It’s hard to believe that 2014 is drawing to a close and that we are looking ahead to the new year. I hope you will be blessed with good health, prosperity, creativity, fulfillment and all you wish for.
When I was in Kyoto, Japan, I was lucky to see people of all ages happily strolling in gardens and admiring the profusion of cherry blossoms. Since before the 8th Century there have been many meanings attached to them. For me, they represent freshness, rebirth, growth, and, sadly when they fall, the end of the wonderful moments in time when we are touched by their exquisite beauty and grace. It’s a reminder to be optimistic, make plans for happiness, seek what is good in each day, and to let things go when the time has come.I made this e-card with a photo I took of a cherry blossom last spring. There is a small rural road, not far from my place near Ft. Langley, BC, lined with cherry and plum trees. I try to go there every year to make images before the blossoms fall.
Easter marks that time of year when everything in nature seems fresh and new again. The buds are bursting open and bright flowers are dancing in spring breezes bringing promises of change.
Today I want to wish you a Happy Easter by sharing this poster. I created it with a photo I took during my Photography Tour in Portugal in March. The image was taken in a lovely little park near the National Palace in Sintra. The flower, with all of the luscious overlapping petals, reminds me of the layers and layers of rich memories I have of my time there as well as how a moment contemplating one bloom can bring happiness.
I’m delighted that my recent photograph of this lovely magnolia bloom won 3rd place in Darts Hill Garden’s annual photo competition. There was a special day set aside for photographers and only images taken on that day could be submitted.
Darts Hill Garden is located a short drive from Vancouver in south Surrey, BC. It’s truly beautiful with its stunning flower beds and manicured lawns. There are exciting varieties of flowers to enjoy and photograph. Many of the plants and trees are rare and unique and have been imported from all over the world. Francisca and Edwin Darts started developing the property and worked tirelessly for 50 years. They generously left it in the care of the City of Surrey and a large contingent of volunteer gardening enthusiasts.
Members can visit the park once per month and public open houses are held in the spring and fall. Arrangements for small groups to visit the gardens can be made through the City of Surrey.
Seeing sunflowers grow in the fields and gardens makes me smile. I love looking at their crowns of petals and dark, inky black centers glowing in the sun. I’m always amazed at how big and heavy they get as the seeds mature and wonder how their stalks are sturdy enough to support such a load. The brilliance of Mother Nature never fails to amaze me.
There is a farm near me where rows and rows of sunflowers tower up into the sky almost as though they are competing to see who can grow the tallest. I like to take my camera with me in early September as I go in search of images to use in photo greeting cards. I wear a hat to keep the spider webs off my face and talk gently to the bees in hopes that they will concentrate on their mission and keep their stingers to themselves….so far it’s worked.
There are many varieties of sunflowers and they have been growing on this continent for thousands of years. Today they provide us not only with visual delights in the garden, flower arrangements, and photos, but with cooking oil, roasted snacks, and nutrient rich seeds for birds. I toast the raw ones in a little cooking oil and butter, cool, and use them in salads, muffins, and cookies.
Look around you…take a moment to find something visual that makes you smile today.
“If you smile when no one else is around you, you really mean it.”– Andy Rooney