Sunday Stills and Weekend Coffee Share in the July heat

Welcome fellow Spoonies and various other sentient beings! Come in, grab your favorite cuppa and let’s visit a bit with Natalie at the Weekend Coffee Share and Terri at Sunday Stills. Our Sunday Stills prompt is “angle” and I found oh so many on our recent adventures.

Last week, we visited Mountain Home, Idaho and took a mini tour of Penny Alley which is a local alleyway that has been dedicated to dozens of urban murals in this tiny rural town. According to the local brochure “in 2016 a group of local artists came together to transform a nearly 320 foot stretch of alleyway in the city’s downtown into an outdoor art gallery featuring a collage of different works of art painted on the walls of local businesses.” We spent a sunny (yeah read that HOT!!!) morning walking the alley, snapping pics, and eating outdoors.

It’s business hours so a lot of this collage is blocked but still sooo worth the look. I can totally dig the wild angles in the dream catcher. Dude!

Adventure is out there!!! LOOK at all the angles in the mural, each sun ray had it’s own design. Plus, it’s purple … and pink! 🙂

I considered cropping this shot but wanted to keep the “OMG this is the alley of actual working businesses” feel. I like the lines of the bricks through the murals and the way the angles are broken up with curves and blending of the individual pictures in the mural.

I particularly love this. Maybe it’s the quote, I am a John Muir fan, or maybe it’s the scene, or maybe it’s the style. This shot is not pixelated, the rough “texture” is intentional. Up close it rather resembles one of those photos transferred to canvas texture. However it was done the result is much in keeping with the alley-feel. I shot this from a straight-on angle with my hinney squeezed up against the far alley wall, stupid camera phone. ;-p

After a long stroll we made our way back to the car through a little craft fair. It was fun to see the offerings. We returned to our hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool, splashing, relaxing and practicing that wonderous vacation ritual of napping. So many great angles in the rock water feature.

Hope you’re staying cool in your part of the world. We’re enduring another round of record breaking heat here in the west and midwest USA. To read a bit more about Spoonies and summer, check out Magical Mundanities Episode 3 –Summer Spoons.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills – Outdoor Life in Balance

For Sunday Stills where we are celebrating “great outdoors month”

For me, like a lot of spoonies, the “great outdoors” is all about finding balance. In the Ayurvedic tradition, balance comes from being in sync with nature, and from being in balance within ourselves.


Rock cairns, large and small decorate the banks of the Virgin River near the Narrows hike. After a flood deposited thousands of rocks and stones along the riverside walk in Zion National Park, human creativity balanced with nature.

“Into the forest I must go. To lose my mind and find my soul.” ~ John Muir

Here, the end of the trail for us in Redwoods National Park. The trail went much deeper into the forest but this was as far as we got, and that’s OK. Spoonies have to balance the desire to trek off deep into the woods leaving the world and it’s noise behind, with the need for caution. Getting to the end of a trail and discovering awe inspiring fairy glens and primordial glades is wonderful. Fatigue induced exhaustion that causes you to faint, not so much.

The Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto, Japan. The cherry tree lined path that follows a small canal from Ginkaku-ji to Nanzen-ji reminds me that the great outdoors is always there, just a step away from my door. Sight-seeing can be taxing on a spoonie and the days of rugged outdoor hikes must be balanced with relaxing strolls and stargazing.

I’ll never lose my need for the great outdoors, and I treasure every moment, the exciting ones and the sedate ones. Sitting on the beach on Kauai surrounded by dark and light, sea and sand, I breathe in the tang of salt air and I am at peace.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” ~Ferris Bueller

Of course, there are also wonders to be found just off the beaten path that make my little spoonie heart soar. During a drive on South Island, NZ we saw an interesting angle of the bay and decided to stop. A short walk from the pull off we were greeted by magical sandstone cathedral spires. We never would have noticed them if we hadn’t listened to that small still voice that whispers “take a look.”

Meanwhile, half-way across the planet, more hoodoos (sandstone spires) dance in gay perfusion in Bryce National Park, Utah. I have walked so many trails in so many places, always, always looking for balance, the synchronicity of nature and balance within myself. Many of the trails have been half-way trips. When he sees my strength beginning to fade, Superhubs will gently remind me “we still have to walk back.” Ahhh yes, the walk back, more adventure. The journey, after all, is the worthier part of the trip.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills – a Midsummer Dream

For Sunday stills, sunrise, sunset

“I have seen so many sunrises,” he said “each one glorious with the promise of the new day to come. Mine to shape and mold as I will. And sunsets, the sky refracting back to my meager eyes to joy of the day that has passed. I have watched the stars burst through the dark sky like a million flaming diamonds. Yet none of it prepared me for the explosion of celestial light within your eyes the first time I saw you smile.” ~Gwren

This week marked the Summer Solstice which we celebrated with a family gathering and feast on the BBQ. Surrounded by brothers, sisters, children, and grand-children. It was lovely. This shot of Stonehenge was taken in the spring but to me Stonehenge will always hold a special place in my Litha celebrations. Accordingly, I watch the sunrise over Stonehenge on youtube (I’m such a rebel).

