Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Elephant Car Wash

Elephant Car Wash
A great sign seen in Seattle, Washington.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Very old tree seen on University of Washington campus where we had a college tour for my younger son.  I love the French common name (learned from Wikipedia) which is desespoir des singes (monkeys' despair).  It could also be a monkey's delight for it looks like it might be fun to climb, if prickly.

For Thursday Challenge: Trees

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Doing Something New and Scary

My older son is in town. He is currently living and working in Seattle and since he moved there he has taken up bouldering. This is like rock climbing but without ropes or other equipment and in his case, he only does this at a gym. This makes me happy because the floors are deeply padded and I don't need to worry about him breaking his neck falling off a rock somewhere. Last year during a trip to Seattle he talked me into trying it. As a kid, I was always clambering up a rock or tree somewhere although I never had any climbing experience and when climbing walls became popular I thought it would be fun to try. I never got the chance so I was willing to give bouldering a try. What I discovered was that it is hard. No surprise there perhaps but no matter how deep the padding on the floor it proved quite difficult for me to get over the fear of falling even on the easy routes. At the place in Seattle the very easiest routes (which are marked by colored plastic hand holds) are not that much harder than climbing a ladder. Sadly, I found it hard to go much farther than that. It is very hard on my arms and upper body which are not all that strong and my hand grip is not the best either. I have since been twice more with hardly any more skill or less fear. Most recently I went here in Chicago. That was two days ago and even typing hurts! I still have not overcome my fear of falling whatsoever. It makes me think how rarely we deal with actual fear of harm (as opposed to stress, fear of failure, performance anxiety, etc which are more common in modern life). I feel quite chicken but am also proud of myself for trying. At 53, being daring comes harder. My son took the pictures and his hands were shaky from fatigue or hunger so one of them came out pretty blurred but I wanted the living proof I did this.

Me on a Climbing Wall

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tree Reflected

Tree, Reflected For Weekend Reflections

Thaw Day

Blue Skies and Skyline We had our snow days earlier this month and now is the January thaw. The past two days we've had highs in the 40's and a sort of vague spring fever hits us when this happens. I managed a walk on the lake, skirting mud, slush puddles and snow to get these photos. The skies were just stunning. Lake Michigan and Chicago Skyline Shades of Blue, Chicago

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Red Rake

Playing at macros. For Thursday Challenge: Red Red Rake

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bad weather makes for interesting photos

Looking on the bright side in January gloom: Purple Umbrella