Thursday, March 22, 2012


Yesterday I was invited to attend a knitting group.
"You don't need to bring anything, just come!" was the exact invitation.
Further discussion ensued; any sort of handwork was welcomed.
I had been shirking the task of stitching the final lining of this hat that I made last summer.  Small enough to tote along with a spool of thread, needles and scissors, I grabbed it as I was heading out the door.
The knitters were curious about what I was working on.
I explained how and why I make hats.
"Oh you should SELL your hats!" was the group's opinion.
Followed by "I don't look good in hats" "I never wear hats!" and other emphatic declarations.

(That encouragement to market my hats followed by the assurance that they personally would NEVER buy a hat has me totally confused...yet it happens more often than one might expect).

The woman above was willing to model the hat for just a moment.
"I look ridiculous in a hat" she said holding it to her head with her fingers.
"I would never wear a hat!"

I dunno.
Maybe I don't understand what the word "ridiculous" means.
Perhaps one of my readers could explain it to me...explain how this lovely lady looks in any way ridiculous.
If the picture above defines looking ridiculous, maybe I have been hideously clueless when it comes to my understanding of beauty.

In my younger years I shied away from having my picture taken.
Lately I've been fascinated by portrait work.
I've been noticing how some photographs make me look ridiculous...and some times even hideous.
I've also noticed how other shots of people (and myself) manage to capture something like an inner glow, and the unique beauty that becomes more apparent upon reflection.
Sometimes I find a portrait doesn't need to include a face. work...also reveals a special beauty.

These are the hands of a nurse.

These...a stage manager who is married to med student.
I enjoyed meeting the young woman who brought her husband along...upon seeing her nail color I wished to get to know.
She was at the far end of the table...
Maybe next visit I will get to know her more.


I really wish I could develop my skills in portrait photography.
I think I've gotten the hang of photographing flowers and birds pretty well.
Of course they are willing subjects.
And I've never yet heard one exclaim that they for some reason looked less than perfect.
Oh how I would enjoy photographing people so they could see how beautifully they are.
I would love to show them...and help erase the years of unflattering photographs that have been etched painfully into their souls.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring

While at Balboa Park I was stopped by a grounds keeper who wanted to show me what was happening on a bush just outside the Arboretum.

I know I wouldn't have noticed what was going on if he hadn't pointed it out. 

But once it was shown to me...I suddenly saw the signs of butterfly life all over the bush. 

The above picture shows a spent chrysalis behind a green inhabited one.

I can not recall ever seeing spent chrysalis before.

It surprised to me to see all the stages of a butterflies life happening on one bush.

The butterflies were fluttering about in the still cool March morning.

I had to wonder: Did a butterfly that looked like this.....

Recognize the way they looked in their former state?

The butterfly populated bush swung out over a reflecting pond that
was home to other colorful creatures such as a small turtle...

and koi of various sizes and hue.

I suppose a few small caterpillars had fallen to feed the turtles and fish...

Knowing how many eggs butterflies lay...if all had hatched and become caterpillars, and used the bush for food there would scarcely be a bush leaf left by now.

Ah the Circle of Life.
The flowers overhead seemed to trumpet praise for the glories of springtime.
Or at least praise for springtime as seen in San Diego!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Balboa Park

While in San Diego earlier this month:  A morning in Balboa Park.
The sculpture above was created by an artist named Donal Hord.
As a child my dad lived next door to him and got to both see Mr. Hord at work and occasionally swept out his studio for ice cream money.
(Anyone who has spent time at San Diego State University knows another of Hord's sculptures: The Aztec/Montezuma sculpture was his.)

As a child I got to meet Mr. Hord, his wife Florence and his fellow artist Dana who assisted Hord with the heavy lifting part of his art.

I love how quiet his sculptures seemed...very soothing to look at.
The little sparrow seemed content to become a living part of the sculpture, enjoying a sip of water in an artistic manner.

