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Posts Tagged ‘weekly photo challenge’

Weekly Photo Challenge

Free roaming bunny -- Photo by Pat Bean

Free roaming bunny — Photo by Pat Bean

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” T.E. Lawrence 

Black-crowned night heron -- Photo by Pat Bean

Black-crowned night heron — Photo by Pat Bean

           If you look at the world through my eyes, you’re going to see bunnies frolicking at campgrounds, like the one above near Mount Rushmore.

You’re going to see lots of birds, like this black-crowned night heron, which I snapped eating a bug in a Texas pond.

And you’re going to take time to visit art galleries and museums, and notice architectural details, like these fish handles on an aquarium, whose class walls reflect the trees near its Albuquerque, New Mexico location.

Fishy handles. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Fishy handles. — Photo by Pat Bean

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Two for today.  Somewhere Over the Rainbow http://tinyurl.com/l6ducht Music to calm the mind; and When the Ants Attack http://tinyurl.com/n8kkdrh The kind of blog that lets you into the crazy world of thought – so that you know you’re in good company

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Seen on a back road in Arkansas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Seen on a back road in Arkansas. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality.. Wake Up and Live!” Bob Marley

Politics Spoken Here

I saw the above sign during a trip through Arkansas. It brought back to mind how me and my kids talked politics around the dinner table.

What is interesting today is that politically, I swear, my kids have all changed sides. Conservatives became liberals and liberals became conservatives.

They sort of did the same thing musically … rockers became cowboys and classicals became bluegrassers. Who would have known?

As for me and political discussions these days, I run from them. I get way too heated and began to have terrible hot flashes.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/lba96jk Flowers and butterflies. Wow!

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            “Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write compose or pant can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic inherent in a human situation.” Graham Greene

Gypsy Lee in Capitol Reef Gorge in Utah. during an escape I took with my oldest son during Gypsy Lee's first year on the road. -- Photo by D,C, Bean

Gypsy Lee in Capitol Reef Gorge in Utah. during an escape I took with my oldest son during Gypsy Lee’s first year on the road. — Photo by D,C, Bean

Escape = Writing, Nature, Books and Gypsy Lee

  

Gypsy Lee by Lake Frank Jackson in Alabama at sunset. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Gypsy Lee by Lake Frank Jackson in Alabama at sunset. — Photo by Pat Bean

          Escape from anything the slightest bit heated, boring, uncomfortable, emotional or unpleasant has always been my first line of defense. It began as a child growing up in a turbulent family and never stopped.

I finally learned to face head-on things that simply had to be faced, but I still don’t like it.

These days, when my life is mostly quite mellow, Gypsy Lee is my No. 1 escape mechanism. I use her to escape from itchy feet that still want to go everywhere, see everything and do everything.

I do so love her.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Survivor Fan http://tinyurl.com/bhsdcmo This old broad is a big survivor fan, and this blog – how true, how true – had me rolling on the floor laughing. What a great way to start my morning.

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             I rate enthusiasm even above professional skills.” – Sir Edward Appleton

To enjoy the view from above, one first has to get to the top of Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

To enjoy the view from above, one first has to get to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

Weekly Photo Challenge: Above

My enthusiasm to get to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park every year on my birthday was motivated by my belief that if I could make it, I could handle anything the next year threw at me.

My immediate reward, however, was a view of the Virgin River and the winding canyon below, where birds flew below me and  people were dwarfed to bug size.

It was an exhilarating experience made even more awesome one year when a pair of peregrines flew below the edge of the ridge. For the first time I got to view the back of these falcons and not just their bellies as they flew.

I suspected the pair was nesting below in the rocks, an occurrence that closes down Angel’s Landing to rock climbers every year. I also suspected that the rock climbers had an even more exhilarating enthusiasm for the view from above after their strenuous efforts to get to the top.

It’s been a few years since I stood on top of Angel’s Landing.  Thankfully, since my children are grown and I’m now into the joys of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, life isn’t throwing me as many curves as it did in my earlier years.

