Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – Plan and Spend

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, here are your two words for this week: Plan & Spend

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY!

 

 

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Crossroad

 

Travel from afar

Crossroad fast approaching

No choice not to choose

Courage needed to decide

To risk promise of unknown

~

 

 

Please visit Colleen Chesebro to join the challenge.

 

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #133 – Plan & spend

 

 

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – Influence and Perception

The words for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #132 are Influence and Perception, #Synonyms Only.

 

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Love of Reading

 

I came back from a trip watching my granddaughter for eight days while my daughter and her hubby went on vacation. It was a wonderful time to watch her play and do new things every day. My daughter started reading to Autumn on day one coming back from the hospital. In the early days, Autumn’s play area and car seat always had books made with soft plastics or fabrics. When she could hold things, board books took place of the soft books. It made this Grandma happy to see her turning the pages.

When she was about 12 months old or even earlier, she recognized and could say “apple,” “ball,” “puppy” and a few other items in the books. When we read passed those pictures, she would turn the pages back to see the pictures and say the names. She loves to pick out the books with her favorite pictures and wanted us to read to her again and again.

My child development background confirms the children enjoy repetition because they love the familiar sights and sounds.

Autumn is 21 months and her vocabulary has grown fast. My daughter couldn’t keep track of the new words she gained and new things she learned to do. During my eight days of watching her, there was a book she wanted me to read to her over ten times. The title of the book is How Kind, about animals sharing with other animals. I also found her reading that book by herself.  I think she enjoys sharing. Upon my daughter’s and her hubby’s return from vacation, during a snack time, my daughter gave Autumn some green beans in a bowl. She gave each piece to her Mommy, Daddy, and Grandma before she ate the rest of them.

 

Child’s love to read

Greatly impacted by adults

Her idea of books

Is no different than toys

Both are fun, enjoyable

 

~   ~  ~

 

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – Influence and Perception

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique Nara Deer Park

The theme from Amy this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51 is: Unique. I want to post our unique experience in Japan.

Our family went to Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. While in Kyoto, we visited Nara Park.  

 

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 Nara Park is a public deer park located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Established in 1880, it is one of the oldest parks in Japan. The park, including the adjunct temples and gardens, is as large as 1,600 acres.

 

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Nara Park

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Kasugataisha Shrine

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Evergreen Botanical Garden

 

The wild sika deer are designated as natural treasures. They are freely roaming around the park.

 

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Visitors can purchase “deer-crackers” to feed them.

 

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Well, this deer wanted to taste the ice cream

The number of deer grew to around 1,200 in 2008 and created concerns about environmental and crop damage.

 

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During fiscal 2016, 121 people were injured by deer. In 2016 the area around Nara was designated into four different zones, with the outer zones allowing deer to be captured and killed. The culling started in 2017, with a limit of 120 deer to be culled during 2017.

As of July 2017, there were around 1,500 deer living in the park, and at least 164 people had been injured by them in fiscal 2017-2018. Most of them were tourists feeding the deer.

In April 2018 Nara city set up new signs in English, Chinese and Japanese informing tourists that the deer are wild animals and to not tease them during feeding.

I took the following video when a deer bowed to ask for food from visitors.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique Nara Deer Park

 

 

June 20: Flash Fiction Challenge – Waiting

June 20, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about having to wait. Who is waiting and what for? Think about how the wait impacts the character or the story. Go where the prompt leads!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take Turns to Wait

 

“My dear Heather, would you marry me?”

“Oh, yes, dear Jason.”

“We must have our engagement party soon and the wedding in six months.”

“Well, we’ve been dating for seven years and I didn’t know when you’d asked me to marry you.”

“I needed to save up money.”

“You know that I applied for several grad schools. The one accepted me with big scholarship is in New York.”

“It’s only five and a half hours flight from Los Angles.”

“Now, your turn to wait for two years.”

“I know. Let’s have our engagement party ASAP.”

“We can do that.”

 

~   ~   ~

 

Carrot Ranch: Flash Fiction Challenge June 20, 2019 – Waiting

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories

This week Ann-Christine gave us the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees. She wants us to post trees from every corner of the world! Anything about trees is free for us to explore in this theme – leaves, forests, fruits, stumps or saplings…maybe tree houses?

 

Here are some of my tree stories.

 

I’m thankful for having many trees in our front yard and the garden in the back of the house.

Our county is named Orange County known for the orange groves.  In 1948, a vast forest of five million Valencia orange trees grew on 67,000 acres. The postwar population boom triggered an almost wholesale conversation of farmland to suburbia.

Our home was built before 1948 with an orange tree planted in the backyard. The Valencia tree produces two crops a year yielding several hundreds of oranges each crop. The juice we squeeze and freeze from each crop lasts for four months.

