Category Archives: WP Weekly Photo Challenge

Angular: the Daily Post Photo Challenge

I examined 12 posts before I wrote this.  I don’t usually do that, but I needed inspiration.  I smiled at this favorite .  You have to look past the obvious angle to see the real angle, and wonder where the photographer stood to shoot this single picture post.

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Angles are easy to find in the city, but what about in the country?  I checked out some of my most recent Woodlake pictures for you from my folder of Buttes and Bridges, and found more angles than I expected.  I love this one because it looks like Jack’s steel beanstalk disappearing into the sky climbing to an unknown giant’s castle.

Actually, the power company decided that detouring the installation of these monstrosities into the country served the better good that marching them up the straight path along a freeway.  Not everyone agreed with that angle of thought, but there were fewer voters to object in the sparsely populated areas.

What’s your angle?  Here is the key to others that I liked.

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Word Press Photo Challenge: Achievement – Zoom Zoom

This isn't Alex, and yes, I really did this, but next to last place is not an achievement I'm proud of.
This isn’t Alex,or me, but yes, I really did this.  However, last place is not my proud achievement.

I achieved something today.  I overcame an annoyance that, for many months, demolished my joy in blogging.  To you bucket list – high achievers, I hope this post won’t destroy what little respect you might have for me when you see how little it takes to make me feel successful.  To Alex Gustafson thank you for showing me the way to success.

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This may not look annoying. It didn’t to Alex.  But, believe me, it was!

 

So the problem was, my font got too big for its britches on my dashboard.  It took a scroll just to see my stats!

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When it came time to post, I felt dyslectic trying to read the names of my former posts.  Even Ed—————- …it was on two lines!  Alex said everything looked normal to him.  Hmmmm… Right…

“Try adjusting the settings on your web browser,” he told me, and gave me a link.  That’s link, not wink!   https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/96810?hl=en

So I gave it a try.

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Don’t you wish that the buttons they tell you to select had a big sign on them like this???  At any rate, I felt very intelligent that I was able to find all the buttons in the article.  And it worked.  My browser was the culprit all along, and now I know how to fix it if poltergeists every come in and switch it again!

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So what underwhelming achievement have you accomplished recently?  Make me feel better, and I won’t tell you the struggle I had putting a border (simple, simple) on this last bit of media.  Poltergeists, I tell you!  :)

Wait for it!  Wait ....  She's coming...  Keep waiting...
Wait for it! Wait …. She’s coming… Keep waiting…

For more stunning achievements click on the WP icon.

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WP Photo Challenge: Refracted Light

The underground gardens in Fresno gives shows off refracting to the maximum.  This hand dug castle took years to create, and served it owner as a garden as well as a home.

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His guests could drive right in.  We had to park on the street with the rest of the tourists!

Forestiere Underground Gardens

You can imagine how much the trees loved this filtered light.

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If I’m down, I just need to look at this next picture to feel up again. My brother took this picture at Navy Pier in Chicago when we traveled for his birthday last October.

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For more ideas on refraction click the image below.

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WordPress Photo Challenge: Adventure

You probably heard your grandparents say, “Every day just waking up is an adventure.”  It’s true.  Each day is what we make it, and adventure arrives in ordinary packages.  So think about the adventures that await you as you get out of bed.

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Transportation allows us to seek adventure.  It might by boat, plane, or rail.  We may expect our adventure to start happening once we get where we are going.

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Sometimes just getting to the location is the adventure.  While I was driving in my car on the way to Oakland this weekend for an adventurous CCSS meeting,  I was not 5 minutes from my house when adventure popped up out of no where.   I was driving down a two lane state highway going 60 miles an hour (I know! I know!) when the car in front of me slowed, and moved to the right shoulder.   Staring me in the face, a car going the other direction raced towards me driving at least as fast as I was.  My heart beat faster than normal as I quickly pulled over as far as I could.  My tires skidded in the dirt.  Fortunately the car heading toward us must have finished sending his text, and realized the error of his way.  My adventure ended safely when the wanderer jerked back into his own lane !

