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

When you click the links, 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 near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. 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.

Them who might have noticed me not doing much online these past four days probably knew I was traveling. Them who didn’t notice me not doing much online these past four days probably don’t read my blog.

Well, I was traveling, and when I travel, I travel with my photography equipment (plus the phone camera).

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

When you click the links, 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 near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. 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.

What’s interesting about this series of photos is this . . . they were shot through a heavy plate glass door and a double-pane glass portion of a screen door. I’m amazed at how well they turned out.

I’m kind of in a hurry and it’s late, so I’ll keep this short. Wait . . . it’s earlier than I normally go to sleep, but we’re traveling tomorrow and that means getting up about six hours from now. Hence, if I want a minimum of five hours of sleep, I need to keep this short.

Seventy. This post has seventy photos presented either singly or in small galleries. At the end of the post, there’s a gallery of all the photos . . . that’s for them who just want to see the photos and have no interest in my words. Well, other than the words in this opening paragraph.

This photo is for mvschulze — that’s the current look of the trimmed River Birch. We’ll see how it’ll look in the summer.

For them not interested in reading my words but interested in the full-size versions of the photos, you can see the bird photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery and the plant and miscellaneous photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, 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 near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).
3) If you click on the photo, it will zoom to full-size (1:1 view). Depending on the size and details of the photo, it might take a few seconds.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Common Grackle <<link

May 2nd, and like the mythical creator, I decided to rest (‘been painting and rearranging the garage, caulking, doing trim, and, in general, acting like I want to do stuff around the house as opposed to just vegetate and eat anything but vegetables).

For me, resting occasionally means sitting outside with my camera, my coffee, and my non-vegetable snacks. Specifically — on that day of rest — I aimed to catch me photos of birds and especially, birds in flight.

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

When you click the links, 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 near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. 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.

Ok, so that photo is not the same as the previous post since I didn’t have any garden statues in that post. By the way, that’s a Note 20 photo. I’m getting a bit more time with the phone . . . er . . . camera in the phone and getting better at capturing stuff with satisfactory quality.

So, let’s do a proper continuation of the photos in the last post . . . we begin with the great egret . . . that’s its name, not a statement of its bird qualities.

I’m still busy, but I took the time to output a few photos; a sample of Note 20 photos and D7500 captures.

Let’s begin with some flowers from the memorial we had for Pops . . .

Nothing fantastic, but I was happy with these photos pretty much as they came right out of the Note 20 Ultra (I added the dark framing and a minor auto-tweak in Lightroom that barely touched the photos).

I’ve been kind of busy and neglecting the blog, so I thought I should do a quick post just to let people know that — you know — I’m still alive.

I’ve been working on processing the next installment of the 2017 Alaska Cruise, but it’s been slow going because of the whole busy thing. Being short on time, it’s not ready.

So, how about a quick post listing my ten favorite Alphabet Challenge short stories? And, just to be clear, I mean the favorite of my stories (yes, I have an ego). I’ll push the Broxon Twins to do likewise for their stories, but they don’t do my bidding (a sad thing that).

But first, a picture . . .

Readers may have a favorite story, favorite multiple stories, or favorite writer of The Alphabet Challenge.  This post is for them readers.

Also, for new subscribers (the rare ones who aren’t subscribing just to sell me something), this is a convenient post should they be moved to read all the offerings.

Not only that, new subscribers who read the stories can still vote even though it won’t change the results of the challenge. But, it may give the individual writers a bit of a boost knowing they reached a few more readers.

If you are new to the blog and just discovered the Alphabet Challenge, and if you intend to read and vote, THIS<<link search gets you to the voting posts. Each of those posts has links to the individual stories for that round and a poll where you can vote for one of that round’s stories.

If you only want to read — and want links to — the individual stories grouped by writer, keep reading.

Readers are doing a decent job of trying to make the “Z” stories voting block the one with the most votes ever. It’s also nice getting feedback letting us know this is one of the best batches of stories yet. I mean, we always try doing our best, but it’s nice to read we’re ending the Alphabet Challenge on a high.

