Category Archives: Photography

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Wordless Wednesday: Moonflower on a moonlit night

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Moonflower on a moonlit night

Fred in Lotusland

this year we have been lucky enough to visit Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. six different times to enjoy the beautiful blooms

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowiczas with any garden each visit is special and exciting in different ways…

Magpie's Nest Lotus and Amazonian waterlily leafwe find the loti irresistible and so very photogenic…

Magpie's Nest Loti Reflectionsearly morning is our favorite time to watch the sunlight dance across the ponds…

Magpie's Nest a better viewwe have a plan for next year to bring a short step ladder to snap a photo like the visitors above cleverly did…

Oil Painter at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardenson a few of our visits we saw this artist painting en plein air (you could smell the oil paints)…

Magpie's Nest FRED recycle bottled waterand here is a photo of our good friend FRED

Magpie's Nest Waterlilies and Turtlesit is not hard to spend two or three hours strolling in the gardens as there is so much to enjoy and discover…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Kenilworth Aquatic Gardenssoon the ponds will be filled with brown lotus pods and yellowing leaves until the magic happens all over again next summer…

Magpie's Nest Mr Magpie and lotus podswishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

the empty nest…

in a previous post I mentioned that wrens had moved in behind the fern in the corner of our covered porch (turns out it was a very smart choice with all of the summer showers we had on and off during their nesting time)…

Magpie's Nest Wrens nested on backporch

during our son’s visit home from Colorado the wrens activity reached a peak and just when I thought I couldn’t take the sweet chirping any longer they moved out without us ever getting a look at the young ones…

Magpie's Nest Nature in our garden

our back porch acted like an echo chamber for Mr and Mrs Wren as they played tag team diligently feeding and cleaning out the nest and chirping all the while (wrens do sing some of the sweetest songs and boy were they busy!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Blue Moon made by Jim

and just like that it all went quiet and they were gone leaving behind their tidy empty nest…

Magpie's Nest Wren's empty nest

our son made the most of his visit getting to meet up with friends and family… attending a music festival on his birthday and camping out at a favorite beach for a week…

Magpie's Nest Colin enjoying the lotus gardens

we were very happy to have a perfect summer day (not too hot with low humidity) to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens with him as he’d never been before

Magpie's Nest our son the merry prankster

his good sense of humor had us laughing as he posed with my parasol…

Magpie's Nest the empty nest

and just like that his two and a half week visit was over and he flew back to his mountain home in Colorado leaving us with a quiet house again…

Magpie's Nest Jim Szymkowicz T Time

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

Loti time is here again…

 we were thrilled to visit nearby Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens recently to enjoy the parade of beautiful blooms…

Magpie's Nest Loti Perfectait is a photographer’s paradise…

Magpie's Nest Photography dreamand a magnet for those who enjoy nature and lotuses (loti) and water lilies and fresh air…

Magpie's Nest Loti leaves and bloomsthere is so much beauty sometimes you have to focus a bit on the handsome architecture of the stems and leaves and pods to give your eyes a rest…

Magpie's Nest Lotus leavesthere are reflections waiting to be discovered too…

Magpie's Nest Lotus pond reflectionsthis year the paths were the wettest we have seen since we started visiting in 2013 (last month went down in the record books here in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area as the second wettest June ever recorded)…

Magpie's Nest DragonfliesMr Magpie used our Sony Cybershot which is especially great for telephoto and I used my iphone 6 camera...

