Monet’s House & Garden

Monet's House and Garden Two surprises awaited me when I visited Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, France. One, his house was much bigger than I thought it would be -- a mansion for the times he lived, and two, his gardens were less formal than imagined. Mid summer was the perfect time to … Continue reading Monet’s House & Garden

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Mystery Plant

The blue and reds are so vibrant on this plant, it caught my eye from across the conservatory.  The plant was screaming, "Come take my picture!"  (I never know if the closed quotation mark comes before or after the punctuation ending a sentence.) I found this in the Des Moines Botanical Gardens.  The spiked "branches" … Continue reading Mystery Plant

Coneflower

Mid-September, and we're getting pretty close to the end of late summer blooms, but these Coneflowers still look pretty good. Taken at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE.   Thought for the Day:  I hate flowers -- I paint them because they're cheaper than models and don't move.                   … Continue reading Coneflower

Palm Frond

An unusual (Wow!  Three "u"s in a 7-letter word!) palm tree thrives in the conservatory at Omaha's Lauritzen Gardens.   Its fronds (leaves) are a dirty gray color, like unpolished silverware covered with dust.  There is no sheen whatsoever on the fronds, on either side. From underneath, the shaded areas are almost black, which provides a … Continue reading Palm Frond

Sunken Garden

Robert Buchart, pioneer in the growing cement industry, opened a limestone quarry in 1904.  As the limestone deposits depleted, Robert's wife, Jennie, hauled in tons of topsoil from their nearby farm to plant flowers.  She was determined to turn the giant eyesore into something of beauty. Exotic plants from all over the world were imported.  … Continue reading Sunken Garden

Painted Ladies

Often mistaken for Monarch Butterflies, the Painted Lady is a little smaller and not quite as vibrant. The Boltonia bushes in our backyard were blanketed with Painted Lady butterflies this fall.  Swarms of them were our guests for 2-3 weeks, which is amazing since their lifespan is not much longer than that. We were blessed … Continue reading Painted Ladies

Scale

In two previous posts (Sequoia National Park and Giant Sequoia Trees), I've written about the Giant Sequoia trees in the Sierra Nevada mountains, trying to demonstrate just how large these trees can be. I've shown them with other objects, a building and parked cars, in hopes of providing a reference to relative size of a … Continue reading Scale

Giant Sequoia Trees

The Sequoia tree is so large that getting a photo of the entire tree is impossible without a wide-angle lens.  I used a 16 mm wide-angle lens on this shot, but still had to back up about 100 yards to get them all in.   And these are young trees. Sequoias are a separate and … Continue reading Giant Sequoia Trees

Two Ladies and a Rose

I like flowers.  I like all plants, especially those you can eat, and not-so-much those that make you itch or sneeze.  Like this yellow rose, e.g; beautiful, gorgeous, a sight to behold. But there is a limit to how long I can stare at one plant.  Not so with the "plant ladies", who stood in one … Continue reading Two Ladies and a Rose

Seed Pod

I captured this lone milkweed towering above the dying prairie grass in the late fall.  The native tall grasses that survive the blistering heat of Midwest summers were drying up after reaching heights of 4 to 6' and falling over from their own weight.   Milkweed was about the only thing standing that altered my … Continue reading Seed Pod

Mysterious Beauty

I found this little beauty along the path around Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.   The uneven change in fall color caught my eye. Standing about 10-12" tall, I have no idea what it is.   If you can identify this plant, please let me know.  Thanks. Thought for the Day: … Continue reading Mysterious Beauty

What Is It?

Anybody know what this flower is is called?  I took this picture about two years ago in the flower garden of a local Midwest newspaper columnist.  The plant is bush-like, standing approx. 3 ft. high, and apparently does well in full sun.  The spike-like bloom is 6-8" long. The photo was taken in early September. … Continue reading What Is It?

Flower Show

This is a photographer's blog, so I guess there should be more photos than I've been putting up lately.  Last weekend I went to the annual flower show at St. Cecilia's Cathedral. Whether you like flowers or not, the cathedral alone is a photographer's dream -- the architecture, statuary and artifacts provide endless "Kodak moments". … Continue reading Flower Show

Burn Baby, Burn!

Prairie Burn Earlier this week I had the opportunity to document the controlled burning of 35 acres of native grasses and wild flowers.  What was once left to Mother Nature, with lightning strikes and wildfires, today's prairies are nurtured with periodic, carefully-planned and controlled burns.       Native grasses can grow over six feet tall.  … Continue reading Burn Baby, Burn!

Creepy Memories

Japanese Gardens Do you remember what movie scenes or make-believe stories scared the hell out of you as a kid, but now, as an adult you think of them as nothing but "kids' stories"?   For me, it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  Seems kind of silly now, but the "Mirror, mirror on the wall" … Continue reading Creepy Memories