Friday, February 27, 2015

I Love Summer or...... Bridges of Belle Isle

 Although winter has a stark beauty all it's own, when you compare these photos, summer wins hands downs! These bridges are all on Belle Isle and in fact, I found another red bridge when I was there Wednesday....will post later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Belle Isle Casino

Sometimes a spur of the moment idea works out better that a perfectly planned event. For example, I woke up this morning to bright sunshine, checked the weather and off I went. 18 balmy degree was predicted but I think it warmed up into the 20s. So I grabbed my camera bag and drove to Belle Isle. I spent several hot and humid hours in the conservatory and drove around the island taking photos everywhere. Being as there was hardly anyone there, I would just stop the car in the road, get out, fire off a few shots and drive on.
I think that this picture of the casino with the RenCen in the background is a really cool perspective. A lot more photos to come....I took 245 pictures!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Give me a warmer day......

and I will get out for a walk and a photo shoot. Nothing in sight according to the weather channel. Sunday looks good temperature wise but freezing rain and snow are predicted. Although the sun is shining brightly today, it is very cold and most schools are closed, The 10 day forecast that taking us to March 1st shows no improvement in the temperatures. Weather, please give us a break!
My daughter remarked that she can't remember schools closing for low temperatures in the 80s when she was in school. Maybe they were just a hardier bunch and schools didn't worry so much about liabilities then.
I promise that when the warm weather gets here I will get out more than last year. Looking forward to SC! I will be out somewhere everyday, that I know...have camera, will travel!

Friday, February 20, 2015


Having Winter Fun....inside.

Stuck inside so I am trying to stay amused. Found 3 on-line editing programs that I am having fun with. Fotosketcher is the program that I used on the above picture. It turns photos into a painting. There are choices like watercolor, oil, pencil sketch etc. The other two are Picadilo and piZap. piZap has a cutting tool which I don't have now. Looking forward to playing around with all of these.

I really want to get outside for a walk but it is 12noon today it has reached 0 degrees. Too dangerous for me to be out walking. I bet there are some beautiful scenes at the parks and I am missing them. Next summer I will be asking myself why I didn't take more snow pictures.

I think my photography class will be starting soon. Waiting to hear from Jay as to when we will meet to plan our shoots. Sure am looking forward to that!.

This is our group from last spring....we were at the zoo. That is Barb on the left end, then me. In the back is Mary Jo, Jay and Steve. This was the shoot where I got the great Polar Bear photos!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Flowers in a Glass Vase

This is one of my favorite paintings at the DIA! It is by Dutch painter Rachel Ruysch.
An interesting side story. I read a gardening book by the  English writer Beverly Nichols (who by the way was a gardener just as a hobby). He wanted to replicate this flower arrangement. He could find every flower exactly except for the red and white Parrot Tulips. During WWII, he was wounded in Africa. While he was being carried down a mountain on a stretcher he spotted the Parrot Tulip. He asked them to stop and dig up the bulb and eventually carried it back to England where he planted it in his garden. Eventually, he was able to duplicate this flower arrangement exactly.

Dutch Masters

Whenever I go to the DIA, I always end up in the same area...modern art, which I really don't like. The last visit I made a point of going to the 3rd level which, among other things, houses the Dutch Golden Age. Rarely would I take photos of paintings but these are some of my favorites. The light is fantastic. The painting calls you from across the room. I did make a few notes on some, not all, of the paintings. Hope you enjoy and visit the DIA . It is a first class art museum.

 Moonlit landscape with a windmill
Oil on oak panel

 Coastal Scene with a Man-of-war and other vessels
Dudolf Backhuysen
Oil on Canvas

 This is a small scene from a much larger painting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


 I used to collect teapots but  put a stop to that hobby a few years ago when I ran out of room to display them. I love the shapes and colors and I am happy to say that I have a few old ones.
Above is my own little Fiesta miniature that only holds about 1 cup of tea and is identical to a  real size teapot of which I also have in yellow.

