May 2021: Naples Botanical Gardens: Part 5

This section of the garden was closed off but very interesting. I will confess I am not sure I would want to walk through there in my dreams. Seriously scroll down a bit and look at the guy’s teeth. That’s kind of downright scary. This was not part of the Asian garden as per the website but we passed by it heading to the final gardens. Definitely very very interesting.

Beyond the area above we walked through another area that appears to have been part of the Asian Gardens. More water lily and statues. I have to confess I love water lily and I could see myself having a pond with these gorgeous flowers on them.

If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover as you walk around out in the sun, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

Thank you for joining me. You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

May 2021: Naples botanical Garden: Part 4

When I last left off we were in the area that showcased the plants native to Florida with their beautiful waterfalls.

Today we are walking through the Enabling Gardens and heading through the water lily Gardens. Lastly we visited the Asian Gardens. The Enabling Gardens was a garden that showcased various gardening techniques from growing tomatoes, to various plants. The enabling gardens depicts gardening in raised beds so that the elderly, who love to garden, don’t have to get down on the floor level to weed the flower or vegetable bed. I am all for that at my age. It also showcases the option of sitting and wheelchair gardening. I loved the various choices that this garden had to give.

Moving beyond the enabling garden we moved towards the lily ponds with their vibrant and beautiful colors. Once again we saw beautiful depictions of roots in the metal artwork form.

Lastly we headed towards the Asian Gardens with their vibrant colors and beautiful and peaceful resting places. Richard found a bench where he waited for me while I was sidetracked.

I love to meander around the gardens. It takes time. We are out in the sun enjoying the beauty and to be honest forgetting about the heat that is bearing down on us. The sun in Florida is super strong. Make sure to put on your sunscreen. Wear sunglasses and use a hat to protect your face. If you have any form of skin cancer or like Richard, melanoma, then make sure you are wearing UV protective clothing when you are out in the sun. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. Make sure that you are checking your body for moles that look different., or a mole that may worry you. Melanoma, we are told can spill over and travel from a mole site to another organ and go dormant for years. In Richard’s case it was 34 years before the melanoma made itself evident again. Take Care of yourselves. Prevention is better than trying to cure Stage 4 cancer.

Thank you for joining me. You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

May 2021: Naples Botanical Gardens: Part 2

Leaving the Caribbean Gardens we moved along through the River of Grass area towards the Karen and Robert Scott Florida Garden that features plants that are native to Florida and also plants from around the world that grow and thrive in the Florida Climate. The paths meander through this beautiful vegetation past man made water falls, and thatched roof huts. I don’t know the names of the plants but so many caught my attention.

Again the image of roots in amongst the garden were evident.

Gorgeous colors and beautiful Phalaenopsis could be seen growing from the trees.

The wildflowers made me think of happy faces blowing in the wind.

There were man made waterfalls in the gardens which lent to a very restful stop.

There is so much to capture your interest along your pathway. Vibrant colors and beautiful flowers. Scenic pathways and softly falling water. This was definitely a treat.

Just a reminder, the sun in Florida is super strong. Make sure to put on your sunscreen. Wear sunglasses and use a hat to protect your face. If you have any form of skin cancer or like Richard, melanoma, then make sure you are wearing UV protective clothing when you are out in the sun. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. Make sure that you are checking your body for moles that look different., or a mole that may worry you. Melanoma, we are told can spill over and travel from a mole site to another organ and go dormant for years. In Richard’s case it was 34 years before the melanoma made itself evident again. Take Care of yourselves. Prevention is better than trying to cure Stage 4 cancer.

Thank you for joining me. You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

May 2021: Naples Botanical Gardens Part 3

I left off at the Brazilian section of the gardens in my last post. Today we venture into the Caribbean Gardens.

The garden shows off the plant life of the Caribbean plantations rich with fruits such as banana plants, papaya plants. There is also succulents and cacti. Richard found a bench to hang out on while he was waiting for me.

Walk with me through this gorgeous garden and enjoy the beautiful creation of nature.

This Anhinga was set perfectly out on the lake sun tanning his wings. Anhinga are interesting. The are often known as a snake bird because that is all you see when they come up for air while fishing for their food. Once the bird is finished fishing it needs to find a place to dry it’s wings before it can fly any distance.

