Friday, April 19, 2019

A Visit to #10...

Ant made special arrangements for us to visit 
#10 Downing St.
No...the Prime Minister didn't seem to be in,
and nothing seemed to be going on that day!

But the resident Cat was there to greet us!

I think he's the real  Prime Minister!

The crew!
Sean, Veronica, Ant, Dan and Kathy!

Just a bit of English detail!

You can see the Eye from just about anywhere in London!
This is from inside the Downing Street enclave.

This was taken from the gate at the entrance to the enclave.

Unbeknownst to us when we made arrangements for our 
visit to #10, there was a marathon going on!
Lot's of people crowded the streets around this part 
of the city, lot's in costume, and oh yeah...a few runners!

And of course...the obligatory street performer!

An afternoon tipple before we said goodbye to Ant...
too short a visit!
And yes, Dan adheres to the
"when in London, drink Italian beer" adage!

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

London our first stop, before starting our Search for the Northern Lights!

Our first full day in London we met up with Anthony...
our very good English friend, who came up from Southampton to show us the sights!
We started with a general walkabout around the
typical sights of London.

We walked across Westminster Bridge to get to the
heart of our tourist destinations...

First we walked by Parliament...
I was disappointed for our travel buds, Veronica and Sean,
because Big Ben was under wraps, while undergoing
maintenance and repair.  We could see the clock peaking
out from the shroud of scaffolding and tarps,
but no bell!

The London Eye is a giant ferris wheel that never stops.
The wheel moves slow enough for people to get on and off
without mishap, but never completely stops.
Throughout the hour long ride, you are rewarded with 
spectacular views of the city.
Dan and I rode the Eye the last time we were in London
but Sean and Veronica opted out this time around.
But of course, I still have to click away!!!

One of the things I love about London is the old world 
charm that you find all around town, in the details!

This church window and shadows made me think
of Sherlock Holmes and maybe a horror movie or two!

I love the old world architecture...

...the soaring towers...

...and a beautiful view Westminster Abbey.
The Abbey is chock full of history.
"Ever since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066,
all coronations of English and British monarchs have been 
performed here.  There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100." Wikipedia
And it is the burial site of over 3000 prominent people throughout British history, including royalty, Prime Ministers,
poets, actors, scientists and military leaders.
Stephen Hawking was laid to rest in the abbey.

I don't know about you, but when I saw this roof and chimneys, I immediately thought of the "Chim Chimney"
scene in the original Mary Poppins with Dick van Dyke and 
his fellow chimney sweeps dancing across the roofs of London!

You've probably heard about the love locks on bridges in 
Paris...well, London has its own share of love locks.
Apparently, this practice has caught on, all over Europe, 
to the chagrin of the locals.  While it's a charming
idea for the lovers to write their names, and date and lock 
it to the bridge "locking their love forever", 
it actually can become quite cumbersome 
and rather dangerous with all the added weight to the bridges.  And, the locals pretty much hate it.
So I suggest resisting the impulse to add your own!

I love the little open air food and drink counters throughout
the city.

Two more views of Westminster Abbey.

Quite an imposing building don't you think?

Imagine my surprise when we walked through 
 Parliament Square,
 and I found myself looking at 
a statue of our Abraham Lincoln!
Lincoln is one of 12 statues in the square of British, Commonwealth, and foreign political figures.
Quite honestly, I think he's the only non-British, 
non-Commonwealth notable represented here!
Mahatma Ghandi, Indian Independence leader,
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa,
and Millicent Fawcett, Campaigner for Women's suffrage,
were the only other ones not currently of the UK.
But with India and South Africa once being part of 
the Commonwealth, and the British Women's Suffrage
movement being part of Britain's history, 
Lincoln rather stood out to me as quite
unusual to be included in their Parliament Square. 

Next stop...#10 Downing Street!

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

More Poppies!!!

Yeah...I know...
sooo many poppies!!!
I couldn't get enough of them!!!

Add that beautiful purple and little bit of yellow to the bright orange of the poppies...Wow!!!
Mother Nature in all her glory!

"The hills are alive..."

...with the sound of music and poppies fluttering in the breeze!

No people!!!
But I do see a face in the mountain every time
I see this one!

I love how the light fell on this lighter poppy...

Another plein air painter!

Did I mention there were a lot of people?
A couple taking a kissing selfie...
checking messages(even in the presence of such beauty?)...
...and more photographers with their cameras
in hand!

On our way out and back to the car I saw this mountain with the interesting textures along the sides...
...reminded me a bit of the Devil's Postpile in Mammoth!

I believe there was a path up there.

A poppy with it a type of poppy?
Or was it from the wind?

Lots of green too!

Ooops...this one was in the last post...should I remove it?

And another of poppies against the bright blue sky!!!

"Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The people visiting the poppies ought to have
read this quote before visiting the poppies in Elsinore!

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

California Super Bloom!!!

Wednesday, March 13, two fellow Photochromers and I
ventured south to Lake Elsinore, Walker Canyon
to capture some photos of the 
current California Super Bloom!
(Photochromers is our local camera club)

With no shortage of visitors, it was a challenge just to 
get to the poppies!

But we managed to find some along the road...

...and even a plein air painter!

Some pretty spectacular sights just along the road!

 It really was amazing to see the crowds...on a Wednesday!!!
And, unfortunately, even with signage all about, 
people still wandered into the poppies.

A lot of photography going on...trying to capture 
their friends amongst the poppies.
Even when they stepped lightly and carefully,
there was a fair amount of tamping down of the flowers. 

This gentleman was the second plein air painter we saw.

And then we were in the hills with the poppies in abundance!

I love the orange poppies against that bright blue sky!

My friend Jeanne walked ahead and was photographing 
this beautiful sight from a different angle!

The purple flowers were a beautiful compliment to 
the orange poppies.

Ohhh...and look what we happened to see!
Yep...a photographer was photographing these models
plus one other...naked...against the poppies!
They were on a knoll above most of the rest of us...
but they definitely drew some attention!

I just couldn't get enough of the poppies against the blue sky!

Lots of dogs on our walk through the poppies...
a puppy in a backpack, and a pack of dogs walking 
with their dog walker!
Very well behaved dogs, I might add!

Then there was just a wisp of the moon!

"Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe
of God, nothing seems to me more surprising than the
planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.
Take that Poppy seed, for instance;
it lies in your palm, the merest atom of matter, 
hardly visible, a speck, a pin's point in bulk,
but within it is imprisoned a spirit of beauty ineffable,
which will break its bonds and emerge from the 
dark ground and blossom in a splendor so dazzling
as to baffle the powers of description."
Celia Thaxter
American writer and poet

More poppies to come!

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