Lens-Artists Challenge #200: Things That Make Me Smile

This week, Amy hosts Lens-Artists Challenge #200 and asks us to include photos that make us smile. There’s a lot of bad news and crazy things going on every day, so I love this week’s challenge that allows us to re-center and think about happy moments. Photography in general puts a smile on face, but I particularly enjoy going outside and being in nature. Birds (Terri’s Sunday Stills – Feathered Friends), other animals, and beautiful flowers (Cee’s Flower of the Day and Dawn Miller’s Spring Festival 2022) top my list of little things that make me smile, particularly when I find something surprising, like these little blossoms on a normally plain green bush.

Unexpected blossoms on a green bush; the tiny flowers make me smile.

Gorgeous gardens full of many flowers and other plants will definitely bring a smile to my face. I love photographing the whole landscape, and then zooming in for close-up shots. Both are equally inspiring and make me happy. These next photos were taken of my neighbors’ yards during my town’s recent spring garden tour. I got to ooh and ahh over their fabulous yards and spend time with my mom, who accompanied me.

Sometimes, I am surprised when watching wildlife. This Crested Screamer at the San Diego Zoo put a smile on my face (and she looks like she is sort of smiling too), when she stood up and showed off. Rumor has it, the egg hatched last week.

My favorite aviary at the San Diego Zoo, Africa Rocks Aviary, is sure to make me smile. The birds are always active and very colorful, which makes it fun to photograph. Here’s a couple of my favorite, colorful birds.

Cute, fuzzy animals with adorable faces put a smile on my face, too.

Red panda trying to take a nap at the San Diego Zoo, California; his adorable, snuggly demeanor puts a smile on my face.

Of course, I cannot leave this post without mentioning some of the places that make me smile: my favorite California beach, Salt Creek in Dana Point (Jez’s Water Water Everywhere), sunrise over Honolulu, and Hawaii’s coastline (Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge – things that begin or end with H).

Sunset at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point, California can make anyone smile.

Oahu, Hawaii coastline; view of Pacific Ocean back towards Diamond Head is smile-worthy.

Morning haze and clouds during sunrise over Honolulu, Hawaii; view from top of Diamond Head.

I hope the remainder of your week is peaceful, and you find many things to smile about!

Published by Dawn Palmer

I am an avid nature and ecology lover and enjoy sharing my photography in my blog writings. I will often be out early in the morning or late in the evening with my camera, trying to capture the peacefulness and beauty around me.

19 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #200: Things That Make Me Smile

  1. Everything about this post made me smile and knowing many of the images were taken in San Diego (the town where I was born and grew up) really made me smile. It’s been years since we went to the zoo. Back in the day, my parents had the annual zoo pass, and I’m sure we went twice a month. I’ll be in San Diego at the end of June so I need to get back to see the zoo! Gorgeous pics, Dawn, and thank you for adding positivity to our broken world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š I have a pass to the zooโ€ฆI love going there for photos (obviously ๐Ÿคฃ). If you get to check it out, thereโ€™s a few new babies. Thereโ€™s also a rhino due in July, but no exact date. Always fun. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! that first sentence almost spooked me.
    “…a professional proofreader” Dare I type anything here? I love photos, too. They certainly can capture those moments of peace and beauty around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not going to divulge my age, but I flew to visit the San Diego Zoo for my 30th birthday. That certainly brought a lot of smiles to my face. Oh to be that young again! ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ha! Noโ€”donโ€™t let that scare you. I have two websites and didnโ€™t know how to make my profile work for both without saying that. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿค“
      Thanks for checking out my blog and the compliment on my photos. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Š


      1. Envy for that annual pass… you’ll help sharpen my 48 yo memories of that wonderland. ๐Ÿค— Thank you for that. ๐Ÿ’ž

        I’m still a bit lost with the two websites… but I managed to find my way here, so that’s what counts. ๐Ÿ

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your beautiful photos makes me smile, Dawn. ๐Ÿ™‚ What a nice surprise to see these flowers. I absolutely love your bird captures. Thank you for sharing this beautiful garden with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved all of this! The walk though your neighbors yards in Spring Garden tour was a great place to be with your mom. I hope you had a notebook, there would be so many ideas to bring home. In the meantime, just a nice walk, wasn’t it? The bird photos from the aviary were stunning. They seem to be posing for you. But the red panda for the win. Very cute. Aloha! Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š I didnโ€™t have a notebook because I was busy with my camera, but I did get a lot of ideas. I was surprised to see a lot of the landscaping ideas were not much different than AZโ€ฆjust with less rocks. Lol
      And it is hard to resist those red pandas. ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐Ÿค™๐Ÿผ

      Liked by 1 person

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