Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Out with the old and in with the new.   May the New Year bring you happiness and joy.

"Happy New Year"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

64 Via Fuorimura, Sorrento, Italy

We were on a mission.  Locate the shop that sells Italian basil seeds.  We finally found the store but it hadn't opened yet after the usual mid-day closure.  So we waited.  And waited. And while we waited I spotted this mailbox next door.  Then we were joined by several locals.  Finally, the owner showed up and we rushed in an grabbed the last of the seeds.  Score!!!!

"64 Via Fuorimura, Sorrento, Italy"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

View from the Porthole

Cruising Alaska is spectacular.  From the raw beauty of the land to the isolation of this awesome scenery.  But it's great to wake up in the morning and be greeted with a close up view of Vassar Glacier.  All the glaciers in this fjord like area are named after colleges. 

"View from the Porthole"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009


It was overcast most of the day and I thought these bright orange gazinias added a bit of sunshine to an otherwise dreary day.  When planted "en masse" they provide a carpet of spectacular and vibrant color.

"Sunshine"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Real Men Know How to Knit

For the last two years, this Frenchman sat patiently and knitted while his wife sold yarns and other goods for knitters at the weekly market in Eymet, France.  I never saw the finished product but it looks like he's doing a pretty good job.

"Real Men Know How to Knit"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sunset Flight

It was overcast most of the day today.  From LA to the desert.  On my way home from celebrating the holidays with family, I stopped to visit friends.  As I was leaving their property I spotted the sun kissing the distant hills across our valley.  But the treat was the bi-plane, probably giving tourists a sunset flight.  I hope they had their camera with them.

"Sunset Flight"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing You a White Christmas

Spain loves poinsettias at holiday time.  Lots of red ones and lots of white ones.  Mass plantings abounded in the Canary Islands around government offices and parks. What a beautiful sight to see.

"Wishing You a White Christmas"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Artsy Restrooms

Are you a Mona Lisa or a Leonardo da Vinci?  If you can't figure out which bathroom to use based on those clues the male -female symbols should help.  This is the most creative use of "potty" signage I've seen in a long time.  And it wasn't in Italy.  It was at a cliff side restaurant in Cabo San Lucas.  Don't you just love those colors?

"Artsy Restrooms"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ghastly Shadows

Ghouls and gargoyles are strange looking creatures used as decorations since medevial times.  Some are functional others are meant to scare off evil spirits.   These critters are of the functional  variety.

"Ghastly Shadows"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas in the Canary Islands

Sitting off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, these tiny islands are part of the Spanish Empire.  Used as a stopping point for the early explorers before crossing the Atlantic, these volcanic islands are mostly barren with few areas of tropical vegetation.

"Christmas in the Canary Islands"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Moroccan Brass

If they can make it in brass, you should be able to find it in Morocco.  Spread out on the ground for all to see, the highly polished pieces are eye catching.  However, once you get them home you have to keep polishing to maintain their original shine.  Too much elbow grease for me.

"Moroccan Brass"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Door Panel

Wood carving is a dying art and it's a pleasure to see something as beautifully done as these wooden doors on the entrance to the lower chambers of the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi in Assisi, Italy.  The entire church is a masterpiece of craftsmanship.  The marvel is the restoration of the frescoes that tumbled to the floor during an earthquake on September 26, 1997.  The corner stone was laid in 1228 and this 700+ year old church holds many treasures.

"Door Panel"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Zinnias for Sale

Every Sunday morning we have a Farmer's Market in La Quinta.  The produce must come from within a 50 mile radius of the area so we know it's realatively local stuff.  Sometimes there are flowers and I was surprised to find cut zinnias.  They're hardy and make vibrant floral arrangements.

© Kathy Dunham 2009
"Zinnias for Sale"   

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roof Garden

It doesn't take much in a humid climate for plants to sprout on the roof.  An accumulation of dust and moisture provide fertile ground for seeds that travel in the wind or by our feathered friends.  And these centuries old (at least 500 years) roof tiles are no exception.  The medieval town of Beynac, France, perched high on a cliff,  has plenty of places for plants to sprout.

