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Sunday Stills: Basic Elements – Air, Fire, Water, and Earth

Terri Webster Schrandt gives us lots to ponder as we consider the four basic elements that philosophers and scientists have studied for thousands of years. This topic is so expansive, it is impossible to cover it in one photo post. Even in a month of posts, your mind would find so many more ways to express the four elements in photographs.

Yesterday also started Becky B’s SquareOdds Challenge which continues each day in February. The three-fold challenge is that the post must contain at least one square photo about the topic odd – either numerically, or a strange photo. There is no requirement to post daily, but if you do, you have met the challenge head-on. Many people started getting their posts scheduled weeks ago. I am way behind.

But in my defense, the Geek Squad had remote control of my computer from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm getting rid of photos that One Drive downloaded back onto my poor computer’s hard drive. Now my computer is operating normally again instead of it running at the speed of mud.

The other topic I’ve tried to address is Amy’s Lens Artist Photo Challenge #184 – what travel has taught me. So far I’ve learned that all four elements follow me wherever I go. I’ve been to some places that have a scarcity of water – the west particularly. Those places have more fire and more dirt, but you can see the raw power of rocks when they are not covered with vegetation.

Here is my feeble attempt to scratch the surface of the elements with some of the photos I have in my archives.


Photographers capture the effects of air. Humans know how to use air for transportation and to use flying gadgets to photograph us. We know how to use air to produce energy. With nearly 5,000 wind turbines, Tehachapi, CA produces 3200 megawatts of energy. To give an idea of how much energy that is one article stated, “One megawatt will power 400-900 houses for a year.”

We see clouds move because of air. Trees move with gale-force winds. Air can do a tremendous amount of damage as tornadoes can destroy entire towns. When the air is clogged with dirt, smoke, smog, vog, even too much humidity, breathing becomes labored, and sometimes vision is impaired.

When a dust storm blew across the highway at Kramer Corner – the corner of US Highway 395 and CA58 I had to pull off the road because visibility became so poor. Like a huge dust devil, it whirled the desert dirt high into the air. My friend and I sat and watched it pass along with many other drivers who had pulled off the road. It was like being in a brown blizzard.

We can separate the elements of air to provide patients with oxygen so their lungs will work more efficiently. Altitude makes a difference in air quality as well as we found out when we moved to mile-high Prescott, AZ.

However, without air, particularly oxygen, we die within minutes. Manny’s in serious trouble as the oximeter couldn’t read his oxygen level. Anything below 90 is worrisome.


“Water – that constant foundation of life and universal solvent that dissolves, dilutes, absorbs, reflects, refracts, and transports.”

Frank @ Beach Walk Revelations

It’s hard to separate water and earth. They coexist. Follow the link above if you want to read an entire post on water, take a look at Frank’s in-depth, thorough, examination of the nuances of water in our lives.

From the vast expanse of the ocean to the tiny spray with which Vince cleans our solar panels and makes them produce more electricity, water keeps us alive and entertained. Randy and I took a water taxi in Chicago and got a nearly free tour of the skyline. Later we took an architectural tour of the city on a ferry boat on the Chicago River.

Blogger friend. Carol and her husband, from Australia, came to Las Vegas with us. We took the tour of the Hoover Dam, an impressive 60-story high New Deal Construction Project. It holds back Lake Meade, the largest man-made lake in the United States. “The Greatest Dam in the World”


Fire from burning wood, wax, coal, paper, gasoline, kerosene, propane, butane, natural gas, and more – each producing dancing flames accompanied by musical pops, roars, glows, and sizzles – but leaving us with ashes, soot, embers, cinders, and chars.

Frank @ Beach Walk Reflections

I’m not a huge fan of fire on a large scale although I love campfires and candles. The small fires bring us together to be mesmerized by the crackling sound or the happy glow reflected in everyone’s faces.

My friend Carmen’s horrifying video taken as she and her friends drove through an Oregon forest fire last year.


The earth element is anything that is not water or air. From rocks, sand, dust, none of which supports much life to lavish and luscious gardens or hillsides sprinkled with wildflowers.

These are just a few pictures taken across the United States depicting US soil. Sometimes the earth looks barren and without promise. With just a bit of care, the same area can produce a hundredfold of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

The grocery cart was murdered on the banks of Bravo Lake in Woodlake, CA. In a nearby location on the same levee around Bravo Lake, volunteers cultivate hillside to create a gorgeous garden visited by thousands each year.

“The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty. Try to be more like the ground.”

