Whatever Wednesday – Little Things and Close Ups

Walkabout Wednesday has transmuted to Whatever Comes to Mind Wednesday here at Castle Serenity due mostly to some on-going fatigue and COVID residuals ;-p Anyway, our Sunday Stills challenge is Macros and Close Ups. I confess, I’m not much of a macro girl. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore them when they are taken by others. But, since about 90% of my shots are taken with a Moto g6 cell phone camera … well there you have it. So, I went scanning through some shots, some recent, some not so, but, actually I have a lot of close ups. Cool. So, for your pleasure : Little Things

Butterfly Jiajang

Butterfly outside my hotel room in Jiajiang, China

Leaping Chinook Batman!

A wee bitty Chinook Salmon. Here already practicing fall jumping against the flow of the aerator. This little guy is less than two inches long. Consider if you will that Chinook can grow to over 4 feet and 120 pounds.

Robin egg

A little robin’s egg that has fallen and landed in a nest of rock. (Yes I checked and it was hollow). It somehow landed perfectly so that the hole was on the bottom side.

Tiny turtle

A little turtle making it’s way toward the lake.

Til next time ~Life is lived in the tiny moments ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – an Apricot World

Our Sunday Stills color challenge this week is apricot so I thought we’d take a stroll through some apricotty spots around the world

a fellow hiker, North Rim Grand Canyon

North Rim Grand Canyon, North Rim, Arizona. One of the many trails we hiked during our visits, we spotted this little fellow atop an apricot boulder having a little snack.

Westfir, Oregon

Apricot-colored skies are an ill omen in Westfir, Oregon. The color is created by the sun brightly shining behind a column of wild fire smoke We were evacuated the next day.

Dole Plantation Garden, Hawaii

As we travel farther west, we find this beautiful apricot tipped bromeliad at the Dole Plantation garden on Oahu, Hawaii.

Sake museum, Osaka Japan

Next we go a bit farther afield to Osaka, Japan where we visited the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum. Fascinating museum where you can have a sake tasting, or prowl about the museum and gift shot, or both. We particularly noted the apricot toned painting depicting the sake brewers at work.

Limb support, Queenstown Botanical Garden

Traveling on we come to Queenstown Botanical Garden in Queenstown, New Zealand. Here we see an apricot-colored support pole for a branch of a massive old oak tree. The pole is hand carved with ferns depicted on all sides. A beautiful combination of form and function.

found poetry Queenstown, NZ

As we cross Lake Wakatipu we come upon a bit of apricot poetry artistically mounted in the retaining wall, again in Queenstown, NZ

“Days releasing meteorological balloons into a delicate apricot sky in this landscape we invent as it invents us – from rock, flake and springwater, from a skiff of froth tumbling over a weir into the afterglow of the aurora.”

That’s my apricots around the world for today

This post inspired by Terri’s Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge – Apricot and Marsha’s PPAC # 63

Til next time ~color my world with hope and apricots ~JP

A Home with a View – Sunday Stills

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” ~Dorothy, Wizard of Oz

Our Sunday Stills prompt this week is Vacation or Staycation? We had plans to spend a few days at Lake Michigan this summer but had to cancel due to the cursed Omicron. I’m with Terri on this one, who needs a vacation when you have this kind of view. Here a few shots of the view from our home, yes we live on the lake (aka big pond).

Spring night, the Bradford Pear in bloom, path lights shining on the water.

Cloud Dancer as sunset highlights the clouds. Does anyone else see the Cloud Dancer?

One of many gorgeous sunsets.

The moon peeks through the trees at her reflection in the still waters of the lake.

Thanks for joining me today for a look at my home. Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – a life under construction

Our Sunday Stills prompt this week is “under construction” and I must admit, I’m not one to take pictures of construction much. It is seldom appropriate to photograph road construction between rants and building construction is generally driven right by without stopping to investigate, so I found myself somewhat stymied, until I realized that, heck, my WHOLE LIFE is under construction, or maybe re-construction, but you get the point.

piece of a hailstone from my living room

On August 27, 2021 a catastrophic hail storm hit Rapid City, SD. For 20 minutes fist sized hail stones pummeled our lives. The financial loss was significant but paled in comparison to loss of our entire way of life. It became clear that we could no longer live full-time RVing and that massive rebuilding was required. So, we repaired what we could, sold what we could, wrote off the rest and started to reconstruct our lives.

Pitching machine under construction in Kunshan, China

We turned the page and began a new adventure. A few years ago “adventure” meant traveling overseas to work with factories while the sporting goods lines we developed were under construction.

Family of Canadian Geese at our lake

These days it’s all about those mundane adventures. Sitting on the deck and watching the goslings grow oh so fast.

