his day watching Facebook videos. They are very eclectic musically, and sometimes very humorous. I read, write, blog, draw, do housework (Dale does that too), and try not to snack much – I’ve been able to keep my weight and have actually taken off a few pounds by eating only two normal sized meals a day, plus a reasonably healthy snack. We watch special programs the social directors provide – old movies, lectures, Cirque du Soleil, funny videos. We go out and walk around campus every day. Nature continues its march into spring, so I have a lot to delight me – green grass, flowers, and the mating of our resident swans. In May, I’ll start my garden. Since our community has most things we need – meals, exercise equipment, parties and other activities in “normal” times – we are not finding life so different. And the social directors have contests and games for us too! When the cygnets will be born is one of the contests – I said May 20, but now I think it will be earlier.

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5 swan eggs!

I do miss my church and library friends, however.  And I can’t wait to be able to travel again! Will my reunion in Arizona still take place in June? What about our cruise to the Amazon next November? Right now, I have no idea.

I did get a feeling of dread earlier this week when our governor announced lockdown will continue through May. Our state has had more than 20,000 cases of COVID-19 and the death toll keeps rising, although Chicago isn’t suffering as much as New York. The good thing is that he’s allowing some businesses to open, including golf courses, so that will get Dale out of the house!

20200425_141849The alteration in our routine means never going out without masks, (fortunately I know people who make them), calling in our dinner selections by 2 pm and having it delivered to our door. The most alarming thing is the amount of Styrofoam we’ve accumulated and the amount of time I spend wasting time!

 

Q.3
Have you started a new hobby?
Not a new one, I’m just trying to get back into my artwork (I miss my art classes!). I think about trying to take up the piano again, but keep resisting. Meanwhile, I have projects I’m trying to get done, because I have no excuse not to! I’ve already completed one, which was organizing and labeling the things in our linen/bathroom closet.

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This is my most recent drawing.

Actually, I have started a new hobby – I’ve downloaded a new game onto my phone called Wordstacks, and have quickly gotten addicted. I spend way too much time on games and puzzles on my phone. I also am reading more, because it doesn’t matter really when I go to bed or wake up.

Wordstacks logo

When was the last time you talked to the toilet? [No to the toilet not in the toilet]
I don’t talk to the toilet – I don’t have to because I talk to myself a lot, carrying on full conversations with me, I talk to the cat, to my husband, of course, and to some inanimate objects, but not the toilet. This has always been normal for me.

If you share the house with others – either animal or human – how is the extended home time coming along with loved ones?
Too much togetherness, I guess, but I think in general it’s been more bearable having someone else living with me. I pity the residents here who live alone! Our cat is overjoyed at having us around all the time. She can now beg for scraps from our dinner again, and we aren’t constantly leaving to do activities. Dale is the one who ventures out to stores to buy groceries about once a week. I’m looking forward to him going golfing again because he sometimes becomes demanding! 

I think the change hasn’t been as onerous for us as for others, such as our kids. We are retired so are used to fluidity in our routines and we don’t have a workplace to go to or income to lose. I mentioned our son; our daughter and her husband are working from home, but our daughter still has to go into Chicago three times a week on public transportation, so she won’t let us come near her or her husband, or our beautiful grandcats! They moved into our old house when we moved here, so they’re renting from us. They are especially grateful now, because they each have their own “office” in different parts of the house, and they can chill out on the deck out back. Our daughter said if this had happened when they still lived in their apartment, she would have killed her husband by now! Both love to cook so sometimes they deliver food to us, which is a treat!

Tanzania Safari: Out at Sunrise on a Windy, Dusty Day

Feb. 10, 2018

We had an early morning departure on our game drive this morning – 6:30 with no breakfast. We’d take boxed breakfasts to eat during the drive. Because we were up before dawn, we saw a lovely sunrise.1024.JPG

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Vehicle tracks crisscrossing an open area with Lake Ndutu in the distance, as the sun rises.

We were with Livingstone again and only five passengers. Three members of our group had left even earlier to go ballooning over the Serengeti (cost: $616 each!). This morning’s drive was somewhat disappointing. I guess I shouldn’t complain about seeing 2 male lions, …

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This lion didn’t seem to mind the dust stirred up by wind and a vehicle driving by.

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Although Lake Ndutu wasn’t far off, the injured lion decided to stop for a drink at a muddy waterhole.

