Showing posts from February, 2010

Botanical Garden Bookshop, Signage & Information

Taken outside the Botanical Garden directing visitors to the arboretum, the library and the gardens. I took many more signage photos though only a couple came out good.

This is the small bookstore which is located at the main entrance. If you like a tight squeeze, this is the spot for you. The shop is so small that if there are three people in there it is crowded. However they have a fantastic variety of books on not just gardens and botany but on San Francisco, Bay Area history and even poetry. There is also a large assortment of handcrafted greeting cards, postcards and maps. The daily guided tours which are conducted by volunteers begin at this spot. I've never taken a tour because I enjoy exploring on my own. Besides I always venture off the pathways into the redwood trails and foliage.

There are so many different gardens within the garden that it's a natural paradise for nature lovers. This is just one of them.

Their signage and posts for each and every flower, pl…

Happy Birthday Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Born in Portland, Maine on February 27, 1807, Longfellow was and still is one of the best loved poets of all time. Henry was an active boy, sometimes quick tempered but always sensitive, impressionable and creative. He loved song and dance but did not enjoy excitement. He began school at 3 and by the time he was 8 he studied halfway through Latin grammar. His Father’s extensive library of Shakespeare, Milton, Pope and Dryden, just to name a few, lent to his early curiosity of poetry and writing.At the early age of 13 he penned and had his first poem published by the Portland Gazette titled “The Battle of Lovell’s Pond.” The poem was highly criticized at that time for being unsymmetrical and and unoriginal. However Longfellow was not discouraged. By age 15 he passed the exams for Bowdoin College and studied with well known writers to include Hawthorne. Although his Father wanted Henry to study law he spent a year at Cambridge college in study of general literature.His extensive …

In The Mood

This is a special post in honor of my parents who if they had lived would be celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary today. The photo above is a photo of them on their wedding day. I don't have a scanner so I had to take a photo of the original photo so that's why it is a little blurry.

My parents loved to dance, especially my Mom who taught dancing to soldiers during the 40's. One of my Mom and Dad's favorite songs was In The Mood by Glenn Miller. I have to admit I really enjoy the big band era as well. So, in honor of their wedding Anniversary I give you In The Mood with Glenn Miller - Enjoy!

Plant Mania

All photos taken by me @ the SF Botanical Gardens

As you walk into the main entrance of the gardens right behind the small bookshop there are plants and bushes lined up against the fence by the pathway into the gardens. If you are not observant, you will miss the narrow stone pathway behind the plants and bushes that is nestled between the main plants, bushes and fence. All of these photos were taken in that little alcove.

Now you would think with all the time I spend there that if I didn't already know the names of these plants, that I would take notes and jot them down. Everything is clearly marked and posted throughout the entire gardens. However, I am always so excited to be there and taking photos that I always forget to take names. So, while I do not know to what species these belong, I'm sure many of you do. I just loved them for their unique and exotic look. Remember to click the photos to enlarge.


Save The San Francisco Botanical Gardens

All of these photos were taken by me on Monday during my visit to the Botanical Gardens. I planned on this just being a Wordless Wednesday post with photos until I visited the Gardens website and found that due to budget cuts etc... the gardens will fall to demise unless they begin charging an entrance fee. There have been mumblings and rumors about this over the past year with a lively debate.

Now you all know that I am there on a regular basis. If it has to permanently close I WILL NOT be a happy camper. The gardens have always been free unlike all the other venues in that area to include the DeYoung Museum, The Academy of Sciences of which you almost have to be a millionaire to afford their entrance fees, The Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers.

My position is that the Botanical Gardens should begin implementing fees. Why not? Everyone else charges fees to maintain their venues. If you buy a membership to the gardens which is as low as $60.00 per year, roundin…

Without Sound

Both photos taken by me -View of my Street from the Great Highway along Ocean Beach

The wind caresses my face while I follow cotton candy clouds dancing against blue skies. Seagulls gracefully swirl above while black hawks hover over sand dunes. The pounding of waves against the shore reverberate in a familiar echo as an aquatic symphony permeates the salt air. I breath and inhale the refreshing sounds in a moment of sheer joy.

When all of a sudden, the silence interrupts. The birds mute, the wind quietly slapping my cheeks without even a whisper and the waves lost. Heavy footsteps, my own, are all I can hear amongst the dead solitude despite the colors of life surrounding me. For a moment, the deafness brings me to a place of relentless despair. A place where complete quiet resides and my ears no longer exist. Sounds escape me and I am lost in a world without life.

Tree Commune

Trees @ The Botanical Gardens in SF - Taken by Me

Tree Commune
a series of haiku

rooted in Mother Nature
a diverse species
hugging limbs

kissing blue skies
sharing the wind's breath
mingling leaves

born within earth
standing free
a natural commune

Greek Music and Dancing

Photo courtesy of

Being of Greek descent on my Mom's side of the family, I grew up listening and dancing to Greek music. I would attend all the festivals and events around the bay area which featured live Greek music. I learned how to dance a few different dances by just participating and following the other dancers. Greek dancing is traditionally performed as a line dance though there are newer variations on older themes. At church festivals you can always find traditional costumes as are worn in Greece for special occasions.