I spotted this pair of Osprey high up on the pole.

While I was busy taking photos, Richard walked ahead to find a shady spot to sit and wait.

Cacti that we found along the way.

As I mentioned before, Roots appear to be the artistic theme in the gardens right now and this is just another beautiful example of what we got to see.

The Caribbean gardens has this beautiful oolite pergola which held me up for a while.

Moving through the garden, Richard was diligent to keep his hat on and look for shady spots to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Before we headed out to the gardens, he lathered himself with Factor 50 sunscreen. We wanted to be able to enjoy this time together in the gardens.

If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

Thank you for joining us. Look back for postings of the previous days.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: June 2021: Negative Space

It was my turn to choose this month and I decided to choose {Negative Space}. I am not sure if I related to the topic because our year so far has just been so negative or just because I really like the style of photography. If you read the previous two blogs you will know that we have decided to work on our bucket list of things we want to do. So we headed to Naples, Florida for a short 2 night away vacation.

I was not consciously thinking about negative space while we were in Naples, but I did manage to shoot a few of what I thought would fit the theme. The gardens were so peaceful and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around them.

According to Wikipedia Negative Space is “Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject of an image.” So here is my take on the {Negative Space} theme.

The next image was taken during a walk in the wetlands. I love to get down low with the boardwalk railings and shoot whatever is lying on them. This was an interesting combination of possible leaves, flower and some mucky looking stuff.

The image below is taken out in the garden after the rain. We have these rather annoying multcolored leaves all over the back garden which drop their leaves when they die. Ever since I had to be invested in the garden I have been trying to catch these leaves before they hit the floor and make a mess. However, when it rains the leaves hold perfect waterdrops, and often the colors are just so soothing.

And last but not least, this image was taken in my “home studio” which is made up of backing board and a few lights. Every so often I will buy fresh flowers and wait for them to die. I love the different shapes that they take.

This is my take on {Negative Space}. I know that we would love to see yours. It has been nice to get out and get away and think about something else rather than, health, life and what tomorrow brings. Nature is a soothing balm and a weekend away was just what we needed.

We have always been outdoorsy people. We have lived to be in nature. Life and death, has suddenly become very relevant in our lives right now as we focus on Richard’s health. If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. Each day has become a memory making day.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Ceri Herd Photography is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_light inspired

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a story: May 2021

Day two of the short trip away to Naples, Florida. I like to walk in nature. My brother is a big fan of botanical gardens and when ever he is here we tend to try and visit one. Some are great others, maybe not so much. However, since we had a gap in our day, and this came recommended, I suggested that we do the Naples Botanical Garden. It certainly met and exceeded my expectations. I will probably split this into 2 or 3 blogs because there is just so much to see.

First stop was the route to the Brazilian Gardens designed by Raymond Jungles, and it introduces various plants that are native to Brazil. The walk heads up to to the beautiful waterfall and a gorgeous colorful mosaic wall, as shown below. There also appeared to have some kind of root artwork theme staged throughout the gardens. I wish there was a directory of plants so that I could share names but sadly there isn’t. Enjoy your walk through the first part of the garden.

The water lilies were beautiful and staggered around the gardens.
Fortunately I had the smaller of my zoom lens and was able to catch this Blue Dasher Dragonfly on the lily.
Richard tended to walk ahead of me and find a spot out of the sun to sit and wait. This one was not out of the sun but I loved the color in the background. This is 8 days after treatment, and it leaves his skin looking a little red. A new addition to the clothing line is a big hat.
I have no idea what this tree is but I found this nodules of growth really facinating.
Keeping the sun off his face is now part of the day to day routine, or it should be. He was really good this weekend about wearing the hat and putting on sunscreen.
This was another plant that I really found captured my attention. It was like a water reed, but has a type of bamboo feel about it as well.
The art was not small and this one towered over us.

Join me for the next post of the Naples Botanical Garden in a couple of days. I am going to be heading to the Caribbean part.

If you are interested in reading about Day 1 in Naples Florida, then click here and enjoy our sunset cruise.

