Weekly Photo Challenge – Ephemeral

The ephemeral configuration of things in the moment; we see both their beauty and their death.”

Muriel Barbery

(5 Photos)

MAGNOLIA MEMORY

MAGNOLIA MEMORY

Krista’s challenge this week “ephemeral” is serendipitous for me because of a class I attended this week on the use of textures. While I don’t expect to be using them often, I believe it’s important to work on expanding your knowledge, and that trying something new often re-energizes us in our search for a new perspective. The shot above of a single, dying magnolia was altered using a texture from Frenchkisstextures.com. I thought the texture added to the message of the original photo, speaking to the passage of time and the ephemeral nature of the bloom.

CRACKLED DOGWOOD

CRACKLED DOGWOOD

 “What you see with your eyes is transient and ephemeral. What you see through your heart is everlasting and eternal.”  

Debasish Mridha

I was surprised at the cost of the textures when I visited the websites of some of the major providers. I decided to purchase a few small bundles from French Kiss which seemed the most reasonably priced, and justified my spending with some profits from print sales on my website this past month. 😊

DAISY, DAISY

DAISY, DAISY

“The ephemeral light is an attribute of the body and the flesh.”

Rumi

I played with several floral shots and a number of different textures. I’m really a novice at this, getting nowhere near the examples our instructor shared during the class, but I had fun creating some new versions of a few of my older prints. The shot above was my personal favorite because it feels so light and springy.

IRIS ON GREEN

SHADOWED IRIS

“Substance is enduring, form is ephemeral.”

Dee Hock

Another reason to try a few experiments, as the instructor reminded us, is because we retain knowledge more effectively if we use it soon after exposure. So what do you think? Have you tried working with textures and if so were you able to create some interesting new versions of the shots in your archives?

LOVELY LILY

LOVELY LILY

“The most ideal human passion is love, … and one of the most ephemeral.

George Santayana

If you’re in the WordPress Reader and have an extra moment, click on over to my original post. My favorite textured creation is in my header for the week. 😍  After that, to see what some other bloggers found to be ephemeral, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH and Travel Theme: SPRING

“See as a child sees. With freshness and acknowledgement of wonder.”

Minor White

(4 Photos)

AGAVE CLOSE-UP

AGAVE CLOSE-UP

Our challenge this week, as spring once again breathes new life into our longer, warmer days, is FRESH. Kiawah Spring (as highlighted by Ailsa on her challenge this week) brings nesting birds, newborn fawns, verdant green grasses and blooming blossoms. But we are right on the cusp of the season at the moment and those wonderful gifts are still a bit elusive. So this week I’ve featured instead a favorite series from last spring – a macro study of an agave plant still showing beads of water from a refreshing spring rain.

AGAVE AND FLOWERS

AGAVE AND FLOWERS

“Thy friendship makes us fresh.”

William Shakespeare

Agave are often thought to be members of the cactus family, I suppose because of their prickly edges. In fact, they are closer to their cousin, the aloe. Interestingly, while aloe is often used to treat skin irritation, the agave is known to cause it. A nasty case of dermititis can result from touching the juice of the plant, and its effects can be felt up to a year later. On the other hand, it is known to have been treasured as a food source for prehistoric tribes in the US southwest including the Hohokam and Navajo peoples.

AGAVE DRIP

AGAVE DRIP

“If art has a purpose, it is to interpret life, reproduce it in fresh visions.”

Catherine Drinker Bowen

In fact, my agave study resulted from a photo shoot with professional photographer Brenda Tharp, who inspired us take a fresh look at the beauty around us despite the rainstorm that might otherwise have spoiled our sunrise shoot. I will admit, as those who follow Travels and Trifles know, that I am not a morning person. Getting up for a sunrise shoot only to see black clouds and rain is not a combination that puts me in a happy state. But thanks to Brenda’s irrepressible good nature and excellent leadership skills, I learned the look beyond the obvious and find the gifts that the rainstorm brought to us that day.

GREEN AND YELLOW

GREEN AND YELLOW

“If you exchange one form of wisdom for another, you obtain fresh knowledge, and at the same time keep what you possessed before.”

The Talmud

Let us be thankful for the cold of winter; only because of it do we appreciate the freshness of the spring that inevitably follows.  Let us also be thankful for the rainstorms of spring, which bring the freshest of her bounty. For more interpretations of the Fresh and Spring challenges, click on the links.

