Claude Monet and Lilies

Today is the 90th anniversary of the death of Oscar-Claude Monet, father of impressionist painting. Monet was driven to document the French countryside by painting the same scenes repeatedly under differing light conditions throughout the seasons.

He is best known for his paintings of the water lilies which he cultivated in his man-made ponds at Giverny, about 50 miles (80 km) from Paris. To be honest I can understand his fascination with these beautiful flowers, although painting them day in and day out for over 20 years is nothing less than obsessive.

Although we do not have lily ponds at our house we are fortunate enough to have giant lily pond near us at Longwood Gardens and I offer these photographs of these wonderful blooms as an homage to the great painter.







52 Week Challenge: Week 38

WEEK 38: Landscape: Get Low – Time to look at the world from a different angle. Shoot a landscape from a low point of view.

Not much chance to get out today so I went though some shots from earlier in the year. This one really cheered me up – spring daffodils leading up to a lovely old tree, taken from a fairly low angle.



52 Week Challenge: Week 33

WEEK 33: Artistic: Collaboration – Doesn’t matter what you shoot, just do with another artist. Share vision and ideas. Collaborate.


For this composition I decided to look back to a brief visit I had to the UK in the early summer. My mother is an amateur watercolorist and oil painter with a keen eye on composition. As we were standing outside her kitchen door enjoying the sunshine in a bright, cloudless sky she pointed over to her fence and the rambling rose that was overhanging it and suggested that I take a photograph because of the beautiful bright red petals. I thought the arch of the flower made an excellent frame for the chimney pot on the neighbor’s house.

A collaborative artistic effort.



Spring has finally sprung… the tulips are here

It has been a month since we “sprung forward” with the annual clock moving, and we have since had some odd weather in Pennsylvania, fluctuating between a nice 70°F (21°C) all the way down to 21°F (-6°C) depending on the day. We even had one full day of snow last weekend!

All very frustrating, but all part of the change of Seasons.

Well, today was finally nice enough for me to get outside into the garden and start work tidying things up, cutting the lawn, building up the veggie plots and generally appreciating the outdoors life. And what’s more, over the last few days the tulips have finally come into bloom.

Happy Spring!


Happy Mother’s Day (UK)

Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK. Although we Brits also refer to it as “Mother’s Day” it has a different origin to its namesake celebrated in the US.

Mothering Sunday has origins from a historical religious holiday associated with encouraging people (as in servants, largely) to go back to their “mother churches” on the 4th Sunday in Lent. The fact they also visited their mother’s was probably just taking advantage of having a rare day off from their toils and also because their parents were most likely to live near the original church since, years ago, people didn’t generally travel so far. Over the years, as Britain has become more secular, the original meaning seems to have been largely lost.

Mother’s Day in the US, on the other hand, was first celebrated in 1908 by a lady called Anne Jarvis who held a memorial to her mother Ann Reeves Jarvis, if Wikipedia is to believed, and occurs on the second Sunday of May. It appears to have no particular religious connotations.

Anyhow,  being of British origin, my children helped to celebrate today by accompanying my wife and I to a nice brunch and walk through the local horticultural gardens. I had my small camera with me and so was able to get a few nice uplifting floral shots to share.




So, to all you mums out there, in the UK and elsewhere – Happy Mothering Sunday!


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