Posts Tagged With: Word Press Photo Challenge

Abstract: WP Photo Challenge

Walking the streets of Toronto I spotted something unique, different and unusual. It just caught my eye. I snapped this pic and how appropriate for this week’s theme Abstract set by Word Press.

Abstract

Abstract

What do you think it is? Post your ideas in the comments below.

Stay tuned…

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Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

Our Future: WP Photo Challenge

No one can know what the future will bring, but hopes, dreams and aspirations will drive us forever forward.                                                                                      CTB:D 2016

Where to next? As the sign points in all directions our future choices are endless.

Where to next? As the sign points in all directions our future choices are endless.

For this WP challenge on FUTURE I knew right away I needed to post a photo of the Cayman Islands, soon to be my new home and hubby’s current home. Soon as I saw this photo I knew it was it. When I took this snap I didn’t think of the future, only the beautiful sunset and pointing to places all over the world. However, when I was going through my photos today I thought it was a perfect example of future.

The sun is setting on my vacation time here, but my next trip in the future will be to live. Pointing to all the cities shows me where I come from and where I may go in the next in the future… for vacation, or who knows maybe to live. In my wildest dreams China wasn’t on my travel bucket list, nor Cayman and here we are. You never know where the future will lead to next, but it always starts with one step.

Change on the horizon

Change on the horizon

Stay tuned…

Categories: Expat Life, Holidays, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Cayman Landscapes -Photo Challenge

I promised I would post more and get back to my weekly schedule, but then I came to the Cayman Islands. Aaaahhhh… My day is filled with sunshine, blue skies and swimming in the pool.

Hubby is at work, but somehow my days are still full. Weekends we head out and explore the island that will soon be my home too. The island is flat and most buildings are not more than 3-4 stories. Talk about culture shock from home and Shanghai. However, the beach landscape is something not to be missed. Crystal turquoise seas, soft powdery white sands and endless blue skies. I couldn’t pass up on the weekly photo challenge from WP – Landscape.

 

7 Mile Beach -sunset with a view

7 Mile Beach -sunset with a view

Palms fill the skyline vs the skyscrapers of Shanghai

Palms fill the skyline vs the skyscrapers of Shanghai

My days are numbered and soon I will be heading back to Ontario to spend a few days with family before returning out west. BUT… Only 3 short months before I return and start a new expat life.

Enjoy and stay tuned.

Categories: Expat Life, Holidays, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

My Happy Place -WP Photo Challenge

Last week the theme for WP was “Happy Place. I had an idea right away, but due to travelling home for a few days I hadn’t the chance to post until now. Even though a new theme has been posted I couldn’t let My Happy Place go.

The question was where do you go to unwind, escape and get away from it all? I couldn’t pick just one so I have included a few of my happy places below.

  1. The sky…

In Shanghai we didn’t get clear blue skies often, but when we did I would stare at the clouds and blue sky. Evenings I loved to take in the colourful sunsets with the Shanghai skyline silhouetted.  Back home I enjoy the clear skies, fluffy clouds and colourful sunsets too. Even though they are a regular occurrence I never tire of them.The other night a colourful and unusual cloud pattern danced across the sky. I couldn’t resist.

Patterns and sunsets in the sky

Patterns and sunsets in the sky

2. The beach…

The warm sun and sand beneath my feet with the soft surf relaxing every cell in my body…ahhhh. Need I say more? As a child we went to the Atlantic Ocean and walking on the sand looking for shells or throwing stones into the surf was fun. As an adult I have been lucky enough to visit beaches all over the world. The best was the little cabins we stayed in the Philippines where the sound of the waves lulled me to sleep. The powdery beaches in Cuba are phenomenal as well. Whenever stressed I enjoy looking at a beach pic on my computer desk top.

The waves, soft sands and warm sun

The waves, soft sands and warm sun

3. The mountains…

Since I have been out in Calgary the mountains are a short drive away. The fresh air and smell of pine is so relaxing. The view of the snow capped mountains from the city are spectacular, but up close even better. The surreal blue of Lake Louise is something to see.

The mountains, blue lakes and smell of pine.

The mountains, blue lakes and smell of pine.

4. Books…

Escape with a good book

Escape with a good book

The absolute best is a book. After a long day it is nice to curl up with a book to help you de-stress and fall asleep. A good book is great to lose yourself in and shut off the busy day.

 

What is your happy place?

 

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The Great Wall -Boundary Post #2

This week’s theme is boundaries and as I said in the last post I feel boundaries can be physical, political or emotional. My first post showed something very political with pictures of the DMZ between North and South Korea.

In this post I want to show something that can be emotional as well as physical.

The Great Wall - a boundary physical as well as emotional

The Great Wall – a boundary physical as well as emotional

The Great Wall of China was an easy link to boundaries that are physical and even political. The wall was built to keep out the invaders from long ago. It divided the boundaries between the Chinese civilization and the Huns and Mongolians. However, for me it is also emotional as I think about our time in China. It was a place I never thought I would see in real life. I was lucky enough to visit it twice. We have many fond memories of trips and friends in China. Sometimes it feels a little emotional as we move on across boundaries. The challenges we faced while there and how it changed us crossed cultural boundaries within. I wish there was a photo to show that emotional journey, but this was the best I could do. Feelings cannot always be put into words, or displayed in a photo. It is personal about my experiences then and now, so you will just have to trust me. 😉

There are more interpretations of boundaries here.

