Weekly Photo Challenge – Creepy

“Perhaps this is the beauty of love, it doesn’t knock. It just creeps in slowly and steadily.”

Tarif Naaz

(7 photos)

FALLING DOWN

FALLING DOWN

Last week during our visit to Colorado, although it was mostly quite beautiful, there were several examples of rather “creepy” sites. Chief among them were the many abandoned mines such as the one above that are literally falling down. Of course we photographers love to focus on decay, so I had no problem at all coming up with some shots in response to Michelle’s challenge this week. 😊 The bigger challenge, I must admit, was finding interesting quotes that worked with the theme.

PREVASIVE PIPE

PERVASIVE PIPE

“Today’s creepy is tomorrow’s necessity.”

Sean Parker

My husband and I had a lovely hike along a river in Boulder which was beautifully accented by wildflowers everywhere. It also offered several examples of semi-creepy overgrown items like the pipe above and the abandoned building below.

WILDFLOWERS AND WINDOW

WILDFLOWERS AND WINDOW

“I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here?”

Radiohead

The use of black & white or sepia tends to add an element of creepiness or eeriness to many photos. Seeing a shed like the one above in broad daylight with lovely wildflowers is quite different from seeing it in the dark of night, or in a muted sepia. Are we not similar ourselves, in the way our moods can color our appearance to the world ?

BLACK TIRE

BLACK TIRE

 “Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day.”

William Shakespeare

One might think the building above was creepy but in fact it was simply a storage space for a lovely apartment in the heart of  Boulder. It would seem a bit out of place in a nice neighborhood but was actually hidden in a backyard and out of view of the pretty little residential street.

JUST A WHEEL

WHEEL AND CHAIN

“Creep into thy narrow bed. Creep and let no more be said.”

Matthew Arnold

Finally, there was some interesting industrial equipment that to me felt like it was more suited to monotone treatment. The wheel above and those below were part of an out-of-service dam that found their way to my lens.

THE DAMNED DAM

THE DAMNED DAM

“Love won’t go away. Push it to one side and it creeps to the other.”

Louise Erdrich

Last but not least, a shot of a rusty fence which in full color was lovely but in sepia has a much more austere appearance.

FENCE AND FLOWERS

FENCE AND FLOWERS

“Fate is not an eagle, it creeps like a rat.”

Elizabeth Bowen

We’re off on a new adventure next week – this time to Scotland – so I may not be posting for a few weeks. But I’ll be watching from afar and look forward to sharing lots of new (and probably wet) scenery when I return.😊 If anyone has suggestions for “can’t miss” spots, please do let me know!

To see some other “creepy” entries, click here.

 

The Path Well Taken – Weekly Photo Challenge

“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.”

Guy Gavriel Kay

(4 Photos)

BENEATH MY FEET

BENEATH MY FEET

This week my husband and I are in Colorado where the air is crisp and cool and the mountains are everywhere. We had a lovely hike the other day amidst the beautiful groves of aspens – something we don’t see in South Carolina. I thought it would make a lovely abstract, so I shot it both ways. The second version follows below.

ABSTRACT ASPENS

ABSTRACT ASPENS

“Every new path will look fresh, even though it is old. Because we are new not the path.”

Tirumala

The wildflowers along the way were astounding – as they are all throughout the mountains we’ve explored. I suppose the more difficult the winter the stronger the blooms that survive. Below, an example of the way they line the path.

THROUGH THE WOODS

THROUGH THE WOODS

“Don’t look at the difficulties on your path. Focus on the opportunities ahead.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

Finally, beneath our feet, an example of some of the whispy weeds along the way – even they have their own beauty.

ETHEREAL

ETHEREAL

“Creating your own path is creating a new path for the world.”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

It’s been a joy exploring the landscapes in the west, which are so different from our usual southern environment. I look forward to sharing more of our expeditions when we return. For now, click here to see what some others found Beneath Their Feet.

Inspiration – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Vicki Corona

(17 photos)

MOONLIT PEACE

MOONLIT PEACE

This week Krista has offered us an interesting challenge – to illustrate that which inspires us. It seems to me that inspiration can be found most anywhere if your mind is open to it.  For example, in the peacefulness of the moonlit night shown above as calm settles over a small town…. or below, in the scent of fresh hay, rolled neatly into bales awaiting their use.

LAST LIGHT

LAST LIGHT

“Make hay all the time, not only while the sun shines.”

Constance Chuks Friday

Perhaps in a look at some of nature’s grandest offerings…….

NATURE'S GRANDEUR

NATURE’S GRANDEUR

“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.”

