Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #103: Surprise

Would you like a bananananananananana?

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I walked around a corner at the Naples Botanical Garden and was surprised by this very long hand of bananas. I don’t know why I hadn’t seen it before. Help yourself – there are plenty.

If you want to participate, everyone is welcome at Leya’s.

Lens-Artist Photo #101 – A Single Flower

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On my Tuesday morning visit to the Naples Botanical Garden in the middle of February I stuck to my routine of stopping at the cafe for a scone and ginger limeade. But how could I resist this small special desert of a lemon mousse with a raspberry sauce and a single flower on top. It sure looks like an orchid so maybe their orchid show was coming up.

Cee is hosting the weekly Lens-Artist Photo Challenge this week so check out other entries here.

My Foul Mood is in Lock-Down – Don’t Want it to Spread

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My mood is foul this morning so I went to the files of photos taken at the Naples Botanical Garden through the middle of March when the garden closed to visitors. I thought I would post something cheery. Maybe I’m assuming everyone else is as grumpy as I am, or maybe I am hoping I can cheer myself up in the process.

The first photo in the file of my last visit is the one above. I remember taking it as the early morning sun was reflecting off the ripples on the water’s surface, making stripes on the foliage of some water iris. The solitude of the early morning garden, the poetry of a quiet breeze punctuated by bird calls, the cool air with a promise of warm sun are captured in this somewhat messy still-life, a reflection of a somewhat messy real-life. This photo was a strong contender – it reflected calm and peace.

I thought of using a photo of the water iris, but went right by them – they just seemed too cheery for this morning. Besides the front leaves were out of focus and this grated on my nerves – so I looked in an earlier file for some photos that I knew were technically better. They were nicely done but still too cheery, so none made the cut.

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I quickly scrolled through the other photos, but none emitted the emotions I wanted to share with you… until I reached the last one. I lingered on this image, the same way I did when I first downloaded it. It exudes a sense of grace and beauty. There is a natural beauty to this orchid that I couldn’t improve with post-processing. As my eye travels around the composition it brings me a sense of peace and well-being, almost making my grumpiness fade into the background (if you look closely you can see it in the upper, left-hand corner).

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Deciding which one to use is really difficult. I guess I’ll get a glass of water, take my morning pills, and finish up the masks I’m sewing.

Please stay safe and stay well.

Texture

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I walked along a familiar path, but from the opposite direction. It may have been my new orientation that made me notice this tree for the first time in ten winter seasons of weekly visits. Maybe I was focused on texture because of this month’s challenge at HeyJude’s blog to find something rough to photograph.

I was drawn in by the rough texture of this stocky palm truck created by the overlapping pattern where dead fronds had been cut off and the beautiful colors that accented the texture.

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When I zoomed in close, I found the unique characteristics of the trunk that made it so irresistible from a distance.

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My first impulse was to marvel at the beauty of this small statue among the lush growth and different shapes of leaves. But if you go back and look at the first photo, I think you will appreciate how pleasing the whole is. There are so many textures and contrasts. Although I photographed parts, I most enjoy the whole. This is an excellent example of Systems Theory – that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I have been listening to news about the world-wide health crisis as I have been writing this post. In Florida activities are being cancelled and we are encouraged to keep social distance from each other. As I integrate my thoughts about my photography and Systems Theory with our health crisis maybe we need to remember that acting together and keeping everyone’s well-being in mind will help us through. I do believe that the whole of our country and the world will be better and greater when we work together, when we sum our parts. Here in the US we are looking for guidance from our president and unfortunately he just isn’t able to understand how to lead. Let’s work together without him by keeping ourselves and our neighbors safe. And let’s call our congressional representative to let them know that we want the government to make sure all communities have sufficient test kits and unemployment is made available to people who can’t work because of the virus.