Summer Sunset Pool

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Last weekend we had the pleasure of getting to know some new friends.  We spent the day together and thoroughly enjoyed their company.  (You are never too old to make new friends.)  

Beginning Sunset

Beginning Sunset

The day couldn’t have been more perfect and it ended in this stunning sunset.  It was almost as if the sky was sending us a smile regarding a most memorable day.

Across the Pool

Across the Pool

The reflections ‘cross the pool were amazing.  I do not think these photos do that particular sunset the justice it deserves.  (I tried to duplicate the colors exactly, but I often find that my eyes see things in a different manner than the camera captures them.)

Vividly Lit Up Sky

Vividly Lit Up Sky

All I could say was, “Wow, this is amazing.”  I hope you share a beautiful sunset soon, with someone who is important to you.  Take the time to enjoy those gorgeously simple moments.

Happy Chappy

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I noticed yesterday that two ladies had stopped to look at the roses growing in the front yard.

Rose Blanket

Rose Blanket

I remembered that another blogger had mentioned that you can find great things to photograph in your own backyard, so to speak.  I grabbed my camera and on the way out the door was a wonderful hummingbird having the best time in the fountain.

Taking a sip

Taking a sip

and Making a splash

and Making a splash.

I think the ladies were enjoying the way the Happy Chappy Roses looked with the water droplets on them.

A bud amoungst the roses.

A bud amongst the roses.

They are at their peak, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and enjoy.  Happy Spring

Array of Happy Chappy

Array of Happy Chappy

Dragons and Damsels

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In my prior blog, I was lucky enough to find a dragonfly larva.  I had only seen pictures of them in books.  I was so hoping that I would find a big dragonfly that would allow me to see what the larva was going to become.  At Big Springs Gardens there were only little blue damselflies and I knew that the larva was much too large to end up being something so small.  

Each time I return home, after going someplace beautiful and taking lots of pictures, I take a closer look at what I have captured.  Returning back from Big Springs Gardens reminded me of photography class assignments that I might have done in black and white, a million years ago.  It also caused me to remember, going last May to, Hakone Garden in Saratoga, California and the vast array of plants and animals that I had photographed there.  They also had a very small moon bridge, as did Big Springs Gardens, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last April.  We took our grand-daughter to see The Japanese Tea Gardens there and have lunch.  She was all consumed with the large moon bridge, while I was joyously taking photographs of everything else while waiting for the bridge to clear enough so I could get shots of her as well.  It reminded me too of my grandma and her black and white photos and the descriptions she would write on the back of her photographs to help her remember the colors.  

Dragonfly in black and white.

Dragonfly in black and white at Hakone Garden.

This is very possibly what I may have tried to shoot for a photography class.  I would have taken it on film and developed it myself.  I would have been limited, in so many ways, with what my ultimate result would end up being.  It’s lovely, but look at the next photo…..

First Attempt

First attempt

The detail you can see in this one is amazing.  It makes it come to life for me.  What I really like best is what comes next……..

Dragonfly, coming in a little closer.

Coming a little closer

I think this dragonfly was smiling at me, well and maybe at you too.  It seems they know they are amazing creatures.  This dragonfly is just about perfect in every way.  How can something so delicate be so perfect?

Big Springs Gardens Flowers & Bugs

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We drove up Hwy 49 last weekend to meet a friend for lunch at Big Springs Gardens.  It was a delightful experience.  I realized that I had not been there in at least 10 years.  That is unfortunate because it is one of the most tranquil places that I have ever been.

Monet Inspired Bridge

Monet Inspired Bridge

As we approached the outdoor dining area, I just had to stop and take photos of the flowers, buzzing with bugs.  I’ve determined that the flowers are like bug catchers and I get to be so lucky as to have them lilt and pause for a bit, for nourishment, which leaves me able to snap a fabulous shot.

Orange Sulphur Butterfly

Orange Sulphur Butterfly

No nourishment here, but a metamorphosis near the pond, hidden in the grasses and leaves.

Dragonfly Larva

Dragonfly Larva

I had hoped that I would find more water lilies but it was not to be on this day.  The little blue dragonflies seemed delightfully at play.

Dragonflies on the Lily Pads

Dragonflies on the Lily Pads

Here is just a small portion of the gentle cascading falls that sits near the center of the restaurant.  We were fortunate to meet and chat with the owner and designer of the gardens, Don Phillips.  He feels that the gardens simply let him know what he could do to bring them into the beautiful state that they wished to be seen in.

Springs, turned into soothing falls, at the outdoor restaurant.

Springs, turned into soothing falls, at the outdoor restaurant.

After lunch we went for a stroll on the grounds and found hundreds of cosmos, all being attended to by the bees.

Bumble Bee on Cosmos

Bumble Bee on Cosmos

I thought of my grand-daughter and how she would not have been able to sit still with all the beautiful butterflies, flitting about.

Western Meadow Fritillary

Western Meadow Fritillary

If you’ve got time, look it up on the internet and stop by Sierra City, CA some time.  It’s worth the drive!

Dancing Red Tiger Lanterns

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I was walking through the Capitol Park in Sacramento this past weekend, observing the beautiful flowers that were surrounding me.  There were many people out in the World Peace Rose Garden taking pictures of the flowers and each other.  The Camellia Grove was just about done flowering but the Azalea’s were vibrant and brilliant to my eyes.  When we were about done with our walk, and heading back to the car, I spotted this lantern looking flower on an Abutilon, or Flowering Maple.  I snapped the shot and realized that I still had the camera on a special setting called, One Point Color.  I quickly changed the setting and realized how far we have come with photographs in the last one hundred and twenty-five years.  (Since Kodak released a camera with a roll of film.)

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Here it is, in fully color.  I thought about my grandmother and how she would have loved to be able to do that.  She could only take photos in black and white, only with film, and only a few at a time.  In the attempt to save her cherished memories, she took black and white photos and described the colors on the back of each photograph, once processed.  I attempt to revisit her journey to Connecticut in my book, “in Grandma’s Shoes,”  author, Bonnie DiMichele.  Today, I can capture those places that she visited in full color; the way she would have loved to be able to view them, time and time again.  I think my tiny camera is an amazing product.  It is new to me.  My old one gave up after taking thousands of photos.  This new Panasonic DMC-2525 has some amazing new features that I am still playing with.  I tell you this because it is small enough to fit in your pocket and take everywhere.  Now you might think that technology has developed more recently than the 125 years that I mentioned, but without those prior steps, we wouldn’t be able to achieve the things we do today.  The pioneers of photography had no idea where their steps would ultimately lead.  It seems though, that they all wanted to be able to share photos in color.  I am so grateful that they didn’t give up on their dreams and ideas.  What is your favorite photo that you have captured?