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




Gorbachev



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 philslens@gmail.com 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




Jaws




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 philslens@gmail.com 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




Struttin'




Feathermania




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 philslens@gmail.com 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 philslens@gmail.com for licensing or to order prints.