 

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I planted two plum trees in my garden several years ago. The plum blossoms start earlier than any flowers. In 2017, when the trees were mature and started having full blossoms, I worried there were no bee attracting flowers to pollinate the plum blossoms. Well, I said there were no bee attracting flowers around, it was not entirely true. There were clovers with yellow flowers but yellow was not my favorite color of flowers. To one person is flower, to another person is weed. I consider clovers weed and always pulled them to give room for planting other flowers. That year, after I pulled two handful from the slope blanketed with clovers, I spotted bees. I was surprised and happy, but sorry for what I did. I quickly plugged the clovers back to the soil. Ever since then, I leave a large area on the slope for clovers.

 

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This year, with five months of winter rain, both plum blossoms and clovers grow wild. There are several hundreds of plums on each tree.

 

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Without giving too much thought on many kinds of apples, I planted a Granny Smith apple tree several years ago. It turned out that Granny Smith apples were too sour for me to eat. My friends recommended to use them to make apple pies. We don’t eat pies too much for health reason. I ended up chopping down the tree and planted a Red Delicious apple tree. The tree is three years old with thin branches, but with the help of heavy rain this year, there are a couple hundreds of apples. I had to use heavy sticks to pop up the weighed down branches.

 

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Cypress trees require little water to grow to a maximum of 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Many homes use them as natural fence for privacy or border of the property. We grow them for privacy reason. The home on the hill on the top of our slope has the backyard facing our second story. Even though people don’t purposely intrude other people’s homes, we wanted to have the added beauty of the trees and privacy.

 

 

 

There are three Hibiscus trees, two in the garden in the back of the house and one in the side yard. Hibiscus tree has gorgeous flowers without requiring too much water. I used to water them the same way I did for other trees and flowers. Then I noticed white flies growing from the back of the leaves. My gardener asked me to rinse the leaves with soapy water. I got rid of the white flies with soapy water, but I decided not to water the trees at all. Since the roots of the trees are deep and draw water from the deep soil, the trees grow beautifully with dark green leaves and bright color flowers.

 

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories

 

 

 

 

June 6: Flash Fiction Challenge – A Big Splashy Dance

 

June 6, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that makes a big splash. It can be fluid, or you can play with the idiom (to make a big splash is to do or say something that becomes unforgettable). Go where the prompt leads!

 

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A Big Splashy Dance

“Karen, this is unbelievable. We did it. I’m so glad you accepted our invitation.”

“I didn’t know your team, but I know you. We worked well before.”

“Our dance group had been working with the choreographer for six months. Delia got hit with the flu. I couldn’t think of calling anyone else in the last minute.”

“It was delighted to dance with you again.”

“you’re natural, Karen. Just two rehearsals, you were like with us for ages. We made a big splash tonight. Our choreographer would love to have you come on board.”

“I’d like to think about that.”

~   ~   ~

Flash Fiction Challenge June 6, 2019 – A Big Splashy Dance

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #48 – WILD

The challenge Tina gave us for Lens-Artists this week is: Wild

I love the quote Tina has for this post, “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey

When we went to Denali National Park, Alaska, we had a glimpse of the sheer beauty of wilderness.

There are two kinds of wilderness inside the National Park system. The original two million acres of Denali are designated wilderness. Designated wilderness has the highest level of protection offered by the Federal Government. Nearly all the other four million acres added by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) are eligible wilderness. According to National Park Service Wilderness Management Policies, eligible wilderness is managed as designated until it is either officially designated, or removed from consideration, both of which require an Act of Congress. Thus almost 6 million acres of Denali National Park and Preserve are protected as wilderness. Source

“The Denali Wilderness is a land of paradox. It is inviting and it is terrifying; accessible and remote. It is an essentially undeveloped wilderness with a road corridor through the middle that brings millions of people to its edge. It is untrammeled, yet managed. Some of the land within its boundaries is well known and studied, but much of it is full of mystery. It is a natural and intact ecosystem celebrated by scientists, writers, hunters, adventurers and artists alike.

As our world is beginning to experience dra­matic and widespread change, all wilderness is at a crossroads. Encroaching development and climate change threaten to dramatically alter these environments but also present a unique opportunity to preserve their excep­tional wilderness character and linkages to other conservation units in Alaska and Canada.” Source

Features of Denali Wilderness:

Natural – A variety of plants and animals thrive in their natural habitats.

Untrammeled – Denali strives to keep this wilderness free from intentional human intervention.

Undeveloped – Most of Denali’s wilderness lacks the imprint of man’s development.

Unconditioned Recreation – Visitors can experience the primitive recreation.

Source

 

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We were fortunate to spot several wild animals on the way to Denali from Anchorage. I took the photos through the window of the coach.

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Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) – is also known as the caribou in North America.

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Willow Ptarmigan – its color will turn completely white in winter

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Snowshoe Hare is known for the large size of its hind feet to prevent it from sinking into the snow.

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A young moose – Bull moose loses the antlers in the winter and grows back next spring.

Lens-Artists Challenge #48 – WILD

 

 

 

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