So walking my canine companion, Pepper, up and down three flights of stairs for her four daily walks, has become my motivating challenge to keep me in shape to handle life’s more difficult moments.  But who knows. These efforts might get me into good enough shape that I might once again stand on the top of Angel’s Landing for yet one more view from above.

Ahh! I made it! -- Photo by Pat Bean

Ahh! I made it! — Photo by Pat Bean

            Bean’s Pat:  Wild Junket: http://tinyurl.com/buy5x2e Take an armchair exploration of St. Vincent

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

 

Looking up at a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Looking up at a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

“It is easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.” Henry Ward Beecher

Hot air balloons up above the Serengeti Desert. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Hot air balloons up above the Serengeti Desert. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s the way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope … and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” Dr. Seuss.

Looking up at a bit of nonsense in Custer, South Dakota. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Looking up at a bit of nonsense in Custer, South Dakota. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Never, never, never give up..” Winston Churchill.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Five things to do today http://tinyurl.com/c5njbav I’m all for anything that gets today’s kids out from in front of a TV or endless computer games. How about you?

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Zion National Park 

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” – Harold Wilson

When I took my canine traveling companion on her morning walk at Zion National Park, the view across from my RV glowed. -- Photo by Pat Bean

When I took my canine traveling companion on her morning walk at Zion National Park, the view across from my RV glowed. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” – Mary Englebreit

An hour later, when I was getting ready to leave the park, the view's intensity had changed significantly. I'm glad I' an early riser. -- Photo by Pat Bean

An hour later, when I was getting ready to leave the park, the view’s intensity had changed significantly. I’m glad I’ an early riser. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” W. Edwards Deming

 

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/chabzlm The first thing each morning… I make coffee, walk Pepper, and plan my day while I drink my coffee. What about you?

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             “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” Ernest Hemingway.

The Blanco River, Colorado. Notice how the details of light against shadow, hard rocks against flowing water are what make this an appealing picture. -- Photo bu Pat Bean

The Blanco River, Colorado. Notice how the details of light against shadow, hard rocks against flowing water are what make this an appealing picture. — Photo bu Pat Bean

   

Some Details I Love, Some I Flunk

My RV was parked by the Blanco River pictured above at one of my favorite RV parks. I loved the river but I also loved the little details around the park, like this charming owl painted on a rock that gave the campground character. Photo by Pat Bean

My RV was parked by the Blanco River pictured above at one of my favorite RV parks. I loved the river but I also loved the little details around the park, like this charming owl painted on a rock that gave the campground character. Photo by Pat Bean

            “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris

            I struggled this past three days trying to finish up a magazine writing assignment that required me to stick a lot of facts into only 750 words. In one way it was writer’s block, which thankfully I seldom suffer, but in another way it wasn’t.

turtle

This turtle was yet another detail that made the park stand out from the ordinary. — Photo by Pat Bean

            While I had a multitude of facts, I knew that it was the little details – the funny, the weird, the human touch – that were missing from my story. Without those, my article was cold, boring and flat. I knew I had to dig some of these out and somehow make them fit into few words.

            Finding out the details of a thing, in the same way that Ann Zwinger did in one of my favorite travel books, “Downcanyon,” in which she brought the Grand Canyon down to bug and flower size, is part of why I love being a writer.

            I think it’s also why I love birdwatching so much. It’s the little details of eye rings, feet color, head shape, tail length, etc., that allow one to identify a bird. It’s sort of like finding the solution to a mystery book, which is why I enjoy reading mysteries.  

            On the other hand, the details of daily life, like balancing a checkbook,  remembering birthdays, putting everything back in its proper place, proper punctuation, or coordinating errands are details I sometimes flunk.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: A Song for Today http://tinyurl.com/c88458q I started my day with this blog and Fleetwood Mac song. “Go My Own Way.” What I liked best about it was how much fun the band members were having performing it.

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            “If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?” – Isak Dinesen, “Out of Africa”

Following the leader forward. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Following the leader forward. — Photo by Pat Bean

Africa

Balloon ride over the Serengeti: OK, which way is forward? -- Photo by Pat Bean

Balloon ride over the Serengeti: OK, which way is forward? — Photo by Pat Bean

            The first image that popped into my mind when I saw that “forward”  was the photo challenge topic this week were the long line of elephants that I watched trudge forward  in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. What an amazing sight..