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This driver and his horse brave the hazards on the road with little protection but this little red sign on the back of the wagon as they drive the windy back roads and narrow town streets of Pennsylvania.

 

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Sometimes the adventure lies in chance meetings.  Hal and I walked up a rustic street in New Castle, DE admiring the old houses, when out walked this gentleman.  I asked him if he owned the house.  As it turned out he owned half the town, and had lots to tell us.  It was a mini history lesson and a great adventure.

Don't bother me, Mom.  I'm dreaming of my next adventure."
Don’t bother me, Mom. I’m dreaming of my next adventure.”

Adventure is everywhere around you, but mostly it is in your attitude about life, and your ability to relay a sense of excitement.  Get up.  Find your adventure, and tell us about it .  Read about more adventures by clicking the icon below.

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WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue

Talkative Marsha struggling with dialogue?  In this case what I think the creator of this challenge wanted us to catch is a bit of fashion designing with our pictures rather than strict dialogue – odd things that sort of go together because of color or texture similarities or differences.  They just work.  I like fashion and decorating, so I wanted to pursue that angle.

First, I started with dialogue in a more literal sense.  Puppy Girl dialogued very clearly with Vince.  He worked on the computer, when clearly he could have chosen to pet her tummy.  So she grabs his hand and pulls.

PG and Pie

It’s endearing, but altogether annoying to him when he has an offer to submit.  Generally she wins.

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Next I considered animals dialoguing with each other, and establishing their pecking order.  The queen here stands alone not deigning to even look at her lowly subject.  No worries, the subject, like the jester, simply enjoys the ride, laughs at the queen behind her back, and moves on, untroubled by the queen’s weighty problems.

Mike and statue

When I took this next picture, I looked at the sculpture, then Mike walked up.  Back and forth I looked at one then the other until dizziness made me shout, “Stop Mike!  Is that statue YOU?  Let me photograph the two of you together.”   Mike obliged.   I think it was the cheeks that spoke, but maybe it was the mustache. What do you think?

Then I thought about art work I had seen in which many pictures placed together made a collage that spoke as one picture.  When I see them, I think, that would be easy.  How can you call that art?  But since I can’t draw very well, my pictures kept their mouths closed, uncommunicatively.  Then I remembered the grapes leaves I photographed last fall.  As I moused through them, they started speaking.  All at the same time, “Pick me, pick me. I want to go in the picture.” So I created a collage.

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Then another.

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Finally I remembered the Woodlake Botanical Gardens.  I missed the show this year, but last year I happened to walk around Bravo Lake on the day that all the roses decided to bloom their brightest blooms.  One of them said, “I am the beautiful one, take my picture.”  So I did.  Another  group of roses playing and giggling together attracted me.  The last rose said nothing.  She turned her face to the sun and spoke to God asking nothing more than to be a blessing to others. I thought she was the prettiest of all.

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If you enjoyed these take a gander at how other bloggers interpreted the challenge of dialogue.wordpress-20141

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

I’m not a fray kind of person.  Sometimes you need skill to join the fray.  These Mock Trial students had the skills and got heated, there’s no dispute about that.

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Sometimes you just happen onto  a fray.  I remember walking in downtown Portland leaving Portland State University during a war protest.  Wouldn’t you know it the press wanted to talk to me about it?  I wanted to catch the bus home.

In this next picture the fray was a Civil War reenactment.  The Friday before the big weekend at Kearney Park in Fresno, Fresno County Historical Society hosted students from all over Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Madera Counties to an event called Civil War Time Travelers.  At this event they met the actors who taught them about everything from Civil War medicine to shooting cannons.   Similar to the first battle of the Civil War, the students ate their picnic lunches on the grounds and watched the battle as though it was a show.  Fortunately, no one died during the fray.

 

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Although a fray is usually a conflict or dispute, I sometimes visualize it as activities.  I ambled toward this crowd in Boston as I walked the Freedom Trail remembering a different fray of long ago.  Although it caught my attention, I kept my feet firmly planted on the sidewalk, and my eyes down, so as not to get chosen to dance.  I’ve been know to fall over just standing outside a museum waiting to go in.

Frey2 RSome people joined right in.  It was a lively show.

