Category Archives: photography

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

This week, Anne-Christine invited us to look at a delicate matter, may it be soft or light – like the scent of a rose…; having a thin, attractive shape – delicate hands for example…; fragile or easily damaged – like fine china…; pleasant but not easily noticed – like a delicate floral pattern on the walls…or just being ”a delicate matter.”

There are many bird egg stories in my garden. The incubation seems like a delicate situation for birds.

In the summer of 2018 when we came home from a trip, I found a nest hanging on the Date Palm branches with an abandoned egg. There were three different sizes of nests on the ground and one broken egg. My neighbor said there was windstorm while we were gone and caused the disasters for the birds’ motherhood.

The House Finches built a nest on the top layer of the trellis in my front porch in 2015. The three eggs disappeared after several days. I was sad and went online to ask an expert of what happened to the eggs. The answer was it happened all the time because animals could climb up to steal the eggs. I took a while to get over with the sadness.

A pair of House Finches rebuilt the nest in the same location in 2016. The female bird laid three eggs and hatched four birds. I watched and took photos during the entire incubation and hatching period. The female bird would fly away if I came close to the nest. I tried to be slow when walking in front of the nest until the babies were hatched, matured and flown away.

 

 

Similar stories happened to the Mourning Doves. In 2016, a female dove found a location in a tree and sat there. The male dove brought twigs to build a nest around her. She laid eggs but came down from the tree after a few days. The female dove was sitting on the grass, motionless for an hour as if she was mourning for the loss. The male dove was standing a couple feet away, also in a still position. He only adjusted his head when she stood up. I was hiding under the patio table watching and taking photos. I didn’t know what happened to the eggs.

Then the Mourning Doves built a nest under our eaves and laid two eggs in 2017. Male and female doves took turns to incubate the eggs. When the babies were hatched, they watched them close by until the babies flew away.

 

 

When I found three nests on the ground in the summer of 2018 after a windstorm, I saved a better shaped one. I placed it on the top layer of the trellis, supported it with chicken wire, hoping some birds might use it. I didn’t look at the nest a just a few days. On May 9 this year, I found a mourning dove occupied the nest. It looked like they built a nest with twigs on top of the existing nest.  I only saw one dove there and I worried that she might be hungry. I put some bird seeds on the ground a few feet from the trellis. At first, she didn’t seem to come down to eat. The last few days, she came down briefly to eat.

 

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May 2019

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May 2019

I did a research today and found out that, the male and female doves look alike. The male may incubate during daytime and the female does it at night. It takes 14-15 days for incubation and the young will leave the nest in 12-14 days.

I hope that the doves will be successful in hatching their babies this year.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

 

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

This week the topic is  Feathers.

Feel free to use your photo archives and see what photos you have that fits the current week’s challenge, or even better yet grab you camera and take a new photo!  ENJOY and have FUN. – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

 

I had seen peacocks in a zoo but hadn’t seen them up close roaming freely until my trip to Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia. The local historian traced back to a few peacocks Elias J. Baldwin picked up on a trip to India around 1880. He brought them back to his 8,000 acres of land then known as Rancho Santa Anita in Los Angeles.

After Baldwin’s death in 1909 at age 81, his daughter Anita sold off parcels of the ranch. In 1947, the state and the County of Los Angeles jointly purchased 111 acres to create an arboretum around the heart of the old ranch. Later the county purchased additional parcels, bringing the Arboretum’s total acreage to today’s 127.

In the 1880s, there were some 50 of the peacocks on the ranch. In the early 1960s, there were around 350. The Arboretum got tired of having so many and auctioned off down to 200. The peacocks could find food and plenty of places to lay eggs and continue to multiply. Since the Arboretum isn’t totally fenced in, today, they are a regular sight on city streets. – Source

 

1.2016.05 Arboretum

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Click the link to join the fun and challenge:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #45 – Street Art

When I go places near my home or travel abroad, I’m attracted to the sculptures, wall paintings, and different art forms. I included samples of these art forms in this post.

 

The MGM Lion Statue is the largest bronze statue in the Western Hemisphere.  It is 45 feet tall and 50 feet long. It weighs 50 tons and is made up of 1660 pieces of bronze welded together. The sculptor was Snell Johnson, and the designer was M. Smeaton. The statue was installed on February 15, 1997. http://www.lionlamb.us/lion/lvlions.html

1.Las Vegas lion

 

The Walk of Fame was created by E.M. Stuart, its volunteer president of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 1953. By March 1956, the final design and coral-and-charcoal color scheme had been approved, and between the spring of 1956 and the fall of 1957, 1,558 honorees were selected by committees representing the four major branches of the entertainment industry at that time: motion pictures, television, audio recording, and radio. Official groundbreaking took place on February 8, 1960. As of 2018, the Walk of Fame comprises over 2,600 stars. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Walk_of_Fame

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The Navy sailor kissing a nurse is 25 feet tall, weighs 6,000 pounds statue called “Unconditional Surrender,” by J. Seward Johnson, although the city of San Diego has officially labeled it the “Embracing Peace” statue. The original image of the moment was captured by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945 at the end of WWII. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/20274

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This Marilyn Monroe life-like statue is in front of the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida. The famous picture of Marilyn Monroe laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent was shot on September 15th, 1954 filming The Seven Year Itch. https://shoestringweekends.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/marilyn

 

The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.  The Wall cut off West Berlin from virtually all of surrounding  East Germany and East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on November 9, 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Wall

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The following two are the sculptures we saw in Sydney next to a park we passed by.

