Seven Days Seven B&W Photos Challenge – Day 6

 


This post was written in response to the Seven Days Seven B&W Photos Challenge, to which I was challenged by GANSU of https://sugunag.com/.
The challenge is to post seven black and white photos, no people, no explanation, of everyday life for seven consecutive days.

I’m also supposed to challenge one new blogger each day, but I must admit that may be hardest part, as I must confess I never feel comfortable challenging people, but I’ll try…

Photo: WPC Challenge – Cherry on top

Seeing Mt. Rainier always makes me smile.

Seeing it from above hanging out with his pals Hood, Jefferson and the Sisters is unbelievably cool.

Mounts

My last Spring break trip with the family was all good, nice and relaxing, but the coolest part was being able to take pictures of big landmarks from above.

I picture the mounts here, but I was also able to identify the Salt Lakes and Canyonlands, both in Utah, until the clouds came and ended my fun.

 


This post was written in response to the  Daily Post Weekly Photo Challeng: Cherry on top.

Sunday Post: Favorite Spot

I grew up in a house where we were a family of 5 people living on it (mommy, daddy, big sis, me, little bro) + a maid, her kids, a caretaker, once a week a cleaning person, and several dogs.

And I used to share a room with my sister.

That all meant that one of the hardest things to find at home was privacy and alone time.

So my favorite spot has always been one where I could find myself alone for a few minutes. During my teenage years, it was the bathroom (and currently maybe it’s starting to be the bathroom again, although with the kids, sometimes I can’t find privacy even there… :-S )

But when I was a kid, I was a little bit more creative about finding a favorite spot.

And my favorite spot during childhood was the best. It was at the friendly branches of a big mango tree.

Unfortunately I don’t have a good picture of that tree to share, but I was able to find one, where it appears in the background so I cropped it to be able to show it to you.

My favorite spot: the mango tree

There’s even a funny story about it that I recently told my daughter.

I don’t remember how old we were, but still children and, during a fraternal fight, I called my sister bad names. My mom heard it and was furious, so she headed to the kitchen to grab some very hot pepper sauce to put a drop in my month, so I would learn not to say bad words anymore.

Well… as soon as she turned her back to go to the kitchen grab the thing, I darted to the tree, since I know climbing on trees was not something my mom would do. But instead of going to the regular branches, I decided to adventure myself going to one that was a bit harder to reach. I reached it! But then I did not know how to get out.

My mom was telling me to climb down, and after a lot of shouting and crying she was finally convinced that I really didn’t know how to. She didn’t know what to do either. My brother, always dramatic, started to light candles by the tree, saying that I would never be able to climb down and was going to die up there.  My mom was almost using the pepper on him for that. Haha.

Then, she called the caretaker, who was not there on that day, but lived nearby, to take me out. He climbed up, held me and brought me down.

It was such a relieve that my mom gave up the pepper.

I was a bit desperate and got really frightened up there, but at least I got what I wanted, which was not to have the pepper. LOL

Then, during adulthood, when I was already past the mid twenties, I arrived home one day to find it cut. I was so sad and so mad. How could they have cut my tree!!!??? But it turned out it was sick and about to die anyways… Oh well…

At least it did served me and my siblings as a nice place to hide, play, read, study or just be by ourselves.

Monday’s Sunset

Monday evening, as my husband took the kids upstairs for a bath, I started preparing dinner for the family. Then I looked outside and saw a huge fiery sunset. The sun was a big orange/red ball as it set behind the trees cross the street.

I could not resist, took my camera and escaped to take some shots. Dinner could wait a couple of minutes… 😉

Sunset on Monday, September 24th, 2012
Sunset on Monday, September 24th, 2012
Sunset on Monday, September 24th, 2012

Sunday Post: Autumn

Although we’re still in Summer (barely, actually. Last days!), Fall has been showing its colors for a few weeks now.

And I mean literally.

Because that’s one of the things Fall (or Autumn, if you wish) is about right?

Colors!

Colors and fallen leaves.

I come from a place where we have only 2 seasons: hot and hotter. So we can’t really see much the difference between the typical calendar seasons.

12 years ago, I moved to the US and what impressed me the most on my first year (and still does, to be honest, but never as strongly as on that first year) was how we can actually see the seasons changing and especially how beautiful Fall is.

In one of the first times I went back home to visit family, I brought them some pictures. The last picture I took, just to finish up the film (yep, film) was of a tree all dressed up with the colors of Fall. I also brought the film with me in case someone in the family would like copies of any of the pictures. But I was actually expecting them to print copies of me and my husband on our new home. And they did, or course, but on my grandma’s list, I also saw the picture of the tree as one that she wanted a copy of. She was amazed by the beauty of it and wanted a record.

In the past few years, I was actually dreading Fall and seeing it as the worst season of the year, because, in spite of its beauty, it means that each day would be worse than the previous one in regards to weather and temperatures.