— Rumi

To qualify for John’s CellPic Sunday Challenge, most of the Woodlake pictures were taken with an iPhone 6. The Arizona pictures were taken with an iPhone 12 mini.

Other Challenges that Inspired Sunday Stills – Elements Challenge


  • If you host or participate regularly in a challenge and would like an interview on Always Write contact me by email at

Now it’s your turn.

Tell us …. Thanks so much for stopping by and having fun with Sunday Stills Elements double dipped with other amazing challenges.

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47 replies »

  1. Wow. You nailed it. I too thought this week offered such a vast topic making it hard to narrow down. I love the way you organized your thoughts, and brought in travel with it. Interesting how the element can offer us such calm, and change as in the forest fires. Tsunami and earthquakes would fall in the same category. very nice Marsha. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Marsha, you covered about every angle of the elements imaginable with your unique images and cool stories behind some of them! I giggled at your computer running as slow as mud, but glad you got it fixed. I wonder if the cyber clouds full of our files and pics will eventually become its own element to come back and haunt us…sounds like a good tale for Hugh to spin and write for us, LOL! I also love how you have a couple of Tehachapi and Kramer Junction pics–just shows we traveled in the same circles in recent years. It took me a long while to get my post together too because of the tie-in to WOTY, and I could have shared a zillion photos of the elements. It was fun walking down your memory lane today. This Sunday is all about the birds so I’m excited to share some brand new photos! Take care, my friend! We’re due for a phone chat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m excited about that. I’ve found so many bird pictures as I’ve been curating my photos. I wondered if I’d ever have a chance to use them again. Your post made me think a lot more than I thought it would. I thought it would be a quicky to assemble, but it was NOT! Of course, it didn’t help that the Geek Squad had my computer tied up all day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely miss Lisa’s Bird Weekly, Marsha, it gave me a good incentive to capture more bird photos. I follow Photos By Donna, she has spectacular images of birds…she doesn’t run a bird challenge. If I knew more about birds I would.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You would probably do just fine, but Lisa really did know so much about birds. I am not an expert at all. I’m surprised someone in the Audubon Society doesn’t blog about birds. Maybe we just need to find them and talk them into hosting a challenge. LOL

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Terri created an interesting challenge and you answered it well. She also got me thinking about “Elements” as a future beach walk. Thanks for the pingbacks and using me in your post. I invite your readers to stop by Beach Walk Reflections. I don’t bite. Here’s another one for you … Clouds … …. AND …. this Saturday’s walk is Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! Lots of photos to document your challenge-response. I was particularly struck by the low water in Hoover Dam. It’s really obvious how low the water level is.
    Thanks for the shout-out and for including Cellpic Sunday in your challenge list!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Marsha, you did a great job with this post – and you correct – it could be expansive and take a long time to cover – so I like how did it –
    and wow – seeing the brown blizzard must have be CRAZY

    also, the video of the Oregon fires reminds me of that sad event. whew- glad it ended

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Yvette. It took a couple of days to write and find the photos. But there is so much to write about the elements. I’m covering the four elements separately in WQW throughout the year, and I think Frank is too. It’s a wonderful topic.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fantastic post, Marsha 👏 Loved reading it 😃 I’ve got a similar pic to Manny at the hospital. I had Slugzy staying with me in hospital whilst recovering from a collapsed lung; when I returned to my bed one time, he was sat there with the blood pressure cuff & pulse monitor on 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL, aren’t you glad it’s over??? Vince has a terrible picture of me in my recliner with all my real animals on my lap which I’m not showing to anyone. He didn’t take any pictures of me in the hospital thankfully. I wasn’t nearly as perky looking as this guy looked even though he was super sick. Besides, Manny didn’t come visit me. We didn’t want him to risk getting COVID! LO, and I had pneumonia, which I think is also contagious! So what happened with your lung? Did it uncollapse?I can’t even imagine how awful that must have been. You are doing fine now, and I know you had a very long recovery. Are you 100% healed now or do you still have residual effects? BTW, we need to set a date for Susan, Manny, and me to chat and to do her interview.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m fully recovered with no long term effects, thanks, Marsha 😊 They basically inserted a tube into the lung through my side which is then connected to a box full of water that acts as a non-return valve; as I breathed in, air would go into the lung and not be able to escape & gradually reinflate it. I had the box with me for 5 days to get the lung fully inflated, I had to carry it everywhere with me! I’ll get Susan to get in touch with you & Manny to set a date 😃

        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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