Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

bright sources
illuminating a path
in multiple ways

Different light sources exist in this photo.  Artificial light illuminates from the ceiling and reflects off the metal elevator doors, and natural light coming through large windows to the left adds brightness to the inside of the building.

This is the inside of the cancer hospital where we spend a lot of time for my mother’s cancer treatments, procedures and tests.  It certainly doesn’t look or feel like a hospital, but that was the intended design – to make the patient and family feel like they were NOT in a hospital.  Even the individual patient rooms give the feeling like you are in a nice hotel room, only with a hospital bed.

I interpret “Let There Be Light” in two different ways for this posting.  First, providing light inside of the building, and second, hoping that the visits here will help provide bright light for us at the end of the tunnel with my mother’s cancer journey.  There is nothing significantly new since the last posting.  We are continuing her regular aggressive treatments and waiting to see what the next scans and tests will tell us.

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Scrub Jay Visit
Scrub Jay Visit, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Chickadee Feast
Chickadee Feast, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

powerfully alluring
nature is my meditation
a nourishing addiction

How can one resist the daily solicitations of treats from visitors like these?  The bird in the first image is a scrub jay that has been coming quite regularly for the last three years, begging for peanuts.  A definite routine.  He has a charming personality.  Some days he will boldly let you know if you haven’t noticed his arrival yet or are ignoring him.  Other times, he will wait patiently.  When I took this image, he had been waiting for me to finish snapping photos of other wildlife around the yard, but perched himself in a very conspicuous area for me to see him.  Perhaps he knew I was aware of his presence and was confident I would not forget his treats.

The chickadees, as with the scrub jays, are year-round residents in our area.  They also come everyday, seeking their treats from the various bird feeders.  Occasionally they will take off with a peanut half their size, as one is attempting to do in the second image.  Their flight is wobbly with that heavy load, but they usually manage to get their feast to it’s destination.

Nature is definitely addictive.  But that’s a good thing.


Continue reading

Hummingbird Profiles #4 – Amazing 素晴らしい

Hummingbird Profiles #4
Hummingbird Profiles #4, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

endlessly enduring
achieving the amazing
single parent

I’m finally able to catch a few moments to post and visit a few blogs today.  Although I haven’t been able to respond to each of your comments, I continue to appreciate all your kind words, encouragement, visits and likes.  Thank you.

We hit more bumps in the road recently with my mother’s health, and her cancer chemotherapy treatments had to be postponed two times in a row now.  In addition, there is more cancer growth, another metastasized spot detected from an MRI scan taken a little over a week ago, more procedures, and radiation.  We continue to hope that we will receive some bit of good news in the near future, instead of worsening news.  These still remain scary, hectic, and gut wrenching times.


Here is the fourth image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a female broad-tailed hummingbird.  An image of the male broad-tailed hummingbird was posted here.  Hummingbirds in general are quite amazing, and their dense, cuplike nests have been described as “amazing architectural creations that protect and nurture some of the most delicate birds.”  Hummingbird nests are built by the female, entirely by the female bird, spending several hours a day for up to a week collecting materials to build the nest.  Also, the females raise the chicks – single parenting.  The male hummingbirds are not involved in raising the young after the act of copulation is complete.

I continue to dedicate this hummingbird series to my mother.  My mother, who became divorced and a single parent when I was too young to remember, raised, supported and nurtured me, AND worked full time and multiple jobs to provide for me.  She has overcome many hardships over the years, and is one of the most compassionate, sincere and generous people I know.  She is also one of the most AMAZING and beautiful people I know!

I’m including two Japanese words to represent “amazing”

素晴らしい  (すばらしい), which is read subarashi
(superb; fantastic; marvelous; wonderful; terrific; amazing; great)


凄い  (すごい), which is read sugoi
(amazing – of strength; great – of skills; wonderful; terrific;)


Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning

Sharing Breakfast
Sharing Breakfast, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

bathing in pollen
before autumn awakens
summer breakfast

Whenever I can, I like to get in a dose of nature as part of my morning routine – regardless of the season or weather.


