The other side of Monet’s gardens, across from the flower gardens, are the famous pond and the water lilies. The gardens here are just as beautiful and lush, although very different, as those in front of his home. Walking through here, it was easy to imagine how he came up with those beautiful paintings of the water lilies, which have always been some of my favorites. The weeping willows, the water lilies, the japanese bridge, flowering plants and bamboo all create amazingly gorgeous surroundings. I wish I had more time there to really explore with my camera. One of the hardest things was trying to get photos without people in them because it’s such a popular destination. In the last image you can see his home in the distance. Imagine having this view every day!

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On Saturday, we attended the baptism of of our dear friends’ new baby grandson. It was a perfect, beautiful day to drive to Boston and celebrate with our friends. The ceremony was lovely and of course the baby is absolutely adorable and incredibly precious. Events like these always make me so thankful for wonderful friends and family. Here are some shots from the ceremony. We wish little Alfred Anthony a long, healthy, wonderful life.

And happy birthday to his namesake, Anthony Ryan, who was so special to each of our family members. We will have you in our hearts forever.

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It was a thrill to be able to visit Monet’s home at Giverny and view the amazing gardens there. As expected, the gardens are lush and beautiful with flowers blooming everywhere. There are two sections of the property, the area near his home and another area across the road, with the pond and the famous water lilies. Here are some shots of the gorgeous gardens in front of the house. I could have stayed there shooting for days!

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I couldn’t help having some of these images of this old, stone-lined village processed in black and white. There’s something about the feel and mood of black and white that matches this location for me. And finally, one of the entire village, which gives a bigger perspective on the place and how unique it truly is. Last post on this place!

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It’s hard to capture a place like St Paul de Vence, but what struck me as interesting in this beautiful village were the doors to the homes of the people who live there. Everything, including the areas around their doors, is so meticulously maintained, with flower gardens and pots all over. And their tiny mail boxes are so cute. It’s hard to imagine actually living in a place like this. We walked past a woman sitting in her open doorway in the sun reading a book. It was classic relaxation, enjoying a beautiful spot on a gorgeous day. (Perhaps I should have asked to take her picture, but I didn’t want to disturb her peaceful moment. Oh and I don’t speak French!)

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We recently visited St Paul de Vence, a gorgeous medieval village in the south of France. The village is situated high on a hill, and its incredible ancient stone walls and hilled streets are amazing to see. It’s hard to believe there are actually cars up there with the narrow streets, but you can see them in some of the pictures. Of course I took tons of pictures! I thought I’d start with some shots of the streets and alleyways.

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Yesterday I took a few shots of the beach grass growing at our local beach. I used camera movement to achieve the different effects, which I like because the images feel soft. The plain grass didn’t look that interesting to me, but this technique adds some movement and dimension to these images. What do you think?

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Today I’m the only one home, so I’m busy with two of my favorite pastimes… baking and photographing. I haven’t actually photographed my baking, so I thought I would try it. I’m really baking these to send them to my boys for finals. Maybe if they ‘like’ this post, I’ll actually put these goodies in the mail to them!! 🙂

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