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.

My usual litany when I’ve been gone for a while goes something like this: sorry I’ve not been around much, but stuff be happening that precludes me from being more involved with the blog or the blogosphere in general.

Well, this is one of them times when the usual litany is applicable. Still, even when doing other things, I occasionally need to step away from “stuff” and dip my toe back into what relaxes me, namely, playing with photographs and posting them.

JPG output from Lightroom using “Auto” adjustments of the original RAW photo.

That’s a shot from the Rocky Mountains National Park, taken during a visit in July of 2010. The camera is the Nikon D200, and the lens is the Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 at 13mm zoom (19.5mm effective). In fact, all the photos are shot with that camera/lens combination with the effective zoom ranging from 15mm to 30mm.
 

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 bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run 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.

That coyote was photographed at Little Big Horn — yes, that Little Big Horn — with my Nikon D100 and Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens.

In four days, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round will end. I post the reminders because there have been late-round voting surges which seem tied to the deadline approaching . . . probably people who enjoy the thrill of working to a deadline.

. . . although this isn’t really work, or shouldn’t be . . . .

If you’re 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 T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today I decided to process a few more Nikon D100 photos, but transitioning from flowers to other stuff.

Those look like Black-eyed Susan flowers but they’re actually a wildflower that looks similar. Or, maybe they are Black-eyed Susan from seeds that had been blown into a natural setting. We’ll never know.

Usually, Alphabet Stories voting rounds seem to pass quickly and I find myself scrambling for a story. But, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is only halfway done and it already seems like it’s been running for a long while. Heck, I still have eight days before I need to write something.

My advice to readers is . . . don’t be like me. Get your reading in early and lock in your vote, preferably well ahead of time.

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 T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today we’re looking at two panoramas from our 2006 Utah Tour (LINK). The panoramas are from photos I shared on that post (although I didn’t present any panoramas there).

Arches National Park

That’s a panorama composed of four photos taken in portrait mode and stitched in Photoshop.

The Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is progressing nicely. Not blazingly, but steadily. Strangely, I’m getting a lot of visitors to the blog. It doesn’t seem to translate into additional votes, comments, or even ‘likes’ . . . which leads me to believe these new visitors just took a wrong turn on their way to somewhere else. 

. . . I hadn’t noticed the increase (I rarely check my stats), but for a few months now, I’ve been averaging better than 70 visitors per day. Again, they come, they see, most leave no trace, but I’m glad they’re stopping by, even if they don’t interact.   

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 T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and today we’re making our way back to November of 2018. We knew we were leaving the Big Island at the end of the year, so we made it a point (when not packing and shipping our few belongings) to visit the places we liked.

 

mural by Margaret Stanton, "The Cane Cutters" - 1998

That’s an actual painting, not something I whipped up on my computer. It’s a mural by Margaret Stanton, “The Cane Cutters” — 1998. It’s in the town of Honokaʻa, in the Hamakua district on the northern portion of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is moving along at a glacial pace, but it is moving, and for that, we are grateful.

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 T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

Let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and here are a couple of artsified Nikon P900 photos.

That’s from a photo that did not turn out well . . . but that I thought might make a decent painting rendering.

This is the third day of the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round. After a very quick start, we hit dead calm. No new votes. lots of views, but those are likely people using readers and not actually reading anything.

. . . there go my hopes of a 100 votes round . . .   

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 T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and here are a few Nikon P900 photos.

Magic Sands beach in Kona, The Big Island

Most people get a pleasant reaction from scenes like the one above. I think deep in our evolved nature, we have an affinity for water.

The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories seems to mirror another race that’s going on, with the lead changing hands almost daily. For a while, only one point separated the three stories. As of this writing, two points. As I wrote this, one story surged ahead and taken a three-votes lead. Impressive move this late in the round.

Regardless of who wins this round, it’s nice to see a good turnout at a time when people’s lives have many other pressing considerations.

I’ve been meaning to let all the procrastinators know of the impending deadline, but I’ve been putting it off . . . until now.

At noon tomorrow, this race will be called. If you plan to vote, please engage your posterior and get a move-on.  

If you are a reader of our stories and have a strong opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon (Chicago time) tomorrow.

Yesterday I posted a few “Westernized” photos. The bold colors are a big part of the characterization . . . but would they still be Western landscapes in monochrome? Well, let’s see . . .

Western scenery in monochrome
. . . You know what? It still do looks kinda Western-like . . . in fact, it reminds me a bit of the Tex Willard(link) comics I used to read.

The voting for the best of The Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories poll continues to be close. This either means the stories are near-equally good . . . or near-equally bad. 

Regardless of who wins this round, it’s nice to see a close race. For them keeping track, there are two more days before this round’s voting closes in two days.  

If you are a reader of our stories and have a strong opinion about which of the stories you liked the best (or disliked the least), and if you participate in the poll, thank you in advance. Links to the stories and the poll for the “Alphabet Challenge S-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon on November 8th.

I’m going to post a few “Westernized” photos. I mean, the post-processing is such that it gives the photos a “Western” look (or so I imagine).

Colorado scenery - fence and some red rocks
. . . Don’t know if I succeeded. I mean, the photos are all of Western scenery (Colorado), but I don’t know if these conform to people’s idea of Western paintings  . . .

The Alphabet Challenge “R” Stories voting round is undergoing its usual midway stall in what has become a regular pattern . . . half the votes come at the beginning of the voting period, and the rest as we near the end of the voting period. 

Regardless of when, 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 R-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on October 20th.

I’m still kind of busy, so this will be yet another short post.

Within, I hope to offer calming photos for people to contemplate.

small tiered waterfallThis serene scene is found along hwy. 24 heading up to Woodland Park from Colorado Springs.