Carpe Diem #956 Stars

My submission today is in response to the Carpe Diem prompt: stars. “Enjoy this episode and let it inspire you to create a haiku, haiga or tanka, tank-art.!”

I decided to form a tiny star haiga regarding my personal response to the first time I stood on the bank of Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior on a clear summer’s night. It was then when I realized the enormity of stars I had never before seen in the sky. (May you also be-dazzled by my humor to the double entendre degree.)



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Colors Blue & White

First, many thanks to Cee for featuring my post last week – Freeways, Expressways, and Highways – among many other wonderful ones. I’m very humbled, since my expertise lies in the photography of humans from the inside out – though I have just as great an amateur passion for trying to capture the beauty I find in the world around me to share with others. So thank you for allowing me a venue for that.🙂

Now onward to Cee’s challenge for this week, highlighting the colors white and/or blue. For this one, I thought I’d share a few my own little C’s photos that she took at her uncle’s (and now new aunt’s) wedding, using my camera. Whereas I most enjoy taking wider expanse landscapes, she most enjoys closer views of flora and fauna (often mixed with eclectic angles of life from her perspective).

She had no direction, assistance or editing help with these – she just took off with ‘camera in 10-year-old hand.’ So it was great fun for me when I later downloaded the SD card and got to see segments of the day through her eyes!

I often wonder how much more wondrous this wounded world would be –
If we too but tarried and took the time through others’ eyes to see.

Here’s to time well taken,



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Freeways, Expressways, Highways

Cee threw out another of her Photo Challenges this week, the topic being: Freeways, Expressways, Highways – in another words, roads where you can travel fast on.

She left me thinking of how very many places I’ve gotten to travel this past year, and how very different those places often were. I thought I’d put a couple of high contrast images on here as examples (contrast of places and temperatures, not necessarily photo technique).

The first was taken on my iPhone-5 (yes, I still have a 5 & would have my 4 if I hadn’t fallen on it while crossing a creek – what’s your point?)… while traveling on I-70, I believe, on my way toward Idaho Springs. It was last late July; but as we went up into those mountains on the Guanella Pass, the temperature dropped quickly from 80-something degrees to 40 degrees at the top.


Contrast that with the second image from the first of March this year in the Yei, South Sudan area (in which I dug quickly for my Nikon and stuck it against a dusted plane window around the propeller). I believe this should be the Kaya Highway down below (the large dirt road in front of the mountain range). You might also imagine the contrast in temperature, which was around 105 degrees when we flew out that day (and felt like 140 degrees on the plane), with temperatures that didn’t dip below 90 degrees even in the middle of the nights. I also don’t have to point out the contrast in the types of roadways.


As for speed…were you to see the ruts on the Kaya Highway, you would think, “that doesn’t meet Cee’s criterion of roads you can travel fast on.” True…unless you put it into perspective compared to the roads back in the gaba (the bush)…or unless you’re a UN truck on Kaya Hwy. You should see those convoys barreling down that road while waving all pedestrians, livestock, boda-bodas, and four-wheel vehicles out of their way (as if we’re not already wanting to give right of way of our own accord). “What ruts, they say? Only you, if you don’t get out of the way!” (Besides that, I was in a plane when I took this picture – okay, a puddle-jumper, to be exact – but I figure that added some extra speed when my photo was taken!)

Happy trails (and byways) to you!


An Open Letter to the Unnamed Trucker on Amnicola Hwy Today

Dear Trucker in the Rain on Amnicola Hwy today –

I really feel like I need to have a word with you. In retrospect, I really should have turned my car around today and tracked you down. Had I done so, I probably couldn’t have been held responsible for my actions, though. You see, if you had pulled that truck over, parked, and stepped out, I likely would’ve tackled you right there on the spot. And then possibly laid a big kiss on you. Adrenaline’s like that. It sometimes causes your emotions to get all confused where you do inappropriate things. Or maybe that’s just me and my emotions. As it turns out, you were safe from being assaulted in this manner only because I was shaking so badly from head to toe, the only thing I could think to do was remain on auto-pilot and head back in the direction of my work.

