Featured Photographer
Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Tipis on Highway 110 Ranchos De Taos ~ New Mexico

This is the view I see every day on my way home from The Plaza in Taos, New Mexico. I am always happy when my photos include a bird or two. We are planning on taking my tipi with us next summer and pitching it in our back orchard. It takes the average Native American woman 15 minutes to pitch the tipi from start to finish and she owns the tipi, so if her husband is ornery she can set his belongings outside the door flap and he can’t enter until she agrees that he can come back.

Fly Fishing on the Stillaguamish River ~ Arlington ~ Washington

The title photo is a picture I shot on my iPhone of Victor fly-fishing on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River just north of my fly-fishing lodge in Arlington, Washington. Zane Grey and Roderick Haig-Brown made this particular stretch of water famous. Western author Zane Grey wrote about fishing for wild summer-run steelhead on the North Fork after a 1918 visit. Roderick Haig-Brown, a British Columbia writer known for moody musings about misty rivers, fish and the people who pursued them, also helped popularize the North Fork in his books. [1]

McCullough Memorial Bridge ~ Coos Bay ~ Oregon

Victor and I decided to drive up the coast route to Washington in September. I had done it solo a few years ago, but it's difficult to stop to take photos when driving. This time we had the leisure of pulling over to photograph landmarks and local scenery. We spent several nights in various motels along the way. We decided to just take our time and enjoy the “photo safari.” We were especially looking forward to photographing bridges and lighthouses. It was my turn to drive and Victor was fast asleep in the passenger seat when I came upon this incredible bridge that I knew I wanted to capture. There was no real safe place to stop and I didn't want to awaken my passenger, so I parked on a side street and hiked back to the bridge. Later when he awoke I shared my photo with him and he was amazed that he had missed the entire “photo shoot”! I guess it’s true…when you snooze you lose!


Double Rainbow ~ Montespertoli ~ Italia

Rainbows are one of my favourite things on earth. So I guess double rainbows are two of my favourite things. My daughter’s “Indian” name is Skoo Kum Kitsku. In our Native American culture the grandmother gives the child her “Indian” name. My mother. knowing how much I revere rainbows, bestowed that name upon Daisy when she was born.

A few days before we fled the pandemic in Italy to join the pandemic in America, we were invited to luncheon with our friends at their country villa in Montespertoli.

Our friend Jen had set out a fine table and after lunch Victor and our friend Brigitte went out to the pool house to play bridge with Jen and her husband Simon. I don't play bridge, so I decided to take photographs of the vineyards adjacent to their villa. I actually hadn’t realised there was a double rainbow until I looked at the photo I had taken of the other end of the rainbow!


Villa Bellosguardo ~ Florence ~ Italy

After months of being under lockdown in Florence, we were told we could go out for walks if we were over a certain age. Both Victor and I fit the bill! There is a farm behind our villetta in Porta Romana and if one walks on to the farmland and follows a path up a steep hill it leads to this incredible hotel with exquisite gardens. I went down one pathway in the gardens and Victor took another. I am very keen on reflection photographs. When I arrived at the pool I began to photograph the reflections. So engrossed was I in the project, that I didn't notice Victor sitting by the hedges watching me!


The Old Barn out on 530 ~ Snohomish County ~ Washington

Barns, bridges and lighthouses…I can't get enough of them! I photograph this barn every time I am up at Brown Hackle Lodge. It is just up the highway a bit north of us. I have photographed it in all seasons. One day I’d like to capture it when it is snowing. I especially love when the foreground is abounding in sunflowers. I only noticed recently that there is a double silo attached. The camera frequently sees things that I overlook. Check out the photo in the July 2015 issue of Q and P.

The Breakfast Room at Treetops ~ Laurel Canyon ~ Hollywood Hills ~ California

My breakfast room at “Treetops” is one of my favourite rooms in the house. The walls are dotted with little still life paintings rendered by my late husband. After he died I joked with friends that I had acquired a very expensive habit/addiction. It was called “framing”… I gathered up all of his unframed oils throughout the house and took them a few at a time to The Canvas Peddlar in NoHo to have them framed. I can't help thinking this is a scene in a room he would have loved painting. I’m sitting here right now listening to birdsong.

Wisteria ~ Ugo Foscolo ~ Tuscany

Inside our garden gate on Ugo Foscolo in Porta Romana an area in Florence where we have lived since December 1, 2017. Every year we get two separate blooms of the wisteria that covers the entrance to our fabulous garden where I grow food for our table. I grow lettuces and celery and nasturtiums, strawberries, chicory, sweet peas and beans, hollyhocks, tulips, daffodils, and an array of other colorful flowers too long to list. Victor is in charge of the tomatoes, many of which I’ve grown in my mini-greenhouse. Ugo Foscolo incidentally was a famous Italian poet. I always say, “He was Italy’s answer to England’s Lord Byron.”

Check out the poem I wrote about him in the April 2019 “Poets on Poets” issue of Q and P. I read earlier that he lived at Bellosguardo for a time while he was composing the fundamental nucleus of the poem "Le Grazie."

Lighthouse ~ Bullard’s Beach ~ Oregon

We spent one entire day looking for and driving to landmark lighthouses in Oregon and Washington on our trip up last summer. I have one view of this lighthouse on my Instagram in black and white. (sharmagnelstj@instagram). Check out some of our issues that feature lighthouses on our title pages. July 2011 is one that comes to mind.

Butterflies ~ Pasadena ~ California 

Before we left America to start a life in Tuscany together, we used to take Lulu for a walk around the block every evening. On one of these walks I started photographing statues, lawn ornaments and planters. This one was around the corner from where we were living. Butterflies are probably my spirit animal. My Native American grandmother named me Pil Pal Witsa (Butterfly) when I was born because she knew they would fascinate me. Several of my poems over the years have featured butterflies. One of my favourite strophes from one of my poems is:

Oh Butterfly,
You should have stayed awhile
And let me trace with hungry lips
The space within your smile.
(February 2002)


Nasturtiums ~ Porta Romana ~ Florence Italy

When I ran out of plantible space in our Tuscan garden we installed window boxes in all the downstairs windows so I could continue to grow the flowers that please me. I need to always have fresh flowers in several rooms in each of my homes or hotel rooms. I planted geraniums, nasturtiums and flax in this window box off our formal dining room and basil and parsley and scallions in the kitchen window box.

Nasturtiums ~ Porta Romana ~ Florence Italy

[1] https://lmtribune.com/outdoors/anglers-pay-tribute-to-stilly-fishing-pioneers/article_fcbb4626-9487-59e2-af28-5ec616e3cb25.html


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