My Parents

Bob & Karin Leonard, 1st night pioneers in Kodiak, AK, July 1956

My parents were extraordinary.  My mother was only 19 when they married and lived in Oxnard in a tiny apartment where she worked for the telephone company while my father was at the Navy base.  Only a year later they pioneered, because of the exhortations of the Beloved Guardian, to Kodiak Island in Alaska.  He had specified many islands all over the world as goals of the 10 Year Crusade to be opened up to the Bahá’í Faith.  And they went.  Courtesy of the United States Navy, as Mom always said, and the choice being Kodiak or Japan, they chose Alaska which was still a territory in 1956.  (It actually became a state the year that I was born, but that’s jumping ahead a bit.)

Bob & Karin Leonard, Geyserville - 1950's

They were shipped up to Kodiak and placed in one of several hundred identical little box-like houses on the hill overlooking the Kodiak harbor, named Aleutian Homes.  They were pastel-sided two bedroom tract houses that all looked alike – identical one car garages – little wooden steps up to the front door.  No garden – just dirt road, dirt yard, wooden step.  I never knew why they didn’t live on the Naval Base, but it suited my Mom better to be nearer town and enabled the privacy of not having to live in the fish bowl with other Navy wives.  She got a cat named Morgan to keep her company while my Dad was on the Base working or flying in the Arctic as she knew he was doing.  Even though he was on secret reconnaissance flights over Russia and unable to tell her anything about it; she went gray by her early twenties.

Miss Holsapple

Leonora Stirling Holsapple with Mrs. Elizabeth Greenleaf, Green Acre 1923

Hudson, N.Y. January 25th, 1921

“Yes, Leonora sailed away on 15th Inst. and kept up bravely to the last – smiling and waving goodbyes to her father and sister after they had left the ship.”

No one believed she could do it. No one thought she should.  Everyone said she was crazy. Her friends said it was too far away – to go half way round the world – and unsafe.  Her father said he wouldn’t allow it!  But she went and bought the one way ticket for the ships travel to Brazil anyway!  This was not a girls’ whim, or a dare for high adventure. This was a yearning of the soul – a yearning to follow the desires for her of the Master to become a spiritual physician, to minister to people’s hearts.  She had been ministering to young minds, drilling them in Latin.  But what she really yearned for was to fulfill ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s admonition in His Tablet to her to become a spiritual physician healing mankind with the Word of God.

Miss Leonora

Passport photo from 1923 - Leonora at age 28

Rua Dr. Soter de Araujo 3

Santos, Brazil

Feb. 19, 1921

 

Dearest Miss Root,

 

You see I am in Santos after all, and I am so happy – just as you said I would be. At least I am happy to be with Guido Gnocchi and his family, and I shall be more happy when I can feel that I am really helping him in the work for the Cause. There seems to be very little that I can do until I know Portuguese pretty well – Guido assures me that then I can do much – but meanwhile, therefore, I am putting all of my time on the Portuguese, and of course I am getting practice continually, as neither Snr. nor Snra, G. knows any English. They are helping me a great deal, and I am also teaching them English now in the class which I have begun and am to have 3 evenings a week. I have translated one of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s talks, and Snr. G. has corrected it, and I hope to do much in this way, for I think the translation of the Teachings is one of the most important and urgent needs.

My California Art Studio

Still Life with Lilies in process…..

Lately have been missing my studio that I left behind in California to come to Israel….. Thus the header here showing part of the interior, paintings, brushes….

Sonora Studio Interior

This photo was taken on a tidy day!  The screen at left is hiding the work area….ie: the messy side!

Showing the messier side of the studio with still life on easel

This picture shows the studio a little more realistically…..  On the easel is a still life of white lilies.

White Pitcher Still Life on Easel

At the right is the left corner of the studio with 8×10 on my larger pochade box easel.  This painting had TWO buyers at the reception night..luckily one collector was there 10 minutes earlier than the other, so there was only a bit of friendly banter over her having gotten it first…..

White Arum Lilies still life set up in the gallery.

Okay – that is pretty large for the page, but it shows the still life, the oil painting…before it was finished… as well as the gallery corner we were set up in.  Painted this with a few friends – really cool to see how each of us had a different view, different style and medium.

Painting Plein Air in Calaveras County, Calif.

