The above quote is taken from Jane’s blog, where you will find photographs that are something special. The natural world is displayed in its incredible beauty by Jane’s skill, as a photographer.
It is a delight to walk in forested or rural areas, in cool, shady glades, in big sky country of cattle grazing lands or scenic vistas away from the inner city. Use arrows to see more images below.
Whilst walking with my own camera and observing the world, I try to channel that atmosphere that Jane creates, in her photography.
“Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
~ Susan Sontag
Friendly Friday Challenge Prompt – Whilst Walking
This week our challenge prompt is to post a photograph you have taken ‘WhilstWalking.’
[N.B. If you are in lockdown, archival photography is quite acceptable].
Walking Photo Challenge Brief:
Photograph what it is that draws your attention.
In urban areas, we can still pay attention as we walk. The colour of vehicles, the signage, the expressions on people’s faces, the rain hitting the pavements and gutters. It is there waiting for our attention and our camera lens.
Join in the Weekly Friendly Friday Challenge
Are you a blogger or photographer interested in joining the photo challenge? This challenge runs until Thursday next week. Link back to this post, leave a comment here and other bloggers will find your Friendly Friday post.
Full Instructions on engaging with the Friendly Friday Blogger community are found here.
Sandy at the blog: TheSandyChronicles will present a new Friendly Friday prompt to you next week.
May I suggest that you follow both our blogs if you want to catch the weekly prompts for Friendly Friday.
A father in his 40’s who surfed here every day. He was rescued, taken ashore but paramedics could not save him. The shark, believed to be a Great White, left its tooth embedded in the bite mark on his surfboard.
On our anniversary visits, I rarely went in for a swim, preferring to walk in the shallows and then past the old Shark Tower monument, which was erected in the 1960s for lifesavers to use as an observation site.
From that point, I would follow the boardwalk through the pandanus trees around the headland.
Even though we have nets to protect swimmers, the killer shark appears to have swum underneath the six-metre nets that line the shore.
The irony of the local name: ‘Snapper Rocks” Hotel and Surf Club, does not escape me.
It is quite ironic that my Friendly Friday Challenge Co-host, Sandy, should give us the prompt, Market this week as I was just looking through my photos of the wonderful Market Hall, in Helsinki, Finland.
Where the Hungarians are spoilt for choice in varieties of Paprika in their markets, Helsinki is spoilt for choice in terms of Salmon.
Me, being Australian, have only really known three varieties of Smoked Salmon – Tasmanian, Norwegian and Danish Smoked Salmon.
My eyes opened as wide as saucers when I saw the contents of the cabinets in the Helsinki Markets, the day I arrived in the Finnish capital.
I remember it is not just ordinary salmon, because the thing that struck me about Finns, was that they had taken Salmon to a whole new level, like as in Heinz 52 different varieties.
Now I love Salmon, so I was pretty happy with this, until I realized how hard it would be be to choose which one to buy! I needed help to choose between Tsar’s salmon, Cold Smoked Salmon, Flamed Salmon, Lemon Salmon and Rose Pepper Salmon, etc. and in the end, feeling rather befuddled, I settled on Cured Salmon with Basilic. With a large helping of Salmon Soup? How could I resist?
You need to know that the people of Helsinki eat a good deal of fish, freshwater fish, that is. Even sometimes three times in a day. So when I think of Helsinki, I think of Salmon, and lots of it.”
WordPress recently told me it was my Blogging Anniversary. Really? What of it?
It has been almost ten years since I first created Something to Ponder About, after trying for a few miserable months with the Blogger platform. I never really got how you connected with other people on that platform, so quickly moved to WordPress, as a penfriend in Norway recommended it.
Purpose of Blogging
I really had to think about whether I should celebrate this Anniversary, or commiserate that I haven’t done better over the years? Some Bloggers have used their blogs as a venue to receive all kinds of free gimmicks, products and even discounts on holidays. What have I been doing?
Contemplating my navel in a semi-public way?
Don’t be misled into thinking I have been writing solidly for ten years. I have taken many a blogging break, here and there, when I have been on extended vacations and for the first three to four years, my frequency of posting was ‘hit and miss.’ That is, it wasn’t really conducive to comment conversations, or consistent readers.