Everyone who flies into San Diego flies over this tower.
At night it is lit up and especially beautiful.
The scaffolding over the domed side building made this shot not quite a beautiful as usual.
Balboa Park is being spiffed up for its 100th anniversary celebration to be held next year.

I've written it before and I'm writing it again: I really wish I could take a guided tour of Balboa Park with someone who could tell me exactly who or what all the faces on the facades are about.
(Doesn't that face look like the Cowardly Lion of the Wizard of Oz in a pope costume?)
Part of the fun of visiting Balboa Park with a fellow San  Diego born person is getting hear their childhood memories about the park. 

San Diego born (third generation San Diego born!) Jeff went with me to the park and told me he always liked this fountain.
The water runs like a clear sheet from the top to the bottom of this rug like tile art.

My Dad was able to climb to the top of this bell tower as a child.
That option is not made available to the public now.
Isn't it gorgeous though?

The garden conservatory is a hugely popular place to visit on a warm summer day. 
 It is wondrous to visit, year around.
Something not to be missed while visiting the park.

Having my DSLR camera with me on this trip was huge.
I could shoot pictures there all day long.
Some day I will spend a whole day in the park taking pictures.
For some reason I usually wind up visiting the park late in the morning and need to rush off around 2...never get in a full day!

(Nice, but I liked Barbara's back yard grown orchids better....)

Liked the blushing edge on this plant's leaf.

To give you an idea how big that Stag horn wall fern is:
Jeff is 6'2".

Some kind of plant had been chopped down and the stump remained to fascinate us.

Equally interesting pattern on the inside and the outside, no?

Love the spiralled baby fern leaf....the plant itself was enormous.

Also like the rosy hued new fern fronds...

Surprisingly few bonsai

The back of the park, near the San Diego Zoo, is an area where there are small cottages clustered in a colorful square, where local artist work and sell their creations.

On a weekend day the place is packed with tourist.
So nice to go on a weekday morning instead.
Too bad we got there before the cottages were open for business.

That fake looking dove is actually alive...

So fun to see these typical Christmas indoor lily blooming freely outside. 

The warbler was singing so sweetly.

So many of the plants seemed to sneak in an extra  layer of color.

Or run riot overhead.

This tree...a memory maker for any child who grew up going to area schools.

The tree is in front of the park's Natural History Museum.
Kids would climb around on the tree while waiting to go into the museum, or after the visit was done.
I remember climbing on the tree as a kid.

Jeff was surprised/dismayed that the tree is now fenced and off limits.
A sign stated the tree was about 90 years old. 
That meant it was a sapling when my dad was hanging around the park as a kid.

I will look forward to seeing original photo of the park when it opened to compare the tree line with today's tree line.

There were columbine plants.
I have NEVER seen columbine blooming in San Diego before.

Yummy loquates.
They taste a bit like Bartlett pears when they are fully ripe.

This plant is sometimes called Kangaroo Paws.
When I was like 4, my grandfather was with me in the park and casually remarked "Look at the Kangaroo Paws", without pointing to the plant.
I looked all over the place for Kangaroos.
And Kangaroo paws...cuz, like maybe kangaroos could shed the paws or something???
Looked for kangaroos at the park for years after that...figured maybe because there was eucalyptus plant, which is an Australian tree, that *maybe* there were Australian kangeroos too?
Funny how my kid mind worked...

Columbines: no.
Not native.
California poppies: yes.

Giant bird-of-paradise are not quite as colorful as regular orange and blue bird-of-paradise, but still pretty in their own enormous way. Houston this plant is known as "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow".
Smells so sweet in the humid air down there.
The name refers to how the blossoms start our deep purple then fade to white.
Another plant I haven't seen in San Diego before.

Cool iron work around the base of palm tree.
The blue/silvery toned palm with purple frond base: Nice variety.
I am completely jaded where palms are concerned since I grew up with palms everywhere.
An unusual palm like this one was photo worthy to me.
It was a short visit to the park, but produced many lovely memories and photos...hence a slightly long post!
Hope you enjoyed tagging along!