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Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro

I love this photo. It was taken earlier this year and it was one of the first I took with my new dSLR camera. I bought my first ever SLR camera only this year after shooting all my earlier photos with a regular point and shoot. I love my dSLR and take it on all my travels now.

I took this photo in Kew Gardens and it is a beautiful water-lily that was sitting in the middle of a pond. Just beautiful.

waterlily in Kew Gardens

I’m participating in the online adventure travel magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggers. This week’s Challenge is: Macro Photography!


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Olympic torch relay in Kew – epic

I feel blessed that I live in a city that hosts the Olympics. I have been getting more and more excited about the Olympics over the past few weeks and yesterday it reached another high.

Olympic torch relay Day 67

Day 67 of the Olympic torch relay brought the torch to my community in Kew. I didn’t know what to expect, so I armed myself with my camera and a Starbucks Mocha Frappucino and headed to the Green.

A friend was waiting for me and we scoped out the best place to watch the action. The ACTION was the handing over of the flame to the next person in the torch relay. And again, we were blessed, we had two hand-overs right in front of us (it involved just a little bit of running – don’t tell my PT!).

Before the flame arrived out of Kew Gardens, we took a photo opportunity with the torch bearer waiting to be handed over the flame. Check.

(I think the lady was a little overwhelmed with the amount of people taking pics with her, but she put on a brave and smiley face)

The torch itself (the container) is not being handed over, just the flame. It’s being ignited from one torch bearer to another. It’s quite neat, I didn’t expect that.

Once the torch bearer took the flame she jogged along the route on to Kew Bridge where the next torch bearer was waiting for a hand-over of the flame. We had to keep up with the lady and run alongside through the crowds, but years of marathon training and boy band concerts made this easy play. LOL.

In the middle of the bridge, we saw the second handing over of the flames. We had an even better viewing position. It was just awesome. The atmosphere was great. People cheering everywhere. Someone was selling British flags with a flame and the words: “I saw the flame!” on it.

There is a lot of negative press on the Olympics on all sorts of things, but being out there with the local crowd, enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime moment makes it all worth it. The flame will be traveling by boat on the river Thames later this week. So, I’ll be keeping eye out for it and maybe I’ll see it once more.

Happy Olympics!
That’s me with the local torch bearer right before the flame arrived from inside Kew Gardens.

There am I with a local torch bearer right before the flame is being handed over

The handing over of the flame on Kew Bridge. Both flames are burning. I didn’t check how they put out the flame once it has been taken over to the new torch bearer. Should have paid attention…

handing over the flame on Kew Bridge

A bow and off goes the next torch bearer. Being there was AMAZING!

successful hand-over of the flame


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7 things…

I am not feeling the love for running (or doing anything for that matter) this weekend. Yesterday, I cut my 10-miler short to 6 miles as I was stumbling over stones on the uneven towpath. Apparently I missed the royal barge at Richmond pier since I didn’t run this far. Oh well…

So, while I am lazy-ing (new word, go with it…) around, I figured I could respond to MedalSlut‘s tag on the 7 things I am totally into right now. Not sure I can come up with seven, but maybe I am going to surprise myself?

  1. Green – my running path is totally green and overgrown. I wonder who maintains the towpath actually? Anyway, yesterday during my cut-short run it felt like a jungle out there. It was humid too, so for a short moment I pretended to be in the rainforest somewhere…
  2. Blue – I already shared with you my photos of the bluebells in Kew Gardens. I have seen other blue flowers and they just look magnificent. Maybe the rain was good for something after all?
  3. Red hot sun – ok, I haven’t really seen much of the sun. But I would be totally into it, if the sun showed! Having had 5 great summer days in Austin, TX really made me miss the sun even more here in London. So I can’t wait for my trip to San Diego, CA.
  4. Actually, that makes Austin, TXnumber 5 on my list of things I am TOTALLY in to.

