Tag Archives: Diana

Baby Boy Basketball

Zach focuses on tough defense.

Zach defends.

With my focus these days squarely upon my high school senior and his final-year activities, I must admit that I’ve totally forgotten about his school’s underclassmen.

Specifically, my friends’ baby and almost-baby boys.

So when my pal Beth told me that her middle son, Zach, was playing his last home basketball game last Saturday morning, I decided to put my Nikon 85mm lens on my Nikon D700 and head to our high school’s gym to catch some freshmen action.

Matt shoots.

Matt shoots.

When I walked in, I saw my long-time friend Donna. I checked out the court and, sure enough, her baby boy, Matt, also was playing. Cool beans! Two for the price of . . . well, none, because there’s no charge to watch subvarsity teams.

“Not in MY house!” Matt blocks a shot.

“Not in MY house!” Matt blocks a shot.

Not having shot indoor sports since volleyball last October, it took me awhile to adjust to the fast-paced flow of the game. Fortunately, the lighting was pretty good (ISO 1000), and the company (Beth at first and then Donna and her two daughters) was great.

Carter tries for two points.

Carter tries for two points.

After the game, I walked into the hall, where I saw more parental friends: Diana and Charles (our very own royalty!). Sure enough, their baby boy, Carter, would be playing in the B game. So I figured I might as well stay and continue to snap away.

Clayton beasts it up on defense.

Clayton beasts it up on defense.

As I did, who should I see but yet another bud, Mary S. Her #1 son is Jared #1, one of the kid’s besties. She was there to watch her baby boy, Clayton. Once again, I could shoot two birds with one camera, while sitting between Diana and Mary.

Carter contests the layup.

Carter contests the layup.

Of course, for me the best part of the morning was the gabfest rather than the (rebound) grabfest. It’s nice to share some time and thoughts with a great group of gals. Getting decent photos of their handsome, young men? Icing on the proverbial cake!

Going Whole Hogg at Bayou Bend

Summer snowflakes populate the White Garden.

Although Houston’s Bayou Bend gardens are, naturally, known for their flowers, there’s so much more to this enchanting place. Which is especially nice when there aren’t a lot of azaleas to see!

The Hogg house

A little history first: In 1925, the Hogg siblings—Will, Mike, and their sister, the unfortunately named Ima—chose 14 acres of woodlands in River Oaks for their home.

The bend in the Buffalo Bayou

The Hoggs called their estate “Bayou Bend,” because it’s bordered on two sides by a bend in the Buffalo Bayou. The house was completed in 1928, and Ima started working on designing the gardens. Mike married and moved from the dwelling in 1929, while Will died suddenly the following year. Leaving Ima to be the house’s sole resident. She lived, by the way, to the ripe, old age of 93, passing away in 1975.

Practical shoes are necessary for navigating the grounds.

With nine diverse gardens on the grounds around the house, visitors travel along paths and series of steps to take them all in. It’s a popular place for families to take photos (but no killer tripods allowed!)

Clio (left), the muse of history, and Euterpe, the muse of music, anchor two of the gardens.

Each of the nine gardens is an interesting entity. Some have statues as a prime focal point.

Diana, goddess of the hunt, with something deer to her

The Diana garden seems like the prime flora area, because it can be seen when you’re standing in line to visit the Hoggs’ house (Ima was an avid collector of antiques; unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside the residence).

The Diana fountain

The arcing Diana fountain immediately caught my attention, causing me to snap lots of photos of the shooting water.

Diana fountain from the side (1/1600th of a second)

Once again, I experimented with increasing and decreasing my shutter speed to change the look of the water. Here, I shot with a fast shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second.

Diana fountain from the side (1/30th of a second)

When I slowed the shutter to 1/30th of a second, the result almost looked like a painting! How apropos for such a lovely setting.

The Hoggs’ house through Diana’s fountain

This is Diana’s view of the house through her fountain. An unusual perspective!

The East Garden fountain

You easily can see how this little East Garden fountain pales in comparison to its Diana counterpart. Yet it works well in the smaller setting at the side of the house.

Lots of whining at this bench!

Unexpected personal touches can be found as you walk in and around the gardens. For example, there are pretty benches for resting, like this one. I dubbed it the “grapes of wrath” bench. I can’t imagine sitting there for long with those uncomfortable grapes digging into my back. I guess this seat encourages visitors to keep moving!

And, as you might imagine, there are woodland creatures here and there around the grounds. Some seemed inviting and friendly, like the deer at Diana’s side, while others . . .

Snooty deer!

. . . had one clear message written all over their face. Oh, deer! Time to go!!