In all honesty, I wasn’t a serious Blogger early on; merely posting interesting information to do with nutrition or D.I.Y. Craft that I might reference later, or using my blog to document my travels to, what I thought, were special parts of the world.
But then, something happened.
I began to connect with people worldwide. I started using my words in a way that was more constructive, ostensibly I wished to share information that might help others. The Blogger community responded with kindness and open arms, enveloping me on a truly wondrous journey that I am happy to say, continues to this day.
Connecting with Other Bloggers
Many of the early Bloggers I connected with have now left the blogging world. A few remain, including Leya, Tina and Cyranny. In the early days, Christian Mihai ‘liked‘ every one of my published posts, but never ever did he post a comment. He is a huge Blogger now.
Strangely, I noticed I have only recently connected with fellow Aussie bloggers, but rather most of my readers were in locations around the world. That may be a comment on where my interest is directed, perhaps? I am not sure.
Ineke, in New Zealand, but from South Africa, has been a blogger friend and reader of mine from the start. She was the first Blogger I chatted with and the first Blogger I met, in person. When we met up in her home town, it was like we were already old friends.
It seemed easier to communicate with her over the blogosphere, as we were in a closer time zone, generally speaking. She was always, always supportive and assisted me in various Blogging challenges and joint projects in the blogging community. I thank her for her friendship and hope we will meet up again someday.
Living as I do in this far-flung corner of the earth, the long delay in sending and receiving comment replies on blog posts does hamper the flow of conversation, at times. Thus, it was highly unlikely that I would sync with Snow, in Finland – yet something clicked between us. After a time, I discovered she had a similar childhood to me, growing up in Australia! We could share memories and she seemed to understand my typically Aussie ways.
Together, Snow and I launched the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge, which I now run with the extremely resourceful Sandy, in Canada. I love the Global connections blogging affords from all corners of the world! It’s truly a multicultural phenomenon.
A pivotal moment in keeping my Blog active was starting the now-defunct ‘Monday Mystery Photo Challenge,’ which ran for close to three years. I had a lot of fun interactions and learnt lots about blogging, in general. Photography was definitely a major way I found and connected with other like-minded folk.
Motivation to Keep Blogging
A key to maintaining my motivation for blogging is to write about things I am passionate about.
If you really are passionate about something, your writing comes alive and your Blog will be interesting for others to read.
I like to use humour or satire in my posts, although I cannot claim to be any good at that. Keeping posts topical to some extent, seems to me, to be a way of starting and maintaining a conversation with readers.
An early criticism I received from another Blogger was that my Blog lacked focus. The comment was that I had, “a lot going on,” at StPA. Back then, travelling was something I posted frequently about, but I also wrote about craft, painting, nutrition, mental health, traditional sayings, quotes and cooking. Given the current global situation for Travel Bloggers, I am very grateful my Blog was diversified in its focus.
So, somewhat embarrassingly, I am still here, ten years later, at Something to Ponder About, prattling away to anyone who will listen. Blogging still provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. As more Bloggers fall away or take an extended break due to Covid or Blogger fatigue, new Bloggers begin their journeys with WordPress, filling that void. That bodes well for WordPress and for Bloggers, in general.
I hope to still be around in another ten years, but who knows? What will WordPress and the world itself, be like then?
Start a Conversation
What about your Blogging journey?
How did you start Blogging?
Have you ever considered giving up, and if not, why did you perservere?
Stabilize your camera as much as possible – (a tripod or solid base helps)
Move the subject, not the camera
Try adding the effect of different backgrounds
Check your depth of field for focusing
I got a bit fancy with the Canva templates, but the close-up, above, of the little mushrooms, were very worthwhile to highlight. So delicate sitting atop their thin stalks, they appeared to defy gravity.
And now for a slideshow of flowers:-
I added a frame around the pumpkin leaves. It may have been edited with Snapseed, but it is from my archives, so I can’t be sure. I do like the way you can see the furry hairs on the pumpkin leaves. Glaucous is the botanic name for hairy leaves, I think.
“Taking pictures is savouring life intensely
every hundredth of a second.”
Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Close Examination Prompt
Now it is your turn to write a Friendly Friday post with the theme, “Close Examination.”