Magpie's Nest Lotusland viewwe did bring the Traveling Tea Cup along while enjoying some refreshing water to drink…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup on a lotus leafwe were delighted at how well a couple of carefully chosen lotus leaves worked in place of a saucer

Magpie's Nest Lotusland Traveling Tea Cup 2here’s wishing you a very Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Magpie's Nest Director Moore Waterlily Aristle quote

Forget-me-not…

Patty Szymkowicz Painted Lady Fern Forget me notsa pot of summer blooming Forget-me-nots that I planted last year has gently spread among our Japanese painted ferns just off the back porch…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget-me-not T Pot

it is such a sweet little flower and the delicate blues really speak to me…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget me Not boot collage

the blooms that were hanging over the stone border into the lawn were begging to be picked and I just happened to have a tiny china boot that made a nice vase …

Patty Szymkowicz Tiny boot Forget me nots

and then I remembered one of my basket girls from Japan (the beautiful English Bone China cup belonged to my sweet mother-in-law)…

Patty Szymkowicz Forget me not girl

as will happen one thing led to another and I finished another chip board piece in my tea cup journal using cut out blooms from some of my photos and a Lord Byron quote…

Patty Szymkowicz with postage stamp or without

still deciding with the postage stamp or without as my thought was to keep each cup rather simple (it is a challenge for me sometimes to leave open space)…

Patty Szymkowicz Tea Cup Journal

just a couple more cups to go and I can show them all to you…

Patty Szymkowicz tiny forget me not boot

thank you very much for stopping by to visit…

Patty Szymkowicz faded flower girl

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

fairy garden tea…

Patty Szymkowicz Mrs Cardinal Pause

feeling grateful for some lovely weather lately with time to sit out and enjoy nature on our back porch…

Patty Szymkowicz dessert on the porch

we like eating out back and had some yummy avocado tofu pie from our favorite local vegetarian restaurant  recently (I know!!! believe me all you can taste is delicious creamy goodness with nuts on top and a bit of sweetness along with some refreshing water = just perfect!!!)…

Patty Szymkowicz dish garden in bloom

our fairy garden is in full bloom with tiny Blue Star Creeper in the front…Patty Szymkowicz fairy garden closeup

and pink blooms of a miniature Dianthus behind the little bench and garden gate (the pinks smell beautiful)…

Patty Szymkowicz Fairy Garden Seasons

we decided to turn the blue birdbath that a friend gave us some years ago into a dish garden just off our back porch…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz May 2010

and we get to enjoy it through the changing seasons…

Patty Szymkowicz moisture meter

not sure how this handy gadget works (no batteries…you just stick the wand into the soil and  the dial moves) but I find it very helpful in keeping track of the moisture levels of plants especially those in containers with no drainage (over watering can be as bad for plants as letting them dry out)…

Patty Szymkowicz Mr Magpie holds a cuppa

here’s wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover…

Patty Szymkowicz Red

“All that we behold is full of blessings.” ~William Wordsworth

be yourself…

“Be yourself everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz Be Yourself

(scrap paper… plaster… paint… my photograph of a statue…glittered netting and handwritten sticker)

for Art Journal Journey’s “favorite poems/quotes” challenge thinking of Oscar Wilde I remembered our trip to the UK in 2013 and visiting a park in Dublin with a dedicated area to him…

Magpie's Nest Oscar Wilde Statue

we had the traveling tea cup along and had so many fun adventures

Magpie's Nest St Stephen's Park Dublin SWANS

and then we wandered into St Stephen’s Green and came upon a beautiful family of swans… I was beside myself with joy and we were amazed at how comfy they were on their little strip of grass with people on every sideMagpie's Nest Dublin battery recharge

fun how one thing leads to another and can trigger sweet memories…

Wisteria Tea…

one of our Spring traditions is to try and catch the Wisteria in bloom at our favorite city garden about 20 miles away in Washington, DC…

Magpie's Nest wisteria welcome

being able to visit on a cool and breezy weekday afternoon was extra nice as it was not crowded at all…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks garden

the last time I shared Wisteria photos with you was in 2013 and the Swarovski Crystal Cloud Terrace was still at Dumbarton Oaks (we really miss that alot!!!)…

Magpie's Nest Lover's Lane and Vegie Garden

the gardens are always beautifully tended but we did notice special touches like Pan’s hooves … horns and flute spruced up with gold paint above…