Farmers Market Booty

or scoring pirate booty at our local farmer’s market, fresh, beautiful bargains.

Asian Grocery

Or reminiscing about our travels while exploring the Asian Grocery store in our new home town. Ahhh pineapple cake, how I have missed you my old friend.

Fanell Scudder Exhibit

Checking out the art at our local library. Here an exhibit of Fanell Scudder an 83-year-old local resident.

My boys

Of course, there are also family bonds under construction. Here one exhausted wanderer with son and two of the grandsons. For fifteen years they’ve seen me no more than twice a year and yet we take to each other like the geese to water. I do adore my boys.

Moonset

And, as always, I watch the moon.

This post inspired by
Terri’s Sunday Stills – Under Construction
and Marsha’s PPAC # 61

Til next time ~Would you like to have an adventure now or would you like to finish your tea first? ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – along the boardwalk at Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone

Welcome to another walkabout. Today we’ll be taking an oh-so-short trip via the boardwalk around Grand Prismatic Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Prismatic Hot Spring

Located in the Midway Geyser Basic in Yellowstone National Park, it is the largest hot spring in the United States. It was named for the prismatic colors ranging out from the central pool.

The bright, vivid colors are the result of microbial mats around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The mats produce colors ranging from green to red; the amount of color in the microbial mats depends on the ratio of chlorophyll and temperature of the runoff.

In the summer, the mats tend to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually dark green.

Wee flowers

Other beauty abounds nearby including some tiny little wild flowers in a mustardy hue.

Although the surrounding area is covered with pines and prairies, the Midway Geyser Basin itself it barren of trees for obvious reasons. We came across this painting in a coffee shop which reminded me of the stark dichotomy of the abundant life and barren landscape.

There you have it, I said it was quick! This post was inspired by:

Terri’s Sunday Stills where our monthly color challenge in Mustard
and Marsha’s PPAC #60 where we can always find diverse artistic expression

Til next time ~ stop, look around, be amazed ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – Summer Good Things

I have a confession to make. I am NOT a summer kind of person. I do so prefer the crisp cold air of winter, the gleam of new snow, the smell of apples and cinnamon. That said, there are good things to summer, so let’s take a little Walkabout of Summer Good Things.

Swimming Pools, blessed relief and beauty too. I love the water feature.

Bar-B-Ques, here DS mans the grill at the park for the family reunion.

Butterflies and Buddleia even in the striking heat of summer they provide a bit of color and whimsy.

Found art among the flower beds.

And a stroll along the creek trail. Here in Rapid City, a memorial to our fallen officers.

This post inspired by:

Terri’s Sunday Stills where our theme is Summer
Marsha’s PPAC 58

That’s it for today, til next time

~ Fall’s coming baby ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – Rachel Nevada

Greetings sentient life forms! Today I thought we’d take a tiny (and I do mean tiny) walk about Rachel Nevada, take in some high desert scenery and art.

Welcome to Rachel, Nevada, elevation 4,840 feet. Above, an exhausted Rver stands beside the Time Capsule Beacon.

In case you can’t make it out, the plaque reads:

On the eighteenth day of April, AD 1996
Twentieth Century Fox dedicates
this time capsule and beacon
for visitors from distant stars,
to the state of Nevada and the
“Extraterrestrial Highway”

This time capsule will serve as a beacon
to be opened in the year A.D., 2050
by which time interplanetary travelers
should be regular guests of our planet earth.

Alien face mosaic of local stone at the base of the time capsule.

Side of the restaurant/gift shop/motel check-in building. Rachel’s population was 48 as of the 2020 census and I think most of them worked here at the A’Le’Inn.

Rachel is the nearest “human” habitation to Nellis Air Force Range and Area 51, located along the scenic(?) Extraterrestrial Highway where, apparently, parking rules are strictly enforced. And, Yes, there is an “Area 51 Do Not Cross Use of Deadly Force Authorized” sign and NO I did not hike out into the desert to take a picture of it.

This post inspired by:

Sunday Stills – Deserts or Desserts
Marsha’s PPAC # 57 – where we find that Aliens are everywhere

Til next time remember:

“There is no unknown, only that which is temporarily hidden.” ~James T. Kirk

~Peace ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – The Road Traveled

Speaking of road trips, we were speaking of road trips weren’t we? We didn’t make one this year. We had plans to take a road trip to Paradise and tiny hamlet on Lake Michigan with BIL and his family, no RV, just car and motels. Shortly before our scheduled departure date, Superhubs’ diabetes went brittle, again. Our destination resort is some distance from medical care and I was uneasy about the trip so we ended up canceling reservations and deciding on a “staycation” instead. Then, lo and behold, the day before our intended departure date, Hubs tested positive for COVID and 3 days later your truly followed suit. So, no road trips or even staycations this year. I thought perhaps we’d take a short trip down the old memory lane to last fall.

