Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ABC Wednesday, Skywatch Friday, Camera-Critters

ABC Wednesday: X is for ........
You think it should be easy, if a bird extends its wing, then it should be a perfect X. I went through a lot of my aerial shots of bird in flight, and only find this one got a perfect X written over it. It is a Laughing Gull, photographed over Cape Cod Bay.

Skywatch Friday #51:
I love this one of the Herring Gull also. Two of these pictures go so well together. But as I said, this one does not have X written over it. Thus I shall use it for my Skywatch Friday entry.

Camera-Critters #65: American Goldfinch
This is an American Goldfinch, which I was able to sneak very close in our garden. It is also a perfect X. Well, I will also use it for my entry to Camera-Critters.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.
To see more sky from around the world click here
To see more Camera-Critters from around the world click here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today's Flowers #46: Lavender

We almost always have lavenders in our garden. When we were in the South of France, many years ago, we had wild lavenders in the hill behind our house. They have less flower buds on the stem but are as fragrant. They are so Provençal.

The fragrant is not mainly from the flowers but from the stem. Just rub fingers against the stem and smell them.

For dry flowers, they should be cut before the flower buds open. But even if you are not using them for dry flowers, all the flower stem should still be cut all the way back, otherwise, they will be too woody next year.

Too see more flowers from around the world click here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Camera-Critters #64: Herring Gull

We can see herring gull easily on the beach, but this one come particularly close.

I was afraid that it is going to hit the camera (click on the photo to enlarge to see the amazing detail).

Here it was having a good meal of a horseshoe crab on the sand flat.

To see more Camera-Critters from around the world click here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Skywatch Friday No. 50: Cape Cod Bay

A long fisherman walking out toward Cape Cod Bay. He had to walk through miles of sand flat before he reached the water. He also had better watched out when the tide turned that he would not get stranded on the beach.

To see more sky from around the world click here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ABC Wednesday: W is for W Hotel at Walkerhill in Seoul, Korea

I (Grace) went to Seoul for a dinner with our collaborators last week. W Hotel is a new hotel chain with modern design and pop music. I have seen this particular one described in a travel magazine. The W sign at the entrance constantly changing into rainbow colors. Half of the W is a reflection onto the building which looks like a "WOW".

The hotel is sitting on the Walkerhill area overlooking the Han River that separates the city into north and south parts. Here is the view from their contemporary Japanese restaurant.

The lounge bar is called Woobar with a series of bright flat screens overhead.

The lobby has egg-like seating with different levels (There is a W besides the lemonade at the lower right hand corner).

The Wishes Store has many candies and other interesting souvenirs.

Here is a bunch of big colorful lollipops with Korean labels. You can see Wishes underneath.

Finally, the Water closet (WC) is also sleek with different levels and cool lighting.

Too see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rain on Cape Cod

It has been raining all day today and with a lot of wind. People told me that it has been what happen on the Cape most of days since the Spring. I looked out through window and see our back garden in a different light as what we normally see.

Marianne is kind of blurry through window.

She seems is walking out from a fairy tale.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today's Flowers #45: Flowers of Our Garden

Chinese Dogwood

Betty Boop rose

Queen Mary II Rose

Too see more flowers from around the world click here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Camera-Critters #63: Mute Swan

These swans station in the ponds of South Cape Beach on Cape Cod. When they started to fly away, they made a very impressive view and noise.

Here is a closer look of how majestic they are. Click on the photo to enlarge for more detail view.

For more Camera-Critters from around the world click here.

A Walk on the Beach

A Walk on the Beach

A pair of sneaker left by the sea grass

Footprints on the sand

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Skywatch Friday No. 49: South Cape Beach

South Cape beach is the town beach of Mashpee, the town where we lived on Cape Cod. Unlike a lot of the other town beaches on the Cape, it is actually a beach open for the visitors. It means it has a parking lot for the non-residences. Most other beaches, such as the Pain's Creek Beach as I showed in my last week's Skywatch Friday, only has residence parking. Also unlike the Pain's Creek Beach, it faces south. On a clear day, we can see the two islands, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, across the ocean. The beach is not too wide and has a steep dropoff, which is good for fishing off the beach.

The beach is part of the South Cape Beach State Park. It contains a wide varieties of costal environments, including barrier beach and dunes, salt marsh, pine woodland and "kettle" ponds. It has great varieties of sea birds. Here are two pictures taken from the over-the dune boardwalk.

