Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, a day to say thank you to all the military personnel who protect our wonderful country.  The Palm Springs Air Museum, with it's fantastic collection of WWII airplanes, always has a special remembrance.  After all the dignitaries give their platitudes, a B-17 does a low flyover and drops thousands of carnations in remembrance of our military.  A neat sight to see.

"Memorial Day"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

French Wildflowers

Nothing brightens breakfast in the morning than a freshly picked bouquet of wildflowers.  So simple yet elegant they bring a smile and start the day with a happy spirit.

"French Wildflowers"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Polo Rose

The polo season is over, the weather's getting warmer and the ponies have moved to cooler pastures.  But the bar and restaurant at the Empire Polo Grounds is still open.  After lunch today we discovered the acres of beautifully tended roses.  In a nicely manicured garden with statues and fountains,  these roses were a breath of fresh air in an otherwise very warm desert. 

"Polo Rose"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

French Cherries

Cherries picked fresh off the tree are the sweetest.  In mid-May they start turning red in the Dordogne region of Southwest France.  A typical French breakfast of cheese, ham, yogurt and a croissant is made even better with fresh picked cherries.

"French Cherries"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monet's Azaleas

Springtime in Monet's garden is indeed a beautiful sight.  There are azaleas of all colors planted throughout the entire garden.  I've never seen orange or yellow azelas before but there they were, scattered amongst the other lovely plants.  These dark magenta flowers were on the edge of Monet's famous waterlily pond.

"Monet's Azaleas"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Gladiator's House

If this row of Italian Cypress trees looks familiar you've probably seen the movie "The Gladiator".  When Russell Crowe comes home to find his family murdered, this was the road he was running up, I just couldn't get past the gates to shoot the proper angle.  You'll just have to imagine it.

"The Gladiator's House"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Welcome - Italian Style

Beautiful ceramics and colorful flowers create a warm welcome to the local Trattoria in Sorrento, Italy. 

"Welcome - Italian Style"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Indian Blanket Flower

This colorful flower is aptly named.  The tips of the petals resemble the fringe on a blanket and the deep rich colors are commonly found in Indian Blankets.  It's a great plant for adding vibrant colors in desert gardens.

"Indian Blanket Flower"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cream Cup

This delicate wildflower is found in the Mojave Desert and is quite common in the Stoddard Valley and forms displays along with the California Poppy in the Antelope Valley of California.  It is a member of the poppy family and grows on a long, hairy, leafless stem.  When the sun hits it right, the shadows cast by the long stamens adds a nice dramatic effect.

"Cream Cup"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Green Door

Italian door knockers are an elaborate and decorative presentation to those arriving at a home.  I'm not sure if there's a correlation to the the knocker and what's behind the door.  I guess my next adventure will require me to use them to find out.  An interesting concept.

"The Green Door"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bright White

Irises are considered "regal" flowers.  It's the underlying design for the Fleur de Lis.  My favorite is the bearded iris with it's large, ruffled petals and fluffy beard on the lower petals.  They have been hybridized into many color combinations, some of which seem impossible.  But the all white ones are very stately and elegant.

"Bright White"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tug Boat in the Rain

Traversing the Panama Canal means getting up close and personal with tug boats.  They nudge and push to position the large ships for transiting the lock system.  Sometimes it's early in the morning and they're right at your porthole.  Yep, 4:30 in the morning and I get these bright lights.  But since it's raining, the lights take on an ethereal look.

"Tug Boat in the Rain"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Pieta

If you've been to the Vatican you've probably seen Michelangelo's sculpture "The Pieta".  Beautifully executed in white Carrera marble, it depicts the Virgin Mary holding Christ after he was taken down from the cross.  This is a mosiac replica of her face.  Mosaic "paintings" are  big ticket items in the stores around the Vatican.  Small pieces of colored Italian glass in a myriad of colors take the place of paint. And they're all meticulously done.

