Photo Challenge – Weather Vane Wednesday/When Pigs Fly!

Once again, I was driving when I found this week’s weather vane. A sweet pig perched on top of a cupola. Do you see his wings?

Here’s a close-up of him. This weathervane is brass and has great detail, right down to the curl of the piggy’s tail. I found this weathervane in the town of Mantua, New Jersey.

“The phrase “when pigs fly” (alternatively, “pigs might fly”) is an adynaton—a figure of speech so hyperbolic that it describes an impossibility. The implication of such a phrase is that the circumstances in question (the adynaton, and the circumstances to which the adynaton is being applied) will never occur. ~Wikipedia

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 Challenges – Columns and Vertical Lines

A dragonfly, vertical lines on his wing, sitting on the column of a Shepherd’s Hook.

I love taking part in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges. Today I checked the subject out and commented on Cee’s blog that the challenge looked like fun, and I would be on the lookout for a perfect subject to photograph. I wasn’t expecting the opportunity to present itself so fast! Within minutes I spotted this amazing fellow/gal on the shepherd’s hook my birdfeeder hangs on.

The hook is my column, the vertical lines are covering the dragonfly and his wings.

Detail of dragonfly wing/vertical lines

What a beautiful creature he is; I feel a sense of awe and wonder as I look at the details God created, the beauty of something as humble as an insect is an awesome example of his mysterious ways.

Phriday Pheathers – Blue Grosbeak

I spotted this beautiful bird on my feeder this week. He is finch-sized and a little raggedy in appearance; he is probably molting. I think he might be a Blue Grosbeak, a bird we don’t see much in southern New Jersey. Can anyone positively identify him for me? Thanks!

One of my ‘Places in the World‘ is walking with eyes up, camera in hand, searching out birds in interesting poses to photograph.

Plans – Snow on the Way

I listened to the weather report this morning and know Chicago is experiencing snow. Their weather system will soon head our way and meet up with another big storm moving up the coast line creating a powerful Nor’easter. Snow is on the way.

The forsythia bursting into bloom just a few days ago has bowed its yellow blossoms in defeat, closing their cuplike petals against the cold and coming precipitation.

Only a few days ago I walked the neighborhood sidewalks with my grand-daughters, searching for periwinkles in bloom. We found a few, but now those brave little flowers will soon be buried under inches of snow. No one wants to experience a record-setting snowstorm so close to Spring. My wish is for just a few inches of the beautiful white stuff and then glorious sunshine prompting a quick meltaway.

The daffodils look like they know what is coming and have already given up. Later on, I’ll go out and once again cut anything that is blooming, rather than leaving pretty flowers outdoors to languish under the snow.

Perspective – Let Me Be Resilient

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WordPress Photo Challenge – Resilient

“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13

We often visit our favorite seashore towns the week after Christmas. Winter and summer ocean-scapes couldn’t be more different. You can almost feel the cold and hear the wind blowing when you study this photograph of the beach at Strathmere, New Jersey. In this view we are looking across the water to Corson’s Inlet and Ocean City. It takes a hearty and resilient attitude to walk along the ocean water on a cold, windy December day. It takes even more gumption to attempt kitesurfing in cold weather. I doubt I will ever kitesurf, but I’ve walked on a wintry beach many a time. Here’s to maintaining a resilient attitude toward every worthwhile goal, dream and task in 2017.

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 – 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.

Photograph – Mullica Hill Alphabet

“This week, let the alphabet be your inspiration: find a string of letters. Try a multi-photo gallery to collect images of single characters. Find some beautiful typography, or look for letters hidden in natural forms. I’m excited to see your ABCs!” Alphabet


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What fun it was to gather photographs for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge. It prompted us (see our reflection in the collage) to take a long overdue stroll through Mullica Hill, New Jersey, a town known for its antique shops. All the alphabets in the above “sampler” were on Main Street. We had a bit of trouble with the Z, but found it in the graveyard of the Quaker Cemetery.

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Photo Challenge – Color Your World/Breaking the “Brrrrrr” Factor with Color

Winter has given us the cold shoulder here in the Northeast U.S. We were spoiled with record-breaking warm temperatures throughout December, and now January is demanding we pay for it with cold, blustery wind and temperatures.

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A beach scene taken at Montego Bay, Jamaica warms my heart, if not my fingers and toes. It’s also the perfect photo to use in a new challenge I found on the blog of Jennifer Nichole Wells: Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola. Challenges are a great way to discover new blogs and new blogging friends.