"Roof Garden"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Evening Light

Evenings in the desert are the best.  The light is spectacular and the unique shadows that are created by the landscape provide never ending entertainment.  As the seasons change, so do the shadows.

"Evening Light"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas in Aruba

Christmas feels different in the tropics.  No snow, it's not cold and there's lots of sunshine, humidity and warm weather.  But it's still the holidays and gets celebrated like it does in the colder climates.

"Christmas in Aruba"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009


If I was any closer, I would have been worried that this steer was going to charge me.  Maybe he was just curious and wanted to keep an eye on me.  Either way, I kept my distance.

Staredown"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Las Ramblas Flower Vendor

Las Ramblas is the Champs-Elysees of Barcelona.  A pedestrian promenade that runs up from the waterfront, it is home to news vendors, bird sellers, mimes, restaurants and florists.  It was Christmas when I was last in Barcelona and an evening stroll was a delight in colors and light.

"Las Ramblas Flower Vendor"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Age Spots

Even beautiful flowers age and this camellia is beginning to show his.  A winter flower, they offer a hint of what spring will bring.  But they do bruise easily and must be handled with care.

"Age Spots"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pow Wow Regalia

Native America Pow Wows are a spectacular event.  The music and the spectacular outfits, known as regalia, are phenominal.  Each tribe or band has their own unique style.  In addition, the different dances require different style garments.  But they are all referred to as regalia.  Feathers, beads, jingle bells and fringe are just part of what it takes to create the beautiful designs, many worth thousands of dollars.

"Pow Wow Regalia"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Pieta

This might be more appropriate for Easter but I think this is one of Michelangelo's greatest pieces of sculpture.  Finished in 1499 and the only piece where his signature is visable (it's on the sash the Madonna is wearing) the Pieta is an intricately and delicately carved piece of marble.  It's the first thing you see when you enter St. Peter's Basilica.

"The Pieta"  © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In Monet's Memory

Monet was obsessed with waterlilies.  He built his own pond to grow this elegant flower so he could paint them whenever he wished.  An artist's dream.

"In Monet's Memory"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Street Artist - Sorrento

He sat on the same corner, ready to do a portrait of a passing tourist or local for that matter.  I never saw any takers but he made a nice subject for my photo.

"Street Artist - Sorrento"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rainy Night in Indian Wells

It's been raining all day, a slow steady drizzle.  We need the rain and it feels great to have some cold wet weather.  I was returning from a reception tonight when I spotted these decorated trees in front of City Hall in Indian Wells.  I was surprised they were all blue, a first for this small city, but they looked great.

"Rainy Night in Indian Wells"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Mosque at Agadir

Although simple in overall design, the elaborate carvings and details in the facade are unique and spectacular.  We couldn't go inside (women are excluded) but did enjoy the beauty of the architecture.

"The Mosque at Agadir"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas in Malaga

This is the main shopping district in Malaga, Spain.  It's a pedestrian mall and decorated in all it's finery for the holiday season.  The Spanish really know how to decorate.  The town was covered with live poinsettias. Everywhere we looked there were fresh plants of vibrant red welcoming the season.

"Christmas in Malaga"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Peace Y 'All

This is Christmas New Orleans style, accent and all.  It's a great place to visit at holiday time.  The decorations will knock your socks off. 

"Peace Y 'All"    © Kathy Dunham 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bridge over the Dordogne River

It was a beautiful sunny day as we floated on the Dorgogne River in the Perigord region of France.  Above the river, high on a bluff was the town of Beynac with its huge castle overlooking the valley.  This bridge was astutely built with hollow pilings, which allows water to enter during flood stages giving it more strength against the raging waters. 

"Bridge over the Dordogne River"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sleepy Bear Time

I spotted these cuddly polar bears in the window of a children's clothing shop in Paris.  My son-in-law loves polar bears but these were just bit to big to bring home on the plane.

"Sleepy Bear Time"   © Kathy Dunham 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zucchini Blossoms

Summer is past but these zucchini blossoms bring back warm summer days and a garden full of fresh produce.  A friend of mine in Spokane started a community garden and these were just some of the fruits of their labors.  I enjoyed walking up and down the rows looking at the ripening vegetables.

"Zucchini Blossoms"   © Kathy Dunham 2009