"The Pieta"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010


Ever take the time to look at the tiny blue violet flowers on a rosemary bush?  Most people don't.  They're delicate and a little bit hairy but delightful. 

"Rosemary"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Clock Tower and Chimneys

The old town of Pienza in Tuscany, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This special designation is given to areas or places that UNESCO believes need to be preserved for future generations.  The town was originally wiped out during the plague and Pope Pius II paid for the complete renovation in the 1400s.  But one of the great features of this charming hilltop town is the pecorino.  This fantastic sheep's milk cheese beats parmasean far as I'm concerned.

"Clock Tower and Chimneys"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Santa Fe Hollyhocks

Two things I love, hollyhocks and Santa Fe, make a great combo.   If you're ever in Santa Fe in the summer you'll find plenty of these Eastern Mediterranean natives. 

"Santa Fe Hollyhocks"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yellow Splash

Summer's on it's way and this bright yellow dahlia serves as a reminder of the colors to come.  That's the best part of summer, all the flowers and fragrances.

"Yellow Splash"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wall Decoration

The Chinese Garden at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California is maturing nicely. Completed two years ago, according to strict Chinese design, it is a peaceful and elegant area to relax and enjoy the beauty of a well arranged landscape. These cut outs in the outer wall take on a dramatic look when the light hits it.

"Wall Decoration"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010


My favorite store in Times Square is the M&M store.  Floor after floor of delicious candy covered chocolate in every color imaginable.  Plus anything else they could design in the image of our favorite candy.

"Yummmm"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010


He was real proud of his "new" set of wheels.  He drove as slow as possible around the parking lot before heading out.  But I'm not sure which is more polished, his car or his head. 

"Baldy"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

French Deserts

My sweet tooth was acting up today and I sure wish I could have either one of these right now.  The fresh cherry crumble and the decadant chocolate whatever with all that rich cream sauce makes my mouth water.  Yes, it was cherry season in France when we stopped in the town of Bergerac.  And nothing beats fresh cherries.  Yummm!! 

"French Deserts"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

National Train Day

May 8th is National Train Day.  I know this isn't your idea of a great train picture, even the wheels are missing, but I love the statement painted on the side.  Being an artist, I found it quite profound.

"National Train Day"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

View of the Louvre

If you like art then you've gotta love Paris.  Museums, museums, museums.  And they house some of the most famous and spectacular art in the world.  This is a view of the Louvre from the roof of the Musee D'Orsay, separated by the River Seine.

"View of the Louvre"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Missing - One Dome

Mission San Zavier just south of Tucson, Arizona never had both domes.  And they decided to leave it that way.  Built between 1783-97, this Franciscan mission is called the "White Dove of the Desert" and is an impressive example of Spanish mission architecture which distinighuishes it from other missions.

"Missing - One Dome"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shingles and Stone

The old town area of Sarlat, France is very typical medieval from the 100 year war era.  Note the English wattle and daub style on the turret on the left of the house.  In this part of France you'll see this combination of architectural styles since the English and French fought over this territory for so long.  Guess they figured if they combined styles they'd please both.

"Shingles and Stone"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Trees of Gold

This time of year the desert is alive with trees of gold. The Palo Verde trees are all in bloom and we have a lot of them.  The flowers are small, about 1/2" in diameter, but can completey cover a tree when in bloom.  The rest of the year they are green.  Green leaves and green bark.  And in real dry conditions they lose their leaves and can photosynthesize through the green bark to stay alive.  It's an amazing tree.

"Trees of Gold"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bagno Vignone

These thermal baths were a popular stop on the road to Rome in centuries past.  They're still in use today with small boutique hotels for tourists.  What a great way to relax.

"Bagno Vignone"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Nothing says Spring like the smell of lilacs.  And for some reason, every time I look at this picture I can smell them.  Talk about the power of suggestion!! 

"Lilacs"    © Kathy Dunham 2010