The Many Great Walls of China – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Tear down….tear down the walls. Love flows freely when they fall.”

Jan Nigro

(10 Photos)

BIKE ON A WALL

BIKE ON A WALL

The first thing I thought of when I saw Cheri’s Wall challenge this week was China’s Great Wall – a fantastic highlight of our most recent adventure. Skip to the end if that’s your only interest in this one, but if you’d like to see some other “small G great” walls of China, please read on 😊

STRONG WOMEN-WEAK WALLS

STRONG WOMEN-WEAK WALLS

“The more walls you put around you, the more walls are gonna block your view.”

Jan Nigro

There are all kinds of walls – some impenetrable and some, like those above, little more than fabric. As I watched the women in the photo talking animatedly as they went about their daily chores, I assumed the walls were separating their goods but not their spirits, as they all seemed of one mind with a singular purpose – drawing both local and tourist trade to their wares.

MAN IN THE WALL

MAN IN THE WALL

“If these walls could sing they’d sing us a hundred songs.”

Bouncing Souls

Also focused on selling his wares, the image above shows a man sitting in a literal hole in the wall, watching as the world walks by. Here in the states, a “hole in the wall” is a slang term meaning a rather small, dingy place. His place may indeed have been small and somewhat dingy, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying his tobacco along with the beautiful sunny morning.

DAD AND DAUGHTER

DAD AND DAUGHTER

“These walls have stood for ages, and now time still turns its pages.”

Michael Martin Murphey

Photographers love decay and this wall certainly is that, but it has the added bonus of a doting dad and his darling daughter 😊. I loved the soft colorful element she added to the scene. I also thought the bright shaft of sunlight in the otherwise shadowed wall added still another interesting dimension.

RED DOOR

RED DOOR

“I can’t hold out forever; even walls fall down.”

Tom Petty

Speaking of decay, I couldn’t resist including the photo above, which I’ve used in a previous post. It’s one of my favorite shots from our China adventure and brings to mind a very vivid memory of our journey. It’s a long story, but suffice it to say this scene reminds me that one cannot judge a book by its cover, and that the joy of discovery offsets any trials faced during the journey.

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT

“If you live it off the wall, life ain’t so bad at all.”

Rod Templeton

In Beijing’s beautiful Summer Palace, former “vacation home” to its emperors, there are walls with windows shaped like teapots overlooking lovely lakeside vistas. Imagine the scene during a summer tropical storm and perhaps we’ve come upon the origination of the phrase “tempest in a teapot”!

Competing with such a unique and creative idea, the wall below with its flowerpot-shaped entry in  Shanghai’s Yuyuan Garden offers another interesting opportunity for wall-watchers.

GARDEN CUTOUT

GARDEN CUTOUT

“Do the walls come down when you think of me?”

Carly Simon

Lest we start to think that all of China’s walls are crumbling down, I’ve included a capture from modern-day Beijing. Below, we see two wall-washers cleaning the huge dome-like aquatics stadium from the 2008 Olympics. Look closely and you can see vistas of the city reflected in the face of the building. The Olympic Park is a very interesting stop, especially when it follows a visit to the hutongs, China’s oldest neighborhoods – the contrast is astounding.

OLYMPIC WALL WASHERS

OLYMPIC WALL WASHERS

“How I long to be a shadow on the wall, I would make no sound at all.”

Brandi Carlile

Walls in Beijing, not unlike the big cities in the U.S., provide a perfect opportunity for advertising. The Chinese go beyond simple slogans and create beautiful works of art – such as the one below – to promote their products. I believe the subject of this colorful scene was some kind of milk.

ARTISTIC ADVERT

ARTISTIC ADVERT

 “These walls have eyes, these walls have ears. They see the lies, they hide the fears.”

 The Bee Gees

Finally, in my mind the best example of a wall ever created, the magnificent Great Wall of China. For more information, and many more photos, please visit my previous Great Wall post here.

CHINA'S GREAT WALL

CHINA’S GREAT WALL

“The wall stretches endless beside you to nowhere”

David Crosby

Poets and songwriters have written of walls in thousands of compositions through the years. Each of today’s quotes is from a song about walls, symbolizing for the most part the barriers we humans build to protect ourselves from the hurt and pain found in everyday life.

