Trevi Fountain

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tomorrow we leave for Sorrento and to ensure a return trip to Rome it's customary to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Since I had already tossed mine in a few years ago and this is my 4th trip back, I didn't feel it necessary to spend more money to guarantee my return. But this is a beautiful fountain, designed by Bernini (what statue or fountain in Rome isn't?), and is something all visitors should see. So as I depart this intriguing city I say “Ciao”, see you again.

“Trevi Fountain” © Kathy Dunham 2009

Castel Sant' Angelo

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rome at night takes on a whole different look as the monuments are lit to show off their grandeur. This is Castel Sant' Angelo on the Tiber River. Remember, it was originally built as the Emperor Hadrian's mausoleum. Then it became a safe haven for Popes during times of strife. Now it's a museum.

“Castel Sant' Angelo” © Kathy Dunham 2009

St. Peter's Basilica

Friday, August 28, 2009

If you visit the Vatican while in Rome, be prepared to do a lot of walking and standing on marble floors. “Why should I care?” you ask. Because by the end of the tour your feet, legs and maybe even your knees will be screaming at you. I know. And I'd give anything for a good foot massage right now. But it was worth it. The art collections, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and of course, the Basilica itself are awesome. Regardless of your religion, this masterpiece of architecture and art will blow you away. This shot is of the main altar at the very back of the church. The golden window above is not stained glass but solid alabaster. Beautiful, isn't it?

“St. Peter's Basilica” © Kathy Dunham 2009

Piazza Navona at Night

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers is wonderful during the day but magical at night. Built in 1651, this spectacular fountain dominates the Piazza Navona which has always been a hub of Roman social life. Today it is flooded with musicians, artists, locals and tourists who enjoy this beautiful setting.

“Piazza Navona at Night” © Kathy Dunham 2009

Eye of the Pantheon

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We're here!! In the heart of Rome, just behind the Vatican. It's hot and muggy so we didn't do too much today. We saw Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navonna and then headed to the Pantheon. Built by the Emperor Hadrian in the early 1st century AD it stands today as a beautiful archetictural monument. Of note amongst the many who are buried here is the artist Raphael. The eye or occulus in the center of the domed ceiling is open to the elements, and has been since it was built. There are drains in the floor to handle the water from rainfalls. The sun was shining through the opening today which was so appropriate to this formerly pagan shrine turned church.

"Eye of the Pantheon" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Red Hot Cannas

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I take my camera everywhere I go. You never know when a photo op will present itself. I was shopping the other day and as I was leaving the store spotted these red canna lilies. They normally aren't this red and that's what caught my eye.

"Red Hot Cannas" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Early Morning Light

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Walking the back alleys of Venice early in the morning is a real treat. The best thing is there are no tourists. They're still sleeping off the fun and frivolity of the night before. But the light is so crisp and sharp that colors jump and shadows are dramatic. It's worth getting up early for.

"Early Morning Light" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Castel Sant' Angelo

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm headed to Italy soon and Castel Sant' Angelo is one of my stops while in Rome. Built in 117-138 AD by the Emperor Hadrian as his mausoleum, it was used as a Papal "hideout" or sanctuary in times of strife between the church and its adversaries. It is also feature prominently in the movie "Angels and Demons". One thing of note.... The whereabouts of Hadrian's remains is still a mystery.

"Castel Sant' Angelo" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Hunting for Food

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bees are fascinating, always on the hunt for pollen. Do they ever rest? Trying to photograph one is a challenge, they never sit still. I was lucky this time. I wasn't even trying to get a bee. I just thought the flower was an interesting one that was new to me. And when I looked closer at the photo, there was the bee.

"Hunting for Food" © Kathy Dunham 2009

White Purity

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I usually make a pilgrimage each spring to visit Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA. The tulips are in bloom, camellia bushes as big as trees are covered with flowers and the roses and irises are starting to strut their stuff. But this is the first time I've ventured to the gardens in the middle of summer. And was I surprised. There's been a lack of attention to the garden and things weren't looking to good. But I was able to spot these lilies hiding in a back corner. At least there was one joyous moment to my trip.

"White Purity" © Kathy Dunham 2009

This One's for You Susan

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Last year my friend Susan headed to Colorado to attend to her ailing Mom. Knowing she'd be on the road and back and forth she gave me this orchid with the hopes I'd take reasonably good care of it. My luck with orchids is managing to keep them green after they bloom. Getting them to bloom again is another story. Except this year. Low and behold, I have blossoms. Green and lavender ones which go quite nicely with my kitchen decor. Thank you Susan.

"This One's for You Susan" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Golden Glories

Monday, August 17, 2009

I managed to be in Portland, Oregon during this summer's heat spell. And it was a doozie. I felt sorry for the flowers. Most like cooler climates and weren't doing too well, but these Gloriosa Daisies were happy little campers.

