Tag Archives: St. John

You May Now Photograph The Bride

A bride and groom and their attendants pose for a photograph at the overlook at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which has a great view of Union Station and downtown Kansas City.

A bride and groom and their attendants pose for a photograph at the overlook at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which has a great view of Union Station and downtown Kansas City. The four pylons of Bartle Hall are on the left of the skyline.

I love photographing brides, whether they are relatives, friends or strangers. When I saw the beautiful wedding photographs from around the world in “There Goes the Bride!” by Terri and James Vance, I was inspired to look through my photographs of bridal parties. I’ve posted a few of my favorites here. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take many photographs at my children’s weddings. Too busy! I also apologize to anyone whose view I may have blocked when I was trying to grab the perfect wedding shot. I lose my head when I see a bride.

A bride and groom relax on a bench along the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand.

A bride and groom relax on a bench along the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Bride in Melbourne

A wedding party gathers for photographs in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.

This bride laughs as she stops her wind-blown veil with her foot.  She's on her way to a park in Christchurch to get her photograph taken.

This bride laughs as she stops her wind-blown veil with her foot. She’s on her way to a park in Christchurch, New Zealand, to get her photograph taken.

Here's an elegant newlywed pair heading for their limousine after their wintertime wedding ceremony.

Here’s an elegant newlywed pair heading for their limousine after their wintertime wedding ceremony in the Kansas City area.

An English Cocker Spaniel walks down a garden path with her newlywed owners after their garden wedding near Ithaca, New York.

An English Cocker Spaniel walks down a garden path with her newlywed owners after their garden wedding near Ithaca, New York.

A bride and groom walk on a beach in St. John, Virgin Islands, which is a favorite for destination weddings.

A bride and groom walk on a beach in St. John, Virgin Islands, which is a favorite for destination weddings.

Newlyweds walk under a pergola at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Kansas City, a popular spot for weddings.

Newlyweds walk under a pergola at the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in Kansas City, a popular spot for weddings.

Every guest seems to have a camera to capture the bride and groom as they walk down the rose-strewn aisle in this Napa Valley, California, wedding.

Every guest seems to have a camera to capture the bride and groom as they walk down the rose-strewn aisle in this Napa Valley, California, wedding.

Bridal parties appear regularly at the Nelson-Museum of Art in Kansas City.  I saw at least two bridal groups swarming the shuttlecocks on this day.

Bridal parties appear regularly at the Nelson-Museum of Art in Kansas City. I saw at least two bridal groups swarming the shuttlecocks on this day.

Brides and grooms love to get their photographs taken in front of one of the shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.  A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph. They weren’t the only wedding party there that day being photographed in front of a shuttlecock. There are four of these shuttlecock sculptures at the museum, designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

Brides and grooms love to get their photographs taken in front of one of the shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. A Kansas City Star photographer was shooting this bride and groom for a feature on the shuttlecocks when I took this photograph. They weren’t the only wedding party there that day being photographed in front of a shuttlecock. There are four of these shuttlecock sculptures at the museum, designed by sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

UPDATE: My husband took this photo on Signal Hill, Cape Town, South Africa, which we visited in January 2013. Photographing brides must be contagious!

My husband took this photo while I was looking elsewhere and didn't see this bride and groom.  I think my husband might have been bitten briefly by the bride photo bug.  Here, a bride and groom consult with their photographer on Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa.  Signal Hill provides a spectacular view of Table Bay and the city of Cape Town and makes a lovely spot for a wedding photo.

My husband took this photo while I was looking elsewhere and didn’t see this bride and groom. I think my husband might have been bitten briefly by the bride photo bug. Here, a bride and groom consult with their photographer on Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa. Signal Hill provides a spectacular view of Table Bay and the city of Cape Town and makes a lovely spot for a wedding photo.

To see larger versions of these photographs, click on the thumbnails below.

