Friday, April 24, 2015

Red for Friday

Into every life a little red must come. As I ventured throughout the gardens at Cheekwood several weeks ago, the one thing I took note of was that red Tulips were not the majority. Instead, yellow Tulips and yellow and red striped Tulips were in abundance. I enjoy striped and varigated flowers, but in the case of Tulips I tend to be a solid gal, loving the solid reds, pinks and purples as well as whites and yellow.

With the weekend upon us, it bears mentioning here that I have not had a great deal of time to take photos lately. I am now working my way into the fourth month as a Tennessean and with Spring in full bloom, I hope to get outdoors this weekend.

Although showers are expected tomorrow, The Country Living Fair is an antiques fair hosted by a long time and well known magazine here in the States called Country Living Magazine. The fair is being held in Lebanon, Tennessee, which is 15 minutes from my place. I hope to visit Sunday as the weather is supposed to be sunny and warm. I have never attended the fair in the past. It is held in various cities throughout the Spring each year. This is the first year it is being held at Lebanon and when I came across this bit of information, I have to admit I was a tad excited. I hope you have a wonderful weekend all. ENJOY!

Linking to Foodie Friday and Everything Else and Simple and Sweet Fridays

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring I Love You

Spring, I love you! I love the bright green leaves newly sprouted on the trees. I love the smell of fresh mowed grass as the mowers create artistic patterns on the lawns. I love the flowers blooming in the gardens, along the roadsides and in the woods. I love the Dogwood trees in full bloom all over the city.

I love the birds building new nests and renovating old ones. I love the tiny Goslings in tow as their parents glide around the lakes and ponds. I love the warm, sunny days with lots of blue skies and just a hint of a breeze. So just in case no one has said it lately, Spring, I love you. ENJOY!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Barn, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Several years ago I paid a visit to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and on my visit I captured several images of this beautiful old Barn sitting in Boat Yard #1 on the museum grounds.

I remember the day well. It was a sweltering 90 degrees, but the humidity wasn't painfully bad. And aside from the heat, wished I could be right there at the Maritime Museum taking in the Chesapeake Bay on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland in the small town of St. Michaels. Before I leave you today, I wanted to mention I finally got around to changing my hometown on my profile. I guess you could say the transition is official, I'm a Tennessean. But you and I both know, I am Kentucky woman at heart. ENJOY!

Linking to the Barn Collective

Saturday, April 18, 2015

White Narcissus

As I walked around the various gardens at Cheekwood last weekend, I happened upon this beautiful Narcissus plant blooming in one of the gardens. I love these flowers and, I myself, tend to think of them as Daffodils, but have learned from looking up the Daffodil that this is a Narcissus.

They are also called Jonquils which I did not know either. Regardless, of what you call the plant, they are a sign of Spring known the world over and one of the most popular flowers around the world. We have had a week of rain off and on and it appears we are in for more of the same for another week. We have seen a few peeks of sunshine between the raindrops throughout the week. I have to tell you though, I am thoroughly tired of rainy, dreary days. While it isn't snow or ice, I didn't expect this much rain in Tennessee. As I wait out the rain, in hopes of a sunnier week down the road, I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying your weekend. ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Got the Blues for Cheekwood

Do you ever get the blues? Well, I got the blues at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens on Sunday afternoon. While meandering throughout the many, many gardens, and there were quite a few, I captured a few images of the 'blues'.

Most of the Tulips I photographed I didn't make a note of their names. To me, a Tulip is a Tulip is a Tulip. Granted an avid gardener would disagree, but I am not a gardener so I feel I am allowed to say that. This beautiful blue flower did not have a name plate near it and I am afraid while I attempted to ID it on Google, I fell short. If you should know the identification, please share.

I continued on my walk throughout the gardens and happened upon this little gem which I feel almost certain is a Blue Bell. I love the way each flower is like a tiny little bell.

It is no easy task to identify flowers. I try to do so by their color first, then their shape, specifically of their flower or petals, or their stems, and as a last ditch effort I go for the season. You name it and I am throwing in a word here, a word there, and if all goes well, I find the name of the flower. But as is the case today, sometimes the name eludes me. I love photographing flowers, and while I do not consider myself a pro or even a macro photographer, I try to capture a close up of each flower so that you can see all of the intricate details. While the color is the star of the show with flowers, the details get me every time. I hope you enjoyed my 'blues' as much as I enjoyed sharing them. Back soon. ENJOY!

Linking to Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sculptures at Cheekwood

One of Nashville's early entrepreneurial families, the Cheeks, purchased 100 acres in West Nashville in the late 1900's where the family sat out to build a country estate created by a landscape architect from New York. Bryan Fleming created what is now Cheekwood. The botanical gardens houses eleven smaller gardens at Cheekwood, in addition to the Museum of Art, the Frist Learning Center and Contemporary Art Galleries and the Botanic Hall.

