Daily Prompt: Clouds I Have Seen

Today’s Daily Prompt ‘Clouds’ reminded me of this Joni Mitchell song from the 1960’s, one of my all-time favourites.

Bows and flows of  angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all.

Here are some clouds I’ve been privileged to see on my travels around this beautiful world. I thought it might be fun to show some photos where the clouds, although quite prominent, weren’t the real focus for the shot; like this one taken through the window of our tour bus in Ecuador.

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Here’s the relaxing view from our hotel in Myrtle Beach SC.

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Mount Vesuvius looks down on the ruins of Pompeii.

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Instantly recognisable beneath the clouds, are the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.

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The Sri Mariamman temple, rising up to the clouds, is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.

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This monster Toucan and his friend Mr. Parrot sit under a cloudy sky in a Costa Rica  waterside park.

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Here under the lowering clouds in Lakota lies the eerie scene of the Battle of the Little Bighorn,  commonly known as ”Custer’s Last Stand’.

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This shot of Mount Rushmore taken from the side, shows just the profile of George Washington, one of the four past presidents who are featured in this massive sculpture.

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Clouds hovered over La Paz in Bolivia, as we drove down from El Alto  airport at an altitude of almost 12,000 feet.

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Looking down over  Cape Town from Table Mountain,  3,558 feet above Table Bay.

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Clouds over a beach of soft white sand in Punta Cana. Absolute paradise on earth.

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I don’t know about you, but just looking at all these photos has given me itchy feet. Time to travel again.  I think  I’ll just go and tell  hubby to hurry up with the house renovations.

Hope you’re all having a great Thursday.

 

 

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Cute Home-Builder

Mr. Weaver Bird putting the finishing touches to his love nest.

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What a beautiful and wondrous world we are so privileged to live in! If only all humans could wake up each day and realise this, instead of wanting to hurt their fellow man. Today, my heartfelt thoughts are with the people of Istanbul and especially our dear blog friend https://photographyofnia.com/2016/06/29/do-not/ at this terrible time.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

For this week’s WPC, Michelle says, “Whether two of a kind or ten, give us subjects that are in sync with one another — show us partnerships.”

Here are two beautiful Red-shouldered Hawks we came across at a nearby nature reserve.I would say that they are partners, wouldn’t you?

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I’m sure that some of you remember seeing my photo taken in Rome, of  this loving couple who most probably had been partners for many years, dancing to the clarinetist’s rendition of ‘Bésame Mucho’.

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Talking about long term partnerships; hubby and I have been partners in love for a long time, and in December we’ll have been happily married for 50 years.

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Last but not least……these two spoons are ‘partners in crime’, and the ice cream is an excellent partner for the Tennessee Whiskey Cake.

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To participate in the challenge, click here https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/partners/

Wishing you all a wonderful week.

 

 

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My Sunday Photo: A Purple Beauty

Last year on our trip Costa Rica, we visited the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Our guide told us to keep a look out for the spectacular Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird, and we were lucky enough to see this one perched for just a moment.The male is about 15 cm long, one of the largest hummingbirds in the world.

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Happy Sunday everyone.

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Feathers on Friday: Tricolored Heron

For Charlotte’s ‘Feathers on Friday’challenge, I have this beautiful tricolored heron who often comes fishing along the bank of our lake. He was there yesterday evening just as the sun was going down.

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After I took his picture, I noticed two more of his friends, a bit further down the bank. All three were standing like statues, waiting for supper to arrive.

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If you have any feathered friends that you’d like to feature, just click the link to visit Charlotte’s blog. https://prairiebirder.com/2016/06/24/feathers-on-friday-183/

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

 

 

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Ignatius puts on his happy face

Do you believe that animals can smile? My mom had a little Pomeranian dog who used to greet her with a ‘smile’ when she arrived home. To me, it looked more like a baring of sharp looking teeth and was quite scary, but mom insisted that darling Fluffy was smiling to show she was happy to see her.

Today, I was watching Ignatius as he made his laborious way through the grass towards my bathroom window, where I seem to spend a lot of my time. It’s very hot and humid outside, so can you blame me for preferring to keep watch from my air-conditioned vantage point?

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Suddenly he seemed to sense that he was being photographed, and I swear that he smiled for the camera.

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Do your pets smile at you? I was reading that although until recently, most animal behaviorists believed that an animal’s use of what we call a smile is no more than a collection of conditioned reflexes that move the muscles in the face, new thinking is now allowing for the possibility that animals are expressing happiness when they ‘smile’. Maybe mom was right after all. Ignatius did look happy to see me.

Happy Thursday to you all, and remember that “A smile is the curve that puts everything straight. Phyllis Diller

Travel Theme: Stillness at sunset

Ailsa’s theme this week, is ‘Stillness’. Returning home at sunset on Friday, we walked outside to enjoy the stillness of our backyard. There wasn’t a breath of wind, and the water was as smooth as a millpond.

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The brilliant red flowers of the Flame tree across the water were perfectly reflected in the water.

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The cloud reflections gave me such a topsy-turvy feeling, as I stood gazing down at them.

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There wasn’t even the slightest rustle in the trees, and not a single bird or creature was visible. All was peaceful and eerily silent.

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As the sun sank peacefully down to sleep, there was no great fanfare of colour this time, just a mellow, hazy glow.

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To see more ‘Stillness’ images, visit Ailsa’s beautiful post. https://wheresmybackpack.com/2016/06/18/travel-theme-still-2/

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Wishing you all a very happy week ahead.

 

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Thursday’s Special: Here and there

‘Here and there’ is Paula’s Thursday’s Special theme this week. My first photo, I almost used for the WPC ‘Curves’, but then decided it would be more suitable for this challenge.

A few years ago, we were privileged to travel on the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway, from the city of Cairns to Kuranda, the village in the rain forest. This railway, which has been in operation for over 120 years, has 15 hand-made tunnels and 37 bridges, built by the pioneers of tropical North Queensland, many of whom lost their lives while working on it.

Here is a look back out of the window, as it wound its way through the tropical mountain ranges.

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Happy Sunday to you all.

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WPC: Curves I have seen

For this week’s Photo Challenge, Cheri says “Get inspired by the curves around you. From curves in architecture to bends in nature to man-made undulations.”

I think the most impressive curved piece of architecture I’ve ever seen, is the Colosseum in Rome. Opened in AD 80, it was the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, and for many years was the site of gory combats between man and beast.

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Not too far away from the Colosseum, in the heart of  the Vatican City, is the curved dome of St Peter’s Basilica, designed by Michelangelo and completed in 1590, twenty-six years after his death. This is the largest dome of Christianity in the world, being 136m high and 42 m in diameter.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERANot to be outdone, today hubby is busy spackling his dome, which is nowhere near as big or fancy as Michelangelo’s, but a lot of work nevertheless. I hope it doesn’t take 44  years to complete.

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In Barcelona are many examples of the gorgeously curvy architecture of Antoni Gaudi. In 1984, La Padrera one of Gaudí’s main residential buildings which has to be one of the most imaginative houses in the history of architecture, was recognised by UNESCO, as World Heritage

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Man has designed beautiful curves, but Mother Nature really does have the best curves of all, and here is a beautiful curve of a rainbow at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

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My post wouldn’t be complete without a couple of my Backyardigans, Tommy and Theresa the painted turtles, with their perfectly curved homes which they carry around on their backs.

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I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend. Tomorrow I’ll have to prise hubby away from his work on the house, and take him out for a Father’s Day dinner.