1266. Man is never out of range of surprises! ~Mehmet Murat ildan

Life is so full of unpredictable
beauty and strange surprises.
~Mark Oliver Everett

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I’m not a professional photographer, but over the years I have and still do take some pretty good photos. However, when I go out on a photo shoot, I’m so focused on the object I’m trying to capture that things often appear in the background that I didn’t see or anticipate. Most of the time it means I have to toss those photos out because something has marred their beauty, but every now and again the unexpected surprise does create a thing of beauty. Such is what happened this morning while I was trying to capture morning glory images. It was very early and a few times my flash popped up, and I don’t really like to take close-up photos in nature with a flash because I find that it distorts the color and in others, the background remains too dark. Then when I edit them and try to lighten the dark background up, bad effects occur on the object(s) in the foreground. But this one above, I really liked because the flash picked up the adjacent neighbor’s pool slide and other objects around his pool that together with the two morning glories created what I think is a nicely colorful vignette.

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This second one was taken several years ago at an indoor rodeo. The barrel racer I was trying to capture was riding extremely fast of course and alongside a railing decorated with American flags which in the camera’s eye created wavy bands of red, white, and blue along with yellow bands from the artificial lighting as well as double visions of her. My daughter and I loved this one so much that as a gift to her I’ve had it blown up and created into what looks like a painting. Surprises like what’s in these 2 photos and other ones I’ve taken are the reasons I’m so passionate about taking photographs and gardening. And I’m fairly sure that I am not the only one surprised and intrigued by strange and unexpected sights.

So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” ~Exodus 3:3  ✝

1234. …a small gift of unexpected astonishment. ~Jeffrey Harrison

Tiger Lilies
Like King David, they have drunk
the wine of astonishment.

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Mouths open wide
they lean toward me in this alley,
swearing the world is good.

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that it is easy to live
on fire, unnoticed,
and do nothing but praise.
~Francine Marie Tolf

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me. ~Psalm 13:6 ✝

**Both images via Pinterest

759. I can’t say I wasn’t hoping for it, but I didn’t see it coming. ~Jessi Kirby

None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few years to change all the tenor of our lives. ~Kathleen Norris

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When the second semester of my junior year began in January, a new guy started showing up around our table to watch us play bridge in the student center, and after a while this “new guy” began offering to go get my food and soft drinks as well as my cigarettes. (Yes, sadly, after my father’s death I took up smoking, a bad habit which took me a long, long time to break.) My card buddies called him JP and said that he’d been teaching them to play pinochle. Since I was always up for learning new games, I asked if he’d teach me to play pinochle too, and he seemed to jump at the chance. So it was that I learned to play pinochle, and shortly thereafter one of the five most unexpected events of my life occurred. JP (AKA James) and I began dating that spring, and then we became engaged at the first of June and were married by mid-August. No, it was not a “shotgun” wedding. It was just as the line in the movie says, “when you meet the right person, you want your life together to start right away.” Yes, Danny, did ask me to fork over the $50.00 since our wager wasn’t due to be over until October. To be continued…  (2 weeks, 3 days and counting)

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. ~Ephesians 3:20-21  ✝

The two topmost images on the left of collage via Pinterest, others are mine, and I created the collage