And you, yes, YOU, can help smash all previous voting records! Helping doesn’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also going the extra mile and urging friends and family to read and vote (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). This being the last group of stories, it’s not like they have to commit to much, especially since there’s only one day left.

That said, only read and vote if you have the time and inclination. Life can throw loops at people and if something keeps you from these stories, that’s perfectly fine.

But if you’ve been a reader of our offerings and someone who votes — even if only occasionally — know that you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) tomorrow Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

Since I don’t want to keep you long, just a few photo offerings . . . 

Some sights from our 2015 travels to Yellowstone NP.

The “Z” stories voting block is progressing at a decent clip . . . but it could do much better. Unfortunately, this is the last chance for the voting to smash previous records. That’s right . . . it’s now or never.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

For many people I know, today is kind of special. Whatever celebration you might be having — even if it’s just to enjoy being alive — I hope it is a grand day.

. . . I should probably express that more often since it’s my desire for readers and non-readers alike regardless of which day it is.

But, seeing as today is a holiday for some, I thought I would do a quick reminder post, and what better way to do “quick” than take previous photos and artsify them? That’s right; there is no better way. 

All of the photos are treated with Topaz Restyle, Topaz Impression, and framed using Topaz Studio.

The “Z” stories voting undergoes bursts of activity and — since this is the last of the stories — I figure I would do a bit more reminding and prodding. You know, to maybe have this last block smash the previous voting records.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

Yellowstone NP is (so far) our favorite National Park. I mean, there may be parks out there we’ve not seen and that would supplant Yellowstone’s lofty position, but they have a lot to live up to. 

I mean, Yellowstone has the views, the animals, the mountains, and valleys . . . and then there are the geothermal features.

The “Z” stories voting block is live and running . . . and not getting much love (votes). Likely, it’s because so much time had passed between the end of the “Y” stories and this round, the last of the Alphabet Challenge.

That’s right . . . as a reminder to them for whom it may not have registered, this is the last round of the challenge — hard to believe three writers wrote 26 short stories each and posted them all here, for all to read. For them who procrastinate, this really is the last chance they will have to participate in voting for their favorite.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021.

So, Note 20 Ultra . . . .

Once again, these are presented without any editing on my part . . . no post-processing of any kind . . . and today I want to address macro photography with the Note 20 Ultra.

This is the 26th (and last) round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I wrote one story for each letter of the alphabet, this being the last, or “Z” story.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on the total votes received.

The story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of this round, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Z” as submitted by its author.

This is the 26th (and last) round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I wrote one story for each letter of the alphabet, this being the last, or “Z” story.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on the total votes received.

The story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of this round, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Z” as submitted by its author.

This is the 26th (and last) round of The Alphabet Challenge mentioned in THIS<<link post. As a refresher, the Broxson twins, Gary and Perry, and I wrote one story for each letter of the alphabet, this being the last, or “Z” story.

Readers have two weeks from the date of publication to vote for their favorite story in the current round. Points will be assigned to each writer based on the total votes received.

The story with the most votes gets three points. Second place gets two points, third place gets one point. In the case of a tie, the points for the tied rankings are added and then split equally among the writers who tied. At the end of this round, we tally up and crown the winner with the most points.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

Long or short, each story will appear on its own post and the trio will be followed by a fourth post where readers can vote.

Here we go. Presented anonymously, the third of three stories with titles beginning with the letter “Z” as submitted by its author.

The “Y” stories voting block will end tomorrow at noon. I presume many people waited for their free extra hour — we set our clocks back this AM — to indulge in these stories. Well, it’s here; a whole hour to read these stories and vote for your favorite.

Edited to Add: For them who prefer doing everything at the last minute, we actually set our clocks forward this AM, so now’s the time to get a move on.

And, as usual, if you’re a regular reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you for participating in this long experiment (we’re nearly done). Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Y-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, March 15th, 2021.

We begin with . . . pareidolia<<link.

I’m always on the lookout for faces I might encounter throughout the day . . . usually, in our kitchen.