WPC Reward: Second painting finished

Ever since my insensitive art teacher at school, told me over fifty years ago, that I was absolutely hopeless at drawing and painting, I’ve believed it to be true, and have often joked about not even being able to draw a stick man. A few weeks ago, having been encouraged by a friend, I signed up for a six week course in oil painting. I was really apprehensive, fearing I wouldn’t be able to produce anything remotely worth looking at, but soon found that I was enjoying myself, and was amazed to find that I could actually paint something quite pleasing, even to my own very critical eye.

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This week I finished my second painting, and hung it in my TV room. I look at the result of these first two efforts, as a reward for taking my courage in both hands, and finally laying to rest a ghost which has haunted me for all those years.

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To see more entries for the challenge, click the badge below.

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A new visitor to my backyard

Yesterday was really blustery here and there weren’t many birds flying around the lake. Mr. GBH, looking very unimpressed, was hunkered down and appeared to be glued to his special spot for the whole day, his feathers blowing every which way.

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Even Sammy squirrel was staying close to the ground instead of rushing up and down the palm trees. In fact he was lying face-down for so long, I began to wonder if he’d suffered a heart attack. Much to my relief, when he heard the door open, he moved off into the flower bed.

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It’s a good thing he did move to a less exposed spot, because a short while later, a new and unexpected visitor suddenly came swooping in. Sammy would have made a very tasty snack for Mr. Turkey Vulture.

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It was the first time I’d seen a Buzzard up close. His face certainly wouldn’t win any beauty competitions, but what gorgeous plumage he has.

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He didn’t stick around for very long, and soon he was off up into the clouds again. I often think how wonderful it must be, to be able to just take off on a whim, without all the hassle of airports and having to book tickets.

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Wishing you all a great weekend. I’ll be donning my ‘glad rags’ tonight, for dining and dancing with friends.

 

A circle of horses for Cee’s ‘Which Way’ #8

This is my first entry for Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge. Whilst out shopping, I came across this beautiful horse sculpture at a traffic circle here in Boynton Beach. The grazing horses, created by local public artist Mark Fuller, and entitled ‘The Last Pasture’, symbolise the shrinking of rural environments, and are Mark’s way of memorializing what used to be just a pasture before commercial development took over this site.

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Click the banner too see more entries for Cee’s challenge.

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Picnic spot on Sanibel for Jude’s B&W Challenge.

Here’s another entry for Jude’s February B&W Bench Challenge. This was taken at a picnic spot on Sanibel island, not far from the lighthouse I showed you a short while ago. A few steps through the palm trees, is the beach and the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A really beautiful place to visit.

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Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge #8: A visit to Pahokee Mo’s

On our return trip from Fort Myers, we stopped off  at Lake Okeechobee and looked for a place to have lunch. Pahokee Mo’s Tiki bar and Sunset Grille seemed to be be the only option, and we so enjoyed our meal there. The food was really great, and the service outstanding and friendly. What fascinating inside decor they had too. I especially loved this canoe with its two hunters which floated above the bar.

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To see more Odd Ball entries for Cee’s Challenge, click the badge.

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My Sunday Photo: Playing Possum

This Opossum in the palm tree in the garden of the house we’re renovating, was disturbed by the garden service we employed to clear out the undergrowth. He scuttled up into the tree and didn’t move the whole day. I wonder if he has any family members living nearby. I was reading that these creatures are quite harmless and can be beneficial for the garden, as they eat snails, slugs, insects and even small rodents. They aren’t aggressive, even though their defense hissing makes them appear quite vicious. When they’re really threatened, they pretend to be dead, which is where the saying, “Playing possum” comes from.

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Last day of the 5 Day B&W Photo Challenge ~ The Ponte Vecchio

For my final B&W photo from Italy, it was a toss up between Venice and Florence. The oldest and most famous bridge in Florence won the toss. Ponte Vecchio is the only surviving bridge from Florence’s medieval days, its other bridges having been blitzed in World War II. Legend has it that Hitler really took such a liking to this particular bridge, that he ordered it should be spared. The original wooden bridge which had crossed the Arno River at this spot since Roman times, was destroyed by flood in 1117. The replacement bridge, with three arches constructed in stone, was demolished in the terrible flood of November 1333, when according to the chronicles of Giovanni Villani, everything but the two central piers was swept away when huge logs in the rushing water became clogged around it, allowing the water to build and “leap over the arches.” It was rebuilt in 1345.

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Ponte Vecchio, meaning ‘The Old Bridge’, was initially home to butchers’ shops, but in the 16th century, because the influential Medici family who used the corridor on the second level as a pathway across the river, decided the smell of raw meat was too nauseating, the meat was replaced with something much less offensive to the nostrils; gold, silver and jewels. Today it’s a major tourist attraction, and is lined with jewellers, art dealers and souvenir shops.

Thanks Issy of Isadora Art and Photography for nominating me to take part in the 5 Day B&W Photo Challenge.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

My longtime South African blog friend Michelle, The Happy Hugger, has kindly volunteered to do the challenge. Her blog is about “Life, love, happiness and most of all kindness,” and I know she’d love to have you visit.

 

Day 4 of B&W 5 Day challenge: Get me to the church on time

I have a much happier photo for my 4th day of the ‘5 Day B&W Photo Challenge’. Still in Italy, and on our first morning in Florence, we had a guided walk around the ‘City of the Flowers’.  As we emerged into the Via dei Calzaiuoli, we were both amused and delighted to see this exuberant bridegroom-to-be, being transported to his wedding by his enthusiastic groomsmen. I think this image looks so much better in monochrome, as the background and other people just seem to fade away, leaving the main characters as the focus of attention.

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Thanks Issy of Isadora Art and Photography for asking me to take part in the 5 Day B&W Photo Challenge.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

I’m not sure who has already been nominated for this challenge, and of course it’s entirely voluntary, so today I’m inviting any of my readers who would like to do the challenge, to have a go. Of the three people I’ve already chosen, only one has responded positively, so I hesitate to choose someone else. To quote James Dean, “Remember: Life is short, break the rules (they  were made to be broken).”

5 Day B&W Challenge #3 ~ A Road in Pompeii

For day three of the ‘5 Day B&W Challenge’, we move on to the ill-fated city of Pompeii. On 24th August 79 AD, some 20,000 people lost their lives when Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the city and it’s residents under twenty-seven feet of volcanic ash. In happier days, this chariot-rutted street would have once been a hive of activity, lined with stalls and jammed with customers from dawn to dusk, with Roman chariots vying with shoppers for street space. Nowadays, it’s only visitors are curious tourists like myself. I think the B&W edit imbues this image with an appropriate sense of eeriness and echoes of the distant past.

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Thanks Issy of Isadora Art and Photography for asking me to take part in the 5 Day B&W Photo Challenge.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

I’m not sure who has already been nominated for this challenge, and of course it’s entirely voluntary, so today I’m inviting Mary of  ‘Oil Pastels by Mary’ to join in. I’ve only recently discovered her blog, and have been bowled over by her amazing artistic talent. Do pop over and have a look at her work.