With the “X” stories voting block on its last three days — and this being (Saint) Valentine’s Day — I can think of no better romantic activity than spending quality time with one’s loved one and reading the short stories.

And then, in addition to voting for your favorite — and if you feel like it — forwarding it to couples you might know who need a boost in their relationship’s romance quotient.  Of course, you should encourage them to read all the stories for maximum romantic effect.

No matter how one comes to the stories, if you’ve read them and voted, 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 X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

So, it’s Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day. Truthfully, we don’t celebrate it per see (one could argue every day is Valentine’s Day . . . as evidenced by the open box of chocolates usually on the counter). But, for them who only celebrate their relationships on special occasions, here be some flowers.

The flower photos in this post are some of my earliest digital photography efforts (from 2003).

Note: If you are using the WordPress App in Android and reading this with the Reader in Dark Mode, you won’t see much of the post because of a bug in the behavior of the app.

The “W” stories voting block is about 20 hours from closing. As usually happens late in the voting block, we have fairly significant movement by one of the stories.  If you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — now is the time to nudge friends and family into reading it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you) and to cast their votes.

No matter how you come to them or who you vote for, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, snow on Mauna Kae (the Big Island of Hawaiʻi) . . .

Composite of six photos taken in portrait mode.

That shot was taken from Highway 19 just north of the Kawaihae port while heading up to Waimea.

Note: If you are using the WordPress App in Android and reading this with the Reader in Dark Mode, you won’t see much of the post because of a bug in the behavior of the app.

The “W” stories voting block has a little over 48 hours before it ends and the results recorded in the annals of insignificant history.  If you like a particular story, in addition to voting for it — and if you feel like it — now is the time to nudge friends and family into reading it (and also ask them to read the others in case they don’t agree with you) and to cast their votes.

No matter how you come to them or who you vote for, if you’re a reader of our stories and someone who votes, the writers wish to express their gratitude and appreciation. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge W-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

So, photos . . .

These were shot in Central Illinois last July. They are dead now.

The name might seem odd to new subscribers, but the title will make sense to long-time subscribers because I’ve done one of these before . . . this is a post about future posts that will show past stuff.

I mentioned in the last post that I aim to change (reduce) the number of ‘reminder to vote’ posts. I also aim to reduce the number of blogs I subscribe to.  That process will be painful, but many of the blogs I’m currently following I originally did so because of something that was useful or interesting to me, and — for some blogs — that has changed to just being a habit without much benefit.

I rather follow fewer bloggers and have meaningful interaction than follow a lot of bloggers and have interactions equivalent to a nod you give a stranger as you pass them on the street.

. . . and yes, I expect I’ll lose some followers who will either be upset I unsubscribed, or will forget about me because they’ll no longer see me on their blogs. Again, meaningful engagement is the key, and even then, I want more time to do my own thing, and right now I’m keeping up with too many blogs (if I subscribe, I read the blogs), and that means I often can’t do justice to all the blogs I’m following.

. . . it’s gonna be tough, I tell you what.

Anyway, on to future past stuff . . .

So, I have a lot of photos I’d like to share. Some are new, like the above.

“What is it?” you ask.

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.

With five days to go, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round heated up into a frenzy of votes and drastic moves in the standings of individual stories. It’s good to see the activity pick up a bit as we approach the end of the voting block. Perhaps we’ll top the record set last week (but still far from the once-hoped-for 100 votes mark).

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 photos of flowers captured with the D100.

Stella D'Oro daylily painting

That’s a Stella D’Oro daylily. Artified, of course.

With six days to go, the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round is progressing nicely. I suppose I should start thinking about my next story.

Meanwhile, 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 photos of flowers captured with the D100.

Dogwood tree flowers turned into a framed painting.

That’s a peach tree blossom, I think. Artified, of course.

This is the second day of the Alphabet Challenge “S” Stories voting round. Given all that’s going on in the world, I’ll be happy to get any readers and voters at all to stop by.  

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 S-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on November 8th.

