Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bright Orange Flowers

This one has me stumped.  I failed to locate its botanical name, let alone the common name, and haven't a clue as to what it's called.  HELP!!!

"Bright Orange Flowers"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bapistry Panel

This is just one of ten panels cast in gold, on the doors of the Bapistry in Florence, Italy.  This separate building, just steps from the beautiful duomo, was used specifically for baptisms, quite common in that era.  These ornately and highly detailed carved panels are duplicates of the originals which are now housed in the museum behind the church.  With all that gold, I wonder why!

"Bapisitry Panel"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Giovanni's Mailbox

I found this mailbox in Assisi and it brought a smile to my face.  Someone had fun trying to brighten an otherwise dull piece of metal.  I hope the mailman enjoys it  when he delivers the mail.

"Giovanni's Mailbox"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Field of Sunflowers

It's not Italy, it's not Provence.....   It's a tiny community in San Diego county called Valley Center.  This small field was formerly a dairy farm that went bust in the economy.  Now it's a bright spot (with lots of fertile ground). 

"Field of Sunflowers"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pink Tulip

Tulips are one of my favorite flowers.  They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes.  At one time they were worth more than their weight in gold.  Tulip bulbs were traded feverishly in Holland in the 1630s.  The more rare the bulb, the higher the price.  Then the bottom fell out of the market.  Fortunes were lost overnight.  Luckily in today's market they can be had for a reasonable price.

"Pink Tulip"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010


Also known as Frangipani, this tropical shrub can grow to a height of 25'.  The flowers are fragrant and will bloom most of the year in the right conditions.  It comes in many colors and this variety, Plumeria ruba, var acutifolia, features creamy white flowers, sometimes flushed with pink , with a deep yellow center.

"Plumeria"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tarantula Hawk

This species of wasp gets its name from the fact that their larva feed on tarantula paralyzed and buried with the eggs laid by the female.  Once they become adults they are nectar sippers.  This one is dining on a milkweed plant.  Be careful of the females, they sting if provoked. 

"Tarantula Hawk"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting for the Bus

I love the way Italian's dress when they go shopping.  From the looks of it, he didn't buy much but he sure looks dapper.  Sport coat and slacks and a matching fedora.  Now he's waiting for the local bus to come along.

"Waiting for the Bus"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love in a Mist

These beautiful flowers, native to Mediterranean countries and Western Asia have a long history of use in folk medicine.  I just don't know what they were used to treat.  They make a good cut flower and also can be found in white and lilac.  And I have no idea where the common name originated or what it means.

"Love in a Mist"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vancouver Hydrangea

When in Vancouver, B.C., be sure to visit the Van Deusen Gardens.  These hydrangeas were just some of the many they have.  This propery in the heart of Vancouver, has rolling terrain, large ponds and a wonferful array of plants and flowers.  And this time of year most are in bloom.

"Vancouver Hydrangea"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Soon to be a Butterfly

This spectacular caterpillar will become a Monarch butterfly two weeks after it turns into a pupa. And if you want to attract some to your yard you'll need to plant milkweed as that's the only food the larvae will eat.

"Soon to be a Butterfly"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Italian Green

Every time I"m in Europe I look for door knobs and knockers.  The variety, condition and the doors they're on are factinating.  So far the Italians have better looking doors than the French.  They also have some pretty good looking knockers. This ornament is both functional and decorative and something you don't see too much of here in the states.  Too bad, they give a house personality.

"Italian Green"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Salvia leucophylla" - Figueroa

I've never seen a purple sage that looked anything like this.  Usually it's the leaves that are purple.  But this hybrid "Salvia leucophylla" makes for a beautifiul and delicate garden color.  It grows quite large so allow plenty of room.

"Salvia leucophylla"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Woody's Boat Repair

I was in Claremont last week and came upon a classic car show on the main drag Friday evening.  They were polished and the hoods were up so you could look at the engines.  But this old Ford panel truck caught my eye.  When I was little my dad had an old Willys panel and we used to play in it.  How this brings back memories.

"Woody's Boat Repair"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Aquilegia formosa

Common name, Columbine. We're all familiar with this family of flowers but did you know that it derived it's common name from the Latin for dove, as the flowers were thought to resemble a cluster of doves.  This one is also known as Western Columbine and is the parent of many popular cultivars (hybrids).

