CFFC: Twists in Nature and Man-made Swirls

The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is twisted & squiggly shapes. Many are found in nature, such as twisted trees…

…and saguaro cacti, which can be quite humorous to look at!

Artists have used the patterns and fractals found in nature since ancient times, such as


and modern sculptures,

and a swirled “mane” on a Chinese lion statue.

And here’s one more…try to guess what it is!

CPP: Surrealism

I have a photo software on my cellphone called SnapSeed and in June, I produced these cool images of flowers using some of the features on the software, but now I cannot remember how I did them and have not been able to produce any more! At least, these psychedelic ones (the first 2), the third is using “grunge” and the last one is using a distortion feature. Anyway, these images fit the Cosmic Photo Prompt: Surrealism.

Here is one of my “mystery” photos, which are super close-ups to the point that one can’t really tell what it is.
Closest (macro):

Zoom out:

Finally, the original in which you can tell what it is:

Last, here’s a photo of a super magnified close-up of a mop entangled with maple seeds. First I used a black & white filter, then applied “Zeke” on Photo Gallery (software that came with my PC).

Shadowy Perspective: Another Mystery Photo!

This is my favorite in my collection of “mystery” photos. As you will see, perspective is everything.

So what do you think this is? (Hint: think of shadows)

Let’s see…..

a bony hand rising out of water?

shadow of a child’s fingers reflected on glass?

Wait for it…
You will soon see the entire picture!
Here it is:

Zoomed out: a drinking glass on a table

Weekend Challenge: What Is It?

Sue W. and GC have a mid-month challenge from a series called What Is It?

Here is what it is about:

We would like you to publish part of a photograph that will leave your readers speculating about what it is. Alternatively, why not share a piece of writing but leave us guessing about what the object/subject is, simply give us clues.

As usual, please stretch the challenge to suit you. Words or Pictures, No rules and No deadlines – Enjoy!
Create a pingback by copying the page URL or the link above

I have a set of photos in my archives that I call “mystery photos” because I like to leave people trying to figure out what it is!  Here is one of them.
banana peel

FPQ #64: Who Am I, Really?

It’s Wednesday, which means Fandango asks his provocative question of the week!

Are you the same person on your blog as you are in real life? Do you like yourself more in the virtual world than you do in the real world?

I’m not much good at pretending and I am generally quite open about my life, in reality and on my blog. But I do hold back some details online because you never know who’s trolling out there in cyberspace. My blog name is not, of course, my real name, but it is related to it. Some people who follow me more diligently (ahem!) probably know my name, but usually on my blog, people just refer to me as “Amoralegria.” Anyone who speaks Spanish or Portuguese knows what this means, and its English equivalent is my maiden last name.


Swan love

Although I enjoy answering the questions posts online, like this weekly provocative question or Share Your World, I tend to show my best self on my blog and I won’t finish them if I don’t like what I wrote. I have done a lot of writing, but I find that written posts don’t get as many hits, so if I do write a narrative about something, I add photos, either my own or from Google. I learned this in a summer weeklong seminar about writing online. I do in fact love to write, and most people who have read my stuff say it’s good. For most of my life, I wanted to become a writer, but realized it was too much trouble, so I just do it for me, or for this blog, or my writing group.

I tend to put my best foot forward on here – I do a lot of photo challenges, because I get more hits, and I usually search for the most appropriate photos from my vast collection of photos, so I make sure to feature the “best” ones. Anyone who has seen the photos I post would probably say I’m a decent or average photographer, which is how I see myself. I don’t have a fancy camera with lots of zoom lenses nor good photo software, and don’t know if I would take the time to really get good at using it if I did. Still, I love photography and have been doing it since I was a kid.


My first daffodils at our new house


I am a creative person, which other bloggers (hopefully) have noticed by now: my three best talents are writing, drawing and photography. Of the three, I’m probably best at drawing, but I rarely post the drawings I do. If I thought that working to perfect any of these things would earn me lots of followers and “hits,” I probably would work on it. However, because I have ADHD, I get gung-ho on projects but don’t finish the majority of them.


Disorganized hotel room

As a blogger, I thrive on comments and likes, and in general, I get the best response from “photo essays” – writing a narrative with more photos than writing, and the photos support the theme. I think this is true of me in real life, also – I thrive on positive comments from other people. This is primarily because I am insecure and don’t believe in my abilities, so I depend on others to boost my ego.

On my blog, I tend to give people what past feedback has told me they want. And that’s photography. Since I always have at least my cellphone with me, I’m happy to oblige. I take a LOT of photos.

I have occasionally written exceptionally good posts – ones that I’m proud of – after I’ve worked hard on putting them together, sometimes over several days, but if they are not in response to a writing or  photo challenge, I seem to get few likes. So I’m discouraged from doing it more often. This is the same in real life – appreciation motivates me to continue. I also do it as a legacy for future generations in my family.

I enjoy blogging and that’s why I do it. Many likes or few likes, I keep doing it. Really and virtually.


FPQ #64

WWE: Mystery on Frozen Pond

In mid November, I was walking around our campus on a frigid day, and noticed some blobs on one of our frozen ponds. From a distance with the naked eye, it looked like ducks frozen in place with their heads sticking out of the water. Of course, I knew it couldn’t be that – probably clods of dirt, but how did they get into the middle of the pond?

