Favorite Place

The subject of this week’s challenge  is an easy one for me to tackle, and obvious to folks who know me.  You will find me any free weekend exploring some section of the 184.5 mile long C&O Canal towpath.  Last weekend took us to a section near Point of Rocks for our Sunday walk.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe branches of the sycamore tree stand out in winter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are the locks and lockhouses,

Lockhouse for Landers Lock

the aqueducts,

Catoctin Aqueduct

and the Potomac river (which looked especially blue that morning).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe mergansers come around only in winter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bridge at Point of Rocks looked stunning in the morning lightOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and this almost looks like a piece of art when the endorphins are flowing on a lovely morning like the one we we had!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Time and Place for Everything

The subject of this week’s photo challenge, “I’d Rather Be…“, suggests a sense of wanting to be in a different place doing something different.  Yes, I would rather be be exploring the world like I was fortunate to be able to do last year – California, Nevada, Missouri, a bike ride in the Canadian Rockies, Ecuador (including the Galapagos), and finally India. But when I see a sunrise like this in front of my own home, I also realize that one does not necessarily have to wander far from home to experience the wonders of this world.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Out Of This World

This week’s photo challenge proved to be somewhat thought provoking for me.  I was not sure exactly how to approach it.  In the simplest sense, one is almost always trying to take outdoor pictures that are noteworthy and perhaps “out of the world”.  In another sense, one also tries to capture outdoor images with the camera that are unusual, and that may seem out of this world.  But nothing is really out of this world in the real sense, is it? How often does one take pictures out of this world? Does this picture of the moon and Venus qualify?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Looking through my archives, I realize that I have already posted a bunch of pictures in my blogs that could fit this theme – pictures of the skies and the earth that seem like they are not of this planet.  Here is one that might not have appeared before.  This was taken in the area of the Smoky Mountains. The planet is on fire in the morning light.  The town of Gatlinburg lies below us.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All in all, it was tough figuring out what tack to take for this week’s challenge.   In the end I decided to go with pictures that could be considered out of this world to some people, but may be more commonplace to others in their own circumstances.  Here goes.

This is the fruit of Queen Anne’s Lace.  This wild plant is quite widespread close to where we live, but I am pretty sure it would seem to be something out of this world for some of the natives.IMG_2023I wonder how many people have taken the time to notice something as simple as what is seen in the picture below.  Even the simple things can seem out of this world once you open your eyes, and perhaps your imagination.IMG_9624And then there are things that could seem exotic to some of us but are not so unusual in other places.  I have already forgotten which part of the world this flower is originally from.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWould something like this, a mud pool, be considered out of this world?  You can see them in New Zealand.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom this perspective it might be difficult to recognize that the picture below is that of the face of a snapping turtle.  Look at the eyes.  Isn’t this out of this world?  We actually came across this creature in the park not far from home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Faces In The Crowds

Places in India, especially in the cities, tend to become very crowded during the daytime.  We live in one such location in Chennai.   You can see a few  pictures illustrating the street scene in this older blog that I posted a while back.  I used to go up to the terrace of our house and look down on the activity in the street.  There were the pedestrians and the numerous two-wheelers – cycles, scooters and motorbikes, and then there were the heavier four-wheelers, be it the cars, the trucks, or the buses.  It could be chaos as they all jockeyed to occupy the same space.  I saw this person on a motorbike at one point at the corner of the street.  There was something about his face that got my attention.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is a second picture I am submitting for the weekly challenge.  Because of the effort level involved, our group tended to get separated as we were climbing Vidhyagiri hill in Shravanabelagola in Karnataka.  As illustrated in the picture below, we tended to get surrounded by other groups and sometimes become just another face in the crowd.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Morning Silence

The silence of the morning sneaks in through the windows of our home, temporary though it may be, in the woods.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt accompanies us during our morning walk through the estate.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe only sounds are those of the awakening birds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe silence of the morning greets the awakening village.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt lights up the fields.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe silence of the morning is my company as I walk through the misty woods,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand as my four-footed companion happily keeps me company on the trail.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe silence of the morning is a balm that soothes the soul.

A Friend’s Birthday

Today is the birthday of an old friend.  We go back a long way, all the way back to elementary school.  My friend is a remarkable person – full of joy, sweet, smart, kind, curious, adventurous, and always helpful.  He is one terrific guy.   I went on a bike ride with him this summer in the Rockies in Canada.  Here are some pictures from the ride that capture his spirit, including his sometimes playful, dare I say, cheeky nature.

At the start of the ride.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the Goats and Glaciers viewpoint.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe lovely couple.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo not know what happened here!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASupporting a fellow rider up a challenging slope.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe is his own man,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbut I am not sure what he is doing here.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey both have one foot in the Banff National Park and the other in the Jasper National Park.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe explorer on Parker RidgeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprobably looking at Saskatchewan Glacier (not in the picture) in the distance.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe gives a friendly wave as we head out to our stop for the evening at The Crossing Resort.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe was the first to venture into the glacier fed waters of Waterfowl lake.  It was cold!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere he is returning from an exploration in the vicinity of Bow Summit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe friendly wave.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Happy birthday and happy trails, my friend!