Xingfu means blessed.

Xingfu means happy and blessed in Chinese. Even though 2014 has been a busy and, at times, difficult year that is the word I thought of for this space. Mama not because I have many children but because I seem to fall into a caregiving role. Sometimes I feel like Mama to the world.

The name XingfuMama means Happy Mama with undertones of being blessed.


A little pink among “the green”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and  Merry Spring to all!


Cee’s Flower of the Day


Signs of spring


These daffodil yellow ride-share bikes have started to crop up around the neighborhood.

Cee’s Which Way Challenge


On the dark side

A very few of many sunsets



My first foray into both going off of auto and night photography, came from a desire to capture the Takae Lantern Festival in Nara Japan in 2007. These were taken with my trusty old Canon A510, using ISO 400 and a walking stick mono-pod.


Since then I’ve moved up, a bit, in both camera and skill, but I continue to use a walking stick/monopod and do not use a tripod. It just doesn’t work for me to carry one around. I am still quite challenged by dark pictures, in part because I don’t use a tripod and in part because I use a “bridge” camera, Nikon P610, which has a relatively small sensor so it wants longer shutter speeds and it gets grainy pretty fast at higher ISO settings.

I keep trying because I think night pictures often give you a better feel for the atmosphere of a place than day shots. People are off work and going about their business.

A few night street scenes in China and Japan:


I am often disappointed by the moon. My eye sees it bigger than my camera lens does:

The darkness of the night and motion of the boats in these pictures of cormorant fishing in Gifu, Japan, meant that all the pictures were blurry. I tried a “painterly” effect to make it seem like art instead of just a blurry picture.


I’m not a morning person so I only have sunrise pictures from far away places (where I have jet lag). Here are a few from Kenya.

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Sunset to Sunrise.




About to pop

The clusters of flowers on the Oregon Grape (Mahonia) remind me a bit of pop corn kernels. Just a few have popped open but the others are swelling and just about ready.

Cee’s Flower of the Day


Photo a week: Girl Power

How quickly time flies!

My niece receiving the world at age 8:


Headed out into the world (with her international baccalaureate):


Watch out world!

Nancy Merrill’s Photo-a-week: Girl Power


Meandering through the ‘hood

Every morning (usually late morning) the pups and I meander through the neighborhood. They sniff and do other doggy stuff and I take my camera and do some visual sniffing. Every day different things catch their noses and my eye. Today was a mountains and blossoms day.

Ornamental plum blossoms are everywhere .
Just a few clouds over the Olympics.
Love this cheerful fellow!
Forsythia is more reliable than a groundhog.

It felt like someone flipped the switch and now it’s really spring.


What’s the story?

These two always had a special bond…and a story they shared.


My son with my grandfather.



Never stop blooming


Rosemary is common and never seems to stop blooming, it’s been at it all winter. Even so it’s seems an exotic beauty up close.

Cee’s Flower of the Day



What is the story?


This is a picture I took at the Beijing airport a couple of years ago (with my phone, hence the poor quality). Even though I don’t know what it is I have always felt that there is a story behind it. She caught my imagination with her pretty floral headdress. The picture is blurry: I snapped it while trying to manage my own luggage through the check in line.


Exploring my world with pictures and words.

Twenty Four

Facts, Thoughts and Thorny Thistles


Surfperch and nature on the sandy beaches


"Yeah, that's right. We bad."

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