Okay – this is the first time I’ve shown this photo that Diane took of me while we were painting out at Melones Lake…. We were out there to get some small paintings of the California Poppies on the hillsides.  We were on the border of Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties… the sides of the hills were COVERED in solid orange.  It was an extraordinary year for poppies.

Poppies painting on easel.

This shows the view looking east up the valley with the lake below, and the hillside covered with poppies. And my sweet little Guerilla Painters pochade box which I had to leave in California till further notice!!  {sigh….}

Miniature landscape of near Oakdale

Near the end of each year we would have a miniatures show and this was one done down in the valley below Tuolumne County outside the town of Oakdale.  There were rolling hills instead of mountains….grassy meadows dotted with green oak trees.

Have a tiny corner with field easel set up here in my little flat that I’ve painted at several times now….  It’s not quite the same.  Am hoping to get outdoors with my pochade box to paint in October or November when it’s cooler.  There’s so much to paint here…..almost too much!  Lots of movement, lots of colour!  More to come………

Gorgeous Gardens at Bahjí

One Saturday when most of the buses were not running and things were VERY quiet because of Shabbat….I was invited to go with friends in their car out to Bahjí.  This is the estate to the north of Haifa where Baha’u’llah went to live when he was released from the prison in ‘Akká. At the time he was there – 1879 to 1892 when he passed away – it looked nothing like it looks today.  It was an old country mansion with small outbuildings and no gardens.  People got there by donkey, cart or by walking.

The real work of the design of the gardens was started by Shoghi Effendi and his vision has been carried on even after his passing in 1957.  This historical photo below was taken from the south and my photos below that show where we entered from the west.

Mansion of Bahjí

Bahjí – path from west entrance

Mansion of Bahji – Historical photo

More of ‘Akká

Entering ‘Akká - The Ancient Fortress City

Having got a crash tech consultation over lunch today am attempting to put my new knowledge to the test here.  Apparently I’ve been overwhelming my posts with photos, when it’s supposed to have some text involved as well.  My attempted method was to load the photo first and comment as I looked at it.  Not the way the software works!  SO here I am writing my text first and about to go into my extensive photo files to choose the lucky photo, or usually as the case turns out to be, the lucky photos!

Along the Sea Wall - ‘Akká

The afternoon in ‘Akká was outstanding in that we entered and drove over to the west side of the walled city to find parking by the water.

Then we walked south along the seawall heading towards the lighthouse, and turned east and walked toward the boat harbour.  Posted a few of the blue boat pics yesterday. We ate at a restaurant on the water with fishing boats and nets right next to the fence around the outdoor tables.

Seawall looking east towards boat harbour

We then headed in from the water by the caravanserai, past the mosque and toward the markets.  The streets were so narrow that only a bike or Yaris type car would fit.

The markets were FULL of color, so I was shooting photos constantly as we walked.  Everything from cinnamon to high heeled shoes, ice cream to  belly dancing outfits, smoking pipes to scarves.

Spices, morter & pestals - Market ‘Akká

Outdoor Market - ‘Akká

Bags of Spices - Market ‘Akká

Pipes and musical instruments - Market ‘Akká

Belly dancing costumes - Market ‘Akká

Cooking utensils - ‘Akká Market

Bags full of interesting stuff

Market Colour

Blue Boats – ‘Akká

I don’t remember visiting this side of ‘Akká when we came in the 70’s.  It is the boat harbour and is bustling, and vivid.  The fisherman try to work in the middle of the tourists and sightseeing boats are mixed in with working fishing boats as well as pleasure sailboats.  So many of the boats are painted blue….that Mediterranean blue that shouts out to you summer!  And to some the message is more subtle – saying Mazra’ih, or Bahjí.

Blue Boat Profiles - ‘Akká

Blue boats in ‘Akká harbour.

Seen Around Unalaska

These are some views of the village of Unalaska, some of the beaches on Amaknak Island where Dutch Harbor is located, and views looking down off of Mt. Ballyhoo toward the volcano of Mt. Makushin. There are also two pics showing old WWII installations on Mt. Ballyhoo above Dutch Harbor.