For more on frays click on the icon below.

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WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture in Edna Valley

Vince and I discovered tons of textures in this gem of a “Farm Stay” called Old Edna, the location of an artistic townsite in beautiful Edna Valley, CA.  They offer their guests fresh ranch eggs compliments of “chicken liver coop.”  The cottage we saw has a beautiful, functional kitchen.

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The texture-laden tree house offered hospitality to some, but not to everyone.

No Girls Treehouse

I wonder if the sign applied to girl spiders.

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The Bluebelly Barn welcomed one and all.  In 1887 this was Tognazzini Dairy Barn.

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We arrived at closing time.   As we walked by this little building, out popped a flap.  The owner, Pattea Torrence, said, “I’m Old Edna.  Would you like a little tour of one of the houses?  I’m getting them ready for guests, but you look like you are having such fun taking pictures.  I hope you don’t mind that the bed isn’t made yet.”

We couldn’t resist such a friendly offer.

The texture of the gate highlights the romantic aura, but hides the textures of the house.
The texture of the gate highlights the romantic aura, but hides the textures of the house.

First, we visited the 1897 DeSolina House, the perfect bridal suite.  Here Pattea displayed amazing uses for garage sale finds.  My favorite was the copper table top headboard and overhead light.   She mixed textures in this display in ways I would never have dreamed if I’d had ten million years to think it over.

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My favorite little place was a Gypsy wagon her dad built for her mother, Pi Pi (pie pie).  Pattea’s father taught her that “the bond of romance can come in the form of structure.”  I fell in love with the structure and its story of the many textures of love which it bore.

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Waning sunlight adds a romantic texture to the cottage, but when Pattea opened the door, we stepped into another world of competing textures.

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See Kalev’s little tail in the bottom? She wanted to add her own texture to this post. :)

The auto-focus setting of my camera couldn’t bring all the varied textures into focus at the same time, but concentrated on the fabric lining the post. I don’t know that I could have chosen either.

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This was such wonderful experience, I know we will go back to Old Edna.

For more texture displays, go back to last week’s challenge.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: ZigZag

California mountain road contain numerous “hogbacks” as my friend, Darlene, calls the switchbacks on the way to Sequoia National Park. It turns out that those same kinds of roads exist on the Coastal Redwood Highway as well.  This park called Mystery Trees was about where our truck’s worn out transmission tired of lugging our new trailer. oregon trip 201320130915_0021138We rented a car and enjoyed the “break.”  Not only did the roads and the paths twist and turn, so did the trees, providing beauty and shade. oregon trip 201320130914_1105230R When we did get going again, the fog wanted us to slow down more than the zigzags. SFW Wildflower class20130420_93R These zigzags are closer to home – to anyone’s home.  I never tire of the zigzag shapes of tree branches.  These trees are in an educational property called Circle J Ranch owned by Tulare County Office of Education where I worked.  It is close to a tiny town called Springville, east of Porterville, CA.

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I apologize for the quality of this picture.  I heard that someone zig zagged on their responsibilities to posterity, and put the archives in the trash instead of the scanning machine, so this is the best picture I have.  In this newspaper picture it was the Kaweah (Kuh wee’ uh) River that zagged.

The headwaters for the Kaweah River begin their zig zag course out of the Great Western Divide where mountain summits rise to over 12, 000 feet.   The North Fork, which is just east of us begins at 9,000 feet.  If the river could go down the mountain in a straight line, the Kaweah River would drop in excess of 2 vertical miles in a distance of 30 linear miles.  The Kaweah River loses the same altitude as the Colorado River, but is 97% shorter.  It is the steepest river in the United States. Even with a dam to control flooding, in 1969 the water zig zagged its own way into the Woodlake Valley.  (Tilchen, Mark.  Floods of the Kaweah)

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To see more entries for this Zig Zag challenge, click the icon above.  :)

WP Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Some things never change.  MOST people love being near water in the summer.

As some of you know, it is because of this blog that I have a contract from Arcadia Publishing company to write a pictorial history of Woodlake.  These are some pictures taken around 1911 that Chris Crumly, one of the book’s contributors sent me.