…several zebras, …

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A group of zebras, consisting of a female with two foals, were standing near the watering hole – they seemed thirsty but didn’t dare approach while the lion was there.

… 4 female lions,

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This lioness satisfied her thirst and then walked over to a field to join her sisters.

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Three lioness sisters

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One of the lionesses rolled over in the grass to scratch her back.

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Aaahhh! That feels good!

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sisterly love

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Mother zebra (who appears to be pregnant) and her foal

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lovebirds

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Common drango

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Marabou storks

It was quite windy and therefore quite dusty on the roads. David remarked that the weather resembled the dry season. Besides the lions, zebras and wildebeest herds, we saw a gouged out dead zebra (even the vultures had left). SONY DSCThen David received over the radio a report that the balloon trip had been cancelled because it was too windy. We turned back toward the lodge to pick up the three who had returned to the lodge. Only one of the three ended up coming with us, and out we went again.  The wind continued strong, and we kept the windows closed most of the time, although the top was open.

We rendezvoused with the others and had our breakfast in a field free of predators. 2-10 picnic breakfast
A few female elephants with young calves crossed our path.

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The elephants like to stir up the dust. Sometimes they spray dust on themselves, possibly to get rid of insects.

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Foraging elephant calf

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This calf tries to catch up with mama.

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He found her!

Soon I found myself just wanting to return to the lodge. The wind and the dust were too much. Livingstone was driving rather slowly – probably being cautious due to low visibility because of the dust – and it seemed we’d never get back. Was he even on his way back? It was past 11:00.

We got back around noon (we actually got back before Elias’ group) and met up with those who stayed behind in the lounge area, engaged with their electronics. We had lunch at 1:00 pm, during which we had an interesting conversation about haiku, the end of the trip, and American politics. There is not a single Trump supporter in our group. We are all progressive Democrats! Afterwards, we returned to our cabin.

I took a shower, washing off all the dust from my body and my hair. Tonight I’ll wear clean clothes. I decided not to go on the 4:00 pm drive today!

What I did do was finish the drawing I had started the previous afternoon in my Mindful Travel Journal. I sat on the little veranda of our cabin in my purple bathrobe with my colored pencils spilled out on the chair beside me. Dale was off somewhere or taking a nap.Sketch - in front of cabin at Ndutu Safari Lodge

Tanzania Safari Journal: Arusha to Tarangire

We had about a 3-hour drive to our next destination, Tarangire National Park.
I took a few shots of the noisy colobus monkey that resides at Rivertrees Country Inn, but there were other monkeys too – blue monkeys and grey vervet monkeys.  I was sad to leave – it seemed our stay here was so short. In my Mindful Travel Journal, I wrote about or drew each place we stayed. My observations about Rivertrees:
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At 8:00 a.m., we were on our way. We drove through the city of Arusha, which has a population of about 1,000,000, stretched out along miles of road so that it looks more like a series of small towns, which perhaps it is – this population figure includes the metropolitan area.

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Waiting for a bus

This drive was a good chance for taking  quick shots of people along the road. As it was Sunday, there were a lot of people dressed up in their best clothes for church. The women wore colorful wraps and the men wore Western style suits and ties. I also saw Muslim women, some covered head to toe, others wearing simple hijabs. About 40% of Tanzanians are Muslims; an equal percentage are Christians.SONY DSC

 

There were also a lot of markets being held, causing crowds and commotions in that section of the town.
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Most of the dwellings we saw were quite poor – simple structures or shacks. There were also Maasai-type dwellings, which are round with thatched roofs. SONY DSC
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I took a picture of a group of boys all dressed in black with white designs painted on their faces, who were standing along the side of the road. Before long, I saw more of these groups of boys.
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David, our guide, said this is something very unusual to see. These boys are undergoing the Maasai coming-of-age ritual which includes isolation from the rest of the village and circumcision. They paint their faces so that they will not be recognized (supposedly) by others in the village and they live for about three months in huts isolated from the rest of the community. This ritual only takes place once every three years, so these boys range in age from 12 to 15.

Girls apparently do not undergo a similar ritual, and female circumcision is now officially illegal, although some traditional people still practice it.

We stopped at a modern shopping mall, most of which was closed because it was Sunday. Some people wanted to exchange money, so the rest of us either headed for the bathroom, or the supermarket (the only store open), or both. The only people we saw outside the supermarket were workers cleaning the hallways – mopping the floors of the corridors and in the bathrooms.
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This is where only 15% of Tanzanians can afford to shop, I thought. Dale and I went into the supermarket and I casually perused the aisles full of neatly stacked merchandise. One aisle had school supplies and I decided to buy colored pencils to draw in my Mindful Travel Journal.

