After a long absence from blogging and posting my photos, I am easing myself back into the art of the daily blog update. Last year, as 2011 moved along, I was finding myself edging off the cliff of inspiration. I wasn't happy with my photography, or the things I wanted to talk about. At times, it felt like I was literally jumping out of my own skin. I was putting it all down to a series of unfortunate events which had taken place earlier in the year, and my subsequent exhaustion from it. I figured it was my Fibromyalgia adding to it all and making everything seem worse then it really was, and as much as I kept trying to remember that intellectually, my body was simply too tired to feel inspired creatively. Come to find out, it wasn't just the Fibromyalgia or the events that took place, it was the fact that I now have an under active thyroid or, Hypothyroidism. Fast forward, and a silly little pill later, my energy and over all well being is getting back to normal.
So, long story short, this is my second time playing with the Round Robins since my hiatus ended a little over a month ago. And I couldn't be happier to play along during a challenge that highlights one of my favorite subjects... CLOUDS. I was only able to capture one new cloud photo, the one you see above, because the Bay Area has been experiencing some really clear, lovely weather of late, but I did do a little tip-toe through my archives to show off some photos I haven't displayed in the past. Well, most of them are anyway. Some have been posted previously, but there are a few that will be seen for the first time.
A Mixture Of Clouds And Fog Looking Towards Angel Island
Twilight Near The Marin Headlands
As the Sun Goes Down Near Hearst Castle
After A Spring Storm Facing The Marin Headlands
As The Sun Sets On The Year... December 31st, 2007
An Autumn Dusk On The 17 Mile Drive Monterey California
Twilight In The Summer Of 2008
Stormy November In Sacaramento
A Mixture Of Snow, and Fog and Clouds Skyline Blvd Woodside California
Angry Sky May 2012
White Coudy Sky Mount Hamilton
And Finally, I took this last one while visiting Cambria, California in 2005
Okay, that's my Cloud Gallery. Now, go see what other Round Robin participants have posted. You can find the full list of participants, as well as all the information you need to play along, at the official Round Robin Blog. Just click HERE.
"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do."
As if by magic, or good timing at the very least, I have been spending the week planning, and getting ready to plant Sunflowers... lots and lots of Sunflowers, when what should appear in my inbox... my Farmer's Almanac, and in it was a fascinating article all about... you guessed it... Sunflowers!
I was so happy to read the article, that it inspired me to take a look through my archives for inspiration before planting this year. I love the large yellow Sunflowers, but my heart belongs to the exotic colors as well. The black and purple, and especially the fiery reds. I love that Sunflowers turn their faces toward the sun, then follow it as it moves throughout the day. It's a great reminder not to dwell on the cold, dark, side of things.
"Life is an endless struggle of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like."
Why this picture? Why did I choose this picture, for this post? What in the world could inspire me to choose this photo out of the million or so photos in my archive? Simple. It's the universal truth that no matter how perfect one thinks they might be... hair will always tell on you!
Ladies... am I right, or am I right?
"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in a library?"
~Frank Weatherman, the last inmate to leave Alcatraz
I can't believe I have lived in the Bay Area my whole life, and never been out to Alcatraz. That is a tour Alan and I want to take sometime, just not sure when. Maybe we will do that during our staycation in October, maybe we will save that for next year... we'll see. If we did do a tour, I would love to try a spooky haunted tour. That sounds like it would be a lot of fun.
Anyway, I saw on ABC World News that there is a new theory that the three prisoners who are believed to have been the only ones to have escaped THE ROCK, may not have perished as the authorities originally thought. New evidence seems to indicate at least two of them may have actually made it out of the chilly waters of the bay alive. All of them would be in their 80's now. If true, wouldn't that be something?
After I watched the story, I couldn't resist working a little photoshop magic on the photo above, which was taken in May of 2011. In the daytime, Alcatraz doesn't seem so foreboding, but I have read that at night, you can hear all the ghosts of THE ROCK, whispering and moaning. Spooky goodness I say! ;) Here ghostie, ghostie, ghostie!
See the links below to learn more about Alacatraz, and its fascinating history.
This is day 33 of my new personal challenge of A Photo A Day For 6 Months. If you love photography, please feel free to join me. Grab your camera, post your photo on the net, then comeback here with the direct link back to it. I will include your link in tomorrow's posting. No set theme to worry about, just whatever grabs your attention in the next 24 hours.
"There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror."
