Lens-Artists Challenge # 115: INSPIRATION

There’s a beautiful gallery of inspiring photos on Travels and Trifles.

What gives self inspiration? Flowers. And books.

These blue flowers are so pretty. Every year, they come back, and this year the blooms have been especially profuse. They wind through the branches of the cherry trees and drape the sidewalk. No one seems to mind.

Front yard, September 2020

Self is a writer. As a writer, she finds inspiration in books. These are a few books she recently checked out from her local library:

Finally, a very special place, one that self would spend every moment of every day in, if she could: the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury. When she sees the orange couch, she knows she’s home.

London Review Bookshop, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Modern Homes

Self is really grateful to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. The prompts are so interesting, and she’s finding photos she never would have thought of sharing.

For instance, for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge (Modern Homes), self found a series of pictures she took in Capitola-by-the-Sea, a beautiful seaside village, way back December 2016.

Capitola-by-the-Sea is your quintessential beach town, not as glitzy as Carmel and Monterey, and the pastel-colored cottages are so pretty! Who wouldn’t want to live in a pink cottage by a beach, even if just for the summer, come on!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 111: EVERYDAY OBJECTS

Patti Moed: Take “a fresh look at ordinary, everyday objects — things that you see and use in your everyday life . . . “

For this challenge, self decided to go outside and see what she could see. Fires are raging in her county, but three things stand between them and her neighborhood: the I-280 freeway, foothills (at this time, dry as dry) and of course FIREFIGHTERS. The fires are at this moment 10% contained; it took firefighters almost a whole week to get there.

Since it is summer, her backyard is in fruit. She has three fig trees, one plum tree, one lemon tree, and two cherry trees. Busy, busy time. Because of this photo challenge, she decided to take pictures of homely garden furniture which she’s had for probably decades:

Here are a few peeks at the Everyday Objects of others:

Stupidity Hole

My Camera & I

Photographias

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: OLD BUILDINGS

Still getting used to this new WordPress system. Took self twice as long to post. A pain.

Barns, sheds, houses, Cee Neuner says.

Another REALLY interesting Foto Challenge. Self has tons of pictures of old buildings in her archives. But, looking over the pictures in Cee’s prompt, it is not enough that the structures be old, they have to be old in a certain way, a weathered kind of way.

Here goes:

Dublin, May 2019
Prague, May 2019
Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WILTING, DEAD, AGING FLOWERS AND LEAVES

This Foto Challenge was hard. Nevertheless, self persisted, going over every inch of her front and backyard. Check out the other pictures on Cee Neuner’s blog, starting with hers. Amazing creativity this week!

This was a picture self took this morning: she’d been cutting dead twigs off her trees.

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Backyard This Morning

Self took this picture a few weeks ago:

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Hosta sprang up from a pile of dead holly leaves!

Finally: here’s a picture from December 2019, when she spent the holidays in New Mexico. She was on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill, and was fascinated by the deep snow:

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Museum Hill, Santa Fe, December 2019

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.

 

 

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