Outdoor Plants and Flowers

Took the Olympus to the front yard. The setting was on Shutter Priority Mode. Minor editing were done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Columbine.

Pine cone from the giant pine tree in the yard. The tree is starting to brown at the top. I hope it’s not a sign that it’s dying.

This is a ground covering flower called a Vinca. They grow so fast and wildly. I want to get rid of them completely but husband wants to keep them.

Aspen.

The peony is stuck inside the branches of a huge bush. When we first landscaped the yard, the bush was tiny so I thought I could fit a peony plant there. Ten years later and there’s no room for it to grow. I’m planning to take it out and plant it in an open area. It used to bloom so beautifully.

Maple.

The giant bush. Its leaves are tiny now but come summer and fall and this thing becomes a beast. I happen to really like this bush. Just wish the peony wasn’t stuck inside it.

I believe these are morning glories. Not sure what the little periwinkle colored flowers are called but they are so pretty.

And last, a lavender my sister gave me for Mother’s Day. It’s inside the house now but I might transfer it outside. Can you see the spider web between the two flowers? We just had a spider egg sac open in the backyard and watched the babies fly off (like in Charlotte’s Web). Some sneaked inside the house and made the plants their home. I think they’re safe so I’m not worried. You’d think I’d be more scared of spiders since I was bitten pretty badly by a Brown Recluse years ago. There are other bugs I’m more scared off, but we won’t go there.

Orchids Taken with Olympus PEN E-PL8

These photos were taken in RAW and converted to JPEG. Nothing else was done to them. I should also mention that the setting was on auto.

Snow and Breakfast

Happy first day of spring!

This morning, youngest daughter and I took husband to the airport. He is one of the ones who has to work during this crazy time. It’s hard to relax knowing he’s out there and could possibly get sick even though he is taking precautions.

Someone posted on Facebook this game: “For those working from home, tell me something about your kids, but refer to them as your co-workers, your spouse as your CEO, and your pet as your secretary.” Here’s what I wrote:

One co-worker refuses to come to the office. However, she says she’s helping another co-worker with his workload and thinks it’s going to take all year and then some. The other co-worker is in her office, but playing games and chatting on discord. The secretary is sleeping on the job and the CEO is out of town for a week.

Just a little something to ease the mind.

It was sprinkling rain on the drive to and from the airport. The visibility was on the bad side so I missed my exit and ended up taking the long way home…or “the scenic route” as I told daughter. When we reached home it was snowing. It looks pretty bad out there as I type. Made daughter scrambled eggs and myself French toast.

Took a photo of daughter while she was eating. I’ve been watching tutorials by Ali Edwards on capturing every day small moments. When my kids were younger, I did this quite often. Then, they got busy, and I got busy, and forgot how important it was to capture small things once in awhile.

Times like these often help me reflect. I guess it’s just a reminder to slow down and pay attention.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Happy LEAP DAY! Yesterday, I got a tooth pulled and a cavity filled. I was told to take it slow so that’s what I’ve been doing.

Last Friday, the family drove to Albuquerque, NM for daughter’s dance competition. It was about a seven hour drive. We arrived around 11:30pm and all went straight to bed. The competition was on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings. We drove home Monday morning stopping at a pho restaurant for lunch before the seven hour drive back. Here are some photos from the trip.

Ouray, Colorado

Last week, the family took a road trip to Ouray, Colorado. It was a six hour drive through winding roads and beautiful mountain views so it didn’t feel very long at all.  The photo below shows us at just shy of three hours from our destination.

Here are some views on our way there.

We stayed at an RV and cabin campsite where we rented a tiny home cabin. It was homey and well cared for.

We stayed in the middle cabin. They called these deluxe cabins because there’s enough room to sleep seven people. There were four of us total so we wouldn’t fit in the smaller cabins, which were a few yards down from ours.

Inside our cabin. The kids slept in the loft. Down past the kitchen is the main bedroom.

This is the living room. We watched a couple of movies on our stay. It wasn’t really mountain living, as you can see.

The backside walks out toward the river which was pretty swollen from the snowfall last month. The black cover thingy with the rock on top is a gas grill. We didn’t get a chance to use it but hope to next time. I enjoyed waking up early and sitting on a chair listening to the rush of the river and birds chirping. It was relaxing and peaceful.

When we first arrived, we ate dinner at a restaurant and then went for a walk along the river. Our oldest was too tired so she stayed in the cabin. The rain sprinkled a bit but didn’t last. That’s my husband and youngest in her rain poncho.

We only went for two nights and three days so we didn’t get to do too much. We spent our day mainly at the hot springs pool. The same evening, there was a music festival in the park next to the pool so we hung out there for a couple of hours. Before the pool and the festival, we had breakfast at the Cafe next to the cabins and RVs. We learned that the owner of the cafe, when he was a kid in the 80’s, got to sit with John Wayne for breakfast every morning while they were filming the original True Grit (yes! it was filmed in Ouray). His mother opened the cafe and ran it until she wasn’t able to and he took over. I had ordered a huervos rancheros and had just started eating when he came by and told us this story. He said the huervos rancheros was John Wayne’s favorite. He was a lucky kid. I’m glad he shared this piece of his life with us.

Orchid Blooms

All the orchids are blooming at the same time. It’s like they are whispering to each other, “Hey, she takes care of us. She loves us. Let’s show her we love her too.”

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Winter Snow

Yesterday, we were hit with a sort of blizzard. But, like most winters here, they never last. School was delayed for the kids this morning due to the icy roads. Just before noon, most the snow and ice had melted.

Teddy gets excited when she sees snow. She only comes inside after she’s had her fun. Oh, and also because she knows there’s a treat waiting for her.

 

A Quick Hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park

Last Friday, husband’s planned hike to a 14-er didn’t work out, so instead, he and I went to Castlewood Canyon to do a simple hike, something I could handle. It was beautiful with the changing colors of the leaves. Where I’m looking toward in the photo was once a damn built in 1890. The dam broke in 1933 causing a disastrous flood. Now it’s land for homes and pasture for cows. Last time we visited we saw the broken dam, but this time we took a different route, a more scenic route, to appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of the land.

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Hiking

This was my first hike this year. This was a really easy hike. The landscape was mainly flat so I did’t get much workout in, which is fine for now since it’s been awhile. The views were beautiful and very green.

We laid down a couple of rocks for Kat, the girl who passed away in May from suicide, who was the dance friend of my daughter.  We also scattered some wild flowers that was given at her memorial at the top of the hill we climbed to.  Maybe we’ll visit this place again in a couple of years and see if the flowers survived.

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Watercolor Leaves

Some watercolors I did through a course on Skillshare.  I used the Kuretake watercolor set I posted a photo of in a previous post.  I am getting a lot more comfortable with watercolor but I am still far from my own style and confidence.  I’ve also learned that paper quality is very important.  In the first two paintings, I used 90 lb Strathmore papers, and in the second two, I used 140 lb Strathmore papers.  The difference is extreme.  The 140 didn’t buckle and held on to water much better.

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