Category Archives: flowers

Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

Tina’s theme for Lens-Artists Challenge #105 this week is: SPRING

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter!” –  Jen Selinsky

Some may consider the winter in Southern California as mild because there’s no snow. Usually the temperature doesn’t drop below 40oF. Yet accustomed to the warm climate all my life, this mild winter cold still chills my bones. I find not being motivated to do outdoor activities.

“The first blooms of spring always make my heart sing.” –  S. Brown

Many of the plants and trees in my garden are perennial that doormat in the winter. The earliest budding appeared on the plum tree. The tiny innocent white buds popped out to sing to me, “Spring is coming.” I made a daily appearance in my garden to search every branch of the plum tree anticipating the delightful blossoms. Within days, the scattered white buds became full covering the entire tree and some popped open the smiling faces. How I wanted them to stay forever!

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“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” –  Gertrude S. Wister

Flowers spark my eyes and warm my heart. During our trip to see my daughter and her family in May 2018 as a Mother’s Day outing, we visited the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. I wanted to swallow all the beauty of the greenery and vibrant colors and let them forever be alive in me.

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The more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants in the garden have all been donated by volunteers and interested individuals, or purchased with specially donated funds. Beginning in early spring and continuing into summer, they provide a magnificent display of color.

“Sometimes the smallest thing takes up the most room in your heart.” – A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

The Canada geese and the goslings feast on the grain and graze on the grass. The field by the lake is a haven to raise the young goslings.

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I wrote this poem for my poetry collection Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude

In Sync with Spring

Seeds were fallen,

hidden in the soil.

Coldness in the dark

keep them quiet in the ground.

Light and shadow

Gradually shift

to bring the warmth of

sunrays to the earth.

Calling the seeds

to wake up and come forth,

to feel the warm breeze and

smell the fresh air.

Slowly and gracefully

buds pop out,

unfold their petals and

the fragrance they breathe out,

dance joyfully in sync with

spring!

~ ~ ~

Lens-Artists Challenge #105 – Crystal Springs

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #101 – One Single Flower

Thank you, Cee, for hosting the Lens-Artists Challenge #101 this week.

The topic for this week is one single flower.  Cee’s favorite quotes is “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.  Buddha.  Flowers have changed her world. I must say flowers brighten my days and helped me to survive the toughest moments.

I take photos of flowers in my garden year-round to see the changes throughout the seasons. I also like to use the natural sunlight at different hours.

“In joy and in sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”– Unknown

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Late summer early in the morning as the sun just rose up.

 

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”– Zen Shin

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A winter morning when the sun was soft.

 

“Open the bloom of your heart and become a gift of beauty to the world.”– Bryant McGill

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The same winter in the afternoon as the sun started to descend.

 

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”– Audrey Hepburn

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A late spring morning when the sun was gentle.

 

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are in their own way, and that’s like women too.”– Miranda Kerr

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Early summer morning when sunflowers were in full bloom.

 

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”– Henri Matisse

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Late spring at night using flash for this photo.

 

Please join us for fun and check out the stunning photos at Cee’s One Single Flower.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #101 – One Single Flower

 

 

Sunday Stills: #Plant Life in My Garden

This week’s photo challenge by Terri Webster Schrandt is about plant life. Many folks are still limited to where they can go, but we can all walk in our backyards and gardens and enjoy plant life.

Garden is a sanctuary where my soul rests, my mind cleared, my strength renewed, and my heart rejoices. It is a place where I go every morning to listen, listen to the voices of the plants and the small creatures, and listen to the voice within. The garden nourishes my being more than the time I put in it to nourish the plants.

One Daylily plant I have is Wineberry Candy. They are low-maintenance perennial and have showy colors of flowers all summer. The bulbs multiply and I dig up the fresh growth to transplant in various spots.

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Both Lily of the Nile Blue (Agapanthis africanus) and Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violace) multiply continuously. For years, I transplanted the fresh growth to landscape my garden. It turns out the hummingbirds love to suck the nectar of both plants.

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The Society Garlic is below the Lily of the Nile Blue

This Salvia started out with two-2.5 Qt. plant and has grown into a lush bush. It is the most favorite of the hummingbirds. It is also where the bees congregate. I bought several more pots and planted two pots by another hummingbird feeder in the backyard, and two pots by the plum trees.

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The always cheerful hibiscus regardless the attention I paid to it yet greets me with the gorgeous bloom every morning.

