Abidjan | Ivory Coast | West Africa

 Our voyage started with me dropping our luggage not just once, but twice,  (all seven of them) at the departure gates of the Washington Dulles International Airport.  Then Air France and its amazingly caring team swooped in giving us a fantatic flight-experience from Dulles to Abidjan.    And after traveling for approximately 17 hours, Leah, our 19 months-old toddler Elijah, and I are superbly rested, refreshed, and ready to explore the Ivory Coast.   It's exciting to be back in this unique country, and can't wait to share some of the stories, of the people, and places with you.  My wife, Leah, made this photograph with our toddler, Elijah, on her back, kissing her cheeks.

Our voyage started with me dropping our luggage not just once, but twice,  (all seven of them) at the departure gates of the Washington Dulles International Airport.

Then Air France and its amazingly caring team swooped in giving us a fantatic flight-experience from Dulles to Abidjan.  

And after traveling for approximately 17 hours, Leah, our 19 months-old toddler Elijah, and I are superbly rested, refreshed, and ready to explore the Ivory Coast. 

It's exciting to be back in this unique country, and can't wait to share some of the stories, of the people, and places with you.

My wife, Leah, made this photograph with our toddler, Elijah, on her back, kissing her cheeks.

 Thank you for all your support.  I will be traveling from August 27th through September 15th, 2018. And although, my access to the internet will be intermittent, I would love to stay connected with you.  Have a fantastic summer.

Thank you for all your support.

I will be traveling from August 27th through September 15th, 2018. And although, my access to the internet will be intermittent, I would love to stay connected with you.

Have a fantastic summer.

Not to sound like a purist, but, you could have brought some friends along with you to the gardens and photographed them, or you could have even asked the gardens' visitors to pose for the photographs. But, would you have had deranged nature's flow, or captured its true essence, tranquillity, and subliminal beauty?

   As a son dismounts his mother’s ergo,  Today on Wisconsin Avenue,  She kisses him on the tip of the nose,  And for the briefness of moment,  Their figures clapped together,  To form a heart shape,  Before letting him go,  As he struts about north east,  Toward the garden,  At Dumbarton Oaks,  Jaunty footsteps of lovers,  Braise the steps of the gardens on fire,  Where winsome roses jointed together,  Are adroitly planted,  And relying on the pure generosity of the sun and winds,  Combined with his own efforts,  A man opens his French-windows,  Painted in light-blue and pure-white,  There, in his window boxes,  He picks fresh mints for what seems to be a teapot in his strong-and-firm right hand,  Adjacent to his pristine colonial house,  Stands erected this magnificent garden,  Where in spite of frustration a painter mixes solvents,  On his easel,  And rapidly lapidates a previously blank canvas,  Each stroke with high-hopes,  His paint-brushes strike,  Again, and, again, the white-and-blank tableau,  Under his lyrical movements, despairs not,  Just like an energetic sculptor,  Beats figures out of stones,  The painter masterfully reveals a likeness of light,  In the courtyard of the garden,  Reflecting the afternoon sun’s glow in their wings,  A band of flame-like-butterflies rehearses their flight patterns,  All while running errands between arched entryways, palisades, and the rose garden,  And just as the sun prepares to set,  The man shuts his french-windows and blinds,  On the hillcrest,  The two lovers lavish themselves in intoxicated kisses,  While their silhouettes lean back into the brightly-warm setting-sun,  And marred in giggles,  The child runs back to his mom,  Asking to be picked,  Before landing a kiss on her cheeks,  As the sun sets,  She glows with a citadel of lights,  Into a-bliss.

As a son dismounts his mother’s ergo,

Today on Wisconsin Avenue,

She kisses him on the tip of the nose,

And for the briefness of moment,

Their figures clapped together,

To form a heart shape,

Before letting him go,

As he struts about north east,

Toward the garden,

At Dumbarton Oaks,

Jaunty footsteps of lovers,

Braise the steps of the gardens on fire,

Where winsome roses jointed together,

Are adroitly planted,

And relying on the pure generosity of the sun and winds,

Combined with his own efforts,

A man opens his French-windows,

Painted in light-blue and pure-white,

There, in his window boxes,

He picks fresh mints for what seems to be a teapot in his strong-and-firm right hand,

