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An aging humanist hanging on to the idea that there is hope for humankind — against all current indications.
Torch Ginger ©2021 Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle

I have genuinely enjoyed viewing the various photo-a-day and other series by fellow contributors to Snapshots, but have — until now — resisted the urge to join in. I have offered many collections from my library (archived HERE) but have avoided the commitment of taking a new photo every day and posting it. I hate to fail, and I am not sure I can find subjects that would interest others. I rarely go beyond the gates of my property, so my options — and (models)are limited.

There is the other issue too: should an 80-year-old-slightly sight-impaired-person troll for photos on…

Mini moth orchid, All photos ©2021 Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle

Enough! I exclaimed to myself yesterday. My cameras and my eye have been idle for weeks and I felt an urgent need to do something about it. I loaded a 90mm 1:2.8 Macro 1:1 on my Sony SLT55 and charged the garden. I challenged myself to create original photos of flowers growing within a few yards from my house and to do it within an hour — I love the early morning light. Whatever was blooming and willing to pose would be my target. My goal, of course, was to share the results here on Snapshots.

The author on the edge

My Geriatric Journal #20

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I fell. When I do something, I tend to do it well.

I few days ago, while working in the garden (on the edge of a ravine), I stepped on some soft soil, slipped, flipped, slid and barreled down a steep embankment, skimmed over a rock face and ended forty or so feet later face down on the edge of a macadam road.

El Morro, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico © 2021 R. C. Flores-Gunkle

If it ain’t a mostly made-up story (fiction) or light or serious verse (poetry) or a photo-essay (photography), then it must be non-fiction. Anyway, that’s the way I have organized my errant work on Medium. I have gathered some in collections, placed the personal things in one group and the hard-to-classify in another. Here is the archive so I can find them — you, too, are welcome to them.


My Geriatric Journal

100 Little Life Lessons

Personal Essays

Summer, Winter, and Rain

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me

Six Lessons from 50+ Years of Marriage

Memory is a Mysterious Master

Learning to See

The Day I Became a Thief

Why I Live Where I Live

My Own Personal Puerto Rico

A Tragedy Named Maria

Another Storm in Paradise

Diary in the Dark

A Meditation in the Dark

Wake Up and Smell the Fiction

My Gardening Secret: Think Small

The Indomitable Doña Santos

Is It Too Late?

Rash Decisions

Sins and Stories: A Prostitute of Words

General Topics

A Lesson From 100 Little Life Lessons: One Way to Turn Your Medium Posts into an E-Book

Punctuate Properly. Period.

Lessons From Reading M/M Romance

Jungle Fever: A Meditation on Global Warming

Notes on a Resurrected Novel

Cockeyed Photo by the author

Inspired by a great prompt and presentation, on Wednesday afternoon before the Thursday deadline, I went right to the story page and began my “egg” piece. It was light verse entitled “Ode to a Four-Legged Chicken.” Many hours later I finished it, included a great photo, called my wife and read it to her. She laughed and loved it. It was inspired by a comment she had once made to me about how her brother had a hen that hatched a 4-legged chick. It was the attraction of the neighborhood here in the countryside of Puerto Rico — but unfortunately…

The Joy of Elevation

I have often mused — and have written — about why I live on a mountain rather than on a beautiful tropical beach.

The very first house that I owned was a small cabin along a stream (we called it a creek) in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. My parents had a weekend cottage there, where they went to recover from the hard work at their country hotel and restaurant in Walnutport, PA.

That is really the name of the tiny town. The “port” part came from its location alongside a 19th-century canal on the Lehigh…

The Gallery Inn, Old San Juan

So much of photography — the kind that I often do — is the result of good fortune. It is presumptuous to call it anything else. Sure, you need a decent camera and know the basics of how to use it. You need to spend lots of time roaming the area you want to capture. Most important, you need an idea of how to compose a shot: how to keep it from being boring. The rest is luck. Unless you are in the right place at the right time and the right people appear, street photos are often forgettable.

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.”

– Kahlil Gibran

“And a huge dose of microplastics.”

– Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle

Sorry about that. It isn’t that I don’t love the sea. It is one of the things that inspired me to spend my life on a Caribbean island. My earliest memory of life in Puerto Rico is of an almost daily pilgrimage from my room a few miles inland to the beach. I even remember the first book I read there (while waves caressed the sand at my feet).

It was Rodolfo Usigli’s…

Antalya, Turkish Riviera

It’s a single sun that shines over us wherever we are.

I know that may not be very original, but it is all that I have at this moment! I have been editing photos for a coffee table book I am preparing for my wife. She likes to sit back and recapture memories of our trips and doesn’t like to stare at a computer screen. She is not a Luddite, but she is set in her ways, and I like to please her.

Books are more enduring than memories — as many and as wonderful as memories may be. And…

Ronald C. Flores-Gunkle

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