Continue reading

Hummingbird Profiles #3 – Powerful, Strength 強力

Hummingbird Profiles #3
Hummingbird Profiles #3, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

a new chill on my skin
colors change before my eyes
autumn migration

Yesterday was the start of my Mom’s second chemotherapy treatment.  She will have 12 total treatments over the next six months, minimum.  There are certainly side effects, but not to the extent we expected so far.  She is not brutally ill like we anticipated.  She is doing ok overall even though it is still a struggle for her, especially for the first week after the treatment.  We are all well aware of the physical and mental power and strength needed to make our way through this journey, including all the other hurdles we have going on at the same time.


Here is the third image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a male Rufous hummingbird.  The Rufous is a later arriver at our feeders, first appearing in the middle of July, and is also the first of the hummingbird species to leave.  Although a few hummingbirds are still here at our feeders, the Rufous in particular have already departed.  I did not have the opportunity to enjoy seeing and photographing the hummingbirds as much this summer as in previous years, but I at least got a couple of photo sessions in this past spring.

Since autumn officially arrives here in the northern hemisphere in a few days, on September 22, I thought the beautiful coloring of the Rufous hummingbird was appropriate to welcome the new season.

A common symbolism of hummingbirds is powerful energy and the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  They are built for power, with about 30% of their weight consisting of flight muscles.  Some migrate impressive distances – up to 500 miles nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico.  Two behaviors separate the Rufous from other hummingbird:  1) It ventures farther north during the migration than any other, reaching the southeastern coast of Alaska, and 2) It has the longest known migration of any bird species, traveling over 3,000 miles between Mexico and Alaska.

Hummingbirds symbolize Powerful and Strength
(in Japanese, it is 強力 (きょうりょく), which is read kyouryoku

I also saw another translation of 強力 as “herculean strength.”  I believe it, given the strength and stamina these little hummingbirds need for their long journey!


Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Point of View / Update

Cancerous Aphids
Cancerous Aphids, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

voracious monsters
destroying vitality
metastatic cancer

Cancer – Any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively.

These voracious, ravenous aphids extracted so many nutrients and vitality from some of our plants, that they became very, very sick.  We saw more aphids than we had ever seen before in our yard, and as a result, we also saw more ladybugs than we have ever seen, attacking the cancerous aphids.


As I wrote previously, we are in the middle of a frightening cancer battle.  My mother was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer…4 out of 4.  What is Stage 4?  Per our surgeon, it means cancer has metastasized from it’s original site to other organs.

Each doctor visit and surgery result over the last two months brought worse news, showing more and more spread, and leaving us in an endless nightmare.  The cancer is extremely rare, aggressive, and high-grade, for which there is NO standard treatment and no clinical trials because of its rarity.  There is no known cause.  It is not curable.  The prognosis is……….well….…all I will say is that people have been known to beat the odds and we are hopeful and determined that she will beat it.  It is a very scary time.

Cancer treatments began this week.  Two weeks ago, we made a quick trip to another high rated cancer hospital for a second opinion, and were more assured we are headed down the right path with her initial treatment plan.  Because of the cancer’s aggressiveness, we needed to start as soon as possible after recovery from her last surgery.  The treatments are a rigorous regimen of two days of chemotherapy every two weeks for a minimum of six months.  It’s too soon to see what the actual side effects will be since everyone reacts differently to the drugs, but we know what the common side effects are.

Hopefully the treatments will turn out to be a swarm of ladybugs focused on and succeeding in obliterating the cancer!

Again, I will not be as active in the blogging world but will do my best.  Thank you for all of the wonderful well wishes you continue to send for my mother and for staying with me through these tough times.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Point of View.  I’ve used the theme in two ways – one in the photo itself, and one regarding focused treatment.

Continue reading

Quick Update

I’m not able to include a photo or haiku with this posting, but I wanted to provide a quick update about my absence.  Those of you who follow this blog may have read about my mother’s new cancer battle.  Since my last posting, each new test result and doctor visit brought worse and worse news.  Her situation has been a top priority for us, and I have been unable find time recently to blog or take photos.  I was also without an internet connection for several days.

