Weekly Photo Challenge: FROM ABOVE

This week’s Photo Challenge, to photograph something FROM ABOVE, instead of straight on, from the side, or any other angle allows me to show you pictures of the thing I (unknowingly?) seem to photograph a lot…Food.

 

Hmmm…now if you’ll excuse me, I suddenly got very hungry!

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: UP

The Pic du Midi, in the Midi-Pyrénées of France, remains for me one of the most spectacular points on earth.  It’s beauty is how it scrapes the sky, and the stillness and calm that accompanies being UP 2877 meters (9439 ft) in the air.

 

Pic du Midi Observatory started its life in 1878…people Climbed to the top…with equipment! and completed construction in 1908..no cable car until 1952!  The extremely sophisticated telescopes and equipment at the top have been instrumental (pun intended) for scientists around the world, including NASA, and now that it is open to the public, accessible by a two cable car ride, it feels like a sanctuary in the sky.  People actually whisper, not to disturb the silence.

It is not the highest peak in the world, nor as famous as some of its cousins to the east…and perhaps that is the attraction.  Straddling the border between France and Spain, its telescopes peer deep into space.  One can overnight there, and I’m certain that is truly a ‘peek’ into heaven.

An aside…there Is a restaurant at the top of this ascent…no ‘golden arches’, rather a lovely restaurant serving either a two or three course meal, including wine. This Is France, after all…never mind that we are 9,439 feet above sea level, a proper meal is a proper meal.

Here is  video of the ascent from the village of La Mongie at the bottom all the way UP.  At minute 4:17 you can begin to see the Observatory at the top.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: HOME

This week’s photo challenge is HOME.

I snapped this picture as I watched a butterfly emerge from its Home of about 2 weeks.

This first photo is the very compact apartment of the chrysalis:

Chrysalis

Chrysalis

The butterfly is about to emerge, as it has turned from jewel-green to black and orange.

Emerging Monarch

Emerging Monarch

He is clinging on to the old home while his wings are drying.

Next, For Sale sign up and looking for new Home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: UNIQUE

I chose to interpret this week’s photo challenge of the word UNIQUE as Michelle did, offering her submission of an open red tulip bloom in a sea of yellow buds…UNEXPECTED.

As I look back, my trip to Egypt, in itself UNEXPECTED, was full of UNIQUE experiences at every turn.

This is a country so rich with history and artifacts, many of them superbly preserved, that it is a wondrous and definitely Unique experience!

I think my first unexpected jolt was the Giza pyramids themselves.

Close your eyes, imagine…PYRAMIDS, and you are in the middle of a barren, expansive desert…correct?  Well, in fact, they are just minutes outside the city limits, visible from just about everywhere which shattered the image I had of needing a camel trek of several days to reach them.  It took us only 20 minutes by bus to reach the site from our hotel, and yes, if you turn your back on the city and look out over the plateau, the stately pyramids DO look surrounded by nothing but endless desert.  They are grand, mysterious, unique in every way…and city-accessible.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: LOVE

LOVE

 

MANY interpretations of this week’s photo challenge.  After reflecting on some of them, I chose to go with an iconic image, which I took years ago, and wish I had a better, faster camera at the time, to capture the quickly changing expressions, and heart-thumping emotions that I saw.

These pictures were taken in the walled medieval town of Monteriggioni, near Siena in Tuscany, Italy.  While we were being tourists in this preserved fortress from the 1200’s, a bride pulled up in front of us, grabbed yards of wedding dress in one hand, while she stepped out of the car with the other.  I raced over with my camera to see her flower girl, giddy with excitement, trying to be helpful.  I captured the bride, as a breeze came along and lifted her veil.

Then, the bride and her father walked arm in arm into the church.    I followed them into the slanted doorway of this medieval church, and watched the Italian nuptials unfold.

 

You can see the crowds of tourists lining up to see the bride, entering this centuries old church, right next to the Ristorante Il Piccolo Castello.  (reception?)

Bride and flower girl, Monteriggioni, Italy

Bride and flower girl, Monteriggioni, Italy

 

Bride and her father walk into the church, Monteriggioni, Italy

Bride and her father walk into the church, Monteriggioni, Italy

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: ILLUMINATION

Lights…Camera…Photo Challenge!

Fantastique!  Boarded a plane for New York City this weekend, just as the Weekly Photo Challenge landed in my mailbox.

CITY LIGHTS are a true canvas and they were very cooperative this weekend.

A sprinkling of rain gave me a great water feature; traffic offered me delightful and moving colors; holiday-decorated trees provided festive in the city; and an (almost) all-night grocery store gave me food for thought.

City lights, indoors and out, were always moving, changing, ILLUMINATING the darkest corners, creating light shows at every turn.

Click and see for yourself: