Sunday Stills — Immortality of Cats

Marsha is hosting for Terri’s Sunday Stills for a couple of weeks, do pop over and get some great cat advice — mrrrow ;-).

Here’s the thing, I don’t have cats, or dogs, or mice, or birds. In fact, I have no pets at all. Our lifestyle doesn’t work well for pets, we’re out of the country most years, sometimes for months at a time. My last feline friend passed away in 2003 at the age of 19. The only pictures I have are hard copies, packed away. That said, I did find a shot on pinterest that is an exact duplicate of my Fluffy Cat, and I totally get the sentiment.

Image from pinterest – unknown origins

A long haired tortoise shell with just a dappling of white. She was beautiful, and teeny tiny. She weighed just 6 lbs beneath the deep fluff.

Cats have played an important role in history since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Bastet and Sekhmet are probably the most widely recognized of the cat headed goddesses. Cats were revered as gods and represented justice, fertility and power. Cats have never forgotten this. Ask anyone with cats and you will undoubtedly discover that no one “owns” a cat. Mysticism surrounds them and humans still immortalize them.

In modern times, we still pay homage to our feline friends, here a pair of Maneki-neko or “Happy Cats” in an underground mall in Osaka, Japan. The picture is a bit fuzzy as the statues were in a lighted glass enclosure. Carved from variegated marble reminiscent of the calico coloring.

We immortalize them in statues, in cuddly toys, in cartoons, and in food. Here the Hello Kitty Cafe in Kyoto, Japan.

And or course no tale of the immortal cat would be complete without Tom Jones’ classic.

Til next time ~What’s New Pussycat ~JP

Sunday Stills – Love of a leaf

For Sunday Stills our monthly color prompt is “spring green.” Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m more of an Autumn foliage photographer. Honestly, not a lot blooms or grows or gets green up here until sometime in April. Once again, photo archives to the rescue. The images that follow all evoke that feeling of Spring Green for me.

Love of a Leaf

Do not love me as a flower
it’s easy to love a flower
all heady aroma and beauty
that quickly fades and dies

Love me as a leaf
challenging, extraordinary
plain, simple and strong
holding tight when winds blow

Bleeding Hearts little ground level eye candy. I love the profusion of little leaves just emerging.

Coconuts Oahu, Hawaii Yes that is what a coconut actually looks like before it is harvested and shucked. When they reach maturity, they often become heavy and fall to the ground. Which can be dangerous when you’re busy snapping photos or walking down the path. Most often, the coconuts are removed from trees in “tourist” areas to avoid such unfortunate encounters with gravity, so I was really happy to be able to snap this shot.

Wild flowers in a crack in a boulder near Devils Tower, Wyoming. The beauty of Life is everywhere, you have but to open your eyes to see it.

A Lace Leaf Japanese Maple, at Queens Garden, Invercargill, NZ. I adore Japanese Maples, so delicate and gentle. I had them at my house in Kentucky and have seen many exceptional specimens in Kyoto Japan. Imagine, a Japanese Maple in, of all places, Japan.

Water Lilies Suzhou, China. I love water lilies, always have. We had them in our fish ponds in the house where I grew up. The lily pads are exquisite, long after the flowers have faded.

Unidentified yellow flower spike in Taichung, Taiwan. I love the way the leaves change as the plant grows. I have no clue what the plant is, but I love the vibrant green. btw, if you recognize the plant, let me know in the comments, my curiosity is peaked but no one in our party knew.

What I’m listening to today:

Til next time ~Stay Wild Flower Child ~JP

Sunday Stills – Some things are better in black and white

For Terri’s Sunday Stills Challenge where our theme is black and white

OK this one’s a toughie for me, I am in all honesty, not even sure my digital camera has a B&W setting. My photo editor does though.
While not all photos can handle the stark lines of B&W, I love the nostalgic feel of them. So, let’s dig through the archives and see what we come up with.

