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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Grove & the First of the Magnolias

It's finally starting to feel like Spring in Cincinnati.  We've had more warm, sunny days lately than rainy/cold days so that's always a plus.  These photos are about 2 weeks old, right when the magnolias were starting to bloom everywhere in Cincinnati and right before we had that blanket of snow/freeze that promptly killed them all.  When we got that freeze and I saw that the magnolias weren't bouncing back from it, I was even more grateful that I had this opportunity to go to Spring Grove and snap some photos before they were gone.  It was a beautiful, only slightly chilly day at Spring Grove, but surprisingly there weren't that many people there which is rare on the weekends in the Spring and Summer months when everyone flocks there to walk/run/take photos.  I had a great quiet walk around the front of the cemetery, gravitating toward any magnolias that I could find.  I was a little bummed that the bitterly cold months had taken their toll on the trees though, many were burnt and rotting...I'm guessing from the fluctuation in temperature, from warm to freezing (all in one day), over and over again.  Still, I got some decent photos of what is one of my favorite trees during my second favorite season at one of my most favorite Cincinnati spots (it's definitely in the top 5)!
The thing I love most about Spring Grove (besides their magnolia and floral selection, of course) is that you can pass things on a regular basis and never really notice them and then one day you're like, "wow, look at this!"  I'm always discovering something new about the place that I find beautiful, even if it has been right under my nose the whole time.  In a way, Spring Grove really pushes me to open my eyes, look around and notice more.

Something that I really want to work on is learning the proper names of the variety of trees and flowers I love so much, especially with magnolias and orchids.  They are arguably my favorite tree/flower, respectively, yet I couldn't name them for the life of me.  I plan to really work on that though.  I think the white ones in these photos are Star magnolias and the pink, which are my personal favorite, are either Saucer or Anise magnolias.  I didn't spot any Betty magnolias (they're the deep fushia ones) on this visit, but I'm hoping to soon.  And then in the summer later, maybe mid-June to early July, the Southern magnolias should start to bloom.  I've seen these all over Cincinnati, they're pretty easy to spot even when they're not in bloom because of their big, waxy, dark green leaves and the trees tend to be relatively tall and somewhat slender.

Sorry if I've bored you with magnolia talk.  Anyway, my posts may be a little spotty for a while.  I've got another post or two worth off pictures to share, but we also have a ton of yard work and garden prep to do this year and we're still trying to get everything in order for our anniversary trip to Hawaii (woohoo!) which is coming up soon.  So, until next time I guess...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Krohn Conservatory's Annual Orchid Show

Remember back in March when I went to the Cleveland Orchid Show (and my brain exploded) and I took a million photos of orchids?  Well, a week later I went to the Cincinnati Orchid Show at Krohn.  I know, I'm a little wacky in the head.  Guess what happened?  I took a ridiculous number of photos and, yeah, my brain overloaded from sensory awesomeness!  The quantity of orchids at Cincinnati show wasn't as great as Cleveland's but the selection and condition of the flowers was outstanding!
I like these ones because they look so unreal and almost psychedelic!
Most of the orchids were displayed in front of large black cloth screens.  I had mixed feelings about these, they were nice when you managed to get a shot just right, but usually I was fighting to try to get either all-black or no-black in the background.  Also, I didn't love how the black screens weren't completely opaque.  Apparently I take my orchid photography ridiculously seriously...so much so that I sound like a nut!
I love these, they look so alien and strange, yet delicate.
This one was my absolute favorite!  I love the purple and green combination and the ittybitty prickly bits.

Whew!  Too much pretty, my brain still hurts looking at it!  Hopefully I haven't completely bored you.  Don't worry, that's the last of the orchid photos...at least for a little while.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

French Park at Dusk

So, this is how behind I am on editing and uploading my photos...these photos are from mid/late March.  I know, it's ridiculous!  But I'm trying to play catch-up, I'm just a little slow.  Anyway these are from sometime in mid or late March when we had a little break in the snowy, cold weather and were treated to a lovely, sunny day.  Antoine and I decided to pack up some food (and the Cheese-man) and head over to French Park for a little picnic and a walk.
It's a little out of focus, but I couldn't resist sharing it.  Cheese loves to ride in the car because he knows he gets to go somewhere.  Even if that "somewhere" is the vet, he's a happy guy.  He's weird!  Anyway, I think he knows the route to French Park now so he was getting pretty excited.  Plus, he got to ride with the windows down which he loves in Antoine's car because he can actually look out (my windows sit a little too high for him).

We got there a little late, so it was a race against the sun and we had to eat quickly...but I love the orange glow left by the setting sun.
Lucky for us we brought our hiking boots that day, we saw a couple people turn back from the trail because it was too muddy.  We're a little boring, we almost always take the same trail through French Park but it is a pretty great trail and it's just the right length to stimulate Cheese but not tire him out too much that he refuses to walk back to the car.
I think this one is my favorite!  So handsome.

I hope no one is getting tired of photos of French Park, because there will definitely be many more this year.  It's such a great park and Cheese always enjoys it.  And I'm looking forward to seeing more bees and butterflies this year!

I have a ton more photos to share, though fair warning...most of them are of flowers.  You have been warned!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weekend in Instagram

I had every intention to have a real post for you today with real pictures, but last night instead of coming home and editing pictures I came home and read nonstop.  See, I've started A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin and I'm almost done with Game of Thrones (the first book).  And to say I'm a little absorbed in it would be an understatement.  Antoine can confirm that there have been many instances in the last couple weeks were I'm reading and refuse to stop while he's trying to talk to me and then I get all agitated because he's talking and therefore interrupting my reading.  Geez, the nerve! So, long story short...I didn't edit any photos, so here's some Instagram photos of my weekend to try to make up for it!
We started our weekend off by taking Cheese to daycare...and taking a little family photo of Cheese and his weird parents!  He loves going to daycare, even though it doesn't look like it in this photo (he's just trying to act cool).  After we dropped him off at daycare we went and got some breakfast and ran some errands before we headed off to the Krohn Conservatory orchid show.
The orchid show was, again, like crack to me and a total sensory overload.  I mean, look how pretty!!

After the orchid show we headed home to make a late lunch for ourselves, mixed greens with pears, walnuts, pan-fried goat cheese and my favorite strawberry balsamic (from Maple Grove).  I got the idea of pan-fried goat cheese from How Sweet It Is, and I'm so glad I tried it...so delicious!

Saturday night Antoine went to a friend's birthday party and I decided to take it easy.  I spent the evening listening to some of my more girly records (see: The Way We Were in the photo...Love me so Streisand!) and reading Game of Thrones (see: addicition).

The little crane mobile that I hung in the guest bedroom (where the record player is).

Sunday morning when I woke up this guy decided to climb on my back and hang out.  So rude!

Sunday was a total lazy day around our house.  We spent the day finishing off Breaking Bad (I know, it took us forever!).  All the while, this guy snoozed on my lap!

That was my weekend, it was pretty lazy what can I say!  Hopefully in the near future I'll actually get to editing the photos that are on my camera...but I'm not making any promises because I really want to finish this book and then I'll likely want to start on the next one ASAP!