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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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
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 …
2020 may well be know at our house as the “year of the doctor” with more than it’s fair share of medical problems, diagnoses, and treatments.
January dawned bright and clear, with the cancellation of our trip to Kauai, and the scheduling of two surgeries. That was OK though, a return to normal life was at our fingertips while we continued to recover nicely from the YOH that was 2019.
February brought us snow and the glistening beauty of winter life. I recovered quickly from surgeries and watched the world outside go by, snug in our little home.
March brought more snow and a corona virus that began to sweep through the world at a frightening speed, crushing travel plans in it’s path. But it also brought a medical release back to “light duty” so I could work the summer as planned.
April brought us cancelled flights and all hope for travel outside (and sometimes inside) the United States were dashed. It also brought another set of minor seizures for Superhubs, and poof, back behind the wheel I went.
May brought the resumption of my part time seasonal job and new adventures in on-line grocery shopping. This is a shot of one of my orders from Amazon, yep, completely empty, perfectly sealed, not a thing in it. But the best was yet to come.
June and the whole summer brought seriously weird weather. Lots of thunderstorms, biblical in scale.
July brought hail storms, several, the likes of which have not been seen here in decades that left our part of the state designated a disaster area. This is a hailstone from one of the storms. It was about a hour after the storm so a lot of it had melted, the stones were the size of baseballs when they struck.
August and September brought stress, panic disorder, and the most beautiful fall colors I’ve seen in years. It also brought a Cardiac Sarcoidosis diagnosis and finally admitting that my working days are done. My last day of work was October 1.
October brought much needed down time, and a rare Halloween Blue Moon.
November brought us an LADA (autoimmune diabetes in adults) diagnosis, changes, more changes, to daily life. New definitions of “holidays” too as we learn how to celebrate on our own, without travel. Adventures in “backyarding” on our little nature walks through the RV park observing what there is to see, a hawk circling, leaves falling, skies changing was a saving grace.
December brought us dyshidrotic eczema *ouch*, socially distanced Christmas greetings and a ton of grandkid videos. As the sun set on December, I realized, in retrospect, what a gift 2020 was and how I look forward to the unseen gifts 2021 will hold.
For Terri’s Sunday Stills our prompt this week is lights. Like a lot of folk, I immediately thought of Holiday lights. Honestly, they are virtually non-existent for us. It’s hard to string up lights around an RV and neither of us drive much at night for local viewing. After reading Terri’s post though, I realized that “lights” doesn’t necessarily mean Holiday. As an artist, I find I’m always looking for that particular … something, a certain quality of light that sparks the imagination, and ignites the soul.
Certain Quality of Light
The air alive with magic, the world awash with a certain quality of light eyes open to incandescent beauty of the new day, brave and bright my poor heart trembling, I breathe, weeping with delight The moment passed too quickly but never will I forget the sigh of a world alive with magic and that certain quality of light
And finally, for those of you who just NEED that Holiday Lights fix, my fav