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This week’s topic for the WordPress Photo Challenge is “On Top.” This got me to thinking about what photos I can share with you that shows you the perspective of being on top. So, here we go!

What better place to start on top than Half Dome in Yosemite!

The top of Half Dome!

The top of Half Dome!

How about this lovely cactus with a blossom adorning its top?

On top of the world

On top of the world

Here is a different spin. This is the topside of one of the many tarantulas that stop by during mating season!

Top side

Top side

Here is a shot in Big Trees State Park, CA, looking up at the tree tops. Make you a bit dizzy? It did me!

Looking up a big tree

Looking up a big tree

Here is a shot looking at the top of one incredible thunderhead. This was in Leavenworth, WA.

A massive thunderhead

A massive thunderhead

Thank you to Sara Rosso for choosing this topic for the now Daily Post Photo Challenge!

Be well and thank you for stopping by! ^..^

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Wandering through my fruit orchard I see that the blooms are fading. This year, due to the drought, I will not have a lot of fruit but I did find that we will have some, that is if I can get to the ripening fruit before the birds and raccoons! So today I wanted to share what I found on my fruit trees!

The 3 in 1 cherry tree is fully loaded! We have never gotten a lot off of this tree, and this year each and every branch is heavy with fruit!

Just one mass of cherries

Just one mass of cherries

Most of the almonds on my tree are close to the top. Not quite what we had last year, but still there will be enough!

Almonds

Almonds

Check out these itty bitty nectarines!

Nectarines

Nectarines

And, this fuzzy little fruit is tomorrow’s peach!

Peach

Peach

On my plum tree, which is a 5 in 1, only one branch is fully loaded. We had some hail damage and that knocked off the blossoms…

Plums

Plums

One final shot…These blossoms are on one of my apple trees. I got lucky with this shot to have this lovely little pollinator in the photo!

Apple blossoms

Apple blossoms

I can just imagine the flavors of each one of these! How about you? :)

Have a great Tuesday, and thanks for taking the time to drop on by today!

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As we sat on the front deck enjoying our evening cocktail, a flash of an iridescent orange caught the eye of my husband. Running inside I grabbed my camera only to miss the photo opportunity. The following evening, I did come out with camera in hand and we sat and toasted the day, loved ones, and to good health. Then we both saw this bright orange bird returning to the oak tree where it landed the night before!

This bird is the Bullocks Oriole!

The Bullocks Oriole

The Bullocks Oriole

Now, we did not know what this bird was until I downloaded the photos for a closer look. Then I was able to identify it by doing a search on the internet! This bird migrates to our area in spring and stays through the summer.

Pretty bird

Pretty bird

The bird that we saw is a male. The females are generally grey-brown in color with a slight tinge of yellow on its face and underside of the tail. They are monogamous for the season and both rear the young.

Radiant orange color

Radiant orange color

What we like about these birds is that they are bug catchers!

They love hanging out in the tree tops!

They love hanging out in the tree tops!

Hopefully this male will find his mate and make their home somewhere in our yard!

Have a spectacular Monday, and thanks for dropping by!

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“…show us your take on a monument (broadly defined). It could be a fresh angle on a well-known tourist site, or a place nobody knows outside your community. It doesn’t even have to be an official monument. A legendary coffeehouse, a churchyard cemetery, the remains of a treehouse you’d built as a kid — anything can be monumental as long as it’s imbued with a shared sense of importance.”

This is the topic for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge! Let’s see what I can come up with, shall we?

My first thought for this challenge was of the monumental Grand Tetons!

The Grand Tetons from afar

The Grand Tetons from afar

WordPress is currently having issues as I am unable to upload a small 800KB photo. I might add more later, so do check back!

Have a great day and thanks for dropping by!

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After the Festival - Photo by DLovering

After the Festival – Photo by DLovering

It was early morning in the town of Mijas, Spain. The remains of the festival held the night before hung swaying in the gentle breeze that the rising sun kicked up.

The Festival del Corazón went off without a hitch. There had been dancing in the streets. Everyone dressed in a variety costumes. There were games for the young, and red wine for the adults. The main event was the piñata!

Swinging from the center of the square hung this year’s piñata. As the body was broken open, it became a feeding frenzy for the vampires in the square!
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Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers! And to DLovering for the inspiring photo!

Have an amazing Thursday! Thank you for stopping by!

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Our air here in the Sierra Foothills is loaded with pollen! For those allergy sufferers, having Kleenex handy is a must! Right Barb? I am amazed, though, by the blossoms on the Oaks here in the foothills. Why? These flowers hang down in clusters and yet the trees only get one or two acorns from each mass. Shall we take a look at these delicate blossoms?

Oak blossoms

Oak blossoms

To give you an idea of the amount of flower clusters, here is a shot of a few branches loaded with blossoms!

