My friend Erika has a meadow in her front yard, where different flowers bloom throughout the spring and summer. She invites me to come and take photos, and I find that I love to feature the little bird house in the background, out of focus, as it anchors the scene and makes it a bit romantic. Don’t you think so?
It’s amazing how a warm ray of evening light can make a garden look special. That ray of light is even sweeter after a day of heavy rain.
Lupines are one of my favorite flowers. They bloom in Western Pennsylvania in late May and early June. I enjoyed photographing them in New Zealand in December. The seasons are reversed Down Under!
On May 10, this white dogwood tree is in bloom and is welcoming visitors to the back porch of my home in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
For the past week, I’ve felt a bit of “creative block.” Back home where my surroundings are familiar, I can’t seem to find a subject to photograph. Then, I noticed the sun hitting the white dogwood blossoms, and I thought I’d better go have a look through the lens before a hard rain or a sharp wind gust tossed them all to the ground. A wide angle lens made the flowers take center stage in the foreground.
My daughters who have moved to California are feeling nostalgic about Autumn in the Northeast. Even Pennsylvania residents are feeling a bit nostalgic about autumn colors, as the leaves have been very late turning yellow and red this year.
On the hunt for autumnal scenes, I made a day trip into Ohiopyle State Park in the Laurel Highlands. This split rail fence set in a zig-zag pattern caught my eye on the property of Kentuck Knob, a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Chalkhill, PA.
Three weeks ago, I promised myself that whenever I spotted a great location for a photograph, I would stop the car, even turn the car around if necessary, and get the shot. Today I put my new rule into practice while driving in Sewickley Heights just minutes before sunset.
I got wet in the rain, but that’s okay. You can’t plan these opportunities. You just have to be ready.
Pittsburghers don’t have to travel far to find great places to kayak, bike and hike. The fall foliage, waterfalls and white water of the Youghiogheny River are just 90 minutes from Pittsburgh and can be easily accessed from several directions: approach from I-76 or I-70 and old Route 40.
The town of Ohiopyle is a mecca for bike, raft and kayak rentals as well as parking, bike trails and restaurants. This October it is just warm enough, just cool enough and plenty scenic!
If it’s July, it’s time to shoot family portraits for the remarkable families at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. For the past six years, I have donated my time to create portraits. This year with my husband assisting, I completed 23.
While I protect the confidentiality of the patients at the school by keeping their photographs private, I can share a portrait of a staff member with her family.
Just outside my back door, I found fraternal twins on my hydrangea bush: a pink and a blue blossom on the same plant. All the rain in the past few weeks are helping the blossoms last. Stay away, hungry deer!
The hydrangea may be my favorite flower, thanks to associations with my daughter’s June wedding as well as memories of seeing them on Cape Cod.
All year I look forward to that special week in May when the rhododendron bloom around my house, and color my garden shades of pale pink, magenta, lavender and deep purple. Somehow these hearty evergreens survive the bitter cold and snowy winters, and then announce loud and clear in May that they do love the Pennsylvania climate. Oh, if only those delicate blooms could last longer than they do.
Here is a closer view of the blooms.
Americans associate cherry blossoms with the iconic Tidal Basin in Washington D.C., but they are harbingers of Spring in western Pennsylvania too. On this cherry tree in Edgeworth, white and magenta flowers bloom side by side.