Sunday Stills: Purple Flowers from Arizona, Australia and California

Terri from Second Wind Leisure chose purple as her Sunday Stills monthly color challenge. The pictures also work for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge. There are more #BrightSquares for Becky today. Finally, Sadje has asked this wonderful question, “Are you a good listener?” for her Poser #24. which I will try to weave into my flower pictures.

Are You a Good Listener?

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway

As a cognitive coach for the County Office of Education, I learned and practiced the skills of good listening. Lean forward towards the person talking, mirror their movements like crossing and uncrossing arms and legs. If they are tense, lean back and give them space. When in doubt, repeat their words to validate them. Don’t offer an opinion or story. Listening is not about ME!

Why are you listening? Are you conducting a therapy session and you want to make your client better? Do you love the person you are listening to and want to validate them? Do you want information from them to use against them in a court of law? Are your trying to learn something for a test or gather material for your next novel? I would argue that everyone has a motive for listening.

Listening and remembering are two different skills, but one augments the other. If you can’t remember, what good does it do you to listen carefully? If you listen carefully, AND have a poor memory, then you should take steps to help your memory.

You may wonder how I tie listening to purple flowers.

Australian Florals

Agapanthus for Becky B;s #BrightSquare

Carol and I strolled through many gardens together. One of my favorites was the Treasury Garden in Melbourne. Everywhere we looked, Carol had more information for me – names of flowers, trees, buildings, birds, bodies of water, statues. I admit that sometimes my mind took a vacation, but my lapses always caught up with me and sold me short when I needed information.

She took some beautiful pictures of bird of paradise, then wandered off and found this agapanthus. But here is the problem. I kept notes, but not great ones, mostly pictorial. Now the only records I have are in my earlier posts about Australia. My posts were not precise about every item we saw. Why? Either I didn’t listen or didn’t retain what my Australian friends told me.

My Listening Score: 2.5 out of 5. I gave myself credit for writing it as a caption on my photo from 2016.

After Melbourne, we flew to Ballarat and visited the historical part of the city known as, Sovereign Hill. At one of the vintage houses we saw these beautiful “spikey purple plants,” as another blogger called them.

I may have asked Carol or her sister-in-law, what they were, but three months later when I wrote the first post about them, I did not know what they were. But the answer is in Google or Bing if you look hard enough. It was also right under my nose at the Woodlake Botanical Garden also on file in my WordPress media file.

My Listening Score: .5 out of 5. I gave myself little credit because if I did hear it, I didn’t write it down or look it up so I would remember it later.

Artichoke plant

My Listening Score to Manuel: 1 out of 5. I recognized the picture on Bing and knew I had an artichoke.

Purple in Prescott, AZ

Finally, back to the here and now in Prescott. My neighbor has been spraying what she calls “vincas” like they were invasive enemy #1. They might be. They are not like the vincas, also known as periwinkles, I remember from California. Bing had pictures of vinca major that look like my back yard where these pictures were taken.

Listening Score: 5 out of 5 So far both short-term memory and listening skills are working.

They seem too beautiful and delicate for be attacked as an invader.

California Purple Monsters

Violet, purple
California has it all
Not to be left out!

Morning Glory plants win the prize for both beauty and killing roses. Puppy Girl enjoys the shade provided by the Morning Glory tee pee built by Manuel Jimenez, the founder of the Botanical Garden in Woodlake

Listening Score to Manuel and my friend Sylvia who told me about Morning Glory 35 years ago: 5 out of 5.

I gave myself extra credit for remembering a factoid for over 35 years.

This picture also qualifies as a #BrightSquare

Another beautiful invasive species that I planted all over my yard in California is the Mexican Petunia. Even when you think they are dead sticks, they are working on their rhizomes, “a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.” Wikipedia. Our home buyers may love them, but if they don’t, it will be difficult to get rid of them.

Listening Score 3 out of 5. I still want to call them Mexican pansies.

Closing Comments

Have a great week and a good memory.

Sunday Stills: Emerging in Prescott

#SundayStillsEmerging #Prescott Walk #10 #Jude’s Life in Colour

SS Logo
Sunday Stills Logo

Good morning, everyone. Happy Sunday.

I know you hoped to see Terri again in her new house blinged with internet service and all the other new-house bling. Alas, the internet has not EMERGED on time, and you are stuck with me as your hostess for one more week. So please, grab your camera, sift through your photo archives, and play along!!!

When Terri asked me if I’d hang in there for one more Sunday, I agreed knowing that I’d be doing Sunday Stills anyway. As the guest hostess, it just means I have to get my post done a little sooner, LOL.

I can do this!