As I walked the grounds I passed from one garden to the next sometimes not even realizing it at first. In the Martin Boxwood Garden situated behind the Museum of Art, I found this beautiful sculpture fountain sitting at the end of a long narrow pool of water.

On Sunday I had sat out to take in the grandeur of the 100,000 Tulip display and to perhaps get a lay of the land at Cheekwood for future visits. One of the areas I happened upon was the Swan Lawn. Several Swan sculptures were featured in this area, the most beautiful of which this fountain.

Another Swan sculpture was situated in one corner of the lawn surrounded by trees and bushes including a Dogwood tree whose buds were just beginning to open.

Before departing to another garden, I noticed another sculpture surrounded by beautiful bushes and trees near the Museum building.

After I snapped a few images of the sculptures, I turned and saw these beautiful windows peering down at me from the side of the Museum building. Old stone buildings are beautiful, but the windows in this building made it even more so. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the sculptures at Cheekwood. I will return with more flower images soon. ENJOY!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beautiful Cheekwood

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art is situated just south of downtown Nashville in a very affluent neighborhood called Belle Meade. Belle Meade is home to not only Cheekwood, but also the Belle Meade Plantation that I visited last weekend and hope to get back to soon to tour the house and outbuildings.

Today, however, I visited Cheekwood to view the '100,000 Tulips' which is on display throughout the botanical gardens. Tulips were growing throughout the gardens in bright, vivid colors. There were reds, yellows, pinks, purples. There were solid Tulips, varigated Tulips. There were Tulips along the walkways. Tulips beside the buildings. Tulips in small gardens. Tulips everywhere.

Cheekwood has more than Tulips. Cheekwood is home to Herb Gardens, Japanese Gardens, a Sculpture Trail, a Museum of Art, the Pineapple Restaurant, and a gift shop. There is much more to this beautiful place than I can begin to show you in one post.

As you may have already guessed, this is just 'one' of many visits to Cheekwood. Can you imagine this place in Fall and during the Holiday season?

Not only were the gardens beautiful, but the day was gorgeous too. Blue skies and plenty of sunshine with the temperature in the low 80's and virtually no humidity made for a perfect day. While there were many, many people visiting Cheekwood along with me to see this beautiful Tulip display, there weren't so many people that it made for an uncomfortable visit. As I was leaving in mid afternoon, the crowd was intensifying. Apparently, I had arrived at the perfect time for a visit. I will be back with a few more images of Cheekwood before the week is out. ENJOY!

Linking to The Scoop

Friday, April 10, 2015

Magnolias in Bloom, Bernheim

A brief stop over at Bernheim Arboretum was on the agenda this afternoon, as I made a quick trip up and back to Louisville today to take care of some personal business.

There are pink, maroon and yellow hybrid Japanese Magnolia trees in varying stages of blooming in the arboretum at Bernheim. Although it was overcast, with the sun occasionally peeking through the cloud cover, it was still a nice afternoon to snap a few images. I have missed visiting Bernheim, but have enjoyed exploring Nashville's natural areas. I hope to pay a visit to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art soon. Supposedly there are 100,000 tulips in bloom as I write this post and I would hate to miss that. You know how I love photographing flowers. We're due for a whole weekend of 'Sunny' and I can't be happier. I hope your weekend finds you outdoors in the sunshine. ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Varigated Tulips

Oh, Spring! How fantastic that you have arrived here in the South. It makes me so happy that you have finally made your way back.

Your beautiful Tulips, Daffodils, Crocuses, Violets and yellow Forsythia brighten our landscape. Spring you are a welcome sight. Please stay a while, I beg of you. ENJOY!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Old Dairy Barn

As I perused by archives tonight I ran across this image I captured this past weekend and wondered just what style of barn this was. I realized those were vents on the top of the barn, and more than likely it was an old dairy barn. As luck would have it, it is a dairy barn. Although it may not be used for cows any longer as there were several horses in the pasture nearby.

There is something about barns that draws us to them and more so 'we' photographers. I photographed this fine specimen as I wandered through Brentwood's back roads Saturday on my way to Belle Meade Plantation. It is a beautiful old barn that is still being used, fortunately. I gave it a tad bit of a watercolor effect just for fun. Here is a thought to contemplate. Why do dairy barns have vents while horse barns have cupolas typically? Is the cupola a status symbol for the horse barn as opposed to vents for the dairy barn. Is this a case of Mercedes versus Cadillac I wonder. Just saying!! Hope your week is off to a good start. ENJOY!