Long Beach summer day

I’m thinking that maybe the little guy wasn’t as crazy about the ocean as his father expected him to be.  Maybe big brother could encourage him.

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Can’t you just hear this conversation?  Is dad wheedling or demanding?  I think big brother echoes whatever Dad says, pleading in a higher, hopefully more convincing, voice.

Woodlake should be out in January.  I can’t thank the wonderful people who are helping me enough.

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Click logo for more Summer Lovin’ entries.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

A container holds something.  A car holds people.  Therefore a car is a container.

Smile, it was supposed to be funny.  :)
Smile, it was supposed to be funny. :)

Actually, the museum building is also a container.  It  contained mock buildings, which contained relics.

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Container is a noun.  Contain is a verb.  Vince and his son could hardly contain their excitement when we went to the California Auto Museum in Sacramento.  Uncontained excitement, like uncontained anything spills out and gets all over.

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Have you ever seen such intensity? I couldn’t contain myself from taking this picture.

Their excitement spilled all over me, and I loved the museum, too.  My pick for today’s visit – a classic Woody.  This container even contains a container in the back.

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If you ever get to Sacramento, don’t miss this well-kept secret.

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WordPress Photo Challenge: Relic

In the rustic western town, Woodlake, California, and surrounding countryside, people often decorate with relics.  It takes artistic flair to arrange relics to look more than junky.

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I’m still at the junky level.  My friend Sally Pace has moved beyond that.  She and her husband host weddings and many free events at their rustic ranch.

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Mike pampers his favorite relic.  Not only is it in the barn, but it’s covered.

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The following 1940s picture is a relic even though Sally’s road looks almost the same.

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Sally’s house and all its decorative relics weren’t there yet.

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Woodlake Hardware boasts of nearly 100 years of service, making it somewhat of a relic, yet the building today hasn’t changed much since the 1940s when Morris Bennett started working there.

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Morris decorated the walls with relics from the past.

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Of course, the pair of skates is my favorite relic. Relic3

At 90+ Morris still works most days.

SFW 08132013 Morris Bennett027r

He’s my hero, but he’s NOT a relic!  :)

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For more examples of relics, click the WP logo.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

This picture contrasts not only light and dark, hot and cold, but has good and evil within the same object.

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The steamy waffle mingled  companionably with ice-cold ice cream tickling my palate!  The day I ate it, the waffle named Love, was good.  The next day when I stepped on the scale, it was evil.  Go figure! (That’s exactly what is happening to mine, one waffle at a time!)  :)

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Thanks Mary for introducing me to such a great sin. (There’s a naughty contrast.)

For more delicious waffle treats visit More Than Waffles in Encino, CA.

For more photo challenges click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

Extra, Extra

Cousin Hal and I stopped momentarily in New Castle, DE to mark the landing-place of William Penn in 1682. We relaxed in a park on the Delaware River in this tiny historic village, named “Tomakonck,” place of the beaver, by the natives that settled there.   We didn’t see any beavers.  The extra entertainment we found in New Castle lurked in the lower left corner of my camera.

Serious conversation

Who knows what two ducks have to talk about.  But I don’t think it’s much different from any male and female that live in the same place.  His Eminence, the strong silent type, dominated the discussion early on, as Dolly Duck listened… silently, waiting her turn to talk.

Come back here

Sure enough, he quit quacking. Dolly started to speak. Maybe H.E. didn’t hear her.  Maybe he had just used his 10,000 quacks for the day, and it was time for a swim.  I don’t really know because I don’t speak “duck.”

Quacking Up

But the situation seemed vaguely familiar.

For “Extra, extra” reading, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

This is the perfect challenge to tell you about the wonderful interesting room I had in San Francisco a couple of months ago.  I wanted to support these people because they are from the Valley.  In the pictures the rooms look fabulous.

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In their defense, I drove in late, and was lucky to get a room.  I got the last available room, and it was in the basement.

SFW SF Beresford

Whoever heard of rooms in the basement? Yes, it had a window.  It was two stories above the ground level.  I know, it confused me, too.  The view was unusual _______.

