More Than Skin Deep

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

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layers

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For some reason I can relate to the ancient places. Wandering around Firenze late last spring fed my old soul in deep and, even, healing ways.

Everywhere I looked there was something profoundly beautiful to see.

At one point we were walking along a narrow cobbled lane, just following it to who knows where, when my attention was drawn to an adjacent wall.

Brick, mortar, plaster, and what is that? Alabaster or marble inlay? I don’t know. I’m no art expert. But it spoke to me and I hovered there for a moment to soak it all in.

Weathered by time and the elements, it seemed to me that this wall characterized the unique qualities of this ancient city, and the art and craftsmanship that make it what it is.

While locals and tourists filed by, this beautiful remnant of another time not even on their radar, I stood there mesmerized for a moment. Breathtaking it seemed, in all its vulnerable glory.

As I revisit it now it reminds me of the many layers of life. The solid foundation of the soul overlain by masks and veneers that, over time, gradually chip away to reveal the true essence of who we are and whatever we’ve cultivated that to be.

Outer beauty fades over time. It’s what’s underneath that counts.

I’m not what I was in the bloom of my youth. Life has knocked me around and the wear and tear of the years is showing up in all kinds of weird and wonderful ways. Still, I like to feel that what lies beneath this aging exterior is a solid foundation that will see me through.

As this wall clearly demonstrates beauty is, after all, more than skin deep.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Blooms

Blooms

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Another layer of snow fell last night and it’s still cccccolddd out there.

These beautiful blooms at the Keukenhof Gardens in The Netherlands remind me that spring is just six weeks. 🙂

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

All Heart

Monochrome Madness: Week 34

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Horse wisdom

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I never get tired of watching horses interact with one another.

There’s a grace, dignity, reverence and awareness in their actions that, for me, verges on the spiritual.

My heart is lifted and my head is light as I gaze upon their beauty and embrace the moment with them.

In this instance, my Bear (foreground), is in the process of getting to know new herd mate, Midas.

This image was taken in the spring about 10 minutes into their initial meeting.

Already, after a few snorts and squeals, stomping of feet as nostril meets nostril, breath meets breath, and a short tour of the paddock together, Bear and Midas have made their peace and are sharing a snacking moment.

I love how their heads pressed together side by side give the impression of a heart.

To me that’s what these spirited animals are all about ~ they’re all heart.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Dialogue with a Vista

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue

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America Bay II

America Bay in New South Wales, Australia, is the picture of tranquility and a short trek in, through snake-infested bush, from the road.

“One of the most poisonous snakes in the world lives in this area,” our newest family member, an elephant trainer who happened to have worked with snakes in the past, said to us in his thick Aussie accent. “But, they shouldn’t bother us.”

Comforting, indeed. So, we walked the mile or so in, keeping watch for things we didn’t want to see and finally arrived upon this incredible vista.

So mesmerized by its beauty, were we, that we spoke only in whispers so as not to disturb the ambient peace.

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America Bay

Within minutes we each began our own dialogue with the land, perched on a massive rock outcrop while absorbing the beautiful view.

It was one of the most magical moments of our trip to Australia two years ago.

And then, of course, we had to walk back through the snake-infested bush to get to the road.

We saw one snake dart into the shrubs … and lived to tell the tale. 😉

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Flying Change

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

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Dallard and Hershey

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As we all know the trajectory of a life can change in a split second. You might call it a flying change.

Yesterday I was watching my new friend Dallard and his horse, Hershey, have a lesson with our coach, Stefan.

In this precise moment they’d just executed a lovely flying lead change (when a horse switches canter leads in mid air, thus a “flying” change), while Stefan pointed them in the new direction.

The remarkable thing about this image is the backstory.

Dallard purchased Hershey, a half-Thoroughbred/half-Hanoverian gelding, in June 2005 for his wife, Karen, six months after her diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. She was not a smoker.

In his own words: “She competed him once at an RCRA (Royal Canadian Riding Academy) Ice Breaker to complete a bucket list item. She was absolutely thrilled. I was Hershey’s groom for those three and a half years and I fell in love with him.”

When Karen died on July 18, 2008, Dallard couldn’t bear to part with Hershey and so started to ride, even though he’d had no previous riding experience.

Dallard is 70 years young.

Hershey is an angel.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

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Shout Outs

Wind Against Current

Travel Stained

snaphappi

Which Way Now 101

Hellisjones

 

Sydney, Australia ~ With a Twist

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

I’m not sure why, but when I saw that this week’s challenge I immediately thought of our vacation in Sydney, Australia, and recalled the many shapes and textures that garnish this beautiful city.

A beautiful city with a twist.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Shout Outs

cameranomad

Off The Lava

Travel Moments

Photographs by Timothy S. Allen

Pairings:: Art + What Goes With It

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart
(Lamprocapnos spectabilis)

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 It looks like a rewrite of an entire section of my murder mystery is in order.

While contemplating what needs to be adjusted I distract myself with this pretty image captured on a recent walk around the neighbourhood.

Still, back to the trenches I go …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

A Spring Roll

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring!

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The horses were double-blanketed for most of this past brutal winter.

One of the first encouraging signs of spring was getting to turn our four-legged friends out into the paddocks naked.

Here’s a sequence I happened to capture a couple of weeks ago while Bear and Dream were enjoying some spring sunshine.

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Bear enjoys a moment in basking in the warm sun. Meanwhile ...

“Oh, what a lovely afternoon for basking in the sun,” muses Bear. “I wonder what Dream’s up to … “

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... a delightful spring roll. "Hmmm," muses Bear ...

“Hey, Bear! You gotta do this! Man, I forgot how good this feels!”

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... "Now it's my turn." Dream responds, "Have at it." ...

“Right then. Make way …”

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Right here will do nicely ...

“Oh yes, this is a good idea …”

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"Need help there, buddy?" asks Dream

“Need help there, buddy?” asks Dream.

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"No thanks, dude, I'm done."

“No thanks, dude, I’m done. That was awesome.”

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lkjl

“Great idea, Dream. Nothing quite like a spring roll.”

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Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

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Shout Outs

Please … don’t move!

Nuno Pratas Fotographia

Lonely Travelog

“On Dragonfly Wings With Buttercup Tea”

This, that and the other thing