Category Archives: Photos

52 Photos: Busy Street

This week’s prompt was busy street. I really wanted to post a picture of the insane traffic that my mom and I experienced in Hanoi, Vietnam. But the three pictures I took just don’t capture the intensity. As a matter of fact, I had friends who warned me about the traffic in Hanoi before I left. And they gave me advice on how to cross the street. As if I didn’t know how to cross the street! Turns out, I needed their advice.

cars and scooters

If you want to cross the street in Hanoi, (I hear Saigon is much worse), you wait until a pack of motor scooters comes. Then you step into the street and move slowly, with focus and consistency, until you reach the other side. You do not try to make eye contact with the drivers. Apparently this just throws them off. It is an exercise in trust, above all else.

I would link arms with my mom, and we would start walking. We moved at the pace of a small child or an elderly person. I would say, “We are the rock. They are the river.” We would clutch each other tight. When we reached the opposite side, we would rejoice in our success.

Since I find that picture doesn’t evoke the terror we felt every time we stepped off the curb, I’m sharing this delightful image of a pair of robots from the 2005 Fremont Solstice Parade.

robot couple close-up

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52 Photos: The Light Arrived

This week’s prompt for 52 Photos was The Light Arrived. As many of you know, I am a connoisseur of light. I love love love light. I had so many pictures I wanted to share, but I managed to hold myself back. I took some liberties in interpreting this one. There are a mixture of natural and man-made lights. I hope you enjoy!


I took this picture from the top floor of our hotel in Tokyo. The lights were on and they were reflected in the window, so I got this neat image that looks like a double exposure. It’s the light from inside as well as the lights from the buildings and cars outside.

Light and dark in Tokyo:

light and dark in Tokyo

Here is a shot without the reflected light, of just the cars on the street. I love this image, because it looks like an old computer punch card. I imagine there’s some code in the pattern, if only I can discern it.

Car lights in Tokyo:

car lights in Tokyo

The temple we stayed at in Koya-san had this rock in a little garden off to the side. Even though it was a Buddhist temple, it reminded me of the Taoist origin story. A version I learned told about a cosmic egg that was broken open. From the one came the two, from the two came the three, and from the three came the ten thousand things.

Light and dark/split rock:

light and dark/split rock


I don’t think the one needs explanation.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat:



Light through the trees:

light through the trees

Chandelier at the Paramount:

Chandelier at the Paramount

Vancouver, B.C.

“And the raven brought the light into the world …”

raven brought light

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52 Photos: Good luck charms

This week’s prompt for 52 Photos was Good Luck Charm. I’ve been struggling with this one, because I don’t really have anything I think of as a charm, nor do I subscribe much to good luck. This morning I was thinking about it again, because I love participating in this community every week. I let my mind wander and make its own connections. Good luck is a kind of magic, and I find magic everywhere (to paraphrase Dar Williams). And lo and behold, there are a few things that spike high on the chart when it comes to magic.

Some of you know I’m a gigantic fan of cetaceans. Orcas, great blue whales, bottle nose dolphins – I love them all. The best dreams I dream contain Orcas or great blues. I always feel completely peaceful and connected. I took these dolphin pictures off of Sanibel Island in March. I love their playfulness and connection to each other.

Leap of joy:

leap of joy

Triple dolphin action:

Triple dolphin action

Pelicans also hold a special place in my heart. Perhaps it’s their inherent goofiness. I can’t quite say.

brown pelican

white pelicans + reddish egret

Finally, a Hello Kitty Lucky Cat that I saw when I visited Miyajima in Japan:

Hello Kitty Lucky Cat

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52 Photos: Sugar!

This week’s prompt was sugar. Here are a few from the archives:

Sugar cane with passion fruit in Portugal:

sugar and passion

Sugar skulls at the market in Oaxaca, Mexico:

sugar skulls

This flower looks like it’s made of sugar to me:

sugar petal

And I colored my own sugar one year for sprinkles on cookies:

red sprinkles

Finally, my friend Karyn’s shop sign, in reverse, which is still as sweet:


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52 Photos: Criss Cross

This week’s prompt was Criss Cross. A few photos from the archive:

A knot at Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto:

crossed knot

Crossed knot at Hasedera Temple in Kamakura, Japan:

buddhist knot

Skylight at Bendel’s Department Store in NYC:

skylight at Bendel's

Celtic Cross in Seattle:

celtic cross

And finally, a snowy knot in Seattle:

snow knot

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52 Photos: Fire

This week’s prompt for 52 Photos Project was fire. The first picture that came to mind was a picture I took in 2005 of lava on the Big Island in Hawai’i. But it turned out that was before I had a digital camera and I never got it scanned or digitized. I suppose I could figure out where the print is and hunt it down and scan it now, but … well .. didn’t happen.