 Thanks to Cheri for the interesting challenge. To see some other bloggers’ interpretations click here.

ORANGE – LAST BUT NOT LEAST; WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

“If love were a color, it’d be orange.”

Jarod Kintz

(9 Photos)

THREE MONKS WALKING

THREE MONKS WALKING

Some time back, in response to the Weekly Challenge “Yellow”, I offered some interesting factoids about the color from the book The Secret Language of Color by Joann and Arielle Eckstut. It seems only fair I should do the same for Michelle’s Orange challenge this week.  I’ve opened the post with one of my favorite captures from a trip to Southeast Asia, featuring three monks in their beautifully-colored orange robes. According to the sisters Eckstut, Buddhists chose saffron for their robes’ color, but because it runs about $5,000/pound, they used turmeric and jack fruit to create the color instead.

MONKEY MECHANIC

MONKEY MECHANIC

“If family were a fruit, it would be an orange. A circle of sections, together but separate. ”

Letty C Pogrebin

From the sublime to the ridiculous, from monk to monkey.  The happy fellow above, I suppose, assumed he could control the water flow to our hotel in Africa many years ago. I must admit I am pleased he chose something orange so that he could play in my post 😊.  Did you know that orange was the last (but not least) color named in the rainbow, and that many native cultures to this day have no word for it? Perhaps, the sisters tell us, this is because when dark it is usually identified as brown, and when light, as yellow – so it has a very narrow band but “when it’s really orange, it really shines”.

PUMPKINS APLENTY

PUMPKINS APLENTY

“The pumpkin is always oranger on the other side of the patch.”

Unknown

We find orange in so many places – flowers, fruits, vegetables – and of course the plumpest pumpkins. For centuries the color orange was called “red-yellow”;  it only got its own name when the fruit was taken from China, through Persia to Spain and finally to France, where it became an “orenge”. It is the only color that actually takes its name from an object. Interestingly, the word occurred back in the 13th century as an adjective describing the bitter taste of orange peel. It wasn’t until the 16th century that the word was used to refer to color.

SUNRISE, ACE BASIN

ORANGE SUNRISE, ACE BASIN

 “The porch light hums the sound of another orange dawn.”

Kristin Reynolds

Sunrises and sunsets – lots of oranges found in both. The sisters tell us that although yellow is the color most visible during the day, orange best captures our attention once the sun begins to rise or set. That was surely true as I captured this glorious sunrise in South Carolina’s Ace Basin. Add a touch or blue sky or sea, and orange is the most visible color. This explains why it is the color of life preservers, rafts, construction cones and crossing guards.

WALL ART

WALL ART

“Orange is the sky tonite, as sun sets in the hills.”

Moon Lion

While wandering the beautiful streets of Buenos Aires, my husband and I came upon an artist’s capture of a warm sunset painted on one of the city’s many wall murals.  In a place where art is everywhere, so too is orange. We particularly enjoyed the brilliant buildings of La Boca – an amazing environment full of many bright colors including, of course, orange.

ROUSSILLON RIDGES

ROUSSILLON RIDGES

“Orange is the unspoken promise of another brilliant day.”

Lisa J. Parker

Beyond fruits and vegetables, the earth offers us many examples of orange. We see it in the deep red, yellow and orange shades of the earth in Roussillon, France, home of one of the world’s largest ochre deposits. The colorful earth contrasts beautifully with the lush green trees and the vivid blue of the Provençal sky. You can gauge the size of these ridges by the tiny man at the very top.

We see orange too in the incredible geology of Yellowstone’s amazing geysers and hot springs, including the geometric formation below.

YELLOWSTONE GEOLOGY

YELLOWSTONE GEOLOGY

 “Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.”

Wassily Kandinsky

Speaking of earth’s natural oranges, one cannot imagine a better example than the curious hoodoos of beautiful Bryce Canyon in Utah. A photographer’s paradise, I found it difficult to choose from my many favorite captures of this natural wonder. I finally decided on this one, but for more examples please visit my previous posts about the canyon by entering Bryce in the search field.

BRYCE CANYON HOODOOS

BRYCE CANYON HOODOOS

“Yellow, orange, and red suggest ideas of joy and plenty.”
Eugene Delacroix
Finally, one of nature’s finest creations, the beautiful Bird of Paradise. Found only in tropical locations (this capture is from Cape Town, South Africa), it was named because of its resemblance to the beak and plumage of a bird. Do you agree?
BIRD OF PARADISE

BIRD OF PARADISE

 “Orange is a happy day.”

