Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!!

Best wishes to all for a successful and Happy New Year!!

"Happy New Year!!!"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Should I Paint or Read?

Painting workshops in beautiful locations always present challenges.  While it's relaxing to sit in the sun and read a good book, it's also stimulating to paint the enticing scene.  Decisions, decisions!

"Should I Paint or Read?        Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Italian Hibiscus

I'm always fascinated when I find plants native to one part of the world growing profusely in another part.  Like this hibiscus.  It was growing in a small hilltop park above the harbor in Sorrento, Italy. Noted for growing in the tropics, hibiscus can be found in native habitats ranging from Africa, to Argentina, to Jamaica.  Some are even hot-climate varieties. 

"Italian Hibiscus"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking Through the Glass

My sister-in-law collects glass balls and I was fascinated with the light as it bounced off and reflected on her collection.  I just love the way she displays them.  Very creative.

"Looking Through the Glass"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tropical Flowers

Cool weather seems to bring on thoughts of balmy warm places.  For most of us in the U.S., Christmas is always on the cool side. But that doesn't mean we can't dream of a nice tropical climate where we could be wearing shorts and sandals.  These Plumeria have a great home, Bermuda, with a mild tropical climate most of the year.

"Tropical Flowers"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Only in Florida

Where else would you find pink flamingos at Christmas but in Florida.

Merry Christmas to all!!!

"Only in Florida"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Gibraltar

I think this was the scraggliest Santa I've ever seen.  Yes, the hair and beard are real but I think a wig would have looked better.  Being a melting pot of cultures, we saw a little of everything in this tiny British commonwealth.

"Christmas in Gibraltar"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Peony, Red Heart

I saw my first peony when I was in France several years ago and fell in love.  What an exquisite flower. And the beautiful colors.  Too bad they don't grow here in the desert.  But then maybe it's a good thing as I appreciate them even more when I see them.

"White Peony, Red Heart"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Wet Christmas

We get very little rain in the desert so having several days of  liquid sunshine actually feels good.  It certainly puts me in the mood for Christmas.  And I have a legitimate reason to light a fire in the fireplace.  Ho, ho, ho.

"A Wet Christmas"       Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas - New Orleans Style

They have a way of decorating for the holidays in the French Quarter.  Bright, bold and with spirit.

"Christmas - New Orleans Style"       © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shopping for the Holidays

I had some extra time yesterday and stopped at Home Goods when I came upon this gal.  She was color coordinated from head to toe.  Including the shoes.  It certainly makes a fashion statement but I'm not sure what kind of a statement she was trying to make.

"Shopping for the Holidays"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Orchid Tree

The orchid tree is so named because the large, fragrant flowers bear a likeness to orchids.  The Bauhinia variegata is native to India but grows in many climates in the world, even here in the desert.  They are stunninly beautiful when in full bloom as the tree is usually covered with the blossoms.  I was lucky and caught a bee in the act of gettin up close and personal.

"Orchid Tree"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cactus Blossom

Christmas cactus are about the only cactus in bloom this time of year and this isn't one of them.  It's just a tiny blossom, about 1 1/2" in diameter that pops out in late spring on my patio.  

"Cactus Blossom"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Desert Lightening

We're due to get some rain later this week and I don't think we'll get a light show like this but I'm hoping.  I love good thunder and lightening displays.  We just don't get enough of them.

"Desert Lightening"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Growth

The greens of nature take on many different shades but the greens of new growth are always fresh and clean.  They almost speak a different language in the world of plants.  Older growth greens just don't seep to carry the excitement of the new stuff.

"New Growth"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

So Serious

This little guy was all over the waterfront in Vernazza, Italy.  It was hard getting a shot of him as he never stopped moving.  His dad ran the Pensione we stayed at and was a great host.

"So Serious"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Slot Canyon

Created by erosion, the slot canyons outside Page, Arizona are an amazing site.  And easy walk into a maze of narrow canyons, you'll be fascinated at the colors and shapes that have been carved over the years. 

"Slot Canyons"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day Lily

Living in the desert has some disadvantages.  There are a lot of cool weather plants that just won't grow here.  But that does give me an excuse to search out places where I can find beauties like these.  The botanical garden in Spokane, Washington has a huge collection of day lilies.  Too bad this exotic flower only lasts a day, hence the name, Day Lily.

"Day Lily"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Venetian Reflections

Late afternoon light and colorful buildings along the Grand Canal in Venice provide interesting reflections on the water. 

