A visual feast

There are so many amazing photography sites, blogs, resources…I almost refrained from posting a link to this collection. But I couldn’t resist the beautiful and surprising and haunting images here. Any collection of photos featured by Smithsonianmag.com, the digital home of the Smithsonian Institution, is worth a look. Or two. This is the 11th Annual Photo Contest for the site, and readers are invited to select their favorites.



Photograph by Stefano Coltelli (San Miniato, Italy). FINALIST: Travel |                                                                   Neist Point Lighthouse at dusk. (Isle of Skye, United Kingdom, August 2013,

View, enjoy, vote!

~ Sheila


The view from my window

As the morning mist rises, I look out from the windows in my sunroom to the Tongass Narrows, part of Alaska’s Inside Passage. The small community of Ketchikan, AK, is built along this stretch of coast. There are low mountains all around, covered with the evergreen trees that blanket the Southeast of Alaska in forest. This time of year, early December, the tops of the mountains have a frosting of snow. Although this is Alaska, the Southeast’s climate is temperate, and rain is the most significant weather feature. The view is beautiful, a combination of nature’s serenity and the human traffic of the region: fishing boats, both recreational and commercial, barges, all types of marine vessels. And float planes, the ever-present air transporation so vital to this area. In the summer season huge cruise ships are the most prominent traffic on the water.

I have had many views from my windows in the past thirty years. I have been fortunate to live in some pristine and scenic places. Colorado was home for almost twenty years, and from the Western Slope view of the Grand Mesa and the Redlands to the majestic alpine mountains from the foothills outside of Denver, I had a front row seat to enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons. For a few years in Michigan my view was a suburban neighborhood, filled with children playing street hockey and riding bikes, a kind of ideal Americana image magically preserved from some earlier and more innocent era.

My view will be changing soon. I’m listing the house for sale in January. I don’t know what the new scenery will be, but I’m hoping that it will be beautiful. I’ll admit, I’m spoiled. Maybe this is the opportunity to have a beach view and see amazing sunsets on a daily basis. Or it might be a changing view from the windows of an RV. Whatever is in the future, I’m looking forward to the adventure and the joy of experiencing what’s next.