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.

Filipino Migrant Worker, Central California

Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart, Chapter XXIII:

I felt that it was the end of another period in my life. I could see it in my reaction to the passing landscape, in my compassion for the workers in the fields. It was the end of a strange flight.

I bought a bottle of wine when I arrived in San Luis Obispo. I rented a room in a Japanese hotel and started a letter to my brother Macario, whose address had been given to me by a friend. Then it came to me, like a revelation, that I could actually write understandable English. I was seized with happiness. I wrote slowly and boldly, drinking the wine when I stopped, laughing silently and crying. When the long letter was finished, a letter which was actually the story of my life, I jumped to my feet and shouted through my tears:

“They can’t silence me anymore! I’ll tell the world what they have done to me!”

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.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Smell

Let’s nose around in our archives or sniff out new photos that are related to the sense of Smelling. Be creative and have fun.

Cee Neuner

Self found this Foto Challenge more than usually, er, challenging. She’s trying to keep her mind off food — for the first six weeks of the shelter-in-place, that was all she thought about, with disastrous consequences. And her roses don’t give off scent — mebbe it’s the type of soil? Even her Sheila’s Perfume rose has no perfume!

Anyhoo, after some determined hunting, she managed to come up with three photos:

  • Fried chorizo for breakfast in the island of Negros, central Philippines:

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  • A fresh-cut Christmas tree makes all the difference. Self got hers from Wegman’s, a local nursery:

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  • Just before shelter-in-place, self had her front door and front porch painted. The smell of fresh paint is the memory of singular happiness:

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Stay safe, dear blog readers.

In Honor of the Book Self Is Currently Reading: MAMA’S LAST HUG

Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, p. 80:

  • This was how I first learned this species’ typical sounds and other forms of communication, and also how to act like an ape, which is really not that hard given that humans are essentially apes.

Just for fun, a picture of self at the San Diego Zoo, probably circa 1980?

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The bag she’s toting is a Louis Vuitton knockoff from the Philippines.

She had a number of those, if she recalls correctly.

Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: PICK A TOPIC FROM THE PHOTO

Self’s topic is WHITE.

There are many white flowers in her Redwood City garden, blooming now. Such as:

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Tuesday Photo Challenge: HOPE

  • As we continue to connect around the globe, and Spring has started in the Northern hemisphere, I thought it might be time for a fresh outlook. That’s why I thought it might be good to set this week’s them to that of Hope! With the new season and lengthening daylight, each of us can feel a bit more hopeful about what lies ahead. Your challenge is to capture Hope in a manner that speaks to you in your posts and to spread as much hope as possible across this globe of ours! — Tuesday Photo Challenge, 31 March 2020

This, too, shall pass.

Self knows.

Just look at all the plants in her garden, starting to come back, starting to put out blooms. The maples, the roses, and the clematis looked like sticks all winter.

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Japanese Maples are leafing out.

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Clematis montana rubens is starting to bloom.

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This cistus (rock rose) was the first of her plants to bloom.

Stay tuned, stay safe, and stay hopeful!

The Telegraph: Boost Your Immune System Now!

Here’s the link The Telegraph sent out: Anna Magee’s Guide to Boosting Your Immune System.

Ignore POTUS speeches also. You’ll just end up more confused.

Look at flowers. Think Peace. Feel Love.

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Backyard, Redwood City, 7 a.m.

Stay tuned.

Spring Arrives: I Capture the Castle

c. 1948: Rose and Cassandra are daughters of an impoverished father (he’s a writer, what do you expect) and he has moved them and their stepmother, Topaz, to a dilapidated castle in the country.

The author, Dodie Smith, is English but wrote this novel in Malibu (She’s long gone, in case you were wondering)

Self started this book six days ago and is only up to pp. 43 – 44. There’s hardly any drama yet.

“There’s quite a bit of spring in the air to-night,” I told her. “You go out and smell it.”

Rose never gets emotional about the seasons so she took no notice, but Topaz went to the door at once and flung it open. Then she threw her head back, opened her arms wide and took a giant breath.

“It’s only a whiff of spring, not whole lungs full,” I said, but she was too rapt to listen. I quite expected her to plunge into the night, but after some more deep breathing she went upstairs to try on her tea-gown.

“It beats me,” said Rose. “After all this time, I still don’t know if she goes on that way because she really feels like it, if she’s acting to impress us, or just acting to impress herself.”

“All three,” I said. “And as it helps her to enjoy life, I don’t blame her.”

The novel’s been inspiring her to spend more time in her backyard. The gorgeous weather helps. The scrawny lemon tree has five fat lemons.

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