To see more sky from around the world click here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ABC Wednesday: V is for A Room with a View

The room is our living/dinning room of our Cape Cod house and the View is our back garden. We moved into this brand new house 8 years ago, there was almost nothing in the back. It took us just over a year to plan and establish most of the plants and structures before moving back to Taiwan full time. This summer is the first time that I (Bradley) will be on the Cape for the summer after an absence of almost two years. I was on hands or knees most of the time in the garden, if the weather permits. The central point of the garden is the gazebo.

On the left side of the gazebo is a sunken garden, which has nothing in it yet. The statue is our Marianne. The bushes on her left gave a show of small white flowers in late Spring.

Here is a closer look of the lovely white flowers.

At the right hand side of the gazebo is our rose garden surrounded by English boxwoods. Now I know how long it takes for the boxwood to grow, a long time! There is a Japanese red maple in the rose garden and a small fountain. At the back of the rose garden, we have a blue spruce and a Chinese dogwood with the pine forest further out. I have to replant most of the roses this year. All of the hybrid tea roses died during the harsh northeast winter.

I just brought out our bronze figure for the fountain from the basement after six years, notice the spider web still on it. If I can make it working again, the water will flow out from his flute.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today's Flowers #44: Beach Roses

Beach roses can be seen all over on the beaches of Cape Cod. They are very vigorous growers, expand by seeding and by sending out ramblers. They protect beaches from tide and wind erosions.

Beaches roses usually come in two colors: white and pink, and are very fragrant. These two are from our own garden.

To see more flowers from around the world click here.

Camera-Critters #62: Sparrow

Grace saw this little sparrow (at least it is what we think it is) on a fence on the beach of Cotuit on Cape Cod. She quickly snapped a picture of it with my D700 and 80-400 lens. It came out surprisingly well. You can click on the photo to have a full view.

To see more Camera-Critters from around the world click here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Skywatch Friday No. 48: Paine's Creek Beach

Paine's Creek Beach is at Brewster on Cape Cod.  It is facing north towards the Cape Cod Bay.  The beaches facing north are very different from the beaches facing south towards the Atlantic ocean.  The north facing beaches have sand flat extends way out into Cape Cod Bay.  When the tide is low we can walk miles out toward the water.

The county government seed clams in the sand for the local residence to do clamming on the beach, a back-breaking entertainment.  The beach is very private and similar to many beaches on the Cape, which only have residence parking.  Thus if you are outsiders, you are out of luck!! 

To see more sky from around the world click here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ABC Wednesday: U is for Fille Unique

"Fille Unique" are the French words for "only daughter".  It projects a meaning of the one and only, very unique, and most treasued daughter.  We have one daughter and she is our "Fille Unique".  Here is her "Fille Unique", at least for the moment.

The picture was taken when I visited them two weeks ago.  She is going to be two years old this summer.  She looks just like a perfect little doll, and with such a good temperament.  

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today's Flowers #43: Rhododendron

We arrived back to Cape Cod last Tuesday night.  The rhododendron in our garden is in full bloom.  Here is one of them.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Camera-Critters #61: Peter Rabbit

This little bunny lives in our back yard when we were not on the Cape.  This image looks like a perfect image of Ms. Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit.  Well, look carefully at its ear, it has its share of rough time with local coyote and fox.

To see more Camera-Critters from around the world click here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Skywatch Friday No. 47: Cloud from An Airplane Window

The picture of this amazing cloud was taken by Grace on her way from Orlando, FL to Boston, June 3, Tuesday.

To see more sky from around the world click here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Greenwich Village III: The Other Side

Greenwich village does not only have the great restaurants, it is also a well sought after residential address.  It has many quiet streets and alleys from 1800's.  The apartments and town houses all worth millions, as in US dollar.

Grove court is one of this alleys/court yard but it is locked for the tourists.

The court yard is surrounded by houses dating from 1820's.  It was the setting for O. Henry's novel, "The last leaf", about an ailing young woman and a failing artist.  It was made into a movie "O. Henry's Full House" in 1952.

This brick building occupied almost a block.  The original builder used left-over defected bricks from the brick yard to build the complex.  It actually adds certain charm to the building.  The money he saved, he used it to build this charming court yard.

A final image of the Village.  It was a marvelous trip, thanks to my sister who organized it for me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Greenwich Village II: Aphrodisia

Aphrodisia is a store on the Bleecker Street of Greenwich Village at New York. It sells almost everything.  My sister, her husband and I visited the store during our Greenwich village Food Tasting and Culture Walking Tour.

We got free sugar coated almonds as a treat from the store owner.  She sells fashion accessories...

herbs, spices, scents, soap, oils, etc.  We could almost hang around inside the shop forever.

The owner has two beautiful cats, the major attraction of the store.  Could you see one of them in the window?


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