There is a saying that all clouds have a silver lining. In the case of this image, the clouds have a tinge of golden lining, lit by a September late afternoon sun. This bright scene is my contribution today for Becky’s April Square: Bright.
This is my first time participating in Hammad Rais’s Weekend Sky challenge!
It’s been a bit difficult to capture the sunset where we live – our house faces north and a row of houses blocks the western sky. But before Daylight Savings started, I would take walks in the late afternoon and sometimes be lucky to capture a beautiful sunset. These were taken on March 5, when the ponds were still partially frozen and remnants of February snows still remained.
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!):
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.
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week begins a series exploring the five senses. This week is sight. She says: As the saying goes, a picture worth a thousand words. Think of photos you can take or have already taken that remind you of a fabulous sight. I like to call it “Eye Candy”. Several of the photos I picked out are of animals, which is conveniently the topic of Dutch Goes the Photo’s Tuesday Photo Challenge.
A romantic couple: Swans make a “heart” after mating, in one of our community ponds.
Cheetah mom and cub frolic in Tanzania:
After watching these two gamboling for about half an hour, I decided the cheetah is now my favorite wild animal!
In a close second place are these adorable genets, who reside at Ndutu Safari Lodge. They looked down at us with such curious faces, and sat up there so quietly observing the humans down below.
My youngest “grandcat” Freddie – how can I help falling in love with this guy??
Here is my own beautiful cat, Hazel! This is an early photo of her, but it has always been my favorite.
This is a more recent photo of her, taken in our new house.
I guess it’s clear that I just love cats in general! (Genets are not cats, but they sort of look like cats.)
More eye candy is to be found in the beauty of nature.
A sunset in Tanzania
Cathedral Rock as seen from the campus of Verde Valley School, Sedona, Arizona
Flowers: at Chicago Botanic Gardens
Dahlia at Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA
I love to look at beautiful works of humankind as well.
In St. Matthias Church, Budapest
If I had to lose either my sight or my hearing, I think I would choose being deaf than missing out on the beauties of our world.
Lens-Artists’ challenge this week has the theme simplicity. P.A. Moed says: As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and intensifies, many of us around the world are spending a lot of time at home, following governmental regulations to shelter in place. More and more of us feel like we’re returning to a simpler time–cooking our own meals, playing board games, reading (and re-reading) the classics, cleaning the house, and taking up hobbies like knitting, sewing, and gardening. For me, this time also highlights the value of simplicity.
I feel as P.A. Moed does – I find pleasure in the simple things of life. After all, I have plenty of time to look for things that I might not otherwise notice. Most of these simple things are the beauty of nature.
For example, I delight in the simplicity of a sunset, like this one in January:
the simplicity of a stand of birch trees in winter:
the simple pleasures of childhood:
the simple beauty of daffodils about to fully bloom, a sign that spring is really here:
the quiet and simple beauty of a swan resting at the edge of a pond:
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).
I got some dramatic sunset photos in black & white when I looked for strong contrasts between the clouds and the sky.
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…
…or a sunburst over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
More subtle effects over the pond on the campus of our community.
In this photo, the clouds are reflected in the rippled surface of the water.
Sometimes, instead of a prairie, a dramatic landscape – such as majestic mountains – enhances the photo, offering a dramatic contrast between land and sky.
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.