Winter Wanderings…..

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” ~ Anne Bradstreet

On the day before the first day of spring, I thought I’d post just a few photos of winter in my woods.   I always feel peaceful when walking in the woods.

After a heavy snowfall, that turned the world into a fairyland……
*click on image to enlarge*

The winter woods.

The winter woods.

The spruces stand tall..

The spruces stand tall..

Winter leaf...

Winter leaf…  A fall leaf shows strength and perseverance as it clings to a branch through the long winter months.  I made this photo into B&W, then brought the leaf color back.



Foggy winter morning...

Foggy winter morning…  Sometimes fog greets us on winter mornings.  I’m always trying to capture fog!

Thanks for viewing my post!  Happy Spring!


Gelato, Autostrada, Pasta, Michelangelo, Wine, Bruschetta. Where was I?

If you guessed Italy, you’re right!   We traveled there for two weeks and had a fabulous time.  We had beautiful weather in the 70s-80s F.  The only time it rained was on travel days!

“Traveling is the ruin of all happiness!  There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.”
~Fanny Burney

Our first stop was Florence, with a great hotel on the Arno River.  I spent a lot of time taking photos from the room’s window!  After four days in Florence our plan was to travel through Tuscany and finish in Rome.  Our stops included:  San Gimignano, Siena, Assisi and Rome.  San Gimignano was just a half-day trip on the way to Siena.  My husband offered to drive through Tuscany and drop the car at the Rome airport.   Our plan was to avoid driving in any major cities!  Barring a few wrong turns, we succeeded!

Since we got home very late Monday night…I’m just now starting to edit photos.
I’ll post as soon as I can, beginning with Florence!  Here’s one to start~

The photo was taken in front of our hotel, looking west down the Arno River.  You’ll see the Ponte Alle Grazie bridge.  This was the second bridge built over the Arno, the first being the famous Ponte Vecchio.  Ponte Alle Grazie bridge was first built in 1237 and over the years had a home for nuns; then shops and homes, as the Ponte Vecchio does now.  A fierce flood destroyed the bridge and it was rebuilt.  During WWll it was destroyed by bombs.  It was rebuilt in 1957 and remains unchanged.

Looking west along the Arno River. The Ponte Alle Grazie bridge can be seen in the photo.


Don’t change this channel!  Stay tuned for more updates from Italy!
Thanks for hanging in there while I was away….I appreciate my blogger friends!



My First Attempt with Textures!

I’ve been interested in trying textures with a few photos for some time now.  I’ve been inspired by my blogger friend, Jocelyne.  She creates lovely textured photographs, vignette’s, and still life images.  She also takes the most beautiful photos of flowers and gardens. Check out Jocelyne’s blog here.

I finally did a free texture tutorial with Kim Klassen online.  Then I tried her lesson in Photoshop Elements 9.

It didn’t work for me at first.  I don’t think I was importing the texture “image” correctly.  So I tried three more times.  And the last time it worked!  So tonight I’m sharing my very first attempt at adding a texture to my original photo with all of you!

I love vintage things….and vintage photos are at the top of my list.

If you are interested in learning about adding and blending textures with your photos,  click here for Kim Klassen’s free “Textures in Ten” Tutorial (ten minutes).   Kim is an upbeat person who does a great job explaining each step in two short videos.  She also includes two textures to download and try.

The original photo:


The photo with texture added:

Thanks for visiting!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge


Over time, water merges with rock, eventually eroding the surface and turning it into sand.

Merging together, water and rock become a visual piece of beauty through the eyes of an artist.
The water, in a fluid state, contrasts with the hard surface of the rock, but visually combined they make a pleasing creation. 
Different substances, yet they unite as one image for the photographer and the artist.

The Virgin River meets with the rocky surface of the Zion canyon walls along the Riverside Walk trail.

Thanks for reading my blog!
As you may notice, I’m still sneaking photos of Zion in here. 😉


All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Beautiful Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania~

 How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.  ~Benjamin Disraeli

On our recent spring trip, we visited our cousin who lives near Wilmington, Delaware.   There are  at least two beautiful gardens in the Wilmington area that are connected with Dupont estates.  One is Winterthur and the other is Longwood Gardens.   Longwood happens to be nearby in Pennsylvania.   Both garden estates are spectacular and seeing them in the springtime was wonderful, as all the early flowers had bloomed and trees had budded.   Put these gardens on your “must-see” list.  You will not forget them.  I will post Winterthur’s home and gardens at another time.  

