Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve

Curves are so ubiquitous in our experiences that I tried to spend some time isolating some particular aspect of the theme try to focus on before responding.  Curves are present in all kinds of human constructs. They are an essential part of the engineering design, and  often they are there just for aesthetic purposes.  Chances are that you look around in a room and you will find something with curves.  I have plenty of such pictures.

But I had to think a little more to come up with curves that exist in a natural context.  Here are a few examples that I thought of.

The surface of the earth is curved but it is very difficult to observe curvature unless you are flying very high or you are observing big objects very far away beyond the horizon over a “flat” surface like a body of water.  I have pictures where I think I can see curvature from an aircraft but I am not sure if it is real or due to camera distortion. Anyway, here are a couple of shots and you can decide for yourself if you see any curvature, and if so, what the real cause might be.
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You see natural curves in the desert when the wind tends to shape the hills of sand.   (While curves are visible at the macro level, the surface is indeed not smooth at the micro level, where they may be better characterized as fractals.)  The following picture is from White Sands National Monument.
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(This particular submission to the challenge has a similar theme and is quite awesome!)

A third perspective that I considered was the shape of clouds.  When you have phenomenon like tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons, you have a circular motion of the clouds because of the winds that is very distinct and visible.  Sometimes you might even see such curvature at the macro level in a benign environment, as I did below.
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Here are two cases of curves in the context of animals.
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(As an aside, the eastern hognose snake shown above can play dead in its attempts to escape a predator.)

I could not resist a couple of pictures in which curves created by human beings seemed to blend well with the natural surroundings.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
IMG_2382The second of these pictures is of the Monocacy Aqueduct on the C&O Canal towpath.

Finally here is a curve created by humans that is a national landmark here in the United States, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Optimistic

We just got through a major blizzard in our area that I have blogged about.  Woke up this morning to this sight in front of the house early in the morning.  It lasted only a few seconds.

Today is the first day after the day on which the roads to our neighborhood were cleared.  Our driveway is also completely free of snow and ice.  We have not been away from the house for four days. We will be venturing out into the still recovering neighborhood in a few minutes.  And I will be carrying my camera.  I feel optimistic!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Transitions

This is a wide open topic since almost everything that we experience that is noteworthy is related to transitions, whether it be those that are in nature or in the environment around us, or whether it be those that we experience in our own lives.  Transitions can be abrupt or they can be gradual.  Sometimes they are of a subtle nature and not obvious until it has happened.

But I also cannot help thinking that almost everything that most of us already tend to talk about in our blogs tends to be about changes and transitions!  So, I was not too successful in trying to find my own unique take on this subject. But I thought I would present something anyway.

The first picture is of a sunrise over the water.  You can barely make out the transition from land to water.  There are more transitions underway in this picture.

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This second picture is also of a sunrise, but is taken from inside an aircraft, over the wing of the aircraft.  Besides the transition from night into day, there is the transition between the aircraft and the sky and then the transitions between the land and the sky and the different layers of color in the sky.

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The third picture shows an abrupt transition of clouds in the sky.  This picture was taken near sunset.  There is no subtlety in the nature of this transition in the big picture.

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I made an argument in an early blog that while some changes (or transitions) seem to be abrupt (or digital), life is truly experienced in a gradual (or analog) manner.  I wonder if there are any folks who will agree with me.

See other submissions in this theme at this site.

Summer Storms and Stories

Summer storms can come up on you quite quickly and silently in our part of the world.  This one had been threatening us the whole day.  Although the air temperatures had been very reasonable, it had also been quite humid, and the clouds floating overhead looked distantly menacing.  The air was unstable!

It was later in the evening that I noticed that it was turning unexpectedly dark in the house. I slid open the blinds in the living room to notice that the sun had finally given up its struggle to penetrate the clouds, and that the sky had turned ominously dark. It was now filled with low black malevolent clouds swiftly scurrying across its expanse to some unknown destination. It had not started raining just yet.   It was a camera moment.  I found myself standing on the furniture on the deck taking pictures of the drama unfolding in the skies.  I can never get tired of this spectacle.  Can you see what I saw?  There are stories to be told behind these pictures!

HAIR ON FIRE
HAIR ON FIRE
THE TEDDY BEAR
THE TEDDY BEAR
THE SCARY FLYING BOY
THE SCARY FLYING BOY
THE FURIES
THE FURIES