#Sunday Stills: #Textures in Prescott, Arizona

When Terri Webster Schrandt challenged us to shoot pictures with textures for her Sunday Stills Challenge, I was inspired. Arizona is nothing but textures. Nothing is smooth and silky. So come with me, put on your helmets and gloves and let’s take off for a rough, hilly walk. Since the Lens-Artist Challenge #125 invited us to choose anything, these pictures all fit both challenges. Yay!

Part of the concept of Wabi-Sabi is being aware of our surroundings and looking for beauty in everyday life – in its impermanence and imperfection.

Tina Schell

I tried some filters on some of these shots to make them more Wabi-Sabi, but you really want to click the link and look at Tina’s pictures and read all about Wabi-Sabi then judge for yourself if I even made a dent in achieving it.

On Friday it snowed here – a beautiful dusting and all the highways if you look into the hills you can see in the shadows that the snow remains. We have shadows in Tanglewood Hills. We found textures of tufted grasses sticking out from the snowy blanket like cowlicks on the rocky soil.

We stayed on the pathway where textures abounded. I loved this tree. It reminds me of how my hands and legs feel right now. I bought some Gold Bond “healing cream” not simply hand cream. I feel sorry for this tree if it feels as itchy as I do.

Vince trotted on ahead while I stopped to admire the Wabi-Sabi display just feet from my back door. These photos were taken with our new iPhone 12 phones which we bought to replace the phones we both dropped during our month of moving. Our new phones have upscale photography tools built in. For example, they turn each still photo into a micro-video. On my phone you can see Vince take a couple of steps. Just look at all this texture! Wow!

glances down
yield an abundance
of textures
Haiku by Marsha Ingrao

Wasn’t that spectacular, and I don’t even know if it’s alive. It’s probably how the development got it’s name, Tanglewood Hills.

Depending on the type of tree, many of them are bare or nearly bare revealing layers and layers of texture. Charlotte has woven a tiny filament of texture of her own. Can you see it? Notice how blue the sky is. This leafy picture also works for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

This next picture takes you out of Tanglewood Hills and into a housing development. I took this picture because of the sharp contrast between the rock landscape and the soft fuzz of grass and the smooth concrete stairs. To heighten the contrast between textures I used a filter, it might have been poster edges. I played with all of them.

As you can see Prescott is quite hilly. Many residents have steep drives or walkways to their home. This picture is also for Cee’s FOTD Challenge. She accepts pictures of leaves.

sanded rust erodes
Hoosier stickers on windows
working man's textures
Haiku by Marsha Ingrao

Vince informed me the Hoosier meant the tires, but I still liked it because that is my home state.

This proud political sign got torn, tangled and crumpled in the textures of life. I thought it made its own political statement.

I have more pictures from today’s walk, but I’ll close with a picture of Wabi-Sabi texture that saves lives. We had more than our share of fires in California this year. If only there had been one of these every few feet in every forest.

I’m very late in the week to hook to Restless Jo’s Monday walks, but here it is a day early. We walk every day, but I don’t always shoot pictures. Thanks to all the Challenge Hosts for inspiring me to take my camera and shoot to a theme. 🙂 Have a great week.

Don’t forget to visit other challengers to encourage them on their photographic journeys.

Just follow the links!

Reminder – New Writing Challenge Starts Wednesday

#CFFC: White or Cream Colors Before COVID 19

Lens Artist Photo Challenge #124 Before and After

The entire world is adjusting to life after COVID. Now Vince plays free poker online and complains about it every time he does. “These people don’t know how to play.”

Vince in 7th heaven before COVID 19 got to play in a tournament in the Venetian.

Fortunately our friends Glen and Carol came all the way from Australia BEFORE the COVID lockdown. We had such a good time that they went back the third week they were in the US, and we went back in February. The clear blue sky contrasted so beautifully with the statue and the pharaoh’s head dress.

Because of the cooler weather, November through March or April were the best months to visit Las Vegas. Now travel is limited. Even though COVID had not reared it’s ugly head, when we went in February 2020, Vince was careful not to touch railings and to use hand sanitizer constantly.

These adorable polar bears visited the Bellagio for the winter. I’m sure they had to go home after COVID hit.

I just realized that I spent some worthless time putting white frames around all these pictures. So much for trying to impress you all with my Photoshop talents.

This next photo shows you how hot it gets in Las Vegas. This shade covering stands outside of the Shelby Car Museum. What interested me was the tree growing underneath the cover. The heat in the summer is brutal. I swore the last time we went in July for a Kiwanis conference that I would never do it again. It was easy to stay away this year. Because of COVID, Kiwanis put all their conferences on Zoom.

Finally, you all know I love history, but I was more interested in the contrast of colors in this picture of New York New York in Las Vegas. I think I was shooting for the doughboy on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, but I can’t tell you for sure that’s what it is. I’m making an assumption based on the fact there is a Doughboy Park in the Queens in New York and I think his clothing and weapon look more like WWI than WW2. Agree or Disagree?