It will be at least another one to two weeks before I am able to post a better update.  We will be traveling this week to obtain a second opinion. Next week we will be faced with more doctor visits and another surgery, and then rigorous treatments starting next month.  This is a very frightening time.

Thank you for all the well wishes you have provided for my mother, and thank you for being patient and staying with me.  Thank you also to all the new followers to this blog.  Much appreciated!!

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Hiking / Soul Searching

Soul Searching
Soul Searching, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

soul searching
continuing the journey
through a daunting world

Five years ago, I took this photo at beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah, USA, along the Queens Garden hiking trail.  I was still able to hike at that time, at least on the less difficult trails.

This is the photo I used in my first posting to introduce this blog.  I created this blog almost two years ago as part of my healing process through many, many health issues, debilitating and including widespread chronic pain.  (I’ve explained some of these in my other health blog.)  It is a much-needed therapeutic way to explore my own creativity, whatever may arise, with a primary goal to help me heal, and a secondary hope to develop and improve artistically.

Last week the number of followers on this blog reached and surpassed 1,000!  I never imagined this would happen when I started blogging, but more importantly, I am encouraged and appreciate that many have found my blog worthy of following, commenting, liking, or even just visiting.  It does help with the healing.  Thank you very much!

I am still on the journey through several health issues, and I don’t know yet what is on the other side.  Perhaps I will be able to hike a trail like the Queens Garden Trail again.  But in the meantime, Soul-Searching is still applicable.

This photo is for the Wild Weekly Photo Challenge where we are encouraged to take you along on a hike.
This is also for the “Tagged” letter challenge (letter “S”) by Frizztext,
(“S” is for Soul Searching.)

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

Triple Opportunity
Triple Opportunity, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

unplanned camouflage
invisible in plain sight
background activity

Refocus your attention to reveal a new perspective, or a new world!
(Did you also notice the little black bee in the photo?  I felt quite lucky to have captured a shot with three little critters!)

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge encourages us to
share a picture that says In the Background.

Linking up with:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Majestic #2
Majestic #2, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

trying to flee my lens
little do they realize
nature is my escape

There are two forms of escape represented in this photo.  The Great Blue Heron is escaping me, and I escaped to nature.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge encourages us to
share a picture that means escape to you.

Linking up with:


Mother Goose
Mother Goose, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Photo taken on Mother’s Day at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah, USA.
Robin Nest
Robin Nest, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
This nest was a in a tree in our yard.  The mother robin is carrying away a waste sac produced by the baby robins.


she is a treasured diamond
exquisite, pure and priceless
my mother’s absolute love

My mother embraces me with her unconditional love, caring, support, encouragement, compassion and listening.  She is a beautiful person, inside and out.

I hope all mothers enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day!


Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Male Flicker
Male Flicker, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Female Flicker
Female Flicker, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

indelible patterns
embellish autumn colors
woodpecker clothing

These are photos of a male (top) and female (lower) Red-shafted Northern Flicker.  They are a medium-sized member of the woodpecker family and are known as one of the few woodpecker species that migrate.  They reside in western North America.  (There is also a Yellow-shafted variety that resides in eastern North America.)

Their outer coloring is mostly neutral with handsome black-scalloped plumage along their back, a bold black chest crescent, and white/buff with black spotting along their front feathers.  The males have a red moustache.  Both sexes are red under their tail and wings, and are stunning when they take off with their vibrant flashes and flickers of red!  They eat mainly ants and beetles, and spend lots of time on the ground.

Their colors are indicative of autumn for me.  Here, they frequent our suet feeders in the winter, and are gone by spring.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a picture which means pattern to you.

Linking up with:

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement / Robin

Robins Bath 01
Robins Bath 01, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

This is an American Robin who loves taking dips in the birdbath. He has established an almost daily bathing ritual, and is quite fun to watch.

