Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH and Travel Theme: SPRING

“See as a child sees. With freshness and acknowledgement of wonder.”

Minor White

(4 Photos)



Our challenge this week, as spring once again breathes new life into our longer, warmer days, is FRESH. Kiawah Spring (as highlighted by Ailsa on her challenge this week) brings nesting birds, newborn fawns, verdant green grasses and blooming blossoms. But we are right on the cusp of the season at the moment and those wonderful gifts are still a bit elusive. So this week I’ve featured instead a favorite series from last spring – a macro study of an agave plant still showing beads of water from a refreshing spring rain.



“Thy friendship makes us fresh.”

William Shakespeare

Agave are often thought to be members of the cactus family, I suppose because of their prickly edges. In fact, they are closer to their cousin, the aloe. Interestingly, while aloe is often used to treat skin irritation, the agave is known to cause it. A nasty case of dermititis can result from touching the juice of the plant, and its effects can be felt up to a year later. On the other hand, it is known to have been treasured as a food source for prehistoric tribes in the US southwest including the Hohokam and Navajo peoples.



“If art has a purpose, it is to interpret life, reproduce it in fresh visions.”

Catherine Drinker Bowen

In fact, my agave study resulted from a photo shoot with professional photographer Brenda Tharp, who inspired us take a fresh look at the beauty around us despite the rainstorm that might otherwise have spoiled our sunrise shoot. I will admit, as those who follow Travels and Trifles know, that I am not a morning person. Getting up for a sunrise shoot only to see black clouds and rain is not a combination that puts me in a happy state. But thanks to Brenda’s irrepressible good nature and excellent leadership skills, I learned the look beyond the obvious and find the gifts that the rainstorm brought to us that day.



“If you exchange one form of wisdom for another, you obtain fresh knowledge, and at the same time keep what you possessed before.”

The Talmud

Let us be thankful for the cold of winter; only because of it do we appreciate the freshness of the spring that inevitably follows.  Let us also be thankful for the rainstorms of spring, which bring the freshest of her bounty. For more interpretations of the Fresh and Spring challenges, click on the links.

100 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH and Travel Theme: SPRING

  1. Pingback: Fresh | My Atheist Blog

  2. Your macro study of the agave makes me want to dust off my macro lens! I love the beads of water on the plant, and if it wasn’t morning here would enjoy these photos with a little nectar from the agave tequilana species. It was also great to hear you mention Brenda Tharp, as I went to Egypt the first time with Amer. Photography and she was one of pros ~ talented and very nice. Cheers Tina to a great weekend.

    • How fun that you shot with Brenda, she stayed w me while she was here and was great company. I think a bit of tequila would be a great choice from this lovely plant Randall!

  3. Pingback: Spring has Sprung in Kathmandu | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  4. Gorgeous macros Tina. I love the Shakespeare quote, which could easily apply to the virtual friendships we all make with each other through our shared love of life, love and the beauty all around us. Have a great week 🙂

    • Many thanks Andrew! Yes the virtual friendships are a lovely by-product of this whole blogging thing, and a very pleasant surprise indeed. A wonderful week to you too!

  5. Beautiful shots, Tina. Well worth the early morning call. The agave does look rather menacing with its spiky leaves, and oh dear, rub it the wrong way and you will the effects for a long time to come :O So it’s a case of “see no touch” in the presence of this plant. Happy Spring. Enjoy the warmth coming your way. We’re on the cusp of winter here in Melbourne 🙂

    • Thanks so much Mable – somehow the early morning wake-up is always well worth it in the end but I still dislike the alarm at 5 !! Sorry your winter is soon to be upon you. Hopefully it’s much milder than here in the states. My area is fairly tropical so we have a bit of cold but nothing like the midwest or the northeast thank goodness!

  6. Well all of your followers should thank Brenda because her inspiration and guidance have resulted in stunning shots. They also show the value of observing closely and fit perfectly with your first quote. I remember that feeling of the world being new and fresh & am always looking for experiences that enable me to feel it again.

  7. Lovely, lovely shots, Tina. And so well quotes and wisely worded. Welcome Spring! (Today was more a return to winter, though … 😦 ) Spring, do you hear us, please come, you’re weeeelcome.!:-)

    • Thank you Dina! I’m happy to report that spring is here to stay where I live, but so far it’s been rather a wet one! You know what they say about April showers tho, so hopefully the flowers are sure to follow!!

  8. Love the personal touch in here with these lovely photos Tina … you have taken some glorious morning sunrise shots but I do appreciate it just doesn’t happen EVERY time with weather conditions ! Let’s say a big hello to Spring !

  9. Lovely photos Tina. It is indeed because of the winter we can appreciate the spring. It’s been glorious here in the UK the last few days.. may it continue! 🙂

  10. You did good – the pictures all turned out great! Richmond is also on the cusp of spring and I need to get my post finished from last weekend’s shoot before the trees all leaf out!


  11. These are fabulous! I especially live the first two shots -Agave close-up and flowers – they have a very abstract look. I actually love to shoot in the rain – and after – and the cloudier the better. I have attempted with camera in one hand and umbrella in the other – a true balancing act – I also try to balance the umbrella on my head – sounds crazy but it worked a few times. Rain and clouds can be very wonderful!

    • I agree Debby, I love shots in the rain, especially abstracts near the water. But not when I’ve awakened at 5 to catch a sunrise! You can make great rain shots ANY time – I’d have preferred to have slept a bit longer 😄

  12. When we first came to Arizona, there was a beautiful agave in our front yard. After a couple of years, it developed this huge stalk. At that point, our landscaper promptly pulled the plant. It was then I learned of the plant’s life cycle. Like a salmon, it puts everything into that last burst of reproductive energy and then passes.
    Beautiful images of mother nature’s handiwork.

    • Yes, I learned that exactly sequence (including the landscaper’s actions) from my brother at his home outside of Phoenix. He had 3 beautiful Agave that sprouted gloriously and then died. What a sad ending they have. Just when they get glorious they are at the end. Sigh.

  13. Marvelous macros or clever close-ups, whichever you prefer, or both, Tina. I love mornings, so I have lots of morning shots. But it IS worth is every so often to either get up early or simply go out at a different time, as so much more than the time is different.


  14. Yes spring, as I sit here on the first day of spring with 4″ of fresh snow on the ground! Driving range still not open and we leave for Phoenix on Wed.

    Sent from my iPhone


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