Tag Archives: photography

Thursday Door – City Tour

One morning my husband and I joined a Fullerton downtown tour. We started at 7:00 a.m. before the city got busy. We walked 45,000 steps recorded by several people’s apps.

According to Wikipedia, Fullerton was founded in 1887. It secured the land on behalf of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. Historically, it was a center of agriculture, with notable groves of Valencia oranges and other citrus crops.

Fullerton is in the Orange County. When the name Orange County was first proposed, there weren’t very many oranges. Most locals were growing grapes and raising hogs, but in an effort to better promote the area, the county looked to oranges. The name became official in 1889. Migrants poured in, and many planted small citrus groves. Around 1900, oranges became the county’s main crop. Millions of orange trees were planted.

Most of the homes in our neighborhood, including ours, have a Valentia orange tree in the backyard. We benefit greatly with a harvest of 1,500 oranges in the last crop. We squeezed and froze the juice for our daily consumption.

The orange tree in my backyard

In 1886, the city began negotiations with George H. Fullerton, president of the Pacific Land and Improvement Company, also a Santa Fe subsidiary. They offered free right-of-way and half interest in the land to the railroad and name the city after him. On July 5, 1887, the negotiation came through and the railroad station is now the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue.

Railroad Station

Downtown Fullerton, with its palm tree-lined streets and low-rise historical buildings, is full of old California style and character.

Downtown Fullerton

The city was built on level ground, which makes walking around the area easy and a great way to explore. It rains on average twenty days out of the entire year.

Fox Theater is a landmark feature from the inception of Fullerton City. The City Council considered demolishing it but the citizen organized a campaign to save it. The group raised funds to strengthen the structure and improve its appearance.

The original California hotel, now named Villa del Sol, was completed in 1922. The project was initiated by Charles C. Chapman for the purpose of creating a first-class hotel in the city. It now currently has a variety of restaurants. The Cellar restaurant is one of the restaurants in the basement. The prices are ranging from $$$ to $$. The Cellar was one of the restaurants in the basement of Villa del Sol. Steak dinner with wine and dessert for two easily costs over $200.

Thursday Door – City Tour

Thank you for joining me for this short tour.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Monarchs in My Garden: Part 2

The female monarch has thick black veins on the forewings and hindwings

My previous post mentioned one female monarch came back from the south earlier than I expected. She laid many eggs on my milkweed. There were three adult monarchs that emerged from the chrysalises before our Memorial Day weekend trip to see our grandkids in Oregon.

The male monarch has two thick dots on the hindwings

Before going on the trip, I asked my neighbor to babysit the caterpillars, but she didn’t feel comfortable doing it. I bought two additional butterfly cages with a total of four, and put the milkweed with the most eggs in the cages, then left them alone. One cage had five chrysalises. I left the cage door open in case the adult monarchs emerge while we were gone.

A mess is put at the top of the milkweed pot level so that the toddler caterpillars won’t fall to the bottom of the cage.

When we came back from the trip, two of the chrysalises had only empty shells. I was glad the cage door was open, so the butterflies flew away. There were still three monarchs that emerged after we returned home.

They crawled around the cage until they straightened the wrinkled wings to be strong enough to fly

The other three cages had tons of caterpillars. Some grew bigger in our absence. Some eggs were hatched.

I only had enough milkweed to feed the caterpillars I had so far. My visit to the nursery was disappointing because the plant was dry and almost dead but cost the same. Currently, there are about 20 chrysalises in four cages. When all the adult butterflies emerge, I’ll pack up the cages.

These are 7 of the 20 chrysalises

My home-grown milkweed is doing well. Hopefully, I won’t need to purchase commercial ones next year.

I took a photo of them before they flew away

My monarch raising season is almost over this year. I made a few recordings of the different stages. I want to show you two of them. If you don’t want to spend 14 minutes watching them, you could fast forward.

Incredible creature
Amazing transformation

We all have our beautiful butterflies within us, you and me!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Bokeh

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Sofia Alves invited us to look at bokeh in photography. The following is her discussion.

“What is bokeh? We all have seen this effect; we have photos of it. The term bokeh was first used to distinguish normal motion blur from the blur obtained when things are out of focus. It literally means blur in Japanese. The Nikon website, after a more complex and technical explanation, reduces it to simply this: ‘bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus blur in a photograph’”. 

My newest photo today would do the job.

This is my first caterpillar of the year. I saw a Monarch flying around a few weeks ago but didn’t expect to have caterpillars soon. This little guy is early. Basically, my milkweed from last year is not grown yet. I bought two pots with one in a good shape, enough to feed one caterpillar. After this little guy, I’ll wait until summer to raise more butterflies.

