We took a bike ride this morning on the local trail. The ride takes us past a swampy area. Today we noticed a pair of ducks in the water. They are probably a nesting pair. What a perfectly secure spot to raise a family of ducklings. The soft ground keeps large predators away, making it easier for the ducks to raise their family to adulthood.
It’s rainy and overcast again. In our area ‘April Showers’ are usually a reality and not just a cliché. I took a few photographs of the sky as the sun came out and broke through the storm clouds. I enjoyed the way the light illuminated one side of the trees with the backdrop of grey sky still behind them. The birds looked a little rain-weary, not really moving around too much, giving me a chance to zoom in and get a few interesting photos as they dried off.
If you have a chance take a peek at the Skywatch Friday BlogSpot for some stunning sky photographs. My photographs were taken within a half hour’s time, the storm cleared out quickly, the sun and wind are miraculous at breaking the clouds up and blowing them away.
Cornflower Blue Collage: Morning Glories, Baby Bird, Runway Bay, Jamaica, Yellow Swallowtail Wing Markings
Does anyone remember the flavor of Teaberry Gum?
“Clark’s Teaberry is a brand of chewing gum which the D. L. Clark Company of Pittsburgh’s north side purchased the patent from Charles Burke, who experimented with various flavors of chewing gum in the basement of 533 McClintock Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Teaberry is currently marketed by Clark Gum Company in Buffalo, New York, and made in Mexico. The gum dates to 1900” ~ Wikipedia
I haven’t seen Teaberry Gum in any large grocers or box stores for many years, but it is still sold in my local Amish Market dry goods store. The flavor is distinctive and so is the aroma.
I searched in vain for a copyright free photograph of someone blowing a bubble. I finally resorted to two favorite sites I use for photo tweaking: Adobe Photoshop (Paint, a free computer application also works well for cutting away backgrounds) and the free photo editing site PicMonkey. Most of the applications on PicMonkey are free. The image I used was a postcard stamped with a 1920 postmark.
I cut away the background in Adobe, and used PicMonkey to add the transparent pink bubble.
For those of you who are not sure about images you can use for your blog, look up public domain image laws. I can rest assured that I can use this postcard because it was created and sent before 1920, and the copy I use for my art is owned by me.
“A great source of true public domain images that are available to you are old books and postcards. Look inside the book at the publishing details, if the date of publishing is before 1923, you can legally scan or photograph these images and use at your leisure. The same applies to old photographs and postcards, if the original pre-dates 1923, you can use the image for your purposes without permission or payment.” ~Ebay
Today I discovered that Jennifer Nichole Wells is running her Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola challenge again. I enjoyed taking part in this last year, and hope to create several posts that fit in with many of the Crayola color themes.
The color of the day is Burnt Sienna. This is one of my favorite colors to use when painting in watercolor. Burnt Sienna brings an earthiness to any color it is mixed into.
A good example of burnt sienna in nature is fallen leaves, much like these my backyard squirrels have woven into their winter nest.
Seen from a distance, this nest appears precarious. Perched on the end of a trimmed branch it seems likely to fall.
When I zoom in with my camera though, I see it is a masterful design, the leaves held in place by dozens of small twigs that have sprouted from the cut end. What a great squirrel condo, and also a good example of the many tones of burnt sienna. I would love to take a peek inside at the interior of the nest.
I’m also adding another photo of our friendly neighborhood biscuit-loving dog. He is definitely blessed with a heavy coat of burnt sienna…many tones of brown and orange make up his fur. My blogging friend SusieShy asked me if he was a stray. I was able to say no, with surety, since he is wearing a Christmas kerchief around his neck.
A few examples of winter sunshine.
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
The late-day sunshine of December set these trees ablaze outside my windows. When I lowered the top pane to take a photograph unobstructed by the glass, birdsong filled the air. A group of grackles, on barren limbs, were singing an evening-song to put the day to rest.
These photos are a part of Dark to Light – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.
I’ve shared my love of vintage postcards in past posts…today I want to share a bit of photograph-tweaking using an old postcard. This beautiful postcard features a Victorian angel in feathers on the front. The postmark of 1911 is still visible on the back of the card. Postcards of this age are copyright free and available to use in artwork and designs.
I usually don’t use an image in a stand alone fashion when I use copyright free art. So, I tweaked the original through Adobe Photoshop and one of my very favorite sites, PicMonkey.
I treasure my little cherub, and even better, printing her/him out does not take a lot of printer ink. I am going to use this image for some gift tags and possibly in the future for baby shower gift cards. I enjoy the thought that this artist’s work lives long past the 100+ years ago it was created. Maybe our combined efforts in this altered version will live for 100 more. Thanks for looking!
I enjoy taking part in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges now and then. Since I have quite a few good examples of light greens in my garden today…the challenge was perfect. Here are a few examples of my Light Greens
Many of my coleus are blooming, hopefully producing seeds for next year’s garden. I love the light green color on many of the leaves.
Hydrangeas are another good example of a plant with a beautiful array of green, the deep green of the leaves is the perfect backdrop for the flowers, aging from pink to light green before they fall.
I’m not sure what type of mint this plant is, but the bees don’t care about the name, they love the nectar and pollen they find in its tiny white flowers. When the bloom is finished the plant forms interesting, light green pods.
These gigantic Nicotiana plants are volunteers. Where they came from is a mystery, but I’m glad they decided to grow in the cracks of my sidewalk and along the edge of my garden. I love the brilliant light green of the leaves. They might not have time to blossom before first frost, but I have my fingers crossed.
Seasons-“Share an image evocative of the weather or represent the current “season of your life” in metaphor.