Mary O’Neil

For someone who does not particularly warm to the color orange, it appears quite often in my archives. Perhaps I need to revisit my feelings about this obviously happy color! To see some others’ interpretations, look here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – (Final) Reward

“The final reward of the dead – to die no more.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

(7 Photos)

SPOILS OF WAR

SPOILS OF WAR

Last week I participated in an interesting photo shoot at Magnolia Cemetery here in Charleston with local AP professional Alice Keeney. I’ve chosen to highlight some of my thoughts and favorite captures of a day spent among those who have gone to their “final reward”.  Although some may find my response to Krista’s “Reward” challenge a bit somber, for the believers among us,  perhaps not.  As an aside, try as I might I could not find the origin of the phrase. Can anyone out there in the blogosphere lend a hand on that?

LOCAL RESIDENTS

HITHER AND YON

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.”

Kurt Vonnegut

For a cemetery, Magnolia is remarkably full of life. There are magnificent old Live Oak trees throughout, as well as beautiful marsh views and lovely ponds and lagoons covered by charming bridges and paths. Birds are everywhere, including the two pictured above. We noted egrets, herons, seagulls, robins and several other species enjoying the beautiful sunny day – seemingly oblivious to the gravestones around them. The atmosphere was more like a bucolic walk through an inner city park than that of a cemetery. Magnolia is a well-known haunt (pun intended) for many of our area’s best photographers, some of whom were also visiting the same day.

THROUGH THE MOSS

THROUGH THE MOSS

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

Albert Einstein

Founded in 1849 at the site of a former rice plantation along the banks of the Cooper River, the cemetery is teeming with history. It is the final resting place of over 2,000 Confederate soldiers and 7 of their generals. There are also numerous notables, including former governors, senators and mayors, as well as 14 known signers of the Declaration of Secession – a critical document in the evolution of the Civil War. Finally, it is the resting place for all of the crew members of the famous, ill-fated Hunley – the first submarine ever used in warfare which was found in Charleston Harbor and excavated in the year 2000. My favorite story of the excavation was the confirmation of an oft-told story of the crew’s captain, Lt. George Dixon. A $20 coin was supposedly given to him by his sweetheart and was said to have saved his life by stopping a Union bullet. After surviving for 150 years, the story was proven true when the coin was found on Dixon’s remains with the inscription “My Life Preserver”. How cool is that?!

HEART OF MY HEART

HEART OF MY HEART

“No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.”

Jim Morrison

Beyond its history, the cemetery is a masterpiece of architecture and landscaping. Several of the original buildings remain, including the plantation ‘s manor home which now serves as the office, and the “receiving tomb” currently being funded for restoration.  Many of the graves include beautiful statuary, and examples of master ironworkers’ skills, once plentiful in our area, abound.

IN THE SHADOWS

FOREVER IN SHADOW

“Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.”

Brian Rathbone

Behind it all, of course, there is evidence of great sadness. The only true death mask in the cemetery is that of young Rosalie White (pictured below), who died at the age of 8 months in 1882. So too, the gravestones of the young boys buried alongside one another in the confederate section of the cemetery – perhaps killed by a friend or even a brother in that horrific conflict.

FOREVER IN MEMORY

FOREVER IN STONE

“Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.”

Horace Mann

Perhaps my favorite moment toward the end of our morning of shooting came as I happened upon this bottle sitting on a stone wall overlooking the marsh. It looked quite old, as if it had been there for a very long time. I assume someone had placed it there originally, but how long ago I wonder? How many have seen it and left it in its place, including yours truly? To me, it serves as a simple reminder that even among death, there is always life.

LIFE

LIFE

“Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.”

Augustine of Hippo

Reward yourself with the efforts of some other bloggers here.

Birds, Birds, Birds – Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

“We see the world through rule of thirds, and many shades of grey
The search to get the perfect shot, continues every day.”

Dean Thorpe

(10 Photos)

AFRICAN JACKASS PENGUIN

AFRICAN JACKASS PENGUIN

This week I am reaching deep into the archives for a post I’ve wanted to do for some time about the extraordinary birds of Africa. Our challenge, the “Rule of Thirds” is an easy one for anyone who has studied photography. While, as we all know, rules are made to be broken, this is one that photographers follow in most cases. In the shot above, our little jackass penguin is perched nicely on the right side of the shot as he enjoys a brief nap in the warm sunshine. His position in the shot allows him “room to move” in the direction he faces. He also gives us a nice illustration of “bokeh”, the creamy out-of-focus background described by Jen in her challenge this week. By the way, his name comes from his donkey-like braying, not his personality.  😊

HAPPY HAMERKOP

HAPPY HAMERKOP

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Pablo Picasso

The hamerkop, this time positioned on the left with room to move to the right, is named for the shape of his head, which resembles (supposedly) a hammer. He illustrates another aspect of photography – as always, it’s all about the light – in this case just after African daybreak.  One thing about an African safari – the animals and birds are out and about in the very early morning and late afternoon hours, which demands a very early wake-up call for those who hope to capture the many elusive species in their natural environment. This, of course, took me out of my own natural environment but in the case of a safari, the rewards definitely outweighed the annoyance of the wake-up call.

LOVELY LITTLE LILAC

LOVELY LITTLE LILAC

“Any fool can make a rule. And any fool will mind it.”

Henry David Thoreau

The beautifully colored Lilac Breasted Roller, also shown in this week’s header photo, is the national bird of Botswana and was fairly plentiful as we explored their beautiful countryside. As they pronounced the bird’s name the locals rolled the r’s making it sound as lovely as it looks. In this case, the foliage on the right side of the shot gave me what I felt was enough visual interest to place the subject a bit closer to the center of the shot while still allowing the bird room to move in the direction of his glance.

CONFUSED CRESTED BARBET

CONFUSED CRESTED BARBET

“The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.”  

Eddie Van Halen

This is a shot I’ve shared before, of another very colorful African species, the Crested Barbet. I’m repeating myself because he offers such a nice example of the rule of thirds as well as the use of a creamy bokeh to set him apart from the background. Don’t you just love the way he is permanently “bibbed” to be sure his meals of insects and and fruits don’t ruin his lovely red and yellow chest?!

GORGEOUS GUINEAFOWL

GORGEOUS GUINEAFOWL

“You are remembered for the rules you break.”

Douglas MacArthur

The guineafowl, another shot I’ve included in the past, is an example of how “not-to”. I remember vividly trying to race after this fast-moving fellow while he was surrounded by the beautifully colored flowers at the botanical gardens of Cape Town. I did my best but he was a bit too quick for me (they are known for their excellent running ability!) and I was only able to catch him on the very right side of the shot. Do you see how crowded he feels as he moves out of the photo with no room to maneuver? Still, I thought his incredible blue head surrounded by the colorful blooms made the shot worthy of a place in my favorites file.

STATELY SECRETARY

STATELY SECRETARY

“The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.”

George Bernard Shaw

The gorgeous Secretary Bird is a large bird of prey thought to be named for the distinctive black quill-like feathers in the back of his head. Here I’ve purposely broken the rule of thirds, as the stately appearance of the bird seemed to demand a prominent place near the center of the shot. Tell me this one doesn’t look proud of it’s beautiful coloring and plumage.

BANANA BIRD

BANANA BIRD

“Rules are a great way to get ideas. All you have to do is break them.”

Jack Foster

Somewhat less gorgeous, this yellow-billed hornbill is affectionately known as the Banana Bird to the local population. Jimmy Durante has nothing on him (OK, the youngsters among you can just look him up in Wikipedia!). He and others of his species were plentiful, and most often posed high in the trees. This shot of the banana bird on the ground, I thought, gave the best detail of his speckled coat and furry legs – oh yeah, and his big yellow beak 😊.

BIG BIRD(S)

BIG BIRD(S)

“Nature provides exceptions to every rule.”

Margaret Fuller

I’ve seen many an ostrich in captivity, but it was really exciting to see this pair in the wild. I loved the way they were looking at each other – knowing that while males will mate with several females, each does have a primary female to serve as his partner. Apparently ostrich females are a bit more lenient than their humans counterparts. They are also the fastest of birds so I was lucky to catch them moving at a fairly leisurely pace.

EAGLE-EYED

EAGLE-EYED

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

Dalai Lama XIV

The stately African Fish Eagle is massive, with a wingspan of up to 8 feet. As his name implies, he feeds primarily on fish, but is also known to poach the eggs of other birds and to eat small mammals or crocodiles as well.  In this shot the eagle is in his typical position for hunting prey – high in the trees overlooking a body of water. Both his appearance and his hunting behavior reminded me very much of the bald eagles who nest near our home here on Kiawah. Similarly, for those who survive their first year, both bald and fish eagles can live well into their twenties – quite long for a bird species.

PECKING OXPECKERS

PECKING OXPECKERS

“There are no rules. That is how art is born.”

Helen Frankenthaler

Finally, a bit of homage to the humble Oxpecker, aka the Tickbird. These little creatures were everywhere, offering a valuable, symbiotic service to most all of the animals in the jungle as they feast on the ticks, flies and maggots that would otherwise be an intolerable nuisance. I think we saw them on every species other than the big cats and elephants. I’m not sure which would be worse – being infested by fleas or being pecked constantly by birds. Somehow Dante missed that in his infamous Inferno 😊.

An African safari is, as I’ve said before, a photographer’s dream. As one is surrounded by the incredible animals in their natural environment, one realizes the masterpiece that our world really is. But once you begin to become part of the whole, you realize that there are more wonders to be seen, including the beautifully exotic birds – just a few of which I’ve shared today. To see what others chose to share this week, click here.

Symmetry in the Vineyards: Weekly Photo Challenge

 “Symmetry, elegance, and grace – the qualities you find always in what the true artist captures.”

Frank Herbert

( 5 Photos)

VOLUPTUOUS VINES

VOLUPTUOUS VINES

There are few examples of symmetry more obvious than the beauty of a vineyard in bloom. Combining man’s efforts to create order with nature’s bounty results in some of the loveliest landscapes anywhere. Cheri’s challenge this week has offered an opportunity to highlight some of my favorite captures from a summer visit to Pinot Noir country in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

CHAIN GANG

CHAIN GANG

“Symmetry is an idea by which man has tried to comprehend and create order, beauty and perfection.”

Hermann Weyl

Those who know us are well aware of my husband’s love of fine wine. He finds elegance in the design of the bottle, the artistry of the label, the color and bouquet of the wine itself, and of course, most importantly, the taste of the vintner’s creation. Sadly for him, I am not nearly as enamored with the product of the winemaker’s efforts as I am with the beauty of the landscape from which it is extracted.

ROWS AND ROWS

ROWS AND ROWS

 “The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order symmetry and limitations; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.”  

Aristotle

In the vineyard we find row after row of nearly-perfect symmetrical vines – whether in full bloom, newly planted, or recently harvested. One of the benefits of marriage to an oenophile is the opportunity to visit vineyards around the world. One of my fondest memories of our many travels is a remarkable hot-air balloon flight as the sun rose over the vineyards of Australia’s Yarra Valley. Of course, we laugh every time we talk about it, because of our rather abrupt landing in the middle of a farm full of very unhappy cows who were so frightened they probably refused to be milked for days afterwards!

PATH OF PLENTY

PATH OF PLENTY

 “A tree has both straight and crooked branches; the symmetry of the tree, however, is perfect.”

George Lamsa

When I recall visits to the vineyards of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California I always think of the amazing colors of the mustard flowers which grow inside the off-season vineyards. Each year, about 90 days after the first rains of autumn, mustard pushes through vineyard floor, filling the landscape with yellow gold.  The plants are used as a “cover crop” in vineyards to reduce erosion and improve the quality of the soil. Visits to the area offer delicious mustard and olive oil tastings in addition to their famous wine tours.

LINEAR

LINEAR

“Seeing all life in perfect symmetry. Perceiving each day with righteous clarity. Living each moment in purposed reality. Believing each day is the start of eternity.”

S. Tarr

We have visited vineyards in the foothills of the glorious Andes mountains of Argentina, in the beautiful landscapes of Provence, France, across Australia and New Zealand and of course in the western US. I have never been disappointed in the opportunities for photography, nor has my husband ever been disappointed in the availability of delicious wine varieties. We have both enjoyed sampling the amazing offerings of the local chefs who seem to pop up all around the vineyards, pairing their best offerings with those of the nearby vintners. When it comes to the symmetry of the vineyard, really – what’s not to love?!

To see the symmetrical shots of some other bloggers, click here.