Sunny Skagit Valley

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We took a little tour of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington State this last weekend. We were so lucky to find sunshine and acres upon acres of beautiful flowers. We began by crossing the Salish Sea on a twenty car ferry to Lummi Island for a short stay and a meal at The Willows Inn. The sun was setting and the evening was divine.

We took a couple of walks on Sunset Beach, where it occurred to me, that we had been on Sunset Beach in Hawaii just a couple of weeks prior. Both places are uniquely lovely and well worth spending extended time at. One has soft golden sand and tiny shells while the other has incredible stones from the San Juan Islands. We visited family at Lake Whatcom, ate at EATS in Bellingham, cruised down Chuckanut Dr. to view the oyster farms, walked to Whatcom Falls, and ate at Seeds while taking a short tour of La Conner. I shouldn’t forget the blueberry ice cream. I’m not a great lover of ice cream, it always makes me thirsty, but this was wonderful. Maybe because it’s made locally and is fresh. I always thought that I needed to go to The Netherlands to see the bulbs in bloom. I was wrong. This place is well worth seeing. I’m removing Holland from my list. 

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Beyond The Ocean Blue

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There are times when I wonder why I am so drawn to taking photos when I travel to various places. I suppose it’s so I’ll keep those images with me in a tangible way. I find that I keep those images and experiences with me anyway. When I look at these photos from Hawaii,

it seems that I can still hear the pounding surf, see the sea spray on my sunglasses, and feel the gritty sand between my toes. These images bring back the temperature of the day, the wind that completely messed up my hair, and the delight I found in seeing the crab’s shadow rush across the sand. The mountains were quiet, filled with hanging clouds that spat occasional raindrops at us. My mind is filled with these memories but these photos bring back all those other pieces and feelings that made taking the photos so important to me at that moment in time on that particular day.

I take photos because I love all the places I have been and I want to keep those memories with me always.

 

 

Aloha

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Last week we got away to the island of Oahu and spent three days at Turtle Bay Resort before embarking back to Honolulu and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They should really call it the Hilton Hawaiian Zoo. It was so much more relaxing at Turtle Bay. There aren’t turtles in Turtle Bay, it’s got good snorkeling, and the atmosphere is something that makes you want to return, time and time again.

The food on site was wonderful. We were even able to share a rather nice showing of a green flash with the other people who were staying there. It was a bit like the reaction people have to fireworks. You could tell that everyone had seen it. 

I just wanted to share a little of the aloha spirit today as you all started your week. I know you weren’t there to share it with me but these photos depict the feeling well. Open them to a larger size and remember your fondest memories of any one of the islands. Do you think that it’s time that you return to Hawaii?

Little Piece of Paradise

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I often find my mind drifting after I’ve been to Hawaii.  It conjures up images from my most recent trip.  This last visit has proved to do the same.  Once we left the Big Island and arrived in Maui, we had an enchanting experience and I will share more of that in some blogs to follow.  

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Lacey Green Leaves

Look at the leaf here.  There was obviously an insect that thought this plant was quite delicious.  I think it looks a bit like lace.  The leaves caught my eye and then what was behind it caught my imagination.  Wouldn’t you love to live here?  I would!  I wouldn’t mind just visiting here either.

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Looking Like Paradise Awaits

It’s nearly across the street from this little old stone church.  This island has so much to offer and so many long-lasting memories from the pleasant times that I’ve spent here.

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Chapel By The Sea

We went to areas that we didn’t know existed and it leaves (no pun intended) me thinking that I need to return to other islands to see everything they have to offer that I might have missed in the past too.  Always love to return home but then I can’t wait to explore some more…..  

Island Lava Flow

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We went to The Big Island last week.  I didn’t see many bugs, maybe because it was rather windy while we were there.  What we saw on our last day there was a magnificent flower.  I’ve seen lots of hibiscus in my life but none as beautiful and eye-catching as this one.  I believe it is called Lava Flow and you can imagine why.  I was so excited to get a shot of it and then I realized, it had a companion.  As I raised my camera, I found this gecko, with attitude, lounging on this amazing flower.

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Hanging Out on the Hibiscus 

I like geckos; don’t get me wrong.  I just wanted a shot of the flower without the locals hanging around.  I left for a bit, came back, got a good shot and then wondered…where did the gecko go?  

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Snacking on the Blossoms

He was on the new blossoms.  Lunching on them!  He looked pretty proud of himself too.  Geckos have it made.  They live in Hawaii, hang out all day, and get to eat gloriously gorgeous food.  What more could you want?  C’est La Vie!

Sunrise

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You’re going to think this is a little crazy but almost everyday I awake and think, “I have a good life.”  Maybe it’s because images like this one run through my mind.  This is what I love about taking photos, once you have them in front of you, they tend to stay in your mind.  People used to write poetry to help those images stay with them.  We simply point and shoot and there it is, like an instant magical memory.

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Quiet Sunrise in Hawaii

I think while shooting photographs, you are constantly looking to capture the most beauty out of a subject that you can.  I look at the photo below and can remember the sound that was made as the surge of the waves would push up through the hole.

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Tropical Imagery

Then there is this beast.  I only got to spend a short time with this subject but this image stays with me for some reason.  I wish that I had more time to spend there but we were on a bus tour that gave us enough time to disembark, click, click, click and off we would go to the next quick stop.   

Mad Dash Tour in Scotland

Whirlwind Tour in Scotland

This next image takes me back to walks to the waters edge in England, good friends, and happy times.  I know it’s often gray there but I found it to be a delightful place and now I can go back and pull up these photos and return to my wonderful memories any time I wish to. 

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Gray Day in Southern England

So look at my memories, and remember your own.  Perhaps we all have, “a very good life.”

Clouds Over US

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Sometimes I find it difficult to come up with new ideas to write about on my weekly blog.  I was already two days late on this weeks blog, so…..

Clouds Over Italy

Clouds Over Italy

I decided to take a walk and see what might pop into my head.  I was nearly halfway done, Dave Matthews playing on the iPod, when I noticed how very blue the sky was, so I looked up.  (I’ve shared some fabulous clouds from my travels so you’d understand the type of clouds that I saw today.) 

Hawaiian Rain Clouds

Hawaiian Rain Clouds

I found that there was an amazing large cloud above.  It was the kind of cloud that makes you wish that you were lying in the grass on your old school yard sharing the shapes that you were finding in the clouds with your closest friends.

Reflective Clouds In Alaska

Reflective Clouds In Alaska

The shape of the cloud was the Continental United States.  It had the land masses of Texas, Florida, and Maine included in it.  Hawaii and Alaska were not included; nor was Mexico or Canada.  It was just this perfect, puffy, white cloud of the U.S.

Clouds Over Scotland Locks

Clouds Over Scotland Locks

I didn’t have my camera or my phone on me, but maybe it’s better that way.   I’ll just have to keep that beautiful memory tucked away in my mind.