Both Longwood and Winterthur have incorporated naturalized plantings.  As you walk through the woods, you are greeted with redbuds, cherry trees, creeping phlox, scattered daffodils, blue bells, azaleas and many more delights.   It truly is a treasure to behold;  a fanciful, magical setting, and one I’d love to create at my home.  (in my lifetime?!!)    Join me as we begin our walk through Longwood Gardens in the more formal flower beds.   Then we’ll walk through the woods, passing a lovely pond, and finally finish in the huge conservatory.  Let’s go!

Please click on a photo to start the gallery.

I hope you enjoyed our abbreviated  tour of Longwood Gardens.  There’s so much more to see than what I presented here.

If you’d like to learn more about the Gardens at Longwood, click here.

Thanks for visiting today…have a great day!


All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Random

Since there was no official WordPress Photo Challenge this week, several of us are doing our own.  I followed Maggie’s path and did RANDOM.  Random can mean scattered, as in these scattered leaves from fall.

Scattered Leaves

I sit in the warm fall sun,
The wind whirling about me.
My face is upturned to
Feel the warmth
Of the rays on my face.
I welcome the sunshine
After so many days of rain.
The wind caresses and tickles,
Blowing my hair askew.
It sends leaves scattering
In a vortex of color
Around me,
And I am dazzled by
Their beauty.


All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

As Delicate as a Thread?

Hello friends….
I have something old and something new, something delicate and something strong.

My daughter gave me a lovely necklace for Christmas that I coveted for a long time.   It’s silver, turquoise and sweetly delicate, with a tiny bird on the dangle section.  As strong as the necklace is, its appearance is as delicate as a thread.

 With the fine look the necklace has, I paired it with some vintage, wooden spools of thread for the photo.
While the spools have a hefty look,  the thread has a delicate look, as does the necklace.

Can something as dainty and delicate as a thread be strong?  Even as strong as a wooden spool? 🙂

If you have a friend, parent, spouse, child, partner or someone you care about, you know the threads that bind us are very strong indeed.   In a true relationship those threads will not break.  They may fray a bit, but they will hold strong.  And with love and care they can be repaired.   Friendship, love and caring are the threads that connect people all over the world.   Strong?   You bet.


                      “Friendship is the golden thread that ties the hearts of all the world.”   ~unknown

Thinking of you, my friends….

Click here to go to the store “RoseAndRaven” (necklace purchase/great jewelry here)

All images are copyright © 2005-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Frame your photos before clicking the shutter button!

Good evening readers~
Tonight I have a photography suggestion.  It’s one I have enjoyed using for many years.

Sometimes it’s difficult to frame or “set up” a photo well.  Using “props” can help frame your photo and make it more interesting.

My suggestion?  Try taking photos THROUGH, UNDER, BETWEEN : through an inside window, a door, an archway, a hole in a fence, under a bridge, between branches on a tree, between two buildings….the possibilities are endless.  It’s all about Framing your photo before you shoot.

Remember to focus on what you want to have sharp and clear in your final photo.  If you want the scene outside the window/arch, etc., to be clear, then make sure you focus on that.  If you want the window panes to be sharp and clear, then focus on them, but remember, your scene outside the window will be soft and blurry.

Once you get started, you will see all kinds of opportunities….so carry your camera as often as you can!   Here are some examples….













Soon you will be ready to print and FRAME your photo for a wall!  😉

Thanks for visiting….
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving….



Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska

Featuring the works of Jun Kaneko, sculptor and media artist.

Lauritzen Gardens are situated not far from downtown Omaha.  Yet, one feels as if they have been transported to a beautiful secluded space, far from the hustle and bustle of a large city.
The gardens are spectacular, with many themes to delight the eye and lens.  There is a Rose Garden, a Model Train Garden,  Spring Flowering,  Victorian, Woodland,  English,  Childrens’,  and many more garden theme areas.

Jun Kaneko is a prolific artist whose focus was drawn to sculptural ceramics, as we saw in the Lauritzen Gardens.  Mainly known as a sculptor, he also works with glass, textiles, bronze, paper and canvas.

On this occasion in the summer,  Kaneko’s contemporary ceramic sculptures were nestled amongst the plantings in the gardens.  It was a great opportunity to see the sculptures mingling with the leaves and stalks as if they had “grown” there with the foliage.  Their colors and shapes looked very peaceful and natural in the gardens.  It was an exceptional experience, and one I will always remember.







I hope you enjoyed the tour through the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha and the ceramic sculptures of Jun Kaneko.

Click here for information on Lauritzen Gardens.

Click here for information on Jun Kaneko.
Thanks for visiting!    Judy