Don’t forget to tag your post and link with a pingback here, so all readers can find your post.
Sandy, will have another great prompt for you next week.
In addition to our regular posts, the Friendly Friday team at TheSandyChronicles and StPA, are featuring Guest Posts from Bloggers who contribute to the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge.
Ju-Lyn, a Singaporean blogger, from All Things Bright and Beautiful especially enjoys food and cooking, in addition to making ‘purposeful choices, ‘ and has kindly contributed a guest post to our weekly theme of “Something Different,“ in the form of a post about a Basque Burnt Cheesecake.
Ju-Lyn regularly posts mouth-watering foodie delights, on her blog, and this recipe is no exception.
Did someone say Cheesecake?
I hope you will be tempted to try it, for yourself.
Guest Post by All Things Bright and Beautiful
I love cheesecake, of all sorts: baked/unbaked, cream cheese/ricotta, New York/Japanese. I will scoff each with delight!
It was love at first bite! So enamoured was I that I didn’t realise there was no crust, which I only registered in retrospect. I have never made a cheesecake without a crust before so the idea intrigued me and I begged the recipe off the friend, who gifted me the slice.
It took us a while to get started because our baking shop was out of 500g tubes of cream cheese. After searching for more than a week with no small tubes in sight, I decided to take the plunge and bought a 2kg block. With this quantity, I was free to experiment. The recipe is simple enough, but it makes a tall cake baked in a 6-in circle tin, resulting in a silky gooey centre. Older Daughter wanted to see if dividing the batch into two, (ie. 2 x 6-in tins), would make any difference as she prefers a firmer crumb.
So we did. The verdict is split. Half of us love the taller version, with a slightly squidgy centre. The other half prefer the uniformly firmer texture of the shorter slice. We do all agree that we love the intense, smokey caramelised top of both versions.
· 3 large eggs, room temp (approx 150g of eggs without shell)
· 270g heavy cream/thickened cream
· 20g all-purpose flour
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 1 tsp lemon juice
1. Line a 6” circle cake tin with 2 layers of baking paper and trimmed to have an overhanging amount of 1.5″-2″.
2. Preheat oven to 240 degrees C.
3. Cream sugar and cream cheese together until smooth.
4. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
5. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until just mixed.
6. In a separate bowl, mix flour and heavy cream until smooth.
7. Slowly pour the cream/flour mixture into the cheese mixture until mixed through.
8. Bake for 30-35mins until top is dark amber and almost charred at parts but the middles still has a wobble to them when you give jiggle the pan.
9. Cool in the tin fully on a wire rack at room temperature to allow the cheesecake to set.
10. Remove from the baking tin and enjoy at room temperature.
11. For a less “gooey” center, place into the fridge after cooled to allow it to chill and set.
For the 2-tin version, we lined the tins with only 1 layer of baking paper.
We shortened the bake time by 5 min.
Thank you Ju-Lyn for creating something different for us.
The photos are enough temptation for me to try creating this on my own.
If you would like to feature in one of the Friendly Friday Team’s Guest Posts, please contact Sandy, from (TheSandyChronicles) and Amanda, from (StPA), either by way of comment below or directly via their Blog Contact Pages.
The Friendly Friday Photo Challenge with the theme Something Different, will conclude Friday this week, when Sandy will post a new theme on The Sandy Chronicles.
The Friendly Friday Photographic challenge is about community and interacting with other bloggers, sharing everyday photographs of things from our world and is hosted by bloggers Amanda, here at ‘StPA’ (Something to Ponder About) and Sandy at The Sandy Chronicles.
Welcome back to the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge
With the new year, we welcome new host Sandy, to the Friendly Friday team. Sandy blogs at The Sandy Chronicles and is already busy planning some fun prompts for us.
Technology is usually reliable however Blogger Pingbacks have been known to fail. Thus, it would be great if you could post a comment below, so we can find your Friendly Friday Photo entry!
Sandy will post the next weekly prompt at her blog – The Sandy Chronicles so be sure to check her blog next Friday.
Here is some of my interpretations, of the prompt, to get your imagination ticking over:
What is Friendly Friday?
