Life in Purple

For Jude’s Travel Words, Life in Colour, this month’s word is the color purple.

Purple hyacinths

A more vibrant shade of purple are these rhododendrons.

Purple displays at Lightscape, a holiday event at Chicago Botanic Gardens

Marine life (corals) at Brookfield Zoo

Faux flowers

Purple in sunrises and sunsets (sunrise in Tanzania, sunsets on Chicago expressway and the Caribbean Sea)

Purple signs (Quebec City & Rio de Janeiro)

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The Changing Seasons: September 2020 – Beauty and Weirdness

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).


CFFC: Choose Your Own Topic

This is the fifth week of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge’s Choose Your Own Topic from this photo. And this week the photo is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cee’s suggestions: chicken, coffee, cup, black and white, ferris wheel, fake flowers, topiary, round, triangle, treats, red, green, ball, store logos, or come up with your own topic.

Coffee shop sign (Bethlehem, Israel) – Starbucks with a twist?
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Ferris wheel (Navy Pier, Chicago)
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Colorful wheels (Regensburg, Germany)
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Balls (Buddhist temple grounds, Des Plaines, Illinois)
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Fake flowers (Buddhist temple grounds, Des Plaines, IL)
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KOC: The Bizarrely Ordinary

From Kammie’s page: Oddball: (noun) a person or thing that is atypical, bizarre, eccentric, or nonconforming; (adjective) whimsically free-spirited; eccentric; atypical

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge is for those photos that are sort of strange, or don’t fit in with anything else. There is no specific topic, so …

I have no idea what this is, but I took the photo somewhere in Chicago. It struck me at the time as an odd object, and then there’s the random water bottle someone left there.
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This is a sad and weary water pump: overworked and underpaid in the middle of a heat wave!
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Obviously the vestige of something else that is long gone. Open? What’s open? Where?
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Apparently, someone at a nature center told us the purpose of these logs with holes in them, but I’ve forgotten.
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Don’t count on this hydrant in case of a fire!
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Build your own desert landscape! Get your camels and sand here!
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Thursday Doors: A Walk Through Schärding, Austria

On the 4th of July, the day we spent the morning in Passau, Germany, we opted for an afternoon tour to the small town of Schärding, Austria (population approx. 5,000). Passau and Schärding are essentially border towns.  We even crossed a bridge on the Inn River that had a small metal plaque in the middle with D (Deutschland – Germany) on one side and Ă– (Ă–sterreich – Austria) on the other!
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The town of Schärding is a major port on the Inn River which is the dividing line between Bavaria in Germany and the Austrian state of Upper Austria.

The Bavarian family Wittelsbach owned the town until 1779. In the Middle Ages, due to its location, Schärding became a center of trade, particularly for salt, timber, ores, wine, silk, glass, grain, textiles and livestock. Originally the town was fortified; sections of the wall remain, but the castle that was originally there is no longer.

Schärding’s most beautiful feature is its central square with its rows of colorful, gabled buildings. The buildings are color coded so that illiterate people in past centuries would know what the building was used for. For example, the town hall (Rathaus) was yellow, and pharmacies were green. Nowadays, next to the Rathaus, the green building is a charming hotel, Hotel Stiegenwirt.

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The town’s skyline is dominated by St. George Church. It is Roman Catholic; more than 80% of the town’s residents identify themselves as Roman Catholic.

When I was not attending a workshop to make herbal salt (I ended up not keeping it – the salt content was way too high for me!), I joined Dale to explore the streets of the town.
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Two interesting clocks!
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Schärding’s coat of arms is painted on the side of a building.
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Historically, Schärding’s population suffered an epidemic of the plague. A plague pole was erected when the epidemic was over, to thank the Virgin Mary for saving people from the plague.
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There is a statue to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, in the center of a fountain. The fountain is hard to see in this photo because it was surrounded by construction zone fences.
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Looking out toward the river from Durchgang Wasstertor.
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I don’t know what these masks were for, but they look like instruments of torture!
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There was also this display of possibly religious relics, near St. George Church.
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And now…Schärding doors!
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Posted for Norm’s Thursday Doors 1/16/20.

Some historical information obtained from Wikipedia’s article on Schärding.

A Photo a Week: Signs at OHC

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week challenge has the topic signs.

Here are some signs taken at Open House Chicago on Saturday. Open House Chicago is an annual event that takes place on a weekend in mid-October, in which over 300 buildings around the city open their doors to the public. Docents inside answer questions about the architecture, the place and its function, etc. This is the second year we have attended, visiting places we never could or even think about in the city of Chicago.

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Sign listing prayers to be recited during a weekly service at the Muslim Community Center.

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We visited Dank Haus, a German cultural center, which was celebrating Octoberfest.

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Order of service at the Zen Buddhist Temple

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This huge, U-shaped building used to be a grand hotel.

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The Moody Church, an evangelical Christian church, is massive inside – there is seating for 3,700 people!

I hope to write more about these places in future posts!