"Venetian Reflections"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Poppies

Tis the season for red and green.  Although these aren't Christmas flowers the certainly convey the colors of the holiday.

"Red Poppies"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Backlit Flower

More of my favorite lighting techniques. 

"Another Backlit Flower"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Afternoon Sunflower

Afternoon light intensifies the colors in your photographs.  So naturally, I like taking pictures that time of day.  I also like the light behind the petals causing a "glow" to them.

"Afternoon Sunflower"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Curly Banana

Nature always fascinates me and I keep my eyes open for unique scenarios.  It could be how the light hits a petal, dew drops on leaves or a twist in the growing cycle that makes something stand out.  These curls on a banana leaf fall into two of those categories.  I never know when the right moment will hit me but when it does, the camera is always at hand.

"Curly Banana"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blue Christmas

Blue seems to be the color of choice this season.  This display is in front of City Hall in the city of Indian Wells here in the desert.  It's certainly a different look although I find it's not as festive as white lights.

"Blue Christmas"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jimson Weed

Sometimes known as Datura or Loco Weed, this poisonous plant was a favorite of artist Georgia O'Keefe.  Several of her best known paintings feature Jimson Weed.  It's an early morning bloomer.  By noon it's already starting to fade.  But the white trumpet shaped flower makes a dramatic contrast against the blue green leaves. Just don't make a tea to drink as it can kill you.

"Jimson Weed"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Anyone Home?

This was about the most colorful birdhouse I've ever seen.  I don't know if it's too bright for the birds or if they even use it but it was sure a vibrant spot in my friend Miriam's garden that she has dedicated to her sister Dale who passed away from cancer.  It's definitely a labor of love.

"Anyone Home?      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Soldier's Barracks

Talk about crowded accommodations!  They didn't even have separate bunks.  And no foot lockers, you got a shelf and a hook above your bed.  Of course this was over 500 years ago.  This fort, San Cristobal, is one of two forts in the old area of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The other, El Moro, was built in 1493, 1 year after Columbus came to the New World.  This one followed shortly afterwards to aid in the protection of the Spanish Empire's newest acquisition.

"Soldier's Barracks"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pink Beauty

Now that winter is almost here, the early blooming camillias are beginning to pop out.  These elegant flowers are always a welcome sight in an otherwise drab season.

"Pink Beauty"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Gazinias are used mainly for ground cover.  They spread well and are easy maintenance.  However, they are light sensitive, so don't plant them in areas that don't get a lot of sun or they won't open.  Amazing how some flowers fall into this category.  California poppies, cactus flowers and caliandria leaves. 

"Gazinias"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fall Tomatoes

Farmer's markets are making a come back.  Locally grown produce, hours from the fields, is appealing to more and more people.  The flavors and varieties are far better than what you can find in the mega martkets.  Check out your local farmer's markets and enjoy the fresh taste like never before.

"Fall Tomatoes"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fishing Fleet

I never actually saw anyone finishing in these boats but they are picture perfect and they were all in pristine condition.  These were some of the best kept boats I've seen in a long time.  Next time you're in Vernazza, Italy check to see if you can find any fishermen.

'Fishing Fleet"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Full Moon Over the Desert

I was invited to a friend's house this evening to photograph the full moon rising over the desert floor.  The house is situated a way up from the desert floor giving us a good view.  The only problem was the cold wind.  It was really blowing from a storm front that was on it's way out of our valley.  We had fun trying different settings and on a whim I took one of the moon over the infinity pool in the yard.  I wasn't expecting to get the star like quality of the moon but I thought it made for an interesting shot.

"Full Moon Over the Desert"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blue Turban

Morocco is a land of exotic things.  The food, the landscape, the dress and the people.  I don't know where this gentleman was headed but he appeared to be on a mission.  But I love the argyle style socks he's wearing with his kaftan and slippers. 

"Blue Turban"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sanctuary Gate

The small town of Rancho de Chimayo, just north of Santa Fe, has been inhabited for hundreds of years by the Native Americans, Mexicans and Spaniards.  Nearby is a small church, Santuario de Chimayo, that is famous and known for it's healing "dirt".  Pilgrams walk for miles to be blessed and hopefully cured.  It's a peaceful site that has recently been expanding due to the numbers of pilgrams who visit. 

"Sanctuary Gate"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chama Hollyhocks

I love hollyhocks and they can be found all over the world.  I just keep forgetting to plant some in my yard.  So I take lots of pictures.  I found these in the railyard at Chama, New Mexico.  They've planted a nice garden just outside the ticket office with a few benches so everyone can enjoy the beauty of the flowers.

"Chama Hollyhocks"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Through the Window

If you're ever in Taos, New Mexico you should stop at La Hacienda de los Martinez to get a feel of what life was like hundreds of years ago in the West.  This original adobe structure shows us how family life was back then. 

"Through the Window"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Sedona has a charming shopping area designed after the famous artisan town "Tlaquepaque" near Guadalajara, Mexico.  The Spanish architecture, bubbling fountains, mature trees creating the dappled light and lots of unique shops make it a pleasant place to spend the afternoon.

"Tlaquepaque"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday

I love birthdays, especially when the "girls" go out to celebrate it together with a great lunch followed with some fun shopping together.  And what's not to like about a warm fresh peach and apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream?

"Happy Birthday"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More of Slot Canyon

If you ever get to Page, Arizona, make a point to visit the Antelope Canyons just outside town.  They're on Navajo land and are some of the most spectacular weathered formations I've seen.  Yes, so is the Grand Canyon, but these hidden "slot canyons" are almost impossible to find if you didn't know where they are and one of those unique pieces of the landscape that'll blow your mind.  The narrow canyons, carved into the earth, are sometimes only as wide as a person and upwards of 100 feet high.  Take the photography tour if you want to get some great shots.

"More of Slot Canyon"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inside the Cab

I love trains.  What kid doesn't?  Guess I'll never grow up.  I remember the train around the tree at Christmas time.  Well, I'm a big kid now and still love the sound of the whistle and the clickity clack of the wheels on the rails.  This summer I took a ride on the Cumbres - Toltec Railroad.  It's the highest, longest narrow gauge steam railroad in the U.S.   It runs from Chama, New Mexico to Antonito, Colorado.  Beautiful unspoiled country.  Before leaving several of us passengers were talking with the engineer and he invited us into the cab.  Oh boy!!!  What a treat.  I have never been close to seeing what it looks like inside the cab.  All those dials and gauges and the hot fire box loaded with coal to keep this big baby moving.  What a thrill.

"Inside the Cab"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Evening Sky

Evenings along the Rio Grande River in New Mexico offers some awesome sunsets.  I spotted these clouds just outside Rio Rancho, a small community just north of Albuquerque.  Make sure you always have your camera with you when you're in the Land of Enchanment.

"Evening Sky"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Almost Gone

My friend was faster than I was when this carrot cake was delivered to him today.  I mean, faster than my camera.  I didn't get a bite but it sure looked good, nice and moist with lots of frosting.  Yumm.

"It's Almost Gone"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010


This bee was really intent on finding some pollen.  However, I don't see any on this flower but I'm sure there must be some or he wouldn't be searching for it.

"Searching"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010


Gargoyles make for more interesting waterspouts than the metal stuff we use.  These lovelies are all different, no two alike and their open mouths are where the water come out.  I bet it looks neat in a rain storm. 

"Gargoyles"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Taking a Bath

It's fun watching pigeons, as long as they aren't in a tree about me.  They do enjoy taking a bath in whatever watering hole they can find. 

"Taking a Bath"       © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Venetian Lights

Every morning I looked down from my hotel room on these hand blown lights, still on by the way.  They were part of a restaurant below my hotel in Venice and every night they took down the canopies and removed the tablecloths.  And every morning they replaced everything.  But the sun shining through the colored glass was beautiful.

"Venetian Lights"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lots of Toys

Seeing all these wooden toys brought back lots of memories.  There aren't many places where you can find these old fashioned toys anymore.  Kids want high end, expensive electronics.  What ever happened to using your imagination with simple toys?

"Lots of Toys"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chess Anyone?

I don't play chess but an always fascinated but unusual chess sets.  This one is of the large variety.  I'd say each piece was about 2-3 feet tall.  No one was playing but they presented a unique look on the walk next to the harbor in Portovenere, Italy.

"Chess Anyone?"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Color Me Magenta

I love bright colors and this columbine comes alive with the magenta petals around the core yellow.  How does Mother Nature do it?

"Color Me Magenta"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Patriotic Pants

They may have been hanging in an Italian seaside town and who knows, they may belong to an American, or maybe a French man.  Perhaps someone from Great Britian or Australia.  Hmmm... How many other countries use red, white and blue for their flag?

"Patriotic Pants"     © Kathy Dunham 2010