Weekly Photo Challenge…Dense

Where I live, in a small city, the housing is mostly single-family homes with yards.  Even the downtown area isn’t very dense.

Then, there’s New York City, which has to be the epitome of “dense”.  In Manhattan, the buildings are built cheek-by-jowl, and many buildings are very high.  The majority of residents of Manhattan live in multi-story apartment buildings, with elevators and doormen.  Here are a couple of views of New York City, showing all the tall buildings, built right next to one another.  Dense, indeed!


Tall ship, West Side


New Header Photo for Spring

Daffodil field in the Skagit Valley, around Mount Vernon, Washington.  Note the gray skies-it was raining, and we found many flooded fields.  The Tulip Festival runs through April, and if Sunday was any indication, the tulips will be late this year.  The Skagit Valley has some of the most fertile soil in our state, and is the second-largest supplier of flower bulbs in the world, after Holland.

Easy Being Green…Gardens I’ve Seen

I hate green.  Green is my least favorite color, at least in clothing and accessories and household goods.  I don’t wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day, or any other day, for that matter.  And I’m the opposite of an “environmental wacko”, since I don’t believe that humans are a blot on the landscape, or destroying the planet, or any of that stuff; “green energy”, “green buildings”, of no importance to me.

However, I’m quite fond of green landscapes.  When I visited Britain in 1984 for the first time, I was totally blown away by the green fields demarcated by hedgerows and low stone walls.  I was fascinated by the beautiful landscapes in the Highlands of Scotland.  My readers will have seen dozens of the pictures I took of the area around Cambridge, which is the most beautiful place in the world.  I’m a rotten gardener, but I have visited many beautiful gardens in my travels.  Here are some.

Walls of Garden, Butchart Gardens, British Columbia
Formal Garden, Oxburgh Hall
Oxburgh Hall Gardens
Formal Garden, Oxburgh Hall, UK
Forest of Cacti!
Forest of Cacti, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Tranquil bench, Seattle Japanese Garden
Leafy glade with bench, Seattle Japanese Garden


And, finally, my own back yard!



Weekly Photo Challenge-Atop

Mount Rose is the highest point in the Washoe Range in Nevada, and the highest year-round pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  On the highway at the summit of Mount Rose, here are the trees and rocks at the very tippy-top.

Mt. Rose Summit
Mt. Rose Summit

On the way down the other side, when you feel like you’re really on top, you can see Lake Tahoe below.

Lake Tahoe, from Highway 431
View of Lake Tahoe, from Nevada Highway 431, Mt. Rose Highway


Photo Challenge….Wish

Ever since I returned from Cambridge, England in 1991, I have wished I could go back.  There’s just no other place on Earth like it.  If I was told I only had a year to live, I’d pull up stakes and spend my last days in Cambridge.

Cambridge_River Cam
A peaceful River Cam bridge, behind Trinity Hall.
cambridge_Trinity Hall
Rear entrance, Trinity Hall.
Cambridge Church
Round Church, Cambridge, dating from 11th Century

King's College Chapel

King’s College Chapel, back side, from the River Cam


Windows on Wednesday

What is a window?  It’s an opening in a wall or a door, normally contains glass, and lets light into the room or building.  As an opening, it is often said that the human eye is a “window into the soul”.  And a book, or a treatise, can be said to “open a window” into history.  Sort of like this one:

Title page of a book found in the Library at Gonville & Caius College. Yes, the publication date is in the 1600s!

People first began putting glass in the openings of their dwellings and other buildings in Roman times.  Glass wasn’t very pure back then, and often had inclusions and impurities, making it cloudy.  But it literally enlightened peoples’ lives.  Windows can also be openings in castle walls, for the defenders to shoot their arrows through.  Like this.

Castle Rising
Castle Rising, “defense window”. Archers shot from here.

Sometimes, new windows are inserted into very old walls, like these.

Bury St. Edmunds
House, built into the ruins of the abbey at Bury St. Edmunds, Ely

Here is an early American window. At Fort Ticonderoga, in New York.


Windows can be sad, as in when they are broken, and the building abandoned.

Camden, NJ

This is Camden, New Jersey.

And windows can be joyous, as when they are the stained-glass windows of churches.  These windows take an enormous amount of labor in design and installation, and they give much joy.  There are stained-glass windows surviving today, that were installed in ancient times.

Long Melford
Church windows, Long Melford, Suffolk
Stained glass window, St. Joseph's Polish Catholic Church
Stained Glass Window, at Saint Joseph’s Polish Catholic Church in Camden, New Jersey.
Ely Cathedral
Stained glass windows, Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Modern buildings can have entire walls of windows.  Human ingenuity creates them all.


Happy Window Wednesday!

Weekly Photo Challenge..The Road Taken…A lid on the World

So one afternoon, I’m in my car on the way to a doctor appointment.  I’m driving down the freeway, and when I look up and around, the sky looks like there’s a “lid” on the world, and it’s been raised a bit.  And, right in the strip of blue sky between the lid of clouds, and the earth, what should I see, but Mount Baker.  When I got to the office, I parked right on the top of the parking garage, because I just had to get a picture of that mountain.