Sunday Stills – a Path Less Taken

Our Sunday Stills prompt this week is “path.” Ahhh there’s a prompt I can really sink my toes into. I’ve traveled many, many, many paths. City streets to muddy back country trails and all have been marvelous.

A rainy day at market in Osaka, Japan. The golden statue is “Billiken” the god of Things as They Ought to Be.

Back country wilderness trail at Kolob Canyon, Utah

“There are many trails in this life, but the one that matters most, few men are able to walk … even Comanche men. It is the trail of a true human being. I think you are on this trail. It is a good thing for me to see. It is good for my heart.”
Michael Blake – Dances with Wolves

Trails at the Grand Canyon

“Just because my path is different doesn’t mean I’m lost.” Then again…
– Gerard Abrams

Up the trail in La Plata mountains, Colorado

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
— Robert Frost

Path to the main temple at Honen-in Kyoto, Japan

“All that is gold does not glitter.
Not all who wander are lost.
The eld that strong does not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
J.R.R. Tolkein

This wandering walkabout was inspired by Terri’s Sunday Stills Challenge.

Til next time ~Take the back roads ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – Through the Glass

Terri has given us a Sunday Stills prompt this week of “glass.” Glass, now there’s an interesting photographic challenge. Let’s dash about the archives shall we.

Thin(ish) layers of glass are all that separate me from the sky. Looking out at Hawaii on approach at Lihue.

And, of course always reflections in a looking glass. Here at Larnach Castle, Dunedin, NZ

And, china is kind of a glass, here serving up my favorite beverage in my favorite shop in Kyoto, Japan

And then there’s stained glass. This rescued piece on display in the Wellington Museum, Wellington, NZ

And, finally, no reflection on glass would be complete without a classic by Peggy Lee, one of my all-time favorite voices.

Empty Glass

Close the door and pull the blinds
Fill your glass, but don’t fill mine
Here’s to you now for the last time
Here’s to me your sometime past time
Here’s to love, an empty glass

Feeling low, but it will pass
With some coffee, demitasse
Black and strong and very bitter
I can think of nothing fitter
For a lover, second class

Deep inside I guess I knew
You were too good to be true
Still it rocked me to discover
You would kiss and run for cover
When I started loving you

Nothing could have made it last
Say goodbye and say it fast
Here’s to you now for the last time
Here’s to me your sometime past time
Here’s to love, an empty glass

Songwriters: Luiz Bonfa & Dick Manning

~ all lyrics are the product of my memory. Any discrepancies or divergences from actual fact should not be viewed as errors but as all natural variations proving that I did, in fact, live through the 60’s.

Til next time ~Here’s to the no-longer empty glass ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – A Day Without a Night

“As long as there is day and night. But three days hence, in Aquila, there will be a day without a night and a night without a day.” ~Imperius from the movie “Ladyhawke”

Our Sunday Stills prompt this week is “fleeting moments” and while I could certainly wax rhapsodic about the fleeting moments of life or love, I thought instead I’d take you on a walkabout through the photo archives of solar eclipses.

Here’s a shot from the 2017 total solar eclipse. The partially blocked sunlight creates interesting shadow patterns through the leaves. I was recovering from knee replacement and this was the best shot I got of the historic event ;-p

2012 solar eclipse – Southern Utah

A similar phenomenon from the 2012 annular eclipse. Annular eclipses are similar to total eclipses but leave a “ring of fire” as the moon passes in front of the sun.

2012 solar eclipse twilight

You can just make out the nose of that AWESOME Minnie Winnie as the light begins to fade to darkness. A day without a night.

2012 solar eclipse

and a night without a day, as the moon covers more and more of the sun’s light.

The next annular solar eclipse visible over the U.S. is due October 14, 2023, until then something to ponder “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” ~Neil Gaiman

Til next time ~Stay trippy hippies ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – Newberry Caldera

It may have become apparent by now but I’m doing a lot of low-spoon posts. I do not refer to subject matter but rather to the energy I put into them because, frankly, I have none. It’s time (again) for another flare – Autumn Edition. Our prompt for Terri’s Sunday Stills this week is our monthly color challenge of – Lava (black-brown, black, and/or orange). Being, the “rock person” I am, I’ve opted to share a couple pics of, well, lava.

Above a shot of Newberry Caldera (yep that’s all lava). It’s commonly called Newberry Crater but it is actually a caldera, formed when the overlying rocks collapse when a magma chamber is emptied. The volcano is roughly the size of Rhode Island (1200 square miles) and the caldera itself about 17 square miles. The caldera remains both seismically and geothermally active. We saw numerous cinder cones and vents, basalt flows, and, of course obsidian.

A huge chunk of obsidian along the “Big Obsidian Flow” be careful, those edges are sharp (please … don’t ask). 😉

Til next time ~Peace Peeps ~JP

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.


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