W P’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument “A Jug of wine, a Loaf of Bread and Thou”

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”       Ernest Hemingway.


An unexpected human experience can often qualify as a monumental moment. Of course,  each such occurrence is always subject to a person’s real life repertoire. An impressive skyline, Taj Mahal, an unforgettable sunset all qualify as those occasions which could profoundly affect and inspire the human condition.

The Family Estate Winery on Saturna Island  is one of those places which rightly qualifies as a local business which is impressive, inspirational and educational in its scope of operation and the varieties of wine the location offers.

Four vineyards located on more than 78 acres of land offer a wide selection of wines featuring Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurtzraminer, Pinot Noir and Merlot which are all under vine.

The vineyard is nestled on a sandstone and granite cliff facing the Pacific Ocean. The operation which began in 1995 offers bistro and restaurant services and a wine tasting bar during  the warmer weather months.

I was impressed with this winery when I was offered a tour of the facility and realized how dedicated the owners were to the cultivation of fine tasting wines and a world-class vineyard of grapes.



W P’s Weekly Photo Challenge : Threshold Another basic baseball moment of truth

W P's Weekly Photo Challenge :  Threshold  Another baseball moment of truth

Keeping his eye on the ball may have saved the baseman from embarrassment.

Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.” — Bob Feller.

One online dictionary defines the word threshold as: “the point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to begin to produce an effect: the threshold of consciousness; a low threshold of pain.” Life is filled with its own shares of ups and downs.

The world of baseball is replete with its many tales of success or failure from major league play to the humblest of sandlot competitions. The Charlie Browns at bat fare as well as the much touted Casey at the plate.

The successes, the failures , the almost made it to the plate excuses, the bases loaded and the hitter destined to make a monumental name for himself if only he hits the ball at just that right angle.

The above photo was captured a number of years ago during a mid summer in house competition. The bases were loaded and the runner in this scene , if he made it safely to home plate, would have let the home team beat the visitors by a single run in the ninth inning of play.

As you can readily see from the photo the runner and the third base player did not have their eyes on the ball but rather at some point away from the action. The base player and the runner were intensely focused on the third base bag and the ball whizzed by them both in a trajectory which guaranteed that the runner would make it to home plate successfully.

Life is kinda like baseball. You have to stay focused on the ball, do your best at bat and then run the baseline as fast and as competently as you can never assuming that the game is over beforehand. Focusing on the plate helped the runner tag into home plate successfully but caused an embarrassed base player to rethink his game strategy.

Word Press Photo Challenge: Street Life Pan pipe player prepares for passersby

“White collar conservative flashin down the street, pointing that plastic finger at me, they all assume my kind will drop and die, but I’m gonna wave my freak flag high.” —  Jimi Hendrix

This week’s “Street Life” theme conjures up visions of exotic avenues and byways filled with the beautiful people and specialty boutiques which cater to their specific needs and inclinations. This is one take on the general term street life.

Other folks like Paolo the Pan Pipe Player from Peru not only makes his living playing enticing music for passersby to enjoy but also exhibits a natural business sense in the way he treats and respects his transitory audience.

Some time ago I featured a short story about Paolo when I encountered the man and his haunting music at the Granville Island Market in Vancouver B.C. on a trip to Saturna Island. His “street position” was well chosen as it would maximize the number of people who would listen to his musical offerings and as a gesture of appreciation either purchase his music CD or else toss a monetary offering into the guitar case laying open near his make shift music venue.

The story at that time centered primarily on the man and his music and did not expose the way in which he and his wife prepared themselves each day to entertain a curious public. The W P Theme for this week’s photo challenge offers me the opportunity to show you the determination and the sense of dedication Paolo exhibits towards his audience and his music.

Many times it seems that polite society turns its nose up at those folks who eke out their living by using their wiles on the street. The inhabitants here are not all vagrants , pickpockets and lesser beings worthy only of our derision and disgust.

Paolo is a prime example of a man who is using his natural ability and musical verve to not only please a passing musical audience but also do his share to not become a social blight on mainstream society.

W P Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections A passing gesture of mutual recognition

At peace with nature and mankind.

At peace with nature and mankind.

On a late summer vacation to Saturna Island a number of us went for a combination boat ride and mini fishing expedition and happened upon this curious fellow who was not startled by our presence and continued to sun itself once it had established we were not a threat to it.
The sea offers me a tranquil and non threatening place to commune with nature , gather my thoughts and reflect upon Thoreau‘s writing about Walden Pond.

If you focus your attention to the center of this picture you will notice the cabin nestled in the distance. Civilization sharing the environemnt with nature in a non-threatening manner. Idyllic setting.

Who can say that man is the only creature on the planet worthy of reflection?


W. P.’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside Think inside but live outside life’s box

 ” I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be   somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn’t just looking back at you. ”  —   Annie Leibovitz

Faceless opponents and time create stress.

Faceless opponents and time create stress.

Claustrophobia is often defined as the abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places.

I suppose from time to time we all experience a degree of being squeezed into a tight situation or physicallly confining space and with time and patience manage as best we can to tolerate this unsettling feeling.

Many photographers I know readily admit that they experience this uneasy feeling from time to time. They have no qualms about peering for hours through the minute box like aperature their camera offers them to focus, crop and capture a photo for their collections. But to be actually confined in cramped quarters for more than a few minutes is a major life irritation and stumbling block for them.

I am now learning the game of chess. I am by no means a chess master but can identify the various pieces by name now but have not yet developed any type of playing technique. When I face more accomplished opponents I tend to feel those familiar claustrophobic feelings well up inside me. The dry mouth and nervous twitches that accompany my every move on the board are telltale signs that I lack confidence in playing the game.

The chess board is a series of black and white squares that holds a player’s attention until the final moments of play when the king is either cornered or captured. One’s opponent and the clock are always considerations when one is engaged in the game.

The game is in effect a series of boxes holding players captivated, challeneged and boxed into positions until the moment of defeat is experienced by the less skilled player. Life at times demands  the same constricting and demanding rules. Remember at times to forget the confines of that box and enjoy life and all it has to offer.

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