 

 

Categories: China, History, teaching overseas, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Boundaries -The DMZ

Boundaries can be physical, political or emotional… or so I think. My first thought for this week’s Word Press theme was the DMZ (De -Militarized Zone) in between North and South Korea. This is a very political boundary. We visited the area while in Seoul, Korea on a short trip in the Fall of 2012. Organised and guided daily tours leave Seoul; picking you right up at your hotel. The ‘waiting’ area in the DMZ has souvenir shops, food stalls and viewing areas. A place to pass the time as your group awaits their timed entrance. You can read more about that trip and the DMZ here.

A bridge to nowhere

A bridge to nowhere

This photo is showing a part of the above bridge which ends in a large chain link fence. Many people and families have tied ribbons on the chain link and posed for photos.

Messages and ribbons along the Southern side of the DMZ

Messages and ribbons along the Southern side of the DMZ

Can you show a boundary in a photo? Do you want to see other interpretations? Then check it out here.

 

Categories: Culture, History, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grid -Photo Challenge

This week’s challenge asks for a photo framed in a grid like fashion. As WP says we often use the invisible grid, or lines within the viewfinder, to frame photos into the ‘rule of thirds’. The photos in this week’s challenge will show the grid.

My first pic was framed in the Lake Agnes Tea House, a little wooden cabin, at the top of the trail from Lake Louise. A rainy hike had a little surprise rainbow. I snapped the view from inside the cabin looking over the valley with Lake Louise below.

Room with a Rainbow View

Room with a Rainbow View

As I searched for the above picture I came across this one, which I didn’t think about when considering the theme. It doesn’t have the clean sharp lines, but the interesting shape and view I decided to include it. The unique tube like bridge made me feel I was inside a fish or a snake. We went for a walk along the Bow River in Calgary through the parks. In various places bridges crisscross the river making both sides accessible for walking and biking.

Inside Looking Out

Inside Looking Out

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada, Nature, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Monochromatic -Photo Challenge

Mono meaning one… one colour. The idea is not to highlight one colour, but focus on just one. Can a photo look good with only 1 colour? Word Press challenged us to show off our monochromatic images, so you be the judge.

Searching through some photos from the last year I came across these.

Green Light

Green Light

Here is something green and the variety from the colour comes from the light. Can you tell what it is?

Purple Rain

Purple Rain

The shades of purple here come from the light and shadow too, but also the sparkle from the rain drops.

Heart 2 O

H20 Heart 2 O

I found this piece of bark and noticed the heart. I placed it in a shallow fountain and snapped this pic. I like the simplicity, but the textures, reflections and patterns still make it interesting.

Pussy Willow Tails

Pussy Willow Tails paw

Willow is monochromatic gray and this close up of her little paw shows the light pinkish tones in her fur.

Since I have had more time I have been taking to twitter. It takes me less time to upload a quick pic or thought, so I have been posting more there. This week while on a walk I saw 3 deer, check twitter for the pic. Check out my feed to the right and click on the links to see more.

Stay tuned here or there 🙂

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Road Trip -Going West

August 10th would have been the day I returned to work in Shanghai. Instead we traded in the 14 hour flight for a road trip across Canada. We left early afternoon (much later than we had hoped) and the 3 day road trip stretched into a fourth day. The car packed and ready to go we set out on a new adventure.

20150811_182650I documented the journey through the car window with a few stops along the way.

Willow came along for the ride too since we would be out here about 4-5 weeks. Poor thing crossed the world a month ago and was about to embark on a cross Canada road trip. She quickly settled in with a cat nap. We’re so lucky she is good in the car.

Willow enjoying the newest adventure

Willow enjoying the newest adventure

This is one bear hug I will avoid.

This is one bear hug I will avoid.

We hit pouring rain in Toronto shortly after we started out, which snarled traffic. Once past the city traffic eased. We made it to Northern Ontario, just outside of Sudbury, where we stopped for the night. Due to the possibility of deer and moose we stopped driving around dusk. The next morning we made good time and a side trip to get breakfast we encountered our first wild life sighting. We stopped to grab a quick pic from the safety of the car.

Later that day the rain followed us. It made for a cooler drive and wasn’t so heavy that it caused slippery roads or poor visibility. The scenery changed from cities and farms to more and more trees. Soon we were getting closer to Thunder Bay up around the Lake Head. Driving along the highway Lake Superior came into view through the trees and as we reached hill tops. Stunning. We stopped at a look out point and took it all in. Back in the car we continued on the longest leg of our journey. From the Niagara area to Thunder bay it is a 12-14 hour drive. We stopped for the night between Thunder Bay and Kenora, ON.