“There’s nothing more beautiful than watching trees getting dressed up for Spring and Summer”

Charmaine J Forde

Emerging on my Street, Blooming Hills Drive

I walked around our neighborhood with Puppy Girl on Tuesday night. I wanted to give you something fresh that just EMERGED out of my camera. The golden hour of 4:30-5:30 pm felt like about 65 degrees F. with a fairly brisk breeze, I stayed comfortable with a sweatshirt over my long-sleeved shirt. Puppy Girl was fine without her jacket.

I scanned the lawns and landscaping and found very little color EMERGING from the ground except weeds. Trees and bushes were starting to leaf out. So I thought this theme can’t be all about spring flowers emerging out of the soil. I’m not in California any more. This EMERGING dandelion adds some bright color to the grass for Becky B’s #BrightSquare and Cee’s FOTD (Flower of the Day), and it was all I could find!

Obviously Geoffrey, from Tuesday’s Story Chat, “Miniature Planet,” by prize-winning author, Doug Jacquier, doesn’t live on Blooming Hills Drive. (You’ll have to read the story to verify that statement.)

Emerging Theme One: Bright Blossoms

On March 29, I took pictures of Blooming Hills as the blossoms emerged. Leaves delayed, white blossoms proliferated, Granted, I played with the photo by adding a couple of filters in Photoshop Elements.

In less than a week leaves started EMERGING. On April 6th leaves appeared between the blossoms. I love the threesome of leaves that are emerging at the top of the left-hand picture. The tiny middle leaf looks almost like a star.

As we strolled down the street that same evening, we noticed that some of the trees didn’t realize that the weather had changed. The trees feared the return of a wintery 30 degrees instead of the lovely 82 degrees it was yesterday.

On closer inspection, the tree above showed signs of life.

As we continued up Blooming Hills Drive, we noticed that not all trees blossomed at an even rate. This single peach tree might have been two different trees, one in full bloom and left side still waiting for warmer weather. The owner told me that the blooms only lasted for two weeks.

About a week ago, Prescott endured 30 mile an hour winds. The gale stripped the tree of about half of the blossoms before the leaves had fully emerged. These two photos are submitted to Jude for her Life in Colour pink challenge.

Emerging Theme Two: New Homes

In this EMERGING real estate market, the dearth of inventory of homes for sale is the bane of realtors. As we drove down the street earlier in the day, my realtor husband, pointed to his left and said, “Emerging, look a house is emerging.”

What is EMERGING from YOUR imagination and files of photos?

EMERGING breaking out, popping up, transpiring, becoming apparent , ore even surviving a difficult situation. EMERGING can refer to markets, technology, butterflies, economies, countries, resources, and much more.

Titling Your Own Blog Post

  • When titling your Sunday Stills post, you do not have to use “Sunday Stills” in the title, but please use the tag Sunday Stills in your post to help other bloggers find it.
  • Please refrain from titling your post with the same title as mine. Our blogs are found on google searches using SEO and having several blog posts with the same title can be confusing.

Please join me this week. And don’t forget Wednesday’s Quotes Challenge– writing or photos work.

Thanks to those who joined Sunday Stills last week.

Thursday’s Trios Three Apples A Day Keeps…

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Benjamin Franklin

Who hasn’t heard that quote, but did you know who said it? I didn’t. Ben Franklin made a lot of quoteworthy statements during his life. One man took them to heart and tried to remake his life living in accordance with Ben’s advice. If you haven’t read the book Ben and Me by Cameron Gunn, you are missing one of the funniest books in the history of mankind. I read it on a plane with tears in my eyes from trying not to laugh out loud. Here is my review, if you want a little taste of it. Sadly all my post’s likes disappeared when I moved it from my self-hosted blog, not because the book is bad. 🙂


Carol Cormier hosts a relatively new challenge, Thursday Trios, which encourages us to take pictures of groups of threes. Today my husband Vince brought home the most beautiful apples. Pretty as a picture, if you ask me.

An apple a day keeps anyone away if you throw it hard enough!

Stepher Colbert

So pretty, in fact, the the three bunnies had to jump into the picture.

Nobody was throwing apples at the bunnies. They stayed

That tree is very old, but I never saw prettier blossoms on it than it now bears. That tree grows new wood each year. Like that apple tree, I try to grow a new little wood each year.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I like that quote. I am not growing any new wood, but I try to learn something new each day. Inspired, I walked outside at 5:00 to grab some golden hour pictures to experiment with lines and shapes.

Fortunately it wasn’t snowing today on Blooming Hills Drive, our street. Sure enough – three clumps of blossoms jumped into my camera, survivals of the gusty 30 mph winds on Wednesday and snow on Thursday.

a trio of clumps of blossoms  on Blooming Hills Drive.
Blossoms of Blooming Hills Drive – FINALLY

Hope to see you here tomorrow for #Sunday Stills Respecting Your Cat.

