Weekly Photo Challenge – Life Imitates Art

Amphitrite

Amphitrite

Or this is shot is strictly about art. Here is the mermaid Amphitrite as she adorns the Sunset House Reef on Grand Cayman. You can also see how the life on the reef has added colors to her lovely form.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Circle

Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

Here’s a literal interpretation of the challenge for this week. I had never seen a sea urchin that had made its home on the top of the reef. They usually like their hidey holes and all one sees are their spines sticking out of the nooks and crannies on the sides of coral heads. This shot was taken on Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

50 Happy Things – Bloggers Unite in Gratitude

When Dawn from Tales from the Motherland emailed me last week about her project, I was thrilled to be included. Her idea is to share gratitude with the world! While this blog has turned into a photography blog over the past years, I’m stepping outside of my norm and sharing my gratitude today. No photos, just a list of things that have made me happy this year.

So without further adieu…Drumroll, please:

  1. Today is Solstice. I’m happy for the returning of the light!
  2. Great food.
  3. I’ve so enjoyed my Inspiralizer and all the fabulous vegetable noodles this year.
  4. My health. I feel so blessed to enjoy great health
  5. Fitness. I love to run, bike, hike, ski, scuba and I’m so glad my body allows me to do all of these things.
  6. My wonderful home in the Colorado Rockies.
  7. The Colorado Rockies – not the baseball team…
  8. My fabulous town. I so love Fort Collins, its people, places, atmosphere.
  9. My husband Peter – his love, support and companionship fills my days with happiness.
  10. My sister Becky. I have so enjoyed having her live close by for the first time since I left Georgia after college.
  11. My kitties, Leo and Cielo. They constantly entertain and give us lots of kitty love.
  12. My awesome kitchen where I spend lots of time cooking and creating.
  13. My vegetable garden – its so fun to be able to pick fresh vegetables in the summer.
  14. Sunrises from the kitchen window.
  15. Friends who love and support me.
  16. The fabulous people who I get to care for in my Physical Therapy practice.
  17. Music. I’m so glad that I committed to take piano lessons this year. It is so paying off with improved playing skill.
  18. Hikes in the summer.
  19. Ski season is coming up fast!
  20. My fabulous Volkl Kenja skis.
  21. Trips to the Caribbean.
  22. Scuba diving
  23. Underwater photography
  24. I so loved my birthday present from Peter this year. A private underwater photography class at Cathy Church’s school in Grand Cayman.
  25. Taking my underwater photography to a whole new level!
  26. Photography in general. I love my botanical photography shots.
  27. Living in the western United States. I get to see so many beautiful places.
  28. Technology. I love my iPad, iPhone and Mac. They talk to each other and make my busy life easier.
  29. Living in a time where technology is so amazing.
  30. Meeting Dawn this year at the Denver Art Museum. What a cool thing to meet one of my blogging friends in person.
  31. Loving my work. I enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work.
  32. Starting a new art form and working again in my art studio – I’m making tooled leather bracelets to go with my photography in my sales booth this summer.
  33. Selling my first art print from my website this week! (I wonder how she found me?)
  34. My best year ever selling my photography.
  35. Getting into several high end juried art shows this year.
  36. Looking forward to spending Christmas with family.
  37. Books – I have so enjoyed reading this year.
  38. Blogging – I am so glad I joined the WordPress Community three years ago.
  39. Sitting on the deck in the summer enjoying a great meal.
  40. Running on the bike path.
  41. Living on the Cayman Aggressor for a week and meeting other divers.
  42. Skiing 20 days this year.
  43. Being able to play “Christmas Time is Here.” really well!
  44. My new Jeep Cherokee.
  45. Sharing the Snowmass Jeep Jamboree with Peter and Becky.
  46. A world where people are still good and caring.
  47. Getting to see the new Star Wars movie in two days!
  48. Living in a community where people are friendly and caring.
  49. My fabulous cameras.
  50. Trader Joes…They just opened a store around the corner from my office this year.

If you’d like to join our band of grateful bloggers, head on over to Dawn’s place for instructions. Tales from the Motherland. And for those of you who celebrate the season, I hope your holidays are merry and bright.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Gathering

Yellow-Headed Jawfish

Yellow-Headed Jawfish

A gathering of eggs, so to speak… This is the famous yellow-headed jawfish. Its curious lifestyle includes how it takes care of its brood. The male jawfish carries the gestating eggs in his mouth, occasionally spitting them out  to aerate them and then sucking them back into his mouth to protect them.

I was told by our dive master that the males who have the dark lines below their jaws are experienced fathers. These dark lines are literally stretch marks. So, if you look closely at the profile of this handsome guy, you can see the eggs in his mouth along with his resume stripes.

I was thrilled to get this shot! These guys are very shy. They live in holes on the sand bottom and pop up to feed and see what’s going on. It took me about twenty minutes of lying on that sand bottom with my camera pointed at the hole. I gradually approached the jawfish who would pop up, see me, and go back into his hole until I was able to get close enough to engage my macro lens.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Eye Spy

Balloon Fish Eyes

When I saw the prompt, I knew immediately what I wanted to post! This is a balloon fish and this is an exact capture of its iridescent eyes. These little guys hang out in shallow waters around 20 feet near the sandy bottom. They seem quite curious about the large black creature with the bright light and they’ll slowly move towards or away from it.

This is the first balloon fish I’ve ever seen and I found him in the shallows near Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Transition

Transition back to normal. On our recent trip to the Cayman Islands, I found this hermit crab crawling along the sandy bottom. In order to photograph it, I picked it up and placed it on a coral head upside down so I could get a good shot of the critter as it came out of its shell to see what was going on.

Upside Down

Upside Down

It climbed out of its shell and proceeded to grab a piece of seaweed on the coral head…

Leave Me Alone

Leave Me Alone

Very quickly it righted itself. I picked it up and put back where I had found it. It was a very fun encounter!

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

The shell home for my new friend appears to have been used by many hermit crabs. It’s almost completely smooth with very little definition or detail except for some new sea life growing on its top. Even in the wilds of the underwater world, some sea creatures’ very existence depends on reuse!

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Trio

Trio

Trio

I love these Schoolmaster Snappers. This trio was hanging out together under a ledge on the Bloody Bay wall in Little Cayman waiting to have their picture taken.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.