#CBWC: Fences from “Sea to Shining Sea”

This week Cee challenges photographers to take or make black and white pictures of fences. It just so happens, that thanks to Cee’s former challenges, I love photographing fences.

Out of 2,100+ photos that answered to the category of fences on my phone, I picked three that I thought would make good black and white photos.

The first one was obviously taken in Arizona, not so obviously in the Coconino National Forest on April 18, 2017. Cameras are slightly misleading, but oh so helpful in trying to find information. This picture was not taken in the heart of the Coconino National Forest, but you’re headed that way when you arrive at the Son Silver West Art Gallery.

The date tells me I was in Sedona with my husband. Sedona is one of those unique cities that lies in two counties, Coconino and Yavapai.

We love to shop when we travel – not necessarily to buy, but to see what’s there. Along Highway 179 on the way to the National Forest is an amazing tourist shop where you can buy any number of decorative items, mostly yard art.

The next photo from Son Silver West would also work well for Cee’s Fun Foto – Catching People Unaware or last week’s B & W Challenge Candid Shots. Maybe she was imitating the iconic Kokopelli dancer above. She needs a flute.

A symbol of fertility, joy, feast, and long life, he (Kokopelli) is also a minstrel, a spirit of music, a storyteller, a rainmaker, a healer, a teacher, a joker-magician, a seducer. Kokopelli possesses the wisdom of age.

Harpo/Harris

You might want to visit or just browse their website. Here is their contact information.

Son Silver West
1476 Hwy 179 Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 282-3580
Fax: (928) 282-5497
Email: Sales@sonsilverwest.com

Son Silver West

If you have been to Universal City in Orlando, FL, then this fence should look familiar to you. Being the shallow person I am, I liked the curly cues.

The last fence is in Woodlake. Don’t ask me why I only took part of the fence. I think I was trying to keep my shadow out of the picture. Doesn’t this fence have lovely shadows?

So that I don’t bore you with the 2,100 more pictures I took over the years, I’ll stop processing fences and half-fences and wish you all the very best New Year.

What are your favorite challenges, hobby bloggers? As always, I’m thankful to Cee for her consistency in hosting challenges. I love them all.

If you know someone who hosts a photo or writing challenge and wants an interview about their challenge on my blog, Always Write, please contact me.

Our next Always Write Challenge, Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge, #WQWWC, will be hosted by one of my first blogging friends when I started in 2012, Autumn Jade on her blog, A Day in the Brine, with a topic of New Beginnings.

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.

Symmetry Maintains Equilibrium and Brings Photography into Balance

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #116: Symmetry presented by Patti Moed came out on Saturday, but I am always at least a day late. Today it’s worse. I have excuses, two little ones. One of which I can use for this week’s challenge.

My Excuse for Tardiness (This Week)

My husband discovered this little kitten under a bush next to the driveway. He left for over an hour and when he got back, the kitten hadn’t moved. His symmetrical face had more caked on goo around his eyes than than iced sugar cookies at Christmas.

The next thing I knew, I was scrounging to get food and bottles to try to save his life. He made it through the night, but was failing. He needed a vet and mine couldn’t see him until Oct. 1st. We found his brother the next day in a different section of our yard.

A friend had some amoxicillin, but she encouraged me to crash the vet’s office. We are both regulars there. So I did. Snickerdoodle was so dehydrated that he needed intravenous fluids. Six days later, little Snickerdoodle looked like this. He and his brother need a wonderful symmetrical home, if you know of one, please contact me.

Snickerdoodle age 3 weeks

Symmetry found naturally like Snickerdoodle in the picture above, is often copied in man-made items because our eyes enjoy balance.

Natural Symmetry

In March right around the time the lock down glued us at home, I walked with a friend around Bravo Lake. It looked so symmetrical that morning, I had to snap a picture.

Bravo Lake, Woodlake, CA

Man-Made Symmetry

Big cities boast about their architecture and examples of symmetry abound. Few cities can compete with Las Vegas for the varied architectural designs that they have copied from all over the world.

I loved the symmetry in this plaza in New York New York. I didn’t even notice at first the two windows displaying the Empire State Building with their matching lights on either side of the arches.

Symmetry abounds in this picture even if the picture itself is not symmetrical. This cylindrical chandelier added that Italian artistic flair.

Not to be outdone, visitors can count on the Bellagio for it’s ostentatious art and floral displays. As Patti pointed out, beauty and symmetry go together, and the cylindrical light displays alone were enough to make it into the Symmetry Hall of Fame, but the arches all the way around the hall, the ceiling tiles, even the matching mice added balance to the scene.

Unlike my friend Carol, who loves a loo with a view, I don’t usually take pictures of bathrooms. This Venetian public bathroom took my breath away. (and not because it smelled badly) You can see how the marble reflects the symmetrical floor. So how many examples of symmetry do you see in this picture? No fair counting individual squares.

Odd-Ball Symmetry

That sounds like an oxymoron, but tell me if you don’t agree when you see these next two photos. These examples also came from Las Vegas.

Maybe these were for sale. If so, which one would you purchase, if money and clashing with your decor was no object?

