Photo Challenge & Phavorites – Smile

“Raindrops on Roses, and Whiskers on Kittens…ummm…Bunnies?”

~ Oscar Hammerstein II

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge for this week is Favorite Things. For me, as is true of most of us, God, family, and home tops the list. After these three there are hundreds of items, situations, places, that I love-the list could go on and on.

It’s pouring rain today. Most of the Northeast coast of the U.S. is experiencing rainfall. I thought it a perfect day to photograph a garden rose wearing a veil of raindrops as a favorite thing. When I went outdoors, instead of a dewy rose, the sweetest vignette presented itself: a bunny using my hanging plant as an umbrella. I think this clever bunny is guaranteed to bring you a smile.

Photo Challenge & Pressed Flowers – A Departure From the Norm

I found a great weather vane last weekend, but didn’t have a camera with me. I drove back to the location on Monday, and NO, realized I had forgotten the camera. I will try again before next Wednesday, but for this week’s vane, I’m going to fall back on an old cliche: necessity is the mother of invention. Before you is that invention, a weather vane created with pressed flowers.

The flowers have been between the pages of books, in a dark closet, for 8 – 10 months. A few have faded, but I was surprised by the vivid color some blossoms and leaves retained. The flower names, bottom to top are: Alyssum, Pentis, Blue Lobelia, Marigold Florets, Johnny-Jump-Ups, white filler flower, (can’t remember the name) a Chasteberry leaf, separated for the pole, and some vine sprigs forming the vane.

The sweet bluebird was created from two petals of a beautiful blue Delphinium. A perfect fold in the petal created the bird’s wing, the darker discoloration at the tip resembles a beak. The tail was cut with small manicure/embroidery scissors into a bow shape. A small dot with a sharpie was all that I needed for the eye. While writing this post I suddenly realized my little bird almost resembles a fish. Perhaps my next pressed flower scene will be underwater. 😁

The letters…hmmm…a bit of a mystery??? No…I didn’t form them from vines. Trying to find and place curving pieces of stem and vine would have been a nightmare. Instead, I photographed the flower composition and used Ribbet to place the letters depicting north, south, east and west.

Thanks to these bloggers for taking part in last week’s challenge:
Dunrobin Hall Vane – Exploring Colour
Allendale and the Topper Site
Flying with wind – Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Photo Challenge – Side Roads and Odd Menageries

“Take the back roads instead of the highways.” ~ Minnie Pearl

In late winter, we often find ourselves driving down side roads. All of our tried and true winter activities have usually been visited and we like to try a few voluntary detours off our usual paths. Over the last few weekends we’ve collected quite an assortment of oddities while searching for weather vanes. The selected vane for this week is hard to see against the thick bramble of branches. We think it is an Irish Setter and we wouldn’t be surprised if one is in residence in the home below.

As we were driving I spotted this scare wolf. At first glance I thought it was alive. It took a moment, and the zoom lens on the camera, to see the pole holding him up. My husband thought we had spotted this oddity on past trips.

The farmer who owns this field should consider a scare animal of some type too. I’ve never seen so many wild turkeys in one place. I can imagine the damage they would do to just-seeded crops or sprouts.

This beautiful angel and surroundings are a natural black and white photograph without any tweaking, perfect for Cee’s black and white challenge: tender moments. She is in a graveyard, a monument to a General who died in 1906. The angel’s wing has been lost to erosion or vandalism, but it is no less beautiful for the loss.

A last image of our trips down side roads is this sand plant in South Jersey. The plant is still functioning, but many of it’s buildings are on the verge of falling down in one of our N’orEaster storms. I thought this building a good example of abandoned architecture.

Thanks to these bloggers for taking part in last week’s challenge:
Exploring Colour – Waipapa Point Lighthouse
Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery – Weathercocks
The 59 Club – Wider Than a Mile

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Photo Challenge – Orchid Extravaganza Part II & Weather Vane Wednesday

This week’s weather vane is atop the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. The Orchid Extravanganza featured orchids in a variety of unique settings.

These orchids were in a planter in a long walkway filled with blooming acacia.

A waterfall complete with orchids.

A bright cascade of orchids alongside two walkways, one behind and one in front. This display was really lovely.

Thank you to these bloggers who took part in last week’s challenge. Take a look at their great weather vanes.
Daily Musings – Weather Vane Wednesday
Geriatri’x’fotogallery – Weather Vane Wednesday
The 59 Club – Lawton Stables – South Carolina
Exploring Color – Wind Vane Windfall

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Photo Challenge – Weather Vane Wednesday/Harmony

An eagle atop the Harmony Fire Company, Mullica Hill, NJ. The Harmony Fire Company was established in 1704.

A few more views of the Harmony Fire Company weather vane and station. I love those bright red doors. Eagles are one of the most popular weather vane subjects I find in my area.