"Aquilegia formosa"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wooly Blue-curls

This is one plant that has a very appropriate common name.  It's blue, wooly and the stamens curl.  I'm always fascinated with the variation in the plant world.  And soft fuzzy plants intrigue me.  Too bad the flower on this plant is so small.  It takes a magnifying glass to see all the intricacies it has to offer.

"Wooly Blue-Curls"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Coming in for a Landing

The Matilija Poppies are in bloom and here's lucky shot #2.  That bee is loaded with pollen but he wants more.  The Matilijas are one of my favorite flowers to paint.  Native to California, these spectacular blooms with white, krinkled petals and a large yellow-orange center are dramatic in the late afternoon light.  They are also known as the "Fried Egg Flower" and I'm sure you can guess why.

"Coming in for a Landing"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Front and Back

Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont, California just opened their butterfly exhibit Saturday.  By some standards it's small, but this intimate enclosure gets you up close and personal with these beautiful winged creatures.  These two are Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies.  How lucky could I get?  To capture both sides in one photo.  Sometimes it pays to be lucky.

"Front and Back"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Alaskan Totem

Big, bold and pristine.  Those are words I use to describe Alaska.  It's a beautiful state and if you haven't been there yet, put it on your bucket list.  I'm impressed with Alaskan art. They use very few symbols and usually tell a story in the works they create. 

"Alaskan Totem"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vatican Clock

I never cease to be amazed at the beautiful work the artisans created in the spectacular buildings and monuments in Italy.  This clock, which sits atop the colonnade surrounding St. Peter's Square, is an example of magnificent craftmanship.

"Vatican Clock"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Peppers For Sale

I always think of the Southwest when I see dried peppers.  New Mexico specifically.  But I found these at a street market in Rome.  Yep, Rome, Italy.  Then I remembered my favorite pasta dish gets it's unique spicy taste from little beauties like this.  The dish?  Penne Arribiata.  A spicy tomato based dish that's even better topped with lots of parmesan or pecorino cheese.

"Peppers for Sale"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pachypodium lamerei

Native to Madagascar and South Africa, this spine covered succulent only has leaves at the very top.  I've had one for over 8 years and it hasn't bloomed yet.  But this is the time of year they bloom and these frangipani-like flowers in white are nestle among the leaves.  Apparently the trunks need to be at least 3' before they bloom which probably explains why mine haven't yet.  It's almost there and these are slow growers.

"Pachypodium lamerei"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Up Against the Wall

This beautiful Peace rose is taking advantage of the rough stone wall behind it to show off.  This was my Mother's favorite flower.  She had a huge bush in the back yard that she diligently tended to produce spectacular blooms.

"Up Against the Wall"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Busy Little Bee

This little guy was so busy collecting pollen he didn't even stop beating his wings.  Work, work, work.

"Busly Little Bee"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Van Dussen Gardens

If you're ever in Vancouver, B.C., take the time to visit the Van Dussen Gardens.  You'll be surprised at the variety of the plantings.  One fun item for those who are kids at heart is the hedge maze.  And yes, they do give you a map so you won't get lost. 

"Van Dussen Gardens"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sandstone Formations - Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is truly a wonder of nature.  Nestled in the northeast section of Arizona and part of the Navajo Reservation, this small but might canyon, carved by the elements, makes a dramatic statement.  The Navajos still farm the canyon floor and in an conjunction with the National Park Service, protect the ruins of the cliff dwellers who once lived there.  Definitely worth the side trip to get there.

"Sandstone Formations - Canyon de Chelly"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blue Butterfly Bush

I am always amazed at the things Mother Nature can come up with.  The very small flower, no bigger than 1", certainly has the look of a butterfly.  Maybe if I watched it long enough it'll fly away.

"Blue Butterfly Bush"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pink Primrose

The light was right and these delicate primroses, which were beginning to take over the garden, begged to be captured.  The weather is getting hot here in the desert and these gentle flowers will soon be gone, wilted away in the heat of the day.

"Pink Primrose"    © Kathy Dunham 2010