The 2 Things Challenge this week was Flimsy/Solid. This photographic concoction is the reflection of the forest in the rocky shallows of one of the many ponds around Mt. Katahdin in Maine. In the center of the image the rocks look pretty solid and the reflection looks very flimsy, whereas on the edges, the rocks themselves look flimsy, almost floating, and the reflection looks more solid, albeit upside down as lake reflections tend to be.
Columbiana is a small town, supposedly one of the best, that is proud of its history and heritage and they try hard to maintain that small town charm, even though it is the county seat of the fastest growing county in Alabama. Most of that growth is in the northern part of the county, which is directly adjacent to Birmingham and its immediate suburbs. As part of preserving that heritage, at least two of the old advertising murals on the sides of the buildings have been restored. This one was painted on the corner of Main and West College Streets. (No, Columbiana is not the home of a college; the college refers to the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama, also in Shelby County, but further west on this same road.) The store has long since closed and the price of a Coca Cola, even a small one, has gone up considerably.
As I meandered near the tall grass and weeds, camera in hand, I nearly stepped on this guy. I had not seen him and he startled me as he flew off to perch on this tree. I crept back to the house to get the 300 and tried to sneak as close as I could. He posed for a couple, but I just can't hand hold the 300, even in pretty good light, and there was nothing to lean against, so it's not as sharp as I would like. Plus it's cropped from the camera to about 1/4 of the original frame to get a decent composition. I have a hard time identifying hawks, even with a still photo and Sibley's Guide to Birds in hand, but I'm pretty sure this is a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk.
This coffee mug sat around my office for many years and was used to drink a lot of coffee. I still drink many of my morning cups of coffee from it, but occasionally it's used for a slightly smoother beverage.