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Winnie the Pooh, White River ON 'Where it all began'

Winnie the Pooh, White River ON ‘Where it all began’

Now into our third day of the road trip we were still in Ontario, definitely the longest stretch of our journey. We passed more trees, lakes and logging trucks. A few hours later we passed into Manitoba. The landscape started to change as it went from forests and lakes to more wheat fields, as we entered the prairie areas. We hit heavy rain as we approached Winnipeg, but quickly drove through it. Not long after we arrived in Saskatchewan. The rolling hills had made way for the traditional flat prairies filled with wheat. More construction slowed us down and we put up in Regina for the night.

Calgary was about 8 hours away, but we made a side trip to Rouleaux, AKA Dog River from the popular Canadian show “Corner Gas”. The show has been off the air for a few years, but last year they made Corner Gas the Movie. The small town, with a population around 500, still draws fans of the show. We stopped by the iconic Corner Gas and Ruby restaurant, the TV show set. We walked main street, saw the Dog River grain tower and filled up for gas. I was tempted to call the guy Brent, but thought that would be an old and tired joke by now. After a few pics John was anxious to get to Calgary and miss rush hour traffic.

Corner Gas and the Ruby in 'Dog River'

Corner Gas and the Ruby in ‘Dog River’

Dog River

Dog River

Icky view after the flurry of butterflies

Icky view after the flurry of butterflies

After the heavy rain the day before there were hundreds of white cabbage butterflies everywhere! It was a beautiful warm sunny day, but it looked like it was snowing. There were THAT many butterflies. A customer at the gas station in Rouleaux said they all came out after the heavy rain the day before. The butterflies continued for miles and miles. Once we reached Alberta there were less and finally just the normal random few.

It isn't snow or all those butterflies. It is salt maybe from an ancient sea.

It isn’t snow or all those butterflies. It is salt maybe from an ancient sea.

More views along the road… salt flats that are farmed for… salt.

The flat prairies made way for rolling hills as we got closer tot he Rocky Mountains. Lots of farms with beef cattle lined the highway. Wild Buffalo used to roam here… could it be?

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Willow continued to do well. Each night she fussed as we put her in the crate, but became curious once we got into the hotel. She would explore a bit then be fine. Each morning she would meow and check out everything in the car ensuring it was all in place. After her exploration and she was happy everything was in order she would stretch out and enjoy the view and nap. People passing us would spot her and point. One trucker even got out his phone and started to snap pics. She is a well-travelled cat!

Soon the city was in sight and we made it. It was the first time I had driven out west and great way to connect to my home country.

20150818_151856

Downtown Calgary from the highway. City to the east and mountains to the west.

What a welcome back home to Canada…

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Today was a Good Day -Photo Challenge

Today was not just a good day, but a great day! Since we drove out west to Calgary, Alberta we have been enjoying the scenery and fresh mountain air. On the weekends we have gone to Lake Louise, an hour and half drive from Calgary.  Lake Louise is known for its surreal blue green waters and snow capped mountain back drop. We have hiked up the trail starting at Lake Louise to Lake Agnes. It is a 3.4KM hike one way, up a trail surrounded by pine trees. The smell is heavenly and keeps you distracted as your muscles ache with the steep trail hike.

Half way up the trail is Mirror Lake. A small little still lake. At the top is Lake Agnes which falls over the edge creating a small water fall. The tea house is a welcome sight, after an hour and a half hike, to relax and take in the views before heading back down the trail. The tea house serves amazing teas, fresh homemade baked goods and soups. Today was a good day 🙂

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Sunday we went for a walk along the Bow River which winds its way through Calgary. The weather was perfect with a comfortable temperature and blue skies with a few clouds. You could see the mountains in the distance. Everyone seemed to be out walking, biking, boating and running. We enjoyed the leisurely stroll along the river bank and through a park. Another good day.

View of Calgary, Bow River and Mountains in the distance. A few days later the view was muted with wild fire smoke and visibility went from 25+KM down to less than 8KM.

View of Calgary, Bow River and Mountains in the distance. A few days later the view was muted with wild fire smoke and visibility went from 25+KM down to less than 8KM.

Unfortunately we went from clear skies and clean air to a poor air quality. Smoldering fires burning in the US Northwest have drifted many miles North blanketing Calgary and many other parts of Western Canada. There is a smoke so thick it has caused prompts to stay indoors and close windows. Monday the sky looked similar to the ones we experienced in Shanghai. Dreary gray that blocked out the sun rays. Tuesday you could smell the smoke and it irritated your eyes. The aqi went from 8 to 239, which happened to be much higher than the 59 reading in Shanghai. In Canada the scale is different; a 10 point scale. The TV news reported today that readings from yesterday came in at 17! Yes 7 points over the max. This is not normal for this area and reports are saying this is the worse the city has experienced.  So many people have lost their homes and have been evacuated. At least we know the cause and it will be short lived, rain is in the forecast. Hopefully that will get things back under control before more damage is done. I do not mean to whine about the poor air, as some people have experienced great loss. I only made the comparison to our life in China. Well wishes and positive thoughts go to all those involved in the areas affected by the fires.

Today things are improving and soon we will be back to blue skies and ready for more great days.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments