Reflections, Part 2

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The inspiration for a previous piece, "Reflections, Part 1", grew from images captured in June while visiting beautiful, historic towns in Alsace. The more I looked around, particularly below, the more my eyes opened to another dimension, in this case, the architecture and character of Colmar's, 'Little Venice' and Strasbourg.  Seemingly "floating" in rivers, canals and waterways awaited windows, doors, bridges, flowers and clouds. The effect transformed edges into soft, curving lines while colors almost melted in the tranquil waters.

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Flower Power: A Berkshire Spring

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People were saying April was more like March. But after a long winter, spring finally came to the Berkshires. Returning from Mexico on April 20th, I had expected the daffodils to be over and looking sad as they droop down and the tulips to have been simply chewed by the deer. Magnolias such as the one above might have been zapped by a late frost. This year though they miraculously knew to wait before setting out buds. What a display they could then put on!

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The People of Bhutan

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On so many levels, Bhutan or, Druk Yul, Land of the Thunder Dragon, is a mysterious, intriguing and visually rich, country. Set high in the Himalayas, this last Buddhist kingdom has managed, against many odds, to preserve its cultural and environmental heritage. Central to its heritage are its people. As my previous two pieces hopefully indicated, what is still referred to as a Shangri-La, provides much to contemplate.

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Bhutan: the Wild, the Cultivated and the Sacred

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Whether you are crossing the tarmac at Paro's airport while squinting through a brilliant blue sky towards Bhutan's mountains surrounding the landing strip — quite a challenge for planes; trekking on a steep path to a remote Buddhist monastery; or simply strolling along a village road, prayer flags will invariably greet you. Almost rarely out of sight, they form part of Bhutan's unique landscape and cultural identity. 

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Real de Catorce: A Ghost Town

 Street in Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi

Street in Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi

No wonder Real de Catorce, set high in the Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico, is a designated “Pueblo Magico”. Making my way into the heart of the town through a long, dark tunnel that pierces through a forbidding mountain (the only way to access the town if you’re not on horseback or walking), while on the back of a rickety pick-up truck, I was suddenly catapulted into another period...

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Living Walls

 Meik Won, Artist

Meik Won, Artist

 

While we often associate "living walls" with flora they can also be alive with visual art.  Ever since landscape designers and plant enthusiasts such as Patrick Blanc, launched this vertical gardens "movement" throughout Europe a few decades ago, we've been offered surfaces teeming with sedums, ferns, moss and so much more.

Concurrently, street art, also known as graffiti art, has also been flourishing in towns and particularly, cities throughout the world. As no surprise, Mexico, famous for its murals back in Diego Rivera's day, is also awash with creative and fanciful outdoor murals. Many have a social justice message too.

 

A Lighter Touch

 
 

We all need humor in our lives, especially today. This little visual offering is about not taking things too seriously. It brings to mind Milan Kundera's title to his book: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being".

These rather simple photographs — more like snapshots from my iPhone 6, were taken in Italy, Mexico, and the Berkshires. They share a common theme: people or things that may also bring a smile to your face. Not particularly artistic, they simply hold a quirky flare.

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Enthralling Cacti and Agaves

 

Cacti and agaves, both succulents but of very different plant families, continue to be a source of fascination. Be they round, tubular, columnar, or sinewy, their majestic forms intrigue and inspire. With their quasi-indomitable nature that can withstand scalding sun, drought and the harsh conditions of desert environments, they beg for ...

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ALOHA!

 Plumeria, the everlasting lei Flower

Plumeria, the everlasting lei Flower

Last spring, my husband, David and I decided we'd try something new: Thanksgiving in Hawaii with our three now grown kids. Years ago, when they were very young, we enjoyed an exotic Thanksgiving in Luxor, Egypt where the waiters wore fancy white turbans and the cranberry sauce was made with unknown ingredients. This time it would be mango, red pepper, ginger, curry and many more ingredients.   READ MORE

Dia de los Muertos

Today, on November 2nd, as I opened Google I was greeted by a purple "papel picado" or Mexican lacey paper flag. In San Miguel de Allende, Halloween or el Dia de los Muertos has become a big deal.  Here, the ex-pat community has contributed alot of imagination and creativity into what has been an ancient tradition stemming from a blend of Christianity and paganism. 

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Trainscapes

 
 

This theme of trains and train tracks emerged while traveling in southern Italy. As it turns out, I had embarked on"trainscapes" at various times such as my usual Metro North trip between Wassaic, NY and Grand Central Station. In the Berkshires, Massachusetts, with barely a functioning train, I've simply shot old rusty train tracks with their wooden cross ties stained by tar that still smells. 

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