This year is different, though. I still don’t like the very short days and excess rain (which we get a LOT here in the Pacific Northwest), but after working out outdoors through summer, I must confess I’m looking forward for lower temperatures, in which we can do the same workout without all the sweating and smellyness that comes with hot weather.

And I still think it’s the most beautiful season of all, so this year I’m actually welcoming Fall.

So now, let’s cut the talking and go to the images. Those pictures were taken yesterday evening, when I went for a walk in the trails and gardens around my office building, with my Canon PowerShot SX110 IS.

 

This post was created in response to Jakesprinter Sunday Post: Autumn.

Today, it rained

I live on a place that, like Loz Koleszko describes on his blog, can be called Rainylands.

Yep, you guessed it right, it’s in the US Pacific Northwest.

Well… but although there are looooots of rainy day around here, it’s not EVERY day.

The city of Seattle gets less rain than many other cities in the country, but the region as a whole gets much more. Some cities that are part of the Seattle metro area have an annual precipitation rate of average 65 inches, making them the top rainiest cities in the country.

In regards to cloudy vs. sunny days, Seattle gets an average of 71 sunny days a year, mostly between May and September. Then, during the rest of the year (between October and May), six out of every seven days are mostly or partly cloudy. And that’s why Seattle can be said to get the least amount of annual sunlight compared to all major cities in the lower-48 states, and that’s also why there are a huge incidence of Vitamin D deficiency in the region.

We are now between May and September, right? So we were actually just about to beat our own 1951’s record of consecutive days without any rain. The record was 51 days. We made it to 48!

The past month and a half we had gorgeous sunny and warm days.

Sunny day
Sunny day

So much that my sister got dehydrated and suffered from a few other symptoms of excess heat and sun exposure, which, coming from Rio de Janeiro, she sure didn’t expect to get in this rainy part of the world.

Then, yesterday the day was very cloudy and even a bit chilly. It was one of those days that laziness attacks and all you want to do is to be at home doing nothing. With 2 little kids, this is though task, as they get easily bored and start bothering you. But that’s exactly what we did yesterday afternoon. Nothing, got bored and bothered…

But then it rained.

Rain came during the night, when we were all asleep, so we woke up to see very happy lawn and trees and bushes, but also a bit of sunlight that was coming back after the rain has stopped.

         

Spider

Yesterday I took my daughter to the playground at our community and we saw a spider wrapping up a bug on it’s web.

Kid was scared and didn’t want to play there anymore, but mommy liked it and took a few pictures.

The last picture is of the spider back at the center of the net, after being scared by our proximity…

Spider prepping her next meal

 

Spider prepping her next meal

Spider prepping her next meal

Spider prepping her next meal

Back to the center of the web

The sound of the bacurau

From ages 5 to 27 I lived on a big house with a huge (and I mean HUGE) backyard, full of fruit trees, big rocks to climb, lawn space to run, a tiny soccer field even, and of course a big variety of wild life.

The ones we saw more often were the animals that have daytime habits. But there were a few nocturnal out there too that also marked our lives in one way or another.

From those, we had opossums and bats who would eventually get inside the house. Porcupines that would fill out our dogs’ faces with quills right in the middle of the night, to wake us up and make us get up to pull each quill, one by one, with pliers (not sure here if the nocturnal was actually the porcupines or if the dogs who would get bored at night and go search for trouble).
But those were typically silent, when we don’t consider the noise and commotion created by the people and canines around them, and this post is about sounds.

The one that marked our lives for its sound was the bacurau.

Felipe Gomes authorises the use of the pictures by him published on the website calphotos.berkeley.edu under the licence Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5

Bacurau, a.k.a curiango or Nightjar in English, is a bird from the Caprimulginae family, which is characterized by being a nocturnal bird, that nests on the floor and has a singing that sounds like a repetitive scream that goes on in intervals all through the night.

I can’t tell exactly his habits and I don’t remember the part of the year he would come, but I do know it was not year-round.
What I do remember is that in the first year we noticed it, that repetitive sound would not allow us to sleep the whole night.

Wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo.

Sometimes, when we were getting home late at night, we would see his little shiny eyes reflecting our car’s lights, and then he would fly away to another spot nearby.
But his call could still be heard.

Wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo.

Then we got used to it.
And grew found of it.
And started depending on it to fall asleep.

Funny how something can at first not let us sleep all night, and then, after a while, it will actually induce sleep.

So then, by the time we were really depending on it, the opposite would happen. His season would be over and he would go away somewhere else, and then the silence of the night was what would not let us sleep.

And we missed the bacurau until he was back the next season and the whole process would start all over again.

Wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo.
Wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo.
Wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo.
Wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo — wee-hoo.

For the call only, but not quite the same (there are several different species out there…)

For the call as I used the hear, as part of a Brazilian poetry

Blowable seeds

It’s that time of the year when allergic people hate to be outside because of the amount of pollen still in the air.

