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.

#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.

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.


Crumpled petals
#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


#Tanka: Kittens Backward and Forward

Time for Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday. This week we are working on the form #Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

Nineteen and a half
Scardy, my beloved friend
Woebegone, my heart
A place to foster kittens
Nurture, keep safe, give away 

Thanks for reading. For other #Tanka this week along with writing instructions Check out Colleen’s site: https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/09/29/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-197-specificform-tanka/

Reminder All Y’all Hobby Bloggers

Carrot Ranch launches this year’s fabulous Rodeo Flash Fiction (and Poetry) Contest on October 5th. Week Three will happen RIGHT HERE on Always Write.

#Haiku The Night Skies of Elderwood, Maui, and Melbourne


This month’s theme is:

The Night Sky

Night blooms
Promised dreams
Daylight slumps and sleeps
Snoring with coyote's call
Signals predators
Mr. Moon
grumpy, sinister
Plots evil
Hides his face
From tree owls lurking
On the prowl
City Life
Lights control
City lights
glamor of the dark
Summer nights
spark the dark

Tonight I strung together a garland of #haiku for your nighttime enjoyment. I used all three standards: 3/5/3 and 2/3/2 and the least popular but what I learned first, 5/7/5.

Can you tell which skies are from which location?

Thank you, Franci Hoffman, aka Eugi’s Causerie II, who picked this lovely theme.

If you are uninspired, check out the other participants of Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday.

Mark Your Calendars for Oct. 5th

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest. Week Three will be right here.

#Haiban: Illusion of Magic



This week’s Tanka Tuesday poetry challenge was an Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt provided by Lisa Thompson. Thanks Lisa.

“Don’t Eat the Toadstools.”

… called her grandfather as three-year-old Sarah ran ahead of him across the park lawn to peek at the little fairy tables. “They’re poisonous.”

“They’re fairy tables. I don’t eat tables, Silly Grandpa,” Sarah called back at her grandpa as the wind whipped her words and carried them far away from him where he couldn’t hear them.

She reached the trees where the toadstools grew. All around the mushrooms growing in the ground were larger cement “fairy tables” that beckoned to children to step into their magic circle with a posted sign that said, “Never step inside a fairy ring.”

Sarah was only three and couldn’t read. She touched the sign. It was rough where the someone scratched out curly words. Sarah had questions that would hardly wait. Did fairies write the sign in magical writing? Could her grandpa even read the fairy writing? Where were the fairies?

Getting down on all fours, as three-year-olds are prone to do, she turned her head from side to side looking under the heavy toadstools for a sign of winged magic. She pushed the cement fungi. They didn’t move.

“Hurry up, Grandpa,” she called. “I need help.”

“Don’t go in there, Sarah,” Grandpa warned as he leaned against a tree and panted.

“Does this sign say when the fairies will come to eat?”

“It does not. It says to stay out. Which of the toadstools do you think are real, Sarah, the little or the big ones?”

Polar opposites
Old teaches young teaches old
Different perspectives

“They both are. Grandpa. I could sit on those big ones.”

“And you’re not even a toad.”

Sarah swiped her hand against her grandpa’s sweatered arm and pulled him closer to the sign.

“You’re a toad, Grandpa. You didn’t read the sign. What does it say? Do toads like fairies?”

Storybook fairies
In the eyes of a child
Illusions alive

As an answer, her grandpa sat down on a bench near the cluster of mushroom statues.

“It’s a very old sign, little one. The writing is almost cursive but not quite. Maybe old English. You explore under the big trees while I sit here and rest. But don’t go near the big mushrooms. How many real toadstools do you think you can find? I see one already. “

He pointed to a small orange mushroom with a slanted stem under a tree.

Myths about these mystical fungi pass from generation to generation and back again. Photo – Wolfgang Hasselmann

Sarah squatted and looked under the tiny mushroom. No fairies. She pushed it. It bounced. She pinched it. It squished and left black fairy dust on her fingers.

