Tag Archives: photography

Early spring in the twin cities

It’s time again for me to create a post of many of the photos I’ve taken since spring arrived the first week of May. We had a few days in April with summer weather and the snowdrops bloomed! Then it was back to winter and now there is no sign of winter anywhere. We made it!

Most of these were taken in my yard or neighborhood. Others are from Como Park where I walked one day for a change of scenery. The crabapple trees were in full bloom and were just lovely!

For any gallery below, click on any photo to see it larger and to scroll through the gallery to see captions.

First up, a gallery of really early spring happenings.

Next some early bloomers.

And one more gallery of mostly crabapple trees and blossoms.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tour of early spring 馃尭


Filed under Gardening, Minnesota

Lens Artists Challenge – Art in the Park (and other places)

Oh boy, I have many photos that immediately came to mind as I read John’s post for this week’s challenge. I’m going to have to control myself! Check out his post as he’s got some delightful art and in the comments you can find other entries to peruse.

In any gallery below, click on any photo to see a larger image and to read captions.

My daughter is a violist and a couple of times a year her viola teacher puts together an ensemble of her current and prior students and they prepare pieces to perform. During the pandemic she found it difficult to find places to rehearse but she persisted and eventually found a parking ramp at my health clinic, as it happened. They also had their concert there. They had one other outdoor concert in 2020 which was a fund-raiser for a food shelf. They played in front of an elementary school near her house and the audience social-distanced in our folding chairs that we all brought. My daughter is best seen in the third photo. She’s the one on the left.

Here’s one of my husband’s many performances. He’s the bass player on the left singing his heart out :)

A mosaic at the Minnesota State Fair.

A Chihuly glass sculpture from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida.

Last month I created a post of urban art in Minneapolis and I’ll post some here. If you’re interested in seeing more of them, do check out my post.

From the Soho district in M谩laga, Espa帽a.

Urban art from the Lagunillas neighborhood in M谩laga, Espa帽a. If you’d like to see more, check out my post.

A painted old mailbox with scenes from northern Minnesota at Itasca State Park.

In my travels I’ve visited many sculpture gardens. Below are some of my favorites.


Filed under Challenges

Nature Photo Challenge – Trees

This week Denzil has asked us to find photos of trees in nature. I managed to find some from all four seasons. If you鈥檇 like to enter this challenge or to view other entries, click here. Denzil’s post and others that I’ve seen have some great photos of trees, many I had never seen before.

First up, some trees from places other than Minnesota.

From the Jard铆n Bot谩nico Hist贸rico La Concepci贸n, M谩laga. A palm tree with fruit.

I wasn’t sure if bougainvillea was a tree so I googled and the Google says yes so, here’s a photo of the largest bougainvillea I have ever seen. It was in full bloom in May that year. From the Real Alcazar in Sevilla, Spain.

From the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. I googled “tropical tree with trumpet flowers” and learned that this is a brugmansia tree. Such interesting blossoms don’t you think?

Palm trees on Venice Beach, California.

Homage to a tree

Since the theme is trees, I’d like to pay homage to our crabapple tree that broke after a late winter storm on March 31st. After 8 inches of heavy, wet snow the crabapple tree that provided shade to our living room cracked from the weight of the snow and it did so shortly after I woke up on April 1st. And it sure startled me! We didn’t feel like joking on this April fool’s day. We had two arborists look at it and both said it needed to be removed. It’s been gone several weeks now and the front of our house looks so bare. But I’m trying to view this as a positive and we’ve been looking for a few places to give us a bid on planting a new tree. A friend suggested we plant our own tree and save that money. I’m not sure I have the energy and/or strength to do that but we’re considering that as well. She has tips she’s willing to share. It’s lovely to have friends with knowledge, isn’t it? Another positive thing, I’ll have nothing in my way when I clear the roof of snow next winter 馃槼 Yea, that’s not the best positive aspect is it? As you can likely tell from the first photo where the tree is in full bloom, it is much too close to the house for how big it got. We’ve had to prune it to prevent branches from laying on the roof. So we’re thinking of planting the new tree about 10 or so feet from where the old tree stood, so to the left of the truck in the yard and not right next to the house. The other photos are various views of the cracked tree. Click on any image to see larger photos.

And here’s the type of crabapple tree that I’d like to plant but maybe not right in front of the house. Oh, did I say that already? 馃 This one appears to be planted far enough away from the house.

Another crabapple tree next door. It’s in full bloom right now and this photo is from yesterday. I now have crabapple tree envy. But at least there are many to view on my daily walks right now.

A tree with white blossoms, not sure what type of tree it is but it sure is pretty.

Continuing my with spring trees, here’s a weeping willow from last week that is just starting to fill out.

And a little gallery of other trees from this week’s walks. A neighbor has planted a magnolia which I don’t see too many of here so I wonder if it will make it. Then I saw another “baby” magnolia with yellow flowers at my local park next to the arboretum. I’ve never seen a yellow blossoming magnolia before. So if the arboretum has planted a magnolia, maybe they are hardy enough to survive our winters? And then to continue with my crabapple tree envy, there is also a Flowering Crabapple Collection at the arboretum in my local park. My feature photo is of most of the collection and it’s in this gallery too. Click on any image to see a larger version.

Luckily I still have my beautiful maple tree. Here it is at peak autumn color.

A group of trees at peak autumn color on the Mississippi River which was very calm that day.

This one is on the Minneapolis side of the Mississippi River Road. I love how this beautiful tree is framed by other trees.

One more autumnal tree. This one’s from the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus on one of my walks when I worked there.

A hike through the woods on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Another hike through some pines along the North Shore at Tettegouche State Park.

Sunset through the trees at the cabin in northern Minnesota.


Filed under Challenges

Lens Artist Challenge – Mood

This week Sofia challenges us to find photos around the theme of mood. She has some great photos for the challenge and so do others! Do check them out if you get a chance. Here are some that I found.

Evoking a sense of calm with the nearly still water.

One more with a completely still lake, ah……I could sit there for hours.

Another that evokes calm, starting at sunrise. It could also give you an uneasy, ominous feeling with that yellow/orange hue.

Two totally different moods in the photo directly below. I’m completely enjoying my chocolate malt, whereas my daughter, not so much. Or so that was the emotion she was attempting. She decided she was not going to smile in every photo we took of her that day at the fair. And the one beneath the malt photo is yet another great expression of hers. This time she looked like she didn’t want to give her mother a bite of her brownie. Or perhaps she was anxious for me to be done with my bite?

Mom, are you done with your bite yet?

To me this photo evokes the eerie feeling. We were hiking at the North Shore where there was smoke from a forest fire. It made for some interesting photos!

I’d love to sit at that table and listen to the calming sounds of the lake splashing against the shore.

Not sure I want to venture across that bridge, you?

Doesn’t this make you want to grab a kazoo? Old friends having fun.

This sculpture always makes me feel relaxed.

Calm…….moonrise on the shores of Gitche Gumee.

One last one, a peaceful sunset at the lake.


Filed under Challenges

Nature Photo Challenge – Yellow

Oh, I’m liking this week’s theme! Denzil has asked us to find photos of yellow in nature and I have a lot of those! If you’d like to enter this challenge or to view other entries, click here. Here are some that I found. Below are goldenrod, day lily, arugula blossoms, cucumber blossom, yellow primrose, another day lily, coreopsis, black-eyed Susans, orchid. And my featured image are black-eyed Susans. Whew! Enjoy!!

I decided to edit and add a couple of sunsets that I totally forgot about when I compiled this.


Filed under Challenges

Lens Artist challenge – backlit

I always think I won’t find any photos for a particular challenge and this one was no different. However, after perusing others’ posts and finding inspiration among them, I’m happy to say I found many! So many that I had to stop looking and post my version of the challenge. This week’s challenge comes from Ann-Christine and her images are just stunning! Do check them out at this link or if you’d like to enter the challenge or to see other posts in the challenge.

From the Real Alcazar in Sevilla, Spain.

The Hartwell Memorial Window at The Art Institute in Chicago. There are lights behind this magnificent stained glass that brings out the beautiful colors.

