WP Photo Challenge – Early Bird 2 This type of cleanup not that easy


“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”   Erma Bombeck


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If you work an afternoon shift and crave sleeping in beyond 8 a.m. in the morning then these early bird dust eaters are viewed by you as more of a bane than a benefit.

The men using the equipment are entrusted to clear the streets of the decaying leaves and branches and twigs and mounds of sand that were used in the winter to help drivers steer more safely on icy roads.

They are the municipal early bird employees who must clean up the sandy remnants of a treacherous winter driving season. What was once essential to safe driving during the winter months is now creating a public nuisance to pedestrians .

The persistent whining sound of the portable thirty pound blowing machines at times strapped securely to their backs creates enough of a racket to awaken even the most  deepest of sleepers.

The dust that is blown aloft creates the same effect as a Saharan sand storm. The clouds of sand are thick and blinding and clearing up the city streets is top priority this time of year for the workers.

It is obviously not a desirable form of employment but the men who perform this essential service are dedicated and their work is vital to the safety and security of the local environment. 


WP Photo Challenge – Early Bird Sometimes a friend urges you on


  th (2)“If people were meant to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters. ~Author unknown, attributed to Jim Davis”.


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Sometimes early birds have to appreciate the fact that the rest of humanity is not as supercharged as they are in dealing with everyday reality.

It is commendable to be an early bird to take advantage of bargain prices, be at the front of the line for a popular musical or sporting event and even assure your seat on an airplane. The majority of folks prefer to take their chances and hope that fate will smile on them and their fortunes.

The one youngster above was out-and-about with his mother one day and were heading to a nearby mall to visit friends. Suddenly his mode of transportation seemed to momentarily malfunction and his concerned mom tried to remedy the situation.

A passerby stopped by to assist the woman with her immediate dilemma. This process was taking much too long to the obvious chagrin of the toddler being chauffered to the mall. The woman did her best to resolve the technical problem  and the youngster eventually met up with his friend on the far side of the sidewalk.

The early birds of life might arrive at an advantage point before the rest of humanity but they must also realize that being the first requires a great deal of understanding and patience.



Weekly Photo Challenge – Afloat The hunt for wind-tossed debris

“I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.”   —    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Spring is decidedly in the air at last . The sky is definitely bluer, the air fresher and more robust , and a greater number of winter shut ins  are being seen outside walking slowly in the warm rays of the welcomed sunlight. The thick mantle of snow that for many months covered a good portion of the local terrain is finally beginning to melt, recede and vanish.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Blur 2 Branches create blurred scenario



I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark, branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself.” —  Edward Steichen


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A few weeks ago municipal cleanup crews tried valiantly to remove the dead branches from trees that lined the city streets. The weather at the time was inclement and so the work crews decided to postpone this spring cleanup campaign until the weather was more favorable to their efforts.

Yesterday the trucks succeeded in finally trimming the dead and dried branches from the threatening overhang area. The sun was shining, the snow had disappeared and the branches were primed to be tweaked and primped for the coming season. 

A cherry picker rig was used to hoist the worker in the air to tackle the challenging task of cutting away the dead limbs from the tree. At times the worker was lifted twenty feet into the air to complete the task.

The space on the small raised platform was quite cramped and  not the ideal work station for anyone suffering from claustrophobia.

The job required experience, planning and concentration as the thick smaller branches loomed overhead and threatened to slash at anyone who recklessly tried to remove the thick growth. The man in the bucket handled the saw adeptly and trimmed at the tree braches with ease.



Weekly Photo Challenge – Blur The Easter Bunny is friendly!

My poor vision gives me a soft-focus morning. For the first half hour, I kind of wander through my house, and everything is a blur. I put my contacts in when I’m ready to deal with the world.” —  Carrie Ann Inaba


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The lineups to visit the Easter Bunny began to form one hour before his offical start time. Anxious toddlers, squirming infants and many confused youngsters unaware of where they were going waited somewhat patiently as their reassuring parents assumed their position in line near the specially designated spot.