Sparking investigation
Yielding first failure

“I killed the fairy’s table, Grandpa.” Sarah cried as she ran to her grandpa wiping her tears with her spore-coated fingers. “Now the fairy won’t have a place to eat. She will die.”

Grandpa took out his handkerchief, because this happened a very long time ago when grandpa’s had handkies with them at all times in case of emergencies. As he wiped Sarah’s face, five kids about six or seven years of age ran up to the cement toadstools, bumping into each other as they stopped to read the sign.

One girl couldn’t stop in time and fell into the ring of the fairies. Suddenly the toadstools came to life and fog spilled out from under them and the little girl was immersed in cold, wet clouds.

Mechanical toadstools
Concocted to ignite dreams
And delight children

Sarah jumped up and down, screeching like little girls do as she ran into the center of the fairy ring of toadstools. She grabbed the bigger girl’s hands and they spun around as all the kids danced in the fairy’s fog.

Fairies forgotten
In the joy of children's play
Expectations changed
by Marsha Ingrao

Related Posts

Announcing the Start of Rodeo Contest Month at Carrot Ranch

Flash fiction and poetry with a western flare. Starts October 5th. Mark your calendars.

#Cinquain Poetry: Audacious Photography

Click to participate.

#TANKA TUESDAY! #cinquain poetry

This week, Annette Rochelle Aben selected the words for the syllables only challenge. That means you can’t use those two words. You must find synonyms to replace them. Fun, right?

Here are your two words:

Hint & Bold

Hint: clue, inking, suggestion, sign, signal, indicator, indication, pointer, insinuation, innuendo, mention, illusion, whisper

Bold: daring, intrepid, courageous, brave, valiant, unafraid, dauntless, audacious, valorous, adventurous, dashing, striking, bright, prominent, eye catching, conspicuous, outstanding, obvious, showy

Focus on Cinquain

Butterfly cinquaina nine-line syllabic form with the pattern two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two.
Photo by Tina Schell of the Lens-Artists

Can you imagine taking this picture – even with a telephoto lens at a zoo? Tina managed to make it look like nothing came between her and this huge, nimble predator. That’s audacious photography.

Audacious Photography

by Marsha Ingrao


Don’t make a move

Brilliant, eye-catching shot

Exposed belly, paws embracing

The rocks

Grave stare, like a fashion model

Daring the camera

To capture her


To read more poetry submissions, or write one yourself, check out Colleen’s blog, Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

Coming Up on Always Write in October

Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest Month

Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch honored me by asking me to host one week of this year’s Rodeo Writing Contest. I have week three, October 20-26.

Colleen Chesebro invited me to take over one of her writing challenges. I am looking for partners to collaborate with on this project, which I’d like to start in October or November. If you have ever considered hosting a writing challenge, but don’t want all the responsibility, email me at marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

September 26th marks the one year anniversary of my final breast cancer surgery. So far I remain cancer free, but it comes at a price beyond surgery as those who have fought cancer know.

A mammogram caught my cancer early – stage one (sort of). Because of horror stories of cancer returning unannounced and metastasizing, I will take my anti-hormone pill daily for the next seven years, whether or not I have any hair left by the time I’m totally cured. I will see my oncologist for the next ten years. He does not take the disease lightly.

Abigail Johnson was not so lucky. Read her story here. There is not nearly as much help for people whose cancer metastasizes or spreads to other parts of the body. She plans to blog every day in October during breast cancer awareness month. I want to help her spread the word, so I will be reblogging some of her daily posts on No Half Measures. Please help by reblogging or sharing on social media.


I try to participate in as many challenges as I have time to do. Even if I do not write a response to your challenge, I am committed to visiting the blogs of those I’ve interviewed on a regular basis.

I am so SLOW! Writing a blog post takes me several hours to create, and I enjoy visiting blogs connected with the challenge as well. So please forgive me if I do not contribute regularly.

If you would like to do an interview here about your writing or photography challenge, please contact me below. I’d love to chat about your challenge.