Florence’s Magnificent Cathedral~Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

Gallery

This gallery contains 16 photos.

In English, “Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore” translates to “Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower”.  It is a stunning example of Gothic design, which was started in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio.  Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore … Continue reading

Capture the Color

A good blogger friend, as well as an excellent photographer and story teller, This Man’s Journey, has nominated me for the challenge of Capture the Color.

I have just a few hours to complete this challenge!  I’m on the RUN!  😉

The “Capture the Color” challenge has been organized by the blog: Travel Supermarket.  Check out their site, it’s cool!

The Capture the Color challenge is to share a photo representing each of these colors:

RED, BLUE, WHITE, GREEN and YELLOW.
Capture the Color link, click here.

I’m making it a Color Tour.  Is everyone ready to travel?  Hop aboard and buckle your seat belts!

The first stop we’ll make is WHITE.  

WHITE

We discovered this white and rather shaggy mountain goat in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA, while hiking the Hidden Lake Trail.
The goat is molting, so that’s why he has a rather unkempt look.  The Hidden Lake Trail begins at Logan Pass and ends
below the rocks the goat is standing on, where you can glimpse a bit of  Hidden Lake.  Glacier National Park is a favorite of ours
as it has a wonderful variety of sights.  Azure lakes, huge white glaciers, waterfalls, great hikes, massive peaks, wildflowers and abundant wildlife.

Next stop: GREEN!

GREEN

The lush spring GREEN landscape surrounding and complementing Fallingwater is a sight to behold!
Fallingwater was designed by the great Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family of Pennsylvania, USA.
As with all his designs, Wright wanted the building to blend in, and become one with the land.
Touring this building shows how far ahead of his time Wright was.  He implemented many design features
that were new then, and continue to be used today.

All aboard for YELLOW!

YELLOW

The bright YELLOW gold dome shines brightly against the blue sky.  Where are we?  Why, we’re in the City of Light~ Paris!
You are looking through the archway at the l’Eglise du Dome….the church of Les Invalides and the site of Napoleon’s tomb.
This structure was built by Louis XIV between 1671-1676 to shelter old and wounded soldiers.  The church is astoundingly beautiful.
Surrounding the courtyard are museums filled with the artifacts of war: uniforms, guns, swords, flags, and more.  The painted ceiling in
the dome is stunning and a definite must-see!   My daughter and I loved Paris but lost/couldn’t find the Eiffel Tower when we
first arrived!    Click here for the story..

Buckle up!  We’re moving on to RED!

RED

The RED rocks of Zion National Park rise high above us as we hike the Riverside Trail.  We are sheltered by the RED canyon as we walk
alongside the Virgin River.  Zion National Park is located in Utah, USA, an area with many beautiful and unique rock formations.

Our last tour stop is BLUE!

BLUE

The AZURE BLUE waters of Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada, are calling us to visit.  This lake is one of my
favorites.  Even though there were many people visiting the shores of the BLUE lake, it was quiet and peaceful.
Capturing the red canoe in the middle gives perspective to the size and grandeur of the mountains that surround it.
Come on…dip your toes in!

I really enjoyed having you join me on the Capture the Color tour!  We’ll plan another one soon!
(As the challenge time is nearly over, I don’t think I can name anyone else to do it.  In fact, I may have missed the deadline myself!)

Judy

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.

The grand, Grand Canyon!

Hello dear friends, it’s good to be back!  I missed all of you!

In the next weeks I’ll share some of the 2000 photos I took.  Don’t worry! You won’t be seeing all of them! haha!  

We began our stay with good friends from college at their home in Prescott, AZ.  I take back anything I’ve said about the heat in the summer in Prescott!

It was absolutely delightful.  Lovely breezes, low low humidity (one day it was 2% !!) and temps in the 70s and 80s F.

 It actually was much cooler there than back home in

Michigan,where the awful heat wave we’d had since June, continued unmercifully.

Sunrise on the way to the Grand Canyon.

We left Prescott at 6 AM one morning in order to reach the Grand Canyon around 8 AM, and have some good early morning light for photos.  The canyon shuttle runs about every 7 minutes during the summer.  We wanted to go to Hermit’s Road first.  I’ve been on that road before (in Feb. ’11) and I liked the views.  We hopped the shuttle and stopped at the first overlook.  Because I prefer to enjoy my surroundings and take my time to look at every aspect of the beauty before me, shooting lots of photos, we missed the next shuttle.   That was fine with me.  It’s not a marathon race!  Instead, we began to hike the Canyon Rim Trail to the next overlook,  and were able to get some great shots in between overlooks.  In fact, we liked it so much we continued to walk the Canyon Rim Trail for quite a distance.  Along with getting some awesome photo opportunities, there were very few people on the trail…a bonus for summertime!

Morning light beginning to show in the depths of the canyon.

It was a special treat to be alone on the Canyon Rim Trail and catch some great early light photos.

I’ll never forget the feeling of peace and serenity we had, as we walked along the edge of this spectacular setting.

