A road trip this year was never the plan – the plan was international travel! Our European river cruise was booked over a year ago, but COVID-19 put an abrupt halt to all non-essential travel so our plans had to change. Just like everyone else, we were disappointed about the things that would never be, and we struggled to understand the new “normal”. Being stuck at home 24/7 for weeks and weeks did have one advantage – it gave us plenty of time to come up with Travel Plan B. Instead of packing our passports, plane tickets and cruise vouchers, we will load up the car with hand sanitizer, face masks and disinfecting wipes, and hit the road for a good old-fashioned summer driving adventure. We will roll down the windows, crank up the music and social distance to the point of being rude! Why not – gas is cheap! So, take care everyone. We’ll chat again in a few weeks.
It’s Only Words #7
I became unexpected friends with this adorable little goat, one of over 1,000 animals who reside at the Kansas City Zoo. He almost appears to be posing for pictures, but really he was just scratching his chin on a wood-framed opening in the children’s area. The Kansas City Zoo, located inside Swope Park, opened in 1909 with a modest collection of animals, but it has become one of the most respected zoos in the country. Nestled within valleys and rolling hills, the zoo’s exhibits range from the $15 million Helzberg Penguin Plaza to the interactive Stingray Bay to a chimpanzee habitat praised by Jane Goodall herself – a British ethologist known for her long-term research on chimpanzees.
For LCPP – Life Captured Photo Prompt: Unexpected Friends
and for Ragtag Daily Prompt: Almost
In the foreground of the photo above is what is commonly referred to as bogland. A bog is a wet area of soft, spongy ground consisting mainly of water and decaying plant matter called peat. Peat bogs are prevalent in Ireland along the mountain slops of the west coast and throughout the midland. They form in areas of heavy rainfall and near poorly draining lake basins created by glaciers during the most recent ice age.
For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Water
Photo taken in Ireland to the North and East of the Cliffs of Moher
One of my favorite quotes is by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”
While F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of America’s most celebrated writers, biographies about him and his wife, Zelda reveal flawed individuals fraught with pain. They had an extravagant lifestyle and spent much of their early marriage in pursuit of excess. His struggles with alcoholism and hers with mental illness led to sad lives for them both. But his ornate writing style is one of my favorites. He used elaborate descriptions, clever similes, and put many of his own life experiences into his fiction.
I love this quote from “The Great Gatsby”. It is a great example of his style:
“He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about… like the ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.”
I have read books by and about F. Scott Fitzgerald, but one of my favorites is a work of fiction about his wife: “A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Fowler.
It’s Only Words #6
Over 2,000 years ago, Pompeii was a thriving settlement in an emerging Roman state until a terrible eruption of Mt. Vesuvius buried it in the year 79 A.D. Volcanic debris, flames, and thick clouds of smoke and ash filled the skies on that fateful day; but during our visit, the only thing in the clear blue sky besides wispy white clouds was erratic condensation trails from overhead jets — something the doomed people of early Pompeii would never have seen.
For Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Old & New
Some of my favorite photos have delicate colors!
For Len-Artists Photo Challenge: Delicate Colors
Have you ever seen the dull, grey underbelly of the sky? It exposes itself when darkness fades and the sky is no longer black, nor is it blue; just before the sun arises to burn off the colorless night. As the sky becomes tinged with hopeful brightness… Poof! The dim underbelly disappears!
It’s Only Words #5
All on the same Peach Drift groundcover knockout rose bush, these gorgeous flowers are in various stages of opening. The buds are a lovely shade of peach, the full blooms are a combination of soft pink petals with yellow centers, and the nearly spent blossoms are almost white. I think they present an impressive display of delicate beauty!
For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Opening
and for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge
and for Floral Friday – FF#19
I am tired today. A fatigue has set in that coffee just won’t fix. My coffee tastes bitter! It tastes like reality: like disappointment and defeat. I usually drink my coffee black, but today it needs a shot of optimism, of acceptance, and a sprinkle or two of “what if”… and maybe chocolate! Chocolate fixes everything!
It’s Only Words #4 – For Ragtag Daily Prompt: Fatigue
To better appreciate the structures in this photo, I cropped out the street and most of the tree to the right. Photo taken near Freiburg, Germany.
I felt like this shot was too wide so I reduced the size. By placing the steeple at a third, the flowers in the foreground are near center and the out-of-focus tree on the right is gone. I also cropped out the rail at the bottom, straightened the frame and brightened the color. Photo taken in Strasbourg, France.
For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Cropping the Shot