Sunshine in Your Face

Pinus mugo ‘Wintersome”
Heatherwood Spring

Walking along our garden path, these bright yellow mugo pines burst sunshine into my face. During the winter the pines turn to bright yellow and highlight the winter garden. The side light of the late afternoon sun creates a glow around the the edges of the shrub. They look like a sunburst. Soon they will be turning into their bright green summer color.

Spring is Coming

Heatherwood

With all the crazy things going on and the limitations we are all managing as the result of Coronavirus precautions, I am spending my free time outside in our garden and taking walks in nature. I will start a series of postings on harbingers of spring.

With the mild seasonal temperatures we have experienced this winter, many plants and trees have started budding early. This little spruce is about ready to release its spring growth.

Have a happy day and get out and enjoy nature if you can.

Here’s Looking at You!

Sandhill Crane
Orlando Wetlands Park

Moving from one vacation spot to another, our next adventure was to Orlando, FL. The Orlando Wetlands Park was one of our destinations. Migratory birds are all around. Some of them are pretty tame. This sandhill crane swooped down about 20 yards behind and started to walk up along side of us. I got so excited that I couldn’t get my camera focused. Most of my images were either fuzzy or had the bird’s head clipped off. Sometimes is just best to put the camera down and just take in the experience.

Vacation!!!

“Bubbles in the Wine”

What couldn’t be a better way to spend a vacation?

Leaning back in a chair on a wonderful sunny afternoon in Hawaii. Not a worry crossing my mind. Holding a beautiful glass of Cabernet up to the light. Gazing at those wonderful bubbles. And sharing it with the one I love! What a great day!

The “Painted Church” – 2

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church
Honaunau, Hawai’i

While the interior of the little “Painted Church” is lavishly colorful, the exterior is a simple white structure. I could feel the history surrounding the church through it’s old, but well maintained, grave yard and gardens. It is a beautiful and peaceful site on the gentle sloping sides of Moana Loa.

Little “Painted Church”

St. Benedict’s Catholic Church
Honaunau, Hawai’i

The “Painted Church” is a must see little gem in the heart of Hawaii’s Kona coffee plantation area in South Kona. The church is on a peaceful hillside overlooking the coastline below. It was built by Belgian Catholic missionary Father John Velghe from 1899 – 1902. Father Velghe painted scenes of biblical stories along the church interior walls. He used the scenes to deliver his messages since most of his native Hawaiian parishioners could not read.

A history of the church can be found at the following link: https://keolamagazine.com/art/painted-church/

When Something Catches My Eye

Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden

A splash of white and pink,
Against a sea of red, blue and green,
Is a pleasure to be seen!

Clusters of orchids were everywhere. Tourists and other photographers were lined up to get that “perfect” orchid image. I stepped back and walked away when I saw this lone flower standing out all by itself. Behind it several feet, were other blooms and foliage of various colors. I walked around the flower to get an interesting combination of color as a background. I used a wide aperture to separate the flower and blur the background. It looked great on my camera display. I was happy!

But when I got home and viewed the image on a large monitor, I was disappointed. By using a wide aperture and blurring the background, the flower itself was not as sharp as I would like. I could not give up on the image and used a little Topaz Impression to add an artistic perspective.

End of the Chain …

Rainbow
End of Chain of Craters Road
Hawai’i Volcanos National Park

All we could see at the top of the plateau overlooking the lava plain at the end of the Chain of Craters Road was a thick bank of fog. We drove down to where the recent Kilauea lava flow blocked the road. We really could not see much and turned around. The fog started to break a little revealing this beautiful rainbow. I hopped out of the car and grabbed my camera. My lens was not wide enough to include the whole rainbow in the frame. I started to change my lens but the rainbow was breaking up rapidly. I grabbed my trusty iPhone and quickly shot a couple of images. The rainbow disappeared. Thank you Apple for the new wide angle lens on the iPhone 11.

Ridges Into the Sea

Pololu Valley Lookout (2020)
The Big Island, Hawai’i

The last time I was here I hiked down to the base of these cliffs and looked up the Palolu Valley to the south. Waipi’o Valley is in the distance. This trip I did not make the trek down to the bottom.

On previous trips, my interest focused on the bay directly below and closer. The above ridges were in the distant background. This time the ridges caught my eye. I zoomed out to 400m to isolate them.

For reference, the photo below represents my previous focus.

Pololu Valley Lookout (2017)

As seen, this is quite a different perspective. It pays to return to special places and keep an open mind to see new things.

Bridging Time

“Bridging Tree”
Kailua-Kona Hawai’i

This tree has an unseen story to tell. The photographer did not step back to include the rest of the story. On the tree’s left is the Little Blue Church. On its right is an ancient Hawaiian heiau.

Here I stand, catching the evening’s last light,
Spreading it gently to the souls of the present on my left,
And to the ancient spirits of the past on my right

Lesson Learned: I need to take my time to contemplate what I am seeing and feeling, then raise my camera to record the story. I should have used a wide-angle perspective to include the church and the heiau. Always learning …