French Florist

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Close to our hotel in Paris was this spectacular florist shop. Or should I say, floral experience? Walking by we could smell the fragrant aromas of the flowers since the door was always open. As we stepped in, we discovered that the entire store was the "cooler". It was extremely chilly inside, something I haven't seen in the U.S.

"French Florist" © Kathy Dunham 2009

More Desert Wildfowers

Monday, March 30, 2009

These tiny (1/4") delicate blossoms struggle to gain a foothold on the dry desert floor. One of the pleasures of hunting for wildflowers is finding these miniature treasures. While fields covered with blossoms are spectacular, it's these little, hard to find, beauties that make it all worth while.

"More Desert Wildflowers" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Spring in the Desert

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wildflowers have been scarce this year but I decided to be adventuresome and see what I could find today. But it was a day filled with challenges.

I headed East to check out the Chuckwalla Wilderness area about 60 miles from here. After driving about 6 miles on a gravel road I encountered a flat tire. Thank goodness I had a friend with me who took charge and changed it for me. That was after several cars were nice enough to stop and ask if we were OK. Just before we finished an elderly gentleman stopped on his way out from his mining claim. He said he'd lead the way to make sure we were OK. Well, wouldn't you know it, he got a flat before we reached the paved road. So, one good turn deserved another. So far, flats 2 - flowers 0.

Then we decided to head down to Borrego Springs State Park to see if there were any flowers left. Half way there we encountered severe winds but decided to continue. After a couple of stops on the roadside and short hikes we encountered seven different species of flowers. Even in the wind I was able to get some pretty great shots including this beavertail cactus blossom.

"Spring in the Desert" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Bumpy Road

Saturday, March 28, 2009

These beautiful white lilies, so fragrant and elegant, have an unusual texture on their petals. Mother nature sure offers us some spectacular and interesting sights.

"Bumpy Road" © Kathy Dunham 2009

What are They?

Friday, March 27, 2009

I found these growing among canna lilies in the Canary Islands. I failed to check if they were part of the cannas or another plant. But they sure are interesting.

"What are They?" © Kathy Dunham 2009


Thursday, March 26, 2009

These hardy flowers are great for landscaping large areas. With deep, rich green leathery leaves, the clusters of orange flowers at the end of tall stalks are bright additions to any garden.

"Clivia" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Cactus Flowers

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When cacti bloom in mass it's spectacular. Large clumps of blossoms, in a wide array of color make these otherwise plain plants take on the look of a Hollywood starlet.

"Cactus Flowers" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Cactus Wren

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's unusual to capture blossoms up close on the Saguaro cactus since it doesn't start blooming until it's pretty tall. I was fortunate to have a ladder and access to this bloomer and an added benefit was the cactus wren sampling the goodies he found inside.

"Cactus Wren" © Kathy Dunham 2009

It's Sure Windy!!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today at the finals of the BNP Parabas Tennis tournament, not only the players had challenges with the strong, gusting winds. The ball girls and boys had to hold the flags and if you notice the third one from the left is about to lose his hat and is trying to keep it on while holding the American flag. Great composure on their parts.

"It's Sure Windy!!!" © Kathy Dunham 2009

It's the Easter Bunny

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I spotted this little guy just off my patio late this afternoon and was wondering if he was an advance scout or actually the Easter Bunny. I hope he remembers where I live and that he doesn't have to hide my goodies, placing them on the table will be fine.

"It's the Easter Bunny" © Kathy Dunham 2009

We Found the Shade!

Friday, March 20, 2009

There isn't much shade in a tennis stadium and these fans found a small sliver to sit in trying to keep cool. And if you look close several seem pretty bored.

"We Found the Shade" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Peppermint Patty

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This was the last successful amaryllis I was able to grow. I must have lost my touch. I've been trying for the past two years and I sometimes get leaves but never buds or blossoms.

"Peppermint Patty" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Desert Cantebury Bells

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We were hoping for a reasonable wildflower show this season but it doesn't look it's not going to happen. Thank goodness I took these last year when we had a lot of wildflowers. Be careful around these rich cobalt blue flowers, they have been known to cause a rash similar to poison oak in some people.

