Hey everyone,

Glad to be back home, especially now that spring is here (almost, anyway!). I checked back through my posts and realized it’s been over a year since I visited the Arboretum. Wow, time flies.

This time, I knew which plants to look for. I wandered through the Australian and New Zealand gardens, fascinated by the blooming Protea and not-quite blooming Banskia (a family in the genus Protea). I love how the Protea, up very close and with the Lensbaby, looks like ribbon candy.

I also discovered a flowering eucalyptus, Pink Princess, which the internet tells me is also called Silver Princess. The flowers look like pull tassels with bright yellow knots on the ends. I found one blossom on the ground, covered with ants. There must be something yummy in there.

All photos were taken by me and were shot with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 with a 10x magnifier.

Hope you enjoy the photos! Check out the gallery for more.



Silver Princess
Gueniz Pincushion


Tango Pincushion




Puja Ceremony, Varanasi


Hey everyone,

We’re home now, and I’m sorting through the thousands of photos I took during our two months in India. What an amazing experience. India is incredible.

Here are a few more night photos, the last of the bunch. I took these at the Puja ceremony at the Dasaswamedh Ghat in Varanasi. The ceremony is a dedication to the River Ganges, the Sun, Lord Shiva, and Fire.  It takes place every evening, and because we were there for a few days, I was able to see it two times. I stood off to the side, near the front, where the priests stand on raised platforms. My spot gave me good crowd views, as well as a direct line to the priests and to the multitudes on the water in boats of all shapes and sizes.

It is a loud (very loud), joyful ceremony, with incense, chanting, bells, singing, and drums. And fire. Lots of fire. Wicks soaked in ghee are arranged on lamps of seven levels, and are burned in an elaborate ritual. The priests swing the lamps around, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Here are a few of my favorites, and of course check out the gallery for more. I’m not sure how it will be getting back to ‘regular’ photography without the sights and color of India! I’ll let you know!

Until next time,






More Night Photos

Hey everyone,

This post is a collection of night photos from Rajasthan, in Jaisalmer, Jodphur, and Udaipur. All amazing cities, filled with light and color. Strings of lights at night. Blues, pinks, reds, greens. The Jodphur clock tower is lit with pink, blue, and purple stadium lights that seem to pulsate. The forts of Jaisalmer and Jodphur glow on bluff tops above the city. The lights of Udaipur glisten in the lakes. A nighttime tuk-tuk ride was a blast with camera in hand.

Here are a few of my favorites, with more in the gallery.



From the tuk-tuk, Jodphur
Clock tower, Jodphur
Restaurant, Jaisalmer



Hey everyone,

I usually don’t do straight up posts on travel photos, but I’ve been using my Lensbaby Velvet 56  lately to get that soft focus, dreamy, blurry effect. I’m really pleased with the results. Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan, is known as the Pink City. Every building in the old city is painted pink. Buildings were first painted pink in 1876 under orders of the Maharaja in order to impress Prince Albert. Alas, photos of the pink part of the city did not make it into my favorites! But there were plenty of other sights to feast on. Here are the best ones. As always, check out the gallery for more images.


Galta Ji Temple, also known as the Monkey Temple
Black-faced langurs at the Royal Gaitor Tumbas, the royal tombs
Courtyard 3 of the Royal Gaitor Tumbas, the royal tombs


Christmas Lights in Kochi


Hey everyone,

The city of Kochi, in southern India, has a long and storied history of being invaded. By the Dutch and Portuguese specifically, in need of spices, particularly pepper. Pepper is a preservative for meat. It also attracted many missionaries to its shores, German, Swiss, French. As a result, there are a few Catholic churches in the city, and a cathedral. The cathedral was adorned with spectacular Christmas lights that I couldn’t resist.

We also took a stroll along the beach on Christmas night. Thousands of people were out, enjoying the warm air, the music, and the lights. In fact, the entire city was crazy for Christmas, with illuminated stars dangling from streets lights and strings bright, colorful lights everywhere. Impossible to resist.

Check out the gallery for the full show.





Kadathanadan Kalari Show

Hey there,

Way back before Christmas, when we were still on our tour, we were treated to a performance of a 3000 year old  ancient martial art, Kadathanadan Kalari. It’s called the mother of all martialmarts. It was quite a choreographed performance, almost like a ballet, but a lot noisier. Swords clashing; men running, grunting, shouting, tumbling, wrestling; bare feet pounding across a slab stone floor. Swords aren’t my thing, but despite the underlying menace of it all, I had a great time. Taking photos, of course!

Here are a few of my favorites, with more in the gallery.







Kathakali Performance

Hey everyone,

I am way behind on posts! We’ve been on the move since landing in India. We saw the Kathakali performance about three weeks ago now. Kathakali is one of the major types of Indian classical dance, traditionally performed by male dancers. The dancers are accompanied by a flute, drums, and a singer. The dancers wear elaborate make up, masks, and costumes. Part of the performance is watching the dancers apply their make up, an exacting and extensive layering of what looks like face paint.

I really had fun with a slow shutter and camera movement. I did a lot of panning, though I also held the camera still as the dancers moved across the stage.

Here are a few of my favorites. As always, there’s more in the gallery.

Namaste (as they say here),