Greek music is definitely not for everyone, however I absolutely love it and when I hear it, it almost puts me into a trance, especially when dancing. It is also a fantastic means of getting some aerobic exercise. Some of these dances are very tiring and you have to have alot of stamina in which to endure the entire dance. I haven't done it in a while so I don't know that I could finish all of the dances but they certainly are a…

Beach Fires & Contradiction

Taken by me at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

What to do? No Fires yet beach fires permitted in certain areas. I've seen the beach and very recently where beach fires and partying takes place all hours of the night and result in small stretches of the beach looking like a war zone. Either completely allow it and have a beach cleanup plan in place on a regular basis or don't allow it at all and have the park police enforcing the law.

Ocean beach is beautiful. I remember spending countless hours throughout my life at this beach and now not even being able to walk along certain stretches of the shore because of the debris and garbage. The city needs to wake up and do something. Your thoughts?

POMEGRANATE - Guest Post by Taylor Graham

Photo courtesy of The Shutterbug Eye


Here you are — alive.
Would you like to make a comment?
- Mary Oliver

One ruby seed as a memento – already lost
in lush March grass trampled into mud
by hooves or swarmed by a squabble of flies.

This morning, as if still asleep in a dream
parallel to daylight, you walked
the pasture among horses perfectly at home,

not wishing anything. Snow-drops on a stalk,
wild iris in the meadow. Split husk
of pomegranate – you dropped one seed,

translucent as sunrise, ghost of Persephone’s
globed fruit – as you walked between
sky and earth that bears your footprints,

a seed, an unsent letter.

Ethereal Beach Walk

Photo taken by me @ Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Ethereal Beach Walk

He walks among saltwater sea tears
skimming forgotten footprints
eroding the shore.

Translucent silver jewels
reflect the sun
forming crystalline memories.

Child's play echoes off turquoise depths
and thunderous wavelengths
cleansing high tide.

He hears, sees and feels
clinging as a barnacle to shore
buried as a sand dollar

beyond footprints.

PhotoScapes Unleashed - Bubbleicious


While taking my walk in the neighborhood I came across this cute little stone flower planter by the Jewish Community Center. I loved the colors and flowers so I took a snapshot.


Due to the color and textures of the original photo I decided to play around with it and add some bubbles, swirls and a darker color. I admit I got a little carried away but it was fun. The after shot looks a bit surreal to me. The bubbles added that extra oomph!Enjoy!

Visit PhotoScapes Unleashed

West Coast Lion Dance Troupe

These photos and videos were taken at the SF Botanical Garden Lunar New Year Flower Market celebration.

The West Coast Lion Dance Troupe hails from Daly City, CA and is the premier and most popular Lion Dance Troupe in the Bay Area. They are the draw for many Lunar New Year celebrations and one of the reasons I attend this particular event each year.

They were awesome as usual and put on a spectacular show. Due to the drums and music projecting such loud reverberations, the music this year was kept outside while the performance took place inside. What was interesting this year is that none of the children were afraid. So many years while attending these events, children are always scared of the lion dancers. This year, not at all. They were running up to them wanting to dance and play with them. It was adorable.

There is so much culture and tradition behind these dances and the lion costumes that I am going to give you their website link here: West Coast Lion Dance Troupe

Red Panda Acrobats

Photos and video taken at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens Lunar New Year Flower Market Celebration.

This is an annual event in San Francisco and a festivity I thoroughly enjoy. Even though I still do not have much energy, this event was something I was NOT going to miss no matter how I felt.

The Red Panda Acrobats are based in the Bay Area and have toured all over the world. They were originally formed in China and appear at events, school functions, on local television, street festivals and corporate events. They are a staple at the Lunar New Year event at the gardens however I hadn't seen them until today. I was always too early or too late for their performance. Today, I arrived just in time.

All I can say was this guy was amazing as you will see in the videos below. There was juggling, acrobatics, shimmying in and out of barrels, balancing acts and just downright fun. He was engaging, had great interaction with the audience, allowed for children to participate and had…

Valentine's Day Poetry

There are so many beautiful poems and songs written in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The 19th Century poets in my opinion had a monopoly on love poetry. However one of my favorite love poems is The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe. It is simple, descriptive, an excellent style and you could basically just feel the deep sentiment in the poet’s heart while reading the lines. It’s the type of poem where the imagination comes to light and you feel as if you are in that setting. Sometimes simplicity is the essence of beauty and I think this poem proves that point.Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand…

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Photo taken by me in Hong Kong 2008

Red Lanterns

Oh, how they kiss the winds
With a cultural embrace.
A harmonious balance
Alights the promenade
Feng Shui.
An escape to tradition
A journey of peace
And silent affirmation.
The cleansing of spirit and home,
Red Lanterns
Await the dawn
Of the Lunar New Year.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Sea Cultures

Photographs taken by me at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

Sea Cultures

Indigo gemstones
Coalesce into iridescent
Prisms of reflection
Creating cavernous worlds
Anchored below
Concrete technology.

