52 weeks with Carolyn

A Theme Based Photo Blog


Week 41 #40 The Good Old Days

We have a gardenia bush just outside the lanai.  Right now it is blooming and I am enjoying the sweet aromas of its white flowers.  I remember when I was growing up and wore corsages for various events, my mother telling me in “The Good Old Days”, gardenias were the most popular flower for corsages.  They became popular in 1937 when Rod McLellan invented the gardenia corsage.  Not only are they extremely fragrant they also don’t wilt very quickly.  Gardenias are synonymous with love and romance.

I did a little research on Google to check out the history of the gardenia and am quoting what information I discovered.  Gardenias originated in Eastern Asia.   In 1752 a Scottish physician and naturalist Alexander Garden moved to Charleston, South Carolina.  Somehow he became a “pen pal” with an English merchant John Ellis, who also was a good friend of Carolus Linnaeus, a famous Swedish botanist.   Linnaeus had developed the genus-and-species system for scientifically naming and classifying plants.  In 1758, Ellis visited a garden outside London to inspect an evergreen shrub thought to be a jasmine that had fragrant white double blossom flowers.  He and Linnaeus determined it was not jasmine.  Ellis convinced Linnaeus to name the newly discoverd shrub, gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) after his friend Alexander Garden.  In 1762, the first gardenia in America was planted in Dr. Garden’s garden.

Gardenias are still a popular flower for corsages and weddings, especially in the South.  Plants are found in Asia, Africa, Australia, England, Pacific Islands and the Southern U.S.  They also are popular houseplants.  My bush only is in bloom for less than a month, so I am always thrilled to see the first blossom open.




Week 39 #22 Ordinary Objects

I have always been a big proponent of recycling.  Years ago before cities began curb side service I would collect our recycling and make a weekly trip to a drop off location.  Living in Iowa since I was a little girl we had a bottle tax law.  When you purchased pop, beer or other liquor, 5 cent per item was added to your bill.  I remember as a child walking around the neighborhood collecting bottles (cans weren’t as prevalent then) and taking them to redeem at the store to buy candy.  For years when I took my daily walks I would take plastic grocery bags along with me to pick up trash, cans and bottles.  I was always amazed that every day I could fill up sometimes 2 bags.  My neighbors knew me as the “trash lady”.  It became a regular joke with my husband how much money I made on my daily walks.

While traveling recently I read an article about a company in Seattle who has started a clothing line made entirely of recycled plastic bottles.  Their first hot item were women’s black leggings, selling for $25.  By the time the company gets in full swing with other products they estimate they will have diverted almost 7 million water bottles from land fills.  That number is staggering to me and that is just one town one company.

Another fact I was unaware of is how long it takes a plastic bottle to biodegrade.  The experts estimate it could take 450 years.  Yikes!  We Americans drink about 50 billion bottles of water every year but recycle only 23 % of that.  I haven’t gotten in the habit of using a reusable bottle for my drinking water and do purchase bottled water for use when I am away from home running errands etc.  I never leave home without one.  I do however, continue to be diligent in collecting the empties and adding them to the recycle bin for our weekly pickups.

I chose a few varieties and sizes of water bottles to highlight this weeks them “Ordinary Objects”.




Week 30 #15 Looking Up

In week 28 I wrote about the Powel Crosley Jr. estate, “Seagate” in Sarasota Fl..  My image that week of a windowscape was taken in the Ship room, a circular wooden paneled room that includes a wooden ceiling with a hand painted Compass.  Looking up from the center of the room I captured its beauty.  I enjoyed having a little fun in post processing adding a circular star vignette.



Week 26 #14 Line From A Song

This fall my photography group went to my friends horse farm.  She has 3 beautiful horses and our group really enjoyed photographing them along with her beautiful serene property.  While this horse does have a name and it is not traveling through the desert it made me think of one of my favorites from the early 1970’s by the group  America “Horse With No Name”.  I know I drove my parents crazy playing the song over and over again!

On the first part of the journey                                                                                                                     I was looking at all the life                                                                                                                    There were plants and birds and rocks and things                                                                          There was sand and hills and rings

The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz                                                                                             And the sky with no clouds                                                                                                                       The heat was hot and the ground was dry                                                                                               But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name                                                                      It felt good to be out of the rain                                                                                                                 In the desert you can remember your name                                                                                     ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain                                                                                 La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la…

Enough of the la, la’s they go on forever.  Enjoy the photo!




Week 25 # Aged To Perfection

This cobblestone alley lies steps away from Snake Alley in Burlington, IA. that I highlighted in Week 1.  This area is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and also in the Heritage Hill Historic District.  The district includes ten historic properties and this cobblestone alley lies on the eastern boundary.  Snake Alley was built in 1894, so I assume this one was built during that same time period.  You can see the well worn ridges in the cobblestones that helped it become “Aged To Perfection” from all means of transportation.



Week 24 #9 Closely Cropped

I took this photo of this young woman enjoying a cup of coffee this fall in Ybor City, FL.  I entered it into a local photo contest and unfortunately it didn’t place.  I really like the image and after looking at it again several times, I decided to work on it a little more.  I had cropped it a little before entering it but, decided  this time to closely crop it.  I have to say I do like  the feel of the image better, there are very little background distractions and you notice more of the details of  just her. Maybe I will try entering it again.