Chihuly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens

One of the things we did on Easter Sunday was to go to the DBG in Phoenix as the guests of our friends, Cathy & Marshall. We had a chance to visit the Butterfly Exhibit as well as the Chihuly Glass Exhibit which was thru-out the gardens. The two exhibits are so popular that you can only see them with a reservation, so if you go, be sure to call ahead to reserve your time slot.

We decided to go from 4 pm to 8 pm since we knew that would be a good timeframe for photos. The weather was perfect too! We went from late afternoon sun, thru dusk, sunset and dark. Since it’s a lighted exhibit in the evenings, it looked amazing in all the stages we saw. I took what seemed like a bazillion photos and I’m thinking of entering a few in the Arizona Highways Photography Contest. There are a lot that I like personally, but it’s hard to come up with something truly unique for a contest. I may enter anyway just because I like the prize that they’re offering and you just don’t know if you don’t try. We’ll see…
First I want to share a couple of fun photos of our friends. Marshall spent quite a while waiting patiently for a good shot of this lizard. I’m sure he got a better shot than I did.

He moved around to a different angle so this stick wouldn’t be in the way and the lizard actually moved and “posed” on a rock for him. All the people around us stood and admired the lizard and Marshall taking pictures of the lizard.

Then Cathy posed for this fun picture. Doesn’t she look so sweet? Well she is! We’re privileged to know them both. I’m so glad God brought them to Arizona and to Open Door. They’re such a precious couple.

Here are a few of my favorites from that gorgeous day.

Finally! A bit more about vacation and inspiration…
As I started thinking about all that still needed to be said about vacation, I realized that there’s probably much more than I should post at one time, so we’ll see how this ends up.

I mentioned Bar Harbor, Maine in the last vacation post, but missed a couple of key stops, that I’ll fill in now.

So much of what I saw and experienced inspired me to make time in my busy life to do something creative. To get back to drawing or writing or something totally different than the other activities of my day. I get to dip my toes in it with my blogging and photography, but I’d love to do more. We’ll see if I can make that happen.

While we were there I also learned that many of my favorite artists and writers lived in New England. Why was it such an inspiring place? I’m still trying to figure that out, but there were several obvious clues. The surroundings are absolutely beautiful and I can see why the cool damp weather would encourage a person to stay inside and use their imagination to take them to new places.

One day when we were in New Hampshire we went up the road to Franconia to visit the home where one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost, summered for over a decade and a half. They call it “The Frost Place“. It was a cozy little spot with this amazing view of the valley and the mountains on the other side. The day we were there, the mountains had received a dusting of snow overnight. The house was quite small and simple by today’s standards, but had a big front porch. I could imagine the poet sitting on that porch or on a bench under a tree writing his amazing poems.
After my experience of having a dad that was an iron-worker who didn’t say much, I wondered what it must have been like for his 6 kids to have a poet for a father. How in the world could he find time to write with all those kids around. Wow! He must have been an awesome man with such a tender and creative soul.

If you’ve never read any of Robert Frost’s poems, check out a few of the more popular ones, like “The Road Not Taken“. It’s a classic. We saw hundreds of stone walls, just like he describes in “Mending Wall“. Take a look. I think you’ll like them.

Our next creative stop was the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine. It houses the works of three generations of the Wyeth family. NC Wyeth was a book illustrator in the early 1900s. I would love to find some of the classics with his illustrations. They were gorgeous! His son, Andrew Wyeth started as a teenager and did much of his painting in watercolors or egg tempera. I remember learning about him in high school. His work was so detailed. You appreciate it even more so, if you’ve tried to paint with watercolors. It’s not easy to get that kind of detail.
Then Jamie Wyeth, who is still living, went on to follow in the footsteps of the previous generations. I thought Andrew would like his photo of the shark’s tail. Read the pic of the description about it too. I think Andrew would be great friends with Jamie.

And last on my list of inspirations was a new artist that I discovered while at a cafe in Bar Harbor. Her name is Neiley Harris and I LOVE her paintings of nature, trees, fruit, flowers, etc.. She has a website and a blog that show her work and the process as well. Someday maybe I can buy one of her paintings when I can afford to get original art. Actually her pieces are really quite reasonable compared to more well known artists. I guess we’d better buy them soon, before she gets too famous.

All in all, these visits made me want to retire from working and just be creative in whatever way I can find to do it. But since we know that’s not going to happen any time soon, I’ll just have to squeeze in some creativity along the edges somewhere.


Check out this link to the USGS site of “Our Earth as Art”

These are
beautiful images taken by the Landsat-7 satellite – and most recently, the Terra Satellite’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER).

The top one is the Ganges River Delta in India, where the Bengal Tiger roams.

The orange & blue one is the Malaspina Glacier in Alaska.

blue & green one is the Mississippi River Delta.

Pretty amazing stuff, huh! I just love the colors!

As usual…I have way too much to blog about and not enough time…sigh

Check out this awesome job that our son-in-law (Andrew) did in framing this poster that we got on vacation in Washington last summer. We decided that we’re going to get lots of pictures of places that we’ve been to hang up in our office and other rooms. It will be a wonderful reminder of the fun we had and the beautiful creation that we’ve been able to enjoy. Generally we like photographs, because man-made art just can’t capture all the beauty. We like these posters though, because they’re kind of nostalgic in style but still beautiful reminders of the place. The artist, Paul Lanquist has done some great work. After seeing what a great job Andrew did in framing this one, we ordered 4 more last night. Take a look at the Pacific Coast Highway, Sequoia Trees, Mount McKinley Cabin and Yellowstone Falls. Those are the ones we ordered and we’ve been all those places. How fun! Can’t wait to get them. (Thanks Andrew for making this one look so awesome!)