Tag Archives: Sky

Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration

This week for Lens-Artists Challenge, Tina invited us to explore the theme of Inspiration. I could name many aspects around are my inspiration. I finally decided on three for this post.

Gardening is my hobby and my joy. My life is enriched by the inspiration from gardening. There are several basic things for a healthy garden. 1) Good soil. I started a butterfly garden and vegetable garden this year. Several sections have heavy clay soil. I dug at least one foot, soaked the soil and drained, mixed in several inches of organic soil. Use the correct amount of fertilizer periodically. 2) Watering. Test the daily watering to ensure the soil is moist, not just wet on the surface. 3) Proper planting space. The full-grown milkweed will be several feet in diameter in the butterfly garden, whereas the Zinnias are several feet tall but several inches wide. 4) Trimming the withered limbs according to different plants by season or regularly.

Learning from gardening, I need to continuously cleanse, nourish, and make changes to my mind, my heart, and my action to be a healthy person.

Traveling gave me the opportunity to see the wonderful nature near and far. We were at awe with the vast Denali wildness in Alaska, over 10,000 hydrothermal features such as geysers, hot springs, mud pots, travertine terraces, and fumaroles in Yellowstone, and four active volcanos in Hawaii, to name just a few.

Nature comes in all shapes and forms, all kinds of temperature, and different colors as reflected in our human life.

The maternal instinct in the animal kingdom was my inspiration and touches my heart at the deep spot. Humpback whales migrate farther than any other mammal on earth. They can travel around 3,000 miles between their breeding and feeding grounds regularly. During the migration with the newborn, the female Humpback would lift the calf above the water for it to breathe. The female and the calf are caressing each other constantly for affection.

A nest in my front porch was a cradle for four births of baby Mourning doves. The dove eggs are smaller than chicken eggs. I observed the female doves lay two eggs at a time. It takes about 35 days after hatching for the baby doves to fly. Last year, one baby was ready to fly and left the nest. The female dove left for a while but came back in the evening to stay with the second baby, kept him warm until he was ready to fly. The bigger baby also came to keep the little brother company. Then they flew away together.

Even though I was not able to be a stay-home mom when my daughter was a baby, I’m now a big fan of stay-home moms for them to treasure and enjoy those precious moments.

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LENS-ARTISTS CHALLENGE #115 – INSPIRATION

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SoCS 2019.10.12 – Ground, Sand and Tide

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ground.” Use it as a noun or a verb in any tense (i.e. grind). Have fun! Linda G. Hill

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My sock escaped the patio of our condo on the fifth floor during our slumber on the third day in Maui. I scanned the bushes around the pool area at the ground level and glanced the walkway leading to the beach. Nothing resembled my sock.

Hubby and I walked on the beach two mornings ago. I gazed the trees at the far end curve of the beach and measured the rhythm of my steps. We could walk all the way there before turning around. Talking to myself.

 

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Ouch! I bounced, retrieving my right foot from the sand. Something shocked the nerve of my bared foot. It was the spikes of the fallen twigs. Hubby suggested walking in the salty water hoping it would sooth the shooting sensation. It was not bleeding, saved by the reflex.

The next morning, I worried other unknown objects might surprise my feet. Some people walk on the beach with shoes but most of them do it with flip flops. I didn’t bring flip flops and preferred not to wet my shoes with saltwater. Wearing socks seemed to be a sound idea. After the walk, I washed off the sand and dirt of the socks inside and out and left them on the patio chair in our condo. It was not windy when we went to bed. Well, I forgot about fetching the socks and lost one overnight. It was the least of things I’ve lost during our travel.

 

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Makena Beach

On a pleasant note, we went to Makena Beach that day to rekindle our memory of the beach wedding twenty-three years ago. It is a small beach at the end of the State Park. The size of the beach looks like a private beach in someone’s backyard. There was no disturbance from other visitors during our wedding and photograph. It was still a quiet beach when we visited it on multiple occasions during the previous trips.

 

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We didn’t expect this trip to be different or a busy tour season in October. To our surprise, the beach was busy with at least a dozen people playing in a pool of water, sunbathing or reading in beach chairs.

 

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The water was turquoise blue contrasted with the black lava rocks. The tide rolled in, hitting and splashing on the rocks to several feet high. Hubby spotted several turtles swam against the waves trying to get back to the ocean. Without Polaroid sunglasses, I missed the privilege of the sights.

 

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The blue sky, the fluffy clouds, the turquoise water and the smooth sandy beach made a pleasant memory on this sunny day.

 

SoCS 2019.10.12 – Ground, Sand and Tide

 

 

 

 

August 15: Flash Fiction Challenge – First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

August 15, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sweet jam. It can take you to the kitchen or the smokey room of a back-alley bar. What makes it sweet? Go where the prompt leads you!

 

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It was a long, wet, cold winter this year. The surprising news welcome us back from our trip to Hong Kong and Japan in the middle of January. The previous wet winters came and left in a hurry, so I didn’t expect anything different this year.

The rain was persistent and heavy, dropping week after week. It didn’t let the sun come out even for one day. The sky wore a gray cloak in prolonged mourning. For eight weeks, the first thing I did in the morning was to look out the window, checked the color of the sky. There wasn’t any contrast of fluffy white and clear blue. Then I went to the backyard to check on the two plum trees and the clovers on the slope next to the trees. There were scattered white buds on the trees, and yellow spots on the clovers, but the flowers only smiled to the sun. The bees were not there because only the yellow flowers could invite the bees that time of the year. Without the bees, even if there were plum blossoms, there was no promise of any plums in early spring. I repeated the same routine every morning.

