Foto Friday #102

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My two favorite colors are pink and yellow… always have been… always will be!

As I searched through my photos for ones with my favorite colors in them, I was struck by the mighty power of the intangible things in life… the love of family, the beauty of nature, the appreciation of travel, and the blessing of life itself including the sunsets we’re privileged to witness. I’m grateful for them all!

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pink and Yellow

and for Ragtag Daily Prompt: Mighty

I’m Sorry But Thank You!

When Covid-19 shut our schools down suddenly, my heart went out to all the children. One day they were in school – and the next day they weren’t! For most children, school is not only a structure for academics, it is a stable environment for learning social skills and building peer relationships. It’s a comfortable routine and something to do! It’s understandable that during lock-down, kids were driving their parents crazy! They missed their friends and they yearned to be out of the house.

About a month into forced isolation, parents in our neighborhood realized the importance of socialization and independence for their children. A group of young boys started spending hours and hours playing together outdoors.

I live in the city, but in a naturally protected wooded area where trees are thick and creek beds lie in wait to be explored. Normally, the creek is easily accessible only in a few places. After months of intervention by these industrious boys, however, we now have an entire network of arteries that lead through the woods and down to the water!

We have ropes tied to trees so you can swing out into the water; we have deep, narrow holes along the creek bank to hold fishing poles; we have hills cleared of debris for sliding and rolling down; and we have remnants of often-used toys, shovels, and buckets.

All summer long I wanted to survey this maze of new paths, but there was always an “adventure builder” or two occupying the area and staking claim to the result of their hard work.

Our schools re-opened several weeks ago. Some children have resumed in-class learning while others are on-line students, but they all have a routine during the week which no longer allows for outdoor play. I could finally search that special realm they created!

Now, when I take my daily walk I don’t stay on the paved paths. No! I duck into every little passageway I come across. I am amazed at all the channels they forged through the trees and brush during a time when they struggled for something to do. To them I’d like to say I’m sorry for your covid-filled months of childhood interrupted but thank you for combating your boredom by conceiving and shaping the little-boy world I now enjoy!

It’s Only Words #13

Foto Friday #101

Autumn on Little Mill Creek Lenexa (2)
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“I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.” ~ Leon Levinstein

Last week I responded to Photo Challenge “October” by taking a walk. This week I’m responding to Photo Challenge “A Photo Walk” by posting more photos of October! Sorry for the repetition, but a walk this time of year – especially with a camera – never gets old for me. We are still about two weeks away from peak fall color here, but we’re getting there!

For Lens Artists Challenge: A Photo Walk

Foto Friday #100

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Yesterday, I turned the calendar to a brand new page, then went for a walk to see October. Here in my part of the world, wildflowers are fading and trees have begun their magic transition from green to the spectacular shades of yellow, orange and red that can only be found in Autumn. I wish October, and all of the “Wow” it brings, lasted for more than 31 days!

For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: October

and for Ragtag Daily Prompt: Wow!

Foto Friday #99

BUGS are creepy and downright strange, but they all have a purpose in life… just like we do.

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A bee’s purpose is to balance delicate ecosystem functions. As pollinators, they are crucial to the world’s agricultural production. Bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States.

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One the of strangest looking creepy-crawlers is a stick bug, sometimes called a walking stick. Because they look like twigs, it is difficult for predators to spot them. They are herbivores who can do great damage to foliage, but they are an important source of food for birds and other animals.

For September 25 Photo a Day Challenge: Strange and for

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Up Close and Personal

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“Hey, Bud”

“Who do we have here?”, the man asked me as I walked with my grandson on the hiking trail behind my house.

I walk on the trail nearly every day and often pass this man as we go in opposite directions. We exchange brief pleasantries, usually about the weather.

One day when my grandson was visiting, he joined me on my morning walk. He had just gotten a hair-cut in preparation for his first day of Kindergarten. The cut was pretty dramatic – a mohawk – so it was hard to miss! We passed the man on the trail. “Who do we have here?” he asked me, and to my grandson he said, “Hey, Bud! I like the way you cut your hair!”

My grandson just looked at him and said, “I didn’t cut it”!

The man thought that was hilarious and could be heard laughing as he continued his walk passed us.

My grandson apparently felt the need to explain: “Well, I didn’t cut it, Grammy! The barber did!”

“I know, honey”, I said as we walked towards home. He looked confused, but I was amused!

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bud

It’s Only Words #12

Footprints

I have a love/hate relationship with words. Words on my “do not like” list include nightmare, exploit and laundry (and hate, so I really shouldn’t use it here). Then there are words that just make me feel good – like raindrops, whimsy and cookies. Another of my favorite words is footprints. It always reminds me of that poem about two sets of footprints becoming one when God carries you through difficult times. I love that! It also reminds me of the poem I wrote several years ago about my father. I used the word “footprints” in it, so whenever I hear that word – my thoughts immediately go there. Here is the poem:

MY FATHER, MY SEAGULL

I felt myself

lifted away by a mighty seagull.

I helped him scan the waves in search of food.

I held on tight

as he swooped down towards the water,

then suddenly, we headed out to sea.

He caught an updraft

and we soared higher and higher.

He didn’t even need to flap his wings.

We watched the waves

try to overtake each other, yet they

always seemed to find their way to shore; as did we.

He landed gently.

I let go of his neck and slid down slowly.

He watched me leave my footprints in the sand.

Then he left me.

I tried to catch him, but I couldn’t, so I cried

just like I did the day they told me Daddy died.

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: Footprint

It’s Only Words #11

Foto Friday #97

… and to the Republic for which is stands,

one nation under God, indivisible,

with liberty and justice for all.

The sculpture For Which it Stands by James Haire is located at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is in reference to the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. We need to be reminded again (and again) of these words and their meaning.

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: Again