I know the voting post is a bit of a mess, what will all the warnings and colors and stuff . . . but, the poll works (as far as I know) and a few votes have been cast.

And now, onto a few photos that were processed using Luminar 4 . . .

John Deere Model "B" TractorThat’s a John Deere Model “B” tractor<<link that has graced these digital pages before.

So, you might wonder what’s so special about using Luminar 4. I mean, it’s not like that post-processing has made the shot amazing . . . well, I’ll have the original in the gallery at the end, but . . . .

Current voting for the “K” stories is . . . baffling? I didn’t think it would lean the way it’s leaning. But that’s the thing with readers; they can surprise you. If that sounds intriguing, give the stories a read and vote for the “Alphabet Challenge K-Stories” HERE.<<<This Is A Link

Clicking on the above link will take you to the post with the poll where you can cast your vote. The post also contains links to the individual stories. After voting, readers can — if so moved — spread the news about the story to friends and family. Or, not. But, we hope for yes.

So . . . Thai basil

I didn’t know what these were. All I knew is that Melisa clipped them and once close, I thought the flowers were pretty neat. .

You can still vote for your favorite of the “E” stories HERE. BUT . . . the opportunity will close soon because the “F” stories are on their way . . . maybe.

I’ve not heard from the other writers but I can speak for myself . . . I’ve not written one yet. Nothing new with that as I tend to be a last-minute writer anyway.

All I can say is that the “E” stories voting will close when the “F” stories are ready and that might be as soon as tomorrow . . . or the next few days.

It’s falling on deaf ears, but here’s another reminder — if you’ve not already done so — to vote for one of the stories in the “B” Alphabet Challenge Submissions. You can vote HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of the stories in that post.

I’ll be closing the vote for the “A” Alphabet Challenge Submissions (HERE) on Wednesday. It’s seeing little traffic but in case there be a straggler or two out there, I’m giving fair warning.

To be clear, you can read the stories and not vote (as some people have done). It’s also perfectly OK to not like any of them (it’s one of the voting options).

Any reader involvement is appreciated and we welcome comments and questions. They will be answered anonymously, but answers you’ll get (if you have questions, of course).

Click for a larger view. Full-size can be seen HERE.

That’s a Topaz Glow 2.0 conversion of the previously shared flower photo.

A quick reminder — if you’ve not already done so — to vote for one of the stories in the “B” Alphabet Challenge Submissions. You can vote HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of the stories in that post.

By the way, you can still vote for the “A” Alphabet Challenge Submissions HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of those stories in that post.

To be clear, you can read the stories and not vote (as some people have done). It’s also perfectly OK to not like any of them (it’s one of the voting options).

Any reader involvement is appreciated and we welcome comments and questions. They will be answered anonymously, but answers you’ll get (if you have questions, of course).

Click for a larger view. Full-size can be seen HERE.

That’s a Topaz Impression 2.0 conversion of the previously shared flower photo.

A quick reminder to vote for one of the stories in the “B” Alphabet Challenge Submissions. You can vote HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of the stories in that post.

By the way, you can still vote for the “A” Alphabet Challenge Submissions HERE and for them who have yet to read them, there are links to each of those stories in that post.

To be clear, you can read the stories and not vote (as some people have done). It’s also perfectly OK to not like any of them (it’s one of the voting options).

Any reader involvement is appreciated and we welcome comments and questions. They will be answered anonymously, but answers you’ll get (if you have questions, of course).

Click for a larger view. Full-size can be seen HERE.

Obviously, it’s not a recent photo. September flowers, they are.

I’m writing this from the LaGuardia Delta Gate 29 (Terminal C) . . . our scheduled 1:10 pm flight has now been pushed back to 3:10 pm.

Most annoying and an unwelcomed development given that we were scheduled to (by now) have pick up our car and be driving home. Oh well; it’s yet another reminder as to why travel by commercial carrier sucks.

So, where where we? Oh, yeah . . . Bar Harbor.

So, after looking into a few shops (but not finding anything to buy) we made our way back down to the water. The place is certainly picturesque.