The Willow, Magnolia, and Me

Oh happy day when I discovered via Cee’s Photo Challenges site, Carol’s Cheerful Selfie Challenge #1: CCSC is an opportunity to share a photograph you have taken, that you were in somewhere. Maybe even by accident or intentional. Here are her guidelines:

  • A photo of you doing something special. Boy I’m proud
  • Creating a memory. I was here doing this…
  • A photo of you in a mirror ( hair cut, new hat, should I get this dress?
  • An image where you only catch part of yourself (my toes get in flower shots more then I want.) sometimes it’s cute
  • Photo with you and one other person even a whole group of friends (screen shots of zoom groups count )
  • Just your finger pointing something out.
  • An I.D. Picture
  • Selfie from archives are welcomed
  • The Prime Directive is Have Fun.

Usually staying out of the picture is my priority when the camera’s pointed my way. But I love Carol’s idea of sharing a little bit of ourselves in our pictures. Here I am in my neck of the woods:

Photojournalism at its worst: caught red-handed reaching for the only magnolia on the tippy-top of this little sapling. No leaves or blooms were harmed in the making of this selfie. If only I’d had a tall companion with me.

Tomorrow’s another day. 😉

Continue reading “The Willow, Magnolia, and Me”

Captain’s Log, Stardate 2020.8

Captain’s Log, Stardate 2020.8, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)

On the surface of Planet IX, Trapexoid Syztem 939, our landing party was surprised by Trapexoidians into a Death Match with the Grand Champion Trapeze Trio in the Mirror Arena.

Bones and I conferred on how to get Spock into a spangled costume: an artful injection of FloraSpora21 from Omicron Ceti III did the trick. As for Bones, he didn’t suspect opiate in his Sweet Tea Mint Julep. Naturally athletic, I remained in full possession of my faculties.

Triumph! Eyes glowing, the Trapexoidians graciously endowed us with diplomatic immunity.

The appended photograph demonstrates their unique visual capabilities.

We. Were. HOT.

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers 28 August 2020
word count: 100 
written for Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers
click on the frog for more tales of a hundred words or less.Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 4.11.29 PM

Share Your World 8-24-2020

We’re into week three of SYW’s two-parter, with Share Your World meeting the world of Harry Potter. We’re answering Melanie’s muggle-themed queries alongside those of Roger, this time invoking The Prisoner of Azkaban, my favorite of the HP movies. Thus the random, compendium of gifs 😉.

Be sure to check out everyone’s answers and join in the fun!

The great Gary Oldman as the “Prisoner of Azkaban” Sirius Black: quite the mugshot, eh?!
Continue reading “Share Your World 8-24-2020”

Scarlet Zinnia

For Cee’s FOTD Challenge

The Victorians dubbed the zinnia, “the Cinderella in the garden.” She usually presages the close of summer and autumn’s imminence, but there is nothing forlorn about her, given her lavish burst of color.

          Zinnias                                    by Valerie Worth (1933-1994)

Zinnias, stout and stiff,
Stand no nonsense: their colors
Stare, their leaves
Grow straight out, their petals
Jut like clipped cardboard,
Round, in neat flat rings.

Even cut and bunched
Arranged to please us
In the house, in the water, they
Will hardly wilt–I know
Someone like zinnias: I wish
I were like zinnias.

Wooden Visitors

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week, it’s “Anything Made of Wood,” to which I’ve added a slight tweak: Visitors on Wood! How else can I show off this motley crew?

Won’t you step into my parlor . . .

Old Log Cabin Steps

There’s nothing as inviting as sun-warmed wood. Just ask Mr. Toad . . .

Toad on Bridge

There’s Ms. Beetle who’s just come for tea and conversation as long as no busy birds are around.

Beetle hoping to escape notice

And Professor Squirrel who, needless to say, having had his fill of nuts and crumpets, relaxes on the porch rail listening to the pleasant strains of his hostess’s voice through the parlor window.

Squirrel Napping

And then the oddest visitors of all arrive! But no matter. There’s room for everyone on sun-warmed wood.

Shadowy Characters

Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23, A Psalm of David.
“Psalm 23 (Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy)” composed by Shane & Shane, sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Common-Place Jotting: “Planting Trees”

Common-Place or “Locus Communis” — a place to remember

John Updike (1932-2009) still casts a long shadow on the literary landscape. His writings were varied and many, but his craftsmanship set the standard among his contemporaries. He was only one of four writers who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction more than once.

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he once described his subject as “the American small town, Protestant middle-class” everyman. His clarity of style and expression is the hallmark of his writing, causing a critic for The Guardian to warn, “The clarity of Updike’s poetry should not obscure its class.”

The following poem quickly became one of my favorites for its simple directness and descriptive force in conveying the grace available in the simple act of “Planting Trees.” The poem is from his fifth collection of poetry, Facing Nature.

Planting Trees                                                                 John Updike

Our last connection with the mythic.
My mother remembers the day as a girl
she jumped across a little spruce
that now overtops the sandstone house
where still she lives; her face delights
at the thought of her years translated
into wood so tall, into so mighty
a peer of the birds and the wind.

Too, the old farmer still stout of step
treads through the orchard he has outlasted
but for some hollow-trunked much-lopped
apples and Bartlett pears. The dogwood
planted to mark my birth flowers each April,
a soundless explosion. We tell its story
time after time: the drizzling day,
the fragile sapling that had to be staked.

At the back of our acre here, my wife and I,
freshly moved in, freshly together,
transplanted two hemlocks that guarded our door
gloomily, green gnomes a meter high.
One died, gray as sagebrush next spring.
The other lives on and some day will dominate
this view no longer mine, its great
lazy feathery hemlock limbs down-drooping,
its tent-shaped caverns resinous and deep.
Then may I return, an old man, a trespasser,
and remember and marvel to see
our small deed, that hurried day,
so amplified, like a story through layers of air
told over and over, spreading.