Week 47: The Blue Hour

I was lucky to have a scenic view out my hotel balcony last week in Valletta, Malta, and early each day I saw it in the “blue hour,” that time of day, before the sun rises or after it sets, that casts a blue hue.

Blue Hour Valletta Marina


Week 46: I Love You

Love was in the air when this couple stood in the ray of the waning day’s sun and embraced each other on a warm spring night on Anna Maria Island.



Week 45: Textures

My Florida-friendly front yard serves as my Textures offering this week. The landscaping offers layers of textures of low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Florida-friendly plants don’t require a lot of watering and no mowing, just occasional  pruning. While Florida gets copious amounts of rain through the summer, our winters are dry, and non-Florida-friendly flora require regular waterings.

Front Yard Layers fb

Week 44: My Favorite Place

I look forward to lab work—as in having a phlebotomist draw my blood! Weird, huh? Over the years, My Favorite Place has become is a lily pad pond across the street from the lab I go to. This pond never fails me. Even on days when the lilies are closed in the afternoon, which is every afternoon, I always find something redeeming for my camera to focus on. On this recent day, it was right at my feet at the water’s edge. Loved the textures and the colors of the detritus. My camera is always with me, so whenever I drive past this spot and the  light is right, I always make a stop to capture whatever Mother Nature is serving up that day.

My Favorite Place Quest

Week 43: Triptych

Creating a triptych was a new experience and I went to Google for Photoshop instruction on how to construct it. My subject was a neighborhood gator easing into a pond. The photos are nothing special, but I used it as an exercise to learn how to create the final image.

Gator trip

Week 42: Documentation

Lunching aft on the Silver Shadow moored stern-to-stern with the cargo ship Great Legend for two days in the Port of Yangon, Myanmar (aka Rangoon, Burma), gave me a chance to document the process of transferring coal ship to ship. I have seen coal trains, but this was my first coal ship. With the Great Legend flagged from Hong Kong, my guess is this is Chinese coal dropped off in Myanmar to fuel their needs. The process was similar to those little carnival games we played where you have to scoop up your prize. More often than not the prize was dropped and lost.

Coal Ships

Week 41: Emotional

Have you ever seen such a happy group of Buddhist monks? Have you ever seen a group of Buddhist monks? Their emotions were related in their big smiles as they were happy to be at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma (aka Yangon, Myanmar). It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar, as it is believed to contain relics previous Buddhas. Buddhists from around the world make pilgrimages here and light candles, burn incense and leave offerings at one of the eight shrines of the gilded pagoda. Most Burmese people are Theravada Buddhists. Theravada , the “Doctrine of the Elders,” is the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration from the Tipitaka, or Pali canon, which scholars generally agree contains the earliest surviving record of the Buddha’s teachings. For many centuries, Theravada has been the predominant religion of continental Southeast Asia (Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia and Laos) and Sri Lanka. Today Theravada Buddhists number well over 100 million worldwide. In recent decades Theravada has begun to take root in the West.

Happy Monks reedited

Week 40: A Stranger

I was passing by in a bus in Rangoon, Burma (or Yangon, Myanmar), and this young stranger was riding atop a truck. I got off one click. Not a good photo technically, but I liked his relaxed pose and the way the foliage along the street created a nice foreground.

Young Man in Repose

Week 39: Zig Zag

The bold organic quality of palm fronds always beckons my camera. These fronds from Singapore have a zig zag edge that I recognized after I was editing my trip photos. Mother Nature answered the Zig Zag challenge!

Palm Fronds Abstract

Week 38: I Found This

I found this beautiful palm on the grounds of the Shangri-La Hotel where we stayed in Singapore. I had never seen a palm with a red crownshaft, and was quite taken with it. I researched it and learned it is a rare and exotic Lipstick Palm Tree. Tricky to grow, the sealing wax palm needs high humidity, a lot of water and is not tolerant of drought or wind. It is considered a collectors palm and one of the most beautiful and sought-after palms in the world. Singapore’s monsoon and equatorial environment make it perfect for this pretty palm. I would be happy to wear this shade of red lipstick. Isn’t it a beautiful shade of red?

Lipstick Palm