P1160738 P1160740 P1160742 P1160743 P1160750 P1160751 P1160756 P1160759 P1160767 P1160769 P1160770 P1160773 P1160774 P1160776 P1160159 P1160160 P1160161 P1160162 P1160193 P1160276 P1160279 P1160297 P1160299 P1160380 P1160411 P1160412 P1160414 P1160415 P1160424 P1160426 P1160542 P1160544 P1160546 P1160551 P1160552 P1160557 P1160558 P1160559 P1160560 P1160565 P1160566 P1160572 P1160573 P1160583 P1160593 P1160594 P1160598 P1160605 P1160614 P1160619 P1160628 P1160629 P1160630 P1160631 P1160636 P1160637 P1160638 P1160639 P1160642 P1160645 P1160647 P1160651 P1160653 P1160657 P1160665 P1160666 P1160667 P1160723 P1160727 P1160732

In a Macro World

Aleutian Rhododendron

Aleutian Rhododendron

Dwarf Dogwood

Dwarf Dogwood

Aleutian Heather [Heath]

Aleutian Heather [Heath]

Purple or Showy Orchid [Dactylorhiza aristata]

Purple or Showy Orchid [Dactylorhiza aristata]

Inside a tulip

Inside a tulip

Wild Blue Lupine

Wild Blue Lupine

Buttercups

Buttercups

Wild Blue Lupine

Wild Blue Lupine

Soggy and Windblown Dandelion

Soggy and Windblown Dandelion

Soggy Dandelion

Soggy Dandelion

Coastal Paintbrush - Honey Flower

Coastal Paintbrush – Honey Flower

Emerging Shasta Daisy

Emerging Shasta Daisy

Bald Dandelion Duo

Bald Dandelion Duo

English Daisy Solo

English Daisy Solo

English Daisy Duo

English Daisy Duo

Magenta Bellis

Magenta Bellis

Wet tulip bud

Wet tulip bud

Impressions of Israel: A Montage Compiled Over 2 1/2 Years of Photographing

Guards at the Lion's Gate - Old City Jerusalem.

Guards at the Lion’s Gate – Old City Jerusalem.

Approaching the Lion's Gate - Old City Jerusalem.

Approaching the Lion’s Gate – Old City Jerusalem.

Garden of Gethsemane - Jerusalem.

Garden of Gethsemane – Jerusalem.

Ancient mosaic - Jerusalem.

Ancient mosaic – Jerusalem.

View from Mt. of Olives to Dome of the Rock - Jerusalem.

View from Mt. of Olives to Dome of the Rock – Jerusalem.

Mosaic in church on Mt. of Olives, near Jerusalem.

Mosaic in church on Mt. of Olives, near Jerusalem.

Mediterranean - coast of Israel south of Haifa.

Mediterranean – coast of Israel south of Haifa.

View from Hatzionut St. over Haifa to the bay.

View from Hatzionut St. over Haifa to the bay.

Garden on Hatzionut Street, Haifa.

Garden on Hatzionut Street, Haifa.

View of valley from the Herb Farm Restaurant, near the Gilboa Mts.

View of valley from the Herb Farm Restaurant, near the Gilboa Mts.

Looking towards Lebanon from beach pier at Nahariyah.

Looking towards Lebanon from beach pier at Nahariyah.

Interior of The Herb Farm Restaurant, near Gilboa National Forest.

Interior of The Herb Farm Restaurant, near Gilboa National Forest.

Memorial to donators of trees to the Gilboa National Forest.

Memorial to donators of trees to the Gilboa National Forest.

Cows grazing near Gilboa National Forest

Cows grazing near Gilboa National Forest

Ezreal Valley farmlands.

Ezreal Valley farmlands.

Rainy view of the main square - Nazareth

Rainy view of the main square – Nazareth

Driving through the ancient narrow streets of Nazareth.

Driving through the ancient narrow streets of Nazareth.

Interior courtyard of hotel - Nazareth

Interior courtyard of hotel – Nazareth

A customer out front while we are sipping coffee in the back!  Nazareth

A customer out front while we are sipping coffee in the back! Nazareth

Coffee roasting at back of shop - Nazareth

Coffee roasting at back of shop – Nazareth

Being served coffee at the back of the shop. Nazareth

Being served coffee at the back of the shop. Nazareth

Coffee shop - Nazareth

Coffee shop – Nazareth

What's for sale - the eggs, or chickens? . . . not sure!

What’s for sale – the eggs, or chickens? . . . not sure!

