A Photo a Week: Rainbows

I so rarely get a photo of a rainbow – or at least a decent one! Rainbows are so ethereal and fleeting – one has to really be in the right place at the right time to see one! Therefore, I always consider it a special moment when I do get a photo of a rainbow, the subject of Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week.

The most recent photo I took of a rainbow was strictly by chance – I was taking a walk in our community last month and sprinklers were on. In the mist, I saw a rainbow and fortunately my camera was handy. Not very scenic, though.

However, the rainbow photos I’m most proud of were taken three years ago on our trip to the Dakotas. (If they look familiar, it’s because I have posted them before.) We were on our way back into South Dakota from a side trip to see Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. We’d taken a picnic for dinner, but had to rush because it started to rain. For a while, we were driving through pouring rain. Then the storm let up and South Dakota greeted us with a double rainbow! Sometimes we could see the fainter outer rainbow, other times no – but the rainbow stayed with us for several miles.

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.

DSCF3479 (2)
Gay pride at Solstice Parade, Seattle

20190703_160317
Colorful scene in Regensburg, Germany

SONY DSC
This colorful Tanzanian bird is called lilac-breasted roller, and it really does seem to have every color of the rainbow!

20171004_173346_001
Sunset over North Atlantic Ocean

20170527_200455
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! 😉

 

 

CB&WPC: I’ve Looked At Clouds

Cee’s black & White Photo Challenge this week has the topic clouds. This is an interesting topic, because one of the things that makes cloud pictures spectacular is color – especially sunsets. I tried and rejected several photos because they just didn’t have appeal without the color. Others, however, look even more dramatic in black & white! So here’s what I chose.

I’ll start with clouds seen from above (through an airplane window).
20180128_163830 (2)
I got some dramatic sunset photos in black & white when I looked for strong contrasts between the clouds and the sky.
20170527_200853 (2)DSCN8866 (2)

20171004_173346_001 (2)
The variety of the shapes of the clouds makes this an interesting photo in black & white.

2-6 sunset from our room at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (2)
20181029_174412 (2)
Sometimes, what attracts me to take photos of clouds is the variety of shapes. It can be especially dramatic in the wide open spaces on the prairies of North Dakota…
20170524_170930 (2)20170524_160450 (2)
…or a sunburst over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
More subtle effects over the pond on the campus of our community.
20200108_155441 (2)
In this photo, the clouds are reflected in the rippled surface of the water.
20190817_192038 (2)
Sometimes, instead of a prairie, a dramatic landscape – such as majestic mountains – enhances the photo, offering a dramatic contrast between land and sky.
20180531_141336 (2)
The official title of the following song is Both Sides Now. But this is a pretty rendition with ethereal moving clouds. Although the song was written by Joni Mitchell, who sings it here, it was first recorded by Judy Collins, which was the first version of it I heard.

Going Out in a Blaze of Sunsets

It’s the last day of Becky’s January Square with the topic of ____light, and I am ending my participation with refracted light, such as the light that makes sunsets so colorful!

South Dakota20170527_200853 (2)
Tanzania
2-7 sunrise-Ngorongoro (2)2-11 sunset over Serengeti (2)

Illinois (Mississippi River)
SONY DSC
Illinois – Arlington Heights
20191003_183854 (2)
Mont St.-Michel, France
20190618_214852 Twlight - Mont-St-Michel, refracted light
Egypt (on the Nile)
DSC_0275 (2)
On the Caribbean Sea
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Many Angles of Devil’s Tower

I was looking through my photos of our trip to the Dakotas when we took a side trip to Devil’s Tower, because I had just drawn a picture of it with pastels, and was thinking about Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week – her topic this week is taking photos of an object from 3 (or more) different angles. Although I already submitted photos taken today at my daughter’s house, I am cheating a bit by doing another post featuring Devil’s Tower. I did take it from various angles and it can be seen from so far away! It was more spectacular than I expected.

Everyone who likes sci-fi movies – or any kind of movies – has surely heard of Devil’s Tower, which was featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

So when I looked on a map and saw how close it was to South Dakota, where we were headed, I convinced Dale to take a side trip to it. Our first sighting was this:
KODAK Digital Still Camera
That part of the country is pretty flat, so this one geological formation jutting upward is so amazing.  It was threatening rain so I also got this dramatic shot as we got nearer.
20170527_173727
Once inside the national monument, details of the rocky tower appear. The weather cleared up, temporarily, too!
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Devil’s Tower is made up of igneous rock (volcanic rock) which formed below the earth’s surface and pushed its way up. Over millions of years, erosion stripped away the soft outer layers, producing a lot of columns. The sign at the visitors’ center explains it.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
This geological phenomenon was not always known as “Devil’s Tower.” The native tribes of that area called it many different things, and legends were built around it, a lot of them having to do with bears, because the columns almost look like they were made by giant bear claws.KODAK Digital Still Camera

Here is a Kiowa legend about the rock:
Before the Kiowa came south they were camped on a stream in the far north where there were a great many bears, many of them. One day, seven little girls were playing at a distance from the village and were chased by some bears. The girls ran toward the village and the bears were just about to catch them when the girls jumped on a low rock, about three feet high. One of the girls prayed to the rock, “Rock take pity on us, rock save us!” The rock heard them and began to grow upwards, pushing the girls higher and higher. When the bears jumped to reach the girls, they scratched the rock, broke their claws, and fell on the ground.

