TIME : Tuesday Photo Challenge

This is Frank’s week 100 of Tuesday Photo Challenge and the prompt, appropriately, is TIME.

In Frank’s own words, “As I test your patience, I thought it might be interesting to make that part of the theme for this week, selecting Time.  Of course, Time can be depicted in many ways, from the image of a clock, or the rhythmic swing of a metronome, to Times Square or whatever catches your creative eye!”

I am trying to depit it very personal way.  The toll that time has taken on my receding hairline.

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My hairline – November 2002

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My hairline, December 2017

What a difference fifteen years make.

Cruelty of time
Paid the penalty with
My receding hairline
In another fifteen years
If I am alive
Sun will shine
Reflection blinding
From non-existant hairline
My spouse will be happy
She won’t need a mirror
To adjust her makeup
She will be just fine
Oh, what fun it will be
To get back the hairline
Of my prime
Alas, not to happen
Toll had been taken
By cruelty of time

Here is another perspective of time, past, present and future in one photograph.

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The three stages of life: Bud, bloom and past its prime.

 

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Fifteen Minutes of Fame had No Name

This is my first attempt at writing short story.  Constructive feedback and comments appreciated.

The dream keeps coming back to haunt him.  Digging a hole, he lies down peacefully waiting for death to come.  He is not sure why this dream bothers him anymore. Continue reading “Fifteen Minutes of Fame had No Name”

One Tree Hill

Today’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt by Frank is Hills.  This is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Readers of my blog by now must be familiar with the featured image of my home page. It is a photo of Dana Peak (13000 ft) in the high Sierras taken by me in September of 2014 hiking down Gaylor Peak (11000 ft).  But I am not going to talk about it today.MtDana_1.jpg

My current residence is in a valley (Almaden Valley) inside a valley (Santa Clara Valley / Silicon Valley). As such we are surrounded by hills.  Mount Umunhum (3300 ft) to our west hovers over us and can be viewed from our front and back yard.  But I am not going to talk about it today.MtUm1The white cube seen on top of Mount Umunhum was a radar station in the air force base that was closed nearly forty years ago.  During its heyday it used to keep tab on all flights coming in from the east over the Pacific Ocean. The radar station is still off limits to public due to asbestos hazards, but Mount Um was opened to the public in fall of 2017.  It’s a gorgeous hike up there and on clear days one can see past San Francisco to Mt Tamalpais ( about 75 miles north) to the north and Monterey to the south and whole of Silicon Valley to the east.
MtUm2Mount Umunhum as seen from my back yard.

Now that I have gotten these out of my way, let me come back to the main topic of today.  Near our house is a small hillock (or a knoll ) hardly a couple of hundred feet tall.  The landscape changes with the season.  It is verdant in winter, slowly turning to golden brown with advent of spring.  On top of the hill there are three oak trees.  Looking from the bottom, only one oak tree is seen at a time.  I think that’s where it got its name, One Tree Hill.  Generations of kids have grown up swinging on homemade swings attached to its branches.  Many graduating high school seniors use the plateau on top with the oak tree as a background for their high school graduating yearbook photos. I use the hike up the hill as my excuse for exercise but mainly to let my dog Skooby run around freely on the few soccer field size flat top.  He enjoys the freedom, absolute lack of traffic and gallops, canters or sprints as he feels like.  It’s pure joy to see him enjoying the freedom.
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OakTree1Oak2     Alas, as spring comes the hills will slowly turn golden brown.
This enchanting hill can become dangerous fire hazard if some idiots drop their cigarette butts on those golden brown grass as can be seen from a photo taken couple of years back.
Thank God (and quick responding fire fighters) that no one was harmed and no property was damaged.

Yesterday it rained here, just sparingly.  As the news channels said, it was just teaser rain (Flirtatious Rain Clouds) , harbinger of more rains to come in the next few days.  God knows we need as much rain as we can get.  But there was a forecast of snow at higher elevations.  So come morning, I along with my best friend, Skooby, trudged up One Tree Hill.  It was a gorgeous morning, cool,crisp and clear.  And what a sight it was.  Mount Hamilton (4300 feet) to the east of us was covered with snow.  It was difficult to get a good photograph as the mountain was to my east and the sun shining bright in the morning.

I know I have gone completely overboard with this post.  But as I mentioned at the beginning of my post today, this prompt is very near and dear to my heart. I wish I could have just given you a birds eye view as seen by the falcon flying over my head today.


All photographs by the author.

 

 

 

In My Life: Skooby: Tuesday Photo Challenge

Ah, it’s Tuesday and right on the dot Frank Jansen’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt was there in my reader.