Before the destruction that followed COVID, I don’t remember any statues in my lifetime – controversial or otherwise that were torn down by rioters or protesters in the United States. Vandalized statues are something we no longer have to imagine in the United States. As of July 22, there were 179 monuments ruined including a 120-year-old statue of an elk in Portland, Oregon. History will tell if this violent method of protest was more successful in bringing about racial equity than the marches of the 1960s.

Visit the Challenge Hosts & Leave Your Mark

I hope you enjoyed my whites and creams for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, which runs from Tuesday through Monday. I barely squeaked in this week. Click to see some other samples of whites and creams and to learn how to submit your own photos.

CFFC runs weekly challenge starting every Tuesday.

Amy of the Lens-Artist team invited us to reminisce about life before and after COVID in Challenge #124. Check out her comment section to visit other contributors. Their challenge comes out each Saturday at noon.

Talk to Me

If you host or contribute to a photo or writing challenge, I would love to interview you and get the word out to other hobby bloggers. Contact me below or by email- marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net

Lens Artist Challenge #122 Sunshine

We take sunshine for granted, but nothing is more beautiful and more beneficial to life. Thank you Ana, Lens-Artist Guest Host for this lovely theme, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.”

The photos below come mostly from the tiny ranching community of Elderwood outside of the the small town of Woodlake, California. One picture comes from Sedona, Slick Rock, and one from the coast.

No matter where we are, there are times that the beauty of sunshine takes our breath away and gives us the sense of well-being at the same time. The quotes are mostly from Goodreads. Where do you find your best quotes?

“The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light.”

S. Ajna

“If your life is constantly full of sunshine where each day is transformed into beauty and each worldly gift is yours to use, then you are one of a few.”

Byron Pulsifer
Bravo Lake in Woodlake, CA

“Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”

Roman Payne

“Sunlight makes the world come alive, so have a day filled with sunshine.”

Anthony T Hincks

“If you have extra to spare, share some of your sunshine with others. Those who are in a dark place may just need that small break in the their clouds to see some sunlight again.”

Christine E. Szymanski

“Look at the bright side of life and the bright side will look at you. The reflections we send out always return.”

 Ron Baratono

“It is within the sunshine of positive outlooks that we can feel the warmth needed to surpass the shadow of life’s challenges.”

Natasha Potter

“Sun will also retry to shine tomorrow then why not you.”

Rajesh Walecha

To see more entries this week, visit Ana’s website.

Lens-Artist #118: Communication – Right from the Horse’s Mouth

Anne Leueen and Baisini the Horse host this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge #118. I’m super late getting in my entry, but when a horse encourages you to enter, you have to oblige even if you are tardy, right?

Manny, from California, and Justin Beaver, from Queensland, meet up again in Hawaii after years on the road and miles apart.

As a blogger, a photo blogger to be more exact, an insatiable drive impels us to communicate. We hope for someone, but definitely putting ourselves out there in the world.

Do you remember how hard communication was when you were in middle school? Yet having friends, sharing secrets, laughing, and listening is how we all learned to communicate. How sad we are that children can’t enjoy this intimate kind of communication without risk. Our schools are distance learning until further notice.

High School and clubs gave students further chances to learn to communicate. These FFA students, Edith and Rogelio, went to the National Competition with their FFA projects and came back to present at a Kiwanis meeting as if they had been making presentations for years. (Which they had been.) Aren’t they adorable?

While I don’t want anyone to get sick and die of COVID or anything else, I wish there was another way besides Zoom to insure that students would not have to miss out on these opportunities for the rest of this year. They can never make it up.

Learning new skills in communication doesn’t stop when we age. Our friend Jack Pizura decided he would learn how to paint after he turned 80. For a while he poured himself into communicating his ideals and what he loved through his art. He showed his paintings in a local restaurant and explained the meanings of some of them in case we missed the nuances. Yes, I had missed the hidden meanings on all of these, but I loved many of his paintings and enjoyed the evening.

These band students had a chance to play during a veteran’s program last year. Every time people assemble they communicate. They plan, they practice, they goof off, and make friends for life. All canceled this year.

In small schools students mingle frequently with the community often during programs. They are a community asset and it is their responsibility to perform and do their best.

The number of badges on this young man’s sash communicates that he has already taken many steps to become a leader. He prepares to lead the flag salute at the Woodlake Veteran’s Day program.

At our Kiwanis meetings, experts and professionals inform us about how their profession contributes to the well-being of our society. On this day the chief of the emergency room from Kaweah Delta Hospital and one of his staff members met with us at 6:30 am to tell us about care at our hospital. That communicated concern and going the extra mile (literally – Woodlake is 20 miles away from the nearest large town, Visalia, CA.)

