Sunday Post: Architecture

 

 

 

Sunday Post: Splendid

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Sunday Post. Life is busy, wonderful, tiring, frustrating, happy, etc. and as you can see, my blog has been reduced to primarily posting the weekly photo challenge. But just so you know, I miss you and your blogs. I miss taking time to write and reflect, not that I’m not writing these days. I am. But it is all academic and sterile and boring. It has to be done though, to move me to where I want to be. So other than jaunts away from the house to shoot photos now and then (R&R away from the books), I haven’t done much creative ‘stuff’ (unless you count gardening ~ another activity that revives my spirit). Today however, on a whim, I checked out the theme for the weekly Sunday Post. Splendid! Wow! I couldn’t pass this one up. There are soooooo many images and thoughts and experiences that fit this theme, the most difficult part was choosing what to publish. Due to the fact that I have another paper due later today, and other assignments to work on, too, I will post a few images that have yet to see any published page! I hope you enjoy. And thank you for stopping by to see what I’ve been up to. I always appreciate it. And I ask your forgiveness that I am sporadic about visiting your blogs. I do hope that in good time I will be able to return to blog hopping but now the priority is to finish school (Dec. 2013, B”H). Enjoy the photographs, and may this week be filled with abundant blessings for you all.

 

 

 

Sunday Post: Shelter

 

This little fella appears to be seeking shelter from the cold, winter snows. What do you think?

 

Weekly Sunday Post: Love

Jakesprinter has started a new challenge called “Sunday Post.” Every Sunday Jake will post a theme, and those of us who participate will publish a photo that expresses that theme sometime during the week. I have opted to take part as I am able (so no, I will not have a Sunday Post every week.) Since the Weekly Photo Challenge for this week has yet to be published, I will join in Jake’s theme this time. The theme is “love,” very fitting as we approach Valentine’s Day (at least here in the US.) So here goes! (Click on the badge beneath the photo to be whisked away to Jake’s blog where you will find more details about this challenge.)

Mom & Dad: Together for over sixty years and still going strong!

 

 

Winter is definitely here!

Saturday it snowed for most of the day. Being that it was Shabbat (the sabbath), I was free to sit in front of the living room window and watch for long periods of time. It’s strange, but like sitting before a fireplace and gazing endlessly at flickering, dancing flames, I can watch snow fall for hours and not grow bored. Watching the fine snow slowly whiten the ground as it eventually formed a winter blanket, calmed the cacophony of sounds and thoughts that tend to run through my head on a normal day. Coffee (and later, hot chocolate) in hand, I reflected on the season and the fact that during the darkest time of the year, Chanukah brings us the miracle of light. This holiday reminds us that when in life’s bleakest, coldest, darkest moments, miracles can and do happen. With the first night’s candle, and for each day following, the miraculous light begins to increase little by little, shedding light on hopelessness and thus restoring awe, wonder and hope for spiritual renewal.

The peacefulness of watching snow fall added to the sanctity of the Sabbath, slowing down our bodies and minds, pausing to reflect on the spiritual aspects of life, refraining from the busyness of “creating” our existence. To sit and watch, reflect and listen, is a form of prayer, too. Days like Saturday remind me to connect to the Divine Presence, ubiquitous throughout creation.  The formal prayers of the day prevent one from becoming too insular, singular in thought, or isolated from the world at large. Yet, the isolation of the moment, sitting by my window watching the snow fall, was a time of connecting with Holy Presence and refreshing my soul; a beautiful, peaceful “island” in time.

And then yesterday, Sunday, I pulled on my boots and headed out into the invigorating air. I couldn’t let a photo-op pass me by! These photos were taken with my little Olympus point-and-shoot. I had let the battery run down on my D-SLR (Pentax), but I’ve taken many great photos with the little pocket camera, so I wasn’t too worried. After about thirty minutes though, the battery gave out on the Olympus, too. Fortunately I did get some shots depicting the fun and beauty of the day. AND, I decided I needed to do better about keeping back-up batteries charged and read to go. Oy. . . after all these years, you would think that I would learn. Oh well. . . enjoy these few photos. There will be many more in the days to come, I’m sure.

