Lens Artists Challenge #154: One Photo, Two Ways

Years ago while taking pictures, with a small point and shoot, at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado, Richard asked me why I was squatting. I truly didn’t know photography then, but I knew that to get a better picture I needed to get down low. In her challenge this week, Tina is asking us to look at the same scene in different ways.

I’ve gone back into my archives to 2019, and found two instances where my changing distance, angle and perspective changed the image. First are the tulips at the Crystal Hermitage Gardens, Ananda Village. Just walking to face the flower while standing up changed the image. The picture on the left was lower to capture the sun and texture of the leaves.

Some more flowers. Sunflowers. Here we have a total landscape of the sunflowers. How beautiful and happy they look. Now coming in as close as we can without going into the field and changing orientation, a busy bee took the spotlight. The third image shows a little more of the bee’s habitat. And the last shows a side view of a sunflower opening.

For my last example, I chose a recent outing to the Salmon Falls Bridge, Pilot Hill, only seen during a drought and when the river bed is low. First, a full landscape view showing the river bed and bridge in the distance. Then close to the bridge. And finally a close up of the bridge itself. Each tells a story.

Thank you Tina for giving us this fun challenge!

Lens-Artists Challenge #143: Colorful April

This challenge is having me feel melancholy. It’s been two Aprils since we were able to visit Ananda Village and photograph their beautiful tulips planted on the terrace. But Amy’s challenge of Colorful April didn’t say which year so I’m going deep into my archives for this one.

The year 2019 was the last visit we made to Ananda Village’s Crystal Hermitage Garden and their April display of tulips. The garden is currently closed because of the pandemic. I miss seeing the beautiful flowers in a calming and spiritual setting. Here are images from my 2019 visit.

It’s nice to have these visual memories. Hopefully we will be back to Ananda Village in 2022.

Lens-Artists Challenge #123: Found in the Neighborhood

Oh my, this one is easy since I walk my neighborhood every day. Actually, I don’t have a choice, Gem will follow me until I take him out for our daily mostly 2-mile jaunt. It’s his walk and his choice where he goes. And where he goes, I follow. So Ann Christine, thank you for this topic!

Flowers are abundant in my community. From roses to tulips, they are beautiful.

I couldn’t resist taking pictures of goslings even though I’m not too fond of their parents. We have an abundance of wild turkeys too. I keep reminding them that Thanksgiving is near, but they don’t pay attention because they know they are protected.

And finally we have mushrooms. Ana of Anvica’s Gallery reminded me of them in her current post, “Time for Mushrooms.” Here are two varieties taken at different times. If you live in a senior community, take a sign saying “I’m okay!” with you as you lie face-down in the grass!

I don’t bring my camera on my walks with Gem. He wants all of my attention. When we first went on lockdown, I was grateful for living where I do. All us dog walkers, would stop and talk. I didn’t feel alone. Take care everyone!

Lens-Artist Challenge #105: Spring

Photos are our memories, and I’m glad to have images from Ananda Village‘s Crystal Hermitage Garden. Each year, volunteers plant tulips on the terraced hillside, creating such beauty worthy of a yearly visit. However, this year they didn’t open to the public because of the Pandemic.

Ananda Village is just north of Nevada City in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The village is run by a spiritual association that provides a range of tools to strengthen spiritual lives of individuals of all ages. It follows the teaching of Paramhansa Yogananda and his disciple, Swami Kriyananda, to meet the needs of spiritual seekers. They also have retreats and rent cabins to individuals who just want to get away and meditate.

A group of us go up each year to take pictures. These are from last year.

Thank you Tina Schell of Travels and Trifles for this Spring Lens-Artist Challenge!

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!