Adjacent to his pristine colonial house,

Stands erected this magnificent garden,

Where in spite of frustration a painter mixes solvents,

On his easel,

And rapidly lapidates a previously blank canvas,

Each stroke with high-hopes,

His paint-brushes strike,

Again, and, again, the white-and-blank tableau,

Under his lyrical movements, despairs not,

Just like an energetic sculptor,

Beats figures out of stones,

The painter masterfully reveals a likeness of light,

In the courtyard of the garden,

Reflecting the afternoon sun’s glow in their wings,

A band of flame-like-butterflies rehearses their flight patterns,

All while running errands between arched entryways, palisades, and the rose garden,

And just as the sun prepares to set,

The man shuts his french-windows and blinds,

On the hillcrest,

The two lovers lavish themselves in intoxicated kisses,

While their silhouettes lean back into the brightly-warm setting-sun,

And marred in giggles,

The child runs back to his mom,

Asking to be picked,

Before landing a kiss on her cheeks,

As the sun sets,

She glows with a citadel of lights,

Into a-bliss.

This morning in the garden children with colorful crayons have drawn arrows, 

And they are pointing to hearts politely left on pathways as they sang songs in unison. 

A deed of Cupid I thought indeed,

Tonight under the stars and the constellations of galaxies,

I see angels hiding in plain sight and serenading fairies,

Are these the same angels caring for flowers when they lose a pedal, and the trees a leaf?

What’s pain for these flowers over a broken pedal or a leaf flown-high-and-away, 

but a necessity in their pursuit of beauty and joy I thought,

And what’s love but the happy pleasure of the temperate soul.

The sophistication of dragonflies, birds, and butterflies’s friendship keeps flourishing under the essence of the rain that has just fallen,

And thus refined again, and again at sunrises,

Here I hear the sweet-sounding of butterflies kissing,

And can feel their hearts beating,

Oh, what an harmonious hymn,

The sun gently reflects over the pond and the water over which I stand,

And like a band or two lovers entangled, I see a boat in repose with its two yellow paddles entangled like two lovers to watch the sun set, 

On the bank of the river,

I contemplate and hear the timbres of love casting its net.

 

Meadowlark Botanical Garden Virginia

The Bishop's Garden | The National Cathedral | Washington, D.C.

 

I arrived on your doorstep at the agreed time,

And although the gates seemed wide opened,

Like a lost lamb, I could not find the seemingly obvious entrance,

Until I saw a child-like figure leaned in what seemed to be his father’s embrace,

And simultaneously felt the radiance coming from the resonance of the flowers’ silvery organs,

If photography is the art of writing with light,

I shall never have enough ink to capture this delight,

The joyous sun beams through pedals, leaves, while the wind swings with trees,

The rollicking rabbit feasts on the grass,

So he may be filled with the kindred spirit of nature,

The butterflies escort you with a friendly intonation before landing on a vase,

The outer leaves of a tree return to their root,  which is their base,

The water percolates from the soil to nurture the plants,

 And from its pompous streams if I listen closely I can hear the bass,

Warm, vibrant, and up-lifting.

 

The Bishop's Garden at the National Cathedral, in Washington, D.C.
The Bishop's Garden at the National Cathedral, in Washington, D.C.
The Bishop's Garden at the National Cathedral, in Washington, D.C.
The Bishop's Garden at the National Cathedral, in Washington, D.C.

A beauty almost as pure, open, and seemingly vast as the fountain of youth reverberating from a child's laughter. Here lays a space for our senses, and a safe place for our children to run, learn, and play.

 

The U.S. National Arboretum. Washington, D.C.

Crezia Covington Reed Lotus Garden | Virginia Beach | Virginia

On Saturday, July 14th, after completing failing to rise and catch sunrise while in Virginia Beach, visiting friends and relatives. I proposed to drive about 17 miles in my silver Ford Focus to photograph a nearby garden, the Lotus Garden. It was in the neighborhood of Sandbridge Beach, adjacent to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and just off Sandbridge Rd. 

Arrived at my chosen location, I parked my car, stepped out, and set up my tripod with my camera mounted on top. A few minutes later, Kevin pulled up in a salsa-red truck with one of the most contagious and joyful attitudes I had seen that morning. After exchanging pleasantries for a few minutes, Kevin shared a few memories of his time in Europe, photographing beautiful waterfalls, and rejoicing about his years serving in the U.S. Navy.

Then with an upbeat optimism, Kevin said, he had just bought his summery-orange kayak with the harmonizing green paddle. "I had photographed the Lotus from afar for quite some time now", he said. "Now I am ready to document them close-up. This is very exciting." He added, seating in the cockpit of his new kayak. He smoothly propelled himself with his double-bladed paddle into the bay to photograph the Virginia Beach's Official Flower, "The American Lotus".


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