Abstract Afternoons

Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #74: Abstract

Feel free to go beyond the traditional realistic image of an object, scene, or element.  Take a photo of anything that catches your eye and allows you to express your artistic view of the world.  You can also focus on details which are normally ignored and make your viewers use their imaginations.

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What do we have here?

Outside…one summer day, camera in hand…


…a glint of sun dancing across the surface as I catch it.

Or an afternoon spent inside…

…pouring over art for sale.

Cold as ice

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #73: Cold

We look forward to seeing your interpretation of “cold”. It could be snow and ice, or a frosty window pane, or even your favorite flavor of ice cream!

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What a timely topic this week…

A recent walk turned crunchy as I navigated around an icy mess in the nearby woods. Freezing temperatures had recently followed close behind a cold rain…

…trapping the remnants of fall leaf survivors.

 
I know it’s only a matter of time before the scene…once again…showcases a familiar blanket of white…

 

 

 

Cactus Flowers in Waiting

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #72: Waiting

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Over 20 years ago I received a Christmas cactus as a gift. I was encouraged by the fact that cactus plants have a reputation for survival.

In other words, it would be hard for me to kill it. As I often did with houseplants – unintentionally – much to my continuing dismay.

I think it flowered that first year, but rarely did it bloom as advertised…supposedly at Christmas time. So there it sat on a living room shelf…near the window…or away from the window…for years. I pruned it. Or I didn’t. No matter what I tried, my cactus remained…well…green. Dusting the branches didn’t help either.

But thankfully it stayed alive. For the most part.

When we moved several years ago, it mysteriously started showing signs of color and bloomed gloriously at our temporary beach rental that November. I thought the placement by a sunny window made it happen. Or perhaps it was waiting for us to downsize. I’ll never know for sure.

This October, I pruned my aging cactus and pumped it full of plant food at its spot by a sunny window. And I waited.

Nothing.

Waited some more.

Until one day I noticed buds…sprouting on the tips of almost every branch.

My visiting grandson was dutifully impressed (as only a 3 year old can be) when I announced: LOOK! Buds! They will turn into flowers! This is so exciting!

Another week passed.

I watched and waited. Carefully watered. Not too much. Not too little (just guessing at how much “enough” really was)…

Then, last weekend I noticed an explosion of sorts from one of the buds:

blossom day 1

 

Waited another day…

blossom day 2

And finally today…two days later…

blossom day 4

A complete flower…

…with more to come.

Definitely worth the wait!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creeped out

Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #71: Creepy

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I have one old example and one new example of creepy for this week’s challenge…

Inside Creepy

It was mid-morning on my day off.

I was sitting at the dining room table minding my own business. That is to say…finishing a mug of coffee and reading the local newspaper. A luxury I looked forward to.

Quiet. Peaceful. The sun shining outside…throwing a shaft of light through the window into the room.

I was all alone.

Or so I thought…

Until I noticed a soft buzzing sound that didn’t seem to make sense. I looked out the window. Nobody there. The street…empty.

I went back to reading. But I couldn’t concentrate. The buzzing grew louder…like the sound of blowing through paper folded over a comb. It seemed to be coming from above. I glanced at the ceiling and as my eyes shifted to the corner, I saw something moving.

Something dark with tiny skinny legs (?) and maybe a wing (?). Poking down from the corner of the ceiling. Trying to join me while I finished my coffee. Making its way through the wallboard between the dining room and the second floor.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed a dark discoloration extending from the corner out a few inches. And as I got nearer to the squiggling grossness, the buzzing increased.

I was…alarmed…to put it mildly.

I called the local exterminator, who arrived within the hour.

It turned out to be a wasp…

And, as we discovered later when we repaired the ceiling, a wasp with a large family in a very creepy nest…

creepy wasps copy

 

Outside Creepy

Low tide at the ocean usually reveals all kinds of hidden treasures.

During a walk along the beach one day this summer, I discovered – amongst the seaweed and shells and stones – the remnants of lobster traps. Old lobster traps. Broken. Slimy. Icky.

Downright creepy in the afternoon light.

creepy pots

 

 

 

 

Monochrome Moments

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome

…we’re inviting you to explore the world of monochrome–which includes black and white and sepia, as well as different shades of one color.

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Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.

Elizabeth Bowen

 

It’s November.

As I watch the brilliant reds and oranges of fall fade outside my window, a distinctive monochrome emerges…

acorns

Crunchy acorns under my feet during a chilly afternoon walk…signal we’re halfway through Autumn. A hint of what’s to come.

However…

There’s nothing quite like crackling river ice…to confirm the reality of winter…

river ice
As I try to wait patiently for the return of color next spring…

wall leaf

Seeing Double

Lens-Artists Challenge #69: Seeing Double

 …let’s double our pleasure and focus on things that come in twos.

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First: A glimpse back at summer…

pair of gulls copy

A pair of seagulls hanging out at the beach.

 
Next: A reminder of what is coming…
snow post

Two deck posts united in snow after a heavy wet March snowstorm. Looks like frosting to me.

AND…

Because today happens to be Halloween…I couldn’t resist an additional double from the family archives…

halloween 1995

A sibling pair of trick or treaters dressed and ready…let’s go!

 

Layered life

Lens-Artists Challenge #68: Layered

…we invite you to explore Layers. You can include images of buildings, landscapes, seascapes, clouds, etc.

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I am always fascinated to get a glimpse of what goes on in the hidden places. The mysteries of plant life navigating from seed to stem to flower. Or whatever its destiny may be.

The intricate dance of soil, water and nutrients essential for success…seems miraculous.  Tender shoots of life making their way to the sun. Surviving despite obstacles…both nature and human caused.

A cross section of one hidden place was on display recently…

layers of plants

…when a recent rainstorm dislodged a support wall alongside a brook near the town park.

My first thought was to crop the image to highlight the layers of exposed roots and stones in the center. Then I realized…no, it is all part of a larger and equally complex layered landscape. In a scene that literally stopped me in my tracks during a late afternoon walk.

This brook also travels south and eventually empties into a tidal river that flows behind old brick buildings in the downtown area.

A site for more layers.

There I discovered plant life…layered in glorious fall colors…crawling up, down and across a brick and stone canvas.

layered walls

Stopped in my tracks once again.