            Then I thought about how the native guides were always going forward in search of Africa’s exotic wildlife to give me and my friend, Kim, the best possible safari experiences they could. They did well.

Holding my breath until this baby moves forward and rejoins his mom and brother -- Photo by Pat Bean

Holding my breath until this baby moves forward and rejoins his mom and brother — Photo by Pat Bean

         On the very last morning in the Serengeti, we watched a mama lion and two nearly grown offspring come forward toward us. The guide had seen them and had parked the Land Rover in an ideal situation so that would pass not too far from us.

            One of the young lions, however, took a detour and came over and scratched his back on one of our tires – the one I was standing above. It was both thrilling and frightening and I was glad when he went back to going forward toward his mom.

            Interesting how two weeks of some of the best travel days of my life became fresh again in my mind after hearing one single word.  

        

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

  Bean’s Pat: Winter’s Majesty http://tinyurl.com/b7d8zek A leaf and a simple poem that captures the best and worst of Chicago in the winter.

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“A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. ”  ~John Muir

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Tree Partnerships

During the three summers I spent at Lake Walcott, I never got tired of looking at the park’s many trees. My favorites were the willows, Russian olives and the cottonwoods. The cottonwoods, thanks to Snake River irrigation water, were huge, the willows graceful and the frosty color of the Russian olives, which also grew larger than any I had seen elsewhere, gave the park’s greenness a vibrant texture.

Arms entwined in a naked embrace. Bell-lughing now. How about you? -- Photo by Pat Bean

Arms entwined in a naked embrace. Belly-laughing  now. How about you? — Photo by Pat Bean

What amazed me was how many of them seemed to have grown up in pairs.

And like John Muir, I saw the trees in their many moods: From their naked branches, whose forms sometimes made me think of an Escher painting, to their passionate dance when a wind storm blew across the park, to their quiet summer verdancy when they issued an invitation for me to sit beneath them and partake of their shaded coolness.  

And when I saw this week’s photo theme, the trees were the first thing that popped into my mind. if trees could make love, would their foreplay begin with kissing leaves? What do you think?

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            “Home is where the heart is.” Pliney the Elder           

This colorful sleeper couch was one of my first purchases for creating a new home and a new lifestyle. i think it's a "joyful" beginning. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

This colorful sleeper couch was one of my first purchases for creating a new home and a new lifestyle. I think it’s a “joyful” beginning. — Photo by Pat Bean.

“Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.” Tad Williams

Creating a New Home

            The road has been my home for more than eight years. It was the home I had dreamed of for most of my life and it was every bit as wonderful as I had imagined.     

My third-floor apartment lets me live at tree-top level It's the closest thing I could find to living in a tree house, which is something I would still like to do. These two winter-naked trees are visible from my front-room balcony. I'm eagerly awaiting them to change into spring garments, and watching them do so is one of the joys I look forward to in coming days. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My third-floor apartment lets me live at tree-top level It’s the closest thing I could find to living in a tree house, which is something I would still like to do. These two winter-naked trees are visible from my front-room balcony. I’m eagerly awaiting them to change into spring garments, and watching them do so is one of the joys I look forward to in coming days. — Photo by Pat Bean

        Me, my bossy canine companion, Maggie, and for a short time a joyful puppy named Pepper, traveled this country from border to border and ocean to ocean in Gypsy Lee, a 22-foot RV that I bought new in 2004, and which now has almost 140,000 miles on her.  

            To live this wondering-wandering life within my personal financial means, I sold or gave away, almost everything I owned before I could get on the road to explore this fantastic country. “America the Beautiful,” it truly is.  

            I knew, however, that one day my full-time life on the road would have to become at least only part-time. And when that day came, I knew I would be starting from scratch in the homemaking department.

            That day came this past December 26. And this red sleeper couch was one of my first purchases. And I love it. It feels like a good start to a new home. What do you think?

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