And then my friend Rebecca posted a picture that reminded me of this coal-powered iron I took in Kampot, Cambodia:

coal-powered iron

A few other fun flame pictures:

Jack-o-Lantern in Seattle:


Temple Candles in Nara, Japan:

temple candles

Lamp/chandelier in an office in Portland, Oregon:

lamps in nest

Playing with Fire (chocolate!):

Playing with fire

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52 Photos: Clouds

moon and clouds

This week’s prompt was clouds. Seattle certainly has plenty of them, but they don’t usually make for dramatic images. So I dug in the archives for you this week:

Mont Blanc peeking out of the clouds, a nice sister to Mt. Rainier:


Clouds resting in a valley in Sapa, Vietnam:

clouds resting

Clouds reflected in the bog, Saranac Lake, NY:

bog clouds sky

And my favorite of this bunch, steam meets sky at Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park:

The land is alive

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52 Photos: Petals

This week’s prompt was petals.

While I probably have thousands of pictures of flowers, I thought I’d take the prompt a little bit further. Here’s a boddhisatva resting on a lotus bloom at the Todai-ji temple in Nara:

boddhisatva on lotus

But I’ll throw a few flowers from various gardens in the mix:

dahlia rise


And some African tulip blooms that I came across while I was in Si Satchanali, Thailand:

african tulip flowers

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52 Photos: A Present Someone Gave You

Queen Mary tea - rainbow sugar

When I saw this week’s prompt, I initially thought I was going to take a picture of a Shona sculpture my sweetie got me for my 30th birthday. It is about 2 feet high and made out of serpentine (I think)? It’s two figures holding each other, and there is a story about how the sculpture was one of the few to survive the Nisqually Quake in 2001. And how it was so heavy my sweetie had to take it home on the bus, because it was too heavy to carry home.

But then EPIC TEA happened.

Let me back up. Last week I sunk down into a pit of sadness. This happens from time-to-time. I understand generally why it happens and have some strategies for responding. In the midst of this, Lis, tweeted about having tea at the Queen Mary Tea House. I responded to her tweet, and the next thing I knew, she was arranging to meet up with me and three other women on Sunday for tea.

Queen Mary tea plate

It turns out that yours truly was the catalyst and force for bringing together this particular group. There was Lauren, who I had inspired to start TeaVoyeur. I met Lauren a couple of years ago at an InfoCamp and we connected right away. She is a kindred spirit and we particularly connect on issues related to work/life balance.

Then there was Jess, who I’d met through the food tweeters a couple of years ago. And she brought along her friend, Kiri.

Queen Mary: ladies who tea

So Jess and Kiri were friends, and Lauren and I were friends, and Lis was the bold soul who organized the event, but the five of us had an incredible time. I mean, I felt completely comfortable in my skin, with these ladies who are smart and bold and strong and sweet and beautiful. We talked about life, creativity, dreams, religion, feminism and photography, just to capture a few of the topics that swirled around. I didn’t cackle my head off, but I was soul-satisfied, in a way I didn’t even realize I’d been parched. There was no awkwardness, just joy and celebration about each person and what she brought to the table.

After tea, we visited the cherry trees that are blooming on the quad at the University of Washington. It was a zoo.

the crowds

But I did capture a few tranquil images:

blooms and moss

sunlight cherry blooms

As I start another revolution around the sun, I want to carry this particular gift and share it as much as I can this year. Thank you, ladies, for what you gave to me.

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52 Photos: Where I Would Take You

For this week’s prompt, Where Would I Take You, I had many thoughts. Seattle is beautiful and I have some iconic pictures of the Space Needle, Mt. Rainier, Pike Place Market, the downtown skyline, and plenty of pictures of birds, flowers and nature. I felt overwhelmed, because there are so many places I would take you.

seattle skyline

I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that my adventure of the day was going to the library. One of my friends suggested I take pictures of the library to share. She didn’t even know I was still looking for a focus.

So, dear reader, I’m taking you to one of my favorite places in Seattle – my branch library. I hope you enjoy it.

The Seattle Public Library

Let’s start with this World Book set of encyclopedias. Anyone still use them? I remember them opening the door to the world for me.

world book

I imagine so many worlds, beyond what is known. On the left are the science fiction and fantasy novels. Dip a toe in!

library aisle

My mom loved to read to me and my brother and sisters when we were children. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins was one of her favorites – and ours! A classic:

The 500 Hats

The library is where lights go on:

library lamp

When I’m finished with my materials, I return them:

book return

There are a few more pictures included in the full set. Thanks for letting me show you around my library!

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