– WordPress Photo Challenge
In February, my area of the world becomes a landscape of grey and brown. The absence of foliage creates in me a renewed appreciation for the form of tree limbs against the winter sky.
Vines, hidden by leaves in warmer months, fascinate me as they twist and turn around the tree branches that support their winding attempt to reach the sun.
The sweet-smelling blossoms of the Autumn Clematis, growing along the banks of the creek, have disappeared, leaving behind mahogany (Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola) seeds in a cloud of snowy fluff.
Shallow puddles and ponds form an ephemeral mosaic.
Daylight is once again lengthening, bringing the slumbering wildlife out of their burrows for water and food.
The emerging leaves of celandine is a sure sign that Spring is on the way.
I love the challenges that WordPress, and fellow bloggers, extend to the blogging community. I enjoy the mental stretching and growth the challenges prompt in me. In today’s post I’ve fulfilled five challenges. Read or skim through the content of the post and see if you think I was able to incorporate all five as a coherent whole, and at the same time, stay true to my commitment to keep the word count in my posts low.
“This week, share a photo of Something Vibrant. Let’s wash the web with a rainbow of colors to keep the winter gloom at bay.” ~ Jen H./Wordpress Photo Challenge
These RAINBOW cottages stand in the Pitman Methodist Campground, now commonly called ‘The Grove,’ in Pitman, New Jersey. I couldn’t find a solid purple house, but did find some pretty lavender gingerbread to stand in its stead.
1. The Pitman Grove is number one in my Top Ten Tuesday Historical Sites, not because it is the best, only that it is the closest in distance.
Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola. – Eggplant (Foundation Color of Cottage)
Below you will find the rest of my top ten historical sites for Top Ten Tuesday by Broke and Bookish Blog. I’ve kept this list exclusive to the U.S., but hope to someday compile a list of Top Ten Historical Sites Worldwide.
2. Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey – Site of Glassboro Summit Conference talks between Lyndon B. Johnson and Alexei Kosygin. I was in the crowd, but did not see Johnson or Kosygin, I was still in grade school. In the same crowd was a young man I would marry years later, he was able to shake the hand of Lyndon Johnson.
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The City of Brotherly Love. There are so many historical sites in Philadelphia I have visited and loved. The Art Museum, The Zoological Society, Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, The U.S. Mint, Reading Market…the list could go on.
4. The Jersey Shore The Jersey Shore from Atlantic City to Cape May. The ocean beaches, the bays…I love all the Jersey Shore.
5. Red Bank Battlefield, Revolutionary War Site. – This is a lovely place to go and watch air and river travel.
6. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Thousands of Americans from both the North and the South died here. There is still a sense of sadness in the atmosphere. It is hard to explain unless you have experienced it. Everywhere you walk and gaze, men died, giving their lives for the cause they believed in. A must-see if you are interested in American History.
7. Arlington National Cemetery – A place to honor those who gave their lives for our country. Also visit the grave of the 35th president of the USA, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
9. Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia – One of my all-time favorite areas to visit. My grandparents lived in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and in many ways it still feels like a second home to me.
10. Washington, D.C. – U.S. Capitol
A few more favorite historical areas on the East Coast: New Hope, PA, Brandywine Valley, PA, Batsto Village NJ, Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC, Block Island, RI, and Jim Thorpe, PA, the Chesapeake Bay, Easton, MD, Tilghman’s Island, MD, and others!
I love visiting these amazing historical areas, and hope to continue doing so in the future. Like so many of us, to accomplish all these goals and dreams I definitely need “Twenty-five hours in a day, seven days a week.” I hope all the dips and turns and strange nuances in this post of challenges has not been confusing. 😀
Search out a few challenges to take part in here on WordPress . If you aren’t a blogger consider starting one. I enjoy the challenges and meeting people from all over the world. Thanks for reading!
“This week, let the alphabet be your inspiration: find a string of letters. Try a multi-photo gallery to collect images of single characters. Find some beautiful typography, or look for letters hidden in natural forms. I’m excited to see your ABCs!” Alphabet
What fun it was to gather photographs for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge. It prompted us (see our reflection in the collage) to take a long overdue stroll through Mullica Hill, New Jersey, a town known for its antique shops. All the alphabets in the above “sampler” were on Main Street. We had a bit of trouble with the Z, but found it in the graveyard of the Quaker Cemetery.
After a storm passes the air feels weightless.
As I was driving home from a grandchild’s birthday party Sunday afternoon, I glimpsed this beautiful cloud and immediately parked the car. Luckily, my camera was on the passenger seat beside me. I took several shots, impressed by the vivid outline of silver created by the sun. Surprise filled me the next day when I downloaded the photos and noticed the small shape of a dove in the lower corner. In the moment I took the photograph I was completely unaware of bird’s presence.
The photo of the dove silhouetted against the sunlit cloud reminded me that even when I feel lost and alone, the Holy Spirit is always with me, guiding me, protecting me, loving me, even if I am not aware of his presence.
“But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.” ~ John 14:26
Today was the perfect day to put our bicycles in the back of the truck and head for Ocean City, NJ. Quite a few people took advantage of the warm temperatures, and although the sky was overcast, the boardwalk had a good crowd walking its length. In the distance you can see Atlantic City in a haze of foggy mist.
The surf was rough today…according to the Ocean City Surf Report the waves were 7 to 7.5 feet, and the water temperature was between 52-55 degrees. Dozens of wetsuit-clad surfers were gathered in the water waiting for the perfect wave.
I’ve never seen the waves so large in Ocean City.
It’s mesmerizing to watch the surfers “TRANSITION” from calmly waiting to flying across the face of the wave.
At times the transition means wiping out.
No big deal, the surfer paddles back out and begins again.