Tag Archives: fpj-photo-challenge

Photo Challenge: Trail

 

When heading out the front door for a walk, it’s a pretty good bet that I’ll end up on the neighborhood bike path.  Officially it’s a trail maintained by the City of Ankeny.  Depending on the weather, the day of the week, and the time of the day, I see bicyclists, walkers, joggers, parents pushing strollers, and kids playing.  There are always at least a few birds and maybe some furry creatures.  On a really good day, I have a camera with me and see a great blue heron (click here for a post with pictures!).

If I were to go far enough the other direction, I could catch one of the many multi-use trails in the area.

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The High Trestle Trail begins near the Farmers’ Market Pavilion in Uptown Ankeny.  The bicycle stands in the area caught my attention – scroll through the slide show below to see them all.

 

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At the beginning of the trail is a guide to trail etiquette, complete with notes for equestrians!  If you see a horse, “go slow and say hello!”

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The next sign as the trail begins provides distances (in miles).  After reviewing the photos I took before and after the one below, I can confirm that there is a bird in the picture to the left of the sign and not dust on my camera lens!

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The weather wasn’t cooperating when I had time to drive out to photograph “The Bridge.”  So, for now, you’ll have to click on this official link to see it.

Happy trails to you!

Photo Challenge: Road

Road.  “A way made for traveling.”  – Webster’s New World Compact Desk Dictionary

PART I

When I first thought of a road for this week’s photo challenge, I thought of pavement with stripes down the middle – white or yellow dashes and/or a solid line – that allows people to drive easily from one place to another.  Maybe something like this picture; I took it when shooting photos for the “tower” challenge – you can see one of the TV towers on the left.  The grain elevators in Alleman, Iowa, are at the end of the road.

Road 14.5

PART II

Can a river be a road?  Lewis & Clark followed the Missouri and Columbia Rivers in boats as they explored the Louisiana Purchase between St. Louis, Missouri, and the Pacific Ocean.  Modern travelers along Interstate-90 cross the Missouri River at Chamberlain, South Dakota.  This picture is looking northwest from a rest stop and shows a walking path, the Interstate, the town, and the river.

Road 01 - Lewis & Clark

Interstate-90 West takes a sharp turn south in order to cross the Columbia River in central Washington.  This plaque at the overlook provided a little highway history.

Road 05 - Alt Rtes Plaque

PART III

On the road again, I just can’t wait to get on the road again…” – Willie Nelson

We’ve done more than our share of traveling in the last year.  All of it by car.  All of it on paved roads.  The longest trip was to Seattle and back:  a 4171 mile adventure for a wedding that was not to be missed!

Rest stops are essential for driver and passenger alike on long trips.  When the passenger gets excited by the landscape or is just a bit bored, the camera comes out and views through the windshield are captured.  Though not of the highest quality, here are several.

Road 02 - MT Mountains

Mountains in Montana are finally in view!

Road 03 - Western MT Rain

Heading west on I-90 in the rain, going up Lookout Pass in western Montana.

Road 07 - Seattle

At the western end of I-90, merging onto I-5 North in Seattle, Washington.

Road 08 - Seattle Garden

Beginning the trip home via I-5 South to catch I-90 East.

Road 09 - Solar Field

A Solar Panel field off I-84 near Pendleton, Oregon.

Road 10 - Yellowstone

Heading northeast on Highway-20 in eastern Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park.

PART IV

We had so much fun getting away last fall we decided to visit Billings, Montana, for Christmas.  We hadn’t counted on cross-winds with gusts over 40 MPH as we drove I-90 across a corner of Wyoming.

Road 13 - Wyoming Gusty Winds

Approaching Buffalo, Wyoming, from the east.

PART V

Take me home, country roads, to the place, I belong…”  – John Denver

In this last road photo, we’re leaving Quincy, Illinois, and are headed home.  It was just last Sunday and the Mississippi River was still high enough to close the Highway-24 East-bound bridge.  The West-bound bridge is carrying traffic both ways.

Road 15 - Quincy Bridge over Mississippi

Crossing the Mississippi River from Illinois to Missouri.

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of God’s hand.

Photo Challenge: Tower

With a field of TV and Radio Towers not far from us, we can get (nearly) all the TV we care to watch using an HD Antenna.  This first picture was taken about a mile north of our home.

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Photo: TLClark. 5/30/19.