You and I are one of a few select people who know what you did today. Yet, you’ll never receive a commendation for it. I’ll never even know your name. Heck, I don’t even know what kind of truck it was you were driving, besides a pretty one. Let me take that back. It may have been the most beautiful truck I’ve ever seen before in my life – which I still have today (my life, I mean), thanks to you.

As I was sitting there on Amnicola around 2:00, hemmed in by thick traffic at the stop light in the rain, I saw you in my side mirror as you pulled out of the fast lane and started to come up the wet turn lane. I didn’t think too much about it. But just before you came up beside me, something else caught my eye. A little white car came flying out across the two lanes of traffic from my side – and right into your path. As it darted out from behind the black SUV, an old memory flashed through my mind. I thought of a time I saw a German Shepherd dart across a few lanes of traffic when a small pick-up truck hit him. Emphasis on small truck and big dog. Nevertheless, I won’t describe what I saw happen to that dog; it’s too gruesome. I will say it made me cry hysterically for the next two hours. So it didn’t take too much imagination for me to realize that, when your big truck t-boned that little compact car today, I was about to see something much worse.

When you laid down on those brakes and your truck began to bounce, I knew you could see the worst of the possibilities too, despite the fact you were already jack-knifing while sliding down that lane. I sucked in a breath and held it, praying for you and whoever was in that little car, thinking there was no physical way you’d be able to stop in time. I could already hear and see the future debris flying. That’s when I realized there would be another consequence to your decision. That debris wasn’t going to come my way as quickly as your trailer, which was about to take out the entire driver’s side of my own little compact car. I believe I understand enough physics to know that, even after that, that trailer wouldn’t have stayed upright. I’m guessing it likely would’ve toppled onto me and/or the someone else in front of me. I really don’t know how you did the next thing you did, but I watched you pull your wheels the other direction and somehow straighten out your load – while still managing to avoid a certain death about to take place in front of you. Your truck may have bounced and skidded back and forth, but in a gentlemanly fashion, you made sure it kept all of its body parts to itself.

Sir, I commend you on your lightning-fast reflexes. I realize that the person in the little white car had absolutely zero chance of living beyond you stopping in time. I also realize that my only fighting chance would’ve been increased had I been able to get out of my seatbelt, climb over to the passenger side of my vehicle, and dive into the floorboard had that trailer continued coming my way. We both know that Mission Impossible scenario still has a lot of holes in it. Thank God your real reflexes were much faster than my make-believe ones could’ve ever been.

I also commend you on whatever expert driving skills those were that you displayed today. That being said, please don’t take offense to my next words. This event somehow reminded me of watching one of my boys when he was little, playing in the living room with his Tonka truck, picking it up and setting it down exactly in the spot he deemed it should be. You’ll have to forgive me if this example seems too simplistic for the actions you took, but from my point of view, it was like watching the hand of God reach down and do the same with you. I take comfort in that.

Most of all, I commend you on your heart of gold. It was obvious that you were aware of and concerned about not only yourself, but all of those around you on that road today. Because of your quick, alert and clear-headed actions, one or more of us went home to families who would’ve otherwise missed us this evening. When I told my teenage son our story, I can assure you that he expressed his gratitude to you. So please believe me when I tell you that – even though I may never know your name and even though you probably heard no gratitude beyond the gratefulness you had over the silence when you stopped – your actions didn’t go unnoticed. Today, I feel the need to let others know – you truly are my hero.

God bless you.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Half-Light

The  PHOTO CHALLENGE for this week is:


Share a photo inspired by a poem, verse, song lyric or story.


I took this photo while in the Holy Land a few years ago with an early version pocket digital camera and added a little editing effect.

For my poetry, I’m selecting a couple of excerpts from Joseph Brodsky’s reflective piece, “I Sit by the Window.”

I sit by the window.
 And while I sit
my youth comes back.
 Sometimes I'd smile.
 Or spit.

I sit in the dark.
 And it would be hard to figure out
which is worse; the dark inside, or the darkness out.