Holiday Lights at the Garden – 2017 Edition

On a balmy night after Christmas, and before the arrival of the “Arctic Blast,” I made my annual trip to see the holiday lights and orchids at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Once there, I found out that my camera wasn’t working. So for the first time, I used my iPhone 6 to take the Garden photographs.

I hope you enjoy this bit of holiday magic.

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Holiday Lights at the Garden 2016

I made my annual trip to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden to see the holiday lights last night. The night of my visit last year was uncharacteristically balmy. This year it was just plain hot-67 degrees at 6p.m. No fumbling for the camera through coats and mitten-encased fingers required.

The new light exhibit this year is called Blue Arches. Come enjoy the garden with me!


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Holiday Lights (And Orchids!) in the Garden – 2015 Edition

After 18 straight evenings of rain, the forecast called for a dry night on December 27th, and I made my annual trek to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden to see the holiday lights.

Usually I pick the coldest night in December to do my wandering in the garden. But this December temperatures were in the mid-70’s, and the evening was balmy. The garden’s flowering crabapple trees and ornamental cherry trees and witch hazel were all in bloom. Lenten roses decided to be advent roses. A cold craft-brewed beer was more welcome than hot chocolate.

I beat the lines of evening crowds by arriving about 5 p.m., and then waited for sunset in the orchid house. This year the orchids stole the show from the light displays. I’ve never seen so many in bloom at one time. These were my favorites:

The light displays are more beautiful every year.  I hope you enjoy this year’s slide show of Holiday Lights in the Garden.

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For a look at previous years’ holiday lights, check out this post.

I wish you all a most magical and joyful New Year!

More From France: Cathedrale Saint Maurice, Mirepoix

Just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the Monday market in Mirepoix is the Cathedrale Saint Maurice. Opening the scarred wooden doors, you step into the 14th century. The cathedral is lit by dancing sunlight streaming through stained glass, and by the soft whispers of candles lit in remembrance at the side altars. Simple wooden chairs await the faithful. A broken-winged angel stands watch over the high altar. The labyrinth in the crypt is no longer open to visitors – only a wall plaque notes its presence. And of course, there’s a harp. (All images © Janet Hince 2014.)






The Colors of Rennes-les-Bains

On the first day of my photography retreat in France, we drove through the winding roads and steep foothills of the Pyrenees to reach Rennes-les-Bains, a tiny Languedoc village perched on both sides of the river Sals. Artifacts discovered in the village indicate that Rennes-les-Bains was known for its hot and cold springs even before the Romans established colonies in the area.

The village’s narrow streets inch up steep hills and twist their way down to the river. Around every corner there are surprise bursts of colors aglow in the late summer sun. Come explore the colors of Rennes-les-Bains with me.  (All images © Janet Hince, 2014.)

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Montmartre Harp Sighting

I returned to Paris and Internet access last evening. Thanks to the Air France pilots’ strike, I had a very long train ride from Toulouse to Gare Montparnasse, and what was supposed to be another day of Paris sight-seeing was limited to what I could see out the windows of the #92 bus back to my apartment.

But this morning I was back in tourist mode. I headed to Montmartre with the hope that I could see all of Paris spread out before me. Alas, Paris is in the middle of a smog alert, and when I looked towards the city all I could see was a dingy gray haze. But all I had to do was turn around to see this carrousel.


Then I joined the throngs of tourists to ride the funicular to Sacré Cœur.



As soon as I left the funicular carriage, I heard harp music. Here’s my harp sighting on the plaza below Sacré Cœur.



This is Hugo and his Paraguayan harp. He’s played at Sacré Cœur for many years, and sells his CDs to people like me who are suckers for busking street musicians, and especially busking harpers. You can see and hear Hugo in this video posted in 2008.

I leave the City of Lights tomorrow morning, and will gratefully sleep in my own bed tomorrow night. I’ll share more photos of my France adventures once the jet lag abates a bit.

À bientôt!