Apricot Roses and Cutting Back

I bought some apricot-colored roses the other day and loved how they looked on an old blue table:



iPhone photos, both.


I’ve decided to cut back to blogging once a week for now, on Fridays. I thought twice a week would be OK, and it was for a long time, but I want to spend more time painting with oils and watercolors, and I’m about to start a class in Illustrator. I will still do photography, but on a smaller scale.
Thanks so much for all your support!


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Sevilla Awnings

The warm days of September take me back to our honeymoon in Spain. Sevilla wasn’t my favorite stop (that would be Madrid) but I like the colors in this shot of a street corner there.


I posted a much-more-cropped version of this before. I was so crop-happy back then! Finally bought a macro lens and stopped cropping so much. :)

Hope your week’s going well so far.


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Hitting the Market in Lübeck, Germany

After seeing some of the sights in Lübeck, Germany, we had time to walk around. I spotted the farmers market and made a beeline.


Strauchtomaten means “tomatoes on the vine.” Aren’t they beautiful? It was hard to see such delicious produce and not be able to buy any.
Oh, it’s been a long time since I lived in Germany, so feel free to correct my German.


Sugar snap peas. Did you know the difference in snow peas and sugar snap peas is the shape of their pods? Snow peas: flat, snap peas: round.


I’m not sure about this. Kirschen and beeren mean “cherries” and “berries,” but aus dem Alten Land is literally “from the old country.”


I have fond memories of eating vanilleeis mit heißen himbeeren (vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce) at a restaurant near the resort where I worked. Simple but so good.


Obviously, these are grapes, but I don’t know the meaning of dattelwein. Wine grapes, maybe?


Cherry tomatoes and apricots. I wish we had better apricots in the grocery stores over here.



I’ll never tire of photographing sunflowers.

Great weekend, everyone!


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A Dose of Vitamin Sea and My Favorite Drink


I was about ready to jump in this ocean over the weekend. So hot here! Before, it was rare to see temps in the 90s in September, but not anymore. I am sooo thankful we put in A/C last summer. Kinda missing those cool temps in Alaska right now.

image via lacroixwater.com

image via lacroixwater.com

Something I’ve been drinking to beat the heat is Orange LaCroix Sparkling Water. It’s the best! No calories, no artificial sweeteners (they give me a headache) no sugar or artificial flavors. Just a hint of citrus and enough carbonation to make you feel full. There are other flavors, but I like this one the best. The orange flavor is sometimes hard to find, so I have to settle for lemon or lime once in a while. I do find I like them better with an actual wedge of lemon or lime added. Sorry, can’t recommend the berry flavor at all.

Hope your week’s going well so far.


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Cruisin’ Through Reagan National Airport

Happy to say I’m finally starting to feel better. This virus or whatever really had me down.

Our trip last week was to the D.C. area to see family and we landed at Reagan National Airport for a change. I had never been inside the new terminal and was really impressed:


Lots of tall windows and arches and gleaming floors. Cool-looking restaurants and shops too. Wish I’d had more time to take photos, but we were hurrying to our gate.

I managed to capture two random mosaic patterns in the floor:



Great weekend, everyone!


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See You Friday

Hello. Was hoping to have a post for you today, but I got sick on our trip and am still battling some kind of bug. The cough and runny nose are gone, but my ears are plugged up and I’m really fatigued. Let me tell you, being sick while traveling is the pits! That never happens to me, so this was a new experience and one I don’t care to repeat.

Hope you are all doing well….


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Another Beautiful Pattern in Nature


This guy was chillin’ in the gravel and was surprisingly calm. Usually they run when they see the camera. I just can’t get over the colors in their plumage. So, so beautiful.


I’d never gotten close enough to see the patterns of the feathers below a peacock’s neck. What an amazing design–almost like fish scales, but nicer colors.


You can see them better here.

OK, everyone, have a great Labor Day weekend if you celebrate, and a wonderful weekend otherwise! We are going out of town for a week, so I’ll be back here around the 15th.


