Picture Story: Picture Quotes

thun-flower_458“The power of imagination makes us infinite.” ~ John Muir

Picture Game

Today I decided to try something new – a picture game.  It’s called match a picture with a quote. The picture and quote above is an example. I chose this picture and quote because these flowers seemed to me to be a reflection of Nature’s infinite imagination.

Now, it’s your turn to play the game. It’s not hard and hopefully you’ll have fun with it. Here are the instructions for this picture game:

1) Look at the following four inspiring pictures below, labeled Picture A, Picture B, Picture C, and Picture D.

2) Pick ONE of the pictures you like.

3) Then go to “inspiring quotes” following the pictures. (There are more quotes than pictures to give you choices.)

4) Match your chosen picture with one of these quotes.

5) Briefly share the picture and quote you chose as well as your reasons for picking that particular picture and quote.

Want to go step further? You can choose more than one picture to match with a quote or match all the pictures. In addition, if you have a quote you like better than those on my list, feel free to use it. Be sure, however, to include it in the comment box.

Inspiring Pictures

ballenberg-flower_458Picture A -Flowers

Bird's-nest_458Picture B – The nest

leaves-and-rain_458Picture C – Leaves

wood statue_458Picture D – Statue

Inspiring Quotes

1) “Even the weak become strong when they are united. ~ Johann Friedrich Von Schiller

2) “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” ~ Lao Tzu quotes

3) “Failure is success if we learn from it.” ~ Malcolm Forbes

4) “The power of imagination makes us infinite.” ~ John Muir

5) “You can if you think you can.”~ George Reeves

6) “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”~ Karen Kaiser Clark

Have fun with this game:~)

Wild Turkey Time

wild-turkey-picPhoto by Gluzberg Photography

Not Just a Thanksgiving Turkey

Most people think turkeys are dumb birds. Since it’s Thanksgiving, this seems like an appropriate time to talk about the turkey, but not the one that’s usually served on a platter.

I’m referring to the wild turkey that has been around the America’s for over 10 million years; the one that was near extinction and survived to be given the title of “one tough bird”.

When I was a kid, my family spent Thanksgiving at my grandfather’s cattle ranch in Florida. While I wasn’t fond of it, one of the major activities during this holiday was hunting. The Holy Grail for the hunters was to get a wild turkey for their Thanksgiving meal.

This sounds easy enough. After all, most people believe turkeys are dumb birds that can’t fly, and some believe they do stupid things like drown themselves by looking up when it rains.

Yet, when we sat down for our Thanksgiving meal, most times there was no turkey. With their powerful guns and vigilant stalking, the hunters still failed to hunt this bird successfully.

If you are surprised, it’s because you’re basing what you know about turkeys on the domestic turkey. Wild turkeys are very different from domestic turkeys. They are extremely hard to catch. Why, you might ask?

Wild Turkeys are Wily

They are very alert and cautious birds that can run up to 20 miles per hour. They can also fly 55 miles per hour in a matter of seconds, for short distances. Wild turkeys have excellent hearing and vision, with their field of vision being about 270 degrees.

After years of sitting through many turkey-free Thanksgiving dinners, my respect for these smart and wily birds grew. It amazed me how they continued to avoid being served at our dinner table, despite all the determined efforts of the hunters in my family.

To Catch a Wild Turkey

While researching the wild turkey, I discovered a project conducted by the University of Florida to measure the population of wild turkeys in that state. If anything could debunk the “dumb turkey” myth, this study could.

The study was conducted by Dr. Mel Sunquist, an associate professor of wildlife ecology and conservation for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Dr. Sunquist and the group of students working on the study discovered that capturing wild turkeys was not easy.

Efforts to find and count these birds were not effective. The study participants learned that you can’t just go out and catch a wild turkey. Not only do they see you coming, but they hear you coming from a long way off. The wild turkeys vanish before you can get close enough.

Rocket Power

In order to count the birds, Dr. Sunquist and his students had to be far enough away to not alert them, and yet find a way to capture a large number for counting and banding purposes. They ended up using large rocket-powered nets.

Using corn as bait, they hid and waited until the turkeys came out to feed. Then they used a remote control to fire rockets that released a large net over the turkeys. The turkeys were not injured, and this was the only way the researchers were able to capture an entire flock for banding.

While very effective, this method wasn’t foolproof. Some turkeys still sensed the danger and disappeared.

So, to be clear, the wild turkey isn’t just some dumb bird to be made fun of. According to popular legend, Benjamin Franklin suggested the turkey be named as the national bird for the United States instead of the bald eagle. If there is any truth to this legend, we can certainly see where he was coming from.

Needless to say, some people laugh at this idea, but in my opinion, Ben had it right. The wild turkey may not be as photogenic as the bald eagle, but it is one smart bird, worthy of respect.

Have a happy Thanksgiving :~)

Picture Story: A Park Bench

the-benchA Park

One thing I like about where I live is that there are lots of parks. JC and I visited one near my house the other day. It’s actually a holding pond that’s been made into a park. We went to it late in the day and the reflections were amazing.