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Don’t Call Me Sugar

Desert Rose at Sugar Mill, St. John, U.S.V.I. postcard

Desert Rose shrubs adorn the ruins of a sugar factory at Caneel Bay on the island of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was eating left-over wedding cupcakes every morning. We ordered too many mini cupcakes for my daughter’s wedding, and there were at least ten dozen left.  I forced a lot of them on people as they left the reception. (I’m sorry!) But I took home at least three dozen.   The cupcakes were so rich — and so good.  I couldn’t let them go to waste. (So I let them go to my waist.)  I knew they weren’t a healthy choice, but hey, a calorie is a calorie, I thought. I could exchange a bowl of cereal for a cupcake. No harm, no foul.

Laura and Ryan's Wedding Cupcakes.

But then I had an epiphany when I saw the video at the bottom of this post. Sugar is bad for you. Really bad for you. I’ve been hearing this for decades, but shrugged it off even though diabetes runs in my family.  Now Valentine’s Day approaches, another sugar-soaked holiday. I’ve cut back on sugar so much in the past year that I don’t even like it.  (And almost no alcohol, either.) I’m not even tempted — well, okay, occasionally I succumb. And I do eat a lot of fruit. I wish I could say I feel so much better, but I don’t. I do feel smug, though! At least I haven’t gained any weight, always a problem as you grow older.

Does spurning sugar make me a sourpuss? I hope I’m still as sweet as always.  (Some who know me will say, What?) I’m bucking against the trend toward eating sugar. Sugar cane is the world’s largest crop. High fructose corn sugar from corn is ubiquitous. You can’t escape sugar in almost any processed food.  Recent statistics showed that U.S. adults consume 22.2 teaspoons of sugar daily — or 355 calories. That greatly exceeds the daily recommended amount. Dietitians have said that the average-sized women should be consuming no more than 6.25 teaspoons; men 9.4. Read the link below on Sucrose to see just what this chemical does to you!

Only two plants produce the sucrose that humans crave so much: sugar cane and sugar beets. I started thinking about sugar again when my family and I recently went to the small beautiful island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands for my son’s wedding. (There seems to be a wedding theme here.) The island is now mostly a U.S. national park, but you can see the ruins of some of the sugar cane plantations that covered the island after Europeans first settled the island in 1718 and started farming. The Europeans used African and Indian slaves to work the plantations. Raising sugar cane and processing the cane into refined sugar was and still is hard work.

Here are the ruins of part of the Cinnamon Bay Estate sugar factory. Established in the early 1700s, Cinnamon Bay Estate became one of the most prosperous sugar cane operations on the island of St. John. The ruins are now in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park.

Sugar, as molasses, was traded from the Caribbean to Europe or New England, where it was distilled into rum. The profits from the sale of sugar were used to purchase manufactured goods, which were then shipped to West Africa, where they were bartered for slaves. The slaves were then brought back to the Caribbean to be sold to sugar planters. The profits from the sale of the slaves were then used to buy more sugar, which was shipped to Europe. The cycle would continue over and over. To read more, click on the link Triangular Trade at the bottom of the post.

The Europeans chopped down the native plants to plant their sugar cane plantations and introduced a lot of foreign animals. The descendants of some of these animals run wild on the island today, such as mongoose, goats, donkeys and deer. Many of the trees and vegetation did return when sugar cane plantations were abandoned. St. John was the site of one of the first significant slave rebellions in the New World in 1733, but the rebellion was put down. Slavery wasn’t abolished in St. John until 1848, and after that the sugar plantations shut down.  Now St. John’s main industry is tourism.

No sign remains of the sugar cane crop fields that once flourished here on the Cinnamon Bay Estate in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. The sugar factory and estate house, built of blocks of coral, lie in ruins.

In case you’re wondering where the Virgin Islands group got its name, you can thank Christopher Columbus and his crew.  They were the first Europeans to see these islands and named the island group “Once Mil Virgenes”, or Eleven Thousand Virgins, in honor of the feast day of Saint Ursula and the 11,000 virgins who were martyred with her.

I wrote about the mongoose, which were also introduced to St. John and other tropical islands to control rats (which they didn’t), such as the Big Island of Hawaii. Why Did the Mongoose Cross the Road?

About Sugar Cane.

About Sucrose.
About St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

About the Triangular Trade of Sugar, Slaves and Other Goods.

CBS News: Is Sugar Toxic?

Here’s a long video that explains why sugar is bad for you. In it, Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that too much fructose too much and not enough fiber appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.

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