Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Morning Shadows


Morning reflection, looking up to see the sun streaming through the door creating the shadow of the stool at the kitchen counter. I see it most mornings if I’m up early enough, but I’ve ignored it until now; it called out to be brought to life.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus in Camera+, and edited in Mextures and a tweak in PicMonkey for good measure.

Today is Challenger’s Choice at Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge, stop over for a visit by clicking here.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Wrapping Up Colorado in Conifer


The Icing on the cake. A traveler’s dream. Friends who live in beautiful places. It all presented itself to this traveler on the recent Colorado trip. I was whisked from the relatively lowlands of the Denver area at 5,280 feet, to Conifer sitting up at 8,277 feet; a small community in the foothills west of Denver.


Hiking around the mountain and meadows with my friend took me a minute or two to keep up with her; I was feeling the altitude up here like I hadn’t in Denver. The breaks I took to breathe also gave me time to get photos of the beauty. At least I used that as the excuse to not seem like a wimp.



The rock formations up here are something to behold, and also raise questions of how they came to be.



An especially sacred place

There are places here that seem almost sacred


Feelings of true connection with Mother Earth are easy to feel here, and the importance of preserving this earth in all its glory.

I’ll just turn it over to the camera from here









And the Colorado state flower, the columbine


The trip home, again on Amtrak, was just as beautiful in the reverse order, leaving Denver’s Union station. All aboard!  As we pull out, seeing construction workers waving at the train, fly fishermen, ducks and geese in the early morning sun on that sparkling river, horses and deer in the grassy hillsides. And then we’re off into the canyons.



See you next week with a shift in location, and return to Atotonilco, Mexico, that I hadn’t included in previous posts about San Miguel de Allende.


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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White. Inside and Out




The underpinnings of the train, the back and forth and up and down workings that make the train go; this description should send any mechanical engineers into outer orbit! These are things I need not fill my head with…all I know is that my seat was right above this one thingy, and I wanted in the worst way to squirt some WD-40 on it.

Moving right along (pun intended):


I took this photo through the train’s window in full-on sun; I hadn’t realized the reflection I had gotten, until I put the photo up on my laptop screen, showing me a photo of both the inside and outside of the train in one photo. I love photographic accidents serendipity.

And today I’m enjoying a little levity.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, using Camera+, edited with mobile PicMonkey, and Snapseed.

Join in, or just visit Sally for her lovely post, and that of others here



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The Sunday Traveler ~ Are We There Yet?


When the canyon and cliffs begin to show signs of more and more greenery I can sense that we’re nearing a new place. I’ve never taken this train trip before, so have no indication of what is coming next, or where any true demarcation lines are, if there are any, from one state to another. Isn’t this strange in today’s world of technology and GPS where we know exactly where we are at all times? The internet service was mostly non-existent as the train wound through canyons; and unlike highways, there are no signs to tell us it is x number of miles to x place. I realize I love this just being open to what comes next (what else is there?). Since I trust that the train will follow the tracks, and will take me where I’m supposed to be going, I can just sit back and truly enjoy the surprises as they come


I think I’m going to like Colorado if this keeps up


The land I come from, Northern California, has greenery like this for a brief period in spring, but is now a toasty brown from the summer heat and drought conditions. These incredible verdant scenes are something I can’t take my eyes off of.

Ah, civilization continues to exist after almost 31 hours of desert, canyons, and rivers. The train picks up speed, seemingly sensing my eagerness, and I finally have to ask “are we there yet?”



The conductor smiles and points out the window….almost


The Sunday Traveler will return next Sunday with a few scenes from a little place high up in the Colorado mountains where I had the pleasure of spending a few days with friends.

Until then



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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro Corn Tassel


Walking through a community garden a couple of weeks ago, the tassel on a corn plant caught my eye in it’s seemingly elegant drape. Not wanting to get into the predicament I was in, in a recent post, I’ve done my homework this week to be extra sure of my subject matter.  Did you know the corn tassel is the male flower of the corn plant? When the bulk of the plant growth is complete, tassels appear on top of the plant. The tassel’s job is to produce pollen that encourages the growth and ripening of the corn ear. Wind carries the pollen to the female flower, or the silk on the corn plant. This information was gleaned from; and given all of the corn fields around me, I’m glad I now know what’s going on out there.

