Tag Archives: photography

What’s in bloom in early May

Just a quick post to display some photos of what’s in bloom this week. Tulips, lilacs, crabapple blossoms, trillium and bleeding hearts. Enjoy!

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early spring in the upper midwest

It’s happening. Things are coming back to life here in the frozen tundra. Of course we still have some winterish weather even though we’re almost to the end of April.

BUT, I’m not here to talk about the weather even if it’s a favorite topic around these parts. I wanted to share some photos of early spring from my perspective. Photos of the yellow weeping willows, the rhubarb poking through the ground and first blooms so far. And one photo related to spring at the end but it hasn’t anything to do with the growing season.

Up first is a gallery of scenes at the park mostly. Notice the bright yellow of the weeping willows and the ice still on the lake in the first photo. In the one photo with the street, you can see a tree on the right with a slight red color. Those buds are just coming in!

Next, my rhubarb plant that comes back every year starting with when it first starts to poke through the ground.

And some first blooms: snowdrops, crocus, scillia, bleeding hearts not blooming yet, tulips, grape hyacinth.

We have several families of turkeys in our neighborhood and I happened upon this guy just hanging out in the middle of the street strutting his stuff. It wasn’t until my husband saw him and he told me why the turkey had this stance. It’s spring and he’s looking for a mate! Happy spring!

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My 2020 in photos

It’s time to recap the year in photos. Even during a pandemic I found things to photograph. But before the pandemic we went to the Marjory McNeely Conservatory at Como Park for the annual winter carnival orchid show, usually held the third weekend in January every year. Do check out my post to view some gorgeous orchids and other plants and flowers as I’m only including a few in my gallery below. I’m going to guess that there won’t be an orchid show in 2021. I will have to revel in past years’ photos and wait for next year’s show.

This year I created posts about our cat Frankie, a summer visit to Itasca, one of my favorite state parks, a fun art project called Roseville in Bloom, our kitchen remodel and a socially distanced visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I also took advantage of the University of Minnesota’s retirement incentive and I’m including photos of some of my parting gifts. An interesting year, to say the least!

Please enjoy this gallery of photos from my 2020 which includes other photos not previously shared here on my blog as well as some of my favorite seasonal photos.

To close, here are a couple of sunrise photos that I especially like. Happy new year! And may 2021 bring us peace and health and an end to the pandemic.

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An afternoon of art at MIA

We love the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I follow the museum on Facebook and saw that they were open but that you needed a timed entry ticket to get in. The museum is free and during pre-pandemic days one could just go on in. I’m glad they’re taking precautions and of course masks must be worn. 

We headed up the stairs to the third floor to check out the Prairie School architecture room. The style began in 1880s Chicago by Louis Sullivan and this room contains some of his pieces as well as those of his followers, Frank Lloyd Wright among them. Note the pair of elevator grills in the gallery below. They were in the Chicago Stock Exchange Building which was torn down in 1972. The building’s entrance archway and interior trading floor were salvaged and moved to the Art Institute of Chicago. And MIA has a pair of elevator grills.

There are several of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses here in the upper midwest. In the middle of this room at MIA there is a model of a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1914 for Frances Little. The house was  in Deephaven, a suburb on the west side of the twin cities, and overlooked Lake Minnetonka. The house had many issues and was eventually taken down with many parts of it being sold. MIA purchased a hallway from this house and installed it in the museum. I always visit this room as it’s one of my favorites. 

On our way to view the Impressionism we peeked into a couple of period rooms. One is an empty room from Europe in the 1700s where there is audio and lighting effects displaying one day from sunrise to sunset. You hear the fire crackling and horses with carriages. I only caught a little of that this time so I didn’t listen to all of the audio. The first two photos are after the sun has set and then as the sun starts to rise the next day.

Whenever we see any painting by James Ensor one of us breaks into song(see video below):  “Meet James Ensor. Belgium’s famous painter” (by They Might Be Giants). We found two of Ensor’s paintings this time. I noticed that the second one, the one of the group of people, appears in the video:

I also always visit the Impressionism rooms and this trip was no different. However, I took a few photos of sculptures this go round so first I’ll share those:

And onto the other paintings that caught my eye. Some favorites as well as others I had not seen before:

Some general museum scenes:

I don’t recall ever seeing this room before and this car fascinated me. It’s a Tatra T87 four-door sedan from 1948 designed by Hans Ledwinka and manufactured by Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG. From the museum’s gallery:

From the three-piece windshield to the fin at the back, the streamlined Tatra’s every feature is an example of well-crafted form reinforcing function. Ledwinka added the distinctive rear dorsal fin to stabilize the car at high speeds. One of the fastest cars of its day, the Tatra could go 100 miles per hour thanks to its rear-mounted 75-horsepower V8 engine, air-cooled with streamlined louvers. The windshield, skirted rear wheels, and recessed door handles contributed to the car’s speed. The innovative sliding sunroof brought in light, and the front center headlight improved visibility in fog. Only two thousand cars of the 1936 T87 design were produced, and none were commercially exported to North America.

In the hallway before you see the Tatra car there is another period room and the placard describes an interesting albeit a bit sad story. It’s the story of the museum’s first curator of modern art Barton Kestle. He began his job at MIA in 1950 and in 1954 there were several discreet inquiries about him by unidentified agents. Within days of the museum’s administrators being questioned behind closed doors, Kestle was summoned by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in Washington, D.C. On March 27,1954 Kestle boarded a train for Washington, D.C. and was never heard from again. The door to his office at MIA was sealed and painted over while the museum was organizing an exhibition. It remained just as he left it until it was rediscovered in 2011 and the curator suggested that it become another period room. Similar to other period rooms, it’s like stepping back in time. Note the old furniture as well as a telephone, which I assume is an antique. I’m attaching the photo of the placard that gives a few more details than what I’ve written here.

Another delight at MIA is Chihuly’s Sunburst that greets you when you walk in and it’s the last thing you see as you leave, as long as you look up. In previous visits we had lunch at the Agra Culture restaurant on the mezzanine level. The view of Sunburst is especially wonderful while you’re eating lunch. But Agra Culture is closed until further notice due to the pandemic.

Sunburst – Chihuly

Finally, I leave you with some autumn colors that I saw as we left the museum that day in October. There are still some colors even if we’ve already had snow(at publication we’re having a heat wave so all the first snow has melted).

I always leave MIA feeling like I just barely scratched the surface. I like to visit my favorites but this time I made it a point to check out some new things. I’m going to make it a point to see something new during each subsequent visit. Because of course there will be subsequent visits. I highly recommend a couple of hours at MIA. There is something for everyone.

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autumn colors 2020

We had a bit of an adventure a few weeks ago when we decided to take a quick drive to the Missisisippi River Roads in search of autumn beauty. We intended to go down the Minneapolis side then up the St. Paul side then head home. We drove through the University of Minnesota’s east bank campus and intended to take the turn off the Washington Avenue bridge that takes you to the west bank campus but we both missed the offramp. I guess one positive of that mistake is now we know there aren’t terribly good options if you miss that offramp.  You either have to get on a freeway which we didn’t want to do, or you end up in downtown Minneapolis. All of a sudden we were driving past U.S. Bank Stadium where the Vikings normally play. Another positive: I had not seen it up close and personal so I can check that off the list. Ha!

We finally managed to make our way to the River Road near the 35W bridge collapse memorial and happily, finally headed south…..only to discover the road was closed at 2nd Street! Darn phone map didn’t show me that or I never would have headed that way. We made our way over 35W and travelled through the west bank campus and guessed at where the road blockage stopped. Finally, we made it to the East River Road! 

We stopped along the way so that I could capture the beautiful colors. In the galleries below are a mixture of photos I’ve taken throughout our brief but beautiful autumn. I hope you will enjoy.

First up, some close up photos. Starting with various colors of oak leaves, then several of maple leaves and a couple other close-ups:

And other autumn colors:

I’ve been putting this post together over the last couple of weeks and in that time we’ve had our first snowfall (on 10/20/20) so I thought it only fitting to include a snow-themed autumn scene at the end. I do love the colors in this photo but we didn’t really get a full autumn as you can see. But at publication most of the snow has melted, alas, more is on the way? I’ve lived here 28 years and we’ve never had snow in October. We missed the Halloween blizzard that happened the year before we moved here. Very unusual weather we’re having!

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upgrading a kitchen et al

I know this isn’t a very exciting topic but it’s all I got right now until it’s time to display autumn colors. And in my continuing series of avoiding the awful news of the world, I bring you the story of my kitchen upgrade.

About a week after we moved into this house the paint on the kitchen ceiling began to peel.  Okay, maybe it was two years after we moved here. Regardless, it was ugly for way too long and I couldn’t wait to have the room repainted.  We hired the guy that did our emergency bathroom remodel several years ago. We hired him last year, I think it was April?

Then I was recovering from injured shoulders last fall so we put it off until this year. We were all ready to start the week after lockdown began for the pandemic. And hubby said “what if the restaurants close?” which would be a huge issue after your stove is disconnected. The very next day Minnesota restaurants were closed so our remodel was put off again until places started offering curbside pick-up and delivery. We finally got started at the beginning of June.  And it was all completed about a month later.

Since we had to get a new refrigerator we got that accomplished last fall. Here are the “before” photos where you see the new fridge in the old kitchen and the other side of the kitchen with the stove. These are the photos I used to choose our new floor. I was able to import the photos to see how various floors would look in our kitchen. Very handy tool!

We decided to keep the cabinets since they’re still in good shape. But we had them painted, bought new handles and hinges too, then got a new counter and floor and the walls and ceiling painted as well. We’re pretty happy with it!

Following are before and after photos that I hope you will enjoy. Also included in the gallery are photos of one creative supper that we made with our Coleman stove on the back step for veggies and fried potatoes and the grill for the steak that we had that night. We also had our tiny bathroom upstairs redone and we used the same flooring.

And now for the portion of the post that isn’t kitchen/bathroom related. One day I decided to walk a little further on my walking break from work and made it all the way to the eastern part of Central Park here in Roseville where the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum thrives. Here are some photos from that little jaunt:

I will close with some photos of blooms et al, stuff I take photos of on my walks. And a video of a great blue heron in flight. I was finally able to capture this majestic bird!! Check out the egret towards the end as he lands.

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Mid summer gardening

Time for the next installment of what’s happening in the garden. Many of these photos are from neighborhood gardens that I pass on my walks as well as from the park.

But let’s start with a gallery of my zinnia and morning glory garden which is located on the north side of our house. When I purchased potted plants this spring there was a State Fair zinnia 6 pack and I couldn’t resist.  Since we’re not having our fair this year, I thought some State Fair zinnias were just the ticket in honor of the great Minnesota get-together. The morning glories reseed themselves and I guide and arrange them onto our fence.

Next, let’s check in with my vegetable garden. As you can see, it’s quite healthy and it’s producing many tomatoes and cucumbers.  And I just plucked our first green pepper the other day.  It’s the one in this gallery. We can’t eat everything fast enough. I think I’m going to find a food shelf and see if they’ll take some of our produce. We’ve done that in the past.

This last gallery contains all the fun flowers I come across on my walks through the park and in my neighborhood.

One last photo: uh oh, first sign of autumn! (photo taken 8/3/20)

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