Photography

Serenity Now -Photo Challenge

“Serenity now…. serenity now !” – Frank Costanza, Seinfeld

When times get stressful what do you imagine, or wish for?

I feel most relaxed and at peace with the whisper of the winds in the trees, a warm breeze to tickle my toes and a view like this:

The perfect view to relax

The perfect view to relax. The view from my beach chair, Cuba 2012.

Thanks to WP for this theme.

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Descent -Photo Challenge

Looking down; a new perspective to see where you have come from… a descent…

The sun setting in Niagara region over the escarpment.

A beautiful golden sunset

A beautiful golden sunset

A plane ride home and anticipating the decent back on Canadian soil. The view was amazing with clouds, landscape and a little sparkle from a lake.

What a view

What a view

The most intense decent, but welcomed after a long climb up hundreds of stairs on the Great Wall on the Mutian Yu section.

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A long way down. What is worse the climb up or keeping your tired, shaking legs steady and in balance back down?

 

The steep climb where we just came down

The steep climb where we just came down

 

This is the challenge set by Word Press this week.

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Canada, Chinese Adventures, Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Refraction: Weekly Photo Challenge

This week word press is looking for refraction, pictures to do with light. I snapped these this past summer and I think they captured the light in different and unusual ways.

Sun spots and colours in the grass

Sun spots, shadows and colours in the grass

 

Heavy rainstorm and colours captured in the street light

Heavy rainstorm and colours captured in the street light.

 

Sunlight captured in the dew on a spider web

One of my favourites showing detail and sunlight captured in the dew on a spider web.

Check out last week’s post for the Blood Moon Eclipse for another example of light.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, post a week, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Endurance -Achieve your goals & dreams

Part of being an expat has offered us a great opportunity to travel. The world became smaller. Things that most people dream of are just around the corner, in our backyard or a short trip away. We have been lucky enough to see the Great Wall of China. My first visit was with a tour group, so the time was limited. I wished to get up these steep steps, but managed barely half way before the time forced me back. My goal, if I ever returned, was to get further. I really wanted to reach the top of those steps and the end of the restored section of the wall where some of the great monument lay crumbling from countless footsteps and hundreds of years.

This past summer we were able to return. Here is the starting point around gate 13 at the Mutianyu section of the wall. Goal in sight we started off.

Just after the cable car the start of the wall... go as far as you dare.

Just after the cable car the start of the wall… go as far as you dare.

 

Around gate 19 or 20 we can see the steepest section ahead.

Warning steep climb ahead

Warning steep climb ahead

The top! The day was glorious with clear blue skies and we could see further in the distance than our last trip to the wall. The wall snaked and turned over the green hills into the distance. August can be quite hot and humid, but today was reasonable. Once we started the climb I was sweating quite a lot. My legs began to shake and I wasn’t sure if I could make it. I had just recovered from a bad virus that sapped all my energy and strength and I was still not 100%. Throw in a touch of jet lag and a busy travel schedule to top it off. Later I would discover I was sick again and in 2 days time the same or similar virus returned and I was in bed. I was determined. I stopped regularly and took in the view while I rested. I drank lots of water and pushed on.

Reward... a view like this!

Reward… a view like this!

Look at the rocks to the left then look at the first picture. That will give you perspective how FAR we went.

Look at the rocks to the left then look at the first picture. That will give you perspective how FAR we went.

My endurance paid off and I made it to the top of the steps and past the final gate #23 open to tourists. We went to 24, but just couldn’t make the next steep climb on unsecured steps to #25. Maybe next time. Sometimes it is best to leave some travel dreams ‘undone’ so you have the desire to return.

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We started at the star… gate13. We went right to the end of the map (left side) #24. Approx. 5km one way and hundreds of steps.

Have you ever pushed yourself even when your body and mind said “I can’t”? Tell me about it in the comment section, or join Word Press this week for their photo challenge Endurance.