I want to go out with a bang. Why is that? Because I am glad I live in the United States, in spite of the turmoil we have had, the COVID scare. We have come through so much.

"The bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." -Francis Scott Key

We look to the skies for a sign. These fireworks give proof that we enjoy freedom for yet another day.

Tomorrow I will go back and enjoy others who joined in this week’s Lens Artists’ Challenge and I hope that you will do the same. Looking ahead to next week, Ann-Christine of Leya will lead the challenge, so be sure to visit her site on Saturday, October 17th at noon.

If I’m still slow next week too, my excuse is that I’m still in the moving process. We are counting down to November 14th. I packed one more room up and secured a moving van to move 20 years of accumulated stuff. Negotiating between companies took all day!!! I still don’t know for sure that I made the right choice, but I paid money, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

In case you have to move in the near future, you can check moving company’s reputations beyond YELP at the Department of Transportation website using the company’s DOT ID number. This was helpful communication because all I talked to were brokers and they all had nice things to communicate about their companies. Yelp did not always agree.

Don’t Forget

You have until next Monday to submit your Double Ennead for the Carrot Ranch Poetry Contest.

A Dry October Photo Walk

#Lens Artist – Amy, takes us on a photo walk as Challenge # 117. This week, and Terri with Sunday Stills makes it a dry one. Since we live in a semi-desert area, dry pictures abound. #Tanka Tuesday sweetens the challenge because it’s poet’s choice of theme and type of poem. So here goes, I’m going to combine all of the above along with Cee’s Flower of the Day and Becky B’s October Kinda Squares

My sister-in-law and her pets live with us now. Today we took our two dogs for a mile-long walk through the Woodlake Rose Garden. I was on a quest for pictures of dry beauty like a well-aged red wine.

For once, I couldn’t take pictures to make my Kiwanis group proud. Last weekend Kiwanis recruited 37 volunteers, students and adults who spread mulch to hold in the precious moisture.

Once we got past the Kiwanis section, which could be likened to garden of sweet white wine, I didn’t have to look far.

 
Roses
Spidery
Pitied
#Haiku 2/3/2

The garden sprinkling system fails consistently but the thirsty roses get some water. No one except Chuck House brings a hose and cleans them off. I wonder what would happen if all 7,000 Woodlakers came out to work in the garden for a couple of hours this fall?

Spiders are in heaven making silky webs to trap the dust and ashes in the air. The little bug on the rose can hide out almost anywhere in the garden except where he is. Does anyone recognized him?

Roses need deadheading constantly in the summer to keep them blooming beautifully. Due to COVID, we did not have the help this summer that we usually get from the students, and the Master Gardeners were not able to come until just recently. So you will see Zombie Roses on this walk.

Deteriorated
Dilapidated, dusty
Throw-away roses
"Wait," shouted the grasshoppers.
"Look at this elegant weave
Spiders created."
#Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

The garden could be the Secret Garden before it was rediscovered. The potential of beauty is there, covered with what looks like years of neglect. In reality, it’s only a few weeks. On the cobweb blanket, you can see the ashes from the forest fires.

This rose has company that puts it to shame. The beauty of the morning glory is deceptive. It chokes out its competition, the rose and takes over if left unchecked.

Vibrant
Velvety
Contrast

Withered
Crumpled petals
Faded
#Haiku 2/3/2

Some of the plants are not as loved as the roses. My great-grandmother used to make persimmon cookies. I do not think she would be happy to see this dry tree.

Some areas of the garden have still not been adopted by organizations. In those area anything goes. In this case, the rose is surrounded, not only by thorns, but by weeds.

Lost in a weed patch
Propagating constantly
Drowning in ashes
#Haiku 5/7/5

Once in a while, you have to look up. The trees tell the long time story. Those blobs are cobwebs and debris.

After the garden walk, Cindy and Flo went home, Kalev and I drove home the back way on Sentinel Butte Road looking for more dry pictures. We weren’t disappointed. You can see the dusty, smoke-hazed, 157-AQI-sky. You can barely make out Colvin Mountain in the background.

It struck me that Woodlake is the perfect example of “the haves and have nots” when it comes to water. Wherever there is water, even just a speck, you see green life blooming. Otherwise you see brown deterioration.

Life-giving water
Sucked dry by super hot skies
Humans tricked the fruit 
Giving them a plastic teat
Yielding oranges once more.
#Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

I read this quote on Sylvia Bacon’s website,

“Beauty can be seen in all things; seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph”

Matt Hardy

The weed and dead limbs contrasted to attract my attention.

As I drove around the corner, the hillside on the left marked the end of the dry land and the beginning of irrigated groves of orange trees.

I hope I achieved my goal of seeing and composing the beauty in this dry photo walk.

These images are inspired and submitted for the following blog challenges:

Don’t Forget to Head Over to See Kerry

https//www.kerrylizblack.wordpress.com