Under a Weeping Willow

I rested under a weeping willow.

Its trunk was thick and twisted

its leaves swayed in the breeze

on supple branches upheld by stronger limbs above

twisted too and content to be hidden.

For A Photo a Week Challenge – Twisted.

~ Susanne

Fun With Watercolors

One of my worst memories from grade school was when we had to paint something in Art class.  Afterwards the teacher showed our work to the class one by one while asking who the artist was. After seeing what others had done I was so embarrassed when mine came along I didn’t raise my hand.

Speak or sing in front of the class?  Yes, gladly.  Admit to an inferior painting?  Um, no!

So I was delighted to find a setting on my camera called Watercolor which turns already lovely landscapes into beautiful works of art.

Here are a few photos I took recently using this setting.

The trick is remembering to turn the setting off  when you’re done or you will continue to get unexpected results as I did at sunset later that same day.

What do you think?   🙂

~ Susanne

Rambling through the Garden Rain or Shine

Summer is in full swing in the Great Northwest but you wouldn’t know it by the weather.  It seems we used up our allotment of sunshine earlier in the year and so are left with mostly gray skies and rainy days.  Still,  life continues in the garden.

First there are the dahlias.  I’ve been trying to capture their color since they started blooming but got my best picture today in the rain.

Two weeks ago I tried and the color was lost – yet I was rewarded when a visitor dropped by.

These tomatoes were just beginning to ripen a few days ago –

but now are ready to pick.

And the nasturtiums we planted in the spring? I was afraid we’d only get a crop of leaves.

But flowers finally appeared.

Here’s a shot of the whole blooming mess!  🙂

That’s all from my garden for now.

~ Susanne

A Look back at the First Moon Landing

I was at the neighbor’s house babysitting and the kids were already in bed.  Walter Cronkite was on television misty-eyed,  pondering whether we’d ever view the moon in quite the same way, now that Neil Armstrong had stepped onto its ghostly surface.  I watched as the pale images played behind him. Was it really fifty years ago?

I recently visited Seattle’s Museum of Flight and the Destination Moon Exhibit, the centerpiece of which is the Apollo 11 Command Module, the only part of the spacecraft to return back to earth intact.  I was surprised at how small it was – 10 ft. 7″ high and 12 ft. 10″ in diameter, and yet it once sat on top of a 363 foot Saturn V rocket that hurtled three men into space.

It was home to the astronauts on their historic journey and orbited around the moon, piloted by Michael Collins after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left in the Lunar Module for the moon’s surface.  It received them back again, then carried crew, equipment and lunar samples back into Earth’s atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.  It’s come a long, long way.

While at the Museum I picked up Michael Collins’ book, Carrying the Fire written in 1973.  If you’d like to know what it was like to be an astronaut during the sixties and learn about the mission to the moon from the inside, then this is the book for you!   Collins writes candidly and with humor, and leaves you with appreciation for the magnitude of the mission and the brilliant minds of those who tackled it.

But back to Walter and his musings.  Would we ever again view the moon the same as before men walked on its surface?

I admit I do.  To me, it’s still the same beautiful, glowing orb best seen from earth –  full of intrigue and mystery.

Still, it’s good to remember – and be proud I think – that this happened once.

~ Susanne

Resting with Cats in the Garden

I needed a break from pulling weeds and sat by the stream for a rest.  It wasn’t long before Tiger and Benji emerged from their secret places to join me.

Benji is fast and got to my lap first –

while Tiger patiently waited his turn.

~ Susanne

More Favorite Sculptures

I like finding art in public places, especially quirky sculptures.

I took the picture below in Washington DC many years ago, but we also have one of these in Seattle. If I have to tell you what it is you’re not as old as I am.

I found the 25 ft. couple more recently – on the waterfront in San Diego.   You either know what the kiss is about or you don’t.  And the lady really does have a head.

Wild horses couldn’t  keep me from stopping for these stallions, galloping on a bluff high above the Columbia River in Vantage, Washington.

And last but not least is one of my favorites – the Monopoly Iron. I never liked to iron but for some reason it was my token of choice when playing Monopoly.  It has since been replaced by a cat  – the Monopoly piece not the sculpture – so if I ever play the game again I will choose the cat.  Which seems rather fitting.

~ Susanne

Backyard Birds

I never get tired of watching the birds in my backyard – especially the chickadees and the nuthatches – as they flitter about the trees and drop by for a drink and a bath.

The chickadees are friendly and unafraid.  I love to hear them call to one another as it reminds me how they got their name – chicka-dee-dee-dee.  I saw this one waiting in the trees till the coast was clear –

then drop down to the stream for a bath.

The red-breasted nuthatches are smaller than the chickadees and seem to be more solitary.  But they’re just as charming with their aannk-aannk voice.

This one was waiting for his turn –

then down he went –

too fast for me to catch in the water.

~ Susanne

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