Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

The topic for this week’s Black & White Challenge is “Shoes or Feet.” Happily I am not forced to decide which is more preferable since, while you obviously need one before the other, both the shoe and the foot have their advantages and shortcomings (beyond their obvious utility). By way of a very brief example, while feet are wonderful wouldn’t it be nice if they had the added ability to grasp and manipulate objects. Just think, students could type their term papers while eating dinner! And if we are to think of shortcomings and advantages of footwear, the high heel leaps to mind immediately. Of course broadly speaking the male view of shoes is dramatically different from the female view.  Few men, relatively speaking, are willing to put up with even a small amount of discomfort when it comes to footwear.  On the other hand, women seem to be willing to trade a fair amount of pain for the opportunity to increase their appeal by slipping into a pair of what in another context might readily be seen as instruments of torture.  This isn’t every woman of course, but it appears true for at least a substantial minority of women — those who are willing to subject themselves to what I as a guy think of as excruciating pain simply to wear a pair of shoes that not only jams their feet into wildly unnatural positions but may also require the balance of a Wallenda simply to stay upright let alone walk.

But I digress, my photo is of shoes and feet and a dog nestled quite comfortably between them. If you look carefully, you might believe that this dog prefers feet to shoes given how he rests on top of the unclad foot. With another dog your guess could be right but since I know this dog reasonably well I can state without equivocation that he (it is a he) will happily curl up against any foot whether it be the foot we were born with or the foot as attired whether it be in canvas, leather, synthetics or otherwise (it may have something to do with the smell:-).

Cee's Balack and White Callenge (shoes and feet)

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who are celebrating it today.

My brother-in-law Bruce has baked several pies for Thanksgiving! He is a master pie baker. Here are photos of three of his masterpieces: The pecan pie is obvious but visually stunning:

Bruce's Pecan Pie

His pumpkin pie is also pretty obvious although the beautiful leaves are a nice addition. The leaves are made from pie dough, which was cooked separately and is coated (I think) with  maple syrup and brown sugar:

Bruce's pumpkin Pie

The pie in the forefront in he photo below here is a sour cream raisin pie. I’m not much of a raisin fan, but this looks too good to pass up trying at least a small pie:

Sour Cream Raisin pie in the forefront

Of course if I end up taking just a small pie of everything that shows on our Thanksgiving table today, I will most likely be unable to move by the end of the day.

Hooray Bruce and all of the others who will be contributing to our Thanksgiving dinner.

I am interested in patterns and repetition of forms in my photos. During a recent trip to North Dakota I ran into such patterns and repetition of form in a variety of places. Here are a few examples (natural and man made).

I realize that the background in my photo for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette might be distracting but I like its ethereal quality and the way that it mimics that same quality in the silhouetted flowers in the foreground.

Still Life Silhouette-3

Here is the texture photo I was originally looking for as my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture. It is a photo of the inside of the cover of our old gas grill and comes complete with plenty of texture:).

World's Away

I happen to have the good fortune to witness a Triple Zig Zag last year when I was visiting family in Oregon. We were staying in a place that located near Zig Zag, Oregon and while in Zig Zag I happened to be looking at Zig Zag Mountain when a cloud began to zig and zag its way down the side of the mountain. The experience is memorialized in the photo shown below:)  It shows: (1) a zig zagging cloud (2) flowing down Zig Zag Mountain (3) in Zig Zag, Oregon. The “Triple Zig Zag” is my contribution to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Zig Zag.

Down Zig Zag Mountain - April 20, 2013

What a wonderful challenge idea Cee.

Here is my story of water – from droplet to ocean and back again. I hope you enjoy the rather lengthy journey.

The first stop is two drops of water that are held by bits of moss.

Raindrops on moss

Raindrops on moss

While much of this water will sink back into the earth to replenish aquifers or run off to do duty elsewhere, some will evaporate. Evaporated these two water drops band together with millions of billions of others to form clouds that can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Rural Railroad Crossing - July 19, 2013 - 73

However, those same water drops can become nightmarishly dangerous if you are driving on a rural highway in the blinding rain.

Traveling America - Downpour on Highway 2-2

Of course these water drop can also fall in the form of snow …

In the Cascades - April 17, 2013 - 43

or may become ice and form gigantic glaciers or the most delicate of structures.

Flight.

The gathering of water is among the most common sights on earth given that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

Water readily forms puddles …

Circlepalooza - April 19, 2013

and ponds.

Spring at Army Ammunition Plant - May 05, 2014 - 068

Left to its own devices  it will gather into cleansing wetlands.

Cherokee Marsh in the Fog - September 26, 2013 - 53

Water is the great way station and play station for a myriad of wildlife from Canadian Geese

Goose Prepares for Flight - October 02, 2013 - 68-E

to bald eagles (here an immature bald eagle)

Immature Bald Eagle - January 10, 2014 - 15

to Sandhill cranes.

Sandhill Cranes1

When the drops of water do not sink into the ground, they gather together first into streams …

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0038

that lead to great lakes like Lake Michigan

Sunset on Lake Michigan

and mighty rivers like the Columbia River

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0416

… all inexorably making their way to the oceans.

Here we see two surfers in the Pacific near Cannon  Beach in Oregon,

Surfers near Cannon Beach. OR

while the view of the Pacific in Monterey is much more peaceful.

There is a House Back There

It is in the oceans that the water, heated by the sun, drives the climate. Eventually that water freshened by evaporation raises itself again and ultimately gathers itself into the weather systems we watch for and when the rain falls we see in it our own renewal.

Self-portrait