If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a circle blog so take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

Share Six: May 2021: Light Inspired

Well this month crept up on my by surprise. I had my images but when a blog falls in the middle of the week, I get sidetracked. And seriously where the heck did May come from? April was probably the first month since Richard’s hospital stay that I have felt more comfortable heading out and leaving him home alone. Now I am sure he could have been home alone, but after the first crazy reaction to the infusion, I was honestly nervous and have stayed close to home. So far so good, and I am relaxing a little bit day by day. That aside, he is a little tired of me hovering and so it was good to get out.

So this months theme is {Light Inspired} and it was chosen by Janet Douglas of @wiredtothemoon_ and I am excited to see what everyone comes up with.

For me it was finding light in my walks.

This particular walk is really dark and gloomy for the most part but the pockets of light in there always catch my attention. The contrasting colors of the dead leaves, the green leaves and the Spanish moss appealed to me.
I love finding random bits of greenery or plants or even feathers poking their way through the railings on my walk. They offer one of my favorite types of images.
For me the light and color in the background of this Palm Warbler image reminds me of some of the impressionist type art.
New leaves are awesome and this little bunch of leaves was hidden in a dark area but highlighted by the sun.
The sun in the background of this blue jay really captures my attention.
Early morning walk and this Red Wing Blackbird had a lot to say.
I used to photograph the squirrels in our garden so often, until I got banned because the “rats with a tail” were running on the screening. So I was quite pleased to see this little guy feeding on the grounds of the wetlands. I love the autumn looking light in the background. Ironically this was taken about 2 weeks ago.
The light in the wetlands can be harsh, but this particular day was slightly overcast and breezy and I happened to catch these two dragon fly doing the tango. I will say it is a first time catch for me. They barely sit still long enough for you to get a quick shot of them.
Waterdrops on the leaves in the garden. This plant is a pest and drops a lot of leaves and since I am doing the gardening they are not my favorite. We have about 10 of them. However, when the light is right and the rain has just cleared up I love to go outside and capture their colors.
Back on the dark walk, and as I mentioned in the first image, there are just random pockets of light where I find something that catches my attention.
This particular area of the wetlands has lots of trees and so the light shining through created this beautiful bokeh for me and I really enjoy seeing the Spanish moss.

It has been nice to get out again and walk and just breathe deeply for a while. However, the walks are going to have to happen earlier for me because the weather down south has quickly become oppressive and it gives the feel of a lot hot, potential hurricane filled summer. If it stays hot like this that ocean is going to be warming up significantly. Let’s hope not. In the meantime, I am going to try to do my best to get out and about a bit more.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Ceri Herd Photography is up next is up next. I can wait to see what she has to share as I have seen some of her work recently and love it. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_light inspired

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Tell me a Story: April 2021

Dove

Whoops this month crept up on me, and I am so late getting this done. I finally feel like we have some order in our house. Richard had his second infusion with no dramatic results, and I felt more comfortable leaving home and not have to worry about anything happening with him. He is having to deal with a rash on his body as a result of the immunotherapy.

This day I decided to go out and walk in the wetlands again. It’s been a while and it felt so good to get out there again. I took a long walk and 3 hours later when I got to the end I felt so less stressed.

I hope you enjoy the walk around the wetlands.

Anhinga
Cormorant
Grackle (Male)
Dead flowers
Cormorant
Green Heron
Juvenile Night Heron
Yellow Wing Darter
Green Heron
Western Pondhawk
Western Pondhawk
Iguana

Thank you for joining me this month.  This is a circle blog so take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji of LUPJi Photography is up next. I look forward to reading what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: April 2021

It’s April, and we have been living under a cloud since mid February, and practicing day to day living. I have not vocalized what the the cloud is, just mentioned that Richard was in hospital. The black cloud we are living under is Stage 4 Metastasized Melanoma. For us this came out of the blue. Richard had been diagnosed with a melanoma in 1987 and had had it removed, a skin graft done, radiation etc. One year later he was back at the doc and they had to remove his lymph nodes. For the next 5 years he was observed and after 5 years, he was NED – no evidence diagnosed. For the last 34 years we have lived as we always had, on the coast, in the sun, paddleboarding, kayaking, camping, suntanning and changing color. We both love the outdoors, and spend a lot of time in the sun. The sun makes me feel good, a color change makes me feel like a new person.