It was so good to see blue sky and sunshine!  We’ve had A LOT of rain in Iowa.  There is major flooding on two of Iowa’s ‘coasts’ – along the Missouri River to the west and the Mississippi River to the east.  The other night it seemed the whole state was under a flash flood warning.  Farmers are struggling to get crops planted, adding heartburn and headache to the hurt from tariffs.  Some families in southwest Iowa haven’t seen their homes in a couple of months.  If you’re the praying type….

The pictures were taken from the side of the road – no trespassing and no traipsing through mud!  The first photo was looking due north.  These middle two are from the southwest, looking northeast.

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Photo: TLClark. 5/30/19.

The reflecting pond (above) is not a pond at all – just a low spot in the field.

The power line tower in the foreground (below) gives a bit of perspective at how tall* the TV towers are.  The town of Alleman is in the background.  You can see an array of satellite dishes on the ground, the sphere of a water tower, a school and the town’s grain elevators.

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Photo: TLClark. 5/30/19.

The last two pictures were as close as I got to the TV towers.  You don’t see all the guy-wires from a distance!  It’s the same anchor in both photos.  (Note:  those are power lines in the top right of the last picture.)

 

*The tallest tower is 2000 feet.  Click here for information on the WOI tower, here for the specs on the KCCI tower, and here for a 2007 article (with pictures) about the towers.

Photographed and posted in response to the Tuesday Photo Challenge found at Dutch goes the Photo!

Photo Challenge: Wheel

With wheel as the photo challenge today I wandered through memories of growing up in eastern Montana, taking black and white pictures of old farm equipment.  Rather than digging through boxes of old photo albums, I pulled up digital pictures from an August 2008 visit.  I knew I had taken pictures at Neumann’s Ranch and was pleased to find photos of wheels.

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Wheel from an Old Plow, Neumann Ranch, Eastern Montana.  Photo: TLClark, 8/26/2008.

Dad identified what I had via the screen-sharing option in a Skype call.  It was fun to hear him describe how various pieces of equipment were used and to have him help pick pictures to share.  He thought long and hard about the wheel in the top picture; unfortunately there is no additional context since it’s the only photo of that particular wheel.

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Wheel of an Old Buck Rake, Neumann  Ranch, Eastern Montana.  Photo: TLClark, 8/26/2008.

The tines of the old buck rake drop down to pick up hay.  A lever is used to trip the rake, leaving hay rolled into a pile.

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Old Buck Rake, Neumann Ranch, Eastern Montana.  Photo: TLClark, 8/26/2008.

When no longer needed on an old rake, wheels work as functional art!

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Bob’s Handiwork, Neumann Ranch, Eastern Montana.  Photo: TLClark, 8/26/2008.

Photo Challenge: Technology

Last week when Frank’s photo challenge was connections I thought about posting this picture of yesteryear:  an old rotary dial telephone.  It might be old technology but it still worked when I noticed it several years ago!IMG_1045

My mom has talked to her mom on the telephone at least once a week for as long as I can remember.  She used to give strict instructions whenever one of us kids went into the Post Office to get the mail:  leave the phone bill in the mailbox if Dad was in the car.  (We lived in a small town where everyone got their mail at the Post Office.)  Long-distance phone calls added up but she managed the money and always made ends meet!

As a college student I talked to my parents by telephone every Sunday morning.  I’d “one-ring” them from the dorm by calling home and letting it ring just once.  They’d call back immediately.  It was the cheapest way to have a phone conversation.  For years I thought it was Mom who wanted to talk; then one day I was with them when Dad asked Mom to call my sister so HE could talk.DSC01731 (3)The rotary dial was replaced by buttons but the phone was still plugged into a wall socket and still had a twisty, twirly phone cord!  As teens we’d stretch the phone cord as far as we possibly could to get around the corner from the kitchen for a more private conversation!

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My husband and I entered the cordless phone age when we moved into a house with very few phone jacks.  At least two houses later – and in an era where landlines are going away – we still use a set of cordless phones.  Every once in a while the question “where’s the phone?” comes up.

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I resisted cell phones until going away for two weeks of continuing education a dozen years ago.  My husband still uses an old flip phone – although we’ve been talking about getting him an upgrade!  Meanwhile I have a semi-smart cell phone which works just fine for phone calls and text messages; in a pinch I can use it to check my email.

My mom now talks to her mom via telephone every other day or so.  I usually talk to my parents a couple times a week.  When Dad wants to talk he’ll phone (or ask Mom to call) and suggest visiting via Skype.  Being able to see each other while talking means he can show off the latest creation from his wood shop or Mom’s sewing room.

Communications technology.  What will they think of next?

Photo Challenge: Connections

Connections - CROP

CROP Hunger Walk,  Mississippi Waterfront, Muscatine, Iowa.  Photo: TLClark, 10/2/11.

Searching my memories I finally thought of an occasion when I might have taken a picture that shows the connections we share as human beings on planet earth.  Searching my digital files, I found pictures of several CROP Hunger Walks [1].  I chose this particular picture because it shows:

  • people of all ages from a variety of backgrounds making connections to raise funds to stop hunger locally and around the world;
  • the Mississippi River connecting communities from its source (Lake Itasca) to its mouth (Gulf of Mexico);
  • and trees with roots connecting to the earth and branches reaching out reminding us of our connection to all of nature.

[1]  “CROP Hunger Walks help to provide food and water, as well as resources that empower people to meet their own needs. From seeds and tools, to wells and water systems, to technical training and micro-enterprise loans, the key is people working together to identify their own development priorities, their strengths and their needs… .”       – http://www.crophungerwalk.org  (click here to learn more.)

Photo Challenge: Worship

Where does one begin to capture an image of worship?  As an ordained pastor and teacher in the United Church of Christ, my mind went in dozens of directions – not all of them church related!  I settled on sharing photographs related to two Sacraments celebrated as a part of Christian worship.  The things pictured are just things until they are used by a gathered community to remember, to share stories, and to celebrate what God has done, is doing and will do.

EUCHARIST (‘thanksgiving’) – COMMUNION – THE LORD’S SUPPER

“O taste and see that the Lord is good.”  – Psalm 34:8a NRSV

Worship - Eucharist Table - 2

Communion Table, Psalms Retreat, Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Montour, Iowa.  Photo: TLClark, 9/11/14.

These first two pictures are from a one-day retreat I led based on the theme “Taste of God.”   We gathered for Morning Prayer, had a chance to work in the garden harvesting vegetables, and shared in a time of Worship with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Worship - Eucharistic Table - Psalms Retreat

After Sharing the Bread and Cup, Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Montour, Iowa.  Photo: TLClark, 9/11/14.

Did you notice the honey pot in the second picture?

“I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
– Psalm 81:16 NRSV

My preference for Communion ware is definitely not the shiny plates and wine/juice trays for individual cups used in every church I’ve served.  Nevertheless I am always fascinated at the way the surfaces reflect candles and lights and windows!

Worship - Faith - Eucharist - Pastor View

Pastor’s View of Communion Table, Faith UCC, Muscatine, Iowa.  Photo: TLClark, 4/8/12.

My husband and I were in Seattle for a wedding last fall and dropped in for Sunday Worship at the UCC congregation nearest our hotel.  The chalice, paten (plate holding the bread) and cloth were beautiful.

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Chalice, Broadview Community UCC, Seattle, Washington.  Photo:  TLClark, 10/7/18.

BAPTISM

More reflections on shiny church things!  The pictures were taken before Sunday morning worship in two different congregations.  Each had a silver pitcher from their early days that we used to pour water into the bowl for a baptism.

Worship - Bethany - Baptism set with reflection

Window Reflections in Baptismal Bowl, Bethany UCC, Baxter, Iowa.  Photo: TLClark, 5/29/16.

Worship - Faith - Baptism Pitcher Reflecting Rose Window

Rose Window Reflected on Pitcher, Faith UCC, Muscatine, Iowa.  Photo: TLClark, 4/17/13.

Just because I like it, here is a picture of me introducing Elle – a newly baptized “child of God, follower of Jesus, member of the church” – to the congregation.  

Worship - Bethany - Baptism (2)

* * *

Following the news of the devastating fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Frank at Dutch goes the Photo! wrote, “it was immediately obvious to me that the theme for this week’s challenge is to be Worship. Regardless of religion, faith or belief system, we can all worship; whether it’s a universal being, nature or the love of our life… Please take this challenge into the direction of Worship that speaks most to you and share it creatively!”

Thank-you, Frank, for encouraging a broad definition of worship.