The weekly prompt is a guide and somewhat of a challenge, for you. It is meant to inspire, not to limit or constrain. The host bloggers would like everyone to participate as they see fit. Photos can be new or something from your albums, that the prompt has inspired in you.
You don’t need to be a ‘pro’ to join in with Friendly Friday, either. Mobile, Point and Shoot or SLR photography is perfectly acceptable.
Your blog doesn’t even have to be about photography in order to participate. We welcome your entries. Have a little fun!
I do like drinking tea and now I have access to tea suppliers selling specialised leaf teas, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that I enjoy a cup of ‘Stockholm blend’ tea – (goodness, even my house is called the ‘Stockholm Design’ by the Builder). But it is not tea, that I will be writing about today, but a nutritious drink that makes a great breakfast food – a powerhouse of nutrition on the go. Perfect for busy people and kids.
Traditional Juletime Egg Nog
For many European and Americans, Eggnog is a popular drink to have at Christmas. Harking back to a 14th century concotion called Posset – a kind of curdled milk mixed with ale, Eggnog and cold, winter days just seem to go together. Maybe that’s the added whisky or rum that warms the body and the soul, perhaps? The link below is for the traditional Christmas Egg Nog recipe from Jamie Oliver, but my drink is altogether different.
As most know, or might suspect, I live in a warm climate and as such we don’t have the need to have warming drinks to get us through a snowy morning.
My take on EggNog is completely non-alcoholic, is chocked full of nutritional goodness and makes the perfect start to your morning, especially if you don’t have to time to cook, or eat, a hearty breakfast.
My version of Egg Nog looks the same as in the above picture but is way easier to prepare, packs a punch nutritionally and is suitable for children as well as adults, as there’s no alcohol added.
Healthy Breakfast Drink
Many of the working population are rushed! There’s no time to prep a cooked breakfasts. Others might not feel like eating early in the morning and can only face black coffee! This twist on the traditional egg nog prepares your body and mind for the day, fills the tummy and takes seconds to prepare.
Kid Friendly Breakfast Egg Nog Recipe
1 – 2 Eggs depending on your mug size
1 teaspoon Sugar – Caster sugar dissolves faster
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup Milk – can be almond/coconut/full fat/skim or soy
Whole Nutmeg * – freshly ground from the whole nut*
Break the egg in a large mug and whisk vigorously with a fork.
Add the sugar and whisk again until the sugar dissolves.
Add cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix through.
Add milk and whisk thoroughly until combined
Grate nutmeg on top to cover with a small grater
*One of my kids used to get a little confused calling nutmeg – egg mut. Whatever works we thought – regularly calling it ‘egg mut, ‘ until they became teenagers.
Breakfast Egg Nog Variations
Fruit Egg Nog: -Add raspberries or strawberries, even mango and pulse in a Nutribullet or blender, for a fruity, vitamin filled hit!
Choc or Mocha – Add 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and/or coffee diluted with a little boiled water for those with a really sweet tooth or coffee cravings.
Nutritional Benefits of Egg Nog
As well as the milk component contributing to the dairy and calcium RDA components in your diet, ingredients such as eggs and spices round out the benefit of a daily Egg Nog drink, (without the alcohol).
One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.
Nutmeg is low in Cholesterol and Sodium, is a good source of Fibre, and Manganese and support mood, digestion, sleep, good skin and brain health. It may also lower blood pressure. But don’t binge on it. Too much may not be so helpful.
Start the day with a Breakfast Egg Nog or Egg Nog Smoothie! This drink works equally well in filling up children’s tummies at afternoon tea time. This stops them snacking on junk before dinner!
Join in with Moon’s Cook Eat Repeat Challenge here:
Much of the time our focus is spent looking down at our smartphones, at a book or document, or even on young children? In keeping our focus downward, we often miss important details or sights above and around us.
Have a look at the following photo : –
Not one person in this photo is LOOKING UP at the splendor above them.
There is immense beauty above our heads, if we open our eyes to it.
This week on Friendly Friday I am asking you to join in and create a post sharing your interpretation of the prompt : –
Here is something I would have missed if my daughter had not LOOKED UP –
Unusual things can be found Looking Up.
Instructions for Joining In:
Write and publish a post, tagging the post ‘Friendly Friday’, and adding into your post, the URL link back to this Friendly Friday post.
