This week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt from Frank is “Backyard“.
Backyard trees in the morning sun as seen from my breakfast nook. All the trees are in my backdoor neighbors yard. Flowers and leaves from the trees make my backyard quite dirty but they provides nice shade in summer afternoon as the sun moves to the western sky. Therefore I have learnt to tolerate the extra work and coexist.
Photo above is from my extended backyard. Couple of minutes walk from my house is a creek. Nearly a kilometer long portion of the creek divides the newer and older areas of the subdivision. The creek runs completely dry in summer. On our side of the creek, the trail by the side of the creek is shaded by trees and on the other side is a wide trail. In summer the creek bed is choke full of dry reeds that give shelter and nesting environments to wild birds and animals, mainly quails, ground squirrels, gophers, moles and hares. Saw these beautiful cactus flowers during morning walk with my dog, Skooby.
Many had commented that it looks like a human foot.
Note: All photos taken by author on September 5, 2018. Please ask or cite source for reproduction.
This week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt from Frank is “Rain“.
I grew up with rains, lots of it, about seventy inches in average a year. Monsoon, thunder and lightning. Sound of raindrops drumming on the rooftop. Hot, humid summers cooled down by a sudden downpour. Flash floods and muddy roads, swift flowing rivers, overflowing drains. And the place with most rain, Mawsynram, four hundred seventy inches of it, is about sixty miles away from the city I grew up.
Now I live in place with hardly any rain, just an average of fifteen inches a year and that too in winter. Last few years we had much less than fifteen inches, with about eight inches in 2015 and about four inches in 2013. So as you can imagine many a times we play hide and seek with rain clouds and we get deceived. Today is such a day, the sky is gray, the day is cloudy and there is just a nine percent chance of rain. From experience I know it is not going to rain. Here is a photo of grey sky today pregnant with the promise of rain that will turn out to be deceiving. Couple of months back I had posted a poem, Flirtatious Rain Clouds , on this topic.
Sun fighting a losing battle with the clouds but chances of rain is minimal.
But there is always hope and what is hope if not that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And where would be a rainbow without rain.
I love winter
With its promise
Of spring not far behind
You say you have
The winter blues
But hope is
All that I live for
I sing the
Lights up the world
I stay indoors
Don’t want to be burned
By the scorching sun
Or the raging envy
At the six pack abs
The sculpted bodies
On the beach
I hide my
By winter’s warm clothes
Summer shamelessly disrobes
For public view
I ruefully sing
The summer blues
"A heat advisory remains in effect from 11 am Sunday to 9 PM PDT Monday. "
Summer refuses to go with a whimper
Sun is roaring after the eclipse like a tiger
Can’t look at the sun with my naked eyes
Beautiful sunflower makes me satisfied
Indian summer it may be
Have to bear the heat advisory
Our county has a heat advisory forecasted starting tomorrow.
I close and open my fist in disgust
As I see time fly by
In time I can’t catch wasted time
Knowing fully well that I will rue
The time that flew by
There will be a time
When I will ruminate
The time that flew by
Time would only tell
What could have been
What I lost
As summer slowly passes
And I sit languidly
Listening to the gossips of the day
Silent gazes of strangers
Clouded by rising steam
From continuously refilled coffee cups
Locks for a moment on something
And furtively look away
Are they also ashamed of
The guilt of killing time
As another summer day
Rolls away to dusky evening
Co-conspirators we all
Guilty as accused
Of wasting time
As time flies by
When I started this blog, I promised to myself that I will not turn it into a diary of my daily activities. However this summer a few unplanned activities had provided me some photo opportunities that I would like to share with my readers. Readers beware, this is not a post about poetry. So if you decide to proceed no further, I will understand. I never claimed to be a good narrator or a writer of prose. So the description below may come out flat and boring. My apologies.
PART 1: June 15, 2017 : Thursday:
I was hoping that the kids were to be picked up from their dorms by Saturday morning only. Even before the summer had actually started, days were getting really warm and I was not looking forward to this duty. Suddenly on Thursday morning, I was told that the kids would need to be picked up by 8:00 PM latest by Thursday night as the dorms would close for summer by Friday 12:00 noon. To make matter worse, we could not be there before 2:00 PM as they had finals. So there we were in two cars ( for two kids ), hoping that everything would be packed before hand and we should be able to start back before the traffic starts. Well, we hoped. Estimated two hours turned out to be nearly five hours, with last minute packing, cleaning, locking room keys inside the room, elevators that took an eternity to come up ( or down) and other events that I would not bore my readers with. And then I hurt my back helping my son carry a most unwieldy load from the elevator to one of the car. When we had dropped them in their dorms nine months back, everything was loaded in one car. How can one accumulate so much stuff in nine months is beyond my comprehension.
To make matter short, I cooled off my heels sitting under a tree, enjoying a cool breeze from the ocean while my wife helped my daughter in packing up. I took this opportunity to take some photos and sharing these here.
And this visitor from the wild enticed, enticed by a girl with some food.
I wish I could have written Wordsworth’s famous line ” I wandered lonely as a cloud”. What to do, there was hardly any clouds to be seen on the azure sky. No daffodils, but flowers aplenty. It was a beautiful morning, perfect for hiking. Bright, sunny morning with a cool breeze. A morning when you don’t feel the necessity of sunscreen to keep the sun away from your face, but rather want the golden rays to kiss your face to warm you up. Neither I was lonely, rather enjoying the company of my better half and our lovely, four legged companion, Skooby. Three’s Company, indeed.
Skooby was straining at the leash, begging me with his doleful eyes to let him be relieved of the undue constraint. But trail rules are strict, dog on leash at all time. So, rather reluctantly, I had to restrain Skooby from his enthusiastic endeavour of running after the butterflies and bumblebees.
Ah! the butterflies and bumblebees. The hills were ablaze with wildflowers. A good rainy season after five long years of drought and mother nature resplendent on her most regal beauties. Alas, this bonanza is not going to be long lasting. As spring will slowly make its way to summer and the landscape will start to become golden brown, lovely wildflowers will give way to dried grass. Better to enjoy when I can.
Try as I might, I could not take a photo of any butterflies. They were so lovely, with the luminescent, fluttering wings catching the sun rays. I think they also must have realized how short lived nature’s bounty is going to be. I tried to emulate their example and enjoy nature as much as I can. But from time to time, I could not restrain myself from trying to capture the abundance all around me in the confines of my digital camera. What a waste of time and futile attempt to confine the panoramic canvas in a few megapixels of digital memory. Try as I may, I could not do justice to what my eyes had seen in my photographs. I will never be Wordsworth and I realized that I am a lousy photographer of nature.
Poetry, music, creative writing and a desire to inspire.....Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.