The photo was taken with my iPhone 6Plus, Camera+, and edited with that application for exposure, contrast, and light adjustments.

You can click here to see the other entries in Sally’s challenge.

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The Sunday Traveler~Views And Thoughts Along The Way


The Sunday Traveler was awake early on the morning of the second day (It’s a 31 hour trip from California to Denver) in spite of having slept fitfully after the 3:00 A.M. stroll along the train platform at the Salt Lake City stop. Anxious to not miss one moment of the beautiful countryside rolling by, I grabbed a coffee and bagel from the Cafe Car and sat in the Lounge to take in the view through the panoramic windows of that train car. We were heading out of Utah and nearing the Colorado border.


We passed by towns that look long abandoned, followed by the first view of the Colorado River


Beautiful, winding along greenery, and low hills that are a prelude of bigger things to come.


The river widens and narrows, and the rails lead us through paths away from the river for short distances, as we head into canyons created eons ago





It’s breathtaking vistas that don’t stop. I wanted to nap, but was afraid to close my eyes and miss any of this. And then we got to the town of Glenwood Springs, where rafting begins in earnest down this stretch of the river. The tradition, for whatever reason, is for rafters to “moon” the train as it passes along the river. I had read about this custom, but didn’t know if I should quite believe it. Believe it. I was never ready with the camera to capture said custom. There were rafters galore, it being the 4th of July weekend, and it was hysterical. Everyone on the train was laughing; the conductor gave us a total count at the end of the stretch of river where the rafters are (63 was the number of times he counted the train being mooned). But people on the river also waved at the train…and pretty near everyone on the train waved back. The thought passed my mind that this was a wonderful, happy human connection; we acknowledge each other, one human to another.




And we move on down the river that changes again and again










Next week I”ll take you on the final leg of the journey, getting into the Denver area.

Until then.


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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Nature’s Queen


Queen Anne’s Lace, in all of her majesty, found in a Colorado meadow high up in the mountains.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts…There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature, the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson

iPhone 6Plus used in Camera+. For other entries in the challenge, click here.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ The View Out The Train Window


I’ve jumped ahead of the story just a little bit in that where this photo was taken is already into the Colorado area; but today’s story starts in California.

Traveling from Northern California to Denver, Colorado, the scene out of the Amtrak window changes  from the Carquinez Strait as we pulled out of the station in the little town of Martinez that began my journey, to little towns in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, fir and spruce trees going by as we began the slow climb up the mountain, passing through canyons; the rails following alongside lakes and rivers. Photos are of the Carquinez Strait, Truckee, The American River Canyon, Donner Lake.  The landscape shifting as we get into the outer Nevada area heading into Utah, dry arid land and long, desolate highways. Truckers are seen coming and going, with a few cars and campers joining the parade in the desert.

amtrakwindow caarquinez strait


amtrakwindow americanrivercanyon


amtrakwindow5 donnerlake


A friend texted at one point and said where are you? I should have taken a selfie to show what was probably registering on my face…I had no clue, but I sent her this photo.


A desert sunset turning into night, and towns drifting by with lights in windows making me wonder who lived here, and the stories that are held within these walls.

amtrakwindow sunset


We’ll wake up together next Sunday and pick up the trip as the train crosses over the Colorado border to see an impressive change in vistas to greenery, the beautiful Colorado River, and the rafters enjoying the river on this 4th of July weekend.

Until then.

And because last week’s traveler didn’t appear at all, I’ll post this one a little earlier than usual.





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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Alone On the Road


Re-inventing ourselves through the creativity of photography.

A photo taken from a train window a few weeks ago (I know, I know, the Sunday Traveler didn’t hit the blog yesterday, but will be coming this coming Sunday with more of the views).

Sally, creator of Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, speaks more to this self-expression in her blog this week, please take a look by clicking here.

Photo above taken with my iPhone 6Plus, in Camera+, edited in camera, then processed in the iPhone app, Aquarella, and a further tweak using PicMonkey.

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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White on The Road


Converting color to black and white is still a labor of letting go for me. Losing color is sometimes difficult, but it is always a learning process of learning different gradients of blacks and grays and whites for an outcome that is acceptable, and sometimes even pleasing to my eye.

Photo taken at Estes Park in Colorado with my iPhone 6Plus, Camera+, and applying that filter for black and white.

Photo challenge by Sally D can be found here

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