A Camera’s Perspective

Capturing moments with a camera allows us to revisit them at our leisure. Cameras record the things we intended, but often reveal surprises too. It happens to me time and again in the garden. While focused on a flower, I later discover a delicate web, a miniscule bug or an interesting play of light.

mouse found a peanut

Found a peanut

Of course when you take as many pictures as I do, the delete key is your friend. How wonderful it is in this digital age to snap hundreds of photos, knowing you don’t have to trek to your local photo processing store a week later, wondering what, if anything, turned out. It’s liberating.

orange poppies

I was so focused on photographing these California Poppies, that I failed to notice the pretty yellow and purple wildflowers growing in the mix.

Are pictures integral to your blog? Do you write first, then add photos later? Or do you write a story around the photos you have? Since most of my readers are also bloggers, I’m interested in hearing about your approach. If you’re a non-blogging reader, what draws you in?  Please join the conversation, below.

polka dot plant with web

Polka dot plant sports a tiny web

Halloween Countdown:

fashionable pumpkin

This stylish pumpkin takes re-fashion to a whole new level. Check out her ‘sixy’ mouth and her inquisitive nose. New this year, mismatched eyelashes. The sexy mole is also back. Finally, if you aren’t wearing trash on your head, you’ll have missed the biggest trend of all.


Lighting the Garden

The talented Anne Daiva taught me a couple of things about photography, and the significance of natural light.  Anne takes stunning photographs of babies and families with artistry and depth. When she mentioned taking her outdoor photos at the beginning or the end of the day, I took notice.

Coincidentally, those of us with fair skin and freckles are better off in the garden at the beginning and end of the day.  I’m usually outdoors when the sun is up but not yet heating my bare shoulders.

Though I’ll never be the photographer that Anne is, I do enjoy playing with my camera while allowing the powerful sun to work its magic.  Here are a few:

coleus closeup leaf

Let the sun shine through

tower of pots succulents

Tower of Succulents
July 31st, 7:12 pm

tall grasses at sunset

Grasses at sunset
July 31st, 7:10 pm

cat in the sun

Mighty Mouse
July 31st, 7:11 pm

To quote an old Irish saying, ‘may the sun shine warm upon your face.’ Have a great weekend.

Beauty Down Under

Have you ever noticed the beauty of a flower, down under?

I’ve grown to love the view through my camera lens. The narrowed focus and clarity allow me to see things I might miss.  Who knew that vibrant purple tulips rise from their stem with a subtle brush stroke of cream. Nature imitating art?

under side of a tulip

Looking Up

Freesias curl from a chain of looped, waxy stems.  Soft yellows fade to white, then splash out an intense magenta.  They’re intoxicating too, drawing my nose toward the planter whenever I walk by.  I love these colors.  I’m dreaming of a summer dress with a yellow bodice and a fuchsia skirt.  Surely one of the fashion houses has thought of that.



Look closely. I think this Cyclamen brushed on magenta eye shadow at the start of the day. Too shy to flirt with the world, she keeps this side of her hidden down below.


Cyclamen ‘Eye Shadow’

The Tulip Magnolia sport ‘fingers,’ pulled together as if to wave at passersby (or…let’s face it), the coming and going snails. I love it, warts and all.

Magnolia Tulip Fingers

Magnolia Tulip Fingers

As I child I liked to view the world from different perspectives. I imagined the house as if everything were upside down. Watching clouds while sprawled on my back connected me to the world in a different way. I probably spent too much time day-dreaming, the hallmark of an introvert though I also craved real-world connections. As an adult, I enjoy both.  Human connection and solitude. I’m a social being who craves unfettered time alone. What better place to find it then in the garden, down under.

Watercolor Tulip


Slinky in the Garden

Slinky's Domain

Slinky’s Domain

Slinky Malinki, our shiny black kitty, arrived a few years back. Her haunting green eyes, spoke of unhappy lives; slight moves put her on the attack.

We fed her each day; she would eat and run away, returning each night for a meal.

Should I venture a reach? She would greet me with teeth, trying to pet her lost all its appeal.

Slinky gradually came ‘round, but remains leery and unbound, affection is given with care.

Now she sleeps near my pillow and head-butts my face, it’s hands she continues to fear.  Each passing year, a little less fear, what I wouldn’t give to let her know she’s safe.

Slinky Near the Strawberry Patch

Slinky Near the Strawberry Patch

Like a Sunflower, Slinky Rotates with the Sun

Like a Sunflower, Slinky Rotates with the Sun

Proud Lady

Proud Lady

Making Progress

Making Progress

Did you know:

  • Cats head-butt as a way of showing affection.
  • Feral cats can be tamed.  Here is an informative, compassionate article written by The Lucky Few
  • We named our Slinky after a wonderful children’s book: Slinky Malinki by New Zealand writer Lynley Dodd

Portraits in the Garden: Anne Daiva Photography

Smooches for Lindy

My friend Heather often mentioned her kindred-spirit, Anne and what a talented photographer she was.  We finally met a couple of years ago at Heather’s baby shower.  Little did I know I would one day be on the receiving end of Anne’s talents.

In need of some professional head shots, I scheduled a photo shoot with Annie, who captured these photos in my garden.  She specializes in infant and early childhood photography, but was happy to offer her services to capture my…less than youthful image.  I’m so grateful.

Anne’s presence behind the camera is one of calm reassurance.  She gives wonderful cues and works hard putting you at ease.  Her mission as a photographer is as follows:

“My fulfillment of capturing people in portraits goes far beyond the love and emotion we all share. It has evolved into a journey of observing and capturing connection with each other as well as connection to this wondrous planet. While photography has always been my biggest passion and brought me endless joy, my mission has become clear. My most favorite quote is Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and I am finally doing just that. My awakening to what I can do has been sudden and substantial. Since late 2011 I have made major changes in my home life and business practices, for the times we live in call for it. I pledge to do my part for our kids generations and all future generations by living a healthy life and make conscious choices that are best for our planet.” Anne Daiva

…read more about Anne Daiva Photography here

It takes awhile to let go of your inhibitions in front of a camera.  You are literally the center of attention for over an hour.  Her style of quiet reassurance helped me relax and it got easier as time went on.

So…I have a favor to ask.  Will you take a look at the three photos, below and let me know  which photo you think best reflects Gardening Nirvana?  I’ll use the most popular photo on my site.  Please leave your vote in the comments section below.  Thank you!

(a) Alys and the Fern

(b) Alys in front of the Maple

(c) Alys looking up

A Crack in the Fence

Fine arts photographer, Paul Hood recently posted these stunning photos on Facebook entitled “Ten Minutes in the Backyard.”

I love taking photos in my own garden, but only dream of approaching the artistry of his work. With Paul’s permission, for your viewing pleasure:

Secret Garden



Crack in the Fence

Fig Tree

Images used by permission (all rights reserved). Photographer, Writer and Spiritual Counselor, Paul Hood