Hostel courtyard - Nazareth

Hostel courtyard – Nazareth

This a road, not a sidewalk, and we were driving on it!

This a road, not a sidewalk, and we were driving on it!

The famous landmark church of Nazareth.

The famous landmark church of Nazareth.

McDonalds in Druze village of Daliyat Al Karmiel, near Haifa.

McDonalds in Druze village of Daliyat Al Karmiel, near Haifa.

Arab flat bread maker - Nazareth

Arab flat bread maker – Nazareth

Dried fruits - market in Nazareth.

Dried fruits – market in Nazareth.

Dried beans and lentils - market place in Nazareth.

Dried beans and lentils – market place in Nazareth.

Spices in market - Nazareth

Spices in market – Nazareth

Reflections in modern building - Tel Aviv

Reflections in modern building – Tel Aviv

Jewish quarter of Old City Jerusalem.

Jewish quarter of Old City Jerusalem.

View of wailing wall with Dome of the Rock in background - Old City Jerusalem.

View of wailing wall with Dome of the Rock in background – Old City Jerusalem.

Red decoration around doorway indicates that inhabitant of this house has made pilgrimage to Mecca. Street in Old City Jerusalem.

Red decoration around doorway indicates that inhabitant of this house has made pilgrimage to Mecca. Street in Old City Jerusalem.

Women's enclosed wooden observation balcony - Old City Jerusalem.

Women’s enclosed wooden observation balcony – Old City Jerusalem.

Architectural details from different centuries - Old City Jerusalem.

Architectural details from different centuries – Old City Jerusalem.

Street view - Old City Jerusalem

Street view – Old City Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers - Old City Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers – Old City Jerusalem

Street in Old City Jerusalem.

Street in Old City Jerusalem.

View of the Dome of the Rock Mosque - Old City Jerusalem

View of the Dome of the Rock Mosque – Old City Jerusalem

IMG_6628

Looking down into a street in Old City Jerusalem.

Looking down into a street in Old City Jerusalem.

Shop selection including musical instruments.

Shop selection including musical instruments.

Street of Old City Jerusalem

Street of Old City Jerusalem

Our guide pointing to the bullet holes from the 1967 war in the Lion's Gate - Old City Jerusalem

Our guide pointing to the bullet holes from the 1967 war in the Lion’s Gate – Old City Jerusalem

Entering the Lion's Gate - Old City Jerusalem

Entering the Lion’s Gate – Old City Jerusalem

Israeli flag flying n Jerusalem.

Israeli flag flying n Jerusalem.

Tile wall art - Wadi Nisnas, Haifa.

Tile wall art – Wadi Nisnas, Haifa.

Fruits and vegetables - Wadi Nisnas, Haifa.

Fruits and vegetables – Wadi Nisnas, Haifa.

Coffee shop and owner - Wadi Nisnas, Haifa

Coffee shop and owner – Wadi Nisnas, Haifa

Coffee seller's Turkish coffee serving set - Wadi Nisnas, Haifa.

Coffee seller’s Turkish coffee serving set – Wadi Nisnas, Haifa.

At Bahji & Akka

Image

One of the gates at Bahjí

Image 

The Pilgrim House at Bahjí

 Image

The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in the gardens at Bahjí

 Image

On the balcony of the Mansion of Bahjí

Image

In the gardens by the Bahjí Visitors Centre

Image

Seawall and rooftops of ‘Akká

Image

Prison, rooftops and seawall of ‘Akká

Image

Sunset seen from the beach in ‘Akká

Image

Lights of Haifa seen from the beach in ‘Akká – showing the Terraces as a strip of light going from mountain top to the sea.

Image

Nighttime view of Haifa from the beach at ‘Akká

 

Some last walks in the gardens

One of my last walks in the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa.

Image

Gardens

Image

Flowering Poinciana tree in the Baha’i Gardens.

Image

Looking toward the Pilgrim House in the Baha’i Gardens

Image

Cycads and impatiens in the Baha’i Gardens

Image

Closeup of one of the decorative urns in the Baha’i Gardens

Image

View from the east of the Shrine in the Baha’i Gardens

Image

Detail of the entry gate to the Baha’i Gardens

Image

Cactus Garden in entry court of the Baha’i Gardens

Image

Sunset behind the Shrine in the Baha’i Gardens – Haifa, Israel.