Happy First Day of Summer!

Re-posting a photo I took at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware years ago. I think it really exemplifies summer.

Great weekend, everyone!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lavender Festival in Cherry Valley

So we went to a lavender festival last weekend. I’d heard of it last year, but missed going for reasons forgotten. It was a two-hour drive, but the scenery was lovely.

This is what greeted us. I liked the vintage atmosphere and the smell of lavender reminded me of Provence.

The festival takes place in Cherry Valley, where the first cherry trees in the area were planted. The venue is the Highland Springs Ranch and Inn. The original Highland Home Hotel, a three-story Victorian house built in 1884, burned to the ground in 1970. Instead of rebuilding it in the same place, a more modern building was constructed.

In 2009, this main lobby building and the majority of the guest rooms were renovated to preserve the historic character.

We arrived at lunchtime, so naturally headed for the food court.

The lavender ice cream was great. The gyros (what were we thinking?) were not.

The lavender lemonade was amazing. Love this vintage sign.

Unfortunately, the only lavender field blooming was this one. Festivals are kind of hit and miss, which I know after attending several cherry blossom events, so we were OK with it. If you look closely you can see mountains with a little bit of snow in the background.

Some blooms close up.

Something I really liked was all the tall trees! They are really old and gave so much shade. The temp was near 90F so we needed it.

When I lived in Virginia I grew lavender and dried it like this. Just bundle it and hang in a dry place. The scent is so nice and supposed to be calming.

Some of the old inn “cabins” were used for different shops, like the doughnut place. I think I tried the honey lavender, which was delicious.

Isn’t this basket beautiful?

The bar in the main building. I do like the flavor of lavender, but not in beer.

The distillation room and shop were next to the bar.

This is another variety of lavender that will bloom later.

Interestingly, Albert Einstein was a regular guest at Highland Springs Ranch in the 1930s. Other famous guests were: Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway and Roy Rogers.

Great weekend, everyone!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tree Tunnel

OK, WordPress is letting me upload photos again. Not sure what happened there.
But anyhoo, here’s a shot I took near Donkey Beach after a breathtaking bike ride along the Kauai coast….

A woman told us it’s called Donkey Beach because nearby plantations used donkeys and burros to transport cane to the fields.

Great weekend, everyone!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Technical Difficulties

For some reason, I’m suddenly unable to upload photos to the blog. Everything seems to be going fine, then I get this message: “HTTP error.” Have never had this happen before. If anyone can help out, I’d appreciate it very much.

Great weekend, everyone….

{carole}

Posted in photography | 5 Comments

Return to Koloa

While on the island of Kauai, I made a return trip to Koloa, a small community on the south shore. The Old Sugar Mill of Koloa was the first major sugarcane plantation in Hawaii in 1835.

This has to be the most charming Salvation Army I’ve seen. It’s still functioning from what I gathered on the Internet.

You can see more photos of Koloa here. Can’t believe it’s been seven years!

Great weekend, everyone….
{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is this coming Monday. It’s an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it began after the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
It’s also the unofficial start of summer here.

Re-posting a shot taken in Reagan National Airport a few years back.

Great weekend, everyone!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Colors of Kauai

I just spent a week on the island of Kauai and it was spectacular. San Diego is indeed lovely, but the colors in Hawaii are so intense and so beautiful, they’re almost on another level….

A plumeria tree in Hanapepe.

Produce at the farmers market in Hanalei.

I took this shot across the street from where we stayed.

Vintage pickup filled with bougainvillea. I posted this on Instagram and the artist contacted me! He’s @sethcre8s on Instagram if you want to see more of this work.

Great weekend, everyone!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wisteria Three Ways

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you’ll know I love wisteria. It’s not as easy to find in California, but I’ve managed to scope out a few. The above shot is one of many I took last year, and one of my favorites.

Then I played around with the image and added a white Florabella overlay:

Last week I visited the same place and found that the wisteria were nearly done, but I managed to get this shot….

So different, huh? It’s amazing what changing light and perspective can do.

Great weekend, everyone!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Borrego Springs

We visited Borrego Springs, the small town surrounded by the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, another time a few years ago, but I never posted the photos. The landscape on the drive there is unusual and beautiful…

The first glimpse of Borrego Springs.

There’s not a lot to the town, as the population is only 3,429.

We had lunch here both visits. Didn’t have to wait too long for a table in spite of the crowds there to see the wildflowers, but the wait for our food was nearly an hour. It wasn’t that bad when we went the first time. I heard the town wasn’t prepared for the Superbloom two years ago and they were completely overrun.

This is Christmas Circle at the south end of town. A good place for a picnic.

The local newspaper.

The art institute had some nice works when we were there.

Artist/welder Ricardo Breceda has created 130 metal sculptures that are scattered throughout the desert near Borrego Springs.

The mountains are so beautiful there. Borrego Springs is an official International Dark Sky Community–the only one in California–dedicated to protecting the night sky from light pollution. Would love to see the stars sometime, as I’ve heard they’re incredible in the desert.

Great weekend, everyone, and Happy Easter!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Anza-Borrego Desert gets its name from Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, who crossed the desert in 1774, and the Spanish word for sheep (“borrego”). Those would be native bighorn sheep. This desert preserve is California’s largest state park, more than 600,000 acres.

We drove out last month to check out the blooms in the desert and at first were disappointed. After the Superbloom in Walker Canyon, everything else kind of paled. But when I got home and reviewed my photos I realized the desert is really beautiful in its own way. Plus the yearly annual rainfall is only 6.18 inches, so it’s unfair to compare.

Still we did manage to find a few wildflowers….

White flowers don’t show up as well.

I really like those little clouds that look like puffs of smoke. The sky was deep beautiful blue as usual.

Not sure what the white stuff is, but it looked like a salt flat from a distance. We went the other way, so never saw it up close.

The landscape is so different out there….

The weather was beautiful while we were there, but the average temp in July is 107F (41.6C).

This reminds me of the Badlands in South Dakota.

Here you can see how sandy the terrain is. It’s very soft, loose sand, so you have to be careful if you’re not driving an SUV.

We were curious about the Salton Sea, but didn’t have time, so got this shot from a distance. The history of this body of water is pretty sad, which you can read more about here.

A few more purple and yellow wildflowers. Next time I’ll focus on the town in this park, Borrego Springs.

Great weekend, everyone!

{carole}

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments