We took our first cruise in 2015, on the Baltic Sea, stopping at interesting historic ports, such as Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as some of the major Scandinavian capitals. I captured this wonderful scene in the town of Sigtuna, Sweden, which has a renowned boarding school and is often a destination for church retreats. The name of Sigtuna comes from an old English word for town (tuna), which was originally a Viking word.
After a wonderful lunch and a tour of the historic parts of town, learning about runic stones and mythology, visiting a 13th century church, and seeing a scary-looking contraption that was put on people who were jailed for drunkenness at the Town Hall, we were free to walk around on our own. We strolled down the street with lots of souvenir shops. Then we headed down to the lake on a sloping street past picturesque houses (some quite large) with pretty gardens. Along the lake was a park, including a spiral path with a faux runic stone in the middle, a miniature golf course that used tiny versions of local buildings for the holes, and many ducks who hoped for tidbits from an old couple sitting on a bench. There were lots of ducks in the lake as well, and this little girl on the lake shore trying to attract them. She was the picture of innocence and inquisitiveness of childhood and I loved her black hat! She is just one person (with many ducks!) in Sigtuna.
Marilyn Armstrong of Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth has taken over a monthly challenge called The Changing Seasons.
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month. To join in, you can either: 1. post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month. Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots. or 2. post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month. Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
In either case, tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them. One thing that won’t change though. Include a ping-back to Marilyn’s post, and she will update it with links to everyone else’s.
Marilyn says, “For those of us who have participating in this challenge for years … since the first years when Baron Guzman ran the challenge, I think we have our own style on how to make this work. I could never use a single picture. I’m too indecisive. Especially given the rapidly changing climate we are experiencing, I think this is an important challenge.” Ditto for me about indecisiveness! So here’s my September photo gallery: Visits to kitschy or pretty places in our area (because we can’t travel), flowers, and season changes were the things that characterized September 2020.
Recycling styrofoam at Dart Co. in Aurora; sculpture called “Solitude”; Mr. Eggwards (Humpty Dumpty doppelganger); sunflowers at Cantigny estate in Wheaton; Tribune magnate McCormick’s house at Cantigny; outdoor BBQ stove at my niece’s house in Evanston; 4 silos surrounding Inverness Town Hall; Black Lives Matter billboard (a little bit of sanity in an area full of Trump signs on lawns); all that’s left of a factory in Grayslake, now in the middle of a park; kitschy Egyptian copies of statues & pyramid in Wadsworth, officially known as “Gold Pyramid House” (the pyramid isn’t gold right now because they had a fire); hibiscus flower after rain; rare red flower called “cardinal flower” (it disappeared within a day or two); zinnias in my garden; mini petunias in my garden; tree branches on the campus of our community; katydid (I feel an affinity – we share a name!); sunset in a nearby suburb; another sunset in a nearby suburb; West Lake (pond on the campus here) with its many ducks – most of them young adults (a few months ago most of them were ducklings).
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is on a series exploring the senses. This week it is the sense of touch.
Touching each other is something many people miss during this pandemic, where we are told to stay 6 feet away from others and not to touch our face! In fact, handshaking as a form of greeting someone may become a thing of the past.
Touching, or petting, our furry friends is one of the ways we communicate with them, and it is something that they generally like. This touching is pleasurable for both human and animal.
We are touched by raindrops that fall on our heads when we pass under a tree just after a rain shower.
Just as we find out it is raining when the raindrops touch us, we are also touched by the wind, the sun’s heat, or the cold of winter.
Animals and people touch to show love for each other.
Old friends coming together:
Sometimes we want to touch something because of its texture.
Sometimes it snows here in winter; sometimes it doesn’t. But it always gets cold! Fall, winter and spring can be unpredictable! Here are some of my favorite winter photos, posted for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – winter scenes.
This is our new house on Halloween – our first major snowfall of the year (that day and in early November were the biggest snows we’ve had this winter, until today!)
Flower pot covered in ice, with tree reflected in it
This was taken a few years ago from our front porch during a snowstorm.
The maple tree behind our house, its branches tinged with snow
Taken from our front porch in Des Plaines after a nighttime snowfall.
Sometimes the ground just gets covered with frost, like these leaves and grass in January.
Pretty snow scenes at Prairie Lakes Park in Des Plaines.
Usually in March, the snow starts to melt. But we can’t be complacent – April has been known to produce some unexpected snowstorms! (Somewhere there’s a photo of my tulips coming up with snow on the ground around them!)
After a long winter, one of our gardens looked like this early last March.
More holiday lights for Becky’s January Square challenge! This was taken at North School Park in Arlington Heights (a few other, non-square photos of the same place follow!), which every year has an impressive holiday light display. The first photo is of a rotating display to represent a couple dancing.
This photo was not shot nor edited black & white. The trees and clouds actually looked like this on a spring day in northern Wisconsin.
Turtles at The Grove visitors’ center, Mt. Prospect, IL
Chinese Reconciliation Park, Tacoma, WA
Point Defiance Park, Tacoma
Wine pressing tanks, Morwald Winery, Austria
Modern clock, Cologne, Germany
Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Miniature show “Whimsical Wonderland,” Elk Grove Village, IL
Flowers, Des Plaines, IL
Some animals are the color they are to blend in with their environment, such as hyraxes who hide among the rocks where they live, mongoose who inhabit giant anthills, and even a hippo with just its eyes & ears above the water. (All photos taken in Tanzania.)