For many of these children this visit was their first official social introduction to meeting a celebrity with a reputation as great as Santa Claus.

It did not matter to them that it did not wear a red suit or sport a white beard or even had elves assist it on the specially designed stage. That was a matter for another holiday.

But the excitement and the novelty of it all increased their own nervousness as they slowly approached the spot where their photo would be taken.  Many clung to their teddy bears with a death grip that helped them maintain their composure for the imagined ordeal.

It was a solemn event,  the children growing quieter as their turn to meet and greet the long-eared stranger grew nearer. They remarked to their eager parents that the tall stranger did not speak but did hug and shake their hands in a friendly and loving manner.

Their fears ( both chlidren’s and parent’s ) were unfounded. Anxious parents breathed a deep sigh of relief as the photographer finally snapped the photo and handed it to them for their approval. This would be placed proudly in their family albums.

The children’s faces beamed with a sigh of relief as they left the stage all the while looking back over their shoulders to catch a final glimpse of this silently mysterious stranger.

The wavering line between reality and fantasy seemed to blur this day as the childern proudly left the stage beaming with joy. Their  grateful parents smiled proudly still not believing the fact that their offspring were so well behaved. 





Photo Challenge – Ephemeral 2 Not your typical April fool prank

 “Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness.”   —  William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) in ‘As You Like It’ .

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It’s April first and by now you have more than enough evidence to appreciate for yourself that this was April Fools Day. Yippee. It’s the day when friends, family, colleagues and a host of other individuals try to get the one up on you and then shout out at the top of their lungs, “April Fool!”

Sometimes you can accept the fact that folks will try to trick you on this most auspicious of days. Other times you may be taken totally unaware of the nature of the day and fall into the traps planned by your relevant others. 

What do you do when Mother Nature decides to join in the fun and throw out her own brand of ecological chickanery and as a result transform a perfectly fine spring day into a scenario filled with harsh winds, blowing snow, rain showers and of course slippery streets? I guess you grin and bear it , bite the bullet and continue onward as best as you possibly can.

That was the situation faced by the above municipal employees this morning who had the assigned task of trimming the dead branches and twigs from trees that lined many city streets.

The two previous spring-like days offered them mild temperatures, sunny afternoons and of course hope that that most anticipated season had finally established itself in the immediate area. March had come in like a lion and left like a lamb. April hovever was a new month with a personality all its own and what better way to begin the month but with a prankish approach to the season.

The workers handled the high winds, blowing snow and slippery scenarios  on icy lawns with great aplomb and physical agility. They seemed to have accepted the then apparent fact that Mother Nature has a mind of her own and at times likes to throw a few twists and turns of her own into the works for the world to enjoy. 

Although tradition states that the majority of April trickery should be finished by noon hour Mother Nature’s prankishness unfortunately will last a few days longer. Oh well! April Fool!




W P Weekly Photo Challenge – Ephemeral The ever elusive side of everyday moments

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”    ― William W. Purkey


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Those special moments in life that we all seem to treasure and cherish the most are usually the ones that pass by too quickly and can only be recalled vividly either in our active imaginations or else recorded forever for posterity on our cameras and cell phones.

Many folks travel to exotic islands or remote destinations to escape the humdrum of everyday life and assume another identity separate and distinct from the one they offer their friends and associates in the work-a-day world.

They are mesmerized by the fact that there is a better way to experience life but not in their own backyards. The cost of travel plans, the hassle of journeying to foreign ports and the general fatigue they experience when they finally reach these planned destinations detracts from the fact that happiness may only be a few feet away in a local field adjacent to a schoolyard.

Even though many of the more pleasurable aspects in life slip away too easily we should all try to maximize our enjoyment of the everyday moments that present themselves to us.

If we only pay attention to our immediate surroundings and try to put our personal cares and worries on a temporary hold we may be able to more fully appreciate those unassuming, fleeting  moments of innocent fun that also flood our daily activities.