Sunday, August 31, 2008

Descanso Gardens #4 - The Birds

Well, I was only managed to get pics of two birds and they're not that clear but I got them! Feel free to let me know what these are. LOL! :-D

Spiders & Flowers

Why is it that the only time I've seen this Green Lynx spider it's been on a peach rose. I posted a couple of previous posts with this same spider but this one was on a rose at the Descanso Gardens so I didn't want anyone thinking it was the same if they've already seen the others. :-)

I don't know what kind of spider this is but it's kind of...creepy.

Back It Up!

There's an old saying: "You never miss your water 'til the well runs dry".

I got up yesterday morning, turned on my computer and.... NOTHING! Well okay, it did something but not what it was supposed to. I couldn't get it to open windows and kept going back to an initializing screen. Needless to say my well ran dry. I took it to Best Buy and turned it over into the hands of The Geek Squad. I was in there 3 hours mostly because I chose to wait until they ran something on my computer so I'd know exactly what was wrong and what kind of problem I was really looking at. They could read the drive but couldn't open it. And wouldn't you know it, my service plan ran out 2 months ago and I never got a renewal notice. So $259.00 and a day later, here I sit back on my laptop. I thank God it was only $259.00 and that I didn't have to buy a new drive (at least not yet), or a new laptop.

Part of the $259 was for my old 2nd computer that I also took it. I was so disheartened when that drive crashed I never took it in. At the time it was okay because I had most of everything on there on my other laptop... until I messed up and accidentally deleted everything on that one. That's a long story of stupidity I won't get into. I cried for three days and then every time I thought about it because I literally lost everything. Everything - photos, books I was trying to write, email contacts.... everything.

Let me just say.. if you hesitate to back-up your stuff and keep copies of your files, PLEASE learn from my experiences. I've owned or worked computers ever since they first came out and I'd never had a problem until my last two computer so my backing up was practically nil. I've learned so I'm just reminding those of you hesitate to back-it up, stop putting it off.


Friday, August 29, 2008

I'd Be A Butterfly

I was hoping to get some butterfly shots when I went to the Descanso Gardens. There were plenty flying around but only a couple decided not to be too shy. Some of these aren't as clear as I like but I still like them so I'm sharing them anyway (smile). You know, if I could fly I'd be a butterfly.

The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower a tethered butterfly.

~Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun

I don't know if these dark ones are moths or butterflies...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sky Watch #7

I couldn't figure out which was the better pic to post so I just posted them both. The other day I walked directly into a spider web I didn't see. It was as if this invisible thing covered my face and I instantly knew what it was. I'm still shuddering thinking about it. Later I saw this and knew that someone else must have had the same problem. This is what remained of another devastated huge web but the spider was there just hanging and blowing in the breeze.

Let me tell you this wasn't the easiest shot to get because the spider and web were swaying in the wind and I was afraid if I wasn't careful or got too close I was going to wind up with it on my lens. So, this was as close as I was willing to get. Imagine me swaying in whatever direction it did while trying to snap this.

It really does pay to look up.

Click on the SkyWatch icon below to visit the Sky Watch Friday host and find a list of everyone participating and links to their photos.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Descanso Gardens #3 - The Koi

If you read my first post on the Descanso Gardens you may remember that I said I'd never seen so many Koi in my life. There was specfically two Koi Ponds and then there were brown Koi in different parts of the stream that was the forefront and edge off the Camelia Forest.

Descanso Gardens #2 - It's A Bee!

One of the things there were plenty of at Descanso Gardens were bees! Since I started taking photos again they don't worry me like they used to. I still have much respect for their stinging ability but I think I realize their purpose in life is geared more towards the flowers than me. So long as I respect their space they respect mine and so far, so good. Click on any picture for larger view.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Descanso Gardens

I've been trying to find and visit every arboretum and botanical garden in the surrounding areas. The last one I visited was Descanso Gardens. Of the ones I've visited so far, I like this one the best probably because most of it is really set up like someones massive garden. What I also like is that it just seems to continuously flow. There aren't any long treks between garden areas and there is always something to stop to look at. Many of the other gardens have long treks past massive lawns or walks down long roads before you get to the next garden. This place always gave you something to look at or a place to stop and admire a fountain or stream or the Koi in it.

Everything is beautifully set from the moment you walk in and there is water everywhere whether it is in a fountain, a waterfall or a stream that runs along the entire south side of the park (I think it's south), with bridges that cross over it.

I've never seen so many Koi in my life and they are everywhere even in parts of the stream and in the pond in the Japanese garden.

Outside the core of the Descanso Gardens is a 20-acre Camellia Forest where you can walk the paved paths or venture on the dirt paths under the shade of the trees. Even inside the forest you'll find an occasional rest spot with a pond, quiet bench, large boulders to sit on, or a fountain.

With all of the trees, running streams, fountains and waterfalls, you don't even feel the hot weather outside. I didn't even mind the big spider web I didn't see and walked right into when I ventured off the paved path. I don't know if it was as big as the one below but it sure felt like it. Eeeeewww!

And the flowers! Oh, my goodness the flowers. There were so many. I can't wait until Spring when everything that is not in bloom now will be in bloom then. I'll be posting may of the different photos I took of the flowers and bees. There were plenty of every kind of bee you can imagine both big and small (smile).

I'll be back. I've captured the fish, the dragon flies, the bees, flowers and one bird. I'm still hoping to see some of the over 200 birds they've cataloged as visiting. Oh, and did I mention the miniature train ride you can take through the gardens? How cute is that?

Misty Trees

I took these at the Descanso Gardens . There was a water sprinkler shooting through the trees and I like they way it looked through my lens.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What Is This!?

I'm going to try to make this long story short. I was an a bird observation station looking for birds that never showed so I started taking pics of the turtles swimming in the murky water. I thought I was taking pics of a turtles head poking up out of the water until I got home and looked at the photos. That ain't no turtle and quite frankly, it's giving me the creeps probably because I can't identify it.

You can see in the first pic the turtles head poking out next to the one that is completely surfaced. Clearly that is a turtle head. When I saw another head pop up out of the water I just snapped thinking it was another turtle. Now look at the 2nd & 3rd photos. Again, that ain't no turtle. Can anyone tell what that is? You can click on the pics for a larger view.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Today's Flower #3

If you like photos of flowers click on over to Flowers From Today and check out all of the participants in Today's Flowers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Galloping Steeds

I've always liked horses and I've been wanting to find some place to go to take pictures of them. I've had an even stronger desire after I've seen some great photos in blogs and after watching the equestrian portion of the olympics. The horses were so beautiful prancing around and leaping over one thing and then another.

So, today I came across some horses and smiled. I had my camera and with a smile on my face I began taking pictures as they galloped around their little fenced in area. Seeing these horses took me back to my childhood and reminded me of probably when I first began to admire these wonderful steeds.

African Marketplace

I spent part of my morning at the African Marketplace & Cultural Affair. I wish I had been able to hang around long enough to hear at least a couple of the many bands that were going to play during the day. Still, being the artist at heart that I am, I've always appreciated the African craftsmanship and art. So, my camera and I had a great time and luckily no one told me not to take any pictures of their work. Of course, I had to share some of them.