Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

A Storm's A-Brewin'Things were looking pretty ominous when a fast-moving storm blew through my Twin Peaks ‘hood back in February. It may look the apocalyptic end of San Francisco, but it didn’t amount to much, and the brick-red color you see here only lasted a few seconds as the clouds shifted and the light dispersed, so I was lucky to get this cool pano taken with my iPhone. Still, a pretty impressive force of nature right in my own backyard!

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Youngsters

Darling Harbour Merry-Go-Round,  Sydney I’m pretty much a single, on-the-go urban kind of guy, so as of yet I do not have children, and I don’t often have cause to be in the company of children. That said, as I comb through my archives, I’m amazed at how kids have made for some great photographic subjects, all while being so darn cute. So, here’s a small collection of youngsters I’ve encountered in my travels. As you can see, whether in San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, or wherever … the kids are alright!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

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Amidst the chaos, confusion, and kinetic motion of the bumper cars at Sydney’s Luna Park, one smiling, happy face shines through.

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Weekly Photo Challenge : Early Bird

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Up here in Twin Peaks, San Francisco, we have some killer city views, and the early bird is always rewarded with something spectacular. The best part is that no two mornings are ever the same.

But why was this early bird up so early? Stay tuned …

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: One Colour

orangeHi everybody. Nice to see ya again.

And now, for my first post since August 24, 2014, I give you the colour orange … in a pic of the tail light of a VW bug taken many moons ago with my trusty Pentax K-1000.

Hey, wait a minute. My last post was also Ailsa’s Travel Theme, and it too was orange! I’ve got a freaky “full circle” thing going on, dontcha think?

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Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Orange

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It’s an explosion of orange at Kyoto’s beautiful Fushimi Inari Shrine. One of the more popular destinations in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its tens of thousands of orange torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings, and these long tunnels of torii are one of the most iconic symbols of Kyoto.

The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds. Along the way there are multiple smaller shrines with stacks of miniature torii gates that were donated by visitors with smaller budgets. There are also several small restaurants serving Kitsune Udon (“Fox Udon”), a noodle soup topped with pieces of aburaage (fried tofu), a treat favored by foxes, and Inari sushi, which is fried tofu wrapped around sweetened rice. From bottom to top to bottom again, trekking the (sometimes steep) trail can take two to three hours, and there are beautiful views of Kyoto at the top. However, visitors are free to walk just as far as they wish before turning back.

Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital’s move to Kyoto in 794. The earliest structures were built in 711 on the Inariyama hill in southwestern Kyoto, but the shrine was re-located in 816. The main shrine structure was built in 1499.

Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. Since early Japan, Inari was seen as the patron of business, and merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business.

Orange … it’s all over the place at Fushimi Inari Shrine. It can also be found in abundance at Ailsa’s Travel Theme, so take a look.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

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Dusk at Sydney’s Milson’s Point brings out the silhouettes in a guy waiting for the ferry (above), and a couple just taking in the magnificent Australian sunset (below).

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