 

Sunrise over the ocean on Kauai. This is one of my favorite shots for summer even though it wasn’t summer when I took the picture. The golden sky and reflection on the ocean just speaks to me of the power of the sun.

Another of those golden sunrises, I adore the flame red of the sun’s reflection on the water.

Sunset in Virgin, UT one wonderful solstice. Striking sunsets are rare in the desert, as are the clouds that create the textured feel of the picture.

Chimney Rock, Nebraska at dusk. Located at the “south edge of the North Platte River Valley, Chimney Rock is a natural geologic formation, a remnant of the erosion of the bluffs at the edge of the North Platte Valley. A slender spire rises 325 feet from a conical base. The imposing formation, composed of layers of volcanic ash and brule clay dating back to the Oligocene Age (34 million to 23 million years ago), towers 480 feet above the North Platte River Valley.” source

And finally, sunset at 30,000 ft. over Kentucky. From my seat on the plane as we approached Cincinnati on our recent trip. A wonderful way to start a trip.

That’s about it from here at Chez Spoons, have a great and safe week mes amies.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills – Around the World in Pink

For Sunday Stills where our monthly color challenge is “pink”

Pink is the color of romance, softness and playfulness. Toning down the passion of red with the innocence of white can create a wide range of emotion. Let’s take a trip around the world in pink.

pale pink blossoms

Pale pink blossoms of a flowering plum tree in Virgin, Utah remind me of sweet summer days and the gentle scent of morning. “A perfect blossom is rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.” ~Katsumoto – The Last Samurai

A painted pink stone atop a post finial at Sterling Point, NZ. Because Pink makes everything pretty.

Variegated pink rose, Westfir, Oregon. “A rose is without explanation. She blooms because she blooms.” ~ Angelus Silesius

A pink rabbit welcomes us to Taiwan. “I’m not crazy, my reality is just different from yours.” ~Cheshire Cat

Wise words on a rainbow, Starbucks Rapid City, SD “Pink is more than a color, it’s an attitude.” ~Miley Cyrus

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Magical Mundanities Episode 1 – magic in shades of gray

Floribunda rose in black and white, Westfir, Oregon

It’s easy to love a sunrise. The promise of a new day, bright, vibrant colors transform ordinary clouds into enchanting abstract patterns. Yes, it’s easy to love bright colors. It takes a special kind of soul though to love a lead-gray sky. I do because I see. I see the divine in a tiny bit of clear quartz among the gravel bed. I see the promise of eternity in the monochrome grayness of a cloudy day. I spend my days trying to be open to everyday epiphanies, the magical mundanities, of an ordinary life.

In nature I find gray everywhere, perhaps because it makes such a perfect backdrop. Perhaps because it’s everywhere. Perhaps because it is the middle of the road, half way between black and white, like the color of my hair, old enough to know better, but still willing to take a bash at it.

For Sunday Stills where our color challenge is Gray

Here gray concrete paving stones provide a backdrop for a young black swallowtail with brilliant wing stripes in Jiujiang, China

A white-faced Heron stalks his shadow in New Zealand

Gray mist hangs over the pavilion at Lulin Lake on Lushan Mountain, China

Vast gray depths and composition of a cloud formation in Rapid City, SD, USA

“Tall buildings no bigger than blocks on the floor
Wellington afloat on the harbour haze:
You think of how most men spend their days
In offices as cramped as elevators…”

Well weathered words of wisdom on faded gray planks of Wellington NZ waterfront.

If we were having coffee this week, I’d confide in hushed tones that I’ve never liked the color black for a wardrobe choice *insert shocked gasp*. Black is technically the absence of color and frankly, it washes out my already pale complexion. Then, I discovered all the infinite possibilities of gray. It has become a staple neutral of my wardrobe.

Ah well, I’m off to ponder the questions of the universe including the antics of the gray dove outside my window.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills – Water Water Everywhere

For Sunday Stills where our prompt is “water.” Oooohhh, water, I love water. I believe in another life, I was a mermaid, or a Hawaiian princess, whichever, maybe both. I have swam in every kind of water from lakes to rivers, to oceans, to really big puddles (Salton Sea). I can’t pass a puddle without stomping in it and I can’t pass up an opportunity to stick my feet in every sea, lake and river I can. I am also, partly, a water sign …. oh yeah!