A trio of black cats
I thought there were three cats in this picture. Vince says there are only two. What do you think?

Writers Quotes Wednesday’s new Quote Theme is Travel for next week – It’s time to get back to it. Have you seen the new Lens Artist Challenge #140 for this week – A Change of Scenery – hosted this week by Beth from Wandering Dawgs? It’s perfect for double dipping.

Have a wonderful week.

#LAPC #138: Natural Light in California and Arizona

This week Amy challenges the Lens Artist Community to focus their efforts on the natural light coming from the sun. That gives us all the variety we need to create what photography is all about, capturing the light. If you want to join in, cut and paste the “natural light” link to Amy’s blog and walk into the light.

All of my pictures this week come from either Arizona or California where I have called home and enjoy sharing.

Arizona

“I don’t paint people and things; I paint the way light reacts to people and things. This brings me to the basics about light and dark.”

Harley Brown

This photo came from one of the resorts where we stayed in Sedona. I love the way the sun casts shadows on the maze making it even more amazing. I love all the contrasts. The sky is such a pastel blue and the trees trunks are so white in spite of the overall darkness of the body of the photo. The frame blocks out 100 percent of the light adding another dimension of texture.

“We cannot express the light in nature because we have not the sun. We can only express the light we have in ourselves.”

Arthur Dove

I chose this picture because the sun is not the obvious protagonist. Our focus turns to the rocks, the broad valley, and to the ethereal layers of foothills and the group of dormant volcanic peaks known as the San Francisco Peaks beyond the Granite Dells. Humphrey’s Peak, the highest of the peaks located eleven miles north of Flagstaff is 120 miles away from my home in Prescott, and I could see it that day.

“The light in winter is most varied; there are days when it’s clear and bright, carving the earth into light and shadow like a razor. Yet, at times, the light can be soft and quiet as a whisper, with color of the most intense chromatic variations anyone could ever need.”

Peter Fiore

When I went out to take pictures after our first day of snow in Prescott, my mouth dropped open at the color of the sky dripping and reflected in the snow turning everything salmon. I did not photoshop this picture to change the color at all. Amy, I finally experienced the “golden hour.”

California

To illustrate stark differences in winter photos that caught Peter Fiore’s attention, this picture taken January 16, 2008 “which carved the earth into light and dark like a razor,” can never be replicated. Even if there happened to be another crystal day with that much snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains, the old Visalia Electric railroad bridge burned several years ago leaving a only black scar.

“Why is it called ‘after dark’ when it really is ‘after light’?”

George Carlin

Maybe most of you know George Carlin, “American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, and author.” Wikipedia. Unlike so many, my television hours were limited as a child, and I grew up liking that lifestyle – so, basically uncultured. But since I started hosting Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays, I’ve run into his sharp humor about several topics.

I took this point and shoot of a gorgeous sunset from our California home, Bellavista.

Most people would guess that the sun is fifty or a hundred times brighter than the moon, but it’s a half million times brighter – evidence of the amazing capacity of our eyes to adjust to light and dark.

James Elkins

Of the ten or twelve pictures I have of the moon, this is the only interesting one. I’m not sure why. It might have been a blue moon, or I might have been shaking as I held the heavy telephoto lens, at its most extended position. Or possibly the clouds make it dramatic. But as bright as it is, the rest of the sky is black. It obviously does not have the power of light that even the little dab of sunshine in the picture above has.

“Light is a thing that cannot be reproduced, but must be represented by something else – by color.”

Paul Cezanne

This dazzling burst of color came from the Woodlake Botanical Garden, which I have talked about so often. I fell in love with these zinnias, but when I planted zinnia seeds in my yard they were much more spindly and not so vibrant. This is a perfect picture for a digital puzzle because of the many colors.

“The sky is the source of light in Nature and it governs everything.”

John Constable

Artists have an “in” when it comes to light. So do these sun worshipers. I chose this picture to go with the quote because sunflowers turn constantly following the sun. It makes them look like spectators at a race.

My Reading Material This Weekend

Amy has over 200 comments on this challenge. Amazingly all four Lens Artists visit everyone who participates. According my my rough estimate that’s about 800 visits a week! The amount of time this takes boggles my mind, so I try to visit 25-50 of them. I’ve been listing them to make it easier for myself, then I cut and past the links to my blogging journal. You are welcome to use my journal or my list if that makes it easier to visit people. If I miss you, feel free to leave me a link in my comments.