An ancient kaleidoscope
Unspoiled, untouched
Naturally evolved
The modes of discovery
Beneath the surface.

Shadow Shots

While in Culver City I found so many opportunities to take some shadow shots. It was the perfect time of day, it was sunny and all those palm leaves allowed for some interesting photos. I first became inspired by Icy over at Reach Beyond Limits. She has in the past taken some of the most phenomenal shadow photos I've ever seen. So, I thought well why not try it out and see what happens. I felt a little weird just taking pictures of the side of the hotel but then again it was LA and I was a tourist.I have to teach myself to become more aware of these type of photo opportunities here at home. Enjoy!

Dark Silhouette

Photo taken at dusk @ The Radisson Hotel in Culver City

I decided to post this photo today because it displays how I feel. I finally went to the doctor which I normally don't do but I could not breathe so I went in to find out that I basically have a viral pneumonia which means I have to just rest and take it easy. Yesterday was the first day that I did not have to nap during the day which is a good sign so it looks as if I'm on the mend. I still however cannot taste anything or smell anything. Since I can't taste anything, my normal not so healthy eating habits have vanished and I'm eating healthy greens, soups and fruit. Of course when I'm feeling better, I'm off for waffles :)

I will try and get some comments in today. One thing I have noticed blog wise which is very interesting is that I have not been dropping EC for a while now. What's interesting is that it has not affected my traffic at all so I'm rethinking keeping EC. I have this love/hat…

Unusual Photography

More photos from Culver City. I always enjoy the unusual and offbeat so this montage fit right into that genre. The above is a shot of some exotic foliage which was located right outside one of the decks at the Radisson. This place was built for comfort.

I just liked the shadow shot in the above picture. There were rock gardens all over the grounds and I really enjoyed the different shapes and sizes.

The above artwork consists of some type of tile and paint. I loved the color and texture when I noticed it outside the Radisson complex so I had to take a shot. You can enlarge all of these photos by clicking on the pictures.

I'll have more during the week but for now, this is all I can do on the computer. Still under the weather with no energy.

I'll hopefully be visiting all of you again next week.

Sunshine Award

I want to thank Folk Art By Jane Campbell for this sunshine award. Jane has a couple of fantastic blogs dealing with art including

I am supposed to deliver this to twelve other blogs which is very difficult for me because I love all the blogs I follow and those who follow me. So, I am going to break the rules and award this to all of you who constantly leave comments and visit my blog. This is award is for all of you.

Also, I have been under the weather since my return from Culver City. These are all scheduled posts. I haven't been dropping, visiting or commenting but will resume when I'm feeling better.

Thank you. a scam?

As bloggers we are always trying to find a new avenue for making money. Affiliate programs are a great way to begin making a little extra cash. I signed up with a few months ago after searching for a top rated art program. They maintain a huge database of paintings and posters etc... If you have been reading my blog you've seen all of the banners and virtual stores I had displayed on my blog for

I was excited when in the first week I made some sales and was paid my 20% commission on those sales. It's the first time any affiliate program had worked for me. So, I added more banners and links to my blog to attract more customers. In December, I had an influx of hits and sales. As a result there was a large commission which showed on my account through I was very happy because they stated my check would be sent on February 1st. As a result, I had planned though not yet booked another trip to LA. I'm glad I didn't book that trip because…

Grandpa Remembers - Guest Post by Taylor Graham

Photo by DK Miller of the Shutterbug Eye


The river in its rippling sheen of patterns
green and silver, blue with sky,
rocks, trees inverted, sound of silkworms

on mulberry leaves, soft water-sounds
of Mother spinning, reeling threads from
boiled cocoons twisted into yarn, spools

he holds as she weaves a fabric, then
knits the silk to stockings for so many
children in that low-built room by fire-

light, shadows in the upper loft – no attic
in her house of rich scarcity, of getting
along with God’s blessings. A cushion

if a guest should call... the childhood
home a man can never see again. How far
he travels, year by sunny afternoon

before he finds this very night’s
bed, and lets sleep’s river-currents
over-flow his mind.

By: Taylor Graham

Palm Trees

I have to say that I have never seen so many palm trees in one place which includes a trip to Hawaii I took decades ago. I was in heaven. I love palm trees. All of these photos were taken around the hotel grounds. It was simply beautiful. The weather during the day was warm and cooled off during the evening. It was perfect. I never thought I would find anything interesting to capture around a hotel but I managed some good nature shots. I will also have some very interesting shadow shots as well. Stay tuned.

Wordless Wednesday - Carmen does Culver

This was such an interesting shot with these little bushes by the Palm trees which were located out near one of the patios at the Radisson. I just had to get a photo. It was so peaceful, sweet and bright.

I kept snapping photos of this spot because it was so sweet when all of a sudden, Carmen appears right out of the bushes fixing her bra strap - of course I couldn't post that photo, I mean this is a G rated blog. And, if you look closely at the background you'll see her "date." That smile on her face and appearing out of nowhere in those bushes with that half naked hunk in the background tells me one thing - aMargiedale was on the loose and Carmen had him in those bushes. Thank God I didn't catch that on camera :D