Halloween moon over South Dakota

Barren Optimus Lite

We left South Dakota and our beloved Optimus Lite (our 5th wheel) along with 15 years of life on the road as full-time RVers behind with a grateful prayer and a thankful heart on October 31, 2021.

Cactus bread

Our first stop was Sturgis, SD where we (OK I) indulged in a final taste of that South Dakota delicacy known as “cactus bread.” The next morning Superhubs had his annual cerebral MRI and we headed out.

Ceramic brick wall quilt squares

In all honesty, about the only stops we made or pictures we took were at roadside rests and restaurants. We made the entire 1325 mile trip in 3 days (which is a LOT of driving for a couple of spoonies). Above a quick stop at a rest area in “quilt country” I’m sorry I’ve forgotten what state it was in. There were quilts and quilt art everywhere including this tile display on the exterior walls which I found fabulous enough to warrant a quick pic.

A reminder of my long lost Fall

Ahhhh FALL!

Along the way I was graphically reminded what I have missed so much the past 15 years – FALL! I am such a fall kind of person and it’s such an incredibly short season in most of the states we’ve lived in over the past decade and a half. WOW, I so totally needed that.

Kentucky, the bourbon state?

Finally, we entered the Bourbon State. I always thought Kentucky was the Bluegrass State but apparently, they’ve kind of changed their marketing focus. *insert rolling eyes*

First roadside rest in Kentucky

It is, thankfully, still known as the “Front Porch of the South” and possibly the “horse statue and reference” capital of something I’m sure.

A new view

Finally, after many long months of waiting and working, the plans all finally came together and we watched our first sunset on our new porch.

This week’s walkabout inspired by:

Sunday Stills – Road Trippin – do pop over for some great virtual sightseeing
Marsha’s PPAC #56 where things are going full circle

Til next time ~ Keep you feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars ~JP

Ruby Red Rods– a Sunday Stills Automotive Retrospective

Our prompt for Terri’s Sunday Stills this week is the monthly color challenge Ruby Red. Hmmmm Ruby Red, I like it. When I think of Ruby Red, or for that matter any bright red, my thoughts automatically (pun intended) run toward automobiles. So I picked a few from the archives.

Chevy Nova in Rapid City SD

From a car show in Rapid City, SD a ruby red Chevy Nova SS. Looks like mid-1960’s maybe a ’66?

Studebaker in Custer SD

From a car show in Custer, SD a deep ruby red Studebaker Land Cruiser – no dates but my guess would be a 1950 or 1951 judging from the “nose”

1906 model N

From Bill Richardson’s Transport World in Invercargill, NZ, a 1906 Ford model N Runabout. Sporty little two-seater Runabouts were a popular choice in middle-class America. They were fast and rugged and while most Runabouts featured a 2-cylinder engine and bicycle-style chain drives, the Model N offered a 4-cylinder engine and shaft drive. The Ford Model N also cost less coming in at about $500. To put that in perspective, the average annual wage in America at that time was $523 so basically, it cost a year’s wages. Compared to 2020 real median income per capita of $35,805 and you have, well pretty much a year’s wages for a car. Hmmmm.

antique gas pump

And finally an antique gas pump in beautiful ruby red because, after all, who isn’t feeling a bit red-in-the-face after visiting a gas pump these days. ;-).

Til next time ~Kindness is a choice you can make everyday ~JP

A World of Beaches – a Sunday Stills retrospective

For Terri’s Sunday Stills Beautiful Beaches. I began this challenge thinking, “oh I got THIS I am a beach kind of person.” I was rather surprised to find that most of my photos are of oceans and sunrise/sunsets over said oceans but not nearly as many shots of actual beaches as I expected. That being said, I did come up with a variety of beaches from around the world. So let’s dive in and get ourselves a dose of “Vitamin Sea.”

“One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

~Anne Morrow-Lindberg

Watching clouds form at Lake Tahoe

Nothing soothes the soul like sand and water. Here watching clouds form over lake Tahoe.

South Jetty Beach, Florence Oregon

A vast expanse of white beach at South Jetty Beach near Florence, Oregon. No crowds, blue skies, white waves – what more could you ask for?

Resort Beach near Kapaa Island of Kauai

Oh yeah, color that’s what you could ask for color ;-). Here palms and landscaping mix and mingle with with natural sand and coral at a resort beach near Kapaa, Hawaii.

Beach at Kaikoura, NZ

Finally, the beach at Kaikoura, NZ. Snowcapped mountains in the distance, rocky shoreline, fur seal posing for his portrait. Ahhhh *insert sigh*

Til next time ~All that is gold does not glitter – JP