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I didn’t care about outdated wallpaper that didn’t match the vintage of the building.  My worst complaint wasn’t the bath tub.  In fact I looked forward to getting into the spa tub.  Until…

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I ran the water.

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before Marsha

I didn’t need a soak in tan that badly.  I fell into bed tired and dirty, and after breakfast the next morning decided to just leave.  I phoned ahead for my car because it could take up to 30 minutes to get it.  I went down up to the lobby twenty minutes later, and waited an hour an a half downstairs upstairs.

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As old hotels in San Francisco go, this one probably rates better than you might get from my review. My friend Sally rented a brochure room when she stayed there.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move

Transportation shapes our lives, allowing us to go on the move.  Going to a location by ship, rail, air or road transports us long distances from home in relative comfort.  Manny and I taxi from the airport to our hotel.

On the Move via Taxi

In Boston, Massachusetts I did not rent a car, but I moved along via  the T (metro) to the city, and meandered on foot along the red brick road indicating the Freedom Trail.

Boston Underground T

Throngs of sightseers and Boston natives moved along with me on the Freedom Trail, some on bicycles, a few motor in vehicles, but the bulk of them moved on foot.

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Loud music and a crowd gathered in a square outside Faneuil Hall, the “Cradle of Liberty,” stopped many people on the move as they took time to listen, watch and participate in a street performance.

On the Move FT3We take the ability to move wherever we wish for granted.  Across the street from the Freedom trail towered four plexiglass columns, seeming out of place among all the 18th century brick buildings that marked the beginning of the freedom experiment in the New World.

On the Move FT4

I detoured off the red line, still on the move to explore the incongruous structures.  A blast of warm air hit me as I moved into the first one as though I opened the glass door on my fireplace.

On the Move HC2

Mesmerized I read the quote and then gazed through number after number printed on the tower wall. Trapped in the mid-twentieth century  symbolic chimneys of Auschwitz,  I fixed my eyes  on the Freedom Trail of the eighteenth century, and twenty-first century people on the move across the street.

Auschwitz chimney

Only in the total absence of freedom does one recognize the true value “On the Move”.

For more entries click the icon.

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WordPress Photo Challenge: Letters

The Pennsylvania Railroad Museum didn’t bother to post their rules in any language but English.  That may have been their downfall.

Manny can't read

Sometimes the letters aren’t right when you take a picture, and you have to make some changes.

Fugitive Manny2

For more stories and pictures about letters click on the WP image.

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Word Press Photo Challenge: On Top

I like to be on top of things.  So does my cat, Scardy Kitty.

Scardy on top

Other animals feel the same way.  Maybe they feel safer if they are on top.

on top of the piling

To be on top signifies power, visibility, and with-it-ness.  Seldom is there a church or a government without a spiral or a dome.  We look up to and admire the tops of those buildings.

Church Top

Here is a church tower I saw at the picturesque town of New Castle, DE

Old South Meeting House

This Bostonian Congregational or Puritan church, the Old South Meeting House, where Boston’s citizens met and demanded their rights from the British officials has an aspiring top.

on top of the MA Statehouse

Governor Samuel Adams presided over building the new Massachusetts State House in 1795.  At the time leaders claimed that this beautiful building held the top, most prominent position in the nation. Notice the gold dome.  No one knows how much it cost; they probably paid top dollar for it.

Top2Workers like to be on top of their work.

on top of the train Supervisors like to be even higher.  We stood on top of a bridge at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum overseeing the work of these workers chipping ice into the cooler car.

on top of the horse

Manny is growing up to be a top-notch bear.  He loves to climb on top of things.  Hal suggested that he needs velcro to stay on top.  Maybe that’s what we all need.  What do you think?

Click here to see more examples of “on top.”

 

 

WP Photo Challenge: Reflections

These birds lined up on the log and posed for this picture so beautifully.  Were they preening for the morning, admiring their own reflection?  As I watched them, others pulled out their own cell phones and admired them as they reflected into the water along Bob Jones Trail on the way to Avila Beach.

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If I were a painter, I would paint this picture.  Have a beautiful day.  :)