Magpie's Nest Garden Gate

the decorative ironwork had a fresh coat of paint too…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Metalwork

we stood a long time admiring the metal bleeding hearts… lilies and leaves on one of the garden gates…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton tree roots

one lovely thing after another to catch your eye…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Pebble Garden

with different varieties of wisteria planted throughout the gardens…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks Wisteria cascades

the blooms were in all stages and each variety had its own delicate fragrance that attracted lots of bumblebees…

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup

our traveling tea cup came along and made it into a fair number of photos (I counted ten times in these photos)…

Magpie's Nest Wisteria Sunshine Shadows

you can blame the number of photos on the fact that we returned a second day to explore the gardens…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton in the garden

AND there was a perfect blue sky to make everything shine…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks spring blooms

the parade of blooms was just beginning…

Magpie's Nest Dumbarton Oaks don't miss a thing

 each day in nature has special treats in store…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Dove Nest

a Mourning Dove with very good taste built a nest on top of a lamp in a lovely mosaic alcove…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Dove nest in pool alcove

there will be a bit of clean up needed to get that area back in shape after the little ones leave the nest…

Magpie's Nest No two gardens are the same...

wishing you a Happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

“No two gardens are the same.  No two days are the same in one garden.”  ~Hugh Johnson

it’s Bluebell time again …

Magpie's Nest our lilacs

this time of year has me feeling a bit like a bumblebee flitting from thing to thing to take in all the beauty and surprises nature has to offer…

Magpie's Nest Cherry Blossoms with a filter

 cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C. meant that the Virginia Bluebells could not be far behind…

Magpie's Nest Bluebell Trail

to our great delight this past weekend we got to visit Bull Run Regional Park several times…

Magpie's Nest Patty Szymkowicz tea cup on a log

which is something we look forward to each Spring here in Virginia (one of the days three hours had passed before we knew it)…

Magpie's Nest shadows time for tea

we took the traveling tea cup along and found lots of welcoming spots for it to rest for a bit being careful to avoid the tender new poison ivy popping up everywhere and remembering to NOT be tempted to touch the mature fuzzy vines clinging to tree trunksMagpie's Nest Fuzzy Poison Ivy Vines

much like the cherry blossoms the exquisite bluebells are relatively short lived and perhaps all the more precious because of that (depending on weather conditions they can last about 8-10 days)…

Magpie's Nest Virginia Wildflowers

there are other blooms to enjoy as well but the bluebells are definitely the stars of the show…

Magpie's Nest Bluebells on a bank

being in the woods for sunrise one day treated us to a bit of extra magic…

Magpie's Nest Misty Morning sunrise in Virginia

there was a mist over the meadow entering the park that stopped us in our tracks…

Magpie's Nest Dewdrops like Diamonds

 Mother Nature made each petal and leaf look like it had been dusted with sugar (you can click the photos for a closer look)…

Magpie's Nest Bull Run Park Nature Treats

walking the loop trail through the woods is a little different each time (can you see the goose peeking over the log)…

Magpie's Nest Bull Run Bluebell Reflections

here’s wishing you a very happy T Day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Altered Book Lover

Magpie's Nest Traveling Tea Cup on a stumpmay your day be full of things you enjoy…

Frozen T …

Magpie's Nest coated in ice 2 March 2015

a mixed weather event for the beginning of March here in the Washington, DC area made for some nice photo opportunities…

Magpie's Nest icy glow

our snow layer glazed over after some freezing rain…

Magpie's Nest iced Lavender

the Lavender turned into “crystal”…

Magpie's Nest fallen ice from trees

when ice covered branches began thawing in the sunlight I was delighted to notice some ice shards that had fallen creating interesting spikes in the snow…

Magpie's Nest Mourning Doves and Mockingbirds

Mr Magpie is getting lots of use out of his Yaktrax this winter which work like a charm to help ensure safe footing  (my photos were taken from our front and back porch and with the help of our zoom lens we have a closer look at the Mourning Doves and resident Mockingbird)…

Magpie's Nest tea pot and cup

hot drinks really hit the spot…

Magpie's Nest You might as well dance

here’s wishing you a very happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth’s Book Lover...