Linking to Barn Collective

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation is a beautiful old Southern mansion accompanied by several outbuildings situated in Belle Meade, southwest of downtown Nashville. Belle Meade actually means 'beautiful meadow' and I definitely enjoyed the meadow surrounding the mansion today as I stopped for a visit. I wanted to photograph the property near the road away from the mansion.

John Harding purchased 200 acres in the mid 1800's and brought in slaves from the deep South to construct the mansion. Harding bought the land from the money he saved working for his father, who was also a farmer. Later Harding built a cotton gin on the property along with a grist mill and saw mill. Those buildings still stand on the property today. This image is the bridge off the main highway which is the entrance to the plantation.

As years passed and Harding's effort thrived Belle Meaade became a famous Southern Plantation visited by dignitaries, and at one time President and First Lady Grover Cleveland stayed at Belle Meade. Later Harding's son who was an avid horseman took over managing the plantation. Giles, was an avid horseman and raced at all the local race tracks. Giles purchased more and more land over time and eventually the plantation exceeded 3600 acres. As I walked back toward the drive that circumvents the property, I stopped to take a photo of a small Crab Apple tree in bloom.

Later, Harding's daughter married a general from the Civil War and they moved into the mansion. The general was also an avid horseman and maintained the property until the late 1800's when the economy weakened and by the early 1900's most of the plantation and the mansion had been sold or auctioned off. Luckily, the historical society saved the mansion and the outbuildings. Wouldn't it be fantastic if you could have visited back in the day of the great Southern Plantation. I can only imagine what it would have been like. As I walked back toward the main house I captured this image. I can't wait to visit and tour the house. It is a beautiful day here in Tennessee. Everywhere I looked there were flowering trees and pops of color from blooming tulips, daffodils and pansies. I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter Sunday. I'll be back soon to share a few other images I captured this week. ENJOY!

Linking to The Scoop

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Japanese Magnolia

There is no doubt in my mind it would take a few months to post all of the images I captured over the past few years of the flowering Japanese Magnolias at Bernheim.

Just one of the many gorgeous photos I took. Gorgeous, not because I took them, but because these flowers are so beautiful that words barely can describe. It has been a busy few weeks and sadly, I haven't had much of an opportunity to get out and take photos. Hopefully, I can do so this weekend should the weather allow. I promise I will be back soon. ENJOY!

Linking to Foodie Friday and Everything Else and Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vintage America

Lately, I have been posting my fair share of birds and waterfowl images. But last week I got to thinking about all of the wonderful places I have traveled over the past few years. There is rarely a place we travel daily or on a vacation that we don't find some historical artifact in some form or fashion.

Without the rustic, vintage, historical . . . without the rusted, aged, weathered . . . without these artifacts or historical places throughout America, my world would be far less interesting. On every occasion, no matter whether it is a day trip, a weekend or a longer journey, history surrounds us, and fortunately, I have embraced the vintage and historical factions in my travels. Throughout the states of Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Michigan, Massachusetts and Virginia, I captured these images whether it be Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall. ENJOY!

Linking to Wednesday Around The World

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Muscovy Duck

As I walked along the shoreline at Old Hickory Lake a few weeks ago, this strange looking Duck made it's way to the water. Not sure what species I looked it up and discovered it's a domesticated Muscovy Duck. Muscovy means Moscow, although oddly the Duck is not from Russia but from North America.

Spring is beginning to take hold her and while out today I noticed quite a few trees just beginning to burst forth with blooms. Soon everything will be in full bloom for Spring. Have a great week everyone. I'll be back soon. ENJOY!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patty's Day

A traditional Gaelic Blessing on this St. Patrick's Day. On St. Patrick's Day I always think of this blessing. It reminds me of my Mother who used to say it from time to time. HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sailboats, Percy Priest Lake

The afternoon light was emitting a warm blue. The perfect light of the day, we outdoor photographers long for, as it settled over Percy Priest Lake Sunday. Walking along the shores at Seven Points, several sailboats were off in the distance floating aimlessly along the water.

A little something you may not know about me, but I will share. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for sailboats. Always. Today is a copy cat of yesterday's weather with perfect blue skies, warm temps and tons of sunshine. I could not be happier especially since I took the day off and I am headed outdoors. ENJOY!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Long Tailed Duck

There's a possibility that Spring is taking hold here in Tennessee. It is beautiful and nearly 70 degrees today and I welcome the sunshine after a week of rain. One of the things I do several times weekly is check the ABA website for Tennessee to see if there are any peculiar waterfowl sightings nearby. There was a note regarding a Long Tailed Duck seen yesterday at Shute Branch Recreation Area. After a drive over to a frequent birding hot spot, Snow Bunting Peninsula, off Old Hickory Lake, I drove farther east to Shute Branch hoping to catch a glimpse of this Life Bird for me.

Sure enough there it was albeit a female or perhaps an immature female or male. Sometimes no amount of research online will allow you to put a finger on exactly what gender a bird is. I do know the breeding male Long Tailed Ducks have the beautiful markings and long long tail feathers and that is certainly not what I photographed today. But if this is a male, in time he will be a beauty.

Oddly, this duck was swimming and diving for food right off the shore next to the smaller boat launch at Shute Branch. And even when I got closer to the shore, the duck didn't seem to mind at all and continued with the task at hand. I would love to see a male breeding Long Tailed Duck as they look so beautiful when I see photos online.

These ducks winter along eastern and western North America and the Great Lakes and southern Europe and Russia. Clearly, this duck was a bit inland. Long Tailed Ducks breed in Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe and northern Russia. The male is quite vocal which leads me to believe this is a female as it never uttered a sound the entire time I photographed it. Have a great week. I took tomorrow off and plan to visit Franklin just south of Nashville. ENJOY!

Linking to Sunlit Sundays and Birdin D'Pot

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vintage Barn, Lebanon

A drive out to the countryside is always special when you happen upon one of these iconic 'Mail Pouch' barns as I did Saturday outside Lebanon, Tennessee. With the weather warm and a bit of sunshine before the clouds and rain moved in from the South, I decided a drive was in order. Lebanon is a small town just east of Nashville. I happened upon this barn as I was making my way back to the main road. These logo'd barns are numerous especially throughout Kentucky and Tennessee.

By the way, did you know this is a 'monitor' barn meaning the roof is raised in the center. I wasn't sure what style it was so I looked it up. There's quite a few styles of barns which I am sure we all realize in our travels.

I don't know about you, but I am eagerly awaiting the first sprouts of Spring. I envision Daffodils or "Daffys" as some folks call them, and Crocus and Dogwood blooms, and Tulips in bright orange and purple and pink. And even better, Easter is in a few weeks too. Are you getting your "bunny" on? ENJOY!

Linking to The Barn Collective and Good Fences

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Heron Rookery, Old Hickory Lake

Two days ago Nashville was covered in a sheet of ice and four inches of snow. Then the weather heard our pleas and today as the temperature rose to almost 60 degrees, the ice and snow melted. I just had to get out and take a quick drive. I had been wanting to visit Old Hickory Lake so off I went. Old Hickory is north of my new digs. I had read that Shutes Branch Recreation Area on the lake was great for bird watching. As I approached the area, there were numerous sailboats, fishing boats and kayakers out on the lake.

One of the reasons I wanted to come to Shutes Branch was to see the Heron Rookery. The rookery sits on an island across from the parking lot at Shutes Branch and as luck would have it it was clearly visible, albeit at a distance.

At first I attempted to count the Herons and then I realized there were just too many. There were Herons flying in, flying out, sitting on their nests. You name it there were Herons doing it. Keep in mind that these images show only a partial view of the rookery. Sorry for the quality as I had to crop these to get a better view of some of the Herons on their nests.

I took a few images of one of the Herons fishing off the shore on Shutes Branch.

Have I mentioned that since I moved to Tennessee it has been bitterly cold with sleet, freezing rain and ice, not to mention several snowfalls. If I didn't know better, I would swear I brought Kentucky's weather with me. And I might also mention how happy I was not to be in Kentucky this week as they got anywhere from 17 to 24 inches of snow. Tomorrow we move the clocks forward one hour. Spring arrives March 20th. I can't wait. ENJOY!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Common Loon

Yesterday was in the low forties with a tad nippy wind, but I drove my new 'route' past the Priest Dam. Looking south to the lake there was a flock of waterfowl floating in a V formation making their way to the farther reaches of the lake. I snapped a few quick shots to see if I could identify them in my software later. Turned out they were Redheaded Ducks and no, the images were not usable.

My goal was to drive to Hamilton Creek Recreation Area on Priest Lake which is about ten minutes further south. It was overcast with no evidence of much in the way of birds so I drove to the edge of the boat ramp for the best view. There was a pair of 'something' fishing in the lake far off but just close enough to capture an image. Much to my amazement as I checked the images in my software later, the pair were Common Loons. A life bird for me. Yippee!

After the Loons moved farther off, I drove over to another boat ramp and stopped. The Loons were pretty far away but I had my 300mm so I captured a few more images while, as luck would have it, the sun had peeked out between the cloud cover.

A quick note to everyone. I discovered that my post from earlier in the week on Bear Island turned out to be Goose Island. And Hermitage Island from several weeks ago, well that post was accurate. I can see this is going to be a challenge what with 38 islands situated on Priest Lake. I will persevere. Have a wonderful Sunday all. ENJOY!

Linking to Sunlit Sundays