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#WQWWC # 33: Exploration

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge Logo

The rules are simple – find a quote about the topic, and write or photograph something that relates to it.

“I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.”

Marlene Dietrich

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  • Showcase your writing and photography.
  • Tell the stories that matter to you.
  • Create more divergent posts by weaving in the words of others.
  • Flex your mental muscles by matching your interests to a prompt theme.
  • Make new friends.
  • Build a blogger community.

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Let’s Explore Exploration


Exploring an burned out farm labor camp building

Summer is perfect for exploration. People explore caves, attics, museums, trails, mountains, cities, countries, seas. People travel to explore nature: rocks, trees, shells, plants, birds. They go on safaris, drive unfamiliar roads, learn new hobbies. They read books, write books, take pictures, make movies, record songs, paint pictures.

There is so much to explore this week. What are you up to?



Here’s my story.

In 2014 Arcadia books commissioned me to write a picture book about the history of Woodlake, CA. So I spent time exploring the town where I had moved in 2001. I visited homes and scanned their old pictures. I drove around the countryside with some of the people who lived there all their lives so I could get acquainted with the lay of the land. It was a great five months of exploration.

Here are some of the pictures I took that also go with Becky B.’s #TreeSquares. Like Natalie the Explorer, I plan to explore the rest of my life.

Woodlake and the Woodlake Valley is primarily agricultural. These fruit trees had to be protected in their early lives from frost by these little coats. The orange trees next to them are fine uncovered. They like a little cold weather. If it gets too cold, farmers turn on wind machines that howl all night until the sun warms the air to at least 33 degrees.

Two different species of trees. The ones in the back right are orange trees, which is the main tree in Woodlake. The ones on the left I can’t identify. The Sierra Nevada Range of mountains in the background are the home of the Sequoia National Park, which is about 40 minutes from this place.

The other day I showed you a row of palm trees. This is another area of the countryside I explored with my friend Robert Edmiston. He wanted to show me ranches where there used to be dances and places that held special memories for him. This was one of the ranches. You can see what happens to palm trees after more than 100 years. They blow their tops.

Elda School, organized on February 8, 1911. This was a one-teacher school throughout it’s history.

Each year Elda School deteriorates a little more but in the twenty years we drove by it on nearly a daily basis, wind, rain, drought, or earthquakes did not bring it entirely to the ground. When I was there in May, it still stood.


–     T. S. ELIOT

I’m also linking this up to Natalie the Explorer’s Weekend Coffee Share. You’ll want to see the wonderful photos she took while standing on water!

Coming Up

I’m so excited to announce that Cathy Cade will be hosting her friend Wendy Fletcher for August Story Chat. Wendy Fletcher is the leader of Cathy’s u3a writing group. For more information about Story Chat and how you can contribute, see my Story Chat page. Don’t forget that Gary A. Wilson’s story, “Sometimes a Miracle” is still open for comments.

The Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) is already coming up on our fifth post right here on my blog at 9:00 am on Friday. I can’t believe it’s been over a month! Thank you all for your many interesting responses. It’s been fun to travel all over the world through your posts. Please post on Cee’s blog until Friday.

What’s your exploration story? I’d love to hear about it.

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60 replies »

  1. Such a moving collection of photos. I had to go back to the top and study them again. The fruit trees look like apparitions. Very eerie to me. And that one room school house. I wonder how many buildings built with better materials in modern day would withstand the elements and years like it has. Beautiful, haunting capture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comments! It’s very rural. The school building is on private property and lost its usefulness nearly 100 years ago. I’m sure it’s builders had no intention of a long term prospects. With no maintenance, I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did.


  2. Woodlake!? I knew that sounded familiar.

    Do you recall, just north of there, a Christian Camp known as Heartland? Our church often sends a bus load of kids there for a week of camp stuff. The reason it is memorable to us, even today (about 10 years later) is that our oldest son was there, having a paint ball battle down in some small canyon when, during a particularly high pitched battle he carried his weapon into a small covering of brush. He was covered with small red welts from the game and happened to look down to see, oh no!, he was standing on a rattle snake. He immediately jumped back out and while being pelted with even more paint balls realized that a rattle snake would not take kindly to be stood on so he checked himself out and sure enough, he found two fang marks on his hand which must have happened as he stepped under the bush, but he was too busy to notice.

    He’s an Eagle scout so knew that he was in trouble so he made his way out of the battle to report what happened and thus triggered an ambulance ride to Visailia and then up to Fresno where we caught up with him and oversaw his recovery from a nasty bite. The Heartland management was great but they did not look forward to any more kids from our church because they could not get through any full group orientation without our crowd asking “what if we see a rattle snake” which was oddly not what they wanted to focus on.

    And yes, he still has the rattle from that snake because the Heartland folks tracked it down and dis-invited it from all future camp events. They understood boys well enough to know that our boy might like to keep it as a souvenir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, now that is a life and death story. Those bites can be very serious, and your son was so smart. You can’t ignore that, and to think if he hadn’t looked down, he might not have even realized. WOW! And yes, that is close to where we lived. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Marsha, I love your E. Roosevelt quote. Your exploration story and photos of Woodlake are amazing. The one-teacher school that is still there, so interesting. Thank you for the mention and for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Popping over from Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share to say “Hello”.

    Explore. Interesting word. I enjoyed reading your post. This past week, we have become more restricted from leaving the house, other than one person per day by car, for essentials. So, I had a day “off” leaving as husband had gone out and went for a walk less than 300 metres from home. There is protected area of wetlands and treed areas nearby and I noticed (explored!) much more than I had ever done driving past in a car.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Marsha. I’m hoping to get a post up, but not sure I’m going to make it this week. Too much going on and not enough time to sit and write any blog posts. Which is hard because I’ve been doing good keeping on a roll. But I also don’t want to overwhelm myself too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great theme for WQWWC this week, Marsha! It will work nicely with my evergreen color challenge! It was fun hosting for you last week and I met some new bloggers, too! Love the shot with the Sierra’s in the background…those trees to the left may be oak?

    Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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