The sun poking through the clouds on my descent into Chicago last summer.

From that same trip to Chicago and at The Art Institute, one of the many scenes in the Thorne Miniature Rooms. I love how the light from the outside brightens the two rooms.

One of the many stained glass sections of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

A close-up of a columbine bloom with the sun lighting up and enhancing the colors.

And of course I had to include sunsets from the cabin. Here is one of my all time favorites of father and daughter silhouettes when our daughter was still little.

Another great sunset at the lake

A sunrise from my backyard

A sunrise from the Target parking lot that I noticed from my rear view mirror. Of course I had to capture that gorgeous sky!

One last photo of a sunrise on the North Shore


Filed under Challenges

Urban Art – Minneapolis

This is another thing I have wanted to do for quite a while. I have a list on my phone that I’ve been accumulating over a number of years of locations where I happened upon urban art. I created a route in Mapquest and hubby agreed to drive me around to them all then let me out so that I could take a photo or two or three so that I didn’t have to park. Some of these locations are very busy and it might be hard to find a place to put the car. So, thank you darling hubby for agreeing to this!

We planned to leave before 10 a.m. on a weekday to avoid the busy traffic times. When hubby looked at my route he figured it would take about 2 hours and he was right! We even added many more as he drove from point to point on my map. Oh wait! That’s cool! Can you turn around please? I’d say about a third of these photos were not on my list. Urban art is so popular and I’ve enjoyed seeing the many works of art throughout the city. So many beautiful images and vibrant colors!

Without further ado, please enjoy some urban art in Minneapolis. In all galleries, click on any photo to see a larger photo and the captions which contain the locations of each mural.

First up, how about some Prince murals? I had two on my list for a long time, one I think might have been the first Prince mural created shortly after he died. It’s the third photo with the dove in his hair. Another I noticed when I was searching online for something else “Oh! I need to capture that one too!” and added it to my route. And yet another was a surprise Prince mural in two pieces.

We saw this en route to another point on my mural map. A bonus Prince mural with a message. These were taken the last week of April and you get an inkling of how much snow we had this winter. This empty parking lot must have been a repository for the streets surrounding it and there are some snow piles still melting! I love how part of the mural is being reflected in the water from melted snow in the first photo.

The next set was this cute little house in front of a fire station. Every side is covered in mosaics and each has a different scene of the four seasons. So cool! And pooey, I cut off the top of the first side of the tiny house. It was a rare sunny day which made it kind of hard to see what I was doing. You can see a fire truck just coming out of the garage in that first photo because as I was taking photos it left the building with its siren blaring.

Next are the many murals on Lyndale Avenue between 31st and Franklin. And this isn’t all of them! Lyndale is a very busy street and a couple murals weren’t terribly accessible. I was happy with what I was able to photograph and we moved on to the next point in the route.

Here are the other murals we happened upon en route from point to point.

These are at the Seward Coop on Franklin. One mural is in English and another language I am not familiar with. I think it’s probably Arabic. The Seward neighborhood where this store resides has a large Somali population so Arabic is a good guess. (Editing to add: one of my followers commented that it might be Somali and that’s probably it.) The other two are mosaics on the poles outside the store with fruits and veggies as the themes. Very creative!

And of course there are Bob Dylan murals. We love our native sons!

Here are the others that were on my original list.

I have a list for St. Paul as well so stay tuned for a post of those photos at some point. Do you have a favorite from this group of mural photos? There are so many good ones!

Here’s one that I took in 2014 of the Schmitt Music mural at 10th and Marquette. The music is from a piano piece written by French composer Maurice Ravel called “Gaspard de la Nuit.” Check out an interesting story about how the mural came about at this link. I didn’t get the entire wall but if you google Schmitt music mural you can see it easily if you so desire.

My featured image is also in Minneapolis but I took that photo some time in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. Here’s another photo that I took in 2020. I had hoped to find it the day of our “field trip” and take another photo without a person in it but I think it was north on Hennepin when we went south and we didn’t travel that way again. Or it could be that it’s no longer there. I do like the photo as it tells the tale of a day in Minneapolis. The woman might be waiting for a bus.


Filed under Minnesota