This week’s theme is “In My Life” and Frank has posted a adorable photo of one of his Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

It’s true that our dogs are a big part of our daily life.  Our dog, Skooby, for last eight years has become an integral part of our life.  So without much ado, here is a photo of Skooby sunbathing.
Sun bathing Skooby

Don’t be fooled by his innocent face
He is stuck at terrible two
Though he seems to be sleeping
Up his sleeve
He has a trick or two
Keeps us always
On our toes
With all his mischievousness
He is adorable though

After we got Skooby, his morning and evening walks were added to my daily routine.  He takes his time to attend to nature’s call, smelling the roses (Ahem!) on his way.  I try to use that time positively as much as I can by photographing the surroundings.  Below is one such photo taken today morning.
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Migratory Ducks in Randoll Creek
Photo by author, February 13, 2018

The Three Rs

How the three “Rs” have changed with time!

When we were students, it meant Reading, (W)riting, (A)rithmatic.

Went to work, it became Reorg, Retrench, Replace.

Once work life was over, thought it would be Retire, Relax and Reconnect.

But old age brought its own issues of Relapse, Recovery and Redundancy.

And Whatsapp turned Reconnect into Rehash, Repost and Recycle.

What more can be expected from a generation that grew up with “copy / paste”.

Note: Not recycled. Original thought process during breakfast.

Milestone or Kilometerstone?

It seems I reached a milestone yesterday as was confirmed by WordPress, “Congratulations on writing 500 posts on Fleeting Muse!”.  I certainly had not been keeping tabs.  I started my blog around November of 2015, so somewhere I must have crossed my two years anniversary but did not realize it.
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Initially I thought the milestone was for my first food recipe post yesterday.  Incidentally that was the blog that made me achieve the milestone of 500 posts.  That post also achieved more “likes” much quicker than any of my poems.  That made me think about my blog.  As my readers may be aware that my passion is writing poetry.  Though I diverge from time to time, I always come back to writing poetry. So why did my recipe got more likes quicker than any of my poems?  Hmmm….
thinking
Is it because,
1.  People like food more compared to reading poems, or
2.  I have more potential for success as a food blogger than poet, or
3.  The photo of the soup bowl with the recipe was really inviting, or last but not the least,
4.  I am a lousy poet ( ouch, that hurts)

Unlike the person on the cartoon, I can’t scratch my head for long.  Precious few strands of hair that I have on top are far more valuable than finding an answer to my questions at present.  Also my belly is sending distress signals to my brain, warning me to complete my writing at the earliest before it goes into a hunger strike.

I realized I did not address my title at all.  That will be for another day.  Right now I need to put some food in my tummy to calm it down.

Well, I may have gotten the answer to my question there.

Summer of 2017 – Part 5- Independence Day

Continued from previous post : http://wp.me/p73yZZ-3qq

On Independence Day, July 4th, my dog Skooby and I decided to be little independent and go for a morning hike at Almaden Quicksilver County Park.  The park is just a stone’s throw from my house and  one of the several park entrances is a walkable distance.  With Skooby I did not want to walk on the main road although major portions of the road did have a footpath.

PART 5: July 4, 2017 : Tuesday: Independence Day
The day started off well, sunny but cool with a nice breeze.  Skooby, being a good dog, decided to do his morning ritual at the start of the trail, thereby releasing me from the burden of carrying his load throughout the hike.  Starting of the trail had a steep gradient, but the path to the next junction was short and shaded.

I had in mind a short hike, about an hour and half up and half an hour down. But Skooby had different ideas. He wanted to have some side trips. I had to keep him on a tight leash as I heard a rattler (rattlesnake) about half a mile into my hike. This was a first in this trail in many years of hiking. Another hiker who was coming down the trail told me that he had also heard one when going up the trail. I was cautious after that. But when we came to creek with flowing water, it was difficult for me to stop Skooby. He had to explore and being a good, conscientious dog, he decided to add to the water volume of the creek. As per his request I did not photograph him on the act, though the gently flowing creek with soothing, gurgling sound assured me that it did not mind Skooby’s indiscretion. There was Skooby on the bottom right of the photo on the right, happily exploring.

Skooby’s act was for good measures as after this creek with flowing water, we were greeted by one dry creek after another.  A disappointed Skooby searching for water on the photo at bottom.

As we were climbing up, it was becoming humid and Skooby was panting. He was still game but seemed to be getting tired.  At eight and half years of age, the heat and the steep grading must have been tiresome for him.  In previous hikes he would always try to go in front of me trying to explore every bush.  Today he was just content to walk by my side or follow me.  I just may have missed a turn on the trail but the trail I took rewarded us with great vistas.

Reason for making this hike a short one was that we had a lunch invitation to attend to. But somewhere during one of Skooby’s side trips, I must have taken a wrong turn. It was getting warmer and I had to make a few stops to ensure that Skooby drank enough water. It was getting much longer than I anticipated. But every cloud has a silver lining. Longer hike resulted in a roaring appetite to do justice for the ensuing lunch party. Also the view of our lovely valley from the hilltop was fantastic.

By the time we were back to the parking lot, it became a ~ six miles hike, 1200 ft elevation and a good three hours of hiking.

A hike can’t be complete without a selfie. So here it is (just to prove that Skooby did not hike alone).
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May be continued as summer unfolds.

©All photographs in this post were taken by the author.  Readers are free to use with proper acknowledgement to the author.