Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Look Back

Ferns emerge from their winter slumber

In late March 2012 I decided to launch myself into the wide, wide world of blogging and create daily posts featuring my photography.  Since then I have thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, and, in the new year, I look forward to continuing to share a glimpse of my world with viewers from around the globe.  As we bid farewell to 2012, I decided to post a few images from the past year that clearly demonstrate our four seasons and the influence of Mother Nature. 


Friday, December 28, 2012

Signs of the Season: Loads of Lights at Night

One of several memorable quotes from the movie Christmas Vacation is fitting for the photos featured in this post:
Bethany:  Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark:  No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Signs of the Season: More Lights at Night

My holiday lights at night tour continues.
Several elements associated with this festive season are found in these displays, including religious items, wreaths, snowflakes, and traditional red and green colors along with Santa.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Signs of the Season: Lights at Night

Scenes such as these still remain throughout many neighborhoods and add cheer to the holiday season.  Have you seen several light displays?  If not, I will feature a few more in the coming days. And, if you have not already noticed, some of the photos, like these, were taken prior to last week's blizzard and no white stuff covers the ground; however, some of the others look more like a typical Christmas scene in Iowa with snow blanketing the landscape.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


"Christmas -- that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance.  It may weave a spell of nostalgia.  Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance -- a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved."
                                                                                              --Augusta E. Rundel

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

"At Christmas, all roads lead home."
                                                            --Marjorie Holmes
"Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl.  But it warmed more than your body.  It warmed your heart...filled it, too, with melody that would last forever."
                                                                                                        --Bess Streeter Aldrich

Friday, December 21, 2012

Signs of the Season: Creative Outdoor Decor

Several times during December my husband and I tour the town after dark in order to view numerous brightly-lit displays that adorn homes and landscapes during this annual season of light.  Of course, we thoroughly enjoy doing so but have also noticed that many beautiful and often unique holiday decorations, such as those featured in today's photos, are visible throughout the day.  Hope you have the opportunity to see all sorts of festive outdoor creations that illuminate the night and add splendor to a sometimes dreary winter day.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Signs of the Season: Still in the Greenhouse

While a blizzard rages outdoors, I will take advantage of my warm, comfortable workspace and share a few more shots of all the wonderful Christmas colors I recently photographed inside a local greenhouse.  Truly, these shades of reds, pinks, greens and more will brighten your day and add a little holiday cheer to an otherwise raw, gray winter day.

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
                                                                         --Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Signs of the Season: In the Greenhouse

If you have not been to a greenhouse prior to Christmas, take a look at what you have been missing.  These images capture the stunningly beautiful colors of the rows and rows of poinsettias growing for the upcoming holiday, including those in traditional red, pink, and cream as well as marbled varieties.  What a treat for the eyes!  Hope you have an opportunity to see something similar at a retailer near you.  And, if you enjoy seeing these gorgeous plants, be sure to look for a few more poinsettia shots as we head toward La Navidad.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Signs of the Season: Poinsettias

La Flor de La Noche Buena, as it is known in Mexico, is widely used in Christmas displays throughout our nation. Indigenous to Mexico and Central America, the poinsettia was introduced in the USA in the early 1800s by ambassador Joel Poinsett. Interestingly, what are often mistaken as the "flower's petals" are actually leaves known as bracts, a "modified or specialized leaf usually different from foliage leaves." These brilliantly colored bracts are often flaming red but can also be orange, pale green, cream, pink, white and marbled. Enjoy this beautiful marbled specimen and look for more in upcoming posts.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Many Happy Returns!

"Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of YOU to the world."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Signs of the Season: Ornaments Galore

As seen in the above photo, ALL types of ornaments are available at just about every retail outlet.  Animated, religious, glitzy, traditional as well as numerous other possibilities exist and are probably featured on a Christmas tree at your favorite shop just down the street.  In addition, two of today's images show popular holiday bulbs that contain a message regarding the holidays:  Believe & Joy.  Finally, the last picture features some delectable treats (that are calorie free as long as they remain on the tree and not in your mouth!), including a frosted donut, triple-decker ice cream cone, gingerbread cookie and garland made of pastel-colored marshmallows!  Have fun decorating!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Signs of the Season: Around Town

As one might imagine, all sorts of items are used in outdoor holiday displays, and, as earlier noted, throughout the next few weeks I will feature several.   For example, discarded sleds and ice skates are commonly used to create a cheery, welcoming scene.  In addition, many towns decorate select areas and/or certain structures, including these light posts adorned with seasonal flags, traditional garland and wreaths. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Signs of the Season: He's Watching!

If you are a parent of young children, today's photos serve as proof that Santa truly IS watching at all times!  This inflatable character is seated on a black chair also filled with air; however, he looks life-like with white hair, glasses and a thick, long beard.  And, I am sure you have seen the human equivalent in shopping malls posing with youngsters and perhaps you had your kids photographed with him.  So, for now, enjoy a little extra leverage with the kiddies while they eagerly await packages from Papa Noel!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Signs of the Season: Trees & Wreaths

Even though most retail outlets displayed Christmas items before Halloween, I think now is about the right time for featuring all things related to the upcoming holiday.  So, yes, throughout the next few weeks expect to see a variety of images with that theme.  However, since I enjoy photographing the predictable as well as the unexpected, expect to see some unique and unusual shots, too.  And, regarding today's pictures, they feature traditional trees and wreaths for sale at local shops along with some man searching for the perfect tree during the area's first snow!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The First Snow

The first fall of snow is not only an event,
it is a magical event.
You go to bed in one kind of world and
wake up in another quite different,
and if this is not enchantment then
where is it to be found?
                                                        --J.B. Priestly

Friday, December 7, 2012

At the Beach: A Great Escape

"Why do we love the sea?
It is because it has some potent power
to make us think things
we like to think."
                             -- Robert Henri

Thursday, December 6, 2012

At the Beach: One Boat, Two Thoughts

These photos include one boat used by locals for daily fishing ventures; however, I found the contrast between the two quite striking.   In the first the fishermen buzz by the shore during the early afternoon when the sun was bright and the water colors were strikingly gorgeous with various shades of blue and green.  Unlike the first, the second photo portrays an overwhelming calm that accompanies dusk as it settles over the coast and draws folks indoors while the boat remains idle until the new day dawns.