John Muir

no more impressive than her simplest.

SIMPLE BEAUTY

SIMPLE BEAUTY

In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.”

Paulo Cuelho

Inspiring moments can be found while capturing nature’s smallest creatures…..

HEADING HOME

HEADING HOME

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”

Gary Snyder

no less magnificent than her largest.

 

THE EYES HAVE IT

THE EYES HAVE IT

“There are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves,  and until we allow all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.”  

Lawrence Anthony

Is anything more inspiring than the glory of a beautiful sunrise….

DRAMATIC DAYBREAK

DRAMATIC DAYBREAK

“Every day a million miracles begin at sunrise.”

Eric Jerome Dickey

except perhaps a perfect ending to the day?

SETTING SUN

SETTING SUN

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

Jo Walton

There is so much we can learn from one another, especially if we are open to new experiences and the differences that set us apart even as they also unite us.  Inspiration can be found in rising to the challenge of a difficult task……

A LONG DAY

A LONG DAY

“All happiness depends on courage and work.”

Honore de Balzac

or in a moment of rest shared with a friend.

SHOES OFF, HATS ON

SHOES OFF, HATS ON

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”

Helen Keller

Perhaps we are inspired by simply watching the world go by….

WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY

WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY

“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

Marilyn Vos Savant

or by the incredibly complex beauty inherent in nature’s design.  The natural curve of a river meandering through fields of green….

ESS CURVE

ESS CURVE

“Mountains and rivers know the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries.”

Brian Andreas

or the colors displayed in her creatures.

COLOR ON COLOR

COLOR ON COLOR

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing?”

Pablo Picasso

The graceful curve of a horse’s back – as inspiring as

CRISS-CROSS

CRISS-CROSS

“Beauty: it curves, curves are beauty.”

James Joyce

the beauty of natural light and its effect on whatever it touches.

ENTER THE LIGHT

ENTER THE LIGHT

“Light is my inspiration, my paint and brush… the energy upon which all life on this planet depends.”

Ruth Bernhard

There is inspiration in the affection of nature’s creatures for one another …

BROTHERLY LOVE

BROTHERLY LOVE

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

William Shakespeare

and in the innocence of her most vulnerable, the world’s children.

JUST ANOTHER DAY

JUST ANOTHER DAY

“It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.”

Frank Warren

To me, inspiration can be found at your feet, around the nearest corner, or on the other side of the world. It is found more readily when we make the effort to seek it and when we are open to receiving it. So where do you find your inspiration? A beautiful sunset….the touch of a loved one….the sound of laughter…the fresh start of a new day?  To see how some other bloggers answered, take a moment to click here.

Up Close and Personal – Weekly Photo Challenge

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

Henry Miller

(6 photos)

BUTTERFLY BREAKFAST

BUTTERFLY BREAKFAST

This week Brie Anne has challenged us to share some close-up photography. As she points out, there is no need for special equipment to create details such as those in this week’s post. Because I’ve been a bit consumed with packing for our impending move, I’ve reached into the archives to share some of my favorites close ups.

BRIGHT IN BACK

BRIGHT IN BACK

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

One of the things I love about photography is that it causes you to stop and notice the smallest details. For example, we often pause to admire a field of beautiful sunflowers raising their heads to the sky, but how many of us have actually stopped to study the back of the flower, or the texture of the stalk?

FOR SUZIE

WINGS OF GOLD

 “The closest thing to Heaven, is having a peaceful mind, and a beautiful, pure heart.”  

Anthony Liccione

I have a good friend here on Kiawah who is obsessed with dragonflies. She’s also a photographer and has some amazing captures of these tiny, fast-moving creatures. The secret, she tells me, is to find a spot that they frequent and then sit quietly until they are used to you, at which point they’ll return to their usual routine. I find that to be true of most of nature’s creatures – and stillness is also a balm for a busy mind often cluttered with unnecessary chatter. So Suzie – this one’s for you 😊.

MORNING LIGHT

MORNING LIGHT

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”

Robert Capa

Over the years I’ve shared many examples of the lowcountry’s magnificent oaks. The shot above closes in on the symbiotic relationship between the beautiful spanish moss and the intricate turns of the oak’s beautiful branches. Often the details of a scene are more compelling than the big picture.

CHICKS-TO-BE

CHICKS-TO-BE

“Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

This spring I shared many shots of baby chicks in an amazing bird rookery I was privileged to visit. The capture above is a close-up of one of the nests in which the eggs hadn’t quite hatched. I loved their soft blue color and wondered which of the mama birds might be waiting for this brood to appear.

