Not like last year: Crystal Hermitage Gardens, Ananda Village

Last year, the sun was shining, the tulips were open and we were in a drought. This year, it was drizzling, threatening to pour as we visited the Crystal Hermitage Gardens in Ananda Village, Nevada City. It was still beautiful, in fact the flowers were more vibrant.

This was a learning experience also–isn’t every outing. I had never shot in rain, and it was a challenge at first. I put my camera into a protective plastic sleeve, but had difficulty turning the lens barrel. So I shot with the cover on top of the camera. Very inconvenient! Between shots, I tucked my camera under my jacket. The drizzle kept up most of the time we were there. One time it came pouring down and we ducked for cover.

Ananda Village is a cooperative spiritual community dedicated to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, founded by his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda. It’s a peaceful place and the people are great. Yearly they plant tulips in a terraced garden and invite the public to visit. We weren’t the only people walking the garden that morning, and not the only ones with cameras. I wish it wasn’t so far away. I enjoy meditating and this place would be great.

We were there on a Tuesday, and the sun didn’t shine until Friday. I heard that we had more rain this year than Seattle, Washington. One ski resort is thinking of staying open all summer! Could you guess–the drought is officially over. As I write this blog, it’s overcast and threatening to rain.

Rain or sunshine, I’m not worried about the tulip garden. They will have visitors no matter what the weather.

Helping nature create beauty: Crystal Hermitage Gardens, part 2

So many times we see where humankind has destroyed nature, so it’s refreshing to see where we’ve given nature a little help. The residents and members of Ananda Village have done a tremendous job on this years tulip garden. Last post I showed you the flowers, in this post, I’ll show you more of the garden view.

But first, I’m giving you a brief introduction about this amazing place. Ananda Village is a cooperative spiritual community dedicated to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, and they celebrated their 45th anniversary in 2014. People of all ages live there, enjoying the beauty in service and meditation. They share devotion to God through the path of Kriya Yoga.

The Crystal Hermitage Gardens is the spiritual heart of Ananda Village. Visitors enjoy the beautiful terraced gardens and vistas. There is also a small chapel where workshop attendees can meditate. The gardens are open for weddings, workshops and other events. You can also attend workshops through Ananda Village’s programming.

Whether you’re a photographer or just want to enjoy some time away from your hectic life, you’ll find what you’re looking for here where nature gets a helping hand. Now the for images!

is the spiritual heart of Ananda Village. Visitors enjoy the beautiful terraced gardens and vistas. There is also a small chapel where workshop attendees can meditate. The gardens are open for weddings, workshops and other events. You can also attend workshops through Ananda Village’s programming.

Whether you’re a photographer or just want to enjoy some time away from your hectic life, you’ll find what you’re looking for here where nature gets a helping hand. Now the for images!

 

Getting to know you: Practicing with the macro at Ironstone Winery, Murphys California

They say that “Practice makes perfect.” Well, in this case, practice made good! The practice was with the macro at the Ironstone Winery in Murphys. The grounds were full of tulips. daffodils and other flowers I can’t name. They were mostly in wine barrels so they could be changed out at will. My macro and I had a great time.

They also had a lake, beautiful landscaping and an amphitheater that was being remodeled. I came home with so many images, it took quite a while to go through them and edit. In this post, I’ll show you my macro work–since I’m bragging. Hey getting to good is better than where I was! I’m not captioning these images since I can only ID the tulips and daffodils.

In my next post, I’ll show you the grounds not shot with the macro.

If I keep practicing, I just may get to perfect!