Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 113: A Labor of Love

Inspired by viveka, whose adventures on my guilty pleasures self has been following for years! Though forced to spend 2020 sheltering at home, viveka’s posts make self incredibly thirsty!

Here’s the reason behind the week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge:

  • People all over the world honor their workers in a variety of ways. In the U.S., we honor those who labor by setting aside the first Monday of September as Labor Day. But world-wide, people pour themselves into their work — paid or unpaid — with commitment, ingenuity, and a sincere desire to make a difference. For them, work has become more than just work. It has become a labor of love.

Here are a few of self’s own Labors of Love.

Self grew tomatoes, and planted more flowers.

The California fires are still blazing.

Take care of yourselves, fire fighters! Hope you have big pitchers of ice-cold beer waiting at the end of your shifts!

Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #112: Self’s Word is ‘Growing’

The prompt from Ann-Christine:

Choose one (1) word or more – choose all of them if you like! The words available are the following:

  • Comfortable
  • Growing
  • Tangled
  • Crowded
  • Exuberant

The word self picked, which was easiest for her since she’s been gardening a lot, is GROWING. Here are a few pictures she took yesterday.

This is one of self’s newest additions to the front garden:

This plant just popped up on one side of her driveway. It seems to be a different kind of ivy from the others. Self finds it so pretty:

Finally, here are some geraniums growing in a huge pot that she bought years ago from Chinatown. Geraniums are very, very easy to grow, and she loves their bright, cheerful colors:

Thank you for the prompt, Ann-Christine!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge # 110: Creativity in the Time of COVID

Self was inspired by this Photo Challenge (Creativity in the Time of COVID) to give a shout-out to the USPS.

She bought a sheet of first-class stamps commemorating the Harlem Renaissance. Aren’t they beautiful?

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She receives all her literary journals through the USPS. Here’s the latest delivery: the Win/Spr 2020 issue of Calyx Journal, one of the oldest women’s presses in the United States, founded by her friend, Dear Departed Margarita Donnelly (She put the whole thing, she told self, on a credit card):

Cover Art: Dale Champlin’s “Mother Nature.”

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Finally, Filoli Garden, in Woodside, is one of the area’s most beautiful gardens. The current art installation is by Kristine Mays. Here’s a picture self took on a visit to Filoli in July.

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Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens Artists Weekly Photo Challenge # 109: UNDER THE SUN

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is UNDER THE SUN.

Read to the very end of the post about the theme. The quote from E. M. Forster.

It is still summer. Can you believe it? Summer came. And stayed the usual length of time, despite pandemic and politics.

At the end of July, self visited Filoli Gardens, in Woodside. It had been decades since she’d last been.

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Filoli Gardens, Woodside, July 2020

Here’s another picture of the gardens. Visitors wore masks and maintained social distancing. Lines to get in are long, because soooo many people want to get in, and those in line must stand six feet apart.

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In contrast, here’s self’s own garden (sad, dry as the foothills). She took this picture just a few minutes ago:

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The Backyard Today

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge # 108: SANCTUARY

Your sanctuary is your ideal place of relaxation, tranquillity and safety and you can create it exactly as you want to. — Shakti Gawain

This week’s Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge is SANCTUARY.

Self is soooo lucky that, less than 10-minutes drive from her home, is the sanctuary of Filoli Gardens.

This huge estate is managed by a trust, and is among the most magical set of gardens she has ever seen (and she’s seen a lot of gardens).

She happened to visit last Sunday, with a friend. Below are a few pictures she took during that visit. The place is so beautiful, and peaceful. A true sanctuary.

Close to the house are large trees providing plenty of shade:

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Further away from the house are rectangular flowerbeds, planted by theme. Interspersed among the flowerbeds is an art installation by Kristine Mays featuring life-size wire sculptures in human shape.

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There’s only one word for the Filoli rose garden: spectacular. The bushes are so fat and laden with what must be (at this time of year) their second round of blooms. Jealous.

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There is a $25 entrance fee, which must be paid in advance. To avoid crowds, especially on weekends, mornings are best. They usually offer guided tours and classes, but these activities have been suspended during the pandemic. It’s wonderful just to walk, though. And self bought two wee basil plants in the Garden Shop.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 105: SPRING

It’s summer, but the Lens-Artists Challenge this week is Spring.

So, nostalgia?

In spring, it’s all about the flowers. Her roses were blooming! Everything was blooming!

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New Planter Basket, from Whole Foods

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Front Yard: mid-May

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Backyard: mid-May

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 103: SURPRISE

Whew, where would self’s head be right now if she weren’t doing a Photo Challenge? These Photo Challenges are really helping self stay positive during the pandemic.

The latest Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is: SURPRISE.

Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator. So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence, a surprise.     

– Vera Nazarian

Do joing the fun!

Here are self’s recent surprises:

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These cherries from a tree in self’s backyard were so unexpectedly sweet!

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Picking more cherries!

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Her friend Jacinta O’Reilly, a painter in Ireland, sent her this beautiful card that she made herself. What a beautiful surprise to get in the mail!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102: A QUIET MOMENT

  • All around the world people are noticing that their cities and towns are quieter during the pandemic. They say that they can hear the birds in the morning instead of traffic and are more aware of nature’s presence. In quiet moments during the day, I can hear neighbors chatting as they walk past. Children’s voices mingle with the sounds of water sprinklers. It feels like we stepped back to a less hectic time when people stayed at home more.

A Quiet Moment, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 102, P. A. Moed

Last fall, self was in Ireland. What a different place the world was then!

During her visits to Ireland, she always finds calm and inspiration. These pictures reflect that mood.

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from a cottage at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

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Just Outside IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art), Dublin

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This beautiful avenue leads from IMMA straight to . . . the Dublin Castle? It is a wonderful walk.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98: Delicate Colors

As many countries are opening up a bit from lock-down, and I was inspired by the soft glory of spring nature in my part of the world, I thought we would indulge in some Delicate Colours! They are everywhere in nature, but also to be found anywhere you look, in for example fashion, art and architecture.Leya

Self is always happy to participate in a Photo Challenge. Anything to distract from Shelter-in-Place, entering the third month here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

First: HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

To everyone who has a loved one in this fight, or has lost a loved one, blessings.

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Hydrangeas on Front Porch: May 2020

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Iceberg Roses in Front Yard, May 2020

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Looking at the Garden from the Kitchen Window, 24 May 2020. The curtains were from World Market, which has since closed.

Look at these beautiful galleries:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge # 95: ALL WET

  • Maybe you’ve just given your pet a bath, or perhaps the dewdrops on your garden have given you a smile.Tina R. Schell

Here are a couple of images from self’s archives:

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Cistus (Rock Rose) on front porch after rain

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Also After Rain: Clematis Montana Rubens

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Backyard Watering

Stay safe. Stay tuned.

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