Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Images From A Mid Summer Wedding <3 <3 <3

the kiss

A  Kiss

I Captured A  Kiss as the bride and groom serenaded each other at the reception

Bridesmaid and friends

Bridesmaid and friends

A walk through Summer grasses Before the Wedding

A walk through Summer grasses Before the Wedding

The Bride is ostensibly hiding behind a Tardis so the groom won’t see her. Note the grass is brown this summer…

Weekly Photo Challenge Summer Lovin’  The assignment is to show something I love about Summer What’s not to love about a  Mid-Summer Wedding?

Nurturing Thursday: Images of Peace

Peace Lantern

Peace Lantern in  Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco

Given as gift to US From Japan after WWII. Now visit this Buddha a few feet away.

Receive Blessing of Peace

Receive Blessing of Peace

In light of news of violence and war and death I can’t think of anything else to offer for Nurturing Thursday today
May Peace Prevail

Frequent Contributors to
Nurturing Thursday:

Laurie’s Gentle Healing Notes
Inside the Mind of Isadora
Jacqueline King
Meg Evans
Crowing Crone
Pocket Perspectives

Baseball, Sand Painting and Ancient Poetry

Sand Painting

Japanese Sand Painting

Trying A New Poetry Form
 I read all about the Haibun
Spell check wouldn’t even allow it
 I went a’wandering like
 a National League pitcher
I hit but I rarely get home
unless I pay attention to the green
 green grass around my solitary mound
will I ever know the beauty of
home field advantage?
                 Carol Carlisle
My all-knowing husband, especially about baseball, had his doubts about the way I used “home field advantage” but it sounded good to me. Margo Rody Suggested we try a new poetry form. I chose the Haibun. But I will leave you a haiku inspired by the sand painting. Dare I ask which poem works better for you? 

A river of words
Wash upon the sandy shore
Wind blows them away

Phoneography: Japanese Tea Garden Tells a Story of Harmony in Black and White

Moon Bridge

Moon Bridge


Perfectly pruned Trees

Floating lotus island

Floating lotus island

I wrote this piece on photography and store telling for my writing group this morning:    With a tap of my finger on my iPhone I can change a brightly colored photo

bright lotus pool

colorful lotus pool

to a black and white, then make it textured or add silky swirls with a few more clicks then back again to bright. I can tell five different stories from one click I made a last week. The dried, failed and dying artichoke can become a Masonic eye holding the great secrets of the universe at one moment then become a glowing gypsy fortune tellers neon sign with just a little fiddling.  Seeking to find a filter that expresses the true essence of this the artichoke I came upon  “pencil paint” that turns the humble thistle into a Durer etching:

Thistle etching

Thistle etching

Which one is true or doe it matter? All is 1′s and 0′s dots of light arranged and rearranged on and on, for ever… The stories we choose to make out the light and dark in our life is more to the point of what life is all about, The essence? The Truth?
We can be the bedraggled, wilted, forgotten, and betrayed orphaned, or the mystic or a fine piece of art work. It all depends upon the filters we choose to see life through. As an example at the moment I am looking for the positive way to look at a rude, over perfumed person I must deal with. The only thing I came up with is the “he’ll be gone soon” filter. Click!
For now Let me tell you the story of the photos at the top of this piece. They are from the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. This Sunday afternoon in the middle of the summer, when we were there, it was packed with people but somehow it was peaceful. Everyone waited patiently to have a turn to click-capture the Moon Bridge or the lotus pond. It seems everything in the garden, from the bridges and streams, to the rocks and mosses are placed to be in harmony with one another. We hoards of tourist come in to alignment with this geometry. There is space for us all.

My Favorite tourists

My Favorite tourists Jessie and Daniel on the Moon Bridge

Most of us don’t even speak the same language but we manage to communicate well enough to hand each other our phone and cameras to take pictures of one another, on the bridge, in front of the Buddha or next to the koi pond.
While the meta story of the harmony of heaven and earth, water and stone, wood and metal filter out war and death outside this garden. The Gardener who created this peaceful place was not immune to pain of war. He and his family were sent to the Japanese Interment camp at the beginning of WWII. Is there a filter that can transform this story. If you find it let me know.

Lotus at the base of the Buddha

Lotus at the base of the Buddha unfiltered.

This post created in alignment with Lens and Pens Black and White Challenge. Which Photo do you feel the most harmony with?

Happy Monday

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers, Cranes and Clouds

Container ships

Container ships as seen from Oakland  SF Bay Bridge at 50 mph

Shipping containers and Star Wars inspiring Cranes at the Port of Oakland

Shipping containers and Star Wars inspiring Cranes at the Port of Oakland


When Weekly Photo Challenge Containers showed up I thought of Oakland’s container port but didn’t have any pictures of it and didn’t know when or how I would get any.  Fortunately I looked up, as we came off the Bay Bridge, just in time to notice 2 clear shots of the Port of Oakland.
P.S. Do Cloud count as containers?

Five Shades of Purple

Purple Sunset SF Bay

Purple Sunset SF Bay

Friends let friends wear purple

Friends let friends wear purple

One world festival, El Cerrito

One World festival, El Cerrito

Okay it may be a purple filter but it works

New Purple hiking shoes

My New Purple hiking shoes

Eggplant flower

Eggplant flower from my back porch

Where’s My Backpack suggested Travel Theme Purple but I only traveled three miles for any of these photos. Maybe when my hiking shoes get broken in I’ll go further…What’s purple in your world?

Nurturing Thursday For Body, Mind and Spirit

Rose Hips

Rose Hips for beautiful skin

 It’s Wonderful When Thing Works

The scar from my hip surgery was bothering me and the woman at the natural pharmacy suggested, among other things, rose hip oil. Since I have a lovely crop of rose hips in my garden I thought that just might work. Indeed it did soften and smooth the scar on my hip.  “Herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used by herbalists to treat ailments of that part of the body” states the Doctrine of Signatures dating from the time of ancient Greeks. Here’s a modern Blog to tell you more  about The Law of Signatures. I came by all this wisdom this week as I read the newest book by Elizabeth Gilbert the “Signature of All Things”

Great read for mind and spirit. FYI she also wrote Eat, Pray, Love.
Happy Nurturing Thursday

Visit Becca Givens curator  Nurturing Thursday

Frequent Contributors to
Nurturing Thursday:

Laurie’s Gentle Healing Notes
Pocket Perspectives
Inside the Mind of Isadora
Jacqueline King
Meg Evans
Crowing Crone

Wonder Wednesday: What Are You Doing with This Summer’s Bounty?

I have a big mess of Zucchini that I stuffed with Feta and Dill…

Here’s how

  • four 1/2-pound zucchini, scrubbed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Trim and discard the stem ends from 2 of the zucchini, halve the 2 zucchini lengthwise,

and with a melon-ball cutter scoop out the flesh, reserving it and leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Arrange the shells, cut sides up, on a steamer rack set over simmering water and steam them, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are just tender. Invert the shells on paper towels to drain.

Cut the remaining 2 zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a non-stick skillet cook the onions in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until they are softened, add the reserved flesh, chopped, and the zucchini slices, and sauté the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring, until it is golden. In a food processor blend the mixture with the Feta until the zucchini slices are chopped coarse and stir in the dill. Divide the filling among the 4 zucchini shells, arrange the stuffed zucchini in an oiled flameproof baking dish, and broil them under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and deep golden. Recipe from the Epicurious App

Hot out of the broiler

Hot out of the broiler bubbling and golden

The zucchs just a keep on a commin'

The zucchs just a keep on commin’

I got the idea for this post from MKG who posted how she made Peach/Hot Pepper Jam.

What are the rest of you doing with summer’s bounty?

Sharing Your Favorite Poem Day

Step into the world of a poet

burst into blossom

Break into blossom

A Blessing


Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

James Wright, “A Blessing” from Above the River: The Complete Poems and Selected Prose.

Today Margo Rody challenged us to share our favorite poems. I couldn’t remember the title so I just put Two Ponies poem into google and there it was the poem that brought tears of heartbreaking joy to my eyes as well as a shout of maybe even Eureka! For it seems the most perfect poem.
What do you think? What is your favorite poem?

Phoneography: Up Close With a Flamboyant Beauty

Seeing Spots before my eyes


1-Canana Flamboyant Beauty

Last Summer I noticed this spotted canna at my neighbor’s front step. When I exclaimed over its rear freckled beauty, the neighbors explained that they had brought the rhizomes in from their home in Sudan. The rhizomes had to stay in quarantine for 6 months before they were allowed into the US now this beauty is flourishing in California. Flourishing so much they had to separate them, so it is I was given a few baby plants. This is the first to bloom for me. I had to twist and bend to get in close for these shots. Which do you prefer?


2-Canna into the eye

3 Cana folds

3 Cana folds

Old Farmers Almanac: 

Cannas are among the most colorful summer bulbs—as flamboyant as their tropical American ancestry—with ruffled spikes tapering to refined buds.

These perennials come in a vast variety of color and boast immense, often-veined, paddle-shaped leaves and sheathing leafstalks in shades of green or bronze.

With their great reedy canes and palmy foliage, cannas would be magnificent even if they never bloomed. However, they keep blossoming from late spring or early summer to frost.

Turn-of-the-century gardeners so loved cannas that they grew them from seed but this isn’t easy; better to leave propagation to experts and buy the tubers.


Lens And Pens

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