FROND

FROND

“Keep close to nature’s heart.”

John Muir

Finally, the classic palm frond, found everywhere here in the south, and always beautiful, especially in it’s luminous center.

Interestingly, this week a study was published about the impact on city dwellers who spent 30 minutes walking in a natural setting vs indoors. Physical changes in the brain which have been proven to indicate a lessening of negativity were seen in all of the nature walkers; no change was found in the control group.  I for one am a strong believer in nature’s ability to soothe a troubled mind and deliver us back to our happier selves. So much the better if we do so with camera in hand 😊.

To close in on some other bloggers’ subjects, click here.

Half and Half – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”

Mark Twain

(4 Photos)

GOOD GRAPHICS

GOOD GRAPHICS

One of my favorite things about last fall’s China adventure was the dichotomy we found everywhere we went. Those who followed those posts know I was fascinated by ancient sites like the iconic Great Wall  and the  Terra Cotta Warriors of Xi’an.  But in addition to those amazing places, I also found some interesting contemporary graphics that caught my eye. For this week’s challenge “Half and Half” – which asks us to share photos that are “split in two”, I thought several of them just might fit the bill.

BLACK AND WHITE

BLACK AND WHITE

“A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.”

David Mitchell

If you’re wondering where I found them, I have no idea 😄; they were simply somewhere along the journey along with the many other wonders we experienced.  I’m normally quite traditional in my taste, and have no contemporary art in my home. But I am somehow drawn to bold graphics such as those above and below, as well as the more classic piece that closes today’s post.

TWO-TONE

TWO-TONE

“Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut at the right times.”

Patrick Rothfuss

As my followers know, I am a big fan of quotations and work hard to find wise words that work with my posts. I want to thank Juls of Les Petit Pas de Juls who, because of that, nominated me to participate in the Three Quotes Challenge. Juls is a blogger who knows well the power of just the right quote at just the right time!  So Juls, consider this my response to your invitation – although I must admit I’ve not quite followed the rules of the challenge. 😉

SHADES OF BLUE

SHADES OF BLUE

“Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.”

Edgar Allan Poe

Finally, because I’ve focused on art for this post, I would like to point you to Andrew Seal of The Changing Palette.  Andrew’s site is one of my favorite blogs. He’s a very talented painter – especially in his use of color and impression. Unlike those of us who highlight our thoughts with quotes, Andrew lets his art speak for itself – and quite beautifully so.

After all that, if you still have time, give a look at the other responses to this week’s challenge here.

Symbolism of the Horse – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Symbols are miracles we have recorded into language.”

S.Kelley Harrell

(5 Photos)

GRAZING

GRAZING

This week Jen has asked us to illustrate something symbolic. No doubt by clicking here for the responses of some other bloggers, you will see a wide array of choices. Personally, I’ve chosen to feature an animal whose genesis goes back even further than mankind itself, the horse.

4-LEGGED CURIOSITY

4-LEGGED CURIOSITY

“However expressive, symbols can never be the things they stand for.”

Aldous Huxley

Beyond capturing our hearts and our imagination, horses have helped shape human history. For over 3,000 years horses were key to success in warfare until they were eventually replaced by modern weaponry.  Consider the legend of the Trojan Horse, now symbolic of a secretive approach to undermining an enemy – or even a secretive program intended to destroy your computer operating system. From there through the ages to powerful images of horse-mounted cavalry, such as the Charge of the Light Brigade and the battle at Little Big Horn. WWI was effectively the last time horses were used extensively in battle. Who can forget the heartbreak of the recent movie and Broadway show War Horse which illustrated so beautifully the strength of the bond between humans and horses, and the amazing heart a horse will show in its willingness to satisfy the demands of its human counterparts.

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.”

Josephine Demott Robinson

To Native Americans the horse was a symbol of power. The more horses a tribe had, the more powerful they were deemed to be. Horses are also seen as symbolic of freedom, because riding a horse makes one feel as if any restraining bonds can be broken. In Celtic mythology, horses symbolized good luck and were harbingers of good fortune. The Chinese include the horse as one of the 12 symbols of their zodiac, and they are frequent participants in some of the most important Chinese myths and legends.

PASTORAL

PASTORAL

 The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears.

Arab Proverb

Beyond the pleasures we derive from the many qualities of the horse, we are also developing an understanding of what an extremely effective therapeutic tool they are for those with physical or emotional disabilities. Successful programs are now in place throughout the U.S., reporting some wonderful results with both children and adults. It seems right somehow that the horse should be respected and appreciated for yet another contribution to the lives of its human companions.