Sorry I am still not into my regular routine and I post when I can. Please stay tuned…

 

Categories: Chinese Adventures, History, Photography, teaching overseas, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Horizons and Silhouettes: Weekly Photo Challenge

Occasionally I take photos of my shadow, so I can be in it 😉 I am always the one behind the lens and that is often a way I can include myself. I think silhouettes and shadows are interesting especially with sunsets.

This week’s theme for Word Press is silhouette and I wanted to show off the Shanghai skyline and this attempt to be creative and different with the long tall grasses at home.

Shanghai Skyline Sunset -May 2014

Shanghai Skyline Sunset -May 2014

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Where’s My Backpack is asking for horizons and this silhouetted skyline fits in perfectly. If you look carefully you can see the Shanghai Tower slowly getting taller as it nears its full height.

 

Check out the links to see more photos or to participate in the challenge.

 

  Stay tuned for more…

Categories: Photography, Uncategorized, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Texture: Weekly Photo Challenge

Waking up early just as the sun was rising the grass and everything was covered in dew and a light mist. I was taking in the beauty of a quiet morning when something caught my eye.

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I quickly snapped away at the 4 or 5 different spider webs trying hard to focus on the delicate threads and dew that clung to each strand. A few minutes later as the sun rose higher in the sky the magic was lost and the spider webs became invisible once more.

 

Check out word press and their weekly photo challenge for more examples or to post a link of your own texture post.

If you missed it, yesterday I posted a brief summary of travels over this past week at Tip Toe Travels and as always stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , ,

Summer: Tourist in Your Town

It has been about 1 year since I first posted the Tourist in Your Own Town series. I started it as a random challenge whenever something struck my fancy. A fellow blogger suggested I do it at a regular interval to increase results and participants. It then became a monthly challenge. After a few more challenges with only a few participants I considered stopping the challenges. After lots of comments and encouragement from the blogging world to keep going I decided to give it more time, but still I have had less than positive results. Good intentions are appreciated, but it makes me think my idea is just not something that interests enough readers.

Summer Rain

Summer Rain

The first few challenges had a few regular followers join in and I made a few new friends a long the way with new bloggers stopping by. Since those first months fewer and fewer people have joined and I am lucky to have had one or two bloggers join in. July was the worst results with no one until just recently Chava61 found my blog and did a great post.

A portable beaver tail truck! Just for you Bastet!

A portable beaver tail truck! Just for you Bastet!

With mixed feelings I have decided to retire the monthly challenge. A challenge needs work, time and leg work getting out there to tempt you all with great ideas and dropping by to nudge, hint and persuade you to participate. With a busy work schedule where I work 10-14 hours a day and 4-8 hours on weekends I cannot devote the time to a blog and photo challenge that I would like. So August will be the final challenge. For the final prompt I would like to tempt you with images of summer. Maybe it was a picnic in the park, trip to the cottage, a beautiful sunset or garden. No matter show something summery where you live. Link back here and use Tourist in Your Town in the title and as a tag.   Rainbow20140705_080227

Fun at the pool

Fun at the pool

Funny that I wrote this before last week’s “summer lovin” theme set by word press, but since I am doing a scheduled post because I will be travelling half-way round the world on the usual posting date. Why not send us a link to that post? Thanks to all my followers and participants over the past year. Stay tuned… not for more challenges, but more adventures in Shanghai and around Asia as we enter our final year.   Sunset20140705_085609

Categories: Photography, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Farewell Pixelventures

Farewell for Now

It is with sadness that I write this post as it may be the last one for the weekly Pixelventures Photo Challenge. It is one of the photo challenges I participate in faithfully and very few have I missed. Bastet has encouraged me and spread the word of CTB over the last year by providing links to my humble musings as well as did a “Close Up” interview of me last summer. I will be forever grateful for the additional readers she sent my way. Not only that, but she has helped me grow as a blogger by challenging me into taking better photos and writing poetry, something I rarely did. Again kind words have praised my efforts and pushed me beyond my comfort zone to try something new. I wish her well as she gets some much-needed rest, and ‘me’ time to mend her health and well-being.