I call this “Gold Standard”!

I love getting big hunks of rock in the foreground of my shots.  In the canyon that didn’t seem to be a problem!

Stone ledge….

  The sun is higher now and I struggled with brightness the rest of the day.  I didn’t stop taking photos, though!

I was lucky.  There were clouds in the sky that helped offer some lovely shadows and some overcast conditions, rather than full-on sun.

As near as we could tell, these “paths” are now washes, where earlier in the year they probably had water in them.

(However, they also could be trails.)

I call this “Canyon Neighborhood!”

I pushed my regular lens (Nikon 18-135) all the way out to shoot the canyon floor in this spot.  I thought this looked like two front yards!  

There are steps and a “fence” and the houses are the tall rocks!  Okay…so I have an overactive imagination!  Just wait until I get to Bryce Canyon! lol 

I call this rock formation Castle.

I think this looks like an awesome, ancient castle.  I wish I had better light for it.

 It’s a stunning example of nature’s work with wind, water and the movement of the earth.

A beautiful amphitheater.

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Last, but not least……a family tradition, started by my son, when he was hiking in Colorado.

We all do “feet photos” when we are on trips!

My feet!

Here’s my version at the Grand Canyon!

I hope you enjoyed this short version (!) of my trip!  I may toss in a few more sometime.

Thanks for all your support while I was gone.  I appreciate it!

I’m glad to be back!

Judy

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.

Sublime Savannah~

Savannah is a lovely southern city.  We went with our friend, Gail, since it’s only two hours from St. Simons Island.  I’m a fan any kind of architecture and Savannah has beautiful examples of southern style, Colonial, low-country and even the influence of New Orleans style home designs.  We took the trolley tour instead of walking.  Because of that, you will notice  the roof of the trolley in some of my photos!  And there are a few that may look like we were zipping by!  It’s true!  We had one trolley driver with a lead foot!  I tried to take as many photos at stop signs as I could! 😉

One of the charming aspects of Savannah’s city plan and layout, is the implementation of city “squares”.  These parks are throughout the historic section of the city; providing a wonderful green space, a place to sit under the cool shade of trees, a place to walk, and a place for children to run and play.  The squares were part of an original, elaborate plan by the Georgia colony’s founders.  General James Oglethorpe, a colonial representative of King George ll to the colonies, developed the Savannah Plan.  His plan consisted of a series of wards built around central squares, with trust lots on the east and west sides for public buildings and churches.  Tithing lots were planned for the colonists’ private homes on the north and south sites.   Originally there were 24 squares.  Today 21 squares remain, and all are beautifully maintained with fountains, benches, statuary and gardens.   

Click on a photo to start the gallery.

Thanks for traveling with me to Savannah!

If you’d like more information on the history of Savannah, click here.

Judy

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.

Seagulls

When it blows here, even the seagulls walk.  ~Nick Faldo

It doesn’t sound appropriate to say “I shot some seagulls” when we were on St. Simons Island.
But that’s what I did!   With a camera, of course!

Seagull.

“AHHHH!  I see some Northerners down there.  They always have food for us!”

Seagull lands in front of people.

“What’cha got for me?  I like any crumbs.  Come on, I know you’re good for a treat.”

Seagull pleading.

“Whaddaya mean you’ve got nothing?!  Hmmmph! What good are ya?  (giving the cold gull shoulder)”

…….

“Forget it.  Just FORGET IT.”

“SO LONG AMIGOS!  I’m OUTTA HERE!”

…….

“Hey….WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT?”  😉

Have a good day and make sure you laugh!

Judy

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.

Trip Teasers!

Hello to my wonderful, loyal blogging friends!  I’m baaaaaaaaack! 😉  
I missed every one of you and I also missed visiting your blogs!

We had a great time exploring and visiting friends and family in this beautiful country of ours.
I have some photos of our trip…..just some teasers so you’ll know the path we took.

Of course, many more will come later!  Let’s see….how many SD cards did I go through?  😉 

From Michigan, south through the Great Smokey Mountain Park below.

Driving through the Great Smokey Mountains after heavy rain. Love the mist in the mountains.

From the Smokey’s, continuing south, we arrived in St Simons Island, GA., to stay with our college friend below.   St Simons is a barrier island off the coast of GA.  It is lovely with marshes, tons of azaleas, live oaks dripping with spanish moss and wide open beaches.

The charming St Simons lighthouse after sunset.

With our college friend, we made the 2 hour trip north to Savannah.  I love architecture and this was a treat, below.

This is one of the lovely homes we saw on our "trolley" ride around Savannah.

From St Simons Island, we drove north to one of our favorite cities, Charleston, SC.  The next day we drove to my elementary school friend’s home in Pawley’s Island, SC.    Pawley’s Island is beautiful, lush and the home of the original rope hammock, see below.

This rope swing is on top of our friends' marina building. It gives a great view of the surrounding land and the Waccamaw River. (it's also fun to swing in it!)

We continued north.  Can you tell we are doing the “coastal crawl”?? !!  We stopped at Cape Hatteras and Ocean City before arriving at my cousin’s home near Wilmington, Delaware.   Of course the DuPont families are important in Wilmington, and one of my favorites has always been the Winterthur estate.  Winterthur has gorgeous gardens along with the massive mansion.  This time my cousin introduced us to another DuPont estate called Longwood.   The gardens were just outstanding.  Both of these estates should be on a “must see” list if you go to Delaware.

One of my favorite looks: woodland phlox or phlox divaricata, snuggled up against a tree. This photo is from Longwood Gardens.

We turned left from Delaware and continued west into Pennsylvania.  We had tour tickets for Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater.  If you know me, you know I’m a Frank Lloyd Wright design freak!  So this was a treat.  We’ve been to several others, but Fallingwater has always been on my bucket list.  Below you will see the smaller home, Kentuck Knob, a delightful gem, just 7 miles from Fallingwater.  The chimes in the surrounding landscape are great sculptures and also provide sound when the wind blows.  

One of the chimes at Kentuck Knob, and the corner of the low, wide-overhanging roofline...typical of FLW homes.

Alas, every good vacation must come to an end.  At this time of year, it’s fun to see what changed in the gardens while we were gone.  (mostly weeds!)   Home again, home again, jiggedy jig……

Home.

Thank you for hanging in there while I was gone.  I hope to see you soon.  I’ll have photos to share on each stop we made.
I’m even thinking of a wild and wooly post called “PHOTOS at 70 mph”  as I took many riding down the highway!  haha.

Peace and hugs….
Judy
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: Indulge

The Red-bellied Woodpecker indulges himself at our bird feeder!  

The Red-bellied Woodpecker originally hailed from the southeastern U.S., but has expanded his range to include all eastern states, including  the northern states.  The Red-bellied Woodpecker likes to hang out in wooded areas and near wetlands.  Like most woodpeckers, the Red-bellied is helpful to the environment by eating wood-boring  insects and plain old insect pests.  The male has a red crown and nape, a buff colored chest and a red patch on the abdomen.  They also have black and white striped feathers, giving them the nickname: “Zebraback”.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker at our feeder.

 

Rummaging around in the feeder opening!

 

Can you hear me now? 😉

One of the things I love to observe is how the woodpecker uses his feet to hang on.  It’s not as easy for him, at his size of 10 inches. Sometimes he seems to hold on to the feeder opening, and sometimes he holds on to the post.  He’s so large he struggles trying to get the food, but he manages!  You can tell the feeder is swinging wildly due to his weight.   And I was amazed that I was able to get some clear photos!

Food, glorious food! A happy woodpecker indulges!

 

Learn more about the Red-bellied Woodpecker here. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Thanks for visiting me!
Judy
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.

Too early!

  Even though the Dwarf Snow Iris is an early spring bloomer, February is far too early for it to bloom in the north!

 …..

February is much too early even for the classy Snow Iris,
Who often blooms amidst pockets of snow.
But this year has been different.
She slept soundly under the snow blanket
During the sub zero weather and the freezing
Temperatures that sent subliminal messages
Telling her to stay low, it’s not time yet.
But then something curious happened.
The sun began to shine more often
Than is usual in these parts during
The cold winters.
The sun warmed the earth and sent
A message to the Snow Iris that it was time
To awaken, and start the struggle to emerge.
When she finally made it to the surface,
Exhausted, what was there to greet her?
It was none other than wind, rain, snow
And freezing temperatures!
Now, what was the Snow Iris to do?
She is not one to balk, wilt or give up.
She stands tall against the message
That came too early.
Giving us all Hope that we, too, can
Weather the storms of life.

 

 

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Good night friends….

Judy 

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.

Through the Roof!

The Free Online Dictionary  defines “through the roof” as “to increase to a very high level” (as in prices).   I’m taking a little poetic license with that term today.  We are “Going Through the Roof”!  And we are increasing to very high levels!  Read on!

The weatherman predicted seven straight days of cloudiness.  UGH.  On the way home from the city yesterday the sun came out! The clouds were magnificent…and you know me: I LOVE CLOUDS!

SO…..Open sunroof…..and take photos “through the roof!” at 70 mph!   AND: to take photos of clouds I had to “increase to very high levels”!!    Ahh, now you know the method to my madness.

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This one actually is through the side window @ 70 mph  ;).

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Hoping to put your mind at ease….I was not driving.  😉

Have you taken shots “through the roof”, or have you taken photos from the  side windows as you are riding in a car?  Do share!

Happy Day to you…
Judy
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.

(http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready

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Ready to camp!  Camping at Flagg Ranch Campground between Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming.   Between the trees the north end of the Teton range is visible.

Just some trivia: the day we broke camp, we found ice on our tent poles!  The temperature was 29 degrees F in July at approximately 7500′ elevation. 😉

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Ready to camp!  Camping in Banff, Alberta, Ca.

Ready for bed!  Good night all!
Judy

 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.