Getting down to the last few days — three — of the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round. We’re on our way to another pretty good turnout, as far as votes go.

It still looks like there are lots of visitors who abstain from voting (and probably from reading), but, overall, the writers are pleased that after twenty rounds, we’re still getting a decent turnout, especially considering all the stuff that’s going on and the fact it’s a holiday week.  

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.

Today, I want to do something different. Let’s begin by looking at this photo . . .

As shot

That’s an unaltered photo of our 2010 Tahoe (which we sold when we moved to Hawaiʻi). What’s so special about the photo? Nothing. It’s basically a prop.

Two days left in The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round and — what do you know? — the voting round is showing some signs of life. Perhaps all my begging is not going to waste.   

. . . so, just a few more times, if you’one of them and have not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

This will be another (super)quick post because I’m busy . . . so here are two photos reworked in Topaz Studio . . .

Perhaps some will know what those are. If so . . . I didn’t process them enough.

I’ll share unprocessed photos in the next few days.

Three days left in The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round and it’s official . . . this will go down as a low participation round. With three days left, I don’t see a slew of voters coming in from a cruise or something and casting 20+ votes. Heck, they’re probably in quarantine from the cruise.  

. . . but, just in case, if you’one of them and have not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

This will be another quick post because I’m busy . . . so, here are the reworked photos of thistle flowers; reworked in Topaz Studio . . .

You can actually buy thistle . . . and I’ll probably do that.

Four days left in The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories round and it’s looking to be a low participation round. It happens, and we hope for better in the future, and I’m almost past even asking . . .  

. . . but, just in case, if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

This will be a quick post because I’m busy . . . so, here are a few photos of thistle flowers . . .

I should try to grow some . . . I hear they are low maintenance and I know bees and other insects like them.

I bug, but there’s no love for The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories. Voting has stopped in its tracks and it ain’t budging. 

The writers are at a loss to explain the sudden dearth of voters. Worse yet, it appears the stories are getting some eyes on them . . . OK, I exaggerate a bit . . . no one has looked at them for the past few days, but before that, we were getting a minimum of four views per day on each story . . . and few of those people voted. Probably a statement about our writing talents.  

As useless as it might be, I’ll mention it again . . . if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

On the last post, I mentioned the game “find the bug” . . . as it happens, I have a great candidate for the game . . .

Do you see the bug?

Perry and Gary have sent me their “N” stories . . . and I’m close to getting an idea for a story. Yes, I’m late again. If I get hit by a flash of inspiration and a case of fast-finger-typing, there’s a small chance I might be able to put something up later . . . 

. . .but — realistically — I’m more likely to have something by tomorrow. Still, I want to post something . . .

Remember that guy? He appeared in THIS<<link post.

The Alphabet Challenge “M” Stories voting has stalled. The “M” stories, mired and morose and melancholy, sit waiting for kind readers to stop by and give them a chance to enthrall, or at least entertain.

. . . er . . . mired and morose and melancholy are not the story titles; it’s just their state of being.

If you’ve not already done so, you can help them out by reading the stories and then cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge M-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

OK, that’s that. And now . . . .

Last week, when I went out to sit outside, this is what I saw next to my chair. Yes, those are rocks, but, if you haven’t already guessed from the title of the post, that’s not what I’m referring to.

It was evening, with the light fading. Some of these were shot with high ISO values and “DeNoised” and some were shot with the on-camera flash.

By the way, you can click on the photos for a larger view, or you can see the full-size photos in the SmugMug Gallery HERE.<<<Link

The “K” stories voting window will close sometime Tuesday (14 days window). You can wait until then, but to be safe and ensure your vote is counted, you should probably vote for your favorite “Alphabet Challenge K-Stories” HERE<<<This Is A Link by the end of tomorrow (Monday).

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 . . . Doe and Fawn . . . we’ve had a doe and fan hanging around the yard last week. We saw them a number of times and I was lucky to see them out my office window.

Unfortunately, I’m shooting with them in the shade and through a window and screen. Still, with a little manipulation, the photos are passable.

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.

If you need a break from stuff, maybe the “K” stories are just what you need. Go ahead; give 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 . . . another “what’s that?” It seems the first one was enjoyed by many some, so I thought I’d do a Round 2. Here’s the first offering:

“What’s that?” — No. 1

As before, leave a guess in the comments if you think you know (and feel like sharing).

Edited to add: if you want to play, guess before reading the comments (meaning, no peeking).

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. .

Voting on the “K” stories is still abysmally slow . . . probably because I let the other two writers down in the last few rounds. Still, if you want to support the other writers, give them a read (there’s at least one good one, I’d wager), and if you’ve read them, you can 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 . . . here’s the answer to “what’s that?” from the last post . . .

“What’s that?” — No. 1 — the remnants of a clematis flower.

After a rainstorm, of course.

Voting on the “K” stories is progressing slowly . . . probably a reflection of all the other stuff that’s going on in the world. Still, if you want a break, give them a read (there’s at least one good one, I’d wager), and if you’ve read them, you can 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 . . . “what’s that?”

“What’s that?” — No. 1

Well, give it a guess in the comments if you think you know.

I’m starting to feel the pressure of the “J” story submission deadline (due in less than a week).

I’m envious of readers of this blog . . . all they have to do (if they feel like it) is read the submissions, and after, if motivated, vote for their favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge I-Stories” HERE<<<This is a link.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. And, after voting, readers can spread the news about the story to friends and family. Maybe.

So, May 23, 2020 . . . after capturing a few birds in the backyard, we went for a drive to Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.<<<This is a link

I’ll start by saying I get no compensation for mentioning any of the programs I use. The reason I mention something is to either trash it or praise it.

In the case of Topaz Labs programs and plugins, it’s usually praise

Take a look at this photo . . .

As shot, 1/500 sec at f/10, ISO 2500 (300mm 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3)

Those numbers might not mean anything to most people but here’s what they mean to me . . .