For the final challenge she has decided to celebrate and ask us what we should bring to the Farewell. I let my imagination soar. What could I bring if I could bring anything? I decided big, beautiful, bright blue sky with fluffy clouds to accent the sky; the perfect weather and scenery for any party. After all nobody likes to rain on a parade and I imagine the perfect party would be outside.

Blue Sky From Above

Blue Sky From Above

I thought it would also be fitting to share a photo from one of the first Pixelventures challenges I participated in just over a year ago.

Never say good-bye
but see you later,
or see you soon
doesn’t make it easier
but gives us hope
to be reunited with friends
and to be together again

– CTB 😀 July 2014

So let this not be a sad farewell, but a see you later and hope to see you again soon.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Willow Wednesday #3

Baby Willow

Baby Willow

Time for another Willow Wednesday. Check out Willow Wednesday and Willow Wednesday #2 for more.

This shot was taken November 2012. Willow was just 5 months old. My how she has grown from this little puff ball. Look closely at her markings. Did you spot the unique shape on her side?

Stay tuned for more as we enjoy our time at home….

Categories: Pets, Photography | Tags: , , , , ,

200 Years Ago -Canadian History

If you are from North America, chances are, you had to study the War of 1812 in history class. Way back when the British and French had control of most of North America and slowly ideas, government and people wanted change. The south became the United States of America, while the North wanted to remain loyal to the King of England. In a nutshell, tensions flared and border disputes began in what was known as the War of 1812. It lasted over 2 -1/2 years in and around the Niagara area. It stretched as far north as present day Toronto and as far south as present day Washington DC. Names like Laura Secord, Sir Isaac Brock and John Brant are well known even today as companies, universities, cities or streets and monuments that were resurrected in their honour.

Part of North American culture is reenactments of such wars for history buffs. I had heard about them, but never witnessed one. The battle of Chippewa, a small area outside of Niagara Falls, Ontario was hosting a 200th anniversary of the Battle of Chippewa and we decided to attend. It was more than just a short lived reenacted battle, but a full on affair.

Take aim..... Fire!

Take aim….. Fire!

When we first arrived white canvas tents dotted the bike path with men and women in period costume selling trinkets, foods and other antiques or replicas of period pieces. Soon shots were fired and the battle was about to begin. In the same location as the original battle men (and women) in costume lined up on the battle filed and fired guns and cannons. The traditional method of lining up in rows as each group fired and another loaded up. Some fell, as they had been ‘shot’ so lines retreated and then moved forward again. Orders were shouted and soldiers complied. The smell of sulfur and smoke filled the air. It felt like we stepped back in history as we watched authentic methods put to use.

Camp as it may have looked in 1814

Camp as it may have looked in 1814

When the battle was over we walked around the rows of tents that were filled with quilts, lamb skin and old fashioned wash basins. Traditional cast iron cooking utensils and open air fires were in view, as this was more than a display, but a working camp. What surprised me most was how they really went all out with the smallest of details.

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Events like this are often held at the various forts around the Niagara Region on both sides of the border, especially since it has been the 200th anniversary, which is now winding down. Smaller locations, like this in a farmer’s fields are also occasionally held. A knowledgeable speaker gave a play by play of events to explain the process to inform the crowd. What was best about this –it was free! What an interesting way to learn history and spend a Sunday afternoon.

Even some on lookers were in period dress

Even some on lookers were in period dress

Don’t forget about the 2 challenges held for Tourist in Your Own Town. June was Festivals & Gatherings and July is Home. This could be a response for Festivals & Gatherings AND Home. If you would like to participate add a link in your blog to this one here and tell us about it in the comment section below.

Stay Tuned….

Categories: Culture, History, Photography, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , ,