Château de Chenonceau – Part 4

One of my favorite things about Château de Chenonceau was all of the fresh flower arrangements that could be seen throughout the chateau.  Many, if not all, of the flowers used in the arrangements are grown in the chateau’s gardens.  The arrangements are also put together at the chateau.  I don’t really have anything else to say about the arrangements…except for pointing out the fact that they’re absolutely beautiful!  I figured this would be a good time to try out WordPress’s “gallery” feature.  Some of the thumbnails are rather small, but I think that you should be able to click on each photograph to open it up so that you can view a bigger version of the photo.

Also, if you’re interested in Château de Chenonceau, be sure to check out my other three posts on the chateau!

Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation – Focus on the Wild

I just came across an advertisement for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundations April 2016 Focus on the Wild photo contest.  The April subject is “Texas wildflowers in bloom.”  I immediately knew exactly which photographs I wanted to enter.  Sometimes it’s discouraging to enter photo contests and not win, but what I like most about contests like these is getting my photographs in front of a much wider audience than normal.  Here are my three entries.

Each spring, “the old cemetery” in Rockport is taken over by wildflowers.  Though tickseed is the most common (it’s the golden yellow one seen here), there are also bluebonnets and winecups (among other flowers).  There are many old statues and tombstones throughout the cemetery that make for picturesque photographs.

Virgin Mary & Tickseed at Old Rockport Cemetery

I was on the way home from a dear friend’s wedding when I passed this scene — the perfect fence & bluebonnet shot.  This photo was high up on my “photo bucket list,” so I turned around to take a few shots.  I debated long and hard on whether or not to include the Indian paintbrush in my photograph.  In the end I decided to leave it — it adds some visual interest without cluttering-up the photograph.  Aside from that, I think we all feel a little out of place, just like this Indian paintbrush, from time-to-time.

Rustic Fence, Bluebonnets, & Lone Indian Paintbrush

I was driving from Austin to Borger when I passed this scene.  I was kicking myself for not stopping (mostly because I don’t think it gets much better than cows grazing in a field of bluebonnets) and several miles later made the decision to turn around and go back to get a few shots.  There was a nice, big caliche driveway leading up to an entrance for this field, so I went ahead and pulled in to the side of it.  I was able to get quite a few shots (I’m always willing to stay some place a bit longer when I don’t feel like I’m in danger), but this one is my favorite.  I like the sense of movement from the longhorns’ tails, the hillcountry in the background, and the bluebonnets in the foreground.

Longhorns, Texas Hillcountry, & Bluebonnets

Flower Friday – Scabiosa

I just uploaded these photographs to Flickr last night and decided that they would make an excellent Flower Friday post.  Scabiosa (aka pincushion flower) is one of my favorite plants — it’s a perennial (my plants made it through winter without completely dying this year), it’s drought tolerant, and pollinators love it.

IMGP8077Scabiosa & Reakirt’s Blue Butterfly

Scabiosa & Reakirt's Blue ButterflyScabiosa & Reakirt’s Blue Butterfly

Ready for a FightScabiosa & Angry Bug

Flower Friday – Texas A&M Gardens and Greenways Project

I’ve never shared a cell-phone photograph on my blog, but I guess there’s a first time for everything.  I took this photo on Instagram and then shared it on my Flickr site.  The next morning I woke up, and it had over 15,000 views (it currently has 17,337 views) — so crazy!  To this day I’m not sure what makes some photos do so well on Flickr, but something right must have happened with this one.

This photograph was taken on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas (whoop!!!!).  I wish that the Gardens and Greenways Project had been complete (or at least in the works) back when I was in college because the concept of having a 45-acre dream backyard on campus sounds really amazing.  This wildflower field is part of that project.

Texas A&M Wildflower FieldBluebonnets, Alamo Fire Bluebonnets, Drummond’s Phlox, and Indian Paintbrush

Flower Friday – Bluebonnets & An Indian Paintbrush

On April 13, 2014, I was given the opportunity to take the bluebonnet photograph of my dreams.  Seriously — I’d wanted to take a photograph of bluebonnets with a fence behind them for YEARS.  This shot could not have matched what I had envisioned in my head any better.

Quintessential Bluebonnet PhotoPerfect Fence & Bluebonnets & A Lone Indian Paintbrush
taken somewhere in Texas…

“28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” – Matthew 6:28-30

Flower Friday – Full House Amaryllis

All of this talk about Netflix’s Fuller House series reminded me of the full house amaryllis I bought from American Meadows during December 2010.  It bloomed (a total of eight flowers) during February — this photo was taken almost exactly five years ago (2/15/2011).  I thoroughly enjoyed having a bit of color (and something to photograph) inside during the gloomy winter months.  I need to remember to buy one to have inside next December!  If you want some tips for growing amaryllis indoors, this site has easy-to-follow instructions.

Full House Amaryllis

Jardin des Plantes

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After leaving Luxembourg Gardens, we walked 1.4 miles to the Jardin des Plantes.  The Jardin des Plantes is a large botanical garden located just to the east of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.  It covers 69.2 acres and was the first botanical garden to be created in Paris.  Though it was founded in 1626, it did not open to the public until 1640.  It was originally planted by Louis XIII’s physician, Doctor Guy de la Brosse as a medicinal herb garden.

I am currently reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and I’ve enjoyed the many references to the Jardin des Plantes.  I can picture Marie-Laure and her father traipsing through the gardens on their way to the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of locks.  If you, too, are reading this wonderful book, I hope that my photographs will help bring the Jardin des Plantes to life for you.

There were many plants that I had never seen before, and I didn’t do a very good job of taking photographs of all of the name placards (shame on me), so there won’t be much information to share in the post — only pictures of pretty flowers.

Here’s a link to the Imgur photo album containing the photographs in this post.

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Russell Hybrid Lupines

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