Scenes in black and white
undertones of grey
fill my dreams at night
with reminders of the day

 

Iris after a rain in Invercargill, NZ. Free of the brilliant color, the eye notices more the contrast of the sharp edges of leaves, the delicate frills of the blossom and, of course, the glisten of rain drops.

Pinecone on snow. Of course, some shots just don’t have much color to begin with. My eye is naturally drawn to the symmetry of the open scales, and of course, their sharp points.

Trees after the Legion Lake fires in 2017. The wildfire burned over 84 square miles of the Black Hills. Although the fire was devastating, the forest and wildlife were quick to recover. This shot of some of the fire and heat damaged trees is actually more appealing to me in B&W. It feels more “nostalgic” and the damage is much less obvious.

Another snow shot. Maybe it’s just me but I think the scene becomes too bland.

A variegated floribunda rose, in the park, Westfir, Oregon. On this shot, I like the depth that the B&W gives to the petal frills. The enhanced shadow effect instantly conveys a timeless, sophisticated spirit to the shot.

A portrait in B&W. I love the nostalgic feel of B&W portraits. This is a photo, of a pastel painting, made from a photo. If you have sufficient resolution, you can just make out the shimmer of an unfallen tear on the baby’s eye.

If we were having coffee this week, at Natalie’s weekend coffee share, I’d tell you about the snow. Yep, after two weeks of sub-zero temps, followed by a week of highs in the 60’s, we now have about a foot of snow. South Dakota weather, gotta love it. Sprang the clocks forward Sunday and oh my word I really miss that hour!

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

Sunday Stills – Peace in the Rain

For Sunday Stills where our theme is “rain.”

Rains come and rains go
warm touch, melting snow
rainy days spent by the fire
your hand in mine, all I require
pitter patter’s old refrain
I find peace in the rain

There are so many types of rain. All of which have been in short supply this year here in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I’ve reached into my archives for some examples.

First there’s Impending Rain that rain that you feel coming, the drops just haven’t fallen … yet — rain on the horizon, Kapaa, Kauai

Then there’s Calm Drenching Rain — the kind that makes farmers happy as it nourishes young plants. A rainy day walk in Shinsekai Market, Osaka, Japan

There’s the gentle passing rain, just enough to wet the flowers and remind us how beautiful rain truly is. Here a few glistening drops on an Iris in Queens Garden, Invercargill, NZ.

 

And then there’s the Violent Frozen Rain, the bane of farmers, ranchers, and RV owners alike — Hail. Above is a shot of the first hail storm I ever encountered, it fell with a startling ferocity (native Californian that I am). The hail stones are tiny really, and I have seen much, much worse (baseball size stones) since.

 

And then there’s the rain that everyone fears, the Unstoppable Rain. Water is such a gentle element that sometimes we need a reminder that it can also be deadly, ferocious, and terrifying. Five days of flooding left us and most of our neighbors stranded in the RV park when our tiny creek over flowed it’s banks and took out the bridge. In this shot, the flood waters. From this angle, the creek is generally not visible.

Til next time ~Chin up buttercup, Spring’s here ~JP

Sunday Stills — The Rose that Blooms

Red Rose in Pahrump, Nevada — on the way to Death Valley 62 miles west of Las Vegas — deep desert.

For Sunday Stills our monthly color challenge for February is *insert drum roll* Rosy Red.

Of all the beauties in life
none are quite so grand
as the rose that bloom
in the desert sands

 

 

Speaking of unlikely rosy reds — this Claret Cup cactus definitely catches the eye. These buds open to resemble a wine glass filled with …. yep claret.