The first caterpillar in my garden, 2022

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Bokeh

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Thursday Doors – London 2

London was the first stop on our Europe trip. We bought the Europe land tour package from a travel company and purchased air tickets separately because we wanted a flexible flight schedule.

We arrived in London five days prior to the tour so that we could visit family and friends. After that, we joined our tour for the resting of sightseeing. The tour bus drove us around London to overview the major attractions, then took us back to the hotel. Some people elected to visit places on their own, but we paid for the excursion for the guided tour. On the last day of the tour, we took the cruise around the city on River Thames.

Windsor Castle is in Berkshire, England, and was built as a motte and bailey castle by William the Conqueror (r. 1066-1087). Converted into stone by Henry II of England (r. 1165-1179), the shell keep tower was rebuilt by Edward III of England (r. 1327-1377). The castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II (r. 1953-).

Windsor Castle entrance

As part of the admission, we received the audio device for the self-guided tour. It is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Mandarin. When we key in the room’s number or place where we were in, we could hear a full commentary.

Queen Mary’s House, Windsor Castle

Framlingham Castle was built during the 12th century and maintains much of its original features, including its incredible stone architecture and many features that were classic of that era. It is here Mary Tudor, “Bloody Mary,” was crowned Queen. Queen Mary I made no secret of her religious beliefs and she was a devout Catholic upon taking the throne in 1553. To convert England to Catholicism, she would persecute over 300 protestants in the name of religion. This reign of religious terror earned her the nickname of ‘Bloody Mary.’

Guard

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarchy of the United Kingdom.

Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and a burial site and 17 royal weddings.

Westminister Abbey

The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Palace of Westminister

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the striking clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London.

Big Ben

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.

Tower of London

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge built between 1886 and 1894, designed by Horace Jones and engineered by John Wolfe Barry. The double-leaf bascule, movable bridge raises to permit passage of a ship having masts too tall to pass under at this point.

Tower Bridge

Thursday Doors – London 2

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Thursday Doors – London

London was the first stop on our Europe trip. Amsterdam was the second stop. We bought the Europe land tour package from a travel company and purchased air tickets separately because we wanted a flexible flight schedule.

We arrived in London five days prior to the tour so that we could visit family and friends.

My childhood friend Shirley lives in London. Shirley and her husband took us to the cities outside of London. We went to Bath, Longleat House, and Stonehenge.

Bath is famous for its Roman-built baths. While in Bath, we visited the Jane Austen Centre. Jane Austen was living and writing in Bath from 1801 to 1806. While her most well-known novel Pride and Prejudice takes place in the countryside, her two books, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, are set in the historic city of Bath that captures a unique Georgian metropolis. They both have the spa town as a primary location. Our visit was after the BBC Masterpiece Theatre broadcasting the show Pride and Prejudice. Colin Firth, the actor’s portrait was on canvas painting, stationery, CDs, and other souvenir items.

City of Bath

Longleat House is in Wiltshire, Somerset, 97 miles west of London. The house is set in 1,000 acres of parkland with 4,000 acres of farmland and 4,000 acres of woodland. It is not only a historic visitor attraction but also a residential home. The house is the best example of high Elizabethan architecture in Britain and one of the most beautiful stately homes open to the public. The estate includes the first safari park outside Africa. This incredible estate was completed by Sir John Thynne in 1580 and has now been called home by 15 generations of the Thynne family.

We took a tour in the section open to the public. I saw a painting with Hurdle as the last name of the author. I pointed it out to my husband. He got a chuckle.

Longleat House
Longleat Estate, well kept

It was a cloudy and windy day when we visited Stonehenge. Lynton said during his two years in London, there was no fence around Stonehenge. He remembered going around and under the stones. Because of tourism and preservation of the historical site, there was a fence with signs prohibiting tourists from getting close to the stones.

Archaeologists believe England’s most iconic Stonehenge was built in several stages. The work started on this super stone circle around 5,000 years ago in the late Neolithic Age. It took over 1,000 years to build, in four long stages! The last changes were made around 1,500BC, in the early Bronze Age.

No one knows the purpose of the stones, but the stones themselves give the experts a few clues to many theories. But one thing is for sure Stonehenge was used as a cemetery. Experts estimate that about 200 people are buried on the grounds. They also think that important funeral ceremonies would have been performed at the site.

Lynton’s family is from England and moved to Australia. Before immigrating to the United States, his family went from Australia to London and lived with his grandmother for two years. After we arrived in London, his cousin picked us up from the hotel and took us to visit the house where his grandmother lived. We also visited the school he attended. There were two entrances to the school courtyard, with one marked Boys and the other one marked Girls. He bought some candy from his favorite store. Another cousin lived by a river and had a boat. He wanted to take us on a boat ride, but there was pouring rain. We had a barbeque in the rain and a pleasant visit, catching up with the latest news.

Thursday Doors – London

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