Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Flower Piano

By happy coincidence we visited the San Francisco Botanical Gardens when they were having a special annual show entitled "Flower Piano".  We learned that this is the fourth year they've done this. It is a special summer event, lasting 12 days, where they have 12 pianos placed all around the Botanical Gardens. Anyone can sit down and play! When we first heard about this, we weren't too sure what to make of it, but now that we've seen and heard it, we think it's quite brilliant. Most of the presumably "amateur" pianists that sit down and play these pianos turn out to be highly talented! Everyone played quite beautifully. No duffers. The setting is gorgeous. As we walked away from one piano and its surroundings, the sound would die away and we'd begin to hear another piano in a different area of the Botanical Gardens. This ebb and flow of the music as we walked among the flowers was quite delightful.

Here's a Stellar's Jay we spotted while walking over to the Botanical Gardens from the Conservatory of Flowers. What a rich blue color this bird has! I happened to have my 12-40mm lens on my camera but wished I'd had my telephoto on instead. Birds move way too fast to allow a lens change. I still got a decent capture, albeit with some post shot cropping.

Stellar's Jay

This stacked piano object is one of the first things one sees when walking into the Botanical Gardens. Seeing this, we knew we were in for an unusual treat.

Stacked Pianos

 A closer view:

Altered Piano

Barefoot Concert

With a Feather in his Cap

Fronds in the Sky

Musical Duo with Audience

Playing Under Red Hair

I don't remember what kind of trees these are, but their flowing reddish "hair" was quite remarkable. Below is a wider angle shot of the same scene. After the fact, I wished that I would have used an even wider angle and included the talented musicians, seen above, in this second shot.

Rapunzel Tree

It wasn't *all* about the pianos. The Botanical Gardens had many enjoyable flowers to look at.

Delicate Life

Popping Out All Over


Some of the pianos had larger groups gathered around, many having brought their own instruments.

The Band's All Here

This guy was playing Beatles music in a classical arrangement! He was phenomenally good.

Creative Setting

I noticed that most all the piano players had no sheet music and often had lengthy pieces fully memorized. They were often completely "involved" in the music, fully "in the zone" as they played.

Beatles in the Garden

Piano in the Round

Fire Needles

At one point this dragonfly decided to rest on Deb's finger. He/she remained there for several minutes even while we walked further. This photo was taken at a close distance with my faithful 12-40mm lens, not my macro lens.

New Pet

Iris Flows

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Conservatory of Flowers

Deb and I visited San Francisco in June to meet my new grandson. (Yay! Very exciting.) While there, we also did some local sightseeing. The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park was a joy to visit. Neither of us had been there before. The interior is kept very humid. The tropical environment keeps the plants happy. All flora in the Conservatory of Flowers are quite stunning. Witness these examples below.

Deep Pocket

Hanging Pouches

Inner Space


Among the Lily Pads

Extended Fingers

Purple Water

Volcano Inside

Yikes! Look at the fangs on this plant:

This Thing Bites

Many of the orchids appear to have faces.

Little Skier

Googly Eyes

One Drop Below the Tongue

Scowl Face

Surf's Up

Unfurled Grace

Cones and Whiskers

Alive and Abundant

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

Friday, September 14, 2018

At the Cape: On the Beach

At the Inn, they said the Cape Cod National Seashore is often considered one of the ten best beaches in the world. While I can't verify that claim, I can attest that at least from our point of view, it does seem pretty spectacular. Per Wikipedia, it includes nearly 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod.

Beach Infinity

Hat Stays On

Seagull in Profile

Beach Inspector

Pickup Line



Wind at His Back

These next two photos were taken by Deb, with my camera.

The seals were remarkably close to the beach. While one could swim quite near them, we were warned not to do so because apparently large sharks like to eat seals, so the sharks were likely not too far offshore.

Whiskers Above Water

Deb took a picture of this stranger having way too much fun in the water.

No Idea

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

On the Cape: At the Inn

Deb and I recently returned from a nice three day getaway to Cape Cod. We stayed in Eastham at the Inn at the Oaks, a lovely inn located very near the Cape Cod National Seashore and the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Besides biking and enjoying the gorgeous beach, I took some photos.

This blog installment has photos taken at the Inn. In addition to the usual Inn amenities, I was impressed with the museum quality original typewriters showcased on the premises.

Back Space

Not Corona Beer

Cylinder of Letters

Best Space Bar Ever

Letters in Relief

Some of the Inn's appointments included nautical themed items. The outdoor "railings" at the Inn were adorned with some pretty remarkable knots.

Knot Art

Any place that's meant for people to relax certainly needs to have some Adirondack chairs. The Inn at the Oaks went for the colorful variety.

Adirondacks Discuss

All photos © 2018, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.