 

For some exotic rosy reds, how about these Ti plants from the Dole Plantation Gardens, Oahu Hawaii

 

For a little more exotic goodness how about these red beauties. Actually, I prefer them in their roasted form. Yep those are “coffee cherries” the fruit from which coffee beans come to make that magical potion known throughout the civilized world as COFFEE. Yes, I’m a bit of an enthusiast. This tour through the Kauai Coffee Plantation came with free, unlimited tastings of their many, many, many varietals and flavors. Superhubs blames this excusion for my new found love of “flavored” coffees, says it has corrupted my pallet. Hey, you can’t say I’ve had too much coffee, you don’t know me that well, maybe I LIKE twitching! OK, maybe a decaf macchiato, with a few chocolate covered peaberries (mutant coffee bean).

 

A bit more exotic rosy red flamboyance, this adult macaw, flying wild and free …. well sort of, in Pahrump, Nevada. He, his mate and a smaller mated pair are frequently seen out and about in the desert where they are part of a cage free sanctuary.

And finally because no post about Red would be complete without mention of my beloved Zion, this huge beauty from Kolob Canyons (aka the backside of Zion) this beloved and (so far as I can tell) un-named behemoth is viewed here from Taylor Creek Trail.

 

Til next time ~Stay wild moon child ~JP

Sunday Stills — Temps Have Fallen

For Sunday Stills — Fallen

The pine trees all have long since
dropped their load of pollen
the last red leaf of maple
months ago has fallen
landscapes now of purest white
outside it’s wt* degrees farenheit

I have to admit that my first thought when I saw the prompt was *insert dumb look here* so I thought — fallen, fallen like in fallen angel? Yeah I read Jim Butcher, no members of the Fallen here. Let’s just say that from there my thoughts got weirder and weirder (yeah I know, whoda thunk) Anyway, then I got to thinking about petals on the plum tree in our former RV park of residence in Utah. Do you know I do not have a single picture (that I can locate) of those petals once they hit the ground. Hmpf, well I guess I’m just gonna have to wing it. I went down the rabbit hole of photo archive digging and before I knew it, it’s almost dinner time. So you’re stuck with “things that have fallen.”

Flowering plum tree – Virgin, Utah before all the petals had fallen

A heavy coat of florescent yellow pine pollen, there are no scratches, paint peels or rubs on the car, that’s all pollen. Ewww took me weeks to get it out of everything.

Little spontaneous waterfalls here in Zion National Park where fallen rocks, trees, and other debris wash down the canyon until they get stuck and create those beautiful babbling brook sounds.

This was part of a massive rockslide that wiped out a good section of highway going through Zion National Park in Utah a few years ago. To quote the zen master C3PO “it’s possible this asteroid is not entirely stable.”

Waterfall at the entrance to the Temple of Sinewava the rock shelf is worn from water that has fallen over it for centuries. Regrettably the waterfall no longer flows.

And finally, Sterling Castle, Scotland grave yard, tributes to fallen ancestors.

Til next time ~stay wild moon child ~JP

Sunday Stills – The Landscape of My Life

For Sunday Stills – Your Favorite Landscapes

The Landscape of My Life

The landscape of my life lies before me
and it is beautiful
filled with the ‘teeners of Colorado
bleeding their rust-colored stains
the Grand Canyon deep and vast
where Condor shadows fade in twilight
Sunset on a snowy field sends skyward
a brilliant flash of gold
south to Death Valley’s salt flats
eerie, barren, grey and cold
I have seen so many sights
from Zion and Osaka,
New Zealand and Kauai
The landscape of my life lies before me
and … it is beautiful

We spent many summers in Colorado, Silverton, Ouray and Durango. It was here in the Red Mountain Pass I began to understand “Colorado Rocky Mountain High” whether from the majesty of the landscape or the lack of oxygen, I cannot say.

North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We have visited there several times alone and with family. Pictures cannot do it justice for it is the very definition of the word “vast.” I have never felt so small.

“Flash of Green” over the horizon in South Dakota. “Presence of God” moment, perhaps a soul coming back to earth.

Badwater Basin salt flats in Death Valley, California. 200 square miles of … nothing. All I could think was “what must the settlers have thought?”

Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Kyoto, Japan. There is a reason Kyoto is one of my spiritual centers and this shot pretty much says it all.

Skyline of Osaka, Japan from Osaka Castle. A stop at a okonomiyaki restaurant on the way home reminds me that some things are the same world wide. Like, pizza.

Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah. We spent a decade of falls, winters, and springs exploring this beautiful National Park. The awe and grandeur are never exaggerated. It lives up to it’s name “Sanctuary” and peace of mind, body and soul are palpable.

One of a hundred soul-stirring sunrises on Kapaa Beach, Hawaii. During our morning walk along the beach tears started rolling down my face. When Superhubs asked me what was wrong, I told him “my hands don’t hurt.” For the first time in decades, my hands did. not. hurt. The absence of pain, not relief of pain but the absence of it, can be a real eye-opener.


Til next time ~Stay trippy hippies ~JP

Sunday Stills – Storm Cloud Blessings

For Sunday Stills — Fog and Clouds

and JusJoJan – Specs

Storm Cloud Blessings

Winds from the north,
fog blowing in
changes are coming,
it’s about to begin
Winter blows in
with his terrible might
the sky up above me
is soon blocked from sight
specs of light from behind
now the clouds sweep away
rainbow breaking through
blessing me on this day

Nephology weirdness out my back door. Some of the cloud patterns we have here in South Dakota defy identification.

Mountains peeking out from an ethereal layer of fog and cloud taken from the beach in Kaikoura, NZ

And of course no discussion of fog and clouds should overlook the bizarre manifestation that is frozen fog. A couple of bushes up the street covered in fog crystals

closeup of frozen fog phenomenon

And no compilation of clouds would be complete without a flamboyant sunset (or sunrise). This was taken out my front door a few weeks ago

“It’s clouds’ illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds, at all”
— Joni Mitchell – (saw that coming didn’t you?)

Til next time ~Stay trippy hippies ~JP

Sunday Stills — Glaciers of emotion

A flash at sunset

For Sunday Stills our monthly color challenge – Glacier Blue

Feelings shift like oceans
beneath the frozen ice
glaciers of emotions
pain too long denied
struggle against the cold
mind closed against the truth
pressures build, exploding in
a single tear of glacier blue

 

Blue Sunrise — Kauai

Blue ocean – Princetown, Hawaii

and MORE blue oceans — Kaikoura, NZ are you sensing a theme here?

Snowy night in Richfield, UT I love the way the street lights at dusk create the blue glow

Til next time ~Stay trippy hippies ~JP

Sunday Stills – the Letter of Night

For Sunday Stills and JusJoJan

Letters fall from the shelf
creased and fragile
from a thousand openings

Words spill out like pictures
bright stars on dark nights
silver moonlight on the sea

Light up the darkening sky
with sacred promises
true love never dies

This week’s Sunday Stills prompt of “night” was a little daunting for me. You see I’m not a night person. I’m much more likely to see a sunrise than a sunset. When I step foot outside after dark, it’s usually just to my own yard to gaze at the moon, maybe charge my crystals. That being said, I ransacked my photo files and did come up with a few.

2020 Blue Moon — I always find that surrounding a moon shot with frames of reference helps. Here the Halloween Blue Moon plays peek-a-boo with me behind the trees. Also, it offsets the lens flares with which I struggle, like a LOT.

Evening on the Lanai – Kauaii– Here landscape lighting and tiki torches accent brilliant moonlight reflected on the ocean.

Jack-o-lanterns — This is a great shot for reminding myself, it’s not always about the quality of the shot, it’s the feelings and memories.

Nijo Castle – Kyoto Japan — Snapped with a tiny cell phone, a good illustration of the problems encountered with night photography. The castle is lit up so brightly that details are nearly indiscernable.

Sunset on Waikiki — I may not be much for “night” photography but give me a sunset and, oh my …

Til next time ~stay trippy hippies ~JP