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Have a peaceful Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!

 

Sunday Stills: #Plant Life in My Garden

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97- Pastimes

Thank you, Sue (Mac’s Girl), for hosting the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week. COVID19 gives us more time to stay home and spend more time on our hobbies and pastimes.

I have many passionate hobbies, enough to occupy three times of my lifetime. For this post, I only focus on two activities I’m engaged in daily, which are gardening and enjoying the amazing creatures in my garden.

 

There are four fruit trees and two grape vines in my garden. I have a different story about the plum trees this year. In the winter of 2018-2019, there were seven weeks of rain that soaked the plum trees to produce gorgeous blooms. The warm sun came to keep the clovers strong and pretty to invite the bees. The bees found their way to pollinate the plum blossoms which yielded 1,100 plum. Well, the rain, the clovers, the sun, and the bees didn’t coordinate this year, and I could see about 10% of the plums growing compared to that of last year.

 

I appreciate the year-round flowering of the hibiscus and roses. Their graciousness, loyalty, and steadfast to bloom were the inspiration of my poetry.

 

I started watching and feeding the birds in 2014. My regular visitors are the Mourning Doves, House Finches, and sparrows. The Scrub Jay and Pin-tailed Whydah paid occasional visits. I used to put the bird seeds on several spots of the top of the retaining wall closed to the slope where they searched for food. Unfortunately, the stray cats crept under the bushes, darted upward to snatch the Mourning Doves, then dashed away. It made me so mad. I used the chicken wire to fence off the area, but the cats outsmarted me. My new spot for the bird seeds is now on the patio ground.

 

I would like to have flocks of butterflies, but only a few visited. The Mourning Cloak butterflies came a few times. The Monarch came, but there were only two. I planted the Butterfly bush, but the growth is too slow to attract butterflies. Last week, a Monarch delighted me to visit the Salvia plant. The bees and the hummingbirds love the Salvia plant also. Two days ago, I bought four of the 2-gallon pots Salvia and planted them strategically to feed the hummingbirds and attract bees to pollinate the plum blossoms next year.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97- Pastimes

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Morning

The theme from Ann-Christine this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 is Morning.

“Although time seems to fly, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest. In each waking day, you will find scores of blessing and opportunities for positive change. Do not let your today be stolen by the unchangeable past or the indefinite future! Today is new day ! Good Morning ” – Steve Maraboli

 

My morning routine these days is about the same as before the pandemic. On any day, I spend an hour to be with myself before getting on any business. There is a family of four hummingbirds in my garden. One of them was born in my backyard in May 2018. Apparently another baby was born this year, but I don’t know where they built the nest. The first thing in the morning when I go downstairs is checking on the hummingbirds. I have one feeder outside of the kitchen window and another one in the backyard. The hummingbirds mostly rely on the sugar water from the feeders, although they also like the nectar from the purple Sylvia flowers.

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After making sure the feeders have plenty of sugar water, I then brew my coffee. My favorite coffee mug has the image of Thomas Kinkade’s painting. It holds 12 ounces. Two cups of coffee would start my day just right.

 

While sipping the coffee, I make my round checking the flowers in the front yard and backyard to see if any spot needs more watering. The two grapevine plants started growing. I usually train the vine before they get all tangle up.


The next thing to do before sitting down at my desk is to feed the birds. There are about twelve to fifteen mourning doves and several house finches coming to my backyard for feeding. Yesterday morning, as soon as I put the seeds on the ground, a scrub jay flew by making loud noises. There are two scrub jays pay me a visit from time to time, but they are not the regular visitors. I was glad to have my phone, so I snapped a few shots. Then a squirrel came by. He is not afraid of me. He even poses for me to take photos. Well, he just stared at me.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Morning

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome – B&W

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70, Patti is inviting us to explore the world of monochrome–which includes black and white and sepia, as well as different shades of one color.

This is my second post of this theme. I include the black and white photos from my archives.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome – B&W

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome – Color

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70, Patti is inviting us to explore the world of monochrome–which includes black and white and sepia, as well as different shades of one color.

In this post, I include the  roses, plums and apples from my garden. The roses show different shades from buds to full blossom. They also show different shades when reflecting the intensity of sunlight throughout the day. There are two photos of green apples and plums before ripening and one photo of the ripe plums.

