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

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. 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 upper-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 as this will pause the slideshow.

You can also click on the individual photos and a larger (but not full-size) version will open in a new tab or window. The galleries also have the option to show the larger version.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

So, twice now I mentioned seagull and I start out with ducks. Well, I liked how they swam away from me even though I was inside a car and about sixty yards away. But most of all, I like the wake patterns they formed. It reminded me of a flotilla of warship . . . well, feathery warships. Them beaks are deadly, don’t you know. 

Once again, time got the better of me. Well, OK, not time . . . stuff. Stuff is always coming up and robbing me of time and, by association, the chance to complete my plans.

You see, I wanted to write something for Halloween. I even started a story . . . a buddy story of two cops, one real, one a ghost, pulling Halloween duty . . . I had written this a few days ago and then . . . stuff.

~ 0 ~ 0 ~ 0 ~

“I hate Halloween,” Jim said and sipped his pumpkin spice latte. Seeing as he was alone in his squad car, Jim wasn’t expecting an answer, hence why he spilled half his coffee as a voice right next to his ear disagreed with him.

“Oh, it’s not so bad,” the voice said.

“Aahhgh!” Jim exclaimed, half out of surprise and a half at the scalding coffee landing uncomfortably high up on his thigh.

Recovering, he turned around, thinking someone has snuck into the back seat of the squad car, but the back seat was empty. No . . . an area of slight luminescence was floating just behind the steel lattice separating the back seat from the front.

The luminescence brightened a bit and drifted through the barrier and settled on the front seat. It kept brightening until it took a vaguely humanoid form.

“I’d asked you not to do that!” Jim said as he grabbed some napkins and tried to absorb as much of the rapidly cooling coffee from his pants and the seat. “This is going to look like I peed on myself!”

The Alphabet Challenge “P” Stories voting race is heating up. Readers who are into gambling can affect the final result.

If you are one such reader, thank you in advance for eventually reading our stories and for eventually casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge P-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on September 18th.

So, here’s a flower photo . . .

. . . and here are the same flowers in monochrome.

The Alphabet Challenge “P” Stories voting is still open and accepting votes from readers with uncast votes.

If you are one such reader, thank you in advance for eventually reading our stories and for eventually casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge P-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link Votes will be accepted until noon on September 18th.

So, here’s the photo from yesterday . . .

. . . and here’s a photo of one of the purple flowers.

The Alphabet Challenge “P” Stories voting is plodding along at an acceptable — albeit slow — pace.

Given the fires, pandemic, non-functioning government, and impending civil war, I suppose the trickle of votes we’re getting is about as good as we can expect. Of course, given all that, some readers might be looking for something to take their mind off the state of affairs.

If you are one such reader, thank you in advance for eventually reading our stories and for eventually casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge P-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, let’s go back to organic photos and travel all the way back to 2003 . . .

of course, I have to Impressionate the shot (Impressionate: v. to use Topaz Impression 2.0 on the photo and artistify it . . . Artistify: v. to de-realisticize a realistic photo, usually by simulating it being painted by a now-dead artist).

The Alphabet Challenge “P” Stories are experiencing what has become the norm halfway through voting rounds. Namely, the voting goes from slow to glacially slow. Actually, given the changing climate, glaciers might be changing a tad faster than the vote count.

I suppose it could be the daily reminders act more like a deterrent than an incentive. I mean, there is such a thing as being too needy, and that’s aggravated by constant nagging. Starting with the next round, I might drop the frequency of the reminders to every other day. Of course, some readers enjoy both the photos and the constant reminders to read and vote.

If you are one such reader, thank you in advance for eventually reading our stories and for eventually casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge P-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Of course, it could also be that our plots are a bit like that panel . . . a bit too complicated and requiring reading expertise that is lacking in most people . . .

The Alphabet Challenge “P” Stories voting has — with apparent reluctance — started back up and we’re getting a trickle of readers wanting to make their preference known. 

If you are one such reader, thank you in advance for eventually reading our stories and for eventually casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge P-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, Outside . . .

That’s the color version of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA . . . but it seems to me this might be a more suitable version . . .

The Alphabet Challenge “P” Stories went live last week and almost immediately . . .

That’s the current voting speed . . . dead slow. It could be readers are saving themselves for a last-minute voting frenzy (hey, it could happen!) but it could also be readers are getting tired of all this reading. Our hope, then, rests in thinking readers took the time off for the Labor Day Holiday and are — even as I write this — contemplating getting back to their pre-holiday routines . . . like reading our stories.

If you are one such reader, thank you in advance for eventually reading our stories and for eventually casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge P-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

Here’s the above photo with a bit of Topaz Impression and a bit of Glow . . .

I like both the texture and details of this version . . .

The “L” Stories voting could use a bit more participation, and that’s what the writers are hoping for the coming week. 

If you lead a blissful life, you probably need to temper said life with a bit of a bother, like reading three stories by unknowns. You can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<Link

 . . . as usual, the final variant of a subject is when I go all artsy on them (I use Topaz Labs plugins for all these).

I’m in a hurry, so I’m just dumping a gallery below and forego all my usual witty banter.

The “L” Stories voting had a momentary swell of activity (three votes) before falling back to dormant status.

I’d like to think it’s because of my promoting efforts, but I think it’s friends of the twins who account for most of the activity (note to self: get some friends of my own . . . but not too many).

If your life feels devoid of meaning and purpose and you want to spice it up, you can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<Link

Not saying reading these stories and voting will improve your life, but stranger things have happened, so I’d say it’s worth a shot.

 . . . for them who don’t know, once I post a set of photos, I’m likely to post variants (see previous posts). In this case, I again decided to go monochromatic. Specifically, on the photos of the clematis seed head.

Wait . . . why two versions of the same photo?

We’re almost at the halfway mark for the “L” Stories voting round. If you want to participate, you can find links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge L-Stories” HERE.<<<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 . . . yesterday’s rock got treated to some Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro 2 . . .

Once again, I think the monochrome treatment enhances all that texture and shapes, making it easier to “see” faces and figures on a surface that reminds me of a representation of Dante’s Inferno.

Current voting for the “K” stories remains baffling to us writers. 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 . . . Flowers . . .

I’ve been remiss on photographing flowers . . . well, I’ve photographed a few, I just haven’t shared them. I’m remedying the matter with this post.

The “K” stories voting period is at the halfway mark and it’s still going pretty slow. It’d be nice of people gave them a read (there’s at least one good one, I’d wager), and if you’ve read them, please vote for your favorite of 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 — and some say “should” — spread the news about the stories to friends and family. Or, not. But, we hope for yes.

So . . . the Round 2 “what’s that?” reveal . . .

“What’s that?” — No. 1
“What’s that?” — No. 1

Yes, it’s a mushroom.