The news we got on February 15th took a lot of processing. We are told that sometimes melanoma can spill to the organs and go dormant for years. On finding out this news you go through stages of disbelief, anger, fear, acceptance, and what’s next. What’s next is 2-3 years of immunotherapy every 3 weeks. He had a bad reaction to the first round and he ended up back in the emergency room after I called 911. Round 2 has gone well. The only side effect is a rash. Tomorrow he will have round 3.

I will confess to be hovering, checking in, wanting to have him leave me notes if he goes out. I think it is driving him nuts. But the reality is that I am worried about the “what if”.

Melanoma is one of the deadly cancers. Metastasized melanoma, means that it has gone from your skin, to your lymph nodes and organs. Richard has melanoma in his small intestine and in the lung. Stat rates are not great, but I believe we have a mighty God, and there is power in prayer. Richard has a multitude of people praying for him, for which I am very grateful.

Day to day living means you continue to work, but time off becomes time together. We are starting to say we need to begin checking off our bucket list. Despite Covid, we are going to start doing things together that takes us away, and out of town.

The other night I suggested that he join me to watch the sun set. He decided he would go walk along the edge of the canal and get his exercise in while I photographed the setting sun.

It was nice to arrive and see old familiar faces and to be able to chat to them. I have been concerned about going out for indefinite periods of time. So this was good for me. One of my good friends just recently lost her husband to cancer, so for me it was reassuring to see her smiling face and to see that she is looking so well.

It was also a good opportunity to meet new folks and to learn a little bit more about them. Richard returned just as the sun was setting and joined us as the sun went down. Chatted a little bit before we left. I know that these are the kind of evenings I want to share with him.

We have a bucket list that we want to get to ticking off. So in the immanent future we are lookin at a trip to Naples in Florida and not in Italy (unfortuantely). Richard would like to go for another sunset cruise, and I am always up for catching the setting sun. As soon as Australia opens up for visitors, Richard has said we need to go. He wants to see his mother and siblings. I have family over there that I would like to see as well.

So much has to change in what and how we do things. Eating habit have had to go almost to the side of vegetarian, lots and lots of my favorite (ugh) green veggies. One of the biggest things to go is sugar. Cancer apparently loves sugar.

Day to day, that is what we now know. Day to day becomes your visual image. While we will plan ahead, we are also limited to the medication regime and the side effects.

So today is my 30 minutes with my husband watching the sun set, and praying that the medication does what it needs to do. If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it.

Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend, Janet Crouch Photography, has to share this month.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

Share Six: April 2021: Growth

This month’s theme was chosen by Liz of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Willson. The theme is “Growth”

In the last 8 weeks I have grown in ways that are hard to describe. When you receive news that is heart stopping you have two choices, to fall down or grow up. I had to grow up. But it is hard to put that kind of growth into images. It is the heartbreaking, soul destroying news that leaves you wondering what is next. Next becomes day to day. How do I do day to day, I am not sure.

I have taken up gardening. Not by choice but because it has become a necessity for me to take over responsibilities that Richard cannot do right now. I really don’t enjoy it, but it has to be done so I have done it. Last week I picked up all the leaves, and weeded the garden. This week I cut both front and back grasses. While I was outside I spotted these flowers shooting up from the ground. Emerging out of my gardening experience, is my theme {Growth}. The best part about it is that my Sims came out and joined me while I was lying in the garden taking the pic.

Some years ago we must have planted Amaryllis bulbs. I recall getting some in a vase and when the flowers died we planted the bulbs in the garden and forgotten about them. Just like the St Joseph Lilly’s, the Amaryllis blooms around Easter time. This year they are a little early and the St Joseph Lilly’s are a little late but they open up into such beautiful plants that I was so happy to capture them while they were in their growth stage.

Growth happens and we have no choice but to go along with it or falter. We as a family have chosen to grow with our current situation and to embrace each day as it comes along. Tomorrow is a new day and we want to make the most of each day so that life is made up of memories that we can enjoy and embrace.

This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Kathy of KG Ledbetter is up next is up next. I would encourage to have a look at what she has to offer. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_frozen

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.