And what do you know?? All my loves for this post start with the letter S, which is the subject of/Lens-Artists Photo Challenge!
Feb. 23: I love…sunsets (and sunrises, although I’m hardly ever awake for those! 🙂 ).
Feb. 24: I love…spring! I already included summer as one of my loves, but the spring is special too, because it is the season of hope and anticipation. The cycle of life begins, emerging from winter snow and cold, producing new life in flora and fauna. Last spring, I took photos of my daffodils on the side of my house in March, from shoots to blooms.
Feb. 25: I love…singing. I never had good manual dexterity to play an instrument but I’ve always loved to sing. When I was a young adult and needed a spiritual outlet, I turned to singing by joining a community choir. After moving to Des Plaines, I joined the choir at First Congregational Church and still participate in that! It’s rather hard during the pandemic to do group singing, but we use Zoom and a music software called Upbeat to practice and then record the pieces we sing. So I’d like to end with a song about singing (with a virtual choir that may also use Upbeat software!):
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #104 is about summer. Ah, summer! My favorite season of the year! Even with the distancing measures of Covid-19, I can enjoy the summer. (Imagine if the shelter-in-place had been in the winter – we’d REALLY get cabin fever!)
Two recent photos of our senior community that represent summer:
We have so many surprises in life. Unfortunately, it is rare for me to get a picture of it – such as the swans on one of our lakes mating! Another resident here, a wily older man from Germany, took a series of pictures of the swans’ mating ritual – before, during, and after – close-up! I’m not that clever, I guess. So at first I was hard pressed to think of photos I had taken that representsurprise, which is the topic of Lens-Artists’ photo challenge this week. I noticed several participants had freaky nature photos, which I don’t.
Still, nature often does provide more subtle surprises. I call this photo “Hostas with a hostage” – because they’ve completely surrounded a flower pot!
Every day that I go to our community garden, I take a look at others’ gardens and sometimes take photos. I took the “before” picture as an example for my daughter how to plant marigolds around your garden to protect it from squirrels, etc. I took the photo ion early June.
Then a few days ago, I noticed how fast it grew – it doesn’t look like the same garden!
Is this normal? I don’t know, but we have had a good balance of sunny and rainy weather this month. Nature always surprises me. When I went to the nursery to buy plants in mid-May, I saw this unusual flower – it looks like it is wearing a bonnet!
A safari always brings surprises – you never know what you are going to see and every safari is different. On our Tanzanian safari, I had almost given up seeing a leopard closer up than this:
Then, on our last day in Serengeti National Park, we were bumping along a dusty road when suddenly our driver turned around and sped back to the spot where we’d seen the leopard in a tree. He’d been notified that there were “spots below” (code for leopard on the ground). The leopard had gotten up from her nap and came down the tree, where she looked around at all the tourists gawking at her.
Seeing no danger, (all the humans were “contained”), she then leisurely ambled past all the safari trucks, including ours.
Another big surprise we had in Tanzania was seeing groups of boys alongside the road, who were undergoing a monthlong puberty ritual. Our guide told us this was very unusual to see, since the Maasai only undergo this ritual every three years – the boys are aged about 12-15.
Surprises come in many forms. Sometimes you can be driving along a country road, as we were, in north central Iowa, when we came across “Pinkie.”
And I love coming across unusual sights walking around the city of Chicago.
Speaking of Iowa, our biggest surprise on our 4-day trip there happened when we checked into our hotel in Mason City for the night. The concierge asked us if we wanted to see the band American English in concert that night. The tickets were free and American English is the best Beatles tribute band in the country. They were to play at the Surf Ballroom, a famous concert venue in Clear Lake, Iowa (about 20 miles from Mason City), known for the event “the day the music died” when Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and “The Big Bopper” Richardson played their last concert before being killed in a plane crash.
So we said, “Why not?” and spent a completely unexpected evening in a crowded theatre where people were dancing in the aisles and singing along. It was great!