    Rudy’s BBQ

    I miss running past dead snakes (ok, I am lying…), but I miss running with my running buddies and then having a huge Texas-sized breakfast. London breakfast is not cutting it so far…

  5. San Diego, CA – Currently planning my trip to San Diego. Other than running the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon with my team, I will also catch up with some friends who live in California. I have been to SeaWorld before, but it was a rather short visit, so I am thinking of hitting it up again. Any other suggestions on what to see in San Diego?
  6. My new Canon dSLR camera – I bought the camera just over a month ago and love it. It takes awesome photos and I spend probably way too much time looking at my photos and taking photos. But it also allows me to do all the London tourist sights again, so I can take new photos with my new camera.
  7. Photoshop– I love that I can change my own interpretations of my photos and be an artist (small time artist).

    London bridges

    I have known how to use Photoshop for much longer than I had a good camera. Now the combination of good camera and Photoshop will let me try out new things. I am thinking artsy Christmas cards… Keep a look out later this year…

I guess these are my 7 things I am digging right now (and mostly always). Now, I am supposed to tag 7 other people, but I will leave this for another time. I just caught the itch to run a few more of my photos past Photoshop…

Have a great Sunday (or rest of it).


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More from Kew Gardens

It was a lovely May weekend, this past weekend. So I figure I should share some more photos from my day out at Kew Gardens.

Now I have no green thumbs and I am glad I can distinguish a rose from a tulip (yes, I can!). If you want to know names of plants and flowers I am not the one to ask.

I go for the colors in plants and flowers. They make me happy. It’s always amazing to me how bright nature is if we just take the time to look.

One thing I did learn though during my visit last weekend. I know now what a wisteria is. Don’t be fooled, I have been watching Desperate Housewives for a while, but in my mind they always lived in Hysteria Lane (which is probably a pretty apt name…). I know it’s called Wisteria Lane, but I thought it was a clever play on words (probably still is).

The things you learn in Botanical Gardens and soap operas….


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Bluebells in Kew Gardens

I promised some photos from last weekend’s adventures. Here is my first photo post. 🙂

I love bluebells. I love the way they look like a blue natural carpet bringing color and happiness. Last year I managed to miss them. They came out early as we had such a lovely April. Now this year due to the rain, they came out in May and were in perfect bloom last weekend.

Enjoy!


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Dancing in the sun…

Happy! Happy! It’s always interesting to notice how much the weather affects me. After dreadful 3 weeks of rain, I was losing it. BUT, yesterday, the sun made an appearance, so I packed my camera and headed out to Kew Botanical Gardens.

I was soaking in the sun like I hadn’t seen her in weeks (I hadn’t).

Baby ducks in Kew Gardens

I have been doing some tough tempo workouts in the gym last week, so I decided on a walk instead of a run to REALLY enjoy the weather. In Kew Gardens even the ducks took their ducklings for a walk. They were pretty cute and wouldn’t hold still for a photo. Plenty of their friends around, too. I always find it amazing to watch how protective Mama duck gets as children were trying to play with the little ones.

Peacock in Kew Gardens

Further along my walk, I was looking at all the amazing bluebells that have come out. It looks like a blue carpet really. I am a big fan of nature’s colors. As I was walking I heard this noise to my right and saw an amazing peacock just walking around. I was hoping he would shake his feathers for me, but I guess he wasn’t so much into me. I have no clue about any of the plants or flowers in the Botanical Garden, but I do enjoy being out there and seeing the blossoms and colors at this time of the year. It should get more colorful each week now.

Keeping up with the Olympic theme, I went to check out the Floral Spectacular which is a floral installation of the Olympic rings in Kew Gardens. 20,000 plants were arranged in the form of the 5 Olympic rings. It wasn’t quite that impressive to see it there as you are a person’s level up to view this grand installation (50 meters long), you really need a bird’s view. Apparently, it is visible from a plane when you land in Heathrow and the flight path takes you  over Kew Gardens.

Olympic floral spectacular at Kew Gardens

All in all, a great day. And all happiness is restored again.

Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
~ Robert G. Ingersoll