 

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Pink Rose in day time

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Green plums and shades of green leaves

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Green apples and shades of green leaves

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Yellow rose

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A different yellow rose

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Ripe plums, some are more ripe than the others

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Pink rose at sunset (different rose from the one above)

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome – Color

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66: Filling the Frame

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week, Patti invited us to look at Filling the Frame. She demonstrated her photos of the differences of not filling the frame and filling the frame.

 

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The bees love sunflowers. This photo was taken in the summer 2018 as I waited to catch this position of the bee.

 

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There are many kinds of birds in my garden. I watch them and feed them and caught this House Finch cracking a sunflower seed.

 

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This photo was taken when we walked around Laguna Lake by our house. There were many turtles but this one was most handsome and colorful. This close-up shot allowed me to see its body texture and colors and the look on its face.

 

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There was a wildfire in Columbia Gorge in Washing, Oregon area in September 2017 caused by a 15-year-old boy igniting fireworks. The sky was covered with smoke. This was early in the afternoon.

 

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The human eyes usually cannot gaze directly to the sun. The smoke was intense and filtered the ray so we were able to look right at the sun.

 

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I used to study the moon cycles and paid attention to the Red Blood moon and the Blue moon. California is not a good location to glimpse the intensity of the colors of the moon. January 2018 was the first appearance of full moon of the year. This full moon photo was taken from our driveway early at night.

 

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This was taken at the same time of the night. I zoomed in to view the shadows of the moon.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66: Filling the Frame

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #63 – My Magical Garden

Ann-Christine invited us to look at our Magical Garden this week for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #63.

I have written several posts about my magical garden. The hummingbirds, the flowers, the trees and the baby birds.

There were more baby birds in my magical garden. On August 13, 2019, A pair of Mourning Doves came to the previous occupied nest, checked it out and decided to use it. Mama bird laid two eggs and nurtured two babies. The bigger baby flew to the nearby bush. Then Mama, Papa and the bigger brother left.  I thought Mama would leave the younger one alone, but she came back to stay with him for a while. Later that afternoon, the younger one left the nest also. The amazing thing was, both babies came back to the nest to spend a night together. They were gone the next day afternoon. I never saw this behavior in the birds in all the years.

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“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?” – Nature historian Sr. David Attenborough

“Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.” – Douglas Coupland

“Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble.” – Roger Tory Peterson

 

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The summer is mild this year with only several hot days. The flowers in my garden delight me without demanding too much work. I posted many flowers previously. This is the first time I post the following flowers.

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.” – Buddha

“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.” – Claudia Adrienne Grandi

“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.” – Helen Keller

 

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Vinca Valiant Apricot doesn’t require too much water. They are annual flowers, but with proper trimming, the new flowers grow in the following year.

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The Iceberg roses are not demanding attention. The dead flowers and stems fall automatically. I chose to trim them the same way I care for other roses.

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Geranium has gorgeous colors and blooms all year round. It’s a low maintenance plant. I trim them because I like to keep the bushes to certain sizes.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 63 – My Magical Garden

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #53: Flowers

This is one year anniversary of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I want to thank Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy, Tina and their team effort to make the photo Challenge fun. To celebrate the anniversary, the theme for #53 can be individual’s choice or one of their suggestions. I chose to show some flowers.

Welcome to My Garden!

There are many kinds of flowers in my garden. Some are perennial and some annual. To make gardening manageable, I have mostly perennial flowers because they come back year after year. I just keep some spots for annual flowers to have fun planting new every year.

Our front yard and backyard were remodeled fifteen years ago, twelve rose bushes were planted. The original tags were gone and I don’t remember the names of most of the roses. I tried to keep the tags of twelve rose bushes planted after that. Since these twenty-four rose bushes are in different colors, I decided to have ten white iceberg roses on one side of the driveway.

There are about a dozen kinds of annual flowers not included in this post. Yes, I like flowers.

 

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Double Delight

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

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Hybrid Tea

“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

 

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Grateful Heart

“The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.” – Author Unknown

 

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Orange Hibicus

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” – John Lennon

 

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Pink Hibicus

 “Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities in the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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Daylily

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson

 

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Clover flowers and their visitor

“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound.” – Edwin Curran

 

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Sunflowers and their visitor

“A rose can never be a sunflower, and a sunflower can never be a rose. All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too.” – Miranda Kerr

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #53 – Flowers

 

 

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