Second on the 2nd for February…

February already and it’s time for the second “Second on the 2nd” thanks to Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover for the chance to look back and repost something you would like to share again…

here is a look back to February 2012 and an altered heart book that I created…

the post was titledpages of my heart”

“heart BOOK that is…

a couple of years ago I picked up a heart shaped book and covered it with paper, fabric and bits of this and that…

closed it measures approximately 6 x 6 inches

using paint, gesso, paper and more for the blank pages…

I left a little room above for some journaling or a quote perhaps…

I also plan to edge the pages…

these blue pages were inspired by a ferry boat ride to Sausalito and some really fun late night cable car rides in San Francisco…

I used black gesso for these pages along with Italian cookie wrappers and paper doilies with white gel pen to finish…

this spread uses a copy of a seaside siren I created … a bit of road map, rubber stamping and a special Polish postage stamp from a very talented blog friend…

I {heart} postage stamps and have collected them since I was a girl…

these pages were inspired by a castle in Berkeley Spring, West Virginia using patterned tissue as background…

my “Seasoned” pages began with vintage math book pages… the word seasoned came from a package of firewood sold at the local supermarket…

the last two pages pictured are actually the first two pages in the book that I covered with tissue paper…

they have been patiently waiting for just the right finish…

do you ever slow down on a project just before completing it?

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” ~Marc Chagall”

Hotel Chateau Chamonix T

Bottle tree in our garden first snowfallfeeling in a wintry mood with our first snowfall of the season here in Virginia

Georgetown CO 2

I wanted to share and record a few more photos of our overnight stay on our way to visit our son for Thanksgiving last year in quaint Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown CO 1867

the fact that it was snowing added heaps of charm in my book

Magpie's Nest Georgetown CO

and because it was a Tuesday some of the businesses were closed so it was very peaceful… 

Georgetown CO quiet street

Mr Magpie was sure that the snow blowing sideways at times also helped the little town appear quiet…

Mapie's Nest CO Winter Wonderland

Georgetown is less than an hour west of Denver with a population of a little over one thousand which is quite spread out…

Georgetown Trading Post

I found it photogenic at every turn…

Georgetown CO 3

and then there was our cozy room in the Swiss style chalet with a toasty corner fireplace and a hot tub on the back deck (make that a hot tub with snowy steps and icicles hanging from the cover…we wore hats and swimsuits and braved the cold wild blowing wind for a nice soak)…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix Georgetown CO

included with our tour of the hotel…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix upstairs

was an explanation about a special wooden door on the inside of our room (below on the right)…

Chateau Hotel Chamonix 3

between specified hours in the morning we could expect a tap tap tap and then know to open the door and find our yummy continental breakfast tucked inside…

CHC continental breakfast

along with the cappuccinos we made using the in room coffee machine the flaky croissants (one plain and one chocolate!) and fresh fruit on those pretty dishes really hit the spot..

Alvarado Georgetown Cemetery 1865

I would like to return one day to visit the historic cemetery … ride the scenic train and check on the big horn sheep again and we would definitely stay at the lovely Chateau Hotel Chamonix

Bighorn Sheep  Georgetown, CO

wishing you a very happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s 

sweet memories T …

greetings and salutations…

Pica hudsonia

how quickly time flies…

Street Art Denver, CO

hope you’ve been well…

icicles Leadville, CO

we are home again after our travels…

Dushanbe Teahouse Boulder, CO

grateful for the chance to enjoy new sights and sounds…

Georgetown, CO

all such a treat…

Hotel Chateau Chamonix Georgetown, CO

being able to hug special family members again…

Ouray, CO Thanksgiving 2014

and visit with sweet friends…

visit with Jan and Dave

so much to be grateful for…

Sunset at  9300 ft Taylor Park, Colorado

here’s wishing you a happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s