Tag Archives: Nature

Mixed Media Monday: Vibrant Valley

Vibrant Valley by Karen Gadient, 2017

Vibrant Valley. Pastel and watercolor with digital postwork.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ― Khalil Gibran

Click here for more about what I do and to view my art galleries.


Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Imagination, Landscape, Mixed Media, Mixed Media Monday, Nature, Painting, Pastel, Prompts, Quotes, Watercolor

TGIF: Flower Bed

Flower Bed by Karen Gadient, 2016

It’s “FingerPaintingFriday” again!
Watercolor on cold press watercolor paper.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. 🙂

Click here for more about what I do and to view my art galleries.


Filed under Art, Color, Fingerpainting, Nature, Painting, Prompts, Watercolor

Westray, Orkney: Noup Head

Noup Head Lighthouse by Karen Gadient, 2016

Noup Head is a dramatic and simply-beyond-stunning coastal area to hike, explore, and birdwatch. It’s worth the extra ferry to Westray from Kirkwall if you ever happen to be in Orkney.

According to the Northern Lighthouse Board, the name noup is derived from gnupr, meaning ‘headland locality’.

Noup Head Birds by David Gadient, 2016

Noup Cliffs is the nesting home to thousands of birds: gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, puffins, and other seabirds. It can be a bit of a challenge to snap photos of the birds unless you have the right camera gear―especially if you happen to be fearful of heights (I admit, I was nervous at the edge).

Noup Head Lighthouse by David Gadient, 2016

Noup Head Lighthouse is impressively seated above the sea cliffs. It’s automated now―solar, as you can see by the panels―but is well over a century old.

Noup Head by Karen Gadient, 2016

June was a lovely time to visit the area; the birds were in great numbers and the cliff tops were decked out in wildflowers.

Noup Head by David Gadient, 2016

It’s truly one my favorite views now that I’ve seen it for myself, and a place I hope to return to again soon.

Well, that’s it for the photos from our Scotland trip. For this trip to Scotland, at least―we’re already planning a trip back, although it won’t be right away. Next time, we’ll tackle the western coast on our travel northward.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our photos (most were taken by my husband David) and my ramblings! If you missed any part… here are links to previous related posts:

Our First Day in Glasgow
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Our Day in Edinburgh
Scotland: Glasgow to Gills Bay
On a Ferry to Orkney
Orkney Wanderings
St Magnus Cathedral
Skara Brae
Standing Stones in Orkney
Westray, Orkney: Part 1
Westray, Orkney: Noltland Castle
Westray, Orkney: Lady Kirk, Pierowall


Filed under Holiday, Journal, Landscape, Life, Nature, Ocean, Orkney, Photography, Scotland, Sea, Seascape, Travel, Vacation


Autumn by Karen Gadient, 2016

Autumn. Colored pencil and ink combined with digital mixed media.

October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter. ― Nova Bair

Click here for more about what I do and to view my art galleries.


Filed under Art, Color, Colored Pencil, Ink, Landscape, Mixed Media, Nature, Painting, Quotes

Standing Stones in Orkney

Ring of Brodgar by David Gadient, 2016

While we have many impressive stones and rocks here in Arizona, I’d never seen anything like the ancient standing stones in the United Kingdom. In fact, I admit I didn’t know much about them until we visited the sites in Orkney.

The Ring of Brodgar is the largest stone circle in Scotland. It’s thought to have once had sixty stones, but now has less than thirty standing (although it appears there are a number of partial stones still in position). They stand out in the landscape; I believe one or two were once struck by lightning. The stones very in height, but the tallest is about fifteen feet.

Ring of Brodgar by David Gadient, 2016

Ring of Brodgar by David Gadient, 2016

One of the stones is off on its own a few hundred feet from the others, and it caught David’s eye before I noticed it. We hiked out to take a look, and I found out later that it’s called the Comet Stone.

Comet Stone by David Gadient, 2016

Lichen is also one of those things I’d never noticed here in Arizona―although it appears that ASU has a lichen herbarium, go figure―but lichen was all over the place in Scotland, as well as on the stones in the Ring of Brodgar.

Lichen by David Gadient, 2016

About a mile from the Ring of Brodgar are the Standing Stones of Stenness, which are much taller but fewer in number.

Standing Stones of Stenness by David Gadient, 2016

Standing Stones of Stenness by Karen Gadient, 2016

There is such a feeling of mystery and history at these sites. I hear Stonehenge is impressive too, but I don’t believe you can touch the stones. Here in Orkney, you can quite nearly touch time. During the windy day we went, we had missed the tourist crowd and had little company beyond the stones; it really was wonderful.