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Barcelona’s Barrio Gotico


I took this in the Gothic quarter (Barrio Gotico) of Barcelona. I think this bridge across the Carrer del Bisbe is so lovely.


Many of the buildings date back to Medieval and Roman times. The streets are labyrinthine and very narrow, so they are closed to most traffic. It was a nice place to take a stroll.


A close-up of one of the statues.


Isn’t the craftmanship amazing?

Hope your week’s going well so far.


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Tea on a Cruise Ship

Anyone else love going to tea? I learned to appreciate the custom while traveling in the Middle East. We ran into a lot of British people and picked up the habit big time. Years later, a girlfriend and I tried all the great tea spots in D.C. So fun!

During the Baltic cruise, I had every intention of going to tea at least once, but we never had time until the end of the cruise. It was a special Indonesian tea, a nod to all the workers from there.


The waiters rattled off all the names of the pastries, but I didn’t take notes. The food was unusual, but delicious for the most part.


I do remember the round white one was mostly coconut.

So then, on the Alaska cruise I was again determined to have tea. I think we made it on the second-to-last day.


I thought maybe this was just a display, but we were actually served everything shown. Kind of a mistake so close to dinner, but worth it. :)


The scones with clotted cream and jam were fantastic, as well as the cream puff. The cookies and finger sandwiches? Just OK. The tea was very good.

There aren’t a lot of places to have tea in the San Diego area, but the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort does a nice one, so I might have to go back.

One of the most luxurious teas I’ve ever been to was at Huntington Botanical Gardens up in San Marino. It’s served in the beautiful Rose Garden Tea Room overlooking acres of roses. They have a buffet with all kinds of pastries, sandwiches and fresh fruit. My sister took me there years ago and I’ll never forget it. Oh, the library, gardens and art collections are fabulous too.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Denali Part Two

OK, I’m back! Actually, this has been good for me. I’ve been on the fence about switching to a self-hosted blog for a while and may finally be ready to pull the trigger. Flickr might not change their new policy, despite the outcry, and I don’t want to wait around for it.

Anyhoo, here are the rest of my Denali photos….


The ranger station for Denali National Park. A very young ranger got on the bus and gave us a brief talk.




“Tundra” refers to areas where the subsoil is permafrost, or permanently frozen soil.
It’s impossible for trees to grow, because they can’t put down deep roots. So, bare and rocky land can only support low growing plants like moss, heath and lichen.




In the summertime, the permafrost thaws just enough to let plants grow and reproduce, but because the ground below this is frozen, the water can’t sink any lower, and it forms lakes, marshes and rivulets.
It’s so strange to me that an area can have temperate climes in the summer and be pretty much frozen the rest of the year.



One flower that grows there is fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium). It gets its name from the fact that it’s one of the first plants to show up after a fire. We saw them all over Alaska. Fireweed blooms from the bottom up, and when the last blossoms drop, the first snowfall will be in six weeks. We were in areas where there was only one blossom left and people were bemoaning it. In July.


This shot reminds me of the Badlands, just a little.



And the two images above remind me of the Na Pali Coast on Kauai.


I shot this through the bus window. See that gravel on the left? That’s right under the wheels. No guardrails.


The gray strip on the left is the road we were traveling. I decided to just enjoy the view and trust the experienced driver.




We stopped for photos near this creek. One guy filled his water bottle with creek water! I guess he didn’t realize the wildlife do all kinds of things in it.


Last look at Denali.

Now, am I the only one who didn’t know that birch trees are tapped for their syrup just like maples? At our lodge in Denali, we ordered salmon with a “citrus and birch infusion.” I imagined fish with bark or sawdust, but this was a really nice restaurant. Let me tell you, it was awesome. Can’t really describe the flavor of birch syrup–the citrus and fish flavors were dominant. Evidently people drink birch juice in Russia and it has healing properties. Ever heard of birch beer? I thought it was just a name.
Here’s an iPhone shot of the salmon:


Thanks for your patience, everyone. Hoping to straighten out the photo sharing challenge soon.


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