This little guy was in a store window. You can see the reflection in the lower part of the picture. I photoshopped the upper part of the picture out to create some negative space instead of shoppers.

Thank you Patti for this great challenge. For more Lens-Artists’ Responses check Patti’s website. https://pilotfishblog.com/2020/09/26/lens-artists-photo-challenge-116-symmetry/

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Reminder

Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest Month Starts TOMORROW

Welcome to Sequoia Country, Travelers

Summer is here and it’s time to take off for parts known or unknown – cooler, warmer, more remote, more culture something new and different, or familiar. Where are you going this summer?

Kings Canyon National Park in 2018

Central California may be hot, but there are plenty of cool places to hang out to escape the heat. The Sequoia, Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks are all within a few hours driving distances from Visalia, Fresno and each other. Everyone knows Yosemite, but have you been to Kings Canyon and Sequoia?

That’s not all. Kaweah Lake in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Foothills is a sporting destination on the way to the Sequoia National Park. If you get to Three Rivers, CA, you passed it. You can’t miss over one hundred acre-feet of water, though.

Have You Tried Kayaking?

Kayaking on Kaweah Lake

Last year my adorable neighbors, Diane and Selena, treated me to a fabulous day at Lake Kaweah, less than thirty minutes from where I live. Lake Kaweah serves as a reservoir for irrigation, flood control, electric power source, and fishing and boating destination

If you are like me and used to seeing the land only, you might try a different perspective this year and hop into a kayak. Getting into and out of the kayak is a bit tricky, but once you get in, time melts away as the water laps up against the side of the boat.

See my paddle keeping me from going in circles?

The temperature on July sixth was a cool 9o degrees by late morning, so we wore plenty of sunscreen, but didn’t feel the heat. It’s a large body of water, so we had room to roam. Selena took off leaving us in her wake, circling back to check on her mother and me every so often to make sure that I didn’t spend all my time going in circles.

We Could Have Been Explorers

We could have been explorers.

There were so few people on the water when we arrived that we could have been explorers from another era seeing the mountains and foothills for the first time. If you know the history of the area, though, you would know that this lake never existed until Terminus Dam was completed in 1961. Before the Corps of Engineers built the dam, floods devastated the downstream communities. The most one-hundred-year flood in recent history occurred in 1955.

Kaweah Lake Water Levels Fluctuate

Water levels in the lake fluctuate.

You can see the water levels marked clearly on this foothill. There are many levels below what you see here. What you don’t see are the whole trees and parking lots buried under the water.

Last year the water level was high because of the enormous amount of rain we had during the 2017-18 rainy season. In wet years, even though the lake is full in July, the Corps of Engineers makes sure that the dam doesn’t break by releasing water all summer. By September the water levels decrease significantly, although boats still dot the surface. You can see that the water level was near record level last year.

Near record level water in the summer of 2018

During the 2018-19 season, Central California had about eight inches of participation. That’s below the average of ten inches, but not a bad number. I haven’t been up to the lake for a while to take pictures this year, but when the lake is full they let out a lot of water for most of the summer to control for melting snow coming from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our canals, which farmers rely on for irrigation, are full this year.

Relaxing Before Disaster Strikes

Watch out! I can’t steer this thing!

Don’t overlook the simple outdoor pleasures near you this summer. Learning and trying new things broadens and enriches your life and keeps you young. However, I’m glad you didn’t see me Selena trying to get me out of the kayak. 🙂

You’re right, I didn’t help much. Thanks to Diane and Selena who made this trip possible.

Tell me what you have planned for this summer.

Gardening in Woodlake

Woodlake sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, forty minutes from Sequoia National Park on a slow day, in the fertile foothills. My blogging friend, Russel Ray, inspired me about weeding today. Someone posted a comment, “Don’t use Roundup.” So here’s my question for you. Which do you prefer spraying or digging?

Your opinion – Spray or dig

I’m weird, I love to dig out weeds. Today I put on my knee pads, got my trowel, and had a funeral for a bucket full of crabgrass roots then drove fertilizer spikes into any remaining villains’ hearts around our peach trees. Trust me, someone buried cement under the inch of topsoil. Around here we call it hardpan.

Here are some of our weeds. It’s Super Bloom year. (I didn’t dig these out today. LOL, most of the weeds I dug were crabgrass!) P.S. Porsche, the cat, loves to weed. I have to wear gloves to protect me from his claws. I accidentally stepped on his tail yesterday, so he gave me some space today.

Community Weeding

This Saturday our Kiwanis Group will clean out the Woodlake Rose Garden. We weed or trim officially once a month. Weeds love it here. Here is what we had last fall. If you live in or around Woodlake, come join us. The pay –you feel so good when you’re done! High levels of serotonin free of charge.


Now the weeds are green and luscious. You can see that everyone working hard together has paid off, but there are some robust weeds in the background and across the parking lot. So I can’t wait to attack them!

Our dream is to restore the garden to its former beauty.

Hope you all have a happy weekend. If you want to help us on Saturday, drop by the Woodlake Rose Garden between 8 and 11 on Saturday morning – March 23, 2019.