Annie at Estabrook

Postcard Apps for Writing Notes from Afar

Given most of the world is in lockdown due to COVID, this is probably not the best time to write an article about postcard apps that let you mail a note with your own photo from all over the world.  At the same time, they may still be used to cheer someone up during this difficult time and for the holiday season.

When I began traveling internationally for extensive trips, I wanted an easy way to say “hello” to my friends and family back home without having to hunt for a postcard, find a post office, and get the appropriate postage.


Feature Foto Friday: Water Lily

Featured “Fotographer”: Page Treddenick

Background: I’ve known Page for at least 25 years through the horse industry.  She has several hobbies including riding horses, cooking, needle pointing, and traveling.  She also has an eye for photography.  She has photographed many a water lily but these were particularly breath taking in their beauty.

Image Title: Water Lily

Location: On the moat outside Angkor Wat

Fun Fact(s):  The Indian lotus water lily capture here is also called the sacred lotus or Egyptian bean.  It is sacred to Hinduism and to several other Asian religions such as Buddhism. Its large pink blossom is used symbolically in religion and art. The seeds of the sacred lotus can remain viable after long periods of dormancy.

Angkor Wat, located in Cambodia and where this photo was taken, is the largest religious monument in the world.  It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple and gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century.

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For notecards and key chains, visit My Shop on this website.

Feature Foto Friday: Tofino on Fire

Featured “Fotographer”: Jake with WindCoast Photography

Website: The Camera Life

Instagram:  Windcoast_photo

Background: Jake is one of my blog followers and a fellow photographer.  I noticed a cool shot on his Instagram page and asked him about it.  He has always been fascinated by night photography.  This technical type of photography often requires sitting out in the cold for hours while hoping for the perfect shot before the sun comes up. As such, he practices a night photography that helps to break up the monotony called light painting.  The photo below, taken on the beach at 3am during low tide, represents the technique.

Image Title: Tofino on Fire

Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Fun Fact(s):  Light painting requires the following supplies: a whisk, some steel wool, a string, and matches.  To create the image, stuff the steel wool into the whisk, tie a string to the whisk and then light the whisk on fire.  At first, it doesn’t look like much, but upon twirling it around as fast as possible, sparks start to fly!  The camera shutter is open for about 30 seconds and results in a spectacular, fun photo.  Go out and try it in a fire-safe place and spin it fast to keep from burning yourself.  With a bit of luck, you’ll capture a great photo like this one!

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Feature Foto Friday: Colorful Skagit Valley Tulips

Featured “Fotographer”: Erin Deardorff

Website: Saving Memories by Making Memories

Background: I met Erin about five years ago in Denver.  We share the love for traveling and photography.  Erin and her husband, Brian, are self-proclaimed traveling science geeks that are Saving Memories by Making Memories (their blog’s name)! Erin started their blog to capture their charity bike ride a few years ago for Alzheimer’s and has kept it going.  Hikers, tandem bikers, skiers, and science lovers, Erin and Brian travel both near and far documenting their experiences in words and photography.  I’m fortunate to have shared a variety of trips with them.

Image Title: Colorful Skagit Valley Tulips

Location: Skagit Valley, Washington

Fun Fact(s):  After years of talking about it, Erin and Brian finally attended the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and captured this shot.  The festival takes place during the month of April.  Blooming tulips signal the arrival of spring.  I’m ready to see those almost perfectly symmetrical flower buds!

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Feature Foto Friday: MusliM Student

Featured “Fotographer”: Kim Malcolm

Website: Follow Kim’s blog Camino Milagro

Background: I met Kim on a horseback riding trip across the Mongolian Steppe this past summer.  Kim travels the world full time after retiring from a 33 year career in public policy and executive leadership. Her first book, A Country Within — about her experiences with refugees in Greece — will be published this month.

Image Title: Muslim Student

Location: Stonetown, Zanzibar

Fun Fact(s):  A young woman in white is probably a Muslim student. This one was uncharacteristically relaxed in front of the camera.

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Feature Foto Friday: From the Heights of Trolltunga

Featured “Fotographer”: Connally Reid

Website: Follow ConnallyReid on instagram

Background: Connally is my niece with a sense of travel adventure.  A recent college graduate, she took three weeks to travel South America, and is now starting a job at Marathon Oil.  Not only is she brilliant, she has a knack for snapping some fantastic photos in some amazing places.

Image Title: From the Heights of Trolltunga

Location: Trolltunga, Norway

Fun Fact(s):  The hike where this photo is taken is called Trolltunga which means troll tongue. The hike takes about 10 hours. Connally and her cousin Catherine started late, so they ended up bringing a tent and camping at the top. It was much less crowded, and they got to see a great sunset.  Aside from the spectacular scenery, what made the hike extra special for Connally was receiving her job offer there!

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Feature Foto Friday: Three Sides of Watson

Featured “Fotographer”: Theresa Cruthers

Website: Follow Sir_Boys on instagram

Background: I met Theresa six years ago.  We both moved from Texas at about the same time and our mutual friend Charlotte connected us.  Theresa has since moved to Seattle, but that hasn’t stopped her from returning to Colorado for both work and play.  Theresa is an animal lover who owns to boston terriers, a bird, and cat that recently passed.  She is known for taking spectacular selfies with her long arm, but I think the picture below of her dog Watson is spectacular…Watson, his shadow and his reflection!

Image Title: Three Sides of Watson

Location: Long Beach, WA

Fun Fact(s):  Sir Watson is a Boston Terrier and at the time of this picture, he was 7.5 years old.  The Boston terrier is the first official dog breed created in the United States. They’re nicknamed the “American Gentleman” because of their tuxedo-like markings.  The Boston Terrier is the state dog of Massachusetts and Helen Keller once owned one.


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Feature Foto Friday: Life’s a Breach

Select Fridays will now feature a photographer and photo.  Congratulations to Colin for being the first!

Featured “Fotographer”: Colin Hocking

Website: Colin Hocking Photography

Background: I met Colin on trip to the Bahamas through my vacation club.  Colin has been involved in photography for over 35 years after gaining his BSC Hons in Photographic Science. Currently he works as a freelance photographer, educator and workshop/tour leader. He founded the Ballantyne Photography Club, is on the board of the Charlotte Camera Club, and is an active member of the PPA and NANPA. He also leads photography trips.  Check out his workshop on Merritt Island in April here.

Image Title: Life’s a Breach

Location: Maui, HI

Fun Fact:  It is thought that Humpback whales, like the bottlenose dolphin, shuts down only half of its brain, along with the opposite eye while sleeping. The other half of the brain stays awake at a low level of alertness. This attentive side is used to watch for predators, obstacles and other animals. It also signals when to rise to the surface for a fresh breath of air so that they don’t drown while sleeping. After approximately two hours, the animal will reverse this process, resting the active side of the brain and awaking the rested half.

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