Here is another small pot, just enough for one cup. I bought this in England in about 1992.

Both of these teapots were my Mom's. The pink pot is a Hall and the green is an original Fiesta Ware from 1940 as my Mom got it as a wedding that pot will be 75 years old this August.

My cups from my best china...... I love this display rack that I bought at an antique shop. They had teacups displayed on them but also had just the racks for sale. My friend Gretta  also bought one. She has a really pretty collection of teacups.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


 Last Saturday, on our walk, we went past the meadow and I took several photos of these milkweed seed pods. Remembering how beautiful the meadow is in July and August....all yellow with spot of other colors here and there. Several years ago I shot a picture of an American Goldfinch in this yellow field....beautiful. When the meadow is starting to wane than the Lotus pond starts to bloom and it is right around the corner. Can't wait for summer to visit all my favorite places.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Really don't know why I took this picture of a table in my bedroom but the crooked vase is driving me crazy
The dried hydrangeas and the dried lavender are all from my garden. The blue vase and perfume bottle were my Mom's and the frame I bought at the gift shop at Greenfield Village and of course, the picture is of Emma taken a few years back.

Serving Pieces from the DIA

 Love pink!
 The ladies that I went to the DIA with thought all this a bit much...too ornate for them but I loved it all....beautiful!
 This had a lid so was it a soup tureen?
I love the birds on the edges.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

OMG is it ever cold outside....

with a temperature of 14 and a wind chill of -2 it is about noon and the sun is shining brightly!

 It was balmy on Saturday when these photos were taken compared to today. I was out and about this morning and I couldn't believe the cold. The wind went right through my coat like I didn't even have a coat on. Yikes! Getting down to -4 tonight and on Saturday and Sunday -6 and -8 respectively. It's winter here in Michigan and at least no new snow storms predicted. Whatever happened to the old January thaw?
Way in the background you can see the Detroit Lighthouse.

 Swans a' swimming

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This is the coffee cup that my son got me for looks just like my telephoto lens for my Canon SLR. Got a lot of comments at Crack O' Dawn on Sat. It is so real looking that I can pretend it is anew 600mm lens!  I really enjoy my Crack O' Dawn walks. They are the highlight of the month for me especially when we don't have any photography classes right now. I love all the people in the group.
Went to a fund raiser spaghetti dinner on Sunday for one of my photographer peeps. She has been sick since summer and just recently had surgery again. There was a great turn out so I hope that there was a lot of money raised. It was good to see everyone and I loved talking about photography...that and eating spaghetti...what more can you ask for?
It has been too cold to even get out to the park and after Saturday's trudge I think staying at home is the best for me right now. We have a few nights coming up that will be below 0 degrees  :-(
Can't wait to go to SC to see my family there. We are planning what to do when I'm there. I think we will go back to Magnolia Plantation in Charleston and then there are my almost daily treks to Brookgreen Gardens and Huntington Beach State Park. Love it there......sunshine, palmettos, shopping with my daughter and granddaughter, and best of all taking photos, dinner with my grandson as our server is also a treat. Hoping that my son-in-law will cook for us when I'm there.

At Magnolia Plantation


from the DIA

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Crack O' Dawn February

We had the smallest group ever (only 7 walkers) and it was too bad because it was a great walk. It wasn't too cold but the trails were treacherous and I was happy to get back unscathed. Starting off we saw a lot of song birds as someone had put down corn on the sidewalk. There were White-throated Sparrows, Juncos, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Downy Woodpecker and a Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cardinals and  Robins. 

 This guy was just not obeying the signs as he ran off...deer everywhere.

You can see the Bald Eagle in the tree to the right. To the left of the island were flocks of Mute Swans further left and inward, Great Blue Herons.

 All the water fowl out on the lake were amazing......Tundra Swans, Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks all massed out on the unfrozen water. Couldn't believe that I didn't take my binoculars!
 Look at that Swan taking off...what a racket their wings make.


Remembering the meadow in summer!