The rock rose higher and higher, the bears still jumped at the girls until they were pushed up into the sky, where they now are, seven little stars in a group (The Pleiades). In the winter, in the middle of the night, the seven stars are right over this high rock. When the people came to look, they found the bears’ claws, turned to stone, all around the base.

The Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne and others also had such legends, but I liked the Kiowa story the best. (The link above will take you to a website with all the stories.)

Nowadays, rock climbers climb the tower. I could see them as dots on the surface of the rock, but I was able to zoom in with my camera to get a better view. Some were wedged between the columns as they climbed, others took advantage of a small ledge to take a rest.

The requisite tourist photo opp!20170527_181226_001
From this angle you can see the base of the formation, sort of a wider platform from which rises the columned tower.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
This alien statue is meant to resemble the aliens in the movie.
20170527_181351
Surrounding the rock are forests protected by the National Park Service. Devil’s Tower is part of the national park system, although it is considered a “monument”, not a full-fledged national park.
20170527_181605
As we left, we saw this unusual sculpture, dwarfed by the majesty of the tower.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
We stopped nearby to have a picnic dinner, but had to cut it short when it started to rain. By the time we crossed back into South Dakota, we were treated with a double rainbow and a beautiful sunset!

 

 

 

 

Cee’s B&WPC: Gates and Fences

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week is gates and fences.

Nature Gate: Crazy Horse National Monument, South Dakota (filter used: Denim).KODAK Digital Still Camera
Neighborhood fence, Des Plaines, Illinois (filter used: Slate)
20170907_143202 (2)
Neighborhood fence with flowers, Des Plaines, Illinois (filter used: Mercury)20180911_095301 (2)
Cairo Marriott Hotel gate, Cairo, Egypt (filter used: Vanilla)20190105_150003
Gate for a house in Rishon le Tsiyon, Israel (filter used: Slate)
20190108_132546 (2)
Front gate at Church of All Nations, Jerusalem, Israel (filter used: Mercury)
20190113_080512 (2)


BIG Can Be Beautiful!

Lens-Artists’ photo challenge this week is: BIG Can Be Beautiful Too!

Denali – Tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere (Denali National Park, Alaska, 2016)
20160830_133324.jpg
American Eagle Roller Coaster made out of Legos, using 14,500 Lego bricks with 9,300 feet of track (Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 2017)
20170202_131017.jpg
Big statue being carved out of rock (Crazy Horse National Monument, South Dakota, 2017)
DSC_0291.JPG
Big musical instrument (My 6-year old grand nephew playing cello) – photo taken by his dad, David Williams
Ben plays cello
Big crowd – Women’s March (Jan. 21, 2017, Chicago – over 200,000 marchers, but the crowds in Washington D.C. and New York were even bigger!)
20170121_094637.jpg
Big Ferris wheel (Navy Pier, Chicago, 2017)
20170920_190646.jpg
Big painting by Georgia O’Keeffe (Chicago Art Institute, 2018)
20180306_124426.jpg
A face only a mother could love? (African buffalo, Tanzania, 2018)
DSC04114.JPG
Big horns on a small gazelle (Tanzania, 2018)
SONY DSC

WPC: Aqueous

WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge is liquid.

Raindrop: Microcosm
126

Fluidity: Still water peace
DSC_0724

Wave: Ocean in motion
20161128_100724

Liquor
20170325_210037

Aqua: Water is life
20170323_103016Reflection: Moisture in air’s reflection on lakeIMAG0778Buoyancy: floating on water
20170623_171846 (2)
Frozen liquid: dripping
20140209_094001
Rainbow: Moisture refracted, light dispersed20170527_200455Water cycle: Condensation20170524_160439

Fog is but a cloud
that touches the earth.
Water = Life

 

CFFC: Rain and Rainbows

Taking photos when it’s raining often produces surprising results. A rainstorm started one Labor Day weekend when we were driving on the expressway in the early evening. With the help of a windshield and lights outside, it made for interesting swirls and patterns. Looking through the windshield at the traffic ahead of us:
Rain on I-90, approaching Rockford (going north/west)Rain on the window
IMAG0952 (2)Although the storm dissipated and the sun came out, there was no rainbow that evening.

Last May, we took a trip to Minnesota and the Dakotas. We ventured into Wyoming one day to see Devils Tower. We were having a picnic dinner afterward when it started to rain! The storm didn’t last long, though, and we were treated to a double rainbow! I have posted some pictures of this before, but here are a couple I didn’t include then.

I chose this photo because I like the way the rainbow reflects on the wet road ahead of us.
20170527_200914_001The second rainbow is barely visible on the far right in this photo, but it looks like the big rainbow is coming right out of the top of the hill!
20170527_200352

Posted for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, 3/20/18.