And there will be more days to contemplate the more holy aspects of life, too, while I watch snow fall.

Thanks for stopping by. For those of you in the southern hemisphere (or more tropical climes), enjoy your warm weather and/or SUMMER!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

I am in Chicago for a few days visiting my daughters and their families. I arrived in the windy city around sunrise Sunday morning. My daughter’s partner picked me up at Union Station (you really ought to travel by MegaBus at least once! Great fun!) but instead of going straight back to their apartment, we did a little sight-seeing first. Chicago on a Sunday morning at sunrise, empty streets, wonderful colors, fantastic architecture . . . and Marilyn . . . is awesome! I was not thinking about this challenge when I was shooting, but early this morning as I was going through the photos, I thought this would fit the bill. Enjoy! (and I’ll throw in a few of Marilyn as a bonus! :-))


Brandywine Falls on an Autumn Day

The Jewish holidays are finally over and life returns to normal, whatever normal is. Sunday was a day of catching up paying the bills, washing clothes, putting our holiday “things” away for another year. But Richard and I are not so good at “all work and no play!” We are responsible adults, but the child in each of us has to come out and play at times. 🙂  Some weeks ago I read about the Cuyahoga National Forest and the Brandywine Falls. We had hoped to get down during the height of the colorful fall season, but with the holidays and our work schedules, we were unable to take that drive. Tis a pity because Brandywine Falls is only about thirty minutes from where we live. After hours of doing the responsible adult things however, Richard and I decided it was time for a day trip (or in this case, a three-hour trip.) We got a little lost on the way down, but as always, we found ourselves and made it to our destination. We were not disappointed.

At the top of the trail we got our first glimpse of the falls. The sun was shining and the rays sparkled off the water. A person can tell that the falls will be beautiful, but it is not until further on that the hiker see the full beauty of water cascading over jutting rocks into a pool at the base where the Brandywine River continues its course.

The trail leads hikers down the ravine, gradually at first, zig-zagging gently until
reaching the steps that rapidly accelerate the descent to the base of the falls. Many people may miss the beauty of the forest in their haste to reach the bottom which is a real shame. Although the height of the fall colors had passed, there was still quite a bit of colorful foliage. Furthermore, the sun streaming through the stand of trees created a beauty not to be ignored.

As we continued along the trail descending down to the falls, we also passed some interesting rock formations.

Now the full view of Brandywine Falls was coming into view!

There were two landings from which to view the falls, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

We lingered there for a while, chatting with other visitors and simply enjoying the view. On our way back out of the ravine, I saw the stream meandering through the forest, a sight I had not seen before because I was focused on the falls. The interesting thing is that I had no hope of getting a good shot because the sun was too far down in the sky and the shadows in the hollow were too deep. But, being the photographer that I am, I shot photos to my heart’s content anyway ~ one of the perks of the digital age in photography when there is no worry about the cost of film and processing! Any way, back to my story, when I uploaded these photos to my laptop, I was pleasantly surprised. What the photos showed but I had failed to see when shooting, is that the yellows still in the trees reflected on the stream giving it a golden look in parts. Lovely.

Coming back up the trail, the sun was low enough in the sky to create some beautiful silhouettes of the trees (sorta…at least a silhouette of Richard). Here is one sample.

We walked along another peaceful, bucolic trail for a little while.

And then returned along the path that led us into the park, and past the Bed & Breakfast, once a farmhouse, that provided more interesting photo opportunities.

There you have it! Our wonderful afternoon of playing hooky. 🙂 If you are ever interested in visiting, you can google Cuyahoga National Forest, or Brandywine Falls, or the Brandywine Bread & Breakfast, all found in northeastern Ohio, USA.  Hope you enjoyed the outing. We sure did 😉

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