On our way again, we passed more villages, more colorfully dressed Maasai women fetching water, more groups of boys dressed in black, before finally reaching the national park. I thought I would spend at least part of this ride sleeping, but instead was wide awake conversing with the others in the group.SONY DSC

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When we got to Tarangire Safari Lodge, we were given our tent assignments. Yes, literally tents! They are thatched structures with canvas walls and zipped screens at the front and back of the tent. There is a vertical zipper and two horizontal zippers.

Travel Journal p46-Tarangire Safari LodgeThere are no keys to lock the tent, just a “monkey lock” to keep the monkeys from coming in while guests are out! The monkeys have figured out how to use the zippers, but the lock is slightly too complicated for them: The lock consists of a small block of wood with three drilled holes, two of them connected, with a thick wire attached. The wire has a plug on the end. To lock it, first you loop the wire through the horizontal and vertical zipper tabs; then you insert the wire end into the big hole in the middle and slide it into the smaller hole so it doesn’t come out. Behind the tent itself is an add-on structure containing a bathroom and shower area. Electricity is only on in the morning from 6-10 am and in the evening from 6-11 pm. We have to charge our electronics during those hours in the main building by the bar.

 

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Camels near the road! They must be part of somebody’s herd, although I didn’t see any people around. However, this was the only time we ever saw camels on this safari trip.

We had only a short time before a drive through the park, after which we had dinner (about 8:45 pm!). We first stopped at the entrance to Tarangire National Park, where there were restroom facilities, a gift shop, artwork, informational signs, a large baobob tree, and a bold hornbill bird!
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In Tarangire National Park, there were fewer giraffes, but lots of elephants and impalas. Here are several of the different animals we saw.

 

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This giraffe has to splay its legs to eat grass from the ground!

 

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Giraffe butts – tails swinging in tandem!

 

 

 

 

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Hornbill

 

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Hyraxes

 

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A monitor lizard lies in the sun on a rocky bank of a river.

 

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Heron

 

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A group of young male impalas

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Sometimes young males will practice sparring with each other.

 

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A colorful bird on thorny acacia branches. Unlike the giraffes, the thorns apparently don’t bother the birds!

Then we saw OUR FIRST LION!! It was a young male lying in tall grass so we could only see the top of his head and his eyes.
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Fowl or quail

 

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Buzzard

 

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A group of female impalas (there’s a warthog passing through on the left!)

 

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Mongooses poke their heads out of a termite mound where they’ve made their home.

 

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Lilac breasted roller

 

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Guinea fowl

 

 

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Turtle

 

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Egyptian geese

 

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Old (abandoned) weavers’ nests

 

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A starling, perhaps

 

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Hornbill

 

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Dik diks are shy, reclusive animals. They are normally seen in pairs, usually in tall grass. I got a good shot of this one after it urinated in the road in front of us!

 

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Vervet monkey

This day was more awesome than yesterday – and each day would increase in awesomeness!!
Next: Elephant stories of Tarangire! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WPC: Experimental Photography and Drawing

When I got my new computer last spring, I was chagrined to find out that not only Photo Gallery wasn’t included, but that I could no longer download it!!

Apparently, many of the features of that program have been incorporated into the Photos program that comes with Windows 10 – not all, by any means, but some at least! (I don’t have Photoshop, but am thinking of buying it.)

I looked for pictures to experiment with. Through cropping and enhancing, I put the focus on a bench on a rocky shore in Monterey Peninsula, CA, which I think is a lot better than the original.

The original:
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After cropping/enhancing and experimenting with contrast:
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Some other experiments had less interesting results – this sunburst came out quite dark originally:
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The experimentals:

Actually, just lightening the contrast actually improved the picture (last of the four).

On my cell phone, I also have done some experimenting with color, filters and contrast. Here’s one that I like of my husband fishing off the pier at our cottage in northern Wisconsin in 2013 (first picture is original, second is experimental):

I have also done some experimental drawing (admittedly for a summer art class) – using various bones of a skeleton. Here are collages I made using a vertebra (the first is using colored pencil only, the second incorporates colored pencils and watercolor):

I also used a full skeleton model to draw using color pencils and with charcoal only:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental