Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hide 'n Seek

Tonight's Halloween and I'm sure the pumpkin fields are looking pretty bare now.  I wonder if these escaped being found by those looking for the perfect pumpkin to carve.

Hide 'n Seek"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Date Harvest

It's the end of the harvest season and I was surprised to find a grove of dates that hadn't been picked yet.  The Coachella Valley is the largest date producing region in the United States.  And we have all kinds;  Deglet Noor, Barhi, Blondes, Brunettes, Zahadi and my favorite - Medjools.  Date trees can bear fruit for over 100 years.

"Harvest Time"     © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breakfast is Ready

Breakfast was always served at 8 a.m. when we were on our painting excursion in the Dordogne region of France.  We had some mornings when we were greeted with a few sprinkles, but on those days when the sun was up the light was spectacular.

"Breakfast is Ready"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Medusa's Head

Some flowers have very simple centers - stamens, pistil and pollen.  But this one has a unique center.  Same components but very different in shape and form.  That's one of the joys I have photographing flowers.  I see some of the neatest things.

"Medusa's Head"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Drummer Girl

The Montmarte area of Paris is an eclectic mix of artists, mimes and musicians.  I came across this beautiful Japanese drummer who was part of a large contingent of musicians performing for a special occasion.

"Drummer Girl"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Magenta Heart

I normally don't find orchids in sunlight so during breakfast in Tuscany one morning, the drapes had been pulled and the sun spilled through the windows onto the orchids on our dining room table. 

"Magenta Heart"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Flock of Hummingbirds

These Peaches 'n Cream salvia are beautiful.  The delicate peach color is stunning against the white throat and stamen.  But when I looked again, I saw hummingbirds.  Isn't Mother Nature great??

"Flock of Hummingbirds"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just Watered

I had a special treat this morning.  I was able to visit a lovingly cared for garden dedicated to the memory of the owner's sister.  I was amazed at the variety of plants.  Many that would normally not survive our desert heat were happy campers.  It's all about location, location, location. 

"Just Watered"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Look at My Stamens

You've heard the saying "Stop and Smell the Roses".  It means many things but one of the advantages to stopping and enjoying the beauties of nature is getting to see the more unique entities that make up our world.  If asked to describe a stamen, most of you would say it's a long filament with a bump on its tip covered with pollen.   That's a good general description but look at these stamens and how they bend and curl.  They add interest to an otherwise generic flower.

"Look at My Stamens"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Green and White

Rhododendrons are beautiful when in full bloom.  Something we never see in the desert.   So when I find some in bloom I take lots of picture so I can enjoy them year round.

"Green and White"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Italian Bougainvillea

Named after French Navy Admiral Louis Antoine de Bougainville, this tropical flower, native to South America, was discovered in 1768 in Brazil by Philibert Cammercon, a French botanist traveling with Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation.

Now they can be found around the world.  btw....   the tiny white, tublar part is the actual the flower.

"Italian Bougainvillea"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wendy's New Look

I like to eat at Wendy's, and tonight our local eatery was holding a fundraiser for a nearby school.  When we walked in we were greeted with a hearty handshake and "thanks for coming" from this lovely lass.  I thought it was great everyone at the school got in the spirit, even though tattoos are not normally part of the Wendy's look.

"Wendy's New Look?"  © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ain't She a Beaut!!!

As I was leaving the Farmer's Market yesterday morning I spotted this '54 Bentley.  I talked with the owner who's had her for over 40 years.  The paint, upholestry and interior were all done 30 years ago and they are still "cherry".  Obviously lovingly cared for.

"Ain't She a Beaut!!!"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

At the Farmer's Market

Farmer's markets have become a hot boutique item here in the desert.  We now have three, each open on a different day, providing locally grown produce (usually withing a 50 mile area).  Today was my first visit.  It was small but had plenty of selections.  Organic herbs, fresh flowers, vegetables, dates and even a performance by the Boys and Girls Club Band.  A great way to spend a leisurely morning.

"At the Farmer's Market"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Collecting Pollen

There were a lot of bees collecting pollen on a bush outside my window so I decided to see I could get a picture of the critters while they were busy.  I realized you need a lot of patience to capture one.  Every time one would land he'd immediately scoot down into the heart of the flower.  This one hadn't collected much yet.  He'd better get busy.

"Collecting Pollen"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

In the Pumpkin Patch

He doesn't look happy but I'm sure this little tyke went home with a pumpkin.  It's great that there are still farms where families can have fun selecting pumpkins for Halloween.

"In the Pumpkin Patch"     © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dinner Fixin's

When we were in Bordeaux we had dinner at a one of those wondreful hidden restaruants.  You need to be a local to find it.  Unless of course Rachel Ray tells everyone about it on her TV show.  As we entered, we were greeted with this beautiful display of fruit and vegetables.  And we weren't disappointed.  The ambiance was spectacular, including a wine celler in the basement that can be used for private parties.  Oh, the name of the restaurant is La Tupina.

"Dinner Fixin's"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bermuda Palm

The storm never made it over the mountains and we have a perfectly beautiful day here in the desert.  As I sit looking out my window at the palm trees I was reminded of the tropical breezes through the trees in Bermuda and the aquamarine blue waters that surround the island.  But luckily, I don't have humidity like they do.

"Bermuda Palms"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Storm's a Comin'

California is getting hit with a big storm.  From San Francisco to Los Angeles.  But here in the desert we get entirely different weather.  There are two tall mountains (both over 10,000') guarding our valley and very little wet weather makes it over.  We get plenty of wind as storm fronts move through, but very little moisture.  Right now it's really blowing where I live but I doubt we'll see any of the rain hitting the rest of the state.  Too bad, we're in a drought and need the water.

"Storm's a Comin'"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Three Coins in a Fountain

When in Rome it's customary to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to assure your return to Rome.  I tossed mine in three trips ago and I enjoy seeing the sights everytime I go.  So it must work.  And for those of you old enough to remember, the movie "Three Coins in a Fountain" was about this fountain.

"Three Coins in a Fountain"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wagon Load of Pumpkins

Fall is here and soon it'll be Halloween.  One of the best memories children have is getting to pick the pumpkin they'll get to carve.  There's plenty in this wagon.  And look at all the different shapes and colors.

"Wagon Load of Pumpkins"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trimmed in Purple

Dahlias come in many colors, sizes and shapes.  I found these in the garden at the Getty Center in L.A.  My climate is a little too warm to grow them successfully.

"Trimmed in Purple"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Catalina Mountians at Sunset

Sunset in Tucson offers a multitude of awesome sights.  No matter which way you look, north, south, east or west, the fading rays of the sun paint colorful portraits.  Just be sure to carry your camera.

"Catalina Mountains at Sunset"     © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Italian Door Knocker

One good door knocker deserves another.  Yesterday it was Parisian, today it's Italian.  I was so amazed at the variety I found as I visited the different towns. 

"Italian Door Knocker"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Parisian Door Knocker

On a whim, I started taking pictures of door knobs and knockers when I was in Paris this year. Well, several hundred photos later, after visiting both French and Italian cities, I have a huge variety of knockers and knobs. This was one of the unusual ones. Very ornate and beautifully polished.

"Parisian Door Knocker" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

San Raphael Valley

I always think of Arizona as state with lots of cactus and red rocks. They do have plenty of that but the other day I saw another side of the "Grand Canyon State". We drove through the small rural town of Patagonia, south of Tucson, then headed east on a dirt road into this wonderful valley of grassland. No telephone poles or cell towers. Just plenty of cattle, horses, clean air and spectacular blue skies. Taking the road less traveled certainly has its rewards.

"San Raphael Valley" Kathy Dunham

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunset in Tucson

I've joined some friends in Tucson to shoot photos and enjoy the scenery. It's been several years since I've been here and the town is growing. Today we spent most of the day driving and seeing the rural sights near the Mexican border. I mean dirt road rural and cattle ranches. It was beautiful. But not as gorgeous as the sunset that awaited us when we returned to Tucson.

"Sunset in Tucson" Kathy Dunham

Sunday, October 4, 2009

San Xavier Mission

As luck would have it, the tech guy made a late night call (on Sunday no less) and I have internet!!! So here's today's photo. The White Dove of the Desert. As the mission is so affectionately know as for it's pristine white exterior. We didn't go inside as there was a long line, but we did a 360 and took lots of photos. don't you just love that clear blue sky?

"San Xavier Mission" Kathy Dunham

Beautiful Day in Tucson

Here I am in Tuscon, the weather's perfect, great places to photograph and I can't get on the internet with my computer, which has all the wonderful pictures I shot today. So sorry. I may not be able to connect until I return home on Tuesday so be patient. You will be rewarded.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Red Ruffles

There aren't many flowers in the desert this time of year but we do have our share of hibiscus. However, most of them have a single row of petals and aren't too exciting. I found this ruffled number in downtown Santa Barbara while having lunch last year. It pays to carry your camera.

"Red Ruffles" © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fountain - Place St. Michel - Paris

The plazas in Paris, or as they are known in French - "place" - are beautifully appointed, many with wonderful fountains such as this bronze dragon spouting water. But it was the early morning light creating dramatic highlights and shadows that caused me to stop, but only after I had finished my "petit dejeuner" of fresh orange juice, a warm croissant and hot chocolate on a clear morning along the Seine.

"Fountain - Place St. Michel - Paris" © Kathy Dunham 2009