You can see from the photos that the weather shifted around a bit in the few hours that we walked amongst the stones. However, it never rained while we were in Orkney, nor during the previous week when we were in Glasgow and Edinburgh. In fact, we only got rain on the drive to the airport as we headed home―which was nice, since we get so little rain in Phoenix.

I’ll share more photos from Orkney soon!

Links to previous related posts:

Our First Day in Glasgow
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Our Day in Edinburgh
Scotland: Glasgow to Gills Bay
On a Ferry to Orkney
Orkney Wanderings
St Magnus Cathedral
Skara Brae


Filed under History, Holiday, Landscape, Life, Nature, Orkney, Photography, Scotland, Travel, Vacation

Desert Bloom

Desert Bloom by David Gadient, 2015

This made me smile today, so I hope I can pass that smile along to you!
A sweet floral photo that my husband David took during one of our visits to Desert Botanical Garden. Happy weekend!


Filed under Arizona, Color, Flowers, Nature, Phoenix, Photography

Orkney Wanderings

Orkney Roads by David Gadient, 2016

After looking over the photos from our time in Orkney, I realized that some things had enough photos to be a post of their own. This post is for a few of the miscellaneous ones. I’m no travel blogger, but I figured it was good place to start.

The top photo is the causeway between Burray and Glims Holm. This causeway is one of the Churchhill Barriers. Check out some panoramas on 360Cities.

As we stayed in St Margaret’s Hope, we did a lot of driving over the causeways to get around (and get groceries, since we were self-catering). Driving over the causeways was a lot of fun―as long as a tour bus wasn’t coming the other way.

We got to see so many boats, from cruise ships and ferries to fishing boats and half-sunken blockships… and even a tall ship!

Ships by David Gadient, 2016

This photo was one I took with my phone, since I loved the look of it:

StMarg_Pier by Karen Gadient, 2016

Our self-catering (for those not familiar with term: a rental home where you can cook for yourself, which worked perfectly for us) flat was more of a house, and was a part of The Creel. The Creel is run by a lovely man named David who went out of his way for us the moment we arrived, even giving us some veggies to cook when we arrived too late to get to a grocery. His sons, who arrived while we were there, were friendly and as brilliant as their father when it came to conversation. While we didn’t join them for breakfast, we stopped down―The Creel has a sitting area next to the restaurant―for drinks and chit-chat with David and sons, plus some of the B&B guests.

Our self-catering home:

Creel by David Gadient, 2016

…which came with a ‘bonus cat’, whose name was Manky, despite no longer being as manky as he’d been when they found him. Manky was sweet and kept us from missing our own kitties too much―two weeks catless is a long time!

Manky by David Gadient, 2016

We did a lot of walking in Kirkwall, but were caught in the moment instead of snapping photos. We have lots of photos of specific sites around Orkney, and I’ll give some of them their own posts. While in Kirkwall, we mostly just enjoyed being there. The streets are great for exploring, and we usually left our car in one spot while taking long walks, even when we fetched groceries.

Kirkwall by David Gadient, 2016

Many people go to Scotland to visit numerous distilleries. While in Scotland, we’d planned to visit one distillery only―and that one was in Orkney: Scapa. Much like our beer obsession with Innis & Gunn, we have a whisky loyalty with Scapa. Hence, we didn’t visit the other distillery in Orkney (which was crawling with tourists anyway). Alas, no photos are allowed on the tasting tour, other than outside of the distillery.

Scapa by David Gadient, 2016

Scapa2 by David Gadient, 2016

The building holding the casks was truly the angel’s share of heaven scent-wise. We got to go in, but couldn’t take a photo. It was a wee bit like this.

Casks Inside by David Gadient, 2016

The view from the Scapa distillery is relaxing too, whether you have a glass of whisky in your hand while there or not.

Scapa View by David Gadient, 2016

St Margaret’s Hope (and Orkney, in general) at night is a thing of beauty, especially in summertime, when the sun never really sets. I snapped these photos just after midnight. Hours and hours of sunset―just wonderful stuff.

Self Cater at Night by Karen Gadient, 2016

StMarg Midnight by Karen Gadient, 2016

Much more from our Orkney trip as soon as I can organize it!

Links to previous related posts:

Our First Day in Glasgow
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Our Day in Edinburgh
Scotland: Glasgow to Gills Bay
On a Ferry to Orkney


Filed under Family, Holiday, Journal, Landscape, Life, Ocean, Orkney, Photography, Scotland, Sea, Seascape, Skyscape, Travel, Vacation