I didn’t have my camera with its zoom lens with me, just my cellphone, so I took a couple of pictures, which basically reproduced what I was seeing with my own eyes. It didn’t get me any closer to figuring out WHAT was on that frozen pond.

Here’s the image I took with my Samsung Galaxy:
What I found curious is that the blobs all had white streaks behind them, as if there was something just below the frozen surface.

I walked home as quickly as possible to get my husband and my camera. It was close to sundown already and I didn’t know if the phenomenon would still be there the next day, since the temperature was supposed to rise above freezing, so I suggested we drive over to the pond (which Dale calls “Swan Lake” when the swans are on it). We both brought our cameras and stood on the bank near the water’s edge. I fitted my zoom lens onto my Sony and magnified it to 300mm, the highest it would go. In the tiny image I could see on the viewfinder, I still couldn’t tell what it was.

Now, a couple of weeks later, I’ve finally gotten around to downloading the photos I took that day onto my computer. Here’s what I discovered:
The blobs were clumps of wet leaves that had blown into the pond just as it was freezing, creating the effect we saw.  The white streaks around the clumps seem to indicate that due to the leaves, the freeze was slightly thinner in those spots; perhaps a few leaves had frozen just below the surface.

Meanwhile, here is another cellphone photo I took that day, of the other pond on campus. I liked the wavy ridges that appeared on its frozen surface.

Posted for Jez Braithwaite’s Water, Water Everywhere photo challenge.

Sunday Stills: Macro & Mystery

I am participating in a photo challenge entitled Sunday Stills: Macro or Close-up Photography; Is There a Difference? by Terri Webster Schrandt.  Here is what she has to say about macro photography:

“Macro photography is also considered close-up photography. However, using a true macro lens yields the sharpest, tiniest details whereas a closeup may not show each detail.”  I do not have a macro lens, but cropping often produces a similar effect.

This is my favorite “macro” that I have taken. We were on a walk on a bike trail in northern Wisconsin shortly after a rainfall. I spied this leaf and was struck by the perfect drop in the middle of it with a whole microcosm of tiny pebbles & things within it.126One of my photography hobbies is finding mushrooms to shoot. I have a whole file of them! Mushrooms are fascinating because of the variety of shapes and sizes, and the details often found on their textured surfaces.20160506_115441
I take lots of flower pictures, which I then post linked to Cee’s Flower of the Day. I like this particular shot because of the lined shadows on the flower petals, made by the nearby blades of grass. 20160525_104648
I prefer walking to any other kind of physical activity because I often see details that others miss if they’re in a hurry, on their bikes or in a car. (My husband complains when I stop to take pictures, because he says he’s in it for the cardio workout!)

But I find other opportunities to get macros or close-ups. I could have cropped this photo more to focus on the dragonfly, but I like the way the knots in the wood frame the picture.
Finally, I have a group of photos I like to call “mystery” photos. Like Terri says, “Sometimes a macro image takes on new characteristics in an abstract way.”  These objects are hard to identify as macros.

Mystery picture: What is this? soap

small soap chips

banana peel

a ripe banana peel

snow boot prints!

Snow from the bottom of my snow boots

Finally, here are my two favorite bird photos from our safari in Tanzania. Both were taken with a Sony Alpha 380 75/300mm lens.


I love the effect that the grass makes on the dark body of the bird. It almost resembles a painting. Also note that he’s caught a small snake which he holds in his beak.


DSC04096 (2).JPG

I cropped this from the original, which shows more of the blurred tree branches. The focus is on the male weaver, weaving a nest for a prospective mate. Note how tightly woven it is – he’s putting on the final touches before his hoped-for mate comes to inspect it. If she likes the nest, they become a couple!

I also refer you to my archives of February-April 2018 which contain several posts containing my photos in Tanzania.

You can join the challenge and enjoy others’ work by clicking the link above!


WPC: Do You See A Ghost?

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is a photo or photos of a Variation on a Theme.

A few days ago, it looked like there was a ghost in our house!20180117_154902

Some odd specter floated in the air across our living room…20180117_154905

My husband noticed it first. I had been sitting in the white chair you see in the photo and I didn’t even realize I was being touched by a spirit!
From where he was sitting, I could see it and took these photos. What could it be??20180117_154922

It began to dissipate…20180117_160052

It turned a little bluish.

The sun that had been shining through the window in the next room disappeared behind a cloud, and with it went the ghost.

Because it wasn’t a ghost at all. It was the vapor emitted by burning incense in the dining room. A draft came from the back of the house, pushing the vapor into the living room, where it was illuminated by a ray of sun as it floated through the room.

If I ever again see a photo that someone has taken with this ethereal “ghostly” look to it, to prove they’ve seen a ghost, I’ll know it was Do-It-Yourself special effects!

And now for some ghostly music:   Spooky Ghosts

CFFC: Mystery of the Glass

I have a file of photos labeled “Mystery photos.” Taking a picture of something very close up or from only one angle can change the perspective or disorient the viewer because there is no context in which to understand what one is looking at.  This, for example:


I was sitting on the porch of our cottage in Wisconsin one summer and had just finished drinking a glass of water. The sun’s reflection on the glass gave it a weird, sort of creepy look and I cropped the photo to focus in on just the reflection of the glass on the wooden surface of the table (above).

Here’s the photo in its entirety:


It’s just a different way of looking at a common object, like a drinking glass!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Glasses, Cups, Saucers