For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

This shy bird was photographed (hurriedly) in Kansas . . .

I spent a fair amount of time trying to find a good match for it . . . and the best I can do is Gray Hawk (LINK). I have a lower degree of confidence that it’s a Cooper Hawk (LINK). The only reason Cooper’s Hawk comes into the picture is that the eyes appear to be red in this next photo.

This post documents our September 15, 2017, sea day leg between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Vancouver, BA. It’s also the continuation of my documentation of our 2017 Alaska Cruise which began in November 2017. How’s that for running a bit late?

Anyway, current and previous posts relating to this cruise are HERE(link).

There’s a gallery at the end of each post and a SmugMug gallery HERE(link). Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size.

You can click on the photos in the body of this post to see a larger-but-less-than-full-size-version. I should also mention this will be a smaller (shorter) post than the previous posts because, well, the sea can be a bit boring In fact, for a goodly while, I just photographed the ship’s churning of the sea as the most interesting thing I saw.

Yesterday I posted a sunrise photo that looked like the sky was on fire. That photo was from 2011. I got out of my subdivision on my way to work when I noticed the sky. I pulled over and snapped twenty or so photos.

Yes, I modified that photo, but not much. This next gallery shows the photos as they came out of the camera (no postprocessing) . . .

It doesn’t take much to change them into fiery scenes . . . a bit of DxO PureRaw, some Luminar AI, and a heap of Topaz Impression 2.

I think I’ve figured it out . . . people are tired of these reminders. Basically, the constant reminders about the V” stories block voting deadline is just an irritant. Don’t worry, I’m not here to remind you there are twenty-four hours remaining before the voting window closes — although, you know, that’s true when this post goes live — but rather to tell you a few corny one-liners.

What did the fish say when he hit the concrete wall?
“Dam!”

What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long?
Polaroids.

What’s the difference between roast beef and pea soup?
Anyone can roast beef.

What do you get when you toss a hand grenade into a kitchen in France?
Linoleum blown apart.

Anyway, if you’ve already voted for a favorite story, the writers thank you. If you haven’t voted, and you spent time reading this, you now have less than 24 hours before the voting round ends. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

So, a more birds . . . .


This was taken from the lanai of the condo we rented while in Kailua Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The bird is flying up to grab seeds from the upright pod. The pod contains a lot of seeds, and they are light enough to get blown all over the place. I know I shared the seeds in a post but I can’t find it right now.

Around this point of a voting block, we see a bit of a rush in voting, and the V” stories block is no different. The last two days typically see big moves by one or more of the stories, usually those that were lagging.

. . . and we are at the last two days of voting.

Going forward, I plan fewer reminders (reminders take a fair amount of time, and daily reminders don’t seem to make a difference in the voting), and I’ll bunch them up near the end of the voting block. Again, between generating the photos for these posts and spending time putting them together, the effort related to these posts impinges on time I would rather use to work on other posts.  Mind you, it’s not like these take hours but . . . no, actually, in aggregate, they do.

Anyway, if you’ve already voted for a favorite story, the writers thank you. If you haven’t voted, you have less than 48 hours before the voting round ends. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

So, a dash of red . . . .

This was taken from the lanai of the condo we rented while in Kailua Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

Wow . . . just yesterday we had the beginning of the new year, and it’s now the second day already! These days are going by so fast it’ll make your head spin, and before you know it, BAM! . . . the year will be over.

Not to mention, only three days left to vote for your favorite of the “V” stories. I mean, just yesterday, there were four days left, and now one day has disappeared. Poof! Gone.

If you’ve already voted for a favorite story, the writers thank you. If you haven’t voted, did I mention there are only three days left? Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

Again, I’m looking back a few years for these photos . . . .

This was taken in the parking lot of the Costco in Kailua Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

I hate starting the year off with a reminder there are only four days left in the “V” stories voting block. However, as everyone winds down from the holidays, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for people to relax, read a story or two, and cast a vote.

And, if that’s what you did (or plan to do), the writers want to add their thanks to their wishes for a great 2021. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

I dug back a few years for these photos . . . .

This was taken from the beach located approximately 7 miles north of Kailua-Kona, Kohanaiki Beach Park — also referred to as Pine Trees Beach — located on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The “V” stories voting block asked me to intercede on its behalf. Apparently, it doesn’t know why it’s in the doghouse with voters. I tried to explain this is a bad time of year — and a bad year overall — but this voting block is really insecure and would have none of it and wanted me to plead readers for more reading and voting.

Now, me, I don’t like doing that. I figure these stories have to stand on their own, and if there’s no word-of-mouth traffic generated by the few readers we’ve had, well, then, there’s nothing I can do about it . . .

. . . except thanking them who voted for standing up for their favorite of the three stories. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

Just a few photos today . . . .

The photos in this post are all from the lanai of the first condo we lived in while on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The “V” stories voting is likely to stall as people celebrate various religious holidays, and that’s perfectly fine.

For them who take the time to read our stories and vote for their favorite, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

Today is Christmas and to them who celebrate it, I wish a Merry Christmas . . .

Now, you might be asking “You be an atheist! What are you doing wishing people a Merry Christmas?”

The “V” stories voting block is off and running . . . Once again, we have three decent stories vying for the attention of discerning readers. One thing I would ask of readers . . . if you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — get friends and family to read it (and also read the others in case they don’t agree with you).

No matter how you come to them, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge V-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

Just a few photos today . . . .

The photos in this post are all from the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area<<link in the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

We’re getting down to the wire (whatever that means) with less than a day before the “U” Stories voting round closes.   

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge U-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on Wednesday, December 16th.

So, today I tried Luminar AI . . . Skylum, the company who sells the Luminar and Aurora HDR photo-processing programs (among others), will tell you it’s not a replacement for Luminar 4 — meaning, it’s not Luminar 5 — and it’s not an upgrade for Luminar 4 . . . it’s a whole new way of processing photos by harnessing the power of AI . . .

. . . so I put the program through some paces (whatever that means). The above photo comes from this next photo . . .

Super quick post to let readers know there are only two days left to vote.   

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge U-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on Wednesday, December 16th.

So, another hawk . . . the profile . . .

. . . and the frontal view . . .

An uptick in voting has restored the confidence of the writers. With three days left to vote, we hope we’ll see the usual late surge.   

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge U-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on Wednesday, December 16th.

Today, I’m posting photos from the past. Here’s one landscape photo that says it all . . .

. . . not Illinois . . .

There were a number of reasons why we moved from Colorado . . . but vistas like the above were not among them.