Include the Friendly Friday logo, found below, in your post if you wish.
Copy the link to your LOOKING UP post, in the comments here, so we can find you.
Please note there are no deadlines for participating. New prompts each week.
To see participating bloggers’ version of the weekly prompt, please browse the links in the comments section. It can be quite interesting to see the other interpretations.
Whether you are new to blogging or have been writing for some time, blogging is, or can become, a personal branding story, a legacy of self. What does you blog say about you and the personal brand behind the blog? These six questions helped me unpack the purpose behind my blogging journey.
Why write A Blog?
Q:” The best posts and stories make the audience’s benefit amazingly clear. What is the real benefit of your writing?”
A: I read to learn or gain knowledge, and I write to share information, for education or entertainment. I also write to document things that are important to myself and hopefully others. It makes me happy to write and I feel compelled to put words down on paper or in blog format.
Q: How does your story fit into the world? Is your blog helpful to someone?
A: Is my writing relevant to others? I don’t know but I hope my words are useful or entertaining, in some way. I write with the objective to share knowledge and to further my own self-inquiry. Perhaps writing stems from an inner urge to find meaning with external matters. The spinoff for me, is the surprising development of a nurturing and positive blogging community.
Q: Do your blog posts walk readers through a learning curve of information and share how issues discussed might impact them?
A: That very much depends on the topic of the post. This sort of blog posting is more suited to a tutorial style, and I tend to speak generally about potential impacts in posts. I gain a lot of inspiration for topics from the blog community.
As blogger Marlene from InSearchotItAll posted: “A negative mind will never give you a positive life.” How could a positive life spring from a negative mind? I like to think positivity is infectious.
Q: Beyond education, the best stories forge a bond between the story-teller and her audience. Whether through vulnerability, candor or shared experience, stories where the audience walks away with heightened emotional intimacy are the stories that win. How do you foster an emotional connection with your readers?
A: I do hope the tone of my posts is personal and conversational but I am no story teller. Writing a blog post is like confiding in a dear friend, but a friend that lives far from my location. By being honest, thoughtful and thinking hard about situations we might all find ourselves in, I’d hope I relate to and connect with those who read and comment on my posts.
Past or Future?
Q: Is your blog about the past or where you are headed? Does your writing examine the past whilst reflecting the future, in terms of dreams, hopes and the future?
A: Both. There is so much we can learn from the past it would be stupid to focus solely on the future. In particular, I enjoy discussing traditional proverbs that have sageful advice anyone can use. no matter their stage, or walk, of life.
Q: What makes your blog stand out from others?
A: I think that is a question for the readers of my blog. I could not be objective at all in answering this, and thus I’ll politefully decline.
How would you answer these six questions?
You are welcome to re-post with your own answers, but are under no obligation to do so.
Here are just a few blogs, (in no particular order), who’ve been inspirational to me, in my blogging journey. Thank you WordPress community!
We have been so very desperate for rain in many parts of Australia, and finally the rains have arrived. They have come late in some areas, have received far too much in other areas, and not quite enough in still other areas. But the raindrops have been falling. Yay!
Rain is appreciated also by the thirsty plants which respond with a flush of growth and some with flowers.
Raindrops are also a photographer’s delight. After the rain is the best time for photographs.
The photo below is a microcosmic world in itself. The leaf forms are a metaphor for our planet, the raindrop a metaphor for the oceans, the individual drops the rivers and streams running into the oceans, and the minute hairs the people of the world, dependent on the water drop for life.
Some organisms are 90 % water. 60% of an adult human body is comprised of water.
Water is essential resource for life. Raindrops are precious.
Unfortunately, some creatures like the ones below also like the rain.
They are not so welcome.
Create a post sharing your interpretation of this week’s Friendly Friday prompt –
Write and publish a post, tagging the post ‘Friendly Friday’, and adding a url link back to this Friendly Friday post.
Include the Friendly Friday logo, found below, if you wish.
Post a link to your Raindrops post in the comments here, so others can find you.
Please note there are no deadlines for participating. New prompts each week.
To see participating bloggers’ version of the weekly prompt, please browse the links in the comments section. It can be quite interesting to see the other interpretations.