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The next two sculptures are among the sculptures, murals and other street art we see at Laguna Beach, California where we often go for a half day walk.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #45 – Street Art

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony in Nature

This week, Tina has for us as the theme of Lens-Artists Challenge is: Harmony

I focused on nature in this post. Whenever I’m in nature, I have a sense of being part of it, being blended into it. I think that’s a sense of harmony with nature. When we travel, I feel at awe of what I see and wish the images stay with me forever, or I could stay with nature forever. That’s one of the reason I came home from a trip with thousands of photos. Every single one was precious except the ones I moved the camera and took  photos of my feet or something else instead of the scene.

I searched for some quotes and was happy to find the ones regarding different aspects of harmony in nature.

“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” – Aldo Leopold

My husband and I have been watching nature documentary every night before bedtime for more than two years. Conservation is a relatively new concept for only decades. We lost a big part of rain forest for new city development or agriculture.  Yet Rainforests are often called the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and producing oxygen, upon which all animals depend for survival. Rainforests also stabilize climate, house incredible amounts of plants and wildlife, and produce nourishing rainfall all around the planet. When we traveled to Alaska, we heard so much about the climate change and global warming felt drastically in this region.

 

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Denali National Park, Alaska

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Denali National Park, Alaska

“He who is in harmony with nature hits the mark without effort and apprehends the truth without thinking.” – Confucius

This is such a great wisdom that when we are in harmony with nature, we just feel right and natural. When human being forces on nature to do what conceived as beneficial to us, we created discord against nature.

 

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Port Douglas, Australia

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Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

“The earth has music for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare

We can hear the wind, the running water of streams, the rain drops, the thunder, the sound of the ocean, the rustling of leaves, chirping of birds, howling of animals… to name just several. Together, they make great music.

 

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Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

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Rhododendron Garden, Oregon

“Art is a harmony parallel with nature.” – Paul Cezanne

Botanical gardens are just one form of art parallel with nature. I’m sure you can think of many art forms in perfect harmony with nature.

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The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Garden

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Rhododendron Garden, Oregon

Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony in Nature

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is: Eyes

I have fun doing things in my garden. I do gardening and feeding the birds. This afternoon, I spent a couple hours pulling weeds on the slope in my backyard, the last area of the garden needed attention.

By 4:00 p.m., there are about a dozen mourning doves perching on the telephone wires above the garden waiting for me to put the seeds out to feed them. I don’t have a bird seed feeder, I just put the seeds on the patio every day. The house finches are also regular visitors.

There are squirrels in the backyard. They like to eat the bird seeds. We don’t have trees with big nuts so they settle with bird seeds. There were several times when one squirrel came, I tried to scare him away. He looked right at me. Then he went to the corner of the wooden fence. But as soon as I went into the house, he came back. The birds didn’t like to be around him so they all flew away. The birds only stay until almost sunset. When the sun starts going down, they fly away. I had to make sure the squirrel went away and let the birds eat.

 

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There are several stray cats in the backyard. The mourning doves like to stand on the cinder block retaining wall. They are not as alert as my other birds such as the house finches. This black and white cat is smart. He stayed low and ambled until he was behind the cinder block wall and right under the mourning dove, then he jumped up and snatched the bird and dashed up the slope to be out of my sight. I was so mad at him and tried many ways to block the cat from coming close to where the birds like to hang out.

 

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My husband and I go on walks around Laguna Lake by our home. There are several turtles coming out of the water frequently. This turtle is the most colorful and handsome among them.

 

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #43–Less is More

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, the theme Amy gave us is:

“Less is More.”

 

We have heard of this phrase often. When I saw this theme, I was curious of the origin of the expression. The research took me to several places and I wanted to trace the origin. This is what I found out:

This is a 19th century proverbial phrase. It is first found in print in Andrea del Sarto, 1855, a poem by Robert Browning written to Lucrezia:

“Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) – so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.”

 

The phrase is often associated with the architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969), one of the founders of modern architecture and a proponent of simplicity of style.

Simple architecture in Kyoto, Japan.

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Kasugataisya Shrine

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #42: Creativity – Ceramic art

The theme for the week’s Photo Challenge from Anne-Christine is “Creativity.”

Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something new or somehow valuable – inventiveness. The created item may be an idea, a scientific theory, or even a joke; or a physical object, maybe a new invention, a literary work – or a painting. – Anne Christine.

 

I shared my watercolor painting before. Today I want to share my other hobby – ceramic painting.

My first ceramic piece was a free-handed project made with clay. I took a ceramic painting class as part of the Child Development program at California State University, Los Angeles. The students were to create any projects from a block of clay, then painted and glazed them. The professor then put them in the 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit kilt to fire them.

I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and wanted to make something for my daughter. The idea of a nightlight came to my mind.  Making a whale with holes from the blowhole, eyes and mouth gradually materialized. A light bulb holder is at the bottom to hold the light shining through the holes.

 

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