For this picture story challenge, I want YOU to imagine you’ve taken a walk in this park and now you’re sitting on the bench pictured above. You look out into pond and see the trees reflected in the water.

the-reflecting-treeIt’s a quiet, peaceful time and you’re enjoying yourself. Then the snap of a twig; a cry of a bird as it’s startled from its perch let you know that someone is coming towards you.

You turn from looking at the pond and see a person approaching through the moss laden trees. You can’t see immediately who the person is, but you are very curious.

moss-covered-treeAs the person gets closer, you realize you recognize the face. You are surprised, but not afraid. It’s natural that you slide over to make room for this person on the bench. The person sits down and then turns to you with a smile.

Picture Story Challenge

Your challenge today is:  Who sits down beside you on the bench?

This person can be someone you know in your life right now, someone you’ve always wanted to meet, a person from history, someone imaginary or even someone who has passed on, but was special to you.

You can choose to share only the name of the person who joins you on the bench or if you want, you can also answer some of these additional questions:

Why did you pick this particular person to sit beside you?

What question would you like to ask this person?

What does this person want to tell you?

If none of these questions suit you, feel free to make up your own question and answer it.

Enjoy, be creative and have FUN:~)

The Journey Begins: Part Two

footsteps-in-the-sandphotograph by MorganLeFaye

Last Thursday, I published “The Journey Begins: Part One.” We left off where the woman was surrounded by fog that had always seemed to scare her.  Here’s the rest of the story…

Ben loved foggy days and would have laughed at her fear. On those days they’d shared, he’d run ahead until she couldn’t see him and then jump out and scare her. When she complained, he stopped her words with a kiss.

She stood quietly for a second, letting the fog swirl around her. It amazed her that just thinking about Ben’s kisses still made her lips tingle.

God, she missed him so much. “How will I ever recover from this?” she asked herself.

Maybe this was how those you loved and lost haunted you; not by being misty ghosts, but by being memories that squeezed the life out of your heart and soul.

She looked towards the ocean and the rushing waves, focusing on the white foam. The tide was coming in, but the boats wouldn’t be out today. A storm was near; she could feel and smell it. She hadn’t always known these things about the ocean. Ben had taught her.

He’d always teased her about being the “city girl”. When they walked the beach together, he made a point of finding something new to share with her. With Ben, the beach became a beautiful, mysterious place full of new adventures waiting to be discovered.

Looking at the beach today, all she saw were broken shells at her feet. She was surrounded by fog and felt the chill of the incoming storm. It saddened her to think that by losing Ben, she might also lose her ability to see the beach’s beauty and mystery.

Stopping for a minute to dig her toes in the sand, out of the corner of her eye she saw something move. She turned to see what it was and the fog lifted for just a second to show her a single baby turtle slowly making its way to the water.

She looked around quickly, but could see no others. Either this was the first to escape its egg, or the last. Whichever, it was struggling desperately to reach its destination.

She knew not to disturb it and knelt down to watch it’s progress. This was the baby turtle’s journey and it had to do it alone. It seemed ages before its tiny flippers kissed the water. Then just as it moved forward, a wave insolently tossed it back onto the beach as if to say, “How dare you tiny creature attempt to enter my waters!”

The tiny turtle righted itself and began its journey all over again. Several tosses later, it finally slipped silently into the water and disappeared.

When it was gone, she fell back on the beach laughing with joy at the turtle’s success while thinking, “God has kissed me on the cheek.” That had been one of Ben’s favorite sayings. It meant that you had witnessed something wondrous and special – a gift from God.

At that moment, she wished more than anything that Ben could be there with her to share this. He would have loved watching the baby turtle. She wrapped her arms around herself and that sweater, breathing in Ben’s scent once again.

A thought occurred to her suddenly. Seeing the turtle was no accident. She knew in her heart that Ben had shown her this turtle. Just as he always had done when they walked the beach, he’d found something special to share with her.

The journey of this tiny turtle was his way of telling her that she too would make it through this difficult time. Like the turtle, she would keep righting herself and moving forward, even when waves tossed her back. And like the turtle, this was a journey she now had to make alone.

Somehow this awareness made her feel lighter and stronger. She continued to sit for awhile on the beach watching the water. Eventually she stood up, dusted the sand from her shorts and turned to walk back.

It was time to go home. She had a lot of packing to do. Her new journey was just beginning.

*          *          *           *           *          *

How did you feel about the ending of this story?

Have you ever experienced something that seemed magical, like Ben showing her the turtle?

Part of this story actually happened to me, can you guess which part?

P.S. Publishing this story was a leap of faith for me and I thank all of you who read it and left comments of support and encouragement :~)

Recently, I discovered another fiction writer/blogger; Melissa of Black, White & Lace. I encourage you to read her stories. If you have some favorite fiction writers, let us know in the comment box:~)