A Little Surprise of Orange

I haven’t gone batty – this isn’t orange by even a stretch of my imagination. It is a hens & chicks I bought last spring to put in a hot, dry spot where they thrive. When I looked at the tag, however, it said that it was hardy down to 40 degrees F, and Michigan winters get a tad bit colder than that. I bought it because it was beautiful and I have a perfect place for it on our lanai in Florida. I also had the perfect pot for it and it was happy on my front porch by my purple porch swing all summer.

Then I saw a blossom coming from the center and upon checking there was a baby chick. What a surprise, but the surprise was even greater when the blossoms opened.

What a pretty orange color and it keeps getting longer and longer although I brought it into the kitchen because our nights are getting colder now that we are going into the last half of October.

Brought to you in response to Jude’s, Life in Colour October “orange”.

Wildflowers From a Day in June

Not only am I switching from glorious fall color to the gentle spring palette, I’m also going back to 2015 to find photos I really like but never published. I think I am looking for a simpler time – although I know that all times in our lives have hardships and frustrations. It is just easier to put a rosy glow on the past after it has mellowed a bit with age, and we slip into selective memory mode. I wonder what our memories and history books will do with this pandemic.

Thanks, Becky, for the wide open invitation to post some photos (squares of course) from our past files.

September Garden – Up Close

I was afraid that the zinnia seeds I planted weren’t going to bloom before we have our first frost – they had a slow start. Probably because I was slow in getting them into the ground because of a very cold month and then a very hot month in the spring. Or was it the other way around? Not to worry – they are now blooming just when needed most for late summer color.

I love close-up photography so my zinnias and Cee’s Close-up or Macro call to photographers were perfectly timed for each other. Zinnias are a lot of fun to photograph because of their symmetrical petals that seem, at the same time, to be asymmetrical. And look at how a really up close photograph shows how the petals form. What a beautiful wonder right under our noses, especially if there is a camera between our nose and the flower!

A while back I was doing some research before deciding on a new lens and read an article about whether it was better to use a telephoto lens or to use a 50 mm dedicated lens and crop. This second photo was taken with my new Nikon Z fc and a 16-50 mm lens, taken at 50 mm. I have really been pleased with this camera. It is light enough so I can take hand-held photos and have them be acceptably sharp. If I ever wanted to enlarge them a lot, I would have to use a tripod. This serves as a really nice walk around, grab quickly camera – similar to how others use their smart phones.

I was surprised to see the little flowers within the unfurling petals when I processed this last photo. This one was taken with the 50 mm setting and I only cropped a little of the edges off for aesthetics. I have found I can get really close to my subject with this lens but can also get good shots to crop when I need to stand back so I don’t frighten butterflies away.

Waiting for the Blues

My morning glories are growing up the strings on my front-porch railing and I am (not too) patiently waiting for the the glorious silky-blues to appear. I don’t get blooms every year, but I did in 2017…

Last year there were none, but I learned that I had given them too much attention – watering and fertilizing them. This year I’m trying neglect to see if they come begging.

As I am waiting I will share some other blue flowers from my files. (Did you hear that, morning glories? I have other blues in my life.)

We have a month of blue ahead as we follow and contribute all kinds of blues to Jude’s Life in Color challenge.

Milkweed – With a Future Monarch

We are spending a few days in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, camping by Traverse City. Today we spent time exploring the Mission Peninsula that goes north, splitting the Grand Traverse Bay. Instead of going to one of the many wine orchards for tasting and lunch, we decided to pack our favorite lunch for a picnic, and found a public launch site that had some benches overlooking the western arm of the bay. Afterwards I took photos of wildflowers growing along the shore. One of the flowers that was just starting to blossom was milkweed.

I decided to post a photo of a wildflower for Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge and when I processed the photo I found a surprise Monarch larvae. Kind of a bonus for Cee.