Hanging flowers

Hanging flowers

It is truly amazing how much pollen these put out. And the emerging clusters of leaves are colorful with a hint of rose color around the edges…

Oak leaves budding

Oak leaves budding

Let’s take a closer look at the blossoms, shall we?

Just hanging around

Just hanging around

Tiny little flowers

Tiny little flowers

Amazing, aren’t they? One more shot…This is of newly emerging leaves against the bark of a white oak…

Contrasts

Contrasts

As I am writing this my eyes are itchy and watery, my nose is running, and I am sneezing! Spring is definitely here!

I hope that you enjoyed these photos! Thank you for taking the time to drop by, and have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Every spring here in the Sierra Foothills, one innocuous looking shrub goes into full bloom. The fragrance is a bit sweet and fills the air. The flowers on this plant are very delicate and are in clusters that resemble stars. The plant is called Buckbrush Ceanothus.

I wanted to share these lovely flowers with you today. While you cannot smell them at least you can enjoy their beauty! And, I will include some fun facts about how the native Americans used this plant!

Buckbrush

Buckbrush

This shrub can be found throughout the foothills. The variety that grows here is called “Sierra Snow.”

A bug on the buckbrush

A bug on the buckbrush

Various native American tribes had many uses for this plant. They Miwok Indians would use the branches of this plant for firewood. And the stems would be straightened and used as the foreshaft for two piece arrows. They would also take a stem of good length, shave and harden the end in fire, and use this as a tool for digging. With as hard as the ground gets here in the summer, that has to be some hard wood!

Flower buds

Flower buds

This plant is huge for our local pollinators! And the deer eat the newly emerged leaves, while rodents and birds, such as the morning doves and quail, will use this plant to hide themselves in as it provides excellent coverage!

Looking closely at the flowers, they resemble shooting stars, having 5 petals and 5 ancillary petals that complete the look!

Shooting stars

Shooting stars

Isn’t this a pretty flower?

I hope that you enjoyed this post! Have a terrific Tuesday and thank you for visiting with me today!

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In the garden, every spring, I look forward to the delicate blossoms of my rhododendron. What amazes me about this plant, aside from the glorious flowers, are the leaves. In the spring and summer they are a beautiful shade of green, and in the fall and winter the leaves turn a rusty brown. The leaves are in transition, and the blossoms lovely, so I decided to share with you photos I took recently!

From the center

From the center

Delicate

Delicate

Floating

Floating

Light and shadows

Light and shadows

Ruffles

Ruffles

I hope that you enjoyed the photos! Have a great Monday! And thank you for dropping by!

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The Cemetery - Photo by Alastair Forbes

The Cemetery – Photo by Alastair Forbes

While vacationing in Auvergne, they came across a cemetery in the middle of town. They walked amongst the headstones and found one that was intriguing: The headstone of Marie Blackwood.

The story goes that Marie, a young innocent, at the age of 14, was destined for an arranged marriage with the Duke of Auvergne, a man 30 years her senior. On the day of her wedding, her sisters and mother helped Marie into her wedding dress made of lace and organza, with a high lace collar and lace sleeves. Her long auburn locks cascaded in curls down her back. Her veil: A wreath of silk chiffon, and carefully crafted rosebuds.

At the wedding , the guests admired her beauty as she made her way down the aisle towards the Duke. Despite the age difference they were a handsome couple. It was when they were in front of the minister, that one of the Dukes arch enemies ran to the alter and swiftly killed them both!

Today in Waverly Square, 216 years later, they stood in front of the headstone of Marie Blackwood. Looking closely, one can see her image as if etched in stone, of Marie in her wedding dress.
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If you click on the photo, then click on it again to enlarge it, you will see Marie on the headstone to the left!

Thank you Alastair for hosting Sunday Photo Fiction!

I hope that you enjoyed my story today! Have a spectacular Sunday and thank you for dropping in!

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‘In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that captures the threshold — that point just before the action happens, that oh-so-sweet moment of anticipation before that new beginning. It could be a door about to open, or something a bit more metaphorical like a flower about to bloom. Looking forward to seeing how you capture “threshold.”’ This is the challenge Krista at the WordPress Photo Challenge is giving us in this week’s challenge! Hmm…what photos do I have that fits this challenge? Let’s go take a look!

Let’s start with this one! Here are a number of river rafters on the threshold of going into the rapids on the South Fork of American River…

On the brink

On the brink

I cannot describe the feeling one gets when entering an old gold mine shaft! What will we find beyond?

The mine entrance

The mine entrance

On the metaphorical side…Here is a black-eyed Susan on the threshold of opening!

Opening

Opening

What lies beyond the throat of this lovely orchid?

Open wide and say ahhhh!

Open wide and say ahhhh!

Ready for a nap? Here is our dear sweet Toby on the threshold of a dream!

Ready for a nap

Ready for a nap

Did I do OK? Be sure to check out other entries by clicking here!

Have an amazing Saturday and enjoy your weekend! Thanks, of course, for dropping by!

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