Many thanks to The 59 Club for taking part in last week’s Weather Vane Wednesday. Take a look at this great post:
The 59 Club – Emmet Park

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. The challenge is open all week for comments and posts. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Photo Challenge – Weather Vane Wednesday/Meow

A cute cat weather vane for this week’s Weather Vane Wednesday Photo Challenge. This weather vane can be found in my town of Glassboro, New Jersey.

Many thanks to The 59 Club for taking part in the challenge last Wednesday: The 59 Club/Historic and Hip

The Photo Challenge: Each Wednesday, I post a photograph of a Weather Vane with a short description of where it can be found and any history connected to it. The main focus of the challenge is the photo of the Weather Vane and the location. The challenge can be Wordless if that is what you choose. If you would like others to see your post leave a link to your blog in the comment box. You can also tag the post #weathervaneweds. If you place a link to my post in your post you will create a pingback that will appear in the comment section. Thanks so much for taking part in my challenge.

Many thanks to Cee, of Cee’s Photography, for including this challenge in her listing of WordPress Challenges. If you love challenges take a look at this page and while you are there check out some of Cee’s terrific posts. Thanks Cee!

Photograph – Ailanthus Webworm Moth

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I spotted an Ailanthus Webworm today when I looked out my window at the morning sky. I love finding examples, such as this moth’s beautiful coloring, of God’s artistry in the world around me. The moth is out of his element, since he is a tropical moth. How has he survived the frosty temperatures? Perhaps the cold was my ally in getting a good photograph of him. I gently raised the screen with the moth still on it, hung my hand and camera out the second story window, and snapped a photo.

The tiny ailanthus webworm is thought to be native to South Florida and the American tropics (south to Costa Rica),which were the habitat of its original larval host plants: the paradise tree (Simarouba glauca) and Simarouba amara.

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This moth gets its name from the Ailanthus tree.

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Photo Challenge – Transmorgify – Magical Carvings – Happy Halloween!

I know I must be one of many who decided that carving a pumpkin was a perfect definition for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:

Transmorgify
“To change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”

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I’m so entranced by this word I know I will be on the lookout all week for more instances of “transmorgification.”

Photo Challenge – Stoned

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Mirror
“This week’s challenge is all about reflections.” ~ WordPress Photo Challenge

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When I read the title for this week’s photo challenge this strange photograph I took on Block Island, RI came to mind. Block Island beaches are a beautiful mix of sand and gorgeous rocks. During one vacation my husband and I were on a hunt for heart-shaped rocks. Little did I know, as I gazed at this beautiful green rock and photographed it, that the wet surface would reveal my image when I downloaded the photo. If I tried to mimic this again, I doubt I would have the same result as I did in this lucky shot.

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Photograph – Throwback Thursday/Look Through My Window

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The Daily Post Photo Challenge Frame:
“This week, I’d love for you to look at things a bit differently. Whether it’s through an actual picture frame, a few stalks of grass, or even the spokes of a bicycle tire, find an alternative frame to the world around you and share what you see.”

I love watching the birds from my back window. Look through my window with me and get a close-up view of a male goldfinch eating sunflower seeds. A good way to attract goldfinches is to grow plants they use as a food source. Some of these are: sunflowers, echinacea, zinnias, black-eyed susan, rudbeckia, and thistles. I thought this photo was perfect for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge. It inspired me to look up an old song from the 1960’s, “Look Through My Window,” by the The Mamas and the Papas. I think it’s a perfect way to celebrate the first Throwback Thursday of September.

 

Photo Challenge – Rare

“Could it be mid-August already? For those of us who live in less-warm climes, summer’s long, sunny days are a prized commodity, something to look forward to all year long. But even during this all-too-short season, some things are more prized than others.” – Daily Post Photo Challenge

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While photographing butterflies this week something rare flew into my lens view…a hummingbird moth. The moth flew  so quickly most of my photos turned out very blurry, but this one of the moth sipping a drink of nectar from a pink zinnia delighted me. The hummingbird moth is my entry for the WordPress Photo Challenge subject of something “rare.”

Here is a quick fifteen second video of his/her flight.

Photograph – Endangered Sightings – One to Infinity

Numbers “Equations. Clock faces. Cash registers. Numbers are everywhere: this week, share a photo that puts them front and center.” The Photo Challenge at WordPress

On the drive to Fortescue, New Jersey, and the Delaware Bay last weekend, we saw a Bald Eagle having a meal in a cornfield. Bald Eagles are thriving in our state and 40% of them live in the lower counties. Years ago, the only eagles I encountered were in the Philadelphia Zoo or on the wildlife television channels. What thrill it is now to see them flying high, or to zoom in with my camera as an eagle brings down prey in a field.

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Horseshoe crabs are also considered an endangered species, but since they have been protected, they are impossible to count. The infinite number of eggs they lay on the local bay beaches keeps the crab population growing, and provides food for shorebirds, many of them also endangered.

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Horseshoe crabs often upend in the waves. Unless they manage to turn themselves over, and many of them don’t, they will perish in the hot sun.

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While my husband fished, I turned over dozens that lay with their undersides exposed. It’s amazing how fast these creatures can move when they are heading back to the cooling water of the bay.

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Photograph – Spare Carnivores

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WordPress Photo Challenge -This week, get inspired by the many connotations of the word “Spare”

The carnivorous plants in the Longwood Garden Conservatory always have a spare appearance to me, but looks matter little in trapping their prey. Many carnivorous plants depend on sweet mucilaginous glands to lure insects in.

Moral of the Story: Sweetness is often more alluring than glamour.

Photo Challenge – Earth

Earth is the subject of this week’s Word Press Photo Challenge. I’ve chosen two photographs that also illustrate endurance: a patch of Irish moss thriving in a small bit of earth between two bricks in my front garden, and an ant hill built deep within the earth.

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“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9

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Photograph – Playground Harmony

On Friday, when I checked the topic for the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge, I was thrilled to find the title word of harmony.

Harmony
“The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords having a pleasing effect; the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.” ~ WordPress Photo Challenge

Harmony, melodious, musical…all these words bestow on me an instant uptick in mood when I hear them. In my files, I knew I must have dozens of photographs perfect  for depicting harmony, but none came to mind, and I couldn’t understand why I felt so blocked. Until today…

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Today dawned warm for early March, the sky cloudless, almost like someone had colored its expanse  with a Pacific Blue crayon. I took my grandchildren to a nearby playground, just three and almost four, they are the best of friends. Without any hesitation, they climbed the stairs and skipped across the bridge that spans two sliding board sections. As they crossed, they spontaneously began to sing, “London Bridge is falling down.” At such a young age, not in harmony of course, but in definite harmony with the spirit of the day and each other.

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I thought this black and white photograph of them, wearing my oversized sunglasses, was a perfect choice for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Twins.

Photograph – A Walk in Ceres Woods

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
II Corinthians 13:14

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I’ve heard some say they have a hard time believing in the Trinity. I believe. How could I not? There are three trees behind me in my shadow photograph. I can’t see them, but I know they are there. Why? Because of the evidence of their presence. The evidence of the presence of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit surrounds me every day. I only have to take pause from the unending busyness of life to dwell with them in my spirit.

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Spring was evident everywhere yesterday. The calendar says “winter,” but the budding woods proclaims, “Spring.”

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State of Mind
“This week, let your inner world and the outside one converge in a photo.”
“Photos show us the surface of things, but they often tell much deeper stories about the objects they depict — and about the people who take them.” WordPress Photo Challenge

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One of my greatest pleasures is walking in nature in every season. These photos were taken in Ceres Park a beautiful woods covering fifty-two acres a few miles from my home.

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The signs of Spring were all around us: wet, soggy ground, the budding of undergrowth, the touch of sunlight setting even the bark of the trees aglow. The mosses seem to be awakening first, sending up stalks that will soon bud into capsules filled with spores.

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Ceres parked is dotted with marl lakes. The mineral turns the water a magical green. I will have to go back to capture the true iridescence of the water another day. The heavy rains of last week muddied them a bit, but if you look closely, you can see swathes of green within the waters.

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Photographs – Take a Walk/February

Seasons-“Share an image evocative of the weather or represent the current “season of your life” in metaphor.

– WordPress Photo Challenge

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In February, my area of the world becomes a landscape of grey and brown. The absence of foliage creates in me  a renewed appreciation for the form of tree limbs against the winter sky.

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Vines, hidden by leaves in warmer months, fascinate me as they twist and turn around the tree branches that support their winding attempt to reach the sun.

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The sweet-smelling blossoms of the Autumn Clematis, growing along the banks of the creek, have disappeared, leaving behind mahogany (Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola) seeds in a cloud of snowy fluff.

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Shallow puddles and ponds form an ephemeral mosaic.

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Daylight is once again lengthening, bringing the slumbering wildlife out of their burrows for water and food.

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The emerging leaves of celandine is a sure sign that Spring is on the way.

Photo Challenge – Timeless Stone

“This week, think about Time and portray it photographically.” Haddonfield, New Jersey

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These beautiful churches, created with stone, fascinate me. I love to look upwards and imagine myself in another century, amid the many souls who have walked beneath the steeples, crosses and outer walls of these amazing houses of worship. I hope when I am gone on to a better world these churches will still stand, a testament to the eternal nature of God’s love.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” ~ Psalm 90:2


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The exterior molding surrounding the stained glass window is a soft gold.

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Beautiful churches can be found in many towns all around the world.