The color for today is Blue-Green. I think the swathe of ocean cutting through the center of the photograph matches the January 13th challenge color of blue-green.

Photo Challenge – Woodsy January Circlets

A few natural CIRCLES photographed on a January walk.

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“God must be the very first thought and the very last thought in the life of every disciple of Jesus. God must be the centre as well as the circumference of our lives. We live and move in Him, within the circle that He has drawn for us. And within that circle we will always find Him.”
~ Zac Poonen

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”
Acts 17:26-27

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Photographs – Riding the Waves

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Today was the perfect day to put our bicycles in the back of the truck and head for Ocean City, NJ. Quite a few people took advantage of the warm temperatures, and although the sky was overcast, the boardwalk had a good crowd walking its length. In the distance you can see Atlantic City in a haze of foggy mist.

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The surf was rough today…according to the Ocean City Surf Report the waves were 7 to 7.5 feet, and the water temperature was between 52-55 degrees. Dozens of wetsuit-clad surfers were gathered in the water waiting for the perfect wave.

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I’ve never seen the waves so large in Ocean City.

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It’s mesmerizing to watch the surfers “TRANSITION” from calmly waiting to flying across the face of the wave.

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At times the transition means wiping out.

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No big deal, the surfer paddles back out and begins again.

 

Photograph – Ablaze and Abuzz

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Vivid.”
“The theme for this week’s photo challenge is “Vivid.” Perhaps it’s your favorite flower in full bloom, a beautiful sunset or the color of your ice cream. Vivid is limited only by your imagination. Have fun with the challenge!”

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I took a bike ride after reading the WordPress photo challenge for this week, I was armed with my camera and an eye for color. Vivid subjects for photographing presented themselves at every turn of my wheels and handlebars. When I came upon this beautiful rose bush, ablaze with color, I knew I need not pedal any further. Cascades of pink with yellow centers glowed vividly under the early afternoon sky.

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On closer inspection, I heard, then saw, dozens of honeybees clustered on the pollen laden centers. The rose bush was abuzz with their gathering.

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I love honeybees, my grandfather had hives, and now my sister is a beekeeper.

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The bees, enraptured with the bounty of pollen, were quite the willing subjects for my photographs. I wonder if they might be from my sister’s hives.

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Honeybees can gather honey up to six miles from their hives, but usually stay within a two mile radius of their home. I enjoy the WordPress Photo Challenges. If I had not ventured out with my camera, I wouldn’t have experienced those fifteen carefree minutes standing beside a rose bush ablaze in petals of pink and abuzz with gathering bees.

Photograph & Perspective – Broken/Little Pencils and Good Ideas

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“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.” ~ Francis Bacon

The WordPress Photo Challenge for today is titled, “Broken. This week, capture something broken.”

Some things must be broken to be used, an egg must be cracked to be eaten, a tree must be felled to be cut into lumber, a horse must be broken before it can be rode.

A “broken” pencil showed up in my junk drawer recently. I think the small stub of graphite and wood has probably spent about two decades in this shortened condition. Why? Well, because boys will be boys, and most likely one of my sons sharpened this pencil down to a nub while in middle school. This same scenario held true when I was a young student. Preteen boys delighted in reducing their pencils into nubs just like the “broken” one in my photograph. The sight of tiny pencils always curls my lips upward in a nostalgic smile.

So often as I go about my day I will have the flash of a good idea, but later on, find myself completely unable to remember it. I’ve tried carrying around a pen and paper in pants or shirt pockets to write down these good thoughts, but invariably get stabbed in the thigh, or have ink leak out and spoil a good shirt. When I saw this small pencil I realized it solved the problem of being too long, but what to do about that sharp point…Yikes!

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The problem was easily solved by placing an old ink pen cap over the sharpened end.

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A piece of paper folded into a tiny square was the perfect addition. I’m ready now to record all the good ideas that I am blessed with today and in the future. Do you have any tiny pencils to carry around in your pocket? If not, break a pencil  in two and sharpen, sharpen, sharpen. Good ideas are priceless!

Photograph – Faux Pearl

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enveloped. What does Enveloped Mean to You?”

Oyster with Pearly Egg

Yesterday, while watering my flower beds I spotted a tiny glimmer beneath a bird feeder. An egg lay there, its grey-blue shell speckled with brown. I think it is most likely the egg of a finch. They are plentiful in our area, and frequently visit our birdfeeders, making their nests in the trees in our yard. I might try to save the beautiful piece of nature, and thought the perfect resting place was the ‘enveloping’ security of an oyster shell. What a strange and lovely pearl the humble oyster holds…I love this unique combination of God’s handiwork.