"Golden Glories" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Laundry, Italian Style

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Laundry always looks much better in Italy than any other country. It's artistic. Maybe it's the beautiful buildings they hang near or that they always have something colorful hanging on the line. My Mom's laundry didn't look this good when I was little.

"Laundry, Italian Style" © Kathy Dunham 2009

French Begonias

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The street markets in rural France sell just about anything you need or don't need. Fruits, veggies and roasted chickens abound everywhere and on certain days the flowers take over. Unlike our flowers markets that focus on the cut variety, the outdoor markets in France specialize on the potted kind.

"French Begonias" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Party Tyme

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's past iris season but I'm always taken by the fantastic colors they come in. This is one of the wildest... Orange and purple!!! I love Mother Nature's paint brush.

"Party Tyme" © Kathy Dunham 2009

In Honor of Julia

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I saw the movie "Julie & Julia" tonight and it brought back wonderful memories of an awesome Boeuf Bourguignon I had in Paris this year. Now I have to dig out my copy of
"Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and try Julia Child's version. Yummm.

"In Honor of Julia" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Christmas Puppy Wallpaper

Pets and specially puppies are best friend of people and they love each other. Puppy lovers keep their dear puppy along with them wherever they go, where they sleep, where they sit and other places. During festival season also they keep them beside always as part of their life. These christmas puppy wallpaper are dedicated to all pet lovers who love keeping cute puppies with them.
Christmas Puppy Desktop Theme
Christmas Puppies Wallpapers

White Phalaenopsis

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One of the most popular species of orchids, phalaenopsis are real drama queens. When massed together they make a real statement. For those of you living in Southern California, there is an orchid farm in Landers that's open to the public. Early each October they hold the Morongo Basin Orchid Festival. Enjoy tours, food and entertainment. It's a great chance to see how they grow orchids in the desert. Check this year's date at www.Gublers/com

"White Phalaenopsis" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Roses and Lace

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

French windowsills in the countryside are alive with flowers. Geraniums and amaryllis were quite popular but I found these dainty roses in the bastide town of Monpazier in the Dordogne region.

"Roses and Lace" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Morning Sprinkles

Monday, August 10, 2009

Flowers always look so clean and fresh after an early morning shower. These rhododendrons are no exception. Happy and healthy, they await the rest of the day.

"Morning Sprinkles" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Empty Chair

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The town of Giverny, France is a small, simple and peaceful place. I can understand why Monet chose to live here.

"Empty Chair" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Vatican Dome

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It took more than 120 years from laying the cornerstone to the consecration of St. Peter's, 7 Popes and artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini to complete this marvelous edifice. An architectural wonder, this is a must see when in Rome.

"Vatican Dome" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Summer Color

Friday, August 7, 2009

Our summers are pretty hot in the desert and fresh flowers don't always do well in the house either. But I couldn't resist these rose colored lilies. They're bright and happy which always brightens my spirits in the heat.

"Summer Color" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunny Hollyhocks

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thought to have originated in the the region of Turkey, hollyhocks have found a home in gardens and on roadsides from there through Italy to Great Britain. They provide a wonderful backdrop for shorter flowers. Hardy, they like a variety of climates and come in colors ranging from white and delicate pinks and yellows to rich magentas and almost black purples.

"Sunny Hollyhocks" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Pistils and Stamens

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

There's a saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees" that is trying to teach us to really look at things. This is a prime example. Sometimes the real beauty is in the small details.

"Pistils and Stamens" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Rodney's '57 Chevy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This Laker's fan is sure proud of his '57 Bel Air. In pristine condition and in Laker's gold, sporting Laker's pennants from the rear antenna he certainly loves cruising L.A. freeways.

"Rodney's '57 Chevy" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Speckled Orchids

Monday, August 3, 2009

Orchids come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. And one of our most popular flavorings, vanilla, is related to these beauties.

"Speckled Orchids" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Afternoon Spotlight

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What better place to teach drawing classes than in the Getty Museum garden? The flowers were in full bloom and when the late afternoon sun kisses them there are some unique lighting conditions. This was one of them.

"Afternoon Spotlight" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Ceiling of Grapes

Farming technology keeps changing and becoming more mechanized in this era of modernization and efficiency. Raisins used to be created by cutting then drying bunches of grapes on paper trays laid on the ground. Now they can dry them on the vine. A trellis roof of wires allows vines to grow on top while the bunches of grapes hang below, hence, the "ceiling of grapes". When the sugar content is right, the vines are cut to stop the nutrients and water from going to the bunches while they dry in the air. Then a machine comes along and collects the finished product. Similar to a grape arbor, this giant trellis covers acres and acres of vines. It's a quicker and cleaner way to make raisins.

"Ceiling of Grapes" © Kathy Dunham 2009