Canyon Views and Wildflowers

 

This time I’m talking about Red Canyon in Utah.  I passed it on the road to Bryce Canyon and it looked so interesting I stopped there for a look around on the way back from Bryce.  Red Canyon has some moderately easy walks and hikes, so I walked on one of the shorter trails.  I liked this because I wanted to enjoy the views and take pictures without having to think about steep drop-offs!  I even saw some wildflowers along the way, which I always enjoy wherever I am.  Red Canyon had free admission and parking so I’d like to spend more time there the next time I’m in that area.

Some of the views:

And of course the flowers.

Red Canyon

Adventures and Blue Skies

The sky was a brilliant blue throughout my trip to Arizona and Utah.  When you add that to the sunshine it made a perfect backdrop to some unforgettable places.  Every day the mountains and canyons were even more remarkable because of the beautiful September weather.  Here is an example from Zion National Park:

Blue skies

Later that day the clouds disappeared.

Zion National Park

Here are some other scenes, including a friendly little bird at the Grand Canyon that posed for a picture for me.

You can revisit the past with this famous road and sign in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Route 66

More adventures coming soon!

Scenes from the Southwest

I just got back from a trip to Arizona and Utah, with stops at the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Zion, and Bryce Canyon.  I also drove on Route 66 (now Historic 66) in Flagstaff, Arizona.  There was a lot of driving involved (over 1000 miles) to get from place to place as well as a lot of walking/hiking on trails at the parks.  Everything was gorgeous and the weather was warm – but not hot – and cooled down considerably after the sun went down.

Here is an overview of some of the places I visited, with more from each place coming soon!

Summer Garden with Butterflies

One of the nicest parts about summer is seeing all the flowers in bloom.  Right now in my garden there are purple coneflowers, daisies, black-eyed Susans, bee balm, phlox and many other colorful flowers, all competing for space.  Along with these plants are some interesting visitors such as butterflies, along with bumblebees and honey bees.  One of my favorite herbs is lavender, and since there was so much rain this spring followed by sunshine they have really grown.  Here is an assortment from my garden on a sunny day.  I would have taken more pictures but I was chased away by a bee that didn’t want any humans around!

A Rainy (and a Sunny) Day in Rochester

When I was in England this past March I spent most of my time in Kent.  During the week I went to Rochester for a visit and it was a rainy day.  I enjoyed visiting the Guildhall and the Cathedral but it was difficult to take many photos because of the weather.  I had to find an entryway or another sheltered spot where I could put down my umbrella and take pictures.  I didn’t end up venturing too far from where there were buildings and sidewalks.  Still, I thought it would be nice to return on a sunny day because it was a charming place.

Later in the week I had that opportunity so I took a train back to Rochester to see it in the sunshine.  It was so different to see everything on a bright (and breezy) day!  I took pictures of some of the same places I had just been to show the contrast.  And even though it was March there were flowers so I’ve included a picture of them too.  It was really interesting to see what a difference sunshine and blue sky made!

Welcome to Spring

 

It isn’t quite spring yet but it won’t be long now!  There have been some warm days recently and I’ve seen lots of cheery yellow daffodils in bloom, but because it is early March the days can be chilly.  Still, it’s only a few weeks until the beginning of spring and then we’ll be seeing this:

I’m going to England later this month and I’m looking forward to many new adventures.

At Home with Souvenirs

I have a drawer in my house where I keep travel souvenirs.  When I opened it to add my postcards, tickets and programs from the Chelsea Flower Show, I had trouble closing the drawer.  Could it be that all these wonderful souvenirs were turning into clutter?  I didn’t think so, and I recalled all the opportunities I had to find interesting things to bring home with me.

Still, when I saw how many things I’ve accumulated over my travels I decided that I could use some these souvenirs in a way that I could remember when and where I got them.  My first idea was to use a jewelry tree to hang some of my key chains to make something I’d enjoy:

Souvenir tree

I also have fridge magnets in this drawer that I can’t use because they don’t stick to the front of my refrigerator!  Then I remembered that I have a small message board that is magnetic.  It was fun arranging the magnets on it.

Magnetic souvenirs

Afterward there was a lot more room in my souvenir drawer and now I can look at these displays and remember all the fun experiences I had when I got them!  I should mention that I also consider scarves, jewelry and hand knit sweaters souvenirs and I wear them all the time.  But it was great to make a display of these souvenirs so they don’t simply become more clutter in the house.

A Garden Visitor

After visiting the Chelsea Flower Show in May I’ve been inspired to work on my own garden.  After all, who wouldn’t want a garden that looks like this?

So I’ve been tending my garden and the lavender, purple coneflowers, daisies, lemon balm, thyme and other herbs and flowers have really grown since I planted them last year.  There have been lots of bumblebees this summer but no butterflies until yesterday, when I saw a visitor among the flowers.

 

The butterfly didn’t seem to mind that I was standing very close to get these pictures. Since I’d selected flowers for this garden that would attract bees, butterflies and songbirds, I was delighted to see such a colorful visitor.  Later I did some research and discovered that it’s a Tiger Swallowtail, and I hope it comes back many, many times!

Scenes from the Chelsea Flower Show

I’ve just returned from a visit to England, where I spent last Thursday at the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could see the gardens and Pavilion displays before it became crowded.  It was an extraordinary experience for someone who loves flowers and gardens (that’s me).  The weather was perfect with sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds.  Here are some views from the show – there will be many future posts because I took over 300 pictures!

Chelsea Flower Show

Some scenes from the show:

A quotation that I noticed in the Great Pavilion.

Chelsea Flower Show

 

 

Travel Time

After all the planning and daydreaming, it’s almost time for my trip to London.  Passport – check.  Train reservations to Bath – check.  Currency exchange – probably next week.  I just found out that I can use my phone there for a small daily fee and that’s good news.  I’m hoping that there aren’t too many movies I want to watch on the plane so I can attempt to sleep (or at least rest) on the overnight flight.  Sometimes when I get up to walk around on the plane during a transatlantic flight I feel like I’m the only one that is still awake.  Still, it doesn’t stop me from watching another movie.  Once I had the idea of listening to relaxing music to try to doze but that didn’t work either.  Not that it matters – I’m not going to attempt to sleep until it’s evening where I’m going.  I don’t want to miss anything!

I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite places and looking for future favorites too.  It’s a short train ride to Bath from London and I plan to do a lot of walking.  I’m sure I’ll see lots of flowers and gardens (I’ll take pictures to share).  Planning and daydreaming are part of the preparation for travel, and they are just as exciting as the trip itself!