My best description of being enveloped cannot be captured by a photograph, but it is perfectly described in this verse from the Psalms—

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” ~Psalms 91:4

Photo & Phascination – Abstracts?

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Intricate.”

Intricate: what does it mean to you? Show us your interpretation”

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Abstract paintings often appear simple, but in reality can be very intricate in their planning and placement of shapes. The beautiful abstract above, however, is not a painting, but a close-up view of the inner shell of a humble oyster. I find oysters beautiful. Here’s another look at the intricacy of the design uncropped.

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Next time you’re on a sandy beach, take a moment to admire an ordinary oyster shell. My husband and I often find instances of pareidolia in the designs of the oyster shells.

“Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-DOH-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague or random stimulus (often an image or sound) which is perceived as significant.

Common examples of this are seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, the moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on phonograph records when they are played in reverse.

Pareidolia is the visual form of apophenia, which is the perception of patterns within random data.” ~ Wikipedia

And then, of course, there are those amazing pearls…

Photograph – Skunks, Daffodils and a Birdbath

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Early Bird.”
“For this week’s photo challenge, get up early and explore the morning light.”

Skunk Cabbage

“Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as skunk cabbage or eastern skunk cabbage (also swamp cabbage, clumpfoot cabbage, or meadow cabbage, foetid pothos or polecat weed), is a low growing, foul-smelling plant that grows in wetlands of eastern North America.” ~ Wikipedia

I love this photo I captured of an unfurling skunk cabbage growing beside a creek bed. The early morning light highlights the intense green of the leaves and reveals the texture of the plant in the soft shadows.

Skunk Cabbage in Morning Light

Skunk cabbage does have a bit of an odor, but only if you get close enough to break or step on it. I always enjoy seeing its early awakening, a sure sign of Spring.

Daffodils in Morning Light

Sunlight slants through my back windows in the mid-morning hours. This is a favored spot for displaying a vase of flowers. I enjoy the silhouette of the arrangement as much as the actual flower.

Granny's Birdbath

In this photo you see a birdbath that is a part of my earliest memories. It was my grandmother’s, and I remember standing beside it, so small that my eyes were level with the rim, trying to resist the temptation to swirl my fingers in the water. My mother had the birdbath in her yard for many years, then my sister had a turn using it. Last night, my sister and I exchanged birdbaths. The smooth sides of the mirrored interior were causing the bees from her hives to slide into the water and drown; there is no rough foothold for them to stand upon as they drink. The concrete birdbath I had in my yard will do a better job as a water source for the bees. Joy filled my heart early this morning, as I peered down from my back window and saw not only the treasured birdbath, but the pastel rays of sunrise reflecting in it’s surface. I couldn’t have planned a more perfect photograph for the weekly challenge.

Pleasures – Fresh Donuts!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fresh.”
“For this week’s photo challenge, share with us a photo that expresses something fresh.”

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When I think of fresh I think of Payne’s Killer Donuts on Block Island in Rhode Island. They truly are FRESH and capture that “Melt-in-your-mouth” goodness we all crave.

Photograph – Green & Graven Symmetry

Symmetry – “For this challenge, share an image of symmetry. Don’t limit yourself to architecture — you can bend this theme in any way you’d like.”

Symmetry – the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.

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Bird’s Nest Fern – Longwood Gardens Conservatory

This beautiful Bird’s Nest fern while not being perfect in its symmetry, is still a good example of a plant growing in a symmetrical manner. Growing a Bird’s Nest Fern is easy. The plant is more resilient against dry conditions than the more feathery ferns. An added plus is a Bird’s Nest Fern is a low-light plant.

Another example of symmetry is a gravestone. This one, weathered by years, wind and sea salt can be found in the graveyard on Block Island, RI.

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Photograph – Puddled Ice: Designs in the Depths

DEPTH – PHOTO CHALLENGE at WORDPRESS
Whether visually or emotionally, this week let’s dig (or dive) deep.

After a N’or Easter blew by us, thankfully depositing minimal snowfall, we were left in a deep freeze. The moisture left behind grasped the ground and everything lying upon it in it’s icy fingers.

Puddled Ice Frozen in Time

The many depths of this frozen art is fascinating. Some of the leaves seem to thrust themselves upward trying to escape the frozen surface.

Puddled ice Frozen Fingers

 Others float gracefully in the mid-levels, the sun illuminating their edges.

Puddled Ice Icy Chains

Others lie deep and silent, dark and already half-consumed by the appetite of a hungry earth.