"Desert Canterbury Bells" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Enough Shade?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's fun watching the ball boys/girls at a professional tennis match. It's an honor to be selected and they must learn the proper protocol and behavior while on the courts. Some players are pretty fussy about how the balls are tossed and when they want their towels and of course, if it's sunny when they take their short breaks, they need their shade.

"Enough Shade?" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Bloomin' Joshua

Monday, March 16, 2009

Last year we had a record crop of wildflowers and the Joshua Trees were outlandishly in full bloom. A relative of the yucca, this species can be found in it's namesake "Joshua Tree National Park". A great place for rock climbers, this high desert park offers unique vistas and lots of Johsua Trees.

"Bloomin' Joshua" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sign Mine, Please

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fans line up with giant tennis balls, towels and programs to get Rafael Nadal's autograph after his winning match this evening in the BNP Parabas tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens. One of a wide variety of events to enjoy here in the desert. Finals are next Sunday. Will it be a Federrer/Nadal match?

"Sign Mine, Please" © Kathy Dunham 2009

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Yerba Mansa

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I found this strange looking flower several years ago new Lake Isabella in the hills northeast of Bakersfield, CA. They prefer moist areas and appear to grow in large groups. The aromatic root is used for medicinal purposes ranging from the treatment of cuts and burns to a tonic for blood purification.

"Yerba Mansa" © Kathy Dunham 2009

California Gold

Friday, March 13, 2009

The poppies haven't started to bloom yet but it's getting close. The California Poppy Preserve outside Lancaster offers spectacular views of hillsides covered with acres and acres of golden poppies.

"California Gold" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Your Shoes or Mine?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some garden sculpture I found in Puerto Rico while walking around the old part of town.

"Your Shoes or Mine?" © Kathy Dunham 2009

San Cristobal, Puerto Rico

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The colors, shapes and shadows of these arches draw you in to the composition. This is the companion fort to El Morro, the two oldest forts in the Americas.

"San Cristobal, Puerto Rico" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Spring Moon

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm thankful my friend called me this evening or I would have missed this beautiful orange moon. This would normally be called a Harvest Moon but tonight we received a real treat.

"Spring Moon" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Poppies in the Sun

Monday, March 9, 2009

Oriental poppies don't grow in my area so when ever I see them I jump at the chance to capture their beauty.

"Poppies in the Sun" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Pizzeria de la Tour

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Even in France they have pizzerias. But it was too early to try one at this bistro in St. Emillion.

"Pizzeria de le Tour" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Petit Dejeuner

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A typical French breakfast. Yummm. Croissant and hot chocolate. A great treat in the morning.

"Petit Dejeuner" © Kathy Dunham 2009

White Geraniuim

Friday, March 6, 2009

A favorite flower of cities in the area where I live is the geranium. They are hardy, bloom prolifically and provide vibrant color contrasts along divider strips and medians.

"White Geranium" © Kathy Dunham 2009

After the Coconut

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I found this in the street of Punta Arenas, Costa Rica and was curious as to what it was. It took a while but I finally figured out this is what a coconut is attached to in a palm tree.

"After the Coconut" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Pears in a Partridge Tree???

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I came across a pear orchard outside the small community of Warner Hot Springs in Northeastern San Diego County. They aren't ripe yet but from the looks of them it won't be long.

"Pears in a Partridge Tree??" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Spring in the Canyon

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's almost Spring but the brittle bush was in bloom today at Indian Canyon. The rest of our hopeful wildflower show hasn't started yet but we're hopeful that we'll have a a lot of blooms this year.

"Blossoms in the Canyon" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Blue and White

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm always searching gardens for possible subject matter. Delphiniums present a unique artistic challenge but these provided an interesting contrast.

"Blue and White" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Lil' Toot

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The first time I went through the Panama Canal this tug was pushing the ship right outside our porthole at 4:30 in the morning. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy about being awakened that early. But I was able to get this great shot later when it was light outside. The Herrera stayed with us until we entered the first set of locks on the Caribbean side. Last year I transited the canal again and we saw the same tug on Lake Gatun, the man made lake in the mid section of the canal.

"Lil' Toot" © Kathy Dunham 2009