  1. Lindy
  2. Showers of Blessing
  3. Rambling Ranger
  4. Pearls
  5. One Letter UP
  6. Geriatrix
  7. Mazeepuran
  8. Jardin
  9. Restless Jo
  10. Erlyn
  11. John
  12. Cee
  13. Susan
  14. Nature
  15. Dutch Pink
  16. Wanderlust
  17. Philosophy
  18. Laura
  19. Brashley
  20. Chris
  21. Jez
  22. David M
  23. Bushboy
  24. Cornwall
  25. Window Box
  26. Janet
  27. Trekkies
  28. Rusha
  29. Woolley
  30. Hammad

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Marathon or Sprint Posting? Tagging My Prescott Walks-Peavine Trail Photos or Not?

#Prescott Walk 7: Peavine Trail

Welcome, friends to Prescott Walk #5 (I think – I have trouble labeling them, so I’ve lost count already!)

Lisa Coleman, the Bird Weekly Lady and I, together with several of you, are working on a post for next week about organizing photos. The topic that came up repeatedly is about tagging. Lisa is working on an easy way to do it.

Since I moved my Always Write site from WordPress.org to this site last March, I’ve been lax about tagging my photos. So this is my tagging marathon march along Peavine Trail, dedicated to Hugh Roberts with a tag, caption, title and description for every picture.

“Remember – blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Hugh Roberts
Peavine Trail, Prescott
Beginning of the Peavine Trail and Prescott Fire Department Training area

The Ingraos have lived in Prescott three months and somehow missed this beautiful trail only 1.5 miles from our home. Built on the Santa Fe, Prescott & Phoenix railway bed, the trail is flat, wide and safe for walkers and bikers, or those who, like Restless Jo, “Talk to the trees.”

The city now owns the property and along the right side of the trail you can see some of the city’s dumping grounds as well as the Police and Fire training area. That doesn’t impair its natural beauty. Cottonwood trees would obliterate anything remotely unattractive in the summer.

Peavine Trail, Prescott
First peek of the south end of Watson Lake from the start of Peavine Trail accessible off Prescott Lakes Parkway and Highway 89 across from the Sewage Treatment Plant on Sundog Ranch Road.

Part of a 126 acre Riparian Preserve, Watson Woods borders Peavine Trail on the left as you head north from the parking lot. For the most part there are Willows, three kinds of Cottonwood trees, and other flexible shrubs in the preserve.

Peavine Trail, Prescott
Close up of ducks in Granite Creek making slurping sounds – very muddy

Several kinds of ducks lounge and dip into the murky water as they forage for food along the banks of Granite Creek, which runs into Watson Lake. I included this picture of ducks for my new friend/expert photo organizing/ host of the Bird Weekly Challenge, Lisa Coleman. Last week’s challenge was “birds you love.” I love any bird that will sit still long enough for me to take their picture. These birds cooperated with no signs of shyness. If you look closely, you might find a smile.

Peavine Trail, Prescott
We walked between the formations on broad railway bed.

As we continued down Peavine Trail, named for its windiness, we imagined what it was like for the workers carving a narrow path between the Granite Rocks for the SF & P & P Railway.

Chartered on May 27, 1891,”the SFP&P’s 195-mile (314 km) line extended the Santa Fe Railway south into Phoenix. The SFP&P extended another 100 miles (160 km) to the east from Phoenix to Florence and Winkelman via the Phoenix and Eastern Railroad (which would become a Southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary in 1907).” Wikipedia

Peavine Trail, Prescott
Looking up at a formidable Granite Dells rock formation.

I asked Vince if he wanted to climb up the Granite Dells formation, and he said, “I don’t have the right shoes.”

Uh huh, and I don’t have the right feet. He might have been trying to protect my pride. Just beyond this barrier, if you could have seen through it, Granite Creek becomes Watson Lake. “Named after named for Senator James Watson, Indiana, who invested in Chino Valley irrigation projects, (this picturesque lake) resulted from the 1916 damming of Granite Creek.” Sign on Peavine Trail.

Peavine Trail Prescott
A lone patch of snow remains in the shadows of the Granite Dells and shade trees.

Since we had a record snowfall according to our neighbors, not the weather channel, friends have asked if we still have snow. The answer is a resounding yes. Here it is in the valley of the shadow of the SF & P & P Railway.

Since this is a marathon, not a sprint, you will see more photos from our two walks over the next few weeks. We logged about 18,000 steps each in our two days of exploration along the Peavine Trail.

Remember

Thank you, Bitmoji
  • Today is the last day to participate in the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic. All donations go to support her and her family in this difficult time.
  • Only a few more days to comment on “The Trophy Cabinet” by Geoff LePard. Your comments will appear in The February edition of Story Chat on Tuesday.
  • It’s not to late to contribute your thoughts and quotes about Responsibility for this week’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge.
  • Coming next Friday the long-anticipated interview with photographer, Lisa Coleman about how to organize your photos. This helpful post will also feature your tips.
Thank you, Bitmoji

Thanks for joining me, friends.