Above, the great tide pool adventure in Florence, Oregon. I love the Pacific Northwest coast line, so rocky and graphic and full of adventure.

Farther south, turtles swim in Hanauma Bay on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Still farther south, the Southern Pacific Ocean, off the coast of New Zealand. Hmmmm, these are all pacific ocean shots. What else can I come up with.

How about Stirling Castle on Loch Lomond, Scottish Highlands

or Urquhart castle on Loch Ness, why yes we did go hunting Nessie while there. 😉

There’s oceans and lakes, how about falls? … Opaeka Falls on the island of Kauai

or the Middle Fork of the Willamette River near Oakridge, Oregon

Salmon swimming “upstream” at the fish hatchery near Oakridge, Oregon. I love this shot we had so much fun at the hatchery capturing unique photo ops. These are fingerling salmon about 2 inches long already learning to fight the falls.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills — Blessed be the wild things

For Sunday Stills – celebrating kids and pets

“The time has come,” I thought today
“to ponder many things
like kids and pets and photographs
and why the wild bird sings”

I find myself in a bewilderment. Kids and pets … hmmm, I have no pets, and I generally don’t post pictures of kids (even my own). So that leaves me with those beautiful souls with whom we share this little blue world. I love the feeling of awe when I encounter animals in their natural habitat. I say a little prayer of thanks and treasure the places where the wild things are.

Above, a juvenile big horn sheep in Zion National Park, Utah. They sometimes come down from the higher elevations to feed and pose for tourists.

Here American Buffalo at Custer State Park in South Dakota. You don’t realize how truly huge they are until you experience them up close.

One harried momma duck with a passel of ducklings in Christ Church, NZ. We watched them cross the path heading for the pond, and laughed and laughed and laughed at Momma scolding and herding the brood. Yes, the comedy of motherhood is universal.

My precious little puff balls – Great Horned Owlets in our big pine in South Dakota. I think these count as both pets and kids. We watched them all summer grow from tiny bits of fluff to the day they stretched their wings and set out on their own. They were no longer cute little babies but full grown, gasp inspiring, raptors.

The Three Amigos in the Marlborough District of NZ. In a field full of spring lambs, these little guys found themselves a hill to defend. 🙂

Til next time ~Meet me where the wild things are ~JP

Sunday Stills – In Violet Perfusion

For Sunday Stills our monthly color challenge and the couleur du mois is *insert drum roll* — VIOLET! OK, I have a confession to make, I am a “purple” kind of person, my aura is violet with deep blue accents. Any shade of violet from deep eggplant to pastel lavender works for me.

Violet is the color of light at the short wavelength end of the visible spectrum, between blue and invisible ultraviolet. It is one of the seven colors that Isaac Newton labeled when dividing the spectrum of visible light in 1672. Violet light has a wavelength between approximately 380 and 450 nanometers. Wikipedia

Skies painted in whorls
of violet perfusion
the visible spectrum
fading into light

 

Another sunrise on Kauai. I keep returning to that particular island, that particular town, that particular hotel, always seeking and always finding, that certain slant of light.

Reflections at Byodo-in temple on Oahu. A spectacularly simple water lily.

A lovely little hollyhock, springing out before her sisters. Violet is such a shocking color in nature, I can’t just pass it by but must stop and ponder it’s vibrancy and meaning.

Violet lily of the valley “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” ~Alice Walker

Sunset beyond the mountains in Kaikoura, NZ I wonder if beyond those mountains lay Laketown. “It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons in it.” ~JRR Tolkien

Pinkish violet beaver tail flowers, because violet should always shock and enthrall us.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills — Emerging in Spring

Marsha at Always Write is hosting Sunday Stills this week, where our prompt is “Emerging.” So appropriate for Spring. Here in the Black Hills, we are still waiting for Spring patiently, ummm… with hopeful hearts … oh c’mon already. So here’s a little emerging tale from my archives and a few current shots as well.

Through the silent winter
the world deeply slumbers
emerging in the spring I find
everything is different
and yet
everything’s the same

Spring is slowly emerging from the frozen Winter, here annuals beginning to pop up in the flower beds, ready to start a new season.

Things bloom late in this part of the country but when they do, oh my. The world quickly become a cacophony of sight and scent as the flowers compete for attention.

Here a shot from the high deserts of Utah, as succulents wriggle their way out of a crack in the stones. A classic example of “bloom where you are planted.”

And finally, a tiny sand crab emerging from his hidey hole on the beach in Kapaa, Hawaii

That’s it for this week, here at Chez Spoons, we wait for Spring to emerge from Winter’s cold embrace.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

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