Hmmm... It seemed like a good idea at the time. And I am pretty sure it will turn out, if not just fine, then certainly a day to remember, but what I am curious about as I sit here writing this is... at what point will the terror officially hit? Sorry, I know I am being a bit cryptic here, but you see I did something the other day completely against my usual instinct... I purchased a Groupon for a 1hr San Francisco Bay tour that is... hold onto your hats... in a single engine Cessna!
The deal was really good. Super good. It was 50% off the usual price, which means it was exactly in our budget for our wedding anniversary. Each year Alan takes the month of October off, and we usually do some small "staycation" types of things. We go up to Apple Hill. We take a ride down the coast to Santa Barbara and stop for chocolate in Solvang. We visit museums and zoos, we go to movies and pumpkin patches, and no matter what we usually have a really good time. Most years, we have accidentally come across celebrities. No joke. The first one we met was Joe Montana. The last one we came across was the Reverend Jessie Jackson.
"The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine,
bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? - it is the same the angels
~Mark Twain, "Roughing It"
It's not that we don't have a lot of fun on our vagabond vacations, but when I saw the amazing Groupon offer, I immediately thought about the amazing memory it would make. Like any other marriage, we have had our lean times and times where we did really well financially. The last few years has been a time of HIGHS and LOWS swinging back and forth. Right now are comfortable, so why not jump in and do something different, something for the memory book... right?
"Lovers of air travel find it exhilarating to hang poised
between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death."
You have NO idea how different this is for me. Alan isn't afraid of much, if anything. I have had a lifelong fear of FLYING. Yep, that's right. I purchased a GROUPON for a 1 hour trip around the bay in a small... really small... single engine... 4 seat... airplane! Why didn't I sign up to box a kangaroo while I was at it? LOL. Fret. So, what was I thinking?
I guess I was considering that life is short. I have been afraid of flying since I was a child. But don't get me wrong, I have flown before, dispute that fear, but still the fear remains. 9/11 didn't help curb my fears, but it did make me resolute that if I found myself in the company of terrorists, I wasn't going to go down without a fight. A BIG ONE. If death is imminent, then what do I have to lose? Their flesh will be under my fingernails before I die.
"I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It
seems to me that they are wonderful things for other people to go on."
Kerr, "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall," The Snake Has All the Lines,
Maybe its that my fear has moved to a new reality. While I don't see myself flying commercial anymore, which has more to do with TSA policies than terrorists, I don't think there is anything wrong with experiencing something different, particularly if it helps me face an unreasonable fear, and get another piece of my well being back. So, come this fall, I will be up in the air, high above the ground snapping photos I would never have the chance to get otherwise. I think when all is said and done, I will be stepping off the plane wondering why the hour went by so quickly, or perhaps wondering how an hour could have seemed like forever! LOL
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the
I wonder which it will be? Either way I plan to write down on a piece of paper my fears. What I imagine what it will be like, then when I actually experience the flight. I will realize that my idea of the trip and the actuality of the trip are very different things. Either way, I will have something to remember for a long time. God help Alan! LOL.
~Me :) Note: The view of San Francisco you see here, is from the top of Mount Tamalpias, in Marin County.
Now that you have visited me, please go see my pal JR. He is so awesome. His photography always inspires me, and brightens my day, he really has a gift for photography.
"If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?"
I was practicing some low light photography the other night, when I decided to see if I could get a good shot of my all black kitty, Hendrix. Hendrix has amazingly beautiful green/gold eyes, and they are quiet expressive as well. He is a dreamboat, but he is also curious, extremely loving, and playful little boy. He is fiercely loyal and he has a strong, silly sense of humor. It was apparent the first hour after we met him. All he really wanted in the world was a family to love him. Boy were Alan and I happy to be his family. He adopted Alan right away, and before we left the Dr. B's office, Hendrix made sure I knew I was loved to.
We didn't know it, but all that was missing from the perfect family he wanted, was a little brother for him to take care of. A week later, along came Dylan and the two settled into a perfect brotherhood. Dylan is Hendrix's baby brother, and he treats him as such. I have always loved the play CATS, because of the wonderful way it portrays CATS. When I saw this photo on the computer, I knew I had a CATS inspired photo. It's not perfect, I couldn't track down the exact font used for the poster, but it's close enough I think. It makes me smile. As do my boys. I am a happy girl. And now I am off to reread "Old Opossum's Book Of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot.
This is day 32 of my APAD challenge. You can join me if you like. There's no theme to follow. Just post a photo to your blog, and comeback here with a direct link back to it. I will post your link with tomorrow's post.