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – giving us escape from our mundane existence.”

Pam Brown

I captured these beautiful creatures last month as I was driving through Seabrook Island, which is the next-island neighbor to Kiawah.  As I was about to drive past their horse pasture, the early evening light combined with the peacefulness of the setting made me stop in my tracks. After I’d spent a few minutes just watching, several of the horses approached to check me out and within a moment or two were licking my proffered hand and allowing me to pat their heads and necks. From there, photographing them became a natural next step and once they had assured themselves my lens and I meant no harm they happily went about their evening graze as I shot to my heart’s content.

Throughout history horses have symbolized strength, loyalty, power, nobility, and freedom among other positive attributes. They have an important symbolic presence in all cultures and in all countries both ancient and current. Would that we all deserved such an impressive place in history!

Portal Perspectives: Weekly Photo Challenge – Door

“Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.”

Emily Dickinson

(7 Photos)

SLANTED DOOR

SLANTED DOOR

Doors…..often symbolic of change or opportunity (which, after all, is supposed to knock, right?!), the lowly door has been calling to artists, photographers, authors and poets since the beginning of time. This week Cheri has challenged us to tell a story through the size, shape, color or texture of those that have caught our eye and our lens. Like Cheri, my archives are full of doors by the dozens – but my first thought was to focus on the character-rich doorways of China. My opening capture is actually the door of a houseboat which was making its lazy way down the Li River. What stories would it tell if only it could speak?

BICYCLE BELOW

BICYCLE BELOW

“Knocking on many doors is strength;
knocking on the right doors is wisdom.”

Matshona Dhliwayo

Those who have been following Travels and Trifles for a while have experienced China through my lens several times, but this week’s captures are included for the first time. The stories behind them offer an interesting opportunity for imagination – don’t you just want to close your eyes and see the lives of those inside as they were centuries ago?

WINDOW GRAPHICS

WINDOW GRAPHICS

 “The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given the door will open.”  

Rumi

It seems each of the chapters of our lives begins with opening the door to change. Think of the many  you’ve opened in your own life. Can you imagine what would have happened if you’d taken a different path? Then again, it seems each time a door is opened, another is closed. What decisions are you facing today? Will you opt to open the door if it means leaving something important behind? If only we could see the path beyond the door, as in the photo below, it would be much easier to walk through, wouldn’t it?

OPEN DOOR POLICY

OPEN DOOR POLICY

“Close some doors today. not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.”

Paulo Coelho

Sometimes closing a door is as important as opening one. How many of us have found ourselves in situations long after they’re good for us? A doomed romance, a dead-end job, an unhealthy dependency – have you been there, done that? Somehow I think we all have, and yet we find it difficult to close the door on the known for fear of what awaits us in the unknown. A wise man once told me, there’s no such thing as a bad decision…..you make the decision and then you make it right. I’ve often thought about that as I’ve faced quandaries that involve opening and closing important doors in my life. Perhaps Nike says it best with their – “just do it” campaign!

RED ALL 'ROUND

RED ALL ‘ROUND

 “The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.”  

Bertolt Brecht

My husband and I are about to embark on a new chapter, and as always, the door to the unknown is unsettling.  I have always found though that each new chapter brings greater happiness, no matter how content I had been before. Does that mean I’ve been incredibly lucky, or just adaptable? A bit of both I’m sure. I must also admit that some of the doors in my life have opened with the help of a fairly big push from those who have been beside me along the path, including my always adventurous husband – for which I am very grateful.

CHRISTMAS COLORS

CHRISTMAS COLORS

“There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin.”

Charlie Gordan

As Charlie Gordan says, once a decision’s been made and a door’s been opened, we become impatient to begin. Just as important as moving through the door you’ve chosen though, is pausing for a moment to be sure you’ve captured the essence of the door you’re closing behind. Have you burned the good moments into your memory? Learned the lessons you’ve been taught? Mentally stored the experiences you’ve had? Only when you can answer yes should you turn out the lights, step over the threshold and move on.

DOUBLE DOORS

DOUBLE DOORS

“Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.”

Saul Bellow

Big or small, literal or symbolic, doors are everywhere. Be open to them, learn to see them not so much for how they look but for what lies behind or in front of them.  Make your choices wisely, but more importantly, make them and move on. Life’s waiting for you on the other side!

A happy 4th to all of my readers in the US. If you’re not out celebrating or watching fireworks, take a moment to open the doors of some other bloggers in the current weekly photo challenge.