By the first week of March, the white plum blossoms formed a party. What a precious sight that my camera couldn’t resist. This protective mom checked every white bud and flower, then checked the yellow clover, and the sign of bees. They must be synchronized, and the conductor of this orchestra is the sun. I counted the number of white pedals got wet and folded and dropped.

A check of the ten-day forecast was in order. There was a glimpse of hope for a clear sky. I would believe it when the sun shows up. And it did in the middle of March. It synchronized all the players.

The plums kept me picking. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!

 

 

First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

 

“What are we doing with all the plums?”

“We eat them.”

“How many can we eat?”

“As many as we can for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

“You picked 475 in two weeks but only ate less than 75. They are getting mushy.”

“I know. I’ll take them to some meetings to give them away.”

“Can we sell them?”

“Are you kidding? How do I do that and who would buy them?”

“What if we can’t give them away fast enough?”

“I’ll find some low sugar plum jam recipes and do my first homemade jam.”

“It sounds like a plan.”

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction, August 15, 2019 – First Homemade Low Sugar Plum Jam

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #19: Magical Light

During my recent trip to Portland, Oregon to see my granddaughter, I flew up from southern California. It was in the early evening and I anticipated to see the sunset. I booked a window seat looking toward west. It was during summer when the day was long, and the sun went down by 9:00 p.m. I was not disappointed because I saw the gorgeous sunset and the horizon above the clouds was lit up with bright orange light.

 

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By 9:15 p.m. the sun almost went down completely. The orange light was diminishing.

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The plane landed at 9:30 p.m. the sky was completely ultramarine blue.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites – Sunset

From Word Press – “Welcome to the final installment of the Weekly Photo Challenge. In wishing you a fond farewell, we wanted to share our all-time favorite photos with you. We welcome you to share your favorites with us. Happy photographic trails!” – Krista Stevens

I want to thank the Word Press staff for years of Daily Challenges. I have enjoyed participating in the challenges and love to do my best to present my posts. This is my second post to the final installment.

I love taking sunset photos for its dramatic colors with the combination of clouds, moist in the air, and reflections in the ocean. The fascination is the colors change so quickly within a matter of minutes. I have taken sunset photos during travels to many countries. Including in this post are photos from July 18, 2017 at La Habra, California; November 23, 2015 at Huntington Beach, California; October 11, 2014 at Maui, Hawaii; and January 10, 2011 at Key West, Florida.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

Weekly Photo Challenge – Sunrise/Sunset

I don’t get up early enough to take many sunrise photos. I did manage to take some last year on Easter Sunday. Mercy and Will hiked to the top of Mt. Adams in Oregon to watch the sunrise. The first photo is credited to Mercy.

I love taking sunset photos. When I travel during sunrise or sunset hours, I make sure to have seats where I could capture the scenes. Sunset is beautiful everywhere, such as in the cities of my neighborhood, which is also fascinating.

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Sunrise on top of Mt Adams, Oregon

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Sunrise on Easter Sunday, Fullerton, California

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Sunset view from airplane, west coast, USA

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Sunset in La Habra, California

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rise/Set

Weekly Photo Challenge – Serene

California coast from Monterey Bay area to San Diego is a good place for whale watching. Humpback whales, Blue and Gray whales migrate through the water for feeding. These whales are enormous, yet they eat small sea creatures such as krill, crabs, and shrimps and the California coast has a concentration of them. Bottlenose dolphins are frequently seen in this water also.

We went on a whale watching cruise in November 2015. We didn’t see whales, but we saw many bottlenose dolphins coming up to the surface of water. A few private yachts were floating in place simply for yachting. The calm and blue water reflected the clear sky was serene. Whether we saw the whales or not, it was a refreshing day.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Sky

Frank’s theme for Tuesday Photo Challenge is SKY.

When I look into the sky in Portland, Oregon, I can see a true blue sky on a clear day. The autumn afternoon in the first photo, there were thin clouds in the air. By looking at the trailing of the clouds, I could see the direction of the wind.

The second photo was when we went on a dinner cruise in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, watching the sunset and the beautiful sky.

Apparently I love to take photos of the clouds and sky. The third photo was at Laguna Beach, California when the sun peeked out from the rain clouds.

The last photo was in Laguna Lake by my home on this quiet afternoon, with the clouds and sky reflected in the calm water.

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Frank at Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Sky

Thursday’s Special – Fall

Paula at Lost in Translation: The theme for this Thursday’s Special – Fall

Portland, Oregon is a place where I always want to come back during the fall season. The foileage around the fall season is magical and dramatic. The colors of the trees can change within days. It is a lovely sight to behold.

We went to St. John Cathedral Park last Sunday. The sky was high with trailing clouds. Many families took advantage of the warm weather, have kids running around the park in this leisure afternoon. One person was making huge bubbles to entertain the kids.

We made it to Sauvie Island and baby Autumn had the first pumpkin patch outing.

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Paula’s Thursday’s Special – Fall

Eagle Creek Wildfire

The Eagle Creek Fire is a wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. The fire was reported on September 2, 2017, and was caused by teenagers igniting illegal fireworks. As of September 11, 2017, the fire had slowed growth, due to rain, yet still expanded 2,000 acres overnight, to 35,588 acres.

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Fire and smoke from Columbia River Gorge on September 4, 2017

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Creek_Fire

I was with Mercy and Will at a park in North Portland on the afternoon of September 14. I took a few photos of the sun around 6:20 p.m. The smoke was still heavy in the sky. The ray of the sun was filtered by the smoke and turned the sky into a smoky red. I hope the rain will come soon to reduce the smoke in the air.

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