Tag Archives: trees

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

Xenia at Tranature is the guest host for Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge this week. She invited us to look at the theme of Sanctuary.

We have been in lock down because of Covid-19 since March 11. The initial projection was to close schools and stores for several weeks. Five months have gone by, we see new surge of cases in many countries. This is an unsettling time of the history.

Xenia’s theme is timely for us to think about and find sanctuary among the chaos.

 

Sanctuary is the tranquility where the mind and soul find serenity and peace. It could be in the ocean, a park, or your garden.

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It seems to be miles away but Laguna Lake is in the midst of the residential homes.

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My garden

Sanctuary is the harmony where the chaos, strife, and discords dissipate. It could be somewhere in the forest or the perception through our filtered lenses.

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Trees find their way toward the sun at Laguna Lake.

Sanctuary is the quietness where the demands, interruption, and disturbance fade away. It could be a bench under a tree or in the depth of your heart.

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Benches like this one are facing the water around Laguna Lake.

Sanctuary is a resting place where the struggles, conflicts, and confusion subside. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.

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Tucking the head under the wings is a perfect way of napping for the ducks.

Sanctuary is a hobby you emerge yourself in for leisure and pleasure. You may find it in reading, hiking, or fishing. I find mine in singing and painting.

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This family enjoyed fishing at Laguna Lake

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My watercolor painting

Sanctuary is a haven where one finds security, love, and care for the young.

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A content mama duck with eight fuzzy ducklings

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

 

I love to hear where you find your sanctuary. Please share with us in the comment. Thank you!

 

 

 

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 #72–Waiting

This week, Amy invites us to the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72–Waiting.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.” Proverb 3:1-2

 

Waiting is a relative state. There is a time to wait and a time to go forward. Growing is a process that we can’t rush through. We must be patient with ourselves. Yet on the other hand, if we wait for the perfect moment to act, that moment may never come.

 

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House finches waiting to grow

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Mourning doves waiting to mature

“I had tended to view waiting as mere passivity. When I looked it up in my dictionary however, I found that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root, pati, which means to endure. Waiting is thus both passive and passionate. It’s a vibrant, contemplative work. It means descending into self, into God, into the deeper labyrinths of prayer. It involves listening to disinherited voices within, facing the wounded holes in the soul, the denied and undiscovered, the places one lives falsely. It means struggling with the vision of who we really are in God and molding the courage to live that vision.” – Sue Monk Kidd

 

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Fairness is the sun to the nature that receives it.

“Whatever we are waiting for — peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance — it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

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Seize the moment to show the blossom

“Don’t Wait! Start on your dreams, your impulses, your longings, your special occasions today. Because this is your moment.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

 

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“Don’t be shy, show your inner beauty!”

“If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.” – Senegalese Proverb

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72–Waiting

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories

This week Ann-Christine gave us the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees. Here are some of my tree stories.

I’m thankful for having many trees in our front yard and the garden in the back of the house.

Our county is named Orange County known for the orange groves.  In 1948, a vast forest of five million Valencia orange trees grew on 67,000 acres. The postwar population boom triggered an almost wholesale conversation of farmland to suburbia.

Our home was built before 1948 with an orange tree planted in the backyard. The Valencia tree produces two crops a year yielding several hundreds of oranges each crop. The juice we squeeze and freeze from each crop lasts for four months.

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I planted two plum trees in my garden several years ago. The plum blossoms start earlier than any flowers. In 2017, when the trees were mature and started having full blossoms, I worried there were no bee attracting flowers to pollinate the plum blossoms. Well, I said there were no bee attracting flowers around, it was not entirely true. There were clovers with yellow flowers but yellow was not my favorite color of flowers. To one person is flower, to another person is weed. I consider clovers weed and always pulled them to give room for planting other flowers. That year, after I pulled two handful from the slope blanketed with clovers, I spotted bees. I was surprised and happy, but sorry for what I did. I quickly plugged the clovers back to the soil. Ever since then, I leave a large area on the slope for clovers.

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This year, with five months of winter rain, both plum blossoms and clovers grow wild. There are several hundreds of plums on each tree.

(Note: The heavy rain throughout the winter boosted the growth of the plums. When they started ripening. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied as I picked them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!)

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Without giving too much thought on many kinds of apples, I planted a Granny Smith apple tree several years ago. It turned out that Granny Smith apples were too sour for me to eat. My friends recommended to use them to make apple pies. We don’t eat pies too much for health reason. I ended up chopping down the tree and planted a Red Delicious apple tree. The tree is three years old with thin branches, but with the help of heavy rain this year, there are a couple hundreds of apples. I had to use heavy sticks to pop up the weighed down branches.

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Cypress trees require little water to grow to a maximum of 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Many homes use them as natural fence for privacy or border of the property. We grow them for privacy reason. The home on the hill on the top of our slope has the backyard facing our second story. Even though people don’t purposely intrude other people’s homes, we wanted to have the added beauty of the trees and privacy.

There are three Hibiscus trees, two in the garden in the back of the house and one in the side yard. Hibiscus tree has gorgeous flowers without requiring too much water. I used to water them the same way I did for other trees and flowers. Then I noticed white flies growing from the back of the leaves. My gardener asked me to rinse the leaves with soapy water. I got rid of the white flies with soapy water, but I decided not to water the trees at all. Since the roots of the trees are deep and draw water from the deep soil, the trees grow beautifully with dark green leaves and bright color flowers.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories

 

 

 

 

Thursday’s Special – Fall

Paula at Lost in Translation: The theme for this Thursday’s Special – Fall

Portland, Oregon is a place where I always want to come back during the fall season. The foileage around the fall season is magical and dramatic. The colors of the trees can change within days. It is a lovely sight to behold.

We went to St. John Cathedral Park last Sunday. The sky was high with trailing clouds. Many families took advantage of the warm weather, have kids running around the park in this leisure afternoon. One person was making huge bubbles to entertain the kids.

We made it to Sauvie Island and baby Autumn had the first pumpkin patch outing.

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Paula’s Thursday’s Special – Fall

Weekly Photo Challenge – Elements

“For this week’s challenge, explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, and fire. How do you capture something invisible like air or the movement of water?” – 

No place is like Yellowstone National Park that includes all the elements on this planet we call home. Its vast land covers mountains and flat land, waterfall, and volcano.

“Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles (8,983 km2), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The Caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants.”

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

 

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 Weekly Photo Challenge: Elemental

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