True that a couple months ago, it was worse, but you can still see stuff flying around that would not be very comfortable to the ones who suffer from allergies.

Well… I find out a couple years ago, and I do have allergies too, but that does not stop me from going outside every time I have the opportunity to, or even to appreciate the devilish blowable seeds that tend to enter our noses and make our lives miserable for a few days…

It also happens to be one of my daughter’s favorite activities: to pick them and blow them. Just yesterday we spend a good 40 minutes doing so on a park.

So here are some pictures of these beautiful bad guys.

Fluffy
Fluffy

Cotton-like
Cotton-like
Itsy-bitsy tiny
Itsy-bitsy tiny

Spider-webbery
Spider-webbery
Hard-core spider-webbery
Hard-core spider-webbery
On purple
On purple
Fuzzy
Fuzzy
A whole bunch of them
A whole bunch of them
Stary
Stary
Starting to go away
Starting to go away
Going different ways
Going different ways
Half-way gone
Half-way gone
All gone!
All gone!

Berries

Another picture post, this time with berries I photographed in the trail I go for my walks, or parks I go with the kids.

The reason why I photograph them is that they are so beautifull. Some are clusters on it’s own (like the blackberries, raspberries, cloudberries, etc…) while some are tiny round fruits that show up in a bunch but can be picked individually. Very cute!

I won’t pretend I know them all, because in fact I don’t. I did try some research though to try to figure out some of them. But there are so many species, and sometimes so similar to each other (especially the purples – oh! the purples…), that I still missed a few.

So for the berry experts out there, feel free to name the ones I couldn’t figure out, or correct me if I got any wrong. It would also help learning which ones are edible and which are not. Thanks in advance!

Elderberry
Elderberry: in early spring there was a part of the trails that smelled sooo good, and all coming from some bouquets of small white flowers. Then, going back to that trail a couple months later, I found that the white flowers had turned into those red berries. Beautiful!
Salmon berry
Salmon berry in early spring
Snowberry
Snowberry: chubby whites! Those are everywhere around here. I always wondered if they were edible and just realized now on my little research that they can actually be poisonous. Ok, just for taking pictures then…
American cranberry
American cranberry: had to go a little inside the garden, on a place I probably shouldn’t be going, to take this one. But it was worth it. Very cute little reds…
Didn't get that one. Feel free to pich in. I'd call it Unkown #1 for now... ;o)
Didn’t get that one. Feel free to pich in. I’d call it Unkown #1 for now… ;o)
Another one I couldn't identify: Unknown #2
Another one I couldn’t identify: Unknown #2 (maybe even the same as unknown #1???)
Rosehips
Rosehips: those were beautifull, lots of them everywhere in a path. I wasn’t sure if I could even include them here, but I did see them mentioned in a list of types of berries, so here you go…
Maybe another kind of snowberry? Or maybe I'm just generalising and calling all white ones snow...??? Oh well... Unkown #3 then! ;o)
Maybe another kind of snowberry? Or maybe I’m just generalising and calling all white ones snow…??? Oh well… Unkown #3 then! ;o)
Unkown #4
Unkown #4: another unidentified purple… this little guy is also everywhere
Unkown #5
Unkown #5: I took this picture through a fence. At some point, a car sort of stopped to look of what I was doing. Suspicious… haha
Cloudberry
Cloudberry: can name it thanks to the research. I’ve always thought they were golden raspberries…
Oregon-grape
Oregon-grape: found a lot of names for this one, but in an article the person said all other names were just wrong, so I picked his pick ;o)
Unkown #6
Unkown #6: and purple. During the walk, I saw them all as different, but now I’m starting to wonder if there are repeats here? Maybe 1 = 2 = 6???
Unkown #7
Unkown #7: Haven’t really researched that one. It’s from a tall tree that looks wonderfull with all the hanging clusters of red berries.
Berry-to-be
Berry-to-be (hehe – I know it’s a flower, but will soon turn into a yummy berry… ;o)
And finally the most available of them all in the trails: the invasive but yummy, Himalayam Blackberry
And finally the most available of them all in the trails: the invasive but yummy, Himalayam Blackberry

Got hungry now… will go get some berries to eat!
😉

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge (2nd Edition)

Ok, I know I have already posted photos of Merge, but I just couldn’t resist adding this one.

The merge here is real, and the picture was taken as is, with no editing.

The wheels are from a cart left on a somewhat historic site, where there used to be a mill several decades ago, and the tree just grew through it.

Tree on wheels
Tree on wheels

 

Closer look
Closer look

 

The other side
The other side

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

Hi,

I’m entering with 2 pictures today, to show two different interpretations of merge.

The first picture was taken as is, no editing done, and it shows the merging of the old and new architecture in downtown Seattle.

The second picture is a (very amateurish) merging of 2 pictures, layering two nature elements that has similar shapes.

Hope you like it!