Here he was this morning, back for his usual bath.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

Robins Bath 02
. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

Autographs in the Snow
Autographs in the Snow, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

carpet of snowflakes
informs me of charming visitors
birdie autographs

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge encourages us to change our perspective on something and to share a photo of a subject shot directly from above.  I think it would be difficult to see more definition in the bird tracks at any other angle than from directly above them.

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Birds / Quest

Majestic Flight
Majestic Flight, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

a splash of sky
rising out of the water
majestic heron

A Great Blue Heron on a quest for dinner!

This photo was taken just over a week ago at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in northern Utah, USA.  The Great Blue Heron is the largest of the herons in North America and is found throughout most of the continent.  They have been described as “graceful flyers with slow, steady, dignified wingbeats.”  They feed primarily on fish, insects, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and usually nest in trees or brushes near water’s edge.  They rarely venture away from bodies of water.  In Utah, they are a common breeding resident in the summer and nest in scattered colonies.  A few remain throughout the winter in areas of open water.

Note:  The website for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that the Bear River Bird Refuge is an oasis for water birds and “acclaimed as one of the world’s 10 best birding areas.” It provides habitat for more than 200 bird species.  It is definitely one of my favorite places to visit.

This photo is for the Wild Weekly Photo Challenge where we are encouraged to turn
our lens toward some feathery friends.  No one has to twist my arm to do that!
This is also for the “Tagged” letter challenge (letter “Q”) by Frizztext,
(“Q” is for Quest.)

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Fremont Petroglyphs
Fremont Petroglyphs, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme, I present images from two Native American cultures in my home state of Utah, USA.

The photo above was taken near Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah.  These are petroglyphs dating from AD 100 to 1200, and were made by people from the Native American Fremont culture.  Some of the figures reach 9 feet tall and are located along a 200-foot high sandstone cliff.  Many rock art sites such as petroglyphs exist across Utah, and as with most rock art, they are a record of the presence of the people who lived there at the time.  (Fremont people were here until about AD 1300.  A suggestion as to why their traditions and culture disappeared here is climate change and worsening farming conditions, which did not allow Fremont people to easily adapt to for sustenance.)

Of interest to most general readers of petroglyphs is “What does it mean?”  Although archaeologists have arrived at certain general interpretations, “interpreting rock art designs is intriguing yet difficult, often impossible.”

How would you interpret these petroglyphs?

Now to the opposite end of the state for the next photo.  Tucked away into a ledge above a dry wash in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park (southeastern Utah) is a structure from the Native American Pueblo culture.  This structure, located in the left side of the photo, is an Ancestral Puebloan granary (grain storage bin).  Built between AD 1270 and 1295, this type of granary was used to store corn, bean or squash seeds.  There are dozens of similar storage structures in this area, but few dwellings.  According to the park information, this suggests that the early inhabitants of this area farmed intensively but lived there only seasonally.

Puebloan Granary
Puebloan Granary, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

“For many years, changing weather patterns made growing crops more and more difficult. Around AD 1300, the ancestral Puebloans left the area and migrated south. Their descendants include the people living in modern pueblos in New Mexico and Arizona like Acoma, Zuni, and the Hopi Mesas.”  (Source: National Park Service – Canyonlands)


Linking up with:

Spring Is Teasing Us Again

Daffodil Macro
Daffodil Macro, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

snow melts into spring
and nature flaunts lavish costumes
flourishing blossoms

It seems like spring has been postponed for us again…and again.  Just when we think spring has finally arrived, it quickly withdraws, acquiescing to  snow.  This past Monday morning, we woke up to snow and cold temperatures, which will continue into Wednesday.

I took this photo exactly one year ago on April 17, 2012.  At that time, all of the daffodils were in full bloom and the tulips were just starting to bloom.  Right now, none of the daffodils have bloomed, although a few are close, and the tulips probably won’t start until next week.  The trees are only showing small hints of green, which will eventually turn into lush, full leaves.

So…we wait for spring…still…and then we will celebrate its real arrival.

This is also for the “Tagged” letter challenge letter “P” by Frizztext
(“P” is for Postponed and flower Pistil).

Linking up with: