Lean On Me … Amsterdam, NL

Lean On Me


My second Monochrome Madness submission to Leanne Cole’s wonderful weekly challenge.

This image was taken during a trip to Amsterdam.

I’m left to wonder what it must be like to be inside that building and on the second floor.
Does it feel like it’s leaning?

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up … Enjoy the View!

Thanks to this week’s photo challenge we get to look up.

What a great theme!

I love to look up and have made a habit of doing so whenever and wherever we travel.

There’s so much to see, don’t you agree?

Remember to look up … 😉

Thanks for visiting …



Shout Outs

Mapping Chattanooga

Cheryl Andrews

A New Day


Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Milling the Wind … Zaanse Schans, NL

Zaanse Schans is a heritage-type park/museum with a collection of historic windmills as its focal point.

I really enjoyed my afternoon spent at this atmospheric and beautiful tribute to Holland’s past. There were lots of terrific photo opportunities the results of which I am featuring throughout this blog.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Reflection … Keukenof Gardens, NL

Today a reflection after a rather dismal yesterday. A long, uncomfortable day that saw me collapsed in my leather recliner in the family room without even the energy to process a sip of water. An episode with adrenal fatigue will do that.

And, as you might imagine, I had not the energy nor focus to work at the computer either so no Monday blog post. 😦

Oh well, today is another day. Feeling much better but taking things in stride I’ve decided to post something that simply reminds me of hope, new life, spring colour yet to come and the importance of “being” instead of “doing.”

Now, as I gaze through the kitchen window, I see tulip shoots, from bulbs newly planted last fall, pushing through our heavily mulched beds. Soon they will paint the garden with their coloured vibrancy. It’s encouraging to see new life where only a short while ago all was frozen and dormant.

As well, the swan in this image is a gentle reminder to “be” instead of “do.”

Have you ever noticed how birds and animals are beautiful just because they are? We don’t expect a swan to do anything to be beautiful. It just is.

The art of “being” in this world is threatened by our incessant need to be “doing.” From my observation this is not healthy for us as individuals nor for the planet. My engagement with adrenal stress has been a serious, and unpleasant, wake-up call to stop “doing” and start “being.” I simply cannot “do” everything or accomplish as much in a day as I used to, and I’m finding I’m okay with this.

If I may, I’d like to make a suggestion … don’t wait for a nasty wake-up call to set in motion the process of “being.” Take some time to see what distractions, unnecessary activities and worries you can eliminate from your life. Focus on what’s really important and let the rest go.

Reflect upon the swan … and just be.

Thank for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Cameras Never Lie … Amsterdam, NL

Something wasn’t quite right about it.

When I first laid eyes on the five-storey building at the end of a street in Amsterdam I had to do a double-take. Were my eyes deceiving me or was the old place really leaning Tower of Pisa-like over its neighbour?

One thing about cameras … they never lie … 😉

Thanks for visiting …

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Nest Building … Amsterdam, NL

While visiting Amsterdam in spring 2010, we encountered what we were told was an uncharacteristic garbage strike. Our Dutch hosts were most embarrassed by this turn of events as it meant we would not be able to see the city at its finest.

Not to worry … this undesirable set of circumstances actually provided a few moments of amusement, including the one captured in this image.

While waiting for our canal boat tour to begin we were entertained by these two mystery birds (does anybody know what they are?) who were nest building across the canal. Can you spot them? One in the tire setting up home; the other swimming in the water bringing her the materials?

As you can see, this resourceful couple made good use of the refuse they found floating in the water, padding their makeshift nest with all manner of paper and plastic items at their disposal.

It was fascinating to watch them interact. To see the male (I’m assuming) fetch a suitable item, such as the white paper bag he’s carrying in this image, and hand it over to the female perched in her new home, setting it up just as she’d like it. If any of the material fell out of place, her partner would retrieve it with his beak and give it to her so she could go about finding another suitable position for it.

At least these clever birds had found a creative way to deal with the city’s garbage problem.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Swan — Keukenhof Gardens, Holland

I’m looking out my kitchen window. The ground is covered in heavy snow which has been melting gradually as the temperature edges above zero. The forecast for this evening and into tomorrow is for heavy rains and winds gusting up to 90 km/h. I need a reminder of spring.

So, once again I return to my extensive file of Keukenhof Garden images to see what inspires me and select this colourful gem filled with cheerful tulips and graced by an elegant swan.

Swans remind me of my mother who, while working in Europe as a young opera singer in the late 1960s, fell in love with them. Because of this affection she has for swans I feel drawn to photograph them wherever I travel  — I guess partly so she can enjoy seeing them through my eyes and partly, I suppose, so she’ll know that for at least as long as it took me to take the photograph I was thinking of her.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

s’Hertogenbosch, NL — A Different Kind of Down Under

Two springs ago during a trip to The Netherlands we stopped to visit friends in s’Hertogenbosch or, as the Dutch refer to it, Den Bosch.

There has been a city at this location 80 kms south of Amsterdam since 1185. One of its unique claims to fame is a canal network  — the “Binnendieze,” which was originally a river — the “Dommel” —  that ran through the centre of the medieval town. As the town grew within its fortified walls inhabitants needed somewhere to build homes, so they started building over the river. In later times the waterway was used as a sewer, and in more recent years part of the system has been renovated and boat tours have become a popular tourist attraction.

These mages, taken during our one-hour guided boat tour through the waterways beneath the ancient city, offer just a taste of the almost abstract beauty to be found in Den Bosch’s dramatic underworld of channels and tunnels, hanging gardens and moss green mystery.

Part of the tour took us beyond the city wall where it was easy to grasp the scale of the canal network. At another point, as we entered under an archway, we had to duck to avoid decapitation!

All in all this was a unique and memorable way to experience the old city.

If you ever find yourself in s’Hertogenbosch I highly recommend this different kind of trip down under.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

True Love

One day two years ago we were in Holland visiting the windmills at Zaanse Schans. While Lloyd and our friend Ben haunted the old mills marvelling, as engineers do, at their construct, I stalked, photographically speaking, the habits of a blue heron languishing by the side of a small stream.

At some point I had the urge to look up.

From my crouched position beside the stream I did indeed look up and to my right and, as fate would have it, was gifted with this delightful expression of love. I had exactly that moment to snap this image before a group of tourists charged into view.

I have pondered this lovely, innocent moment many times since and share it with you on this day dedicated to romantic love to show that even the smallest demonstrations of love can leave a lasting memory.

On the subject of love in general … a simple act of love, of kindness, every day by everyone would help to make the world a healthier and happier place. It starts with you, and me. It begins with the greatest love of all … the ability to love ourselves. Only by doing this can we truly share our love with those we love.

Happy Valentine’s Day …

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012